Archive for September, 2009

living vicariously…

Posted in Poetry on September 30, 2009 by Caribbean Fool

For what its worth,
which probably ain’t all that much,
at one point,
I thought it was really important
to understand
as much as possible
about everything having to do with
why’s.

You can easily share the
apprehension that comes
with thinking about why,
much too much
for the sake of sanity
and getting something
useful done.

Moreso than any
chemical elixir
is the seduction of vanity
that comes with
thinking too long
about all the why’s.

Meanwhile the world moves on;
people have babies
that grow up to be more people
who act just as mysteriously
as their parents used to
before they got boring
and predictable.

All the while I lose afternoons,
and the last part
of a good many mornings,
and some all nights,
thinking about all those
why’s.

Like why does it matter
if I choose to disregard
some arcane aspect
of a dress code?
or
Why do people settle
for certainty when
uncertainty comprises
so much more of the world?

Before I knew what happened
to all the time that hadn’t
happened yet,
it went and happened
and all the time that’s
still waiting
will probably creep by;
but it won’t be
because I’m thinking
about the why’s.

Passive wonder will
have to be enough,
there are probably things to do,
things like buying sweaters
and ties, mowing the lawn,
and of course having babies.

It sure seems like a lot of work;
there’s not enough hours
in a day or even a week
to do all that and still
think about the why’s.

Practice trumps theory again.
a fact that there’s no need
to wonder about;
the same holds true
for the babies and ties
and lawnmowers
and department store sales
on all of ’em.

Yet most everyone makes the same choice,
or maybe they just compromise;
thinking to themselves,
“it’s not as good as knowing why
but I’m getting laid more often,
and my car is shiny and fast,
and my house is huge,
and filled with stuff,
and all that’s gotta be worth
something, right?”

But what about the why’s?
Someone has to think about them,
and what is it exactly
all those University approved
Philosophers
do with their day?
I suspect they spend very little time
on the why’s.
A drug like that isn’t allowed
at work.

All of this curls back on itself,
with the gravity of everything
tugging on everything,
nothing moves except
when everything moves,
and why is that?
and does it have to be the
way it is?

Only when another afternoon
is lost on all those why’s
do I remember why I
decided not to think about
all those why’s in the first place,
saying to myself
“remember potted plants, and
settling down for a few decades,
and coaching little league,
and all the other shit you
thought you were supposed to do.”

With shaky confidence in my judgment;
is there any other kind? (strike that.
we’re not thinking about that right now.)
but confidence nonetheless,
I’m gonna settle in
for the long haul,
maybe get an office plant or two;
brag to everyone ’bout how good
it is when my car is the
right color, without so many
stickers and dents.
maybe even a baby seat
clinging to the seat belt
for dear life.

In the midst of all the
gonna be’s,
it seems too much; for one thing,
who’s going to trust me
with all the trappings of
this high class life?
Not me, that’s for sure.

Not to mention,
it still feels like
too much work without
adequate reward.
Call me foolish anytime,
but that much work
demands much more,
why sell out so cheap when
the money’s just paper
and the car needs gas,
and a trustworthy mechanic;
and the grass is growing too high,
and it’s not the good kind of grass
or the good kind of high.

Suspended between everything
with no desire to choose
seems to piss off those
around me, but none of them
know why it has to be
a decision in the first place;
so why should I trust their judgment
over my own?

Nothing resolved,
but another evening and morning
sacrificed to thinking
too much about all the things
I keep promising myself
I won’t think about any more.
Does it say something about
my infidelity to myself;
or simply my lazy ambivalence
to anything but thinking
about the why’s,
and do they have rehab
for this sort of thing?

I walked 12 steps to the kitchen
and drank some soda
and ate some leftover spaghetti
with cold sauce and no meatballs
and wondered why I hadn’t cared
enough to make some
earlier this afternoon.
Tomorrow I’ll go to the store
and get all the stuff to make chilli.
It’ll be progress.
It’ll be fun.

Really.

With all this on my plate,
for later, I feel fine;
fine enough for omphaloskepsis;
babies and chilli are the farthest things
from my mind. What’s a few
more hours, anyway?

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do what you do with what you got…

Posted in FML, Philosophy, Poetry on September 19, 2009 by Caribbean Fool

This one’s about genesis. That’s the only way I can think of to say that all the warnings and suppositions are just more kindling for the fire. Right now is what can be controlled, at least in that vague manner of the righteous few. It doesn’t happen much, but the rules are there. The best part is nobody has to think about it. The worst part is that nobody does. Still; it could be something more ethereal. Every time I get too close to knocking it down, the whole thing stops making sense. I guess thats O.K. I mean, it’s not like you can pick and choose when to stop and start. What’s the fun in that?

I was going to tell you that I’m “fighting onward,” but that’s the wrong analogy. Fuck it. Maybe the whole thing is a poem. There’s nothing to fear about that. There’s that whole murky clarity of painted straws cut with the fine mist. Ain’t nothing that can’t be solved with the right mixture of fuel and desire. My fingers might be slow and my mind drafting, but let’s split the difference and call it the kind of essential preparation for enlightenment. I got all kinds of experience that tells me not to worry too much. It ain’t that long of a ride.

So where is everybody now? Some kind of sick joke; bad advice mixed with good intentions. Never underestimate the power of the echo chamber. For a few brief seconds, gravity dissipates and everything rises a few inches. So tangled; how did they all hear the story at the same time? It boggles the mind. Most of them have better things to do when gravity reasserts itself and we all come down. But I got time. There could be measurements made. Maybe even those crucible judgments that let us know that yes indeed, we’re really one of the chosen few. I guess some find comfort in such simony. Still nothing to say about the rest of the world. I reserve all judgment until just after everything starts making sense. Mediation would work, but who sit’s where at the table? Do we need more than two chairs?

All the answers reside in the pocket of a pretty little thing walking around somewhere south of here. Miles are miles, and they make kilometers out of yardsticks. She never reaches for this particular pocket, but something she said years ago still figures in the thoughts of cloudy days raining down on those hillsides and mountain meadows. Some day I’m gonna reach for that pocket and find out what it was that made things as they are instead of some other way. I’m gonna question everything, down to Planck size issues that we never got to talk about when the time was wrong. Patience, patience. I’m not here as some johnny-come-rapist in the dark of night. I never hurt anyone without a damn good reason. It’s in the joke spoken by the auteur. Plainly said, I’m just here for the sake of the question. If there was anything that could be done (besides the obvious concoctions mixed with keen razor blade theory) then it is going to be done. Don’t ask me to stop. I couldn’t if I wanted to.

Precision knowledge can only be accumulated via conversation, or maybe in the recitation of restraint and self control. Who says who does? Go join the people, get yourself a wife or a husband, maybe have some kids. I’m told passing on your genes might be why we’re here. I shudder when those words pass through my lips, as disrespectful as I’m known to be. Fuck it. Like so much else, it will have to wait.
———————————-
Maybe it’s a poem?

The more I think
about the pocket of the jeans
of the girl walking
down an old boulevard or avenue
of a gracefully familiar town,
the more certain I become
that the contents of her pocket
hold the memory of my muse ,
and the answer to my question.
————————————-

Maybe it’s a stab wound in the arm, or a fall from from on high, either pride or a skyscraper. But maybe she’s just got the peculiar mix, like shards of green busting through concrete. Maybe I know how to slap together some kind of dinner from scattered lines of poetry gathered up from the tangles of her hair while all around me is in motion. Is this a weathered grin? Is it important that she not know her role in leading the words and sights of this sorry assed dumb fucker? He’s still convinced that the word and the light (sorry CB) mean more than a ragged body and scattered mind. He cares little for anything but the word. With the help of music and his muse; strike forth. Forget meaning for a moment; create something else based in part on that sensation of reflection of the light from bulb banging into her eyes. A welcome wave of relaxation passes through. You can’t make this shit up. Who knew what unlocking the passenger door could do to a fool?

With all the conversations that never were, the word and the light (apologies again CB) seem to leave a broken trail to follow from the exhaustion to rebirth. If there was any justice, I’d be weeping. More truthfully, it’s late, and I’m too tired to satiate my muse with the praise she deserves.

—————————-

nobody remembers how it felt
to open the door of my piece of shit car,
on a cool night in the old mountains,
wearing my lousy jeans and a cheap shirt;
and welcome Pallas Athena
with prayers and nervous laughter.

warm light from the sodium bulbs,
lascivious light falling down
made the act of opening a door
seem magisterial; my muse
sat next to me as we drove off.

at the same time, far in the past,
I was dumb enough to look at the front
of Athena’s tight jeans
instead of the hip pocket;
where everything I could ever want
waited on me.

back to the present, years
later and in a different place,
straining to remember the
night I tried to satisfy my muse,
sharing cigarettes, wanting something
I couldn’t quite name.

the scent of perfume remains
embedded in my memory;
lining my mind as I look to that moment
when she swung her head
around and washed me
down for good
the scent of beauty and genius;
Pallas Athena

It’s late, and I’ve failed;
and I’m too tired
to satiate my muse
with the praise she deserves.

————————————-

Too many questions for a restless night. I might be getting my poetry mixed up with my prose. I’m so tired, and I can’t give back what was given to me one night a long time ago in a place that’s as closed as a boarded up row-house. I did the best I could tonight; I tried to be a poet.

She’d made up her mind… (poetry at 2:30 a.m)

Posted in Poetry on September 5, 2009 by Caribbean Fool

“she made up her mind”

She’d made up her mind,
same time,
in the last couple of months,
no cheap stunt,
The addition of hard times
lengthening long lines,
that wore down the break pad,
busted the break
metal on metal shower sparks will forsake
guess it’s time to admit
as bad as it gets
I keep hoping that it’s all just a dream.

Never wanting to see that you could leave,
like water through a net or gold nuggets in a sieve,
While I’m too crippled to pursue,
The girl that played the part of you
No tears, no tears, I swore no tears
but i can’t smile either and I can’t work the gears
And I’m scared and alone and it’s getting too dark
and my lighter is busted and my confidence shot
So it’s quiet round here, I’m left to myself
Just stuck in a box and the box on a shelf

She’d made up her mind,
same time,
in the last couple of months,
no cheap stunt,
The addition of hard times
lengthening long lines,
that wore down the break pad,
busted the break
metal on metal shower sparks will forsake
guess it’s time to admit
as bad as it gets
I keep hoping that it’s all just a dream.
—————————————-

Alone again and the night is quiet like death. Anything I can add would be immaterial. I’m feeling like a black hat fellow waiting to go back to being unnoticed. Maybe going out for a long walk will do me good. No sleep tonight. This is not a good night to lay awake staring at the ceiling. Get me my scissors.

THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT ONE OF THE WORST POEMS I’VE EVER WRITTEN. Sorry.

Ellensburg to Springfield by way of Blacksburg

Posted in bumper sticker stories, love n' luck on September 4, 2009 by Caribbean Fool

I told a lie about my day. When they asked me how it was, I told them how much fun it had been. Can”t explain myself to anybody these days. Makes me want to laugh and scream at the same time; go farther, go faster, go harder, bend at the waits, more more more, that kind of thing. It matters, but only to a point. So, your going to tell me off and let me really have it. Maybe even use the occasional four letter word. Maybe really stick it to me and penetrate my cavalier attitude with a display of piercing acumen. You know what I’m saying, really cut me open and get the blood flowing back to my brain so I can make a simple idea into something far more complex. With your fuel in my rockets I’ve got what I need to turn those lasers on that asshole in the mirror, really excoriate him in every conceivable way. And since it is counterproductive, when its over, we can chop each other up into little bits so’s to confirm we’re really made of all the same stuff. The imagery is magisterial, like looking down into the valley from a perch way up in the high mountains. You’ve got my eye in your socket. You’ve got my tongue in your mouth. I can feel your hand hanging from my wrist. Both heads are smiling, and we’ll put each other back together as we see fit. Whatever parts are leftover at the end, we’ll use for some kind of neo-classical wall art. You can win with me on the team.

Always the mountains. And what do you see from way up there anyway? If you call foul no matter what I do, after a while I just got to accept that it is what it is, and let you walk on by. Never mind that we both know you’ll be OK, there’s even a chance for me to be OK, but maybe this (gestures around wildly) ain’t it. If I could break through all the busted promises and missed birthdays, you’d get inside me ad talk like the Joker. You’d say “Nice place. A lotta space.”

Of course I would laugh and laugh, enjoying your reference as well as the way you smile when you mean it. What’s left of me melts on the spot, but it ain’t a hanging offense. You sweep me up in your smooth hands and paint me on the wall with a smile frozen in the dried paint. For years you pass me on the wall, admire my painted face, and watch everyone else wonder why you stare so hard at the boy in the backwards baseball hat. Even I can see the mural that I’ve become, and I only smile when you walk past and smile back. That’s the secret my darling dear. Even when some other guy has his hand where my hand is supposed to be, it ain’t anything but a chronological error of the highest kind. I don’t bleed for just anyone. Lately I’m a poet, and luckily, for once, I’m good at my job. With something so simple, how could anyone have guessed at the complexity just underneath my boring eyes and shy smile. Even with all that on one side of the ledger it is balanced nicely by the fact that our covalent bonds are every bit as strong as you need them to be.

I can’t help but laugh as all of this spills out in digital ink. In some ways I’m a baby when it comes to makin’ a decision. Without some kind of balance, it will all just fall apart; I’ve done too much reassemblage to let it all implode now. So maybe your words to me did cut a little deeper than usual, and hurt a little more than I’d expected. Even though I’m mostly a little kid, there’s just enough grown up deep in there that deal with the pain in its own wondrous and kinetic sort of way. I’m not up to eyes, so it’s towels for the leaks and hoping on the future that they’ll stop leaking in such embarrassing circumstances. After all we’ve been through, you still see me from so far away. Come closer. Stop worrying and come speak of the wonderful connections you have in your mind. Consider the goodness that we’re cutting off to spite my face, or my soul, or whatever else you’d wish to spite. If the balance ain’t in my favor, I’ll understand, but I don’t think this is it; late at night and all alone, desperate to make you see that it drives me crazy to care this much yet still be unable to tell you what you need to hear. Maybe someday soon. A man has to have hope, or he’s got nothing, even when he’s really got nothing. There’s just not much else left to say or write.

If none of any of what I said makes it any easier, than I want you to go find whatever you need to find that will make you happy. Nobody ever deserves to be happy, but you, my friend have earned it, and that can’t be taken away. Like you told me once, a long time ago. You just have to find it yourself.

And, I can wait. And listen. Things are very very bad over here right now, but that won’t last forever. Sooner or later they’ll get good, one way or another. I am gonna keep looking, because I think I’ll be able to see you from there. It’s almost 2, and will soon be three, but all that matters to me is a little bit of true happiness and liberation from my sins. Not a lot to ask for, is it? No matter the answer the questions keep coming. My mind changes and morphs. You’re pretty and smart and so much more . I’m smart and some days pretty too. Are you sure we can’t just say six of one, and be done with the whole argument? If you don’t like black sheep I have a few other colors I’m sure would fit just as well. If you don’t like endings, we’ll just work on beginnings instead for as long as it takes.

Desperation. Brass tacks, dimes down, shit or get off the pot desperation. Harsh acids building up in the stomach,and my hair don’t look so good in this harsh light. The nerves baby, the nerves. The fear is just the place they call home. Ripped or torn or ionized or disintegrated or whatever you want to see. I can’t help hoping you see that I ain’t got nothing to sell to you, just a long walk from where we are to where we could be. The hour is late, and I should be still. I need to think.

Dedicated to the one & only.
(i think this is going to hurt a lot more)

she hung up.