biography…

biography

in another life,
my hero was richard blaine
but it cost too much
keeping up with those
white tuxedo jackets.
i had to forgot
about him until
i found a job.

a while later,
i’d gotten hired-
on as a
silent elevator-
accompanyman on the
graveyard shift at one
of those big government
munitions-developer
companies. it paid well
& kept me in tuxedo jackets.
whatever they were
building never did
get off the ground.
didn’t matter near
as i could tell.,
i lived in an important
congressionsal district;
these contracts
were guaranteed all
the way to the president.

during a chance meeting
with a 4 star general
during the graveyard shift,
i’d finally opened
my mouth & got fired
for the effort. he
was on his way up
to a floor higher
than i’d ever gone to;
i greeted him respectfully
(of course
admittedly unprofessional
thing for a silent elevator-
accompanyman) &
told him he was the
first 4 star general
i’d ever had the honor
to silently accompany
on an elevator ride.

the general smiled.
the general said
i looked good,
& we’d be attacking soon;
he could always use recruits
if i was tired of my
present occupation.
looking him square in the eye,
(military guys love
that)
i told him i was already
4-F. to his credit, he
held his 4-star temper.
he wouldn’t
even spit at me;
said i wasn’t worth it.
“live and let live,”
i said
(and shrugged.)

he did say i was looking
good. that’s the only part
of the encounter worth
keeping in mind. gotta
love 4-star general
who won’t deign
to spit on
the unworthy; i wonder
who he was trying to kill?

as for me, i was able
to close out that
life just fine. i picked up
a new one at a
garage sale in Houston &
here we are,
talking about nothing.

not that it’s
any of my business,
but i was wondering;
how’d
you get here
again?

——————————————————————

The suburbs are a weird place full of strangers. Never more true than now, nowhere more true than here. It happens.

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28 Responses to “biography…”

  1. “live and let live,”
    i said
    (and shrugged.) – those lines in this context are sheer brilliance!

    I loved this poem.

  2. Man, that was quite a tale. I would call it a ballad, really (a modern one, of course). I loved the anecdote about the exchange with the 4 star General in the lift. Absolutely the highlight. The use of brackets/parentheses I also like in a poem and you use them well. Is this autobiographical? I write a lot of that. In fact I have ‘category’ assigned to it.

    Did feel though like quite a bit could be pared to make the meaty stuff really stand out. Or perhaps it’s in keeping with the almost conversational (certainly anecdotal) style of the piece to keep the filling in?

    I did enjoy this though, I have to admit

    • I toyed with it in ‘true’ ballad style but if I want emotion in a poem, I gotta go with free form. The conversational tone was intended (not on the 1st draft, but def. along the way) Was it autobiographical? I don’t know how to answer that. Everything I write is semi-auto but I guess that is true for everyone. Let’s just say I had one incident I turned into the poem to satirize suburban life. Glad you enjoyed it, now I only owe you about 50 more good poems. hahahaha. Hope all is well,

      crb.

  3. H2O buddy Says:

    Glad your hero was Rick. Sometimes we learn who we are unexpectedly.

    • In another life he was. Now that I’ve gotten old enough to know why he went with Louis and not with Ilsa, I’ve come to think things are different than I’d imagined. Still LOVE Casablanca. You a fan?

      crb.

      • H2O buddy Says:

        Yes, still brings tears. I love many of the old films. But I feel better when the endings are happy ones.

  4. Whoa, amazing poem, love the style and the tale you tell. I admire your attitude, I guess in such circumstances I would’ve acted similarly. You never fail to surprise me with a brilliant piece just waiting to be read!

    • Those are some kind words from a poet such as yourself. Much appreciated. I try to keep it churning out when I can. You know how it works; you keep feeding the beast and out comes whatever is next. Thanks for swinging by,

      crb.

  5. ha. this is epic…and thoroughly enjoyable read…live and let live, indeed….i might have got fired as well…smiles. nice one shot!

    • Thanks kindly! That is quite a compliment. I will be reading & commenting as much as I can today and will make sure to read your entry as well. Thanks again for visiting,

      crb.

  6. wow – this was fantastic!
    live and let live – yes!

  7. Compelling and leaving this reader wanting more. Your stuff is always good. This is no exception. I like the elevator metaphor. It works. Thanks, Gay @beachanny

  8. Very interesting. It comes off as stream of consciousness, but the farther on you get, the more it fits together. Intriguing and fun.

    I’d be happy to have you stop over and see my poem, Sleepwalker, although it reveals my inner cad.

    • Will do. Thanks for the eyeballs and time. I know it seems stream-of-consciousness but it actually is just a conversation shown through a particular filter. I gave you context and details but I feel like the narrative actually comes from the reader instead of the writer. Just an attempt at something different. Glad you enjoyed it.

      crb.

  9. What an interesting tale your One Shot weaves!

  10. moondustwriter Says:

    You weave the words so well so that the reader is fully along for the ride in the fated elevator – you could have taken us anywhere

    Nice One Shot
    We would love to invite you to submit to our competition. Unfortunately it ends this Friday.
    Theme:Through a Childs Eyes

    • Well unless it is too late, I will have to check out the next competition, but thanks for the invite & compliment. I’ve read through your site here & there; it’s good. Thanks again,

      crb.

  11. Very enjoyable story and the end was so crisp… I liked it…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/

  12. If you would be willing to submitt this with a few edits, I could get it included in the next issue of “Notes Magazine” http://www.notesandgracenotes.com/

    • First off, thanks for the opportunity. I have no problem editing as needed/submitting, but I need to know what is involved. Please email me at thefoolsbackpocket@gmail.com with details on how to submit it and what your process is for Notes Magazine. I can put a link up on my page to y’all if needed, just let me know. Thanks for the visit.

      crb.

  13. Amusing, striking word choices.

  14. your flow is exquisite, i enjoyed the ride with you there..awesome piece..:)

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