XXXII

As I hold the 4×4″ carpet sample to the floor, I try my best to visualize an entire expanse of it as the power of my imagination is challenged by the habitual tapping of fingernails on a wooden armrest just a few feet from the back of my head. I’ve learned to stop asking about why the tapping occurs, because I get a different story every time. I’ve tried–as gently as I could–encouraging the cessation of the activity, but nothing has gotten through.

“Sorry about the tapping, hon. I just can’t wait to see the lottery drawing, and it’s six–now seven–minutes behind schedule. I think I got a winner this time, I can feel it.”

Okay, at least I got an apology this time.

XXXI

The lake, once robust and visited often, drained quickly last week in a giant whirlpool that ripped through the homes of countless fish and waterbound creatures, taking most of them for the ride down. Current science cannot explain where the water went, as there’s no hole to be found in the bed of dry sediment. This predicament is likely to be hidden from the public, so as not to frighten them about phenomena linked to a different and more-accomplished species that regularly travels to our neck of the woods in order to observe this planet and impact it with unexplainable events that shake the very foundation of what we know to be true in this universe. Sneaky bastards.

XXX

Dump what’s expected of you
into a pile of rotting wood–
covered with mold and crawling
with bugs–and toss it into the fire
when its turn comes around.
It’ll get smoky and irritate you
if you stand too close (pondering
the necessity of holding other people’s
esteems above your own), so keep
your distance as you witness
the incineration of those external
elements, remembering that you must
continue to tend the fire and repeat
the process throughout the night.

XXIX

A savvy coffee shop owner must make
said business inhospitable to those
patrons who have chosen to frequent
the establishment with low batteries.
Only those prepared with sufficiently-charged
gadgets may enjoy a prolonged stay without
feeling like a shunner of technology or,
heaven forbid, a kind of beatnik poet
who only writes by hand–to soak up
the nuances of each distinct syllable
(all the while gazing at dozens of
different focal points and giving off
the impression of a tortured mind).
Why, if you write on paper, you simply
must live with what’s been inscribed;
the paper will be saturated forever
with jottings and musings and skeletal
structures of harmonious ideas (unless
you write in pencil and have a penchant
for erasing anything that doesn’t agree
with your sensitive temperament, which
will certainly not endear you to
the grouping of café guests who
compose emails while taking in the hum
of new wave music and general human presence).

XXVIII

Make it your duty to ensure
that a chutney wrangler
really works for his living.
When seeking fine wild chutneys,
request one of every variety
in his catalogue, even if
some aren’t in stock
and you don’t have a use
for most of them anyway.
Keep the workingman on his toes
so his trade will feel–to him–
more lucrative and challenging.
He must understand that his craft
is needed in this world
of increasing fragmentation
and unnecessary noise that piles up
for the sake of taking up space.

XXVII

A scattering scurry has uplifted the scoundrels responsible for the fireworks bonanza last Tuesday at quarter past nine. They’ve enlisted the help of none other than the wise old guardian of the lakes, that shifty yet stable man who would have no other way of expressing himself than a good old fashioned poetic rant–composed of spontaneous iambic pentameter, no less. Together, armed to the teeth with rhetoric and several air-tight alibis, they march to the courtroom and demand that justice be served–preferably on a platter of some kind.

XXVI

Dozens of daffodils are just sitting there,
like they expect me to pick up
their dry cleaning or pay their rent
(those ungrateful flowers). I’m walking
through this community garden under protest;
I can’t stand all these lackadaisical
plants screwing up their lives just because
they’re too lazy to better their situations.
They use their roots as an excuse
to not be active, like they would die
of shock if they had to move.
In spite of this uncouth behavior, the garden
continues to solicit and receive donations!
All these flowers are allowed to continue
freeloading off the dollars of hardworking
individuals with more generosity than common sense.