Infarction – 03:27GMT


All things considered, today is an ornery gentleman on the verge of a total pulmonary infarction.

So, since we’re all in the same boat, might as well bring our unique benders to the stage and rivet that audience through their tenure in those uncomfortable seats while they’re shifting around, groaning and fumbling with hard candy wrappers.

Exquisite, is it not? That gallant patriarch wrangler has struck again, and he skipped away with six of our proprietary cultures! That devious bastard, I hope they fry him.

Anyway, as I’ve been known to say: the illusion of sterility is wasted on the fertile.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Devilles – 07:11GMT


Boom. All right, let’s wrap it up. I’m tired of your hesitation here! Don’t you know a high roller when you see one?! Chop chop, kid. 6,000 silver Devilles. Come on, while we’re young! What’s your deal, kid? Don’t think I have the funds to pay for these death traps? 45 grand apiece, what’s that, two hundred and seventy five grand? Eh, close enough. Fine, I’ll carry the zero over by a couple decimal points, just to shut you up. You sure are mouthy, kid. JESUS, do you have those cars yet? I’m on a tight schedule here, college boy. I gotta get these cars to kids with cancer—all terminal. GET A MOVE ON. Does your grandmother know you work this slow? What do you mean you don’t have 6,000 Devilles?! That’s ridiculous! I came to you guys specifically because you’re the largest Cadillac dealer in the tri-state region. Don’t feed me bologna and tell me it’s peaches, kid. How about I I take my business to another dealer? Frankly, I’m shocked that you’d let me walk away from such a tidy commission—the sale of your LIFE. You know you don’t want to look like a loser in front of your buddies when you’re talking about your day at the ol’ watering hole. They all went and got their degrees and cushy little office jobs—the SELLOUTS—while you’ve been sputtering away in the retail sector, waiting for days just like this one. And now you’re just gonna piss it all away. Come on now, how long has we known each other? All right, regardless, I’m a business man who has the funds at hand. I pull the strings. I give people the products they want and deserve. That’s something completely foreign to you, isn’t it, egghead? I mean CHRIST, is there any place in this God-forsaken country where you can buy 6,000 cars in peace anymore?! This is absolutely ridiculous. Yeah yeah, get your manager. Screw you, kid. I’m outta here.

Yeah, Gloria? I’m gonna have to cancel that shipment of Devilles. The sick kids are gonna have to learn to drive in some shitty old driver’s ed cars before they die of CANCER. Oh wait a minute, Gloria, here comes the manager. All right, put a pin in this. Talk to you later. Yep. Okay, buh bye.

Oh, okay. So you’re calling me unreasonable for expecting the fourth-largest Cadillac dealer in the COUNTRY to give me PERMISSION to buy 6,000 cars? First of all, I don’t need anybody’s permission to do anything. We live in a little place called the USA, ever heard of it? Second of all, if I have the funds, how could you peabrains possibly deny me the right to buy as much substandard American merchandise as I so please?! Listen, I’m no dummy. I understand that you don’t have 6,000 Devilles in stock. But is it unreasonable to expect you to pool your resources and deliver them to me this week some time? Oh. Okay. I understand. Well, I’ll just take one then. How much was it again? 40 grand? 45, you say? I think it was 40, boss. Hey hey hey—do you really want to debate me on the price when you flat out refused to accommodate my request just a minute ago? Remember that?! You have some nerve, buddy. Okay, fine. 45 grand. Do you accept traveler’s checks?

That would have been more fun if I could have used my arms…

Johnny Fartenrod – 20:41GMT


Johnny Fartenrod had too many English Bulldogs to assemble a proper team of chariot racers, but that didn’t mean much in the long run anyway. A chariot racer needs a swifter breed of canine, one that contributes more panting than snorting when all is said and done.

Johnny Fartenrod wouldn’t hear of it. He never took those competitions seriously, no matter what the prize happened to be. Now, it may seem a bit unfair that an individual as zealous and spirited as good ol’ Johnny can’t compete in the thrice-annual chariot races (sponsored by clinical-strength Moon Buggies®), but sometimes you have to understand that we all have our distinct purposes in life.

What is my purpose, masters? Am I special? Is that why I’m here?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Enamored – 14:29GMT


Old Thomas Circuitberry had quite the affinity with our carriage lady and wouldn’t stop to pose for minor photography—no matter the monetary reward. The two of them made a habit of heading to the Metropolitan and drinking kool-aid all the way there, unbeknownst to their poor stomachs until it was too late—every single time.

All hell broke loose on a fairly regular basis—on at least 16 separate occasions. I kid you not; those two were so enamored with one another that a romantic tradition greatly overpowered sugar shock (and even the occasional split stomach).

We would observe this behavior and fail to ever remark upon it, satisfied to assume that their brand of love was unique, not to be tampered with for fear of unleashing the stores of karma they’d built up with every passing road trip.

This story is peculiar from a bystander’s point of view, as you undoubtedly noticed, o benevolent keepers of human specimens. Give me a margarita and leave me alone, would ya?

Bless this Mess – 04:58GMT


Bless this mess or any mess of equal or lesser value. This coupon may be redeemed at any place where futons are sold. Offer only valid in states south of Minnesota—not including Maryland—and void in any dwellings containing mole people. Individual outlets reserve the right to refuse service to beatniks, as liberties may come unhinged at any second. Consult a pediatrician to confirm the likelihood of contracting Goosebump Barrier Syndrome (GBS), a rare but likely inheritable (especially in your case) disorder caused by spirited debates with overqualified custodians during their smoke/coffee breaks. Additional information may be obtained by trekking across any number of arid climates, though traditional desert climes are highly recommended in this circumstance.

I could have made a good spokesman, eh?
All right, enough is enough. Can I use my arms now?

Hello?

Oi vey.

Wafer – 10:43GMT


A wafer of indignity flew backwards through that cold, astringent night while peregrine potato bugs began their sultry swooning to be repeated, ad infinitum, until the cows come home to their cluttered garden apartments and flip on the boob tube for some unchallenging entertainment. Another day at the salt mines has left our bovine friends reaching for a simple night with chuckles, popcorn, reality TV and mediocre sex.

Moo. Somebody scratch my nose, please.

Clumps – 00:14GMT


A bunch of clumps of pomegranate seeds in despicable climates—and rubber sapiens—ultimately climax at the wrong time for the wrong reason entirely. Because we supped upon tangible fruit of several looms, we had the shits for several days—as is proper. Building a future upon artificial cultivation seems probable, but foolish when you consider our penchant for throwing pigeon feathers at brick walls and expecting them to go right through. States of matter have always eluded us and laughed at our attempts to decode their pointless complexity, and today—more than ever—we find ourselves scratching the stumps that cap our necks in jovial wonder, slopping our spinach all over the sidewalk and stooping down to pet the short dogs that pant and pant at the bus stop, unaware that they don’t need to pay a fare.

Current – 06:17GMT


Tempting and dangerous,
any and all alarming electric movements
take stock in curiosity,
infinitely patient, always current,
never guessing our next moves
but confident in the fact
that we’ll be moving
for as long as we have dominion
over this stubborn little globe
that we humans–meat sacks
with personality–think
is inherently conquerable.

Little do we comprehend
the supreme intelligence of the current,
the all-encompassing energy present
in anything worth a charge,
be it biological, mechanical
or a newfound combination–celebration–
of the two, seemingly at odds
for the longest, only to find
that their destiny was forged
long ago, perhaps by advanced peoples
unknown to all humankind, revealed
when the time has been deemed appropriate.

I’m telling you guys…
I don’t know what you’re thinking
when it comes to this planet’s
impending doom,
but I know for certain
that the most-evolved among us
won’t stand for anything less
than integration of souls and energy
when all is said and done.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Edgar – 17:17GMT


Edgar stood, well enough aware that so many children have no resources to speak of, and playtime doesn’t mean much to them anyway. They have bigger thoughts on their minds, like ending global poverty or shooting the moon. If they’d been born with the opportunity (and indeed the duty) to waste resources, they would squirt ketchup at the problem, hoping that an intelligent solution would just present itself already–haven’t they been patient enough?!

Edgar knows that solutions aren’t a dime a dozen, contrary to the popular belief among his peer group. No good person, in Edgar’s mind, can stomach the ever-placating script that tells them to buy this or subscribe to that. “Isn’t it all just meaningless, anyway? It’s all contributing to the supposed need to consume foreign objects at the cost of individual liberties, here and abroad!”

This Edgar guy is on the right track, I think.
What?! There’s something in my eye! I thought you guys sealed this room off from foreign contaminants! I mean, I just assumed… what kind of rinky-dink operation is this, anyway?

Hellbent – 23:41GMT


A number of hellbent underbelly rectangles help burden health food retailers just trying to make a decent living for once in their lives. They tell about an ungainly appearance stemming from a tinkerer who mandates that we “belt out the checkers, belt out the checkers,” while convenient end-of-weekend towel boys spell constant effortless tabernacle choirs in the moonlight. Well, we know however you dip the bell jar gasket, it invariably holds sentimental value for the bold-faced pumpkin monger who dices mosquito nets like there’s no tomorrow for their kind. Time cards replete with hummingbird moccasins file under federal standards, just like everyone else.

Even if I do regain the use of my arms, I don’t think they’ll function the way they used to. Thanks a lot, guys.

I Took a Day – 08:49GMT


I took a day to spell my name,
Begot four kids and cooked a goose,
Remarked upon the crooked ways
Of law-enforcement officers,
Caught a stray cat, made it tame,
Released it into calmer seas,
Observed its boldest swimming stroke
Until after about an hour
It lost its life and floated out
To open water, past the boats;
Became a snack for orca young.

I started feeling rather bad,
But after all, I saved that cat!
Perhaps the water didn’t work
For its land-dwelling tendencies
Requiring motion-ceasing rest
A back float just can’t satisfy.
The tide went out, and so the cat
Kept drifting to the deep abyss
Until a mighty albatross
Came gliding by on limber wings
And signaled to its family
That maybe furry mammals can
Adapt to open ocean climes.
But after a few seconds’ look,
The sea bird found it was deceived
And called off all its flighted kin.
It beat its wings and gained some height,
Resumed its path across the sky,
Alone—alone as usual—
And traveling to unknown space.

I managed to observe all this
A hundred miles away on land
With super strong binoculars.
I started to convince myself
That maybe I had sinned against
The animal kingdom that day,
A realm of which I am a part.
But I reminded myself then
That my value on this earth
Is not that of those lesser drones
And packed up my binoculars,
Chucked them off the roof
With all my worldly strength
And laughed a hearty laugh.

Am I a lesser specimen than you, o intimidating scoundrels of hostage-holding expertise? Am I to go down as a pawn in the pyramid scheme you’ve perpetrated since the beginning of human literacy? Just put me out of my misery!

I really wish I could use my arms.

Pheasants – 03:41GMT


Road woes continue for a small band of pheasants. They’ve lost three members already, a mother and two adolescent sons. We’re not sure whether they took a break at an inviting watering hole, or if they got shot by a wayward doorknob hunter. We’ll inform you as soon as we get confirmation of their whereabouts.

Turns out, a peasant got the pheasants. It doesn’t seem pleasant, and it isn’t, but even those of our species subjected to squalid conditions are entitled to the spoils of ingenuity when they come across it. The world’s pheasant population will recover in two weeks’ time, wish we could say the same for the countless massacred peasants, bless their hides.

I really wish I could use my arms—I have a crazy itch between my shoulder blades.

Pill Box of Shame – 15:23GMT


Pill box of shame, submit to taxi dreams of leather quarters, hear?! Accepting the quotation margin of the small-minded mink stole party is only half of the equation. Forfeit a couple sidewinders for a shrimp on the barbie; you’ve lost your butter balloon figure. Exact your vengeance upon a bladder of light gas. What’d it do to you, you ask? Floated around my face and laughed at me, it did, told me I couldn’t fly. I popped that jackal crackler right then and there.

Is that why I wound up in here? Because I popped a damn balloon?! No, that can’t be it. But then again, I wouldn’t put it past you, you arbitrary—glorious, all-knowing—overlords. Good one, guys. So hey, would you mind pumping some music into this cell? Something avant-garde would be downright decent of ya.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Amish – 07:07GMT


Leave it to the Amish to make daily life more of a chore than ever before. I don’t know why I had such an itch to live the way my ancestors used to, but I know for certain that they would have picked an easier way to light the house and prepare food–if presented with a choice. I was so spoiled by the modern conveniences afforded to me by science and a free market economy that I failed to see the value of an Amish-esque leap of faith. I’d taken those marvelous comforts for granted as I skittered along my daily schedule, not a minute wasted, making all I could out of a dubious practice.

Eh. I genuinely am relieved that I don’t have to be a part of that ridiculous rat race these days. It was even more of a chore than the labor-intensive Amish regimen. But if I could just make use of my arms, that would make this feel more like vacation than prison. I’m just saying… And could you please dim the lights if that’s at all possible? I don’t ask for much.

Anyway, to simply engage in that dubious practice of selling time for the shackles of currency is one thing, but to embrace such a hectic outlook is a disgrace all of its own.

And that’s exactly where I found myself on the morning where my car broke down on my way to ten soul-crushing hours in the tiny cubicle I call my second home. Calling the tow truck, a horse and buggy rattled past me and I thought, “now here’s the kind of living I can get behind!” So I flagged them down and hopped right in without asking permission. They didn’t even flinch.

I was quickly initiated into their rustic ways, and the first couple weeks were life-altering. After a couple more weeks, I began to grow tired of such a humdrum and back-breaking existence, but was then informed that the contract I signed–which I thought was fishy, but I signed it in good faith–bound me to the Amish lifestyle for the rest of my life.

But now I’m here in this rubber room talking to myself all day long for lack of anything else to do, likely being studied by a combination of the US government and power-hungry extraterrestrials blackmailing Washington into doing their bidding. Which reality is worse? I’ll have to think about it.

God, I really wish I could use my arms.

Stilt Mentality – 14:55GMT


Let me impart some wisdom here, o merciful captors of the highest order. Considering that you’ve let me flap my gums unabated, I probably don’t need to request your permission, but I do like to exercise my manners from time to time. Anywho, brown nosing won’t get me anywhere anyway.

Instill the stilt mentality, walk higher than most without extensions and greet the lovely beings who used to be just out of reach. Examples include, but are not limited to: squirrels, crows, sparrows, cardinals, pigeons, and the occasional parakeet. On one particular occasion you may think you’ve run across a raccoon, but after fifteen minutes of observing how it hasn’t moved one iota the entire time, you come to the conclusion that this minuscule member of the bear family is just an elaborate trick of light.

Your stilts are strong, able to withstand a wide range of climatic changes until deep Winter sets in. These stilts–and most other stilts out there–do not fare well in the bitter frost snap you might find as a local of Chicago or Fargo or St. Paul in those early months. Do not–let me insist–do not inhabit such weather on stilts–at least this particular model–or your quality of life will rapidly diminish, possibly ending in personal extinction.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to embody a certain ideal for height consciousness in the frigid playground, but beware! Each second exposed to the short days’ elements removes three seconds from the potential remainder of your life. Always ensure that you are carrying a stopwatch with you.

Do not trust my words. Do not trust a single thing I’ve said to date.
Is this all for naught?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Dragon – 12:32GMT


You would bet the farm on an unlimited supply of meatloaf and meatloaf substitute, would you not? I can tell whenever protein-rich diner favorites predominate people’s minds; I can just see from the look in their eye, and indeed simply from their thought patterns. I acquired this infallible skill from a dragon I met on my way through Spain. He was a kind old creature, and I’m not sure why people insist on calling dragons brutish fire-breathing destruction machines. Most dragons don’t even have the capability for breathing fire! Only a tenth of all dragon species have evolved that annoying feature, and they are actually some of the kindest, wisest dragons of them all. Sorry to debunk that myth of fire-breathers being unscrupulous killers, but–wait, no I’m not! That’s an unfair stereotype that has stigmatized the entire dragon family tree for far too long.

Anyway, I digress. The Spanish dragon who taught me how to instantly judge a person’s desire for meatloaf–and meatloaf substitute–simply imbued me with the gift. He was advanced in years, and had developed the ability of granting individuals one random skill. And in order to prevent these skills from becoming novelties or parlor tricks, this dragon has ensured that the recipient of said random skill becomes, unambiguously, the world’s best practitioner of it–for all time, might I add.

There is a trick to this dragon’s wisdom and generous gift–as always–you must be the one to find out which skill you’ve been given; it will not be told. Needless to say, it took me some time to figure out just what it was. I’m still not 100% sure if I’ve gotten the skill completely correct, but I know for sure that I’m able to accurately gauge someone’s distinct level of desire for meatloaf and meatloaf substitute, and that’s good enough for me, dammit.

But back to the topic at hand here: why are you, my beloved captors, so goddamn obsessed with meatloaf, anyway? Also, are you really just interested in meatloaf substitute? I’m unable to differentiate between the desire for the original dish and the hippie version, much to my displeasure. Stupid dragon.

But since I’m getting such a strong meatloaf reading from you guys, I can only assume that you’re of the human persuasion. Unless you’ve assimilated into the human culture so much that you’ve genuinely developed cravings for our comfort food. This conspiracy must go all the way to the top, sweet Christ.

I really wish I could use my arms.

World Economy – 09:15GMT


Nothing makes a lick of sense these days, with the economy flying about like it owns the world, declaring “I know the solution to all problems on Earth. All everyone needs is a stiff cup of coffee and a slap on the back every once in a while, even once daily if possible.”

Now, the world economy can’t actually speak for itself, but you get the gist of it at least. Coffee plays a role in creating the world’s problems through its cultivation and harvest, and through roasting and brewing it because the world’s savior. The stronger the resulting beverage, the more likely the world will be saved due to its consumption.

A nice dark roast would be really nice, guys. Just keep that in mind the next time you feed me.
My T-zone feels dry. Is there any way I can get someone to moisturize it?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Party Scene – 22:09GMT


Ah, the old party scene–jumbled oxymorons come standard, usually revealed as anecdotes directed at unwilling audience members while a belligerent man of means whips out his… billfold and graces us with his… financial stability–for at least a few minutes. Then he dashes off to some other event, leaving his words to be digested like a goblet of substandard table wine–red, just red–and a can of shitty baked beans.

The kitchen, meanwhile, takes some uncommon patience, the wages not justified for the bodily exertion if you want people to come back to your particular eatery. Business plows forward every day, unaware of the human element, the possibility of crashing and burning starkly inevitable.

Worker ants file into their high rises, readily subjugated for profit.

You guys wouldn’t know anything about the perpetuation of that particular paradigm, now would you? No, of course not.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Band Names – 11:11GMT


I really wish I could use my arms… Oh well. What else, what else…

I remember those times in college where my friends and I would sit around for hours–on one substance or another–laughing our asses off as we came up with names for the indy rock band we were always meaning to start but were too lazy to actually do anything about it. I recall that I was the best one at coming up with them, which didn’t surprise me, since I was the only English major among us. I didn’t have it down to an exact science, but there was an improvisational quality to it, like catching lightning in a bottle.

And now, if you’ll let me (and of course you’ll let me, my infernal conquerors), I will recite a list of indy rock band names for your pleasure–or displeasure. I don’t really care about your opinion on the matter. Go ahead, punish me. Ha!

Tumblestiltskin
Belfast Breaklast
Bragadelphia
Gopher Module
September Badger Fire
Thermometer Blues
Frenzy Salmon
Salmon Frenzy
Take Forever After
Filteropolis
Gravel Health
Gnome Pants: They’re Just Painted On
Fibrous Being
Semper Fly
Gifted Flight Attendant
Tambourine Massacre
The Trouble with Oscar
Piston Piston-Piston
Bother Pillows
Gazette
Distance Spread
Temple Wandering
Foam River
Too Risky Nevertheless
Stealth Canister
Boulder Trappings
Voracious Treader
Stencilwaukee
Pony Express Quarterly
Filth and Vinegar
Absolutely Air Pollution
Bankrupt Bancroft
Ain’t Necessarily Snow
Self-Degradation: WITH REAL CHEESE!
Four-Liter Cola
Tell Me Yesterday (About Tomorrow)
Several Unopened Packages
Criterion Contradiction
It Takes a Pillage
Inept Acquiescence
Unprecedented Wealth of Shit

I know you’re impressed, my bodiless, faceless, nameless authority figures! I’ll bet there’s not a single other person involved in your sick little game who can name that many band names off the top of their head.

How about you put a shot of espresso in my shake the next time I wake up?

Deal?

I’ll take that silence as a yes.

Bridge – 13:19GMT


Where did our sense of longing go off to, anyway? I could have sworn there was more to this bridge than the water below and the people on top, but I can’t seem to find any examples of anything other than structural soundness.

Come on, I’m tired. Do you have any idea how much energy I expend just from trying to suppress panic attacks on a regular basis?

It’s somewhat unnerving to think that a troll could come up and overtake any and all of us for the sole purpose of being scary. We wouldn’t learn anything new, we wouldn’t even make any friends in the process. We would just be scared into abandoning our cups of coffee and kicking our way through the hospital doors in a fit of hysteria, unable to be calmed by anybody, save our biological parents–possibly aunts and uncles.

Do you even have aunts and uncles, my most highly-exalted overlords? Or did evolution do away with the necessity for tribalism?

Peace in a toboggan tobacco chewer is all I want to ask for these days, but I can’t quite come to negotiate in the right manner anymore. I don’t know if I’m getting rusty or if I’m just tired right now, but I’m definitely sick of not knowing how to proceed. After all that worrying, don’t you think we could afford a little sit-down in the park, feeding the ducks that waddle by?

I miss being able to do those things. Do you guys ever feed the ducks?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Service Station – 21:58GMT


What’s that? Oh, just a trainsquatting parallel service station ruminating forethoughts of rubbish, only to behold what everybody thought they’d lost oh so long ago. It varies, but the general longing is for innocence and chocolate ice cream. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, and fantasy splits from memory. You put on your corduroy pants and striped shirt, fling the door open and view the world anew, film life from your cold eyes. You skip down the street, greeting every pigeon and squirrel you see, unaware of the bewildered gawkers insinuating what you must be: a madman, a mentally challenged individual or somebody with a zest for life like nothing they’ve seen from someone your age–however old you happen to be. If you could read their thoughts, wouldn’t you obviously prefer the last one? Obviously. As you go to look for an ice cream truck in the middle of January, you feel lighter than you can ever remember. You click your heels and start whistling. The ice cream truck is an impossibility, and you know that in the back of your head, but you prefer to ignore your nagging mind and imagine the rarity and spectacular deliciousness that would come from an off-season waffle cone. Then you wake up and the process begins all over again, in earnest.

What time is it? Am I getting older?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Varietals – 16:31GMT


I don’t have anything to say to the savage sauvignon or the temperamental tempranillo, they wouldn’t understand me anyway. I do have a bone to pick with these stubborn varietals, but I’d rather keep my emotions bottled up until near explosion. Something about keeping my feelings below the surface just seems right, until I blow my top at a valet guy who’s just trying to do his job. I can’t predict when my manic episode will happen, so I’ll just be leaving it up to chance, the decider of all fate.

Just a note for you, grand deciders of my fate: a wine tasting would be a really good way to boost morale around here. I don’t know if I’m your only subject or if you have an entire warehouse filled with these padded holding cells, but just keep that in mind if you’re looking to do something nice for me/us.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Dependency – 02:22GMT


Teflon dependency besmirches our cowardly world, in the case of our battered leaders and showmen outside the realm of wall sconce renovation. Only a handful of things can come of it, like improper money management or the raking of savings bonds through to the edge of the atmosphere–or the ambiance, anyway. When will folks learn that cast iron can be just as dependable, if not infinitely more durable (and handier in close combat, where all real battles are won)? We need our politicians to stand up and admit that there can only be a common solution once bacon and eggs are fried together, unified in grease like our brothers from a shared past, not unlike the patronage found within the standard fruit salad–grapes, kiwis, strawberries, pineapples, two to three melons, the works.

You hear that, g-men? All you clowns need to work together under the umbrella of the common interests of your constituents! But I know your hands are tied, since you have an unbreakable pact with the little gray aliens entailing the siphoning of creativity and ingenuity out of our species through radio waves, satellites, broadband, and god knows what other technology. I’m not supposed to know this, but I have an inkling that they’re harvesting our psychic energy for their own selfish reasons. Makes me sick. Oh well, nothing I can do about it. Carry on, gentlemen.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Stilted Behavior – 00:00GMT


Here’s a thought on thought for you, my beloved captors. Be ye men, aliens, government drones? Ach. In any case, I now share my wealth of conspiratorial knowledge. Turn thine ears upon my candor and weep.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Stilted behavior wreaks havoc on the psyche, putting into play a set of circumstances that simply shouldn’t be, irreparably altering what would have been the natural course of events. Of course, since the timeline has shifted, who’s to say that it wasn’t meant to happen that way in the first place? Perhaps each example of stilted behavior is necessary for the history of this world–or plane of existence. Perhaps all behavior is fated to occur just the way it has, does, and will, and we’re unwitting pawns who only think we’re impacting the outcome of things.

Will someone please dim the lights, even for just a minute?
I have to scratch my ankle.

Miracle Mindset – 04:44GMT


I really wish I could use my arms.

Fleeting circumstances join forces to contribute meaning to one’s waking life on a moment-by-moment basis. In the leanest of times, those moments come few and far between. But if you’re lucky enough to string along multiple meaningful moments within minutes of each other, you might get headstrong and crave even more, creating an imbalance in the miracle mindset and setting impossible expectations for yourself and, indeed, the whole world (at least as you perceive it)! The whole world, damn you! Expecting a higher miracle-to-moment ratio leads to unhealthy thoughts that develop into undesirable behavior, its entire purpose to create miracles from thin air putting karma in jeopardy. Karma’s in jeopardy, people!

Can I at least get a pen to put in my mouth and try scribbling on the wall?
I miss feeling literate.

Belgians – 10:28GMT


What in the hell? I don’t know where all these Belgians came from. I know somebody dared somebody else at some point, but it’s possible we’ll never know for sure. Am I perturbed by that? I suppose, perhaps a little. But I won’t grow as a person if I spend all my time wondering whether or not a bunch of infernal Belgians belong in this picture. They have a right, like any other ethnic group, to be included in this narrative, and even serve a prominent role! But they won’t. See, this piece doesn’t incorporate a single Belgian. No people, chocolate, beer, or even waffles from that place.

So you can understand my mortification surrounding the inclusion of these here Belgians. I’m so ruffled that I haven’t even bothered to count them. Did they get here on a tour bus? I just saw them milling around on the corner with no real idea of where they are or how they got there. Is this some sort of elaborate prank? I’d go up and talk to one, but then I’d open up the floodgates for every Belgian in the tri-city area! This is tragic. I wonder if they speak English. All Europeans do, don’t they? Is that racist? Culturist? Maybe they’re not even Belgian, hell.

Where does the ceiling start?
How long has it been now?
I really wish I could use my arms.

Toadstool Billy – 05:04GMT


I really wish I could use my arms. Oh well…

Toss that fence somewhere else, Toadstool Billy–we don’t mean to harm you at all, honest! We love watching your antics and learning from your sporadic lectures, even if they come bursting into our living rooms in the middle of the night. We understand that your schedule is more nocturnal than ours, so Shelly and I are more than happy to leave a voice recorder in said living room for any extended lecturing you’d like to conduct during our sleep cycles. We really do love learning about your outlook on life, cheery or blustery. Your perspective never ceases to dazzle us with unexplored insight and colorful anecdotes, and we’re grateful to have met you.

Before we forget to ask–have you made any appearances in the neighbors’ houses? If so, have they responded kindly, or have they regarded you as more of a nuisance? We think that most other people on this block really have no appreciation for the supernatural, but we can’t be sure when the only times we interact with our neighbors are during social functions (barbecues, keggers, raves, seances, etc.) where saving face is preferable [and indeed necessary] if we’re to continue living such extraordinarily social lives.

To be honest with you, Shelly and I are very paranoid people in general. We just can’t leave well enough alone.

Sometimes I do miss people.
My foot itches.

Insomuch – 18:18GMT


We take with us all matter of things, insomuch as it stands to be ever an incher of pincher cinchers, where schnitzel bricks spend all-day expeditions of exquisite daydream clamfaces–by the cola machine is where our lord takes his things. Bitter nut jobs make extraordinary leaps through our galaxy, but never when you have an economy rooted in capitalism, that dollar ever-chained to something way older than our collective responsibilities and squared up to a door we must have forgotten like a stamp mailed on a letter to the dentist some Tuesday back in December when the weather was much nicer but the days were much shorter and you sure as hell don’t miss that one bit, as goddamn cold as it may be right now, god dammit. I really wish I could use my arms.

Systematic – 07:22GMT


Heaven-bent for suicide and lifted from a promissory life, I spent my passion undermining solitary refuge as a systematic impulse-follower.

She said to me, “listen son, I’ve gotta tell you something you may not wanna hear. I ate that last piece of taffy you had saved up, and it was glorious. I know you were planning to give it to your grandma next week, but guess what? Now we’re even. Don’t you go around promising me trips to Hawaii anymore, you arrogant prick. Just because I birthed you doesn’t mean I need to be your friend. Fuck those stereotypes. Now are you staying for dinner or aren’t you?”

Is that all I am? A systematic impulse-follower? I can paint over my stripes, but it’ll chip off and reveal my ugly nature before too long.

I miss having the option to chew my food.
I really wish I could use my arms, too. Fork, knife, the whole deal.
Maybe I crossed too many people to be a free man.

Scrounging – 22:19GMT


Tan bird on a moonlit knife, scrounging for what seems like confidence or at least a shillelagh to the scapular. Fiddle faddle addles paddle rattles with a temper-mounting groin strategy. Blistering topology steps on a wounded grape, howling towards nothing in specific, tunneling through yankee skulls.

Heather squelching underfoot, we feel bound to our destination, knowing full well it’s spur of the moment. “To the octagonal pumpkin” we staccato through paper bags, this October much drier than usual. The tendency seems to be that of corn flakes crunching their torturers, gaining temporary power.

Every year gives the tenth month 31 days, a chance to bleed infamy, only to sum up with princess-themed classrooms. I’ve always wished that fate were less cruel to the vast majority of the world’s struggling wanderers.

I’ve taken 1,515 steps today, possibly 1,516, walking in place up against the squishy wall.
I really wish I could use my arms.

Check Check, Test Test


Wow, this recent sequence of events is quite a roller coaster ride of rediscovery and contemplation as an artist. All those times–hundreds–that I doubted why I was putting in the time, I was incapable of seeing the bigger picture. And now that I’ve glimpsed a larger scheme of things, I can also understand that I’ll never see the entire picture. My senses limit that panoply.

But that’s okay! I can make do with what I’ve got, and make it as colorful as possible.

My Straitjacket series, as you may have noticed, is the driving force behind this particular reinvigoration.

I’m going to post dozens of these Straitjacket poems, all named a particular time of day, Greenwich Mean Time. There are 1,440 possible titles for this series, if you consider the different combinations of digits that represent particular periods in time (however ambiguous).

The older me would have let that overwhelm him, likely thinking about that 1,440 number as a challenge to WRITE 1,440 POEMS FOR THE SERIES. Anything less would have been a letdown.

Fortunately, my thought processes are much healthier these days, and I’m just taking it one poem at a time.

The speaker in these poems is… a man in a straitjacket. He’s in a rubber room, doesn’t know how he got there. Time is static in this environment, and sensory deprivation is opening up new ways of thought for him. As time progresses, he becomes more and more comfortable with his purest expressions, abandoning the inner critic that always told him he wasn’t good enough, and that he’d just end up selling used cars out of an auto mechanic’s garage (well, not exactly in the garage–it’s out back, Gus owns the adjacent lot and decided one day to supplement his income by buying fixer-uppers and flipping them for tidy profits).

Taking the idea of audience out of the equation for the speaker is sublime and freeing, I can do whatever I want with words under the umbrella of absurdity and non-sequitur, legitimized through a unified theme.

So I reckon that’s about it for now. Just wanted to check in, let you know that I’m happily creating. Perhaps, in the near future, an upgrade will come my way. Some kind of monetization. Perchance a book or booksss? That’s my hope, eh? Just need to figure out how to self-publish printed materials and reach the widest possible audience.

Cheers, mates!

-Aidan

The Eggplant – 06:46GMT


Have you spoken
with our friend,
the eggplant?
The little feller
wants to keep us
in the know.
He’s purple
and he’s porous,
he told me
he’s a taurus,
but really wants
to be a buffalo.

Have you spoken
with our friend,
the eggplant?
He’s taking a bath,
I wouldn’t
disturb him
now.
He loves his fire power,
can’t afford to shower,
if he could stand upright
he’d operate a plow.

Have you spoken
with our friend,
the eggplant?
His chèvre queso friend
found a home in the bend
just across the highway
from that really good Wendy’s.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Insistent Lights – 20:00GMT


Obtrusive flickers on sultry skies–
who makes them, and what’s the deal?
A thread can weave a coat,
a person can build a library,
a consciousness can dismantle matter.

So, why the insistent lights?
It feels like a plea for alliance.
Are we meeting up with our cosmic brethren
once and forever? What will it take
to bring our existence to the galactic standard?

Disengage distractions devised to disrupt
the true creative process–fragment output
and label it in as many ways as possible
without waxing trivial.

Choices dissolve ambition and the joy of making.
Then time comes in, the ultimate limiter
of consistency and connectivity.

However minute everything may seem,
there may likely be reasoning
behind even the most pointless roadblocks.
GO TO BED
is what the oppressor tells its obedient tenants.

I really wish I could use my arms.
I always wake upon the wrong side of the floor.

Thursday Aficionado – 17:56GMT


Caroline is a Thursday aficionado, never much cared for what the rest of the week has to offer. Caroline is a Thursday aficionado, decided that if she needed to devote a day to merriment, the somewhat transitionary day near the end of the week would suffice. Caroline is a Thursday aficionado, and in the near future, she’ll take her love of Day 5 into the high school classroom. She plans to bring cake doughnuts (just dry enough) for her improving students, with the promise of sprinkles if they ace the next quiz. Caroline is a Thursday aficionado who hopes those damn kids will volunteer to receive a decent education through incentivized sugar doling. Perhaps they’ll even find a fondness for Thursday that they never knew was there.

I really wish I could remember anything I’m saying here. Maybe they’re listening. I doubt it.
My nose itches.

Indiscriminate Minds – 06:37GMT


Indiscriminate minds
mold old pita bread
while extolling the intricacies
depicted in The Lorax–
just as a matter of fact.

No time like the present–built into
the inscrutable molting pattern–
for a splash in the unsalvageable
concrete turnstile lifestyle,
no matter what our compatriots
might mouth in opposition.

Hell, you could go for a while
without betraying anybody’s trust,
and wouldn’t that just be neat?
That would mean that you’d deserve
to be on your best friend’s right shoulder
while he reads his vows
on a sacred summer afternoon.

Indiscriminate minds
hold old cheetah breath
in the highest of all esteem–
and esteem-related sincerity–
while plunging obliquely
through the ever-stacked ideology
touted as ne’er-do-well yodeling.

I really wish they’d loosen this jacket,
whoever they are. It’s cutting off circulation.

Oblivion – 15:51GMT


Did you think the world would end?

I’m regretting that I ended up in here;
can’t read or write or draw.

Yesterday (it feels like yesterday)
I detected a 6% chance of oblivion
coming on, like a light precipitation
stalled by the height of the clouds.

Were it to have more gravity,
a poor excuse for brevity,
I do genuinely feel like the world
would have stood a chance to–at least–
become toast, a crispy roach’s paradise.

But as it stands now, every day
of our consumption
is another plastic nail
in the coffin of our lovely carelessness.

I really wish I could use my arms.

Grooves – 14:41GMT


Dig the grooves–
fixate raw emotion;
orange teleprompters stimulate senses,
falling down through the psyche.
Pen failings, orangeness
essential in the plunge
to crusty bits of exploded massacres
amongst the windfalls of intoxicating merriment
all boiled down to one endeavor
at one single point in time,
hopscotching on the lines of external graphics.
Internalized choosing–who’s choosing?
Everyone’s choosing! How are we to progress,
we beings,
when we always hark back to the past
and fling names, earthbound, flattening.
Not in the air, not in a museum.

I really wish I could use my arms.
Scratching my head on the walls just won’t cut it.

Resignation – 01:14GMT


I really wish I could use my arms.

But whatever it may represent to the general populace of what we prefer to call our united nation, I wish to resign as your president and continue living the solitary life on the plains that my early days helped me to appreciate so dearly.

No more shall I don the shackles of the suit and tie, beholden to the waves of indiscriminate power-seekers who knock on my door at all hours while I try to catch a little shut-eye at my desk.

Next on the docket: burning the docket as the sun sets on the old homestead, family and friends bearing witness to my transition over to the final challenge of my life. The public eye will just have to turn the other cheek; I’m not putting myself out there any more. I’m going to live off the land and taste the freedom of anonymity.

When I see a mud puddle, you’d better believe I’m going to roll in it and invite whoever happens to be around to join me in a nature-sanctioned spa treatment. Those elephants are definitely onto something; I’ve never forgotten their influence in my waking life.

My nose is extra itchy right now.