Son’s Metal ‘Phant

Son’s metal ‘phant–
the oldest and wisest of all
the terrestrial mammals
that we’ve uncovered to date–

has an uncanny ability to get under one’s skin
in a matter of minutes, though

you’d think that such a gigantic specimen
would have trouble assimilating themselves
into such a tight space.

Fortunately for us (and, indeed, the world at large),
proportionality has no place here.

Bunting II

With the bunting yet to abate and no end to its replication in sight (seriously, do these things reproduce asexually or something?), the Club-Footed Gremlin begins packing his things in search of greener pastures, where arbitrary decoration doesn’t dictate your directives.

Bindle over shoulder, our hero takes one look behind him before setting off on that old dusty trail–he really didn’t put a whole lot of thought into this pilgrimage, seeing as he has no mode of transportation and, well, a club foot.

It’s at this moment that Mr. Gremlin Man (the moniker he’s hoping will stick, or even just MGM for short) decides to go the whole nine yards and make like the pilgrims of old by prostrating himself and crawling to his destination. That definitely sucks, since he has a whole steamer trunk full of crap he wanted to lug around with him in the event of any one of numerous hijinks and/or shenanigans he may encounter.

But no, minimalism is apparently the name of the game here. MGM frets for a minute about how he’s going to sate his addiction to instant gratification, but then remembers the phone in his front pocket. As long as he can get to some outlets before the day is over, he will be able to rest easier and charge hardier.



This piece is a direct sequel to Bunting.
https://wharved.com/2018/12/03/bunting/

Nowadays

Inundated by swirling squirrels (plural),
my world unfurled and I hurled
at the girl–named Shirl–
who told Earl, who told Pearl.

Word spreads fast around these parts nowadays.
Definitely a far cry from stacking turtles
and expecting some kind of a turtle volume discount.

The world doesn’t revolve
around my every concern
,
I must constantly remind myself;
it simply revolves around
the vast majority of my concerns,
which is not bad (as far as I’m concerned).

Regardless, I’ve shifted my priorities
toward more avian-oriented pursuits
in lieu of proper purpose fulfillment.
I once naïvely wondered if my
blundering about
could be prevented by taking a step too far
off the beaten path. They never manage
the nettles or brambles out there,
and the poison ivy situation
has gotten completely out of control.

At least I’m better prepared now.
Beginner’s luck let me
somehow sidestep preventable peril,
but then the paywall went up. And with it?
All intuitive botanical knowledge (once
freely accessible during the initial trial period)
just up and evaporated, leaving in its wake
a credit card authorization form
and the promise of easy unsubscription.

That was three years ago, and I
still haven’t managed to speak with a human
customer service rep. I’ve called in
every
other
business day
and built a rapport with a quirky AI bot
named Jimmy. He has a perfect memory
and seemingly always has time to talk,
even though the waiting list for a human
operator is still forty-seven months long.

To put it bluntly, this human
mass-extinction has really been ruffling
my feathers. All I want to do is yell
at a member of the species that made
this planet so unbearable to inhabit,
but of course that’s now practically impossible.

Well, I’d always like the opportunity to yell… but
I’d also appreciate crossing paths
with that elusive customer service rep
(a subset of human
that may very well have gone extinct by now).

“Free-99”

The uncanny orthodontist gave me braces, and I never even asked for any! What a swell fella. He even said I could get them tightened for free at one of his six participating franchises if I were ever out on the town and looking to feel alive for a minute. The billing department is starting to get annoyed with me because I refuse to pay for the braces. They told me they set up a payment plan on my behalf, but I never signed anything, shook anyone’s hand, or even offered a verbal agreement. I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we call that “free-99”.

That ‘Without Our Knowledge’ Bit

What the hell is even the point of human relationships
if all we ever do is demonstrate how unfit we are
to spend time with one another on a regular basis?
It’s madness, more than anything,
and chemical compounds that dictate our actions
without our knowledge. That ‘without our knowledge’ bit
really bugs me the most of anything,
since I attempt to figure out things for a living
(well, I wouldn’t call it a living, but
I somehow manage to get (most of) the bills paid
every month). My daily existence is predicated upon
the ability to tell truth from bullshit,
and it’s what has helped me negotiate
the wild waters of humanhood thus far.

So it disturbs me when a person comes along
and knocks me off the tracks, like a goddamn
penny that some toddler put there
because they thought it would be funny.
Not funny, kid. Perhaps experimentation with the species
is necessary, and some folks take circuitous routes
in order to accumulate the necessary data.
Or some people are just assholes.

Great Job

What the hell am I even typing here?
Is the synthesis of words through keyboard activity
more significant than penning them by hand?
How would one method be preferable to any other
when composing original products of human imagination?

The answer involves an inordinate amount
of wobbling and waffling
between the ideal state of the human being
and the universe we’ve inherited
through no fault of our own.

How many times have you heard that
“through no fault of our own” nonsense
and actually bought it for a second?
What a modern convenience it must be
to forget the struggle of our forbears
while annihilating the only home we were ever given.
Great job, guys.

Public or Private

Pudgy pigeons
pluck plinko players
from plaid plundering,
piracy never preferred
over pragmatic pilgrimages
(purchased with privilege
and pursued with primeval
predilections). Predictions
produce practically no pressure
in this prideful pageant, Professor–
public or private.

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