Tour de Force

Of Nice and Men is a snappy, genre-driven play predicated on your typical hero’s journey through the heartland once regarded as antiquated–cornball, even–in the pseudo-sophisticated shadow of a cultured society we’ve been thrust into by the more majorly militaristic manchildren among us (trading individual liberties for big boy toys and candy).

Since we occupy an epoch where modern delineation truly has strangled the life out of chronological concerns (that is to say we’ve had our fair share of allegorical parallelograms in our time, no doubt about that, no siree), if you find yourself charged with taking in this three-hour beauty, you can–and should–simply attend the theatre as a pilgrim of the arts, allowing yourself to become awash in a different reality, even if only for a glimmering moment.

Other than the obvious sociological implications afforded to us by the title, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tap dance sequences that pop up seemingly from out of nowhere (even though I’ve just spoiled the twist for you, but you pay that no mind). In a nutshell, this tour de force pits Americana versus whimsy at the intersection of Leap and Gamble Avenues.

For all my field trip aficionados out there, I recommend bringing a schoolbusful of primary school students to see the Wednesday matinee, as tickets for 12 and under are free.

Flesh and Blood

Mannequin rest is a sign of weakness
and cheap plastic.
My stock at the Sears downtown
believes that since they look human,
they should receive pay and benefits
like my flesh and blood employees.

I’m so tired of emphasizing
to these hollow Betties and Bernies
that they were designed, built and purchased
for the sole purpose of displaying garments.
I’m not the one to blame
for their poor quality of life.

Even if their plight was real
or at all justifiable,
how am I supposed to provide
services for company property?
I’m just a shift manager!

I’ve tided them over for now
by letting them form an in-store mannequin union
in the basement (Thursday and Saturday nights
from 7 to 9), but until they’re legitimate,
I’m not breathing a word of this to the higher-ups.

———-
Originally published as part of inaugural post (12/20/2010)
First titled “Swivel Rights”

Smoke and Mirrors

Troubled psychiatrists
around the world
have increasingly turned to iodine
for lack of anything better to recommend.

This simple palliative
sure has brightened the lives
of countless patients, whether or not
they’re actually doing anything
for their brain chemistries.

Rather than causing a stir
by playing the tired smoke and mirrors
game of “Is This a Placebo or Not?”,
doctors everywhere are prescribing Vitamin I,
that heaviest of stable halogens.

Its deep violet hue promotes a sense of mystery
in 74% of test patients, creating
more of a positive psychological effect
than any old placebo ever could.

On Good Authority

Mickey The Mantelpiece
has it on good authority
that Dinkins’ Corner
smells like hot dog water
and scorched sand
after the bungled boogaloo last Tuesday.
It’s more than likely
a result of that notorious
Basketweaving Barrelmuncher Brigade–
they usually leave a lasting impression
in this naïve neighborhood.

The Brigade, forever unsure of its tenuous future,
kept right on hoarding canned meats
like it was going out of style–
ever since we thought we’d licked
those midcentury wartime tendencies.

Never an organization keen on listening to reason,
the BBB (not to be mistaken
with the power-wielding force
that calls the local business shots)
must have leaked some spiced ham remnants
while making their hasty getaway
from the street that birthed their tendencies.

We’re gonna need to hold them responsible
for the odorous hullabaloo
they always leave in their sloppy wake
(as though they think we’re meek enough
to take it lying down, the cretins).
Mickey The Mantelpiece will head up the posse.

All of a Sudden

He’s resurrected!
it’s truly a marigold.
But you know what?
It’s this very kind of
garden-variety entendre
that I’ve been meaning to avoid here,
amongst all the sordid
ne’er-do-well activity
that seems to define our times
all of a sudden.

Wasn’t integrity of character
ever something to strive toward?
Maybe not in this system of
checks [cashed] and balances [slashed].

Though perhaps I’m as guilty
as any other layabout milquetoast out there,
lounging around the house
sipping my pink lemonade martinis
(my live-in mixologist’s proprietary recipe)
and grousing like one of my commoner counterparts.

Ducksnort

Why do we always gravitate toward senseless tragedy when we should already know how that train wreck’s going to play out? Seems like quite the schematic for failure, and I want no part in it unless you’re wrapping something in bacon on my behalf.
You’ve known my price for some time, okay? Don’t act so surprised.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah!
So Captain Chilango gave me his cure-all recipe once he’d heard my ducksnort of a chili cook-off success story. He looked me right in the eye and said
“kid, you’ve got potential, but you need to set your sights a little higher than some two-bit cook-off in a two horse town. Go see a movie or two–you’ll get to see the world through a different lens, and maybe learn a thing or two while you’re at it.”
Well, he was certainly right about that. I went and saw my first moving picture, and haven’t looked back ever since. Now I get all my valuable worldly information from the silver screen, to which my wife can attest.

Dips and Dives

Exaggerating one’s influence should be among those acts reserved for the dolomite entrepreneurs out there with more margarine than non-dairy coffee creamer at their regular disposal.

If we allow these blowhards to navigate the kitchen table’s width and fail to uncover the tangential ne’er-do-wells we’ve been warned about, then what was it all for?

All we can say is that protesting such an alteration of manifest destiny (density?) comes with the price of freedom (and a bag of chips in some circumstances), and nothing short of Ozzy the Philistine could resurrect the embattled intentions of those labor organizers mainly concerned with seizing the means of production.

We must remain ever-vigilant, for you never know when pediatric charlie horse tendencies will rear their ugly heads in the recesses of adolescent America. We (the Americanses) once sat atop the global jungle gym, our ingenuity and general cuteness inspiring power-seekers a world around to blush with envy at the amenities they could only imagine (until that coal train came a rolling down the bend with the promise of sooty modernity), filling their heads with unrequited lust for widgets and modules and bells and whistles that could fill their modest spaces—digital and otherwise.

And, of course, once even a modicum of that prosperity had begun evening the materialistic score, we flat out lost our lease on the planet. As our Gaia gathers the foreclosure paperwork, we scramble like the varmints we really are, pushing and shoving, blaming all but ourselves and projecting our greed onto unrealistic scapegoats for just long enough to lose any chance of saving what had once been humanity’s little slice of paradise that, against all odds, had once been a serviceable milieu.

Ah well, the sloughing-off period is just gonna have to start a little early this time around, with a tad more english on the dips and dives.