Tea Time

A dinghy
in the middle of
this patriot’s sketchbook

provides a pure rendition
of what our ancestors
had once believed to be
a savior of some kind.

According to our current science,
the dinghy no longer ranks
among the ideal species
to be considered a deity,

but belief systems
have changed significantly
since that epoch. A list
of acceptable deities
may be found outside my office,

though not before tea time
(I despise holding class
before tea time).

Goofball

Oh come now, there are multiple reasons
why you shouldn’t screw in a lightbulb that way.
Primarily, you’ll shatter its fragile exterior
and gouge your hand,
smearing precious blood all over your clothing.

That tunic you bought at the Sears yesterday (don’t ask how I know)
will be absolutely ruined. The fourteen dollars you spent
will be for naught. I know you don’t see that
as your perfect (or even preferred) scenario, so
stop acting like a goofball and listen to me
when I teach you how to do something.
Do you want a repeat of the zombie survival drills?
Didn’t think so.

Chin Up

A piddly little posy of pansies
left the station an hour ago
(off to Cleveland of all places),
running late. All alone,
the colorful collective thinks
to itself, “I should have had
a better breakfast.” A freight train
is no place for a flower
to be lollygagging around, fretting
about its appetite and desperate need
for sun rays, but that’s neither here nor there
at the moment. This bundle has an agenda,
and time is of the essence.

There’s no window in the car,
just that played-out open sliding door (the one
that may have Woody Guthrie’s initials
carved into it, whether by a fanatic,
the legend himself, or
just some schmo with the initials “WG”).

The posy, steeped in darkness, wonders
if it can gather the strength to flit
over to that certain patch of light
(the one there always seems to be),
when a breeze picks it up
and slaps it against the door,
just inches from being jettisoned.

A crash landing
in this stretch of rural Pennsylvania
would almost certainly mean a grisly death
at the hooves of the local Holstein population.
But now is no time to panic. Anxiety
will get you nowhere
in the face of a looming deadline
and quarterly financial report presentation.
Chin up, fair posy. We’re not giving up on you yet.

To and Fro

Suppose you start stammering
at these shimmering jewels
on your nightstand, as though
you’ve established some
sort of language connection
in the realm of Greater Jewelese.

You do innately understand
that jewels possess no mental capacities,
but that seems only to fuel your curiosity
as you divulge your deepest secrets
to their faceted surfaces

(eg. the state
of your psyche, regardless of stymying
ethics preventing your profits, etc.).

It beats talking to a therapist,
you tell yourself
as you realize
that a counselor would only cost
a fraction of what your precious stones
just ran you at the jeweler’s stand

(and then it dawns on you
that you never left home this morning,
and you’ve been hallucinating
those jewels all this time).

You take the opportunity to sit up in bed,
wishing
that you could at least have some kind of
shiny bauble
to stare at

(cursing
the day that you broke your bedroom window
while throwing your weight
to and fro,
resulting in a cardboard and
duct-taped mess).

———-

First draft posted to WHARVED in 2014

Decade 1: Commence Year 10/10!

9 years are officially in the books, and year 10 has now begun!

While 9 years doesn’t constitute a full decade, it does indicate to me that I’ve been persisting at this thing for a little while now, and I should use year 10 as the renaissance year, so to speak.

In a nutshell, it’s been a wild ride through my 20s. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to chart my growth on WHARVED. Here’s a breakdown of the most relevant personal highlights!

——

Year 1 (12/20/10 – 12/19/11) — blog establishment / major quarter-life crisis / discovery of WHARVED’s power to inspire me and help me recognize the value of my expression

Year 2 (12/20/11 – 12/19/12) — completion of undergrad (with only one hiccup, due in large part to WHARVED’s stabilizing influence) / first job out of school

Year 3 (12/20/12 – 12/19/13) — first job transition and subsequent disillusionment with the system / begin restaurant industry experience

Year 4 (12/20/13 – 12/19/14) — death of family dog / leaving the nest

Year 5 (12/20/14 – 12/19/15) — complacency and unawareness lead to regrettable circumstances, true fear and remorse ingrained in psyche for first time / bipolar 1 diagnosed

Year 6 (12/20/15 – 12/19/16) — much upheaval / beginning of 108-poem numbered series / Cubs win World Series (!!!!!!!!)

Year 7 (12/20/16 – 12/19/17) — completion of 108-poem numbered series / accepting fate of who I am only after trying to get too cute about it / move out of first apartment / NEW ERA marked consciously / Straitjacket Series conceived

Year 8 (12/20/17 – 12/19/18) — Straitjacket Series terminus / financial ruination and regret / learning daily feeling of toil in earnest / new idea EXPLOSION as genuine life is easier to access

Year 9 (12/20/18 – 12/19/19) — Continuing with genuine living and explosion of ideas / transitioning to exploiting skills and affinities for financial gain, as profiting is now imperative / 10,000 views!!

EXTRAPOLATION!

Year 10 (12/20/19 – 12/19/20) — Hindsight is 20/20, BUT if trends continue, year 10 will constitute a combination of the renewed idea explosion with a bit more of an organizational acumen (due to necessity, mainly). This will also be the year in which I turn 30, an age that I’ve heard is significant. One pledge I’ll make to myself, as I find myself looking over this chronology, is to take it all one day at a time. Just try to make an effort of some kind; you don’t have to do everything in one day, and you certainly don’t want to go about trying to reinvent the wheel.
Commencing year 10 means that I have 9 full years under my belt, and I can honestly say that I’ve continued the same thread of artistic exploration for this entire duration. There are dips and dives in productivity, but I always gravitate back toward WHARVED as my anchor in choppy waters. I tend to feel that I’ve strayed away from my truest self when I don’t focus on my WHARVED output, and it’s been made obvious in my personal history that I need this particular outlet for expression.

I also hope to have my 5,000th distinct visitor to WHARVED this year, which would be quite a milestone for a minimalist poetry blog in the 21st century.

As of this very moment, I have 1,145 posts labeled “poetry” on WHARVED (drafted and/or published), for a yearly average just above 127. Not too shabby, I says to myself [I says]. I expect to have at least the same amount of output, so as to continue the marvelous trend of exploration and continuous growth.

I’m forever thankful to you, the reader, for being party to my compositional and philosophical ramblings here. I’m only going to work to make even more things for you guys to enjoy, and perhaps on a more consistent basis (how many times have I said that?)!!

So let’s all raise a glass and have a toast for WHARVED!

Cheers, people!

-Aidan

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.

Not Uncommon

Jemblatrons squeeze through the tetrahedra
as though mall cops have some kind of a stake
in all of this.
It’s not uncommon
to see such a prairie-headed analogy
encompassing the flight of the larcenous
concord penguin, be the bird yella or gold,
kite-running or otherwise.
Whether or not we align ourselves
to this illustrious ancient practice
has little to do with our blood sugar content,
though many shallow-ended participants
profess prediabetic plight.