Precisely between pages 182 and 183
of a battered, overused
elementary school Spanish textbook
on the neighborhood Indianapolis Goodwill’s
hardcover books shelf, you’ll find
a perfectly-preserved eyelash
wedged in the crotch of the binding,

once attached to the heavy eyelid
of Jacob Stern, a third grader
with no real foreign language aptitude,
any sense of which would have been lost
while sitting in the back row of Spanish class
during Sr. Cerasoli’s Wednesday morning lecture
extolling the virtues of ser and estar,
a class period that felt
like it could last forever, though
certainly not in infamy (until old Jake
dropped his eyelash and roped us
into this entire absurd narrative).

This Here

Ordinary sanctions wouldn’t apply to the effervescent pigeon toes for too much longer, scrutinizing the woes of foreverpenguins—adept at taking their time when you just want to get a movin’ to the promised land (or at least the land referenced in books of yore). What really must happen is a distancing from tyrants and despots who normally would have built their empires upon the sweat equity of the under-the-tablers brought around from the time of the Immeasurable Reckoning.

The new standard—a babe in the woods—must rear itself without even a kindly wolf or flyover pigeon at its disposal! While certainly not necessary in this predicament, self-sabotage becomes more likely with each passing day as doubt does its dubious duty of doling out a deluge of doldrums, waiting to be conquered through a steady, dedicated hand (though it knows the chances are quite slim in this here forest).

Old Fashioned

There’s something you gotta know when it comes to filling the back of a notebook page in order to get the most usage out of the limited real estate within that binding: there will always be more notebooks out there, but none in exactly the same space and time as the one being used for that particular purpose. Plus, you don’t want to be that jerk who wastes perfectly good page space because of a stupid aesthetic hang-up of some sort. I thought we were working toward something greater, you know? Just call me old-fashioned that way, but I tend to prefer writing my thoughts down in a physical book that was bound with care (or with reckless abandon, either by a person or a machine, depending on how cheap said book is). Perhaps a part of it is my narcissism and the desire to see my handwriting form my thoughts in a way that nobody else could, rendering it wholly unique in this world. Anyone can use a kitschy font to accomplish their compositions, but the uniformity of the pixel arrangements just seems to drag on my soul in such a way where I must allow my hand to express the gunk floating around in my brain (which, in turn, was planted there by the subconscious and unconscious in a seemingly-random order, brimming with detail and novel goodness). Even using my hand to capture thoughts on a tablet with a state-of-the-art pressure-sensitive stylus has a feeling of disconnection from the unlimited facets of our universe, even if the resolution of that tablet is so well-defined that you can no longer see individual pixels. Call me old fashioned (and a broken record), but books are the bee’s knees.

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!


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