Stopgap

Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.

Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.

Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.

In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
must
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.

They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.

So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).

Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.

They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.

Plane

Well, what can we really do
at the end of the day,
aside from stapling our sorry sacks
to a sphincter of solidarity?

Ooh, that’s nasty. I shouldn’t be
unleashing such filth when
children
possessing such youth
are within earshot. I remember–
back when I was a child–when
that kind of filter just wasn’t
present in my mind’s eye.

I indeed regret that I didn’t
have the temerity to tell folks
(and, indeed, even my parents)
how their off-color language
off-put me. Every damn,
dang and darn chopped into me
like a rusty old hatchet–and
let’s not even mention
those other four-letter doozies.
But those were different times;
I was 23 then.
I’m 27 now, and my perspective
has matured magnificently.

What changed, you ask? Something
about my regular reading of
horoscopes and astrological charts
allowed me to unpack
my cognitive dissonances, yet
left me wanting more
from the universe and the planets
and the alignments and the
what have you. Is it all there
as a way of making us feel
more comfortable not knowing
the grand scheme of things,
a la benevolent overlords?

I reckon if we can’t truly see
the full picture, we might as well
get as large-scale
as we possibly can
while affixing as much
mathematical logic to it,
keeping in mind that everything
is more likely than not
an amalgamation of chaotic particles
flinging themselves at one another
at variable rates, and we’re
the unnecessary end result.

See, these are the kinds of thoughts
that can be had without
such a potty mouth! Now, if only
our president
could understand that, we’d be
in much better shape. But
you know what? I’ll leave
that speculation to the birds.
What kind of birds, you ask?
Gee willikers, I don’t know!
You pick one! I guess
I’m partial to crows
at the moment,
though I do like them egrets
and fincher-pinchers.

Okay, you got me, fincher-pinchers
aren’t actually animals—
that we know!

Well, at least in this plane.
There are no fictional
passerine passengers
allowed on flight #38674-012
to Fallas-Dwort Earth.
Truly.

The OM

Twelfth set of longings today.
That’s an awful lot of bagel children
moping around without lox,
nary a lick of cream cheese in sight.
What are they to do?
All they really can do is visualize
the OM,
the didgeridoo spanning the moment
as though it always knew
there would be a bagel cart
at craft services–
once Terry gets off his ass.
All kidding aside, Terry
really does mean well,
he just needs a fire lit
under that comfortable posterior
every now and then.

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?

Empire

Well, as far as that’s concerned, Charlene kicked the bucket about eight years ago, givin’ birth to our youngest of seven young’uns. I named him Squiggy; that’s probably what she would have named him. She created a fashion empire, one clothing line for every chillun we sired; left behind quite a fortune with the Brandon, Stephen, Kalen, Armbruster, Eddie and Sherry labels. Squiggy’s just starting to realize that he has no clothes named after him, so he’s started making a point of wearing burlap sacks every day. He just wants to piss off his fashionista siblings. They don’t much like it, but they’re a bunch of snobs now anyway, with that fancy Hollywood upbringing. I never much cared for that methodology, and my ditch-digging career is just about all that keeps me sane these days.

I figure nothing’s bringing Charlene back, and she’d still be here spoiling them kids–if it weren’t for Squiggy’s breach birth. I loved her to death, never gonna remarry. I figure I’ll just get a few more dogs and move on with my life. So far I have Scruffy, Tipper, George and Sheila. They aren’t allowed to come into the house because of those damn kids. My best friends and I spend most of our time out there digging ditches. Squiggy’s going to take up the family profession soon, just like his ol’ dad, dad’s dad, dad’s dad’s dad, etc. If I were a literate man, I’d come up with some clever autobiography–“Life’s a Ditch” or some sort.