End of the Road

We’re near the end of the road,
starvation apparent to all
(save the ones in real trouble,
the ones in rose-colored glasses
who watch sunsets
while our star of direct consequence
floats overhead);

squirrel meat won’t quite cut it for me
after tasting nutria, the rodent
that eats more roughage per square inch
than I ever thought imaginable.
I taste the green in its diet,
the grassy notes popping on my palate
with just a hint of peppercorn.

One Fine Day

There’s something so sublime
about observing and admiring
an intriguing-yet-mundane object in space
that has never failed
to lend credence to that ages-old belief,
often eloquently-stated as the following:

beauty, that relatively universal indicator of aesthetic appeal, is more or less subjective depending upon the perception of the individual/s observing the particular object or phenomenon in question.

Why, I was gazing one fine day–
surveying the park of common human consequence
(observable to very few by the naked eye)–
when my eyes rested upon a preponderance
of turtledove squadron trainers,
and as they went about their daily regimented activities,

I looked deeply into the pools of their eyes

while they continually exhibited
the inability to break out of the checkboxes
they’d been forced to occupy through one coup or another
somewhere along the line as young (or at least, younger)
men with a passion for doing things a different way
than all those other pencil-pushing types
who would be quick to declare their allegiance
to the guild of orderliness (or brotherhood
of smug rule-abiding, and also occasionally
the bean counters collective, depending on who you ask).

Not a woman in the bunch. I chalked that up
as the fairer sex’s natural disinclination toward
imposing human rules upon flighted creatures
with the ultimate goal of turning a profit.
That’s at least
what every woman I’ve ever known
has told me about the situation.

(#373)

We are the TOXIC Group:

Tastemakers
Obligating
Xylophones
Into
Conversation

Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!┬«
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.