Mauve steel extensions
become sky at twilight
as their tips scrape goose wings.
Feathers litter the ground around the girders,
forming small piles until whooshed away
by indigo breezes from an unknown deity
of incomplete wealth. All mortals quaver, mouths agape,
incredulous when faced with beams of such height
without visible supports.
Each post lives separately from the other,
though all rely on one another for morale
and some kind of root ball structure
that our simian species would do well to emulate.
First draft posted to WHARVED on 11/15/11
The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.
It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).
Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!
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).
Onset guerrilla warfare builds a stun gun for us all to accept the northern aggression as nothing more than an attempt to belittle the profession of soothsaying. But very little can persuade the sanctimonious union soldiers to just stand in line with a musket and a lollipop, each one hoping they’ll be the lucky one-and-only who gets an extra-long exposure in the makeshift photography tent.
Meanwhile, in the ramshackle paradise of our own inclusiveness:
Enraged and otherwise narrower than an encumbered and intuitive giraffe whisperer, Ralph decided that now would be the time to really just go for the gusto. “I mean, come on. I get so many chances to stand up for myself, but what do I do? Settle for omnipresence like a jerk. Man, I would kill to have omnipotence! Whatever, I’d probably just screw it up anyway. I mean, I seem to have this innate method for sensing how people around me are reacting at virtually all times, but I can’t for the life of me seem to get with the capitalist program and ascribe a monetary value to that skill. Chalk it up to laziness, or perhaps genuine concern coupled with an unwillingness to contribute to our species’ unfolding downfall. Jeez, I need a lollipop.”