Heretofore

Of a subtler ilk, this deer wagon
waxes transparent when I lick its foliage
in a counterclockwise fashion.

Intriguing twist: Trick Smith Limited,
world-renowned jackalope dealer, now beckons
[VALUED CUSTOMER] to become an exclusive member
of its carnage-related festivities!*
*Offer not valid in lower Nevada
or the Lesser Antilles.

The topic of pencil shaving trefoils
has popped to the forefront of today’s
peculiar poser posse club meeting,
guaranteeing a spirited debate
unlike any other heretofore witnessed.

Cumin digestion may hurt the back,
particularly when a wily attack dog
headbutts you, unawares, from behind
right after you’ve finished a serving
of your regionally-famous rabbit stew.

——

Originally posted on 10/10/11,
entitled #34

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.

Trousers

I didn’t put on a belt today, even though my trusted toad in residence screamed at me, “please do wear something that will hold up your trousers, you know how much you need that kind of support.” That kind of support. That kind of support. The statement cut to my core. How could a simple amphibian surmise how using such obviously leading language would end up with such a visceral reaction? I must concede that he has been with me for most of my adult life, a fact that I tend to overlook in my times of angst. He just has this way of seeing how my psyche copes with everyday life and the human-to-human disappointments that never fail to pile up when I venture outside of my hovel. Yeah, I’ll chalk it up to that.

Not one to quickly withdraw into self-pity (it usually takes a few minutes), I shot back. “Bah, you old-fashioned reptile! I rather enjoy a somewhat droopy trouser. It’s not my intention to be lumped in with the old fogies of the world, thank you very much. You know as well as I that I tend to shuffle my feet and speak in an exasperated tone about how things aren’t the way they used to be. Don’t rob me of my freedom of expression!” I called him a reptile, knowing full well that his species spawns in water. I’d recently taken to jabbing him with barbs designed to rock his steady demeanor. He has never once taken the bait. The cold-blooded bastard.

“Well sir, have you ever considered being the individual who brings belts back in style? Perhaps even suspenders? Your species really relishes bringing fashion back after an arbitrary period of time has passed, and maybe this time you can be the one to inspire the young men and women of the world that trousers sitting comfortably upon the waist are truly the change that they’d wish they started clamoring for, had they known someone of your immense tastemaking abilities.”

Speechless. Just speechless. That blasted earth-toned hopper had me stymied once again as I hiked up my pants for what must have been the twentieth time since making an excuse to “get fresh air” around the neighborhood (mainly for the purposes of people watching and escaping my inner turmoil as much as possible). I’m still confounded to this day as to how a little guy like him–with such a tiny little brain–could be my intellectual better. Oh well, no use in beating myself up… I think.