For Good Reason

Preach vigilance
to the ever-ladder-climbing individuals
who deem personal and professional progress
a product of constant social manipulation–always.

Standstills may seem intoxicating
every once in a while
to the few who always rush around everywhere,
and for good reason!

Nothing but pep in your step
and constant “progress”
makes for a dull type of existence–
no room to misstep and fall
(or even sidestep and plateau).

We’ve all become acquainted with these folks–
always on the lookout
for something that offends,
imposition rather than inspiration.
These are the dodgeworthy people,
the dilettantes at the way station
between sanity and clarity.

Levity

Levity slices through to the heart of an artichoke much more effectively than any knife.

That’s at least what my uncle Gilfroy told me one time over whiskey sours. I couldn’t partake with him, seeing as I was just a wee lad at the time, but he certainly enjoyed at least a handful of those particular beverages that afternoon. I couldn’t be sure if he was yanking my chain or just drunk enough to start seeing metaphors as literal occurrences. He had a funny way of abandoning our family’s sensibilities from time to time (usually with the aid of drink), and we still haven’t pieced together whether or not we should have ever been taking him seriously.

I for one enjoyed his antics, all the way up until his disappearance.

Now, the grey-hairs in my family clan have all unequivocally declared that he died at sea promptly after concocting a hair-brained scheme to sail around the world. I think they were just coming up with a convenient excuse to bookend his misunderstood life and wrap it up neatly with a cute little (morbid) bow. Personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s alive and well, coming up with different vegetable-related remarks every time he meets a new person he likes.

Again

A younger tree stands pert and upright
against the setting sun
on an April afternoon of little consequence–

to anyone other than perhaps
the octahedral chainsmokers out there, but that’s
a conversation for another time and place, m’friend.

The bud-tipped nerve endings are raw,
eager for a consistent warmth to figure itself out.

The trees all know
what they’ve gotten themselves into these days,
after noticing all the human affectations
popping up around them

again.

The existential rigamarole isn’t lost on them,
believe me. They know
that we only keep them around
for their oxygen supply, isn’t that obvious?

If we could find a cheaper or more efficient way
to convert a global supply of carbon dioxide
into breathable oxygen,
we would drop everything
and jettison all those woody worriers
into space, where they could become
petrified ornaments, immaculate baubles
showcased in an ever-expanding curio cabinet.

The details on such a plan
have never been made clear, since
it’s likely never to happen.
Lucky bastard trees.
You too, shrubs. I’m watching you.

Bandwagon Antics

In light of this glut of well-delivered monologues here tonight, I’m convinced that we humans–because I’m definitely a human, don’t go running around and telling your friends otherwise–quite possibly have a fighting chance in this thing we call life amongst the celestial bodies (well, at least that’s what I call it). While by no means a guarantee, I can certainly exclaim that creativity should–dare I say must–eventually overtake the box-in-box mentality that has, thus far, led to the perpetuation of flocking masses of mundanity, sometimes riled to the point of stampeding.

Those of us who can visualize the ideal representation of creative humanity will be sick and tired of bowing down to tyrannical individuals who would prefer to destroy rather than glorify the artistic inspiration leading to craft (for craft’s sake). In the eyes of the inscrutable free-market economist, if something that requires a great deal of skill also happens to net you a tidy profit, then it will obviously be quite desirable. In the face of such bandwagon antics, it takes the uncompromising individual to declare “I am going to do this because I love it, no matter how minute the level of compensation.”

Roses

The ever-present Rumpelstiltskin type of orangeade
seems to have no connection to the ingenuity
of a person concerned with a corrupt bargain
and everything to do with a personal vendetta
to be meted out over the course of several decades,
if not millennia.

Such a skip in discourse may only lead some people
to believe of its malintent, but truly
there is nothing wrong with such a change in scale.
How else are we to judge our actions
against the actions of others in present or past?
How else are we to compare ourselves
to the species who specialize in longevity?
The trees out there, the mollusks, the fungi,
all of them. We’re just individual pinpricks
in their rearview mirrors, and it would take a miracle
for us to cause more than just a blip
on their collective radar screens.
How do you like those terrible mixed metaphors?
Yeah, it’s getting me pretty hot too, come to think of it.

Who needs any kind of inspiration anymore anyway?
It would seem as though folks
mainly just seek to consume
pleasant media at a reasonable price,
and anything falling outside of that window
must be judged much more critically,
since fewer people have sought it out.
And the ones who go out of their way to discover
such outlets must therefore–in their own minds–
be superior beings, leading to tirades
about their keen eyes and intellects
while we sit there right next to them
with a thumb up our ass, hoping only
to take that thumb and plug up their infernal nostrils.

“What is that intoxicating aroma? Roses?”

“No, genius, it’s my shit-covered finger. Why don’t you go off somewhere and have a time of it while you prank a local youth?”

“Why, you insubordinating little trolley-hopper, I’ll have you know that I earned this domineering nature through sheer pluck and grit. Also, possibly through piss and vinegar. Over the course of my years, I haven’t been able to differentiate the two, though you might say I’m a bit of a glutton for the cinema. Wait, what kind of critic am I? Shit, I forgot. A jack of all trades such as myself can only be concerned with where the next paycheck’s coming from.”

Band Names – 11:11GMT

I really wish I could use my arms… Oh well. What else, what else…

I remember those times in college where my friends and I would sit around for hours–on one substance or another–laughing our asses off as we came up with names for the indy rock band we were always meaning to start but were too lazy to actually do anything about it. I recall that I was the best one at coming up with them, which didn’t surprise me, since I was the only English major among us. I didn’t have it down to an exact science, but there was an improvisational quality to it, like catching lightning in a bottle.

And now, if you’ll let me (and of course you’ll let me, my infernal conquerors), I will recite a list of indy rock band names for your pleasure–or displeasure. I don’t really care about your opinion on the matter. Go ahead, punish me. Ha!

Tumblestiltskin
Belfast Breaklast
Bragadelphia
Gopher Module
September Badger Fire
Thermometer Blues
Frenzy Salmon
Salmon Frenzy
Take Forever After
Filteropolis
Gravel Health
Gnome Pants: They’re Just Painted On
Fibrous Being
Semper Fly
Gifted Flight Attendant
Tambourine Massacre
The Trouble with Oscar
Piston Piston-Piston
Bother Pillows
Gazette
Distance Spread
Temple Wandering
Foam River
Too Risky Nevertheless
Stealth Canister
Boulder Trappings
Voracious Treader
Stencilwaukee
Pony Express Quarterly
Filth and Vinegar
Absolutely Air Pollution
Bankrupt Bancroft
Ain’t Necessarily Snow
Self-Degradation: WITH REAL CHEESE!
Four-Liter Cola
Tell Me Yesterday (About Tomorrow)
Several Unopened Packages
Criterion Contradiction
It Takes a Pillage
Inept Acquiescence
Unprecedented Wealth of Shit

I know you’re impressed, my bodiless, faceless, nameless authority figures! I’ll bet there’s not a single other person involved in your sick little game who can name that many band names off the top of their head.

How about you put a shot of espresso in my shake the next time I wake up?

Deal?

I’ll take that silence as a yes.

Miracle Mindset – 04:44GMT

I really wish I could use my arms.

Fleeting circumstances join forces to contribute meaning to one’s waking life on a moment-by-moment basis. In the leanest of times, those moments come few and far between. But if you’re lucky enough to string along multiple meaningful moments within minutes of each other, you might get headstrong and crave even more, creating an imbalance in the miracle mindset and setting impossible expectations for yourself and, indeed, the whole world (at least as you perceive it)! The whole world, damn you! Expecting a higher miracle-to-moment ratio leads to unhealthy thoughts that develop into undesirable behavior, its entire purpose to create miracles from thin air putting karma in jeopardy. Karma’s in jeopardy, people!

Can I at least get a pen to put in my mouth and try scribbling on the wall?
I miss feeling literate.