The High Road

An intricate series of hoofprints
on the stale lithograph
we’ve come to call home
has bled insignificantly–
but not unnoticeably.

Yes, that’s correct. Hoofprints
have bled just enough
for this observer to comment.

Now, I’m aware that there are countless crackpots
who espouse the virtues of anti-vaxxers and birthers,
and this would be right up their alley.
However, I choose to take the high road.

A wise individual once told me
that the low road is the slipperiest,
because the maintenance people need to mop
more often than on the high one

(they have the kind of smelly chemical
floor cleaner that doesn’t dry as quickly
(and they’re always out of wet floor signs)).

Sloppy Pour

Hello.
My name is James Arnettison.
In the following words,
I am going to enlighten you
on the perfect form that is
the sloppy pour.

First off, you might be asking:
“hey James, I gotta ask you something”,
and then I’ll say:
“well go on ahead”,
and then you’ll say:
“cool, thanks for taking the time to listen”
and I’ll say:
“of course, any time!”

It may take a few more exchanges
before getting to the question at hand,
which is this:
what is the sloppy pour?
Excellent question.
A sloppy pour is an upcharge
on a shot (the kind you order at a bar).

Rather than a neat pour,
where all the contents are neatly contained
within the confines of the glass,
the sloppy pour
requires virtually no skill.

The bartender is, in fact, encouraged
to waste alcohol
as they attempt to hit the glass
with about 80% accuracy (give or take,
depending on the establishment’s preferences).

The result is the perfect sloppy pour.
Those long ropes of vodka and tequila
will now be even ropier–
up to 30% ropier, in fact–
as bartenders are given the go-ahead
to wreak havoc on the bar top.

We can get into
the sanitary aspects of this practice
another time, though
liquor does tend to disinfect
more than it infects.

#73

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
entitled #73

Charmishness

Charmishness has its own splendiferous
nature, unbeknownst to the easiest of
all the catchers in their respective ryes,
earnest though they may be.

Feathery nothingness strategizes with the
foremost Giza wranglers on their paydays.
Sometimes what a conservative observer
would call an extraordinary happenstance
is just the thing needed to grant a certain
amount of leeway for hair-brained ventures
(profitable or otherwise).

Chalk it up to another one on the rack,
or just another one taking its sweet time
as the patsy for an unholy ponzi scheme
that would otherwise have fizzled out
were it not for the conviction and stupidity
of the general population of this here planet.

But here’s the thing: people will always be people,
and there’s nothing to be done about it now
or any other time (as far as I can tell).
So all you can do is be kind and understand
that folks just naturally have shortcomings
on a severely regular basis, and
if you can’t get that through your skull,
you’re bound to lose all faith. No biggie.

[By the] Spool

Functional elastic waistband replacement
has taken the sweatpant market by storm,
just as those most forward-thinking
tastemakers and trendsetters predicted
as far back as a full generation ago.

Here’s the long and short of it:
You’re the kind of person who very much enjoys
the comfort and functionality of a sweatpant,
to the point where your favorite pair (they
don’t make ’em quite like that anymore)
requires a new waistband after only
moderate garmential utilization.

Rather than fretting and tossing
those pants you know and love
(within whose bounds you formed
the most lasting memories of your entire lifetime),
you simply dip into your junk drawer
for a length of replacement elastic
and doctor up those trousers all on your own!

Replacement elastics are sold by the foot
(or in fractions of feet, for the real weirdos out there),
with a competitive price drop if you order it
by the spool.

Fully engrossed in the 21st Century, we believe
it’s our duty to turn that dream
of on-demand, taut-yet-comfortable waistbands
into a reality that we modern world citizens
take for granted, like the internet
or patent leather galoshes.

Disclaimer: due to the sheer number
of semi-literate individuals asking if we
provide discounts for people ordering their elastics
“by the pool”, we have discontinued
poolside delivery of our fine product line.

(Nothing More, Nothing Less)

Let’s take a look at the specials, shall we? Ah yes, the infamous Reuben Dip! Once heralded as Middle America’s foremost club dance from 1963, a clever chef has converted it into an open-faced sandwich comprised of corned beef, Swiss, kraut——you bloody well know what comes on a Reuben. The kraut does have a tough time sticking around, which means that the Swiss is really pulling double time to blanket all of its unruly counterparts for the purposes of a successful thousand island dip (and, of course, more than just one dip, because what kind of sandwich would that be, falling apart after just one dip!?). All of this just goes to prove that you really can’t have an idea too grand to be transposed from the clear blue sky, as long as you believe in the work you’re doing. Once upon a time I——of all people——caught myself poo-pooing the idea of representing a pinto bean omelette cooking on the planks of a cruise ship’s bow as it headed to the Galapagos for some tortoise observation (nothing more, nothing less), and for what? A tedious bit of self—censorship for no purpose other than suppression of a creative pang? No thank you, Mr. Governor (if that is your real name). So I wrote it all out, the fateful egg mix congealing to form a canary semicircle of legume-y goodness and taking on life’s subtler philosophical quandaries with a bit of a sense of humor. I called it Hull of Beans, and it was universally panned.

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.”