With a Vengeance

I thundered through the threshold,
enthralled by many a porcupine diary–

when will we ever learn the true everlasting
Constantinople cantaloupe constitution?
I reckon never, though many local geniuses
think there’s a global phenomenon unfolding
with a vengeance.

I can only postulate,
though the post-latte high
seems to have stalled for a moment,
just briefly enough to incriminate
the most experimental of dancers
both near and far.

We’re still left baffled
by Hemingway’s cat collection,
but a learned individual once told me
that the more toes a feline has, the closer to
ultimate self-actualization
the beholder becomes.

Shotgun or no shotgun,
there’s quite a bit of cortex
to bandy about all willy nilly
if you’re willing to lose a day or two
to the unbending, unaltered
chimpanzee rhetoric machine.
Oh lord, I’ve lost
too many days
to count.

Schmooze

Apple juice permeation of what would have otherwise been considered a cordial affair has shed a new light on the rather pretentious category of social gatherings as we’ve come to understand it (ever since the bungled bungalow endeavor of ought-three).

This particular fiasco began when an advocate for fresh fruit juices invited himself to the festivities, taking every possible opportunity to schmooze with the big names in booze. He slipped past security under the guise of a schnapps magnate named Sir Wilfred von Königstupp and promptly began pushing his non-fermented agenda on the room to decidedly mixed results. The drambuie set found his spiel appalling, whereas the cointreau folks were rather intrigued. Grand marnier was unavailable for comment.

Needless to say, our buddy Wilfred (whose real name will be protected for arbitrary reasons) got the old heave-ho once the Jaegers found out what was going on. His famous charisma at least allowed him to get a couple stream of consciousness quips out there, if only to confound the preppy old money set. Most notable was his impromptu list of “lost arts”, which included (among other things): stadium hopping, hamburger flipping, turkey trotting, limburger tossing, butter mashing, charity giving, the pompadour, and original origami.

Creature Comforts

The wealth of all
accumulated astronomers
has poured into our creature comforts

to the point where we’ve lost
our connection with the first
scientific innovators,

and are therefore doomed to repeat
the age of ignorance–hooray.

Stopgap

Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.

Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.

Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.

In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
must
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.

They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.

So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).

Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.

They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.

Crotch

Precisely between pages 182 and 183
of a battered, overused
elementary school Spanish textbook
on the neighborhood Indianapolis Goodwill’s
hardcover books shelf, you’ll find
a perfectly-preserved eyelash
wedged in the crotch of the binding,

once attached to the heavy eyelid
of Jacob Stern, a third grader
with no real foreign language aptitude,
any sense of which would have been lost
while sitting in the back row of Spanish class
during Sr. Cerasoli’s Wednesday morning lecture
extolling the virtues of ser and estar,
a class period that felt
like it could last forever, though
certainly not in infamy (until old Jake
dropped his eyelash and roped us
into this entire absurd narrative).

Wooden Spoons

Double up the foundation dust,
trouble finding lurky lust while wincing
under beveled falls; egregious
concertina riffs agree with Wes
(our father’s postman): the passion
never does leave the feet.

Snowcapped griffins found asylums
rich in iron, poor in aprons.
Mythology holds no place
in institutions of higher psychology.

Where reprimands come for assurance,
our collective mothers grease their wooden spoons.
We may only marvel as to which grease traps
were harvested for such a folksy purpose.

You insist that I have a soul for dingers,
I retort that your trout lost its diaper yesterday.
You ask what that means, and while
seething in your stupor, I quip
“which radishes peak first?
Why, only the early growers, son.”

——

First draft posted on 6/11/11,
originally entitled #10