The caddie to-do wasn’t ever much more
than an anglerfishworth of gender trappings;
our souls’ faint inner-shirkings
beg to interrupt the rat race formula
so conveniently laid out for us.

Failure is a foregone conclusion
when you stack the chips a certain way.
Of course, we all must stray
from our internal clocks

for the convenience of our plutocratic overlords.
Demean yourself so you can put food on the table,
then you’ll be the richest of us all, I tells ya.

Then maybe one day you can afford
to take a ride on the merry-go-round
of solid gold. Only one ride though,
are you crazy? We’re not running a charity here.

Or perhaps it would be easier to imagine that we are,
if that’ll help you sleep at night. Anything
to shut youse up for a couple hours, you’re exhausting.
Now go play with the TV in the other room for a while,
and try not to get electrocuted like last time.

Sloppy Pour

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.

At Any Rate

Elegant transmission signals
discriminate rather wildly, you’ll find
(if you were to bother thinking much about it).
Well, we’re thinking form over function here, right?
Or is it function over form whenever possible?
Who can even remember anymore anyway?

At any rate, instead of bit-champing
and tooth-gnashing, I’d rather have
a consistent plateau of mountain plush toy friendliness,
if you know what I mean.
And of course you don’t know what I mean;
I don’t even know what I mean
most of the time.

It’s an issue, I’ve been
trying to get out in front of it
(and it’s just kicking my ass, man).
So I’d eventually like
to reach the point where
I can talk to just about anyone
about just about anything,
and that’ll satisfy me
in lieu of actual achievement in this life.

(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.

Family First

Gee willikers, Ebony! I sure as sugar won’t be able to make it out to that party tonight. Look–believe me–it’s not that I don’t want to. You know that! It’s just that I have so much cleaning up to do around my place. I’ve been putting it off for ages, and now my roommate’s dad is going to be in town for a few days–spur of the moment thing as usual–and he’d rather stay with us than go to a hotel because he wants to be closer to his son. I mean, I get it, they have a very strong relationship. I admire that dynamic, but of course also resent it at the present. Why do I have to be the one to pretty up our sty before he gets here? Just because I made 90% of the mess doesn’t mean I should be cleaning a full 100% of the space. How is that fair? The displaced 10% probably represents another 40 minutes of cleaning that I’m going to have to do instead of living it up with you! Trust me, I’ve tried getting around this, but there’s just no possible alternative. The next time your brother’s having a going-away shindig before shipping out to do a tour of duty in a war-torn expanse of the Middle Eastern desert, I am SO there.