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.

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.

By All Accounts

As a younger man–though old enough to know better–I once navigated a rather cryptic epoch during which I chose (wholeheartedly or pigheadedly) to stick with my plague-rich mentality of promotional ice cream lotteries, confident in my god-given ability to strike it rich. With my trusty two and a quarter inch nail at my disposal, I scribed the five luckiest numbers ever known to man and beast in my favorite subterranean cave, positively declaring an end to the ceaseless turmoil of fumbling around in the cosmic muck for a few measly digits that–at one of my lower points–I thought would elude me as long as I were to inhabit this particular body. I then hastily chucked good ol’ Rusty (that’s what I called my long-suffering galvanized friend, knowing that his kind doesn’t rust for decades–a joke we shared on countless occasions) into the nearest ravine, a flourish that would–by all accounts (payable or otherwise)–bring this self-imposed trudge to a meaningful conclusion.

Boy, what a boneheaded mistake. No sooner than I’d comforted myself with that symbolic nail toss, a magpie hopped on by and casually reminded me that the most lucrative lottery drawings typically have six numbers. I wept, knowing that I’d severed the most rewarding relationship of a lifetime under the false pretense of a free scoop of rocky road at a participating Neddy’s® Frozen Custard.

I shaved and went back to my old CPA job.

The Bellwether

To the chagrin of the motorbiking penguin-flipper, we carry old prairie weights for a regardless happenstance. Well, regardless, we’re quite unkempt for the situation–the scenario, if we will. But it’s okay, we’re all living some version of this or any other truths, not to be degraded for any reason or purpose.

The bellwether, or weather of bells–as I’d sometimes rather say–has stood in direct opposition to the canine point of equilibrium separating our ancestors from the ravenous wolves who once stormed down our doors for even just a hint of carnage. But times change. People grow and domesticate those pesky sheep they’d once only counted prior to slumber, involuntarily offering a small portion of their flocks to satisfy the taxation meted out by the gods that our dogs only wish they could be.

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.”

DFM

Enter our eternal and infernal friend,
Deflatermouse–
careful about the point he makes when scrimmying across the kitchen floor in a fairly affluent suburban subdivision that would otherwise say it’s been treated well by the rodents and mongrels of the world. Only DFM (as the folks in the know have referred to him) gets a pass–you know, for sheer name novelty that has nothing to do with his aptitude for deflating himself (or others) and everything to do with occupying the (then) hovel of Fretful Fred, a beleaguered baritone at the peak of malaise and circumspection.

“Well hello there, little fella.” DFM pauses, startled to be addressed in such a cordial way.

“You’re the first visitor I’ve had in quite some time!” DFM appears to be intently listening to Fred, if only to take in the sonorous quality of his voice.

“Take a load off, friend! I don’t have much of anything to offer, but I’m sure you’re fairly adept at fending for yourself at this point.” DFM then immediately proceeds to scrimmy away, marking the exact moment in which his fabled moniker first graced Fred’s consciousness.

Fretful Fred considers himself a bit of a wordsmith, in addition to his accomplishments of the stage and screen. It took about two to three seconds to formulate the nickname, during which time there were numerous cognitive connections taking place, not at all dissimilar to the series of adjustments that a world-class athlete must make while performing the repetitive tasks that put them in that spotlight in the first place.

Our tiny rodent companion lit the fuse that led to a lightning-quick series of self-deprecating blasts. Every moment neglecting my life’s passions seems to just fuel the bonfire of self-hindrance, perpetuating a “woe is me” mentality that only spirals as the moments compile. My pesky new pal graced me with his presence at the intersection of doubt and fear, giving me the semblance of camaraderie, no matter how fleeting. But, just as all moments ever experienced by we, the mortal folk charged with hoisting the weight of the cosmos (whether or not weight is an accurate measurement), our fledgling friendship seems to have vanished as suddenly as it appeared.

“You’re a real Deflatermouse, you know that?” Freddy knew that an intellectual connection couldn’t be made, now or ever, but he continued to consciously deny the existence of a language barrier for the sake of infusing any wonder into his underwhelming existence.

Razzle-Dazzle

Tree inhabitants incorporate pidgin into their daily doings, dramatically increasing exchange-related transaction speeds while reducing neighborly kerfuffles.

Friend–can I call you friend? Friend, I have no business prognosticating, much less evangelizing. However, I do need to get something off my chest: fleas appear to have invaded my scalp’s furniture collection. Odd how they went straight for the chifforobe, bypassing the genuine marble vanity. I was sure to have gone the rest of my life without incident, had it not been for those meddling bugs.

At this point along my personal story arc, scratching itches has become so excruciatingly routine. I’m bored to tears here! Perhaps suspending my dignity and scratching bare skin on a nearby oak will infuse my existence with a tad more razzle-dazzle. At the very least, I’ll have a fashionable anecdote for my monologue at the Antelopes gathering on Thursday.

Hm, it would appear as though the squirrels and sparrows have reneged on their linguistic compromise. Shut the hell up, will ya? I’m tryin’ to scratch my ass on this here tree! Jeez… bunch of animals.