Prattle off nonsensical jibberjab
for what?
Does it benefit the cosmos
to move air particles
more than the average organism?
There may be an upside
to increased social fortitude,
though its presence
currently can’t be brought about
by conversing with the source.
Modern methods preach research–
the patterns of self-aggrandizing youth
now freshly entering the labor force
must be recorded and studied,
analyzed for psychological concerns
and then swiftly monetized
for the sake of further capitalistic gerrymandering.

This sponsored content has been brought to you
by the Insta-Gram council:
“Vigilant Grandmothers of all Stripes
Watching the Backs of Excitable Types
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Smoke and Mirrors

Troubled psychiatrists
around the world
have increasingly turned to iodine
for lack of anything better to recommend.

This simple palliative
sure has brightened the lives
of countless patients, whether or not
they’re actually doing anything
for their brain chemistries.

Rather than causing a stir
by playing the tired smoke and mirrors
game of “Is This a Placebo or Not?”,
doctors everywhere are prescribing Vitamin I,
that heaviest of stable halogens.

Its deep violet hue promotes a sense of mystery
in 74% of test patients, creating
more of a positive psychological effect
than any old placebo ever could.

For a Larf

Far-flung inferiority freakishness extracts and enhances the divisionary diversions commonly excluded by guys like Al.

We all know a guy like Al, don’t we? He likes to sit there atop the square, never the wiser when those ol’ Mickey Mouse Boys get a posse all riled up. He’ll be the first to tell you that he isn’t a part of the problem, then go about his day as an enthusiast for whatever innocuous pastime he may have deemed appropriate in order to forget the human suffering all around him.

Because then, once the shades have been drawn and the wool pulled from over our eyes, we can then migrate from the prefecture of common thought for just long enough to endure the scrutiny typically reserved for only the most contemporary jazz head–where are we in the world when we can have -$42.00 to our name and still somehow get something to eat at dinner time? The system is broken, too far gone at this point to give it much credence–but we sure can pretend to be ignorant to the cries of others for the sake of not having too much of a bother on our hands at any given time.

One might even remark that the average stress level in your typical human being anywhere in the world is currently so high that the well being of others just naturally becomes secondary; we all shut ourselves out for the sake of preserving whatever sanity we may think we have left in the tank. The joke’s ultimately on us, since any sense of normalcy or sanity would have been wasted on this world anyway.

But as it stands (at least for this narrative), I managed to find a respectable Mexican restaurant chain that cooked pretty decent food–a sit-down place, mind you (with a patio and a full bar, the works). This is your neighborhood family restaurant typically nestled between a couple different places, always open and always fully operational. Sure, there might be a petty squabble or two here and there, like in all restaurants, but by and large, these are some of the folks around these parts who simply get things done as a matter of fact–I suppose we all have that kind of fortitude in our own ways, but something about the perseverance of the human spirit and the persistence of tradition through community really strikes a chord with this here reporter.

And now it’s time for an unwarranted segue! Sure, American white folks may have some kinds of traditions, but they’re all bastardized extrapolations of old-world things that generally center around agrarian superstitions, usually observed for a larf. It’s hard to get around the pungent odor of insincerity and perpetual need to be included in every conversation, especially when it’s so heavy-handed. But wouldn’t you suppose that to be the truest human condition, anyway? We typically have all been born to seek out attention, and not to do so has historically resulted in a high mortality rate.

The loudmouths have the tendency to survive through sheer annoyingness and an unwillingness to accept when their methods have become woefully outmoded by their own refusal to adapt to current conditions.

The quiet ones, unless assertive, need to express what makes them exceptional, so that other people will take notice and provide necessary patronage that will stimulate their pocketbooks and enrich their sense of wonder for the world. That is indeed a primary goal for sensitive wanderers everywhere, very rarely achieved.

Since I seem to have made a habit of engaging in unauthorized segue activity on this fine day in the world, I don’t see why I should unceremoniously buck the trend so quickly. As it may or may not naturally follow depending on the amalgamation of butterfly wing-flapping in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve found that being confronted with multiple examples of people reading books on public transit has forced me to evaluate my own reading habits and long for the urge to actually read a book for once in my life. It would seem as though my years of sporadic and spontaneous writing (etudes, experiments, meditations, barcarolles, etc.) and connection to a certain layabout lifestyle have resulted in a mind that prefers to acquire new information through more, shall we say, instantly-gratifying measures. The irony of subconsciously refusing to pick up a book is quite at odds with my penchant for jotting down notes (and sometimes actual compositions).

I can’t let go of that medium tying me to those great voices of the past, yet I can’t bring myself to avail myself of their actual language. To me, everything in today’s market smacks of capitalizing upon the original idea of “story” by contorting it into whatever genre or gimmick suits them best for disseminating their particular grammar equations to the most consumers possible. Was this also the case before capitalism and the industrial revolution? I could probably read the foremost book or dissertation on the subject, but I’d rather just spin my wheels in a more futile fashion. It’s more fun that way.

Ah, but wasn’t this little ditty about Al in the first place? My, how our minds wander when given the chance. So this Al character is quite something, and the word count of the first draft of this abomination of the English language had reached 714 as of the word “something”, which has at least a modicum of connection to the Babe Ruth home run record, by virtue of that feat being considered “really something” by baseball heads and connoisseurs of Americana everywhere. If he had only been a position player for his entire career, he may have hit another 100+ on top of that, but don’t you think it’s just a tad convenient for him to convert from a pitcher at roughly the same time that those dead balls they’d been kicking around in the mud and piss for years got a serious upgrade. They were no longer smacking around overripe leather tangerines, and either George Herman himself or some brilliant merchandising insider pounced at just the right time. Now, is this some kind of cataclysm in our universe, the fact that this Babe actually existed and played baseball at that exact moment in our timeline? I want to say yes, but everything else I’ve learned from history says that this was no coincidence.

But would you look at me, it appears as though I’m doing my very best Al impression at this very moment. I’m standing by and letting all of this literary carnage come to pass, stubbornly pretending that what I’m doing has even the slightest bit of merit, when we all know that that’s a bunch of hooey. Aren’t we all guilty of the occasional Al impersonation? I would venture to say that we’re all culpable for the mindless perpetuation of the Al paradigm, sitting back and absorbing all of the unnecessary stimuli being heaved in our general directions (because we’re too lazy or stressed out at this point to defend ourselves), failing to take action in one direction or another. It’s our privilege, we say to ourselves, when we fail to act in accordance to the creeds upon which the vast majority of us were raised.

After all, those religion things are really just guidelines, and we don’t actually need to practice their tenets these days. Science has proven it, don’t you know? All we truly need to do is find hobbies that will while away our seemingly innumerable hours (even though they are quite scant) and allow for the absorption of subject-related data grenades on a 24/7 basis.

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