Flesh and Blood

Mannequin rest is a sign of weakness
and cheap plastic.
My stock at the Sears downtown
believes that since they look human,
they should receive pay and benefits
like my flesh and blood employees.

I’m so tired of emphasizing
to these hollow Betties and Bernies
that they were designed, built and purchased
for the sole purpose of displaying garments.
I’m not the one to blame
for their poor quality of life.

Even if their plight was real
or at all justifiable,
how am I supposed to provide
services for company property?
I’m just a shift manager!

I’ve tided them over for now
by letting them form an in-store mannequin union
in the basement (Thursday and Saturday nights
from 7 to 9), but until they’re legitimate,
I’m not breathing a word of this to the higher-ups.

———-
Originally published as part of inaugural post (12/20/2010)
First titled “Swivel Rights”

Smidgen

Don’t knock the verdict ‘til you’ve read the effervescent love stories of an older gentleman who reminds us all that a lake of justice may only be multiplied by itself as many times as would be appropriate for a spam wrangler embroiled in a cosmic prayer for guidance.

And not that we’d have to succumb to the specious reasoning
subjecting border collie manifestations to undue criticism
simply because of their perforatory nitrous oxidation theories;
as hair-brained as they may sound to the unindoctrinated few
with access to local channel 16.17–WESC: “The Glaring® Sound
of Beatniks All Around”–a smidgen of trust
for our ovine-herding counterparts will doubtless reveal
innumerable quality chicken sandwich sources within
a seven-mile radius, and for that we should stand and applaud.

Rush Hour: In Other Words

Exceed humanity’s tangible awareness
to approach levels untouchable,
invisible, invincible to conventional thought.

To miss out on a dimensional occurrence
is to watch a bus depart without you
during a Friday afternoon rush hour.

The urgency folds in on itself, embodied by
heavy breaths and huffing impatience.
The presence of your inner conscience
prevents your pot from boiling over,
but its temporal quality works only
through applied standards, varying
greatly from individual to individual.

In other words, just be content
to swallow that anger from time to time,
but be ever vigilant; too much
internal poison never does a body good.

——

Originally posted 10/31/11,
entitled #51

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.

Beefeater

“Turn strange, fair beefeater,”
Curtisson mentioned on the car ride
over to the museum. “Your
toner-rich inconceivability
leaves behind the tragic old
misconception of the garlic-laden
bindling-gebaut, untold though
not unmade or unmasked, undeveloped,
penning the pennies through the portrait
of a golem in trouble with the law.”

Is that man’s law or God’s law?
I prefer to think of it as God slaw:
nice and crunchy with a musical quality
once it’s making its way back to the soil.

“We only have sevenscore paper clips
left in the entire warehouse; I said
we shouldn’t panic, but I was putting on
my brave face, hoping things would
turn themselves around. But they’ve just
turned strange, fair beefeater, and
we’d better figure out our whole
monument situation, pronto.”

XCII

Bring up the cheddar spritzer wagonmobile while you’re visiting the international squeegee convention (specifically when you’re in the sprout-laden wing). Surely a conversation of that quality can hold more meaning than all that jazz you keep mentioning. How much jazz could there possibly be, and why should it take precedent over this prestigious American institution? Yes, I know jazz is also a prestigious American institution, but that’s not the point of this conversation. I mean, it’s not like the world of jazz is expansive enough to take up so much valuable time. Well, actually, I’m not so sure of that anymore. The world of jazz is pretty big, but the point is: it’s not entirely all-encompassing if we were to measure it against the entire rest of the world. So put on your big boy pants and start talking shop with these bargain hunters, for the sake of this quarter’s squeegee revenues.