Mauve steel extensions
become sky at twilight
as their tips scrape goose wings.

Feathers litter the ground around the girders,
forming small piles until whooshed away

by indigo breezes from an unknown deity
of incomplete wealth. All mortals quaver, mouths agape,

incredulous when faced with beams of such height
without visible supports.

Each post lives separately from the other,
though all rely on one another for morale

and some kind of root ball structure
that our simian species would do well to emulate.

First draft posted to WHARVED on 11/15/11
entitled #73

Lap Scraps

Within our stricken, conflicted
human psyches
lies the power to change our circuitry or
ignore the idea
that anything could be amiss.
We are not tragic figures all,
how could we be? Well see,
there’s the rub.
We all come from tragedy
to beget tragedies of our own.
We must avert travesty
while negotiating the roiling tragedies
unique to each of us.

On that note, I went back to the well
to replenish my joy and wonder
for words and their ability
to impact our immediate universes.


Read a passage about red shoes
and you probably won’t be surprised
to find that a lot of people walking about
are donning red shoes.


Now the plan (to be quickly rendered
irrelevant if all goes well) is to encounter
the skeletal fragments of op-ed pieces
concerning the phenomenon of right-shoulder
organ grinder monkey-carrying–
notes just lying around in various
unexpected filing cabinets, I’d assume–
to cobble together a feel-good article
revolving around the presence of that
ages-old parable wherein a matchbox-sized
chubby-cheeked angel proffers ethical advice
(of course, while also embodying
the epitome of baroque cuteness).

Look at that capuchin monkey’s little face,
so expressive!
Just like a tiny person
begging for table scraps–
lap scraps at a picnic–
while they dart their eyes
and appear to be narrowly averting collision
with numerous invisible entities
at a rate of about thirty ducks per minute.


As a somewhat absent-minded explorer of the written word, I developed a taste for writing down ideas in small notebooks that typically resided in my back pocket. I’d filled up several of these, left the rest of them mostly unfilled. I tended to review them all from time to time, never quite sure how to utilize those bits and pieces.

One day I decided to put all these tiny books in a tote bag and carry them around with me, thinking–perhaps foolishly–that traveling with all of them in tow would reveal some sort of grand scheme, and perhaps being in the world would lead to a breakthrough observation that could somehow link up with a scrap of material I’d already scrawled. I thought, somewhat romantically, that my quest for written enlightenment in the form of rifling through broken-in notebooks would draw the attention of a fellow traveler who would strike up a conversation about their passion, a conversation leading to a lifelong friendship, etc. etc.

Then, four days into my routine of meandering with all my potential nuggets, I got distracted on the bus and nearly missed my stop, running from my seat in the back to squeeze out the rear door. Thirty seconds after walking down a side street, I realized my bag was still on the bus. All those ideas that I should have capitalized on… too late for that, for those what-ifs. Honestly, I should have been more upset than I was, but I’ve always been more of a passive individual, especially since having mood stabilizers prescribed to me.

Now, stripped of my safety blanket, I had to start scrambling and starting my collection of creative fragments all over again, going strictly by what I could remember offhand. I thought doing this could serve as a litmus test, to weed out the inconsequential and narrow down the essential.

My favorite ideas were always fabricated scenarios that had nothing to do with my life, likely never to happen in this reality of ours due to some impossibility (a lot of the time involving animals or inanimate objects). I started recovering my potential next-great-American-novels with a simple list, and since I have your attention, here’s the tip of that iceberg for your entertainment, in no particular order:

A gorilla named Esperanto who can use sign language, but only in Spanish.

Three bank robbers who decide to split the money from their last heist to fund their distinct hobbies: spelunking, international espionage and latex glove manufacturing.

A musician who adopts a baby and forms a metal band after the child responds positively to that particular genre of music.

An extraterrestrial–or extrasensory–being who makes its thoughts available to only those whose minds operate on a certain wavelength, for the purpose of slowly assimilating alien thought into human culture.

A frisbee that hasn’t been used for twelve years, lying undisturbed in a storage unit and reflecting on its life while other objects in the unit share similar stories of neglect.

The list goes on and on, and I shocked myself at how well I could recall these (seemingly) trivial tidbits that could eventually lead to major motion pictures down the road. I’m still too lazy to develop any of them, but at least I have them back in my first of what I’m sure will be plenty more tiny notebooks.