Roses

The ever-present Rumpelstiltskin type of orangeade
seems to have no connection to the ingenuity
of a person concerned with a corrupt bargain
and everything to do with a personal vendetta
to be meted out over the course of several decades,
if not millennia.

Such a skip in discourse may only lead some people
to believe of its malintent, but truly
there is nothing wrong with such a change in scale.
How else are we to judge our actions
against the actions of others in present or past?
How else are we to compare ourselves
to the species who specialize in longevity?
The trees out there, the mollusks, the fungi,
all of them. We’re just individual pinpricks
in their rearview mirrors, and it would take a miracle
for us to cause more than just a blip
on their collective radar screens.
How do you like those terrible mixed metaphors?
Yeah, it’s getting me pretty hot too, come to think of it.

Who needs any kind of inspiration anymore anyway?
It would seem as though folks
mainly just seek to consume
pleasant media at a reasonable price,
and anything falling outside of that window
must be judged much more critically,
since fewer people have sought it out.
And the ones who go out of their way to discover
such outlets must therefore–in their own minds–
be superior beings, leading to tirades
about their keen eyes and intellects
while we sit there right next to them
with a thumb up our ass, hoping only
to take that thumb and plug up their infernal nostrils.

“What is that intoxicating aroma? Roses?”

“No, genius, it’s my shit-covered finger. Why don’t you go off somewhere and have a time of it while you prank a local youth?”

“Why, you insubordinating little trolley-hopper, I’ll have you know that I earned this domineering nature through sheer pluck and grit. Also, possibly through piss and vinegar. Over the course of my years, I haven’t been able to differentiate the two, though you might say I’m a bit of a glutton for the cinema. Wait, what kind of critic am I? Shit, I forgot. A jack of all trades such as myself can only be concerned with where the next paycheck’s coming from.”

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.

XCV

Take an iguana and toss it at a tree
to see if it sticks.
If it manages to dig in its claws
and clamber up to the canopy,
much fortune will come to us in the future.

If it digs in its claws
and holds that position,
we will need to further ponder our next move.

If it misses the trunk with its claws
and sustains an injury, we then know
that our future will be full of failure
from which we must recover
before we lose our confidence.

If it misses the tree altogether
and lands on the shadowy ground,
that is the surest sign of them all;
we must make our decisions for ourselves
and forget the superstition
that made us throw the poor iguana
in the first place.

Complete the Circuit

The robin sits on the branch,
perfectly still. It’s puffed up,
conserving its energy
on the chilled November afternoon,
contemplating the stars
that it can’t yet see.

Then it takes off for another tree,
to continue its watch
from a different vantage,
perhaps triangulating its experience
as nearby squirrels chirp and scratch
at each other by the trunk.

Nothing is keeping itself at bay,
a cold breeze tells us all
that winter approaches.
We must stomp on the negatives
before they build up through doubt,
a smile necessary to complete the circuit.

Clean Up Your Act

How many times now have I seen a mirror just sticking out of the side of the garage? I told you that the garage was not the place for a mirror to just go sticking out in broad daylight. There’s a sun out there, mister. That sun can reflect off this mirror and reflect a beam of fiery wrath back at that dead tree over there and toast that puppy. I will not have you just putting up mirrors all willy nilly, as though you’ve never been trained in the fine art of mirror hanging. I will not stand the disgrace to our craft, and I sure as hell will not pay for the damages caused by that fire to the property. Our insurance coverage isn’t half as good as I thought it would be when we signed up, so I’m pretty sure this family would end up in financial ruin. Your brazen attitude is just what we don’t need to see in this world, and I would like you to clean up your act.

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