Jibberjab

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.

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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.

Phourit Gharl

Triumphance rarely conquers the spirit of the wide-ranging pituitary-minded poltergeist wrangler in his heartiest of times (from the Belgian Riviera to the Spanish beer mines the proletariat sent their kids to one fine Summer evening only to find that mines aren’t as fun as they’re cracked up to be); I’ve lately found myself drawn toward the lively canary fields from my youth, where the kids and elderly alike would frolic in ways suitable to their particular stations. I would perform amateur somersaults and insist on becoming a gold-medal gymnast, knowing full well that I’d most likely have to settle for silver and a life of abject mediocrity (though producing a silver medal in and of itself is quite impressive from a layman’s standpoint).

Nevertheless, the frolicking continued into the wee hours of the afternoon, both the youths and elders needing to be put down for naps by their respective caretakers. At such a bizarre turn of events–otherwise considered contrived–the caretakers had a brief period all to themselves while their wards recharged their batteries. Seeing as how I was never awake under these circumstances, I have no idea as to what my au pair would have been doing at the time of my napping. However, I do have several theories batting around in my head (not unlike the 1927 Yankees’ unfair offensive firepower). I won’t bore you with the sheer volume of my ruminations, as those would only emphasize my madness. I will, however, provide a few of the “greatest hits”, as it were.

But not today. That’s for a different time. For you see, in the time it took me to describe my aversion to pointing out the minute details of my meandering mind, the youths and elders have already awoken from their sun-drenched siestas, relegating their caretakers to once again looking out for soiled diapers, skinned knees and broken hips.

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.”

Plane

Well, what can we really do
at the end of the day,
aside from stapling our sorry sacks
to a sphincter of solidarity?

Ooh, that’s nasty. I shouldn’t be
unleashing such filth when
children
possessing such youth
are within earshot. I remember–
back when I was a child–when
that kind of filter just wasn’t
present in my mind’s eye.

I indeed regret that I didn’t
have the temerity to tell folks
(and, indeed, even my parents)
how their off-color language
off-put me. Every damn,
dang and darn chopped into me
like a rusty old hatchet–and
let’s not even mention
those other four-letter doozies.
But those were different times;
I was 23 then.
I’m 27 now, and my perspective
has matured magnificently.

What changed, you ask? Something
about my regular reading of
horoscopes and astrological charts
allowed me to unpack
my cognitive dissonances, yet
left me wanting more
from the universe and the planets
and the alignments and the
what have you. Is it all there
as a way of making us feel
more comfortable not knowing
the grand scheme of things,
a la benevolent overlords?

I reckon if we can’t truly see
the full picture, we might as well
get as large-scale
as we possibly can
while affixing as much
mathematical logic to it,
keeping in mind that everything
is more likely than not
an amalgamation of chaotic particles
flinging themselves at one another
at variable rates, and we’re
the unnecessary end result.

See, these are the kinds of thoughts
that can be had without
such a potty mouth! Now, if only
our president
could understand that, we’d be
in much better shape. But
you know what? I’ll leave
that speculation to the birds.
What kind of birds, you ask?
Gee willikers, I don’t know!
You pick one! I guess
I’m partial to crows
at the moment,
though I do like them egrets
and fincher-pinchers.

Okay, you got me, fincher-pinchers
aren’t actually animals—
that we know!

Well, at least in this plane.
There are no fictional
passerine passengers
allowed on flight #38674-012
to Fallas-Dwort Earth.
Truly.

XCIII

Inside a silver suit of sun rays
perches a cardinal, lean and bright.
Nobody’s busted the window just yet;
there’s plenty of cold air to stream in
once the brick falls into place.
Dent the floorboard where it lands,
but you don’t even bother to pay, ya punk kid.
What do I gotta do here, huh? I can tell
you don’t know the value of great American currency.
This younger generation with their lack of attention spans…

LXXXV

Heavenly bodies tend to move past one another on the road to stardom, or so they tell me. When I was a little boy, I saw a couple of heavenly bodies floating across the sky at a measured pace, nothing like the rudimentary flying machines our kind concocted as a way to skip over oceans and meet deadlines. These fiery points in the sky were playing with each other, bouncing around, up and down. Then they vanished, as though they knew I was enjoying their little game too much. Ever since then, I’ve been looking up to the skies for answers to the usual questions. “Why did the mayonnaise go bad before the expiration date?” “How are we going to figure out cold fusion, and does such a technology even make sense?” “Where did my dog go after he died?” Every time I look up there, I wonder if what I saw was just a figment of my imagination. I mean, I used to think there were miniature deer running around in my room at night during the Winter, scraping at the carpet and foraging for precious roots.