Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice


“Hey Summer, where ya been?”
“South America mostly, Australia too,” said Summer.
“Oh, I thought you were, you know, like on vacation or something.”
“I don’t get a vacation. I am the vacation,” said Summer.
“Right, I mean, of course you are. How dumb of me.”
“Damn right it’s dumb of you,” said Summer as she gently nudged me in the ribs.

“So… any big plans now that you’re here?”
“Not really. I’ll just do the same things I normally do, maybe with some humidity, maybe not, maybe I’ll be dry. I don’t know. The possibilities are sort of endless really,” said Summer.
“Yeah, that’s cool. Really Cool.”
“How about you? Any plans,” asked Summer.
“I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t take any vacation so…,” I shrugged.

“So, it’s sort of my day so I better get going. Lots to do,” said Summer.
“Of course, right. I didn’t mean to hold you up. I just wanted to say hi and tell you that you looked nice is all.”
“You think I look nice? I don’t know. My hair is crazy frizzy and I haven’t really got a good tan and… well, it’s nice of you to say so,” said Summer.
“My pleasure. Really, and your hair looks great, honest.”
“Okay, well, I really should get going,” said Summer.

“Um, Summer? Do you maybe want to have dinner sometime with me?”
“Aw, you’re sweet. But I just don’t think I’ll have the time. But I really appreciate the offer,” said Summer.
“Okay. I get it. Thanks for at least considering it.”
“C’mon, don’t be like that. You know we’re just friends and that’s all,” said Summer.
“I know. I mean, I just thought, well… it might just be you know, the start of something.”
“It’s not that I don’t, you know, care about you, it’s just not in that way, plus, I mean, you’re just so pale. I mean, how would that even look,” asked Summer.

“No. I get it. I do really. It’s cool. So I’ll see you later then?”
“Of course you will,” said Summer.
“Okay. Cool. Or Hot! That’s Hot, I mean.”
“You’re so silly,” said Summer.

She tussled the hair on my head and stood up from our small table. She started West. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Smallish


There are times when I’m happy
to remember that we are very
small in a cosmic sort of way.
There’s really not much to
us at all.

A blue dot, in a vast
ocean of space, spinning
around a star, on a cycle
started eons ago, doing
our silly things.

It’s hard to remember at
times, that we’re small.
It’s hard to recognize how
tiny this world is.
How far we are from anything.

How far we seem to be from
each other. Our humanity seems
larger than the Sun, as if we’re
bigger than the cosmos that we
can see. Yet, I don’t know you.

I cry, you cry, we hurt,
we bleed, we laugh and smile,
on a rock hurtling through the cosmos,
at 67,000 miles per hour around the Sun,
and it seems huge.

We’re giants on our world,
beings of infinite wonder,
but smaller than the smallest
out there, in the void, between
starlight and nothing.

Our smallness should not
diminish us, define us or hold us
back; but it’s nice to remember it,
from time to time.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Wants to Rock Your Face Off


“What are you working on,” asked Monday.
“Hm, oh, nothing really,” I replied.
“Looks important,” said Monday.
“It isn’t really, just some musings,” I said.
“Oh, well then, muse on,” said Monday.
“Thanks. I will,” I said.

“Do you mind if I set up some speakers,” asked Monday.
“Speakers,” I asked.
“Yeah, just a little background music,” said Monday.
“I guess. Sure. Okay,” I said.
“Thanks. As long as you’re okay with it,” said Monday.
“Sure,” I said.

Monday shuffled about, running cords all
around my feet, desk, chair, up the walls,
over the door, out a window, back in through
another window, up across the ceiling and
back down to the floor.
“Sure this isn’t a bother,” asked Monday.

“No, it’s fine. Do what you have to do,” I said.
“Okay. Thanks,” said Monday.
Monday wheeled in two giant speakers built
for Led Zeppelin 1974.
“Whoa,” I said.
“What,” asked Monday.

“I mean, those are pretty big,” I said.
“You said it was okay,” said Monday.
“I mean, I know I did, but…,” I said, motioning
to the size of the speakers Monday was
pushing toward the windows.
“What? You said I could and it wouldn’t bother you,” said Monday.

“I thought they’d be, you know, like, normal,” I said.
“These are normal,” said Monday.
I shook my head slowly and looked in Monday’s face.
“I don’t think these are, appropriate,” I said.
“Well, I mean, you said I could so…,” said Monday.
“Fine Monday, fine,” I said.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tips for Writing Poetry


The important thing when starting
a poem is to have a strong
premise and then build upon it.
If you don’t have a strong premise then
your poem is all about nothing… like this one.

This poem is about nothing.
Absolutely nothing.
It’s not even a poem really,
It’s just stream of consciousness
dribbling out on this blank page.

Still, though, it’d be nice if it
were about something.
Something important, like, religion
or politics, sex and love, or drugs and
kittens, or  what shoes make me look thinner.

A poem about nothing.
nothing at all,
why are you still reading?
Don’t you have something better to do?
Shouldn’t you make better use of your time?

This is seriously about nothing.
I mean, zero substance here.
There’s no heart wrenching finale, some
catharsis or hallelujah chorus of angels.
It’s just words on a page lining up.

I could write about toe nail clippers,
or teeth whitening, maybe about
paperclips or what I had for lunch,
and it’d still be about nothing.
Nothing at all.  

I didn’t have a strong premise,
so it’s all about nothing.
maybe it’ll come to me later,
something,
to write. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mind the Prom King's Crown


A Prom King’s tilted crown,
he’ll dance with anyone in town,
except her, in the wheel chair,
because, “should she even be there?”

A tilted crown on a big old head,
football star, filling nerds with dread,
he’ll pretend he’s cool in the front,
but behind their backs he calls ‘em all, “cunt.”

The spotlight on the Prom King,
he’ll wave his hands, flaunt a pinkie ring,
he got from his dad, who bought a wing,
for the school after a scandalous fling.

There was a Prom Queen,
we haven’t seen,
she might be held up by security at
the door.  She’s not from here it seems.

The Prom King’s first dance to his song,
a country tune to which he gets the words wrong,
in a circle by himself, surrounded by lackeys, slack-jaws
and  yokels, in rhythm with no one, harrumph and pshaws.

The DJ was wrong, the Prom King got the words right,
that DJ should be fired immediately and on sight.
How dare he disagree, he’s the Prom King with a decree,
“Everything I say is right, if you disagree, kiss my ass tonight!”

The Prom King’s tilted crown, lower on the brow,
confused by the unwillingness of people to kowtow,
to each crazy demand, statement or thought,
“Don’t they know how good they’ve got?”

The Prom King spits and froths near the end,
he wants a new limo, a new driver, a new friend,
he wants a new Queen (But we still haven’t seen her,
so there’s little drama to the scene.)

The Prom King’s crown tilted and cocked,
might not be the issue we thought to concoct,
It must be his head that’s so off center,
next Prom, I’m sure we’ll vote better.

The night is over, the dancing’s all done,
there’s no more spiked punch or fights to be won,
The Prom King, alone on the bleachers, he’ll fail this
year, because of the teachers.

“Don’t blame me, I was cool. They just hated me,
that stupid school,” he’ll be heard years later to say,
working at Dad’s office in real estate
and considering a role as a delegate.

Be careful who you elect as your Prom King,
he might be a bully, a brat or a ding-a-ling,
and he’ll grow up with that victory in mind,
classless, tasteless and unkind.

A Prom King’s tilted crown,
could become the bane of every town,
so smarten up, and listen,
we wouldn’t want this to come to fruition.   


Friday, June 2, 2017

Strangers


If everybody is “everybody”,
and we are “we”,
and you are “you”,
and I am “me”,
but I’m in your shoes,
watching you as you
join my group of we
so we can get along with
everybody…

who the hell is everyone?

A global family,
isolated in their
humanity.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Nation of Ideas (Or Oops, my patriotism is showing)

                When a nation such as ours is faced with the corrupting influence of stupidity it’s hard to keep quiet.  I try my best to put a good spin on the daily developments but it’s getting to the point where all the spinning is just making everyone dizzy.  I’m not sure anyone knows where up or down is anymore. I don’t like to get into one-sided political discussions. I think every American in the United States has the right to freely express their ideas and I can certainly afford them the general courtesy of hearing them out; even if their opinion comes from a place of incorrect information, fear, loathing, spite or ignorance. I can listen even if I disagree. In fact, I want them to persuade me to change my mind. I want to hear their words and believe they are indeed well thought out and coherent and built on tried and tested methods of logical thought. I’m not hearing a lot of that though; not at all.

                What I hear is lot of people that are simply afraid and unwilling to reach back into their shared history for examples, information and precedence. I hear reactionary rhetoric from both sides of the political landscape resulting in landslides of mis, dis, and non-information. I don’t hear anything of substance clearly presented or fully vetted by experienced peers. I just hear a lot of heads, on TV, talking and talking about one issue over and over again on hourly loops which never seem to go anywhere and then abandoned the second a new issue hits the presses. There is nothing resolved, solved, explained or even appropriately handled.

                It amazes me that a country built on the foundations of political discourse can be so easily led down the primrose path of simply failing to ask, “Why?” It is our duty to ask why. It is our mission as citizens to ask why and the duty of our elected representatives to provide the answers to those questions. We want to talk about it. We want to know why. They work for us. They should be able to provide us detailed answers.

Why as a citizen do you feel under represented? Why do you feel unsafe? What are you doing in your own community to help alleviate those feelings? Is what you’re doing negatively impacting those around you or are you doing something to help others? We’re a nation of communities, of close knit neighborhoods, and a generalized expectation of the goodness in our fellow citizens. Why are we so terrified all the time?

                I feel at times we’re like children, afraid of the dark and no one seems to be brave enough to get up and stumble through the darkness for a light. They’d rather sit in the dark, pissing themselves in terror than find a way to stop being afraid. The only thing they are afraid of is the unknown, “Fear itself”, as it were.  We don’t have to be afraid of knowledge. We don’t have to be afraid of intelligence. We don’t have to be afraid of emotional intelligence. We don’t have to be scared of empathy, of sympathy, or that people are, “out to get us”.

                We might be a little punch-drunk in all reality. We were effectively the Global Champions, a nation of immigrants and migrants that successfully built a country from disparate points of view, to stacking up political and military victories like some sort of Rocky Balboa. We took a lot of hits during that time though. We were unsuccessful on a few military fronts, we were held back by puritanical/segregated/populist beliefs at home, social and economic down swings and failed domestic policies. We’re still the best contender but we’re a little jangly in our form. We know what we want to say but we have a hard time articulating now, since we’ve taken so many blows to the head.  We’re a little more reactionary and put our foot in our mouths more often than we used to. Our intentions are good but our execution is somehow muddled due to the number or rounds we’ve been in.

                We’re a nation of amazing contradictions, double-standards, stupidity and sometimes insane points of view yet we persist in spite of ourselves. It has always been that way and it always takes an incredible effort of the people to change anything. This is a country of viewpoints, perspectives and ideals and is far greater than something drawn on a map. We have to remember that the United States of America isn’t a place really, but an idea.

                It is our duty to reinvigorate that idea though diligent exploration of ourselves, our collective desires as a nation and as a people.  We must not be led astray by populist zealots, by fear mongers, by war hawks, racial separatists, or those that seek personal power over the good of the people. We must not be suckered by those that wish to dilute the purpose of the United States of America by keeping us stupid or in the dark. We have to stay alert, sharp, and focused on the things that have made this experimental nation a success and avoid the policies of ignorance that have held us back.
    
We’re a nation of fighters, idealists, thinkers and innovators from all over the world, believing together in something unprecedented in human history; that a nation of ideas can be stronger than any nation of barriers. We will not let the corruption of stupidity take hold. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Story


I love the confidence in a good story.
There’s something so satisfying
watching, listening, to someone
tell a story about a memory or
their life; they’ve told it
a hundred times but have a
sure knowledge that the story
will kill every time they tell it.

It’s amazing to see their eyes
dance with such surety. The
disco-ball of confidence, twirling
in their iris as they get to the part that
always gets the laugh yet only begs
for more details. The part that leaves
the listener wanting more. That one,
awesome part that baits everyone’s attention.

It’s marvelous to watch.
Even better to be a part of it,
and even more wonderful to be
the one telling the story to that
small sea of faces, eagerly
anticipating each word, motion,
and epic sentence.  To see the
light, reflected, in their eyes.

A story told well has a million
lives. It’s re-told, embellished,
re-crafted, and embarks on new
journeys to new ears and eyes.
It’s no wonder we, as a species,
are so fascinated by a well told
story, tale, anecdote.  We love
them, we love the tellers.

Let me tell you about the time I…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Cheer Up

                “Cheer up,” said the mouse.
                “No. I don’t want to,” said the man.
                “Aw, come on man. I’ll bring you some cheese if I can get a smile out of you,” said the mouse.
                “No. I don’t like cheese. I’m lactose intolerant,” said the man.
                “I don’t know what lactose intolerance is, but I’m pretty sure intolerance is bad,” said the mouse.

                The man sat against the wall. He rested his head on his arms folded over his knees. He felt his eyes watering with the tears that he was sure would come.

                “C’mon man, a nice golden piece of cheese always cheers up my friends,” said the mouse.
                “I told you. I can’t eat cheese. It makes me sick,” said the man.
                “What!?! Cheese makes you sick!?! That’s…just unheard of,” said the mouse.
                “Well, it’s true so just deal with it,” said the man.

                The mouse scratched at his whiskers and sniffed the air around the man. He scurried around the man’s feet, back and forth, testing the air and rubbing his whiskers with his paws.

                “You don’t smell sick,” said the mouse.
                “Well, it’s not a sickness you can smell,” said the man.
                “Us mice are really good at smelling things so, I’m pretty sure you’re fine,” said the mouse, “Plus my brother is a doctor, so I think I know what I’m talking about.”

                The man lifted his head to look at the small brown mouse now sitting between his feet. The mouse was staring back at the man with a hint of a smile on his little face.

                “A mouse doctor you say,” asked the man.
                “Absolutely,” said the mouse.
                “Where did he get his degree,” asked the man.
                “Mouse-ouri State,” said the mouse.

                The man smiled. A slight chuckle. A bigger smile. A belly laugh. The man remembered that sometimes, the little things aren’t as so awful as they might seem.

                “See, you like cheese after all,” said the mouse.
                “I guess I do. I guess I do,” smiled the man. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Pretty Deep

Some days there’s a struggle going
on the deepest parts of my brain
between acceptance and denial
of what I have become and
how I got there.

Most of the struggles involve
run-on sentences and essay-like
tomes of nonsense, all cramming
into a clown car of thought, all
trying to be the one to yell, “First” and toot a horn.

It’s self important, it’s self-pity,
it’s  another day spent in personally
decreed silence because I don’t want to
talk to anyone but desperately want to
with someone special.

I make myself sick with worry about
being alone, being rejected, unaccepted,
shunned, avoided, demonized, hated, feared,
being made a fool of, being a fool,
consumed with anxiety and stillness.

Distracted by it, constantly taunted by
couples, canoodling, kissing, sharing, loving,
laughing, fighting, swearing, looking at each
other in that way that says they know everything
about each other and the comfort they take in it.

I’m ill with the obsessions over my seemingly
self imposed loneliness, because of anxiety,
depression and mediocre self confidence, I think
it’s all my fault, I’m some hideous monster of a guy
undeserving of any love from a gal.  It’s not true. It’s not true?

The burns suffered are deep, through the meat,
into the bone, charred, and I’m not sure when it’ll
heal, if it will heal, can it heal, who would want me if
it didn’t heal, how does it heal, why hasn’t it healed yet,
what’s taking so long, what’s taking so long, what’s taking so long…

The struggle goes on and on, over and over,
in sweeping cycles, like seasons, a season where
one’s fancy turns to spring, romance, love, and
something new, something special and deserving
of adoration and to be cherished.  Then dashed by winter.

Anxiety, depression, has an effect,
It’s like crushing a beautiful flower in the
palm of your hand. Something so lovely and tender,
yet you can’t stop, can’t control,  your hand from smashing it,
and smearing it on the walls.

You wonder if you deserved such a beautiful thing
and then you worry that you’ll never have such a beautiful thing
again, so you do silly or stupid things to try and find it again, but you can’t
find it, so you stop looking and hope the beauty will find
you, but that isn’t working, taking too long, too isolating, too terrifying…

And then, will you just smash it again, in your hand
as you are lost in the beauty of it? Is that what will happen,
is that the pattern? Is there any escape from the loop de loop
of the clown car of thought.  
How does it work? What does it take?

I’m not sure what it takes in this world, to
be deserving of love, to be loved, to have
someone there, waiting just to hear about how
your day was and you can’t wait to hear about
their day.  To look in your eyes and see the best of themselves.

It seems so simple and yet so impossible.
Like running under a starry sky, it seems like
it would be easy to grab the stars in your hands
and scoop them from the air,
but it’s impossible.

The uncertainty of the impossible, or
possible, has been wearing me down,
the edges are rougher with the shaving,
the patience is thinner, the time is
shorter. But it’s deep down there. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

All Dancing Shadows


Dancing in a beach side cave,
back-lit by the bonfire,
casting shadows on the wall,
as the surf rolls in on the wave.

She shimmies, he shakes,
they embrace, they spin, they dip,
they sweat and jump like wild
natives as the ocean breaks.

The beat mixed with crackling flames,
the roaring foam, and their heels
pounding the sandy ground,
intensity without names.

They flicker in fire, projecting lust
onto the carved rock,
heavy breathing,
a conflagration of stardust.

The outside world faded away
in firelight, lost to a beach,
deepening night and thoughts
of soft kisses that seem to stay.

The shadows, existing only for them,
in lives of deceptive reflection,
warped and curved by the cave’s
rough surface, empty of mayhem.

Their bodies stretched up high,
lengthened in the licking light,
reaching for each other,
and the fire in their eye.

Dancing in a beach side cave,
back-lit by the bonfire,
casting shadows on the wall,
as the surf rolls in on the wave.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where's Veronica?


This morning I thought
about a girl I once
knew in high school and I wondered
whatever became of her,
where did she go?
why did she randomly pop into my mind?

I remember thinking that she was
a tormented soul, trapped in cursed
adolescence with boundless creativity and
nothing but trouble ahead of her.
Did she wind up knocked up, knocked out, or
knocked around?

We were friends you see. Friends at a time
when friendship was the most precious
commodity.  We traded up or down as we
got older, our investments in people changed
as did our sweat equity with others.
Where did those emotional finances go?

She was dark. She was troubled.
She was evolving at what seemed to be
a faster rate than I was. It was something
absolutely remarkable and interesting.
Yet, in the end, after all these years,
I’ve no idea where she wound up.

A teenage boy and a teenage girl,
suffering the malice of puberty in rapidly
changing times. A time of strange potential
and curious discovery, building an intimacy
through mystery.  But never connecting
beyond the demur friendship etiquette demanded.   

I thought about this vanished girl. This woman,
who traveled with me in early teenage misery,
and I wondered where on this huge blue ball she
might be. Do I ever come up in her mental history
or in the checkbook of her past as that one guy
who was there, for a short time, and made a withdrawal? 

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Minute with Mom


I’m not going to say my mother is perfect.
That would simply be too bold.
And frankly, just an embarrassment because
of her unending and immaculate humility.
So I won’t say she’s perfect.

I won’t say she’s super awesome and
totally boss, because she’s really just
trying to do what she can, but, better
than most.  I mean a lot better. Face it,
she has a poet for a son, so there’s that.

I can’t say that she’s the smartest lady,
because I wouldn’t want to insult her
intelligence. I mean, she clearly knows
more than I do almost all the time,
almost.

I’m reluctant to say she’s the most funny
lady that ever graced the rest of us with
her ceaseless wit and comedic charm,
because again, I don’t want her to feel like
this is a joke or not to be taken seriously.

I don’t want to imply that Mom gives
the best hugs since the creation of arms,
but, I mean, c’mon, Mom hugs, right?
There’s nothing like them no matter
what age you are.

I am not sure Mom would want me to
brag so much about her, seeing as how she’s
really so good at it herself. My mom is the
best as self promotion and I wouldn’t deign  
to take that away from her.

So, for Mom’s sake, I’ll resist the temptation
to tell the whole world how wonderful, compassionate,
understanding, generous, wise, funny, loving, and
modest she is. I mean, no one is better at modesty
than she. Thanks Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Getting Started


Start and restart,
start again,
no,
start over,
no,
still not it,
start again,
no,
erase that,
start once more,
no, no, no, no,
These words aren’t
stringing together
like I want them to,
Okay,
Take a breath…

No,
Start again,
no, no,
what rhymes with balm?
Maelstrom?
no,
no,
erase, erase,
start again,
start over,
start once again,  
one more time fingers,
brain,
let’s work together and
get this jumble of words
dancing around the bonfire like
savages onto this
mocking blank page.

(Cracking knuckles)

Okay,
okay,
…okay…


Thursday, May 4, 2017

When We're Wingless


                The break room was finally quiet as Frank entered. He needed his usual morning cup of coffee to build up his strength.  The room had been too busy earlier and Frank didn’t want to deal with the cluster of all the others crammed in there, reaching for creamers and sugar and stirrers over each other. It was like pigs at a trough. So he waited a little until the coast was clear. As he entered he saw a lone figure sitting at the one available break room table, staring blankly at an empty coffee mug. It was January St. August, one of the chosen.

“I woke up this morning and I couldn’t find my wings,” said January St. August.

Frank did a double check of the room to see if there was anyone else present. January St. August had never spoken to him before.

                “What do you mean,” asked Frank.
                “I opened my eyes, rubbed the sleep off my face, threw the covers off myself, stood up and stretched and I realized that my wings were gone. They were just gone!”

                Frank noticed that indeed January St. August’s giant angelic wings were missing.

                “I had to take the bus here this morning. Do you know how embarrassing it is for me to have to take the bus,” said January St. August.
                “Well, no. I mean, I take the bus every day. I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal. I’m sure no one noticed,” said Frank.
                “Not. A. Big. Deal,” said January St. August, “Well, that’s just rich. You’re some kind of funny guy hm? The office comedian? You’re the wise cracker,” questioned January St. August.
                “No, no, not at all. I’m just, you know, saying that it probably wasn’t… you know, that it wasn’t anything that anybody noticed,” stammered Frank.

                January St. August looked back down at the coffee mug on the break room table. Frank paused and lifted the coffee pot off the warmer. It had barely a sip left in the bottom. He’d forgotten that along with being pigs, his co-workers refused to make more coffee.  Frank cringed and looked at January St. August.

                “Do you want the last little bit of coffee before I make more,” offered Frank.

                January St. August nodded. Frank stepped toward the table and poured the last remaining coffee into the empty mug.

                “Thanks. Sorry I blew up at you,” said January St. August.
                “No problem,” said Frank.

                Frank went to the cupboard and took out the coffee filters and the coffee grounds and started to prepare a new brew. He didn’t want to make any further acknowledgement of January St. August, look in that direction or make the mistake of engaging in any further conversation.

                “I mean, where could then have gone? I looked under the bed, through all the blankets, the closets, the kitchen; I just don’t know where my wings could have gone. There weren’t even any feathers left in the bed when I got up,” said January St. August.

                Frank looked back at January St. August and just sort of nodded. He didn’t know what to say. Frank had never lost his wings so he wasn’t sure how to relate.

                “I mean, what did I do to make Him so mad,” asked January St. August.

                January St. August’s eyes were wet with tears and Frank really felt the sadness that was filling the room. He looked at the coffee maker, slowly drip filling the coffee pot.  Frank shifted his weight back and forth on his heels and tried to avoid January St. August’s sad eyes.

                “Yeah, I’m sorry to bother you. I just, you know, just haven’t said anything to anybody about it really,” said January St. August.
                “It’s… it’s okay,” said Frank, “I’m sure it’ll be okay.”

                The coffee maker gurgled as it dripped the last of the fresh brew into the coffee pot. Frank took it off the burner and filled his mug. He added a little cream and sugar and stirred it all together.

                “Well,” said Frank, “I hope you’re day gets better. Talk to you soon.”

                Frank exited the break room, leaving January St. August to stare sadly at the coffee mug on the break room table.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Light Bulb


A light bulb I received for free
eleven years ago, as part of an energy
conservation movement regarding
Florescent (CFL)  use, burned out last night.

There’s nothing monumental about that.
It flickered for a bit and finally went out.
It was just a bulb I got for free, signifying
absolutely nothing.

It was just a bulb. In a lamp. In my living room.
A room littered with memories, of loving,
losing and leaving. Mixed with laughs,
lethargy and passing moments of loathing.

The bulb, nothing more really, shined over
discussions of love, anger, joy, nonsense,
intimacy, loneliness, desperation, elation,
and numerous moments of embarrassment.

Eleven years of the same bulb, just a bulb,
performing its function without judgment,
consciousness, nostalgia, or regret. It is just
a thing. Just another thing in a room.

A light in the dark is all it was. Just another light
in a long line of bulbs replaced over and over
since the first light bulb was lit by Mr. Edison,
just another bulb.

Bulb technology has probably advanced immensely
in eleven years and the new bulb will possibly last
even longer.  The next bulb might survive into my
fifties, maybe my sixties.

It’s just a bulb after all. What could it possibly
illuminate at this point that could be considered
ground breaking, or Earth shattering, or mildly
amusing. It’s just a bulb.   

Friday, April 28, 2017

Making Friends


                “Holy smokes,” said Teddy.

                He looked up at the darkening clouds rolling through the once blue sky.

                “It was so sunny, like, a second ago, now it’s like, midnight out here,” he said.

                Teddy nudged the guy next to him on the bus. The guy looked up from his phone and out the bus window.

                “Yeah. Weather. Amazing,” said the guy who then looked back down at his phone.

                “I mean, it is sort of amazing when you think about it; the atmosphere, the layers of stratosphere, the winds, the edges of space, ocean currents, the Earth’s rotation. I mean, yeah, it’s pretty amazing to say the least,” said Teddy.

                Teddy was bouncing in his bus seat. He had a broad smile across his wide face. He loved when the weather shifted in a real, visual way. There was something exciting about it for him. A good summer storm rolling in always reminded him of when he was a kid and he and his dad would put out the old folding chairs on the front porch and watch the thunderstorms and count the seconds between lightening flashes and the rumble of thunder. It gave him butterflies in his stomach, like playing hide and seek.

                The guy next to Teddy nodded his head. He was watching some sports news thing on his mobile phone, oblivious to the world around him. He tried to slide over a little bit away from Teddy to which Teddy was oblivious.

                “I tell you what, if I were younger, and had the means to get a real education. Not the HV/AC repair school I went to but a real education, like an Ivy League type of school, I totally would have become a weather man. Teddy the weather man.  Yes sir. That’d be me,” said Teddy.

                The guy next to Teddy tried to turn his body away, but the bus was getting crowded and there just wasn’t much space to turn. Teddy was absently tapping his hands on his knees as he swiveled his head back and forth to get a better look through the windows at the darkening morning sky.

                “Wow, just look at that rolling in, so dark. It is so wild. Just, wild,” said a gleeful Teddy.

                The guy sighed with noticeable exasperation and looked up out the window. He wanted to say something to Teddy, Teddy the weather man, about being quiet and maybe not talking so much to strangers. He wanted to say that maybe he shouldn’t bother people who are just trying to get to work and had to take the damn bus to get there because their wife left them a month ago because she was sleeping with his best friend and she left him with nothing. She took the car, the house, the money and his best friend, so if Teddy could kindly shut the hell up he’d really appreciate it. He really wanted to say that.

                The bus came to a hard stop and the passengers were flung forward. A few lost their balance but managed to hang on. There were groans and a few swears from the commuters.  There was a rumble in the ground that started shaking the bus.

                “Hm, that doesn’t seem right,” said Teddy.

                The guy next to Teddy looked toward the front of the bus, in the direction Teddy was looking.  Teddy was no longer smiling. He no longer had that warm, fun, excited butterfly feeling in his stomach.  Pedestrians on the sidewalk had stopped their mindless march between the buildings. People were trying to steady themselves by grabbing on the side of the tall buildings and light poles.  The wind had picked up and fast food wrappers and dust were swirling in the air.  The guy next to Teddy looked at him.

                “What’s going on,” he asked.
                “I don’t know. I think there’s a tornado, right in front of us. Or… I don’t know. Like I said I didn’t get that fancy ivy league education,” said Teddy.
                “A tornado? In the city,” said the guy.
                “Like I said, I don’t know, but it sure is strange,” said Teddy.

                A woman screamed at the front of the bus. The windshield cracked. People on the sidewalk started to run, pushing and yelling, trampling each other. A dog was barking wildly up at the pitch black morning sky. Teddy wondered who brings a dog downtown on a Tuesday morning.

                “What should we do,” asked the guy next to Teddy.
               
                Teddy shrugged and continued to watch out the window as a bolt of fire shot down from the sky and scorched the side of a building. A shower of burning concrete and glass and paper rained down on the bus. Teddy and the guy next to him ducked down and put their heads in between their knees. The bus was shoved violently to the left and the people on board screamed and fell over each other. A young man was screaming to be let off the bus while another started kicking at the rear window.

                “Oh my God. Oh my God. I’m so sorry Gwen. I’m so sorry I let you down. Please, I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die,” pleaded the guy next to Teddy into his knees.

                Teddy put his arm over the shoulders of the guy next to him and pulled him close.

                “It’ll be okay. I’m Teddy by the way. What’s your name?”

                The guy next to Teddy turned his head to the right and met Teddy’s face very close to his.

                “I’m Ed. My name is Ed,” said Ed.