Monday, April 24, 2017

A Short Poem for J.M.

Pretty faced girls kiss snakes
While less witty boys watch from afar
And envy painted eye sockets
While the new Hercules’
And white knights of the west
Bare their crosses through

The sand in search of rest

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Waiters Plight

Strangers expect too much from me 
Like they think it's easy 
To wear a face and play the game 
And tell them "Have a wonderful day" 
And smile while they scream at me 
About their soup I haven't seen 
And say that "I'm so sorry" for 
Whatever thing they're brooding over

And suffer hours of abuse 
Until they finally cut me loose 
To then go home and go to bed 
With angry words still in my head 
But I'll be back there by tomorrow
To bare more strangers angry sorrows 
And run around and play the game 
And take abused until I'm paid 

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Horrible Story

Dabbing (Verb): To smoke a highly concentrated form of Marijuana (wax) by burning it on a superheated piece of metal.
“…Just listen, okay? It was 4:19 and I had just gotten off work when Blake called me and asked to meet up which we did—obviously—so I picked up Blake and we were all set to go smoke when he started talking about how we haven’t dabbed in awhile and I agreed that we should do that. But we didn’t have anything to dab with—you know, a nail and a torch; we didn’t even have any wax to be honest, just the bong and weed— the King Louis XVI we bought last night. But we were already set on dabbing so we drive out to the goddamn valley in 100 degree weather and Blake runs into the club and buys a gram of wax and a titanium nail to dab off of.
                “So we start driving back thinking about where we should go to dab because you can’t just go anywhere; you don’t want to be somewhere someone’s going to see you when you have to heat the nail with a jet of fire, when I realize that we didn’t have a torch; so we drive all the way out of the valley and across town to pick up a torch from Smoke Shop®. So we go in and I buy a torch, and butane because they never come filled up; then a bottle of bong cleaner and a metal pick to scrape the wax.
                “The guy that rang us up actually looked like Ben Aflac. Blake told him that and he made a joke about Batman; it was pretty funny.
                “ Anyway, we get the stuff and go, and as we’re walking out I think to check my receipt and realize I had just spent 90 bucks! And so then Blake thinks to check his receipt back in the Car and he spent 120$! But we figured we would be dabbing soon and it would be fine. So we think of the perfect spot—the hill right behind the doctor’s office—and started driving there when goddammit! We don’t have any water for the bong! So I start thinking of any place we could find a hose to use, but we ended up just stopping—again—and spent another three bucks on a bottle at a gas station.
                “So it’s nearly 8:30, we’re finally there and the bong’s out and I go to grab the bong cleaner out of the brown paper bag Ben Aflac gave us and what do you know it’s not there! So we decide, ‘fuck it’, and we sit down and set the nail up in the bong’s mouth and scoop up a glob of wax when Blake tells me that the nail is wobbling in place and won’t get as great air flow, but I pushed it down more and it fight tight so Blake started torching it at the head until the nail was red hot and hands it to me to hit and then Bam! It just broke right there in my hand and the nail dropped to the floor still red hot. And we both just looked at it for a minute in disbelief until I put the bong down and started looking for the pieces that broke off—Blake told me not to and that there was no chance of putting it back together but I did anyway and it turns out that it broke clean into two little pieces and we were able to tape them back together with a miracle piece of scotch tape on the brown bag Ben gave us and the bowl fit back in perfectly, so after spending all that time and cash to dab we just ended up smoking the King Louis.”
                “You told me all of that just to tell me that you broke our bong?” Marcus said, more angry than confused.
                “No, I told you that to tell you that we broke our bong,” Everett flicked his finger back and forth between Blake and himself, “and that we can still smoke out of it.” Everett took the taped bong out of the bag and started packing it.

                God, you guys fucking suck!” Marcus slid down in his patio chair. “I guess it could be worse though—at least we’re not out of weed.”

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Parable of the Flood

Two brothers sat and watched through their window as the rain fell down in thick sheets. This was an incredible sight for the brothers as their country was dry and their entire lives they had never seen more than a light drizzle. So, intrigued by the falling walls of water, the brothers left their home and went into the mountains to watch the rain cover their town. Now, as the brothers walked through the mountain, with droplets trickling down off leaves and over rocks, they came upon a straight where two slanted shelves captured the rain and sent it rushing down the mountain in a mighty current. The brothers were in awe at what they had found. It was as if they had gone up the mountain and entered another world full of wonders they were never able to imagine. The older brother told the younger to wait beside the new river as he climbed up a thick oak tree that arched over the water and hung at its center. Now the tree was wet and slick, and the brother had only a small nub to pull himself up, but he was able to manage up the trunk and into the branches. The older brother stood up in the branches and watched the river rush down the mountain, running and jumping in a smooth unstoppable current. The clouds parted for only a moment and the sun glinted across the patterns of the current before the gap closed again and the sun was gone. The older brother watched the water and listened to the steady rush of the river, losing himself in the rhythm of the current that swept below his feet. He stared into the water as he thought of stepping off the branch and letting himself fall in. He thought of himself falling into the river, crashing beneath the surface, and then letting the current carry him down on his back as the waters trickled over his body and the drops of rain fell and dotted his face. He could feel his feet moving to step off the branch when his younger brother called to him to come down. The younger brother stood at the base of the tree soaked through to his socks, watching his brother up in the branches. The older brother lowered himself from the branches and dug his heel into the knot on the trunk. He had a good grip on the knot, but the trunk was slick and when he let go of the branch his foot slipped and he fell sideways down the trunk and landed with a splash. He had fallen right at the edge of the river covering his front side in mud. Only his head had gone in the water and that was nothing at all considering both he and his brother were soaked. So the two left the new river they had found and ran down the mountain, through the rain.
The boys ran home and told their mother about the river they had found, and when she saw them soaked, dripping on the floor, she was horrified. She was hysterical and began to yell and cry about how they could have been killed. The older brother tried to tell his mother that it was all fine and nothing would have happened, but she just threw the newspaper from the day before in the puddle at his feet and left the room. The headline read in bold print “Man Swept Away: Found Dead”, and there was a picture of the river and the oak tree hanging over the water. The man had fallen in off the bank and drowned after being knocked unconscious. They found his body washed up at the base of the mountain with nearly every bone in his body broken, including his skull which had been crushed into mostly missing fragments.

                In a week the rains had gone and the older brother went back into the mountains alone. The oak tree still stood arching over the shelf but the river was dried up, revealing dozens of jagged boulders beneath the tree and running down the straight that had been completely covered with water the week before. The boy climbed up on one of the boulders beneath the tree and sat staring down the dry shelf until the sun went down.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Blues in F# minor

I wake up past noon just to go back to bed 

With yesterdays blues still stuck in my head 

I've smoked all my bud my bottle's dried up

I ain't got no friends here to refill my cup 

So I'll just keep sleepin' 'til the sun goes on down 

Then borrow some money and go into town 

Twenty-five dollars will buy me a bottle 

And that'll last 'til the sun comes tomorrow 

It's a hell of a life that I just can't quit 

Sleepin' all day and always drunk sick  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Word on Greece

I spent six weeks in Greece last spring, and as I was walking along the street between the row of shops and the sea, I suddenly had to pee worse than I ever had before. I stepped off the street and into one of a dozen tourist shops that all sold the same thing—olive wood masks, and olive wood cock bottle openers. I don’t know what it is about the Greeks but they have an affinity for penises like I’ve never seen before. Everywhere you go there’s a guy trying to sell you a cock shaped something, or a mural of a naked man painted on to the side of a building. There were no naked men in the store I stepped into and the cocks ended with the bottle openers, there was just one old Greek sitting behind a counter with a little electric fan that tossed the collar of his open shirt.
“Yasu.” I said
“Hello my friend” the Greek replied in heavy broken English
“Do you have a bathroom?”
“Eh? What you mean?”
“A water closest. Do you have a water closet I can use?”
“Oh, oh!” The Greek began to laugh and he slapped the table hard with his hand. “You’ve come to see my snake!” I thought he misunderstood what I had said and I tried to explain more, but he pointed me to a white door in the corner of the room with a blue sign that read “WC”.
“Thank you.” I said. I walked across the shop and opened the door to go in, but when I went to step a pure sense of shock shot up through my entire body starting at my feet and fizzling out the tips of my hair. “What the hell is that?” I yelled. There was a shiny black ball of tar oozing out from between the toilet and the sink like it had been wadded up and stuffed back there.
“This is Malinda!” said the Greek who had appeared behind me.
“What is it?” I said. The black mass suddenly grew a head the size of an avocado and began flicking a little black thread from its mouth.     
“She is a py thon!” The head began to creep forward and stretched part of the mass out into a body as thick as a birch tree. “Please go, go! She is very nice, step right over her. Go!”
Malinda stared at me with her black marble eyes and whipped her tongue in and out as if she were daring me to step in and whip out mine. I stepped back, “You know, Malinda took away me need to go.” I turned and began to make my way out of the shop.
The Greek began to laugh again, “Whatever you say my friend, you come back tomorrow and we drink wine. I have best wine in whole village!”
“Sure.” I said as I walked out past the wooden penises.

When I stepped out of the shop the sun had just nearly finished disappearing into the Mediterranean, and I still had to pee—worse than before actually. So I walked out into the water on a little stone walk while the last bits of sunlight faded away and pissed into the sea once it was dark.    

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Please Do Not Read

Leaving things unfinished is one of the most despicable things human beings are capable of. That’s why I paid all of my debts  bringing my net worth to a total of twenty-six dollars and thirty five cents, completed the two weeks’ notice before quitting my job, and respectfully waited until my apartment lease was up, and then and only then did I climb to the top of Jumpers peak. I had sold my car to help with the debt because dead men don’t need cars, so I walked the eight miles from my former apartment to the edge of the Wasatch Mountains and then another mile and a half up to the peak. It had snowed the night before and though the main road had been plowed the rest of the mountain was covered in white, and if it wasn’t for a pair of crisp tire tracks cut into the path to the peak I would have never been able to find my way up to the fence that was put up to stop people from killing themselves. It didn’t do much good; I climbed the fence easily, though I did cut my wrist pretty badly on a rusted piece of jagged fence. I even stopped to worry about getting rust poisoning, but I remembered what I was climbing the fence to do and felt stupid when I saw a gaping hole cut into the fence right where I had climbed over. So I just went on bleeding into my shirt sleeve.
I had pictured myself stepping up to that ledge plenty of times before. I always wondered if I would be afraid and stand there for hours before actually doing it, or if I wouldn’t feel anything and just jump right off. Any way you do it I guess it doesn’t matter because in the end you get same exact thing, but when I was actually there I thought I would just walk off. Not even stop to think, just one final step then nothing. I didn’t want the thought of cops and old woman who read obituaries dissecting me and deciding why I would kill myself stop me from actually doing it. I couldn’t even tell you why I wanted to kill myself. Not because I didn’t know, but because there’s no rational or logical way to explain something like that to someone. It comes with a general feeling of melancholy sadness that becomes what’s normal, and a sense that you’re reliving the same day over and over again as weeks roll into months into years without change, and you realize that the closest thing you have to joy is sleep because at least that stops everything for a little while and punctuates the mundane. I thought about all of that and God as I walked to the ledge, where the snow and the sky met at a white and grey boarder. I couldn’t help the lump in my throat that grew tighter with every step, and I had to close my eyes to keep moving forward towards the boarder. I took two more steps and on the third my foot snagged what I could only imagine was a step up to the ledge, and I fell forward with my eyes still closed. I saw myself falling, falling, falling, until finally I hit the ground and splattered into an abstract puddle of blood, or maybe I would impale myself on a conveniently placed stalagmite and my blood would drip down onto the snow in little droplets. But when I did hit the ground it was face first into the snow and accompanied by a shrill screaming. When I opened my eyes I realized that the ledge was another ten yards off, and the only blood I left in the snow was from the rusty cut on my wrist. The shrill scream persisted in gasps and sobs, and when I turned my head back on my prone body I found the culprit lying at my feet wrapped in a wool blanket and crying its lungs out in the snow.

                I stood and looked in awe, trying to comprehend how and why and who would leave a goddamn baby on the edge of a cliff in the snow to die! I picked it up out of the snow and brushed the frost off of it’s face. It’s face was like ice, but when its hand broke out from the wrapping and grasped around my finger I felt how warm the palm was. It couldn’t have been there long; it would have been dead if it had been out there over an hour but it was alive and screaming. I thought about the crisp tire tracks that carved out the path, and the large hole cut in the fence. It couldn’t have been coincidence that all of those things were there at the same time; there was no way they could be independent of one another. I took off my coat and wrapped it around the baby, covering the spot where the wrapping had come undone as a cold wind began to blow and I made my way back, through the hole in the fence and down the mile and a half mountain path, walking within the tire tracks. The mountain path led off to the main road, where the parallel tracks curved off to the left and then disappeared into the plowed road—opposite the way I had originally come.