Monthly Archives: October 2014

I probably won’t die, but I might.
So in case I do, here’s a box of bags
with stuff in ’em. Good stuff.
The bag marked BAD STUFF notwithstanding.
But those other bags? Gold, Jerry.

Take that small bag marked HAPPY, for starters.
You know what you’ll find it there, kid?
HAPPY.
You’re gonna wanna keep that one.

Pick another bag at random.
Go ahead, I’ve got all day.
Ah, PRAISE, good one.
Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory, right?
You’re smart, kid.
Add that to the PRAISE bag.

That last bag’s marked BAGS
because I had a lot of extra bags.
Maybe you could use ’em
when I’m dead if I die.

I probably won’t die, but I might.

commercial for soundproofing
extreme man
yelling at kids
to build huts in the woods
one inside the other
made of wire and wet leaves
one inside the other
entrances pointing
in opposite directions
kid plays a drum kit
at the center
SEE, the man yells
at the Nickelodeon parents,
THAT’S NOT HOW DRUMS SOUND
AT ALL. SOUNDS LIKE OLD DRUMS.

there’s been a kidnapping
lifetime movie
they’ve got the wrong guy
and the little girl
is cute and too smart
and wizened
if a child
can be wizened
and you know she’s there
because they couldn’t
afford or de-age
Dakota Fanning

open the cabinet
with all the foods Dad said
were the best
but you haven’t tried them
and he goes,
your mom ends every phone call
with ‘I guess you don’t love me’
she’s a star out of reach
and the dream ends

 

look out over the balcony
pour poison nectar over the
bad line of people
line of bad people
enemies passing by
see a person you know
she tastes the nectar
makes a face
wait
you know her and her name
ask your roommate who is her ex if she likes ginger ale
she does like ginger ale
would you like a ginger ale?
she would

she says a ghost
won’t leave her jewelry alone
has to lock it up
anything with a bead or bauble
ghost gonna get it
see this bead she says
ghost had it for months
one day it turns up on her dresser
in a tiny box the size of a stamp
a box she’s never seen
from a store she’s never been to
in Maine
it has to be a ghost
where did the box come from

cops have questions
check your minivan for clues
they’re not buying the ghost thing
floor of the van
covered in newspapers
see, officer, it’s not me, you say,
my friend wrote this movie, you say,
and you point to an ad
for a movie called
GUYS FIRST
written by Adam Chase and someone else
as if that clears you of bead theft
and the dream ends

you’re at that big event
with your mom
like a vfw hall or something
happy birthday
time to sing
so you sing it loud
because a comedian
on a shitty show
said everyone
sings it like
they wanna kill themselves
and you don’t wanna die

blubberkrinkle of a man
comes to the table
says you’re too loud
you put a hand on his chest
say you know where he’s coming from
he swats at you
says don’t touch him
you say don’t talk to me
and storm off

you’re in some hallways
your cat’s hanging out with you
following you like a puppy
but you pick her up
when other cats are around
you’re no monster

some alcoves are marked SCHOOL
and there’s a single desk
dark

you go back to the table
your mom thinks you were drunk
no you say
you just wanted
to do a good job singing
she’s embarrassed

later there’s a music video
saldana and deschanel
double zoe
in a music video
for the military
they’re waist deep in mud
with soldiers in fatigues
dancing rapping singing
all wearing the same brand
of grey headphones
marketing, sure
but also a 4th wall break
dismantling the reality
of the music video universe
by showing you
how they keep time
but they’re not in time
and the dream ends

Measurements

It was all acres that day. A big mass of them coming down the chute.

“Acres only, today, boys!” bellowed Rusty, the foreman, nonplussed.

Normally, it’s a grab bag. You get feet, inches, gallons, cords, light years, cubic millimeters, and such. Any number of combinations of measurements can come down that chute. But only one type at a time? All day? It just didn’t happen.

“It happened once before,” said Rusty when I mentioned it. “Six years back, before you wandered in here, chute was packed with fathoms for about a day and a half. Got clogged ‘round hour 23.  Janet had to climb in with the big stick to get it moving again. She can’t even stand to look at a fathom now.” He laughed.

The acres kept coming. I wanted to talk about it with the other folks on the floor, but no one seemed to care. It had to mean something, I thought. No one else shared the feeling.

“Fluke of the odds. Numbers. Odds.” mumbled Bennett, who only spoke in gists.

So I set to collecting them as I would any other unit of measurement and went about painting and wrapping them for shipment. I went with shades of green that day, being a TV fan and all.

After lunch, I tried again, this time with Peter Pan, a guy who started work the same week I did.

“Pretty weird,” I ventured. “All acres.”

“Eeeyup,” said Peter Pan.

“Wonder what it means?”

“Doesn’t mean anything, I don’t think. You heard Bennett. It’s gonna happen some days.”

“Yeah,” I said. “But the odds are astronomical.”

Peter Pan grinned. “Even more astronomical are the chances that it means anything, buddy.”

I nodded and started to walk away when he put his hand on my shoulder.

“And hey, give the green a rest. We all get it. Very funny. But you know how Mother gets about variety.”

I gulped and nodded a little harder and went back to my station. There was a spray can of cerulean I wanted to test out anyway.

cats