Bulbous vein-ridden Portnoy Picasso pastiche, sitting over there on the train. Next to the drooling trancer falling asleep. How did you find the world when you woke up? Sneakers are valued above health. Haves and have-nots. Thinks and think- nots. We depreciate as soon as we drive off the lot of our mother’s womb. Never to return. Moving ever forward, and continually backward. Waiting takes up a lot of it. Sleeping takes up a lot of it. Despondent uncertainty takes up a lot of it. Good things are sparse and seem better anticipated than actual. But we all do it. We all groove to the tomb. Some fast, some slow. Reason and no reason. Scared as fuck. Moments, silent reflective moments where we find a communion in microscopic universal magnetic moments. The marrow of living exists in the space time continuum shared between strangers becoming friends. Shouting into an apathetic abyss. Wanting to leave evidence of existence. No God. No ghosts. Just present moments unfolding ever forward. Continually backward.Passing it on. Passing on.
Thunderous Thighasus hides plaque psoriasis,
When it appears on her knees and elbows.
Would a suitor courageous,
Go through the stages,
It takes to get off her clothes?
Birkenstock sandals feature unkempt hangnails,
As she shuffles from home to work.
Than the echoed reminder,
That loneliness really does hurt.
So up pops a devil, in full costumed revel.
He enjoins her to fall for his guile.
A shirt falls from shoulder,
Can’t gauge who’s the bolder,
Both decide to grind for a while.
Energy’s kinetic, the flesh gorge frenetic.
Elbows planted, Birkenstocks up in the air.
Thrashing and groping,
Sometimes follows despair.
Grunting and sweating, irregular bedding.
Mutual bliss evolves from the sin.
approves this alliance,
and now sports a shit eating grin.
Are you there, God?
It’s me, doubting too much.
You have me at a disadvantage.
Your will be done.
You give me the silent treatment.
Permit me to engage.
All in all,
I heed my read,
But, somehow it all points to your narcissistic personality disorder.
Letters of three.
Leggo, my eggo!
Ergo, manifest destiny wrestles with impunity.
I can’t see you.
I can’t perceive you.
Ergo, no go.
Others corrupted by your false hope,
Try to pass off your false hope.
Your excessive need for admiration,
Conflates humility with trepidation.
How can I be created in your image?
Uncle Walt told me that I contain multitudes.
I am more than that.
Nomad, but not mad.
Lo and behold:
Ghosts of Crisis Present
They should call it the pharmacy that dispenses suspended hopes.
Situated there just outside the station.
A precarious pile of oddities containing six dollar half gallons of milk, scratch tickets, Philly Blunts, and Totino Pizza Squares.
All marked up, like the customers.
No profits to be gained, as the owners are owned by habits spinning out of their atmospheres.
Dying embers looking for oxygen to sustain their burn.
A gaunt gauntlet of souls, reminding passersby to work hard and consume.
Walking through the truth with averted eyes, and a failed understanding of how short the distance is from indulgence to dependence.
Just six letters really.
Worker bees flitting over the walking dead, pretending that they are not walking dead.
Call it charade, or self-deception, or the American Dream, the concept resorts to manifesting itself as a nightmare.
This is where they congregate to compare slights, hold communion, and validate their shared fear of reality pounding down on their furrowed brain lobes.
Safety in numbers?
We’re all dying from drugs of our own choosing.
Illusion of free will.
Our humanity pushes us toward the path of less suffering.
At times, temporary times, momentary times, any attempts to lessen the blow only amplifies the result.
Anger rises in the belly when looking at the train wreck.
Adorned in track suits, covering up track marks.
Rigid eyelids closed to right the dizzy.
Swaying back and forth like the metronome in piano class.
No notes to lead the stanza, just a repetitive echo of need, need, need.
A white woman talking to two black men, doing her best Rachel Dolezal.
No matter how hard it seems, it is imperative to love these folks the most.
They are in need, need, need.
They, like Andy Dufresne, want to live in a warm place with no memory.
Empathy replaced by disbelief at how it could go this far.
We take turns turning to face each other while we wait, and shake, shake, shake our heads.
How could they?
Then we reach for the escape in our pockets.
Suddenly, faces lit up in hypnotic blue, by screens selling dreams.
All knowledge at our fingertips, but curiosity is deadened by sound bites, and snap chats, and terabytes of teased bits stringing you along further down the rabbit hole.
Non thinker, kitchen sinker.
Dependency requires a tiny leap, once started, inertia completes complacency.
The truth residing in the back of my skull, in a place I cannot reach, much like the fact that I can’t kiss my elbow.
I’m that person.
I’m no different.
I need, need, need.
There but for the grace of an arbitrary void of nothingness go I.
I’m compelled to pick up my phone.
I need a hit.
Push the instrument into my hand and pull my fingers across the glass.
Let my sentience mix with the content of the glass, and open a window to my soul.
The first hit was unlike anything, ANYTHING
Haven’t been able to find it’s equal.
Surfing the pitter-patter of nothing matter.
I’m a junkie, like my brothers.
Waiting in line outside the local pharmacy for the dispersal of suspended hopes.
I need, need, need.
Beaufus dabs her Newpah Kools in the Vegas chotchkie tray.
Her today hopes, crushed along with the filter nub.
Beaufus calls them Newpah Kools, even though there is no such thing as Newpah Kools.
Harlan gets her Newpah Kools for her.
She has an arrangement with Mr. Graves at the package store.
She’s known him all her life.
Mr. Graves allows her son to pick up her cigarettes, even though Harlan’s underage.
It is one of a few kindnesses that exist to her.
She used to go for her mother’s cigarettes, when she was a girl.
Beaufus don’t get out much.
Hot pink bingo daubers and snow globes of shitty places where it doesn’t snow, surround her, and are the only reminders of past adventures.
Those, and Harlan of course.
A soiled bandana gathers momentum across her enormous nape of neck.
Getting out of the chair requires too great an effort.
Droning infomercial plays on and convinces her that she needs that square, copper, red, all-purpose, non-stick pan.
As she lights another Newpah Kool, Harlan appears chocolate-faced and doughy.
Beaufus plunges a measured thumb into her maw and licks the tip, beckoning Harlan to come closer with her smoking hand.
The bait is taken.
The boundary crossed.
Harlan takes his leave with a fresh saliva sheath made up of equal parts disappointment, menthol, and egg salad residue.
It thrives underneath his left nostril.
Right where he can be reminded that Mama loves him.
Somewhere, later that night, Harlan counts the sheep that leap from onion patches into the lingering phantoms of Newpah Kool second hand smoke.
Beaufus redeems nothing.
Beaufus reduces nothing.
Blame is plenty, and all that men are good for.
The remote taunts her, over there on the floor, just out of reach.
All seems out of reach.
Beaufus dabs a frustrating butt into the tray.
No one calls. Her Mama gone to cancer.
The veins on her legs are purple and invasive.
The crisp cardboard pack slaps against her pudgy digits and a sortie escapes to her mouth.
Deep…down into places reserved for guilt.
The next pull affirms the moment, and she shifts to her left with some well-earned ease.
The droning set leads off to a distant place she’s never been, nor will ever be able to gain.
She smashes the butt in the tray, and allows the tears to flow down her rosy cheeks.
Beaufus yearns for a relief that never comes, but is sought with every puffing breath.
Every fucking menthol breath.
Every fucking mental breath.