Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gallimaufry #9

A lie was truthing its way through a chemical reaction. If a bottle is left to its own devices will it still break over your head? Courting the splash of lemon on the wall that the sunshine makes is not boring enough to be considered a waste of time. Gravitational pull is the longest way to be sorry. Being curt is common enough to be inexpensive, but it costs more than being free. Take my order, please. Yesterday’s just a dream we all had together. Portending excitement, the clouds made a mistake of thunder, then clasped hands with the lord. Hardship is imminent. The pond is replete with sewage. The vacuum’s cord is a wagging tail that whips evildoers. The overwhelming feeling among the heathens was of being underwhelmed by faith. At a loss for words, the Turkish ambassador found a few unexpected things hidden under the throw rug. The singing of certain Phil Collins’ songs became a shibboleth between the portly group of mid-western insurance salesmen and the drug dealers of Hippocrates Bay, who preferred singing Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes to anything else. I am in want of a need that I can’t find except when I’m not looking for it. Certain mild TV shows were being shown on the 842 television sets lining the wall that seemed to reach well up into the belly of the sky, but they were all reruns, and when many of the laughtracks sounded at the same time it created a cacophony of white-noise-like music that was not that much different from the true sound of pure joy. Energy that was not electric swept through the gathering crowd like a Dustbuster gone haywire. Putting things in their place was something that was never finished. We had smiles on our faces as the lines in the sand were drawn with Cyanoacrylate. Just use an eraser. Older wines had been made into rivers of something resembling liquid nitrogen but not quite as clear. Cussing leads to wars. Fractional distillation of high-pitched squeals is the repercussion of undercooking slabs of granite. Pleading is the best way to venture a guess at the breaking point of 7th grade Language Arts teachers. Sugar runs the risk of being unheard of on the pantry shelves of gunslingers. Ventilation spills from the opening of elevators. A bit of a reprieve from loneliness was all the 9-1-1 operator wanted when she told the pregnant suicidal woman to speak of rivers. Hardest thing about digging that grave for the sheriff was trying to spit on his tombstone between heaving up shovelfuls of earth. Regret might also be a thing with feathers, I just hope it has wings. Keep the sidewalks clean of gum. The happenstance of propriety comes trembling in with little white winged insects. Supplanting accountability with underachievement gives profitably back to the community. Questions arise like reverberations from the heartbeats of discontent. Happiness happens. Ulterior motives aside, the moving company did lose a lot of deck chairs. Candy apples broke the school windows quite well. The racquetball clapped and smacked against the wall as sweat gathered on t-shirts. She often smelled of donuts. Who is this no one who I have become? Clinging to the tree trunk was a sterile adhesive bandage. Where have all the swallows gone? The wolf who cried boy loved marshmallows. Speciousness will be bought and sold to the maternal cousins but not through the parents. Don’t worry darling. Wonder is something to be achieved with binoculars or by aggrandizement slowly through the bottling up of deleterious spirits. Camels have it easy. Right across from the golf course was a Wendy’s that had, “I Sleep With Monty!” scrawled in red felt-pen ink across the bathroom’s puce tile wall. Organizing the shoppers by which coupon codes they used was rather easy. The boys who fought in the war were much more tired in the afternoons than those who hadn’t. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t come down at all. Fond of being lost, the watch repairman turned up the collar on his favorite winter coat, kneeled in front of his broken television set, and pretended to be praying, though he was really thinking about horses and bug spray. She was all lightness and hair and fingerprints. Waiting for the phone to ring cannot be considered a hobby. Yahtzee! Between punches, the mailman, who was in a vicious fist fight with a female jogger, thought about the way the corners of his wife’s eyes wrinkled when she smiled. Cooties are not as contagious as kisses. I thought about the shape of the snowman’s head in my dream as being toroidal. It was the lip balm that my dentist would put on my lips without my permission which turned me off from petrolatum based products for good. Wind can change your mind for you. Lacking the will power to coerce myself into changing anything which would even remotely affect my lugubrious mood, I made coffee. When the crack addicts sleep the pigeons forget to say their prayers. Fluctuations in the movements of derivative styles of Samba de Gafieira often create an intense feeling of “outsiderness” in individuals with less than normal powers of discrepancy when performed in anything but 2/4 time. The sunshine felt good on my knuckles. I’m really bad at understanding what other people are talking about, but I’m really good at pretending that I do. Guffawing is not a good way to earn a living. The clocks were all running out of time. The joke was funny enough to not have to laugh at. Fish don’t have arms or legs. The artsy manicurist, after finding out her neighbor was a collector of discarded VHS tapes, left Hollywood for the shores of Tripoli. Tessellated patterns were what the brick mosaic on the wall was made of. Just pajamas, ah, pajamas and nothing more, with not a thing underneath, if you really want to know, just pajamas, ah pajamas, were all the insurance investigator was wearing when he answered the door. Shallow water was where I spent most of my time in the hotel’s pool. Playing with rubber bands and shoelaces can be a good way to pass a lot of time. Boom went the swordswallower’s fax machine as it hit the sidewalk after being thrown out of the 7th story window. The planning stages of ruining one’s own life, or disgracing oneself in public, can be interesting, but not always enjoyable. Put a lid on it. As he was cutting my hair, the barber, who smelled of Italian dressing and iodine, sneezed into his armpit. Look at me. Look at me. Nights down in Mazatlan with the shades pulled, the moonlight knocking on the door, hiding, smoking cigarettes as that clueless shamus wandered around on the beach, watching the ocean swell and heave, spellbound by the shapes of the waves. Curiously, the banjo music had stopped long before the janitor pulled the rifle’s trigger in the multipurpose room. Making decisions based on the having or having not of money has come to dominate the temporal structures of my life. Get a load of that guy. Mistakes were made, aspersion was cast, laundry was hung, wars were lost, headaches occurred, leaflets got passed around, arrows were broken in two over rising thighs, Jeanies were dreamed of, losses were recovered, the moon went down.

the empty-handed painter from your streets (for Joyce Carol Oates)

you are definitely par for the course in coincidence

we all would if we could

if to do was an is

then the purpose of a preposition’s proposition

like an airplane doing anything to a cloud

would be just another way to lose

lasting is winning

as it stands

as it were

to show or place in a place that shows unlike any other place

the how to of whenever

skywriting calliopes making nothing but sense

like something human

like a leak without anything to leak through it

an empty leaving thing

that never just goes away

kite flying days and nights of oceans on the moon

eyes riveted to a martini glass’s dewy stem

throughthedoor throughthedoor throughthedoor throughthedoor throughthedoor

stick and move

it ain’t quite all over now

not for a now

that is a later before it becomes

a then

like laundry hanging in the window

like tide-pool tea on the 3rd floor fire escape of a cheap chop suey joint

purling and forgetting and rapping and chopping at the sky

there is what there is

blankets on the floor

rolling over and over and over and over


a new way to start anew

every again that ever happens


makes sure that whatever happens


will be that sometimes yes

to the always worrying

why of me

Friday, August 28, 2009

in medias res (interrupted conversation # 45)

That’s just what I’m saying. You can’t look at…sorry, I mean “perceive” people in that way. Not all the time. Not when your brain is wired in a certain way, and it’s also their sense of who they are that might be coming across, coming through to you too, you know, like that…you know these things. I’m pretty sure of it. Well, with what we’re snuffling about here it’s just a matter of speaking, but I want to kind of dovetail into something that differentiates twixt the body-mind-atmosphere-sense of the thing and what it means to have some sort of cognitive regurgitation going on…some, well, some sort of pulled switchblade slicing through what it means to see and be seen and have those selfsame reactions of being perceived and perceiving, um, and also comprehending the fit of it all into the tiny package of the patterns your thoughts tend to take in that constantly fluctuating brain of yours. Everything is ephemeral and changing. It is all in flux, right? All we are, all everything really is, is change. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. There. You. Have. It. Um. Pauses are very dramatic, and they reinforce what the speaker is saying, giving some heft to what is being said. That’s what I’ve been told by those who are paid much more than sufficiently to know such things. So, I know this “that” is certainly an odd way to go here, but just bear with me, okay? There’s a worthwhile struggle in here, and it’s sort of like music, but not quite. Get it? Good. God. It’s rough. So, let us see here. Hum, hum, um, hum, harrumph…People see you seeing them. Let’s get down to cases. We can understand cases, right? If I give you an exempli gratiā you can maybe get a bit better of a grip on what’s eating at me here. So, there’s this guy. He’s a good guy. A fellow of much bonhomie and munificence and all that, you know, that etcetera stuff that might apply here…I mean, to a guy like that. You get it. It’s not hard to get something like that. When I start saying etcetera then usually there is no need for it. It just goes without saying. You know what I mean, you know? That’s that. And so this guy, well, he just likes to look at things. Not just things though. People and places too. Nouns. He likes to look at nouns. That’s it. I mean, can you really look at anything else? Maybe. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. This guy is your prototypical ogler. He likes to look, and he stares at everything and everybody. Goes without saying he gets himself into a lot of difficult situations. Maybe gets punched around a little more than a lot, or a lot more than a little, and he probably has some scars here and there, lesions on his skin, whatever. I feel another etcetera coming. Anyway, this guy, when he looks at certain people, well, he can like intuit their being. God, that sounds absurd. But I guess what I mean is that he can generalize their sense of what it is like to be seen by him through their own filters of perception without the machinery of his own sense perception getting in the way, id est he interprets an other’s reflexively biased reaction to being looked at based on the other person’s interpretation of what his own looking is doing to that person instead of basing his own mentation of the scene on what his own (the ogler that is) thoughts tend to register in their vainly unique and haphazardly ego-driven way. Now I know this is a lot of hot air without much punctuation coming at you all at once, and you most likely want to run and shit out your eyes and do some rustling and shivering over there in the corner. Or maybe you don’t know. It’s not important. What is important, what is of the most vital necessity to our little essay into the nether regions of sightseeing here, is that the way the “looker” sees the “lookie” and the way the “lookie” sees the “looker” are mutually exclusive of each other. To put it bluntly, they cannot both exist simultaneously. One must be happening while the other is not. That doesn’t make sense. Not completely at least. But that’s okay. It doesn’t have to. This guy, the “looker” is a special little dude. He ain’t a beauty, but hey, he’s alright. You know the type. He’s got certain…qualities. He specializes in magical thinking and paper airplanes. He can get stuff on a gut level, without even trying…things that most people don’t even bother to notice or turn over even once in their little minds. He’s not smart. He’s cool though. Really cool. Calm? Collected? Yeah. Those too. He’s that and this and a little bit of everything. He can play xylophones and toy pianos, and he can make chandeliers from newspaper. Can’t play the harmonica though. Don’t know why. Just can’t. Spends a lot of time alone. Anyway, this guy, in this instance I am speaking of, in this specific case, he is walking along on the sidewalk, kind of uphill. There is a definite grade to the street there. And he’s making his way up it, but it’s not too steep. It’s enough to make him huff a little. It’s enough to make him take his jacket off, which he does. It’s rather hot out. He’s walking in the shade because he sunburns easily, but he’s still somewhat hot and sweaty. As he’s taking his jacket off…he slows down his stride here, almost stops actually…he kind of sees this short girl with short black hair walking towards him. I say kind of, but he definitely sees her. He’s just not paying a whole lot of the old attention to her. He’s more concerned with wrangling out of his jacket smoothly. This is unusual for him because, as I’ve already mentioned in more than lucid detail, he looks at everything. Obviously he can’t always be looking at everything. That’d be impossible. And, you know, we all only see what we want to see and disregard the rest, la, la, la, lalalala. Well, this time just so happens to be one of those times when he isn’t looking. He’s taking off his jacket and he is hot and sweaty and walking up a fairly steep hill. So he slips his way out of the jacket one sleeve at a time, and he’s still got one arm in one of the sleeves, you know, kind of like a little kid will do, getting stuck in the sleeve while the other hangs loose and kind of wraps around him, and he feels a bit silly. He smiles. I don’t know why. Sometimes when he feels ridiculous…well, he just likes to laugh at himself. He can’t help it. It just comes on like a sneeze. Nothing he can do about it. The thing is, while he wasn’t looking this short-haired girl was looking at him. And she sees him all caught up like that, sees him smiling, and his smile is kind of coming across in her direction. It is aiming her way, going towards her. So, she starts in on a smile of her own. Now, this guy, he doesn’t even notice that he is smiling, and he doesn’t really see the girl yet…not really. Just maybe out of the corner of his eye, you know? He’s all caught up in his sleeve and his arm is all dangling there and maybe he’s thinking about sleeping in the twilight by the riverbed with the wide-open country in his heart and these romantic dreams in his head, you know, all that no-retreat-no-surrender stuff. Whatever happens to be twirling its way through that tilted mish-mashed head of his. Stupid crap. Nonsense. He’s just going about his business there, caught up, you could even say trapped, in his own tiny cubicle of existence. The girl there smiling at him might as well not even exist. Not for that moment. Not before he notices her. The gaze, the one she is experiencing, the one that is like ricocheting back from him to her…at least for her it is…is a completely independent thing from anything happening for the guy, who is now in the position of the “lookie” though he doesn’t even know that the position even exists. Not yet at least. Not in this transitional moment, this happenstance of everyday life. He has not arrived yet. The girl is there, smiling at him because she thinks he is smiling at her, and he looks funny all tangled up in his clothing like that, and sometimes smiles just happen. It is just something that happens.

r. carver as the toy in a Happy Meal

what we talk about when

we talk about



what we

talk about


we talk about


what else

is there to talk about

when there is


in a room

by itself

to be

talking of


when talking about


is what we

talk about when

we talk



Saturday, August 22, 2009

that fearful leap into the dark

if is became a was

then why would be because

and only could survive

or miss might seem to jive

with the that of a mum

when a then leaves for now

a silent since gains some

on the this of a how

if right rives into wrong

and a hi says so long

then move will wrest a true

to trust to only you

but if please doesn’t ask

tells stay to leave its place

while the moon thrums its task

the heart will save the face

a went forgets to do

what dives into a who

a we becomes an us

two ones equal a plus

have gives belong to should

make starts a build in try

hard spills into a could

so if can be an I

Thursday, August 20, 2009

a spray of freckles

on a cloudy morning

a mistake in the sun slipped its way backwards

eking out rain

eyeing a fogbank

while people foraged for fabric

crossing fingers and collecting buttons

sewing planets in the sky

harvesting moonbeams

expressing their love in Play-Doh cartouches

while mists of the past reappeared in runes

luring bobby pins from the carpet

entertaining attempts at comic strips and crossword puzzles

guzzling gas and gargling ginger ale

watering down the sap of music

with a deluge of seriousness

that will not do a thing

except disappear

or subtly burn off with the fog

gone like a pinch hitter

grounding out on the first pitch

just before afternoon

had thoughts of beginning

like a sugary cladding

for the unlucky few

who color the shadows with dreams

to coat the surface

of things that will never be

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The walk to work, going by all the shops on Divisadero, past Yury standing there smoking outside his Lamp store, his thick cotton-white hair hanging over his brow, his neat silver mustache squashed under his sturdy nose, sometimes maybe even smiling at me there walking all alone, brow-beaten, all woebegone and sometimes sobbing even, hands shoved deep in my coat pockets, hating the morning just for being there, hating the hours ahead of me, moping and deranged too, as I pushed by and dragged my feet, missing all the lights on my way to Geary. This walk, thousands of times, from California to Geary, and then back too, and feeling miserable both ways, was a necessary thing of course. I must go to work. I must earn a living. I must loan out my soul and mind to somebody else for eight hours, to do with what they may, paying me a small stipend for my time. I’d walk on the west side of the street, watching the apartment buildings go by, and also, biding my time in splintered looks between sidewalk, parked cars, windows reflecting my face, sky, signs, letters, trash, and the buildings that were so familiar to me that they almost weren’t there, and in me this need to notice everything and remember it exactly as I’d seen it and the way it made me feel and what delusional thoughts were drifting through my caffeine-surcharged head, many times including songs I’d make up and sing, sometimes accidentally aloud, and memories too that came and went like taxis, and me all the while trying to, somehow, find grace and peace and a way to look at things that would make me feel better about who I was, all ripped apart and sullen and graying, as a human. Solstice, the over-priced yuppie bar on the corner of California, would start off my journey on sad, tenebrous mornings of no sun. I’d look at my reflection in its glass walls, seeing this rangy, skeletal nightmare of wild hair and bad skin walking by with poor posture and a limp, and I’d feel a little more awful. I’d gather myself and hustle on, passing the bicycle shop and the sewing supplies store, taking a swift gander across the street at the refurbished, newly painted Victorians with retail spaces perpetually available according to signs hanging out front, and then swinging my head back to peek into the window of the closed Thai restaurant as I stumbled my meandering way towards the light at Pine. While waiting for the light, which I would nine times out of ten miss by a few seconds, I would scan Pine, looking at all the large trees lining the sidewalk, their overflowing leaf-heavy braches hanging over the street, and would swivel my head as the traffic raced by, resting my gaze on the red boards of Frankie’s Bohemian Café beaming in the sun cattycorner to me. The light would eventually change, and I’d hoof my way lickety-split across the street, safe in the crosswalk, spitting on the macadam, staring at a fire hydrant or the sides of the bus stop shelter there or the mailbox or newspaper vending machines or the sky, which many times would have wonderful blasts of cloud shapes stirring around in the wash of its swelling blue. Slipping by, sometimes sideways or contorted like a rubber man, I’d squeeze through a throng of people waiting for the 24-Divisadero to sweep by and take them away, and would walk with head down, watching my shoes step over cracks in the sidewalk, seeing many cigarette butts there, and much other detritus of the life people lived, all this trash lying there to be blown down through sewer grates by the wind. I would try not to think about it. My mind would get to wandering, and I’d usually start in on trying to whistle, and then humming with my lips puckered like I was whistling, and then kind of cracking my head back and forth, adding a little spring to my step too. This was the best part of the walk. Sometimes I’d even get to feeling triumphant during this stretch, and I’d smile in the shop windows to my right as I trod onward down Divisadero, bolting past a smoking and morose Yury, past the art gallery and the antique picture framing place, and past the giant Yoga studio that used to be a decent thrift shop back when I’d first started out in San Francisco at the turn of the century, all the while taking hurried glances at myself in the windows, thinking about my disastrous hair and my crooked smile. Across the street the stupid Fish Bowl bar, the two taquerias—El Burrito Express and Ocean Taqueria—that battled it out and both stayed in business side by side like twin parasites sharing a host, and also the Dry Cleaners, the liquor store, the smoke shop, Yum Yum Chinese food, which had a great lunch special, though I did like it a bit more in its previous incarnation when it was simply called Hunan, and on the corner that bad sushi place called Godzilla. Of course, I’d often miss the light at Bush, which was a bad light to miss, as a lot of traffic went by there and the light took forever, and it was hard to cross on the red because of the high traffic volume. So I’d stand there like a dope, leaning against the wall of King Of Falafel, looking in the windows, watching the shadowy reflection of myself linger there leaning, and I’d read the headlines of the papers: The Chronicle, The Guardian, The Onion, The Examiner. Time passed. The light would eventually change. I’d speed across the crosswalk, hoping to not be late for work, as I scratched at my head and checked my watch, worrying about everything again, lost in the haze of my own stumblebum ways of thinking, checking my shoelaces to make sure they were still there on my shoes where I’d tied them—rushed and hunched over with shower-wet hair—earlier that morning. Sometimes, maybe say singing a song in my head, like say Nothing Compares To You by Sinead O’Connor, I’d start envisioning myself dining in a fancy restaurant, all alone. It would make me stop noticing things going on around me, and many the time was that I crashed into a telephone pole or went flying into an unsuspecting person walking towards me. And then, there, right across the street, there was that stupid pseudo-Mexican restaurant and the Starbucks with its own parking lot and the hair salon and the nail salon and the Medical Supply Store and the Cheesesteak place with its yellow time-worn banner reading: Caution May Be Habit Forming. All these place that I walked by every day for years, and looked at, and sometimes went into—except the hair salon, which was a bit above my kin—they were all always there, and I could count on them being there as I walked by looking at them, watching them go by, making sure that, yes, they were still there, all in the same order, as I read all the words painted on all the signs and on all the windows, saying the words in my head as I read them, taking some kind of comfort in this routine. Also, at the same time, walking by the long pulled-open steel doors of the F. Lofrano & Sons Garage and its cavernous interior, breathing in all of that oil and grime and some cigarette smoke coming from the thin mechanics squatted down on their gams by the entrance, and the stark, monotone, antiseptic medical building next door, which occupied the place where William Saroyan’s house once stood on the corner of Sutter and Divisadero. Waiting for another damn light to change, I’d stare at the Lottery jackpots in the window of Pete’s Deli across the street, the numbers going up and down, and up and down, all the time, and I’d look in and see my friends there behind the counter, and sometimes Pete would be there, bald and pop-eyed and still walking around and supervising his workers after some forty years there on the corner six days a week. Across the street people would be funneling in and out of the UCSF Medical Center, the driveway a perpetual stop-and-go stream of honking cars with blue Handicap placards hanging from their rearviews, some EMTs sitting in the back of their ambulances and smoking under the juniper trees by the curb. I’d keep looking in all the windows of the office buildings going by, watching my wildly overgrown hair as I yanked at it and pulled it out and up over my head, probably looking like some kind of emaciated ape-thing escaped from a circus sideshow, all the bed pans and wheelchairs and walkers in Bischoff’s Medical Mart making my stomach turn. And maybe by this point my head would be starting to throb, making me feel like a beehive that some kid had just chucked a rock at, kind of dizzy and discombobulated and hating everything, grabbing at my heart, wincing under the sudden stabbing pain in my chest, uncomfortable and nervous, fuming, squeezing my eyes shut and then widening them, clearing my throat, cracking my neck, watching the Walk Sign tick down to zero. It was more than just these things sometimes, sometimes not. But mostly I was just a pile of jumbled and frazzled nerves, and I strolled along like a tumbleweed, awash in the ways I couldn’t dare to be, scared, lopsided and lost, just trying to make my way to the place where I made my living without tripping or getting hit by a cement truck. Mostly I made it alright. On the corner, standing there outside the Two Sisters Café, which sold over-priced a la carte meals to hospital employees and patients who didn’t care or know about the cafeteria, I would mostly just dream about the empty lot across the street where a wonderful old and very ornately styled brick building used to stand. Its lavish walls and windows had met the wrecking ball, sadly, a few years after I’d come to know it in these walks, and the lot had stood empty for a long time, nothing but sand, weeds, and rocks, and sometimes a CAT Digger would be in there too, just sitting there doing nothing, and there was a chain-link fence around the lot which kids would sometimes spray-paint graffiti on. I missed the building. I would stand there missing the building, probably thinking about the way the wind was blowing some trash around in there, and how desolate and lonely it all seemed, just standing there watching nothing happen like that, having to go to work and ruin what was left of my day loaning my brain out to someone else for eight hours at a time. Sullenly, I’d cross the street in my half-ass way, barely alive enough to care about my feet moving forward, but not so bad off really, just moping and crazed and dreamy. But this wouldn’t last long, as the cars whistled and roared some too as they went by clogging up Divisadero to the intersection at Geary. I would hunker down and head off swiftly, taking long strides as I sped by the Sinai Memorial Chapel, ducking my head to ward off the imaginary falling of concrete overhangs, smelling the aged urine in the bushes, that sickly sour hot smell that was like mustard gas steaming my lungs. I was often late to work.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I never became an astronaut or a fireman or a baseball player

the laundry keeps not doing itself

it’s like the dishes like that

blame is just another thing to toss around

like a softball

or a lemon

a question about everything comes around

every now and then

like an untouched stick of butter

left out on the counter too long

it doesn’t last the way it is

the universe of higher finances

is staying intact

I am certain of it

the pull of things is there

the attraction of specific bodies to other bodies

like dollar signs or cheap wine

it’ll be the death of me

there's a rain shower just around the corner

let’s vamoose

random acts of psychophysical parallelism

glass is glass

have it

or don’t

it don’t matter to glass

glass don’t care

hiccup all you want

glass won’t break up over it

glass is glass

pass the glass

get it

pour water in

put it in a window

look out the window

it is glass

glass will last

because glass is glass

so there

you have it


it will be a sometimes shining thing

it will be streaked

it will crack


go figure

glass will be clear and glass spots

shatter glass into glass pieces

like glass

glass will become more glass


even if it’s an eye or a marble or a house

glass is glass

after all

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gallimaufry #14

we were not exactly being held back but together as it were there upfront in charge of whatever it was to be behind currently just a bit off kilter like a crooked bowtie retaliating was what we were made of then and the trusses were all over to grab or laths or some bubblegum machine with a cracked glass globe in the basement like a pool like cheap cologne like dishware there was something always just about to be done and the doing was just fine like nonsense in a laugh plundering what’s left of howling or a disappearing act or a cannibal we were not looking we were not seeing much we were just starting off when that stupid antediluvian plunge came and swept us up in its ways before the days started meeting each other halfway at least that’s what they say like a lemon peel like a pinwheel like a whitewater rafting trip like a windy day in June we were crabby we were overexcited we were plain and ordinary too guessing at the weather having conversations with mice sneaking in through windows maundering through megaphones we were captivated by farmland and the way we happened to land was not on our feet always a hit away from the cycle or a splinter from the finish line or a light year from yesterday we were taking chances we were blowing ourselves up on the double we were not acting like popes because the fashion trends were not sweeping us up because the liver was not chopped because the wishes were still undone and if we tried hard enough and if we strummed along and if we drew nights like this with crayons and if we goaded ourselves on and if we were picked last in a game of kickball and if we sent out letters with no return address and if we got clued in and if we had as much trouble trying as we did forgetting then you had to be rightly half-demoralized almost all the time or all-demoralized half the time if that is what was and what was were to work mobilized or not like indecent applause or a badly timed joke or the basket of plums hanging in the window we were not unlike anything we were just a gloating bunch of chumps but we were alright we were okay we were desperate we had grape-soda mustaches and M&Ms fingers and we were pointing like pistols or a hive of bees would go by doing nothing but buzzing and we gave up at times and we found ways to be liked and we skipped off to the sound of flutes until the future was up to us as our brains ended up in the begonias and our hearts were furling because deglutition wasn’t something to be considered at least not until supper was served when our eyes were closed then it was like nothing was happening and we could go swimming for hours without our hands becoming prunes without the proper distance between things like screaming salutations to crossing guards from a passing vehicle or crushing sand dollars under our bare feet on the wet beach sand or an uninvited guest getting stewed and throwing pickles at the bathroom mirror we were not poking or preening or anything like that we were not divisible like prime numbers or bicycles or light and the sun was defecting to the other side of the world and the hands were clapping one at a time and it wasn’t what anyone expected like a berm built of spite keeping the traffic to itself until the buildings vomited Hawaiian Punch and the streets were sprinkled with powdered sugar and the planets all drifted away and the floor was nothing except peanut shells