Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ophelia Parsons’ Last Letter Home (posthumous)

Dear mother, I witnessed blue daffodils this morning outside the gray gates, and I wished to wash myself in them, as I would have wanted to, back then, when I knew you for sure. Dear. I stay mostly strapped to beds. Hospital beds, that is. These days have lost the tint of green. They smother me backwards, not like eyes at all. But I am wallowing beneath pillows so I will not wail. It might be that it seems poor of me to reach out for anything, now. Only you? Well, get me to stay asleep, and that’ll keep waking cats from flying. For me, here, the wallpaper is pleasant enough. Not like you used to say: “Worldly and wordy,” but still good. It escapes me, staying hidden, and I must work hard at relaxing, or, in the space of small, slow breaths, realize my capacity for calm. “Onward!” you say. That is a lively batch of luck you are amassing, I must admit. It does me less than good here. Children tend to the flower gardens as marigolds steal my name. A whale in a blue moon for you to drive by into the night, without me. Did you know that my driver’s license has lost its expiration date? Sentimental, mother, I keep it in my underwear drawer. Jostle. Hunch. That does it. Here. I’d give a diamond for your thoughts. I’ve been hamburgered to starch and bones, and have my moments of dullness, too. For a week I was invited to strangers’ kitchens for cat soup. I refused to behave cordially, and I sat alone in my room by the light of muted TV, and drank whiskey from tiny vases and sewed my thoughts together with curtained memories, mother, of the life I used to have, the one I lead for you. The veal of me is cut with grooming habits I cannot quite maintain. The road’s closed. I am browned with sugar substitutes. But do not worry, mother, I have my if-I-fall-in-love-it-will-be-forever moments, still. The lights? They have dimmed, yes, some. And sure, soup bowls fill my shelves without soup. Is there still an anyway to be had? Perhaps. And so I croon to coins about dollar-bill adventures. My sipping is not as noticeable as my dissipation. In the light of all this piano playing, I am sure as surely not praying around novices and cap-gun wielding foes. My escapism is bowdlerized yet dashing. It is all for the kids, here-- all of this. And walking on the beach late at night I light cigarettes by a fire pit’s still-hot scraps. Noticing me is not for the kind or the gentle or the manly. I am adjourning my life until my money spends me. Mother, take care. Why not? I will foot (or hand, or mouth) the bill. So, well, mother, zip on over in your ’62 Plymouth Valiant and take my temperature. Rusty smoke stacks puff my bad days away. From a window I can see the wine corks clogging the sewer drains; the smell is a slight compensation for my lack of guts. Mother, dream for me. The causes of cerebration are not as lonely as we once thought. What are the heights we once disappeared to? Where’s my pony? Mother, curses. It is cross. It is a taxi who won’t stop honking. It is the situation’s silver. The insects here are tattling on me. Wish off what I can’t escape. Barely unfit, I will hamper our looking. Mother, distress me if you will, but I cannot fund my own demise. The church doors of my mind’s safety have been blown. The colors of flamingos seek my beginnings. And so I plead with the owners for my right to an ordinary life; a light goes out. Vim kicks at my vigor’s pants. Be heavy with my flowerpot; dancing petals concern me more and more each afternoon; the creeping slowness of their motion is related to walking with more than just a limp. Mother, you notice such things. Mother, I might be losing this battle against my own willpower. Get the odds for me, if you can. The balcony will not hold me for much longer. Streets to steer clear of, yes-- that is what you will say, mother. Coddled for too long and not enough. Just hold the vinegar, and fill my toilet bowl with ballet. The bed bugs will rise to the occasion. And I will be shuttled off to where I won’t ever belong. Mother, there are no mistakes left to make. The ladies are no longer frightened of my goiter. I am being frank because I feel more like stormy weather, because I left you my Los Angeles Rams earrings, because I dote on Harpo Marx too much, because I am used to being used. Mother, this will be just one of none, many of a few, and the last of my firsts. Mother, the ocean’s braver than I. Get well soon. Best wishing. Part my hair with sorrow. I am all fished out. That is, lucky.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the lost potential of tapped resources

Laurel: I am the Gary Busey of poetry.

Hardy: No. More like the Mo Howard.

Laurel: Rang like silver?

Hardy: No. It shone, though.

Laurel: Now there’s a way I know where I could put in a swimming pool.

Hardy: The call of the domesticated?

Laurel: Shake it.

Hardy: Done. Oh. Yeah. Done.

Laurel: Fed Cassius Clay his first beer, for 25 cents.

Hardy: And in less time than it took Andy Granatelli to fix a flat.

Laurel: He knocked me out.

Hardy: Yep. Cold.

Laurel: Nice to toast in the winter’s first chill. Nice to be craving fantastic limits. Nice to choo before a haw.

Hardy: Yep. For nubbers like us. We smoke ourselves down to nothing.

Laurel: Leave it to the grail diggers and the gravest of holies.

Hardy: Smell ‘em going and leaving.

Laurel: I’ll never forget the stink of certain lurid things. I won’t go into it. I won’t. It doesn’t do.

Hardy: Forgetting? Hell, creeks do minor damage to major players in this, you know, in this, you know, in this, you know, game we play.

Laurel: I know?

Hardy: A game.

Laurel: We play?

Hardy: We play! We play. We play, we play, we play, we play, we play.

Laurel: Seriously?

Hardy: Never!

Laurel: Give me the words. Put down a fight. Get it. Get it. Get it. Down.

Hardy: How am I going to go? Down, down, down, down, down.

Laurel: Match my sticks, you gunner of love. Belated, as you would. You would! Belated, you come. Finally! You would.

Hardy: Worried?

Laurel: Me? Nah. Too much bossa nova going on beforehand.

Hardy: That?

Laurel: Yes. That. And also being blinded by a tuxedo moon.

Hardy: People used to do cool things around here. People don’t do cool things anymore. Why don’t people do cool things anymore?

Laurel: Technological savvy.

Hardy: Ah. Shit.

Laurel: Playing around is frowned upon if it’s too original, or too old fashion, or might make somebody somewhere feel that special joy that comes from being alive.

Hardy: Loudness. That’s all that counts. Separation. Cutting one’s self off from all those other selves out there making their little noise. Zoning out in this personal space we carve out, this tiny nook of uncreative drool space. I am punctuating. You. I. Fuck. I cannot be. Know. Together.

Laurel: Hyphenated tempers. Spare colons lacking in, commas, that do without inside brackets. Between exclamation points. Never to be trapped in the belly of a paragraph.

Hardy: Trying. It’s not. It is an end result without going through all the trouble of getting there. Nothing to do with natural rhythms.

Laurel: Finding new ones?

Hardy: It’s poorly structured. But who are we?

Laurel: Just a couple of poor nubbers. That’s all. Smoking our brains down past the filter.

Hardy: Young is up for what’s never coming. What it doesn’t want to or can’t imagine. Youth values its own futureless participle of being young. On and on. The eternal, “What now?”

Laurel: Breath used for using breath.

Hardy: Vampires are chasing our shadows and they’re missing teeth and we strut by and they say, “Hey! Who is that who goes there?” And we play smart and act dumb. It’s another show we’re missing out on. The vampires are no longer thirsty. Our blood is worthless.

Laurel: It’s not the time now. It’s never the time now. It’s not what you ought to think about.

Hardy: Stretched over bamboo. Bahing badly, but at least not booing.

Laurel: Humming over the sound bugs make.

Hardy: Like that?

Laurel: Sorting it out. Sort of.

Hardy: Houses built. A swell joint swelling with overconsumption. Grade me.

Laurel: Straight seas.

Hardy: Half pointy. Right arm’s for rubbering. There’s a hunting I’m sure we’ll never get around to. But haunting? That’s reading a pulse by Braille.

Laurel: You shout, shout, shout, and shout while I’ve been keeping quiet.

Hardy: You’re the James Cagney of keeping your trap shut.

Laurel: No. The Forrest Gump of being cool.

Hardy: Born out of this, the way we are, or were, if we could be, then, what we’d like to be, some one day.

Laurel: Bruised and brought back, less weary and more aware.

Hardy: If.

Laurel: If.

Hardy: Shortly sold.

Laurel: No. Borrowed to steal.

Hardy: The slender ladies of the dance.

Laurel: More mothballs for sale. More lonely nights to not have to spend. Traditions tossed to the desensitized scrum.

Hardy: Voracious. These are the kids who steal from themselves to turn somebody else a profit.

Laurel: I’m the Archie Bunker of love.

Hardy: No. More like the Flipper of off.

Laurel: Not what I am, but what I mean, or meant, to be.

Hardy: Lap it up. I’m getting back what I never had.

Laurel: Bundle me up and take the wings from my ways. What we found in the barn. What they trounced. Give this away from what’s become of us.

Hardy: Lots of going. On. What’s to bust or take? What’s meant.

Laurel: Noises in a noisy hotel. We lobby for more. But who? But, I say, asking, who?

Hardy: You put the ass in ask.

Laurel: Placebo, please.

Hardy: Have you ever caught yourself wide-awake?

Laurel: With it. Man. I am. That’s real. With it.

Hardy: I listen at night only.

Laurel: Last night I had the strangest dream about Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Hardy: Did you believe it?

Laurel: Believed it. Legs and thighs and breasts and all.

Hardy: And the train runs through it.

Laurel: Around it too.

Hardy: Ends are given to the lined up. Begin. Again. Begin.

Laurel: Party hats on.

Hardy: An aura of expectations is created. I’m tired of funny people. Could I get a little seriousness up in here?

Laurel: Course it follows. No ransacking allowed. And Caruso was bigger than Jesus.

Hardy: I’m the Caruso of lap dances.

Laurel: Not something to brag about, I’d think.

Hardy: Depends what you mean.

Laurel: Lapping it up? You mean?

Hardy: Surnaming pets. Getting to be cranky. Up by default. Try me. Go ahead. Try. Try. Try.

Laurel: You mean?

Hardy: Pianos that rollick more than they bounce.

Laurel: You mean?

Hardy: Mean. Mean. I’m tired of looking like me.

Laurel: That’s something like this, “There’s a wife to look after, or to look after you, and we don’t turn our backs on family. We’re good.” Something like that. Or, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone away.” Something, anyway.

Hardy: Gaps in all I’ve got. Photographs of trembling out of work. Eyes white to the bluest black. Focus. Remain neutral.

Laurel: Patrolling. Hell. Rock me like a chair. That’s out of my jurisdiction. After you, the genuine article goes putt, putt, putt, putt.

Hardy: A Bud Light truck backing up down a hill. A very distinct way of telling unimportant things. It’s useful to be useless.

Laurel: I read the future in last night’s graffiti. It usually conveys a sense of malaise and dread mixed with a whiff of saffron.

Hardy: Our world? Laxatives chased with Imodium.

Laurel: Or, “Sitting in this old jailhouse, I know it ain’t nothing but a waste of my bodily dimensions.”

Hardy: Space without. Space within.

Laurel: Or, “Brother, how much I’ll do to you anyhow.”

Hardy: Grow your own vegetables. Raise other folks’ kids. Snoop. Get a line to dry your personal effects with. It’s not, nothing is, demanding enough. Of us? For us? Well, we ameliorate our video game collection and get over it.

Laurel: Chain us to the miles we’ve never had to walk.

Hardy: Nope. It inhibits growth. Sullies the prefect ironic wink. Fast only loses to faster, and nothing gains. It’s only what is lost. Everything. And how sad how little it is, what is lost. So little. Nothing really. Can’t take it with you. Just move on. See a movie.

Laurel: Comfort wears time up its sleeve. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.

Hardy: Boring.

Laurel: What am I concerned with?

Hardy: Boredom?

Laurel: Yes. Exactly.

Hardy: And so they win, right?

Laurel: Every time.

Hardy: Who?

Laurel: Exactly.

Monday, August 15, 2011


scuffed blues

the written sky claims

to be marred topless

we spot

longshots & popcorn tails

selling good’s buys

before tulips close

so intuition’s counterfeits

can destroy pluck

hardly telling

curtains grime showers

old as stone

our devils descend

moded out of clutches

slightly blown on

off our veering trails


as they say

miss mights

wrong new’s rights

and snip cruddy hours

from the day’s flowers

but who finds its own how

gardening over breakfast

we take tea’s time and

fit propellers to our pith

don’t ask what’s a drop

to a spilled ocean

if regret’s water

and fish fly backwards

or a breath’s air swims in silt

as it smiles for decoration

then surely hands are not dishes



like sure’s glad almost tells

we argue

they just might

be spoons

cymbal man with flat feet

Sword-billed Hummingbirds for sale. Pricey. I’d rather buy a vending machine filled with parasols and plastic rings. Curtis. Jamal. Could I get an usher in here to fill out my blank spaces? That’s all. Boon. Vance. Let’s get a double move-on on it. Federal law requires these things, you know? Give that remote control a whack on its back. Go ahead, like you’re burping the damn thing. That’s it. Easy now. Don’t want to thrash the vile contraption so it won’t work like it used to. Come on, Krissy, get the kinks out. Let’s take the garbage out now while we can. Rather have a smudge here than a smudge later, you know? Forward. Progress. Intelligent go-ahead runs at authority. Yes. We do what we can, and maybe what we thought we couldn’t. Level the heads. Vast. I mean, really? I’m gunning for an out, likely enough where there’s no hope of a gun or a hard-to-swallow theory. Stop. I’m going to ruin this. Evelyn. Greta. Sammy. Run or get ready. The bear robot’s making martinis. Untie the soldier’s shoes. Wash. My habits are becoming nasty. Be groomed. Be kind. Be hale and graced with filling. Stuffing. Other wah-wah yelps. Daggers I might hurl at walls. Vroom. Bill. Oran. Vanessa. Chad. Remember, what we’ve got here is a victory over communication. An opuscule for sale. All of my works for some doll’s shiny button eye. The rigors of motion stopping in for business. Kurt. Wilma. Paddington. Over here. I’m looking at you. Now, let’s stick around. Let’s. Hush up, Kermit. I’m not playing with any of you anymore. Klaus. Spare me a nickel? Brenda. Mama. Vigo? Pat my back. I’m making it up. Never mind what I’m saying. It’s what you’re hearing. Clear space. X out the needy. Everything you want becomes what you need. Morgan. Sherry. Dress your kids in lavender. I’m making myself up. Henry? Get me a rough cut. It’s a steal. Barnaby. Larissa. Mess up my hair. I’m in the butcher’s union for life. Always scrambling marinara into the clouds. Roll. Stay unfit. I’m plussed just so you can be minus. Clear the ends of my zone. It’s Billy. He’s in the game for life. You have no idea what I could accomplish in pants like this. Loop or dissect. Let’s make a decision. Holly! Get on it. I want a fresh-out-of-the-dryer towel, pronto. Stop being a waste of space. Hubert! Get the lead in. Arf. Arf. Goobers are plopping all around. It’s me. Alaska’s out of Ranch dressing. Either that or they’ve hidden it all in the basement. Cash out. All in. Let’s get a bird’s-eye view. Let’s bench press paperbacks. Don’t go for it. Alice. I’m mistaken. Only it’s now that we deal in artificial artifacts of newness. Over all the Suzies of whatever Lionel ignored. Dreams time talk by the strongest divisible decibel. Let’s make paper out of airplanes. My mercy machine’s on empty. Gloria! And damn you, Herman! Or maybe that’s just you, Wyatt. Could revenge be a dish best never served? I’m my own evil twin. Last month griping was becoming my favorite hobby. Now? Now nothing’s new. Angels have grown small. Victor. My, my, my, my. I’m stolid in my regards to what you disassociate from. Attacked by two-headed tulips. I eat all of my buttered bread upside down. Cast me as a roll player. Topple dimness. Return my soul to sender. Address never to be known. Jeremy. Susan. Wesley. I am leaving. I am nothing but a backache waiting to happen. I’m shunning sunshine. Courtney. Don’t yank your hair out over it. Penelope. Clyde. Let’s cut this shit in. A bustling dimension. A dancing asterisk. Devon? I’m closed most mornings. Farewell to our grenade days. A cooper’s been cross-country skiing past here lately. Figures. My barrels are all chested. The undiscoverable world of hairnet fishing is finally off my mind. Frederica. Bob. Hester. Bid a bit to go clear into that heap of crushed soda cans. We are sensible. Varnish the rats with mean streaks. Veronica. Babushka. Tell the time! Vince. Ned. Pamela. Sleep sincerely in fields of crumbled muffins. Curtis. That’s the way to stop on a penny. There are no shoes to tell my story like these shoes tell it. Mary. Alan. Icarus. Vanish this landscape into thick water. It’s lately that men sewer for likely stories. Depends on what you’ll never mean to be. Gregory. All credentials accepted. The torturous and painfully cruel history of us disrupts the normal activity of our lives. Back by nightfall. MiloŇ°. Victor. I have the rugged, worn, scratchy face of an old criminal. Don’t be pristine. Nothing’s a harder tic to banish. Astrid. At last. We seem to have reached a disagreement. Carousel the deviants. I’m all for spotting land. Bridgette. Mairead. Boris. And you, Timmy. Burn the piano to keep us warm. Don’t be too serious with your food. Plan to never attack. The bells are all blue around these harbors. Lois. Source me. Look it up and down. I’m finding it out this side or in the other. Late is to run back. Michael. Gina. Xavier. To whom it does not concern. Look dull. Bob. Groom before you preen. It’s not that I don’t like water. I just hate when it falls. Allan. It’s going around. It’s the latest way to say goodbye. It’s lipstick on a straw. Polly. They’re before you. Question the door. Don’t barf after tea. Get after those slippers. Marie. Don’t be early. I’m operating on disconnected phones. Don’t miss the sights. And let’s challenge the holding capacity of cylinders of ethanol. Be rushed. Solfeggio me until the farmhands rid the barn of the tiniest bales of hay in the world. Stu. Doc. Chick. Rest in war. I’m bashed by laziness. Zip away. No. On fourth thought we’ll save it for recess. I am energy divided by the sum of motivation. Enrico. Jerry. Gain hair. Create unimportant benefits for freshly dead beneficiaries. Hawaii is drifting. I have seen the sea’s dominion over creeps let go jailers to swim free. I have known obstacles such as brass hooligans and torch-bearing bandicoots flaring the dark like radioactive jewels. I have matched the sun with stares. Winifred. Turn off the solar panels. I’m shimmering to death. Caspering along as we were it was only a matter of immaterial resources shrinking to a diminished popped bulb in a smoky TV. Orson. You are less than well. Fight your cards wrong. Quiz the stumped. Pigtail cranky ruffians until their skin screams for honeysuckle and white toast. Benjie. Heloise. Read letters by moonlight. I am squatting short. I am stuffed empty. Furbish my heavy-metal renditions of Brahms’ sonatas until they dully shine more than waxed-paper leaves. Heracles. Mandy. Let’s make ice out of creamlessness. Nobody’s old anymore. La lured dee to the dah until doe rayed me. Nachos for the plebeians. Amen to the alignment of curfew with yawns. Vladimir. Don’t label me eristic. I’m mostly more artisan than bricklayer. Next stop’s busy-as-potential. Francis. Step off it. Dang if I’ll be blasted. Want to serve me crashes while I deliver cars to all the girls next door? Sheena. Get me some potential. Don’t lose it in a dazey blunder over cold spaghetti. Okay? No more sprawling blight. It’s gotten so that garbage dumps have got their own zip codes now. Pink drowning the depths of gray. Pinstripe the opposition. Put ‘em in rags of rage. I’m often lumped in with radio listeners and pinochle champions. Earl. Etta. Byron. Over my live mind. Fans of very little put up a fight. Tell them all that I’m in the stars but I’m gazing towards the gutter.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

that's the way the market crashes

I'm an American, once removed. Don’t rely on me to tell you when it’s time to task-complete. I mean when it comes to collapsing, when it comes down…what I mean is, when it comes to being unimpressed, but not showing that you’re unimpressed-- when it comes down to that, well you don’t got to go around and change the light bulbs about it. Gas it. Cover the once of it with over. Done. That’s all I’m saying. It’s grok between you and them, and your urge to create and your urge to destroy get tangled up, and your pins are quaking, yo. That’s a fair assessment. Don’t be so damn scared. Shit. Get the with-of-it the hell out of your system. Get the laugh, then jet. What’s to know about it? Edification. That’s not a secret any of them will fall for. I’ve been living with cats for too long; they crinkle my broadsides, or’ve come to. Do this; don’t do that; fit in; die. That’s what they spit on about. Tromboning on through the cummerbund of seasonal maladies. I’m looking. I’m almost aware-- unreliable too. Just in case you didn’t notice the first time through. Getting through with waiting around, with loitering in the shadows, with Krazy-Glue sunsets and glow-in-the-dark on/off switches. And crawl (bent like knees) through, through, through the badly timed jokes, nifty piebalds and mares, geldings and jennies gone to pasture, and keep crawling (evenly on all fours, no matter how odd), as it’ll be older here by now’s then. Big kids take the bus; you know that, at least; don’t got to feel it too. And sure, Avogadro’s number ain’t as constant as it used to be, but I spindle my brains over the feasibility of that damn Hadron Collider making any shit-stain of a difference in why my kids are all bothering to ape TV characters over Fruity Pebbles in the morning. Vapid, it all takes shape, and we shoot out the color from traffic signals, and our eyes adjust, and the scramble for justice rings itself up as free. I’m only spreading a truth that rings rumorish. Don’t believe in me. Go about your glib saucy way. I’ll be hiding in the medicine chest, behind the Vicks Vapor Rub and the mineral oil. All the newcomers are growing old, wildly. I’ve got the grace I’ve got, hidden there, beneath the broken flowerpot; it doesn’t show. Hydrangeas are my oldest pals. My pride? Riata it in, banged up as ever. Man oh man, am I going stuffed and underused. I sing like Dean Martin and get all the laughs of Jerry Lewis, too. So, give up. Pay the bills. Offer a few tads, there and here mainly, of flavor to the world’s boiling smorgasbord. You need the courage that comes with the companionship of others to combat the loneliness that’s life’s dripping faucet. Reliance. It’s a gamble. What seems an easy exchange from hand to glove gets kicked around more than a rodeo clown. The strangeness of trying too hard to forget what went wrong and kiltered, kinked and warped, off to avert truth-be-untold differings of trauma: so this is how it’s going to be, huh? Mainly, man’s done for. Stack a couple of Big Macs on my grave and toss the wrapper in the grass. Shit. I mean, where’s the where of here? I’m not there. Fuck it, man. I’m here. For fuck’s sake. I’m here. Hear me? Not there. Here! Here! Ah, shit. Well, what’s a single meaning of it all anyways? Beat yourself up about it and go straight to hell. Crowds of cowards gathering. I sense an unmonumental shift in how things will never get finished. I’m talking packaging: Styrofoam containers, cigarette packs, lost wallets, basil, mischievous underpinnings unique only as imperious items in a display case warning of illicit housewarming gestures that everyone wasn’t scared enough not to make. Importance fallows on away. We are thumb-based creatures of uneven psychotic apparatus who stumble post-id into filling-station ideas without caring or knowing why or how, or mostly who too, really, and then lying down comes around to coddle the insecurities that come along with a poor-credit rating for your soul. Don’t believe me. I’m out of sorts. Grumpy and jilted and appraising a slump’s last confetti toss, scrounging through lost pieces of evidence before a jury weighs in. A bad bet to make against the nature of capitalism, something that outlasts us, up-down haywire shiftings in a loose network of economic transactions that’ll become your life’s Richter scale if you’re not careful, or too careful for that matter, about it. Don’t take my rice-futures word for it though. I’m not going to go ahead and blame myself for hedging and leveraging derivatives like a ninny. Many’s the deep-in-the-dollar-signs, in-the-buff calls I never made. Got me? Bluffing was never my forte, though I did gamble without a clearing-house’s chance to insure against-- what they say? You know: inclement weather. But that’s just stringing diamonds behind a trash truck. Sometimes the smell of it gets to you. Sometimes you’re free enough, if you can afford the market price of freedom. From? Of? Do we even know how to be free? Sometimes I wonder. In more than a while's once, we all need to do stupid, reckless things. Unfortunately there's a certain joy in being held captive: never having to make a decision; the convenience of being caged. Maybe you pay somebody to be free for you. That’s a one-way ticket to the kind of thralldom where the one locked up doesn’t even know she’s enslaved. Like the prisoner who’s asked by the guard, “So, how do you like being kept here in this prison?” and in turn asks the guard, “What’s a prison?” The large notional value of your life keeps growing as the reality of your worth remains hidden smugly beneath an arbitrage-free personality, a lady who smirks and winks brazenly through the variegation summing up the barrage of what’s persistently being lost and gained without much notice from those attempting to ogle into the machinery of the not-so-free market. Risk it none. Accept what’s commonplace as a lost cause. There’s a clatter in the basement of the stock exchange. We’re scrambling to make ends never meet. Bilateral netting gone to the cats. Lipless OTCs and ETDs playing dangerous with expensive lipstick. Swap me a few ounces of equity for a few pounds of moral fiber. I’m making planes from faulty parts and selling to an over-paying Uncle Sam, and all for the sake of a greasy buck. Maybe you lose a few fighter pilots here and there, but there’ll always be innocent casualties to get blown to flower fertilizer by the wayside. Can’t worry yourself to death over the lives of others. And then you glance around. You give the thrice-over to lapses in somebody’s idea of good judgment while hedge funds are quick to rally with much pluck and myopic, foreshortened foresight to take advantage of the tiniest moment of hysteria and slight panic. A bell tolls? Maybe. But who’s listening? We rush through the throngs, the clamber of shifting variables that’ll puncture those delicate speculative bubbles, those soapsuds of no intrinsic value, checking our pockets constantly for signs of a past we’re unable to keep up with or feel we’ve ever known properly, while paperless worries cast ominous shadows that we grow so accustom to that we no longer realize that we’re in the dark. And the cost of war rises as the price of life drops. I spill a few tankers of oil on the sand, and somebody screams, “Blood!” It’s all a wash. Get yourself a dollar’s worth and heave away. This ship’s sinking and sailing at the same time, and there’ll surely be more shores than we know what to do with soon. Soon. That’s the marvelous stink of my own marginal profit. Richly poor. Always just on the cusp of it all, but never there. Or here, for that matter. Yep. Ask for me in the morning, and I’ll be gone-- even if this is the morning already, and we’ve always only known fixed interest rates that stay up dancing all through the night. Because, you know, we’ve all been doing the dead cat bounce for the eternity it takes for the present to occur. And this, in the beginning, middle, or end, is what’s keeping the most of what’s really us just passing for what we currently call being alive. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Shit. No. But hell, nobody’s looking. And, as far as this here proverbial bed-wetter is concerned, there isn’t even a tunnel. Say goodbye to all of your tomorrows. I’m checking in late and staying until the bulls make a break for it. A hopeless case? Sure, but listen: there’s a hell of a party going on next door; let’s go.