Sunday, April 1, 2012

the death of longitude

“I don’t care about your happenstances. There’s work to be done. Do it.”
“You’re believable.”
“Try it sometime, huh?”
“The trains run. Not timely, but they run.”
“Battle the youth. They’ll get old too, and while we fight the…”
“Heart attacks accrue, right?”
“Well, Miss Lily’s gone shooting the moon. We’re bastards for being here. We’re not making it okay. We are not too thirsty for it.”
“Devils above. Angels few and far between. Very kind, the ways of man.”
“Sneaky, at least. The best I can’t do. We shift our means to the names of love. All that we’ve got. All that.”
“Worms get more, for the bites they don’t take, while we eat circling meals and try God’s eyes on for size.”
“Abalone for sale! Get your hot-buttered abalone today!”
“I’m sick like a sneezing popcorn vender. I’m healthy like a fatally wounded racing horse.”
“Give away your bullets but keep your gun, you know?”
“Kind of.”
“If it pleases the court…”
“It would.”
“I might present here a gracefully stitched star to the temple, hung like an earlobe.”
“Get me under a cover. Get me up and over another hill. Cast me off, all the way, pouting, to the root of liveliness.”
“The best dreams and better wake-up calls. I know what’s not what. Patsy Cline, beer, three cigarettes in an ashtray. Leave me alone. I’m in love.”
“Is it wonderful?”
“No. Not at all. It is pieces of this and a whole lot of that.”
“Do monks know about this? Friars?”
“It’s not in my jurisdiction.”
“Just music to play while driving, to sing along to with the windows up, to recommend to strangers.”
“We are not the world. We are not like little children.”
“Sure. That’s more like it. Blued to death. Beaten to life.”
“A voluptuous tick of the clock, gone for longer than a while.”
“Reason wins! I knew it!”
“Blame the cheerleaders. Blame the stray dogs. Blame the newscasters.”
“If sleep’d only stay.”
“Mesmerizing, I bet. Let’s accomplish something. Why not?”
“Too realistic. No. Let’s set no goals. Let’s snap small change at parked cars. Let’s make up songs for crickets to sing.”
“Gone. Again.”
“Yep. But who’s going to be left to care?”
“Not this. Not again.”
“A fever that never rises, that never goes, that frisks suckers for a good time.”
“Easy. Easy. Easy. There’ll be heaven to give away, for a price.”
“Of course. We pay upfront for our salvation. There’s a dignified grace in the gestures of a liquor store clerk.”
“Been that a’way for a long way of ways. Privateers invest haphazardly in the cracks between our smiles.”
“Just a little figurine of oration, pal. Okay? So, get a move on it. On the quadruple.”
“But I’m plucking out a solo on a standup bass.”
“Don’t matter. Don’t matter, son. Nothing you do will ever matter.”
“You. You! You! You who talk in such a structured…fuck. Whatever.”
“Rest can become too much. See?”
“No! I do not see. I do not ever see. Up around the moon and back again. Never. Never.”
“Joyful, as it were. Bibled to what’s never been what, first and last off, now.”
“No. No. See? See?”
“Seen or being seen, it all subtracts down.”
“Never did take, did it?”
“The news never tells enough. We are trapped, shimmering more than any star would.”
“I ain’t ever, ever going on my way all the way back to rivers redder than all my valleys.”
“Good for them.”
“Cheated on chances I’ll wage might make me a better, how-do-you-say, gambler.”
“Assassinate all question marks. I will say amen before it’s all done gone.”
“Yep. That is how it’ll end.”
“You go it!”
“He’s cradling his bottle of brandy like a baby, boys. Watch out. Here comes no trouble at all. Not at all.”
“What becomes of all the winos, the ones who always say their prayers?”
“They do chin-ups in rented rooms and leave a little bit of glitter in the floor’s grime.”
“Still, there ain’t nobody left to do any booing about it. Still.”
“Skin like iron? Breath like…um, I forget. Linoleum?”
“No. But let me get my tuba out and play you a little something.”
“What? Me not worry? Fuck it. Seriously. Fuck it. I’m going to go out and get me a pigeon, put it in an silver cage and teach it to sing the blues, like we used to, like we…used to. Fuck…”
“Don’t mind me. Cleveland’s cold this time of day.”
“The gray’s grown long in my eyebrows. I am unwilling to exchange glances with the gals across the room. We have reached a point of misunderstanding. Tearing up and all that shit’s been left behind for the geese and the olive harvesters. Build me a raft. Go ahead. I still won’t ever go rowing back to shore. The big wide empty is all I need.”
“Go foraging on, son. Go blacklisted into the terrible daylight. Be not a wincer in the face of failure. I am working on something and, boy, when I’m all done it’s gonna blow the whole gosh-to-the-darn roof off all of this, all this we’ve tried and known so well for so long. We will be smaller than life, and therefore, well, we’ll have at least a chance.”
“A bottle of good scotch in the broom closet. A wig and a drum. A degenerate breeze to drift us off to nothing’s somewhere.”
“I believe in the rough stuff, the pulp and the brine and the seeds, stuff caught in the mesh and wire of the thing, nothing thrown away.”
“Used and bought off, boozed and caught, and it’s up to people like us to not just follow their stuffy noses towards the fading scent of robbed banks.”
“My head’s a few continents away, laurelling in a delusional haze of palms and bored pirates who wink at me while I throw tiny umbrellas from my drinks into the pool. There is no map. There is no treasure. All we’ve got are chairs rearranged.”
“Polly doesn’t want anymore crackers, please.”
“Something like that.”
“You know? You’re not really as lousy of a guy as you make yourself out to be.”
“Yeah? Well, shit. Don’t go telling on me, okay?”
“Got it. Your shiftiness, your lying sensibility, your forged identity, your lonesome brand of self-help courage. It’s all secret and safe with me.”
“Well, well, well. I guess it’s approaching that time again. So, well, thanks for nothing’s everything. Drinking off the shakes, again, we’ll get by, right?”
“And, yep, all the people say, just another guy on the lost highway.
“They do, do they?”
“And we are not stationary objects to be fixed in time and place. Bush-league satisfaction’s about all we can muster, and then it’s quitting time again, so we go out and battle dumpster divers for goods in the cool hindsight of drugged compassion. An arranged marriage between opposing forces functions outside our insides. We believe in the existence of others. But fuck it, you know? I’m hard of listening. How’s the lady?”
“Oh, this one? Shit, she’s got me doing my dishes, buying expensive coffee, brushing my teeth, folding laundry and everything. And I’m the one who comes home to find her double-parked in somebody else’s red zone. And soon she’s hanging another’s laundry on her line, and nobody’s saving me a place at the table. I got myself gone, long and gone, and I’m real low and sad now, but it’ll pass. I don’t know why I keep not bringing my happiness over here to where I am. It’s probably not a mistake though.”
“Likely it’ll stay raw in your gut, like having your insides plunged, perhaps. The ones who stay hooded in the windy sun, they’ll let on that we’re picked before we’re locked. Now? Well, there’s just nothing left to shout.”
“Yep. And what’ve we got?”
“The loudness of parallel parking. A sob story that you can’t relate to titled The Hobo Clown’s Worn-Out Frown.”
“Shit. Might as well make the most of what we’ve got while we’re on this side of the dirt, you know, before we’re under it for longer than forever.”
“That makes me gladder than I’ve ever been for just right now at this very moment.”
“Glad about that. Really. I am.”
“Certainly we retain the rights to be left alone at all times, to do whatever it is that we do when we’re alone, these things people wonder about us, the time we spend idling, stuck in neutral, or merely unable to heel-and-toe our way into the bends of the space we occupy in the world. Nobody knows who you are when you are all alone.”  
“The best secret you’ll ever have, something that’s prayed back to life, softly heavy, years away from the horizon’s dust. And when you settle in for the great double clutch of your spent time, well, it’s just some bashful stuttering that gets noticed.”
“And it’s late at night during a storm’s heckling-- while the tree outside my window waves its long leafy tendrils that once every-so-often crack like whips against the glass, and I am more alone than I’ve ever been, lying prone in bed, naked, exposed, twirled in a fit of frustrated anxiety-- when I fear losing that old distinction of joys that’s kept me just cranky enough to push on, and I find myself preparing a muddled exit while the enemy flees.”
“Place advertisement here.”