Sunday, August 19, 2012

cold burritos and warm beer

            CHARLES DICKENS: Hell, it’s probably kind. The ways we’d get to know strangers, if we could. It’s our tell. Mine, yours, the rest.
            EMINEM: They are who we define them as being. Nothing but what we dress them up in.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Smalltalk gone awry. A barely noticeable slump in the shoulders, something to ward off possible prey or other erratic enemies who stalk our lives in these insulated surroundings. A cold shrug. A glance gone out to pasture. The irreducible minutiae of dodging conversation. We start to believe that we only are what we make others think of us. A snide comment, some scoffing, the outer limits of personal space. And then we hunker down for the longest of nights, alone, out of touch, lazing easy into the comfort of not having to guess at where life’s immediately headed, not taking any chances, safe and warm, sleeping in, creating our own worries to keep us occupied without any real difficulties getting in the way.
            EMINEM: Shameful, the hours we spend. TV gazes, hypnotized by the glow, fake fatigued, schlepping our own emptiness, lying lower than down.   
            CHARLES DICKENS: We take what the popular ideal gives us, and then bask in it, from Hi-Def screen to shiny iPad screen. 
            EMINEM: And the commercials run away with it. But perhaps something brings us out of it. The gelid sting and whip of the brisk morning wind daggered through an opened window. Something real starkly biting into the skin of things. We get what relief we can, or take it from the slightest prick of skin, something that reminds us that we’re alive and not just dazed automatons only fit to consume and be consumed.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Perhaps.
            EMINEM: And every October knows the scent of July. We sign our names with the push of a button. It is posh. It hibernates, responsibility dropped to the floor like crumbs, and our regrets never mount as they should, ignored, joked around, and doled out to oblivious strangers. Click, click, click. Like me. Please. Like me.
            CHARLES DICKENS: The herders have become the sheep.
            EMINEM: I find myself stemming off loneliness with filler. The hours become obstacles to get past, to make replete with the foam peanuts of life. Waiting for some certain timeframe to come around, a place where I can put myself and be alive in. And it all goes by, each year’s passing celerity more than the last. The weeks add themselves up into months, and in a heart’s prayer, before you’ve got time to write a rent check another one’s due. And all that’s left is a misty tang of what might’ve been left on a tongue’s tip that’s better off forgotten and moved beyond.
            CHARLES DICKENS: On to the next big thing, and then another, and then the new and improved model, and then another, ad infinitum. Better days always just up ahead, just around the proverbial bend, perpetually just out of reach. And we keep moving by standing still, staring at what’s turned out to be the path-of-least-resistance curve of our lives.
            EMINEM: Sure. Like, send the deed after me and I will sign the fucker.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Not even a glance at what we’re signing away.
            EMINEM: The rigging of a game we don’t even realize we’re involved in. And our reward? A trip to the incinerator. The difference we make is so meager. It shouldn’t matter. We are but microscopic dots on a landscape that stretches farther than we have the ability to imagine. It is in our insignificance that our hope should reside. But it don’t. It just don’t. 
            CHARLES DICKENS: We are smaller than we think, or dare to. Okay. Well, that seems a decent enough notion.
            EMINEM: All the surf Nazis are dead. Nuke the kitchen utensils. It’s an adaptation to the great blue unknown. We greet troublemakers with Uzis. I travel the back roads with my pants down.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Are you sure the main traffic artery was dragged for losers?
            EMINEM: Pretty.
            CHARLES DICKENS: And where were you?
            EMINEM: With my Angel Island Baby, of course.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Figures.
            EMINEM: It doesn’t, really. She worries about the oddest things, and I know the sound her heels make on the stairs by heart.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Divide the blue. We get a share somehow, still, and the echelons of remorse blow out more tires than nails. 
            EMINEM: We laugh at the cinema. Good old Sergie bows to the hospital art, out of line-- as if anyone could be serious about Old West landscapes-- with all the glitzy appurtenances of the foot-shuffling generation going stale in the new-carpet-tinged-with-coffee aroma of store-bought escape. 
            CHARLES DICKENS: Like taking a dump in an airplane bathroom during some serious turbulence. The medium lethal dose of recalcitrance abrogated by those who’ve never fought tooth-and/or-nail against the slick mechanics of organization’s dullness.
            EMINEM: I fought Taco Bell and Taco Bell won.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Something in that vein. A gurgle of blood, at least, in the mouth of a heretofore serious man. A Lawrence of Arabia type perhaps, choking on assimilation’s retouched savvy, aboard a scurrying ketch that he rocks and rocks until it does its best imitation of toppling. In the end its journey only a circular one in the innocuous waters of a wave pool.  
            EMINEM: The malls are filled with the sound of Muzak. The piano players have all been harnessed and lobbed into a scrapyard to be smashed to squares by baling-press car crushers, then pulped into submission by the cold crosses of hammer mills. 
            CHARLES DICKENS: I die, therefore I am not.
            EMINEM: I’ve thirsted for smarter water than this, parched with pop-ups, icons of spiritless simulacra, abbreviated abbreviations, status updates, texted lust, spam filters, the buffering of broadbanded bytes, trademarked cool, over-touched tablets, the flash and wasted space of ephemeral memes, shifting moods willed by the instant attention of thumb-tapped quick-reply message.  
            CHARLES DICKENS: It’s wishful, our always incomplete agency of desiring. 
            EMINEM: Waste a lot, want a lot.
            CHARLES DICKENS: In the bag, we all are, without even a wink to reveal the wimpy clasp we’re tugging ourselves along by.
            EMINEM: And, so, well, you get it in your bean to go gallivanting about-- as people doth go where the dollar doth flow-- and in a puny glance towards the surroundings you chance to notice that the sidewalk trees all have as-is price tags hanging from their branches. You begin to crave to never be satiated, to want to always want, to be defined by what you like.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Ah. There’s the grubby box-brown rub of it. I am totaled by the punched keys of trolling pinheads who mistake me for my online avatar.   
            EMINEM: Cultivating an atmosphere which is at once tender and cruel, those black-market hooligans of freer enterprises trademark your name and your voice and your style. Lacking the proper privilege level we stalk unauthorized into blanketed decisions based on one-time experiences.
            CHARLES DICKENS: It’s wintertime and the dying is hard. Hell, it’s all whisky and honey to me. I jaywalk as much as possible, and buy my Band-Aids in bulk.
            EMINEM: Something yowling in the drainpipes. Ah, but my temper cools and flares, cools and flares.              
            CHARLES DICKENS: The white ash gone to maple. This terrible stuttering dampens my evenings with the cool flight of chickens of the trees.
            EMINEM: It’s somehow still like brushing green shoulders of Cherokee Purple tomatoes with Green Zebra and Bush Beefsteak. I could manage broiled sandpipers, black bear hams, palm squirrel stew even. But toothwort? Garlic mustard greens? Dinosaur kale? My head’s terrine’s crowded with dusty decisions I can’t quite seem to get around to making. And now? Now there’ll be spaghetti pie in outer space.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Very gallant, or glad at least, in the foxhole we call home. To become serious about the present. To take ourselves to task. It is upbeat, or very near it, and warbled long and weaseling to take the place of flowers, caressed into it-- a dandified gruel that marks the mush with scars of iron and rust.            
            EMINEM: Do The Strand.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Yes sir. The addictive quality of flitting from window to new window to new tab. Or perhaps it’ll have to be a “No sir” too, as the mercy around here’s been strained to witlessness. Uh huh. Love countervailed by worshippers of a phony faith. And yet still the clouds crumble like cauliflower bits, craggy and brushed, rib-bone stretched along in wayward clumps, broken tiaras, jumper-cable clamps, splintered seesaws, fleecy bits of robe, clown makeup gone awry in herringbones of hazy pale blue. The accordion music of leaf blowers rattles the windows. A derelict sprinkler gushes its sob story into the grass as streets are scraped clean by wind. A shuffle in the sky and everything dances in its own distance. Yep. Trouble’s the loneliest tattletale there ever was. Sure enough.
            EMINEM: I’m not so.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Sure?
            EMINEM: In the roundabout of it. In and over or through the summed restitution of easy-earned bucks, sequenced, diving in pairs, it loans and pays back at once. Well round me up to the nearest hallelujah and cry riddle-me-ree in line for the pisser. Some things just say without going.    
            CHARLES DICKENS: The yuppies are busy playing kickball and attending Pub Quiz nights, I hear.
            EMINEM: Sure. And so there’s left that cantilevered silence groped by behemoths of almost-holy financial institutions and greed/profit driven lives. Speak later or never lose your grip on war. Your emotions skinned, a layer of you stripped off like a wet sock. Think of it. We harness all of this damn energy to do our biding, using up the resources of unborn generations in the process, just so we can be wasteful and spoiled, and all we do is yap and gawk and snigger and take pictures of the whole infernal mess. But of course, not me. I’m, you know, better than that.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Of course. It’s always others. Never ourselves.
            EMINEM: Shit. We stink. We’re just as rotten. A couple of ass clowns on vacation from reality.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Yep. No better than…well, any old anybody else.
            EMINEM: Ohio’s burning, and we don’t do a thing. We merely coddle our computers and sit snug around a fire pit’s fake logs, which are probably made of leftover pencil-factory cedar shavings, and we burn marshmallows just to watch them burn.
            CHARLES DICKENS: Cozy. Aloof. Drones drowned afloat by an overflow of useless information. Gimmicky and entitled. A bored disaffection clogging our veins. The world is too much without us…
            EMINEM: Oh, why don’t you just zip it.