Saturday, December 21, 2013

De Rigueur Gestation

“Wait. I’m dead? No way. I want a second opinion.”
“Hold it there, Poncho. Whoa. What’s crackling? Why so rankled?”
“Well, you see, I’d go ahead and have a nervous breakdown, but it’s just that I’m not quite sure how.”
“No need to get right to it or nothing. Everything the more, I’m growing older less gracefully all the time.”
“Fuck all this. I’m getting hitched. Jumping the g.d. broom. Tying that sanguine knot of matrimony and perpetual bliss.”
“Married? You? Shit. You’re not even strong enough to carry her over the threshold.” 
“No. No. Listen. Let’s pay attention to nothing. Let’s cuss at flowers. Let’s go bowling in the morning. We’ll be unstoppable.”
“Shit. We’ll just be us. That’s all.”
“Sure. Sure we will. Rattlers and bad habits and practice, practice, practice.”
“Morally dense.”
“If nothing. Or everything else. We could shape our lives like spoons or arrange them as if we were distinct types of coffee beans drying in the sun.”
“If I come home, when I come home, the kids will be all grown. And the dog? He’ll be needing my vacation hours. ‘Plowed’ is the word that will describe me best. The survey says, ‘Push more paper!’”
“Like pleading with a fire hydrant, ‘Like me back. Please. Please. Just like me back.’”
“Not as slick as you’d like to be, huh? Magnets on the souls of your shoes.”
“Something in the orange juice around here. It makes us all bootsy and bat-shit sane.”
“If I come home, when I come home.”
“Stop saying that. I do not think it means what you think it ought to mean.”
“If I were a carpenter. God. If I were.”
“Then there’s the computer in your heart that’ll never be just okay ever again. The flash is gone from the pan, Jack. There are just so many ways of choking a ‘yes’ into looking back.”
“Paltry, this showy crap. I’m constantly in the process of packing and unpacking my things. All these objects; so few places to put them.”
“Mark Twain was an asshole.”
“Sure. But he was his own boss. That beats the band, don’t it?”
“Depends what band. Big?”
“Compared to?”
“A toast basket.”
“Oh. Well. Then. Oh. Well.”
“Handwriting signifies everything. I am not about to dream worse scribbles, scratched persuasion, or fiddle with the broader strokes. I’m just the sans without the serif. The flowers of my time here are just wilted petals, and not even a bee around to like me. I am signing ‘Mud’ from here on in-and-out.”
“Under and in, Chico. Under and in.”
“Wait. I do believe I am no longer with us. Hear that? It’s Alas mimicking Alack. All close things have become far. And I cannot stand tears.”
“Be not of, but with. That’s no secret. That’s no way to tell the truth. That’s all the opinions you’re getting.”
“But right isn’t always correct. There’s left too, right? Gone’s staying. I mean to say I don’t mean to mean what I meant.”
“Says you.”
“Say you, say me, say it for never. Is that the way it shouldn’t be?”
“It depends on how this ends. There should be ease where there once was only fretting and nail biting.”
“Remove the excluded wish from the wash. Try worse. Chronicle your fall to fameless impecuniousness.”
“I will be wearing a T-shirt reading, ‘Fuck off.’”
“The occasion will suit it.”
“If I cannot beg any more pardons here, I’m never going on back home.”
“No. You’re asking the wrong questions. More like ‘Where?’ or “Man, how come?’”
“Eating worms. That’s all. Dining on a dirt sandwich. I leave this place with all of my opinions intact. And my teeth.”
“One last haircut for the road, the longest road, the one that never begins or ends.”
“And what about ‘If?’”
“Yes. And ‘If’ too. And all that. And less.”
“We are dreadful, but not too serious yet. That’s what keeps us wounded but never disabled. That’s what keeps us stuck.”
“What about the song?”
“The song? Well, ahem:

“the song, it ain’t so sad
and the road’s busted with blame
secured to the rind
hankering toward a slip’s sorry slide

“the song, it lends a cheat to law
and the head’s crammed with regret
spackled to the core
guessing away the night

“the song, it’s a mess of wrong
and the push is shoved with cruel
trucked to senility
lapsed with contention’s slap

“the song, it gets booked and bored
and flagstones break the news
aged to gangbusters
blonde in the dishwater light

“the song, it’s season tickets lost
and corks won’t ever pop again
shredded to a mask
swooning towards another hell

“the song, it’s parked cannonballs
and pests clue the soul’s style
crested to a gentle nadir
upset and hounded to life

“the song, it’s convicted late
and bargained badly for a tack’s shine
clued and cracked to a midlife’s worry
luckier less than a lost cat

“the song, it’s hummed to the curb
and crabby with delight’s steam
docked unsure and incongruous
whistling hot-and-cold running slime

“the song, it’s blushing in the moonlight
and ended to more’s clutch
posted and plump and scratched
fleeting in bowled-under times.”
“Got it?”
“Great enough, I guess.”
“Let’s split.”