Monday, January 13, 2014

In No Particular Order

What lies hidden in my scarry past, unbeknownst to even me.

She had five-dollar shoes and a wooden-nickel heart. Busting up on Broadway. Telling the telephone poles to go on back home. Tomorrow morning’s nothing but laundry and nooses. Today’s just another curtain call. Making lunch reservations for a party of one. Dips and bobs and hooks and weaves. There hung blossoming in the afternoon’s gush of playful shade were the warbling woodnotes, wilder than a trash truck’s boom-crunch, herky-jerky digesting. I couldn’t relate.

Invasive attitudes aside, the forces we’re sealing the deal with here are now less-than-ever more than just hassles and shake downs. Then, almost akin to the way a spruce branch bends just before snapping off, The Group stopped waiting in line with a whoosh and no thunderous applause until some further notice was given way later.       

Wearing my name, holstering my circumstances, and the tides don’t get to know what the moon won’t show, so loped off go the rabbit ears of black-and-white small screens, out of the rotation to god knows where. So she crawled on her belly towards the Buckingham Flats, where the rats tell the joyous from the sane. We had breakfast at four in the afternoon on a bronze-framed wall mirror that’d come crashing down in a hurricane. The renters were all singing the Tenant’s Rights Blues while we brushed the dreams off our clothes and ran luckier days through the spool of our lives’ projector. Born out of this, in a word or two, we escaped with mild concussions and some light bruises on our shins. Nothing but worldliness remained for us to have, so we took chances before the chance to give came closer. The creak of it all was less than nonsense. Dust was private enemy number one. Chairs were stolen from deserted Laundromats. My eyes were swollen with envy of causes more lost than ours. Even and out, the squashed template of my dissatisfaction served plenty of rule-of-ring-finger hors d’oeuvres. The family plot wouldn’t do for belchers like us; we’d always known this. And so the sky ruffled its gruesome sheets and plopped over to a bourbon-tinged holding pattern. We had fist fights with angels and ate sawdust.

Copious smiles? To us they weren’t abounding. To us? No. That’d be, what, for us? Gleaming wasn’t in the job description. Older wings than these would do, too, if you sort of might want to know about it. Let the hair fall where it may, the haircut doesn’t have to clean up after itself. Basically there are few bodies left that’ll impose these derivational motions upon other bodies.

There’s not a thing left for us to not do. Just another dead spider in the greasy yellow light. Cobweb dreams and a stringy threadbare heart. Losing’s just the day’s way. Diverting lost attention forward. To rollick back a bit, shallow with a Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance appeal. Glissandos of greed bopped skinnier through untended meadows to frisk bad moods for small change, shushed to say, “Chumps like them, they always spend what they don’t got.”

Grady worked at Spaceman’s Hall, down by the Sugar Mill & Spice Factory. Things were pretty leveled. Behind schedule. Daunting as ever. All tells aside, Grady had it going for him, behind the wheel of his Oldsmobile, or gunning for it— the stuntman in him grating his teeth for a shot at some ribald action— under pressure from the guzzlers and the tweekers to do nothing, to stay put and be less holy than even he’d like to be. A reunion was calling, and he crapped out later than expected. So, to put it rougher, the crude got spilled from the meek. A dicey we’re-all-moving-on-to-better-things temporary halt in momentum seized him, gripped him by his neck’s scruff and hauled him off to worse quarters than even a dour card like Grady’d ever known. Now, Grady was a wild kid, but not so as to push people around about it. Crisp and gloating, he’d shoulder-first plunge into the row, low ball the whole fray, and then split before the market value of courage plunged again, whispering, “I’ll be gone by halftime,” to anybody still close enough to hear. “I don’t worry about your stable brand of wishing. The hind’s in the sight’s make. Get rolled. Get laughed at. Get mushy. I’m longer in my teeth’s skin with it up to here.”

“Sometimes I feel like, to you, life is just a big inside joke that you don’t get.”

“Don’t go getting all Tony The Tiger about it. It ain’t so great, really.”

“A frumpy harrumph to you, madam. Wheels off. There go the pruned and the puny, off to peace, as usual. Let ‘em not have it, I guess. There.”

“I never let the garden get higher than the weeds. Yup. I’m that type.”

“Browner neckties for all my Mondays, and months and months of weary Tuesday mid-mornings too. Old-timey lackadaisical turns of mind. Yes. I get those too. I want to erase all traces of my present; it’s boring the life out of me. Crumby is what comes next. I know. But before that we get to eat angel eggs.”

“Where don’t I get my ideas? Everywhere they’re not.”

"Plates up! Forks out! Dinner’s just around the bend, here. Close your eyes. Give me your appetite.”

(In the reverse order of ascending one does not descend, but holds level and afloat, suspended still, fluting on with it, growing airy with lulled wonder.)

The air’s thin and chilly. Trees are bare. Roped up dogs scramble and sit, and drool and stare. Cops are useless, chatting meagerly in a sad café. The moon’s burned by a Sig Alert, snared by a 6-cloud pileup going down. Crops won’t take to the soil where motor oil’s made its bed. Cute’s just a four-letter-word. I’ve seen better men than Martel go down without a fight. Wished once I could’ve known less. The stars’ll do til the sun comes up again. And the whisky? That’s for all the rest of it.

I mostly wanna relate something that’s itching at my feet lately. It’s a thing you can’t scratch, no matter what. I’ve tried. It won’t relent. It just sneezes along there at my toes. Frustrating, like a cigarette that only makes you tingle more to have another. Barely topping out, here I go. Well, the honey of it is that I just can’t seem to rearrange my mind about it still. It’s lucky, and then it’s sweet, and then it’s poking around the backdoor some. And you’re stuck with it, still, and it’s worse than a puddle of wet horseshit. I tell you.

So, the surface of it is, well, the joke’s on nobody. There’ll be telling of it some more, sure. That’s a branding iron’s promise. But there’s not a payoff, really, ever, with such damn things. I could rest a bit more assured though if the twerp could lay it on a bit lighter, you know? Heaven’s gongs, I’m up later than most. Resting’s for the deceitful anyway. Play it once, Monty. Never’s the going rate on my never-made esteem. To bottom it all on, I get a phone call not from He Who Sayeth but from He Who Prayeth. Get it? I’m not made of titanium, you know? Of course, you do. Of course. And what’s left up to me to have or have not? A turn’s least drastic course of inaction, I guess. Run up or down. I’m the one who’s left thinner in the shade. This? This means peace. The way I see it is, well, so, the most of what you think you don’t got gets left to others to find out for you; and they see it in you, maybe, in testy moments, between sandwiches; and you get to let them fill in the blanks for you—all the space you’ve never dreamt was yours to have. Sometimes somebody’s got to point it out to you, especially when it’s right there in your nostril. I tend to get left somewhat ahead most of the time, with the huddled chance of being drunk with rosewater in what’s left of the sky’s moonless fury. Ribbons or no ribbons, I’m all gussied up with trying, and no Mr. Dancearoundit is going to hail on my circus. Forget the horses. We’re tying up the worst of them. Something to throw or just let drown. Lately, I’ve not been coming around, Johnny. So, write between the lines and race the telephone wires from pole to pole with your eyes. Nothing’s electric here. No sizzle. No shriek. Strung up by the gut’s rumble and tossed into a shallow stream of some stranger’s piss. The furniture man’s coming for my belongings. I just know it.

Ruffling through the cornstalks, a cussing wind’s growl takes more prisoners than culture might allow for under normal circumstances. Resting, a curtain’s gauzy fabric left to its own devices, something to get to know by feel, by lazy slips of hand and slides of dream.

Bad knees and a worse heart. The shape you’re never in. Miss Fortune’s run off loaded and rolling. She gave up everybody but herself.  Rifle’s hacksawed and stowed away dangerously in the trunk of a ’75 Chrysler Cordoba. She’s not making change. She’ staying bills. No more long love letters in the fall. With a head full of shrapnel, and a cocaine-drip throat she scurries out past the loblollies and skunks anybody out who’ll dare close enough. What she’s got she gets from old newspapers and tire-iron raids.

The months flutter by like moths. I am not harping on a thing. It’s delivery’s deadpan torture that gets me: a gargle without a rinse. Breakfast’s out of the question now. Answering’s for the dogs. It’s been a long time since I’ve waived these hands at anyone. It’s first call all the time, and I’m older for it, at least. The channels don’t change here; the remote’s bit the dust. My personal hygiene is on hold until a later date. Time is not essential to or for anything. Nobody’s singing for me. The dark’s my only light. Leave the table manners to the kids and the old folks. I’m not handling any of this anymore.