I was always overwhelmed by the idea that one spoonful of the sun would burn down 100 square miles of forest instantaneously should someone ever transport a spoonful of sun to a forest. How one would safely do that I don’t know, but that tidbit always fascinated me, until I got home tonight and felt a scorching blast of furnace-hot air billow forth from my apartment when I opened the door. I realized, looking down at my singed arm hair, that things can get awfully hot in a short period of time. Even with the sun a million billion, or whatever, miles away.
Have you ever wondered how you should live your life? Battling windmills, or staying away from opened windows? You can’t settle down if you’ve never flown with Icarus.
I don’t call it dancing, but I move around a lot in rhythmic motions to sound coming out of speakers. People ask me if I’m okay and I have to explain it to them. I can’t stay on beat but I give it all I got. It’s intentional. I’m having fun.
I can’t carry a tune but I can help you carry your books home.
If you’re going to be singing lullabies, will you save one for me?
The poetry section at my local Barnes & Nobles is missing a few elemental books by yours truly, unfortunately I’d have to chop off my head and leave my skull on the shelf in order to fill the absence. There are some people out there that would pay good money for that tome.
If you’re going to be planting roses, won’t you dig a hole for me?
I live in a place where weird is normal. I’ve been accused of living in my own head. At the coffee shop, people tap me on the shoulder and I jar back to reality and realize I’m next in line and the cashier is staring at me with an annoyed expression that says “would you hurry up, you asinine space cadet! I work at Starbucks, have some mercy.” And the person who tapped me on the shoulder is looking at their wristwatch with a similar dismayed expression. I apologize a bumbling excuse for my somnolent daze and then order my little cup of coffee with a sheepish grin and shy shrug, hoping no one holds it against me. What a pitiful, scared, little existence. So be it, it’s mine!
Is the story of your life going to be on a mile-long scroll or a postcard? And if it’s a postcard, from where?
I write this from far away. From the little space in my head where I keep going when people yell at me, when the conditions in this world become too much to handle, like hearing that song you hate playing in the hallway, or sipping from a cup of coffee when it’s too hot; from the place on this planet where nothing hurts, especially not you — pretty much any minor infraction can set me loose — so I write about my life and how it unravels when you yank the string. How easily my string is yanked!
I pull a beer out of the fridge and as it pours down my throat I wonder about my soul and if there is anything I can do to still save it. The seconds tick away and there is an argument about whether time is speeding up or slowing down. Someone said it had to do with what galaxy you lived in. Okay, what about this one then? I don’t know enough about the universe to put a speed limit on it, a map of its boulevards, or where to find a decent coffee shop. All I know is that I’m looking for a nice place to rest in the shade as the hours wiggle up and down my DNA helix, as the structure of my being slowly decays.
Two minutes in the microwave and out comes popcorn. Seven minutes in heaven and a boy becomes a man. Three minutes, thirty seconds and a pop song depletes itself of meaning. I’ve been hanging on to this life raft for a lifetime and I haven’t yet reached friendly shores. Each year my eyebrows get longer, each day my fingernails extend towards the withered page I’ve tried to scrawl this epitaph. It’s just life, I don’t know why I complain so much.
My back is arched and I hang my head low as I walk across the city. It’s not poor posture, it’s the weight of the world. As the houses on the hill coruscate and the phantasmagorical light of L.A swabs a low hanging sky, I drift off into that familiar, ephemeral mind-space of mine, dreaming of a world not so heavy, not so hardened. I type and type and starve for art. Fingers speak. Words fail. A philosopher with nothing to say, so instead I belch and hope you get the meaning. There is no meaning. With this much existential ennui pumping through my blood I’m all set for my Paris sojourn.
We’re all subject to the beauty queen’s whims. The king’s ill-temper. Is there a bomb shelter that I can rent, that I can squander away the rest of my days? Hopefully the hideaway is big enough to fit me and all my friends, and then I’ll be content enough to recite the poetry I should have put into books and hoisted onto Barnes & Noble’s shelves, instead of leaving my abandoned skull — sitting there dust-collecting, eye sockets home to gum wrappers, an artifact of my lonely existence to be vandalized and neglected and accidentally thrown away one night by an underpaid employee….
I should pursue my dreams instead of cowering to my fears. I should stand up straight, dance, sing, howl at the fucking moon. There is someone out there who will receive me and all my worries. An angel.
Where are you tonight?
Leaving your skull on poetry shelves?