Mustard Goes A Long Way

I clicked save and it all disappeared. Everything I wrote was erased so now I’m typing fast. Trying to get it back. The door was left open and the breeze is blowing in scraps of newspapers. Did you hear the  news?

You’ve got so many locks on your door I don’t know whether to bow, break in or extend my hand. I stay out in the yard, shielding my eyes from the sun. The Wars are in distant, sun-parched lands. Everything is fine over here.

I squeeze a Capri Sun into my mouth and remember the winning goal I scored so long ago, the ball floating through the air, me fast enough to run underneath it, watching it drop down from the sky, getting into the right spot and being sure-handed enough to catch it.  What’s it called to dream not about a distant future but a different past?

An Italian group claims Jersey Shore is offensive to Italians. I would argue it’s offensive to humanity, and as an American-American I’m deeply offended; as a budding fashionista, I’m truly horrified by the nincompoop parade of hair gel and Ed Hardy.

I get home from hip hop karaoke and mix some tuna with mayonnaise and spread it between two pieces of bread. Sometimes the most we can hope for from a night is to come home to a good sandwich. Cold Cut Love. A sliced pickle. Mustard goes a long way…

I call this Literature because I name things. I named me: Artofstarving. She laughed, said I was a fool, I said I am a misunderstood poet… I proved us both right.

There’s a man waiting for the bus,
his chin shaking, hands beating on his knees.

I think I know that man, licking his lips.
Cars zoom by like in a commercial.
Fast. Powerfully. Sensual.

I don’t know about you, but all this ennui is exhausting.
I just want to sit on the edge of my tank and rest my flippers.

I was in love once. And another time I was into aquarium fish…

I like to sleep but that doesn’t mean I want to sleep away the rest of my days. I drool on the pillow and swim in pools of dreams. I especially like the one where the moon is bright and the swimmers are naked and we run through the pine forest empty as the breeze.

I look into your eyes and see the potential for soaring… there’s a dot in your pupils that tells me this. Like you’re ready to lift off any second.

I clean off my desk and wipe the dust particles off my computer screen. I put everything in order yet my cursor still pulses in the same spot… waiting. It’s been stuck here for awhile… I won’t call it Writer’s Block because I don’t know any other thing but this struggling, this reaching. This overabundance of urge and complete lack of verve. If I said anything profound it was a mistake, and I take it all back.

The sun today is spotty, it doesn’t know if it wants to come out. Christmas is coming and they’re selling trees on the empty corner lot. Whole miniature forests come alive for one month. It’s not quite the pine smell of my dreams but a close simulacra of my distorted nocturnal projections. Real enough though that when I take a festive pull my nostrils tingle with nostalgia, and my nose hairs flagellate with aromatic delight.

I’m trying to decide where to go this Christmas. I have the urge to fly somewhere new and rent a car, wander the roads like a Modern Day Un-Wise Man. Spend Christmas in Kentucky, alone in a small town with freshly fallen snow until (serendipitously!) I’m temporarily adopted by a loving if slightly racist family that enjoys caroling, baking pies, and guns.

Or maybe I’ll mosey on down to Mexico, hole up in Baja with a quart of Tequilla and a surly attitude that causes the locals to exclaim, “gringo loco!”

Or maybe stay and have an L.A Christmas.  The most exciting kind of travel you can do is in your own city. I hear they make excellent goat soup in East L.A and there are world class observatories in our own mountains. I’ve spent thirty years in this city and have yet to get a true glimpse of what is out there. We find our spots and keep to them, tread the well-worn ground, creating little invisible human deer paths through the city, from the same restaurants to the same bars, the same barber, the same liquor store and Market.

I have a little nest I curl up into, a wad of twigs I rest my wings on…

I walked through the Grove today and the plentiful and bright holiday lights gave me a certain woozy, consumer vertigo. The Christmas tree was 50 feet high and lit up the faux-town square with a cheery red glow. The lane was agog with shoppers. Crowds of people swung bags of retail and prattled excitedly about whoknowswhat…. It made me dizzy and kinda like ‘am I going to pass out?’ feeling.

Battling delirium, I reached the Farmer’s Market thankful to buy my produce without much serious neurological damage. The stimuli was overwhelming. I am just not equipped for such an onslaught of light and humanity and religion and Capitalism at once. All I can make out of such walks through the Grove is that either I am out of mind, or everybody else, but definitely one of us is, because I can’t understand how someone could take delight in this Disney-fied delusion with its trolley that only travels 200 yards and squirts of synchronized water in tune to the too-loud classical music blasting from hidden speakers. The scene makes me cringe for humanity, the way we can be rounded up and bought. And here I am. One of the herd.

I bought a clove of garlic, a sweet onion, some mushrooms and kaiser rolls. I’m making buffalo burgers and watching TV tonight. The vendors all smiled kindly and the temperature is dropping as a storm moves in. I buy my various items from the Farmer’s Market and feel rekindle with the power of purchase. This is the way it should be done, not with brightly lit linoleum and window displays, but under a tent, with the food in crates and cashiers who appreciate your business.

I head home to make my burgers, avoiding the Grove altogether by taking a series of back alleys. The moon is softly deflated, missing a little weight around the middle. The city buzzes with cars and stars. Buffalo meat is leaner than cow.


One thought on “Mustard Goes A Long Way

  1. True dat…was just talkin buffalo like a day ago….I want goat soup..bad..also remember that goal…God I love fruit juice.

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