Archive for July, 2011
We have an ice machine at work.
Today, it started up, and the cacophony
of trillions of mini-jet engines buzzing,
grinding motors, fans sounding like buzz
saws jazzing their way through fingers,
and then I heard the man
inside. I heard his gurgling
complaints, like muffled
screaming, screaming from a radio
not tuned in to the horror. I looked up,
and it was true; it was big enough
to retain a man, like a colossal milk
dispenser in the college canteen
that’s always bursting and angry. So,
I told myself, “He’s in another
world. He’s not here.” The world
was long ago in my past, and the ice
did not want to dribble out
for the man’s hair entrammelled
the place where it, the ice,
was meant to suffuse. I ruminated
on the way to my desk:
no clue how a human was so smart
as to invent an ice machine. That man
in there was long ago in the past
when I would see myself each day,
for most of the longest middle part
of the sick day, hanging from the oak tree
in the deserted field in a noose
made by an idiot, longing
for the day to end, but I was
suddenly praying that the man
in the machine was in that
world of my past and that he had
nothing to do with scoping some
future world for me. I was praying
and realizing I’m too stupid to understand
how someone designed an ice machine,
but I had my water and I had work
to do today, and I hoped that I would
have work to do tomorrow but
didn’t fret about it. I can still hear
the man’s screaming, he is I and
was that long ago, so very long ago?
I don’t try to remember my voice
from so long ago. I simply continue
to hear it, to hear it, to feel it.
Big people, like on TV
documentaries. Don’t show
their faces, show their asses.
I see their broken smiles and
their shirt buttons. Holding hands,
forging a wide path.
Then come the more agile
street bums with enormous,
tricked-out backpacks, one with a
tiny dog on a leash, and the other
with a middle-sized mutt, also
on a leash.
They look back and begin making
an assessment through dissertation,
and then a short man with funny, perfect
black hat, immaculate
white shirt, holding orange balloon,
and then lady in grocery-
store-like electric wheel chair. She knifes
through the humidity at twelve
M P H, crushing through
the orange hand
signal. The big bus stops awkwardly.
The bus does not hit her.
The bus is long and it bounces
with braking and it twists.
White pants, blazing, screaming
at a far field
where insects roam.
Granules of sidewalk reach out and tug
at a grotesque purple blouse.
Dingy fur creeps along my arms.
Hay bails are so tight, so perfect.
Mathematical promises melt me.
Creator, where did you go, where?
Crossing vessels and long rods made of metals that won’t digest readily and sit sweetly on my tongue while my brain swarms around the vast crater left by all of the angles of the architects who made me feel worthless. The architects leave their marks all around me. I feel it through my body that first thought that would be that this building is ugly or that building is a scar on my landscape, but now they are all beautiful, they are perfect, and my crater swells because I don’t have any marks to leave. I should take crabby photos.
I sit here thinking, supposed to be working,
looking like working, but thinking,
closed in by windows with metal frames
and a wooden door with twelve window panes
of twelve by twelve, shrinking from the searing
orange and black and wicked violet of all of the people
who are buzzing all around for the ice cream social,
fully understanding that one of my sidebar sicknesses
is fear of social situations, boiling in my insanity,
shrinking from my nothingness, understanding
that when there is no escape, when the fire door is blocked,
I am as dead as the tan brick on the face of the building
across the street, which is foreboding in its effort
to keep me from running off the rails and crashing my train
into a grandmother’s little yellow house with bright yellow shutters.
When accused of having a phobia, I feel one point four
feet tall. It’s okay for other people to have phobias
but I am astonished at how stupid I could be
to have a phobia.
Normies don’t have phobias.
Normies always feel good
I work hard
to feel good
but I am
if I will recognize it
if it ever comes to me in my eternal hell.
The daggers of irony, of my Catch-22, knowing that I boil
in my self-hatred because I am too scared to go be with
the people, and at the same time, I am fearful to go be
with the people because I boil in my self-hatred and the
striking hammer-blows of knowing I can never be good enough.
Orange cone, orange cone,
orange cone; you want three
but he has four. Smart man
in his Dockers, cool in shades.
Moves the cones here and painful,
he caresses angles. Then real
man is on the scene, strong man.
Orange cone, orange cone, brown
shoes, white socks. We’re talking
thirty-five thousand smoked pounds
of bus ::: that’s my guess. Flow-
yellow flow dude who’s cool, but
orange cone, orange cone, orange
cone man smacks flow-yellow flow
dude with two-handed orders. Easy,
easy, easy. Then real, real man
carries boisterous batteries who
scream, HI, DEVIL! Titanic and he
is huffing, and orange cone man is
basking as chief man with his brown
shoes and spits in venomous wind
which fucks with new Honda, but
Swedish lady in Honda does not
leave smart phone. Real man, Mr.
Modest, does all the doing. Sneaky
pink on all that’s left – is orange
cone, orange man, brown cone, white
socks. Smiling ghosts in cocky
shell of town. Orange cone, orange
cone, blue bus, sink me. Erase
Polish judges were smiling and rosy.
The auditorium was a geometric shell.
Empty. Placards were ready for judging
to the thousandth of a point, Greek TV
blared from the Brazilian steak shop
where a haggardly lady sat alone
by the register as if she had always
been there and had never moved.
Then the Greek singing was luscious
and thick and mad, terribly mad.
I headed back to work, puzzled about
my place in the world. The tambourines
were chaotically messy.
Today, the weeds are causing terrible,
fucking with the morning sun.
I am oblivious, minding my soul.
The old strip club is now the Antique Mall.
Is that reflection
of a non-changing staff
or of a changing Kansas?
Everything is an antique mall
or a Korean massage parlor
(some very bad – parlors, not malls).
I’ve never been to one of the massage parlors,
nor any of the antique malls.
I’m antique enough in an antique land.
The darkness in the light is perverse.
The people are turning mean.
I’m minding my soul, the dark emptiness,
looking slightly up, alone.
It was The Mars Volta
on Pandora, which this morning was all Pink Floyd,
which is fine, just fine, especially Animals.
I can never get enough
Animals. But I found myself
wondering how it is that humans are still here.
“Mother, do you think they’ll drop the bomb,”
will do you in good.
I go into the day empty.
Floyd is full, but I’m empty with empty questions.