Posts Tagged Books

Sun Sets on One Man’s Trash

I have been reluctant to post this and I am coming in at the last moment, but I figured I had fun with it, and even if it is awful, no one will shoot me, so here is my response to another Inspiration Monday. I looked at the prompts, one of which might be used, I wasn’t too big on any one of them, so I decided to write a piece with all of them – a strange piece of surrealism that may fall quite flat.

Here are the prompts from Inspiration Monday XI

The curse of immortality
War was the least of our problems
Sun sets, curtain rises
Declared independence. Nobody listened.
One man’s trash

Check out the fantastic work over there – Some very talented writers…



During the day, the curtains are down, and I am encased by my neo French-cottage mass of twisted rooms and stair cases with all of the walls surrounded by bookshelves which bathe my space with a dense brown pall that helps keep me at peace with my studies.

The sun is setting, the curtain rising. Tonight is rhythmically symmetrical to all of the other nights. As the curtain goes up, I look into the darkness spoiled by the street light. Ernie Hemingway is in the middle of my yard, singing in a Gregorian style, with a Dorian scale, telling me in a miserably sad fashion that the sun also rises. Ernie has been doing this for seven days straight at sunset, working to encourage me to leave my curtains up when the sun comes up so that I can watch the world in its happening state, but every night, I tell him to give it up and either come inside and talk with me about the philosophy of modernism (or better, the more powerful energy behind post-modernism) or go home, but quit the damned singing.

Broadway Joe pounds on the front door. He barges in like the FBI, but there’s no navy jacket with big yellow lettering. He’s wearing a green jacket with the Jets moniker, and he screams loudly enough to cause distressful pain in my ears, “All right, Mr. Carl, we’re here to do a makeover! You sit down and we’ll be done in no time.” There is a large, unraveling twine of light, and I am tossed into my fat, black, leather, cushy couch with the foot rest already extended, with a cigar in my mouth, not having the chance to protest that I am currently smoke-free, thinking there is something deeply malevolent about the cigar because when I look around, all of my bookshelves (and the books themselves!) have been removed, all of the walls white, and most oddly, Joe has hung perhaps millions of nylon stockings from my ceilings in the most random fashion. Joe heightens the mystery as he is leaving, bellowing “One man’s trash…” If this is War of the Worlds, war is the least of our problems. My books are gone, which makes me feel dead.

John Adams is sprawling in the back of the saddle on the escape elephant. I am surprised that he wears his revolutionary garb. At the corner of Stage Coach and Irwin Street, General Eisenhower tells us that the entire Interstate system has eroded to dust. Dust is nothing for our elephant. John and I climb one of the easier mountains on the front range of the Rockies. We declare independence. Nobody listens.

Coming down the mountain in our Ferrari two-seater, the rush out of this world, I am so scared, I’m paralyzed, but A. J. Foyt is driving competently. He stops at an overhang, and asks, “What’s the matter, son?”

“I can’t take this kind of intense fear!”

A. J. is so frustrated, I think he might punch me out. He continues, “Son, we’re making you immune to the fear. We will do this for years and years until the fear is gone. It is the curse of immortality – we are no longer allowed the luxury of fear.”

It is easy for him to say, but he starts back down the road, and I start singing, screaming, “COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN!”

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Plaques for Me

Bobbling on my couch in quiet ecstasy,
reading my books,
not finishing my books,
shifting from this book to the next,
never wanting to do what is required,
staring at the ceiling,
imagining a variety of universes.

All of you do right things naturally.
When I finally go off to be human,
when I do the right thing,
I want praise and trophies.
I want loud applause and big hugs.
Enough reinforcement,
I will scrub the bathroom again and again.
I long to be right naturally
instead of desperate for praise and plaques,
not received but desired,
instead of a lover of books.

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