Its been a long week – by my calculations, approximately seven days and nineteen minutes long. Which cannot fail to make you wonder if there’s any way of proving whether what we’re told is a week is really a week at all. Surely you cannot argue that some progress more swiftly than others, let alone smoothly. So, what do you suggest? Watch the clock? Don’t make me smile, chimp. If any given unit of time moves at a quicker – or slower – pace than the last, then logic dictates the hands of any given face of any given clock would too. Time is perceptual, capisce? Therefore, it is subjective, yeah? Therefore, our measurements, and recording of it are also.
Go on. Fix your eyes upon the clock, I dare you. Tell me it isn’t playing with you. Tell me your watch is not quite aware of your watching. Yeah, thought so. Now you’ve missed your flight. Nice going, chimp.
I called Lauren this week, and she was not happy. She said she’d been looking for a four-slice toasted-sandwich maker. “I’ve been all over Portland, and nothing,” she complained.
I asked her what he was doing in Portland.
“Looking for a four-slice toasted-sandwich maker,” she replied. “I was tired of pretending to be myself.”
Familiar words, in unfamiliar form.
'Circles' Your tears Are not acid, but they sting Please, allow me: here's A sleeve to catch them in Here - and if they spill upon my skin Well, okay, okay My ears Are for you, and they ring And when you sing It's so unnerving, but I never heard Love in love's own words, before So sing away, love, sing away... The circles That you run in go nowhere And make me reel But, if I fall, I fall in love I fall to you, in laughter, in A dream of weightless ecstasy So, while you have no place to be Run, run! in those circles of joy. - L.G. 'A Good-Looking Man' We are the merest shreds Of the draft of our designer's Most ambitious escape-plan yet And it is our own Strutting, as he came Like a chicken from the coop With middle name of snake's tongue And a last that looped-the-loop Arvin S. Pirroule (Senor) Was a real Jim Dandy We beat our phantom wings We, with lizard hands Reach for hold, and grasp no sun And have wings! (if phantoms) Best viewed, most easily seen between Two pillars in the evening Where shadows meet, with open arms In each palm a feather, what distinguished Arvin S. Pirroule Was his height, and Leanness of limb Who are you, Arvin S. Pirroule? Who collects emotions at The kerb, to be wrapped in boxes And given back to us, once-a-year We are the merest shreds Playing games where the prize Is only for the borrowing Arvin S. Pirroule Was a length of ribbon Curled with scissors We need you, Arvin S. Pirroule! Both stimulant, and depressant A fragrant twist That makes us think We are a smoker's cough Our emptiness is all Our hunger has left, of us, to consume Arvin S. Pirroule Was a needle in the day, rising From the eye of an opening flower. We are Arvin S. Pirroule! Who was, rumor has it, hatched From an eagle's egg, and suckled by wolves And smoked cigarettes at the age of three We sit around our tiny cauldrons Filthy tongues, describing witches With the same four words Arvin S. Pirroule Was cocaine in the nose Of the pitchmen, and the sloganeers. We love you, Arvin S. Pirroule! Who lifted up one finger to His lips, and the curtain fell On all the operas, in all the world. - L.G.
There is no Outsider Art, only art, and art someone thinks they can make some money from. Since no profit is generated for the members of this collective, or anyone else, the product of The Morning Corporation is, most assuredly, art.
Adam’s poems this week are not liable to cause outrage at first. On the contrary; many will be delighted. But they will be opportunistically seized upon, and held up to the flame by individuals seeking to discredit those who provide the relief that they seek, vainly, in self-righteousness.
On another note: Adam, I have your jumper cables.
'Squeeze' Forefinger-and-thumb exerts a firm and Steady pressure either side of the Major joints; shoulders, elbows Wrists, the hips, then the knees Strangely, not the ankles, down To each of the toes, instructed by Our movements, gripping tighter as Required. Atop, upon the head, there Rests, and presses one great chin Attached to one-ton jaw. When one is Filled with something good that Travels to, suffusing limb and every Distant part, this creature doesn't Like, and, like the lights of the city Powered-down, at once, all coming On again, the weight lifts and, in Almost synchronicity, the Digits loose their grip and one knows Then, they are not separate things Many problems, they are one: that Is relief. As anyone who knows The emptiness we fill, the fullness We release, knows how it feels To run, to rest knows, and, from sounds They make, you may divine: relief Is not a creature, also. This Sensation-most, emotion-most Is human, most sublime of us. - A.W. 'Red Box' A long time ago When the Major swung a stick, And men wore double-glazing On the face, Some bloke, one day, woke up, and said: "Let's destroy Julian." For times that he disgusted us On booze, and drugs, and unashamed. "Let's destroy a man." For a joke, the likes of which These days, you'd hear in a Tetley ad. I don't remember the bloke. But I remember Julian, And I remember the joke. - A.W.
“Make a bed in your sleep!” Drawn in by this enticing pitch, I once paid $500.00 to take a course entitled ‘The Art and Practice of Advanced Bedmaking’, run by a charismatic and, in appearance, well-rested individual named Gary Eagle. Of course, when crunch time came, the improbability of making one’s bed without getting out of it was sobering. Indeed, when the course reached this stage, Mr. Eagle was nowhere to be found, if he was ever anywhere. This bird had flown. Nevertheless, what I learned to that point got me a foot in the door of a popular mattress outlet where I was immediately employed in selling a bed that had over three-thousand modes, and guaranteed to help you sleep twice as long in half the time, which was recalled when it failed to meet emissions standards. I wouldn’t mind my five-hundred back but, as Gary said, but you can’t put a price on memories, or memory foam.
Arvin, call your mother, already.
'The Old Folks Back Home' I miss them, every hour, The old folks back home. To put it the Romanian way, I wish I had an air - no, aeroplane. I thought tomorrow, which was Meant to be today, We'd all have hover-cars, or boards, Or hydroplanes, or something, In a garage, of our own, And the world would fit on The head of a pin. I'll build one on my wages, Balanced on my overdraft. Start out with a nut, perhaps, A washer, or a wheel and go From there. If my boat comes in, I'll use bits of that! - what's that? Take the boat? I'm no salt. I am the like the sailor who Complains about the wind, a real Diana, and you'd need that kind of Money, and a special hat. Yes, indeed, but now I'm thinking... In the kitchen, there's a drawer Containing, I am sure Almost everything required For to make a jumbo jet. Me fingers went a-riflin' through... But, argh, it's just a bunch o' junk. Yet, wait, here is a card I forgot to send, saying: "Hope this finds its way to you." - A.R. 'Encounters' I stood before the window. In Reflection, at my side, a figure stood. To which I turned, and it was me. "What are you doing here?" I asked. "What are you doing here?" I asked. While the clock became a man - The face became a face, and The hands became moustaches Beneath which formed a mouth - And told me the time: At once. The spirit appeared And spoke of death With little conviction, and left. He was here for no more than Five minutes. (Said the clock.) I don't believe you. - A.R.
Matt delivered two lovely poems, this week, under a paper plate upon which was a slice of chocolate birthday cake. The frosting was a little rich, but the cake itself was good – moist, but light, with a good, assertive natural vanilla aroma and flavor. Was that a hint of almond…? Next to the plate was a jaunty-hued, but diminutive paper cup filled with a liquid on the violent end of red. Once the ants were evicted, I downed it, enthusiastically. Almost instantaneously, the reason behind such a meagre measure became clear, as my constitution was sent flying by a speeding juggernaut of sweetness that I can only speculate constituted somewhere in the region of two to three-thousand percent of my recommended intake of sugar. I returned to the cake. The frosting tasted like lilacs on the breeze.
Thank-you, Matt, and happy birthday, Mellon.
'The Museum Of Dolls' Her legs don't work at all But, still, she can smile. I'm not sure that I'd want to live If all I could do was smile. I, trying to pull a comb With gritted teeth Through her thin hair, Tied in a terrible trap. Woe, and woe besides, betide One who confuses the crime Of never growing up With never getting old. - M.B. '8-19-14 (First Day)' Harder than I thought it was To turn our backs and go, To let the real world in. To let your life begin, Ball roll, and teacher teach. You didn't seem too nervous, though, I noticed that the night before You only ate one-half slice pizza And one segment peach. And I told you: "It's okay," And threw the rest away. I missed you very much, today. - M.B.
It sounds like the opening line a joke, or a bit in a Beat novel, but I once stumbled off the street and into a church where a wedding was taking place. A buffoon at the organ mimed with his hands to music that came from a small sound system a few feet from where I stood, while a small congregation, perhaps six-or-eight guests, sat very still. From her expression, and the minister’s repeated checking of his wristwatch, it was clear that the bride had been stood-up. Faced with such a scene, I did the only honorable thing a man could do: I unplugged the sound system.
I’m not sure what I took from the experience, except to say it inspired me to create an alternate version of ‘The Wedding March’ for accordion, which I played on every corner at a million miles an hour. I was young, then, and had the world’s ear in the palm of my hand.
Come on. Let’s go,