this tragedy is almost comic if it weren’t so sad

Some great mind conceived in moments
self-obsessed upon creative genius
the story which now unfolds moment by moment
around us. We all
from the chattering masses of giggling girls
adorned with glittered cosmetics,
cosmopolitan branded attire, handbags and clutches
and fingernails
to the brash and brazen boys
with wooden smiles and plastic, remote controlled
personalities
we all bounce and bound off walls in attempt
to wrap mind around the big picture
to little avail. We cannot see
the forest entire
in all the clutter, noise and business.
The message is lost amidst the crossfire
of orders given, driven, shouted and whispered
with varying degrees of urgency.
The point is not here, not present in this chaos.
One might feel half-compelled
to lament to loss of meaning
in a fragrant, expensively eye-catching
mushroom cloud
that mars the landscape of modern art.
Too busy comparing
summer vacations in Vietnam and
winter trips to Vegas,
cellular phones and websites and stylists
or expressing opinions on the artistic merit
of the series finale
– which was, of course,
the most important piece of fiction
ever captured on screen and will
no doubt live on for eternity.
We won’t bother shedding tears for this
latest lame horse
saddles and whipped and loosed
from the gates of Hollywood
to batter itself against track and fence
to gain praise and favour,
we won’t waste worry or care for the car wreck,
loud and destructive it may be,
for we know that soon the cacophony will cease,
the horse will die,
the wreck will be cleared and
we can go about our lives
until the next catastrophe goes to camera.

unsafe working conditions

is this really it?
you and me and my aunts and uncles and most kids I went to school with
we all bought tickets to THIS fucking ride?
the twists and turns it seems to offer are those it uses to squeeze your heart
warp your brain and bend your spine
at first it seems like rewards are abound
laughs and smiles and clapping hands
friends and money and liquored good fun
but you have to work and when you try to work they won’t let you
and you think, Hey buddy, if I could get away with not, I would,
I never wanted the job in the first place
but they told me I had to, so can I work please?
No way man, they say, You don’t have the papers, you need papers to work
so I get the papers and they say it’ll be a little while
and I ask how long, and they say be patient
I say I don’t care if it takes a year but they won’t let me work without
they ask, Why do you want to work so badly?
I say I don’t but they DO want me to work, very badly, they say I have to
they ask who “They” are and I realize I don’t know
who are they
maybe it’s just me and there is no they
but that isn’t true, because I can’t turn off my water
or lock myself out of my flat or cut off my lights
but they can
so who is running this show?
if life is some job you’re hired to do at birth
to whom do I go with my grievances?
it doesn’t seem worth it sometimes to toil
and soak my skin in oil and sweat
and drown my ears in the cackling of whores
with their taste-offending dates
to wear out good pairs of shoes on sticky floors
to catch buses home at 5:15 am
and breathe vomit stink through tired nostrils
just to earn enough to pay rent
so I can live comfortably and gather together
with other war torn rubes of the city in pubs
like the one at which I slave away
and bitch and whine over beer and wine
and drown our worries for the future

giving up and buying in

fuck it, you know
you probably don’t really have it in you
you’re probably better off just buying that ticket to Dockers-ville
get yourself a pair of comfortable shoes and paint yourself plaid
get that beard or at least start putting money aside for one
make that beige minivan your shining brass ring
and do whatever you can to get it
and a garage to keep it in, of course
you’ll need a bath mat and place mats and a HAZ-MAT
to dump your soft, bloated body when it’s finally time to give up
on water and air and food and laughter and walking
the same way you gave up on life

maybe I do have a problem

when you’re walking in the front door in daylight
and the barmaid’s putting up the sign outside
and you have to check your watch and ask for confirmation
that the bar is in fact open and she congratulates you
on being the first customer of the day

when you sit at the empty bar and only the owner of the place
is sharing the space with you

when you feel like an alcoholic
and the fact that you’re drunk isn’t helping

when you feel obligated to order a coffee and a glass of water
just to make yourself feel somewhat under control
somewhat half-way pedestrian

when that time kicks in your ribs
with the cold and pointed twang of social conformity

maybe it’s time to admit
you have a problem

amway

I hadn’t seen the girl in years
she had lost a lot of weight since then, and her virginity as well
told me she lost it to a man she met in Mexico
her virginity, I mean
the weight she lost on her own when she gave up meat
and took up yoga
she looked good, really good
after our second date she broke her ankle and I bought her a reaching stick
it cost me thirty-five dollars
looking back, it was too much
on our third date we watched a movie and laughed
her big eyes were blue, naive and beautiful
she glowed when she smiled and had great legs
even in that huge plaster cast
on our fourth date she tried to sell me Amway
I didn’t see her again
these things happen, I guess