Thursday, August 6, 2020

Garvin (a poem)

I'm not a taxi cab driver in this poem
I'm a window washer
And this poem may not rhyme either
As you may have guessed

I'm hanging thirty stories above the ground
I'm washing windows
And windows
And windows
My squeegee in one hang
Rag in another
Water pail on the board below me
Just washing windows

The hours aren't bad
No long hours
No short hours
Just medium hours

I finish a window and then move on
To the next one
And then the next one
And then the next one
Until I get to the top
And then
I'll do it again next week

I don't know why this is called Garvin
Just something to call it
I guess
You can quit reading now
I'm late for an appointment

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

My Dearest Wishing to Belong to Another Edithion

Fred said,
"It's customary to excuse oneself before trying anything so absurd
As to what you have

"But I thought,"
Sighed Clyde,
"That you would understand that I can't go on living
With this cursed condition
Hovering over us."

"Impatience Immanent Immaterial Immovable
Immense Immeasurable Immodest Imaniniums"

"Don't talk to me like that - it makes no sense. 
You're just blathering off words
That start with Im
As far as I can tell and
It has nothing to do with our relationship."

"Don't try to belittle my felicity.
Don't nullify this electricity.
The Federal District is full of Morons
Who cross the eye and dot the tee."

Sing me another love song
Once more
With feeling.

Play that saxophone.

Monday, August 3, 2020

One Thousand

Smile for me
Laugh for me
You're lovely

Frown for me
Cry for me
You're lovely

I could read your name
In one thousand lines of poetry
I could see your face
In one thousand works of art

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Vicious Love

You don't have to cut a hole in my head
To let your love flow in.
You don't need to slash little tick marks in my arm
Trying to keep track of the times I say
I love you - again and again.

My memory of you, photographic;
You make my heart go psychopathic;
I couldn't live without the graphic
Whirlwind you spin.

You don't need to saw off my legs.
I promise I will never
Walk away from you.
You don't have to carve your name
In my skull, if it's all the same,
I know our love is true.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dear Wishing to Be

For our next lesson, 
I would like to direct you 
to the eastern coast
of Anywhere.

There we will live until
the ship comes in.

At the very least
it will be by the fall of the next decade.

I hope you
and all of yours 
will enjoy yourselves.

Yours Truly,
I Am

P.S. You'll need your bicycle tires
aired up for this frantic journey.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

One Night at the Chicken Shack

Young John Waldenthrottle rode his J.C. Higgins ten-speed bicycle over to the Chicken Shack and parked on the sidewalk in front of the plate glass window. Looking inside, he could see that most of the gang had arrived already so he walked on over to the door and went inside to join them.

“Hey Young John!” they all called out as he walked over to where they were sitting.

“Hey everyone!” replied Young John. “Sorry I’m late. I ran over a big sponge on the way here and it got all jammed up in my derailleur so I had to stop and dig it out.”  He went on over and sat down at the table with Agnes, Manticore, James and Albert.

At the next table over was Melvin, with Max on the floor under his chair, Cyclops with the duck on his shoulder, and Medusa. At the end of the table, they had opened the window so that Pegasus could stick his head inside and be part of the gathering. (It had taken some fancy talking to get the manager to allow Max and the duck to come in. They struck out completely when it came to the large, winged horse!)

The Chicken Shack girl brought out a tray with three pitchers of beer, nine mugs and two bowls (yes, the duck drinks out of a mug!) and distributed them to the tables.

Young John looked over to Agnes and asked, “So where’s Vera tonight? She have to work?”

“Yeah,” replied Agnes. “Her boss is being a real jerk. Hasn’t given her any time off since the night she missed work and didn’t call in. You know, the night we were 'stoned' at the cemetery.”  Then she looked toward the other table and said, “Sorry Medusa, no offense.”

“None taken,” said Medusa. “Oh, and I’ve decided to change my name to Marissa.”

“That’s right – I was gonna mention that,” added Cyclops. “People just really have this negative visual image of anyone named Medusa so we thought a name change would be a good idea.”

Then the Manticore piped up, “So when are you gonna get around to giving that duck of yours a name?”

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa there just a second, Manticore,” chimed in Melvin. “That’s no different than you being a Manticore and just going by the name Manticore – now is it?”

Hey now! I’ve got an actual name.”

“Oh yeah? What is it?”

Just as Manticore was about to answer him, a 1956 Ford Country Squire station wagon pulled into the parking lot out front.

“Hey look!” interrupted Agnes. “Isn't that the car that used to belong to…”

And before she could finish that sentence, the driver’s door opened and out stepped: Carl Simpson!

The whole gang stopped everything and just stared out the window as Carl walked around the front of the Country Squire and over to the passenger side where he opened first the door to the front seat and then the one to the back. Out of the doors stepped two absolutely gorgeous women. Carl closed the doors behind them and the trio began walking toward the door to the Chicken Shack.

Suddenly, Medu- uh, Marissa shouted out, “Hey, those are my sisters – Stheno and Euryale!” Immediately she got up and ran to the door to greet them.

As the sisters hugged each other repeatedly and started carrying on in that excited, giddy sort of conversation like three sisters tend to do when they haven’t seen each other in a while, Carl ambled on over to the tables where everyone else was and sat down.

“Man, it is sure good to see you,” said Melvin. “I was sorta wondering what happened to you. Whatcha been doing lately?” Obviously not ready to tip his hand too much in case Carl wasn’t really aware of exactly what all went down last weekBut he was definitely very curious as to what exactly did happen to Carl with regards to the aftermath of that fateful day. Melvin glanced over to Albert and James with a puzzled look on his face. He sensed that same puzzlement and curiosity in the looks on their faces also.

“Well,” began Carl. “The way I understand it from those two…” He paused to point over his shoulder to Stheno and Euryale. “...their sister, Medusa, turned me into a stone statue. That's the only part that I actually, vaguely remember. But according to what I learned from them, apparently some guy mowing the yard at the cemetery…” He raised his eyebrow in Melvin’s direction. “...bumped into me with a riding lawn mower and broke me in half. Then...” He turned his head toward Albert and James. “...a couple of grave digging guys assisted the lawn mowing guy in carrying the halves of my body over to the chapel - where they ended up locking me in a coffin and running off with the key.”

“Okay. Wait. Let me explain…” interrupted Melvin.

Carl raised his hand signaling Melvin to be quiet, and then he continued, “I’m not upset at all. It was a strange day to say the least. Apparently for all of us. Fortunately for me though, Stheno and Euryale… Wait, wait. They’ve changed their names to Juliana and Winnie. Which I’m totally okay with – I couldn’t properly pronounce those other names anyway. So like I was saying; fortunately for me, Juliana and Winnie witnessed the whole thing from the woods. When you guys left the chapel, they came in, broke open the coffin, and carried me off into the woods.”

As the three sisters approached the tables, Marissa said, “Excuse me everyone, I’d like to introduce my sisters - ‘Juliana’ and ‘Winnie.’ Girls, this is Agnes and Manticore and James and Albert and Young John. And here is Melvin and that’s Max on the floor and Cyclops and duck and you remember my son, Pegasus.”

“I’m changing my name to Alexander,” announced Pegasus.

Young John said, “Hi ladies. Carl was just telling us how you rescued him from the coffin.”

“Oh yeah,” replied Juliana. “If we hadn’t have glued the two halves back together when we did – My Zeus that would have been a big mess when he came back to life!”

And everyone laughed for a few seconds – then paused to think about what that would have actually looked like and went, “Eww!"

Gross!" said Young John. "Can’t you see that we’re getting ready to eat?”

At that moment, the Chicken Shack girl came back out of the kitchen with a big tray full of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, biscuits, another pitcher of beer and three more mugs. The sisters sat down and everyone passed around the food then started eating.

A few moments went by without a word being spoken then Melvin took a drink of his beer and broke the silence by saying, “So what is your real name Manticore?”

“It’s Manfred,” answered the Manticore.

Well that is strange," said the duck. "That’s my name too!"

And then they all really did live happily ever after.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Riding with a Can of Transmission Fluid

Making contact with Medusa, Cyclops wrapped both of his hands tightly around her neck and lifted her straight up off the ground. Their eyes locked together.  She was waiting for the transformation to start – the transformation that would turn her attacker into a helpless slab of rock. Cyclops, keeping his left hand securely wrapped around her throat, moved his right hand down and brought it around behind her. She started gasping for air – wondering why this creature was not turning to stone. Cyclops began pushing and twisting his arms with such force that her backbone would surely break under the pressure. He had conquered worse than her with his bare hands before. Face to face, their eyes never losing contact with each other. Medusa’s neck was twisted so far to her right that she felt that at any moment she would hear it snap. Their eyes, their lips within inches of each other – she could feel his beer and fried chicken breath on her face. Medusa, near helpless in his arms but still determined that she could get him to turn to stone at any moment, was on the brink of passing out when… Cyclops loosened his grip around her throat, brought her lips to his and kissed her.

He continued to look into her eyes and, now cradling her in his massive arms, he kissed her again.

As the tension rapidly drained from each of their bodies, violence turned to kindness; war turned to peace; anger turned to calmness; aggression turned to compassion – and then the physical metamorphosis began. Medusa’s skin started to lighten and smooth, scales began to disappear. Her fangs retracted and her hands, which were once claw-like and grotesque, became soft, gentle and petite. One by one, the snakes began to die and fall from her head until she was totally bald – the full moon shining brightly on her bare scalp.

Hmm,” said the Cyclops. “I think that look becomes you!”

I'm thinking I might want to get a wig,” replied Medusa. She started kissing him again.

Behind the caretaker’s house, next to the patio, the lid on one of the trash cans lifted ever so slightly – just enough for two eyes to peer out to see if there was any sign of World War III or maybe even Armageddon.  Other than what miraculously seemed to be a still, peaceful night, the only thing that appeared to be a little out of the ordinary was the statue of the Manticore sitting in a lawn chair with a box of fried chicken on its lap. Young John was about to crawl out of the trash can when suddenly the stone Manticore twisted its head as if to pop the muscles in its neck and shoulders.

“Ahhhh! That feels better,” said the Manticore with a raspy, crackling voice. Then little bit by little bit, the Manticore gradually started to lose its stony appearance as the flesh and hairy exterior covering started to reappear. He took a piece of chicken out of the box and bit into it. As he was chewing, he glanced toward Young John peering over the top of the trash can and said, “How long have I been asleep?”

“I’m not really sure,” answered Young John. “But I know it was about eleven or twelve hours ago that I saw you leave that cold cut combo at the sandwich wagon.”

“No wonder I’m so hungry,” he replied as he took another bite of the fried chicken.

Out on the front lawn, Max suddenly sprang back to life and immediately ran over to Melvin and started licking his stony face – eyes, mouth, nostrils – the works! James and Albert gradually started moving about over at their scene of disaster. The duck’s legs started twitching as its body returned to the living and breathing world. Albert lifted himself off of the bird bath and stood up. James started kicking at their bikes in an attempt to work himself free.

“OH GOOD GRIEF, STOP THAT!” shouted Melvin as he reached up and knocked Max away from his face. He pulled his feet free from the John Deere, stood up and started taking in the scene around him - wondering what all had happened while he was out.

At about that time, Young John and the Manticore came from around back. Young John, looking over at Medusa and Cyclops still lip-locked together, hollered, “For Pete’s sake – get a room!”

As they all were standing in the yard, checking themselves over – feeling to make sure that flesh was flesh once again; elbows and knees and such moved properly once again; and that everything was back to the way it was supposed to be – Agnes, Vera and Pegasus came walking down the path. “What the heck happened?” they started asking.

Young John stepped up and, pointing toward Cyclops and Medusa, said, “Well, she turned the duck to stone and then Cyclops attacked her. After that, I’m not really sure what happened.”

Medusa chimed in, “Apparently, I was unable to concentrate my power toward someone with only one eye. I tried as hard as I could but he just kept staring right at me with that single eye - like he was looking straight through me andand my powers were absolutely useless. All my life, I’ve only ever turned creatures with two eyes into stone. I really thought I was about to die and then - he kissed me." She glanced over at Cyclops with a loving look on her face and she said, "He kissed me and the horrible spell was broken.”

James and Albert, in unison said, “Awww!”

Then everyone, all together, “Awww!”

“Oh, just gag me!” said the duck.

Once everyone was back at the pavilion, they were able to push Agnes’ car out of the flower bed and get it started. The front grill and hood were a little dinged up but it was still driveable. Agnes and Vera offered the Manticore a ride and the three of them took off for town. James and Albert got their bicycles untangled and, after a quick check, determined that no mechanical damage had been done. Cyclops was planning on hanging out at the pavilion for a little bit with Medusa and Pegasus so Young John got his bike ready to ride back to town with Albert and James. As Young John was getting ready to mount his J.C. Higgins ten-speed, Cyclops walked over to his Schwinn Varsity to get something out of his rear bag.

“Here little buddy, catch,” said Cyclops. With that, he tossed a can of transmission fluid over to Young John Waldenthrottle.

And everyone lived happily ever after – well, maybe everyone except for Carl. They had all sort of forgotten about Carl Simpson. That was probably a real bummer to come back to life temporarily only to find that you’d been locked in a coffin – and chopped into two pieces, no less.


The next morning, all was peaceful once again at Resthaven Cemetery. Melvin and Max got up early and ate a hearty breakfast. Afterward, Melvin went out and started working on the John Deere mower for a little while before he had to go unlock the gates at eight o’clock. About thirty minutes later, people started arriving for the graveside services of Phil the Groundhog.

And with that, we answer the previously asked question,
“Who is that buried in Phil’s grave out at Resthaven Cemetery?”

Oh? You missed that question?
Then you need to read…