Spare Change

Wisdom cries in public places, sharing private laments with a crowd of immovable wax. But having mistaken the expression for a kind of street performance, the assembly is unimpressed and believes it can do better. So they blink unseeing eyes and formulate replies from yawns,’til even Wisdom must concede that they better grasp the ways of men.

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A M. PM

A Snuggie hand- knit
From the upper lip
Hair of 10,000
Neubile Young Lasses-
The epitome of luxury and style.
Self-taught for a lifetime-
Just not the Whole time-
How many times
Can you learn that you’re despicable?
‘Til it’s no surprise.

No matter tough nor taut,
No, all strips of cloth
Still rot beneath the sun.
Such is the lot of each
Muscle laid bare, save one.
That which moves at a speed
Of one second, per second;
That which moves with no regard
To the Measurer and his Tricks.
It can & must frustrate all expectations.

Wrinkles

If I were a Finnish man in a sauna, surrounded on all sides by my compatriots- my naked, fellow Finnish friends- I would talk with them about the feeling of being old and unimpressed with life. We would remark upon the sadness of no longer wrestling with choices, the crippling realization that, at last, we are forced to act our age. With so many friends now former, it would do our old flesh good to once more be reminded of sweet camaraderie. With such soft and solemn subjects, we would prevent anyone’s arousal, and our poor wives would never find out who was the true joy of our lives…

Never Bet on a Baby

A Hispanic, jumping spider is not a worthy opponent for a six month old baby. At least that’s what I told them, but alas, it was to no avail. I argued that although the spider possessed superior agility, the baby could easily crush him flat. In the end though, I was ignored and the fight went on as scheduled.

The event was highly publicized and as a result, the turnout was astounding. There was only a lukewarm expectancy for the baby’s victory, despite his size advantage. Thus it appeared that the Hispanic, jumping spider known as Phillipe would not only win the competition, but the people’s hearts as well.

The first round was a snap. The baby inadvertantly threw a mean right hook while rolling over and reaching for a passing speck of dust, but Phillipe easily dodged the attack. The spider countered with a barrage of body slams to the baby’s abdomen and by the third round, the baby had slumped over unconscious, bloated with spider venom.

The crowd cheered and Phillipe beamed with pride. The little spider from Guatemala had overcome impossible odds to walk away victorious, and the infant carcass now lay as proof. As Phillipe began spinning a web around his unconscious trophy, preparing to cart it home for display and dinner, I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two. Somehow the little spider had done it. Phillipe had turned the tide.

Origin Shaft

The brain is like a coal mine

Diamonds come from coal

When pressure, heat, and time combine-

Though all of this is merely told.

Who sees the process?

Can it be mapped out?

Or must some things stay unknown?

How do lumps of hardened dust

Become such priceless, precious stones?

The brain is like a closed mine

Though coal as fuel can burn and live,

Diamonds weigh down fingertips.

So what’s the use in value?

Joke to Sonnet

A man walks into a bar with a giraffe. He says, “A beer for me and one for my giraffe.” And they stand around drinking for hours until the giraffe passes out on the floor. The man pays the tab and gets up to leave. The bartender says, “Hey! You’re not going to leave that lyin’ on the floor, are you?” The man says, “That’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe.”

Once a gentleman arrived at a bar

In the company of a grand giraffe.

They’d walked, for want of a spacious ‘nuff car,

And now both sought to imbibe a carafe.

“Some booze for me and my friend, good shop keep!”

Sang the man, though his voice was depleted.

Two large drinks were soon served, and though not cheap,

They were gulped and the order repeated.

The giraffe, after hours of drinking,

Fell to the floor, so the man paid the tab,

And to the front door he started slinking,

‘Til the angry barkeep stopped him to gab.

“Don’t leave that lyin’ there! What, are you daft?!”

“Tis no lion,” said he, “But a giraffe.”

The Ballad of Ned Pinstripe

Ned Pinstripe was a man with values. He never took his take, nor faked his full. Ned Pinstripe was always on the level. When his little niece, Claire, came down with jaundice, ole Ned Pinstripe was the one to swim down to Atlantis and ask the god of the sea, King Neptune, for his world-renowned cure.

Ned Pinstripe was always there for family.

Later on, when Ned was off in the Serengeti, fighting witch doctors and shooting poachers in the brain, his little niece took sick again with the jaundice. And wouldn’t you know it, ole Ned Pinstripe high-tailed it right back down to King Neptune’s doorstep! He asked the sea king what the deal was with the bum medicinals that he had pawned off on ole Ned, and Neptune, well he got a bit ornery.

Ned Pinstripe was never one to back down from a good fistfight.

He and Neptune threw down for the better part of an hour, and at the end of it, we all had ourselves a brand new god of the sea. That’s right, you guessed it- ole Ned Pinstripe! Nowadays though, none of us are allowed in the whole ocean, except for Ned and his niece of course. We shoulda guessed something was going on with those two, what with the way Ned was always running off to her rescue and all. The thing is that Ned Pinstripe was such a charmer, nobody much suspected anything. Things are sure different with the ocean closed off to all living creatures though. Ole Ned even exiled all the aquatics! Said they weren’t open minded enough for the open ocean and that the squishier ones were surefire breeding grounds for jaundice. Now the land stinks like fish and death.

Ned Pinstripe was a jerk.

Forever Dumb

When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me that there was nothing worse than being average. Being left in the dust, he said, a complete failure in every sense of the word was better than being middle of the road. The way he had it figured, those who were always having it stuck to ’em, the ones who were really hurting, getting nowhere fast- they were the ones who really knew what it meant to be alive. He told me that the guys in last place were always working extra hard, not to get ahead so much as to just survive. There was a knowledge you got from last place, he told me, a cathartic kind of longview that made you thankful for your place in life, no matter how humble it may be. No one was greedy in last place, and nobody was numb either like those in the middle who were always pushing so desperately, trying to get themselves a little further ahead of the rest. People in that lowliest position saw things the way they really are, and those folks were just grateful to have some part in the whole grand affair. They understood that so much of life is just the living- the surviving moment-to-moment, day-to-day.

It didn’t occur to me until much later that my dad was just trying to console himself, that his whole philosophy was more mad-grab than hard fact. It didn’t occur to me until much later that, passionate and aware or not, my dad was a loser like any other. Forever searching for silver linings, forever making excuses, forever fixed in last place.

First Impression

When you simply are decaying, out of sort with your true form,

Just remember, there’s a mind inside that head of yours-

Beneath a layer of dense tissue, and two inch of stiffened bone,

There is a mind, and it is thinking, but it’s not the only

One, two, three…

Four stationary moths on a stucco ceiling-

You can count them; you can count them, if you’d like to.

You’re invited; you’re invited to a light inside of me-

You can see it; you can see, if you’d like to.