Retail Blues

Lourdes is coughin’ on a Sponge Bob umbrella-

Checkin’ the price, and then she’s

Coughin’ again.

Lourdes is talkin’ about red bein’ dangerous.

She don’t have a Lexus, but she hopes

It would be black.

Lourdes is arrangin’ all the Beanie Babies,

‘Cause Beanie Babies just don’t

Straighten themselves.

Lourdes is cooin’ over Elvis Presley-

She says the King can be so

Hard to find.

“How far you wanna go inside this company?”

I want to go until the company comes…

Of age and stops all this communicatin’

Like someone who’s had a lobotomy.

Lourdes is coughin’ on a Sponge Bob umbrella-

Checkin’ the price, and then she’s

Coughin’ again.

Helluva Good Duck

Know what I’d love to do some day?

Smuggle- I don’t know- a duck or a goose or something- across the country. One coast to another. It could ride incognito on the passenger side, traveling for weeks and maybe months at a time. We’d ride with our heads all low, just cruising cool as salad across state line after state line.

Sure, sometimes we would be followed.

But if anybody cried fowl along the way, I’d say, “Nah, not with me. Prolly just a low flying pillow or something.” And they’d buy it, ’cause folks are dopey mostly, or at least more inclined to laugh than ask questions.

And so we’d be off again. Just like that. Free and clear for another day. And I’d course through the veins of this nation, drunk on a cocktail of straight wind and freedom. Out of control with the love of my life…

The only thing stopping me, keeping me still, is that nobody’s on the watch for duck smugglers. Not yet. If the authorities happened to stop me these days, they’d only think I’m a farmer or a weirdo. And I’m not saying that they’re wrong either way. Still, would it kill them to impose a fine or something? Just a little one- nothing drastic. Not until it catches on, at least. I’d just like to know what I’m doing is pissing them off.

Is that too much to ask?

It’s not like I don’t understand the reasons against all this. I get it. It’s ridiculous, it’s silly, it’s pointless, it’s strange- really, I get it. But in all honesty… what if that’s all I could ever bring myself to do? Duck smuggling. If it turns out that there could never be anything else for me, if that is really all I could ever, ever do? Inaction or duck smuggling. Unhappiness or bliss. In that case, wouldn’t living out some crazy dream be better than doing nothing, for a lifetime?

“QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!”

Thank you. That’s what I thought.

Better Hit the Gym

Formidable men.

The sort most oft invoked

In tones of wist or triumph.

Yet, fashioned from poor mimicry

Come the echoed misheard boasts

Of those who live more jealously.

This brood hiss only hollow toasts

To the other kind of them.

Formidable men.

Those ones worth twice the blessings.

All Those People that You Know…

“Come inside and pour a drink,” flows the man’s words from a stiff, smoking mouth. His essence is solidly mumbling grizzly. Frightened and frightening, lonely and proud, he speaks his low words into a damp chimney. Too strong to be lost, too weak to be found.

“I can’t right now. Maybe next time,” replies the estranger to the vanishing cloud. Aware of the presence of care in the calling, he hides nonetheless, afraid of the sound. Harboring sympathies, offering lies, he tries to save no soul today.

“Maybe next time,” they whisper and sigh, “Maybe next time.”

A few more steps down the line, then both die.

Try to See Where I’m Coming From

… It’s the bathroom.

Not compelling? No, why would it be.

Well… suppose I didn’t wash my hands!

And every second, I’m just being filthy!

Befouling all manner of object with germy-soil bedecked gropes and swipings!

Ah ha! Now we are getting somewhere!

We must be of one mind on this matter:

This time is pointless.

Whistling Dixie.

Whistling Dixie.

Whistling Dixie?

Would be more profitable, yes.

Our lives are precious.

When I am older, I will come here to pass gas.

Peace in Quiet

There are those who have all the words-

More than they need each day.

But some of us more lowly sons

Must work for what we say.

For empty thoughts are sold and bought

Like rich men’s luxuries,

Then said aloud and heaved around

As ships on waves at sea.

A little thrift won’t deaden tongues,

But wastefulness just might.

The thirsty man has leaks galore;

The sated’s watertight.

From the Cradle.

In springtime, life is easy.

Never has any man suffered in earnest

Due to March air breathing and spring.

It’s just when where we shop is where we live,

We end up home and barely speaking–

Barely living, is more like it, when it’s us and them and screens.

Convenience is a venom, Venus. It’s a you more bad than good.

And a workplace is a prison, minus fresh air,

And just two weeks off for being good.

It’s where we have to be to not die–

And to die simultaneously:

Happening at the same time, we say,

There is nothing more brutal than this!”


But that’s not true when it is springtime.

Here’s the trick:

That season is every day, sirs,

And all that’s cold is you.

Few things are truly “dying.”

It’s more like most things “are.”

So why waste time on feeling rotten

While still respiring without thought?

(Especially when it’s springtime)

You should not.

No soul can trap a moment

–Tap your touch screen all you please–

But each nerve remembers versions

Like old books they will reread.

And not a one’s recalled more fondly

Than even the dullest days

Of spring.

RIP Mitch

It was around the time we were discussing our respective tax troubles that Mitchell completely snapped. He just jumped up, walked straight outta the depot, and disappeared.

I heard a little later on that he had gone and scaled the east side of a laundromat using jutting bricks and air intake vents as footholds. Apparently, when Mitchell got to the top, he just lied on the roof for a few days. He told everybody who saw him that he was just collecting his thoughts. Really though, he was just collecting noxious fumes from all that roof tar.

It was seasonably hot here in Guatemala, so his common sense really dropped the ball on informing him to avoid doing something like that. But who knows, maybe common sense is the first organ to succumb to roof tar. Science has its fair share of blank spots, and there’s no sense in harping on ’em to try and make it blush.

Either way, we can all agree that ole Mitch was never too much for thinking. There’s no doubt about that, seeing as how he never did catch-on to the affair that I’ve been having with his wife, for what, like seventeen years now? We haven’t exactly been discreet about it either. Anybody remember Carlos Siega’s Christmas party two years ago? What a night. But perhaps this isn’t the time to get into all that. Water under the bridge, as they say.

So yeah. He sold key chains to tourists, his wife didn’t much care for him, and he owed a few years in back taxes that now he’ll never have to pay. That about sums up the life of ole Mitchell Rebbins, so whaddya say we file his eulogy under “DONE” and call it a day? I’ll be seeing most of you at the after party down at Wallbanger’s.

Dismissed!