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May 14, 2013 | Poetry

2 Poems

Calvero

2 Poems photo

 

ancient chinese secret, huh?

Today
I was at McDonald’s
and there was this chunky,
high school-aged kid
who worked there
and who was sitting
all alone
in the dining area
on his lunch break.
He had finished
eating his food
and he had this look
on his face
that looked like a soggy,
Nerf football
that had been stuck up in
the rain gutters
for a few months
and that made me go,
        Awwwwwwww
inside my head.

I wanted to
walk over to him
and hold a quarter up
in front of him
and be like,
          “Here…
Take this quarter
and punch it through
my teeth.
I’ll swallow it down
into my stomach
and then my jukebox heart
will play us a nice,
slow song
for us to dance to.

We can share
a nice, friendly
bro-dance
and then we can press
our stale existences
into one another
and pretend that the ticking
hands of a clock
don’t feel like razors
racing up and down
our backs
like tiny, Matchbox cars.”

Then he’d take
the quarter
and punch it through
my teeth
and I’d swallow it
down
into my stomach
and my heart
would begin playing
“Put Your Head On My Shoulder”
and then he and I
would take each other’s hands
and we’d move in
nice and close
to one another
and begin slow dancing.

Blood would seep down
outta my mouth
and get all over
his white, button-down
work shirt
        staining it horribly
and making me go,
        “Oh…

I’m sorry…

I’m sorry
I’m bleeding

on you
and ruining
your shirt.

        You look great
in red though.

Like realllly,
awesomely great
in red.

         So, wait…
                No…

I’m not sorry
for bleeding
on you then
because of how great
you look in red.

         So, actually,
you’re welcome
I guess
is what I’m saying
here.”

I wanted
to do all that
for the kid

but I didn’t.

I didn’t
because I knew
he knew
what I knew…

Love
is an illusion
that you are close
to someone else
who is alive.

Love
is an illusion
that you are not
alone

and that kid
knew how alone
he was.

That kid
knew how alone
I was.

That kid
knew how alone
all of us
actually were.

I threw
my trash away,
drove home,
climbed back up
the ladder,
laid back down
in the rain gutters
and wished
I were human
enough
not to know better.

 

faces like flashing red lights

I was at work
and I was folding
these hot pink
scrub pants
that the ladies
who worked there
wore
and as I was
folding them
I got this great
idea

and it was such
a great idea
that I thought,
         This must’ve been
how Doc Brown
felt
when he came up
with the idea
for the Flux
Capacitor,

and I was like,
         I’m gonna put
these hot pink
scrub pants
on my head
and then
I’m gonna walk
into the room
where all my
co-workers are talking
and working
and the hot pink
scrub pants
will hang off my head
and catch their
attention
and I won’t say
anything
and I’ll be all
serious-like

         like I don’t
have hot pink
scrub pants
on my head
and then
everyone will see them
on me and laugh
and be like,

         “Oh my God,
what the hell
are you doing?!
What’s wrong
with you?”

and it’ll be extra
funny too
because pants
on some guy’s head
is funny enough

         as is,
but hot pink
scrub pants
on some guy’s head
is just flat out
hilarious.

The idea
was bubbling
with all kinds
of comedic
potential
and it was all
so funny
I felt like
I practically
owed it to everyone
to do it.
Like it was so funny
I couldn’t
         not
do it
so I unfolded
the pants
I had just folded
and put the waistband
around my head
and dangled the legs
down my back
and I heard
Graham Chapman
laughing from
inside his grave
and then I walked into
the front room
full of my
co-workers

         but as I
walked into the room
I looked at
my co-workers
and my co-workers
all had faces
like flashing
red lights.
Their faces blinked
and blinked
and blinked
and blinked
and blinked
         and, well,
                  you get the idea,
and when you see
a flashing
red light
you’re supposed to
stop.
You’re supposed to
stop
because it’s the law
so I stopped
because I’m a very
law-abiding citizen
and I looked
at their flashing
red faces
and waited for them
to turn green
but they never
did.
They never changed
so after waiting there
for awhile
I lost interest
in making them laugh
and I just turned around,
walked back
to my pile of laundry
and all of a sudden
I was just
some idiot
with hot pink
scrub pants
on his head.

Earlier
that morning
I took a little,
white pill
and after
I swallowed it
confetti shot
out of my ears.
Then
I just got sad
and bummed out
and frustrated
and was like,
         Fuck
because
there was confetti
all over
the kitchen
and I had to
clean it up
so I just grabbed
the broom
and began sweeping
and thought,
         Feeling human
definitely
shouldn’t be
this difficult.

         And feeling human
definitely
shouldn’t involve
this much fucking
sweeping.

I took the hot pink
scrub pants
off my head
and grabbed

a pen
and some paper
and I sat down
and began writing
a letter.

“Dear pill people,

I’m pretty sure
your pills
don’t work.
I’m supposed to
fit in
and feel normal
and see normal things
like ears and noses and mouths and eyes
         or at the very least
green light faces
         and I don’t.
         I don’t see
any of those things.
I’m not angry
with you guys
and your faulty
product
but I am however
really disappointed.
And you know
that me
being disappointed
in you
is far, far worse
than me
being angry
at you.
I don’t even
want a refund.
Maybe I could
exchange
the pills I’m currently
taking
that don’t work
for pills
that do work?
Like do you have any
dick enlargement pills
that work?
I’d be happy
to make that exchange
in lieu
of a refund.

Thank you
for your time
and get back to me
soon
about the whole
dick enlargement pill
thing.”

Then
I signed
the letter,
folded it up
and ate it
because
         like dick size
there are just
some things
you’re never gonna
be able
to change.

I hope
the faces
look like faces
tomorrow.

image: Andromeda Veach


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