Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'll Wait For You

[This is a reworking and frankensteining of an older love poem. Pretty standard cheesy fun. It's basically two poems smooshed together. Hope y'all enjoy.]

You may not know this, but your eyes are big.
Bigger than average. Bigger than your head.
Bigger than the sun. Bigger than a Centaur’s appetite.
They are big and sticky. Evergreen sap sticky.
I can’t get unstuck. Your eyes are big brown balls of sticky.

And when you laugh, it’s an earthquake.
I lose my balance. I lose my breath.
When I am around you, I make damn sure
I’ve got my inhaler. Ventolin keeps me alive.

And you love things I’ve never thought about.
Like pine nuts and things made from soy.
And dishes with names I can’t pronounce.
You make me think tofu is tastes decent.
Better than decent. Good. Tim’s Cascade JalapeƱo Chip good.
This is not normal. Your dimples are bear traps.
I could try to gnaw my legs off,
but I’d rather not.

When you’re away my head isn’t settled.
It wanders through fiction. Imagines a life in Shire.
In Narnia. On the moon. With you. And as long as blood
pumps through my brain. As long as these wrinkly lumps
behind my forehead still project images. As long as
your eyes are imprinted in the neurons and synapses
and other scientific big words for fancy parts of my brain,

I’ll wait for you.

Alone, on my couch with two blankets.
I’ll wait until the sea turns to Tabasco
and the mountains turn to hash-browns.
I’ll be your breakfast sausage if you be my eggs.

I’ll wait until the stars turn into wombats,
group themselves in fours and sing barbershop.
In that sorrowful gloom, in those harmonies

I'll wait for you.

Until the Book of Common Prayer is rewritten
to include the hokey pokey, until sweatpants
become formal wear, until my stomach learns to speak to whales;

I’ll wait for you
as long as the sun holds a grudge against Pluto.

I’ll wait for you
as long as people on Uranus
giggle when they say Mercury.

If I ever see you coming in the distance
I’ll take my dragon wings and pizza rolls
out of the freezer, let them thaw,
sit myself down in front of the TV
and put on some cartoons.

I would like to eat pizza rolls and watch the Simpsons,
with you, until they cease to be funny,
until Krusty the Clown telling John Updike to shut up
stops making me chuckle,
until Lenny and Carl go their separate ways.

Which is to say:
I would like to eat pizza rolls and watch the Simpsons
with you

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Keep Smilin'

She’s someone you remember as a smile. Bright eyes. Easy to laugh. Upbeat. The type of person that makes you wonder if they’ve ever had a bad day. Makes you wonder if she’s ever had to walk home in the rain. If she’s ever been dumped or turned down for a job.

On Sunday, she found out she has to have heart surgery. It’s scheduled for Wednesday. Tomorrow. Midway through her spring break. It’s her second this year. It’s one of a dozen in her life. It’s not her knee. Not her shoulder. Not arthritis. It’s her heart.

She is a smile and I wonder where she finds it.

It’s bright sun outside. The cherry blossoms are busting with color. It smells nice outside. And the birds can’t shut up. Girls walk by with a bounce in their step, dimples out in full effect. Everyone seems to be smiling everywhere I go.

But don’t understand how I could smile. I don’t understand how anyone can. When friends have to have heart surgeries twice a year. When everyone is lonely. When friends die in car crashes. When kids in Africa are born with AIDS. When couples in Uganda are prosecuted for their sexuality. When millions of people will never know anything besides poverty.

I don’t know how to smile. When the weight of all this hurt presses down. I feel the imbalance in my gut. I can’t see the scales as being even. The cherry blossoms and sun shine can’t outweigh cancer and poverty. I feel like if I were to smile, I would have to trick myself.

And those few who smile honest. The ones who seem to come as close as humanly possible to being a good person. The people who bake brownies for the brokenhearted. Who serve soup to homeless. Who split pitchers with the depressed. These people don’t get a free pass. They seem to suffer more for their good hearts. When I see them smile, with honesty in their eyes, I can’t help but wonder if they're blind or dumb.

I feel dumb when I smile. Or at least I do today. But when I think of my friend going in for heart surgery, I hope she never feels dumb when she smiles.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Manifesto: The Mad Student Liberation Front

[This is me trying to channel Wendell Berry's poem Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front. It's definitely a new style for me, so I would be open to any suggestions.]

Nap. Take the best part of the day
and offer it to your mattress.
Don’t call the girl of your dreams.
Be cynical. Of legends and spring.
Practice giving up. Let things go.
Call it forgiveness. Call it reality.
Don’t listen to friends.
Suspect every compliment.
In this you will always be free.

If this is too hard, give up on giving up.
Drop freedom and pick up surrender.
Practice falling down. Make it a game.
Roll down grassy hills sober.
Don’t stop rolling until your floating.
Swim to the furthest shore you can.
Think of new colors and paint them.
Get dirty. Invent stains. Do your mom’s laundry.

If that’s too hard, forgive yourself and try again.
Try to read Dosteosky, and when you fail
read the anthologies of Calvin and Hobbes.
Build a transmogrifier. Become a tiger.
Wrestle kindergartners. Play games you can’t explain.
Buy a red wagon and find a hill.

When school makes your mind small, stop.
Work. Work until your tired.
Work just hard enough to live.
Live poor or close to it.
Remember to play games.

If this is too much imperative:
examine yourself and do what you want.
Want good things. As for me,
I am going to go home
to pour a bowl of frosted flakes,
and watch Darkwing Duck with a friend.

Oh. . . and call the girl.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


[trying something new here, hopefully it works]

Spring was prancing around today. Fancified: wearing light blue, all shades of greens and a white that bordered on pink. It made me queasy. Not that there is anything wrong with spring—but there’s no reason it has to flaunt it in my face!

I’m not trying to say they’re all the same. Some of them, I’m told can be harsh and grey. Those ones I’m okay with. They don’t invade my living room. They don’t burst through the shades and shout their flowery-pastel propaganda. They don’t leave mounds of cherry blossom pedals on my car’s windshield. They’re hardly noticeable at all. They fade into winter.

But today, spring was intolerable. Shoving its colors down my throat. Pushing its agenda. Before long there’ll be flowers popping up everywhere and then there will be no stopping summer from moving in.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Facebook Ad

Need a girlfriend?

The woman in the ad
wearing a child-sized
USC jersey
yellow panties
black stripes under her eyes
makes me reticent
to answer the question.