Regular Poem: Operator, Please Connect Me to 1982

9 Apr

i’m always revisiting ideas from new angles
or perhaps they’re revisiting me
and perhaps the angles aren’t new
so much as the polygon has simply been rotated about the origin
sometimes the figure rotates a whole 360 before you know it
and there you are
the same in most ways just
translated a few units down and right
across this axis or another

we used to call my dad’s place
Doc’s Fun Cars
(facetiously of course
after a very trashy used car lot in the trashiest part of town
called
Jim’s Fun Cars
red hand-painted letters flaking rusty dandruff onto rusty pontiac hoods)
because he had several non-working vehicles deposited here and there

his house was never clean but hardly ever outright disgusting–
serviceable gruff-old-sentimental-divorced-guy-out-in-the-sticks-where-nobody-bothers-him cluttered

we’d sit around in uncomfortable chairs
bullshitting about politics and religion and conspiracy theories and dr. phil and local news and what have you
and he usually wouldn’t let me leave without giving me money
either just for myself
or to run errands for him with

so here i am
in most ways the same
just translated down and right a few units
across ghostly and/or unpleasant axes

bullshitting with a different old man
who has even more non-working vehicles strewn across his sprawling backwoods acreage
and he never lets me leave without giving me money

dilapidation neglect and abundance
choking robust weeds overtaking manmade structures
ancient furniture that doesn’t match
stories half remembered and twice embellished
fraught familial relationships

it’s so much the same that it makes the differences especially jarring

if i could actively choose a circumstance to revisit
or have revisit me
it would not be an off-brand analog of my dead dad
but that’s the thing about gothicism isn’t it
there really aren’t any choices at all
just fate

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