Tag Archives: classic country in passing

Regular Poem: I Met Her Accidentally in St. Paul, Minnesota

10 Apr

what’s so great about tallahassee
every tv show has an episode named after it
as far as neat state capital names go
it’s good
probably top five honestly
but still
doesn’t really compare to a lot of really great non-state capitals
it might be one of those things where it’s become just a
thing that everybody does
some running joke
like taking a left turn at albuquerque
but albuquerque is a better name
it’s understandable

no city name is at its peak comedy for me without the state with it though
so therefore
anything in oklahoma gets a leg up in my book
i also love a dakota
it’s about the k in the middle
which is the same appeal as albuquerque
i think alaska’s k comes too late
but if you put it with another k
fairbanks alaska
nah i was wrong
that’s stately rather than good running-joke material
contrast that with say
ponca city oklahoma
sioux falls south dakota
pine bluff arkansas
boxborough masachusetts

my exception to the
with-the-state
rule
is if it’s an unincorporated area
because then you’re obligated to say unincoporated
and that’s funny in itself
so anything you put in front of it is just icing
of course some are better than others
smileyberg unincorporated
is the gold standard
obviously

parrishes and townships serve a similar function
but only on a case by case basis
they can be classed up too much by what precedes them
to get the carte blanche
that unincorporated does

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

Regular Poem: And Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn

2 Apr

honestly
i was a lot more fun when i was just
angry
all the time

got a lot more accomplished
too
had more thoughts in my brain

of course
i was way more fun
when i was actually fun

that’s been too long ago to access
i don’t even like to open the window on that one

there are wafts of it that drift
through drafty windowsills
and crooked door jambs
sometimes though

i get phrases stuck in my head
have to say them out loud
or write them down
and still
they clank around
adhere here and there
until a different one
dislodges the previous

sometimes it’s something from old fun me
and it’s

like when you’re sweaty and overheated and
step out into the cool night
catch a breeze with a chill in it

so refreshing
until it’s not anymore

so here i am
out on the cold patio
clambering to get the door open
but it’s swollen with moisture
and i have to pull extra hard

and margie’s at the lincoln park inn

Regular Poem: Thursday and Friday Take Too Long

2 Mar

by the time
friday
slumps into existence
emerges from the shadows
its fangs poorly concealed in the full moon light
strikes a match and lets it burn between its fingers
so long as to make you
beg for it to
light its cigarette already and be done with it
but friday smirks and waits
another millisecond
just to show you
you’ve been waiting
and it will make you wait

yes by the time
friday
slips an icy hand
around your wrist
and urges you along a dark alley

i’m not fit for the public
too wound up
too loud
too rough
too overstimulated
too understimulated
too lonely
too much

and i just explode into the day
the weekly supernova i am doesn’t
have the patience for shadows
or subtlty
and i can feel the vibrations

behind my eyeballs mostly
but also others’ vibrations
their fight or flight or freeze responses triggered
(i expect and suspect
different responses than i get
sometimes

i expect
horror
i suspect disdain incredulity

i don’t know
who am i to them
when my face is not in their face
and i’m too
much
in the moment
to contemplate
until much later
when i second guess all the crazy stuff
that was flung into the interstellar medium)

and everyone laughs with me
cackling unhinged
maybe everyone explodes into friday
we’re all our own massive stars
just itching and pulsating
for our chance to
contribute to the creation of new stars
with our dramatic demise

i don’t write poetry because
i particularly enjoy it
i write poetry because
i don’t

keep a diary
see friends
exercise
practice good coping strategies

i write poetry to inflict things on myself
to pick scabs
to poke bruises and ask where’d that come from

fridays are good for that sort of thing
starting with a bang ending with a whimper
all the modernist self-loathing you could ask for
but dressed up for 20gr8teen
in clothes bought from a dying chain store
and cheap lipstick

i shut down the fantasies
i shut down the plans
i shut down
restart me monday

but that will be fuzzy
like an old tv that has to warm up
its cathode ray tube
or like searching through static
on a radio

i hum and squeak
and then explode

Regular Poem: Fantasy on Garage Cat

19 Jan

current impetus for self-loathing:
garage cat

she’s nuts
and i’m nuts
we’re all nuts
here
except the dog
she seems to be holding up all right
but dogs are hearty stupid creatures
idiotically loving and joyful
happy to chew on a piece of bark for hours
or just stare adoringly at you
until you say something to them
any
thing
will do
and the tail wags and the eyes are alert
and whatever you’ve said
the dog heard
i love you we’re going on a car ride

cats have too much pathos
for their own good
for anyone’s own good
some subtle shift
in the wind or cat hormones
sends them on a sentimental journey
except with less saxophone and Doris Day’s mellifluous alto crooning
and more
pee everywhere
mournful yowling at nothing

she might as well
be dressed in a silk robe
smoking a cigarette
sloshing her bourbon
as she gesticulates a little too forcefully
accusing me of cheating on her

i haven’t even looked at another cat
i swear on my mother’s grave

your mother isn’t dead
you two-timing so-and-so
she says dangerously close to my face
i can feel the sizzle of the slap before it happens
and it doesn’t happen but i still feel it
and she turns
to pace and pounce
to wait and play games
to goad me
until i’m in my own silk robe
screaming and pleading
and i swear she’s smirking

am i george or martha in
who’s afraid of virginia woolf
there’s no way to know

all my clothes are out on the lawn
the next morning
the locks are changed
you mighta took my car keys
but you forgot about my old john deere

and i mow and mow
and now
she’s garage cat
and i hate everything

Regular Poem: And Wednesday I Feel Better Just for Spite

19 Apr

A month of Sundays?
Wouldn’t a month of Thursdays
be just as long?

A month of Saturdays
might be longer
or shorter
depending on how boring your
Saturdays tend to be.

Imagine a month of Mondays.
That’s the plot of Groundhog Day, basically.
Or hell.

OUaT 2.9 Recap: When the Joker Ain’t the Only Fool Who’ll Do Anything for You

8 Feb

Episode 9: Playin’ with the Queen of Hearts

Fairytale Flashback:  Hook decimates some Queen’s guards.  He saves Belle from the queen’s prison.  Hook wants to know about the weapon to kill Gold.  He pimp slaps her and says,  “So pretty, so useless.”  Now that’s just mean.

Regina comes in and saves Belle from imminent death.  Is this Dynasty?!  WTF is this fabulous outfit!?

…Yes. Give me more of this.

She knows all about Hook and how he wants to kill Gold.  She explains that Belle can’t help him but she can, if he does something for her.  She tells him about the curse she’s about to do, after which Hook won’t need magic to kill Gold.  She explains that she wants to take out a hit on her mom so that Cora won’t follow her into curseland.

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If I Were a Vampire, and You Were a Lady, Would You Marry Me Anyway? Would You Have My Baby?

26 Dec

A rather disjointed review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part II.

And why, pray tell, would I be reviewing this movie?

Well, the other night Grace and I had nothin’ better to do, so we decided we would go see a movie.  But we didn’t feel like any Oscar bait, and she’d already seen the new James Bond, so she said to me, “Why don’t we go see that new Twilight movie?”  And I said, “Why on Earth would we do that?”  And she said, “Why not?  Could be fun.  In a bad movie sort of way.”  So I acquiesced.

But here’s the thing:  Neither Grace nor I have read the books, nor have we seen any of the previous movies.  But here’s the other thing:  I’m still in contact with a former student, *who I knew would provide all the relevant details.  The following text exchange occurred between me and my 15-year-old BFF:

Twilight

So with this marvelously funny and insightful synopsis (note that I am being entirely genuine when I say this; I don’t know why this funny, smart girl loves Twilight so), we started the movie.

The movie begins with some artsy Bergman-esque credits that I actually kind of liked/was impressed by.  Then we see Bella recovering from being turned into a vampire.

Then there are a bunch of scenes with her trying out her powers and being morally conflicted about how she wants to straight up murder a mountain climber, but she doesn’t.  Luckily, her vampire super power is outrageous self-control, the likes of which none of the other vampires have ever seen.

We also get a lot of scenes of Edward and Bella making out.  I’ve definitely seen better love scenes, but there was something earnest about them that made a little bit of sense.  This is the fifth movie these two have been in together, after all, and on screen they have an intimacy and chemistry.  But I couldn’t help thinking their intimacy felt more like a brother and sister…

Anyway, the plot–I guess there’s sort of one about Edward and Bella’s half-breed baby being mistaken for an Immortal Child and subsequently pursued by Vampire Congress–moves along, and some gruesome, grotesque, grizzly fight scenes occur that end up being prophetic visions instead of real.

And then there’s a happy ending that is unfathomably cheesy involving Edward and Bella staring into each other’s vampire eyes and recalling a bunch of scenes–presumably–from the previous movies in a love montage and then some superimposed images of the last pages of the last book with words like “forever” highlighted–so that we all may know this love is extraordinarily eternal.

And then the end credits show us a bunch of characters that were–presumably–in Breaking Dawn Part I whom I didn’t recognize.

Final Thoughts:

  • First let’s talk about Kristen Stewart.  I have long taken it upon myself to be her defender.  I don’t know why.  I just like her face.  And I usually think she does a good job moving her face and acting with it.  And by usually, I mean in the other approximately 2 movies I’ve seen her in.  However, liking her face did not get me very far in this movie.  I started worrying that maybe she has a deviated septum.  Why doesn’t this girl ever breathe out of her nose?  Why is her mouth perpetually open in that strange, half-enticing-half-developmentally-delayed pose?  I couldn’t like her in this movie, and I went in trying because I knew nobody liked her in this movie, and I always try to like underdogs.
  • I feel as though a lot of the scenes that are supposed to be super significant have absolutely no effect on me because I don’t know any of these characters.  Perhaps as a sequel it works and has a satisfying pay-off, but as a stand-alone movie, it makes almost no sense at all.
  • And the dialogue is terrible.
  • I couldn’t help thinking about why people like this sort of thing.  I suppose it’s that eternal love thing people (read: teen girls) are drawn to?  Surely there are better love stories that don’t involve (as admitted by a fan) stalking and attempted suicide and unnatural creatures that make very little sense within their own mythos?

*Bonus Grammar:  Knee-jerk reaction here is that “who I knew would provide all the relevant details” should be led in with a whom instead because it’s the direct object of I knew.  Usually this would be true, but while the who does introduce the direct object, the direct object of I knew is actually the entire noun clause “who would provide all the relevant details.”  We must have a who because it’s the subject of that noun clause and not just a pronoun standing in for the person I knew.  Because what I know isn’t just Kristen, it’s that Kristen will give me information.

OUaT 2.3 Recap: When Lancelot Shows Up for Approximately 16 Lame Seconds

23 Oct

Episode 3: Lady of the Lake

Do we need to talk about how much I love Snow White’s outfit and sass, or do they speak for themselves?

Fairy Tale Land Flashback:  Red runs to a tent meeting over which Charming presides, the subject of which being taking back the kingdom from his (kinda) dad.  Red announces that King George’s new general is like a leviathan.  All the king’s men arrive, and the good guys all go their separate ways to do stuff, vowing to meet at Mama Charming’s house, and Black Lancelot catches Snow White.  He’s the new general, and Snow White is flabbergasted that a member of the Round Table would stoop to working as a hired gun.

Present day Fairy Tale Land: Snow White’s still unconscious in the pit, and Cora’s taking care of her while she chats with Emma about this corner of the land being a haven.  She laments being trapped here because of what Regina did and claims the “apple fell far from the tree.”  Emma buys it and talks about going back to Henry.

Snow White wakes up and immediately begins protecting Emma from Cora and trying to tell her not to trust her.  Emma balks at this.  She obviously don’t know nothin’ ’bout Fairy Tale Land.  A rope descends, and Emma and Snow White are called to an audience with the leader.

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OUaT 2.2 Recap: When the Evil Queen Decides to Stop Being Evil (Maybe)

11 Oct

Episode 2: We Are Both

The real mystery: Which one of the dwarves drives an El Camino?

We open with the seven dwarves investigating the boundary of Storybrooke.  They send Sneezy out across the line, and he gets caught in a blue beam of magic and subsequently convulses within the blue beam.

In the townsquare(ish) Red is organizing clean-up efforts and other support for the aftermath of the Soul Sucker tornado thing as well as the general fall out of having been under an amnesia curse for 28 years.

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