Tag Archives: cliches

Regular Poem: It Seems

26 Apr

it seems
time for my first rib to jump
out of alignment into piercing perfect pain

the conditions are right
or wrong

but maybe
it’ll be something different this time
physical and emotional stress will manifest instead

in perhaps
probably not i have an iron stomach
i’m like a dachshund or goat that way
stubborn asshole animals that can eat glass and still get out of the fence an hour later

perhaps migraines
but those are more autumn accessories
yes spring is autumn adjacent
the weather capricious in inverted ways
bloom and rot both inducing similar allergic reactions
the difference is the sunlight maybe
similar angles but waxing rather than waning
more of it as spring progresses
and the more uv the more vitamins a and d
anyway i don’t currently have a lot of spring migraines
but i’m open to the idea

strep is always on the table
but let’s knock on wood and cross our fingers about that

in fact
while we’re at it
let’s knock on wood and cross our fingers about almost everything

after all
mysteriously pinched nerves
sometimes mysteriously unpinch themselves
at seemingly unrelated trauma
everything’s connected rather obscurely
it seems

Regular Poem: The Daring Old Lawn Mower on the Flying Trapeze

22 Apr

on the upside
i did mow before i had to weedeat
my entire lawn

but you know me and yardwork
we’re a bad combo

like mixing your liquors
when you can already feel a migraine coming on

like a bull in the china shop
he’s just caught his wife having an affair in

like the gas stove with a faulty burner
in the breakroom at the dynamite factory
where it’s 1926 and pretty unregulated safety-wise and everybody chain smokes

we’re a bad combo
in almost all circumstances
but especially
when i’m already on the tightrope
over the waves already playing on the wurlitzer

they could say i’m making a mountain out of a molehill
but have
ever accidentally run over a molehill
with a shitty push mower manufactured in 2005
and just barely clinging to life as it is

(that ambiguous phrasing was deliberate
the mower and i both
are grasping at threads
chugging seafoam
sputtering upon waking and
coughing up half-mangled sticks
billowing blue smoke
tires ragged and catching in the soft earth)

i didn’t cry this time
at any rate

but the circus music is still playing

Regular Poem: The No-Bullshit Express

10 Apr

i’ve got three points today
but i’m not sure i can string them together properly
to convince anyone they’re related
take each primary-color bead
pick out shades of complementary secondary colors
knot them all together into an alligator keychain
i only pretend to be crafty
but i’ll try

number one
i’m tired of people
logic precludes emotion
or vice versa
giving themselves some kind of pass to be this or that kind of jerk

“i’m just too analytical to consider your feelings”
listen you’re not spock and you’re not perfect
and you have emotions too
but you’re sublimating them and refusing to talk about them
and subsequently allowing them to exert themselves at inopportune times

but don’t get cocky
i’m tired of you too you weeping maniac
“i take everything as a personal attack because i’m a feeler”
no one’s implying you’re not a human being with both innate and individual worth
there is no fainting couch for you suck it up and accept that
people have different personalities and opinions
and sometimes other people will say or do something you don’t especially like
or you will misconstrue what they say or do
because of your own particular insecurities

both of you strawmen i only barely embellished and extrapolated from real people i know in real life

are stupid

that’s harsh of me to say
i’ll ammend
both of you are valid and have the right to think the way you think and feel the way you feel
and believe the way you believe these are
black and white right and wrong

but you’re both still not seeing the forest for the trees

logicially you have to respect that people have emotions and make decisions with them
and logically
it would behoove you to be empathetic
people like you better that way
and then they respect you enough
to listen when you suggest logical improvements to systems

and emotionally you have to love
people and understand people
it always feels good to make other people feel good
indulge them in their strengths
and encourage them through their weaknesses

as miranda lambert would say
it takes all kinds of kinds
and she’s right more often than not

number two
i have a clear phone case with pink glitter inside
that sloshes around in its viscous solution
making bubbles and patterns when i shake it
it’s pretty and calming and shiny and stereotypically girly

and everyone who sees me with it
nearly sues me for whiplash when they do their double takes
of flabbergastation
there is a certain type of cognitive dissonance that flashes
across each face
that i find amusing and flabbergasting
in equal measure

it makes perfect sense to me
i like pretty shiny things
and i like to be pretty and shiny myself
i own more
patent leather pumps than anyone i know
more brooches than is reasonable
more lipstick than i know what to do with
my ninth grade english teacher assigned all her students animals as anonymous aliases for when she posted our grades in public spaces
the anonymity was soon nullified because we were all so excited to discuss her reasoning for the assignations
i was peacock
because i was pretty
but also loud territorial and aggressive

i guess these days my glamor and extravagance fade into white noise
at least when viewed in conjunction with or as juxtaposition to
the rest of me

“what phone case would you have me have”
i ask
responses include
“black utilitarian shatterproof”
“skull and cross bones”
“pink but it says ‘badass bitch'”
and perhaps most accurate
“on second thought
this one
because you are a woman who
is full of surprises”

number three
i was driving behind a nondescript full-size van today
it was nondescript insomuch as
it was white with dark windows and no discernible passengers or cargo
but it was a chevrolet express
and it had a small round bumper sticker indistinguishable from afar
but close stopped at a red light
a cartoon rendering of a bovine excreting solid waste with a red slash over the whole thing

the no-bullshit express
visual poetry in so many ways

i instantly wondered what this vehicle’s function was
it was the kind of thing
you usually see delivering
flowers to hospitals
a half dozen middle-schoolers to bible camp

but what does the no-bullshit express deliver

truth in some kind of way

in conclusion
i’ve chosen some beads that i thought looked good together
and arranged them in a way that made sense to me
does it resemble an alligator
i’m tired of assumptions and prescriptions
misunderstandings and miscommunications
willful ignorance and other similar cliches

i’ve got my fare and just a trifle to spare
to board the no-bullshit express

Regular Poem: Extroverts Are Jerks

5 Apr

introverts need time to themselves
to get right with themselves
to process and recuperate from
social interaction
a regenerative positive experience with themselves to
bolster themselves and let themselves

or so it is reported

as an extrovert who spends a lot of time alone
i can speculate and conjecture and say with some certainty

(or at least this one)
need time to themselves
to recover from social failures they had thought had been victories but were wrong about in
blinding horrible
like the blear of red dots after staring anxiously in the rearview mirror when you’re tailgated by a semi with LED high beams

it’s a brooding wallowing yearning thing
a calming down a riling up
furious multiple texting
but no physical persons to see
jokes told to oneself and heartily laughed at by oneself
it’s self-reflection self-efficacy self-loathing
but always also

is there even a difference
a retreat is a retreat
thinking is thinking
a lot of extroverts write bad poetry
work through their own feelings individually even as they
play aggressive team sports
or whatever extroverts are alleged to do to satisfy
their cravings for attention and human contact

i don’t know enough introverts intimately enough
to really compare our
mutual or disparate motivations
our intrinsic and extrinsic reward systems we use with ourselves
for performing the tasks we must perform
to function in
a cruel chaotic society
to navigate
situations we find uncomfortable and scary
to deal kindly and judiciously with
people we don’t like who don’t respect us

i’m an extrovert
and i love people
and i hate people
and i talk to myself a lot about both

i’m the life of the party
especially when it’s my own
pity party

Regular Poem: Details

22 Apr

the devil’s in them
or so i hear

i dislike them myself

that’s not true

i like the details i like

i’m sure it’s the same for everyone
the same sentiment the different details

don’t ask me dates and figures
ask me colors and facial expressions
phrases and where commas go and why

everyone’s precise in their own way and clumsy in others
i suppose
don’t expect me not to spill drinks
or to practice piano
but i can tell you a heck of a lot of
traffic laws

detailing people’s details they enjoy
is another detail i enjoy

but however detail oriented
people claim to be on their resumes

there’s that study you know

you’re looking for number of passes
and miss the gorilla

looking for some details
and missing others that you didn’t know
might pop up

it’s best to be open to possibilities
and not get so caught up telling people seen is the perfect participle of to see and should be used with an auxiliary verb

then you might miss that they’re saying

i seen that gorilla

and anyway
i still don’t want to talk about
the exact date i will
do that thing i’ve been talking about

i indulge you because i know that’s the kind of detail you like

but please
read the room

Regular Poem: Job

8 Apr

Much is always said
about the patience of Job
but what of his grief?

He spends most of the book
and questioning
and just being

My favorite
is when he says,
“Oh that I had given up the ghost,
and no eye had seen me.
I should have been
as though I had not been;
I should have been
carried from the womb
to the grave.”

It’d be melodramatic
to apply those King James words
to my own circumstances
who hasn’t said to themselves
at some point–
as the Amplified Version puts it–
“I am weary of my life
and loathe it!
I will give free expression
to my complaint;
I will speak
in the bitterness
of my soul.”

Me, too, brother.
Yeah, I guess
I don’t have boils
and all my children aren’t dead
and my friends aren’t telling me
God is punishing me because of my sin
and my wife isn’t telling me to curse God and die.

But anyway,
the point is,
God never retracts his statement
that Job is righteous–
even through his misery
and monologues and moanings of mourning.

He’s angry and sins not.
He questions and sins not.
He’s sad and sins not.

Because those feelings aren’t sins.
Notice he doesn’t actually
curse God and die.

He’s just sad.
And that’s ok.
He doesn’t expect
a reward,
and he never gets
the answers he wants.
He repents and praises
and God does
what God wills,
and of course

there’s no rest for the wicked
and the righteous don’t need any.

Regular Poem: The Third Time Someone Calls You a Horse

17 Apr

I’ve been looking at saddles
they’re expensive.
Do I really need the blanket or?

Surely I can find one that
suits my needs and
suits my price range and
suits my style.

I have sensitive skin.
Chafing might be an issue.
So I’d better have the blanket.

But maybe there could be

But what if I can’t find
a saddle?

And what if I’m not
actually a horse?

What if I’m an

Regular Poem: Special Occasions

22 Mar

Saving special things
for special occasions
is all good and well and
but as I thawed the last
tender, grass-fed sirloins
a previous roommate
had blessedly abandoned
in my deep freeze
and prepared to pan fry
them in gratuitous butter
at 11 pm on just a regular old night,
I thought to myself,

What’s more special than surviving

countless double shifts,
a power outage,
a denied promotion,
attacks and ripped blouses and lost buttons and bites and bruises and backaches?

What’s more special than
not having cried over things one can’t change
and should’ve forgotten by now anyway?

What’s more special than craving
good red meat and bad cholesterol?

What’s more special than living life
to whatever degree of success one can manage?

Every day is a new, same day,
another day of drudgery in paradise,
one more step up on a down escalator,
so excuse me for living.

Regular Poem: Several Times Bitten

28 Oct

If once bitten twice shy then twice bitten thrice shy? Or should it follow that twice bitten four times shy? (I was always pretty good at the math section of SATs and ACTs but there are simply not enough terms to find the pattern to find the nth term, you know?) Regardless, in my experience, the premise rings a little false. People say they’ll try anything once and then end up trying it twice just to be sure the first time wasn’t a fluke. And if it hurts, maybe they like the hurt a little subconsciously. So maybe the inverse is true. Twice bitten once shy. And if we’re talking literal bites yeah, I don’t wanna get bit, but now that I have, I know what to expect. And sometimes you just have to take the bite. Especially if somebody else is about to get bit. You gotta throw your arm in and let yourself get bit instead.

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.

Book 'Em, Jan O

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