Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time Lords-

I am a Time Lord!
Let’s face it folks-
Modern Life sucks.
I’ve watched enough
costume dramas on tv to know
that things were better
in The Good Olde Dayes.
If I had lived back then
my life would be filled with excitement,
adventure, a sense of accomplishment!
And I would have been bigger, better, stronger,
and Gosh Darn It,
People would have liked me!

But I can fix this-
I am a Time Lord!

Things were better in Caveman days-
I am a caveman!
I thrive on the pure Paleolithic Diet!
I breath unpolluted air
and drink from cold mountain streams.
I roam the unspoiled forests and fields.
I have bad teeth, six remaining fingers, and rickets.
I smell bad.
I outlive all my friends and die at age 23,
when I discover that the Saber Toothed Tiger’s
Paleolithic Diet includes cavemen.

But I can fix this-
I am a Time Lord!

Let’s fast-forward to the Middle Ages.
It was a time of towering castles
soaring over tiny, colorful villages!
Beautiful ladies with long flowing hair,
(somewhat like Catherine Zeta Jones)
were always in some kind of perilous distress,
And gallant knights rode to their rescue
on their thundering steeds!
I arrive-
 I find that I am a  mud-covered peasant.
I smell strongly of pig poop,
and I am immediately run over and killed
by some asshole knight
riding to rescue a lady
who spends so much time combing her hair
that she can’t deal with her own problems.

But I can fix this-
I am a Time Lord!

I want to be a noble in 18th Century France!
I will hang out at Versailles all day,
snorting snuff out of tiny gold boxes
and watching beautiful court ladies
fondle their pet peacocks -so to speak.
I arrive-
 I find myself a minor noble in Revolutionary France-
I am stuffed into a cow cart,
on my way to be guillotined.
I smell bad.
That’s not fair!
I’m just a teeny weeny noble-
I didn’t oppress anyone! 
I don’t own a chateaux!
I didn’t even get to screw Marie Antoinette!
If I’m going to be executed as a worthless noble
at least let me have done something
totally debauched to deserve it!
For crying out loud-
My family made its fortune growing beets!
Sorry, they say-
Now lay your neck on that block,
 and stop whining.

But I can fix this-
I am a Time Lord!

The 19th century was the time for me!
I want to be a Westward Ho! pioneer,
driving a wagon train across the Great Plains!
I want to be a cowboy, riding the range every day
and sleeping under sparkling stars every night!
I arrive-
I find myself baking on a choking,
dusty, bone-dry plain,
bumping along on a horse which is constantly trying
to scrape me off on the nearest cactus.
I come to an intimate understanding of the three little words
that now completely define my life:
No Indoor Plumbing.
I smell bad.
And the daily diet of beans is not making things better.

But I can fix this-
 I am a Time Lord!

Maybe the place for me is -The Future!
I’ll bet things will be better 500 years from now!
Life will be filled with excitement,
adventure, a sense of accomplishment!
And Gosh Darn It,
People will like me!
(sniff) (sniff) 
First, perhaps, I should go shower.

But I can fix this- 
I am a Time Lord!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


I can never let a poem alone.
I fiddle, diddle and twiddle-
Replace a comma here, nail an adverb into that spot-
OK, that leaves a hole in the third stanza,
but it’s nothing an adjective or twelve can’t fix.
Maybe a bag of bright, shiny new conjunctions
will make all the difference
-Hey Amazon’s got them on sale this week!

I suddenly sit up in the middle of the night,
having stumbled upon the exactly appropriate phrase,
found in that hazy vagueness between sleep and waking,
and I watch as it zips away from me,
full consciousness slapping it down, burying it-
I grasp for those words that I know
will make the poem perfect-
but they are gone in the darkness,
and I spend the rest of a sleepless night
regretting that I ever glimpsed them.

Getting lost in your verse sounds exciting.
Telling someone that the hours slipped away
and you lost all track of time while
creating a new poem sounds terribly romantic
and sophisticated-
until you stop and admit that its just an excuse-
 a rationalization for why you forgot to put gas in the car,
or why you didn’t start the dishwasher after dinner.
-But instead of being truthful we’ll stick with
romantic and sophisticated,
because romanic and sophisticated and poetic sounds better
than careless,
and forgetful,
and lazy.

One  month I tried an experiment-
that month I spent as much time organizing my life
as I do my words-
I put as much effort into my relationships
as I did into counting off syllables,
and looking up synonyms-
Everybody judged that month as a success-
I had touched contentment,
I had found an inner peace-
 -and I had fuck-nothing whatsoever to write about.
It was Hell.
It was The Bridges of Madison County in 24-point type.
It was a Dan Brown novel, with extra adverbs.

So now I’m back-
I’m back to ignoring the overflowing recycle bin-
I’m back to forgetting to put butter on the shopping list
when I use the last bit on my toast-
I’m back to playing with my words the way
that teenage boys play with themselves:
obsessively, compulsively-
with no nobler end in mind than a moment of pleasure,
a mental ecstasy,
mindful masturbation.

And Society tells me it’s ok-
Hell, it even encourages me
to play with my words in public.
I don’t have to hide my poems,
 -though sometimes,
in the deepest part of night,
I dig them out from under my mattress
and thumb through them under the covers,
by the feeble glow
of a secret flashlight.