Off Topic: Today’s Verse 78


When falling for smoke and mirrors, be sure to bring with you caffeine,
pill form, liquid form, mousse for spreading and not eating.
Steer clear of the aisles seats and keep your feet inside your boots.

A thousand times, from morning bugles to company B’s,
this rallying cry pierces the county line and shoves my knees into pumpkin pies,
pushes my face into a crock pot of sand,

I knead the sinews under the hairline,
orbital moths rip open the mask of secure phone lines.
Lying below a century of illusory chain letters,
public declarations of fair trade and precious metals,
gunstock clubs batter flesh, still wet with earth-sweat.

Kettle’s on, kettles on top of the stone hill of my head,
interring hip bones for the price of candid cravings.

– yiqi 20 Dec 2014 11:00 am

The Bell Boys Float up like Dandelions

I wonder what they will say to me, when they discover I am not where they left me.
Taped underneath three boulders with fruit roll ups the length of highways.
I gather they will catch my scent in the overgrown hedge, spilling into daffodils.
Concave, electric lights scatter across the mile posts in the garden.
Where is my immortally beloved salmon spawn?
Where is all of the shiny buttons fit for the bell boys?
I wait with the bait set to ensnare the gluttonous, the quiet voice in me.
Shame to let mercy drain down into the circus crate.
Wholly grown from icicle dust, a magnolia unfurls at midnight.
Now where do I put the pennies?
Now how do I finish the painting?
I smell coconut oil draped around cactus.
A thief in the mirror has confessed to everything.
I wonder what they will tell me, when they uncover warmed seats.
Agape, there is but a drop to drink.
I paddle for the shores of the witching tree.

– yiqi 17 December 2014 7:47 pm


Be Safe and Wild

But not so safe that you fear the wild or so wild that you become averse to the need to feel safe.

Carol White is sick.  Too much milk, too much fruit, chemicals in the air, fumes from large trucks.  Carol White is stressed.  And tired all of the time.  Does she know why?  Does anyone know why?  Self-estrangement calls for self-love and distance from the asphalt/plastic/toxic things that have come to surround us.

In another time, Cheryl is desiccated.  Too much mood, too much truth, memories spring up like musical numbers, bruises from a monster backpack.  Cheryl is stressed.  And frustrated all of the time.  She knows why.  For anyone would know why.  Self-destruction is borne out of self-delusion and calls for impermanence and distance from the ego/blame/toxic things that have come to surround us.
Todd Haynes‘s 1995 film Safe has received the Criterion Collection treatment.

Wild (Jean-Marc Vallee, 2014) is out in theatres.

Posters reinterpreted by yours truly, sourced from Amazon and google image search.

Bird on the Bridge

I was walking across a man-made lake when I saw this bird perched on a bridge.  Can anyone identify it?  Is it a crane? a stork?  It’s either native to or visits the Peach State. Its plumage consists of dark grays-blues. It has a crest of dark feathers.  When it flew away moments later, its wingspan was probably 10 feet.  Fuscous colored feathers were spaced out throughout its wings.




Adjacent Topic: Campfire Tales 13

Invigorated by real events, waltzing in from the twelfth division.

The man with the rifle tipped his head back, wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve from his left forearm, removed his sunglasses and cleaned the lenses with his green shirt.  He had been sitting on this wobbly, black bar stool for a week with no sign of the other man he needed to deliver alive to the territory on the other side of the river away from the city.  The instructions were very clear.  Wait outside the old train station the color of ochre blossoms for a grey pharmaceutical transportation van.  Swivel the prism in the sunlight so that the driver knows to stop.

He hadn’t slept more than a couple of hours for days, ate even less, and hated having to weigh the risks and rewards with completing this mission.  He was just relieved his employer was very understanding on the matter of the first man.

We all must do our part, even if our generosity sets us back on our own travels.

The man with the rifle adjusted the position of his sunglasses when he heard an engine in the distance.  He took the prism out of his vest pocket, ready to put it in the light.  When the approaching car rounded the well, he released the prism.  The car was gold, not gray.  He reached for his rifle since the car did not stop but actually accelerated.  He quickly repositioned himself behind a tree and looked through the scope.

A driver, a front passenger, and in the backseat, a pair of argyle socks kicking in every direction.  The man with the rifle held his gaze and aim steady, hesitant to take any actions out of context.

The girl with the argyle socks.  It had been over a month since the man with the rifle left her as she slept in the night.  He hadn’t counted on seeing her again, assuming it was his girl with the argyle socks.  The car’s wide turns and uncontrolled movements swept up gusts of dust, some of which got into his eyes.  He had to look away to brush his face.  When he looked back at the car, the argyle socks were gone and so was the car.

The man with the rifle whipped his head to the left and right but so no one.

“Hazel 38,” a voice cried out from behind him.  “You didn’t even say good-bye.”

The man with the rifle turned around and took off his sunglasses to see her better.  The girl with the argyle socks.  His girl with the argyle socks.

“I, had to–” the man with the rifle started to explain, wanted to explain but the sight of her made porridge of his words.

The girl with the argyle socks was soon upon him, deeply breathing the air around him.  “You still smell like honey suckle,” she said as she wiped excess caramel off of her hands onto his vest pocket.

“Have you been touching snakes?” the man with the rifle lurched backwards.

The girl with the argyle socks smiled and shook her head.  “Do you have anything to eat?”

The man with the rifle motioned for her to follow him inside the train station.  Standing with a view of the door and the now very late pharmaceutical van, he gave the girl with the argyle socks a white paper bag filled with what he could only guess were a cow’s liver and kidneys.

“It’s all I could find.”

The girl with the argyle socks offered a sliver of the organs to the man with the rifle.  He shook slowly his head and gave her a look of both disgust and enchantment.

“How did you find me?”

The girl with the argyle socks stopped eating.  “After walking for a few days I saw a tiger on the side of the road and followed him.  He let me rest in his den and shared his food with me.  And then those two idiots in that car found us.  The tiger took a bullet for me.  I didn’t get very far.”

The man with the rifle studied the girl with the argyle socks as she continued.  For only the second time in his life, he was thankful for other people’s idiotic behaviors.  If they hadn’t taken her, he wouldn’t be watching his girl with the argyle socks do things with cow organs he never thought he’d live to see.