Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Typewriter's Tale

One hundred years old
All it would type at first was rust
Brown colored letters
That expressed a lifetime of neglect
First in an office typing pool
Located on the tenth floor of the Empire State Building
Where a different person every day laid their unique fingers upon it
Stroking and hammering
Clacking and pressing
Sometimes too fast
And tangling the arms in a sudden jarring jam
Sounding like a small matchbox filled with clock gears being shaken
To be carefully pulled apart
Transferring some ink onto fingers every time
With a different accompanying curse to match the mark
Who says ladies didn't swear?

Now the rust is mostly worn away
But dirt still covers the nooks and crannies 
Blurring the letters as they are struck
Marking out a sad mud covered tale
As it tells of transitioning to government service
Being dragged through wet trenches
Tapping out orders and dispatches
The center of a mobile command bunker
Surrounded by croissants and cigarette smoke
Ashes lubricating the mechanism
Both from tobacco and the soldiers
Remains floated upon the winds

Dirt falling away revealing a coating of oil
As a story of storage is the game of the day
Wiped down and spritzed with preservative
Packed carefully in a crate with others just like it
Typewriters all
Marked as fragile then thrown around with abandon
Chassis cracking on the side
Stored upside down in an endless government warehouse
Just around the corner from the golden ark
Forgotten and timeless
Until yet another cold war had ended

Finally flowing with ink
The letters mark clear and concise
The result of being taken into the light
Unpacked with care
A metal strap binding the crack
With four shiny brass screws
Trucked to the flea market 
Inserted into the "Typewriter World!!" tent
In location 5F

There I found it 
Paying in cash I took it home
I asked it to tell me a story
So that's what it did

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Day At The Diner

We both reached for the sugar at the same moment
Tangling our fingers atop the white grainy cubes
In a mingled morass of splayed digits
Our eyes locked
She went for my throat
I peed my pants
Blood was spilled
Mistakes were made
It was another day at the diner

At three in the am
Jorace scrubbed at the blood on the asbestos tile floor
Being the son of Joanne and Horace
And the end product of a bitter name battle
His only option was to become the night cleaner at the diner
Tanned calloused hands gripping the old red plastic scrub brush
Back and forth
Back and forth
Jorace grimaced as the blood stain slowly faded from site
Buried under a soapy pink froth
The table above him still decorated with stray sugar cubes
It was another night at the diner

With the sunrise through the plate glass pressed between frames of polished metal
Came the daily delivery of eggs
Of all different sizes for all different patrons
Colored eggs and white
Speckled and plain
A sepia one for Oklahoma Dorothy
Robin's egg blue delicacy for the more technicolor Gale
All kinds started trickling in for their morning dose of coffee with beans
A little gossip and frolic greens
Just the right way to start the day
At the diner at the end of the yellow brick road
In the merry old land of Oz

Monday, April 14, 2014

Aviation Maintenance Frame of Mind

The responsibility is daunting
So we choose not to think about it

Millions of parts
From the smallest rivet pin or length of safety wire
To the heavy castings that would take several people to lift
All assembled in precision
All to spec
All just right

Then it flies away
All one million seven hundred thousand forty two parts
Syncing in their assigned tasks
And by doing so
Wearing out little by little
Flaking away
Attracting corrosion

Flawed by design

Until the assemblage returns one day
Looking dirtier and more tired than when it left
To be disassembled and cleaned
Inspected repaired reassembled
Mostly by the book
Somewhat not

It's like a game of telephone put to solid form
Where parts leave the factory in a just so kind of way
But every time they are used taken apart reassembled
The outline blurs just the tiniest bit
Mostly through human error
Sometimes by intent and design

That's when everything goes right
But sometimes things get missed
Cracks or corrosion looked past
An intermittent wiring short that happened to be working right when it was tested
A flashlight shining at just the right angle to mask a flaw to the eye

And the aircraft flies away again
This massive collection of parts
With the knowledge that it isn't perfect
And it never will be
It's just as perfect as humans can make it
Which is mostly but not very

Balancing lives upon it's wings
Supported by expertise and a single Airworthiness Release signature
Work to be done
Acceptable level of risk
As always

The responsibility is daunting
So we choose not to think about it

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rain Today

Rainy day morning bleeds into rainy morning day
Foggy dripping and grey
Only frogs and fish seem to like it this way

Though even they buy little umbrellas
All twisted and shaped to fit them perfect
Held by fins and frog fingers
All little

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Eating up scenery like a bulimic Hollywood star
To vomit it up again on opening night
Bright lights
And an Oscar

Friday, April 11, 2014

Little Road Trip Poet

"I spy with my little eye
Something red
Red like a Solo cup
A fire engine trimmed in gold pin stripe
Race car red just a blur upon the track
The color of your face
After you lose your dignity never to get it back"

"Joey, shut UP!
You sound like an idiot
You sound like one of those stupid books at school!"
Sally sat on her side of the car
Staring in rage at me
In a time long before personal headphones
So there was no drowning me out
As I poeticized and romanticized
Every sight I saw without

I cried out
"Sally is repressing my creativity
Make her stop!"

Mom looked in the rear view mirror at us
First me
Then Sally
Let your brother be
He isn't hurting you
You can just ignore him"

The car was quiet for a few moments after that
Just the wind noise along the outside of the five year old Ford sedan
And the steady "Thump-Thump" of the tires upon the highway expansion joints

Then I turned my face towards Sally
Looking right at her
And started up again

"I spy with my little eye
Something very angry
And not just any kind of angry
But an impotent kind of anger
The kind of anger that nothing can be done about........"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Heavy Metal Pip

There once was a chunk of metal named Pip
He went to Newport News and became a ship
Upon the seven seas he fought many battles
Till twenty years on the ship was full of rattles
In the end he thought it was a hell of a trip