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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Carbon Black Dated

The book report I wrote in fourth grade
It reeks of disco
Like a smoke filled room of sweaty hairy men
Wearing butterfly collared polyester suits
Hitting on bohemian ladies under the glitter ball
Upon a light up dance floor in Studio 54

That paper I penned in eighth grade
Smells like Miami Vice
Old Spice soaked T-shirts under sport coats
Cocaine dusted Hungry Hungry Hippos and nothing else nice
Sidling up to you with wads of Wall Street money
Begging to be noticed not once but thrice

A certain five paragraph essay from my senior year
Wears an open flannel shirt over a tee that proclaims "Fuck the Man!"
Blasting out grunge music from its favorite garage band
Driving cross country in a land of make believe IROC-Z
That's really just broken down Astro Van vanity
That last gasp of childish glee before drowning in the ills
That come with grappling with grown up reality

Papers came and went with regularity
Sliding through greasy childish fingers at first
Pocked with almost legible pencil and then pen
Rolling next smoothly through the rollers of a grey Smith Corona
And then pushed pulled and daisy-wheeled by a serious BDSM Selectric IBM
Dot matrix and ink jets with cartridges refilled by the hippy down the street
All to illuminate pages with characters and their times and places
A rhyme here a plot device there with little substance to either

Dated by the times and technology
Ideas contained in each wood pulp time capsule
Doomed to crumble away along with each bit and byte in the ether
All forgotten by the end

The old rusty Oliver number 5 typewriter hanging on the wall mocked me as I wrote those words that day
Smugly rusty dusty and sure that nothing would ever come of anything I ever did
Just like every other time I swore off the booze or the women with fast cars and the gambling
Followed in short order and in no particular order by a long parade of faster women in quicker cars with their ruby red lips an inch from my ear as they leaned over my shoulder at the craps table tickling me with their whiskey sweet soaked breath "Let's go get another drink"

There's nothing worse than being a one trick pony in a no-ponies-allowed town
Looking for clues in the hues of the flickering ten position animated multicolored neon lights
Until you've collected sorted and decoupaged enough of them upon the walls of your rented flat's living room that everyone can see it but you
The image of an answer that a flatfoot from downstate like you just doesn't want to see
So you just keep looking

~Mist rolls in upon the forlorn figure in a disheveled suit and hat, as he slowly disappears center screen to the sound of his own fading footsteps on the concrete, credits coming up, and the house lights rise~