Copyright Notice

Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fred Robel and Fritz365 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Small Family Christmas

Baby rides the tree fore and aft
Baby rocks that tree port then starboard
Baby turns on the marker lights
To make us seasick all these winter nights

The cat watches all
From her perch upon a chair
Head bobbing slightly with the motion
Pupils wide in surprise at the notion

Daddy makes the fudge in the kitchen
Daddy dares the glowing hot copper pot
Daddy stirs with a wooden paddle of devotion
That thickening witches brew chocolate potion

Mommy wraps the presents in the craft room
Mommy puts curls in the ribbon with scissors
Mommy hides what's inside beneath fanciful flights
Adding to the endless sea of Christmas delights


Sunday, December 13, 2015

High Impact Santa

The ten inverted fir trees
Jammed halfway into the ground
Should have indicated several issues
Even before I looked around

Beyond where I walked in the snow
Between two ragged parallel tracks
Amidst scattered reindeer roadkill
Legs straight up from on their backs

Trudging deeper into the festive macabrety
Past bits of broken red painted wood
One marked with initials that tested my sobriety
Until I stopped mouth agape and stood

Before me the horrible remains of a fat man
Half naked amidst stones
In a half frozen stream
Sprinkled with confetti'd presents

Awash with cold wet debris

I solemnly took a three-sixty photograph
So as to preserve what I'd seen
For long after the cops will have cleaned it all up
This strange refugee from the downtown SantaCon scene



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Love Rating #3.14159

I shall encase you in titanium fantastic
With an under layer of protective plastic
All the better to love you forever
In added preservative we trust

With colored markers
That smell of various fruits
I'll make you cards of commitment
While sitting with a rainbow of dots upon my nose

I'll rate our love as a 9 out of 12
In the Olympic-like competition quinquennial
Floor exercises using red foam bats
Pummeling one another in a Nerf of ecstasy

My love letters shall sing in all analog frog tones to you
Burping and chirping out a spring-like mating meme
Written from my desk deep in the swamp
With only my eyes above the green-grey cool waters

A heart shaped pie will be baked with my hands
Decorated with heart shaped sprinkles
And filled with an authentic minced man-heart
Ripped from the chest of some other love lorn bastard

For I may be in love
But I'm no fool
Not I


Was Mr. Humphrey a Friend of Mine?

Somewhere along the way I've lost my pride
While reaching for the shiny things
The silk ties, gold rings, and granite counter tops

Starting off wanting to end up on top o'the world
Lying in state within a polished mahogany casket
Whereas now I dream of a cheap plywood box

I once knew a lot of somebodies
Though now they've sloughed away too
Along with my ambition and vanity
Snatching away even the memories

Facebook told me that a man had passed away the other day
Reminding me that I went to High School with him
Played football with him for several seasons
And that should I look
I'd find his face in my circa 1989 Ceniad Yearbook

There was an outpouring of sadness upon his home page
Though his eyes would never read it
Telling tales
Sharing pictures
None of which rang a bell with me

I think I had a nickname for him
But I don't remember if he liked it
And that is the only thing I recalled
So I didn't share it

Oh, the fun we used to have _______________ !!
Oh, how I'll miss how he used to always ____________

Mike Humphrey is dead
Long live the memory of the Hump
Even if it isn't in my own head


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mechanical Wrestling

Laying upon my back
Concrete cold and flat
Accepting one hundred pound's
Of aircraft generator

Then me pushing up
And it pushing down
My shoulders flat
For far longer than any three count

Up into place
Might as well be outer space
As my trembling arms
Threaten to give out

Finally a slick mechanical feel
And everything lines up
Slides in

Only a technical win
But I'll take it

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Who Says Black Friday Is Bad?

"You complete me"
I whispered tenderly
To the half-priced
Half-resolution
Hand-picked
Off-brand
One day only on sale
Newfangled magpie shiny Black Friday
Television set

In appreciation
It glowed warmly
Though putting off nothing but cold
As it streamed images
Though my eyes
Into my soul
Crushing it

Beneath the sheer weight

Of humor so humorless
That the laugh track was needed
For one to know when it was funny

Of sales so amazing
That my wallet started vibrating
With eagerness to splay itself wide open
Like an over eager mother
About to give birth

Of news so real
That it felt like it was a world away
But right next door
With fire and heat and death
None of it my problem
Just for information

Pixels soon melted away
In a sheen of my own tears
Eyes propped open invisibly
The urge to blink gone

Such was the sight
Of my newest of loves

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cue the Foley Work

Slaloming through large crumbs of food
A cockroach crouched and found his groove
Shooshing first this way then that
While swaying betwixt his antennae
A cocked and jaunty cap

Bowls loomed large far above his head
As he glided his chitinous form across the Formica
Stopping here and there to sample the fare
Like a tourist at an eating exposition

Just ahead a delightful smell reached out and touched him
Sending his body into a quivering rhythm
A beeline was made to this so tempting dish
When suddenly a hand came down from far overhead....

SQUISH!




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fat Man Seeks Enlightenment

A fat man seeks enlightenment
At the bottom of many pitchers of beer
Eating through all the pretzels on the bar
Only repenting the next day out of feral fear

As the cholesterol pumps through his arteries
Like thickened beef baste gravy paste
His life begins to flash before his eyes
Full of pies stuffed with lies
Comfort wrapped in pastry shells

Sitting at a stained green felt poker table
Dealt nothing but busted hands
Food hanging from his chin
In congealed quivering stalactites
Eyes a rapid motion amateurish tell
That flick from his dead man's hand
To the pot not full of money
But overflowing with cake
Belly groaning and a growing
Pushing the table further and further away

Winning now a distant probability
Sitting in his wide fat man's chair
Wearing special fat man clothes
A sandwich board nearby
Declaring his search for meaning
Only drawing a stream of taunts from passersby
Enlightening him only as to what he appears to be
For his mirror must have lied
Every morning he looked deep within it
For glossy silver backed answers

Surface level revelations notwithstanding
This fat man still seeks enlightenment
Looking further from the traditional food trough
And closer to whatever may feed his soul


Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Used To Be Better Than Sliced Bread

I had a dream I was a fax machine
That the world had passed me by
But some people still kept me around
Till even I began to ask them why

With a cloth electrical cord
And a dusty mechanical action
Raised art deco lettering
Tumblers for addition and subtraction

Every day I'd whir to sleepy life
Facing each morning with no purpose
Wasting ink and paper
In a wasted calibration dance

Then one day someone took me home
Giving me a place upon a wooden shelf
With a little plaque declaring what I used to be
Now just an outdated heirloom curiosity


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Elliptical Motion

My ferrous superfluid
Gyrates in time
To the fluctuations
In your magnetic field
Attracted by your pull
Pushed by your force
A gentle dance
A soft romance

Maybe destined to be
Or perhaps all just chance
No way to know for sure
The exact science or circumstance

Though the dog knows we've tried
With aura detectors
Resistance thermometers
Palm card interpretations
Enough to make a psychic go wild

All I know
As I orbit you
First close
Then far away
In three dimensional forms
Affected by your expulsion array

Is that I'll never stray far from you
Lest I lose my form and my way
To drive endlessly
In vaporous disarray


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Meowlloween

All the hepcats and kittens
Filed their claws in anticipation
Adjusting their ears
Cleaning their fur

And hacking up the inevitable hairball

Trying to forget their tedious day jobs
With collared kittens in the call center
Mewing instructions into their headsets
Tech support for the feline set

All those hard to install games of cat and mouse

Finally the appointed hour arrived
With a simple gonging of the wall clock
Spurring padded paws to the foredeck
Ready to walk the streets at twilight

It was trick-or-treat time at last


Aircraft Mechanic In Situ

The tall tails greeted me
Bathed in golden liquid sunrise
Just as they had
Thousands of times before

Static in the still air
Crouched potential
Seemingly ready to spring into the sky

The same left turn down hangar row
That I'd made for the first time
More than twenty years ago
Now marked by some new hangars
Newer types of aircraft
Fresh young faces
With so many new names

Then
 I learned
And I broke a lot of things
Slowly learning to heal instead of hurt
And never would have guessed
That I'd still be here two decades later

Now
I watch
And I try to teach what I remember
To keep the metal in the air
For as long as it needs to be
And never planning
On where I may be two decades hence

Though let's be honest
I'll probably still be here



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wishing the Days Away

On Monday
I wished that it was Friday
On Tuesday
My thoughts were much the same
On Wednesday
I celebrated Hump Day
On Thursday
I hoped for Friday again

But Friday
I never really saw it
Perishing away just short
From the stress of anticipation

Friday, October 23, 2015

Four Party Plate

I found an errant Democrat
In my publicly funded soup
So I spooned him out quickly
And he did a mid-air loop de loop
Showing off a chameleon skin
Of ever changing politics

At the sight of these demo-antics
The Republicans in my gravy
Espoused a formal protest in mash
Protecting their potato parcels
Searching out errant migrant peas
Using spoons with which to smash

My deluxe Green Party side salad
Was not to be outdone
Offering clean energy from cow farts
Collected in special bags upon their bums

A Libertarian side of cream corn
Solidified its presence too
With a classic symbol of their own
An anarchy "A" painted with thick red goo

I sat back aghast
At what my meal had become
Asking aloud half to myself
"Why do they even run?"

And this is what they said:

I don't know much about big government
And I know I may be wrong
But there's a bigger chance that you are
So that's the refrain of my song

You're wrong!
Your platform it just ain't right
There is no visible support for it
Just puppet strings into the night

You're wrong!
It's the one thing I can count on
At least until it gets up over ten
Then I'll make two little kid fists
And have to start all over again

Tuning out the dull roar rising from the self-edifying edibles upon my plate
I slid back my chair with a dull chalkboard cry
To rise carrying the thick white supper plate with one hand
And quickly raising the lid on the chrome Bed Bath and Beyond trash can with the other
As I turned my face away from the ever ripening raucous stench

Because this meal was spoiled


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cheapskate Mekanik

You've done it again
With your Flea Market brand tools
Bought on the spur of the moment
Along the side of a rural route
Amidst fluttering Confederate battle flags
With judgmental white skulls looking down upon you
From the center of each printed St Andrew's Cross

That new three piece set
Of Vice Grips that just won't grip
Made of coated metal too soft for the job
With teeth that flatten upon the first use
And the chrome just flakes away
Cutting your fingertips as it goes

Your glossy looking pliers
Massive Chunnel Locks that won't lock at all
Interlocking adjustable crescent shaped grooves
That jump out of place
With the slightest of pressure applied
Their motto of "Tightest lock on earth!"
A stamped steel testament
To the time their marketing department lied

An assortment of combination wrenches
With both open and box ends
No attempt at a brand name upon their flanks
Just a simple mark saying "CHINA" in the center
Arranged in sizes that are simple suggestions
Judging from how they slip off of bolts and nuts
In both standard and metric size

The only thing worth a damn that you bought
Is that hickory handled ball peen hammer
Which is fortunate for you indeed
Because you'll need something dependable  available
To bash your skull with
Each and every time all the other new tools you got
Fails you in the worst possible way


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Self v Self

In the beginning there was darkness
Until I stubbed my toe
Swore out loud
Stepped in a dog turd
And finally found the light switch
Right where it always had been
On the light pink tiled bathroom wall

At least since 1968

Then there was me
Staring back at me
Reflected from the tin silver
Through the thin substrate
All at the speed of light

So I blinked

And there was a younger me
Clean shaven with lots of hair
A hundred and fifty pounds lighter
Zits on his chin from a football helmet strap
Without a clue in the world

So I had to look away from that asshole

My fingers found the septic system suitable toilet paper
Installed as it usually was
The wrong way on the roll
Tearing some away to wipe off my foot
The thin tissue predictably tore
Smearing dog shit on my thumb

I looked back up at the mirror
As I tossed the waste into the toilet
The image looking back at me
Just another bald-headed fat man with a beard
Washing his hands disgustedly in his middle age


Friday, October 2, 2015

Inspection Imagery

There's a small circular reflection
That mirrors things back to me
From hard to reach and dark places
Comes a little reversed reality

A crack revealed from under the grime
A corrosion bubble about to burst
A loose fastener rattling away
An unlubricated slide grinding time

It all looks fine as the plane lines up on final
But from the moment the tires squawk
Flaws start to appear
Growing larger as it taxis near

Brakes set and chocks blocked in
The time clock starts to steadily spin
Only four thousand man-hours until we are done
Start opening and cleaning so inspection can begin!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fritz the Improbable Prognosticator

I  dreamt I was a time traveler to the past
With nothing but modern money in my pockets
Thousands of dollars in worthless cotton based paper
Coins stamped with the wrong world leaders
Dates impossible for others to comprehend

So from an oriental carpeted room
On the fifth floor of an impossible brothel
I set up shop
As Fritz the Improbable Prognosticator!

With all my memory of history
Fed from grade school and high school
Community college
And Wikipedia since

I offered stock tips and sports bets
World events warnings
Natural disaster forecasts
Local election conjecture
And an editorial column in The Times

With a bowler hat and moleskin coat
I tried to grow penicillin in my bathroom
While dodging the bubonic plague
Skirting the mass graves
Being mocked for wearing a cotton mask near death
And washing my hands several times a day

Twice I was accused of being a witch
Once I hid from an inquisitor
Tripped up in a tavern with a modern turn of phrase
Forgetting myself
Trying to act out the local ways

Retreating at last to an isolated spot
Somewhere near a desert
In my mind a brown robed noble Ben Kenobi
But to the locals just another insane hermit
Writing upon scrolls and tablets in a language unknown to them
My story for my future self to find
For I was a time traveler with a major handicap
As only further into the past could I ever go


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Disease Vector

A common carrier
Of most uncommon disease
Measles mumps and whooping cough
Cancer and the ragweed sneeze
Flying in upon spidery spores
Supported by a breath of breeze
Darting into your open moist suckhole
Infiltrating weak defenses with ease

Anthropologists from the next great species
Will deduct that an asteroid was to blame again
Though this time it wasn't one that hit the ground
But just one that passes nearby now and then
Taunting us until we sent a robotic probe
Bringing back samples dropping on silver chutes
Which fluttered and flailed as they failed to extend
Spilling contents across the desert floor
Spelling humanity's end


Friday, September 11, 2015

The Biggest Lie I've Ever Told

There is a blank spot in my life
A little gap
That my historic timeline always skips
A lie by omission
That never passes my lips
Or flows through a pen to the waiting page

Thirty years of building up walls
Strong and true
Though their footing is shaky
Spanning that gap the way that they do

Husband
Father
Aerospace Professional
School Board Trustee
Poet
Author

All those words I use sometimes to describe me
Just age old theatrics meant to distract
Obfuscating one important fact:

It was all the biggest lie

That I was me
And the past didn't matter
And that being me
Was fine


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Budding Love:

Falling again
Heart in throat
Pain receptors dulled
Logic circuits suppressed
Flaws overlooked
Tasting a taste so foreign to the tongue

This must be love
Until the cute opens
Applying gravity once again

Hating the way he chews
The annoying way he snores
Never listens
Always apologizes
Blood rushing
Vomit rising to wash the love away

This must be hate
Until a new scent wafts our way
Clouding the mind again

At least long enough


Saturday, September 5, 2015

F=ma

Shafted again with the shitty shovel
Hands burning with the uneven grip
As blisters popped upon popped blisters
Gravel scraping in a one-four beat
Irregular and halting
An awkward waltz in motion
Always seeking a more steady pace

Blade worn shiny by contact with the pulverized rock
Fading to a fine rust as it went to the top
Curving in a lover's grip
Firm to the wooden shaft
Gripping to the death
No matter whose it may be

The joules pile up steadily
As each metal cart is filled to the brim
Rolled out by metal donkeys
Lashed with electric wires
Glowing eyes piercing the darkness
The only light in this goddamned place

When the whistle blows once
The time to push is at hand
To get one last load into the hopper
Steel animals frothing at the joints
To get the job done

Then the whistle blows twice
And it's shovels down
Time to count our day's output
A yardstick to determine our pay
With the second law of the land
As work converts to coins
In this measure of a man's worth


Foolishness In Poetry

Full of 'Thee's and 'Thy's 
Ushered by 'Thine' and 'Mine'
And 'For so art my heart be true'
The Fool published his poems of true love
To the foolish acclaim that they deserved

So full of emoticons 
And lacking real emotions
That the page filled up
Before the idea fleshed out
Scarring the eyes of those who read them

Leaving them blind as blind can be

So The Fool
He switched to braille
Enthralling himself with carefully placed textured bumps
Until he fell in love with images his fingers revealed
Masturbating ideas right into and through the pages

Feeling more the poet
And less the fool
His readers pressed their fingertips
To what he had left for them
Burning their pads and prints

Leaving them as fingertipless as they could be

Finally understanding the err of his ways
The Fool of a poet pondered his rules
That the way to rhyme this with that
Was with a tall top hat
Full with curled cues in a row
Glittery and stolen from a crow

The simplest of half stolen rhyme
Filling up all of his leaking time
With the wonder and the question
Of whether he was truly a fool of a poet
Or only wrote poems fit for fools

Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Drive

"Who wants to go for a ride?"

Once upon a time with those magic words
I could rouse joyful bouncing
Barking and tail wagging
In a full-body wriggle of endless elastic electricity

Now
Those words warrant a weary opening of one brown eye
Glazed over with a cataract
Seeing ghosts awash with Vaseline
And perhaps just enough to avoid bumping into walls

A slow giddy-up get up for the front end
Handled completely separate from the back
With a little help from my hands lifting on his hips
The old Poodle finally stands
Swaying slightly side to side
Equilibrium slightly out of whack

One painful walk out to the truck later
Has him planted in his seat
Chin on the sill of the open side window
At least this ride left in him

Time to go


Monday, August 24, 2015

Tempered Split Dream

Sometimes
She still dreamed of
The feel of
The fine wood grain in the handle
Running silkily perpendicular to her fingers

The tug towards the floor
From the honed head of the axe
Balanced upon the fulcrum of her hand
Gripping tightly to the belly of the haft
With the knob end angled upwards to the sky

Liquid dripped with a steady beat
Which she sometimes taps out
The memory a catchy tune
One that she often dances to

A waltz through some odds and ends
With a deft foot placement here
Then a half spin to plant a toe just so
Following a red placement diagram
A dance she doesn't want to forget

Those nice bits and bobs strewn about
Were once a very unpleasant whole
Creased and separated with ease
A patchwork assemblage in reverse

And just like that
The world was a much kinder place






Sunday, August 23, 2015

White Shirt Blues

I can never keep a white shirt clean
Be it food dirt or other
Some foul substance will stain it

Frankly
I blame the weight loss
For if I had not lost those seventy-five pounds
Then I never would have fit into this space

Aluminum walls sprayed with shiny white polyurethane
Covered in brown anti-corrosion coating
In turn bathed in all the greasy oily dirt
That a jumbo Boeing aircraft can kick up with its tires

The ten years passage
Since I had last fit into this vertical coffin shaped place
Had clouded my memory
Erasing the difficulty level of squeezing past the nose landing gear assembly
With the flat wall of the wheel well to your back
While stepping sideways on odd bits of structure
And carefully squeezing one's belly and clothing past sharp edges to the front

First came a crimson smear just below my breast
As the red grease from a fitting pressed hard against me
Slowly making a teacher's correction mark upon the blank white of my shirt
Distracting me so
That I missed a sharp pigtail end of twenty thousandths safety wire
Looping incompletely off of the downlock sensor canon plug
Allowing it to pierce the snowy fabric of the t-shirt
Tearing fibers gently
Silently
Until finally pricking my skin
And making me notice its action
Drawing a drop of blood as price of passage

In the confining area at last
Giving the area a five minute inspection with mirror and flashlight
Fulfilling the requirements of my task card
Which clearly state:
"Visual inspection performed within touching distance"
I'm left to ponder my results

A cut belly
Bruised chest
Grease and blood on the front of my shirt
Dirt, oil, and the odd sticky substance on the back

A pressing need to pee
And the validation that I can't keep a white shirt clean to save my life


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Falling Water

"Tap tap tappity tap"
A long nailed manicured hand sound of impatience
Played out upon an old piece of plywood
By drops of water from a metal eave

Straight down eighty feet
Pushed this way and that by the breeze
Almost crystalline teardrops
Squeezed to their ultimate aero shape

Terminal velocity achieved
Target in sight
An Alcoa Aluminum stencil on the veneer
Blue logo paint faded by past sun and storms

Ultimately splashing down
Forming a momentary crater
In the slickly thin watery film
A hazardous place for any strider to skate today

Gone all too soon in steamy rise
Evaporating to invisibility
Leaving the old shipping flat to bake
Fading away in the heat


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Stone That Skipped - pt 1

The stone lay unnoticed for quite some time
After being deposited upon the lake bed
By the ebb flow and movement of a glacier
Only just today being washed up upon the beach
Soon drying in the soft sunlight
Until it looked like any other smooth bit of limestone

I searched the sand for suitably flat-ish stones
Finding several
I handed half to my son
"It works best if you throw side-arm
Like this"
I said as I demonstrated the slightly awkward looking method
And we were rewarded by seeing the stone skip across the calm water
Four big skips
Followed by an almost uncountable number of mini skips
So close together that the spinning flat stone
Almost appeared to be zipping along the water like a boat
Until the water grabbed ahold of it
Taking it from our sight into the shallows

My son took one of his rocks and mimicked my movements
Though his first try propelled itself into the water at an angle
Like a missile
The water making a 'Gallulp!' sound
As the stone made a fast dive entry

He was not impressed
And made his distressed face at me
To which I smiled and made a 'watch me' gesture with the rock in my hand
Side-arm throw letting the stone spin off the end of my fingertip
Letting it rotate like a spinning plate
Bouncing off the surface of the water satisfyingly several times

My son selected another stone from his small pile
Slowly drawing his arm back to the side
Swinging around and releasing with good form
The stone spinning away from him in an unpredictable direction to the right
But skipping three times upon the clear water
Making us both cheer out loud

A couple more throws by both of us
And our handful of rocks was gone
Leaving nothing else to do but to look for more
With the Spring sun warming the backs of our necks
As we walked the water's edge with our heads bowed
Scanning the sand in front of our feet
Looking for just the right stones for skipping


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weathered

Water vapor marshmallows
Towering overhead
Appearing set to smother me in sweetness
But dumping water down instead
With rivulets of ice water
All down my back
Raising all the goosebumps
Carving a canyon track

Until I resemble nothing more than the earth
Cut by weather
Of geological birth

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Draw Me A Prison

Stabbed in the heart with your cartoon butter knife
The pen is mighty in what it draws
Sharp lines and soft angles
Lengthening infinitely
Shortening my life

Cut by the paper you ply
Shallow by the thousands
Invisible to the naked eye

Peering through a thick lens
Focusing with all your might
Pinpointing the broad orange sun
Burning your signature with the light

I'd tell you to stop
Toss out my safe word
At the top of my lungs
But it would be the biggest lie ever heard

As the pain reminds me I'm alive
And that I love you


Monday, July 6, 2015

Jackrabbit Speed Run

Bored and disinterested Princess
I know just what you need
Something long lean and built for speed
Burning 100 Low Lead blasting Grateful Dead

Bleeding blue blooded royalty out the straight pipes
While floating valves at 8000 RPM
Accelerator flat on the floor by royal decree
Not being nearly enough for her tastes
Her Highness waves her crankshaft scepter
Tossing the ceremonial bejeweled Nitrous Oxide key

Inserted by reflex and rotated two turns to the left
Our soon-to-be queen giggles right along with the powerplant
A steadily rising high pitched consistent sound
One turning her face blue with glee
The other grinding its internals to expensive dust
Entering the flying start timing lights at maximum thrust

One hand pointed down the track
The other a claw upon my shoulder
She is roaring out some sort of command
I can't hear her but I make an assumption
Covering the intervening mile in a flash
Popping the chute
Killing the ignition
Ending in a last gasp low speed wobble crash

Head full of cotton from the change in perspective
A pair of lips and teeth upon my ear
Slowly made themselves known
Followed by a high end brassiere on the dash
And the finely manicured hand from which it was thrown
Beckoning me to turn around
Before the spell the speed had woven
Disappeared in the waves of heat rising from the white hot ground


Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Fifth

On the day after the Fourth
Burnt paper and cardboard frittered upon the breeze
Sand and grit stinging the odd bruised and battered knee
As revelers stirred within their makeshift beds
Blinking groggily with ill tasting mouths
Shading their eyes and holding their heads

The trash can that held the remains of the alcoholic concoction
Was melted straight through on the bottom
From the unyielding strength of the mysterious brew
An ever expanding puddle extending for seemingly acres
With seagulls lying passed out from exposure
Their beaks turned from orange-yellow to bright squashed smurf blue

A bloody once-white tee shirt lay alone in the sun
That dried brown crust a reminder of firework safety
Marking the spot where Whats His Nuts lost two fingers around midnight
Trying to show off with a homemade cherry bomb
Forming a memory that is thankfully blurry and fading further
As the late breakfast call of the Taco Truck breaks the mid morning calm

The tinkle tinkle of those bells
Rushing feet
Rustling dirty sheets
Cling ping clangy of money being spent
A world restarted after over celebration
Of yet another Fourth of July sped on by


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Silence

Silence
It's killing me slowly
Without an echo
Lacking waveform

No matter how hard I bang upon the keyboard
There is no accompanying clatter click of the keys
Whether the dusty typewriter from nineteen oh three
Or my buckle spring IBM Model M

Individual letters appear as they seem they should
But are lacking a soul
Forming sad depressive words
That trail off in suicide notes
Voted off the island though nobody votes

Walking in the overgrown lot next door
Where old sticks and past year's leaves litter the forest floor
My feet can feel what is beneath them
Breaking a dry stick here
Crushing a pile of brown oak leaves there
With no accompanying crunch crackle crisp peaks for the ear
Nothing is transmitted
A giant has sucked away all the atmosphere
Holding it hostage within her lungs
Until stagnation sets in
Exhalation never comes
And she turns blue

Keying the RUN command for a new mp3
Pressing play on a favorite compact disk
Activating spindles inside the cassette player
Cycling through the four tracks upon the 8-track
Lowering the stylus to the vinyl
Cranking the spring to spin the cylinder
Poking the piano player with a ten dollar tip

All result in the same flat formulation
A lack of notes within the staff
Clef both treble and bass
Seeming such a waste
This lack of cacophonic joy

An unwound broken sound toy


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Button-Eyed-Doll

Rag-doll bits and pieces
Frayed around the edges
Until nothing but threads remain
A screen door skin
Letting everything out
Everything in

Mismatched button eyes
One with two holes
The other with four
Looking out at the world
Remembering all the images
All the hands
All the breasts
All the kisses
All the pets

Recalling that far away time
That hands had carefully sewn together
All the bits that the relentless march of time
Was now slowly tearing apart


WarGod

Peace should only be found in pieces
A little here
A little there
Too much peace
Would prosperity me right out of business

So I'm always present at the point of engender
Prodding a war or two to life
By blowing upon the coals of unrest
Feeding upon the resulting strife

Sowing the seeds for bullets over here
While over there bear witness
To the beginnings of a brass casing forest
Future food to sustain steel weapons
That my worshiping children will need

Greed feeds most of my needs
With little help or urging
My part played by little men
In ridiculous clothes
Red faced with heavy feet
Followed by unshorn sheep that bleat

Sometimes too much success is achieved
My belly stretched and aching from the gorge
With only a few survivors
Mixed with the rubble and leavings

Several generations are required for us all to recover
Until I'm hungry again
So I introduce a Cain to an Abel
Both full of fire all willing and able

"Cain, this is Abel
Abel, this is Cain
(and he really seems to hate you!)"

Just another endless cycle
Which to many would be a bore
Though no matter how many times go by
It excites and nourishes me
As I am the Goddess of War


Friday, June 12, 2015

Tree Study #5

With gnarled fingers of white bark
A treetrunk reaches for LeCar
A sad result of both being planted in the wrong place
And of being raised in the wrong sort of forest

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Treetrunk reaches for LeCar

Eventually all the reaching grants results
A lesson in tenacity
A story of love
The heart beating ten sizes too big birch tree
And a little red French car
Brought together at last
A marriage of wood and steel

What nature hath joined
Let no man tear asunder


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wintry Inspection Blues

Twisting
Turning
Torque tight
SB's
AD's
Updates right
Intergranular
Exfoliation
Light bright
Wish may
Wish might
Inspect this plane tonight

From the fourth button going up on my blue work shirt 
The world was calm as can be
A dim compartment lit by my flashlight
The air still and smelling of airplane
As a newborn baby smells to its mother
That's what the aircraft smelled of to me
Enveloped inside of it
Warmed by the hot air tubes that ran through
Kept company by several dead bugs
And what was left of a twig-and-fluff bird's nest

From the fourth button going down on my blue work shirt
The world was full of wind and snow
With temperatures measured in the below
Darkness brightened by nothing but far-off blue taxiway lights
A dim glow for the hills of snow
As they built up all around
This torso and pair of legs protruding from the bottom of an aircraft
Perched upon a wobbly military green B-4 work stand
Toes going numb from the chill of frozen steel toe shoes

Singing the distinctly filthy color collar sound
Of the midnight shift outside in the winter
Inspection blues


Monday, June 1, 2015

Not Today

Not today
Will the Man beat me down
Instead of hammer hell bent
The other way around

Not today
For there is a presence in the garden
Striding through the yellow slinky seed strands
Gifts from the trees
Twining together in an almost erotic way
Blowing with the spring breezes
Bringing on the heartiest of sneezes
Stirred by those ever growing closer feet

Not today
As the maniac stands in the door
Angrily ajar light streaming inside
Early midges swarm past in golden rays
Eager to transition to that promised land not outside
Only to cling to whitewashed walls and die
With tiny appendage hooks hanging them in place

"Not today!"
I cry as paper presses purposefully into my palm
Black ink oozing to form freakish imagery upon the floor
Devoid of any meaning to me in the moment
And seeing my confusion the madman mutters
"You have until Friday to cut your grass
Or the association will fine you fifty dollars"
Sending me to my knees wallowing with inky coolness

Not today
I think to myself as the last of the twilight fades to black
Not aloud
For the zoning man left hours back
But to myself not because of any lingering lack of reality luster
Only due to one simple situational reality:

The lawnmower is busted


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Around The World In 98 Hours

Chicago:
And her wings were gleaming
With hot de-icing fluid steaming
The lavatory was serviced
I high fived the mechanic on shift
Transferring the baton my way
With not a single deferred maintenance item in the book
Everything was green
Fired up the engines
And got gone

Anchorage:
The number one engine used a bit of oil
With some coking all about the tailpipe
So I topped up the tank
Scraped off the crust
And chased down the catering truck
Before it got away
Might have hit a goose with the leading edge on final
A judicious smack with a dead blow took that dent right out
The motors started spooling
Calling me to the boarding stairs
To close the door

Hong Kong:
Blew the number seven tire on landing
I think we ran over some scrap on the runway
The airport police were all over the place
Taking pictures and racing down the concrete
Looking for more bits and pieces
They wouldn't let me near the bad tire right away
So I passed the time putting a scab patch over that goose strike
As it had somehow cracked the metal on the long flight
Probably from me hitting it with the hammer
But I'm not sorry I did it
Finally the cops got out of the way
The tire got changed
I ruined my shirt
And I was done with that island airport

Melbourne:
I had a dream about a kangaroo that bit me and gave me rabies
Such was my punishment for trying to sleep hopped up on Redbull
And I awoke just as the dream doctor who looked like Crocodile Dundee
Was giving me a shot in the stomach with a giant rusty needle
Dust was blowing everywhere as I practically fell out of the lower hatch
Startling the ground handlers
So I pretended like I'd meant to do that
Trying not to limp as I went around wiping down the landing gear
Fishing out the ladder from the aft compartment again
Checking oils
Checking the damaged wing leading edge
Being distracted by a two plane formation touch-and-go
By some RAAF F-111 Aardvarks
A sight not seen at home or anywhere else anymore
Someday the plane will break so I can spend a couple days Down Under
But not today

Lahore:
Finally found my Primaquine tablets about an hour out
Realized I should have started taking them two days ago
Took two days worth of pills to try and make up for it
Stomach felt upset as I clambered down the ladder for the ground checks
Threw up uncontrollably next to the left body gear on the ramp
Shirt so covered in sick that I took it off and threw it away
All the ramp people stared at my love handles
Two of them whistled
One offered a phone number
I think they were all joking
Had to top up the number two hydraulic system
Splashed hydraulic fluid on my chest
Which broke out into a rash almost immediately
Combining with the over one hundred degree outside temps
Making me feel like I was standing under a blowtorch
Our sealed aluminum tube of conditioned air a welcome relief

Ankara:
Took a sponge bath in the lavatory during the flight
Checking myself for mosquito bites and not finding any
But getting phantom itches just the same
Praying that all the malaria ones had been too full to bother with me
I ran into the terminal and bought two new shirts
Blue and white Ankaraspor football club
And I looked quite dashing
With green hills in the distance
Dotted with whitewashed villages
I added some quick set aerodynamic sealant
To the edges of the goose damage on that leading edge
There seemed to be cracks spreading from it
Number one engine took two gallons of oil to top up
Maybe I forgot to check it last time?
I was sad to see Turkey slip aft as we flew away

Dublin:
My game plan had been plotted out as we flew
Where I was going to speed through all my duties
Then run to the terminal for some good Irish beer
It didn't seem to work that way though
As there was some outsized cargo to load through the nose
And I had to help the loadmaster out with it
Who ships a seventy five foot box anyways?
Bastards
Number one engine took about a gallon and a half this time
Which seemed to be an improvement
The APU was leaking something down the fuselage belly in the rear
Making an awful mess out of things
Borrowed a lift from Aer Lingus
Tightened up the oil filter in and out lines
It seems nobody had safetied them and they had loosened
Suddenly it was time to go
And there sat the Pub in the terminal
Only a hundred yards away
Which might as well be a hundred leagues
I shed a tear for the lost glass of stout on the way out

Chicago:
All the way across the Atlantic
I'd watched the oil quantity in the number one engine go down steadily
From a high of almost nine gallons when we took off
To a low of two gallons as we entered the pattern for O'Hare
Where a new engine awaited our arrival
To be swapped into that number one position
Another box sat near our parking spot as well
With a section of leading edge  to replace what the goose had smashed
Those two items
Plus four other deferred avionics issues
Were going to make for a busy twelve hour turnaround time

Sixteen tires made sixteen puffs of smoke as we kissed home again
Her wings were a little dirty and scuffed
The lavatory was unspeakably foul
The ground mechanic scowled at the work to-do list
As we all got busy erasing the marks left by a long trip around the world


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Break Fast

Strings of wet shredded wheat cling
To the white porcelain bowl
Forgotten in the haste to taste
All the better more sugary bits

Waiting patiently
Gripping tenaciously
Drying constantly
Scraped expectantly
Chewed tastelessly

The best parts of you
Have already sweetened my soul
Sugared the milk
Making me fatter the goal

Leftover breakfast cereal
Flies in subdued disgrace
To land awkwardly in the stainless sink
Sinking to sleep with the fishes
Because nobody wants to do the dishes


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tree Study #4

Roots tear free in unbridled glee
Dancing across the lawn
This towering one hundred foot tall
Mad Hatter crowned tangoing maple tree

That's really not what's happening at all
It is only how I'm seeing things
Viewed through my peyote gaze
Clouded with that bitter spirit quest tea

A raccoon marries a squirrel in a solemn ceremony
As I stand witness and vomit my approval
Which is perfectly normal
This isn't my first woodlands wedding you see

As usual my skin crawls off of my body
In a slung off limp exoskeletal heap
Something for biology majors to find and debate
A bit of fin grain leather stock for free

From underneath my true nature is revealed
As a coarse bark layered thing from obscurity
A little too on the nose for a costume choice
But in my addled state this is what I'd be

Size ten rooted to air Ent feet
That's what I see when I look down
With stiff limbed arms swaying to the walk
Long twig fingers fluttering like banshee bees

The Postman comes by delivering the mail
Staring steadily to keep an eye on me as he goes
This is far from the first time I've been seen marching the front yard
Covered in muddy sticks and leaves

And it likely won't be the last


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tree Study #3

Strength is all I can see when I look at you
And my hands cramp as a result
While filing the teeth of my chainsaw carefully
So I can have a go at your heroic form

Even more intimidating when I step up
Looming high overhead
A predator waiting to pounce
Your canopy shades with ill intent

Earplugs: check
Gloves: check
Safety goggles: check
Chainsaw....pull....pull....pull....pull....pull....pull....started!: check

I'd carefully make my first cut
But trees such as you
Seem to fall wherever they want
So blade flat to the ground
Motor blossoms blue smoke

Newly sharpened teeth burrow eagerly
Cutting a trench in your fiber
First through that thick outer skin
Then finding layers of rot

All that towering and scowling
Was just a pose it seems
As you were propped up by next to nothing
Your insides decayed and hollow

Still it was with sad eyes
That I followed your fall
Arcing into the clearing
To land with a thud
Cracking you open along your length

Your insides eaten by parasites
Filled with decay and excrement
Open to the gaze of the sun
There to be seen by anyone

Everyone

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rybbon

Orange fluttering rybbon
Fluttering in the breeze
Stuck and tied to anything for an reason
Not everything
But things
Reason

Rybbon streamered bicycle handles
Flying backwards in response to rapid forward motion
Pedalling like mad in a pair of worn out Keds
Shoelaces daring fate to tangle them in the chain and sprocket
As they go 'round
And 'round
Again

Rybbon marked short survey stakes
Self importantly marking property corners and utilities
Telling you where you can or cannot build or put a fence
Or where to dig to blow a water main
To dance in the geyser
Clothes optional
Naked

Rybbon wrapped present packages
First one way then twisted ninety degrees to go that
A crazy crippled cross of security
Obliviating fingertips and gay festive moods
Keeping presents a secret
Since when?
1593

Rybbon mummified trick or treaters
Shockingly safety orange and chasing Wolfman down the street
Peering out through one tiny gap in the wrap
Crying out
"I'm the MUMMY!!!"
At the top of her lungs
Alternately sprinting and staggering
Waffling in and out of character
Finally taking down that Wolfman
As if the orange rybbon wrapped She be the Wolf
And not He
Face first onto the lawn
Splat


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mark II (A Tale of Earth 52.5)

The Mark I had disappeared into the darkness
The fact of which I couldn't get out of my mind

It had been in there while I was finishing up the Mark II
Which had been about 61% complete at the time of the first test
Or so my wall flowchart told me
And I had no reason to doubt it
As there were professional algorithms involved and everything

Now floating here against my nylon straps
Sweat condenscing in tiny droplet beads
That neither ran down my skin
Or cooled me in any functional way
I could not bring myself to press the button

There in the space of my mind hung the 'Daisy'
The name I'd given the Mark I upon its completion
Writ in large white cursive upon the side of her nose
A small twenty centimeter painting of a white daisy next to it

Not a soul was in the cockpit
The pilot's seat eerily empty and wrong looking
Though the set of controls that had been in front of me
Where I sat on the chase ship almost made me feel that I was there

Almost

I've told myself since
That had I been allowed to pilot the craft personally
I would have known that something wasn't quite right
A vibration
Or a whine
Or chatter
Something would have given away its off center condition to me

I had not hesitated that day
Surrounded by a small group of fellow technicians and tracking officers
With some top brass, funding angels, and family members watching the live feed
My confident digit had flipped up the guard over the button almost jauntily
Stabbing the button in expectation of the fulfillment of years of work

The telemetry skewed radically the instant I activated the fold
Indicating.......something
I still didn't know exactly what
Though I had theories

When the high speed imagery was slowed down
There are two still frames of interest

The first
Shows a distinct wrinkle in the backbone of the small craft
Running across the span of the backbone
Just above the gravity engine compartment

The second
Gives the distinct impression of peering into a funhouse mirror
With the fore and aft ends of the ship about six meters closer together
As if someone had divided the ship into thirds
Removed the center piece
And pushed the two ends together
But with an odd warpage to the area that they were joined

A third still frame 
From immediately after that
Finishes the story for all intents and purposes
Showing the emptiness of space as far as you can see

For the record
What should have happened
Was that the entire ship should disappear
And then reappear exactly ten meters away from where it started

I had done that same experiment in the lab hundreds of times
Seven hundred and sixty two times
To be exact
Using the scaled down table top sized version of the gravity engine
Which sat in a simple titanium framework
With rubber feet
To avoid scratching expensive conference tables during presentations

Of which there had been many
Accounting for thirty two of those test runs
For paying audiences as it were

Right now it was almost the opposite situation

I was out of money
No, more than that
I was technically homeless after leveraging everything to finish the Mark II
Having been told that 
"The concept needed refinement"

Now there was no chase ship full of people
Only a small recording satellite shadowing me at 1000 credits/hr
And me
Sitting in the primer black painted "Bones"
With the obligatory chalk drawn skull and crossbones on the nose
Finger hesitant
As if it had all the money and time in the world

My brain replayed those two horrifying still frames again for me
Just because it clearly cares

I held my breath and pressed that button

Nothing changed
It didn't even appear that I had moved
Everything was still green across the board
And I was..........exactly ten meters further from the recording sat


 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

An Unpleasant Patter

Footsteps upon the worn cracked linoleum
A never ending reminder that I'm not alone
For some a reassurance
For me a torturous ennui

Never getting closer
Though always threatening to
Never growing distant
Though often almost about to

I've grown to hate them
Those disembodied feet
Slapping the shitty floor
Pacing from door to door

I'd remove them from the offending body
Mount them to a plaque
To hang upon the wall near my bed
A reminder of a rare triumphant attack

But the coward always wins
Sucking all the cocky courage back in
To an empty milkshake straw sucking sound song
Letting those feet walk all over me again


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Roethke Imitation Game: Android Edition

That is less a man and more a machine,
Or clockwork, or automaton
Hydraulic actuators and complex linkage convert into four axis motion
How he could identify himself in a mirror and not short himself out with tears
Is beyond my comprehension or even his own, if limits be drawn
Or perhaps he is deeply in love with what he has become
Or rages against the loss of humanity
Or secretly tries to remove all the metal bits
Or orders even more components from obscure enhancement catalogs
Or he once decided to live forever and regrets that choice every day


Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Gathering Escapement

Everything once was new
Turned brass balance pivots
Carefully wound balance springs
Pallets and escape wheels
Awaiting tiny centripetal flings

Machined edges glinting sharp as switchblades
Faces smooth as silk
Tool marks near invisible
Holding close parallel patterns
A single timing mark from a chisel

Slipped together in easy precision
Winding pinion turned
Potential energy stored
Then released in a tango of physics
A gentle advance and retreat
A back and forth
Sharp and precise infinite repeat

Time marches precisely within its metal skeleton
Attracting lint, dust, and dead skin
With the odd bit of sand working in
Lodging next to the moving bits
Doing nothing to the naked eye
But let time and ceaseless friction do their thing
And in ten years time give it another try

Where once was satin smoothness
Now is an ugly groove
Making a wobbling mockery of the balance staff
Endlessly turning in its ruby bearing
Driven by the escape wheel rocked pallet
See-sawing transfer of the winding spring power

Microscopic flecks of golden metal
Victims of this marking time machine
That slowly eats itself from the inside out
To make sure we are not late for work


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Now Leaving Baltimore; Next Stop......

My forefathers brought yours here
By hook
By crook
By kidnap
By fear
And were often surprised when they didn't like it
Refusing to work or openly rose up

Who wouldn't want to be forcibly enslaved?

My great-great-grandfathers saw yours freed
Chains got shucked off
Slavery a thing of the past
And were surprised when that didn't seem to placate
An offer of a ride back to the continent that must be your home
Forty acres, a mule and the technical right to vote
None of that seemed to cut it

Is simply not being a piece of property just not enough?

My father and grandfathers put forth the Civil Rights Act
No more back of the bus
Separate drinking fountains
Burning crosses or mob lynching
But then we were all surprised when those promises
They rang a little bit hollow
Leaving at best a thin Band Aid veneer of civility
That kept peeling at the corners
Revealing an ugly wound that just wouldn't heal

Could it be that you all want life, liberty, and justice too?

Now myself and my children are at a loss as to what to do
We've declared racism to be dead
Another fabled thing of the past
Peace in our time
Sure, accomplishing that might take some work
So we'll write some words
Before playing on our Xbox and getting junk food to go
Problem solved
I saw it on CNN and FOX in simple graphic solutions
But I'm still shocked and surprised when the anger boils over

How can saying the words not make it so?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tree Study #2

Acorns accumulate
Dragging down the limbs ever so slightly
Flexing the stiff hardwood
With the kiss of tension and compression

A few squirrels happen by
Tiny clawed hands brushing the green 'corns
Still soft and sickly sour to their taste
One of those things that are passed down
But only believed once tried for themselves

As evidenced by a young squirrel in the background of the scene
Plucking a green acorn from a branch
Sampling the too tart nutflesh
A look of puzzlement upon the tiny pinched rodent face
Before spatting out the half chewed morsel
Like a professional tobacco chewer aiming for an invisible spittoon

The nut with a bite out of it
Tossed into a nearby stream with a half mighty throw
Perhaps to inspire some tiny computer maker downstream
Into having a new product logo

Or maybe not

Signature thick green leaves flutter in the breeze
Coming late and staying later
Sometimes to flutter down upon the first or second snows of winter
Much to the frustration of the gardener

Cycle performed year after year
For a century perhaps
Maybe more
Such is the life of an oak