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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2017. 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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Day 1 - Get Going Already!

It was hot

Not like frying pan in the desert hot
But not comfortable just the same

My best friend and I were drinking beer
In a vain effort to cool off
Ice sliding off golden scripted cans
Of mass produced swill
Vapor rising lazily up from the metal
Promising cold
Delivering naught
But hot beer and dead skunk

I felt a pressure on my chest
And my arms felt leaden
As my buddy scoffed at my latest decision

"I don't know, dude
Twenty days is a long ass time to be gone every month
If nobody else tries to tap your old lady
I just might!"

He drunkenly laughed at that
And I did too

Although I wasn't too worried about him
The general idea had crossed my mind as well
And I was feeling some misgivings about it all

But fuck it
More beer would probably fix it

"Toss me another 'Stone, eh?"

My wish granted
The mostly white can started arcing towards me
Drops of condensation shedding from it
Like a just launched rocket on a cold morning
Spinning on its long axis as it came
That gold-lettered brand label flashed into view
Then out
Then in

Old Gravestone Light
The beer that won no awards ever
With a silver slab grave marker logo
Stating unironically
"Your Name Here"

You'd think nobody would buy a beer with such a dark sense of humor
But here we were
Drinking up in the back of my pickup truck

The can passed through my fumbling fingers
To land with a meaty splat upon my chest

Upon contact
My eyes snapped open
And my head started to hurt
Hand grabbing center torso
Finding instead of a cold beer
A fabulously smelly shoe

This leather sheathe
Held an equally alarming foot
All attached to what surely
Was an appropriately horrid person
Shades of Schultz's Pigpen
But weighing 300 pounds
Topped by a mop top of greasy brown hair
And holding a jagged cinder block above his head

Small sharp stones opined their anger to my back
Offended at being laid upon

My left arm wet in a puddle of what probably isn't completely water
Not responding to my brain's call to defense

I can't tell what language I'm being swore at in
As the man swung the chunk of concrete down at me

My head tried to do a fancy zig zag move to get away
Only causing my overly starched once-white collar to chafe the skin

Two more thoughts have time to cross my mind:

The cold rain feels delightful upon my bare legs

I wonder where I left my pants


Friday, September 1, 2017

747 Sunset

I never saw a sunset
Until I was above the clouds
Orange light bathing cotton candy
Spread out upon endless horizons

Mesmerized through the cockpit windows
Until waves of color rippled across

A slow motion ocean of red
Swallowing the orange of endless foam

A magician's velvet cape of purple
Sweepingly chasing the red

An invisible squid's ink of black
Squirting all the soft landscape soon after

Dyeing the evening scene
Setting the stage for the stars
To form their living planetarium overhead
Teaching a new lesson each and every night

Steam gauges glow a faint yellow
Electronics thrum their steady hum
And the wings creak in steady time
To the constant push of four thundrous engines

Pushing us from time zone to time zone
Until clocks become relative to our speed
With four hours to go
Then three
Two
Diving down through those clouds
With only an hour left

Coastal lights in sight
Feet dry
Stars gone
Dead dirty earth beckoning us back
From our flight amongst the heavens

A shudder and a shake
As the gear doors open
Buffeting the airframe
Green lights shine
Showing down and locked
ILS lights pulse a living light road

Across the threshold
20 feet
15 feet
10 feet
5 feet
Eighteen rubber chuffs

"Home at last
Home at last"

Is a lie I cry out
As I have left my heart
Up in that starry sky above


Friday, August 18, 2017

This is a Holding Title

We were vomited from our graduation
Walking in parade formation
The next class walking in
As we were lock-stepping out

Our tools were shiny
Our ideals crisp
Ironed and creased
By years of expert erudition

A celebratory drink
A nod and a wink
A backdoor deal
Done proper and right

Off to our new careers
To put that sheepskin to the test
One foot after the other
Gravity is working fine
Check!

Time will scratch and dent
All those fancy tools
Principles tend to bend
In ways that don't easily mend

Until we look back
All grizzled and grey
Failing to even recognize
The us that once was one fine day

Time grinds the hardest of granite
And not even you
Are more hard-headed
Than that


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

If the Ups Don't Get You, Then the Downs Certainly Will

Alternately floating then sinking
In seemingly endless cycles
Power up
Power down
Gear down
Gear up
Pressurize
Depressurize

In between was the sweet spot
The modulate and cruise
Skipping along the atmosphere
Supported upon arms of flexing metal

No smoke or mirrors
Wires or computer generated effects
Just triple auto-piloted in solid state
For redundant reduced vertical separation

From forty-thousand feet
It feels like I can see forever
From five foot eight inches
It feels like I am blind

I live for the moments I rise
Upwardly mobile at long last
Another mote in the jetstream
Rushing along that-a-way

But the fuel never lasts forever
With scheduled stops growing nigh
Until coming back down to earth
I die a little bit inside


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Noodling

A favorite song
Taken hostage
By a reverse recipe villain
Held hostage in poor taste
With sour notes
Of collapsed acidic waste

Apple A-flats
Hanging on treble clefs
Bolstered by orange C-sharps
Runs and arpeggios
Dipped in savory gravy
Repeats in ivory cream

A broccoli chainsaw
Attacked the medley
Tearing it apart
Note for note
Forcing four part harmony
From single sweet melody
Poured audibly
Into an ice cream float

Yes
Of course I still love it
All split staffs
And mangled notes
Of sweet and savory
Riding high in banana split boats
Spouting soundtrack accompaniment
Jingle jangling guitars
Copper kettle drums
And Grandma's kitchen smells
Giving prescribed comfort
Till the closing credit scroll
Reaches its end


Friday, July 7, 2017

Lawn Boy Grass Bag Kit: $9.99

Walking the polished cement floors of Home Depot
The rectangular green and white box called to me
"Lawn Boy - Grass Bag Kit"!
It loudly exclaimed

And upon a much smaller orange clearance sticker
Explaining its place upon a back-of-the-store end cap
"$9.99"
Was almost conspiratorially whispered to me

Acquiring this item would complete my set
Complementing the Lawn Boy mower
With matching chute and leaf bag kit
Which had been given to me by my father

This after yet another phone call half way across the country
Where I had mentioned that I missed our old Lawn Boy mowers
The ones from the 1970's and '80's
Lightweight two-stroke affairs of blue smoke and fury

He had almost made a fetish of them
Always having a couple extra old ones up in the attic
To be used for parts after Supermanning them down
From the twelve foot attic access in the garage

I'd called him in triumph
The day I'd bought my first broken down Harley Davidson
Starting it up and revving it so he could hear
The undoubtedly impressive sound through the phone

I'd called him in wonder
The day I'd discovered carburetor icing
As my truck chugged its way into work on a winter morning
With white frost coating the old small two barrel Rochester

But this news today
Was about Lawn Boy stuff
And just had to be shared!
I knew he'd be so pleased with my ten dollar trophy

Now this last time I called my father on the phone
He lay upon the front lawn
And never said a thing to me
All I heard were my mother's panicked words

"Your father's had a heart attack!
And I don't think he's living......"

Later
After the blur of travelling ten hours back home
To pick out his simple flat topped casket
And drop off his nice suit
So he could look nice one more time

I took a few moments to sit near him when we were alone
So I could tell him what a great Lawn Boy part I'd found
And how it was going to collect grass like gangbusters
Even though that bit turned out to be a lie

As now more than a decade later
You can still walk to the back of my garage
And look up on my top shelf
Where a familiar green and white box resides quietly

Always proudly proclaiming though the years of dust:

"Lawn Boy - Grass Bag Kit........$9.99"




Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Romantic Glow

When I burn this place to the ground
It will be with a rueful smile
A grimace if we are being honest
Mostly from the heat
Since I'll be close by to watch

The flames dance in the night
Popping and chewing up scenery
A couple of mice running in fright
And a couple of things for me and you

A nice plaid blanket and cushions
For us to watch the show
Triangle sandwiches and sunglasses
To feed and protect us from the glow

Crack open a bottle of wine
Something red and fermented
Plucked on a frosty morning from the vine
On a small vineyard in Upstate

We don't need to call the fire department
Since we are the last two people around
Sipping, snacking, and basking
A better partner could never be found

When the day comes that I burn this place to the ground




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Schadenfreude 2.0

Screams pour out of your handheld mobile device
Thick as molasses
Dark as the Devil's heart
Piercing my ears like mom's knitting needles

As you watch someone's anguish
After they ran over their own dog
As you watch the pain
Caused by a missed skateboard trick
As you watch the fear
From an especially cruel prank

The schadenfreude is strong with you today
With just the tiniest bit of spittle
Catching the sixty watt bare bulb light
And reflecting back in my direction
From where it nestles into the corner
Of your half opened mouth

The pleasure you are sucking in
From all the anguish fear and pain
Shown to you for almost free
Any time of the day
Is slowly filling you up
Pushing out empathy
Drowning the compassion
Kicking your pity right in the ribs

I fear the person that may come out the other side
After the continuous Fail Army video feeding frenzy

Will you still comfort me when I am sick?
Would you help me if I fell?

I don't even fear that you'd laugh at me
No

A greater worry is the lustful look that may cross your face
Lips slowly parting
Drops of spittle gathering
As you salivate
Eager to take in my pain fear and anguish
As I put on a personal show
Just for you
And your Schadenfreude two-point-oh



Monday, May 22, 2017

Aluminum Foil Influence

There's a thread of conspiracy
Sewn right into my headgear
Over under and whipstitched
In contrasting color
Constantly constricting my thinking
Slowly drawing itself tight
Until the blood flow is just about right
For alternative thinking to take place

It isn't very false
And it isn't very true
It's totally alternative
And tells me what to do

Nine sources tell me one thing
While one tells me another
Logic says one thing
But my gut screams "However...."
That one thing seems to comfort my thoughts
Coddling my mind
In cheap velour
From the bargain bin at K-mart
A blue light special of an idea
So I'll latch right onto that

It isn't very false
And it isn't very true
It's totally alternative
And tells me what to do

My head is now an alternative shape
Thanks to that too tight hat of mine
Made of shiny upcycled tinfoil
And whispering secrets to me all the time
I'll not question its authority
I'm way past that now
Two miles past the military checkpoints
Heading into Area Fifty-One
Helped by the invisibility afforded me
By that low tech high magick
Too tight sparkling custom made
Tightly stitched protective tinfoil hat

It's not very false
And it isn't very true
It's totes an alternative
Telling me what to do




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Stink Squared

Walking from my favorite stall in the bathroom
Just as I emerge from the stagnant
Harsh chemical cleaner cloaked scent of man shit
My nostrils detect a hint of grilling meat
Only to have that faint whiff crushed
By the reality of a still almost lit
Marlboro man's mustache accessory cast-off
Wetly smoldering crushed cigarette stump in the trash

The desire to eat cooked flesh leaves me instantly
As vomit creeps up my throat
But I swallow firmly
And dutifully wash my hands
Before walking out and away

- FDR18APR2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Color Transition

Your blues have become reds
As your painted fingernails move
Gouging gnarled gashes
Deeply into the skin
Just what the doctor ordered
All that depressed devotion
Better going out than keeping in

Your grays have become golds
Mixing up chemicals in your lab
Draping the tiny room in fumes
Smoky streamers of a million dreamers
Former attendees from Alchemy U.
Celebrated and berated in portioned parts
All chasing the same dream of Pb to Au

Your yellows have become greens
Sprouting up depositing butter on the nose
After decorating the lawns
Of the not so rich and famous
Those who just can't mow on time
Harvesting a flowery little harvest
Making the finest dandelion wine

Your oranges have become violets
After a violent collision
With a deep and stormy sea
Ebbing into a sailor's delight
As the first stars wink into being
Dying light's purple fading to night
Till the nothing is the only seeing


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The View From Seat 4-A

Clouds slip by 
A constant conveyor belt of textured fluff
Mostly the regular texture of old imprinted wallpaper stretched tight
With the odd area resembling something or another
Here is a duck head
Over there a castle tower
A nearby left handed guitar attacking the gates
With rock and roll

Forehead pressed to the window
I watch the seemingly solid vapor landscape pass me by
Quicker than it did in my youth
From my favorite seat
On the old orange couch
Close up to the picture window
By the lake

As the sun proceeds lower in the sky
Interesting shadows and textures arise
To grasp at the threads of imagination
Fluttering along at full speculative speed
Brightening to make an impression upon the neurons before they pass by

When the light is practically parallel to the line of clouds
My heart jumps into my throat
The most beautiful colors come true
Oranges yellows purples permeating the heavens
Even a tiny rainbow amidst some stray mist

Unbearably breathtaking imagery such as that
Can only exist for moments at a time
As a rule
And following through on that promise
The sun drops below the clouds 
Leaving me alone in a twilight lit from reflected light above

Along with this old airplane
And her crew

Everything creaks as the first stars appear to me
The wing spars flex in a long curve from root to tip
As a slight updraft makes the autopilot do some work
Computing how best to manipulate the flight controls
To keep us at our assigned altitude
Give or take a couple hundred feet

The temperature inside hasn't changed
But I feel a chill inspired by the chilly view
So I pull the old smelly Pan Am blanket a little higher
A little tighter up to my chin
Smelling of a thousand bad in-flight meals
And a hint of pipe tobacco

Out the window the clouds show their first gap in a thousand miles
And the rolling textured surface of the Pacific Ocean peeks up at me
Then it is gone
And I'm trapped once again above those clouds
Now dark grey and slightly menacing
As the world outside the window dims

And the twinkling heavens open their arms wide


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Terminal Speed of 300 Toads

I see you are going down again
I'd offer you a gentlemanly hand
But gravity seems to be doing you well

If only there were some way of measuring this
Your acceleration in a vacuum
Your terminal speed

I spy a nice sized rock and throw it at you
Smiling as it hits you square in the gut
Who needs to measure shit when I can do that

You cry out for my help
And three hundred toads shoot out of your butt
Just like you always said they would

I fall down right with you at that
Tears obscuring my view
My breath catching in almost silent gasp laughter

"Oh my god!"
I finally gasp out
"You said, 'The day I ask for your help......
.....three hundred toads........
...fly out your butt!!'"

And I can't stop laughing
Nor can the tears stop flowing
Never a breath will I catch

As we both hit the ground in unison
A smile upon my face
And three hundred toads pitter-pattering down all around us


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Chalk Candy

I will
LOVE U
4EVER
Just like the children's bedtime storybook
I'll hold you in my arms
Every moment that I can
And if you get dementia and forget me
I'll court you all over again
So that I can hold you then too

Could you
BE
MINE
But not in a creepy way
Oh no
Just a bit of your love
A taste of your skin
A touch of your soul from within
(ok, perhaps in a slightly creepy way)

Would you
KISS
ME
If I promised to be clean and fresh
A lightly minty tongue
Hiding behind warm soft lips
With facial hair trimmed so as not to poke you
I have prepared and am quite a dish

These candy printed platitudes
And more
Can be yours
Because I love you

Won't
U LOVE
ME 2?


Monday, January 30, 2017

Bridge Ices Before Road

Up to now it seems
That things have always been
Idyllic countryside drive 
Endlessly rolling hills
Easy going all the way
Until the edge of the known world approaches
With a thin ribbon of concrete and steel
Arcing off into the unknown

There is a temptation to turn around
It isn't too late to go back yet
Familiar highways and trails
Traversed a million times before
Tire tracks from times past
Crisscrossing the old familiar earth

But this road goes only one way now
And it is out up and away
As a light snow starts
A setting sun showing off distant clouds
Dumping moisture off their undersides
Obscuring the future in a haze

Looming large in the fading light
Going slowly past the final 
Well-used turnaround area
Where we used to gaze out at the unknown
In our youth
Sitting around bonfires
Tentatively kissing one another
And awkwardly touching
Before there even was a bridge beyond
Or at least we hadn't noticed it yet

Now pushing through an inch of snow
Crunching satisfyingly under tire
No place to turn back now
One final sign before the base of the bridge approaches

"Bridge Ices Before Road"

In black print
Upon a reflective yellow background
And a crazily skidding car outlined within

Up the structure we go now
Heedless of any warnings or fear
In search at last
Of that fabled away up and out
Darkness closes in
At the disappearance of the last irritated sliver of sunlight
And the tires begin to slip
And we notice that there are no guardrails

Speed decreasing upon a steady grade
Wishing for the sand tubes of a railed locomotive
Portable granules of that safe earth
That is now so far behind
Beneath accumulating snow

Lightning sparks across the sky
Illuminating all
Once
Then twice
Long enough to look 
Left
Then right
Over the edge and into black waters
That stubbornly refuse to freeze in the cold
Filled with the carcasses of cars past
The only indicator that anyone else has ever tried
To go this way before

Chug chugging upon slickness
Downshifting just to keep the engine running now
Acceleration a forgotten idea
To keep forward motion the ideal
Headlights shining up into the night
Catching sight of nothing but the gently falling snow
Flakes as large as curled white Persian cats
With ice blue eyes
Accusing us of everything
But expecting nothing

"Maybe the road just ends here at the top?"

That whispered question still hanging in the air
When the apex is reached
And the car teeters upon a point
And for an unending few seconds
There doesn't seem to be an answer
Until there is
And the car decides to go forward and down
Please keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle
Picking up speed upon the snot slick skid surface

Those curled white Persian cats
Have now become stars
Streaking towards the windscreen and past
A tunnel of bits of light
The hyperdrive is fixed at last

The far side approaches quickly
Too fast for much thinking at all
With several inches of fresh whiteness
Trying to find the road is a dicey call
Until the edges can be picked out
By sparsely spaces white reflectors
A path to a new land's interior
Following only the idea of a path
No tracks to be seen

A new territory
Try not to fall