Meta-filmic poem

One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

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The Unwritten Rules of Robert Stack’s Unsolved Mysteries

Anyone ship wrecked is not coming back.

It’s always the family member who repeats
their innocence as a mantra whose guilty.

Mysterious looking military suicides never get solved,
and are most likely not voluntary.

People whose alias’ are just variations of their first name with
not even clever last names, always get caught.

Femme fatales always have their story told to smutty music.

9 times out of 10 when a warden or prison guards body is not found
after a breakout, she’s absconded with the convict willingly.

When someone posts bail and they are guilty,
they flee the state.

An old man and his garden and his missing wife are often
completely connected, and not in a good way.

Sometimes, it’s just a creaky floorboard ridden house with
attention hungry, in the financial pit, owners.

Sometimes even Robert Stack can’t keep a straight face.

Dungeons and Dragons ends up getting you sucked into
satanic murder cults.

Women: don’t hitch-hike!

If no other possible hypothesis suits the case, it’s Satanism!

Chupacabra is out there!
Big foot is underfoot!
Loch Ness no longer lost!

Within an hour of this broadcast,
someone somewhere will recognize
their co-worker at the gas station of K-Mart
and the universal conclusion will be,

“They were the Last One you would suspect.”

No Reference Left

Ok fine, you don’t want
the gravy that couples everything
in shiny black shadow when I am high.

You don’t like this meta-business,
it makes your head hurt?

Then let me give it straighter
than Russian Vodka.

Let me give it to you like a football
from Africa kicked
into Spain’s net.
Hot and Fast.

This world is a mess of amazing
and terrible moments.

We all have our respective
backpacks or trunks,
you fit what you can
I’ll go for mine.

And everything else is fine,
bump the table once to get back
to faithful metric and rhyme.

So you’ll have to repeat the
reference or obscure question in
braille of bullets screaming at me
like Neo before he uses the Force,
and you better make mine shaken,
not stirred bitches, because when

I get going I’m part Walt
to wit with
some Pinkman tweak,
some bait and switch shtick.

I can Hyde another skin
on the fire for you,
but you better have mine
Mad Max medium, rare,
I want to flip the Bird
on a Wire

to Fred Astaire
like the head of
the Griswold homestead,
give me acid instead
of Tylenol though,
these Purple Patch
Addams Family Pills
go
to the stomach lining
like Alien/s or The Blob

and I prefer to see
babies on the ceiling
if I’m going out like that,

and maybe some fucking laser
guided shark-creatures as well,
because without a laugh
you aren’t going to Escape from Alcatraz,

whether you’re Good, Bad,
or Ugly as sin, like The Mask,
uglier than Fast and Furious
and just as fucking predictable,

I bet you’d like that wouldn’t you?

You want to come into
tomorrow on some
sort of multi-pass Jovovich
but I’ll have none of it-

I’m up in the Canadian Bacon now,
and we have Nunavut
the way Alex Supertramp
had Alaska and the
way Star Wars distracts
from The Conversation,
so too will poetry take
from the vein of film
running in my arms,
a fucking Spike’s worth
or re-run’s and watches,
and the Marathon Man
like Power of One,
all in the back pocket
of Carol’s Dicaprio shadow,

-but you cannot just
petition new poetry for
a pamphlet to take back
to your little literary Stasi.

We aren’t taking new members.
Come back in May
with the embers,
and bring the cat
from the freezer.

And if you didn’t catch that last one,
don’t bother coming back,
at all. I’ll be here in
The Yellow Wallpaper,
clawing at the wall,
etching my initials in it,

and picking through
the last couple references left
like The Omega Man,
tripping on blue meth,
i’ll be here until i’ve referenced
myself to Death.

The Nightmare of the Zombie

It was the way it always is.
I was in a cemetery with Judith
and we were talking about how
bizarre the whole fame thing is.
How it’s absolutely the work of
bad ju-ju, of hocus pocus, of mice
transformed into the size of men,
of ants and birds and bad things like that.

I guess it was the wine, and the moon,
and the small vortex that opened up,
sort of like in Quantum Leap, so
damn conveniently at the end of each episode
before little Jerry O’Connell got shot by
angry white men or run over by a truck.

We ended up in Los Angeles, but it was
more like a Ridley Scott L.A., and I realized
I was in one of my dreams again, or
I took too much, man. Then I chuckle
while repeatedly saying,

“You took too muuuuuch, man.
Took too much.” just like
del toro’s Gonzo, until Judith
points out the old cemetery
and we wander over.

It’s huge. Like,
a shopping mall of carcass’.

And of course the song from
Return of the Living Dead
plays on some ghetto as a punk
with a Mohawk and a chain
from ear to lip walks by
and spits near my feet.

And then the first heads
start to pop up,
and before you know it
they’re all there.

Orson Welles.
He looks about the same. Belligerent, too.
Hemingway. His head is sort of a mess.
But he has the same jovial spirit!

Bukowski is there.
And Marilyn Monroe
looks pretty damn good.

Which Judith notices me noticing and
makes some ridiculous comment about

how I can only get it up for the paranormal and
cartoon chicks, and I say something like

Jessica Rabbit is practically human.
It’s all her voice.
Shut up and let’s meet some
zombie celebrities!

Everything was going really swell.
I was like a kid in a decomposing candy shop

I talked about Fitzgerald with Ernest ,
and about drinking with Chinaski,
and movies with Welles.

Then we made the mistake of going to some
fucking party and you just knew something
shitty was going to happen, it just felt bad.

The kids at the party just dissed all of them,
if they knew them at all, and called them misogynist
or said they were drunks, or both.

They said Orson Welles was
slow and over-rated.
And no Tarantino.

I wept.

They said Hemingway was
just a representation
of the patriarchy,
and a dirty man,
and Bukowski they
said made Ernest look
like a fucking saint.

I sank.

I don’t even want
to re-describe the way the
feminist crowd devoured
poor Norma Jean.

I understood
where they were coming
from but at the same time,
even a zombified Marilyn was
exhaustively enchanting.

In the end, the old stars left.
Bukowski and Hemingway said they

were gonna go to a fight,
or have one themselves,
whichever happened first.

Poor Orson went looking for some old woman.

Marilyn went out the window rather than
spend another minute with all the bores.

That’s usually when I wake up.
Sometimes me and Norma make out first.
There I said it.

Dancing Story Man On Corner, Begging

Pacing on one foot at a time, like he
was in the chamber that helps you stop smoking in Cats Eye.

Like electrically charged atoms, dancing to Mozart.
Like a busted up whore, tripping on too many Benzes.
Like a kite, free from its master.
Like a master, free from his shackles.
Like the token black guy, in Blazing Saddles.

“Got chore stories here-e-e-e-e-e-e!
Step right up!
Poem for a dollar on the theme of your choosing!
Page a blank prose for 5! 3 for 10 people!
Come one! Come all!”

He has one for the bored housewife.
It starts out boring like a Harlequin.
And jumps by page 5.

(She was a multiple personality of a soap star.
This is why her lines had been so bad, so far.)

He has one for the boy that lived down the lane.
About a mission to drive all the drivers of the world, insane.

(The final page is on fire, smells of burning rubber
and sounds like the dancing of brick walls breaking out from under a fender)

“How about one about a detective whose cases all blend into one perp,
Turns out all along he’s been hunting God!”

He twists and turns on his feet all day.
At night he looks out his small, underwater window

Looks like Nicola Tesla, head arched back.
Looks like a more peaceful Stanley Kowalski.
Like a playing card.
Like a saint.

Like me.

Trouble Teller

Soon as the page goes up bright
and post-modern white most of you
little shits scatter to the scourge of
cockroach mathematics but I am
a teller, and the tale won’t leave my
hand alone until I play every
soft trombone moment its lullaby.

Every day my mind thinks up reasons to
create worlds for characters who could
stand up to those of HBO’s The Wire
the kind of characters who if they were
ever forced to live a day of the written universe
of Friends or Big Bang Theory
(the ugly ginger step-child of Friends)
would just go absolutely fucking nuts and
meta-slaughter that place dry, a-light the

margin highways with the
Men and Women who bleed
Crayola Red & Crayola Blue.
And Hooker Green, too.

In the end if you want me
I’ll be on top of the credit unions
in another more hyper violently set off Fight Club redux
with Al Swearinjun and the rest of Deadwood,
and fucking finishing what was fucking was started,
kicking the shit out of every AMC zombies with three from Romero.

Maybe just floating around with Zooey Deschanel, making sure this is
her last shitty sitcom. Making sure we all get to bed just a little
Unsettled- that’s me. The Trouble Teller. So if you want that clean,
trouble-less America Idol bedtime story told in a flash mob or Glee-fuck?

Keep moving.
There be dragons up n here.
Talking Omar-Style.