Haven’t We Not Met Somewhere Before?

Nobody here to blame but myself, again. A rougher time? Maybe some days. But this one? I can’t imagine what else will happen to us. Voraciously indifferent. I’m not telling your story, or his, or hers, or mine, even. The turn’s not here to take. West of slight. And the east’s appeal is temporary, too. I told the kids to stop taking dumps on the lawn. They are not listening. Spun weary into the mechanical twinge of being me. You don’t get take-backs in better-dressed rehearsals of carrying cardboard boxes of vegetables around. Pot’s not something to attain — just the going to it is all you get. The piano player here is as blind as Art Tatum. There are nickels in the beer. Don’t precipitate rumors about my whereabouts to the heels and the sharps. We’re all in this together. Hell. I’m not going to get all potty-mouthed about it, but all my Shinola’s gone to shit. Fifteen minutes? I got 15 seconds at best, and it went by faster than that. Chopsticks on the drums. Shit. Me? I’m unmaking it, if anything. Nothing to do now except sit and watch the traffic roll by. Sometimes it says, “Swoosh.” Others it makes a trembling racket that I just can’t stand. I keep expecting something to happen, and it keeps not happening. And that’s all I get. Life, grueling and easy, keeps exonerating my worst moods, and the violent melody of my past lies about my wear and care. The distance merges with svelte cascades of birds and huddled masses of cloud drift. I see what the time-scarred buildings across the street do and don’t all the time. Bring me a fifth of whatever the rest’s having. I’m just polluting the wardrobe of my discontent with these nonchalant burps and shoe-tying grins. I’ve seen women walking pigs on a leash who’ve got more sense than I. But who’s reciting the periodic table around here? Not many if any. Killing moths. Shaking hands. That’s a trial by nobody else’s error. Let’s exchange area codes. Let’s butter our lettuce. Everybody’s out for another way to romance the hell out of somebody else for their own personal satisfaction. Don’t greet me with any assonance or dissonance, lady. Just that ass in the distance. Right? Hell. Don’t get me stopped. Gag the order givers. Parade the hell out of the confetti tossers. I’m alright with getting beaten to hell every now and then. The devil only knows. And then perhaps you can scare up some sleep for me, Sweetie Cakes? Ah. Fuck. And this bejeweling gets elderly quick. It all just comes and goes and goes, you know? I’m not the most primordial partaker of all that razzmatazz and hokum and steel and grit. It’s like I’ve got a guy on third with less than two outs and I can’t ever get him in, you know? I just get drunker. And the weather stipulates what it takes to make my way through the moods that are lying me lower than the asphalt. I correct bad grammar using worse. It’s just the way I seem to get caught, and to the crueler causes too, and I get approached by absolute insane acquaintances who’d rather double down on my horrible luck than be a good solid individual so unlike myself. The way little kids dance just kills me. It’s something wildly gesticulating, something writhing through the bones of it all. But don’t mistake me for sentimentalist. I get rowdy when the need be. I can be a capital-A Asshole too, if you meet me on the wrong afternoon. Salutations and Good Night Irene to all that. I’m bashful at best. A red nose and a clotted-up heart. The shakes grab a hold and don’t let go until I say, “When.” And I say “when” when you’d least expect it. That’s got me figured I guess. I guess. Now. Where’s that drink you promised? All this for a pack of cigarettes. Shit. Sure’s a lousy deal. Get me to the nearest asylum. I’m through with being civil. You don’t go to Des Moines for a vacation. You don’t sit at the end of a bar and call yourself free. Me? I’m just getting started, so don’t get me, okay?

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