Monday, December 31, 2007

NATURAL HISTORY

The question that always enters your mind (like a gentle white wave on the ocean) and only when you are in the natural history museum is:

Is it better to be an insect encased in amber for 100 million years or is it better to be a fish, one with a lot of bones, in a basalt lava fossil for 100 million years?

The good news is that: either way, you get to be in a shiny glass case in the natural history museum for at least a few hundred years and you are safer than ever for a while and also you get to watch those camera flash bulbs, which must seem something like a kaleidoscope effect, especially if you are in amber, like a million sparkling gold or moutard-dijon mustard colored stars, hypnotizing in their brilliance. You don’t see much like that in some jungle or at the bottom of the ocean floor! Great if you are a fish, better still if you are in amber–much flashier and more dramatic.

So I guess the answer is that it is better to be an insect in amber. Especially if you like sparkles, and you dig attention and light. And if you get to choose. Either way, 100 million years might seem like a really long time, but if that is as long as you have been around, it just seems like as long as you can remember. Besides, after a while, the days really start to blend together.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

THE FRAGILITY OF JACK LORD

I sat at the small stone table outside the old gas station with the 2 hot dogs that I had ordered.

I almost decided to eat at the other fancier gas station further down the road near the yacht rental shop but it seemed colder and lonelier there–even the yachts seemed to whisper Don’t Go but I had to and did so without a word. I have never been good at saying goodbye in general, and never to yachts.

Normally, of course, you forget all the hot dogs you have ever eaten, except the ones that you eat at the State Fair, or the ones that you eat before you get on the Flying Bob at the State Fair. The Flying Bob is spiffy and fast!

But I doubt that I will forget these hot dogs that I ate at the old gas station tonight, and not because someone got shot outside the gas station as I ate the first hot dog (this really happened to me, but it happened on another night, and the hot dog was actually just a hamburger and the man who got shot was on an episode of Hawaii Five O, a very action-packed TV show that I shall never forget because Jack Lord, tall, lean and rugged, played Captain Steve McGarrett and eventually had Alzheimer’s and actually ended up dying in Hawaii, appearing less rugged and much more frail in the tabloids before he did. I guess that’s normal. Who can forget the time that he showed his fragile side, strumming his guitar as he recalled bittersweet romantic recueillements with “Cathy” in the episode entitled TIME AND MEMORIES? It was a welcomed interlude from the relentless violence of Hawaii.)

Where was I? Oh yes.

No it wasn’t Hawaii television that did it. And it wasn’t the hot dogs. These hot dogs were just plain eating hot dogs, not unusual in any particular way, although I do remember hearing, as I first begin to eat my first hot dog, the song THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, by Chi Coltrane over the gas station public address system, a song which was very popular the first year I went to boarding school which I hated, and it was followed moments later by the song LOVE ROLLERCOASTER, by the Ohio Players, which was popular the year I graduated from boarding school which I hated, and so naturally enough I like LOVE ROLLERCOASTER very much and I do not like THUNDER AND LIGHTNING at all. Nevertheless, my love for LOVE ROLLERCOASTER is a bittersweet love, because everyone used to say that if you listened carefully after the second verse you could hear the sound of someone screaming after they got shot or some say after they found the body of someone who was shot in the studio as the Ohio Players were recording LOVE ROLLERCOASTER. Whether or not that is true, the memory remains tinged, and will remain so forever.

So–let’s see: not guns, not Hawaii, not rollercoasters, not thunder or lightning. What could it be, then? But now I fear that I have lingered too long two explain why I shall remember these hot dogs forever, and I shall, but if I were to explain why, you might say, “That’s no reason to remember anything forever, not even two hot dogs.”

If you were to say that, I would quickly admonish you and remind you that I will remember Christine Edwards forever, and I only kissed her once, in the hull of a boat, when I was five years old and I have no idea where my parents were at the time. Not very responsible, if you ask me. But that doesn’t matter, I still remember Christine Edwards, as though it were yesterday, not 1000 years ago in the Caspian Sea.

I will always remember that I put ketchup on the first hot dog, mustard on the second. I bit the head off the first hot dog, (I assume it was the head) and then, just to be fair, the head of the second. Ketchup always precedes mustard these days, doesn’t it? And eating equal amounts of both, one after the other, it’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? I am trying to be fair, after all. If what I suspect is true, I have already eaten their heads off after the first bite–why should they care about anything at that point?

Well, you could cite the example of Johnny Depp, the handsome actor, paying millions of dollars to have his beloved friend Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes shot out of a 150 foot cannon shaped like a two-thumbed fist and into the mountains of Vale, Colorado, because those were Hunter S. Thompson’s wishes. But why would Hunter S. Thompson care at that point? The fist, for example, could have had only one thumb. Would it matter? Would Hunter S. Thompson be upset? According to many, no, it wouldn’t really; it would only prove that Johnny Depp, as handsome as he is, believes in God.

Or perhaps you just ate their feet, and they are wishing with all their hearts that you would just eat more quickly and get it over with.

That’s what Christine Edwards would have said, between kisses. When I say Christine Edwards, I can’t quite recall exactly what she looked like, but I think she looked very nice. She looked like everyone I have ever known, all put together.

I like to think of Christine as an amalgam of everyone I have ever met and all the world’s greatest hot dogs that I have eaten, and perhaps will eat, someday.

But wait! If memory serves, there was only one kiss, no more, and Jack Lord who once said–“Don’t call me ‘cop’ the name’s McGarrett, and the title is ‘Mister’"–is surely dead now. And if there were more kisses, I will not remember them at this point. And as for the rest of what happened in that boat, and with those hot dogs, and with music and love, it is truly too horrible to remember, too terrible to contemplate, or at least, I think, I would like to think so.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

CATNIP

I am watching my plants grow.

There’s rosemary, catnip, and oregano.

I bet you wonder which one is growing best.

Well, it’s catnip.

If you asked why, I would say, I don’t know.

And I don’t understand what catnip is
or how it works so magically with cats

producing a velvety, rich intoxication
of pure bliss

That’s because of all the things that I have
encountered in the world, and that I can

safely say that I understand the least
right at the top of the list you will find

velvety rich intoxications of pure bliss

Therefore I am almost certain that
I can safely say:

Those things that grow best are those
things that I understand the least

and produce the greatest bliss

So If you ever see me outside while you
are trying to decide what to buy

just ask me if I understand it

If I reply,

“Not in the least”

Then buy one --or even two!

Put them on your window sill
and gaze at them on a lazy P.M. day

Past the glistening flowers you can see the gym

The bodybuilders are tired but happy,

doesn’t it seem as though they are

almost growing before your eyes

Monday, December 03, 2007

DOOR POEM

OPEN, he said,
THE GODDAM
DOOR

He said it as if
he meant it.

He said it
as if he existed.

He didn’t.

I made him up,
for the sake of
this poem.

That’s right.
I’m a poet.


Just today I wrote
“Poet” under
“Occupation”
in my passport.

But don’t poets
make things up?

Yes they do.

So perhaps I
am not a poet,
even though
I said so, in
my passport.

Pretty soon
I will get to
renew my
driver’s license.

I can’t wait
to do that.

Poets enjoy
waiting.

So I must not
be a poet.

Poets,
you can always
recognize them,

because they like
many things. And
they write of many
things, or not many
things, if they choose
to write of less,
depending on
the poet.

I, for instance, once
wrote of many things,
but no more.

Now I write
about people–men
mostly, and doors,
and passionate feelings,
and occasionally,
headaches.

Here, for example,
is another poem
I wrote, yesterday,
after writing DOOR
POEM I:

DOOR POEM II

THIS DOOR
he remarked,
OPEN IT

I HAVE
he also remarked,
A HEADACHE

GODDAM IT

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

THE FROST TAKES NOT THE ROAD

The woods are yellow and diverge at the roads.
Both roads and woods travel, but that doesn’t make me sorry.
Standing long, I become a traveler. One traveler.
I could be far down, I could look
at the undergrowth, it bends to where. Where?
Fair and just is the other, then it is took.
Wear what you want, Grassy, and because
There you pass: is if for though?
The same is about as really as them, worn,
laid equally in the morning, both
Black and trodden, stepped in leaves.
Day is another, a first kept “OH”
Way on it leads to way how, knowing yet
Back it comes if I should ever doubt.
Sign is this telling, it shall be I.
Hences ages and ages become somewhere.
I and the wood diverge into two roads
By traveling less, one takes me–
difference is all that has made that.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

MARVIN, dedicated to: well, not dedicated to Marvin

SO YOU WON’T THINK that I have dreamt of you every night for twenty years, I told you that last night I dreamt about someone named ‘Marvin.’

He’s kind of hard to describe, I told you, But I’ll tell you one thing for sure: he’s not you.

And then I ate some link sausages. No, wait: sausage patties.

You smiled and walked outside. I believe that you were going to plant some pansies.

And I thought to myself: why didn’t I think of that?

But it wasn’t over yet: that night, a shadowy figure emerged from the fog in my dream. I could not quite recognize him.

Who are you? I asked, he seemed so familiar but not enough that you might say I know who this is. But he said nothing, and then, really quietly, smiled.

Finally I asked him: Are you Marvin? As I drew closer to the screen, I saw the stagehands operating the fog machine. It takes a lot of work to operate a fog machine! But it’s worth it. It ends up looking like a big, green, soft, wooly blanket in the air.

No, he said suddenly, emerging from the fog. I am not Marvin. I am no more Marvin than you are.

But I AM Marvin! I screamed, and ran out into the yard, desperately seeking pansies, but found none. Pansy days were still far away, to be sure.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007
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