Wednesday, March 26, 2008

81/1,000,000

“we believe in different invisible men”

The dust in the sunlight careened off his baldness. His skin was retreating into liver spots. It’d had enough. He wasn’t wearing a jacket (odd for this time of year) and his, I guess you could call them breasts, resembled the tiny teacups of a fine dinette set. He hemmed and hawed as though he was conceived in butter- and not blood, but margarine coursed through his veins. His days were numbered. There are two kinds of bread, Lester said (his name was Lester): the sort you eat and the sort you pay for. Occasionally he would wander in out of the blue and offer us his summation on the merits of occidental religions. I think he hated Gore Vidal. A devout Jesuit who moonlighted as a therapist for inner city youth had run the deli. Sometimes he wore religious sweatpants. God ran down the leg. Him and Lester believed in different invisible men. The deli has since closed and been converted into a magnet school for children with hyperactive disorders.

first draft. written at work.

80/1,000,000

“diner sketch” or Sometimes I Look Like The Bottom of a Shoe

The acerbic waitress seems genuinely glad to see me, which is a betrayal of sorts on her part. I come to this restaurant almost every night. Alone. It’s next to my prescription filler. I won’t bother you with flowery descriptions of what it is that ails me. I’ll simply describe it as a form of pancreatic cancer. That seems appropriately flowery. The waitress brings me a grilled sandwich and a pickle. I don’t have to order. She knows me. I am breathing heavy. I do that. I’m still relatively young though you’d never guess it by looking at me. I’m already going grey. Autumn is hanging her advertisements on the leaves outside. There’s a couple in the corner booth remaining silent. After finishing their coffee one of them mumbles to the other. They get up pay the bill and leave. As they leave I can see that that both of their jaws have been wired shut and that it pains them to say thank you to the waitress. The line cook rings the bell with a spatula and gives a greeting in the form of a head-nod. His moustache makes him looks like an asshole. I am waving to him. Why am I waving to him?

second draft. from notebook.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

79/1,000,000

“The Ungrateful Bastards”

Most of the time I’d sit on the hood of my car and watch the sun sink. A piece of a bird would sometimes take flight from the rafters of the overpass—feathers the color of shovels. The overpass was behind me. The birds would make these elongated loops over my right shoulder to the I-95 sign (my extreme left). The white ones, I remember, loved to rummage through the trash. They were particularly fond of fast-food sandwich-lettuce. There were a few fast-food restaurants on the other side of the overpass. After work I’d pick up half a bag of burgers and throw them the toppings. I’d been working at the airport shuttling the elderly and handicapped from gate to gate on a modified military-style jeep. The close proximity of the gates allowed me to be slightly inebriated on the job. To make small talk, I’d mention the dreams I had where I rode on the backs of gulls and goshawks. Most of them were ungrateful bastards. The birds, I mean.

transcribed from notebook 3/8 am

Friday, March 07, 2008

78/1,000,000

"The Search Party"

I once worked as a clerk at a car rental agency. The owner piped in light jazz. There was a dog by the name of Darius kept on a leash tied to a chair. His purpose was to keep thieves at bay. We were never robbed. One of my duties was to make sure the dog had enough food in its dish. Darius was an Irish setter. It ate and smelled like a pig. On humid days it sported a painters hat and slurped up water from the employee toilet. Darius could have been greatly excited or suicidal; it was tough to tell with those dogs. Its too-precious bark had a tinge of Irish brogue. One day it just wandered off. Never came back. After it’d been missing for nearly a week, Ray, the owner, decided a search party would scour the local woods and hang up flyers. Not for his missing dog, but for his band. They were playing a benefit to help raise money for a benefit being held the following weekend for the search party. I ran into him after the first benefit and offered my services. He said, “For the search party or for the benefit next week for the search party?” “For the search party.” I Said.

from notebook 3/5/08

Monday, March 03, 2008

77/1,000,000

first draft of prose poem.
transcribed from notebook.

When did the petite woman with the English accent start vacuuming the hallway? My curtains swelled as though pregnant. All the air was disappearing. Or I’d left the window open. Yes, I’d left the window open. Clouds with ends tapered off. There were three of them: honky-tonk piano aficionado, instant aging, and then the sound of a vacuum. I listened to the petite cleaning woman sing a country song while wrapping the long, black cord, in an elongated loop, over the fat part of her hand and under her elbow then back up to that fat spot. She had a great set of pipes. I’d lived there for four years. Every morning she had the same routine performed to the same set of three (or four) sad songs. Her husband would always meet her when she was finished and they’d walk under my window; she singing, and him asking her how her morning went. This scene without fail makes me weep.