Poetry

That May Be, 30 (151.)

It may be time to remember Pokemon,
and Phantasy Star Online,
two P’s like them peas in that pod,
if you know what I’m sayin’.

Some video games
just take me back,
and it’s scary
how easy it is to stay awake until
5 A.M., eyes itching like mad,
bladder full of piss and heart full of regret
’cause I should take better care of myself.

This weekend
is about a hard reset,
and I hope to fix my schedule
somehow,
some way,
so work doesn’t screw me next week.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

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Poetry

That May Be, 29 (150.)

Now may not be the best time
to get political, I’ve thought to myself
dozens of times today, maybe hundreds
of tiny messages along those lines
have flitted along the wires in my brain,
and I’ve let them zip on by to shut my damn mouth.

But it, it will never be “the best time”
to say anything, or think my own thoughts,
or have my own opinions, or learn something valuable,
or move as progress (I’d say toward progress but
it’s constant move/improve-ment, not an endgoal),
and I’ve been stopped
for so long, by myself,
as in
I’ve stopped myself from participating in progress
out of fear, laziness, and contentment.

Well, what’s the cost of my contentment?
A lot of people are in a bad way.
A lot of messed up shit happens,
and no one is held accountable for that shit,
and that’s just more messed up.

I’m not all that eloquent,
but let me say right now
that now is always the best time
to say something, to think thoughts,
to have opinions, to learn something,
to move as progress.
So don’t stop yourself.

There’s about to be a trillionaire in the United States.
It’s hard to figure out how many people he employs,
(or I am just too lazy to do more than a cursory Google search)
but many of his hundreds of thousands of employees
make shit-all for money.
Lots of people clamor for a livable wage,
while a very small number of people
rake in cash by cutting costs (read: underpaying and overworking employees).
I’m not sure when
boss became a bad word, but like,
most bosses suck. Souls, money, dreams, they
all go away
as a side-effect of toil.

I started that last stanza with a different intention.
I was trying to say
the rich are bleeding the poor to death,
and
cops get away with outright murder,
and
chronically ill and diseased folks
have to pay boatloads of cash
from the boats they don’t have
just to afford meds that keep them alive;
meds that, according to statistics,
only cost a few bucks to produce and package.

So, like, why is it so fucking hard
to take care of each other?
Why is it so fucking hard
to give a shit about other people?
I’m about to read my god damn absentee ballot,
and talk to a friend about our choices this election,
and that’s
probably the bare minimum I can do.

If I could, I’d
use a trillion dollars
to build homes and gardens for people.
I’d give education to everyone.
I’d make comfortable living
free of charge,
so people could follow their dreams.

I don’t know how the system works,
in explicit detail,
but I know enough
to say that this system is fucked.
Let’s make a new one, yeah?

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Poetry

That May Be, 28 (149.)

It’s not often
that learning a skill
is considered part of one’s job,
unless it’s part of on-the-job training,
and then you get money for it.
When you want to learn something new
or develop a skill that’ll
“enhance your career,”
it’s usually done during non-work hours (read: free time).
There’s nothing wrong with learning for fun,
and some folks enjoy learning as much as they can,
but when the fun learning may be applied
to work eventually, how does one accurately describe it?
“Oh, I’m learning PhotoShop for funzies”?
“Yeah, I’m learning InDesign to pump up my resume”?
Does fun learning that applies to work count as fun?
Is this what they mean when they say they’re hustling?
How many fucking jobs does one need?
How many fucking hours should one spend on their career?
I’m fucking tired of it.
Better to find purpose
than a platform for employment.
If they end up being the same thing,
good for you – you’re one
of the lucky ones.

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Poetry

That May Be, 27 (148.)

The birds speak.
They speak of something usual to them,
something mysterious to people.
Yet they keep the discussion going.
The window is open and they speak.
This is heartening,
to my cat and me,
in the time of COVID.
I like to believe
the birds speak
the future.

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Poetry

That May Be, 26 (127.)

So I’m a
Swiss Army man,
not like a
man who’s a part of the Swiss army
but like a
man who can do a lot of different things.
I’m also not like the
film of the same name
(though I must admit here that I’ve yet to watch it);
as I said, I can just do
a lot of different things.

I’ll cut, snip, twist, bop my way into places,
not literally, of course (why would I need to get so violent?),
and I certainly won’t be using that toy.
On my breaks, I’d definitely love
to play with that toy.

Speaking of things I can do,
I used to be pretty good with a Tech Deck.
All day long, from the start of English
all the way through the end of algebra,
I’d be kick flippin’ and nose grindin’
the hell out of my textbooks.

Wish me luck –
I’m about to
dig through my old stuff,
’cause I’m really hoping
I held onto one of those tiny, four-wheeled, grip-taped
beauties.

P.S. Please hire me, I know how to have fun.

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Poetry

That May Be, 25 (146.)

It’s time for a shift of priorities,
no more
“I’ll definitely work this weekend
to make up for last week,”
’cause my free time is becoming a neverending
barrage of thoughts that revolve around my job.

It’s not supposed to be like this.
At least, if I’m going to think about work,
I’d like to sit down and work, but
lately it’s just me wondering
if I’ll be able to keep up with all the projects
I’ve got going on.

This makes it sound like I’m insanely busy,
and I’m really not –
I’m only working on two, maybe three things
that I need to devote my time to,
but even those few
tasks are more difficult than I’d like to admit.
So I sit, at home in the time of COVID,
with games to play and books to read,
and my mind turns in my skull,
always stopping, always stumbling,
over god damn work.

I want to enjoy myself.
I want to commit my time and effort
to a new hobby or skill,
and there are games
I just really wanna play.
A new one releases on Wednesday,
and like,
I’ve gotta put in fifty hours this week
to stay on track.
(It’s a long story, my current job, but
it suffices to say that it’s difficult
to actually enjoy my time.)
Anyway, I’ll be working ten hours a day
for the next five days, probably,
and after work
I’ll want to play this new game.
The shitty thoughts begin:

Should I work on Saturday?
Should I push it to Sunday?
Should I split ten hours into
two 5 hour days?
Do these numbers even make sense?
SHIT, should I just work twelve hours for four days in a row?
Christ, I thought forty hours a week was bad.

I remind myself
that I did this to myself,
that I agreed to work a certain number of hours by a certain date,
that I need to hold to this contract
if I hope to reap the benefits.

So I’ll stick to the shitty work schedule,
and play my games when I can,
and write a poem a day,
and keep my fuckin’ chin up.
I know I can do this.
My only concern is the cost.

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Poetry

That May Be, 24 (145.)

I have to
look back at my writing every
now and then,
just to test
my truthometer
and, goddess help me,
my artistry.

Did I write some sort of truth?
Was it at least sort of creative?
Is it easy for others to read?
Will they get what my random ramblings say?
’cause sometimes, shit,
even I have trouble decoding myself.

So I pick old verses up off the shelf
and read ’em as though
I found ’em in a book in a store, somewhere,
in a future or alternate reality
that sees me published.

Damn it, I swear that’s not the end-goal,
but there’s a small part of me
that thrills at the imaginary feel
of a whole book that’s filled
with my letters,
becoming words,
becoming pieces,
becoming stories,
becoming lessons,
god I hope they help someone get better.

So I think of what that might be like,
and I set my sights on that azure sky
while I daydream-whistle
on my merry way,
thinking in my thought bubble
“This might be the day
that leads to the day
when I stop at a store on the way to a cafe
and spy my name on a spine standing straight on a shelf,
and I gaze in wonder,
and pass my wet brown eyes over
the little price on the back
and say ‘How whack, people pay to read my shit.’
This might be the day …”

As you can plainly read,
I have delusions of mild success.
When really, that’s not the point.
I want to reach people.
With the medium I love.
All the words in a row, sharing something,
building trust.
The words help me, I hope they can help
you, and others,
I just want them to cover you like a blanket
when you’re cold,
for them to feel comfy and nice
in a world that’s full of strife and vice.

Let’s sit together, and swap stories –
when did you first realize you enjoy poetry?
With which character did you first fall in love?
Whose voice led you to rhythm and music?
Which songs guided you to wordplay?

I’ll crack open my spine
if you crack open yours.

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Poetry

That May Be, 23 (144.)

There might come a time
when all I want to find
is some critical takeaway,
as though everything may be distilled
to a lesson, with the essence
always being
educational.
This could be the side-effect
of always wanting to improve,
so instead of acknowledging the rut,
I think of what the rut might tell me.

It would probably tell me to get out
of the damn hole,
but I’m not listening to its advice,
I’m just imagining what I want it to say.

One day I will know patience,
one day I will thank these dirt walls,
one day I will have no grievances,
one day I will walk hallowed halls.

I should have started climbing ages ago.
It does no good to slap my own
idle hands, but the point is,
I’ll never leave the rut
if I don’t start moving.

There are always ruts on the side of the road,
and woods stretched out near the fields that are sown,
and birds in the sky singing with the wind’s song,
and fish in the rivers just getting along,
and I wonder,
when will I know their wisdom?

It is not
the point to wait for an aha moment;
one must earn that clarity.
Knowledge is not charity,
though it should be freely given –
to take it
and grasp it
and understand it,
that’s where the work comes in,
and I
still have a lot of work to do.

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Poetry

That May Be, 22 (143.)

There is a warm feeling
that accompanies a loyal cat,
and lovely is the feline
who chooses to sit with me.
I will defend this fluff with everything I have
and none shall make her sad,
and all the chin scratches
and all the head pats
shall be hers.
She likes to jump on the table
to meet me at eye level
so when I reach out my hand,
she can push her head forward
and tilt it for maximum pet range.
Get the nails involved, and her chin goes up,
ready for those sweet scritches.
For a skittish sweet being,
she enjoys affection.
I will give all I have.

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Poetry

That May Be, 21 (142.)

Time
totally got away from me,
and now
it’s well past midnight.
Actually, it’s past 3 A.M.
I am a little ashamed,
and while I feel
like tomorrow will be okay,
I’m also afraid of
the inevitable burnout I’ll suffer
after so many late nights in a row.
This must be what people mean
when they talk about bad habits
and unhealthy cycles.
Yep, I get stuck in some bad loops.
Allow me to make the promise
everybody makes at some point in their life:
next week
I’ll turn over a new leaf
and go to bed at a decent hour.

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