Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has turned

into Christmas day,

and I’m still awake

when the clock reads 5:36.

As a young boy I was awake

at the same time,

on the same night.

Nervous with excitement

about all the gifts Santa left me.

Maybe a new N64 game

or a new Transformer.

Starscream, I hoped.

I liked him the best.

There could be anything under that tree.

I had no idea.

But my mind raced with the possibilities.

And fantasies of enjoying my new toys.

Whatever they happened to be,

It almost didn’t matter.

Those days have passed.

Just dreams had in a bed I’ve outgrown

that was inside a house

my family has moved on from.

Late at night

in this new bed, new house.

I lay awake and think of

all I’ll never have.

(a poem)

Jackson Avenue

I walked down Jackson Ave

looking for a place to kill some time,

maybe get a bite to eat.

Just to tide me over until dinner.

But all the lines were long,

far too long.

I had the time to spare,

But no interest in standing behind

Fifty others wanting the same as me.

So I turned around.

Back to my car

to take me back home.

But I took each step

With added effort.

I’d been walking downhill

without realizing

all this time.

And now I have to walk back up.

(a poem)

Middle of the Night

My finer pokes through the long, vertical blinds

that cover the sliding glass door

of my third floor, balconyless apartment.

Outside is empty.

Devoid of all sights or sounds.

My clock flashes a red 4:27

and the PM light isn’t on.

I turn on some Gambino

just to fill in the silence

with something other

than what’s not there.

I lay back down on the couch

and wrap myself in my big, blue blanket

that’s too thin to keep me warm.

I close my eyes,

but they don’t stay that way for long.

Ask me why I can’t fall asleep,

and I’ll tell you

there are so many reasons.

(a poem)

The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend.
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, said by Ellen Olenska

The Beast

The Beast comes into my room at night.

Sometimes when I’m asleep.

Sometimes when the door is locked

and I’m wrapped tight in my blankets.

Each night his form changes,

but he will always find a way in.

Once he’s there, he’ll take with him

a wee wedge out of my soul.

No door can keep him

from what he desires.

And he won’t stop

until all that’s left

is a cold, frightened little boy,

with nothing left to give.

(a poem)

Carrot Peeling

My friend gave me some carrots to peel.

He was making stock

with 20 pounds of veal bones

and he dumped the carrots on me,

said he wouldn’t let me eat what he had planned

if I didn’t help him with this.

These carrots didn’t excite my tastebuds

or build an urge to take a bite.

Bruised, cut and dirty,

though he had washed them.

I struck the peeler across the carrots

and did so again and again.

The brown tainted orange grew more pure

with each stroke.

Soon thereafter, it didn’t look so bad.

A pure orange carrot,

uniform in shape.

Just how a carrot should be.

And now my tastebuds are curious

as my stomach starts to rumble

in anticipation of the feast to come.

(a poem)

Punched Holes

A hole punch that splits open

the wide ruled lines of a notebook

and cuts down deep,

through 250 sheets of white paper

accented just a bit with blue and white

it goes down all the way

and reveals the desk underneath it.

Tan and bare,

aside from a fragment of graffiti

that offers the only glimmer of the message:

"Tammy Lawson is a skank".

But on the page, a young girl uses a yellow highlighter

to streak out lines from the hollow center,

shaping the illusion of a sun.

(a poem)

when something’s bothering you and you’re too damn stupid to know what to do, just keep your fool mouth shut. At least that way, you won’t make things worse.
Bart Simpson, The Simpsons, “Life on the Fast Lane”

My Thoughts on Suburgatory

I watched the eight episodes that have aired thus far of Suburgatory after catching a glimpse of Cheryl Hines (Larry David’s wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm) looking attractive in an absurd, over the top kind of way in tonight’s Thanksgiving episode. After catching up on the series, I’ve really started to like it. I think that for a satire all of the characters, even the most ridiculous ones, are refreshingly accessible. While there are some stereotypes that are leaned on pretty hard at times, it feels to me as if almost every character is a real person with understandable reasons behind their ludicrous behavior. And that’s really what I look for in a TV show: characters I can relate to and empathize with.

In particular, the heroine of this show, Tessa, is a rock solid character. There’s nothing about her specifically that feels too unique. The tough, independent girl who listens to indie music schtick has been done before and will be done countless times in the future, but Tessa is still very much endearing. Much of the credit for that has to be lauded on Jane Levy. In addition to being extremely attractive, she comes off as a passionate, genuine person who strays just far away enough from being dislikable while confronting these Stepford-like suburbanites, which consequently makes her even more attractive (I think I may be in love).

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When the Bar Eats You

On the morning of June 8th, Phil Brooks woke up to find his wife’s side of the bed vacant. Vanessa had already gone into work, which wasn’t out of the ordinary given her long commute. Although he had time to spare, Phil didn’t go back to sleep. He rubbed some vigor into his eyes and sat on the edge of the bed for a moment, letting his miniature pudge belly droop just a bit over the waistband to his boxers. He surveyed the room and noticed that Vanessa had forgotten her standard work bag, or maybe it was a purse. Phil never quite knew for certain what the hell it was called. Phil had long been astounded by Vanessa’s forgetfulness, as this was the third time this week she’d forgotten her bag.

Stumbling around in his still dark master bedroom, Phil tripped over a pair of his own shoes that he had left out the night before. He pulled himself back up and pulled out his favorite South California Spartans football shirt from his middle dresser drawer. It was a ratty old thing that should have been thrown out years ago. There were stains from mustard and ketchup from countless tailgates, a hole on the left sleeve from a cigarette burn and the once deep burgundy had faded after almost twenty years of washes. Phil paired the shirt with unremarkable pair of black running shorts and walked downstairs to make himself a cup of coffee.

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