WIP: NS: Generative

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Lesser Pump

A preview track of an upcoming Dronecast.


Episode Link | Archive Item | YouTube

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title WIP: NS: Generative
Date
Author
SeriesThe Lesser Pump, part 3
Other formatsInternet Archive
Category WIP
Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Short URL http://j.mp/2ba7opB
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Toss some bits at your podcaster

WIP: Number Stream a preview of an upcoming dronecast

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The Lesser Pump

A quick render from something I’m working on.

 

Episode Link | Archive Item

Creative Commons License
WIP: Number Stream by Franklyn Monk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at archive.org.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title WIP: Number Stream a preview of an upcoming dronecast
Date
Author
SeriesThe Lesser Pump, part 4
Category WIP
Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Short URL http://j.mp/2b2Xu9o
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Toss some bits at your podcaster

Bolster your philosophical impact

Think of it as a convenience charge. You could write this schlock, but it’s time consuming, and it takes you places you’d rather not go. That’s where I come in. I sacrifice my life to ensure our allied viewpoints are preserved.
I write for you lover, outcast, left behind and forgotten.
For you scholar, explorer, tinkerer, fool.
Natural, cosmic, and mundane.
These poems aren’t for me,
They aren’t even for me and you.
They are for us, allies—
extant, and yet to be.
I serve your current fanciful and poetic needs, but I also make testament to the sublime balancing act of our time for our future allies, like that teenager of 2032, curled up in some dark hole, will know that our time was more than conflict and strife, hatred anger abuse and drought. There were people, your allies, and they strode proud in defiance and in love. They saw the world not so differently from you.

In 2100 someone mesmerized by our time is wondering WTF happened back then, and even with changes in the language, they’ll know we ran naked in jungles and ate fruit from the vine.

In the 2200s, on an outpost on Mars, someone feels a connection to the ancient past: others have known heartache and abandonment.

2300s, and people don’t talk anymore, so much as commune, and they quiver in joy: intelligence makes due and survives, and emotion is a part of that.

Running a poetic time capsule is expensive, and consuming, and I need your help. Your patronage will ensure that our allied world views, and our secret selves, have a voice.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Bolster your philosophical impact
Date
Author
Category Blog
Tagged , , , ,
Short URL http://j.mp/Xa6HCb
Feedback1 Comment
Share
Tip the blogger

1975

When Staubach first opened his eyes from the coma he is rumored to have said “oh, the humanity!”

The year is 1975, my forces are assembled on the gridiron. We’re down and demotivated, but we’re not dead yet.

With 24 seconds left Staubach takes the snap, hauls back, closes his eyes and, hoping for a miracle, flings that evil ball.

The bloody Vikings devastate Staubach’s line, it falls like dominoes in an earthquake. The Blue Menace pounds the weary quarterback to the ground. The world spins into darkness around him, later he would describe it as “being chased by a hurricane while on a roller-coaster to hell.”

Pearson speeds past Wright, fakes left, right…Wright stumbles but somehow manages to maintains balance. As Pearson reaches for the ball the Viking roars, calling on the power of his warrior clan. He vaults into Pearson whose body snaps and collapses. The ball lands near his twitching hand. As he’s being pounded and kicked by the relentless enemy he murmurs “can’t we all just get along?”

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title 1975
Date
Author
Draftlast (#2)
Category Hail Mary
Tagged , , ,
Short URL http://j.mp/1jQTpku
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

1975

The defensive line pummeled my offensive line. My quarterback was sacked. The wide receiver decimated and repeatedly kicked. His last words were “can’t we all get along?”

When Staubach first opened his eyes from the coma he is rumored to have said “oh, the humanity!”

The year is 1975, my forces are assembled on the gridiron. We’re down and demotivated, but we’re not dead yet.

With 24 seconds left Staubach takes the snap, hauls back, closes his eyes and, hopping for a miracle, flings the ball.

The bloody Vikings devastate Staubach’s line, it falls like dominoes in sand. The Blue Menace pounds the weary quarterback to the ground. The world spins into darkness around him, later he would describe it as “being chased by a hurricane while on a roller-coaster to hell.”

Pearson speeds past Wright, fakes left, right…Wright stumbles but somehow manages to maintains balance. As Pearson reaches for the ball the Viking roars, calling on the power of his warrior clan. He vaults into Pearson whose body snaps and instantly collapses. The ball lands near his twitching hand. As he’s being pounded and kicked by the relentless enemy he murmurs “can’t we all just get along?”

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title 1975
Date
Author
Draftold (#1)
Category Hail Mary
Tagged , ,
Short URL http://j.mp/1fnp3mD
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

Entanglement, previous versions

Uncommon Waters, or Entanglement

The only way we can become disentangled
is to collapse our shared waveform
which will result in the annihilation
of one of us—probably me
if not both

these are the uncommon waters that we share
your standard strategies simply don’t work

and that’s all I have to say, hell, it’s even
more than I have to say.

these are uncommon waters and mangled wood
we are as connected as the ripples flowing from
mangled wood [our shared reality?] the only way to become
disentangled is through mutual annihilation

these are uncommon waters where standard strategies don’t hold true
we are connected by the ripples that flow from the mangled wood
the only way to disentangle is through asymmetric annihilation

I’m older but your harsher
You’re younger but I’m more naive

these are uncommon waters, kid
[your] standard stratigies don’t hold
we are mangled wood connected
by ripples in the stream of space [a shared stream]

[the only way to become
disentangled]

to become disentangled means
asymmetric annihilation

disentanglement results in
asymmetric annihilation

disentangling into asymmetric annihilation

Uncommon Waters OR Entanglement OR Mangled Wood OR Waveforms OR Beneath the Surface OR Below the Surface

These are uncommon waters, kid,
[Where?] Your standard strategies don’t hold [true].
We are mangle wood connected
By ripples in a shared stream

Disentangling into a asymmetric annihilation

disentangling into a
symmetric annihilation

These are uncommon waters, kid,
Where standard tactics don’t hold.
We are mangle wood connected
By ripples in a shared stream
Disentangling into a
Symmetric annihilation.

These are uncommon waters, kid,
Your standard tactics don’t hold true.
We are mangle wood connected
By ripples in a shared stream
Disentangling into a
Symmetric annihilation.

These are uncommon waters, kid,
Your standard tactics won’t hold true.
We are mangled wood connected
By ripples in a shared stream
Disentangling into a
Symmetric annihilation.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Entanglement, previous versions
Date
Author
Draftold (#1)
Category Entanglement
Tagged
Short URL http://j.mp/1nu9o9X
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

Interstitial 5

1: Rainbow Kid

I suppose this is as good of an introduction as any other. I am walking from downtown. I am walking from a day of walking. From a day of coffee and a day of thinking—where, of course, thinking is too strong a word. It’s more of a day of considering and observing. But mostly it’s been a day of waiting. I’m leaving downtown, passing to the left of campus. I’m on my way to somewhere else. I’m expecting a phone call.

A kid shuffles out of the shadows. He looks at the sky sincerely puzzled and relentlessly confused. He asks “where’s the rainbow?” It’s a fair question. It’s been drizzling or raining all day. I don’t want to be impolite, but I don’t know how to respond. I smile and gesture. I am surprised with the subtleness of that gesture. I am noncommittally expressing camaraderie with a lost leprechaun.

He doesn’t react. He doesn’t budge nor flinch. Mist settles over his eyes as he continues to scan the sky for the missing rainbow. I continue through central campus, through the medical campus and then…

2: The Arb

I’m at the Arb. It’s a quarter till five. It’s not as warm as it ought to be but, in hindsight, it’s not as cold as it would get. There’s an indefinite odor in the air. Wet wood chips and leaves. Newly blossoming flowers and that thick densely sweet powder that reminds me of black women that I can tell are black even when bundled up head to toe in deepest winter. I once followed that scent down the block and into a grocery store so I could prove to myself that I was capable of smelling ethnicity.

That is what the day is like. I have been chasing specters of comfort. I have been following the cold sun and the aroma of the familiar. It leads me here to the Arb, to the musk of decay and the screaming scents of birth.

And I wait. I consciously wait. As I wait I think bitterly of Bukowski. Bukowski and his “No Help for That.” There is a place, Charlie, and it is here, at a rubberized table, at the Arb, on a Thursday, with no wine. I am dressed in sandals and my feet are cold, but it’s good to be off them. I try to see what the sun sees, but I am in shadow.

There is a path down to my right that is bounded by obscenely square garden beds. It will eventually curve into something more organic. It will curve and snake through memories: a girl, coffee, raw sewage leaking from a conduit. The decision to turn the other way. I only saw her once more after that.

An offshoot of that path, a year later, is a bench overlooking a hollow where I wished I had marijuana as I refined a story. I can’t tell which is worse—loosing a friend or writing. I stare at the entrance sign and I try to remember if it says anything about bikes. I stare at the trash cans and wonder if I have the strength to walk that far to dump my butts.

3. The Table

The table top is quilted with fine strands of rubbery plastic. It reminds me of spiderwebs and woodgrain, of packing material and dirt roads. It’s beige, or tan, or a similar color that I’m told guys always have a hard time discerning. It’s the color of this pen tip. It’s a fine weaving of silky strands and pits and it feels like corrugated cardboard, but rougher, deeper. I don’t understand it anymore than I understand flesh.

My goal is to wait for the phone to ring. To have a distraction from waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t occur to me how bizarre that goal is. I wait for the thing to happen to take my mind off it not happening. I stare at my phone. I pretend it is to check the time—it’s almost five—but it’s actually to see if I had somehow missed a call.

As I wait I attempt to balance my phone on its short edge on the rough table top. It takes a while. The phone’s bottom is curved, and the table is uneven. I eventually get it to stand. The trick is to get the curve of the phone into a pit on the table. The theory behind this endeavor is that when a call comes in the phone will vibrate and fall from its uncertain balance. I have a smoke while I wait for the fall.

That proud phone stands steady in its commitment. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare. It’s toying with me—confident and cocky. It’s a game of patience and stamina. Relentlessly refusing to budge. I shiver and I wish and I hope for even a wrong number. I have even stacked the deck in my favor. I eventually loose. My patience gone. My pride burnt out. I slowly stand on uncertain legs and unceremoniously shove the phone into my pocket.

4. 911

It’s after six. I’m walking back from the Arb to downtown. Back at the spot where I met the leprechaun another young street kid approaches me. He asks to use my phone to report a crime. I’m weary. I have lost enough already.

I’m suspicious. I size him up. He’s young, but tattered. He explains that he tried to use the emergency call box but it didn’t work. I wonder if I could out run this kid, half my age, in my sandals with my messenger bag dragging me down. I think if I react quickly enough I can trip him.

He says his girlfriend was almost raped. I hand him my phone. Not out of concern but because it will be the most action my phone has seen all day. He takes it, turns, and briskly walks away. I stay close. A young girl at a nearby table thanks me, saying that it’s very kind.

He dials, I count three digits. He starts talking. He repeats the story, occasionally pausing for response, he gives the name of a cross street. He thanks the phone, closes it and gives it back. I continue to the coffee shop.

I can’t concentrate on my work. I am amazed that the call went so smoothly. I wonder how the campus emergency phone is not working, if the call made it to the right call center. I check my outgoing call log. He didn’t make a call.

5. Uno!

I’m at the busstop. It’s almost seven. No-one has gotten back to me yet. On the ground are three Uno cards. Two eights and one face down. I check the bus schedule, I have 20 minutes until the next bus.
I am mesmerized by the cards. I have to know what that third card is. I either wonder if, or hope that, it’s another eight. But mostly I need to know. I want to prove that it is in fact a third eight. As if that would lend some meaning to the day. As if everything would click into place with the reveal.

But I’m terrified that it’s not. What if it’s a five or a reverse? I am frozen between my desire to know and my need to turn the other way. I don’t know what to do. So I stand there, eyeing the three cards. Perhaps hoping for a strong wind gust, or for someone to wander by with the answer. The homeless guy on the bench in turn eyes me with suspicion. He has a long white beard. But I need to know and need to not know what that facedown card is.

I flip it over with my feet. It takes longer than I think it should. I stumble and almost loose balance, but I eventually flip it over. It’s a wild card. There’s your rainbow, kid.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Interstitial 5
Date
Author
Draftold (#14)
Category Interstitial
Tagged
Short URL http://j.mp/1cGgVii
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

Interstitial 4

1: Rainbow Kid

I suppose this is as good of an introduction as any other. I am walking from downtown. I am walking from a day of walking. From a day of coffee and a day of thinking—where, of course, thinking is too strong a word. It’s more of a day of considering and observing. But mostly it’s been a day of waiting. I’m leaving downtown, passing to the left of central campus. I’m on my way to somewhere else. I’m expecting a phone call.

A kid shuffles out of the shadows. He looks at the sky sincerely puzzled and relentlessly confused. He asks “where’s the rainbow?” It’s a fair question. It’s been drizzling or raining all day. I don’t want to be impolite, but I don’t know how to respond. I smile and gesture. I am surprised with the subtleness of that gesture. I am noncommittally expressing camaraderie with a lost leprechaun.

He doesn’t react. He doesn’t budge nor flinch. Mist settles over his eyes as he continues to scan the sky for the missing rainbow. I continue through central campus, through the medical campus and then…

2: The Arb

I’m at the Arb. It’s a quarter till five. It’s not as warm as it ought to be but, in hindsight, it’s not as cold as it would get. There’s an undefinable odor in the air. Wet wood chips and leaves. Newly blossoming flowers and that thick densely sweet powder that reminds me of black women that I can tell are black even when bundled up head to toe in deepest winter. I once followed that scent down the block and into a grocery store so I could prove to myself that I was indeed capable of smelling ethnicity. [that I could indeed recognize that scent | recognize it]

That is what the day is like. I have been chasing specters of comfort. I have been following the cold sun and the aroma of the familiar. It leads me here to the Arb, to the musk of decay and the screaming scents of birth.

And I wait. I consciously wait. As I wait I think bitterly of Bukowski. Bukowski and his “No Help for That.” There is a place [space], Charlie, and it is here, at a rubberized table, at the Arb, on a Thursday, with no wine. I am dressed in sandals and my feet are cold, but it’s good to be off them. I try to see what the sun sees, but I am in shadow.

There is a path down to my right that is bounded by obscenely square peony beds. It will eventually curve into something more organic. It will curve and snake through memories: a girl, coffee, raw sewage leaking from a conduit. The decision to turn the other way. I only saw her once more after that.

An offshoot of that path, a year later, is a bench overlooking a hollow where I craved marijuana as I refined a story. I can’t tell which is worse. I stare at the entrance sign and I try to remember if it says anything about bikes. I stare at the trash cans and wonder if I have the strength to walk that far to dump my butts.

3. The Table

The table top is quilted with fine strands of rubbery plastic. It reminds me of spiderwebs and woodgrain, of packing material and dirt roads. Its beige, or tan, or a similar color that I’m told guys always have a hard time discerning. Its the color of this pen tip. It’s a fine weaving of silky strands and pits and it feels like corrugated cardboard, but rougher, deeper. I don’t understand it anymore than I understand flesh.

My goal is to wait for the phone to ring. To have a distraction from waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t occur to me how bizarre that goal is. I wait for the thing to happen to take my mind off it not happening. I stare at my phone. I pretend it is to check the time—it’s almost five—but it’s actually to see if I had somehow missed a call.

As I wait I attempt to balance my phone on its short edge on the rough table top. It takes a while. The phone’s bottom is curved, and the table is uneven. I eventually get it to stand. The trick is to get the curve of the phone into a pit on the table. The theory behind this endeavor is that when a call comes in the phone will vibrate and fall from its uncertain balance. I have a smoke while I wait for the fall.

That proud phone stands steady in its commitment. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare. It’s toying with me—confident and cocky. It’s a game of patience and stamina. Relentlessly refusing to budge. I shiver and I wish and I hope for even a wrong number. I have even stacked the deck in my favor. I eventually loose. My patience gone. My pride burnt out. I slowly stand on uncertain legs and unceremoniously shove the phone into my pocket.

4. 911

It’s after six. I’m walking back from the Arb to downtown. Back at the spot where I met the leprechaun another young street kid approaches me. He asks to use my phone to report a crime. I’m weary. I have lost enough already.

I’m suspicious. I size him up. He’s young, but tattered. He explains that he tried to use the emergency call box but it didn’t work. I wonder if I could out run this kid, half my age, in my sandals with my messenger bag dragging me down. I think if I react quickly enough I can trip him.

He says his girlfriend was almost raped. I hand him my phone. Not out of concern but because it will be the most action my phone has seen all day. He takes it, turns, and briskly walks away. I stay close. A young girl at a nearby table thanks me, saying that it’s very kind.

He dials, I count three digits. He starts talking. He explains that his 16 year old girlfriend was almost raped. He gives an address. And once again explains that yes, this guy tried to rape her. He thanks the phone and gives it back. I continue to the coffee shop.

I can’t concentrate on my work. I am amazed that the call went so smoothly. I wonder how the campus emergency phone is not working, if the call made it to the right call center. I check my outgoing call log. He didn’t make a call.

5. Uno!

I’m at the busstop. It’s almost seven. No-one has gotten back to me yet. On the ground are three Uno cards. Two eights and one face down. I check the bus schedule, I have 20 minutes until the next bus.
The cards have me crazy with curiosity. I have to know what that third card is. I either wonder if, or hope that, it’s another eight. But mostly I need to know. I want to prove that it is in fact a third eight. As if that would lend some meaning to the day. As if everything would click into place with the reveal.

But I’m terrified that it’s not. What if it’s a five or a reverse? I am frozen between my desire to know and my need to turn the other way. I don’t know what to do. So I stand there, eyeing the three cards. Perhaps hoping for a strong wind gust, or for someone to wander by with the answer. The homeless guy on the bench in turn eyes me with suspicion. He has a long white beard. But I need to know and need to not know what that facedown card is.

I flip it over with my feet. It takes longer than I think it should. I stumble and almost loose balance, but I eventually flip it over. It’s a wild card. There’s your rainbow, kid.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Interstitial 4
Date
Author
Draftold (#13)
Category Interstitial
Tagged
Short URL http://j.mp/1fQIoNv
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

Interstitial 3

1: Rainbow Kid

I suppose this is as good of an introduction as any other. I am walking from downtown. I am walking from a day of walking. From a day of coffee and a day of thinking—where, of course, thinking is too strong a word. It’s more of a day of considering and observing. But mostly it’s been a day of waiting. I’m leaving downtown, passing to the left of central campus. I’m on my way to somewhere else. I’m expecting a phone call.

A kid shuffles out of the shadows. He looks at the sky sincerely puzzled and relentlessly confused. He asks “where’s the rainbow?” It’s a fair question. It’s been drizzling or raining all day. I don’t want to be impolite, but I don’t know how to respond. I smile and gesture. I am surprised with the subtleness of that gesture. I am noncommittally expressing camaraderie with a lost leprechaun.

He doesn’t react. He doesn’t budge nor flinch. Mist settles over his eyes as he continues to scan the sky for the missing rainbow. I continue through central campus, through the medical campus and then…

2: The Arb

I’m at the Arb. It’s a quarter till five. It’s not as warm as it ought to be but, in hindsight, it’s not as cold as it would get. There’s that undefinable odor in the air. Wet wood chips and leaves. Newly blossoming flowers and that thick densely sweet powder that reminds me of black women that I can tell are black even when bundled up head to toe in deepest winter. I once followed that scent down the block and into a grocery store so I could prove to myself that I was indeed capable of smelling ethnicity.

That is what the day is like. I have been chasing specters of comfort. I have been following the cold sun and the aroma of the familiar. It leads me here to the Arb, to the musk of decay and the screaming scents of birth.

And I wait. I consciously wait. As I wait I think bitterly of Bukowski. Bukowski and his “No Help for That.” There is a place, Charlie, and it is here, at a rubberized table, at the Arb, on a Thursday, with no wine. I am dressed in sandals and my feet are cold, but it’s good to be off them. I try to see what the sun sees, but I am in shadow.

There is a path down to my right that is bounded by obscenely square peony beds. It will eventually curve into something more organic. It will curve and snake through memories of Sally and coffee. A memory of raw sewage leaking from a conduit. And the decision to turn the other way. I only saw her once more after that. I look away.

An offshoot of that path, a year later, is a bench overlooking a hollow where I wished I had marijuana as I refined the bus story. I can’t tell which is worse. I look away. I stare at the entrance sign and I wonder if it says anything about bikes. I stare at the trash cans and wonder if I have the strength to even to that far down the path to dump my butts. I look away.

3. The Table

The table top is quilted with fine strands of rubbery plastic. It reminds me of spiderwebs and woodgrain, of packing material and dirt roads. Its beige, or tan, or a similar color that I’m told guys always have a hard time discerning. Its the color of this pen tip. It’s a fine weaving of silky strands and pits and it feels like corrugated cardboard, but rougher, deeper. I don’t understand it anymore than I understand flesh.

My goal is to wait for the phone to ring. To have a distraction from waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t occur to me how bizarre that goal is. I wait for the thing to happen to take my mind off it not happening. I stare at my phone. I pretend it is to check the time—it’s almost five—but it’s actually to see if I had somehow missed a call.

As I wait I attempt to balance my phone on its short edge on the rough table top. It takes a while. The phone’s bottom is curved, and the table is uneven. I eventually get it to stand. The trick is to get the curve of the phone into a pit on the table. The theory behind this endeavor is that when a call comes in the phone will vibrate and fall from its uncertain balance. I have a smoke while I wait for the fall.

That proud phone stands steady in its commitment. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare. It’s toying with me—confident and cocky. It’s a game of patience and stamina. Relentlessly refusing to budge. I shiver and I wish and I hope for even a wrong number. I have even stacked the deck in my favor. I eventually loose. My patience gone. My pride burnt out. I slowly stand on uncertain legs and unceremoniously shove the phone into my pocket.

4. 911

It’s after six. I’m walking back from the Arb to downtown. Back at the spot where I met the leprechaun another young street kid approaches me. He asks to use my phone to report a crime. I’m weary. I have lost enough already.

I’m suspicious. I size him up. He’s young, but tattered. He explains that he tried to use the emergency call box but it didn’t work. I wonder if I could out run this kid, half my age, in my sandals with my messenger bag dragging me down. I think if I react quickly enough I can trip him.

He says his girlfriend was almost raped. I hand him my phone. Not out of concern but because it will be the most action my phone has seen all day. He takes it, turns, and briskly walks away. I stay close. A young girl at a nearby table thanks me, saying that it’s very kind.

He dials, I count three digits. He starts talking. He explains that his 16 year old girlfriend was almost raped. He gives an address. And once again explains that yes, this guy tried to rape her. He thanks the phone and gives it back. I continue to the coffee shop.

I can’t concentrate on my work. I am amazed that the call went so smoothly. I wonder how the campus emergency phone is not working. Did the call actually connect to the local 911 call center? I check my outgoing call log. He didn’t make a call.

5. Uno!

I’m at the busstop. It’s almost seven. No-one has gotten back to me yet. On the ground are three Uno cards. Two eights and one face down. I check the bus schedule, I have 20 minutes until the next bus.
The cards have me crazy with curiosity. I have to know what that third card is. I either wonder if, or hope that, it’s another eight. But mostly I need to know. I want to prove that it is in fact a third eight. As if that would lend some meaning to the day. As if everything would click into place with the reveal.

But I’m terrified that it’s not. What if it’s a five or a reverse? I am frozen between my desire to know and my need to turn the other way. I don’t know what to do. So I stand there, eyeing the three cards. Perhaps hoping for a strong wind gust, or for someone to wander by with the answer. The homeless guy on the bench in turn eyes me with suspicion. He has a long white beard. But I need to know and need to not know what that facedown card is.

I flip it over with my feet. It takes longer than I think it should. I stumble and almost loose balance, but I eventually flip it over. It’s a wild card. There’s your rainbow, kid.

[notes]
[Is it over? Should I continue? Lead into other stories of the day?]

//such as the email I wrote?
//Solidified spider webs
//later in the day a streetkid pretends to use my phone. I had let him because it was the most use it would get. but…be doesn’t even place a call.

The phone stands steady in its pride. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Interstitial 3
Date
Author
Draftold (#12)
Category Interstitial
Tagged
Short URL http://j.mp/1detOAr
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet

Interstitial 2

1: Rainbow Kid

I suppose this is as good of an introduction as any other. I am walking from downtown. I am walking from a day of walking. From a day of coffee and a day of thinking—where, of course, thinking is too strong a word. It’s more of a day of considering and observing. But mostly it’s been a day of waiting. I’m leaving downtown, passing to the left of central campus. I’m on my way to somewhere else. I’m expecting a phone call.

A kid shuffles out of the shadows. He looks at the sky sincerely puzzled and relentlessly confused. He asks “where’s the rainbow?” It’s a fair question. It’s been drizzling or raining all day. I don’t want to be impolite, but I don’t know how to respond. I smile and gesture. I am surprised with the subtleness of that gesture. I am noncommittally expressing camaraderie with a lost leprechaun.

He doesn’t react. He doesn’t budge nor flinch. Mist settles over his eyes as he continues to scan the sky for the missing rainbow. I continue through central campus, through the medical campus and then…

2: The Arb

I’m at the Arb. It’s a quarter till five. It’s not as warm as it ought to be but, in hindsight, it’s not as cold as it would get. There’s that undefinable odor in the air. Wet wood chips and leaves. Newly blossoming flowers and that thick densely sweet powder that reminds me of black women that I can tell are black even when bundled up head to toe in deepest winter. I once followed that scent down the block and into a grocery store so I could prove to myself that I was indeed capable of smelling ethnicity.

That is what the day is like. I have been chasing specters of comfort. I have been following the cold sun and the aroma of the familiar. It leads me here to the Arb, to the musk of decay and the screaming scents of birth.

And I wait. I consciously wait. As I wait I think bitterly of Bukowski. Bukowski and his “No Help for That.” There is a place, Charlie, and it is here, at a rubberized table, at the Arb, on a Thursday, with no wine. I am dressed in sandals and my feet are cold, but it’s good to be off them. I try to see what the sun sees, but I am in shadow.

There is a path down to my right that is bounded by obscenely square peony beds. It will eventually curve into something more organic. It will curve and snake through memories of Sally and coffee. A memory of raw sewage leaking from a conduit. And the decision to turn the other way. I only saw her once more after that. I look away.

An offshoot of that path, a year later, is a bench overlooking a hollow where I wished I had marijuana as I refined the bus story. I can’t tell which is worse. I look away. I stare at the entrance sign and I wonder if it says anything about bikes. I stare at the trash cans and wonder if I have the strength to even to that far down the path to dump my butts. I look away.

3. The Table

The table top is quilted with fine strands of rubbery plastic. It reminds me of spiderwebs and woodgrain, of packing material and dirt roads. Its beige, or tan, or a similar color that I’m told guys always have a hard time discerning. Its the color of this pen tip. It’s a fine weaving of silky strands and pits and it feels like corrugated cardboard, but rougher, deeper. I don’t understand it anymore than I understand flesh.

My goal is to wait for the phone to ring. To have a distraction from waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t occur to me how bizarre that goal is. I wait for the thing to happen to take my mind off it not happening. I stare at my phone. I pretend it is to check the time—it’s almost five—but it’s actually to see if I had somehow missed a call.

As I wait I attempt to balance my phone on its short edge on the rough table top. It takes a while. The phone’s bottom is curved, and the table is uneven. I eventually get it to stand. The trick is to get the curve of the phone into a pit on the table. The theory behind this endeavor is that when a call comes in the phone will vibrate and fall from its uncertain balance. I have a smoke while I wait for the fall.

That proud phone stands steady in its commitment. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare. It’s toying with me—confident and cocky. It’s a game of patience and stamina. Relentlessly refusing to budge. I shiver and I wish and I hope for even a wrong number. I have even stacked the deck in my favor. I eventually loose. My patience gone. My pride burnt out. I slowly stand on uncertain legs and unceremoniously shove the phone into my pocket.

4. 911

It’s after six. I’m walking back from the Arb to downtown Ann Arbor. At Rainbow Corner another young street kid approaches me. He asks to use my phone to report a crime.

I’m weary. I have lost enough already.

I size him up—young, but tattered. “I tried to use the emergency call box,” he points toward campus, “but it didn’t work.”

I wonder if I could out run this kid, half my age, in my sandals with my messenger bag dragging me down. If I’m quick enough I can trip him.

He says his girlfriend was almost raped.

I hand him my phone. Because I’m concerned. Because I like to err on the side of caution. Because if something bad did go down he should report it. But mostly because it will be the most action my phone has seen all day. He takes it, turns, and briskly walks away. I stay close.

I dread having the cops call me back. I dread having to explain I have no idea what’s going on. I wonder if 911 is advanced enough yet to go to the nearest routing center instead of Dallas where I’m from.

A young girl at a nearby table thanks me, “that’s very kind of you.”

He dials three digits. “I want to report a crime. My 16 year old girlfriend was almost raped. Yes. At the apartments near Thayer. Yes. This guy tried to rape her. Thayer. Thanks.”

He gives back my phone. Thanks me and turns back. I continue to the coffee shop.

I can’t concentrate on my work. I am amazed that the call went so smoothly. I wonder how the campus emergency phone is not working. Did the call actually connect to Ann Arbor’s 911 call center? I check my outgoing call log.

He didn’t make a call.

5. Uno!

I’m at the busstop. It’s almost seven. No-one has gotten back to me yet. On the ground are three Uno cards. Two eights and one face down. I check the bus schedule, I have 20 minutes until the next bus.
The cards have me crazy with curiosity. I have to know what that third card is. I either wonder if, or hope that, it’s another eight. But mostly I need to know. I want to prove that it is in fact a third eight. As if that would lend some meaning to the day. As if everything would click into place with the reveal.

But I’m terrified that it’s not. And what if it’s not? What if it’s a five or a four or a reverse? I am frozen between my desire to know and my need to turn the other way. I don’t know what to do. So I stand there, eyeing the three cards. Perhaps hoping for a strong wind gust, or for someone to wander by with the answer. The homeless guy on the bench in turn eyes me with suspicion. He has a long white beard. But I need to know and need to not know what that facedown card is.

I flip it over with my cold sandled feet. It takes longer than I think it should. I stumble, almost loose balance, but I eventually flip it over. It’s a wild card. There’s your rainbow, kid.

[notes]
[Is it over? Should I continue? Lead into other stories of the day?]

//such as the email I wrote?
//Solidified spider webs
//later in the day a streetkid pretends to use my phone. I had let him because it was the most use it would get. but…be doesn’t even place a call.

The phone stands steady in its pride. Unyielding and unfailing—even against the cold wind, even against my harsh stare.

Post Information
Post Metadata
Key Value
Title Interstitial 2
Date
Author
Draftold (#11)
Category Interstitial
Tagged
Short URL http://j.mp/L0EUOh
FeedbackLeave a comment
Share
Tip the poet