Work, work, no write, some Chrimble

Yes, yes, this is your lazy writer finally checking in for a few brilliant paragraphs of wit, wisdom, and winsome prose, not to mention prodigious alliteration and laws of three.

There are two reasons why I’ve been silent. The first one was this: I went full-time at my horrible, no good, hate-it-to-bits convenience store job. I’m more than willing to admit that as, an idler and general hedonist, I’m not made for lifting large cases of Gatorade, standing on my feet for eight hours straight with neither a break or lunch (which, apparently, is legal in Ohio… ‘rah), feeling no connection to most of my customers or co-workers, and generally grumping at my total and utter underemployment. For forty hours a week, which is kind of hard on a bod like mine. As Willie Dixon preached, “I’m built for comfort; I ain’t built for speed“.

Basically, this meant that I’d walk to work, which was always a closing shift, get home around 1:30am, try to relax, sleep, get up around 2pm, and head back in around 5pm. Day in, day out. Bright side was that I was making better money but it was wrecking me, I was miserable, and no one got my jokes.

I use the past tense because the second reason is that I got a new job. A day job! A job where I can sit, have lunch breaks, not have to been busy every second of every minute of every hour. And be around doggies! Yes, I work for a pet resort and spa, and I am so beyond cool with it that. People even get my jokes and chuckle, telling me how well I fit in.

Imagine that.

So these last two weeks have been adjusting to a new sleep schedule — one that I’m thumbing my nose at right now to write this blog. As such, it’s cut my writing down to feints at poetry. Slowly, though, I’ll adjust and pick up the pace.

So all’s well. There have grocery shopping disasters, inebriated dipsomaniac adventures, jokes galore, and an appreciation for things both simple and complex — and not just in the carbohydrate sense!

Also, Xmoss is coming this weekend. Who knew? I’m engaging in my yearly tradition of reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. If you’ve never read it or even Dickens, it’s a wonderful book with which to start. It’s short, most definitely familiar given the copious adaptations, and never ceases to make me smile and appreciate life, the holidays, and the people around me. Give it a read wrapped in a blanket with a warm drink next to you.

More later.

Poem: Mistanthropy

6 BILLION PEOPLE CAN’T BE WRONG
I often find myself a-broodin’:
What’s so great ’bout being human.
Standing homo-sapient and tall
Is nothing really great at all.

We’re really just a load of bores,
No longer walking on all fours;
Who murder animals for our feasts,
But say that monkeys are lower beasts;

Using religion to kill the sinners
And also serve them up for dinners;
We think that we’re the higher species
Because we no longer fling our feces.

To all that, I say, “Just go and die.
Humanity is just another lie.”
It’s a way of puffing up our chest,
Make believing we’re the best.

Intolerance, suffering, and pain
Are merely scars for what we’ve gained.
Then we give carte blanche to maiming
As long as it’s the enemy we’re blaming.

We poison the atmosphere as we pleases
And inject white rabbits with our diseases.
We buy more guns than we need.
We vote for idiots and let them lead.

On battlefields, we’re completely useless:
Only death, injuries and all the mess.
Maybe someday, we’ll get it right.
No one’ll get hurt when there’s a fight.

And a good clue that we’re really dumb:
We learned to make a nuclear bomb.
Unnerving that we have the compulsion
To fiddle around with our own expulsion

Yes, if we use it, it’ll be the end.
No more leaders, followers, my friend.
And Mother Earth we’ll no longer encroach.
That’ll be left up to the cockroach.


1 IN 6 BILLION: A REBUTTAL
I guess I was being a bit mean.
It’s not all bad as a human bein’.
There’s art and sex, hockey too,
Laughter, children, and Doctor Who.

We wrote the book of love and compassion.
We’ll even put up with new French fashion.
Some of us are really nice people.
It almost makes up for all the evil.

We can also learn to save the Earth.
And treasure each other, for what it’s worth.
But no more positives into which I can delve,
It’s 36 bad lines against a count of 12.

 

Election Day Eve: Let America Be America Again.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Langston Hughes
“Let America Be America Again”