Writing Exercise #13

Verse 1:

He spends too much time in darkened rooms

Late night TV flickers the same cartoons

He needs something different, gonna make a plan

He’s heading out to the bar and getting drunk to dance

Key in the ignition and that’s a go

Motor makes a rumble and he’s leaving home

Hoping to find someone pretty who will hold his hand

And sing real loud to all his favorite bands

Chorus:

Ready for love

Searching for the good stuff

Hoping to find enough

Ready for love

And falling too hard

Verse 2:

Stood up twice, she’s had enough.

Waves her arm out to flag that city bus

Madder than hell when it flies right by

She gives up and turns around into the bar inside

Noisy and crowded, she navigates

to an open chair, orders her drink

Tips the bartender as the door opens wide

She turns around to see what sorry soul’s turned up for the night

Chorus:

Ready for love

Searching for the good stuff

Hoping to find enough

Ready for love

And falling too hard

Verse 3:

As she turns, with words unspoken

their eyes meet and all that loneliness

dissipates, they hesitate.

Introductions lead to drinks lead to second date

But then going steady leads to arguments

where neither side makes any sense.

And so just when things were going great,

it’s a shame that it always leads to heartbreak

Chorus:

Ready for love

Searching for the good stuff

Hoping to find enough

Ready for love

And falling too hard

Bridge:

She cries into her pillow.

He finds his TV remote.

She pencils in Tuesday,

he sleeps in on Wednesday.

Just where they were before.

So how can they be sure

that they’re –

Chorus:

Ready for love

Searching for the good stuff

Hoping to find enough

Ready for love

And falling too hard

crown 2

Lazarus raised from the dead, bearded and smelling rancid. Still lungs with air pumped back into them again. Biblical miracles, meaning goes over the head. Jesus and his crown of thorns. Where are the roses? Where is their sweet smell and the honeybee, close by? Burger King royalty. Orange and red color scheme. Sesame seed buns rules all. Crawfish stomp on fancy, ivory-colored letterhead. Enragement vs. Engagement. Throne, gold, bed pan, leeches. Age 30, life expectancy. Dry meat. How spices and sugar must’ve seen like drugs then. These foreign products, so tantalizing to the senses. I can feel the velvet and the cool of the castle in winter. The warmth of the hearth in the bedroom, four poster king-sized bed. King-sized Reeses Peanut Butter Cup because I have earned this right to indulge. American distractions. But that chocolate and peanut butter get so delicious. Very difficult to find an equivalent. It just isn’t the same. That is some American classic. Sitting on the remote of history, accidentally rewinding the tape and losing the remote. See wars played backward where life is again, breathed back into men and boys of war, women and children who were not meant to die. There they go, standing up again where they had fallen moments before. Their wounds heal up. The bloody gap played backwards. Spilled red gets sucked back inside and skin grows back like phoenix tears were here. She’s all better now. No doctor needed when we can spool it back like that. Just play it again. Play the game again. They donned the uniform because their country told them so. Because of that, because of ideological reasoning, because of personal economical circumstances, or emotional recklessness. Crown and country. Not a hotel chain, not a restaurant franchise. Moments of history of unimaginable grief like, how can we ever be happy ever again. Must reach for bottle or pills. Quiet suffering like, no one will see me if I can just melt into this chair and become invisible to myself. Regret and actions on the human mind. Populist disconnect. Safely in wait, lady in waiting. I hope the bones of all queens and kings are resting peacefully, at least, those who did good or tried to do good by their subjects and people. We are thrust in the situations and circumstances that are hegemonic, some beyond out control. How can we change the rules of a game we have only begun to play, barely understand? Big ships do not turn easily.

mime

Strange Pokemon storyboard. White makeup, whiteface. Perhaps some blues, but cheeks are two perfect red, Japanese flag-esque circles. Vow of silence undertaken. French beret, striped shirt. Hands are carefully gloved in white. Laying out boundaries of a box. And invisible box, unseen to the human eye. It is imagined, by the mime and the viewer. But just because we can’t see it, just because it isn’t real, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean to don’t make it real. Somewhere an accordion merrily plays. The sound echoes down cobblestone, ancient Parisian streets. They are empty. The stores are closed. The iron gate and fence that line the cemetery are these clear mainstays that death is here, it’s coming, and years before we were born, it already happened. But we must let ourselves out of the box. And create new objects. Telephone wire rings, vibrating, shifting atoms out of place, unseen to the human eye. But I’m talking to you on the other end. Scandalous trappings in 1984-style outings. Movie theatre dystopia. Vocabulary, I am trying to expand and contract my mind.

mortgage

Financial superheroes. Dollar sign emblazoned on chest, standing with hands on hips gleaming at the sun. He has a cartoon grin that takes up half his face, yellow-blonde hair with an Elvis Presley-esque wave as if it’s a hat-tip all on its own. Reddish cape blows breezily behind. Boots are black with silver buckle. Advertisement or personification?? I see boring gray cash registers and metal clacking typewriters, scrap metal drives in war time. Infrastructure beams that pile up coldly. These little vices that hold us in place. They are not comforting. They are deconstructed jail cells in which we must navigate through unexpected labyrinths. They are stock-still Dementors, sucking out souls and rendering us helpless. Housing crisis. It always seems like some trapdoor through which I must inevitably encounter. One more step to growing up. I don’t want to be alone forever. Renting and leasing. Spending and saving. The balance of living life comfortably. Closing bank accounts and not feeling confident about the current one you have. As I sit here in shorteralls, I cannot help but feel inadequate at the future responsibilities in which I am ill-prepared for. No matter how much I procrastinate, no matter how much I read, I feel as though I will always feel guilty at having done the other thing. Screengrab. Six figure number. No lucky lottery. Amnesia and forgetfulness. Arrogantly aging. Cha-ching of rapid fingers, the pulling lever that opens the cash drawer. Feeling badly for those in rough places, addicting to drugs and blinded by reality so that they consider robbing these inefficient machines, blindly taking a life when they don’t have to. Short-sightedness. The living day-to-day. It doesn’t have to be like that. Traipsing along dark alleyways in secret. Their black capes’ collars turned up so all you see are the whites of their eyes. But this isn’t a goofy Hamburglar. This is some frightful reality that exists…somewhere. And even though I don’t see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. And I feel sorry about it. Big toe dips into cold sand. Paranoid illness. Bankrupt conscience. Daisy-Lily, baby.

pest

Pests crawling in rapid multi-leg fashion up and down walls, racing down corridors. Nothing scares the human mind more than having to compete with unpredictable bugs and vermin. It is this otherness, not human. But there is an important ecosystem as to which they are a part. I heard a news story the other day about how rats are being affected by this pandemic, rats that typically feed off restaurant dumpster leftovers and trash. Now that everything is closed, or open on a pickup only basis, there’s nothing really there for them to scavenge anymore. So they are becoming more aggressive, fighting and eating each other without their normal food source. It’s horrible, disgusting. Thankfully humans are not at that breaking point yet. Trucks still show up to supermarkets and employees work hard to support their communities. Sprays and gels, ticks and turmeric. Prayer and a call to the exterminator. Waiting by a Wednesday, sounding off the names of slugs and rodents. Pincers and claws and sharp teeth, spider webs ensnare and entrap unsuspecting subjects. I hope I never have to touch or kill them ever again, though spiders are our friends. I try to let to go and grant mercy when I can. But when one starts descending from the ceiling while you sleep, that is where I draw the line. Blurry spot. You think it’s a dream. Open your eyes and put on your glasses to see it’s not.