THE TIMES WE DIDN’T HAVE FUN
A Very Serious Man
I was so disappointed in myself, I handed over the money as a toll for being stupid. Crossing from naive to weary. Shedding baby fat from my personality. As we grow our mistakes grow with us. Getting fat on the deadlines we haven’t met. I’ve discovered the joke of maturing: growing up doesn’t come with age. Sometimes I hate Dylan. It’s the affected voice and the triple tongued word choice. His opinions, like rings around the sun, you only think you’ve seen, he just repeats back protest screams. And with great shock, I don’t put up a fight. Resignation doesn’t chafe as expected. This resume reads like a deathbed confession quarantined in the corner of IC. It seems I’ll always have something to complain about till I whittle solace from a regular paycheck. Candidate seeks paper clips and triplicates. Twenty years of schooling and there is no day shift. I have no idea what it could mean to have a job you’d never want to leave. I hope someday I do so my living has some life in it too.
The Wind Blew Down My House
Woke up one morning to an unlocked door. The breeze was letting itself in. My couch was covered from dust to dust. I guess the plaster had enough. The wind was blowing through the house. Strong enough to toss me out. And from the street I saw the house come down. I hope at least the cats got out.
I’m giving the daylight 15 more minutes and if it doesn’t wake up, I’m hitting the lights and calling it a night. The pressure to change has been keeping me awake. So I’m looking for a soporific lover to knock me out any which way. The barflies are attracted to any old stupid shit talk. It’s the hot air gushing from every orifice you’ve got. This bed suffers every shift and every sway. And it can barely stand being fucked over all day. So as a metaphor to explain your ennui, consider the forgotten bed sheet hanging from the ceiling fan’s blade. Your ennui. On me.
The Times We Didn’t Have Fun
I was lying, this much is true. You weren’t doing much better. If not through your teeth, then behind your sheets. You were lying too. Two lying liars laid out in full view. So the next morning, the second next morning. I played it tough. I was so cool. And you were cold as dry ice. Laconic looks good on you. An infectious amnesia. A virulent proof. Maybe we should have. It might have been fun. Three times we didn’t [more times than I’m proud of]. Now we don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about it all. So I’m resigned to remember the times that we didn’t have fun. Yeah, I’ll always remember the taste of your lip balm.
It’s all in how you approach it. Entertainment has its limits (the way my feet find cracks in the street). The routine bores the hell out of me like singers who fuck with microphone stands when they need something to do with their hands. As your id breaks the 4th wall down, you’ll be as free as the day you were born. Diehard…huh? Diehard…there it is again.
Punk As Love
That’s not what you said between I and you to me. I’d check your memory. A fickle imprint, nothing to recall it seems. No impressions to retrieve. A shamble of string, tying knots, but forgetting which one was for me. That’s not what you said, at least not exactly. It’s like conjuring a dream. I’m up in arms, but it’s become routine. Can I please run out of steam?
Wake up head pounding, you’re feeling like an idiot. It’s Phair to miss the boys who ‘make love cause they’re in it’ and no, you’re immune. Kissing at the bar, you’re hailing a car. Treat it like a game. You don’t know his last name and whoa… It’s too soon. You gotta rack it up. Rack it up to say you’re experienced. You gotta pass it out. Pass it out and pass out on the floor. Come back for more. Hey, Christine, what you wanna be when you grow up? Hey, John McLane, what you wanna be when you’re old like me. I feel so old, Christine. How’s a girl like you get to be a girl like you? Lucky, I guess. No, not lucky, you’re up to no good. You’re lying. Tease a man half to death without trying so stop and go.
I’ve replaced sex by riding a stationary bike. I get around on it as much as I do in real life. Try and guess the effect it has. Hold that thought in your head longer than you’d like. Let it mingle with memories for a little while. When it evolves to optimism then let it go. I do for you. Play dead in bed, see how long it takes him to know. I bet he’s half way there before it even shows. He won’t stop anyway, he’ll just make it work for him. What floor do you live on and do you have a view? Are other unweds there or is it just you? Do your neighbors bake babka and watch the midday news?
Don’t discount the things I’ll find out. I’m judging you for everything. You nipped a friendship in the bud. Chasing tail and leaving out decency. I should have known…how naive. Young men, you can’t change your stripes when her short skirt is all you need. Tied one on. Weren’t tied to her. When your lechery finds a home those complications can’t keep hold of your voracious bones.
Gold leaf and doily from the Salvation Army. Who the hell do you think you are? All that time to primp and preen, spending sprees, new luxury, and you dress like a worn out dream. Gold leaf and doily from the Salvation Army. Your new look consigned from the past. Embellish on what you don’t like, cut and paste to your heart’s delight. Will the last one out sound the alarm?
Don’t question the format just cause things went wrong. All these little aggravations will follow us to heaven. Some things persist, the soundman was just a prick. But, Hello, Philadelphia! Hello, Sara! You’re too kind! The little things started going wrong first. It’s always the little things that make the big things that much worse. They were the nuts and bolts of our plans, driving to Philadelphia in a mini-van. I thought about our genre a bit. Found it ironic how at the moment it fit. If the only people there are the other bands, independent is a euphemism for ‘no one cares’.
Sort of makes me miss the days when they were faking voices. Now they just can’t sing. Baritone boring a hole straight down through the song. They never earned it. We never should have listened in the first place. I guess it’s our fault. Four songs in, big chum stink. Shark suits come circling. And all the labels want you. That brand will never stop searing.
He’s Gonna Leave
Not calling you back for days. She’s feeling guilty for what you did. Right behind his back. Now she’s thinking of you not him. He’s gonna leave. Imagine yourself in his place. Is she really what you need? Get hit with a wave of indifference. Starts with a drop of disinterest. He’s gonna leave.
OH SO PREMIER
Awkward as a Hilltop in Kansas
Awkward as a Hilltop in Kansas, making me oh so premier. I’m a permanent fixture at your local bar scene; bet you’ve never seen me there. One shadow for every light, so I see three people following me. Avoid the shadows and don’t make a scene when you’re all alone in the street. The subtlety in her voice almost made it sound sincere. A week ago I’d buy it, but now I’m too old. Hope she wasn’t counting one me. Wish I just had the nerve. Just wanted to go to bed. There are too many people in my house…everyone get outta my house. An unusual quiet at four AM. It’s a parting gift from everyone at the affair.
That afternoon, I hope you enjoyed lunch. In brief, I didn’t. Not at all. I remember the gut twist, the stomach stitch, the nervous sting of experiencing the last real memory we’ll have…but wait, I think she’s you. There’s a similar twinge on perceiving the singe of recalling an old flame that first time. The sun woke me up and for a second our hands touched, though she was still asleep, but it’s a start. You used the future tense for a moment, but your thoughts were written in sand. I wouldn’t bet any money on us now.
Back to the Future IV
When I was a kid I spoke with a twist and sometimes I’d run, I’d run away. The bus backfired as I stepped to the curb over those laughing kids laughing my way. I was a sap (more naive than most) at nine years old, someone tell me I’ve changed. I had this dream I was lost in time, but Doc had no answers. I’m no McFly. All I wanted was Back to the Future IV. Something mine throughout time. When I met Julia, I made plans for carnations and punk shows and holding hands. She said yes and we kissed on Mark’s roof. My first love…I barely knew. Moving on, at 21, Meals will grow to hate me. What have I done? Repeated back for five years, thanks for the echo girl, like I’d forgot.
Everyone knows I can’t keep secrets right. Try as I might, they get loose without a fight. Fifth second beer, it’s karaoke night. Get lofted up if you can do it right. We’re all down. We’re around. Remember back when we used to start the nights at one? Close up the bars and drink till we could see the sun. You slept with the drummer and then you didn’t need me around. Midwest’s best acting like we ran this town.