Posts Tagged ‘lunacy’

My “first”, we have all had our “first”. Just name it and hopefully you have had it. Nothing better than getting our “first” done and over with, no matter what or who it was. Which “first” immediately came to your mind when you first read this? Now just because something was your “first” doesn’t mean it was a pleasant experience. I remember my first beer with my old man.

On a very hot July afternoon, I was cutting weeds on my grandmother’s farm with my father. I came upon a very thick elm tree sprout along the fence line that the hand scythe wouldn’t cleanly cut, so I began to use a small hand saw. On my first stroke, the saw bounced  across the limb and landed squarely on my finger at the base of my thumb nail. It cut deeply into the flesh and nail.  The pain on my thumb and the sight of white bone made me a little sick and woozy. I asked for a drink of water, which we had just ran out of, so my father gave me the last cold can of beer in our cooler.

On that hot, humid day, I remember the coolness of the can and the sound of the crunch of making the two triangular holes in its top with the beer can opener. (Yes, before “pop-top” cans) I took a long, long cool swig of the Hamms and immediately got light-headed, sicker at my stomach and threw up.  That was my first beer with my father at the age of 12.

Not as good of an experience that you would dream, of a young man’s first sharing of a beer with the old man, but I do remember it distinctly and perhaps a little fondly. As I stood there, bent over, spewing and ridding my stomach of my over accumulation of the contents of that day’s water jug and its first introduction of beer on a hot day, my old man says “well it is too hot to waste it that way, if you aren’t going to finish that beer, I will sure as hell finish it for ya”. He threw me another rag to wrap around my thumb and we left for town to get the stitches put in.

And yes, after he evidently smelled my breath, the doctor asked , “have you been drinking?”.  I belched. The Doc looked at the sheepish grin on my old man’s face and only smiled and shook his head.

OC

 

It is not that the events of the past few months are not interesting, bazaar and in the words of others, “totally unbelievable – unbelievable”. It is just me writing about them that would probably just make them a boor, or is it a bore?

It reminds me of an experience I had while an electronic communications specialist. I received a formal “squawk” via email, from a dispatcher, that many management names were also copied, informing me and they that a vital communications receiver’s audio was at an  “unbelievably loud level“. And he was requesting that the equipment be repaired immediately.  Since so many “higher-ups” were copied I responded promptly assuming that there was something very wrong with this very expensive piece of gear. After “repairing” the receiver, I replied-to-all this short report of the fix.

“Turned the radio’s volume control knob down to a more “believable” level”.

I received the most replies and accolades and chuckles from management on that single “repair” than any other that I’d done in my entire career.

I guess the point I’m making here is, we could use a lot less “unbelievable” adjectives and adverbs these days spewed from the Administration. And it would probably do the Country much more good if before a lot of huge adjectives are used and unnecessary squawking is done, perhaps things should first just be turned down to a more believable level.

E.

 

 

I was walking down the street last Thursday
and a dog with bright white teeth and a big smile
approached me from the right.
He said he enjoyed walking with humans and asked if he could join me.
I, a man of great tolerance, said OK, glad to have ya!
We had walked only a block or two and he starts sniffing the street light poles and fire hydrants.
And with that big smile on his face he raises his leg and pisses on one of the posts.
Shocked…. I said, “look, that is very embarrassing to me, to be walking with you and then
having you do that. people will think you are my dog and blame me for messing up the sidewalk.
And how can you do that with such a big smile on your face?”

He said, “Smile on my face? I’m not smiling, dogs don’t smile! I have an urinary infection!” Then he gave me the finger!

OC

Old men feeling the foreplay of the sensuous tug of war
Old men that have forgotten or have never known the smell of the smoke of death
But with blustering words from their arm chairs and their long tables
they easily speak of sending the young Armies
who believe the words shouted from the podiums of these old casual heroes.
Casual heroes that now voyeur from hovering satellite views
and the green starlit 20,000 foot cameras of robot planes.
Old casual heroes with hard-ons and loose belts, craving their pornography of war.

DSS.

(Let’s keep our eyes on the ball, soon there could be a lot of unusual things happening outside of the U.S. to distract us from a lot of unusual things that will soon be revealed right here at home.)

Deep down in Louisiana  *
close to New Orleans,
Way back up in the woods
among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin
made of earth and wood,
Where lived a country boy
named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned
to read or write so well,
But he could play a guitar
just like a ringing a bell. *

“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry

 

My name is John. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. So when the music “Johnny B. Goode” came out, I instantly had a new name.

February third ’59 may have been the day the music died in Clear Lake, Iowa but in St. Louis, MO, they were still singing about “Memphis” Tennessee  and still playin’ “Rock and Roll Music”. And things were just fine “Back in the USA”.

If there is a Heaven, Roll Over Beethoven” and listen, you’re going to meet one hell  of a Rock ‘n Roll Man!     And Ludwig, I guess even if you aren’t ready for this yet, your kids are gonna love it. **

We are going to miss you Chuck.

John

*  Lyrics from the Music  “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry
** Words roughly quoted from movie “Back to the Future”

The Foulness

Posted: March 18, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

The foulness that proceeds us,
the stench, the smoke, the half life
the static noise of mistuned radios and burnt out street lights
blown out streets and broken water mains.

lost shoes line the paths
broken wheels and blown out tires
bent and burnt cars with missing hoods and cracked blocks
and children playing with discarded green cans and skinny dogs

The foulness that proceeds us,
the wailing mothers and lost brothers
uncles and aunts now without nephews or nieces
no walls or roofs for their dirt floor gated homes

their minds without freedom left in them
without bread, meal or ovens to bake.
just to be left alone to make the new shoes and robes
and to pound tools from their new found scrap metal.

The foulness that proceeds us,
the despair and unleashed sorrow
and cautious walk of digital camo soldiers without cause or blame
only yearning to get home to a land more understood.

As the wind blown sand settles into drifts
across arched doorways and blocked exit roads
we hear distant sounds of flying war iron always overhead
we hear the sounds of lost hope, life and future
the sound of the sad foulness that proceeds us.

OC

(This is rewind week, just blowing off the stench, John) 

 

Captain! Sometimes the most important person is you!
You!….. you dizzled drapes dropper
You! …. you measly mound of moose melt
Get up and fight the sons of bitches!
Hit ’em in the face!
Kick ’em in the balls!
Fuck’em up!

Now wait a minute……..
Think about this
The last skull you cracked still isn’t healed.
And you lost your Secret Society of Greenwich Ring.
Oh! Those were the days!
There was beer, blood and Brylcreem
smeared all over everything.
Royal Fly-boys!…. the Bastards!

Wake Up!!

Whew! That reoccurring WWI dream again!
What time is it?
6 O’clock already!

I HATE Daylight Saving Time!!!

OC

(DST has that affect on some people. This is OC’s  twice annually modified rant about it. Brylcreem??  John   )

“There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue, there’s just stuff people do.” Casy the Preacher – Grapes of Wrath.

As a guy travels around the country, working on different projects, working with different crews and spending a little time with different kinds of men with many experiences and backgrounds, you learn not to ask any questions of their past. They may be and probably are there because of a past that they are trying to forget or get away from. But eventually a man will voluntarily begin to talk, without being asked.

Over the most eye squinting whiskey that I’ve ever tasted, Orie started talking. It was a very short story. The words seemed to spill from his mouth, slowly draining from his skull. Words that had been festering in his head for years and pushing to get out. It started abruptly with ” San Quintin is a terrible place to be. Men have been in there for years and are just forgotten, no family, no friends, no nothin’! They are in there because they had nothin’ and when and if they leave they’ll have nothin’, nothin’ but their old underwear and socks under a new cheap suit. I spent five years there pounding stones for rock roads. And I left with nothin. I know.”

He went on to say, ” Tin Cup Tim was a friendly sort, sold pencils and pens out of a tin cup. Wouldn’t have hurt anybody. We were on a high speed freight, barreling through Iowa. The train came to a fast screeching stop. High speed Coast to Coasters don’t do that unless there’s trouble. Stuck my head out of the box and I saw silver passenger cars side railed ahead. It was the California Zephyr with her engines down. Our freighter was pickin’ her up for the pull West of Ottumwa. Tin Cup and I stayed put where we were in the boxcar. They broke the train at the rear of our car, side railed and hooked on to the Zephyr. First thing we know we are part of a passenger setup. Unspoken rule was for the Bo’s to stay off the Zephyrs and there we were stuck there.”

“Tin Cup got real worried about this, the Railroad Bulls on the passenger lines were mean sons of bitches and didn’t put up with Bo’s on their trains. The freights were no trouble, hell we were part of the crews, but the Zephyrs got your ass beat and then thrown into the next jail! A few miles out of Osceola and Tin Cup decides to bail out before the stop. But the train wasn’t slowing enough for him to jump. While his head was stickin out the door the Bull on the Zephyr must have caught a glimpse of him and before we knew it the Bull had swung up and around and was on his way into the car. Hell we were still going 70 or 80 mile an hour. Well Tin Cup started a scuffle with the Bull, they both lost their balance and fell out the door. The Bull was alright cuz I saw him land and get up but Tin Cup fell under the train. Must of been drug the two mile to the depot. His body parts were strung the whole way. It was right before school time in the morning. An arm and a foot were dropped right in front of some school kids at a crossing.”

Orie went on to say that he’d stepped off the train unnoticed at the Osceola depot and started walking down along side of Highway 69 and hitched a ride at a big intersection in town with a car going west on Highway 34. He hitched all the way to Omaha.

“I hopped a freight out of Omaha, figured I’d take her all the way out to Emeryville, California.”

Well the railroad took the Osceola incident very serious. They couldn’t have body parts falling off their trains in front of school kids. And so the railroad detectives hunted down Orie and caught up with him in California. He didn’t say how they identified him, probably the railroad Bull. He knew it would be the Bull’s word against his about what happened and that would be used against him.They got him convicted of murder of Tin Cup. San Quintin was taking a few Federal prisoners at the time and he ended up there. I think any crimes happening on the railroads were handled as federal offenses and you could end up anywhere. “Glad they didn’t pick me up in Iowa!” he said as he pulled back his old felt hat and downed another shot, “I could have ended up in Ft. Madison.”

Orie spent most of the time in prison forgotten like so many others. Doing hard labor while working on roads. But he said one day he received a letter from a woman that he had known before the war. They had planned to marry when he returned from overseas. They corresponded all of the time that he had served in Europe. When he returned and went to see her, he found that she had been married for two years and had one child and was pregnant with another. She had mentioned nothing about the marriage in any of her letters and said she couldn’t bring herself to tell him while he was at war. I’m sure this is what first fueled his wanderlust.

She had heard from a friend about Orie being in prison and just couldn’t believe he had done anything to deserve it. Her father was a well known attorney on the East coast. She ask her father to do something to help Orie. Her father somehow got Orie’s conviction reduced to manslaughter and he was released from prison with time served.

In 1954 Orie Penny was given a new lease on life.

There’s so much to talk about from the last few days! What can I say, do I need to repeat it all? I’d just as soon leave my mouth shut and thought a fool as open my mouth and remove all doubt. There may be other powerful men out there that probably should take that advice. But I’ve been told that I’m a powerful AND handsome man, so I can suggest that.

This is an era of self promotion. The implications are huge, HUGE.
Resumes will be written, diplomas and degrees proclaimed and accomplishments will be shamelessly exaggerated. You know, the typical corporate resume. The ones you read , shortly ponder and then realize they are as amplified and meaningless as the new slick suit and the red tie they are wearing.  Right to file 13. You guys…, I know you are only carrying your lunch in that briefcase.

I’m very soon getting out of this rat race, great phrase “rat race”, it’s really “Rat’s Ass”. We go to work 7:30 to 6:00, everyday (oh, you say E, you mean 9:00 to 5:00, heh, heh, 9 to 5, I’ll bet you liked “Madmen” , too. It hasn’t been an 8 hour day since, I’m thinking…., 1970-77. Yes, 1970’s, the last century, I think I remember that.

Of course, the computer age has really helped corporate America. Now your boss, subordinates (sorry, Reports), dispatchers, just about anybody in the company, can email, call and get a hold of you evenings, on Saturday and Sunday AND Holidays. We are very “handy” now. Just a message away. Wonderful, HUGE. Hey! , they can do that, they’re paying for the SmartPhone!

They say that I’m going to miss this when I retire. Ah.. just a minute, you mean, like the boil I once had on my butt. My ass never felt so good. I’ll miss work about in the same way.

I can do this. I only have a few more months in my sentence. Hell, I can do 2 or 3 months standing on my head. Just like the last Performance Review  I had to write about myself, I felt just like I was in the corner , standing on my head. I powered through it!

89 days 12 and a half hours to go. Now that will be HUGE!

E.

(Powerful AND handsome man ?? Where in the hell did that come from? OC)

 

 

 

 

 

What’s that I’m hearin’
I hear people cheerin’
while old folks are die’in
young kids are starvin’
while woman are hurtin’
they act so for certain
the dogs are collectin’
the good to be changin’
to crap they are sayin’
get rid of these fuckas
they think that we’re suckas
these financial magicians
are takin’ positions
Takin’ over and destroyin’

to hell with protectin’
the dogs are all barkin’
all good is forgotten
Think only of wallets
it must all be for profits
What ever they’re doin’
We must get rid of this ruin.

E.