The first man ever frozen

While I was preparing 
for my Science Fair project, 
busily freezing turtles, 
insects, and plants, 
you were busy dying. 

Mr. Vest and your physician began CPR, 
packed you in ice on the hospital bed.

It is something of an understatement 
to describe Nelson as a pathological liar 
and an outright fraud. You would 
certainly have perished at Chatsworth 
with the nine patients whom Nelson 
allowed to thaw out and decompose.

You, of course, do not know me at all. 

Sometime in the June of 1973 
I walked into the cavernous 
industrial bay of Galiso, Inc.
The unit containing you sat out 
on the shop floor amid the clutter 
of uncompleted dewars and test equipment, 
covered with a heavy layer 
of ubiquitous Southern California dust. 

This was our first meeting.

So much happened between 1982 and now.
On the other side of the flimsy “wood” paneled wall
(there were open studs on the side where you rested), 
we were washing out the blood of dogs 
and cooling them down to a few degrees.

I cannot describe the feeling of elation 
when I peeled back the sleeping bag and saw 
that you appeared intact and well cared for. 

Ruby was cremated a few days after 
her death. It appears that where immediate 
family is concerned, you will be making 
the journey into tomorrow alone.

Dr. Bedford, I hope we really meet someday. 
I am not sure we will have much in common, 
But we will have the joy, the sheer, 
unbounded joy of being alive in a universe 
where we can move freely, unchained 
from the bonds of gravity, earth, and time.

(From Dear Dr. Bedford, July 1991)

Negatives from Aspen

We’re looking for some help for Hunter.
Are you a night owl? Would you be interested?

It took me only a moment to answer
yes to everything.

Nothing that Hunter did could bother me.
The only thing that got to me
was the cigarette smoke.
There was so much of it.

Louder, louder,
slower, slower.

You could trek and ski by day
and do shitloads of coke at night.
There were dealers and busts –
and mountains’ worth of cocaine
flown in on Cessnas.

You’d suddenly see
famous people everywhere.

I decided early on never to get wasted.
I’d seen the scorn he reserved for those
who turned up to pay homage to him,
got completely stoned and started acting
stupid. They were never welcomed back.

It never occurred to me
it would happen on my watch.

My legs buckled and I fell to my knees.
It’s not that I didn’t see it coming,
because he spoke about it a lot.
He was not having fun.
He had this Hemingway crush.

Let’s just dust off
those old negatives from Aspen.

Louder, louder,
slower, slower.

(From He was a handful)

#PinkGlowPineapple

I will always remember the day I first
tasted a borojo in a Costa Rican orchard
near the Panama border. The borojo
tasted like mulled wine and looked like
a baseball that someone had buried underground
for two hundred years; its texture
I can only compare to triple-crème Brie.

I dream of monstera deliciosa:
the fruit that looks like an ogre’s bunion
and smells like strawberry-guava pudding.
Or diospyros nigra, the black sapote,
which tastes like licking date paste off a stone.

This is not a bubblegum pink
nor is it a sultry magenta
or a coy blush. The exact hue
of Del Monte’s pineapple is more
of a peony-cantaloupe blend —
a color I’ve seen on polo shirts
in Cape Cod and on the lips of actresses
in midcentury Douglas Sirk films.
I’d call it Teenage Shrimp.

Each pineapple arrives with a gold-sealed
certificate of authenticity
congratulating the recipient
on obtaining this royal delicacy
and a helpful reminder
to tag #PinkGlowPineapple
and watch the likes pour in.

(From Instagram Fruit)

Beside me

ok I’m a human and you’re a human
and we’re going to take an intimate walk
through this seemingly ordinary part
of my life but if you look closely
this moment will reveal something
delightfully specific and illuminating
to what makes
me
me
and I want to share
that with you because quite frankly I just like
your company and even in the silence
(sometimes especially in the silence)
it makes me feel somewhere between warm
and content to have you here beside me

(From The Errand Friend Date)

the best night of your life

a ticket in an envelope
you’ve marked with glitter glue
putting on too much eyeshadow
you bought at the drugstore that day
wearing a skirt that’s shorter
than your school uniform
telling your mom it’s okay
and you’ll meet her right after the show
running toward the front hand
in hand with your best friend
flirting with the kid who sells you a soda
dancing experimentally looking
at the woman onstage and thinking
maybe one day you’ll be sexy and confident like her
realising that right this moment you are
matching your voice to the sound
loving the sound falling into
the sound

(A post by Ann Powers after the Manchester Arena terrorist attack)

The gray ribbon

It could be for Diabetes awareness month
maybe brain tumours.
Perhaps the wearer is supporting
increased awareness for borderline personality disorder.
But, most likely nowadays
they’re raising Zombie Awareness

(check for neck beard and/or barbed wire
wrapped baseball bat in their hand).

Confused? Let’s look at November.
Movember, right? Prostate Cancer
and Men’s Health awareness, no?
It’s also Alzheimer’s Awareness month
and No Nut November
promoting abstinence
and COPD Awareness
and National Novel Writing Month.
So plenty to do, along with early
Christmas shopping, Guy Fawkes Night
and your job and family duties.

Just make sure you don a gray ribbon
so that people know you also care
about the inevitable zombie apocalypse
even though that should be done in May.

(From Top 10 awareness campaigns that didn’t work out too well)

im giving it three

out of attempted empathy or niceness..
.. because: psuedo interlectual, tripe,
greek-mis-approproiating (indulgin
in theatre/drama/physchologism..
possibly that type of pagansim…
AKA (woody allen-esque) attempted
“oddyssaic-streamish-of-consciences blah-ism”

But i wont say “pyscho-bable” becasse IMO,
the psychologism of misery behind
the OVERT text line is actually vaild (imo)
but suspicious of pagan/ bending symobolgy?
Theres nothing new under the sun
take care anyway

(An Amazon review for Synecdoche New York)

America has fallen

There’s a burnt body in front of my office.
Then I’m playing Scrabble with friends.
There’s bomb smoke rising in front of the mall.
Then I’m at a concert. There’s a long line
for gas. Then I’m at a nightclub.

This is how it happens. Precisely
what you’re feeling now.
The numbing litany of bad news.
The ever rising outrages.
People suffering, dying,
and protesting all around you,
while you think about dinner.

I used to judge those herds of gazelle
when the lion eats one of them alive
and everyone keeps going.

I went to work, I went out, I dated.

We’d pop the trunk for a bomb check.
Turn off our lights for the air raids.
I know people who were beaten, arrested,
and went into exile. But that’s not
what my photostream looks like.

The pain doesn’t go away, it just becomes
a furniture of bones, in a thousand homes.
There’s no launch party for decay.

(From I lived through collapse. America is already there)

Horseback to Palm Canyon

Dear mother dad sweetheart gang wife
hubby girls boys old kid

How are you? I am fine 
happy lonesome sad broke flying 
high enjoying the desert

Wish I had you a letter more ambition
someone to love me more sleep

Things are wonderful lovely exciting

I have seen the mountains the desert
lots of pretty girls 
lots of handsome men 
the desert sunset desert wildflowers 
the canyons

Doing lots of sightseeing loafing
sleeping hiking sun-bathing 
swimming golfing celebrating
playing tennis bicycle riding

I rode horseback to Palm Canyon
on the Skyline trail in the moonlight
on the desert on the Araby trail
to Andreas Canyon to Seven Palms

I’m staying at the
I danced at
I dined at

Will be seeing you away a little longer
thinking of you writing you again
hitting the hay stepping out

Yours ‘till the cows come home 
with love forever sincerely

Name

(The Lazy Person’s Correspondence Card from Palm Springs)