March 24, 2019

Hawaii Oh-O

It was the Monday to Fridayness of it all that was so damn depressing…
routine routinely pounding my brain into a routine day after day;
lifting boxes, totes, crates, pallets…
working in the freezer section where it was 0 degrees
chucking boxes of beef patties and french fries onto metal carts
that were unfriendly and never had nothing to say...not my idea
of what I’d be doing when I came down to the sunny south to work in…
I could of stayed home and worked in the cold...this crap was killing my spirit
my back was dead tired like somebody who stayed up all night for three nights in a row working on a book and taking Benzedrine and drinking beaucoup pots of coffee…
which I would rather been doing BTW but I had rent to pay…

I was still young, still full of dreams and empty of money…
so scheming and dreaming, I got this great idea...save some money and go to Hawaii
for surely life had to better out there; among the palms and the hula girls…
maybe catch a Don Ho show or something...catch some waves at Waikiki beach…
so I put my head down, plowed through it for awhile...I didn’t go out hardly at all
and I even cut down on my liquor intake, which I can tell you was really rough…
finally, I saved some cash and I borrowed most and off I went…
naive and full of stupid dreams and illusions…
it was pretty cool for the first couple weeks
—HULA HULA HULA bring me some more cold Kona beer
and then reality set in…Dum, Dum, Dum, DUM…..

hell, I had to find a way to pay the bills there, and the bills were higher…
I looked around for something better but here I was
moving boxes in some hot as hell warehouse...struggling to pay the bills…
I thought they might need some help at Hawaii Five-O
but Steve McGarrett was nowhere to be found and didn’t return my calls…
I was pure perfection
a ne'er-do-well in the midwest, the deep south and now in Hawaii
the only difference being now I was a ne’er-do-well with a sunburn…
I was geographically consistent...hell, I didn’t even like poi my boy...for fun, I could take a drive and see what was left of the sugar refineries that were drying up…
or I could hop on The Bus; ride around Oahu killing the day away and I did that a few days…
I should of known better what the hell?...you have to try...after a year of that, I got this
...a plane ticket and after a night of mai-tais, I came back home to two feet of snow
on the ground, but I didn’t care…
could have spent time kickin’ around Honolulu in a cheap aloha shirt
the ones where the pocket pattern don’t match the rest of the shirt

but what was the point?...I wasn’t any happier there than I was when I was home

March 21, 2019

S.S. Valencia

There was the wreck of a ship
the SS Valencia it was the name
1906 off the coast of British Columbia Canada
a steamer built in 1882 for excursions
New York City to Venezuela and back again…
sank in an area of water called
‘The Graveyard of the Pacific’...
a particularly treacherous area…
waters that captains dreaded navigating in rough weather…
on this particular night
the weather had turned rougher than rough
high wind and low visibility…
celestial observations that is
navigation by the stars impossible
...the Valencia struck a reef and then some rocks
tearing a deathly hole in the hull—
ABANDON SHIP!
seven lifeboats launched
several capsized; one lost entirely
some survived—many did not…
years a clear
reports of an old lifeboat with eight skeletons
found in a nearby sea cave…
an attempt to retrieve it
unsuccessful!…
unexplainable stories still unexplained…
those of local fishermen
reporting lifeboats were seen being rowed
on the water one fog enshrouded evening
by possible skeletons of the Valencia's victims…
lost souls disappearing into a cloud of mist
sightings of the ship
like a ghostly apparition
making its way down the coast
1933–lifeboats from the Valencia was found adrift

no skeletons aboard

March 19, 2019

Smarter Than The Average Bear


He thought himself somewhat of an intellectual--that is smarter than the average bear Boo-Boo..he was thought of by some snarks as the human 8-ball because he thought he had all the answers--he wanted to talk about Hemingway, or Mozart, or some psychological topic or metaphysical gobbledygook...the only problem was that he was alone...there wasn’t anybody he knew who fit that bill...oh there once was a guy he knew who left and moved to Idaho to be a train conductor...they used to have some good talks, but he took the 8:05 out of town one-way...he didn’t care about discussing who the third string quarterback was for the college town football team GO STATE!...so he sat dazed in his cubicle, or confused in his car while stopped at a red light as to why the latest turn of events turned that way, or in a recliner in his house, alone in thought and lost to this world...he realized it was the circles that he ran in, or more truthfully didn’t run in...he didn’t run in circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, septagons, octagons, or any other kind of gon...his ‘type’ was gon gon gon...gon once, gon twice, SOLD!...to nobody he ever knew...he was an avid reader like Mr. Bemis and had a good working knowledge of many things...however none of this working knowledge ever got put to use and this love of reading did not translate into a love of going to school and studying...he tried college but quit after sorta almost finishing one year if you don’t count incompletes...he would’ve passed English class if he hadn’t passed out in the hallway on finals day...annnnddd he never went back to complete the course of course...guess that’s what he got for getting totally wasted at a baseball game the night before which wasn’t too intellectual...he left school and did what most young people in that situation do, got a job...actually, he got more than a job, he got several jobs; jobs that neither interested him or that would lead anywhere he wanted to go...drift, drift, drift...here, there, anywhere...to dead end jobs with dead minded people...he never saw himself in the same way...people who he was sure about having no common interests or having anything to offer from a high-minded conversational standpoint...he coulda lowered his sights but he couldn’t see it...so he drifted from one dead-ass job to another...it wasn’t until later in his life that he thought that being a college professor might have been a good job for him, walking around the campus as Professor talking with students and fellow teachers...mixing it up in the world of academia, among the intellegensia...alas however, he was now too old to pursue that ambition and like some of his other ambitions, it most likely would have ended in abysmal failure...he wanted to be but was a never-was...he gave up and got a cheap room in an old motel and worked part time as a caretaker for oh, I don’t know...some kind of rec building or something...he sank into the unmade bed of oblivion drinking the loneliness and pain away...they found his body after a week or so when the neighbors complained of a bad smell...but then that’s what his whole life was in his humble opinion.