Sunday, June 9, 2019

Squad Goals (am I doing this right???)

Image copyrighted - Isadora Gruye Photography

I’ve been pissing in the river 
that brings me my dinner since 92.
This is not a metaphor
or fuck, maybe it is.
I’ll just lay myself out and let you decide 
what is muddy 
what is mantra
what is cotton candy whispers
on a ferris wheel ride that ends
with carts coming unpinned
and children falling
and news cameras rounded up
to tell us what is safe. 

I’ve been shoving over 
gum ball machines
all around town.
Cause I like the sound of hard candy
skittering to freedom. 
And the way babies laugh at it
And the way old men sneer at it 
And the way some people don’t notice
because they are fantasizing
about sandwiches and wearable technology
that knows how often their heart stops 
while they sleep
but does nothing to revive them.

I’ve been praying 
for cinder blocks to fall from sky.
Because cement showers
bring down watchtowers.
And I never did trust the watchmen.
Or how lightning greens the grass
Or how sweat cools the skin
Or how I clean chicken in the kitchen sink
flecks of flesh and bacteria
catching in the drain stopper
glistening and perfect
waiting to spoil.
Impossible to wash away. 

For Marian's prompt. The line about cinderblocks and watch men may be familiar.  I used it as the last line of a previous poem but wasn't happy with it there. I used Marian's challenge to use "muddy" as inspiration and rebuilt a framework where I think it fits better. 


  1. Yowza!!!! I knew you'd rise to this muddy challenge, buddy :)
    Love this, the whole thing. I read it with Patti Smith singing in my mind from the first line, not a bad thing. Weirdly enough I watched Caddyshack this weekend and there is a prominent gumball machine push-over! Huh.
    But I am sure that most people notice none of this and it would take something like cinderblocks falling to make any kind of damn difference. Sadly.

    1. You are spot on...I also used Patti as an inspiration...."Pissing in the river, watching it rise" :) Thanks for supplying such a great prompt.

  2. Interesting poem, interesting images.

  3. Technology that knows how often their jheart stops but does nothing to revive them is such a brilliant line! A fantastic write!

  4. Oh yes... love this too.. the pissing in the river reference I did get (though from experience I know it doesn't matter if you do it downstream)... the thought of bringing down the watchtowers is great... may there be cinder blocks falling from the sky

  5. These days, it seems that none of us can avoid pissing or worse where we drink (not even when we try). Maybe the cinderblocks, at the right speed and trajectory, will crack the status quo and create new space (different, one can hope) where everyone can do both comfortably.

    I might’ve gone a tad crazy with the metaphor (maybe).

  6. I think the need for some sort of disruption of the order of things is just growing and growing these days. Some of what's going on in the world needs to be disrupted--thoroughly. But I am always a little leery of disruption for disruptions sake, because what shape will the new normal take if one isn't much concerned about the outcome?

  7. WOW! Love this, especially these lines:

    "I’ve been praying
    for cinder blocks to fall from sky.
    Because cement showers
    bring down watchtowers.
    And I never did trust the watchmen."

  8. Izzy, I smile when I read this (every time, almost every line). Sounds like teens or young fellows on the town late, late at night. I could write a paragraph or more on most every topic. Next stanza if you add one, just ask me for some naughty things we did. Never did get caught but I did get stopped for the usual police harassment of youths.
    The gum balls reminded me of a riot (not the ones I was in, some were "panty raids" back then) in Rhodes that had occurred the night before we visited. The cannon balls that lined the streets had been rolled down the streets to their bottoms of the hill. They hit cars and people on the way down.
    Thank you for reading my dog story, she was a really good dog but Toto died several years ago. The neighbor said they were just walking down the street towards our homes.

  9. Now this is some muddy, fabulous writing!!

  10. This is wonderful, Izy. The voice is so well-poised between bitter and oddly hopeful, like this is all shit but tell me it can get better... No? Oh, hell, let me just live with salmonella!

    Wonderful, and inspiring, and push over a gumball machine for me.

  11. OMG .. OMG .. Cannot choose my favorite stanza. This is one of the most awesome reads .. EVER.

  12. Creative, unique, and original! Amazing read - read it twice. "Cause I like the sound of hard candy skittering to freedom. .. awesome!

  13. This is excellent, as always. I cannot pick a favourite line or phrase because it all just smacks of quality and such quality always gives me a little kick to pick up a pen.