“Thwack!” goes my head, pummeling the van door.

“Thwack!” goes my head, pummeling the van door.

See bright spots of light. Can’t balance no more.

Closed out my phone call, “I love you. Uh, bye.”

Stumbled to my knees, my head hanging high.

 

Called my chum Em’ly, the reason I’m here

Coordinated as if drunk on beer.

“I’ll call you in ten,” she said and hung up,

so I wondered whether I was wrung up. 

 

Am I concussed? I had seen stars. And my

neck mashed. From whacking it hard and uh, high.

Big ol’ thwackin’! A painful a-whackin’!

I pray the world fades not to, uh, black, and

 

but if it does, at least I’d’ve learned… Not

much of anything. An accident turned

me into a grave. A silly way to

die. In future, I’ll be A-More-Aware-of-Surroundings Guy.

 

Campbell’s® Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

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Ingredients:

  • Can of Campbell’s® Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Water
  • Soup Pot (I didn’t clean mine after making Campbell’s® Cream of Bacon Soup the day before, but a clean pot will do just fine.)
  • Spoon

Instructions:

  1. Mix soup + 1 can water
  2. Read back of can, where it says, “Stove: Heat, stirring occasionally.” Evernote Snapshot 20190316 212851.jpg
  3. Follow those instructions.
  4. Pour soup into the largest mug you can find. The noodles will remain behind.
  5. Add two ice cubes. Sip until gone.
  6. Transfer the noodles to the mug.
  7. Slurp until gone.

Ode to Xfinity

Xfinity, you tease

In the unlikeliest of places

By stoking my hopes with the promise of bars

Then dashing them all with a “cannot connect!”

 

I must say I’d rather

Have no WiFi at all—

Be forced ‘pon my phone’s hotspot

Than hear your wispy false claims.

 

But sometimes, my dear,

You appease this old soul—

Like this ‘forenoon, when I video called

My boss from the street.

Though your robustness did waver

So we switched to “just audio,”

You did remain connected! Aye, you stood strong throughout,

Leaving boss none the wiser

That I’m a van-confined hobo.

 

Why do you toy so, dear Xfinity,

With me, of all people—loyal lover of your service

As I try to log in

With my dad’s friend’s account?

Just because it never happened doesn’t mean it isn’t true

We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when my faithful Roadtrip Companion challenged me. “Compose the opening paragraph,” he said to me, “of completely fictional history book chapter.” I did. Here’s what never happened:

Released from bondage, but no longer welcome in the land they once ruled, the exiled Klimbaugh people went west, toward present-day Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Their search for religious acceptance would frequently be met by hostility toward their unusual practices, most famously in the Great Hangings of Dushanbe. The Klimbaugh’s movements can be traced until 1400 BCE, after which most scholars agree that the pressures of their hostile surroundings, un-arable land, and lack of social acceptance drove the final vestiges of this once-great kingdom to assimilation or death.

A Pirate Looks at 25

I sailed five hundred miles today, of course to see a girl.

Docking tonight on this Pacific beach, pausing my quest ‘round the world.

She’s just one of many, and she knows it too, and that makes her mightily sad.

But if she wants more or less than I am, she best find a different lad.

 

Two long years I built this life: learned a trade, hired mates, built a ship.

Launching each day into uncharted lands—maturing is quite the trip.

 

If you ne’er stood alone on a beach in the night, you’re missing Poseidon’s roar.

The waves crash about you, scalp shivers in tingles and heart begins to soar.

You’ll thank every lighthouse and follow the wind. Try it. It’s what we are:

We’re conquerors, explorers, skullduggers and knaves. We pillage and rape and steal.

And when you’re done plund’ring your fill of the booty, pray the wench will cook you a hot meal.

I had a feeling I could be someone.

You’ll only feel me by listening

to the same song,

fifty versions,

but none better than the downtown boy

with hair like Dylan

accepted to Yale when I was

but dropped out

and now plays to a Farmers’ market audience–

an empty picnic blanket and me.

 

At 24 years old,

he looks more like twelve

and sings folk like a wizened bluesman.

Will he go anywhere

or stay in Fairfax forever,

wearing the same uncool shoes

as the classmate I bullied in 4th grade.

 

If America’s misfits come to San Francisco

and SF’s go to Oakland,

where go Oakland’s?

We’re only fifteen miles north of The City,

but you can believe astrology

and we’ll still believe in you.

 

If you move too quick,

you hit the speed of loneliness

like a too-fast car,

breaking the sound barrier,

collapsing personality,

emptying you out.