Monday, December 29, 2008
A cock crows at dawn.
And then the dog crows.
A few other dogs join in.
The human mutters, resettles
in the bed, and drifts back
toward that dreaming quest--
fitfully; Soon a pickup truck rumbles
up the battered dirtsand roadhills. By and by
other trucks answer the cantor of the Holy
Muffler Choir. The human's questing dreams
redirect toward potty and coffee.
A distant cock crows.
The human restless resettles and listens
again for the song of Morpheus. Gets
another burst from the pickup cantor instead.
footsoles on cool stone clay tiles carry the waking
human another day.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Jim gave up trying to eat his hot stew. "How are we going to go about it, Mac? What do we do first?"
Mac looked over at him and saw his excitement, and laughed.
"I don't know, Jim. That's the trouble with reading, you see. We just have to use any materials we can pick up. That's why all the tactics in the world won't do it. No two are exactly alike." For a while he ate in silence, finished off his stew, and when he exhaled, steam came out of his mouth. "Enough for another helping, Jim? I'm hungry."
Jim went to the kitchen and filled his bowl again.
Mac said, "Here's the layout. Torgas is a little valley, and it's mostly apple orchards. Most of it's owned by a few men. Of course there's some little places, but there's not very many of them. Now when the apples are ripe the crop tramps come in and pick them. And from there they go on over the ridge and south, and pick the cotton. If we can start the fun in the apples, maybe it will just naturally spread over into the cotton. Now these few guys that own most of the Torgas Valley waited until most of the crop tramps were already there. They spent most of their money getting there, of course. They always do. And then the owners announced their price cut. Suppose the tramps are mad? What can they do? They've got to work picking apples to get out even."
- John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle, Chapter 3
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
6. Opportunity is knocking again A window of opportunity is right outside your door. Here comes yet another shot, one more chance for you to jumpstart what's left of your bleak, grainy, black and white docudrama existence: a utilitarian contingency plan meant to ignite you out of the shadows of blue funk mediocrity and into a splash of daylight focused on the newest edition of yourself.
Right there, center stage, the latest re-invention of you, with your cerebral coagulation of half-baked life experiences that, with a little effort, could possibly be organized and edited into a seamless, low-grade masterpiece.
Even though you are much too far-gone to be famous, there's still time to make a minor miracle of yourself.
Opportunity comes a-knock, knock, knocking in the same deliberate cadence as all the other knocks that failed to make you pop the locks and open up and begin again, once again.
This time around you look surprisingly well-equipped. You seem to be good and prepared for a change, sleeping there with your boots on. Gung ho, primed for action and long-suffering, coiled and ready to strike at a moment's notice. You could be a guerilla warrior.
But maybe I shouldn't jump to conclusions.
Because the word on the street is that you are a brooding loner, an anti-social recluse, a sad, solitary individual who has been beaten down by a cruel society that refuses to let you anywhere near the borderline of your destiny, so that you find comfort in surrender and curling up and dying.
This is not the code of the guerilla warrior. It sounds like the behavior of a pathetic head case hiding in the dark, restrained by a jambalaya of mental dissonance.
Horoscopically speaking, there is help for you, provided you seize that unannounced golden opportunity, even if it turns out to be just a stainless steel opportunity. You can't be too choosey.
And keep in mind that Neptune is overseeing your career and Jupiter is covering you love life. Whatever that means.
How about just going outside and getting the benefit of some sunshine? Not too much sun, though, or else you'll get arrested by Al Gore for being environmentally incorrect.
If the sky is partly cloudy, stare at the clouds and play Rorschach test. It's usually good, clean fun until every cloud you see starts looking like erogenous zones of the human body. Then again, your public display of perverse enjoyment at gazing at the sky might attract that certain someone who may prove to be the kindred spirit of your dreams. Or it might be a plainclothes cop. Or both.
Whatever it is, your next chance encounter with an interested member of mankind may be the last bit of opportunity that comes knocking at your lackluster station of life.
So, embrace the opportunity and don't be a jackass.
- Bob Balogh, Greater Backfish Journal (Denver: Outskirts Press, 2007) 87-89.