Archive for ‘Poetry’

June 17, 2010

Death

Her’s another pretty good one out of my Outlaw Bible. I like the path of reasoning this one takes. It reminds me of myself.

Death

Death is a funny thing. Most People are afraid of it, and yet they don’t even know what it is.

Perhaps we can clear this up.

What is death?

Death is it. That’s it. Finished. “Finito.” Over and out. No more

Death is many different things to many different people. I think it is safe to say, however, that most people don’t like it.

Why?

Because they are afraid of it.

Why are they afraid of it?

Because they don’t understand it.

I think the best way to try to understand death is to think about it a lot. Try to come to terms with it. Try to really understand it. Give it a chance!

Sometimes it helps if we try to visualize things.

Try to visualize, for example, someone sneaking up behind your back and hitting you over the head with a giant hammer.

Some people prefer to think of death as a more spiritual thing. Where the soul somehow separates itself from the mess and goes on living forever somewhere else. Heaven and hell being the most traditional choices.

Death has a very black reputation, but, actually, to die is a perfectly normal thing to do.

And it’s so wholesome: being a very important part of nature’s big picture. Trees die don’t they? And flowers?

I think it’s always nice to know that you are not alone. Even in death.

Let’s think about ants for a minute. Millions of ants die every day, and do we care? No. And I’m sure that ants feel the same way about us.

But suppose – just suppose – that we didn’t have to die. That wouldn’t be so great either. If a 90 year old man can hardly stand up, can you imagine what it would be like to be 500 years old?

Another comforting thought about death is that 80 years or so after you die nobody who knew you will still be alive to miss you.

And after you’re dead, you won’t even know it.

—Joe Brainard

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June 17, 2010

Scab Maids on Speed

I have this book called The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and it’s full of this beautiful and disturbing raw poetry. Here’s one of my favorites out of it. The very ending is near and dear to my heart.

Scab Maids on Speed

My first job was when I was about fifteen. I’d met a girl named Hope who became my best friend. Hope and I were flunking math so we became speed freaks. This honed our algebra skills and we quickly became whiz kids. For about five minutes. Then, our brains started to fry and we were just teenage speed freaks.

So we decided to seek gainful employment.

We got hired as part time maids at the Holiday Inn while a maid strike was happening. We were scab maids on speed and we were coming to clean your room.

We were subsequently fired for pilfering a Holiday Inn guest’s quaalude stash which we did only because we never thought someone would have the nerve to call the front desk and say, THE MAIDS STOLE MY LUUDES MAN. But someone did – or so we surmised – because we were fired.

I suppose maybe we were fired because we never actually CLEANED but rather just turned on the vacuum so it SOUNDED like we were cleaning as we picked the pubic hairs off the sheets and out of the tub then passed out on the bed and caught up on the sleep we missed from being up all night speeding.

When we got fired, we became waitresses at an International House of Pancakes.

We were much happier there.

— Maggie Estep

The funny part is mine was Waffle House. I was friends with all the methheads at the IHOP across the street though, too. The stupidity of youth.