The Carolina


I asked the man at the register
what the most popular dish at the restaurant is.

He said, "That sir, would be THE CAROLINA."
I said, "Well then, my good man, serve me up The Carolina."

Now I'm sitting here looking at "The Carolina"
and I can't figure out what it is I'm staring at.
Is it a sandwich? A casserole?
The Carolina is, for all intents and purposes,
a disgusting mind puzzle.

It looks like a broken piñata that's been
left out in the rain to die.
But what was the piñata filled with?
Macaroni? Pork? Shellfish?
The Carolina is supposed to be a signature dish,
but it is apparent that this "signature" was signed by a
swamp monster with no opposable thumbs.

Nothing about The Carolina makes sense.
It's like a dog in a tree.
It's a wedding in a grocery store.
It's junk mail.

The Carolina is a dead squirel wearing a party hat.

It's a horse in a hand basket.
It's a mushy pickle in a sock.

My friends, it is my professional advice
that you avoid The Carolina at all costs.
That means if someone has to die so that you
can avoid The Carolina, so be it.
It's worth it.

The Carolina will just make your day soggy and weird
and your sack of regrets
a few pounds heavier. 


Sometimes the Voice is Good


And suddenly the world became complicated.
And the act of being still became either too much to bear
or something I committed days to on end.

And I stopped doing things.
And I slipped into routine and lethargy.
And it took tremendous amounts of energy
to simply say, "Hello," to anyone at all.

Pretty soon the floorboards started to warp.
And my fanbelts started to squeak.
And spiderwebs began to pop up in what used
to be well travelled places.

The file cabinet began to swallow without chewing
and papers were suddenly everywhere.
Documents and certificates and things that
I'm told are essential
if you want to remain alive.

Dents popped up in the body work.
Occassional twitches to the left eye.
And moments of resign coupled with
that tiny, familiar voice recessed in the back of
my mind.

That little, quiet voice that thankfully repeats:
"Survive. Survive. Survive."





The End

i was sitting by the window, in my rocking chair,
watching the clouds,
the day i heard the news.

i received a call from a friend,
who'd been following the events closely.

"are you watching the news?"


"turn it on. any station. right now."

i hung up,
flipped my phone over to CNN,
and pressed PLAY.

my initial reaction was not shock or bitter disgust,
(as i always imagined it would be)
but instead, quite the opposite.

i felt nothing.

only a faint sadness,
floating aimlessly inside.
too heavy to fly,
too light to settle,
like a dry sheet
by an open window.

it turns out,
Life loves the unexpected,
and more often than not, the life you plan for yourself,
will invariably be poles apart from the life you end up with.

i always believed i'd be dead before 50.
but there i was,
sitting in my chair at 82 years of age,
drinking chocolate milk and listening intently
to the news as it echoed the story
of how a team of researchers and
a network of computers
composed every song

a monumental day.

each song,
written over a decillion times,
each version,
different by a yoctosecond.

i was 82 years old,
and it had happened.

music was, in the perspective of a plan or mission,

a strange, new beginning
and a swift ending
to our most beloved language.

questions tumbled through me.
what now?
what would come next?
would this open doors
or simply be feared
and ignored?
how would we take it?
where would we go?

what would we do...

now that it has all been done?

seconds passed,
and the evening breeze bore its icy teeth for the
first time that year.

winter was early.
i pulled my jacket tight
as my chair cracked its legs against the base boards.
for a moment, the sounds of the city dissipated
and the world grew still.

i turned off my phone,
leaned back,
closed my eyes,
and listened to the squirrels on my roof,
the cicadas in the creek,
and the sound of the leaves

high in the trees



You and Me


i met you on unstable ground,
a floor held up by truck jacks and paving stones,
and how it was that we didn't collapse
perplexed the on-lookers 
and most of our friends.

we hurt ourselves
and we ruined furniture
and we ruined clothes.

and we made a mess of things.

a wonderful mess at times.

an awful mess at others.

but even then,
we knew, that no matter what happened,
one of us would always be there for the other,
standing there in the background,
foggy and blurred,
waiting in the farthest reaches of the rear view mirror

as the other one drove away.

because when you base a friendship
not just on love,
but on the mutual, shared pain of existence
the bond becomes such that it can never
be razed.

and that's how I've always thought of you.

there waiting in my mirror.

my comrade
in rapture

my best friend
in pain.





today i turned around
and all the meat in the refridgerator
had expired

i'm sad to say that this happens alot.
i turn around
and it's all over.

this didn't happen as much
when i was younger. 

perhaps i didn't buy very much meat
or perhaps i didn't read the labels
back then.

because i know time isn't moving
any faster than it was.

and i know the meat isn't moving
through time.

it's just me.
my carelessness.
my memory.

or maybe i'm just buying

expired meat.