April 17, 2013 Line:
“I’m not drunk, I’m just disoriented”
Hey we’re writing a collaborative poem exquisite corpse-style.
Each day for the month of April, we’ll put up a new line for you to respond to (which will be the last line we received the day before). We’ll publish the whole thing at the end of the month on Rusty Blog.
Post your line in the comment section on our website. Note that you won’t see you’ll line but we’ll add it to the poem.
As I gear up for the Montreal launch of The Saddest Place on Earth, enjoy an excerpt:
When I walked into the gas station, I asked
the attendant if he could direct me to the
saddest place on earth. Of course, he said.
It’s that Chinese restaurant at the end of
the strip mall. The one with the mural of
a waterfall and the painting of a castle and
pelicans and Hong Kong. There’s a buffet
at the saddest place on earth, and it only
costs $5.95. I thanked him wholeheartedly
and followed his directions which he’d
carefully written out in tiny letters on the
back of a matchbook with a neon slogan
—That’s Hot! I put the matchbook in my
pocket and referred to it when I needed to
make a turn or when I couldn’t remember
on which side of the street I should be
walking. Street names were hard too.
There were so many and all the names
sounded the same. Every person I passed
on my way to the saddest place on earth
wore a pink tracksuit. Some were just
getting out of their cars. A family of four
stood in front of me. They all had red hair.
They all were fat. Each one was the next
size up in fatness like Russian dolls. They
were mean and apparently trying to block
my path. Someone has to do something.
You can’t let thugs run around this city all
the time. You can’t let them get away with
murder. The youngest in the family had
blood on her elbow. That better not be
your first period, I said. It’s not, she said.
I fell down on the cement. They wanted
ten dollars, and they weren’t budging until
they got it. They wouldn’t even take ten
dollars in quarters. I had a roll of quarters
for laundry, and I was perfectly willing to
give that up. But the hassle of the bank
machine was taking things way too far. I
told the parents they had better pay for
their piano lessons by next week or
something bad would happen to each and
every one of them. I’m superstitious: I will
not walk under ladders or pass on the street
more than five people wearing pink.
What is the world going to do
with so many good parents? Everyone
will be so well adjusted. There’s not going
to be enough jobs for all the people
who can and will do good work.
The Queen Bee from THE SADDEST PLACE ON EARTH
THE SADDEST PLACE ON EARTH is launching in Montreal at Blue Met. with lots of great DC Books poets and writers. Go here for the FB invite and details
Here’s a poem from the collection:
The Queen Bee
The queen bee stomps her foot and puffs up her chest and says what she thinks, and they all agree. Her minions always agree with the queen bee because they’re too afraid not to. They’re too afraid to have an opinion of their own. They’re too afraid of being cast out in the cold. Blacklisted. Because when you don’t agree with the queen bee, she’ll sting you. She’ll sting you real good.
The queen bee has a second in command who does all her biding. She’s an ordinary minion who the queen bee has pulled up the ranks by the scruff of her neck.
The queen bee needs the second in command because the queen bee is too distracted and too important to give her full attention to all matters of concern.
The second in command does not want to be second in command for she is timid and she is shy and doesn’t like anyone barking orders at her because it reminds her of her father who used to yell and throw things.
The queen bee is also known to throw things and have fits that resemble temper tantrums. At times she is insufferable. At times, a monster.
At the very bottom ranks are the thugs who always stir up trouble that send the queen bee into a tizzy. They always say things that are the direct opposite of what she says so she has to find ways of silencing them.
Because she is disorganized and her thoughts all over the place, none of her pronouncements ever lead to any actual change. This, however, always gives her something to complain about but isn’t really all that effective.