De profundis

I always have moments of insight of enormous profundity,
and they frequently occur in very ordinary places,
like a supermarket, doctor’s office, parking lot.
Yes, particularly in parking lots.

– James Steerforth (© 2015)

It’s National Poetry Month, and today’s prompt appears to be “Write a poem where your speaker experiences a moment of insight in a very ordinary place, like a supermarket, doctor’s office, parking lot.”

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There they were, sincere businessmen

There they were, sincere businessmen, these uncles of mine, sitting around a table in that yellowed 1950s-style office, smoking their cigars and making decisions about me.

“He does an OK job,” Otto said.
“Usually,” Ernest qualified.
“But his tools are not up to snuff,” Euge diminished.
“He has ambition, though,” Ernest augmented.
“Maybe too much,” Euge reduced.
“Sometimes I can’t remember his name,” Otto said.
He had memory problems occasionally, ever since getting injured in a train bombing during the very last days of the war.
“We should give him work,” Ernest said.
“I’ve got to go. Wife’s waiting,” Otto said.
“I’ll find out what the minimum wage is,” Euge said in conclusion.

– James Steerforth (© 2015)

Disclaimer
Only mostly fictional people were insulted, injured or slandered in the making of this story.

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Slighted again by fate

From the diary of a ducktail pincher

Found the bags under my eyes enlarged when looking in the mirror while brushing teeth at around 7 a.m.
Went back to bed after some hesitation and slept two more hours.
The Italian movie we watched last night didn’t know what it was supposed to be – comedy, satire, drama or just plain overdone stupid. Title something like “The people that are good.”
No-one in there was particularly good except for the hero’s wife (who didn’t get much exposure). Exposure of the bad ones always works better.
Another illustration of the dumbshits in pinstripes theme.
With that fat Italian actor who finally needs to shave his trademark beard and do something about his constant glowering.
Also getting fatter every movie I see him in. The Italian Brando.
Skipped the breakfast bar today on account of getting up so late.
Devised this and even its title before falling back asleep.
Ducktail pinchers are those who clamp the rear of their ducks closed so they won’t lose an egg when they allow the ducks to waddle down to the pond.
Don’t have any ducks, don’t have a pond, never even tasted a duck egg.
It’s a disgrace that we feed on unborn life, isn’t it?
But that’s the way it is on this earth. Even herbivores and vegans feed on their plant victims.
Now that I’ve written down all this imms.ly pertinent stuff it’s time to start something gainful.
Will have to go down for fruit.

– James Steerforth (© 2015)

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Cold, depraved and powerful

“You know what, honey? I’m going to change the hero of my novel.”
“Really?”
“Instead of a cold, depraved and powerful man it’s going to be a cold, depraved and powerful woman.”
“Why’s that?”
“I read somewhere recently that novels with heroines are bound to be more successful these days.”
“I see.”
“I’ve already talked to my agent about it. She said go for it.”
“Ok.”
“The cold and powerful are easy. They go together very well.”
“But not depraved?”
“In fact, I’m not quite sure what depraved really is.”
“I’m sure you’ll find out easily if you take a good look at some of those who are cold and powerful out there in real life.”
He looked at her over the top of his reading glasses where she continued to forcefully knead dough in the kitchenette.
Am I crazy? he thought to himself. There is something weirdly cold and powerful about the way she goes about the dough.
“That’s an idea,” he said.
And continued thinking, But there’s nothing depraved about it, is there? That would be too weird!

– James Steerforth (© 2015)

Woven around the words cold, depraved and powerful from 3WW.

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How I became a junkie

I bought a ticket for the Nova Express,
a ticket that later exploded,
leaving me with neither ticket nor ride.

A little later I had a naked lunch
and was arrested for it.

Much more junk happened to me,
more than I care to reveal right now,
all thanks to Bill Burroughs.

– James Steerforth (© 2014)

Note
This innocent little joyride was inspired by a photo of William S. Burroughs’ most famous four novels side-by-side: Naked Lunch, Nova Express, The Ticket that Exploded and Junkie.

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Were you in …?

Aileen: Were you here in Hiroshima?
Louyguy: Of course I was.
Aileen: Were you also in Nanking?
Louyguy: Yes, I was there too. Many other places as well, all with photogenic names.
Aileen: That’s right. How silly of me.
Louyguy: I was also in Paris, fighting off the war.
Aileen: With Hemingway, right? Lucky for Paris, eh?
Louyguy: Yes.
Aileen: So lucky to know you.

– James Steerforth (© 2014)

Notes
This is a mild persiflage of a shred of dialogue from the film Hiroshima mon amour (1959) by Alain Resnais, script by Marguerite Duras. I have not seen the film but admit to an intense dislike of Duras’ novel of the same title, which I put aside after a few pages, filing it away in memory as a pretentious, blown-up piece of nothing.

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Why the geek slashed the carcass

Not being any kind of geek with a slasher past, this question is not easily answered. The police statement said there was no history of carcass possession, misappropriation or attempted purchase.

Any connection with Jenny Cadaver, a distant cousin, could most certainly also be ruled out.

Who’s going to blow the whistle on James Entwistle, the geek who became known for this ghastly deed?

Now, if the carcass had slashed the geek, that would have caused much more of an uproar in the town of Slanderbach, Ohio.

– James Steerforth (© 2014)

Written around the words geek, slash and carcass from 3WW.

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