The Procrasti Nation

I am part of the Procrasti,
Which is the designation
Of the patriotic put-it-offers,
The proud Procrasti Nation.
There’s no task that a Procrast,
Cannot put off till later.
I have a much more pressing matter,
One that cannot wait, like…
Looking up the words that rhyme,
With procrastinate.
Abbreviate, attrition rate,
Evaporate, equivocate.
Such procrastination bliss!
I’m doing it right now,
As I’m writing this.
But, alas, this Procrast,
Must get back to work again.
The putting it off comes to an end.

STFUD: Junior Edition

*sigh*

I know I shouldn’t allow myself to be triggered by anything a Trump says. By now we should all be used to the barrage of meltdowns. And the asininity, cretinism, and derangement. And the fatuousness, and foolishness. And the inanity, insipidity, and tomfoolery (thank you online Thesaurus) delivered to us daily from this sham of a presidency.

But sometimes, even now, one of them says something so utterly beyond idiotic it almost defies description. Something so astoundingly and tragically stupid (to paraphrase the world’s greatest film critic, Mr. Cranky) that it ruptures the very fabric of space and time with the sheer overpowering force of its idiocy. It happened a few days ago, but I was in the middle of writing a paper and too busy to acknowledge it beyond sharing the link on my Facebook page with a carefully-worded caption.

IMG_1550415967823

Junior was the opener for his father’s speech in El Paso, Texas, a border town that Trump likes to insist is in a state of crisis, inundated with crime, and over-run with illegal immigrants, despite the residents saying that everything is rather fine, thank you now fuck off. During his opening monologue, for some reason Junior brought up the ‘S’ word: socialism.

“You know what I love? I love seeing some young conservatives because I know it’s not easy. Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don’t have to do it. Because you can think for yourselves. They can’t.”

[fakenews]Immediately after reading his remarks, I felt a surge of panic. Oh shit, I thought. He knows! Our nefarious plan for world domination through the subtle brainwashing of American children with socialism has been found out, despite our best efforts to conceal it. Holy crap, we really are losers! But stay strong, comrades. We will regroup.[/fakenews]

What really happened was that I felt my eyes rolling back so painfully hard, I almost fell off my hair. Really, Junior? REALLY? Is that the best you can do? I mean it’s so cute how he thinks that calling teachers “losers” is a real zinger. We are sophisticated battle-hardened warriors. I myself spent years dealing with the hormone-driven antics of thirteen year-olds, most of whom had more maturity in their little fingers than you have in your entire slicked-back-hair, fake-tanned body.

I pity your wife. I pity your children. They will grow up to be just like you.

There is something very wrong with US

He’d rather vent,
And sulk,
When he’s angry or frustrated.

‘Cause being president,
Is difficult,
And often complicated.

But he did not run for president,
To fight for human rights,
He ran for bragging rights.
And with our allies, pick some fights.

He did not run for president,
To lead or represent us,
But to throw us under the bus.

He ran not to preside over us,
But simply to ride over us.

Meaning

What does it all mean?
I work at an art gallery,
And I get asked this all the time.
But I’m neither a theologian,
Nor a philosopher.
I’m just an artist.
More like a doodler.
I draw pictures of faerie folk,
Mermaids, elves, fantasy figures.
Some of it was displayed at the gallery.
People asked me what it meant,
But my work is not particularly meaningful.
I suppose it means I have too much time on my hands.
It’s hard enough talking about the meaning,
Of my own work.
Let alone, the work of other artists.
They’re asking the wrong question, anyway.
Like Deep Thought pondering the answer,
To Life, the Universe, Everything,
For countless centuries,
And producing the answer, 42.
I can’t really tell you what art means,
But I can tell you what it does.
It gives us something to do.
Artists make it and you come to see it.
It provokes a reaction.
Indignation:
“My kindergartner could have done a better job.”
Most often, confusion:
“What the hell does this even mean?”
“Why is this so special?”
“Why is this garbage even here??!!”
I know the answer,
But the answer is boring.
It’s not the answer you want, anyway.
I usually just say,
“Well…that’s open to interpretation.”

A Tiny Trace of Her

Urn

“It all comes down to that.”

Four pounds of pulverized and fragmented pieces of bone.
Packed in a plastic bag labeled with the coroner’s information about the contents.

A plastic bag tied with a rubber band.

Several tiny delicate urns had been prepared, each about three inches high, each containing a small bag of grandma’s ashes. Keepsakes for me and my siblings, my cousins, my mother, and my uncles.

My brother saw those urns lined up on the beautiful antique tea cart in our mother’s living room. The tea cart that had once been grandma’s.

He said those words above, and turned his face away. His cheeks were wet with tears. My amazingly tough and strong brother wept at the sight of those tiny urns.

A larger box containing the remainder of grandma’s ashes will be scattered over family land in Colorado.

Mom showed them to me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to look at them, but I did. I poked at the bag with my finger.

They didn’t feel like ashes at all. They were hard and granular, like sand flecked with with small bits of white bone.

“It all comes down to that.”

Grandma was the granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants from the west coast city of Bergen. She once journeyed there, along with my mother and cousin, to trace her family roots. She found her grandfather’s name in a church registry.

One day I will go there, to scatter my portion of her ashes. A tiny trace of her, delivered back to her ancestral home.

For now, however, grandma is with me.

Inside or Outside, Can’t Decide

I am a little cat.
I like to sleep,
On the doormat.
So I’m always ready,
Should the door be opened,
To go outside,
Or stay inside.
I am a little cat,
And I like to stare,
Out of the window,
While meowing,
Open this window!
It is imperative,
That the window be opened,
Forthwith, human!
So I can decide,
To go outside,
Or not go outside,
Or stay inside,
Or not stay inside,
Or decide,
To not decide,
To go outside,
Or stay inside.

In any case,
The window needs,
To stay open,
Until I decide,
To decide.

Hardcore Grandma

About five years ago, I sat in my mom’s cubicle at the Arcadia office of the Fish and Wildlife Service and wrote this down in a leather bound journal:

She’s not the average grandma. As I approach my forties, she’s still alive and kicking, although not as high as she used to. When I was little we would make jam and cookies. She’d curl my stubbornly straight hair with steam curlers, and we eat cheese and crackers and drink Constant Comment tea. Now hot water has turned to wine, and we have adult conversations over glasses of chilled Pinot Grigio. She tells me about her high school days in the 1940s. She shows me a photo of her in her knee-length song leader skirt, one knee raised, and both hands gripping enormous crepe paper pom poms. The picture perfect All American girl.

She was a real stunner then, and was still as glamorous as a movie star well into her 50s and 60s. More pictures reveal her older, married, pregnant, her head piled high with Betty Grable curls. When I ooh and ahh over how beautiful she looked in a bathing suit, she chuckles with embarrassment or maybe sadness, that she no longer has the figure of a pin-up girl.

She hates being old. Not that anyone actually loves it, but she really, really hates it. She hates having to wear glasses after a lifetime of 20-20 vision. She can no longer wear high heels due to her feet being damaged from years of wearing too-tight shoes. She rejects computers and hates sending emails, but she’s nevertheless a modern woman. She lives a quiet life now, a lonely life. Though she still drives herself around in her Honda CRV, uses her cell phone, and reads books on an Amazon Kindle.

During one of our last shopping trips together, she couldn’t get her handbag open. The zipper was hopelessly stuck and neither of our best efforts could budge it. So she asked the cashier for a pair of scissors and proceeded to cut open her purse to retrieve her wallet. We laughed and laughed as she performed this emergency wallet C-section. The cashier looked at us like we were nuts.

“I’m not the average grandmother.” She said.

Indeed not.

“Grandma, you are hardcore.”

Station Birdies

Little bitty station birdies,
Fly to and fro while people scurry
To their platforms, in a hurry.
If you see one, you might worry.
Little bitty station birdies,
No need to worry where they went,
If they flew in by accident.
Through a door or through a vent.
Little bitty station birdies,
Are not here by happenstance.
They do their happy birdie dance,
And nest inside the hanging plants.
Little bitty station birdies,
Live in the station house, you see.
Not out in the cold, not in a tree.
There’s no place they’d rather be.