Farewell, My Lovelies
Good riddance, alcohol.
Good riddance mary-jane.
Good riddance hashish and uppers and downers.
Good riddance Timothy Leary … we hardly knew ye.
Good riddance to
those bottles of quenching cold ice-cold cottonmouth-inducing beer & ale
and those steins of on-tap room-temp Guinness stout
— it’s good for you the billboard said and the billboard wouldn’t fib.
Good riddance to
those three-finger wrenching shots of Irish whiskey
those two-fingers’ worth of cognac so fuzzy-wuzzy warm & welcoming
those before-during-and-after-dinner tumblers of wine
those joints those pain pills that made life so painless so senseless.
It was fun while it lasted and it lasted a lifetime.
It was fun while it lasted … or was it?
Maybe feeling your idealized extrovert emerge from hiding
and exchange places with your despised ashamed introvert
maybe that was fun
for a few minutes a few hours a few days a few weeks
too many years.
But the jibber-jabber pseudo-intellectual philosophizing …
was that really fun or was it more like third-rate hipster-blowhard shtick?
Was the altered consciousness fun?
Or was it more like
a ground-rattling sky-ripping rip-roaring exploratory NASA blastoff
closely followed by a white-knuckle broken-propeller flight from Fargo to Dubuque
helplessly hopeful for a sooner-the-better safe landing or at least a non-fatal one?
Good riddance, alcohol
despite the lingering seductive bright and bubbly thought
of an occasional celebratory glass of champagne.
Good riddance, marijuana
although that aroma
— somehow simultaneously sweet and acrid —
seeping through your nostrils
while strolling down almost any street in any town these days
that sensuous scent tripping a live wire sparking a nostalgic maze
of moments shimmering
in an autobiographical semi-fictional wholly imaginary
magical-realism alternative-history fantasy-horror haze.
A Chameleon Named Silencio
Silence is golden. Silence is golden?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
Silence can be wise kind discreet
Silence can be awkward
more than a nodding acquaintance
with unkindness injustice evil.
Complexity confusion contradiction
if they be golden then ok so be silence.
Knowing when to speak up when to shut up
— it sounds so easy
but it can be a daily lifelong challenging education
a road cluttered with cobblestoned missteps.
The enlightening silence the fortifying silence
of an early-morning meditation
— there are monks who take vows of silence
speaking the tough tongueless language of transcendence
... or of pointless pious masochism.
some of them grandly glorious
Chaplin, Keaton ...
all that charmingly choreographed wordless slapstick hilarity
all that emoting
all those eyes-wide-raised-eyebrows
all that swooning passion
— much of it truly cinematic art.
But then there’s Birth of a Nation
— a silent poisonous pill of a landmark film
twisting history hideously.
The awful awkward weaponized silences
of the silent treatment — no treat at all —
that can emerge between friends lovers
The ultimate comfort zone of silence
— the trust that can emerge between friends
the knowledge or at least the abiding belief
that there are times
perfectly at-ease moments
when vocal invasion would spoil the moment
would be like space aliens
arriving from a woefully wordy world.
The debilitating haunting silence of loneliness
where emotional thirst & starvation thrive.
The contented nourishing silence of being peacefully alone
— of keeping yourself company ... good contented company.
is a chameleon from the undergrowth
of your innermost jungle
as if it were a hired gun
an inquisitor with a taste for torture
but sometimes ...
sometimes it’s welcomed
like a savior
like a long-lost soulmate.
The Unwoke Wizard of Oz
Gotta think Dorothy is a way more savvy young teenager than that
gullible golly-gee-whiz goody-two-shoes (or goody two ruby slippers)
wide-eyed wonderment role paternalistically imposed upon her.
Gotta think the wildly cackling Wicked Witch of the West
shines as the most intriguing character in the Oz drama and that
the so-called Good Witch nothing but a sweet-tooth-decaying bore.
Repetition of ‘there’s no place like home’ sounds more like
keep-Dorothy-in-her-place brainwashing rather than a comforting mantra
since home offers no parents and a drab farm as depressing as the Depression.
It’s all a dream anyway? Seriously? After all that huffing and puffing
and singing and dancing? After all those menacing monkeys flying around?
Is there a lazier way for Hollywood to revise (or wreck) the original story?
Gotta think it’s Tinseltown misogyny telling Dorothy in fact insisting
she didn’t have the most amazing adventure of her young lifetime ...
that it’s all in her head her adolescent female hyperactive hormonal head ...
Gotta think it’s pure sexist condescension to tell Dorothy
she’s neither heroic nor resourceful and her story and her claims
too fanciful to be believed ... she’s not to be believed. And to get used to it.
And let’s play closer attention to the wiseass wizard behind the curtain
exposed as a gift-of-gab grifter with a philosophy as flimsy as flimflam ...
it would be poetic justice to stick him in a hot-air balloon bound for Kansas.