I’ve stared at that word for quite a while now wondering what I should write about it. And all I have is that I’m positive I don’t have anything good to say.
I thought I should perhaps, write something slightly more upbeat than my last few poems. They’ve been somewhat down in the dumps and I should try to bring a little positivity into our lives.
But then life, being what it is, seems to get in the way and my patience for the general incomprehensible nonsense overflowing from the bowels of humanity makes me lift my feet up, trying to avoid each miserable puddle to miserable puddle like a child splashing through the street after the rain.
Avoiding all the muckity-muck as best as I can, while whispering the most profane of curses and swears. In the vilest way, I swear and grumble in streams of rage and impatience. At the endless masochism puddled in my path.
Positivity. Be positive.
“You look nice today,” I say.
Art: Girl looking into a mirror Pierre-Auguste Renoir
I was pondering the relevance of the Ancient Gods and Goddesses of myth on my drive into work this morning. And how those ancient beliefs fall in line with the contradictions within the human condition.
Zeus at least, was presented as a morally corrupt and contrasting figure of an all powerful deity. He was flawed, thus excusing man’s flaws.
God though, the Christian, Jewish God, is infallible. A perfect being without error, directing the compass of destiny through just means.
Disease, viruses, sickness, famine, plague, war, etc., all created through God’s creation. Yet it’s all part of a plan. A plan based around a predeterminate free-will.
I propound the antique belief in the Ancient panoply of Gods is akin to believing in some level of modern moral turpitude. A paradox.
God is good. God makes man. Man makes sin. Man destroys God. God destroys man. Is God good? Is Man good?
Is believing in a Minitour or Centaur any different than believing a vaccine is unsafe or that there’s some sort of microchip in their designed to… I don’t even know, Is there any difference?
Are human beings so easily taunted by myth we’re not capable of seeing through it, seeing them as just stories, and we just writhe in the agony of misinformation and arrogant contradiction?
I should just focus on my drive into work. I don’t want to miss my exit and there’s a lot of stuff to do on my desk. This is not a Labyrinth.
No, is what I said. No, not right now. No, I’m not interested. No, I don’t like that. No, just… No.
No, is a tough word to hear, for most people. They take it personally when told, “No”. People would rather say anything else than say the word, “No.”
No. It works for me. Do you want this Pill? No. Do you want to go swimming? No. Do you want me to make you lunch? No. Well, what are you making? Ick, No.
I’m okay with hearing no too. Do you love me? No? Okay. Do you want to hear this haiku? No? Okay. Do you want peppers on your sandwich? No? Okay. Do you ever see yourself being in love with me? No? Okay.
No is just alright. It’s clear. It’s unambiguous. It is direct and commonly appropriate. No is reliable. No is real.
No doesn’t coddle you or fill you with false anticipation. It’s done with you in two letters, N-O. That’s it.
Until the right Yes person comes along. The Yes person to take those specific and concrete No’s and turn them into sweet honey that tingles the tongue into blissful acquiescence.
All my No’s are really just waiting, for the right person who’ll turn all my No’s into Yes’s. A Yes man. For a Yes woman.
The ice cream melted on the kitchen counter. Doris never had the chance to put it back into the freezer before she died. The strawberry ice cream dripped and leaked, puddled and pooled, across the counter and steadily dripped onto the cold linoleum in gooey globs. Doris didn’t know. She was dead. The ice cream that pooled in her hair and splashed in small drops on her face were of no matter.
Doris of Ivy Lane. Doris of The Prairie School for the Gifted. Doris of Allen County’s Concert Pianist Society, was dead. She wasn’t really a fan of ice cream either. She had only bought it for her granddaughter who was obsessed with it. Doris only ate orange sorbet; in delicately small spoonfuls. To match her petite features.
Doris on her yellow kitchen floor. In a puddle of sticky, congealing strawberry ice cream. The coroner and medical examiners would have a field day with her poor body. All sticky and icky with old ice cream in the week she’d be there. Ants would somehow find her first and start their harvesting of all the sugary goodness encasing her body. For now, she was still just there. A sticky corpse unknown to anyone walking by her house, dropping off her mail, or calling to ask about the charity auction for next month. Doris’ life, left for someone else to discover, to tell.
Doris, dancing barefoot in patches of moonlight while Steven drank red wine from the bottle and smoked. He waxed philosophically about life and everyone’s inevitable demise and the poetry of all things. Doris, at 23, was so impressed by Steven and his 27-year-old wisdom. He was so cool and sexy. Tall and muscular. She danced barefoot for him in the moonlight because she thought he loved her. Which he didn’t, but it was 1968 and everyone thought they were Alan Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac or James Dean, even though James Dean had been dead for 13 years by then. It was all about the, “poetry of love, baby,” Steven would say as he pulled her close to kiss her.
Doris, dead on her kitchen floor. She’d joined them all now. Alan, Jack and even Steven had passed some years back. She had her fling with Steven, who had gone into aeronautics or something and never got to be the Hep Poetry Cat he wanted to be in New York Cafes, encircled in cigarette smoke and bongo music. Doris heard he died while jogging up a hill, talking on a Cell phone about propellers or something. Doris had shaken her head when she heard, remembered that strange night of love-making and “tsk’d”, the way people do when a memory like that pops into the head.
Doris had always felt that she was more Kerouac anyway. She played the piano. She liked jazz. She understood the mood piano music could inspire. She loved paying. She played in school. She played on a few records. She played at the community center for the old folks. She followed through on her beatnik dreams as it were, unlike so many of the men who thought themselves beat poets and artistic types, when after all they really were just spoiled white boys.
Doris’ lifeless eyes were open, staring at the edges of her kitchen cabinets. Dilated and fixed, her eyes, hazing over. Eyes that witnessed the rapid changes of society, that petered out at the last minute, leaving so many unfulfilled and disappointed. If they could look sad, they would. Doris’ friends had only recently commented on how tired she looked these days. She’d brush them off, saying she was just fine.
The week passed with Doris on the floor, covered and coated in the pink hue of Strawberry Ice cream, before her daughter finally came by to check on her. Doris would have been embarrassed by the mournful wails of her daughter, but it was probably alright. These things happen.