Sunday, February 13, 2011

Private First Class

Private First Class
                                               for CRS

*

One morning I wake up with a racehorse’s bladder
And an urgent request from headquarters to get my butt
Over to the office where everything nobody really gets
Gets talked about in a communally rational way while I

Am doing as told and mostly don’t even need to have
Any breath wasted on being told what to do because I
Can sense it like a snake without any magic just being
On the very bottom gives you the observation skills

You need when the world’s weight above your head
Threatens to flatten you like an ant if you don’t move
And so move I do and with a spark in my ass I get going
Right on time to find out what all last week’s grumbling

Portends for this week and well it ain’t in the least gonna
Be pretty but you know how a man’s got to do what men
Do when it isn’t pretty which shouldn’t come as a shock
To any man alive who loves ugly deep inside his pretty

The way pretty things and ugly things can bare their teeth
Growling and fight to the death over a nose or a little mole
On a neck or above the corner of an upper lip or even an ear-
Lobe’s cuneiform shape and the crustacean it resembles

Is plenty to get everyone started in on how much seed’s
Fallen down the floorboard cracks and why some
Feathers are just better on the eyes than others though sure
We mean mind when we say eyes but it’s easier blaming

It on the light outside instead of inside where there might
Be no light at all notwithstanding the suspect occupation
Occurring from one tip of the bodysack to the other
Which is probably exactly why headquarters called me in

*

How exactly headquarters called me in is probably not
How headquarters normally calls in someone with usually
The smallest brain around if you count most of the people
Involved with the kind of thinking related to headquarters

I mean it’s not called hindquarters because of the types
Of thoughts that occur in abundance when the members
Of the relevant departments join hands to decide what 
To do in the face of an emergency such as the one I was

Looking forward to hearing the solution for even though
I know that it’s not easy to talk about something new
And then expect the old thing to agree to all the things
You think should be implemented just to get started

On the really tenacious problem which is inordinately
Colossal or no one would have decided to gather everyone
In one room to exchange expert views about what we think
Is probably the most immediate problem as it stands at this

Particularly dicey moment when observed with a cold eye
And a real sincere commitment to achieving the very real
Goal we set of pulling emergencies back from emergency
Status a little less incendiarily suggestive of really horrible

Things not immediately resolvable given our current reliable
Technology and information that inevitably gets battered
Around so much you can’t recognize it though it was you
Who sent it round in the first place thinking duty first then

Worry about whether or not you left clean water in the bowl
And if the mailman comes with the package where’s he going
To stick it when you’re always at headquarters solving some
Of the most intractable problems the world has ever known

*

Facing the world with the most intractable problems ever
Is one of those things you just have to bite the bullet on
Or try explaining to someone why you didn’t and they’ll
Laugh you right back to where you came from and look

For someone else to bite the thing and pronto because
The longer it takes to find someone who has the power
Of the bite to begin with and the personal integrity second
Just to consider the task itself without certain guarantees

Is like nothing asked of anyone else at any time in the history
Of human beings you can be sure of that by simply looking
Inside yourself and saying honestly that if you were given
The monumental task as you understand it at this juncture

You’d have to decline just like I would and so would he
And there’s absolutely no shame at all in your decision which
In fact would be anybody’s choice under similar conditions
Such as you find yourself in when headquarters panics

And rings up everyone rousing them from bed and forcing
Them to come running with their clipboards and folders
Tucked under their arms like they used to tuck riding crops
So while otherwise generally doing nothing but pacing

They’d have something to do with at least the one hand
Which is already half the battle keeping the dark knight
Limited to just one if you can’t find any use for it
While he’s out on the hunt for those idle fingers and fists

That should be busy as hell fixing the current problem
That arose when the hands previously in charge couldn’t
Keep themselves happy without having a feel around
In the dark for something hard to hold in their other hands

*

Other hands are exactly what we’re trying to get on deck
Before this ship starts listing so far starboard that the sea
Hoses in through the little cameo portholes which might
Represent one of the real ur-probs when you’re really

Trying to get a bead on where exactly you should focus all
Your energy-vision and that of the people hereby summoned
To headquarters for frank round-table airings of potential
Solutions to the problems that so far seem to be very

Much in the fabric though perhaps not eternally so given
The problem-solvers being rounded up while I myself
Was going like you only have to go after a fourth of July
Bash or Saint Patrick’s day parade floating on green beer

Down the hometown avenue you did your best to forget
When the very problems you face today at headquarters
Seem so trivial compared to the problems in high school
You and your buddies went around the concrete schoolyard

Starting so everyone boohooed for a powwow after fifth
Period in the parking lot right behind Dave’s red Camaro
In the corner where the basketball court has a big chunk
Of asphalt missing that Mike threw at Mr Passoni’s Fiat

For making him stand in class and solve a word problem
Knowing full well that Mike couldn’t read or multiply
And that all things considered having a chunk of asphalt
Crash through your windshield was a flukey problem

That could have been much worse had teach Passoni
Been driving at the time which was actually proven
Sort of a year later when he allegedly starting crying
About his life and job and drove off a cliff into the drink

*

My life and job which doesn't include drinking which
I don’t mind saying is the worst possible trap you
Could fall into with all its problems stretching out like
Elastic bands and get the people you love entangled

Like flies in the web of a scary staggering spider
That stings one day and then tries to tuck you in as if
Tomorrow’s the end of the world in a pre-emptive
Head-fake in case the Judge gets any ideas regarding

His up to now and then rather wishy-washy devotion
To the right method which he knows and everyone
Else knows without having to consult the home for
Little wanderer books of right and wrong or any other

He said she said attempt to throw sand in the eyes
Of all concerned in the same way as our enemies
Whoever they are and make no mistake there are many
Who hate us and love us and would kill us and feed us

If we were really hungry like you see sometimes
In photos from the wars of times past when there’s
Nothing left but piles of rubble with charred girders
Sticking up like the fingers of hastily buried bodies

And old people walking in slo-motion behind wagons
Pulled by halfblind emaciated donkeys and bloody dogs
With their paralyzed tails curled into shock-alert antenna
Darting between the wheels and hooves and checking

All the suspicious packages just like we’ve been doing
These last years when it’s now possible to be called right
Out of the blue to get your ass to HQ because of a problem
And it’s big and we need everyone together to solve it

*

Everyone together today is seriously bigger than ever
Before when mobs occurred for whatever mobish reason
To discuss the fate of humanity and the speed for travel
And best roads to paradise without excessive sightseeing

Along the way to give the problems more time to grow
And the people who are really in the business a chance
For a breather from all that problem-solving doggedness
Required if even the bare minimum of problems is to be

Solved or at least to find a method to tackle the things
Head-on because it makes no sense two-stepping around
The coffee-table while grandma and grandpa clap away
Their final hours in proud dissolution while everyone

Else there just roles his eyes and increases her orders
For more of the old hope since there’s nothing like hope
When combined with that instantaneous sparkling
In the loins desirous of now and whatever incidental

Tomorrows result will be ok or not ok mainly depending
On your particular genetic cache which could very well be
What finally sets the whole world off on a second Big Bang
Just by showing up in the résumé of some far-flung off-

Spring put together to guarantee his use of military funds
Has its civilian side like curing cancer and helping people
With lots of personalities find bigger accommodations
In a world decidedly more shrunken by the day although

Wars and disease and poisonous goodies claim multitudes
Of people yet it’s hard to keep track because no one really
Wants to count them all up and take the credit for saving
The world while working inside to practically kill it off

*

Working inside unless you are a germ or parasite to kill
The bad guys is not really the best choice for us humans
Who I admit are no more than wood-ticks fattening while
Awaiting some errant branch or a good sound crushing

Against the bark of a scratchy knotty genus somewhere
In a backwoods moose-stop or take a plain old one-eyed
Dog on the corner of another typically sad example
Of good life America scraping you off with his gutter

Paws and pissing on the blood-splat that’s all that’s left
Of all those earnest bloodsucking body-ballooning years
With your head buried to the shoulders in flesh and now
Merely a mention by one of headquarters’ finest who still

Lets his dog sleep with him if he doesn’t snore too loudly
And only after he’s actually fallen asleep himself as not to
Disturb his dream montage which might as well contain
The very out-of-the-box he was to sleep on before reporting

Back on whether it’s viable or just a perhaps and a maybe
Or on a scale from one to ten would he give a B+ or an A-
Don’t even mention the grade C which is so hard to accept
After hearing all the other people’s opinions about how

Great we are and then to show it to our mom’s family who
Were totally convinced when we started forming at 3 months
That we’d eventually run the world and do a lot of good
Celebrity things like add our names and faces to anonymous

Money while making a lot of money and taking care of them
By paying off their mortgages and setting up little trusts
For them to feed off until everything they’ve known suddenly
Reveals itself as the very problem that we’re trying to solve

*

The problem we’re solving is the one that needs addressing
In the most expeditious fashion if problem-solving is what
We agree is the first order of business without creating any
Newer smaller problems which are quite destructive in how

They appear as soon as the core problem is recognized as one
For which there’s no time to waste thus setting off the problems
Related to who gets called on and can they form that collective
Great teamworker harmony necessary for better and best of all

Or will they fall to their usual bickering and silly cock-fights
To see who ends up in the library and who toothless in the gutter
While the rest of us prevented by the law from doing anything
To help ourselves I guess have to wait for the pre-problems

To work themselves out before the big one gets any attention
And even though it’s suicide to fist-fight in a liferaft they
Can’t help themselves knowing that they’ll perish anyway
Why not take the son of a bitch whose been fucking with you

Even if all we other survivors are left lurching side to side
And then tossed overboard which solves their entire problem
While creating one for us that can only be described by invoking
A deep black-gray valley that becomes a rolling mountain you

Ride until of course you have a very human reaction one day
Treading the surface with the sun’s hot needle drilling down
Into your forehead mere inches from the surface or raindrops
Exploding beneath your nostrils and splattering with jetforce

Shooting an ocean into your sinuses which pretty much is when 
You know you can’t really tolerate the sky getting any smaller
And then spreading itself out again where other people are alive
And have no problems so you just all at once let go of your own

*

Some problems can't be solved and it would even be foolish
To try because they're probably not even the problems
That grow like moss on old unplowed problems like dung
Brings new life into being even if it has to be categorized

By labeling it as a problem you still can’t really argue
With its newness if not its originality like a machine with
So many glitches that every one of the items it produces
Has its own peculiar imperfections that truly set it apart

From the other items or spoons if you prefer a visual
And it’s these flaws that ensure that each is one of a kind
Which is not a bad position to take if you were trying to say
That your flaws were necessary to give you that antique

Quality you couldn’t achieve without being a special kind
Of jerk and though uncanny that’s how life itself tries
To reconcile opposites or just paints one thing in the colors
Of another as a way to cheat us of our place in the whole

Problem-problem until we run out of time at the conclusion
Of our personal me I myself pebble grain feather bubble
Of a nothing’s appearance like a jackdaw suddenly flying
Off while strafing a rusted plow-wheel with a multi-colored

Turd and nothing in the universe could have stopped it
From being articulated actuated when exactly where it took
Place and for whatever unfathomable reason that so many
Doubt will be plumbed even after that selfsame from above

Passes to that alleged posterior beyond this but resembling
This if only in the fact that both have to be imagined and that
Pretty much leaves us all with problems that might not be
Problems in the end if not even the world in which it has

*

Become problematic is real or true or genuine or actual
And so the call that woke me and got me all flustered
Before breakfast was one of those hurry up right now
Get over here because if you don’t Ursula Minor's going

To collide with Sagittarius and the whole left side
Of the Cosmos is going to collapse from the gravitational
Impact of the planetary entities disintegrating like the heads
Of dandelions before summer makes its smarmy arrival

Like me at headquarters where the old situation-room to save
Money for a brand new Hollywood bomb was divided by 20
And sold off to other enterprises that actually make things
And pay the rent and so that’s why it’s been so hard to focus

With the walls pressing my cheeks and the ceiling bending
Me forward while I try working on the immediate problem
Of not really being able to turn around or see a window
Even though I remember I was the one who got the window'

Sunlight for the little markings and scratchings on the maps
I need to memorize so I can tell the guys up of me where 
Exactly the problem is and even sometimes how it came to be
Though in this situation that was out of the question with me

Apparently the only one they called in to fix the problem
Whose nature  no one at headquarters knew or wanted to
Outline though I can’t really blame them since last time they 
Were called to work and sat at the long headquarter table

Weeping with their heads in their hands and tracing their medals
On official stationary while some chewed the brand-names off
Their pencils after dulling the points writing notes to memos
Tips to Identify and Effectively Deal with Future Problems

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