Friday, January 28, 2011

Combatwords, January 28, 2011: Waiting For Better Options

Combatwords, January 28, 2011: Waiting For Better Options

I was in the bank today (what, you think poets are banned from entering?) and there was a cute late 20something woman opening an account. She had dyed red hair and a black Oaksterdam University sweatshirt. She took a few looks at me when I wasn't looking & I did the same. When it was my turn, I got the cute teller; a recent college grad. A lithe 1st generation American of Russian origin. We started flirting too. I was terrible today. Anyhow, being the neurotic piece of shit that I am, when she asked me what I was doing this weekend, I said I was working (true, true) and didn't ask her out as she expected. She even fanned out her fingers a few times, as if to prove she wasn't engaged or married. I thought, 'this nice young woman has no clue what a maniac I am, it wouldn't work out between us.' So I kept flirting with her, but really wanted to hit on the stoner redhead. BUT the redhead left before I was done with my transaction. I figured, 'if she really likes me, she'll slowly walk down the street and I might be able to catch up to her and say hi after I leave the bank.' No such luck. Or maybe it's perfect luck, since I am a neurotic mess. So instead of taking the simple and obvious option of having some fun this weekend with some ex-teenage ballerina type, I waited for the weirder, freakier option that never came. But hey, it's ok! The world's overpopulated anyhow; and besides, somebody has to run Combatwords!

So yeah, write about waiting for better options.

ps: or if you prefer, write about your own pathetic dating/luv life.

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 1/31/2011

*NEW* Critique Expiration: 12am PST, 2/2/2011

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 if posted by 10pm PST, 1/28/2011, +1 if posted by 3am PST 1/29/2011, -1 if posted by 6am PST 1/31/2011, -2 if posted by 12pm PST 1/31/2011.

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  1. Come, Run-Away From the Sea [Combatwords Poem, January 28, 2011]

    Life as we know it is supple and bitter;
    Life as we know it is vicious and glitter.
    We look for our lovers in movies,
    At networked computers as psychics,
    Unknowable God in our psyches—
    Our secrets are obvious vices.
    Flows to the heart, ebbs fall apart—we're reaching.
    Blows shall impart hesitant starts—stone to sandy beaching.

  2. night
    on the other side
    the grass is always greener
    each blade sharp sharp clear opened wide
    above ass-ends of cigarettes
    stubbing out words
    in the concrete pouch
    where pools of oil breed white teeth
    pink princesses come round to watch
    blue boys pull on tight jumpsuits
    bulging with veined promises
    firm yet so so soft
    where hoses live in rubber dark
    their hands of grit and grease
    hold back the gasoline drunken night
    on the other side
    where the grass is leaner
    cracked pavement narrow
    with tight shoulders wide
    the girls plump their hips
    their high sex smells like corn in high summer
    as we roll past in a humid two a.m. chill
    windows down
    languid on the dew damp blacktop
    flexing boys flexing huffing chuffing steam
    the tight cloth stretched against
    my breath shallow
    watching watching
    stiff boots on tar strips
    as plasticine princesses of perfection
    mark measure weigh each
    in their polished hands
    my reflection
    on the other side
    where the glass is always

  3. Yeah, yeah...obvious. But it's 3:00 am and the woman next door has her boyfriend over and I hate both of them with a rhythmic passion right now as count the scars on my body.

    Anyhow, I wanted to try CombatWords just once, I like the poetry you guys write here. I normally write tanka and haiku on Twitter.

  4. You are pretty hilariously confident that she stretched out her fingers as if to show you she wasn't married. Ha ha! Yeah, that was probably why she did it. It couldn't possibly be that she was stretching her fingers because they were stiff from punching the adding machine.

  5. Nice one Hiki.

    She said her ex was a real jerk
    That he called her a 'see you next tuesday'
    Her breath brushed over the microphone
    I saw a red flag flutter in the exhaust
    Time kept sneaking up, leaping, and closed the distance
    Putting her on the couch with me
    Her legs lain over mine
    She was complaining about her job
    I was watching the game
    Killing time before dinner with friends
    Where the table is littered with dishes and glasses
    Everyone is talking, except for her
    She is just pushing food around her plate
    Her friend from out of town is wearing big earrings
    They dangle and sway with her head
    Sometimes her hair sweeps over them
    I can still see them sparkle
    And jesus they shine
    When I catch them synching up with her jaw-line
    My eyes roll along the path to her lips
    They are moving, smiling, telling stories
    Just begging to be kissed

  6. Emerald Aisle

    The room swung and I perched
    on the edge of the tub
    to steady myself as you retched
    spurts of mealy gruel into the hopper.
    I held back your hair and murmured reassurances,
    thinking all the while
    of the gorgeous divorcee who’d grabbed my elbow
    to steady herself
    while you were bivouacked in the powder room
    back at the pub.
    As I handed you a towel, I ran down my list:
    your grimace as you scrape the breading from the fish,
    then insist your chips swim in Worshershire sauce.
    Your stand-up, sit-com addictions,
    your Irish culture fixation.
    The Celtic knot bleeding blue across your wide foot.
    The vulgar slap of your flip flops on the tile.
    Where’s that list now when I need it most,
    pickled in Jameson and staring at this photograph
    of you midstride in a grassy field,
    one hand buried in your train, the other in his grasp,
    your veil white as the sky, thrown back
    to reveal your face captured mid-laugh.

  7. Leaving New York

    Walking home, 8:20 PM,
    Friday evening of another long week;
    in New York we measure misery
    in Fahrenheit and empty bottles.
    One hundred eighty two weekends lost,
    and six more to go before I wash off
    this subway grime forever.
    Wednesday’s snow has gone grey
    and the sidewalks are a slush
    puddle slalom and controlled slide.
    Fresh bottle in hand, I watched
    a small boy with his father in tow.
    He ninja kicked his way down the sidewalk,
    superhero joy on his face, oblivious
    to the city and all of its hard edges.
    I wonder if I’m really ready to leave.

    5:30 AM, Insomnia fueled,
    coffee nicotine run in snow flurries
    and a razorblade wind.
    Hopeful young women,
    Saturday nights make-up smeared
    by Sunday morning, stumble out of walk-ups
    toward the subway steps.
    The city spits them out,
    back to Jersey and Long Island,
    like gum chewed past the point flavor.
    New York is a ponzi scheme of promise,
    reliant on wide eyes and fresh blood.
    In the shelter of a doorway I lit my first
    and watched the sun gradually
    burn its way across Twenty Third Street.
    I wonder if I’m really ready
    for a lifetime of sunsets.