Persistent Poetry

by G.T.

People who know my phone number are less likely to respond than people who don’t know my number. That’s one observation in the eighth day of this project of sorts. Those who know my number probably say something like, “George? I never did like that guy”, or, “This is the best crafted drunk text that I’ve ever received”.
Another observation I’ve realized through this project is my own lack of persistence. I’m already feeling like this text poetry is old, yet I have enough numbers to carry this on for the rest of September and long into October. Looking back, my lack of persistence is evident everywhere. Extracurricular activities in high school. Sure I was the top ranked chess player in the school, but I didn’t care to compete after one year. The best part about it was that nobody surpassed my school rating, so even though I didn’t compete, I was still number one in the school. Still, it was no excuse to up and leave the team like I had done.
My awful persistence is even present when I write. Work on something for a day or two, and move on to something else. For every one completed story, there’s about eight to ten unfinished pieces sitting around in notebooks and on my computer. My self discipline needs some discipline. Sticking to this project should help. Here’s some more poetry for friends and strangers.

Davyd J. (202) – Pledge brother in my fraternity. Architecture student. Wears a beard. We had a lot in common at one time in our lives. Every occasion I see him, there’s some form of physical damage happening to him. Sprained ankle, vomiting into trash cans between beer pong turns, to the latest incident, which involved me. A few weeks ago, I had stopped at the fraternity to say a quick hello, because I park my car there for my little comedy sketch job. Upon seeing me, Davyd jumps toward me for a rather aggresive hug. He grabs hold of me, but I, unable to bear his weight, fell forward onto a brick wall. I guess I was fortunate, because Davyd’s head had cushioned the impact for me. I stood up without a scratch, whereas Davyd remained keeled over, likely in the beginning stages of blacking out. At 10:28am.

“Brief unconsciousness.
Fainted and no longer
present. A blur of
no recollection,
no image or
memory, so he
looks back at the scars
and ulcers that are his past.”

I know that Davyd hasn’t changed his number, but like I said, people who know me must expect this or something. No response. Perhaps a little birdie is spreading the word about this project, and nobody feels comfortable responding. I thought that if the word was spread, people would be more inclined to reply.

Ed M. (708) – High school pal. Spoke to him recently about an aquarium that he was setting up. Gave him some advice on what types of fish are well suited for a ten gallon. That reminds me, I need to clean my aquarium. Again, it’s that poor persistence of mine. At 10:46am.

“The guppies are
the first to be
devoured by
the bigger fish we
all know are there.
Staring into
the glass, you switch
focus. Where do
I fit into this
menagerie?”

Now Ed had a vague idea that I was up to something, because I had spoken with him on the drunken night that I got the idea to write poetry to everybody who despises me and the few who like me. I didn’t say what the idea was, only that, “I drank wine and thought of an idea.” But no response from him, either.

Ed N. (708) – Another Ed. Another high school pal. I asked the previous Ed for this Ed’s number the night that I had this idea. I’ve lost touch with Ed N., and thought that sending a poem his way would be a good gesture. I remember him being a big fan of pirate culture, or whatever the hell you want to call it. At 11:21am.

“Mediterranean
dreams of maidens
smelling of rum
smuggled into
Old World ports.
Love only
the dead and
their rogue
civility,
for the living
have yet to be.”

The only real challenge of these poems is getting a point across in fewer than 160 characters, and still making it sound cool. I think I did well on this one. I’m just sayin’.

11:56am, Ed: “You’ve got the wrong number”

I thought of replying, “Sorry, matey.”, but dismissed that idea. What if it wasn’t Ed? Calling this person ‘matey’ would be weird. Not as weird as sending people poetry, especially to strangers, but weird in a way that even I wouldn’t do it. If that makes sense.

1:46pm, Me: “My mistake. I thought this was Ed.”

1:46pm, Ed: “Yes it is. Who is this?”

Maybe my poem wasn’t “pirate” enough. Thinking about it, I’d have to say yes. It has more of a realistic pirate-ness, rather than the socially acceptable, cartoonish pirate-ness.

1:49pm, Me: “Why the hell would you think a pirate poem sent to you is a wrong number? Oops, sorry mister, I thought I was texting Captain Morgan.”

1:50pm, Ed: “Whoa ok. I liked the poem. But again who is this?”

Now I know how to coerce people into saying that they like my poetry. I’ll appear furious via text messaging.

1:53pm, Me: “George. I recall you being a fan of pirates, and since I’m writing poems to every damn # in my cell phone, I thought I’d send you a poem about pirates.”

1:59pm, Ed: “AH! How the hell have you been?”

Another reunion. Score!

2:01pm, Me: “A little of this and a little of that. And youself?”

2:02pm, Ed: “Busy as hell at Purdue”

2:02pm, Ed: “Mechanical engineering”

2:04pm, Me: “No way. You must’ve changed majors? I recall you pursuing radio, or a career in radio.”

2:05pm, Ed: “Ya advertising and marketing. I missed the science.”

2:08pm, Me: “Well that should certainly keep you busy. Have you eaten at Nine Irish Brothers? Good beef stew.”

Great Irish restaurant not far from Purdue, in West Lafayette. Cool atmosphere, too. Although I’m not a fan of the foot tall stools at some of the tables that are so low I could use my knees as plate holders.

2:08pm, Ed: “They know me to well there”

2:11pm, Ed: “In fact I think we need to get together and have a drink sometime there.”

The first thought in my mind when I first ate at Nine Irish Brothers was, “Too bad I’m not twenty-one”. There’s so much ale and whisky at that place, all of their entrées are cooked with at least a pint of Guiness.

2:12pm, Me: “I think that’s a fine idea.”

One of these days, hopefully in the next couple of months, I can make it East bound and catch up with Ed. With promises of plenty of beer and good laughs, I just might be able to improve my persistence afterall.