Madness.

by G.T.

There was no poetry sent to anybody yesterday. I needed to sit back and write, away from internet, away from the distractions. This afternoon, I had to check myself after commenting on somebody’s Facebook status, who happened to be somebody I barely know. Their status was, “It was all a dream.”, to which I commented, “I used to read WordUp magazine, Salt ‘n Pepa & Heavy D up in the limosine.” I’ve become so ensconced in being on the internet and staring at other people’s statuses and photos and all the pointless things they say that I quoted a lyric from Notorious B.I.G. I considered not sending any poetry today either, and holding off until tomorrow. Social networking, however useful and modern and happy-happy, disgusts me to an extent. I offer it no more credit than being a major distraction. I was discussing this with another writer last week, how the internet and networking and all the other crap just removes us from what we should be doing. In our cases, that was writing. I even notice this on other blogs by writers. Should be writing, should be writing, should be writing, but you’re not. You’re blogging. It is a new addiction, and it almost instilled into people as an instinct. Checking the email, viewing this and that. Who commented on who’s photo and I’m going to ‘like’ this writer who made something of themselves because they spent time writing and not ‘liking’ their friend’s vacation photos. Yesterday, I didn’t feel like texting poetry, I felt like putting pen to paper and writing whatever the fuck I pleased. The classic way and the way I prefer.

Yesterday was a shitty day in and of itself. After writing about Lang Lee’s and how sometime soon, that restaurant will be a long gone memory, I just laid in bed and thought of sitting in one of those dimly lit booths, like I descibed in that post. A silver platter of General Tso’s Chicken, or Beef Almond Ding, and a cold Lee’s Paradise, and a pot of tea for my almond cookies. Alone, reading the Chinese Zodiac placemat. There’s no need for a computer. I’ll write on a napkin for Chrissakes. I’ll also take a bowl of won ton soup with freshly diced chives.

Of course that was but a dream concocted out of my own conscious and half-way to unstable mindstate. My friend, Aug, called me in the afternoon, and asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat with him. He wanted Taco Bell. I chose a table in the middle of the restaurant and ate something terrible, something that tastes exactly like this several hundred miles in every direction, and listened to Aug’s student teaching stories and how he is slowly being reminded of every minute detail about high school that we never liked, or in other words, never took for what it was worth.

Jeremy V. (815) – Back in high school, Jeremy and I were on competing Scholastic Bowl teams. For those of you who aren’t aware of Scholastic Bowl, it’s like Jeopardy, but with ten students: five vs. five. Good enough? So we unofficially met as opponents in high school. Later, by total coincidence, we ended up at IIT, and in the same fraternity, as pledge brothers. He left to pursue a career in law enforcement, or something like that, so says the grape vine. There is a rather embarrassing experience involving the two of us, but that’s best kept under a different veil other than the one that was torn in this poem. At 1:50pm.

“Temptation, our
desperation
and appetite
wielding a knife
that tears apart
our opaque veil
of composure
is best torn down
the middle in
windowless rooms.”

1:53pm, Jeremy: “What? Who is this”

You know, they should create a text slang to stand for ‘who is this’. As far as this project has been going, it’s used often enough.

1:59pm, Me: “Everybody asks who I am. I’m tired of it, Jeremy. Read the poem and let it sink in. It applies to us all in some form.”

And if that isn’t true. Shit.

2:01pm, Jeremy: “I like it. I just wanted to know who wrote it”

Jeremy called me twice, clearly very intent on figuring out who I was. However, I was enthralled in an episode of Intervention, watching two married porn stars arguing over the meth addiction of whom one was suffering. Okay, he’s going to treatment.

2:38pm, Me: “It’s George.”

2:39pm, Jeremy: “Morman?”

Again, there’s two N’s. And my last name is not like the religion, which happens to be another popular spelling variation of my name among people who hardly know me anymore.

3:17pm, Me: “Yes.”

Joel M. (563) – Now I learned the hard way two years ago that this is no longer Joel’s phone number. I sent a text message to this number, thinking it was Joel, but instead pissed off some random person in Iowa who had been receiving text messages asking for Joel. Whoever it was, they began barraging my phone with ‘fuck you’ and ‘motherfucker fuck off’ via text. Really, I found it a bit excessive, even for my tastes. Well here’s a poem, asshole. At 2:05pm.

“Piss coloured
corn fields and
photographs
of other
exciting
landscapes make
us vulgar
and mundane,
because we
see beauty
in all that
is not us.”

Chuuuurch.

No response. Last time I was in Iowa, I ate at this great restaurant, The Machine Shed. Delish, my friends. Once I got over the tractors and farm décor and the waitresses wearing denim overalls, I actually enjoyed my very non-rural self.

2:42pm, Me: “Have you ever eaten at The Machine Shed restaurant?”

About ten minutes later, I receive a call from a (563) number, but not the one listed as Joel’s. Again, I waited to get a voicemail, but no luck. About an hour and a half passes, and since this person won’t respond, I decided to offer a suggestion. That is, if they ever dine at The Machine Shed.

5:11pm, Me: “Well if you ever choose to at The Machine Shed, get the sweet potato fries with the cinnamon butter. Hope you liked the poem, whoever you are.”

Not even a call after this message. They probably jumped into their car or truck (possibly tractor) and rode on down to The Machine Shed, thanks to me.

Damn, that cinnamon butter was delicious.

Joe C. (708) – Calm, cool, and always going with the flow. Joe is a guy who I feel would, well, prefer the atmosphere of Lang Lee’s over anything else. Like myself, as you all know. Somebody who could appreciate sitting at the edge of a dock, staring out at a lake surrounded by trees, all of which is quiet and still. Here’s something for a fellow pledge brother. At 4:13pm.

“The glimmer of
shattered glass and
screeching rail cars
of broken
conversation and
unspoken bad
manners are best left
a distant view with a
dog by your side.”

4:31pm, Joe: “Too true. I hope this was inspired by actual events. I miss my dog.”

It could very well be actual events, as far as I’m concerned. I can picture myself standing at the top of some grassy knoll with my pup, Hans, and watching the madness of everybody down below, eating away at one another and burning. Now Joe can find solace in such peace, as well.