[Sausage] Fest of Poetry

by G.T.

“J” (***) – I won’t go into much detail as to how I know this guy. I don’t like him, and I couldn’t help but write a poem about his recovery from drug addiction, so I’ll be courteous to that extent. He happens to be one of those guys who doesn’t appreciate favors, and is constantly bumming cigarettes from people. This was the first poem of last night. At 10:45pm.

“The sharpness of
circumspection,
risen above
the fog of
abstruseness
clouded, obscure
collapses and my
purple blossoms
flounder.”

Writing this poem, I tried for words that were extremely subtle. Yes, this guy reminisces on his darker days like they are the “good ol’ days”, despite practically destroying his life permanently, but we still run into one another from time to time. He did not reply, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s more of a death metal punch you in the stomach type of guy who speaks in grunts, and finds my writing aspirations to be laughable. On second thought, perhaps I should’ve been more obvious. Screw it. He’s out of the way. On to the next one.

John B. (815) – This is one of my friend Jason’s tennis friends who I happened to befriend, back in high school. Whenever the three of us get together, we usually eat at Jason’s favorite Oriental greasy spoon, Buffet King. It’s a good place, don’t get me wrong, but I tend to like the quirkiness of the Chinese Buffet. For instance, there’s a very little, square door in the rear wall of the buffet. This old woman walks around the buffet and makes note of everything that is empty or must be refilled. When done with her walk, she goes to the little square door, opens it, and steam just billows out of the door. She stands far enough to allow the steam to clear, and proceeds to yell, in a rather volatile Chinese drawl, everything that is needed at the buffet. A moment later, a weak whimper of acknowledgement can be heard from the other side of the little door in the wall: the kitchen. The same woman happens to yell at Jason when cleaning up his mess, because he grabs fortune cookies by the handful.
I was sitting around last night after polishing off an extra large carton of House Chow Fun. Again, House Chow Fun is Mandarin for “House of Fun Chow”. Some people think of dreams, others of love. I was thinking about Chinese food. At 10:51pm.

“Chinese ornamentals
and dragons on
smoked glass
partitions. Living
fortune cookie
wisdom and lucky
numbers. A happy
ending before we go
and live by our
zodiac.”

Buffet King doesn’t offer those happy endings. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Johnny B. never responded. Today at a half past two o’cock, I tried an Ancient Chinese secret: texting him.

2:25pm, Me: “You no like poetry?”

Johnny B. no like poetry.

John G. (616) – Jimmy Buffet fan and did a weekly drag show on the Northside back in college. Very involved brother in the Greek culture at IIT, being president of the student council and such.
I was watching Late night with Jimmy Fallon last night for the first time in ages. I usually work when his show is on. Is it just me or is that show conspicuously geared toward a hipster-like audience? Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that. At 12:14am.

“The guise of
fallacy
in dress and
smokescreen to
make us what
we are not
in jest or
what we wish
to be in
tormented
desires
of being
what is not us.”

I called an immediate stop to poetry until further notice, watched Mallrats for the first time, found the paradoxes and dialogue to be humorous, and fell asleep.

I awoke past noon, and while still under the covers, I grabbed my phone, looked at the first contact, and wrote a poem while my eyes were still glazed.

John J. (816) – Missouri boy, brother of Alpha Sigma Phi, and fellow architecture student. A bit on the eccentric side. Well, that’s an understatement. John is a very eccentric kid, which would suggest that he is quite talented at what he does. And John is talented when it comes to drafting and all things architectural. I recall him complainin about spiders in his fraternity’s attic, where he did most of his drafting. At 12:21pm.

“Plywood dust and
attic spiders
infested in
our gray matter
cavities, we
lose sobriety
in the white walls
of ivory
towers and sing
murder as a
sailor song.”

When half-conscious or drunk. That’s when poetry is best.

12:27pm, John: “Who are u that is great by the way”

I’m unsure why it took me so long to reply to John’s response. I may have been dancing.

2:02pm, Me: “Poet. Glad you liked it.”

2:39pm, John: “Yes u got any more”

2:40pm, Me: “Oh yeah. I’ll keep em coming, homie.”

2:41pm, John: “I suppose i am not going to find out who u are”

I pondered if it was a good idea to reveal myself. Here’s somebody who appreciates the poetry, but would telling him who I was take a special part of the poem writing away from this? I intend to write more to John in the future. In fact, I already have one prepared to send to him, but I’ll wait until ten o’clock or so.

2:52pm, Me: “We were fellow architecture students. And one could say drinking buddies, too.”

Drinking buddies? Talk about polishing off six shots of spiritus (196 proof), each. I couldn’t walk or see five feet in front of me for twelve hours the following day. Thanks to the group of volunteers who were so kind to carry my ass up the stairs while I shouted profanities at them. I never did thank them.

2:55pm, John: “Wen u gonna wake up”

Sounds like he’s lickin’ the bottle a little early for a Friday.

3:00pm, Me: “And smell the coffee?”

3:01pm, John: “Are u a guy or a girl and wat do u mean were i am still in school”

3:03pm, Me: “I left the architecture program. And I’m a guy, so don’t get your hopes up.”

3:03pm, John: “Okay wen did u leave”

3:09pm, Me: “2007. You know who I am. I assure you of that. I’ll send you poetry every so often, but my question is: will my identity make a difference?”

3:16pm, John: “I dont know so we were drinking buddies u say n”

3:17pm, John: “I dont know man so wat are u up to now and why me”

3:18pm, John: “George”

I was writing a response for the second of those three messages, but once he realized that it was me, I deleted it and offered a simple answer.

3:19pm, Me: “Yes.”

One of initial plans for this project was to offer subtle clues as to who I was based on how the recipient of the poem got to know me in the first place. John was the first person to carry that out with me. Props to you, John. Everybody else likes to give up, or ignore the poem altogether.

John K. (561) – After a kidney operation, this guy spent a year couped up inside of his room in the fraternity. From what I remember, he was a Star Trek fan, or cited one of the characters as having the same initials as his name, or something along those lines. If you’ve read previous posts involving sci-fi lovers receiving poems by me, I’m not all that sympathetic to their hobby. At 1:31pm.

“Lonesome universe
of four walls and a
deviant box
television tied
in video game
cords that is a
single window
to a false
reality of
nowhere alternate
galaxies.”

No response.

Jordan S. (404) – Jordan, Jeremy (a contact from a few days ago), and I made up the three afro-clad pledge brothers of the fraternity. I’m surprised that no one, including us, thought up of some corny nickname to refer to the three of us. On the other hand, we’ll say that’s a good thing. Pardon the digression, and one of many that I tend to do. Jordan is an electronica fiend, politically conscientious, and Jewish. Guess what? The world is imploding, and we’re both smoking while it happens. At 2:01pm.

“The drying sands
inorganic
decay in the
eroded pores
of skin and the
artificial
fumes of our chest
we inhale and
induce our own
suffocation
on dead Earth.”

2:04pm, Jordan: “Peacefully morbid. but who is this?”

How would a Jewish mother respond to a question like this?

2:35pm, Me: “You mean you don’t know who I am anymore? Oy, I thought I was a friend to you, bubula.”

2:47pm, Jordan: “New phom”

2:47pm, Jordan: “phones happen, i’m sorry :(”

Well, I can say that I played the Jewish mother card very well today. But let me tell you, bubula, a new phone is no excuse for not remembering an old friend. What am I to you, chopped liver? Oy vey. Who’s next? Let’s get this over with ’cause I need to take my diuretic and watch David Letterman…that Lady GooGah is perfoming tonight!

Josh B. (757) – Josh was a fairly coloful introduction to gay culture for me. He’s my big brother. Not by blood, but rather in the fraternity. A big brother’s responsibility is to be a mentor of sorts to a pledge. For me, that included bootleg musicals, gay porn commentary, and on one occasion, an ambush lap dance: that is, if there is such a thing. At 5:56pm.

“Rainbow columns
and neon swirls
telling of Clark
and it’s lotions
and potions: the
seedy pleasure
of a nightly
production of
boys who become
ancient Rome.”

6:13pm, Josh: “?”

So today’s poetry is a bunch of gay guys, Jews, recovering drug addicts, and unconventional minds. What a sausage fest. There’s mainly girls on the roster for this weekend, so it’ll be a refreshing break from all the testosterone. Especially so, given how I know some of these girls.