All in Poetry

"CHICKEN WINGS" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

Writing this in The Bu (Chevy Malibu).

 

Was at a bookstore.

Just bought a literary mag.

4:30 PM, Halloween.

Now, I'm in traffic.

 

A migration of MASSIVE,

aluminum turtles

extends like defeat

in front of me.

 

I'm wiggling in my seat

to Lady Gaga.

YES, A 33 year-old,

straight man can do this!

 

The song ends.

My dancing ends,

and…

I JUST CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!

 

I inch off to an exit,

glide to a red light,

make a turn,

and jerk it into

a strip mall parking lot.

 

There's a chicken wing place.

Wings?

NO WINGS!

On another diet.

Gotta stay sexy.

 

A good day

until the bookstore.

They didn't have what I wanted

(besides the literary mag).

 

Making my purchase,

the clerk hacked and coughed,

throat ejecting all over my book.

THEN HE SMILED AT ME!

He smiled

and handed it over.

 

How do I handle these situations?

How?

 

I took the book.

Thumb and forefinger only.

All other digits splaying,

flaring out,

trying to escape infection.

 

Now I sit

in this parking lot

with the book

radiating death

next to me.

I can feel it.

 

I look at the lit mag.

I want to devour it.

I want to burn it.

It's like an x-girlfriend.

 

I breathe deep,

withhold decision,

and turn

looking at the world.

 

The traffic's there,

rising to an overpass,

staring down at me like a colossus.

 

AAAAAHHHHHHH!

Time. Time.

All this Time!

 

I look back at the book.

Read?

Disease?

 

I start thinking.

 

Between me and my apartment,

somebody's dead.

Poor person.

Blood on the highway.

Probably had a family.

Halloween,

kids dawning costumes,

candy treats being prepared,

significant other devising sexual adventure.

 

Sorrow.

The one that went down…

They went down fighting

this invisible foe.

It'll claim every one of us.

Poor family.

Bad day to happen.

 

Should I try the highway again?

Approach the gauntlet?

Can I take it?

NO!

It's scary out there.

Better to sit here

in The Bu

with the disease.

 

Chicken wings?

NO!

 

I look at a vacant area

adjacent to the strip mall.

It's a small field

about the right size

for a football game.

Crab grassy and level.

 

There's apartments–

even shittier than mine

–beyond.

 

I look at the field.

An old man's out there,

walking,

swaying a long pole

in front of him.

 

He's a blind man, I think,

but then  I understand.

He's carrying a metal detector,

swinging it left to right.

He's out there searching.

He's searching while we all

cruise toward DEATH.

 

I decide I like the old dude.

I hope he finds something.

I haven't.

 

Chicken wings?

 

 

"TOWN TALK" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

TOWN TALK

 

The talk’s of work,

needing a job,

getting a job,

minimum wage’s

too minimum.

 

Then, now,

it’s the high rent.

Can’t afford it.

Got to have two workers in that home.

Got to have two incomes, at least.

 

Long ago,

they say,

it wasn’t like this.

 

I have a hard time imagining that.

 

And there’s those Politicians, they say.

We get on those politicians.

They’ll run you over, son, they say,

suck you clean.

You young people need to do something.

This world is fucked, they say.

 

Then,

they ask me,

“Can I get a cig?”

 

Now, it’s politics.

Now, it’s election.

Now it’s rock the boat time.

Rock the vote time.

Those politicians, man!

 

On street corners,

in trollies,

outside libraries,

this is town speech.

 

And I’m thinking…

The Pacific’s four blocks away.

It’s the biggest thing

I’ve ever seen.

Sunset’s at 7:04

I’ll eat rice tonight,

make it spicy somehow.

 

As the woes of life call from street level,

as human bodies quiver in state necessity,

locked inside me,

I know a secret.

 

I’ll share it with you,

but you may not like it…

 

The World Doesn’t Owe You Shit!

 

"TOWN TALK" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

"BLUE CANISTER NECKLACE" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

"BLUE CANISTER NECKLACE" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

When I lived

on the fringe,

I wore a necklace –

a blue rope with an

aluminum canister.

 

The canister was

shockproof and waterproof.

Inside lay a flashdrive –

almost EVERYTHING

I’d ever written.

 

It was me and my necklace

sleep contorting

in my car.

 

It was me and my necklace

counting the cards

over the blackjack table.

 

It was me and my necklace

public showering

in fear.

 

It was me and my necklace

pounding keyboard

at the library.

 

It was me

and

my

necklace,

 

and now, I don’t wear it.

 

Sometimes,

I reach up,

fingers press

the patch of chest

where it laid.

 

It’s gone!

Panic EXPLODES.

Where is it! Where is it!

 

Then I remember.

Then I know.

 

The days of thrift are over.

There’s light up ahead

in this black, black tunnel.

 

But I reach up.

 

I feel

 

My blue canister necklace?

 

It got me through.

 

In the darkness

you need a light.

 

Maybe, it’s best

When you make

your own.

"BLUE CANISTER NECKLACE" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

For New Writing, News and The Everyday Grit of Life, follow Gabriel Thomas on Twitter.

"PACIFIC CREST TRAIL" Prose By Gabriel Thomas

"PACIFIC CREST TRAIL" Prose By Gabriel Thomas

You will be uncomfortable. You will tread snow capped peaks, green meadows, desert rock and sand. You will have time. You will have time to think. You will learn HEAT. You will learn cold. You will perceive through a loss of comfort, and you will remember comfort – Its Luxury. The warmth, a bed, a good meal, you will daydream about it. You will have time to think.

You will learn what is necessary. You will analyze yourself and your possessions and your “Wants”. You will discover what is holding you back, things that are slowing you down, the unnecessaries of life. You will learn minimalism and your Body will change.

There will be pain. Your feet will hurt. Knees, back, shoulders, neck, you will strain. Everything will strain. In time, you will heal, and you will become stronger, leaner, faster, more balanced. You will marvel at this, and you will learn to love your body again. You will love your body again like when you were a small child discovering it for the first time. You will be living a life closer to what it had evolved to do. You will be living.

More will change. Your brain will remember things you’ve hidden away. You can deal with those things out there. Your senses will heighten. The world will become focused and clear. You will feel and become younger. You will gain strength and be more ready, and how you feel about yourself will change. You will feel competence. You will become competent, and you will lose self pity and self hate. You will learn to shit like a natural human being.

You will witness a stranger’s kindness, and you will become kind too, and you will have kindness given unto you, and you will witness a goodness that is inherent in all of humanity, and your perspectives will broaden, and you will witness joy and the sun and the air, and you will be joyous.

You will make friends. They will not be fake. You will learn to trust them, and they in you, and you will love them, and they will love you.

You can become more of yourself and less lost on The Pacific Crest Trail.    

"PACIFIC CREST TRAIL" Prose By Gabriel Thomas

For New Writing, News and The Everyday Grit of Life, follow Gabriel Thomas on Twitter.

"NORTH CENTRAL CALI" A Poem By Gabriel Thomas

The hills run

and they are green

and there is water everywhere

in North Central Cali.

 

Grapes grow

and call to

the better off

to get shit-faced,

to dissolve,

to forget those

“no problem”

problems

in North Central Cali.

 

The secret is out,

here,

in North Central Cali.

 

People have learned

where this

special heaven

is

and they’ve moved in,

moved in,

in-force,

staked their claim

to some miniscule piece,

giving their lives for it,

their dreams,

their minds,

to it,

to some world sucking monstrosity.

 

And now

they wait

in their little slice

of paradise.

 

They wait

like many

in California.

 

They wait in the shade

ofpalms

and pines,

under an orange sun,

pickling themselves,

pruning their skin,

drying out out like jerky,

sucking the grape,

smoking the hemp,

sampling micro brews,

IPA’s,

exxxtra hoppy.

 

They wait,

and they will never own

what they think they will own,

and they will never leave,

 

and they will endure here,

through the HOA torment,

some social city agenda,

under doctors

who are not scientists.

 

They will wait

with their minds ruled

and less freedomed.

But the sun is there.

 

The sun is right there.

 

They wait to die

in the

warm

orange

sun

of North Central Cali.

 

Mortgage insanity!

Freeway speedway.

A coffee shop every mile.

Organic.

Fresh.

Free Range. 

Farmer’s Market Hysteria.

Biker Gangs with 401k’s.

Children biding their time.

They are waiting too.

They wait

for that big chance,

that one shot,

that moment it’ll happen for them.

Just a little further down,

they think.

South.

Along the coast.

 

But the weather!

 

The ocean is there.

The sierras are that way.

Reno,

Tahoe,

Vegas…

Just a drive.

Close enough.

 

Close enough to suck you clean

and make you reprioritize.

 

Lime trees,

apples,

plumbs…

The avocado is God.

A land o’ plenty

with a population

of too many

and rising.      

 

Behind gated drives

and manicured lawns

and sound proofed lives,

the people cry “NO”

to Trump’s Great Wall,

and if I owned slaves,

I might say this too,

in North Central Cali.

 

The bums live well.

The elite seem almost holy.

The workers work

and try not to make sense

of it,

try not to make sense

of anything

in North Central Cali.  

"NORTH CENTRAL CALI" A Poem By Gabriel Thomas

For New Writing, News and The Everyday Grit of Life, follow Gabriel Thomas on Twitter.

"SALESMEN" A Poem By Gabriel Thomas

They get at you,

at your kindness.

They go there and work

a friendship angle.

They play misfortunate.

They present new opportunities.

They touch a lot,

are full of warmth and comfort

and give lackluster wisdom.

 

They always look you dead in the face.

Fucking Salesmen!

 

"SALESMEN" A Poem By Gabriel Thomas

For New Writing, News and The Everyday Grit of Life, follow Gabriel Thomas on Twitter.