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Something, Blah, Todd. Carrots.

Mine is the mouth of Todd, and the failure of Todd

I am a plural Todd, and I am a single rotting head, scattered in pieces on a country road.

My vigor, once youthful and in colorImage
Is now a monochrome paper mache,
It rolls only if I force it
and it warns me repeatedly about the consequences I’d face
were I to deny my Toddness

But I am only the work of a dirty hand
come slowly to pull from the soil
a Todd carrot,
and wash it with the urine of Todd
Cake it with the shit of Todd
and demand that Todd be what the carrot is,
and the carrot be what Todd is

Which is a factory laborer
whose head must be carried by wheelbarrow
to work in the morning,
home in the evening

 

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Street Guy

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In the street he phoned to say
hello
to the beggars and the brides
all over
town
Whose posture he mimicked
with his shoulders hunched at
traffic
and knees bent to
absorb the impact
of nine chevy
ten ford
and assorted others
caddilac
unheard of here

A show called “Dialtone”
watched
in his ear
by the hand he put
there
with
a phone in it
that he could not pay for

Desires in him
lacking focus
sending him to the tunnel
without a shower
without a shave
shirtless
serviced by humans
unhappily
borderline rude
like a weapon
dangerous
but
dormant, with his hand outstretched
grasping at the free soup.

human with burned chest hair.

All of the things he had hoped to do
bouncing around between his skull
and the box that he slept on

while traffic rumbled over the bridge
lovers extinguished candles and fell between sheets with high thread counts,
mothers awoke and wondered the whereabouts of their long grown children

fathers walked into cold morning lawns
so their dogs could piss on trees

the baker flipped the sign to say “Open”

and down on the river,
a fish jumped
and took whatever with it
to drown somewhere

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A Simple Plan

It is important for one to have a simple, easy to follow plan.

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A Simple Plan

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Knocking.

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There are fences
Near gardens
and around the back ends of two car garages
and all are easy to climb
when in madness
I disregard the sidewalk or the street and walk in a straight line

 

Where I land at your door
to knock and knock and knock
and sleep on the porch and knock again
in the morning.

 

And knock all afternoon and sleep again
and knock
and

 

Off in the madness again to climb fence after fence
crawl back into my bedroom window to dream
of knocking and knocking

 

and pounding even, in a fury
ringing the bell
and knocking and sleeping there exhausted

 

Then I wake and climb out the window again,
down sheets, tied end to end like the movies
across the yards again
over the fences

 

And I knock again and again
and knock harder
and yell a name
any name
and just yell “hey!?”
and feel confused and at a loss

 

Then empty and withered
I walk the sidewalks all the way back around,
climb up the sheets
get to sleep
and haunt myself with more knocking and knocking

 

And I never ever stop knocking,

 

 

 

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Further, Todd this and Todd that.

           Todd having developed a propensity for the Old Elements as he called them, loved commanding the Techs (from now on) to place fans and lights and use water and things to stir emotion among people he may be interacting with.       

            For Todd, why not have a drink with, for example, a woman whose clothing and hair….blew in a relentless gale borne of surreptitious wind machines while she spoke… and perhaps well up in her a passionate fury, her having been well trained at drama and things, the dark Art things that they all gorged on at the Party for many centuries.

            For Todd, why not negotiate with powerful winds at his back, and a glow cast about him as he coaxed this department or that into some endeavor or another, always to keep the most units at the highest productivity…little more.

            Eventually, for Todd, why not turn these Techs loose in his entire town, allowing them to earn their lot in life by merely spreading the conventions of early cinema liberally through the entire population. And so it came the Techs were sewn into every moment and given free reign, the shadows…with fans and lights and things… fog machines… bizarre music and instruments and their unspoken motivations and the unspeakable triumph still looming, gavel above mahogany and oak, where to shelter from it? Nowhere.

            What when spring came? How to deal then with the new flowers, who were lovely women…who shone like dandelion light in the March fog, and sprung out to be talked to in the bizarre sunshine of April and May. Marched into Todd’s parlor in June, and were vomited into a dump whenever at last they ceased to serve a useful purpose.

            Neither of the many men mentioned had a way to speak of this…and they all were victims to this incredible work of Todd’s Head. They wept Iron loneliness, stood to tell tales to each other in the private corners of the Party.

            None were acknowledged,  they wore their hard-boiled loneliness on their sleeves and stood tall and resolute among their comforting friends… all bashing hard at Todd’s giant Friend Thing, and the Head atop his shoulders with its remarkable Face. Savage, they all were savage and lashed out at the enemies they had made, for all men needed enemies. But to Todd… what was to matter?

            There was no threat? Had there ever been? Had anyone even used the word or turned the concept of a “threat” around in their mind for five centuries or longer? Six? Seven?

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On going to work for Todd.

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            The meal would be ripe.

            Sanchez turned the throbbing orange vines around in the muck with a long tool. There was a boiling sound coming from the fat round melons that bounced here and there. The purple twilight had begun to oppress the sun, dusk birds chirped.

            Turning, Sanchez hung the tool from a branch and made for his humble shack.

            He put tea on the stove and sat in his chair facing the open door, watching for the scheduled visitor. Soon the man called Todd, who had first come a month ago with his opportunities and his promises, would return to hear Sanchez’s answer.

            He was apprehensive about the answer, for it meant to leave the hill and go down the long road until the metropolis loomed up, and there to go into The Service. Which being joined would one day, maybe, eject you back to your little hill and you could take up dining with neighbors.

            He was apprehensive, because he was accepting. He’d turned away the agents many many times prior, but something in the way the corn had been growing had also made him think maybe he should escape to the guaranties of Service a while and figure a way back for sure, and maybe make so his life wouldn’t be threatened again.

            Out on the hills, the threats came. There were creatures roaming always, and not all of them benevolent. There were marauders who rode packs of beasts and muscled their needs from the farmers. There were endless natural catastrophes: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, drought, and endless rain, all of these tormented by fierce winds and violent heat and cold.

            In the metropolis there was much more to do. More to do. Everybody knew this and chatted about it. It was the whisper in every bedroom at night.

            This Todd man had really made a fascinating case. Sanchez, finally, had been convinced. So he would sign the papers and give over his land for four summers, ply a trade in the metropolis, in the Service, and return enriched and vibrant to find something of a new outlook. To become one of high mind at parties.

            The road went up in a cloud and a rumbling grew nearer, Todd at the helm of a beastly vehicle tore ruts up the fragile hilltop road and groveled to a halt at the porch.

           Slam! The door of the vehicle rattled the foundation of Sanchez’s well balanced roof, the thunderous footsteps of Todd nearly brought down the walls.

            Then he stood eye to eye with Sanchez and leered and slurped while Sanchez signed everything away. Then he took Sanchez’s arm and bottled him up in the vehicle and Slam! Slam! They were off rumbling down the hill, kicking up dust and rocks.

            Back on the hilltop there was a sound of wings beating, giant wings. Then a terrible machine landed and walked up to the little shack and destroyed it with a red burst and a sound of tiny thunder, then planted itself in its scorched footprint and grew into the hillside with groping alloy roots, probing and hardening and merging with the hillside, toppling every tree to a pile in the valley to be gobbled by machines.

 

            Sanchez stared out the windshield, Todd stomped the gas pedal and the vehicle roared through the countryside toppling things and raining debris. Hill people dove aside, some of their crude shacks crumbled as they went by. Others had been toppled on his way up, and wary people merely stepped back and shouted in their rage at the horrible craft as it butchered its way through again, back toward the massive iron wall of the metropolis from whence it came.

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