men

*wrote this sometime in 2012 or 2013.

 

“It’s been an hour since I dropped her back at her house and she hasn’t sent me a text.” He said, “She must be pretty mad.”

“You said you dumped her?”

He swigged his beer. I drank my coffee. We were on the porch and it was early daytime.

“Yeah, man. I dumped her.”

I said, “I figure she must be upset.”

“Shit.” He said, and nodded.

I looked out across the lawn, across the street, and to the other side. An old man stood on his porch in dark blue coveralls and he wore a red hat. From afar, I could only see his egg white skin and blue eyes that I figured must be almost dead up close. He cracked a beer and drank from the can. He kept an eye towards us.

Johnny started kinda giggling next to me. He wasn’t looking out, but in, and he said, “Yeah, she was pretty mad. You wanna hear something?”

“Sure.”

“Ok, so we were in bed and I was tired, you know. I’m layin there and I’m trying to fall asleep, because I’d only woken up when she got up to take a shit or something. And I’m still all comfortable in bed when she comes back in, you know, after crappin’ her brains out, well, THEN she starts being frisky. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do her. But I wasn’t so tired I hadn’t pictured her crappin’ out all those lentils she eats. I mean I know what that shit does to me.”

I stopped listening. I stopped nodding my head. I lit another cigarette and looked into my empty mug. His words slipped past me. The old man was in his garage then. He seemed to move about carrying the weight of hopeless burdens. He scuffed his boots on the pavement. He put on his work gloves.

“After everything, we’re all cuddled up and I’m definitely trying to sleep now. Thing is, it’s her hair, you know it’s so goddam curly and after getting pulled on a bit, it’s just a fucking mane. It gets everywhere and I’m laying there and it gets in my mouth and I’m like, ‘Fuck!’ You know?”

I was a beat late on this cue.

“Shit, man, you there? Oh, you out of coffee, you fuckin’ pussy faggot?” He said, “If you’re going in there, grab me another one.”

I went in and was back out when I saw the old timer across the way. He had two black trash-cans out in the driveway, and he was tying heavy black bags into each. I handed Johnny the beer.

“Man, I shoulda said, ‘Grab me two,’ but I guess this is alright.”

“Just shut up and drink it.” I said, “And you’re welcome.”

We drank our liquids and watched the old man perform. He looked methodical, solemn and only semi-lucid as he enacted this boring brand of magic. Slowly he made his way behind his house and disappeared.

“Still nothin’.”

“Nothing?”

“Yeah, she still hasn’t sent me anything.”

I said, “You’re joking.”

“I’m tellin ya, she must be on her period or something.”

“Women,” I said.

Johnny drank his beer and looked at his phone. We heard a large engine start up. Pretty soon, the old man was pulling around the corner of his house in a John Deere. It was bright green and it was rigged for mulching with nylon pouches, but he only had a small lawn. From afar, I figured the soft old bastard must like riding a fancy mower better than dying behind an old, heavy push.

“Honestly dude,” he said, “I’m kinda getting worried.”

“What could have happened?”

“I don’t know. I’m sure she’s just crying or sleeping or something, it’s just that the other times I dumped her, it wasn’t but fifteen or twenty minutes before she’d send me something.”

“Maybe she…”

“Oh my God, and those were always the best messages to get from her, too! She’d get like wild. I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss those texts.”

“Well.”

“This one time, I fucked her at her parent’s house. I guess that was the first time we fucked. She made me wear a condom, which sucked, but it was still pretty awesome fucking her. Anyway, she said she had heard of some new vaginal condom or diaphragm or something that she was gonna get. She said it was gonna be just for me, cause she knew I hate condoms and I told her I wanted to cum in her.”

The old man was making quick work with his mower. The blade cut clean through his Bermuda without tearing it. He nudged up against the flower bed too, and he got it good enough that he wouldn’t need a weed-eater. He smirked, and I know I saw that.

“So about three days before my twenty-first, I’m thinking about who I’m gonna fuck, and I got a couple of options. You know, none are really superstars or anything. Nothing I couldn’t live without, but, anyway I’m sensin’ that this ‘Her-and-I’ thing is just gonna fuck me up on what should be the funnest day of my life. So I just ditched her cause I wanted to sleep with Shannon because Shannon’s got such big tits. Well, it gets time to meet up with my girl and I’m drunk so I call her. I told her that her pussy is too loose and that I don’t want her busted ass anymore. Oh man, she went nuts.”

“Makes sense,” I said.

“Yeah, well that night Shannon’s friends are like cock-blocking the shit out of me, and then all those bitches run home early because they got a test or some shit the next morning. So I call her back, and she’s not happy, but I get her to talk to me and I get her to let me come over.

“It was funny, man, it was fucking funny when I showed up because she opens the door and she’s still got on her dress and her make-up is all washed out. And she was so damn mad! I couldn’t believe it, but I got her back into bed. I don’t know how, man, I was fucking drunk as shit, but I did, and I fucked her until I puked.”

“What?”

“Yeah.” He smiled.

“You twisted son of a…”

“Haha, exactly! I puked all over the side of her bed, dude!”

“Jesus,” I said. “Then what?”

“I dumped her for real.” He said, “I busted my nut, barfed and went home. She texted me later, but not because she was mad, but because she wanted me back.

“She was sending me shit like, ‘Oh Johnny, please take me back!’ you know, but then she’d say stuff like, ‘I want you to cum in my pussy cause I just found my diaphragm I’d been telling you about. I’ll let you fuck me all night Johnny, I swear. Just come pick me up, Baby. Please. Please Johnny, come back and let me have it!’

“I mean I was blown away by that shit. All the time though, it was stuff like that.”

“Just like that?”

He said, “Well, you know. Just crazy shit.”

“Well maybe she’ll text you.”

“Yeah.” He said, “Maybe I’ll text her, you know? I mean, just to make sure she’s ok.”

I looked at the old man who was shutting off his mower. Slowly, with aged joints, he moved off the mower’s saddle and moved to dump the clippings in the cans. He dragged the just full cans to the curb. He put out the sprinkler.

Johnny started stirring and it was hot outside so I started moving to head back inside.

“I don’t know dude,” I said. “I think you gotta make it a rule, and the rule has gotta say you gotta fuck another girl before you can go back to one you already fucked. Otherwise dude, she owns you. You know what I’m saying? You gotta prove to yourself that she isn’t the only bitch you can get. I say you find that Shannon girl and smack those tits around just because you can. Then, maybe, think about goin’ back to the ‘same-old, same-old’ bitch who apparently fucking loves you for some stupid fucking reason.”

“Damn dude, that’s truth right there. That’s truth.”

“Let the big dog eat,” I said.

Johnny laughed hard and said real loud and deep, “LET THE BIG DOG EAT! ARF! ARF!”

We laughed and high-fived before Johnny went in checking his phone for numbers. I heard him inside saying, “Yo Shannon, how you doin’, girl?”

I flicked a dead cigarette butt into my yard, and then saw the old man staring at me. Even from over here on my porch, I could see he looked disappointed.

He turned away and started into his house. The door was open as he slowly crossed the threshold and I heard what must’ve been his wife playing piano. A happy grandma-laugh burst as her song was abruptly halted. I heard her laugh again, then play and sing some bars of “For He’s a Jolly-Good Fellow.”

The old man in his work-suit danced the rest of the way past the door. She kept playing, then the door closed and their laughter went hidden.

the narrow road

they drive their buses full of angry people

right down my throat.

(i don’t think i’m alone in this, it’s just

i can only speak for myself.)

but as i was saying,

they drive their bus down my throat via

this very narrow road they’ve found in the air.

they drive this bus on this road until

they park the bus in my stomach.

my guts cramp while the bus idles

and fills my boiler with stinky exhaust.

i can feel the angry little people

getting off the bus.

they wade around my stomach mucus and

hydrochloric acid.

one guy always tosses his wendy’s bag on the ground

as if he owns the place.

 

but what can i do from outside my skin?

they keep driving in and

filing out of the bus before they say

the pledge of allegiance together.

all while polluting my body

with their trash and exhaust

and noise.

“it’s a free country,”

they tell me.

 

i guess

freedom knows no bounds.

 

the narrow road, i don’t know how they found it,

but god be damned if they ever asked me.

if they had, i would have said:

“please find another way to get where

you’re taking these angry people.”

and then i’d have said,

“my stomach isn’t for your buses anyway.”

 

nobody asked me though.

it wouldn’t matter if anyone asked me now,

though, because all that happens

when i open my mouth is

exhaust pours out and my voice

sounds like an idling bus engine

and my words sound angry like

the angry people

whose voices echo up my esophagous.

 

i can’t escape all the arguing, which

puts me on edge so

i’m guilty of anger too.

i’m mad as hell, but not

because i ever WANTED to be.

 

i don’t understand though.

why must they keep driving this way?

why?

i used to sing before this road,

but now i have potholes on my voicebox.

 

now i sound like

a traffic jam.

 

 

the words you cannot say

the words you cannot say

exist in the shadows of

all that is said.

the words you cannot say

burn in your guts when

you silently witness what

you cannot say.

the words you cannot say

could explode the walls

between them and sound.

 

if only they could be spoken.

 

sometimes you’ll see the words in light

only to see them mutilated right after

by the speakers of words you can.

back into the pit they’re taken

wrapped in chains of

comfortable decency.

 

the light that shines

on the earth exposes all words

and it is our duty to speak them.

when the first human saw a flower

they made a sound that

identified and dignified

the flower’s

existence.

the words you cannot say

do not name flowers.

the words you cannot say

are assumed to have no dignity.

the words you cannot say

are words we might wish

did not exist.

the words you cannot say

name creatures existing on earth

or in the depths our our minds.

the words you cannot say

look more like the

bleached snaggletoothed monsterfish

lurking in the ocean’s darkest trenches.

 

what words do you use

to describe something so hidden?

how do you tell someone your

friend was slaughtered,

your daughter was eaten,

your family was enslaved

by a gigantic monsterfish

that no one wants to see

and there are no words

to say what you cannot say?

 

what words do you use

when you are being carried back to the pit

where the monsterfish lives?

whose help do you call for

when the help is locking you in?

they’re shoving your head

under water in the pit, and

you utter

words you’ve heard

that you know you cannot say,

‘Black Lives Matter.’

 

and then they close the lid

to hide away the sound.

the sinner

forgive me father, for i have sinned.

yes, and what is it that brings you here, my son?

father, i’m sorry. what i’m about to tell you–i don’t know what came over me. i…

easy, now.

i wasn’t thinking. maybe it was the jet-lag. i don’t know what–

whatever it is, there is no way it won’t go unforgiven if you confess it and ask for forgiveness. i am here to listen. go on and confess, young man. it’s alright.

yes, well, you see i was out of town last week. i went to london for work. it was a long flight and i had to go straight to a meeting from the airport. the meeting was a couple hours, and i guess after being crammed into a plane and then a meeting right after i felt like walking and getting some air. so i started towards the hotel and then i saw this woman on the street corner.

ah.

it’s not what you think, father. although now i wish it was. she was poor and homeless. she was old, too, and dirty. i noticed her. i accidentally let my eyes look at her, i don’t know why. i guess that’s the first thing i needed to confess.

so you looked?

yes but i never look at them otherwise, i swear it. or i didn’t. i don’t know what it was that got me that day, but i looked even though i know it was wrong. still, i saw her and i looked at her face. and she looked just like…

yes? just like what?

my mother. her face was much darker, either from the sun or the dirt or both i don’t know, but she did. she looked just like mom. when we saw each other i really thought she was her. i even felt that she recognized me.

of course it wasn’t your mother, was it?

no, she wasn’t her at all. my mother was here, clean and at home. and she would have been so disgusted by this woman had she seen her.

yes, as we all are.

yes, i know that’s how i should have felt. like i said, i never normally even look. the few times i have looked i’ve felt the disgust and have confessed for even breaking the commandment.

that’s a good boy.

but, honestly father i haven’t even told you the worst of it.

dear. well go on and tell me.

well, when i saw her there i sort of stopped. like i said we looked at each other with a feeling of recognition. i looked at her and i must have smiled because she smiled at me too. i don’t know what it was that happened, father, but all of a sudden we were both just there. by that i mean it was like we were bonded. without saying anything at all. we just saw each other and it was like we had the same love–maybe even a deeper love–that i have with my mother. of course i know this sounds crazy. but it felt that way.

but how could that be? even if it did feel that way?

i know it couldn’t. i know i’m better than her. i know she doesn’t even deserve a glance from me, let alone what i gave her which was my acceptance. i can’t deny it. even if i tried. i know in my heart i accepted her. i wish i knew what i was thinking.

yes, well, did anything else happen after you two shared this…this ‘moment’?

i gave her my watch.

you did what?

i gave her my watch, father.

oh my. this is very bad.

i know, i know. please, just tell me what i can do.

this is very bad, my boy. you know that giving out anything to the poor is a cardinal sin.

i know, father.

you know that anything given to the poor is akin to murdering their own will to work.

yes.

and murdering a person’s will, that’s…

father, please! i’ve never done anything as awful as this.

that’s leading a disciple away from the benevolence of the Economy. and that’s furthering the sin which led them to squalor: entitlement.

yes.

do you think this woman, your second mother, will ever find her salvation in the free market now?

no.

how much longer will she suffer the torments of poverty because you thought she needed a hand-out?

i don’t know. i gave her the watch because i thought she could use the money to–

to do what? buy a meal? if you tell me you bought her a meal too, Economy help me, i’ll–

i didn’t. just the watch.

my boy, do you at least now see the momentum of our sins? one minute you’re glancing at a vagrant, and the next you’re committing economic heresy of the highest order!

i know father, but please! i am a faithful worker. i love the Economy. i hate the poor! i’ve confessed the awful deeds i am guilty of, now please let me be forgiven!

i cannot forgive you of this; only the Invisible Hand of the Market can rectify this assault on our beloved Economy.

but surely as an Economist you can do something!

you have confessed, and i have heard your confession. let us pray now and ask for your forgiveness:

oh holy Economy who are on Wall Street,

hallowed be thy name.

thy kingdom come,

thy will is done with Money

as it is in Free Markets.

give us this day our

way low taxes,

and starve all the lazy,

as we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

and lead us into temptation,

as we sell guns to the evil. 

for thine is the Money,

and Triple A credit rating,

with merciless debt forever,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the midas touch

turn the oil into money.

turn the soil into money.

turn the air,

water,

wood

into money.

turn their blood

into money.

turn their guts

into money.

turn their death

into money.

turn last breaths

into money.

turn respect into

money.

turn every thought

you ever had into

money.

turn acid rain into money.

turn them four planes into money.

turn the pain

into money.

turn the birds

into money.

turn turds

into money.

turn the words

into money.

turn the sky into money.

turn their eyes

into money.

turn your lies

into money.

then spend it all

and die.

conventional wisdom

 

a note to readers:

i wrote this story as a sophomore in college (2006 or 2007) back when i was starting to lose faith in our democracy and still capitalizing letters. this is why some of the once futuristic dates already live in the past. still, it feels like an appropriate post for today given the season. hope you enjoy and, as always, god bless america.

-merk

 

America the Fucking Beautful

Debacle & Enlightenment

In the years and months leading up to the election of 2024 a single, hairy issue dominated the nation’s collective conscience. And it wasn’t war and it wasn’t education. It was none of the issues that so often dominated American politics throughout the Second Dark Age. After the Great Election Debacle of 2012 and the subsequent Enlightenment during the twelve years that followed it, the issues most Americans formerly considered “hot-­button” found themselves swept under the rug.

The Great Electoral Debacle, the sole incident that led to a total reformation of the electoral system, was simple really. Regina Millson was the early Democratic front­runner and to many Americans, she really was the perfect candidate. She had no blotches on her personal or public record and she had spent years in the Senate collecting both domestic and foreign policy experience. Yet it was then that her rival, a lesser respected candidate, Terry Rockland, Republican Governor of Mississippi, ferociously struck down any, and all of her political aspirations with one clean blow.

Some three weeks before the election, Rockland somehow came into possession of a series of super-­secret photos. All of them featured Mrs. Millson simply being herself. However, one of the photos pictured Mrs. Millson’s whole self. That is to say, it left far too little to America’s imagination. The photo which has been, and will be printed in every history book from the moment it was taken until eternity, is Mrs. Millson laughing as she steps out of her limousine while her mangy pubic hair had somehow managed to find itself freed from the dark recesses of her skirt, and out into the light of day.

Literally the second after the photo was first published (the leak had been handled with the utmost efficiency to ensure the most damage to Millson’s campaign) the entire world was getting its first glimpse of Mrs. Millson’s muff. Many were shocked, some were turned on, but one thing was certain: America was never going to be the same.

In the days after the Debacle, Rockland took a commanding lead. As a man, he wasn’t under the same scrutiny as Millson. After all, during the Second Dark Age men rarely worried about their curlies enough to warrant more than a bi­monthly trim­job. Yet, somehow, Millson’s camp had like­wise obtained a picture of Rockland’s wildly out of control bush. With nothing left to lose, Millson leaked the picture herself. She was eager to end Rockland’s career as quickly as he’d ended hers.

It worked. Within two minutes Rockland had lost his biggest supporters, not to mention his lead in the polls, in the middle of the pubic hair hysteria he’d helped create. The pundits went wild, the public was captivated, and all of America had been engulfed in the pubic hair hoopla.

Both candidates had seemed to be locks for their party’s nominations, yet now, three weeks later, their respective conventions were frenzied, scrambling to settle upon an agreeable nomination. After all, choosing a candidate that a whole nation could envision itself unifying behind has generally been a game rife with near hits or misses, and anything a candidate did could sway a close election. So there they were, massive conventions of public officials wondering what the hell they could do to win a spot in the White House. It was then that Representative Jerry Vernon spoke up to his cohorts.

“I, uh, well I have an idea. It’s a solution so simple I don’t know why we didn’t think of it earlier.”

Everyone in the room raised a ruckus at the very sound of Jerry Vernon’s voice. He’d never done more than provide the party with a warm ­body in the House. His simpleminded antics were well documented and even the party’s chairman wouldn’t go on the record to endorse him as anything more than, “A well ­meaning fellow.” Yet, here in crunch time, no one could resist the temptation to at least hear Jerry out. What the hell could it hurt?

“Well, after all this ruckus over a few stray hairs here and there, I’d say it’s pretty clear that the pube issue is a pretty important one to the American people.”

He paused for a second to make sure that people were still listening.

They were.

“So, uh, I… I just don’t see why we don’t get someone with a good lookin’ shrub.”

A silence loomed over the convention. Jerry stood uneasily waiting for some sort of response, but there was hardly a sound. Everyone in the room was intrigued, if not captivated. Could this seemingly brainless idea work? Was pube ­appeal really that important to America? Was there any other option?

A man in the back of the room stood up and started to clap, slowly and quietly at first. Then a little faster; a little louder. Jerry saw him, but couldn’t make out who he was, or what his exact motives for applauding were. Jerry continued to stand uneasily, his political future, for what it was worth, seemed to be hanging in the balance. The applause grew, and grew, and got louder,and louder, until Jerry stood at the front of a fervor.

Jerry just smirked a little at first, blushing. As the applause reached its pinnacle, Jerry made a conscious decision to enjoy this, his first moment in the party’s spot­light.

“YOU LIKE ME!!! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!!” He yelled.

They did only somewhat, really, but they figured, “What the heck?” He’d provided an answer.

Throughout the night, the men of Jerry’s convention voted on Jerry’s idea. It passed. The “Pretty-­Pubes Platform” approach to nominating a presidential candidate, as it was dubbed that evening, was voted into party policy.

This approach was a good one in theory, but there was an element of this plan they’d somehow overlooked. Who there had pretty pubes? What does America want in a Presidential pubic area? These concerns were voiced to the party chair. He didn’t know either, that or he didn’t want to say. Either way, every man in the room was silently coming to one conclusion.

“I guess, well, I guess we’ll just have to single out those with the best looking bushes.”

Again, it was a simple solution. So that’s what they did.

The members of the convention first asked if there were any present with, what they considered, a visually pleasing region. The hands came up slowly at first. It was awkward at first, but hey, this is the presidency. Why shouldn’t they expose themselves for a chance to become the most powerful man in the world?

The field started large but shrank quickly, for apparently there weren’t too many members of the party who paid special attention to such things. The parade of possible candidates passed across the stage, in front of all of their colleagues, dropped their pants, and waited to hear if they had a shot at the nomination. So it went, old Congressmen examining other old Congress men’s nether ­regions in all their glory into the early hours of the morning.

Finally, a decision was made. It was Jerry Vernon. His pubes were regarded by his colleagues as nothing short of immaculate: well-­shaped, clean­-cut, All­-American. With a little grooming, the party thought, they could turn this good ­looking bush into the face of a nation.

They did. Jerry Vernon was President for four years, and his pubes served him well while in office. He had changed the nation, not to mention the free­ world. It wasn’t long before everyone who held free ­elections began to follow in America’s footsteps. The Second Dark Age as it came to be known, was over. The Enlightenment had come by way of the legendary Jerry Vernon.

American politics would never be the same.

Epilogue

The election of 2024 was fast approaching. The two party system was still intact, yet the parties had changed with the times as they’ve often done throughout history. The election’s front ­runner was J.R. Fuzz of People for Unsightly Bush Elimination, or P.U.B.E. for short.

He’d been a political superstar since he unveiled his immaculately smooth pubic region. It glistened in the lights of the conventions and all of America was sure that he was going to become America’s next president.

His closest competitor was Nina Von Deutcsh. She wasn’t really European as her name would suggest, but she had the world’s greatest landing strip. Anyone who saw it was literally entranced. Some say she insured her strip for 10 million dollars. Others said it was more like 100 million. Either way, Nina, like J.R. had become a phenom after her and her pubes were spotted at the Las Vegas strip­club where she was working.

Nina represented A.S.S. or Americans Standing for Shrubs. Coming into the conventions, there was little doubt about what the future held for American politics. J.R. Fuzz seemed to have a stranglehold on the nomination and the Presidency. But then he had a mishap.

Upon revealing his bald and beautiful pubic region, J.R.’s pants accidentally slipped all the way down around his ankles. Hurriedly he covered his crotch, or the little amount of his crotch that America hadn’t seen. He quickly turned around and bent to grab his trousers when the crowd behind him let out a collective groan of disgust.

J.R. Fuzz’s asshole, a brown­eye in all it’s glory, was staring the American public in the face. Someone in the crowd turned to the person sitting next to them and said, “You know? It kind of looks like a dirty balloon ­knot.”

kids today

you’re the antichrist.

no you are.

huh-uh.

are too.

you’re worse.

am not.

sure are.

no you’re the worst.

you hate freedom!

no, you hate freedom! i love freedom!

not as much as me.

do too!

freedom told me it likes me more than you.

you’re lying.

am not.

since when?

since always.

i don’t believe you.

you wouldn’t cause you’re a terrorist.

i am not!

are too. isis is your best friend!

i hate isis!

sure.

i hate isis more than you or anybody.

not as much as me.

i hate isis even more than you.

your mom is isis.

she is not.

is too.

don’t talk about my mom.

your mom is so isis that-

shut up.

she wanted to name you allah-akbar.

i hate you!

your mom is so isis that she-

i’ll kill you!

not if i kill you first.

no i’ll kill you first.

no i’ll kill you.

no i’m going to kill you.

i’m gonna kill you and have freedom all to myself.

i’m gonna kill you and then freedom and i are going to kill your mom.

my mom is not isis!

but you are.

i am not!

isis, isis, isis!

i know you are but what am i?

a terrorist.

i know you are but what am i?