Mike Young
Why Fuck Around?

Are you the kind of person who passes the bus-waiting time

by watching the Little League game down there next to the park

and ride lot? If so, are you the kind of person who roots for the

batter or pitcher? If batter, are you the kind of person who tapes

quotes to your helmet? Do you bellow? In general? Do you ignore

names of pitches because you know you’ll swing at all of them?

Eyes, who asked you? Do you eat standing up? Is toast kind of

immediate? When roof access is announced, are you Sputnik?

Will you sit on the couch no one saw anyone put there? Lie,

even? Do you name your appliances? Do fries near you fear

theft? Period? Sweet potato? In terms of response, do you get

eh, that’s okay way more than maybe, but what kind of

ramp? During tornadoes, do you Tweet inconsiderately about

God smiting ugly basketball museums? Do you recognize

fear as a basset hound who just showed up one day and lives

for leftovers and walks away from every name you try?

Do you gloriously prep your apologies? Your apostrophes?

Does sprinting often seem like the best way to deal with the way

to the post office? Speaking of the post office, how about those

automated postal centers? Am I right or am I right? Okay,

here’s one: do you not only go up to moody, balding strangers

at warehouse reverb shows where it’s gauche to ask Wait,

the background is trying to look like Windows Media Player,

right? and brush those strangers on the shoulder to say

Am I right or am I but you also turn to the only people

you know at the show and ask them wouldn’t it be funny

if—actually, is 80% of all you ever say wouldn’t it be funny if

and 10% is thanking counter service people and 5% is making

desperately non-committal jokes and 3% percent is prep-out-the-

window apologies and 1% is whispering something about fireflies

and masonry in order to worship someone’s legs and the last 1%

is wondering in silence to yourself if you will die with saved

passwords the last to go, or if silence by itself is the best

wondering you’ll ever reach, not that knowing would ever

stop you from waiting inside your life under summer’s bonus

sunlight at the bus stop above the kids sponsored by local backhoes

blowing their wrists out on pitches their coaches shouldn’t be

explaining yet, O you with most of what you call loving given

over to everything you’re guaranteed to be the last to know.

 

You Must Motherfucking Change Your Life

To be present in the world doesn't make you

a present to the world. Some people do have beautiful

shoulders, yeah, this is a condition known as being easy

to weep on. Belief = imagination you gave up measuring.

Rows of humongous cement tubes outside a nightly

donut stop. A fortune teller waits for the portapotty.

To guess what song the jogger’s using. No, you're

moving it. The driver announces each stop to her

empty bus. I want to be able to say you can’t ever

say what will happen to you on a given day in the

same way I want to go skinny dipping with eight

attractive friends without first consuming a relatively

expensive amount of convincing. There’s no moving

on. On top of, maybe? You tell me. Obvious = in the

way. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Meanwhile,

that person you see so often you go “oh, a new pair

of antlers.” But you still haven’t met them. You’re their

them, Jim Bo. To make someone weep and still have that

playing as you watch someone else make a courageous

estimate in the crosswalk. To be present in the world

doesn’t mean the world will mention you along the

way. I want to be able to weep outside my nightly

fortune like it’s a given. Give up conditioning and

guess. There. Isn’t it great to get that out of the way?

 

Know and Make Known

Love waits at the back of the crowd until it

finds you, and then you both have to wait for

the baggage carousel. At some point we need

to factor in those coalitions who greet soldiers

unknown to them except in assumption of

spirit, so how about let’s say we go on and

admit love’s elusion. It’s not that airports

charge terrible prices for burritos, it’s that

death doesn’t change anything. Once I saw

the oven make the first strombolis. That early,

even the TSA humans half-remembered their

dreams, and the ones late for their jobs were

barred from the special door until they felt made

an example of. It’s hard to remember we’re all

humans until we’re all dressed for the occasion,

standing on however long it’s been since the

lawnmower and on top of those who can no longer

complain that a salad tastes like rabbit food,

which we’ve never really eaten, since none of us are

rabbits, but O to be confident of vision! Then someone’s

breast pocket sunflower goes off and it’s no flower at all,

just a phone disguised, as sometimes at the black of my

vision I wonder if I am a terrible person disguised as

here with you. It’s not that anyone needs to answer

their calls, it’s that someone knows the belt number

for your baggage, and until you find them, who can

you trust? All you can do is stand with standers.