Dreaming the Jitterbug

My leg is asleep
and dreaming the jitterbug
and once it wakes up
I’ll be able to walk around
like a person with places to go

And my leg will fondly
recall its dream, and put
a little kick in my happy step
and it will all be good, unless
I think about it too much

A Prosecutor Prepares for the Testimony of Mr. Carlos Santana

Thank you for testifying today Mr. Santana, let’s get started.

Concerning the Black Magic Woman you wrote of, to be clear is this a woman who practices black magic, or a black woman who practices an unspecified type of magic? Would stage magic be considered a valid type of magic in this instance?

When did you first suspect that the Black Magic Woman was trying to make a devil out of you? Is being a devil something you have attempted unsuccessfully on your own?

Is it possible that your own perhaps unacknowledged desire to be a devil is what drives your relationship with the Black Magic Woman?

Let’s move on to your baby and her alleged evil ways.

Now, when you arrived home on the night in question, you stated that your house was dark. Aren’t you in the habit of shutting off lights when you leave the house? Isn’t it true that you have no real concerns about the lights being off, except to imply that your baby was not at home when you expected her to be. Where were you, and who were you with, prior to returning home?

As to the pots which you claim were cold, you stated that they were, and I quote, “my pots,” so this was cookware that you yourself had purchased? Is it your view that your baby is somehow solely responsible for heating up pots that she doesn’t even own?

When you complain that your baby’s ways are evil, isn’t it based on your own view that her role in the relationship is to be subservient, and that you are being overly zealous in detecting deviation from this desired norm?

Is it possible, Mr. Santana, that what you describe as “running around” is simply your baby’s pursuit of an ordinary and healthy social life?

You have complained that you feel compelled to be ‘runnin and hidin all over town,’ and also ‘sneakin and peepin’ etc. This sounds exhausting. What is it that compels you to do these things, if not an exaggerated sense of suspicion or jealousy?

This issue you have of feeling like a clown, did you seek counseling? Is it possible that you are projecting your own sublimated inadequacies onto your baby, in the form of blame?

(possible objection: witness is not a psychologist)

Is your baby as well acquainted with the Black Magic Woman as you are? Have they ever even met?

How did your baby respond when you threatened to stop loving her? Are you sure she’s still your baby? Have you checked lately? Why do you never refer to your baby by her given name? Surely she has one. You refer to her friends Jean and Joan by their names.

(possible objection: badgering)

Are there any women at all, Mr. Santana, that you admire, or even approve of?

Mr. Santana, are you familiar with the term “woke?”

(Note: Evil Ways is a great song with very stupid lyrics.)

Poetry

Here’s my idea for a poem:

Here’s the poem:

If we could dispense with
all this elaboration

And just transmit our ideas
directly

There’s probably a Buddhist tantra
that shows you how

And a Nihilist aphorism that
says why bother, but

Isn’t the ramshackle an honest look
at how things go ?

Image (1st) by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Image (2nd) by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay

The Late Mr. Middleman

“Punctuality is a disease of the mind which habituates the tendency to prioritize all the wrong things.”

When we refer to people who have passed away, we often prepend to their names, “the late”, which is a custom I find charming and a little strange. One of the chief benefits of being dead has to be the fact that you don’t have to show up for things anymore, which, for me, is one of the great joys of being alive, that is, when you can manage to pull it off.

Sometimes you have to show up though, and when you do, it is fashionable to be late. I have been told this before, and have tried in earnest to believe it. Being late, they say, establishes your reputation within the upper ranks of the hierarchy, provided you are properly dressed. This is the sort of conventional wisdom that may well work for others. I myself have found it necessary to take a different tack.

My own reputation is that of a man who always shows up on time and then lolls about not doing much, to the relief of everyone in the organization, who all have vivid recollections of what happens when I roll up my sleeves and attempt to accomplish things. It wasn’t long before upper management saw the advantage of giving me my own office and getting me out of the way.

My advice to anyone who would mimic my rise in the world of business is to first of all be on time. I have shouldered the burden of punctuality my entire life, making me the bore at parties and the least admired among coworkers and the most likely to be tapped for that position in middle management where one abides for the remainder of his days, or until they downsize, which ever comes first.

In the mean time, you get to abide in that sweet spot between the pressures of fiduciary responsibility and the grind of actually producing things that consumers are willing to pay for. Then when you finally die, let them go ahead and refer to you as The Late Mr. Middleman. It is a badge of honor, my friend, and one that you and your little alarm clock have earned. It is the secret reward crowning your lifelong campaign of punctuality. Because the day you don’t show up, they’ll know what you’ve trained them to know your entire life: you’re not late, that’s never ever happened, you must be dead.

And then finally, having shed all worries of tardiness, you will get to sleep in.

The Grind

A stumpy old molar lives alone in the back of some mouth, like a tombstone at the grave site of all the missing teeth. He reaches up, searching for his mate above, to press against, eager for contact, ready to grind and mash together like crazy young lovers, but alas, she’s long gone. She got the rot and they came and took her.

He thinks they might as well come take him too. Lone molar, a widower with nothing much to do but keep that cheek from caving in. They give him a good flossing now and then, but really, he’s just biding his time, a mockery of function, like a gate with no fence. He can’t even go put in with the smile up there, back of the line his whole life. Front teeth were always so well cared for, weren’t they? Vain sons of bitches.

Well, at least he wasn’t a wisdom tooth. Butt of every dental joke he’d ever heard.