Saturday, December 17, 2011

Poetics: Balloons & Dirigibles



You want to see the world?
You want to see the world?

Let me fix you a cocktail
     one part Crash, cause it hits every angle
     mix in some P.S. I love you
     stir with Hotel Rwanda
     and garnish with a spritz of Once

Watch them all in one night, no matter
how your eyes sting, not from lack of sleep
but where the shards of what ricochets
round your chest scRaTCHes tunnels
out your tear ducts, one spoonful at a time
like Edmond Dantes,

“Moral wounds have this peculiarity -
they may be hidden, but they never close;
always painful, always ready to bleed when touched,
they remain fresh and open in the heart.”

But tonight I am in McDonald's & she
is wiping trays, with a white rag speckled
in slight stains

swipe
        stack
swipe
        stack
swipe
        stack
swipe

they say she is touched, fucked up or just
REtard-ed (oh, how i hate that word)
with their looks or stance or awkwardness
as they pass with perfect polished balloons
& she a dirigible, which may seem more
powerful but pulls her here & there, especial-
ly when she opens her mouth as her face

goes sideways, everything rolling gravel,
elongates & does a twist as it passes her lips,
so she mostly
               just smiles

Kids love her, gather at her ankles
with empty trays, cheeks red sun rays
at the twinkle in her eyes, opposite the ones
that turn away as if she is contagious, or act
oblivious in ignorance

The kids though they know she is a special
kind of beautiful---
        my son pops in the last nugget of his
        happy meal, seals the red & yellow box
        with prize inside and goes to slide
        out the booth, tray in hand, but i intercept
his pass, not wanting to miss the chance to intersect

& say "Thank You" just to bask in those pearly whites
so brite i'd hate to pay the light bill, on our way out
as the credits roll on just thirty minutes of life at McDonald's,
so tell me

You want to see the world?
You want to see the world?

Let me fix you a cocktail, better yet,
try taking a trip on a dirigible.

The above picture was done by tera of olive hue designs. I have had the privilege of writing to her art work or inspiring her artwork with my writing a few times.


Today, over at dVerse Poets, I am hosting Poetics, where you will get the opportunity to do the same. She has offered four different pictures to us and you will get to choose one to write about. It opens today at 3 pm EST. See you there.

Note: The quote is by Dumas, in the book The Count of Monte Cristo.

78 comments:

The Silver Fox said...

That was incredible. It built nicely, with more cool phrasings than I'll repeat here (Edmond Dantes, indeed) Well done!

The Silver Fox said...

I have NEVER been the first commenter on your blog!

Mary said...

Sometimes the world is no further away than our own backyard or McDonalds, each having its own cast of characters! But spare me a dirigible ride. LOL.

Me said...

Oh Brian, you just brought tears to my eyes. This is just beautiful. A new addition to my top ten (I've given up on having a favourite!).

Heaven said...

an interesting perspective of the world, or a slice of life. and seeing the world is sometimes opening your eyes wider to see the special in the ordinary beat of life ~

"they say she is touch"..did you mean tough?

See you later ~

Nancy said...

Beautiful. A true tribute to the Season.

Bonnie said...

I love your particular view of the world and how you share it Brian.

the walking man said...

Cruelty and awkwardness at someone elses differences are learned traits of humans. Children have not had enough time to become as most of humanity becomes. We adults can unlearn as well as we learn, though it be a more difficult dirigible to fly in.

Tara Miller said...

Such a beautiful poem, love! I think there are also those that are more scared to interact with someone a little different and take time to know them. But stop, observe and put ourselves in their world and we too will see the beauty and light they radiate. Our world is merely stepping out our front door...we don't have to go far.

Daniel said...

It seems like you see through it all sometimes. You see right to the heart. I so often get stuck on the surface and just dwell there.

hedgewitch said...

Very thoughtful response to that picture, Brian. You always work in unexpected insights and associations, never more so than here, with difference being just a larger balloon that flies longer and higher by its nature. I won't be around this afternoon to catch the prompt and tera's artwork, but will be by in the morning.Looking forward to it.

SueAnn said...

What a beautiful way to describe her. And kids love her..yes they do. They see the brightness in her heart...the lack of guile! Kids are pretty smart.
Hugs
SueAnn

Pat Hatt said...

Four movie references in a row
Only another 100 or so more and you can keep up with my show..haha
Nuggets are fine by me
McDonalds sure has a lot to see
Yeah hate that word too
Children do see the world new
And less darm and grim
Many adults can always learn something from them

Josh Hoyt said...

Great poem and great picture. I like the thoughts it provokes.

Valerie said...

We can learn a lot from our kids... I hope they learn the right things from us. Loved this, Brian.

Madhulika said...

Loved the phrasings :)

Steve E said...

Anna is in Tampa welcoming her first grandchild (son) into our world! She called to say he already "dirigibles" a lot, among other things.

Fortunately, he is not re-------rather, fucked up.

Thank you Brian for again--yes, AGAIN!!!-- showing us where to discover life. Ans: EVERYWHERE, even--especially?--in the House of Big Mac!

And you make the outing fun, an adventure!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

It took me awhile to figure out where you were going with this, Brian. As usual, it's always a fun ride!

tera said...

oh Brian, this is so cool. Made me teary.
How lovely. I used to work at a McD's years ago and we has a "special" guy working there who nearly fit this description, too.

Thanks.
Most awesome.

t

Tabor said...

How your miraculous mind can take off in such an unusual direction with all the colors of a carnival. Good job.

TALON said...

A perfect blend of visual and written art, Brian. I love how you see the beauty of the person and honor it.

Magpie said...

Beautifully written...the artwork perfectly chosen...another successful walk through the mind and heart of Brian! I loved it.

Claudia said...

i'm always highly suspicious of those, circling this world in perfect polished balloons..often it's the ones outside the norm that teach us to look at the world in a different way..and some kids still see it until they un-learn.. a fine piece brian and a perfect interpretation of the image

adeeyoyo said...

Oh, yes, you can sit in one place and watch the world go by... and little children are excellent judges of character, or so they say. I sure hope so. Nice write. I especially liked your cocktail, lol.

adeeyoyo said...

PS - Your descriptions are getting better and better - if that is possible.

"they say she is touched, fucked up or just REtard-ed (oh, how i hate that word)with their looks or stance or awkwardness as they pass with perfect polished balloons & she a dirigible, which may seem more powerful but pulls her here & there, especial-ly when she opens her mouth as her face goes sideways, everything rolling gravel, elongates & does a twist as it passes her lips, so she mostly just smiles"

This is just brilliant!

LadyCat said...

Some people have a light within that the outside can never extinguish. Love this picture and am going to check out terra's pages.
This is so profpound and true...
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity -
they may be hidden, but they never close;
always painful, always ready to bleed when touched,
they remain fresh and open in the heart.”

LadyCat said...

Some people have a light within that the outside can never extinguish. Love this picture and am going to check out terra's pages.
This is so profpound and true...
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity -
they may be hidden, but they never close;
always painful, always ready to bleed when touched,
they remain fresh and open in the heart.”

Rachel said...

that was gorgeous. this was so insanely rich and glorious.

and i'll take that spritz of ONCE because it sings my soul chords in perfect harmony.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

beautifully written sir! lots of things to see and think of... I love it!

JJRod'z

Fred said...

Cool, I was actually trying to place that quote too. Thanks for saving me the mindwrapping around that one-lol Nice piece, lots of great lines in here, and the social commentary that you provide is always something I look forward to. Great job once again. Thanks

CiCi said...

Kids are so cool. They see the person within.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Whoa, this one came out of left field considering the prompt! I absolutely love it, your creativity never disappoints.

kaykuala said...

This is great Brian! The kids to learn and we to unlearn hopefully on the right things. McD gets to be in places that is beneficial to kids. Let them be, they'll be loving it!

Hank

Mama Zen said...

Moving, Brian. Really moving.

Alice Audrey said...

This is certainly inspired - a wonderful story in verse.

tony said...

I Agree .I Really HATE the word Retard so disrespectful to some beautiful people.

otin said...

Maybe I can add your poem to my 8x10 version of that pic!

You are right, retarded is an ugly word when applied to a person.

Brian Miller said...

esp since you were the one that requested it eh otin?

Friko said...

Brian, you are the master.

Steve King said...

Yes, a half-hour of McDonalds can certainly portray a microcosm of the world-as-we've-come-to-know-it. But with surprises in the details, as you so graphically demonstrate. Nice contribution. I enjoyed seeing it.

Morning said...

amazing that you can make small events BIG and MEANINGFUL by your creative words.

way to go.
A gem piece with detective eyes and absolutely beautiful descriptions.

Enjoyed your word play very much.
A Divine Treat for the Day!

Ruthiey said...

Brian! Hi! I haven't commented in so long, but I always appreciate the comments you leave on my posts. Now that I'm no longer a student, I will be around more.

Loved this post. Your eyes for real life helps me see people for who they are.

Natasha Head said...

Damn, Brian! Thank you for being you and all that you do...even with this freaking lump that is forming in my throat as I write this comment. The kids always know, don't they...it's that part I'm trying so desperately to not let my daughter lose. She is so very open and accepting to all. Thank you for being an example, for hanging on to that tray...you rock! (And my gawd! What an artist you have shared with us today...so very pleased I got to play!)

Laurie Kolp said...

I love this, Brian. It reminds me of my older (and only) sister's first job at McDonald's. I felt so sorry for her having to sweep and wipe the tables (because you have to work your way up to the counter) that I'd go and help her.

Anonymous said...

I love this description, B:

"when she opens her mouth as her face

goes sideways, everything rolling gravel,
elongates & does a twist as it passes her lips,
so she mostly
just smiles"

~Shawna
(rosemarymint.wordpress.com)

Amy Sullivan said...

Your words always rock my world, and make me wonder what you are writing offline. Anything?

Anthony Desmond said...

brilliant poem! that's the beauty of young ones... they aren't tainted by ignorance...

flaubert said...

Absolutely awesome poem, Brian. So well done.

Pamela

Margie said...

Brian, you touched my heart very much with this poem!
Thank you!

manicddaily said...

Very interesting place to take the prompt. Well done. K.

JANU said...

Too good, weaving different emotions here.

Margaret said...

Hey, my son is home from college and he loved your poems here (loved the Divinity one). He said it reminded him of slam poetry... (almost rap). I think you will soon have another follower... :)

Caty said...

It's so sad that young children usually lose that nonjudgemental love as they get older...I think that love is what I love so much about kids :) We have a girl (lady?) with down syndrome working in our hospital cafeteria. she has an imaginary friend-or one that only she can see :)-that she is always talking to. But she always makes me smile and she is the hardest working thing!

marousia said...

beautifully layered - it really does show the impossibility of truly capturing a complete moment - I love the way you find inspiration in what many would see as mundane :)

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

This was deep, it kind of became emotional to me as I think back to all those movies. I could never finish watch most of them. You are sort of an actor with your words. Great Work.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Brian, your thought processes always amaze me: from inspiration to the extraordinary end result. There is so much going on in this poem, with a distinct change between the two parts - almost like two poems in one, and all linked together in the final lines.

Dave King said...

Amazing changes of pace, mood and tempo. For me it all began here:

“Moral wounds have this peculiarity -
they may be hidden, but they never close;
always painful, always ready to bleed when touched,
they remain fresh and open in the heart.”

but the "here" was well prepared for. Kept me on my toes - which I definitely like!

ladyfi said...

A great tribute to the people with their own special kind of beautiful!

Lydia said...

Oh, Brian, there is so much here, one of those poems I exhaled as much as read...so that, at the end, I simply sighed. I could cry for the guilt and beauty evoked by the scenes here. Your description of her opening her mouth into that smile...well, it sure is "a special kind of beautiful" and so is this piece. Perfect, perfect with the lovely drawing.

Lorraine said...

oh my God Brian, you send shivers down my spine, everytime..you touch the very best in us

Brendan said...

I've said it dozens of times, but wounds are also wombs, though in the assbackward-thinking of the everyday we can see the flowers for the scars. Don't you think the older we get, the more the peculiar and abnormal appeals? - Brendan

ayala said...

A gorgeous write, Brian. I love your sensitivity towards the world . Your heart and mind always open to others. Love this. Love the art as well. :)

liza said...

I'm always amazed on how who you weave words to create another mini masterpiece. Are you putting your work into a book, yet?

Rallentanda said...

Small acts of humanity are played out everywhere and witnessed by the artist's eye...people at their worst and occasionally a glimmer of hope from a random act of kindness.

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

I want to see the world.
And your writing shows us all the world :)

P.S: How is your son now?

Tom said...

no doubt. the world is all around us...filled up with people. people, not just automatums. Merry Christmas to you and your family

Heather said...

we are all beautiful if people would only take the time to look past the covers...like you always do....beautiful

zongrik said...

ok, you said it, she does look retarded

Brian Miller said...

actually i did not say that....but often that is what people see when they look at her at McD's...

zongrik said...

i knew you'd say she wasn't retarded!!!

you sooooo...fell for that.


LOL

zumpoems.com said...

Love the way you use repitition -- very nicely done!

zumpoems.com said...

oops -- repetition

Victoria said...

Brian, this is like a punch in the solar plexus, showing your profound empathy. So often you offer a voice for those who need someone to speak for them. I guess that ties in with who you are and what you do for others on a daily basis. Thanks for this one.

jen revved said...

Again the bees have swarmed to your honey and I am the latest of the bees.xxx I loved this-- powerful and poignant together, doesn't descend into sentimentality or make us pity her... xxxj

Jyoti Mishra said...

some very fantastic lines up there...
very beautifully written... love your view of the world.

tinkwelborn said...

quite a cocktail! full of garnishments...who’d a expected it….at McDonald’s?
from all places...good ‘takeoff.’
nice snapshot of the contemporaneous & a dash of the Count of Monte Cristo.
cool trope re: pearly whites & electric bill.
Just plain good writing.
good job.

Sue said...

LOVE the art.

Both of you.

=)

Syd said...

There is a lady at Publix who talks to me. She has a learning disability. Her smile lights me up. We talk about the weather and how the soup is today (in the little cafe near the deli). I think we get so much when we treat others as we would like to be treated.