Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a Little Red in the Hood (or the cost of change)



"Look at him, trying to be Wesley Snipes,"
my dad says, a hush, just for us

&

"WHOSE TRYING TO BE WESLEY SNIPES"
my son bull horns, across the line, lined asphalt

&

Wolf teeth white gleam atop the collar popped
black trench as the man swivels his gaze,

eyes us, just
a moment, judgement, measured intentions, apprec-
iations, shuns, disappointments then boots

CLOMP, cLOMP, clOMP, cloMP, clomP
auto-doors shush the held breath, within

the store, a split second, halved, quartered

touched, un-
touched, left on the plate, unwilling to taste.

Later, the drive-through at the Mickey D's,
but broke, my window's now held up

by a block of wood entombed behind
the door panel, so I have to stand outside

exhaust huffing white and purple clouds
against the cold, toes in fries mashed by tires

where they slipped the bag in the back and forth,
and among them i pick up thirty two cent,

three dimes and two pennies, change too small to stop
and pull over, for most, but accumulates

yes, accumulates---for those that do

& how many dead presidents
would it take for you?


Process Note: Dead Presidents is slang for US paper currency which displays the face of past presidents. Figure I better make sure that is clear before the suits show up at my door. smiles.

88 comments:

Nezzy said...

Funny man! Nope ya sure don't want the Feds kickin' in your door in the middle of the night over a great prose!!!

Great job once again man!

God bless and have a wonderful 2012.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :o)

joanna said...

you do have a way of telling a story, brian, that just makes one sit back and think... smiles... love the experimentation with the capital/lowercase variations. and that last question... perfect.

Whosyergurl said...

Gotta love the way that little ones pipe up. They are listening all. the. time!
great story. Cheryl

G-Man said...

Wesley Snipes?
Didn't pay his taxes either eh?

Hey Bro...You got a solid quarter for 23 cents?

Margaret said...

...how many dead presidents....

UNIQUE! Love it. Just think if I could collect ALL the lost change... the pennies, nickles and dimes THROWN away these days. Soon Quarters will meet the same fate...

...are Quarters WORTH 23 cents these days? :)

AmyLK said...

Yes, one out-running of the police for the year is enough! lol

The change does add up eventually. if only we can get enough change in the government to add up too........

She Writes Here Now said...

Window held up by wood :(. I know what you mean about change accumulating and it isn't enough until it does. I gave a blanket from my trunk to a cold couple this year on a freezing night and was deeply sad I had no change for them. I like the picture a lot in this one.

Pat Hatt said...

haha a lottery ticket with lots of dead presidents to come after
Would make me hit the rafter
Those suits should get the point
Hopefully their nose won't get out of joint
Welsly Snipes you say
was it more of a Jungle Fever, Blade, White Men Can Jump or U.S. Marshals display?
Ohhhh wait no more movie knowledge has to rain
As it was the Money Train

Daniel said...

I not sure that I understood all the imagery here. But I understood enough to appreciate your main point. This is the kind of scene that you would go into with eyes wide open, and I would be running from with eyes closed.

Claudia said...

my mom always says: take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves...and it doesn't only work with money.. sometimes it's just important to do the small things to achieve the big changes we all want...from small to big...i much like the message...and just everyone is able to do this...if they really want to stop and pull over..

Meeko Fabulous said...

Thanks to the Coinstar machine . . . I'll pick up ANY dead presidents I see laying on the street. :)

Ed Pilolla said...

there's a quiet movement to get rid of the penny, but that would be such a disaster for the homeless who rely on the discarded coin. it adds up in the most unexpected ways. i love the blurting out of wesley snipes. kids are so innocent.
happy new year:)

Deb said...

Kids always manage to sit up and listen when you don't want them to ! Once again your writing has given me food for thought !

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Reminds me of walking around the streets of Hollywood... so many disillusioned souls.

bajanpoet said...

Love your stories, Brian :D

And I nominated you for a blog award!
http://poetwhispers.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/versatile-blogger-award/

TALON said...

Most people don't even see what's right there in front of them. You always do, Brian, and write of it perfectly.

Rachel said...

gorgeous. gotta love the way you weave a tale. <3

Tara Miller said...

Cool write, love. Change is good - on the ground, in my pocket, or changing ways of everyday life. the last can sometimes be painful - but good.

CiCi said...

Actually what is written on the sign is great. Change is needed for all of us to be eating and bathing and warm.

Fred said...

Haha yeah I can see it just now, dad watching fox news and there on screen is a slam on poets and some large conspiracy-lol I knew the expression, but I have an idea stuffy suits might now- good call on the explanation. Really fast read, love the way it moves, lots of different devices used here, love how you used the Ampersand, just read a really good article about ampersands in the new Poets & Writers issue, so really cool to see them used so well here. Thanks

Laurie Kolp said...

Great line breaks. I never used to stop and pick up coins, but I do now.

BTw- lovely image here:

exhaust huffing white and purple clouds
against the cold, toes in fries mashed by tires

Anne said...

Love how you played time against money here. Change, we all need it. Your country, mine, we as individuals. Good thing you posted that bit at the end. The men in dark coats and dark glasses are always watching, watching. I think they're all really Dick Cheney.

adeeyoyo said...

I think this is over my head, Brian. I once had my driver's window stuck and what a darned nuisance it was having to open the door and get out for parking tickets, etc.

Eva Gallant said...

Very wise to explain the dead presidents reference; we would miss your writing once they took you away!

Brian Miller said...

these were 2 seperate events i kinda blended...the window is broke and propped up by a block of wood which stinks when we were traveling to cleveland and having to pay tolls on the turnpike...or when getting fast food...but i did find the change because of it...and it was my metaphor for change...the first happened in the parking lot at the home my gramma is in...the statement that then my son repeated...snap judgements we make and think little of but...that is where the change for me waws today...been a surreal kinda day so does not surprise me that my writing this morning reflects it a bit...

Unknown Mami said...

I really like the rhythm of this one. Happy New Year!

Sue said...

I love your multi-layered approach to poetry.

=)

Pauline said...

You're the best story teller I know!

rosaria said...

Brian, nobody else paints a scene like this, embodies a life like this.

nerima roberts said...

I so agree with Talon's comment...you have a way of seeing things in a way we don't see....
I also love this: ..."CLOMP, cLOMP, clOMP, cloMP, clomP"
Thanks, Dude.

Tina said...

You do these vignettes so well. Enjoyed it as always.
Tina @ Life is Good

hedgewitch said...

Always gotta watch your mouth around the young ones--and gratz on the change--keep saving it so you can get the @#$!window fixed. Love the last line in this.

Anyes said...

Change in your pocket or happening to you is all good...I am always grateful for any change...even if at times it's a bit uncomfortable :-)

Fragrant Liar said...

Gotta love the Mickey D's parking lot, especially when your toes smoosh the dropped fries.

Monkey Man said...

I would take any number of dead presidents over the current.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Good write again sir!

JJRod'z

DJan said...

You are so, so deep, Brian. I myself would take today's president over all the dead ones.

Tifiny said...

Oh, man,

I noticed the change in your tags,
somewhat different?!

Great take on change,
best wishes.

:)

Syd said...

Brother, can you spare a dime? I put my change in a coin bank. It doesn't take too long to get a few hundred spit out.

Lisa Golden said...

So much about this rocks. The style, the rhythm, the line breaks,the use of capitalization.

I pick up change. You never know when you might need it.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I guess I'm too tired to think about the meaning in this one, so I won't pretend I get what you were going for.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my goodness Brian! This is so good. I love how you write. And I really love how you make me think.

Margie said...

Suits showing up on your door ...LOL!

As always, Brian, I'm in awe of your writing ability and style!

Thank you!
Smiles

Bernie said...

Hey I pick up the change and give it to whoever is working at the window. Don't you just love the way kids are like sponges, just take everything in and come to a conclusion (probably a much better conclusion than any adult would)
Big hugs....:-)

Mary said...

Powerful words, Brian! Your story resonates.

Mary said...

and, on another note,
Brian, thank you for being YOU and, on my blog recognizing that I was / am going through a hard time. Just that someone recognizes / acknowledges what they read is so important. You are such a good person,and so perceptive, Brian. I just want to acknowledge that. Thank you for being YOU.

Blue Cotton Memory said...

Sometimes change makes you feel like you are standing in spilled fries! There's nothing that speaks truth more than our children piping up words we gave them!

Taylor Boomer said...

Often, we act childish and easy to get ourselves in constant self doubt or questions.

only YOU have the nerve to write about things as small as a penny at a time that accumulates, I see extraordinary message in IT.

Beautiful Job!

Keep it up.

;)

lori said...

I certainly hope they don't come and drag you away. Good thing you made the footnote, lol. Great ending. This one feels kind of hollow or sad to me, especially, "touched, un-
touched, left on the plate, unwilling to taste."

SassyModernMom said...

Another great tale by you....this one reminds me I have a tax cheque to write:( lol

Cloudia said...

Like that final line, Bro.

come over tomorrow and celebrate the return of the Trades goodbye VOG!



Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

><}}(°>

tearlessnights said...

I've never been a great appreciator of poetry... you might make me rethink my stance...

Cinnamon said...

I love the use of assonance (cold, toes, fries, tyres)- this gets better on 2nd and 3rd readings and would be great performed!

I see you have not lost your touch- and don't you just love the innocence of children!!

Happy New Year to you Brian and your wife and growing boys xx

BragonDorn said...

Very good job! :)

RD said...

Mr. Miller...we'd like to have a word with you

I never did understand wishing wells

Peace

RD said...

Mr. Miller...we'd like to have a word with you

I never did understand wishing wells

Peace

Valerie said...

Any change I have goes to charity. Any I find goes the same way. A lesson I learned long ago was never to speak in front of kids.....

Lorraine said...

quite the text here my friend I agree and disagree...and yes good save at the end...who knows...nowadays

Tea said...

Three dimes and two pennies accumulates."Accumulates" is the word that works magic for me.

Mrsupole said...

Yes, I agree with Monkey Man in that I will take any dead president over the one we have now, but then I think I would take a Ben Franklin any day too. And he wasn't ever a president. What is sad is that I use my ATM card so much that I barely can remember who is printed on what bill and which coin.

Thanks for playing in this weeks Change Theme Thursday, saving change is a good thing to do.

God bless.

Kate Hanley said...

Great rhythm and I love the pic!

ladyfi said...

Great piece of writing!

Slamdunk said...

I am slow this morning, and had to read the comments to fully appreciate your message. Not sure how I did not immediately get the Snipes reference.

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

And another one....classic. You Know I had to mention your name in the interview

Dave King said...

Clever lineation. In fact, pretty well everything's clever! Great stuff - as ever!

sage said...

I like that photo and laughed at your disclaimer at the end!

william said...

happy new year friend, this was a great tale, look forward to another year of friendship and blogging ;)

Isabel said...

didn't know that was slang for that. anyway... great write once again. happy new year.

Alan Burnett said...

As imaginative and creative as ever Brian. And let me take this opportunity of wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.

Helen said...

Your disclaimer rivals the poem! Nice.

Dolly @Soulstops said...

Oh, how do you do it, Brian? Love the picture and heart you paint with your words...Blessings to you and yours in the coming year - the richest kind that come wrapped in His love and joy.

beccagivens said...

Ohhh, the snap judgements we make!! Great story, Brian ... you have your own style that shines!!

Happy New Year!

Mama Zen said...

Nice write, Brian! It was the child with the bullhorn that got me. Been there, done that!

magicinthebackyard said...

I used to have this same picture on my blog. What a powerful image and your piece is brilliant, as always!


Also, I am making you a quoto in response to your Life in Quotations comment on my blog! Email me with your email address so I can send it your way!
magicinthebackyard@yahoo.com

Lolamouse said...

Another great story/poem Brian. It's rather sad that you had to elaborate on your meaning of "dead presidents," whether in jest or not. The fact that it even crossed your mind that someone would be at your door tells a lot about the state of our States right now.

wood said...

i've read this a few times now, and i could have sworn that i left a few words here the other day... but perhaps that was in a different universe. anyway, love the pace of this, a snappy rhythm, would make a great spoken piece. i had other things i wanted to say, but dang-it i dont remember what they were, as always, love your style (and that mohawk)

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh wow.

You know you really do see all the nitty gritty of life that everyone either looks away from or, looks down upon.
I used to always give money to beggars in the street in the city I lived in, until one was exposed who spent all day begging only to leave and jump into a a BMW car at the end of the day. That kind of jaded my view then. I know some are genuine and we shouldn't judge but, how do you know who is genuine in need and who is just plain lazy.
I always try to remember what my mum always told me: "There but for the grace of God, go I." All those pennies you gathered are a fortune, if you don't have a penny. as I tell Chloe, if something is 3 dollars are you only have 2.99 the 3 dollars is useless if you don't have that other penny. so, a penny is everything, if you don;t have one.
Wonderful writing again!
And, it's true, really.

Kris said...

I couldn’t imagine circumstances whereby trying to be like Wesley Snipes would be a good thing to do.

Sheila Moore said...

Every little bit of change counts and if our windows (or whatever) weren't "broken" we might never find/make that change, I suppose. I was a bit confused by this until you clarified that it was two different events then it made cents, er, I mean sense ;)

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"& how many dead presidents
would it take for you?"

Hello! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing...a very thought-provoking poem, and a very thought-provoking image..."too!
deedee ;-D

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

No need to clarify! I got the slang immediately! ;)

This could've been written by so many people. It reminds me of a young guy who was raising his three kids (baby in diapers) in a van while he wife was in the hospital, drying out from drugs. Every little bit counted...dead presidents included.

Teri M said...

I needed the clarification but you were in no danger of ME calling the Feds on you. :)

Victoria said...

I am really just finding your poetry Brian, though I have read your comments on my blog and Mary's. Your voice is so strong. I'm especially caught by "ankle deep in fries."I'm going to bereading your blog regularly now.

ayala said...

A moving write, Brian. Great!

myheartslovesongs said...

LOVING this one, brian! got some word art of your own goin' on. {smile}

The Unknowngnome said...

Add my two cents to your change, I like this. I stop for any, for as you say, it all accumulates.

I, like Victoria, am just finding your poetry, though I feel I know you from reading your comments on many many sites.

Peace.

The Empress said...

Oh, though I get pulled into your poetry, because I finally get to sit and think, it's your disclaimer that brought much break in the form of laughter.

Yes, emotions...tension...then the good laugh.

That's a most perfect visit here.

Anonymous said...

you've got an awesome blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?