Tuesday, August 14, 2012

OpenLinkNight: (Unit-ed) States of America

King Kong, Branson, MO

All the sellers are bleary eyed, having been here
since before the light, even as they unload, the first
buyers shine their flashlights, like proctologists
in all the dark recesses

'What are you asking?'

'Five dollars.'

'Will you take two?'

catching them in the anx for the first sale, sugar plum
dreams of riches at a quarter a clip & the need to finish
before the serious arrive---'yes'

then watch their wares move two stalls over,
through the process of inflation, i

wait for the rush to end & the sun,
to walk the gravel among the obese and emaciated,
all too happy to find a toilet tissue holder complete
with a bottle opener---it's convenience

what goes in must come out

& why waste time moving from the throne,
there is almost a royal feeling to it---and all the memories
someone else's, but mine as well--G.I. Joe figures
my mom sold when i was in Uni, passed around until
now here they sit once more, family photo albums
no longer needed, anything you want you can find
& still they dream of enough to pay a bill
or blow on lotto tickets

you never know, this might be the week
(as much a chance as universal healthcare)

an older man, tan, creased, plays the SPAMjo,
an invention, mixing trash to make music---really
it's beautiful what he can do & he serenades his way
stall to stall, subsidizing his retirement with song

'i'll never get there quick, but...'

i want one---i'll 'lectrify it and Jimi his anthem
our anthem, maybe set it on fire,
blend in Simple Man by Skynyrd

even the polo shirt and khaki is allowed, decrying
the current regime, pimping the next king---his fliers
litter & his BMW---might not make it out alive
but----there is HOPE yet

another invites those that pass his test into a trailer,
'Let me show you the guns, now you are 21, right?'
wink ~ wink

every war needs a slogan

& wink ~ wink
has a certain irony
learned from those that lead us
here & ever more

There is SO much HOPE at the flea market,
& for whatever CHANGE you got, you can buy some
as you flee the market--- Forget your lust for the rich man's gold
All that you need, is in your soul
...and be sim-ple kinda man

It is time once again for OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets---so break out your pens and get to poeting. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

Process Note: The italicized are lyrics from Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Personal Note: Got one job offer today...will make a decision on it by tomorrow. And our good poet friend and fellow dVerse Poet, Steve E will be stopping at my house this evening....woohoo...good times.

110 comments:

the walking man said...

Yes a simple kind of man sees so much more...while waiting ever waiting for the sun to rise over the stalls of the temple merchants.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Every war needs a slogan. Love it!

Mary said...

Nice capture, Brian. Haven't been to a flea market in a while in real life but in this poem I felt as if I was walking along with you. We have something called Seven Mile Fair here, but I haven't been in a while.

kaykuala said...

My friend used to tell he got good bargains at such places when he was a student before. Good luck on your job prospects Brian!

Hank

Anne said...

If there are enough people like you Brian, who are awake and thinking and seeing and talking your country will survive the coming economic collapse. It will be hard, but if handled properly by the people, you'll emerge stronger and better.

Best wishes.

Claudia said...

i love cleverly done political poems..and this for sure is one..and i love the idea of mixing trash to make music..some good things in this world are made of what some people would've called trash...so..way to go..in our countries.. in our individual lives cause the real wealth has nothing to do with money..

Louise said...

Life sure is tough right now....I could almost smell the flea market in your poem...but you're right, there is always hope & we are rich inside :)

Charity said...

I was there, vivid characters recognized from dusty stalls and promises bigger than their booths at prices called from every corner! Live it...
But I tok am the 'simple' one
Best wishes on your job decision

Charity said...

I love it, don't live it, ah autocorrect

Heaven said...

Lively capture of the flea market, weaving with the dire politics of your country. I like the ending lines of change, literally and figuratively ~

Good luck on the job prospect ~

Monkey Man said...

I love me a flea market....amazing capture friend.

congrats on the offer :)

DJan said...

Fingers crossed for you and your job situation. The flea market is not my favorite place, but your description is!

Suz said...

Here's wishing you the best on the employment horizon...
I'm not into flea markets
love thrift stores though...there's a subtle difference..and you have captured it

Paula Wooters said...

You've captured the faded glory of the flea market with this one, Brian.

izzy said...

Very cool! on the job and visitor-
Love flea markets too! Give Steve E a
'Hullo' from me! ")

jackie dick said...

Do love your acid tongue,tinged though w. honey. I'll never look at a flea market again with the same eyes. Wonderful metaphors thruout for our trashed yet still hopeful society. I'm with you here, Brian.

Pat Hatt said...

I would want to flee
As some of them can scare me
But some are fun to look around
And see what can be found
True too
What goes in come out in the loo
Geez my lack of poo
Must be getting to you hahahaha
And you never know
Could win the lottery or just more money you blow

Laurie Kolp said...

So many observations at a flea market you have vividly captured here, Brian. I especially like the beginning...

A job offer, YEAH! Best of luck in your decision making. Tell Steve hello for me, please.

Daydreamertoo said...

Certainly captured what happens at flea markets. Loved the 'wink wink'
Someones trash is someone else's good fortune. Loved this intricate look at all the different types who wander the flea markets (including me at times)
Good luck on the job Brian and have a nice visit with fellow poet Steve :)

Sue said...

I do love a flea market, and so does my daughter. She and her hubby go often.

Hoping that the right decision about your job offer comes clear to you! And congrats on the opportunity, too.

=)

Mama Zen said...

"buyers shine their flashlights, like proctologists
in all the dark recesses"

That made me howl!

manicddaily said...

Hi - yes- I love the lines MZ quotes - very funny, though not really a fun poem. Agh. Well, lines kind of drawn now, at least in my mind in terms of what comes next - I don't think this poem truly about flea market! (Ha!) k.

manicddaily said...

Hi - yes- I love the lines MZ quotes - very funny, though not really a fun poem. Agh. Well, lines kind of drawn now, at least in my mind in terms of what comes next - I don't think this poem truly about flea market! (Ha!) k.

Nancy said...

I can feel the hope from here. Flea markets are very unique places for understanding hope. They are embedded in our collective memory - of times long gone when that was how we lived. Barter will be the wave of the future, as well.

Magpie said...

It's amazing how you can put into words all that you see. Such a grand gift you have been given and have cultivated because I know you put your blood, sweat and tears into what goes down on paper.
Enjoy your visit with Steve and give him a hug from me. Now remember - don't forget. :)

Wander said...

Brian, my thoughts have been with you and your family...I hope the offer fits, and that you find fulfillment wherever you land:-)
I have been thinking of that kid, you know the one...I hope ha finds some peace as well...
I always look forward to seeing your comments and thank you for the well wishes

hedgewitch said...

As always the street lives in your words, or the flea market, or wherever you turn your word-proctologist's eye--one of my favorite Skynnyrd songs, too, but it's not easy staying/getting simple in this world. Glad to hear of the job offer and hope it's the right one, bri. Give Steve E a hug from me, too, will ya--he so often makes my day.

Pauline said...

you caught it with those words, that hope in another man's trash!

Alice Audrey said...

Now I want to go to the flea market. I know there's a five dollar thing I could get for two, I just know it.

Arron Shilling said...


hey brian - i think we are both considering the state of our respective nations this week . . .

i'm liking your skills bro . . .

Every War needs a slogan . . .

good luck with the job offer and have a great evening - sink one for me !!!

cheers bri

happygirl said...

I abhor flea markets and yard sales. I liked the rhythm of this piece. I will pray for your job decision. It's always good to have offers. :)

Susan said...

I like "Simple Man" by Skynyrd and its a wonderful allusion for this flea market poem, a phenomenon I enjoy and one that betrays a wish for poetic magic in life: a surprise, a find, a connection, a past once lost, an antidote to the ordinary:
"To walk the gravel among the obese and emaciated,
all too happy to find a toilet tissue holder complete
with a bottle opener---it's convenience"
and also its nobility. I love this!
Your poem captures its inflation, its fun, and its role "wink wink" in our terror.

Susan said...

PS: Is it a job you'd like? You're not saying that looking for a job is like this flea market experience are you?

ayala said...

Brian, this is brilliant. Love it..I feel like I was there. Good Luck with the job and enjoy your visit with Steve E. :)

Whoispattinsonrobert? said...

"There is SO much HOPE at the flea market,& for whatever CHANGE you got, you can buy some as you flee the market--- Forget your lust for the rich man's gold All that you need, is in your soul...
...and be sim-ple kinda man


Hi! Brian...
What a very descriptive poem...your [very] poetic words [words that ring so very true]...placed your readers in the fle[a] market...Tks, for sharing the image too!

deedee :)

william said...

hi mate, well well loved this, I think you are that kind man, thats how you see so much and are able to record it, thanks for the recent visit..

Pat said...

best line : "buyers shine their flashlights, like proctologists
in all the dark recesses"

I went to a big flea market while on vacation. It's pretty bad when I see a lot of the things I grew up with are now considered "antiques"!

poemblaze said...

Great capture of a scene. A lot going on here, as always in your poems.

Jannie Funster said...

Are the buyers and the sellers any different sellers than I profess to be I wonder?

Yikes, this packs some big whallops, Brian. You are like a sponge for the senses, then showering it all on our amazed brains.

Well... back to my ebay selling now. :) Where did I put that G.I.Jane doll?

Evelyn Adams said...

Good luck on the job offer!
"every war needs a slogan"
great line...

Semaphore said...

Poetry on the web is exactly like this, a collectibles market, with treasures like this poem, waiting for the stalwart to discover.

Natasha Head said...

Love the lyrics...a personal favorite...as for flea markets...I do prefer to find my hope in other places...due to many of the scenes you've described here

mrs mediocrity said...

I've spent a lot of time at flea markets in my life, and just this past weekend had a huge garage sale at my parent's house... that is where life is lived, and fought, and survived, there on those tables.

I love the layers in this, all true and real and poignant, I could feel it.

Joseph Hesch said...

Great, now I can't get that appegiated Gary Rossington lick out of my head. You captured Skynard, Jimi, and snips of time in this one space, Brian.

FGreat job!

David F. Barker said...

A sad, poignant testimony of our times, very well written.

colleen said...

Well I just went to the flea market. I had to laugh at the proctologist line. It reminded me of the Seinfield where Kramer had a car with a license plate that said Assman.

flipside records said...

I hate the very idea of unit-ed(ucation). We are more than units; robotic life is unright. We should all un-"it" ourselves.

"like proctologists
in all the dark recesses" ... Love this.

And these:

"an older man, tan, creased, plays the SPAMjo,
an invention, mixing trash to make music"

"decrying
the current regime, pimping the next king"

"every war needs a slogan"

"sim-ple" ... Hmmm, simulation people.

Yay on the job offer! And also getting to hang out with Steve. :) Have fun, boys!

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,

Wishing you lot's of blessings if that is the job you really do want or need. Sometimes a man has to do what he has to do, and I think that will never change. So I do hope it is a job that you like or will like.

I think we all have hope that things will change but if you ask for change and then force someone to give you more change just because you feel they should give it to you so you will have the same, then I somehow think that everyone loses hope to even bother to get any change.

I think there is more hope and change when you teach someone how to fish then when you force someone else to give them their fish, because if you are taking someone else's fish then you begin to realize it is useless for you to learn to fish because they will just take your fish if they want to. The sad thing is that you would willingly share your fish when you see someone who needs a fish and then you would also willingly help them to learn to fish too.

It is what is in our hearts that causes real change and teaching our young ones to always have hope and love for others will keep the coins in the change jar growing.

Oldest grandkid was getting gas and had very little cash, saw a man digging for food in the trash can. She took her gas money and bought food for hungry man instead. No one forced her, she said she would not be able to forgive herself if she did not help. People like her are the hope of this country, and maybe with her talking to the man she gave him some hope to make a change. We can only hope.

Giving from our hearts is a wondrous thing. And Brian you are such a person, we can read it in what you write and in what you do. We humbly thank you.

God bless.

farmlady said...

I sense hope in this, with a touch of "things may be different". None of us ,in the disappearing "middle class", thought we would be bargaining at the Flea Market. But we are. We are all making deals.

Uneven Stephen said...

Ah, The American Dream. Gritty capture. I used to love going to the flea market to look through other people's junk.

Grandmother said...

The poem's a corker and such a real slice of life but the job offer is the big thing here! Check in with your inner wisdom and you'll choose well. Congrats!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I love how you move from a sense of fun and lightness to the more serious--and wink we are all of a sudden there--smiles to you!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Always love your poems- they have real expansiveness to them - you bring together the personal and the universal. Great details all.

Adura Ojo said...

You've got us at the flea market, Brian. Your live picture of it makes me want to stay and flee at the same time:)

adan said...

done many a market, flea or otherwise ;-) and this captures the same goings ons at all the levels of shows and tables and tents and stalls

great job man ;-)

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Nice ramblin, man. Another man's junk is hidin at the swap meet. Another entertaining write, Brian.I like it.

lookingforroots said...

This just rolls right along so perfectly.

Such a delightful read, tinged with the dark...tension...of being an americanperson right now.

Raven said...

Love Lynnrd Skynrd. Good words here. BUT! Even better words below the poem ... so glad to see you have a job offer. Hope all turns out as it should ... no, it will turn out as it should.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

See the never ending story, it's just we don't know when the page turns!

awakenedwords said...

good on many levels Brian. so much of like is indeed like the flea market. And 'wink wink' would be the perfect campaign slogan...for both parties. "we promise EVERYTHING, and it wont cost a thing"'wink, wink'

Annette said...

this reminds me of the swap meets I went to when I was a kid. You could find everything you needed. Cheap. Good capture. I liked the walking among obese and emaciated. So true. All the extremes are there.

pandamoniumcat said...

Everyone's looking for a bit of hope these days. There's so much doom, gloom and negativity reflected in the politics of the world, it's hard to see beyond...but the simple things are what always get us through. Poignant poem that speaks the truth of today!

Vicki Lane said...

You captured it -- the USA as a flea market -- everything for sale...

^.^ said...

... as always I am totally intimidated by this "open link" thing ... seems like a rather close linl to me ... any which way ... beautiful piece, B ... love you ... kisses to your 2 little tykes, eh ... cat.

marousia said...

Love the metaphor - we live live in flea markets... vivid details bring the scene to life

Martyn Kerr said...

Echoing everyone else: such a clever way to capture the frantic flea market. Take care sir.

John Allen Richter said...

Ok, now THAT is a bad day at the flea market! A bottle opener on the tissue holder......... no, I don't ever want to even see one of those.... Afraid I got a little confused with the SPAMJO man, serenading from stall to stall... I was picturing him in the mens room and thought , "Wow, what a dedicated musician.... But how did he panhandle his fee, pass a hat under the doors?" And then I thought no, it must have been the flea market stalls... Brian you have an amazing flare for dramatizing the reality of life, to make people remember the physical aspects of anything ever remembered at all, the ants at the picnic, the sweat on the back of the neck at the boardwalk, the way your underwear might creep up the butt crack at grandmas 80th birthday, the same day I met that incredibly gorgeous brunette with the large boobs that looked tastier than any cantaloupes I've ever seen, and if it just wasn't for the damned fruit flies chasing them around the entire afternoon...... If you may please allow me just this once the critical side, something I do only for personal reasons, then please, take the poop and the pee out of your poems and leave that for the adolescents..... I'm not saying your poem is not awesome, because I think it is. I'm just saying that one little flavor, that one little spice could have been left out and still it would have come out of the oven deliciously.... I hope this doesn't upset you and certainly hope you won't think that I'm prudish. I will say this, of all the poetry I've read this year no one has brought me to such a brink of physical remembrance as well as you do. That's your strong suit, I think. You know there are a lot of other authors that are strong there too, Plath is the one that immediately comes to mind..... You are really close to being there....

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

Brian ~ excellent writing ~ fast flow thru the flea market wares! "BMW" man spinning their wheels purchasing stuff even when no budget for buying anything but used! Politics at its best ~ grabbing the street scene of the common man trying to get a buck! Turning stuff into some kind of hope ~ thank you!

Archna Sharma said...

This is really tactful, Brian. Plenty of jagged edges as I imagine a political piece would have. The flea market is a great comparison to the one we live in daily and, sadly enough, you've captured the feeling of lacking a local community since we are actually living in a global market(so far beyond the corners of the states), and the irony in the current slogan here: 'HOPE AND CHANGE'. I love the ending, "as you flee", finding the comfort in what is already in your soul. Great song and really interesting piece.

Congrats on the job offer! Hope the rest of your journey is smooth. :)

halfwaybetweenthegutter said...

"Every war needs a slogan" - that's an image which will stick with me for a while. Wonderfully written, you have a real talent for taking the reader on the journey with you.

And woah, so many comments!

henry clemmons said...

I bought my favorite hat at a flea market. I like the flavour, a capture of our times that doesn't make the news. It read kind of meloncholey, not depressed, but a low moment. Very nice again!

Steve King said...

A flea market sure does seem like a kind of funhouse mirror applied to our society and world...filled with terrific lines and observations. A 'wink-wink' often works as a password into secret places. Much enjoyed!

C Rose said...

Loved the ties you have woven in this Brian. How is it that you always create such jivin' flow....I adore it in everything I read of yours! You give great read aloud poetry my friend ;)

Ginny Brannan said...

Treasure hunting and people watching--a lot to be had at a Flea Market for those looking! Right up there with Yard Sales and Tag Sales!! Have found a trinket or two in my time. My favorite--a treasured book, a very thin paperback from 1917 written by Edward Everett Hale called The Man Without a Country. Holds a special place on my bookshelf.
As always, great capture!! (BTW--did not know you were job hunting, somehow missed that. Best of luck, Brian. Fingers crossed!!)

Gloria said...

An special and nice poem:)
Btw all the best for new work dear brian!

Tara Miller said...

Interesting how you were able to weave the flea market with this. But then again, this is your talent, my love. ;)

I see the hope in the eyes of not only those selling but also buying.

Steve E said...

Again...nothing is as it seems. Rich is not 'rich'. POOR is not 'poor'. And there were no fleas at the flea market

But your wife IS AMAZING--grin!!!!!

punnypalaver said...

Oh I love this, Brian. I can hear the music, see the people, feel the injustice in the political current, and almost got the rush of having a garage sale--I do it at least once a year and always hope I'll make more than twice what I actually do. But it clears out clutter and in the strange way you describe it gets the adrenaline pumping. love, love, loved it!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Congrats on the offer and the fact that you can decide if you want it or not. Praying for you. and if you had I like button I press it for you clever post:) (i didn't write anything so don't go to my place)

Beth Winter said...

As a people watcher, I enjoy flea markets. Sometimes I find a little something that I can't live without but more often than not, I walk away spending enough for a Coke. Wonderful capturing. If you get your new-old guitar, I want to hear it 'lectrified.

Thanks Brian :) I enjoyed the visit.

Annmarie Pipa said...

definite hope at a flea market.
good luck to you. i am rooting for you!

Bodhirose said...

I love the flea market...mostly to watch the characters hawking their wares..lots of junk to weed through though. Also, liked how you wove political comments in there and some Skynyrd too!

Dana Dampier said...

We should all strive to be simple men and woman... we tend to covet material things in life and not what really matters.

I love browsing flea markets and finding little treasures.Most of the time I go when I'm having "me time" so I'd be happy to just walk and observe.

Good luck with your decision on the job!

Kamana said...

i havent been to the flea market in ages... dont have one where i live

cloudia charters said...

you see and register so much!



Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=
> < } } ( ° >

darkangelwrites said...

I'm at the get rid of stage of my life but my kids love flea markets and garage sales. Nice capture.

Arjan Tupan said...

Wow, brilliant recording of the goings-on at the flea market. Makes me want to go to one, even though I don't particularly like them. Great poem. Loved the SPAMjo.

Fred Rutherford said...

Brian,

First off, congrats on the offer, I told ya you were too good to stay in free agency too long. Happy for you man.

I love flea markets. Growing up we used to have two really cool ones that ran every weekend, both within walking distance from my house. The one was more comic oriented, which of course I liked, but the other was a bit of everything. Fun times. Now there's only one, but it's a monster though. Only about 20 minutes away from the house, but, it's so big, it for whatever reason, just doesn't have the whole appeal, it's not even dusty and a bit dirty lol

Some killer lines in here, some stanzas are just packed with rugged words, great choices. Strong piece man. Thanks

Chris Lawrence said...

Through the stalls we wander with you on a journey that makes us smile and wonder

vivinfrance said...

A tour de force - hereabouts the flea market (marché à puces) or vide grenier (empty attic) is a way of life! I have a friend who has a thriving business buying for pennies at them and selling for pounds on e-bay! I loved your exposé.

Good luck with the job.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

a toilet tissue holder with built-in bottle opener? why hasn't this made a million?

enjoyed your visit to the flea market.

good luck whatever you decide about the job offer, brian! hope you had a good time with Steve E.

Valerie said...

Gone are the days when they had fleas at the flea market... apart from that ... what changes? Good luck with the job, and your decision.

SueAnn Lommler said...

I love flea markets. Never know who or what you will find.
You make it sound so raw and earthy!
Hugs
SUeAnn

She Writes said...

You know I love a song lyric mixed into writing--and I also like Lynard Skynrd--reminds me of my old rocker days before I found out country was cooler ;). I like the idea of buying some hope for change. markets are great places to observe people. Your SPAMjo player reminds me of the Greek accordion player in my local farmer's market. Anyone who knows the market knows him. Your mom sold your GI JOEs, awww your boys would have liked those.

CiCi said...

Heh heh, as much a chance a universal healthcare. You have so much good stuff packed into this one.
Interesting to see a flea market through your thorough sight.

SaraV said...

The beginning line was so perfect--as was the ending! Flea markets are hopeful places--never looked at it that way, but you're always giving me a new view :-)

Geraldine said...

Fingers crossed for that job Brian. If it's meant to be, I hope it all works out. I'm going back to read all the posts I've missed here recently.

Stay cool (in every way!) G

beckykilsby said...

a poet proctologist.. love how you've pinned down a wide sweep with a narrow focus.. and always the music..

Sue Judd said...

Great! I was in your fleamarket...

daydreamerdreams said...

Very well done! Love the way you played with lyrics in there.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

First off, I've seen SPAMjos before and they are beautiful, recycling at its finest.

I am jealous you get to hang with Steve E. He is a good man who sticks to his opinions and lives his values.

Saying a prayer for "patience with the process" of finding the right job, Brian. I can't pray for money or employment, but patience, I've found, is the ticket to inner riches... and may forestall a breakdown or two. Love to you, my friend. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/08/13/broken-angel-sun-scribs-dverse-first-half-for-bloomings/

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

We've been told most of the past 30 years that it is "all about the money." And now America is just the biggest pile of loot, and the flea market is indeed as you say the place where everything that goes around comes around again. And still the vendors dream of profit and the customers dream of shopworn bargains in things others either have stolen or have no need for or no idea what they are worth. Enjoyed the read. Luck in getting what you are worth at last!

Bauke Kamstra (@wyrde) said...

Hope probably is the most common commodity at a flea market, yet it is a hope for nothing of great significance. Those hopes are not to be bargained for, so they are left at the entrance.

I like the conversational nature of this poem. Thank you for it.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

I know I am behind but congratulations on your job offer, Brian. I do not like flea markets, rummage sales, yard sales, eBay. I like the idea of a "flee market" though!

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, to see the world!

I hope the job situation goes your way!

joanna said...

you paint that scene perfectly. and throw in some perceptive commentary to boot. nice.

congrats on the job offer. :)

RMP said...

I like flea markets. more of a browser than a bargainer, but still there is something about the atmosphere that just draws me in.

my friends think it crazy that I don't buy anything, but I go anyway 'cause " you never know, this might be the week!"

Beachanny said...

Had the feel of going west on Route 66 back in my youth..stopping at trashy places with everyone else going west, feeling all the people who ever had...that sense of America great, small, fat, skinny, brilliant, lacking all looking for what's new, what's quick, what's different. Very American - like midways and county fairs, rodeos, and July 4th parades. Where the pot melts...

Rachel Hoyt said...

I love the simple man! And, thrift stores and flea markets are the best! A land of treasures!! :)

Syd said...

The downtown flea market is good here. Good news on the job offer!