Monday, February 18, 2013

OpenLinkNight: all the worthless things in one place being bought

model airplane

all the faces here hawk their wares
to the next
               buyer, memories for pennies
nickle & dime you, at tables, in stalls

toys, cards, coats, stickers, some appliance
i can't guess where to put, pillows, clothes
a velvet Elvis or ten, movies, road signs,
clutter to shift one house to the next
     flea-ing the market

& him,

he's the loudest, crippled, bent, small
in some places,
                     hunched big in the shoulders
all out of proportion, a cane, bandana-ed bald pate

'how bout an autograph?'

'sell you a picture for a dollar,
      my book for ten'

it's hard back, in sleeve & says WOO!
he much bigger when a professional
wrestler,
              wrestled with the best, knew how
to take one to give them a win, steel chair
to the face, razor blade to make blood
& sell tickets---
                  his fifteen minutes over,

it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
                                           but doesn't
i know this, and after,
                               you realize
it was the wrong goal all along

if i had a dollar, i'd give it to him,
take a picture, put it atop the mantel
and tell everyone----'LOOK!!!!
YOU must have ONE!!!! do you know
WHAT it's WORTH?!'

but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket

they're for dinner, and if i'm lucky
it might get better, if you'll let me
sell you an autograph

Over @ dVerse Poets, it's OpenLinkNight....the weekly poetry extravaganza where poets from around the world all settle in one place to read, write and get our poetry fix...so write...come join us. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

116 comments:

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

Hi! Brian...
...

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

"...but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket
they're for dinner, and if i'm lucky
it might get better, if you'll let me
sell you an autograph..."

...Thanks, for sharing the image Of the model airplane...and for sharing not only a "moment" through your poetic words,but an "experience" in someone else life that's struggling to survive.

[Who shoes anyone can fit...]
deedee :-/

Vesper said...

A very vivid, poignant moment and portrait... starting with the title...

Claudia said...

very cool capture of the flea market scene and so much more..personally the part when he tells about his fights as a wrestler and then the doubts of it being the wrong goal all along...ugh...so tough..also love the part with the coins jingling like kindergartners.. sometimes life feels a bit like a flea market as well to me..ha...smiles

Steve E said...

At sight of the plane, I did a "fantasy" hide under the table. It is what we kids did on the farm when a small one shaped like a Zero flew over.

That's what age does, Brian. Everything I read or see translates itself into 75 years ago--smiles!

OK, now about your UGH--so perfect--writing! "(my) fifteen minutes (of living)over......
it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
(SO TRUE!)
but doesn't
i know this,
and after,
(I) realize
it was the wrong goal all along.."

Those lines--that thought--meant SO much to me, Brian. Thanks. You a good friend, Sir!

Green Speck said...

Poignancy well captured with the scene !!!

Fred Rutherford said...

cool mix here. I used to watch wrestling all the time, I can only imagine by the woo this is Ric Flair, sounds like the years post wrestling haven't been too kind to the nature boy. Awesome write. Thanks

Jyoti Mishra said...

there's a strange force which drives us to buy useless things... and most of the times we love that tiny piece of waste :P

Cloudia said...

Feels like it will last forever, and 'future' is a long shot. Nicely noticed & shared, B
Aloha

Mark said...

There is quite a lot to this, but I was really able to connect with the professional wrestler stuff. The guy you're at least hinting at with the "woo" and all the blading looks like he's barely alive these days and he still goes out there to the ring at times and it's beyond insane.

Lorraine said...

oh I love flea markets and that man or woman I see everywhere, and one day I will be one sitting behind the stall at the flea market
and I love junk :)

Dave King said...

he's the loudest, crippled, bent, small
in some places,
hunched big in the shoulders
all out of proportion, a cane, bandana-ed bald pate

'how bout an autograph?

Superb sequence. Fine portrait bringing him to life. Felt I knew him.

kaykuala said...

The flea mart has a strange pull. Many thought some valuable antique thing might just present itself. It ended up with one bringing back other's rubbish home, why? Because it's a giveaway! Can never say so long there's space in the house. Amazing write Brian!

Hank

the walking man said...

I know that wrestler well.

SueAnn Lommler said...

A touching and innovative journey into one man's plight...but could be every man.
Wonderfully crafted
Hugs
SueAnn

John DeBellis said...

Amazing what we assign significance too.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I can picture the guy - sort of a bittersweet image.

Lolamouse said...

Perfect description of the chaos and desperation one finds at a flea market. I love the image of the coins as children's hands clapping. This is chock full of sights and sounds-love it!

JANU said...

Superb description...it seems right when we have our 15 minutes of fame, then it is back to the square one. The struggle never seems to end, to meet the ends that is.

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, stopping by briefly while in Italy.;) I guess this post could have been written for me, as I love to buy worthless junk. Even worse I am at disposing of such. But we have been throwing a lot of it away in the past two weeks.;)
Hope you are well dear friend, I should be back to regular blogging in a week or so.;)
Hugs to you
xoxo

Daniel said...

I feel you in this one brother.

Mary said...

Vivid details here, Brian, that bring the experience alive. Makes one realize there is a market for everything if one finds the right buyer!

Heaven said...

You made the place & people come alive in the flea-ing market ~ Sadly some people don't realize that their 15 min fame is over, and selling all their "stuff" for a dollar or more is not worth anything to us ~

Happy Tuesday Brian ~

Tara Miller said...

This is a bit sad. Knowing how he feels in wishing that time in the spotlight would last longer than it actually does but there's a reason and a time to move on. Painful sometimes, yet necessary. I hope he sees the blessings in his life and doesn't just focus on the past and wishing for it to return. Afterall, he's at Happy's where everyone leaves with a smile on their face....at least our boys do! ;)

DJan said...

Visions of a flea market character, told in inimitable Brian fashion. :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I used to love watching wrestling in the days of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Jake the Snake, Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper, etc etc etc. Good times.

Leovi said...

Beautiful poem. Yes, sometimes sentimental value can not be paid with money.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah back in the day
Wrestling was grand
But the things they go through for such pay
Is rougher than many a job in the land
Even if it is fake
And nice capture too
As they sure try and take
To nickel and dime you, wooo!

Annmarie Pipa said...

always the hope of finding a treasure...but some of those quarter items are treasures!!

Valerie said...

Wonderful. I love flea markets, junk AND wrestling. You brought it all alive, Brian.

CiCi said...

Poor old guy tried on the fame pants and found out how quickly they wore out and left him naked and hungry.And he is still trying to cash in on the five minutes of semi-fame. I hope he has food and a place to live.

Rachel said...

there are so many times that your work hits a corner of my heart and sits there for a minute. today, it was the TITLE that echoed with me. all the worthless things...there is so MUCH to that, alone.

Wolfsrosebud said...

loved those clapping coins... great word picture

ayala said...

Great write, Brian. So many are swept away searching for their 15 minutes of fame...it's kind of sad...awesome capture of the flea market..love the coins that jingle, great lines.

Helen said...

Ah yes, flea-ing the market ~ love that! St. Louis, in the early 50s, Lou Thesz on our small black and white tv screen ... grandparents, parents and assorted neighbors sitting transfixed for what seemed like an eternity. Then there was Gorgeous George ....

Alice Audrey said...

I'll take the autograph of a poet over one of a wrestler any day.

happygirl said...

"it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
but doesn't
i know this, and after,
you realize
it was the wrong goal all along"

Ain't it the truth. Kinda like climbing the ladder that's propped against the wrong wall. Poignant piece.

Laurie Kolp said...

but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket


Love that, Brian. Many of are feeling the crunch these days.

rumoursofrhyme said...

That fifteen minutes of fame thing - can you believe the price some people are prepared to pay to get theirs. Me - I can do without it thanks. I wonder how much my fifteen minutes is worth to someone else :-)

Vivid writing here - and more than a touch of sadness too.

Susan Daniels said...

Brian, this is great. I love "flea-ing the market"

ND Mitchell said...

There's a sadness to this, kind of like the movie with Mickey Rourke. It's brilliantly crafted-details everywhere to bring it all to life :)

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

ahhhh flea markets - always filled with bits and bobbles and characters. another character you seem to so easily bring to life for us- wonderful - K

Sue said...

You are such a detailed observer of life, Brian. And boy, do you have a knack for making it come alive on paper.

Well done.

=)

Myrna R. said...

I see so much in your poem. Maybe because of my age (ahem), but I know too many who dwell on their past successes, careers, etc... So hard for them to let go. Maybe for all of us - it's hard to let go of some things. This is a sad but true observation of human nature that you wrote about. And of course, you did it splendidly.

Mama Zen said...

Wow. Great write, Brian. This is just beautifully captured.

Gloria said...

Flea market are something special and yes we have hete tooand similar persons:-)
anyway the flea market are fun but an autograph?omy! Is sad...

Lincoln Freemont said...

You detail such a vivid experience. I really enjoy all your work. Another favorite.

Bar None Publishing Group said...

I really like this one Brian. The first part had me back in Mexico at the weekly tiendas (flea market) and the wrestler brought me back to hotel across from the Garden where I once heard your character speak to me about his salad days on the pro wrestling circuit.

Cheers,

Mark Butkus

zongrik said...

is the sequel to this going to be about sniffing the glue?

Nilanjana Bose said...

"he's the loudest, crippled, bent, small in some places, hunched big in the shoulders all out of proportion"...neat description. Liked the images of coins and kintergarteners clapping as well. Great portrait.

Dawn Paoletta said...

"his fifteen minutes over,

it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
but doesn't
i know this, and after,
you realize
it was the wrong goal all along"

Oh, boy do I know that...that hit me full in the face as I have a million recollections of so many who are still clinging, refusing to let go of former glory that is no glory at all...this is the one thing- the fleetingness of it all. I feel it in this piece and you brought me up close to the face with it - in myself and the many I know ...love this picture. AGain!

Raivenne said...

"but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket"

Love this.

turtlememoir said...

vivid writing as always, love the "coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination..."

i'm not an avid attendee of flea markets but once in a while it can be fun...

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Excellent and trenchant, loved the details here, esp "WOO" - exquisite, my brother.

anthonynorth said...

So much nowadays is useless, trivial. That's what the system sells us. You highlighted it perfectly.

Linda Kruschke said...

Nice one. My favorite line is "his fifteen minutes over,".

How often do we cling to our 15 minutes of fame, trying to squeeze whatever last bits of life we can out of it? Peace, Linda

Natasha Head said...

Money and fame are fleeting...but their memories last forever...if I had a dollar for every remember when story I've heard...no one would go hungry...now that I'm telling them myself...I'm scared to death. Another fantastic capture...I'm starting to think I need to get out more ;)

Poet Laundry said...

Such a wonderful capture. There is a poignancy to this and a lightness too. Loved the ending as well.

hedgewitch said...

Fame is fleeting, and so, unfortunately is dinner, and coins, too...no matter how hard or how fast you chase them. It's, as always, what you do with them that counts I guess.

amyjosprague said...

You're such a sensory writer (does that make sense?) You always make me feel like I'm right there, hearing and seeing everything

Stan Ski said...

Still waiting for my fifteen minutes... :)

TALON said...

I felt like a voyeur, Brian. And it was beautiful and heartbreaking wrapped up together.

Wyeth Bailey said...

Such a perfect parallel, how so many of us fall to nostalgia, acquiring trinkets as if we could hold on to pieces of the past that way . . . and then this tragic figure of a once great (if completely contrived) fighter, himself a relic of whitewashed memories

Eusebia Philotes said...

If only we knew the true value of what we set our hearts upon before investing ourselves. Nice, Brian.

scotthastiepoet said...

Very well developed piece, with confidence and flair applied consistently to your theme - poignant stuff, Brian...

Regards Scott www.scotthastie.com

Kimolisa said...

Well written, my friend, I couldn't help but slip into the memories of flea markets in NYC.

pandamoniumcat said...

Great title, kinda sums it up, when you're younger that 15 minutes does seem a hell of a lot longer, takes you further but in the end... we could all end up the same. Great poem.

Truedessa said...

Hi Brian,

It's been a while since I've read your work. I still enjoy it. You have a certain style that belongs to you. Interesting!

Gretchen Leary said...

You tell it Brian! :) I had to read it twice and I'm still not sure I understand the meaning behind it all but I like the flow, I like the words, good one as always Brian. I always look for yours!

Dana Dampier said...

Flea Markets are some of the most interesting places... sounds like your guy was a real treat to encounter!

mrs mediocrity said...

This is poignant but also made me smile....lots of stories to be told at the flea market.... I love the one you chose to tell

C Rose said...

I love wandering the swap and flea markets, its like wandering a series of short stories from one table to the next. I enjoy how you captured it in this. I really fell for

"but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket"

beautiful imagery...send peace and love Brian - appreciate you ~ Rose

Heidi said...

vivid trip to the flea market which left me with deeper thoughts.

lori mcclure said...

Ah, the velvet Elvis takes me right to those memories of street-side/flea market vendors. You paint the picture vividly for us. I was right there with you. Perfect descriptions. The "memories for pennies" was a sad line :(

Kelvin S.M. said...

...some people do buy the unnecessary or spend a lot on less practicable things coz that's what makes 'em happy... or maybe people have behavior that are too difficult to understand for it's far uncommon than usual... smiles...

Addie P. Abbott said...

The imagery in setting this scene up is so amazing. Great stuff brian

Joanne Elliott said...

When life hurts...you said it in so many ways here. This especially:
"it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
but doesn't
i know this, and after,
you realize
it was the wrong goal all along"

Ouch!

Susan said...

This is different, Brian, not your usual mixture but a sadness at the trash and trashing that in an odd way values the people of the 15 minutes long after time is up. Kind of made me think of "Miss Rosie" by Lucille Clifton. DO you know it? I can't quite place the tone, it is almost a little angry, but at what? I like the repetition of "how bout an autograph?" And I think I want to collect some autographs to mix among the ones worth millions. Can't get bitter.

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

What's a "wrong" goal? If you live your life hungry for experience and know you can make a silk purse -- like this poem -- why should there ever be regret?

Oh, yeah. The landlord wants his ent EVERY month! SIGH!

Evocative read, Brian. Gave us all something to wrestle with awhile...

Timoteo said...

You really captured it.
Moths should never touch the flame.

. said...

My kind of crowd ... the flea market crowd, that is ... used stuff has history ... you can always sell it again next time ... at your own table ... it's good to know what it's like at the other both side of the table ...

Rod E. Kok said...

I love flea markets! And I love how you've described it all. Nice work, Brian!!

henry clemmons said...

I am reminded of markets, large and small all over I have been. Never met a wrestler at one, but maybe symbolic of us wrestling with the moment of fame we had in our lives in exchange for enough coinage to eat with. Very enjoyable as always.

Victoria said...

Talk about coincidence. I went to a street fair yesterday and even took some scrap paper to look for a poem...but got so caught up in the goodies that I forgot. Great detail, as always, which is what brings your poetry to life.

lucychili said...

ah i wonder what makes us different. it feels like we are all stallholders hoping to win. nicely told.

jadquie dick said...

I feel this...in flea markets and 99cent stores...that "wrong goal" resonates...what an eagle eye and sentient heart, you!

Anna Montgomery said...

Where and what to value and will it last? Things that always jingle in the mind like your coins. Excellent questions.

Arron Shilling said...

I do believe that airplane is an R.A.F fighter, so you had me at the picture :D

As an aging Hulkamaniac i still have to listen to Real American once a day and do the ring walk with cupped ear . . .

loved the contextual area placement and scene unfolding brian . . . some sadness and nostalgia lurked for me but that may be just my projection:

cool PO: stone cold!

Hudson Howl said...

I enjoyed the read. Reminiscent of "It's better to burn out...Than to fade away'. Mementos and memorabilia never quite live up to the memories or significance one hopes they might. True memories are priceless, they are the stock and trade of writers and poets are they not?

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A gripping story. Your poems are never predictable; I love that.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

The whole exchange with the former wrestler (my Auntie Ruth used to call them "rasslers") was amazing. You understood the 15 minutes, you described him so sadly, so perfectly. Having known many marginal people, I sense your... sensitivity in this. Thanks, Brian, too, for encouraging me to link up my poem at Open Mic. Amy

Anonymous said...
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Bodhirose said...

What a spellbinding story. Yeah, those flea markets have some interesting characters working the stalls... Love how you spin a tale, Brian!

Brudberg said...

What a strong portrait, and how much of your history that ends up in your looks. very good

adeeyoyo said...

Love the shadow plane - spy in the sky?

Beautifully pictured, Brian. Love '...flea-ing the market...'

Cripples do have big, well-developed shoulders to make up for their useless legs. I love that you do notice things that most people don't.

Patricia said...

I just walked through an antique store with my daughter the other day... such a great capture. Hopefully, someday he'll be selling my poetry books! haha = )

Alan Burnett said...

Yes, a perfect example of how a creative title can draw you into reading the poem.

Tracy Kuhn Greenlee said...

Such an interesting journey through the flea market. I think your ability to take a snap picture of a moving moment and then turn it to poetic art is fascinating. Thank you

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Excellent and vivid view of one of the more interesting aspects of our society. One of the oldest, too.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Excellent and vivid view of one of the more interesting aspects of our society. One of the oldest, too.

Cat Hill said...

The description of the wrestler painted an image in my mind of a tired, desperate yet extremely prideful man. Brilliant poem.

SaraV said...

Brian---there it goes---right out of the park again!! Wow. From the flea-ing, which is what I want to do in a flea market, there is a desperation in the air--curdles my inner quiet-- to the wrestler description, to the coins jingle like kindergartners learning to clap--brilliant! Hear me clapping? :-)

joanna said...

loved the coins jingling like kindergartners clapping... nice comparison. a sad portrait, overall; like that you are able to put it perspective. strong write as ever, my friend.

flaubert said...

Brian, you have a wonderful ability to put the reader in the scene, and this piece is no exception. Good writing, my friend.

Pamela

Teresa said...

This is great! You really have captured the sad quality of those that can't move forward. By the way, I'd buy your autograph!

Ginny Brannan said...

"...but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket

they're for dinner, and if i'm lucky
it might get better, if you'll let me
sell you an autograph"

A testament to the state of our economy, our reality anymore, when one goes to a Flea Market where bargains abound but can only look. Food before frivolities. Totally get this. Your writing always speaks to me in some way, Brian. Thanks for sharing this :-)

S.E.Ingraham said...

What a telling, showing piece - I keep seeing the "bandana'd bald pate" which, of course, you do see places, doncha? And I love the coins jingling like kindergartners learning to clap and missing - how apt ... as someone else mentioned - you are a very keen observer Brian and the details make your poetry live ...

http://nsaynne.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/janis-ian-is-my-muse/

mywordwall said...

I had to come back and read again to absorb what you said in your poem.

What a life of regret it must be- to once have it all and lose it all again. Your story reminded me of some sad stores of popular celebrities in the Philippines. They had it all during their heyday - but wastefulness and wrong choices - robbed them of everything including their own dignity and self worth. they ended up as paupers relying on their next-door neighbor's help.

I like the contrasting emotion in your guy with the coin that jingles like kindergartners learning how to clap.

Your slice of life is always colorful and thought provoking. On a lighter note, I like flea markets. :-)

Dick said...

Person and place come across strongly from this depiction, Brian.

Frank Watson said...

Cool story, reminds me of The Wrestler...

Joanna Jenkins said...

I love flea marketing and often come across sad souls selling their "stuff". I wish I could buy everything just to brighten their day. jj

RMP said...

How much you selling your autograph for?

A beautiful piece. The scene comes alive (as always) stunningly.

Laura said...

"but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket" such a tenderness and sorrow.

glittertheair said...

Hey Brian, I haven't been to a market since I was a kid. The only thing I was ever interested in was the living statue. He was painted silver, had the silver clothes, just all silver. He had glasses as well and was really good. Thanks for bringing these memories back for me :)

poeticlicensee said...

Flea markets are curious social studies, are they not?

Syd said...

Sad for the bent old Wrestler whose 15 minutes are over. We all have our moments in the sun, wanting them to last forever.