Sunday, May 28, 2006

In prehistoric times,
I would have been dead already.
If I had not died, then
I would have been
pretty ancient by now, but no,
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it.

You see,
it would have been one of those
survival of the fittest things,
and let’s face it:
if the survival of the human race
had depended upon the sperm
stumbling about in this man’s gonads,
then we’d likely see
Cro-Mags and Neanderthals
lumbering about the local shopping mall with
all the other mouth breathers
(…now, come to think about it…).
Okay… Well,
them what congregate in shopping malls?
I’m not sure whether we can blame evolution
or intelligent design on that one.
I digress.
We were talking Homo-Jack-Idiot,
lesser sub-species of the illustrious Homo Sapien,
somewhat circa sixty thousand years BC.
It was rough back then.
Let me give you an example:
You could not get a fried Twinkie or a
strawberry banana smoothie to save your life.
And a few fried Twinkies
might have been all I needed to stay alive.

No. Back in the day of Mastodon ploppy pies,
you had to get your own food, and no,
not get your food as in
a short stroll across the food court.
Now it is true that somebody
had come up with the idea of
vending machines but
we’d yet to devise coins
so we had nothing to drop in the slots.

Again, you had to get your
own food,
and of course,
before you could get it,
you had to see it.

You’d see a Diatryma,
a giant carnivorous ostrich-like bird.
You’d yell out, “Hey look! A Diatryma,
a giant carnivorous ostrich-like bird!
Let’s go get it!”
But okay, here’s the problem: I
can’t see for shit!
Frickin’ blind I am.
Oh, you can’t tell, cuz
I’ve deceived you.
See, I wear contacts.
At this moment,
I could see a Diatryma,
a giant carnivorous ostrich-like bird.
But back in the day
(caveman times),
I wouldn’t have been able to see nothin’.

Okay. Let’s say there was this cave girl.
We’ll call her Veronica.
I’d say, “Hey Veronica!
Can I pass just a few million
spermatozoa along to you?”
(You know.
Just a simple attempt to propagate those
Homo-Jack-Idiot genes).
And Veronica?
Oh, she would respond,
“Now why should I like, mate with you?
Could you like, see and go get me a
Diatryma, you know, like one of those
giant carnivorous ostrich-like birds,
if I like, asked you to?
You… You?
You are like
so not mating with me!”

Gahhh! What a bitch.
It’s always big birds with these cave women!

So, you see,
this is how it was.
Any dude who brought a big bird into a woman’s cave
got his sperm where it was supposed to be.
And me, the blind Homo-Jack-Idiot sub-species?
Well, there I was,
outside that nice warm cave.
Totally dejected.

Yes, standing there quite oblivious
when one of the other cavemen yells,
“Jack! There’s a saber tooth tiger
right behind you!”
And I’d say,
“Right there!
Right there! He’s…

And such would have been my fate.
A monster pussy eating me
as opposed to
vice versa.

©05 Jack Hubbell

Dan Doesn’t Know
Dan doesn’t know the meaning of the word “Porn”,
and this makes his mom happy.
She smiles. He smiles.
They smile at each other.
He smiles at me, and…
and somehow his smile is ever so slightly different than
when he was smiling at his mother.
Yes, his right eyebrow rises ever so,
and just what is he communicating at this precise moment?

I do not doubt that Dan knows what “sex” is.
I mean, everybody knows what sex is, right?
How about a show of hands?
Sex everybody?
As the Brits would say:
“A bit of the ol’ in out, in out.”
Biological reproduction.

Okay. Okay.
We acknowledge that it exists.
Having done so, have we
past over into the realm of porn yet?
Okay then, so, women
have breasts.
Having openly admitted this phenomenon exists
does not necessarily qualify my remark as
pornographic, but
if I make an aesthetic judgment and state,
“Hey! Nice boobies!”,
have I passed over the threshold and into porn-dom?
A matter of aesthetics?
Assessing quality of sexual appearance?

If I say a woman has nice child bearing hips,
is that porn or simply observing that
she has attributes conducive to
safely ejecting newborns?
Breasts advantageous to suckling—good.
Breasts attached to a woman running down the beach—bad.
Damn it! It’s just a matter of
thinking about it too much.
If you don’t think about sex,
you’re perfectly okay.
If you think about it too much,
you’re a freakin’ pervert.
One must remain naïve. And…
was there ever a time when
one can imagine that I was naïve?

Oh, we have to go way back in time.
A time when I was younger than Dan
(let’s say, Eight? Nine?).
Yes, it was around this time that a certain
visual initiation transpired.

There in my home town,
so very long ago,
some of the older boys informed those of us younger
that they had something very special to share with us.
And they were very strict about this…
This something was of the utmost secrecy,
and under pain of death,
we could tell no one.

We went to this large tin storage structure
and there, up a ladder and
wedged behind one of the support beams,
one of the boys produced an old Prince Alpert tobacco tin.
Opening it, he pulled out an ancient
multi-folded sheet of paper.
In reality, it was just a magazine clipping,
and once unfolded,
there placed in our trembling hands
lay a black and white image of…
a woman’s nether regions!

The picture?
We are talking extreme close-up.
We are not talking erotic.
Not even pornographic.
We are talking

There was nothing sexy here.
For us young boys,
it was like looking at an alien life-form.
We were mesmerized and yet
repulsed at the same time.
In hindsight, I figure if that photo had been of
a woman portrayed full figure and naked,
a few of us young boys might have achieved a
state of arousal,
but as it was,
the tattered clipping was passed boy to boy,
with each emitting a resounding
“Gosh!” as he slipped into shock.

So, Dan…
There you have it.
Your mother is right to protect you, and yet…
when it comes right down to it,
there are worse things than porn.
As a young man,
there are traumatic experiences out there awaiting you.

Beware Dan.
There will come that time when
that girl you are so intimate with will test your
total emotional commitment
by sending you into a pharmacy to buy a box of
At that moment,
all that innocence your mom tried so hard to
preserve in you will be flushed away and lost.
And you?
You will finally be a man, or…
something somewhat close to that.

©05 Jack Hubbell

I wonder that I’ll ever smell like an old man.
It’s a fairly distinct odor.
Indeed, I know what that’s like,
though strangely cannot describe it to you.
I’m pretty sure I don’t smell that way just yet,
but then again, there will come a time.
And when it happens…
When I achieve that aroma…
will I know?
I mean, I know it now, but
will I know it then?

You out there.
You know the smell.
You’ve experienced it, and
are not too likely to forget it.
And there will come a time in the future when
you and I will meet again and
I’ll see a certain look come over your face.
I’ll see your nostrils flare as you inhale a
certain essence of my presence.
And you’ll look at me,
and I’ll look at you,
and I’ll know.

Oh, I’ll want to confirm it.
I’ll come right out and ask you. “Um…
Do I smell old to you?”
You will have heard me but still respond,
“What? How’s that?
I’m sorry. I missed that.
You asked me something?”

And we’ll both have known what the question was.
And we’ll both have known what the answer is.
But there the conversation dies, for
neither one of us really wants to know
what’s hanging there in the air.

Something heavy.
Something mortal.

A smell that comes to pass
from one to the other.
To each his own,
and on to another.
Until the time comes
to air-out
your own

©06 Jack Hubbell
Someone is drowning in churning water
and there is a law in the Talmud
that compels you to help another in distress.

You are compelled to dive in
and take your chances.
Even if you yourself are unable to swim,
you are compelled.

Now don’t this word of God
just spit in the eye of Charles Darwin?

I don’t know.
It’s something to contemplate.

Let’s say that that someone drowning in the water
is actually Charlie Darwin himself.
Normally, Charlie is a pretty good swimmer.
Fairly fit.
Destined to survive
if you get my Darwinian drift.
But right now,
he’s drifting downstream in a
heavy churning cascade of water and
damn the kismet,
it don’t look like he’s gonna’ make it.
Charles Darwin himself is about to be removed
from that oh so fluid gene pool.

But look…
There on the shore
what should appear but
a devout Hassidic Jew.
Devout I say.
He has devoted his entire life to
the study of the sacred Talmud.
So much so that
he never managed to achieve his
lifesavers badge.
As a matter of fact,
he can’t swim a lick.
But out there in the frothy heaving
swirling liquid death
he spies poor ol’ Chuck.
And he is compelled.
Compelled though he knows more likely than not,
he has no chance of saving Chuck from
that which even he cannot extricate himself.

And both of those men are doomed.
Absolutely doomed.
Unfit to survive,
that Hassidic Jew
leaps into the maelstrom.

Why does he do that?

Because he has faith.
Absolute faith.
And I?
I can swim.
Not well, but…
I can swim.
And I’m still standing
here on the shore.
Still standing in safety.
Still standing…

Quite faithless
and ashamed.

©06 Jack Hubbell

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Without Tails
I have a hole in my leg
and feel this is significant.

Oh, I’ve had my flesh gouged before.
Had it sliced and torn open.
I’ve had internal bones cracked and broken.
Yea, I’ve had things happen to me;
things that damaged me.
Outside forces and outside actions
doing their best to alter the inside me.
But this hole in my leg?

This hole acknowledges that
there’s something on the inside of me
that’s not right.
Something that requires repair.
Something I could not fix myself.
And I’m forced to admit to myself that
I’m defective.
It is not something I’m particularly happy with.
Yes, I have a hole in my leg where
a surgeon had to do
what I
could not.

There is no factor of
an iguana’s tail to be had in my leg.
No. I’ve been forced to conclude that
I’m all parts human and
zero parts reptilian.
You know, if I had a tail
and it snapped off right now,
I wouldn’t miss it.
Spontaneous loss and
autotomic regeneration?
If only I could apply that to my knee, but…
I ain’t of that species.
No. No. No.
For me, it’s only a one way trip.
Nothing but rot.
Nothing but internal decay.

“Oh come on Jack!
Snap out of it!
How about a little optimism for fuck sake?
You’re bringing us all down.”

Well hey. Listen up.
Entropy is universal.
It seeks all.
In the immortal words of Neil Young:
“Rust Never Sleeps.”
And guess what kiddies?

You ain’t stainless steel.

You’re not spry little iguanas either.
Oh, you can pretend you are.
You can pretend you’ve all got cute
snappy little tails.

You can pretend.
But when you head out that door
be careful.
Watch your tails,
cause when they’re gone…

©06 Jack Hubbell.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Of Mice, Misery and Mercy
Absolute misery. Okay.
I’m gonna need you to define that for me.
Plain misery, yes.
I have had the flu, and via
super sinusoidal congestion
have been made all too aware of the fact that
breathing is not always a subconscious endeavor.
You do have to think about it.
I’ve done that food poisoning thing.
Evoked the words, “Lord. Take me now,”
as everything on the inside of me
wanted to be on the outside, and
me with only a limited amount of exit portals for
said toxicity to escape.
Broken wrist.
Broken collar bone.
Broken vertebra.
Broken heart.
Odd how that last one hurt more than
the other three combined.
Pain yes.
Absolute misery? Naw.
But now
don’t push yourself away from that table just yet.
You’ll always have room on your plate for more.
What? And you thought someone was going to
clear all the plates away, didn’t you?

How about some history for perspective?
I grew up in an old house.
An old house with mice.
I’m sure my dad would like to have been more understanding,
but since none of those mice had their names listed on
our house occupancy roster and failed to
take note of my dad’s posted eviction notice,
he was forced to take action.
So yea,
I’d sometimes go rummaging through the garage to find
a mouse trap with something smooshed in it.
Course, they were almost always dead
(almost always).
One winter, I was in the garage,
preparing to head outside with my sled when
I heard a loud pop in the corner.
Moving a pair of old boots aside,
I found the mouse.
It wasn’t dead
but I’m sure it wished it was.
The trap had come slamming down on
one of its rear legs and it was a mess.
(And this is where we protect those
sensitive of you by whispering the words,
“compound fracture.”)

I remember looking down upon this
tiny mouse who returned my gaze, and
thought that that…
That was absolute misery.
At the moment it was only my little sister and I
who were there at home.
I sorta figured the misery of seeing misery
needed to be shared so I went inside,
brought her out to the garage,
and with a gesture said aloud,
“We’ve got to do something.”
This to which she replied,
“We should take it to the hospital.”
“No,” I retorted.
“No. It’s dying right now, but
it’s suffering.
It needs to die and
we’ve got to kill it.”
She looks down at the writhing mouse
and then over to me.
“You could step on it.”
“No,” I fire back. “You step on it.”
We both quickly come to the conclusion that
we’d neither the nerve to put our foot down,
and anyway, in my mind, I figure that,
as decisive as an end that stomp would be,
there’d still be an element of pain involved.
No. How to kill a mouse and yet
have there be no pain in the progress?
It was a philosophical slash biological quandary
placed upon a boy who was way too young, but…
I did come to a conclusion.

I gingerly removed the mouse from
beneath the heavy spring lever and strangely,
it did not struggle as I carried it outside to there
place it upon a pristine white snowdrift.
Again though still alive,
it made no effort to move.
While my little sister remained with the mouse,
I stepped back into the house and
shortly returned to stand next to her.

There we stood, staring down at some
small creature someone else had deemed
unworthy of sharing our house with.
No matter.
What was needed here was mercy.
Absolute mercy
for absolute misery.

Standing there some five feet away,
I figured the end of the barrel to be
all of two feet away from the mouse
when I
pulled the shotgun’s

The twelve gauge bucked,
I flinched,
the mouse vanished.
Well, not completely vanished.
There in the snowdrift a large hole appeared
and around its edge,
the finest mist of pink.

Was this absolute mercy?
I don’t know, but here now,
so many years later,
it still has me thinking.
There may come a time when I’m eighty odd years old,
and trapped in a bed at the retirement home, with that
ever persistent smell of urine.

My legs? No. They won’t work.
It will be just me, looking up at a beige ceiling,
and there in my vacant eyes you’ll see
the reflection of a
huge white snow drift.
In my mind, I’ll be lying there face up as
each individual
and unique snow flake
comes to land upon skin
and there melt and meld with
the universal tears of
a pained life that lasted
a bit

And if you listen carefully…
There upon my lips
you’ll hear me whisper,
When do I hear that quiet click?
When do I hear that thundering boom?”

©05 Jack Hubbell

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Electrical Devices
I just read that a paralyzed man
was able to use a microchip
implanted in his brain
to turn on his television,
change the volume,
and switch channels.

And what I want to know is,
what level of physical degradation
do I have to achieve before I
qualify for this operation?

Indeed, I feel I’ve been
in training for this moment my entire life.
Just imagine the level of lethargy I’ve had to maintain.
There. Just now, I had to utter
“level of lethargy”.
Those two leading ‘Ls’ forced me to
raise my tongue to the roof of my mouth twice.
Have you any idea of the
effort that’s involved?

Now granted I get some surgeon to
embed that chip in my brain,
it’s not gonna help me lift my tongue.
In an effort to sustain my
overall physical entropy,
I suppose I could hire someone to
lift my tongue as needed,
but how am I to know when I
will or won’t be uttering some ‘L’ word?
Let’s be real.
It would pretty much be a 24/7 job,
and who you gonna get to do that, huh?
Some American?
Ain’t no American
gonna maneuver my tongue
at minimum wage.

And we must acknowledge that
there are things to be done with my tongue
that only I will be able or willing to do.
Slots that no stunt-double would ever be able to fill.
Now having said that,
there are slots that electrical devices can fill.
But, I don’t want to go into this too deeply
or repeatedly.

For most, to have an electrical device
inserted into ones body is fairly horrific,
and yet some find it quite pleasurable.
I find this puzzling and yet, here I am,
fantasizing about having this microchip
crammed in my brain.

So… Okay.
Let’s say I do have a circuit card wedged
right here in my cerebellum.
As a matter of fact, I did it last night,
all by myself with only a butter knife
(but that’s another story).

Knowing how brain waves work and how
one part of the cortex communicates with another,
isn’t there a chance that this
one electrical device buried deep within me
might somehow be capable of
directly communicating with
that special device
buried there
within you?

Dare say, I think it’s working.
Somehow I sense
you can
feel it, for
why else
would you be

©06 Jack Hubbell

Monday, May 01, 2006

To Go… Just to Go
He wants to go.
He wants to be in that car.
He is overcome with excitement
and me?
I’d like to get inside his head and
somehow experience what he’s
feeling at this moment
I can’t quite
wrap my mind
around it.

Part of it is because
he’s a dog and the fact that
that’s some
pretty complex shit
bouncing down the spinal cord,
all the way to his tail.

The other part… Well…
It’s just that… nothing
seems to excite me anymore.

So I find myself taking the dog for a ride.
his pleasure for my own.
And I am mystified at
his exhilaration.

How do I
get to that?

Is there anything that would make
my ears perk up like that?

Okay. Well…
Perhaps poetry.
Poetry of being.
Poetry of deed.
Poetry of word.
There is that.

The ability to hear another express
poetic thought.
That they might convey some
personal inner expression of
pained or enlightened existence of which
I might be allowed to
share the experience.

Riding along in your passenger seat;
feeling the breeze that passes by
your window
and mine.

If only I could do the same…

Yes, to step to the stage and
show my deep appreciation of you…

Just now.
Were that I had a tail,
I would surely wag it
for you.

©06 Jack Hubbell
I’ll Ill Illuminate
Up above there is this one lone window
and through it flows
this single shaft of light.
That window…
That small square up there…
It is absolutely stationary.
I do not think it will ever move.
It is one of the absolutes of the known universe.
The Earth moves, and with it,
the Moon.
The Sun?... Yes,
it moves, but that window?
It is the one thing stationary.
Everything else is relative to that
four-sided construct of masonry.

In a way, I wish
I could be that singular;
that un-moving.
But here…
Down in the darkness below… I
am not alone.
There are others here.
Others I care not to know.
They lurk in the dimness of the shadows and
though I rarely see them,
I am forever aware of their presence in that
their incessant skittering never stops.
I suppose it’s a good thing they
make all that noise.
I might have difficulty staying awake otherwise.

And I need to stay awake,
for how else would I continue to move?
Move? Oh yes.
I move.
Just ever so.
Ever so perceptively so.
Looking at me
sitting there on this long wooden bench,
you might think such density…
Such mass…
Such gravity as
totally incapable of
shifting in the slightest.
But I move.
I move relative to the window
and the immense glowing object
so far beyond it.

Indeed, that Sun moves, and as it does,
it causes this solitary beam of light to
trace along the wall and just here,
this length of bench beneath me.
And as it so moves…
so do I.
I, in this square of light,
forever moving…
just so.
They, skittering away in the darkness...
They are
a part of nothingness.
And by their association,
they are nothing.

I, on the other hand,
am in league with a higher thing.
I have that window to define me.
They in the darkness…
They beyond this stage of light…
They… They covet my rectangle of radiance!
They crave my four-sided enlightenment, but
they shall not have it!

I dominate this sunbeam!
I, master of all relative illumination…
must not fall asleep.
Must last until this thing called
Must persevere until
that window,
just there,
turns black
and I collapse
into the horrific realm of
deep dark

©05 Jack Hubbell