Saturday, November 24, 2007

Barb’s Beaver
Barbara is hanging by her knees
upside down on the monkey bars.
Oh, and I’d like to point out
she’s wearing a dress.
And here on this vast spinning globe
of which we normally stand upright,
there are magnetic properties
which translate to gravity.
And it is interesting to note what these
said properties
have done to the hem of Barb’s skirt.

Of course she and I and
all the other guys standing there studying
the manifestation of this earth’s affects
upon that at the surface are not
at the moment
contemplating aspects of Newtonian Law.
No. Such terrestrial force permutations have
yet to be covered
up on our classroom chalkboard, but
were the teacher to use what’s transpiring
up on the monkey bars as
applied laboratory,
he would be certain to have an
overly rapt audience.
Indeed, though the concept of gravity
has yet to be covered in our current curriculum,
we are fascinated.
This is precisely the sort of
illustrative science
that keeps boys alert and pumping away
at their normally tedious school studies.

Barb? Barb’s dress looks
kinda funny this way.
This likeness of Barbness is just… well…
Um… disturbing comes to mind.
Yes, we boys were being disturbed.
But… you know…
Not that we could force ourselves to
look away.
Oh yea. And I’d like to point out that
what with Barb’s current bodily orientation,
you could see her underwear
and they were… and…
oh my god!
You’re not going to believe this…
They were white!

Well okay...
Allot of girls wore white underwear back then,
but you see, that
is exactly my point!
Yo! You weren’t supposed to
see a girl’s underwear.
Oh, here now, so many years hence,
with post horny hindsight,
I will acknowledge there was
something of particular interest
underneath all that pristine whiteness
but again, that’s now.
Back then it was just about catching a glimpse of
bleached white cotton.

You see, there was no pudenda.
There was no punanee.
No P-U-S-S- Y.
Oh, this might have been about sex but
most certainly not the act of sex.
What the fuck was fuck?

Upperclassmen… you know…
Fourth and fifth graders…
They’d informed us that
the correct lexicon for what we were ogling
was properly defined as “Beaver”.
Thusly elucidated and ever so below the hip hip,
we now knew enough to say,
“Wow! Look at that beaver!”
and “Yep.
That’s a pretty nice beaver all right.
Thanks for the heads up.”

Of course, it was a pretty surreal image
trying to somehow make the bizarre connection
between white cotton panties
and a big brown aquatic rodent.
Mighty cerebral stuff but
if our peers said “beaver” then
who were we to argue their eloquence?
“Beaver. Beaver. Beaver.” You know.
Sorta springs from the tip of the tongue
just like it was always meant to be there.

All of this brings to mind that time Barb and I
were out on the playground and
an argument ensued.
There came a moment when Barb’s anger
built to a climax and there
in an effort to demonstrate her disgust at my
inability to comprehend her
impassioned point of view,
she lifted her skirt
and with one hand doing a sort of
faux scratching motion at her um…
whited out area,
exclaimed, “Big Hairy Ape!”

I and all the other boys were dumbfounded.
We were rendered speechless at her
somewhat incoherent connection of
all that glorious white, and
a fur clad simian.
But… and this is an important point…
Barb won the argument.
She had used her crotch to dominate us,
and oh so dominate us she did.

Yes, but back here in the present moment,
Barb is currently hanging upside down
from monkey bars whilst we blithering idiots
stand there jaws agape
like the hairy apes that we are.

Oh, I’d like to think that years from now,
we as grown men will have changed.
That horizontal monkey bars
will not have transformed to
vertical poles on dimly lit stages.
That the act of a scantily clad woman
clinging to a chromed erection
will hold no sway over our manly intellects.

Yes, I’d like to think that.
I want to think that.
But… We are weak,
and that which hangs from poles…
No. No.
Never underestimate
the mind numbing power
of beaver.

©07 Jack Hubbell

Beating Dead Poets
(for Fun and Profit)

You may not have realized it but the literary rapture has already come and gone. Oh, and by the way, some of you didn’t make the cut. Indeed, you missed that divine A-Train Ascension to deity status. Missed your chance to sit just to the right of He who controls the almighty microphone. Granted, some supplicants make it, but of course there are all those lesser scribes left behind. Left to shamble from shadow to shadow; stage to stage; coffee house to coffee house. And just listen to their lamentations: “Excuse me. Um…excuse me. Could you put my name on the list? Any chance I could read tonight?”
I guess you could say that ‘divinity’ (or lack thereof) might be a metaphor for the performance poetry scene here in Nebraska, but it sure conveys a bitter assessment. And lo, but when you’ve come to accept your lot in life, who’s to say you don’t enjoy your sub-seraphim designation? “Dude! Listen. I didn’t even get on the list! I’m sooo far more ‘beat’ than you will ever be!” And with that, it’s pretty easy to grab your beret, bongos and bottle of sour grape, slink away into a dark corner, and self indulge a mighty fine whine.
Okay. Granted, that was a piss-poor ‘Beat’ analogy. Let’s try again.
Before I step too far into a critique of performance poetry, I feel it is important to acknowledge the existence of poets who have never stood before a microphone, and possess no intent at ever doing so. Poets who are perfectly happy to have their outpour of inner thought exist upon paper without delusion that anyone would ever care to utter it aloud. For instance, some single mother who’s only intended audience is the future eyes of that adult her daughter or son will one day become. Or more sadly, that office clerk who upon his death will have an entire unseen life’s verse tossed into a dumpster. A legacy destined for landfill.
At least those of us who once stood upon stage will have had our voices heard, but please note that, listened to is an entirely different matter. Whether our presence was actually noted by those at assorted tables, shuffling their own stack of poems, is the true gauge of just how truly visible or invisible you are. Am I the only one to note how you can walk away from the stage to a round of courtesy applause and still wonder at whether my words have actually registered?
Slam poetry versus straight open mic. There. I’ve said it. Lines are formed; factions joined. Oh, we stand there smiling at each other, but full well know that everybody in attendance has their pockets full of rocks.
Permit me a further caustic clarification by way of cold war simile.
Slam Poetry? Slam Poetry is like Capitalism, whereas with straight open mic, you’ve got Socialism.
‘Isms’ in poetry? Here. Let me elucidate you. You’ve got your poets. You’ve got your coffeehouse. You’ve got your alpha-poet and coffeehouse owner who in the tradition of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, come to the epiphany of “Hey! Let’s put on a show!” They let their presence be known and like bugs to a porch light, the tables are soon laminated with sheaves of poems all angled and arrayed perpendicular towards mecca. And yes, Mecca in this case is better pronounced ‘microphone’.
Will you get your chance to stand before that mic and face the crowd? Well, your name was put on the list wasn’t it? The Earth rotates and our Sun consistently rises upon distant horizon. You put your name on the list; your horizon at the mic is inevitable. Do you deserve to be up there? Well of course. This is Socialism. We are all the same. There is no good. There is no bad. This is not to say the audience won’t experience some amazing poetry transpiring there at the mic. It will. It will also experience mind numbing banality. It will experience excruciating discomfort. Some of that by way of a well written poem done well. Some of that by a very bad poem done poorly. It will be a manic depressive bi-polar roller coaster ride that pretty much mirrors life, and if you ain’t up for that, then you have to wonder whey you’re involved in poetry at all.
Now in contrast, walk across the street into the Capitalist world of Slam Poetry and everything is Rodeo Drive. Or perhaps Wal-Mart. Pick your analogy. Glitz or bargain bin, these poems have mass market appeal. This is America after all and by God, the customer is always right. At a Slam event, every poet is a commodity and that audience out there is all about assessing value.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! What would you give for this fine set of three minute stone washed jeans?” And there in the front row we have a query. “Um… Is that Kerouc denim or W.H. Auden? Bukowski or e. e. cumming?” And with a mighty huffing from our emcee, “Sir. Madam. If you have to ask, you can’t afford the ridicule. No matter. We must have your hyper-critical/knee-jerk/astute valuation NOW.”
And let’s face it: in the Capitalist world of Slam Poetry, for one poem to achieve value, some other commodity has to be de-valued, right? You won’t find Jesus or Buddha in the world of Slam Poetry. No meek inheriting the earth. No. This is the realm of Charles Darwin. Capitalist survival of the profit test. Wrap your easily digestible rabid revelation in a three minute package and pray that the stage upon which you display it will provide favorable lighting. Three minutes to shine with full knowledge that every second beyond that limit your poem is exposed to such brutal light, it wilts. At three minute plus one second, Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg succumb to entropy. Alas, a certain literary DNA spiral breaks down and dissolves, and there in the back of the coffeehouse, someone raises a stopwatch to proclaim, “Yo, dude and dudette! You suck!” And lo but Walt and Allen satchel their weighty tomes and slink away to hide in the shadows.
In their stead, the fruit of the MTV Generation send forth their token crank cased spark plugs of attention deficit overload to mount the aerie stage. Ecstasy-eyed splice hip-hop tongue tied, they deliver a 9.9 poem at two minutes fifty-nine, and somewhere deep underground Edgar Allen Poe cuts the string to his mausoleum’s bell, because he’s pretty damn sure he’s finally dead.
But wait… If I’m gonna name drop Poe, I might as well drop the name dropper of all name droppers: Truman Capote. Wasn’t it he who was not the one to sigh and bluntly lisp, “Um… That ain’t writing. That’s just shouting”?
Well pardon my slam.

©06 Jack Hubbell

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Man From... (Nantucket Part One)
They have men there
who are incredibly popular.
one man was,
or so we've been led to believe.
It could be
that he wasn't popular at all,
and that, all this time,
we've been convinced that he was
because we expected this
anatomical aberration of his
to appeal to either sex
who perchance heard of it,
or worse,
encountered it.
Other than his own
who else would truly benefit?
Isn't it ultimately
a visual scopophilic stimulation
that excites,
with little orifice penetrating benefit
after the initial six inches?
Anything beyond that would often appear
to inflect discomfort as opposed to
some hitherto inexperienced
plateau of pleasure.
The phallic truncheon?
Our icon of the supreme sado-sexual satori?
An ultra-appendage with trauma intent?
Ah...perhaps the misogynist in us all.
The misogynist in man...
The misogynist in woman...
Embrace the blade.
Sheath Nantucket.

©93 Jack Hubbell

Nantucket (Part Two)
Okay. I’m making a ruling.
Enough about this guy from Nantucket.
In my experience,
there’s nothing special about his attributes
or achievements.
Been doin’ that stuff for years.
Big deal.

Instead, let me tell you about
this man from Uttar Pradesh, India.
Dude was born with two
fully functional penises.
And what does he go and do
but request that one of them
be cut off.

Now I ask you:
Where’s the sense in that?
I mean, where will it all end?
As in getting a tattoo,
it could all get quite addictive.
Get one pecker lanced off,
think to yourself,
“Hey! That was pretty neat.”
And it’s not long before this whole
“cleaning house” aesthetic overtakes you.
“Well, if one less penis is good,
then two less penis’ has got to be great.”

This unique double eunich wannabe
from Uttar Pradesh
really pisses me off in a
non-stereo piss sort of way.
Double chomp chump!
Wanna one wang wanker!

Okay wait…
Let me wax romantic.
And really
this has always been about romance.
Admit it.
You know I was going there.

When you were a frumpy little girl,
didn’t your grandma take you aside
and tell you there would always be that
significant other waiting for your
tender knock on her back door?
But just think of all the female psyches
you will have tromped
on your way to true love?

Indeed, were it you who desired to go
the eunuch route,
why just think of all those girls
lined up around the block with their
pruning shears in hand.
It might just rival the national lottery.

But enough about you.
It’s this wanker times two in Uttar Pradesh
I’m trying to focus on.
Surely there was that moment
when his Gran Mama took him aside
and said,
“Listen Double D”
(as this was the endearing way
she was prone to address him),
“Listen, for every double digit One,
there a double digit Zero.
It’s all mathematics.
You can’t have One without One-not.
And of course you can’t have Two
without Two-not.”
And he slowly nods his head,
though on the inside,
he doesn’t have a clue
what the fuck she’s talking about.

And little does he know but
just at that moment,
there on the far side of the world in, oh,
let’s say someplace obscure like
Omaha, Nebraska,
some girl is born who is special
in a double Zero way.
And she grows to adulthood.
And she’s there waiting for him.
And… And…
Think of the PASSION to be had!
Think of it!
Visualize it!
Oh My God!

But nooooo.
Double Dickhead wants to be a
single dickhead!

And don’t we have enough of those already?

©07 Jack Hubbell

Nantucket Part Three
A phallus sea of cock-dumb nation,
this should live in the anals of history.
Or her story.
Depends on your pointy bit of view or
lack thereof of pointy out bits for viewing.
It don’t mean dick!
Here, let me expound on the meat.

In 2006, Chinese surgeons
performed the world’s first penis transplant,
but… now hold on!
Don’t start getting your hopes up for
all those wee willy wankers you hold so endearing.
There were some short comings.

Turns out the patient and his wife
didn’t like this penis and
had it cut back off.
Let this settle in for a bit.
Just ponder the heart rending story of…
What the fuck is wrong with these people?!
Don’t you think that if that guy
sitting over there had a choice
between living with what little penis he has
and having no penis at all,
he wouldn’t opt for the ‘with dangle’
as opposed to ‘dangle not’?
And yet… GAH!!!
This couple in China…
They jointly decide “Um… You know…
Were not entirely fond of this particular penis.
Would you mind ever so if you
took it back?”

“Excuse me sir?
You did not like the penis?
You found the penis wanting?”
“Well it’s just that…”
But his wife cuts him off, and
somewhat demurely interjects,
“It’s just that,
we thought there’d be more.”
“More?” queries the surgeon. “How so?”
And to this the unfulfilled wife
rolls her almond eyes and says,
“More. You know.
I was just hoping for…
And the surgeon thinks to himself,
“Why you ungrateful bitch!
That was a damn, damn, DAMN fine penis!”
[Note that he thinks all this in Chinese.
It’s not at all funny when you hear it in Chinese.
It’s actually kind of sad.]
“Some guy out there…
Some guy gave his all.
I mean, all that’s of importance
that any one guy can give.”

Oh, there’s a chance that someone somewhere
had one penis too many, but
what are the odds of that, huh?
And so… This Chinese couple…
They take that penis for a ride.
Take it around the block as it were.
And for a short time,some other guy
buried in the grave sans pecker
says, “Death is good.
Take my bat and
hit a homer little fella.”

But no. No and nadda.
She says, “It just doesn’t feel right.”
So maybe I can see her point of view.
For her, there is an understandable desire
for “more” all the way to infinity.
That she might have a capacity for love
that only a NASA booster rocket could fill.
We can forgive her insatiable appetite for the
almighty mega-meat cleaver but… him?
To have and have not?
To be or not to be?
To have been a wheel absent pedestrian
and then gone 0 to 60, nitrous oxide,
parking lot to Autobahn,
pulsating penile piston plunging passion
and then…
“Nah. I don’t really care for that…
What is that?
Is that a Yugo? No.
Didn’t have an itty bitty Austin Mini in mind either
though, dang if it ain’t sporty and all.
Rather like the racing stripe
running down the length of it, but…
It’s just that the stripe sorta ends
before it really has a chance to get going.”

And then she steps forward and whispers,
“Since we’re talking in extreme metaphor here,
might I politely ask,
are there any Cadillacs parked back there in your freezer?
Don’t mind if that suckers got
a couple a hundred miles on the dial.
Don’t need no super charger under the hood.

No, as long as that engines got a bumpy cam shaft
that can provide the proper timing ala
thump a thump thump…
You know, get those tires to turn
one full revolution forward,
then I’ll license that pecker
and drive it home.
Might even drive it home repeatedly.”

Okay. So we know she has needs, but
what about the husband?
He’s no dummy.
He’s got goals.
Though he’s being a bit of a
non-dick about it all,
he’s got some ballsy intentions.
Indeed, we must admire his
Nantucket ear fuckit aspiration.

Me? Now, were I to kick the proverbial
don’t that suckit bucket,
I’d love to be there for him.
Indeed, there to fulfill his
phallic lick fantasy, but hey…

Rumor has it I’ve spent my life
driving nothing but a boring old Volvo.
Nothing too racy there.
But… (and I mean a big “but”)
What was mine was me,
and even in death,
I’d like to think I was
rather attached to it.

©07 Jack Hubbell

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nantucket (Part Four)
Okay. It’s been confirmed.
Via scientific research of some sort,
it was recently reported that lesbians
have more orgasms.

I’m gonna be straight up here.
I’m not happy with this.
In fact, I’m sorta depressed.
There is a hypothesis
floating around out there
that we on the male side of the
homo-sapien equation are
insensitive, self-indulgent assholes.
Yes. Some think that.
But I, Fabio that I am,
stand here before you on the verge of tears.

No… Wait…
There just now I started crying.
Oh, but you can’t see it cause we Cro-Magnon
do it on the inside.
Yes. We do it all the time.
It’s just that you are insensitive to
male muy macho emotive fragility.

Lesbians have more orgasms?
How could you?!
How could you do this to us?
Haven’t we always been there for you?
Is there no feature upon us that you
in any way find desirable? No?

And so there we stand,
fresh out of the shower,
toweling down our pathetic
insignificant extremities.
Blubbering fools
we pause to wipe
a large swath of condensation
from the fogged mirror,
and are startled at the sudden appearance
of that which we use to take such pride in.
And now?
Oh you little, little man.
You sad little vienna sausage.
Why, you do not even cast a shadow.
This… [sob]
This is what entropy does to you.

Listen men.
We’ve got to stand up.
We’ve got to rise to the occasion
for we as a
go daddy go go gonad nation
are on the verge of obsolete.
Our testosteroney lonely ponies
are soon to have no saddles cinched
to their buckin’ bronco backs.
What with the power of the genetic clone,
there will soon be no need for
our monkey bars to
spit spumy spermatozoa.

Pay heed to my somber warning.
Two thousand years hence,
the great mothership
(yea, you heard me… MOTHERship!)…
The mothership will return to this spinning nut
to find mankind gone!
Oh… Womankind yes.
We will have womankind.
And those of the mothership will ask the big question.
“So um… These men we’ve heard of…
Just what were they like?”
And the all important answer?
“Who? Whatzat? Oh…
The men you say. [sigh]
We kept them around for awhile to
change tires on cars,
but once we devised ways of transport
beyond big ol’ throbbing dicks-on-wheels,
we pretty much phased them
knuckle-draggers out of business.”

And yet the mega-mammary matrons of the
immaculate mothership
mull the minus of man mislaid.

“So these men,” they coyly ask.
“You have video?”
“Erased it.”
“You have photographs?”
“You have sculptures?”
“Smashed them all.”
“Oh, but if you’re curious,
there are fossil remains
scattered here and there.”

And so off they go
to dig up a relict of man.
Pulling it forth from the musty ground,
they lay the skeleton next that of a pristine woman’s.
Much deductive analysis later,
they scratch their lofty heads and ask,
“What’s the diff?”
And the women of the Earth respond,
“Trust us.
There was a Yin and
there was a Yang.
This… This before you…
This was man.
And beyond what you see as
some lesser skeletal form, there
was a lot of meat to man. But…
Let’s just say we came to prefer our meat
that of the boneless variety.”

And this men is what orgasms
(or lack there of) did to us.
Lesbians prefer their fish
without those prickly bones.

©07 Jack Hubbell