The zipper don’t work on our jackets

the drugs don’t work on our kids

our breath stinks

our teeth are cracking

and we’re haggling with the bartender

over the price of our bicycles, so no:

we’re not drinking PBR to be cool anymore.

 

We are huddled up together here

where the landlord won’t start shit

watching Wall Street windows

spit out suits

like gears flying off a dry machine.

The television cuts to the hard numbers

the graph a vast scream with jagged fangs

but the sound is off

the jukebox is on

and Johnny Cash is laughing

at our plans.

 

Remember these days.

This beer is dishwasher-filtered diarrhea

with a thick head of shaving cream

and a generous sediment

of only the finest Milwaukee boogers

and it will never taste better.

We will buy it for girls

whose perfume has a higher alcohol content

and they will pretend to be drunk

and we will pretend to be somebody

and the laughter

will be completely honest.

Nobody’s selling anything

and the buyers market

is a flock of overfull blimps

floating off to burst in the airless void, so

Merry Christmas.

Here’s a beer.

I couldn’t afford to wrap it

but I made the bow myself

out of fortune cookie fortunes; it says

riches are coming your way

(in bed).

 

In the meantime

remember these days.

The inspirational clichés and epic guilt trips

of countless grandparents

were forged in generations like these

so come on over.

The Xbox is in the pawn shop

and the cable’s off ‘til next week

and the possibilities are endless.

The banks are burning

and there’s no cover charge

at the weenie roast

no white noise

to blur the rhythm in the wind

whistling down the steel canyons

and the songbirds

haunting dead wires

and the echoes of mighty rivers

floating up from the gutters

so let’s steal some music

the old fashioned way.

 

Remember these days.

I don’t know if you hear the same things I do

up ahead, and I can only hope the smoke clears

before we get there

but in the meantime

we must learn to hold hands again

so shake mine like your father’s

and we’ll toast

to the ghost of tomorrow.

 

This poem originally appeared in the historic port city, Volume 5 of The Ampersand Review.

 

 

 

Tod Caviness is a three-time member of Orlando’s Say Anything Slam Team and has been largely unmedicated the entire time. He has been the host of the Speakeasy spoken word night, the heir to Patrick Scott Barnes’ long-running Backroom Words. He has been a film critic, a haunted house employee, a candy store manager, and a waiter. He has been featured at Boston’s Cantab Lounge, NYC’s Bowery Poetry Club, and the most hostile bars in Brevard County. He has never felt he was a typical gemini, but then geminis never do.

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