The anxiety that Jake felt about living his own life was a stunning live St. Vincent song that she re-arranged at the last moment; he didn’t want to live his life in any other fashion, and he had finally reassembled the shattered plastic pieces of his biological parents’ antiquated and myopic worldviews and had
formed his own vinyl record from these parts that transformed his hopes into a newly sprouted branch on a young tree; he merely wanted this branch to grow slightly before doubt started to demolish it and before he needed a five dollar martini with his friend John because this drink
was Tori Amos playing a single beautiful note on her piano that allowed Jake to briefly forget about his problems until a curator could place his hangover in the Field Museum, which urged him to think that life was a combination of piercing, exquisite, and somewhat painful sounds emanating from an electric guitar that St. Vincent merged with beautiful orchestral music that also
made him believe that he was a piece of cheese moving through a hole in a cheese grater because he desperately wanted to move into a less painful and stressful phase of his life in which he wouldn’t have to hope that his Aunt Dotty would enjoy his last email as well as that it would dump kerosene on her boring, useless, and unbelievable
life. He also didn’t know if he could preserve and keep attempting to find a day job anymore because he was the light bulb in his desk lamp that was nearly burnt out and kept flickering on and off, and this stressful search was an infected digestive system that nearly made his life unbearable. However, he still had Catie and John,
who both helped him repair one half of his broken intestine and experience some joy in his life; his relationship with Catie was a wonderful cup of tea that he needed to finish at some point. Yet, he also comprehended that Catie would still be a Picasso print nailed to his wall even if they decided to take a break from each other as well as that they wouldn’t choose to remove this print from
Jake’s wall until the end of their lives. So, he knew that he could sometimes travel on a tugboat called the Night Ferry in turbulent seas on nights that he couldn’t
fall asleep. Conversely, this boat occasionally ferried him to places he didn’t always experience in his everyday life and coerced him to find the real, sometimes painful, and exciting human
existence that certain aspects of America’s periodically Puritanical society try to shroud with its somewhat strict conventions and norms, which are sleeping pills that transform some American citizens into somnambulists, and she also coerced him to comprehend that things would work out in his life but not in the way he expected them
to. And, this knowledge was a buzzing sound in his ear, which he also knew was transitory as well as that being a full time poet would be like trying to cross a street in a metropolis that didn’t have a cross walk seven times a day. Still, he was aware of the fact that an artist’s life is worth this struggle because it could make him as happy as humanly possible as well as allow him to transform some things as they are with his imagination’s red danelectro electric guitar.
St. Vincent and Inpifity
A roofer who had used the same nail gun for twenty years resembled Jake he was incredibly tired of this existence as well as Inpifity’s static and local corporate radio station, which Jake tried to ignore. But, he knew that he couldn’t if he wanted to pay his bills and eat. Still, he decided
to turn off this radio station when he could and listen to St. Vincent in a vain attempt to make the world less like Inpifity’s radio station. And, Inpifity nearly stole Jake’s integrity. But, his convictions were one of his fingers, and no one could steal them from him unless he choose to cut them off. He also knew
that everything in life was as transitory as a piece of notebook paper disintegrating in a puddle, even his time at Inpifity. And, this knowledge brought him joy and pain. Just like Catie, who was a beautiful and muddy hiking trail to Jake because her beauty was worth the mud on his
shoes; Catie was still a strange little onion to peel, and Jake didn’t know if he could strip away all of her layers, but he did coerce her to love again. She also reminded him that his family was sometimes as stifling and repressive as three layers of wrapping paper that suffocated an empty box. Still, Jake knew how to break through this
barrier and breath on his own. He also couldn’t stand their puritanical mindsets because they were people who carried bags full of broken laptop computers for no reason. Jake then met Kristen and imagined that she was a beautiful ribbon wrapped around a bundle of lit dynamite.
Yet, this bundle of dynamite in her was nothing compared to the ribbon of beauty attached to her mind and body. And, the hint of jealously and pain in Catie’s voice was the hum of traffic outside of Jake’s apartment when he mentioned Kristen to her. However, they both recognized it and knew that it
was only a small sound that their friendship could easily survive. After which, Kristen merely ignored Jake instead of telling him that she no longer wanted to speak to him, and her behavior made Jake’s respect for women dwindle to a spec of white dust on a black desk; He merely hoped Catie would make it grow again because he thought
she wouldn’t behave like Kristen. Jake then perceived that his life was going to become even more of an empty pint of McCarthy’s red ale in the near future, but he decided to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon nonetheless and believe that his painfully empty pint of McCarthy’s would be joyfully full again.
The Garbage Man and the Mountain Climber
Jake knew that he could mimic Edith Wharton and live his own life. However, he was also aware that this struggle would be a mountain climber attempting to climb a mountain that was completely covered in ice, and he was as overwhelmed as a senator trying to read a million emails about the current state of America’s economy. Still , Jake knew that this barrage of emails would end soon because everything
in life is ephemeral even Diana’s feminist pretensions, which were vintage shirts from Urban Outfitters, and she desperately wanted these false notions to be true, but they were those shirts’ ersatz vintage tags. Still, Diana was a wonderful St. Vincent song that gave him a headache while he listened to it, and reminded him that he loved women most of the time as well as that he hated them on occasion
and sometimes wanted to throw them in front of a moving CTA bus on Damen Ave. Yet, he also knew© that he wouldn’t experience joy or function correctly if he didn’t love women most of the time and that they weren’t a magical solution to his problems because his issues were a pile of garbage on a street corner in New York City. And, he comprehended that he couldn’t simply ignore them as well as
that he had to wade through them in order to sort and solve them. Moreover, Jake still didn’t know if he would choose to attend graduate school or not, and this confusion was water dripping from a facet into an empty tin sink, but he knew that he would turn off this faucet and make a sound decision because he didn’t want to be like Micah, who strayed into graduate school like a ship captain that didn’t know
his destination. But, then, he saw an island and decided to anchor his ship on it because he didn’t know where else to go. However, Jake was still as dejected as a homeowner with a faulty loan, and he didn’t know if his situation would improve because he thought that he may not speak to Diana again, but even if he didn’t, he had his memories of her , which were a great pair of headphones
that allowed him to listen to his favorite albums. Jake was ecstatic when he heard from Diana, but he still knew that his love and enthusiasm for her were a passing reflection of a women’s face in a bus window.
Jake’s hopes with Mary seemed plausible, but, he had similar ones in the past, and they were an aluminum can in a recycling plant, which reminded him that life wasn’t as simple as making a pasta salad as well as that he could never make the perfect salad. However, jake
also perceived that everything in life was as transitory as smoking a cigarette; He still enjoyed all of life’s aspects though and smoked them as slowly and as much
as he could before his hopes with Mary were crushed. The future was then uncertain to Jake; it was a dimly lit room that he couldn’t see into. But, Diana gave
him a glimpse into this room when she tried to ignore and repress her problems and sufferings until they nearly exploded. Jake never understood why she attempted to suppress a geyser which would eventually erupt, yet Jake still comprehended that he could always count on Diana’s love; it was a Florence Welch poster nailed to the back
corner wall of his apartment, which made him a person with one leg without her, but he still knew that Diana wasn’t a magical solution to his problems. And, this knowledge was as painful as someone losing their cellphone before they expected a call from the president. However, it gave Jake freedom and made him acknowledge that he would find
this cellphone again and love Diana for as long as this sad life allowed him to. So, they both smoked each other’s cigarettes before they had to painfully part, and Jake then started to speak to Catie and realized that she was still a book of poems that he hadn’t finished and wanted to understand and know further; He would even crawl through landmines
for Catie because the loss of one of his legs was worth the pleasure and happiness she brought him. Still, she also taught him that even though he wanted to live on his island of art, imagination, and freedom, he could either fall into society’s line and work, or he could starve as well as that he could still travel to his island.
© Luke Skoza 2012
Luke Skoza currently lives in Chicago where he attempts to work full time day jobs in order to support his writing.
Published at these links, http://silencedpress.com/poetry/paper-bowl/, http://retortmagazine.com/live/2011/07/three-poems-by-luke-skoza/, http://www.unlikelystories.org/11/skoza1111.shtml, http://www.unlikelystories.org/11/skoza0711.shtml.