Day 118 – A Life to Spare

Promise yourself you’ll only do
today’s work

Keep yourself to this
and you won’t have
no trouble sleeping

Keep yourself to this
and you will have
a life to spare


Day 23 – 10 Minutes

Set your timer
for 10 minutes
several times a day

and just see
what you do.

It doesn’t matter-
you’ve got plenty
of time

and what you do
is not important

Ask A Poet #1 -Wedding Gig Blues

Got a burning question that can only be answered in a snarky rhyme? Ask a poet!

“Dear Char,

I had to shoot a shitty wedding where I was supposed to get $150 because they “didn’t have any money.” And I felt bad. Well, the bride had horrid tan lines and they said their I Do’s in their house… that was filthy, covered with roaches, and piles and piles of clothes everywhere. Did I mention there were about 30 people in the small-ass house? Needless to say, they paid me half of that, and keep harassing me for the photos even though it’s going to take hours to edit them lines. What do you say?”

– Gilbert in Virginia

Well, Gil…

A bartender’s job is to shoot the shit,
a photographer’s job is not;
but if they coughed up half the dough for the gig
you owe them the shit that you shot.

I get that they’re cheap and their place was packed-
a sardine can of squalid-
but under the roaches and laundry stacks
they’re grateful you did them a solid.

But don’t go too crazy removing those lines,
after all, you’re a busy man!
It’s not your fault if the bride’s outshined
by a heavy dose of tan.

And next time write up a contract
to help you settle the score-
and to keep your sanity intact,
no more weddings in Jersey Shore!


Comment below with your burning questions to be answered next week!

Thoughts On Spaghetti

Spaghetti is, in essence, the poor man’s hallelujah. It’s the Helm’s Deep of “Don’t tell me how to feed my family, Gwyneth Paltrow.” Yes it is cultured, don’t let anybody tell you it’s not. When your sweetie makes you some spaghetti for dinner, especially during those times when it’s dear, make sure to share some with the dog. When you’re standing in the grocery store aisle thinking, “God why does a thing of parmesan cheese cost so much more than I have?” remember that there is some fancy word for what you’re about to make for your kids, in your last-ditch strength as a parent before you fall dead asleep exhausted, and some ridiculous aristocrat is ordering whatever it’s called. Who cares if they get the parmesan and plus like truffles or something. Nobody has won anything over on you yet. When you scuffle your way into a train car on the check from Grandma’s birthday card, pick your eyes up and notice the people walking or laying on the sidewalk. And hey, when you’re maybe a big-shot one day and they say, “Congrats, Ferguson, let’s go out and celebrate” you better the hell not wince when AJ says he has to get home to his wife who’s pregnant and craving spaghetti. Don’t you be the one that spoils everything with truffles. Spaghetti is the poor man’s hallelujah and nobody asked you to rise above it.

52 Flashes of Fiction: Week 24 – Advice

I told that girl not to jump. I told that girl to dump that sleazebag and get a driver’s license and apply for nursing school and cut her hair and stop wearing those baggy jeans and make an online dating profile and spend more time out with the girls and meet a nice guy and put her kids in a private school. I was just passing on some of the good advice that’s helped me through the years. I am in fact a driving registered nurse who wears my hair short and my jeans tight, who made an online dating profile and spent more time with the girls and met a nice guy and put my kids in private school. But I never had to dump a sleazebag because that just never happened to me. I wouldn’t say I was too smart for that, no. Well I was just trying to help. I told that girl not to jump.

Year 2: Day 78 – Advice For Young Men From A Botanist

There’s always a chance that green leaves
which have seen no winter will not make it
into spring.

Assign strength to beauty to youth
at your own risk.

But don’t jump scale to black or brown-
the time you will invest on dead or nearly-dead
is better spent still perusing the garden.

Take some photographs but know
that reviving decay is a hobby to take up
at your own risk.

If you want to care for something worthwhile,
look for something that takes care of itself-
something in the middle of restoring itself
after it has lived through some distress.

To find a more pleasing time of caretaking-
fall in love with a flower
with yellow leaves.

52 Flashes of Fiction: Week 5 – How To Get Rid Of A Ghost

When you’re eating your cereal in the morning or trying to finish the end of a book you didn’t really like, it’s pretty inconvenient to have a bulging pair of eyes over your shoulder that you can’t even swat away. You can’t swat them away because your hand will just swish right through like a line of static on the tv screen and the regular program of some specter nosing in your business will resume. It’s pretty inconvenient.

I saw on that same tv screen an advertisement once for some kind of hooey about getting rid of ghosts but the line of static was right across where the phone number was supposed to be and so I couldn’t call and ask what kind of hooey they were trying to sell. But it made me think about how people can make money with that stuff, with kindof halfway solving a problem or just pretending to solve it. And so it makes sense to me that if you actually solve a problem you should make a lot of money. That’s not how the world works, I know, but that’s the way it strikes me it should.

So obviously I am trying to make a lot of money by writing this and telling you how to get rid of your ghosts. You must pay me after you read this because if you don’t that’s very rude, you should always give payment after you receive a service. Even if it’s a smile, I’ll take a smile or a peanut-butter sandwich or a box of matches. Any of those things.

So if you want to know how to make your ghosts go away you just have to trap them on paper. How you do this is you take a pencil and begin to list all of the things you hate about the ghost. This will not make it go away, not even close. This will actually make it pretty smug and it will stick around, snickering in your ear when you’re trying to take a bath or file your quarterly reports at work. It will love to know that you’re thinking about it because ghosts cannot read your thoughts. You must not write down that you’re trying to make it go away, though, because that will ruin it.

Next thing you have to do is make some money off of your ghost. This is what I am doing right now, and at this very moment my ghost is getting quite angsty and upset. You and I both know how it feels to be proven wrong right after you are feeling pretty smug about how awesome and correct about the world you are. My ghost is feeling very defeated right about now, I know. So that’s what you have to do with yours. But that’s not how you get rid of it, because when you make something upset it just wants to poke holes in you even more.

Do you know how sad you get when someone you like pretends to like you a lot so they can get you to help them with their math homework, and then when that Algebra course is over for the year they stop talking to you? And then you secretly hope that you will both be in the same Geometry class next year because being used for homework help feels better than being ignored? And then you don’t get put in the same math class at all and they never talk to you because they have no use for you? Well, your ghost can’t be in any math class because it is a ghost and ghosts have no use for math and they also can’t hold onto a pencil, but you will make your ghost feel like that and gradually, finally get the hint and go away by doing the following:

Suddenly stop writing about your ghost.