Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.
Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.
Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.
The keyboard is mightier than the sword.
Readers & Book Lovers Schedule (note; new series by Brecht debuted on the 22nd!):
|DAY||TIME (EST/EDT)||Series Name||Editor(s)|
|SUN||6:00 PM||Young Reader's Pavilion||The Book Bear|
|Sun||9:30 PM||SciFi/Fantasy Book Club||quarkstomper|
|Bi-Monthly Sun||Midnight||Reading Ramblings||don mikulecky|
|MON||8:00 PM||Monday Murder Mystery||Susan from 29|
|Mon||11:00 PM||My Favorite Books/Authors||edrie, MichiganChet|
|TUE (alternating Tuesdays)||8:00 AM||LGBT Literature||Texdude50, Dave in Northridge|
|Tue||5:00 PM||Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left||bigjacbigjacbigjac|
|Tue||8:00 PM||Contemporary Fiction Views||Brecht, bookgirl|
|Wed||8:00 PM||Bookflurries Bookchat||cfk|
|THU||8:00 PM||Write On!||SensibleShoes|
|Thu (first each month)||11:00 AM||Monthly Bookpost||AdmiralNaismith|
|Thu (third each month - on hiatus)||11:00 PM||Audiobooks Club||SoCaliana|
|FRI||8:00 AM||Books That Changed My Life||Diana in NoVa|
|Fri||6:00 PM||Books Go Boom!||Brecht|
|SAT (fourth each month)||11:00 AM||Windy City Bookworm||Chitown Kev|
|Sat||4:00 PM||Daily Kos Political Book Club||Freshly Squeezed Cynic|
|Sat||9:00 PM||Books So Bad They're Good||Ellid|
Here's the hosting schedule,
which is wide open,
When I was a kid,
and I told my father about something I did,
something that seemed hard to do,
he often said,
"Are you bragging or complaining?"
I didn't take such things seriously;
I didn't understand,
and I didn't try to figure it out;
I thought my father was just trying to be funny.
And maybe he was,
but I'm about to write about the day I had,
the 25th of February, 2013.
And the whole idea
of telling you how hard I worked,
brings my father's words to mind.
(And the answer is,
complaining a little,
but mostly bragging.)
I got up at noon,
after about four hours sleep,
and went to work in a snowstorm,
with my wife's Uncle Randall,
so he could drive our car back to the house,
in case it might be needed by someone there.
The snow was light;
my little Mazda Tribute,
a small SUV,
cruised the ten miles or so easily.
I dropped myself off right at the door,
in the fire lane;
who looks like a black Santa Clause,
with cheeks very chubby when he smiles,
which is often,
and a salt and pepper beard,
Uncle Randall walked around the car,
and took the driver's seat,
and I thanked him,
and he drove away in the light snow.
I walked quickly,
not even wearing a coat,
(my coat was stuffed into my small carry-on,
along with my pills and food and book and such)
into the large Walmart Supercenter where I work,
all the way to the back,
into the endless hallways of the mystical Back Room,
(as in, "Do you have any more of this particular kind of coffee maker
in the Back Room?),
past the time punching computer terminal,
(I was 20 minutes early),
and into the break room.
I sat down and ate some crackers and cheese,
and took my blood pressure pill,
(my grandmother lived to be 94,
and took her blood pressure pill every day)
and I took some vitamin pills,
with extra doses of vitamin C and magnesium,
with a cinnamon and chromium supplement,
to help me deal with my pre-diabetes condition.
(My mother died at 74, from diabetes.)
I punched in,
just a few minutes late,
and went down the back room hallway to the pick carts,
a row of two or three of our six-wheeled flat carts,
loaded with items that the computer said
would fit on the shelves.
(The computer was sometimes wrong,
because it was given the wrong information,
but usually the stuff would go out.)
I found two carts loaded high,
with signs dated the day before.
but the day before,
the store was jammed with customers,
some of which had had trouble getting out of their driveways,
starting Wednesday night,
the night of our previous snow storm,
and some of which were worried,
since the forecast was for more snow on Monday,
so they were in the store,
stocking up on soup and chili.
With a foot of snow on the ground,
and more coming down,
we had to tell our customers,
we sold out of
ice melting compound,
and we're not getting more in.
Because we were so swamped with customers Sunday,
no one had had time to work on those carts of items to put out.
I rolled out a cart that had furniture items on it,
some folding chairs,
and when I got to the furniture area,
I saw that the butterfly chairs were low.
I remembered we had seven cases of them,
in the Back Room,
so I headed back to get them.
They were on a pallet that was located way up top,
on top of the steel racks,
but rather than get it down with a fork lift,
since there were pallets I'd have to move,
blocking the way for the lift,
I just got a ladder,
and started carrying them down on my shoulder,
box by box.
Just as I had the last box down,
a low level boss,
came up and asked what I was doing,
I told him,
set those chairs aside,
and help us get the Back Room ready for unloading a truck.
only one truck?
a small one,
only 1,300 pieces,
but some of the unloaders called in,
so we need your help,
We spent the next almost two hours
clearing pallets of freight off the area of the Back Room
we call the dance floor,
and we brought in carts from the grocery side,
and I took a short break,
and came back,
and started helping unload the truck.
I'm an old dude,
born in 1955,
but I'm strong enough,
with no serious physical limitations,
and when I'm unloading a truck,
I feel as if I'm doing it well,
walking with a certain flow,
grabbing a box off the line,
stepping over to the pallet,
setting the box in a good position,
so the boxes stacked there won't fall.
It only seems hard
when I go to my meal break,
and I feel so tired that it's hard to get up off my chair.
That's why I don't want to be a full time truck unloader,
but I don't mind substituting,
one or two days a week,
so that I can brag and complain.
When the truck was done,
about six PM,
I went on my meal break.
I had butter and cheese soup and hot dogs.
To make butter and cheese soup,
using a one quart plastic storage container,
half full of water,
microwave for six minutes,
and set the plastic bowl in front of you at the table,
and add one half stick of real butter,
your seasoning packet from your chicken flavored ramen package,
the ramen noodles,
and eight slices of pasteurized process cheese slices.
Stir and stir.
Heat your package of eight hot dogs on a paper plate,
with another paper plate over the hot dogs,
for four minutes.
Put mayo and relish over the hot dogs.
butter and cheese soup,
and four of the eight hot dogs,
with mayo and relish,
that's a truly satisfying meal.
Makes me doze off in the break room.
After my meal break,
one of the night time bosses,
a smart young man who went to college,
got a degree in business,
and hired on as a salaried assistant manager,
Trenton told me the usual,
go work on department 17.
I've been working five years
in department 17.
Department 17 includes
along with a nice selection of couch pillows.
That day's load for department 17 was small;
I put it up in a reasonable time;
it was mostly curtain rods.
I dragged the pallet to the Back Room,
and took off the cardboard,
and put it in the baler,
and cut the UPC barcode label off a broken mirror,
and put the mirror in the trash compactor,
and ran the compactor several cycles,
since a previous worker had dropped off garbage from the deli,
chicken nuggets and other foods,
too old to sell,
and that worker failed to cycle the machine,
and push it forward with a broom,
to get it smashed into the compact bale of garbage.
I got off the clock,
and called Uncle Randall,
and called my wife, Tonia,
and she said, get bread,
since I want more bologna and cheese sandwiches,
and I'm out of bread.
When we headed for home,
we were following a semi,
a tanker truck,
and Randall said,
he's making deep tracks,
almost all the way to the concrete road surface.
It was another matter when we got to the driveway;
Randall had to give it three or four tries,
to get into our parking spot.
I'm getting tired now,
and I don't want to write any more;
I don't want to tell you about Terrell,
and his arrival in the driveway with his little car,
and the shoveling of the driveway,
and by me,
more bragging and complaining:
I'm too tired to explain it all.
Now is the time to get on my soapbox,
and preach the gospel,
the gospel of the end of our world,
the world as we know it.
During that break at work,
and during my breaks at home,
I've been reading a book,
The Long Emergency,
by James Howard Kunstler.
follow the money,
to see who is lying,
and what kind of lies they're telling,
and from that,
you might find the truth,
by realizing that an idea that seems sensible,
but would cost the big boys money,
is likely true,
while the alternate narrative,
is likely not true at all.
All the big boys,
who are getting the big bucks,
from oil and natural gas and coal,
they are telling us,
as long as we let them do what they want,
let them frack,
let them drill offshore,
let them strip mine at will,
there is hundreds and hundreds of years worth of fossil fuels,
and no need to panic,
no need to change our way of living.
Think about it this way:
The Earth is laid out mostly in horizontal layers,
yes, I know, tectonic plate folding moves the layers at angles,
but the fact remains,
any thing we want,
all these things are there,
under the ground,
in horizontal zones that are the size they are,
north to south,
east to west,
measuring however many square whatevers,
and they are where they are,
and they are not where they are not.
There is no technological device
that can make the desired substance
magically appear in our possession,
for our use,
when it's simply not there.
We are running out of oil,
and we may not have even one hundred years worth of dirty coal.
I predict we will find out how many years our coal will last.
I predict we will build more coal fired power plants,
after it's pretty much too late,
we'll build a lot of nuclear power plants.
By that time,
folks will starve to death and die,
since we do not,
and will not,
within the next fifty years,
have a plan for producing enough food for 300 million Americans,
with no fossil fuels.
No natural gas for making the fertilizer,
no oil for making the pesticide,
no diesel fuel for the tractors
to plow and plant and harvest,
no diesel fuel for the trucks
to bring the soup and chili to my Walmart store.
No diesel fuel for the trucks to bring bacon and eggs
to my Walmart store.
No gasoline for Randall and I
to put in the little Mazda,
to take me to work.
I have ideas for nuclear power plants,
and electric trolley cars,
for me to get to work,
and electric or steam engine trains,
to get the food to my home city of Wichita, Kansas.
But how can I get my ideas out there?
I could put them in a poetry blog.
Thanks for reading.