MARLBORO MAN

At approximately 11:50/11:55 pm on December 31st, 1999, I took the last puff of my last cigarette(so far). I had grown tired of smoking and the lungs would complain at me when I lay down to sleep at night, causing me to sit up for another half hour each night to let my lungs catch a full breath of air to be able to go to sleep .

This had been going on now for the better part of the year and it was becoming burdensome, so I made my mind up that I was gonna quit smoking cold turkey! Of course, I had done this a few times before and always started smoking again, BUT!

I just couldn’t breathe comfortable anymore so I decided enough was enough. Again, I didn’t really know if I could but I really was scared of not breathing more than I was afraid of giving up the not-so-pleasurable anymore habit of forcing the two filters in my chest to take in smoke and clear it for me to breathe.

I was reminded of my decision to stop when I was reading an article about 4 people passing away from vaping..or at least they attributed vaping as a cause of death. I don’t doubt it. I asked people years ago when vaping first came out as to who the originators, the inventors of vaping were? Somehow it seemed to escape their notice that the same cigarette companies that were losing smokers because many were dying and the millennials were being educated about the downfalls, the health risks, etc. of cigarettes by those great anti-smoking ads so the companies found a new, “healthier” way to smoke. Fools! I dedicate this to all those “cool marlboro men” of today:

just gonna start this before I forget:
MARLBORO MAN
I remember the Marlboro Man,
The sophistication,
The cool.
I remember the Kool Camel,
The different,
The weirdness of a camel smoking.
I remember the smoke curling up,
Surrounding you in its fog,
Wrapping you in its soundless seduction.
I remember the feel of it,
The roll of warmth,
Held between the index and middle fingers.
I remember how it sat,
Firm between your knuckles,
Holding cool to your chest like you were the baddest.
I remember lighting the match in winds,
In rain and snow,
Fire radiating your face for all to see just as suave as can be..the Marlboro man!
I remember having to work those two filters,
Those things we call lungs,
To inhale the white smoke which eventually turned the lungs black.
Yeah,
I remember how cool I thought it was,
‘Til the coughing fits started.
I still think smoking looks cool..if you’re the Marlboro Man..
Otherwise you’re just a fat bastard pointing blanks at your head in life’s russian roulette not knowing if there is any actual bullet in the gun..
Or if you’re gonna be the Marlboro Man.
Now you carry a big ass square metal box that spews the smoke directly into you with little effort…
And you still think you’re cool..
Just like the Marlboro Man..
Long live the Cool, the Marlboro Man!
There have been many..
They died……
Many quite early…
Peace!

PRAY AND WAIT

I was reading this morning where a doctor shot her two children then turned the gun on herself, a supposed murder suicide. That just saddens me to no end!

I don’t understand why you would hurt your children like that…or in any way! I do understand there are things in this world that cause a great deal of depression in one’s life. I understand how overwhelming the world can be and how you feel like you’re drowning and there is no life preserver of any sort in sight; I GET IT!

I just don’t get the part where a child has to pay for your feelings of inadequacy or failure or despondency or whatever it is that causes a person to do that to a child. How can you look a child in the eyes knowing the next moment you are going to take their life? How do you look at any child knowing you are about to take their innocence and sacrifice it for your own need? I love my children, I love my grandchildren and if anything happened to them…THEN, just maybe then…I will kill myself but evem then I have to wonder who I will be hurting by doing something so selfish!

Dear God:
You sit ensconced pon yon dais of devotion,
While we,
Mere mortals,
A mere pittance of existence,
Kneel in abject subjugation,
Adjure for mercy.
We pray cuz we must,
We can, for we lust.
Commandments born,
They’re bred from sin..
Empirical..
In its evidence.
My soul,
It writhes within..
What innocence was upon a time,
Can’t fit what’s left upon a dime.
You judge me, I judge you..
Lest we forget,
So God will, too!
If, If, If…you believe!
Is there a greater out there?
Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnivorous…
…Omnificent!
Devours the prayers as if frivolous..
Where must they go?
Into heaven, Into church, Into space?
Into the mighty black hole?
Never to be seen again,
To hear the keen of them,
They disappear to men…
Still,
We wait,
And wait,
We wait,
The preacher stands..
Restrings his bait…with promises!
My brethren, if you only…
Pray and wait!

SOMEDAY, MAYBE NEVER

One day,
Maybe today,
Maybe tomorrow,
Maybe never…
A hand will open a page..
And a pair of eyes will read what you,
Or I have written.
They will nod their heads in that knowing way..
Of agreement.
Then a sigh will escape and…
A brevity of breath hisses,
Evocative in its short, sweet, sibilant sadness..
You feel the sussuration of a promise in the dark that forever begins now..
And ends never!
Even as skeleton fingers wrap sure about the scythe of judgement!
But that is for tomorrow,
When the warm air has billowed from the promise forsaken..
Eternity brooks no promise as..
Such as love is ethereal and fleeting to mortals,
While death is only once but forever!
Your only hope being reincarnation is not a myth and surely lights a beacon of hope in the darkness of an unknown tomorrow!
Still..
Gods will always play the jester,
Pull the rug out from underneath our dancing feet..
Then one day,
Maybe tomorrow,
Maybe never,
A hand will open a page…and…we will be once more!

I think I plagiarized this from somewhere..well, maybe the first cpl of lines. I heard some guy saying “I like words…” and he went on to describe the words in such a wonderful fashion and that’s where I got the idea for this cuz everyone likes

· WHISPERS
I like whispers..
Chocolate whispers..like
The rustle of wrapping in preparation to taste the sound of said whisper…
Vanilla whispers,
The undefinable resonance of the unhearable that swishes past like an unseeable image in the corner of your eye.
I like the whisper of a lover..
Right after..and the vulnerability that wakes your senses.
Quiet whispers are sexy..go ahead..
Whisper softly in your lovers or even your own ear..
I like the thickness of whispers,
The kind that carry multitudinous emotions..
Like a train wreck about to happen..in slow motion!
Have you ever felt sand whisper across your feet?
That’s just silky fish poop sliding across your toes..
all warm and fuzzy.
I like the whispering winds through tree tops,
As it whispers sweet nothings..
And the trees dance wildly in ecstasy! Imagine!
How seductive the wind..
I like loud whispers, too..
You know the kind..
The swoop in loud joy through canyon walls..
Reed and air flowing together in orchestral manifestation!
Wonderful!
Whisper my name,
Soft and sweet..
Hard and rough..
Whisper an ode or thought..and..
Feel the soul of the world,
Of life,
Of love..
In that..
Whisper..

TATTOOS

I have not a single tattoo. I doubt I will ever get one. Tattoos are fantastic, to say the least! Yes, I said they are fantastic but I will never get one. Don’t get me wrong, I love tattoos! The aesthetic beauty of tats is amazing! The colors, the themes, the ideas behind a tattoo are wonderful!

Tattoos usually have some meaning beyond the beauty and the artistry of it. Some celebrate an anniversary; some commemorate a special person now gone; some signify a memory; and some are just beautiful to the eye. However…

Not everyone should get one. Tattoos are ubiquitous! You see more people with tattoos than without. To me, that has taken the uniqueness of tattoos, the dark side, out of the equation! Hell! Even the pastor or the priest will have one…seriously! It’s to the point now that I feel I am unique in that I have NO TATTOOS! And that is sad, because…

I see a lot of people that just don’t have the body for a tattoo…and they aren’t even old yet! And it isn’t the age! I’ve know a lot of old guys, rarely old women yet cuz back in my day, if a woman had a tat, then she was from the dark side and had an air of mystery to her. I’ve seen old dude with prison tats that carry weight and tells their story, or at least tells you they have a story behind the tattoo. I’ve seen soldiers that have tats earned from their experiences, and I’ve seen bikers that have them as patches..again..earned!

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that not everyone has the body for a tattoo or has earned the right to wear one. That sounds very opinionated and perhaps it is but I guess that I am disappointed that the mystery and one-of-a-kind feel of tats is gone. But…

The aesthetics beauty is not. I’ve seen some marvelous tats on certain people that look great…like I said, some people are born to the tattoo!

ACCEPTANCE!
I am…
An ugly man!
A soul with a depth of beauty untold!
Buried!
God made me this way…And,
I am content!

SPIDERS AND WORDS

I was thinking the other night, you know, in that little space in time right before you go to sleep? There is this beautiful place where you put the day and its thoughts away like when you let the car cool off for the night after a long day running. And as your thoughts cool off, they are easier to handle and put in perspective and in their place.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, it’s also a time that if you don’t focus, your mind begins to wonder to new thoughts and new perspectives. For instance: I sometime take days between writing a poem because I wait for a line to come to build around or up or down from it. I also have an affinity to and a fear of…spiders!

They fascinate me and scare me at the same time, but it is the aesthetics of the spider and the web that fascinate me. Whenever I see a spiderweb, I will test the tensile strength of it to see if it’s a Black Widow or such cuz they creep me out with the beauty and the inherent danger they pose. But I was also taken by the idea that the Widow represents the words I want to lay down and the spiderweb ties them all together.

Of course, the Widow also represents the strength of the idea written, thus the tensile strength of the web. The idea can be fabulous, can be great, can be awesome…but…if the web is weak and not constructed properly, then the idea falls apart…doesn’t it?

When I was a young boy, probably all of 14 or 15, I discovered a small spider, a black jumping spider that was not even a half-inch, if a quarter in size. I watched it as it stood stock still and made furtive little gestures to keep me in its sight as it knew I posed a possible danger but was not gonna turn its back to me. As I said, I was enthralled by spiders and so I liked to poke at them til they scurried away, but this lil spider stood it’s ground and just kept turning to face me and the more I poked at it the madder it seemed to get!

Finally, it raised its two front legs and seemed to rear back as if to say, “Bring it!”. AT this point my fertile imagination took over and I had visions of this little spider seeking me out to take revenge so I quickly killed it with a shovel! Isn’t that what we do when we take ideas and think..”No, that won’t work!” or “Can’t be done!” or “someday”? Isn’t today “someday”?

QUILL
This is how I write..
(Puts cap on backwards),
This is how I read..
(Straightens his sport coat),
Yet I must admit..
Sometimes I’m bass-ackward,
Like my cap.
So I pretend to search for word,
That fit not ill or awkward.
So many of these words..
I’ve written,
Sittin’..
On a mind wound tight,
Waitin’..
On the mating of verb and noun,
But I sit empty…I must admit.
My wit..
That which pulls together,
The part that will tether these words together..
The words sitting..
I wait on it,
Dare not push..
Lest like a feather caught up in snow weather..
Turns into useless mush.
So now be a dear,
Keep your thoughts to a hush,
That I may focus a thread through a needle,
And my words like water, gush!
Forward my friend,
Toss the needle..
Find paper and pen!
I know now what to say,
At least……………………
For the rest of this day!
Peace..

JULY 4TH 1776

4TH OF JULY HUBRIS

I served in a non-combat time in the Marines from 1976 to 1979 and then, of course, 3 more years inactive. I was honorably discharged at that time and I was absolutely proud to have been and actually proud to have served as a Marine. I have always been proud to celebrate the 4th of July and I still have my flag properly folded in my home. I read that people are not as proud as a whole of being AMERICAN as they once were. I am totally in agreement with them. I don’t feel like celebrating the 4th and it isn’t because of politics, although that lends itself to the blame a little! Fact is, I am ashamed that this country is led by a man that avoided military service by dodging through deferments his enlistment. And now, he wraps himself with a patriotic mantra as if he was a war hero finally taking his due honor. He is not! This year I will pass on patriotism as since anybody can claim patriotism, the value of it has lost its luster. I am praying I won’t have to put off another year of the 4th or even more fucked up..another 4 years if this petulant shit of a draft dodger wins office again. He is not a war hero, nor a patriot. Patriotism is defined by your desire to defend your country and its ideals, not by trashing half of the country and telling people how smart and tough you are. All those claims have been refuted by this president’s refusal to serve in military uniform. To say that you always wanted a purple heart shows what little you know about what exactly it takes to earn it! And if you couldn’t even get yourself to put the uniform on, you sure as hell don’t have the right stuff to earn such a medal. If a bone spur kept you out, I doubt you would survive being wounded in combat and if your selfish nature on display in the White House is any indication, I doubt you would put yourself at risk for any other soldier in your unit! I still love America and I still love the Constitution, but the watered down patriotism exhibited by this man and his cohorts, has badly eroded the pride Americans used to have in this country. HUBRIS is the true coin of this administration. That is not a good sign!

This is dedicated to those who served in the Vietnam war and to all the soldiers that have ever made the 4th of July possible:

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing
SOLDIER’S MOMENT

How long have I lain here…
Am I really dying?
Not more than a minutes worth…
Or an eternity it seems.
I feel…
My jaw slacken and I marvel,
Death is a woundrous thing…Awe full
Really!
Comes with no instructions…
How to bear it.
Nevertheless, He comes at our call and..
Only with regret.
Sits down woefully, comforts you…
Knowing you are not done yet!
She holds your hand, a cold death grip…
Pardon my morbid pun of pain.
I set my thoughts, my past…
In order!
He is patient, true, done this many times prior…
With more than you.
Practiced. In his own way kind.
Through the ages, escorted many…
Through a faltering mind!
She slides a bony hand across your brow,
While you recount the days you forgot,
They become the now! The moment!
I can’t seem to move…why?
He peers into my eyes…
Guides me to the start,
Mom smiles a coo,
Dad proud as punch at his first glimpse,
Of his little buckaroo!
A few years later,
Riding his shoulders…
My knee scraped good on them stupid boulders!
Mom’s kisses a sweet tissue,
Makes the pain a non-issue.
Kindergarten, elementary, memories and friends…
A kaleidoscope of joy,
Brings beginnings to their ends
Relive each moment in post-regret,
Of life done too soon,
Things to do yet!
Remember my teens,
Plus a few of the in-betweens..
I wished for something different,
Joined the Few, the Proud, the Magnificent!
Now here I lay,
Talking to this shade!
Don’t make this painful,
He I asked, She I bade,
Hoping Those I leave remember to make lemonade
Good Night! Good Day! I feel…
My soul slip away.
You loved me, I loved you…
We’ll meet again someday!

DEPRESSION

de·pres·sion/dəˈpreSH(ə)n/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: depression

  1. 1. feelings of severe despondency and dejection.”self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”synonyms:melancholy, misery, sadness, unhappiness, sorrow, woe, gloom, gloominess, dejection, downheartedness, despondency, dispiritedness, low spirits, heavy-heartedness, moroseness, discouragement, despair, desolation, dolefulness, moodiness, pessimism, hopelessness;

In the wake of Saoirse Kennedy Hill’s battle and subsequent demise to depression, it hit hard cuz that is something a lot of folks don’t like to talk about or acknowledge. Some attribute her death to the Kennedy curse but if that’s the case, then are thousands upon thousands of cursed people in the world.

The idea that depression resides in one’s own home is unthinkable; not that we deny it isn’t possible but that like a ghost, haunting one’s home malevolently, it threatens your very safety in not knowing how it will expose itself to you. It is a razor thin edge walk on a wire suspended high above a bottomless pit that if you don’t balance just right, you can’t climb back up and are lost to the darkness.

It horrifies and saddens me that it lives in my 4 walls and I don’t really know how to take this pain away from my child and all I can really do is just try to live my life and hope that the medicine they give her works well enough to be that balancing act that keeps her walking the wire…and all I can do is watch and hope I can catch her if she happens to fall. God knows self-medication is not the way to go:

THE GIRL IN THE SILHOUETTE CORNER
She sits with her legs pulled up to her chest,
Looking out the window slats, letting dark sunlight in.
Have you ever seen the darkness of light?
Drowning in its weight?
The words fail me.
What is she thinking?
As her son lays on the mattress sleeping?
The sun burns her silhouette against the wall..starkly!
I glance at her as I pass by,
Hold church in my head..
In the midst of my thousand wishes and prayers…
I kneel to an empty shrine of questions,
While the pain settles at my feet..
Writing fluff is easy,
But the world is shit! Hardcore..It’s
Broken, shattered mirrors of a closet door in a bedroom! It’s
the antiseptic smell of an emergency room after a Las Vegas massacre!
It’s so much broken glass reflecting a million faces!
Where does this end?
When did it began?
How can I make something beautiful out of all the sadness?
When the screaming in my head sounds like so much madness?
Have you ever gone crazy?
It’s a sad, strange and lonely place..
Leave it be..
It’s not for you.
I pray it’s not for me..

The FUTURE

When I was a child, I thought I was immortal and I would never die. As I grew older and wiser..wink, wink..I began to realize the extent of my failings and my shortcomings. My body began to speak to me in such disconcerting ways, in words of pain and stiffness, whilst my mind argued with me that I was okay and so I listened to my thoughts, but as time goes on I began to realize there is an end to all things and a beginning to everything, as well!

So my thoughts on the future revolve on the frailness of humanity and the strength of time. In this, our dimension, time is linear and we live in only one direction: forward! Memory is a concept given to us by The Creator, God, perhaps? Without memory, I think we would lose our mind. It’s like an exhaust system in a car; without release, things would blow up, don’t you think? I think eventually, the release gives out and our body internalizes everything and instead of blowing up, we actually implode.

Mentally, physically; the implosion is more than we can handle and our selves give up and return from whence we came. We feed the now for the future to continue, with our thoughts, ideas, inventions..etc, but soon, even the world will fail, as well and there will be no more earth, no more cultures, no more world! And all that will be left is husks of memories, buried in the sands of time. Perhaps our monuments to our civilizations, in the form of buildings, will raise forlorn fingers pointing to the sky, as if reaching for the stars and in the vacuum of silence that is left keep hope alive that we will not be forgotten!

If after all the eons have wasted away our bodies and even the buildings no longer point ghostly fingers to nowhere, maybe the little capsules that we sent into space will finally reach someone who cares enough to come find us and exhume our story of who we were and why and maybe by the time we reached our end, we learned what it is to love our neighbor as ourselves and thus leave a better impression upon who we were to the strangers sifting through our dried memories:

MELANCHOLY FOLLY…
I hope you don’t mind if I walk with you,
Just a little ways?
I promise to make it short.
I’m feeling the salt deep in my wounds,
The paper cuts that last long..
So little, so painful.
I am melancholy,
And I feel the raindrops cold on my shoulder,
The weeping of the sky is of no consequence to the riving in my soul…
and the ravens accompany me..
If just to laugh at the foolish and the lost.
But I never lose hope. I..
keep it tucked in a little corner easy to find in case of need, though lately seems not much need so best to say I’m hopeless, I suppose.

Eventually the worms will come to call, pay their respects til the withers overtake and exhume the remains of whom I was..
Never mind who I am.
But for now..
Let me weep at what is lost..
at what may never be again..
All because of pride…
In our accomplishments.
Only men are able to feel such a lackluster emotion…
In Accomplishment..
of extermination.
We create..
in ones, but destroy in threes.
We build for now monuments to our greatness..
Monuments to a God unseen but expectant in his saving grace and so we destroy what he gave us cuz he’ll save us..
Breathless..holding our collective breaths, we await Him..
The Messiah, the Savior, our Rescuer..
And destroy His creations as we wait…
and we sacrifice his children to prove our faith to him..
Praise God!
Praise Jesus!
Praise Allah!
Pass the ketchup and the mayo..
Let’s make a sandwich with those last four lines and perhaps it’ll make our insanity easier to swallow than to look at each other in utter stupefication at what drives such hatred.
What makes my skin crawl when I see your skin crawl?
Perhaps the scientists are right to postulate we will never visit alien worlds because we will have destroyed our world long before we could escape from a heap of trash that once was a jewel of our solar system!
Perhaps this wasn’t a poem after all..
Merely a rant..
While I try to apologize for taking up so much of your time.
Perhaps in the future someone will find this sad little note and will take this as an apology for killing their world.
I’m so sorry..
This was my melancholy…
My folly.

All rights to these words are mine: Victor G Mendez..I plagiarized them from my soul and searched a shallow mind while watching the news and the hate and the horror. I wrote this poem in April of 2019 and the thoughts are from today: Aug 5, 2019!