John Hospodka

Lone Wolf Poet : Episode 42

essay cover chalice

Addendum to “Your Average Douchebags”

Paradoxically (perhaps not all too), it is the fear of death that must be branded as being the magnifier of the entire splendor encompassing this little middle-aged speck of shit I have entitled “Chalice Sinclearly.” It is no great secret to even the most Average Joe upon this planet which some educators still call blue, believe to be round, that permission for overly-extended existence is granted only to artifacts, to the crumbs of one’s proof. Mr. Sinclearly’s fear (kin to his aspiration, this must be pointed out) plays the Hansel and Gretel of his life after death promise, dropping his attempts at resonance – his kernels of expression – behind him on this forthright trek through the dark and far off literary pines.

There are many famous quotes regarding posterity, a majority respectful, but certainly those that revel in discourtesy. Go ahead, Google it. There are quotes from peeps you and your better-read friends have never heard of, and of course there’s a roundhouse thrown inside the estimation ring by that overly wannabe-masculine theory of suicide we all know as Hemingway, Europe and Cuba under belt and all. There’s even one from Groucho Marx, which to my ears sounds stolen. … Then, there’s this one quote from an Irish politician about a bird being in two places at the same time. The quote was actually derived from the dialogue of a Jevon’s play; it’s the quote used by Ambrose Bierce, our Great Vanishment, to define ubiquity – i.e. omnipresence – within his work The Devil’s Dictionary . (Thank God for the information provided by Wikipedia.) And that, truth be told, actually looms as a clearer mirror to Chalice’s conception of how posterity works upon the emotion of his work.

Chalice Sinclearly is motivated by envisioning that posterity is on his ass, shadowing him, bending to a cracked-scab knee to devour each dropping of his before ambling forward to locate the next. Thusly, the markers meant to guide Chalice back home again – back to the reality he’s never a player in the literary scene – are vanishing, and that’s just fine and dandy because there is no about-face when you’re confident in your delusion that not only is posterity creeping up on your ass (in one place), but that it is also the exact treasure you have ventured into these literary pines to go and pay homage to (in a second place, simultaneously), to go and bow before and offer up your better crumbs to – offer up those tangy, delicately teasing nibbles, those bona fide consequences fallen from your especially thoughtful and patient executions of the ancestral pattern’s recipe for its own just desert.

… In the course of doing the damn thing right and honest, there is no about-face.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 41

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“Why Dogs Hate Vets”
Based on a Real Dream

Edna St. Vincent Millay is a veterinarian,
Who with unendeavored confidence seeks
Proper Yankee out of a delectable Italian
Accent while she regards the mutt Sin-

Clearly’s been fostering and now wishes to
Make his and his wife’s own, as they have
A curious way of falling for misfit hearts
Born to be denned. [She outlined her stature

Upon metering into the examination room, eyes
Stressed downward to the prostrate mutt, his tail
Rising and falling dactylically enough to cause
The fear-shed hairs of past appointmented breeds

To become wee whirls out on the tiles: “I am
Edna St. Vincent Millay, I am t’ one bē-lone
Here ably ā-quipped to zense tease tings out
With talents of enprivatised ā-motion—” Sin-

Clearly interrupted there: “I’ve never read you
To give a flying—” I talked up in my sleep there:
“I apologize for his sleeper truth.” (Only later
I’d find my words woke the wife.)] Her eyes

Ascend into theirs: “A distease t’ poet zenses
By zense bē-lone conveerms in deregardance
Of t’ teets of zience.” Now with her pointing
Finger – in obvious regard to the splayed mutt

– Edna St. Vincent Millay slashes her own throat,
And in a near logically contained Italian temper,
She bleeds out crushed tomatoes but does not die;
And we are all like, What a real shitty thing to do.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 40

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That’s Using the Ol’ Noggin
(Backstory of Philosophy)

It’s been well over five years since Chalice Sinclearly last thought about plugging this bathtub Jacuzzi; this, even though he finds himself standing in here at some point each day, attempting to shower away his exhausting (exhaustive?) sleep. He’s not some vulgar snoring sweat-machine between the sheets, that’s not really it at all; rather, imagine how you’ll find a soft-edged shard of an old porcelain mug out in your city garden when you’re out there weeding clover – imagine how the earth is always churning itself over itself and pushing things back up to its surface, mostly inconsequential things, but artifacts nonetheless—well, Sinclearly’s slumber, implanted as it is in the paranoiac nutrients of his daylight-fumblings for the proper impudence to practice when finagling diction out of the unspeakable, roils and toils his sense of dwindling amends up to its nightly surface where it comes to rest amidst his flesh like an armed severed arm of an old plastic army figure. … Chalice moans, searches for breath, drools in his sleep. … Anyhoo, the reason he’s come to use this Jacuzzi’s soothing jets of bubbles this early Saturday afternoon is because the ripening weight of the ever-boiling delinquency he lugs around with him upon his shoulders has caused his back to begin to incessantly ache, and he’s recently been pushing house and yard chores off in an attempt to give the muscles that encircle and fortify his touchy spine some time to regain their collective audacity. He’s in this Jacuzzi because he needs to stop being a wussie about his back if he’s to put an end to this tending towards hillbilly that’s becoming of everything in his and his wife’s immediate surroundings. …

So, here Chalice sits; and there’s Ol’ Boy Johnson bobbing amidst the roiling, unsoaped water, its weightless, squashy shaft just below the water even with being extended a full rockin’ inch or two from the twiggy seaweed that is his still colorful man-muff. The Ol’ Johnson bobs right there, joyously, it seems, and as he keeps his eyes on him Chalice can’t help but to start a light mantra in his head: “Go cowboy, go cowboy, go cowboy.” As this cheery echoing carries on, Chalice locates, right at the cut of the water, one of his more telling distinuishers: a line of taught skin from his foreskin is still attached to the ‘shroom-cap-undercurve of the Ol’ Johnson’s noggin. Since the time his consciousness became self-encounterable Chalice has always felt that this line of skin characterizes his essence: he is marked by the circumstance of someone else’s job not being wholly executed, which means, quite paradoxically, that he is a hair’s breadth away from being wholly mutilated—he’s been scarcely, and I do mean scarcely, spared. Though he’s certainly been of the age for quite some time now in which he’s been fully capable of taking matters into his own hands and making the decision to go somewhere to have the mutilation finished, Chalice has obviously never considered it to any committed, proactive degree. This, even though whenever he has a hard-on his distinguisher becomes an added source of internal stress and unusual mistrust, appearing as it does like a too-stretched rubber band that’s about to snap at any second. … Should you ever see Chalice’s wife with a fat lip … I’m just saying.

For the past few years Chalice has been going to see this guy for his yearly checkups. He’s a younger gentleman, younger looking than Chalice, anyways, but yet with millenniums – “millenniums” as in actual ages existed through—literally millenniums of enlightenment under his origin-belt; a petite but not frail gentleman of obvious Greek decent, with a voice that’s lower and more assured than that Allstate dude’s. He’s one of them who via an ambitious and pragmatic drive have positioned themselves amongst the everyman as disappointingly beneficial intimidators – you know, one of them entities whose wages can never be fully begrudged by any Lone Wolf Poet with a functioning soul and a fully formed empathy for the continuance of memories because those entities’ overbearing inquisitions of the everyman on behalf of the overburdening models of vigor and shape and chance drive, evolutionarily speaking, the Lone Wolf Poet’s differentiation between need and want towards a more upfront perspective. … Anyhoo, each year, right after Sinclearly looks both ways with a cough, when the Greek’s lifted Ol’ Johnson to give the ol’ boy and the nutsack he road in on a good look-see, the Greek’s never failed to notice Chalice’s distinguisher; and each year, with his lips in a frown over the shaved butt-crack of his chin, his forehead in a smile above the inflexibility of his Magic Marker-ed eyebrows and just below his plunged but straight-edged and sated hairline, and his spectacles perched at the highest point of his nose’s wrinkled bridge, right there before the stretched-smooth flesh emanating from his eye sockets (with each of his facial features being appropriated by yours and my stock reaction to a reactionary state of mind), the Greek’s had the same thing to say to Chalice: “Inneresting. … Yes, inneresting, and a mere nick from perfection.” At last year’s checkup Chalice finally blurted out: “Well, blow me, Doc. That’s the real me you’re holding right there, buddy boy.” And though a tense moment of pause ensued – Sinclearly looking down, the Greek looking up – the commonality of life’s lighter purposes was mutually and quite hurriedly realized between the two men, and so humor prevailed and they shared in a genuine laugh – Chalice’s distinguisher still right there in the Greek’s grasp, wouldn’t you know. …

“Go cowboy, go cowboy, go cowboy.”

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 39

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“Your Name is Above a Cash Register”

Taped; a dollar
Amount affixed to “Sin-

Clearly.” You owe. You need to
Amend for your shitty ways before we is

Eighty-

Sixed from every last game in town that’s ever been
Open for our everyday submissions of our everyday submission
To the verity of our very in the ever-

Present short-lived
Day. Sin

-Clearly, we can’t afford you
To be forsaking, collegiate. No matter how
Bashed we be, we is

Counting on you to have long accepted being
Charged with being the curator of the bar

-Keep’s due and due reward.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 38

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Your Average Douchebags

Armed as it is with a barbed remonstration against complacency, the inquiry assaults imagination daily: will Chalice Sinclearly’s soul ever spinster away from this inclination of his to under-skin his own defenselessness to the notion of death? The confliction dawns within random moments of Chalice’s, positively sickening in its repetitive surprise, much like the emergences of open sores during a VHS porn’s over-muffed surge to climax: When will be my moment to cancel out – in a split second collapse with the life crushed out of me like a spider intentionally stepped on? What if it’s just a thing of utter absence, this thing of death? Absence. Holy hell, I am going to die! My God, there is no fucking choice! Chalice’s fear of death is unrelenting, often demanding that he forks from his spooning in the wee hours to pace the wife’s century-plus-old home with an anxiety that borders on what today’s MFA candidates can only suppose the brown acid hallucinations translated to for the sonnet-building underground of the SLA years.

Chalice understands there is a certain element amongst us who remain unthreatened by death: them who daytrip into diverse culture from their egocentric earmarks sprawled throughout the domain of high school massacres, and struggle to parallel park while keeping their cells to their ears, chatting-up fellow adulterers over how to remain emotionally vague – them who never once in their days, not even in the winter evenings after their suppers when they sneak to their backyard porches with pours of middling, shitty Scotch and with flakey stogies, possess the self-deprecating wherewithal to strive for the humility of purpose (rather than the conceit of success) in the endeavor to build an intellectual essence up over their families’ heads.

Well, such are your average douchebags. …

Them who understand nothing about their heritage, a generation or more already beyond the correct pronunciation of their last names, they can see no further back into history than their last brag about how many hours they work; them for whom the advertising world’s promises of sustained youth and endless health and perpetual wealth are tangible, “revolutionary” notions (remember things like Tiger Woods for American Express: “Boundaries are for golf, not life”); them who while seated across from husbands who keep their ball caps on backwards at the dinner table, announce to their pre-school offspring, “Me and this man here who has long ago been ousted from the cast in my masturbation mind-screens moved down here from Cleveland or Michigan or wherever it was to become Cubs fans, and that’s why we’re here today in this vastly overvalued home in the heart of ever-gentrifying Logan Square. We’re here to make the city Whiter and more anti-Union for a while, all while feeling like we’re brave, adventurous, liberal, since we’re now into our 30’s and still living, after a whole decade now, in this massively Brown and Black and mentally-ill populated city. But don’t worry, there is a ‘burb out there with our unhyphenated name on it, and just before we need to enroll you in the education system, the same education system this thickening man here and me got nothing out of but the complacency to accept the realization that our imaginations are doomed to be collectively mini-vanned, we’ll pull out there to where the American Dream is embodied in a videoed meeting between a school psychiatrist and a bed-wetter in which a discussion of asparagus verges on inappropriateness. And there’ll be so much heroin out there in suburbia for your teen years – we’ll never need this city again! We’ll never need this Illegals-packed city ever, ever, again! We’ll start going to church; we’ll start voting; we’ll still never, never, need newspapers or journalists—we got Facebook! We’ll be Friends: you and all your junkie high school chums and your mid-forties, hip, hopefully divorced, MILFy mom; all of us sharing our moods and distrusts in Posts of all-consuming-love-of-self. Now let’s eat this wonderful frozen Whole Foods thing before your empathy gets cold, which it will – O, thank God it will!”

Being unfearful of death: this is a notion that can easily be confused as being a formidable attribute, a strength. But what this notion actually transmutes into is the characteristic known as complacency. Complacency means being OK with the present – means living unmoved by the past, unmotivated by the future. Complacency is anti-Moment 101. To exist inside complacency means to exist in the constant act of surrendering. Complacency is the characteristic of those of a generation (any generation) who tender no ingredients, bestow no measurements. They are hollow. They harbor no imagination; whip up for our records no challenges from scratch: followers of recipes; they risk nothing. They are based in the cosmetic, not in the gutsy.

In this basemented reality wherein resides one Chalice Sinclearly there is the constant challenge of living under a constant fear of a surprise attack from his fear of death. He exists inside displeasure, meaning he exists in the constant act of persevering. And it is this devouring invasive awareness that drives his judgment, tempers his choices: it is the perception of this trembling existence that the Lone Wolf Poet searches for through his art; it is by the perception of this trembling existence that the Lone Wolf Poet catches whiffs of bad art, calls out the douchebags who pass them.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 37

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A Movie Review

A higher up with an unintentional pimp’s swag to his gait strides up to the cube. Unknown to Chalice Sinclearly is that this higher up has broken away for a tad from his crafting of a report in whose title he’ll need to, legally, hang the word “Quantifying.” Arriving at the underling, the higher up asks all hush-hush-like and with a darty eye: “Coffee?”  

Sinclearly looks back over each of his shoulders all suspicious-like before whispering a “Thanks, kemosabe, but I gotta pass” up to the higher up—pass because he promised the wife he’d start saving a little moola here and there, and he wants to keep some word of his because, God knows, he ain’t doing so well with his word to stop sneaking cigarettes. “Besides, there’s coffee on in the kitchen. Company bought, bro.” But the higher up won’t have any of that, and responds with a “Fuck that, the coffee sucks here; it’s on me,” proving as he has on different occasions in the past to be a man of little conceit.

Watching a higher up with an unintentional pimp’s swag to his gait as he strides away from the cube, Chalice Sinclearly tries to remember if we ever even saw up on that Arty Farty silver screen a scratched-out, circled, or arrowed-to word within Jarmusch’s Basement Poet’s tidily handwritten poems of long-lined populace and double-sided commonplace. (Since Saturday’s matinee, Chalice has been stewing over how now because of Jarmusch’s composed, motif-filled love poem to poetry he probably won’t be recognized as the original 21st Century Basement Poet – as the genuine unreal Ron Padgett behind the scene.) And while watching a higher up with an unintentional pimp’s swag to his gait stride away from the cube, Sinclearly understands the Lone Wolf Poet in each of us understands how there ain’t cohesive enough words sometimes to throw a simple and quick “Thanks” at someone’s back.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 36

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Smarmy Wings
The tale of the night I told my wife I was stepping
out to attend a published poet’s public reading

~or, why the Women’s March on Washington mattered

Relax. Who cares? She gets back, we’ll get us a beer, order our wings. It’ll all be good. I’m freakin’ starving here. Why d’ya think we came here anyways? … A couple o’ beers, get us our wings – relax. All’s good.

“Screw that, Hoz. No. I did not come here to be waited on by a pregnant waitress. No way, Jose. This is nowhere in the goddamn constellational agreement of why I’m being here. Nowhere!”

In the agree— … in the wha—?

Chalice Sinclearly storms up from the table. I watch his back as he flies towards the Hooters exit. I am disgusted in his reaction. Then, right when he’s about to smack his face against the pane of the door, the sheen of a distant table’s waitress’s hamstring distracts my condemning attention.

The End.

Sadly,
Literally, I’m a pig.
Sadly, literarily,
Lone Wolf Poets don’t fly.

So, no; now
The End.

 

This is wannabe John Hospodka’s bi-weekly instructional blog.

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