Vending Machines are Box Turtles and the murder in Baton Rouge

Last Year I self Published this book with the cover as seen to the right. I just got healthy again after wandering when I was living like a nomad for about seven years. Like I said I’m Lazy and don’t take the time to care about sending stuff to publishers and going through the shit show underground of you know, that rabbits hole called finding representation, but I probably need to start.I’m creating and working way too much and living my life. Either way this story is from this collection called Traced Measurements  that I did last summer, and its a collection of poems and short doodles and sketches. I sold maybe two hundred copies and I had fun with reading from its pages at readings. Some people criticized me for the cover, and it looks like city lights books, the pocketbooks that Howl by Ginsberg was originally put out on. I don’t care for cool critics and I didn’t care what people said about it, cause they didn’t get the point. I don’t Think City Lights can own those colors either, maybe they can, and if they asked I would change the cover of the collection. But The lead poem which I now look back on as being too long and clunky, was supposed to be how our history and words really trace each other and bring us back to those who are now dead or those who are old and used to be young. It was supposed to be a cover that was honoring what those writers did back then. People said it wasnt creative. I said do you know how hard it is to do all this myself. Do you write? Sit there and write your own ideas out, and then tell me if you feel the same. You say you disagree, but I think you will find its harder to judge once you open your mind toward mine a bit. This is what they said. They just snorted and remained an ass until they were sixty seven years old. Either way have a good saturday society. This is a story from this book, and a link to where you can check out where to buy it. K. Bye.

Vending Machines are Box Turtles and the murder in Baton Rouge

Flickering lights, flooding toilets and poverty and teenagers shaving in bathroom sinks. Stains, coffee stains, chocolate-bar stains, spit stains, rust stains, shoelace and bag stains on worn down concrete paths that lead out tall glass doors and into a cloud of smoke from cigarettes and cold exhaust from human breath, and exhaust, so much exhaust of gasoline cause the keys of the busses are never turned down and taken out and left to rest.

Blood shot and shifting eyes looking nowhere and a man sleeping on the ground using a guitar case for a pillow, and I’m sitting next to a mother that is sleeping next to her infant and the baby, well the baby aint sleeping. That child just looks up at me as I walk by and that baby well man that kid has some  happy eyes. And yeah, that baby is happy, probably the only human in here that’s not waiting and rolling their eyes and waiting for their turn to get on the bus and then to just wait and roll them eyes some more. The infant girl is not waiting, she’s only waiting to grow up, waiting to learn how to wait, and right now, well the infant is just happy. Maybe the only human soul in here that’s happy, maybe, maybe not.

Light bulbs. Too many people. Light bulbs. Talking. Light Bulbs. Talking. Light bulbs. Too many people talking. Light bulbs still flickering and then one of the light bulbs that hangs over  a pay phone that has had its receiver pulled from the metal snake chord, well the bulb flickers and flickers and then burns out and is changed by a short woman on a ladder that is smiling and looking at rotating microwaves and more quarters gobbled up by vending machines that look like box turtles eating shredded lettuce and beetle bugs.

Tickets in cars, tickets in hand, tickets on the ground, tickets in the trash, the garbage trash is overflowing with tickets. More boarding passes to Atlanta, to Grand Rapids, to Chattanooga, to Dalton Texas, to Detroit, to Miami, to Kansas City, to Denver and Sacramento and Seattle. Just more, more and more and more people talking and buying tickets and waiting and eating and just more of everything, more  waiting and smiling and just thinking to remember what were all waiting for, and well, maybe we don’t know yet.

Busses arrive and more busses leave and the lot is never empty, cause as soon  as one leaves another arrives and more people get off and wait and then more people get on, more people traveling and some of them are running away. All these runaway smells and lonely sounds of echoes off of glass windows and bullet proof tellers, and that echo of the intercom telling when the bus will arrive and where another bus will go. Lonely sounds and tired eyes, my tired eyes. Talking, talking, my talking words. Digital button pushed, hand on chin, hand on lap, hand and dirty fingers rubbing eyes. Hand imprint on left side of my face and eyes, eyes, dry and tired eyes. And another bus and this time smiles and bags in hand and back on board and back to the West side of Michigan. I say goodbye and shake some guys hand who was sitting next to me on the blue seats that look like bending waffle irons. Saying bye for now, bye forever, to a guy I gave a lighter too, cause he didn’t have one and needed fire to light his smoke; a man in his late 40s that looked exactly like my grandfather did when he was around the same age. Saying good-bye as he walks out one door and I walk out the other door, as I head back up north towards  Lake Michigan, as he heads down south and out of the state where he lost his job but still raises his family. 

And Now I’m done saying goodbye to the man who’s heading towards Baton Rouge, where his father lived, where he was just sent the news from his sister that his father has been found dead outside of his childhood home with fourteen stab wounds in his body. The man told me this. It had to be true. He needed a lighter. I wanted to give him everything I had. I wanted to go down south and help him bury his father, help him find the killer, help him in whatever way a poor and depressed traveler could. The man was a stranger. He just needed a lighter. So well yeah of course I gave the man my only lighter.

 Some people are running.

Some people are waiting.

Some people are returning.

 The man that looked like my grandfather as an aging man, well he was returning, and I on the other hand, well I was running then, and now, as I say goodbye to the man who was keeping his composure and calming his bleeding nerves better than I would have ever been able to do, after I watch him get on his bus and he gives me a head nod as he sits on his seat and looks out the window, well now I’m going back, now I’m returning. 

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