Cattywampus

I find it suspect that,
in this moment of infinity,
in this moment of lollygag,
out of all the things you could be reading,
out of all the things you could be doing,
out of all the things you could fill your void with,
this is your eye's engagement.

I'm smiling right now, 
in a past moment for all of you, 
while drinking Vanilla Bean coffee.
You're reading this in my future, 
which turns into your present,
which for me is my past.
My future is your future's future.
My past is your future's present.
My present is your future's present past.
Your past is my ancient history.
Your past should be your ancient history.
I am a time traveler.
I am a sleeper agent.
I am original.
What are you?
There's a Frosty the Snowman hand towel hanging on the oven handle.
My jaws hurt.
My back aches.
The lenses of my glasses have a greasy fingerprint on them.
It is not mine.
Let's begin.
Time for us is short now.
Getting shorter by the sentence.  

We believe doctors and scientists because 
they have degrees,
right,
and white lab coats,
lists of references,
other doctors and scientists agreeing with them,
reasons for their theories,
because they use long words in their sentences,
and drive expensive cars, 
and some of us never second guess them,
or question them,
yet, 
it's so easy for us deny the fact that there is a God,
who might grant us one miracle in this lifetime,
a miracle that cannot be explained by science,
a miracle that is beyond our comprehension.
We have so much faith in men (or women),
and so little in God.
I ask myself, 'which one has truly failed me more?'
People or God?
The honest answer hurts.
We have failed God more than He has us.
We have forgotten the true value of a human soul.
Well, most of us.

We are a people of answers.
We are a people of open ended questions.
We try to be rhetorical when all we are is satire. 
We break fixed things and repair them so that they fail again,
in some future moment that slowly approaches,
yet pregnant women cannot take Motrin.

We have toilet paper.
At least until they take it away again.
Not because businesses run out but because they can.
We go pee pee or poo poo in clear water.
Somewhere out there, 
a kid is currently sipping water,
out of a stagnant ditch.

How much better does good have to be for us?
Earth - living life like an aged rockstar,
having more track marks -
than a weather beaten road.
Pass the heroine.
A fresh syringe.
The burnt spoon. 
There's one sip of Jack left.
Where's the Brillo pad?
Ignore the issue.
It will eventually disappear.
Just do not touch my brownie M&M's.
Or criticize my music.
Or have an opinion that is contrary to mine.
One day closer to being a robot.

We glorify ourselves as though we are gods,
while at the same time discrediting holy divinity.
We are living contradictions.
We magnify ourselves until tragedy befalls us. 
Until we suffer death.
Until we get knocked off our high horse.
Or get cancer.
Or some other terminal illness. 
Or lose someone.
Then we are humbled.
We become level headed.
We turn into decent human beings.
We go to church.
We sign up for yoga.
We get a tattoo.
We believe in and practice chi.
We burn incense.
Or essential oils. 
Then our mindset changes.
We start to consider a higher existence.
We want salvation.
We want freedom.
We want our sins to be forgiven. 
Then some of us are healed.
Days turn to weeks turn to months turn to years.
We become arrogant.
We become self righteous.
We become selfish.
We look down on others.
Some of us go back to being demigods.
To glorifying ourselves above everything else.
Then we relapse.
The pattern begins again.
The cycles.
We learn nothing.
My Apple update deleted my playlists on iTunes.
I cussed the computer -
for not leaving my stuff alone.
For not reading my mind.
In that moment, I realize something.
Our very existence is in peril.
'From what,' you ask.
The answer is simple.
'Everything!' 

What if Saturn has no rings?
What if Saturn does not exist?
Why do cars go 150 mph plus,
and the average speed limit is 55 mph?
Why can't we convert trash into energy somehow?
What if dinosaurs never really existed?
What if they were created to -
give anthropologists something to do?
What if the Earth is not spinning at 1,000 mph?
What if Covid was created to thin the population,
and, 
now,
is being used as a control mechanism?
What if we are not 93,000,000 miles away from the sun?
What if it's only 90,000,000 miles away?
They say we would scorch to death.
How do they know?

How did they fool us into thinking 
that they know so much,
when in reality,
they only know a little.
Aren't we on fire already?
Burning.
Can you not taste the char?
Reflux.
Can you not smell the sulfur?
Perfume and Axe Body Spray.
What if rain was really ash and we did not know the difference?
Would you still play in it?
There's bleach spots on my black socks.
How did that happen?
A chip shanked the roof of my mouth the other day,
then I bit my cheek.
That sound of thin flesh,
grinding between two molars.
Almost as blood curdling as country music.
We are all ghosts of the future. 

What if the phrase 'what if' was real - 
would you believe 'what if' if 'what if' if what?

What if the moon landing was staged?
What if the moon landing was not staged?
What if colonies currently exist there?
What if the moon is really an alien Death Star?
If we blew up the moon, 
what would honestly happen?
How do they know 
our oceanic tides would be thrown off kilter?
Does the coffee pot exist 
to see how monotonous life could be?
Are they spying on me through my phone?
Through my television?
Through my robot speaker that sits on the counter or table top?
I ate bacon this past weekend 
and toast with strawberry jam.
Unsweet tea.
Scrambled eggs.

What if sinks were created, hear me out, 
to see how lazy one could be 
when it came to dishes?
What if we did not have to buy new tires 
every 25-40,000 miles?
What if the world went green,
and everyone purchased solar panels,
and we abandoned fossil fuels forever,
and the sun was blanketed for months?

Everybody wants to be an activist!
Everybody wants to be 'pro' something,
while being 'anti' something at the same time.
Everybody wants to have a cause to stand behind.
They care so much - 
that they shout and wave a sign. 
We are merely third string, triple A pitchers,
waiting for our phones to ring, 
calling us to the big time,
teetering towards borderline asphyxia 
year after year after year after year.
We crave agony when we really need comedy.
We magnify tragedies and ignore charity.
We put our own self in a prison.
Caged birds.
Wanting to stretch their wings.
Wanting to feel the breeze.
From inside a house.
From behind a window.
What I would do for a throat lozenge right now.
Or some sushi.  

What if the phrase 'what if' was false - 
would if want to 'what if' if 'what if' could if what?

I heard someone say that heaven is not real,
and when you die there is just darkness.
I think, wow, you have a boring afterlife - 
please do not start a religion.
If you do, the dude here will not abide.
I ask that person,
'where does your consciousness go when you fall asleep?'
'How do you know you have not lived another life?'
'How do you know our current life is not some type of purgatory -
for the actions in that previous life?'
'What is a dream in actuality?'
'Have you ever experienced deja vu?'
'What mysteries lie in the subconscious - 
that we will never figure out?'
They can try but will never be successful.
Unless you find the right person to do the jump.
Someone like - well - never mind!
You would not understand right now.
Do you like blackberry or blueberry cobbler better?
Really?
Do you like warm peaches?
I do not.
A funny thing life is.
 
Whoever wants to die and be left in darkness -
that's the kid who ruined Santa Claus for other kids.
The easter bunny.
The tooth fairy.
Our imaginations die with every passing year that we live -
a year that we try to live, at least.
We outgrow our poorly written script of life.
How sad is that fact?
A dry erase board 
with the meaning of life written on it,
hanging on the wall of a building 
that is being demo'ed.

I remember - 
slapping the chalkboard erasers together,
outside the school doors,
standing in a toxic fog,
looking at the clouds in the sky.
Today's world, they do not want you to put powder on a baby.
Meanwhile, somewhere, 
someone is sniffing bath salts.  
Regardless, I will always hate pickles.
And mayonnaise.
And narcissists.
Remember, exes are exes for a reason.
And coconut.
And sociopaths.
Remember, x's are x's for a reason.
And deviled eggs.
And gaslighter's.
Remember, exes are x's are exes are x's.
And math.
And dusting.

Imagine this - for you and another choice person,
to be the only two people, 
sent to a distant, lush planet?
Did you smile at that thought?
Who would you honestly take?
Did your answer surprise you?
Are you good at conversing with yourself 
in the third person?
I hope so.

Can you imagine - 
having to leave your kid behind on the planet
you left?
Can you imagine a system, 
that would make you pay child support,
for a child that you might not ever see 
until he or she is grown?
I can.

Now, imagine this.
Same planet skipping scenario, 
same failed system - 
slapping you on the wrist scenario, but,
instead, 
you are the one that is left behind.
Break out the checkbook.

Now, imagine a snake consuming its own tail.
Life, Death, or Rebirth?
Irony is my soulmate.
What entity is yours?
Time is on my side - finally!
I have not worn a watch in years.
Great people still make poor decisions.
 
The people I'm involved with,
our conversations lead to various things.
Scattered chatter, 
raised above depressing rock music.
I feel like tattered, wet clothes,
hanging from a line that wants to soak in the sun.
How did I end up here?
When did I enter the portal leading to this parallel -
the glitch exists in -
wait -
am I still dreaming -
or did that really happen?
So - the other day - that was...
How would we know this was a dream?
Or somebody else's nightmare?
Because pain hurts?
Because I have bills to pay?
Because I have *quote on quote* attachments?
Because I have things that feel familiar?

I fell asleep with my glasses on,
and I forgot to put my night guard in.
I remember this as someone asks aloud, 
'what would your superhero power be?'
The replies come in quickly. 
'Read people's minds.'
'To have stainless steel appliances.'
'To be able to fly.'
'Mind manipulation.'
'Invisibility.'
'A never ending orgasm.'

I have yet to answer.
The silences prods me like -
my feet on hot asphalt -
hitting my elbow on a jagged corner - 
forgetting my sunglasses on a cloudless day -
poking a skin crack in the dry corner of my thumb -
having your pinky toe bit by a fire ant -
having a redneck want to race me at a red light,
in front of Walmart,
with his constipated tail pipes,
and hunting dogs in the back,
after my eight hour shift,
and all I want to do is get home,
take a shower,
close the blinds,
get in my underwear,
and disappear from here.
Where is my button?

I break out of my trance.
They turn to me and ask me what my super power would be.
The reply is simple and abrupt.
I answer, 'a destroyer of worlds.'
It takes a second for my response to register.
I continue to work and grin.
I think, is Heaven looking more real now?
You wanted darkness right?
There's pictures covering my stainless steel fridge.
And magnets from places I've visited.
What's on yours?
I just realized that I miss being oblivious.
I miss being somewhat innocent.
I miss Fruit Roll Ups and juice boxes.

The tire pressure sensor on my truck is broken.
After thirteen years.
Thankfully, 
I can email a one thousand page book - 
to France -
in under twenty seconds.
Then it's gone.
Invisible.
Sent.
Delivered.
No more *dot dot dots*.

The tire pressure light beams at me 
every time I crank my truck.
I'm constantly riding around in peril.
I live dangerously.
Almost criminal.
I am back at the beginning again.
Things do not last like they used to.
What happened?
Where did we go wrong?
When did we go wrong?
How did we go wrong?

Some people say, 
'if loving you is wrong - 
then I do not want to be right.'
Do not listen to that person.
They are a moron.
An idiot.
Keep walking.
I would rather scuff up my new kicks, 
and maintain my sanity while walking away,
than to be still in the company of fools.
I might order a takeout pizza.
It's been a while. 

An object in motion tends to stay in motion,
an object at rest tends to stay at rest.
Really?
You don't say!
Give that bright mind a Nobel Peace Prize.
You came from a monkey?
Awesome!
I believe it! 
Success!
You were once a tadpole in a murky puddle?
Sounds fabulous!
Good luck with that!
My thing is -
have you tried cooking fried chicken in an air fryer?
Ebonically speaking - it be delicious.
Where we once 
hunted with spears, arrows, and rocks,
where we once 
roasted over fires, embers, and coals,
where we once 
made huts and lived in the walls of mountains,
I can now have crispy fried chicken 
in under forty minutes.
Even less time if I locate a drive-thru 
or door dash driver.
Even less if grandma was still alive.

Evolution is real!
The more we evolve, the more we de-evolve.
Paradox.
Let's ignore the most important questions like -
what's at the bottom of the ocean?
How far down does the sand go in the desert?
What would happen if we put as much money into world peace - as we do world war?
What if trees and grass were blue and the sky was green?
Where does junk mail come from?
What happens if you see what a schizo sees? 

Have you ever left a text message open,
with an unsent word in it?
That person staring at *dot dot dots* all day.
The apprehension.
The anxiety.
The depression.
A forced delusion.
A constructed hallucination.
Impaired.
Disabled.
You thought me being 'destroyer of worlds' 
was harsh?
Nice try!
Better luck next time.

Riddle me this.
Has your government done more for you,
or,
have you done more for it?
Is the give take relationship growing old?
Doesn't all of them?
How can we divorce from them?
Socially speaking, divorce is not wrong.
It gives idiots 'Get Out of Jail' cards, but at a price.
Better roll doubles.
Prepare for collateral damage.
The pawn turns on the queen.
Finally! 
  
Cattywampus.
Southern slang but universally known?
Does it really matter?
It does when it applies.
It does when someone needs to use it.
It does when a celebrity needs a new hashtag.
Or has some big revelation to feed the headlines.
Then it is forgotten a couple of weeks later.
Until it is brought up again.
'Hey, look at me, look at me!'
'I'm standing out!'
'Can you see me?'

Our lives are cattywampus.
Our planet is cattywampus.
Our catty is wampus.
Catpus.
Cactus.
Desert.
Dessert.
Red.
Read.
Scientists say we are headed toward a black hole.
I reply, 'and this is the first time?'
They know because?
How would they?

What if the phrase 'what if' was half truth, 
would 'what if' if what if what 'what if'?

I know, I know.
I'll continue.
Let's wrap this up in Magnums.

Our choices are cattywampus.
The system is cattywampus.
What does it mean then?
Cattywampus -
something that is not lined up.
Something that is not arranged correctly.
Or diagonally.
Playing Scrabble drunk.
Playing Monopoly high.
Playing Life sober.

Our lives are parallel to one another's.
They become perpendicular 
at certain intersections.
When we finally open our eyes and see.
When we finally open our ears and hear.
When we finally open our hearts and feel.
What good are the senses if you do not use them?
Life goes on.
Maybe.
Maybe not.
I have not drank a Coca-Cola in years.
Or a Pepsi.
I'm still here.
For now.
At least I think I am.

Our existence is like -
a two year old, 
playing with items on top of a coffee table.
Our existence turns into -
a middle aged person, 
arranging items on top of a coffee table.
Our existence ends -
by not even 
caring about the items on the coffee table.

What's even there?
Online learning.
7% interest.
Insurance.
Fake news.
Government, big or small.
Fake titties.
Political parties.
Fake people.
Taxes.
Fake personalities. 

Give me a mask.
Better yet - take it away.
I'm tired of hiding.
I'll say the things you're silent about.
You can support me from behind a screen,
and touch my words with your tear stained fingers,
while agreeing with or cursing me. 
Every now and then,
'the destroyer of worlds' needs a thumbs up. 
My resume is now full. 
I dominate myself, 
therefore I dominate my world,
minus the red ball gag and shiny black leather.

What will it take for you to stop believing, 
if you have not already?
In retro, what will it take for you to believe?
Do you even care?
Guess what?
You will!
One day.
Mark my words.

What if the phrase 'what if' did not exist, 
would 'what if' if what if what could never 'what if'?

People like us do not quit to be convenient. 
Irregardless.
Words that are not words have feelings too.

Welcome to life on Cattywampus! 

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The Killers – My Own Soul’s Warning

“It’s hard for them to hurt you if you wear your armor like you’re supposed to!”

“What if the phrase ‘what if’ were a drug, would ‘what if’ if the what and feel like ‘what if’ if if could if the what what?”

I’m here all week – Good Luck!

poetry

Vernon Herring View All →

I am a writer from the South, who hails from a small, rural town.
This is my first and only blog.
I believe that courage, focus, determination, and persistence will eventually lead to manifestation.
My main goal is to connect with my audience through my fictional, non-fictional, and poetry themed writings.
I am currently trying to chase my dream of becoming a published author and look forward to the future day when I can turn my fictional novels into screenplays.
I most recently created a podcast to challenge myself with the spoken word and reading of my creative works. Those links are listed in my profile.
Thank you for spending your time with me!

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