Monday, March 28, 2016

The Secret Weapon



There's a secret weapon
I keep stored in a special
playlist.

The launch code is 4 patterned numbers
followed by accessing a few colored icons.

When it takes off
through the headphone's wires
and bounces on my ear drums,
it's as
Popeye's spinach
or
Hulk's anger,
giving me the strength
to push through almost any task,
even grading 163 research papers
or
draining two flooded email inboxes.

The enemy in this not-so-cold arms race
gets a leg up,
though,
whenever my boredom and distractedness
form alliances
with the internet or bits of string
to make one frighteningly formidable foe.

The only flaw in this daily face-off
emerges when I become
so enamored by the riffs and lyrics
of every Weezer album*
played in discographical order
that I drift
into a fascination that plummets
my work ethic down via the vehicle
that was supposed to lift it up.

A strange love** this is
in which my unbridled love
for an otherwise savior
destroys me.

*To experience a smattering of Weezer's deliciousness, check out these and other tunes:


**To experience a bit of this reference to the 1964 film "Dr. Strangelove," check out this clip of the major riding the bomb in an attempt to save the world, ultimately leading to mass destruction. (I'd also highly recommend the entire movie.)



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Star Wars Bed-time Story


Since middle school,
whenever I've had trouble sleeping,
I've watched Star Wars.
Not that it's boring -
quite the contrary.

I've attentively viewed it
countless times - 
memorizing every line,
investigating every character,
researching every ship.

It's to the point now
where Star Wars is less of a movie
and more of a familiar bedtime story
that Uncle George tells me
whenever I have trouble sleeping.

I get so absorbed in the story so quickly,
forgetting my sickness or worries,
that I'm down for the count
before Darth Vader's been able 
to lift, strangle, and toss
Captain Antilles to the floor
of the Tantive IV, Leia's Corellian Corvette.

The volume doesn't need to be up
and I don't need to watch the screen;
I can see and hear it all in my mind,
keeping pace based on certain cues:
blasts, roars, John Williams' score.

And even after using this trick
for over 15 years
the efficacy hasn't faded, 
though if I have several rough nights in a row,
I'll go from A New Hope, to Empire, to Jedi.

I can't express how much this means
to have, when life gets too low and mean,
a ready and reliable dream
so universal and personal and
real
it convinces me I must be
asleep.