michael that is a long poem the food channel is on your face is like a great big poop of face poop

Trying to move with breath (see: Charles) and stupid bric-a-brac (see: Kenneth) toward clarity (see: sand-dune Frank) and inflate (not with nothingness, but like tires don't run if they're not inflated) relevance (see: Allen).

Lordie, but what a paragraph of white men!

Now .. poem.

P.S. Please tell me especially about any technical inconsistencies in the poem. Oh ha ha ha. I'm serious about wanting to make sure the technical things are consistent, but yeah, ha ha ha. Read the poem.

P.P.S. If you post a comment saying 'i scrolled to the bottom // the poem is too long' then I will roll my eyes seventeen billion times.

Airplane Hangar Pancakes

okay: pancakes in an airplane hangar
and i worry about the men from oklahoma
with their cancer shoes and terminator reruns
like standing beside the motorhome two hours
just to watch me hook up the sewer line and
to tell me now you're shitting in cotton
and the old aunts! their millennium bunkers!
yeah those? with cheerios and applesauce?
evaporated milk and astronaut food? like after the
blackout a trucker will picnic with cockroaches
(out of work, both) saying well, them fucking
computers replaced prayer in the schools

and well, i worry about the mill towns
living off the photographs of old floods
stapled above the beaver heads in coffeeshops --—

i had a seven minute argument with my father
on how he said 'diners' were really 'coffeeshops'
and Starbucks didn't 'exist' and i got mad
then i thought of how i don't know a single
pop star from the 1850s and now i think
will litany shaped piffery save anything?
is salvation staring at the earwig in the tissue
before you step into the shower -- but okay:

pancakes in an airplane hangar, some years
later the tourist trap between humboldt
and southern oregon: back room with platoons
of old junk: kayaks, paul newman posters,
neon pool tables and pool table riffraff
of sambo dolls and styrofoam rc cars,
like stuff from the redemption of
a megagillion cereal tops or radio passwords
they drafted in longhand (radio!!!)
and the owner's blender was broken for
milkshakes so we had strawberry ice cream,
which tasted of strawberry ice cream --
then the yuppies, toddler, digicam and
since when did the word 'cute' come to mean
look at this thing that i own! and since when
did the word 'quaint' come to mean
how lovely that this smells like death
and we don't
or has it always meant that?
please write to me: mike@noojournal.com
to tell me if 'quaint' got invented by assholes

and the owner's blender was broken for
milkshakes so i thought of airplane
hanger pancakes from box mix, like oh
when boxed food was new! and now i'm saying
organic, like, you grow it in the ground?
and they are saying look at these jiffy boxes!
and i am saying those fonts need bedpans!
and my hair, then wrists, then knees glop up
from their sludge of dead rocketships and
cantor oil for baseball gloves, which melts
and sighs like a showtune through a glass tuba
and then i say a thing like that and feel like
bugs bunny's in a green hospital slip
but don't make him 3D just do all you can

just write him a card and staple a lily to it
like in second grade the lunch lady had a disease
that cards wouldn't fix but the teacher said
do cards anyway and we didn't understand
'anyway' we just understood 'cards' we did cards
and to third grade we went and to fourth grade
we went she died and to fifth grade we went
and to sixth grade we went and to eigth grade
we went and to eleventh grade and some of
us had babies on meth and took to sundown cigarettes
and everyone died and i have no idea if god
propped a nice carnival up somewhere in space
if we'll build another shuttle and sprinkle it
with gongs and vodka and bluegrass and think
like star trek: oh what silly days were those of war!
or if hope falls out with every tooth -- i have no idea
if you and i will ever fall in love on mars


A.S. Galvan said...

The airplane hanger thing is an anchor. I don't think it's too long because it doesn't drag.

Bryan said...

haven't started reading it yet

but it's 'hangar' not 'hanger'

Mike Young said...

Oh yeah, forgot that. I've done that before. Thankee.

Bryan said...

'cherrios' is 'cheerios'

'tourst' is 'tourist'

sorry for fixing spelling errors. i can't help it.

i like it. have you ever had pancakes in an airplane hangar? we used to have 'airport days' at the various airports i grew up around, and the vets club or something (old men) would cook pancakes and eggs and sausages and bacon.

i loved watching them do the batter. the batter came out of these big batter holders, and fuck, there was a pancake! then we'd all walk around and look at airplanes. i broke my arm on airport day one time (which was also my dad's birthday). we were playing freeze tag, and i had to go to the emergency room so i couldn't see the blackhawks take off. i could hear them in the emergency room. i was next to a girl who put a pitchfork through her toe.

f 16's would fly by. other things would fly by. sometimes there were balloon rides. my sister and i went up in a balloon one time, but my mom wouldn't. she said when she was little, she'd promised her dad she'd never go up in one of those things.

K.E. Holland said...

"Quaint" is a word invented by Americans to try to put the British in their place. Fortunately, the British have mastered the art of the disdainful stare and use it whenver an American calls anything in England "quaint." :)

Great poem. I loved the bit about the trucker and the cockroaches and the grade-to-grade lunch lady sequence. Lots of images, kind of a maelstrom, and justifiably long. It's far less random than others of your poems, and I think I like that. Like Ms. Galvan said, the hangar keeps you anchored.

Btw, thanks for your comments about my wretched little poem.

Mike Young said...


Thank you for correcting the spelling errors. It's hard to spellcheck poems because the grammar checker gets angry about the linebreaks and I get bored.

The EAA, Experimental Aviators Association, was the name of the local planeflyers club in Oroville. They would have breakfasts on the second Saturday of every month. Pancakes and batter were as you describe them.

That's a good riff about airplane days. I like it.


You are welcome for the comments. Thank you for yours. That's interesting about the American/English relationship over "quaint." Quaint is an interesting word. I'm not sure if any words are bad.

You are right: this poem is more clear and projective than some of my others, maybe. Less like a game. I'm not sure yet if that's a "good" thing. I would contest "random," but it's really not important and would probably lead to a discussion of attitudes toward analyzing and end with a discussion about God or Plato's universal forms or something. =)

I would like two literary critics to argue over whether my other poems are "random" or something else. I would like two eggs overeasy, or sunny-side up, which is the only way British people know how to cook them and the reason they get confused in American restaurants.

K.E. Holland said...

Lol. I can do eggs either way. Or scrambled, which is rare in Britain, but they do scramble them. But I think I'm missing the point because I'm absolutely plattsetered and having a hard time typing. Anyway...I dion't think God and Plato are available enough to debate your poem, unfortunately. Sorry. I'll try to arrange it, but no guarantees. I'm going to pass out now. Bye.