Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Litany

#AlternativePhrases
Inspired by "Litany" by Billy Collins

You are the soggy bowl of oatmeal deliberately spilled into the rain for whatever reason,
the glob of gelatinous goo that suspiciously crawled out of some guy named Boris’s sink.
You are the nugget of hair swept up by the underpaid hairdresser at the sketchiest salon in town,
and the feeling too reminiscent of overloading on squat thrusts at the gym.
You are the sticky toddler getting pushed into a shallow marsh by his slightly older brother,
and the equally sticky brother that pushed him in.

Of course, you are not the sticky brothers’ lovingly stern father,
the results of intense gluteus maximus workouts,
the underpaid hairdresser herself, who you might want to hire to fix your sloppy haircuts,
nor Boris himself. I hear he's actually a pretty nice guy.
And you are not the actual bowl that the chunks of oatmeal were splashed out of.
You are too dysfunctional to be the actual bowl that held the sloshes of oatmeal.

Now maybe you are the mysterious seepage always oozing next to that one Dairy Queen that got shut down years ago due to health code violations,
Or the summer barbecue that fell to the ground that you know is teeming with bacteria but is still eaten due to your allegiance to the five second rule,
But do not think for one second that you are the manager of that DQ back in its heyday,
Or the khaki-clad dad who made the BBQ in the first place.

And the whole world can see that you are neither the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
nor the lesser villain Slimer,
but rather the monstrously lugubrious result of those two if they ever decided to get together.

Not that it concerns you, but I am--
You know what? No.
You do not get to know that I am the action of slipping on a banana peel.

And you are certainly not allowed to know
that I am headed towards the star
on top of the giant Christmas tree downtown.

I will not even mention that I am [insert metaphor for creativity].
You do not get to know that I am [that metaphor again, reworded to make it more interesting],
because you are the soggy bowl of soiled oatmeal that is still sitting there dumped in the rain.
You will always be that overly moist, gravy-like oatmeal,
and that phlegmy mix of a liquid-solid that Boris thinks he will just let sit for a little bit and maybe it will go away,
and that clump of split ends at the end of the hairdresser’s broom,
as well as the sweaty squats and, of course, the two sticky brothers.

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