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Mike Robbins Nov 2017
If wisdom comes with age explain Rimbaud

Wisdom is drinking a lot and then
sobering up halfway to the grave,
turning around and saying

You can write about whatever you want. You can write about it all, go ahead, learn it all, go ahead,

get drunk on knowledge, drunk on dead men,
drunk on isms and opinions. If you can think it, you can drink it,
but don't waste time thinking when you could be drinking.

hindsight ain't nobody's *****
Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ****, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ****. People just think you're ****. You have a fascinating
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the **** jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.
the house next door makes me
both man and wife rise early and
go to work.
they arrive home in early evening.
they have a young boy and a girl.
by 9 p.m. all the lights in the house
are out.
the next morning both man and
wife rise early again and go to
they return in early evening.
By 9 p.m. all the lights are

the house next door makes me
the people are nice people, I
like them.

but I feel them drowning.
and I can't save them.

they are surviving.
they are not

but the price is

sometimes during the day
I will look at the house
and the house will look at
and the house will
weep, yes, it does, I
feel it.
Mike Robbins Nov 2017
How do I know when to stop editing, to stop critiquing,
To stop looking for errors that I'll inevitably find
Courtesy of my flawlessly functioning mind
That does what It's told
And finds what It's told to find
In a sea of subjective humbug

Let's try working backwards. Let's try
Finding what resonates with us. How do we
Do that if we have no idea what resonates with us.
How do you find a hole in an air mattress or a weak spot in the drywall or
The small of your lovers back

You ******* look for it

How do you find a needle in a haystack
Why not try using up the hay
Before digging around for the small hazardous object
You ******* lunatic

Oh, but this is full of errors
I can see them from here

Have you not legs?
Well then have you not wheels?
Well what have you?
Good! USE IT.

Picture a room
Through the slit of an iron maiden
What do you see
A room

What do you feel


Could you feel differently
You tried

Stop picturing, start looking, continue feeling and being?

Bah, try doing. Keep busying. Busying is key, and the lock is none of your concern.

It's probably a ****** one anyways. Who knows what it holds shut. Who knows
How effectively it holds it shut. Who knows what lies behind the thing that It's
Holding shut.

Shut up,

Ps. I love you

Mike Robbins Oct 2017
There was another Sunny day shot down in its mid-prime half-cocked wishing-hour- lens focused black spinning endless through the galley

whispered up to me from down below, told you not to tell, you told

now here comes Teve and Tern eternal
fleeting through the narrow passage wiping
reams of dust with microfiber cloths from off/on/off
whole Aesop fables told and burned up Joan of Arc turns pale
the moonlight never saw a thing
not when the stuff was key and turning round the alley round the corner down the street
apartment S.O.C.I.E.T.Y. all cautioned off that same old smell of
fun and games like blame game shame game games we used to play in the Sunny day shot down bang gotchya king of wasps
defend the street defend the block then meet up in the garage
trees, grass, stones, the edifices of our perfect world inhabited by X and
A thru Z excluding Y self-****** self-****** half-slumped over the
desk in the central library now It's deduction time, pull out your questions
load-out, jump-out
over-and-out, roger roger roger roger Teve and Roger and Tern eternal reeling
thoughtless X to X itself on subjects A-Z excluding
Y up on the welfare, on the limp-train, lives in A-P-T-S-O-C-I-E-T-Y
cries over spilt milk from the G-R-O-C-E-R-Y-S-T-O-R-E
narrow passageways with red-caps loading red-caps into die-cast-plastic-pitfalls
start stop crouch prone half-cocked half-wishing-hour-lens focused black spinning endless through the tall grass
tall trees
dead leaves, dead sticks,
deaf crickets/ weevils/ ants
deaf beetles in the dead leaves, in the black grass,
bits of broken glass
scrape, scraped, scraping up the newborn flesh
they're fleeting through the hornet's nest
the wasps and black-flies perched upon the unseen slivers
of the slivers
of the tall, black, dead, lush, fresh, free, flowing, growing, burning, screaming, hulking, looming shadows cast against the grass of green

It's time to thank

thank you, thank you, thank you,
thank me, thank them, thank us, thank this, thank that,
thanks again, thanks for everything, yeah thanks, thanks man, thanks bro, thanks pop thanks ma thank God &

Time to say goodbye

Goodbye, goobye! Bye-bye! So long! Farewell! Take care! Be safe! Be good! Work hard! Good luck! Ta-Ta! Peace out! Peace be
with you!
Have fun! Have fun! have fun! have fun! Have fun!

And now It's time to eat

Munch munch, crunch munch, munch crunch, crunch crunch, munch munch,
slirp slop slorp slirp slorp slip slip slorp slop slop
who eats this slop
slop slorp slorp crunch
slorp slirp slip munch

Thank you! Farewell!

Outside the sky is deep and warm and resolute you turn your friend is black and grey with bits of purple in between that seem to pulse as sirens wail the call to arms blunt sticks blunt instruments die-cast-from-the-mold boxed, shipped, bought, sold, loved, loathed left&right loved left&right bought left&right made left sold right sold left&right loose arms dangle jangle  loose and free soar free across the grassy knoll the fields the deafened ants and beetles feast upon the left&right between the sea&sky upon the land here on the land you take my hand, we run off where the cave mouth gapes and shut behind us into darkness love and hate like sticks and stones collide caress and soon the sparks fluoresce behold the light we roast our rations, roast our cares, and then It's time to say goodnight.

Good-night! Sleep well! Sweet dreams! Sleep tight!
love you! love you! love you! love you! love you. love you. love you.

The filthy children banging on the gates, the crooked house high on the hill looks down and groans, the shelter seems to sigh, collapsing underneath the acid rain, a holy flood descends upon the town there's nothing left she clutches at her dress the wooden door inscribed  

A.P.T. S.O.C.I.E.T.Y.

floats listlessly by

Mike Robbins Oct 2017
Nothing without time, nothing without effort.
Hate without love, doubt without certainty, blindness without fear
Hold your hand and I'll cradle it for us both. Ball a fist and my fingers will explore the craters of your tiny world.
For you I will, and that's the eternal truth.

Mike Robbins Oct 2017
This is the Ode
And this is the road
The road upon which I have traveled

For several long years
In search of a find
So profound
that it almost seems trivial

I love and I love and I love and I love
Until love becomes love becomes love becomes love
And I give and I give and I give and I give
Until love gives me love and I
See what I've done

And the road underneath me
Inspires an Ode to my agony
Sung in the key of a misery
Hitherto hidden and ******* the fat
From my back but now
Fully developed, it clings
To my ankles
And calls me its stoic companion
Which ****** me off
Every step that I take
On behalf of this mess
That in some way I'm certain I'm in

And the misery changes Its pitch
To confuse me
and slowly
I feel myself
in size
As the what ifs and why nots
Which color the sky
Just ahead
Seem to lose their appeal
over time

But I love to be loved,
and to love all the Love
even when It's just love masquerading as
never mind.

Every step is a sentence
Without punctuation
An infinite alphanumeric equation

And this is the Ode
And this is the road
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