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Homunculus Feb 1
01/31/2019

Today, I learned the true extent to which I loathe the IRS. To be fair, I've always known that I hated them. I've had plenty of legitimate reasons for this in the past. For instance, every year, they casually extort our wage and salary, pretending to allocate it for the building of bridges, roads, and schools. While in reality, the infrastructure and educational system crumble, and defense spending grows without limit.
But then again, I do suppose that in a certain sense, roads, bridges, and schools are built indirectly with these funds; but only after the funds are used to blow these institutions to smithereens in third world countries, and private corporations like Halliburton are contracted to rebuild them for egregious profits. Profits, mind you, which are shuffled to dozens of offshore shell corporations, ensuring that they are taxed at a rate exponentially lower than the profits of the average working citizen.
But today, I experienced a type of hatred entirely novel to my conceptions of what is even possible in the realm of consciousness. A loathing so intense that it paralyzed my rationality, sending me into fits of rage and bewildered astonishment that I would wish on NO ONE . . . except Cheney or Kissinger, the ******* *******. For today, for the first time in all my 28 years of life, I filed my federal income taxes. I knew that one day the chore would inevitably arise, but I still consider it an accomplishment to have made it through an entire third or more of my life without ever actually dirtying my hands with the wretched muck. All that aside, the story goes like this:
I work as an “independent contractor” for a friend who runs a small business. I perform various services around the office, and he cuts me a check at the end of the week. I've been working there “on paper” for about a year, really a bit longer, but “what they don't know...” so goes the old adage. We had, the both of us, anticipated with tempered irritation, the arrival of this bureaucratic beast of burden. However, neither of us knew that the deadline mailing date for “independent contractors” comes nary two months sooner than for payroll employees. This information was sprung on us at the very last minute by his tax attorney who, from this point on, will be referred only to as 'G.S.' (grease stain).
As I was fulfilling my duties, my friend urgently beckoned to me “STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING. TAXES ARE DUE TODAY, AND WE HAVE TO FILE THEM NOW!” Naturally, I panicked. I had seen an income tax form . . . perhaps once or twice? . . .  much less filled one out . . .  maybe once at 17 during the employment process at a fast food joint? . . . Initially, we had thought it would be a simple matter of the W-2, the likes of which had been filled out automatically for me by employers in the past as a part of the hiring phase. Nonetheless, since my status of “independent contractor” placed me into a different tax category, I had to fill out what is known as a 1099-MISC. “Simple enough!” thought I, “I'll just fill in the relevant details and get back to work.” . . . “NOT SO FAST, CASEY JONES!” screamed the form, with all its talk of “fishing boat expenses” and “crop insurance” . . . “O...K?” “and what precisely has this to do with me?” thought I.
My employer, courteous as he can sometimes be, called up (t)rusty old G.S., who referred us to a site where the form could be understood more intelligibly. After a bit of head scratching and chin stroking, we figured it out. No matter, though! Because once we figured the form out, we couldn't figure out what to DO with the ******* thing. 'G.S.' was once again consulted, and he told us that we could simply print the form, and take it to an H&R Block office for submission. “Okay, simple enough!” thought I . . . but alas! It was not to be so. When we arrived at said office, the agent . . . who looked like a burned out caricature of William H. Macy . . .  reviewed the forms, and said that to apply the deductions I had calculated, he would require a $300 fee for his services, and that I would need to fill out a “Section-C.” This lanky, rasp-voiced, twig of a man then withdrew from his cubicle, at which point, my employer whispered to me “**** that, I've done Section-C forms hundreds of times, we're ditching these crooks”
At this point, we retreated back to the office, found what we thought to be the relevant forms, but were soon swept up in a vicious monsoon of bureaucratic legalese which, although it resembled English, bore few similarities other than word spelling and grammatical form. It is sometimes alleged that Kafka was haunted by ghosts which had an insatiable appetite for stories. The legend further has it that he would write for them to quell their unyielding wrath. Those of us who have read Kafka know intimately of his satirical preoccupation with the absurdity of bureaucracy. Perhaps these stories pleased the ominous specters which loomed over him like the fluorescent light beaming down upon me as I type these words. Some things can never be known for certain. If, however, this were truly the case, then it would seem that Kafka's ghost had now taken the role of writing MY story for his own amusement. Every cliché of the DMV and social services building was present in this ghastly affair. “Fill out this form; stand in this line; oh, I'm sorry, sir. You've got the wrong form. You'll need to file a (…) and take it to (…), their hours are MwAhMwAhMwAhMwAhMwAh” This futile circumlocution went on for SIX HOURS. All the while, thoughts of a perfectly wound noose, crafted of thick **** rope, with thirteen pristine wraps forming a slipknot to be fitted as though tailor made around my neck filled my mind, as the acute stages of benzodiazepene withdrawal began to set it. Luckily enough, or so we suspect. We figured it out, and now I have only to wait for my return to come in the mail to see what I owe.
But once I got home, I got to thinking. There is a copy of 'Infinite Jest' on my coffee table. A literary epic whose magnitude cannot possibly be overstated. I began to think deeply reverential thoughts of the author of this book, and then something clicked in my mind: on that fateful day when Wallace took his own life  by the noose, he was in the middle of writing a novel about nothing less than the 1985 Tax Code in Illinois, and a group of IRS agents. Being the adamant researcher of all topics that he was, we can hardly imagine that he did not give this terrible ******* of language what he felt to be its due diligence. Of course, any responsible thinker understands that correlation does not equal causation; but as the admittedly ironic thoughts of suicide filled my mind over the course of this afternoon and evening, I can't help but be left to wonder if a mind so vastly superior to mine as his did not experience these ideas with markedly less irony as he reveled in the vile idiosyncrasies of bureaucratic jargon. Again. Some things can never be known.
I have begun keeping a journal. Not so much for the sake of documenting my daily experience, but more so to experiment with different writing styles and, perhaps to help clarify my own thoughts. I will also continue to write poems, of course.
Homunculus Jan 31
The temperature has been in the low single digits since the early morning hours. As I venture outside, everything is gray and lifeless. The brightest and most vibrant objects in this glum portrait of a day are the snowflakes. They dance; they flicker; they undulate, glistening midair in balletic flourishes, descending hesitantly to the ground, and then scattering back into the winds as they land. One of nature's cryptic metaphors? Perhaps, but who's to say? As my eyes take stock of the world around me, I find that I am surrounded on all sides by death and decay. Time has stripped the deciduous trees of their once vibrant autumn leaves, which have long since abandoned the branches to be raked up and wither into mulch. Juxtaposed against these, every block or so, are the evergreens, which seem at once to mock proudly their barren counterparts, and also to weep quietly in sullen isolation. The sod has become a hazy yellow which resembles straw, brittle in texture, and browning toward the roots. Within this morbid scenery, I understand that in only a few hours, I could just as easily succumb to the forces of nature which brought it about and become but another mere instance of it. A true illustration of the philosophical doctrine of sublimity. As soon as the sting of the cold makes contact with the skin, the brain kicks into survival mode. “I must escape this.” Nothing could possibly be more important. The leisure with which the homeward journey is usually pursued is completely abandoned. Only urgency remains:

        GET IN CAR
MAKE ROUNDS
STOP AT SIGN
“YOU'RE STOPPING, TOO?
        “TOO BAD; TOO SLOW;
        “TOO. *******. COLD.
        “I. GO. FIRST.

“HEATER'S NOT WORKING??!?!?!”
BANG ON DASHBOARD LIKE CHILD MID-TANTRUM
“HEATER IS WORKING?!?!?!?!”
HANDS IN FRONT OF WARM VENTS
“WINTER'S FORBIDDEN FRUIT!!!!!!!!”
“****, NOW IT'S COLD AGAIN?!?!?!
        “TURN. THE VENTS. OFF.”
“WHY EVEN HAVE A HEATER
        “IF IT ONLY WORKS FOR 30 SEC-”
WHY ARE YOU STOPPING?!?!?!
             THE ******* LIGHT IS
             GREEEEEENNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOOK OVER LEFT SHOULDER
“NOPE, I'LL DIE:
“NOPE, I'LL DIE:
“NOPE, I'LL DIE:
“NOPE... WAIT, THERE'S MY IN!!!!!!
“FINALLY, A STRAIGHTAWAY!!!!!!”

“THE SNOW'S NOT STICKING,
I CAN GO FASTER THAN THIS. NO COP WOULD DARE PULL ME OVER IN THIS ****...

Well, maybe a sadomasochist on some “sir, please step out of the car” type ****, but I don't see one, anyhow.”

Okay, getting closer now. Can almost feel the loving protection of the stately brick walls, the roaring furnace, the tenacious water heater. Just another mile...
Up the hill- left turn- right turn- pull up- park. “Oh boy, here we go again”
*Rigorously examine pockets and center console to be sure nothing is accidentally left behind

Car door opens
“RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

­       I reach the door, shivering like a frightened Chihuahua, hands palsied with cold as I fumble desperately for my key and struggle in the darkness to find the lock. “Click” GOT IT!!!!!!! I turn the key and push the door, but experience resistance due to the towel placed underneath to prevent the draft from coming in. I heave with all my weight and the door budges as I violently stagger into my humble domicile. I make my way into my room to find my cats sleeping intently on my bed. One of them looks up at me like “What's your deal?” Oh, Dante, if only you knew.
I've been reading a lot of Pynchon lately. I like the sort of stream of consciousness prose he launches into sometimes, and decided to tinker with it in my daily writing practice.
Also...
I imported this from my word processor, and the HP algo ****** the entire original formatting up; so I hope you'll forgive some of the aesthetic deficiencies.
nobody wants to hear
how your life's so bad
and how you just can't take it

I know that life
is rarely nice, but
it's only what you make it

it's not like we're
all here by choice, but what else
can you do?
the way you feel about it
is entirely up to you
so quit your ******* and go and have yourself a kick-*** life. you deserve it, *******
I don't get in a hurry,
but I don't take breaks
life is like riding a bicycle, the moment you stop moving forward, it becomes much harder to balance
awoke to something unexpected
someone outside, my dog detected
so pleasantly, I was surprised
it was a friend who get me high

I haven't really seen this fool
since in the days back in high school
time passes by, a lot has changed
but most of it remains the same

it makes me kinda sad to know
so many people come and go
small circle, but the ones inside
have earned their welcome to the pride

the ones I value and respect
I'd lay my life down to protect
I find few people worth my time
but if I had 10, i'd give them 5

and I know they would do the same
I don't play silly social games
it's not that i'm not very vocal
i'm just selective when i'm social

I dreaded getting out of bed
to suffer the monotony, instead
a visitor reminded me
to value friends and family
I'm not a rich man, or anything, but I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some truly extraordinary people in my life. Some served as a lesson, some have passed, but the ones that remain have earned both my respect and admiration.
they all got that new phone

that just came out last week

and with that and their cars,

they have noodles to eat

updating their socials

while at work at their job

and living so "healthy"

so wealthy

top shelf

with a case of Top Ramen

and e-books on self-help

a whole nation arranged

not to think, but consume

if this is our future, I'd say

we're all doomed
on the interwebs wanking

and looking for ***

you might get some love

if you put down the tech

I have been people-watching

and the things I observed,

have left me much more

than a little disturbed

our future is doomed

as the youth of our nation

lack basic skills,

like communication

clean their cars out

for Facebook

'cos they think that the world

gives a **** how their face looks

and they want their neighbors,

friends to see

their perfect,

plastic "family"
Arianna Jan 6
The nectar of fruit and flowers
Melts from the canvas,
Overflowing through the frame,
Spattering rich, honeyed rain
In bouquets

          Of burgundy and sky blue,
          Deep green blushed
          With rose pink and gold,
          Cherry red tempered
          With ivory and indigo


Oozing the savor
Of deep-timbred tones
Dripping with resonant flavors
Of color and chiaroscuro,
Painting a picture across my palette
As I feast with my eyes.
Got a thing for still life paintings :-)
I try, but                                                                                              

It's hard to see the light through the                                                        
c                                                
r                                        
a                            
c                  
k        
s
in the window                      

through the                                                        
                                  o                                  
f        g                              
                                

i                        
n                    

m            
y        


m i n d
Major Rity Jan 1
When the train passed
The airport
Just now
You were
So close
For a moment
Again
Now the rain pours
On the train tracks
And I'm watching
As it falls

Noticing
I got cold feet
And the skin on
My neck hurts
Ever since I put on
This golden necklace
From my auntie
Who passed away
Before the snow
Eight weeks ago

I removed it finally
Figured it out
With difficulty
My brother put it
Around my neck
Sitting behind my back
Four hours ago

It is pretty
But it is stinging
Very much
My skin and throat

And I did not understand
Exactly
How to get out

Almost got upset
But took a break
To breathe
Amidst stinging pain
Then opened the clip
And escaped

The feeling is fading
As I pass the next station
Darkness is falling
Fireworks burn the sky
Windy rains ambush
My train from the side

Going much faster now
A window is rattling
Shrieking wheels cut
The monotonous sounds

I lost my eBook
So I can not read to
Relax and distract
The visions that grow
Beyond comprehension
And still burns my throat

Why we do things
And others
We want
We do not do
Is such a something
I don't think I
Should think about

Why my throat burns
And my heart turns
When it is you
I think about
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