"than just plumbers and apes! I’d heard you could draw more"
Dave Gledhill 

I remember when we were small, and you were just a bat and ball,
on the TV,
just a blip and a blot, bouncing around, while I crawled in my cot,
and we both grew, in volume and vision,
to blast into space on our own secret mission -  
aliens fled when we were in session.
I remember one Christmas when I was just eight, pretending to sleep,
but staying up late,
my fingers crossed tight, trying to resist the pull of the night,
hoping that Santa would see me alright, with your arrival,
in a spectrum of light.
I couldn’t believe that your new form took tapes! That your games had more
than just plumbers and apes! I’d heard you could draw more than 10,000 shapes!
It’s a wonder I slept, while your envoy escaped.
I remember with fondness the pull of arcades, destroying the Deathstar and rescuing maids,
the scramble for change as you begged to be played, we were lost in the moment,
a moment which stayed.
I recall the freedom you offered at will, a doorway to dreams that’s cast ajar still,
and despite being an adult, I still feel that thrill, at the theme tune to Sonic,
all manic and shrill.
I know that I’m older, and soon thirty-five, and that there’s no cheat code for bills,
or for wives,
but I still hope that somehow our friendship survives,
I’ll remember you gave me those infinite lives.

"they're the plumbers for each surgeon required,"
Máteùš Izydor 

for the sexual act, there's too much
tailoring and use of toiletries
for it to be as expected: spontaneous
and exciting; too many stereotypes;
it simply said: just wait for my mouth
to be a toilet-fresh minty winter for
the kiss before oral.


oh, between the drunken me entertained
by the lack of movement among
static things, and promises of soberness
to be rewarded with the rewards of
television and listening to politico talk?
what would i choose... hmm... drunk
by the minute, fuck you sanity!
or in comparative issues, anyone branded
a schizophrenic (who doesn't put
a baby into an oven and run out of the
house on the streets naked) is met
with an army, what i like to call "health experts",
every citizen becomes a doctor, enlightened,
ridiculous like a handful of lice -
they all gained a doctorate talking bollocks,
they're the plumbers for each surgeon required,
know all know how bunches of loosely stated
definitions of idiots (boney m in the background:
poo poo rhapsodic utility made us all tsar's last rasp):
wear a kimono! kimono worn, what now?
dance the polka! danced the polka, what now?
freeze the danube! i hate these people,
they're the laziest theorists, they have better theories
than the theorists who prescribe pills for
de-activation of some sort of behaviour,
and that's only one footprint outside the realm
of easy living: creases, pyjamas, slurred speech
slurps of tomato soup.
psychiatric terms are metaphorical for / in poetry:
as seen by the casual inference of depression
whenever the average citizen says he / she are sad:
psychiatric vocabulary exploits a communicative
simplicity by staging an enforced "eloquence,"
not that it is related to socrates attacking the act
of rhetoric by a question (mark), since
rhetoric doesn't believe in being questioned,
nor does it believe in the existence of the question mark,
to be put on the spot, to be stopped from the bull-charge:
just imagine utilising rhetorical conviction
when the pre-script failed you when interruption
and question was utilised? for rhetoric to fail
it takes a comma (,) to turn into a question mark (?),
deciphered as winded and worth a digression
when the speaker is interrupted (via the full-stop):
socratic rhetoric was based on a flux of question,
at the time when rhetoric was spoken and acted
upon without a single question: socratic rhetoric
was indeed a rhetoric of questioning.

"Plumbers crack"
Chuck 

Plaid slacks
Feather cap
Argyle socks
Flip phone
Mullet hair
Greasy hands
Crusted fingernails
White belt
Sketchy beard
Members only
Casio watch
Deck shoes
Muscle shirt
Tribal tattoo
Chest hair
Plumbers crack

You look great, Mom!

Just joking. My mom is gorgeous. I started out picking out fashion flaws then I realized I know nothing about fashion, so I made it a joke poem. I hope you like it better than my mom would. Please don't tell her! Haha
". They would like naked electricians or plumbers for christ's sake."
Mitchell Duran 
IX

After drinks, the two of us walk down Columbus street looking for a back alley strip club Hanes knows about. It's 4pm - far past buffet hours - but happy hour is about to begin and that's what we're looking for. Hanes tells me the last time he was there, one of the dancers snuck up behind him while he was at the ATM and pressed the highest possible number on the screen, something like $500. He didn't have to spend it, but somehow, he did. He left there with a sharp distrust but newfound respect for the stripping world. Everyone's got to get there's somehow.
"Ten dollar cover to get in," the bouncer tells us.
"Good God," I mutter, "It's only four o'clock and you're charging us ten dollars?" I feel the gin tickling the back of my throat, bringing a tingling feeling of authority and righteousness. I know I'm wrong, I know I've overstepped by bounds and have no say in how much they think they should charge two men with no women at four o'clock in the afternoon...but I battle anyways. I must.
"Policy my friend," the bouncer returns, shaking his head in understanding, "I'll get in guys in for five."
"That'll work," Hanes says quickly, handing him a ten and brushing past him.
I pat him on the shoulder as we walk in, "You've done a good thing. A grand thing. A respectable thing." I'm drunk and anything that comes out of my mouth I think to be genius. How far I've gone into the rabbit hole is of no importance to me now. The only things that matters is that I'm there and that eventually, somehow, I'll get out.
I follow Hanes to the bar and put down twenty dollars to whatever he orders. Two Budweiser's. Seven dollars with tip. Pretty good. That excites me. There's something invigorating about cheap drinks in a place one would think to get shafted in. I tip an extra dollar and get eleven back. Hanes nods to an open table by the corner of the stage where there's no one but a single asian man and a plate of hot wings. A pint of ice water sits in front of him and he's all smiles. I don't know why Hanes thinks it's a good idea to party with this gentlemen, but I realize I've never actually understood ever what Hanes thinks is a good idea, so I follow suit. It turns out the asian man is a very fine man on his lunch break from the bank. He's had a very long day he says.
"The boss," he explains, "Is not a nice man. Selfish. Fat. White."
"Ah," I say, sucking back on the beer, "Never good." I watch a girl named Twinkle wrap her thighs around the stainless steel pole and twirl. Her hair is the color of fools gold and her eyes tell me she's been doing this a very long time. I ask the asian man his name.
"Bob," he says, biting into a wing, "You want one?" he asks Hanes.
Hanes waves it off and Bob offers me one. "Thank you, sir," I say.
"Call me Bob."
"Righty right," picking up wing, "Thank you Bob."
"They are very spicy, so watch yourself."
"I will."
Twinkle crawls over to us, her tits hanging from her chest, drooping slightly like honey would if you spooned it out of its jar. She wears a silver cross that dangles with her tits, reflecting the dark neon red and blue lights flashing, wavering above her. She can't be more than 25. I feel myself slipping into feelings of wonder and love, but know that is the trick of the club and how they get you to spend money. Quickly, I paint her in reality: a white t-shirt, some blue jeans, and old sneakers - she is painting her room. She looks lovelier doing this, grounded in something perhaps she loves, maybe even a passion.
She crawls up to me and turns around, thrusting her ass in my face. She bounces it up and down with the rhythm of the music, the heavy bass. I watch her tight flesh roll slightly like tanned waves of the ocean. Glitter floats from her skin as I get a whiff of strong perfume: rose petals and dry white wine. I like her taste and throw her a couple dollars. She bounces her ass a few more times, slower this time for me, then turns around to pick up the ones with her teeth. She is good and knows this.
"Wanna' dance?" she asks, winking at me.
"I would love one, but I promised myself I wouldn't," I say.
"And why's that?" She's dangling her legs over the side of the stage. Her knee caps are red and swollen from crawling on the hard wooden floor. I think they should give these girls knee pads or something, but realize that would really take away from the sexiness of it all. They would like naked electricians or plumbers for christ's sake.
"My father told me never to get a lap dance on an empty stomach."
"Your father," she smiles, "Is a very a smart and funny man."
"Wouldn't want all that blood rushing from my head to down there without any food in me."
She nods, "Could be very dangerous. You're funny. Let me know how you feel after you eat...I gotta' get back on."
"Will do," I tell her, leaving a few more dollars on the edge of the stage. I bend them into V's and place them upside down. She sees this and proceeds to bend over, picking them up one by one, showing me everything. She is snake charmer the way she moves her body, making one think it's all for them. I can see now why this place is so dangerous. She saunters off back up-stage, rocking her hips and her ass back and forth like she were trying to put a baby asleep in their cradle. She is very good and knows it.
"That was interesting," Hanes says. He picks up one of Bob's wings. Bob smiles and motions for us to take more.
"I got the endless deal!" he shouts. The music's gotten louder. "Only cost me $10! I got a beer with it too."
"That's a good deal!" Hanes shout back, "Thanks!"
He takes a couple more and places them on a napkin he got from somewhere. Bob motions for me to take a couple, so I do. The sauce is so hot it seems like its stinging my skin from the outside. My eyes even start to water. For a second, everything around me gets that watery sheen where all mixes together and nothing is hard lined. The hard and heavy bass mixes with my vision. In front of me, a blurred body hangs upside down from a golden holy pole. The image stirs some biblical images in my head, like an angel flying down to Earth or even Jesus being crucified, but upside, naked, and a woman. I put down the wings and furiously rub the sauce on my pant legs. If I were to get any of that poison into my eyes, I would be finished, I thought. Blinking hard three or four times, I let the tears stream down my face. Bob sees this and hands me a clean napkin from his table.
"I know," he says, "It is truly beautiful. Don't be afraid of your emotions. Express yourself. It's ok to cry."
"You're crying?!" Hanes laughs, "Why the hell you crying?"
"I'm not! This damned sauce is so hot it's making my eyes water."
"These women are so beautiful, you're crying!" Hanes throws his head back, laughing. "I've never heard that one before. They'll give you a free lap dance for sure if you tell them that."
"Maybe the cook will," I say, wiping the tears from my eyes with Bob's clean napkin, "There. Back to normal."
"You OK?" Bob asks me? "You good."
"I'm good," I say.
A new dancer comes out on-stage. Bob seems to know her because he puts all of his wings on the table beside him and rubs any sauce that dripped off. He straightens his thin black tie and subtly smells both of his armpits. He definitely knows this one. She's a thick looking asian girl with a smooth, innocent face. Her hair is long, smooth, and black and it reflects the neon pinks and greens whirling above her. Bob leans over.
"She my favorite," he says.
"I can see that."
"Don't tell her nothing though."
"Why?" I smile.
"I don't want her to think I'm a creep."
"You're not a creep, Bob."
"Then what am I?" He asks, furrowing his brow.
"An admirer."

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