Dropped Phone Blues

And in that one swift moment
cement met Chinese child labour results
and power fled the hallowed halls of circuits.

Upon replacement of the displaced battery
the once laser like movements
were sluggish and deadened
like a quadriplegic playing starting line at a football game
and Siri now slurred her words
like a drunk in a dive bar.

Operator fingers move fast
but the machine can’t keep up
and lags behind
like a one legged dance partner.

The way forward
obscured
because googling it now takes
five fucking minutes.

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Waiting For 5 AM

There’s a loneliness to the 4 am grind. You step outside your apartment for some fresh air, and to escape that oppressive heat that seems to seep from the old walls of old buildings in the summer. It’s like you’re the last person on earth, with the busy street outside devoid of noise, devoid of traffic, and devoid of movement. You could walk out into the middle of the street and be in no danger. You feel it, that lack of presence of life, except for the sounds of your own heartbeat, and the caw of the seagulls that never seem to sleep either.

I should be sleeping. I’ve been staying up too late, too often. Now, when I get up before the afternoon, it feels as if the sun is in the wrong place in the sky, and that something about the composition of the day is different now that I have replaced morning with late afternoon.

Someone in the building across from mine is awake. I can see the light through their blinds. Yet they are unreachable, an outpost I can never make my way to. I think it would be nice to have someone else out here in all this haze, someone to have a cup of coffee with, to talk to, to be present, so that I would feel less like the last person on earth.

I go back inside and listen to the refrigerator hum, and the fan turn in the corner of the room. Maybe there’s too much to think about. Maybe the seagulls are keeping me up. I turn on the radio, and tune into a talk station, just to hear voices. The sun will be up soon, and when the buses start to run is usually when I finally fall into a dreamless dozing, sprawled out like a base jumper on a bed with the sheets and pillows kicked to the floor.

I think I sleep then, because I know I’m not alone anymore, that the world is out and alive again, and I have made it alone through the night.

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Hyperbolic Pretentiousness

If I was dying in an alley, and all I had was a piece of paper and a ballpoint pen to record my last thoughts, I would leave them unwritten, because I loathe ballpoint pens.

If I was locked in a cell, with one hour to go before I had to face down a firing squad, and the guard outside the room slid a piece of paper under the door, and pulled a ballpoint pen out of his fatigues and passed it to me, saying “give your last words, and I’ll get them out to your loved ones,” I would request that he give me a different pen.

It’s just the wrong tool. It’s like trying to take out a screw with the wrong kind of screwdriver. There’s no writing to it. There’s no grace in the movement of the pen. It is a device that should only be used to put a note on the back of a business card to remind you to buy more eggs. It shouldn’t come anywhere near anything to do with thought, or anything to do with emotion. The ballpoint pen has no place in these arenas. It belongs with multiples of its brethren, a harem of useless writing utensils, in a coffee cup on your desk.

That coffee cup should be labeled, “Use only in case of supreme dire emergency, and even then, probably don’t use these pens. Why did you buy so many of these fucking things?”

Hopefully you can fit that all on a piece of duct tape.

I know this is an extreme view. This is not something to get worked up about. This is not something to really spend any time thinking about. However, when it comes to stepping into the literary gladiator pits, it helps to be well-equipped. Having a typewriter is being well-equipped, because it’s an object you can hit and punch and use to get the stress out at the same time as all the words. Also, you could drop it off an overpass and literally stop a truck. Pencils have the feeling of the rough thought, of a still beating idea, of a dream not yet fully remembered, and that cast off idea still breathes under each scratch, before you drag its corpse out for display in a concrete final version. A decent pen makes every word you write into a small work of art, there’s a swoop and a movement to each stroke, like steps in a dance, the ink on the page as the twirl of a dress and a quick step to the left or the right.

And computers? Well, it helps to be modern sometimes.

The ballpoint pen is none of these things. It sucks. I loathe to even write my name with one. It turns every sentence into something off of a government survey, a card for a liquor store contest draw, or a job application form for work you don’t want.

Yet, I still have 22 of them on my desk.

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Power Chord 

So the power chord on my computer is fucked. I have never known such boredom. This event has drawn endless spotlight bright attention to the fact that I am basically addicted/attached/dependant on my computer. I can only read so much before the idea of even looking at the printed word anymore makes me want to pull out all my teeth. Although, that hasn’t stopped me from writing this, albeit on my phone. Easily the most professional and fun way to write anything, right? I think it’s a good indicator of how bored I am that I’m writing about my problems and boredom, on my phone, and sharing it all with you. 

This power chord thing doesn’t help with the job situation. I can’t print resumes, or print anything actually. Somehow, I imagine that handing in a resume written on the selectric would lead to actually being laughed out of every single workplace on the lower island. Nobody is that pretentious. 

God, I’m such a child of the digital age. Helpless without my technological umbilical chord. This just leads to more time to think, and thinking is a nightmare whirlwind. 

I would just buy a new one, but my budget is so meagrely thin that it’s breaking its wrists trying to juggle the tins of beans I’m living off of. 
Ugh. Stay positive. Must stay positive. 

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Job Hunting While Slightly Depressed Blues

I hate job hunting. I think everyone does. I don’t think that anyone gets up on a Monday morning, with a handful of resumes, and thinks that it’s going to be a great experience, and that they’re going to fall into bed at the end of the day at a decent hour and think, “wow, that went better than any day of my life! I got a job serving bagels for eleven hours a week, and now I feel like a deity!”

I think that it’s the depression. You’re/I’m already slightly weakened, and the idea of getting a cup of coffee from down the road seems like an insurmountable struggle. Therefore, putting your best self forward and selling confidence seems like a bullshit idea that you’ll tragically rehash with every step toward your desired place of employment.

I’m never more aware of every flaw I have, than when I hand a resume to someone. I can feel every cell of my body just being a giant failure.

Here is a thought process: “I look like shit, I am shit, my resume sucks, why the fuck did I choose Helvetica? My job experience is an embarrassment, I didn’t open strongly enough, I’m talking too low, I’m not making eye contact, I’m fucking all of this up, I’m sorry I came in here, I am sweating too much, I’m looking frail, I can feel weakness gripping every action, why did I say part time? How much do I even want this job? Why am I even doing this?

Fuck it. Fuck this. I’m done.”

And since I know this thought process is coming, I usually do rehearse it in the morning while I’m laying in bed, before I’ve even begun to start the day.

Monday

It’s Monday, it’s 8:30 am, and I’m trying to convince myself to get out of bed and get and early start. The bank account is dwindling, and the only way to get out of that hole is bullshit employment. I can’t make a living as a writer (yet) so I have to do something else.

Here is my thought process at this particular moment:

“8:30, this is too early. I shouldn’t have stayed up so late. I have to get out of bed though, it’s Monday, and managers will be in. You need to shower, shave, put on a nice shirt, and get out there. You need to get out of bed and get out there. Seize the day. Don’t think about how you’d rather have all your teeth pulled out than do this. Don’t think about it going wrong. Think positive. Think that it will go well. Think that by the time you get home today everything will have gone right. It can happen. Stop doubting yourself. Yeah. But be a realist. A realist realizes how shitty this situation is. Wait. Stop. You’re going to die poor and alone. Well, that was fast. Fuck it. Hit snooze.”

I did manage to get up at around 10:30. I got all ready to go out, and hit the streets, all with the constant monologue of the usual miserable shit and occasional flashes of sunlight and hope.

But instead of job-hunting, I mailed some books out, and got a coffee. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So now I’m at home writing this.

***

 

If you struggle from depression, http://www.betterhelp.com contains thousands of articles on depression, anxiety, and mental health.

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/10-depression-quotes-that-may-change-your-life/

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Books Now Available On Etsy

Hey all,

My three latest books are now available to purchase through Etsy. So, if you felt buying a book through the blog was a little sketchy, now you can buy it through them!

Thanks,

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/cfsdpublications?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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Intro to the Second Edition

Hey all, my first book of collected work from 2014 – 2016 was just printed for the second time. I wrote a short intro to the 2nd run, which I am presenting here.

See the “For Sale” to order a copy!

I compiled Drunk on the Threshing Floor during a pretty strange stretch of time. I had been off work, was not feeling my best, and everything good that was happening didn’t seem to change too much.

“Holy fuck Brady, lighten up. I already have to read your downer poetry, and now you’re making me read about how hard your privileged life is in the introduction?”

I was getting to that.

Working on this book during the three months I was off work was something to occupy my time, and occupy my mind, and through working on it, I got better. It gave me some greater purpose, some reason to get out of bed and head down to the local coffee shop to scour pages with a red pen. The book was by far the biggest self-publishing project I had yet undertaken, and the hours needed to be put in, and I had nothing but time on my hands.

Through that work, I was okay again. Therefore, this book will always hold a special place in me, as a physical reminder of working through problems in my life in an effort to make something good.

Sometimes, throwing yourself into a project is not the way to make your life better, but in this case, it was a way forward, and kept me from becoming stagnant.

The idea behind the book was to go through all of the work I had done in the last two years, and give it a concrete, physical home. I had been thinking that some of the better stuff that I had been written had been doomed to the fate of being archived on the blog, and lost too far back in time for anyone except the truly dedicated to seek it out. This book was a way to bring all of that work back to the forefront, so that somebody, anybody, could read it.

I made up a cover, published fifty copies of it, and went back to work.

Now, I’ve decided to do up a second printing, as all of those fifty copies have been sold, or given out, or left at airports, or sent in the mail to people in far off lands. My reasoning behind doing the book again, apart from having more books to give out, is to fix some things that I missed the first time around. The downside of self-publishing is that when you’re the only one looking at something, it’s easy for all the words to glaze over in you head, causing you to miss really easy typos and mistakes.

For example, in the first edition, in the short story called “Death of the American Dream,” I wrote that the two characters were, “sex feet apart from one another,” instead of six feet apart. So, the second edition lets me fix that, so people can stop messaging me about it, and I can stop feeling like a giant fucking idiot.

While that was the most glaring example, there were quit a few more mistakes that needed to be banished. If you have one of the books with typos, then you’re probably not reading this, because the book isn’t worth buying twice.

My apologies. If you track me down, I’ll buy you a coffee.

I toyed with the idea of putting some new poems in this new printing, but decided against it for two reasons:

1.) I felt that this was all the good work I had from the last few years, and putting work in that wasn’t completed at the time of the first publishing seemed like cheating the very idea of the whole thing.

2.) Because at the length it is now, I can still mail it as a letter, and save on postage.

This book sums up two years of written work. I’m pretty proud of most of it, and I thank you for reading it.

Brady Tighe
Dallas Beach, Victoria BC
June 11th, 2017

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