Friday, May 02, 2014

Time to Cash That Check

Eric Querternous

—Eric Quertermous, Fairfield

Why is it that I always find comfort and safety
while I am behind the keys of my typewriter?
What is it about putting fingers over keys,
relaxing with cigarette and glass of whiskey,
just letting it all flow out
through the fingers that are already tired from
slaving away on a keyboard all day
that seems to revive my soul?

Is it the pure physical toll that it demands?
After all, how many people prefer the physical act of typing anymore?
They want the ease and comfort of plastic keyboard made in China
over the feel of cold steel and glass-covered keys.
The resistance of the carriage when the next line is waiting.
They have become lazy and slacken in their quest for the Truth.
It will only come out once the blood gets going
and the breathing falls into the rhythm of the keys,
each strike of the arm an intake of air,
each return a slow, steady exhale
until you become one with the keys
and they start to dance the way your heart does
when you are with your lover in the middle of a stolen moment,
the rush of feeling her breath against your skin,
the slickness of her lips upon yours,
all the while wondering if you are going to get caught by prying eyes.

The physical act of writing is the only way to find salvation.
Allen knew it,
so did Jack,
their keys are still echoing across time and space,
the frantic need to get it all out there now.
No pause
No regret
No filter
No time to wait for the next page to be loaded,
stream the teletype paper and get moving onward,
let the words push over you in a tidal wave that started
years ago and is only now finding its crest.
Let the undercurrents and riptides take you in
until you are washed up on the beach,
spent, naked, cold, shivering—
the only towel that is available is the one that you crafted
in the words that you wove together in a mad pursuit to make sense
of it all.

The bell reminding you that even in this tapestry that time is always
running out and that if you want it that bad
it is time to either put up or shut up.
Shit or get off the fucking pot.
Time to cash that check you wrote all those years ago.

Time to get to work.
It’s already inside you.
Toss the censors and shackles and let it

 Featured Reader Katie McCleary at The Avid Reader, Sacramento
Saturday, April 18
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Eric Querternous

Sitting in backseat of rented car along SR 67,
leaving Muncie once again.
Sunrise just peeking over the tops of corn rows
as I settle in for ride to airport with gas station coffee,
just wanting a little more time here.

Time to feel less like an interloper and more connected
to family that is here.

to learn all of the family stories over bonfires and anniversary parties
at my uncle’s house.

to swing on the front porch with my grandparents,
keeping vigil on the corner of 13th and Port,
although nothing exciting happens there since the crazy neighbor left.

to hop in car and head down the state to Kentucky—
see family there that I haven’t seen in years,
wanting to reconnect with them
and pay respects to those who have passed.

to have those moments of hanging with extended family
that others take for granted,
but that I only know from letters, cards, and the occasional phone call.
Growing up as a child of Uncle Sam, hard to drive
from California to Mid-West for a weekend hunting trip.

A Mellencamp song comes on the radio,
singing about driving in a peaceful world.
I would love to take that drive
instead of heading back to airport.

 Featured Reader Katy Brown at The Avid Reader, Sacramento
Saturday, April 18
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Eric Querternous

Among the brushstrokes of an autumn sunset,
my thoughts turn to the near future
and the forthcoming adventures which we shall embark on.
Heading up the coast of O’ahu,
feeling the warm embrace of oceanside hills
and the timeless low moans of Mother Ocean,
dancing on the asphalt that will be laid out
as if it was gift-wrapped just for us.

Thoughts of the conversations and laughter we will share
away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday
and creating our own beachfront hut,
of laying on cool sands and savoring that moment
where we reconnect with Nature and Her Majesty
with soft breezes that will carry us
and forging a new connection.

Of looking forward to those small moment that are ripe for harvest,
of soft smiles, stolen glances, and soulful thoughts,
of sitting back and capturing the purity of the moment,
not wanting to rush it along,
yet looking forward with child-like enthusiasm
to standing on the shore of a new world
and the promise that it brings.

  Anna Marie at The Avid Reader April 18
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Eric Querternous

supermarkets will advertise three dozen extra on everything.
children from happy families will be sent to live in a home,
elephants will tell each other human jokes,
America will declare peace in Iran,
WW I generals will sell poppies in the streets on 11/11,
the first daffodils of autumn will appear when the leaves fall upwards to the trees,
pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards,
pigs will be flying in formation over Manhattan,
White America will be protesting for Equal Rights
and the Monster created Dr. Frankenstein.
Guys in bikinis are moon bathing.
Folk songs are sung by real folk.
Art galleries are closed to people over 21.
Politicians are elected to insane asylums.
There’s a job for everyone and no one wants them.
In back alleys everywhere, teenage lovers are kissing
under broad daylight.
In forgotten cemeteries in Indiana the dead will quietly bury the living
and you will tell me that you love me.


Our thanks to Michelle Kunert for the photos of last Saturday's reading at The Avid Reader in Sacramento, and to newcomer poet Eric Quertermous, who says he decided to stop being a lurker and to contribute to the Kitchen—welcome to him! Eric is a writer who is taking his first steps outside of the shelter of his notebooks. A lover of coffee, Beat Literature, and a good 6-4-3 Double Play, he is starting his journey from Fairfield, CA.

Today's LittleNip:

—Eric Querternous

Lucky is the one who worships you
on cool fall morning.
Lucky is the one who feels your
breath against cheek
while coming for a kiss on the neck,
smelling your fragrance as two
become one.

Lucky is the fool who can while away
your presence
and come away refreshed,
How luck is that fool
in your gardens,
taking the much-needed time to
smell the roses
and get drunk from your wine.

Lucky is that fool
who can spend time in your
and come away refreshed,

How lucky is that fool.



Nancy Gonzales at The Avid Reader, Sacramento
Saturday, April 18
—Photo by Michelle Kunert