Blink This

Not particularly well-written, but the idea still delights me.

Blink This
JCD Kerwin

I often dream
about the so-called
“Rise of Machines.”
I picture blenders
and ice machines
flinging food at passersby.

I imagine
the computer reaching,
wrapping chords
around my knees.

I bet the coffee pot
has got
some built-up steam
toward all us
impatient, cranky beings.

I confess I adore
the image of
automatic doors
sounding like Hal.

In any case,
I sort of wish
these robots would
amass and attack.
It’d sure explain
why everything I own
runs like shit.

(Sept. 2014)


Bayoneting Sustenance

This is non-fiction, fiction.
…Figure that one out.

Bayoneting Sustenance
JCD Kerwin

I stay up all night,
watching the History Channel tell me about
all the presidents and what made them
(or didn’t make them)
a great leader.
It’s a marathon,
a marathon of watching me
grow more apathetic with every
click of the goddmaned
ticking machine.

(I hate that clock…
I guess I don’t care—
enough to get rid of the clock,
I mean…)

I live off coffee and cigarettes
like some teenage model with
But I’m content,
to thin, and
sink farther into upholstery.
Maybe by the time I emerge
as a tattered little butterfly,
the world will be long-gone.

Maybe I’ll find an unused stick
of cancer
buried in these cushions.
Worth a shot.

Or two.

(Sept. 2014)


It really grosses me out.

JCD Kerwin

I’d really like to know
why all these people
feel the need to eat
ten different times
a day.

As I sit in my cube
(a classy, simple drab-gray),
all I hear is crinkle,
and munch.

Makes me nauseous
when I think
they’re insides must be saying,
“Slow down, please!”

How can you really
completely digest
the oatmeal and bagel
from breakfast,
in time to inhale
a pound of leftover
(Remember to sneak it
your snacks of
chips and cottage cheese.)

I can’t help to wonder
what the hell they eat
for dinner.
No wonder this country
can no longer fit in its jeans.

(Sept. 2014)

Elephants and stuff

***Check out the published version in Drunk Monkeys, April 2015***

I have no idea what this is. *updated 8 Sept.

Then There Was That Time With the Elephant
JCD Kerwin

There is a tiny, yellow elephant in my room.

This elephant, it doesn’t have tusks, and I do believe its tail is wrapped in ribbon. It doesn’t move like an elephant should; it’s more like a rabbit. It hops into the air with each step, and then floats back to the ground with ballerina grace.

I have been watching this elephant for some time. It had crawled out from under the desk in the corner about two hours ago. It felt around the hardwood with its delicate trunk; I felt around the couch for the bottle. I am feeling sorry for myself, again. This morning you walked out, again. I scowl as I remember the way you had insulted my play-in-progress. You said a drunk, unemployed idiot like me would never get to Broadway.

The tiny pack animal has yet to acknowledge me. It prefers to skip across the desk, sniffing and feeling bits of crumpled paper and broken pencil leads. It did not pause at my half-eaten sandwich. I think to myself, “I thought elephants are supposed to like peanut.”

I snicker.

It briefly looks at me. The thing is actually squinting; its tiny eyes are trying to read the giant mountain of me. I remain still. Finally, the elephant turns back to hopscotching my desk calendar. I sip whiskey and stare. You hate whiskey. Suddenly, you hate whiskey. You used to drink Manhattans, but your new friend Erich said whiskey is a “dirty cowboy drink.” Now you drink Merlot. You hate it and we both know it.

It reaches the edge of the manufactured wood and gazes at the depth below. Finally, suddenly, it jumps into certain oblivion. I lunge, but my reaction is unwarranted. The tiny pachyderm floats, limbs out, to the edge of my twill couch. My eyes grow wide. It lands deftly and pokes the pillow with its left foot. Satisfied at the plush, it bounds across the pillow, onto the cushion, and—much to my horror—onto my left leg. It stops, rotates and sits, dog-style, on my denim. We hold each other’s gaze for what must be several minutes.

For some reason, I think of you as I stare into the beady little eyes arms-length from me. The problem is, I think you stopped loving me a long time ago. The problem is, I stopped loving you a long time before that. Neither of us will admit it. We’ve both been in too many failed relationships; come from broken homes. It can’t happen to us. We are supposed to be different.

But I can tell we aren’t. We used to talk all night and laugh all day until our sides hurt. I do not remember the last time we said “I love you.”

Finally, I raise a finger, move to poke my mammalian friend’s chubby, yellow stomach. It does not resist but watches the tip of my index finger squish its rotund belly. It is soft, much too soft for a real elephant. I drop my hand and raise the bottle to my lips with the other. My companion watches me.

I break the silence. “So…” My voice is hoarse. At my words, the elephant flaps two, oversized ears. I don’t finish. I don’t even know if elephants understand English.

I understand that you and I are cowards. I want out; I know you want out. But we don’t want to be the one to say it. My gaze falls to the sluggishly moving ceiling fan blades. Funny how fast we can change.

The elephant flops its trunk to the side and opens its tiny mouth. A bubble grows form the back of its pink throat—and keeps growing. I don’t know what I should do. I watch the bubble grow as large as my head. My tiny friend snaps its mouth shut; the transparent orb floats in the air. My face is reflected in iridescent rainbows. I glance at my companion. The elephant does not move; does not look away from its bubble.

Suddenly, another face—your face—appears on the bubble. I slowly move to touch it. POP. In a rush the sphere and the elephant explode into a thousand, tiny bubbles. I blinks surprise. They rise to the ceiling, then they, too, explode. I am splattered with colorful water. It smells like a box of 64 crayons. I wipe the color spectrum from my face and pull whiskey to my lips. I wish you still drank Manhattans.

I force myself to stand. I glance back at the side table, to the photo of you. In it, you’re smiling. There is a yellow elephant on your shirt. I glance toward the window; a little girl drawing chalk monsters on the sidewalk waves to me. I grip the bottle. Hard.

(Sept. 2014)

Desolate ElectriCITY

Image by Mike Olbinski

Desolate ElectriCITY
JCD Kerwin

i’m electric,
passing city lights
while they glow, and
reflect the burning
in my soul.

i feel the lightning storm
of Heaven in
the blink of your eye.

i can’t tell if
i’ve given
up my legs for wings.
the buildings flash by
like Lego blocks
from memories.

these are the Blues
of another kind,
another place,
the whispers of
some forgotten face.

it is summer, but,
despite the sun,
all i feel
is ice.
hold me while
I fade,
sparking in the night.

(Sept. 2014)