And then this happened…

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Recently, I did an interview for a local television show here in Southern PA dealing with the area’s artistic community. Here’s what happened.

(My interview comes in at the 25:28 mark, but if you have the time, you should watch the rest too)

Thanksgiving Plans

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She sat at her desk, hoping that the papers in front of her would grade themselves. They didn’t seem to be doing that, though. It was her prep hour so she didn’t have any students in the room this hour. The teacher who would teach in her classroom came into the room. She noticed he was looking just as good as usual. He had a rugged look to him kind of like John Wayne but less old and more handsome. It wasn’t a rural school district and he was definitely from a different county.

“Hey there. How was your weekend?”

“It was good. My football team won. How was yours?”

“Mine was good. I got a lot of cleaning done.She noticed his smile and the way he held his briefcase in his hands. She couldn’t help smiling. This back and forth was the best part of her day by far.

“Oh right. I’m thankful for my wife on days like those.” His wife, of course. She preferred to think that he was single, but, alas, he was not. She somehow forgot once in a while. Either that or she just lived in a fantasy world where there were leprechauns and unicorns and Mr. Williams was unattached.

“So what are you doing for Thanksgiving?” she asked.

“I’m going over to my brother’s house. He’s got a couple kids that are a little bit crazy so that’s going to be fun. All I care about is that I can watch football and stuff myself with turkey and beer and I’ll be fine.”

“Sounds like a good time,” she said, wondering if he would reciprocate the question.

“Well. Have a good prep hour.”

“Oh thanks,” she said, gathering up her stuff so that she could work in the teachers’ lounge. She waved goodbye as she walked out the door, hoping that he would realize that she was the woman of his dreams. That way he could leave his wife for her and they could live happily ever after. That didn’t seem to be happening any time soon, though.

 

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Lunch time: her favorite time of the day. She didn’t grade papers or make lessons, she just sat, ate her lunch, and talked with the other teachers. They complained about certain students which was fun. She went to the fridge, got out her lunch box and sat down at the table. She was eating a turkey sandwich with an apple and chips. She didn’t pack a fancy lunch every day like some of the other teachers. She didn’t really have time to do that.

Mr. Williams walked in the teachers’ lounge as she opened her lunch box and began to dig in. Was it her imagination or did he look better now than he did an hour ago? Who knows. She just knew that she always enjoyed looking at him even if she could tell he was tired or frustrated with the students.

“Hey Miss Johnson. How is your day going? Is it getting worse just like mine does everyday?”

“Oh you know. Same old same old. The first half of the day is good. Then, fifth hour comes and they are all ready to go home and they don’t want to do anything.”

“I know what you mean. My seventh hour is the worst. I can’t stand those kids.”

“Yep. That’s how it goes.” She took a bite of her turkey sandwich. It was a bit dry, but it’s probably because she ran out of mayonnaise and she hadn’t had a chance to go to the store yet. She continued eating her sandwich as Mr. Williams started talking to Miss Fieldstone, the biology teacher. She kind of started daydreaming while she tuned them out.

She saw herself sitting at her dinner table, eating with her husband who just happened to be Mr. Williams. They were talking about each other’s days. After that, she served apple pie and they fed each other it.

They then sat on the couch and watched the night’s news. Then, he started feeling her up. They made out for a while and then he took her to the bedroom and they made love for an hour and it was beautiful.

“Hello? Earth to Miss Johnson. We were just talking about our plans for Thanksgiving. You never told me what yours were?”

“Oh sorry. I was just thinking about my lesson plans for tomorrow.”

“You didn’t look like you were thinking about lesson plans.”

“Yeah, so I’m going over to my parents’ house and my brother and his girlfriend are coming. It’ll be nice.”

“Cool. Sounds nice.” They finished their lunches and she went to teach her last three periods.

Last Call

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Just a reminder, on Monday December 1st, the submissions for the second issue of In-flight Literary Magazine will be closing and we will begin reading and responding to submissions. If you have been contemplating submitting to us, this week would be the time to decide. View the guidelines here.

Thank you to everyone that has submitted thus far! You’ll be hearing from us soon.

Cheers!

Tounges and Tropics

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There’s an Armageddon in your open mouth,
Screaming blasphemy
Teeth plagued with tar and rot
Coarse lips with open wrinkles on each bud

Kiss me you mortal
Your taste, that of bitter black coffee
Tongues and tropics of flesh intertwined into one
Veins bulging with blood
Chest-to-chest, hearts screaming until our eventual end

Our bursts of pink flames,
Warmness,
We’re both going to die
But we’re going to die tasting life

Words and Stuff.

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Did I ever tell you about the time I learned the word
portmanteau?

It was a dream come true
let me tell you.

Like my brain had been
jumpstarted;
parking break disengaged,
bolt of electricity
engaging my existential eccentricity
with the hydroelectric elasticity
of new discovery.

Portmanteau:
noun,  plural portmanteaus or portmanteaux
[powrt-MAN-tohz]

1. a case or bag to carry clothing in while travelling, especially a leather trunk or suitcase that opens into two halves.

My cognition began conscientiously
performing pirouettes.

Pleasure in place of regrets.
Doors opening into an immensity
of possibility
whose propensity (overwhelming probability)
for artistic lucidity
(dreamscape affinity)

is the infinite tapestry on which
to dazzle the frazzled
developing synapses
of Mother Nature’s
motherfucking
greatest mishap.

Truculently surreptitious in my vicious attempts
at resurrecting archaic vestiges, like beldam and adjutant.

Syntax to make you squeamish.

I swear I’m speaking every word
in English;

why would I ever call the glass half
empty
when I can discard the clichés
earned on a pretty penny
by surpassing platitudes and bromides
with the brain-mine of “prosaism.”

Misery loves company
and all that.

My vernacular is prone to schism,
vocabulary devoid of diction,

a dictionary stranger than
fiction.

Orwell and Hemingway were probably just witless, right?

Only trite writers eschew
semicolons
(or at least that’s the less-than-wholesome justification for my own addiction)

but barring some sort of
divine intervention
I don’t suspect I’ll be able
to pay back these literary gods
the pension owed for my
sins.

Belletristic hell
and I’m beginning to fall.

Ostentatious,
exhibitionist
exclamation,

just look at all the fabulous different ways
to say absolutely
nothing at all.

Willie Watt
11/23/14

Mania.

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We are getting stranger each minute.

My body is minutely
like a stranger

infected with some alien, incorporeal strain.

Rats in a maze of cages
chewing the maize they’ve been given

in a deliberate way.

Unaware they’ve been sedated
by the harmless
charm of indecision.

Rage against these malevolent cogs.

Rage against the clock face bearing

the bones of Sisyphus 
in a stranglehold.

Burn away this twisting
vision 
of apathy.

If I’m wrong, 
then loudly and strong,
members of the universe’s jury

prove to me
my sanity,

bathe me in an idolater’s perspective.

Life didn’t erect a force field to
shield me,


I’m just here for the ride along,

standing out in the throng
like a sweater vest in a Jay-Z
song.

I will fight
unlike Daniel in his sacrificial den;

so I say we let bygones
be pythons
and infect our veins
with the
burning
reeking
all-devouring
desperation of dying men.

Willie Watt
11/21/14

Mr. and Mrs. Cleverest Motherfucker on Earth

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On slow days,
in a lonely haze,
sometimes I’ll think back
to my college writing class,
the girl in the purple-framed glasses.
It wasn’t just her perfect ass,
I fell fast for
her sarcastic sass,
and eloquent mastery
of words and wit,
a lit genius
with gorgeous lips.

And my mind exploded
with thoughts of her and me
atop a pile of
dropouts and druggies,
slow-dancing on the desks
of the cheering and clapping
cavemen with envious faces
looking on from below.

One night,
we had to write
a persona poem,
occupy the mind
of famous figure,
and determined
to impress her
I devoured her work,
about a man dying
alone in an
apartment in Basel.
The clues were all there,
and I didn’t dare look
dumb in front of this
gorgeous girl,
so I googled the clues,
and let Wikipedia
come to the rescue.

The next day she read
her silky stanzas,
and when the teacher asked
if anyone knew who
the words depicted
as predicted,
the esoteric reference,
sailed over the mortals’ heads,
so I piped up and said,
cool as Canadian winter,
“It’s about that Nietzsche guy, right?”

Her smile said it all,
she ate it up,
and the preacher
pronounced us,
Mr. and Mrs.
Cleverest Motherfucker on Earth.

After class,
I caught up to her
crossing the courtyard,
and she told me about
the lovely weekend she had
with her boyfriend.

Before she left me to drown,
I called after her,
“It was nice meeting you,
Mrs. Some Other Guy,
I’m Mr. Dumbest Motherfucker on Earth.”

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