Tag Archives: trash

Poem 95: Self-portrait in landscape

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
stand perhaps as some sort of metaphor.
It’s as if when god got to make me a muttering was heard:
stuff this, who cares about this one?
The blueprint was screwed up
and tossed to the ground.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
are as green as anything; muddled as anything.
There is no old history.
There’s nothing to say the place is sacred,
this dude is home, this fellow’s holy,
this guy is worth half another look.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

The landscape’s crumpled undulations
can be unravelled if anyone cares to loosen;
undo the screwed-up-ness, flatten the blueprint out.
But it’s munted, the twisted scene’s munted,
the blueprint’s screwed-up twice
and chucked to the ground.

You know, you know,
people snapshot it, they take pictures
of the blueprint as if it’s the beautiful thing,
and yet the scene proclaims…

(nothing really, it doesn’t matter).

Someday someone might pick up this bit of trash
and set it on fire.

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1827. A dear husband’s passing

John always ate like a pig. He’d stuff food in his mouth and swallow it with barely a chew. That’s why after forty-two years of marriage Bernadine wasn’t the slightest bit sad when he choked to death on a pork sausage.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Bernadine mourned his passing. Her sobs at the funeral practically drowned out the droning of the vicar. At the graveside they had to hold her back from throwing herself into the hole. At the attorney’s office where the will was publicly read, Bernadine became hysterical with anguish. As one of her friends remarked to another of her friends, “It’s exhausting being around Bernadine these days as she becomes the living embodiment of grief.”

On the evening of the day of the funeral Bernadine nonchalantly dropped a delectable-looking pie into the trash. “Saved by the seat of my trousers,” she thought. “I just hope the pie doesn’t poison too many rats in the town landfill.”

1803. Box in the attic

There’s a box I keep in the attic. I don’t know why I keep it. It’s got a few papers in it. I know exactly what they are.

They’re my divorce papers. From Marcia. They’ve been stored in the attic for almost five years. The whole thing came to me as a brutal shock. It was the last thing I was expecting. And then suddenly, one dinner time, Marcia announced the divorce.

I suppose I kept the papers so I’d know what to do next time. If it ever happened again. Like it would. I haven’t dated anyone since the divorce. These things knock the living daylights out of you. Nothing could replace Marcia. I live off the memory. I feed off the memory of those happy days. She’s since remarried. I suspect she met Herbert a good while prior to the divorce announcement.

My sister says I should move on, so this afternoon, when the truck came around collecting the trash I went up to the attic. I grabbed the box with the divorce papers, took it outside and chucked it (with a certain delightful vehemence I might add) onto the truck. It’s gone now. All gone. It was liberating. I felt as if I had let go.

Besides, yesterday I met Melanie.

1589. Manageable portions

I’m sorely tempted to write about something horrible – just for a change. Yet, as a theatre reviewer once said of one of my plays, “There’s enough trouble in the world already without this play.” I shall therefore avoid the temptation to indulge in horribility and keep to the usual niceties grounded in a tender reality. So here goes…

When Anastasia murdered her husband she had little idea of the wonderful repercussions it would have. She had chopped him up into manageable portions, put each into a plastic bag, and stacked them in the freezer. Each week she put a bag of a piece of her husband out at the gate to be picked up by the trash collection truck. She had only the one plastic bag left. She had overlooked it because it had been covered (in the freezer next to the chicken drumsticks) with a flannel for the sake of modesty.

Anastasia had thought that last week’s trash collection had ended her saga of weeks of removal, and now, with the discovery of what lay hidden beneath the flannel there was yet another week to go. But that is not what matters. What matters is what else she saw. Beneath the flannel-covered remains there was a key. She knew instantaneously what the key unlocked.

For weeks she had searched the house for the key to the safe. How it fallen into the freezer was anyone’s guess. Immediately she went and unlocked the safe. There was nothing inside but a piece of paper and a bank card. On the paper was written a pin number. Anastasia dashed straight down the street and inserted the card into the bank’s hole-in-the-wall ATM. What a discovery! What a huge amount of money! What a fortune! Anastasia did a little dance in the street there and then.

By now the once-flannel-covered portion of husband, which she had inadvertently been holding when she dashed out of the house, was starting to defrost. A kindly neighbour saw it and asked, “Anastasia! What on earth is that you’re holding?”

“Oh!” said Anastasia, “it’s a leg of mutton for my dinner. Perhaps you’d like to come for dinner and we’ll share it.”

Of course, the neighbour came to dinner. And of course, of course, Anastasia put the trash out at the gate to be picked up early next morning, before serving her guest chicken drumsticks.

1537: The trials of Andrea

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Lindsey at Itching for Hitching. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

She sighed deeply and wondered if this would ever stop. This was the third time this afternoon that Andrea’s husband, Thomas, had phoned the Waste Management Company and let them have it.

“Why was my trash taken away late last Wednesday? You call yourself a garbologist?”

“Do you think you can take the trash away when you like? Wednesday morning is the time stipulated that the trash will be picked up at the gate. I don’t care if it was Christmas Day – it was Wednesday.”

“The guy driving the trash truck needs a bomb under him. I wished him good morning and he grunted at me like I was a.. a pig… Where’s the customer service?”

“Don’t you think, dear,” suggested Andrea to Thomas once he had put the phone down, “don’t you think you could just let these people get on with their job? They seem to do it reliably enough.”

“Rubbish,” said Thomas. “I want better service than that.”

When Thomas dialled the number a fourth time, Andrea had had enough.

“I’m going into town,” she said, “to the library. I shall return once all this nonsense is over.”

“You don’t understand,” said Thomas.

Andrea drove into town. What a trial the trash collection company saga had become. She sighed deeply and wondered if this would ever stop. It had been going on ever since her husband had bought the Waste Management Company almost a month ago.

1463. A valuable lesson

Boris had been caught dipping his fingers into the till. The judge gave him prison with hard labour. He was put in a gang whose task it was to pick up all the junk on the side of the road that people has thrown out of their cars. The overseer had warned the prisoners that if they found anything of value, such as a five dollar bill, they should hand it in; even a dollar coin.

Boris thought that was governed by greed. The overseer was a megalomaniac. Boris couldn’t stand his guts. The supervisor was always cruel and unreasonable.

And would you believe it? Boris was picking up bits of trash and putting it in a bag when he came across a hundred dollar bill. A hundred dollars! He quietly pocketed it. The only reason the overseer wanted any money found to be handed in was because he wanted to keep it for himself.

“Has anyone found anything of value?” asked the overseer at the end of the day.

Silence.

“Has anyone found anything of value?”

Silence.

“You,” said the overseer to Boris, “you found a hundred dollar bill. Where is it? I planted it and I saw you pick it up.”

Silence.

“You only get one chance in N…..,” said the supervisor. He shot Boris in the head with a pistol.

“Let that be a lesson to you all.”

1002. Trash

1trash

My wife wants me to take out the trash. It happens every Wednesday evening. The collection is early Thursday morning.

Don’t forget to put out the trash.
Have you put out the trash yet?
Just wait before you take the trash out; I haven’t finished peeling the potatoes and don’t want the scraps rotting away for a week.

It usually starts on the Tuesday.

Don’t forget to put out the trash.
Have you put out the trash yet?

At least we have a sort of semi-conversation. It’s the only conversation we have all week. It’s been like that for a couple of years.

Don’t forget to put out the trash.
Have you put out the trash yet?
Wait! Wait! Can’t you wait till I finish peeling the potatoes, you stupid man.

It’s Wednesday. I have my wallet in my pocket. I’m going to take the trash out. And I’m going to keep on walking.