word garden #8 the adventures of joe burden

great list shay, and rather serendipitous, i wasn’t familiar with this poet and enjoyed reading his work, and i have been wanting to write more prose poetry lately and this got the ball rolling for me, hope you enjoy

enter joe burden wearing his favorite bowtie
joe is an average joe with an average burden, so he deepens his load and carries the weight of the world, sometimes on the back of his neck between his scrawny average shoulders, sometimes in a bowling bag that matches his bowtie, joe loves the world... when it conforms to his reality

he listens to electric radio hellhounds pounding on his cauliflower ear, the world is postponing reality, perhaps permanently (reality all tied up and clogged up and beat up by reality) this is not good, joe is not happy 

time gets lost and dizzy, the big hand grabs the little hand and walks itself into the dark, vicarious gingerbread ghosts beyond the cellar door poke holes in the floor and make fun of his goofy bowtie, and the cowbell tolls for cowboy souls, all hell break loose in joe’s favorite bowling bag

oh well
hell is full of pollution, and revolution, and imitation information, and joe is an average bowler, he can’t roll a strike to save his life, or the world, and all manner of evil crawls out of his bowling bag and attacks his cowboy soul, tooth and tusk, beak and claw, hatchet and chainsaw, poor joe, with his average credit score and a ticket to heaven

but reality canceled and exit joe burden
as he crawls under the kitchen table and sticks his head up his ass, all the way up to his beautiful bowtie, “tuck and roll” says the radio to the world, “tuck and roll” says joe burden to his asshole

oh well
hell is full of hell, and reality 

“bravo! Bravo!” says the radio, reality discontinued due to lack of interest and bad weather, stay tuned ladies and gentlemen and average joes of all ages, for this year’s tastiest torments and funniest disasters, and always remember, three prayers are better than one, good god, good grief, and good luck

posted for Shay word garden word list #8

posted for d’verse

posted for poets and storytellers united

Published by

phillip woodruff

i live in colorado, i love poetry and fishing, i've never been to kentucky, i own 5 pairs of shoes, sometimes i drive too fast, i like craft beer, i own 37 fishing poles, i've never been to iceland, sometimes i drive too slow, right now there is a black bird outside my window, i stare at him and he stares at me

32 thoughts on “word garden #8 the adventures of joe burden”

  1. To be followed by inane commercials for stuff no one really needs, perhaps. Poor Joe the human pill bug, all, wrapped up in himself. But I like the bow tie just the same, it ties everything up quite nicely and then converts the 7-10 split. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil, I smiled all the way through this. Pick any verse, I could comment remembrances. “the big hand grabs the little hand and walks itself into the dark, vicarious gingerbread ghosts” reminds me that I don’t keep Mrs. Jim’s battery clock running enough of the time. Cheap batteries guaranteed for 10 years barely last one before four or five start to corrode.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness, what synchronicity! Only last night – before seeing any of this post – I was thinking, our of nowhere, that I must give myself the pleasure of re-reading my treasured copy of In Watermelon Sugar. Now I must definitely look for Revenge of the Lawn, which I don’t yet know. (P.S. I love Vonnegut too, naturally.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An amazing write – hilarious, and much too damn serious; such wondrous, delicious, and rudely confronting use of language; altogether an unexpected treat and a crazy head-spin. You so often show us new and unexpected ways to do things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is fantastic, Phillip, so compelling and written like a dream. You had me in mind of Kerouac with the surreal stream nature of it. I love the 4th stanza especially, the way it ends, the play on words, the images. The whole thing is superb!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joe loves the world… when it conforms to his reality. I love how real this is and how hard that line hits. The whole piece is a wonderfully wry observation about what is happening far too often with all the Joes out there. I still haven’t seen Don’t Look Up, but what I’ve heard about the movie seems to match the vibe I’m getting here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tuck and roll! I felt like I should, if only to converse with my own reversed navel in the spirit of joe, the average sort of zombie cowboy–loved “the cowbell tolls for cowboy souls,”–and hell is so incredibly full of hell, and full of joes. You have a gift for this style, Phillip, and you really make it shine like a beloved and well-polished bowling ball out for a saturday night with the guys, spinning and grinning.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I cannot tell you how much I love the idea of a matching bow tie and bowling ball bag. I flipping LOVE bow ties. What color/pattern?

    “he listens to electric radio hellhounds pounding on his cauliflower ear” … love this

    “time gets lost and dizzy, the big hand grabs the little hand and walks itself into the dark” … that is a BRILLIANT description of the passage of time, especially when someone is feeling lost, fuzzy, depressed—maybe without a schedule and sense of purpose

    “vicarious gingerbread ghosts beyond the cellar door poke holes in the floor and make fun of his goofy bowtie” … sounds like an abduction scenario of some sort; or skeletons in the closet; or jelly!!!

    I love the idea of the expandable-inside bag—like Hermione’s purse—so I dig that you’ve incorporated it here.

    “and attacks his cowboy soul, tooth and tusk, beak and claw, hatchet and chainsaw, poor joe, with his average credit score and a ticket to heaven” … excellent presentation of irony; like he feels all this pressure and heaviness, but a ticket to heaven is actually all that really matters and should elate him

    “for this year’s tastiest torments and funniest disasters” … lol; have you seen an animated movie called The Brave Little Toaster? I’m hearing this in the Radio’s voice.

    I see a humorous Hope here, because:
    “The ouroboros is often interpreted as a symbol for eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth.” … Every day, there is rebirth.

    Liked by 1 person

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