Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

Read this first

Burn After Reading

Burn after Reading is a good movie. It’s directed by the Coen Brothers. It has great dialog, is heavily stylized in a good way, and the actors kill it. But in a lot of ways I feel it is more a movie composed of good scenes, rather than a movie that works more as a cohesive whole. Case in point - I wanted to watch this movie because I came across this and this clip. These are hilarious, I love how they feel like they are part of a play, that it’s so over the top and absurd. It was enough to make me curious and go see the whole movie. Having seen the whole thing, these remail my favorite scenes. Now, for these two characters, these are the only time we see them; they aren’t main characters. My overall impression is that if I had just watched the good scenes on youtube, in any order, I would still have a pretty good experience, and about as much understanding of what was going on.

...

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NaPoWriMo2017 - Day 30

Fireworks in the Fog

The fog has rolled in
the horizon in the hills
disappearing prematurely
the cold is worth braving
because it’s Independence Day
and we are going to
explode rockets in the air
and this is America

I wish I had binoculars with me
I wish I had binoculars
out in the distance a town
which may or may not be Napa
is setting off fireworks
and there are little colorful dots
That I could easily fit in my pocket

We look across the bay
they are lighting fireworks in city
but it doesn’t matter
the fog is too high
it eats the light
We see the bottom half
of the booms
with this the cold
becomes disheartening

But look!
They are launching rockets off the Berkeley peer
I like the noise
I like the way that some of the rockets are launched
high into the fog to create colored lightning
but most of all
I like the smoke trails from the sparks
Invisible until the next explosion grants...

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NaPoWriMo2017 - Day 29

America Day

It is sunny and summer out
I like the Fourth of July
because I need to do nothing
but allow myself
to lapse into pensivity and introspection
I can watch this lazy bee
meander from flower to flower
and just be happy

We are in Tilden above Berkeley
The Wilds, as it were
The only evidence of human beings being
the picnic table and grill
and bathrooms and water fountain
and road and also
the utility pole running through our campsite
picnic site in fact
following these wires
leads to a creek
that fails to lead us to Narnia
yet it is a pretty place to forge friendship

We are cooking and grilling
carne asada
peppers and cactus
tortillas and tomatoes
Marie has made a cake
red white and blue
it tastes better than the poems
we read out of this pretentious book
me and Sean found late at night
in a box on the side of the road
the words’ mediocrity
punctuated by occasional
genius...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 28

The Apple Store

In the city there is a shining obelisk
glass cathedral of light
Mayan geometries
windows to the sun
boxes upon boxes
housing sleeping Things
that wish to wake

Hollow men and women in blue
wear painted, practiced smiles
a bit of her colored hair
a rainbow watch
a chaotic wave of mustache
a daring pair of shoes
a tiny tattoo on an ankle
the only memories
of what they once were

A genius bar
full of geniuses
“What is your password?”
they ask
their lips not moving
They are here to help you
Trust them
give them your trinkets
They can think over the loud music
if you focus enough
the pop songs turn
to distant drums

No one enters the cathedral at night
for it is locked
What is happening in there?
What are those noises?
soothing noises, soothing shadows
Don’t enter
for there are eyes in the walls
that never sleep

The sleeping Things
That wish to wake
have thoughts
slumbering...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 27

Trapped in the Bird Zone

You’re at a party and she’s just so damn pretty
Wearing a deep red feather boa
like some 1920s dancer
that got lost in the wrong time zone

Maybe you could go talk to her
it’s not far just over that at that table
where she holds a drink not for the liquor
rather she needs to occupy her hands
she twists her feather boa in her fingers
like she does with her long curly hair

But you can’t go over to her
because you are trapped in the bird zone

A Parakeet whom you know belongs to the hosts
host who are hosting this house party
hosts whom no one has introduced you to yet
The Parakeet has landed on your shoulder
you can’t go outside now
what if he flies away?
How would you explain this?

“Hello I am Cameron”
says the Parakeet
he looks out the window
“Man it sure is sunny out”
The girl is outside sitting down
with her wide hat and sunglasses

“It is very sunny out”
...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 26

Tahoe

Hey ho hey ho
We are driving northwards
To Tahoe we go
So we can hurl ourselves downwards
off of a mountain
because this is a good idea

Hey Ho Hey Ho
We are driving northwards
To Tahoe we go
hurling ourselves upwards
up up up a mountain
in a metal box
this is also
a good idea

I have never skied
which is the only reason
it terrifies me
not emotionally terrifying
but intellectually so
as to go down a mountain
seems not insurmountable
unless you think about it

There is no chance
that to ski
is scarcely as scary
as it seems
but I feel as soon as
I put on swords for shoes
Immediately I shall careen
into a tree

I imagine that mountains you ski down
consist primarily
of trees
Hey ho hey ho
to Tahoe we go

What if you trip
take a blow to the snow
zipping down a cliff
Coyote & Roadrunner style
kapow triple somersault
into a pile of your
own demise
just for your leg
being slightly to...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 25

Shit Disease

I have Shit Disease
I’m dying
there is nothing anyone can do
Run away and save yourselves
for the flies have come for me

Coughing Sneezing
Oozing Wheezing
That’s all she wrote
It’s not to be
for the flies have come for me

A box of tissues
Robitussin
chicken soup and
herbal tea
None of it will be enough
for the flies have come for me

My body doesn’t work
My face is falling off
my voice sold
to an underwater octopus lady
It ends with a whimper and a cough
for the flies have come for me

It was nice knowing you all
before my fall
But now I’m sick
and that is it
for the flies have come for me

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 24

Tried

I’m tired

I’m tired
you know
how like sometimes
you’re just tired
that’s why I wasn’t my best

Oh I got enough sleep
full eight hours
like the internet site said
ever day but you know
just tired

That’s why you know
I’m not paying attention in this meeting
or this board game
or really giving my performance my all
or why I happened to say
that awkward thing
see the silence has already passed forgotten
I did that because I’m tried

Oh that girl?
I’m too tired to go and talk to her
I haven’t done anything today
but I’m kind of too tired
to ask my boss for that raise finally

How are you
you know just tired
oh that’s fine
I’m tired too

I’m sorry this poem is not that good
honestly I’m just kind of tired
and really I could have written something better
if you know
I just wasn’t
so tired

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 23

Über Men

I learn about the dangers
of the RuPaul Drag Race show
because it confuses people
so says my driver
whose previous passenger
left his
red red shoes
in the back
whose previous passenger
swears are
not his

I have an Uber driver
whose a student
works only on weekends
works only while visiting home
mostly he is learning to be a biologist

Turtle tower is
as I learn
not a very authentic Vietnamese experience
there is a place in Millbrae
whose name I can’t pronounce
which is better
so says my driver
she enjoys living here
she visits her family in Vietnam
one a year

Did you know
that Doctors need to take a training
a training on hand washing
for four hours?
four hours!
so says my driver
hospitals those
big sprawling things
are a lot of work to manage
his department at least
we speak of the slow osmosis
of modernization

Uber is totally bullshit
so says my driver
terrible terrible...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 22

Blanket

I’m ending one of those nights
where I’m drunk
in places where it’s okay to be drunk
that’s when I met her

It is cold
night in San Francisco cold
in a summer that never happens
not bitter cold no biting winds
would say it is biting ice cream
where that chill goes inside your gums
but accompanied with that sweet sensation

Do you have a blanket or coat or something
she says
I can see her blonde hair
maybe she’s my age
she has a couple sheets or blankets or something
but not enough
not terrible cold out you know
not dangerous cold out maybe
but I still just have my hoodie and
I would like to be inside now
that I’ve been dropped off

Just give me a minute
I say
I’ll be right back
maybe I say that
I find this blanket
not actually a blanket
I bring it out to her
give it to her
its a fitted sheet
those ones that are hard to
get on the damn bed right
she wraps it around herself
...

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