Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

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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
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


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


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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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 21

Bill Nye

Bill Nye is a human
BIll Nye is also a Mechanical Engineer
who invented the famed
hydraulic resonance suppressor tube

BIll Nye is a Science Guy
Before Bill Nye
there was no such thing
as a science guy
that did not deter Bill Nye
he set his eye on the man
he wanted to become
you know the rest
he taught a generation
his episodes a treat for
every middle school science teacher
who needed a day where a television
can supervise a class

Bill Nye is a Myth
he is the sum of all the words
all the stories said of him
Bill Nye is more than man
a modern day Hercules
some intellectual Paul Bunyan
a veritable American God
Bill Nye is a young boy’s wish
when at six
he says he wants to be a scientist
when he grows up
so he can be like Nye
Bill Nye is a hero of nerd mythology,
there to fire lasers from his eyes
or help a keyboard warrior
defeat his Christian Creationist Combatants

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 20


There is an old man
sitting on the sidewalk
who I pass
who has set up a little table
who reads the dictionary
each day

Weathered hands
Finger moving slowly
as he absorbs each word
through his trusty glasses

I tried to read the dictionary once
inevitably beginning with Aardvark
That read is a hard road
Alphabetization making it worse
a, aa, ab, ac….azzzzzzz, b, ba…..
on and on and on
rudimentary combination lock breaking

Reading the dictionary
you must lodge the words into your brain
before you breath them out
through your nose

The old man persists
I have seen him
advancing letter by letter
a glacier of vocabulary

we have spoken
his words coming out
all unalphabatized
speaking of other books
other permutations
of the elements
of the dictionary

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 19

How Dare the Pigeon

Flapping Flapping Pigeon wings
Tapping typing computer fingers
drip dripping brewing coffee
Whirring Stirring coffee confection
Long gong like prolongations of silence
Through the coffee bar

We have a visitor
everyone say hello
urban camo gray
green scale looking plumage
inherited from his dinosaur ancestors
red eye mounds
catlike grace and dignity

against the window
the pigeon looks confused
slightly offended
I don’t know why he is
slightly offended
here he is
he hasn’t purchased a coffee
yet there he is
strutting on a table
strut strut strut

taking up an entire table, just like that snap
I move my papers across my computer coffee mouse jacket napkins wallet pencils legal pads headphones receipt cords powerstrip

strut head bob weave look
dodging invisible laser beams
avoiding a floor of lava
the pigeon considers a moment
the force-field
preventing his...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 18

You are Fired

“You’re fired!”
says Donald Trump
who is the President of the United States.
Trump had finally done it;
Trump has worked to get elected
Trump presided these six long years
Trump has traveled to the ends of the Earth
but the coveted power was now his
ever since he tasted a glimpse of it
as the President of the Apprentice
Trump had passed the trials
he had performed the rituals
now he had the power to fire anyone.

As the Vice President has now just learned
Shoulders down, dejected with dignity
Next Trump called in all of his advisors
“You’re fired you’re fired you’re fired”
Making his trademark gesture with his small hand
Trump wouldn’t need advice where he was going

Next Trump called all the regulators,
blind Zealots dedicated to destroying American Prosperity
point “You’re fired” point “You’re fired”
He called all the municipal people
with complicated and boring and...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 17

Porcelain Throne

Overhead, a Lightning Hawk cries out
The sky is darkening
there are drumbeats in the distance
as you ascend the palace steps
sit down
and look across your vast kingdom
then close the door

Thunderclouds, an Angry Zeus
throwing a dangerous temper tantrum
angry rain coming down
Promising a prophecy
Death is in the air

You sit on your throne
Lid down
Great lion gargoyles carved into the side
Green tornado scud clouds
Hail and a summer moon
Far off rumbling
Blight upon the land
Drums slowly building
Death’s head buzzards in the laundry room
The scent of rotting oranges
and then

The storm breaks
The lever, The handle
The sky clears to sunshine
All is well throughout the land
a great relief as the buzzards fade away
you descend form the steps
back into the kitchen

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 16


The Wasabi in your chopsticks
Look at it
So friendly, so soft
like a fluffy cloud
of love
you must trust it

The Wasabi is green
like money
like Easter grass
like green tea ice cream
so inviting
you must trust it

Pile the Wasabi on your sushi
it will make everything delicious
everything will be all right
you must trust it

Ha ha! You Fool!
Only a complete nincompoop
would trust the Wasabi!
It is not ice cream it is fire
It explodes in your mouth
like a flavored grenade

The Wasabi
is like snorting a line of
horse radish
Not only like a pepper
spreading over your tongue
as a pool of clumpy lava
but a rising action, coating
the roof of your mouth
in culinary napalm

The condiment of heroes!
The bane of
the weak and the wicked
Only a man of character
could possibly survive
as it crawls up your entire head
like an angry arsonist frog

Up up the Wasabi goes
into your nose

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