Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

Page 2

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

Continue reading →

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...

Continue reading →

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...

Continue reading →

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

Continue reading →

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

Continue reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 15

 Cycling RV Tanks

Waiting Waiting

It’s dark out
dark is good
driving in the dark
is so much more calming
than driving in the light
because no one is on the road

little gas in the tank
can I make it?
maybe but being wrong
would be bad practice
at 1 AM

There is a gas station
down this road
there is not
there is a gas station
though a windy
rubric’s cube
of one way roads
through San Francisco’s hills
But gas now

Off to the express way
it’s dark
fog rolls in
slow down
eyes look out
towards a road sluggishly
putting on an
invisibility cloak

the freeway ends
turns into highway
ways away
stoplight traffic
gas stations I would have never made it to
begin to dot
anonymous hills

Californian landscapes
passing the Taco Bell at the End of the World
fancy paneling
weathered, beaten American beacon
in light there would be
young people...

Continue reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 14


White Cat
with coal black eyes
short scraggly fur
she’s of the West
meowing a cold wind
She is sleepy
an only child
and so scraggly scraggly thin
Her heart is weighted down
by things mostly forgotten

The white cat’s sister
is a brown tabby
a mother
wandering somewhere South
who likes flowers
Sad only when the rain
washes away the scents of outside
Sometimes the brown tabby
frets over her kittens
but she knows they are
clever and brave

Their brother
his coat a pretty grey
runt of the litter
loves the sun
as it rises in the East
playing in the tall grass
carefree and
loving the moment
never looking towards the future

The eldest
Black as night
omen walker
prowling silently through crinkling leaves
patient hunter
with no patience for tomfoolery
he waits for the world
to go to sleep
he wanders South
following visions of a harvest moon
orange light hanging in...

Continue reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 13

 Friendship Orange

Oh Friendship Orange
Oh Friendship Orange
where would we be without you
Friendship Orange

Why is their violence in the streets?
Why do some people not have enough to eat?
These problems could both
be done away
With a Friendship Orange!
Um… door…hinge?

Oh Friendship Orange
We could have the world
be peaceful and true
if only we had
more of you

A Friendship Orange
cannot be bought
or fought over
Instead it’s both friendship
and an Orange!
Um, Door Hinge.

Friendship Orange!
La la la la la
Friendship Orange

View →

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 12

 L'appel du vide

Martian’s life got a lot easier
now that a dragon lived on his back
The dragon, Mangeur de Mémoire
was French, and draped himself over
Martian’s back
cape like
his tail reaching down and around
Martian’s ankle
He was also invisible to everyone else

Martian used to think
the world was deeply dreary
disastrously dismal, even
his mind had bad wiring
and he thought terrible things

Thoughts Martin wouldn’t want
to be thoughts he think
would drive themselves through his brain
like nails
coated like
in misery
But now, ever since he met
Mangeur de Mémoire
who liked Cigarettes and bad literature
the dragon would reach out with his long snout
and with care
snapped the thoughts out of the air
before they could reach his brain
and gulping them down
his scaly yellow gullet

Since they became friends
Martian was happier
and Mangeur de Mémoire
got fuller
hill belly going from beige

Continue reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 11


Fyre Fyre Fyre

Billy Bob the Browbeater
A silly name
for an amateur wrester
A notorious namesake
for a barbarian king

Savage raiders
Followed his lead
The mainland masses
followed his Instagram account

Did Alexander the Great
even rate
his own Instagram?
Ghangas Khan had followers
but did he have followers?

Bill Bob fancied himself a warrior poet
as he dropped his torch
On another FEMA tent

Fyre Fyre Fyre
Blood Blood Blood

Billy Bob liked the lights
The dancing lights
The marvelous lights
As tent caught tent caught tent
No one was in them
the cliques that had stayed here
had been driven before him

An island of jag offs
abandoned and cast off
by hip hop super stars
and runway models
a truly unsuspected

Blood in his hands and beard
Billy Bob was undisputed
despised and determined

His minions looted the tents
bringing booty
MacBook Airs and Iphones
jewelry and gold...

Continue reading →