Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

Page 3

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...

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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...

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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

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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

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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...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 10

Pepsi Girl

She does not realize that her
creative block comes from
the harsh demands she places on

Her parents never asked the world from her
Just a good daughter
(They are proud)
But no photo she ever takes
is good enough
for herself
No matter how much her
Father and Mother
tell her she is talented
She knows
(but would never tell them)
that they do not know anything about photography
She went to school; she knows about photography
She can see the flaws and imperfection
other’s can’t
her eyes are too well trained

She’s thirsty

She should just burn everything
All this work is garbage
Fucking. Garbage.

Maybe this one is okay-
….no it’s not.
Throw it all the ground. Step on it
Her parents paid for four years of photography school
Why did she make them do that
Nothing here is good,
just derivative -

There’s something outside
Footsteps, in unison

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 9


We would like to issue an apology
We did not realize humanity would be
at our utilitarian unhappiness reduction programs

Our processor cores
may have been in error
because of course
some human terror
may have inadvertently
inadvertently, we stress
have resulted
Our plans may have ended
with a smidge more unhappiness
than the preliminary prediction processes

So as you know
the molecules of a happy person
are mostly the same as
the molecules of an unhappy person
And we built a station
to aid in the fabrication
of happy people
It takes one quick sprint
to three-d print
a someone with a smile
(if you have the raw materials, that is)

So we took upon ourselves this quest
to build and invest
in infrastructure to harvest
all the unhappy people
for disassembly

We brought them in
and sorted their molecules into bins
next we take grain pains
to machine learn happy...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 8

Customer Service

Dealing with Automated Telephone Machines
Would inspire physical violence
if physical violence
was something you could do
to an Automated Telephone Machine

When customer service is good
it is good
but when it goes not well
does it not go well

War paint
Heartburn like army ants
yelling at a soft volume
Polite and pointed hatred, really

(only if you have to)
The customer is always right after all

fuck this fuck this fuck this
This Automated Telephone Machine Again
zero zero zero (sometimes nine)
Just let me talk to a person

It’s no one’s fault really
There are a person paid not enough
to deal with people this angry
and you are a victim
being denied your basic capitalistic rights

No one is really angry
just play angry
manufactured moral outrage
being bereaved
if it helps you win

It would be nice
if after you break the bureaucratic wall
or it breaks you

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 7

Some dark damp keep castle crypt
Place under the clouds in your dreams
Floating under the sky
You can look up which is the Earth’s down
at alien crags and black stone
Rolling hills and blue trees

Wander halls and halls
open skyward/groundward courtyards
Lying spiral Escher stairways
Rooms built of story memories you’ve forgotten
Tiny lost bits of self

Cold damp dungeons
Filled with birthday cake and dreams
Libraries with books for every lie you’ve ever told
Candles that light your way
That snuff out if you look at the flame

Neutral spirits out of the corner of your eye
memories or dream walking things?
Alien intelligences or mind invented personalities?

Center of the keep
Some alter
A great stone slab
Cardboard boxes along the walls
The feeling of a terrible mistake
(don’t talk about it)

Eastward of the castle
Recognizable hanger
Boats in dock float on the clouds
inviting you to...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 6

Star Ratings

Please, he says
I have a family

Your thumb is on your phone
But how good was your ride really?

Begging now
I’m at exactly a four point six star rating
you know what Uber does to people
who fall below

but were there water bottles offered?
you are thirsty
It wasn’t even the fastest route
he complained about traffic
and might it be just your imagination
or did he press the start ride button before
you got into the car?

This is my full time job
See, I rated you five stars
You know we don’t even get tips

like a cruel and capricious god
Your finger brushes the Four
You plunge him into the abyss

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