14 years ago I worked at the Angelika Film Center in NYC. My job was simple, but excruciating and involved scooping ice cream into hot coffee beverages and forming balls out of leftover cake (cake balls). Famous customers included Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, JFK Junior, Cher, Madonna, Vincent Galo and that guy ( I had a massive crush on him) who offed himself in The Dead Poet's Society. Other (not so famous) customers brought me gifts, and others (even less famous) threw coffee on me. For one year, I worked with some of the sparkliest people on earth.
As I was sifting through my meager mail today, I discovered an envelope from one of my former sparkly Angelika colleagues containing pages from a book titled "work poems". Here is what my brain was doing 14 years ago:
On Christmas, the lights seemed overwhelming. So I went to sleep.
The blue cowboys were dancing. They had not done their laundry for seven years. The leather pants they wore made their balls sweat. The blue cowboys lacked form or rifles for hunting. All except for a guitar. So the blue cowboys sang to the moon and rubbed their sweaty testicles raw.
Tomatoes and kale
Tomatoes and kale, tomatoes and kale, are wasted continuously, tomatoes and kale. And so are the pickles. When will they bring their own cups? I am tired of giving them cups. Why? Because I saw fish on Coney Island's ocean sleeping in a paper cup. He was morbidly beautiful, sweet with ease, as it were.
The escalator wore its serrated edges dull like he knives in the kitchen drawer. With these knives we cut incredible things - like - turkey, ham, vegetables and cheese. Several different cheeses aside from Colby cheese because Roman doesn't enjoy Colby cheese as other fine individuals sometimes do. Roman doesn't even enjoy the word Colby. Roman thinks the word Colby is crass. I happen to enjoy Colby cheese and am also quite fond of a girl named Colby who was - and still is - a dear friend of mine. Together Colby and I made clothing from plastic pieces and vasoline and wrote poems about carrots named Gonzolez and bean sprouts named Betty Ford. Together we built cities in the forest of Colorado from small twigs and sage brush. Twigs and soil. Colby didn't like Colby cheese either. She much preferred cream cheese on bagels. With knives we cut the bagels. With knives we spread the cheese. Knives and cheeses. Cheese and knives and time. Placed and structured in round implements and heavy refrigeration systems. Watches on crackers, cheese on pretzels. Breads cut with knives found in a drawer, a drawer in the kitchen where Domingo cooks his celery salt soup and a man from Bangladesh grins behind milk crates. Grins as if he were sailing the Red Sea on a wooden raft, fishing for crawfish and chewing on the finest roasted chee chee buns.