All posts by Robb Whiting

Kindergarten Communist

A couple live recordings:

Childhood #1

When I lived in Ohio a tree fell down in our back yard during a thunderstorm. When the season had passed my dad went out with a chainsaw and cut it up.
The spring came and he hosed out the shed, like we always do. Spring cleaning. The water would run down the garden path in small eddies and flows and leaves would river raft their reckless trail across the stones.
When the leaves would get caught, my sister and I would begin a chant of “Need more water! Need more water!”. It would sound like a klaxon–our voices shrill and harmonious.
We started supplying the veins of river blood by filling buckets from the pressurized hose that sprayed that clensing blade of its slashing purifying life that left the shed’s eggshell paint sparkling clean.
The blade licked our heels, calves, shins–playful. A cleansing in its own rite.
We graduated from a single bucket to several–trundled across the walking stones in our sturdy flying wagon of Tesla waves to create the current that moved our leaves into a desert of concrete, the hardened frosting of our whipped cream dessert outdoor playland.
When the leaves stopped moving and lay motionless in a puddle of the lifeblood of exertion we used the same black white and red vehicle to move the wood from the fallen tree.
From near the stump my father cut a crisscrossed bark covered ham–a log that weighed more than I. We took it to California.
It was burned on the new year four years later. The occasion was that the move was complete, from the land of chest rumbling thunderstorms to the captured lands of dead men who sold their souls for gold. The occasion was that we were all happy here now.
7 years later my mom told me she didn’t think I’d been happy since I was 8.
I wasn’t happy then, in the wake of the move, or then during the consummation of the log’s conflagration. I watched the happiness burn in that smoldering ham all the time thinking I didn’t have a say…
But now I do. Now I get to say I’m happy. Because I’ve found my love and I’ve found my art. I still remember the past, but my future, now, is as new as my childhood was then…

Tailor

My great-grandfather was a tailor
A weaver of tapestries into costumes that mesmorized audiences of the stages on Broadway

Yes my great-grandfather was a tailor and perhaps that’s why when the the fabric of your pantleg touches mine
Or my fingers spiderdance across the draped curtain over the small of your back during a hug goodbye

I feel bubbly electric,
I’m goddamn eccentric–did you know this
I keep pulling the dumbest face just to see if you’ll notice

Just to get a little bit
Of a nit pick
A flit of a flicker of a spark in your eye
And when I see it I just want to die

Because…

My great-grandfather was a tailer
But no seamstress like you.

You weave my nerves and my hurt
You loop my bliss with my fear of a kiss
You prick
My interstit…ial feelings of doubt
Into a rhapsody of clout that could tetherweight my momentum anywhere you chose to flung it
And you could sing words so foul directly into my soul if it were you that sung it
I’d love it.

And this might sound like a love poem
But it’s really a confusion tomb
That I’ve opened up like Pandora’s box
And these thoughts
Got me tied up in knots
Got me tossing and turning on my cot
And wondering what I ought
To do
Because I got no business being with you

My heart belongs to another
And though she makes my heart flutter
Despite her mutters
That my life she clutters
YOU make my heartbeat stutter

That slight bump-hiccupity-bump
Bump-hicuppity-bump
That makes that whump whump weeeaoooar weeeeaoooar

Fill my ears
And my mind fills with tears
I can’t let out

Aw shit, now you got me making stupid sounds and faces again

But baby it feels so good when someone as wonderful as you notices me
And I do nothing
I can pursue nothing
And I doubt you’d want me to.

But my great-grandfather was a tailor

And maybe if I can reach back through bloodlines
Drawn from thimbleless needle pricks sticking in my veins
Giving me a brilliant claim to affection create with
Dominico James Valentino’s trade’s namesake

I could just forge some kind of sinewy thread that could lash our pinkies together with a thin strand of honey
So we can orbit philotically

Physically
Sending transmissible
Signals
Down this invisible tin can string telephone

A secret code
Handed down from Martini
to Valentini
to Valentino
Just so
You and I could have something special

To share…