Posters Are for Posters

Oh, yes, well.

The title of this post is intended to mirthfully obscure the fact that there's really no purpose to writing now. Well, I do have a heap of work to do, and I just collected my old computer (with functional keys and all) from the computer store, and there has been an unseemly surfeit of frustrations causing problems like free radicals are alleged to cause (although that itself is a curious term; I mean, what's the alternative? Imprisoned radicals? Quaint notions abound.) 

Equinox is happening in several hours, and everything stinks to high heaven everywhere ("Decomposition in A Major Stench"). Winter, always at once both real and imagined, has a distinctly own-goal relation to the multifarious malfeasance of litter-creatures (insects being implicated, unjustly, by the term "litterbug") during those piteous weeks and months. Far from novel, this has become an ever-triter truism through Maine's Mud Season (an unofficial 5th climatic "quadrant" of ruts and rutting, a patch of shifting duration and temporal location nebulously attributed to somewhere during the first half of the calendar year). Anyway, it's dismal feeling to be mired thus, and I think that it is gagging to be chronicled, even if only to my precious, albeit snappily dwindling, cadre of blog readers.

Longing for evidence that could amount to a precedent, I found something that I'd written an ENTIRE DECADE AGO (2001); in it, I spoke even of the winter before (y2k, for all of you scared-y crackers--you should be ashamed of yourselves). I'm including it here, and getting away from this blasted contraption to find something that, with luck, will enradden proceedings.

THE END OF WINTER IN PORTLAND, MAINEan editorial statement from Benb Gallaher
Last winter, living in the perversely magical off-season carcass of Old Orchard Beach, I would rise at 5:00 a.m. four times per week to drive [person whose name I shall refrain from disclosing] to work in Portland at Arabica Coffee. I never minded the drive, which soon was all-but-eliminated by a dubious move into a moribund Portland apartment in which I died, like, thrice. 
Anyway, the morning's drive home would see me detour from Danforth St., onto its scalene-situated colleague, Spring St. I would drive 3, maybe 4, blocks from my typical turn off (turnoff). I would pass Mercy Hospital, arriving at a small-ish side street called Winter St. Everyday, I would stop the car there—at the corner of Winter and Spring streets—and pray to an amorphous deity (I was without standards) for my own kind of mercy. It never worked; our last frost fell in June, and the next appeared ten rainy and cruelly mild weeks later. 
Perhaps it may sound cynical for me to say so, but the purpose of snow in Portland is to conceal to us, while the days are short and dreary, how disgusting and sinful we are. We have seen a lot of melt in the last eight or nine days, and the streets are sagging with the indiscretions of the people—cigarette butts, heaps of shit, broken beer bottles, and blatant TRASH (half-eaten Christmas candies, TV-dinner trays, and the like). Beholding the cross-section of a snow bank, you can see the evolution (à la tree rings) of these habits, and it seems that the true trespasses began as the snow really deepened. Like it ushered in a winter culture of waste. Now, the melt washes, foamy with motor oil, rock salt, old soda, and any number of fluid vilenesses, into street and storm drains asphyxiating with Little Debbie wrappers, and the people must figure that this will continue unaccountably until someone comes and cleans.
Heaven help us all.


  1. Susan Gallaher4:47:00 PM

    Wonderful - I can hear you reciting this poem - awesome!

  2. Good poem... Bite My Knee-ish period... yes?

  3. yes, this was/is on "Bite My Knee" [recorded in may, 2002], but it was old even then [dating from july, 1998].

    this is the first of the "Bite My Knee" poems to be posted here, after years of my swearing that i would do no such thing. if i ever get my shit together, maybe i could release "Bite My Knee" or somehow have it be released.

    i think that i'm just aging.