God Damn You, Jingle Puff. You Screwed Us.

“The boat is sinking, Captain. The saltwater pigeons are attacking us.”
“Do we have enough bullets to kill them all?”
“No, Sir. We don’t have bullets. We are baboons.”
“God damn you, Jingle Puff. You screwed us.”

Just chew the damn thing and spit it out
and when the clock strikes fuck
and the platypus rocks
don’t worry about a thing.

“What is it, Captain?”

It’s surely not De Quincey’s lady.
This girl is cousins with Hofmann’s baby.
But it’s not Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds;
she’s out of school because the government raped her.

“Are you alright, Captain?”
“No. Those god damn pigeons! they’re after us.”
“What needs be done?”
“Call the crew and tell them to bring out the saddest violins.”
“We don’t have violins, sir.”
“God damn you, Jingle Puff. You screwed us.”

It’s Coleridge with a tablet
writing in Wordsworth’s closet,
hiding from Kubla Khan.
It’s Kerouac’s and Ginsberg’s Beat
during a Naked Lunch in Thompson’s suite.
It’s a Jew kissing Hitler and a Palestinian kissing a Jew.
It’s JFK without the Kay on Aldous Huxley’s dying day.

“What is it, Captain?”

It’s a chimp.
It’s a pimp.
It’s someone else’s skin.
What do you care?
Just chew it and spit.

“God damn you, Jingle Puff. You screwed us.”

People of the Sidewalks

The moon rises and we come out

like rats,

like cockroaches on hot summer nights

to infest the romantic streets of Beirut that you love so much.

 

The smell of afternoon coffee lingers.

You smell it, our caffeinated fuckness, when you pass by us.

We are breathing caffeine.

 

You’ll find us gathered in small groups

smoking cigarettes

laughing like hyenas at you and your kind

on the sidewalks.

 

Fuck you.

 

One day, we’ll eat your mothers

with love and kindness.

One day, we’ll piss in your mouths.

One day…

 

We are very angry.

 

What’s yours is not ours.

What’s ours are your leftovers.

This is our lottery of birth.

 

We are not asking for anything.

Don’t let us be.

We will be,

We will be forever.

 

One day, we –

 

But not today,

because tonight we’ll drink…

 

We are the scumbags of the third world,

the people of the sidewalks.

 

© Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sheep-Town Radio

It’s just another day in Sheep-town, a Sunday. There are no days off anymore, everybody works everyday like machines. It’s a different world, now, a different way of life that is perfectly organized and flawless. Nobody complains in a system that entertains, and that is the secret. So, turn on the radio! What does it say?

“Rise and shine… Sunshine! It’s summertime! This is radio ‘Sick FM’, bringing you the best tunes in town. So, wake up and smell the pollution! Wake up and listen to the cries of Mother Nature! Have yourself a drink of cool acid rain because it’s going to be a beautiful day.

(Electronic background music)

Hey, everyone! I’m John Shepherd, your favorite DJ. I love you, because you make me money. I can’t wait to see you all in Sheep-town, dancing on the ridiculous electronic beats that I didn’t even compose but got credit for.

(Some sound effects)

So be a good dog and join us for this summer special: Lock and Load! Yes, that’s right ladies and gents, what you’ve all been waiting for. War! Brought to you by The System, and the fabulous French tobacco cigarettes “Death Breath Blue”, it’s going to be a HELL of a time. Be there and don’t miss it!

(More sound effects)

[Female voice singing] Dirtbaggen, the best bag of dirt! Good for nothing! Buy it now! Absolutely irresistible, you have no choice. Dirtbaggen, let there be dirt! Get it now from MegaMedia stores. We’re the Media; we know what’s good for you. Dirtbaggen, it’s the new thing.

(Two seconds of silence)

Now, relax and enjoy this week’s number one: I Don’t Know What I’m Living For…”

-

Previously published: Haigazian University’s Herald; December 2011

How I Met Your Novel: This Is How You Lose Her By Junot Diaz

I’m not the kind of guy who usually reads this stuff, but I was hanging out at a bookshop with a friend the other day with nothing in particular in mind when I came across this book. It said: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. I picked it up and smelled it.

“Do you think I should get this?” I asked my friend without even bothering to read the synopsis first. He was going through Margaret Atwood’s stuff.

“What is it?” He asked.

“I don’t know. It sounds entertaining.”

My friend took the book from me, read the synopsis and checked it out. Then he turned to me and said: “Take it. You’ll like it.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because it says here that it’s ‘vulgar, brave, and poetic.’ Does it remind you of someone?”

I ended up buying the book, of course, even though I had Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on my list first. But what the heck, I thought; a couple of hundred pages never hurt anyone.

It took me two days to finish the book. If I had more time, I would have read it in one day. But you know how life is: you never have enough time to take pleasure in the good things. Just a few pages in and I was already in deep shit – the good kind of shit. This Is How You Lose Her is about a Dominican guy named Yunior who cheats on his girlfriends even though he loves them sometimes. Other major characters are his mother, brother and father, the latter two being ‘cheaters’ as well. It’s in the blood, I guess, right? It’s not a novel with a particular plot, but the themes it deals with are apparent throughout the book. Though some people would say that it’s a collection of short stories about Yunior, it wasn’t so for me. I would definitely make a place for it on my literary fiction shelf. There were times when I just stopped reading to praise the author for his wit. Man, I don’t know if it makes sense, but I felt like a tennis ball in the hands of a pro throughout the book. Every bit of it was delicious, sometimes even hilarious.

In short, This Is How You Lose Her might not be a main course sort of book, but it surely is a good dessert.

It’s Poetry When

It’s poetry when you read it

more than once

and your coffee gets cold.

It’s poetry when no one knows it is

but you read it aloud anyway

because of how it sounds.

It’s poetry when the greatest poet

says it’s not

but you write it down

and he tries to stop you

so you run with it

like a chicken with a pen

in its butt.

Elsa & the Mug

An empty Harley Davidson coffee mug stood on my writing desk, and I wondered why. It looked as if it had something to say, but it said nothing because it was a coffee mug. I liked it though; it was sexy. So I picked it up and threw it on the floor, shattering it to pieces. I was the kind of guy who liked to break stuff. Don’t ask me why.

My mom must have heard the mug being shattered from the living room, because she shouted: “What now, Chris? What did you break?”

This happened either in mid-June or early July last year, a few weeks before Elsa and I broke up. I hated Elsa, to tell you the truth, and for many obvious reasons. For instance, when we went to Gemmayze for drinks, she always ordered a Bloody Mary.

“That’s what old people drink.” I used to say.

“No, Chris.” She would say. “Bloody Mary is a mature drink.”

And while drinking it slowly – taking tiny sips once every five thousand years – she kept chewing on celery sticks for some reason. I didn’t like that about her, not at all – chewing on sticks and stuff. Celery sucks.

So this coffee mug I was telling you about was a present from Elsa. I didn’t know it then, when I first found it standing there on my writing desk, I mean. But I broke it anyway. Later, when I knew it was from her, it all made sense and I felt good about myself. Elsa sucked, and her gifts sucked, too. I didn’t even like coffee then.

My mom once told me to be nice to her. I don’t know why.

The only reason I went out with Elsa was that she had a car. She drove me around and all. I was seventeen, she was eighteen. I was funny and all, but she was all too ugly. My friends always said that I was too funny to be with such an ugly girl. But I didn’t think I was funny though; I was dead serious. I told my friends that she had a good personality so that they would leave me alone. But that was a lie. I lied about her personality. Her personality sucked.

I put all the broken pieces of the coffee mug in a plastic bag and kept it in my closet. I don’t know why.

My mom once told my dad that I needed to see a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or someone who could help. She said I’ve been reading The Catcher in the Rye over and over, and she didn’t think that was healthy. She said that Chapman, the guy who shot John Lennon, was obsessed with the book, too.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep that night, all the while thinking about the broken coffee mug in the closet. For a moment, I felt sorry for Elsa, for her Jewish nose and sad Palestinian eyes, for her moustache and all. So I called her.

“Hello?” It was her mother who answered after three or four rings. Elsa’s mother was so hairy that she could keep a legit goatee. Elsa’s mother was a man.

“Hey, Ma’am. It’s Chris. Can I talk to Elsa, please?” I swallowed my saliva.

“Do you know what time it is? Elsa’s asleep.”

“I know, I know.”  I said. “It’s two-thirty. I’m sorry. But it’s really important.”

A minute or so later, I heard Elsa on the other side.

“Chris?” She asked. “Are you crazy?”

“Yeah, listen.” I said. “I’ve been thinking about us and all.”

“And?” She waited.

“Well, nothing really. It’s just that I wanted you to know that… that even though you’re ugly and have no personality, it doesn’t mean that I have the right to break stuff, especially the gifts that you get for me. I mean, you’re really nice. Only you look like a Jew and…”

(I never knew that J.D. Salinger, the guy who wrote my favorite book, was a Jew.)

As you might have expected, the conversation I had with Elsa that night didn’t go so well. But, after that night, I never broke stuff for fun again. Ever. I don’t know why.

© Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bonanza’s Never Spoken Stanza

The pretty lady in the poem farted.

It was funny because

You do not always come across a lady farting in poetry.

In fact, as the poet writes, he thinks twice

Whether he should or should not take the risk

to include her butt – her sexy ass – in this big, lousy mess.

 

“Do it!” The rapist at the bar shouts.

“This one’s unique.”

And the poet nods.

(Lately, every girl I know claims

to have been raped by somebody.

It’s trending.)

 

As I dance with funny smelling noodles,

Singing ‘The Slaughter of the Poodles’

These particular events are taking place

In a parallel universe,

In a Chinese restaurant called Little China

Located in Downtown Beirut.

 

All sorts of people who can afford

a Tuesday night dinner

go to Mono.

 

Dumb teens in tight jeans and high heels

around a round table

discuss matters of great importance:

cocktail parties, good careers and dicks doused in gold.

“Boys want tits but men want ass.”

“Never kiss a guy who can’t dance.”

 

The polo shirt society members sit in one corner.

One of them will have the waitress for dessert.

“That sexy thing is something, ain’t she?”

“My biceps need the protein, baby.”

 

Now, the poet stands up swiftly

(by the way, his name’s Bonanza)

and jumps on the dining table

to recite the lousy stanza.

 

“Listen, ladies and boys,

to the sounds of the future.

Listen to the tap-dancing thumbs on touch screens,

to the smart phones and smart bombs and ATM machines.

Get your noses out of your telephones and listen.

Listen, because I speak what I see and…”

 

That is when the poet slips and falls from the table.

As his butt hits the floor,

the once bamboozled crowd starts laughing.

Some hands start clapping,

but it’s no round of applause.

 

Mega-pixel pictures of the crying poet,

who has Sweet & Sour sauce in his hair

and soy sauce on his pants,

are taken

while the rapist rapes the pretty girl

who farted earlier in this poem.

 

“Get your nose out of that phone

And listen to what I’m saying!”

The poet shouts at one of them,

but the tap-dancing thumbs on touch screens

keep on dancing.

 

© Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.