National Poetry Month — Day 28

My friend Rick Lupert, whom I know from the years when I was teaching in Los Angeles in the late ’90s, writes wonderful, accessible, fun poetry which I enjoy so much. He once wrote me a poem, almost twenty years ago, that was so intentionally terrible it made me laugh so hard I cried. I copied it into a tiny journal where I recorded things that made me tremendously happy.

Today’s poem, “Somewhere Over Canada,” is from his forthcoming book Romancing the Blarney Stone, poems written in and on the way to and from Ireland, last summer.

 

***

 

Somewhere Over Canada

 

It is 7:30 in the morning and my eyes are
staging a revolution of closing hours.

I message Brendan to ask if he is awake
with a quick follow up telling him I am not.

They will not hold planes for tired people.
So if you wish to go to a place that is

different from the place you are in
you will need to defer to the schedules

of others. Behind me they discuss
the size of water bottles. This is a topic

I have nothing to add to. They say this
flight is nonstop but I can’t imagine

any other kind.

 

***

 

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost twenty-one years. His first spoken word album, “Rick Lupert Live and Dead” featuring twenty-five studio and live tracks, was released in March, 2016. He’s authored nineteen collections of poetry, including Professor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May, 2016), Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

 

 

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SkyMall Gems, 2014 Edition

SkyMall must be on to me.

They must have read my previous posts about their asinine merchandise (here and here) and decided to pull back on the cray-cray this year. But, of course, such habits die hard, and on my recent trip to Los Angeles, I found a few items to still make us gigglesnort at their inanity with relief that the business of creating overpriced chindogu for bored air passengers* is still alive and kicking its elevator-shoe-clad feet.

Sarah Warburton has provided commentary on these items, too, for your edification.

 

 

Grillight

 

Seriously? Does anyone actually grill in the dark, in the middle of the night? That’s some serious cravings, dude. Are you living with a vegan** or something?

 

Grillight
Sarah said, “This is what you give your dad when he doesn’t want any more ties.”

 

 

Singing Gondolier 

 

The catalog text reads, “Turn your pool into an enchanting Venetian canal.”

 

Sarah said, "That's awful."
Sarah said, “That’s awful.”

 

I guarantee it won’t do that.

 

And finally, continuing the SkyMall catalog’s curators’ unusual squirrel fetish…

 

 

Squirrel Tree Climber 

 

Because nothing says class like a weird animal sculpture. SkyMall specializes in these.

 

Sarah said, "Hahaha oh no!"
Sarah said, “Hahaha oh no!”

 

***

 

*  I am dismayed by the diminishing number of passengers I see reading every time I get on an airplane. To quote Handy and The Human Ton, “Read a book!” Like mine, which is coming out in August. (See what I did there? The requisite Shameless Self-Promotion Every Author Must Do, yet buried, hopefully in good taste, in a footnote.)

 

**  Nothing against vegans. I genuinely admire their resolve and commitment to social and ecological responsibility, especially when they don’t browbeat meat-eaters for not being vegan, too.

More Unbelievable SkyMall Merch

You might remember my post last summer about how SkyMall had turned my weird air travel ritual from interesting to bizarre. The gist of it was that the SkyMall catalog, which used to be filled with arguably desirable luxury goods geared toward conspicuous consumption, is now filled with items you can’t imagine someone actually purchasing. (Remember carlashes? Ah, good times.)

Well, I’m traveling again this summer and see that SkyMall has presented us with some new options, in case we have so much money we’ve grown bored with setting it on fire and need some other way to waste it.

The usual complement of luxury watch display cases and of weight loss and hair growth miracles are still there, of course. And they now offer a stress-relieving head massager from Gadget Universe which resembles a store-bought-Hallowe’en-costume-quality-looking version of a helmet that’s part Norse mythology and part Tron.

Somawave Helmet
You should see this when it’s on someone’s head.

The Somawave Helmet is “like having thousands of tiny fingers stimulate your scalp,” apparently, and should not be used while operating heavy machinery, due to its “euphoria inducing waves” which may produce “trance-like states of consciousness.”  Can’t wait for that.

If you have a squirrel fetish — and there’s a phrase I never thought I would write — you can celebrate it with the Squirrel Throw Blanket and Pillow from Wireless.  I think the pictures of these speak for themselves.

Okay, this one might almost be kind of cute.
Okay, this one might almost be kind of cute.

 

But not this one.
But not this one.

You can also order a shirt which announces, “I have reason to believe the squirrels are mocking me.” Perhaps they are. Perhaps it’s because of the resin Mounted Squirrel Head hanging in your den.

resin mounted squirrel

I have never understood the fascination with giant t-shirts (in and of themselves something I won’t be posting about for Fashion Fridays) printed with someone else’s body. And by “someone else,” I actually mean a cartoon caricature of a Barbie doll. What On Earth now offers shirts which profess to the world that you would be a biker badass if you only had the badassness to do it.

faux tattoo men's

 

 

faux tattoo women's

 

You can also proclaim your devotion to your favorite sports teams while protecting your scalp from sunburn with a Flair Hair Visor.

Yup, this is a real thing.
Yup, this is a real thing.

The “realistic spikes” of “faux polyester hair” come in a variety of colors.

If your style isn’t so hardcore, you can get really big t-shirts proclaiming your…um…forbidden tastes.

I weep for humanity.
I weep for humanity.

If you can’t stand to put yourself in something ridiculous but have no such compunctions about your dog, try these chew toys.

lips

 

 

tongue

 

'stache

 

No trip into the SkyMall catalog would be complete without some really creepy yard statues. I offer you, from Toscano, “Catch of the Day,”

This might freak out your neighbors.
This might freak out your neighbors.

“Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti,”

Guaranteed to make your in-laws wonder about you.

and “The Zombie of Montclaire Moors.”

Guaranteed to freak out your kids.
Guaranteed to freak out your kids.

Finally, for those of us who don’t like yucky things, we can live out our Star Trek fantasies with the Nano-UV, “the most powerful disinfection scanner on the market.”

anti-germ wand in the kitchen

Wave it over your hotel bed and your food to “protect yourself and your loved ones from harmful microorganisms.”

anti-germ wand in the hotel room

No, really. Do it. Do it now.

And if you just can’t stand cleaning up after your cat — and yet firmly insist on bringing a cat into your home anyway — there’s this.

cat potty training

The Litter Kwitter 3-Step Cat Toilet Training System. Because potty training a kid just isn’t fun, exciting, or challenging enough.

Be well, everyone. Safe travels.

The Sky Mall Catalog (Or, My Weird Flying Ritual Has Been Overtaken By Utterly Useless Rubbish)

I despise air travel.

I appreciate the relative convenience and speed, but honestly, flying freaks me out. Someone who has lived most of her life inside her imagination should not be allowed to consider what-if scenarios, but I do, and so every minor, imagined anomaly is a catastrophe waiting to happen. It’s wearing on my nerves. Add to that the descending slope of quality in the general air travel experience, and it takes something I want really, really badly to get me on an airplane.

I traveled recently to the west coast for a little vacation with my sister to see some friends and to go to this amazing costume ball in Los Angeles.  Super fun, I love LA, I love my sister, it takes too long to drive, yadda yadda I got on an airplane.

Continue reading “The Sky Mall Catalog (Or, My Weird Flying Ritual Has Been Overtaken By Utterly Useless Rubbish)”