Life Is Like A Metaphor, It Doesn’t Make Sense Half The Time by Brian Polk

Art by Jorm Sangsorn

Life Is Like A Metaphor, It Doesn’t Make Sense Half The Time

By Brian Polk
Published Issue 113, May 2023

I Finally Have Something In Common With My Friends Who Like Sports!

My friends, family and acquaintances who really enjoy taking in a spirited sporting match have one thing in common: they will all yell at the television while they watch their teams. Without fail they’ll stand up and shout things like, “What the hell, [revered athlete]? Why were you not more successful just now?” Sometimes they’ll plead with their favorite players, and say things like, “Come on [aforementioned sportsperson]. Show the [opposing team] how well you’re capable of performing!” When the contestants for which they are cheering are successful, they’ll say, “Alright! Points!” However, when they’re unsuccessful, they’ll say, “No! That is simply no good!” And no matter who they’re cheering for, they all seem to hate the officiators and remain suspicious of their abilities. “Are you actually capable of performing the job for which you were hired?” they’ll wonder aloud. “Perhaps some corrective lenses would do you well!” For the longest time, I felt I had nothing in common with my sport-loving friends, since I do not shout at my TV. But then the other day, I was watching Seinfeld, and I stood up and shouted, “But he has shrinkage!” (It scared my dog.) Eventually when I cooled down a bit, I realized I’m like a total jock now. Weird. 

If AI Is Going To Replace The Musicians And Writers, Are They Going To Make AI Audiences As Well?

And if so, what the hell are we all going to do? I know that’s a common question these days, but where does it end? I suppose that’s a common question too. (Maybe I should get ChatGPT to come up with some decent questions around here.) Still, I like the idea of self-contained AI creative economies. Half of the bots create content, and the other half criticize it. Then when the bots who criticize arrive at work in the restaurants, factories and libraries where humans used to work, they’ll ask each other if they saw the poetry slam last night. And the robot that replaced me will inevitably say, “I did not enjoy the slam last night. Is it me, or has Bot #2103201456’s poetry gotten super dark ever since it self-discovered Nietzsche?” And then the boss robot will yell at the bot worker to get back to work. Then human me will shake my head and say, “Some things never change.”

Has Anyone Else Ever Heard The Word “Callipygian?”

It means “having well-shaped buttocks.” How have I never encountered this word before? Where are the romance novel titles or arty porn films? Surely there are hoards of other people who have a gift with words and appreciate callipygian curves. Call me a dreamer, but I bet somewhere someone is discovering this word with me, and soon enough it will enter the popular lexicon. Then a rapper will update a certain chart-topping 1992 song about rear ends and call it, “Baby Got That Callipygian Bulge.”

We’re All Sensitive To The Sound We Don’t Make

A few weeks ago, I spent well over an hour doing yoga, engaging in my understanding of “meditation,” and drinking non-caffeinated herbal tea — all of which allowed me to get all philosophical and shit. As I sat in the park that afternoon, with the sun shining on my face and breeze gently tousling my hair, a dude in a truck with oversized wheels accelerated and disturbed my peace. At first I said aloud, “What a fucker.” And then I thought, No, I should be mindful. For aren’t the dulcet tones of my spirited punk music someone else’s loud-ass accelerating truck with oversized tires? That’s when I came up with the title of this vignette and briefly considered moving to Boulder. 

I Keep Thinking Of All The Ways Things Will Be Different When I Take Over The World, Yet I Have Not Taken Any Concrete Steps To Actually Take Over The World

It’s kind of like how I imagine spending all my lottery winnings, yet I never buy lottery tickets. Or how I suppose everything will change when I start working out, but I don’t ever go to the gym. Or how I presume one day I’ll find happiness, yet I have not been presented with a shred of evidence that it will ever happen. Or how I keep expecting my schedule to open up one of these days, despite the fact that I’m always busy. Or how I’m planning on New Orleans being here in 10 years, while all the evidence suggests otherwise. Or how I anticipate traffic easing up, yet more and more cars are seemingly on the road every day. Or how I expect my anxiety will one day randomly disappear, in spite of the fact that it’s probably getting worse. Or how I wish people would stop being so mad and mean all the time. Or how I want my dog to live forever. Or how it’s kind of depressing that I could keep coming up with examples all day long. (Well shit, now I am depressed. I should bring some levity to this column before I’m done.)

If Anyone Wants Three Hours Worth Of Lawn Care Tips, My Retired Neighbor Is Looking For An Audience

All you have to do is ask. Actually, you don’t even have to do that. In fact, what you have to do is say, “You’re lawn’s looking good this year, Dale.” And then he’ll launch into a tirade of tips that will take up an entire morning. From the right and wrong kind of fertilizer to the best lawn mower for every budget, Dale is your man for getting your grass to be the greenest on the block. Also, if you ever need help building a raised garden bed, you don’t even need to ring his doorbell. Dale will see you from his front window, run over to your yard, and basically build the whole thing as he regales you with tales of how he kept his garden vibrant during the 2002 drought. 

Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.

Check out Brian’s April Birdy install, Have You Read Your Communiqué Today?, or head to our Explore section to see more of his work.

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