On The Sin-Tax Bill (Poem)

I remember the good ol’ days where cigarettes were cheap,
I could smoke a set of sticks, a pack a day, a week,
I could keep drinking from those bottles till it made me weak,
Stick after bottle was good, but now, I have to speak.

Why DID the government go and tax our vice?
Is it because they want people to be healthy, clean and nice?
Is it cause they want people to spend less money and be wise?
Nah, I think it’s cause they just want to earn off of the public’s demise.

If they wanted us all to quit, they would’ve stopped selling this sh*t,
They would’ve stopped selling cigarettes to both adults and kids,
They would’ve banned every single Marlboro stick,
But that’s not good for their income because tobacco is BIG.

If they wanted us all to quit, they would’ve stopped selling the juice,
No more drunken driving cases where people file lawsuits,
No more bottles, no more cans of fermented roots,
No more alcohol content having people make loot.

It’s tax, and it’s for revenue to make the country last,
But instead it helps them do better when they reel in all the cash,
To spend more consumer money when sprucing up their stash,
And they laugh with all they get from the bottles and ash.

They say everyone’s taxed so it isn’t unfair,
But with the amount that they steal, they really just couldn’t care.
They can afford it everyday and they won’t even share,
Hell, they go to work smoking, drunk, and unprepared.

So raise a finger drinkers, smokers to another government scam,
Taking away the simple things is just a part of their plans,
And when we think that we have everything at the tip of our hand,
They go and lie every elections about a promised land.

(c) Anachronic Works 2013

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Hard To Find

It was her devilish smile. He’d caught a glimpse of her as she walked through the door, the afternoon sun and the spray of the open wind from the beach birthing into this cafe a goddess, of sorts. Her red trench coat stood out, instantly catching the eye of many a man. The cafe’s door chime rang as if announcing royalty, simultaneously, her red stiletto heels clicked as if calling each man’s attention. She hung her coat, revealing a rather obscure orange dress. Bright colors weren’t exactly his thing, but hey, who would complain when the colors were accompanied by a nicely pressed body. Looking down at his horizontally striped red and white shirt, he checked if he was fit enough to talk to her. He could almost see his bones rupturing the cotton fabric of his long sleeved shirt. Adjusting his peculiarly circular glasses, he stood up, scratched the hair underneath his, also peculiarly striped, bonnet. He gazed at her as she sat there by the counter, ordering her drink. It was a coffee shop, after all, and there was nothing to feel relatively uneasy about. He picked up his bag; he could always simply disappear into the crowd, should his dignity be compromised.

“Hey, there, ma’am. You seem familiar. Have I seen you somewhere? In a film? You look like someone I’ve seen in a film. I, myself, characterize myself in books.” He spoke with his squeaky voice that shook. He sat down next to her, dropping the messenger bag on the floor. There she went again, flashing her devilish smile at him, as she turned her head away. She slid the ashtray from her end to center between them, followed by her pack of Pall Malls. Offering him a cigarette, she took one from the pack and lit it. He took one.

The wind from the shore blew into the open-deck cafe, swinging the chimes and curtains. The aroma of saltwater and coffee proved an excellent conductor for the interaction of two people. Such was the case at that moment. They let a little silence pass, as they took the drags slowly, staring out into the beach ruckus. Children playing, seagulls flying, and all sorts of poorly chosen items filled the sand, and there was barely a walkway. Several people sat on lawn chairs, reading, and there was a group that played Frisbee. Above the clutter of life further down towards the shore, they sat, with subtle jazzy music emerging from the speakers of the cafe. As the moment passed, she turned and finally deigned to talk to him. He had been waiting in disturbed silence. She turned to face him with her legs crossed, and leaned forward, revealing a little cleavage.

“I am Carmen San Diego, and you are?” She puffed smoke between her Latin accent.

“Wally, or as some people call me, Waldo, Odlaw.” He said, taking the lighter.

“So, why is it you’re here, talking to me?” She played a subtle, yet distinct pout.

“Why does anything even happen?” He played a smile that seemed bittersweet.

“Avoiding the question, changing topics, and you left your drink on the other table. You like me, don’t you, Mr. Odlaw.”

“Well, someone’s full of herself.”

“Well, that just proves it. I am right.” She said, using her cigarette to accentuate the point.

“Just because I said certain things in that order, doesn’t mean that I have a hidden plan of sorts.”

“You just keep making this harder and harder for yourself to disprove.” She said with a wink.

“Alright, so you’re right. What of it?” He said, dropping his hands calmly on the tabletop.

“Let’s cut the verbal foreplay here, huh?” She said, uncrossing her legs.

“Alright.”

“You have, more or less, until the end of that cigarette stick to make me like you. If you fail, you’re gone. No second chance. Deal?”

“Deal.” He said, taking a very deep drag that finished most of the cigarette off.

“I have a feeling you’re a tough kind of girl to find.” He said, stubbing out his cigarette.

“I feel the exact same way about you.” She replied, stubbing out her cigarette.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

Cradle’s Story

With a lingering pain in his chest, Cradle walked down the moist sidewalk, next to the bus stop, scarcely trying to recall what his life had been like, long ago. A cigarette in his mouth, he knew he was to die, however he never quite expected that it would be like such. The streets were dark and void of anything, or anyone. It wasn’t quite the same as it was when he was alive, however, his only contentment was that in this life, death was not to come again, and that whatever he did here didn’t deteriorate his body. If he’d shot himself, he wouldn’t misplace his life, it’d be right there where he left it, in his body. At least that’s what he could expect, after attempting to poison himself futilely.

“Son of a bitch.” He said with a slight musical atonement that would relate words to actions unintended. He dropped the cigarette from his mouth as he flung the creature off his shoulder. It was a centipede, a small one, red and brown, and it left a lingering double-dotted bite mark on his neck. To think that God or whoever was the creator of this damned place would think of a less nuisance infested world. Checking his pocket, for the hard cardboard pack of his endeared vice, he found no refuge in the embers of burning tobacco.

“Motherfucker.” He said, rubbing the sore wound that would never fester into a malicious disease, recalling how his antiquated body was like, long ago. Immersed in the thought, he recalled his dying mother, ill to the bone with a barrage of incurable diseases thanks to her line of work. He recalled his father, who had died on his 19’th birthday, quite some years ago. He recalled his two sisters, who had moved on with life, slowly decaying as time passed by; as they lived their lives without him. His wife was pregnant, and such was the case during his past life. Averting his trail of thought from the dismembered memories of what once was, he returned to his current, and yet similarly distorted life.

“Asshole.” He mentioned to the creator, who was clearly nowhere near him, or so he thought. If there ever was a creator, and they’d met, he would probably have attempted a homicide. The next pack of cigarettes would be at the convenience store uphill, and it would be a ten minute walk over. Checking his watch, he noticed that he still had 15 minutes before the store closed. Undisclosed to his line of sight, there was an old man, around mid 80’s, with a long gray beard that draped over his chest, wrung tightly against the man’s suit. A large gut hung from the man’s centre, which made the man’s breathing more incandescent as it moved, shifting shadow and mass. The man had quite the formal look with a tie bulging from beneath the dark double-breasted coat he wore. It was fairly unnoticeable until:

“One want?” Said the man, startling Cradle. Cradle winced over in shock.

“Want what?” Cradle replied, tossing the empty pack towards the filthy sidewalk, encompassed with litter.

“A cigarette.” The man said, offering an open soft pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning cackled its worst. The man was sitting on a dilapidated bench in the bus stop, a paper bag next to him with what surely contained a bottle of some oddly branded liquor. The cigarette pack claimed that it was detrimental to one’s health, and a physically dangerous substance. The irony of tobacco, its enemies, and its users. It never ceased to let a smile drip from Cradle’s face, and this time was no exception.

“Sure.” He said taking one from the pack. Why wait when he could satisfy his cravings now?

“Thanks. I needed one.” He added, lighting the stick.

“Sit, sonny. Listen.” The man offered. Seeing as he wasn’t going to do anything quite productive, although that didn’t perturb him, for the rest of his miserable second chance at life, he sat down. Luckily he died with just over 3 billion dollars in his hand, and it remained with him through the afterlife, if this was the afterlife.

“Alright.” He said, sitting down, next to the old man. The old man took a swig from the bottle in the paper bag, and released a self satisfying sigh that seemed to echo down the streets. Haunting in a way, although he knew that nobody was hurt here, a chill rose against his spine, the tingling sensation reminding him of his former life. Quite close, however, nothing here was ever quite the same. Everything was extensively bland, to the point of being hackneyed, but at least there was some little taste left.

“What’s a nice night like you doing on a guy like this?” The old man drunkenly asked, turning to Cradle with such familiar green eyes.

“Well, I don’t know about the night, but I’m pretty sure I was walking home when you offered me this.” He replied, holding out the cigarette.

“Heh. Well, nobody doing knows what they’re here anymore. Even I don’t… Anyway, the name’s Earl. A meeting you pleasure.”

“An equal pleasure to meet you. Are you drunk, or do you just have some grammar issues?”

“Well, since ever I blew my head from the brain, I’ve funny been talkin’ like this.”

“I see. Tough, huh?”

“Yep… That’s why hires nobody me. I’ve tried. I’m it sick of.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Well, here’s life been good pretty, actually. I donation get others from. Day it through gets help.”

“Sucks, huh?”

“Yep.”

“So, what was it you wanted to tell me?”

“Oh, nothing that. It’s lonely just lately I’ve been, and I share to something you with wanted.”

“Mhmm, and what would that be?” Cradle said, taking another puff from the cigarette.

“Well, foggy seeing as its how, or vision my blurry is, I talk to wanted you. See you, its doing difficult this, nobody because talks with to want me… I be used to a speaker public. One day, decided I enough I’ve had. Went on shot I myself and. See I how react people to me. Understand do me they, but hard it’s them for. So talking I do don’t much, nowadays.”

“I can see how that would trouble you. Misery loves company, and I guess I’m here to revel in your story, huh?” Cradle said.

“Wanted no, I just say to something someone die before I.”

“You’re gonna die? Now?”

“No.”

“Oh, okay. Well, you can’t get much dead-er than this.”

“Yep. You how bout’? Story a have me for?”

“You know, I gave up my entire life for my dream. Chased it, and I was forced to do something I guess I could say I’m proud of, even though that would classify me as somewhat troubled mentally. I took chances, did everything the books and people told me to. I sat when they said so, jumped when they told me, and still, all my dreams were flushed down the toilet. I made a company, and my partners turned on me as soon as the recession came about. I was forced to steal from them. Hell, I stole almost everything. It was good, at least, when the cops finally found me, I caused a big shootout, killing some bystanders, and a few cops as well. That’s when it turned to shit; some punk-ass SWAT sniper took me out from across the street. Worst feeling ever, being shot. Anyway, I didn’t die then. I was still alive, although my arm was nearly blown off by that son of a bitch. I realized I didn’t want an eternity in prison, so I just ended up shooting myself with my own gun, right in the heart.”

“Head at shoot least didn’t you your.”

“Yeah. Those sons of bitches. My mother was dying, my father was dead, and I was also pretty much an undead asshole, walking with a beat, not knowing what was going on with the rest of my only family, my two sisters. Heh, I guess you win some, you lose some, life’s a joke, and I’ll be damned if anyone can prove that otherwise.”

“Yep. Strike the name’s. Are you?”

“Cradle. That’s what they called me. I always cradled almost every possession I had when I was a kid and the name kinda stuck. What’s with strike?”

“Bowling.”

“Ahh… I see. Nice to know, Strike.”

“Advice piece one I’ve you for got. Again it don’t do, sure for that’s. Life’s here better, so waste don’t chances your. You’re have that money lucky to. It do good with. Worth it’s not do to again that. Trust me. Worth this its time it.”

“See, anyway, around you.” Strike added as he stood up and began walking away. Cradle checked his watch; it was 20 minutes too late for buying another pack. Fractious about the scenario, he cursed again under his breath. Strike disappeared, and Cradle noticed a stick left on the bench. Picking it up, and contemplating on whether or not the creator was actually half bad, he read a small penned inscription on the stick. It read:

‘Good luck, Cradle. Be better.’

“Yeah, right, Strike.” He whispered under his breath, lighting it up. Walking in the opposite direction now, he headed over to the other convenience store that was open 24 hours. Although it was farther, his need wasn’t quite fusty just yet. Cradling the lighter in his hands, he continued walking down the road, pondering on whether or not his gun which was back at his apartment was still loaded.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

BASTARDS (A Collaboration Story with LaMusica)

Credits to LaMusica

O:

The glass in my hand was the same one as yesterday. The same sharp points that lined the surface from the imperfections of human handling. Light reflected itself upon the translucent cold that crept up the mug. It was cold… snowing, actually. Nevertheless, I consumed the ice. It was handed to me by a warm friend. I’d seen her. She was there all the time; always there at the bar. I couldn’t very well, place a guess on why she kept on doing what she did… although the others did. They always spoke with her. Mundane, yet the conversation led them to countless worlds of wonder.  I wondered, in the dim light of the bar, who could wander the world without wonder’.

F:

There was never a cold night out on the streets like tonight. I’ve been kicked out of my own home again, drifting for a place to hunker down till the snow stops. I don’t know what drew me to this lonely street, with the flickering lamp posts and its cracked sidewalks. It might have been because of the daze of getting kicked out, or the snow storms relentless fall blinding my view. Either way, there was a warm neon sign that said ‘Bar’, and it lead down to the basement of an apartment building. Thinking back I would never have gone into that bar, but I would have walked so many more blocks before getting to a decent place to stay. Walking in all I could think of was that the place was old. Not the glorious old or the senile old. It was the used and abused old, the old that was barely taken care of if not at all. There was barely anyone but a man sitting alone in a booth, and a waitress sitting down with three rowdy men in the middle of the room. There was a bar stool that looked like it was fairly lit up; I sat down and ordered a beer with what little money I had in my wallet. It was decent, enough that I could forget my problems.

O:

He walked in, silent as the dead, yet moved with the luxury of life. Comparing him to the only customers who would join the waitress each and every night, he was the youngest. She’d watched him as he entered, we all did, yet his eyes never met another living thing’s gaze. Not even the cowering fly waiting to be devoured from the web. He spoke softly, as any person would, on a night like this. He was a man of malt. I liked that. Not many here were of that calibre. Malt. The strength to endure such was a rare quality, in the men of new. He was uneasy, ‘Why, who wouldn’t be?’ I asked the half empty glass I held. Nobody hears the corner man, and we were, corner men. The light above him reflected his face upon the glass; as pale as this ghastly weather.

F:

I was born into a poor family. I mean poor family, that we didn’t bond together like a family should. We had money that was sure, but we didn’t really have that family tie that makes us cry during funerals. First mother passed away, we got by and didn’t talk about it. Then dad went, without a word, without any drama. They left me when I was already independent, when it was about time to send them support money and make grandchildren for them to baby. A few years before dad passed away I met Jane. We were only slightly attracted to each other. We knew that after years of trying to get the best partner we could find that we would never be able to get him or her. So we married out of stalemate, we just settled. I don’t know where it went downhill, we both weren’t really enjoying it but we coped. Then she got angry at night, and then she started pushing me out of the house. I wasn’t impotent, but she just didn’t like me anymore I guess. So I’m in the bar, with my jacket over my pyjamas and staring into the wall of liquor like a damn jarhead. Sipping on my fifth beer, not even caring if the snow stopped pouring anymore. I was relaxed.

O:

Time was a strange thing in that bar. It never seemed to clock down correctly. This could have been due to the lack of windows, yet, even if it did have any, what light was there to let in? I presumed, none. Thoughts came and went and after thousands of reconstructed images of the past, and the other thousands of projected future, no one ever talked about the present. The glass seemed to wear thin, for a mug, and my senses were dull. Perfect for thought, since nothing disturbed the mind. I noticed the man had more than the usual two or four beers that everyone always had. A thoughtful man. This bar only knew a few thinkers, and most had already become drunken suicides, or merely drunken road kill. The exasperated sighs this man let out brought about theories. Theories that I dare not prove. To prove would mean to speak. To communicate, and, with a stranger, too. The use of language endangers us all. For when a thought is expressed, erroneous becomes the thought in the other person’s head. How silly it was, that those three with the waitress always spoke louder than actions.

F:

I was finishing my fifth beer, when one of the three men started throwing insults. They were directed at me because there was no one else to shout to in my direction. I finished my beer, ask for one last one. His insults were getting worse, and his voice was getting louder. I was almost dizzy from my beers, more confidence than usual. He insulted me again, I faced him from my bar stool giving an unimpressed look.

O:

They lost themselves, the three, amongst the stars in their heads. Destructive and violent, they thought of conquest. Dominion of the stars surrounding the largest; the source of heat on this cold night. Upon my star I sat and observed. They had placed their flag on unholy grounds. The newcomer turned to face their insults. ‘Why, fellow men, have you succumbed to such insane lengths of torture?’ My glass reflected me a reply which I could not fully understand. The cold no longer blurred and the clarity of the glass revealed the unusual answer. The answer was with the man, was my first thought. Yet a little lower, the three men had more than their fair share of malt. The fly was wrapped in a web, head out. It remained un-devoured.

F:

As if to prove his dominance the man sat up from his chair, standing with his fat beer belly sticking out as if it were to say, I’m bigger than you so you better back off and leave this bar. We glared at each other while I grabbed one more sip from my beer. I didn’t mind the insults; this was just some stupid guy who’s had too much to drink. This though was something I’ve always wanted to do, to get into a bar fight and pummel a man’s face off. I gulped down all my beer but left the heavy glass mug in my hand. He approached me still, not noticing my new weapon. He spat in my face. At this point he was about a foot away from me. I smashed the heavy end of the beer mug into his skull.

O:

One of the three grew bolder with his words, and was struck down, decisively by the newcomer. The two stood up. The waitress scurried behind the bar. The newcomer’s glass was broken. Blood was on the floor. Father time had forgotten this world, leaving us with this. I dared not intervene, though I knew the waitress all too well. I knew the men all too well. The first of the two grabbed the newcomer’s arm with his hand. I pondered on the thought of the newcomer knowing that he’d just struck down a police officer, and that he was now being held by his partner, and that the last one of the men, was a lumberjack. Such abuse of worthless authority…

F:

They were stupid. They came for me when they could have helped their friend who I had just bashed in the head. They shoved my face into the bar and one of them was hand cuffing me. I caught a glimpse of the man in the booth, still sitting there, still cradling his drink. They brought me out into the cold again, one holding on to my hand cuffed arms while the other shovelled with his hands the snow that was covering the police cruiser. I hope the waitress and bartender knew what they were doing, or at least called for an ambulance.

O:

They took him out of the bar, while the waitress cowered in the corner. I knew I should have helped her, she was, of course, the man’s girlfriend, and somehow, a friend of mine, too. Though, I had more important matters to deal with. I walked up just as they lowered the newcomer’s head into the cruiser. I recalled the spider, and I wondered if it had eaten its meal yet. The snow fell coldly and the wind howled in sorrow as I pulled out the flask of brandy I always kept in my jacket. Taking one last glance at the eternity before us, there was a difference that buried itself within my chest. He’d felt it too, I knew. I crossed the street, wondering how much time that police officer had left. A sip from the flask, and a cigarette in hand, I took the long way home that night.

* This was a collaboration story with my close friend LaMusica

** Can you guess who is me, and who is LaMusica ?

*** Half the credit goes to this guy, as well as half the Copyright.

**** Please read and enjoy!

(c) Anachronic Works & LaMusica Works 2011