poem from think tank for human beings in general

what 'achieving minor celebrity status' means

i am telling otto orf
that tempeh is basically
fermented soybeans
as he is chewing
curried cauliflower
at a foodnotbombs serving

he says ‘i achieved
minor celebrity status
up in cleveland
as a soccer player’
and throws his thumb
over his shoulder, as if
pointing to cleveland

i say ‘cleveland crunch’

he says ‘i can’t
give up my meat’

we allow silence

i imagine ellipses
floating from his lips

he says ‘so you are
the spokesperson’

lisa says ‘eh no.
we don’t have one

jen says
‘autonomous group’

greg says ‘factory farms’

i am nodding
but not too hard

otto is listening

i try to look at him

he has a ponytail
and his arms
are crossed

his face seems kind

he gives us five dollars
and says ‘if my wife comes back
tell her i’m at the loft
knocking back a few’
and chuckles
and looks around
in such a way
that implies
a dense disconnection
with his immediate environment

we understand this

he walks away


this poem is one of 9 poems i have in the book
jordan castro has 9ish poems too
we made 100 copies of the chapbook, folded by hands
stapled/printed by machines (they are nice machines)

if anyone wants a chapbook e-mail me and we can arrange something
we are selling them for $3, they cost about ~$1.50 to make (paper, ink, etc)
or come to the reading in kent next saturday (flyer in previous post)
or if you can paypal $3 to richardwehrenbergjr@gmail.com

alice cone, a creative writing professor at kent state is reading
jordan castro and i will be reading from the chapbook
matt scheuermann will be playing some songs under his moniker american war

i think a lot of my poems in the chapbook are about trying to structure your world with labels like 'enemies' and 'genius' and 'bad' and 'good' and realizing those things don't actually exist, and feeling defeated or almost stupid and then grateful. there is also a poem about my dog. some other 'themes' of poems might be wanting to imbue meaning into events, people, things, and having thought negatively about "the inherent meaninglessness of things", and then saying 'eff it' anyway and taking it into you for whatever it is. the "undecidability" of pretty much everything, et cetera...

are you feeling okay