Monday, June 17, 2019

Matt McGee's "Remember Captain Save-A-Ho"

This Memorial Day, remember me. I fought twenty-two years in a different war. Local bars and the scene of social tragedies were my front and an AT&T cell phone was how I was radioed into battle, night after night after night.

Everyone had my number stored and they all knew my rank. They’d memorized my name, or some version of it (Matt Cab, Cab Matt, Taxi Matt, Matt Taxi – however they stored it in their cells), and honored my loyal service, year after year.

Night after night as drama struck - and it struck often, I’d be pulled away from another hot meal, another hour’s sleep, another family event. I believed they’d called me specifically, not any other random driver, perhaps out of loyalty but definitely out of need. Everyone needs a friend when they’re hitting rock bottom.

This Memorial Day, remember the friend who always showed up for the pivotal moments in your life, and pulled you out of a few that almost turned tragic. The next time a ride share driver refuses hands-on help in any given situation, remember who used to pull you out of the bushes, held your rings as you dove into a fight, handed his ID to the cops and said ‘I’ll take him straight home.’

This Memorial Day, think of me as you tap on an app. By doing it, you’re voting with a collective voice to announce that my years of sacrifice and loyalty were just fine.. but ultimately aren’t enough. When you tap, and see a price that’s below mine, know that it is the death knell to a way of life that once served us both very well.

After 26 years in the car sales business, my friend Jill retired last weekend. “Nine out of ten people who come into my showroom say ‘thank you very much’ then go buy a car somewhere else.” Ninety percent of her daily labor has been spent educating the car-buying public so they can then tap on an app, and buy a similar car cheaper someplace else.

For years, people have been calling to price shop. One woman I’ve known twelve years called last Wednesday; my price was $4 higher than her app. After twelve years of friendship, she went with.. the app. She still had the gall to call me from the backseat of her ride to ask what places in town were hopping.

This Memorial Day, remember Captain Save-a-Ho. Because starting this week, you’re going to see one less taxi on the road. You probably won’t notice as you’ll likely be burning a stare into your palm, and the car he’s bought looks like almost any other on the road. And in accordance with your preferences, he will no longer leave his driver’s seat to help you.

His new car is comfortable, air conditioned, and doesn’t smell of 400,000 miles of sweat and bodies. He’s enjoyed his vacation, but now it’s time to join the ranks. And he won’t feel like he’s leaving anyone behind.

That was already done years ago.

© 2019 Matt McGee

                                             (c) 2019 marie c lecrivain

Bio: Matt McGee writes short fiction in the Los Angeles area. In 2019, his work has appeared in Biograph, Gnashing Teeth, Otherwise Engaged, poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, and his story ‘The Rebirthing Shed’ will appear in Zimbell House’s 1929 anthology. When not typing he drives around in a vintage Mazda and plays goalie in local hockey leagues.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Three Poems by Timothy Paul Evans

Sing to It

“the great chain of being”
Sunbathers sprawled atop glaciers
Splashed in rainbow-pigment hues
Free floating eggs, arrowhead
Shaped shells nonchalantly
Drifting on the free exchange
Of ideas, a collective waiting
Up on a mountain waist deep
In snow-encrusted forest
Recorded on 16 mm reels of
Blank verse and alluded
To on postcards post marked
Just this morning, mythical
Rituals and shape shifting
Totemic spirits free falling
From the sensory deprivation
Long reserved only for
The dead

A Silenced Drumming

time to sit still
far from the tumult
of dancers in nowhere
the mischievous antics
upending conventional form
giving agency to the last
nightfall before the dog
days surrender to secrecy
and ciphers, the banality
of winter in all its allegorical
allusions to death before
rising again in the blue
salvation of St. Elmo’s fire
hanging out with language
trying to make a living, just
trying to get ahead, solving
an equation that can’t be
explained away by the music
of ancient bells heard
in a children’s book
once upon a time

A Fortnight of Tears Wiped Away on the
       Sleeve of a Condemned Man

in the ante room of
my dreams I can hear
the rustling of leaves
against the waning night
withered branches
moaning from the ache
of being thrashed about
by the unwelcome
winds of change in
the market value of
weddings and murders
committed in the name
of honor, the value of
a good slap to the head
to jar a memory loose from
its moorings to go floating
off into unexplored realms
of untethered ravings by
the learned men hung
by their wrists in their ivory
towers of learning for
learning’s sake, their cups
of Earl Grey, hot, leaning
over the precipice of an
open window overlooking
the afterthought of the newly
dead not yet tucked in in
among the roses reading
“Good Night Moon” to the
Mourners scattered amongst
The splintered trees of Calvary
Awaiting news as to the Carpenter

Being truly a man of his word

(c) 2019 Timothy Paul Evans

Timothy Paul Evans: Tim came to writing poetry late (in his 60’s). He finds it a great release from his busy schedule of rehearsing and appearing on the stage and in front of film and tv cameras. He recently appeared on stage at the Los Angeles Theater Center in “The Pitch” starring Paul Rodriguez. His poems have appeared in the 2016-2017 and 2018-2019 San Diego Poetry Annual as well as the 2018 National Beat Poetry Festival 10 Year Anthology. He is currently working on a one act play dealing with domestic violence in the immigrant community titled “A Dance” incorporating spoken word, music and dance.