Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Today’s haiku

sad dogfirst it was TP

then bleach, flour, yeast, rice, beans

now it’s meat, pet food

—on scarcity in grocery stores

Today’s haiku

cat doing laundryhow can folks be bored?

working from home, two laptops

laundry underway

Today’s haiku

whiskey glassthe apocalypse

here’s how I will survive it:

whiskey sours, Rush

—No, but seriously.

When the world is running down

You make the best of what’s still around:

This PSA brought to you by The Police.

When the World Is Running Down
The Police

Turn on my V.C.R.
Same one I’ve had for years
James Brown on the Tami Show
Same tape I’ve had for years

I sit in my old car
Same one I’ve had for years
Old battery’s running down
It ran for years and years

Turn on the radio
The static hurts my ears
Tell me where would I go
I ain’t been out in years

Turn on the stereo
It’s played for years and years
An Otis Redding song
It’s all I own

When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around

Plug in my M.C.I
To exercise my brain
Make records on my own
Can’t go out in the rain

Pick up the telephone
I’ve listened here for years
No one to talk to me
I’ve listened here for years

When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around

When I feel lonely here
Don’t waste my time with tears
I run ‘Deep Throat’ again
It ran for years and years

Don’t like the food I eat
The cans are running out
Same food for years and years
I hate the food I eat

When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of what’s still around

Turn on my V.C.R.
Same one I’ve had for years
James Brown on the Tami Show
Same tape I’ve had for years

Today’s haiku

scanning the store shelvesempty store shelves

no flour, beans, pasta, rice

sighing with relief:

tea!

—At least this was the case back at the end of March.
Although still having some difficulties with the beans and rice,
and to a lesser extent with the flour.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine:

This PSA brought to you by R.E.M.

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs
Don’t mis-serve your own needs
Speed it up a notch, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter
With a fear of height, down, height

Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry
With the Furies breathing down your neck

Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do, save yourself, serve yourself

World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Six o’clock, T.V. hour, don’t get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crush, uh oh
This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

The other night I drifted nice continental drift divide
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right, right

It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone

Today’s haiku

cherry blossomsdeath, mayhem, chaos

doom and gloom all around me

cherry trees in bloom

Let’s take a minute and pause

There is a lot of talk right now about what an opportunity we have at this moment.

With most people staying home, and with all of the usual outside-the-house entertainments shut down, many are finding themselves with record amounts of time. So of course there are productivity gurus and hyperdriven experts who exhort everyone to make the most of this precious time.

Learn a new hobby.

Bake a cake.

Take walks outside.*

This is great, logical advice. As a type A, generally overproductive (or at least overplanning) person, I get it, and I would love to endorse it.

I can’t.

Logic says, “Look at this abundance of time with no requirements on it, no obligations. Rejoice in this gift!”

Reality says, “What a f*&$ing nightmare. Just how deadly is this virus? Are my parents okay? Should they even be going out to do their grocery shopping? Why is all the Vitamin C gone? The flour, yeast, rice, and beans — gone? What will happen to the small businesses that have had to shut down? Will they be able to return? What about the schools — what kind of education will kids get? If someone I love gets injured or non-COVID-19 sick, will they be able to get the care they need? Am I going to lose my job? How will I pay the mortgage? Will the supply lines eventually close because too many drivers get sick? Will this ever end, and if it does, what will be the consequences?”

All of which is to say that for all of the ‘make the most of this time’ for many of us, it’s just too damn stressful. We simply do not have the mental bandwidth to take on anything new because EVERY THING IS NEW.

Going grocery shopping is a different experience every time I go. What are today’s hours? What’s in stock? What’s the current queuing process?

Getting gas for my car is a different experience every time I go. What are today’s hours? Those seem to vary.

Even watching TV is a different experience because schedules change to adapt to children being home all day.

With this constant flux and uncertainty, it takes a toll.

It exhausts.

If you weren’t already exhausted before the pandemic, all the chaos that has since ensued surely hasn’t helped.

So I’m not making the most of this abundance of time. At least not in a Getting Things Done/Do All The Things sense.

I’m reading.

I’m listening to music.

I’m contacting old friends.

I am doing my best to turn off all screens and sit with paper and pen, staring out the window.

I am eating what sounds good (which is a lot of comfort food), and drinking what suits my mood.

I am trying to be kind to myself and understand that yes, this is an extraordinary time.

And yes, it’s okay to do nothing.

No, really. It is.

So do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

And let the rest go.

###

*Shouldn’t we be doing these things even in normal times?

We go out in the world and take our chances

Fate is just the weight of circumstances:

This PSA brought to you by Rush.

Well, you can stake that claim
Good work is the key to good fortune
Winners take that praise
Losers seldom take that blame

If they don’t take that game
And sometimes the winner takes nothing
We draw our own designs
But fortune has to make that frame

We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That’s the way that Lady Luck dances
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why are we here?
Because we’re here
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why does it happen?
Because it happens
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Faith is cold as ice
Why are little ones born only to suffer
For the want of immunity
Or a bowl of rice?

Well, who would hold a price
On the heads of the innocent children
If there’s some immortal power
To control the dice?

We come into the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That’s the way that lady luck dances
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why are we here?
Because we’re here
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why does it happen?
Because it happens
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why are we here?
Because we’re here
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why does it happen?

Jack, relax
Get busy with the facts
No zodiacs or almanacs
No maniacs in polyester slacks
Just the facts
Gonna kick some gluteus max
It’s a parallax, you dig?
You move around
The small gets big, it’s a rig
It’s action, reaction
Random interaction
So who’s afraid
Of a little abstraction?
Can’t get no satisfaction
From the facts?
You better run, homeboy
A fact’s a fact
From Nome to Rome, boy

What’s the deal? Spin the wheel
If the dice are hot, take a shot
Play your cards, show us what you got
What you’re holding
If the cards are cold
Don’t go folding
Lady Luck is golden
She favors the bold, that’s cold
Stop throwing stones
The night has a thousand saxophones
So get out there and rock
And roll the bones
Get busy

Roll the bones

Why are we here?
Because we’re here
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Why does it happen?
Because it happens
Roll the bones
Roll the bones

Today’s haiku

fear, uncertainty

families confined at home

a glorious commute

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