Christmas Howl.

December 22, 2005

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by consumerism and cheesy wrapping paper, dragging themselves writhing and screaming through the decks of the malls on December 24th, shouting “why god, why can’t I find her size??” as the sky turned red and Santa laughed in his sleigh as the night raged
Who shunned ribbons and bows and all the gadgetry of commerce and paid with cash
Who took the last shot of Lemonheart at the company party and fell down the stairs stark mad and bleeding from the elbow
Who nailed the cute blonde from A/R in the women’s washroom at the company party and got her fired after the cold denial
Who tackled the unwitting store clerks and begged for an X-Box with super fusion ray gun attrition guilt remover attachment
Who wanted the last pony from the stable but got there too late and the horses whinnied in the grasp of the night
Who stole their wife’s credit cards to buy their wife’s gifts
Who rifled through their husbands wallets and stole a hundred dollars to buy new shoes
Who opened their kid’s Christmas cards from Grandma and took the money into pocket as the children cried acid tears on their pillows
Who stood in line for eight hours to buy something that everyone ahead of them was buying
Who flipped out on the Starbuck’s cashier because after a day of shopping with the shop-sop opiated orangutans of the big box genus, “Silent Night” sounded like a gunshot in the chin
Who parked illegally at a store entrance and cried when the car was vandalized by ten little elfs and a big guy in a red suit holding a bottle of Stoli and wearing a strap-on
Who fought the big war against the big enemy and watched brothers and sisters die in the mud so that the base population could buy cheap plastic containers for leftovers they’ll never eat
Who punched a mall Santa in the mouth after he made crude reference to the wife’s ass
Who struck a pedestrian with a car and kept going because Wal Mart was closing in ten minutes and they had the cheapest price on fragmentation grenades and pocket pussies
Whose fingers were stalled with tape and glue and colored tissue and ink from greeting card mistakes
Whose eyes rolled when the cards arrived and the letter from the ego aunt appeared and the kids are fine the dog is fine the grandchildren are fine and by the way Merry Christmas and why don’t you call
Who kissed their husbands on the cheek before getting annihilated on Bailey’s and espresso with the girlfriends and then steamrolling home drunker than a gaggle of staggering doves at the high school prom
Who geared up on the hottest gifts of the day only to realize that the day is short and money isn’t long
Who stirred the pot of gifting mediocrity faster than anyone ever has and then bitched about it after buying themselves a more expensive gift than what they bought their partners
Who couldn’t think of anything and got the wife a case of motor oil
Who borrowed fifty dollars from their brother so that the kids didn’t starve on Christmas Day
Who stood in line for two hours at the mission to get the turkey dinner and the extra-sweet cranberry sauce
Who choked on the streets looking for a buck to buy another bottle to make Christmas Eve less heavy
Who shunned the man begging in the gutter, there’s no excuse for that in this province
Whose passivity murders
Whose activity murders
Whose wallets strut big down an ornamental road as the carols ring high and the hungry fists swirled in visible breath
Who called it a day on December 24th and shut down the blade of the season
Who came in from the cold shivering but alive and jangling with mulled wine and peppermint
Who skated in the park with the burning youth
Who gave a twenty to the Sally Ann
Who gave nothing to the beggar with tattered knees
Who watched the stragglers bury their guilt in starry windows
Who plugged in the tree
Who hung the lights
Who stuffed the stockings
Who woke up early Christmas Day like a kid
Who walked with family under the whitened trees as the sun shone bright on the boulevard, as the sun whittled away the storm and the cynical punch, as the trees spoke a known language, as the days grew longer, as the stars blinked on, as the whole thing started again

Vignette #14

StreetRag, An Urban Notebook

StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook

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StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.

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