Archive for March, 2016

Shorts in my Desk

As the woes of this long winter passing maxed out, creeping closer to that “continental divide” of time that separates the worst of chill from the first hint of denouement down the other side into spring, I decided make some changes that  would never occur to a hummin’ bean with closer ties to civil humanity. The first change was to move my dresser, a six=drawer, attractive, clean, asset to most bedrooms of all who take pride in being members of polite society. Over the last 20 years, it has provided diminishing utility in the role God and previous girl friends would rightfully have sanctioned: the storage of clothes: folded sweaters, seldom worn business attire, well-creased and neatly folded slacks that transit, as needed, to and from the dry cleaners. folded neck ties. socks and of course shorts: Munsingwears, Fruit of the Looms, Jockeys, etc.  As my personal life has rotted into my “nearer my  God to thee” years, I’ve been unburdened from the bother of neckties and sharp trousers, and without the need  for them, most had migrated to hangars in distant closets and the local land fill. In their place came   remnants of memories: cartoons, newspaper clippings, event programs. Those items reposed less than a few years in the dresser and  most transited onward into the trash. I had been holding onto a lot of things because I thought that someday I would be “famous”  and the details would matter. I don’t feel that way anymore.

The dresser was too large for my bedroom for furniture I hardly used. I decided to replace it with something that really mattered: my recliner rocker La-Zee Boy which I call Sominex after the sleeping pill of the same name. (The song in their TV TV commercials of the 60s sang “Take Sominex tonight and sleep/ Safe and restful sleep. . . sleep . . . sleep.” And it’s easier to spell than the brand name of the chair.

I moved the dresser out in January and moved Sominex in. Contents of the three left hand desk drawers of my bedroom desk went into an empty dresser drawer in a corner of my living room where I transit but never stop. Until the weather warms more, and until I find some friends  — I have almost no friends anymore; haven’t had a party at my house for  four years — that’s how it will be.

Into the top left-hand desk drawer went my three pairs of socks which I buy at the Shop’N’Save grocery store. Into the second and third left-hand desk drawers went my shorts. They’re handy there.

Sominex has become a  second bed to me; a real “sleep aid.” Six out of seven days a week and sometimes seven, I eat dinner and nap swaddled in Sominex. That’s were I fall asleep after eating — mostly prepared salads from the supermarket and iced tea or Burgundy. Sometimes I awaken after sleeping from three- or four-hour naps that I find my fork in my lap. Sometimes I rise from Sominex and either spend time on the Internet between midnight and 3:00 or 4:00 or 5:00 am . . . . and then lurch into bed after a last few swallows of Burgundy . . . . . . or I just remain motionless in Sominex and go back to sleep. . . . . . to arise from 4:30 to 7:00 AM, depending on how ambitious I feel.

The  change  in the bedroom has made a difference, but not much of an improvement. I’d rather eat at a table, but my desk is too cluttered all the time, and the living room is too cold. a blanket or sweatshirt are essential when reclining in you-know-what.

On the positive, the arrangement is easier, simpler, and I’m adjusting to being a frustrated straight American poet/songwriter who used to be “almost an ‘also ran'”. It’s unconventional in more ways than I can share in this post, but since I can’t live the life I always THOUGHT I’d be living at this stage of my life, I’ll live “interesting” because “comfortable” is not a card in the hand I’m holding now, which is totally my own. I’m okay with that.  It will do.

Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.







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I’m glad by the recent appearances of additional people following Honey & Quinine. Thanks for your attention. Except for rare rambling and light poems under my Facebook arts presence name of Conger Job, you are my ONLY contact with what I hope are other good heads in the arts community of the world.  I have taken a self-imposed hiatus from the Springfield, Illinois arts and music communities, but I intend to stop steaming over the circumstance here SOMEDAY and some day return to the local scene.   You’re 100% of my
audience now.

Recent weeks-wise I’m doing okay. I posted at Facebook recently the  words of a song sung by Karen Carpenter:  “Nothin is really wrong. Feeling like I don’t belong.” That’s the story of most of my LIFE.  That’s okay, I’ll be almost used to it in another40 years or so.

There was a summer in about 1972, a halcyon time for me. I was working at Lum’s a restaurant in Springfield and a girl, a waitress working summer vacatiion named Sandy and I shared some nice conversations during dinner breaks, coming and going. She would be returning to college in Indiana and I would begin working at the Lum’s in Jacksonville, Illinois where I was attending MacMurray College, majoring in English while also writing poetry, playing guitar and writing songs. We had ONE DATE: a picnic at Lincoln Memorial Gardens on Lake Springfield. It was terrific. I brought my guitar. A few minutes ago as I was working at my aviation museum at the local airport, a wave memories of Sandy and this song swept over me like an un-explainable cool draft that makes one imagine being touched by a ghost and I stopped what I was doing and returned to my office to write and share this post. I had actually written the song thinking about her. I told her so when I sang it.

I’ve not sung the song since the mid-70s, but I have never forgotten it or Sandy. I’ve never published the words in my poetry books either. I just checked; it’s true.  Sandy went back to school at the end of the vacation. We promised to write each  other. She gave me her address. But I didn’t write. I was so wrapped up in life at MacMurray, and felt she was likely  very happy with her dating life at college.  Almost a year later I was talking with one of the managers at the Springfield Lum’s and the subject of Sandy came up. He had seen her when she dropped by the restaurant over Christmas vacation. She told him that she had had a terrific time during our picnic and she wondered (to  my friend) why I never wrote or called as promised. It was at that moment I realized what a JERK I had been.

Decades later I imagine her getting married right after graduating college and having 2.5 children as our generation was having at the  time. I HOPE she was happy then and today. I wish I could atone for my stupidity, but it’s too late. So here are the words to my  song I wrote for Sandy. I hope you like. (SMILE)

How Much?
by Job Conger

Girl so beautiful, full of ideas
Thoughts from the heart and head bubble and fizz
From a head full  of overflowing conjugality
A head bright with wonderment’s inquisitivity
Wanting to know, inside your brain,
What is needed for making a rain
drop fall. How is it made?
How much of a spade can we afford to call a spade?

Thoughts  from the intellect blossom and bloom
Thoughts from the bent elect; prophecy doom.
Thinking is wonderful if done by those inclined
Threading through the complicated chasms of the mind
Thoroughly in search of an intelligent conclusion
Looking for a reason for amoralistic fusion
in life. Don’t be afraid.
How much of a spade can we afford to call a spade?

Men and women go after a dream
As demanded by some kind of scheme.
Most try the  usual way
Love doesn’t matter because love doesn’t pay
Gone is the talk of “Please don’t forsake me.”
Now it’s the talk of “Come on and make me
While I have the makin’s to be made.”
How much of a spade can we afford to call a spade?

There is an answer for  people who care,
For people with beauty for people to share,
For people who somehow connect with a god,
For people who want to love more than a bod,
For people in need of a new revelation
And think they can find it in conversation
In twos before dreams fade.
How much of a spade can we afford to call a spade?
How much  of a spade can we afford to call a spade?

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper.

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The Gauntlet of Goodbye
by Job Conger

Occasionally,  I leave my office
to run an errand or get some lunch
and to make it out to the parking lot
I must pass the folks shooting their breeze
at the lobby counter
and to be sociable
(they’re all nice people)
I usually say
“Have a nice day”
and they respond
(to be sociable;
I am a nice person)
“You too.”
Today on the way out of the lobby
with laptop in hand,
heading for the repair shop,
I said “Back in a while.”
and they responded
“You too.”

written February 27, 2016

As I continue to develop the aviation museum at the airport, the allure of writing and reciting poetry continues to fade. If I thought I could meet and share the company of a bright, intelligent woman, I would recite poetry and sing my songs three times a week at some of the open mic nights that have sprouted this year. (That’s why I learned how to play guitar, for goodness’ sake.)  There are MANY good-looking and bright  women around,  but when a man is my age he discovers that most of them are younger, and in my case, all of them are too intelligent  to desire to  get to know me. I don’t have time to waste ( anymore) with people who consider me  a harmless but at best, tolerated intruder into their realms of cordoned camaraderie. With my museum I essentially “stare at my navel” for up to 12 hours a day, deriving solitary satisfaction from engaging a project that will serve as a gesture to strangers who likely won’t even know how to pronounce my name after I’ve become dust.  STILL I AM A POET. I have a poet’s eye, a poet’s ear, and for those who care to hear, a poet’s guitar and a poet’s voice. And when a gimmick hits me on the head, suggesting I should poetize it, I respond happily as I did with the “slice of real life” shared above. If I am lucky, I will spend more time with poetry and song as the  weather warms this year. I  wouldn’t mind staring at  someone else’s navel either!

Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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