gainesville | spoken word | patrick
This is the official home of the spoken word poetry artist Pat and His Whiny Bullshit. Based on a true story.
Notice: All Rights Reserved to the Poetry Present Here. Copyright © 2011-2013 by Patrick Runfeldt
My mother has told me to return home alive
and there are not enough people behind me
to see the revolution begin
at the Green #4 checkpoint.
Glenn Beck holds out hope that a Saudi national
who was running away from the site of the Boston bombings
was actually the man who murdered our innocence.
I did not know that when the bombs began to fall
the people who ran were the ones that were dropping them.
Tell that to one hundred thousand people in Hiroshima.
Tell that to one hundred thousand people in Nagasaki.
Tell that to three thousand people in New York.
When I was a child,
I did not know that the color of my skin
would become the same as stop signs.
Tell that to the guard at the gate.
Osama bin Laden was a hand picked operative
to lead an extremist force in the war against communism
and President Reagan welcomed the leaders of the mujahideen
to the White House in 1985.
He called them “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers”.
I bear a passing resemblance to these men.
I am told of an incident where a student
was forcibly unveiled by a delinquent on a skateboard
while she is walking to the library.
I am shocked when I learn that there was no report of assault.
I bear a passing resemblance to her.
When someone brings up the word terror to me,
I think of the parents that must bury the flag draped coffins
of the children who could not find a job.
When someone brings up the word terror around me,
the eyes of a predominantly white room shift
towards the face of the man who least resembles his fellow Americans.
I imagine that it is the same look
that a lion gives to its prey
before it tears the veins of the throat.
I guess everyone has to have a target.
The person next to me in line at the gate has a child.
When I approach,
they pull their next of kin closer to them.
I did not know that my Chicago Bulls jersey was that threatening.
The security agent asks me my name.
She takes approximately seven more seconds to verify my identity
than it does for her supervisor to walk over.
When they have decided that I am sufficiently American,
I am allowed to pass through.
On these occasions,
I consider changing my name to Timothy McVeigh.
At least I would know why my identification makes them so uneasy.
I consider what the reaction would be
if I were a Muslim with a fear of flying
who needed to read from a Qur’an
before boarding the plane.
I notice that an elderly gentleman is praying over his Bible.
I wonder if his prayer is about me.
I wonder if he would pray harder if I was wearing a turban.
I did not know that extremism resides in a hat.
the backwards white baseball caps that I see on campus
must mean that we are in for trouble.
The plane stops on the runway.
The pilot says that there is a problem
with the de-icing equipment on the wing.
It is the middle of summer.
I wonder if this is a stalling tactic.
I wonder what it is like to get escorted off a plane.
The plane departs.
I am glad I passed today.
The saddest thing my mother ever told me
was that the last time she saw the man she loved
was the night before her wedding.
He died six months later.
The ceremony went on without a hitch.
This is a lesson for anyone who thinks
that, as soon as you make a decision,
is pouring concrete
into a mold that cannot be broken
no matter how hard he punches.
As for my father,
he has always been a second choice,
which is why he is the first one to leave.
He once left a woman
because her daughter died of cancer.
He said that she looked different,
it might have been the alcohol.
It might have been her daughter.
Sometimes, we forget to fix our hair in the morning.
I once left a girl
because I got too sad.
I thought about killing myself again.
I didn’t want anyone to have to bury me.
She asked me if it was something she did.
Sometimes, I’m an asshole.
Sometimes, we forget to start acting in the morning.
My best friend forgets to sleep sometimes,
says that the best things in life happen between cigarette breaks
and break ups,
late papers and hangovers.
She asks me if love is alive
and I tell her,
sometimes the stars forget to wake up at night
because they are hiding behind the clouds.
And sometimes people get married because it is convenient
and they really need a second income
to make a downpayment on their dream house.
Sometimes people fall in love in cardboard boxes
or one bedroom apartments
with just enough room for their shoes
and, though they die of frostbite in the next winter,
they die in love.
So, yes, love is still alive, but,
sometimes, we forget to fix our hair in the morning.
God is my secretary.
Sometimes the creator of the universe
has to cancel my appointments.
Every now and then,
as I am struggling to get out of bed
and I cannot fathom another night alone,
I get an email saying that class is cancelled.
The blankets never felt so warm.
No one said that my secretary had to be a woman.
Nobody said that God has a gender.
The bus takes 19 minutes to take me home from campus at night.
Today I almost reblogged another quote about being alone.
Almost posted a status
about how you should leave your boyfriend and come be with me.
But that is only because
when I left last night
I left to the music of a new favorite song
And when he called you while I was sitting there
you told him good night like you meant it.
You told me goodbye when I left.
There is a big difference between the two.
When I helped you get ready
to go out to lunch on Tuesday,
I knew exactly who you were going with.
I still helped you pick out an outfit
and I made sure that you didn’t leave your room
looking like a girl straight out of Greek life.
I helped you zip up your dress
after you decided to put a bra on
because the fabric was too thin
for you not to need a barrier from him,
but that was not before you showed me your back for the first time
and I saw all of the lines
that your muscles have painted on your skin.
I never thought I would wish to be a piece of fabric.
We checked the bus schedule three times
to make sure we knew how to get to your doctor.
We went because we didn’t want you to have to go alone.
But in the back of my mind
I had the sneaking suspicion that you might want a hand to hold.
I was correct.
I went anyway.
So when you asked me why I don’t just kiss you
like every other person who has ever had feelings for you
would have done,
I told you I can’t.
You told me I was different,
but in a good way.
I do not know what that means,
but it was able to hold back the tears
which allowed me to play you that song
and walk out the door as it was starting
because I have always been a fan
of ripping the band aid off as fast as I can
because it stings a little more initially,
but it hurts less in the long run.
The bus took 19 minutes to get me home last night.
I didn’t think of anything else but you
until I walked in my door.
I wish they would drive faster.
I affection you.
Baby, I compassion the shit out of you.
I wrote you a letter for our anniversary
and I signed it
“with all the desire in my heart.”
P.S. I like fucking you.
I when-you-kiss-me-I-get-butterflies you.
I want you.
I want to possess you.
I want you to possess me.
I want you to tell me I’m beautiful.
I really really wish that you’d say what you feel.
Four letter words don’t mean as much
when they apply to both pizza and…
I am a pirate.
I have a moral compass that generally points me due north
and I have a ship that can take me anywhere I want to go
and that ship is called my feet
and I can put boots on my feet
so my ship is fully customizable.
Not many pirates can say that.
Sometimes my compass points west
because the poles in the earth have shifted
and somehow I accidentally started heading for the end of the world
so I need a little course correction.
“So my boyfriend…”
Sometimes my compass points west.
I am a pirate who likes pearls
but not because he can make money selling pearls
just because there are always people talking about the pearly gates
so I decided that I should build some.
But my pearly gates are no more
because the pearls got harvested by a multinational.
So then they were just the gates,
all iron and ice cold,
but then the iron was salvaged
to build the next megachurch
and all of the angels began to get cold
because that’s all there was left.
But then the angels learned
about huddling together for warmth
so as it turns out:
all are welcome.
Sometimes my compass points west.
Most pirates do not cuddle,
at least that is what I am told,
but I am different.
I would cuddle those fuckers right out of you.
I would take every word that has ever been said
about “love handles” or “how skinny you used to be”
and we’d make them walk the plank.
Most people would have expected me to use an “I” there,
but you are not most people
and sometimes you make me feel ethereal,
but I remember that the pearly gates are no more
and I get sad.
How are the people beyond this earth going to keep warm?
Then I remember the angels
and how they huddle together.
I realize you all follow this blog for my poetry and this is going to be my only information post for a long while, but I wanted to let you know some cool things.
1. I am doing another open mic night next Thursday (2/7). It starts at 7:30pm and it is on the University of Florida campus (Gainesville, FL, USA) at the Orange and Brew (same location as my show last semester).
In case you’re confused, I am Patrick Runfeldt and I will be doing spoken word at this show. It is a $4 admission, but it goes to an excellent cause, To Write Love On Her Arms. Want to know more about them: www.twloha.com
Want to know more about the show: https://www.facebook.com/events/490023874366053/
Also, working on some new material (most of which has already been posted here), so if you want to see some of these bad boys in action and you live in or near Gainesville, FL, now is your chance.
Peace to you,
The first poem I’ve written about me
in one hundred and thirty-four days.
Dragons are cool.
It is not hot outside.
It is at that in-between phase
where it is cold enough
so that we don’t have to turn the air on in the apartment
but I have beads of sweat on my forehead when I wake up.
The Florida sun is unforgiving.
there are still cold snaps
to make me forget
that the only reason I sweat in my bed
is because it’s hot outside.
This is not the sweat of companionship.
That is reserved for the summer.
I still have nights where I can’t sleep
because I am wondering
if what I have done in the past is wrong
and if my dad really loves me
and if I really love him
or if we are both just stupendous salesmen.
There are still cold snaps.
when I see two people walking holding hands,
I want to beat them
like “if the batter isn’t soft enough,
it’ll ruin the cake”
or “if you don’t listen up boy…”
or “I am tired of this shit
you will sleep in that fucking bed
or you’ll sleep on the damn floor”.
I don’t have a very good recollection of my childhood.
There are still cold snaps.
Florida doesn’t have a spring.
You just wake up one day
You can’t keep your clothes on
and your electric bill
hits about six grand
and you wonder whether Florida is a real place
or just the storage unit of the global imagination.
The place where dragons go to vacation
when they’re not being used in a story.
That would explain all of the fire,
but only some of the burns.
There are still cold snaps.
to my dead pet rock.
When I was a kid,
my favorite outfit was a vomit green shirt
with matching shorts.
It had the Tasmanian Devil on it
and I wore it everywhere.
When I got a little older,
I used to make up stories
like I could do a backflip on my bike
or I invented Pepsi Blue
in a laboratory underneath my dad’s garage
using a well orchestrated army of lab rats.
I had an active imagination.
I started swearing at age 11
and, when my stepmom found out,
I got a lecture from my dad.
He told me to “cut that shit out”.
I had an active imagination.
When I got to middle school,
the teachers kept trying to tell me to skip a grade.
They told my mom that the reason
I hated school was because I was bored,
when really it was that my dad owed me $300
because I’d had straight As ever since 4th grade math
and he made a really stupid bet.
When I was in high school,
I got stood up by the same girl eight times.
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
When I was a freshman in college,
I went to lunch with a girl and her boyfriend
because I was too nice to say no
and she was too nice to tell me she had one the night before.
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
When I was a sophomore,
I met this girl who I thought I’d marry.
I’m not married.
back when I loved that matching outfit,
it was captured in the last picture of a friend before she died of cancer.
I still have that picture.
I survived cancer.
And back when I made up stories,
my dad married his best friend’s ex-wife.
And back when I started swearing,
I first thought about killing myself.
And back when I made all those As,
my first kiss moved to Tampa.
I haven’t seen her since.
And back when I was in high school,
I first went to therapy.
And back when I was a freshman,
I found out that God might not have cured my depression.
And back when I was a sophomore,
I went back to therapy.
I’m violently way too high
and sometimes I can’t sleep
because I think back to that time I invented Pepsi Blue
and the woman I thought I’d marry
and that puke green pair of shorts.
to the spouses
Dear girl on the bus,
dear girl at the airport,
dear girl at the shopping mall,
I am trying really hard not to stare at you
because my best friend convinced me to be a feminist
and it is wrong for me to try to trap you in the male gaze
but your beauty is so right
that my eyes cannot help but be trapped in the daze
of the rays
that extend from your body like that gun that Marvin the Martian had.
I come up with really cheesy metaphors.
Some days I am the devil.
I cannot stop hating the world around me
because my mind is cloudier than a hurricane
and there is no eye to this storm.
So I apologize for trying to see something beautiful.
I hate myself.
I cannot stand to look at that face in the mirror,
that face with the giant forehead
and that stray pimple
and the cheekbones that may or may not look better covered with hair
because I haven’t decided whether or not I can successfully grow a beard
because people used to call me a girl
and when you are seven years old and being raised in a patriarchal society,
a girl is the last thing you want to be,
but I have come to the realization that a pansy is a flower
and that even our insults can sometimes be in bloom.
Sometimes I feel like I’m praying to airplanes
and, if I look up long enough,
they’ll take my problems away
to wherever they’re going,
but then I realize that that would only mean that problems had two way tickets
and they probably get upgraded to first class more than me.
So, to the girl in the bus,
I am sorry that I am using you as an outlet for my problems
as you may not even like boys
and you definitely will never fall in love
with the boy who is awkwardly glancing in your directions
at what he thinks are randomly-timed intervals
but what you have figured out is every eight seconds
so that you can avoid making eye contact with him
while still judging the situation to assess
whether this boy is a harmless onlooker
or a threat.
Sometimes apologies cannot mend the cracks in this damned society,
but every “dyke” that I’ve ever met
was able to save more people than any levee ever could.
So, dear girl on the bus,
next time I am under a cloud of depression,
I will go and listen to the Backstreet Boys.