What Do You Really Think?



What do you really think?

No,
Not what you’ve heard,
Those predigested generalizations
Tailored to specific constituencies,
Foot soldiers amassing in the unity of certainty.

What do you think that’s genuinely yours,
Uniquely yours,
The product of your own ingredients,
Of your own mental exercise,
Unaltered by expectations of approval
Or disapproval,
Stripped of cliché,
Of second-hand observations . . .

Summon the truest voice within and tell me,
What do you really think?


~ Poem and Photo by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Accumulation


When I was young I had a small wooden box, a souvenir from a family trip to the giant redwoods. We drove through a hole in one of the trees and stayed overnight in a cabin infused with the wood-sap-green perfume of the forest that surrounded us.

Inside my box I kept:

1. A polished orange agate
2. A worn Canadian quarter with a moose on one side
3. A dark red matchbook from a fancy restaurant
4. A small magnifying glass in a black plastic frame
5. A brass pocket knife
6. A 4 cent stamp with Abraham Lincoln’s picture on it
7. A fingernail trimmer

I had a portable record player and a collection of 45 rpm records with pictures of the artists on the paper sleeves. Elvis! I had picture books of nursery rhymes, jungle animals, Peter Pan, automobiles, a school book with illustrations of Columbus discovering the new world, children’s poetry and comic books. I had baseball cards of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sandy Koufax! I had a set of small rocks glued onto a cardboard mounting, each underscored with their names and geographic origins.

I had a half-dozen or so stuffed animals who shared my bed.

I had drawers full of inconsequential objects such as red rubber bands from Sunday newspapers, paperclips, a bottle of dried-up glue, spare change, pens and pencils, a ruler, a small plastic stapler and scattered staples, a Scotch tape dispenser, assorted notepads, folders, three-ring binders, old birthday cards, Christmas cards sent to my family and forgotten photographs taken when we were all dressed up for some holiday.

I had plastic guns and rifles, dozens of small metal cars with real rubber tires, and a few hastily glued model airplanes.

I had a closet full of clothing picked out by my mother and drawers of underwear, socks and pajamas. I had pairs of worn tennis shoes and rarely worn dress shoes that made blisters on my heels.

I had a red and white Schwinn bicycle with large tires. I attached playing cards to the spokes to make it sound like a motorcycle. When I attached a balloon it sounded even better, but the balloon would soon pop.

I had so much more, so many possessions for such a young boy, and yet so few when compared to this adult life where the clutter of accumulation dims the childhood wonder I had when everything was new.


~ by Russ Allison Loar

© All Rights Reserved





This Idea Of Free





I am so used to this idea of free
I forget how many in this world
Are shackled by ideas,
So many in this free country,
In my hometown,
Shackle themselves with ideas,
Rules for living,
Or no ideas at all,
Just behaviors,
Self-destructive behaviors
Masquerading as freedom.

So confusing,
This idea of free.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

But Seriously Folks

 

Thank you ladies and gentle worms. Tonight, I’m going to start out with a tribute to all of you. That’s right, a musical tribute to human beings.



{Sleazy lounge singer voice}

♪ Hey there!
Yes you there!
Didja know there,
That you’ve got:
Two legs,
And you’ve got:
Two arms,
And you’ve got:
Two brains,
Inside your head, yeah! ♪


Needs a little work.

But seriously folks, I just want you to know I’m a believer in clean comedy. Yeah. Clean comedy. That’s my thing. Clean comedy.

So, these two bars of soap were walking down the street and they’re having a really heated argument. This one bar of soap is getting furious—out of control. So the other bar of soap says, “Hey! Don’t work yourself up into a lather!”

Oh yeah, it’s clean!


(Rim shot)

I was just talking backstage with legendary comedian Buzzy Vava Voom. He just flew in from a 37-year run at Joey Knuckles' Steak and Stein in Lost Wages, Nevada, and boy is his airplane tired!


(Bass drum hit)

“Buzzy,” I said, “what’s the secret of your success? How do You be funny?”

Buzzy says to me, “Kid, don’t get too personal with your humor. Nobody wants to hear about your personal problems. So if you really hate your wife, don’t do wife jokes because the audience will see that you really mean it and they won’t think you’re funny.”

So, taking Buzzy’s advice about keeping my personal life out of my humor, for those who have seen me perform before, I won’t be doing the bit about the wacky arsonist, the naked parking attendant, or the bit about falling in love with grandpa’s cow.



(Muffled laughter)

Anywho, this guy with a big penis walks into a bar, sits down on a barstool and orders a beer. The bartender slaps the beer down on the counter and the guy with the big penis hands him a twenty dollar bill. A couple of minutes later the bartender comes back and gives him a five dollar bill in change and says:

“We don’t get many guys in here with big penises.”

The guy with the big penis looks at the five dollar bill, looks at his beer, looks back at the five dollar bill, then looks at the bartender and says:

“How come?”


(Sustained, awkward silence)

“But seriously folks, you know, my wife is such a bitch . . .”



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved