Bert Defeated and Worn

Bert Defeated and Worn
by shawn misener
You might not know this:
Sesame Street is real.
Bert is a barista at an overpriced coffeehouse
I frequent on snowy days.
Actually, we’ve struck up a friendship
based on lengthy and heated conversations
regarding the nature of God.
Bert is a die-hard atheist,
and although I’m not an atheist
I’m close enough to remain level with him.
Bert says some crazy shit,
like:
“They need the devil and they take it up the
metaphorical ass for it. Poor bastards
think they’re going to the promised land
and instead their own creation eats them
in their beds at night.”
Steam from the frother raising up around his pointy yellow head,
his brow a solid bush V,
beady black eyes relentlessly probing.
I almost felt guilty,
like Bert knew something I didn’t.
Like the devil was fucking me at night,
in my dreams, and Bert saw it in me
with his relentless, impatient stare.
I had never thought this until Bert
planted the seed in my awareness.
“God is a letdown,”
he said a few days later, handing me the
drink of the week.

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  2. Existential Parlor meets Childrens’ Utopia; if Bert is an atheist, i feel sure Ernie must be Mormon and the Grouch is Baptist. This poem was fun and thought-provoking (despite Bert’s pessimism [or realism?]). The story format with diologue made it laid-back [matter-of-factly?] yet very interesting. Loved that line: “Steam from the frother raising up around his pointy yellow head,…”. The ‘frother’ (hehehe!)
    i think Bert is the actually the alter-ego of Misener when he dons the Starbucks apron…and these musings are made in the middle of mixing lattes, capucinos, for paper-shuffling execs who don’t know what real work really is. i’ve felt that way before, after a hot swarthy day of breaking down 800 alternators for refurbishing…and i see these ‘dockers-wearing’ prisses touring the facility, i want to yell out like Bruce Lee and kick their motherfucking ass with an air-hose, but i know i can’t, so i raise my head to the heavens and scream “why, Lord, why?!?”
    Anyway, yeah, i chuckled at that Devil fucking me comment…which reminded me of Tenacious D’s ‘Pick of Destiny’ when they have the showdown. God is a letdown. i feel that a lot. i think it’s the people who let me down that gets me thinking that way though. Furtive Work!

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