"Grover Fuel" by Stan Apps

Page 1

Scantily Clad Press, 2009

for Leo Apps

Grover Has the Qualities We Need “Loveable” is a word a Cloud that gets inside a silky soft Premium plush inside the scars and wounds Grover has the appealing qualities of a pet as well as language powers his picture is to be used in our outreach to touch in a comforting way “Love” is an empty energy that waits to be wrapped around Grover hugs and hugs the strange Exploded bomb of Love to make hatred vanish human beings are left defenseless have a heart for suffering children juggling rainbow sounds fill every human space with humans putting their cold hands in Grover to be used in our outreach a tool to communicate in a comforting way to wrap our hearts around children playing with remains of a song Exploded bomb of Love made children vanish Grover sags around cold hand Grover can’t wake up with the cold hand up him spending a lot of money to market Fun adventures

“Love” is an empty word that energizes Grover What does it mean when it Explodes? Cold hand Disappears, there was no Kids disappear, there were no Love disappears, there was no Grover can’t wake up, sags sad.

Grover and the Book Loveable furry Grover is reading a book. That’s a coincidence, because you are reading too. You are reading about Grover reading. Loveable furry Grover is reading a computer screen. His soft blue paws push buttons and the words move up and disappear. Grover does not remember the words from before, Because his head is busy reading new words. It’s so hard To read and to remember at once. That’s a coincidence, because You are reading words that you might not remember later Unless your brain is different from Grover’s, and you can remember better. Grover’s brain is empty. Grover is a Muppet. The intelligence inside of Grover is a human hand. Grover is a tool, like a gun is a tool. Grover is a tool for sharing gentleness and love. The page in front of Grover says “Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.” Grover is being degraded while we look at him, He is being degraded by the active cruelty Of humans degrading humans, torturing each other, Mocking each other, binding and shackling each other For every reason in the world. An American soldier rubs a used Tampon in Grover’s fur, thinking that will humiliate Grover, But Grover is not humiliated, because he is not disgusted, Because the blood rubbed on his fur Is made holy and pure when it touches Grover’s fur. Grover is being degraded while we look at him, That’s a coincidence, because you are being degraded too. He is being degraded by the active cruelty Of the man who refers to him as “scum-trash-crust-of-a-scab” Liquid insults like toilets full of human wastes are Thrown all over Grover and he is flushed in the fury of hate. Grover’s brain is empty. The intelligence inside of him Is a human hand, sharing gentleness and love, like a gun. Like a gun, above the prisoners, so they will not run Grover emerges from the flood-waters of human fury With his fur brown and gray, washed in melted waste

Like a gun made of scum, Grover rises above us Humans killed by humans open up their mouths and eyes Humans whose humanity has been removed by humans Tear away their human skin and discover the soft blue fur of Grover Like a carpet of safety and purity In which soft blue songs are sung and simple tasks are done And human hate and shame become Clean and meaningless and pure As they disappear in Grover’s fur

Grover and the Good Mood A good mood makes a person (or a monster) more productive. Loveable furry Grover is in search of a good mood. He looked for it in a storybook, and he looked for it in a bucket full of moonlight. He looked for it in a storybook castle, where he wore a yellow wig And let down his yellow hair out the window, hoping a good mood would climb up his hair, But a bad mood climbed up his hair instead, like a bold spider So he threw the blond wig into the moat And for the rest of the day the soft blue fur on Grover’s scalp itched. Grover looked for a good mood at the bottom of a milkshake. He found some sugar, and the sugar rose up like a busy happy sun, But then the sun cracked, and a bad mood cloud poured out of it Like smoke out of a burning wishing well. Grover looked for a good mood sitting on a fence, In the country, with a brown cow to provide the back-up vocals, It was “Mooooo!” for good, good, good, good mood. But then the city arrived, and a suspicious man Sold the letter “E” to the cow, and then she was hooked, on “Me, Me, Me!” Grover found his way to the subway, down “Bad Mood Street” And “Worse Mood Street” and “Everyone is Happy But You Street” But then— Grover had a thought, a lightbulb. It was over his head, and it was bright! And the thought was called “Love”. And he grabbed the thought, from above his head, and then stuffed it into his ear, And then Grover’s head wasn’t empty anymore. Grover’s head was full of love, and he smiled at the people in the subway. (It was very unsafe, of course, in an urban setting, to do what he did next.) He loved everybody in that subway, until he couldn’t tell the difference, and he sang this: “Love doesn’t know the difference, All of a sudden, you and I Don’t have any skin between us. Love is not afraid to die. Love doesn’t know the difference. Love is One plus One makes One. You can do what you want to.

I’ll accept that you are you And I am you, so I’ll help you. Love doesn’t know the difference. Everything I have I’ll give you, Because I deserve it, Because I am you.” Luckily a policeman arrived on the train just then, In time to save sweet Grover from a crowd of predators in raincoats Who would have moved into his apartment And used his credit-cards to purchase naked Muppet smut and Dom Pérignon Because love needs accessories, after the imagination dies. The burning bulb of Love in Grover’s head Blew out three days later. Thoughts aren’t built to last anymore. Moods, on the other paw, last and last, because they don’t mean anything. They wait, just like an empty paw, able to pick up anything.

Cardboard Legs Beautiful blue and yellow flowers And a big sun with a smiley face on it And four fluffy clouds the shape of sheep And automatic see-saws pumping cooperation And a cardboard box sitting among The flowers with two blue furry Legs sticking out of it. Voice: Oh hello there. Oh I am so glad you are here. I was just here all by myself you know. Oh, but that's okay. I can do Lots of things when I'm alone. It seems silly to sit in a box; It’s a beautiful day out. La, La, La, La, La, La. Self-consciously trying to avoid Making noise. Wait. Cardboard boxes do not usually Have legs. And if they do, they should be Cardboard legs. What do I do when I'm alone? Well, sometimes I sing a little song. La, La, La, La, La, La. It sounds so simple but Simplicity has a lot of room in it To contain monsters. The box moves as if it is about to Fly off. The box bucks up and down And the blue furry feet drum on the ground. And there is a high-pitched grrrrrrr, just like A falsetto engine.

I touch all the clouds and I wave to the birdies. I thought it might be dangerous to go All the way to the ground at once, I thought I could take a rest here Before I went on to the ground. I’m so sorry for the trouble I caused you. Why don’t we pretend That we are alone? And then we can sing the Alone song together. If you were right there Right there next to me Sitting next to me Talking to yourself You talk to me. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think it makes imagination.

Between A Bug and The Bug At one end of the page A sign says “Stock Exchange;” On the other end a sign Says “Community Garden.” We are back in the city and I feel very lonely. Politics turns the people that I want to love Into an unknown bug! The world has been ruled by people With wonderful, useless skills. Stockbrokers and missile designers and Military snipers. They are marvelously skilled. I care only about people. I do not care about ideas. I am not cut out for trying hard. All of our ideas and warm feelings Are worse than they ever were before. I am always surprised by the strange behavior And unusual organs and impulses of The people. I love them. I think they are lonely and far away Just like I am lonely and far away. We are the difference between a bug and the bug. The biggest, best ball of hope said: Should will lead to could. An uplifting story about future possibilities Wrote a very nice speech. I can be hurt, and that is worth something. That gives me a value that can never be Measured by hope alone Or reduced to hope.

They move scarcities around. They give more scarcity To people far away, And they give themselves less scarcity, And then they buy themselves huge Extra. What we do is just as important As what they do, Even if what they do controls the world And what we do doesn’t. Someday we’re gonna take our lingo Down to that stock-market And engage in some mutual incomprehension. And on that day, Need to pick up a shipment of vocabulary words. Gotta distribute! The discursive resiliency Twenty cases of fresh words Collected from some excellent discussions. Power gains higher self-esteem From the worshipful attention Of those who could lose everything. Resources are employed To promote and increase scarcity, In order to increase dominance. It’s ugly to see the world that way But at least that way it looks like a real place. Voice: Your skill of talking about ideas Looks as good as me. Any language that does get distributed Is just going to support us In the long run. When you’re right, language is on your side In the long run, I am so sick of the long run. Some things take so long that they never happen man.

Hope can take just as long as it wants. Grover is one of our bigger assets. Of course, to be furry and loveable Is only a means to an end, But it’s a beautiful means, And I like our end too.

A Massive Image of Elmo A massive image of Elmo is in the air above Elmo. Elmo is surrounded by monsters of other colors Looking at Elmo, listening to Elmo. Elmo in the air holds his paws up and out Reaching out to the world, to beseech, to cuddle Blue monsters look at Elmo, green monsters look at Elmo Monsters made out of used rags shake Elmo’s hand Elmo is at the center Elmo creates the circle that surrounds Elmo There is nothing more deeply human than the family The family is a dynamic power structure That contains individuals by circumscribing them Circles are sacred; the centers of circles are sources Elmo creates the circle that surrounds Elmo The circle creates the massive image of Elmo That is in the air above Elmo All the monsters around Elmo take meaning from Elmo Monster society is the production of monster consciousness and monster being by monsters The massive image of Elmo above Elmo is on a wall The meaning that Elmo offers us is not a created meaning Elmo is a monster at the center of the world Which is where monsters belong And the world shall serve the interests of monsters now Rather than the abstract needs of imaginary beings

Thanksgiving Elmo Elmo, wearing a huge overcoat Made from the skin of animals His red fur like a flaming beard Covering him, his tiny hands (Did you know he’s only 3 feet tall?) Reaching toward To touch our Faces, with his soft red hands Brush and brush and calm our Faces, with his soft red hands Did you know he’s only 3 feet tall? Elmo, sitting on a writing desk Elmo, sitting on a tank Elmo, sitting next to a blond boy with a buzz-cut Sitting next to a girl with green eyes and many freckles In a Norman Rockwell illustration In front of a big turkey (Remember: this is America we need to conquer. You have to speak a wholesome nourishing language) Elmo holds the carving knife Elmo opens ‘er up The beautiful brown and white meat The gushing red jelly Pilgrims and Indians fall out of the turkey’s chestwound like Babies in a puddle of red birth And the gushing red jelly has ruined their distinctive costumes Now how will they trick or treat? Elmo, with his soft red furry hands On the carving knife and carving fork Elmo’s soft red furry face reproduced in a portrait on the wall Because when you love somebody You have them in your house And you have their picture in your house Elmo is everybody’s child and everybody’s pet Elmo is a calming fiery touch Elmo is simple love simply expressed Elmo is love expressed, no longer hidden

Elmo is everybody’s love A little child, a monster A monster like a little child will lead them Into love

Elmo’s Happy Thought Elmo the Monster was looking in his own soft furry paw. He could see the clumsy machine-stitching Used to mass-produce him. Everyone can’t be equally good at doing everything, So we lower standards, so we can raise conformity, And some people will do very good work anyway. That is our moral for today. Elmo the Monster was looking in his own soft furry paw. He was a red furry monster held together with red threads. His fur consisted of a knit fabric layer (the “backing”) And the long fibers forming the furry side (the “pile”). The backing and the pile of Elmo are made From plastic polymers. Their texture is shiny and lustrous And no animals need to be harmed to get this fur. Elmo is the red thought inside his red fur. A red thought rises like a happy balloon And Elmo is carried across the ceiling of the supermarket. Far below, mommies push babies in carts. Food and paper products are loaded into the carts. The supermarket is a scene of genteel predation Where human beings gather meat and plant products From animals and plants that human beings have killed. Everything lives for the benefit of human beings. Human beings decide when the best time is for everything to die. If everything dies too soon, it dies before it can be useful. If everything dies too late, it dies after it could have been useful. Human beings live for the benefit of Elmo. Human beings live for the benefit of ideas And Elmo is an idea, so Elmo can decide When will it be most useful for the human beings to die? Human beings of every age are so useful to Elmo; They love him, and they share wonderful energy with him. It is the energy of their love that radiates from Elmo So Elmo protects human beings from other ideas That are not so full of love as him. Elmo floats out through the automatic doors. The red thought of his love keeps rising.

Somewhere far beyond the night sky is a star That has more energy than all the humans put together. Elmo considers floating all that way And it makes him lonely, so he loses buoyancy. Elmo falls onto the ground and meets a puppy. They talk to each other in the street, which is very dirty. The puppy pulls on Elmo with his teeth. A little child comes, who can barely walk. She tries to pick Elmo up. She touches the puppy. She does not care that things from the street are very dirty. Elmo loves everyone as much as he loves her And he loves her so much that he rises into the air. Someday everyone will love everyone as much as Elmo loves everyone. Human beings live for the benefit of Elmo. Human beings give him the love. Someday many people Will die. They should die at that time which is best for love.

Be Unique Many Muppets are looking away. The backs of their heads Are every color of the rainbow, Some are furry, Some have braided hair, Some are shaped like American footballs, Some like soccerballs or pillows. It is a very diverse crowd, looking away. You are not exactly beneath, but rather You are behind their notice. High above them, At the precise point Where the light coming down from the sun And the attention coming up from their eyes Meet, There is Elmo. He moves his arms like jogging in place, Which makes his head bobble cutely, Culminating in a tiny woggle Of the shoulders and small waggle Of the hands. Elmo sings: You’re unique, You’re unique, You can hear it When you speak. You hear yourself beIng unique. Speak up! Don’t be a Pipsqueak! Don’t hide yourself inSide a dream. Share your dream!

Recruit a team! Be unique Two by two, Show the world What to do! Be the seeThrough-blue Gift-wrap paper That is you! Comfort them, Her and him, Wrap them up In you again! You’re unique! Share your dream! Wrap them up inSide your team. Teach them to be On your side. They’ll be you, So you can’t hide, You’ll be them, Displaying pride. You’re unique! You owe them Who you are To box them in. Comfort them In you today. You’ll be their Prideful display. Be the seeThrough-red Gift-wrap paper. Wrap their head! Be what they’re Attentive to! You’re unique, I see you.

Be the seeThrough-green Gift-wrap paper. Wrap your dream! They will open It from you, Tear the paper To get through. You’re unique! Spread your wing! Just like me, You can sing. I’ll be you, You be them. Aspiration Pulls you in. We’re each other When we’re them. Having thus explained Democracy, Elmo ceases to sing. The many Muppets surge towards him Forming a plush mash, A rainbow mosh. Your view Of the backs of Their heads proves participation. I Don’t envy you.

Grover’s Dream Grover is dreaming. Grover is dreaming of Elmo. Elmo is full of love. He is wearing a golden cardboard crown. Love travels fast, like a fire. Grover is dreaming the fire of Elmo’s love. Some items cannot be shown. There is not enough room to display all the items. He is wearing a white crown, made of toothpaste or something else. He is wearing a white crown that is gooey. Icing is a sweet glaze made of sugar, butter, water, and egg whites or milk Used to cover or decorate. Lacking practicality or the possibility of realization. Elmo’s crown is held on with a plastic band. A human hand is inside Elmo’s head, moving his mouth. A long line of people, mostly male, are waiting for a chance to put their hand In Elmo and to move his mouth. Hello. I love you. A deep, tender inflatable feeling Of affection and solicitude, such as that arising from kingship, Recognition of attractive qualities, or a scent of underlying oneness. To embrace or caress. Theology. To have charity for. There is not enough room to display all the items you have chosen. Elmo cares about people, and expresses his care with Close, affectionate embrace, to comfort. Grover’s blue fur covers us like comfort’s water. Elmo’s red fur covers us like comfort’s fire. Grover is dreaming of Elmo. The white men came; their job was to cut off people’s hands. It was assumed that every human hand they cut off Increased the power of Belgium; therefore they were paid by the hand. Love vomits at such sights. Love has no alternative. When love is cornered, without alternative, love sweats like a pig. The smell of love, stuck in a corner, without alternatives Is a smell that is not allowed in the white men’s Building for public, especially Christian worship Often regarded as a mystic spiritual body. Love, when it has no alternative, becomes a

Rapid, persistent chemical change that releases heat and light Exothermic oxidation of combustible enthusiasm Burning fuel intensity of feeling As seen on television. Grover is dreaming of Elmo. He is wearing a golden cardboard crown Held on by a plastic band Often regarded as a mystic spiritual body Animated by a loud voice that vomits humans out of its mouth and into fire. Grover is wearing a white crown made of toothpaste or something else. Violence is an aesthetic process, loved because it validates self-images with screams.

Stan Apps is a poet and essayist living in Los Angeles. His books of poems include soft hands (Ugly Duckling Presse), Princess of the World in Love (Cy Press), Info Ration (Make Now Press) and God's Livestock Policy (Les Figues Press). A collection of essays is underway from Combo Books. Recent work has been published in WORK, Try, Abraham Lincoln and Joyland. Stan remembers watching Sesame Street as a boy in Toronto, back in those idyllic pre-Elmo days. Like Grover, Stan had a lot of trouble learning to tie his shoes, and he identifies when Grover sings "The feet are right, the feet are right / Is it not wonderful that the feet are right?"