Forever Sweet Caroline

 words of gratitude

Forever Sweet Caroline

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

Don’t be surprised when the lady on the bench says into her phone,

“What do you mean my jet can’t land?” then tells her assistant next

to her to look up the flight authorization number, “no I’m here see

that’s unacceptable,” and she’ll go on bulldozing then garner 

sympathy from people with name tags knowing full well no one 

can relate to her problems. 

Fighting off expectations of a pocket full of money, happening

with such regularity in the occupied role, reality becomes another

check out. Glazed reproductions of the same interaction with

different faces, these trenches are hard to climb.

A bass line everyone knows, hands reach for other hands or

pull up a dress for a dance floor dash because they understand

it won’t play again. Inclined to soften the eyes to the memories 

being made before them. Mental barrier to how this band’s cover 

doesn’t hold up to the week before, when there’s cake, eat. 

Because once you may be asked, “Can you take us back to 

our rooms, we forgot our hats?” when they return in bucket hats 

with Turkish House Mafia stitched in you’ll find out the groom

is a DJ and witness years of ridicule for his questionable taste come

full circle in a heartfelt gesture. “To the afterparty?” 

Discovering the woman to whom the lyric is directed, who for

decades the collective voices have congregated, will need your help 

and you’ll come running to her door to find a Kennedy out in the 

cold prone to the same faults. Exchanging smiles and a set of keys, 

never a more endearing normal than from forever Sweet Caroline.   

Down Ain’t Out

Down Ain’t Out

By Tyler Mobley

A corner crowd across from pier 39 in the bay stands in puzzled admiration, witness to a king of pop cover performed by an unlikely pair of troubled souls. These men hadn’t just fallen on hard times, they defined them, yet here they were bearing it all to anyone who’d stop to notice. From a lone weathered acoustic guitar played with hands disgraced by society, and a gruff voice from a scruffy face came the tune of Billie Jean. A sloppy chord change here and there, perhaps due to the Bud Light seated behind him, the song looped from the first verse to chorus, anything beyond was either forgotten or not bothered with. His performance partner, a dynamic fire to his structured ice, repeated a series of dance moves through the circle, theatrics poured out as Bud Light was poured in. The grizzled man flowed in what were probably the only clothes he had, commanding the audience with a repertoire of Michael inspired moves. Tall can in hand the man of the streets danced like nobody was watching, in rhythm with the high hum melody, flaunting shoulders, crotch thrust, and jelly legs. An awakened inner star destined for the spotlight. His unrefined moves only enhanced the charm and confidence perceived by the crowd, or maybe when one has been down and out there’s nothing left to lose. Captivated by the pairing of the familiar from the derelict, arose a humanizing moment across boundaries of have and not; or no longer. The meeting on musical grounds bonded those around in life’s simple pleasures. Yes, his dance moves were more comical than choreographed, but therein lies the beauty, not there to impress only express. Yes, his voice would never sell records, so he played because he could. They gave all they had, making of life what they could, and found the enjoyment was mutual. This was freedom.    

More Than a Moment

A free write on 2/15/21 revised and stanza-tized into this, enjoy.

More Than a Moment

By Tyler Mobley

More than a moment, 

Count Cristo starship manor. 

More than a moment,

singing circles of soul sayers 

let loose from an environ plane.

Gingerbread men praising a recipe,

some frost lost, now scowling the baker.  

Street carts sell heart of the city 

big lights shine on trying faces,

the weak force as Metallica notes

“Nothing else matters.”

Faint morrow oh sung,

the Sun dropped by for tea,

twinkling mist escapes 

mother’s eye. For what, 

a dash of guilt produced a

criminal record, says the judge

to Soundcloud. 

Quake hath waltz feet

a measure of empire,

felt rumbles of toeing masses

clocked on a standard of living.

Forbear hollow remarks

as wood knocks back 

dulled by your patience. 

Smash hit vibrations 

like the warm beat of 

reporters who step 

into the world, my office. 

Unwrung words told

of stealing the fun. 

Heels thrown up 

bang bang against 

a neighborly wall, the 

sound circumnavigates 

to find the needle was 

never dropped. 

Listening for Ray Charles’ 

The Spirit of Christmas. 

So repetitious the world rewinds

through generations, 

a slideshow of history.  

Explosions tidy up into their 

shells, apes devolve to 

sleestacks, to a few ameba 

vibing over a volcanic vent 

on oceans’ dance floor. 

“What are you doing down here

James Cameroon? 

Titanic is that way. “

Who’s to say it hasn’t 

happened already? 

A moment imposed like 

a waiter who begs for an order. 

“Is the shoelace on special tonight?”

Oh how awful knowing

you’ve ate something sickening,

civilization in a nutshell. 

Advancements worn backwards,

grown into two left feet. 

As miles poo poo

the metric, all lesser 

measures charged with 

their distinction. 

Can’t help but feel it’s 

all going the way of 

the carriage. 

Cobblers out to offend,

I reclaim my time 

to when only birds 

could tweet. 

Hosting The Bachelor 

a so called working life,

standing on loose ground 

where comparisons vanish 

with employment. 

Kindness ushered out with starvation, 

in the name of progress.

Bow to the mob before the 

pot boils over.   

O Holy Night

In May 2018 I was walking downtown with a show to go to that night. Originally composed for Brad Monsma’s Non Fiction class

O Holy Night

By Tyler Mobley

Arriving under the marquee when we did by reordering our mural viewing up Main street before a premeditated pass by the tour bus parked in front of the Ventura Theatre. Just as the former frontman, now frontwoman of Against Me! leapt off the last step of narrow tour bus stairs and turned toward us. Still a recognition through the transformation to when I’d first heard a long ago live performance of “White People For Peace” on a network that no longer exists. “Hi Laura I’ll be at the show tonight” blurted out in a single breath. “Awesome” she returns with a smile, never breaking stride. Find it odd that all those years, all those times I heard her voice and screamed back the words, would lead up to an encounter in broad daylight on a street I’d traveled all my life.  

Later that night the crowd was what you’d expect at a punk rock show; plenty of patches sewn into jean jackets among a herd of black leather. I moshed during “I was a teenage anarchist,” then was overwhelmed by nostalgia at “Tonight we’re gonna give it 35%” catapulted to a Tokyo balcony where those lyrics whipped up my world with latte burns. I began to recognize the same patch on many of the leatherbacks was a peaked cap with Turbonegro written below, a sign of what I was getting into. Waking up in the lion’s den. 

A spotlight illuminates a man with his back to the crowd putting a load of energy into his keyboard, giving little over the shoulder teases to the crowd. The lead singer commands the stage brandishing the same black cap as on all the jackets and what appears as a leopard shawl. The bass player is in a sailor’s uniform rhythm strums away in overalls and a straw hat, and lead guitar frets about in a sequence onesies. The dots began to connect themselves, before I knew it the bear holding the mic was leading a chant of “Wooooooooooooo oooooooooooo oooooo, I GOT ERECTION” and continued for some time. Admiring the spectacle and my personal space their antics lead into the closing song which left a crater impact in my head because it was one I knew and loved. Used as the theme song to the MTV show Wildboyz, “The Age of Pamparius” occupied my playlist for years under false title thanks to the days of Limewire. Distortion resonating through my past I dissolve in the crowd then am struck by insight into the line “clock strikes twelve” as we enter the bridge.