Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
The words are coming slower now, I hope that means I'm falling asleep. I'll make scrambled eggs and bacon and toast tomorrow she says. Sounds delicious I say. And it does. My stomach can only handle so many things before noon but eggs, bacon, and toast are three of them. That and a cup of orange juice and I am unstoppable. School and loneliness and exhaustion and pessimism and a heavy feeling as if you're falling will creep up and knock you just under the back of your knee... unless you start off with bacon and eggs and orange juice of course. Toast and jam too.
Some people cower in the face of consistency and fear it will stifle all creativity. It’s a shame, I guess. Without consistency I cannot be inconsistent, and I live off of brief inconsistent decisions and nights. I must establish a routine before I can break it. I must earn that Monday night bottle of wine. Without work I am not able to play. It’s so backwards to think that what I loathe most is responsible for this poem and the one before it. I cannot exhale without that initial feeling of panic. I don’t want to just write, I need so much more. And tonight, I need ambient music and beer.
It was an air conditioned nightmare, and endless black spring without feathers, women, or blue lanterns. I was told if I stood still like the hummingbird the trial would end soon and I could go back home to cannery row. I heard screams from the balcony late in the evening and felt so alone playing the piano drunk. I ordered ham on rye during my naked lunch and daydreamed about life back in Bunker Hill as the sun rose. A mockingbird flew over the monkey house as I dangled in the Tournefortia high on Kentucky ham. Such a lovely way to waste time with the phantom tollbooth.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
watch me peel an orange
I finally order a J&B on the rocks and by the time it comes my mind is still filled with mud. Her ideas are always preposterous, but yet again, I do the best I can to cloak my disappointment. Once, on vacation in India, I saw a young man lose a miserable argument in the dead of day. Nihilism is the farmer staring at a black harvest. A ghost snuck up behind me and pulled the trigger with such admirable force I had to kneel down and applaud, you would have done the same. I had committed a mortal sin, an abominable mistake, an unforgiveable act of intense passion and beauty-- punishment will be a gorgeous spectacle. He’s drunk in the wagon with some woman and you want no part of that freak show, trust me. The masses always run for shelter when the beast approaches gripping his tin foil hat, looking angrily toward the sun. All it took was a few thousand pounds of rice and a zamboni and we were halfway to Ohio, lighting cigarettes behind our clasped hands, giggling as if the worst was behind us. I never realized how quick my life would pass me by.
Monday, May 11, 2009
You leave the market after buying a pack of Marlboro 27s. You have been smoking Camel Lights, but tonight is different. Outside you slam the top of the pack against your palm four times. You peel the plastic off, remove the silver wrapping inside, and slowly pull a cigarette to your lips. You take the Zippo out of your left pocket and strike a flame, igniting the cigarette tip to a tangerine glow. You pull the cigarette away from your face and carry it by your right hip as you walk confidently to your car. You did your job well, all will go as planned. You unlock the driver-side door and slide into the seat behind the wheel. You take one last look at the market in your mirror, then start the engine and drive away. You are five blocks away when you hear the thunderous crack. Screams swarm the rubble like furious wasps. Smoke burns the eyes of flabbergasted on-lookers. Hundreds of people stand drenched in saturated fear. You keep driving and reach for a CD. Fly me to the moon, Sinatra.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
These nights I find myself approaching her in the bar. Maybe it’s impatience, maybe it’s the desire taking over, I don’t know and I don’t care. She leans seductively against the wall and grips her whisky like she grips my soul. I am a sucker and I relish it. I offer to buy her a drink, and tonight, she accepts. I flag the bartender and order another round. She flicks her hair back and shoots me a paralyzing smile. What am I to do? Resist temptation? Pretend like I don’t think about her all day long? I can’t do that. Without her I am a fraction of myself. I am the wet dream of capitalists-- a constant producer. I do my part, I go home, I complain, I repeat. A model citizen. Yes yes Weber, fine job, fine job indeed. Keep it up and one day you could be sitting behind Johnson’s desk. Fuck all of that money grubbing, horseshit mentality. Fuck the notion that dollars define success and that external beauty is the only relevant beauty. Fuck the idea of working your entire life to send your kids to college. Your happiness is worth more than anything. Accept that and then work towards sculpting your offspring. What is the point of raising kids if you haven't had the chance to grow up yourself?
Monday, May 4, 2009
I am a painter, not much else. Houses are what I mostly work on, sometimes apartments. It's not glamorous but it pays the bills and puts food on the table. I have a wife and two boys. Eight and Twelve. They really grow up fast, shit. I paint and I eat with my family and I go to sleep. Things are steady, I love my wife and my kids, but I am angry. I am tired of all of this. I paint. I eat. I hug my kids. I go to sleep. I wake up and repeat six days a week and I am angry. I can do better, for them at least. I can do better. But I am tired. I paint and I paint and I paint and I sweat and I get a check. No one congratulates me and no one notices me. I kind of... blend in with the paint. I don't like my work, but I am good at it. I am quick and I am efficient. I am a hard worker, but I get tired like the rest of you. Sometimes I just want to hop off the ladder, remove my overalls, and walk. Doesn't matter too much where. I want to walk until everything is alright. I paint houses for rich white men who enjoy the feeling of masturbation. Men who want the house painted because their wives want the house painted. Change she says. Change is good, so let's accept it. Let's paint the house honey. Men who drive nice black cars with nice black slacks and nice black combs. Men who define success as blind attention. Devotion for the sake of devotion. I don't want to be like that. I want success and money for my family, but I can't become someone I am not. I am a painter, not much else. My family is my everything, and they are my only motivation. A little selfish isn't it? To bring two more people into this world so you'll care about yours enough to keep going. It's what we did though. Now we have two boys and I work for them. I put up with horeshit for them. And for her. She is the only woman I will ever love.
I was painting a rich white man's house last week when he came out of the back door and mentioned a spot I had missed. He pointed to it and became angry. Why haven't you gotten that spot yet? He held a beer with his right hand and pointed the tip towards me, snapping his jaws with white spit and stripping me of dignity. He was lowering his moral standards just talking to me. When are you going to paint that spot? I told him I was getting to it, that is was just about to be painted. I want that spot painted and I want this house to look good. I want to look good, yes yes. He walked away and continued to suck his own dick. Stupid nigger he mumbled under his breath as he opened the patio door. That was all I needed. That was it. He shut the door like the cocksucker he was and I went to my car to grab a can of black paint. I brought it back and began painting over the white coat I started earlier. I painted like a man possessed. I slammed the brush against the wood and watched the bristles spray off in every direction, spattering black paint everywhere. I dipped my entire brush in paint again and drew a thick, black line across the wall. I stuck my hand into the bucket and soaked it in the paint. Then I punched the wall until my knuckles bled, which didn't take long. I hopped off the ladder and threw the dripping bucket at the wall. The man came outside but I was already gone. I walked away.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The coffee scalds my tongue and I leap into the air as if a fire had been lit under my ass. I land flustered and check for anyone lucky enough to witness the quiet act of absurdity. There's no one to the left, but to the right sits a man clothed in battered overalls with a beard as long as his withered face. Our eyes meet and he makes it clear the moment did not go unseen. He tips his cap in my direction as I study his tired eyes, his flappy cheeks, his watercolor frown. I feel honored to now play a part in what must be a life gone completely overlooked. He swivels back to face his food as I grab the water glass from my table and smash it across my left forearm. The blood runs purple.
Friday, May 1, 2009
At this point I am floating in limbo. I don’t know if I should rest or slam away even deeper into the night. The completion of a goal should only give birth to another. Sure, I can rest on my laurels and pretend I am a God of some sort. Pat myself on the back and wait smugly for the compliments to roll my way. I can celebrate my achievement and convince myself I have done Society a favor. It’s easy to do all that. It’s always easier to be an asshole.
What I fear most is losing it; the desire. Rarely do I make a conscious decision to write, the words usually force their way out. I am merely an editor. But I think about those words all day and all night. I may find a word I love on Tuesday and play around with it until Saturday, when it is good and ready to come out. It is a desire I have created but one I do not control. I accept and love that idea. But it also scares the shit out of me.
Teenage hoodlums swing from brightly lit lamp posts imitating Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain. They look foolish to me, but they are laughing so hard and smiling so wide I can’t look away. Stuck in a nostalgic coma I fail to hear the stampede approaching behind me. I continue to watch a sense of youth I gave up long, long ago. Quickly they stop fooling around and dart up the street and out of sight. Though surprised and confused by their actions, I make nothing of it and continue at my leisure. When I finally hear the roar at my back it is far too late.