Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
the mad scientist’s forbidden underground laboratory
A juggling symphony of artless rhythm ripped through stereo speakers mounted to cream cheese walls. With an orange paintbrush and a bottomless supply of semi-radioactive ink, the deranged surgeon attacked the innocuous canvas without refrain. The footstool creaking beneath his mangled toes was a speckled, beautiful mess. The floor beneath his footstool resembled the inside of a handkerchief after a magnificent sneeze. The room was a habitat for creation; a grotesquely exquisite reunion of forgotten colors.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The book will go on sale in November! I do everything I can to avoid exclamation points but neglecting one now would mask my enthusiasm. November November! I cannot say when exactly because minor tweaks are still being worked out but November it shall be. It will be priced no higher than $10 and I really hope you buy it if you're reading this. It contains beautiful artwork and photography and the first 50 copies come hand delivered by a newborn puppy/newborn kitten/Usain Bolt (whichever you prefer). Please tell your friends, family and enemies who may care because this means a lot to me. I write for no other reason than to write; it keeps me sane and it makes me feel alive and it's a medium of art I want to push. Without fresh voices we'll continue to be told the previous sentence requires a comma after sane instead of discussing how making it a run-on shows inspired apprehension. Literature is not dead and I hope to prove it. My second book, "Jack Defeats Ron 100-64," goes on sale in November. Stay tuned for more updates.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
He’s terribly petrified to laugh in public. Nothing about his private life possesses honest, homegrown confidence. Even when he drapes himself in polished pearls and heavy mascara his masculinity pokes through garishly. He hides behind himself with fearful pride.
Standing in line for the ladies room this evening results in provocative but ultimately degrading looks. Quickly he flees. His dress trails behind him as he elbows his way through the crowd of expressionless mannequins. “Why do I need their approval?” he questions angrily as he exits out the side door.
“Hey Jim, get a load of that tranny dragging it’s cock between it’s legs. Wah ha ha ha!” The anonymous drunk smirks before stumbling back to the bar. Your protagonist chokes back tears and waves down a taxi driver wearing a confused face.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
As much as this blog reminds me of how little anyone cares I'm back. So fuck you non-readers, I don't need you. It's too easy to abandon this outlet I once felt optimistic about. I need some sort of motivation to keep writing poetry and an empty blog is encouraging. So I'm doing this for me, as a reminder to get off my ass and type because it keeps me sane. Fuck writing though. Fuck it. This art gets such a twisted, pretentious and misunderstood reputation. We hand musicians and actors stacks of money wrapped in golden-plated ribbons instantaneously and without thought, then we encourage them to water their egos until they grow into unstoppable mutants only to grab a fresh bag of popcorn and applaud each disastrous decision so we can witness a fall from grace. Meanwhile we ignore literature... or to be polite, we overlook it. And the ones who work in the writing business continue to place it on a ridiculous pedestal far too high for you to reach. That's how I see it at least, as some exclusive club led by arrogant fucks who jerk off to the thought of denying membership. Here's some free advice young ones: start practicing how to be an asshole now and you'll be rich and lonely long before you dreamed!
Anyways, how about that for cynicism? Kids my age are trained complainers, don't you forget it. We can bitch and moan with the best of them. The trick is to complain with hopes of change and work towards one day being only slightly bitter.
To finally make a point, I have a new poem to post so here it is, I hope you enjoy. My next writing project is undetermined but keep your eyes peeled for my new poetry book "Jack Defeats Ron 100-64." It will go on sale in the very near future and I am very happy with it, I really am. I can only hope it shows. Well, here's some new writing. I will post new stuff when new stuff comes to fruition. Goodnight.
I almost died this past weekend. I was almost run over by a temporary addict who swerved in my direction driving up an empty incline behind my apartment. The love of my life was only a couple steps ahead, surely in danger if the worst had occurred. It was as if Lady Death had penciled us in. Our names were scribbled down but not finalized in ink. Perhaps we were substitutes, fill-ins for potential mistakes. Whatever we were I now sit here smoking cigarette stubs by the window, stinking up the room and reassuring the sticky, pungent smell it has a home. I didn’t plan it this way, I didn’t plan any of this. I was always the first to finish my multiplication tests in elementary school. I was supposed to be something important… at least in the eyes of the superficial. I was supposed to be successful and innocent. I wasn’t supposed to be here smoking cigarette stubs by the window, drunk and confused on a Tuesday night. I wasn’t supposed to be jagged and introverted and constantly seeking solitude. What were you supposed to be?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Here's a new cut-up I wrote last night. This day is fucking pissing me off so I can't tell right now if I like it or not, either way, here it is...
meditations for life without cigarettes
Virgins running through streets of blood waving bayonets flooded the landscape. This atmosphere took its toll on youngsters like Jorgen, drowning their pimply hopes like critters in a mousetrap. Communist sympathizers would attempt to ease the pain by passing out homemade candies. Mormons crowded around saloons protected by ancient gargoyles and ordered moonshine with melted butter to ease the burn. Wannabe poets forced glossy self-portraits into the pockets of the weak and distracted. My wine glass remained full throughout the commotion and not once could I make sense of the circus I had chose to witness. Never did I mind quietly observing.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
nights that end with ambient music
I was the lone soldier in favor of the Barolo when the opposition dug through the mud and attacked with sleepless devotion. It was guerilla warfare and pretentious as all hell. I acted social and optimistic to please him, but truly I felt overlooked and exhausted. I put on that face every week-- sometimes it scratches at my smile.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
how we die is deeply doe-eyed
I live in Los Angeles and all I want is a friend. I am 42 years-old and have been living alone for almost 20 years. My name is not important.
I have been working behind a desk for the same company since I was 19, one year after I finished high school. I make a modest living, no complaints there. I’ve had a few girlfriends and one fiancé; none of whom I loved. The only woman I ever skipped home thinking about forgot my name the second time I said hello. She worked in a diner on Pico Blvd. and I went there every Wednesday night for nine weeks hoping she would wait on me or make incidental contact with my hand. Of those nine nights she took my order twice (one by request) and we never made incidental contact. When the tenth week came I shrugged my tired shoulders and randomly picked a new diner out of the Yellow Pages. I ordered the usual and it was slightly better.
I live in Los Angeles and all I want is a friend. I am 42 years-old and have been living alone for almost 20 years. My name is not important.
I have been working behind a desk for the same company since I was 19, one year after I finished high school. I make a modest living, no complaints there. I’ve had a few girlfriends and one fiancé, none of whom I loved. The only woman I ever skipped home thinking about broke my heart the second time I said hello. She worked in a diner on Pico Blvd. and I went there every Wednesday night for nine weeks hoping she would wait on me or make incidental contact with my hand. For the first eight weeks she took my order once and we never made incidental contact. When the ninth week came I shrugged my tired shoulders and said, “Ok, what the hell, one more try.” She waited on me without request and I ordered the usual, only this time I asked for my sandwich on sourdough instead of rye. She lifted her long eyelashes away from the fading ink of her pen and said, “Rye was always my favorite.” I dropped my head and unraveled the silverware from inside the napkin. I did this carelessly and hastily causing the prongs of the fork to fall towards the tabletop at an admirably disruptive speed. I stuck my hand out and snatched the lone utensil out of the air with minor trouble. My meal arrived soon after and I ate slowly, wondering why I wasn’t given a knife.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The word ‘structure’ continues to swim about his skull. He isn’t a conservative man but he isn’t too much of a risk taker either; maturity has led him to a comfortable seat between the two. He relies on plans and punctuality but this no longer upsets him. His patience is thin and with each day his heart grows colder. The world is too cruel and unforgiving and these truths oppress his happiness, but his self-confidence is admirable. Stand by your decisions, actions, and words because they define you. Everyone is responsible for themselves and paves their own path, luck plays a much smaller role than many of us are willing to admit. He strongly believes in each of these statements and makes sure to voice them when appropriate. He is a good man with a kind heart and his future is as much a mystery as yours.
only a lad
He woke up with a brutal hangover and a craving for Muenster cheese. He had no clue why, seeing as his favorite cheese was Jack and he hadn’t the pleasure of a slice of Muenster since he was 11 years old. Nonetheless, he quickly determined that satisfying this craving was the most honorable way to begin the day. He knew that Raymond’s Deli had incredible Muenster because on that day when he was 11 years old he ordered a ham sandwich with tomatoes that came out watered-down and tasteless, lettuce long past its prime, mayonnaise lumpy enough to resemble a cobblestone road, all stuck between two pieces of store-brand white bread, and of course, a slice of Muenster that was so perfect it managed to salvage the credibility of the whole sandwich. He remembered these absurd details because while his father handed a $50 bill to the most beautiful waitress alive he was outside checking the parking meter in the worst possible place at the worst possible time. A shiny mint green Jaguar, only one previous owner, swerved off the road as the driver attempted to spare the life of a mangy dog who wandered into the middle of the street to grab a flattened banana peel. The dog was apparently not intimidated by large objects moving towards him at dangerous speeds, that or he was deaf and dumb. The Jaguar barreled over the sidewalk and mowed down the character who remains nameless. The driver managed to gain control of the car after the collision and proceeded to drive off as if the situation was merely a slight inconvenience.
He tried shaking off this ugly memory as he undressed and stepped into the shower. By the time he got out and wiped the steam off the mirror it was a distant thought.
times of ease and laughter
times of ease and laughter
I was living in a house up by the art museum where I could smile at all the pretty girls from the balcony. The landscape of the city stood in the foreground with its magnificence and longevity. My face always looked weathered and in need of a shave. I would start my day by descending a long set of black stairs as I recalled the debauchery which occurred the night before. Every time I awoke I remember being fully clothed, my jeans and t-shirt stuck to me like a band-aid. I would stroll through the front door and hop into my father’s pick-up truck. Those mornings were always so terribly hot. I had found a number of blues tapes underneath the passenger seat and anticipated listening to a new one with each sunrise. Having always agreed with a quote I once heard-- The notion of emptiness generates passion, I labeled myself a dispassionate person for those couple months.
One morning, as I walked to the car, I passed an older man walking his dog with a cigarette balanced on his left shoulder. Every morning thereafter I hoped I would see him again and I wondered if he was aware of that cigarette. I flip-flopped the entire summer over whether he was or wasn’t.
I would frequent the beach, usually with a friend of mine named Bailey who I met in high school. He was loyal and kind, but most of his education was spent sleeping in the back of class, knocked out on heavy painkillers. I would always go hoping to see my sweet Adeline. There was nothing I could ever do but succumb to her immaculate beauty. Her personality was flawless and she had enough curves to keep any man’s eyes permanently fixated. She consistently struck terror into the hearts of the opposite sex. Oh my sweet Adeline.
That summer ended abruptly and I was left unemployed and curious about the last five blues tapes I never had the chance to listen to. It was a time full of liver abuse and youthful lust. I would trade the last seven years of my life to relive it all once more.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
what a day, huh?
There’s a man who manages the office building I work in and we see each other on a regular basis. Our interactions are always limited to a minute at the most, usually 15 seconds. Whenever our paths cross we reach into our pockets and pluck out questions which require almost no answer. We always discuss the weather and we discuss it with eloquent staleness. He’ll mention how nice it is outside and I’ll comment on how gorgeous the weekend was. He’ll tell me it’s supposed to rain on Wednesday and I’ll chuckle and say This Wednesday? I hope not! It’s a delightfully boring relationship and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
baby’s on fire
The feeling of waking up in my own place for the first time in my life violently shoved the awful hangover aside and I encouraged my cock to grow harder and harder until I could feel the rough tip rub against my stomach and I immediately rolled over and mounted my body on top of hers and thrust into her with multiplying force as I laughed like a heifer to the slaughter.
I ran my left hand through my oily hair as I walked into the bathroom naked, glistening with the sweat of passionate morning sex. I heard her ask for a tissue but pretended I didn’t as I shut the door. I ran some hot water and dipped my face below the mirror. Meanwhile I formed a cup with my hands and lifted the contents to my prickly morning cheeks. The meeting between the two was glorious.
After showering I sauntered past my unmade bed and swiftly jumped onto the couch like a dolphin trying to earn its lunch at Sea World. This caused her beautiful ass (covered only by a classy pair of black underwear) to fly about four inches in the air and land with a hypnotic ripple. My eyelids immediately dispersed leaving a pair of hungry, carnivorous whites gazing into the ridges of bare perfection. I gritted my teeth, growled ferociously and bit into her sexuality with all of my strength.
We went at it like ravenous hyenas.
turkey and swiss
After a long night I found myself sluggishly laying on the couch, shirtless and picking furry pieces of carpet lint off the soles of my sweaty feet. My mind had been begging for a meal for over an hour and finally my body complied. I walked to a nearby sandwich shop and stood in line, hiding behind the dark lenses of my sunglasses. I hadn’t made eye contact with the woman who walked in behind me, but I recognized her presence. With no provocation she began fondling my right shoulder, petting me like a house cat. I furrowed by eyebrows and looked at her with an amused grimace. I expected her to instantly stop, sheepishly turn away and look down at her toes in embarrassing defeat. Instead, she switched it up and staring caressing my left shoulder. Short, gentle brushes. I cocked my head and calmly asked Get out much? She whimpered, stroked me one last time, and walked out the door. A short laugh fell out of my mouth and I looked around in minor disbelief, expecting someone to acknowledge the bizarre moment that had just occurred. To my surprise no one had noticed and I was left to ponder alone.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
All I wanted was crispy bacon and scrambled eggs but the man seated to my right insisted on being part of my breakfast. In his mind he was slicker than snot on a doorknob, but to me he reeked of the most foul cologne of all; desperation. And guess what I said to the filthy Mexican valet boy? Guess! Ha ha. I said I counted five quarters, six dimes and two nickels when I got here and if a single one is missing I’ll burn this fucking diner the ground! Ha ha. Needless to say nothing was missing. Ha HA! Am I right? Am I right or what? Fucking people, my god. The ability to pick your battles will never cease to hold weight in my life. Oh yes yes, you are… on the spot, correct by me… sir I responded. With a hangover hammering the insides of my eardrums I knew I needed a good meal, but I began to doubt the necessity of this particular one. Ditching on the bill while this insufferable rodent’s back faced mine was gaining merit in this horse race of immoral exit techniques. I quietly reached for my wallet and calculated the total including tip (minus the meal of course, after all, I’d only be fleeing after a cup of coffee and side of sourdough toast. The plate itself had yet to arrive and what the hell, if I was bussing I’d encourage recycling the meal before the hour expired or at least sharing it among the hungry. You can never underestimate the morale boost injected inside a plate made for naught). He swung his roll of insecure neck fat my way, this time to comment on the restaurant uniforms and how it was blasphemy that the waitresses weren’t forced to strut around in skirts that expose at least the lower half of their ass. He stuck his tongue out beyond the tip of his nose and did the best impression of a diagnosed sociopath I’d ever seen. I instantly felt sympathetic but ultimately desensitized. Momentarily I gave up on the idea that we are born good and slowly turned evil by the cruelness of life. I thought of a quote my girlfriend sent me; Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something. I still believe we bring children into this world to first and foremost validate our own lives, and I still ask myself if I will ever truly desire the responsibility of a boy. The pressures of becoming an adult are proving to be hard enough. How does anyone have time to raise a child the way they intended? Life is pain highness, life is constant struggle. Why involve one more? To pass on the surname and prove infinite respect I suppose. Or maybe it’s as simple as having a piece of life that requires unconditional love and support. Life is too hard to go through alone. All of us will die like dogs in solitude under our favorite tree. All of us alter our destiny with each decision we make. The enlightened man is the one able to accept confusion, maturely deal with failure, and pursue his honest passion with class and vulnerability. He is able to accept he will never be perfect but constantly chase the idea of personal perfection. The enlightened man realizes this is all a beautiful illusion.
Problem is, all of the people I know are far too young to understand the subtle beauty of leaving a fingerprint behind that inspires. Once you truly realize you’re stuck and only given one chance; one goddamn chance, one fucking chance to perfect the order of each word in your poem or each brush on your landscape you begin to appreciate the grind and effort of those around you. Questioning everything will keep you on your toes. Settling will leave you barely satisfied. I write these paragraphs as if I have answers when in fact I have none. All I know is I want to write. I want to publish a book every year and any less will leave me unsatisfied.
At 23 I am already baffled. I take solace in my fridge full of alcohol and an end in near sight. It’s funny how desperation breeds undeniable creativity.
What an existential load of bullshit this poem is. Everything is shit.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I wanted to tell him everything will be okay
This poem will be brief but don’t let it fool you; recalling his face again sucks all the air out of my heart.
I had just moved into my own apartment and I had been giddy all day long. I skipped from my car up to my door and into my pants. My mouth ran through the afternoon and continued as I drove West on Sunset, which is such a beautiful drive when the sun is setting in the months before summer. I pulled up to a red light across from an In-N-Out and turned my head in the direction of a man sitting alone on a bus bench. He wore a Los Angeles Dodgers t-shirt, had a bad haircut and a crude set of teeth. He looked poor but not homeless. I kept my attention on him as I watched him suck his lip into his mouth again and again. A small stream of tears ran from each eye as he sniffled and looked nervously in each direction. The light stayed red so I continued to focus in on this bubble of despair. He continued to cry, and it was not the type of crying we do in times of reflection, it was the type we do when we have just witnessed our lifes work roll off the edge of the Grand Canyon. He looked like he had been stepped on yet again like the butt of a foreign cigarette. The light eventually turned and I drove off and although it’s been over a day now, here I am, alone and tipsy in my beautiful apartment and all I can think about is the anguish in the corners of that man’s eyes. Life has taught me not to dwell on misfortune because it is contagious, but shit… that image isn’t going anywhere soon.
Clausen was not a heartless killer. He was soft, gentle, well-spoken promoter of truth. In a world of rubber goods and instant gratification he was misunderstood. He would only write on a yellow legal pad with a blue ballpoint pen, and he only listened to instrumental jazz. He drank single malt scotch with ice cubes and water and always sipped with patience and class. Clausen was everything I wanted to be on Thursday night.
After she broke up with him we spent an entire week sitting poolside, drinking lemonade and staring at the bronze legs of women too vain to even acknowledge our sleazy gazes. He was miserable and I was there for him. We would start drinking wine around eight and salute each other goodnight around one, sometimes two if I felt masochistic. I miss him and the way he would react to a good Cab. I think of him every time I see a fantastic set of stems; attached to the torso of a dark-haired woman or on the inside of a wine glass.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Holes in the ceiling lead me to believe they are there for a reason and I can barely control my desire to fling a pencil into the air and tightly squirt it into any one of the bastards. I take the last sip out of my water bottle and think back to last night when I drove around smoking cheap cigarettes until my throat ached. But I didn't see any possums on the road and while that left me disappointed I did catch a glimpse of two raccoons who seemed delighted with the decrepit surrounding and absence of daylight. I envied them as my headlights illuminated their beady eyes and bushy tails because they had each other and the night was theirs.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The first thing I did when I got home from work was sleep. Last night I found myself staring at the ceiling at 2:30, then getting up to put more music on and write a short poem. I fell asleep soon after that. Today I woke up exhausted and continued to yawn late into the afternoon.
I rolled out of bed at 8:20 after the nap. It had been a while since I took a long, hard nap and I was reminded quickly of the daze it can throw you in. I walked lazily into the bathroom, smacking my scowled lips together and scratching my chest with a weak right hand. I ran a shower and spent most of my time under the water blinking heavily and playing with my hair. When I stepped out and dried myself off I felt slightly less confused and considerably more hungry. I decided I would walk East down Sunset Blvd., get some food and read some Miller.
On my way I passed the Coach & Horses bar where I first started drinking whisky sours. Three men were standing outside and I imagined one of them had insulted me. In defense I hardened up and accepted the verbal challenge. Four shots of whisky, right now! I replied. We went inside, drank up, and hours later one of them drove home drunk off his ass and crashed head-first into a tree. I shook off the scenario by blowing hot air into my hands and keeping my pace.
I got to the restaurant and sat down across from a comedian I had a lot of respect for. I pulled out the post-it I had left in my book and wrote down the absurd happening I had earlier imagined. I drank my beer and ate my pasta quickly, but I enjoyed every sip and every bite. I love eating alone in a restaurant full of art and interesting faces. On my way out I shook the comedian’s hand and said I think you’re incredibly fucking funny, and more importantly, you’re honest. He smiled and said I really appreciate that and I believed him.
I smoked a cigarette on my way home and bought a nice bottle of single malt scotch at the liquor store near my place. I took out Blue Brother when I sat down in my room, typed up a couple poems and now I sit here typing this, sipping on a damn good scotch.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
a narrow escape
The last time I saw skin wrapped in the old flannel robe it was dull early light. Tonight she suggested some mental enrichment before bed. We were drinking doubles like inspired maniacs. I sliced open the last lime and stared at the robe belt dangling by her velvety feet. And I admit it, my downfall occurred suddenly. Initially I tried hiding my tears but one cannot hide such potency. Damp and disengaged, I moved the red piece on the checkerboard. Like a bounty hunter systematically slaughtering his prey I struck with eloquent quickness. The squeaking leather upholstery played a soft minor key. Her coarse cry still clings to my dusty flannel.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
waiting for my sandwich
I was in a deli in Santa Monica waiting for my sandwich to be made. I grabbed a bag of chips off a shelf, walked back behind the counter and starting eating them. After a few bites a man glanced over at the bag, then at me, then back at the bag and finally said You should wait until you pay to eat those. I slowly turned my head in his direction and responded sarcastically Thanks for the tip and continued eating. Neither my tone of voice nor my belittling, furrowed face pleased him. You’re an asshole he said. I disagree I responded, and if you want my opinion I think you’re an annoying, nosey wanker. I had only used the word wanker maybe a dozen times in my life but it felt like the perfect insult. This was not the answer he was expecting and he shot me a cold, devilish stare insinuating that if this was not a crowded deli he’d punch me right in the nose. The tense moment lasted about 10 seconds until I was called over to pick up my sandwich.
Now-- I am not a violent man, in fact I have a big issue with the idea of violence in general, and I have never been in a legitimate fight with anyone, but there have been many times when I wish I had been provoked enough to throw a punch. I imagine it being a big thrill, and if justified (which is almost always not the case) it would send a rush through my body that may last for weeks. It’s a very thin line to cross because violence should never be the answer, but I also take myself very seriously and stand behind all my actions. Basically, I’m not going to allow another human to walk all over me (or someone I care deeply about) without consequence. All I can do is eagerly wait for the day I find myself in an altercation. I compare it to a nightmare; it’s something that leaves me terrified and vulnerable, but I cannot deny the exhilaration it instills. I often spring out of bed after a nightmare feeling more alive than I have in months.
get off my lawn
Many nights I find myself spouting negativity and claiming everyone is a waste of time as I lay on my bed, clutching a glass of wine, checking the clock every minute to see if it has begun ticking backwards yet. I feel more and more like a bitter old man every sunrise and the majority of me is perfectly okay with that. It would be a misunderstanding to think I hate people, I just think they: talk too much, listen far too little, hardly ever make the appropriate effort, cherish the little moments about 5% as much as they should, concern themselves with the “now” far more then I would recommend, listen to shitty, talentless, cookie-cutter musicians, talk way too much, say thank you and please far too little, show a lack of respect to those who deserve it (which is everyone until they prove unworthy of receiving it), show an inability to admit when they are wrong, don’t appreciate the written word or art in general, don’t sympathize enough with those less fortunate, drive flashy, fluorescent cars with license plates like IMASTAR or CASHMNY or GRTTITS and adjust their $400 sunglasses that cover half of their face and pop the collar on their $200 polo so everyone on the fucking street will stop dead in their tracks, pull their hands to their face and scream in orgasmic jealousy because toys and materials define status and command all the respect and attention when all it says to the thinkers is My cock is the size of a baby carrot and I feel insecure every minute of the day. The reasons never end and they always try to pull you under and drown you but the persistent ones who secrete quiet confidence will always have the last laugh, even if it’s only a chuckle.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The metaphor that life is one big roller coaster is such an overused and oversimplified bullshit cliché. The thought of a roller coaster provokes images of screaming, fanatic, brazenly joyous people incapable of closing their big, sloppy smiles because everything is so goddamn great. The exhilaration is captured on camera for everyone to see and at the end we pant like newly fed puppies, eyes shot open like frogs begging for another trip around. The problem with the metaphor is that every part of a roller coaster ride is fun, even the drops, especially the drops. Sure, it’s a wild, unexpected ride that some of us aren’t prepared for, but the whole experience is a blast. The part of the ride that resonates most in the metaphor is the initial climb upwards; the grueling feeling of torturous anticipation. That is life.
Or life is one long, brutal road trip. It has handfuls of absolutely perfect moments, but in the end, when you arrive at your destination sleep depraved and hungry, everything is kind of underwhelming. You shift the car into park, let down your shoulders, and if you’re lucky you turn to the right and look your lover in the eyes and smile because she’s scared too. But at least you’re scared together.
And along this strenuous road trip we all encounter traffic cones placed in strategically annoying places; these represent most of the people that enter and exit our lives. At first their fluorescent orange exterior offers comfort and companionship as you hunch over the wheel, slapping yourself in order to stay awake, searching for anything unique among the blackness. Then sadly the cones start to become a nuisance, an attempt to slow you down when you feel a second wind coming and you’re determined as all hell to keep going. Every now and then a cone will point you in the right direction. Every now and then you’ll doze off and strike one of these cones-- some of them will clutch to the bottom of your car and hang on for dear life, killing your pace and reminding you how few mistakes each of us is given. Others will collapse underneath the frame and cling to nothing, falling off harmlessly. You must respect every cone you pass but stay focused. The path to satisfaction is a fucking minefield.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The junkie is on his junk and his spotted beagle looks curiously into the soul of a nearby Hot Pocket. All I want is my change, but his hands are shaking and I am fairly sure the beagle does not know how to count. So I stand patiently, chewing on the fact that our country now has its first black president-elect. It's a wonderful thing-- and there were people marching in the street yelling What do we want?! Change! When do we want it?! Now! I had to separate myself near Santa Monica and San Vicente to get a beer, my legs were tired and I was thirsty-- but where do we go from here? Your song still needs a chorus and I am still waiting for my change, the junkie is trembling and I am losing my patience. Stories of gangrene swirl through my mind. How long will this take? I begin to panic, rubbing my hands together until tiny beads of skin litter the polka-dot floor. Uhhhhh… ummmmm… two twenty… two twenty-seven?... ummmmm… two… twenty-EIGHT… two twenty-eight?... uhhhhh…. This could last days, I already feel my feet outgrowing my shoes. The walls begin to crawl towards me like a squirrel scaling a fence. I have to keep my cool, I must maintain! Two nineteen sir, here you are. Sorry for the… he trails off. I snatch the money from his crusty hand and bolt to my white convertible. Giddy up my stallion, ya! Yaaaa!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
a nightcap for myself
I like keeping to myself in my room with the door closed and a glass of wine or bottle of beer at my feet. Everybody seems fascinated with their own voice so they talk and talk and talk and talk outside my door so I turn up the volume on my speakers and wish they would go away. It’s a total waste but I choose to keep my bathroom light on when I am alone in my room because when it’s out I feel a little bit lonelier. I don’t dislike people because I fear friendship or adore the idea of being grumpy and cynical, I just think most of them are a waste of time and latch on to you like the berries in my driveway stick to the bottom on my shoes. People are so afraid to admit their faults and disappoint anyone. Too often I feel like I was invited to a circle jerk. Too often I feel like people would rather have 20 meaningless conversations with another human than two or three revealing ones. The idea of quality over quantity is too often ignored.
Monday, January 18, 2010
my gnawing companion
I spent six to eight hours choking my complexion while Henry Miller questioned his moist envelope of flesh.
With the aid of timid informers right angle cheekbones jabber dangerously.
Everyone knows the shortest way to the Nabob whorehouse is singing the Zarathustra in unison.
Dingy chandeliers hang above obedient cyclists, decaying silently and mistakenly quoting wallet prices to splendid shoppers.
border of your place
I was only 10 years old when I held my mother and watched my father die. He had been sick for a while, but passing away at 51 is not something people around you can prepare for. He would always say Expectations are blueprints for disappointment and even at 10, on that day in that tiny hospital room, I felt a visceral truth about it deep in my bones. Neither of us cried, not until we left his cold side and pushed the down button for the elevator in the hallway. For whatever reason, as those metal doors creaked open we both knew he was gone forever, and then we balled all the way home.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
in a beautiful place out in the country
The banister is warped and bent and sliding down it proves to be a loud mistake. The family cat scrunches her arrogant face in annoyance, I assume. I throw my left shoe at her and barely miss. What a shame.
My aunts are still cooking dinner in the kitchen so I sneak out back and light up a Camel Blue. I went online a few weeks ago trying to order a carton of Camel Lights. The website advertised a blue pack of cigarettes as Camel Lights and to make a purchase I had to order at least three cartons. At $67 after shipping and handling I figured why not. Here I am four packs into my first carton and I’m waking up with terrible phlegm and an awful pain in my right side. Cheers to Russian cigarettes.
Halfway into my sixth drag I hear Aunt Marilyn clapping and rounding up my younger cousins. I take one last hit, snuff the cigarette out on the sole of my shoe and toss it into the back of the bushes by the fence. As I reach for the door handle I slow down and tell myself it isn’t that bad. After all, you’re in a beautiful place out in the country.
don’t judge a poem by its title
If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Hamlet has been repeating this in his head all day, as if it’s a mantra he’s trying to perfect. If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. He has said it the same way every time. The pacing has been identical, the inflection he initially gave true has not parted, and at this point in the evening the quote means absolutely nothing to him. If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Amidst his friends, beneath the tourist-driven flurry he wears the look of a clear mind, and he wears it well. At this point Hamlet is more than familiar with personal distraction. (To clarify, this is the kind of distraction brought on by constant societal analysis, an admirable yet alienating level of expectation for human interaction, and a sickening, guilt-ridden feeling of sympathy for the homeless). If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Will the mantra ever amscray?
I also have three poems published in the new issue of Physiognomy in Letters, which you can buy and/or download for free here: http://physiognomyinletters.com/index.html. Good stuff, check them out.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
our golden shoulders
I can feel the laughter of the masses stroking my sunburned earlobe. I yank the sunglasses off my collar and force them through my wavy brown sideburns. I’m having trouble reading between the lines I used to see between. I can see my reflection in the cigarette case and the scrambling sound my brain makes each time I swallow is so comforting beneath the sound of Los Angeles commotion. The evening will not slide out of my palm tonight because I am one of the unreasonable ones. Kick off your slippers and shuffle your pile of sorrows in two stacks of three. The grapes are always surprised at my degree of uncertainty.