Thursday, March 31, 2011

march 31st, 2011 part 2

shakespeare wanted all the lawyers dead

“So the course is closed, my friend. Sign says it was sprayed earlier today. Bad fucking timing,” I said, standing in the parking lot of the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course.

“Ah shit,” replied Greg. “Probably not a good idea to just walk on as planned. We’ll have to come back another day.”

We began brainstorming on how to pass the time, whether we should grab some dinner or simply listen to records, when a portly man in his fifties approached us and said, “Oh don’t mind my dog. She’s a sweetheart, she’s a good dog.” He was wearing a rather lazy outfit, one I would happily slip into on a hot summer day while drinking beer and watching television. His hair was deep into the grey color transition all men fear and eventually accept. His face was unkempt and maintained a casual demeanor throughout our encounter, even when he began cursing the fucking lawyers involved in the custody case over the aforementioned dog, who was now leashless and wandering around the empty lot. The small, long-haired pooch appeared as harmless as his animated, intoxicated owner.

“Ya I’ve been drinking since noon. Been dealing with this damn case—these fucking lawyers—fucking lawyers—over that cute little girl over there who shouldn’t have to go through any of this. I love her, I really do. She’s such a sweetheart. We settled on an agreement today and I decided it was time to drink. Ha ha! She shouldn’t have to go through this. And the fucking lawyers!”

We sat there listening to him complain, occasionally nodding in agreement or providing him the one word answer he wanted to hear.

“Before you guys head out I have to tell you a joke, it’s one of my favorites,” he said. We turned around to face him one last time before going on our way.

“How do you get three old women to say ‘fuck?’”

Both of us chuckled, curling our closed lips inward and shrugging in the traditional, “I don’t know, tell me,” kind of way.

“Get the fourth one to say ‘bingo!”

Greg and I turned to face each other and let out two genuine laughs, which pleased this temporary drunk wanderer.

I’ve always enjoyed the characters who wedge their way into my life, knowing they only have a few minutes before we part ways and want nothing more.

march 31st, 2011

Here's a story I wrote in collaboration with a damn good friend, Justin Gordon-Cooper. I had a lot of fun with this one as I'm sure he did. The first paragraph was written over a month ago and after various tweaks, additions and edits, I feel it's done... for now. Enjoy.


Foster woke up in Chinatown with a venomous hangover.
Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead like tiny snakes made of satin. What lie inside his mouth was not a tongue, but instead a twisted and arthritic beehive of cackling caterpillars. His melodramatic yawn collided with the sound of exploding thunder in the distance. A raspy and familiar voice began bouncing around his throbbing skull, “You’ll always be a hyena. Always.”

Where the fuck am I? What the fuck did I do last night? Forget the headache and just figure out where you are. Come on big boy, get those legs extended. Goooood, now walk on over to that bus bench. Easy does it. Goooood. Now relax, gather composure and figure out where—and what—you were last night. Who made an appearance and why did you wake up lying in a gutter? What time is it? Is that Chinese writing on that veranda? It must be. I’m in Chinatown. Yes, I must be in Chinatown. Sager, you son of a bitch!

It’ll be an oppressively warm night in hell the next time I drink moonshine, that’s for damn sure. Alright, venue confirmed—pecking order to be determined. Investigative efforts into this conundrum will have to be put on hold though. The remaining brain activity willing to cooperate is busy ensuring I feel every nuance of pain coming from the gash on my left eyelid. The slice is playing an excellent equator, creating two nonfunctional, mutually exclusive half-moons of reedy flesh. Motherfucker.

The scholastically heinous image I’m projecting on to anyone lucky enough to be within eyeshot is an effective one to say the least. I feel like the poster child for failure, or better yet, the spokesman for why religion will save you; a portrait more powerful than the glowing face of a priest hovering before the eyes of a grief-stricken, misunderstood, desperately hungry orphan child. But I take solace in the fact that however bad I must look, you should see the other guy. And Sager is that guy. It must have been him, that piece of shit! I can smell the stench of his anguish in the webs of my fingers.

Pecking order confirmed. Sager’s plans were thwarted and my battle wounds showcase the victorious outcome. Throw old Foster’s fist skyward I say! Clench it tight in the salty morning air.

Now get yourself some food, some cuisine, Chinatown style. Lo Mein—stat!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

march 15th, 2011

station to station

I suck down half a strong whisky soda and repeat the lyric in my brain, “The return of the Thin White Duke, throwing darts in lovers’ eyes.”

I suck down the rest of the drink and slouch further into the sofa. My midnight princess is halfway to Oakland and I’m nearly drunk. Is it Oakland? Could be Reno. She could definitely be headed to Reno. What difference does it make? These cities are merely capitalized locations promising hope and rebirth to desperate, aching souls eager to reinvent. The frightened will always flee when faced with new challenges; justifying their inability to defeat conflict with ambiguous, weak attempts at self-reflection. Only the blind optimists terrified of uncertainty nod their heads with genuine faith.

It’s as if I’m scared to be happy, petrified of inexplicable contentment. I often ask if the feelings are worth the writing. Deep down, for years now, the answer has appeared instantly and with thoughtful force; an internal paradox fueled by the inability to admit finality and greatness. I may believe a piece is truly exceptional, even momentarily, but knowing the capability of previous hands that now lie restless allows modesty and personal doubt to flourish, no matter how much I deprive the soil.

To answer your question; yes, poetry or prose or short stories or whatever the fuck you want to label this writing and writing to be will forever be worth the pain. Creation supersedes positive opinions of you as a person pasted together from fragments of reality pooled together and analyzed by neighbors, landlords, co-workers and acquaintances convinced they understand “you.” Human minds and bodies and subconscious reactionary likes/dislikes/turn-ons/turn-offs are nothing more than simple mathematic equations to these people.

I have no grasp on human purpose or honest human needs. I am only able to shelf the knowledge of outer space and accept perspective because I have no other option. And because of that, I write to forever etch my words in stone because tomorrow may as well be yesterday.