Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ten dollars says she won't read this

but it's got to be said: running away to new england never solved anything. new places, new distractions. it's just the easy way out. sorry, but it's true.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sometimes, instead of people questioning how I feel, I just like hearing them legitimately agree. How long has it been now?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our parents came down from the mountains
a few hundred miles apart long the Appalachian Trail.
After the war many left there
homes looking for work in the industrial cities of the north.
Some stayed behind. Their grandfathers never made it through
the mountains migrating so they made homes their
and the smartest ones prospered even there.
But our parents saw television and our parents saw that
was not a place they would make a life
and though it hurt them deeply to leave their homes
and though they missed it in their bones
we were forever grateful for their departure.

Our parents have the mountains in them
and our parents learned they were smarter than these city boys
and our parents taught us not to be denied.
They would not be denied
the material things they coveted
and they ran up credit card debts
though they were smarter than these city boys, they had not learned their games.
As children we thought the world was fair and as children
we did not realize how much our birthplaces mattered
and we did not realize what it was to choose
a place to make your home.
Now the time has come for choosing and the valleys are all empty.

Our parents never made it to the cities but their homes in the valleys were wide
and had satellites.
Our parents picked new values
we took as obvious and boring.
We did not appreciate how hard they had worked
and we did not comprehend the self-hatred that accompanied them
or the demons they kept at bay.
We cursed them for losing the games and
like all children assumed they were given what they gave us.
In this simple and evil way we denied their life’s work.

Wandering out of the valley
through the mountains to the city we picked a place to make a home,
we plucked values out of the air and questioned everything.
How can we be grateful for what given to us so freely?
How can we appreciate when they cried and sweated and grit their teeth
and took such punishment and rose again
all so we would know nothing of that suffering.

Friday, July 25, 2008


i hope you get there sometime

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Portrait of a Writer as a Recluse

Portrait of a Writer as a Recluse

By Dennis Thatcher

It’s two o’clock in the morning on a hot summer night in July and I’m sitting across from aspiring writer Christopher S. Bell in the lower-level end of these here United States of America, otherwise known as Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The location is the back booth of a local dive that my assignment claims is a hometown tradition. Coney Island, where the weak and weary go to load up on artery-clogging agents and recover from whatever direction their night is currently spinning in.
For the twenty-two-year-old Bell, such a recovery is beyond necessary, his mouth drunkenly chewing animal product when its not exhaling white clouds of smoke from the cheap cigarettes he consistently buys and smokes. This night alone, the two of us have stopped at four different convenient stores spread throughout Johnstown, searching for what the writer refers to as “The perfect way to kill yourself.”
I try my best to ignore all of my subject’s addictions, as I stare down at the empty white page in my red notepad sitting next to the two gooey hot dogs that Christopher insisted I order. With each loud click of his jaw (Bell rudely chewing with his mouth wide open as if he’s inherited such a privilege from his forefathers) I contemplate why exactly my editor has sent me on yet another wild goose chase. Actually that’s a bit of understatement, considering that I don’t think many wild geese fly over these parts anymore.
The town located in the Western part of the state is infamous for floods and steel production, both of which managed to swallow all the residents and buildings whole in the late 70’s. The inhabitants of Johnstown are an odd mix of upper-middle class hill-dwellers, and those living in the searing underbelly of the town, or on its outskirts clinging to their shotguns and one-sided points of view. We run into one type or the other all night as I follow Bell around on his lackluster search for answers, and more importantly, material.
“Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than this in your entire life?” He asks me holding up his fully loaded chilidog a moment away from consumption.
“I can’t say that I have,” I reply sheepishly, before attempting to flip through the night’s notes for a logical starting point.
Such a task seems beyond difficult at that very moment considering every place we’ve already been to, and furthermore the overabundance of exchanges that have occurred between Christopher and what he refers to as “an odd blend of old friends, enemies, acquaintances, masturbatory fantasies, and ones that got away.” I think about all of them in ways I’m not sure I’m supposed to, the distinctive line between reality and fiction instantly blurring the second I stepped into this writer’s quaint little world. I clear my throat and find my footing, only to once again be interrupted.
“And ya know, that’s the thing I think a lot of them have lost a long time ago.”
“What have they lost?” I ask out of curiosity.
“Just everything, ya know? I mean, it’s not like any of them will say they’ve changed. They don’t like to think of themselves as people who look down at me and my chilidog with some sense that I’m weak-willed. They call it evolution now, I think, or maybe a conscious decision to help make the world a better place, but the truth of the matter is that they wish they were like me.”
“How do you figure?” I say without much thought.
“Because assholes like you are following me around, asking me questions.”
I laugh out loud before taking a bite from my own plate, and once again trying to find my bearings. Bell seems comfortable in his own appropriated titled hole, despite his still lingering intoxication. I wonder if such a night is normal for him, or rather if it was all an act for the dim-witted journalist. I try not to steer too far away from either possibility as I lean back in the booth and begin.
So let’s talk about tonight.
- What, are you serious? You’re not gonna ask me about my childhood or something? Start with an icebreaker?
Do you wanna get into any of that stuff right now?
- No, not really. Actually, if at all possible, I’d like to avoid the dirty little tidbits of information you or someone like you has dug up on me.
I was unaware that any such information existed, Christopher.
- You’re right. It probably doesn’t, but in any case, I’m just not sure if I’m ready to talk about tonight just yet. I mean, I don’t think you should be either.
Yeah, maybe you’re right. Okay, well how bout your book?
-I don’t wanna talk about that right now either.
Ya know, you’re not really giving me too much room to breathe here.
- See that’s where I think you’re wrong. I’ve been giving you room to breathe all night, allowing you the time to observe, to take everything in, to make mental notes, like ya know, us writers do, or at least I’m assuming that’s how you roll, and now that we’ve officially come down, allowed ourselves the time to dwell in the past and the future, I’m just kind of hoping we can cut all the bullshit.
So what is it you wanna talk about then?
- I’m not sure. I mean, I could write pages about this chilidog, and books about tonight; all the looks and subtleties having some kind of primordial effect on my mood, but I guess the truth of the matter is that I wanna know what you think of everything?
You want my opinion?
- Yeah, if it’s not too much to ask.
Ya know, journalism is supposed to be a subjective business.
- Yeah, but you don’t seem like the kind of journalist who really gives a shit about form, and ya know, all that other crap. At least that’s what I gathered when you were doing shots with those two sixteen-year-olds a few hours ago.
See, now you’re making me out to be the bad guy. You’re the one who said they were legal.
- Well yeah, but I’m a writer. I mean, how hard is it to figure out that I’m the biggest goddamn liar on the planet at this point?
Not too difficult, I suppose.
- Exactly, and that’s what I’m saying. It’s like the same everywhere, in any profession. I mean, despite the fact that you went to school and attempted to abide by all the rules, you still can’t deny that some things are inescapable.
I’m not sure I know what you’re trying to get at here.
- What I’m trying to say is that despite the fact that you might be coming into this as a professional journalist or whatever you wanna call yourself, you have to stop and realize that not only have I read the magazine you write for, but also I know that if some supposed “subjective” writer wants to make another writer sound like an asshole, then it’s really not too difficult for them to do so.
So what’s your point then?
- My point is, I’ve established the fact that we’re both assholes, now let’s talk about what assholes talk about as opposed to say, interviewer and interviewee.
Okay, what is it assholes talk about?
- Ya see now right there’s the kind of question an asshole would ask.
I’m lost.
- Good, cause I think that means we’re finally getting somewhere.

I pause for a moment and try to put myself on the same page as Bell, who has magically managed to corrupt every one of my original intentions. I start to run back through the events of the night one by one, attempting to find some kind of common ground that hasn’t been lost in the thick of it all.
The two of us met for dinner at the City View Bar and Grill, Bell only briefly mentioning the eclipsing outlook before ordering us beers and then hitting on our waitress, who he claimed was only pretending not to remember him. A story of questionable content about the same long-legged blonde occurred before our meals, and then more shots strategically placed on his tab.
We then ventured away from the top of the hill and headed down to 709 Railroad Street, a local DIY music venue that Bell’s domesticated social circle frequents. It was here at a local punk rock show that I aimed to develop some sort of perspective on the writer as a person, his friends and fellow artists seeming like the type who would know him best.
However, following several sidewalk conversations and roughly a half-hour where my subject simply wondered off to some undisclosed secret location on the premises, I was at a complete loss for words and thoughts. It was during this time that I asked around, the majority of the youthful deviants spaced out in groupings, having absolutely no idea who I was asking about, and furthermore what my purpose for being there was.
As I perused alternative corners of the area around the venue, listening in for any shred of a varying point of view on Christopher S. Bell, his trials and tribulations in the written word, and the little pieces of his hometown that make him click, I regrettably found no answers to such questions. While there were those who knew the man or knew of his actions, for the most part everyone remained silently inept or lost in their own private little worlds.
Bell’s hazy return to the sidewalk and soon the inside stage area still left me with all the same blanks that needed filled. We stood off to the side watching a young punk band called The Nullifiers lose their voices and minds over some inaudible message, before I group of girls in their early twenties walked, and Bell, without hesitation, walked out and away from it all.
From that point it became a blurred clutter of sips taken from half-empty bottles, inhaled sentiments from sloppily-rolled joints, and conversations with faces that he seemed to know, but that I couldn’t come close to placing with my research, or the shadowed outline of characters from his first novel and upcoming book of short stories. We jumped from abandoned suburban mansions to cheaply rented city rooftops, each and every move he took seeming to be justifiably him, even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was about the situation that made it that way.
I lost myself in the night, and as I sat across from what I realized I would soon be telling my editor, was a failed attempt at a human-interest story, I slowly began to understand what he was going for, even though it didn’t seem like him, or at least the him that I thought I knew well-enough from his work. A first-person narrative usually rings true even if there are some lies buried within the mix. I clear my throat and begin again with a shitty grin.

So what have you been listening to lately?
- See now that’s a really good asshole question.
Yeah, I kind of figured it would be.
- Shit man, I don’t know. I mean, there’s the local stuff, but that’s something I hope you get well enough now that I don’t have to provide an explanation. But, well other than that I’m not sure what to say, cause there’s some choice cuts filtering into the mix, but I’m not sure if they’ll last, ya know? I feel like my musical taste is something that continually falls apart on me. And that’s not to say that there isn’t a solid foundation there. It’s just that shit gets weird sometimes, and I find myself obliging in whatever way feels right.
Well strangely enough that makes sense to me.
- Really, cause that was just a bunch of bullshit. Bob Dylan, The Pixies, and Pet Sounds.
Well okay, all three of which are mentioned in your work.
- You’re trying to get back on track now, aren’t you?
Call it journalistic intuition.
- Well okay, I’m gonna cut the shit with you right now. I don’t know how I feel about the books, that is to say the last one and now this new one, and I’m not sure I want to think about it anymore. I mean, part of me understands that any reader might possibly want to know what the author was thinking, but to be perfectly honest, sometimes I’m not sure what I’m thinking. Sometimes I write something to help me get through whatever it is I’m going through, and other times I write something because I hope that somebody will get something out of it. But it’s mostly all for me. I mean, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
Maybe. I mean, sometimes we have bigger purposes.
- I think I’ve given up on that notion at this point in my life.
Oh yeah, why’s that?
- Because most of the time they never seem to care.
Who doesn’t seem to care?
- All the same people you’re wondering about. All the people you don’t know, and all the ones that think it’s a bigger piece of them in the work than it really is. They don’t care about the bigger purpose, just whether or not they get enough airtime.
Well okay, fair enough. So who get the most airtime in your new book of short stories LEVEL UP AND LEVEL OUT?
- Well, I do obviously.
Yeah, but I mean, besides you, who does?
- Ya know, if you haven’t been able to figure all of this out yet, I mean, after following me around with a pen and paper the whole day, then I’m not sure I really want to tell you.
Why not? I mean, didn’t I put up the effort?
- Well yeah, but I really don’t think it’s that hard of a concept to grasp onto.
Help me out a little bit here.
- Ya know, I’m not gonna do that, but I am gonna do something else for you right now.
Oh yeah, what’s that?
- I’m gonna let you ask me your first question again.
What, about tonight?
- Yeah, about tonight.
Okay, so what do you have to say about tonight?
- Not too much. I got too fucked up, and then forgot to remind myself that I really need to stop pretending like I hate her, because she’s so much better at it than I am.
Who is?
- Hey I only said I’d let you ask your first question. When we stop being assholes and start being drunken acquaintances, then maybe I’ll elaborate on the rest.

Soon we were both quiet, looking down at our empty plates and trying our damnedest to remind ourselves to forget about all the little things that happened in-between point A. and point B. that night. While I knew that I would be okay with myself; other articles, deadlines and assholes to interview coming in the following weeks, for some reason I wasn’t sure if Christopher would be able to do so.
Then I thought about it more, realizing that those little things I tried to figure out all night were exactly the type of material he was looking for, or possibly trying his hardest to avoid. He would find it difficult to venture out and away from them, as they were, like the town he lived in, so very much a part of the subtext. Nothing much felt like it was hidden passively between the lines anymore, and in that sense, I at least understand now why we didn’t talk about much of anything. Like everyone else, I too, had become a part of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

we talked tonight like the television was our fireplace. we looked at each other and i said the word "hopelessness" and you looked at me like you'd been waiting to hear somebody say it. that word. you have goals. i said, "that's great that you have something you want to do." and you somehow communicated, before you barely said it, that you're just trying to get out of the ditch...just trying to get rid of the pain, and then you'd go from there. you would travel, maybe.
i said things that i'd actually been thinking lately. they just sort of slipped out of my mouth after you would make me laugh. like, thinking that life was totally great when the light from two smiles warmed our vision, like, for a moment we were part of it, but happy. we were happy. good job! okay, keep being honest, keep opening things up...he digs holes for a living, and you're digging, digging, with him everyday, at home, by yourself.
you don't connect much these days. you try to, then you get scared and freeze up and don't budge like all the fucking lifelesses you tried so hard not to shake in high school cause you couldn't stand their standstill. and now you are so scared. you won't even move. sometimes, maybe a little...but you're know you're just looking for nothing, walking around, being separate.
we are all so separate. do people really know each other? do you believe that? you can tell me if you want.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Missed Chance? by Jason Kish

5. I FOUND A HEART IN A NEWSPAPER WITH “FOR FREE” ETCHED OVER it and read it twice. I wrote this on the back:

"All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?"

I pocketed it in late, rainy June: sad memories.
I remember the drive from desolation.
The sky, once filled with passion, was empty --
But her home felt hot.

Nervously unfolding the note.
Nervously checking the address.
Nervously moving through rain and fog;
Through the opening door and
Nervously exclaiming, “Hi.”

I haven’t forgotten that thunderstorm, it’s heralding:
A FLOOD! 9 PM, 3 DEAD! Three survivors.
-- shadowlike objects leaned forward to hear.
The trees and wind coughed? You can’t be sure,
But you hear chaos in the dark
You’re groping towards. Your feet are awkward;
The heavy clothes cling to you -- you just want
To take them off.

Our new life was always starting again.

We met first at a restaurant
She needed a light; the conversation wasn’t forced.
Her hand writing on the note was refined:
Salt mixed with sweat and rain; ions, channels
For electricity into my body.

When I look for God, I visit her -- Most of all
I remember the end of it.

4. She said, “Meg’s sleeping”; she said, “Keep quiet.”

Her darkened, pale-walled bedroom lit by her voice;
The house tired and noisy, the quiet porch.
Each small sound the sigh of a ghost trapped beneath
Fragile floorboards. My ear pressed to the wall,
I heard the moment of death. I found fist-
Sized cavities scarred into drywall.

Death, my friend, walking quietly before me.
We’re comfortable, I’m not getting rid of him.
We’re both smiling, but I quietly cried
When I thought the thunderstorm
Had pushed its way in, followed me,
Tip-toeing gently underneath my own feet,
Like acid on the groaning floorboards.

I couldn’t take it, we exited to the porch and waited.

3. “You get it?”

“Yes, but they’re all pretend, those faces you see, they put them on one night, for that night only, not like the others they wear at work or on the phone with…”

“I had another dream about her.”

“She calls me… about Mark. How he’s doing. And about Jess…”
“Yes, but they’re dead.”

“Yes. And, then I remember that. So, I say, ‘They’re dead, I thought… Who is this?’ Then the line is static.
… … … … … I’m sorry.”

“In some way ………….. It’s like everyone dies again...
“When I wake up?”

You’re losing it! Wake up!

2. One, two, three, four, five, none --
I count noises from the house.
I count steps down to the yard.
I close and open my eyes slowly.

Her blonde hair is the sun at midnight,
The lawn is hushed by breathy trees.
There is a warm-heart-beat, a terrible realization,
A fighter plane struck by friendly lightning.

Dog snarling, image walking, talking with
The smooth rhythm of his tongue.
And she tells you he is a friend.
Do not be afraid, everyone is safe tonight,
And those other things, people, and places
Never existed, never were.

She pets him: six, seven, eight, nine soft noises
From the lonely visitor.
We give him the sandwiches.

“But, I still think I see her…”

1. The yard gets more and more crowded as I dived into memory. You hit the water head first and linger for a brief second -- submerge -- disappear with your growing wings -- you fold inward against yourself, sprouting into something dangerous, a moth, a villain, her tomb, her coffin, a cup of coffee… the last one you drank with her, you emptied your cup -- stared into her circular face, more of the same -- you say, to her,

“MORE OF THE SAME!” … we went through it again and again.
“Well, what about Mark and Jess?”

You stare into her face, into her eyes, and she stares into red eyes, and there are lines, going up and down her face, circles of lines, short lines of laughter -- long lines of panic and jealousy, engraved into her silver skin -- a touch would be electricity for your flesh, the pin-prick sensation of broken love -- your heart folded like moth wings, empty hands on the table, like the napkin over your lap -- you’re done. So, you say that, but keep looking into her eyes and nothing moves. It was nice while it lasted, but you’re done -- eaten, chewed, a regurgitated circular mess, and it’s all there, reflected in her stony eyes, the hum of the ceiling fans, the empty waiter, flirts and smiles, the old man chewing loudly from the corner -- right there, wrapped into those dark holes -- a singularity of your existence, that brief look -- she leans forward, one quick breath, the candle out, but you’ve already flooded into the streets with the sound of her breath pulling you, but you move faster than humming ceiling fans and old men chewing, faster than broken voices at the bar, than cries of angels on the street corner, faster than sputtering cars can crash -- you are moving forward into a new universe, but that moment is everything. You are trapped in memory, in singularity, coiled in your bed like ouroboros.

“… her face on other people’s faces… sometimes.”
“In my face?”
“Yes, in your face too… like at the restaurant… like right now.

“The days and nights blur together anymore. It’s hard to find the ability to see through all the fog that stays inside of my head -- I go in circles and find myself falling asleep waiting for the rain, wondering about life, about the loud noises, about newspapers and obituaries. When I wake up, and go outside, I think I see her at the end of the yard in a blood red wedding dress, smiling. God, God… I don’t know. I see His shadow stretched across the lawn in the shape of a cursed crucifix. What life is this? I place an ad in the paper for them all every year. I fall asleep listening to small splashes under the moon, cringing, but each one is small, just slips away gently.”

Maybe you should quit it all? Move in here? Just… stay with me.”

“I can see myself here… as one of those men who live on the outskirts of town, a quiet life, a town where no one goes, can you see that? Do those men know they are there, completely crazy? Did they see it coming? Do they want that? Do they choose that?”

0. A cold, gray light cuts into our flesh. The world is fear.
You can hear her laughter in the dark, tangled wood,
A pure symbol of emotion, an animal that paces
Back and forth, a parrot, bright bitter lime, sun-
Cast on a fluttering red wedding gown.

The wind picked up, and she pressed herself close,
I thought I heard her thinking because her voice
Was caught in her throat.
It was a strange clicking sound, like the cold
Had set in her heart. I felt deep regret.
I felt eyes all over my body:

Not body on body. Just a blank stare.
Not body on body. Just pent up rage.
A shadow, not me, walking the street, but it was like
The skeleton cross painted over the lawn,
It was Death walking quietly before me,
Something that just wasn’t there.

“You can stare right through me tonight,” I tell her gently,
And I can stare right through you, too.”
“We’re both waiting behind windows that can’t be opened.”

I say, smiling: “No. I saw you, believe me, standing quietly on a lost shore,
With the fog of memory pressed gently against your back.
When I held you, we evaporated.
And, I thought, quietly… that’s love.”

One language of love is poetry.
It’s there, like nowhere else, really;
You listen for it, but can’t hear.
Or hear it as a dream
Forgotten at work the day after.
That’s why time gets to me --
The question is always the answer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It was their day off, and he was visiting from the city. He brought a classic rock mix because he knew that on their day off, they liked to get stoned and listen to classic rock. The car was going quickly down the highway, and the familar beat of "Benny and the Jets" played in the car stereo.

"Benny and the Jets. Fuck. Let me tell you about this song. I never told anyone, but at the beginning of the summer anytime I heard something on the radio, I thought it was 'Benny and the Jets', but it never was. It was like, you know, Coldplay or someone from 'American Idol.' But seriously, this would happen for every song I noticed playing on the radio. So, about a week later, I'm sitting with a bunch of people, like Carl, Erin, Austin, you know, just a bunch of people, and a song comes on the radio and I think it's fucking 'Benny and the Jets', but by this time I feel like I'm going crazy and I know it can't be it. So, I start freaking out and ranting about this goddamn song, and how I think every song is it, and everyone's just lookin at me real strange. Like I'm an idiot. And you know what?! The one time I decided to tell people about this... it's actually was fucking 'Benny and the Jets'!"


"Good story, Heather"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

there is no try. do or do not.

do not give into hate. it will lead you to the dark side.

i almost said, "i'm trying, i'm really trying." that is funny. i do not hate him.
i do not hate him for pissing all over the toilet seat.
for never helping me clean the house
for breaking my big bulbed christmas lights i searched everywhere for.
for making fun of me for the things i hate most about myself right now.
for telling people things about my life i'd rather have no one know.
for telling me i have a "loose pussy"
for playing world of warcraft all day and telling me to shut up when i ask him
if i can check the internet just to see if there are any job openings.

i do not hate. i will not hate. it will only lead me to the dark side.
shes tired and i'm drizunk, but these are things that i've beored you guys with before.
I just want to feel more. or feel something. maybe i am one of those people that will make no one happy in the long run, but right now... it seems like i'd rather feel the spark and lose it a hundred times than have to do this for the rest of time.
it's happening more often these days that i feel like i should just toss it all. i can't imagine life without them, but i do a couple times aa day.

i saw an intervention the other day that had this chick that got rid of her kid because she knew she was terrible for him and she said that she tried to just not think about it. I'm not good for hers, but at the same time i can't imagine myself baing okay with letting someone else raise them.

I don't get why we say things are going well so often . i mean i think i can make things work, but the fatc is there are fundimental..i hate spelling...and i;m not going to fix this post..... anyway, there are fundamental differences in our ideas. Whether its true that i'm not right for them or not doesn't really matter. he is driven by money and while yea it would be so much easier to have money i'd rather live in a goddamn box and secretly grow vegetables under the benches in central park than worry about whether or not my tattoos are going to keep him from being the next 4 star general.
I wasn;t aloud to go out tonight because i take a class during the week and it should be enough social time to suffice, but he goes to the bar once a week with his work buddies, why do i have to sit and hear how unfair things are. he goes to class tooo.
as i finihs my 7th jack and coke i sit on the couch in the comfort of my home and 2 bathrooms. i get up only to pee. outside. "a fuck you to the old man" would a generals wife do that. i wish. but she doesn't. i'm not the right person to be in this type of situtation. i know that. but would i be able to deal with the feelings i would have if i just said good bye to all of them.

this isn;t art... i can't write songs, i can't even spell right, but it is a nice place to vent annonomously to 80% of you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

when a bird hits into the window, he wakes the both of us up. i always say, "thanks for taking this one, bird. i've got the next."

Friday, July 18, 2008

she and i wrote these together.

One word at a time:

tuesday we gave all our hours to nothing. how did my sight become so distorted? me, i, the very forgetful man. i took nearly all of my money to the bank. and sometimes i remember what she, sherry, looked like after i gave her proof that there was something behind us.

two words at a time:

how can the nosie get inside so easily? i felt that the orchestra played too long.
ahh, the death of my oldest friend. people tell me stories about other years, in which the orange trees gave good harvest. i try to steal my father's easter eggs on sunday morning. but, i always felt i should have left them there.
i like you. i want to kiss you. i want to love you. be good and know that it's good. i do not want to date you, though. i do not want to. you would be horrible. to me.

voice of reason:

try to tell yourself you don't hate yourself
tell yourself you like yourself.

* * * * * spickets running * * * * *

some nights, these days, i would always rather be alone and not talk to anyone
all night.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I thought cross contour lines were hard to firgure out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

sometimes she answers her own questions.

The place is quite clean. The walls are either bone white or powder blue. He didn't choose any of it -- it's a rental. Furniture is a hodgepodge ranging from a recliner he said was left behind and quick thrift finds because he couldn't stand the sight of a living room with no couch. He apparently used to have matching furniture, but abadoned it when he didn't feel like renting a UHaul for the move.

The best piece of furniture is the old record player with milk crates full of vinyl by some of his favorite bands -- mine, too.

Some of the art is modest. Some of it is not.
Most of it is his or a friends.
There is one poster: the cover "London Calling." It lacks a frame.
The modest 24-inch TV sits on a small square table.

His kiss is both. At first it was slow, but it got more intense. Because he's older, he didn't immediately try to jam his tongue down my throat. He executed his kiss by asking me nicely on the walk to Turkey Hill if he'd be able to. I answered without opening my mouth if you know what I mean. It lasted no more than three seconds. Later ones would be much longer.

Music was an automatic because we were listening to "Let It Be," maybe not the best bedside music, but when you're distracted with touching and kissing, Paul Westerberg singing about his favorite thing doesn't matter.

Socks were kept on, but then again, so were pants. The lamp was still on, and we never made it off the reddish-brown couch. I guess he says sex, because to quote him, he doesn't have that on date one.

But that's OK, because this all happened between 5 and 6 a.m., and I was interrupted by a call at 6:08 asking where I was.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A demo in progress


The lyrics are meaningless, for the most part...
The music for this part is pretty much fully developed except for drums after the piano note comes in.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning about "contour" and "cross contour"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

work in progress

Wiping the trickling beads of sweat with the back of an already moist hand, forced to gaze up there at that big thing losing itself. Unexplainably. And not without the reticulate sprawling across the swaddling blue of the city’s midday sky, falling apart. I didn’t know what to think at the gargantuan tree blatantly crumbling, dismantling in front of me. The synapses running across my brain matter were desperately searching all plausible outlets for some sort of reason. But could find none.
The hulking base of the tree, a seasoned oak of some sort, had split in perpendicular lines from the ground up. The hugest limb had fallen onto the sidewalk, blocked it entirely. It was Rick Leedy’s favorite branch. The dark bark on the ends had given way to the much lighter wood showing from the inside, like the white stuffing spilling out from a burst seam of a teddy bear. This tree was dying and I was watching not only the physical characteristics deteriorate, but could perceive its essence ebbing away, too. There were quiet sobs contained in the leaves’ rustling, directly in time with the slow cadence of death’s overtaking.
Soon I could take no more and turned to go inside. The low moan of the screen door. I was dripping with sweat, so I immediately made my way to the kitchen and ran some water over a sullied rag and generously dowsed my face with it with closed eyes in the minute rapture of the moment.
It didn’t seem that out of place, the tree’s inexplicable and unmitigated demise, not after the couple days that I had had, you know. I opened the refrigerator door, I was breathing loudly, and was met with a cloud of cool fog from inside. It dissipated around my hand as I reached in, opened a chilled beer with granules of ice careening down the sides. Plopped myself down on the itchy couch, stared at the green glass bottle. I was in Texas earlier that morning, the bleeding guts of Texas. It was almost thirty-five full degrees hotter there than in this place, I couldn’t understand why my sweat glands were giving me such harsh problems about being in this comparably very cool climate. I was gushing, though. Hot from the inside out. Felt my organs boiling. I listened for Rick Leedy upstairs but didn’t hear him. I let my thoughts grow to drape over me. The green glass of the bottle grew in my mind, as did the dismantling tree outside. And it hurt me inside. I shut up my eyes, gulped the bitter liquid down. Went over it all.

My mind was blistering, feeling hotter than ever. Standing in the longest line, getting my chest rubbed down and my dick jacked up by this young girl with eyes bigger than a squid’s. Prettier, too. She was chewing gum, just like you’d expect, rubbing in a circle with one hand, tugging vertically with the other. I could smell the citrus emulating from the gum, fake like an air-freshener. The jelly she was rubbing into my pectorals made them this bright orange putrid color, like the itchy couch where I now recounted these events. She made occasional popping sounds with the gum, like spoons clicking, but didn’t speak. I didn’t speak, either. A lot of the other guys standing in the gigantic line, they were stammering away. Nervous, bashful, pompous, that and more. All sweaty. I didn’t care. They all had girls, too. Pretty girls. Pretty like lined dolls in a tiny child’s room. I twirled my head around ballerina style and saw that some of them had coaxed their girls into fellating them as we waited. I wasn’t going to try that, although the urge to have my beast buried in something warmer than a clammy hand was very hard to counter. Seeing all of that kind of made me sick, made me think I might have come to the wrong place. They had this soft delicate music with violins and lots of strings blasting over the PA system. I found it very inappropriate, but someone somewhere behind some glass was chuckling.
The orange bodypaint was making me a little queasy, so I gently suggested to my girl that I was coated enough.
“They will tell us when they want us to stop,” she said. “I gotta keep going till then.”
“I guess you gotta do what they tell you to do,” I said. I ran a hand across my lips to catch any spittle, then ran it through my hair. She was chewing her gum, still rubbing, still jerking. Some time passed. I could tell she didn’t mind the silence, but I did. I wasn’t accustomed to these things, though I thought that really wouldn’t be an issue when we got down to the marrow of it. Still I faltered:
“What’s your name?” She just stared, chewed, rubbed, jerked. Stopped all of them when she heard my question. Clicked her teeth like she clicked the gum.
“Desiree’.” Started all of them again.
“I’m John,” I said. Felt uncomfortable. Felt like I was revealing too much in that disclosure, even though I wasn’t wearing any clothes. “But I guess you don’t use your real names for these things. I gotta think of a new name.” She forced a chuckle faker than the tits on the girl sucking the guy off behind me.
Stopped her motions: “They say you use your middle name, and the street name from where you grew up.” I tried to visualize it in my head.
“Ryan Coventry.” Winced again at the revealing of more than I should.
“Not bad,” she said. Her rubbing tempo increased. So did her jerking. I began to tighten up.
“Easy,” I said, “she’s not even out here, yet. I’m gonna blow up if you keep it up like that.” She chuckled again, but this time it was something else. I felt her drape herself in the blanket of humanity for the first time. Kind of blushed, the color of a piece of uncooked chicken.
“That’s normally something that I would never criticize someone about. I’m just saying that you are really good at your job.” Her humanizing laugh had opened this iron gate to her real attractiveness. Big bug eyes, big blonde hair, big caked-on make up. Trashy. It took what the little blood that remained in my head and flushed it from there completely. Her eyes bulged and dripped with some nectar that I found to be especially nourishing in the moment, igniting my usual proclivity for any attentive creature. Or it could have been the fact that I was being manually stimulated to an orgasm by her preening hand. I felt some sort of affinity for her, a primordial feeling I was really used to by now. Thought I was falling in love again. Going through the motions, at least. “Just be delicate,” I said.
The room was cavernous, looked like it was once used as an airplane hanger of some sort. There were yellow jibberish letters stenciled across a couple of the unkempt walls. Enormous lights mounted across the ceiling, looked like searchlights. Emitting loudly halogen fuzz and drenching the place in it. I hadn’t ever been anywhere where they made pictures before, but I had never imagined it was in places like this. I had a feeling it usually wasn’t. It was hard getting passed the smell of that jelly being rubbed into me, but once I did, there was a definite lingering odor of dust and mildew and fine sand wafting throughout the place. I thought about all of that being stuck in the tiny spaces between my teeth. Thought about all of the other oily bodies around me inside my own, sliding around, through my intestines, skating my bones. The contemplation caused a sputtering cough to churn in my stomach. Felt it bubbling up.
She broke my foray into revulsion: “Well, there’s gotta be something special about you, John, you’re number one. You know every guy here wants to be number one. How’d you pull something like that off, being an amateur and all?” I did not like that she had used my name.

sometimes she thinks about sex.

You've got a good foot over me, which is odd, 'cause I'm not used to looking up to anyone. I mean that both figuratively and literally. There have been some tall ones, who cried out at night when they kicked the baseboard. My bed here doesn't have one, so you wouldn't have to worry about that. Not that I'd want you staying there.

I wonder what your place is like. I wonder if it's messy or neat or bachelor-like. I kind of hope it's really plain with no frills, no modernity and mismatch furniture just because you couldn't care less about coordinating your living room suit. I hope there's some modest art and maybe some concert posters, but framed because you're too old to have them just taped, sorry. You seem too cool to have a lava lamp and too simplistic to have anything more than a table for a TV.

I find myself wondering what it'd be like to have you over me and to have you consume me. I wonder if your kiss is intense or really slow. I wonder if it'd make it into my book. How do you execute your kiss? Do you make a move? Or do you ask? Let it happen? These are things I'm dying to know.

I want to know if you take off your socks. Do you fumble foolishly in the dark? Or do you keep a side light on? If I did something comical in your bed, would you laugh or would you feel awkward? Are you coy? Shy? Aggressive? I tend to like a little of them all.

Do you prefer music while you fuck? Do you say fuck, sex or making love?
Here's hoping I know answers soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I have 15 room mates right now. My cabin smells like expensive perfume and gross period.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

if you won't

if you won't write to say you miss me, couldn't you write just to thank me for not saying it to you every chance i get?
i just heard the first sounds of the new day. a construction worker fucking something up in the distance.

it's almost four thirty.

I've been watching television alone. It's nice to be able to lay down now, but I remember when you would sit at the other end of the couch, and we would laugh forever. You would look at me when you thought something was funny to see if I was laughing too. Even if I wasn't laughing, I would pull out a smile for you. Just to be nice. Not to be nice because I was afraid of being not nice...but because being nice to you was just how it was. It was just what came out of me when I was around you: nice.
People laugh at the word. But fuck, I don't know how else to describe it. Just being alive, and walking past me most mornings in your underwear, or towel, I'd be smiling stupid...just cause you were walking past me in the morning.
Even when you were depressed, you were exciting. Always. And not for anyone else's benefit but your own. It was easy for you to be exciting. Although, you weren't excited when you were by yourself. You often got very lonely. You didn't know what to do with your alone time.
I miss you so fucking much. There's nothing to do with this feeling, because I didn't tell you anything about it. No one knows except everyone..but not you. No duh. There's a letter, third drawer down in my blue dresser. It's wrapped in some thin rope I found under the desk at work. It's written on three sheets of small paper. Purple, then orange, then purple. I always hated that color combination. But yeah, the letter's for you. And if you happen to see this, which you won't, but if you do, you can come into the house, go upstairs into my room, open the third dresser and read it.
It's a dumb letter. Full of bullshit and warmth. You're an idiot.
Still can't figure out why you wanted to sleep next to me every night for a week, until one night I cried and you left. I didn't even say anything.
I guess sometimes people just want to sleep in beds with people.
I guess sometimes you can say that we are good people and that we are so much alike and that we deserve someone as good as us.
I guess sometimes you can spend every downtime moment with someone, sneaking cigarettes in the basement, and playing harmonicas together and making gravity bongs and searching for roaches and talking about everything until 4:30 am most times...and never say a word about how you feel...even if you feel nothing.
I guess this happens.
Dangit, i love your hands.
You go out in public wearing the dirtiest clothes, and the ugliest outfits.
You're fucking wonderful. And I'm too stupid to let go.
i think you should just make pancakes alone. you could go outside, watch the wind push things around. you could try to catch the things the wind was carrying, but you wouldn't. this should not upset you. we're all, afterall, alone, in a sense, and nothing, not no one, not no thing, belongs to any one of us.
what you have decided about yourself:
you're going to be okay. with living, and all. if you have music and yourself and the intention to give a shit. you have to ask yourself, now, what happened to all the love you had...all the silly, soft peace you held like little baby birds. you put all that faith and peace into a restless and very broken heart. a wild, willful, terrible, lonely heart. you wanted it that way. his brother said to you yesterday, "i'm sorry you got caught in his path," as if you were a delicate feather or egg, like you could be broken so easily. you wanted to be caught, though. you wanted to be shot down dead like you were. you wanted to fight the ferocity within him and you wanted to try at least. and you did try...and even if you changed nothing, you gave him everything you ever had, every thing you ever knew, you ever felt that was good, or bad, or whatever. you know he hates that he hurt you. did you know that?
back to you, though. really. i believe the world needs you.