Thursday, June 25, 2009

I decided to write you a note
A story told in plain speech
Without too many words, or big ones
That have too many syllables

It’s a story for the people;
I want its message to ring through the streets
To resonate in the hall,
Pollinate the ear drums.

It’s a story by the people;
Chiseled from bone and steel
Dripping with sweat,
Coughing with black lungs,
Hiding its pride like a bruise.

Birthed from the same prickly cactus
Same angry, trampled hole in the ground

Oh, our mother.
Is she not at the heart of all our great tragedies?
Harmonizing over them like a wailing siren

She is moaning a cautionary tale
Of shattered glass,
Of sea-foamed shores swallowing entire cities

People becoming pansies for the picking
No longer fit to survive
No longer quick as the carpenter
We are lined up
To be pinned down

Drowning in the waters,
We swim against the current
Just to survive
Our scaly, limp bodies flailing in the foamed rapids.

But her call falls to deaf ears
As we shuffle along, dirtying our hands.
Working for a clock that bends, but never breaks

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Gospel According to Barry

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BARRY

Barry Dale was a simple man with a complicated life. Fate is often cruel this way, it seems. However this isn’t a sob story for all the simpletons of the world, about how they are unjustly dealt the proverbial “shitty hand”, this is a story about Barry. Barry Dale’s father owned a car shop, so when it was time for Barry to decide what he wanted to do, where other students squandered over college application forms or thought about technical school, the choice seemed pretty simple to Barry.

However, his life didn’t go as simply as it would seem. When Barry was 22 he got married and his father died suddenly of a heart attack. They were working on a car together in the shop. Barry’s father asked Barry for a ratchet and Barry brought him the wrong size. Barry senior, who was drunk at the time, and all the time for that matter, threw the ratchet back at his, “Good for nothin’, half-retarded” son, and before Barry even got a chance to stand up for himself, his father collapsed.

After this, Barry found Jesus and his mother found the bottle. Barry sought some sort of adolescent, misplaced forgiveness for causing his father’s death, and his mother just drank and blamed her son. He would always take care of her though, being that he found Jesus now and all. You see, Jesus teaches us to take care of our family, even if they won’t be saved when He comes again. They are your family, and you are bound to them in this lifetime. Jesus said honor thy mother and father, so no matter how painful, Barry took care of her.

Time would show that Jesus ended up saying a lot of interesting things to Barry Dale.
Barry worked and worked and saved and prayed in those days. He really did better business then it would seem for how tiny his garage was. He was lucky in that his father’s house, well, his house now that he had moved his mother to a “retirement community”, was directly above the shop. By this time, Barry and his wife weren’t getting along very well anymore. After his father’s death when Barry became religious, his wife did not follow suit. This gradually added tension to their arrangement, however as I said earlier, Jesus said to stick by and take care of your family, even if they won’t be saved when He comes again. So that’s what Barry did for 13 long years.

But 13 years was the breaking point, who knows why, maybe because 13 is an unlucky number, but for whatever reason, on the 13th year of their marriage while Barry was replacing break pads in the garage, he heard something. Barry heard a voice. In fact, Barry heard the voice of Jesus. To try and replicate the words of Jesus would be asinine and trite, however the gist of it was Barry you must kill your wife. She has been unfaithful to you and to the lord and for that she must pay eternally. I am coming again soon, Barry, and when I do I will remember what you did for me. I will remember you and you will have a seat in my kingdom.

That night Barry Dale murdered his wife of 13 years with his bare hands. He strangled her at 5:30 in the evening, wrapped up the body and put it in the bed, and still made it to the 7:00 service down the street. There Barry prayed. He prayed for the soul of his wife, and for God to forgive him for his stupidity. He never should have married a woman who didn’t have Jesus in their heart. He told God that he knew he was doing his will, and that he longed for the day that Jesus told him about, the day that he would come again. Jesus said it would be soon, but Barry wondered how soon. Soon could mean a week or a few years, or even a few decades to the Almighty.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The last time I was at this hospital, I was pretending to be an employee of Pifer Funeral Home so I could pick up my grandfather's death certificate. Time before that, I watched my grandfather get his last rites. Time before that, my throat was closing up and my fingers and toes turned the brightest blue. Time before that, I was born.

This time, it's Dad. My dad. I feel like I've read a million passages about the shock of seeing a parent in the hospital for the first time. I also feel like I'm supposed to ponder the inevitability of our body's eventual breakdown. Mortality. The loss of strength and ability. You know, that kind of shit, and I suppose it's supposed to feel profound or overwhelming or whatever. I'm not thinking about anything like that. Not at all. I'm thinking about how he looks without his false teeth. Old as hell. Looks like his Dad, Thorton. My only memories of Thorton are of him on his death bed, but that doesn't bother me so much. I think it's just unfortunate that my dad has frown lines like that. I was just wondering the other day about whether I'll have frown lines or laugh lines when I'm old as hell.

I think Dad wants me here to lighten the mood. Mom seems to be embarassing him by trying to help him. Right now she's writing down questions to ask the doctor: "Can I go to work on Monday?" ("I'm going to work on Monday!"), "Can I mow the lawn?" ("It doesn't need mowed for another week.") and "Can I go to Seattle?" ("I'm going to Seattle!"). She keeps repeating the questions so he'll remember to ask. He's getting mad and talking about his dick and keeps repeating "I hate this cathetar." I haven't really done a good job of lightening the mood - I'm embarassed and I can't stop looking at the bag of bloody piss by the foot of his bed. The image is good incentive to stop smoking. It's the color of fruit punch. Dad tells me that yesterday it was port wine. Am I supposed to laugh? I do.

Mom talks about the hospital visit I didn't tell anyone in my family about until after the fact. I think she's still mad about that, so I show her some cell phone pictures I took of my hospital stay. The view from my room, the tv on the wall, the individually wrapped piece of bread they give with meals (Dad is buttering his right now), and a picture of myself. Mom laughs a little but thinks it's strange. "Why would you take pictures of something like that?" Dad speaks up "She wants to remember, is all!" I smile. Dad gets it. He asks me to take his picture.

He laughs louder than I've heard in years and when I look at the picture, he's got the dumbest shit eatin grin I've ever seen. Good. I'm glad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Told you guys about this on Kelly & Emmy's porch.

The day is still, and I am watching all of creation in the blue smoke pouring heavenward from the end of my cigarette. It is an impromptu ballet whose music I cannot hear, only taste; whose dancers betray gravity in lieu of a lasting life; whose audience consists solely of me, and my stubborn pen. Like geometry unharnessed, it is the ephemeral portrait of the Almighty Himself - bending and swerving and spiraling and falling and lifting, given to whims as capricious as His own judgement. It is not yet Death's umbilical cord, as it has been for so many. Who am I kidding? It is mine already. Have no doubt as I light another just to watch it burn: Plaintive poetry flowing out in ghostly cursive: the whispers from a lovelost; a caveat too beautiful, so left unheeded, floating with enticing grace and heartwrenching fragility. As I inhale, its form folds in on itself and is sighed from me in dozens of squid-like specters, leaving their tarcoated corpses smoldering in my chest - can feel their venom still. Returning my gaze to the slowly burning end, I see the silhouette of a man: His name is Cecil. He is sailing on a boat and the wind is strong on his face, he's taking big, mirthful gulps of it. I am carried into his lungs by the wind coming off the sea. It is too dark to write anymore down here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So much it feels like things are apart. Not you or me knows how to fix this. Though when walking on the side of the road, and grass banks pass you, and you notice things in backyards, like silver pinecones or a dad just standing and clapping and looking at his lawn, you feel some things are right, that some things do belong and you are glad you got to see it.

You may love it or you may hate it. But you must not deny that it is there. She said, "You cannot find peace by avoiding life."
When you're at that point where you believe that nothing is good, and you'd rather not feel at all, so you distract yourself with other things, you cannot run. You can run for now, but every single thing you pass on your way will be reminiscent of that pain in some way.
So what do I say, what do you say? Don't run. Stand still and look up, down, around, suck it in, breathe it out. Sit and stare, allow the crushing to come down upon you and take it's blows and knock you on the ground. Lay on the ground, lay in, sink, look up. Wait.

2 of 5


My Idea of Therapy

On Dreams

So I had three dreams this morning, in the two hour leeway period between five and seven o'clock. All three were choppy, uniquely different and probably say too much or too little about the person that I am or possibly trying to be.

Dream 1:
I'm at some kind of a party at my childhood home, most likely a birthday party or something else along the lines where dozens of family members walk in wearing ridiculous looking hats, carrying gifts. I constantly have dreams about the house I grew up in and moved out of in ninth grade. I call it Phantom Childhood Home Syndrome (See Systems and Symptoms for further information)
Anyway, I'm in the hallway and an ex crush of mine (that is to say if any of our crushes ever truly go away. I'm at the point now where I feel like I'm just moving them around in crass columns trying to determine whether or not any of these people mean much of anything to me anymore.) She's there, standing in front of me, and she says quite plainly "I miss being inside of you." It kind of bugged me out, the camera in my mind's eye soon panning over to my mother who is completely offended by such a statement, even though I completely understand it. She meant that she missed being mentally inside my head, fucking up whatever ins and outs still remain untainted.
Anyway, my mother storms off, I fall apart with my crush for an instant in my childhood bedroom, before she has more impending matters to attend to, and soon I'm listening to the same clock radio I've had my entire life, except it's playing country western music and the first lyrics sung by a heartbroken female voice are the exact same lyrics I wrote for a song about a month ago. I feel like I stole from the worst possible source, and I soon wake up.

Dream #2
I'm running up a hill in the morning, trying to catch some kind of runner's high, working out like the main character of a movie I've never seen before. I reach a peak, a hidden place off the beaten path and there's the sunrise and the sky. It's more beautiful then I've ever seen it before. I've achieved something by making it this far, by myself, with my breath intact.
Then they all pile in. Tons of people, some I know, other's I'm not so sure about. Faceless friends and so forth, all enjoying the same view with me, and not really saying much of anything.
However, it's when I'm moments away from leaving that my one friend shows up and asks me if I happen to have any narcotics, claiming he just needs something to enjoy the scene better. I make up some excuse about trying to remain morally sound with my buds before soon exiting the premises and waking up.

Dream #3
I'm at a party, flat broke, with tons of the same people, and some degenerative drug dealer is attempting to sell me aquamarine colored plants that I'm having a hard time passing up. We all gather around. I test the product and am at a complete loss for what to do next, as I soon wake up a third time.

It's morning. I'm at work; the issues of my dreams are only loosely sorted in the back of my head. I feel better and worse all at the same time, and this is meant to be normal, I think.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

it's been raining since around the middle of may, but we always get this same rainbow when it does rain.




i think it's cool too that the end is so close. emma always wants to find the leprechaun, but it would be tough for us to jump the fence surrounding the golf course.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jump?







Nah.

Just piss up a rope.










excerpts from a travel journal.

May 30, somewhere outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

-It is me. It is Kim. It is Kimm. Kim's dad packed a bunch of maps but I didn't like them, so I bought one at a rest stop in Ohio

-Ohio is so flat. Every time I think I see a hill, I'm just tricking myself. Because of that and the continuous 360 degree horizontal horizon, I feel like we're moving in a spherical snow globe-like thing minus the snow. It's so sunny. I associate flat roads with going to the beach -- the ocean, really. Only we're not going to the ocean; we're practically running from it. Going west.

-Going past Toledo now. River is very muddy, and Kimm does not advocate doing hard drugs, he said. I don't need heroin to feel "the fuzz."

-"Go Gleaming" -- the act of choosing to shine and feel present and joyously with all effort and all abandon

--Remember the red truck driving through the field. Remember how you felt and thought of Heather. Something a good friend does -- remembers (and not just birthdays).

-Trees in the middle of a field = lightning trap. Kimm has a different measure of success than me. It's because he has kids.

-So much work goes into one vegetable.

May 31

"Win or lose, we still booze, the Kim and Kendra story." Puke every morning, Kim said. Kimm is taking a train to Seattle tomorrow. I'm glad he is and not pussy-ing out. I want the best for him and I want him to feel fulfilled.

-Chicago is: easy to bike, has lots of dogs, families!, so friendly, a place to buy liquor any time, anywhere. Lake Michigan is so blue.

-My relationships with the people I love are probably the most important things to me. We're in rural Illinois now. The Midwest is so gd beautiful. Loyalty is a good friend trait. It's hard to write high and distracted, but I'm so thankful for everything all the time.

-Took photos of a corn crib, which we called a barn, but a Livingston County cop corrected us. Did a toe-touch with him. He convinced us to drive on Route 66. So we are. I bet we're his dinnertime story.

-License plate on some Chrysler near Lincoln, Illinois --BADONK.

-Lights are much more apparent, or obvious, in farmlands. You can see them from very far away 'cause no trees are making them hide out.

-Remember crossing the Mississippi and entering the western part of the United States of America. Remember "Tuesday's Gone" and remember feeling the hot, sticky air.

June 1

-Under the arch: "homeless wonders."

-Kim had Taco Bell. She'll be shitting by the next exit, which is 22 miles away.

-K-Tag: the EZ-Pass of Kansas.

June 2

-The lobby smelled like my apartment building. Abilene is the birthplace of President Eisenhower.

-Remember passing Salina and how yellow it was on that prairie. Remember the contrast of the dark, damp dirt road cutting through the golden fields. It is raining now, but you can still see so far through the mist and muggy haze.

-Along the highway are oil drills and in the distance, I see shrubs that look like animals. All nice thoughts thwarted by a big billboard asking me if I die, where will I spend eternity? "Jesus is real," another declared. These signs were both in a threatening font. Clearly in God's country where yesterday the headline of the Wichita paper read of a late-term abortion doctor being slain on the pulpit. Font was real thick. Bet it made national news.

-Pulled over to see some big dino in Hays. Packet lied. Bullshit. "What the fuck is this dumb shit," Kim said. "I want to see that dino!"  Get out, toe touch on long dirt road and leave. Also fun: defying GPS.

-Time travel exists! Now in Mountain Time. We're a Philly-Scranton distance away from Denver. Consider me psyched.

-Colorful Colarado is so green. I'm anxious to see the mountains. Go away, asshole rain. Seriously! You're crimping my views! I just saw a rusty train that said "Union Pacific" on the side. Vaguely remember Charlotte talking about that line -- wonder if she was ever in that train yard. I suddenly feel very close to her.

-Fifty miles from Denver. Houses are more prevalent than before. Look rusty. Could use some TLC. Just heard from Kimm. He's in Montana. I wish I could see what he was seeing and vice versa. I miss him already.

-Openness. Open? This state is so open. But not for business, which I like.

-Yo clouds, GTFO. I'm in Denver and I can't see the fucking mountains.

June 3
The weather turned right in time for me to go outside this morning and see the Rockies in the distance. I teared up. Now we're driving through them, and around each corner is another spectacle, another one of Earth's gifts. From the sky, I bet the pine trees look like a soft landing for a fall.

-We're more than 11,000 feet above sea level. After the Eisenhower Tunnel, we came out to a postcard-worthy shot of snow-covered mountains. I see: green, red, grey and white. And of course, blue, because the sky is so bright and beaming almost like it's saying, "Hello. Here it all is. Here is my Earth for you."

-Colorado went from pine trees and mountains to sedimentary red and taupe rocks. They look like big piles of sand just waiting to be crushed with a single giant's footstep.

-Utah is so close. Saw the first sign for Moab, "Where adventure begins." You bet.

-We came over this hill and with one mile left in Coloradio, the desert opened up and then you were in Utah. It's unreal. It looks like Mars. No power lines, houses, anything. Just Earth.

-Utah's got wack liquor laws. I paid a dollar to become a member of a "private club," but really it was just a bar next to a diner in Moab. The mountains behind us look so creepy at night.

June 4
This morning we hiked for miles to some arches. We were very high in the air and I kept losing my breath, not only out of exhaustion, but awe over the rainbow of rocks below us. I have so much to say about a place that looks like an ancient land with twisted juniper and red rock. I feel like T-Rex is just going to come out from a canyon and gobble us up. You can see shapes in the rocks like shapes in clouds. I see three men sitting on a rock in the distance. Wonder if they're in awe, too.

-I love the taste of salt on my lip.f

-Remember the LaSal Mountains and how 95 degrees in dry heat felt like 79. Remember the seemingly discarded Earth and how the green bled into the red, the blue and the grey. Remember the knobby rocks and the cool, smooth sand in your hands and burying the gnome in it, just so he, too, could get a taste of what it felt like. Remember the cacti, the lizards, the soft plants and places you seeked shade in. Remember the folds, the cracks, the bends, the paths and the impressions of erosion and how everything is resilient but so sensitive to change all at once.

-This place is just a big playground.

June 5

I'll be back in deciduous forest by day's end. Can't say I really want to yet.

-Flying over the Rockies makes me feel like I'm looking at Google Maps. Oh my. Google is a brand. I use it as a verb. 

-I just landed in Pennsylvania and we're waiting for a gate. I already feel reality crushing me. But I love this place, this state, the people. It is my home. Thank you, forces of the universe, for making life and living such a fucking gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope and pray that the sparkle never really fades.





Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Preservation

Preservation
Erotic vibes struck the desert winds with dignity and respect. These were upper-class whores, stranded in God’s wasteland with their thumbs firmly pointed up into the air. The highway was baron at seven A.M. on a Sunday; the sun contemplating whether or not it was worth the effort to shine on such lost souls. Their heightened knees were bloody; the blonde and brunette having both fallen at off-putting times in their walks through the sand. They had names that weren’t important, made-up identities changing frequently as more demented lunatics followed the arrows in truck stop bathroom stalls to the phone numbers to the exit signs.
They made a living in a fifty-mile radius; a packaged deal that had gone through many subtle line-up changes in the past year. There were new girls falling apart as they waved the memorial statues of their golden boy football playing boyfriend’s goodbye, different moods of purses and backpacks at their side. Mascara got runny in the heat, and yet they all looked forward to the soft and dangled looks from happily married men, merely ordering extra cheese on their son’s pizzas. The sweating would then be contagious, even in the most accomplished of nuclear family restaurants with industrial-sized air conditioning units in the kitchens and former smoking sections.
The blonde had left her fresh pack of slims in the tan minivan, not given the fragile human right of lighting up once business was taken care of. Her companion, on the other hand, was lucky and unfortunate enough to grab her corduroy satchel from the backseat of the man’s ride, moments before it tore off without her, and yet didn’t fashion herself a nicotine addict. She preferred coke. White powder stuck to both their noses after snorting for world peace off of the tomato-stained dashboard. Standard bottles of brown sauce and rolled green vices for ambience came before a call and a ride from an unmarked payphone. They obliged their host, a nameless craftsman who repeated the same verses over and over again following his specific instructions to bend.
"I still don’t understand why we have to mind our manners after dark. I still don’t get why we have to flatter our wife’s boss." His words grew faster and faster until they were slurred and both guests of the minivan looked at each other, less than aroused and completely unsure of what came next.
The blonde could almost taste the smoke on her tongue when he opened the sliding door and gracefully kicked her in the stomach with his boot; both sets of their clothes tumbling into the dirt, hardly softening the blow. Shocked by such a quick motion, the brunette could hardly catch her balance enough to slug him in the face, before being pushed out the other side. They were then caked with dust as the van skidded off towards the loose direction of the road, and both working girls wondered why exactly they had agreed to cross the border.
"I hate you for this." The blonde said, licking her lips of salt. "I should’ve went with those cowboy’s fans."
"You hate getting teamed." The brunette replied, clunking around in the man’s brown suit jacket and pants. She considered how many outfits he went through leaving na├»ve hookers behind in the desert, before soon deciding that it was better not to think too much about such things.
"It would’ve been better than this. We could die out here."
"I doubt it. We’ll arrive somewhere eventually. Besides, I haven’t run out of strength yet." She lifted her legs with a hearty breath.
"We’re going to dehydrate. That suns gonna kill us." The blonde turned back for a moment and tiredly starred into the red, before realizing that she couldn’t remember the last time they had argued with one another. It reminded her of her parents, upstairs and down.
"So what if it does?" The brunette sighed, her complexion flushed from one too many lines.
"I don’t wanna be another carcass on the side of the road." She moved her feet around the dog’s loose guts before noticing the tiniest of reflections off in the distance.
"You’re not gonna…"
"Do you see that?" The blonde interrupted, pointing to the sparkle again. "Over there, do you see it?"
"See what?" Her companion squinted, and soon felt the heat in her head, for the first time. "Oh… Yeah, I see that."
"So it’s gotta be something we need."
"Probably…" The brunette said, hesitantly focusing on the light again. It was infrequently catching the rays, making her unbalanced.
"So why I was worrying so much?"
"It’s what we do sometimes, I guess." She said it, without thinking, and soon continued to walk and stare.
They were welcomed into town with open arms, soon tossing their cares back into the wind as more arrangements were made for the evening. There was to be everything under the sun, and nothing left to remember the following morning.
i love you with a passion that i'm never gonna know again. after a decade i wake up from a dream about you happier than i've ever been. the whole day i catch myself thinking like i'm still in the dream. we had a whole life together. i've never felt as happy as i do when i'm dreaming about you. besides the alarm nothing can touch it. i just wish i could be THAT happy every day of my life. be that happy and not have it followed by the lowest low of my life when i realise it was a dream. you're always my one wish. birthdays, shooting stars, 11:11. i don't know what the fuck to do. i love you still. i hate it. how am i supposed to think that i'm going to get over this if i havn't yet. i've tried. i swear. tried so hard. i'd say there was probably a couple months where i didn't even think about you, but i always love you. i always will.

"And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God its so painful
Something thats so close
And still so far out of reach"

Mr. Thomas Petty

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rock Island

To be read aloud in a Britsh accent.

Rush towards Death
And smack his ass when you pass him
Poor Death, he'll follow, and try to catch up
But you'll leave him winded, doubled-over
Saying: 'I've got to give up smoking.'

Light the Succubus' cigarette for her
Wink, smile, and approach unheeded
Poor Black Widow, you'll call her 'Miss'
And she'll let you fuck her unprotected
Then you'll sneak out undetected; and the next day
She'll text you: 'I haven't come like that since Sammy at Gaza.'

Tell that feeble old Goat he can have it
Spit in your hand, a hug for good measure
Poor ol' Satan, he'll think he's made a hell of a deal
But as you walk away counting the money in his wallet
Try not to laugh as he says: 'See you soon, Mr. Freely.'

Stand cross-armed before the Grand Miracle of God
Give him a suggestion, 'just a little constructive criticism'
Poor Almighty, he'll scratch his head and wonder -
The skies murmuring with brooding dark clouds -
And say: 'Damn, why hadn't I thought of that?'

Flee from Rapture
Find your Father and Mother
Find your friends, your sisters, your brothers
Poor Loved Ones, they will be on their knees in repentance
But you'll know better. And you'll help them up.
Help them to their feet, and say:
'Let's just hang out down here and see what happens.'


this is first night back and this is how i feel

this is first night back and this is how i feel

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

1,308 posts...i also looked at the clock at 11:38 pm and 10:38am today. it's weird.