Saturday, December 25, 2010

Acid Poem 1

His features became that of a beast
and his teeth became that of a beast
and his thoughts became those of a beast.
Yet to all others he appeared as a man,
and he wondered if it was only he
who saw his bestial reflection in the mirror of their eyes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas dreams.

I had dreams, yawning wide open, of old gods that sat heavy upon the world, great engines that hummed with the om of life and death, ominous hulks whose ancient bodies obscured the horizon. They sprawled eternally like sphinx, frozen in the sand of a timeless earth, on treacherously lazy paws, morose landscapes in and of themselves, seething with atomic intelligence.

Followed angels behind bars into the secret shadows of my mind's alleys, realistic and painful sweet moments with angels reaching realistic and painful sweet conclusions. The sun burned blonde behind my eyelids, I drank a thick nostalgia, golden sand wet with sweat.

I had ponderous, crawling epic dreams of racism and social inequality, unexpected chilling visions of a great tree, rotten in trunk and leaf, rotten roots deep in rotten soil, and I had difficulty leaving the scene without feeling like a rapist.

I watched reality twist itself into a dervish, vibrate into a mirage suspended on the fragile shining spiderweb of a single song.

I saw a giant ruddy beast made of mud and crumbling masonry, with gasping slot machine mouths, and the jackpot vomited torrents of rusty water and mud dotted with muddy human bodies, the living and the dead, and even the to-be-born. I knew then as I know now that this was nothing to fear, lest we admit that we've been living in that same fear our entire lives. I knew then as I know now that the rivers of blood and mud and rust run freely with those of Spring and sweat and wine and light, and that when all these nebular rivers freely intermingle upon their absolution in the final ocean, light will shine through to its deepest depths, and it will remain clear as virgin water untouched by the sin of time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Big ol' eyeballs stretch thin lids. A day, a night, a week, a month, a night spent in fog, stumbling along the surface of the autumn moon, a cosmonaut among cowboys. I'm finding less things to believe in the eyes of fellow man, and more things to believe in nighttime and the magical realism of lunar-manic road trips, scuttling along the planet's cold surface like a bent crab. There's some primal vigor rendered superficially inert, kinetic to potential, by the melancholy weather and wistful indiscretions. I feel I could walk a thousand miles through numbing, freezing rain and be carried forth by the warmth that I carry behind my eyes.

Words lose their meaning. I have no faith in them, but in the shapes behind them, infinite fractal silhouettes, glowing neon silhouettes against ghost sky.

Astro-naughts. We have knight visions, night visors, sunglasses reducing the glare of a black sky and electric expanse to but a painting on the inside of your skull, a perfect Impressionist landscape from the other side of Proxima Centauri. The air is breathing for us, tastes like a frozen heartache on your tongue, crystalline nostalgia about being buried happily alive in blankets. We're all still too young in our eggs to realize how that heartache will warm us when we relent and let it melt.

Dot my tease. Crossed my eyes. It's my bedtime. Back to the incubator.

Man the observation deck in my leave.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Unlucky You...

It's 5:36, I'm nearing the end of a bottle of wine, and it just so happens that this is one of those startlingly lucid early-morning moments of inebriation that causes a boy to light another cigarette and nervously let his fingers do the stammering for once. I've got so much to say, but the world is asleep and disinterested, so my eyes alight on some fool target, someone that, upon morning's sober reflection, will still patiently observe me as a kindred spirit, a sooted little bird-of-a-father, and not just a drunken nuisance. That's unlucky you.

So I've gotten this far, and mild horrific bemusement sets in as I realize I haven't a goddamn thing to actually say, that I was mostly just reflecting on the past few months and the saints and sinners therein, and that sometimes when we're at our most self-righteously lonely lows, we just thrash around violently until we maybe brush against something recent and refreshing. If it was just the wine in my blood, I'd probably erase this whole scam, but I've amassed quite a varied collection of bad habits, and none of them point the way towards prudence or patience. Time to string my guts up like a telephone line and pray for a bolt of lightning to come along and set the whole thing crackling and arcing into the dry winter air. Sometimes we pray for a catalyst even when we haven't the wherewithal to actually deal with anything new and confusing.

But with that sort of introduction, there's no recovery, and so I understand now that some secrets are best kept until my lips are but a whisper from your ears.

Friday, October 29, 2010

comment in re: Gibran's "My Countrymen"

It's difficult to express my moral and spiritual disdain for the entire American political system, from the sunsabitches in power to the civilian stooges that allow themselves to be bought and sold like beef. My gripes with the whole affair lie in a way not being addressed by any media outlet, liberal or otherwise. When trying to express my thoughts and fears, I usually end up sputtering and trying my damnedest not to sound like either a closeted believer in any sort of partisan rhetoric or just an apolitical apathist (though this latter may be closer to the truth).

Point is, politics are neither sexy nor poetic. Not to me, anyhow. Perhaps I'm just ignorant, or maybe just an idealist, but the fears and doubts I have for my country are not going to be abated by political change so readily, as it's hard to put faith into absolutely anything having to do with the bullshit they're strobing across your eyeballs. None of it feels right. In choosing not to vote, though, I fear that I am revoking my right to bitch about it, or at least to critically comment on any part of its nature. So at the very least, I wish I could at least just emote some of this feeling I have deep in my heart and my guts, this sick feeling about politics and elections and people and America moving forward into the 21st century. Emote, with no labels applied, purely from the context of a human being, born confused and concerned into a nightmare that just keeps plodding on and on, a sleepwalking nightmare that seems so easy to wake up from, yet everyone just stumbles forward. I think the real rotten spots are in our hearts or souls or consciences or whatever vague term you use for the moral abstract.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess I'm just trying to give you some context for this poem. My political views are kept to myself, but everything hurts me and concerns me as much as it does everyone else in this great country. Everyone's worked about Tea Parties and mosques and elections and a dude stomping on a woman's head in Kentucky, and I guess I am too. Cuz even if I have no faith in the Thing, a lot of people do, and I'm afraid that Thing is gonna let a lot of those people down.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I hate flying, and I hate airports, but it seemed such a superficial shame to waste those little blue pellets wrapped in aluminum foil on such a silly post-modern neurosis, so I opted instead to deprive myself of much-needed sleep, choosing instead to coast through the takeoffs and turbulence and landings and transfers with a narrative narcotic delirium that caused my mind to float with the same holy fluidity that I saw in the clouds out the window. It made sense, at least back then, to play on the laptop and smoke cigarettes on the porch until the sun came drowsily up, and then to pack at t-minus thirty to us climbing in the car with a steaming mug of whiskey and green tea, casually brushing aside the rotten 7 am humidity with the fuck-off Knowing that the wheels would be burning down the tarmac on an alien planet two hours in the past. Did I sleep on the plane? I can't remember; I was passed out.

And now just two nights later, I'm exhausted and still coasting on that delirium, poised with pen in hand on the tenth floor of a hotel at the gate to Chinatown, anxiously and thoughtlessly scribbling and ignoring the pleas of body and mind for that short death of slumber, hoping that writing and writing with San Francisco on my mind and in my stomach and skin will render some fat worthy of candles at 3 am Pacific on the East Bay where the fog finds every crack in your soul and settles there to fester like fungus spun from gold. No luck, I suppose, on this my last night in the most wonderful city in America, a city that expects so much. I'm shriveling under the pressure of a fine performance, walking where my father and my uncles and my heroes have all trod, and not a single song erupts from the black ink, no patterns are recognized on the wide-ruled lines, no paintings congeal between the margins. I'll succumb to that sleep that I lost in Tennessee, and I'll leave the worrisome foundation of nostalgia for a distant day, when I think back to the Bay and how this city forever and ever gently and sweetly damaged my life.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unbuckling My Rust Belt.

I haven't been writing, I've been thinking. I've been watching America slide away from the window of a 1994 Chevrolet Astrovan, breathing firecracker smoke and trying to adjust my eyes to the full spectrum of this light we bathe in, the light we take for granted. I've been bumming smokes, I've spent days eating like a peasant, and days feasting like a king. I've drank deeply of night and all its temporary comforts, of its moist natives and their feminine suppleness, like Pittsburgh smokestacks arching erotically to the stars, swaddled in pink flesh and smokey hair. But I haven't been writing; there's no time.

There are cities in China, cities I've never heard of, that eleven million people call home. I know so little of this world around me, but I have faith in my own sensual faculties, and as long as the light is shining through my eyes I will be alive and growing. We have no other choice, lest we want to fully forfeit our humanity, an option that far too many deem wholly acceptable.

But I've felt the earth shake as the El roars by on a sultry Chicago night, and we are drunk outside of an open-late Mexican restaurant with a waitress all curves and birthmark and tan old-world (New World?) beauty. I've been too twisted to stand in the middle of Ohio, with the friendliest people nested in the most unfriendly town, and we ceremoniously carve the hot-ripe watermelon that we lugged up from Arkansas roadsides to this, its Rust Belt absolution and cannibalistic consecration. Take this, all of you, and eat from it.

We are in Rhode Island now, and I am tired and broke but hungry for more. I could walk these roads until my body was more bone than skin, until my muscles relinquished their involuntary governorship of my mobility, and I become a ghost setting fire to toll booths and sleepwalking across the murky waters of shipyards, dancing an ancestral dance on Philadelphia rooftops in the post-industrial drizzle and laughing at the totemic sterility of an old, cracked bell.

Last night I slept in a stranger's bed, curling up alongside mismatched shoes and unopened nicotine patches, with an oscillating fan ans Heinlein book my only company. It was a basement room, lightless, filthy and smelling of cat shit, but there is no disgust, no disdain for the forms Life takes as she gently leans into my embrace, hips against hips, seeking a superficial security but offering immortality in return. She may as well be Death, for I'd kiss her just the same.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Do I sound desperate?

Do I sound desperate? I'm desperately trying not to, desperately trying to figure out a way to swallow this desperation and turn it into something precious, like an alchemist of the gut, shitting gold bouillon.

Exhausted by others' gravity affecting my orbit, and irritated by the worrisome gnaw that my own gravity can push against your axis as well, affecting yaw and pitch and leaving your wax wings melting as your heavenly body is suddenly much too close to that ruthless sun. I'm not going to worry about it any longer. We've all been given the same options, the same chances, the same devices, and we are our own responsibility. I have total faith in the human race and their ability to overcome all adversity and transgression, no matter how petty or pulverizing (despite everyone's daily attempts to sway my judgment otherwise), and if you allow yourself to be defeated by nothing but imagination and emotionalism, it's no one's fault but your own. Come on now, we can get through this together or alone. I think I may be addressing no one but myself.

It feels like I'm decorating a turtle shell, like hanging posters inside of a fallout shelter, paying no heed to the horrors that will propel me to seek shelter within but instead looking forward to the day it will finally be my home to call a home. And I will sit, silent and alone, and watch the nuclear glow seep around the door stop, and the first breath I take will be the first breath I take, reborn, and the last breath I take, stillborn, and I will exist in that singular breath for a beautiful, infinite, and tranquil moment of first and final liberation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am wholly, utterly, inarguably replaceable. Please don't think for a second that this is a cry for attention, or some sort of desperate prosaic plea for pity. Quite the opposite, admire me. Look how I phosphoresce in the dark. Am I not a proud, strong lizard, clinging to the Tree with all the knowledge that I glean from its bark? Do I not lap from its sap, drawn from beneath the earth and cycling lonely towards the heavens? Is this sap not now the only fluid in my veins? Regardless, I am replaceable, just as you are replaceable, and in this acknowledgment I am untouchable.

I am wholly and utterly replaceable, but I am not ashamed to admit it. I admit insignificance, I admit to my being eventually swallowed whole and digested and shat unto the stars. And in embracing my quantum negation of being, in embracing my interchangeableness, I am untouchable and immortal. I consume love and I rail fear into my damaged nostrils. They have similar effects, they are borne from the same bosom. And they are both negligible, only passive side effects of our selfish human condition. Ignore them and move on. The hangover from these drugs, the dopesickness from a brain cooking itself in the juices of its own passionate cries of self-importance, is enough to bring the proudest men to their knees. These tremors will fade with time, leaving only a grinning, proud skeleton that retains its ambulatory nature and ghost-dances all over the bones of those who put stock into the ephemeral.

I am utterly replaceable and find strength in this realization, strength that they will shudder before, they who feign to ignore their own similitude with every oyster and whale that has ever quivered up from the depths of time. How awesome the mollusk who knows enough to crack open his own brutal and ugly carapace, indiscernible from his weak and fleshy neighbors through the subjective eyes of the gods, and who rends his own guts to pieces to find that pearl and exploit its strengths.

I'm still angry, Lord knows, but I'm learning to soften the blows. I should learn to put anger aside, but I've yet to find a more efficient fuel. I will not let myself be driven mad by what I feel is missing from my life. I will not relinquish those reins to you. This anger is mine, and it is in clear and righteous definition. It is a healthy rage that liberates. I deny every law and right and preconceived notion given unto me since birth. They are naught but the shackles our parents have left for us in their will, baubles found discarded on the same well-worn paths that we have followed since the dawn of man. I will rewrite myself, and I will burn your books. I am a shark in bloody, bloody water. I will keep swimming forward and never look elsewhere with any romantic hindsight, if only to forget how bad I still hurt, if only to deny myself the realization that the only blood in the water is my own. This world is not my home, and I am untouchable.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I dub thee Solitude.

I choose inconvenience, always. It's just past 3 am, obviously. It always is. What better time to try to wring some coherence out of my head, dripping like spent jism and curling like smoke from my calloused ears. My heart is aching in a new and comforting manner, stretching and contorting itself, trying to learn some new language, the better to speak to my brain and my feet and set me straight on the Divine Path.

The boy can't go home if he ain't got a home to go back to. The boy can't talk to his friends when he knows they won't recognize him, when the very thought of having to face them and hide the blood on his hands causes him anxiety. And what then, what when they see the blood's just dripping from where they pulled the fucking nails out. And won't he be labelled a traitor if he lets slip that he has no real interest in their interests anymore, shows no concern for their concerns, save the fulfilling feeling of bitter ache and torment that their very appearance conjures in his sick little armadillo heart, that delicious irony that slips like lemon juice and bourbon down his tired throat, pickles his diseased liver, and fuels the raging pale fire behind his eyes, the fire he hopes to focus into laser-like accuracy and potency someday. And he'll just mow 'em down, pierce them straight through with a crystalline death that smells like cedar berries and feels like deja vu. Maybe that's what gets him off; the inconvenience of life, poor timing, and the resentment that follows him around like a kicked dog. He and the dog are the same, and they are all too proud for a shaggy animal with nothing to show for their trials but a couple cracked ribs and a long list of transgressions and indiscretions.

And I left and nothing's changed but these sky-blue lenses. They're focusing, cutting right through the mirror and writing my history across my tongue. Be still, my heart. Leaving is for cowards and feet. You and me and our brain are strong, we are brave, and we are warriors. We shall cover our loneliness with chain mail and knight it. I dub thee Solitude, a righteous avenger. Hold thy head tall, thy back straight. We can only march forward, on and away.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Exist in the Tape Hiss.

I'm on the rehab diet; cigarettes and Diet Coke. I fear the handfuls of antacids I consume will soon be in league with the Diet Coke and all of its excitotoxins and pseudocoses, causing me to piss gravel. Also, because of this rotten awful toothache (Dostoevsky's toothache, Burns' toothache), I've been chewing whole aspirin. It works, though, so none but Gawd may judge me now.

Rolled out of town like a sad little hurricane, burning oil and squinting into the perplexing haze of flashback shadow and last-gasp winter storm bullshit. Immediate anxiety on the road, worrying my eyes were going to be brimming with semen-colored pond scum, worried that the tires were unfairly and inappropriately imbalanced, worried that I'd be thrown to the violent mercy of the slushy gray accumulation that lolled slick and sickly along Highway 60. The lines on the road ceased making any reasonable sense, sometimes all the lights and white looking like a Picasso painting, no perception of depth or content.

Stopped at a wonderful little gas station (Lee's? Luke's?) just a few moments out of town to collect myself, satiate my need for more Diet Coke, and to check tire pressure. The gauge I borrowed from the friendly woman behind the counter didn't work worth a shit, leading only to me kneeling in the muddy ice and accidentally letting a few pounds of air out of two tires before realizing my folly. Back into the store, where in addition to all the usual useless refreshments and snacks and roadside bric-a-brac and distractions, they had several shelves of used books, a box of records, and about two flea market booths' worth of weird glass sculptures, vaguely offensive little busts of Chinese fisherman, hand-painted flower pots, and other items of interest and note. I carefully combed through it all, idly chit-chatting with the cashier and sipping Diet Coke. Back in the car, I took out my contacts and, feeling refreshed and subdued, found a cassette copy of Born in the USA that blasted me forth, eastward, where the temperature immediately began to rise on the dashboard thermometer, and where the sleezy winter nonsense began to subtly turn to nothing but a cold spring rain. The clouds parting, I became one with the night, one with the machine.

Passing under an overpass, hearing the pause in the rain on roof and windshield, coinciding with the pause between Springsteen songs. That's where I want to exist; in the tape hiss, a noiseless progress, a hurricane's eye, the arclight. Driving with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the tape deck. Dreaming of driving with one hand on the tape deck and the other on your leg. Earth-movers looming along the road, silent giants in the early night, gave way to Mark Twain Nat'l Forest, where the road dried and I was able to safely zoom like a flying saucer, brights bright, whipping the machine around fantastic corners.

Another gas station, looking for the tasteless bathroom graffiti I've grown to love. Another can of Diet Coke, another fifteen minutes spent wandering around staring at the inane trinkets arranged haphazardly on pale tan metal shelves. The people less friendly here, an angry little woman vacuuming the rugs looks at me like I'm a dog, out of bounds. The gas station was enormous, though, and doubled as a grocery store, as well as hosting a surplus of practical and agrarian hardware and hunting supplies. Funny I've never noticed this place before, sprawling out in the low Ozark mountains, somewhere near Van Buren, big and well-lit as it is. Maybe it existed but for a night, to appear on the hazy hallucinatory roadside as some neutral oasis, offering neither solace nor contempt. They had, set up on a rickety table with folding legs, a display of frightening rabbit statues, Easter candy, and a few busts of Jesus lugging His cross around.

Outside of Sikeston, west, about fifteen miles, I came upon a red Chevy pick-up with a tail-light out. I saw him make for the shoulder three or four times, discounting the first two as accidents, and then watched him wander towards the median at high speeds, only to jerk back and straddle the two lanes for a while. Deciding he was probably drunk, or a Cro-Magnon unwittingly shoved behind the take-no-prisoner controls of a beat-up Chevy, or possibly both, I hung back, unwilling to pass him for fear of a tragic double-vision lane change that would send me and my machine splintered and sobbing, in pieces, into the ditch. Another truck, followed by a little silver anchovy of a sports car, passed to the right of him, and I lost a few heartbeats as the drunk swerved within inches of both, causing panicky acceleration and a collision narrowly avoided by jerky adrenaline maneuvering. I debated with myself for several minutes about calling the law enforcement, generally disapproving of their involvement in any matters pertaining to my own cause, but finally relented, feeling a naughty sort of exhilaration as I punched 9-1-1 into my cell phone. After talking to the Sikeston emergency folks, and then being transferred to the Highway Patrol, I hung up the phone and decided to tag the drunk driver, feeling a sort of sick fascination at the thought of witnessing those sly pigwolves responding to my own demands, as a free citizen and patriot of this great You Ess of Ay, and watching them slink up behind him and slash at his tendons and go for the throat, as is their wont. After following him for fifteen more minutes, he still wandering all over the roadway, sliding in the dusty shoulder and coming nail-bitingly close to another few vehicles who dared pass, we passed through Sikeston, beyond Sikeston, past at least two police vehicles going the opposite direction. He made for the I-55 exit towards Memphis with a sickening lurch, and disappeared. I called the police again, but they responded with general ambivalence, had no record of my first call, and offered to transfer me to the Highway Patrol once more. I told them to forget it, and resumed my faithlessness in American roadway justice. Why nab drunk good-ol boys in well-worn American rigs when there are all those doped-up longhairs and You-Ain't-From-'Round-Here-Boys, craving our white woman flesh, true degenerates whose supple arms are begging to be bent behind their backs.

Another gas station stop in Kentucky, spent every last dollar I had to put a few more gallons in the tank, muttered a silent prayer (silent muttering?) that I'd make it home with the slightly-more-than-half tank of gas. Kentucky is lovely at night, all Speed Zones and farmland and cafes and convenience stores still named after real people. I listened to as much of a Sartre audiotape that I could bear and, quietly accepting the evening's lessons, bore down towards I-24 and Tennessee and home, putting each cigarette off as long as I could, and enjoying each as much as I ever will. Tennessee met me with the smell of wild onions, lovely and warm in the air, though it may have just been a ripe landfill.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Worlds Fail Me.

Worlds Fail Me.


Silver Tricorder Psychic Video Games, 1.

Decode this, slavering masses. Hyenaspeak. 12/31/09-03/02/10

Milkfat honey to the hardware angel. Melodies in the snow-pups and bon-bons, little wolf print. Dizzying. Komodo dragons. Didst thou squat here?!

For Gawd's sake, don't pee on your electric blanket. It'll short-circuit and fry you!

(We're all just trying to get our cosmic dicks existentially wet.)

Justice. Strength. Agriculture. Weed. Grandma loves the Foo Fighters.

"194732/I'm catching up to you."

Made it home from tour tonight, safe and sound and with a brand new Samiam record to play on the Ground Zero turntable I still use. The next New Madrid EP is going to be called "Methamphibian". You's a good-lookin white boy.

"Fuck the scene. Fuck the crew. Fuck everyone".

"I lost like a whole fucking pack of Camels. Pissed. DNO was awesome. I want to come visit you soon".

Exploding now, listening to NASA real loud, Martian time-slipping.
I may need to retreat with coffee.
Physically retreat with coffee physically.
I'm shitting stars.
It's already been 3 am 3 times.
I am a werewolf on the can, smoking silver full-flavors.
Remind me to tell you about "Catwoman".
This is weird loose lucid mellow dreamy,
like a joke made of eggs.
Thoughts hit the ground running and evolving
and I'm already lost.
Not enuff words.
I am synthesizing simple cotton.
I think Justin just said his nipples were dry.

"Party surprise! She had to remember it for later."

Future gifts for the self-serving masters of our own destiny. We're a joke in its twenties. Winter of Robertson. Undgen rangs.

"Covered in shat".

Bullshit weather. Winter of Sludge 2010. Nothing but Sabbath and My War until May. Cigarette butt salad with fingernails and cough syrup dressing. CONSUME. CONSUME. CONSUME.

The new pink is rattlesnake pink.
My bloody valentinnnn.
Masonic tools.
Cushions made of insect wings.
What was the name of the road I last lived on in Springfield
"Linwood I think"
It's ok I forget as as soon as I close my eyes again.
Please please to make me remind me to tell you about Henry's brother
And use keywords playboy and chauvinist.
I am laughing hysterics mad deep in my attic
blanket safehouse, John Connor style
No. Everything smells like piss.
Call is an android.
I'm taking the battery out of my wet cell phone.

"That's ok. I threw up a lot. Scrounging for bourbon. I eat sweetened berries."

I'm still up, thinking about watching the sunrise as I walk to your house. I'll call you in a bit. Sorry for being slightly inconvenient so early in the am. I'm going to write a love song to tobacco, but obtuse so that it sounds like it's about a girl. I want to use the line "I can smell you in my clothes the morning after".

Maybe the drugs turned my heartbeat to a click track/Walkin down Memorial with my hand on my nutsack.

We listen to better music than anyone ever.

"I count the days in 24 oz increments."
Dime sacks and half-stacks.
"Crate heads and soiled beds. I'ma get on SSI. Diagnosis: Too Badass for Gainful Employment."

They givin Dietz the whisk. Balcony seats for DBT = bogus. Getting wasted with good ol' boys in the balcony = awesome.

Chork pops. We smokum weedum? Erk and Jerk.

"Finding a Reason to Leave" sounds like a song I need to write. The next Henry Daggs record should be called "Hearsay and Heresy."

"I'm beyond that average cha-cha." - Kool Keith

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

"Someone just said 80 beats per minute. I heard Andy Dietz per minute."

There is nothing nothing nothing like a cigarette right now.

"Someday a real rain is gonna come and clean up this mess." - Sick of It All

"Will you bring cigarettes if you come over?"

I just burnt the shit out of myself, scalded my back in the shower. Sucks bad.

Worlds fail me. I saw so many flying saucers last night. The mothership almost landed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Remind me again who I am.

No one is out but me and the cops and the stray cats. I want to walk until I've worn my shoes to the bone, out where there are no more flags or borders, just colors and smells on the sad summer breeze. I want to live in the arclite.

I don't know who I am. There's something in the refreshing pale green of Spring that I'm dying to see, to see the moss on limestone wet with Spring rain and to watch all of the little hopes push the mud aside and climb towards their absolution in the sun. Remind me, remind me again who I am.

I'll walk all the way home to you, when I know you, and I have a feeling that I won't even know to where I'm walking until I'm dead and gone, buried beneath the cedar tree behind your little yellow house. I've been rotten and I've been down, and I'd sell myself short for a last breath on white sand with the saltwater leaching up my socks, seagulls overhead and staring at the horizon that melts and melts into ocean and sky, knowing full well that I'll be exploding like a fusion reactor into that blue sunset as soon as I get the strength to close my eyes and accept what I already know to be true.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Return of the B-Boy.

Maybe I just want to watch the sun rise in Tennessee again.

Maybe the old skate shoes are sad because they're not getting as much wear as they're used to.

Maybe I never liked earbuds, and instead I want those big fat headphones that wrap around your ears, big silver headphones kissing with tongue, underneath stocking cap underneath parka hood.

Maybe I like looking so vulnerable on the sidewalk, pausing to fumble to light a cigarette with gloved hands while traffic roars past, 7 am in the morning.

Maybe the mushrooms have turned my heartbeat to a click track, and I'm walking down Memorial with my hand on my nutsack.

Maybe it's because Kerouac finally means something to me, you know he never did before.

Maybe I just couldn't bear sleeping alone, so I'm knocking on your door like Mama, your b-boy's home.

Transcending shit nightly

So what if I'm in the corner, slobbering and spitting hot tears about what could have been Jesus, except I never took Jesus for the prankster sort. The science fiction dreams have become so familiar in their fragility, and I can't tell you the heavy golden om on my eardrums when one robot turns to the other and says, "Well, we'll just ask him to do the same next time. He won't remember there ever was a time before".

I've only seen you alone spinning like an avatar out of the liquid metal of these factory

James Cameron - did I only say avatar and liquid metal because I was thinking about James fucking Cameron for Gawd know's what reason, just losing my shit and worrying about Jim fucking Cameron, the titan of blockbusting atom bombs and Aliens/Terminator 2 which leads to Alien Resurrection and also T3: Rise of the Machines. Negligible sequels, and I'm so anxious that someone may be reading over my shoulders this crazy shit, though I know it's stupid and that in the morning all I'll have is that same crushing feeling squirting in the back of my brain that there was a common link and that there is a common link, and the

sex sex and sex and sex

I'm going to brew some coffee and then drink it and maybe continue to sit in the dark and listen to M83 and only worry a little in my big Jewbrain that maybe I've lost it this time, but I'd rather revel in the lunatic glory and drink coffee.

That's the joke. Should I enjoy it and let go, or worry myself that all the pleasures therein are only distracting me from the immediacy and obviousness of whateveritisimlookingfor in androids and silver threads running through all those fucking Philip K Dick skyscraper factories, silver against silver Indiana, and the silver masonic tools are too heavy to drag all the way across state lines.

No, coffee now maybe and maybe later now and later coffee this computer's time clock is completely wrong and says it's 2:34 am and I'm out of my mind.

Transcending shit nightly.

I worry too much, and the keys on this keyboard tend to stick.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Heart is Pumping Saliva.

Weird to see our nation's capitol building for the first time, from the sixteenth floor of an apartment complex over across the Potomac and through a lens of rain and howling wind. Weird to be laying my head on a fresh pillow less than a block from the Pentagon.

In that moon-dome I think Dr. Obama sits in a great golden clockwork throne, pulling steam-punk levers and twisting dials and looking at me through a crystal telescope. And I'm walking Arlington streets in the rain, head down and soaking wet, and that mean little Persian sold me soggy chicken wings and a seven-year-old pack of non-filtered Pall Malls that I did not specifically ask for, but that I did not specifically not ask for. But I smoke them on cold wet Arlington streets where the rain moves in strange waves across fancy cobblestone like a bourgeois joke to my tired Vans sneakers and my damp thrift store jeans, faded to a cheap gray but now saturated and black like this weird DC skyline that is screaming at us through fourth-floor sliding glass doors.

Henry tells me that the proper way to smoke these filterless Pall Malls is by burning the end with the little stamp, thereby destroying the evidence of our allegiance before the Nazis find us out. And I'm afraid I just stepped in dog shit.

They fed us bucketloads of shitty beer tonight, and I berated the football fans through dirty prosaic choruses and hid in a tiny hut or silo of corrugated metal, glowering and chain-smoking and wishing I was wherever you are. My brain stumbles with its eyes to the sidewalk cracks, around gray corners down gray alleys that dead-end in gray brick walls that I've built long ago in a past life, gray like nervous systems, shivering pink on the edges, with my spit the mortar and my bones the sand. My heart is pumping saliva these days, nothing more. When did I become such a misanthrope?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter of Sludge.

Winter of Sludge has commenced. It's been oozing along for months, but it's time we acknowledged it. Let's take it slow and muddy. I'm going to consume nothing but meat and marijuana. I don't want to wake up until the sun is setting. Only Cronenberg and Lynch movies until Spring. I'm going to eat cigarette butt salad with fingernail croutons and cough syrup salad dressing. Just stuff stale white bread in my nose, to be absorbed through my mucus membrane. Plant seeds in your beard. Comb the ice crystals out of your hair and into my m'oats. Cycle the coffee two, three times. Psychotic adventures with sound waves and paint and green foam vomit. And the playlist for the Winter of Sludge: Black Flag (especially circa My War), the first three or four Black Sabbath records, Melvins, Weedeater, Big Black, Harvey Milk, Meat Puppets, Converge (they'll be in Nashville soon), maybe Beach House(cuz some sludge comes shiny), Lewd Acts, Twin Cats (Royal Osprey), Nirvana's Bleach, High on Fire, Baroness, Trapped Under Ice, Sleep, and Zuma Zuma Zuma. Cortez, Cortez!

Weird pages of dreams last night, very realistic and detailed, but with bent morals and obtuse endings. After dream-days of mundane commonplace, in conclusion I dreamed we had weed on our person, maybe, and were carrying a cursed purple pocketknife right into some sort of cop-trap for hapless musicians, and my father warning us that our fates were sealed; either we had our jaws broken between cell bars, or the little purple pocketknife gets drawn tight across the gristle of our throat. No ideas, it's late in the afternoon now and the dream makes less and less sense as my eyes forget the sensation of looking inward and backward, behind. It's all irrelevant, my gristle's intact. I'll march out the door into the real dream, the one that really gets to slice you up, the one that we spend all these long hours trying to sleepwalk away. Cold life, through perennial sunglasses and a thin parka coat, tastes like microwaved old coffee and cigarette butts. Good cold life. It's the Winter of Sludge?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wheat Whine.

I sat on the edge of a porch with a lit gun and a loaded cigarette, both aimed for my heart. I watched Charlottesville twinkle below me, out past the condos and stretching towards a dark Southern sky. A varmint creeped and crackled in the brush just past the fenceline, coming closer and pausing just at the edge of the shadows, so that he was all but obscured, just a fat fuzzy outline, pondering me as I pondered him. He sat, then moved a little closer, and I stood and hup'd and tsk'd at him. He slowly turned and disappeared into the darkness from which he came, unidentified and indifferent.

October seems so long ago. I may never get home again.

I drank whiskey and vodka until I was frantically delirious in Columbus. I threw up in our host's sink and spilled a can-a-coke down his stairwell. I cleaned it up with my sweatshirt and towel, and now both are moldering in my stuffsack. I woke up drunk and missing my socks the next afternoon.

And ohmygod Henry is snoring so loud. I'd go find another room, but I'm a stranger in a strange house and have no idea where to begin to look. I was over-caffeinated earlier with Golden Monkey tea, sweaty and nail-chewing, and then switched to red wine and then to some weird Japanese melon drink with a glass marble rattling inside the bottle neck. Henry has a big bottle of expensive KC-exclusive beer next to him on the end table, and I think I'll finish it for him. It'll just spoil and stale otherwise, and besides there's no was I'm sleeping in a room with a snoring bear like this whilst sober.

Goddamn, it was confusion yesterday. I woke up so drunk and sick, and slept all the way to New Plymouth, where I regained consciousness on stomach-churning mountain roads and spilled into a gravel parking lot and met some llamas and stray cats and a dog named Elwood. I wandered incredulous, stomach empty and head pounding, but still finding the wherewithall to fall in love again with Southeastern Ohio. Did that really just happen? I blinked under the wet sun and dozed on a bench. And we played guitars for Ian and the bird and the dog sang along while the cafe's owner played harmonica. We ate venison with onions and gravy. Nelsonville? Was I there only this morning? Was I there only last night, getting in trouble for smoking cigarettes on a railroad bridge?

West Virgina today, still wild still wonderful, the mountain passes squeezed our sinuses and stole our breath and Townes Van Zandt and Otis Redding offered pillows and solace for sad tired eyes. Pop the fucker into neutral and fly down the grades like a maniac, 80 85 90 mph. Let's stop, boys, and check out every tunnel and factory town and red-coal Machu Pichu we come to, let's grow our beards and disappear into the Appalachian crevices and take eight wives (each) and stomp on eggs and eat rattlesnakes and raise the South again.

So now I'm drinking Henry's beer, a wheat wine that he's proudly lugged all the way from Kansas City and that he immediately and drunkenly spilled onto this hardwood floor as soon as he popped the fat cork. I'm laying on an ornate rug crawling with flowers and blooming scorpions in sick domestic psychedelica. I left Tristessa in the car, but Lermontov is in my satchel. But Lermontov is in my satchel, and he scares me. Pechorin threatens to invade my dreams and mold me in his image, though it may be too late, the selfish Russian motherfucking contemptuously honest romantic motherfucker. Someone's feet smell like shit, though it may just be my feather pillow after being dropped on the ground in six states in less than two weeks, and it rides piggyback on my stuffsack still full of clothes and towels moldering with old Coca-Cola and sweat rife with toxins.

This beer is perhaps the best I've ever had, and it's a shame Henry doesn't get to enjoy it, the wine-drunk snoring on the leather couch the color of tripe under framed picture of European landmarks and bright inset lightbulbs.

I want to write a song about Ohio, and a song about girls smiling from their boyfriends' arms, and about how I've become such a misanthrope and a recluse, a fiddleback.

Books in the Blue Whale bookstore, C'ville, VA: Piaf by Simone Berteaut, Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock Since 1967.

The beer is to be drank from "the proper glass", says so right on the bottle, but there's no reason at this point at 2:26 am (Eastern Time) to be proper or hide my flirtatiousness, so I press my lips to its mouth and kiss it right through its slender neck, all exploding in sex and tropical brown skin and wheat and fruit.

Lermontov, through Pechorin, is honesty. True romantic honesty, the kind that only ends with grief or a bullet through the chest, as it did with Lermontov himself. Find the beauty in the selfish futility, make every action a move towards the tenderest embrace or most staggeringly fatal kiss, knowing it all to be an arrogant and delusional farce.

"To be to somebody the cause of sufferings and joys, without having any positive right to it- is this not the sweetest possible nourishment for our pride?"

and, on the same page, in the same passage:

"Evil begets evil: the first ache gives us an idea of the pleasure of tormenting another. The idea of evil cannot enter a person's head without his wanting to apply it to reality: ideas are organic creations."

You crooked bastard. Is selfishness evil, and are either natural? If we can only but ask that we be allowed to act naturally, and we are naturally selfish, is this evil? There is no evil in nature, mind, but plenty selfishness. But a hungry wolf is not selfish to be evil, unless such a natural instinct as killing and eating to further one's self and species can be so condemned**. Red of tooth and claw, indeed. I've got blood under my fingernails, and I pick your hair from between my teeth.

"The passions are nothing else but ideas in their first phase of development; they are an attribute of the youth of the heart; and he is a fool who thinks we will be agitated by them all his life*. Many a calm river begins a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea. But that calm is often the sign of great, though concealed, strength; the plentitude and depth of feelings and thoughts does not tolerate frantic surgings; the soul, while experiencing pain or pleasure, gives itself a strict account of everything and becomes convinced that so it must be; it knows that without storms, a constantly torrid sun will wither it; it becomes penetrated with its own life, it fondles and punishes itself, as if it were a beloved child. Only in this supreme state of self-knowledge can a man evaluate divine justice."

Before transcribing this paragraph, I had some idea where it was going, and how I felt about it. By the end, now nearing 3 am, I am drunk and have forgotten and am lost. But *this is very strong sentiment, stubbornly self-assured for a man who wrote this at the age of 26, and died at 27, the result of a duel, surely not a strong case for controlling one's passions.

A girl in Dayton gave me a clove cigarette that immediately fell apart in the rain, and warned me of the solar storms of 2012. She said I have the proper bone structure to mature into old age as a folk singer.

**though the animals are blessedly uninhibited by consciousness of Self and Others, which of course is our greatest boon and burden, and thus this analogy is stoned and prosaically moot.

Here I Am: Springfield, MO.

Here I am on an off-night in Springfield. It hit me between the eyes with machine gun precision and staccato slugs of rapid-fire and irate frenzy. Here I am taking shots of garlic vodka until it came out my nose. Here I am being carried to the ceiling on the fat mineral shine of Golden Giant's volume. Here I am getting smacked in the nose in a Reacharounds mosh pit. Here I am dancing my drunken ass off with Shea and Matt and Lisa and Katie. Handfuls of flesh and beer poured from an arm's length above my upturned face. We built this city on rock and roll. Here I am at Danny's house, standing on chairs and grinding expensive beer into the carpet. Here I am like a lightning bolt across town, like a bottle rocket, like a pinball. Weed krispie treats and the Hold Steady exploding through melting vinyl siding and turning my eyes into windows against a wall of jelly. Here we are, impeccable warriors, smiling at the all-knowing pigs who insisted on coming into the girls' house, sniffing the weed air like crooked preachers, leaning against their squad cars, smug and salivating for an admission of guilt, for a Mitsubishi smashing through a stop sign, for a carton of narcotics stashed in a spare tire, for brains and hair matted on dashboard and reeking of cheap whiskey, for a chance to shoot a few young werewolves in the back. But they slunk back to their sty disappointed, their condemning eyes hungy and heavy with resentment. No match for Shea and his hand signals, his melding with the Mirage. And like that Mirage, in that Mirage, as a mirage, we drifted home confused and brainless, leaving a trail of skull fragments like breadcrumbs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shitty Poetry About Kansas, Pt. 1

Lonely mantoids, spinning spinning
Always working, never winning
Perched atop a lonely swale
And digging deep for molten shale

There's Something Special About Indiana.

It is 7:44 am and I should be asleep. Instead I'm translating transcendental telegrams to myself from myself. It's all very metaphysical, and requires that I sit cross-legged on the floor in my underwear, listen to Murfreesboro come to life outside the window, idly watch Hamster dig through his varmint mulch, and smoke cigarettes. And try not to wake Megan. And contemplate smoking a pipeful and drinking a can-a-coke, which I probably won't do unless I decide by the end of this that I won't sleep until tonight, which is likely.

It is a cold, dreary wet night in Dayton. There's no cheer on the wind, though we were met with attentive and gracious faces. I'm restless and lonely, lounging on a flowered couch at Jenn's house. Drinking wine and smoking cigarettes indoors should brighten my mood, but some moods are best left alone. I try to read, but nothing holds my attention. So I'm left with my own thoughts and this ink blood to tattoo the paper in vain.

There's something special hidden in Indiana, but I haven't quite found it yet. The Silver Thread is buried beneath Interstates 94 and 65, stained a dull gray and sopping with marsh water.

and a perfect smoke ring drifts towards the sleeping ceiling

The giant windmills dwarf our tiny white automobile, spinning into outer space with all the greasy hope of a nation of wasteful apes, all with blood on our hands.

But there's something special about Indiana. Maybe someday I'll load a trunk with botanicals and medicines and tools and wander for an Indiana winter month, analyzing and quantifying all of these stainless-steel ghosts and sand-chewing refineries whose thick-tongued mouths fumble and rumble all of the things I've been dying to articulate.

No rest for the wicked. Shalom.

Tonight's playlist.

For posterity.

Jawbreaker - Etc.
NASA - Spirit of Apollo
Slowdive - Souvlaki

Atmosphere - "Shoulda Known"
the Big Pink - "Crystal Visions"
the Big Pink - "Dominos"
the Big Pink - "Velvet"
the Cure - "A Night Like This"
the Cure - "Close to Me"
the Cure - "Friday I'm in Love"
the Cure - "Pictures of You"
Grateful Dead - "Casey Jones"
Grateful Dead - "Friend of the Devil"
Grateful Dead - "Sugar Magnolia"
Grateful Dead - "Turn On Your Love Light"
the Hold Steady - "Cattle and the Creeping Things"
the Hold Steady - "Chillout Tent"
the Hold Steady - "How a Resurrection Really Feels"
the Hold Steady - "Positive Jam"
the Hold Steady - "Southtown Girls"
the Hold Steady - "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"
Hüsker Dü - "Eight Miles High"
Jay-Z - "'03 Bonnie & Clyde"
Jay-Z - "99 Problems"
Jay-Z - "Empire State of Mind"
Jay-Z - "H to the Izzo"
Jay-Z - "Run This Town"
Lil Wayne - "Mr. Carter"
Lil Wayne - "Phone Home"
Nirvana - "About a Girl"
Nirvana - "Drain You"
Nirvana - "Negative Creep"
Nirvana - "On a Plain"
Nirvana - "Something in the Way"
Nirvana - "Territorial Pissings"
Ozzy Osbourne - "Mama, I'm Coming Home"
Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"
the Psychedelic Furs - "Into You Like a Train"
the Psychedelic Furs - "Love My Way"
the Psychedelic Furs - "President Gas"
the Psychedelic Furs - "Pretty in Pink"
the Psychedelic Furs - "The Ghost in You"
Sonic Youth - "Eric's Trip"
Sonic Youth - "Hey Joni"
Sonic Youth - "Silver Rocket"
Sonic Youth - "Teen Age Riot"
Sonic Youth - "Total Trash"
Spandeau Ballet - "True"
U2 - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
U2 - "Where the Streets Have No Name"
U2 - "With or Without You"
Uncle Tupelo - "Sauget Wind"
the Vaselines - "Dying for It"
the Vaselines - "Dying for It (Blues)"
Tom Waits - "16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six"
Tom Waits - "Anywhere I Lay My Head"
Tom Waits - "Down, Down, Down"
Tom Waits - "Earth Died Screaming"
Tom Waits - "Gunstreet Girl"
Kanye West - "Family Business"
Kanye West - "The Good Life"

One-Line Country Songs.

"If you're old enough to buy liquor, you're old enough to drink it by yourself."

"Happy hour never makes me happy, and brown eyes always seem to make me blue."

It improves as it progresses, Ma.

Cold coffee with honey, icy rain in Indiana, bouncing and napping. Reading all of the bathroom stall hate mantras. Besides all the typical unimaginative "Fuck niggers" bullshit, there're some that defy explanation; "Fags are proof that Indians fucked buffalo". And the occasional glimmer of truck stop hope, a sad little cross with "All men are created equal". Amen, I'm buying a hot dog to eat while I flip through Gibran's The Prophet and look for tattoo ideas. An eyed hand, a blessed palm, with a halo of wings.

There was no toilet paper in the bar bathroom last night, so I was forced to improvise with a receipt from my wallet. I fear I may have blocked up the toilet, and I fear I may have left inverse ink statements on my asshole, which is a disgusting thought and even more foul on paper.

Last night was as a dream as they tend to be, sleepwalking lost to the car, tunnel visioned with my big parka hood and floating on frozen shoes. Henry was speechlessly drunk, but miraculously managed to lead us back to where we had parked. After returning to Tucker's tiny apartment, we stretched out with cookbooks and records and ate spicy mustard pasta with mushrooms and peas. I finally rolled myself into the blankets as day broke chilly through the window, slept a prince and woke a pauper.

Lake Michigan appeared as a mirage, a hologram, a hallucination of the winter Brahman-Atman, great frosty waves rolling and frozen in time, rippling into the horizon and into outer space, a fathomless mountain range of blue-green-white, and I'm not sure I saw it at all. On the other side of us, Chicago's shimmering mirror canyons stood in contrast to the wonderful curve of the earth beneath it, and I thought of Moloch, and I thought of stainless-steel teeth and dentist's offices, but it was all beautiful and so I couldn't really hold the fear and contempt long in my heart. The love I feel for the titanic majesty of the megaurban jungle, for the glowing Gary refineries, for the rowhouses beneath the Skyway, for the stacked train cars in miles and miles; this love is not admiration, but fear. But love is love, in all colors and tastes, and of all things I fear it's love I fear the most. You lose control, spin with your eyes closed and let go, catapulted end over end into a completely selfless beautiful violence where we are as much in control of ourselves as is a terrified leaf on the lusty wind of a brunette summer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

More Tales of Dirty Snow.

Sitting at a bar in Chicago, listening to tinny punk rock from speakers mounted over the Budweiser mirror, nursing an Old Milwaukee. Dirty snow on the ground as I walk the street like a bundled twerp comet, trailing my tail of cigarette smoke and half-hearted whispers of promises best left broken, trying to make every pretty girl I pass smile back at me.

The drive from Saint Louis was fast and quiet, long lonely snow flat against the earth, swimming through the fog like over-caffeinated sharks, all of our senses primed for fresh blood. Factories lit up like Philip K Dick Christmas trees belched plumes of steam and smoke high into the sky, looking like the pillars that prevent Heaven from crashing down upon us, splintering our bones and squeezing us into a homogeneous pulp with our trusted Toyota Corolla (though the worrisomely ambiguous and esoteric "check engine" light paid us an unwelcome visit) until the angels won't know where skin and meat end and upholstery and rubber and fiberglass and engine block begin.

Giant windmills, like terraforming complexes, stand gaunt, sentries in the mist and disappearing like skeletons into the foggy horizon. It's all so quiet, five hours of lonely rolling church service, satisfied finally with Illinois and her endless highways.

Where was I... Here I am in Murfreesboro, not yet a week prior. A welcome drive through Kentucky always softens my bristles. Eating fried chicken and catfish and pork chops and pondering the imponderable.

And the next morning, no sleep, head cloudy with green smoke and feeling like a velociraptor with black coffee blood, we left for Springfield. Descended like a circus troupe, bearing pocketknives and old guitars. Blurry hallucinations of a long night, too much drink and smoke, until I buried my face in torn red cushions and prayed for a quick death. A good night, spirits high and imbibed, trying in vain to suppress every worthless emotion that we've been doomed to bear.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Days Inn, Days Out: Cairo, IL

Here's me in Cairo, IL. Halfway between homes, mired in a ghost town at the behest of a broken transmission. The dirty snow melts to dirty water freezes to dirty ice, slick under my worn work boots as I chase stray cats and cigarette smoke in the motel parking lot. Days Inn, days out. No outside company save the short Middle Eastern man who watches the front desk and eyes me suspiciously while I dope-stagger to the Coke machine.

Long naked days with a heater that only heats, no compromise, and we leave towels heaped on the floor and fill styrofoam cups with bad coffee. The TV rattles and wheezes from its perch like a clockwork owl, no wisdom behind its slick glass eyes.

Factories loom beyond trees beyond railroad tracks, glowing with spook-lights and stretching towards Heaven. The rivers run by, collide and spin like rutting snakes, send muddy ejaculate tumbling towards Memphis and Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. The rivers have forgotten that Cairo still squats here, grinning with sharp soot teeth through thin lips, charcoal against pink receding gums. Cairo glowers and waits, champions its public library as an historical site, and falls asleep with its eyes open sometime between 7 and 9.

There are no sequential memories of Cairo, doomed little piss-hole. I can arrange no concrete diorama. It all was to be a dream. The week prior, drowning in liquor and getting my wool socks soaked. Highway 60 carried me east, belched towards Paducah on a wave of nausea, oh sweet drunk Missouri and her parting lips, ripe with flowers and stale whiskey, they glisten in the moon's reflection on the snow. Shea in the captain's chair, Matt in the back drinking tallboys of Old Style.

We will live on pork rinds and sex, and if need be I'll smash these chairs and this table and this nightstand with its Gideon Bible, and we'll build a roaring fire in the drained swimming pool, and we will roast stray cats and toast with warm Diet Coke, two dollars for a six-pack at the Dollar General.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

early January, Kirbyville, snow

01-06-10, 3 am

I wish I had a stenographer for my thoughts, a sexy little stereotype who could crawl into my brains and set up her tiny green typewriter. And let's say I get the transcript like ticker tape out of my dick when I come. What?

"Wandering around outside at night real high and wearing earmuffs is confusing and too scary". Dizzying. Komodo dragons. Fucking out of sight.

books what caught my eye at Books a Million tonight: Ginsberg poems with accompanying illustrations by some artist who does New Yorker covers, 50th anniversary of Howl (a reproduction of the original manuscript), some little book: The History of Girly Magazines (1900-1969) yes, collected works of Gibran: a nice edition with a gold tongue marker and good paper kinda like my Emerson book.

I've been living on deer meat, without complaint. Bloody gamey lean juicy. I think, if prepared properly, my own flesh would probably taste like deer meat.

The sky was big as ever tonight, betraying its graceful awful curve around our little marble. The moon was frozen under blue ice, like mushroom cloud snowdrifts across the electric sky. The snow glowed radioactive, a crust of spent ozone under my boots.

I begin my voyage home tomorrow, gods willing, at least away from Kirbyville. I won't survive another extended stay in Springfield, so best to just stop through. Let my momentum carry me to the bootheel, at least. Or Memphis. I don't really want to leave. I never want to leave. Or maybe I always want to leave, but forget.


(Forgive me if I whisper you awake. Nostalgia's got her saccharine grip on me. Memories flooding, so sweet and so rich, and they're keeping me from getting any sleep.)

Forgive me if I whisper you awake. I really don't want to feel alone tonight, even laying beside you and your soft skin and your hair that smells like flowers and shampoo and cigarette smoke and exactly how it should smell and exactly how I want it to smell. I won't tell you about the sobs caught at their moment of exhalation, strangled, a mercy killing, and I won't tell you that sometimes I need to drop to my knees when I realize that I can't freeze a moment, that we are all changing and aging and moving on and on and on forward; and that the weight, the fucking weight of I-don't-know-what squeezes so heavy on my chest and my back, no matter how I sleep next to you. No, I won't tell you any of that. Just forgive me if I whisper you awake.

I don't want watch my nephew grow up. I want him to be three years old forever.

(Nights lying in a muggy sweat, and the humid summer wind blowing through window screens. The shitty old boxfan humming on the floor never seemed to do much of anything.)

Oh, it was so hot and humid at night. The old window screens were chewed by weird locusts, and we had to replace most of 'em with new metal screens that they wouldn't feel compelled to eat.

(Those hot summer days, working in the garden. Dirt baked so hot it burned bare feet. Slicing tender hands on sharp limestone. Retreating to the shade tree for a drink.)

The words must've been there for years. It's an obsession. Can it be an obsession? Your own childhood, the reluctance to admit that it's gone, the reluctance to completely open my chest cavity for the free exchange of pollen and blood and time and sunlight? Nobody knows me.

(Now I'm falling asleep in a room of my own in some dried out, filthy, storm-broken town. And I pretend I've got it all figured out but

and I can't even finish that. I feel shredded. Stuff me under the kindling and use me as tinder. I'm dry as a bone.

I don't recognize my own handiwork. handwriting. words. prose. passions. Who was in bed with me? Where am I? What storm? What room of my own? Who was fucking with me who was I fucking with?

What did this mean: "Why do we equate growing up with being old/And we equate growing old with being dead."

->Becoming childlike and regaining a sense of wonder and joy.

Ghost hints? How many years ago did I write this? Was it only tonight? Could I be offering myself some solace? Was it only me fucking with me? all along? I need to open a dialogue with myself, or I'll never get this shit sorted. There has to be a thread, the silver thread. I'm missing something. I'm always missing something. I miss you and you and you. I don't even know you yet and I miss you so bad.

Campfires and Crickets.

1-5-10, 1:30 am

Single-digit temperatures tonight, threatening to drop below zero. I fear I'll never get back to Tennessee and her promised warmth, but only mildly so. Mild fear, mild promises.

Went down with my two younger brothers to the camp today, to see what havoc the snowstorm wrecked, and to idly burn some old dry cedar and a large hardwood log that was in a state just prior to rot, and that came apart in great gray slabs, like toboggans or coffin lids. It burned as if that were its intended purpose, from spore to sapling to sylvan titan to splintered gray log. We carefully excised a portion of the lumber that had a knot-growth resembling an oversized human ear.

And we built a roaring fire in the midst of the silent snow, and we ate smoked oysters out of an oily tin, and when we threw the tin in the fire it smoked and smelled pleasantly funky, like burnt fish eyes. My two brothers tromped off towards the lake as I cut more firewood with that shitty dull folding handsaw (have to get my Pa a new one of these, if only for my own selfish use when I return) and silently stoked the fire and smoked cigarettes. My brothers returned from their expedition with dubious claims of frostbite, lugging a ten-pound chunk of ice that looked like a giant molar. We lounged by the fire until dark, heads resting on shoulders, little cowboy boots gingerly resting on their silent brother's bundled chest, all in a state somewhere between snoozing and heavy-lidded reflection, a state such as only a snow-choked Ozarks holler and a smoldering cedar campfire can provide. Simplify, simplify. My brothers took turns hooting at an owl across the holler, and he felt obliged to reply.

Tonight in the shower, as I rinsed my hair, the smoke from the fire was suddenly fresh in my senses. It streamed down my shoulders, and I felt nearly compelled to stop then, lest I wash all the residue off my scalp. But there will be more campfires, and someday there will be The Campfire, one whose smell I would feign to never shampoo away.

What the fuck does that even mean? Do I mean it? Is it allegory for allegory sake, empty imagery with some vague nostalgic and prosaic importance attached? Maybe. Or maybe it's just my guts, reminding me that I'm not an android. Do Andrews dream of electric sheep?

Also in the shower: I watched a tiny cricket, a straggler of the season, march clumsily and pathetically into the falling water. He tried feebly to clamber up to safety, but the slick tub walls offered no footing and no quarter. Finally, after watching his legs become splayed in bad angles, wrong angles, flattened by the rain, I scooped him up and tossed him behind the water heater.

I left the room to bring back a dictionary, but returned with a thick guide to Missouri flora. Tonight I shall sleep with a dictionary and a thesaurus on either side of my head. Is there a surer catalyst to madness, strapping your skull and all its screaming dreams between these two sizzling battery terminals? I want to exist in the arclite.

Thesaurus Rex

Just finished O. S. Card's Seventh Son, just began The Shining, and I'm eagerly halfway through it in just two days. Locked by inclement weather in the hills as I am, bound to the quiet, warm house by snowdrifts and plummeting mercury, I consider my finally reading this book to be as well-timed as I could've hoped. Interesting: I hardly ever read contemporary fiction, least of all fantasy or horror, but these last two books I've read I've truly enjoyed, and both deal with a young boy and his "knack", both boys born with a caul. I didn't even know of this term and the associated folklore a week ago. There are no coincedences, eh? I think it prudently safe, though, to chalk up the mundane to nothing more.

I suppose I should go to bed soon. I'll read more of The Shining until it scares the hell out of me again and I have to turn on some lights and avoid looking out of windows or into the bath tub. I need to see Kubrick's movie.

". . . on getting away from social conventions and coming closer to nature, we cannot help becoming children: all the things that have been acquired are shed by the soul, and it becomes again as it was once, and as it is surely to be again someday." - Lermontov, from A Hero of Our Time

Just now, in his sleep, Tony said something about "shitting on kids".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh, save me Jesus.


"'. . . when for the first time I held her in my lap and kissed her black curls, I- fool that I was- imagined she was an angel sent me by compassionate fate... [sic] I was wrong again. The love of a wild girl was little better than that of a lady of rank; the ignorance and the naivete of one pall on you as much as the coquetry of the other. I still like her, I suppose; I am grateful to her for several rather sweet moments; I am ready to die for her- only I find her company dull. Whether I am a fool or a villain, I don't know; but of one thing I'm sure, that I also deserve pity, even more perhaps than she. My soul has been impaired by the fashionable world, I have a restless fancy, and insatiable heart; whatever I get is not enough; I become used as easily to sorrow as to delight, and my life becomes more empty day by day; there is only one remedy left for me: to travel. As soon as I can, I shall set out. . . perchance I may die somewhere, on the way! At least, I am sure that this last consolation will not soon be exhausted with the help of storms and bad roads.'" - Lermontov (as Pechorin)

Goddammit oh goddammit. Oh desperate and passionate and prideful wanderlust. Shit jeezus, Pechorin. Don't wait up for me indeed. I've been feeling these words under my skin since I was 18, and behind my eyes and creeping up my spine, a begrudging shared residence with that other Thing, the real bastard, with spider legs and suicide blood.

I was born sorry.

*Pushkin ("Eugene Onegin")

Camp Guthrie

4:13 am, 1-3-10

I'll carry you over the greenbriars
And make a crown of 'em for my head
And I'll find the soft green cedar boughs
Come time to make your bed

I've been working on Camp Guthrie, clearing brush and tending a little fire. I like to think, as I work in reverent silence, that someday, after the Collapse, when money means nothing and we start anew, learning more about ourselves and each other and the world and Gawd and how it all fits together than we ever even imagined we could know... I'd like to think sometime after that, there'll be a real settlement in this same blessed little spot. Not likely. It sits just this side of a low-lying levee on Army Corps land, a cool Northern slope hugging the purgatorial little swale where the steep glade and woody bluffs slope sharply and finally into the coarse and oft-flooded bottomlands. It's lowland, and it'll be flooded again come Spring, especially now that they've fucked up the White River Valley watershed with the dams and their infantile lakes. But maybe that says something about me, my dedication to this doomed little camp. I take such joy in building bridges, but I feel incomplete until I can sit on the shore and watch them burn.

The moon's always waning, the snow makes it seem so much brighter than it actually is, and my heart is such a wheel. But fuck all that noise. I'm building an altar at Camp Guthrie, and I mounted upon it that armadillo carcass, his shell and his skull and his tail, and they're held in place with barbed wire and twine. Soon I'll bring down more string, and some nails and a little jar of black paint.

And Spring's coming soon, baby. We got plenty of firewood to burn; I've been cutting it by hand with a busted little folding saw. Camp Guthrie's gonna be underwater come June, so let's just stand in front of that little altar and get married. Some old ghost will officiate, and the cedar will bear witness, and we'll honeymoon in the bottomlands and just law down under the creek rocks and cedar boughs and wait for that dirty old lake to come a-hissin' across our fire pit. If I don't wash away with you, I'll probably wash away alone. Either way, I'm washing away, and I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer, if just to watch it burn.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hand-Rolled, 2:30 am.

These hand-rolled cigarettes are good. Hand-rolled every step of the way. Hand-rolled into the ground as a tiny sprout, never touched with pesticide or herbicide or any of that nonsense, caressed and coaxed to grow taller than a man. Hand-harvested with hand-made tools, hand-rolled onto the bed of a beat-up pick-up. Hand-rolled into the barn rafters to dry. And tonight I hand-rolled the leaves to dust, and hand-rolled the dust into a cigarette. No added chemicals, no plastic or cyanide. Sure, you still have to pick out the odd grey-brown cat hair (Stinky can't be blamed for where she chooses to sleep) and silky mass of spider eggs, but that's all you need fear, unless inhalation of blood and perspiration and pride and the muscled toil of love give you any reason to hesitate before the inhalation of dried plant matter, nicotine and its wiry and persistent embrace, the obsession we justify and the chemical addiction we blame.

Tobacco's been important in my life, but I have no idea what this means. Memories of that thick black tar that you could nearly carve off of your palms at the end of the day. Those hot fucking miserable days. Why do I miss it all so bad? I was trying to decipher these visions and memories and feelings when I came home this last month, but I feel no closer to any answers. I'm looking at it all wrong, maybe. My perspective is skewed, maybe. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind, maybe. I don't want to go back to Tennessee, but for some reason I can't stay here. Why can't I? I need to talk to my mother. It's too late, and I'm tired. The snow never sleeps.

When I bought my acoustic guitar in Florida: it wasn't until well after it first caught my eye that I noticed the "color" label on the little display tag. Style? Dreadnought. Color? Tobacco. Hah!

To think there was a time when I didn't even know what 2:30 am looked like, or that it even existed. Now I live for it. I'd never sleep if- No, that's stupid. Nights are awful, long and lonely. I lose my grip, and only after I've buried my head in my pillow and pry my eyes open, letting in some semblance of day, hours later, do I feel the marks on any ruler to be properly spaced, balanced, balanced, demarcated. An illusion, maybe. Best not to consider these iniquities of personal behavior, impurities in mental health, inconsistencies of rational thought... not at this time of night anyway. I always feel so desperate in the late night, so weighted. And yet I watch the clock spin every time. 2:30 am. 3 am. With friends like these... We're all here together, blinking back the exhaustion, choking on confusing tears, and we are all so alone together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Blues, for now.

1-3-10, 1:22 am

Boy did it snow. Spent the latter part of this evening breaking up tobacco into an old cigar box, using my cramping thumbs and fingertips to crumble the bitter brown leaf into rollable shake. Also opened a plug of cured tobacco, sealed up in brown paper for almost a year now, maybe longer, that Shea and I prepared with honey and Jim Beam. Mixed both tobaccos together in the cigar box, added an apple core for moistness. Listened to Blood on the Tracks.

Working on a blues song: original idea came from the folkloric habit of carrying buckeyes for luck, and then some apocalyptic hallucination, heat stroke, regarding droughts and ragweed. Now it's turning into some sort of lustful Faust story...

Mad drought, everything is dry and dusty. Skeletons and whistles, hard luck for most of us rural laborers. A burnt July and a burnt August. No grass to cut, the crops get boiled in their own juice, there are no clouds to even ephemerally offer us some shady solace from the sun's cruelty. The man keeps picking up buckeyes, and praying for rain, but still only the ragweed grows. So he goes mad, maybe. Just a little. Those mad-dog days of summer. . . . but that's another story. He goes a little mad and maybe starts eating dust and ragweed, and he wears his buckeyes around his neck, strung like little human skulls. And he sells his soul, maybe. Or just gives up some of it. Wallows in the dust like a mite-covered hen. Chews on ragweed until he shits blood and his skin crawls away. But he gets his wish, and it storms wherever he goes. Can't get away from drizzle and little crackling lightning storms, or from big fat raindrops that fall from giant demon thunderheads with all the rolling basso profondo accompaniment of that devil choir of electric discharge. It rains and rains, and no matter where he wanders, it follows and rains. So in the end he just resigns, accepts his new role as some reluctant and resentful rainman, and thinks about some sexy little thing in some dry little town, and sets off for her. Not without warning, but not hesitant to stop for the lack of candle in her window. You'd better be alone, he says. Cuz I don't wanna be. And I'm bringin' this here rain storm with me. Reckon I'd rather drown wish-fulfilled than burn up and blow away.

This sounds stupid on paper. I'll trust my guts, and my guts want to write a blues song about buckeyes, droughts, ragweed, rainstorms, pacts with the Devil, and sex. Stupid.

I worry that I'm not able to honestly be what I need to be right now, as far as companionship is concerned. No matter my best intentions. Sometimes the timing's so so wrong, and though none are to blame, there will still be guilt and remorse
There's plenty that I don't know.
and resentment and Consequences. For now, I shall sit by, idly content and gracious and guiltfree and live a life inconsequential. No life is without cause/effect for too long, and to expect this would make me a fool. But for now. You know? For. Now. Only I know what this emphasis means, and I have already forgotten. Only I accept the true burden of consequence. But there is a Time and a Place for Everything.

For now, I will not pretend that I am not happy. That's as honest as I can be.

"Come in," she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm"

(Some sort of wordplay about the Three Wise Men and their Camel Lights.)

1-3-10, 7:01 pm, getting ready to watch Oliver Stone's The Doors. Drinking spicy tea.

Laying in the snow with my twelve-year-old brother; "It's so quiet out here," he says. "People in the city don't get it, do they?" Pause. "I feel kinda bad for them." Pause. Double-pause. "'Course, it's their own fault that they live in the city." "Yup".

A long walk in the twilight snow, hand-in-hand. Three brothers, sweetly oblivious, reverent in the silent fall of snow. Smoking cigarettes in the dark, dry barn, huddled in the manger like the Magi, curling tobacco smoke our incense. Snow angels, wet and cold down your neck and your aching back. It's all a peaceful lunar landscape, with the house backlit in iridescent blues and whites.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I know that it's a fall, though some may call it Autumn
I know that it's a fall, cuz winter's always at the bottom


(Is this correct? What day is-was it?)

It was a long fall, and sometimes I felt I was losing my mind. I travelled for a month, got spun around, lost my center of gravity. The gallows trapdoor dropped and I just floated through the ceiling. I was obsessed with coincedence, with ghost hints, reincarnation, Hinduism, and Robert Oppenheimer, and Martin Ramirez.

It was dreary and dismal behind my eyes, ice on the slate. And misplaced guilt, or something like it, some worthless emotion rooted in pain and selfishness and abstraction, came disguised as nostalgia, resentment disguised as anger and self-pity, a whole chain reaction of frustration and loathing panting at my feet like a sick dog, nipping bits of flesh from my ever-thinning carcass.

But still I dream, and maybe dreams are an escape, or maybe they're a suggestion. Maybe we are so open to possibilities in our sleep that occasionally, if we make the "correct" choices, and follow the river to its source, naturally, and we find ourselves eating the silver thread that winds among the disease and rust and takes us exactly where it promised. The potential is all there, the possibilities are all there, and we have all the mathematically unquantifiable proofs we need in the gossamer of our winged minds.

Dreams do come true, though obviously not always, and perhaps never for some unlucky fools. (I re-read what I had just wrote, and I had accidentally scribbled "Dreams do control". After amendment, still I wonder at this early-morning slip of the pen and the hand by which it is guided). Anyway, they do come true, but only if our own actions permit. Or not. Maybe we're still just sawdust in Gawd's eye, our every action as uncontrollable and incidental as the tiny little embers that soar from a bonfire into the stars, fading to a speck of ash before even clearing the treetops.

All I know is that this past Fall, when things were their worst, I'd dream of ice and snow in Kirbyville. Ice on the creek, snow on the fields. And in the past few weeks I've spent at home, reflecting, recuperating, I've seen plenty of both, and not a single moment of chill, not a single grain of ice, nor a single ashy snowflake, goes uncherished.