Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bo Jackson Was A Royal

“Sometimes you abuse alcohol. And sometimes…well, sometimes the alcohol abuses you."

“My right side’s never up. But my wrong side’s high enough for ‘em both. Plus, you only die once.”

“Don’t you know we’ve got a fifteen-drink minimum up in here?”

“Don’t worry. I haven’t had near enough.”

“Do you always sound like that?”

“Only when I talk. And let me go ahead and tell you, I’ve been flying too close to the sun for so long now that I get the chills in July in Death Valley.”

“Right. So, whatever happened to Sour Grownup Jane?”

“Man, she’s meaner than 52 rattlesnakes. She’ll eat her half of the cake without ever halving it.”
“Some for no one, huh?”

“Not some. Not for me. And not for you.”

“A codicillary act if I ever knew one.”

“Added down and off. Subtracted up and on. A stirred movement on formerly placid waters. A deceit that suits.”

“Well, me? I say arugula to all that. Failure’s always been my only destination.”

“Salad rocket?”

“Not just your garden variety eruca sativa, buddy boy. It’s hell’s cabaret kicking up their heels. Shorter skirts and taller women. I gave up cussing when I ran out of coins to toss in that proverbial mason jar of suffering and mad hinge-squeal pitched lowing. Some jaw-rubbing, tawdry things that just never don’t ever make no sense.” 

“I’m sure any occasion when you’re around is special. And remember, September’s on the make. And we can’t tell the movies by the reviews. But, but, but…but nobody here knows the things that I know.”
“We’re all pragmatists over here where the grass is never very green.”

“Sure. Everything’s over there, where the grass always grows just a little more green.”

“A terrible night for avocado fishing.”

“I hate it when things get too precious. I don’t want to need objects, to have to have them stay and age and be with me just the way that they are. I want hardscrabble things that I don’t have some sacred value attached to—things that I can throw away and be done with and not have to worry over so much.”

“Well, then let me tell you something not so very dear at all. This was some time ago now. I had a girl to call my own. We lived on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, then. A mongrel thought turned stray in the cruel bluster of a night’s roam. We got tuckered out. We got slow. Nobody was more brave or alive. Now I’m just a craven cowering bluff of a guy who stands himself up for cocktails before even the sun sinks into the drink.”

“Get this, then. Showed up for a job interview. I was a bit rusty. I was nailed to a plaster wall with baited habituation. I filled out multiple forms to get the damn thing. And then some lady with a wooden tooth’s going to tell me how it’s going to be? I’ll be damned.”

“Doomed to a life of mediocre orgasms. Somewhere there’s a curse with my name on it wandering around in search of a finder’s fee. Lately it’s been lowly and the finesse has worn from the finer points of telling it like it never will be.”


“You, my unkind fellow, are manipulating molehills. Distorting. Magnifying. And, ta-dah! Manipulations a plenty.”
“This is the sound of me oohing and aahing.”

“So, then, well, um, you see, but, ah, here’s the thing: my father built a swimming pool so we couldn’t have kickball games in the backyard. He had a room added on to the house where the attic used to be to separate my brother and me, to keep us from fighting. Grandiose solutions that didn’t deal with the problem directly. Ways of avoiding things, going the long way around them, ignoring the root to spare the branch. Now? Well, so, you see, ahem, now I’ve got these structures of boredom to keep me in line. I am never at ease.”

“A body in motion and all that fronting. To what purpose? It’s like what I read on the label of that bottle of vodka you keep beneath your sink: ‘Emergency Bottle. For EMERGENCY USE ONLY! (i.e., between the hours of 2-6 a.m. if, and only if, there is no other available alcohol in the house.) An emergency does not include being too lazy to go out and buy a bottle during the afternoon. This bottle is only to be consumed on those dire occasions that warrant it, such as extreme, interminable, and completely nonfunctional bouts of DT-induced insomnia. Anyone found drinking from this bottle in a non-emergency situation will be dealt a swift kick to the groin or nether region of their person.’”   
“It surely is not like that. It is not like that at all.”

“Don’t be so smug and sure about stuff like that, Schmoe. I’ve got my calculus glasses on. I’ve got my gut finder. I’ve got my ambition monitor. I’ve got my suspicion bootstraps too. And these here boots, they stomp capitalists dead.” 

“I am living through all this on the assumption that every day is just a countdown until there are no more left to count. Or would that be dying through all this? Just something else to shake my head over, to lie low in, to cuddle up to and hide. Confusion’s bottlenecking conundrums are the safest places I know of.”

“This Chucky Chaplin mask is losing its luster. And me, I know where the rain goes slower than the sound of trains. So, what’s making a pass at being rambunctious going to hurt? And maybe I ain’t asking so much as remembering badly.”

“Buried in your overcoat, again.”

“Just a febrifuge for my ailing, temperamental judgment. Somehow strained to see success as the superficial illusion of erroneous meaning. Our over-videoed lives come with certain binding clauses. The cameras are always rolling. We’re debilitated by the reaped self-consciousness brought on by the burden of our own digital images, the stored potential of our past actions to ruin us.”

“At some point you just have to say, ‘Fuck it,’ and get over yourself. Who really gives a monkey’s ass what rumbling and stumbling way you make your way through the days.”

“Roughed up and rusted like an old water tower, killing time like snakes as a laughing kookaburra would. Covered up, resistant to all antibiotics, burrowing deeper in the catacombs of a corny ego’s bones.”

“If it were my dime, I’d spill it.”

“Sure. And we hotplate the stuff we don’t care to know about ourselves. Just the burnt crumbs remain for us to dawdle in. If it were up to me, I’d say we use the crosses for firewood, leave the martyrs begging for what we’ll never give ‘em. And let the yuppies take the biggest flying fuck of all: let ‘em go on being themselves. I don’t think there’s a more cruel and unusual way to go than that.”

“Come on. It’s all big-rigs’ backup alarms blaring you awake when it’s way too early to be alive. A real stick in the muck forever leased with no option to buy. Resale value’s gone. Caveat emptor, I guess. That’s the real doozey of it.”

“A thumb’s oath. A pinky’s law. We all push for the un-meddling of our affairs. And just so we can beat the traffic and go moan alone.”

“I tell ya something. I says to this gal, I tells her, ‘Face it, Doll. He’s a yuppie. He ain’t the one for ya.’ But it don’t matter none, you know? She keeps fallin’ for him all the time. And I gots to go throw in that towel. Maybe you can’t make a horse drink, but he might piss in the water, ya know?”

“Beats me. My goat’s been got for years.”

“Ah, there’ll always be butt faces out there to dour your good tidings. Sighs floating around in search of a mouth. But I don’t let it get me down. I’m a real trooper when it comes to such stuff, even while camping sadder in the thousand or so frowns I’ve begged answers from over the years.”

“Tell the kids I’ve gone out to November again. They’ll know what it means, eventually.”

“You don’t even sense the making of your own sense. I mean, whatever.”

“I will not scram. Don’t test me. My colors will fly higher than the troposphere.”

“Honey Bunches of Oats. I don’t go in for all that garrulous peace mongering. Casual constriction deepens all ties. I am only my body’s keeper. My mind’s final fouetté, less graceful without motion to conceal it, will encompass more than should ever rightfully be only mine. Only not for keeps, this once that is also, by the way, infinity. Choco Taco.”

“You’re like a real fucking Viking sometimes, you know that?”

“Fruity Pebbles. Pop Tarts. Lunchables. All of these little stabs at happiness I keep making. A big step for me; a small step for the rest. Cup Noodles. Hot Pockets. Runts.”

“Brand-name philosophizing might get you just about nowhere. Or is this just the spit of the poet?”

“All great artists should be contradictory by nature. Ford. Chevy. Dodge. Onomatopoeia! See? When the artists creates he is holy, even if just for that moment.”

“And what a dull moment it can be for the rest of us suckers who are merely waiting around to enjoy the view from the cliff’s edge before we leap.”

“The lonely sport of distraction. I’m a good one though.”


“Ask any copper-wire thief around.”

“Sure. I get it. Because copper has excellent creep characteristics which minimizes loosening at connections. So what? I cloak my disillusion with delusions from carefully timed swills of the devil’s flask too, just like anyone else does.”

“Aleve! Bayer aspirin! Motrin! Advil! Tylenol! I am weary yet true of heart. Count Chocula!”

“It’s hard to tell so much in this light.”

“The bale of it all, so misguided into lugubriousness. Better than the treacly sort though, I suppose.”

“Please excuse me. Necessity has called on me again. This time it must impose itself on me in the form of a poorly timed vomiting episode.”

“Wretch away, you poor bun-bo-hue of thing. Wretch away.”

(this space unintentionally left mostly blank)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

3 poems by Ma Rainy

the shards that cuss

my feelings are all hurt
just like the old days
when the rain washed the beer away
and the motels still held their neon close
a rooftop to sit on
the ledge of your hope to lean off
a patch in a swear
a loaded answer
and the moon’s swell for now
just dashes and maroons
my luck’s a raise in the stakes
my harm’s lost in the drying paint
do not fend off what’s wrong with what’s never right
the lack’s what’s never missing for long
another yes to all no
wear a complacent smile while you still can
all of my thoughts are doing 99 years
in all the degrees of a mind’s slaughter
honeyed and husky howls
barnyard manners
I don’t want to be associated with my name anymore
I am slurring through most evenings
I have given up mixers
I am headed for morocco
to be nothing

The Same Old Colossus

Sliced pickles through fear and good tidings
Trickles of kid-like tough
Erased from my permanent record
Eroded spandrels kissed into shape
Below empty gesturing’s cornice
Something penciled-in
A rot without a scent
Nothing to give off or back
Just an afternoon to wait through
To get over
While bad moods pile like dirty dishes
In the proverbial sink of my chances
Heading blindly into oncoming traffic
Or another outbound day spent heading in
Icing’s gone
Nothing left here
The cake

Bless The Dead Here As The Rain Falls With The Last Drink's Hammer

Nothing’s as it seems.
I am only me,
That is all.
Nothing to be concerned
with. Something to trifle with,
maybe. Not
a blackbird ready to
attack. Not
something skyward
at all. That is all.
The buses go by.
Sky’s all blown to bits of gold and peachy orange.
The scene moves on with the leaves.
Life’s a mistake,
but a grand one.
Pay off the piano player.
We’ll escape with a little loot
at least. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Tower To Tumble Through The Trees

-The business suits are all on time here.
-Unless less siphons to more, more or less, then all of them are out of it.
-I would it were so, but for the time it would take to believe it were is a ploy not from above.
-Not like business as such usually suits.
-Or as likely it were so, strictly during business time.
-As I see what I do not, for a most unpleasant taste arrives as-is.  
-Or it is as its "is" is an "is-not."
-Not a word as a yes would never do.
-Ever the time it plucks a real live doll from the clam house.
-And not the world’s clam, too.
-As any shucked oyster might tell.
-In that sneaky place where the good lord split us all, perhaps a moan suffices?
-Not a place’s claim to lay, as it weren’t, and the bold traces of a skysail’s wind e’er do show the lost the loneliest way to golly about their lollygagging business, as per the unusual escapades of what do show faces less than worth saving.
-Or do they not, or just not?
-Just. What a solipsistic belch to wrangle to the sawdust with the stench of. A narcissistic proposition snared in a preposition’s bind. And do justice’s mirrors show what’s just, or what just is? Just being the margin’s right to be out, with or without wit, ended touched just a touch with just’s minor wrongs. Just? I pray differently from the norm, if the norm’s just is as you tell it.
-I tell none but what is, as just or not, allowed or slaked for what thirst devours first. And to be not solely as just seems (well-known fibers of being, yes, I’ve staked juicer claims to be dry) for precursors of a seedier sort, weeded ere they’re wed, and trumping those tapped-out well-water blues.
-Justly so.
-Not a working order’s say, if I shall have mine.
-And so in saying there is a will’s “be done” to contend with.
-Ah. It cannot be overlooked. I dare speak it, therefore it is.
-Reflect, damn it!
-A damn’s only insurance is what it lacks. Don’t be forewarned too easily. You might mistake today for tomorrow, and in doing so lose what it is to what might just never be.
-Easier traded away than done.
-A keeping’s try, at most. And what little’s left shores up, steels away, and moonlights as a snake-fearing gardener. We almost were what we excrete, while wasting’s still closer than away.
-There is a biplane droning away in my safekeeping, for the thoughts I do not have do replenish an endless supply of newer news. Some of it treks sadder tracks than any thought’s train, sure. But reasons stand to reason, for man’s is a surer thing, as laughter or slaughter show, if not just sky-blue trades to a worrier such as I.
-Mandrake in your coffee again?
-A cluster of crumbs from crumbling clouds is all. And races are what we never get off to.
-Speaking from one or for one?
-A win away from placing, that’s all. A poser’s poster boy. Routine’s practiced hold on events. I am less tattered than what appears. Do me all favors to return whence I came, with no longer a whence to go.      
-As to dust, we are in it and of it, and we all perchance do dust, returning always, and to some we reappear too, just as dust does, to be wiped away over and over. The upkeep’s the thing.
-Tomorrow always knows, does it not?
-What today would could yesterday allow tomorrow to be without today’s say-so.
-Alas, another refrain’s rife tickle. So, justly or no, is this the mood of hate?
-Love’s cursed twin. Yes. Go on. Assuage my most minor opinion. In the twist of parallel sky motioning a journey’s yet, yet never to be, just yet.
-Not a thing to be counted on, wearily to go where nary a long-toothed among them has gone not ere the devil’s take gets counted out.
-Not on?
-Never. I swear it were never a cursed word of mine that dangled as would Damocles’ sword over whatever events might pass for current, now. Oh, but for the mangled wreck I leave behind, area code and all, with only my topcoat left to cover it, maybe some galvanized shiny steel thing in the poorest parts of the machine-bright city to count on. Just a dial tone remains. Maybe some popcorn.        
-Who left to phone?
-Just phony simulacra, the ephemera of lost modes of communication, dropped calls and lost voices going unheard all of a quick eternity. No basics to get back to. Nobody to call or return a call at all.
-To bet heavy on the undercard and go light on the main course.
-Would it be less appetite to whet in light of less-heavy entrées? Or could we milk what’s suitable from the grains gained of coarser entreaties?  
-Loss bemoaned’s still not spun to win one’s only one, is it not?
-Be it as a haggard disposition’s surface may arise in the doldrums of another’s prize.
-Purse loather.
-Loathing’s lover.
-Nothing’s all, is all. Let’s not agree to be less agreeable to whatever clumps and dents our personalities might take. In the clearing stands a boxer, or perhaps a woman of bounded sorrow.
-Turn the trunk, burnt from branch, into a totem to scream your lullabies to. Your clearing, my dear hoarder of thought, is not so clear.
-And if I may not?
-Go on.
-Well, then in the stoppage time of my life I extend a hand like so. Dexterous. Surely as sure as a shake’s firm grip’s less than shaky. Which brings us to ponder why sometimes there is a buggy.
-Aye. At some time. At some point in it. A driver. A paid attendant. A backseat voucher gone to misuse. And to what expertise do we draw the curtains on days unlike these?
-To any but our own, I take it.
-The unimportance of not being less than truthful at most of all times, whilst eating crow as well, or merely just not as well liked.
-Hold thy tongue. Here cometh thy one true love.
-Gilroy the stinker? By jingo! Thee speak to a ruined landscape.
-Yet one that still speaketh.
-All to a withheld account. I’m wont to be shushed at best. 
-Be shy. The wind reeks of an untoward scent.
-One too common to my whiff, though uncommon as they come. To suffer so by my unfortunate nose, if it must be smelt all would know by whom it was dealt.     
-Cork thyself! The horrid whiff nears.
-Whilst we drink a draught of silence we shall squeeze our nares tight.
-God’s wounds. Thy voice be drowned.  
-‘Tis zounds, my baddest of asses.
-Part with this babble and live a day to babble once more.
-Noted with what is duly left in my temper, these lips shall persist in being tightly pressed.
-How now. Here cometh the one of rank.
-Silence ‘tis forever held, by thee, by me, by all parties whose foul stink never let us let freedom ring…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Suicide Note #1,073

This time it’s not for real. I’ve yet to run into Louise Brooks in real life, but in black & white? All the time. The problem? It’s in the typewriter’s ribbon. I’m sure of it. The previous pages were held in check by a checkered future’s chances. This page, as it slings its way into existence, borrows little from those lachrymal and disparate diatribes. Something comforting? My mule’s gone to Moscow.   

Sodden compassion lacks dignity. I’ve been sore with more. Unless less were to become more. But it never seems to in the experience that’s been mine. But I have none that is otherwise. What cannot one do? Be humble and try to keep moving.

Strange memories on this nervous night in Los Angeles. Something comes tumbling, troubling from the streets. Mariachi music wafts up from a car stereo: a steady rhythm to fall into a trance to. I dry my socks in the open window, and some guy’s got the Eifel tower painted on his balcony wall. The buses make their noise and wheeze by on the street six flights down while a man in a white cowboy hat sells carne asada from a barbeque stand on the corner. A nun escapes from a rundown apartment complex and crosses herself at the light. The stifling drone of a helicopter’s whirling flight Dopplers back and forth in a smog-smeared sky. Nobody’s paying attention to the laws. A giant crane is stalled above a church like some lunatic god gone fishing. I lie back and stare at a palm tree that’s got nothing but wilted, white fronds to show for itself. The tall buildings gleam almost downright resplendent in the afternoon’s hazy sunshine, their windows like shiny scales of some ancient reptilian thing petrified for a brief eternity here where I just so happen to be doing my existing for the moment. I’ve got sunglasses on, a salmon shirt with silver buttons, green and yellow argyles, and a powder-blue suit jacket that smells like a girl I used to be in love with. My head’s all mush and strangled courage. I’ve got nothing to do but wander and get drunk; and that seems a suitable enough proposition for this here battered bunch of hurt. There’s no way in or out that I don’t got. There are no accordions left around these parts. The hat’s on the bed. The taxi lights have all gone out. A fly’s joined the party in through the window: another paying customer to witness my doom and disposal. Cussing out everything and handling nothing very well. There’s a detour sign in my heart. It reroutes my hopes and tells my love to take a left. I’m sure there are guts I’m in need of. I’m sure that I might not ever get the hell out of here. There’s violin music coming from the room next door. Two ladies who know what’s better left not done and then done again, I suspect. An airy moment to enjoy in this temporary abode between what’s gone and what’s on its way out.

I am not thwarted by inanition. There are more prevaricating forces at work than just some mild lassitude spelled by indifference. The choices I don’t make keep piling up, behind and ahead of me. I am hemmed in on all sides by stagnant gulfs between decisions.   

And so it is that I teeter back on my heels, reminisce, attempt to hold on to fuliginous memories that haunt me like some Murfreesboro barkeep with whom I am forever never settling up my tab. My mind steers steadier than you’d imagine, waylaid and rollicking over this rocky terrain.

I remember mother, aging as she was, bandy-legged (or was it bow?) delivering soup to the tenants, the one’s in need of caretaking—or perhaps they should be considered boarders—, all of whom were left less well than the drooling palaver of their situation should’ve conscripted them to. Radios scruffy and crackly with overuse, piping out dreams hot and cold for rapid consumption. “How’s that?” is the belated refrain that wanes sluggishly through the shrubs of all my tenses: presently just the past. To the patois of children go the lowly and crushed, and I am forever dour about the clemency of the surrounding troops.       

Fooled to the common errands, I root about for bunchgrass before the gardener arrives, stymied to concoct Maileresque advertisements for myself in this back-soaking humidity. I am lost. The butler moans irreverence from bad spaces in the universe. Crayons heal themselves, wrapper and all. I am snagged by some common Falstaff into blame’s verisimilitude. Nobody home? Well, I believe mother would have lurched, albeit steady and subdued, like some bibulous funambulist arching towards blurred pit stops on the way to hell—or gasping with a sudden fall’s terror, perhaps. But I’ve forsworn all hindsight peeks, at least until every notice has gone to further.

We are suckers for cloud coverage, spotty and transient as it can be. A teal, like baize, that swamps and lurks and spindles and then fades to a clumpy pewter. Surrounded. A glimpse or a wink’s twinge. Melted butter baked into pastry soaked golden by sharp javelins of sun. And it is I who tend towards scurrilousness as the crepuscular insects arise. Waiting. Shod softly to barefooted times. When the room wages war on bits and flecks of nostalgia locked holy and away in motes and beams of distraction, of television’s warm glow. We are dirt sprinkled and spread over the beveled, shiny, marble lid of a coffin. The spit of the world is mine to swallow. A slim share of sky. A rough-hewn burst of cloud bottom scudding through. A latticed groom over sleeker shapes, and the stalled company of being between spaces: ever longing for never.

Drapery’s thick folds hold illicit memories, ancient and arranged, pulled to rest, and at times reined in to gaze at restful moments.

Mother’s queries would trim the lard from the most brazen of the boarders. I (the “who” who is meddling in all dramatis personæ) attain reports nightly of what that business previously entailed. It is lapidary, it turns out, and its tides are the cheer of blame and turnstile humor. What mother held closer than breath was the cloying rant of her inheritors. “It’ll steam you some, son,” she’d chance in the rout of her possessions. A scuffle of dreamy buyers, a spill of droopy silver ringlets from a formerly regal head of yellow curls. Top light. I have forever been returned to sender.  
A keeling sigh palpitates from the room next door. The two ladies are ushering off their farewells, blighted with a balmy sort of pleasure that comes from balancing pleases on the edge of a razor. Soon the music dies down, as do they, and all context returns to its usual forms. I hereby absquatulate from the race of all things, abjure all sentiments and concordant instructions on what it is to be alive, to be a slight wince among those who cultivate food and raise animals just so they can consume them—  those who believe that they own things.

There are no rafters left in my drafty torment; only the crumbling sliding-dovetail joints of my ruination remain, along with some wind-lofted pages ripped from a King James Bible. I do not wish to lead any person to believe that I will just up and Bojangles my way away from these parts. There are ants between the tiles in wait of wayward crumbs. The windows haven’t been washed in 18 years. I’ve forgotten what rain sounds like. Mother would tell me to just be kind to myself, to go about half-flummoxed and a bit drunk, remembering the different names for flowers and insects, clumsily drafting and rearranging whatever’s sulking its way through me; and I’d take her cliff diving now, if I could. Maybe all the way to Dover. But I am all out of feeling like home. And I am just dashed against the rocks for all my trouble.Only a shredded tie and a torn panama left to take care of, to notice or appreciate. I’ll take it. I will. It is probably just another fall to be wrecked at the end of. For all matters at hand I am just a rattletrap scream barreling down the tracks on a clattery old steam locomotive forever headed through smoky tunnels of what it used to mean to be me. The hour’s grave. All the roads are closed. And for me? Nobody knows. And nobody knows.