Friday, May 24, 2013

Suicide Notes Of Fictional Characters #5

Philip Marlowe’s Last Goodbye
Conniving’s got the best of me.
Yeah, that’s right. I write poetry. What the fuck do you do, Sissy Pants?
Sure, people pay me attention. But for all the wrong reasons.
In a rush for patience, Thursday yearns for Friday’s best.
Nothing but junk and ribbons in my mailbox.
There’s no fragrance of success, there is only the stink of raw shame, which resembles manure dolloped with rancid coleslaw.
I’m as fake as they come, and never present.
Sorry, the coffee’s just not doing the job this morning.
A scratch of beard whisking blood. Too much thoughtlessness in a time of overwrought thought. I need a reminder that I'm no good. And for now, the walls are growing nothing but mold.
In a pinch the cemetery will do. So many things to wait for; so little time to wait.
Reel and rock. Duck and roll. Served to stir no trouble at all.
I live here in an annihilated room of somebody else’s past.
Shake me awake just to dance away with yesterday’s bride. Her smile’s my favorite thing she owns.
It’s a tossup, really. I just do what I can and don’t what I cannot.
There’s a fire in garbage alley. There always is.
The movies have gone mum on me, and the windows won’t talk.
My brains are just dead cigarettes, raw and beat to hell, mashed and shredded with cranky rot.
Walk without it.
Go ahead.
The motion isn’t unique.
I’m crushed like a cockroach who once thought himself king of the kitchen crumbs.
I’m nobody’s somebody.
I could use a hug.
Rescued and rehabilitated, here, for what?
For the rabid dogs to sink their teeth into. To harvest lice and mollify tipsy winged insects. For beach-less days. For crooked toes. For mice who are never far enough away.
I breathe. I cower. I spit brandy at pigeons on the fire escape.
Tell me to take the sewage river’s bend and get;
Ophelia’s no longer a swimmer.
And don’t worry,
I won’t be around to bother any of you anymore…

Trigger sad and closing up shop,


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Suicide Notes Of Fictional Characters #4

 Bugs Bunny’s Suicide Note

            I had a dream that you were parking cars last night, and you were parking them in very strange places. There were few spots and cement bars and holy winks at glint and chrome. The shimmy of spring was almost lost in the moves you made. A chess player’s countenance you wore like an expensive mask. It soloed just a bit, over the rim too, when I bid you hello. Raised in costumes to eat live crickets, sporting couch-cushion aegis and toilet-paper-tube swords, we had enough to not do, then. We lifted and clanked bathwater seidels to car horns. Mesmerized, we took cover together on the most crooked streets we could find. I am marking myself fragile and bucking all trends until further notice.
            The pigeons around here must be eating Cracker Jack.
            If you find me dangling, neck snapped, from the end of a rope when you open the closet, please do not be alarmed at my clothes. Finding the right suit for the occasion is beyond me. I think I shall choose a minimalist sartorial approach: plaid shorts and white v-neck undershirt, perhaps some green or yellow socks, shoeless, as always, just hanging around without a watch, white gloves still on. Though I do think that I will run a comb over myself beforehand.
            There is no guilt to throw yourself upon. Do not worry. I have made sure of every first and last thing. The dogs will be garage bound. The moon will be in the meadow. The trash will be taken to the curb. I promise not to haunt your sleep, my dear. You did nothing to encourage this. The emulation of other’s emotional distance is only a reparation for denied handholding requests. Just wonder about my older enemies who have been squabbled to chips over such over-hunted issues. But, as you know, I’m not one to name names, and we never had time for ladling out our regards, did we? Now all of our ex-companions can retaliate for what our ex-enemies never compensated for: my life.
            You sit around all day, trying to think just one of my thoughts. I know it. And I know it’s never too successful. I can taste the skuzzy grime and dust of your past with every swallow. I know some things about it, still. The tree trimmers, the snap of branches, the sidewalk’s blush, the whole sordid ordeal. I know some things, you see?
            I had to wake up. I’m only here now.
            It is not morning rain that gets me back to Ukiah. It is not champagne in the afternoon. It is not the chatter of seagulls or the stupid laughter of stupid girls that compels me to voluntarily quit being me. Perhaps it is just an uncooperative shoelace, or the missing buttons on my favorite shirt, or the radio’s static-filled roar. Putting on clothes, such a phony attempt at change. Alone is not a way of life; it is a slow way of dying one lost conversation at a time-- slower than most at least. I am fit for solitary escapades only, and so it is fitting at last to say farewell with an isolated flourish. Commandeered courage, for a bit, I profess to access. Yes. I will never utter, “Of course you know, this means war,” again. And for me? Well, perhaps a little halcyon charm at last. 
            There are runny tones of white slurped with gray washing carrot-colored towards what might be up or down to any old Doc, or whoever’s around. Imperturbable and playing it cool, the sky’s blue’s just a loony cartoon’s ruse. Look down any rabbit hole around; you won’t find me. Hunters be damned. Nothing will come rifling for me anymore. Slide and sidle; mock and wish. I am up to every trick not in the book.
            Fuck it. All squeamishness aside, selfish bastards take the easy way out less than you’d think. I think. Well, this’ll have to do. Fuck it. I’m through.

            That’s pretty much all,

            -- BB

Friday, May 17, 2013

Suicide Notes Of Fictional Characters (#2)

Doc Brown’s Suicide Note

            Last night I tried to take my own life. Tonight, I think I shall make another attempt at it, futile as it may be. So, I won’t bore you with any, “Oh, woe is me. I can’t take this life any more. Nobody loves me,” and all that lachrymose fodder. You know the drill. It’s pathetic.
            So, here I’m going to list some things that’ll help you understand why this time I might succeed in my effort to bring that proverbial chalk outline to my struggles.
            1. I have hidden or smashed or turned off any clocks or other timekeeping devices. Even my wristwatch is kaput. It suffered a baseball bat to the solar plexus. No counting away the minutes for me. No waiting or stalling because of some preconfigured notion that a certain amount of time has to pass. No distraction of numbers moving forward, always more to come, one after the next, counting down the ways that I just don’t got the nerve for such stuff as a felo-de-se requires. I mean it. Total disassociation from time.
            2. I gave away Einstein, my only companion these days. Some kind old duffer (not so unlike myself) with a broad (if not annoying) sense of wellbeing was good enough to take in the orphaned pooch for what he believed to be a short while. No more barks to alert the neighbors if things go haywire, or don’t, for that matter.
            3. There are no more raisins in the butter dish.
            4. The flux capacitor in my heart has fluxed its last stream of hope, and there just aren’t enough gigawatts in my name to fuel any sort of escape. And the DeLorean in my gut’s been sold for scrap.
            5. Attenuated pluvial settings, in and out of not-so-great Scotts over scattered yesterdays in realms of rocket-launcher-wielding Libyans, and all that, will keep me to it. Yes, all that. I’ve got replete stores of more esoteric and maddening calculations up in my dome than even Wernher von Braun could fathom; and being hardwired for more, well, it takes its toll-- hence, ergo, to wit: more than a few reasons up there for me to succeed.   
            6. The stultifying effect of Clara’s memory haunts me more and more with each rotation of the earth. If it were not for her…  
            7. I am wearing eel-skin boots, which always assures a good go of it for me in general.
            8. This morning I sighed to the window shade, “Marty, oh Marty, where’ve you been? I’ve been all alone in this world since Nineteen and Ten.” That must be prescient of events to come.
            9. God is not yet dead, but will be declared so imminently, if history holds true; and I’d rather beat him to it, you know?            
            10. I ran into Leopold Stokowksi in the street yesterday. We both ogled each other with a feverish abandon, as if being caught by a stranger looking too closely at one’s own reflection. For whatever reason I bowed deeply at the waist and then darted off shouting, “Olga! Olga! My sweet Olga!” It is hard to be sure, but I believe that he will never marry, now, and for this I feel deeply responsible, if not wholly to blame. 
            11. I am my own time paradox now, and can concentrate my full efforts on destroying my own Ich Und Du, instead of the universe of others.
            12. The treasure (and, therefore, horror) of my escape has reached a pinnacle. Nobody is left to miss me. I will not, even here, let on about the mode of my departure from this sapphire marble of an oblate spheroid I’ve been calling home. This, my one final secret, will be the encouragement, I believe, to go through with this, one last great-motherfucking-Scott, at last. At last. Nobody, nobody, will know the ultimate bounds and means of my escape. 
            13. I am feeling rather lucky.
            That about does it. I hope that this note is not read by my future self. But, really, it wouldn’t matter. There’s nothing one can do to obscure or prevent the course of events that will greedily lap up one’s reconnaissance over time and space and all the glitter and doom between it all. I will end this way, always, alternate histories be damned. There is no such thing. We are all one insane streaming complexity rocketing madly through undiscoverable galaxies, all together, unalterable courses aside, we hunker down and remain, or do not, by a choice that is not just our own, together-- everything is, and there’s not a damn thing anybody can do about it.  

            Mediocre Regards, And Thanks For All The Plutonium,


Thursday, May 16, 2013

From 'The Suicide Notes Of Famous Fictional Characters'

 Thurston Howell The Third’s Suicide Note                              

            Okay. That’s it. Cut the shoulders out of my suit jacket with a knife and tell me it’ll all be okay. I don’t believe in any of it anymore. And, also as it might concern those who are reading this after what has past (or passed, as it were), I would like to thank you for your inattention to detail.  
            So here I come to the brink of personal evolution, of sprouting up and bustling down….and me? And so as they’ve always said, I’m still too picky about whom I pickup. This time it isn’t so. It just can’t be. And me? I’m done being sad. Yes. I am not sad at all, not even a single French fry’s salt’s worth. Life has just become not very interesting to me. I am dizzy all the time. You bet. And so I’m telling myself one last time to get lost. Maybe I will. Only you will be left to know if I do. If not, well, nobody will probably ever read this. But, if you do (or are-- reading this, that is), would you please note that there are no tearstains on the parchment, and that neatness and order still mangle me, even in my last moments here? Maybe it is I who am not interesting enough? Could be. I don’t have the energy left to ponder such matters.
            I told my butler to go home early today. He pulled at his droopy whiskers and yawned as he always does. Does he not have his own matters to attend to? Can he not feel the momentous, if not calamitous change careening towards the high-hat manners of his life? What’ll he do, the poor sap, when I’m through? Who am I kidding? Myself, perhaps. He’ll find some other old weepy bastard to put socks on. All of it, it’s just not interesting. The exclusive clubs, the submarine rides, the vacations and boat tours. No. Not interesting to me. Not at all. He started a sentence as he was leaving: “In a doohickey’s appraisal…” But then his mind must have wandered off, or maybe mine did. It is so hard to tell. I am vertiginous at every moment, and I must lie down often and rest. I am tired of needing tending. I am tired. Well-off and infamous to myself. So god-awful tired.
            You see. You do. You who know me well enough to know that the world just isn’t so round without Teddy around. His soft scrunched face next to the pillow, nestled close to my cheek, always a soothing companion for those latent nocturnal hours where dreams perchance would fret and tug at my soul. So soft.
            The island has made me wretched. I am always there, among the palm trees and scathing winds of terrible nights, even though I am not, now, or so they tell me.
            Despair? Never. It is beneath one whose name is carried on like the one I wear so well. Father? Grandfather? No. I will not fail you now. I only fail myself. I cannot adjust. Not to this or what was. Failing to be even myself. That is all.
            Onward. I heave onward one last time, I guess. I see visions in the dystopian landscape of my imagination. Something uncomfortably feral and tracked by sterile laughs. There is a fat man, a sailor, and some goofball lanky fool in a red shirt and a white navy cap. And. Wait. A millionaire? And his wife? Who? Lovey? Sometimes she is there too, or was, or….I get dizzy. I don’t know. The band doesn’t even know the existence of our song. I get tired. Wait. Who?
            A movie star. Mary. Ann. Yes. A fateful trip. Sand all over everything. In my socks and loafers. So much I just do not understand. I owned all of downtown Denver. I was Hatchet-Cuckoo king. Where has it all gone? Was it ever so much as a pile of dust in some Oklahoma field? No. I’d say I was making believe just as well as I could. Money’s just something to pad your bed with, stuffing, filler. And his wife? No. I do not have a wife. Bachelorhood is my domain. The professor says so, he says so, he does say such things. He does. I will buy his ideas at well above the going rate.
            The dying sun’s shine in the window blinds me. I cannot keep at this much longer. The drapes will be pulled. I will truly being going it alone, now. Yes. That seems appropriate enough. Everything around me has gone to pot, turned to dust, and now it is my time to join them. Anymore now in a how of a Howell gone down. Play another song, boys. This one’s gone too far out of tune to ever matter again.
            I do not know what it is about you (oh, no-- not that you) that made me grow old and bitter. Lovey’s not around, and I’ve got my feet in somebody else’s socks. Perhaps she never was, around, at all. It’s all just an idea I’ve constructed from a thousand other thoughts that I’ll never admit to owning. Like a fat man chasing around a holy goof with just his sailor’s hat to swat. A much-too-catchy song stuck roving circles in my mind. Somebody somewhere is always falling down. Today, here, it might as well be me. We were all saved, but for what? You know what? You better watch out. Your savior’s name might as well be your own.
            Where are my pants? 
            I might go quietly in my sleep, after all. That is for other angels than these to decide. If it were not for her (whatever “her” that might be at the moment), if it were not, I just don’t know what I’d do. But this is probably the safest bet, to take myself out of the lineup one final time. With a dose of hemlock? With broken glass from my favorite mirror dragged across my wrists? With a leap from an ocean liner? A bathtub job? Sleeping pills and Ballantine’s, and then Scotch-tape my nose and mouth shut? No. Too gruesome. I am unaware of what it’ll take. I think I will just let it happen, like erosion, or some evening with too much wine. I am too tired. I am dizzy. I must lie down and rest.
            Well, another morning has come upon me. I was awakened by trash trucks, as usual. I was choking on mothballs. And the turn has still not completely gone from the screw. It seems. Awake. Yawn. Tell somebody I love them. Awake. Another yawn. That is all.

            With trembling calm and timorous valor,
            TH III

The Sad Nincompoop Of Post And Jones

            People around here just keep voting against their best interest. Something moneyed folks tell ‘em they need. But they don’t. Not ever.
            People around here stink of feebleness. Mushy crackers. That’s what they’re made of. They don’t get married on a whim to somebody they hardly know. They don’t rant about trash night. They tumble into the ordinary with low expectations. 
            I was writing The New Twilight Zone episodes when I was eight years old. “The owner of  yellow streak so vivid it could be slathered on a hot dog, crazy as a soup sandwich,” and all that sort of stuff. I might make my vileness better known than most, but the sprawl of nighttime’s neon twizzle spin is not less than what’ll dance up happy with the harshest tidbit of my person.                
            People react. They dive in and swim shallow. I hope there’ll be deliverance in my name, somehow, in the costume-party delving of stooped guards. There’s not much breath to hold, though. Not around here. There’s drain cleaner in the tap water. I swat flies and never remember their names. Nothing ever happens.
            Listen. Somebody is singing.

We are not arguments
We are not made of fancy clothes
The bouquet’s gone bad
And there are no more holes to fill in the lineup
It is today lastly
What’s better off being last
We are stitched together with death and cigarettes

            I’m the best time waster on the planet. Give me a way to put something off until a day that never comes and I’ll take it and make it my own and then some. Paint the dogs blue and call ‘em Who’s Who. There must be wine in the toilet water. Get the busiest part of you down to Town Hall and make a Rule Of Pinky about it all. People around here keep their mouths open too damn much.
            Buddy Holly is dead. 
            I really need to start looking in the mirror before I go out into the world.
            I am suffering false awakenings from the nightmare of my history. The electrocutioner’s at the door: the pickiest guy there ever were. Mark me “For Lease” please. I don’t need my mother to dress me funny; I do a damn fine job of it myself.
            Rectify. Splice. Still the difference in palm wine. That’s what I keep telling myself. Use the hardened coir of your existence to build doormats for your messiest thoughts’ shoes. Stuff like this gets me cuts in line for anti-existential-angst pills, and in the end I’m mumbling something like, “It don’t matter.”
            Traits of what I’m not about, at all: a steady temperature; getting everyday girls to like me; rising to the occasion; setting up shop on the roof of a tall building; pampering; sailing; affecting the lives of others; squeezing limes in my hair; paper pianos; law; bickering with the ceiling.
             It was an unsettling glib taste of air, crisper than most, that did it, finally. Volume control notwithstanding, I can be lured into trouble without much trouble. Paste me to the sky with it; I’m shapeless.
            Somebody is at the door. Of course. Somebody is always, always at the door. I’ll just sit here. I’ll be still. Get them to go away, perhaps. Or-- shit-- maybe not.
            This guy, he comes Fosbury Flopping in here like he’s reinventing the bait and hook business model, and I’m off guard a little, but not caught, well, not really, so, we’re rolling through workflow mockups and the likes, and he’s January Standing in April’s mustiest stuff. I am not taken aback at all. I rumble along with it. Integrated marketing be damned, I like big noses and glasses on my gal, you know? There is just not time for sweeping. We’re stuck on Baltimore chopping our way through mountains of fluff. It’s no way to get surceasing without rasped bewilderment at the sitch we seem to find ourselves bending soulfully under. But the moves we make get noticed. I don’t make unnecessary eye contact. Like when Lennon would get drunk and scream, “Yoko!” over and over while they carried him away. Carried away. Shit. That’s where we were all heading. Demanding limes for our tomato juice wasn’t enough. I knew we’d have to get no-nonsense silly to get even close to even. In the maundering séances in lit-low bathrooms, well, we placed often enough for time to tell us we were not as chosen as we’d formerly wanted to believe. Taking flying fucks was more than plenty to get us off that particular rocker. Calling all dumbfucks, you know?
            Well, it’s Treats Time in office supply warehouses. Were it not for ice-in-your-drink meanwhiles, I’d have less to do than a retired umpire. Challenge is, you’ve got to harness everybody else’s willpower for them, and, at some opportune moment, wish it all away from yourself. Does it suck sometimes? Sure. But I rumble along with it, of course, as is my fucking wont. Business is business. Away on business. Business as usual. It’s the climb that gets them, snags them as they rung-by-rung go by-- up or down, or sideways, it doesn’t matter. Peaks of gold trim rise higher while we never sleep. Tell my boss I’m late for a practice test of supper. There’s amending to get to while I can still muster my means for it. Let’s tell on ourselves before nobody else cares to, you know?
            This fishy bastard, who’s like swimming upstream with feverish dead-eyed abandon, is just about three flails away from me taking his neck beneath my armpit and getting an old-fashioned noogie. It’s waiting that gets them, and he’s all hyped about some new systematic way to erase bloopers from cheat sheets, and it’s frustrating as hell for him to be netted before he’s rollicked himself at least midway to the higher sparkle of it. I understand. Been here; done this. You know?
            Now, I’m of the belief that if you use profanity, you should make it count. Don’t just slather it like cheap mustard on any old hot dog that comes by. Save it for those rare times when its puissance will make you king of horseshit in a toilet-paper world. Most of these here denizens in these here parts know at least this about me. Maybe I make it known. I don’t know, you know? Is it really that difficult to be subtle about dying? Maybe I just don’t get anything anymore-- not a thing.
            Fuck it. I’m running for Assistant To The Mayor’s Assistant. There’s garlic powder in my oatmeal. And, for this timeout’s time being, I haven’t hit that proverbial wall just yet. Glory days, you know? Just, just down behind. I know. But things are frustrating for this boilerbreaker of a guy. Things are glum with ample stereoscopic visions available to most in the automatic garage door business. “Take a break,” I’d tell myself; but I don’t. And this guy brings a stink with him like God just titty-fucked the ocean. I can taste fucking sea urchin every time I swallow. It’s a hard sell and a harder buy. So, I push and lean into the decaying mold of the whole rotten sitch. This guy’d vote against himself to prove nothing. About always he’s leaning back in his chair, and so I can’t help but wondering what it’d take to spill him-- just a soft tip and he’s through, you know? I don’t want to be the boss of the whole ordeal here, but hell, what’s what is whatever is, right?   
            This fucking chewed-gum of a guy, he comes in swaddled with bad ideas. After a while he starts to reek of camphor and piss. I moan audibly about the breaks nobody should ever get. I kid myself that I’m wasting somebody else’s time and not my own. We argue about the weather and make worthless artifacts out of justifying our own idealistic approach to curing coworker retaliation during take-fifteens. If there might be something to this guy it’s really beyond me what that something is. It occurs to me that willed resilience is only borrowed hope, and it don’t last for the remainder of my patience’s lapse. Fuck all of it. I’m tossing this corroded-innards asshole out on his last ass, and if he gets out, well, he gets whatever’s there. Out. Gone. Humped by the starved bulls of winter. And you want to know what I think about it all? Shit. I don’t give a mule’s privates about it. I really don’t.       
            So, it seems it’s Barbara Day in Kenneth Town. I don’t want jumpstarts of coddling prancers. I don’t want fist bumps from psyched PBA fans. Open my eyes just so I can look away, you know? Blink. Twitch. Nod.
            Fuck. All of you are really inconsiderate of my emotional state, the things I might need from you, not just the other way around. Well, vice my fucking versa. I want blowhard thieves leading petty-cash lives. I don’t know why people feel the need to be mean to me, to belittle whatever it is I’m feigning to be at the moment-- proselytizing home-cooked morality at me like Ann Landers and her damn twin sister. Shit. I just want to be left together. Bail me in, composed with heartache and heart attacks; coolly paler in the tunnels of my limestone-lined past; riddled with hamper-stuffed demotions, blurry red-eyed cocktails, and just the sad-old pomegranate-colored, defeated anachronism of typewritten rejection notes. Well, call me Maria Gaetana Agnesi and throw my pillow in the fire. I’m outside-in with banal ideas. It is so dark here. It is just so dark.     
            A great light has gone out.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Avoidant Personality Disorder On The Lam, Take Five

“I had a dream you tried to kiss me while I was pretending to be asleep. You didn’t seem like your old self at all.”

            The alcoves bottom-lit over the lancet windows of the church’s façade; something to see as you go by on the bus before the AA meetings got fully going, before you knew there really was enough time for slunk-and-smoke loitering around in your days. Fill up your Styrofoam cup with coffee from that big old silver urn. Take your time. Sit down and cross your legs, tip your make-believe hat to folks milling around the fold-up chairs. Run your fingers through your hair and sigh. That stuff. There’ll be time for it all. Mess around with ogling the ceiling; the cheap gaudy folds of plaster and bland, strobe flicker of bad lighting; the stained and scuffed-thin, gray-and-pink-dotted carpet; the whole multipurpose-room stink of it all. Something that reminds you of grade school assemblies, the stifling brunt of forced attendance weighing you down with girded ennui and dullness. But you’re here by choice, at least in the willingness to try to lure the unwilling sides of you into a trap, or perhaps that’s just a ruse you’re unable to convince yourself is actually not one, or something like that. But, goodbye to all that, you’re here, and that’s at least more than you’ve been able to do thus far in the folds of your attic-scrounging lifestyle. The PA sounds like a principal’s morning announcements. There’s static roaming staid in your amygdalae. Nobody’s playing it dangerous. Sprained ankles be damned, you’re in it for the short haul. Choking the wildness propagating in your nights, the rococo patterns of wishful forgetfulness, this all pleads no-contest to what’s been getting you by this far. When every day seems like just another laundry day, and your most common saying gets to be, “Just what was it I was going to say?” It’s move-over-or-be-done-with-it time.
            You need a cigarette. Go outside. Stand around and lean against the Masonite sign reading: “God Is Love.” Think about Columbo’s wife. Make small talk with the hands-stuffed-in-jacket-pockets crowd. There will be much dirt and pebbles to kick around uncomfortably with your shoes. Go ahead. Make a difference. It’ll have to do until the crows get back in town. 
            The backs of people’s heads, that unaware clump of blank surrender, is what you focus on. You sit in your metal fold-up chair, your hands folded together on your lap in a limp praying-type position; but you are not-- praying, that is. You are about a quarter listening to people who are taking turns standing in front of the podium up front and who are saying things like, “Hello, I’m Raheem, and I’m an alcoholic,” and then go on to tell semi-twisted and surreal and somewhat ordinary and boring stories about their lives: the things that have happened to them while under the influence of a combination of alcohol and/or drugs. You try not to tap your shoes in the linoleum floor too loudly. It is all that you can do.
            A splurge of hope idles in your thoughts for a second. You scoop it up and toss it around, and then place it carefully in your jacket pocket, like a piece of candy you’re saving for later.
            You think you hear someone saying, “Let us build our own caskets, and then borrow the remainder of our time from those who would’ve wasted it anyway.” But you look up and there’s nobody left in the room except you and some sidewinder of a janitor in ripped jeans who’s sweeping around the edges of things with a sickly looking broom. You look at your hands; they’re alabaster and shaking. You get up, walk slowly towards the exit, nod to the janitor who doesn’t pay you any mind, and you continue on, going out of the room, and you are not thinking about making movies or sense-- not at all.
            You keep walking, heading in the direction of fancier parties, somewhere glitzy and Corybantic; somewhere where you can feel a bit more free and unlike your usual self; and you start telling yourself another story. Something more rainy and hardboiled. The cars of Ares are honking their brains out. Go with it.
            Look. Just up ahead. That’s the signpost you’ve been waiting for. A dimension of silence, blindness, and corporeality. Shadows flustered to grainy substance without things, without ideas. Cross over. Go ahead. That door ain’t going to just open itself.
            So, tell yourself this:
            People and their damn dogs. You check your valuables at the door and fumble around with a bottle of Chimay, spill your worst-kept secrets on the carpet, and laugh at the doorman’s white sneakers. It’s chess time in Dourville. You’re ready for none of it. There are probably people to be seeing, making the rounds, but you’re not seeing anything except cigarette butts and xylophones. Trumped-up Chinatown blues getting grilled to mincemeat pie on the floor, your better bet’s off. Country last; supper first. Treated to strange business-suit expectations and cold coffee. There’s no fortune in those pants, kid. Hi to bye in a matter of seconds that never help. So you find yourself running uphill screaming, “I’ve been poisoned!” Everyone’s got their own alibi, and you’ll be around, here or there, for as long as it takes, hiding out and growing dust like hair in some dark bar somewhere. There are no rewards for suckers like you, no reasoning with or without whatever’s left scrambling around in the dregs of your bottomless-mimosa soul. Hide and sneak; it is all you’ve got. So, go ahead and pound out your sorrows on the hood of a Lincoln Town Car. It’s worth less than you’d figure, like an empty racing form or a lost dog sniffing at your heels. Make it all up and wish it all home. You are in keeping with what you’ll never be. It isn’t necessary, but it’ll do. You sing when you make your exit, like you’re Kate Smith or something. It’s over. It’s all over. And you find yourself somewhere where you can’t possibly be, but it’s all a lullaby of coins never picked up, dice never thrown, and a god whom you wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a beer with. Yep. People and their damn dogs. It’ll always just be that way. You’ve got Fritos in your back pocket, a cigarette in your shoe, and a grumble in your voice like Jack Webb on a bad day. Nothing’s showing. Nothing’s for sure. Lost a grip. Prance out of it. You will not be the laugh of the party. Not for anybody who’s left to care. A book of stamps for your worst nightmares; that’s about it. Take it on the chin, kid. You’ll get lucky enough before it’s too late to matter, probably. Because eventually you’ll be old enough that you won’t be able to listen to certain songs anymore, or look at certain pictures, and you’ll get sad and ornery and inept at everything you used to ace. Well, it sounds like rain; your best ideas come to you on the shitter, and there’s everywhere left to run. You’re biding your time in the bar car of your life’s train. Be for and against all of it. You will always matter to yourself, at least.     

Sunday, May 5, 2013

instructions for dancing

A fast dealer comes with it: turn, slide, best the whistlers; and no more trotting, fox. Pucker the scent. It’s just toe led. It’s ripe with rare polish, tapped and spun un-dizzy. Unpeel from the pack, inward, with time out to whirl, or lunge 18-wheeler wild sighing into slightness. We have steps one through a million, here and on the slicker floor over there, there. Worry sleeps. A pinch of life in it, still. Tackle and reach. Hold and sway. It muscles your way into spots of light, speckled silver, drips of fashion turned from lick into split. Bump holy. Trip softly. Joints gone to jelly, tide the rip of you with lack’s dazed nonchalance, or smoke whatever comes next. Follow boxy shadowing hops through shipwrecked ankle into terpsichorean battle pitched just out of sight. Bow, if they let you, in the custard-colored light. Hips first, follow less-than-through. Tie yourself to another, take another take, and slither backwards, if the thread of it all lets you slink off, or chase what’s not behind, ever. Keep to cacophony. Rule out any other’s rhythm. Crumble to the floor. Be stranger than you’ve ever thought to be. Be absurd. Slower horses to the rescue, you’ll retreat when there’s too many more. Don’t count. Don’t refrain. It is darker than seeing and louder than you’d hear. Necessary, at least costly, in the mirror shaking, rolled useless and bounced in, a flail with flair, top-sure and bottomed to the ceiling, moved under, lost. A ruin just up ahead? Go with it. Scar the sky with heel smoke. Sing neon. The spot’s gone. It’ll be up to being down from here on in. Tongue the groove with seizure-whipped sleep. Take somebody else’s name. Tuba along with the rest. There ain’t a thing wrong with you a couple of whiskies won’t fix right up. Set off the burglar alarm and call Benny Goodman. Step out of line. You’re done.   


Friday, May 3, 2013

Mutually Assured Capitulation

Who had the relief?
            It was factored into the account, beforehand, when the basic newbies were having lessons scowled at them, triple time, in the most captioned of ways. Under lessons I’d taught the fuckers, of course, it was different. When you’ve got pullulating throngs pissing their pants, well, it’s a better bet at being over any over’s under. If you do or will get my point. If not? Screw that uppity growl of bullshit you’ve got plugging your yapper. I’m snagging pick-sixes and spiking my willpower in the end zone. Jostle and pose. I’m all of it. Smacking bloated bastards like that in the side of their melon, and then it’s plastic time in Concrete City. The stupid dips’ll be so dizzy and bowled over in pain, damn weak wretches that they are, that nobody’ll even notice if medium-sized middle-aged me sneaks up and nabs the best of what’s remaining, left over or not. There ain’t any cars in the garage these days anyways. I throw a steak in the frying pan for lunch and keep my mouth shut. That’s what’ll do around here. Pipe up, pipsqueak; I’m home early.
Were we making hands for children’s gloves?

            There’s something to be said against that; but being for it, as it comes to matter to me less and more all the time, I just dodge and poke, pickle and endure, and in the catbird seat of my most lavish hours there will be seclusionary measures to take, probably, and then I could pick apart at will the maleficent ways of those who’d rather spell out their troubles than own them. I’m just saying. It’s not enough already, you know? Well, I do.

Frequency modulation or amplitude?

            The preferred attitude to take among those-- or these-- fuckers was to not make it readily available hop-along-or-hop-alone logic. To what means or ends it was all crisis bent was a big fat no-concern of what made me tick, and then it’s a whole boots-on-the-dance-floor situation you get yourself into, so it’d make me hobble and wince…shit, even spittle-drip about being too lapidary in my taste to be properly invigorated with life’s brawny toned mettle. I know. Fret and whine about it, why don’t you? I got that more than most. But what I took out of it-- static, ring-tones, between-two-stations buzzing and all-- was a curable deceit that carpeted all the floors in sight: something that’d pad my steps so my stomps wouldn’t be too conspicuous in the egregious movements of my sneaks up on the unfashionable on-time arrivers. That’s sort of the preening attempts I’d make at concise arrangements between dutiful pattern-bound folks who’d rather run on sugared gas than fumes. You know, as I said, those fuckers.

If there were an attachment?

            Well, then. I cough instead of laugh, sometimes, just to air out the difference between being social and being lacking in the dignity or proper concern over the welfare of one’s ego’s adjustments in the falling-down scope of just-barely-noticeable care-- and not the worn-out kind, of course. Maybe the worn-in kind. I place and put, put and place, and then run off to join anything but the circus.

How could we not hope to slash funding for what seems just a rainy-day exercise in dalliance?

            A brief, somewhat-positive outlook pervaded. You know, it might be more helpful to ascertain the leaks before internecine plunges into thought-bubble positivity. A lesson happens before happiness lessens; you get that, right? But I’m all for “pronto-ing” the haul. That I get. Always have been an according-to-Hoyle sort of guy. But you get that too, don’t you? You know these things so you’re allowed to take them for granted, or not, if you’d like. Though-- shit, listen up, huh? Though tacit looks that are bought-off and paid for before they’re ever acknowledged don’t really need to be given then, right? Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. It’s all a periwinkle's gambit in the swirl of life’s ugly tide pool. I don’t shed remarks for want of new layers of wit’s armor. Shit, I'm cantankerous even in my sleep, which doesn’t come as often as it should, ever.


            Never. Apprehension comes and goes. I get over it and move sideways from it all. An ignoble retreat, at best. In the endurance we found a subtle bonding going on. It was all light over day, all over, and we could summon the worst hindsighters to speak bashfully before unbowed physicians of darker matters. Letting the oddleg calipers roam freely in the ruins to do their worst as scribes of fucked-up measurements of detachment and delirium. Those brain-dead pukers’ll have to get their shit together enough to at least fake it better, or you’d think, huh?

What if the winter wind blows it all away?
            We reach out and in at once. We stay stable and run away. There’s everything else to not say, and so it don’t go-- for us, them-- it just won’t. The terrible weeks coincide with the weather’s best stuff. And still there’s too much and not enough to ever get. The knots are all tied. The ships are missing their sails. I’m pooped and dingy, and I’m shit-or-get-off-the-pot about all of it. So, shit, well, I’m hogtied to my worst interests; and, well shit, that’s a pout that’s blousy with too much telling. Oh, and, also, of course, not enough. This weather’s for the cats.

Would higher stakes help?


Are there chances that for you seem duress-bound?           

            It’s a fucking 3rd or 4th helping, if that’s what you’re going for. Me? Shit, I’m not holy enough to be even allowed at the table. And I’m the one left mumbling, “It’ll do. It’ll do. It’ll have to fucking do.” Get the electrolytes out of here; I’m through.

If we can’t make it unmake itself, are we lesser chumps?            
            Of course. And, of course not too. It’s weird that we don’t make more errors in the time we have. Or is it that we’ve just gotten too used to overlooking them that we’re now ill-prepared to make sense of it? Well, shit. I’m not the one asking these things. I’m just not. But get that shit out of here. I need peace in my life, even just a little sliver of it, to remind me of why I’m here at all. I’m not overly concerned with the opinions of others about the discreet way I follow through on running my life’s of-courses.      
Would you agree that there is no “to be” to be?
            If the workers stay less busy, and with remorse catch butterflies without their thoughts, sure. Maybe they’d join the clerisy or something, and go off claiming to be the descendants of a mass extinction’s few hardy survivors. I don’t know. It’s basically an audacious stroll down machinegun lane, and who’s measuring the wait? “It will come to pass,” and all that phooey buttered bologna. Don’t go around begetting too much ephemera. We’ll all get duct-taped to the whims of punchy customers and shoot for the most desperate of predetermined decision-making. Wait. Start. Lose it. I arrive later than early without a purpose. And that’ll stick. Believe me. It’s juice day in banana town, and I’m making ice-cream soup for dinner. Plant the seed so it will never thrive. These conditions are measly and shortsighted. I hear the unproductive rubes are hard at work practicing polyphasic sleep. I toss; you turn. That really doesn’t do, does it? God. I guess something is left still to disappear. Well, bubbly water for all.

Enchantment’s density is hardly measured, right?     


Do you get bored with all the excitement of rule abiding?

            That’d be test-kitchen awful, wouldn’t it? I bet there are at least some who call without warning on the not-so-basic necessities of prep time and neophytic knowledge of what’s never lower-level sense. We’re all seeing visions of the holy ghost at some point. It all gets rubbed down and patented and loosely lipped to the braver sort. Me? I’m not totally with or without it. I make it all expand and contract in a blink. I short circuit the fucker and take the rest down with me. It keeps things a bit flat and unnatural, but, as we’re all so fond of saying, it’ll do. 

When will mends turn to baleful gestures of recognition?

            When I start oiling the motors of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck. Sorry. I’m not pulling it together here. I’m lopsided with vertiginous extrapolations on carrying always-worsening moods of try up steep hills of carelessness. Wonder eludes me. I am forever chasing those motherfucking butterflies all over my gut. Sure, it’s a type of gazing inward, but only a surface-clean crack at it. My dreams consist primarily of the sound wind makes.

And so we’ll all start the fleeing process, is that it?  

            Nope. We’re gunned down already with what’ll turn sour now in our guts instead of blending to a savory stray bit of fortune. Take me, for instance, please. Take me. I’m down for the count anyway. Made of gripes and never-ready gorging, I descend awkwardly from leveler amiability. You see, my paintbrush ain’t quite as clean as the next guy’s. My tongue is weak with it. My whole jaw aches with it. And the mildness of the whole thing gets me, it really does, and it gets me in all the wrong places: sidereal and polished and made-to-order. But not to worry; I am calm. I am in tune. There ain’t a thing I’ve got going for or against me. Let’s just hide out in the husked wonder of our grade-F days, here, and-- in the confetti of windblown petals-- make lunchmeat out of whatever comes our way. Fall. Go ahead. Nothing will keep you from it. Nobody, nobody lives the magic long. It’ll all catch up to what’s left of you eventually, and as it rears the banked fury of its shaggy murderous visage to take a swift chop, you might spend a week or two ducking into dingy dark bars for cover. Nod at strangers in strange pleated overcoats while the daylight spends its charm on landlords and other worthless scum. Raise your glass to another slashed-through box on the calendar. There’s really nothing else left to do.