Getting ready for the big day, one of the elves comes to me -- he has his hat in his hand. And I haven't ever seen an elf with his hat off, so this can't be good. He says they can't find the list. I'm so goddamn busy I'm ready to shit bricks and mail them to Timbuktu. What list? I ask. THE LIST. Says the elf. Jesus Jumping Christ in Red Plaid! I exclaim. Did you ask Mrs. Clause? Yes! says the elf. So after that, we tear up the workshops, warehouses, storage & lofts, we rifle through the stables, look under every tree, present, box, trunk, hay pile & bail, turn over every wreath, look in every nook and cupboard, to no effect. Cookies and Cockeyed Crumpets, we're F--d! No List. Who had the List, last? They name the elf, Fonterloughighoblo, and he's not here, so we all go to his house. And lo, there he is, passed out dead drunk, the list is in shambles, all over the place. I can't make head or tail of it, the pages all mottled, crumpled and smudged. I see he used some of it to start a fire. So there it is, with no list we had to improvise. Because of Fonterloughighoblo, 2007 was the year everyone got a crate of Spam.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
cold to the touch
on the steel
as i look around
i was real but
there is nothing
in this moment
but here and this rain
falling soft rain
in a wide field
of just stubble
rising gently that way
shift the gun
walk on past a fence
From POETRY from the CITY of BRASS
by CM CHICAGO
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
9. If you're playing with kids who can't count money quickly, short change them
8. Tell people Boardwalk and Park Place aren't worth buying
7. Swap out the game dice for fixed dice for important rolls
6. Ply your opponents with alcohol, help them make the right decisions
5. Throw away, or hide the game rules, and make up rules beneficial for yourself, when needed. For example: establish an informal rule that all monetary penalties from Community Chest and Chance not payed out directly to a player, get put into Free Parking.
4. With #5 in place, if you take a break and nobody is looking, skim money off of Free Parking
3. Hide Monopoly money from another game set all over your person for those must needed purchases -- do this also with an assortment of good Community Chest and Chance cards hidden to replace any bad ones you get
2. Be the Banker
1. If you are going to lose the game, right before you are bankrupt, kick the whole board over, Say, "Oops!"
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I discovered this was the only way to beat the system that we were collectively up against. What mattered more, above honesty and positive ethics, was the appearance that you were fully engaged with something and always willing to do any task. And while you did any work, you always should be on the lookout to take a secret break, have a beer, take a smoke, go somewhere you were not supposed to be, or amuse yourself in innumerable ways bored employees amuse themselves to run out the punch-clock. Occasionally, if it was safe, you could pilfer unimportant things that wouldn't be missed. It was important not to be fired, it was important to get paid for any kind of overtime, it was essential not to give in to the man. It was a mark of distinction to have a contempt for the Boss, a sly knowing contempt, to never be caught with the accusation or perception of having a "bad attitude". Being found contemptuous was not playing the game with the correct mindset. This showed a certain lack of skill.
I must admit, through all of this I learned quite a bit about the Real World, working my Real Job. I also understood what we were up against, I sympathized with the other packers. I was also surprised the one afternoon when Rick was fired, Rick being about 25 and the King of the warehouse. He was at the top of the packing hierarchy because, for starters, Rick was the only person qualified & mature enough to drive the electric fork-lift and pull palettes down from the huge shelves. We all understood how impressive and dangerous this skill was. I was surprised, because Rick was the best of all of us at Fucking the Man. The managers never seemed to catch on when Rick Fucked the Man. But I guess one day he pushed it a bit too far, but I am not sure how. As the King, it wasn't for Rick to screw up, he had it set up too good to throw it all away.
Discharged, I remember him walking out with a placid expression, escorted by the top manager. Though the manager was furious, Rick's face was calm, even blank, as if he was looking at a serene scene a thousand miles away. His final check in hand, he got into his spit shined red Trans-Am, the kind of a Trans-Am that was all souped up & cherry, meticulously taken care of with a bit of faded paint. As we kept working, he drove out of the parking lot.
Here is another short story. But I will call it a vignette, because it is hard and true, even though it ridicules. Because in the last moments of your life, what will you be thinking? For instance, I am sitting on the edge of this hard cold bed, minutes to dawn, with part of a Brady Bunch rerun stuck in my skull. My mind has been co-opted. It is the episode where one of the Brady boys has his voice changing, so when they sing the song he makes a funny sound when they get to "...it's time for a change." The scene was supposed to be ironic and cute and funny, but it is corny now and stupid. Now it is inane to be stuck with this, I wanted to have a dignified death, a kind of a martyrs death with the right thoughts, not puerile disturbed mental flotsam. The cute stupid singing part of the episode is lodged firmly in my minds eye, an idiotic mantra. The mantra reveals my vanity for a "heroic end" -- not just the result of a bunch of commonplace, run-of-the-mill series of trivialities.
Now I see it is dawn and I hear the squad turning out in the yard with their rifles. They are pissed off that they couldn't sleep in, some of them are hung over. One blows his nose repeatedly, loudly without a handkerchief. I hear them talking: Why can't the fucking officer just shoot me in the head with a pistol? Can't we get this over with as quickly as possible? Then when they settle down, because Pleše arrived, a kid shows up with a slip of paper. Is it a reprieve? And for a second I am free of the stupid skit. But then when Pleše sends the kid away and he orders the men to unsling their rifles, but one last overriding question interrupts all other thoughts in my head. And I don't care anymore about the whole thing, just get the answer now as the cell door opens. One last question must be answered. I look at a drunk cold frowsy soldier with a cow-lick, his belt loose, cigarette stuffed in between his lips. What the hell was that Brady kids name? Peter Brady. A smirking, sniggling Peter Brady. Time to put the pen down. Goodbye.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Click on the "Play in Popup" link under "Lidia Sheinin and Gary Cohen - Happily Ever After [29:00m]" link to hear the interview -- and here is a tip -- at about 20 minutes into the interview you get to hear who created the logo for Scared Mouse Productions.
Click here to see the award winning short they made. Here is their blog.
I just finished Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island". It took me about 3 days, I took my time. I never managed to read the story cover-to-cover before, but I always liked the map*, plus other assorted illustrations. With memorable characters & action, and many clever twists in the plot, Stevenson penned a first rate adventure story, while also defining a whole genre of how Piracy and Pirates are portrayed with this small book. For a start, the majority of historical pirates didn't bury treasure -- mercantile in nature, most pirates would have found that plainly insane. Crews wanted their spoils as soon as possible, shared out amongst the crew. Pirates didn't talk the way Stevenson's pirates talked, or use the expressions they use so vividly in the book. The Jolly Roger, parrots, maps with "X marks the spot", and one legged Long John Silvers were props from Stevenson's own fertile literary imagination. An interesting note is the person & personality of Long John Silver is modeled after a friend of Stevenson's, William Henley, writer and editor. The only thing that tripped me up (or made me read more carefully) is the language usage can be arcane -- but the lexicon has not shifted as far as, say Shakespeare. For the influence this book has had on our images of swash buckling men-of-fortune, a heroic mythic mien still very much with us, it is a worthy and enjoyable read. To think this tale all started out with a simple hand drawn watercolored map -- drawn on a rainy afternoon by Stevenson's stepson Lloyd Osbourne, plainly marked with "Skeleton Island" and "Spyglass Hill".
* Note, there are many versions of this famous map. Most of lesser detail or quality. This is the best example I have been able to locate.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
nancy you shot
the .22 from the porch
the light was right
we could see sunshine
on the bullet
as it flew from the barrel
to the fence-post 60 yards away
like an electric bee
or the fastest fly that ever was
time for wine and a cigarette
it is funny the things you remember
we don't know what we forget
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This has been driving me nuts. See the above symbol? It comes from a book I read back in elementary school, juvenile fiction. I can't remember the name of the book! Hopefully somebody can tell me the name or author of the book if I describe the story. Main characters are an older brother, younger sister. I think they are pre-teenagers, but just barely. Brother gets a job mowing the small town cemetery's grass. Sister tags along, because the graveyard is cool and creepy. The brother makes wisecracks about the various people buried there and makes up a series of satirical rhymes using names on tombstones. Then we are introduced to a mystery -- there is a mausoleum, or large gravestone with an angel on the top of it. The angle points towards a part, or corner of the graveyard, where a certain plot is. This plot is where a family is buried, reputed to be witches. The person who put up the angle blamed this family for the untimely death of their son. The kids examine the cursed plot tombstones, but there is not much of interest. Then, before Halloween, the kids notice that someone has drawn a symbol on one of the gravestones. In red paint, I think. This (above) is the symbol. Then some stuff happens, the kids have their eye on the last living member of the "witchy" family -- an old woman who they are naturally very afraid of. The girl ends up getting kidnapped by the old woman, who turns out to be a witch. The old lady tries to bargain the girl's soul away to a demon the witch invokes, but instead the demon tricks her and turns the old witch into a Douglass Fir. Ring any bells? Book had some illustrations in black ink.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
now i am away from there
separated by not only distance
i write about this and that
and i see that even my worst
wasn't that bad
i find i miss people
not the places
and also by remembering
i am forgetting
it is some kind of rule
every time you think back
a part of the past fades away
slowly slowly fades away
oh it isn't so bad
this melting away of facts
of details or faces
otherwise it would be
like having to hold
a red hot iron in your hand forever
yes all things subside
they must settle
and be gone
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
riding the cta
i look out as we
soon it will be rainy
and dark all
the time cold
then the predictions
will come true
they all say we'll
find the winter here
we'll yearn for
we left behind
but i don't
tell them i disagree
with how terrible
the weather will be
i let them
and higher as if
the skyline was
we get off
when we exit to
the street i
can see the art
get a blast of wind
from the lake
you recoil and
so do i brrrrrrr
winter will be fun
i say to you
(and i wish i
brought my gloves)
Friday, October 05, 2007
Being smoked, cigarette but had every reason to feel morose, but for some reason it didn't feel depressed. It thought back idly to the proud day it was a whole cigarette, with all its friends in the cigarette pack. They were fresh and new, packed in by a machine that made hundreds and thousands of them, all day long. It was so exciting at the factory. Many of cigarette butt's associates thought that they were like soldiers, bound for exotic places far away, over the globe. But cigarette butt's pack ended up at a White Hen liquor store in a suburb of Chicago.
"How I would have liked to have seen the world!" thought cigarette butt, when a cloud wandered by that looked like the Eiffel Tower.
A robin landed near cigarette butt. "Hello, what are you?" asked the bird.
"I was a Camel Light filtered cigarette." said cigarette butt, mater-of-factly.
"Are you good to eat?" asked the robin, looking at cigarette butt with one bird eye closely.
"Not really. All that is left of me is the filter." admitted cigarette butt.
The bird pecked at cigarette butt to make sure this was true.
"Ouch!" said the cigarette butt.
"Okay, well, take care of yourself!" said the robin, and it flew off into the next yard.
After the robin was gone, it was quite for a long time. Cigarette butt was comfortable, because after the robin had pecked, cigarette butt had become wedged & almost completely hidden in a deep crack between two paving stones. Down there was a complicated fascinating fluff from tree leaves, twigs, bits of bark, and below this mixing in was loamy earth flecked with bits of decayed granite.
Cigarette butt became drowsy down there in that secret place, and it decided for all time that life was good. The earth was interesting, and cigarette butt knew it was now becoming a part of it.
"Let's go back to the tree." suggests the first leaf.
"I think that idea is acceptable." says the second leaf.
"I don't think that is possible." says a twig.
"Who let the twig in?" says leaf one.
"Twigs! Just ignore it." says leaf two. "Let us continue with our plans. Now, the tree must be nearby somewhere around here."
"Absolutely." agreed the first leaf.
"Precisely!" added the second leaf, needlessly.
"Hello." said a fleck of bark to no one in particular.
"Hello." said the twig. "Where did you come from?"
"Is it very far away?" asked the leaves.
"Once you get dropped, there will be no going back to it, ever." replied the fleck of bark.
"You said it, brother." said the twig.
Then a small gust of wind kicked up. The leaves, the twig, and the fleck of bark were hurled wide and far and never spoke to one another again.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
has no patience
most of it is
who dare not
for the dead
by a rabbit
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
"Life is a roller-coaster." I say to Lao Tzu.
"Get on the ferris-wheel." he replies.
"Life is a ferris-wheel!" I exclaim.
"Get on the bumper-cars." murmurs Lao Tzu.
"LIFE is a BUMPER-CAR!" I yell.
"Go to the shooting-gallery." says Lao Tzu.
"LIFE IS A CARNIVAL!!" I shout happily.
After a short pause, Lao Tzu blows on his cup of tea, and he says, "Great! Now leave the Carnival."
II. God Tried to Eat Me
"God tried to eat me." I confess to Lao Tzu.
"Everybody, even God, has to eat something." responds Lao Tzu.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
i have water
i make noise
i am company
no no that
is okay i'm
i realize i
am dead to
dead i never
like a mark
you can't make
someone love you
Monday, September 10, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I met with him, Maalc1 st33 today. I wonder if I should be offended or angry.
I was escorted into a white interrogation room with three chairs. A white nanotech table was between me and Maalc1. There were two police with us, though st33 wore slim nano cuffs that leashed him to the chair.
What was the actual meeting like? He was and he wasn't what I had expected. His hair was on the long side, and he let it fall down straight over his eyes, so I could barely see them. There was a bruise on the side of his face, and his lip was split. There was truant bad boy sullenness and anger, yes -- in my mind a typical reaction to just about any situation when a thuggy kid gets caught -- a defense mechanism. But I also detected a hidden intelligence, quite beyond any of the scores in his transcripts in labor school -- I thought, if you are so smart, why did you do this to me?
And then st33 looked at me, and he knew what I was thinking, and he jumped up and bellowed as the police dragged him back down, Because I'm down here, and you're up there. Winning the lottery just makes it worse!
He had gotten within a hairs breadth of me, but I hadn't flinched. I didn't move, because I knew he wasn't going to hurt me. Alice was watching on the other side of the two way wall, and I heard later when Maalc1 st33 had jumped at me, she had screamed and almost fell over her own chair.
When we were leaving the station, I told Alice I wanted to adopt him. He still has three years before he was reconsidered as an adult and he was also an orphan. Nobody around here will work with him because of the incident and he'd have to be relocated anyways.
Alice was not happy. No no no. We already have two teenagers, and they are *this close* to being kicked out of the house as it is.
In my opinion, one of the great paradoxes of my wife Alice, for all her natural born and sensible aversion to things "throwback" old fashioned, is her adoration of some of the reconstructed audio CDs I have managed to decipher. When we were dating, I was very much into this process, and I had many complete songs from certain prominent artists cataloged and playable. I had hit the jackpot with an artist called Frank Sinatra.
So after I am awake and we have talked, Alice leaves the room for a moment and them comes back with the Sinatra song "Let's Take it Nice n Easy." and we are together for a long happy moment while it plays.
Pater and Ani hear this, when they come into the room I can see they are both happy and relieved that I am awake, but I can tell that something else is concerning Pater. Alice has started another song, and I don't want to interrupt it.
I listen to the song and as I watch Pater, Ani and Alice, I feel an emotional wave. I suppose it was all coming back to me, lottery, bond fires, etc. But this passed, and when the song was over & a decent iinterval of silence had passed, Pater gave me the news.
I have been cleared of any wrongdoing whatsoever -- in fact, a security CAM a few miles away happened to be at the right angle and with two satellites the whole incident was carefully analyzed. Maalc1 st33, a youth from the neighboring work combine BAT22 was the offender, not even of the village was the attacker which was to everyones immense relief. Maalc1 was subsequently rounded up when he checked in for a morning work detail. The knife was found in a hedge.
The downside was the news of the assault on a T1 by a T5 after winning the WWMML was almost as big as the news of the village winning the WWMML. There were waves of negative editorializing, some of it quite scathing in the UK. But for the Media, the combo was irresistible, and nothing like this had happened for quite a long time. The stops were being pulled out. while I was unconscious all kinds of commentary (some of it shockingly conversationalist/ semi-sympathetic) was coupled with news of spontaneous protests and counter protests that were springing up all over the greater Reconstructed Western Hemisphere --people were debating and talking about MicroMacro economic issues, discussions of economic realignments and job assignments, scoio-generational livelihood structure debates...with all this news, I felt almost embarrassed, like I had somehow broken the camel's back.
Pater, Ani, and Alice all say, don't worry about this -- it will blow over, and I know it will...
The village has surprise us with several things this morning. Firstly, they have given us a hundred hours of energy. Also, an apology from the mayor for the attack, even though the perp was from BAT22. Alice and I demurred, when it came to assignations of fault, saying that we were just visitors, and that everyone we had been in contact with in the UK and especially Wales were friendly and hospitable to a fault. That pleased the UK media.
I, in turn, surprised the Media, and the village (but not really Pater and Ani, nor Alice) by stating that I would not be pursuing charges against Maalc1 st33, partially because he was 15 years old, but more for "personal ethical reasons". That took some of the wind out of the local constabulary's forces a bit, but it did win me a grudging respect with the T5-3s and the local magistrate who was anti-lockup punishment. I then surprised everyone, including Alice, when I said I would like to meet Maalc1 st33 in person, as soon as it was possible, and the magistrate agreed.
I hope this isn't one of your "saintly experiments" said Alice when we were alone. These country T5 bumpkins can be quite dangerous.
I told her, I didn't know what I was doing, but for some reason I felt compelled to meet Maalc1. I might ask him why he did it, I said.
And what if he doesn't feel like sharing the answer to why, asked Alice. People just do things. Sometimes these people do terrible things. Sometimes.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Then, I was me again, I don't know how, but I knew I was. But more that this, I seemed to be flying over a fantastic landscape...menacing crags and peaks of numberless mountains and gorges that had no roads, mag lifts, skytracks nor even weather stations, rugged untouched terrain sprinkled with snows and tall trees. Clouds were racing and over the horizon a thunderstorm lumbered, cracking now and again with lightening. I raced towards the broiling storm, and then I saw ahead of me on a crag the impossible spire of a fortress, with one lone burning light in the highest tower.
The scene changed and I felt extremely claustrophobic and uncomfortable. The air was close, stuffy, smelling of dust and smothering decay. I saw a pallid young man who wore elegant clothes from the 19th century, but these were now ragged and soiled. He wore his hair long and had just rinsed his hands and forearms of something in a wide basin, drying them on a towel. Unknowing of me, he turned towards a low burning lamp, working intently, and I could see books, big ones and small ones, of all descriptions--books books! Some where opened, some closed, books carelessly spilling all around him on all surfaces. Amongst the books were curious jars, knives, saws, pincers and specimens. And while I watched, he worked on the project on the bench, and though I could not see what he was about, I felt a crawling loathsomeness in my gut -- the hair raised on my arms. Tension and claustrophobia surged when he stood away from the surface, and I screamed at the impossible sad perverted thing that he had begun just then constructed. He was looking up at me, we looked squarely in each others eyes. I heard rattling chains and a giant grinding noise and the sound BOOM!
I woke up and found myself in bed with a bubble of nano on the side I was stabbed. It was all just an incredible dream -- a melodramatic nightmare straight out of Shelly's book. When she saw I was awake, Alice reflexively grabbed my hand scaring the bejesus out of me. I had to laugh. We both did. And it hurt.
A few days have gone by in a flash -- with the incredible news & implications overriding everything. In the making of history, a first for the whole of the UK, as a economic unit the small village of Carmarthen has won the World Wide MEGA MEGA Lottery. The WWMML being pulled randomly once every 9 years with over 120 million groups participating, including over 3 billion people chipping in dollars, euros, dinari to chickens. Carmarthen had elected to play the WWMML as a virtual one person unit as a demonstration of economic harmony and unit, and if the village won, all 5 economic categorizations would get equal payouts. With the news legally confirmed & certified everyone is rich, from the top to the bottom.
Winning the WWMML is just too hard to fully take in, as the enormity sinks in the fact feels devastating rather than edifying. Pater and Ani are still stunned. Hell, Alice and I are stunned as well. Carmarthen had to hire phalanxes of renta-cops, robo-sweepers, extra drums of sprayable repair nano, erect temporary traffic controllers and even put up a few polymeric structures for all the reporters, well wishers, gawkers, and shysters trying to get our money. But the funds are safely under lock and key in the village accounts split as encrypted thirds in Bern Greater Switzeland. Palo Alto Republic of California, and Gary Indiana GUSA, just in case through any trick clever malware tries to siphon of a few million before being detected.
It is quiet tonight, for the first time in many many days. No helocopters, sailjets, train lifts or gliders speckling the sky, rising up and down. With all the funds the village has, and the increased credit rating, there is talk of having built a train lift linking up with the nearest magnetic bullet train station. But just as many other people in the 5 classes are saying let it alone, let it be.
Shotsky 6ertion calls, late as always, but the sprinkling of congratulations and well wishing calls have tapered off.
We hear that there will be a bonfire in the fields tonight on Bryn Myrddin, a sort of ersatz "May Day/We Won the Bleeding Buggery Big Lottery" celebration, and so have decided to check it out. Being T1, we stayed respectfully on the periphery, watching the fires roar, hearing a majority of T5 - T3's mingling and laughing-- then rushing in were throngs of jumping dancers wearing fantastic straw masks. They looked like teenagers. With the arrival of the wild and acrobatic dancers in masks, we found ourselves being enthusiastically greeted and grabbed by many hands, villagers were slapping us on the backs and the general atmosphere was friendly and rowdy with the smell of illicit alcholo.
No longer on the outside, looking in, I was having a Peter Bruegel moment looking at the bright fires contrasted with huge shadows and the dark openings between mingling and ever changing groups of people, light shining through doors and windows and marching alternating silhouettes...swearing, song, some music and laugher, and then screaming.
The crowd turned and was trying to see what was happening. As the crowd was looking, asking, one of the figures in a leering straw mask broke away from the group doing tricks, and came up to me, and before I knew it he stabbed me. After that awful surprise, I don't really remember what happened. I think i heard more screaming, felt violent buffiting as I somehow stayed on my feet -- then many bright lights, like searchlights swinging over the crowd cleaving through smoke as the police arrived. In the meanwhile I had lost sense of me, who I was, there was no Ani, Pater, or Alice/
Saturday, August 18, 2007
In the future, by about OC 2143*, due to rapidly advancing technological progress, in theory there should have been plenty of jobs for everyone, but paradoxically there were less jobs than ever. This then necessitated the marginalization of millions and millions of people by way of criminalization and other types of categorization, reducing whole groups that previously were well-to-do and advanced in technology to hand-to-mouth third-world subsistence levels. This in turn necessitated the creation low tech labor-intensive employment systems based on agriculture, so whole areas of the countryside began to look like medieval Europe. At first, in a way it was as horrifying as it was charming, to see economically realigned "peasants" bringing a harvest in by hand with scythes and horse drawn wagons under a blue sky..something almost out of the Limbourg brother's "Tres Riches Heures"...but the carts are drawn by robots.
I assure you that these new "working classes" are not realigned in a fixed economic model. Adopted world-wide 28 years ago is the most egalitarian socio-economic model progress has ever devised, a sort of rotating 5 tier level of generational occupational functioning model, where cascades of zones, clans, or groups occupy 5 job level or occupational categories, then a generation later, these graded clan or soci-economic group will be graded up to the semi-technological niches, then so on, per generation, until in 5 iterations any one of a series of groups will be "top teir", like us now. The top echelon today is then next-generationaly allocated down one eco socioeconomic occupational tier, as other go up, and so on. I apologize if I am confusing here, it is complicated to try to explain and I did not major in the New Science of Realigned & NEO\\calibrated MicroMacroWorldEconomics.
Now don't worry reader, as I know you are wondering, through all these painful and devastating economic adjustments in western economies and economies all over the world, southern India kept all their jobs, and added more.If you want to know who is writing this, I'll tell you. My name is Giles Mc17, from Oak Park, and I am on vacation in Wales, England. It is probably not the Wales you remember in the past, weatherly and full of stony somber heaths. No, due to the lingering effects of 21st century global warming (some effects of which were frankly quite pleasant & never totally corrected by Automatic Weather Control Stations), Wales is today a balmy subtropical paradise of Palmento, Date, and King and Queen Palms -- the terrain studded here and there on the westerly coast with lagoons of an azure blue so strong it almost hurts to look into them at mid-day. Alice 5anderi_22 is my common-law wife, she is with me on this trip -- though she does not like to go on extended vacations, which she feel can be sentimental and old-fashioned. I can hear her saying to me, "Going somewhere for a vacation?"
But she and I have been happy on this trip, particularly in the subtropical paradise of Wales, and I am privately thankful and glad. This morning, with the curious antique brass spy-glass mounted on a tripod, I can see her now, down by the beach, she is looking at the fine sea-fruits they are cultivating here -- like Cucumbers, GrapeApples, and NappofruitTM mingled with sea urchins, starfish, anemones and other chordates, echinoderms, and cnidarians in the tide pools.
Later, the owners of this plantation, Pater Ga88mis and his wife Ani 3eripsion-- old SAIC school chums of mine, will show us an interesting cooking technique called "Langry", or "Laangerly", where one cooks a feast on slabs of stone. The stones we will be using tonight are at the main lagoon, not far from the main house that has stood since the mid OC 1400s, a home that once was undoubtedly forbidding and haunted looking under threatening skies. Now I must say, the architecture is completely transformed-- every stone bathed and rejuvenated by strong tropical light, the formerly closed spaces open to soft air and the exciting atmosphere of the sea.
Now back to "Langry", or as Pater says, how the French call it, "La Piere Tombale de Mes Jaques de Frere Graves"**, an expression that Pater finds to be extremely funny, but he won't say why. Laid side by side in a boat, and two people need to move a stone at a time to the beach, though these stones do semi-float in the water. Pater tells me as we move the stones, that the pubs here cook a modified version of Laangerly, where the stones are dark, stained, well seasoned from many uses. The pub stones are a square 2x2 and .5 thick. The banqueting stones we have are new and are 2x7 and .5 thick.
Pater and I have been secretly "slumming it" a bit -- which means we have been reading old fashioned bound material, called books -- some even being the originals. Pater has a small library of them, saved from the original house, before the legally required nanotech cleaned out and resurfaced every crevice and surface. He keeps these rare publications that have somehow survived the last 100 years of adjustments & catastrophic social, economic, and biological changes in a custom built humadore, set exactly to the appropriate temperature and humidity so these surviving examples of old style literature do not crackle and turn into dust.
We have here the "crown jewel" of the whole collection, what you would call a small trade paperback from the OC 1960s, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. Menaced by the barbarity of the images and dialog, we try to imagine a time where people were physically isolated, had extended families, lived in the dark, ate animals, and had unnumbered names. Ani and Alice, being scientists, would not approve of our fascination with the time nor be even faintly amused with the concept of distopic technology. Pater and I are secretly amused by all of the above.
With Pater and I both being archaeologists, specializing in late 20th century ephemera, we keep things under wraps by pretending Pater and I are spending all our resources referencing three 17.5x2.3 core samples of trash from Site 42, section 12.22.1 -- these drillings from an interesting area of the San Marcos California Landfill that was rediscovered two years ago by P8gly Gannerl8 and his bumbling sidekick Favin Ve11 from the SocioRecronstruction AnalyisiGrupo at UCSD. They consist 98% of old National Geographic magazines mailed to Escondido circa OC 1980s, most of them fragmented and warped, now set in a suspension grid where we can scan them in any direction to catalog the color images and text. Adding plausibility of the time we spend in the humadore is the fact that several have oceanic themes. We know ere not going to discover anything new, just fill in the gaps, because Favin V11 did the initial data snapshots and they were good enough.
Working out two times a day, together to recharge 7 top off power for the house certainly blows away the cobwebs. The house is a marvel, transferring energy passively to the cells when we walk on the floors, move in the house, but we're also using extra energy at night and we agree at selling some as surplus to finance some daytrips to Canterbury and even New London.
Later in the day when we think Ani and Alice are in the village, picking up some small converters for the main branch, we are proverbially caught with our hand in the cookie jar...Ani calls & looks at the humadorCAM -- gets the CAM to shake off the sweatshirt we have casually hung on it and says that they have known for a couple of days what we are up to with that romantic novel, the first tip-off being that a quick anylisis of the core samples indicate we'd have about three days of work tops to completely categorize the cores. So that is it for our clandestine fun with Mary Shelly and her monster. We swear it has been only to do some infoTopo, coordinated with the incomplete NewAmerc Encyclopedia, but the game is up.
Then things get really interesting after dinner, when we have finished dinner and the candles are being lit and hung in the magnifying lanterns. Pater gets a top-rated call and goes out of the room. When he comes back, he looks ashen, yet elated. I pour him a glass of wine. Then he drops the bomb on us.
* Old Count or "Anno Domini" -- by 2044 AD, due to a number of cataclysmic & unforeseen economic, social, and biological catastrophes that began in 2012 AD, the main computer at MSCOm_Corp suggested to the United Nations that the historical epoch be realigned to a version of counting time related to the Mayan "Long Count" calendar, because it was more accurate than the Gregorian calendar. Some hundred years later we have since reverted to using a classic version of the Mayan Calender cycle. The true date is/was N22.214.171.124.1 C9 Mx21 (Normal Year, Chen, Imix)
** Translation from French, "La Piere Tombale de Mes Jaques de Frere Graves" literally means, "The Long Tall Headstone for my Late Brother Jaques' Grave" -- I apologize for the French -- I may have the expression not precise, having Pater say it only twice
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
i wanted to write poems
like supermodels on runways
strutting their stuff
or write poems like
battleships full speed ahead
through ominous curtails of smoke
i wrote poems
that were barbie dolls
with no genitalia
and wrote poems
like a wooden toy boat in a
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
i run out of gas
i run out of peanut butter
i run out of clean socks
i run out of xerox white copy paper
i run out of bismark type battleships
i run out out ancient egyptian monuments
i run out of continents of africa, asia, and america
i run out of the assorted planets of the solar system, including pluto, asshole
i run out of massive black holes or gravity wells that can devour whole galaxies
i run out of brahmanian gods dreaming eons of creation and ultimate destruction of endless muliverses
i run out of love
i run out of fate
i run out of happiness
i run out of everything
no juicy fruit gum
no pope ratzinger
no fake poop
i hope tomorrow
Saturday, August 04, 2007
The next day medium sized paperclips will fall. Then the day after that, a spectacular blizzard of multi-colored acrylic thumb-tacks. How do I know these things? I just do.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
1. A Pirate Map**
2. Some Cunning Illustrations***
3. A Villian ^
4. A Virtuous Virgin^^
5. Two or Three Unfortunate Events that cannot be Easily Solved
6. A Crime
7. "The Flight From Egypt"
8. A Jinx
9. Some Burlesque Horseplay
10. The One Day of Reckoning
11. All Chapters, or Sections, should have a synopsis of what will take place in any Chapter, or Section at the start of said Chapter of Section~
* I know what some of you are thinking, after reading this list, "Are you serious?" But these points are true. I am also assuming the writer will do the required character development and research into whatever period they intend to put the story in. I am assuming the writer knows how to write and knows what they are writing about.
** Preferably on the inside, before the TOC and any dedications
*** Should be curious pictures of devices, scenes, mystery writing, sigils, and above all, strategic moments in the plot
^ Like Darth Vader
^^ Don't like having a Virtuous Virgin in the story? Then why not write pulp fiction.
~ I don't know why this practice has fallen out of style. If anything, it forces the novelist to be clear
bums stand there
waiting for the
dog to get up
right up and run
me if i go far enough
says one bum
c'mon! he yells
the dog lifts it's
as the guy walks
he keeps walking
the dog doesn't
so the bum comes
back towards the dog
c'mon! the bum yells
the dog does not
i wish i knew what
the dog was thinking
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I never had a haunted bathroom, but I did know someone who had a haunted room. Specifically, the wallpaper in the room was haunted. How we determined the wallpaper was haunted, I can't fully explain, but it was so. In my time I have encountered other haunted objects, like an unabridged dictionary, a painting, and a stuffed toy doll. But back to the story: before my friend moved into this house, on Valencia Street in San Francisco, the previous roommate who lived in that room would not sleep in the room at night. This roommate would sleep in the bathroom, on one of the marble counter tops that was just big enough for her to curl up on. Due to the flat having one bathroom, the other people in the household got used to this, and would use the bathroom discreetly at night. I had a few interesting dreams while sleeping in the room with haunted wallpaper. In one dream, I imagined that there was a space in the ceiling immediately above my head, like a hollowed out bubble, about the size of a volleyball. In this space, I saw there was a miniature skeleton, like that of a baby, it was wearing a sombrero. It's bones were a ghastly nicotine yellow color, and when it realized I could see it, the skeleton grinned at me and manically danced, pumping its knees up and down like pistons and jiggling it's elbows in that cramped bubble in the ceiling. This was comical and terrifying at the same time, mostly terrifying while it was happening. I yelled and woke up. CM Evans Cartoons
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
that has two endings
one ending is a happy ending
the other ending is a sad ending
you tell me which one
is best suited for the story
then i'll throw both of them out
and write a new story
where the end is at the beginning
the beginning is at the end
and the middle is sprinkled
throughout the whole length
but a final story will be about the journey
the branch of a cherry tree takes
as it grows from a twig in 1977
until it is at least 5 inches in diameter
and how this branch with its fine blossoms
is admired by a bird on that fine day
with a blue sky and a trembling wind
hinting of the coming spring
and with not much concern is/is not
lopped off for a fire
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
39 degrees 26.470 minutes North Latitude
44 degrees 14.110 minutes East
Today, one of the Unicorns died. I know they are one of your favorites, "Take extras special care with the Unicorns!", you told me as we screwed down the hatches and slammed the door. There wasn't much I could do about it, this boat sure is a lot smaller than it looks once we were packed with all those late arrivals. But nobody got serious until the water was waist deep.
Lord, could you be troubled to say something to my wife? One hot cooked meal per day is not being unreasonable -- we all have been troubled by this calamity. I just happen to not wear my feelings on the sleeve of my robe. My Dad was like that, and his Dad before him. She could also stop with the attitude, Lord, lots of attitude. And please don't say that I should beat her with a stick. I'd no sooner beat my wife than beat any of my children. We all end out the best we can.
Speaking of the children Lord, I thought they'd be more serious about the gravity of the situation and also of greater overall use. There's been some horseplay with them and a few pairs of animals and much hard feeling all around because of it. I don't know if the doves and the elephants will ever be reconciled because of these frivolous hijinks by Shem, Ham and Japhe.
Well, that about does it, my back is killing me and it is no fun cleaning up pens, as you could well imagine, I think. A nice steady wind out of the west would be much obliged with no more griping from the cheatas and the wolverines at 3 AM, is that so much to ask? But you told me you knew the plan and what you are doing. I am still trying to get over the images of my whole neighborhood, and then country, drowning.
Your most faithful servant,
Sunday, June 17, 2007
If there is a question of Blame, and we need to make up our minds, my Dad says I left, and never came back. Never returned to the Table, never returned to the Circle, never united with Family. I say, in response, I left a long time ago. I left before high school. I left in junior high when I had to protect myself from my Dad's disapproval, disappointment, and resentment. And later, much later, whenever I'd visit, you'd sit there and let me talk, not listening to me while you read your newspaper and got on with your day. I was a noise.
I realize by me writing this, there is one more layer between Father and Son. But I can't help it, the writing. The extra layer added I'll now try to peel away: I cannot give my Father the gift of Insight, nobody can be given that, we have to discover it on own. But I can wish him a Happy Father's Day, with Love from your Son.
Wherever we are, Happy Father's Day, Dad.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
before i went to sleep last night
a funny thing unasked for or a lyrical phrase
both fine untainted like sustained notes
i promised i'd remember
in the morning but knew i'd forget
when a line or a word or an image
jumps out at you but you don't write it down
& you say you'll remember in 12 hours or the next
day or whatever delays you
this is how you slowly and surely damage
and dishonor your heart
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Surprise, a third collection. One more for the road. This 200 page book "CM Bergomont's Poetry Jamboree", a collection of my poems and illustrations, is twice the size of the poetry collection "Poetry from the City of Brass"-- I like how the cover turned out. I like the insides too. I just ordered me a copy to make sure all my corrections have gone in. The next book after this will be a 200 pager of my collected cartoons -- many that are posted to my cartooning website CM Evans Cartoons -- but that will have to wait for fall of this year, because I'm pooped. I hope a few of you out there decide to enjoy the fruits of this labor.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Heelllo all. It's me, your old pal CM. I now have 2 books, on CafePress. One is a selection of my poems, "Poetry from the City of Brass", the other, "Selected Short Stories - The Vignettes" is a selection of my short stories. Many of the poems and short stories have appeared here, but others have been floating around in my files -- some going back 10 or more years. It is my hope that these collections have "legs", and could be enjoyed by people who generally hate poetry and writing. Those are the kind of people who I write for. I've been thinking on using the "print on demand" service with CafePress for about a year, at least, so I'm glad now I did it. The covers are gorgeous 4 color glossy printing, and the inside is greyscale. After two aborted attempts, it wasn't too difficult once I got the hang of it -- but if anyone out there wants some pointers on how to design for print on demand through CafePress, I can give you some tips. Hell, if you are writing and want to have me publish your book, let me know, if I like your work I'll set it up for you. I could even design the cover of your book.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Then you dated other people without telling me, you told the other guys you were fucking I was your best friend. At the end of the year, after confusing me with lies, you took off and vacationed in Hawaii with a finance. Later, I called you up in my sleep in the middle of the night and told you I was lonely and I missed you, and why? But if you answered then the question, why, I wouldn't have heard it, because I was asleep.
Now there I was, 3 years later, actually excusing myself from a circle of shining friends, all of us piratically locked elbow to elbow laughing and chatting in the cafe. I told them I'd be right back, and I quickly walked down the street to the mall a half a block away. I watched myself in the glass doors, the reflection almost a silhouette, more like a hole than a person, and then I went in. The pink diamond was gone, and so were you.
Friday, May 04, 2007
latif i call you on my birthday and we scream like pirates
you old fucked up coot but we laugh ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa
because we both know someday i'll be just like you
and you'll be just like me but for now we're just like
fish in a fish tank just looking around thinking the tank is huge
somehow the food will be coming down any time now
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Someone from the family visited her almost every day at the recovery center when she was ill, she said she'd move nearer to my parent's house in Napa when she got better. But one day my Grandmother died alone, at the hospital, in the morning. A nurse had brushed her hair for a while, because they loved her -- when the orderly came back at 6 AM or so to check, my Grandmother was dead.
I am sure it was fine that way for her. I am sure it was fine.
At the funeral, for some reason, I ended up separated from my mother and father at the mass. It was not intentional; I sat behind my sister and my brother-in-law and their kids. When the service started, it was too late to move. So I cried alone in my pew in the church when they sang the psalm, "And He shall raise you up on eagles wings/ Fill you with the breath of life/ make you shine like the sun/ and hold you in the palm, of His hand..." I was surprised that psalm made me cry, I had not thought I would cry. I had no tissues.
Later, at the funeral home, I looked at my Grandmother's body, lying in the coffin. I was always afraid to touch a corpse, up until then. But I loved my Grandma so much; her body being dead didn't matter. When the wake was over, we were alone.
It seemed wrong to leave her there. It seemed wrong to just pop into a car, and drive off. I thought about this. Illogically, it was like intentionally leaving a wad of cash behind. I could hear the traffic on College Street, the candles were burning red in their glasses. The noise of the cars and the trucks seemed inappropriate, making the scene -- which should have been tranquil -- pathetic. My Grandfather had lain in this mortuary, in this very room, and I had felt the same way about the traffic. But these thoughts passed.
Now today, a year later, so many things have happened, changed, or is in the process of changing -- it is remarkable that all these events are contained in one year. Since Fritz died we
- Built a pool
- Had a baby
- Bought, rode for almost a year & then totaled a motorcycle
- I severely broke my wrist crashing the motorcycle
- My wife decided to go back to school and get her BFA
- My wife got accepted into the Chicago Art Institute
- We decided to move to Chicago
- I am switching groups at my work
- We moved out of the studio
- I painted half a dozen major works
- I published two books, one a selection of short stories
Friday, April 27, 2007
"No!" he shouted.
There was a pause.
"Let me in!" said the same voice again. The doorknob wiggled.
"No!" he yelled again.
The doorknob wiggled in the wood of the door, then the doorknob popped out of the hole with a grind and a clang. A strange eye, glittery and wet, peered in at him.
More horrid scratching at the door.
"Let me in!" said the voice, sounding deeper and louder.
"Never!" he cried.
The wood of the door began to dimple and buckle down the lower half of the door. He could see long fingernails. He moved to flee, but it was too late.
The door crumpled apart and a thing bounced into the room, knocking over the single electric lamp, creating a crazy cockeyed shadow.
"Trick or Treat!!!" the shape screamed.
Then it pulled off its head and waited for some candy.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"Hello, Chung Tzu? Are you awake?"
"Yes," says Chung Tzu. "And how are you?"
"Fine." I say.
I call him up at 2 AM.
"Hello, Chung Tzu? Are you awake?"
"Yes," says Chung Tzu. "And how are you?"
"Fine." I say.
I call him this way and get the same response at 3 AM and 4 AM. Chung Tzu is no fun, he is no tease.
Chung Tzu comes over that morning, bight and early for breakfast. I am very tired & hung-over. When I see him, I say, "Hello, Chung Tzu? Are you awake?"
"Yes," says Chung Tzu. "And how are you?"
"Fine." I say.