Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

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

Remember Me?

Hi there. Remember me? We met a few weeks ago at a bar when we both were getting drunk. I can't remember the name of the bar, but it was the one with the huge patio with colored electric lights. I pretended to smoke, because you'd go out to the patio and light up ever 20 minutes, even though it was about 25 degrees & freezing ass cold. One time I loaned you my jacket, you looked cute in it with the sleeves hanging down 5 sizes too big. I noticed your hair was light, but not blond, and your eyes were hazel with fine gold flecks. You also had a cut on your chin, you said a motorist opened his car door when you were riding your bike and you crashed into it. The guy didn't even check to see if you were okay, he drove away and people stared at you laying in the street. You seemed to like me because I didn't try to come on too strong or say the typical guy things you hear all the time, but you said I shouldn't be too interested, because you have a boyfriend. But later I overheard you saying your boyfriend is an asshole and you think he's sleeping with his ex-wife. I want to say I'm nice on the outside, and if you get to know me better, you'll find I'm nice all the way down to some dark unpleasant secrets. And if you get to know me to that point, my behavior could do a subtitle change. But I think everyone is like this, to be honest. I think you are experienced enough to know that. I am not looking for someone experienced enough to know that we all have dirty secrets, deep down. But I think it is unavoidable.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Scrapping the Universe

In Heaven, there are mixed reactions to the proposal of shutting Creation, the "Universe", down. Hell, on the other hand, is delighted. Satan and his band of merry rebels think they will be getting all the scrap if external phenomenon is retooled or unmade, just like last time, which happened so long ago you couldn't quite imagine it...and it really isn't any of your business. Hell goes through quite a growth spurt each time interdependencies are all unmade. There is a sort of silent agreement between Heaven and Hell, regarding the size of Hell. Hell shouldn't be too big, and certainly not too small. And the requirements for a bigger Hell goes with the creation of a new universe as two peas in a pod. God isn't slimming things down, you see. He's trying to get it right after many excruciating attempts. He almost has it down, the Genesis thing. Now Heaven will convene for about 45 million years and talk it through. That is equivalent to about 2 weeks our time.

Train and Teredactyl

A few days before Christmas, little curly haired Julian, who is almost 3, mugged Santa. But it didn’t start out that way. Paul and Molly took Julian to the Mall, stood in line so Julian could sit on Santas lap. For small children this can be a harrowing, horrifying experience -- it usually ends up being good -- but sometimes the wheels come off and a small child has a complete mental breakdown. When his time came, with some trepidation, small Julian looked at the funny guy with the beard in red. And right there and then, Julian made the blessed & magnificent mental connection between TOYS and SANTA. "TRAIN!" exclaimed Julian. "TRAAAAIN!!" He yelled again, almost jumping up and down. All was well. Santa acquiesced, and so Julian left the interview very satisfied. But then a bit later in the toy store, Julian saw the best rubber teredactyl in the entire universe. On the way out of the Mall, passing near where Santa was set up, Julian launched into action. When his parents were within striking distance, he broke from his Mom and Dad, running as fast has he could for the fat guy in red. He barreled to the front of the line between kids and parents, jumped onto Santa's lap, screaming, "No TRAIN! NO TRAIN!!! Ter-DACTL!!! TER DACTL!!!!" So this Christmas, I do believe Julian got a Train and a Teredactyl. Never get between a 3 year old's Christmas gift idea and Santa!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Poem - winter/ snow

winter
snow

i stand
outside

i listen
to the

crackling
trees

their limbs
covered

in a fine
layer of ice

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

CM Evans - 4 Poems Live Over @ Opium Magazine

Four of my poems are live over at Opium Magazine. Opium is online, and also goes out to print. Issue number 5 is the latest off line offering, featuring writing, poetry, illustrations and more. David Barringer designed the cover & Todd Zuniga edits it, along with an army of tireless lit volunteers. Please do pick up a copy.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poem - nevermind

carrying an
over under
shotgun
cold to the touch

see
moisture beads
on the steel
as i look around

i thought
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

soon i
nevermind
shift the gun
walk on past a fence
walk on


From POETRY from the CITY of BRASS
by CM CHICAGO

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christy's Mom

When you were an infant, your mother decided she had to leave. It could have been even in mid-sentence, when she was talking to your father. She literally walked out of the house one day, with the clothes she happened to be wearing -- not a scrap of luggage, not even a toothbrush or a comb. She never came back. You told me your father was stoic about your mom going, he hardly ever talked about it. If you ever asked him about your mother, he said he wasn't sure why she left or where she was. At first you asked because your dad kept all of your mothers things, he never cleaned or cleared them away. It was like someone was on vacation, or away on business and they'd be coming back any day now. As you grew up, you saw over time how her perfume bottles and erring holders, coils of necklaces, small crystals on her side of the bureau got old and dusty. The jewelery tarnished. When you dad wasn't around, you looked at her dresses, and other clothes still in plastic dry-cleaning bags hung in the closet, with her shoes. Over time the articles of clothing got dead, and deader, which is impossible for inanimate things, but it was still true. Later, when you were 25 and had a little girl of your own and dropped out of college, your sister said mother was married again. Your mom was living in a big expensive house in Burlingame. One afternoon you drove to the house, and spied on her when she parked on the driveway. You watched her walk into the house. She wasn't smiling, she seemed very serious with frown lines on her cheeks, cold. You didn't feel like meeting mother after you saw her face, so you drove away. You never hated her, either, until then.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Me and Bobby

One evening out riding, I clipped a side-mirror on an expensive sedan. When I crashed, I bent the front wheel of my bicycle and smashed down on my shoulder, ribs, and hip. I remember laying for a few seconds in the street, a truck narrowly missing me. I jogged away, dragging the bicycle. I was more afraid at being caught by the angry owner, than if I was seriously hurt. Eventually I was home where I found one of my roommates, Bobby, cooking a late dinner. I examined the bicycle in the kitchen while he cooked a big meal. It was fucked. My ribs hurt. My roommate was happy & ate and there was nothing to do. I had to do something, anything to not be alone like this. I decided to walk to a little cafe, but when I sat down and had coffee, the cafe was closing. I picked up my cup and put it into a grey overflowing plastic bin on the way out. Alone again, I walked back to the small flat. My other roommates had come home. Silent disapproval was in the air. I had left the broken bike in the kitchen and Bobby, who hated the other roommates, was blitheringly drunk. I watched Bobby play a guitar, drink more beer, and howl songs about love, while the other set of roommates watched television in the back of the flat.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ten Ways to Cheat Playing Monopoly

10. Roll for other people. If they aren't attentive, under or over count the roll for your benefit

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

Fucking the Man

My parents wanted me to learn about being responsible, and learn the value of positive work ethics, so that summer they were done with my ways and insisted that I work at a Real Job in the Real World. It was important that I get a dose of reality, rather than spending 6 weeks out of the summer being a camp counselor at a boy's summer camp far away in Leggit, California. So that summer I got a job packing in a mail order warehouse. The job was for a small catalog company. I was a good packer, the pay was okay -- far more than I earned working at the summer camp, and I broke down old cardboard boxes with my boots by kicking the boxes so hard they exploded. My co-workers were, for the most part, friendly, affable kids. They were also dishonest, lazy, and contemptible of the hard work they had us doing, day in and day out.

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.

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

beware of dog

in alleys
the sign it says
BEWARE OF DOG
but most times
there is no dog
dog long long gone

but every once
and awhile
admiring in solitude
the yellow trees
when i'd want no dog

then there is a dog
snarling bouncing
barking
tail waging
with no BEWARE sign at all

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happily Ever After - Award Winning Film Short

Super news! I just found out two friends of mine (Gary Cohen from Adobe, San Diego and Lidia Sheinen from St. Petersburg, Russia) just got first place in the experimental film category at the Rhode Island International Film Festival for their film short "Happily Ever After". It was their first attempt at film. Here is a link to an interview of Gary and Lidia, at the film festival.

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.

Book Read - Treasure Island


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

Poem - nancy you shot

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
autumn afternoon
time for wine and a cigarette
it is funny the things you remember
we don't know what we forget


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rejected by the New Yorker

Three of my poems were rejected by the New Yorker. Yay! I'm waiting to hear back from Poetry Magazine, I have four poems off to them. Getting a poem published in either, for me, would be like a squirrel from my backyard getting a gold in weightlifting at the next Olympics.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trying to Locate a Scary Book, Recognize this Symbol?


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

every time you think back

for my father

now i am away from there

separated by not only distance

but time

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

A Ride for the Abbot

You were a fraud monk. The abbot of Sera Mei monastery knew this, but he ordained a few young men who were studying with you. The abbot never outwardly criticized you for being a phony, for having no faith, but later after the ordinations he wouldn't come into your house. He stood by the curb, outside on the sidewalk in the cold San Jose night. After the ordination you giggled, sitting in your snug little house. You giggled and giggled at how successful things were going. You laughed because you had asked the abbot to come in out of the cold and the abbot had refused. I think you were the only person there who truly understood what that meant, the abbot not coming in to your house. The abbot waited and waited for his ride while you didn't give a goddamn, because he wouldn't come in. June and I asked the abbot if he was okay. He stood there for about 40 minutes while I tried the phone number to the place he was staying, it was wrong. June and I drove him home. When we got to the place, he invited us in. We sat in the living room and then he started to laugh. We drank tea and he asked us many questions and told us his stories. We got the correct phone number for the house he was staying at. When I called to see how the abbot was few weeks later it was hard to hear the person on the other end of the line, and besides they couldn't understand english that well and said I must have the wrong number.

poem/ behind

poem
going
going
going
gone

what a
waste
&
i call
myself
a writer

i have
to keep a
pad on
me at all
times

because
after
you
leave a
poem
behind
on the
side of the
road

you never
see it
again

Thursday, October 11, 2007

(and i wish i/ brought my gloves)

we head into chicago
riding the cta

i look out as we
go along
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
depressing
we'll yearn for
that "extravagant
california lifestyle"
we left behind

but i don't
tell them i disagree
with how terrible
the weather will be
i let them
opine

chicago rises
buildings higher
and higher as if
the skyline was
growing

we get off
at adams
when we exit to
the street i
can see the art
institute and
get a blast of wind
from the lake

you recoil and
so do i brrrrrrr
we recover
winter will be fun
i say to you

(and i wish i
brought my gloves)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cigarette Butt

One day, not long ago, a cigarette butt was looking up at the wide blue sky. For some reason, cigarette butt had very good eyesight. It watched the clouds going on their way east, and it thought about life.

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.

Leaves, Twig, Bark

One day, two yellow leaves had a meeting.
"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?"
"The tree."
"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

a poet/ has no patience

i.

poet
has no patience
for poetry


going out
most of it is
words words
phrases complicated
convoluted
so involved!

(written for
other poets
who dare not
leave their
ivory towers

or written
for the dead
that he
thinks were
greater than
himself)

ii.


poet!
a fresh
wind blows
through the
small backyard
bringing some
leaves down
by a rabbit

yellow leaves



oak park
october 2007

Dentist Printer

At 6.30 AM this morning, as soon as I am awake, I am unhappy. I have a dental appointment today. I go to the dental office, the Dentist tells me all about "The Da Vinci Code" as he drills and drills and drills and drills and drills and then he gets a bigger drill and drills so it feels like I have a malfunctioning 2 stroke motorcycle engine strapped to my head. More drilling, water splashing, suction, air please, stuffing, pushing, scraping, packing, drying, open as wide as you can, drill, drill, done. Signing the bill on the way out, the dental assistant cannot get the printer to work. It alternately won't print, or it prints the wrong document, shreds the pages it is outputting, jams, or takes forever to print. I watch her try to produce the bill for over 15 minutes. She unplugs the printer from the network, reconnects the printer, partially disassembles the printer, disconnects, reconnects printer, and so on and so forth. She expects me to get impatient at this, but I reassure her I am not impatient. Gradually though, while I am waiting, I start to hear a small child in the back of the dental office crying as the Dentist works on him. I watch the assistant work with the printer as the child's moans and cries evolve to delirious shrieks and screams. The printer being jammed forever doesn't bother me, but the agony of the small child begins to get on my nerves. The assistant pretends she doesn't hear anything, or possibly she is so used to little kids crying at the office -- the sounds do not register. I tell her to fax me a copy of the bill and leave the office. For the next few hours I have a soundtrack lodged in my brain of a small child yelling at the dentist's office. I try to drown this out with heavy metal music, but this phenominon unfortunately has to wear out so slowly on it's own...and eventually it does.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Everything I Say is Meant to Frighten You

Everything I say is meant to frighten you. Are you scared? I've been talking for awhile and you've been listening, but you don't look scared. This you not being scared and my attempts to frighten is starting to annoy me. What the hell is wrong with you? Kids these days! No appreciation of subtlety, no knowledge, brains full like a hopper stuffed with disjointed images. Should I just swear and scream like a blithering idiot? Then you say we should just make love now, and I agree. We walk to your flat, and as we go in, you say your older brother spent your whole childhood terrifying you with his stories and you believed every one of them. As a yellow moon comes up over the rooftops, as seen from your window, you relate to me his litanies of horror.

and it needs/ to be known

and it needs
to be known

it wants
to be known

it is asking
to be known

begging
to be known

please

before it
is too late

there is no
time to waste

Thursday, September 27, 2007

To Walk a Mile in Your Shoes

To test out the saying, "...to walk a mile in your shoes", I really do -- it turns out walking a mile in your shoes is hard, but not impossible, you fucking asshole.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life/ God Tried to Eat Me

I. Life

"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

He Smokes

He smokes and has all kinds of smoking related accidents. He accidentally burned his jeep down -- I'm not joking. The fire department filled the jeep with a foot of water, and the good news was it was still drivable after the fire. Just a bit melted in some places. He burns his fingers on the tips of cigarettes, he lights them on the wrong end -- one time we were sharing a cigar and he took it and put the lit end in his mouth. He realized that mistake at the very last microsecond and spit the cigar and ashes violently into the air. The still lit cigar landed on my hand. So my pal says, "What can I do? I'm constantly burning things, my clothes, me, you." I said, "Quit smoking." He said, "I don't think I can." So I said, "Then smoke more for the practice." Last week I heard he decided to quit smoking after he accidentally lit his bed on fire. But then later I heard he changed his mind.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Big Fat Liar Dream

I have a dream last night we are talking on the phone, and like in real life, you are still a big fat liar who keeps getting tripped up in the tangled webs you weave. And you know I know this, but I listen to you continue to go on like I'd watch someone surfing a giant wave, knowing eventually the surfer is going to get smashed to death on the shallow reef.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

i am/ none of my business

i am
none of my business

when will
i learn to stop looking

at myself
commenting on my

thoughts
like a frivolous idiot

but sometimes/ they should

i have seeds
you don't
like seeds

i have water
you drink
wine

i make noise
you'd prefer
silence

i am company
you like
tv

no no that
is okay i'm
not mad

i realize i
am dead to
you

deader than
dead i never
existed

rubbed away
like a mark
or stain

replaced by
wine

replaced by
tv

they say
you can't make
someone love you

but
sometimes
they should

Angry

Man, am I angry. I am so angry. Why am I angry? I am angry now because I was angry about something for good reason, but I forgot what that subject was -- I just plum forgot about what I was righteously, indignantly enraged over. Forgetting what I was angry about makes me angry. What was it? Was it over gnawing telephone line squirrels? Was it about the failed socialistic building experiments of the 1950s & 60s? Was I mad over the resurgence of American fascists? No, I see now why I was so upset. I lost my left flip-flop under the couch and the cat pissed on it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Blew the Interview

Thanks for letting me borrow that sharp suit, but unfortunately I blew the interview. I had my new resume, my contacts, I studied up on the company. For starters, they didn't like the fact that I came into the room wearing on the top of my head a paper bag, so it covered my eyes, but the rest of my face was visible. I pretended that I was blind. (I had gotten this idea of coming in with the paper bag over my head when I got a bagel in the subway and after I had eaten the bagel I had the paper bag left. And you know there are no trash cans in NYC anymore because of 9/11, so I was stuck with the paper bag. Plus I like to recycle. In the lobby I decided then & there to wear it as a hat.) When I sat down, I only irritated them more by issuing out a stream of continuous farts -- a fullisade of farting that lasted at least 40 seconds. I hadn't planned on the farting. It happened on its own. As the flatulence was going on and on, I alternated on left and right ass cheeks, almost like I was sledding down mountainside at high speed in an Olympic luge event. While I was luging my paper hat fell off. When my hat hit the floor, the interview was over.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

5,000,000,000 cowboys go riding

5,000,000,000 cowboys go riding
out of the same western town at the same time
on the same crookedly trail to the same whorehouse
discreetly tucked away behind the graveyard

not surprisingly
there is a terrible traffic jam

in the middle/of the night

in the middle
of the night god
whispered to me
the truth i
ignored it

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the sound of sweet disappointment

more here of
the science of movement

more here of
the sound of sweet disappointment

combined together
in the recording's part of a single violin

holding wavering note
sustained on the warped old LP

i./4512454

i.

4512454
28686

8.


ii.

18198 818 288 272
109109 19

181
109929929?


iii.

4512454
28686

8.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Musing on the Future 1.4

August 17

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.

Musing on the Future 1.3

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...

August 15

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.

Hmm. Sometimes.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Musing on the Future 1.2

After that, things went white, and stayed white and silent for what seemed a long time. White white white. No feeling.

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.

Musing on the Future 1.1

August 6

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.

August 11

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

Musing on the Future 1.0

August 1


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.

August 2

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.

August 3

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 N13.6.12.10.1 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

The Story of Paul Bunyan

I understand from my research the Paul Bunyan was a mythical gun fighter of the Wild West period of American history. Not only did he Steal from the Rich and Give to the Poor, he also planted thousands of apple trees while on his tireless journey of fighting crime and injustice in the wide open spaces. Paul Bunyan was the inventor of the Franklin Stove, the Telegraph, Tesla Coils, the hated Dewy Decimal System, and Brasso. He pioneered a a system of electrical transmission over twisted wire that later became know as Alternating Current and also perfected a technique for vulcanizing rubber. After falling asleep under a juniper tree in El Paso, Texas in the spring of 1877, Paul Bunyan slept in a sort of suspended animation until he woke up in June 1918 just in time to teleport himself magically to France, where he single handedly defeated the Germans at the battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918. After being congratulated by Douglas Haig, and the grateful soldiers of the 4th army, Paul Bunyan jumped to the dark side of the moon, disgusted with the mechanized slaughter of the modern battlefield and generally doubting the whole concept of modern progress. He then wrote 4,000 best selling novels, but gave no interviews and no one knew exactly where he was. However, in 2001, aliens begged Paul Bunyan to uncover their cryptic Monolith for the People of Earth to find on the surface of the moon, which he did uncover for the advancement of his fellow man.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

looking back/ when

looking back

when

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
tepid bath

drash off this one

dash off this one
like a stone over ice

tossed on
a winter day

scared up small
cold birds

out of boredom
out of spite

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

dad i/ dream this time we are happy

dad i
dream this time we are happy

i don't
know why we are happy

it just
is a fact and so i don't question it

i wake
up still with that feeling convinced

to be
happy all you have to do

is know
you are happy and end questions there

Sunday, August 05, 2007

one day

one day
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

and
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

so today
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 doornobs
no fake poop
no you
no me

i hope tomorrow
everything
comes
back

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Pin Shower

This morning, when I go outside, a pin falls out of the sky and it lands next to my foot on the front doorstep. Then a fine full shower of pins began to fall, so many of them they look and sound like rain, sweeping down in sheets, pouring over the roof tiles, swirling down the rain gutters, pooling in the street. After the deluge lets up, I search amongst the pins, and there is not a needle to be found.

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

A Few of my Nightmares

I have a few nightmares last night -- in one I dream of arguing with my father about how he talks to me. In the dream my dad is dismissive, I am angry, even shrill. In the dream, I tell him I noticed how warm, personal, and engaging he is when he talks to my cousin Bill -- but with me he asks a few polite questions and lets me do all the talking -- essentially rambling like a fool while he sits back. The whole scene in the dream is unpleasant, with no resolution or catharsis, leaving me with the worst feeling. I wake up and I feel as if I have chopped off a finger. But I am so tired, I have to get more rest. When I dream again, I slide into a panic where furniture has to be moved and the movers and packers are gone, and it is too late do do anything about it. Then the baby cries and I give him a new bottle, back to bed, back to sleep where the dreams are monochrome monotonous and boring.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

TEN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THINGS TO HAVE IN A GREAT NOVEL, IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE

TEN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THINGS TO HAVE IN A GREAT NOVEL, IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE*

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

OPTIONAL
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

you are beveling my brain

you are beveling my brain
with your impatience
with your impatience
with your impatience
with your impatience

i wish i knew what/ the dog was thinking

two dirty
bums stand there
talking
waiting for the
dog to get up

he'll jump
right up and run
after
me if i go far enough
says one bum

c'mon! he yells
the dog lifts it's
head
as the guy walks
father away

he keeps walking
the dog doesn't
move
so the bum comes
back towards the dog

c'mon! the bum yells
the dog does not
move
i wish i knew what
the dog was thinking

Sunday, July 15, 2007

confessions/ how things have changed

confessions
how things have changed

we are only
interested in zeus
if he owes us money or sells
luxury cars
for a living

we only care
about apollinare
if we can fuck him in a
dark bar
phone booth

at 4pm @ hollywood &
vine

Okay

Entering the restaurant, when I say, "One, I have no reservations.", the two hostesses laugh, rolling their eyes like this statement is an exquisitely pathetic joke. I can't figure out if this is laughable because I said I had no reservations, or that I am alone -- or both. Or they are casually mocking because I was polite. I feel like saying something like, "What the fuck is so funny?", but I shut up because I can't be too bothered. I sit down and I can feel the subtle, yet pulsing pick-up joint vibes -- I realize I am eating at a place that is supposed to be like a Dave & Buster's, but there are no video games like in Dave & Buster's, plus they've tried to add a shot of testosterone in the decor imagining how it must be to have this kind of a joint in the big OC, but we are far away in dim anonymous Oak Brook Terrace, IL. But what the hell, the hostesses act like it is real, so I go along with it and I order a gin & tonic, the drink comes extra strong and extra big to get chicks drunk and I'm okay.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cartoon - My Haunted Bathroom


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

Phoebe's Poem About School

School is out
I feel a breeze

From the branches
Of the trees

And when school is in again
I will have fun until....

The End

the going home poem

stories

i'll tell you a story
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

Smoke Bunnies


Hey, I know how to blow smoke rings, but do you know how to blow smoke bunnies?

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Letter Sent By Bird

Saturday
39 degrees 26.470 minutes North Latitude
44 degrees 14.110 minutes East

Day 29?

Dear Lord,

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,

N

Being Hurt

We hurt ourselves, it is avoidable, but we intentionally hurt ourselves in the body and in the mind. Kerouac had the opinion that this was a self regulating subconscious attitude -- a way of offsetting our boundless good fortune with an amount of self-generated bad fortune, to keep things feeling balanced & normal. We do this to keep feeling we live in a world with walls, a world that needs walls and doors and our stuff, we have Joy as our right hand and Suffering and Anguish on the left. Like a snake eating it's tail, ignorance reinforces ignorance. We get hurt. Being hurt is safe.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I love him, but we don't talk. It is that Father/Son combo we have chosen to follow. Two not talkers. To his two grandchildren (one 8 and the other 9 months) he Terra Incognito. But why drag other people or kids into this, right? That only makes things more complicated. Like someone responsible for their own happiness, I try not to add people to the equation, though there are naturally many people who are part of the equation. There are many people who keep things running smoothly for me and him, that is exactly part of the problem. We tried therapy a few years back, had one meeting with a consoler, and that helped, but we didn't follow through.

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

The Great Day

There is a color picture of them, by the way they are standing, you can tell they are happy, happy in a way like it is Christmas. Grouped together, the shot is close, but the viewer cannot recognize faces, because everyone wears masks. They point their automatic weapons in the air, while smoke is visible in the distance like the wing of a huge black crow. The old, less progressive government has fallen, and now after they have executed a few people from that defective regime, the slate will be pure all clean sparky new. Simply stated, the Great Day has arrived. It has arrived, see, it has.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the oldest question

i feel you hating me
it is a terrible feeling
but what can i do?

this is an old question
old as people have been
in the world to ask it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Super Jesus Christ

It didn't matter how many "super" criminals I fought. There were no super criminals. I'll say it now, I'll write it now, down, it was all done for PR -- like the biggest three-ring boondoggle of all time. And for awhile I believed it, I played along. Believing for a new tomorrow, like a magical puppet -- almost like a super Jesus Christ. We produced our theater with the finest special effects. Occasionally I was even "defeated". I was left for "dead". Great celebrations were had when I "returned". I was good for the economy. The working classes worked harder because I was there, fighting for Peace and Justice and all that extra fucking shit. Rotting in me was the dawning realization that the FATHER I never KNEW picked a planet whose historical juncture at the time of my arrival was set and unavoidable. Father wasn't an idiot. He knew after the plagues and other natural disasters, by that time, I wouldn't do anything. He knew by then that I would have a revulsion to ever do anything. He must have loved me very much. Dad, why? I can still hear a few of them screaming, on a calm soft night when there is no wind, 2,000 miles away in any direction. Some are killing, others being killed. Men, women, children, babies. Killing, being killed, fighting, crying, dying, why?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hello News People!

Hello news people out there, reporters, journalists. I just wanted to start out by thanking you for reporting that one seminal story, where an adult, usually a man, hurts a small child. I wanted to thank you for reporting it over and over again, stories of a small innocent children getting hurt or killed -- presented as a punch in the eye. Very dramatic. Of course, the little kid getting brutalized story is not as good as the white blonde female teenager missing, presumed murdered article. That story has a wider demographic I think, don't you agree -- it helps if her parents are reasonably unattractive -- like the missing girl is a veritable "diamond in the rough" compounding the whole tragedy. Of course, when selling & getting those numbers up, you can always fall back on presenting some kid with some kind of disfiguring lamentable disease, anything to get out the news to us. But don't be surprised if I turn away, politely, as a father, and a human being from your horrible compulsion to explain the world as graphically, and as painful as possible, by using small children as punctuation marks in a diatribe to sell ads. Isn't that what it all breaks down to in the end? Selling lipstick, ass shrinkers, canned goods, time-shares, SUVs and alcohol.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Disturbed

We stay at a fine little hotel in Palm Springs, a place where I love to wake up on what will be a flawless desert day and see the huge mountains shimmer in the heat. We are going down to the pool, when I notice a small notice posted in the closet. It says the Hotel wishes us to have a pleasant stay, and that one should not be noisy or be bothering other guests past 10 PM. The flier concludes, "If you are disturbed, please feel free to call the Front Desk (0) immediately." I immediately called them, for I am disturbed. They did not know what to say.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

your heart

i thought of a few interesting things
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

after reading a few poems by/john wieners

our life is funny and a bit crazy
like a record (three little pigs)
being played in another room
on the wrong setting, too fast
which in fact is happening right now
& makes me laugh

Thursday, May 31, 2007

CM Evans - Published! Again!


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

CM Evans - Published!



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

Cats

We go out of town for a few days, the cats don't see us around, they wonder where we are off to. And while we are gone, the cats think about us as the cats sit in the places they expect us to occupy by the normal daily-habit-routine-of-things. Then the cats forget about us, but then when the neighbors come over to feed them, these people are recognized as "not us" by the cats, so after the neighbors are gone, the cats think about us again. This remembering forgetting recalling goes on for a few days, until the cats are not certain if we, their owners, are entirely real, or just thoughts the cats have in their own heads. Then unexpectedly, we arrive back home in the middle of the night, and the cats look at us. They are happy we are home, but they are not sure if they have dreamed us out of thin air. The cats feel a bit shy. To determine if we are real, and not just a manifestation of their own thoughts, the cats stay awake and sit on us and hang out in the room for hours that night. It dawns on the cats we are real, we always existed that way. Now the cats have no idea where the hell we have been, or for how long we have been gone, except we have been somewhere -- re-entering from an environment that smells different.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

sparrow

my faults
my positive adornment

my virtues
my base obscurement

once like
little lines and scratches

now like
terrifying mountains

and
precipitous gorges

me like
a little sparrow

tiny free
blown amongst high and low

happy in
the blue empty sky

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jack Spicer, nor John Wieners - or - My Dada Moment

Up until last week I didn't know a damn thing about Jack Spicer, nor John Wieners -- which astounds me, flat out astounds me. I appreciate knowing my writers, and I try to be aware about stuff in general, so I am not totally stupid. I had not the faintest inkling of two great and influential poets, Jack Spicer being one of the dynamos, one of the stars, one of the prime movers of "The San Francisco Renaissance", even though he despised publication. Richard Brautigan dedicated "Trout Fishing in America" (one of my favorite books) to Spicer, fer kristsakes! I mean, I know about Ginsburg and Ferlinghetti and Kerouac. I know about the Beats, I love City Lights Bookstore, I got drunk countless times at (and hid Hell Money all over) Vesuvio. I just can't believe I didn't run into the other side of the coin or discover the rest of a world, that universe, that story. I even studied at SF State, in the English Literature Department, in Creative Writing, yet no peep about Jack Spicer, who taught a famous poetry workshop, there. I can't understand that. Possibly people at SF State hated him, I don't know -- SFSU was a weird place full of disconnects. What a huge omission! So I ordered, at Latif Harris' suggestion, Spicer's collected works, and I'm picking up some collected poems of Wieners, and I look forward to reading these books & other poets that studied with Spicer and his cohorts -- including Latif Harris, who has his own collection of poems, "Bodhisattva's Busted Truth: Selected Poems and Dohas of an American Buddhist" out from last year. This all reminds me of a associate who is an artist, a fine artist, yet I discovered he had never heard of Dada & had no notion of it whatsoever. So here's my latest Dada moment, I guess. One of many more, to be sure. I truly do not know what I do not know.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Poem to Latif

meep meep

honk honk

bow wow wow

said the crow

to a cloud

Two Long Stemmed Roses

Two long stemmed roses hang on the wall, over the door, affixed there by not my hands. Long stemmed roses, blossoms dry and pale, an insect moves disturbing the dust. I have seen love grow and die, I have felt passions seize us suddenly -- tempered with a flawed reluctance. But now it is reflections on this love past, swelling in me, influenced in part by this room with books and scattered papers of writing and poems, and part of me, on how I gave and it was lost. The roses hang a few inches apart, blossoms down. I lean closer, and I look for the first time, and I see the roses have no thorns, and two leaves.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pink Diamond

I go looking for you, but after 3 years I would have been surprised to find you still working the counter at the jewelry store. I remember how we told stories to everyone about the wonderful pink diamond that was displayed in the window -- such a rarity -- that is what started us off in the relationship. It was romantic and fun at first.

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

fish in a fish tank just looking around thinking the tank is huge

7.12.99

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

blowing bubbles

and knowing

somehow the food will be coming down any time now

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Time to Go

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.

I reached out and stroked her cheek. I rubbed her earlobe a few times so it was warm and whispered her name as she lay so still in the coffin, saying goodbye Grandma, goodbye for the last time. It still felt wrong to leave her, but I looked at her and I knew it was time to go.

What Can Happen in a Single Year

A year ago, today, on May Day, I wrote a eulogy for our beloved cat Fritz-Christopher, who had died just the day before from a rare feline wasting disease called FIP. He had been sick for about three months, and we couldn't seem to nail down precisely what was wrong with him until near the very end. But by then we also knew that FIP is 99.99% fatal, and nothing practical could have been done to keep him from dying from it. We were very sad. But Fritz got to die at home, in the afternoon, after having a goodbye nap in the sun, on his favorite spot on the couch. When he was ready, we told him it was okay to go, and we gave him some private time -- when I came back from the store 10 minutes later, he was gone.

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

Wow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Trick or Treat!!!

He heard a thump thump and a scratch scratch and a tap tap. A wicked sounding little voice outside said, "Let me in!"
"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.

Ghosts in the Park

I think there are ghosts in the park. One sits on a bench, a smudge in the shadows. Sometimes I even swear I have seen one standing upright, flickering pale & greenish. I walk on. Then I see that specter is only a playground light burning in the night. But this does not make me feel better -- I am still scared of ghosts in the park.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Wanted to Piss Her Off

I wanted to piss her off, so one day I painted all her razors with rubber cement.

So I Wanted to Play Jokes on Chung Tzu

So I wanted to play jokes on Chung Tzu. I call him up at 1 AM.
"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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Era of Telephone Ring Porno

Sometimes he would call up a friend not to talk to them, but just to make their phone ring. He liked the idea of the phone ringing at someone's house, particularly if he knew they were not at home. It was a sort of like telephone ring porno. He'd call up Francois, and he'd start Francois's phone ringing, and he'd put his phone on speaker and listen to the ring noise, and imagine Francois's phone musically warbling in an empty house for 10 - 20 minutes. He'd do this to all his friends. 10 minutes here, 15 there, 30 minutes occasionally. Then people noticed that the phone was busy when people were gone, and it shouldn't be busy. It was happening regularly, in a creepy pattern, as if the CIA or some conspiracy was occurring, but they never suspected it was ringtone porno. Then answering machines started to become commonplace, and as his friends gradually adopted them, he'd have to leave a message. One day, all his friends in Seattle had answering machines. An Era had ended.