Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stink Bad

His feet stink. The caps-lock gets stuck, accidentally, on his keyboard, and he types THEY SMELL! These socks didn't smell in the morning, when it was cold. The socks had to warm up, then get dosed in some fresh sweat. Sweat like fresh coffee to slumbering bacteria. Mmmmmmmmmmm....sweet sweat. He thinks back to the time in Venice, on the crowded Vaporetto in the night with the two gypsies, a brown color of homelessness on them. The locals edged away from the rank stench of the two guys, who thought being so stenchful was hilarious. When they got off the water bus, grinning, laughing, the Venetians muttered Italian curses under their breath. I'm not that bad, he thinks, coming back to the today, now. Not near that. Not like the time I had that contracting job, ten years ago with the cursed pair of hiking boots that smelled like baby vomit. The cursed hiking boots that smelled like baby vomit. Now that was bad.

Monday, January 29, 2007

mom/ dad

if they
kill me
in iraq
on my
fourth rotation

tell them
hand over
the folded

don't tell

sons a bitches
mad as
hell at
the waste

for me

and say
as hell
i didn't have
to die

i didn't
have to go
and die
out there
of all

if i'm
you can
for me

just don't

Piss Me Off & Drive Me Crazy

Here's a few ways to piss me off and drive me absolutely crazy, all at the same time: name a company-wide key server after a girlfriend, pet, spouse, or child. Come up with a codenames for all software projects named only after mountains. Name any kind of test you have to run several times a week after a type of food, or a kind of cocktail, or a dessert. "What are you doing today?" "I'm running Baked Alaska four times on Denali & K2 over Sweet Baby Hailey." Wheee!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Two Mornings, Overheard

I woke up last morning, and as I lifted my head, I heard a voice, like God's, by the surface of the pillow. It was a very quite voice, clean, precise and still. It said, "Every shape started out as a clear idea, whose meaning now is twisted and confused." This morning, while I was waking up, my infant son was sleeping next to me. Half asleep, I imagined he was saying words like, "Pillow...Pillow...Pillow", or "Cloud..Cloud..Cloud" over and over again. I woke up, and realized he couldn't be speaking, because he is 5 months old. I am convinced the two events are not interconnected, but tomorrow, I wonder if I will hear someone talking as I am waking up, and what will they be saying?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


This is not about the rain, or how it rained at the funeral. This is not about the accident, about how her arm stayed soft and warm for a while, how her head was turned so her hair covered her face. I'm staying where James Bond stayed at the end of that film. I'm a goddamn fucking time cowboy now. I'm stepping back, and it's just like it never happened. I've decided to be like Fellini now, and be in a movie like he does a movie where we can sorta dream at will and anything is possible, because I'm in my head now. This is a story of me now in my head. No, I take that back, I want to be outta my head. Rain drops keep falling on my head, just like on the smallest coffin you ever saw. My torso is covered in welts. Okay, go play checkers with my brains— that doesn't sound right, but go ahead. And while you're at it, rearrange the furniture and paint because we're gonna end up divorced probably anyways. I'm going to try hard now, nail this shit down and shine through if I can – to the Lighthouse, ya know what I mean? To the Lighthouse. Fuck you Virginia Wolfe. I'll try hard this time, not make excuses or get caught up in images. It is very simple. I like that word. Simple.

Specifics? Last year I lost my wife (35) and my daughter who had just turned (3) when our Jeep Cherokee (a model 99) overturned and slid on its side and hit a tree trunk. The tree was unscratched. But later it still died. Ain't that a laugh riot? Everybody involved in the crash dies but me. Even the tree. My wife's family has blamed me exclusively for the accident. I think they are angrier that for once I wasn't drunk, that it was just a freak accident not having to do with excessive speed or anything like that. No, to them quite frankly, I was the freak. Fuck you fuck the blame. Fuck up. Fuck over. Fuck off. No thoughts. Dark. Well, a little light. Like in a Fellini film -- things come into focus so slowly at first with no sound, in reverse-dissolve George Frederick is sketching, he eats lunch, he participates in group therapy. On an improbable 'red letter day' he is released, he goes home, he says no I am fine, don't worry. Neighbors show up, ding dong. I just need to be alone, to grieve. He grieves in the empty big colonial style house that is five years old near Sterling, Virginia. It does not help. The house or the grieving. Under control and in his own mind he shoots himself in the head with a pistol.

(In truth, he puts the pistol down. He didn't have the courage to shoot himself like he wanted to. I mean, I don't. I mean, obviously I didn't, as my name is George Frederick. I just buried the Sig Sauer 9mm three feet deep in my backyard, where I used to watch my daughter Sara play, Sara pretending to be a princess of a far way kingdom that I’ll bet looked just like Disneyland. I want a gun tree with 222 little toy guns. No, I don't want a gun tree. I want to write something funny here. I wanted to end this with something more poetic or more semiotically clear, a better symbol or symbolic action to round out the story. But I guess I don't have it in me. My wife once said to our daughter, "Fill me a thimble full of tears, and then...bla bla bha blah blah." I can't remember what she said while I was in the other room being a stone-hearted fuck. Well, I've cried my thimble full and more, and there's no going back once you've started that business. But I took my thimbles of tears and I emptied it. I just cry regular now and let the tears go down my face and splash on my jeans. Some tears land in my hand. I carry them like they are little birdies and I sprinkle them out our bedroom window. I can imagine certain things now, very specifically. Fly away you two fly fly away. And sure enough Jesus Christ, just like in a Fellini flick, I see from the camera's perspective -- zooming up into the sky, all the while looking down at me lying in the Jeep on that rainy night the whole time, the camera zooming away astonishingly fast and smooth as a rocket or missile with no flash and no noise and no smoke. Oh excellence! I know it makes no sense, too many mixed metaphors. But that is how it is, now. I can hear glass exploding, steel crumpling. The seatbelt tight enough on Sara to strangle her. Then we hit the tree. Bang.)

(Live over at, today.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

After Our Blind Date

Dear Sally!

I didn't mean to give you the CREEPS. I should have told you I have no hands. Only hooks. Shiny chrome sharpened hooks (think Captain Hook x2), because I take pride in my appearance. So, I promise to be in a better mood when we meet next, also, and not yell at the cabbie that way I yelled! Lordy me oh my, you're a sweet gal, I can tell, very thoughtful and intelligent and I'd like to get to know you better. Please don't say no.



Monday, January 08, 2007


Wrencream is old and he slouches. His lamps are smoking, the light in his window is yellow and unsteady, the roof of his house tilts to the south. Nobody visits him because they think he is dead, or dying. They say he steals children, and sells them to the gypsies. But I know more, I see, I look, I watch. I see old Wrencream going out the back door of his house in the early morning, just before the sun comes up. He drags a wheeled carrier he has made out of scraps of wire and wood making tracks the frost. He usually heads over the frozen fields, through the birches, to the abandoned asylum, to look for things he can sell or recycle. Last week he sold an antique bottle to a tourist for a paltry sum for the tourists, but a huge amount for him, and us.

He is old in my vignette, with a huge mane of hair, shaggily cut. He wears boots, he trudges, his trousers sag. He barely looks around, but he knows if someone is going to throw a rock at him. I can tell, by watching him, that he contains an entirely separate thing within his own head. He is quietly possessed by something, but with what, what? What makes him so quiet? So subtlety knowing? You might say in him is a distinctly separate World, or Universe. But not just any imaginary place. I suspect there is an exceedingly rare Universe in his head. As if God created one privately, a better one, a purer one. He plays odd, high music in the night, presumably on a fiddle.