Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Molested

1.

It was on the Church Street line, in a crowded train, absolutely packed, at rush hour, when I got molested. Doesn't every straight guy in San Francisco have some variation of this story? I'm in the middle of the train, in the crush, when more commuters get on, and suddenly I'm aware of the short guy wearing a business suit and a expensive tan overcoat. I notice him, because he's behind me, facing me, with the coat open, and he's pressing his whole body up against my side. And he has an erection. He's staring at me, with no expression, really, his face has a fine sheen of sweat on it. He's about 45, I can smell his aftershave, he has 5 o'clock shadow on his chin -- no expression, leaning hard against me. I have five stops to go, but I blush like a girl, I'm probably red head to foot. I don't know if that satisfies him, but as the train lurches forward, and we all sway, he decides to try it on someone else. This time he tries it on an older gay man. I get off the train at the next stop, and walk the rest of the way home.

2.

My wife told me a story one time, about her first trip to Europe. When she was in Italy, she saw the older Italian man following a cute blonde in a short skirt up an escalator. Apparently, the girl wasn't aware that the Italian was two steps below her on the escalator, with his neat salt and pepper hair, his nose about 1 inch from the back of her ass. He rode that way all the way up, she never turned around and saw him. Or maybe she knew right away, and she blushed & froze, just like I did.

1.45 AM, in Oak Park

We decide to go out and have a smoke. It's about 1.45 AM, in Oak Park. Not too cold, but quiet. As we're out there, a funny little guy comes out of nowhere, he wants to be a part of our conversation. He's about 5'8", 145 pounds, neatly dressed in a sweater and jeans, with fine gold spectacles. Neat as a pin, preppy, well groomed. Friendly. What the hell does he want behind that constant smiling? He tells us that he moved a year ago to Wicker Park, him and his lovely girlfriend. They just decided to pick up and go with a few bucks in their pockets to Chicago, and try it out here. And my pal and I were discussing age, and how we are pushing 40, and he says we're fine looking, handsome guys -- you wouldn't know we were that old. Weird little screwball. We are polite, and we disengage from the chat session, and go back in the bar. I'm going back in too! The kid says, and after we sit down, he passes us and heads for the restroom at the back. Both me and my pal, at the same time, say, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Where did that weird little guy come from? What the hell is someone from Wicker Park doing out here, at 2 AM in the morning. You can't get a cab, and the trains are done running. I look down to the back of the bar, and I swear, the little guy never comes out of the restroom. Bizarre. Where did he go? Where's his girlfriend? We decide to go outside one more time, to see if he'll pop up again. Nope, he's gone, back into thin air. Trolled by a rent-boy.

Poem - are you from out of town

are you from out of town
you talk loudly in the bar
like you are on vacation
you laugh a big fake laugh
horribly mirthful

if you talked that loudly
every day where you live
people would grow to hate you
but who knows
they might already

your other freinds arrive
each time i can tell
because you get louder
absolutely thrilled
out of your mind

not to be an asshole but
if i was as thrilled as you sound
i'd have a massive heart attack
and they'd have to take me away
in a rubber body bag

finally it is time to go
i hear you all the way out
and now i can relax
as you shriek with delight
in the street

Monday, December 29, 2008

He Lied to Children

After we graduated High School, my friend Jake rented a room in a house with two hyperactive boys, whose mother didn't pay enough attention to them, while she dated bikers. Naturally the kids cleaved onto Jake as a surrogate older brother, who wasn't adverse to roughhousing and generally entertaining them the way their absent father would. But I never met their father, and as far as I know, he was never around. I think the boys will always remember Jake as being an amazing diversion from that.

Jake would whirl them in the air, toss them again and again into the overstuffed couch...but the favorite game was called "Hide and Seek Baseball". This would involve the boys hiding in the living room, and Jake putting on a gorilla mask. He'd then get a sleeping bag with three pillows stuffed into it, and he'd chase them all around and hit them with the sleeping bag until the whole house shook. If anybody cried, they'd stop and watch cartoons and have a snack. The boys were never bored when Jake was around.

With this routine set, whenever Jake came home, if the kids were around, they'd run to his room. If his door was shut, they'd pound on it, and ask him what he was doing in his room. The irritating thing, especially in the summer, was if the door was closed & locked, it was because Jake wanted to make love to his girlfriend. So something had to be done.

One day, when his girlfriend wasn't around, Jake sat down with the boys, and had a chat with them. He explained that he had just found out that his girlfriend had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition, and if the boys were too loud around her, or startled her by banging on the door, she could have a heart attack, and die. This was a terrible problem to live with, but hopefully the doctors would find a cure, but until then, the kids would have to be extra careful when his girlfriend was around.

And the lie mostly worked. They certainly never banged on the door and asked Jake what he was doing when he had his door shut. Those damn kids would just about believe anything. Many years later, after Jake and his girlfriend were married, she found out why the two boys suddenly became so scared of her -- and Jake told her the story, thinking it hilariously funny. She did not find the story amusing.

I decided if I outlive Jake, this will be his epitaph:


HERE IS BURIED
JACOB HOWCROFF BENNINGS

1968 - 20--

HE LIED TO CHILDREN

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chung Tzu Would Like to Kick Cupid's Ass

"Sometimes a "bird in the hand" gives you nothing but sorrow." I remark to Chung Tzu.

"Cupid!" exclaims Chung Tzu. "I don't get mad easily -- but when I hear shit like that, I want to KICK HIS ASS!"

We look outside. Lao Tzu is in the backyard, reading it like a illustration in a fairy-tale.

THE DEATH OF LOVE

A Journey in Eight Poems

On The Road


deep into
treacherous godforsaken
waste
eternal optimism
just ran out of
fucking gas
about 50 miles
back and now
i'm on foot

cupid rides
donuts around me
on a motorcycle
and then is
gone in a cloud
of dust

refrain:

i shall

not see thee
in the morning
because thou
split

-------

The Day Before My Trip

cupid comes
to me
in a dream
and he seems
quite freindly

"go to death valey
and bring me
something back"

so i reply
"borax? you
want some borax?"

but cupid
is gone

(refrain)

---------

Anything To Escape

i left my heart
in the middle of
the death valley
where the
sun and the
wind
mercilessly
devoured it

(refrain)

---------

Comment

cupid
encourages some
women to
make cute little
bunny noises
either when
they have
sex or sneeze
or both

in this way
a potential
erection
is considerably
modified

---------

Shit Out Of A Sweater

cupid
punches me in
the stomach

while in pain
i rest my cheek
on the cool
cement of the
sidewalk

"you can't
knit
shit
into a
sweater"
cupid says

-----------

Sexual Harassment

cupid can
break any man
women or
animal that
walks this earth
in half

cupid hangs
out at a
pizza pallor
eating onions
and drinking beer

harassing
he young beautiful
waitress
till she cries

------------

Death of Love I

i told my lover
about you
in the restaurant
in north beach
and then i cried
and she said
she'd go to seattle
and kick your ass
for me
and i laughed

-------------

Death of Love II

i'm in
line in the
supermarket -- so
i write on a receipt:

cupid is a
drunk old fuck
who doesn't
give a shit
about me

i write love
poetry and
he just laughs
like he's out
of his mind
& does
nothing

i would
love all women

if i were
less discerning

or more
loving

i would prefer
to me more
loving
for
love is good for life
and life is good for love

-------------

At the end of this story, Cupid reads what I wrote, some of it from a long time back. He has his boots up on the corner of the table, I notice for the first time his eyes are blue. "I like it." says Cupid. "If you like it, then let's settle up." I reply. Cupid smiles. "There is no settling up. Just like I can't stop being Cupid." "Is there an easier way?" I ask. "Sure" he says. "Never deviate from the Truth."

diligo dat nos valde gaudium quod moestitia

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poem - the record has a skip in it/ a storm is coming

the record has a skip in it
a storm is coming
tornado possible

what is that bumping
postman most likely
bringing the mail

it is like they say
no news is good news
except for a storm

Friday, December 26, 2008

Poem - The Day After Christmas

coming home i almost slipped on ice
now i am wrestling tigers
while typing this one handed as
i called and said it will definitely
be a baby girl due in april

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Poem - on christmas morning

on christmas morning
i see exactly
why cats
were invented

they are designed
to watch
mineral water
bubbles rise

with their eyes
and their ears
very very close
to the sides
of the bottle

-- Oak Park, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poem - freezing fog/ down the side of the house

freezing fog
down the side of the house
out onto the road
where cars move slowly

in the backyard
play equipment covered
wagon filled with snow
holding still

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Statements

Facts:
- You cannot make the proverbial "Deal with the Devil" and remain pure. The "Deal" puts you of the Road to Hell. Any method of "The End Justifies the Means" is instantly and ultimately corrupting. It is a path of weakness.
- If you wish to represent, or uphold the Rule of Civilization, you cannot resemble your enemies.

Ultimately, and quite simply, on the Ethical Level, our "Virtue" is only valuable in contrast:
- If your enemies torture, then you must not torture.
- If your enemies disregard the Geneva Conventions, you must uphold the Geneva Conventions.
- If there are atrocities, you must perform no atrocities.

Truths:
- It is better not to kill.
- It is better not to bomb.
- It is better not to starve people.
- It is better not to mistreat prisoners.
- It is better not to indiscriminately incarcerate.
- Your enemies will do all of the above.

If:
- You debase, you are debased.

There is no escape from acting Badly. Those who have acted in this way, in time, will not deny this fact. Even if they acted Badly under the command of others, they have scoured their soul.

And:
Tremble if you do Ill, and aimed to do It. Tremble if you do Ill, by circumstances, or by pure accident.

So:
There is no "hook", there is only what we do. You cannot escape your actions. It is insane to mistreat anyone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Look!

I like it when it snows. When I see those fat flakes twirling down, a curtain of swarming bewildering white, instantly I'm in a good mood. Probably I like snow, because it radically changes context. You can't tell where the yard touches the sidewalk, or where the sidewalk links with the street. You have no fixed reference point where your yard ends and the neighbor's house dominion begins. Fences become a joke, they can't hold anything in or out, the snow goes everywhere it can't be regulated. Trees become white fairy worlds, moving gently in the wind. It begins to snow heavier, quieter, faster. More limitations overcome, more boundaries erased. Look! Snow snow snow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Poem - you can always start again

jack
you died when you were 40

famous
as could be with that huge ranch

wolf
house burned to the ground

i'm
41 years old with little prospects

and
everything i have is on fire

the
good news for me is i'm alive

so
i can always start over again

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Whiskey Flight

As a young man, on his second business trip, he decided the night before the flight home to learn about whiskey. There was a fine whiskey bar at the hotel, and it was -15 outside, so he made a deal with the bartender to help him be educated in the ways of Fine Whiskeys. The bartender, being a whiskey affectionado, living for whiskey, stocking 80 varieties, was only happy to oblige.

He spent several enjoyable hours and many shots of whiskey, being explained how this whiskey contrasted the taste of that whiskey, how whiskey could be smoky, sweet, a fine sipping whiskey, a before dinner whiskey, and after dinner whiskey, etc. Later, the young man needed to go back to his hotel room to rest. He had been brutalized by his education into whiskey, and an older business lady made a pass at him in the elevator that he was not capable of responding to.

Early in the morning, after two or three hours sleep, he was awakened quite terribly by the wake-up call he had ordered. Each time the phone rang, it just about ripped a hole right through his skull, so it was hard to get the phone to stop ringing. His limbs were not very cooperative, he couldn't stand up without feeling like he was on the edge of a cliff, or on a ship pitching in high seas. He managed to pack his bags and barely made the flight in time.

Just after the plane took off, he sensed that he was soon to become violently ill. Without waiting for the seat belt sign to be turned off, he bolted for the nearest bathroom and spent the next five hours locked in the lavatory, helplessly and continuously vomiting his guts out. Once and awhile a passenger would knock on the door, but he could not respond. When not gagging in the toilet, he lay on the floor, curled in the fetal position. Shortly before the plane landed, he managed to make it back to his seat, wearing a rime of dried vomit around his mouth. He only noticed the vomit when he was in the airport bathroom, after puking in the farthest stall from the door.

The young man was very tired when he got back to his apartment, and put his luggage down. His midsection felt as if he had done hundreds of situps. To alleviate the residual pain, he decided to go down the street, and have a drink, a nice cool glass of beer.

Peom - if i don't have something positive

if i don't have something positive
to write it is better not to write
anything at all

good advice today from me to myself
you don't want to reinforce negative
thinking because it can build

but the one kid's snowsuit is two sizes too
small and he takes off his gloves and
his hands are turning red

the wind blows though not a serious
cold wind but a wind nonetheless
ripping leaves through the yard

i watch the two children play i sit and
i am idle trapped in watching and the
waiting for you to go

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Waiting

He hears her up there, doing something, getting ready, so he sits by the stove and wants to cry, but he can't cry like that, in front of the stove. Other people are around, in rooms. He looks outside, the power pole he stares at has not moved. It is immovable. He's tired of looking at the power pole. The transformer hangs at the top of the pole at an odd angle, and has a toxic stain running halfway down one side. Wires loop from it, loop here, loop there, some slack, some tight. He looks at each house or building, where the wires go in. He does not want to think about how the wires are attached to the buildings, by grimy small round insulated sprockets. Suddenly she is ready. She looks fresh, and young, and smells faintly of hairspray.

I'm a College Student

I'm a college student, who didn't know his father well enough.

Coincidentally, I don't know it, but I'm doing a number of things my father did.

Like hanging out in dives, going with girls who turn a trick if money gets tight, or if they feel like doing for some cash, or a drink, or drinks. Is there such a thing as a semi-professional hooker?

In high school I almost went to jail for fighting other kids. I'd fight practically anyone who wanted to fight. I don't fight much, anymore.

I'm generally clean cut, the kind of young man girls like to show off to their parents, it shows her good judgment. I'm the kind of kid the girl's mother likes.

When I first started college, I dated many pert, neat girls, with pert, neat families. My girlfriend's dad is always a freindly overachieving alcoholic, and her mother invariably turns out to be a borderline pill popper, frustrated sexually, and has to make at least one pass at me.

After the first few times, the relationships were boring, but I was always polite and considerate. If I ever run into an ex, often she says her parents say hi, and want to know what I've been doing.

On certain occasions, I have been called a "Heartless Bastard". I think they are partially right, and partially wrong about this.

I'm the kind of guy, who, if you passed me in the street, and I felt a certain way, you wouldn't even remember seeing me. Sometimes I shake bums down, you'd be surprised what you can get off a bum.

My illicit habits have no pattern. I'm not a sociopath, but I act sociopathic if I feel like it. I'm careful with this sociopathic tendency.

Not knowing my father, like him, I also aspire to be something of a writer, and I have some talent for writing. This aspiration has been reflected through a process of the capability in the ordinary recalling of things.

Or stated simply, I do, then I write about what I do, and things become clearer, and I think my writing improves.

This talent hasn't been crushed yet, as it was crushed in my father, before he left when I was 3.

I fell in love with a girl named Eve. She said she was a lesbian, but she sure liked my cock.

She loved it in her vag, in her mouth, in her...well, you know. She was crazy about my cock.

This made her girlfriends very upset. They'd think they had this wonderful lezbo monogamous relationship, and then Eve would fuck a Japanese businessman, or have sex with me for a few days and they wouldn't know where she was.

I thought that fact was funny. Even hilarious. This wasn't in a mean way, this feeling. But it was hilarious.

I saw a string of lovely, devastated young lesbian girls, with angry tears in their eyes, not knowing what to do.

I had a drink with a few of them, and they'd pour their woes out.

Eve was fun. We had some good times together. She liked me because I wasn't possessive about spending time together, and cracked up pert relationship shit like that.

Then Eve got this real bitch of a girlfriend, I can't remember her name, but she was a hardass bitch of a lesbian.

Eve and her new girlfriend took off for Tampa, even though there was nothing for either of them in Tampa.

I hated that last girlfriend, she was a real bitch. I still hate her.

Later I heard Eve was in jail, for getting caught breaking and entering, something like that.

Like you ever get caught breaking and entering, I heard that Eve took the rap for the bitch girlfriend.

I don't know if that is true.

I hear Eve gets out in a few months, I don't know if she'll be staying in Tampa, of if she's coming back here.

Meanwhile, I'm on the Dean's Honor Roll.

My instructors like what I write.

I write fiction.

I wonder what my creative writing instructor would say if I submitted this.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Positive

i.

I'll stay positive, and not complain. I say, the snow is beautiful, 2 inches deep, crunchy, smelling of crunchy snow. Walk in it, it is a cool, head clearing scent that you cannot contest against. You smell it, and the cold gets a grip on you as you walk, so pull the scarf up a bit higher, stuff your fingers a bit deeper into your gloves. Whisps of snow fly off the rooftops, small birds are still here getting what they can get.

ii.

Coming back, see the tree in the backyard still has leaves on it, though they are turning brown and ready to fall. Toughest tree in Oak Park! The stone fox contemplates snow, being half buried in it. A Christmas tree is required, and soon. Colorful chains made out of construction paper should be strung over the hearth, 10 - 15 feet long, doubled over and over again. Multi-colored paper snowflakes taped to the french windows. Santa is coming, have you been good this year?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lao Tzu is not Roy Lic - or - What I Said to Chung Tzu Later That Night

It is getting darker, the evening is blue, there is snow on the ground. When I look outside, I am shocked to think I see a person in the backyard, standing by the evergeen tree. Who is that intruder in the corner of the yard? Could it be Roy Lic? I go to the window and cup my hands to block out the light. Incredibly, nobody is in the backyard.

What is that -- in the alley, a shape? I move quickly to the dark livingroom, and somehow, there is no one in the alley, under the streelamp.

I turn on the lamp in the livingroom, almost fall over when I see that Lao Tzu has been sitting there in the dark on the couch. Who sits quietly in a room like that?

"Are you Roy Lic?" I ask him.

Lao Tzu smiles fantly, and waggles a finger at me. No.

---

Later, at about midnight, Chung Tzu comes by.

"Tonight I thought I saw Roy Lic!' I say.

"Why, bless us all!" exclaims Chung Tzu.

"You don't believe me."

"Of course!" says Chung Tzu.



Potshot Sez:

Ha ha ha. This is so true, and so not true
Because the AUTHOR, in fact, knows
Exactly WHO Roy Lic IS

W. Jason Nelson

I'm still recovering from W. Jason Nelson.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Drudgery

My palms are sweaty, and I'm drinking instant coffee, so things are shitty. I hate instant coffee and I hate when my palms are sweaty. I have real coffee, but I broke my french press back at the old apartment when the toilet exploded, and I needed to catch water with something, and I cracked it when I was bringing it up to pour water into the sink. Then I moved again, so there was no time to replace the cracked french press. And this morning I noticed my palms were sweaty, while I was drinking instant coffee. And not to complain more, but I will -- all the email I sent out last week about work or cartoons must have ended up in spam folders everywhere I sent them, because nobody has written back. What drudgery.

Friday, November 21, 2008

News - All Time Favorites at CM Evans Cartoons

I've decided to run some of the "All Time Favorites" over at my cartoon website CM Evans Cartoons. With over 1,000 original work posted there, over a span of more than 6 years, some of the funniest, most popular gags can get lost. You can go to the website blog H.P. Lovecraft is My Paperboy for commentary. If you've been with me the entire ride of CM Evans Cartoons, thank you so much for your attention. If you're new, welcome to the show. For everybody else who has stopped by over the years, I'll be gearing up for many many more. There is no end to the work!*


* Plus I have about 5,000 drawn cartoons laying around, and I need to do something with them, other than construct huge paper mache bunnies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chung Tzu and I Discuss Fish and People Wrangling

"I'd like to be a Fish Wrangler when I grow up." I say to Chung Tzu

"Ah. I don't think the fish will want you to grow up that way." Chung Tzu says back. "Unless there are some fish out there that want to become People Wranglers."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chung Tzu Asks Me What I Have Against Knives

"Hello, brother!" says Chung Tzu, as he comes into the kitchen with a swirl of snow. "Now what is this, that I hear you're against knives?"

"Hello!" I say.

"Don't you know knives are good for things, like "cutting through", or even "severing all attachments to the preferences of what-is, or what-is-not?"

"You make an excellent point!"

"Yes I do!"


Potshot Sez:

Ha! Looks like Negative Nancy
got a comeuppance!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poem - there's a lot of poetry in the backyard

there's a lot of poetry in the backyard
or is it

i have not seen enough falling leaves
this lifetime

Dedicated to Richard Brautigan

Poem - November

wind ripples the hammock
twists it like it was alive
brushing the edges against
snow dusted ivy

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peom - gilbert they said/ tell us about love

gilbert they said
tell us about love

are you ready to know
about love asked gilbert

i will tell you about love
if you are ready

we are ready to hear
they replied

gilbert said love is profound
strongest of things

but if you are going to love
you have to love everything

in the past it has been said
you must love beyond constraint

and beyond all causes
and conditions

if you are going to love
there can be no end to it

you must absolutely love
everyone and everything

then you will find that everyone
and everything loves you

do not make the typical errors
when doing this

do not love one person or thing
contrasted to another person or thing

do not love based on time
nor feel love on occasions

do not love through discerning
do no arrive at love by deciding

loving all is like opening a door
that was always open and was never a door

loving all is complete without
effort of completion

love is here and will always be here
unrequested and requested

no going to it no going away
from love or the loved

uneducated untaught not done
nor not not done

clear through and straight
for you and for me if we do it

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poem - danny is two and nonstop

danny is two and nonstop
he moans he cries
he laughs & plays
even he does things he shouldn't
do
all the while knowing
doing certain things is bad
and certainly very naughty

he's in a stream of action
all day long and if
i get exasperated
i know that he and i are precisely alike
the
only difference is i have covered
most of the rough pleasures and
selfless begging in thinking

self-reflection

and manners

Poem - there is no "A" for effort in Hell

there is no "A" for effort in Hell
and doing your duty comes at a high price

but Hell is the best factory in all the universe
you wouldn't want to be anywhere else

slowly being burned all the way through
going beyond ash going beyond unrestrained carbon

your limbs torso and head even eyes vaporized
heart turns into a diamond which rests there in the deep

until a jet of flame squirts it up to earth then
it may be found and cut into a fabulous treasure

mounted on the royal sceptere of a monarch
who makes the world tremble

or on a sober thin gold band
worn on a woman's finger

Advice

1. Take some time off and reflect on what happened. Absorb the past few months and try to get some perspective. You'll need this kind of introspection if you wish to aspire for the higher office, a position you clearly believe you deserve now.

2. Focus on the work you should be doing. Be the best at exercising what power you have now. Rebuild a feeling of cooperation, transparency, and accessibility -- even to the people who hate you, or disagree with you.

3. Demonstrate the kind of discipline when a microphone is stuck in your face, or camera, that you will decline to speak. Realize that many interviewers are on the outside friendly, but most of these interviewers want to record not who you are, or what you want to be -- what they really want are your gaffes, they want to record a display of presumptiveness towards power.

4. Realize the more you seek national exposure, at this time, the more you fritter away what small amount of political capital you have gained. This is because you are speaking too much, too soon after the election. As in point #3, it brands you as a blatant opportunist, a power monger, and a fool.

5. Educate yourself in the following areas, at least to the point where you can name some names, have a general appreciation for, or show you know the big picture, or basics concepts of:

- World Geography
- International Relations
- National Affairs
- Economics
- The Civil Rights Era in America
- American History
- History in general
- Linguistics
- Psychology
- General Science
- General Political studies
- Basic Philosophy & the history of Philosophy
- Comparative Religious Studies

Also read "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli, read "Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville, read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William R. Shirer, read "The Spanish Inquisition: A History" by Joseph Perez & Janet Lloyd, read the Constitution of the United States, the United States Bill of Rights, the Amendments, be familiar with the significance of the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, understand the valuable concept of Habeas Corpus, be familiar with the history of the Supreme Court and famous cases -- you may wish to take some introductory classes, or do undergraduate work at a law school.

The good news is, realistically, you have at least 8 years to "bone up" and get educated the rest of the way. I don't think the first 4 colleges you attended were very good schools, or you didn't apply yourself. So get your head down, start some night classes at the local J.C., and see where it takes you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Poem - You and Me

the first time we broke up
was at a harbor

when we got married
it was on the top of a cliff
and we held onto each other
as tightly as we could

now ten years later
divorce proceedings
negotiations about money
day in day out of a tug of war
.now
...raking
.....leaves
........while i wait
..........to take you to the
...................................train

(knowing all along it is rather
pointless to rake because
who cares if they pile up
and a million more are ready
to fall and erase this work)

i suppose they call all
this suffering and punishment
acquiring wisdom through
direct experience but i don't
know what kind of wisdom
i am acquiring

i wish i did understand
why it must
be so painful in the process

but who am i to criticize the
flow of this relationship and how
it brought me more direct
wisdom

oak park
november 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Poem - fall

11:06 am
fall is an ocean of leaves
overdue library books
making sure the drains are clear
ready for rain

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poem - boys rake leaves into huge piles/ on the side of the road

boys rake leaves into huge piles
on the side of the road

listening to a tinny AM radio
playing a pop ballad about love

like the possibility of romance
there is no end to the leaves

until they all have fallen

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Monday, November 3rd, 2008. The day before the biggest election of my life. Weather in Oak Park is surrealy nice -- 75 degrees. All the trees are changing into their striking fall colors with no fall chill, not a hint of winter in the air. It's been this way for about 3 days, and we'll keep having mild sunny days for the next few days. Who would have thought the Midwest could have finer weather than California? A thunderstorm that will break the spell is set for Thursday, or Friday. After obsessively watching the polls and the predictions, I've been reading old Horizon art books, right now I've gone over a interview of Hemingway by George Plimpton in Havana, in 1959. Hemingway, of course, is brilliant in the discussion and a bit quarrelsome with some of the questioning, as if he was hung over, or wanted to get drunk again, or both. He also said some things that are new to me, and I can think about what he said that day, back in 1959, in Havana, for a long long time. Making sure I spelled George Plimpton's name correctly, I discover he died in 2003. I didn't know Plimpton was dead. Hemingway, he blew his brains out with a shotgun in 1961, aged 61. Plimpton died of natural causes in his apartment in New York City, aged 76. Can you imagine the way you'll end up? The time, place, and circumstances? With such events happening around me, intertwined with the past, and the fine weather at the present, it seems inconceivable that I, or anyone living now in this moment, should die.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Adios!

i.

I've been thinking about Lao Tzu, nothing specific, as I pack the last few boxes. I clean the apartment for the last time, put the boxes in the car 1 by 1, in no hurry at all. When I know I'm done, the place is cleaner than when I moved into it, empty, serene, ready for someone new to move in and fill it with all their hopes, dreams, talk and worries. I take one last trip into the building when there is nothing left to do. I let myself in, as if I still live there, as if I would be staying there more. Here is where I pause, I look, I listen. I see the floors are almost dry, I peer in all the rooms, I say nothing. Cars move up and down the steet, the sky looks like it might rain later this afternoon. All is done. On my way out, I bow to the apartment of the second floor. Adios! I say. Then the door is locked, a few minutes later the key is in an envelope in the building manager's mail slot.

ii.

Driving away, with the last of my stuff, I almost feel blue -- but there on the side of the road is Lao Tzu. Under the falling leaves, he might be reading a Pennysaver, but I'm not sure. I pull over and he gets in. We drive through town to the flat, and have tea in the kitchen sitting on boxes stuffed with packing paper.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poem - i have a knife

i have a knife
i was cutting things with it
when i realized knives are ugly
like guns are ugly

anything built to divide
sunder or cleave cannot help
but be a monstrosity

no matter how you
dress it up

Poem - robert the great poet

robert the great poet
you're getting old and
i'm not ready for that
feeling a certain
indicisiveness in your mind
or a hesitation in your voice
due to age due to
infirmness we can't escape
i remember in the past
there was nothing half done
about you as you pounded out
verse in the summer fall winter
spring files everywhere with
correspondances papers exploding
in all directions heater blasting
in the livingroom with that
curious green shag ancient
carpeting and now
you are a faint voice on the
other end of the phone
getting fainter and fainter
as i think about it & i feel
like now i have betrayed you
because i write things like
this and you are such
the poet

Monday, October 27, 2008

Poem - oh well when i'm

she's a tough bitch
of a waitress and
she thinks she's better
than me so she
gets in close and invades
my personal space but
oh well when i'm
writing about her she
doesn't know what to
do because she's
never seen anyone do
that in a restaurant
before

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Last Time I Saw You

The last time I saw you, years ago, was on a bus. The second I got on, something told me this would be possibly the last time I would ever see you again. So I confessed my love for you, and my admiration.

I saw how my words made you very upset. And when you became agitated, I knew it was the last time I ever would see you, in this lifetime.

Lao Tzu Does Nothing With the Rain

i.

Lao Tzu is gracefully watching the raindrops fleck on the window, beyond the window is the side of the abandoned house. As he observes, I cannot help but watch as well, Lao Tzu does nothing, but for me every drip is magnified. Each raindrop becomes like a whole country, or a room of the Louvre, or of a kind of imperishable great love. I realize these drops of water could be anything and everything, all at once. I realize, also, that these drops can be nothing, or about nothing at all, totally unimportant. Then I am astounded -- look at how the raindrops fall, flecking the window!

We watch for a long time.

ii.

Lao Tzu having done nothing, is now done. He smiles at me, never saying a word. He goes out through the back of the kitchen.

Poem - it rains on the abandoned house

it rains on the abandoned house
masking the frequent beeps i hear
of dying smoke detectors because
the power in the home has been
shut off for at least a year

"the more it rains the more it rains
the more it keeps on raining" (these lines
taken from winnie the pooh and they
are true as true can be while
i hear the ducts softly clicking
as warm are comes into my room)


North Lombard Street
Oak Park
Oct 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Poem - i'm sure it made good time

here's a happy poem
designed to inspire

i saw a small cloud today all alone
in the blue blue sky

it was alone but not worried
taking it's time

headed NW towards chicago
i'm sure it made good time

Poem - stone is comforting for a stone

i give up i go to sleep
i turn to stone

you are smarter than me
wiser than me

giving up is giving up
dreaming is dreaming

stone is comforting
for a stone

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poem - the historic baseball team

the historic baseball team
lost the game

the man watching this
has a white handle-bar
mustache

he quits the bar
in great anger and disgust

off he goes almost
bumping into a young
pretty blonde

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

They Don't Need Me

I don't remember the first debate at all. I was high as a kite on pain medication, and some other pills I popped at the last minute. All prescribed, I might add. I've been saving them up. You'd never know I was high and out of my skull. Out of my mind, you know what, I did great. The second debate, I can vaguely remember, when some parts didn't go as well as I wanted them to. That is difficult for me, not being top form. This last debate, I'm going to get higher than I've ever gone before. My body will know what to do, after being so paradigmatic all these years, my mouth and face and body will get the job done. They don't need me. I'm sure of that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What kind of mission was this, anyways?

Seconds to impact, going in too fast. The scope is hash, probably jammed. Then I'm in the trees. The left wing shears away in a shivering spectacular explosion of carbon and titanium fragments as the jet fuel blooms fiery red and yellow. I can feel the searing heat through my suit when the whole airframe twists.

I come to right before dawn, I see that I am wrapped in part of what remains of the jet. I numbly feel myself up and down, the left side of my face is roasted a bit, a nice 3 inch gash on my knee, but I think it still works. Somehow I get out of the burnt harness, and I extricate myself from the wreckage. I carefully look around. I'm in a meadow. I crashed into a slot-like canyon -- anywhere else around here, I can see I'd have flown into a rock wall. It was like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. What are the odds of that?

And as I'm congratulating myself on this, I see odd shapes all over the field, in the trees, everywhere. They are vaguely familiar, and totally out of place, and I feel subconscious horror. I don't know why. But in the growing light, I have to go and see what these things are. Walking up, I notice how one of my bombs has burst open, ejecting whatever it is all over the forest. Before I took off, I was told that this was a very dangerous cluster type "shock and awe" payload. But there are no bomblets anywhere. As far as I can see, there are stuffed toys. Specifically, stuffed gray bunnies. Hundreds and hundreds of stuffed, cute, toy bunnies.

They sent me to drop a payload of toys. They said it was bomblets, but the bombs were full of plush gray bunnies. Bunnies. Again, to repeat myself, bunnies. My face is starting to hurt like hell, and now I can barely bend my knee. What kind of mission was this, anyways?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Chung Tzu Discusses Roy Lic

Now I am with Chung Tzu, who comes by unannounced, but he is always welcome, and he knows it.

"What about Roy Lic?" I ask Chung Tzu.

"What about him?" says Chung Tzu.

"Roy Lic does not exist!" I say.

"He does, and he does not." says Chung Tzu. "But I know there became a possibility of Roy Lic either existing -- or not existing -- when certain people asked about if he existed, or not."

I pour Chung Tzu a drink.

"So, now, what do we do about this potentially existing, non existing Roy Lic?" I ask.

"If Roy is around, let him decide." says Chung Tzu, who downs the cocktail in one gulp.

Poem -- a. b. c. d.

a.

the bar is busy
i have my spot

words please don't
slow me down

i need you
like a train needs track

b.

a glittering party is
set up at the farsin
mansion as dusk
arrives

i walk by and see
an old man in a tuxedo
standing on the stairs
waiting for everybody to
show up

c.

they ask for the
beer list

& pick
a mediocre ale

d.

roy lic slept
here in this poem

but roy lic
does not exist

I Know What You Mean

He serves me and later he asks if everything is okay, so I say the food is great but about an hour ago 3 cute girls got on the train for a club in Chicago and I didn't follow them, and I'll never see them again. The bartender doesn't blink or miss a beat, he says, "I know what you mean, buddy. I know what you mean."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Poem - i never had it/ so good

now here's a
fucking disaster

i go outside
for a smoke

and in the alley
i see a bird
dead in it's nest

the whole
thing fell out of
the tree

and got run
over by a car

wow

my only problem
is to quit smoking

and replace a broken
french press

i never had it
so good


Oct 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Messy, Isn't It?

They say you are a failed writer. They say you never grew up. They say you wrote horrible poetry. You did write some horrible poems. But some of your writing is the best writing I've ever read. I'm sick of words and clever writers who are so good, they can write all day. Some things you write are broken, but I keep them, like I treasure a piece of driftwood -- just a hunk of flotsam, but it can't be manufactured, it is totally unique in all the world and will never happen that way again. Fuck perfection. Fuck being a great writer. Do you think you can actually capture it, the inexpressible thing, without mangling it with impression? Writing words about a feeling to express it, is like taking a flamethrower to a tree. People who criticize you don't like driftwood. They've probably never been to the beach, never got wet in the fog, never hiked anywhere, they don't know how to fish or build a fire, and they hate wool sweaters. People who look down on you live in a city, and they like to argue about world events, and they hate their landlord. Fuck them. I'm sorry you gave up. But I understand. Messy, isn't it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two Fall Vignettes

i.

I see snow shovels, bins of them, today at the supermarket. These things have appeared like magic, optimistically bright orange. Later I am sure we will have bins of metal ones, and they will be colored a special macho red.

ii.

A child does not wait for the light to change. When it is safe he crosses the street, and so ignoring me on my bicycle, I almost run him over. He's a tough kid, I know the type. He might hate his Mom, his Dad, or both. But he still wears a helmet. And he always gets his homework done on time.

God Damned Phone

I thought the phone was in another room, but I see it is here, and it hasn't rang. I didn't expect it to ring, but it still is a shock. I'm surprised, but I don't know why.

the unhorsing of gilbert

dedicated to gona

i.

he fails.

he becomes a real person.


ii.

no more soft night

do you
know someone
who is strong
and invincible?


iii.

every time
you laugh when
you are angry
you become crueler.


iv.

everything is larger


v.

the face in the mirror
who is he?

is he me?

is he you?

i have seen his face
all my life.


vi.

in the bruised
flesh deep down
is the blood &

more testimonies
are
moving unsung


vii.

O flesh

O brain

O body


viii.

as i walked
i thought i saw
a ghost inside the dark
reflections of a
blank window

a car sped up
the street
its headlamps
illuminating me
and making my dark
silhouette
quite sinister


viii.

a good lesson
(one that lasts)

it can take
a long time.

there are no
excuses

for something

that will last.


ix.

dogs lay
in the road &
try to lick the moon


x.

do you miss home?


xi.

can you remember everything?


xii.

at night there are
dark horses everywhere

in the sky
in the house outside in
the trees

looking out
looking in


xiii.

this night i think:

in chinatown it snowed
and everybody came out
to look at such fine small particles
falling indifferently
roof to roof
street to street

the snowflakes formed a thin
thin crust

the snowflakes
dusted red and white puffs of paper
from the exploded firecrackers
of the lunar new year


ixv.

why are we all gilbert?


xv.

the dog
he types

it is a good poem

woof woof

woof woof

woof woof


xvi.

i got mugged
in broad daylight.

the mugger made it look
as if
we were shaking
hands.


xvii.

heart

what
new


-----

I published "the unhorsing of gilbert" in 1992, the work being a series of poems that would pop up in my head, revolving around a central theme, all by themselves. In the writing of this, occasionally I almost drove off the road. When I was done, I had a sweet little pocket-book of poetry that I gave to my freinds. On the cover is a medieval illustration of Lord Gilbert Reginald Falworth being knocked off his horse at a joust in England in the 1400s, thus the name of the collection.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poem - i don't need the help

i don't need the help
but i hope you are reading this

my days are fine
like yours we get through them

i want something more
but if i get it i'll get it

i probably don't deserve it
many people i know will tell you so

Poem - brautigan wrote

brautigan wrote
gee you're so beautiful
its starting to rain

and when i read that
i remembered her
and how it felt to see her

i started to cry

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Poem - compelling subtle heartache

compelling subtle heartache
in the great land of america
because we killed all the natives
or moved them where we liked
and we are unconnected to the land
it takes thousands of years
to forge that kind of link

o america some day
you will feel whole again
after 1,000 years has gone by
& every step on the earth
beneath your feet is full of the dead
your old old gone by dead
and your sin taken on fulfilled

-- for David Foster Wallace
1962 - 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Submersible of Dreams

I'd intentionally sleep with my face towards the clock, so I knew how time was getting on. I could take a peek at any time. The night became an ocean, and my consciousness was a submarine, trolling the depths between dreams and the world of things. It made my side hurt, sleeping that way, but hearing the drunks stumbling their way home on the street at 3 AM was priceless. After 5 AM when it got colder I'd succumb, roll to the left, and pass completely out of my mind. But 2/3rds of the whole night I have covered, in the submersible of dreams.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, we apologize for the temporary disruption of space and normal time continuation in your Universe. This was due to an mistake on our part in the calibration of our means of transportation. But on this subject, there were some hilarious situations that you thought were quite funny, if your newspapers are to be believed. We avoided television, radio, and the Internets, because we found those communication mediums insulting. We also suggest everyone on Earth subscribe to a most excellent local newspaper, "The Mercion County Clarion", of Mercion County, Louisiana. You will find this newspaper to have a few top notch people who can actually write the news.

Going forward, there may be some residual distortion to space time in parts of New York, Philadelphia, and the 60302 area code. It will be the usual kinds of things you've all doubtlessly experienced before, temporary spontaneous gender switching, minor gravity inversion, speaking in unfamiliar languages, high freezing temperatures, intelligent color, and rapid hair growth. Serious problems like abrupt miniaturization, and/or loss of scale in the relation to one object to another appearing in externally appearing phenominon appearing appearing appearing has been corrected.

In closing, we'd like to thank the President of the United States of America for donating the beautiful State of Idaho. This was the kind of material time share we always wanted to have -- and who would have thought plants could be so funny! And intermittent precipitation of H20 from those cloud objects! Wow! Living in an oxygen based compressed atmosphere is hilarious.

As good neighbors, we promise to keep everyone updated with the latest information as we get busy settling into the State, the North American Continent, and your Planet -- I'm sure you can hardly wait for more news.

Regards,

12w-03-023=-34=--0pc-pkcv-0f

and

89d9h9-0------------0 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii


PS

Once again, we apologize for that little accident with the Women's Rotary Club at Bent Creek, CO. When they started speaking to us, we had no idea what sound was, and we assumed they were trying to kill us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Son's Cellular Ambition

My son's cellular ambition is to take over my cellular ambition. I don't completely understand this aim, and neither does he, but he is, in fact, only 2 years old. And I must say, I do not hold it against him. I do know he fervently wishes it, because many times when I am sitting here, writing, smoking, reading, or drinking a beer -- he sidles up to me humming & hawing. He'll press his little body against the side of me, slowly, gradually, inquisitively -- all the time talking and holding a toy or his bottle. He keeps at it like a cat, pressing against me until I have to shift my great big bulk, compared to his. With enough pushing and wiggling, the job will be done. Every son does this to his father, it is inevitable that a son tries. And the blessed dads decide to give way.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poem - tonight you are not here/ with me alas

tonight you are not here
with me alas

but pretend we are together
& observe the moon

see how perfect and
bright it is & never lonely

**

heute sind Sie nicht hier
bei mir leider

aber vorgeben wir zusammen sind
& Beobachten den Mond

sehen, wie perfekt und
hell es ist & nie einsam

Monday, September 15, 2008

100 Years Old

I want to be nice, so I tell people I meet they're going to live to be 100 years old. But I'm wrong all the time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poem - what about the cigarette?

what about the cigarette?

the cigarette is a liar

the cigarette was at
marie antoinette's funeral

the cigarette fell on
the moathouse floor
in beaux in the 11th century

the cigarette was behind
napoleon's left ear one mile
from the gates of moscow

the cigarette pushed a lever
that dropped an atomic bomb
on nagasaki

what about the cigarette?

the cigarette has no compassion

it waterboarded prisoners
in the philippines with the
japanese navy

it was pro ethnic cleansing
in croatia in 1989

it kissed marolyn monroe
and just walked out of
her apartment smiling

the cigarette was the one
who shot precisely from
the grassy knoll

what about the cigarette?

with its cold dead eye

with those mean hard hands

with its calculating brains

&

how it will do anything to get its way

Monday, September 08, 2008

Poem - new york

we are all just
passing through here
stock brokers
cops street preachers
bums tourists
devils saints and
sinners

"i'm in new york
for god's sake"
5th and w 33rd
the only cost
for that cigarette
is a story you're
happy to tell me
in the form of a
diatribe fable &
cautionary love-
song

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Poem - i asked

i asked her
if she was in my
memory the
right way she
is not

we let time
do away with us
and we don't
care now to
fix anything

Poem - now it/ is raining

now it
is raining

wet deck turns
pale silver

tree leaves
are just turning

fall is
almost here

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Poem - something is wrong when the toilet will not shut off

1.

something is wrong when the toilet will not shut off
something is wrong when the toilet roars like a lion

2.

etwas ist unrecht wenn die toilette nicht etwas ist
unrecht abstellt wenn die toilette wie ein löwe brüllt

3.

qualcosa è torto quando la toletta non spegnerà
qualcosa è torto quando la toletta rugge come un leone

4.

algo é erro quando o toalete não cortará algo é erro
quando o toalete ruje como um leão

5.

что-то неправда когда туалет не отключит что-то
неправда когда туалет взревет как львев

6.

기술을 가진 이 생활의 신비는 신비 결코 정지하지 않
을 것이다

Great Sex Ever on a Boat

They came into the room shouting about how they just had great sex!!! The best sex they had, on the Boat, because the Boat was so comfortable. I didn't know about the Boat. I didn't know they had sex. I didn't want to know about the Boat, or about them having sex, or how it was the best sex, ever, on the Boat. She sat down, or rather piratically laid on the couch, spreading her legs like a man. He wanted to play cards.

I told them hell is other people. They laughed.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Poem - he will sit by the bank of the river

he loves
joan rivers
the 14th century
twist ties and
peanut butter

he thinks about
fire
the upanishads
modern air conditioning
and jack phelps

he sees
the music of the spheres
HD tv
clicking balls with bells in them
fingers ticking the ivory

his dreams
will be just like reality

his hopes
are interchangeable with his fears

he will sit by the bank of the river
in his head

and wait for the body
of his enemy to go floating by

Cursing

I kept waiting. When you didn't show up, I cursed you like a pirate. I was full of lustful curses. I was pathetically cursing, all alone. Being alone encouraged me to curse. I cursed long and cursingly, because it was absolutely futile to curse. I cursed because nothing was wrong. I cursed because everything was right. I cursed because I belonged where I was cursing you, and you belonged where I was cursing you. I cursed like a baby, a spoiled brat, an idiot, a fool, a troubled young man, a zealot; I cursed like someone who can't appreciate anything. I cursed because I was cursing. I cursed because it didn't help cursing, and I knew it. I cursed until all cursing was out of me. Then I had a beer and felt sorry for myself. Then I pulled my shit together and I was basically okay. I had shit to take care of in this big, beautiful, stainlessly clean world. But I have no freinds. Oh, fuck, I know that isn't true. How my freinds (and loved ones) put up with me, I do not know. I do not fucking know.

Friday, August 08, 2008

THINGS DON'T WORK - SWAT Team Runs Amok

I posted a new entry over at THINGS DON'T WORK, about SWAT teams going nuts at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Happens all the time. It would be funny, but usually pets (and people) get killed. This time it was the Mayor of Berwyn Heights, MD that almost got blown up. Oh, the SWAT team shot his dogs, for fun, and made his mother lay in the blood.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What I Saw While Sitting on the Steps of the Chicago Art Insitute One Afternoon for Several Hours on a Breezy Day

- tattered tourists
- fantastic tourists
- lost tourists
- found tourists
- cell phone gabbing tourists
- tourists who shouldn't be wearing what they are wearing (yes, that kind of tourist)
- upset looking tourists
- incredulous tourists
- snapping pictures of things that are above 5 stories or more tourists
- "rebel" tourists
- "young" tourists
- "old" tourists
- hooker tourists!
- pointing tourists
- advice mongering tourists
- tourists showing their cleavage in other tourist's faces
- tourists in big bug-eyed sunglasses
- tourists with babies
- babies with tourists
- parents unsuccessfully wrangling toddlers, even though it isn't that hard tourists
- tourists wondering what i am doing
- PROUD TOURISTS
- determined tourists
- tourists with foldable chairs, tables, bikes, sunshades, beer, metal detectors
- tourists that sit too close to other tourists
- grinning ebullient tourists on rental scooters (please o lord, let them not be killed)
- honking tourists
- joking tourists
- a barefoot tourist!
- partially clothed tourist
- the "hey, how are ya doing?" tourist
- the "yeah! yeah!" tourist
- clapping tourists
- shorty short-short spank me now tourist

Saturday, August 02, 2008

you will not recognize/ the holy man

you will not recognize
the holy man

you will think he is
a dishwasher
or a peon or
a homeless person

because of this
you will find him
offensively unattractive

no obvious merits
will come to your mind
when you look at him

you will behave badly
around the holy man

you will be prone
to exaggeration
because he irritates you

you will completely
reveal yourself to
him in this way

all petty faults
you want to keep secret
things about you
that no one should know

and when you do
finally recognize
the holy man

it will be profoundly
humbling and
embarrassing

you'll feel shattered
the holy man
will smile

he'll never hold it
against you
it was all you
not him

suddenly everything
will be alright

you'll look upon him
with great devotion

but he'll tease you
about it from time
to time

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Atlas Shrugged

I hold up the sky -- it is weightless, like a balloon. Think about it, do you think the sky has weight? Not content to be idle, I learn English, Spanish, Italian, German, Peruvian, and Persian. Sometimes other Titans come by to say hello and shoot the shit, and we end up playing Texas Hold 'Em. Last week a little kid came by selling magazine subscriptions, and I let him hold up the sky for 15 minutes. He loved it! Look at me, holding up the sky! Wait till I tell Mom and Dad, they'll never believe this! Zeus found out, of course, and was angry like an old woman, but I don't care. You know, there are worse lots out there. Some of the boys in Hell aren't even unionized. Me, I'm stuck in one place, but I have a great view -- on a fine blue day I can see all the way to North Africa and Morocco -- I'm the first to see the birds migrate on their way to Spain's dappled hot groves of olive trees and oranges, I can almost feel roots reaching into the red earth. The breeze blows strong with a hint of deepest Africa, glad savage and sweet. I am truly happy. Are you?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Under the Twittering Skies

i.

I feel bad for the lawn, under the twittering skies, so I over water it severely, while reading from a lit mag about Crowley and Loch Ness. While I do this, I find myself talking to angels. I talk to the deck. I imagine things will be just fine. I wonder what it would be like to be water coming out of a hose, through a sprinkler. I wanted to avoid getting this lonely, I forced myself to take long walks, get to know the neighborhood, go to the Library and read huge 4 color art books at random. But the hours added up, they added up, indeed. So here I am now, correcting my sanity. There really isn't anything to worry about. But my bike lock is too small, I think.

ii.

Everyone is back and I hate my apartment, but I like it, too. I have no air-conditioning, but for some reason, even though the night is moist, I sleep deeply. I am learning all over again to love the world.

Friday, July 04, 2008

All Unsaid

ALL UNSAID, BUT PAY ATTENTION: And now that I am back, there may be times when I cannot speak to you. If you notice that you have been talking to me for more that 5 minutes, and I have not said anything, and I appear to be unable to speak -- it is best to just leave me alone, or lead me to a semi-dark room, lay me on a bed, to come out of it. I got out of it, and I know I will be bringing it with me -- it is inevitable that I will be bringing with me. Take someone from one situation, and 48 hours later, place them in a totally different situation, old habits and reactions persist. You've been filled up, you bring it. I won't tell you what I am seeing, overplayed onto this sunny reality, because I know it is not real, just a series of semi-hallucination of the recent past. I won't tell you the imaginary sounds I hear, impossible sounds, surrounded by carpet and tile and sheetrock walls -- the birds of the forest, the crackle of a twig, (I smell smoke) the bolt on a rifle being racked open and closed out of boredom. Rifle is racked open and closed out of boredom. Rifle, racked open and closed, again. Oh, now a magazine being rocked into place, just so, not to get stuck. You can hear it when it is done right. Slide, rock. Click-clack. You look up. The boy racks the bolt back again, a round cycling into the chamber, or possibly not. It depended on if the magazine was full, or empty. He's 12. He points the muzzle of the assault rifle at you, at your left eye, and before you can be afraid, the rifle goes "click". By this accident, this suddenness, you are unshakably fearless, chained to the ground, by your neck, in the mud, full of worms and malaria. You kind of die, then -- in dying you feel you are fearless. I'll always love you. Even when I don't seem to love you anymore.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Good Read - The Laughing Policeman

I don't consider myself a great fan of "crime novels" or "mystery fiction", but I just read one of the best endings to a novel, contained at the end of the very last sentence, on the last page of the plot. So elegant, so simple, four words seamlessly rearrange the entire conceptual significance of the story, and bring things to a satisfying end. The book is "The Laughing Policeman", by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, husband and wife, who wrote the Martin Beck police mystery series, ten books altogether. Almost all of the stories are set in Sweden, in Stockholm, starting in the 1960s. The characters are constantly grumpy, terse, with each other -- Swedish, I guess. This directness in dialog and the unflinching characterization it creates, is refreshing. I particularly like the series because, if you don't watch out, the authors have a way with lulling the reader into making assumptions where the plot is going, only to reveal a stunning surprise (or two) along the way that completely levels you. Often also, it is what is not described, or exactly the opposite of what is being said, that is the reality in a key scene. Sjöwall and Wahlöö are not demanding for the sake of it, but rather they expect the reader to be perceptive, and to be thinking. I was introduced to Martin Beck quite by accident, when I found a copy of "The Fire Engine That Disappeared", left behind on a train in the 1990s in San Francisco.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Poem - in a joyful summetime/way

i go to the library
gotta get out of the house
when i come home
someone next door is bashing
the shit out of a piano

in a joyful summertime
way

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Quote from Paul Klee

I am an intense admirer of Paul Klee, whose works I have seen often in art books, and also, I saw some of his works in person, at the Guggenheim in NYC. I was looking him up today, and I found a very moving quote of his, from his tombstone:

I belong not only to this life. I live as well with the dead, as with those not born. Nearer to the heart of creation than others, but still too far.

That is a beautiful sentiment. I feel this way, too.

News - A Drug that Cures Shyness

Here is an article about a newfangled drug that cures shyness, based on the peptide Oxytocin. Gee, I thought small amounts of Lysergic acid did the same thing. Oh, that's right -- psychotropic unpatentable drugs like LSD are bad. Or all psychotropic drugs are just plain bad, because of the press. Thanks Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert. Oh, well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Poem - i love you

i love you
i will be insufferable
i will call you by the wrong name
my pants will fall down
i will appear to be an idiot
to all of your sophisticate freinds
i will try to shore it up
and recover from my faux pas
but there will be too many of them
and none can be overcome
until you see that i love you
forever and forever
impossible as that may seem

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Joppy in the Rain

Joppy is standing on the back porch, smoking, in the rain. Then, without warning, lightening strikes the top of the detached garage, 40 feet from him. KRRACK-BOOOM!! Astounded, Joppy sees for a split second, past the intense white flash, that there are little figures swimming in the lightening bolt. Little fairy-like creatures, with cute hats. He wonders if he will ever see them again. Joppy has in him now, a kind of wonder, a mystery he will never be able to solve, or come to grips with. Back inside the house, listening to the increased downpour, he writes a short poem. Joppy sees his hands are shaking slightly, not from drink, but from what he has seen. The short poem does not mention the people that live in lightening bolts, flying through the sky, everywhere.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Holding onto No-Hold sez Chung Tzu

"I have no hold. And I have no means to hold." I say to Chung Tzu. "That's comforting."

"Well, good for you. But don't hold onto that." he replies.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Order of the Soul

When I'm bored, and I want to try and figure out things, sometimes I resort to puzzling over Leonard Cohen lyrics. In the song "The Future", he sings:

The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

Wow. I can get the "...blizzard of the world..." concept -- but what is "...the order of the soul..."? I wanna know about the order of the soul. Sorry, the Order of the Soul. Or, how the Soul is Ordered. But I looked around, even in real books that talk about stuff like that, and no luck. Lots of talk about souls, and kinds of souls, from all kinds of perspectives & traditions, but no discussion on order.

Oh, well. Some smart person reading this could give me a hint. I'm sure Leonard is sick to death on trying to explain what he was singing about.

Friday, June 06, 2008

gone dead i can't find it

it is gone dead i can't find it
no way to look it up via google
all these years past you at the time
commonplace and normal
irritating controversial in my face
old i made you cry

Try This Out - e.e. cummings through "nowever"

My best friend, musician & designer Evan Sornstein, has put out a CD of some of e.e. cumming's poetry. Evan worked on this project for at least a year, and when he was done, he released it as "nowever" through dynamophone records. If you like e. e. cummings, this may intrigue you. You may even discover I'm included in one of the tracks. Ha! Here is an interview of Evan discussing the motivation, and process behind the creation of his CD. Also, here is a link to Curiumlab, an online repository of some other examples of his music. Starting with industrial music in the late 1980s, with his band Battery, he's been an integral part of the SF alternative musical scene for over 20 years. He's regularly collaborated as part of Nux Vomica, as well. Evan continues to publish his work, and other musicians, through dynamophone.

Are you neurotic?

Via MetaFilter, are you neurotic? I have a few neurotic tenancies. Those who know me well, I hear you groaning at that statement. What do you mean, "..a few..."? If I drink directly from a tap, I never drink more than ten gulps of water, and I count the gulps. I save all my receipts, for no good reason whatsoever, and in my George Costanza-sized wallet, I carry a fake piece of eight, and the letter Q Scrabble tile (worth 10 points!). My first vehicle was a used faded orange Toyota truck, that I never washed, when I bought it, it had an action figure leg in the bed of the truck that I never removed, along with a section of small rusted spring. The entire time I owned the truck, I would make a mental note of the action figure leg, and the spring, every time I unlocked the vehicle. In Junior College and then in College, I pretty much exclusively wore a green army mechanics jumpsuit, three sizes too big, for about 5 years. When the buttons would fall off, I'd put them back on with paperclip wire, because wire was so much more durable than thread. Then I'd stuff all the oversized pockets with pens, papers, journals, books, so I looked like a hamster. I got tired of having to get haircuts, so I'd just put the 1 or the number 2 guard on electric clippers, and just shave my head. I have spontaneous arguments with inanimate objects, like trees, cups, and stoves. The inanimate object usually is right, and I am wrong.

our cats love us

this spring morning
they torture a small bird
and bring it half dead
to our bedroom

..

heute frühlingsmorgen
sie quälen einen kleinen vogel
und holen sie ihn beinahe absolut
zu unserem schlafzimmer

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?


I don't know if I should be sad, or happy, for the fact that I know what San Jose looked before, and then after, they completely redid their downtown.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

News - McSweeney's Issue 27 is Now Released


I'm full of news nowadays. Amazing. McSweeney's Issue 27 is now out, you can order it from all kinds of places, including Amazon.com, City Lights Bookstore, or even directly from The McSweeney's Store. Included in this issue (which is broken into three separate books) is the cartoons I had in the apexart cartoon show, the work of the other artists in the show as well, plus a previously unpublished 72 page sketchbook by Art Spiegleman, and some new fiction by Stephen King.

the camera obscura is closed

i am shouting

i shout some more

the camera obscura is closed

it is so important

..

ich schreie

ich schreie mehr

das Kamera obscura ist geschlossen

es ist so wichtig

...

eu shouting

eu shout ainda mais

o obscura da câmera é fechado

é tão importante

....

я кричу

я кричу еще некоторые

камера обскура закрыта

настолько важно

.....

암소는 쥐를 미행한다

수다스러운 우는 백치

곧 나의 물통은 가득 차있을 것이다

나의 눈의 물에서 채우는

Monday, June 02, 2008

Lao Tzu, Chung Tzu, I & the Glass of Water

i.

I'm in the kitchen, getting a glass of water, when Lao Tzu come in.

"Hello, Lao Tzu." I say.

"Hello there." says Lao Tzu. "And what are you doing?"

"I am going to drink this glass of water." I reply.

"Ah!" says Lao Tzu. He laughs. "You shouldn't DRINK the glass of water. You should BE the glass of water."

Lao Tzu leaves before I can say anything back.

ii.

A bit later, I see Chung Tzu.

I show Chung Tzu the glass of water. "HERE is a glass of water. Lao Tzu says I should BE the glass of water, not DRINK it."

"Oh my." says Chung Tzu. "Oh deerie me. What can we do?"

Chung Tzu takes the glass of water. He looks at the water in the glass, over the top of the glass. Chung Tzu looks at the water through the sides of the glass. He looks at the water, in the glass, through the bottom of the glass.

Ching Tzu mentions me to come closer, and he suddenly dumps the entire glass of water over my head.

"Why did you do that!?" I yell.

"Hmmm." replies Chung Tzu. "From my experiment, I think in possibly 1,000,000 glasses of water, you may actually make some progress this way."

-- dedicated to J.P. Frary & N. Kerns

Chung Tzu & the Air-Conditioner

"I'm on fire." I say to Chung Tzu. "You're on fire. The whole World is on fire!"

We both look at Lao Tzu, who is smiling & seems to be asleep.

"EVEN THE SQUIRRELS ARE ON FIRE!" I explain.

"Damn, brother! All that kind of talk makes me feel hot!" says Chung Tzu. "Quick! Turn on the air-conditioner!"

Momo Says:
Oh, Chung Tzu!
If only we were as direct as he;
Seeing one reed different,
And the same as another!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

News - Opium Magazine is on KQED Public Radio in SF

Opium Magazine, the online & offline literary magazine I edit cartoons for, is being featured on The Writers' Block, part of KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. They're running selections from Opium Magazine's 250-word Bookmark Contest. Hey -- and don't forget -- it isn't too late to submit entries for Opium Magazine's Shya Scanlon 7 Line Contest, the winner (and some runner-ups) being published in the next Opium Magazine .print edition, Opium7. If you win the contest, you get $1,000. Also, mentioning print...Opium6 just came off the presses -- Go Green! (But Save Me First). Here are some sneak peeks (via Opium's graphic designer, designer & overall Renaissance Man, Mr. David Barringer) at the contents of Opium6. Note who did a cartoon. I have a few in there, along with John Callahan. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy, it looks fun. Way to go Todd!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Starbucks, Do Something Quick About Your Stupid Size Names

I was reading this today, about irritating people you run into at Starbucks. I think no. 8 -- ordering from someone who refuses to equate what a "Small", "Medium", "Large", or "Extra-Large" drink is to the Starbuckian universe of "Short", "Tall", "Grande" and "Venti" has always irked the crap outta me. I realize this must be one of the oldest complaints in the history of Starbucks. But, Starbucks, seriously, these names you use for sizes is sooooo intuitive. Even if you go along with these stupid size names -- we go from the arbitrary English terms "Short" & "Tall", which could mean anything -- then suddenly we're all into Italian. Ok. "Grande" means "Big" in Italian. Fine. So I guess "Large" = "Big". But going with the Italian, "Venti" means "20". So "Extra Large" = "20". But the "Extra Large" is either 20 ounces for hot drinks or 24 ounces for iced drinks. So for any kind of consistency, why doesn't Starbucks call the "Grande", which is 16 ounces, a "Sedici"? Starbucks, why don't you make your contribution to world peace and the salvation of mankind and choose arbitrary English special size names for all your sizes, or go all Italian with size names that follow some kind of consistent rules? Since you're an American corporation, from Seattle, I'd encourage you to stick with English -- does that make sense? And we'll keep the first two size names, so as to not upset people who have been ordering the two smaller drinks since the 1970s. Here you go:

Suggested Revised Starbucks Arbitrary English Cup Size Names:

8 oz - Short
12 oz - Tall
16 oz - Spank My Puppy
20 oz - Spank My Puppy Hard
24 oz - Spank My Puppy Hard & Cry

I really want to try to wrap my brain around the size terminology when my brain is almost totally blacked out, and I need a large coffee, plus I'm hung over. But Starbucks, the name system you have for sizes is broken. But you'll never take a drink from the well of sanity and just go with "Small", "Medium", "Large", or "Extra-Large", will you?

A Visitation

I was sketching by the side of the road
sitting in a chair in the bed of my pickup
when he pulled over and asked if everything
was alright

I said everything was fine and he got
out of his car and he smiled and said
"Well, then, if everything is okay, please give
me all your money."

I told him I didn't have any money on me
but if he wanted, I would draw is portrait
"No thanks." he replied and he drove off

When he drove by later to see if I was still
there I waved

Friday, May 23, 2008

Old Christopher

i.

They say I do not know
Cathay
or any of its islands
thereabouts

"Liars!" I cry at them "Liars!"
till all my strength
is gone

I rest and watch
the seagulls
wheeling above
dazzling white walls

I pick any ripe
rancid olives that I can reach
from the trees
and I try to hit
the servants

ii.

People around me
whisper I have
gone mad in my old age

But I know I sailed
to Cathay four times
and if I had found
enough gold
I would have my own
villa on the highest hill
of this town

Noblemen and knights
would come from far away
for advice instead
of laughing
when they hear my name

If I was young and strong
I would sail there again!

iii.

But now my eyes ache
my knees hurt

And in hearing my story
no doubt you despise me
saying all I can do
is sit here
as a crazy old man

Well to hell with you
too!

I am to be reckoned with!

I demand it!

I was the KING of
lonely unknown seas
where the wind cried out
blowing wild foam
as I spoke
to monstrous clouds

My men were afraid
and they shook begging
for home but

I gathered all I saw
as the Master!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Aurora Green

Her name is Aurora Green, and she likes pink silk and red coats. She'll never tell you, but she also likes expensive purses, though she has no use for them. When she lived by the ocean, she'd watch for the moon, and what phase it was in, and if it was rising or falling, or if the moon was out during the day. Now after moving to the midwest, she watches the sky, particularly at sunset, looking for that lemony metallic color that is so interesting. She likes to ride her bike downtown, to the historic shopping center, and she window shops, but she doesn't buy anything. Sometimes she reminisces about a boy who broke her heart, but her heart has been broken not that often. This one boy broke her heart in a special way, it has left her freer than after past breakups -- where now she is happy and doesn't need anyone or anything. Riding home under the trees, she can't help thinking life is not exactly a private joke, but it could be an exquisitely funny limerick. Aurora knows God doesn't mean to hurt anyone, but God also is forgetful. And Love is exactly like God. They might be the same thing. When she is back in her apartment, she write a few poems, one or two are worth keeping. She carefully places these worthy sheets in a box with other promising poems, and reseals it with a wide white shimmering silk ribbon. She places her hands on the top of the box, and for a brief moment she inadvertently looks to the place on her hand where she wore a ring. She looks out the window, looking forward to a lemony evening sunset.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Things I Have Learned So Far

1. Don't do, or say, stupid things.
2. If you meet someone once, you'll probably be meeting them again. However, next time they may be in a position to help you out in ways you cannot imagine.
3. Keep your temper, but if you can't, never initiate an action when you are angry.
4. Tell the truth. Liars are worthless.
5. Never steal anything, ever.
6. Always tip -- but make sure to tip the bartender generously.
7. Have the right tool for the job. Never "make do" with anything less than the right tool.
8. Listen more than you talk.
9. If you don't understand someone, still be respectful.
10. Don't stare.
11. If she's interested in you, she'll let you know.
12. There is no virtue in being broke, but money doesn't buy happiness.
13. There is no such things as bad luck. Everything happens for a reason, at the right time.
14. Never let your best friends down.
15. If you speak kindly of people, it will rub off on them.
16. If you are being inconvenienced a bit by helping, then you are probably helping enough.
17. Nobody gets away with anything.
18. You can fight for the Truth, but if you get in the way of the Truth, it will crush you.
19. Giving advice is good, but generally worthless.
20. Anything will seem bad if you don't have an open mind.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Poem About the Maid

I see
the silhouette
of the maid
vacuuming the
upper landing;

she vacuums
next to a
very expensive
painting,

then she moves
down to start
the hardest part;

the spiral stairs.

Catching Butterflies

i.

The ship is burning. The air was clear. The table just had been cleaned. As we turned the corner, my arm broke. Ready, called the captain. We slid rapidly down the hill. Fountains of gore filled the hallway. Suddenly, the bridge collapsed. I saw an opening. The crowd cheered. I could hardly see. The children cried, "Monkey! Monkey!" He climbed higher onto the roof. Brett wondered about the noises. The plane barely lifted off. A posse rode into town. It was flung sideways, clattering, out into the hallway. Look out! She realized, finally, what had happened all those years ago. The rift widened, glowing a sinister red. That was all it took, George lost his marbles. They all screamed together one last time. At sunset, on the last day of April, the guest arrived. You will never know, you cannot know, even I don't know.

ii.

The entire building began to tremble. It was too late, and they saw it wasn't safe. The thing was magnificent, monolithic -- and horribly ugly! He snuck back out the building, and around the corner. A revolver was produced. The chamber was unexpectedly small. Dust floated in the air, catching a stray shaft of sunshine. My mother was on that train. The story was over before it began, but I was wrong. Impossibly it bridged the gap between the cliffs and the towering castle. You again, she said in a low voice. The loudspeaker was playing a song in a foreign language. Everyone in the joint was dead, but the band played on. The wall closed in, and then it wasn't there. We traced the seam, which was supernaturally straight. He told the truth, he didn't know it was all a lie.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mystery



She obligingly
removed
all her clothing
for me

We made love

The multi-colored
silk bathrobe
was left behind
in it's mystery

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On This Dark Overcast Day - or - How Chung Tzu Would Bow to a Single Blade of Grass with a Dew Drop Half Way Down the Side of It

It is a dark, overcast day, with a hint of rain, and there is no coffee, but that is not important. I am thinking about Lao Tzu and Chung Tzu, and what it would be like if they were in my backyard, possibly wrestling in slow motion. This would never happen, of course, the two locked in wrestling moves. For starters, Lao Tzu wrestles nothing. And Chung Tzu would rather contemplate taking on a trembling blade of grass, with one purest dew-drop on the grass half way up that reflects in itself the entire moving sky, and bow to it with complete satisfaction.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another Google First!

Ha ha ha! If you Google "poem about kepler", my Kepler poem comes up as #1 in the search results. Googling "kepler poem", I come up second (both hits via the most excellent Josh Maday website, Disseminating Josh Maday). Thanks, Josh.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Block the Noise of the Damn Birds

I sleep in a tent in the backyard. At the first bare suggestion of light in the sky, the birds start yakking at 4.30 AM. Then my animal totem, the mocking-bird, starts playing the North American Bandstand of bird-calls at 5 AM, until about 6.40 AM, directly over my head. Then he moves down the block to bug the shit out of the neighbors. It begins to gently rain. I think the reason why people started building houses was not to keep the weather out, but to block the noise of the damn birds.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wanting the Biggest Bomb Possible

I'll tell you something, and after I tell you, it won't be so surprising: if you ever are in a job where you need to have a bomb, you'll want the biggest one possible. It doesn't matter if it is dangerous to have the bomb to be "too big" -- you just want to have the most powerful bomb possible. They might say, bomb A is the best one for this particular mission, and bomb B, or even bomb F would be total overkill, and even hazardous to you and your cohorts...but if you can have bomb F, or even H, you'll feel so much better about it. Especially if you hear some other fellas got to use the bigger ones. Why can't we share, fer cryin' out load? We're special too! Everybody deserves to live.

Tiger Attack

I dream we are sitting on the couch when suddenly a Tiger comes into the room. The Tiger may, or may not be our domesticated family pet. But now it is clearly apparent that the Tiger is going to attack me. I jump back as the Tiger lunges at me, and it manages to hook a claw into the heel of my right foot, gouging a big hole. Then as I fall down into a sitting position on the rug, the Tiger jumps towards me. I instinctively go to push or punch the Tiger in the snout with my right hand, but the Tiger opens it's jaws and my hand goes into its mouth. I feel my right hand being mauled, and sort of falling apart as I can distinctly feel my wrist separating internally under the skin (this feeling is reminiscent of when I broke my wrist in the real world, falling off a motorcycle). I pull my red mashed hand out of the Tiger's mouth and I cup it against my chest with my good left hand. I am now in a fetal position on the rug. In the dream, when my wife doesn't say anything for about a minute and a half, I ask her to call an ambulance.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Truth & Listening

Chung Tzu and Baseball

A storm rolls into town. The wind blows. Lightening flashes.

"When I talk to you, I get excited." I tell Chung Tzu.

"When I watch baseball, I feel like crying." says Chung Tzu.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day

Fritz Christopher -- has it been 2 years and a day since we last met? We miss you so.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lao Tzu, the Sticks, and the Tree Trimmers - or - Chung Tzu's Funeral Song to a Dolt

As they trim the tree, Lao Tzu, in slow motion, gathers a small pile of sticks, each stick being about 2 feet long. He ends up with a pile of about 40 branches, each the thickness of my thumb. The tree trimmers pay attention to Lao Tzu, but Lao Tzu ignores them. Because he moves slowly, and carefully, the trimmers keep an eye out so they don't drop any of the larger cut limbs onto his head.

I have no idea what he is doing this for, or what he will do with the sticks when he is done. But at the same time, I don't dare interrupt him, because the way Lao Tzu moves and gathers the sticks -- it is poignant, sad, and a bit poetic.


```

Later that evening, Chung Tzu comes by and sees the stick pile in the backyard.

"Ah!" he says, pointing at the pile, "A family has been dispersed into the world. Some of the babies will never see their Mother or Father again."

"Is that so?" I reply.

"Oh, yes." assures Chung Tzu. "Now I will sing a proper funeral song. Loo loo, cookoo, moo moo, badaboum. Foom foom, room room, badaubeoi boy."

After a pause, Chung Tzu looks at me. "Did you understand what I was saying?"

"No, I didn't quite get it."

"Okay, I'll sing another one. Hoo hoo, boo boo, foo foo, alagaha hoo! Shoo shoo, moo moo, arouh arouh, bama DA BOOM!!"

Chung Tzu looks at me. "Did you understand what I was saying?"

"I'm sorry, but no."

"Since you fail to comprehend, I will attempt one last song for you. Roo roo, goo goo, boo boo Da da DA DA FOOM! MA ma ma goo pop pop slop hrap! Flop schlock mop!!"

Chung Tzu looks at me. "Did you understand what I was saying?"

"No."

"GOOD!" shouts Chung Tzu.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lessons I've Learned from My Son

Here are some things I have learned from my son, who is almost 2 years old:

1. Wake up smiling & laughing. You'll be guaranteed to have a mostly fabulous day, if you start off fabulously.

2. A generous amount of shampoo, if you have it, can be smeared in your hair, to create that sassy "Billy Idol" look. Additionally, any substance worth smearing should be smeared on your temples.

3. You don't have any fireworks? Take an electric toothbrush, turn it on, and throw it on the floor! Wow! Look at that! Seriously, try this.

4. Any kind of race car, or Matchbox, or Hotwheel becomes 20% faster after being bathed in toilet water.

5. Also, if you have a older sister, and she is at school, her flip-flops are supposed to go in the toilet.

6. Food is for eating, throwing, wearing, and playing like a musical instrument.

7. If it can be tossed out an open window, toss it out the open window.

8. People are pleased when you hide their small possessions in random drawers around a room, or in the waste paper basket.

9. If a door is open, shut it. If the stove is off, turn it on. If the cup is full, empty it over your head.

10. Everything is BEAUTIFUL! Everything is AMAZING! Everything is WONDERFUL! Everything is a TOY!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Finding Gifts for Chung Tzu

I like giving Chung Tzu gifts, and I know he enjoys receiving them. One day when I was out walking, I found something I though he'd appreciate.

"I would like to give you this old stick!" I said to him, when I got back to the house.

"Why, thank you. What a pleasant surprise." said Chung Tzu, and he took the stick and he held it as if it were a delicate artifact.

A few days later, I gave him an old banana peel.

"Wonderful!" exclaimed Chung Tzu, who immediately folded it like it was a $100.00 bill and put it in his coat pocket.

When I presented him a empty can of beer, he was quite content to accept it, and peer into the hole like it was an exotic augury.

Finally, one day, I came home with some glistening fresh dog feces.

"Oh!" said Chung Tzu when he saw what I had to give him, "Marvelous! Amazing! You have overwhelmed me with your generosity!"

"No, please," I replied, "I want you to have it."

"I cannot possibly accept such a rare and fine gift as this!" declared Chung Tzu, "No, instead, you should keep it for yourself -- so whenever you look at it, you'll think of me!"