Friday, March 28, 2008

Waking Up in the Middle of the Night

In the middle of the night I am interrupted by waking up, aware in that instant in dreams I am on the verge of completing important, hugely complicated metaphysical tasks of conceptual reasoning that will be a refinement of the vast undulating ceaselessly replicating mystical underpinnings of the universe. And that kind of shit is fucking weird.

i have my ways

i have my ways
they please me

i defined sunlight
i defined snow

my sunshine is
not your sunshine

my snow is not
your snow

why we came
to this

of how snow
was snow

or sun was
the sun

i do not


dali is near the end
of his life

he sits in a chair
with a rubber tube
up his nose

surprised to be photographed
all eroded in a leopard-print robe
in a dead dream

Thursday, March 27, 2008

something inside

i am sitting here
late at night
after studying

my light is on
and on the other
side of the room
my roommate
is sleeping

i am waiting for
a bottle of beer
to get cold so to
amuse myself
i leaf through
ginsburg's kaddish
though i hate him

suddenly i realize
the freeway is
very loud

i have been living
two years within
earshot of it and
it's sounds were
no longer entering
my consciousness
until again now

i feel a vague
late night thrill
of horror because
i had ruled out
the sounds of the
freeway for months

killed the sounds
of trucks and cars
as a possibility for
almost a year now
until this night
it all came back
to me

i feel as if
i have committed
a crime so i pick up
four books of matches
& look at their
gaudy covers

one has a phone number
written on the inside
in loopy handwriting
but i don't recall
whose it is

i will never call
them but i admire
the phone number
for what it offers me

another matchbook
advertises fine home
and gardening products

another book is from
a cigar store

the last book of matches
is from seven eleven

i hear the freeway
and the 18 wheelers
roaring through the night

overdubbing reality
should be a capital crime
i think to myself and
i tilt the chair back
almost fall over

sounds quiet down
i check the beer
it is cold on only
one side

i realize i have
many books of matches
but no cigarettes

i drink the beer
with a light sweet
empty taste
simultaneously something
in my mind or
in my soul bows down
greater forces of
consequence in
the universe

these forces
will utterly overpower
my arrogance in
affirming reality

one of those
big-rigs could
drive off the highway
and come here
and kill me

inside me knows

Phone Story

The phone rings.

"Hello." I say.
"Yes?" I say.
"No thanks." I say.

I hang up the phone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In This Life

"What do you think is the most impressive thing in this life, that you ever saw with your own eyes?" I ask Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu doesn't reply. He may be asleep, sitting there.

"What about bugs? Mud? A broken stick?"

Lao Tzu shrugs.

I spy a squirrel in the backyard. "What about squirrels?"

"Ah! You should probably have been a squirrel in this life." says Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu and the Orange

In the morning, I was in the kitchen peeling an orange, when Lao Tzu came in.

"Hey, what are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm peeling an orange." I reply.

"That's a fine looking orange. Why did you have to go and ruin it by peeling it?" he asks.

"Because I want to eat this fine looking orange." I reply.

"Oh! Excuses, excuses!" says Lao Tzu.


Later, I find Chung Tzu, who is hanging out with a few hobos under a railroad bridge. He looks scruffy, and they are sharing a bottle of Thunderbird in a paper bag.

"Here! Sit down with us and have a drink!" says Chung Tzu.

I sit down and have a big swig of Thunderbird. In a time, we are all drunk. A train goes overhead.

"Lao Tzu told me to leave oranges oranges." I say. "So how do you eat an orange?"

"Oh, that Lao Tzu!" says Chung Tzu, and he slaps his leg. "Lao Tzu is the best. You can't beat Lao Tzu!"

My New Religion

I'm ready now to invent a new religion. I don't know the specifics...but it will be funny, yet serious, impressive, yet humble, thoughtful, but not didactic, easy to pick up, but hard to put down, obvious, yet surprising, fresh, yet not a novelty, energetic, but not spastic, true, but not fatalistic, powerful, but not savage, informative, but not like Al Gore. I don't know if I'll have priests, or ordained ministers. I do know I'll want to encourage people practicing this religion to have skills -- they should possibly be able to change the oil on their own car, or have the determination to get though college in less than, say, 5 years. Churches are cool, churches are a great place to go inside when it is hot, because the right kind of church is cool and dark & mysterious inside with stained glass, so we'll have to have stained glass and that kind of thing. But I'd have to think about the layout, I don't like cruciform, and I also don't like circular layouts. There's much to consider, inventing a new religion. Try it sometime -- what kind of religion would you invent?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On the Watch List

You're on a watch list. One of a couple watch lists for suspected terrorists, complied by a myriad of federal government agencies that are overstaffed, over funded, and competing against one another. The problem is, you are so fucking BORING to watch. BORING! BORING! You don't go out enough, you stay in the house day after day in those old yellow pajamas and an old tee shirt and that ridiculous motorcycle jacket liner & you don't appear to comb your hair. Sometimes you wear mismatched socks -- what the hell is up with that? Match your damn socks! Get a damn haircut, and trim that weird goatee beard that looks right out of The Deerhunter. The beard thing looked good on Robert De Niro but you ain't no Robert De Niro -- not even close, buddy, okay? What the fuck else? Buy the cats dry cat food, stop using baby formula powder instead of milk in your coffee (that is so GROSS!), brush your teeth, put your damn clothes away, and clean up your office. Your office is disgusting! And file all those files piled up in the filing cabinets! Filing cabinets are for FILED FILES, not PILED FILES. And you're not acting like a terrorist, you have no terrorist friends, your family lives in Napa fer Christ's sake, we have no idea why you are on this list, but if you'd do something remotely terroristic, or questionable, we'd be so happy we haven't totally wasted our time. And have to watch your pathetic life. You overwrought bastard.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Poem - the midnight vote

the midnight vote
that's the biggest one
sealing thoughts
that normally float
free and easy
like butterflies

so i stay up
i recline on the couch
i watch the night get on
the stoplight at the corner
goes red green yellow red
with no cars

Friday, March 14, 2008


1. george mellon sat down one afternoon on the spur of the moment and even though he wasn't a novelist he wrote the greatest single book ever to be produced by mankind
2. everyone was very impressed so george was invited to appear on oprah. he also made a great deal of money giving a large sum to his mother who had paid for his college tuition at the international school of policy & research in escondido california
3. george named the book "fuck goddamn shit" which people found hard to accept. at first the book sold well outside the united states and other english speaking countries
4. he was invited to india and the former soviet union. he was invited to burma and the new nation of bunsawwalli -- the bunsawwallians wanted george to be their new god-king but george said no because he had allergies and was afraid of air-travel
5. george's portrait began appearing on calendars postal stamps bills of sale posters fruit stands newspapers magazines post cards and in national galleries
6. the people of america finally decided that "fuck goddamn shit" was not obscene in the sense of the novel. now the whole world embraced george and his work
7. fans wrote him long letters in all sorts of languages asking george if he knew about god puppies shoe laces unsolved murders conspiracy theories metaphysics semiotics cajun recipes ufos or how the stock market would be doing or if there would be war anywhere in the world and was it time for the people of this little blue planet to become enlightened
8. george got a full time secretary to coordinate the answering of his mail. the secretaries name was pam and she was pretty. pam had recently graduated from juilliard with a degree in music and had huge student loans, she had brown hair that smelled slightly of peppermint
9. in the following spring he was blown to bits by a bomb sent as a disguised medium sized box of flowers and assorted chocolates made from cruelty free manufacturing processes. everyone was very surprised george was gone and there was an extended inquiry into the circumstances of his assassination
10. his body was buried secretly by his relatives in a small rural cemetery that had not been used in over 100 years
11. george mellon author of the greatest novel ever written by mankind lays in a small grave with a tombstone naming him ARTHUR BRENTLEY
12. the only thing to add is pam drew a heart on the marker below the name with pink lipstick because it was the only thing she had to mark the grave under a wide wide blue sky

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

News - Apexart Show Cartoons

Some people have asked to see the work that was accepted for the April apexart cartoon show. If you want to see them, go over to my cartoon blog, I'm putting them up. Blogger is acting funny right now, but I'll get all four posted as soon as I can.

Monday, March 10, 2008

CM Evans @ Apexart & McSweeney's - April 2008

Big news! I've been invited by Dave Eggers to be a participant in a cartoon show at apexart in New York in April. The title of the show is "Lots of Things like This", and will feature 100 cartoons from blockbusting talents like Saul Steinberg, R. Crumb, William Steig, Ralph Steadman, Shel Silverstein, David Shrigley, Nedko Solakov...keerist the list goes on. There will even be work by Alasdair Gray, one of my favorite writers & illustrator. Topping it all off (if it could be topped off), McSweeney's will be publishing an edition that will be a companion to the show. My work will be in that publication too. I am frankly, totally amazed this is happening. Up to this point, I haven't been invited to be in anything, anywhere. If you love art, cartooning, or satire, you won't want to miss this installation. Opening is on April 2, from 6 - 8 PM. The show runs April 2 - May 10. If you make it out on April 2, I'll see you there!

James Bond's Gun

Though not technically crazy, he ruins the action movie for himself by trying to imagine what the world sounds like to James Bond's gun, if the gun could hear. Most of the time he thinks, the world would sound muffled. But when James Bond drives the tank through the wall, he thinks, wow, the gun would have definitely heard that!

My Turn Now

Do I write, do I draw, no. Do I write? No. Do I draw? No. Am I in 1975? No. Do I have a red suitcase, with a red suitcase inside the red suitcase? No. Is there a note inside the red suitcase, in the red suitcase? No.

What color is the stove? What color is the color blue? Is blue red? Is green white? Do all straight lines curve? Does everything that rises, converge? Is God the color of water? Did it rain last night? Was that evening purple, like soda bubbles?

Where is Small? Small is a cute bug. Small was small. Where did Small go? It is my turn to look for Small. I will find Small. When I see Small, I'll say, "Hello, Small!" Small will smile at me. Small will wave & I will wave back.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What I Want & What I Will Do

- I want to be as fox-crazy as Tom Cruise. Yeah, that crazy. Then I'd be able to scale tall buildings, playing the star spangled banner on a comb with a piece of wax paper, while turning all the water in the city of Chicago into peppermint schnapps.

- I will be known as "The Man in the Iron Mask", even though I have never worn, nor ever will possess an iron mask of any kind. I will be feared as this persona throughout the continental United States of America, and also especially in Australia, because of my maskless exploits.

- I will be held in high esteem while wearing a pope-like paper hat made from a shopping bag. Drawn on the front of the hat will be a cute kitty cat, but it won't appear to be silly in any way while on my noggen.

- Likewise, I will appear in public wearing a paper suit, with attractive shoes made of cardboard. I will move with the poise of Fred Astaire, virtually sipping Napoleon Brandy in my wild wild ways. Often in this getup, I'll do a quiet little dance in the mystery section of the Oak Park Public Library, 3rd floor, by the Swedish Detective Fiction. Hear me roar!

- Finally, I will convert my toaster oven into a time machine, in which I will be able to squeeze into, by using long forgotten techniques of Feudalistic Magic. After transporting myself to 5 million AD, I will battle the Morlocks and vanquish them, to found a new civilization where every citizen is a genius, and their children will write numerous ground-breaking novels about Tricopia, my favorite imaginary land of bountiful colors.

The die has been cast!