Tuesday, December 30, 2008



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.


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:


1968 - 20--


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.


A Journey in Eight Poems

On The Road

deep into
treacherous godforsaken
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


i shall

not see thee
in the morning
because thou


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



Anything To Escape

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




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

in this way
a potential
is considerably


Shit Out Of A Sweater

punches me in
the stomach

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

"you can't
into a
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

he young beautiful
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

i would
love all women

if i were
less discerning

or more

i would prefer
to me more
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


- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

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

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


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

you died when you were 40

as could be with that huge ranch

house burned to the ground

41 years old with little prospects

everything i have is on fire

good news for me is i'm alive

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


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



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.


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.