Friday, January 29, 2010

Fortune Cookie

Ordering chinese food, I got a fortune cookie, and this is what it said:

"The Paradox of any Loving Relationship is: If a Woman does not Hate her Man on a Certain Level, the Relationship will not Last. 10 22 33 45 68 21"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poem - the faint star has set

the faint star has set
no

there it is
hidden in the branches
of a tree

i go inside
walk up the back stair

please
nobody hear me

nobody hear me

Poem - know everything is fine

i wake up in the middle of the night
stay up in the middle of the night

i watch my 3 year old son sleep in his cot
know everything is fine

outside it is velvet dark and cold
like an obsidian mask

-----

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

News - CM Evans Cartoons in Dear Sir, Opium .print 9 & McSweeney's "More Things Like This"


News, news, and more news -- belated news, but worth mentioning. I have a cartoon appearing in Dear Sir, a wonderful online lit-zine, edited by Sandra Huber. I also have cartoons in the McSweeney publication, "More Things Like This" -- a sweet coffee table 4 color hard-cover book that details and expands on the cartoon show "Lots of Things Like This" that was installed at apexart in New York City in April of 2008. And last, but not least, Opium Magazine was kind to include some of my cartoons in the "Mania Issue" of Opium Magazine .print, issue no. 9. Opium Magazine, online and in print and the LDM's, still going strong. Thanks to everyone who expressed interest & wanted to publish my work. I do appreciate it.

News - CM Evans Cartoons Being Updated Again

Here's some changes: After an unintended hiatus by being obsessed almost exclusively with writing, I'm updating CM Evans Cartoons again, a few times per week with new work. And I'm also updating my cartoon blog "HP Lovecraft Might be my Paperboy" that is associated with it. Drop by sometime.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Poem - 12/25/2010

i heard someone say today
they were happy
and there was no elaboration
on why or how or if it was
with this or that
i didn't ask because

they felt happy
everything else remained
beautifully unsaid & in fact
we are free to imagine
any kind of happiness
so free as that

it might be a new job
an old lover finding a friend
a day that started bad but
ended up good or
remembering a moment
that was thought lost

so precious is the state
when you realize you are happy
you might see
we're all happy all the time
but we can get distracted
and
think we're sad

Monday, January 18, 2010

Poem - materials

i.

when he takes a walk
he brings a pad of paper this time
because he knows he'll think of something
and to not have a pad of paper
is kinda like going to hell

he goes for his walk
sure enough he thinks of something
takes out the pad of paper
and has no pen to write with

ii.

when he takes a walk
he brings a dark felt tipped pen
the very kind of pen he likes the best to write
because having a pad of paper and no pen
when a thought comes up
is kinda like going to hell

he goes for a walk
sure enough he thinks of something
takes out the dark felt tipped pen
but has no paper to write with

iii.

the next time he leaves the house
to go out for any reason he brings pen and paper
to prove he can learn from his mistakes
and everything is fine
he's out there he's got his materials
he won't miss a thing this time

as he goes about ready to capture a thought
he has no thoughts at all
not one goddamn concept story or poem
not even a goddamn limerick

Poem - in my shoes

for my son, Daniel, 3

i have coins in my shoes
i have plastic farm animals in my shoes
i have dominos in my shoes
there are legos
oreo cookies
gum wrappers
hotwheels cars
toy robots
tv remotes
cheetos &
small rocks yes

all in my shoes

Friday, January 15, 2010

Poem - as useful as

i miss you
but i was to you

as useful as
a typewriter

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poem - and i have even more to learn now

why does disapproval last for so long
it seems stronger than everything in the world
even outlasting the capacity to love
only a fool would not give up

but the motion to love
so subtle and absolutely prevalent
cannot be argued against
cannot be quenched

ok then we'll go on down the road
i guess it ain't as bad as it seems
i've gotten to know all about love
and i have even more to learn now

plus there are dishes to be done
laundry begging to be folded
stories to be told & fond lies
to be said

--------

For Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poem - for 42 years old

my hands look old
and i observe the gray hairs
why do they only show on the left side
of my face?

dripping dripping as i hear
for a january thaw all sun out
tomorrow 40 degrees
for 42 years old.

-----------

Oak Park
Winter, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Linji Bunny

In the backyard, I made an imprint of a Buddha in the snow today. When I walked inside and shut the door, I looked out and saw a bunny run through the yard and it decimated the imprint in a twinkle. Imagine that Linji, the bunny must have seen Buddha in the snowbank and ran & killed Buddha!

-----------

"Students today can't get anywhere: What ails you? Lack of faith in yourself is what ails you."

Rinzai Roku

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

Oak Park
January, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Goodbye, John

During my trip to San Francisco, I found out that John McGuinness, a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for a number of years, was killed riding his motorcycle. I met John while working as a counselor at a summer camp in Northern California. Then, as in the tributes I've read about him, he was smart, funny, generous, and caring. He had an irrepressible smile and was great with the kids he counseled -- I think John was one of the best summer camp counselors I ever worked with. Above all, he was a unique and wonderful person, he carried this through all the days of his life.

John died in early September -- September 11th precisely, riding to work. Like many motorcyclists, he was splitting lanes due to slow traffic -- in most states motorcyclists are allowed to do this because if you don't, the bike will overheat. It can be done safely, but there is a degree of chance. You're hoping the automobiles ahead of you are paying attention as you approach them, and they won't do anything crazy like pull towards you as you pass, or even throw a cup of coffee in your face because they're pissed you're on a motorcycle and somehow winning a contest on who can get through traffic faster. Eventually through riding and close calls, all motorcyclists get to know one certainty: anybody can crash. If you're lucky, you'll be around to crash more than once.

I had a motorcycle accident. Too much speed around a blind corner to find a tight turn ahead. My braking put the bike into a shimmy. I was thrown off the front like a spear, landed on my helmet, saw the asphalt grinding past my face shield inches from my eyes as I slid on my head. The motorcycle was damaged enough to be a total loss, I shattered my wrist. For quite awhile I longed to get another motorcycle -- motorcycles are as fun as they can be dangerous. But when I heard that John was killed -- John who has ridden motorcycles constantly his whole life -- I realized that I'm never going to ride again. If John can get killed on a bike, I don't stand a chance.

Living near Chicago, in Illinois, a state that doesn't have a helmet law, every time I see a motorcyclist out on the road without a helmet, in cut-off jeans, no jacket and flip-flops, I get a chill up my spine. This was before I knew about John's accident, John who rode smart and with the right gear and the proper helmet. Now when I see someone doing something stupid like this -- riding without any safety gear whatsoever, with no conception of what it would be like to fly off the bike and hit the asphalt at 50 miles per hour, I think I might cry.

But one of John's co-workers summed it up, saying, "I feel that John, with his energetic, forward-looking nature would not want us to brood too long, but to send him our most loving thoughts." So John McGuinness, I'll miss you, I send to you and your family all my love, and like the song goes:

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again
Some sunny day....


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

Dedicated to John Edward McGuinness
December 14, 1963 - September 11, 2008

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Poem - and after that

for Paul Maddalena

-----

look over there
with me

look over
fields surrounded
by muted hillsides
when it rains
the church far away
normally a dusty
peach color

glows radiantly
bright pink
standing out
while about ready
to fly away
from such
drab
surroundings

i think
when it rains
god must go over there
and do something fun
like
to serve free ice cream

and after that
take a nice long
nap

Poem - in the end this journey

try to get it right
comes out mangled flat
lopsided

plan for all contingencies
something happens didn't
see it coming

like everyone else go through
a period of embarrassing
prolonged settling

get along down the road
down the path but it
never seems to make any
difference

but in the end this journey
is much more than we are
prepared to accept

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

for

Jim Sorrells
English 4A
May 26, 1987

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In the Tenderloin

In the Tenderloin, there was a transvestite named Queenie. She was a statuesque platinum blond, a buxom 6 foot 6 inch girl that was 230 pounds of pure, unadulterated menace. Rumor had it she was the neighborhood drug distributor, for the Hells Angels.

She took a liking to my friend Lewis, because he'd go to the same bar Queenie did, night after night. She considered it her job to protect him, because in Queenie's expert street opinion, Lewis was so skinny & wearing glasses -- he'd never last a minute unless everyone knew he was her responsibility. This estimation was partially true, but Lewis has this uncanny karmic ability to float like the proverbial duck through any kind of rough situation Lewis (or a duck) might get into.

Which is why he got along with Queenie -- she was violent, drunk and half crazy. Lewis asked if the Hells Angels kicked her out when she became Queenie, she said gruff baritone "Once you're in, you're in forever. They don't care -- just never fuck up!" Then Queenie would take Lewis under one of her giant biceps and pat him so roughly and fondly his glasses would fall off. "You let me know if you ever need the Reds to come here and settle any situation for you." Queenie never called the Hells Angels "The Hells Angels" -- it was always "The Reds".

A few months later, Lewis entered the bar and saw Queenie in the corner, looking poorly. She was in a sheer metallic lame' dress, mascara melted, her hair looking matted. "Queenie, are you okay?" asked Lewis. "No, I'm not." said Queenie in her gruff loud voice, "I'm fucked up, and none of these useless fucking cocksuckers will help me out! I want to go home. Take me home, Lewis." "Sure thing." said Lewis, wondering how he'd get giant Queenie, drunk, in her lame' dress & 6 inch gold pumps to wherever she lived. "C'mon! Lemme lean on you. It ain't far fer Christ's sake!"

They managed to get out the door of the bar, and onto the street. Queenie was swaying, and each time she leaned on Lewis, it was like a ton of bricks. They crossed the street, walked down a alley, and there was a side door, ajar. "Those fuckers!" said Queenie. "Always trying to rip me off. We gotta go up." "How many flights?" asked Lewis. "Three." said Queenie.

Somehow Lewis and Queenie managed to negotiate the three treacherous flights of back stairs. When they got to the top, Lewis tried to open the door, and found it was locked. At that point, because Lewis had shifted his weight, Queenie collapsed on the landing, shaking the building. My friend found her purse, and extracted a wad of keys -- after the 8th one, he got the door open. Somehow he managed to drag Queenie into the flat, and flop her onto the couch, the only place to sleep in the place. It was 4 in the morning, and he was done with the task. Lewis wanted to go home, he wanted to get the hell out of there. He paused.

Under the swaying lamp, he looked at Queenie, dead passed out, snoring. Lewis smoothed out her dress, so it looked right -- took off her shoes & put a pillow under her head. More explosive snoring from tired out Queenie. He watched over her for a few minutes while the snoring calmed down to a smooth, even inhale and exhale of breath. When she seemed settled, Lewis tiptoed down the hall. As he locked the door behind him, Queenie began to groan like she was going to vomit, or die. Lewis got home to his own little apartment 4 blocks away, tremblingly tiredly unlocking his own door he fell into bed and remembered nothing for a long time.

Lewis didn't see Queenie for a few weeks. One day he heard she had overdosed a few days after he had helped her get home. But in life stories like this, nothing is certain. Queenie could have decided on the spur to leave for someplace else & get a new start -- Vegas, LA, Phoenix -- and not bothered to tell anyone.