Wednesday, October 15, 2008


____The eyes are not here
____There are no eyes here
____In this valley of dying stars
____In this hollow valley
____This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

________Eliot, the Hollow Men

it makes it seem innocent, amalia chimera


____- the man is lucky in an unusual way. it only happens when we are walking- when we walk and we come upon a pedestrian crossing, it goes green. everytime. every_single_time.

____- what i had been told was entirely true. this must have been the best use of civic resources in a long time. inside the library three men and a girl sat, of varying degrees of homelessness. Gerald, African American 49, had a home, only that he despised it so much he spent as much time as possible away from it. His wife was Anne, she was one of those nagging creatures, and since he had lost his job in 2001, he hadn't the pluck to 'manage' her. Allain was the messiest of them all. 29, he wore army clothes and considered his life as a person of homeless-leanings to be the greatest battle of them all. He carried a canteen too, though filled with rum- he said 'in case of an emergency', which occurred sporadically throughout the day and usually abruptly ended around 3pm for lack of sufficient resources to continually pacify. Janice was only 15. She'd started coming recently, at first only a few times a week. Soon she realized what the rest of them already knew: home was no place she had ever heard of and school wasn't a place that had heard of her and cared to remember her name. And finally, Jimmy. It was customary to address Jimmy with absurd linguistic improvisations on his name. Gerald favored Jimmy.jummo.tastic. Janice liked Jam.jamster.jay. Allain was classiest of them all: Jimjob. Jimmy was an even 40 years old, once a teacher, twice a heroine fiend, and always a first class intellect. The conversation was exciting and bold and occasionally would get loud enough to warrant the library-staff suggesting that the heated discussion of Bleak House might be better suited to the grass lawn out the back of the premises. There they'd scream and shout, and that failing, would occasionally knock each other about (mindful of each other's teeth they'd never strike for the face- though pulling hair was permitted). Ya mutha fu*&in piece of crap JimmyJobFu&*er- you know as well as the rest Schubert the sonna-bitch was a craftsman of the highest order who innovated relentlessly with both tonality and form! Out of boredom, they had recently taken to sitting in the booths and listening to classical music. At first the practice was sophomoric, and especially Allain who occasionally had trouble sleeping solidly on the streets found it highly effective, but in time, grew rather pleasant. Armed with the booklet notes on the insides of the CD, and whatever books they could find on the subject, the music score and so on, they had become rather proficient amateur music-critics.Occasionally they were banned from the booths, once because Janice lit-up a joint, and twice because Gerald was spotted masturbating, and all three times the quartet was banned from using the music-listening-resources for a full month. During those times they would catch up on their Fellini and Hitchcock in the video rooms, argue about the failures of democracy due to an uninvolved, lazy, and ill-informed citizenry, and decide that Gerald should go home to his wife on Thursday to smuggle out of her kitchen enough food he would hand out on Friday, so as to last them till Monday when they would reconvene.
Suck my balls Allain- what Schubert did was soo preliminary and rudimentary in the greater scheme of things, that we might as well assume nothing got done at all till Beethoven showed up- and not done properly till Wagner and Brahms.

You high again JimJob? You freaking need a canteen break dickface? don't even bring up no bisexual Wagner! that's not even fair, you can't jump 100 years from classicism to chromaticism! that's not even... that's... you're high man!

I had been told, in no uncertain terms, that the library on Santa Monica and Sepulveda had the best educated homeless quartet this side of Stanford goddamn University. I decided to step into the fray with a trick question of sorts, to catch them out:

Hey guys, you have to admit though, the very frequent keychanges in Schubert can be considered audacious and the habit of modulating his recapitulations to the subdominant was innovative-

JimmyJay, you know who this dickhead is?

____- a man named Robert was the first to move there. Promptly following his divorce, he drove out to the frontier-limit of suburban development, then drove on another fifteen minutes, found a plot of dirt and weeds, and said to the agent: "check if i can build on it, if so, let's buy".
____It was a full six months that passed before even the first of them showed up. The first time it was some young kid, junked up and high as a kite and wondered off the highway after his ride decided it had been a mistake to pick the hitchhiker up and had promptly pushed him back out. Robert had been to scared to open the door to him, but in the morning, asleep on the patch of near-red dirt at the front of his place, he decided there was something nice about the kid. Oddly enough, it turned out that Robert's premises somehow made Krow immune to his addiction.
____Before Robert even had time to sort out what he'd do about the new perturbation to his once-perfect life, the sexualists showed up. Sassy Sass and Class Clay were 40 year old swingers who had decided to start a sex cult. Having failed (on account of aesthetic shortcomings) to recruit enthusiastic orgyists, they had packed a suitcase full of leather and whips and toys, and a second of clean-cut conservative clothing and headed out away from the town knocking on doors randomly to make their case for sex-instead-of-religion. They had hoped to find some keen older gentlemen who would let them stay in his home, but it seemed they knocked on the wrong doors. For a period of two weeks they did sleep secretly in the cubby-house of an overweight 15 year old with a seemingly indefatigable erection. Though they had promised to include him in their religion, some legal considerations prevented his full inclusion- though they found other ways of appeasing him in the short term. When his mother eventually found them one day in the cubby-house at 2pm on a Tuesday, while little Marcus was at school, they freaked and ran and took the train as far out as they could in fear of legal tailing and eventual prosecution. Though none of that entailed. Truth be told, Marcus's mother assumed them harmless homeless wanderers and not middle-aged aspiring sexual deviants. Eventually finding their way to Robert's door, he laughed openly at their proposal and blushed (though secretly, worried a little bit that Krow might be taken in by their propaganda). Though Krow was interested, it turned out he was not miraculously immune from his biannual bouts of Hep C on the premises. Robert assured Sassy Sass and Classy Clay they would be welcome to stay in the home for "a while, just until the whole thing dies down", on the basis that they kept the leather and whips and games entirely to themselves. Disheartened somewhat, but with nowhere else to go, the couple opened suitcase number 2, and had been living harmoniously with the other two- though occasionally Sassy Sass would attempt a titillating rendition of Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend during Friday-karaoke in hopes of an all-in romp.

____- i am angry about my past. and need somewhere to vent it. something i've been meaning to write is a strange, chapterless novella cum polemic titled Things I Said At My Sister's Funeral, a Eulogy. Truth is though... i'm not... the point of this work is to deal in a literary way once and for all with my sister's disability. But i'm not ready to do that, i'm too proud of her right now. far too proud.

____- what the left hand said to the right hand while the rest was asleep and the ears were distracted listening to cars sputter past throwing the darkness of night this way or that in scattered fragments of headlight lamps in triangular and pyramid shapes casting doubt on tree trunks and truth on the endlessness of roads that only turn back around when you finally get to the free air of the ocean and make you confront (once you're that far and there's nothing left ahead) the past that's behind and was waiting for you the whole time watching you slide past and thinking to herself: you'll be right back my friend, right back, and when you are right back, i'll be right here waiting for you. and time is an endlessly patient bitch.

____- calamity jane

____- a precocious teenager named Q who read a book called Eroticism in Western Art at age 16 and made strategic mistakes such that at age 25 he was considered 'wasted'.

____- the first miracle i remember about my life (truestory) involves the white plastic rook of a chess-set that i used as a child in Los Angeles. After my parents' first separation (the intermission immediately preceding the final act) my mother packed two bags, grabbed my sister (then aged five she didn't have a wheelchair, she would sit in a stroller) and me, and took us to Australia. In the airport at LAX waiting for our flight, we played a little game of chess. I set the pieces out, but three moves into the game (me, then her, then my turn) i knocked the rook off the board. it fell to the floor and for whatever reason would not present itself despite my most ardent looking. Frightened that i would wander too far and be kidnapped by malevolent men who would rape me or sell my organs on the black market, my mother forbid further hunting for the lost rook and i proceeded to finish the game using a small eraser as a replacement. Arriving in Australia, we were gifted a much larger two-toned check patterned wooden board with green fabric lining underneath so it wouldn't slide around. Rather excited by this prospect, we removed the chess pieces (minus one rook, plus one eraser) into a small plastic container, threw away the cheap plastic fold-up board, and used the new wooden one. For roughly 9 years, across the span of four houses (two of which were homes), two divorces, one marriage, we used said pieces, plus eraser, in a container, plus wooden board for occasional games of chess. Finally, in the year 2001 or 2002, after a good year and a half of neglect, mom decided she'd sit with me and play a game of chess (she being secretly crushed i had grown-up to favor chess to the more Oriental backgammon, or, as mom would put it: backgammon is a game that involves chance- which means it is a game that is like life, chance and skill are needed. Chess is too rigid, there is no chance, it is a game that involves only skill, and so... it is not life-like... it is a false-dream one shouldn't dare to indulge. God punishes people who indulge that dream. And I'd learn about 9 years later how right she was). Opening the plastic container i found i had an extra, unnecessary eraser. Thinking perhaps myself insane, i looked closely at the board: and there, standing proud, 32 pieces, with an ancient eraser in my palm. A full-scale investigation later, no one could account for how or, more philosophically significant: why a rook lost a decade prior in another hemisphere should reappear into our lives. This story is entirely true, and continues to haunt me today.


martha said...

remember what i told you about the goblins, q??

a penny for the old guy said...

i continue to find no alternative but to agree.