Saturday, October 31, 2009

3am cereal eaters / nocturne / notapoem

yours are the poems i cannot write
there being nothing left to say
___these are surplus hours of the calender
___time filled with reverberations ,
___the static of not-yet-forgotten-but-almost-so memory

avail ourselves of the last of the milk. one bowl if not two.
flip through magazines
stare at tabletops
___(but 2-minute noodles i save for special occasions, it being a comfort food)

late-night internet porn, television infomercials, sitting on the ball
_and waiting it out, dear day:
__it appears you have forgotten to end __(these are the ghosts of our calenders)
_or my own rebelling against sleep, so what?, a man needs some time alone with his breath.
___(but also time is like darkness, a nothing that's worth reaching for. once, twice, i swear
___i felt something. hard. with certain edges perhaps. just a split second i could distinguish
___here from now, and then from everything.
______(the phantasm from 2pm walks by and drops a potato chip)

night and time, fluid quantities, sink to fill-in cracks and voids, encompass all empty spaces,
lungs and memory and rooms full of inanimate objects with impossible lips.
say what you will my bookshelf breathes. (i hear cracked tree-branches crying softly)

and the dreams i should have had, those waiting for their cue to charge, crouch behind the door leading to the bathroom and under the coffee table.
bison and unicorns.
thatched roofs.
the shapes of women's bodies.
dead grandfathers.
once in a savannah i died. once down a hill i ran. once i waited for a bus. once i had sex in a monastery.
i do not sleep and the dreams impatient as ever bite their teeth and curse me you f*cker we have a schedule to keep! (i smile all my black teeth to them)

hinged between unended today and unbegan tomorrow.
___my nose drips i rub it with my sleeve.
___i sit on the same couch but my weight is different.
___put a bowl still lined with light-bone milk , the blood of our stone moon , in the sink.

another hour.
an other our

the stone of time to come , someone left it in my hands. grows heavy don'tchya think?

stillness is a kingdom all on its own.
freedom from speech,
and all our other unclaimed rights.

encompasses all empty spaces.
a moving convergence point.
once i thought i touched it and it made sense ,
later i found i was wrong.
here is a stack of papers. here a conversation with my dead grandfather.
here is a bowl of cereal, here is the assumption of tomorrow.
the barrier my skin provides is too thin, penetrable:

night and time, the stone of all to come, fluid quantities, fill in voids,
and things that don't exist anymore become too heavy to carry

though i have no words to tell of it,
and thoughts are expendable.

there is nothing left to say,
these are the poems i cannot write.

and so,


no, i can't have feelings right now. i'm serious. i took a dexie just to come out, just so... i don't wanna deal with it ya know?
i nod. i haven't had a feeling in months i tell her. i cannot smile as i say it.
so where are you gonna be for semester break?, i'm gonna be around, we should do a trip or something, the two of us.
i nod. yah. yah, maybe. we always say we're gonna hang.
i know. but then one of us ends up seeing someone.
did you guys break up?
yah [shrug].
___i'm seeing someone.


a girl in a short white skirt and a sailor cap sits sideways in his lap. he squeezes her and her dress rides up. her knee-high socks end and it's just skin. three girls sit besides me on one couch and pretend not to notice. two guys and a girl sit besides me on the other couch and cheer and laugh. i look to a girl, she looks at me. funny, usually you have to give your credit card number to see a show like this. she wasn't amused by that. so what are you dressed up as? i ask. pipi-longstalking she says. and points to her braided hair and mismatched knee-high socks. she looks nothing alike. oh yeah, how'd i miss that. she nods, then asks me what i'm dressed up as. oh, no, this is how i normally dress. i'm just me tonight. she smiles awkwardly and looks away, bumping her vision into the couple on second base, and then looks to the floor. i stare at her and enjoy her discomfort a moment because i'm not affected at all. someone sneaks up on the couple making out and poses, a picture is taken. i hear whistling. besides me Juno shakes her head, oh god, and puts her head on my shoulder.


two bumblebees. their friend is dressed like a fireman and she rubs herself against me. on the stage a darkskinned guy sweats in a lycra Robin suit. Batman's not far from him, tongue down a fairy's throat. (the third fairy tonight). the strobe comes on and off irregularly. just a flash here, then, who can tell when the nex- goddam it. there it is. a boyscout. a boxer. the sixth Michael Jackson i've seen. Mr. T grasps Cleopatra's boobs from behind. strobe. strobe. ... .. strobe. .. , strobe. i can't take it, it feels like an involuntary subliminal reprogramming of my brain. i shut my eyes tight but open them in time for another flash. f*ck this, i walk off the dancefloor.


__- because you don't look like you can pull it off.
__- f*ck you i can't pull it off!, yes i can.
__- i don't think so. you're just not... devilish enough.
she's actually annoyed. i don't really care. i don't even know what i'm saying, i was having a nice conversation with a female Where's Wally and i'm sorry to have been interrupted by she-devil.
__- so you are trying to tell me you're the last honest man alive?
yes i say.
__- i am the only person left who will answer anything you ask me honestly, for better or worse. and make no mistake, it gets me into a lot of trouble.
__- i bet
__- [nod]
__- fine, so... what's the craziest sexual escapade you've ever done?
oh god.
__- why does everyone... why is everyone soo... concerned with... sex! seriously, for the sake of the world, i think we need to have once-a-month orgy days. i mean it. on the 12th day of every month, if you step outta your house between the hours of 3 and 9 in the pm, then, it's fair game, you just get it on with everyone else that's walking about. [she's laughing, you're crazy!] no way dude, people are too preoccupied with this, the world just needs a once-a-month orgy day to let loose and get sum'sum' [two girls in nurse uniforms covered in splattered blood stains, and with speckles of blood on their faces walk past. excuse me i say, you two are incredible they don't really smile back they just give me blank stares for a second i think maybe it's not an outfit at all. seriously, the short-skirted nurse outfit and the gore... totally turning me on.
__- So, are you gonna answer my question? [the nurses take this opportunity to move away
__- __what? ___oh.__ right, __well, this one time, it started on


as i walk towards the exit a girl jumps in my path and puts her arms around me. i move in time with her. curiosity gets the better of me, i want to see what she'll do. the answer comes as soon as i think it, without hesitation her lips on my cheek, a thick tongue, i pull back sorry, i have a girlfriend. she looks soo disappointed i actually feel bad. oh, sorry she says but i've already started walking on. a Buddhist monk. a football player. a girl with a zoro-mask.

i stop at the bottom of the stairwell. staring at the street beyond. i hate leaving. it scares me. the drive home, the sounds the car makes. twitching at red lights. how quiet it is when you finally turn the car off in the driveway. empty houses. three am. undressing. brushing teeth. i feel nauseous. anxious. a caveman shoulders me aside and walks on. i lean on the wall. Minnie Mouse screams QQQQQqqq!!! i look up, she's waiting in the line to get in.


which reminds me, do you still have the dexies?
give me some?
are you still taking them?
breakfast lunch and dinner. haven't made a joke or felt a thing in months.
oh god, perfect.
why'd you breakup?
he did.
he's leaving anyway right?
yeah yeah blah blah, people say that, but it's not soo easy in practice.
of course not. in practice it's a bitch.
[nods] just want to block it out till it all blows over.
sounds like a fair strategy.
works for you?
rather, makes me work - __function, ... youknowwhatimean.


wet streets.
everywhere teenagers in the streets.
naked skinny legs and shoes dangling from hands.
clouds part to show a yellow eye. circular tooth in the sky.
aged bone.
the car... silence.
empty house.
garbage bins are still by the sidewalk, i roll them in.

function, ... youknowwhatimean. (let's go Q, get on with it.

i walk towards the door.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

writer's block

venice beach b-ball, mike cole

if there are reasons for it, then i do not know them. wells dry up, maybe that's all there is to it, everything in its season and some seasons there's less to be said. all there is to it, end of story.


it is sunny outside but not warm. breakfast has been eaten with coffee. conversation. afterwards, tea. we wore cardigans and mummbled about getting out of bed. we showered together or alone, standing there eyes closed while she sponged our front and turned us around and sponged our back, kissing this and that lightly. you slept terribly she says and i nod in response. try and explain the dreams but only remember the last two which i can't put into somnabulist-words:

outback station, middle of nowhere, i needed to shower but you said watch for the kangeroos - but were bison, with massive horns terrifying you guarded the door i could see them and inside it was cracked and no windows , like a steam-room and humid and insects and scary the roof broke a mouse fell out looking skinless and naked and ill and

ssshhh, stop stop. so i stop. brush teeth with our eyes closed.

the end someone runs for a lake. i am in a towel and they try and save someone. but can't and actually wait by saving them in trying to shoot them in the hand with a gun dilute red blood all over the no one notices me i stand and watch the bison there too still scary as all f*ck

she swallows water and spits it out on my face and half-asleep i smile.


it is sunny outside but not warm. breakfast has been eaten with coffee. conversation. afterwards, tea. we wore cardigans and mummbled about getting out of bed. and now in third gear the day is probably able to take over and cruise along. ticking at its own pace and timing its own events and managing its own disasters. (and the tea by my hand is cold i just know it is i don't want to touch it to know for sure i'd find that disappointing).

i listen to music and struggle to think about what to write about and what's worth describing because perhaps one ought to just shut-up and live life without narrating it.



we are not children , same as we're not stars nor are we dream-sick carpet weavers or freakishly good emotion-managers ditto not professional ball-players or their highly-payed coach-uniformed decision makers. we, at least no one i know, is a blueberry muffin or a collective unconscious. not vanilla bean aroma or ludicrous court-jesters. we're not convenient-travel same as we're not dependable geography same as we're not patient geology. we are not children, which is why we forget to note when we are scared, and when eventually notice, remember to breathe again (why we are blue as sky flakes and sky feathers and sky rocks and sky). we are not archeologists and we are not catastrophists and our names do not rhyme with cataclysm or discography. we know words now and names now and can describe things like hillocks and shoals and tropical vegatation - which is why it surpises me that we do not know the names of the things that scare us or have information about where they hide in fact we do not know we are scared at all. (why we are blue as tulip smiles and orthodox church roofs and labratory test-tube salt-precipitation reaction experiments). we are not hollywood stuntmen so we are not paid for our bruises, we are Thursday 11:03 volunteers, same as we're not carousel operators or daffodil trainers or stay-at-home-crying-mothers. unless if we are these things.

where are our children gone?, the streets are too quiet with the sounds of the things that scare us and there's not a cartographer amongst us to draw a fear of rainbows or a linguist to dinstinguish a Richard from an arachnophobia or a poet to draw the boundary between a feel like i'm falling from an i didn't know i had landed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


untitled, james.mcloughlin

what's wrong? she asks. i scratch my head awkwardly. i dun know i dun know. i feel numb i can't feel anything she gives me a worried glance. i stand in the middle of the room and stare at the lights made by the computer and speakers. little white LEDs. everything's black and white she says. she's right, i hadn't thought of it like that. it is. her curtains never let any light in, it's the darkest room i've ever seen - besides six white LED lights.___ i stare at the fan above my head, not able to move away from the center of the room. the XX plays on, god i love this cd.

___come here i'm beckoned. softly. it feels weird to be kissed. she asked if it annoys me when she strokes my arm. i don't know. it used to be pleasant. it should be pleasant. something's wrong yes, i nod. what? i don't know babe.


Mon 2:22am.

i tried cereal.

there's no nocturne here to write about. there is nothing to describe. everything is just where it is. that's all.


he lived in the upstairs room. eight years ago he said he was going/coming to follow his dreams. i'm not sure if anyone believed him even then. and he said he'd stick around a little while until he got himself sorted. bought a pack of cigarettes. walked to the park and shot some hoops. laughed late into the night watching stand-up comedy videos.
___two years later his mattress had black holes from cigarettes buds. he'd found a stray cat who'd sit outside his window. he'd jammed open the fly screen to let her in and she'd come and go. he'd wear something till the sweat marks became conspicuous, then he'd put it in a garbage bag and buy something else. he'd call them laundry, but he never did any. one day he came home and said he'd lost the car. an accident. arm in a cast. nothing else to say about it, he opened a fresh pack of smokes and busied himself until the doctor told him his bone hadn't fused straight because of them.
___he got fat. lost some hair. for a while he worked somewhere or somewhere else. but that's pretty much it. the rest of the time he sat in his room. nursing something even i can't conceive. red eyes and discernible sadness. sure you can smell the weed, but, at this point, what difference does it make? wanna get something to eat he asks? sure, sure, why not.
___when we were kids we'd laugh about how many cookies we could fit into our mouths. we hid the stack of porn in my room and we'd thank god everyday we found it all under a shrub in the gully. got into a huge fight once over his borrowing my ruler. he'd call Chopin chop-in to irk me, and we'd laugh about his marijuana anonymous meetings. J-O anonymous, that's what you need Q, jerk-off anonymous, and i'd crack up.
___so we eat. we shoot some hoops. we get pizza at a store outside of Universal Studios. once we saw a two-headed cobra at LA zoo together. true story. miracle, we saw miracles together. anyway the letters from the IRA and another speeding ticket just sit on the stairs waiting for him to pick up on his way up. he doesn't. no job in years. four? five? who knows now. he was away someone broke into his room it smelled funny. water bottles filled with urine lined the walls. laziness i guess, it's hard to get up sometimes. we can all understand that. mattress as an ashtray and cat hair everywhere. mounds of clothes, yellow as teeth get. unopened letters all over the place. a stack of porn (nice to see he kept the collection going). 14, maybe 18 empty cigarette packs and a couple of lighters. some burnt CDs. a basketball looking a little deflated.
___a good shadow can be hard to find. get it right you wanna hold on to it. a second car disappeared a little while later. his folks bought him a new one. expensive dream to follow this one. aren't they all? white socks with flip-flops. tease it all you want, we've all done that. he comes down into the kitchen and tells my sister to f*ck herself. she responds in kind. he drinks milk out the bottle. always has, always will. smoked as long as i remember. made me watch a propaganda documentary called Weed once - how great for us it was. whatever does it for you buddy. some like a puff of haze, some a flint-shaped pill. some like it in bottle, others like $60 for half and half. a cousin of mine goes for a massage. the gym. this guy i knew from school, he'd get worked up he'd go to a bar and find someone twice his size and pick a fight. seemed to work for him.
___when i get there he's left a tshirt for me. it has a music score printed on it. it's the first Bach sonata for solo violin. i know the image, it's Bach's handwriting. the d-minor sonata, look at that. it's gorgeous, soft too. makes me sad. the tshirt. the first-movement adagio. especially him. big cities... fall through the cracks. maybe that's all it is. just a little while until he got himself sorted out. we saw a two-headed cobra once. they're rare. turns out the two heads are always fighting. eventually one kills the other. and the weight of its death, carrying the limp head all over town tires the other out.

it's a big city. it's nice for driving around in. he knows a spot, best place to eat at 2am. sure, sure. like the ol' days i say.


Mon 2:59am.

time. ______?

i don't know.

must be something.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

happy piece

um, call. matt caplin


we repeatedly listen to songs because we are not done extracting the air from them.

because babies dance i have faith the world will be ok.

dear dead grandfather, how close we are at last.

has happiness changed meaning over the years? when did it go from being the sun on my legs to being someone else's (merely) idea?

today, between the sun and the cement, there were two legs. mine. (happiness is made from such small bricks)

it's a miracle we found each other. remember that.

there's this necklace: an icecream scoop shape made of little diamonds, pink and white. because i knew it was yours, i liked it near me. it's hard to explain.

if we have failed, it is only at winning. but this is not a win or lose game. it's not even a game.

my body grows old absorbing memories. one day i will have more memories than body.

silence is full of stories.


when i feel like this it is hard to communicate , if only i could fit an orgasm into a balloon , and you breathe it in. then you'd know. how time is irrelevant. how if you are still you can feel it , i am either dizzy or i can sense the earth turning , the water in my brain considers itself one with the celestial tide. love is not a feeling , not a sensation .. it is a knowledge. fact. it is nice when things exist without qualification. it seems i will never tire of touching women's feet , eating green apples , wrestling with children. if i could sing i would do it all the time. i would find the melodies you hid behind your ear- where it is perfect to kiss , i would repeat the things the daisy told me , after i make my wish, and blow the eyelash away, it leaves a fossil in the air - one note, held. poetry is always a language for madmen.


the novel grows in my head. story after story. Dr. Li and Selina, whom he loved but could not confess to. Orestes decides to take a job at the Collinswood cemetery where he can sweep leaves and look for the oldest gravestones. all those people on trains, i'm sure they have names. the homeless man who lived under the bridge, for whom i would steal muffins from Starbucks and hand to him on my walk home, who would call me the muffin man the muffin man. my sister, her name is Sahar, who has only one foot in this world, and the other is somewhere else. if only when we slept, we could all close our eyes, and whisper into one another's ears all the things that we had discovered , so that when we woke in the morning i could cook and you could distinguish Bach from Handel and someone entirely else would know contentment. that's one we'd all pass around. a strange panacea , a heroin for the soul. perhaps when i shake my prayer book a powder will spill into my lap. and while we sleep we will dream of our first kisses. of sitting on trains, going from Hamburg to Prague, recently recovered from a fever, obsessed with the colour white. dreaming of babies' little fingers , endless bookshelves , autobiographies that end with the word _r e d e m p t i o n_, of the first time you read Neruda , heard Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel. when you walk through the door i'm going to kiss you soo softly you'll think i'm a ghost. and we'll dance in the hallway and you'll think i'm crazy. and i'll kiss your chest and bite your clavicles. smell your hair. and while we sleep every night every soundless paw of it will slide around us like satin or time or silence and absorb us and for once: we will feel included. and when we wake, we'd brush our teeth and change out of our pajamas and when i put my key in the ignition of my car i will hear repeated - and when i open the mailbox and when i stir my coffee and when someone says hello what i'll really be hearing repeated - and when i fall asleep in my chair in the afternoon and when i pee at the urinal and when i underline words on paper, also when i shake hands and when i unlace shoes and hidden underneath Shostakovich's 5th and the Kink's Greatest Hits, repeated over and over i'll hear...

the sound of our happiness. which is a small thing. made of smaller things. sunshine and vanilla syrup and -can i have your number? -sure!s. not yours, or mine: ours. and all it means is that when we wait at the traffic light, we won't mind too much.


pardon the uncharacteristic effusiveness tonight. hope everyone's doing well out there. (holla atchya boi!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

a note of acknowledgement

helsinki dream, 1+1=1

this is for the ho-bags and the strippers. for the let's be friendsers and the don't wanna be just friendsers. this is for people who walk ahead and ignore their friends and are totally rude. for people who walk behind and prefer to walk their own pace. this is for people who's exes got remarried and for people who had a first kiss. for people who can't count past one and people who sing in cars. last night i yelled at my girlfriend mid-nightmare god dammit why are you always crowding my side i'm falling off the bed! (which i don't remember, but i'm sorry for anyway) - this is for me. this is for people who understand where i'm coming from, and people who don't. for people who are overweight and don't care, and for people who are underweight and do. this is for BMW drivers and bus takers, for rather-ride-a-bikers and for mapless travellers. this is for Tori Amos fans. for people who read Adorno. for Kafka-dreamers and fairytale-dreamers. for self-indulgers and self-loathers, for insomniacs and people who just don't want to sleep. these things, these things i write i write for masturbaters and muffin bakers and lovemakers. (why won't you kiss me? she says i open my lips but keep my mouth away from her kissssss me she says: this is for girls that need to be kissed. guys that need to be hugged. this is for amphetamine addicts and manic-depressives. for those champions who are happy all the time and make us happy and for the losers no one wants to be around because they bitch and whine about everything incessantly. this is for the guy who sings songs outside the train station. the guy serving you at the mall. this is for public transport takers, for the elderly taking 5am walks. this is for sunset joggers and sunrise just-got-home party-goers. this is for the funky hipsters with the gorgeous long-brown hair, and for their boyfriends who are always cooler than i am. this is for teenage bloggers and our mothers using facebook. for the sensitive and the macho. the douchbag jackasses who hound the pretty blonde at the bar on thursday i say to her Shannon, you're great i love you but don't talk to me when we're out, you attract too many douchbags i can't take it. she laughs are you serious? i'm not kidding i'm dead serious dude. it's really too hectic for me, not worth the trouble, these guys are sweating testosterone right now (and she laughs again and gives me a kiss as i walk away and two of the f*ckers bump me as i walk past). this is for the hometown lovers and the homeless drifters. this is for all our generation stuck in small towns and small times we can't creep out of. this is for people living at home and wishing they had independence, and the independent wishing they had rent money. wishing they had someone to say good morning to. this is for our dads who've lived alone soo long now they're acting like desert-island castaways or single-cell-penitentiary crazies.

this is for anyone who has something to say but doesn't know what it is. for voices that aren't genius enough to leave a mark. for the ordinary and the sub-par. for the limitless potential and the impossible circumstances holding us back. for the isms and the schisms we never outgrew. this is for the rum we drink when we hate ourselves, and the pills we take to chill ourselves and the drives we take thinking one day we won't turn around. this is for those of us who freeze everynight because our girlfriends like us to sleep naked, for those of us who sleep, for those of us who fall asleep in front of television screens with popcorn kernels scattered in our laps. this is for hiphop singers and guitar-hero-time-wasters. this is for the motivated. the driven. the kid with good grades. the confident. the idealistic. the heroic. this is for the unashamed. the responsible. the good guys who hold doors open.

this is for everytime i had nothing to say, no idea how to say it... mostly:
this is for all the times we had no one to say it to.

now grab your satchels and your prayer books. grab your tea mugs and your moleskins. grab your social-clique-shaman and your harddrive full of porno. grab your carkeys and your peacoats. grab your extasy tablets and your bootlegged ray-bans. empty your bookshelves into your backpacks and fill your pockets with mints and condoms:

let's go. f*ck knows where, i have no idea. let's just f*cking bail.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

thoughts (fragments)

061 Jacob in NY 08, Lina Scheynius

he is finally awake at half past noon. showers. manages two cheeseburgers and a frozen coke for lunch. stumbles to a class he can't keep his eyes open during. prints some papers - enduring a mild anxiety attack seeing the stack of unread documents. mumbles his way through an early dinner. drives home. showers. prepares to fall asleep again. dizzy and numb the whole time.


sometimes i wish i were a photographer. that way i could point to images and say, you see my dear, this is how i see you. and better: i could give it to them and let them take it home. and maybe it would be on their wall, and every time they walked past it they'd see for a few moments the way i saw them, not as in a mirror, but through my face (like a prism diffracting them apart and back together again). (and on the back of the photos i'd write little things, abstract titles:

__dear xxx,
____because sounds are too strange for us.
_______love always, q's eyes.

__dear yyy,
____this one time, you said to me... well, you remember
_______so do i. (always do). q's eyes.

__dear xxx,
____if i were trapped anywhere, it'd be here.
_______not with you, with us. love always. q.


WRITER'S BLOCK is when you cannot think what to say. it's not that you stop noticing things, and taking account of then, and thinking to yourself: yesyes, i must remember to write about that. it's more an impediment to putting things together. a problem discerning a starting point. and navigating a path through the muck of your day(s) and experience(s) and conversation(s) and plotting a course in words. it is like not being able to sneeze when you really need to, just holding your mouth open going uaah , uaah , uaah. (unclimaxed, but close).

goddamit i hate that i want to write about everything and it is simply too much and i do not how to cut it down piecemeal and... i want to write about this one time, i'm serious, this really happened, i was driving and close to a traffic light slowed down and looked out my window and saw a young man on a bicycle. and got to the red light and stopped and looked out the same window and saw a young woman walk out a house and put two bags of trash into the garbage bin. she had messy blond hair and was in PJs it was obvious she'd been home all day. then, i saw a miracle. a real-life truth no-lies i promise miracle. the young man on the bike arrived at at the waist-high gate of this house and jumped off the bike- not bothering to stop it it just rolled on and fell to one side making a crash. neither cared. he was tall. she jumped up so her lips would meet him and he grabbed her both hands holding her in the air her feet dangling a few inches off the ground and they kissed. and the world stopped. (for them). just then the light went green, and my world started again. and i was depressed as all hell and it had been a rainy week and it made me feel happiest to have been looking through a window into someone else's world for 40 seconds and to have seen that elsewhere all was well.

WRITER'S BLOCK is when you don't know how to put that into context with the million other things. million other people. i can not think how to relate it to the 4 subway cookies i bought today and brought home with me to dip my tea into. or my amphetamine comedown which has left me shaky and tired all day. or that i am sitting in ralph lauren boxer shorts and a black sweater with brown stripes that Justin gave me in Madison Wisconsin when i saw him. and he was sad as all hell (it was his turn. a few years later, it'd be mine) because his girl had left him. he went to the gym and drank every chance we got. ah what the hell i had said, if you're sad i'm goddam ready to kill myself what should i order? and he laughed because he'd always been happier go luckier than i and it was always my 'head' in question. then the bastard lost his car at midnight in downtown Chicago and we spent four hours trying to find it me cursing the whole way you goddam stupid piece of dickfaceness and him shrugging and laughing and then us starting the process all again.

WRITER'S BLOCK is when you can't find a way to... make sense.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

9 very short stories

untitled, coolhandluke

1. the poet introduces his craft

because the tendrils of the day are ever present and at night it's even worse. chores. errands. words to meet words. papers and bus routes and unzipped flies. for just a minute to push out with my hands, gaining a millimeter per word, half that for a conjunction, hopefully enough empty space to fill with just one (please) breath.

2. suzie doesn't like the meteorite

there are no shooting stars you idiot that's a plane. _couldn't be, a planet? _what do you see? (i don't care if you asked first - you asked first you can answer first :) _good answer. _i really don't know. _promise not to laugh? _promise? _a blizzard. _if i saw something fall, say, here at my feet, then i'd have an easier time believing that. _because. _because. _because when i was young. _no!, that's an appropriate answer to any question!

3. Alex does like the meteorite

She dispensed with chores early. Sundays are great for that, give yourself a break, take it easy Saturday night, that way, when you wake there's nothing but empty hours to fill. At night she made sure to think of tulips and daffodils so that she'd dream of cars with seats made of tulip-hide and steering wheels were ruby. Usually though she dreamt of whales, which was ok too. She wore plain clothes but ridiculous sunglasses that covered too much of her face so that when she smiled at old people the effect was numbed a little. At the coffee shop a young man wanted to seduce her and she smiled politely at first but when he persisted dammit you lout back off and so he did and she went back to reading half a page of Neruda before stopping and staring away imagining yellow deep sea submersibles and glow-in-the-night fish and when she walked by the beach later that afternoon she imagined one day it had rained rocks all each and every one the shape of love-hearts and they had been walked-on and kicked-on and held and kissed soo many times all that was left of them was sand. and she smiled.

4. surprise-a-thon

you like me, _too?

5. Prayer for Gratitude

Dear Great WhateverYouare:

thankYou first and foremost because if there was no gravity i'd have long-since gotten myself terribly lost somewhere dark by trying to peek behind a great-big shadow covering Saturn, secondly, because even though i am aimlessly purposelessly wandering about kicking rocks and biding my time till some great epiphany(love)(magic)(psychic disturbance) comes along and rattles me out of my skin, the air is soo nice here in this whatever place and the view is not soo bad everywhere i look it is ocean (your eyes too my dear). finally, if this Tuesday is not a toy and i am not some great explorer like Magellan or Galileo then thankYou at least for making me feel like it is and i am, if i smile even on the inside of my lips my soul's happiness puts a dandelion back together again for someone else to have a chance.

6. how many times can you keep listening to this same song over and over?

they play cards but she hates cards. the others play billiards in the billiard room but she doesn't like that either. outside some people who've drank more than all the others combined laugh and sing and then all collapse into the pool laughing and singing. she weaves from hallway to room to kitchen to refill a plastic cup with sobriety and keeps walking looking at framed photographs on walls and behind the door of the spare bedroom she hears sex. out front, where there are lots of cars parked she sees a young man lying on the grass, motionless. at first she thinks he's passed out but finally he says: how many times you think we can listen to this song? to which she has no verbal reply, but walks over, and smiles down at him. and sits, in one motion, gracefully landing in a cross-legged position. and finally, after sitting quietly a few moments, says not in reply to him, or to anything at all, or for any apparent reason, i like numbers that are multiples of primes. with the connotation very clear to the man lying on the grass, who now opens his eyes to look at her, seeing her upside down and beautiful, which is to say: as many times as is necessary.

7. the haunted GPS

turn left 300 meters. _prepare turn left, now, you bastard. _proceed, 2.4 kilometers. _prepare turn right, 500 meters. _turn right 300 meters, i hate you. _turn left, now- you missed it , you distracted chump. _u-turn at roundabout 500 meters.

8. these thoughts i must not think of , dreams i can't make sense of

whatever they are i woke up with a jump and it surprised you too and you said you ok? half asleep and i couldn't answer, being that i couldn't remember what came before the jump and so slept again. woke again sometime later with another jump, jeez, babe you ok? me shaking my head and settling in again, turning away from you clutching my favorite pillow (that we both call 'my girlfriend' and recently you say, hey turn towards me, it's ok, bring your girlfriend too we can share her and we are both very amused, but back then you don't say that).
__at the end of the day i drive home and think about what it could have been about and remember nothing and decide nothing but the sensation of driving under regular streetlights each yellow and disgusting makes me wretch and overcome with paranoia i clutch the steering wheel really tight and even though want to turn the music off can't let go and can't decide if i should drive faster to get home faster or drive slower to foreclose the possibility of tragedy. when i get home i decide to never think of it again.

9. fantasy-land

but the dreams we should have had are about hiking around the Olympic Peninsula. and having croissants and hot chocolate with Ashley on the Champs Elysees. of driving firetruck red Mustangs to Byron Bay and having parties on rooftops as bombs and shooting stars fall indiscriminately. and killing it at law school and writing amazing stuff and going on Oprah to talk about our novels and our lives and our mother's soo proud (at last) we have done something with our lives. and our sister's getting better not worse and the air in our tires never getting low. of always reaching orgasm and always one muffin left and always the keys were you left them and when i need a hug there you always are. and every tree i walk under has cherries within arm's reach and when i kick a rock it sings Bach to me and i laugh and keep kicking to hear the whole Minuet. and it all meant something, or nothing, in either case we don't care because we're playing chess in the park and dancing in the club and busy finding Hermes handbags in the bottom of the $1 box at the thrift store and laughing all the way to the carnival to look at the lights and kiss on the ferris wheel like in the movies, in my mind it ends on a couch with me reading Beckett and giggling to myself and your head in my lap napping listening to Ravel and me thinking it's magic and you thinking whatever, _i can sleep to it, anything i can sleep to must be awesome (which i think about for hours after you drop me off and still can't quite understand the logic of).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

draft from nocturnal scene where two people discuss ideas for unwritten novel

untitled, no but and or yes

__- goddamit sit still!
__- finefine, sorry
__- what are you doing what do you keep writing?
__- just... when i think of an idea, or remember something, i'm jotting it down.
__- the novel?
__- yeah.
__- what have you got?
__- all sorts of little things. and then... once i have a whole bunch of little things, i'll start stitching them together.
__- what little things?
__- uhm... names. phrases. people i want to write about. places. themes, like... broader themes
__- ok. what have you got?
__- oh. uhm


Q, stillness. remember Gol?, that time i was talking to you on the phone and i said: it feels like i've been running as fast as i can for years, and every time i look back i'm only a foot away from the starting line. __Orestes: motionmotionmotion. __She: doesn't have a name yet, but she looks like this.
___there's an underpass on Ohio St., you walk under it to get to the Starbucks on Pontius and Sepulveda. there was this homeless man who lived under there. i would take the leftover muffins after work and give them to him on my walk home. he would call me the muffin man the muffin man.
______HOUSES - HOMES - home - 24 Glade Cres. Hallett Cove & 8035 Hanna Ave. Lanark Park & 1A Cassie St. Collinswood & 3/7 Clayton Ave Plympton & whatever it was on the corner of Butler and Rochester right in the back there:
___and homes/houses that were(and weren't) homes in other ways: Martha's couch in Seattle, and walking down 3rd St. everyday giving change to every homeless person who asked, sitting in the crumpet shop down by Pike Place where i read Ulysses and wrote and stared out the window at the fluorescent advertising of the strip club across the st. ___Haifa (desertscape). dust, white stone, hieroglyph dreams :: collision course between lost (but not lost enough, not forgotten enough) past and dreamt (hoped) (attempted) (contemplated) (concocted) future!, or, as i wrote once in a poem for Mona:

___Of course there are the photographs,
___Eyes and arms and t-shirts frozen…
___A two dimensional reality, a moment mistaken as the present,
___A strange moment in an afternoon mistaken as an abstraction,
___The endless transparency of words (say something out loud you’ll see what I mean),
___Photographs and their deathly silence. Listen carefully:
___there’s an echo of our laughs.

Los Angeles: blue blue sky. in the evening the swimming pool lit in the courtyard like a rectangular alien block in the late evening when Ashley would drop me home. the napalm in the air stuck on the 405 and screaming all the time, sharing a bathroom so mom sat on the toilet while i showered and we laughed and i slept on the floor breathing carpet fibres and dreaming of my then-recently passed away grandfather:
___(two nights ago, just this very friday, i dreamt they tried to take from me the red sweater he gave me when i was 12 and he visited 24 Glade Cres, my very most favorite sweater - and the tie i took out of his closet, Christian Dior with a small hole in it that makes a shape like a peacock, when i wore it once my mother cried softly: that's my dad's favorite tie. he would wear that, when i was... when he'd pick me up from school, he'd come straight from the bank and take me to lunch and he'd wear that tie that's how i always picture him and she cried. and in this nasty bastard dream people tried to take them away from me and i fought tooth and nail till morning woke me with a headache i took 3 x 5mg dexamphetamine and couldn't feel my peripheries all day)
___my grandfather and the day they knocked on his door with the butts of rifles to take him away. "the whole flight Qdudsu, the whole flight i was sweating, my heart... i cannot explain it to you, thinking, to myself certain when they found out they'd turn the plane around - they did not, they didn't care, they'd turn a plane around midflight and bring it back just to get one person. i didn't breathe for 14 hours till i landed in America" he told me before he died. "not one breath. i tell you this: i was bluer that day than i will be when i die. not a single breath". ___my auntie&uncle with two of my cousins crept through the desert in the middle of the night with flashlights. sounds of dogs and whistles and rifles in the background. someone's baby started crying and had to be smothered. my aunt cries when she tells the story. my uncle looks away until he gets mad. then he swears and looks you straight in the face, confronting history grabbing it by the balls like i were it and i get scared when he gets that way, __and ashamed.
[History. Heritage., that's what i'm talking about. HOME.
___my insane grandmother. ___my sister's night in the crazy house. ___my mother drinks her tea, exhausted, she says to me: i am the proudest mother alive. which confuses me. your daughter's just got out the nuthouse, your son's on more speed than the F1... and i still am she responds having read my mind (because mothers can do that).

[Motion. Stillness. i'm talking about movement. about progress - whatever that looks like, which i can't identify into constituent shapes. which i grapple with and reason with, and which has about as many clues as a pack of cards, and that is to say: too few, my friends, it gives us far too few clues.

(when i worked at Starbucks, waking at 3am, my first day i'd twisted my ankle playing basketball at 2am and then limped home down Santa Monica Blvd. listening to Russian rock songs and Brown Eyed Girl, come limping into Starbucks, leave 9 hours later smelling like coffee and bran muffins my hands curdling from the feel of soo many bills and coins. my teeth rotting from the post hoc of the coffee i'd drank,
___(six weeks in a hospital in Shanghai. the smell of urine. Dr. Li, who loved a recent graduate named Selina. and whose eyes glistened with hope and trust when i asked him about the little red books that got passed around the hospital during the lunch break: it is the report. the report of our People's progress. and i nodded and wanted to hug him and his People, and whisper in their ears that i wished them well :: the fluorescent-eyed Shanghai leviathan awoke in the evening, neon and brutal and spitting whores and poverty and once a cripple with no legs wearing only a loin-cloth crawled (f&cking crawled) dragging himself along the sidewalk with bloody fingertips, his abdomen scratching cement and raw and bleeding howling bastards filth misfortunate fear and loathing, and people walked past him like a sea of suits and briefcases parting to get to Zion at the bottom of a stairwell where the train would evacuate them to their homes, and he: ___stared right at__ me. ___(and i was ashamed).

motion. stillness.

coming home to empty houses. Monday morning therapy sessions. alexithymia: literally "without words for emotions"—to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. the french topless girl by the pool, so young and... smelled fresh, lying brown-skinned and with sunglasses near a tree, a dozen little pink flowers on every branch, the spring buds on every branch like nipples or inchoate hearts or spoonfuls of strawberry icecream. stories about prayers. a sleep with no dreams.

Mona says to me: Q, this is ridiculous you can't do this right now. let's go to Seattle. and so we do. two days on the road i'm asleep the whole time i remember nothing. and Mona says to me: that's fine, we'll get your car, and drives me three times around LA to get the damn thing out of the pound. Benzodiazepines. rooms in Teneriffe by the river with no windows. Martha says over the phone: the way it was always meant to be Q. always. always. (echoing, just like that for a year or two after: always mean to be). nothing to be done Q. you did everything right. (always, always).

Homes. Houses.
here is the shelf i built. here are the floors i put in. this is my retaining wall. this here sliding door i helped install. these walls i painted. you see these fingertips here, yes, these are my fingermarks. nothing in the world is better: no way to talk yourself out of it: this piece doesn't fit. measure again. cut again. try again. there is no rhetoric here. no propaganda. no justification will save you. measure again. cut again. try again. here is the shelf i built. here is the table i sanded and varnished. this here is my idea. this other my design. under the ground here i redid the piping. things flow.

dark brownrimmed glasses. Ashley smiles and says: it doesn't matter, you're always happy when you're with me. and i smile back. the dreams of unplayed pianos. silence is soo patient. sitting around thinking of what to say next. how to say it. ___every so often you see Orestes walk past, waiting for the pedestrian crossing to stop flashing red. the path to Hallett Cove with the daffodils. sleeping under cars. works at a gas station in Nebraska. at a McDonalds in Delhi. sells tourist souvenirs outside the Forbidden City. dreams of Athens. of Troy. drinks rum late into the night, redeyed and blurry mouthed spews hatred about all the women he loathes. if there is a book of love somewhere, someone should be smart about it and burn the bastard where it stands. then he hears a buzzing from behind the credenza and takes off running again, tripping on a plastic coke bottle somewhere near Mermaid Beach, where he eventually collapses and sleeps it off. waking in the morning to a high-pitch squeal he steals a Prius and drives to the airport.

__- wow. that's... alot.
__- yah. then you... structure. stitch.
__- how does it all, uhm, make sense?
__- have you ever met something that made sense?
__- no, but. _it's a story right?
__- it's a lot of stories.
__- so what's the point, why... why read them?
__- because one redeems the other and the other redeems the first.
__- what does that mean?, Q: imagine you were trying to explain what this was all 'about', what you tell me?
__- redemption songs.
__- ok. fine. and what's the theme of these million or so stories that make no sense but make (purported) sense?
__- no matter what, you wake up in the morning.
__- i give up.

[so then i just make her read the poem Martha wrote me instead. when she takes it out of my hands, she says: god, your friend has beautiful handwriting.
__and smiling, i respond: she really does.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

draft from a scene from unwritten novel

And under our blue skies
Marble movie skies

____Daniel, Bat for Lashes

untitled, m(air)y

he watched her sit by the pool. she sat on the ledge with her feet in. sometimes she'd kick once or twice, and lift her feet out of water and her quadriceps would clench. then back down. she wore an oversized tshirt that ended up looking like a dress(of sorts). she stared.
___all this time he fidgeted. concentrated on absorbing sun into his skin. looked at her. contemplated her brown long hair. tried to read. scrolled through the songs on his iPod and tried to close his eyes and find something that was his alone. clear. himself. finally, he took his headphones out. and sat up. hey, you ok? he asked. it'd been almost two hours. that's a long time to sit by the pool staring at your feet and the blue water and nothing much. she didn't answer at first he thought maybe she hadn't heard him. he kept looking at her, not letting the issue drop. keeping something alive just by looking at her and waiting. finally, he saw her slowly turn her head, side to side. just twice. side to side. with a sad smirk on her face. f*ck knows buddy she said at last, f*ck knows. came out soo haunted and she sounded different from what he expected. the words... like they had just announced a new season. begun a novel. i feel that he said in response, and relaxed down onto his back again. actually, he had understood her perfectly, and he required no other words- what she had said was enough. she had turned her head one more time side to side and had held it to one side looking at him. she had one eye closed, wincing in the glare. what about you boss? she asked. he held still. staring up at the blue sky, not a cloud. just blue. eerie as all hell. he gave a sigh. no matter what i do, i wake up the next morning. she nodded in the direction of her feet in the water. yah. one of those patterns. he didn't respond. just kept on looking at nothing in the sky thinking about nothing. you know what i think? she asked. i think you think about Chet Baker.
__- what?
__- huh? __oh, nothing. i'm just being silly.
__- Chet Baker huh?
__- why not?
__- why not. __why not pancakes?
__- clam chowder?
__- yah. , why not Monday afternoon?
__- true. or Mussolini.
__- radiohead.
__- Fellini.
__- sextets.
__- cosines.
__- transatlantic air travel.
__- [sigh]
__- tomorrow?
__- f*ck knows, __right?
__- yah. not that.


later he walked to Starbucks. slept on the floor in a room with two open-suitcases and nothing else. just a mound with a blanket, a few pillows. the carpet, him, then a blanket. he tried to read Ulysses but it was too heavy and sitting on his chest after a few minutes he'd have trouble inhaling. at 4am he had a bowl of cereal. at 6 he took a shower. wrote the word catalyst in his notebook. wrote la scala, milan. then the sky was blue again. and voices took up where they had left off. good night leading into oh god, you're still up? did you sleep?, the sound of showers.


tell me a secret she asked him. he was gazing out the window. he took his time thinking. i don't really have many... i don't have much to hide. she laughed once. one loud warning shot.
__- what?
__- that just means you hide stuff well. harder to find.
__-__ yeah, __maybe.
she still let him think. didn't say anything. he took a sip. she looked at his face. he looked out the window, watched cars pass him by.
__- i'm scared it'll always be this way.
__- __watching cars go by?
__- [he nods]. yeah. something like that. __how about you?
__- me?
__- ...

__- i fell in the stairwell yesterday. dropped a shopping bag. bruised an apple. i got... just cried.
__- what? why?
__- f*ck knows. __and then picked myself up. went inside. watched So You Think You Can Dance, and wished i could. and crawled under my bed.
__- under?
__- yah.
__- why?
[she just stares at him. he's still looking out the window]
__- don't know.
__- what's it like?
__- it's nice to know the boundaries of something.
__- i hear that.
__- yah.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

variations on hero by Regina Spektor

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
__in secret, between the shadow and the soul.


than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

____from XVII (i do not love you...) by Pablo Neruda

untitled, by casimms

she goes outside to have another cigarette, and the boys don't hold back their disapproval.
____in the morning, when i wake up, there's an empty champagne bottle on the counter. green beer bottles, chocolate box containers, wine glasses on the counter. empty icecream container. throw pillows i put my foot into.
sssh, babydear, no one's got it all) (no one)

and without their noticing i sit at my piano , doing nothing. lid closed. and hear them laugh in the living room.


___- i wouldn't do that to you.
___- i just don't like it that... _that , you __- you get that way.
___- [i stare at her]
___- what does that mean, i wouldn't do that to you?, hmm?
___- [i open my mouth to speak, but then, quietly, out of some impregnable, felicitous, memory bank, i hear the lyrics of a song. __and smile most ironically instead]
___- what?
___- [still staring]
___- what?
___- i'm the hero of this story i don need to be saved.
___- then why are you smiling?

___- [because__ we all do. ]


is this your sunday i'm sitting in? something vacant you abandoned and walked away from. (when i was a child, in the gully there were two car-wrecks we'd sit in).
______silence, aloneness, midmorning - soo variable. light and airy. heavy as ink i wash my hands twelve times a day the skin's peeling off my fingers i still can't get the feeling of it off me. just depends.

____in the morning, from the shower she scolds him for leaving her toothpaste by the sink. already naked, wordlessly, he stands. walks to the sink and gets her toothpaste. he looks a moment into the shower, at her and her wet hair. half her torso invisible behind large patches of soapsuds. he opens the glass door and steps in, she still wondering. he throws it on the ground. her eyes don't follow it. they kiss.

____i pick at my omelet. her hair is still wet. this one looks nice flipping through a real-estate catalogue i point to a mansion. mmm she nods. nudges her shoulder into me and forks a little bit off the cake between us. should have gotten the muffin she mumbles (then points to a beachfront villa with a nod). __silence. light and airy.


it's 9pm. how?. time's made of cat. step anywhere near and it's gone. only thing gets through the fence. (he never saw it coming at all)


he snores. four empty beer bottles on the floor besides the couch. she giggles as she watches the screen. chewing gum on account of the cigarette. cookie crumbs and icecream on the coffeetable in front of her. he sits on the floor and shakes his head in amusement, that's hilarious he says, in a flat voice. i smile. i've taken soo many pills i can't really do much else.
____sssh. it's alright i think to myself. it's alright it's alright it's alright. Q, it's all right. __no one's got it all.


the heroes of our stories. autobiographies and sports almanacs and dated journals and coffee-shop napkins with names and phone numbers written. on every page, signed:

i'm the hero of this story don need to be saved.

(except after she eats his cake, she says: then why are you smiling?
and he thinks something to himself, and takes her hand and kisses the back of it.