Friday, April 6, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.
I shouldn’t feel bad for having long, slender fingers. I shouldn’t be looking over my guilt shoulder all the time. I feel like I’m wearing a hair shirt. Boo hoo. Poor me. I feel like a champion. Like I am on some quest, tormented. Like I am stoned black in the night, demented. Like I hide from siren songs, fermented. 
I like to rhyme
I do it all the time.
I rhyme while you’re talking and when I should be listening. I rhymed my way through your cousin’s whack-ass christening. I’ve rhymed and counted my way through my whole life and all I have to show for it is like forty dope-ass western shirts. 
I want to rescue a fireman. Pull him from a flaming automobile. I want to give him mouth to mouth and feel his rough stubble against my rough stubble and be all, “You’re gonna be OK, brother. You made it. Just relax, I’m here; you’re not alone anymore.” And then it will pan out all majestic as fuck. You’ll see. 
I want to do one thing heroic. And the fucked thing is I kind of have. I’m not trying to be a hero or anything despite what I just said, but I mean there are a handful of people who would credit me with saving their lives. And they might be goddamn right. I talk a real good ‘get down off the edge’ man. I really do. See, you gotta be fucking mean about it. That’s where people go wrong. Most times, someone wants to off themselves? Everyone assumes you gotta talk all hushed in gentle tones. Not me. I’ll yell at your ass until you’re not only sorry you thought about it, but you want to apologize to everyone. 
Don’t believe me? Ask around. 
I’m a one trick pony. Can you dig the sound? I know the most tricks out of any fucking pony in town. 
There are like two ponies. 
That’s a lie – there are no ponies. 
C’mon get your ponies. Johnny, get your gun. Jenny, get your ass in gear cause you’re. Not. Done. Never enough and it never will be, you and all the Jenny’s until Christendom, you’d all be better off if you let me speak this truth. 
I’m a dumb piece of shit with some delusional tendencies. 
Ignore me. 
I’m a brilliant logistic mystic with illusional appendices. 
Adore me. 
I’ll give you six reach arounds at once and ignore the middle. Strike up the band but fuck the fiddle. Listen to the wash tub thump, thump, thump. I bought LSD and explosives in the back of a garbage dump. It was good shit. Showy and blowy. Glowy – the explosions made the night snowy. 
It was a night HST would have appreciated. Me? I depreciated. My worth because less as I lost the stars in the night blindness from the repeated explosive, percussive repercussions. And every lost desert scream did nothing to redeem.
You were lost. You are lost. You’re repugnant.
#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...


  1. Good rhyme... but wrong conclusion. You've appreciated in value!

    1. I have nothing constructive to say. Just that I love MaderRap and this is and awesome piece.

    2. Forsooth, where do I begin to love this? At the beginning until the end. And laugh out loud? I did many, many times.

  2. He wore a flannel shirt, red and black. In another life, he might have been a cowpoke, or a lumberjack. The snaps on the shirt gave him away as out of the ordinary. Nobody wears shirts with snaps any more, except rebels and charlatans.

    He was not a charlatan.

    Who but a rebel could do what he did? Planting and cultivating the seeds of revolution, in places visible to all. Light poles. Boarded up windows. At BART stations before everything was subject to video surveillance.

    Online. Books. Mix tapes. Oh yes, he was a musician, too.

    No matter what media he used, the messages were pure and simple. Question authority. Be true. Dare to love. Do the right thing even when no one is looking. Look for beauty. Go fishing.

    The motorcycle wasn’t a thing he owned; it was an extension of who he was. A means to fly as fast as the hawks he saluted, not just a way to get from point a to point b, but to experience in technifuckingcolor all the space in between.

    Louis L'Amour looked down from heaven, smiled, and said, "That’s my boy."

    When the revolution came, no one knew it was a San Francisco cowboy who started it. He didn’t know either. He was teaching the next generation of rebels. And he still wore a flannel shirt with snaps, even though they were back in fashion again.
    That’s the thing about classics. The favored fashions may change, but the cowboys always seek truth, and they always ask hard questions.

    1. and I had this written BEFORE you posted the original story! so there!

    2. This is amazing. And perfectly on point. <3 <3

    3. Shucks. I don't know what to say except thank you for this. It's lovely.

  3. Ron had swerved onto the shoulder at 55 mph and struck a combine. You can only imagine the amount of damage that caused his body. He's lucky to be alive. That was back in November of last year. Today is April second, and I've made my way to his brother Dan's house, which is where he lived before the accident. Since November, he has resided in hospital.
    After several surgeries and complications, he now has no left hip, leaving his left leg a “floater.” As horrid as that sounds, it is, and that's the way it is. He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. As if that wasn't enough, he has gone completely blind in his right eye and the left having only a partial grasp of periphery. I wish I could explain how that came about, but I've got nothing.
    It's going on five months, and the extended stay in a hospital bed has atrophied nearly his entire body, reducing him to an invalid. Only in the past week has he shown signs of improvement. He can transfer from bed to wheelchair, but only with assistance. It's unknown when —if ever—he'll be able to make the transition solo.
    It has come to our attention that his medicaid insurance is running out, and he is to be released from hospice in fifteen days, whether he's ready or not.
    I've spent the day evaluating his brother's house for a remodel to accommodate Ron's condition. Dan spends most of the week an hour away for work, and only comes home on the weekends, if he has time. Today is Monday, April second, and I've been in the house alone taking measurements and formulating a plan. By ten P.M., I was beginning to fear that I had gotten myself into a can of worms, but I shook it off. I can make this happen. After hours of deliberating with myself, the layout was finalized, with the first list of materials compiled.
    Though I have my own list of ailments, I couldn't help but reflect on how good I've got it, by comparison. As bad as it is, it can always be worse. A humbling and frightening realization. Ron has a kindred soul to mine. We've been friends for nearly thirty five years, and I felt a wave of emotion that momentarily crippled me, but there's no time for that. I've got a job to do, and tomorrow is going to be one hell of a long day. If things don't change, I've got fifteen days to complete this transformation. Thankfully, I've got reinforcements en route. No experience necessary. I've got enough for all of us.
    I don't have any money, but what I do possess is a particular set of skills, and a friend in need is a call I'll heed.

    1. There are friends and then, there are friends. An interesting beginning to more I hope.

    2. I especially like the echoes of RW Service in the last line.

  4. There were three of us that summer. Bob and Steve and me. Folks around town called us the three musketeers; except for Coach, he called us the three blind mice.

    Summer on the plains of Nebraska is hot, and some days humid as hell. On days like that, we’d head to had favorite swimming hole, off the South Platte river. Half of it was shaded by cottonwood, half out on the sun, and nobody knew about it but us.

    It was that summer Steve started talking about girls all the damned time. It’s like the rest of the world went invisible, and all he saw was tits and ass and possibility.

    Bob and me, we listened, hoping maybe to pick up tips, but Steve only dreamed, he never actually talked to a girl. The one time we saw him try, he got all red in the face and looked down at his boots and Rosa shook her head and walked off.

    Steve went home, from embarrassment maybe, or to plan or hope, and Bob and I went swimming alone.

    Bob brought it up first. "What are we gonna do about him? He's never gonna get a date on his own."

    "I dunno. I have math with Rosa, maybe I can ask her…”

    And I did. And when Steve approached her next, she was gentle, and encouraging, and his stammering gradually smoothed out into asking her to a movie.

    Of course Bob and me went to the same movie. We watched Steve’s arm creep up, then fall down, then creep up… took till halfway through the movie for him to put his arm on the back of Rosa’s seat. And then she let her head fall back on his arm, and by the end credits, he was actually hugging her, for the whole world to see, at least the folks in that theatre.

    Bob and me, we were careful not to laugh. Not because we didn’t want to embarrass Steve, but because we were holding hands, down in the shadows, and that alone took my breath away.

    When fall came, there were four of us, Steve and Rosa, Bob and me, and we went to a lot of movies.

    1. Such a sweet little vignette. Innocent and hopeful.

    2. Yes! All the words I was going to use.

    3. You had me at: "Folks around town called us the three musketeers; except for Coach, he called us the three blind mice." But then you made my heart feel good too.

    4. Damn. Those are the right words. :)

  5. Part 1

    Once again sleep dodged him, that bitch, and while the custom-made mattress was the most damn comfortable thing he’d ever set his ass on, its emptiness made his chest so tight he could barely breathe, let alone think. He dug his fingers into the pillow top as if it was his salvation. Like Leo in that movie about the iceberg. They said push the button, if there was anything he needed. A Diet Coke, one of those tiny new cans that made his hands look bigger; a fast-food run; adoring letters from his fans. But what he needed they couldn’t provide. They couldn’t even fake. They couldn’t force his wife to sleep in his bed. They couldn’t change the way she looked at him, like she was a hostage and he, her puppet master. Twice in the last six months, she’d threatened to leave him, and it didn’t sound like she was kidding. Prior to that he’d thrown some jewelry at her, promised her anything, and she calmed down. Now even that wasn’t working. He could bust into her room, and if she wasn’t comatose on Ambien, he could make demands, point to the many legal agreements she had signed. But that would only make things worse.

    Maybe it was time to ask for help from a higher power.

    He slipped out of bed, as quietly as he could for a man of his inestimable size, and in just his robe and Batman socks, padded first down the hall then down the stairs. Those he passed averted their eyes, because they knew not to speak unless he spoke first. Especially in the middle of the night. Especially when he was wearing his Batman socks.

    His heart surged when he reached the Oval. He loved everything about that fucking room. It even smelled good, like new money. Like the tears of his enemies. Reagan said he would never step on the seal, but Reagan was a pussy. He was in charge now.

    He stepped right on the damn eagle’s throat, wiggling his toes into the plush carpet.

    But even that left him feeling hollow. And that made him angry. He sat in the big chair, spun around, trying to recapture the experience, draw power from the walls and the massive desk and the flags.

    He closed his eyes and thought about Washington. Thought about Teddy Roosevelt. Tried to conjure the ghosts of his predecessors; the ones who hadn’t been losers, anyway. Then the voice came back to him. The voice he’d been trying to ignore. It had blabbed on and on about the tone of the office, how you rise to the occasion, blah blah blah, so many big words he’d let his attention drift to the portrait of Dolly Madison on the wall. Damn, that was one hot babe. Maybe he could get the women around here into some corsets. “Read the letter,” the voice had told him, at the end of their “conversation.”

    “Read the letter.”

    He hadn’t wanted to read the letter. This was his job now, and he was going to do it his own damn way. In fact, he almost asked the cleaning girl, that Kelly what’s-her-name, to throw it the hell out, sight unseen. He didn’t know why he’d kept it. Maybe he was smarter than he thought. Maybe he knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that there’d be a sleepless night like this one. Hell, maybe it would give him a good laugh. So he reached his tiny hands underneath the desk drawer and pulled off the envelope that had been taped there.

  6. Part 2

    As he’d thought, there was a bunch of gibberish, words with way too many syllables, and he skimmed down to the bottom, looking for the bullet points. There were always bullet points. But the last sentence was what caught his eye. “If you take absolutely nothing away from this letter, from our conversations, from the good counsel of your advisors, always remember this: happy wife, happy life.”

    It landed like a lead balloon in the pit of his stomach. He sat there for damn near an hour, still clutching the letter, still thinking about those words. Who would have thought it all made so much sense? And then he felt light, like he hadn’t in years. Like he hadn’t since he stood at the very top of the first skyscraper his father had even taken him to.

    He did two things after that. He pulled the divorce papers she’d given him from his desk drawer and signed them. And then he called his speechwriter.

    “I’m off this bus, kid. Write me the best fucking speech of your life. Make me sound like a goddamn hero. I want tears out there, kid. Real fucking tears.”

    Then he hung up, padded back up to his residence, and slept better than he had in years.

    1. Wow. Where do I begin? The cans of soda that made his hands look bigger. The Batman socks. The whole paragraph that began with "His heart surged when he reached the Oval." Jeez as the elders sometimes say you put your foot in this one.

    2. Wow. The Reagan as pussy. I'm loving this.

  7. Rain slaps him in the face. His feet slide on the slick deck, and he tangles his arms in the ratlines to keep from being blown across the deck. He ducks his head so that the driving rain pelts the top of his head instead of his face and hopes that the storm lets up soon.

    Kay did not sign on for this. He was not born for this life, nor raised for it, and it didn’t suit him one bit. Not that he has much choice. Not now.

    A heavy hand falls on his shoulder, grips like a vice.

    “Let go, lad!”

    The shout is barely audible over the roar of the wind, but Kay hears it and obeys. The wind shoves against him, but that vice-like grip refuses to let him go far. The hand’s owner turns Kay away from the wind, away from the railing, and wraps an arm around his shoulders. Together, they stumble across the deck blindly and stagger through a doorway. The door slams shut behind them, and Kay raises his head.

    He recognizes the man standing near the door as one of the ship’s engineers. A good-hearted young man with the worst luck of anyone Kay’s ever met, except for maybe himself. The man turns to peer though the small window, and Kay understands that he is standing guard, ready to shove the door open for the next airmen who need to get out of the storm.

    Kay glances from the side of his eyes at the other man, the one who still has his arm around Kay’s shoulders. He expects the man—the ship’s first mate—to be wearing a frown or a scowl. Instead, he is watching Kay with concern.

    “All right, lad?”

    Kay pushes the wet hair out of his eyes and turns to look the XO in the eye.

    “I don’t think I can do this.”

    The XO nods thoughtfully.

    “If you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”

    Kay turns away, embarrassed and disheartened. The heavy, vice-like hand finds his shoulder again, and he glances up at the XO.

    “Of course, if you think that you can do…well, you’d probably be right about that, too.” He squeezes Kay’s shoulder. “It’s up to you, lad, whether you stay or go. No one can make that choice for you. But do keep this in mind—most days aren’t like this one. If you can make it through the storms, the sunny days are worth the wait.”

    1. Nice. Love the sentinels and the depiction of making a choice ultimately deciding our fate.

    2. Agreed. And that last line is great. Just on the right side of sentiment.

  8. The tats were a mess. No clear theme or pattern. They were compulsive as well as impulsive and they covered his hands, arms, and much of his chest. On the other hand, the beard was cool. Ruddy in nature. Clipped often, but not always neatly. It dominated his face leaving his cheeks and chin so well-endowed with a hirsute effervescence that danced about his face and around his full lips, especially when he sang -- but more on that later.

    The first thing you see when you look at him besides the fact that he is Caucasian, a shock, in and of itself, is his height and girth. Six feet five inches with a waist nearly three feet in diameter, he resembles a Mack truck or a building made out of mountain man. If you guessed he was three hundred pounds you wouldn’t be far off but he was actually 265 give or take a pound.

    But all of that came later, because the first encounter I had with R.C. my eyes weren’t working so I couldn’t see him at all. My first awareness of him was vocal. I laid in that bed assuming I may never be able to get out of it. Beaten so badly about the face and head, I’d lost my sight and no one, no doctor, no nurse, no caring friend that I had left, was willing to tell me it could be partially permanent.

    I might not have been able to hear the truth even if they did. I could hear R.C. though. His was a voice that was calescent in every way. Soulful and deep, it climbed inside my head and made me feel like I’d been cradled in a weighted blanket. Twice a day he came to my room, laughably to feed me. The tray would sit there after his delivery, untouched. I’d be ‘eating’ liquids for another week at least. But every time he came R.C. was singing. The first time it was a song I loved by Bill Withers. I recognized it because it was part of my life as a child, a happier time, though you couldn’t tell that from the song. I forced sounds out of my throat and mouth.

    I tried to say, “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Lord knows what came out.

    The singing stopped.

    But the next day, he sang again. It was Earth, Wind, & Fire.

    And again, I attempted to name it, “I’ll Write a Song for You”.

    The day after that, he hit me with Stevie Wonder.

    And I almost laughed cause all I had to say was “As”.

    But seriously, no wonder I thought this dude was black.

    After that R.C. only sang his own songs to me. And I was glad because they blew my mind even more than his voice did. Also, I find I don’t like talking much anymore but I’m still an excellent listener.

    1. There are so many layers to this that I don't know where to start. Great piece, and you pulled me right into the middle of it.

    2. Yup, I concur. This one goes deep.

  9. The start of something...

    Something had come through and changed everything.

    OhGee had retired, had stopped hustling, but he still kept a jaundiced eye out for the others. You wanna hear him at his best? Go back four years, when he stepped into a creep and fitted stiletto words to his actions enough to scare that nonce away for always. Most of the women here—ladies, they would insist—saw him as a sweetheart. Danger is relative. You all ready to learn? This ain't school; it's sorta the opposite. But you stay with me, keep your earholes open, and there's lessons here aplenty.

    She was our grandma. Everyone knew her. We said her name like the D wasn't there, pretty much the N too. She told stories about the old world and some of us listened. Not everyone, though. Some of us listened at first and found only pain in these memories. Most of us lay like puppies, our bellies exposed, stupid tails twitching, as if the sorrow of memory was a discarded prayer.

    "The sky was once blue, as blue as Jessamyn's eyes," she would say, "and white fluffy clouds hung in it. Sometimes the clouds moved, but often they just hung awhile."

    All ears, our eyes were bigger than the skies. Funny, huh? Blue was a rarity now.

    "What else, Grandma?"

    "There were buildings made to look like the things they sold."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Places sold orange juice were shaped like a half an orange and pitted like their skin."

    "Were they orange-colored too?"


    "Were oranges called oranges because they were orange, or was orange the word for a color because it looked like an orange?"

    "Fucked if I'll ever know the answer to that, but it's maybe the best question I ever heard."

    "Don't curse, Grandma."

    She cackles. "I forgot I even did."

    No matter. Whichever way you slice it, we were still a good ways away from knowing the taste of an orange.

    1. Yes. The start of something, indeed. An awesome blue and orange beginning to a dystopic fairytale? I want more colors please.

    2. Me too. And I absolutely love this: "Most of us lay like puppies, our bellies exposed, stupid tails twitching, as if the sorrow of memory was a discarded prayer."

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