Friday, September 24, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

The first light of the morning touches the grass, and whole worlds come to life. The scrub jays bend their crafty eyes to new opportunities. The insects are busy. The chipmunks chatter in the trees, and the hawks and vultures begin their slow circling. Farmers finish morning chores before breakfast. 

In this maelstrom of life, we find truth. The hunters, the hunted, and the busy workers trying to get through the day with some accomplishment on which to hang their hat. It is all a question of perspective. Just ask the lifeforms watching our solar system like it’s a low-budget slasher flick. We are the ant farm, but it’s not just ants on the blue planet. 


For the most part, we know what predators we fear - other humans. Most of us never encounter a mountain lion, a shark, a bear. We fear humans who dress their wolf faces up like sheep. And they are EVERYWHERE. 


Not only that - they look just like you and me, most of them.


Some of the things that we fear exist only in theory. In THEORY, we could contract cancer, get hit by a car, or have a heart attack, but, as much as we might worry about it, it may never happen. Or it might happen whether we worry about it or not. 


This kind of fear don’t have the same cachet as a Great White Shark.


We want fears with panache, so we stoke them, ghost stories to keep us up at night - keep us on edge. Gangs of immigrants, rapists, and - brace yourself - people who have different belief systems. These are the things you should REALLY fear. Except the thing you should REALLY, REALLY fear, which might kill you and everyone you love. 


You want to know what that is? Tune in at 11. 


If you fall asleep before 11, I guess you’ll never wake up again. Your fault. You were warned. Or warned to show up on time to be warned, which is even graver. 


Money, fear, and misery make a potent cocktail. Too bad you only have two out of the three. Fear and Misery just make you like everyone else. 


The scrub jays just flat-out don’t give a shit about any of this. The ants are just grindin’ - they aren’t worried about the cancer boogeyman hiding in the bushes. The vultures aren’t pedophiles. The grass has no ulterior motive. Hawks aren't racist.


You are not a vulture, or a scrub jay, or a beetle. 


Sucks to be you. You want to know why?


Tune in at 11.

Friday, September 17, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

  Millie never understood how so many women found it so easy to defer to a man. Even as a child, the strict roles had chafed at her. Her mother had been strictly mute in front of her father, unless spoken to. She was usually a ghost who flitted around the house providing services. Dinner, mending, cleaning, etc. There had not been great love, and it had informed Millie’s choice of a mate. Her partnership had been equal. They did chores together, and they eased their burden this way. Laughter speeds up any chore, and they were never in short supply.

So many of the women that Millie grew up with had similar examples and emulated them. Millie couldn’t wrap her mind around this, how they went from servants in their deddy’s house to servant in their husband’s house. Things looked to be changing for a while, but it seemed like the whole town had just gotten lazy, decided to drop into the role carved out for itself without complaint. It was like everyone decided, collectively, to just go through the motions, miserably, until they died. She’d heard it said that most people lead desperate lives, and she had never seen much evidence to the contrary. 

It was not lost on her that Banklin also swam against the current his gender created. He did not follow sports, he did not love cars, he did not go hunting, ever, and he dressed like he was in the previous century. It was almost fated that they would find each other in their later years, become the kind of platonic couple who goes to fancy restaurants to drink too much with their dinner. Maybe it was destined to be that way. Maybe not.


There were those in town who took issue with Millie being a business owner, but, for the most part, they knew to keep their mouths shut and their opinions to themselves. Most of the gossip skipped Banklin and Millie; not that they realized that. This was mostly due to the holy hell they would raise if gossip was directed their way - often, the gossip wasn’t even about them, but they would shut it down, passionately. Eventually, this gave them a kind of protection, a teflon understanding with the town. It boiled down to this: Millie and Banklin had been born and raised amongst them, suffered with them, shared their dreams, and, if they wanted to be left out of the loop, let them. Kids grew up knowing what to say and what not to say. Religious converters had long ago given up, it wasn’t worth the arguments. 


It’s hard to say for sure what makes anyone keep going. What keeps us getting up in the morning and stops us from jumping in front of a train. It’s different for everyone. Some people get up for God, some for their families. Some get up for the chance to make more money, and some get up to get wired, loaded, etc. Some get up just to get back down, and some never get up - they spend the day twisting in the blackness of their own inner turmoil. Some of us are motivated by love, by sex. Some are motivated by envy, by retribution. We are a varied bunch  of animals, and we tend to forget that very easily. This is humanity: a continuous questing to dodge the pain, court the pleasure, hurt the enemy, outdo the neighbor. This is what we spend our time doing, and that speaks volumes about the kind of animals we are. 


Pack animals with prejudices.


In that way, Millie and Banklin were also different. They eschewed prejudice in all it’s forms because stereotypes are inherently untruths, and they could not abide dishonesty. 


Millie could hear the hum of thoughts in her brain. She could place her finger on one for a moment, but, like a record paused with a finger, staying too long on any one thought would burn up the motor. So, she took quick peaks and kept on spinning, just trying to stay in the groove and she made pretty good music along the way.   

Friday, September 10, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

 Water


The tide pulls the seaweed around your leg, and, for a second, your heart pounds. Visions of great white sharks blossom. There is no shark in the water. The shark is in your mind. If only it was the only toothsome nightmare therein housed.

I went down to the store because I wanted to buy a reason to live - they laughed and tried to upgrade my cell phone. 

My Grandmother was a nice woman, but she used the word nigger in casual conversation, so I have trouble telling people about how her hugs felt. How good her cobbler was. Homemade biscuits can make up for a lot, but there are limits. She hit the limit. Now, my memories of her are all wrapped up in Klan robes. 

Ain’t it a shame. 

I was born in the heart of the south. The literal site of the yearly KKK march. I wonder about the other kids born into the hospital that day that didn’t spend their whole youth trying to surround themselves with homosexuals and Mexicans. I wonder if those poor inbred fucks have ever even had a real burrito. Hell, a real conversation. Or if they’re all using their trump flags to beat young women trying to abort their rapists’ babies. 

Man, the fishing was great when I was young. The food was good, and the music kicked ass. I’ll listen to bluegrass all day long, as long as I can do it in Stern Grove. 

It was the hidden rivers of blood I couldn’t handle. The folks crossing the street to avoid their neighbors. The sweet old Grandmas casually telling their Grandsons that something nefarious was up by using the phrase: There’s a nigger in the woodpile someplace. 

I got a lot of beef with the military, but maybe I should thank the Navy for getting my family the hell out of the parts of the country where patriotism is a sport. Give me a world of sexual revolution and burritos any day.


Dentist


Open your mouth. I want to see if I can fit my whole hand in there. So, how are you? What, you having trouble talking with my hand in your mouth? Just do your best to ignore the blood-slicked saliva sliding down your throat. Do you see how fucking tan I am? That’s your money that made me that tan. 

I know what you’re thinking. No one would do this for a living if it wasn’t some kind of sick fetish. Shove your fist in my mouth while we talk about your son’s youth soccer team. Here, put this vacuum tube in your mouth. That’s right. That’s the way. Good boy, good!

Roll over. Sit up. Spit. If you do a good job, we’ll give you a little gift baggie to take home. Toothbrush, floss, and mini tube. You just gotta lean your head back. Open wide. Hold on, let me see if I can get both hands in there. 

Don’t even wonder about the looks I give the hygienist. They’re fatherly. FATHERLY! They are like my daughters. All blonde, all tall, all built like brick - oh, hey, spit into the sink for me. Rinse your mouth with these chemicals. Don’t mind the burn. You learn to get used to it. OPEN YOUR MOUTH! 

Don’t you want your goodie bag?

So, which one of these metal instruments terrifies you the most? This one? This one is just to help spread your mouth wide, you silly goose. These are the tools I refer to. No, they aren’t for leather working, what a funny thing to say. 

OPEN YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!

I’m gonna knock you out for an hour or so while this smoking hot blonde and I put our hands in your mouth together. You’re fine. FINE! You’ll get your gift bag, and you can tell your wife you don’t have any cavities. 

We’ll see you again in six months. 


Murder


       The wind pulls the blinds back from the window - they are begging me to look. To observe and catalogue. This is how we learn, by studying our betters. This is how I will learn the routines that dictate the lives of the ones in the windows. Don’t knock on the glass - they startle easily.

They don’t know that I watch, and that brings the power. The first body is discovered on a Thursday, and I watch the ripples of fear pass through my neighbors. They start to close their blinds at night. This is evidence that it is working. They are SEEING me, even with their eyes closed, their blinds closed. They feel me, the danger that I am. They feel hunted, and they are aware for the first time what it truly means to be an animal. 

The bloodletting is only cursory. The fear is the point, but it is the blood that brings the fear. They have become so secure- they feel so safe, like nothing will ever hurt them. This safety is mediocrity. They should thank me for adding flavor to their meager lives. 

I watch them love and argue and hate and pass out drunk alone. I watch the things they do in secret when they are too immodest to pull the blinds. Tell me this doesn’t make me a god, I dare you.

I will continue to direct this play as long as I can. And when the final curtain falls, I will take my final bow, bleeding from the neck with a smile on my face. This is what it means to be a teacher, a prophet. A friend. 


Gum


        I like to think I’ve never stolen much, but I’m pretty sure I stole gum when I was a kid. Not because I was jonesing for gum - I never liked it that much. It was to see if I could do it. To see if God would smite me. To see if the cops would knock on my door some cold, lonely night. Tell my Mom I was even more of a disappointment than she had expected.

My friends stole cigarettes, but they would have bought them if they could. I smoked the stolen cigarettes. What of that? Morality and ethics are tricky concepts. 

How bad should I feel for stealing gum, if I’m right about that recollection. If that is what happened. Should I feel worse than the folks that decided we needed to invade Afghanistan? I don’t think so. And I don’t care how many cute retirement paintings he does, if I’m gonna feel bad about gum, then Bush needs to do some serious reckoning with himself. I didn’t make defense contractors and politicians rich by stealing gum. I was young and dumb, not old, bitter, corrupt and calculating. Sue me. 

I don’t think the world suffered for my purloined gum. I don’t think children died. No one spent twenty years in Guantanamo Bay because of my stolen gum. No one lost a leg. No one came out of that 7-11 with PTSD. 

I’ve never stolen much, and I can own that gum. That’s cool. I’m just a 43 year old former gum thief doing his best to make amends. And old man retirement paintings have fuck all to do with it.

This is communion. 

 

Friday, September 3, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

You can’t get an abortion in Texas, but you can strap a six-shooter to your leg for your trip to Walmart. You better damn well love your neighbor, unless they get raped and inquire about abortions, then you turn them in for a bounty. What’s next? Turn in your gay neighbors? Out the philanderers? Rat on an atheist? There are so many pitfalls on this slippery slope, and everybody is stuck wearing socks. 

The anti-abortion thing makes no sense to me. Even if you believe that God touched that belly, don’t we override God’s wishes all the time? Your mom gets Cancer. Isn’t that God’s will? Wouldn’t it be blasphemy to sign that lady up for Chemo? Just let her die like God intended. 


Hurricanes are God’s will too, right? Forget the sandbags, the water will go where God directs it. Stop wearing sunscreen while you’re at it. God wanted that skin to burn or he would have made you darker. Made you live in a cave. And God didn’t create toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste. Embrace those root canals. 

If you really love your neighbor, shouldn’t you honor their wishes? Shouldn’t you respect their autonomy? I don’t believe in God, but, if I did, I don’t think I’d presume to know what she wanted. I’m just an imperfect person like the rest of you, after all. 


The worry is wrapped around around you like a blanket - you have it pulled up to your chin; soon, it will cover your mouth and you will struggle to breathe. This is just one of the benefits of that rational mind you’re so proud of. Enjoy it. 


The worry is weight. It pulls you down. It is like the bags full of birdshot plaguing Harrison Bergeron. You could take a few drinks and ease the burden, but it will be back even heavier in the morning. You always have to pay your debts, one way or another. 


The worry is the animal subverted. It is the instinct that has nowhere to run. That constant vigilance should be protecting you from saber-tooth tigers, not making you wash your hands for the fifth time. 


You don’t have to worry about tigers these days. The tigers are dressed in suits and they are stripping your rights with smiles on their faces. Abortion in Texas is just the beginning. But you’re so worried about theoretical medical debt that you can’t follow the proceedings. You have masks to make. You have bills to pay. 


They put you in a cage, and they made you like it. They put devices in your hands. They stoked resentments, and then they laughed at your innocence and naiveté. It’s all right, though. We’ll all perish in the end. Money can’t stop entropy. Feeling warm?


With a toss of the head, she disarms you. You feel the pulse in your temples, sweat slicks your palms. This makes her smile, she can see that you are damn near squirming, writhing in your seat with the discomfort. It amuses her, and the knowledge that you are her entertainment burns you like acid.


She was trained for this, trained to sit quietly without going mad. Trained to wear that supercilious mask which hides any hope for truth or honesty. She is seated in an elevated position, and you both know what that means. She is the taskmaster. You are the task.


Until the bell rings. 


Class dismissed.

Friday, August 27, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

        Anger is a tricky emotion because it comes with a corrosive energy that can make you feel amazing. It is easy to give into anger because it feels good. And all the animalistic forces kick in. You can feel the pulse of adrenaline inside you. It is electric and hard to deny. Some people become uncomfortable when they are angry, but it is often an inability to navigate the baser desires. We are humans. We are not comfortable with the idea that somewhere, deep in our genetics, is buried the desire to hunt, maim, kill, overpower. We ignore that little piece of us until we get angry. Thus, humans are ticking time-bombs. We can be the most peaceful of species, but we never forget the hunt, and we can do evil to each other that animals would never even think of. An animal may kill one of their own if there is reason, but they will not humiliate, imprison, or torture. 

Perhaps this is why we like cats - we also like to play with the things we kill.

    We are often at odds, one might even say war, with out baser impulses. We tame the desire to fuck everything that movies and has the proper equipment - some can’t fight it, the lust is too strong and they ruin relationships, marriages, maybe their lives. Same with every base animal instinct. We watch violent movies to scratch the itch, and it sorts of works. But it still leaves us divided, simplified, as people who fear anger and its repercussions and those who court it, chase it, live for it. You can’t necessarily go chase an antelope down and rip it’s throat out, but you can skydive, watch an MMA fight, cheat on your spouse, get off on dominating other people. 

Scratch that itch.


Humans are so varied that it can be mind-boggling, especially since most of us default to a lack of awareness that we are individuals and that the rest of society might have different goals, ideas, and philosophies than we do. In some ways, it is this inability to drop the “I” lens that cripples our world. Lions aren’t worried about the things we’re worried about. They see themselves as an established hierarchy. 


Yuppies are always talking about “getting back to nature” but they mean that they will camp in air-conditioned RVs, eat trail mix and not shower for two days. If you dropped them in the middle of the veldt, they would not last long, but they would learn way more about what it means to be human than their “back to nature” counterparts.

If the other animals are capable of deep thinking, they mus

t be outraged. Puny and weak with a big brain, and we rule the animal kingdom. Claws can’t compete with bullets, and the strongest elephant can be brought down with a big enough gun. It doesn’t even have to be that big. And if we wanted to, we could destroy the earth and most of the animals living on it in a heartbeat. 


Scratch that itch.

Friday, July 30, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

         Did you listen to the teacher, or did you force your views inside the cap to where the knowledge grows? Did you think I’d never reach you? Down deep where the green water flows? 

        I wrote a trillion poems soaked in acid and blood. I climbed to the top of the mountain and rolled all the way down while Sisyphus laughed. I don’t know shit about the other half. How they live. The thoughts they give - my heart clutches; my brain, a sieve.

        I’m not interested in excuses, sad ramblings, hidden muses. I want to dance with my shirt off in the breeze. I want to fly like the smudge of pelican you can only just see. Up there. In the sky. That’s where I aim to be.

And I ain’t above dying to get there. I don’t think I’m so precious that I need protecting. I don’t have that self-importance all the rest of you have been perfecting. Projecting? Fuck if I know - I’ll just lay my head down on this concrete pillow. 


If I start talking funny, just slit my throat silently. Drag me behind a building. Flood of blood. Drink it if you like, but leave the body for scavengers. I plan on living forever inside a vulture’s insides.


Now, you’re done; you’re done with this, and you’re done denying that you were the one who stood there with the red balloon in your hand, laughing. Like I couldn’t get a balloon if I fucking wanted one. 


Fuck you. Fuck me. Let it be. Two minutes. Maybe three.

Friday, July 23, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

Adult amnesia is a tricky thing. We get so wrapped up in ego and maintaining. We lose wonder. We lose honest reflection. We are curating the experience instead of experiencing it. Children don’t do this. Not until they get programmed. 

We judge children for giving into their emotions so fully. We old folks forget how thick and sticky moods and emotions can be. 

Before you became teflon, you felt real joy, real sadness, real anger. Now, you feel facsimiles of these things and fill in the iffy parts with radio jingles and bucket lists - little pieces of movies and shows that you think happened to you. 

Meanwhile, your kids are just picking a hole in the arm of the sofa, but they are INTO that shit. And you ask them why. And they look at you like you’re crazy. Like, why’s there always gotta be a why, old man? What’s wrong with I felt like it; it felt good; I wanted to see what would happen. Meanwhile, your shields are up and you’re thinking about how much sofas cost, missing the point.

It’s hard being human, but everyone gotta pretend. Not kids. That’s why I like them. When they’re mad, they’re mad. You know it. Happy? Same thing. It takes a while to learn to lie about how you feel, to wrap yourself up into a presentable, marketable package, poker-faced. HERE I AM, A FUNCTIONING ADULT WHO IS DOING JUST FINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Ask an adult how they’re doing. Fine. Ask a kid; get a real answer. 

I don’t have any answers, but I’ve got a bunch of questions. Wasn’t planning on writing today, but Antrobus called it, and I will always answer that call. So, here it is. The cap to the day - a day filled with deer conversations and otter nonsense. A pretty objectively GREAT day.

Does it matter? I don’t know. The deer aren’t thinking about it, and maybe they’re lucky. Maybe it’s me, sitting here thinking about how animals will come to you if you are quiet, open, gentle. Reflecting. Stuffing meaning into it.

Man, give me a world full of kids and animals. Send the adults to an island somewhere. They can talk about mortgage payments and politics. 

Just don’t make me go with them.

Friday, June 25, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

     "Are you sure you want a clear wipe? There is no going back."

    "Absolutely, Doc. Wipe that shit clean. Good memories, bad memories, feelings of inadequacy and past relationships be gone. Jobs? Done. Friends? Fuck it, I'll make new ones."

    "There will be a sense of disorientation that is strong. Sometimes there is a fracture that we do not foresee. Ego obliteration is one thing; a completely blank slate ... not that it is unprecedented, but it is usually used as a means of punishment and control."

    "Alright. I'm punishing myself. You're in control."

    "And what, exactly, are you punishing yourself for? The clean slate is usually reserved for the worst our world has to offer."

    "Yep. That's me. I'm a fucking mess. I can't get it down, this grown up thing you guys all bought into. But I also can't seem to just relax and go with it. I actually want people to be honest, accountable you know? I own the bad shit I do, how come no one else does? Clearly *I* am the problem here. I just want you to wipe that shit clean, so I can start over and be like everybody else."

    "You think you're ... different, is that it?"

    "Look man, I'm not being superior. It makes my life miserable. I don't know how it happened. Maybe I missed that week in Kindergarten. Maybe I had a fever that went too high. All I know is, long as I can remember, the world did not get along with me and vice versa. I'm tired of trying to explain myself. Hit the button."

    "Sir, this isn't a fast food restaurant."

    "Yeah, no shit. No happy meals. Come no, man. I paid the fee. You have the money. Don't try and pretend that you have, er, ethical problems with this. You wipe people's minds for a living. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot. You ain't in consideration for the priesthood, you feel me?"

    "Insulting me is probably not in your best interest."

    "Are you threatening me? Is that what that was? I can go someplace else. It's not like you're the only goon in town doing this ... ahem ... good work."

    "No, no. No problem. We'll begin now. Nurse? Injection?"

    The patient's eyes closed almost immediately.

    "Jesus, did you hear that one?"

    "Yes, Doctor. Shall I take him to the O.R.?"

    "Nah, wheel him down the hall to 409 with the rest of the assisted-suicides."

    "Suicides, Doctor?"

    "Problem, Janet?"

    "No, Doctor. Of course not."

    Janet did as she was asked. Otherwise, she would be the next in line for room 409. She knew that. That was one thing she did know.

Friday, June 18, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

She got her high heel boots on; it’s a long walk to a backward con. 

Listen to the clapback, all them cobblestones she’s walking on. 

Don’t get it twisted; it’s just life in the city; man, she gon’ roll along.


She so cute with that Instagram smile, all ducked out and small. 

Take her down to the Taste Freeze, fill her bags up at the mall. 

She’s got boxes full of drama, and that’s not all.


Beneath the heat, the sly smiles wither. 

Look at me coming yon, coming hither. 

Listen to the morning birds while they dither. 


There’s a mud castle, and it’s decorated just the way you like it. 

No car, just bike it. Can’t love it, like it. 

Stay away from brujas, them bitches mad psychic.


Take me down the bodega, turn the hydrant, pass the popsicles. 

Stand in front the ice cream, turn you into an icicle. 

Be radical. Magical. Done give up; it’s tragic y’all.


Or turn yourself to stone, wondering where the greenery grow. 

Who’s there finding out, and who already know… 

It’s summer in the city, and the rooftops smell like snow.

Friday, June 11, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

Junkies have priorities, it’s just that they’re fucked, but they’re not as simple as Hollywood leads you to believe. Being a junkie takes motivation, and that drive sometimes leaks into other places. Revenge. Sex. Love. Work. There are all kinds of junkies, and some of them do real well for themselves. 

It’s fucked if you think about it. We hate all addicts except the ones addicted to money or work. What is Jeff Bezos if not a fucking money junkie? Self-respect? What’s that? The opinion of your loved ones? Doesn’t matter. It’s how YOU feel, right? But don’t let that money lust manifest in booze, drugs or sex unless you’re a degenerate. 

Workaholics are heroes. You miss your kid's birthday because you’re a drunk or a gambler? Degenerate. You miss every birthday because business doesn’t take the day off, and it’s your job to provide? That checks as long as you’re a step away from food stamps. When you’re puling down 500K a year and no one would care if you took a Saturday afternoon off, you may feel like a real go-getter, but, to the rest of us, you look like a junkie. 


Hypocrisy is the name of the game. Politicians preach about righteousness while they sell their tongues for corporate kickbacks. 


You run a mega-church? I hope there’s room in mega-hell.


How do you deal with a world like this one? Thug cops on a murder trip. School shootings. Chinese concentration camps everyone pretends not to see. Don’t look where those missiles went, the ones we sold, the ones taking babies out before they get old. 


Tell me what a Billionaire is except a fucking sociopath? The Kardashians may aspire to that, but the rest of us would be a whole lot better off trying to be decent people. Keeping our eyes on our own, individual prizes instead of buying into the money/power worship.


But maybe I’m just a simpleton; I’m sure not powerful. Nor rich. Nor influential. I’m not super talented, and I don’t grind 24/7. I like to fish. I like to spend afternoons reading in the shade of a tree. See, I figured something out. I watched a man defer happiness and die before he got to tap into it. 


Fuck power; I just want this lazy smile pasted to my face. 


You can have the rest of the cards, Slick.


I’ll keep my hidden ace.  

Friday, June 4, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

The wind changes the texture of the air, sends ripples across the surface of the water. It carries the smell of honeysuckle and pipe smoke. It is a chorus of murmurs through the dry leaves. 

Andrew watches a leaf drift by, first plummeting, before being sucked up, up, up, high into the air on updraft after updraft. It rides the same currents the osprey does and he wonders where each will be when the sun goes down. 

Andrew will be at home. 


Right now, however, he is not at home. He is shin deep in the cold, clear water of a runoff stream, rod in hand, feeling the wind on his skin and wondering if the trout are feeling hungry. 


He imagines they are. It’s been a long winter. 


In later years, he will come to think of it as a time of directions. Everyone left and nothing went right. He could almost find a bit of humor in that somedays - dark humor, small and sticky like a ball of pine tar.


Through all those months, all the trips to the hospital, he had found solace by the water. There was a logic in it that he appreciated. You fished. If the fish were hungry and if you didn’t screw up too bad, you caught some. Fish like an idiot? No fish. Fish aren’t interested? So be it. Some things are beyond our control. The fish were just. There was no justice in sickness or doctors. I


Illness was the bravado and optimism of fishing, with nothing else. And it waited


Illness has immense patience. 


He tried to push it out of his mind and almost succeeded. For a few hours, he was almost as pure as the water. He was connected to something, tethered. 


He could not float away. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

Sitting in a rocking chair, unobtrusive, conservatively-stained wood. Not enough padding to make you feel sinful. Not enough rock to make anybody roll. Just a good old wholesome American rocking chair. The kind your grandpa sat in when he was ready for his nap. Every day, same spot, watch in hand, but no alarm, and his head would drop, and he would snooze. For exactly fifteen minutes and then wake up, look at his watch, and return to his usual hell raising. 

It was a neat trick, one that always filled me with a sense of envy and sadness. I mean, I was sort of jealous, but, really, what kind of freak superpower is that, to be able to sleep, instantly, every day, for fifteen minutes? 


Ass in a goddamn chair.


Or, your grandma sat in that old, wooden rocker - crocheted or knitted or did crossword puzzles or pretended to read a book. Something manic in the the metronomic rocking, the controlled fury. 


Ain’t no slouching in a chair like that. It ain’t made for loving or for video games. It’s made for sitting, focused on the task at hand, and getting lost in the rhythm laid down by generations of sore and tired backs, moving with a head on the bob, afraid to be still, because still things die. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

2 Minutes. Go!

Don't look at me all high and mighty like that. Like you never smoked catnip. Never broke pieces of crack rock off, smoked it on top of cigarette ash in a metal bowl. Like you never drank lighter fluid or tried snorting the painkillers in your parents’ medicine cabinet. 

Like you never barricaded your door and sat with a hunting knife pressed against your throat while your parents screamed at each other. Like you never got raped by some asshole who thought you’d want it even though you were unconscious. 


Like you never got lied about and defamed by bottle-blond self-abusers afeared of the ideas in their little Disney brains. Like you never chewed Oxy. Like you never used a serrated kitchen knife to map your thighs. 


Sure you can smile, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re a compulsive masturbator. That you smoke too much weed just so the snacks will taste better. Don’t act like you never drank two bottles of robitussin to see what would happen. Don’t look at me like you never woke up on the kitchen floor with blue nitrous lips. 


Don’t act like you never paid your employees too little while you tallied up your stock options. Don’t act like you never dropped bombs on dirt-dwelling folks just so you could add another wing to your vacation home. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t eat an endangered animal given the chance. 


Don’t think we’re going to Mars and we ain’t gonna fuck that shit up. Mars will be Florida within five years of our arrival. You ever freebased on Mars? They’re cutting that shit with stardust. 


Don’t act like you never courted genocide, waving American flags like you were trying to put out a fire, not start one. 


Don’t look at me if you’re not looking in the mirror, motherfucker. 


We all got issues.