Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heaven at the End of a Pen

All godly love on full display. Breaking our faces in the Viking melee. Then Richard Cory dispensed medicines to himself and the words of the mind stopped. He dropped into the grass and rolled himself up for any passing Cyclops.

A Cyclops did pass, it was ol’ James Joyce clad in eye patch and he was already smoking away on his pipe at ten in the morn. He passed Richard at the same time he always did. He spoke: “Richard don’t kill yourself today my dear friend.”

“Someone will be by to smoke me soon. I will be out of the way shortly.”

And Mr. Joyce kept a-strolling finishing the rest of their conversation in his mind. It was always the same when the ink dried. “Thanks a million Richard. You were always a charming man and friend.”

He looked to his left and saw two twins. They were old. Just like the pictures said they would be. There were a thousand pictures. The twins were locked in heated discussion. In eardrums it sounded like this:

“Where you are born has no bearing on the kind of writer you will be.”

“I disagree. I find testicular fortitude is more apparent among the likes of Herman Melville.”

“I vaguely knew Herman. Certainly of him. His fortitude existed only in the sense that he kept writing in his time. If he would write now he could be the belle of the ball. What did you think about when you wrote Jailbird?”

“I decided to think about not having any testicular fortitude.”

“You thought you were old. Didn’t you?”

“I thought that for a long time.”

When James quickened his gait he could have predicted when and for how long he would, instead, he listened for the call of a bird. His apprehension in longing was broken by a bird strumming a guitar and singing.

Broken rhythm, it came out like this: “Ezra Pound… Maya Angelou… Sat in Captain Falcon’s tower….. Calypso singers live and learn and I’m jilted holding flowers.”

He always had it right, the beginning is important, everything else is a flight of fancy. James thoughts were drowned out by the birdsong.

He continued his walk into the wild-west part of town. He saw a man with a big mustache talking to a donkey by the livery. James said this:

“Zarathustra! You’re merely wasting your time, he doesn’t need you.”

To which Zarathustra responded: “Consider the lilies of the field. They don’t need me. Yet I stand before you.”

James waved and kept walking. He stopped by a store stocked with all manner of spirits from all manner of eras. He looked unto the laudanum and next to it the absinth. The proprietor stepped out from the back and said: “Welcome back to Vision in a Dream James. What can I do for you today?”

“I’d like to try some of this Will Shakespeare strand.”

“Hitting the reefer heavy I see.”

“Well it’s heaven, I won’t write anything ever again, so I can do to myself as I please.”

“I pass not judgment. How much can I put you down for?”

“I’ll take this entire jar.”

“Alright James. I hope you enjoy.” He then walked over to his writing pad and added James’ latest purchase to his tab.

In heaven you never pay your tab. In heaven you never have to write again. In heaven it feels like heaven.

James stuffed the mason jar in his coat pocket and made his way out to the rocks by the shore of the sea. He looked up and down the beach. In the distance a solitary figure sat staring out at the endless bounding waves. James began to walk toward the figure.

He tapped his pipe and stuffed some of the Will Shakes into it. He sat by the dark haired figure who never broke his gaze of the sea even when James asked:

“You dreaming?”

“Of swimming?”

“You never will.”

“I only care to dream.”

“This stuff takes my dreams away.”

“Even in heaven?”

“Et tu heaven.”

“I thought heaven would be as it existed in my mind.”

“You looked for those images stored deep in there. That’s more than most dream of accidentally.” James reassured.

Silence except for the ocean.

Then Ti Jean said:

“The ocean splashes me with salt water. I taste it and I taste the death of the planet as a gorgeous living organism. It will turn into a sepulcher soon and the scent will fumigate heaven.”

“If the world ends in the name of saving a dime has anything changed? If our descendants destroy everything the earth started will they be any different than our ancestors? I say ‘No’.”

“That doesn’t relieve the pain of watching it happen.”

“If there was no pain in the heavens then god wouldn’t have been inspired enough to create the worlds.”

“It’s something I cannot stand to witness.”

“I believe it was you who said: Accept loss forever.”

“I didn’t realize how much I believed what I wrote at the time. It seemed I had found heaven in that and I was way off the mark. Now I wish I could die and go back to Big Sur even.”

“You must refresh my memory.”

“It doesn’t matter. Heaven is filled with people much smarter than you facilitating your continuation of learning.”

“You best go far in the world lest you be left behind in heaven.”

“I was hoping to lose everything I learned on earth. That was the loss I was hoping to accept.”

“If that was the case what would you’ve done for all the people who died after you.”

“Given them the keys to the car. The kids were disappointed by my stories often. I was stretching yet I only did what I knew. And I only knew the truth.”

“You came closer than any have since Homer. Even he acknowledged that when he finished everything you wrote.”

“I didn’t know Homer could see in heaven.”

“You can do anything in heaven at the end of a pen.”

Friday, June 20, 2008


Does poetry matter?
Not really.

Except to the self.
Except to the self.
Except to the self.
And the few who do.
But mostly to the self.

The self is the head of stare.
Stairs always lead up,
Always flow down.
Occupied by eagles
Clad in the makeup of a clown.

Skip to the loo my darling.

Can you hear me over this?

How about this?

I really do like this country.
Despite all my claims to the contrary.

I like being able to pee off of my front or back porch.

I like being able to say “Fuck you” or “Fuck off” to anybody,
At anytime,
For no reason.
No fucking reason.

“The goddamned plane has crashed into the mountain!” said Lebowski.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You Fool

Best kick and kill
Before the bull’s have their fill.
Best eat the berries
Of the bushes getting heavy.

Saw two baby birds today,
Blind, unformed, in the nest.
One egg, never born.
The mother flew away when I lit near.

Breaking cracking lasting fasting,
See the picture clear
Hank Williams singing cold, cold, heart.
Sez boys don’t ramble.

Different song.

Same message.

Who holds the message?
The message holder does.
You fool.

Hark, the angels fart.
Hark, the meadowlark sparks.
Hark, the infinite space bleeds blows riots then quarks.
Hark, the angels sing.
From their buttocks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

God's Marshmallows

We are all alone forever.
So thank god there’s a god,
Every time I see him,
I pinch him,
Just to see if he’s dreaming.
So if one day the world turns upside down,
Just know,
God musta been dreaming.

Peak of mental powers does come.
It’s all downhill after that.
Can you survive it without -------- ------- it if?

Who's to say god doesn't smile instead of decide?
We can be marshmallows, there you go.
Like a pyramid tapering out towards heaven.

An afterthought,
from the afterbirth,
of nothing?

No, someone was dreaming.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How Coach Pulled My Tooth

“Fire cracker! Fire cracker! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Boy’s got the muscle! Girl’s got the pretty legs!”
So sang coach.

We kids all laughed. Coach said something that we couldn’t hear because we were laughing so hard. Then he got us back on the tail of attention by shouting:
“Hip, hip…”
“Hooray!” We answered back.
“Hip, hip…”
“Hooray!” We answered again.
“Hip! Hip!”
“Alright... give me two laps!”
“Aww coach...”

But we were off around the track. Some slower to start than others. My friends and I amongst the slower ones to run. With us were the fastest kids who only stopped to take their shoes off before leaving us in the dust.

I ran as fast as I could, which wasn’t fast at all. Putting me at about the middle of my class. Some days I took my shoes off, today I didn’t. Which meant that tomorrow I wouldn’t have stone bruises on the bottom of my heel. But I watched in envious admiration as the speed demons slapped their bare feet on the clay and gravel of the first curve.

Then everyone sped down a straightaway shaded by oak trees and long leaf pines. Each bare foot took another beating on the gnarly roots rising from a ground beaten down by thousands of runners over the course of an amount of years that I had yet to consider considering.

We beat our path on around the second curve, which was marked by three tires half buried in the ground. A moral decision we had to make every day was whether or not to cut the track here. I was pondering that as I came upon the first caved in tire, I leapt over it and kept going.

After we rounded the next two tires we ran another straightaway, also shaded by oak trees. This round of dirt path provided a halfway mark from which to wish you were finished. I looked to the right at an old house behind the school. It looked like an old man was on the porch with a basket of corn beside him.

As the path track merged from dirt to grass the steps grew lighter. Then we
rounded the third curve and were in full sunlight. No respite from the Florida heat.

We finally made the fourth and final turn in the full sun. I tried to pace myself, but, since I didn’t really know what pacing myself meant, I just ran full-bore. Firecrackers boom, boom, boomed in my calves and my side. I ran on, slowly losing ground. Going from being in the front middle to the middle middle to the lastly middle.

Second lap, here it went. On the second curve I let a smokescreen go that lasted all the way to the third curve. Luckily I was an actor in a silent movie and didn’t embarrass myself in front of a girl I had a crush on. I was running beside her and we were talking. I kept a straight face.

Coach was leaned forward with his stopwatch in hand. He called everyone’s time loud enough that we could hear it even if we weren’t listening. We sat on two benches in the order we finished. The fast kids on the front, I on the second and several on their feet waiting for coach to come by.



Then it was off to one of the baseball diamonds. I stood in between first and second base. As the third shortstop on the team. Coach didn’t care much what we did as long as we tried to pick up the ball when it came near us.

I was waiting and watching with my hands on my knees. I was also spitting blood that came out of a loose tooth’s widening hole. Coach was sitting on a picnic bench and watched me playing with my tooth.

“Come ‘ere son.”
I walked over to him.
“What’s bothering you?”
“Let me see.” He pointed at my mouth.
I opened it and he said: “That’s what I thought. Hold on now.”

He reached into my mouth, pinched that tooth and yanked it out. He handed it to me. An impressive front incisor. The roots of my teeth were like pine roots. When pulled on they were prone to popping and causing a tooth to fly out of my mouth
at dangerous speeds.

“Now you tell my son what I did next time you see him.” His son was my dentist. “Go get you some water and some tissue.”

So I walked around to the outside water fountain and drank on the cool water. Spitting horrific amounts of blood into the basin. Then I went in to the bathroom and stuffed paper towels into the new gap.

I walked back to the field still spitting blood. A few of the older kids were worried about my spitting blood, thinking something was terribly wrong they told coach.

He answered them with:
“Back to the game boys and girls.”
We played on.

Friday, June 13, 2008

On Tim Russert

Rest in peace to the father and son who helped to bring my father and myself together in these dark and troubling times.

In him we lose another representative to the possibilities of the American Dream.

A bastion of journalistic excellence.

A fully formed man replete with the nobilities afforded by the last century.

Lest we forget.