Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Mummy

The Mummy

Et ceci vient de au dela du Fleuve Lethe.

Gauze all wadded,
linen in these strips,
Shake out the dust,
Stitched up so serenely
The seams lined up in peace
In pieces, all spread out perfectly.
The pattern is old, all wrong
Wrong and tattered and torn.
Dinosaur cloth, it covers
The buried bones,
All rough,
Scarred up hands, shrunken to shape, dyed and stained
Covering over the face, scarred,
Worn out teeth, short and charred
In the inbetweens,
Scarred from eating all this stone
And digging up bone.
Hair miles wide, sticking out,
Completely gone,
Matted down
Like oil to the head,
Long long long
Like stretched out days
Used up over too many dark nights
Spare sparks
All spend up.
Dyed and colored 
the dead things 
turning to powder 
to the touch
Leaving fingerprints
In broken bone
Dried up blood
Wrapped up in a kind of lace
Dead earth and rough cloth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mary Jo (a short story) part 1 of 2

Mary Jo
part 1 of 2

Mary Jo knew exactly where in town was best for running through the razor wire. Where the fence was weakest, where nobody ever looked, where a person could get under the neon lights, slip out and get free. She knew all the darkest spots and the weakest ones too.
She sat still in the big tan fake leather chair from behind the front desk. She had moved to next to the dirty window and chewed the end of a pencil. She kicked her feet. All along the walls, there were black and white photographs that stared down, lines and lines of them, quiet and motionless, as grim motionless as the dead and dying dust flying in the desert air. The air stinks. Everything always smells burnt, all burnt up and nothing but ash. The pictures stared down at her every move…and she watched back. She is locked looking right in the shades of grey somewhere near the natural location of an eye…eyeish areas of all these frozen ghosts…oh, the staring pictures. Well tonight, she was staring back. Eye to eye locked together, tunnel tunnel, center-to-center, eye to eye.
The silver car parked out front was not hers. It was not hers but she did have the keys…well, at least she knew where they were and she could easily get to them. They were as good as hers…anytime she felt like making them hers, really… and she was definitely thinking of making that exact thing a reality. Just steal the son of a bitch. Why not? Fuck this hellhole. Who would know? She could just get the keys, start the car, drive the fuck away…dum dum dum dum…boom…never look back. Right through the fence…rocket. The silver car out front was not her car. It belonged to her friend, Fiona…friends, Fiona and Alex…it was their car. They had left the car with Mary Jo earlier in the evening. They left it with her so she could watch it as she worked her shift as the night clerk at the only motel in town. And on occasion, she looked out the window and noticed it was still there and then back at her staring match. She thought it was creepy enough that the owner of the motel insisted on all the weird southwestern desert motif…the town (and motel by default) was in fact located in western Minnesota…but the decorations were only off-putting, only strange…merely quirky… the real trouble was the collection of very old sepia and black and white pictures of apparently completely infamous, uninfluenced people. All of them so gaunt and sad…like each on of them dying of the worst disease…skeletal. Skull and bones. Victims of poisonings and syphilis and profound clinical boredom. Always looking down. The staring grey eyeballs. Wow.
She looked out the window. The car was still there…still fine…and she thought her friends worried too damned much. A large chunk of the pencil eraser broke free from her incessant gnawing. She coughed and sputtered and almost choked…perhaps to death or worse…but in the end pulled through and spit the slimy lump of pink goo into her hand, made a face of shock and shook the whole load onto the ugly carpet and rubbed the spot dry with her black boot. Doc Martins. Bouncing soles.
She thought about stealing her friends’ car again. She looked at it, new, clean, shiny, and decided it was not the sort of car she would like to steal. She had principles.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Travels 8..............

Out past the end of the world, past the last broken iron and smashed concrete footprints of civilization. We went out into the impenetrable dark canopy of living wild and woven tree thickets and gravel dust chaos. Out past the confusion of living, past the always talking and always distracting…out into the simplicity of roaring engine that turns wheels and road to fire and melts rubber and thought together. Out into the single-mindedness of running. Paranoia. Fear. We heard the sirens everywhere and with each peep or squall of whining sound, we went deeper and deeper in the backlands. Around here this is how folks escape trouble…any kind of trouble…they ran hog wild into the backlands of hills and creeks and cousins. We run past the lights of town and back around again doubling up on ourselves.
“Fuck Mitchell, what did you do?” Doug’s voice is slight and being carried away by the blowing wind coming through the open window like a hurricane.
“I don’t know.”
“He fuckin’ set the lake on fire.” Jeff’s word came out flat and fell straight down towards the ground…no reverb…no going loft…the word did not float…they fell and died. The car still burning through the atmosphere like a piece of clattering space junk falling back to Earth with a spectacular crash in mind. Something felt like it was coming. We drove past the last the railroad crossing with working lights…now we were in the backwoods.
The house got less tidy. The cars parked in front got older or not at all. The sounds got quieter for a few minutes and then got louder again…but I different kind of loud. Loud out here is a special kind of loud…a loud tolerable…a loud a person can hear through. A loud made for human ears and to be enjoyed by human ears, believe me it was a sound that could soothe, soothe or shake...a shake a person down to their barest core but even that could be a soothing experience. There is magic in places like this...untamed untapped human magic. We drove even faster out here…because out here there are no laws…no laws at all…only madness prevailed out here and a person was only bound by the limits of their imagination.
The half rolled down window next to me rattled in the door and slipped a bit further down. An empty glass bottle rolled around my feet in the floorboard. I picked it up and tossed it out the window. It crashed on the road behind. I watched the tiny little bits of glass shoot up and down falling back down like shards of ice. The little bits caught the red and white light of the taillights and sparkled.
“I cannot believe you did that man.” Doug shook his head.
“It looked fuckin’ cool” Dan said as he watched the breaking glass with me. He turned back around and returned to reading his magazine.
“Yeah, It did look cool, but fuck we are going to get in some much shit.”
‘What? No, we are not. Don‘t be a fuckin‘ twat dude…nobody is going to know it was us” Dan’s voice had a higher pitch and northern lilt that the rest of us lacked.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Exploding


I am exploding like the dark night,
The dark-Extinguishing-the- light
Only them and us starry night
The covered up dark lonely night spread out like a blanket
Spread out
Across the sky.
And you write your name in the sky in the everything
The star ink
To make bright
The lightless
Cold night
Across the sky,
I spread out before you.
I am illuminated
I am the illuminated.
I am the stubble covered chin
The stubbled chin in my hand
My knuckle tattooed hand.
The blocked off
Half blind
Black eyes, sunglass-dark eyes
The dirty blonde sweat
The dirty hair
The dirty hair hanging down
In strings
The dirty greasy tresses
Across the sky
The moon light faded from neon sign light
Across the sky
The star inked arms, bulky
Knuckles not dragging
The ground
Held up
Fingers spread open
Across the sky.
I am all the light coming in through the cracks above
I am the breeze coming in from under the door
The busted tired little poor ol me
By the busted broken old radiator
The dirty hair
The stubbled covered chin
Exploding into bits
Little bits of dusty light
Dusty light
Coming in through the crack in the roof
Under the spread out sky
The spread out in star inked night
Across the sky.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

this same dream

I have this recurring dream. a stranger or say, some alien visitor comes upon a wrecked earth long after all mankind has gone extinct and the only thing left intact that he can find is a recording of a live performance of "Once in the lifetime" by Talking Heads. I have this dream often. I have it and I smile because I like the impression it would give.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Travels 7............

The dark red amphitheatre stands teetering on the tall side of a dead grass, treeless hill. Gravel and slick black shards of broken asphalt is scattered all along the sun-bleached sidewalk. The entire scene is painted bright in purples and creams and blues, the breeze off the lake is cool. The world spins too fast here and the ground moves too quick. The car ride has confused my head. I am shaking. The sweat on my brow chills me as the briney scented air surrounds and chokes me. We all line up and look over the side of the hill, straight down into the white capping waves. Long grey rocks shoot up at us until off to the left a bit a short narrow beach appears.
“What in the fuck are we even doing here?”
“Ah, Dover likes to hang around the amphitheatre here sometimes.”
“Well, he aint here…lets go.”
Jeff is chewing on the end of a cheap cigar that he stole from some convenience store pillaged along our way. He chews and chews on it and finally pulls out a lighter and a sparks the gutted and restuffed cigar. The smell of crime fills the crisp sweet atmosphere. The scent of sin…of bored.
“Hey.” Jeff suddenly blurts out.
“Why don’t we burn it?”
“Burn what? The amphitheatre?”
“Yeah, it would look fuckin cool, right.”
“We would get caught.”
“Bullshit! Come on.”
Jeff walks back to the car and grabs a half-filled gas can and Styrofoam cooler and a deep empty metal jar. He sits them down in front of me. I grab it up and help him lug it down to the small beach. Doug will have no part of this and Dan is busy just watching the madness unfold. Jeff pours the gasoline into the jar. He holds the gas can up in the air and the golden liquid pours though the breeze, leaving a greasy rainbow of fumes trailing behind it. He throws the Styrofoam cooler on the ground and stomps it into little bits…little flakes and bits of white foam flying around like a diseased plastic winter snowstorm. The wind blows cool off the lake and it smells like dead fish and slimy rocks. To the left a little bit down from where we stand on the narrow beach is a clump of dead trees standing solemnly in the green and blue bubbling water. The water bubbles and rushes because just past the trees is the spillway of the dam. It is a long way down…the spillway is extremely steep. Jeff piles up all the mad crushed pieces of cooler, tosses them in the air like a lunatic and then gathers them back up, and one by one places them into the jar with the thick smelly liquid gas. We all stand around and watch the foam disappear into the mixture.
“Man, we cannot really burn down this amphitheatre.”
“Oh, sure we can.”
“No man…fuck this is way too fuckin’ illegal…even for us.”
“It will be cool. Fuck it.”
We all stand there watching for what seems to be forever….waiting for someone to do something…no one does. No one does anything at all in fact…fate does it all for us. A long neglected ash off the “cigar” burning in Jeff’s mouth falls slowly, like a feather; down down down…it looks like the breeze is going to carry it off into the lake. I watch it going along gingerly and then suddenly it falls straight down…straight down into the homemade napalm…right into the jar. All at once, a bright orange light illuminates our shocked faces. Hairs are singed. Flesh is burned. Eyes are widened. In a flash I do the only thing I think possible…I kick the jar. The jar, flaming, flies far out in front of us and lands in a dramatic splash. The fire does not go out. The fire burns brighter and higher and spreads wildly across the water. A flamey froth of fire and watery foam…it spreads as far as our eyes can see. It climbs up the dead trees and begins to consume them in an eager rush. The flames bounce and writhe about…they reach the spillway and dance along the horizon for several seconds before the whole fiery display throws itself down the dam in a giant curtain. As soon as we witness the fall, we all break into a simultaneous run back to the car. Jeff already with the jangling keys in his fire blackened hand.
“Run away!”
We all scrambled back into the grey rusty car and exited the scene, rising flames behind us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Travels 6.......

Equal parts fire and gasoline, water and dust, mud, sparkling ash, bent lights, impatience and blood. Equal parts half-deserted passions and overly indulged appetites, forgotten, lost and burning bored like blue fire…yellow lighting streaks, the scent of oil. This is the time of night when the moon really shines its brightest, when it really shows its teeth. Hanging high up there in the middle of sky, casting long pale lunar shadows behind our feet and trailing behind the red red taillights of our speeding car. The blond head we had witnessed turned out not to be the one we sought but just another tired kid, turning corners and banging around blindly. Not our lost friend back there in the in-between dirty alley behind an out of business liquor store and the family services center. It is in fact quite likely that Dover could have left town on foot and could be as far south now as the National Forest, hanging around by the lake.
Traveling, chunky, loud, riotous, the dirt peeling off the sides of the road as we swerve and scrape the guard rails outside of town. Big open pits in the Earth, filled up with wildly bright blue water (unnatural), polluted breezes blow off the polluted ground, water, piles, dead equipment, weed trees like Box elder, cottonwood and red cedars growing up in thick clumps between the gob piles, we drive through these awful foul deserted valleys. We drive through them to get through them…to get away from them…like everyone else does. All of it lying open and blank…coal ripped from the yielding Earth still waiting in stacks. The whole place has the look of a black and white, grainy, depressing documentary…like a film student’s final project (hoping for an A). The pilot light in the blast furnace of Middle American working class industry, a pilot light now gone out and what replaced the flame…coldness…despair…acholoism reigns supreme here in these hills. Alcoholism, drug abuse, broken homes, forgotten talents, worthless dreams….coldness…despair. An alkanet basin, a dug out pit, filled with brackish filth and 20th century rust.
We run along the guardrail, sparks flying as we randomly hit and bounce, we run parallel to an old creaking railroad track. We drive over it at times, back and forth over the same line of track…we pop and jumble each and every time, heading our heads on the roof. The roof over our heads is covered with drawings and words all scribbled up there in fits of madness in red ink…some things stand out more than other…some things fade. Each time we hit the metal railing or jump roughly over the tracks, I find myself staring up at a big red Buddha head drawn in the almost middle of the roof. It shakes when we shake and it appears to grin. It always catches my eye.
By now the dark green tops of tree begin to whiz past the window and the smell of real things, the smell of breathing trees, the smell of moist warm natural air…air worth smelling…worth breathing, smells start to make it their way to my nose. My face feels clean out here in this air. The trees grow their grasping hands up to the dark dotted sky and hold up all of our thoughts. Some things fade.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Red Honda by Ben Simon (common obscura guest)

The Red Honda

I never paddled across the Higuera in that red Honda alone
That off-red Edsel, without radio, without air conditioning
But there were times when I’d envision myself in that skimpily-painted vehicle
Though I’d constantly be growing dissatisfied with the lazy windshield wipers
Who often napped while making lousy wages biting off North County hail
And I’d be dragging the Honda into Monterey Street repair shops
After each and every Hummer, Cadillac, or Prius rider threatened to shoot my car
My father decided to donate the Edsel after 21 years
Having outlived enemy automakers, we jumped on the bandwagon
But our friends are bound for glory on that newly guava wagon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Travels 5............

Doolittle by the Pixies playing constantly in the background…a chorus of “Heys” and “La las”…sprinkling in and out of the din of noise of fiery traffic squalling by….lights flashing on and off…drunks yelling…noise. The air around smelled like burnt sugar, melted plastic, singed cloth…heavy and thick…sick and it barely stirred, except in gusts and then would wildly toss our long hair into our eyes. We sat on the side of the road next to Turley Park on the far east side of town. We watched the passing people for any sign of our missing friend. Doug battered and bruised stood outside the car, leaning against it, smoking, his arms folded. His black Dragon Ball Z t-shirt torn in the middle, right though the face of Goku. He watched as the perfectly clean dirty blonde SIU students walk by and stare…stare at us…Doug flicks his ash down at their feet.
“Nice day.”
Silence. They just walk right by us.
“Read a Clockwork Orange…fuckers.”
“Doug, leave those Dickholes alone. Look for Dover.”
“What the fuck do you think I’m doing?”
The sky above looks too blue to me as I struggle to write lines down in my composition book/notebook. I try to discover meter…rhythm…construction. Every word I write worse than the last. Black ink smudged up my hand, up the side up to the brown-burnt thumbnail (from trying to relight a very small roach). A small book with a big red star (“Spark of revoltion. Selections from Iskra”) on the cover keeps slipping out of my grasp and falling on the floor of the car. I put it back behind the notebook to steady my writing. I barely look up at the others. The sky waves with heat lines, making everything look like a mirage. Everything an illusion. Dark bruised black, inky, with a thick blue stain around the edges, street lights interuppting the flow of the void from one shadow to the next. Yellow streaks of fake light illuminating cracks in the concrete and brown dying sidewalk grass. Jeff is looking hard in the other direction. Dan is still reading the articles in the old “Wizard” magazine repeatedly.
“Hey Doug, go ask those kids over there by the benches if they have any weed.”
“yeah right.”
“Come on.”
“Fuck you, man. They are probably cops.”
“Yeah, 15 year old cops…with fuckin’ skateboards.”
“Yeah, well they probably work for the cops.”
“Oh yeah, a whole fuckin’ team of 15 year old skateboard riding undercover cops…like 21 jump street…sure.”
“Well fuck it dude, I ain’t goin’. Beside, Dover has our weed.”
“We lost Dover.”
“I have our weed. Dover doesn’t have our weed.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am fuckin’ sure. It is right here in my pocket, I can feel it. Dover doesn’t have it, we are good.”
“Then why did I think he had it?”
“I don’t know. Maybe because he was talking about it earlier.”
“Oh yeah, he said he was going to get acid didn’t he?”
“Yeah, well…he said his cousin or something was gonna start making it, I think but I mean, if you want some acid that his cousins made…well that is up to you.”
“No thanks, hey what is that up there? Is that him?”
“Where?” Jeff’s head turns quickly around and looks hard in front. He fiddles with the keys getting ready to start the car.
“Up there, that blonde head going into that alley looking thing…right up there.”
Dan looks up from his magazine and Looks between the figures moving around the car.
“Either it’s him or someone going to give BJ for some crack…could be both, I guess.”
“No, Dover doesn’t smoke crack anymore.”
“Dover, never smoked crack, dammit. Let’s go check it out.”
“Doug, all this talk about BJ makes me remember, where is that BJ you owe me, bitch.”
“Fuck you Dan.”
“Get the fuck in the car, man…lets go.”

Iberia, IL

Iberia, IL
Jesse Mitchell

Some days are lightening bolts. Some days filled with super powered sparks, electric fire. Some days are the blizzard, snow white, blinding. The lights always above us, blazing bright as camera flash or dim and steady, subtle like candle flame…flicker flicker and fanning in the breeze. Today burning my neck and squinting up my eyes are the artificial long bulbs of fluorescent gas in the ever-widening supermarket aisle. I try in vain to quickly find the certain baby formula and escape out of this mercantile madness…the dreary death…the itching dearth…the dying breaths. I cannot say how I got to this place as I wring my hands together. I cannot know the paths that led me here out of the wilds of my life. But I have begun my song, my angel story, and now I must sang it…of the wild men and monsters in the memory forests of my mind.
My cart rattles as I push it down the aisle. Filled to the brim with ice cream, sponge bob band-aids, vitamins…I shake myself into mischief and daydream. Moving displays around…misplacing sign cards in their placards…anything to disturb. It makes me sigh.
Once I was wild as you America, once I was with you all…when we were all young…I was with you, together. You and I burning blood and oil, running like water, gasoline, breathing fire, tattoos in each and every town…the smell of smoke and noise and fresh ink, eating gravel, spitting asphalt. You and I, America, big booming Gypsy rain clouds filled with thunder and ice, spilling our rain around…making storm wherever we did wander. I was with you. And I imagine I still am. We are here together too.
My head hurts. My heart races. I have not slept in nights, not completely. The cries of an infant keeping my eyes peeled open. I move so slow now. I am no dead spirit however, like so many others, I still live. I am no ghost in denial. I am still every bit a part of the growth, the surging tide, the power of beauty. I am still live. A spark of fire, a hot coal, a moment of life, a warm breath.

The Hard Lines

I stand outside in the snow, imagining that I can tell the future. Outside the house, I watch the small white flakes fall around…on the black wool of my long coat…it looks like space, starry space. I am standing ankle deep in the drifts beside the white vinyl covered (it is made to look like clap board) house, hairs curling up for under my sock cap…I am smoking a cigarette and pretending to be a mystic…a seer. As the pale yellow sun sheds its egg yolk almost dead light all over me and everything else out here…all lined. Inside I can hear my brother moving about in the house, cleaning, adjusting, assisting. I am no help. The sounds of dementia and frustration waft out. The ropinirole has stopped my hands from trembling but not the sick cold shaking inside…so, I drink from this big convenience store plastic cup filled with Mountain Dew and a few shots of the cheapest Vodka available at eight in the morning. I take sip after sip…no numbness…just tired. The smoke burns my eyes. I lean against the side of the house. It leaves a long off white streak down my coat. I try to brush it off. On the left side of me a crumbling, dry rotted, sun bleached carport barely stands up, covering a blue tarp mound. Under the mound is a very old lump of metal and clear shiny glass…my grandfather’s old Chevelle. 1966 blue SS 427 Chevelle; it sits here buried…and has ever since he, my grandfather, was buried. I can almost see a corner of it poking out…I can almost see a bit of the bright blue fender getting all covered over my this thick blowing snow. I look though the window, curtains cracked, the window of the house next door and watch everyone inside run back and forth doing their morning things. I do not try to pry…to spy…just bored.
My brother coming out the back door, still talking to our grandmother over his shoulder as he closes the door behind him and makes his way down the back steps…they are crumbling concrete (once long ago they were painted a bright ridiculous red…now with fading and breaking, they look all mottled). He looks at me once he makes it to the bottom and makes a disgusted face at me.
“How was she today?”
“Not good, man. She is never good anymore.”
We get into his car. Close the door. I wait for him to talk to me. I just sit in the passenger seat looking over every now and again.
“So, am I just taking you home now?”
“I don’t know. I mean, I don’t have anything else to do.” I stare down at my pants, wide eyed, and feeling uncomfortable.
“Okay…” He rubs his forehead with his hand.
“Well I guess you can hang out with me for awhile. How much have you drank already?”
“Ummm, I I…what?”
‘I asked how much have you drank already fucker. I know you have been, so how much?”
“Just a little…just a little.” I brush some of the snow off my legs.
I feel like I am the very next step in human evolution. Few people share that belief. I think my thoughts as the car rolls down the icy road. We weave our way through the open streets of residential areas. Big tall white boxes, blue boxes, grey boxes, surrounded by trees and children’s toys littered about…tall trees swaying in the snowy breeze. I think my thoughts. I imagine myself a new kind of man, strong, smart, beautiful, oddly in touch with the emotional life around me. I imagine myself better than everyone at everything.
“Maybe if I could get Grandpa’s car out.”
“Fuckin’ leave that car alone.”
“I just wanted to get it out and drive it around…maybe make fuckin’ Willis jealous.”
“No, never gonna happen man. Fuckin’ leave the car alone.”
Willis is my next-door neighbor. I hate him. He is an idiot. He is a thoroughbred fool ambling around this world taking up space from others…more worthy people. I have known him my entire life.
“Yeah, really get his goat, man.”
“Willis, doesn’t even notice you man, okay. You are not going to make him jealous. He has a job, Robby, okay. He has his own car…his car…that is allowed to drive. Hell man, he even has a girlfriend. Just leave that dude alone. It is embarrassing.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sheridan Road

Sheridan Road

I stand almost upright
And nearly lost
Halfway a prisoner
Roughly between Emerson and Sheridan Road
Frozen in the explosion,
The sound drops out,
Things fly around my eyes
I stand in the middle of the passing-out-calm,
The quiet echoing melting-down-tunnel vision
I stand still and Looking up,
Naked souled and with a reckless restless spirit
And not yet blind…blind…blind.
I stand right here, silent and never moving
I will stand right here between Earth and Heaven
Between hearth and battlefield
Bloody bloody hero but well fed.
I will stand here, grass growing around my feet
And moon light pooled around my head
A halo, a burn…
I will stay right here
Let the Zunis keep their war gods
Let Aztecs keep their water gods
Let the Christians keep their words of peace
I will stand here
Nude souled
Right here between Heaven and Earth
Never moving.
I will begin to breathe
Breathe it all in as
It collides behind me
As it blows to dust in star powered explosions
I will begin to breathe standing here
As it, all turns to air.
Never moving.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Travels, a piece from close to the end, macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration becomes a way of life after awhile…the willing desolution of sense power…becomes a faith, a philosphy, a warm place in a cold storm of reality. Remaining ignorant and myopic in a world of sensual over indulgence keeps a soul feeling safe…keeps a person feeling at home in an ever changing and difficult world. I watched the moon light bend and slowly cover the clear clean windshields of the perfect clean beautiful cars all lined up in rows in the sweating cooling parking lot. I counted the streetlights reflecting. I followed the headlights rush by and warp in the curved glass. We stumbled upon this reality. This is all there is and there is more of everything here than anywhere else on Earth. My mind lying to eyes…telling me that what I see is not what I see…what I see is the end…all around me the end colliding with what little there is to do.
We stood around in the parking lot, our feet sore, drinking. Some of us sat, backs broken from the weight we hadn’t yet carried. The drinking was done because of absence of other intoxicants. A horrid wicked liquid…clear…hot like pure fire…vodka flavored cheap drunk…80 proof…guarnteed distilled yesterday. Awful stuff that numbed the inside of the mouth at first contact, and drowned every living cell still clinging to the sides of our rattled heads.
Looking up into the dark sky, the stars blinked, light pollution kept the sky’s beautiful canopy obscured…never a problem in our parent’s day…a central theme in the lives of us and others like us…a world filled with things lost and taken away and replaced with terrible scary things…unfixable…we were never given the tools to fix these kinds of problem. Most everyone simply gives up. Quite a few of us climbed inside a bottle or a pip and remain there to this day…or they are dead…tired of beating themselves to death trying to remain alive in all this twisting and turning. Looking up at the star starved sky, you can just barely make out where the fantasy of things stops and the calm evil of reality soaks in…leaving a stain. Up where science’s civil disobidence becomes apparent…where the moon light twists and turns and what ever hell, heave’s hands has built shines completely in the pale lights accidently left on by reckless selfish souls who came before…showing in the shadows the things never met to be obsevred. I see them. I watch the headlights buzz by and dance in the clear windshields of the cars waiting overnight for their owners.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Prophet

The Prophet

Across the river, the bone eaters bang out rhythms and chant. They beat out their music on wood and bone and stone. They dance together in wide circles, their flowing robes spinning and trailing behind them, throwing sparks and dirt up into the night air. He sits on the opposing bank covered in mud and ash. He sits cross legged and staring blankly into the empty air. He lets the night’s cold numb him. The small fire he lets smolder, he needs it only for the light. The music from the camp comes rushing at him in waves. His hands sweaty and shaking, he writes…coercing the letters forth to form words and words into statements, with the greatest effort. He sits wrestling with language, with his thoughts. He writes the black letters, writes them like fire on the scraps and strips of liquidy white paper before him…black fire on white flame. He lefts his eyes up and holds out his hands and prays. The mournful sound of a lone man chanting prayers in the desert night becomes mixed with the primitive music flowing from the camp. He gets caught in the sounds. His eyes go blank and he stares at the rivers water rippling and rushing. The Labbok, the river, muddy before him pulls his attention deep down into it. He finds himself in a trance. A hand comes up out of the water and he watches it come closer and closer to him until it grasps him and pulls him down into the waves. He sinks into wet cold river and sees before his eyes a morbid mirror reflection of himself. The reflection puts his hand over his eyes and blinds him. The reflection swims behind him and pulls him down down towards the bottom. Fighting and gouging and struggling, the water gets into his lungs. He coughs or tries to, he struggles to get free, biting and poking and punching and pulling. He fights for his life. The blood of both beings bubbles up to the top of the water and stains the surface. What seems like hours of battle ensue until he pushes free of the reflections hold and kicks his feet hard in the zombie like reflections face and eyes and swims sightless to the surface. As his head comes to the top of the water, he can faintly hear the music from the camp. He climbs out of the water and lies down without a sound on the muddy bank. He lets the cool rushing desert wind dry him as the bone eaters bang out their rhythms and songs, as they dance and tell tales. He lies barely alive, barely awake, all down wrestle with gods and men.

The Devil-Dancer of Kandy

The Devil-Dancer of Kandy

While the things that turn, shift and stutter,
Dance and move, and begin to break down.
While the things that howl
Make their shrieking devil sounds.
While the things that march,
Pull hard on the sides
Of the things that still can dance.
The Duk-Duk Men in Borneo,
Make their movements,
Tell the futures
And whisper sorcerers’ secrets
To the cloudless skies
With stars afloat on
Tongues aflame.
Neti, neti, neti, neti and the forest come alive.
Forests of wire, forest of sand,
The Ashram comes alive
The Asuras make their moves.
Sadhus and Fakirs
Imams and Dervish
\spin and whirl
And a sacrifice is made at a spirit-pole
In Mandalay
The screams get carried on the breeze and the muffled moans of the woman of
Fade fade fade away.
The colors that hold the hands together,
The colors they are blinding.
The steps that hold up the thin parts of reality,
The movements remain

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I waited eyes blurred under the gas station awning. The heavy, slightly off balance glass door swinging open just to the left of me, blowing a crisp air-conditioned air all over me, the door creaks, the sound is sickening, the smell of the fake air frightening...the baseness of it all leaves me numb. The fake sunshine yellow tungsten flame of indoors spills out and washes up my sweat soaked back and mixes with the ethereal blue of the long fluorescent light bulbs above my head…my halo…the lights and colors mix and cast special shadows all around…barely perpectible…but I see them out the corner of my eyes. Grey green shadows…phatoms haunting the periffall sides of my vision. Out in the open air of the natural humid bug chirping, dog barking, thick terrifying scent of parking lot, the car sat waiting as driver and friends fumble along in the dim light for incriminating articles. I keep watch on the streets. I keep watch of the patroling police cruiser. Up and down the streets next to the conveince store…like a shark…patrolling…hunting…bar lights like a dark evil fin…giving away its movements. There is no way in hell that we are going back on the road until that thing leaves…until he is tired of trying to spook us. We all know his and his types game by now. Now we just have not to disturb the traffic of commerce coming and going in a steady stream in and out of this convience store…two lines revolving like it is a bizarre Escher Illustration. We just have not to disturb the exchange of money and not disturb the clerk. We are sure to upset the cart eventually…now it is just a waiting game. Let that cop make us a hole and right though it we will go…running hard right though until morning or at least to the next stop…no one knows where we are. No one cares. No one anywhere knows what we are up to…no one cares. Ripped out pages from phone books blowing out the open car window when the stiff nearly storming air kicks up. The sky above crackles and thunders…but no lighting…no light at all to brighten up the wicked starless sky. No navigation possible here...only hopeful and dreaming. Over my shoulder is the heavy black canvas bag filled so full it barely buckles. The bag is filled with a copy of “Cat’s Cradle” by Vonnegut, with a cracked spine…I have duct taped it up so that the cover barely shows…a have a copy of “A Season in Hell” by Rimbaud, with water marked cover and pages…pages trying to fall out…clothes…a old super 8 camera…two cartages of film…and a half full bottle of Dr. Pepper. I repostion the bag on my shoulder as the tar soaked tobacco smoke from my Camel Menthol burned my eyes. The rub my eyes and put my glasses back down and look and see the police car run up close to the waiting car and look inside at my friends. He pulls to a stop a block up out of their sight. He picks up his radio and starts to voicelessly speak to some other official far away.
“We need to go.” I say running up to the car door. I pull open the handle and ease inside. Jeff puts the car into the neutral and we slide down the parking lot and back out onto the road. Without turning on the light, we begin the compustion process that is exclusive to the internal compustion engine and in a brief knife like cut of pure American automotive power we tear down the road…we blow right by the police car a block up and wave…and then we turn on the lights.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Travels in the Chevy (Oldsmobile) part 3

With everyone piled inside of the primer grey solid iron battle ship of a late seventies Oldsmobile, we balled up and held on with all mighty as Jeff turned the key and the fire inside this vile beast breathed to life and all the air around us chugged into a frothy rapid swirl. When the “Falcon” was started your knuckles immediately turned white and your words turned to prayers of any kind and your eyes sparkled and shone and danced with absolute joy. It was that kind of event. Jeff barely touched the wheel when he steered. Turning it carelessly, if caution were an issue it had long ago been torn and ripped and wadded up and tossed away in a bunch along with handfuls of multi-colored pills and sugar packets and cigarette butts. The interior of the car smelled thick and sweet, like kicked up dust and spilled soda and clouds of marijuana and wisps tobacco smoke…the air barely breathable hit your nose with a force unknown to me before or since.
Jeff’s face looked in a perpetual stoic non-grin grin of perfect Zen like satisfaction…the sounds and sights and everything moving and turning…everything chugging and bumping…his very reason for existence. I sat in the front seat usually…staring blankly out the cracked windshield at the orange yellow glare and watching the sun revolve down the sky away from us. Between a Boba Fett statue with a bobbling head and a sun faded crack running down the dashboard…I focus my hand to steady myself…there is nothing safe about riding in this vehicle. The shaking causes the glove box to unexpectedly pop open and vomit all of its contents on my lap…lighters, little square tins filled with weed, old rags, wadded up plastic bags with traces of all sorts of powers and dusts…food wrappers.
Behind me in the fire damaged backseat (months ago the backseat was set ablaze by a wayward cigarette ember and oblivious young idiot…the idiot was me…burned down completely to the steel springs and covered it all up with a old thread bare American flag), but directly behind me sat Dan and to his side behind Jeff sat Doug…rattling off nonsense complaints and obscure directions. We made our forgetful way down back roads and side streets through the local college town looking for the friend of ours we had earlier in the day let out of the car and jokingly pulled away leaving him…but now…now he was actually lost. The shocks of the car were long gone and each and every bump was felt in each and every part of the human body…rattling bones together and creating some of the most uncomfortable sensations known to man.
“Goddammit dude, fuckin’ learn to drive! And why in the fuck are we goin’ around this way…fuck Doolin, we were just down this street.” Doug’s face bright red now, disgusted by our foolishness.
“I know. I said I thought I saw him go down this way.”
“Just now…doesn’t that girlfriend of his live down this way.”
“What? No, she lives on the other fuckin’ side of town. Damn, dude, fuck this…take me home.”
“No, I am not taking you home. We got to find Dover.”
“Yeah, man…seriously settle down.” Dan looking up from a dusty curled up magazine or comic he found in the floorboard.
“Dude! Are you even looking?”
“What? Yeah.”
“Dude, fuck this! Slow down…stop…I am getting out.”
We don’t slow down. In fact, judging by the passing asphalt and steel street signs, we have sped up. Doug can take no more and opens the door wide in a daring gesture…meant to drive home a point. Young men, bored to death and frustrated, are not the most logical beast walking the face of this planet and this is double true when intoxicates are involved and points are to be made. And as quick as a camera’s light flashes and burns away, Doug had gingerly removed himself with a start from the speeding barreling car. He hit the concrete embankment behind the Carbondale Subway with a thick soundless thunk. He didn’t roll. He didn’t move. He didn’t spin. He just lay there. The car made a loud squeak and we veered to the left and then to the right and final slowed enough and stopped about 20 feet up the road. We all got out and walked back. I looked at Doug.
“Someone is goin’ have to tell his Mom, dude.”
“Doug is dead.”
“No, he isn‘t.” Dan said as he slowly strolled up…he zipped his coat and looked down at Doug.
“Get up, Bitch!”
Doug opened one eyes and looked up.

Friday, July 9, 2010

17 Plus 17 Lost at Sea

17 years surrounding this world
Going back and forth
Making rounds
Plus 17 lost at sea
Losing all sight of shores
And dry land
Snows and poplar trees
And mountains
And valleys below and green ribbons grown out too long and ripe
And the aching sounds the dust makes
In prayer too heaven
17 years at a time
Pressed against the wall
Red eyes watching your every move
Like a Trotsky staring from out his
Hidden is plan
17 years of sin waiting
To get into the paradise
Prison built by Czars
And Princes
None of us remembers
Here lost upon the ocean
That we cannot drown ourselves in
Only come out cleaner and damper and shivering
17 years making our rounds
Back and forth around this

Riverside, CA

Losing words like aneurysm, stroke
Blood clot…falling like paint at my canvas feet…
hemorrhage, cardiac arrest
Leaving bloody stains on the floor
Words like blood soaked waves
Stains on
The mirrored floor
Reflecting back the saintly souls floating,
Breathing above my head
Kwan Yins and beautiful magic Madonnas
Paint-like drops and hot breath fog

As I sit straight back
In golden rest.
A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik
Filled with warm rushing red blood and blue veins.
Little Orange ovals dissolve under my tongue
Blue dots above.
The knowledge tree.
pill-popping fiend
Hiding the evil and wicked
Wicked things
In between sheets of paper
Paper filled with scribbles
A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik …A Tsaddik

Don’t try to hide, sleeping, a simple bhikku,
In a shady orange grove in Riverside
The police in their patrol cars
In their shiny cruisers
The police will bust you and lock you away
Even if you are a Mohawk
…they have no respect for the American Indian
Or religious expression or joy
In Riverside, California
Or Oceanside or Barstow
Or Bakersfield north.

The words fall out like fireworks and dust and sparkler ash.
Holding my breath
As I watch the inky blood fall from under clouds
Saintly sitting
Getting covered in the color
A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik… A Tsaddik.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Dark Green - Jesse Mitchell - Open Salon

The Dark Green - Jesse Mitchell: "The Dark Green

The girl in the Edward Hopper painting began to breathe. I could see her chest moving, swelling in the yellow green sweater. She looked me right in the eyes, as I lie there, prone, not awake but neither dreaming. The smoke stumbled around my head, falling in places, flying up high in the air…just following the breeze. My eyes hot and watery. I lost myself in imagination. A new Utopia ruled by Angela Davis and Paul Newman…Steve McQueen and Carlos and Smith, fists in the air…a new strange land filled with Cuban heel boots and snap-brim hats and lunar powered neon filled lights that burn all night long. Flashing and glinting in the pale powered bright reflections…moving like waves on the water. The coffee is always strong and they always serve it hot. The new Utopia perfect and real and whole and put together by angelic hands above the seas and mountains…fit together with grace and light…placed gently down…down…down on the ever-slopping and fading ground…for you and me. Time gets by me…gets away from me. A thousand faces inhabit one thousand places…all in the very same moment. The dirty dust of slipping memory…quiet like minutes passing…minutes falling off…dying…blending into each other. The time gets away from me. I lie watching, prone, not sleeping…not awake. The moments when good is much much better than perfect. A new Utopia in my head. A new heaven in my eyes. Smiling back at the girl in the Hopper paining…she is breathing…I can see her chest moving in and out."

Protocol of History - Jesse Mitchell - Open Salon

Protocol of History - Jesse Mitchell : "Protocol of History

This is the beginning, where at first it starts
Where the mouth opens
And widens.
When newborn sound blasts out
Shatters silence
And terrible echo fills the void
And the tears the hidden parts away
From the old secrets, left veiled.
The tiny lights, tiny little lights emerge
Tiny lights shine radiance out
Into the dark.
And shadow
and shade
Plait together
And lace into the glow
High in the cloud battered sky
And the
Swollen rain burns
Into soft
And misty soil.
This is the beginning.
Where we
Weave the all long-haunting ghosts in with the
Threads of breeze that have long-tormented
the flush fiery flesh
And burning bone of passionate man.
And we will let the wind come up
And lift what remains
Of fog and haze
And icy and thunder
And never and
Black black dead of night.
In places of miseries,
new accords
And tiny lights
Bringing forth
And warmth
And rest,
And melting aways
And mending togethers
And mergings
And this is a beginnings.
This is the beginning."