Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yucca Man

“We used to do beer runs all the time. Down at Triangle Liquor. When we was kids … do you remember Larry?”
Larry burped and farted. The swamp cooler was on high and the roar of chilled air boomed heavily through the room.
“Seems like back then you could get away with that shit. Cashiers didn’t give a crap. Nowadays they give chase. Leap right over the god-dam counter like Jesse Owens and shit. Sprint right after you … I can’t run as fast I used to.”
Jim laughed, “Shit! You can’t do much of anything the way you used to.  I remember one time they tried to chase me. I had a 24 pack in each hand. Running my ass off down Hwy. 62 and one of the guys from the liquor store was coming up behind me quick. I had one case of Budweiser and one suitcase of Strohs. So I chucked the case of Bud at him. Dropped em’ like a bag of bricks!”
“Why the fuck didn’t you throw the Strohs at him?” asked Larry.
“Don’t know. I guess I was really into Strohs at the time.”
“I would’ve kept the Bud,” said Larry as he lit a smoke and took a deep drag.
“Strohs is better.”
“The fuck it is! They don’t even make that shit anymore!”
“I know,” said Jim, “and I’m still upset about it.”
A door opened in the room. An old lady stood in the light that flooded in from outside. Larry and Jim looked up and squinted.
“Larry! You in here?” shrieked the old lady.
“Yeah ma! What do you want? I’m entertaining a quest! And your letting all the cold air out!”
“I need you to take me to the store later. I need to pick up my prescription and some milk and chicken and …”
“Yeah, yeah ... okay ma. We’ll do it this afternoon. When I’m free.”
“Free?” yelled the old lady, “Your shiftless ass doesn’t do anything but sit around in this dark room all day. The only job you got is taking your empty beer cans down to the recycling center every two weeks. Lazy, good for nothing freeloading son of a  …”
“All right ma,” yelled Larry, “In a couple hours. When Jim leaves.”
“Why do you two boys keep it so dark in here? Can’t see your hand in front of your face! Christ all mighty Larry! Have you been masterbating in her again? I told you a hundred times there will be no self pleasuring under my roof! I’m going to go into the other room and pray to Jesus for Larry and Jimmy’s souls!”
The old lady slammed  the door behind her. The roar of the swamp cooler lessened and Jim was laughing and holding his stomach to keep from falling to the floor in hysterics.
“She really told you! When you going to move out of your momma’s garage and get your own place? That way your poor mother don’t have to listen to you beatin’ off in here all day.”
“Shut your mouth and mind your own business,” groaned Larry.
The two sat silent in the room for a moment. The radio was set to 106.9 on the FM dial. Bon Jovi’s ‘Living On A Prayer’ played against the heavy hum of the swamp cooler and the exhaling of cigarette smoke. Jim slumped in the tattered old sofa with an orange and brown floral pattern. Larry was next to him. They both had cans of beer in their hands.
“Oh-oh … were half way there … Oh-oh, living on welfare … take my hand we’ll make it I swear …” sang Larry, loudly.
“Living  … on … welfare …” the two began to sing in unison.
Larry and Jim started to bust out laughing.
“Brotha  … you beyond welfare! They need to make a documentary about your sad ass life! Beyond Welfare: The Larry Holcomb Story … this week on A&E!”
“Fuck you dick! Just because you got a fancy job corralling carts down at Big Lots, don’t you go think you can get all pious and high falutin on me!” railed Larry.
Both men lifted their beer cans to their mouths. Each took a swig, pulled the hand back, and gently shuck the can. Both faces grimaced a bit.
“Maybe we should take ma down to the store now,” mused Larry.
“We’re out of beer ….”

Larry and Jim left the garage apartment and headed to the front door of the house. Larry opened it and stuck his head in. “Ma! Get the car keys. We gotta go to the store now!”
“What did you say?,” shrieked the old lady.
“You heard me ma! Get the god dam car keys. Me and Jim gonna take you to the store!”
“What!?” questioned the old lady again.
“Ma! The car keys! We’re going to the god-damn store! Get your ass out here!”
Down at the Stater Bros. Grocery, Larry and Jim lifted items out of the cart and placed them on the moving belt at the check stand. A 30 pack of Miller High Life, a fifth of Evan Williams, two Country Club Malt liquor tall boys, a pack of lighters, a gallon of milk, eggs, half a loaf of bread, mayo, a package of chicken breasts, and some toilet paper.
Larry’s mother looked at the cashier as she scanned the items, “Me and my boys are just going to have a little light lunch and then pray to Jesus for providing us with this daily bread.” The old lady smiled wide and rubbed Larry and Jimmy’s shoulders.
“God ma’! Keep your hands off me!” shouted Larry slightly embarrassed.
The grocery checker gave a half frown but tried to reverse it with no avail.
“Jesus provides!” spoke Jim, “as he eye-balled the fifth of whiskey.”
“That he does boy! You just have to open your heart …” preached the old lady.
“And let the beer flow free! Salvation in a bottle!” interrupted Larry.
“That’ll be $65.81,” voiced the cashier giving Jimmy and Larry a disapproving look.

Back at the house the boys were 15 deep into the Miller High Life and the Evan Williams was half empty. The temperature outside was spiking at 105 degrees.  Jim and Larry were sweating despite the swamp cooler blasting away at them.
“We needs’ some G-u-rls,” slurred Larry.
“What the fuck you going to do with a girl?”
“Just that!
“Just what?”
“Fuck!” burped Larry.
    Jim took a long pull from his High Life can and finished it off. He crumpled the can in his hand and made a fist.
“We need some heavy drugs,” spoke Jim thoughtfully aloud.
“Wanna go to Chainsaws?”
Jim took a long pull off his Evan Williams and wiped his mouth with the back of his sweaty wrist, “Yeah, I do.”
The two men got up and hurriedly prepared themselves. They stumbled about for a few minutes, loaded their pockets with beer and cigarettes, then exited the garage apartment.
“Wait here Jimbo. I am going to go get some money from Ma’.”
Larry entered the front door of the house. Jim stood in the driveway and lit a cigarette. In a few seconds Larry came back out with his mother following behind.
“Now Larry, I don’t know what you need twenty dollars for but try not to spend it all in one place. Take a jacket if your going to be out walking …”
“Ma’! It’s 105 degrees out!”
“I know Larry but it will be dark soon. Jimmy, you should take a sweater.”
Jim took a quick drag off his smoke and looked encouraged.
“Where are you to going?” exclaimed the old lady as Larry and Jim began to walk away from the house.
“Going to get some heavy drugs!” shouted Larry.
“Well then, make sure you take your Bible along. Jesus will light your path!”

The two men walked west through the open field adjacent to Larry’s house. The sun’s rays pulsated down transforming the desert into an open air tanning bed. The two cooked and sweated profusely as they stumbled drunkenly along. A pair of straggly, unkempt jack rabbits with crooked backs leaped past but Larry and Jim paid them no mind. They scurried off into the vast sea of creosote bush leaping in and out of view, their arched backs giving the appearance of a flung boomerang. Larry trail blazed right through a patch Cholla cactus. A few of the spiked stems affixed themselves to his pant leg.
“Jesus Christ! I hate these things!” squealed Larry as he kicked his leg up in the air trying to dispel the cactus.
“Hold still,” yelled Jim as he came up to Larry and started swatting at his pant leg with a large, jagged rock.
“Shit man!”
“Hold still. These cactus are highly unstable! They’ll leap right onto you. That’s why they call them jumping Cholla! Don’t want to touch em’ directly!”
Jim scrapped the cactus off Larry’s pant leg and the two marched on. They crossed over Pioneertown Road into more open desert and headed for the industrial area of town. A few houses sat isolated in the distance on a dirt road leading off of Yucca Trail.  The men headed towards the houses and walked up to the last residence on the right.
A vast multitude of broke down cars loitered in the front yard. Some with no wheels, only tarnished rims, elevated carelessly on cinder blocks. The windows where darkened out with heavy blankets and tin foil. No sound emanated from inside. Jim tried the door bell.
“Do you hear anything?”
“Hear what?” whispered Larry.
“The door bell dick head! Did it ring?”
“Dunno … try it again.”
Jim pushed it once more, “Shit, I’m just going to knock.”
Jim tapped hard on the pealing paint of the wood door. No sound at first but then the faint echo of voices seemed to rise and movement was apparent. Jim knocked again.
“Who …  is it?!” came a rushed, faint voice from inside the house.
“Chainsaw here?” yelled Jim.
“Who … is it?!” came the same reply.
“It’s Jimbo. You holding?”
Silence for a second then the door opened just a crack. Jim and Larry could see a bloodshot eyeball peeking at them through the darkness.  An odor of burning plastic wafted out of the house. It remained Jim of when he would lite the heads of his G.I. Joe action figures on fire. The way the black smoke would smell when it would rise in a crazed funnel cloud from Cobra Commanders head.
Jim made no mention of his thoughts, “Chainsaw! Let us in dude. We need a quarter.”
The door slammed shut for a second. Then, without warning, it opened up wide. Jim and Larry walked into the dark, pungent smelling room. The door seemed to mysteriously close, again, behind them. The room was dark, save for a few kerosene lamps placed in odd locations around the small living room. There was junk and trash everywhere. Chainsaw stood in the entrance way of the kitchen. He was at the small breakfast counter that separated the two rooms. He was toying with a beat up plastic, green cordless telephone.
“I know I can get this thing to work ...” rambled Chainsaw to himself. His bottom jaw rocked from right to left like a crazed cuckoo clock. His facial features were maniacal from little sleep and lots of drugs. His face in the lamp light, with shadows thrown across it like old ghosts or camouflage war make up, gave his countenance the appearance of  that of an old circus clown with to much plastic surgery. His sun scarred skin was pulled taught over his skull like a snare drum with three day stubble. Wagner's ‘Flying Dutchman Overture’ played at a low volume next to him.
“You boy’s mind classical music? I found that beauty in the dumpster behind the Humane Society. It’s a little old am radio that runs on batteries … everything in the house runs on batteries,” said Chainsaw, pointing at a small device on the counter, rocking back and forth as he unscrewed the bottom of the plastic telephone. “I can only get talk radio or bible thumpers … it’s am dail … listening to the classical composers instead … shit, cheap Taiwanese plastic … anyway, dope fiends can’t listen to classical music … is that what you think! You think I am a dope fiend!”
Jim and Larry stood silently in the living room a few feet in front of Chainsaw. They said nothing and shoved their hands in their pockets feeling nervously for cigarettes and beer cans.
Jim stuttered a bit, “We, huh, don’t think that!”
“So … what is it now that you two mother-fuckers think! That the Dinosaurs were extinct for thousands of years before we landed here on planet Earth … straight from the mother ship … west end of the galaxy! Monsters don’t exist … the bogie man ain’t real … JFK was a nigga … Dr. King was a white man … dopers don’t listen to Mozart … my car can run strictly on synthesized coyote urine?!”
Jim and Larry both lit cigarettes and peered nervously at each other.  The room was silent for a moment.
Chainsaw slammed the phone down and fumbled for his pack of smokes on the kitchen counter. “I’m just fuckin wit ya’ … haahahah! You seem a little tense … You boys need to lighten up. Whadda yeah wanna score again?”
“Some dope,” said Larry, “A quarter … we only got twenty bucks.”
“Twenty cents worth … huh? Twenty cents of the super-charged white-go-magic! I can do that … but you to gotta do something for me …”
“Sure Chainsaw … whatever?” replied Jim.
Larry and Jim walked over to Chainsaw.
“First … gimmie that twenty bucks!”
Larry took the bill out of his pocket. It was damp with perspiration. He handed it to Chainsaw.
“I’m going to give you some of my personal,” rumbled Chainsaw as he pulled an object from his pocket. He dumped the contents of a black, plastic camera film holder onto the counter. He eyeballed the rock and cut some away. “That there is a little more then a quarter … you want a line right now?”
Larry and Jim nodded their heads up and down and Chainsaw shaped two long rails with a razorblade. “All out of baggies … can I make ya' a bindle? No, wait …”
Chainsaw grabbed a large zip lock bag from a drawer in the kitchen. He cut a square at the bottom end of the bag. He brought his lighter up to the loose edge and warmed the flame against it until the two open ends of the plastic fused. He took the remainder of the dope and dropped it in. He proceeded to burn the other open end shut. He raised the baggie to his lips and blew gently around the edges. He then felt to make sure it was sealed.
“There you go boys … all nice and secure … so your drunk asses don’t spill any. They don’t teach you those practical skills for making a baggie in school … I need to write me a how-to book … Chainsaw’s Dope Survival Guide … what you think boys … how you to can survive three weeks in your house with no electricity, running water, or food … with only a skanky bitch, some AA batteries and an eight ball of dope! Get you set up on the Desert Diet … Jenny Crank … all your meals come in this tiny little bindle … no money down but you gotta pay up front!”
Larry and Jim both snorted their lines with a rolled up dollar bill. “Yeah! Fucking for sure! You gotta do that man! That would top the New York Times bestseller list!” rambled Larry excitedly as the speed entered his system and his heart rate exploded.
“Fuck yeah it would … number one with a bullet!” seconded Jim.
“All right now … you boys ready for this?!”
“Sure Chainsaw, what are we gonna do?” asked Larry excitedly.
“Follow me …”
Chainsaw picked a flashlight up from the counter. He turned around and walked a few feet through the kitchen to a door that lead into an adjacent garage. Larry and Jim followed erratically behind him. They all went inside. The garage was dark and musky smelling. Chainsaw hit the beam of the flashlight and started moving the light stream around the room like some strange circus bally-ho. At last, the beam fixed on a location at the opposite end of the garage.
“Look there!” raved Chainsaw.
“Where?” shouted the boys in unison.
“Right there dip shits!”
Jim and Larry squinted their blood-shot eyes at what appeared to be a stack, ceiling high, of old busted up box springs.
“We captured the Yucca Man last night!” blurted out Chainsaw excitedly.
“Yucca Man? You mean like the mother-fucking desert Sasquatch?!”
“Yeah! Randy caught em’ up at the dump in Landers last night! Traded him to me for a teener of dope.”
  “No shit! Where the fuck is he?”
“We built a cage out of the mutha-fuckin’ mattresses!” mumbled Chainsaw while pointing franticly to where the light beam was illuminating.
All three approached the box-spring pile. As they got up within a few inches of the makeshift prison the faint sounds of heavy breathing became audible.
“You hear that?” whispered Chainsaw.
“I think so,” spoke Jim in a hushed voice.
“Good!” yelled Chainsaw excited, “Cause’ I thought I was having mother-fuckin’ audio hallucinations the whole time! I’ve been up for six days straight! Thought maybe that monster borrowed through the concrete floor and escaped! We got him chained to a concrete post back there with an old dog collar … but them Bigfoots are mother-fucking strong! I think this one might be a baby one though …”
Larry reached his hand out and touched one of the mattresses, “What the fuck Chainsaw!”
“Mother-fuckin’ Yucca Man! You boys gotta keep this quiet!”
“Hold on now,” said Jim, “I gotta see this to believe it. Big-foot my ass! You got your old lady tied up in their or something?”
“No … it’s a bona-fide Yucca Man!” squawked Chainsaw again.
“Wait … a god-damn second. I heard all those fairy-tale legends about the Yucca Man when I was a teenager. How he would crash bon-fire keggers up in the Monument. Scare the shit out of the high school kids. I thought that was all just tall tales. I heard that the Yucca Man was just some homeless, desert drifter or something trying to rape some prom queen or steal beer …” mused Jim while rubbing his tongue over the top of his teeth.
“Monument? It’s the Joshua Tree National park now Jim! Can’t go up there and drink like we used to. Gotta have a pass and shit and the park rangers will bust your ass if you …”
“Larry ... shut the fuck up!” rumbled Jim.
“You buys wanna take a peak?” interrupted Chainsaw.
“Dude … I am fucking tweaking hard!” cried Larry in an ecstatic groan.
Chainsaw shone the flashlight to the right side of the mattresses and moved it to a section where they touched the garage door. There was an open slot, about shoulder high, where you could look in.
“You can see right through that fourth box-spring to the top. Go ahead … take a look for yourself.” motioned Chainsaw.
Larry and Jim tip-toed over to the spot. There was enough open space for them to cram together and for both to peer into.
“You see anything,” said Larry.
“No. But it smells funky in there. Like sweaty balls!”
“Chainsaw … let me see your flashlight man!”
Chainsaw stood behind Larry and Jim in the darkness of the hot garage. He handed the flashlight to Larry and did not speak.
“Shit man! Stick the light in there. Over a little bit … yeah … I hear something moving … dude, right there!”
A high pitch scream sailed out of the mattress prison and echoed with unsettling nervousness throughout the garage. The howl sounded like a Banshee being kicked hard in the crotch.
“Jesus fuck!” yelled Larry.
Jim grabbed the flashlight and shoved it further into the box spring opening, “There it is! See it?! See it?!”
“It looks like fucking Chewbacca with tits!” screamed Larry, “I think it’s a girl!”
“Wait a second!” yelled Jim, “That’s not a fuckin’ …”
Before Jim could finish his sentence the beast grabbed a hold of the arm that Jim held the flashlight with.
“Larry! It’s got me!”
“What the shit …”
Before the two could say anymore, Chainsaw, still standing behind them in the dark, swung hard with a wooden Louisville slugger against the back of Larry’s head and shoulders. Larry dropped to the floor like a lead balloon. Jim, still struggling to pull his captured arm free, turned to see the bat coming down for a second time, landing smoothly against the nape of his neck and right shoulder. A second blow finally dropped him. The monster let loose the grip and Jim crumpled to the floor.  A few seconds later the garage door opened and a shadowy figure of another person came through.
“Randy! Come over here and handle these two. Check their pockets for money and valuables … get that baggie of dope back to.”
“Okay … Chainsaw! What you want me to do wit em’ when I’m done?”
“Throw em’ in the back of the truck and dump up on the Mesa … drive em‘ down a dirt road a few miles. When they come to they won’t remember much of nothing!”
Chainsaw walked over to the mattresses, “You okay in there Mandy?”
“I hate wearing this mask, Daddy!“ came a shrill female voice from behind the box springs. “It’s hot as fuck in here and I’m gettin’ some kind of weird rash on my face! I wanna come out … I need another line, baby!”
“In a second …”
“Chainsaw … dude … your old lady looks fucking freaky with that rubber Star Wars Halloween mask on! It’s kinda hot and I’d like to sex her …”
Randy cut himself short as Chainsaw put the flashlight beam in his face. “Shut up and get to it. Or I ain’t giving you anymore either!
“Sure … I was just kidding.” Randy bent over the motionless bodies of Larry and Jim. He commenced to rifling through their pockets.
 Before Randy could say anymore Chainsaw heard the telephone ringing from the kitchen. “Twainese shit works after all. Randy … I’ll be right back.”
He walked back through the garage, opened the door and went into the kitchen. He lifted the green plastic receive on it’s fifth ring.
“Hello … Yeah, it might be.  Who is this?  Little Tommy? Yeah …  just kicking it with some Meth and some Rachmaninoff.  What?  I didn’t say guessing the rock … I said Rachmaninoff! A classical composer … dope fiends can’t listen to classical music? You need something? Yeah … I got 40 cents worth … come on over … yeah, no problem! I wanna show you something anyway … you’ll never believe what I caught at the dump last night! No, I ain’t gonna tell you on the phone dawg … you gotta keep this quiet … okay. See you over here in a few ...”

Friday, September 23, 2011

In Chicago

I had a girl once
she lived in Chicago
I once walked the L-Train tracks
hand and hand
with her
as the snow feel gently into her hair
so beautiful was she then
as we would descend down the concrete stairs
at the Grandeville station stop
and listen to Christmas tunes on the Juke
at Standee's
she is still over there in Chicago
and I am over her
in the terrific terror of sun and surf
that is Southern California
making a mess of myself
making a mess of my life
as the last day of Summer slipped away
and Fall exchanged some lies with me.

I once had a girl in Illinois
in a big windy city there
the sweetest girl that you could have possibly known
her soul was lightning in a bottle
and her thoughts were pure unfiltered dreams.

It has been almost a year
since I have seen
a girl that I once had
who lives in Chicago

she speaks little to me now
and thinks very little of me
I am sure

and the world, for me, is lonely
the sharks are hungry
the crooked lines I walk are shadow-less and profane
just the other day
I heard the snap of tree limbs
in the havoc of desert winds
and I thought of my life up till now ...

I would fly to Chicago
but I have $38.43 in my checking account
and $76.52 in my savings.

Maybe, I will walk there
it would be quit a long distance on foot
I would not reach her until December
I may not even reach her at all
and I would go to my certain death
in the freezing wind and snow

perhaps I will save my rainy day penny's
and someday I will see her again
when American Airlines
comes down on their ticket prices.

I had a girl once
she lived in Chicago, Illinois ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In the Glory of the Sun

Spun to life
spider in the alarm clock
flesh in the shower
the water streaming with silver fingers
over broken backs and weary knees
finding my face in the mirror again
eyes foggy with a lifetime of defeat
the suit wrinkled
the liquor gone
no indentation
on the other side of the bed
some would call me a failure
but, even failures need a little scratch
so they can continue to fool and delude themselves
with lottery tickets, race horses, and loose women
as the torture of time clocks tick on
and the paychecks grow
smaller and smaller
until they are almost
out of sight …

I made my way to the funeral home that day
not because I was dead
not even because I was alive
just because I worked there
and I sat in the front office
till the phone call came in
another one bite’s the dust
(that is the mortuary hold music)
and I took the name and the address and the corner case #
headed for the garage
got the gurney
got the van
and I was off
with Paul the Embalmer driving
heading out of town
deep into the barren Mojave
the sun like a giant yellow sea urchin
pulsating tiny tentacles of white heat
the desert racing around us at 70 miles per hour
last name Rangle
dead at 53
we turned off the highway
not a road, not a trail, not even a cow path
dirt, sand, rock, the heavy stamp of time
ten miles from 29 Palms
thirty miles from Hell
burning brain matter
the riddle of time in the creosote bush
praying to Joshua Tree’s
like Mormon’s searching idols
like old prospectors drunk on the mirage of water
we barreled upwards to the house
yesterday morning
a man walked out onto his back patio
stretched his arms in a yoga pose
dropped dead in his bathrobe and slippers
another victim of the hopeless despair of the desert terrain
the silent springtime breeze
washing over his blood
the coyotes and jack rabbits staring on
in silent hunger
as the family waved off the stray dirt bikers
buzzing into the yard to bum a gallon of gas.

Paul the Embalmer spoke
with the next of kin
signed the papers
offered our deepest heart felt sympathies
as I laid out the play
fixed the dead guy with a sheet
tucked him in permanently
rolled him around the cement patio
lifted him atop the gurney
limp wrist, dry blood, the vague odor of rotten fruit
the rigor breaking out easy
dead for awhile
dead forever
sucked through
told the tale
silenced before he could reveal …

We nearly got our vehicle
stuck in the sand
as we attempted to leave the scene
the back tires spinning dirt
the brother of the dead guy ran up
told us to straighten her out
drive forward
then back up
and don’t worry
if we get stuck
he will pull us out
and I thought, good God-damn!
… where have you been all my life
been stuck in a ditch
for as long as I can remember
but my metaphor was lost on him
so we waved goodbye
circled the property
as Mr. Rangle circled the drain
and we began to slowly descend the dirt path
back to the Highway
to the left of our rolling van
sitting on the shoulder of the dirt road
in the warm, smooth sand
was a desert tortoise
full grown
with it’s four stretched legs lounging
in the glory of the sun
it’s majestic head held high
watching us with easy calm
with a stoic gaze carved from marble
just like the ceramic jobs
you see in the Mexican pottery lots
I told Paul the Embalmer
that you shouldn’t pick em’ up and move em’
they piss themselves
and are subject to death and dehydration
Paul laughed and said, “We got another gurney in back!”

I said yeah, “but if we take the creature with us and he doesn’t die
then the thing might out live both of us! They got an average life span
of 100 years!”

“No, shit”

“I shit you not! If he move it across the road and leave then it’s like stealing all their money and leaving em’ penniless in the street. They have to start over to build back their roll!”

“Right!” Paul chuckled like a machine gun gurgling thumb tacks, “Don’t want to leave the thing out in the heat with a bankrupt bladder.”

We continued to drive on
in the glory of the sun
leaving our beautiful desert tortoise behind
content with our corpse
wondering where the next call would lead us
as we chased the tragedy of other’s
all in the name of the almighty dollar.

And, somehow
as we road off into the distance
our tires kicking dust clouds over cactus
I couldn’t help but think
that the tortoise
in his slow methodic stare
had it all figured out
just right.

A Poem About A Poem

I wonder
in this waterfall of human decay
I wonder
as you sit at home now
with your husband
your kids
your house payment
your cats and
your cable bill.

I wonder
your two car garage
3.5 baths
four bedrooms
maybe even a nice flat screen TV
a leather couch and some video games
A/C and food in the frig
all the divine, creature comforts that divorce us from reality.

I wonder
in and out
up and down
and I hang for a moment and think …
of junkies, dark alleyways, and whiskey warm.

Where am I?
in a cracked mirror
in a old photograph
in a dark tunnel with a lonely tune to whistle
choking on the dust of discarded things.

I pretend
and I pray
and I imagine
and I dream
all these things
that are made up of unreality and intangibility’s.

It’s safe to say
that I cannot commit to all those
everyday atrocities normal people succumb to.

I want the vision bathed in fantasy and possibility
I want the love
the romance
the razor blade
everything that makes it cut deep.

Where beer meets the light of day
in your arms alone in a cheap motel room
with all the other bullshit of our lives
constricted, killed, and swallowed
I have felt the best I have ever felt ...

A poem about a poem
a nameless women
just mine for a moment
the dusty shades pulled open
a kiss in the afternoon sun
and the credits rolling gently down the screen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Postcard Message from the Apocalypse

Despite the dangle and the rip tide I still smear on like surf wax or dead despair wanting to return in a fresher form. And, regardless of words that hang on (like in-laws or lingering warts) I still stand true to certain maxims I have spoken a loud (privately to myself) that justify certain transitions of life in that crucial moment when it was most needed. And, how are you?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mean Guys Finish First

Saturday again. The weekend is always chasing it's tail in a circle. We are continually coming back to this point ... Saturday.

I think that Darby Crash once said, "everything works in circles. Like sometimes your doing something then a year later your back at the same point ... understand?"

Yeah Darby I do.

Somebody came up to me on the street. This was a few days ago, "Hey ... Mafia! I heard you got laid a few times over Labor Day."

"No shit! Because that's not what I heard."

"Yeah! I read it in the Dark Desert ... or, well, uh ... my girlfriend read it in there and told me about it. Good for you, bro!"

"Thanks ... but you know that is all just a work of fiction."

"Fiction? Yeah, bro ... whatever ... you laid the pipe! You were balls deep! Hahahah. Catch you later. I gotta get in here for some smokes. See you at your next gig, man!"

I think in my last "blog-story" I was the only one that didn't pull any trim. Actually I am quit sure of it. I haven't been laid since ... well, let me check my watch! No ... let's just say it's been sometime in the past. That kind of goes without saying. I guess you can't get laid in the future unless your Michael J. Fox cruising the space-time continuim in a black, 1982 Delorean. I gotta stop writing myself into the script. It can only lead to nasty rumors, sad faces, and lawsuits.

When I leave voice messages for the Advance Man he has a feature on his voicemail where google sends him a text version of the message. He can read what the message says without having to listen. Google has unique and interesting translations of these messages. I called him last night and this is what Google texted him:

Ha ha Bob Chambers! Your soul is a homesick hitchhiker. By bye bye liquor race. Profound nigga. I'm all out of leslie. Maddock mondays and vanish into thin air because we are running with the shadows of the night. Or, if she needs to let you in on the given into the sound St. Anyways, gimmie a call.


"Advance Man it's Mafia ... just returning your call. Down at the liquor store right now. Encouraging wayward souls not to buy and consume the alcoholic demon. Ha! Anyway, it's been a long time since we last spoke ... like yesterday. Quit running man ... Gimmie a call back."

Frankly, I prefer Google's version. Far superior. I hope that Google never perfects their technology in this field because Google is the modern day poet laureate. Mother truckin', lyrical master! Profound is one word to describe it. Cutting edge is another. Avante Garde comes to mind. Lucky another. Put your pens down boys and take notice. It's all over ... Google V-Mail translator has you in check.

Coming back around to the campfire here ... I think there was a point to all this. The facts of events and circumstances always remain constant, but the truth wears a million different disguises. The truth can be the most fictitious thing going ... especially when it is coming at you second hand. Word of advice ... don't believe everything your told. It may have been translated by Google V-mail.

So, if your reading The Dark Desert for any other reason then being entertained well ... don't. And don't take this so serious. Half of what I write is a work and the other half is a lie. Occasionally a sentence slips out that flows from my soul. But only occasionally.

Life has a strange way of whispering in your ear when your least expecting it. And the news isn't always good. And it isn't always bad. But guaranteed it's only one version of events ... and there are million version's out there.

It's Saturday again. I'm back in front of the typewriter again. Listening to WCPE Classical Music out of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat. I've come full circle again. Maybe, you to, are back at the same spot you were a week ago. Maybe your wondering how in the good, god-damn did this all happen?! And what can I do this weekend to justify my glum, humdrum existence in the nine to five weekly hamster wheel. How am I going to look that life in the face come Monday, Maddock?

Good question ...

"... Circle One is what we are doing now. And someday we might do Circle Two." to finish up Mr. Crashes previous quote. Darby, hope to Christ we move on to Circle Two soon. Sitting in the middle of the Mojave desert with my thumb up my ass just dosen't seem all that rewarding anymore.

Maybe your out there alone and reading this. Maybe you'd like to come by and sit on the coach and hold hands and listen to WCPE and find out what the deal is. Now, I'm not hinting that you can come over to my place and sit on the coach with me. Stay as far away from my front door as possible for fuck's sake. But, go ahead and do it for yourself ... just fire up the internet, turn the dail to WCPE, and get down with the naked word. It's all that's left and it's the best thing going. And once you knock out a few paragraphs call up that special someone and tell em' Hayden's Symphony #12 in G is on at 8 p.m. BYOB baby! All night long.

Oh yeah, and in case you didn't know, mean guys finish first. So if you do happen to come over to my house .... I promise not to be nice.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day in Review (A Creative "Work" of Fiction)

Just wanted to drop back in here. Despite what I used to think ... that blogs were just the fast food equivalent of writing, I feel the need to keep this going by just "blogging" a little something here today. Really folks, I don't vomit in my mouth at the slight mention of the term "blog" anymore. I just choke a little and fell faint. I'll get back to the real prose and poetry this week. If you want the "Dark Desert" short story series to appear back at the Sun Runner Magazine send your emails to the editor of that publication. Demand that they bring it back! Raise the banner ... fly the flag ... we don't have to be subjected to the dull and mundane 24/7. A little foul language and animosity towards jack rabbits and creosote bushes never hurt anybody, right brother! Together, we can make this fun again.

I am not sure how things got so out of hand. Labor day used to be filled with end of summer activities that were, to be generic and unwordy, fun. BBQ's, beer bottles, hand holding, hot sun, hot bodies, carnivals, menthol cigarettes, gun shooting, wet t-shirts, drunk driving, high flying, rodeos, drive inns, fireworks, pretty girls and rock 'n' roll. It's, Monday, labor day proper right now and I am listening to classical music and wishing I was in Raleigh-Durham or Truth Consequences, New Mexico or, fuck, even Djibouti, Africa for all I care. Anywhere but here.

Out here in the Hi-Desert, California's vast sprawling Mojave, half the partying population was arrested last Saturday night in the the CHP and SO's joint sting operation to imprison and ruin the lives any poor saps that got within a one mile radius of an open liquor bottle and just happened to be walking through the parking lot with their car keys in their pocket. Probably why I havn't been invited to one single BBQ today! Driving around sober Saturday night was quit a choatic scene. The DUI checkpoint had traffic backed up out to interstate 10. I am firmly under the believe that they are more CHP officers in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree then there are people. Jesus, it was a real blitzkrieg. I don't know if any of you have had to take the walk of shame from the Jailhouse out past Joshua Tree, back into town? A solid three or four mile walk out in open desert along the highway. And god save you if your heading in the opposite direction, east, to the dirty deuce-nine! I did the walk once hangover in cowboy boots. My cell phone was dead when I got sprung. I had no coin and no wallet. The horror ...

Anyway, I am sure it looked like the goddamn Oregon Trail along the Highway come Sunday morning. If you would've been peddling cigarettes and bottled water you would've made a killing. I was out there trying to hustle my Shawn Mafia Cd's. At this point in my life I should be making jack ... instead I am making jack shit. Next time I'll go with bottled water.

Thursday night, after getting off a ten day stretch down at ... hold on now, wait ... let's just say "my day job" ... doing a little old school undertaking. I signed some papers awhile back where I can't disclose the name of the company I work for in any type of social media. So much for pride in profession and personal identity. Who needs that shit anyway. Regardless, I was at my court ordered schooling and I little down in the dumps. Came home and tied one on with my roommate and a punk rock hairdresser named E. Got a bit to frisky with a 30 pack of C-Minus and some 211. Ended the night listening to final mixes of the new album. Got sentimental over a certain someone and passed the fuck out. Didn't wake up until 3:00 p.m. the next day.

Went to Applebee's and sat in the bar with a few buddies. Talked to heinous D., who was tending behind the bar, about the possibility of pulling some "strange." He told us sometimes it just gets a little to "strange" to even bother with. I wasn't to interested in anything at that point. Especially booze and women. I ate some wings and drink about ten thousand diet cokes. A few guys that looked like professional wrestlers showed up and this other dude that looked the lead singer of Good Charlotte. At this point all the trim was just flying out the window. My German body builder buddy, Shane came in to and sat down with me. These guys were getting more ass then first three stalls at Dodger's Stadium. Your possibilities of pulling any "strange" out of Applebee's on that Friday night were impossible and next to impossible. Take your pick. The bottom just fell out of the barrel. The stock just plummeted!

Around 7:30 p.m. I decided to head out to the Yucca Valley High School football field and catch the game. Only because it just felt like a goddamn labor day thing to do! John Cougar Mellencamp and Apple Pie! Bruce Springsteen and mother fucking Muscle Cars! What was really happening was that my daughter had been texting all evening about coming to see her dance/perform at half time. So, I took leave of Shane, Good Charlotte, Wade Barrett and the New WWE Nexus, my buddy and headed out. Got parked, got seated in the bleachers next to a blonde gal I knew and waited to be amazed! Waited for my goddamn labor day moment. As the good Dr. would say ... the American Dream in action! I think it was the YV Trojan's against the Denver, Bronco's. Or maybe it was the Cowboys. I wasn't paying much attention.

Sitting in the bleachers I noticed the arrival of some people that I wasn't quit in any proper state of mind to want to encounter. The chance meeting made the sizzle go completely out of my steak. Lone geeks from a distant past that used to shake me down for lunch money. Now thirty something ... tired, bloated, and bored. But still that determined stupidity raging behind a veneer of medicated pacification. Bullies from the HS days.

Shortly there after, my daughter took the field with her troupe and danced up a storm. She talked em' into the building, tore the house down, and then spanked the baby! I schooled her to be a damn fine entertainer! It brought me back up momentarily. I went back around the bleachers and got some 50 cent coffee from the concession stand. Went back to my seat. Tried to watch the Trojans go over on the 49er's but I just wasn't believing it. My labor day weekend might as well have been a typical Tuesday in April. My kid didn't want to hang out with me either. That might have saved my labor day, but alas, she wanted to go out with her friends after the games conclusion. Couldn't blame her. Decided I should make tracks. Decided to head back to the Bee's. Started to get some heavy vibes from the top of the bleachers ... maybe a good fist fight might just be the thing to save labor day weekend! Began to think it was all in my head. Began to think that my ER co-pay on my insurance wasn't what it used to be. Ambled back to the car. Thought to myself ... God! Are you still up there? Your in breach of mother fucking contract buddy in regards to this whole labor day weekend thing! Where's the new romance, the fast cars, and the whiskey? The DQ ice cream cones, the hand holding, and the midnight stroll?

Back at the Bee's I picked up my friend. Looks like everybody was in the process of pulling some "strange" after all! Maybe labor day weekend wasn't a complete bust! I got a big hug from J., who was working behind the bar (baby, you are a Capital F - fine - to the fourth power underlined dame ... and I can say that without fear of contradiction) and drove home. Got another thirty pack. Popped a few tops and through em' down. People arrived. Others followed. Everybody scored that night ... but I didn't. That's what you get for being stupid, sappy, lovesick and sentimental. But there is always next week. And next year. Or even another typical Tuesday in April.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I have been abscent from "the blog" for a spell. My focus has been on broken hearts and jail time. What a cruel year. At one moment some people seem to be the most important things in the world. Then, suddenly, as quick as that impulse came upon you it is gone. I can barely even remember what it sounded like to hear her say that she loved me. I crawl back into time and search for others that I should've loved better and that actually were so much better. I can faintly hear them to. They don't really want to hear me now either. This desert is so dark as September stalks my window. I listened to a bit of WCPE Calssical station out of Raleigh-Durham this morning. I miss hitting the keys ... making magic out of the words. This summer was a total wash.

When it comes to the opposite sex I just can't catch a break. The Advance Man said I am still twelve years old trying to figure out how my dick works! Ha! Not that I don't no what to do in the sack ... it's just that I take it all to personal. The Advance Man said I should get back to basics. More writing. More Dark Desert. And believe me ... I have some tales that I will tell in the coming months. Sometimes the truth is stranger then fiction.

Drank heavy the last two nights. Trying to forget my woes. Caught a bad wrap on a DUI charge from last year. Finally convicted after fighting for 9 months. I am completely innocent ... lawyer fucked me. Won't be able to clear that smoke for another six months still. What a web we weave. Might make some new friends in county though ... 13 days.

Remember ... these are all creative confessions! It's all a work. My whole life has turned into one gaint, god-damn work! Don't take anything I say here seriously. But, perhaps, you should believe it all.

I don't know who you are ... and why you might be reading this ... or if your black, white, indifferent, congested, lonely, broken, broke, Republican, gay, racist, male, female, cat, dog, animal or mineral. But I am truly glad you are still with me. Besides a very lovely daughter that I still see on occasion, you are it. All I got left in the world is this. It's you and me now ... writer and reader. I know that we will stay friends even after the smoke clears. Thank you for listening. Stay tuned ... this is going to be the wildest ride yet.