Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AUGUST 7, 2012

August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
now (not then).

August 7, 2012
I am a hashtag# (what are you)?

August 7, 2012
grass on the hill
decomposing lip.

August 7, 2012
hand job
parking lot.

August 7, 2012
collecting Social Security
dead at the movies
I can't touch
I can't feel
pass the bottle
blind man's signature
nuclear modem
cyborg secretary
I eat paper clips
seconds are oranges rotting
on the tree.

August 7, 2012.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rose Hills

It was a Monday
and it was Whitter, California
a cemetery named for a flower and a hill
I was working a Graveside Service
in an old black suit 
rubbed raw
with time and lint brushes
stained forever
with tears and embalming fluid
blood and hugs
the hearse parked high on a hill
you could see downtown LA 
far away through the haze of smog
and the clock was ticking
not just for the gravediggers, the family and the preacher
but for all of us as well
those that still inhabited the realm of the living.

I adjusted my shades and my tie
and looked out at the rolling hills of grass
the trees and the flowers
two hawks circled in the sky
as two ravens joined them
and they flew in tandem 
it was a majestic sight
at least it felt that way
nonetheless, my soul needed it to feel that way
as I drew the pall bearers together
near the ass end of the funeral coach
and we drew the casket out
the body was heavy inside
seemed to fight us for a second
I whispered, “you are going to a better place then from which you came.”
and things oddly went smoother 
from that point on
and the pallbearers
grunted and groaned 
as they heaved the casket
onto the lowering device 
which hovered pensively above the hole.

Off in the distance
I thought I heard 
a bow scratch a violin string
but I could not tell from where
and it seemed that my skin was drier 
then all the camel hair in the Sahara
and that hangovers could come from any direction
at any time
and we were helpless to defend ourselves
I thought this and more
as the sun beat heavy upon my face
I began to perspire in my old black suit
as the preacher spoke to the large crowd 
that gathered around the grave
at least there was life here, I thought,
it felt alive
I smelled the freshly cut grass
moist ground underfoot
and I knew 
I was in a better place from which I came
having traveled to Los Angeles 
from the mean dryness of the Mojave desert
I almost would’ve rather went into the hole myself
then have to go back
I shivered in thought
as the wood casket floated above the ground
the preacher continued on
someone sobbed and blew their nose
as a Mexican gravedigger leaned on his splintered shovel 
far beyond sight
and I thought of dried bones
the mental scars of promises broken
the sandy camouflage of  starving jack rabbits 
dehydrated in the solar heat
the empty beer bottles and the dusty lies
the tricks and the bad trades 
the strangers with tan leathered skin 
drifting faceless 
down the tumbleweed highways
and that horrid sinking feeling 
of being lost forever.

I thought more and more
wondered at the very back of my skull
about walking out of my house
just that morning
where I surprised a small lizard
resting on the concrete
he swiveled his head back to look at me
standing in my dark suit holding a sad cup of coffee
his tiny, pebble sized  lizard eyes 
caught mine
we both froze for a moment, 
like when you walk in on someone 
sitting on the toilet
drawers dropped taking a shit
our four eyes searched each others souls
surprised that we caught each other here
imprisoned in this circumstance named the desert
victims of the gross terrain that spares 
no man women child or creature
and the lizard at least had an excuse
born into this . . . created just for this
reptilian genetics that had been adapting to this environment
for century piled upon endless century
but still his eyes questioned, “what’s your excuse, pal?”
as he scurried off to do whatever the hell lizards do
and I got into my compact car with 73,000 miles on it
to go do whatever the fuck humans do
all the while thinking to myself, 
“Goddamn it! I need to go back and kill that lizard 
before he tells anyone else!”
revenge against the witness in grand Nietzschian style
and then I was in Whitter, California
standing in a cemetery named for a flower and a hill
the preacher had just finished his sermon
he eyed me with disdain
cleared his throat to indicate that he was waiting for me
to bring this whole affair home
I stepped forward in front of the coward
and thought of blind folds and cigarette smoke
firing squads and Spanish bulls
I re-adjusted my executioner expression
presented a folded flag to the dead guys son
thanked him on behalf of the President of the United States
and a grateful nation
never even having meet the President before 
but I figured he wouldn’t mind
seeing that he was probably a lot busier then me 
with foreign policy and the staggering unemployment rate 
and I stood back as the ghost flew 
thanked everyone for their time, their love, their memories
like any good lounge singer (I mean Funeral Director) would do
and that was it
but at least there was life here 
I could almost reach out and grab it by the throat
everyone engaged the hug switch
the crowd breaking up and moving away 
dudes in slick sunglasses driving high dollar cars
ladies in tight black dresses that smelled like heaven in high heels
all waved and invited me to follow them to the reception
in La Habra
going to be a real rager
a celebration to end all, to beat all!
but I just shook my head sadly and thanked them
saying,  “No, no.  I have to get back . . . duty calls!”
and I knew that my party had been over a long time ago
as the sand asylum was already reaching out for me
I could feel it’s sick fingers clawing at my skin
so I got back into the hearse
drove down the grassy hillside
thinking that when I get back to the desert
I was going to find that little shit head lizard
and stomp him into oblivion!

But, alas, I never did . . . 

Next Time I'll Go To Reno

Box springs with carpal tunnel
I dream inside the strip tease
your fake eyelashes fan
my nervous being
as the swampy summer
hangs around like a lost dog
or a collection agency out for blood
the small violence of your kiss
sprung forth, in and out,
the viper clarity of your tongue
there is a Venus fly trap sense of destruction
to all of this
to all of you
a pulling in and out 
smothered within your presence
like a filthy pillow over the face
you drag me along from 
the chains of your crazy mind
LSD humidity
I'm tripping balls
as you spring down from the ceiling
like a deranged bungee jumper
or a black widow from a web
it's a miracle I am alive. . .
This is a new summer, sweetness
a magic marker
I draw a tree in the middle of a lake
and a duck blind with a shotgun sticking out
I search the sky in the sniper sight
for all my old emotions
and put bullets
in each one of them
I tried to draw that, as well,
but the ink was a little to unstable
so, I drew a stick figure instead
a woman on a beach
watching a ship far out at sea
slowly drifting away
to far now to ever 
come back to shore
someday I will draw the boat again
when it hits a new port on the other side
it's journey and riches will be greater
it's fate less foolish
it's crew more sure. . .
I have high hopes for this boat!
As for the woman,
that is no longer for me to say.
I once sat in a prison cell with an ex-con
that made wine from packets of ketchup
fermented his poison in plastic bags
and the prisoners paid top dollar
I told him about a summer I spent in an Attic
on a farm in northern Minnesota
with no AC
lamenting a rough break up
and sweating through my tears
and he said that kind of time
is the worst time you could do
he could spend two years in county
standing on his head
but when a woman locks you up like that
brother, just stick a fork in it
your done!
I shook my head up and down
yes! yes! done! done! done!
and he said that I should have gone to Reno
I said maybe next time
and he said that he tried
to catch a case in Reno
when he once lived their for six months
but no matter what laws he broke
not a single cop
would lock him up!
As I showed him my picture
of the tree in the lake
he looked at it quite perplexed
shaking his head back and forth
and just said, aloud,
that Reno was just to damn wild for him!
Maybe next time I'll go to Reno.

Miller High Life

The good ole days
are gone
but, not forgotten
looking back on it now
I can’t tell you the number of Miller High Life bottles
that have fallen victim
to my thirst
upon mean evenings of typing words
that made lines
that made poems
that seldom made sense
but one thing that was always in 
tall, fine order 
was the Champagne of Beers
that sweet Senorita kicking her leg 
from that sliver of golden moon
the best rocket fuel
one could hope for
when alone and out numbered
huddled behind the monitor screen
as the night burned like a thousand witches
outside the thin glass
of a bedroom window.

Borodin’s In The Steppes of Central Asia
spinning around the turntable
conducted by Leopold Stokowski
was a great way to spend 
an hour or two sucking down
a half dozen tall cool ones
Miller High Life
making the fingers leap and fly
across the lettered keys
keeping all the bastards at bay
the collection agencies, the bosses, the bill collectors, the CHP
the women that came and left 
with a pound of your soul 
taken as toll
and the dogs would come scratching 
around the front door
they sniffed and pissed
but I never let them in
for I was holding high court
with some of the best friends 
ten bucks could buy.

I smoked a lot in those days
by myself
typing out long letters to no one
a bloodletting of the soul
thinking I was that much closer to divinity
as I told the stories of those 
less fortunate characters
that life had turned it’s back on
myself included.

Towards the end 
old Charlie asked me if I had ever
smelled Miller High Life
as we were out at the job
picking up dead bodies 
at the local hospitals
for 25 bucks a call
Charlie had been a regional manager 
for the Miller Brewing Co.
way back in the day
and used to get the stuff by the case load
for free
I was green with envy
he said it was the greatest time he had ever known
until one day somebody told him to smell
the fine brew
and with one whiff
the walls came crashing down
said it smelled like sweaty baboon ass
and he could never bring himself to drink it again.

When I got home that night
I opened the frig and grabbed 
a cold, golden bottle of the High Life
popped the top 
and before the first swig
I leaned my right nostril down,
and low and behold,
I smelled what can 
only be described as
the butt funk of a sweaty asshole
that had not been touched by toilet paper 
sense the beginning of time
and though I still drank 
the High Life that night
I was never too fond of it 
from that point 

I still miss those good ole days
when it was just me, Miller High Life, an ashtray
the written word and the aching night.

Nothing has come close sense. . .

Monday, June 11, 2012


I dropped the kid off at the High School
and it was the second to last day of the year
summer already fired
from the barrel of the gun
and she said, "There goes Bobby M.!"
as a car spun past us
in the opposite direction of the school.
"Where's he going?! Oh yeah . . . seniors don't have to go to school today."
and I said to her, "Damn! Seniors don't have to go to school on a Monday morning! Why do I have to go to work? I'm calling my boss. Should have been a High School Senior instead of a lousy Funeral Director!"
she laughed as she exited my car
kids running around electrified
by the anticipation of summer break
in the air.

The Indian had texted me at 6 in the morning
from somewhere South of Galveston
and it was the same old line
"why is so-in-so mad at me?"
she was a real flesh and bone Indian
with emotions and memories
real cheeks with tears that would run down them
not made of wood at all
and certainly not sitting stationery
in front of a Wyoming tobacco shop
for all eternity to torture.

I smelled the death
as I crossed into the realm
opened the door and stepped timidly
into the other world
even got to punch a time clock for the privilege
wet plastic rubber bodies
that new casket smell
direct cremation on a social security budget
nothing like watching the hands of the clock move
the minutes fall away
will sitting in the cold silence of a mortuary
waiting for the phone to ring
it's the kind of slow madness
that gnaws away at the brain
like an army of termites
directed by the cold scythe of the reaper
biblical locust clouds swarming the sub-conscious
chewing while you sleep awake
waiting for the next desperate soul
to circle the drain
and go

I rechecked my cell phone
and remembered
the prettiest gal in the prettiest blue dress
who, quite sternly, pointed out
some defects in my ability to maintain
and establish personal relationships
in other words
let the past go dick-hole
summers in the air
and like a good John Mellencamp tune
the melody is one of nostalgia
and mid-western longing
where the highway is ripe to burn rubber
all the signs pointing to anywhere but here
and, by God, that gal in the pretty blue dress
was ready to ride . . .

Damn! If we could all just
take a second to strip off our clothes
step back and take a look
I think the shock
would send us barreling off
into the summer nights
like an angry boar
rooting for better times
foraging for all those golden moments
we will someday
fondly look back upon.

Imagination on ice
in a cold stupor
like all the stiffs in back
slabbed and chained
wearing their mask for the rest of eternity
the true face has flown
and stolen with it
all the story of the life
and only the flesh remains.

I tap my fingers on the desk
from the window I see
sun, movement, figures, trees, birds, mountains, colors, sand,
asphalt, stop signs, flags, people, fixtures, rocks, lizards
and life, yes oh yes, glorious life!
flowing all around
but the hamster still runs the tiny wheel
caged up inside my brain
I am a tamed beast
tapping the glass
looking out at all the spectators
who are looking in.

it's back
I have wasted it
like shower water anticipating a naked body
without a BBQ
without a pretty gal
with no fast car
tenor sax blowing against the hot humidity
blood pumping the heart
let's go!
where are you
I'm here
stuffed inside a filing cabinet
dressed in a dark suit
at a desk
pushing a coffin
clicking my heels
dusting an urn
just waiting
wanting . . .


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Not Everybody in California is a Goddamn Surfer

Are you lonely . . . wishing your life away on the dusty window seal? Sunday's are a dull blade of longing against the wrist. The fog moves in . . . the fog moves out. The desert is a vagrant mirage trespassing on my over-heated psyche. This is a town of ruin. Our shadows run wild against the fire light of flaming buildings. Slash and burn. A town filled with crazy unions and intertwined lives that radiate the sickest sort of energy. Relationships burning alive. Fuel for the fire is abundant. No hope. No survivors. And even fewer witnesses.

I'm sure it's the same everywhere. Just insert your town's name here _____________________________.

So, Ohio called me
and Ohio said
that everything you do is just temporary
and that is the essence of relationships
and Ohio's neighbor was laying on his couch smoking a grip
and the Neighbor said, "oh look . . . it's Mr. California. Mr. Doesn't Believe in Monogamy."
and Ohio looked at the Neighbor, "Look motherfucker, not everybody in California is a goddamn surfer! We don't all live bohemian lifestyles! I'm just saying that different types or relationships work for different people. "

Ohio moved from California to Ohio
a few years ago
now he is in the mid-west with a family
and San Francisco was sitting in her living room
gazing out the window at the Pacific Ocean
in a floral print summer dress
sipping a banana-strawberry nut smoothie
she was still young, voluptuous, full of life
and she knew Ohio to, back when Ohio was California
and I knew them both way back when there was
magic and mystery
still in the air
when our lives were still new and threaded through
with so much promise
and I was in San Francisco back then
when San Francisco & Ohio were living in Joshua Tree
and I had a new baby girl and a baby momma
somewhere far, far South down interstate 5
and I let that roll away
because I was to busy playing with strippers and junkies and rock'n'roll
and that was the beginning of the end
so the say . . .

They have come
and they have gone
and I am no closer
to the truth
about relationships
what is right, what is wrong, what works, and what doesn't
all I can tell you is that it is just all speculation and dice rolling
like investing in futures markets
with less return
and when it comes down to it,
the sad thing is that,
we're all doing what's best for everybody else
and never what's best for our hearts.

It's always left undone . . .

When relationships unravel
they create great, catastrophic messes on the floor
and people are so un-compelled to clean them up
we just stand there and stare down at them
marvel at our lovely disasters
and we nurture our messes
grow them up to full scale disasters
and we make all kinds of shit out of them
like talk shows and divorce lawyers and swords to stab back with
movies, plays, songs, salad dressings,
paternity tests, drug habits, and psychiatric wards.

There are a few out there that I have left hanging
and a few that have still never settled up with me
and don't think I haven't forgotten you  . . .

I've never been much for sweeping
but I believe it's time
to grab the broom and the dust pan
high time to clear the air and swab the decks
a lot of blood and a lot of tears
spilled through out the years
and they all must go.

I drove away from the party today
I pushed the gas pedal and moved on down the road
the radio on the FM dial . . .
"it's hard to look right at you baby . . . here's my #, call me maybe?"
the best we can hope for are moments
and when it comes to relationships
just remember that
if you have a few moments that you cherish
that you can claim
and still cradle in the palm of your heart
then you can count yourself among the blessed.

I've got a few moments that no one can ever take from me . . . ever.

And remember that this isn't me talking
it's merely Ohio
and his doctrine of, "everything you do is just temporary. And not everybody in California is a goddamn surfer . . ."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Fences

I have lived in a house
on a paved road that ends in sand
one of a half dozen or so
model homes built
back when the bottom
dropped out of the market
and subsequently rented out to
the fly-by-nights, the marine corps wife's
the undecided and undetermined
the flame keepers of limbo and greener pastures up ahead
there are 3 models
to choice from
all painted and constructed alike
and it's hard to tell
which is which
especially on drunken evenings when
you stumble home from the bar
so we adorn them with Halloween decorations
and rusted yard art
anything to keep us from peeing in the wrong yard
or breaking our house key off in the wrong door
all done to help us better navigate
those desperate times
when we want only the cheap escape
of our sagging mattresses
and four enclosed walls.

These houses back up to the open desert
drifting in the mirage of Joshua Trees
sand-blown, helpless
without trees and shade
they cook in the 115 degree heat
our roofs sunburned
and our stucco scaly like albino lizards.

We are the non-committal
the renters of the world
dreaming of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico,
or maybe Mazatlán
never putting down to many signs of permanence
albeit the occasional lawn chair
and one neighbor did paint his mail box

early this morning
I stood squinting through blood-shot eyes
out in my back yard
scratching my balls in my bikini briefs
my bare-feet hugging concrete patio slab
the coffee warm in the cup
as the sun rose in the Eastern horizon
when I noticed it ...
I looked to the left of me
I looked to the right
all down the line
back and forth
the neighbors had all started to put up fences!

Oh, God!
this is how it starts
in my five years of living here
nobody had put up a fence in their back yard
(nobody, except me, had stayed longer then six months)
one could roam freely among
the rented cookie-cutters
these were tract homes with out names and identities
faceless without fingerprints
but now
chain link fencing and steel poles
little kiddie bikes and dune buggies and barbecues
swing sets and fire-logs and puppy dogs
Oh Lord!
What have you wrought upon this street!

I had even recently observed
the newer tenants
watering the coarse desert sands
pretty soon one jack-off might even plant a tree
and then watch out!
the end of the world as we know it
the decline of western civilization
and what about the property values
my landlord might actually raise my rent!

The house next to me
to the left
appeared to be just trying to play along
keep up with the Joneses
their fence was only about a 3 foot high
crappy chicken wire job
to appease the angry mob
so I walked over to it
in my bare feet and bikini briefs
and commenced to kicking the wire
an ill conceived attempt to topple the horrid thing
and I saw the sliding glass door open
and an angry shih tzu ran out
the little dog was black and white
and noticeably disturbed by my presence
as it yelped and barked and tried to bite at my toes
through the fence.

A middle aged woman in a bathrobe and curlers
poked her head out the door, "Buster! Get away!"

She looked over at me as I sipped from my coffee cup and stomped at her fence.

"What are you doing?!"

"Kicking over your fence! Your dog doesn't seem to like it very much."

"Why are you doing that?" she anxiously shouted.

"It's for you own good lady. You don't want to
put down roots on this street. You'll thank me someday.
You and your little dog! Just go back inside your house ..."

"Stop it!" she continued.

"Alright ..." I said

"I'll call the cops!"

"Alright ... if you think you need to."

I turned to walk away but then raised an angry fist and shouted,

"Long live the ephemeral!  Death to permanence!"

She shut the sliding glass door after
ushering Buster the pissed of shih tzu back inside.

The cops came and knocked on my door
about a half an hour latter
I have yet to answer
they keep pounding as I type this.

I bet they have fences around their backyards to ...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cup Of Coffee

I once knew a guy that was saved
by a cup of coffee
and I don't mean it brought him to Jesus
or started him an account at the bank
but it did pull him out of a burning building
at least a metaphorical one
that raged silently beneath his rib cage
and ate savagely away at his soul
and so it went
that he told me his tale
one windswept night
in the Mojave desert
when we rode around the darkness
in search of dead men's souls
two dudes and a gurney
not swift enough to find employment
anywhere else except
a funeral home.

He said, "Shawn ..."

and I said, "... what now?"

and he retorted (quite sharply mind you), "Now look here!
Relationships are like those cheap ass promotional items
you get from the Time Warner Cable Company!
Fun and shiny and cool and novel at first. But once you take em' out
of the package and play with em' for a few hours ... well, they just seem to fall apart."

My reply to that was, "You shouldn't take em' out of the package."

and he exclaimed, "your damn straight! Admire relationships from a far!"

so I said, "Amen to that!" and cracked the window of the first call van
and lit a smoke.

I idled up to the stop light at
the corner of Avalon and the 5800 block of Hwy. 62

"I have had suicidal thoughts all weekend."

I looked over at him, "Did you love the wrong woman again, brother?"

and he said, "Why ... yes, yes I did!"

"That's not good."

"Your telling me!"

The light turned green and I made a right
he continued, "Yesterday, I came home and went to the mail box.
I looked at the ground as I walked. I couldn't look up. Haven't been
able to do that for two weeks."

I nodded sympathetically.

"In the mail box was a letter from GEICO.
You know, that auto insurance company. Had that cute little gecko on it and the words ...

"Oh, yeah. Did you open it?"

"Hell no! I put it in the garbage can. Then I walked
to my front door and noticed a bunch of roofing nails on the ground.
Damn pigeons tearing up the roof again! Bird shit every where.
So I got to thinking about all the dead bodies with their dead eyes
that stare only upwards
and my pretty gal that left me high and dry.
Went back to shack up with her ex old man.
Carrying that thing in her belly
that I once thought was beautiful! But now just seems ill and gruesome!"

"Jesus man! Get a grip on yourself. We'll be at the hospital soon," I replied with uneasy apprehension.

"So I got a bottle of whiskey out of the cabinet, a length of rope, a shot glass, some pills, pack of razor blades, my revolver, buck knife, a box of bullets, a Mexican bible, and some antifreeze."

I flicked my cigarette butt out of the window, "Jesus man! Were you expecting company?!"

He stared straight ahead at the dark, desert road and quietly spoke,
"I walked in a circle around the table, where I placed all these things. Around and around I went.
Until I must have circled 30 or 40 times!"


"I decided to make a cup of coffee."

"Then what?"

"I felt better," he said.

"Better then what?!" I exclaimed.

"Nothing I guess."

I pulled the van into the hospital parking lot
drove around back to the morgue
he didn't say anything else the rest of the time
as we took the body off ice
and loaded it casually into our van.

Jim quit and moved shortly there after
not sure with the girl, or the baby, or both
perhaps just by himself
but I walked around my kitchen table several times
this evening
when the sick orange moon hung low
in the lonely desert sky
like the flaming epicenter of an empty noose
ready for a naked neck
and my Time Warner Promotional Gift
had been out of the box
for a few hours
and now looked man handled, beat up and broken
so I stopped circling when I got tired
and decided to just
make myself
a cup of coffee.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Friday night. Not drunk enough to be text messaging "dick pics" randomly out into the universe but inebriated to the point of dangerous sentimentality and desperate nostalgia. A few burials took place this week. We put Mr. Anderson down at Inglewood Park Cemetery. An old negro gentleman sat stoic on the cemetery casket cart and stared out at the universe with a cold indifference that could chill a new born baby. His lazy bull frog features radiated a frightening calm and gave nothing away. The stone face of a top notch poker player. The family wanted to stick around to witness the lowering. The old negro was the cemetery liaison. He had the walkie-talkie and the power. I walked back and forth between him and the wife as others lingered around the grave site. His frog lips would just croak, "no pay, no see." That was it.

"I know a place where a royal flush never beat a pair."

Then, there was every liquor known to man poured down my throat until my heart was in cardiac arrest and I fumbled text messages to every one and their mom, during a severely broken and uncompromising  3 a.m. Including my ex old lady in San Francisco. I complained that I couldn't go through "another one" like that. Didn't have the right stuff. The true grit. You get the girl of your dreams and then you realize that you didn't. Powerful truths to try and handle with a head full of whiskey and a gut twisted with hot sake and beer. My ex thinks I am an idiot. Seems the general consensus by all. I am okay with being an idiot. I am just not alright with losing this latest one. Not to on board with all the deception and lies either.

"My head is spinning round
my heart is in my shoes
I went and set the Thames on fire
now I must come back down
she's laughing in her sleeve, boys
I can feel it in my bones."

By morning my heart was dead and buried. I felt the cold dead eyes of the Negro cemetery attendant. His frog lips moved in the back of my head, "No pay ... no see." I paid my brother. I paid more then my share. I whispered it over and over to myself. The scam was set in the bear trap. And the joke was on me. I would never see her again.

The next day, Death Ray and I took our hangovers to the used bookstore on Hwy. 62. The dust on the old jackets was comforting. Lost phrases and neglected knowledge was spread ankle deep in the place. Books upon glorious books. I picked up Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie and held it up to Death Ray, "This one will change your life, man! Not sure if your ready for it ... game changer!"

Death Ray laughed. The lady at the counter scribbling notes looked at me like I was insane as I picked up the pocket Aquinas and said the same thing, adding, "Aquinas is not something you can read straight through. It's more of a random passage turner. But you will pull mad ass if chicks see you thumbing the pages of the good Saint!"

When we got to the register Death Ray and I did the whole comedy routine again with a box set of the great American classics, illustrated and abridged. The ones for the kids. Death Ray was picking it up for his four year old son. The lady at the counter was letting him swap out a few of the novels and customize the set. I launched into a long discussion about Jack London's White Fang as he attempted to trade it out for Treasure Island.

"White Fang is a game changer! Changed my life. I became a man after reading White Fang. I don't know man ... it was 7th grade and I considered buying a parka and a bus ticket to Anchorage."

We went back and forth between Moby Dick and Jungle Book. The lady behind the counter finally got into the whole thing. It's alright to laugh at serious works of literature and appreciate them at the same time. When she attempted to do the same thing regarding here 13 year old nephew jumping from White Fang to The Sea-Wolf and not being able to bridge the divide we hurriedly paid and left. Leave the stand-up to the professionals sweet-heart. We left her standing among her graveyard of books. Burials all around. 

"And they all pretend they're Orphans
and their memory's like a train
you can see it getting smaller as it pulls away ..."

Later, when I was at home, I spoke with another friend on the phone. He is dating a smokin' hottie with cars, money, houses, and everything in between. A divorcee back on the make. Says she is not looking for a relationship. Friends with benefits for now. Relationships don't work, according to her. I heard it said once that relationships work until they don't. In everything in life their is a beginning and an end. People are so stuck on the ending part. It has to end a certain way. People will suffer through misery because they only care about how it ends. They have that perfect ideal in their head and they will die for it. Ride it out to the bitter end! Their brains can't fathom anything else but how it looks in the end. 

Myself, I care more about all the stuff in-between. We all know the ending is out their lurking in the shadows. Waiting. Don't miss out on all the moments along the way. That's the good stuff. The only stuff. Leave the end to the gravediggers.  

Where there are tombs sometimes there are resurrections. I think Nietzsche said that. Next time I am going to date a sword shallower form the circus. Or maybe a snake charmer. Somebody interesting. A real game changer. Somebody that will change my life ... like the John Steinbeck novel,  Travels With Charley. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Yrs Truly,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Plain Old Blog

Wow ... have not posted anything since January. Can't hardly believe it. I'm logged in direct to the "post" dock. Slamming it in the main vein. Shooting form the hip. Rambling freestyle. No ho's barred! I mean holds, excuse me. Putting the boots to it in the corner.

WCPE (Raleigh-Durham, NC) is pledging hard this morning. They must have taken a whole fist full of tribulus terrestris. The blood is pulsing. They've got their veiny cock thrust across the internet airwaves! Give us money! Support classical music! Music is mind control. Sex is the magic wand. The unfortunate thing is that they keep playing gregorian chants. I'm not a big fan. I don't hate this form of music. It just doesn't help me write. It helps me not in anything ... hahaha! Except maybe doing triangle push ups. It makes walking to the mail box seem more epic.

Why am I associating sex with classical music? It makes no sense. Must be the slow, Sunday sand spread out across the Mojave desert. It has seeped into my skull until my dopamine pathways are filled with dirt. The synapses can't fire. Just now, I got a text from my buddy in Cinny, Ohio. He was partying with all barrels firing last night in Indy. Got high as all hell on this medical marijuana called Death Star. Him and his pals were also hitting this other killer bud (according to him) called the Green Wookie. Some street grade shit that makes you feel all "hairy." You might even bust out with that Chewbacca scream after the first bong hit. The whole point of his evening was to attend a Pirates of the Carribean Live Orchestra Concert. Enhance the experience, perhaps? I don't know. One must assume. I didn't get all the details yet. Some heavy rum drinking was mixed into the equation. He drove across the state line this morning on two hours of sleep feeling extremely green and hairy. I guess that is the type of thing law enforcement is accustom to in Indiana. Manic-wheel-gripping-hairy-green-fuckers in dark shades with extremely high BAC's barreling down the 74 at Harrison in the wee hours of the morning. Making a last ditch attempt at salvaging their employment status. He made it to work. The man is a true warrior! A breed of human the likes of which I rarely encounter.

Man, I remember a very precarious position of the same circumstance that I was involved in. I was going the opposite way though. This was back in 2005? Anyway, I was partying with the aforementioned friend. It was the weekend that speedway Ron closed up the gas station and mini mart in Loveland, Ohio at 11:00 p.m. Told all the customers that the filing station was closing. Going out of business. That was it! No mas! He was off to Florida to test time travel portals. Some top secret NASA shit. My buddy, my then girlfriend from Chicago, and myself bought a 24 pack of Bud and helped him lock the door.

I got gas there the next morning. Apparently the Speedway corporate office didn't get the memo about the branch closure! I was driving a rented Chevy Impala and I was extremely hungover, sleep deprived and disoriented. I had to be at Chicago O'hare that evening to catch my flight back to Palm Springs. It was a mad dash West then North in the middle of December with snow covering the land and black ice laid invisible across the asphalt. It was a true test of endurance. Both physical and mental. I remember when I got over the state line into Indiana I pulled over at a rest stop. Went inside to drop a load and fell asleep on the toilet! My girlfriend was pissed! To a large degree! I don't think she ever forgave me. Oh, well. D.J., if your out there, I am sorry ... really baby.

By a mother-trucking wing and a prayer I persevered and made my flight. I don't think I managed to drop my girlfriend off at her house though. She lived way up on the Northside, almost to Evanston, and I was in a hurry. She had to take the L-train home from O'Hare. Which is like an hour or so ride on the train. With all her luggage and shit. Total dick move on my behalf. No wonder the gentler species hates me!

Really though, not much of a "night-lifer" these days. My Saturday evening (last night) was about as eventful as nothing. I laid in bed in my underwear watching Keira Knightley in the motion picture Domino. I tell you  what, short hair even looks good on that woman. Not to many chicks can pull it off. Mickey and Tom were great in the movie to. Even those Jabroni's from Beverly Hills 90210 were slightly amusing. Man, what is becoming of me lately. I have been down in the mouth but really, Shawn? I am about as threatening as a wood sliver these days. All kinds of shame in my game.

Well now ... let me see ... what is it I am doing in this "blog" today? I guess I am just checking in. Trying to figure. Throwing some memories up into the air. I've been away from this to long. Been playing gigs. Burying bodies. Chasing love around. Getting burned in the process.

My hairdresser is moving to Austin, Texas in a few months. I heard the news yesterday. Out like a porch light in the ghetto. She is just going to hang out with friends for a bit. Needs a change of pace. A new couch to crash on. A change of scenery. New faces and new possibilities. Maybe, she will never come back. I am a true fucking fan of those "dangerous maybes." A co-worker of mine down at the mortuary wants to go back to college but doesn't know what for. Not sure of her career path or money ambitions.She just needs a catalyst. When you have no direction you just got to start walking. Get on the bus and see where it takes you.

Me on the other hand, I have always known exactly what I wanted out of life but I could never attain it! I've been hitching my horse to the wrong post for as long as I can remember. Strange paradox my existence. Maybe I am scared little shit with serious commitment issues. Perhaps I just attract nothing but failure and bad luck. Or, it just might be that I've planted my seeds in the wrong soil for all these years. Maybe it is time to light out for the territory ... parts unknown ... dangerous maybes?!

I've been locked down in the "dark desert" for a long spell now. So long in fact that I can no longer see the possibilities. I can no longer reach out and feel for a dream. My roommate said it best, "Shawn, you gotta get out of here man! I always think to myself that one day I will come home from work and find that you hung yourself in the garage!" Whenever he is not at the job he is leaving the desert. Down in San Diego for the rest of this week. He will transfer out of this sand trap in the near future.  

I fought against the "dark desert" my whole life. In the last year it has owned me completely ... mind, body and soul. All men enter ... no man leaves. At least not alive.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Skin

Walking forward
heavy on the shoulders
an invisible pall
death moves into my footsteps
as I lift a shoe, the reaper quickly steps down
into my footprint
the grimness is chasing me
we are close to being one …

the evenings are Chinese lanterns
floating in dark waters
slow movement
the low undulation of moaning
a woman’s voice
faint in the distance
whispering my first name
I see a seagull take flight
followed by a black crow
then a bottle rocket
streaming of red, blue, yellow
life yawns
crocodiles spin in the water
pirouetting like dangerous ballerinas
hungry for my
fresh flesh
warm blood.

Phone call
Chinese New Year
red pouch filled with burnt dollar bills
I make a motion
like I want you to come
but you text me madness and silly love
until I can’t stand
and still
my beckoning

The dance is slowing down
the record skips
someone turns on the light
the room exposed
everyone scurries away
and I am standing here alone
once again.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Where Are They Now

Life is the strangest thing going
all you have to do is
take the old photographs out
let the eyes wonder at all
the different people that pass through our lives
stop and think about
where this ex-girlfriend is now
that friend dead before his time
shallow acquaintances that shared the stage with you
for only a few seconds
and now have faded into
the maze of modern being.

Eddie is doing 3 yards in county
for violating parole
Bernadine moved to Frisco
with a man twice her age
Aunt Millie died from congestive heart failure
after that road trip to the Grand Tetons
Doug is a paramedic
Steve is a merchant marine
that Drag Queen from Laguna Beach
with the best blow
is now a seven digit salary commanding CEO
and Joanne is still living in Chicago
on the Northside with her mother
and she works on Michigan Avenue
still, to this day
and that homeless guy running through the streets
with a purple bed comforter wrapped around his shoulders
screaming, "I need money for a salad!"
is now eating his salad somewhere
in God's lonely heaven.

We wonder all the time where it goes
but Time doesn't care
what we wonder
it just moves, man!
like the demon light of an electrical current
a shark in the water
a long distance runner on amphetamines
moving, moving, moving
the ocean tide crashing in
and slowly stealing people from your shoreline
as it crawls back into the depths
and that little baby girl in that picture
your daughter
that mystery of becoming
is now 16 years old
she is someone completely new and different
and, in a few years
she will become someone different
yet again
as you stand
with your back to the sun
decomposing towards your own inevitable end.

I'm looking for some clarity
that divine shot into the heart of the question
and I miss them all so much
the ones that I talk to every day
the ones that I will never lay eyes on again
the ones that live in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
the ones that broke my heart
the ones who stole my wallet
and got drunk and passed out on my kitchen floor
even all those that I made to feel bad
and swept under the rug
just because I could
and something told me I should
because it was high time
to discover others
and move on.

If your reading this
and wondering about me
just know I am thinking about you too
with all sincerity and apologies owed
I didn't mean to get you knocked up
or to not return your calls
it was sheer coincidence and no fault of accidental happenings
that I stole your car
and robbed that liquor store
in St. George
thanks for picking me up
when the money ran out
and, by the way
I am sorry I got you evicted
from your apartment in Houston, Texas
for pissing on the neighbors head
from the second story balcony
that shit was really uncalled for
so, the next time you pass through town
drop me a

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crestview Drive

The last good times I spent drinking
were with a real gone gal in Chicago, Illinois
many a grand night spent in taxi cabs speeding towards kicks
I remember tall laughter and wild talk in dark bars
and humor in spades
dressed to the nines and full of spit and vinegar
adventures and tales, boy oh boy
how we did  hoot and holler and …

it’s a cold January night now
a Sunday in 2012
it’s all over
any spin of the bottle bringing bleeding and muted sorrow
an image of myself
coming apart in slow motion
any city laws against burying in the garden
I shake my head and tell myself
it’s not a comeback it’s a return

an uncomfortable reminder that time has passed
dust on my exposed bulb
shadows crouch in every corner of this room
the lifestyle I was living
hitting walls are fun
even funnier at 157 mph

a touch of melancholy on the rocks
drunk with nothing every night
not even nostalgia can save this
nothing like tile floors for the tango
crumbling to dirt and poverty
nothing like shadows to spin around with
and only the silence
to dip down to the floor
cold dead eyes in your arms

they’re all loose in here
memories with hatchets and hacksaws
I lay in bed chained to the night
nothing but another writer without a publisher

a musician without a label
an entertainer without a stage

I’m starving for a soft shoulder to cry on
the darkness is the desert and vice versa
no way in and no longer any way out

I’ll send a picture postcard care of
Chicago, IL.