REPORT A PROBLEM
Reaching for the wheel and the gear shift to level off the countryside. Power up for the hills; drifting in the fleeting heavens as the effort fades for the downside.
And my thoughts… I have to remember to keep thinking of what lays ahead of me, but then a sign eases me back into a dream hurtling at seventy miles an hour. Wasn’t that a nice place on the river I fashioned out of so many others, playing god as all my dreams are intended? Yes. Impossible cascading falls surrounded by darkest green of summer. Ease to a stoplight.
On with the corpse plundering! What lovely insight you have, Mr. Dostoevsky…
… What a delightful innocence, Harper Lee…
, Mr. Clemens, Mr. Hemingway….Mr. Poe. No, I think I have enough Mr. Poe already.
So back to the laboratory! Now to slap all these organs with spackle and cram them into the skeleton of an idea! Now I must have flesh and MORE flesh! Oh yes, I saved THAT for a part I stole from Henry Miller…. Now to sew it all together and expose my creation to the tempest and await the critical shock to see if there’s any life.
Watching the ladybugs yesterday from the glass front door, they crawled and they climbed and they flew and they fell, little elongated shadows across the wooden floor from the setting sun.
There were hundreds, all concentrated around the front door. I brought a plant from the back yard and set it on the porch for them to pick clean the aphids and suddenly a small edge of the swarm was clinging to me.
I brushed them away as gently as I could and stepped back and then back some more to watch this amazing spectacle and wonder what was happening.
It was the zombie in the ‘power to the people’ tee shirt who kept standing up at the football game yelling “try to score” no matter who had the ball suddenly being broadcast on the big screen; when everyone else saw the fistfuls of lottery tickets and prescription bottles, they were instant believers too.
As unconnected fighter jets flew overhead in mock strafing runs, the banners snapped unfolded in the fury of heated wake. Hands held to shade the horizon in empty gestures of vision.
They call it swinging at the playground still but they mean it like a gallows.
Taut on the morning of wrought iron violence, savage thoughts swirl inside of my head, breaking down through the roar of the silence, beneath all that glory rots all the dead.
Musical interlude musical interlude.
I hate that deep quiet in the cold before sunrise, struggling to go back to sleep and the day seems to already explode in an intense instance of everything ahead. It’s like glancing at the sun or a gorgon and having the image seared through the back of your brain. The sense of the impending so stupidly loud in the face of the momentary quiet.
So today is the day.
Why not go for a drive? Why not see the ocean or the mountains?
Why not rob a bank? Feast on lobster?
Fire a machine gun? Rent a movie? Hire a prostitute to lick your toes? Why not write a letter actually open to a response?
After all, what’s so great about today?
What’s so great about today is that it won’t last that long anyway so what’s the rush? Instead you couldn’t wait and now all your waiting and everything else is just over.
It’s already too late for sorrow and goodbyes.
A gruesome sort of bland – an atmosphere syrup heavy pouring down. Negotiate between rational and the depressive. All this time struck stupid with nothing to say but so much at mind. Blast it with incoherence, who gives a fuck?
Yeah... I found out yesterday about an old friend’s suicide. I was hoping to avoid this kind of morbid crap in my 100 words but obviously that’s off the table.
This is that interim purgatory between death and funeral date set where everyone suffering this hideous joke just scratches their heads in confusion all too dreamlike.
Death and loss and numbness.
Dreams of being watched at nighttime; cars slowing down to peer into lit windows and then turning around, outright demonstrating surveillance.
Dreams of gunfights between cops and robbers, endless bullets with bodies deflating, spreading the floor with blood as the victorious gun turns toward me to silence the last witness.
Dreams of growing stiff with aches, shifting from side to side, pacing, watching reruns and reading hair tonic ads in the endless waiting room I am trapped in while expecting only bad news.
The factory was worse though – the cans would go by day and night, asleep and awake both.
On the other side of the gate is the open field slowly inclining to the base of the hills surrounding us.
The cows come to graze and we like to watch them from the fence.
Sometimes we go in and try to touch them.
There’s a horse that let’s us pet her but only when her mood is right.
There are ponds here too; one trampled next to a lone pecan tree and another with a steeper bowl and more trees to shade it.
The rocks are somewhat grey and plain until they split open revealing sea fossils and cacti.
Maybe the right magic words will diffuse the bomb in the living room.
A characteristic smile added to some charming derogatory comment.
A hand gesture simulating masturbation during a telethon.
for a laugh, by god…
Watch for fingers gone slack and eyes without emotion.
I can’t get this music out of my head and I don’t need a soundtrack to my life anymore.
I feel the rhythm absorbing my pulse while I crave a moment of silence.
The fabric of time knitted together and unraveled as always.
Either trying to ride the tide or being swept away the same.
I walked through my old neighborhood today trying to recognize the steps.
There were trees missing and shifted sidewalks.
Battered doors and curved blades of glass loose in the window frames to homes I once visited friends.
Almost all of it empty now, I knew it when it was alive – everyone drunk and stoned on Friday and Saturday nights… music and cars and cats watching vigilantly.
There was no money but there were good times and everyone watched out for each other in a way.
I knew it when it was alive, haunting this little ghost town one last time.
Autumn caught the maple leaves in the brightest fire of sunset.
Strictly a luscious orange color glowing, delicate and frail against the slow rushing wind stirring the flutter of the already fallen.
Among the tall pines in the hills pinching the throat of the breeze with shredding needles, the great trunks sway resistant pops and moans.
This is my cathedral.
This is the sanctuary where my god sleeps.
Before the rain.
Before the cold.
Before the night.
It is just such a gentle action before the certainty of change.
This is where my god sleeps.
This is where I whisper.
Whispering in the library, the kid motioned to me.
“Do you go to Stillwater?”
He looked around like he was about to surreptitiously show me a pistol or a bag of drugs.
I sized up the room and the exits and obstacles.
“We’ve got a band and we’re playing at a church there. Good Christian Rock…”
I was glad at least he wasn’t going to shoot me.
“We’re playing Saturday night. You should come.”
“You should print flyers,” I said leaving.
I don’t want to hear Christian Rock.
I like destructive and lustful.
Vicious and sharp.
As I drove to town this morning, passing a car dealership, a white balloon was ripped loose by the breeze and floated above me. Meaning really Nothing but I take it for a sign anyway. Maybe signaling drifting or release or freedom or loss or purity or surrender, I don’t know… I don’t really have anything else to write about today and I’m not about to go pick a fight with somebody at a bar or firebomb a derelict Wal Mart or something just to add some crappy life experience for anyone else’s entertainment. At least not right now anyway.
Exploding through the deadly monochromatic with licorice red uncoiling, orange clouds pour into the skies.
Echoes tumble through the hillside as thunder pounds the earth in simultaneous ripples.
Elastic sway of teetering giants glowing in the heat drooping weariness.
Chattering teeth emitting a soft hiss towering static flagellum in slow and gentle gesture.
Reflections careening in the silver spill across the mountain-pierced shadows like broken blood vessels dissolving the ground in free fall.
A nerve sensation rendered dormant suddenly bursting alive with primal electric current – the pinpoint of a soul searing the eyes as it crosses beyond the horizon.
Oklahoma is 100 years old as a state in the union today.
There have been parties and parades all across the seventy-seven counties for the entire year now.
The television is broadcasting a concert and tribute tonight that we are watching.
I thought about shooting my gun off in the yard with a proper yowl but I don’t feel like living down any strange looks from my family or my cats.
More power to the world outside of these borders.
I love Oklahoma.
I feel it in my bones and muscles deep.
and will always be
Gathered together tonight tightly wrapped in rubber bands, action figures
standing on their heads,
face to face,
arms in all directions.
One plucked out, the binding slackens.
Hold it to the light and look into that faded childhood where once-powerful symbols go meaningless...
Hold it to the light and then without explanation,
hold it to the fire – watch the colors flare and then corrupt into a thin black pouring stream of stinking smoke.
The smell of butane and a taste for new toys.
The rubber bands empty
one by one
to be flipped from the fire
into the darkness.
The aforementioned lady bugs made their way inside the house.
They clung to the shell of their newfound sanctuary and died.
Hundreds of them.
I tell people on the phone that it is a lady bug Jonestown.
I think of their batteries running out rather than them starving or freezing to death.
The ultimate disposable goods have
and no gas tanks to refill.
It’s all or nothing and
at the same time.
We step on them without intention.
We sweep them up.
We put them back outside.
There is nothing else to do for them.
For a journal, I find myself having to go back and fill in the days. I blame the holidays blowing a hole in all this time like a shotgun blast to a condom. I don’t know if I will be able to finish. Damn. November 28th and all these teeth to fill. All these bricks to wall shut. Imagining the grinding sound of mortar and stone. What am I building? With words, I am better at destroying so I know I may not be building anything at all. I have read the writings of others here and I want in.
My son turned eight today.
He learned how to use the record player and listened to the Ramones and the Clash with his guitar strapped to him.
I could hear him hammering the strings and keeping the rhythm well.
I would pass the open door in the hallway and see the look of concentration on his face, oblivious to all but sound and feeling.
Later we waited for his mother, hiding behind the bar to jump out when she arrived home.
SURPRISE we yelled on the count of three, hoping she wouldn’t drop the cake.
It was a good day.
This is it.
The last one.
November 21st proved to be
the last cavity to fill.
An unremarkable day as I recall – I think I scraped the birdcage floor clean with a toothbrush in preparation for abandoning the house and the pets for the holiday.
My child is sick tonight, puking like a rock star.
Hope it’s not the flu.
No school tomorrow if it’s any consolation.
I needed this exercise.
Having the discipline to get it done on the first try feels good.
My best regards to the project
and anyone else involved.
See you in the New Year.
Reading the paper this morning, I realized
I had forgotten the anniversary of President Kennedy’s murder.
Doesn’t seem long ago there would be a rash of programs and articles to remind us all year after year.
Thanksgiving must have crowded it out. High hopes of ‘Black Friday’ and tattered brains don’t fit on the same serving table I guess.
‘Black Friday’ – is that a terrorist group? A roving band of commerce-driven thugs holding us hostage?
"Approved - The past is forgotten."
String up those lights. Drive like a moron. Apply for more credit cards. Pop more pills.
Don’t forget to smile!
3:00 in the morning.
I can’t sleep.
Truth is I got scared tonight.
In the end of the evening, as I was leaving him at his grandparents’ house, the feeling I was going to lose my child hit me
and hit me hard enough I could not escape the dreadful sense of premonition.
I know it is easily my worst fear.
There have so far been
I could have easily been murdered
that I know of –
Neither of them come close to the fear I feel just now as I write,
as this terrible night lingers.
As we watched the football highlights and the stadium emptied to the south, James and Lonnie came back to get their vehicles.
In the euphoric glow of victory and whisky, James suddenly told us that a friend of ours had died a couple weeks back.
As it would happen, I had two friends die on the same day this month.
“We must be reaching that age where the wheat starts to fall,” said Sherman.
Through the course of the night we realized someone else we knew was still alive despite reports otherwise.
It was a relief that excited another toast.
Clear the confusion.
What time did you fall asleep? Are you hungry? Me Neither. I think sleep is as obligatory as death as sort of a rehearsal for it. Look how easily we ease into it.
Don’t get me started on eating.
Eating is worse.
Loosen the boot strings. Reach inside for any carefully placed secrets.
Everything filled with a haze as outside the beautiful autumn has turned to the disintegration.
The world may as well be ashes but the cold wet kiss makes it difficult to burn.
Time to hit the road and go home.
My partner for the class project
wants to be a pirate.
He chooses his words carefully when he discusses such things but it comes across like a repressed secret.
We talk about movies but he doesn’t really like movies that have nothing to do with Tolkien or pirates.
He corrected me about the dragon in Lord of the Rings, “There is no dragon in Lord of the Rings”.
I looked at him incredulously.
“I can see why people would think that though”.
But at least we get along again.
Enough for now anyway to
finish this stupid
I like it that my wife is writing.
Doing poetry workshops...
She did 100 Words back in June of this year and is trying to wrestle out the time to do it again.
Last night as we watched the game, we could hear her singing with her headphones on. It was nice to listen to – she doesn’t sing as much as she could and I know she feels good when she sings.
I think the poems help bring it out of her.
Something that just inspires her enough to let go and shine like that.
I am proud to listen.
Bughouse the Destructor stomping around with a luscious plume of black raised warning of his merciless quest for biskies. Ha! Who would stand in his way? Beneath the contempt and open disdain requiring yet another contemplative nap! Sullenly concentrating beyond the barriers of bars protecting the infernal canary, activity instigates a furious trotting! Yes! The bathroom! The door wide open! Perched with the view of the toilet bowl swirling and draining away to slowly reemerge with all the power of a haiku… the one indulgence in spectator sport Bughouse feigns to allow betraying his fascination with the effects of mystery.
When I go to hell, it will be exactly like today.
After I dropped out of school at eighteen
I was plagued with nightmares that I was stuck in the second grade again
knowing all that I know.
It probably serves me right for waiting so long to finish college...
Today as we stood in speech class to give presentations about our favorite movies,
the onslaught of cute Disney movies these little girls fawned over
made me feel like
Jack the Ripper in comparison -
Cruella DeVille wants to make puppy coats!
Can you imagine anything
Yes I can.
At the liquor store today to buy
a beer for cooking.
After looking around, I found a display offering a ‘build your own six-pack’ with various exotic brew.
“How much for just one?” I asked the women while holding up a bottle.
“You have to buy six.
If you would read the sign above, you’d know that,” replied the oldest one with the hair plucked from a gargoyle’s crotch.
I left the store.
I realized later
it would have been so easy
to drop that bottle and watch it bust and then ask
how much for just one
The Tip Jar