Pages

Monday, December 22, 2003

"Merry Christmas" with love to you and yours, Ma Humbug xx


Proper poems will not be written
by the uneducated
for the grammer will not stand up
to the severe beatings
it will recieve
once exposed
to the educated masses.

Proper poems will not be written
by the ordinary shopworker
for her ideas and dreams
are dull and of course
ordinary
they will fail the tests
set by the exam boards
whose rulings
set in stone
must be obeyed

Proper poetry will not be written
by housewives or mothers
left at home, for hours on end
while their men do the real work
and bring home the money
to pay for the paper
and ink
necessary for the poet
to breathe.

Proper poetry will not be written
by the woman who stands
alone on the top of the hill
remembering, way back
when,
The woman who can still hear
the voices and see the faces
of the long dead,
the dead, and feel the breath
of the dying
on her neck.

Proper poetry will not be written
by me, or you
for poems cannot be forced
into existance
they are kissed into life
by heartbroken lovers
bereaved fathers
lost children and those
who remember
the bodies of the dead
so many bodies
that there is no earth
as far as the eye can see.

Proper poetry is not written
it fights its way into being
through the mouth of the poet
his wet, hot mouth,
the womb
his black charcoal pencil
the incubator
it fights its way from the bowels
of the earths misery
it fights its way from the heights
of the heavens joys
and sets itself upon the pages
of the poets heart.


sk 10/02

Thursday, December 18, 2003

"Contra vim mortis, non est medicamen in hortis"

there was that old joke again
"she died from lack of breath"
only its true
she died from lack of breath
stopped breathing and died
she meant it too

the bench was slimey
all green
lichen maybe, they call it
or maybe it was moss
you'd never want to sit there
unless
well - unless you were green
a greenfly
or some kind of rare green bird
perhaps not from Britain
an ordinary green parrot
that would do

sometimes when touching the bench
it becomes her skin
all clammy and wet feeling -
like the lichen or moss
or whatever
its then she's there
laughing
almost hysterically
she knew it was one of my things
you know?
that hatred of slimey
almost as much as the
chicken under your fingernails thing

the buddleigh is dead
the purple is brown
but the green is always green
the garden is always awake
and the bench
the bench watches

one day someone will come
and scrape the lichen away
but she'll still be dead
and the garden will still be green.

©2003 sk


"Against the power of death there is no remedy in the garden".

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Jerome’s Compass
Copyright C D YORK 2003


He is East and West hands. Southern feet. And his solar plexus rests forever at the Equator. West, east, south, middle: muscles massed on bone, tied to it. Pressure comes through the mass. So do warmth, cold, wetness, weight. And the pain of a paper cut on a finger or a blister on one foot from a shoe that slips and shunts on heel skin. Or the tang of an elbow hit at a certain vulnerable spot. The penis engorged, draws a Tropic line; disengorged, draws a different one. Knees, stiff from kneeling in the mud too long, are southern knees. Long muscles and transverse ones make a net of latitudes and longitudes. Striations, warp and weft, ley lines.

He is more. Up. North.

A pulling compass point lies within his head. North: where the needle falls to rest.

Here the skeleton heaves to the outside and true North lies inside, in convolutions that mimic coral formations. But this mass is not the solid exo-skeletons of dead sea animals. Its folds and gullies and mounds are as soft as unfurled anemones.

He embarks northward like an ill-prepared nineteenth century explorer. Hopeful. Ignorant. The wind in that region is wild, yet he is dressed for a calmer place. He has not been warned that pack ice and icebergs lurk, that they are shape shifters, voodoo men, who do one thing while they make him think another. He spins in cold memory tunnels, or wanders, hands extended beggar-like, in the halls of yet-to-be. Crevasses wait for him. Sometimes, infrequently, the aurora borealis flashes like a lighthouse beacon in a trackless night. It is then that symphonies rise; these he sings.

He has named the place Goliath-Methusaleh and claims it in the name of the crown. He believes that North is the width and breadth and depth of everything. All began and all will end with his North.

“Some days are better than others,” Ruby says to me. Then she turns to shout at her brother. “Jerome! Quit day dreaming and come on.”

Friday, December 12, 2003

drenched

poetry
leaves
drip
dirty
from the top of the tree

and splash around the children
nursery rhyming.

if they're lucky they'll stay dry this year
and tear up clovers but nevermind
the voice from the school house
jangling lessons.

and then the sophisticated television
foretelling the future
in images
snappy and vile
promises pointless greed and politics.

this year the children are all getting drenched
and next year there will be a new breed of
the same old shit.

let's follow one child now
as he grows through the peaceful anatomy of lizards and fantasy
on his game boy screen.
don't be too quick to tell him
beyond the flying dragons is nothing
but a dying planet and a corporation sponsoring it.
but don't let him discover it all on his own either
or you'll never get home again.
I (the perfect start and introduction of character - denotes source and
identity of creator)
Perhaps am a pathetic fallacy
Mouthing platitudes and narcissism
Prosaic and (proof positive) inexpressive.

Then will you still read me?

Monday, November 03, 2003

Song for a Summer Day
C D YORK 2003


Alan said he would pay for the car rental and navigate the route. An hour, he said, should be enough time to reach the church. On the way he reminisced. We were so young then, he said. Four musicians, playing rock and roll, gigs in England and on across the Channel to Holland and Germany and Belgium. Wild days. Guitars and booze and women who sized us up and issued invitations with their eyes. Flash suits, string ties, hair like Elvis’s. Studio recordings, the top ten, once, for a week. But we were lucky, ah yes, though we didn’t see it then. We were lucky. The big business didn’t suck us in; we were not the star material that they wanted. Four guys from East Anglia, small time stuff. The Liverpool set had it all over us. But what a time we had. And the rest of them, the stars: they made money, yes, but most of them are dead now. Drugs, overdoses. That’s what money and fame buy. It’s the music biz. We were lucky.

He sat in the front passenger seat, interjecting ‘turn left’, ‘turn right’, only at the very moment it was required. I half listened. I’d already heard the story unravel over the past two days and tried to concentrate on staying in the correct lane and shifting gears. Alan smelled of fragrance and smoke. He wore black which suited his almost-white, slicked-back hair. And no doubt Stephen would be dressed in black too. It was Stephen we were going to see.

The journey took more time than we’d planned. The village church, in a little place on the south coast east of Fowey, spilled people out into the churchyard. Its doors were all propped open so that those outside could hear the service. Under the cloud-free sun, under the canopies of old trees, among the stones, we strained to hear the eulogy. Alan became agitated and walked away. He sought a quiet place around the back of the church where he could smoke a joint and weep if he wanted to. Eventually I saw him lope into sight and when he was close enough, I eased him through the crowd at the side door until he was seen by the widow and drawn in. A track from the band’s record album was played at the proper loud volume and then the coffin was carried to a waiting hearse.

It’s just a mile that way, Alan said, as we stood with the crowd from the emptying church. We would go on with the others to the cemetery. But first, behind the hearse, half a dozen uniformed musicians organized themselves. At their head was a man Alan once knew: John wore a black frock coat and a black bowler hat; he popped open a black umbrella and held it high. His feet began to shuffle and the tuba, percussion, trumpet and clarinet men tuned up.

Into that English summer day came the sound of New Orleans’ funeral jazz. A Closer Walk With Thee. And John, thin as a dressed skeleton, arced his chin, lifted his feet, twirled and played the umbrella as though it was an exotic instrument or a king’s sceptre. I thought it was death itself dancing. We all found our places in the parade and set out, mimicking the slow pace of hearse, John and tuba notes, to flow down the narrow street of the Cornish village. A spirit grew and hovered above us. The tempo of the songs went slower, faster. Saints Go Marching In. Lay My Burden Down. Lord, Lord, Lord. Until we arrived at the place itself. And they lowered Stephen into a spot on the crest of a sweeping hill that rolled on down to fields framed with hedgerows and dotted with sheep, to the saturated blue of the English Channel. I imagined that perfection is an hour in that place, surrounded with people who care about you, serenaded with a brass band, danced to the grave by a man with a black umbrella.

By this time, Alan had become less morose. He greeted people he’d not seen for decades and talked about the old days when four young men had lived life. His hands became animated, he smiled and glowed. And on the way to the wake, he said to me: I’m the lucky one. Stephen was younger than I am. A few years left in me yet. The music biz didn’t get me, no.

The band's album, yellowed, rests on a shelf in his sitting room under cover of dust and once a month or so he plays bass guitar with Pete Berryman's Quartet and rolls a few joints with the boys.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

GREEN
C D York 2003


The men all wore rubber boots. There was no sense going to the site without them. The rain hadn't let up for twenty-four hours. Joseph Farrell was the man in charge and he kept everyone busy by booming out orders on the five-minute mark. Beneath citrus yellow rain gear his true shape was hidden: a middle-age paunch sloping from a barrel chest and thick shoulders. He wore a trademark hat, no matter the weather or occasion; the habit was inspired by watching "Frost" over the course of its heyday and on into several seasons of reruns. Now the brim of the tweed creation, something along the lines of a fedora, channelled the rain effectively either to his back or his front depending on his posture. Most of the time it fell forward as he watched where he planted his feet to preserve the tracks in the laneway.
     "Stay to the edges, men! I don't want to tell you this over and over again. Evidence is bloody fragile in this downpour. Get that tape barrier up as quickly as possible."
     Farrell's own steps inscribed a wide circle. Within it, distinct impressions remained in the combination of clay and pooled rain. He wasn't counting on them lasting much longer. His boots squelched, sank and stuck as he walked. For a minute he stood still and looked at the horizon, searching for a break in the clouds that would tell him the storm was passing. No break, just the promise of an early dusk. He sighed, and caught himself doing so. Tiredness and frustration were settling in; he could feel it in muscle and bone.
     "Jamieson! Let's wrap it up for today. Not much we can do until tomorrow as it is. Bloody awful weather."
     The wood, southwest of the lane, dripped red and gold leaves in the October gale. Things flew and tumbled until the forest floor was heavy with layers of the dead. Creatures hid under the trunks of fallen trees, in boles, in dens. They buried their snouts between their paws and tried to sleep. Was there a sense of siege within this fortress? Or joy that another season, rest, beckoned?
     At the heart of the wood, far enough away from the laneway to be invisible, rock heaved among the slender maples and birches. Mosses softened the granite's high points as well as its crevices; they glowed green in the settling darkness when all other surfaces had faded to grays. Something, perhaps a man, moved towards this centre. The movements were slow as if the body waded through deep, heavy water. And low, low to the ground, as if it had taken on the nature of a slug. Impossible to see, now that it was truly night, the colour of the skin or hair or whether the body bled or was whole and sound. The wind roiled through the trees and carried the crawler's scent to each corner of the wood.

Farrell stood at his kitchen window with the cord of the Roman shade in his hand. He peered out to where the street lamp's light captured the unchanged state of the weather. He released his grip and stared at the blank fabric before him. There was no help for it: he always brought the day's events home with him. And now they flashed like a slide show as he washed his plate and bowl and utensils and stood them in a rack to dry. First the car had been found. Its two front doors were open, the key still turned to the 'on' position in the ignition. How long had it taken for the batteries to die? The windshield wipers had frozen half way across the expanse of glass. The head lamps had expired. No sound came from the engine: the fuel was gone.
     The farmer who owned the property travelled the laneway infrequently so it was a matter of chance that he discovered the abandoned vehicle at all. Police were alerted and came from the city, eight miles distant. They brought a tracking dog with them but scents were compromised by the watershed the ground had become. Routine computer searches were carried out using the vehicle's registration number while the men covered an area a quarter mile in radius on foot. Farrell ordered the vehicle towed back to town. It couldn't be properly analyzed for evidence where it was. When he returned to his office at five o'clock, the first results of the investigation were waiting on his desk. The 1994 Mercedes SE was registered to Stuart Green. It seemed a simple matter then. Tomorrow, Farrell's team would learn as much as they could about Green and the rural search area would be expanded. He prayed that the weather would clear as he sat down to watch "Frost".

Sometimes when he first woke up in the morning Farrell would experience a flash of insight about the worries he’d taken to bed with him six hours previously. He was unlucky in this regard on day two of the Green case and arrived at the office yearning for more information. He waited until almost noon for a few crumbs. The sky cleared at about the same hour.
     Sir,” Lacey said, “here are the photos.”
     Farrell tore open the manila envelope and spread out the contents on the desk. He and Lacey studied the images in silence for several minutes. Looking closely, it was easy to interpret the troughs and ridges leading from below the driver’s car door as evidence of a body being removed from the car and dragged away: good reason to organise a more extensive search of the area. And in response to his demand for more information about Green, Pocock arrived at his desk with a slender dossier.
     “Not much to go on, sir. Seems that Green’s an unremarkable fellow. Not even a traffic infraction to his name.”
     “There’s always more to it than what’s on the record Pocock. We haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Start harvesting whatever exists from Inland Revenue and the rest. I want everything, down to the kind of socks he buys. I’m going back to the lane now...see you later today. The car will have been combed by then. Contact me as you get your results.”
     Fifteen hours had elapsed since Farrell left the countryside. Returning, under clear skies and rising temperatures, he found thirty people already searching the area adjacent to the lane. Two of them neared the edge of the wood.
     “Hold those men there. We’ll enter the wood as a full team with a briefing first.”
     It was noon when they gathered. The ground search leader reported that his crew had found only one thing of any consequence: a flimsy course of flattened vegetation leading towards the trees. They decided to tackle the dense copse in pairs and run roughly parallel paths at a distance of sixty feet from east to west. It would take an hour at most to make the search. Farrell would remain at his car for transmitted reports from the office. He lowered the windows, turned the speaker on and then began to walk the lane again.
     His eyes sought evidence. Evidence of what, he wasn’t sure. It looked like an abduction of some sort. Violence. Order abandoned for chaos. The supremacy of the unknown over the known. Things he’d devoted his adult life to putting right. But if there was one thing he’d learned, it was the certainty of the thin line between good and evil. At the very edge of white comes black. We go, like tight-rope walkers, along the knife edge. Except for those, he admitted to himself, who were drawn to the dark side from an early age. For them, there was no balancing to be done. Farrell prided himself on being a grounded realist; able to discover and assess motives, to gauge the range of the possible and the impossible where human behaviour was concerned. There wasn’t much he hadn’t seen in his years with the force. Into the quiet came the sound of crackle as the radio transmitter kicked into action. He hurried back towards the car.
     “Chief. Chief.” It was Pocock. “Are you there?”
     “Yes, go ahead. What’ve you got for me?”
     “Seems that Green didn’t show up for work yesterday. He’s a shop keeper in Blatchford. Has a small antiques business. The shop assistant tried to reach him by cell phone without success. Unusual behaviour for a man of responsible habit. So, it looks like we’re searching for him. The shop assistant is coming in this afternoon with a photograph of him.”
     “Good, good. Anything yet from the vehicle analysis? No? Well keep me up to date on that. We’re covering the wood near the lane. Should be finished in an hour or so. I’ll be with you by mid-afternoon.”
     The search team returned somewhat later than Farrell had expected. Three of the bags they’d brought with them appeared to hold items of interest. Jamieson was eager to report.
     “Here, look at this!”
     The bags were lined up on the ground and their handlers prepared to tag them. Farrell pulled on a pair of latex gloves and opened the first one. He lifted out a pair of lower-thigh-to-foot mannequin’s legs, joined at the top with a rigid handle and wearing rubber boots. These boots were marked with dry mud thickly encasing the ankles and thin at the heels. The second bag contained a rain cape, khaki in colour and, again, spotted with mud. In the final bag lay a book. It had suffered from exposure to the rain; its cover was soggy and curling at the corners and the colour had begun to bleed onto the wave-edged pages.
     “The items were all found together,” Jamieson said. “There was nothing else.”
     “Nothing?”
     “No body. No freshly-turned or uneven soil. Nothing but dead leaves and rocks and fallen trees. The dogs detected nothing.”

The office seemed stale and close after the freshness of the country air. Reports waited for Farrell’s inspection on a desk already piled with paper. He sat to read. On one corner of the desk was the bag that held the book. Cups of coffee came and went; the remnants of a take-out meal of curried beef, samosas and rice grew cold. The afternoon wound down to dusk. Farrell lost his sense of urgency and descended into a contemplative space. He ingested the information in the reports, the contents of the book. He studied the photograph of Green. His mind played chess with the clues. Throughout the process, something nagged at the back of rational thought.
     “I’ve had enough for today,” he said to Pocock. “Fresh start tomorrow.”
     But fresh starts were a fantasy, weren’t they? He took it all home with him. He slept poorly, waking with bad dreams twice. Morning arrived with frenetic traffic reports on the radio alarm clock. But he turned the radio off and lay quiet within himself, opening his mind to revelation, half-praying that something would come. The book was about outlawed things that sought corners of refuge in order to survive; about forgotten forces that were nevertheless present and vigorous; about transformation and redemption. Financial reports indicated that Green was near to insolvency. Medical reports described his health as tenuous. Other, confidential sources, pegged him as a neo-pagan who belonged to a small group of like-minded, irrational folks. He was not married, had no close relatives. The shop assistant did not know him well at all.
     Farrell twisted in the sheets and thumped his pillow. It was easy, he argued with himself. The man had simply had enough. Suicide. Green was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and a chronic, debilitating illness; he was close to no one; his philosophical and moral precepts had no strictures against suicide. But why then go to the bother of dragging a pair of boots through the mud, creating tracks that provoked investigation? Why abandon the car with motor still running and doors wide open? Lures. Lures to draw people into the wood. Why, again?
     The case eventually went into abeyance. No body. No crime. Perhaps Green was happy now in Brazil or Mexico. One never knew.
     Each late October that passed thereafter found Farrell illogically marking the anniversary. He would drive past the little laneway that lay near the wood and gaze at it in the distance, wondering. When he retired from the force he kept up the routine, but instead of passing by, he would turn his car into the laneway and park there. He would walk the short distance to the wood, as long as the light held, and listen. He longed for answers. Jamieson, Lacey, Pocock and the others warned him off: ‘Don’t go out there by yourself.’
     The year arrived when he did not return to his car from the edge of the wood. He had heard the voice of the green man; he had heard him laughing. It was the start of the restful season and Farrell thought it might be good to hear the answers at last and to then sleep until Spring.

~ ~ ~


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Your idea of hell can’t elaborate the half shudders sticking to the back of my eyelids, down my spine. Wake up and the walls don’t matter. Have legs, but no where to walk. No idea of joy in transience; no satisfaction in stillness. Hung like sad gelatinous fruit in the time time’s presented.

I get paint and rain the lawn. I hack an axe into graceful strumming. I type more often than you cum. And faster. I believe in the weather. I’ve been to the tatamount. Salt in hotel rooms. Starlight that matters.

I live to get you off. I live off the entirety of passion. In believe in it enough to tell you don’t have it. But I don’t have it your way either. I have it in a box, over radiowaves, on paper. I miss movie theaters the way you miss shoe sales.

But a shiver serves us all. Isn’t that the main thing? Shivering? What matters beyond ecstasy? What matters less than heaven? There is an exacting feeling we all share. I believe in this. I exist for that fleeting fraction. I am blind, and dumb the rest.

Lately, I have been the latter. Lately, the thick inevitability of the following moments slows me to a slow foggy crawl. Timothy and I circle old neighborhoods like sympathetic junkie ex-policemen. Our intensions are golden, but our eyes are a different story. Our words are different.

There’s three walking slow, in ridiculous jeans and jazz walks, even though they know nothing about jazz.

“Damn.” Tim takes a breath and lets off the gas. Our necks do things from exorcist movies.

Tim slips me a little pipe under the dashboard. I roll up the window a bit and light it up. My skin crawls a little, and then dies. Then all my insides crawl. Then something less than Technicolor, but slightly more than old film falls over the field on my left. The shit’s hit me. And it’s good.

I take a deep breath and convince myself things are fantastic.

Back at the house we grow legs and swim through the yard, past a pair of deranged lobsters, and into the indoor womb television heaven where Tim discusses the repercussions of a recent affair, and the girl that he persuaded away.

“I can’t really trust her now, can I? Not the way I got her.”

“Do you want to?”

“I think so…”

“Than isn’t that everything?” I’m a fan of movement. If I can feel it, I swear I’ll turn to stone, or other something otherwise dead and immobile. I believe in distractions almost as much as I want transcendence.

“Fuck.” Tim’s head turns into a blurred echo. The muscle in his right arm twitches in strange, uneven polyrhythms.

I close my eyes and enjoy the mathematically oceanic blue-green light.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Your Skin Will Fit


Eyes wide open, I met Sam for lunch at Mama Teresa’s. Thirty-five years had passed since we last had a conversation. You could say that we’ve both been busy. I was unsure about the wisdom of the meeting.

Sam is now a successful lawyer, Queen’s Counsel no less. He has a lawyer wife, two dogs, three cats, a holiday cottage in the Gatineau, membership in a country club, two teenage sons. Through the years, he has maintained contact with the gang from high school days. This coterie’s members have, according to him, lived up to their promised potential: they are lawyers, doctors, educators; men who keep in touch. I remarked to Sam that the arts seemed to be under-represented when he had exhausted his list of people to mention. My words were meant for wry humour but he missed the point.

We’ve always taken the boys to the theatre, he said. (I detected some defensiveness.) Miss Saigon. Phantom. Riverdance. Lion King. The Nutcracker each December. And Paris, six times. The Louvre. Admittedly the boys were slightly bored; the Mona Lisa isn’t what you think it is. Israel twice. Both sons had their bar mitzvahs there. The ruins at Petra. At Petra we stayed in a five-star hotel for a treat.

One calculates from this that books of poetry and literary fiction do not fill the shelves in Sam’s home. He admits that his boys are not readers. Nor would there be original paintings on the walls of his canal-side home. But we are all subject to selective educations.



Sam and I went to school together. We were friendly in those early days. Yet I was never truly part of that old school group. More of a peripheral observer, circling, sometimes hoping to find an entrance, genetically unable to discover one. We lived in an Establishment-flavoured neighbourhood where traditions were preserved and particular professions preferred. The house I lived in had been purchased at one of those fabled opportune moments from a tired octogenarian. But buying the house was not enough: the family unit I was part of did not have the pedigree to grow in that manicured garden. And you know how teenagers always want to fit somewhere.

Deep down, at heart level, I knew that I didn’t fit. I was sad, rebellious, angst-ridden and read too much. Escape, even if into a dungeon of despair, seemed to be the only survival strategy in those years.



Over calamari, I gathered that he surmounted the marginalisation of being a Jew in a white Anglo-Saxon protestant milieu and followed the legal profession route to acceptance. I was neither disappointed nor surprised to hear his litany of accomplishments, contacts and material consumptions. He was saying: I’ve made it. I had no lists to share. I’d brought pictures of my children with me. They had passed unremarked as I showed them to him. I did not carry slides of my paintings or copies of my writing. Why did I find it strange that he had never spoken the name of his wife and that the names of his children only seemed to be mentioned because I asked?

After the antipasti dishes were brought to the table, he declined to select anything else from the menu. An hour and a half had gone by. I bent to my purse on the floor beside my chair, looking for a tissue. Sam assumed that I was reaching for my wallet and protested: No, no. I’ll get the bill. I write it off. He offered his business card and hurried me out. Apparently a client waited for him at his office on the next street. Keep in touch, he said. I stood in the autumn afternoon feeling chastised for unnamed deficiencies that hung like ancient scent in the air.



Days go by while I review and then let go of the thirty-five year reunion. I stand against a wall. On this wall a slide show is projected. Ghost images are readable as they hit the smooth surface but when they bleed across my three-dimensional form they are transformed. The images ask me, in the midst of their transformation: What value is there in a selective education that negates the value of the creative forces in our hearts and minds? Writers, painters, musicians, entrepreneurs of all sorts approach life at a risk-taking angle. Had my life been inconsistent, I would have been part of the wall, part of the club he belongs to. But a path in- or outside of the Establishment is neither good nor bad. It is not a moral issue. Sam is as content with his definition of success as I am with mine. Growing into your own skin. No regrets.


Tuesday, September 30, 2003

there's no more poetry
it just stopped -

sometimes when you smile,
push the hair away from my face
and tell me I'm a dumb
to not see

an awareness - a knowing
that this is how it feels
to be happy - makes me think
a poem might be just
around the corner
or when your driving,
doing Martin O'Neil
talking strategies - breathing
football - sometimes then, a
poem teases me,
but never lets me catch it.

once when we fucked in your hallway
and I could still taste the miles on you,
the plane - the bus - the car and the aftersun
mingling with the excitement
( absence makes the crotch yearn fonder )
a poem wrote itself inside my head

right at the moment the heel of my left
boot scraped down your calf
a sonnet screamed out my name
but then we slept - and fucked -
and slept and I lost it

too tired to chase it
I watched it melt and
harden against the pink linen
sheet. there's no more poetry.

© sc. sept.03



Saturday, September 20, 2003

Welcome to Alton. No love, no storms, no hurry, no revolution, no war, no epiphany, no broken windows, no days without cheeseburgers, no good music, no good monsters, not too much or too little breakfast cereal, or wind, or rain, or muscle. Welcome, and may God have mercy on your screen porch.

In any other town I might feel invisible. Doing things like, say, eating psilocybin mushrooms while listening to Rush Limbaugh and playing video football are only disordinary for their surface contradictions, which I am full of. But in this town I feel particularly invisible. These kind of subversive jaunts into absurdity go far towards being unappreciated here.

I live in a small one story house a little out of the way with a pharmacist, a career college student, and a job collector. They do things like taking trips into a nearby wooded areas in order to deprive themselves of twenty hours of Comedy Central so as to understand the ineffable suffering of, say, Afghani refugees. And they believe these nearby wooded areas located just between the new McDonald’s and a Blockbuster Video is close enough to a war-torn, impoverished desert wasteland.

I am the evil young right wing conspirator who lives down the hall with his shelves of obscure records and dog-eared novels about left wing college idealists who are too comedically angelic for this lost and unforgiving world of detached actors and industrial carbon specters.

Some nights I am invited to bars that promise to be filled with women, whose presence I am, admittedly, sorely lacking. And yet I shrug, and choose to remain here. This is the first cause for dissolution. Women in bars expect things I’m not willing to be, namely, charming, successful, witty, handsome, and weightless. I may be thin, but I am certainly not weightless.

Also, I don’t really fancy crowds, crap music, dancing, unnecessary laughter, or flat easy facial expressions. I do fancy a drink, however. But here I can drink to my own facial expressions, record collection, and comedic obscurity.

Contradiction #1: I am alone. I am alone, and have been known to complain about being alone, although I resent the idea of having to go out in public to remedy said problem. In this, I’m about as logical as a vegan butcher.

I will tell you now and again that I’ve had my share, that they’ve been for the most part, well beyond redeemable, and in some situations, both enlightened and ravishing. I will tell you this in a typically smug wistful low-toned poet drawl that deserves to be tossed against a wall in a bar every now and then. Do I contradict myself? Very well then. I am large. I contain multitudes.

In fact, I can qualify ever misaction with hackneyed poetry and stream-of-consciousness prose, because, this is the sort of thing I fall for. I’ve been known to turn contacts into glasses. I’ve been known to glaze over the uninterested eyes of those unfortunate enough to ask how I’m doing, and I have no real regrets about that. Why should I? Who the fuck is anyone else to characterize my madness? I’m perfectly uncomfortable here. And this is only the beginning.


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

On Moving

"Men and women may sometimes, after great effort, achieve a creditable lie; but the house, which is their temple, cannot say anything save the truth of those who have lived in it." - Rudyard Kipling

The boxes wait, neatly labelled and sealed, for two men who will come to them in the morning. The things inside, wrapped and buffered against the moving world, lie like relics in hidden sanctuaries, though they mean nothing to anyone but me. Last week they had their hallowed places in the rooms of this place; made of the empty rooms a home. Or, if not a home, then a temporary museum.

My life provides artifacts for a moving museum. And where I live, for a year or two or three, becomes the setting. I live with detritus: I hesitate to refer to it as personal treasure. Things. Fond scraps of yesterday's feast; incense to trigger recall; spices to charge tomorrow's creative plate. Pictures of the children as babies; pictures of me as a baby. I could be looking at strangers. The pottery my sister made. This year my daughter is the same age as my sister was when she died. I will be glad when my daughter's next birthday arrives; it will mean that she has escaped the curse of death at twenty-three.

Paintings. I have too many for such a small amount of wall space. Three hundred books. A ceramic shortbread mould from Hampton Court. Pressed flowers picked in St. Ives, dried leaves from northern California. Hundreds of sea shells. Receipts. Old letters, bundled with ribbon.

This place will lie empty tomorrow. The walls will not tell the truth of me. I did not choose their colour.

If I could build a shelter, it would be by the sea and have so many windows you would not know if you were in or out. People would gather to cook and eat together. They would laugh and sing. They would be so comfortable that it would be easy for them to daydream and to be foolish if they wanted to be.

Until then, hitch the horse to the gypsy wagon and pack all the things safely away. No one can read me from the empty rooms I leave behind. The oven is so clean it looks as though it has never been used and I've plastered over the nail holes where the paintings once were.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Carnival
I

I watched one hundred tribes gather together to dance beneath the New Guinea sun. A man beside me, in cotton shirt and faded jeans, said it was a well-tested tool against the old ways of war. But the ancient costumes had not changed. Extravagant feathers still exploded in halo shapes around the men's heads. Ears and lips and noses were still pierced with horn and bone and shell. Vermillion, white and hot yellow pigments still caked and cracked on the black skin of their foreheads, mingled with sweat, and fell to rest in nostril creases. In their hands were the old tools: spears, shields, clubs. But there would be no lifeless bodies to dispose of at the end of the day. No trophies. No sweet meat. They danced.

The melanin level of my skin encouraged the sun to suck it dry of moisture. I became a walking red man, intoxicated with the thud of drums and the smells of muddy flesh. I wanted to dance. The crowds grew thick; people breathed each other's breath. Arms, legs, shoulders collided. The action peaked and broke; the warriors raised cans of Coke or weak beer to their exaggerated mouths.

On the sleek, shining bus that carried me back to my hotel, I was surrounded with the solid ghosts of lost civilisations. Headdress feathers worn by the man in front of me struck backwards as the wind from an open window caught them. I shifted in my seat to avoid being pierced. The rancid air was filled with words I could not understand, so I missed the review of the day's events; I missed the jokes. Their bared, laughing teeth looked strong and sound and their eyes were black pinpricks on the surface of blood-shot orbs.

The grounds of my hotel were fenced. Each evening the gates were padlocked shut and I was asked to be content with this protection. I waited for a plane to lift me away.


II

Preparations took three days. A crane fouled the air with visible plumes of exhaust in order to lift the trappings into place. Then, rain fell suddenly at noon on the opening day. As the sky cleared, the ground steamed. I approached the gate and bought an admission ticket.

Cooking fires, tickled with dripping grease, sent up clouds of smoke. A smell within the smoke reached me: the marinated raw fibres of flesh on bone heating to a different kind of tenderness, an edible kind. Banners bellied like sails in the wind off the lake. Each one named the-host-with-the-best-spareibs-in-town. A band's homage to rock and roll pumped out of black amplifiers the size of refrigerators.

At tables set up in soldierly lines, as in a cafeteria or prison dining room, five hundred people sat. Their fingers and lips dripped with red sauce. They gnawed at sequences of bones and remarked on the tastiness in a language I could understand. The hours went by; three days went by. The action was steadily choreographed. No one danced.

I went back to my unfenced house and waited for a plane to lift me away.

CDYork 2003

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Books could be written about The Key, a new 3-part serial by Donna Franceschild. Having attended a special preview at BAFTA last night, I believe it will become a classic of television drama. In her introduction the author congratulated the BBC on supporting this project. Somebody from the BBC contacted the author by phone and asked if she would like to do a young girl coming of age story. She responded by saying something to the effect of, "How about if I do a three-part series covering the social and political background and the history of the 20th century, that explains the factors leading up to the story of the girl and her situation?" The producer said, "Ok, leave it with me." (That was the author's jocular paraphrase of the conversation.) The four years consisted of one year to get the go-ahead, one year of research, one year of writing, and one year of production.

The Key is a brilliant portrayal of the effects of politics on ordinary families, and the effect that ordinary people can have on policy when they stand "the gither." That is the accompaniment, the obligado, the orchestra (and there is a beautiful score played by the BBC Concert Orchestra) but the melody is the personal journey of Jessie, one of the two granddaughters, and her sister, played by Ronni Ancona who is about to become a New Labour MP, and in the process is put under pressure to quite literally betray her own grandmother and everything she stood for. Jessie is writing a story called The Key, about her grandmother, who always wore a key as a pendant on her neck. You'll have to watch BBC2 this September to find out why.

The Key (press release - pdf)

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

There are two new poems by W. S. Merwin this month. I think these are wonderful. See what you think. I have never felt like linking any poems in the Atlantic Monthly until now.

To Smoke A poem by W. S. Merwin
To a Tortoiseshell Lyre A poem by W. S. Merwin

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

she just felt like it...
no ulterior motive
no demands
no extra curricular requirements
a feeling
an impulse
she was like that you see
anything different
or opposite me
she wrote cos she felt
an urge or a thought
a word or a sentence
convinced her she ought
to act on the impulse
the moment - the need
to carry the notion
in full to a deed.

she just felt like it.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The cult of Write This has ended like the Solar Temple - mass suicide.

Monday, August 11, 2003

add a link to my blog your bastard.
.
http://jubeiblue.livejournal.com
.
thanks.
.
FOREVER

I am sucking down this cigarette as furiously as I can. For me, a random smoker it tingles the back of my throat and warms my lungs. How much tar did I just put in there? Not enough. Not nearly enough.

It isn't the fact that I think this woman is beautiful and obviously out of my league it is the fact that she is. If I died right here outside of this cafe right now I would have better luck of having a person I didn't know five minutes ago put his or her lips on mine in some feeble attempt to rescue me than I would trying to talk to perfect fucking strangers in some far flung hope of romance. I give up. I want another cigarette.

I can't smoke in the cafe. Fuck the cafe. Fuck the beautiful woman with the light blue dress that is nearly form fitting. Not in some hooker come fuck me way, but that goddamn elegant way that says "Hi, I'm college educated and I play tennis on the weekends" way. I didn't want to drink another chai anyway. I am sick with sweet things in my life. I am sick with pretending to fit in to be this or be that. I am sick with desperately trying to stay somewhat connected with fashion trends and hip places. And yet I cannot commit myself to hang out with fashion-retarded people with horrible breath and bad foot wear. I am stuck in some nether world alone.

What now? Should I travel to the art museum and look at more wonderful things, inspiring things and try to muster all of intelligence into seeing what the artist was seeing? Understanding Art Movements for me is studying the absurd and ridiculous. I saw a red square not centered on a white background. It had the title of something like "Peasant woman represented by red square." Oh. Is that what the fuck that was! I thought it was a goddamn bullshark represented by the red square. Nothing is beautiful and simple and easy to hold anymore. Fuck me. I am going to need a new pack. I think I am swallowing this shit.

You know I had this dream the other night. It was about you and me. Fucking fantastic shit right? You don't think I dream about you but I do. First off you think I don't even notice you, or certainly wouldn't write about you but I do notice and I am writing about you. I understand you have a certain distrust for what I say to you and you have some feeling perhaps unsaid feeling that I don't like you or at least that I may not like you as much as you think you might like me. Of course that isn't true. I have a mysterious way of playing against intuition. I have done this my whole life. It is the way I pause when I speak and the way I construct my sentence and the way I look at you when you are not looking at me.

I am writing this all for you right now as I walk around the city. I will of course type it later. I want you to know what I think about you and about me and us and all that stuff. Listen I don't do a good job of this, so this will be all kind of confusing and vague I guess because I just don't want to be hurt.

I had a dream about you. It was maybe two nights ago. We haven't emailed or communicated in any other fashion in some time. I thought once we were having a good start at a great relationship but things have sort of slipped away. Maybe it was me, maybe it was just the way things were but you know...things have drifted. I am babbling. I am an idiot and I should have never started this, but I have made commitments now and I have to see them through. I want to be remembered as a man who lived with some convictions you know.

Listen I just come right out and say that the dream was kind of sexual in nature. But don't think it was just some sort of sex fantasy thing. It wasn't like that. I am not like that. Sure, I look at porn sometimes. God, what am I saying? I just mean to say it wasn't like just sex. It wasn't me and you and a hotel room.

It was laughing. There was laughing and man did that feel great. Do you know how long it has been since I have laughed with a woman? Sometimes during our instant messages I would laugh and I guess I really thought we could laugh together. I dreamed that you would tilt your head back sometimes and bring your right hand up towards your mouth. Maybe you are shy about your mouth, but you have a lovely smile. It was bright in my dream. We were light and moved like clouds. We were in a town then a park. Have you been to Alaska? I haven't but I dreamt we could be there with smiles and an umbrella. It rained but we only had one umbrella so we shared. I made sure you were covered but it was coming down hard and I just wanted to be close.

Your hair smelled wonderful. Your finger traced the scar on my left cheek. The rain kept coming and we lowered the umbrella in a movement that seemed to take days. I bit your bottom lip and you smiled. My lips traveled just barely missing your skin until I came to your ear. Now your mouth was near my ear and I felt you breathe. The warm air crashed into my ear and butterflies filled my stomach. Raindrops pelted us. My tongue deftly moved your ear lobe to my teeth. Your nails began to dig into my arms as you inhaled sharply. I smiled and let lose a small laugh and moved to see your eyes. Wild filled I wished to dominate you and your eyes spoke of a desire to be dominated. I grabbed your hair violently and my teeth meet the flesh of your neck your hands and nails tore into me.

What happened to our clothes I cannot say but we were there now on the ground with rain coming down on our naked bodies. You were lying on your back and my mouth moved to discover you. My left hand clenched your right hand tightly as my right hand moved to part your legs. First I passed over you with my lips separated and you felt my breath on you. My tongue then slowly came out and then back in, my lips touched yours and you tensed your body. Suddenly my tongue came out with a passionate rage and your body jerked. My arms were curled under your legs and my hands grabbed your upped thigh firmly. You were mine there.

That was my dream. It was only a dream but it was more than that. I think I wanted to have a connection with you. But I do not know how to say so, to do so. I am, you know, alone in this world. Despite the thousands of other lonely people who live probably just miles away from me it is you who I want to see and I don’t know. I guess I am some kind of pathetic loser.

These cigarettes are not doing it fast enough for me. And now that I have confessed and squared myself to best of my ability with this place, I just don’t think there is anything more for me to do. I am not for this world. I cannot bear to be alone anymore. I cannot bear the sadness of waking up after dreams where I am not alone. I will not suffer anymore. I have enough GHB to end this.

I will dream of you forever now. I hope you live a happy life.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

The Ballad of Lord Archer

Air: Lord Franklin

Lord Archer bade his whore depart
With pounds two thousand for her fare
Not knowing that the hacks were smart
They trapped Lord Archer in their snare

Before the court next day he stood
And swore his chastity for life
His mate an alibi proved good
The Judge admired his fragrant wife

Five hundred grand against the Press
You'll pay to slight his Lordship's name
The whore not fragrant so we guess
A liar and charlatan put to shame

To follow Whittington then essayed
Lord Archer to be London's mayor
But the mate his friendship ill repaid
And revoked his alibi unfair

Four years hard labour you deserve
Lord Archer now a prisoner wan
Four years in open prison serve
In stripes and shackles noble con

Sunday, August 03, 2003

I Shoulda had a Sea Monkey

This afternoon about half past four or a quarter thereof
I had a moment of epiphany -
one of those eurekas when the universe makes a burp
and suddenly sense oozes through the membrane
and I knew what was missing,
the which I had been seeking through folly or desperation
for what has proven so far to be the rest of my life.

I never had a Sea Monkey.

I never saw a Sea Monkey.

I never knew personally, first hand, up close and tall, anyone who ever grew a Sea Monkey.

I never learned if they really came to life
when you added water
and if they swam
and if when you took them from the water
their tiny bodies wiggled with form and substance;
if you could squish them through your fingers
and feel the slimy life within,

and if they had a heartbeat.

I saw the advertisements in the back of treasured comics
promising to send inert and crystallized
a package of living creatures that would come to life
in a drinking glass on my kitchen table
with the addition pure and simple of ordinary water
from the tap.

It was Fantastic Four I liked the most,
collected for a while. Not the usual for a girl, I suppose,
but what is usual?
I was looking for a hero just like all the others.

I had been a Lulu Tubby fan, cutting dolls from old socks
drawing faces with colored crayons
sewing clothing to match the comic strip,
before moving right along to Archie and Veronica
and the blonde Betty who I never could tell was she his lover or his friend,
and I still can’t seem to get that right.

I try to make some sense of this
by putting things in order,
which would be easier if I had a momentous event

like the birth of Sea Monkeys

to mark the calendar, but instead I remember
this was after the honeysuckle oak tree sidewalk scene
and before the little sister came to be,

but on reflection was about the time of her father
with his baby soft skin that had no hair, he said,
because he was part Native American,
but was the fattest Indian with the whitest skin I had ever seen,
being only and most loosely familiar with Tonto from TV.

And that was long before he was shot in a barroom brawl.
Or so I heard.
And had to tell my little sister.

I think if I had used my babysitting money
to order some of those Sea Monkeys
all the other questions would be smaller to consider.

Monday, July 14, 2003

door

I often thought beginning again.
I would need at least an
easy tranquile afternoon or
a train arriving on
schedule.

A mere carnal delight
of intimate theft would do.
A fioriture pick from Wilde's
words would do fine too.

Then again, I prefer forgetfulness or
chat with the next-door carpenter who's
passion for old alleys whispered sense,
and if dogs did not bark at night,
eternity would go unnoticed.

With all my due respect for miscalculations
who saved my life all too often, I have to admit:
I have been an ideal patient.

One thing bothered me though, a tiny detail.
I could not see my pipe in the mirror.

No, no, no. I'm not absurd. It is because of this magic
of words of no particular meaning, that
this paradox of a journey would have no value
if it was reality

stratos©2003

Thursday, July 10, 2003

I tried to make a blog a wee minute ago but i think i just made a mess, lol, anyway i was looking for somewhere to collect my thoughts...... ones that are totally irrelevant to the big bad world - you know - passing thoughts.... just so when I'm ready to share them i can lay them to hand. I have been blessed with short term memory loss for my sins! Maybe Ill have another go at it.... who knows.

suse

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Sent: 7/8/2003 11:06 PM
The urge to smell your skin
is something similar to
that first hunger pang
of a brand new day
after a good nights sleep -
all consuming, unfullfilled,
it grows and grows
'till I feel faint
from the size of it.

The urge to pull your hair
short, prickly strands -
to feel them slide between
my fingers,
as your body shadows mine -
is similar to the urge
to smell your skin
only stronger - so strong
that sleep's a memory,
nothing more!
I will not sleep tonight.

The urge to sleep
is stronger -
stronger than the urge
to smell your skin -
if only to relieve my
mind, my body, and the stinging
behind my eyes.
The urge to dream
you near.


© Susan Kennedy. 7.7.03

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

This begins as what appears to be a ramble, but there is a poem at the end and the parts in the middle will take the reader in a convoluted way from here to there with a modicum of adhesion. If, that is, the reader can postpone impatience and take the journey slow as a Southern drawl - like a story told on a Sunday afternoon from an old porch swing, between sips of sweet iced-tea with lemon in tall, green glasses dripping the cold sweat of summer humidity.

Yes, it is that sort of ramble. Is there any other for one so entrenched in the life south of the Mason-Dixon line?

The only thing causing pause in progress is the decision of whether to start at the beginning and proceed sequentially or start in the middle and weave in the beginning or start at the end and tell how I came to be here. I will start somewhere that could be any of these, depending on your personal interpretation.

I am learning a new language. I have entered the second half of the first century of this lifetime – optimistically speaking – with the realization that one language is not enough, should never have been enough, simply does not say enough. It does not speak enough. I have come to realize there is much I have never heard because I did not have the language to hear it. So, I have begun to learn Spanish.

There are many reasons for this and many motivations. It began as a wish to describe the blue of a Mexican sky and discovering it could only be done in the language of that sky. English can talk about it, but English cannot be it. I need the language of that sky to be the sky, to speak for the sky. That was the beginning. Georgia O’Keefe once wrote, “It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough I could have it.” Perhaps I heard the same voice tell me if I could write it, name it, be it as it is, I can have it. But for that I need words I do not yet have.

There are more practical reasons that are merely intellectual justification. The reality is the language of the Romans, and the languages derived from that language, speak more deeply within us. I have found listening to the language, without understanding the words, reveals its own message, and it is very pleasing to the ear. As I gain tiny illuminations of understanding, the pleasure is intensified.

This has been said to make the reader aware of my recent and developing interest in the language of Spain. From there the story segues into my daily practice of reading the “poem of the day” at Poetry Daily . I only occasionally find a nugget to savor, but when I do it is quite a savor. I found one of those this week entitled Sea Washes Sand Scours Sea by Tom Vander Ven. Now, in fairness to Mr. Vander Ven, his poem is worth a read, and I do hope you will look it up and find as much to treasure as I. I have printed it out and pinned it to the bulletin board next to the computer, and I will share it with others when time permits. However, I think one poem is enough to include in this ramble, and for this I have chosen another one.

Vander Ven introduces his poem with the following quote from another poet:

No hay camino. El camino se hace al andar. – Antonio Machado

My ear heard the sounds of those words, and my mind flew in search of meaning. With the help of I found the source. I subsequently rushed out to locate a book by this poet, preferably with English translation and was very fortunate to find one copy at a local Barnes & Noble. The book title is Antonio Machado: Selected Poems, and the editor/translator is Alan Trueblood, espoused by some critics to be one of the truer translations.

I am very pleased. I have found one more reason, perhaps the more sustainable reason, for learning another language.

from Proverbs and Song-Verse

VI

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista astrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

(translation)

VI

Wayfarer, the only way
is your footsteps, there is no other.
Wayfarer, there is no way,
you make the way as you go.
As you go, you make the way
and stopping to look behind,
you see the path that your feet
will never travel again.
Wayfarer, there is no way-
only foam trails in the sea.

- Antonio Machado

Sunday, June 22, 2003

This is not a poem about religion.


"Low lie the Fields of Athenry,
Where once we watched the small free birds fly,
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry."



This is not a poem about
religion
or bigotry,
this is not a poem
about hatred
this is not a poem -
these are pieces of a jigsaw,
pieces of hours, minutes
and days spent
together.


Proddie bastard
you said, handing
over the cup of tea you'd made
me - laughing, you climbed
in bed and I sang softly -
I'm up to my eyes in fenian
cum.
We slept and fucked
the day away.


By lonely castle walls
I heard a young man calling,
"Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free.
Against the famine and the crown
I rebelled, they struck me down.
Now you must raise our child in dignity."



Ebony black beads
clung to your back,
thighs and buttocks - ran
across the sheet, like ants
chasing the last picnic
you gathered them up
and set them out
four, four, two -
laughed, when I asked why
there were only ten men -
Is a confirmation the same as
a communion?
I passed the church
and saw you leaving but...


By lonely prison walls,
She watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky.
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenrye
.


I listened to the song
carefully - real carefully,
trying to understand why
her love was being sent to prison -
wondered who Treveleyn was
wondered why the world is
full of hatred
in the name of love.
Then I tried to write
a poem. But all that
happened was this.

SC. 2003.


The Fields of Athenry is a beautifully, haunting traditional Irish song written I think by Pete St John in 1979 - I heard it for the first time on saturday and decided to read up on it a bit. Here's one of the places my wee surf led me - http://www.nimrodel.com/aol/gallery/abbey_01.htm . Kinda beautiful - Im sure you'll agree. If this isn't suitable for posting feel free to delete, no offence will be taken. Dipps :^)



Saturday, June 21, 2003

Midsummer's Day, Cornwall

Wind-charged mist over the hunching land
birds riding the wet wave, paralysed trees
in right-angle agonies, green valleys
chastened by a hidden sun. Even the roses
have gone pale. The palm's long fingers
swing high and higher while the snails
in the garden eat on. Wait long and longer.
Now midday and the wind has blown out
to clear blue skies and sun and colour.
Beyond the mustard and wheat fields
St. Agnes Beacon shimmers faint and
beckoning. Tonight the fire will burn
on her crest and we will dance as the stars
wheel, laughing, at our small lives.


Saturday, June 14, 2003

Tourettes for Professionals
Rick G Walber


Don't ask for I cannot join your ganglia.
Refrain your waxing titrations.
Ghosting limbs reserve autonomous
Echopraxia to their own desultory devices.
Off shoots articulate, emulate.
Random is regular as anti clockwork when
Grunting inaudible utterances.
Expletives to a degree
Send me into isolation.
Grace your prognosis on a deserving mind.
In complete innocence I will motor on.
Leave me be to discover myself.
Lend a head when I need clemency and
Ease my unmerited affliction.
Defect; your deluded farce.
Ebb with time alone to
Loosen its grip.
Arithmomania is my security blanket,
Today counts as any other.
Onlookers grimace as I, yet they
Urge their premonitory swear box
Right under my nose in
Expectant chorea, don't insult me or
Tic me off for I am not yet consummate.
Till that day arrives
Each day I swear brings no remission.



© Rick G Walber, 6/06/2003

Thursday, June 12, 2003

thanks for the invitation Ossy, I will certainly post somethin' within the next few days. I am now busy with my literary review ( not in English).
see ya people later

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

wrap this around your wordmouth, part 6

Wrap this around your wordmouth and tell me what teethers.

You see I am terminal. Not in any worblesense that would cause long suffering to my progeny. But terminal in the realsense. Terminal in the quicksense. My eyesight was the first to go. Really. I can't tell if you are a piece of toilet pepper or Marie Antoinette biting her fingernails. Then the hearing, you know. Hear that? I don't.

Chauncy tasted leprosy when he was a budling. Then later in life he was chimpanzled by a coronaryman before his plugbucket became undoodled and his carrottack wedgewayed into the littlest primdot. It gave me some small sadisfaction.

I asked Chauncy if I could wedgeway his femprogeny. He said 'nah'. That Chauncy. I'm gonna wedgeway anyway.

Fibriomitiocondiopestatosis. ALSMRBAA Death Fever for short. That's the death-ease. A slow spreading of flylike baubles that live 3 dolotrics off the skinpreen. They can't be shoodled. Last week I tried to shoodle them but they trickuled like old moonbonnets re the an drop. It's terminal, you see. I wasn't kidding.

So I'm laying here and flipped through the buttribbons. Mixbot.

Two banditos were holed up in a half-way house on third street. They have fivespan, a skingirl, and one of toonhall's mixpreen grimfritters. Negotiations are

Gum death-ease. Don't be caddled in bingtoi. 3 out of 10 d

I can't hear anything, but it looked like some woman was nagging six men again.

Did I tell you about my hearing? It's proto-ick-ick. The nogginscan too. It goes. Let me tell you it goes. And when the nogginscan goes, libble ungrays flickle inouterspan bingtoi. Tell me I'm wrong.

Bye and the booby, I should inflict my goosemix now. Nuzzletime.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

In the Middle
Jan Harris


Standing on the bridge watching brown water
wash the past downstream.
A discarded letter read, re-read, red
words all soaked away,
a shoe that was once brand new and danced, dragged,
stopped and jumped right in,
a cacophony of being in its place
fish, water fleas, weed,
a place from the commotion of being.

Standing on the bridge watching empty sky.
The future all gone,
no starlight, no moon, no far galaxies
to cause reflections
or to reflect on. Waiting for resolve
to unlock the light
to shine anew, illuminating night,
to show the water wash the past downstream
and wait for today.



© Jan Harris May 2003

Thursday, June 05, 2003

She wasn't at the wedding
you said No
she was beautiful
eleven months old
testimony of our love
or so I thought
yet she wasn't at the wedding
carrying a posy in her
chubby brown fingers like
in my dream
the night before.
She'd toddled down the aisle
sticky fingers clasping
my train, her fragile wispy curls
bobbing up and down
as she tried catching the
mother of pearl sequins
she wasn't at the wedding, like -
she never existed
and I knew, even then
that the camera does lie.

©2003 sc.
They often wonder
when we pass your house
if you still live there
they laugh and smile
and say " maybe Dads moved"
but it's a cover up job
I know,
I know because sometimes
late at night
the wee one crawls under my quilt
and whispers
" why doesn't Dad answer my notes Mum"
or "why doesn't Dad ever phone me,
Sarahs' Dad phones every day"
sometimes I lie - cover for you, the way
I've always done, like when you never came
to parents night - or school plays - or birthday
partys. Sometimes I just hug her tight. It's easy
to make a ten year old forget, momentarily at least.
Making a thirteen year old forget is harder, especially
when they pretend they have a concrete heart
that being ignored doesn't affect them,
that they don't care or think about it

They often wonder if you've moved
I wonder if you were ever there at all.


©2003 sc.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

white crisp linen
red soft roses
petals, leaves and
tracing the coffee stain
with my pinky

face buried in the pillow slip
the scent of your superiority
reminds me
man can stand on the moon
but he can't stand
being second

the coffee stains contained
by the pleat in the linen
my sighs contained
by the pressure
of your stare

smile, pretend
deny or believe
the thought's still there
the moment's passed
but the words
seared across the mind
like the black chargrill welts
on a flame grilled burger
and I knew
they'd repeat
like coleslaw





Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Get back to me on Tuesday
and the smiles a prisoner
captive instigator



John Candy played a round
or two, and the Sunday mail
flickered
the eggs were scrambled
like her brain
the chicken was fried
like her heart
kentucky fried love
stays in bed till 7pm Sunday


Try to remember not knowing
the face
not hearing the voice
but before is a blur
and there is no after
just now
here



The war had passed them by
they felt no shame
only disbelief
fucking, football,
clubbing and drinking
fuzzied the edges round
the outside world


They wakened on a Friday
in a bed somewhere between
his heaven and her hell
laughter is what lifes about
he said
and she laughed
at the egg
scrambled against his cheek
get back to me on Tuesday.

Dear Lisa,
I love you. I love you all the time, even when your screaming I hate you - your the worst mum in the world. You've no idea how beautiful you are, can't see the potential within yourself and I'm fighting hard to make sure that when you come out the other side of your teens you'll know. You'll know that your beautiful, intelligent and that a few spots can't ruin your life. I want to tell you that everything within you is special and precious and that you're unique. A one off. I want to tell you not to let anyone bite the cherry. That it's a precious gift and once you give it away you can never have it back to give to the special person that no doubt you wont meet until its way too late. The one that comes along after you've kissed what seems like a whole batch of last years murky tadpoles turned frogs. I want to tell you that whats inside your head and whats inside your heart might never walk the same path, but your heart is free - have the courage to follow it. I wonder if those words were ever spoken to William Wallace or were they just written by someone on the way towards his next block buster, whatever the case it's true - your heart is free, never let anyone tell you different. I want to warn you about the various different types of arsehole, wanker and general pisstaker, but I know I can't. The more I try to put you off the more you'd only need to find out for yourself. I want to give you all the best parts of life, love and laughter in the world in a box tied with a huge pink ribbon. But I can't. All I can do is watch and wait and hope that your journey takes you to five great highs for every low and that for every rainy day theres a glorious summer, that the wind is always at your back and that if nothing else, I can be your hammock.
Love Mum x

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

the porpoises are waving goodbye.

inner manner--
transparent irreversible objective self
lean forward!
the cries for your shadow
have overlapped time and restated the obvious
in sick whispers
that stick in the back of your coffee mug
and slow-crawl through your day
until their mere existence
is the damn of patience broken
and the villagers drowned by that shiver
that you made in my heart
and sent through the core of my spine
-i am the wrapper on nothing
-i am this close to appearing
but then there's this battle
between my dreams and days
and art and life and television
and sound and blinking and the scent on an elevator
that manufactures this sort of
stained-glass perception
-i am water left in water
now is the time
to wave goodbye to the porpoises
-i am strands of a thread's shadow
here where we should be allowed to unravel
i laid down on the time upon my chest
and said a prayer for the very thing
that was swallowing me.

Monday, May 12, 2003

i am the casualties of six am poetry--
i have all the blocked roads
and half-foamed ideas
of a uteral mulligan--
all these letters could've been yeatsian flowers
instead of mere bad jazz
or whatever it is that starts growing
on three day old coca cola
-i tell you, I have all the promise of a snow globe
my ideas come from the same dormant confetti
and erupt for an entire six seconds
before falling back into the same chair
-and hello television
where we all love lucy
and chevy chase is always there
to break your fall
and why--
isn't that the miller kid in the rose garden again?
i used to be the rose garden for a 7-11 in glen burnie
where all the highschool kids
bought shivering thank yous
for these bemused bombshells
who knew how to skip like you wouldn't believe--
why, even i used to be a merry
go round to every belle ringing
holding up a new life
until twilight's last glove slapped out our dreams
and made us all do homework assignments as if they were faustian pacts
and--
why are you looking at me with those rabbit eyes?
i have an expression for you, buddy!
this channel hasn't changed in a decade
but you seem to think
there's still some ineffable hope
in mid-season replacements--
wake up!
wake up and smell the plastic flowers!
tom arnold still has his own show
and america couldn't be fatter--
and you wanted to use the trumpet as a bong.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

the diary of a storm

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Today I learned there is a dog named Storm. Now, that would not be of much interest to most people, but Storm is not your usual dog. He is currently experiencing unemployment and will, most likely, never work again. His owner has expressed some desire to have him adopted. I have expressed a reciprocal desire to adopt him. If his owner finds me suitable. If Storm finds me suitable. I will let you know how that turns out, but today I want to tell you what I know about him.

Storm is a trained 'search and rescue' dog. It seems even in the canine world there is career specialization. He was trained to find survivors. His job was to go into to burned out or collapsed buildings, or caved in caves and dig among the rubble to sniff out survivors. His first big assignment was in New York City, at the site now known as Ground Zero. He was sent from Louisiana to find survivors.

And he failed. He looked. He dug until his paws were burned and continued to dig. He dug until his stomach was burned and continued to dig. He became desperate and despondent because there were no survivors for him to find. Only cadavers. He was not trained to find cadavers. Other dogs were trained for that.

When the burns became too painful to look at, and hope of finding anyone alive was exhausted, Storm was sent home to his trainer. He arrived home discouraged and with a real sense of failure. He had not been able to do his job. He had not been successful. He had been taught that if he did what he was trained to do he would find someone alive. And he failed to do that. Dogs thus trained want nothing more than to please their trainers, to do the job they were trained to do so they can wag their tail at the end of the day and know they deserve that pat on the head.

Storm was unable to wag. His trainer hoped he would recover with time and special care, but he has not. Two and a half years later, Storm appears to suffer from something similar to "failure to thrive." He is not dying, but he cannot maintain a healthy weight. He continues to be despondent and unsuitable for work. He is loved by his trainer, but living in a kennel where dogs are trained to assist in search and rescue is not the same as living as a family pet. It is hoped that if he finds the love of a family he will recover his love of life.

Moose the beagle, expert at "licking the love back into ya,'" and I hope we are found to be suitable. However, if a family can be found with little children abounding with glee, I will be just as happy for Storm to be with them. I only know that I cannot let him stay in the kennel. With all the sadness he has inside.

I will keep you posted on the outcome.

the lifespan of the human eye

Someone I didn't see raised the blind of the window across the street and I saw a large, blue balloon that seemed to float on its own, untouched by hand or string or ceiling in the middle of a small, empty room. There was something about the balloon that reminded me of a gesture that I had taken part in so many years ago when I noticed such things and became involved in them through no fault or credit of my own.

I was reading on the metro and a family of tourists sat a few seats in front of me. I noticed the daughter, who was probably a few years younger than I was at the time, and I thought that she noticed me too. Nothing was said, but when we exited the metro and the family went their way and I went my way, separated by the distance of a large parking lot, I turned around to see that the girl had turned around also and we waved to each other. Certainly I would never see her again and if I had at any point in my life since then, I had no knowledge of it.

I refocused and inconsequential though it was to my existence, I sat in an unfolded chair with my back straight and both feet on the ground. The night before I pondered and commented out loud on the infantocratic regime of the neighbors below. No one listened. And yet I felt dazzled at the prospect that a day later I had the pleasure of being circumspect about something that I had said the night before. Circumspection was my bon-bon and I treated it to myself only on the rarest of occasions.

I meant to spend my day jotting down some notes on the word 'distend' and how it fabricated a sort of credibility to any given thesis it was used in. A fabrication of credibility was no doubt an illusion, and yet I was wont, as was my wont, to relegate what was to be a jotting down to a thought dismissed. The nature of illusion fascinated me. Not the kind of illusion that magicians do. Not the illusion of something not being there that is there, but the illusion of something being there that isn't there. But how could one use words about something that really isn't there?

So my pencil stayed in its place and the white sheet of paper that I had taken from the notebook by my bed remained unchanged save for any microscopic draft that assailed it. I was unaware of any movement by the paper, which surprised me because the small window in my apartment was opened and I was certain that there was enough air out there in this big world, and that air was most likely moving in a manner that would exploit the smallest of creases let alone an opened window, however small, that was larger than a small crease.

So I sat and waited, deciding not to move until I saw the paper move. I didn't have to wait long because a few moments later as I was thinking about the motorcycle that I heard roaring by below my window, the left corner of the paper rose slightly before falling back into place.

I no longer sat in the chair and I wondered for a moment what consequences, if any, I would suffer. I moved closer to the window where I didn't see the motorcycle, which by now, had probably turned one of the corners, right or left, of the road that intersected the busy road upon which the building I lived in stood. Disappeared. Vanished. And it occurred to me that people who ride motorcycles are from the future and that if I were to encapsulate this new hypothesis into a few understandable words, that I would be doing a great service, not only to mankind, but to the future beings who existed now as well. It would remain only a hypothesis though, and never become a theory as I was frightened of theory, not because I wasn't a courageous man, but because others were so easily fooled by the mere mention of the word theory when accompanied by any number greater than five. I only theorized while I was on vacation and at a great distance from people.

I stood at my window looking at the balloon, pondering conversational devices that would make it possible to communicate with inanimate objects when another motorcycle roared by. There were many of them, I thought, and they circled the block of this busy neighborhood, which was a good thing really because I didn't have any clocks in my room, and therefore found it impossible to be certain of the time that most people use to reference points of the day. I knew now that it was three fifteen and forty-two forty-three forty-four seconds. Forty-seven. Forty-eight. Forty-nine. And although people who ride motorcycles were from the future, I considered them not contrary to the ways of those living in the present and of a benevolent nature.

The blue balloon seemed to peer at me, which made me cast my eyes down. When I did I saw a fly crawling in my window and I was afraid for it because my window, when opened, had a tendency to slip. It usually slipped slowly until it reached a certain point then slammed to its base. I had invested much time in certain fathomable aspects of fly-life and conjectured with infallible logic that the fly would consider me a prophet if I could communicate with it. If the fly lived for only one month and I knew with certainty that my window would slide down and kill it, I could save the fly's life by telling it one minute before it died, which would probably seem like someone telling a human something a few days or weeks before something happened to them. Of course my window slipped much faster than that and I was never certain when it would, so I could only shoo the fly away and leave it perplexed in whatever way flies are perplexed, as to the nature of the force that acted upon it. It might consider me a god, and yet, I was no god. If I were a god I would quiet the neighbor's children in the apartment below.

I retrieved my notebook and pencil and thought to capture the vision of that balloon in the window with words like blue, balloon, window, untouched, float, but when I looked up from my notebook I saw that the blind was being pulled down. That's when everything around me went dark and I disappeared.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Hello- I'm not sure you'll get this as I can't quite figure this place out yet - it's my third visit too and I'm still unsure about posting! anyway.... it's top stuff Oss - the layout looks great and the postings are all good reads so far. Thanks for the invite
Dipps.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Ta for the links. When will I find the time to read them? Hope they last for a little while.
Booked a flight to London, arriving 5th June. Hooray! Doing research for the Aileve novel; trying for a day trip to Canterbury and one to Battle. Then on to Cornwall. Hooray! Thank God I don't have to worry about Jack Straw's closed Castle this time. Perilous cliffs lashed by the Atlantic and one-too-many pubs in small obscure places instead. Hooray!
I keep telling myself that I deserve the time away after working so goddamned hard for the past year on stuff that has no meaning. Paying the dues, paying for bread and taxes, paying for time lost, creativity lost. Philistines. they were all a bunch of Philistines. But one must pay.
Hancock, thanks for that. Here is that link again with the gubbins to activate it: Hypertext Poetry Workshop. It looks interesting.

On the question of comments, I have added Squawkbox's free user comments system to the template here. Readers can now post their responses. To see how it works in practice, I added some comments to the this: the dog lists.

Note: they display I.P. address etc. alongside the messages.

There are issues with the links and archiving not working reliably here. I have opened a case with Blogger about them.
Poetry and Therapy -- met a librarian in Helsinki who writes and publishes poetry. Met her in Helsinki, but she lives down the road in Staines -- Ali G country.

Also she runs a poetry group / website -- they got some Arts Council money to record their "critical reading" sessions, transcribe them and put them on the web. Must have seemed a good idea at the time. I quote from her email:
" ... here is the stuff on the Web about our workshop. http://www.carpenter.btinternet.co.uk/ When you get to the graphic site map, click on "critical practice" if you want some text that shows in general how we work, but for examples of how we work click on any of the "clock" icons, most of which (exceptions are 5, 7 and 11 o'clock) represent a workshop on the work of one of the group members. ..."

Anyway I sent her my long Briar Rose epic to see if I could join her group -- meets monthly. I happened to also mentioned that I wrote 'for therapy' (meaning intrinsic value, whatever that is, not for whether or not I could get published). I got a long screed back from her advising me never to admit that to anybody.

Actual quote: "best not to tell anyone to whom you are showing your poems other than your therapist (or perhaps your significant other) that the poems are purely therapeutic. It is very predjudicial. I will try to put that claim out of my mind when I do read it. As for the workshop, there are also the questions of whether or not you want critical attention paid to the work, because what happens in the workshops is definately not group therapy -- even though some of the poems read are of the therapeutic sort -- and whether or not you want to give critical attention to the poems of others."

I thought all that was rubbish. Another poetry site/group I sometimes pay attention to is Lapidus, for people who want to use poetry in education and health. Joined them when I thought I'd learn something about antidepressants and alternatives to drugs (which are what -- maybe -- keeps Briar Rose in the briars). Running along the back issues (I don't get the 'front issues' by post, owing to my frequent moves over the last 2.5 yrs) -- what should I see but this guy Brian I know from Torriano Poets and 'Word for Word' the Crouch End writing group. Not that I get on with him, either. Anyway he gave a talk to a Lapidus meeting -- on Poetry and Therapy, beginning with an Orwell quote: "All writing is therapy". So Orwell and I understand each other.

Well, thank God for Blogs -- I can talk to myself and commit it to posterity. I'm not used to this yet -- I'm still in the mindset that I'm sending an email to a group, hoping for an interesting and interested response. Now I'll have to respond to myself, I suppose. Harder and harder as I push 60. I have been doing a Stage Manager's course at the local amateur theatre. Talking about scenery, somebody said "I've got a problem so I won't be able to get it up until the middle of next week". I kept my sympathey silent. Most of my 'fellow' students are quite young (yes, yes the world is now quite young) women, so I didn't want to contaminate their thoughts with my innuendoes. As for aging, I have a friend who interrupted somebodys' argument -- which was starting off "Most people ... " to say "Most people are dead".

Good time to close. Signing off 1830 Tuesday 16.04.2002 --- I suppose Blogger does that for me. I should close like Bridgit (sp?) Jones with my daily stats: 12 pages of EC proposal writing, couple of forms, 51 emails deleted (17 unread; junk), 24 sent -- had a nice pub lunch -- weather fantastic. Now I'll walk to Ealing for the SM (not S&M) course.

Monday, April 14, 2003

last night's dream corrected

oh bathsheba two words of house.

her dusty feet sprinkle golden surgical openings.
greta garbo is not my sister.

a door opens and i enter like someone who--he

sits in a chair, reading a book, unaware of my theme music, turning crispy pages back and forth, compromising passages.

greta plays with her toy boats. she uses the rug as the ocean. her sunlight pasted above a map of the medulla oblongata.

"i have to take off my dress or the rain will stop", she says.
"yes, that is true", i say.

i follow her onto the grass, where i paint the lingo.

it is me.

but,

"beautiful" i hear. "beautiful".
"how did you do that?". "we didn't know you could".

it is unfinished.

greta, my sanguine hypothesis, your flag is an opiate dress the marching band salutes. it is a painting of you and your country (by this lake) the room is brighter and better for reading the lattice pitch of children covered by folds of

happening.

it is a testament to the conceivable.

but,

"remarkable".

greta?

i can't paint.
Mikey 'Fatboy' Delgado's work is good! Tells it like it is, he does. I once tried to adopt a hooligan but the bastard almost bit my hand off.
post&publish something puts it in that nice place, right?
where am i?
Somebody I know stayed in the Cumberland Hotel. It's near Marble Arch, right? They were moaning about the lack of air conditioning. That was a few years ago. They paid about £500 a night, and they were part of a family that owns one of the biggest hotels in the world, in the Far East, as well as loads of other things. Only fifth wife part. It's like that over there. Have you noticed how nice rich people look? They have a glow. Their children are darlings of politeness and eloquence.

Poor kids are so disappointing. Couldn't they stop saying "y'know" and "he goes this" and "she goes that." They should learn how to spend two hours making up their faces. Well the girls anyway. Mind you, the boys paint their nails too over there. Actually, they have people do them with clear varnish.

Some people here do that. I was amazed. There I was out on the razz with this diamond geezer, and he's knocking back pints, with one or two chasers lined up. Next minute the light catches his nails and nearly blinds me. What the? Is that clear varnish on your nails? Oh yeah, he says, he's only had them manicured. Flippin' loadsamoney like.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Sunday...my daughter came down to take me to lunch for my birthday. My kids gave me a book as their gift: Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and a huge bouquet of tulips. They figured that it would encourage me to keep my chin up. I like The Dog Lists. Saturday the 12th, I paid $600 (Canadian $) to have my car repaired. It was not a good day. You know how things go...some good news, some bad news. Good news: British Airways has a special offer on transAtlantic flights...$498 plus one night free at the Cumberland Hotel (they don't tell you that the place is being renovated at the moment). As I wasn't expecting the car repair, and I'm only employed until the 25th, the smart thing to do would be to stay home and job hunt. But oh no, not me. No.
I shall get back on track with my novel about the young medieval needlewoman and the Bayeux Tapestry. So I'm off to Canterbury for a day and will devote another couple of days to the Channel and Bayeux. Thinking that I should go from Plymouth to Cherbourg (foot passenger) and then try to find a local bus on to Bayeux. Does anyone have any advice about this? I have not been to the Continent yet. And then I'll continue to Cornwall to visit friends. But before May I'll have to polish up the first three chapters and write a synopsis. I'm going to send it to Conville & Walsh (lit agents) in London. Apparently they handle writers of historical fiction. There are several good quotes about fools that I could interject here, but I'll restrain myself. There's a lovely, romantic film from the 1980's called "Enchanted April" by the way.
I am thinking of changing the heading to "Literary Rotgut". Literary Finings sounds a bit la-di-dah, dainty hand covers the mouth, "pardon me," ooooh, woolly wooftery, hark at me, love-a-duckie, dear oh law. I can swear like Kathy Bates in Misery if required, you know. What was her expression, "cockadoodie," yes, what a load of cockadoodie. See.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I had a dream last night that ties into the issue of shepherds. Well, actually the Good Shepherd. Easter approaches and I wonder if reading your note plus Easter-imminent led to the dream. In it, my son Christopher (the name means Christ bearer) is drawn into a conference of religious people. He succumbs to their flattery and persuasions. I have been down the street somewhere and return to the place where we parted. I look into a large room and see him there, at the far end, draped in bright orange cloth, blind-folded and hanging from a cross. The people at the foot of the cross yell encouragements to him. He is struggling. The point seems to be to cleanse him from all sin. If he breaks, begins to cry, asks for mercy and espouses their rites they will know that they have succeeded. I then rush into the room, though people try to restrain me, and scream for them to let my son down, to release him to me.

His helplessness, the crowd's manic objectives and my horror combined, early this morning, to wake me from sleep. I got up for a drink of water, feeling very sad and impotent.

My dreams are treacherous. They deprive me of any peace that sleep might bring. I've never liked my dreams.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Larry reads "Blood Electric" live on TV (written by Larry - posted by JTB)

[cue jazzy music...]

[scene opens to beautiful women wearing bathing suits holding babies and smoking cigarettes. camera holds on pretty blonde with a newport then cuts to Larry. Behind Larry are seven fat women and 2 dogs all facing the opposite direction and pretending to be mimes...]

Larry: Hello TV audience. My name is Larry.

[balding man runs to Larry and hands him a Coke. Larry holds the Coke up and smiles.]

Larry: Dumb people of America and the world over. I command you to deny you are dumb and pretend I am not talking to you. Call yourself smart, educated and well read even though you have probably never heard of Kenji Siratori.

[person in gorilla suit walks behind Larry and feigns having sex with 1 fat woman and 2 dogs. Coke disappears from Larry's hand replaced by the book "Blood Electric"]

[jazz music morphs into jazzy club remix]

Larry: In my hand is a book. Reading takes place in the flesh and it uses eye muscles. I have used eye muscles just now to blink. It is a strange and exciting thing to use muscles in ways never dreamed of or truly thought of until the moment of conception. What that means is as important as dreams are to a child. You do not want to deny dreams to children do you?

[a loud NO erupts from the crowd]

Larry: Do not deny the dreams of children. Do not deny the dreams of idiots. Do not deny your own dreams. These are not magical things. Is it too much to conceive that you think too much as it is? Let your dreams wash the feet DNA and recycle them into silicon and gum wrappers. Dance all night to sound of rain. Dance my children. Dance.

[Larry begins dancing. The 7 fat women, 2 dogs and the gorilla run off stage and are replaced by nothing. The light dims.]

[a lone piano plays in the distance]

[Larry stops dancing]

Larry: I have stopped dancing.

[Larry smiles]

Larry: I smile at you.

[Larry sits on a chair and opens the book somewhere in the middle. Larry makes a fake cough like noise.]

Larry: "Crucified memory transfiguration labyrinth::digital vampires gorge ADAM Doll memory feedback in silver orgone orgies::massacre of the spectre that the boy joints to the brain of the ADAM Doll"

[Larry stares into the camera using his eyes.]

[1 entire minute passes]

[Larry raises one eyebrow while continuing to stare into the camera]

[mighty mouse music begins to play. the outline of a midget can be seen in the background carrying a what looks to be a Desert Eagle Mark XIX .50 AE.]

Larry: Labels are to be made and remade and dreamed on this very night. Life begins at death. What now lies beneath your fingers? What now? What now?

[a terrible noise is made]

Larry: What is that terrible noise?

[Larry looks around him in a near panic. Then straight into the camera...]

Larry: The mirror looks backwards now! I was once walking the hills of some place sometime ago for some reason or another. It doesn't matter what has happened to you today or even then. You are becoming non-true and I am truer. I am truth. Soon I will be all that is and you may never have been. The mirror looks backwards now. Save me my child. Dream.....dream.....dream......

[the camera begins to fade out....]

Larry: My name is Larry. What is yours?

[fade to black...]