Saturday, 31 December 2011

Recap in Eleven Sentences.

If I had the technology, the know-how, the patience, there'd be a graph with several arrows and a few would bounce straight along, a couple would shoot towards the top line-markers and the rest would drop right off.

The more I am blessed/burdened with the cars of others, the less I want one for myself, as a solo individual. Kids, family, these potential eventualities could dictate otherwise, but there's a certain yoke-around-the-neck about having a car, despite the obvious opportunities it affords. It is bad enough having a phone.

There were a lot of poems I meant to write.

There were a lot of albums I meant to hear.

The world does not seem to want us on it any more.

Currently, this day, this moment, I have a hard time picturing "fun" tonight; there's so much I have to do and only some of it have I any clue how. I tend to consistently resent the holidays for draining me of all financial, emotional and energy resources right before I'm supposed to really focus on goals that remain a good climb away.

There were a lot of movies I thought might be kind of nice to see, but knew for sure I wouldn't have the time or money.

All that said, I'm taking aim; it always takes longer than one thinks, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

Monday, 12 December 2011

an escalation of violence in several southeast neighborhoods

and you are big, ish, tall, ish,
lumber like something tough or clumsy.

but no fights since fourteen
or one joke-out-of-hand-with-your-cousin
that had to stop --
bartenders.

and there's nothing you've got that anyone
could fence for much,
and if it's all so co-ordinated
or just conveniently along every transit hub
you've lived in, well you are big, ish,
and your coat is torn and bad shoes and

you have a beard so
no reason to fuck with you

but somehow, an evening walk
just seems out of the question,
and you are big, ish, tall, ish, can
run

but if you wait too long, then it's too late
and you are fast, ish, but if you start
too soon, then chase becomes inevitable

and the cops post bulletins advising people
to walk shivering and terrified in groups of three
or more, bereft of books or money or music
or all things that made the transit
work as a second home and you are smart, ish,

but

growth/entropy/roath/centipede/statshots.


claustrophobia went well saturday. watch the videos here. Tomorrow I read at Northwest Playwrights Alliance's Literary Salon. Right now I am at NSCC, printing out some poem copies which I will doubtlessly just fucking wow audiences with. Friday I'm doing the same sort of thing, but at a giant Christmas Light Event where I used to work. Then the next day I am going to read at Elyse Brownell's (you can find her poetic works online or in links above) going away party.



I just deleted a whole bit I was going to post that was just going to read too much like, well, someone's personal blog. There is drinking for such things.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

"There was a lone 'woo-oo' out there that sounded really weird."

*) waiting at Empire Espresso to hear from Marty, who will have heard from Vicky, about when to get the keys to the NEW PLACE IN RAINIER BEACH.

**) over the last couple of days, Not Drugs and I went up and pestered Jake Tucker in Vancouver, BC. Vancouver, population-wise, is slightly smaller than Seattle, but the whole vibe of it is a lot more "LOOK AT US. WE ARE VANCOUVER. WE ARE A BIG BIG CITY WITH LOTS OF TALLNESSES!"
This makes sense, I guess, since they are a lot closer to the top of the cultural food chain in Canada than Seattle is in the U.S.A., coming in somewhere after Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, etc. I dug the more metro-vibe, though I think it'd take longer to get accustomed to navigating the downtown; I'm perpetually used to everything ending at the water. Not there being a WHOLE 'NOTHER SIDE OF TOWN after the water (shutup, West Seattle.)
The National kicked ass, in a way that is consistent with The National. Which is to say, greater energy, more screaming (no joke), but still a sense of the serious, melancholy and ornate. The Alligator and Boxer tracks took me RIGHT BACK to Wales, which, in that dark, rainy time, is when I got into the band. Broken by Matt's jokes about penis-nicknames, which managed to not be as incongruous as it sounds.

***) I have all these ideas, but first, it is time for a Panini.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thanks!*

For: the northwest, and how even when it feels like you're going to die from sprawl (hello, smokey point) the light bursts and you're out in the Middle of Nowhere, in the best way possible. And that my folks live out here, instead of at some enclave on the edge of Kirkland, so they can be close to a megachurch.
that I've got a new place to live. that i've got good enough friends that the last months have been punctuated by stress headaches, rather than been one constant panic attack or a filthy sleep closet in the ID.
not drugs.
the fam.
creative pursuits and the support they've (already) been shown by Seattle's poetry community.

speaking of Creative Efforts. The now-internet-elusive Wood is marketing the following: OK, so this is me self-promoting. The plan is to get my irresponsible, stupid, violent, sexy and ultimately marketable novel finished, and to get funded to do it, so I'm crowdsourcing, with the aim of getting it sorted this week. You can read more about it here.
Pay it forward, people. While I'm sure he's embarked on more "literary" efforts (i've read some, they're good), Wood also chronically underrates his own work, so it's great to see him getting ambitious.

*I know that being Grateful should be a constant concern, and that the History of Thanksgiving is Wrought and Fraught, but that doesn't mean we can't all use a good reminder now and then. Most folks reading blogs, even those in dire straits, have it better than huge chunks of the world. I believe the reaction to that shouldn't be guilt, but gratitude.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Involuntaries

clings to the rail
then
skirts the edge,
sine-waving all over the sidewalk.

shudder. spasm.

clung-clung-clang on thin bridges
torso wants the ground
hair wants the five feet,
fifteen,
twenty,
fifty

arms want to clothesline strangers, teeth to dig into faces of nearleaning friends, legs the radials of 18 wheelers, throat clearing constant in libraries, the fuck-thefuck-thefuck, even reading a book, full-on engaged, hands reach for low hanging powerlines

intentions irrelevant
steps clipped
he begins to lean

Friday, 18 November 2011

. . . or a joke about cat slaughter.

Things heat up at Claustrophobia Central. Monday will be the second of the series, and I look forward to seeing how it plays at an outside venue.

Speaking of, I'll be making my way south again-- Marty and I will be sharing a two bedroom spot in Rainier Beach for even cheaper than one would guess a two bedroom spot in Rainier Beach would be. Right near the light rail, groceries, etc.

This has been largely perfunctory. I have been thinking about switching to a blog that doesn't have a title about fucking corpses, but that's probably just a sign of aging.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

the judge said "i will never die."

On a rare slow day, I've finished "Blood Meridian." Combine with a started-great-got-weird last night still weighing on the brain and all its attendant grogginess the mill of students and teachers and the un-comma-ed neo-biblical writing style of Cormac McCarthy and you have a day of inclement unexplainably strange sadness whirring through and under the clicks of computers and the slow mumble of minds seeking expansion that may never come.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Revolutions are real things,

but are poems about "revolution" about the real thing?

this afternoon, at the North Seattle Community College Espresso Lounge, myself, Lindsey Walker and John Newman read as part of the school's Year of Learning program; the theme for the year is, yup, "revolution."
So vague, but so specific; many of the students at North are international students, some are here directly due to displacement brought on by real, violent, terrifying revolutions. So, given my limited scope of experience with these things, I wasn't sure what to read; I support proactive and sometimes risky measures for change (my next post will probably be about Occupy______) but I am not an anarcho-socialist, by any strict measure, and my own experiences with violence involve seeing a few barfights and hitting someone over the head with a broom when I was 14. That said, the definition of "revolution" was intentionally left squishy-- Lindsey read about science, medicine, the pharoahs. John read about the Civil War, 1963 (in a piece about the '60s that didn't make me want to puke) and finding anonymous notes in library books. I read about Wales. More specifically: Culture Vs. Cause (or Enough with the Marley Already if Folks are Actually Dying)/ Neo Takes the Blue Pill/ Dongtan-Hwaesong-Suwon-Seoul/ Swansea-Cardiff Blues (bellingham edition)/ Ambition is Critcial (Swansea Edition)/ Quake Theories

First piece is perhaps an extraneously mean-spirited jab at collegiate hippie types (and bob fucking marley posters) which I wrote about six years ago, just after graduating the first time. The last poem is new, about earthquakes and what happens to Seattle. Things were well set-up and there were actually a lot of people there. (noon on a thursday? who knew.)Cousin Justin hit up the reading after a too-brief hangout beforehand, where we test-drove Ford Focuses and hey! Free coffee.

Tuesday night I had my first taste of facilitating at SPLAB Living Room a task I felt underprepared for. It's a hard working and dedicated group of writers that shows up, founded by Paul Nelson and running for over 10 years. (this is it's second in Columbia City, prior it was in Auburn.) Unforseen and unfortunate circumstances-- I don't feel like blogging grief right now-- prevented much prepwork, but things went well anyway. See above about the dedicated and talented writers.

Anyway. Lots of family is out, I'm working a lot and soon will start putting together a new book/chapbook/manuscript. Longwinded, I know.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Someone Else's Countdown

It was a day we didn't have a host, so each of us took turns, rushing toward the front, our nearly-paper Denny's uniforms crinkling with starch, gleaming with the grease in the air. I had a ponytail then, so people sometimes thought I was as old as I am now. A man in light denim and a white fisherman's beard ordered something fish-based to go. That had never been our specialty. He sat in the oval by the windows looking out to a gas station and a parking lot. The cook forgot something and he nodded, saying it was for his wife, so we'd better redo it. He waited, payed, tipped well, mentioned that his wife really liked this Denny's and this dish was her favorite. I nodded and said Well I hope she gets better, I said, so you can both come in and sit down. Oh, he said, and leaned on his cain. She's not getting better.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Terrible seconds turn to days and still I cannot show my face

at some point I post blog full on about the new bartending job vs. the current bartending job and old bartending job and its all likely made of venn diagrams and photos of women holding beers at chest level.
nonetheless: Hillman City is like the southend equivalent of Crown Hill. Not. Ballard. (columbia city.) But, as everything in the southend is basically facing south, you have orient things that way. the potential-new-regular got the joke, even as for the fifth time in the evening a man got up to exhort the crowd on the virtues of Merle Haggard (not hating, btw) and I wondered. Things.

Ín plainspeak, I've meant to post many great things to here, to buddyhead, to whatever media source most speaks to you, but I am now working three jobs and will probably have to move again soon.

so, it's 330 am, I'm just under an hour off a 15 hour work day and no sleep in sight, unless this Elysian Loser Ale kicks in soon. Oh, Grunge, the things you gave us will always carry the ghosts of things you took away.

me five years ago, two years from now/fuck it, here's an old song.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

back at the loft:

Because of technology, there is no more serious injury, bad illness or death. All people live forever, like vampires or demons.

from a student's short paper assignment about the Future, and Possible consequences of technology. (she also addressed the idea that with people living forever, innovation would stagnate and birth rates would plummet.)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fix it with mixing.

Last night Not Drugs and I went to the Breadline at Vermillion. There were readings from Evan Peterson and Laura Wachs, a reading/music/dance performance from Pistol Shrimp and zany violinnings from Led to Sea. One of the things that consistently impresses me about Breadline is the format; much like Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery, you do not have to enjoy every performer to leave the night feeling satisfied and entertained.

That. Is. Huge. Granted, if every performance sucks/isn't your bag, you aren't likely to have a great time, but there is more room for gradations of interest and quality when you've got mixed-genres. I liked Evan and Laura (exception of one or two pieces, but that's gonna happen) but only fully enjoyed Pistol Shrimp when they were incorporating the Butoh dancer into their routine. That was only about a third of the time, and they took the largest chunk of the evening. The violinist played with a lot of loop pedals and some effects, but the songs were good enough to avoid feeling like a novelty act (*coughcoughcough* CR Avery *Coughcoughcough*) If it'd been a full evening of only one of these performance types, I'd have been worn out by the end, possibly grumpy even at the people whose work I enjoyed. As it was, I felt energized, interested and inspired.

In other news, Google Plus. Eh? Eh?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Minimal Transitions

Morning on a hardwood floor, last one in Brighton/Othello/Graham. Yes, Seattle has a neighborhood called Graham, and depending who you ask, it's where I've lived the last year, nine months. Just a memory foam, laptop, stereo and odd assortment of shoes, boots and blankets left. The impulse being to get crippled-nostalgic, or not at all. Drive through Columbia City thinking how I'll miss it when, really, just as close, but north. I guess the possibility of a short walk to Mel's in Hillman City will be missed, but not practically. The taco truck a bit more so.
The sneezing and packing and all that other stuff about moving I will not miss. Practically, I won't have to-- still not sure how long I'll be at David and Lindsey's place on Beacon Hill. Rachel (who is moving to Columbia City-- I won't have to miss it) remarks that I'm sentimental for wanting to spend a little time alone here surrounded by dust-bunnies and burned CDs. I don't think sentiment is quite the right word, but maybe. Giving transitions their due.
Lets see-- I was terrible for stats in this house. Brielle threw a few great parties with trees and dinosaurs, we had I think four Your Hands Your Mouth readings here, featuring the likes of Robert Lashley, Chris Gusta, Ryan Johnson, Shane Guthrie, Elissa Washuta, Emily Wittenhagen, Caren Scott, Melissa Queen, Rainey Warren, Greg Bem, Jay Steingold, Jessica Lohafer, Cate McGehee, Bronwyn Isaac, Jake Tucker, myself and probably some other people who are now offended.
Good, solidifying family time here. Lots and lots of The Office, Parks and Rec, Mitchell and Webb, Bones, Family Guy etc etc etc; dangers/blessings of Netflix. So much family guy. It's like eating air with sugar on it. Good seeing the first seven months of my nephew's life, day to day, as he's gotten fatter and squawkier.
Won't spend much more doing analysis. It's not like I'm moving to another country, or even city and have spent the last day, week, month, in a frenzy to ham-press hot new memories into a current space. These things are usually done drunk and I so far haven't cheated on Sober September. I'd take a picture of my empty room but the camera and cords are already up on beacon hill.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Just imagine if YOU kept getting colder while the rest of them around you burned.

Housefire publishing is a site based out of Portland. I met the editor at the backend of a party in the Central District. It was one of those "art parties" or "lit parties" wherein the general consumption of Genesee was punctuated by readings in a crowded basement. The bit of the reading I caught was good and in the afterwards so was the banter. Granted, I was a good five-ten beers behind most people, having come from work, but, you know. The editor (Riley) told me to get in touch, in a writerly way.

This is one of the things to come from that conversation. A short fiction. Go to it, read it, read the other things on the site.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tell us about the Owls, Dana. The Owls.



For the past couple of months, Rachel (heretofore to be referred to as "Not Drugs") and I have been curling up on whatever couch, floor or bed was close at hand and watching David Lynch's perpetually iconic early '90s TV show Twin Peaks. Being Lynch at his (arguably) most accessible, the show tends to serve as an alt-culture touchstone for a lot of people, and one of the most interesting things about re/watching the show was the reactions of those who hadn't watched it yet -- "I know! I know! Someday." I can't really recommend the show; it's already been recommended to you, geeked on by your friends and generally deconstructed. It's worth checking out, and largely unlike most things produced prior or since, but it's also just a TV show for about 80% of the time. The other 20% is the reason it tends to hang on in the minds of critics and fans, be rediscovered. But I think most great TV shows hit that sort of range-- between 70-90% of the time they're average-to-good pieces of entertainment, then that other percent they cross over into Art on the level of the Great Films, Plays or paintings. But half the time you're watching TV for a certain sort of comfort, anyway.

But! This is not a TV review. This is about geekery. The wiki link for TP has changed since last time I looked at it a couple months ago-- that's how dedicated the fanbase is. There's a convention/retreat in North Bend, Wa (where some of the exteriors were filmed) every year that Chris Gusta goes to-- it was ultimately through one of those trips that he decided to move to the northwest. Not Drugs and I are not so dedicated as that. But having a free Sunday, we decided to head out to northeast King County to check out Twede's Cafe, home to the pie, coffee and atmosphere that Dale Cooper was such a fan of.



The original interior got arsoned about ten years ago. These days, it reminds me a bit of the Stanwood Cafe, albeit slightly more dissheveled. The prices are a bit high, but the portions are such that Not Drugs and I split a Fish 'N Chips and were almost too full for pie. Almost.


By the bathroom there is a wall of pictures, newspaper clippings, memorobillia, etc.


It was interesting people-watching and guessing who was a tourist (I guess even today that Peaks tourists account for roughly 5% of the business there and probably more on holiday weekends) and who was a regular. Some small towns have folks sporting the kinds of cowboy shirts you can also get at Red Light Clothing Exchange, but North Bend doesn't seem to be one of them. The place fully embraces the tourist element-- all the servers were wearing shirts advertising Twede's 1) 50 Different Types of Burgers (yup) and 2) Home of Twin Peaks' Pie and "a damn fine cup of coffee."
The place also hosts an open mic on Tuesdays.
This all seems for the best; North Bend wasn't depressing in the way that some Washington towns can be, nor was it generically strip-malled but the downtown didn't appear to have the internal bustle of an Arlington (though that may be good-- less meth) or the diversity of business of Stanwood, or the packed-right-in cute historical downtown of neighboring Snoqualmie. If you were there for a reason (like a TV show conference) you'd probably find a decent bar or restaurant or two, but nothing jumped out at me as "ooh, we should come back for that," even with my er, "unique" fascination with the smaller towns and suburbs in Western Washington.






Also, it should be pointed out that neither North Bend nor Snoqualmie seemed like places where the woods nearby contained portals to Unspeakable Evil. But then, maybe that's part of the point.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Silence, Communication, Rosemary and Thyme

Thursday night I participated in Silence and Communication (check out the link two posts down, I'm feeling lazy.)
You can read The Stranger's review, which describes things pretty well from an audience point of view. It went well, and while I believe that Greg Bem, Matthew Thompson and Jason Conger (who probably also have links I could link to, but, lazy) put together a fantastic reading lineup, the concept was well-executed enough it almost didn't matter who the readers were. It was a whole piece. A concept. Plenty of folks showed up to support their friends, but there wasn't a feeling of a "headliner" or what-have-you. That said, definitely enjoyed a lot of the specific pieces on their own as well.
As for my part, I read a piece called "context(subtext)" that existed prior to getting the invitation, but hasn't made it out much, so I hacked it up. The event consisted of straight up poetry, prose pieces, sound poems, noise music, performance art, etc etc etc. Alllll sorts.


Nico Vassilakis tore up the above paper into a microphone for his piece.


Sole Repair, photoed from the balcony. Once the event got going I didn't have much time or energy to take more pics. Suffice to say there were a lot more people there.

I was pretty damn out of it the whole day/night. This added an additional level of surrealism to the experience for me. Note how it looks like my face is falling off.

I do not remember whose head this is the back of.


We sat in chairs around the room. I was in chair number 9, next to Jarrett, who sometimes wears a hat similar to those which I used to own.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Field of Memes

or RobotmonkeybadgerninjaBACONLOLZ

When the robots finally come for you,
probe you with lasers and stick needles
in you and look nothing like R2 d2 Or
the giant bugs from the Matrix
you, for one, will not be pleased to
welcome your new robot masters,
you will be crying and blubbering
And it will totally compute.

And I've seen you play baseball--
the Zombie apocalypse will not be
"awesome"
you will get your face ripped off.
not awesome.

Because the vampires were to be expected,
always a compendium of handsome assholes,
just enough gore and guts to grab the guys, too,
and werewolves have always been a bit goofy,
a metaphor for alcoholism or whatever.
but
seriously
really
literally
inserting "monkeys"
is not
random
that isn't what it means.

I get it-- I'm late to the joke, late to the disdainparty
and the subsequent "What does this say about our SOCIETY"
blog posts by people for whom pop culture is not a relevant
reference point, it is
their ONLY reference point-
so wear your
owldolphin sweatshirt
while eating chocolate bacon,
posting funny cat pics,
while reading Gorilla Vs. Bear
and naming your band
Badger Shark
but when the jokes
run out
and you have to go outside
and you wonder
why
nothing feels good
it's because you've finally done it.
you've really, finally, truly done it.


you've even ruined
animals.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wait I thought you said VIOLENCE--

Tonight is the Silence and Communication Event at Sole Repair

I think it'll be pretty sweet. Spending the next couple hours making some arts with papers and pens.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Let me tell you how to sequence your next record:

Set 1: Rules For Riding the King County Metro/Little Fear of Drowning/Neo Takes the Blue Pill

Set 2: You in Your Heyday/Like Taking Communion/Story Problem

^Show last night with Cristina Bautista & Gold Parts and Police Teeth. I started ordering whisky drinks thinking they were comped/drink ticketed and then received three tickets good for PBR. It was very hot in the rendezvous. I had lots of good advice for other people about how to run their businesses, bands, marriage.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Petty Pains of Modern Life and Why White Zombie are the Best Band Ever

Recent life in Bullet-List Form

>>> Brielle, youngest of the bio-sisters, is somewhere in the midwest (not colorado, har har) right now, highwaying her way closer to Chicago,



where she'll study art and writing at the Art Institute of Chicago. The absence there is palpable, rather than symbolic, as I've been living in the same house as her the last year and a half.

******> Soon that will change. Investigating (limited) housing options now. They include beacon hill, chinatown (ostensibly), capitol district (what I'm calling that space between Pine and Jefferson and 12th and 20th that is literally Central District but increasingly co-opted by 'hillsters) or probably places in suburbs that are affordable but far away from everyone i know and everything I want to do.

>work. have had little luck/fucked up my interviews for full-time jobs. stop that, brain. >still, some digging and pestering have yielded some freelance tutoring opps, some freelance blurb-writing opps that are still in-process.

in.
process.

this is the frustrating part; waiting for writing samples to be cleared, etc, before I can go full-bore. Things I would have been more confident in before a summer of job-hunting. Confidence is key. Irony.<<<<<<<<

(Not much to do but keep at it. Dig in. Make it part of you until it doesn't have to be. All sorts of mantras to make the demoralizing slog of Craigslist and numbing rigor of cover letters into some sort of arch-masculine chest-pound.)



!!!!Tonight, however, Jake Tucker and I will drown our respective (and very different "sorrows" in beer at various town-based places and then I do a gig with Cristina Bautista's new band and Police Teeth, whom have been mentioned here before as fine individuals and purveyors of good-time, rootsy folk music, which is the best type of music for humans to make. Here is them covering White Zombie and then playing their own song about trashing living rooms and jumping fences:



and the original:



so good.

also: anyone notice how the ads for Colombiana are basically "check out this hot chick killing shit?" or perhaps more specifically, "check out this hot south american chick killing shit?"


Thursday, 18 August 2011

zabrecky makes himself disappear

or if you're taking over, then it's over

LA is a city that always dangles a carrot three feet away
from the noses of its citizens. this arrives to screen,
by phone, from my friend who holds microphones and wails
in an attempt to corral all the searing noise around him
into a cohesive statement. beat. riff. rhythm. anthem,
even rising to the sky, but stopped at last by smog.
songs try their best to find their way out of the city,
in the bumping trunks of riders, in the collapsing chanteuses
somewhere just outside hollywood, the bricked off lofts
of silverlake. I can't get back there. I can't get into it.
I can't even name a street that isn't already famous,
despite the hours behind the wheel of a twelve wheeler.
Someone tells me something about Bukowski, the city making
him what he was. About sleaze and punk and availability of
everything. i think about a poem I wrote ten years ago and
how I heard the subject turned to magic after a collection
of late 90s new wave songs failed to advance his neighborhood.
he is probably on stage tonight, somewhere on the second floor
of a tall building, wearing a funny hat and introducing
women in fancy underwear to a crowd who don't have shows that night.
_________________________________________________________

the opening quote is from Robert Lashley, of Scume Eating, etc, who are in LA right now, or leaving it, on their way to Spokane. The prompt was from Theresa Mitchell, from a while back, who told me to write about a musician who influenced me. I was ostensibly going to write about Rob Zabrecky, from Possum Dixon, a band I liked in High School, but obviously, I ended up writing about LA. As you can tell from the time of day and sloppy prose style, i wrote it at work.

Friday, 12 August 2011

"I haven't heard right since we started this band."-cg

"Noise" means a lot of things to a lot of people. A "noise band" could be basically a rock band that puts their guitars through lots of pedals and never muffles their feedback. To that end, you could describe almost half of Nirvana's catalog as "noise rock." To other people, noise is a nearly entirely electronic affair, a more ambient lull, etc.
last night i read poetry with three noise bands, two of which were an entirely improv-ed affair with shouted adlibbed lyrics, guitar destruction and a healthy sense of catharsis. I'd read with My Printer Broke, (comma is part of the title) when there were violins, keyboards and such involved (many destroyed by the end of the night) but I think they did just as well as a two piece, switching instruments, etc.

I did two sets, one after My Printer Broke and one after Scumeating. As such: set 1:Neo takes the blue pill/about last night/little fear of drowning/the most important meal/beneath the cathedral/isolation therapy The last two I performed with CG making creepy sounds on the guitar, which added a certain tension to otherwise fairly quiet pieces. Set 2:Bloodmoney/Our Favorite Radio Station/Paintings of Famous Satanists For "paintings" I was joined by the last band, Waiting for the Pagans, on noise. It's more challenging to read over two noising guitars, but it was a fun collab. When WFTP played, they turned their amps up all the way and proceeded to fuck their guitars up with hammers, boots, the floor and their own faces. It was unbearably loud, harsh and pretty damn riveting. As Fiona put it "Your set was marvelous. . . and completely terrifying."

Scumeating combine elements of noise, sound-collage, space-rock, punk and disco over driving backbeats, with Robert Lashley (award winning poet and playwright) howling lines like "GET YOR CRACKHEADFRIENDDS OUTTAMYHOUSE!" It isn't something with a direct comparison, but is pretty damn awesome.

Anyway, good night. Next up: I also do weddings.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

You never saw me come, you'll never see me go (2 flashquicknesses)

discman
In times of such economic turmoil, political import and environmental uncertainty, sometimes I simply want to stand, 19 years old, watching a wall of department store tvs condense the whole thing into stupid, simplified sound bites, mewling mouths of anchors and beauty queens rashed out by headphoned metal. I could nod there until everything's dusty and blown away, or rebuilt and shiny, dependent only on the lead salesman to tell me when to move out of the way.

everything else becomes fiction

sometimes I sit on the edge of my southside porch,
drinking french-pressed coffee I bought with government
stamps and wonder how anything ever seems urgent.

then a cop car blazes past, at nine thirty a.m.,
sirens shrieking, lamenting. then a firetruck,
then an ambulance, then three more red-and-blues.
I am halfway into my book, about a young man who
grows older as he wanders around the world unfullfilled,
sleeping with lots of women,satisfying all but
the most wanton, admitting to some of his own flaws
but not others. the dustjacket describes it as
thought-provoking. the sentences are constructed immaculately.

the cop scanners crackle hard in my neighbor's truck.
coffee grounds take over my mouth. a fog, in august,
over the tree-line, and more sirens and two old ladies cross
in the middle of the street,one holding a safeway bag
bulging with onions. they cross in front of a bus,
without even looking. if there weren't raccoons, I don't know
what we'd do about the trash.
soon I will trip down the hill for my own reckoning like I've done daily
for a year and a half, all my life.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

dongtan-hwaesong-suwon-seoul

humidity. the rain is part of the humidity. they aren't separate elements. the bus is underwater. schoolgirls giggle like schoolgirls at the athletes, the soccer players, the tennis instructors, imported from the united states. the run of water. the flow of traffic. diverted into. the disparate looks at a nation that refuses to be submerged. seoul burned, they tell me, it wasn't so tall then, but we rebuilt it. five teenage boys in a war memorial, making jokes at the simulated shooting experience. rushing soldiers overhead in stone. this is what the guns are here for, the 3-d movie and video games, to absorb the weight of jokes and float above them. we try to live peaceful now, but always watch.they remember macarthur. the minibikes speed quick between buses. outside faces condense with a thin film, like what we wrap our beef and sprouts in, this is japanese food, before, it was mongolian. fusion. shoes piled by the door, signs in english and korean and japanese survive bombs and land wars and taste like fusion.
___________________________________________
submitted to Hoarse, so may take it down in a bit, if they choose this and not the other, more ridiculous thing I sent them.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A unit of work:

Saturday was the zine release party for Erg: A Work Zine at Rainey and Jon's house in the CD. The zine is beautiful (and not online, so unlinkable) and the readings from Martha Reiner, Sierra Nelson, Jonathan Shapiro and Rainey Warren were rad. I did a set near the beginning that consisted of the following pieces: missing every day/isolation therapy/loft poem #3/bloodmoney/neo takes the blue pill

its nice sometimes to give older pieces that don't usually get out much a little air. after that we drank lots of wine and beer and ate oranges and started fires in fire pits and I wasn't the worst off there by any means. we made sure the fire was out before troddling home.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Korea Trip 2011 Wrap - Up Party Program

Because if I do not write a trip-wrapping up post now, I likely will never do so, and thereby will disappoint myself and possibly others. So! In a convenient multi-list format, here are things about the trip I haven't yet mentioned:

Lies:


* I was not in Busan. For some reason I thought we would be in Busan, but we were not. I was either mistaken or misled or simply a spreader of lies to all I know. But the places I went were: Incheon, Suwon, Seoul, Hwaesong/Dongtan (like, a suburb of Suwon?) and Pyeongchang. Those were the places. Not one day, moment or second in Busan.

* The food was not weird. It was delicious. Some of it was unfamiliar, but I imagine I'll find myself at Korean Restaurants more often these days.

* Formality: maybe it was the camp format, or a concession to American Ways, but it really wasn't terribly formal. I've been in the houses of relatives where I felt less at ease.

Kids:

* as I believe I mentioned before, ten year old boys are ten year old boys no matter where you go. even if they are familiar with, know how to deal with and are well equipped to handle school, they would still rather put chairs on their heads and yell "Teacher! I am Transformer!"

* they love to catch Dragonflies, these kids.

* anna (many children used english names), a 10 year old girl who looked about seven, had braces and was generally quiet, comes up to me the day before departure: "teacher-- you go seattle tommorrow?"yes.
the next day she approaches me with a pen, rolls up my sleeve and writes "I love you. Bey! --anna"

Culture:

* Korea is very Korean. White people in Seattle love to talk about how very White Seattle is, but it's fricken' London compared to Seoul. 99% of Korea is Koreans. . .

. . . but that doesn't mean the city isn't international-capable. The country. Signs in Korean and English. German tv stations in the hotels. Parisian Baguettes. Etc. The whole culture has it's arms open. Which is maybe easier to do when you can present an obviously unified front? I dunno.

* The buildings are tall, but somehow I don't think I'd go insane living there. Maybe it's the inbuilt parks between apartment buildings or the fact that I know in the back of my head I don't speak the language and thereby a lot of the noise would be rendered useless to me, but I think I could do it.

* Not that I'm planning to move.

* There. Necessarily.

other things? maybe. maybe more pictures. maybe links. maybe k-pop videos. but I know how I work and how this blog is and I don't like making promises.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Asahi(koreatrip #7)

. . . is the Budweiser of Japan. Accordingly, it tastes way better than Budweiser, but was not worth the 8,500 won I spent on my first drink in two weeks at Incheon International.

I've spent about 60,000 won this trip, but much of it today, as time was running out. Flight boards in 15 minutes; accordingly, I'll post a full(ish) recap, with pictures and links and snark and sincerity, later. But three things about the airport:

*"tasteful" korean porn totally available at the the book/video store. "ero blockbuster" the only words in english.
*there is a Dunkin' Donuts here. There is not one in Seatac.
*of COURSE it is Wi-fi-ed. Of course there is an internet lounge. Of course you can charge your ipod at one of the free ipod charging stations past the security checkpoint.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

two photos(koreatrip #6)


we went on a walk up to some buddhist shrines. this is suzanne in a hollowed out log. because of blogger-in-hotel-lobby-shortcomings, this post has taken 20 minutes, and only two pictures instead of like, eight. also, I was posting blind (going only by th ephoto number.)



kids!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pedagogy (koreatrip #5)

Day two of teaching went better than day one. This is always the case, you'd think, but it is not, in fact, always the case. (how's that for some bible-style obfuscation?) I'd rather day two be good and things get progressively better, than start good and fall flat.

I'm writing this from the Kensington Flora hotel lobby, which means this, too, shall be a short post. To prove I'm in korea: 아나댐; 나ㅓㅇ댜맺 쟈뎌개누

no idea.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

You'd Think. . .(koreatrip #4)

that in a city like Suwon, next to an international hotel, there would be at least ONE place selling postcards. Cheap, tacky postcards. That I can send to friends, enemies and loved ones.

This, so far, has not been my experience. In further minor frustrations, my camera battery is dead, rendering the picture uploadery I was hoping for undoable at this time. In four hours I'll be on a bus, with the rest of the WBC team, to the countryside, where the real meat of english-teaching will begin.

In the meantime, packing, church, coffee, attempting not to slip into food coma simply from the residual hospitality of the last three days.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Shabu Shabu (koreatrip #2)




today we: went to a Korean Folk Village, looked at ways people in Korea lived as the Euroamerica we know today was still in it's nascency. Visited a Korean high school. Went to the Nam June Paik Art Center. I wish I'd have had more time there, possibly alone, but getting to go was big to me. Ate Shabu Shabu, a dish Japan stole from Mongolia, then Korea stole from Japan. I am so full and warm right now.

The humidity here is pervasive. Tommorrow we're heading to Seoul.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

International Dateline.(koreatrip #1)

Traveling over the pacific, one skips a day. Arrived in Incheon last night to travel over the longest bridge I've known to float. Korean Air is the poshest sort of economy class and they are, as you can see, very proud of their flight attendant's poise, posture and legs.


The flight was ten hours. I watched five movies. Cedar Rapids, Win Win, The Lincoln Lawyer, Ceremony, and Season of the Witch. Brief rundown: Ed Helms is good at both mocking and venerating good-hearted naive types (and in this way the movie felt strangely old-fashioned), Paul Giamatti Giamattis pretty hard, but not quite oscar-level Giamatti-ing, pretty good, a Max Winkler joint and where have I heard that name before? kinda smug but pulls it together at the end and THE BEST MOVIE EVER.

Hotel is good, jetlag bad, gotta hit up a Folk Village.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

s2b

in an hour I leave for:


We will arrive there in twelve hours.

I should make sure I've got my toothbrush packed and at least one light pair of socks.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

This time next week, I will be in Korea.

South.

This isn't something I've really kept blogupdated about, because taking a trip is exciting, preparing for a trip is tedious. Preparing for a trip when said preparations require frequent trips out of town*, taking time off an already too-lite workload and asking people for money so you can go on said trip, well, that is tedious, exhausting, frustrating and one must make the choice for it to not be embarrassing**.

That said, as I've observed elsewhere, consistently impressed with the support and generosity of friends and family. So much to do in the next few days.

That said, amuse/distract yourself with this bit of lite-political musing. There's a few points he draws a bit broad, but hey.

*Stanwood, which is no Busan, but still
**I've largely successfully made that choice, and no one's made me feel like I should be be embarrassed. I think "embarrassed" is just a place I find myself easily.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

News From Home

the t-shirt factory burned down and now he have nothing to wear on the tops of our bodies. your uncle painted his torso with the melted skin of the factory workers. the rest of town saw that and liked it. now we walk around beating our chests and thinking of clever designs. Some of the knitting circle sold their sewing machines to pay for glue. Skin gets flakey. There'd been a plan, approved by the mayor and everything, to boost civic pride by creating apparel based on the sillouhette of the water tower and catfish billboard by city limits. The idea, your cousin tells me, is to sell them to chiseled men and tall women to wear sexily in other
states, but now all our cloth is smoke. No one can put our town on their bodies, the jobs are all grumpy and angry, fruit is sad and wilty and we've been removed from wikipedia. This is what the mayor told us when he visited for dinner. We had my famous lamb-chops and he asked about you, what you're doing, I said I wasn't sure because your letters are so vague. We all had a laugh about that, except
for your aunt, who is not well and refuses to stay awake in church. When you come, bring anynews clippings about your activities, some smelling salts and sweaters. It will be winter by then,
I'm sure.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Falling down is not magic

Thursday's Hoarse reading--complete with welsh magicians, cake, lots of awesome readers and deepstomach laughter-- and last night's Drink for the Kids (benefitting Vera) were good but sitting completely alone in my house without music on, tacos impending, this is good. Soon I will watch Peep Show and sleep.

But! It should be noted that I'm not just imagining how fun the Hoarse! readings are, or how (coughcoughterriblewordalert) "vibrant" and "diverse" (ughgross) Seattle's "literary community" (AAAAAAAAAAGGGGH!) is, as evidenced by Emily Wittenhagen's awesomely enthused manifesto of the this is why we do this variety.

I like the part about Jurassic Park.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Feeeeels like the first time.



I once wrote about that song (but not ABOUT THAT SONG, you know, deep) but have since abandoned the poem. Still like the song.

Tonight, in Belltown, at a theater with a lot of red curtains I'll be reading at the HOARSE! release party for issue #3. Houdini.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Repost: Barrooms/Community Building.

In this article, Stranger books editor Paul Constant makes a call for a "writer's bar" where the entirety of Seattle's literary community can gather. It's not a bad idea; I think it's healthy for writers of different styles-- entirely different styles, not just different styles of fiction or poetry-- to rub elbows and bounce ideas. Take the ingredients you like from an essayist and put it into your short story. Things like that.
That said, I do wonder if Seattle (and other) literary types get too into "being literary." A good bar where you can talk as pretentiously as possible about whatever you've read or are working on-- that's a rad idea. but it'll always need to be balanced by the good bars where you can people watch, write in solitude or, gasp, places and activities not involving alcohol.

which I could use a bit more of lately.

off in a bit to meet with Brian about Works in Progress, which if I haven't talked about here yet, I'm not unpacking now.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Go to Sleep With the Light On

the last day of my 20s I stood in a narrow room where they asked me questions about incarceration history and my sexual habits and stole blood from my right pointer finger and inspected my arms for veins and elbows for bruising. later, but not much later, I stared at the sheetrock ceiling as narrow tubes sucked fluids from my body and gaunt-eyed women with needles and tape walked slowly to their charges. My jeans are torn at the cuff and stringy at edges, as they've been since birth. This place is like a hospital, that gives you money. The ceiling is like a hospital's. The white coats are like doctor coats. The halogen lights are like, the beds are like, but they won't let you sleep. The nurses thump the side of the pillows. A man in a trucker hat and grey beard and freckled arm starts, almost pulling his needles out. This is like some other beds I've slept in, where the ceiling and lights and noises kept me from rest and I pulled blankets and arms off me before shuffling back into daylight, through tinted glass doors, in rudimentary bandages, no goodbyes. The man who unhooks me is tired but friendly, sees my novel and tells me if he could be anyone in literature he'd be in The Brothers Karimazov, and he'd be Aloyisha. The good one.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

This is the first thing I've written since turning 30 on tuesday. I will probably turn it into a Haibun. Thanks to Ryan for the prompt. I am bad at spelling Russian names.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Faith Without Works/Ties that Bind/Toby Shiner's Jacket.

jewelry rained from the top of the sears building and
the hockey jerseys glowing in the light of the carfires
raised chants, broke windows, someone tweeted pictures
picked up by the news.

in the largely empty workroom a computer plays anarchist
folk rock from the thirties. we drink prime whisky on a
brown carpet. the novelist unfolds deserting the "movement"
slowly, halting to shake his head. "we were just kids."
bleak unraveling of belief in brick and mortar and black masks.

conflicting reports as to what this actually means.
a sort of populist chaos. the petulance of spoiled children.
inevitable release of Id in a building full of people,
the outflow of violence. loud noises! ooh, shiny! fuck the fuckers!

at my 19, the ponytail had ceased to be political. the
les schwab jacket, two sizes too big, gifted by a friend was
also not a political statement, or an ironic one, but it did
make me feel bit harder than maybe I was. when the protests turned
to riots turned to A Battle In Seattle and cameras swarmed
and my co-reporters at The Polaris took their tender skin to get
broken by rubber bullets on the second day, bragging on
the fuckedupness of the thing I knew that I had to finish the week
without these bragging rights, the anarchy of the restless, the bravado
of tourists.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

To Fix the Gash In Your Head

Perpetual States

To be forever eating, to be forever drinking, never sated. What they said it would be like in hell (a variety of sources, don't ask me to be specific,) the vice of choice shoveling, battering, inundating. To be forever packing snowballs with no one to throw them at. To be forever pissing, never relieved (bad example: in the act itself there is relief)what they said hell would be like when they believed in it. Sometimes the bus is forever turning a corner and Jerry is always just missing his connector. At times like this the sky remains exactly the same as it was the moment before and pieces of bread fall from the old lady's hand to the pigeons (who eat the crumbs, this old lady is not in hell.) At times like this, and sometimes at other times, Jerry thinks of Joe Wenderoth, sitting in Wendy's, completely dazed on cough medicine and perpetually wanting to fuck the red, soft, wet
mouth of the girl at the register. How sore would you get, from shifting in your seat, due to that wanting, and what about those days when people think you terrible for disenjoying their picnic and being unthankful for your peeling sunburn? There are a few of us, and we are forever realizing we aren't alone.


I wrote these both in under 25 minutes at work. Or you could read James Burns' Largely Correct rant/take on Indie Rock in all it's linguistic meaninglessness. I quibble with some definitions, but I think the larger thrust of what he says is well stated and something I'd have written here but am lazy and hate writing about music a lot of the time.

Pinching, Pulling

Crabs running sideways in sunglasses make me hop quicker than a dance with "hop" in the title ever could. My girlfriend is hungover from wine and whisky after wandering the streets of Columbia City lost but nonplussed. Eventually the bar (there's always one of those) overcharged me for drinks and the man who makes a living playing guitar on cruise ships was talking to the off-duty bartender. It was like a dance. Or hop. The woman he will see later is in California, so it will be much later. I think the off-duty bartender's swooping dark hair has him convinced. Successfully, I guide my wandering girlfriend to her whisky-ginger, which is now mainly melted ice (I hadn't known about the earlier wine) and in low light I still drink IPAs like they were ales with half the strength (maybe why I always have a headache) and the on-duty bartender is reluctant to do anything at all. Half the walk home I had my fingers through blonde hair, staggery past fields of disused tires. This morning I was glad I can give directions and cook eggs, because if there'd been a pack of wild dogs, I doubt I'd have been able to fight them off.

Friday, 10 June 2011

"This reminds me of bellingham.""this reminds me of ellensburg."

In everett last night I read the following poems in the following order: doot doot de doot(summer)/pink laces and kierkegaard/fear of drowning/genus, species and flavour/bellevue/most important meal/body party/rugby '08/swansea-cardiff (b'ham ed)/story problem
For the record. The open mic was mainly guitar players but there were a couple interesting folks who got up and simply read. The crowd was supportive and I succeeded in feeling okay about the whole thing. Sold some broadsides, but the quagga remain.

It is still weird doing a reading with your folks in the front row.

The drive to and from Everett, what with stopping to get/drop off people/acquire necessary goods was around 3 hours of driving.
I don't hold to the popular-with-some belief that all suburbs are terrible, soul-crushing places, but Lynnwood, Wa., which is pretty much designed to be driven, still saps a whole lot of time getting from one place to the next. Yeesh.

tonight, rachel and i will hope her car doesn't break down when we drive to georgetown with the intention of drinking beer, being in fun places and getting the fuck away from cap hill for a night.

content soon?
content, soon?
maybe.

appropos to Music: I think the Dum Dum Girls are aptly named. I got their doing the Youtube-hop game from Male Bonding, who I think are pretty good.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I can't make your (event),

I shall be spending all day and evening drawing pictures of Quaggas next to a poem about breakfast and wondering what the fuck to do about eating.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Mason Jar of Timeliness Says You Just Missed a Guarantee.

Workburrow. Arrived at the Library an hour early (like I usually do) with the intention of listening to music, writing, sending necessary corrospondences (like I usually do.) Network was down. Spent some time with Devils and a maple bar.

Shortly after arriving at my shift, computers flicker back on and the students swarmed. I tend to intend to Write Something, but company time isn't my time and I suppose it's not fair to grump out on a poor student for interrupting a haibun about Concrete or some such thing.

Last night was my first night actually Hosting Hugo House's Works In Progress open mic. We ran it about the same way, save that after 9pm the time limit drops from 5 to 3 minutes and instead of playing a soothing A chord on an instrument of folky troubadors, I clear my throat all growly-like to let people know when they're finished. Some good readers last night and good energy. I thin people tipped Garth more than they did me.

Pics to follow, probably.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Also, a Taint Joke In there Somewhere. . .

Oblong table, grandma at one head
and the kids and parents all on Chili
with cheese, theology and consequence
hanging from the chandelier like decorative
eggs, over the spoon-beatings the youngest
gives her beans and meat.
Consequences.
Reactions.
Spirals.
The pull of corrupting influence,
our matriarch nodding about "bad influences
tainting" like sour cream in good chili
or bits of peppers, why are there always
peppers, gross, eventually becoming a
veritable morass that sucks one into it,
such truth.
the family that prays together.
wisdom, generational.
Catching on, in the dining room, not-as-little
sister observes sagely that it's always good to avoid
sucking morasses, if there were a corner, mother's
look says, you'd be standing in it. Grandma
continues, unabated, eating, littlest sister continues
failing to stir. At some point someone says "you guys!"
And the theology still hangs from the chandelier
they put in my alotment of upcoming testaments;
you don't have to carry it with you, but you'll
have to come back and get it some day, this black
and white, bound-by-the-holders of your silverware,
finish the cold chili and face whether this is
the dish you'll serve to your own-- wait, sucking morass
gah, ugh. Duh. So bad.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Flaying Babies

Piling up some rejection e-mails from places I'd like to be published in less because I read themm all the time and more because it'd be cool to say "I've been published in___________"

That said, hell or highwater, I'm compiling a new collection to send to various places and people, specifically with the intention of not self-publishing this time around. It's not that I'm "done" with Self-Publishing, but I wouldn't help footing the bill, booking gigs and whatnot. Already stacking up pieces; range from a few pieces I'm already-sorta-sick-of-reading-live to stuff written just the other day.
More on this as it develops, or not.

Toda at the Loft (from whence I write this) I helped a high schooler write a paper on A Modest Proposal. Saying that essay is still a high-water mark in satire is like commenting on the wetness of water, the greasiness of cheap pizza, the annoying irritation that are lapdogs.
But still-- you forget how dark it is until you're trying to work "making boots out of the skinned babies" into a rhetorical essay about exaggerated persona.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Because I don't have that much to say about "Goblin"

I wrote about Police Teeth.

and how "post punk" is not a thing.

and now I'm going to watch a new Archer episode. Days on are half on, days off are half-off. So it goes.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Meeting Neighborhood Needs

it's commonly agreed that knife-throwing
is a good reason to end a relationship,
or a good way to end a relationship,
all the helping idea books say so.

it's with this in mind that there are such large
magnets overhead,to keep the hand-holding
and quicking kissing going.
as the tourists or townspeople walk through
this district, staring at tea-shop windows
or contemplating vintage autos,
all the knives are sucked from their pockets.

the money, too, but no one ends
relationships over that, the helping books
advise that there are deeper and greater
rewards than pennies flying out of pants.

it's with this in mind that the following district
is furnished with gorgeous apartments
for people to have sex in public places
in which to loudly discuss the length and curve
of pubic hairs and then laugh and
say "oh, you're so bad," because this is part
of an open society and plus, what else will people do
once their wallet has been stolen by sky-magnet;
can't get back-- one needs money for the trolley.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Body Party . . .

can now be found online at the current issue of beat the dust.
Thanks to David Oprava for the nomination.

Other news, Saturday was the Your Hands Your Mouth release party for issues 8 and 9. We had ten people reading in the living room. TEN. And hey, it went well. Readers (from last to first): Robert Lashley, Greg Bem, Jessica Lohafer, Jay Steingold, Chris Gusta (break!) Cate McGehee, Ryan Johnson, Caren Scott, Rainey Warren and Jake Tucker.


Phew.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easy Misses (27/30)

down the gravelway
the bus passes two seconds too early
and late for a meetup in Fremont (phinney, really,
I always make that distinction now) before
a show that starts late, thankfully
but the meet and greet is canceled
and that's the most important part.

this is all just throughout the course of the day.
there are also the submission deadlines, respond-to-dates,
job-postings, flirtation windows, the time
when you linger just longer over a friendly goodbye.

sometimes, you hit. sometimes, I just make the last
train. but the arbitrarity of it all makes it feel
like throwing darts, blindfolded, at a spinning target.
the detonators next to the bullseye. don't miss.

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Hard Life of the Calloused Fingers

the seventies-style lampshade, dented in three
ascending spots is the thin shield between his life
as a teacher and life as a writer. starting a poem he
swivels to the deepest dent, almost, almost a rip
and takes a swig from the engraved flask he received
post-graduating, a ritual more than anything, this
is the same rum from two weeks ago. but he considers
"poets are thirsty creatures" for the next title
of a book, essay, something. trolls the new medias
for new medium, reads a story about depreciating
values of degrees and vice versa.

circle-paces his porch, perking ears for neighborhood gunshots.
haven't been in years. one of students asked him
what life was like in the olden days, squeezing childish
truth-telling into teenage dickishness, but professionalism
forbids one from getting feelings hurt.

back inside. the rum remains stubbornly in the flask,
he doesn't reach for it. tosses a stress ball
at the ceiling; it only ever when things are breaking,
what happened to the last lamp, but he saved the shade.
forty minutes later, a finished product on his screen,
exhausted but not sleepy, sober but fuzzy-visioned,
the slow trot of some forgotten reference winces
through his backbrain--

as long as standards keep dropping. . .it says,
but doesn't finish the sentence.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

3 Stabs at Something Devotional

3 Stabs at Something Devotional

1.
Easter best, spilling out of aisles into standing room,
arm-raising room, huge hugs and decorative hats.

The pastor looks extra sharp. The choir has extra soul.
The sun affirms our open curtains, congregation swelling

in warmth, enthusiasm, ties. All the common distractions remain,
when special music performs an original song in starched

whites, the repetitive end-rhymes with "Jesus"
get really silly really quickly, at least in my head.

2.
Clouds break over Camano, Eagles wingspanning
through inspirational-poster sunscapes. If you could see these
trees, these-- the evergreens' warm stoicism, the cliffsedge chapel,
the quiet, the quiet
the quiet.

3.
It takes so long to get to work.
Between the morning's panic,
arrival's realization that all attempts
at buttoned proffessionalism
are futile,

is the cold trot up to the corner
breathing in my street, scuffing
gravel, taking my place to wait

between book-clutching kids
off to school and old men in
red-trimmed fedoras, tsking at their
watches but relaxed;

it'll come.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Our Favorite Radio Station (22/30)

By bits and pieces the bendy bus chunked and disintegrated down
into a small, two-door enter-and-exit bus, the whole back
passengership darting backwards down the highway, like cereal falling
back into the box, but we kept driving. The winds tore the roof off
the bus and the doors, too, so we turned up the radio so we could
hear the song. It was a favorite. I was driving and prefer music
to conversation with most humans and now we were in a mini van;
probably some schrapnel that stuck, and all the seats with
the last of the passengers had bounced down the road
like soccer balls down a hill and the sound was loud and bright
but the song wasn't quite as good.

"I can't believe what--"

"Man. That wasn't a party, that was a--"

"Lets stop for a milkshake. The whole thing has made me hungry for rasberry."


We rolled, bits of wet slapping our faces through the windshield-craters and I have to keep shaking bits of what seems like milk? cream? cottage cheese? out of my eyes, steady the wheel with both hands so the wind doesn't take us and we pass it, overturned Dairigold truck spewing it's wares like pressurized gas.

"It's disturbing how quick that's coming out."

We roll over a deer and with two quick jolts we're in a station wagon. We've passed through two bale-wire strip mall towns and now the clouds are purple. The mini-van, the bus and the party? was it? seem so far back. The radio screes like rubbing styrofoam and soon fuzzes out.

"This far north, our favorite station is no longer an option."

"This far north, most things are no longer options."

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Passionate Tome of Perpetually Increasing Relevance

or Arguably the Third Best Thing is Sunday Dresses

In the end, it doesn't really matter what Earl Sweatshirt is doing.
What matters is the idea of Earl Sweatshirt, and that he's done something so
awesome, so subversive, that at sixteen he is a martyr for a cause, like
the West Memphis Three-in-one, a derangedly real manifestation of outsider art, that
he is someone to "Free." This is kind of a healthy rallying point, I suppose,
that get-free urge, no matter, almost whom (give us barabbas!) you're opting to free;
most other high volume chants start with "fuck" or "destroy" or at least "give us". .
see above.
but probably what matters (whether or not Young Master Sweatshirt will ever
find justice) is that, in some small way, there is an Earl Sweatshirt inside all of us,
a young, smart, idiot being lectured at a youth camp in Samoa about why making
hit singles about raping people or eating their sandwiches or whatever
isn't cool.
In this sort of climate, calling you baby, a term I've always thought was sorta creepy
or at least weird, seems not so bad. Almost Heroic, even. There is a baby inside
everyone, not in a cannibal way, but in the way that potentially, we are all someone's
baby, or could be, if we could only lose weight or get muscles or knew how
to dance dances from tropical climate. It is this thought that makes
this other thought-- that when he returns Sweatshirt will be born-again and they'll change
their name to God Future (skaleluia!)like so many of us, but
ultimately (baby)
there is a war going on, which is like saying that there is a sky above
and a ground below in terms of novelty but why not be reminded
and baby, I guess what I'm really trying to say
is that the best thing about mainstream church culture
is the food, obviously
but the second best thing
clearly are the puns.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Just More Victims of Seattle's Crisi-Proportion Budget Shortfall

the roadside raccoon is starting to stink.
the sidewalk grass unmowed on
this southend arterial, at first
passersby nodded or shook their
heads or took pictures of the
perfectly preserved, taxidermy-ready
fur, just half a block from the corner store
and you don't see that everyday.

now the bits of bone, orange
and black and flies and oh, geez
has something been eating it?

a block and a half down the new
bus stop with clean seats and
black and white photography
is dented and mangled and
shattered by a a swerving
night truck that also took
out most of the fence by the
mexican food store.

a quick repair or replacement
seems unlikely.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Lynnwood Transit Center (17/30)




here, under the shelter, as dusk takes the evergreen tops
framing the confrence center and the edge of a strip mall
serving to define this sprawltown, incorporated 50 years ago,
borders, naming, everything arbitrary, necessitating later
incorporations of further sprawl, farther out, but this is
Snohomish County's first great thumbprint.

Why this sunset, post-hail, post-blood-draw, post-job-interview,
dropping down over moist pavement, seems to drag me with it,
I'm not sure. They happen all the time, sunsets, but the uninvited
reminiscences--
six years old, losing my family in the alderwood mall,
making the journey from Sears to JC Penny near-tears
and the salesgirl giving me a Snickers while i waited
for my dad to trek the distance of the mall--
make for cold company at a transit center in the town my best friend and I,
fifteen years ago searched for case-split abandoned Megadeth CDs on racks
between fishing rods and belt sanders. The town keeps growing, but
never gets any bigger. A man with an excellent mustache whistles,
seemingly knowing something I don't. Another Community Transit
passes, third in a row marked Out of Service.

Such Sweet Company (16/30)

In the company of angry poets
In the company of those who repeatedly forget
your name
your name in
the company of noise musicians
the company of ferret breeders
the company of horse race predictors


predicting
predicting bad
predicting bad losses
predicting win big
predicting win big forever
predicting the company
of knuckle-rappers
of doom-sign holders
of bad bad actors
predicting the company will take its labor elsewhere

elsewhere standards are flexible
elsewhere anyone can toss the die
elsewhere, your name gets laminations

your name
your name
your name.

______________________________________________________

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Let's Get Out of Here, Scooby (14/30)

"shine your lonely light on me/I'll be there to hold the mirror" --m. lanegan

huge bone trees, bits of meat still clinging,
hang over a swamp, like the one Taran wandered through
on his way to the Cauldron, witches waiting,
companion's harpstrings breaking at every
confession of courage.

this isn't news or anything worth reporting,
the ghosts that run this place have been building
creepier versions of nature for the last fifty years
as thick black smoke turns to thin grey smoke
turns to tar in the water.

there are talks of turning the whole marsh into
blood, and giving the herons and various snakes
terrifying yellow eyes and huge boney fangs,
but the ghost union is still in negotiations ever
since the brood of Warlocks moved their meetings

to a new location, decrying Ghost of Missing Child Swamp
as "just way too obvious, I mean, we aren't LARPers."
The rats, huge NIMH-descendent monsters from
Norway scurry to and rom the neibhboring village
which carries on, oblivious or ambivalent, Wal-Mart protests, drag strip races,
kids gone missing, children's story time at the library.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Just in Cases (12/30)

the early birds
have hit it hard
at what-the-fuck AM,
internal clocks alarming
all over my already-barely sleep.

the last cold snap hit me
in a thin coat
with finger-sized hail
as I walked a ridge
half-mile away from
shelter, my only thought
was "OF COURSE."

the first bright stretch
of more than a day
had me on one of a series
of criminally underutilized porches
in my life, making and unmaking
decisions, making plans but
signing no contracts,
a thick coat in my backpack.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A Poem For, But Not About, Breakfast (11/30)

The egg carton is down to three already; the slow pillage has begun.

Ten minutes in any direction from a reliable source of protein,
his car breaks down. A thread from the uphostered ceiling
detatches, grazes his nose. His face salts up the steering wheel while his
stomach pulls uppercuts and starts mocking.

why are you hitting yourself? why are you hitting yourself?


The juice is tasting vinegary, but we are not sure; that may
just be because it is organic.

His phone crunches and buzzes out beneath his boot. Instantly
indistinguishable from the surrounding pebbles and weeds. He
does not regret this destruction of a false hope; relatives did not answer,
the local parish was pre-recorded and AAA is a cruel myth told to children.

They wander around, opening cupboards and closing them
and opening them again just in case. One person takes a dirty spoon
off the counter and thrusts it into an open jar of peanut butter, scraping, digging.

By this time, he thinks, he could have just walked to a store,
but how would he heft the bags, squishing shifting with irritating
plastic sounds, all the way back to the house, what is ten minute drive
in walking time? It is too late now, staring at the ground, driver's side open,
a lone truck passes but does not stop, a lovers-bearing convertible
does the same. Everything he thought he knew about human kindness . . .

Where is he? One of them asks, taking off their shoe? He was supposed
to be back by now. This is not enough eggs. The other smears bacon grease
all up and down the last piece of bread and divides it amongst
us like a miracle. We are far past breakfast time now.

The cars on the highway pass more frequent now, one even stops
but he waves them on. It is too late. His car will rust right there on the
yellow line. He holds his face, even when the state-mandated towers
latch their hooks to the bumper; reckless endangerment and a guilty plea sounding like:

all I wanted
were some real hand-smoked links.
breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

ginsbergia (9/30)

Last night, after a day of weariness and ping-pongy feelings (some other time, k?) I stopped in around midnight at SPLAB's Allen Ginsberg Poetry Marathon. It is a yearly thing they do, seeing how long they can keep people doing Ginsbergy stuff (reading responses, reading his work, watching films related to the beats movement, etc.) I guess this year they broke the record with something like 11 hours straight. I was only there for about an hour and a half of it and I started falling asleep (check the sweet picture of me looking half-dead) but it was a great time while I was awake and the new SPLAB (Spoken Word Lab) room in Columbia City is really warm and home-y feeling. For as much as I liked the Columbia City Cinema, this new room is way inviting. I started this piece there and have finished it just now. The last couple days I have been writing, but more of a journal-ish feel about the last couple of weeks' ups and downs (again, some other time) but this one is an actual poem, at least.

ginsbergia

the corpses go by so fast,
all exquisite, just in time
to start the film about poems
and men who write them
and women who love them
and also write, with splayed-fingered
gestures into microphones.
the room around us, draped
in a history of education and
host to ghost mice, amputee moths
and cold pizza, admiration,
adoration skate the hand-rail border
of literal, spiritual worship,
if it were possible to worship
half-sprawled off a couch.
the men with the poems
and the women with the poems
and the men with the women
with the men with the poems
and the lateness of the night
and brown warmth of the
room helped our own words,
scattered and mashed in a blind flail,
resonate as some sort of knotted rope
tossed from past traditions
into the near future
lined, wrinkled, blessed with ink.

I like Ginsberg, but don't hold him (or the beats in general) in the same regard as many people do. I wanted that to communicate without it seeming like I was making fun of anyone. Probably a blog/essay about the Weight of the Beats has already been written, but I've got enough thoughts about it I may toss that up here sometime.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

acrobatics/advice (7/30)

guru

before writing, she says, you should do some jumping jacks.
maybe a somersalt or two. it's what she tells anyone, writer or not,
when they're in a bind. it works best for joint problems, or occasional
sex advice, hit or miss when dealing with depression and has
never once efffectively taught someone to parallell park.

but the advice holds true, and if you know where to find her,
she'll find a way to apply stretches and jogging to
tax problems. some people swear by it, tie their laptops
to their thighs, do rounds of twenty and check for lost data.

there's worse advice, I suppose, but in the library where I work,
as in most libraries, physical activities are discouraged. even
the knuckle crack at this, the moment the piece becomes self-aware,
will have to suffice, and the inherent issues in jumping jacks, flexibility
or the efficacy of consistent advice will have to go un-addressed,

i just know that so many times the punches landed verbally hit harder
but the miles run mentally don't add up to much. maybe this is the secret;
knowing when to take the best of it and just apply it all the time. still,
even if I could somersalt down the street, jumping jack my way to publication
or stretch my left leg behind my head
I probably wouldn't.
_________________________________

prompt from catherine mitchell.