Thursday, 20 December 2012

The next Claustrophobia

. . . happens shortly after christmas. check Bem's filmmaking prowess and my poetic-improvisational chops as well in the promo video below.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

At the End of a Quarter, Everything Goes Slow

There is nearly nothing to say about the last day at the loft. I rarely get not-working guilt-feels, but today I turned in my time sheet an hour short because of how little actual work I've done. To the future.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Library Signs (with apologies, on occasion, to Cloud Nothings)

the only profession in the world
where the "sexy" version can be the
same as the real one. but don't do that,

check out and reserves.
I'm stuck in here, like beef in a locker. like a mark
in a book.  a list of names.
held for a moment and dropped down the chute.
(tired of everywhere, so close to the door)
does one leave?

Reference and Information
everything listed.
decimalfunction city.

the sign on the librarian's computer reads

Bother Me
with long question about the Teutonics.
things we must know
I need time
I need time
I need--

Please Do Not Reshelve Reference Books
all things in their place, all metal, wooden shelving
in it's place, all screens in their place, all stools just askew,
all visitors in their place, from place to place, jaws
hung open, all studious in their place, all procrastinators
in their place, at the tables, with eyes hanging out of their
sockets, their tongues lolling over, to stop moving,

Covered Drinks Only, When Using A Computer
give up your crusades, guardians of civility.
let people talk. there was a day when we had to walk outside
to slurp. to squeeze and gatorade our studies into waking hours.
but fuck it, whatever. don't spill on the keyboards,
look at porn if you want, speech freedom. the temples
of knowledge have already burned, the idea of quiet
is a museum.

Cell Phones, Please Take them Outside
This is our waterloo. The last of our dignity.

Reserved For Research and Scanning
nothing I could do could make things change.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Migration Cycles

weird trucks
ducks in the rain
like at home
                                         on the bridge,
                                         the university one,
                                         save us from the lake
glad to be expensive birds
that only rich people eat,
especially glad we're in a recession
bills safe from the delicatessen
                                          no one type
                                          of vehicle can triumph here.
                                          no one type of destination
                                          on the bridge, the only goal is
                                          not to fall, not to suddenly jerk
                                          across five lanes, slick and tipping
glad to be flighted birds
imagine penguins, in the rain
burning under all that fur
                         (if it's not fur, well
                           ducks don't know from science)
                                            over into other cars, breaking the
                                            guardrail. no one is going anywhere,
                                            on the bridge, it is a moving floor like
                                            at airports, all this luggage in the trunk
                                            blind at the windshield
                                           like at home,
                                           save us from the lake.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Filthy Jerry and the Infomotional Video

the kickstarter to get Babel/Salvage off the ground has already reached it's goal, but as is often wisdom with such things, B/S were lowballing it. A bit more cash and money can be put away for works by forthcoming authors ( a few of which I know are in the pipeline, but those aren't mine to announce) and things like bus tickets for touring and whatnot. Get to kickstarting over here.

Friday, 9 November 2012

poli #3. post, post, post.

So. Here's the wrap-up on my end: I had a pre-election "here's why I voted for Obama" post (I wanted to post it pre-election to avoid either the smugness of victory or the bitterness of defeat.) There's a copy of it saved, un-posted, on this very blog. I wasn't quite finished with it, then hey, ran out of time. I also had plans for a "here's why you should vote however you see fit-- third party, go for it" post, because I do believe that the two party system can create a stagnation of choice and ideas. I've never seen a third party vote as throwaway, and I deplore the guilting that party-liners (especially Dems) heap upon people who aren't satisfied with the mainstream candidates. I also wanted to issue a plea for civility, but sorta sunk my own ship with Poli Post #2 (you can just scroll down.) That post was late at night, I was fed up with a lot of things (only some political) and so I went for it. But it was a lot more troll-i-er than thou than I was hoping.

But hey, I get angry sometimes, and when people are angry, they aren't always fair.

The large reason I didn't end up going through with my planned regimen of posts is simply a time/energy combo, but up until Monday night I was planning on busting a few out on Tuesday before results were known.

But Monday night, I was at Big Mario's, eating a pizza and drinking a Rainier, pre-hosting a poetry reading at RHH. I am generally used to being the oldest person there besides the staff, so when a couple roughly my folks' age came in, got some tequila, a beer, couple of slices and started talking to me, I was a little surprised.
They were visiting from Nevada-- North Nevada, they were quick to specify; the conservative part. They were here to visit Seattle for a dramatic topographical getaway, and to have conversations with people and try to convince me to vote for Romney. I told them my ballot was already mailed off. Once we got through the initial sweepy-volley of recriminations about "Young people" in "cities," we were actually able to hit on some common grounds, or at least talking points. I'd give a more complete rundown (he-- the guy did more of the talking-- does want universal heathcare, but felt Affordable Care act was poorly written and timed, to which I am open, however, the former is hardly a talking point on the National Republican Agenda; I am more than open to the idea that maybe the U.S. doesn't take China seriously enough as a threat, but both of us were sort of stymied on the "so what" part of that question-- he believes we'll all be dead in 25 years from an invasion) but I have a lot to do today, so I'll leave with these observations:

1) when they said they wanted to have a conversation, they actually wanted to have a conversation. People of all stripes are always saying "lets have a conversation" when they mean "let me talk."

2) After that, I didn't have the heart to post any vitriol or half-intellectual screeds on my political choices. There is, quite literally, the whole rest of the internet for that, and pictures of cats.

3) I doubt either of us was going to change eachother's minds. But it's good to get out of the echo chamber, and easier to do so in person, over pizza.

4) I don't also have the heart, or will, to get on any Gloat-Trains. I am happy Obama won. I am ESPECIALLY happy that pretty much any Senator who said at best ignorant, at worst vile things about rape   was handily defeated. The referrendums in Washington went largely my way. But I'm tired. Like a lot of people, like arguably, the President himself, I'm really exhausted by the finger pointing and blindness of punditry.
I don't know how the American Voting Populace can go from Ignorant, Neanderthal Racist Hicks, to Informed, Motivated Individuals Who Believe in the Cause and Are Getting Involved in a span of two years, or (conversely) Intelligent, Self-Sufficient Patriots to Money-Grubbing, Ignorant Dependents in a mere two years, but hey-- who knew? These are the sort of implied dialogues whenever a side wins/loses and it's hard not to get eye-rolly at that. 
Also. I wish Libs would admit that MSNBC is basically the lefty version of Fox News and should be treated as such.

anyway. I won't go so far as to post something about being given "hope" re: healing a divisive land, or whatever, but I will say that I left the conversation feeling better about the people behind the politics than I went in, and I think I'd say that even if things didn't go my way.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Poli post #2.

I'm willing to "forfeit" a blog of my own reckless musings to provide a brief, but scintillating soundtrack to the upcoming election:

Local H are not, as some would assume (because I like them) a "faggy, left wing, espresso sipping"band. They're pretty goddamned blue collar. And at some point, I'd rather just listen to a politician's own words form the noose.

"we want america back--"

WAIT! Who's "we?" What "america"? Tell me. In detail, asshole.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

I voted. We should guarantee that everyone eligible can.

Dropped my ballot, signed and all that. Perhaps more on how I voted in near posts-- (this post counts as the first of the five potential pre-election political posts. I know, waited a while, didn't I?

The thing I want to say here is simple: Voting is great. And it should be guaranteed as a right. Over the last twenty, thirty, years, pundits on all sides of the political spectrum have made comment on low voter turnout, how the young people just don't seem to care, etc. This, I think, gets overplayed as a media-salve to older-skewing demographics who want to feel validated in a kids-these-days stance, but it is a real problem.

Lately, however, many haven't been treating it like a problem, they've been exacerbating the problem with attempts at laws unnecessary at best, devious and racist at worst. Most of the current batch of laws have been sponsored by Republicans, but the idea that this should be a partisan issue is absurd to me. The argument I've heard-- actually heard-- is that 'well, voting technically isn't a right, guaranteed by the constitution.

Which is true. So I say, let's make it one. The right to vote should be extended to all citizens of the U.S. (with possible exceptions for those serving hard time. i'm not writing the resolution here, just putting the idea out there) regardless of race, political affiliation, gender, orientation, religious affiliation, wealth, housing status, education level, job status, etc. Once you hit 18, voting should be a constitutionally guaranteed right, in my mind. I say the right to vote should be in the framework of our countries laws, and voting should be a prioritized right-- accessible and available, as well as allowed. There are countries that legally require the citizenry to vote.

I'm not suggesting that, but I do think that along with freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms, the right to vote was held in the same legal esteem, more people would vote. And if they didn't? Boo on them-- but there are many people who, despite the fought-and-died-for-right, will never own a gun. never exercise free speech in a meaningful, protected way. But those rights are still there should people choose to exercise them.

Again, recently a lot of liberal folks (I count myself, generally speaking, as a liberal folk, if you want to paint with broad swaths) have painted this as a Dems. vs. Repubs. issue, partly because the voter ID laws were largely being put in place in battleground states that could decide the upcoming election. In this instance, there may be credence to that, but the dialogue could easily flip; I've heard more than one dyed-in-the-wool blue-state liberal sigh that "if only you had to have a degree to vote." This was a lot of expasperated steam-blowing, as it were, during the Bush years. But that's often how bad ideas start, ideas that put an ideology beyond the Democratic (process, not party) ideals on which this country was founded forward.
And I think participating in the democratic process is absolutely core, absolutely essential to who we are, who we've been, and hopefully, who we will be in the future.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The last readings wherein the "2012" piece will be relevant:

November 1st. 7pm, $5. Bellingham, Wa.
Grown-Ass Poets Society @ the Green Frog Tavern
w/ Shane Guthrie.

November 18th. 4pm, free. Seattle, Wa.
Babel/Salvage Showcase @ Hollow Earth Radio.
w/Bryan Edenfield, Terra Leigh Bell, Evan J. Peterson.

December 5th. 7pm, free. Duvall, Wa
Duvall Poetry Night @ The Match Coffee and Wine Bar.
w/Open Mic.

In addition, I will be performing two Christmas-related shows, one dark, one light, but neither will contain the 2012 poem, which is probably the best thing I wrote in 2012. Natch. Or at least the most beloved-in-performance. Hopes are to have the new chapbook, Filthy Jerry's Guide to Parking Lots, available by the 5th of December, if not the 18th of November. Progress on that has been thundering along nicely.

It would be great to see you-- the nebulous, churning, "you"-- at any or all of these readings, if you can make it. The 18th will also be podcasted via the talents and generosity of the fine folks at Hollow Earth Radio. On the 1st I'll be previewing some of the new book, but also giving rousing performances of some of the Swansea Morning Coming Down pieces that, well, I won't be retiring, per say, but will definitely be going away for a while. Three years is a long time to have one (somewhat) hastily assembled chapbook as a calling card, and these poems have served me well. I'll try to do the same in stomping, shouting style at the Green Frog.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

history is written by the man who stays acquainted with the thug who has the biggest sword.

while I definitely have my polititcal leanings (more on that in a few days) and definitely (can) enjoy the joust-y nature of debate, there are ways that, "this is not a game of battleship" notwithstanding, the whole Foreign Policy Debate just made me think about this song:
it doesn't take a lot to make me think of a fotl song, granted, but "civilized people don't fuck bears" notwithstanding, this is one of the angrier, more righteously on-point pieces they've done about world or personal affairs.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Greenwood Lit Crawl.

I will read a series of vignettes, amongst other things.

tomorrow: David and Lindsey Get Married and I am the Pastor.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

There's a Limit

There's a limit,
                            to how cretinous
There's a limit,
                            to how functional
There's a limit,
                            to dancing skills
There's a limit,
                            to the efficacy of pirate costumes
There's a limit,
                            to brave new acquaintances
There's a limit,
                            to practicality of:
                                                           a feather duster,
                                                           a 401K,
                                                           Allen's patience,
                                                           your Hulu queue,
                                                           how long a glance is just-
                                                           how brief a glance can be, before:
                                                                                                                         a slight,
                                                                                                                         an aloofery,
                                                                                                                         a pridewound,
                                                                                                                         a paper mache cat.

How directionless would we be if we all knew how to dance,
but no one had that sticky blue tape to designate the floor?
There are leaves everywhere and people with scarves and that one guy
is too close to all the girls and that one girl has crazy eyes and no clothes
and where, goddammit, is the janitor, someone has to set these things up,
jenga them to death.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Fall Checklist: Returning to School (for Job not studies)

2012/perpetual edition.

* Smell of rain on concrete, generally.

* The gears in your head slowly shifting from drunk-wrangling to grammar-wrangling sorts of intelligence.

* The part where the Rock Dude who works for student services remains compellingly all-purpose. Zeppelin hat, DK t-shirt, crystal castles hoodie. This figures continued existence in spite, or because, of dubstep, etc.

* Being glad that the one barista still works there-- at nearly three quarter's worth of experience, she is closest the campus cafe gets to simulating the coffee of the outside world.

* New teachers, no sleep. Old teachers, all sleep.

* Reflecting that it hasn't changed much since I was a student, that I reflect that every year.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

_________I never left?

synthy instrumentals and guinness. it's like ___________________

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I'm not invisible

In an effort to stave the effects of internet-wide trolling, I've avoided saying much political, here or elsewhere. With forty eight (?) days left in the cycle, I've given myself permission for five posts. Watch for them, or don't.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

15 Years of Listening to the same band.

There were about fifteen of us in a barn-converted loft in Snohomish, Wa with shag carpet, card tables and scatterings of chips and soda, passing around a portable landline. My buddy Cliff gets through.

"1077 The End."

"Hi. I'm part of the vast conspiracy trying to get you to play Local H." 

"Oh, Jesus. We've talked to a lot of you tonight."

* * * * *

In college, when people related their prom stories with equal parts instant nostalgia and maturity-based distance, this was always when I had to explain to them that I was Home-Schooled, and it worked differently for me, that instead of the go/don't go binary, I got a Third Option-- I was the DJ. And in my cool-music-kid stories, the one about playing the Pixies' "Where is My Mind" as a final slowdance got loads of "oh, man, that's awesome."
And it was, in that record-store clerk sort of way. Very few people cared; it was slow enough they could rub their thighs against one another in what was (theoretically) as close as any of us would come to sex before God came down from the Heavens with a Ring and The One and we were bathed in glorious copulative light.

The REAL cool moment, though, had come the year before, when, after a frenzy-producing "backstreet's back," I popped on "Fritz's Corner."
Rather than dividing the room into Rockers and Preppies (or whatever highschool movie thing you're into) the whole room was stomping, shouting and basically going nuts in their lipstick and prom-dresses and tuxes. It's one of the few times I've seen music work exactly like it feels it should-- grabbing people by the ears and taking them with it, no matter. Trying to convey this moment to people unfamiliar with Local H, or too cool, required too many explanations of context.
Immediately following the song, a Perpetually Concerned Mother scampered up to the DJ Booth.

"You are doing a GREAT JOB. Really wonderful job, I-- we, the other chaperones-- just have one request. Please, no more songs like that last one."

* * * *
I think I was sort of annoyed at Cliff that night, because I actually thought it would "work."
I later got into a long argument with Marco Collins, the DJ at 107.7 the end, about his refusal to play the group after listening to Hamfisted, which he threw against the wall for sounding so much like Bleach. 

Yeah, I said. But who the hell rips off "Bleach?!" You play Bush ALL THE TIME.

(aside: there's something pretty cool about a Radio Personality who will devote 15 minutes to arguing with a16 year old. everyone was sad when he left, even if we were a bit skeptical about his love of British Electronic Music.)
* * * *

It was during my scarf-phase and green fuzzy jacket phase and hair nice and fluffy phase, and arguably H's
punkest phase they stopped at Graceland, in Seattle, touring on the No Fun EP, which was great, but I was already ready for a new album, to the point where I could name songs from this theoretical record.
"Hey, play everyone alive!"

"Oh man. You're a pretty girl. Just the sort I'd take home to my mom. . . ."
 * * * * *

 (there is a VHS copy of Local H's 1998 show at RCKNDY sitting somewhere next to some Darkwing Duck cartoons I taped off TV when I was 10.)

* * * * *
Here Comes the Zoo-- arguably the band's last real stab at recapturing/continuing radio/mainstream success, came out the same week Jason and Alina died in car accident. there was nothing on Zoo that spoke to that, directly, but a new release from my favorite band, and the discussions/analyzations of it with close friends, provided something to enjoy, and be good at talking about, when there wasn't much else of either.

* * * *
arguably, I tend to rep 1998's Pack Up the Cats the hardest, though it was As Good As Dead that first introduced me to their basic thing. The basic thing being a grim underdog sensibility, blue collar angst, angst-angst, sarcasm, humor, sensitivity, and not-to-be-underestimated-- hard, catchy rock.
though I might say that 2004's Whatever Happened to PJ Soles? has the group's best 3-song run in the whole catalogue.

* * * *

you know this year was a blur; I only thought it was fun at first.

* * * *
Yes, I've hung out with Scott Lucas a few times. He's always been pretty drunk.
-- Elizabeth, from The Reputation, at the same afterparty that yielded "Mayonaise and mustard" and arguably my most performed poem.

for a while, the lyric in PUTC's song "Hit the Skids. . . or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rock" about wanting to go to parties where you knew people, have friends who were doing things, and feeling completely fucking out of place, that was me. Then, at some point, I realized I was at afterparties with touring bands, getting free drinks at Caps (oh, man. Caps.) and free passes to shows. The relevant lyric then became . . . I'm in love with Rock and roll, but that'll change eventually.

(acoustic version for maximum lyric accessibility.)
Likewise, for someone who takes on musical taste as such a large part of their identity, as I spent less time in my room and more time in crowded clubs, or hyper-catered sorts of gatherings, I always assumed I'd get over it. That the designated "cool" bands from highschool/early college-- your Sonic Youths, Far, Radiohead, etc-- would be the ones whose banner I'd wave in the parade of evolving musical identity. Because it's really exhausting to try to explain to your friends why you like a band that they don't care about, let alone over the course of years.
Because this isn't some canonized cult-- "Wait, you like THE FALL? I also like THE FALL," "Dude, Trout Mask Replica"-- nor was it a "quirky' pop-love ("It's embarrassing but I am SO INTO Christina Aguilera!") or a nostalgia-based taste. Plenty of folks were like "oh yeah! I remember (all the kids are right)(bound for the floor) (high fiving mf)" but few wanted to hear about the NEW album. Crowded rooms where large, bearded men who listened to BOTH types of music-- Heavy AND Metal-- "playfully" shoved me in my So/So t-shirt and turned back to the bar with a "what are you, new?" Kids for whom music was invented by the Beatles in 1966, ceased to exist around 1973, then started existing again with Kid A doing that indie-rock self-hug and openjawed sneer.
Though, to be fair, 2004's Whatever happened to PJ Soles? had a more than a few plays at Lobster House parties and a few converts at that.

(interestingly enough, have the same problems with Mudhoney, a far more conventionally "credible" act. maybe it's a grunge thing.)
* * * *
Everytime I listen to Local H I marvel that Graham managed to pick a band out in 1997 that essentially nobody else cared about and that was arguably already irrelevant and somehow,15 years later they're one of the only bands that existed then who are still making good music. Either it was incredibly genius or complete luck.-- Josh Adams.

* * * *

So what brings this up?

today is the guys' 7th record release and I'm fucking stoked. I'm still into these guys; every time I think i'm done, that hey, I have McLusky now, I'll just throw on the new Queens of the Stone Age, it's really all about Future of the Left for me now, H do what they do, and do it a little bit better each time. Seeing the new single for a band I've been into since highschool and the guys looking kind of like cool uncles, with grey beards and all, that's not an "I'm getting old" moment, that's rad. Of course I'm getting older, -- linear time, hello-- but there's a comfort in seeing them own it, do their thing and, frankly, keep kicking ass. This blog was originally going to do a lot more of the music-reviewing; why Here Comes the Zoo suffered under Jack Douglas' hand, the strength of the concept behind 12 Angry Months and how it'd have been devastating to me if it'd come out when I was in Bham instead of Swansea, but that's not the point. I got out of music writing for a reason, and I'm not trying to convince anyone any more.
I don't know if Hallelujah! I'm a Bum will be their best album, or what it'll do commercially, but I'm about to hop on a bus and go pick it up.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A Man In a Light Brown Coat is Coming Back For Me


Do you remember those 5 am mornings? No coke, no parties, no one else, even, just the wind down, the heartbeat slowing after a barshift, making sure you don't forget to polish straws or whatnot. This, someday, will be the opening sentence(s) to my largely autobiographical novel. It will be a terrible novel, full of dudes having sex with girls and then feeling bad about it and girls who fall in love with guys who are clearly horrible for them, as they aren't the protagonist, and perhaps a move to a "new city" and then someone will kill someone just to keep the action rising, and perhaps then an asian drug cartel will get involved, but don't worry, one of the girls -- or maybe best friends-- of the protagonist is also asian so this particular plot development is not, in fact, racist.

like i said, this is going to be one fucking stinker of a novel, and as such will probably be well loved on literary blogs, for it's plot development, like when I-- I mean "the protagonist"-- drinks ten dark beers one night because he can't get to sleep, dammit, then vomits at church.

it's a statement about religion, baby. I just gotta be me.

*always sort of wished that in the last chorus of this song, it didn't go back to the melodic part, but they just yelled and broke stuff.
No. Sorry.

Friday, 14 September 2012


Been annoyed at "the grid" lately. partly because technology is less useful when you're working on hand-drawing, collage art, etc. I've got a booth tomorrow at the Rainier Beach Artwalk and I'd like to have some new stuff to display, but the time limits I've put on myself (through procrastination, largely) lead to stress, to confusion, to more procrastination. Pictures up later if I don't hate what I've got.

Even if I crash and burn (which i don't plan) this'll be a good experience for me.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

don't call it an anniversary!

The sheer number of bros, back in the day, who took up the chant "This IS SPARTA," was one of the many factors that played into my never seeing 300. Also, the fact that despite the spectacle and women in leather, Sin City left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

all this is appropos only because this is, in fact, post #300 on this particular corner of the internet. Vast importance. To think, it was a mere five years ago, that, with bitterness in my fingers and bile in my heart, I created a refuge away from prying eyes and lurking lovers, a spot where I could say "whatever the fuck I wanted" and did, sometimes. Of course, over time, this has become a staid affair, as my own interest in my life has waned quite a bit, and many of those whom I'd once sought privacy from found me, either of my own accord or by happenstance, and the reaction from the universe was, as it often is, a resounding "okay," shrug, and wander off to get some pizza.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Semi-live blogging old news. Undead blogging old news? Politics.

So I'm just now getting around to watching Clint Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention.

Honestly, so far, it's kinda bizarre, but it's also kinda charming. The Afghanistan joke may have been off-base factually (in terms of who started what) but the joke about Russia was pretty right on. Oh wait, now it's kinda getting weird. But it's still funny. I think people-- especially on the left-- underestimate (misunderestimate?) -- the capacity for humor, especially from an old movie star; after actually watching it, I'm sorta bummed on the media's response-- is that really as weird as things can get?

I was less reminded of a callow hollywood millionaire who shamelessly supports a ayn-randian agenda (as it was being painted on my facebook feed for the last week) than a friend of the family who would bend over backwards to help you, hand good words for everyone, but voted for a different ticket than you.

That said, this is also really funny.

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Fuzz of a Nightend in Columbia City

at a new job, at an old place, with the same goals, same questions, etcetera. . .

Friday, 24 August 2012

3 versions of nerdery

1) The last few months have been a lot of gigs I've had my hand in making happen, behind the scenes, stuff like that. From the fairly large-scale greenwood litcrawl to the more frequent, but much cozier claustrophobia series, there's been a lot of collaborative planning. as such-- and because I'm currently wrangling the last bits of knowledge from filthy jerry and all things before trying to put myself out there much-- I've almost felt I'd fallen out off practice at just showing up, throwing down and leaving.
Fortunately, August has had a couple readings I've felt pretty solid about. Yes, this is the part where I post setlists and "reflect." If hearing what pieces I read, where and with whom, isn't your bag, there's a part 2 and 3 to this post that you can skip to.
August 3rd, I co-featured with Dave Wheeler and Kate Farrell in the aforementioned Kate's backyard in the Central District. We read in a round, around a fire until it got dark. The general "it" and the fire.
My set:  Unacceptable but Inevitable*/Isolation Therapy/All Things Return to the Dusty Liquor Shelf
Ambition is Critical/Little Fear of Drowning/Missing Every Day
Civic Duty/Several Snapshots*/Genus, Species and Flavour
Rugby '08
This was the first time I'd ever read while seated and it felt natural and right. I think that speaks to the success of the casual/artsy vibe, a vibe that too often falters under its own expectations.

A couple nights ago I opened for Scumeating at The Josephine, a DIY spot in Ballard, next to a bad irish bar and down the street from the Tin Hat, which it is good I don't leave nearby, because I would be there with unhealthy frequency. I did two sets, on either side of Scumeating's performance, ended on my knees, shouting a half-adlibbed ending to Filthy Jerry Gets Paid. If there were video, it probably wouldn't be as awesome as I wished.
Set: Filthy Jerry Sleeps with the Fishes/2012/Tall Drink of Water/Genus, Species and Flavour
Filthy Jerry Gets Paid
Sometimes I wonder why I do readings at venues that are at best, ambivalent toward spoketryword, but some good friends came out and I also am getting back into finding that sort of ambivalence energizing and facepunchy, instead of shoulder-slumpy.

2) The new Aesop Rock album:

It's good. Feels more isolated than his last record, as he's the only rapper and while there are hooks, there are fewer Singles than the last record had (which was still like, three? four, if you're generous?)

All the jokes I want to make, leaving
a new Comic Book movie
with my Dad
are a bit to arch for him,
a bit too newb
for a true believer.

The in-car cd player
stays silent.

The cranes over downtown spark in sunset.
There is no media I can use to improve my standing.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The life we live, full of inconveeeeenienc-es

So, testing, testing. New format. Not much to say, except, new format. For a while Blogspot was giving me headaches as I tried to add slight bits of color to the edges of this thing, then I remembered that just because something makes literal sense does not mean it's comp-intuitive. My days as a programmer have clearly never existed. Got training at a new place in a couple hours, doing some morning writing edits, listening to the Obits.

How's YOUR day going?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

5 Timely Band Names


1) Joe Biden and the Clarifications

2) Wisconsin Importance

3) In-Cum Tax*

4) The Non Voters

5) Megadeth

*LA only

Sunday, 12 August 2012

August Kills With Wandering Thoughts

The sun through Rachel's doorway, the heat.
The stairs that live here, the plants either side the stairs.
The days of half-open curtains, thankful for sun, praying for shade.
This almost became a piece about photosynthesis,
almost became a poem about homes away from home,
a poem about the inertia of comfort, like 9 years old,
notching yourself into the corner between arm-rung
and seat on a merri-go-round, feeling the spin
paste you to your spot as you watch the swings become a blur,
but the keyboard on top of the amp, sitting by the door,
the growing pile of my own books, the knowledge of coming rain,
the good nights with bad tv shows, beamed directly here,
this almost became a poem about a relationship, gorgeous
with stir fry breakfasts, adventures to suburbs and accommodations,
but poems about relationships without the benefit of hindsight
or confirmation of jewelry. . . well, there is iced coffee coming
and this weather makes hard thinking into exhaustion.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Driving the Purple Family Deathtrap Around the Acne-Scarred Backroads of the City

In the last week, i have had access to the Old Family Van. There is a New Family Van, that exists in Stanwood, Washington, where the only way to get places is in vans, preferably family ones, because what sort of person are you?

This was facilitated by a post-vacation wrap-up-family-viewing of John Carter and the Olympics (there's an opportunity for a joke here about ridiculous physical feats and gratuitously sexy costumes) and realizing that it was 12:45 am and I was in Greenwood, but lived in Rainier Beach, and thus, a van was loaned.

It's hard, when you have access to a car, to give up said access. Even for a transit-appreciator like myself, the ones-own-scheduleness of a car is a real thing.

 There's a few things, though: 1) Not sure if it's the air filter, or something more sinister, but the engine stops. Usually at red lights, but occasionally just, you know, when driving. So the freeway is out, as the procedure then is to put into Park, shut down, restart, drive. This can take less than five seconds, once you're up to speed, but 4 seconds on the Lake Union Bridge. . . 2) The whole thing always feels like it is about to crumble into bits and pieces. It has a vibrato to it that many a trained singer would be envious of (or try to avoid? I try to avoid trained singers.) 3) The brakes are fine, but sometimes it feels like they might not be, or rationally, could be the next thing to go, in this shaky stop-and-start beast that renders a trip from Columbia City to Ballard a near hour of travel.

 This has led to a lot of ducking and trekking through less-traveled Seattle backstreets, neighborhoods, figuring out which bridges I'm least likely to die on, which arterials have convenient side lanes I can coast into should the engine cut out at 40 miles per hour. And something that's come to mind is: Seattle's neighborhood names are kinda boring. I know that everywhere has boring neighborhood names, but a name like Fishtown at least gives a peak at history, and more importantly for my very shallow purposes, SOUNDS interesting.

Because while sputtering from the edges of Maple Leaf into View Ridge Heights and Broadview and Leafton Park Pines and Pinehurst and Greenwood and Meadow Ridge I couldn't help think: Where the fuck is our Hell's Kitchen? I WANT THE TENDERLOIN.

Yes, yes, history, blah blah, property values, blah blah, monsters. I wish you could drive from, say Maple Leaf, turn a corner and be in Cannibal Ridge. or something.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Civic Duty

1. as much as it pains him to say, after a long history of confidence, he does not know who to vote for in the next election. every single speech sounds like a commercial. 2. she knows a lot, has always, knows whom she'll support, supports who she knows, has always known, will always know, is happy to tell you. 3. It doesn't matter much, the peanut butter sandwiches will taste the same as he drips blackberry jelly on his snap-down shirt and wonders why no one takes him seriously. 4. with face scrunched, head shaking, he punches out a ballot, fills in a card, hits the screen. all at once, because no one's sure how this works any more. 5. So now this reporter wants to know will you vote? With hindsight, with hindsight, with hindsight.

Sunday, 29 July 2012


Because I'm back from a vacation that was good in many ways, but left me exhausted, because it is sunday night and I am up early tomorrow but hacking away at things I'd hoped to have finished a while ago, both professional, personal, and artistic, because my face is cracking up like a cheese pizza, because everything has felt especially heavy today, we'll just go with a Mark Lanegan song.

more about stuff later, later.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pacific City Has a Newspaper

It is called "The Sun." Today is the last day of a family vacation, about which possibly more will be said, or possibly nothing at all. Liralen is waiting for this computer, which does not recognize her name as a word.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Steampunk Cartoons

after hours of reading Ryan Johnson's writings I grew huge bat wings and crawled into the hollowed steeple of a disused church, where I thought about the differing types of adjectives that I and my girlfriend would use to describe me. The church turned out to be an airship run by gears and cogs and a man with a tophat and monocle, who refused to address me unless I bowed properly.
we are going to France, he said, but not Paris, they are all persnickety cheese eaters, we are going to Real France, where no one has a sense of fashion or good taste in music. These are the real parts of countries, he said, spinning a globe and poking at it with a disingenuous cane. Can you do anything about these wings, I asked, because there was no one else to ask, and he looked educated.
No, actually, you are our backup plan in case these gears fail. This will be your one service from now on, he said, little knowing that I'd long since gouged my eyes out in a ritual that did little to aleviate an inborn sense of guilt.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

All Things Curved, Cartoonish

the saxophone's slow slope,
the drummer's snare taps, gathering gradually
the guitar player slides into place for a full fifty seconds
before a shift the players
nail, just

i do not know jazz enough to tell you
if this is good or bad, but can say there is something
(i'm sorry) phallic about the saxophone, if not literally, holistically
(what a weird looking dick) in pieces, mabye, like three or
four (quite large) dicks taped together,or less literally, 
just something SPIRITUALLY phallic

and I'm reminded of a carlos santana interview
where he stroked an acoustic guitar slowly, with two
fingers, back and forth, as he talked about the
sensuality of the music, the shape of the instrument
like a beautiful woman
without a head.

i do not know if the guitar player likes santana. that
is probably beside the point, what i do know is
it is too light
and the shades
aren't drawn
and it will be three hours
until it feels like a jazz club

and sweet potato fries
dipped in ranch
and a laptop
belie the potential of this place
for nostalgic poetry, completely
displaced from the overdoses
of yesteryear's jazz

but I do know
that the servers are neither sexy 
nor grizzled enough, in their loose
buttondowns. They are, mind you, sexy and grizzled enough
for real life, or most bars, but they aren't SAXOPHONE SEXY,
where all the women become fluid cartoons, in 
teetering proportions and official classy sex uniforms
from a deliciously repressed era,
all the men, cowled and coiffed and quick with a line
and probably good at the saxophone

and there is no one in here like that
except for this one couple, at a table,
with ranch and potato chips
and with a diet like that,
you know they aren't here for the music.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Grammaticality aside

All Things Gets Paid

will probably be the title of my next chapbook, and it will probably happen soon. A couple pieces to pair down, shape up, narrativize, but we go forward with this.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

5 American Americanisms

1) Crispy bacon.

2) Use of "American" as an adjective denoting newness, rawness, difference, frontierism, "the west". American slang. American Gods. American hearts.

3) Boots, and the various ways one finds their feet in them, and the uses for those ways.

4) Threatening to move to Canada.

5) The snide dismissal of Europe, internalized along with the near-reverence, the longing for tradition.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A brief intermittence/additions to annoyance.

As everyone complains about a lack of Seattle summer (hello, all my life, how are you today?) I find myself wishing the sun was out, simply for new conversation topics. In the same way, I'll be glad for November 10th(or so) until re/inaguration, and until then will probably block all photos, because the political photo memes are. . . well, read the three words again.

Friday, 22 June 2012

all things return to a saturday off.

one day in a puddle.
a craftsman home.
a couple, slowly walking through a yard sale, picking up items,
setting them back.
two cars, perpetually rounding the block in search of parking.
a toddler running, juice in hand, eyes crazed, toward the street.
two days off, three.
a bean-counter, white beans, black beans, pinto.
half-a-sandwich long walk to the bar. you must stand outside, chewing, before you can enter.
there would be umbrellas in any other city.
a patio with metal chairs.
a pork chop.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Up, coming:

Claustrophobia #5. The overflowing patio.

Greenwood Lit Crawl

both things I have been directly and furiously involved in planning. for now, however, I have not eaten anything that's not come wailing back up my throat. all day. i'm going to watch some simpsons and lay down.

Friday, 15 June 2012

fj sketch #6

the men at the dogfights abhor good lighting. all they care about is sound and silhouette. the men at the cockfights, they want to see the feathers casting shadows, angle of each peck. blood on the beaks. at the dogfights, it’s all about barks and growls, yips and howls, the chanting, the cheering. big doug is the onhand vet. the city department of controlled activities turns a blind eye as long as there is a vet onhand. big doug is very good, has saved at least three chickens, four dogs lived to yelp another day by the spiked fences beneath the dental repair school, he is also a bouncer, keeping those like filthy jerry, or phillipe the sexy, from entering and scaring away the respectable types. rumors had it that jerry had spent a year filing and stapling for an architectural firm, paid in vanilla wafers and poker chips, and these are the types of people who give underground animal death rings a bad name. big doug knew the men who came in, whose hair gel doubled as cologne, whose swagger turned to a stomp, whose girlfriends lingered in the back and pretended it was a movie, except for loose mary, who shouted herself hoarse at the scenes unfolding. they all knew—big doug, harold the handshake—who was and wasn’t wanted here, loss of animal control like greek tragedy in another language.


this is part of an ongoing series that should be wrapped/booked pretty soon. not sure if this segment will go in the final product, partly because I'm not sure how well it stands on its own. thoughts?

in other news, Sounds of Youth I Haven't Re-Filed*:

*i still like this a lot. perhaps not with the monolithic "best _____ of ____" that I did, but such hyperbole is best left to youth and music writers.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The only way to not be dead

Most of my writing lately has been particularly acidic towards people who claim to mean well. I am already late for an appointment and later will have the last shreds of my eardrums mashed into a fine paste by A Place to Bury Strangers, but feel compelled to enter some "content" here for my "audience" to "read."

Internet Jazz Hands.

Here's what I listen to, over and over, while writing some purposefully overwrought SAILOR PROSE about Filthy Jerry's adventures in Squidheadland.

Friday, 1 June 2012

another reblog!

from friends at babel salvage.

if you've read the piece before, you haven't read it in such good layout.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Raging gracefully

I have, upon much consideration, changed the title of this blog to one that didn't involve a pun about corpse-fucking. I'm not sold on "thats no way to make friends" as a blog title, but I like it as the title of SOMETHING, so here it is for now.

The new Nacho Picasso record is even better than the last two, and it all moves a little bit tighter. If you see me wandering around hillman, lake city muttering kicking down windows, high on cocaine! you can blame Seattle's burgeoning prominence on the national hip hop scene, and remember that singing it is probably better than doing it.

Feeling angry? Unsatisfied with the current level of critical discourse? Witness the usual mix of incisive verbosity and lowbrow brutality in Andrew Falkous' evisceration of a music reviewer. Granted, Falco is (as usual) a little bit tough on the lad-- it's a thankless job, I know-- but by and large he had it coming.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Words I said to other people:

Do you miss the sound of my voice? Listen to it at Steve Barker's Ordinary Madness Podcast.  We talk about Mudhoney, hip hop, small spaces, Linda's. . . lots of stuff and also some poetry. 

If reading is more your thing, then read this interview by Bryan Edenfield at Babel/Salvage. 

If neither of these things interest you, know that I read at the breadline and it went pretty good.
Setlist was the following: 2012
Neo Takes the Blue Pill
Paintings of Famous Satanists
(filthy jerry and)the Terrifying Truth About Love and Breakfasts
A View From the Hill
A Little Fear of Drowning 
All Things Return to the Charity Pledge Drive

The titles, they just keep getting longer.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Peter Falk, Where Are You Now? (post-midnight freewrite, 5/19(20)/12)

the zeros in the alleys. they zero in on alleys. cars parked, lights on. apartments on an incline. they must have been built in the sixties, because they look like something from an episode of columbo. in the parking lot men beat their chest. they zero in on corners. they corner zeros. seriously, from the font to the bad fake stucco to the faux-rockery, the whole building is hanna barbera. they err on the side of cologne. they err on the side of collars, and all the things you can do with them on a night that's poppin'. the zeros in the valleys. the heros in the alleys. the heros in the alleys and the heros who drag them there, by the collar, sucking or slapping. but really, who designs a building like that? can anyone imagine an actual person smoking anything outside it besides an oversized cigar? this is appropriate for talking dinosaurs, but dinosaurs would not survive out here.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I almost titled this post "elf-promotion" but that would have just been silly.

tomorrow! two readings. one here at the school, where I'll continue to erode my reputation as a responsible adult and then:
prepping breadline stuff today. none of this can change the fact that I'm premium-level irritated that you now have to enter HTML for line breaks in blogspot. you can't just press "enter?" no, you cannot.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Crime and the city

So, for the last three days I've been off my job at the bar, because my boss assumed we'd be slow. I was really hoping to, you know, get money these days, but I've been able to rest (life is amazing with more than five and a half hours of sleep), write (not as much as I'd like), and catch up on the handful of TV shows that I'd use the phrase "catch up on" about. I was readying myself to leave the house to write and eat and drink a little and accidentally socialize when there was a dedicated pow-pow powpowPOW followed by about three guys tearassing down Rainier toward Henderson. I decided it wasn't really in my best to be a peering face out a window at that point; they were wearing blue (I think) and I could tell they were african american but not how old they were or much else. About five minutes later, sirens: ambulances, firetrucks, cop cars. So what I'm saying is that 1) this post is largely a function of giving me something to do until I decide to leave the house and 2) it has nothing much of consequence and 3) when I write about crime, suspicious characters, or whatever, I'll use the more formal, pc "african ameerican," but if I'm talking about a musician I enjoy, awesome writer, etc, I'll just say "black." I noticed that and think it's weird, but don't have the energy right now to lambast myself for maybe being racist, or trying too hard to not sound racist and sounding stupid. have a song:

Friday, 4 May 2012

RIYL: Gigs upcoming/recently past, wishing for windows

I wish that the North Seattle Community College library had its computers right by the windows, like the lab at Swansea U. Because on a day like today when the rain is a little too sog-making for even an avowed sun-indifferent like myself, the best thing ever is to stare out the window with some coffee, while making minor progresses on various projects. The guy at the computer next to me is watching a preview on youtube for "terminator 5." While I'm not going to get too hung up on the artistic integrity of the work of any actors who went on to be politicians, I'd really rather the series just left in at the end of 2; with the metal hand sinking into moltenness. This month I've got two really exciting gigs: first up, on Sunday, I'm "sharing" at Weird and Awesome with Emmett Mongomery. The show, which I think I've mentioned here before, is one of my faves in Seattle. This'll also be the first time I have a gig where I'm basically just supposed to talk. Not do poetry, host something, perform the improv, or give a class presentation. I am excited and curious to see what my brain makes me do. Music break: More or less what I've been listening to while waiting for the new Future of the Left record. The following gig, in a few weeks, is a spoken word thing. I've probably also mentioned The Breadline here, or in other places, before. Stoked to be featuring. Working on some new shit, some new reading formats for old shit, all these things. I guess I should, for continuity's sake mention two previous gigs and their setlists: one at Laura Wachs' Hear/Art Series, where I read: 2012/Knuckledragger/Ways You've Addressed the Fact of being Homeschooled/Little Red Corvette/Rugby '08/National Dreams/A Little Fear of Drowning/Story Problem. I believe I've covered the subsequent gig in Everett. If not, may the demons of pedantry re-claw their way into my blogging habits. A few weeks ago I went to Spokane, featured at Broken Mic, decided I really like Spokane (at least the downtown) and read the following: Zombies and Paint Thinner/Read It Like a Goodbye Note/Secrets of the Hi Score Champions/Genus, Species and Flavour/Ambition is Critical/Hearing Foster the People in Rainier Beach/Little Fear of Drowning/Story Problem. Okay. Now when I lose my reading copies, I can scour my own blog to confirm that yes, a piece I wrote six years ago still often functions as a closer.

Friday, 27 April 2012

filthy jerry and the inefficacy of communication in light of rent hikes (27/30)

filthy jerry doesn't want to read your deep personal stories. he is too busy washing, trying to get clean from his own. there was a time when every wall he touched was pasted with pages from zines, church bulletins, bar napkins, weekly personals, photos of the sun. it was hardly sanitary, but he got his nickname for other reasons. the walls changed, collections grew and dropped and now there is nothing but paint. children run past him and try to put marbles in his hands. dogs try to lick his face. men without teeth put their hand on his shoulder so he can't walk away politely. filthy jerry is only polite half of the time, sometimes running between park trees, between closing bodegas and opening juice bars. he has heard it all and he has stopped listening, the visions of voices peeled off his walls everyday through his mind and the packed boxes; numbers remain the same but contents diminish. the men at the goodwill await his visit, every six, nine, twenty months. more mementos, the great idea he was trying to capture peeled, pieces of it in different states, or in his house, but far too heavy, soggy now. running from a chatty busdriver, he runs into someone with a cardboard sign. "free hugs." no thanks man, but I'll take the sign when you're done.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Keep That In the Laundromat, We Don't Need it Here (21/30)

you are safe here, in the donut shop after late breakfast in renton, lake washington blue, a solid seven hour sleep, after a thirteen hour day, seventeen if you count getting there and back. but you knew this would come, after tilting the filthy-but-comfortable couch over the wobbling railing, nearly knocking your landlord’s precious porchlight into the street, this huge, blackberry jelly donut, extra coffee with nowhere to be, and behind racks of maple bars is Jimmy yelling at a laughing woman to go get those punks who were talking shit, just line them up here, because you don’t talk shit in a donut shop, not to Jimmy.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Words Coult Not Suffice/Monsters Are Coming and You Want Tea/Good Vibes All Around (15/30)

1. That was a huge pterodactyl. Don’t worry about it. It was flying low like crashing airplanes, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. The National Guard is being mobilized. So let’s talk about something else. The weather—it is finally starting to feel like spring. The flowers are coming out, isn’t that nice? Thought I couldn’t see the sun today, beneath those wings. It was nice to get some shade, let’s think about that. Be positive. Good vibes. I think it’s headed for the daycare down on 42nd.
2. Please buy at the pharmacy:
Dog treats (if they have them),
Energy drinks,
Shaving cream (not to be confused with other creams),
Garbage bags (I think?),
Nail file,
Mustache trimmer,
More ointments (you know),
Bottle opener,
Pills (the other type.)
Thanks! See you next week,__________

3. Tell me using only hand motions. Tell me using only eyelid battings. Tell me using only frankincense and myrrh. Tell me using the medium of dance. Tell me using only painstakingly prepared food, like a woman in an award-winning film. Too bad about my limited palette. Tell me using only the simple honesty of rock and roll, like a boy from a small town with an underappreciated music scene. What’s with the goofy clothes, though? Tell me using only tanned leather. Tell me using only instagram. Tell me using only polaroid. That fence could be anywhere. Why the hell is there a kfc cup on the ground? Why are all these pictures so blurry, and of cracked walls? Your urban decay is meaningless to me without a witty caption.
4. After all is said and done, it must be acknowledged that we could have done more to stop this, but no one wanted to be an asshole.

Monday, 9 April 2012

6/30 and 9/30

6/30: It Was Safer With Dialog Boxes
we make ceilings to hold the balloons in. the dialog balloons, thought bubbles, the Hmmms, and yeah rights, and we’ll sees, just hovering above our heads. walking our thoughts on a leash, hiding them in air vents, equal parts ownership and denial. We keep suggestion boxes by the office doors to store these bubbles, every meeting requires new balloons. but all the thought bubbles came untethered, floating at first around our heads, nudging the soft borders into dialog bubbles. afterwards, always a slack-jawed moment, a “I didn’t mean to say—“ “oh, I’ll bet you didn’t—“
was that a thought or a talk? we invented glue for these things, and propriety, and physical violence. with all these phrases floating around the building, freed from their people, so many things ended. marriages of convenience, friendships of duty, plans to open a novelty toothpick store. a few things started as well, mainly improv troupes.
At the end of the work day, when the glass doors open, they are smeared with confessions, fantasy draft picks, and complaints about architecture. The workers spill into the afternoon with nothing to say, thoughts all sucked into jet engines. The custodians at the building spend hours cleaning stray thoughts off the wall, receive pre-emptive sexual harrassment settlements.

9/30: Pained Architecture
he wanted everything to fit the shape of the diagrams he drew on a napkin in Subway at sandwich-closing time. he got the shapes from a dream he’d had after a six inch pepperoni-salami-bacon-combo, extra peppercinis, half-gallon of cola and a white-chocolate chip cookie.

there were falling cages, trap doors, and randomly placed swinging blades, but it was the doors he most intended on recreating; pencil-prisms of light and space; each room a new dimmension, galaxy, universe. light years away in your own house. every window a whirling vortex. each step an ‘80s dj scratch, a slide, a collapse-and-rebuild-and-takeoff. the corners, each would hold a world around it, the house both a maze and a meadow.

that, is impossible. we will build you a blue box, like the ones up the hill there, it will have solar power, and if you want, we’ll narrow the doors an inch on either side. the walls are thin so get earplugs for sleeping.

there were also winding staircases, a statue of a giant otter, and multi-colored walls. but he'd known better than to even ask.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Filthy Jerry and the Terrifying Truth About Love and Breakfast (5/30)

271 miles to Spokane, Washington, from Seattle. Filthy Jerry didn’t mind the distance, or the way that the sun curled it’s flaming fingers around his ears and face halfway there and started talking dirty in a huge, loud voice. What he minded was the unsanitary methods of the lone diner he stopped at in Quincy, Washington, whose primary export is despair. As the sun spread his dirty fire over cement and scrub-brush alike, it wasn’t inside that eggs were cooked. It was the pavement. No butter, even. Right there, parking spaces 4-7. You could only get the eggs scrambled, and bacon burnt. Grown farmers wept openly at the sight of chicken progeny, charred and crusty on their plate.
Filthy Jerry had known hopelessness-- in days and nights and hostel rooms wherein he got his nickname—but never had cement felt so much like glue, had the existence of sky seemed to mock everyone. There is no horizon to ride to when it is all horizon. His love was waiting somewhere inland, at a diner with stoves and people who would never dream of shedding tears. She would either propose to him there, he thought as miles of sameness rode towards him, or he’d find her there with a man who’d never been to Quincy.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

all things return to the jack in the box parking lot (4/4/30)

benadryl and dayquil and on a good day, oxycontin
cheese and patty and on a good day, bacon

sky over the lake smeared with clouds
sign over dentist office’s barred windows swinging loose

crime watch posters above crumpled, unfilled DSHS forms
church barbeque posters above crumpled, unfinished portraits

here, where nothing can ever taste sharper, cheesier, fuller
here, where grease and meat clog and choke

wrappers down the street like tumbleweeds

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The theory of april:

a poem a day? so behind already.

watch this space for updates.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

after-noon haikunated thought mangle (3/7/12)

so many beware of dog fences with open gates.
so many puddles, beginning to ice.
so many uncrowned enemies, stumping through tubes and wires.
so many laughing hats.
a slink into a rolling chair, a roll into another room, a shut-door, a quick nap, a curtain, blinds, a next next, day full of shaking wires, expectant crows.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

morning haiku mangle 2/28/12

give me coffee
give me coffee
give me give me
chocolate milk, eggs
more time.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


appearing, in one form or another, at the following public-ish venues:

March 17th Greb Bem's poetrybirthdayextravaganza (columbia city, seattle)
March 28th feature at Broken Mic @ the Baby Bar/Neato Burrito (Spokane, Wa)
May 16th The Breadline @ Vermillion Art Bar. W/Roy Seitz, Megan Kelso (Seattle)
December 5th First Wednesday @ The Grange (Duvall, Wa)

this possibly sets a record for farthest-out booking. hey internet! more gigs. alll about gigggs, gigs and giiiiigs.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Canada Island!

not drugs and I have spent the last three days in Victoria, Canada. it is a good place, full of historic architecture, beautiful views, and a record store called Talk's Cheap, which is sadly closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Not drugs and I inhabit a large, brick organic cafe across the way with multiple Tom Waits-related paraphanalia and hey, the servers are friendly. Who knew.

If you are a native of Seattle (like me) and you ever feel weird about how wealthy/posh/boouizhay Seattle's gotten over the last fifteen years, go to Victoria. You'll feel better.

The suite was a penthouse one, given by one of Not Drugs' professional friends, and we sat in awe of the wealth that it felt like we had, the view we enjoyed, the hot tub we lounged in, and the ability to still eat frozen pizza in a penthouse suit and drink Canadian Club. There is a CD player there. The only CD we had with us was Shabazz Palaces and that is fine.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Leftovers from 2011, part 2 of 1 (or maybe 3)

in 2011, there were songs. Oh yes. and there were bands. and there were songs by bands and bands banning songs they used to play and I didn't so much make a list of "the best of" because I am still hearing songs that came out in 2011, and probably will be, well into 2017, because that is how music works. Rarely does anyone simply immerse themselves in "the now" in a way that doesn't also make them look a little bit silly. Here are some songs that I heard a lot of times in 2011, most of them on purpose. I'll bet you could get a good buzz on if you made a drinking game out of the ones that I'd already posted at some point, and forgot about. Most of these are just sound, but there's a couple videos.

Mogwai's album from January is still good 90% of the way through (that opener is a snooooze) and should not be relegated to any sort of bins. This song sparked my interest in actually checking out Mogwai for real, since people had been assuming that I already liked them for years.

The Obits are one of those bands that deserve a bigger following, but most of their fans listen to no new bands except the Obits. They will never write a hit, but they have a lot of cred, and sometimes they write things that sound like hits from a weird alternate-universe mashup of 91-93, 1980, and 2001, just after "fell in love with a girl" came out. "Moody, Standard, and Poor" is a good record.

I assumed Blue Sky Black Death were from Bristol, or France, or Latvia because of their gorgeous instrumental beats/melodies. Guess they're from Seattle. Huh.

. . . of course, everyone and everyone and everyone's mom who knows that Shabazz Palaces are from Seattle because HOLY SHIT SHABAZZ PALACES EVERYONE! EVERYONE! SEATTLE HAS RAPPY TYPES! EVERYONE!

"lana del ray" "odd future" "___________"

Brielle moved to Chicago this year. Go, Brielle, go!

I was gonna do a whole double-entendre thing about this band being called The Men, but realized it would be labored and hackneyed. If they were just called "Men," though, that'd be awesome.

(see also, a few posts down, the Thee Oh Sees clip for the continued up-bubbling of punk/psych/garage from various bits of the nation)

Chuck Klosterman pissed this band's fans off. I won't post a link, I'll just say that Klosterman's gotten fuckin' lazy in recent years, and tuneyards fans are touchy folk. Less people need to write about how a Feminist Woman Artist writing about rough fucking is a Statement, and more people need to write about how it is awesome.

Stay weird, Annie.

One night, after working 13 hours combined jobs, a little drunk off beers from work, I wanted to listen to something funny and aggro and weird and didn't feel like FOTL (I know, RIGHT?!) and so I loaded this video up to play this awesome song by these awesome rappers and the internet in Rainier Beach is so slow that it never played and I was angry at 3 a.m. and put on an episode of "Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia" but it woke up my housemate, who had to work at 8 a.m. so I had to turn that off as well. Marty has since gotten the internet fixed.

Momma's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

This song can play from start to finish three times in a row, starting at Westlake Station and ending at Northgate Transit Center. The sheer fucking amount of times this has soundtracked the sunset over Lake Union, or the roll out at rush hour by exit 173, or the absolute lack of any view at all.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Leftovers from '11 (part 1 of 1, or maybe 3)

or the Less Vague, Less Angsty Version

This post went missing for a while and could probably use editing/adding to. But as much as I love reflecting, I'd much rather start looking forward. still, there's a certain gnawing regret everytime I SAY I'll do a big wrap-up post and don't, so here you go. . .

The Big Stories this year: Rachel "Not Drugs" Hug and Zion Monillas at the beginning of the year and the passing of Aunt Betty and Nana near the end. Rachel, being the girl who I am boyfriend to, was introduced to me by mutual friend Star, who was pretty sick of my vague, glum pronouncements about not getting any/meeting rad girls. In an effort to solve at least one of those problems, on the 2nd of January Star brought Rachel and I together under the roof of St. James'Catholic Church. It took a few months to convince Not Drugs that I'm not a total waste of time, but we've been together for a while now and its going well. She is super awesome and my girlfriend and gush, gush, etc. I'll stop before you get sick.
Zion Monillas is my nephew. He is almost One. He has lots of dark hair and was birthed by my sister Amara.
Nana and Aunt Betty's passings happened within a month of eachother, making for a lot of funeral in little time. Both are tremendously missed.
Roy Williams visited in February, bringing a slice of South Wales with him. good week.

Writing and performing
So, while I did take a few solid stabs at things like National Poetry Month and other such productivities, this wasn't as great a year for new hot brilliance. That said, I did something like 15 readings around the state, so that's at least an event a month. Highlights include the first (and heretofore only) Muxbo Symposium, the Claustrophobia kickoff and Cheap Wine and Poetry. Not Drugs and I launched the Claustrophobia Readings Series, somewhat in limbo at the moment as we ponder forward movement with it.
Now the Host of Works in Progress at Hugo House.

In 2011 I've had three different mailing addresses, and four living spaces. This is as stressful as it sounds, though I gotta shout out my friends for helping me out when I needed it.
I bottommed out sometime late '10 on doing Really Cool Internships For Free For Great People. . .
still, working/finding/searching for work has largely been a series of discouragements or ego bruises. Interviews, a week-long tenure as a canvasserI don't interview well. I still work at The Loft, tend bar at Orcas Landing (scroll down) and occasionally pick up extra tutoring shifts.

Korea! See posts about it from earlier this year.

I am 30 years old now. completely different, exactly the same.

To be continued? Posts about Twin Peaks, about Being In A Relationship, about Politics, about writing with little time to do so, fighting monsters, creating more interesting ways to reflect on years. . .

Monday, 23 January 2012

Dude, Totally Move to Columbia City

Across the street from the clean, clean counter where
you dig elbows into glossed oak surfaces, there is a closed
dive, lamented, serenaded by neighborhood historians,
glasses raised, you loved it, you knew it, you say
after one-- maybe three- pitchers of high life, shrunk
into corners by snarling old black men proclaiming

that you're like one of the uglier beatles.
just. look at that hair.

across the way, up the hill and a bus or three away,
on the dilapidated sidewalk outside the bar where
an acquaintance from high school sells cocaine to part
time art-schoolers, you smoke and smoke and buy t-shirts
and hot dogs and smoke and smoke and eat more hot dogs
and do not realize the taxis stop running, do not realize
the limits within the city's limits.

there are so many boxes holding old copies of the Stranger.
two weeks, a day, four months. as if no one reads hear any more.

past the place you always meant to buy a cheesesteak, but
really, who could expect you to, when the bike paths meant so many
swerved tires and knocked-elderlies. across the way, sometimes
you watch the sunrise, or set, and wonder when they'll foreclose
on the ethiopian coffeeshop, the hispanic church and the
laundromat you assume is a drug front, get a bar in that
plays Sufjan Stevens.

but the row is full of food. there are so many ways
to eat a drink. to fill a counter.

your girlfriend chastises the server for a lack of gluten free options.
after all, sweeping back her hair, we're not savages.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Starting With Intent to Finish

Start it with a poem about drinking. About a long, dark porter
and sly slow slurp. The real, hard, anger of salt.
Then go to your most detatched, your commentator newscast.
Don't get your hands dirty, wear clean gloves. Comment on the sun,
raying out over the hood of a dented buick. As you stand there with
a microphone in a suit your 17 year old self still protests, make
that buick glinting your goal.
Talk it good so people forget all about the
drinking poem. Write the light so hard that you are
a tee-totaler, always were. Write yourself celibate
on forests that you camped under the day before
yesteryear, punctuate with a poem about acid rain.
Go righteous. Go fist pumping.
Then, write the sex poem-filthy and needed--
before writing the monsters out of the closet
and back under the bed where they belong.


blogspot will probably wreak havoc with the format of this, but so goes. I wrote this on tuesday at the SPLAB meeting I facilitated on Writing Goals. This is as it was in the minute, and as a freewrite, I'm pretty happy with both how it feels and what I was "trying to say" about both the process and product of writing new poetry in the new year.