Saturday, January 26, 2013

Through the Storm Drains With Flashlights (By Drugs or By Satan)

it was maybe the whip-its in the Aurora King Soopers
or the silver spray paint
behind the Super Skate in Cedar Rapids
maybe it was all that elbow grease
spent cracking open A/C units
for the freon in Roswell
or Las Cruces
or Anyshithole, New Mexico

but some goddamn thing crept up the tunnels to Dude's brain
and did some Devil's Work in there

like when a talonful of us
went crawling all spidery, all Saturday
through the storm-drains with flashlights
and backpacks stuffed on Occult library books
to draw Pentagrams in chalk
to light candles
to chant words we couldn't pronounce
in service of Whatever Dark Lord
whatever Forgiving and Fearsome Thing could give us
Big Muscles
and Big Dicks
and Big Brains and
Big Leaping Futures
boundless, bewitched

by Drugs or by Satan
we all swore to claim Power
Awful awful Sexual awful Wealthy
vindictive Awful Just awful Magical
terrific awful awful Power
all of us cursing in margins
all of us behind, under
all of us hidden and aside, levitating
light and stiff, on homemade highs
all of us slithering Serpents
all of us worms
digging dirt
out of the plains and the desert
and the thick, thick stoned forests
it was Something that did it
the huffing or the smoking
or the licking or the eating
or the needles or the reading, the Worship
it was something
It was Really Something.


so i never continued the thing about Ray. i don't know if i will now. anyway, it took a while before i could really write again after that. here's a new thing that i really like though. hopefully i'll be able to start posting with more regularity again.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Something for Ray - part 1 - 6/6/12

Ray Bradbury died last night.

I have felt sick all day.

And I don't expect to feel much better anytime soon.

I spent the day at work, so I haven't had much time to make the Information Super-rounds, but I have no doubt that the Internet is close to bursting at its ethereal seams with eulogies and obituaries, meditations and musings. Plenty from people who never met him, maybe even more from folks who knew him far better than I. I admit that mine will be a relatively quiet voice in the cacophony of dirges, keens, prayers, and odes. I am a tuna in a sea of White Whales.

I am not Joe Hill. I am not George Clayton Johnson. I am not Frank Darabont or Stuart Gordon. I am not F. Murray Abraham or Joe Mantegna.

But Ray knew me and called me by my first name. And wearing that badge, I will scrawl my tribute on the wall with the others.

Inevitably most of these tributes will come as tales of first encounters, either with the man, or his work. I will spare myself the embarrassment of recounting how speechless and awestruck I was when I came face to face with Our Hero on that September evening in South Pasadena. I will also refrain from boring you with the moment in which his words leapt from the page, swam into my youthful mind, and changed my life forever. Because you've heard it. You probably share a lot of the same details with me there.

Shortly after I moved to Los Angeles in 2007, a good friend and former collaborator from college, Danielle Holland, called me up and said she knew of a job I might be interested in. Stage crew. At the Fremont Centre Theater in South Pas. For the Pandemonium Theatre Company. Their production of Dandelion Wine.

Next thing I know, I'm working for Ray Bradbury, alongside some truly wonderful people.

A great deal of my friendship with Ray is due to the enthusiasm and heroic nature of one of these people. Arguably my closest friend in Southern California, Robert Kerr is the kind of guy everyone knows they are cosmically lucky to have in their life. I met him during Pandemonium's longest running show, an ambitious and passionate stage adaptation of Ray's most famous work, Fahrenheit 451. He had a relationship with Ray that I am deeply envious of, a relationship that damn-near every single living human being on this goddamn Earth should be deeply envious of. Without a car, and without many other means, he has managed to see and hang out with Ray more often in the last five years than anyone I can think of - with the exception of Our Hero's daughter and his staff and the ever-generous John Tarpinian - even accompanying him TWICE to the legendary San Diego Comic Con.

I can imagine few people being as crushed by this morning's news as Robert. However, because of Robert, I got to spend Ray's final Halloween with Our Hero in his home, reading his own words to him at his bedside. Though I never wanted Ray to ever count an All Hallow's Eve as his last, it had been a dream of mine for decades to be in the presence of that Mystical Figure on That Magical Night. There are only a handful of moments more precious to me. And a big, bright, shining one of them is another time I got to read to Ray Bradbury.

On Ray's 89th birthday, the celebration - like many others before and one after - was held at Bookfellows (owned and managed with Great Love and Unquestionable Grace by Malcom and Christine - seriously, go in and see them sometime) in Glendale. Four blocks from my apartment. I had written a poem for Ray. For his birthday. I was asked to read it to him. In front of a crowd of his adoring fans.

I followed Bo Derek.

By the time I finished, Our Hero - My Hero - was weeping.

"I Love You!" he shouted as we embraced. It wasn't the first time he had said those words to me, but it was the first time I felt I'd earned it.

Later on, I was clever enough to smirk, upon hearing of Our Hero's tears, "Good. That's a debt I've been waiting to repay since I read Something Wicked This Way Comes." be continued...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NPM 2012.3 - Quite the Panic

Quite the Panic
cutting keys to my place now
gasping through a mist
of sweat
can't fuckin wait
to get in and get that shaking
all over all my shit
turn all that Shake
into Break
and wake me up like
lousy cops like a very lovely person
got into a car and won't
ever get out again and
goddammit it's still dark out
but you've gotta get
out of that bed
and bear witness
you've gotta point and sneer and nod
and throw up and pace the horrible
horrible stillness til the sun
tells you to go back
to sleep
to swim too slow through things you remember
but never happened
to swing at the Panic
and land too soft

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NPM 2012.2 - Throw Them Bodies

crowding the tippy-tops
the wingless mark time on pinheads
shouting down at the catastrophe
screen to screen

throw them bodies
in the ovens or in the gears
listen to em sizzle and pop or go
crunch crunch crunch crunch
put em in the ground
drop em in the water
or just leave them bodies
laying there on the cold gray
opened up in a place or two
spilling stink and juice all over
just as long as they
ain't on the beaches
or in the beds
just as long as they ain't
dreaming of anything they ain't already got
or seen or rubbed on their skin
just as long as they ain't
more than one to a space
naked and clapping together
like biology giving itself a round of applause
chewing on shit and always smiling
so proud with what it's gone and done
give it silence
and time to shake its knotty head
sit it in the corner

take them bodies
plant them in the garden
chop em into the stew
they're just in the way

meant to post yesterday but my internet connection had other plans.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NPM 2012 .1 - Non-Teens

those hangovers that grab your ears and then
go slack as dead weight
those thirty-somethings who play teenagers
in movies
on television
at bars and house parties
or all over your chest
their laughter is joyless
and cruel
they've never heard a good joke
but the keep repeating the horrible ones
those days you go clean
for weeks
those frustrating bogus pretenders
throwing parades in your neighborhood
never bothering to ask for permits

better get up, it doesn't look like rain today

it's National Poetry Month again. hopefully i'll do better this year.
here's one. haven't been writing much lately. pardon me if i'm rusty.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


you rise
and stand under the headlines every morning
digging at your eyes
and clinging to the shade they cast
well after noon
with displaced prayers spilling out over the edges of polite behavior
at dinner
and when sleep comes
it comes crashing
like computers
or like dead cars dropped from helicopters hovering over the freeway
to provide you with either
or nightmares
secret portable biographies piled up into
bloodless statistics once the screaming has ceased
though the smell of gasoline lingers
the screen is black
all that work lost
oral tradition silenced
by closed caskets
there's no auto-save
and the defibrullators aren't a guarantee
so we trek with pulled plugs and
outdated virus scans
and night
under headlines constantly retreating from their progeny
and we keep our most necessary prayers to
don't want god reading our diaries
don't want to risk boogeymen and bad luck
stepping on all those cracked mirrors for
seven times seven times seven
in search of a decent pair of shoes
when the Historians come looking
just tell them to follow the bloody footprints
yeah, dude
that's when nobody carried nobody
tell them to watch the sky for headlines
as landmarks, all
"make a left at the last presidential election and keep going straight
til you see World War III,
then make a right."
tell them to catalog all the splashes of
spilled prayer along the way
you know, for reference
"oh, look. i stepped in a puddle of Global Peace
and got my boots wet."
tell them that nightmares in the desert
are divine visions and
they shouldn't get scared until sleep brings nothing
but when that happens,
they better shit themselves.
tell them to hurl obscenities and dishes at the suppertable
and dart out into the harsh sun
every morning
if they want to avoid horrible accidents
tell them to let their prayers flow freely
from every hole biology saw fit to puncture them with
if they don't want to bleed to death through soles and toes
lacerated by superstition
tell them to whisper their secrets through megaphones
and night
and the rest of you
for the sake of history
the rest of you
come out from under the bold type
stop digging at your eyes
save your work as often as you can and
memorize your prayers for some evening when
you hear a helicopter overhead
while your stuck in traffic
on the freeway.

so this is kind of an old one. as a matter of fact, it was the first piece i wrote after moving to Los Angeles. it was the first piece i read at the Little Joy Open Mic (now the Silverlake Lounge Sunday Open Mic). it was also the first thing i've ever had published online. some online journal called Moronic Ox published it a couple years ago. i don't know if there were rules about me reposting it or not but i really don't give a fuck. here it is.

i realize i haven't been very on-it as far as posting goes lately. i've been busy editing pieces for a book. yeah, a book. i don't wanna talk too much about it as i seem to have a history of jinxing myself by talking about projects which are in the works. if it happens, it'll be called "Invincibility Potion vol.1: Viking Standard."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

[three brief pieces]


They're gonna rewrite Qoheleth
they're gonna take out all that shit about
Gathering stones together &
Weeping &
Laughing &
It's gonna be all about
the Rotten Time.
They're rewriting Qoheleth and
they're gonna make a movie out of it.
It's official.

I read it in the trades.



Fire is helpless.
It may be important to remind yourself
of that from time to time
maybe mainl when the Bad Cells crawl
and assassinate their way
through the unlit corridors of Something you Love.
maybe when it burns.

Fire is helpless, cannot help itself
cannot cease or direct or argue
can never find the discipline, the courage
to make up
or change
its Simple Mind,
does what it does by foreign will.

Rock cannot defend itself against Water
or Whatever.
Sharks die if they stop swimming.
The Sun has no Tae Kwon Do skills.

Even Oxygen, immutable & powerful Oxygen, has no way
to decide where it goes
or what it does.



I asked him what sex with her was like
and he said something about
getting in a helicopter
and dropping a toothpick
into the Grand Canyon

at which point i meant
to say that i didn't know who
he was trying to insult there

but he had somewhere to be
and i guess it really wasn't
an important thing to address

because the he answered my question:

The Sex between them was Bad.


so these are all pretty old, and pretty short. thought it was time to post something again.