Monday, February 28, 2011

And How She Never Hurt a Goddamned Soul

I'm in the basement
Some basement
Daylight floods in
Through windows in high casements

Place is kind of a wreck:
Plaster coming off the walls
Salting the dingy gray carpets

Turns out I'm the one wrecking the place.
I take a sladgehammer to the walls
A crowbar to a raised platform
Revealing cockroaches the size of cats.

Someone else enters the room
And suddenly I'm thinking up excuses.

Now I'm in a crooked cabin in the woods
Wee hours, starlight, place is a wreck
Unmade bed takes up most of the living room
TV blaring

Turns out I'm not the one wrecked the place:
Some dude swats the love of my life,
Killing her.

He stuffs her in a cardboard box and rolls her
Down the hill,
I chase after,
She comes to rest against the neighbor's front door.

And now I'm running
As the sun smashes the horizon
Filling the world with golden light

And I'm thinking about her long brown hair
And how good she looked in a dress
And how she never hurt a goddamned soul.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Wit and Wisdom of John Kilduff of "Let's Paint" Fame

You're watching "Let's Paint, Exercise and Blend Drinks" here, on Time Warner Cable here. I'm your host John Kilduff, let's take another caller." - John Kilduff

John Kilduff runs on a treadmill non-stop while blending drinks, painting, taking abusive phone calls and, perhaps most important, doling out words of wisdom which he makes up on-the-fly. This is California public access television at its finest. The following are some of the deepest, Jack Handy-est utterances of John Kilduff from the video below.

You know, when you're running, and doing a lot of exercise, it's good to eat healthy, and concern yourself with healthy kinda things.

What we like to do is just get some paint on the canvas, alright?

We stretch, too, you know. Before you do this, you wanna stretch. Stretch your body before you get into this kinda position.

Don't kill yourself.

Shoot it out, man, shoot it out.

We're trying to make this a little happier place, ah? Okay.

When the day is done, you know when you're waking up in the morning, it's nice and peaceful? Let's try to get that in our real lives.

We'll just cut you off if there's any sense that there's something going on. Hello callertwentyfivewhereyoucallingfromwhatsyourname.

We're figuring it out. Sometimes I like to enter the process without knowing what the hell I'm doing.

You know, we're human. We always, we're all bound to, like, make some mistakes in our lives. So uh...okay, let's not get into that.

You know, you don't need ice cream when you make a blended drink. You don't need milk. You could just, you know, try...try things with ice. Maybe a little milk might not hurt, but you know what? What the hell. Let's try that.

You just hold on, man, hold on.

So let's put a banana in there. And I don't know if this is gonna taste good or nothin'. But I'm gonna do it anyway, you know what I'm saying?

Okay, let's not forget about painting, alright?

Okay, I think what we're going to do is let this ferment for a few minutes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Exploring My Neighborhood: America's Credit Union Museum

A few days ago I visited America's Credit Union Museum, located a few blocks from my home. The museum is a house built around the turn of 20th century and used as headquarters for the first credit union in the United States. Apparently, some lawyer opened the credit union in 1907 with a little help and advice from a Canadian credit union pioneer and a local priest.

The lawyer ran the operation in the evenings for no pay. The idea was to pool money from local working class community members and use the pool as a small loan fund. The idea worked like a charm clear through the Great Depression, during which three thousand banks failed but not one single solitary credit union failed.
I entered the museum during normal hours through an unlocked door, but nobody was there to greet me. The whole place was just wide open and unattended for any bum to wander into. I even had to flip a couple of light switches. I had ithe place all to myself and took full advantage of my time there, exploring every room and inspecting every exhibit.

It's a pretty nice museum stocked with period pieces like a piano, antique cash register, and the original desk and chairs at which the nice lawyer dude met with loan applicants. Many of the original documents legally recognizing the credit union are framed on the walls, along with plenty of placards humanizing the history of credit unions in the States.

Pretty momentous stuff if you're a complete and total nerd for niche historical museums. I enjoyed haunting the house all alone with my camera. Have a look at the photos if that's your cuppa joe. I threw in a map, too.

You're most welcome.


View Larger Map

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trainhopping Scumfuckers

To be or not to be:
That is a technicality.
Whether 'tis better to weather
The slings and arrows
Of a thousand sorrys and
You're unqualifieds
Or say
Screw this
And vacate this whore house
For greener pastures.
To board a freight train
No ticket
No destination in mind
Just away
And away
And forever and always along
Down the tracks
Of whatever and whenever
Eight men
In steel-smelling; rust-smelling
Chambers in wheels
Chicago to Seattle
Empire Builder
Grunge sponge
A suitcase
A big-time story that's false
But passes time good
As any drop-down TV would have been.
We arrive
Ill-stomached, good-spirited,
McDonald's coursing fatty
Through our veins
Offer a grimace and a
For your ever-loving shove.

Things That Make Me Happy

Italian-American culture

That's about it for today.

I Loaned My Brain to Science

Many times, in fact. One of the experiences sticks with me.

I remember it in patches.

They stuck me inside a magnetic resonance imaging scanner--MRI for short. It's like a big sarcophagus made out of metal and plastic. You lay on your back in the dark while a loud hammering noise does semi-circles over your head from left to right and back again, over and over like one of those rotary lawn sprinklers: slow in one direction, fast in the other direction. It's so loud they have to give you over-ear headphones to protect your eardrums; the headphones double as a communication device. They talk to you through that, and a microphone over your mouth allows you to talk back. Essentially, an MRI scanner takes pictures of your brain by surrounding it with a magnetic field and registering the electromagnetic response. If the technicians are nice, they let you look at your brain pictures when it's all over.

While I was being scanned, they sedated me with ketamine--yes, the mild hallucinogen ketamine--"Special K" when called by its street name--until I was about, oh, I don't know, 1% conscious. They allegedly told me a story through the headphones. They brought me out of consciousness until I was about 75% cognizant of my surroundings. While I lay there in the dark, they asked if I remembered anything. I couldn't recall much of anything, and told them so.

Boom, they sedated me again, a bit less this time. I was about 15% conscious, or so it seemed. Allegedly they told me the same story as before. When they brought me back to about 75% consciousness they asked me if I remembered anything about the story this time. I vaguely recalled some girl by a river with a bridge. And there was a troll. And there was a room, and a boy--some boy--and someone was looking for something, and people were standing in a certain geometrical relationship. And I vaguely recalled the girl having red hair. Or did I make that up? It was a distinct impression, at the very least. The red hair felt real, either by their telling or by my imagining.

They brought me fully out of sedation and told me the story for the third and final time. When they asked me if I remembered anything about the story, I told it to them from beginning to end with total accuracy. I won't bore you with the details.

They extracted me from the MRI scanner and wheel-chaired me into another room to dry out. A researcher asked about my overall impression of the experience. She seemed really excited about the whole thing. Her face lit up every time I opened my mouth. She made me feel as though my words were important, which encouraged me to speak at length about every last detail. Kudos to her for that.

One interesting side effect during this experience was that at one point I distinctly recall scientists in white lab coats walking around behind me while I was in the MRI scanner. My brain totally made that up. The MRI is sealed on all sides except where your feet are, for one. Secondly, no one was wearing a white lab coat before or after I entered the scanner.

No, there are no lasting effects. Except aliens. I am always surrounded by aliens in pink tutus and they all want to sell me a vegan hamburger. It's cool though. I just play my ukelele louder until the aliens retreat to a far corner to shoot craps for a while.

When I Get It Right

It feels like liberating a hairball from the kitchen sink drainpipe.

I root around with a plumbing snake,
A steel rod,
A flashlight.


I get down on my knees,
Crank a collar counterclockwise with a fat wrench:
The P-trap clatters to the clapboards
The smell of rust mists into the room
The whole sink shakes
I shove my fingers up inside the main pipe and voila.

Catching the back of my skull on the edge of the cupboard ("Fuck!")
I emerge damp, bruised, triumphant:

"There's your problem right there, ma'am."
The dripping tangled mass
Springy between my fingers
Mysterious catacombed matter.

It's not like I can tell you what hair is made of
Or what precise path to follow should you care to attempt a detanglement
Or the scientific names of the asymmetrical creatures you might find
Should you take a microscopic head count.

I just unclog the pipes.
Sometimes they pay me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My response to the writing prompt "Write an alternate ending to a movie."

JFK (graffiti)

For any movie, instead of rolling the credits at the end, roll the Zapruder Film. With no explanation.

How to Position a Flushable Toilet Seat Cover

Step 1: Oh, how nice! A flushable toilet seat cover!
Step 2: Whoops, ripped that one.
Step 3: Whoops again.
Step 4: OK, let's see here...
Step 5: Um.
Step 6: Turn it the other way?
Step 7: Jesus Christ.
Step 8: Shit standing up.

If I Could Read Minds for a Day


If I could read minds for a day
I'd read them in print
Dead tree edition
Over toast and orange juice
Letting the top corners flop like Beagle ears
The bottom edge jostling table crumbs into my lap
Thumbing the serrated sides
Ink dying my skin cells graphite.
Scrape a few onto a slide
For microscopic viewing
Bear the lens down
And read the thinks
Your mind has dyed.

My Favorite Place to Drive

No, not pins dancing on the head of a demon. The other thing. See below.

Hellraiser Pin Head

Off a cliff
Onto the head of a pin, like an angel
Is my favorite place to drive
Just so long as the other angels don't jostle me
When I arrive.
They can be so territorial
And I've got shit on my tunic
From shoveling it all day in the stables.
So if they don't jostle and they don't mind the smell of a working angel
I'm cool with the head of a pin.
Can I dance in my car?
Next question.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If She Calls Me on the Phone

If she calls me on the phone
Do I answer, "
I am a digital approximation"
"Press 1 for English"
If nexward she implies axforwardslash cramward,
Crawl out do we dare?
Allowing for 4G interference gulleting
Down telecom drawers
Well, bass synths tech know sys
Tem and dese.
Call out your sexcams
For all eternity.
I'll-withered callow stems glory funk blug fjord gunk.
Autocorrect blasphemy calls to me. I'll I'll I'll.
See how the cat doth hump moonweary gallumphing for e'er and ere I saw elbow.
Yeah, forward slash me to ribbons, yeah yeah. Whoa.
Glory gunk if you please continue fallow in your tread, stead, what head.
Give God gore.

If You Wait, Wet

Interwoven strands of time
Hairclipped in place
Pigtails punked

Plough through leather libraries with your bulldozer of knowledge acquisition
It was nice knowing things.

Good morning, world
Deoderant, underarms, under cities, subway potpourri
Gaunt grace glanced glidewards, glinting

Gumwads ground into fiberglass seats
Polished with the ass of a metropolis
Herringbone clouds catch you.

Trick stomach twists tangled tongue torque
It's like a visit to the spam doctor
Take two *plop* and call me in *plop*

Punchlines pulled.
30 gross to the bushel
If you wait, wet.

Meet My Dada

Aggravation. Alleviation. Teeter down, totter up. No balance. Dynamic equilibrium. Sight block. Limits of experience. Locked in a human.


Bite brick wall, floss with barbed wire, pain of big rock sharing drowns in my blood.

All my atoms weave their way into other DNA in the year 3014. My protestations whisper in the wind: "Shuuuuut uuuuuuup, youuuuuu idioooooooooots." Whistling through Old West gas station doors, termite-textured.

Please chuck stones on the ground until it splits and you all go mouth-up.

Continue the bound-and-gagged existence and keep hacking at it like John Henry until the mountain collapses.

2012 passed with a grunt.

2013 let out an SBD.

2014 and 2046 high-fived each other with rubber chickens.

Let go of my leg, vile devil. Irreligious of your irregardless.

Sometimes I like walking across the bottom of the fishbowl looking good and looking at you in your submarines as you blow Dumbo bubbles blissfully shredding gunt.

Why? Because all of human activity is conditioning and instinct, with a few horseflies of genuine inspiration getting swatted.

Meet my Dada.

Love in the 21st Century (A Photo Thing)

Thursday, February 17, 2011