Monday, October 31, 2005

Howler monkeys

The howler monkeys scream
tension builds
blowing apart at the seams
bread and circuses
a sense of entitlement
chattering and pounding
slinging and flinging
like a bunch of babies
wah wah wah all day long
everybody's a target
an example to be made
something instead of somebody
so much to do
so few heartbeats
it would be funny
from a distance
from a longer timeline view
but it's easier to bitch about the old
than find something new
it's a planet full of monkeys
with too many loose screws

"Painting and fucking a lot are not compatible; it weakens the brain,"
Vincent vanGaugh


"Mad; adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane."

Ambrose Bierce

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hiding Place

Everybody still thinks you're off on the road trip to clear your mind, dear. I haven't told anybody where you really are, guessing you would want peace and quiet, to escape all the yammering idiots you work for.
It's only been a few weeks and already I miss having you here. The house seems empty, filled with your rat piles of clutter, yet oddly quiet. I can't get used to the way nothing changes here in the house when I'm here alone like this. I miss the clatter of your keyboard, the way you shuffle up the stairs like you're 900 years older than god.
I miss the morning coffee and nearly burnt toast with apple butter.
Your brother called the other day, wanted to swing by and drop off a few pumpkins. He's creeping me out, keeps asking how to get a hold of you. I really don't like him much.
I guess it's a good thing you didn't get that cell phone, or he'd be calling it, or even using it to find you. I know you don't want to be found.
You're in a very good hiding place, or at least I think so. It was our secret place, so romantic, the place where we first made love.
I hope we may be together again before too long. I miss you terribly, and wish we'd have had a better conversation last time we spoke.
Of course, by spring, your hiding place may not be so good, I'm thinking you may start getting pretty smelly, when things thaw out. Or the flies start hatching. But at least I know where to come when I want to talk to you.

"Painting and fucking a lot are not compatible; it weakens the brain,"
Vincent vanGaugh

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sleep becomes blissfull

Cool fall air
at last sleep
becomes blissful
if too short
the night wind blows in
builds a restless energy
I want Gandalf and the dwarves
to swoop in and take me
on a grand adventure
I want a funky tour bus
a 23 venue tour
with a good drummer
a cranky lead singer
a handsome chubby bass player
I want to head north and west
a tent
a good camp stove
and espresso pot
camp below a glacier
before they all melt
leave behind
the muggy summer
the slowly dying garden
and all those damn ripe tomatoes
I cannot pick fast enough
instead I spray lacquer
keep fretting
It still beats a day job

Midnight Flowers

Dog days of summer
I can smell 'em
thick organic crud
shimmering heat
the whole world smells like
old hide glue
just a hint of
midnight flowers
nicotania drifting over stench
fighting it out with decay
it smells like mortality
oddly comforting

Hog On Ice

like an ill fitting suit of clothes
or a frog too far from the swamp
like a hungry vulture in a creamatorium
after the burning
like a hog on ice in a tutu
like a self conscious wildebeest
in a china shop full of trigger happy freaks with large caliber rifles
sometimes life is just too wierd

No More Lentils

She was one of those former deadheads who had been lost since Jerry died. She had spent the better part of her 20's on tour with the dead, and had burned bridges and brain cells along the way, selling bad burritos., ugly hippie dresses and the occasional bag of mushrooms.
Her hair had devolved into about three big ugly dreads, a mouse brown collection of matted hair that made a rhino horn seem attractive, and her overall funk matched the cellulite and thundering hips she'd developed from sitting around between shows, or pointing her decrepit microbus down the highway.
Her better days had been spent tofu dancing with third or fourth generation hippie boys, twirling to the often off key drone of the Dead, and she'd reached the end of the road. She wanted running water, a refrigerator and a steady income.
She just wasn't ready for the shock of seeing her mother in the mirror once she got the short haircut, boring office drag clothes and steady job.
But she sure smelled better. And never ate lentils again.

The Front Slides In

Black spots
wilting mold
like the hordes of Gengis Kahn
I strip the garden bare
the last reeking marigolds
fill the vase on the dining room table
green, yellow and blight speckled tomatoes
fill the counters
peppers stacked in the sunroom
the front slides in tonight
the last day of the garden
a fierce one this year
mudball earth
big yellow sun!

The Billionare and the Clone

He was rich, rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Fat with money, most of it made in the big biotech boom of early 2010, and his fortune was cemented when he came up with foolproof self transplanting livers and nanobots that destroyed unwanted fat cells.
So he indulged himself. He bought Jimi Hendrix's guitar, and carefully scanned it for blood to sequence DNA from.
Once he found it, it only took a few days to get the samples ready and the cloning vat primed.
And then, he waited until the day came when he could pop open the heavy lid, and finally get to see his guitar god, ready to nurture this clone into the same greatness that he so loved in the original hero.
Of course, when a chubby white guy with stringy thinning hair stumbled out looking for the nearest 48 ounce bottle of Dr. Pepper and for his guitar tool kit, it occurred to The Billionaire that he now had a very expensive guitar tech.

Something in the Wind

Alice knew there was something in the wind. She'd been feeling it for weeks, or at least smelling something bad on the wind coming from the house at the end of the block. She had once cleaned that house for old Marty.
She liked him, even if he did follow her from room to room, yakking away and pointing out corners he thought she missed, with his damn yapping dog sniffing her the whole time, the one that wanted to hump every leg he didn't pee on. She hated that dog.
She walked down the block and pounded on the front door, waiting for an answer. When she got none, she tried the door and pushed it open.
After the wafting breeze of decay rolled over her nose, she noticed the dog. It had gotten fatter. Then she realized what a good source of protein Marty must have been.

Cesspool Monkey

There's a monkey in the back of my brain
she's sitting in a cesspool
every time she gets mad, she throws the first thing
that drifts by
Some days I need to keep my distance from
puny humans
Other days, there are weasels and rats
chewing on the control cables
mostly the ones that control the
screaming muscles
ARRRRRGHH! or arugala!
may be emitted
I like the days when my better angels
get along with the turd throwers
and rodent teethed beasts
Getting older has made the cranky beasts
too tired to chew and fling
as often
and that's a good thing

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Charlie pulled the car over to the side of the road and took one long last look in the rearview, shut it off and lit his last cigarette.
It had been a long night, after a long couple of days, and he was spent, broke and out of gas. Things had not worked out as he planned.
Right now what he wanted a chicken salad sandwich, a cold beer, nine hours of sleep on a king size water bed and a 400 dollar hooker who could suck the chrome of a trailer hitch while humming dixie.
Somehow he didn't think much of that would happen anytime soon.
He did get the chicken salad sandwich a year later.
It was his last meal before the lethal injection.

Cranked Twin

a cranked twin
a bottle of Mr. Daniel's sin
I wanna pack it all in
three heavy chords and
a telecaster on ten
hit the road with a band I hate
and love and hate and play with great
somebody else's credit card
and some realy big
big land shark
shove the throttle down hard
just climb in some wheels
let those tires squeal
llke thelma and louise
without the suicide
like Janis without the
addict inside
like Stevie in his prime
just point me anywhere there's a gig
let me drive
Cause around here
there's sure
a failure to thrive
or even arrive
at something sublime

"The law of diminishing returns never rests."
James Kunstler

The Storage Unit

The storage unit was in the middle of a godforsaken chunk of ugly fast food grease pits, bad pizza delivery joints, used tire stores and shuttered pawnshops out on the edge of town that blossomed briefly 30 years earlier. One of those ugly disposable unplanned stretches out on the edge of a crumbling desert suburb.
He'd gotten the call earlier in the week from his Uncle's estate executor, and decided it was worth checking out. His Uncle had been a queer old duck, the black sheep of the family and had popped off his last stroke while sitting in his vibrating recliner.
From the sound of it, it was ugly, and rather a rude way to go. They'd found his desiccated remains a month back, and for some reason that escaped him, he'd been left the storage unit's contents. He didn't expect much, and had no use for most of his low rent family.
Sill, given how everything he'd tried had gone bust, it was worth a look to see if the old fart left anything interesting.
He pried open the creaky unit door, and a blast wave of heat rolled out. The space was huge, and it felt like a drying oven for making beef jerky. It was loaded with crap, box after box of the kinds of worthless crap old people never seem to be able to part with. Broken stereos, clothes they would not have fit in for decades, and worthless pulp books.
He cursed his luck, his family and his broken finances. He might be able to sell a few things, enough to maybe pay his gas for the trip home, although he didn't have anything there but a pile of overdue bills.
Then, he found the chest. Buried under layers of dust and broken crap, it looked like more of the same useless clutter, until he pried it open and saw the collection of coins, the bundles of cash, and the two bars of gold under the top layer of junk papers. After a closer look, he realized the junk papers were bonds totaling over a half million bucks!
As he leaped with joy, realizing what he'd inherited from his formerly useless Uncle Bob, he managed to not only knock over the pile of boxes behind him, but to hit the garage door enough to slam it shut.
The snap of his spine mixed with the slam of the garage door. As he hit the floor, paralyzed from the neck down under the huge pile of worthless paperbacks, he realized with a twisted irony that at least he would die rich, and well preserved in the dry air.


He used to love to watch her sleep in the car. It was the only time she looked peaceful, and he found it incredibly sexy the way she looked, her hair jumbled up, her pretty face finally relaxed. He could look at her for hours that way, remembering every detail, and trying as hard as he could to commit them to memory. He loved her almost too much.
Till he hit the tree, anyway. He really misses her. That truck, too.

She wondered

She wondered, was he walking the streets of some distant city, smelling the springtime air filled with the scent of flower blossoms and melting dogshit in the soft April rain?
Sleeping in a garret, drinking espresso in little cups as the red light district goes to sleep, the junkies and whores and moslems all jostling together as they make their way into the dawning day, some to sleep, others to pray?
Or holed up in some Paris flophouse, sleeping off the jet lag and the absinthe, waiting for the door to burst off it's hinges, busted in by the cops after a three day slog through 10 countries, ducking the cameras and sweating out the border crossings, complete with dogs and guns and scowling officials sniffing for that scent of fear and forgery?
She never did find out he was running a punch press outside Akron, punching a clock with a new face and wishing he still had the money.

Pull the Trigger

He'd pissed her off once too often, and deserved what he got. She'd been dealing with his bad moods, his snarling attitude and the way he ignored all his crap and expected her to deal with it for way too long. He was always barking orders, expecting to be treated like royalty, and she'd had enough. She was sick of cutting him slack for having come from a broken home, and scared he'd someday kill her.
He liked to sleep out in the late afternoon sun, and it was as good a place as any to end the wretched relationship. She waited until he was asleep, snuck up on him as he snored and farted off yet another day's dinner, and put the .410 against the back of his skull and pulled the trigger.
It made a terrible mess, but at least he was sleeping on an old cotton blanket in the front yard, and she knew it would work as a great shroud to drag him over to the pigs.
She pulled him into the pen, rolled his body out and watched as they hungrily started chowing down on him. She realized he'd been a pain in their ass for years too.
She dragged the blanket over to the fire pit and burned it. Later, she'd go over to the pen and take out what the pigs had left behind.
Then she would go back to the dog pound, and this time, she sure as hell wouldn't get a rotwieler.

The Pain Artist

Pain was his art form. Pliers, needles, rude machines, all were something
understood on an intuitive level. Fear made it all that much better, and he
loved the smell of it, the way eyeballs bulged, the screams and moans, the
way some of his victims tried hide it, all the time cowering inside and
screaming for mommy or making deals with god.
Not that it did them much good. Between the pain and squirming, the smell
burning organic material, the grinding, the tearing and the blood, his
victims got what he felt like they deserved.
Of course, emptying their wallets was a side benefit, and had paid for lots
of nice things, like the video recorders and the fast internet connection
where he posted his rude glorious efforts on line.
Yup, life was good. Worth all that expensive schooling to become an oral
surgeon, for sure.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Comet and the Warehouse

The rain would not stop after the comet hit. It had been raining steadily
for the last four months, and the hordes of people fleeing the dying cities
swarmed over every available food source. Only because of stupid luck had
Jason survived, finding a cache of ammo and guns in the washed out remains
of a long dead survivalist's house.
Finding the stockpile of food in the warehouse on the island was a mixed
blessing, and they had lost three of their tribe just getting the explosives
to blow the bridges up connecting them to the mainland. There, they made a
stand to wait things out,for the weather to calm down and for the remaining
bands of starving people to die off.
His new tribe was dry, and they weren't hungry.
But he could not count the number of times he had wished that the warehouse
had been filled with something besides canned cat food and rawhide dog

The Closet Find

When she first found the leather and latex outfit in his closet, she didn't
know what to think. Normally she kept out of his closets, and while they
slept in the same bed, he preferred to keep his things in the west wing of
the sprawling mansion.
She'd stumbled across the fetish gear looking for a shoebox to store some of
her paintbrushes in.
She knew that every relationship had to have room for a private life, and
often wondered where he was late at night, but being busy with her own life,
didn't worry too much.
He mostly seemed happy, puttering away in his basement workshop with his
young friend Rob. It did strike her as odd that he wasn't interested in sex
much anymore, but it didn't bother her. Being a rich man's wife had
advantages, and allowed her to pursue her art. He could fool around however
he wanted as long as she got what she wanted.
But the nipples on the Batsuit and the funny tights his pal Robin wore were
a little tacky for her taste.

The Bean Event

The head wound was a bleeder, drops flying all over the place, and it took
all three crew members to deal with it.
While Romanov tried to sit still, Ivanovitch and Shultz did their best to
clean it up and glue it shut, and just getting it dry enough for the
surgical adhesive was in itself a problem.
Being so far from anything like a real hospital had some serious drawbacks.
It was going to be an impressive scar.
Romanof never stopped bicthing about it the whole trip, and blamed it on the
shipment of camping food that Shultz's boyfriend had sent in his last care
After the whole mess was cleaned up, the bleeding stopped and the galley
cleaned of Romanov's blood, sharp edges covered with duct tape and paper
towels, Shultz pointed out that it was not the freezed dried bean
casserole's fault, but the third of Sir Issac Newton's laws of physics he
needed to think about, the one that states that Every Action has an Equal
and Opposite Reaction.
"Only an idiot eats rehydrated beans on a space station and doesn't think to
grab onto something when farting" he said.

I don't like Monday

eyeballs glaze over
the brain connections
fail to jump the gap
like a busted distributor cap
on a 65 micro bus
on the way to a Dead concert
lurching along the desert highway
about to die and make you miss
Jerry and the good acid
and the bad music
it sputters and lurches
like your great grandfather's
drunken 48 Ford
after it
slid into the creek
on the way home from the bar
in 1966
like a deer in the headlights
paralyzed, waiting for the buckshot
half hypnotized
half zombie
half way to a feeding tube
Monday, you suck.
really, you really really suck, even when
there's no regular day job
even on vacation.
Sorry, but it's true
Why can't you be more like your sister Friday?
She is much more pleasant
has a way of making beer taste better
sometimes too good
Or more like your lazy sister Sunday
who sleeps in
would load the dvd player
and make coffee
if she had hands?
Sorry, but I think I'm going to have to
let you go
You're fired
I'd have waited till Friday
but your sister said she didn't want to get involved.
Even she doesn't like you, and she's usually the one
who gets to fire people.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson