Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Let me tell about my love

If my love were easy
it'd be like riding a bike.
If my love were an unpopular
yet somehow popular candy
it'd be Mike and Ike's.
And, if my love were brown
it'd be brown like a U.P.S. truck.
If my love were carelessness
it wouldn't give a fuck
about politics
or the war
in Iraq
or about all the people dying
and not coming back.
If my love were cruel
it'd be Cruella de Vil
If my love were murder
there wouldn't be enough people to kill.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Under the bent surface of a summer's pond, four bright legs kicked slowly at each other. Speckled with newly thick hairs that wormed outward in the water, the longer pair of legs pulsed up and down rubbing their thighs on the hips that held the other two generous, underwater thighs. Those two legs were also throbbing.
The fat girl's name was Jennifer and her family's name was Adams. The Adams farmed corn in a county of Minnesota not far from Rochester. Jennifer worked on the farm with her family. The Adams sold their corn in the summer at a stand on the side of Highway 63. Jennifer Adams sold corn at the stand each summer day with her family. Jennifer told Mrs. Adams and her sisters she'd only be going back to the house for lemonades. The Adams had a brownish, damaged-looking truck to get from the stand on Highway 63 to the house. Jennifer did not drive the truck to the house to get lemonades. She drove to a large pool of rainwater collecting on top of a pond by a small creek that marked the edge of the Adams' cornfield and also the boundary line of Olmstead County.
She waited at the pool, first inside the truck, then leaning against the truck, and finally sitting in a bright strip grass. The grass felt warm at first on her buttocks and feet. As she sat, she felt the wetness of the previous day's rain soak up beneath her. She pulled the dress out from under her and the fluffed it into a circle over her knees and behind her back. She felt the cold, day-old rain again and wondered whether she should shed her dress before the skinny boy arrived or wait so perhaps he would pull the dress over her head or at least he might watch as more and more of her skin reflected the summer sun's brightness. She decided to wait.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chapter One

Before Wayne Fletcher ran for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, he was baptized at age 33 in a pond behind the First Baptist Church in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The pastor of the Church had found him lying next to a 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottle and a Three Dog Night cassette tape along the side of U.S. Highway 14. The church volunteered its congregation to the community once a month April through October as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program.

When Pastor Saul Peterfield kicked Wayne's side with his boot, he was thinking about whether Wayne was homeless as well as dead. If he was dead and homeless then Pastor Peterfield was thinking he would have no other choice but to hold a service for him and pass the collection plate around his congregation to pay for his burial fees. When he kicked him, Wayne said, ``Ouch.''

``Oh, I'm sorry,'' the pastor said. ``I was just trying to see if you were, well, if you were awake or not.''

``You have to help me,'' Wayne said. ``You have to help me. I don't know what I'm doing.''

This was the first highway cleanup of the year because it was early April, so, being only a few days after Pastor Peterfield had given his Good Friday service, Wayne's words, ``I don't know what I'm doing,'' arrived at the ears of the pastor as a modern equivalent to a biblical event. The pastor had just this past Friday read aloud to his congregation the words of Jesus as accounted by the gospel of Luke, ``Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'' This similarity along with Wayne's obvious request for spiritual guidance was clearly a sign or at least a test for the pastor.

``I will do everything I can to help you,'' he said down at Wayne, who hadn't started getting up yet. In fact, he was beginning to nod his head backward in the pop bottle as his consciousness left him. The pastor continued, ``What ever you have done, what ever your sins are, you have to know that I forgive you. And you may stand before Christ, and he will forgive you, too.''

When Pastor Peterfield originally kicked Wayne into consciousness, Wayne had said, ``Ouch," and then, ``You have to help me. You have to help me. I don't know what I'm doing.''

But he had wanted to keep going and say, ``here.''

``You have to help me. I don't know what I'm doing here.''

It's impossible to say now, but it seems much more unlikely that Pastor Saul Peterfield would have recognized ``I don't know what I'm doing here'' as a holy call to action. But with Wayne Fletcher's alcohol level much too high and with the hot April sun baking his drunken blood, he was much too out of it as they say to speak his last word much less notice the pastor's Samaritan behavior.

Wayne Fletcher had been a computer help desk attendant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the largest city county seed of Olmsted County. He was lying in the ditch along Highway 14 because his car wouldn't run which was because he was trying start the car with his house key. He left his car in the Holiday Inn bar parking lot and started off on what he thought was the way home. The reason Wayne ever got drunk enough to use his house keys for the car in the first place was that a neuron in his brain finally turned on or off while he was at work the day before being found in the ditch. The switch of this one neuron let the rest of his brain know that it was finally time for the complete mental collapse of Wayne Fletch, or as Saul Peterfield would later call it, Wayne's spiritual lightening strike.


Wayne's first baptism had not been an immersion baptism, where the whole body is sunken by the minister in a pool or river. He parents had him dressed up in expensive baby clothes and the minister at their Congregationalist church in Connecticut dropped little handfuls of water onto his face and bald baby head. At that Congregationalist Church, like many others, the families of church each brought jars or cups or vases of their houses tap water to church when their was to be a baptism during the service. The baptismal music started and each family sent somebody to walk to the alter and combine their water with everybody else's and that collection served as the baptismal water. During the baptism the church members stood and swore to pastor and presumably God that their stake in the child's life was represented by their stake in the baptismal water. They were all the new family of the child and they were all ordered by God to watch over him.

Wayne and his parents moved to Minnesota a year after this first baptism, but their family did not come with them. Wayne hadn't seen any of his baptismal family again. He could have used a family like that, Pastor Peterfield told him during the drive from the ditch back to the church.

``Temptation is always around us. And you see, if you don't have the faith to stand up against it yourself, then you fall back onto the grace of others. If you were a member of a church you would have a whole family of people looking out for you.''

Wayne hadn't told the pastor much in the car. He said the he didn't attend church anymore, and even that was just by saying ``No,'' to the pastor who had asked, ``Do you still go to church?'' before even asking what Wayne's name was. His forehead rested against the passenger's side window of Pastor Peterfield's Lincoln Town Car. He still had alcohol in his blood stream even after urinating through his clothing as the highway cleanup team helped him to his feet and into the Town Car.

His parents once owned a Town Car. They bought it after arriving to Rochester. They had driven to Rochester from Connecticut in behind the moving trucks in a blue Honda Civic hatchback. The new Town Car was tan like the pastor's Town Car. The newer years of the Lincoln Town Car had buckets bucket seats like the pastor's. His parents' Town Car was a much older year and had a long bench seat in the front that the driver and passenger shared. Wayned would request to sit in between his parents in the middle of the front bench seat. His parents' also had manual windows they had to crank to lower. The pastor's were automatically powered, and while he drove Wayne through Rochester toward the church he automatically rolled down Wayne's window, which was supporting his head. His forehead skin wend down with the window until it snagged because the friction force was overcome by the force of his still in tact body's desire to stay in tact.

``What you need is some fresh air. Look out there,'' the pastor said then paused. He hadn't asked the man he found for his name. He quickly asked, ``I'm sorry, what's your name?''

``Wayne,'' Wayne said, but his mouth was yawning so ``Wayne'' sounded like ``Duane.''

``Look out there, Duane. This is what God has made for you. Look at the clouds. Look at the sun. Well, don't look right at the sun, but look at how the sun makes the grass and everything look beautiful.''

Wayne stared directly up at the sun. He winced and pushed his shoulders up toward his eyes. The pastor kept listing things to look at, but Wayne could only see where the sun's light had burnt a whole in his vision. A blue glow followed his focus around the car and out the window. It was easier to close his eyes and watch the blue glow change hue and shape against the back of his eye lids.

The glow faded enough to open his eyes as the Town Car entered the parking lot of Son of Bethlehem First Baptist Church. Pastor Peterfield was still talking to Wayne, but Wayne hadn't been listening ever since the sun blinded him. He was working his fingertips into his temples and breathing slowly into his palms.


The pastor took Wayne by the shoulder and showed him into the church kitchen. He told Wayne that there was food he was going to warm for him in a microwave oven while Wayne used the bathroom. The bathroom did not have a shower, but Pastor Peterfield told Wayne he could wash his face and anything else he wanted to wash in the sink.

Alone in the bathroom, Wayne stood in front of the sink facing the mirror. His eyes closed and opened. His eyes closed and opened again. Then his eyes closed and stayed closed. He saw lines of colors and splotches of other colors with his eyes closed. It was dark, but the light in the bathroom through the skin of his eyelids made the darkness red-colored, especially at the top where he would have seen the light if his eyes were open.

Wayne blinked and came into the toilet stall. He sat on the toilet seat and repeated what he had done facing the mirror. He looked at the floor, tiled in white with black tiles patterned throughout the white. His shoes had bits of grass in between the laces, and he picked it all out and put it in the toilet bowl. He looked between his thighs at the grass in the toilet. Most of the grass floated at the top of the water, but one green blade sank slowly to the bottom and down the bottom of the bowl until he could not see it any longer. After 30 minutes, Pastor Peterfield came into the stall where Wayne was asleep sitting on the toilet with his head rested on his knees.

The rest of the day the pastor tried to keep Wayne conscious by telling him how his life was now saved and it was up to Wayne not to fall back into the devil's business. Tomorrow would be Thursday, and Wayne could be baptized by him during the Thursday night service.

Baptisms were usually held during Sunday morning services because there were usually a planned celebration. Peterfield considered this an emergence baptism. Wayne needed to be baptized immediately. He spent the rest of the day with the speechless Wayne teaching him why he had been born again as a true christian.

Wayne spent that night on the couch in Pastor Peterfield's office. By evening he was no longer drunk at all, but had yet to see any reason for saying anything to the minister who as far as he could tell had abducted him.

The door of the office woke Wayne the morning of his baptism when it shut behind Pastor Peterfield and the assistant minister, Pastor Tom Flick. Before falling asleep the night before, Wayne remembered being sent home from work the day earlier. Then he remembered the ditch and the highway cleanup people and uncovering his eyes as he was led into a church kitchen and Pastor Peterfield. Wayne sat up and looked at the two pastors walking toward him. He laughed and coughed, and they stopped in the middle of the room. Wayne quoted a poem he'd read in a mens magazine:

``There once was a man of the church

who, from pulpits where he did perch,

sold bottles of rum

and sticks of mint gum

and penises made out of birch.''

Fractal Tape

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Friday, June 22, 2007

On Being Hit by a Vehicle

It’s not a person’s fault that most of his thoughts are about himself. So, it wasn’t my fault that when I heard about the Russell kid’s being hit by a car on his bicycle I first thought of the only time I’d been hit by a car. I was skating down a hill on Lexington Ave. in Manhattan. A nice looking grey car came too far into the intersection on a red, and there I was lying on the hood looking at the driver. He and I, both respectively scared that we were at fault. I stood up slowly. He backed up his grey Lexus slowly. I picked up my skateboard, which had stuck a passerby’s ankle. He took off in his automobile, which had stuck a passerby’s body. Nobody got hurt in my crash. We both probably profited from the collision. He had a story about hitting somebody, and I one of being hit by some car. The Russell kid got hurt badly. When I heard about it, he was still in the E.R., and the next day I heard that he had died there.

The night of his death I had spent around the city of Rochester in Olmsted County, Minnesota. A friend who had lived here with me during high school had moved away during college but he was back here for this week of the summer. We’d met other high school friends and had all gone to the McDonald’s closest to my house.

In Rochester, most of the Mayo Clinic is downtown, and most of downtown Rochester is the Mayo Clinic. By following Second St. west out of Downtown Mayo Clinic ten blocks there are: a Caribou Coffee, two of hotels both owned by Marriott, the McDonald’s already mentioned, and Saint Marys Hospital of the Mayo Clinic. There are at least fourteen other Saint Mary’s Hospitals in the States, but this one is the only one with over a thousand beds, over fifty operating rooms, a helipad, and this nation’s largest intensive care unit. Saint Marys Hospital is the only hospital with the name of the mother of our savior that omits her possessive apostrophe. Saint Marys Hospital is the largest hospital campus in the world. Saint Marys Hospital is one block diagonally from the McDonald’s. Which meant that when Keith Russell was dying in the largest intensive care unit in the world I was one block away diagonally hearing about his crash, but not of his death, in the McDonald’s Drive Thru. I didn’t find out about his death until the next day.

Rochester, despite its hospital, functions as a small town for better or worse. Nobody in Rochester is more than two degrees of acquaintance from any other resident. So every body in Rochester at least knew somebody who knew Keith, if not then knew him directly. The next day, then, the residents of Olmsted County who knew early on of Keith’s death set the necessary mechanics into motion to be sure all degrees of the county would know of the previous night’s death. I had attended high school along with Keith, though he was a year my junior. That day after his death I heard many times that he died. My mother was the first to ask me if I’d “heard about the Russell Boy?” My girlfriend asked me in the same way only she didn’t say, “Russell boy,” she said, “Keith Russell.” She was also a year below me and she had taken high school band with Keith for all four years. She played the oboe. He played clarinet. My friend who had been with me at the McDonald’s Drive Thru the night before asked me, “You heard that Keith died last night, right?” He had played Dungeons & Dragons with him at a Russian immigrant’s house many times before moving out of Olmsted County. “You know I used to hang out with him at Anton’s?” He swore and sighed and swore again. “We played D&D together. I mean, he wasn’t my best friend, but I knew him, you know? I mean, Keith was definitely a friend.”

When the World Trade Center buildings started falling down in ninth grade, we were all arriving at our second period classes. Most of us watched it on T.V. all that school day. I was in history for second period, and our teacher, Mr. Glaser, who later said the Taliban was to the Middle East as the American Revolutionaries were to British America, let us watch the first tower smoke like a chimney until the second one got hit. Two buildings made into chimneys stacks by passenger aircraft on T.V. with short breaks to see the Pentagon all smashed up from another aircraft. Then Mr. Glaser, Dallas Glaser, a Green Party Ralph Nader supporter, put a video in the VCR that was planned for the day’s lesson. It was an educational video about American Indians narrated by the actor Kevin Costner. Class periods in high school were 45 minutes, so I was out in the halls soon enough. The halls of Mayo High School on September 11, 2001 were louder, but not loud like a football game. They were loud the way a classroom might get loud if the teacher all of a sudden slammed her fist through the glass window and screamed and whaled in front of the whole class and then ran out the door slamming it behind her. Everybody was talking in regular voices, but since we were all talking about the same thing it felt loud.

The day after Keith got run over by a Lincoln Town Car this place felt loud. The entire county seemed to be talking in regular voices doing their regular tasks, but it was all about Keith, all over, all day.

On September 11, 2001, after Mr. Glaser’s class I saw Andrew Murphy in the hall looking around at everyone. He asked me what was going on. I asked him, “Didn’t you hear?”

“Didn’t you hear about Keith?”

“Did you hear it was an old lady that hit him?”

“Did you hear that he was biking on the highway where there aren’t any street lights?”

“Did you hear he was biking all day going from door to door for some politician?”

When most people in the county heard about as much as they could hear, those who hadn’t heard anything looked around at everyone and asked what was going on. They received, “Didn’t you hear about Keith?”

By the afternoon of that day, people closer to Keith started asking each other about funeral attendance. Kids who had played in marching band with him wanted their conductor to arrange for them to play at the funeral. My friend who was only supposed to be in town for only a week arranged to stay longer because the more he spoke about whether or not he should to go to the funeral the more he considered Keith his friend.

I’d only been to two funerals. The first was for an old man I’d known all my life through church. He died while sitting on the toilet. He was old. I was surprised to go to a funeral and see most people laughing and smiling. His wife cried during the service, but there was cake and coffee afterward.

The second funeral was for a Sudanese immigrant I’d met in Phy. Ed. in ninth grade. I’d tutored him after school in tenth grade, and he was in my twelfth grade government class the year he died. He died leaning against a concrete slab behind K-mart. He was young. His friends had left him to walk home drunk in the winter, and he froze to death leaning against the concrete platform for the K-mart garbage dumpsters. At his funeral most of the young people there cried. The teachers who came from school for the most part held themselves together, but when his coffin came in carried by black dressed Sudanese men, the whole crowd seemed to shiver together. His mother and siblings followed his body into the sanctuary screaming and whaling. Afterward, I threw up in the bathroom and followed the procession to the cemetery, where we stepped through the snow to cast a rocks on his coffin before the bulldozers plowed the frozen dirt back in its place.

Keith’s funeral, I’ve heard, was somewhere in between the two I’d attended. Not halfway between, probably closer to Alier’s, the Sudanese immigrants. Keith was young. His family cried softly during the service. There were many people at Keith’s like there were at the old man’s, just less old people. There were teachers from high school like at Alier’s, but nobody screamed and whaled or pounded on the coffin lid cursing Heaven and God and Jesus. It was summer, so when they put Keith’s body in the ground there was no snow. The politician for whom Keith had been campaigning came to the funeral and spoke.

Back when Minnesotan U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone died, the Democratic Party threw a political rally disguised as a memorial service at Williams Arena, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball stadium. The governor at the time, former pro-wrestler Jesse “The Body” Venture, left early calling it a disgrace and spited the Democrats by appointing an independent replacement to the Senate.

The politician who spoke at Keith’s funeral spoke kindly of the city of Rochester and of Keith and said nothing about politics more than that Keith was a big help to his campaign and that he’d be missed.

In the city paper months later, letters to the editor appeared citing Keith’s and others’ deaths as evidence that bicyclists should be committed to the sidewalks. One wrote, “Why’d we spend so much on the bike paths if they’re going to be allowed to bike all over the streets? They’re asking for it.”

The only bike paths in Rochester were scenic paths for exercise and family time. There were zero bike lanes in all of Olmsted County, and according to local laws it was illegal to ride on the sidewalks. Keith was hit by a car on the highway, where he wasn’t allowed. A seven-year-old girl was killed instantly crossing a street not at an intersection in Rochester a month before. A Rochester city bus ran down a mentally retarded woman crossing at a crosswalk with lights in her favor in the same year.

In Manhattan, people got hit all the time. A lot of them were bike messengers and a lot of them died. When three people died in three consecutive months on the streets of Olmsted County, the people of the small community had funerals and memorial services and hung white crosses with flowers to street signs and eventually wrote letters to the newspaper telling bicyclists to get out of the cars’ way. Three down and how many more to go? Sort of a “Who else wants to see what we can do to you if you cross our streets?” kind of crowd in Olmsted County. They dared you to find out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Save the world, buy a t-shirt

Save the world, buy a t-shirt

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Legos and the Simpsons agree: White Folks Are Yellow

inverse colors to see STARS

Friday, June 01, 2007

Vegan Fly Trap

David Petrified Forest National Park


The things that I need are few and far between. I’ve got a rosary and a yarmulke, a Cat Stevens mix tape, and a book on tape called––wouldn’t you like to know? The tapes begin with an introduction about the reader of the story. He has a gravel-road voice and a handful of accents. He makes me feel like I’m there, but I’m in a car to Mexico, where I’ll probably stay a while. I’m in a car to Anchorage. I’ll probably stick around, there. I’m in a car to Dominican Republic. I’ll probably not come back. I’m in a car on East Houston Street, and I’m not even the one who’s driving. The cabbie is talking, but I’m not saying much. He asks me where I’ve been to. I turn my head and look at his reflection. Say, “You don’t want to know. I’ve been in a car from Mexico, heading for my home. I’ve been in a boat from Anchorage. I was coming back. I’ve been in a plane from the Dominican Republic. I couldn’t wait to see my bed. I’m in a taxi in the Lower East Side. If I lived here I’d already be home.”
He says, “We all live in America, in the sense we’re all alive here.”
“Wherever I go I say I’m from there, in the sense I’m probably leaving.”
“The earth is mostly water, so it looks blue from the space station.”
“There are other solid planets, but you can’t breathe on Venus.”
“Men are from Mars.”
“And girls go to college.”
“Pluto’s just a dog now.”
I’m in my house in Minnesota. I’m probably going to bed soon. I’m in my country in North America. They say it’s probably sinking. I’m on my planet part of something bigger. I’ll find out when I get there.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I have lived my life so far imagining how I would explain it to a biographer.

I have lived my life so far imagining how I would explain it to a biographer. When Elizabeth Vargas asks me on a 20/20 show, “When did you know you wanted to be a writer?” I’ll immediately be able to respond, “I decided I was going to be a writer right after I decided that I was going to be a lead singer in Rock band. In fact, it was during the same bus ride that I came to both of these realizations. We had just stopped at a toll both. I’d just finished listening to the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash Nashville Session CD and I was beginning to listen to the first chapter of the Sun Also Rises audiobook written originally by Ernest Hemingway, but read by someone else. Suddenly, I realized the truth. I realized that I was better than all three of them. Dylan, Cash, and Hemingway and definitely the audiobook reader.”

“Was that the first time in your life that you felt––I don’t want to say, ‘special’––but yes, special? Because you must have felt you had something special if you knew at age 12 that you were going to be greater than Dylan or Hemingway.”

“Dylan and Hemingway, and I didn’t know that I was going to be better. I knew that I was better. I was born better than them. I remember an incident when I was only 9. My father had just caught me up late at night in the kitchen drinking milk straight from the gallon. He scolded me and sent me to bed. The next night I was thirsty again so I went down for some milk. This time as I was drinking straight from the gallon again, I thought, ‘I hope everybody else isn’t doing this.’ I hoped especially hard that the cleaning lady, who came on Wednesdays while I was still at school, didn’t sneak any drinks right from the gallon. She spoke Hungarian, smelled poor people, and listened to boring radio stations. I didn’t want to catch whatever disease she had. Later in my life, I came to understand that she was an immigrant from Budapest and didn’t have any disease other than not being born with the same capabilities with which I had been born. I still drink straight from the gallon, but now there’s no danger of germs because everyone in my house has their own refrigerator. Well, for now the baby shares with the three-year old, but she’ll get hers when she turns two. I mean, if I can afford this luxury then why not? You know? If God wanted us to have to drink milk straight from the cow’s utters, he wouldn’t have invented farmers.”

“That’s an interesting subject. You dealt a lot with your personal struggles with religion in your last book, Dog Poop. That title backwards spells Poop God. Is there a secret meaning to this hidden message?”

“I’ve taken a lot of heat from the fundamentalists that my title, Dog Poop, backwards is actually a command ordering God to poop. I have said once and I will say again now on your show that any combination––besides the printed, left-to-right oriententated version––of the letters in Dog Poop is merely accidental, I mean coincidental. Did you know that you can arrange the letters in your name, Elizabeth Vargas, to spell Algebra Have Zit? Yes, I bet you didn’t. Would it be fair for me to accuse you of ordering the mathematics topic of study to break out with acne? Yes, I bet you’d agree it wouldn’t be fair. No, I don’t want to say anything more about that title or about anything anybody else has said about it.”

“What about your religious struggles? This is your first book to denounce religion. You say that religion is quote ‘too accommodating because it makes people feel better when they feel bad and makes people feel better when they feel good.’ What did you mean by that?”

“I never struggled with religion. When I was six, my parents taught me the importance of prayer. They also taught me that sleeping a good amount every night was healthy and they also made me do math homework in the summer. So naturally, instead of praying every night before going to sleep I recorded myself saying a prayer once. I said, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, pray the lord my soul to keep. Guard me Jesus through the night and give me a kiss in the morning light.’ I switched off the recorder and said, ‘P.S. God, this prayer’s going to have to count as a bunch of prayers for a while if I’m going to get the most sleep I can. Thanks for understanding.’ Then from the next night forward I would just push play on the tape and go to sleep. For a while, maybe a week or so, I would listen to my recorded prayer, but I noticed that I never fell asleep before it finished so I wasn’t actually getting more sleep. I continued playing the tape every night but I just turned the volume knob to nothing beforehand.”

“But what about the quote from Dog Poop? What about religion being too accommodating?”

“That’s true. It is.”

“Explain then.”

“Religion is too accommodating the way that alcohol is too accommodating. People drink it when they’re up and they drink it when they’re down. The only difference is that at church you get a cracker with your booze.”

“Let’s take a break and when we come back we’ll hear about the future of––” and she will smile at the camera and I’ll drink coffee and flirt with the makeup people.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Two Having Pornography and One Watching

He's getting me into trouble again.

Psychology Department


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Q33 NY

Q33 NY

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Doctor & The Cure

Seth's birthday gift

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ted Hernandez

It had rained a bit the night before. There were still clouds covering the sun, though none was releasing its rain. The city streets shined like oil on a face, but the highway was dry from the trucks and cars always keeping the concrete active with their tires. The blacktop bike path didn’t shine but it was wet and when Heliodoro Hernandez’s foot happened to hit the ground on one of the many cracks in the path a splash of mud and water came up onto his pants and dampened his sock. His walk lasted twenty-five minutes from his house on Second Avenue in the northeast quarter of Rochester, MN to where he worked, the restaurant in the strip mall along South Broadway in the southwest quarter. He used to ride a bicycle along the bike path until a group of black children stole first the seat and then the front wheel. Then after seeing the body of the bike locked to the lamppost of the parking lot of the strip mall for three days, they came with an older kid who brought a bolt cutter and took the rest of Heliodoro’s bicycle.

Oxxxxxx’s Pizza Pub required Heliodoro to arrive five minutes before he was scheduled in order to change into his dishwasher’s shirt and clean his hands. Upon his first day at the restaurant Sxxxxxx Oxxxxxx explained to him in plain English how to wash his hands. He watched her wash under her nails and between her fingers and all the way up to her elbows, not rinsing until everything was covered in fresh suds and popping with soap bubbles. He mimicked her and nodded to her as she watched him.

“Good,” she said to him.

“Gracias,” he said and looked to her face. “A thank a you.” He said in English and smiled under his thin bigote.

“You’re welcome,” she replied slowly and emphasizing each sound. “Ted, this is America. You need to speak English to work here. No more Spanish.”

“Yes,” he said.

Save for the other Mexicans, everyone at work called him Ted. On Heliodoro’s first day Sxxxxxx had seen his name written out and decided that it looked enough like Theodore to call him Ted for short. She took him around and introduced him as the new dishwasher Ted. Ted said hello to the cooks, and to them his name was Ted; and Ted said hello to the bartenders and to the hosts and to Exxx & Bxxxx Oxxxxxx. Only the Mexican’s and the Oxxxxxxs themselves knew that the name Heliodoro existed.

Theodore comes from Greek, as does Heliodoro. Doron is the Greek pronunciation of gift. Theos is for God and Helio is for Sun. Thus, respectively Theodore and Heliodoro originally mean “gift from God” and “gift from the sun.” Yet in Olmsted County, Minnesota, Sxxxxxx Oxxxxxx was explaining to one of the cooks, “His name is Mexican for Theodore, so we’re just going to call him Ted. Ted’s a nice American name for him.”

“What’s his Mexican name?” the cook asked.

“Heliodoro,” she said in plain English pronouncing the H and giving the vowels a similar sound to helicopter.

“That doesn’t sound much like Theodore.”

“Well you have to see it written out,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. His name is Ted. Just call him Ted.”

Oxxxxxx’s Pizza Pub had an open kitchen. The kitchen was at the front of the restaurant against the storefront windows and enclosed in Plexiglas like a hockey rink, so that the customers as well as passersby could hang around and watch the art of flattening dough and placing pepperonis. The dish room was behind the kitchen and had no windows. There used to be a radio for the dishwashers to hear music as they pushed the racks of plates into the dishwashing machine and then out of the machine. That was back when the restaurant was still in the old bank building downtown, before moving there to the strip mall.

Downtown there was only one Mexican working called Hilario. He knew enough English to work on the pizza line in the kitchen. He could read the words: small, medium, large, XL, cheese, pep, sausage, G.P., black olive, green olive, well-done, thick and thin. He, like Heliodoro later, worked without legal identity.

“I need to go home,” he told the Oxxxxxxs one day during December.

“To Mexico?” Sxxxxxx asked.

He nodded, and she asked why.

“I need to go home to see my wife and my family,” he said slowly but correctly. “I am going to come back mayo.”

“In May, you will come back?” Exxx Oxxxxxx asked. She had studied Spanish and Russian at the College of Saint Catherine a catholic college for women in the Twin Cities. Sxxxxxx explained once that her sister attended St. Kate’s back before the whole lesbian thing. Exxx had studied Russian there because of the Cold War, but she was speaking in Spanish to Hilario at the pizza pub.

“¿Por qué tu familia no está contigo aquí?” she asked.

“My family is in Mexico because there is no money for to come here,” he said back to her in English.

“¿Y a tu familia vas a darle tu dinero? ¿A ellos, está enviandoles tu dinero actualmente?”

“I am giving my money to my family with the Oestern Union.”

“The Western Union? And, ¿Va a venir contigo tu familia?”

“No, my family is staying in Mexico.”

Helario left, and a kid from the high school took his spot on the pizza line, until he came late too many days in a row. An ex-con named Don out on the work release program replaced him, and in February Hilario returned. The Oxxxxxxs gave him back his job along the pizza line.

“Welcome back to America,” the employees of Oxxxxxx’s shouted at the small party that had been thrown after work on his first night back. There was an American Flag birthday cake and a baseball hat with a ribbon on it for Hilario. He said thank you and looked at the hat, which had an embroidered on it a bald eagle clutching an American Flag in its talons. On the back in gold floss, there read “U.S.A. United We Stand!”

“Thank you very much,” he said.

Hilario explained later to Exxx in very quick Spanish that he had come back early because his wife had left him before he arrived in his pueblo outside of Mexico City. She took all of the money he had been sending home and drove to Guatemala with another man leaving the three children alone in the small house. They all had no money now so he left them with an amigo in another pueblo and returned to Olmsted County to work making pizzas again.

When the restaurant moved to the strip mall, Hilario helped to move the ovens and equipment. He worked at the new location for a few months before saying the same thing to Exxx about returning to Mexico and to his family to give them his money. He would be back he said to her.

While he was gone, Heliodoro a roommate of Hilario’s at their house on Second Avenue NE, Rochester, MN came to the Oxxxxxxs and asked for a job with Hilario’s name as recommendation. All of the other Mexican dishwashers had come on the behalf of Hilario. There were Paco, Santos, and Juan Carlos.

Paco only lasted two nights. He was always sad-faced and saying to himself, “Qué lástima.” Exxx told Sxxxxxx that this was Spanish for “What hurts?” Paco kept saying it all the time, and Sxxxxxx kept asking him in English, “ ‘What hurts?’ What you are talking about Paco? Tell me what you are talking about in English. Hilario, tell me what Paco is saying all the time. What is Qué lástima?”

“It means that Paco is sad,” Hilario said.

“Paco is sad to be working here?” Sxxxxxx asked. She turned to Paco, who was caring a brown tub of dirty dishes past the sink into the dish room. “Are you sad to be working here in America, Paco?”

“¿Qué?” he asked and looked at Hilario. “Hilario, ¿Qué me dijo la jefe?”

“She asked if you are sad to be in America as a worker,” Hilario said to him in Spanish.

“What did you say to him Hilario?” she asked. “Don’t speak Spanish to each other in front of me. This is America. We speak English here. What did you say to Paco, Hilario?”

“I said that what you said to him about if he is sad to be in America.”

“And what does he have to say?” she asked and turned to Paco. “Are you Qué lástima to be in America?”

“No, Señora,” Paco said and said something else to Hilario. “¿Por qué está enojada conmigo? Y ¿Qué me dijo ahora?”

“What did he say, Hilario? Tell me what he said in English.”

“He said, ‘Why is she mad with me?’”

“Well, you can tell him that I won’t have slimy Mexicans working for me who don’t even want to be in America. If he is so sad to be here, then he should go straight back to Mexico because there are plenty of people who would be glad to have a job here. Tell him that, Hilario, and then tell him to take off that Oxxxxxx’s shirt because he doesn’t work here anymore,” she took a quick breath. “You run home now, Paco. Now who’s so sad?”

Hilario and Paco stood in front of the dish room while Sxxxxxx turned around and walked to the back of the restaurant. Hilario told Paco what had happened. Paco removed his Oxxxxxx’s t-shirt and left. Hilario explained to Juan Carlos what had happened in Spanish and then he explained it in English to one of the cooks, who then explained it in English to the rest of the staff.

Juan Carlos told Heliodoro not to speak Spanish around the female bosses, but that it was okay to speak it when in front of el jefe, the male boss, and any time when no boss was around to hear it.

Jay Fox, the only white dishwasher hated to hear the Mexicans speak in Spanish, but he was always outnumbered by them in the dish room, and the Oxxxxxx’s did not take his complaints or anything about him seriously.

Heliodoro and Juan Carlos sang and joked in Spanish while they worked in the dish room. They spoke to each other in Spanish during their dinner break. Sometimes, they spoke in Spanish to one of the cooks, Andrew, a high school student, who was taking second-year Spanish.

“¿Cómo están amigos?” he said to Juan Carlos and Heliodoro.

They each said they were well, and Heliodoro asked, “¿Tú sabes mucho español?”

Andrew said in Spanish that he was only in Spanish Level Two at the high school and he knew very little Spanish.

“No, hablas español muy bien,” Juan Carlos said. “Es muy bueño hablar dos idiomas. Sabes dos.” Juan Carlos said that he was sad that he only knew Spanish and that he wished that he knew English.

Sxxxxxx walked past everyone on dinner break and looked at the three of them speaking Spanish. They looked up at her. She looked away.

After the dinner break was over and the plates were all cleared, everyone had to scrub their hands. Sxxxxxx stood by the kitchen and watched the two Mexican dishwashers return to the dish room without washing their hands. At the moment that Juan Carlos seized a tray of dishes, Sxxxxxx yelled to them.

“Juan Carlos get over here,” she said. “Put down those plates. Those are all dirty now. You came in there with your filthy hands after you stuffed your face and touched the clean plates with them.”

Juan Carlos apologized and started to explain in Spanish that the dishes were dirty and he was trying to put them into the machine.

“Boogadee boogadee boo,” she said. “Speak English. Andrew, get over here. You think it’s so funny to sit there and speak their language with them, so until they work perfectly you going to be in there doing dishes with them. You can tell them how to do it right. And if you don’t know how to do it right then you better ask somebody because otherwise all three of you are going to out of here. That means you, too, Ted. I’ve seen you putting the pots into the sanitizer without letting them soak in the rinse water. I know that I explained this all to you before. You both are lazy and if you think that I’m going to keep you around you’re wrong. Get to work, and Juan Carlos, put those dishes in the machine.”

Andrew quit before the next weekend. The cooks later talked about how he had a job making $10 an hour working for the city repainting fire hydrants orange.

Juan Carlos and Heliodoro worked in mostly silence for weeks after Andrew left. There was no Spanish in the dish room for a while. Soon things fell into routine again, and the Spanish songs and jokes returned. Jay complained to Sxxxxxx that the Mexicans were speaking Mexican again.

“They’re working right now, Jay,” she said to him. “That’s something you’re not doing when you’re whining to me. Let us worry about the Mexicans, and you worry about getting the silverware cleaned before we run out of forks out here again.”

Hilario returned from Mexico a couple weeks later. He told Heliodoro that his wife had come and taken his three children away with her to Guatemala while he was in America. He had spent all his money trying to find where they were in Guatemala. Only he found out that they hadn’t gone to Guatemala at all. They had gone to a place called Birmingham, but he was broke so he returned to Olmsted County to work making pizzas. The Oxxxxxxs told him that there was nothing good in Mexico for him and he should stop trying to go back there and that he should bring his family to America. They hired him back, and he walked along the bike path with Heliodoro from their house to work until Heliodoro bought a five-year-old Mazda. Then each day Heliodoro drove two other Mexicans to their jobs at the car wash before taking Hilario and himself to work at the restaurant.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Strip Malls

The restaurant was part of a chain of businesses stretched along the main roadway in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Chains of pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and places that sold furniture & baskets of potpourri and maybe few restaurants were commonly known as strip malls and sometimes as mini malls. As the world or the American part of the world grew, it spread sideways rather than up, so when driving along a highway a driver could see a strip mall with a Home Depot, a Target, a Barnes & Noble, a Michael’s, an Old Navy, a Bed Bath & Beyond and probably an Applebee’s or if not Applebee’s then a T.G.I. Friday’s. Later along the same highway in the next town or maybe just on the other side of the same town, there would be another strip mall. This one had a Home Depot, a Target, a Barnes & Noble, a Michael’s, an Old Navy, a Bed Bath & Beyond and a Blockbuster. The strip malls were still strip malls though most people didn’t call them that. The business just became the place where people parked their cars and traded their money for things. They had names like South Oakwood Tree Bluff View Shopping Center, but no real way to distinguish them against any other type of shopping because for most people this was the only type of shopping they would do all year. The strip mall in Olmsted County, along Broadway Avenue the busiest road in the area, was more of a traditional strip mall. Not that there was anything especially noble about being a traditional strip mall. For the most part it just meant that the businesses were a little smaller, less colorful and more nationally unknown. There were those nationally popular stores in Olmsted County, but just not as many along this particular strip of storefronts.
Olmsted County, the only county in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes without a natural lake, is situated near the Southeast corner of Minnesota, which is not a small state but not quite a big one either. The famous twin cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis float a good two-hour drive along Interstate 90 up north out of Olmsted County.
Referring to a place by its county usually hints that there is going to be some talk about farming or ranching and that sort of thing. Olmsted County would be a picturesque example of a community connected by dirt rounds and a post office where the men talk about crops and the women talk about the men and the children go to church socials and picnics and the bad children smoke cigarettes and use curse words. But Olmsted County’s county seat is Rochester, MN, a town named after its founder’s hometown, Rochester, NY. The Rochester of Minnesota is in no way a pathetic city, and out of the 16 places named Rochester in the United States of America, only the original Rochester, NY has a greater population.
Rochester once was pathetic city or just another small town, a place where it wouldn’t have seemed as silly to be named after another city in the same country because every place had to be named after something and wouldn’t you have to say it was silly then that Rochester, NY used to be called Rochesterville and silly that that name came from Colonel Nathaniel Rochester’s last name and wasn’t it so damn silly that a town be named after a man from the same country.
It had been a long time since Rochester, MN was pathetic, and now Rochester wasn’t pathetic anymore because years before the turn of the 20th century a tornado had ruined most of the town, the crops and barns were knocked over. A doctor and the local nunnery set up a hospital to care for the injured. The hospital stuck around after the tornado injuries had passed through, and by now the whole city of 100,000 people has in someway something to do with the hospital or the clinic or the research facilities. And if somebody didn’t end up on the Mayo Clinic’s payroll, then they owned a shop or a restaurant where most of the money came from people who did. So Rochester had a downtown or something like it. Most of the buildings were Clinic buildings or hotels and few bar & grill type restaurants huddled around the hotels. The restaurant that is now part of a strip mall used to be one of these hotel-side restaurants in the downtown of Rochester. Doctors in neat suit coats had jogged in for a quick lunch. Three dollars got two slices of pizza and a can of pop, a word Minnesotans use instead of soda. Though they would have said everybody else used the word soda instead of pop. The pop cans were in a big salad bowl of ice and it was one of the restaurant worker’s jobs to keep the bowl filled with five Coca Cola Classics, five Diet Cokes, two Sprites, two Orange Crushes, two Dr. Peppers and one Schweppes ginger ale. He didn’t have to worry about filling the bowl with ice because the lunch rush only lasted thirty minutes or so. They left the bowl with the drinks out for an hour after the lunch crowd and when the restaurant emptied out there were usually a few drinks floating belly up in the cold water of the salad bowl. Nearby a few stiff looking slices baked in the heated pizza case.
At night the restaurant was a family dining area and a bar constantly lined with doctors, loosening their ties and emptying their beer pints while talking in loud voices about their committee meetings and staffing problems. There were regulars at the bar who came each night to drink more than the others and often more than they ought to have. By 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday the place was empty again except for a few at the bar refusing to leave without another beer. And if they couldn’t have another beer could they have a taxi called or could they just have a shot of something hard so they could straighten out their mind enough to locate their car keys.
Three months before the restaurant left for the strip mall, the four-year lease on their building downtown ran out. The owners of Oxxxxxx’s Pizza Pub, Sxxxxxx, Exxx and their brother Bxxxx Oxxxxxx, had originally planed on simply extending the lease for another four years. The owner of the building, Fred Garner (a owner of many buildings downtown: the Red Lobster, the North Star Bar, the Eagle Drug Store were a few) thought things were going well enough downtown for him to raise the rent by 50 percent. The building, a marble and stone bank building, was emptied out of everything over a period of two weeks. The Oxxxxxx’s found a cheaper lease of a larger space on a strip mall where the last local record store had just closed down. The new location had plaster walls and storefront dress code. Everything on the outside of any shop along the strip had to be approved by the landlord and had to fit with the color scheme of the neighbors. The ovens and the tables and chairs were all loaded onto trucks and carried down the street for half a mile to the new location. The four 50-light chandeliers that used to hang from the old bank building downtown suddenly disappeared sometime during those two weeks.
Bxxxx Oxxxxxx had told Mr. Garner, “I didn’t have anything to do with your missing chandeliers and it’s such a goddamn shame you don’t have them anymore.”
“I hope you haven’t done something very stupid,” said Mr. Garner. “I’ve gone to the police about this and don’t expect me to give you any pardon just because you used to rent my building.”
“I never wanted your pardon and I certainly don’t want your building anymore now that it doesn’t even have four great big chandeliers hanging in it. If you want to talk to me ever again you can write me a letter and mail it to me because I’m sick of seeing your ugly face and smelling your ugly smelly breathe.” Only he didn’t say ugly and he often said words that weren’t the word ugly but were considered ugly. He said them to men often and to women too often.
Bxxxx never said anything to anybody again in Rochester about the chandeliers because most people didn’t ask. But most people in Rochester had never been to his house in Lake City, along the Mississippi River 45 miles east of Olmsted County. Most people had never been inside Bxxxx’s three-car garage that was lit like the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf=Astoria.
Bxxxx drove to Rochester from his house in Lake City six days out of seven to spin the pizza dough at the restaurant and occasionally pour beers when the bartender, John, Chad or Kory had to, as Bxxxx like to call it, “go and make a mess in the bathroom.” Each time he substituted as the bartender he leaned on the bar and waited for him to return and when he did he always said something nasty to the bartender while winking at whoever might be seating at the bar close enough to hear him.
“Did you leave a mess again?” he said once. “Am I going to have to send one of the dish boys down there with a bucket and mop? Are they going to have to pull their shirts over their noses because you left such a stink in the bowl again?”
“Oh you know me Bxxxx,” said the bartender. He made himself laugh and watched Bxxxx laugh and watched Bxxxx slap his knee, laughing loud all the time.
“I am funny aren’t I?” He winked again at the bar and said, “And good looking.”
The bathrooms used to be in the basement when the restaurant was downtown. When the bartender came back he usually had just ran up the stairs.
“Boy that took a lot out you didn’t it?” Bxxxx said when the bartender came back breathing heavily from the stairs. “You look like you just lost twenty pounds. Did you give birth down there? Are you crying or just sweating? Was it hard work down there all alone?”
“Oh you know me Bxxxx,” he said that time again and watched Bxxxx slap his knee, laugh and wink at the bar. Then Bxxxx returned to the kitchen to roll out the pizza dough. He did it all day long for the six days a week he was at the restaurant. When the business was not too fast he threw the flat disc of dough around on his hand. If there were children waiting for their family to be seated he rolled out small pieces of dough and walked to the front. He kneeled by them and talked at their eye level.
“Are you ready to learn how to throw pizza dough?” He asked them.
“Yes. No. Mom is it okay if I learn how to throw?” one of the little girls asked. It was okay and she reached out for the dough, but Bxxxx held the dough and spoke to her.
“Hold out your hands,” he said. “Put your thumbs in and make fists on top of your thumbs. Now when you have the dough on top of your fists you twist them like this. Yes, then you untwist at the same time as you throw the dough in the air. If you don’t have your thumbs in they’re going to catch on the dough and rip it.”
He tossed it once for himself then gave dough to each of the girls and watched the girls throw the dough. If they ripped the dough he pinched it together, but he let the girls pick up the dough off the ground if they dropped it. He smiled at the girls’ mother and shook hands with the father. They both thanked him and he said goodbye to the girls asking them to throw the dough in the garbage when they were done.
When he returned to the kitchen he said to the cook leaning against the prep table, “Did you see the those?”
“The little girls? Yes, they’re cute aren’t they,” he said.
“No, not the girls,” Bxxxx said. He leaned forward with his chin pushing on his big chest. “You mean to tell me that you were looking at the little bastards running around when their mom was standing right there with tits the size of your head?”
“Oh yes, those. Sure I saw those,” he said.
“Are you a faggot, Dylan?” He asked. “If you are, you know, I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with faggots. Only if you’re a faggot then you shouldn’t be carrying on like you’re not a faggot. If you’re a faggot then be a faggot and that’s that.”
“I’m not gay, Bxxxx,” Dylan said to his boss. “I just wasn’t looking. That’s all.”
“I’d sure like to play around with those for an hour or two,” Bxxxx said not to the cook anymore, but not really to himself. “Watch them stick out through her shirt like nails when she walks passed the air conditioner. The cold air hits them and the turkey’s done.”
The mother, her husband and the two girls were seated at a both in the middle of the dining area. Bxxxx could see them under the florescent rectangle of light from the low ceiling above them. As they finished their pizza and pitcher of root beer, the sun was past the horizon and the lights on all the businesses of the strip mall turned on together at once.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rat dick suck nut

Emelio & Colin

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Maybe that's obvious


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bio-Hazard at Butter

Monday, April 02, 2007

The other arms or legs or whatever are behind the head, you can't see them, but they're there trust me

Q: Where do bad folks go when they die?  A: Across the steet.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A wink

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Face Here

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Tom Sawyer

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Flower Whip

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Emily Manne-Nicholas said,

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Greco Roman

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Rachel McAdams

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

White People Love

I searched for "white people love" on google.com and the top three results finished the quote with:
...to believe they're fair.
...Gnarls Barkley.
...fat black women.

Other memorable results were:
...the Negro in a sort of abstract way.
...Cacaine Rap.
...this one because it allows them to be the “super-anti-racist”.
...everything about black people, well, almost everything.
...to complain and bitch, especially in sports.
...it when you smile right at 'em.
...them some Obama.
...Will Smith Don'tyou know?
...us, or hate us.
...saying the word nigga, when nigga's can't hear them.
...the japanese because they make Bobby Lee look like Mao Zedong.
...to eat yogurt, string cheese and trail mix.
...pizza, black people love pizza. .....Do black people love pizza? (edit).
...to rush up to me and say how “articulate” I am.
...Jesus openly and alcohol somewhat secretly
... euphemisms.
...needless detail, but often miss the bigger picture, unless of course it is worth a lot of money.
...telling people of color how beautiful their kids.
...to go their separate ways once they go to the club, they mix around, talk to strangers, pick up girls etc - Asians tend to grp tog more.
...hoity-toity white drunks.
...water, just look at how they turned out Baltimore.
...cheese, black people hate it.
...reading, sports and the outdoor, most Chinese people love whatever is the latest, newest.
...whoring out their problems for pity.
...it when we talk about each other, it makes their job a whole lot easier.
...love authentic hot sauce like they get in black rib joints and chicken shacks, but when it comes time to purchase some at the market, they find themselves dumbfounded by the many, varied choices.
...good old pancake butt.
...the Esquimaux, and wish to show them the same kindness that they bestow upon the Indians.
...you today for the same reason—and that only.
...to be skinny, black people love fried chicken, asians love math and greeks love ass sex.
...to call the police on each other.
...you as long as you talking to white girls and you’re on drugs.
...their dogs.
...me, they say "dude you fuckin' rock"!
...watermelons too.
...cream so they add cream, but I wonder how many white people they interviewed before making their menu.
...their hair, skin, and features.
...him, a vanilla coke black yet white at the same time.
...horses, more than anything in the world.
...sports, it would be a good idear having a forum, so we could all talk.
...Oprah but don’t you think for one min that the sistas and brothas don't love her more.
...DC too.
...dogs and they love babies,” said Li Zhen Lo, director of Many Hearts Chinese adoption agency in Beijing.
...education we logically hate it.
...other real white people cause of all the acting spanish people.
...the snow.
...sun bathing, and tanning beds in order to darken there skin.
...me because I make Bryant Gumbel look like Malcom X.
...forests, mountains, and rivers.
...seeing a black man in a servant position (a la holding an umbrella for Diddy on the beach).
...themselves, so why can’t we also learn from our hosts?
...Indians in their pictures.
...to steal.
...the darkies.
...to get flowers for their friends who are buried.
...the 3 strikes rul so we
...to be whipped.
...their countries but the Muslims of India hate their motherland.
...long weekends.
...Emergen-C and Airborne.
...to hear a black man call them honkey on stage.
...being tan, they stupid.
...country music and only a few like rap music.
...asian so much is because some want your women and a large number of the asian population kisses their butts.
...seeing us act dumb.
...women in school girl outfits.
...basketball yet are far less talented at it.
...fried chicken as much as black people.
...to take a nba player who has been in trouble or done something wrong and make him the face of the entire league.
...to wear big hats, seersucker suits, and spot celebs.
...to ruin shit.
...their families.
...ugly asian girls i really don't get that.
...a girl that is a little black but not too black.
...to give away free alcohol and by the time we left everyone was officially drunk.
...their children more than their possessions.
...their Cattle so much, makes them tell the Enemy, which has been the Occasion we have lost several Men, but we value our Men as much as the white Men do their Cattle, so we desire they may not harbour the Catawabas in their Settlements, which if they do we must come after them, and then are forced to kill Cattle for Want of Meat, being so far from Whome, and therefore if any of them goes down in the Settlements send them back, and then the white Peoples' Cattle will not be killed.
...chicken too, yall aint gotta lie.
...watermelon just as much, if not more than Black people.

2 results come up for "You black people love..."
23 results come up for "You white people love..."
4 results come up for "You asian people love..."
8 results come up for "You other people love..."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Recipe for Disaster

Brautigan & Shakespear

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You are donkey, Mr. Danger.

Tora tora tora

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Dinosaur eating your head

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On the bus to boston

Herrie, come back to New York.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cosas or female things

Lauren Bush

The Dress I Made


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New York in the winter is like Sydney in July

New York in the winter is like Sydney in July
meets Looney Tunes on Ice.
It reminds me of the summer and
how much I miss bright white skirts
that float on air and
that don't mean freezing rain and
that have green leaves.

There's frozen dog diarrhea on the sidewalk
by my foot.
It reminds me of the time
when I ate too much at Taco Bell.
They didn't have free refills
because it was Taco Bell Express.
So, I washed tacos down with tacos and
the rest was disgusting.

The Indian guys selling Chinese crap
have a special price for you.
Today you can have two beer mug sunglasses
for the price of just one black t-shirt
that says,
“New York Fucking City” and
has a middle finger
made out little WTC towers.

The air outside is freezing and
it makes me want a cigarette, but
I remember how my hands will smell and
remind my all day of my sin
against God & his countrymen and
all those people who lost lungs and
had cancer on their lips
from killing plants and
wrapping them in trees and
lighting it all on fire.

There's a girl with zits & makeup on and
she's wearing a fake fur coat with nylon pants and
shoes that look like Easter eggs.
Her butt says,
"I am pretty,"
but her face says,
"Who are you? And
stop looking at my ass."

Welcome to Manhattan in the wintertime.
Doesn't it feel just like Australia?
I'm happy to agree with you
about not a single thing.
As soon as that light switches
from the white man to the orange hand,
I'm going to cross the street and
piss off a few Shiite cabs.
Hopefully one will take the time to stop and
roll down his window, and
in the freezing cold air he might shout over to me,
“This is New York Fucking City,” and
“Get out of my way."
Then if I am lucky and
that cabbie is willing
he'll make a middle finger
out of Twin Tower figurines.

New York in the wintertime
is like a great big bear hug
from a hobo that might have A.I.D.S. but
definitely has B.O. and
a shopping cart of other things
that share his B.O.
like jingle bells & Batman dolls and
milk cartons filled with beer.
He’ll say New York’s in the northern hemisphere so
during our wintertime months we obtain less sunlight
than places near the south pole
like Tasmania & New Zealand
that have summer solstice in December and
Christmas in July.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Annie on the chinatown bus


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Prodigal sons & daughters

At six forty five in the after-midnight hours of the day night, when the daylight is about to start invading the late night, tired eyes begin to able to see through their eyelids. It gives everything a sort of bloodish red tint like putting a flashlight against your cheek. Garbage trucks are hurrying around like they have been all night, the only difference is that for a few hours it’s quiet enough, whatever that means here, to hear them here. Here are the heroes of the nocturnal mess, which must be swept away each night otherwise we’ll all sink in a great splash between the Hudson and East rivers. Manhattan’s garbage is soon a problem for Queens or New Jersey. Even North Carolina is receiving some share of New York’s waste, delivered on barges each morning. But Manhattan is flattered by this. Like a celebrity, Manhattan is outraged on the outside that some low life like North Carolina is going through her garbage, but deep on the inside, down where it counts, Manhattan is blushing. How honoring, a show of true fame. Soon, Manhattan will be leaving little secrets, not big career-wrecking secrets, but innocent juicy little secrets in her garbage just so the North Carolinas will find them and score up a little black and white for herself in the newsprints. Look at what the neighbors are throwing out on the curb and you’ll understand. No other city in the world goes through so many mattresses. Manhattan needs to give North Carolina her mattresses. The mattress is where all the sexy page six innocent secrets occur. If only those springs could talk, and they sometimes do. Stained with piss, blood or fun, these mattresses are loaded onto the battleships that march like an army to and from the sandy shores of Carolina. At this moment, there is a mattress, many mattresses, somewhere along the journey to the Near South of the Union. If mattresses floated, and they absolutely do not, then the city of New York would float them down stream like the loggers of Lake Superior send around the new timber. If mattresses could float and if pigs could fly and if pigs could fly on magic mattresses, then maybe pigs would be a new kind of kosher. Rabbis would debate how they sleep in their own filth but they fly on used mattresses. When in doubt, it’s magic or more recently religion or more more recently something too scientific to understand. If we cared about planet earth we wouldn’t keep our garbage here. We’d shoot it into space and watch it float away toward Neptune or Orion’s Belt like logs down the river. For now though, how much garbage is not garbage quite yet? How many new mattresses are shipped onto the island of Manhattan each day? But, Manhattan has garbage trucks, and the trucks go to garbage barges, and those have North Carolina, and North Carolina has itself, and the cheese stands alone.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bonnets & Dove Gnomes

I would like to be your savior.
I’d like to be on my best behavior,
if only to please you.
cause you knows I needs you.
I’m available in English with trash talk subtitles.
I’m a new edition of all your fantasy love idols.
I’m the calculator game to your boring math class.
I’m the pretty face that blocks out images of an exposed ass crack.
If I could be one thing, I’d be your lightning rod. I’d take all the heat from the storms around you and make you just that much taller than the other buildings. We’d look fabulous together during an electrical storm. The newspaper would have us on the front page the morning after and it would look like that final fight scene in Star Wars three, well, Star Wars Episode Six but the original third one of the good ones.
I want to be your secret move in Rock Paper Scissors. When the other kid throws down dynamite I want you to call my name and I will appear out of nowhere and cover his dynamite with napalm letters laced with anthrax.
When I get across the chessboard, I don’t want to trade up to be a queen, I just want to stop playing chess and play different games.
We’ll make our own board out of body parts and furniture.
How can you be so oddly smart, and I immature?
The rhyming is redunkulous.
I want to be inside you like homunculus.
I’d settle for a small cameo performance in the pilot episode that will only be seen behind closed studio doors or if your life every makes it out on DVD.
If you were the mail, I’d want to be the mailman because I would lift you off the ground and take you anywhere. I’d always send you express mail with a gazillion dollar insurance, delivery confirmation and Internet tracking, even if some other guy stamped you as just first class.
If it were up to me, I would change the grammar so You when referring to You would always be capital. And anytime someone said I love you they would have to sign an agreement acknowledging that we were the first to do it best.
If you were a collection of sonnets and love poems, I’d like to be your coauthor and illustrator.
If E Coli meant endearment coliform and the best place to spread it was at restaurants I’d be the illest waitor.
I’m the snake to your rattle,
I’m the Colonel William Tate to your Last Invasion of Britain battle.
If you were a figment of my imagination, then I would like to be the figs on the tree of your imagination. I just got tested for worms and the results are negative.
This was the long version of saying,
I think we’re in the clear.
But next time let's be more careful.
And I still mean everything before and after I say I love you.

Friday, May 26, 2006

O.J.A.L.A. with an accent on the last A

Your tummy’s nice & squishy like a marshmallow.
It says over here, the pool’s too shallow,
You are the reason men leave their wives.
but I can’t help it, I just want to dive.
Between you & eternity, it’d be hard to pick.
If I get banned from the pool, that lifeguard’s a dick.
Remember when I gave you CPR?
Think about the time I gave you CPR.

Ojalá is Spanish for “I wish”
I wish that I knew more Spanish.
If you think you’re an angel then you are right.
Buenas noches is significant of goodnight.
My mom says you’re cute and she’s a tough judge.
Señora B. gave me C’s it was some sort of grudge.
You know lots. You sure are something.
Middle school Spanish was worse than nothing.
I don’t get bored thinking about your face.
Should of taken French. They went a faster pace.
Think about the time we had Mrs. B.
Remember when we had Mrs. B?

Monkeys in the zoo can’t survive in the wild.
I can’t find the insurance forms. Where’re they filed?
They’re better off here, because of poachers.
Our lawyer is Jewish and she keeps kosher.
Apes aren’t monkeys. They’re a whole different thing.
Psalms are songs that we forgot how to sing.
In Spain, some primates have civil rights.
Our lawyer says she’ll put up a good fight.
No matter what they say, monkeys aren’t persons.
Call the doctor, if the condition worsens,
As for animal rights, I don’t give a hoot.
otherwise, this is a civil suit.
Think about the time we met outside a Spanish courthouse.
Remember when we met outside a Spanish courthouse?

Ojalá que be with you forever.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

There is a pretty one.
She is eating tofu,
though, so
it wouldn't
work out.
Too bad. She is pretty.
There is a pretty.
She is eating tofu,
though, so
it wouldn't
work out.
Too bad. She is pretty.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

You don't do anything

“You don’t do anything.”
“Yes, I do. I do lots of things.”
“You don’t do anything. You sleep in until the afternoon and then eat and drink until you’re tired enough to go back to sleep.”
“That’s not true.”
“I bet you’re in bed right now.”
“I’m not. I’m wide awake and I’m even outside on the porch.”
The grinding buzz of the alarm clock on the bed stand revealed my lie. All I could do was breathe a sigh into the telephone. Even if she was right, even if I was still in bed and it was 3:30 p.m., I had set the alarm. I was being proactive. I wanted to get up. Didn’t my desperate motivation add up as anything?
Oh, and also, see this too, I woke to answer the phone. Didn’t I? I woke up earlier than the time set on the alarm to talk to her on the telephone. That’s motivation too. If I had known that on the other end there would be a telemarketer, then I would have knocked the phone through the wall in a somber rage. But the mystery hiding beneath the seemingly simple little machine nudged me out of my restfulness. Now I was slightly thinking that I shouldn’t have answered this no-longer-mysterious phone call. At this early hour on this day of all God’s green summer days I didn’t have the stamina to take criticism like this. I was too much. I wasn’t prepared so I stepped on the cat accidentally and hung up purposefully. She was squealing about health hazards or something when the click cut her short. 24 blocks north on 2nd and two east on 9th she was probably wondering if I had: (1) thrown the phone at the cat, (2) been eaten alive whole by the cat, (3) fallen down the stairs onto the cat. It would be too absurd for her that anyone even in my present state could hang up on darling Lillian Sandburg. Would she have to go to the hospital to see if I had stroked during our conversation? Had I hung up to dial for an ambulance or would she have to make that emergency phone call?
If so, would she bring up my sloth and good-for-nothing qualities in the hospital? She would. She might as well have already.
Well, damn her for that. No one kicks me while I’m down. She thinks I will propose to her if she deconstructs my lifestyle while I have a feeding tube snaked down my throat? This will not stand. I will not take this grim abuse. It’s over between us. I will tell her tonight.
But first I needed to find the off switch to this childish alarm. I had been tapping my feet to the solid tempo of digital honks in an effort to lower its exploitation of my nervous system. But the damage was obvious. It was going to take a lot of rest to recuperate from the damage.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Meter and rhymes just like old t****

Like a pineapple covered with frost,
I know precisely what you might look like
but in all my life I’ve seen you not.

When Columbus sailed the ocean blue
the natives could not see his mighty ships.
Their eyes did reach the sails, masts & crew;

in seconds all at once in fury
each Indian mind ignored what his eyes saw––
nothing but sea no need to worry.

Ignorant! How dumb! Those Indian men
must have been blind not to see the parked fleet,
or what alien truth their eyes had sent!

They could not have been much less prepared,
but I have been waiting my life for you,
for frozen fruit, for a new world shared.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hemingway is a thief

Reading books has made the best of me feel like I am the worst.
I wish that I had written The Old Man & the Sea before Hemingway.
Even if I can’t get it published first because my name isn’t the name of a celebrity or because I don’t have the Warhol stamp of Charles Scribner Jr. at least, after Hemingway printed his copy in 1952, I can sue his brains out of his skull, literally. I would like to sue him and instead of money I would like to have, at gunpoint, his brains sucked out of his skull like the Egyptians used to do (and still do, at least I think they still do it. Well, why would they ever stop?). The civil trial should be quick & easy or quicker & easier if he settles out of the courtroom, which he’d probably do just to get out the headlines.
As long as I am writing the Old Man & the Sea before Hemingway, I should also write all of the Nick Adams stories before him, except the ones that make Nick Adams seem mysteriously gay. I would let Hemingway write those ones so that he gets the heat for creating a homosexualized Brawny man, even though I know in my heart that Nick Adams, even if I create him first, will always drink himself to sleep next to his we’re-only-friends, boy friend in a small tent next to the river, where earlier that day they had erected fishing poles and wagged their lines in a ballet with nature. Nick Adams is only a little gay, not slightly gay as Hemingway writes, at least that’s the distinction I make in court, under the accusation of copyright infringement, I sue Hemingway again, this time for the legal rights to anything he ever writes in the future that I might not be able to write before him because of his newly altered history.
I would also like to have written that one about abortion except in the original––my version––the young couple would argue during their vacation in the Swiss Alps about an unspecific operation that most obviously to the keen reader is actually the necessary surgical removal and careful culinary preparation of the women’s yet-to-be-birthed placenta for a ritual dinner to be presented to the father.
Later, when I finally reveal that Hemingway once again has stolen a story from me, I not only sue him for plagiarizing but also perverting my story of a beautiful tradition into such a morbidly boring, political topic like abortion. How vulgar to write about abortion when there was such a great opportunity to paint a colorful social commentary of the unfair stigma that has been nailed into the act of afterbirth consumption like Christ to the Cross.
After all of this, Hemingway is still a role model of mine, but I would rather have it be the other way around. I think if I write all his books before him, then he will only be left to realize what an impact I am having on his writing on an unconscious level.
I won’t acknowledge his presence though. Why should a writer of my importance answer his annoying letters? He never answered mine.

Pubic Hairs of a Flower near Sheep Meadow

Like the fresh Garden of Eden no sins are permitted with a small child.
And though the though of it is sick in this desperately original age, we must try out new foods and all of us should move on as we learn a little.

A man with leathery skin carefully transfers a flower from store-bought potting soil to the raw earth of a meadow in a park in a great city of the world and the first buds of sensation and pleasure bring joggers to stop and sleepers to consciousness. Opening a lip-licking eyelid, each realizes the beauty and primps her and grooms her.

With too much attention from the vicious lust of strangers, her leaves do need sunlight and don’t need so much pruning. When the pedals are less bright and too droopy and pollen stolen by beers, the leaves can finally grow bushy, but time’s almost done.

Pretty Girls & Below the Urinal

Most of the pretty girls
in the world have
no idea how
disturbingly filthy
the corners on the
hairy floors of men's restrooms

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Great Pointed Archers

Below the stop-&-go goosesteps
of an army of taxi cabs,
there live a family of four,
an artist,
a restaurant owner,
a teacher,
a bicycle messenger,
a policeman
and more.

By the subways the rents are higher.
The cake-eaters summer in Long Island.
For the rest there are the parks,
the trashcans,
the alleys,
the gutters of Sheridan,
and the abandon car on St. Marks.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Resisting the peace

The police stood against a squad car, waiting probably. There were a woman cop and two man cops. It was boring to see them just stand, drinking coffee & shaking their mustachios. This is Manhattan, not a village in the Midwest, tell me boys, where’s the action?

They told me nothing, I had asked them with my shoulders & eyes, but there were no replies of any kind. The sidewalk creeps haunted me to take their yellow flyers with a fried chicken coupon. Five wings and a thigh for $4.99, I wasn’t buying it. Now’s not the time for nickel-&-diming anyway. I certainly didn’t want anybody to now about my vicious desire to start tearing at the wrists of the man with the flyers, so I squinted my eyes & focused forward, eyes on the prize. Quiet now they’re looking this way. Walk slowly past the poor man & don’t let your fingers seep into his aorta.

Enough of this horrible gawking, keep going. They are all suddenly adoring the footwork a mind like mine can produce. There was a strong stink from the pharmacy’s garbage & everybody pretended not to smell the animals rotting inside the toothbrushes and milk cartons all around us.

The policemen & their policelady slowly raced into their ride, taking a couple good pulls on their coffee before chattering into their seats. The car walked away down Broadway onto 4th, driving me to a mad spiral down to the concrete floor with the screaming red light now lively stomping on top of the white, blue roof.

My stagger nearly finished on a bald veteran selling his story on a cardboard sign for a Ritz cracker or a forty of Old English.

“Semper Fi!” he started out on me, loudly enough to knock me teeth across the sidewalk. I scrambled stupidly to collect my incisors.

“Oh yes,” I said, “and we must Unite or die!” There wasn’t time for a proper introduction so I ran from him like a broken animal, knowing this man could sympathize. If anyone will, he’ll notice another man’s need to slice away at part of his own brain. IT MUST BE DONE.

Lobotomy now was no longer a consideration. It was the only answer to this terrific nightmare. I began there on the street with two ballpoints behind the eyes & got working. I was a messy job.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Linda & I

The biggest, most visible difference between the way Linda, the woman downstairs, & I think is that by law she can’t see. This means if we are both walking down the sidewalk, one of us will be banging around a long, red-tipped cane & one of us will be able to tell you what time it is.
Also, Linda buys slightly uglier furniture.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


You had better come

Jesus and John

Baptism of Christ, bozzio

No, I'm not kidding

Duccio’s “Temptation of Christ on the Mountain” hangs next to a chair with a fancy rope blocking the seat from any possible sitter, especially kids. Oh God, especially no kids allowed to sit in that chair. They shouldn’t be here to begin with if they are. There aren’t any kids at all though. Luckily.
Ego: What up J.C.?
(Ego, the Latin first -person subject pronoun looks a lot nicer with a colon than its English translation, enters right)
Jesus: How can you speak that way to me? I’m the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the Good Shepard, Jesus of Naz–
Ego: Thank you, alright, easy Son of Sam.
Jesus: Son of Man. Son of Man. This is intolerable. God, can you believe this? (looks up)
Ego: It was a joke. Cool it. Do you need a drink? Never mind. How have you been?
Jesus: Forgive him father. He knows not what he does.
Ego: Am I talking to myself here? You’d think I could get at least a shrug, a nod, God willing a “Yeah, I’m okay,” from Jesus. Christ! Are you in outer space?
(Jesus, interrupted, winks up then looks back down at Ego)
Jesus: Forgive me, what’s up?
Ego: OH. I see how it is. It’s okay if He says it. Okay, no, I came to ask a favor of you.
Jesus: That’s what I’m here for. Right? (looks up for bit of reassurance)
Ego: Look. Well, this is the thing, see, we go back a long way, yeah? Oh, it’s nothing. Forget it.
Jesus: Baby? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? What’s going on? You’re so nervous looking. You’re scratching the top of your left foot against your right ankle. I know, and you know, that’s your give-away. What aren’t you telling me?
Ego: Dammit!
(Jesus crosses himself and looks up)
Jesus: I’m sorry.
Ego: I will lay it out straight for you. This is hard for me, so try to listen and hear me out until I’m through before you say anything.
Jesus: I promise. I promise on the bible I won’t say anything until you say you’re through.
Ego: I appreciate that.
Jesus: Wait. Have we started yet?
Ego: Started what?
(Jesus does that nod with the strained frown that we all do when we can’t say anything out loud but we need to tell something important to somebody)
Ego: Well not yet.
Jesus: Oh thank heavens. I wasn’t ready.
Ego: I’ll say “Ready” when I want to start.
Jesus: That sounds fine.
Ego: Okay. Ready?
Jesus: (with a childish smile) Set.
Ego: (with a reluctant frown) Go.
(Jesus slaps his left hand over his mouth)
Ego: You’re the Son of God, the Only Son of God–which I always though sounded a little curious because, as I understood it, everybody was supposed to be one of God’s children. That’s not my point though. You’re the Messiah on earth, now—which is also a bit curious. Where were you before you came down? No, don’t answer that. It’d be a bad tangent and it has nothing to do with my point, either.
To the point, if you are, I mean, you are. Since you are Jesus, you’re here to help us all out. Does that mean technically you’re here to help me out, too? Does that make sense so far? You can nod.
I’ll explain more. You’re Jesus. I am just who God made me and have to play this role God cast for me to play forever, regardless. Thus, what I’m doing—and what I want to do—has actually been commissioned by the Big Guy, Himself.
(Jesus’ hand stays over his mouth as he nods an apology up to the Big Guy)
You, having also been commissioned by God, if you are really going to see out His whole command to help us all out, you must in fact help me out. You dig? What I need a hand with specifically is three fold. Well, maybe four-fold. No, three-fold basically. Anyway.
First—and this should be pretty simple for you, considering—I just need you to transfigure some of these rocks into food. It’s getting boring down here and a little magic like that would really lighten the mood. Ah, no, don’t say anything yet.
Second, could you just a little bit maybe worship me as I were God and worship the unholy kingdoms of the earth like they were heaven? Really, if you cross your fingers I don’t think he’ll care.
Lastly. Try to kill yourself? Now we both know there’s no way He’s going to let you really die, but I don’t need you to die. It would just do my self-confidence a barrel of good to see you give Him a run for his money. Really make Him freak out.
Nope, don’t answer right away. This is a lot to take in. I want you to think it over. Give it some working through. I’ve got a month and a week or so that I can afford to wait, so take your time.
The end
Or at least
To be continued…

Sunday, January 22, 2006

the temptation of Christ on the mountain

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Elliott smith and the beatles minus one

Friday, January 20, 2006

Pretty Girls

Think about pretty girls. Think about pretty girls wearing long dresses and smoking cigarettes, nodding and laughing not too loudly. He did.

Albert Headly had no concept of space and time.

He understood the difference of here and there. He understood how time could so easily be used against him when he had something he wanted to do and he also had something he didn’t want to do but needed to do. He could not put these two, space and time, together.

Right now he needed to think about pretty girls in long dresses but wanted to be on a train to Philadelphia to stay with his friend from grade school long enough to find more money to go all the way home on the trains.

The long train rides would feel so relaxing. Thank God, as long as he wasn’t next to somebody vulgar. He didn’t mind sitting alone. Even more so, he didn’t mind sitting with a stranger.

It was a long train. Headly could get to know him. If he wouldn’t ask questions that weren’t dreadfully dull. This place was often so dull to Headly, but the trains were an exercise in the population’s potential for liveliness.

The trains were never beautiful. They never needed to be.
I threw an egg at a pretty girl tonight. Shit if I can't control myself. What an asshole, right? Right. Fuck...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Number 6, then number 4, off at 170th

If you see something, say something

400 creeps


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why doesn't he get a job, mama?

inspired by brudder



Thursday, December 08, 2005

Two Nudes wearing Sombreros

galaxies in your eyes

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


El niño oyó una bomba cerca.
"¿Esa bomba fue de la enemigo?" preguntó a su Mamá.
"No, mi hijo," ella le dijo. "Fue de un coche."
Hoy él, quién era padre de dos hijas y esposo a una esposa, saltó delante de un coche lento, que le acercado, como siempre. Siempre saltaba delante de coches lentos para colectar los dineros de los conductores. Ahora también, pensaba igualmente. Pensaba como siempre. Saltó más luego. Su cabeza fue más largo. Fue lentamente debajo de una rueda.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas lived two blocks from his work but he never did work there. He worked at his home.
Simon Thomas painted one painting a day and would not go to sleep until the paints were dry.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tompson's November

“So that’s how it’s going to end?” Tompson asked out loud.
There was no body around, and he had been alone like this for a bit of a long time. It had only been one or a few minutes, maybe ten minutes, but his brain was working frantically. He would like to have imagined that he was as frantic as a boy who swam too deep and was coming up too short with not enough air.
The wind blew the leaves all around, which showed Tompson little of their promised autumn colors. Brown seemed to be the fashionable black of this month. So be it. Brown could be black.
November was hardly a month of fall; rather it would properly fit in winter. It felt, now, like a dirty brown, snow-less Christmas Eve, he thought. Christmas Eve, Tompson thought, didn’t belong in November.

A Phone Call at Night

Phone rings four times and answering machine picks up at the same time so that it does that thing where it’s saying “Hey, blah blah cute joke blah blah leave a message,” while both parties are on the line trying to say hello. Then the machine records both sides of the conversation thinking it’s a message.

Frank: How could you just let a girl come between us?

Harry: Frank. It’s very late. How late is it? Jesus, it’s late. Don’t call my house when you’re like this Frank.

Frank: We were friends.

At this point Frank should gulp a big old, soggy breath of air before his next line.

Frank: We were good friends.

Harry: Yes, Harry. We were. Now, we are not good friends. Go home and stop calling me when you’re like this.

Frank: How could you let her just come between us?

Harry: Frank, you slept with my wife.

Frank: You never got over that. Did you?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mommy and me

Mommy and I going fishing in the sea
mommy caught no fish, I caught three
I saw the devil;
I saw heaven.
I threw in a pebble
and took out seven.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Cross and His Mother

Croxley “the Cross” Hammond was not an ugly man. “You’re a beautiful boy,” his mother told him seasonally. His mother had been told by her obstetrician, “there are no ugly children walking on God’s earth, only ugly souls.” Hammons mother pretended to put the Cross in his crib without questioning always whether there were any of God’s children walking His earth with souls as ugly as her baby.

Matthew's One Sentence

If Matthew had committed a crime—he would never have committed a crime and had never been a criminal, even in his youth—then witnesses to his crime would describe his face to the police sketch man so poorly that the artist, vainly preventing his imminent headache, would press his thumbs into his temples.

Taylor and the Ditch

Taylor had style. He bought shoes often and wore his pants according to the trends of male actors. He carried a list in his pocket of common French phrases being used by modern celebrities.
With others he practiced abusive politeness. He loudly blessed sneezers and even more loudly laughed out loud in public. He imagined that his laughs were a pleasant way of sharing with everybody else how happy he was. Above all else, Taylor was popularly liked but not well liked. At him any man would bob his head, and all of the women sprinkled hellos. Busy accepting bobbed heads and sprinkled hellos, Taylor still could call no man or woman friend enough to pull him out of a ditch if that sort of situation ever arose.
Taylor was stuck in a ditch not too far from the city sidewalk. Approximately, his to the sidewalk was three yards. Many people with whom Taylor was not a friend enough to pull him out of a ditch passed by Taylor but they were not friends enough to pull him out of the ditch.