we trust our frozen passivity.
snorting towards altruism,
cement for autos on the high moral stage.
trivial games allow them to vacation us.
person-to-person attitudes
are invented solutions.
we chipped incisor teeth and arthritic thumbs:
repeat that power to me.

Frigid burp.
Cheers you’re stepping on an orange.
I did that to see what you’d do.
Clip-clih cla-lop clip-clop
Bright oncoming headbeams shine ice on a further pole.
Contrasting the black sky with wet poignancy to see the vision through a squint.
I wheezed.
Snot ropes are whipping somehow dryly.
So I walked and now I’m actually sweating.
You must be super drunk.

Attention

you raise a brightly colored flag,

but you don’t see it hit the top of the pole

because as your hands tug the rope

your eyes are looking at sidewalks and benches,

at the level of others

but no one is around.

with the flag up and a dull wind nudging,

you just stand for a moment and feel

the lack of  meaning in that liquefied area of time.

the feeling of pointlessness is something

you awake from

like a reptitive daydream

about being somewhere else.

again you look to the level of others,

this time with new determination.

the lack of people is urgent,

a vacancy that is uncomfortable.

you lose all patience and drop

to your knees on the crumbly asphalt

that is the surface of the parking lot

where you happen to be.

it’s summer so the pebbles are burning,

they grind deep into your knees and shins,

microscopic rocks.

the company of all those rocks isn’t anything

when it comes to destroying the loneliness you feel.

you roll on the ground with the sting of the roasting

hard little objects pressed onto your body.

you give a sigh that you know is exaggerated.

it gurgles and fades because no one’s around.

Breathless.  Wind.  Two beautiful words that oppose one another.  What opposes is also what defines.  When defined, the Essence is lost.
Waking up, during that first second, there is a blissful heaven of invention.  Language does not yet exist.  The forms and our connection to them or our separation from them are not there yet.
AWAKE:
Breathless.
Wind.

Breathless…is to have no breath, it reminds me of something that it’s not…
Wind…where does it come from?  Why is it the loneliest of all weather patterns?…

Just breathless.  Only wind.

Ode to Keyhole

Sure you may have peeped through a keyhole, but have you ever noticed a keyhole looking back at you from across the room with its hollow eyeball?  It waits for a slick and jagged object that hangs from a ring attached to a belt loop to be put into its socket and twisted sideways into a crooked perspective.
Every time a key enters the hole (which is sometimes often and sometimes hardly ever), the hole is never the same again.  The shape of the hole is altered on a sub-atomic level.

Try as they might, children who poke their fingers into the keyhole will never open a door that way.

Once a child experiences the pain of a heavy oak door slamming on their fingers (which it seems they all do), they may stop fussing with the handle, the lock and the empty socket all together.  The door, the suspender of the keyhole, reveals itself to be what it’s always been: impenetrable, opposed to the organic human form, at ease only when clicked shut.

Journal Blurb

There are no pros and cons to being a clown.  I can ask, “why am I this way?” or “what does being a clown even mean?” but I’m not able to say if this method of dealing with social interactions is a good one.  I am the kind of clown who is highly aware of his clowniness.  While I realize I am capable of being a polite, reserved, belonging member of a culture, I feel that my thoughts are always possessed by an omniscient sense of awkwardness that keeps long lasting peace at bay.  A white noise of misplacement fogs my consciousness.  Nervous, carbonated energy builds and releases pressure in a restless, unpredictable progression.  This awkwardness is not regulated by the physical presence of others.  The apparitions of other humans populate my own constructed invisible jury.  This jury may also be labeled an organization with access to all of my vulnerabilities whose ultimate goal is to build anxiety within my soul and exponentially increase that anxiety every following year.  No real person is at fault for being a member of the organization, yet I may blame them when we meet.
This organization of mine reminds me of T.V. news.  The news and the people who know me are both vague, perpetually shifting organizations.  They are more alive in my mind than they are true and accountable.  Both find satisfying energy in confrontation.  Both draw judgments from me naturally.  Both have deeply confidential motives and connections.  I am ready to reject both, but unable to define what I am without either.
If I feel it, it must be real.

Why would you like to work for our company?
(Please remember to be honest and let your true personality shine free.)

Have you never been convicted of a felony in the last twelve years?
In the last any number of years?

If you weren’t quite full from lunch but you only had twelve minutes before the end of break, would you:
a)    Chance it and order a delicious cheese steak sandwich to go?
b)    Walk down a few blocks and snag a Slurpee from 7-11 as a sort of dessert?
c)    Say to yourself, “My sense of responsibility can only be overpowered by my loyalty to the company.  I should write an anonymous thank you letter to the manager for making sure we have comfortable chairs.”

Have you ever shaved in a public restroom?
Please, explain.

We are a company that likes to laugh.  Write down your best “a (blank) walks into a bar” joke.  Don’t make it offensive.  Don’t talk about minorities or women.  It’s ok to reference sex indirectly.  Don’t mention drugs.  Or political opinions.  Have fun.  Relax.  Write.  Down.  Your.  Answer.
Right.

Now.

Why were you fired from your last job?

A future version of yourself emerges from behind a sycamore tree on your first day of work as you walk up to the office.  Your future self says to you, “Hark!  If you choose to enter into this new occupation, be prepared to face violence, abuse and a morally ambiguous ending.”  How do you interpret this prophecy?

We will be filming you while you work.
Problem?  (Write “Y” for yes or “N” for no.)

Group praying at the work place is:
a)    The biblical definition of “progressive.”
b)    We don’t work on the Sabbath, maybe we oughtta think about this…
c)    Hallelujah!

Write something painfully self-deprecating.  A story about clogging the toilet on a first date or something like that.

No one has ever said, “a business is like a fat little pink man with no eyebrows who rides around town in the front seat of a taxi while reading contemporary erotic fiction.”
This isn’t so much a question as it is a meditation.

If someone from upper management approached you and said, “I’ll trade you a promotional favor for a sexual favor,” what would be the structure of your response?  (If you are a girl, please skip ahead three pages.  Before doing so, though, tear this page in half, starting from just below the previous question.)

What is it about women?

Isn’t the concept of “labor laws” kind of totalitarian?

The internet:
a)    Is a trip.
b)    I’ve never been?
c)    Belongs to those in ivory towers.
d)    Takes business away from libraries.

Thank you for your time, youthful worker person.

“The new culture that has emerged is the first in history to believe that patterns of society must be subordinate to patterns of the intellect.  The one dominating question of this century has been, ‘Are the social patterns of our world going to run our intellectual life, or is our intellectual life going to run our social patterns?’  And in that battle, the intellectual patterns have won.”

-Robert Pirsig, Lila
“That night they were visited with a plague of hail out of a faultless sky and the horses shied and moaned and the men dismounted and sat upon the ground with their saddles over their heads while the hail leaped in the sand like small lucent eggs concoted alchemically out of the desert darkness.  When they resaddled and rode on they went for miles through cobbled ice while a polar moon rose like a blind cat’s eye over the rim of the world…”

-Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the west”

“The other town, the one that exactly resembles our town, lies just beyond the north woods.”

-Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter

“Look at the windshield,” I said.  “Is that rain or isn’t it?”

“I’m only telling you what they said.”

“Just because it’s on the radio doesn’t mean we have to suspend belief in the evidence of our senses.”

“Our senses?  Our senses are wrong a lot more often than they’re right.  This has been proven in the laboratory.  Don’t you know about all those theorems that say nothing is what it seems?  There’s no past, present or future outside our own mind.  The so-called laws of motion are a big hoax.  Even sound can trick the mind.  Just because you don’t hear a sound doesn’t mean it’s not out there.  Dogs can hear it.  Other animals.  And I’m sure there are sounds even dogs can’t hear.  But they exist in the air, in waves.  Maybe they never stop.  High, high, high-pitched.  Coming from somewhere.”

“Is it raining,” I said, “or isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t want to have to say.”

“What if someone held a gun to your head?”

“Who, you?”

-Don Delillo, White Noise

“First he sold newspapers.  It was because he wanted to do something, he himself, standing in the city, shouting about what was happening in the world.  He used to shout so loud, and he used to need to shout so much, that he would forget he was supposed to be selling papers; he would get the idea that he was only supposed to shout, to make people understand what was going on.  He used to go through the city like an alley cat, prowling all over the place, into saloons, upstairs into whore houses, into gambling joints, to see: their faces, the faces of those who were alive with him on the earth, and the expressions of their faces, and their forms, the faces of old whores, and the way they talked, and the smell of all the ugly places, and the drabness of all the old and rotting buildings, all of it, of his time and his life, a  part of him.  He prowled through the city, seeing and smelling, talking, shouting about the big news, inhaling and exhaling, blood moving to the rhythm of the sea, coming and going, to the shore of self and back again to selflessness, inhale and newness, exhale and new death, and the boy in the city, walking through it like an alley cat, shouting headlines.”

-William Saroyan, Resurrection of a Life

Notebook Blurbs

Cop shows on TV radically manipulate reality.  The reality is: police officers occasionally break the law.  Cop shows only broadcast law-prevailing, successful interactions between police and criminals.  There has never been an episode showing a police officer beat somebody who is in custody or disregard someone’s rights in any other way.  In the world of cop shows, these instances do not occur.  In the world of people who watch cop shows but do not read about cops, cops may be more easily perceived as infallible.

Exceptions to rules that I create in my mind are unpleasant because they force me to reevaluate and reinterpret old notions.  The older a notion is, the stronger its permanence.  Rule: This person is out to get me.  Exception: This person did something selfless and human.  Hopefully this rule is not yet permanent.  Rules and notions and mental constructions are oftentimes out of my control because they are oftentimes left unchecked.

plastic bag stuck to a barb-wired fence
(rusty old thing)
surface billowing from invisible hands
that slap the dust off a kid’s blanket
a loner
a litterbug’s egg
a decomposing leaf
a view of beige dead grass fields
that stretch to the edges of its peripheral
as channels of wind play on its back

Next Page »