123109 draft

We needed a reason to believe
and so built these homes
these cities
and gave ourselves the work
we do everyday

I was born not a saint
but a psychiatrist
and in the town by the sea
I learned by watching
what people believe
and what trees believe
all organisms must be met where they are
and to each our own time scale

so I spent time in the backyard
with a pair of binoculars
and a telescope on the roof
and I watched what went on

while inside the knots were being tied
inside the house I mean
it was a different world

consider this an introduction
the first splitting of things from each other
in the shadow of the garden
I played investigator of the world
while inside life was trying to keep itself

this is the first crime
and the rest
is ripples


consider a different time entirely
and then the pressure of language
and then the force of numbers

consider a entirely different perspective
what it is like to be a bat
a different man
consider the genders
fluid in the body
fluid in the mind
consider all the options
the skin pigmentation
the density of bones

then take your magnifying glass
and go


1942 and with the fire raging
in his heart Mr. Goldenslicker drove his secretary
in his car
over the bridge
and died
the war was on
but for him
and the woman he made love to

it was all over


fragmenting out comes time
and boundaries

the crime I am investigating, that the police called me in for, is boundary violation. someone crossed a line that we agreed would not be crossed. Josephine lay in the living room with a small hole in her head and another slightly larger right over her heart. The fan is still spinning; it is late august in NYC, the year is 2010, and I am running late.

when I arrive, the police scatter in all directions. "They used to call psychics," Charlie says as I pass. "Now they call you."

"Yeah. Well I'm glad they do."

"I bet you are."

"Got to eat."

"You don't look hungry."

"Business is good." I regret saying that, the way it sounded. I meant

"Business is booming. Unlimited inventory. Unlimited demand."


I bend close over her body. Josephine was beautiful. Still is, even with the holes and the blood. Her eyes are half closed, one less than the other. Her hair on her forehead falls away from the skin that falls in towards her brain. I am sweating. I crouch down.

I remember one case, Tyrell Govan, age 32, black male of African-American descent, low IQ but not retarded, who had sex with the bodies. He didn't kill them; he came after the crime, before the police, which confused the hell out of them. They thought there was a serial murderer rapist on their hands. Tyrell wasn't murdering -- and he just kept leaving his semen inside the women and the men. Polymorphus perverse, almost except I think he preferred them dead because they were closer to objects. He was oriented away from life in that way...


Working out the plot.

We needed a crime. In order for the story to work. What did we mean, work? For whom does the story work? Not the victim, whether she be hung by a belt in the closet so no one would suspect homicide by the gardener, whom she loved once; or a man mowed down by a bus, it's a shame but it happens sometimes, people will say but will they guess that the driver owed him a fortune he would never be able to repay?

No no we are wrong. The story works for the victim too. Without it, she makes love in the garden one last time and is shocked at how few years need to pass before the details of that time are forgotten. And meanwhile the man makes it across the street, the driver lets him pass and the debt is perfectly ordinary, that is, invisible to literally almost everyone.

And the killer? Well it's clear to us what he gets. And we will be secretly rooting for him, even up to the moment when he is finally (inevitably) caught. His action took him to a place in which whatever he does, no matter how ordinary, will seem charged with meaning, electric, which is why he must be punished; but only after we get what we want from him.

And what about us? We get the chance to both be away from lives and deep in them, feeling everything--



Now I can. Listen: breaking in, trying to do it right. Looking like a chandelier cyrstal hanging from a wire. Somewhere else there is lamp light, the slow pulse of trains on the tracks. A broken whisle, listening, the listener got tired and for a minute dozed off. I saw him in the therapist's office, where I went with a heavy heart loaded up with things I needed to get out. Broken toyys, trucks, the reason I didn't stay and say this or that.. it was getting too much so I went like I said to unloud. When the doctor fell asleep. I looked at him, waited. He woke up and asked the next question.


draft 0.1

... a recklessness with others, to be able to hurt without feeling that you have done so, these gifts come untethered from weights of responsibility that comes from empathy; this is Joseph's advantage, what he tries to give to his son. It is raining in Park Slope. The windows outside the house give off ceiling light to the dull daylight shine. This is better than the way it used to be. Before Joseph was a raging animal, caged inside himself and poked at by time and other concerns the children did not get let in on, or his wife. Anne was quiet for several years, and then very quiet, before anyone noticed she wasn't eating much and then I found the laxatives in the bathroom, and first made the diagnosis.

I am a psychiatrist. I am the hero of this story.

When Joseph first came to me, he presented his world so well and so meticulously that it was hard to believe he needed to be there at all -- everyone else in his life, on the other hand, sounded like monsters. Human monsters. These things exist. It is important to realize that, to grasp the importance. I am not just talking about pedophiles, or murderer. I mean that there are people we encounter every day who warp the interpersonal fabric of the universe in such a way that others suffer. The question of intention, of syntonos with self, is a different discussion.

Joseph's life was populated by such monsters. He believed that he was always honest, and that his care for others was plain for all to see, if only they possessed decent enough eyes to recognize such things when they saw it. There was a rose garden he kept, and he worked hard to keep the insects who ate petals away, though he understood they needed to eat to, and so kept a few roses for them as a kind of sacrifice. For Christmas he brought me dried roses pressed in a book. The gift almost seemed romantic, but his way of giving it -- loudly, saying, "Hey Doc, their are people I don't like and there are people I do. This is because you're a good guy... I don't care about the holidays -- if you ask me, no matter how you slice it, it's all baloney, but think of this as a just a token of my appreciation..." -- distracted me from the fact of the gift itself: roses, carefully dried and placed in a small book, handed to me in my office.

Outside the park rolled over into the distance. There were no children out there today, too wet, but the dogs came with women in boots walking them and some men smoking and talking on the phone, the animals electrocuted with life. The men and women usually walk alone and don't talk, except when their animals intervene, and then the right is theirs to decide what they want.



The Present

We took enough bread and cheese to last for several days. Up here, the days end early and so it gets colder in the afternoon. I was in love with Helen; she was in love with the world. I wanted to be like that, too, but for me the only way to the world was through someone I could love. When I am not near her, I am stranded in myself. Helen gives me the gift of feeling the value of things.

When we left she was angry. "The mosquitos, the mosquitos, always the mosquitos... I forgot how it is up here."

"They're hungry -- they need your blood to stay alive."

Am I explaining or being compassionate? For life in even it's weirder forms. And to think of it the mosquito is a strange shape life has taken in its drive to eat itself. I am strange looking myself, too. How many living things need me to stay alive? These are the kinds of questions that do nothing to drive away loneliness, though it seems like they could, if I only I believed in them stronger. I don't think Helen considers things this way. I watched her apply the spray that would keep the mosquitos away.

When I was Jesus' age, I first became aware I was slowly learning that everything that had happened to me was gone. I understood that it was a part of me, but not as deeply as I once thought it was. In my head were the constant ripples of experience but they were not the rock in the pond, and they faded. This meant I was not the sum of my experiences. I started to think at that age I was truly a man of the present. It was Christmas in the woods. Helen gave me another piece of bread and from inside the tent we watched the insects and the trees work, each at their own time scales. To everything its own pace. My heart is slow, but it knows what it wants. Set me into time lapse film and it will be startling clear: who I was, whose blood I needed.


Quite the opposite, so we don't mind what comes out.

If I am perfectly open to everything, then everything will come through. It gets noisy; yes there are rocks, and sometimes my wrists hurt. From lifting up my hands which do the talking for the voiceless endless deciding

without choosing

which everything

is everywhere



I am in two halves and reduced, but I am not being and not knowing what is being a bat

Against the better success of the intransigent malingerer, we have come across the only two halves that are incensed and deceased. There are not those halves in the dressing areas of the morgue, she remarks, casually, convinced of the towering hell that is upon us. It is not hell. The quirky staircase (lovely) is dispelling rumours of discomfort, displeasure, and even, though against the general odds of approval, mistruths--mistrust, she corrects, fixing her skirt and glancing, quickly, at the doused miracle. She is a beast, he admits, next to us, agog, a fleeting man of sense. She is not uncomfortable, however.

It is a cryptic sense of failure--nothing is so confusing, vexing, as the black pit of this beast. His is a mouth of disgust and I am longing, though unconvinced by my clearly pseudo hedonism, for a separation from the heightened attack of mis-numbers. This is a death. And they are admiring and staring at only the ever glaring peak of absence, a truthful stare into the misery of absolute denial, emptiness.

I am not in death, surely, but against my better self, I am without a doubt, in bounty. I owe too, she declares. It is a price of self-pity which I am un-eager to repay. We have too many hands, of a distant reclamation, perhaps an authentic re-connection with the lurid hands of impostors (ha!). This is hell, he admits, again, casually.

I am not in death.


Cheer Up

I don't know who I am. All my feelings are paper-feelings.
The wind blows them away unless you poke holes in them first.
In the busy microcircuits of my mind I am constantly gathering myself
from the remembered present, and everyone I've known is there to lend a hand.
Whether or not I loved them, or they me I am constantly constructed
in a conspiracy several thousand years old of colluding parties like
wind and particles and great migrations,
and then I'm gone--
unknowable to all investigating forces.


Just Getting Started

I am committed to showing the world that there is no difference between it and everyone and everything in it. It is not a religious trick -- "Close your eyes," the neuroscientist said, "and all you see is God in the dark" -- but a moral lesson. That's the worst kind to try to teach, because it must be felt. It can't be learned through imitation. When we are kids we are too young to know how to guess, so we play the odds. If it rains four out of seven days a week, we predict tomorrow will bring rain. Only later do learn how to imitate the world's patterns in our mind, so that tomorrow it could be sunny, you never know, we'll just have to wait for the weatherman and see...

But what if you can't see the pattern? I can't see it but I know there are trees outside the window living their lives without pronouns, no possessive; once I was high and watched them grow in fast motion on the TV and right then and there I knew a truth: we are not alone. I have seen fungus sprout from the brain of a dead ant. I have shaken hands with people who fuck children. There is a porousness to all boundaries, DFW was right, and if we don't feel the holes we will fall through them: holes in the head, in my heart, in other people's eyes and intentions, and what do you hate the most? "Other people's needs," said the comedian.

I am afraid too. When I die I think I won't ever be me again. What a loss! So huge I can't imagine myself without it. And then there's all the pain, and regret, which is worse. But right now I can reach through the screen and find you. If you take apart these words maybe you can write something else with the letters. Maybe you can press yourself into the alphabet and leave behind a career. Before you disappear. I am trying to point without pointing. Close your eyes. Open them.


As it so occurred, I was not as wise as the world, Mada. I left it with but a thread of my tunic. Perhaps that was far more than the longest concrete strip. But it was far less than the hammering symphony of the string ochestra.

They put long barrels of trash here, Mada. Where once I sat and wondered (in glee), now it is only long barrels of trash.


The Gunshine State

“The distance from the audience to the event is a factor in news judgement. What happens in your own town is more important to you than an occurrence in another town. If your own Boy Scout troop changed its cap style, that would be more newsworthy in your own town then elsewhere.”

--JOURNALISM pg. 7 of the Boy scouts of American Merit Badge Series.

When I left Miami, guns left me too.

My beloved shotgun remains in North Carolina where a friend shoots it, on occasion, at tree stumps.

My pistol remains in New York State –but, by no means, by my side. I live in New York City now. Guns are criminal items. I seem to recall a friend whose Brooklyn apartment caught fire while she was in it. She escaped, frazzled and sans cats. When firemen discovered the charred remains of several handguns in the wreckage of charred furniture and felines, she was doomed. The guns weren’t doing anything in her apartment. As far as I know, they hadn’t done anything in their past aside from sit in a bag some rich kid drug dealer had left there.

But they were there. And that was enough to put her in jail.

Guns are terrifying things in New York. During my Special Patrolman training (I am an Urban Park Ranger) our NYPD instructor told us never to touch guns, for any reason. “If you find a firearm,” we were warned during out pepper spray training seminar, “put a trashcan on top of it and wait for the police to arrive.”

Though I have been issued a baton, handcuffs and the powers of arrest, the notion of giving myself—or any Urban Park Ranger— a gun strikes a chord of lunacy. No psychological profile is necessary to become an officer in the Urban Parks Service. Furthermore, some thirty percent of my graduating class (there is a Park Ranger academy) had been arrested at some point or another.

Beyond our general lack of mental balance, the notion of carrying a gun in our job seems outright ridiculous. The worst crime I ever witnessed in Central Park was a drunken disorderly pissing on a tree in plain sight. I yelled at him until he left. Though I never patted him down, I was able to conclude from his lack of functional pants, that he was not carrying a firearm.

To our credit, no one in the Urban Parks Service has used his or her baton –beyond one nutjob who beat a suspect in cuffs; he no longer works with us.

I’m letting all of this be known simply to let you know that guns are bad here. For most people, they are not things you own or think about owning. You may fear them. You may even fetishize them. But not own them. Never. Are you crazy?

I recall having dinner with friends (a non-profit organizer and an art handler) who spent the better part of an evening talking about what a slimeball one of their cousin’s had brought to a family reunion. The poor bastard had mentioned, while sledding in the Berkshires, that his father had given him a gun that had been in the family for generations.

The cousin had later confronted them, in tears. “Please,” she pleaded. “He’s not that bad.” But they could not be convinced. Nobody decent owns a gun.

I forget how different things are once you pass a certain latitude.

On a recent road trip, the signs began cropping up once we hit North Carolina. It was a certain brand of bumper sticker which would become increasingly prevalent as we continued south. “I’ll take my freedom, money and guns,” it read. “And you can keep the change.”

Whatever else you may think about the Obama administration, he as provided a healthy shot-in-the-arm to the gun industry. People are buying up guns with a frenzied gusto, believing, in earnest, that he will surely outlaw them. On several Asheville area print ads, tag lines urged potential customers to “buy ‘em before they’re outlawed.”

As we continued South, through Georgia, gun shops began appearing along the roadside with a bizarre frequency. They were advertised on billboards along I-75 urging drivers to turn off at upcoming exits –as though they provided an essential service: bathrooms, food, a place to sleep. And guns.

Once in Miami, guns began to pop up in all kinds of social situations. While drinking beer in the very suburban living room of an old homebrewing pal, I suddenly found myself sitting before a small arsenal. Handing me a glass of Heffeweizen, he struggled, tensely with the magazine release on a Ruger bolt-action .22 that he had purchased for his son. “I wanna take him out to shoot some jugs of water,” he said. “I want him to know what they can do.”

No situation seemed inappropriate for guns to make their appearance.

My girlfriend’s father, in the midsts of a breakfast table discussion about his misgivings about taking anti-depressants brought out his pistols (a .357 revolver and a Ruger .380). He too struggled with the magazine release –though he stored both of his weapons fully loaded.

Despite his recent battles with significant psychiatric problems, he is currently on a waiting list to renew his concealed weapon permit.

His son, my girlfriends’s brother, likewise lamented the difficulties in procuring a concealed weapons permit. Despite having his hours cut back at work and encountering difficulties in making ends meet at home, he described plans for buying a handgun, in addition to spending hundreds of dollars on requisite classes, FBI fingerprinting and background checks.

The most alarming case of Florida’s gun mania came from a young attorney. I’ll call him Larry Espositio and tell you that, after becoming a licensed lawyer, he decided to just hang out in Miami and teach sailing to children.

He exhibited a jerky, nervous energy when he spoke and sometimes made jokes that involved screaming at you.

Esposito had grown up in an academic family in Coral Gables. Even in Miami, this demographic is typically hard sold on guns and the wisdom in owning them. Nevertheless, when Larry’s grandmother died he spent nearly a thousand dollars of his inheritance on firearms. They were a good investment –he reasoned. If, one day, he came to his senses, he could count on selling them back for (at least) 80% of his original investment. I didn’t want to tell him that something you lose %20 of your money on cannot, in any real way, be considered an investment. He now owned four guns, a fact he was never comfortable discussing in front of anyone.

“Not in public,” he would whisper, when I prodded him to discuss his gun love in a bar.

Weeks earlier, while driving in Miami, an incensed driver had rammed into his vehicle, pushing him off the road. Esposito kept a handgun in a Crown Royal bag under the driver’s seat. “It fucked me up,” he said. “If he had tried to kill me, I would have shot him and then run into a closet, balled up into the fetal position and cried about it.”

Luckily the driver drove on and Esposito’s gun remained under his seat. Besides, that guy coulda had a gun.

If this piece goes online, I can already predict the response. A phalynx of comment dropping morons will unleash a volley of peudo-patriotic nonsense.

I am vexing as an entity, because I like guns in the sense that they are fun items for me to play with. From a policy perspective, however, anyone with half a brain could tell you that they are an incorrigible scourge.

People are very stupid. Every year, busloads of them chop their fingers off unclogging lawnmowers, get their genitals caught in vacuum cleaners and crash heavy machines into one another every second of the day.

Miniature cannons are not a good idea for these creatures—everyone agrees with that.

A lot of people, however, believe they are a good idea for “me.”

And, who knows, they just might be.
Every time I go down this road, someone hauls out the quote “an armed society is a polite society.” They believe that, rather than limiting guns, we should be making them readily available to all.

More guns=less crime + more freedom.

Get ‘em into the national parks to cut down on all those picnic basket snatchings. Put some in the employee parking lot and people will stop stealing shit out of the minifridge in the break room. Pack a gun into every purse in Miami and date rape will go the way of the Do-Do.

Hell, if every airline barf bag on September 11th had contained a loaded .357, those planes never would have crashed into the world trade center.

We’ll see.

As Florida’s CCW continues to be honored in more places and more people come to want them, this theory will be put to the true test –though I doubt it will yield positive results.

While all the fearmongering is good for the gun business, I wouldn’t believe the hype. The gun industry has won the war, for now. While it seems unlikely to me that Florida and other libertarian states will be able to have their CCW’s honored in New York City any time soon, Obama hasn’t seemed to want to do anything about the assault weapon-toting protesters showing up to his town hall meetings.

The barbarians have lined up at the gates.

Don’t worry Florida. You’ll get there.


Note to Self

The world, including our environments and our bodies, is cleaved by our senses into discrete perceptual categories. How we sense is determined by our genetics and our experiences, shaped by cultural, personal, and evolutionary history. In this way, we make the world and ourselves by perceiving it. Outside our senses is the undifferentiated universe. Our senses make it knowable, and limit how we can know it.

Let us consider these limits. Take Thomas Nagel, for example.
It will not help to try to imagine that one has webbing on one's arms, which enables one to fly around at dusk and dawn catching insects in one's mouth; that one has very poor vision, and perceives the surrounding world by a system of reflect high-frequency sound signals; and that one spends the day hanging upside down by one's feet in an attic. In so far as I can imagine this (which is not very far), it tells me only what it would like for me to behave as a bat behaves. But this is not the question. I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat.

Nagel's question -- what is like to be a bat? -- is often repeated in scientific articles on the nature of consciousness. What is not stressed, however, is the closeness between this question and another one perhaps more relevant to the quality of our lives: what is like to you? Your early development is guided by the genes we share and the variations within your body, and as your brain grows it is changed by your experiences, giving rise to a morphology unique to you and you alone. If I try to imagine what it is like to be you, I may very well get farther than Nagel when imagining hanging upside and emitting high-frequency sound. But returning to Nagel:
... I am restricted to the resources of my own mind, and those resources are inadequate to the task. I cannot perform it either by imagining additions to my present experience, or by imaging segments gradually subtracted from it, or by imagining some combination of additions, subtractions, and modifications.

the counter-attack, partly, (among) a zealot

Assessed, as opposed to determined, and quite contrary to assumed, yes, perhaps, it was his casual assessment in the nature of the disguised (though clearly) hostile appointed secretary. She stared too much, like she was frothy, ever so frothy--the minx, he mutters, behind his desk, then, panicking, of course, about the imminent intrusion, this ghastly dark hire, she bleached her eyes! He is considering, most removed, about the straight curve, into her sock when his consumption returns, bloody fucking hell. The usual discourse out of a frighteningly tragic commencement is to slowly retreat (he repeats, reading, out of the office, yes) into the confines of the upper most attic of your head. Where they keep the drafts of union statements, declarations, deep vows of infidel cessation (hot). My own bank of security, she had lamented, after (why of course) the toga dressed men, from some sort of country with a desert, attacked and burned her dear square house (1/2 acre, nested inbetween the town woods) down to the ground. They did, she implied, why no, she shouted, still convinced, and unaware I might add, that she was most certainly unwittingly supporting the intrusion, the condemnation of her fable-happy partner, her dear mercury--the planet! It is irrelevent now, he proceeds, without notes, that the claim of injustice, though claimed to be an act of hatred, is unfounded, yes, without merit (oh, thank you). The arrests are warranted on suspicion, at least suspicion, he muses now, again, protecting himself, only slightly from the advancing (the possibility, the mere possiblity) door -- it will open! He harbors himself loosely, then, against the desk, pondering, oh my, grasping, yes, quite cleanly. That was, he admits, her entry into this post, her appointment, by god, she was handpicked by the look of it, her own ethos possessed by the (latent?--good god no!) remarkably clear misdirection. Illogical, the accusor had accused, dressed fittingly in western attire, more mockery than poise, less than his blank dangling monstrous intent. I have read into this intent, more than once, she, that darling counterpart to this illustrious judge, speaks coyly, nudging the crude suited man (dear hell, externally rather elegant, but crude otherwise) and promising him, in her puffy lips that she will take him in her mouth, if, yes, if it is only because the safety is harbored more or less in the procreation of the non-togan state, that cheap bastard, he cries suddenly (oh he too agog? my, dear!). The others, quite so, are silent. There wasn't even an instant, not in the hours that were prior to this one, to see that door charging and him to rise to full height, imagined not of her leg into that sock (oh) - but the breath of a scandal, a merciless jolt into print. I have decided to ignore the allegations, he poses, and she, against the better judgement of her failing husband, accepts, in part, that it is all the most useful to detach the fledgling from its nest and birth, in office, the unwanted and useless (the foul) bird.
Has it always been a dirty secret to be afraid of dying? Now I wonder how many times we think of it, before we go, and how much easier it is to pretend it doesn't occur to us, or better yet, claim to be able to push it away. Like a mountain. It's that easy.


Awful, awful: to be sad in America...

So many middle classmates, and yet all these empty spaces! I count pigeons between the electrical wires,

they don't carry conversations through the wires anymore--

all our voices must find each other through unbounded space.

It's hard not to think of you sometimes, and just now I guess I closed a door

I didn't know was open

which explained the draft,

the breeze


The Difference

I didn't want to collapse the difference between everyone.
I wanted to sing a song that was specific, and unique
to my throat; and whatever physics said about its shape
the precise measurements of my hollow spaces
and how they related to where I am full
was only as interesting as the handwriting
of a beautiful poem.
Like the way my voice sounded when I lay in the basement
and told a friend which girl from class
I secretly loved.

Now I enjoy taking a moment to add them all up and see what I find.
The difference is between taking a moment to make something
and making something of a moment,
which is what I do each day thanks to the specific foldings
inside my head that so many hands have touched,
fingerprints like handwriting: unique--
all of them


Safeway cab--Is it too disjointed? Between Fred and Ugly?

Fred used to sell Jewelry before gold went crazy.
He travelled all over America and never thought much of anywhere but Brooklyn.
"Cleveland is shit," he said, from behind the wheel of his Lincoln Town car. "Chicago is Shit! Everywhere is boring, boring."
"New York," he continued. "Is a powerful city. You feel alive here."
Fred stopped drinking recently and lived alone. He had a five year old daughter, whom he wanted to spend more time with. Sometimes, he went to the saunas. His favorite was the old one. He didn't quite know why. It was reasonably priced and old. He liked the fact that it was old.
To pass the rest of his time, he went to the Safeway Car Company's dispatch center and worked the board. When he was really lonely or bored, he would drive the car.
A night before, I had met Fred over the phone when I called for a car to pick me up at a Haitian restaurant in Canarsie.
When the driver showed up, I couldn't believe my eyes.
It seemed as though Danny Devito's Penguin had died and come back as some sort of a woman. She Wore a New York city shirt and a schlubby jacket. She had dandruff and a bald spot. The fat of her face and body seemed to be launching a full retreat from the rest of her.
She led me to the car and then excused herself. "I gotta use the toilet."
She ducked inside the Haitian restaurant and left me sitting in the back of the car for a good twenty minutes with a broken window cracked open on Avenue L.
"You're still here," she said as she slouched back into the driver's seat. "My stomach ain't so good. That's why I only drive a couple nights a week."
She was quick to anger --particularly when you mis-named the neighborhood you happened to be passing through or put on aires regarding the most appropriate way to get from A to B.
She knew.
She had been born in Marine Park and now lived alone in a place in Kensington. She pointed out every KFC we passed. "There's a Kentucky Fried Chicken outfit right there," she said, as though noting glorious city landmarks..
The initial ugliness that she projected as a human specimen only swelled as she spoke. Everyone black (the Haitian restaurant, the man who stole her car, the types you hadda pick up when you drove a yellow) struck her as predictably malignant and bad for her. She couldn't stand spicy food or driving for more than two days a week.
During her off time, she slept and watched Direct TV. She watched the movies, only. Her favorite was "An Affair to Remember." Her other favorites all belonged to the same ilk--breathless romance of a bygone era. It was her only humanizing quality, you could say. Or her only pretty one.
When pressed for a hobby, she said that she read sexy novels, when she was in the mood. Her favorites were written by Joan Rivers' sister --she was so hot, she hadda write her a letter. She hadn't ever done anything else with her life --cept drive a yellow. That was terrible because she had to pick anyone up who hailed her, by law.
"With a car service I don't have to pick you up if I don't want to," she said. "Fuck that. I can tell just by looking' at you if you're gonna be ok. I use my women's intuition."
SHe projected an Aristotelean ugliness. Or maybe it was Dickensian --the spirit of South Brooklyn Present. Whatever it was, it wasn't exactly human. In this way, the ride felt like a dream and every dark and depressing detail of her life only fed my desire for more. What was the weirdest thing that had ever happened to her while driving a car? A guy ("a black guy, of course") had punched her in the face, stolen her car and smashed it into seven vehicles before abandoning it in Queens.
Fred knew her well. He hated her in fact. Every night he offered the rest of the drivers a thousand dollars, cash, if anyone would fuck her. Every night, they offered him $2,000 back.
"She is shit," Fred said. "Disgusting."
THey had fired her a couple of times. "She fucked up a car though," Fred said. "So they took her back. She owes them money."
As we neared the end of the ride, I asked Fred what he weirdest thing that had ever happened to him was.
"Three people fucking in my cab," he said. "Some people need to fuck while you drive fast. It's a sickness."
Fred told them to just keep on fucking. It had happened a few times, he said. On the weirdest occasion, they had asked him to join in.
Fred said no. But he didn't tell them to stop. If you tell them to stop they complain. If you let them keep going you get tipped, big.

the harboring (danger) of this exalted appetite

Admitted, in passing, to the rather rude pleasure of the skeleton, now un-sewn and straddling that dragging mule (pompous in age, rejecting, now, perhaps even pleasantly, my advances--I have tender advances on wild animals now tamed)--he is not ever wild, she exclaims, though notably, she too, it is again admitted, has found comfort in the softly crumpled frame, skinned, and bleached, humped across the rider's seat, all but a glimpse that it was indeed a once un-skinned habitual thief. It is unbecoming, she supposes, aloud, for once, no longer attacking her upper jaw with her jowl, ha, her sense (why it is potentially an over extending hand, an applause to the myriad of the helpless cyclops village - yes, those, I did not make such sure advances, no, I was more cautious), at least in pretense, in the purposed suggestion, that it would be appropriate, most suitable, to engage in a more circuitous path, one far more adequate, though inadequate certainly in multiple uncomfortable hindrances. But the mere explosive nature, though far from the skinned and bleeding man, of a skeletoned and harbored offender, a now crude example of that egoist diatribe, well, certainly, against perhaps better sense (again that cultural supposition), it is agreed, for their normative induction - deduction - will condemn this exploitation. Hah, she scoffs, again unforgiving, it is an exhibition, we should, in all haste, make for the marsh villages, parading as such, a skinned head, a skull, at the very height of our philosophical identity, returning to them, those rogue imbeciles, that very glimpse of doubt. I am not an ape, he interrupts, quite aggressively, perchance, exhausted by the utter melt of dominant metaphors (the ghastly possibility of such horror) now realized without poetic distance, but merely truthful, yes, she is correct, truthful exhibition, oh, dear mule, you cruel sexual magnet. How evasive! It is a gentle discourse, for certain, we are so certain, yes, our philosophical hierarchy far surpasses that of the meager collective utilitarian latrine, but, yes, but it is certainly not adequate, not nearly sufficiently adequate a path to be taken, to be ventured, against that damning contradiction, those damning counterculture whores--I have said it, she agreed, and dearly that dear mule acquiesced, abides by my will, lingered, momentarily, and (how courageously) turned toward the high mountain pass, but a fool of a thief skinned on his back, slumped without skin, without muscle, without organ. But a fool.


Where I First Fell in Love with Reality

I met Batgirl on Halloween in Brooklyn, 2008. We immediately agreed on the following things: that all new buildings in district 7 should not exceed ten stories; that the blocks of New York were in fact much like neuronal groups in the brain, and how it was better to imagine that after imagining the 8 million people here and that each one carries within their skull 10 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex alone, forming 50 billion connections; and that we would never be able to work in a lab torturing monkeys for science.

Afterwards, on the walk home I felt a peculiar sensation in my chest and somehow recognized that it was connected to the way the wet trees were making me feel as if they were all I ever needed. I don't remember if I used the word love, but why not put it out there now? Aren't we going to die, like the leaves outside Ferlingetti's pennycandy store -- crying too soon, too soon? So why not love a Batgirl, even if she does only date assholes? She's got an asshole, I've got an asshole -- we're a perfect match! And in the meantime, there's the lesson here, which isn't that it's better to go out than stay in or that the endless endlessness makes no promises to carry your personal ass, monkey-tortured soul, or god with it as it flows and so it goes--

No, the lesson is nothing can be reduced. I'll say it again: It was Halloween in Brooklyn, 2008. There are 8 million people here. Count them.

True Story

Like that the veil lifted for one moment in my mind and ohmygod

how it hurt

to see all our bones

and the air

turn to dust

swept into oblivion

after a very short time

(and then, right after, I was back; the lamp shook as I typed
the strangely pleasant awareness I had of my breath
lifting my ribs letting them go



When you are on a planet in space

It's only when the closest star is out of sight that the others come into focus. So that's the lesson: let go of what keep you warm, and the whole universe is waiting.


Everything is Connected to Everything Else


When I was a kid I kept saying it. "It's divine! It's divine! Everything is connected to everything else." But nobody listened. My friends, my teachers, the kids at school kept on being themselves, like little locked safes inside of locked houses. "Let go," I begged. "Open up."

"He's so spiritual," they said and left the room.

So I spent a lot of time in the backyard. There were oak trees, and a blue view of the harbor between the leaves. It was a good place to practice what I preached. I breathed the air, which was molecules, into my lungs, which were molecules, and if I pictured it just right the boundaries between me and the world blurred and I felt an electric tingling start from the base of my spine and spread up and across my shoulders, tiny electric wings, until I exhaled:

Everything is connected to everything else.

Sure, it was lonely sometimes, and sure, I didn't have sex for a very very long time after all that, but at least I had something important, even if no one else wanted it.


And now you're sitting in here, and you're telling me, you're asking me, "Did I know? There's a divine connectedness in all things!" You have the science to prove it. All the Buddhists agree, and certain mystical sects of Judaism do too. They've been meeting with the scientists, and everyone is starting to get real excited about this, I mean it's a real breakthrough, you tell me:

Everything is connected to everything else.

"Aren't you excited??" you ask, and I have to admit, I am a little bit, there is something like excitement or maybe the shock -- of recognition, like picking up the newspaper to find a story about your cock on the cover -- sure, excitement, yes I'm feeling something like that. And I am very glad this is common knowledge now; glad you found it, proved it, no faith required; glad that this makes you happy and isn't that what this was about all along, you being happy?

"You're so spiritual," I said. "And beautiful." So you blush, little molecules come to the surface of your cheek, and later in your bed you do it again and I get that feeling again, those little wings and I think to myself, Oh yeah, I forgot what this was all about:

Everything is connected to everything else.


The season was all wrong: icicles forming under the edges of roofs, the feeling that we were all very far away... it was too soon. October hadn't let go its leaves yet and already there were outbreaks of loneliness amongst my friends, I'm sure amongst strangers too though I didn't ask. The subway moved slowly, I had dreams of glaciers inching back and forth.

But when I was little, there was bright cold air, the subtle turning of sunlight as the planet moved. Do I miss it? I do, I do I do

into where (dublin!) resists -- you werent woods to come out of

His growing presence, certainly, admits, (enough) concedes: the task force revamps its rights to interrogate, just a pleasant introduction, of course (for clarity suggestively interject in the closed forumn), to increase the saddened state of heathens. They have closed, at a most convenient a speed, and joined, quiet estatically, the disjointed, mismatched, and ill-advised conversation, a most unsuitable synopsis of progress, indeed, and, throughout, with little thought to presentation (bewitched!--she is agog!), but most careful consideration of rhythm, yes, my the celestial fog of this meekly mistated glory, you wretched hooker! (alas, it is her suited role, though unsuited as she may be--naked?), yes, she, the poisonous conductor, a mere and meager wimp, frightened, I dare admit, by that which, through (aghast, she stumbled, quite white, into her hands, her watered and filthy hands, they were inside that!), yes, through her ever meandering explanation, like she was witless, with the owner of a lone saloon, belching (just perchance) by mediocrity, confusion, and that, that sense, that, yes, I suppose (I? again, the seldom yet acquired dignity in dismissal, in adherence to normative definitions), without will, without much sight, against, supposedly, merely supposedly, meagerly supposed ha, against, she insists, for she is most poignant a jelly, without much sight, no sight, just purely anectodotal inference, hmph, against his better liking, his more appropriate liking, he is chosen (she defers, yes, later, like a bug, to the quick and crude nature of that boar), deference, my dear, intrigued, at last, but initially, oh how out of sheer steam, that beast roared, quite magnificiently, though unprotected and unwarranted (an attack?), certainly against, again, I must deny, against the general flooding rise of such a morose and dull and (bland), a rise, indeed (nonetheless), but cruel to the hobo, oh my sire, he rose, again, out of that great monstrous, yes again again!, I cherish again, he rose, and then, oh, how could I be numb, no, you silly panderer, the lout he rose and (ah, dear, my dear), he--A most rambling, a most inconsiderate fool.


Progress [a song without music]

when the scientists found a way
to make life last forever
I picked you up
and drove us down
to the clinic
near where you grew up

"this place has changed so much"
you said and touched your face
I know I know I know
what that means
I know I know I know
what that means

you did the same thing
in the kitchen when we first fought
it was snowing outside
light came through the blinds
like tiny hands like tiny
light came through the blinds
like tiny hands like tiny
the light came through the blinds
like tiny hands to touch your face
tiny hands to touch your face
tiny hands touching me touching you
touching your face

and now the scientists found a way
to make that last forever


The Singularity is Near

The issue of soul's precise location in the body came up at dinner and everyone was angry and disappointed. Angry, because everyone else was wrong, and disappointed because we hadn't seen each other in such a long time, not all together, and it seemed like a waste of an occasion. After dessert, no one stayed for coffee except for Anne and Patrick, who although not in total agreement at least believed the corpus callosum played a central role in the soul's organization, which gave them some comfort. It figures, everyone said, they're both libras, and later we heard that anyway after they had sex Patrick got all upset when Anne said it would always be a physical impossibility to relocate the same soul to a different brain, which Patrick vehemently denied and apparently even went so far as to mention Anders Sandberg and whole brain emulation, which is certainly a post-coital faux pas if there ever was once, as far as everyone else is concerned.

Still I get a chuckle out of imagining him shirtless and sweaty, hurrying to put on his pants and talking about Sanderg's computational assumptions while Anne sat up and pulled the covers over her breasts, which I've always admired, and were my vote anyway.


Or put another way, a guy we knew in college asked us, "Do you ever wonder if everyone is a robot but you?" We had to laugh at the time, and secretly think well he didn't mean us of course, we're friends, but come a year later when a girl accused him of sexually assaulting her after a party, well, you can be sure we thought of that remark again. After that blew over, we walked with him across the campus. It was a fresh snow on the ground, icicles hanging from the buildings, and while he was talking about something a snowball hit him square on the shoulder. We all looked back, but there was no one in sight, no buildings near enough, in fact no one at all but what seemed to be an extremely old man walking with great care and deliberation through the ice. His head down. Now, we are not the type inclined to throw snowballs at old men, but the guy, our friend, he looked at us with wide eyes and we looked back and had to admit, yes, it definitely seemed like this particular old man had decided to throw a snowball at our friend. There wasn't enough time to think it through -- our friend wanted revenge. "Should I do it?" he asked us as he reached into the snow. "He had to have done it, right?" We sort of agreed, though not without a funny feeling creeping along the edges as we watched him pack a very dense, very excellent snowball and launch it full force at the old man.

Did we think he was right? No, of course not. Did we stop him? It all happened so fast -- that's the expression, but well we could have said, "No no, it probably just fell from a tree," which of course it had, it had in fact fallen from the branches of the oak above us and that seemed obvious no sooner than our friend's snowball hit the old man right on the top of his bare bald head, and when he looked up shaking with cold or anger and began asking us why it was very clear at this point that our friend, who wondered about robots, and us, well we could only laugh though years later what stands out most is not that we didn't stop him but that we didn't because we were friends, which we're not now, no falling out just time, and though he of course has new friends who must like him it still makes us wonder a bit, wonder

Not like their blood

I been all over it, again, just all over it, you know, back and forth in my head, like they been telling me I got to do, like they saying to me, over and over, that I got to remember, I got to remember what it was like, just like that, in that room, exactly what it was like, you know, with all them walking in and out and them other ones lying on their backs staring at the wall, real dumb like, you know, like they couldn't even talk or nothing, that was it, really, I don't remember nothing else, nothing about any of them other faces, them other faces coming in and out, it was real tough to see them, it must have been tough, like they was all shaded, or covered or something, but I been over this, I been over it with that other fellow who come down here asking all these questions, like he was real serious and he was gonna get to the bottom of this, like he was gonna find some answers, shit, like he was the law or some damn thing, but he just like the rest of them, just as dirty like the rest of them, stuck his face in that mud, right about then, and he don't like what he see, he can't like what he see, there ain't nothing to like what you see, not like that, and then he just left, all mighty and shit, he just left and I never heard about this thing til now, and I been over it, I been over it then, I been over it again and again, you know, sitting out here, just sitting out here thinking, really thinking, like how is it that they come to be all looking dumb like at the wall, with all them people coming in and out and nobody not even thinking anything about it, not wondering if they was gonna do anything about it, just like they don't even see them there, but I been thinking about it, I know the rest of them aint thought about it, cause I know they aint got no cause to think on it, but I been thinking on it and I been thinking they had no cause to be there, none of them had no cause to be there, not like that, not like they was all dumb, lying there, just like that on the floor. Not with that blood that was in the place, not next to that place where they slaughter them herds, not like that, they had no place being like that. I been thinkin on that, sure, but you'll see, you just like that last man, thinking you all like the law, when out here, it just that some people, you know, like they weren't ever here, like they don't never want them here, some people, they just don't care for other types of people, not out here, and they just don't think on them like they do their own people.


I thought about what you said

all air is actual air
and no relationships are just "in our heads"

so don't go down that road unless you are ready
to shut all the windows and close the blinds

in a sensory deprivation tank
even the dumbest people hallucinate
the busy galaxy of the mind has all it needs

and if it what goes on between people
is only in there

then so is the air and the dust,
the blood, the tall buildings many people made

once breathing now gone

actual people

they don't belong to anyone


weather report

but then again sometimes these days

when the clouds arrange themselves into a wrinkled brain

and it is partly cloudy in my head with a chance of rain

electrical storms

striking thoughts

little needles

wired to my heart



i thank you god for most this amazing night
to be alive in october
to be alive

i am 30 years old today--
30 years of gifts from you wrapped up in skyscrapers, trees--
and what am i to do?

what else am i to do but give myself back


Reductionism, II


There are a countable number of possible universes but an infinite space to cross in each one. Why do it alone? you might ask.

But there is no one there.


And why not? When everything done is done, and all the new things have started themselves up, single finite cells of infinite depth, will that be a good time to talk about God? There never is, lately, unless you happen to have a magnetic resonant imaging machine, several underpaid graduate students, and a Lonely Planet's guide to the human brain. Then you might hit on the g-spot right in the center of that old wrinkly white and gray mass, the God spot, and when you do it will light up the charts.

"There He is": a functional MRI of self-reported religious experiences.


Still in the end the alligators will blink their complexly-lidded eyes; the flies will live so fast if you were them then this morning was childhood, tomorrow you die. What then? Fly heaven must be an infinite space too, and if there are particles there (mustn't there be?) you can bet they contain a whole heavenly depth of their own.

Ruth was right: better stick close to the surface of things. Everyone who's everything is there.


Reductionism, I

I'm more of emergent properties man myself. That's why the talk of dreams. I like the life that emerges from my own when I am finally, totally quiet.


MFF -- 31:15

I could have wringed him in his neck, right then, and taken him down, right on down, in to the hallow, and sent him straight, straight to his god-fearing sonuvabitch matron whore, right then, mixing up himself in the midst of a firecracking sex escapade, a damn x-rated hooker jerk--crying, I bet, by the time he come around, just ever crying, beating himself and whimpering and beating himself, real bad like, sure, like he done it before, thousand times, just beating himself and crying and making himself feel all like he is just damn rotten and fallen into the big pit of shit up by that knee high cradle strip club, there he'd gotten, there he'd gotten for sure, by then at least, by then he gotten there, at the time he wasn't crying no more, wasn't beating himself to blisters, waiting til he could climb back inside through the basement window, all gutted and pissed on and whimpering, right, whimpering like a ragged bitch dog, then he'd gotten hiself out of the blisters, red torn skin and just red skin--ing him off, like a shit trick placed in the middle of a damn fucking b-rate film, him all riled up, and goated, goated like he done it before, like he done it a thousand times before and like he knew he was gunnin to tell you about it, just grinning, all bloodshot and pissy, woozy like he been dropping pints in the laboratory on south street, right there in front of them frosted hoes dumping their damn feces all over their fingers lick--johns, they just ate, wishing, lately, less lately perhaps, that they just too clever, just sneaking out for ciggarrettes and finding them hoes, finding them hoes in the tall grass and just riding them silly. Its all like that, then, just there, typed in all up front, I could have wrung his neck, wrung it good and give me blisters but I watched them hoes instead and wrung my own head, right there, crawling down between the basement, and I got them hands all worked over like sandpaper and me just thinking I been sucked out of this place, sucked out of this world and left like there wasn't nothing ever in me, nothing by that raft in the river next to the place they take them hookers and ball them til they think it time to turn it off and walk in the other room. Shit, there ain't no balling like that -- its just wringing my neck in the showering and thinking maybe it looked like something else, something like that wouldn't be, just couldn't be.


September 21, 2009: to do list

Remember to listen
to myself
and do what I love:

all the cells humming faintly
in the brain--

"If there is no cell doctrine
there is no single place to stand"
so there you have it

stand nowhere
straddling everything


banging your head against the wall (overheard)

"you think you got it bad?

the first year is nothing.

the second year it hurts like hell.

after that, you start to stop noticing.

I think it's been four years now

and I'm not even sure--

am I still doing it?"

he said. and banged his head.


Why we suffer / How I am like Mom

I press myself into my being.

The world presses itself into me.

I change myself, and the world changes
how I change.

Do not worry; the world will always win!

Respect the world--

it will always win.


once upon a time

Faithful, faithful, faithful. Samuel knelt by the oak tree in the snow. The year was 1987 -- the world was different then. Circuits were not yet crawling through the soil.

What if he wrote you a poem right there? He fights the urge to lick the flakes from the air. Samuel is faithful so he will not bend or else he might tear and out will come his faith. This is a problem; poems require flexibility, a certain carelessness about the joints. Impossible not to leak, even just a little.

When the world is pixelated, later, pixelater, there is a threshold past which it becomes impossible for you to tell yourself apart from the sofa and the window with the view, and your hand. Fortunately since feeling is first it is the last to go. You will know your hand on your knee even if you cannot see the distinction. And if you write poems -- if you write at all -- it will be like closing your eyes in the dark.

When Samuel closes his eyes now he see the whiteout and the tree swallowed up by the world come to meet him, years ago, and what happened next he knew then would change absolutely everything. Now he thinks of the line "closing your eyes in the dark" and tries to type where the difference is there is no difference at all

but mistakes his lap for the keyboard and writes until he feels such joy that he leaks out all this best thoughts on the floor.


I am not the life that is this life

There isn't where we, no, it is not where, yes, it is, perhaps, and then--like it could not be as it is to be, like it could not be as it would, like it is, perhaps, when these are the ways that that world, without itself, the other world, the world that is not the all, is the all that we do not consider, is the fiction that is not our fallacious past, present, future. But. We are, alas, yes, we are, forever consumed by that image that is our self, though foreign and random, and but a spiral of dispair, we are forever obsessed by this image, that is ourself, and is only ourself while, we are, if ever, I, again, suppose, perhaps, only not worth the strength and if, just once, we are to commit, once again, the suicide that is our skin, that is worth our skin, that is the only truth we would ever admit, just, yes, perhaps, just once, to permit our own skin, this very fur, to allow a vision into this world, but a world around a fire, but a fire around a vaccuum, and I, alone, do venture, that it is all, perpetually, yes, yes, perpetually, forever, forever and again, it is all, a glimpse and a forever suicide. We do, I admit, as life, upon this earth in birth, commit only ourselves ever to self imposed death. Aha!


but as I was saying

the baby in the womb

does not know

she is a baby

in the womb.

      later there will be lightning

fireflies in the grass

and books full of the names

of things (but

for now

there is one world,

and it is only by leaving

that she gets to




I must acknowledge, perhaps, that the better haves, the ones in the base compartments of memory, yes, yes, where it is to be (uneasy, but confined, and convinced, at once that the glamorous and novel post of a dear friend, an ally, an absolute artist--one beyond comparison, for certainly, I confide, there is no greater companion in this, in this, this discovery of abandonment, hah!, you fool!)--again, I suppose, where it is to be, where it has been, often times, places, discarded, against what would be [description! dear lord, my lord, description!]. We have, alas and yet ever with great success and fortune, encountered, a location that will permit us entry into the world that is not this closet. Yes, yes. Yes, yes. Unless, we commit ourselves to such mortal sin that would encourage a sort, of (fuck you!) revolt, a rebellion of sorts, a soft removal (due! due! due!) due to the difference of opinion.

She is caught, oh god. And I, this troubled sour beast have taken the plunge into the world that is not mine, will not be mine, should not be mine.

AND made it once, and if there ever were a wheel, oh dear god, if there ever were the turn back into the grave that was that wheel, if there was, dear soul of mine, if there ever were a ground that did not demand its own sacrifice to unbecome itself--damn, damn--to unbecome itself, then, yes, that would be our beacon, our hope, our--

Fuck. It is his light. He is not so forgotten. I have it here, close to my chest, it is so dear to me that I could see like he does if only I could remember that I am only ever, yes, yes, only ever being taught [those are only assholes].

To see. Alas, I have no eyes.



The problem is now. The endless stream of nows, not discretizeable, so the computers can't do anything with them. Sure there are floating point numbers, and double precision, but there are limits to these things. The problem is precisely beyond those limits.

It used to be no one could talk about it until a gentleman sorted out a few centuries worth of thought and came up with infinity. It had been around forever, of course, but it needed rules to work. Otherwise you're just talking about a mess and that is far from the stream, the endless endlessness flowing through you, now and now and now now now now now

But the computers still can't model it, and neither can the typefaces looking at you, all pupil, from the whitespace of the page. Discrete words -- the best you can do it arrange them so they point, like a finger at the moon. But every dog knows how that one goes. He'll just look at your hand, tail wagging. Doesn't seem to be bothered by the problem at hand. Then again, he knows he did something wrong when you come home and he's slinking around the silent stain on the carpet. How? Somewhere in his mind -- now the preferred term is brain -- he held on to a piece of a now, even as it passed several hours ago downstream while you and Carol were at dinner talking about the relative merits of slow vs. fast moving zombies in film. Remember that? (You agreed faster = scarier and now that too is downstream, bobbing with the pee and the release of one canine's unbearable urges).

How do you remember? It can't be caught, yet somehow it stays, sometimes horribly permanent, sometimes like little clearings in the wild of your mind. Brain. Apparently what infinity needed was a set of relationships to something not infinite. That's what he figured out. That's where you come in.



Close your eyes.

Fountain falling, the water shines under the sun. It is difficult to tell the news from words, a poet almost said, but without them we are lonely. Is it because then we are adrift in the senses? Somewhere a few days ago an information theorist reminds his audience: "Our world is 80% vision."

So whose voice is that, in my head each day?


I am remembering a path in the garden. Tomatoes pull on the arms of green vines, they are almost all red except for the curved window of sunlight reflecting off their side. Which is where I put my teeth to. And the juices, I am remembering the taste, outside of words, inside of time, back all the way across the days, unnumbered; before the machines came and needed to know how many before we could know what it meant.



I startle, indeed, I harbor, I pledged, once, again, perhaps in upended circumstances, to un-nerve the hostess, and return, once, upon re-entry, to my appropriate place, against the wall: myself, as ever, only a fucking ending.

I want to know what happens -- I am curious to know what happens, she says. She mutters. The goddamn process, I tell her. I am spitting. Quite enraged. The goddamn process.

Who gives a shit what happens. Who gives a shit where it takes you. Like you even fucking know when you got there.

I am troubled, indeed, later, to know that she is committing suicide, right now, by sticking a pen in her eye, because that was where it was that she knew, she knew where she would go, at least in immediacy, when she stabbed herself with her pen. I am pledging, yet again, and this I admit is most foolish, to abet the next wishes of the next woman. Even she will, I suppose, stab herself with a pen.


on approaching the speed of light

Johnny broke up the band and decided he'd become a pilot. Took the $$$ from the guitars and amps, stole the remaining band fund, and bought himself an introductory lesson. Later, years later, when the computers failed and he knew it was the end, he wondered if he made the right choice until he saw the ocean, and remembered flying a kite with his father by the shore; and how time passes faster (empirically) for everyone on the ground you've left behind.



Instead Jim understood microclimates: micropolitics, microanxieties. There was nothing too small for him to attend to. Was it raining today, Jim? Should I bring an umbrella?

It is raining inside these blood vessels, like tiny boats in my arms.

So we all get wet.



Raging, he is able to see through the open places in between himself an the world, which is on fire. Of course! That's a story I heard when I was a kid. Dad in the other room, cracks between the kitchen tiles, and me outside on the patio, drowning ants. They all got to go sometime. I tried different ways -- water, straight; water, soapy; water and windex and some other stronger stuff from underneath the sink.

Today it didn't rain, and that's newsworthy to me. So let's post it using the internet, and not ask how it got there. Take it as a given. Take it with a grain of salt. Take time, take time, take time, before the soap cleans us out.



Anything remarkable?

The collection, though very dear to her heart, and exquisite in nature (obtained illegally from an Iranian gypsy seeking safe passage into the artic states) became expendable during her third marriage -- indeed, her entire wealth became expendable. As she once imagined herself forever attached, certainly most secure, in her foundation, her physical harness to the world of the elite, the frightful fall from twenty seven thousand feet cleared her of any misconception concerning endless love and, more severely, about the possibility of harboring wealth beyond her tragic and now imminent death.


Aftewards, the obtuse captain proclaimed (quite fittingly) the outer door did not close upon take-off and we were forced to shed some weight to regain balance. Of course, the proceedings, during the following days, focused predominantly on the assumed heirs, only one of which was excused from any possible wrongdoing. Oh he is quite too mentally ill to be engaged in criminal offending. Besides, his suicidality is right off the charts, it is about a nineteen and a half. He wants to kill himself so badly the doctor has to duct tape his hands to his legs. Why would anybody that mad desire a collection of Iranian gold coins?


We are ever desperate in this cube.


I think it is timing that is coming and going -- but not at all -- all that coming and going is just wasting time collecting things and thoughts about other things until -- all that coming and going stops and we aren't really fixed at ever.


Boy, I liked that distraction. It cost me about twenty-seven years.


There are whores down that alley, Frankie. And they cost $35, at least. You want the other alley, next to the department store.




oh, mercy, there isn't even a button on his stomach

Oh, the flaking tool -- he's a degenerate asshole, she mutters and she is, oh, yes most certainly (yes, she is! she is!) she is angry, annoyed, terribly vexed. I am beside myself with such rancor, she admits, but softly to her teddy bear, that I would literally rip the teeth out of a squirrel. A squirrel? That is mighty fine and feminine of you -- damn you, doctor, she suddenly screams and tears her poor teddy bear to pieces, you witch bear, you monster witch bear, he is a tool, oh, I have seen him on his little side jobs, his extra fucking curricular activities, running over to that fucking tramp, you said little witch bear, trying to turn me into a princess, no? Trying to turn me into a pacified wench, the one that is just taking it in the basement, learning to love on the wheel, against the cupboards of an apothecary, the old sell out gold-maker : yes, yes: "I doubt that I would desire such an opportunity, just to be afforded the chance to stand stoic by your side, even through the [ahem]" -- even through the cursed in and out, the stampede of wolves, spit me out you fucking tool, I will not step aside. Oh, heavens, dear, you are beside yourself, you are quite mad, out of control, flailing like, oh I don't know, a fucking witch -- you stay away from me you teddy bear and again she attacks the bear and stabs him in his puffy fake heart, I will kill you bear! I will kill you bear!

Is she here yet? Has she arrived. Please ensure that the tables are properly set and that our guest, this fine gentleman, is seen delicately into the drawing room. I would hate for any activity (especially on such a fortuituos occasion) to disrupt what must be considered to be an inevitable future. A remarkable bond. He is here? He has arrived? Like this, I am not even prepared, not even dressed, why I have forgotten all about my own self, how irresponsible, yes, yes, show him into the drawing room, ensure that he is with tea or drink or whatever it is his pleasure is -- I am beside myself, I have erred, this union will not take place, I have completely and utterly forgotten myself, to such a post I do not think I have ever been, how has this occurred, how has this transpired, I such a wench.

She runs out of the room, muttering ever so fiercely to herself: that fucking teddy bear, I will find that bear and let him know his tricks are not acceptable and will not derail this princess. I cannot believe I have forgotten myself for such a time, at such a momentous occasion. That brute bear will pay for this!


restorative justice

"She is merry -- the whore." What were you thinking? What was I thinking? That's all I was thinking, you know, sitting there and thinking, she is fucking merry -- and then, like that, it wasn't like I was trying to think like that, it wasn't like I was thinking I got to get my mind to thinking like that, to thinking like all the rest of them, you know, to dig into some really disappointing and dark place in my head and look what is there, you know, like, look around, and say, ah shit, I'd like to pick this up and put it in the slot and see what comes out this fuckers mouth, of course not, no, it couldn't be like that. You ddin't plan it, then. No, I didn't plan it, I said that, you know, I said what I said, I'm not trying to come out and say that I didn't say what I said because I said it, I was there, I mean I know what I fucking said, and I said it like I said it because I was pissed, you know, angry, real mad at the whole picture painted on something that I said or wrote, I don't know, ten years ago, something that good put out there, somethign that was really just a far fetched load -- well -- a bit pile of nothing that I care about now, how's that? She's knowing that too, I can see her knowing that too right now, she's knowing that I haven't been anywhere near any of this since then and that I haven't even, yeah, you know, yeah you know I haven't, ah come on, you know I haven't even thought about this in like ten years, you know that, she's just trying to play with us, you know all of us here, she knows, I mean why would I, I mean look at me, why would I come back into this right now? You wouldn't. Exactly, I wouldn't, you see, what would be the sole purpose of me coming back into this, I wouldn't. This man just said it, I wouldn't come back into this because that wouldn't make any sense, its not, its not like I've been sitting here waiting, only waiting to get caught and to get caught up in this again, I mean, you have it, you can look at it, you can look back through, go ahead, go ahead and look back through all that time and see if you can see any point in time, anything at all, that reminds you -- you know that looks like to you -- that it was something different from what I'm telling you, from what I'm saying was happening from that moment on until now, because, well, if you don't, if you don't do that, then you aren't really affording me any reasonable, you know, assessment or whatever and then we're just two guys you know talking back and forth and see -- she knows look at her, she knows, you aren't even looking at her, she knows I haven't been off roaming around and looking for her, not like that, not like I was trying to come and hurt her, not like that, and no don't play it again, we've seen it, don't, because that isn't me anymore, that's not what I am about, that's not at all what I'm like, not me, here, not me. Don't play it again, no, because, I'm still the same person, walking around, I mean I still sound the same but I don't think like that, I probably still talk like that but, just don't play it again, you know, just don't play it again.


Aside from apart, once: it was suitable

She is over-spoken, over-fond, of herself -- and in admiration, most dearly of her darling purchase. He is indifferent but present in the manner (only ever, certainly) in which he readjusts the cushions on the sofa, readjusts them so she will be in discomfort and forced to readjust them again, if only to be in comfort. He is unnoticeable beyond that -- and offers, as a simple component to his arbitrarily true indifference a composition of meager worth, noting that it is not even of a timely nor culturally suitable subject matter. In defiance, she admits under heavy medication -- assuming failure and praying, eventually, for hypnosis (but not until Tuesday afternoon at four thirty) -- in defiance, she echoes. This time: hmph. It is rather far from bold interjection or even a purposeful attempt at redirection, completion, or, if ever (oh if ever!) reconciliation. You are angered by him? She had supposed, in reflection, at a later time, that her immediate reaction to such a cleverly stupid comment was dismissive in a far more subconscious way, so dismissive (and in fact so overtly submissive was her self-possessed madness) that she did not even recall a course of action, a logical course of action, that could effectively introduce and explicate the process of beating a therapist close to death with the base of an iron lamp.

He bought the lamp in Lisbon after witnessing a spectacle, indeed a state execution, he should most likely never forget. It is the lamp owned by a religious zealot a socially labeled vagabond, who had suspiciously murdered fifteen children in the back of an alley and set them on fire. He has insisted. She has accepted, eventually. Suspiciously, though? No, she mused, I suppose not. Nevertheless, he wouldn't ever forget a spectacle like that -- and even if there were a course of reality that brought a self-bought lamp to be the lever of his own maiming. But, as matters seemed to transpire, not even the general public felt her actions at a distance from the normal hectic meanderings of those under strict supervision due to mental instability. She couldn't have possibly understood such ramifications, it was illustrated in the daily monitor, but to assume that one who already seeks help has but no wall to protect her from such illness is to assume we are a state of unseemly and crude aliens. I for one am not, she snickered, even in court, pretentious and without veil. The manner in which a man begins to introduce authentic altercation -- yes, yes, the manner in which he begins to offer -- as opposed to simply imply -- a contribution without the threat or disguise of reward is, of course, a manner in which he is seen to know and favor the wells of intimate humanity and not merely enjoy to drink.

This I couldn't possibly describe, she admits -- and even admitted, later. Though, perhaps against the better (urbanely) pleas of her casual acquaintances, assumed romantic bothers, she would acknowledge weakly, maybe to only herself, that it was the other he she meant to kill.


"I can tell you two things:

make sure the top lock and bottom lock are different;
and you have to hide from darkness
with darkness."


by george, they changed the law

"Zounds, by Pete, they are at it again!" Oh, soundless remorse -- the pity, upon the fifth regime was without equal, a particular handicapp, yes, given the natural recourse of action - reaction; consequence after impact. We, alas, the Mistress intoned, are of primary affluent noble descent, yet our unprecedented admission (and dare say act) of such failure will not be attenuated by our simply magnificent reflections. Indeed, ponder to watch Melissa, she is enraged by the chance exclusion of her prized mirror (that is the exclusion in the wagon items, as listed by the general accountant, ahem).

I admit. I exhaustively admit that we were without recourse. Our own fingers, bless their bleeding by my own sight, epitomized failure -- and alcohol. The Countess, so taken to service by our --(sure, yes, regardless of the admitted, the admittedly deplorable and realized legal enslavements of crude and improper populations)-- but this countess, again, so taken to service by our tragic and isolated and defeated image swore an oath, to such a height there must have been a doctrine of angelic mandate, reminded demands of man over angel, serve the un-servable, the indolent indigents! Serve us who have lost our people, our followers, serve us who now have no voice!

It surely, upon my own brow, I swear, it must have been this calling, though Melissa, sour and uncouth, against the better likings of her proper feudal mother, dismissed such aid as inadequate, indeed repellent to the (mind you a woman endlessly inculcated by, again, noble doctrine) skin of such grace, perfection, and ah, the angel. And dare I admit, by Pete, that there was such crude interruption, such crude intrusion into the inner estates of the dear lord and provider that, upon, my head, by which was included notes of treasonous and seductive intent --

"Zounds, by Pete, they shot her dead!"


jebarb and mildren

In a sheer whimper of a storm -- an unconvincing act, pretense, sure -- in a sheer thunderous entrance -- a mild and yet oddly appealing, though half asleep, modernized and adapted on numerous occasions (cliche? -- no, in and of itself, that mere interruption is actually the character and action of the inquisition -- odd and ironic and like a ball) -- in a sheer downright dog-gone hollow of a storm, the most usual and conventional path toward adulthood was momentarily unpassable, though, for certain no one could predict how lengthy the momentary break would indeed last, a final lapse? Oh, my, I would dare venture that I hope not. But, in truth, perhaps. Though the bridge had been rebuilt and even remodeled on countless occasions in the past half century, its usefullness was waning and the more structured and well equiped highway was a much more popular (and really, let us admit, a more suitable) choice for passage. Those, however, a coy Mildren remarked, are not headed toward maturation, not in the strict biological and social sense. An unnecessarily long pause, thereafter, lasting well into the fifth and sixth breaths of the young traveler, ensued. Oh, sure, she smelled quite awful for an elderly woman, lacking in appropriate care, abandoned halfheartedly by willful and drunken grandsons. I opine rather with doubt, Mildren confessed, that you are unlike to attempt the fallen earth? The traveler, by now most confused by the ancient worm, decided, though unagreeable to him at the time (and most unagreeable to him in the near future) to disregard her feverish and rather uninviting disposition, and venture a question in regards to the trail now coined as "muy fea". The damn naturalists. It is by far a better option -- perhaps a far better outcome, though it is without its merits and without its recompense. I think. By now a third member had eagerly, though ever slowly, joined the standing and half snarled half eated duo. It is not completely fallen away, Jebarb motioned, though he himself had aged in such a manner to resemble the grandfather tree and in each gesture it is true his hands began to appear as tattered paper. You are just a sad drawing, the traveler thought, but now thoroughly unamused by the still growling storm and the incomplete directions by an unashamed and stoned innkeeper, remanded his own initial distaste and insisted (for he was a man of great will power and strong cognitive discipline) he must encounter the path back out of the town at the lake and on toward the city. Of course, Jebarb continued, it may but be a monster of a storm and little could we ever expect what to know from either path. Though this one is certain to have fallen. For it is always falling.

she just came in short, black eyed, and bleeding

She is a hooker, I count her money. She comes in here, once or twice, you know, a week, with her stack of ones and fives, and I give her a receipt. She gets it into the bank that way -- so she can have an account. She can't take that money, with all the blood that is usually on it, she can't take that to a teller, she can't walk in all beat up, with her eyes black, smoking, like she does, and hand the teller a stack of bills that are grimy, crunched up, and bleeding. She is a hooker. She gives me her money. I deposit it for her and I tell her, usually, that she isn't living that swell a life, I say that and she sometimes smiles, like she had heard it on tv too, and it was a good memory. But she is living a shit life, you know, and she lets these marks beat the shit out of her and they really beat the shit out of her. But what can I do, I count her money, so at least she isn't squating in some crack house, or running into the basements of the city buildings to get from the weather. You know, this way, she keeps a place, she keeps some food and she makes, it from today until tonight and maybe even til tomorrow. I don't know, you know, she is just walking through this day to that day, thinking, well, hell, not thinking, but getting her money this way and that way and then bringing it here, and I take only a small fee, a modest fee, because I have to clean the money, you know, and make sure its not bleeding anymore, not like it is when she gives it to me, and then I have to be putting in these deposits into an account for her so that she can have the money for the place she has but in an account that they can't find her, because you know, those tax men, they don't really think that hooking is all that proper or legal so even if she could pay her taxes, she can't really pay her taxes, not down and out like she is. So I take a modest fee, a small fee, really, and adjust the account accordingly and we see the results. And she doesn't complain, not after all that, not now that she can walk up to a money machine and take out her money like she is just another woman in the city, just another woman making errands, you know, and paying bills -- but really, she isn't, you know, she's a hooker. And she gets the shit kicked out of her. I'd help her, but you know, its not like she isn't surviving, its not like it really is gonna come down to something that different for me or for her or for anybody even driving down here from the hills, I mean, on that last day, you know, that last day when you think that that sky is gonna be differnt, its just the last day, and she is going on the same boat as everybody else, even though she lived like this, like a rat, in the sewer. So what's the point, what's the point but make it, survive, and let her survive, I'm not trying to not let her survive. But what's the point. So she gets beat up real bad and one day she is gonna be dead and there she'll be, sitting right next to the whole bunch of assholes that thought there wasn't gonna be any room for a whore like her.


my own sad puppet show

This is what it reads:

"...the tall one says its accustomed to difficult inference -- and manipulated, only slightly, by the disjointed bridge to appropriate, certainly legal and justifiable resources -- it would, it implies, only use generally agreed upon and specified courses of action. In such a situation, while disposing of competitors efficiently (and in an unbiased seemingly random fashion) would greatly benefit the syndicate in legal gambling gains, political contributors, and even in the number of average dull normal conservative check writers (the fucking balls of the abused)..."

She is watering flowers, afterwards, in the garden, in the back. It might rain, she mutters. That would be the fucking day, he thinks. He is reading a napkin:

1. Everybody wants it.
2. It is accessible to everybody.
3. Everybody does it on their own.
4. Only the self is to blame for failure.

I'd rather pour gasoline on myself and ride through town on fire, he says. Then it'd be the hell they'd see, not the hell they'd let themselves walk. You aren't ever gonna ascend beyond the barbershop, dad. Stop yelling at the radio. All they see is that black mud on your face.

You're blocking my sun, she says, and it is about to cloud up. I don't think I'm the one blocking your goddamn sun, he mutters. Recognition is the same fucking goal -- and we'll give up the natural world -- the one that is not in pieces, is not picked apart by the reductionist illusionist -- because it all happens tomorrow.


and she said, you know, I get high

She, you know, well, shit--
she says she suggested a solution
a reasonable solution
to a hyper-allergic drug addicted bond salesman --

she was numerating, you know,
making it happen,
making it happen.

All the while,
she was just making the numbers roll,
you know,
back and forth,
like it wasn't anybody's,

wasn't nobody's business,
not to start the slashing,
the slashing and the cutting,
the bleeding,
the slashing and the cutting --
she didn't even like the dissections

not that she was making them,
not that she was asking him to make,

just a punk bond salesman.
just a punk bond salesman.



1, When I was a boy;
2, I loved computers;
3, I connected with them;
4, My sisters and I;
5, played them all the time;
6, But at thirteen I decided;
7, If I kept loving computers;
8, I would never get a girlfriend;
9, So I stopped;
10, My sisters became a teacher and a veterinarian;
11, and I became a therapist;
12, I took care of people;
13, I told them;
14, We are in the world to love the world;
15, if we can only learn how;
16, But the computers called me back;
17, to paint with them;
18, what I dream;
19, And what I dream is;
20, connecting;
21, everyone;
22, to everything;
23, because everyone;
24, is everything;
25, and everyone I love is everything;
26, and whoever loves anyone;
27, loves everything;

if I can only learn how


Sally and Jim find a way to go north

I am faking it, Sally says. Sally is not crying but she is sad. She has circles around her eyes. You look like a raccoon, Jim says. Don't say that to me, Sally says. I am serious. I am faking it. Jim turns over on his side. They are in bed together. I know, Jim says. Jim is not completely naked. Sally is naked. Sally is not under the sheets. Jim is under some of the sheets. And I don't really care, Jim says. Sally sits up. She sits on the side of the bed. I have to be up in two hours, she says. I have to go and visit my father in New Hampshire. Will you be here when I get back? Sally looks over her shoulder. I'm faking it too, Jim says. Christ, I can't stop. You know they are going to find out sooner or later, Sally says. I guess. So you'll be here when I get back. In the house? Yeah. Jim scratches his upper lip. What time? I don't know, probably before dinner. Yeah, I'll be here. I'll make sure of it. Sally gets up and walks into the bathroom and turns on the water. You shouldn't go see him alone, Jim says. I should come with you. You can't come with me, you have that presentation. I know, but you shouldn't go by yourself. Sally sits on the toilet. She puts her hands in her face. You know your brother stopped by yesterday. I meant to tell you. I know I didn't tell you. Turn off the water, Jim says, I can't hear you. Sally turns off the water. She doesn't get up. The bathroom is still only half finished, she thinks. We were going to put that water color in here. Did you say Jack stopped by? Yeah. What did he want. I don't know. He asked for you and he said he had something important for you. Jim leans over the side of the bed. I'm up, he thinks. I am going to go to New Hampshire with you, he says. Why don't you shower and I'll start driving. We'll get there by breakfast. Jim stretches. Sally? I'll drive. Ok? I don't really want to shower, Sally says. I don't really feel like getting clean. Jim walks around the bed. It is still black out. He looks at her. What are you doing sweetie? You look like a little sad racoon. I can't laugh, she says. I know -- but I am not sure that it is going to be like that all the time. I don't want you driving. But what about your presentation? I was just faking it, Jim mutters. I'll tell you what. Get dressed, get in the car, and I'll buy you breakfast at the border. I don't think I want to get dressed. Jim stands at the sink and stares at himself in the mirror. Jack was asking about that deal in Florida, wasn't he? I don't know, I guess so. I'll bet he looked bad, didn't he. He didn't look good, I don't think so. Do I really have to get dressed? Yes, but that's the only part of your day you have to fake -- I'll take care of the rest.


Oh I, ever so, could be thinking like you, but only in possibility

Macy thought her purpose was quite shocking, over the top really, a tangible vocation that (in all honestly, yes, and given the absolute parameters) had little bearing in the overall outcome of her success. Of my chosen success, Macy noted. This is quite at odds with my chosen and what I imagined to be my acquired success model. This just won't do. Of course, or rather evidently, the selection process and the ensuing dispersement of purposes had, of late, resulted in incredible scrutiny and (in the general and usual absence of logical analysis) quiet calls for re-organization of management. Hers, I assure you, Clyde remarked, is not the first miscalculated and hence misapplied purpose. While I assure you it is in no way reflective of the general tendencies within our official obligations as Link from formal institutional government to prescribed enthusiasm, happiness, contentment, and (ever quietly, I suppose, but still noted in official exchanges between departments) containment. Of course, if there is a complaint, an official complaint, one that cannot be resolved through informal mediation and informal persuasion, Clyde continued methodically but now clearly resolved to either pacify the agitated Macy or extend an institutional costume marked by the cruel yet calm disposition. Yes, the Post Commander had instructed, be firm and calm at onset. But ever gracefully rise to the assumed position and natural exhibition of disappointment, pity. A true condescender, you see. But it just won't do! Macy intoned, yet again, and unwittingly jeopardizing her ever fragile position in the institutional, the formal, lobby. Oh dear, Clyde thought, not yet accustomed to his parental obligations in such interactions. You will have to keep your voice at a level that is appropriate for official interactions, Clyde warned, considering himself a sound pupil, adjusting his jacket in the manner of the videos and again posing as far from delectable as, well, as is just about possible, Macy considered. Indeed, he is so ever far from delectable I would even venture to suppose that I would recall his image when I ever hear such a word voiced again, because he is surely the exact oppostite of that. By now, the merely extended presence of a resident at the official desk of the institution had gained the attention of the entire northern wing and I could not accept another citation, Clyde thought, not this early in what he assumed would be a very long career as an institutional employee but, at the least, there is some concern for my presence here, it must be unusual for such an interaction to take place, hmph, under marble, or on top of marble, Macy, now thoroughly annoyed, considered. This is just improper separation of duties, improper delegation, faulty leadership -- oh, but she wouldn't dare to suggust faulty leadership of the formal institution, a claim that would engage the outer members of the northern court and cause a great deal of disatisfaction, I would certainly, most certainly hate to spend a week in jail, or even a night, Macy thought and considered whether just leaving, just turning on her heel, might just be the best course of action, of course, if she does mumble the slightest slant, I am within my right, moreover I am obligated as such to handle the confrontation with swift and direct action, Clyde considered. Perhaps, he (oh he himself) would engage the two outer officers into an elegant and peaceful capture of this purposeless woman, this intruder, and in fact, assume that the future orders of purposes, of course, will be well suited to owners, no correction could possibly be made in prior distributions (a point clearly evident with consideration of the response to an admission of error by the formal institution). Of course this was, after all, directly contingent upon his purpose, which with ever poor judgement he had failed to open and, at present, lay carelessly on his bedside table.