Tag Archives: friday

Induction Phase

I dream of food labels now.
I subtract grams of fiber

from grams of carbohydrates
and wake up screaming.

There are no dancing
cookies, yet. And there

are no giant muffins
rolling by like sugared

clowns in crimped paper
cups. I do not walk among

pizza crusts scattered
like fallen soldiers on

a battlefield covered
with singed flour.

I dream in calculations.
They carry over into

my waking world as I
pack this much protein,

to be ingested every two
hours, never once considering

that the brain needs
glucose to survive.

On the Balcony

They stood next to each other on the railing, the cooling rush of the black New York City night sweeping through them across the balcony.

“Aeli,” she began.

“Don’t,” he said.

“Don’t what?” she asked.

Aeli sighed, his body folding forward over his elbows. His back was arched forward and his body levered, like a superhero preparing to launch into flight off the perch.

“Don’t start,” he said.

“Start what?”

He stole a peek at her – she looked at him like a baby lamb gazing at a child holding a palmful of pebbled, brown feed at a petting zoo.

She wasn’t going to make it easy for him. He couldn’t hold it in any longer. It was so unlike him, though – he didn’t know why now, he could suddenly do the thing he’d been pushing back – but he did it anyway. He told her. Everything.

“Every time you say you like me,” he began. “Every time I say that I ‘like you’ like you.

“I mean it.”

Aeli looked into her eyes, searching for a spark of recognition. He looked at her mouth, silently willing her lips to form words, to say, “Me, too,” and then for her to fall into him like a leaf into the bosom of a forked branch.

“You do?”

It was not quite what he had been hoping for. But he was too on edge to be crushed – he felt the adrenaline coursing through him, felt the hard pound of his heart itching to burst out of his chest, and there was too much energy for him to subside.

“I do,” he said. “Every time we hang out, it’s the best part of my week. Every time I see you smile at me, when your eyes get large, it’s the best feeling there is. I want that feeling all the time.”

With his body louvered against the chest-high railing, he just kept talking, eyes casting out now into the Manhattan darkness like a line from a fishing rod. He didn’t even notice how lyrical he was being, how the words fell from him with ease. He just kept talking.

“Being with you makes me happy. And you mean a lot to me. And I think I mean a lot to you, too. I want to see you every day.” He turned to her once more. “I want to look into your eyes when I wake up.”

In that way that time sometimes slows, when the whole world around rushes to an utter halt, the party raging behind Naomi and Aeli briefly faded away into nothingness, leaving just the two of them on a ledge in an immotile universe, where no one else at all could enter or live.

How long the world stopped, Aeli couldn’t say.  But the moment passed, and, sluggishly, like the wheels of a train car being pulled from a standstill, the earth resumed spinning, first at a lurch, and then more confidently, until once again it found normal motion.

He still stood quiet, waiting for Naomi to speak. He watched her cheeks flush with color.

“I do,” she, at last, admitted. “I do, too.”

She turned to him and placed her hand into the crook of his chest.

“I’m just -”

Aeli stopped her. “I know.” He almost said, “I’m scared,” but didn’t – something stopped him, and he was glad for that. He tried again.

“I know that I’m not perfect. I know we’ve both been burned. But I think – I know that I want to try.”

Hamlet, it was not. He could have ended stronger – he knew that as soon as he spoke. But she didn’t leave; she was still right there, with her hand pressed into his cave, and it was good.  When he wrapped his free arm around her waist just between the taper of her stomach and the swell of her ass, she didn’t move away.

So he drew her in.

And they kissed.

It was like…

Graduation day

An ode to graduation:
Dear cap and gown:

Thank you so much for signifying all that my education has been worth:

50 bucks and years worth of ass-sweat deeply ingrained.

Worthy of a piece of paper suitable for framing,

And surely not a token gesture of fleeting fancy, like a lower-back tattoo.

Some people like to go au natural beneath the folds of the gown, but not me:

I prefer to keep my penis from grazing against chafe-ready nylon blends.

Also, you can masturbate through the pocketless slits, and if I do, I don’t want the evidence to show.

As for you, Mr. Cap: no, the rumors are not true.  I would certainly not rather be wearing a Mets hat.  Nor am I upset that you don’t include a radio, MP3 player, DVD screen, or any legitimate purpose in our modern age.  I’m simply happy letting you rest on my pate, clogging my pores and helping me form pustular acne in a ring on my forehead.

Yep, cap n’ gown, I’m pretty psyched you’re going to be in my life for this one day.  It’s too bad it’s going to be so short… but then, like the McRib, it’s the limited time you’re in our lives that lets us know just how special our stolen moments together are.

Billy ‘the Hill’ McGill

Someone y’all should know about:

The 12th collegiate player all time with over 2,000 points and 1,000 boards.  The few who beat him to the punch: Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West.

First overall pick in the NBA draft, 1962.  Some amazing company: Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson again.  Kareem.  Magic Johnson.  Olajuwon and Ewing.  David Robinson, Shaq, Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, LeBron.  Take a look.

Why do I mention him?  Because it’s playoff time, and this guy is a local hero.  All-American in high school, 4 straight All-LA selections, 3 city championships.  A killer player and a killer guy all around.
And you know what else?  He’s gonna put out a book.  Believe that.  Stay tuned.

Songs about Writers

I MC’d a fundraising show before going to Denver the other week, and I used as my intro song a track by MC Lars called “Space Game.”  It’s a nerd-core song that features these lyrics:

Ezra Pound can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
Virginia Wolfe can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
Joseph Conrad can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
I excite the modern mind like a ray of light
Franz Kafka can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
Wallace Stevens can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
E.E. Cummings can’t stop me (I’m on fire tonight)
I’ve got postmodern game and it feels all right

That kind of did it for me, and it got me thinking – what other songs are there about writers?

Lucky you, I came up with some.  Links attached.

MC Lars (another one) – Mr Raven – Edgar Allen Poe

The Beatles – Paperback Writer

Modest Mouse – Bukowski (Live) – Charles Bukowski

Billy Bragg & Wilco – Walt Whitman’s Niece – Walt Whitman

Now, don’t go and say words never did nuthin’ for ya.

The Santa Monica Ford sales staff sucks.

You know why Ford is going under?  Because they can’t sell any damn cars.  Not because people don’t -want- to buy their cars, but because the people who sell them are grossly incompetent.

I set out to buy a 2010 Ford Mustang at the beginning of the model year, back in August.  I put a deposit down in September.

The car arrived in mid-November, a few weeks late, but OK.  It was a touch off – the detailing was wrong – and they could’ve had cash in hand and a happy buyer, stat.

Instead, they took THREE AND A HALF MONTHS dragging their feet, just to do a little detailing.  I eventually got the car, and it’s great, I love it – but now there’s no 2nd key.  Yeah – they LOST the backup key somewhere along the line.

It’s been a week and a half now since I picked up the car…. still nothing.

I love my car.  It’s the best.  But Santa Monica Ford?  Never go there.  Ever.

The eight crazies you meet in Santa Monica

I saw eight interesting people in the last hour in my town. Seven of them were crazies. I can’t wait to put them all in my book.

The first – the only one who might not have been crazy – was an oversized bulldog of a man, 5′ 11″ and 200 lbs, who wore blue jeans, scuffed white sneakers, a white shirt and a Yankees cap with a flat brim pushed slightly to the side. He had blue eyes, lost in the fat and his stubble, and he listened to a personal radio. He held his shoulders pushed forward; he was mute, but walked with purpose, fueled by rage.

The second – the first crazy – was a man in his fifties, with tan, leathered skin. He wore a yellow polo shirt matched with plastic blue shorts that did not quite reach his mid-thigh. He wore sunglasses, though it was cold out, and white tube socks pulled up to mid-calf, a style that has been unpopular since the day those socks were invented. On his feet he wore New Balance sneakers, once white, now muddied and black – why has the muddied once-white New Balance sneaker evolved in the popular choice of today’s hobo on the go?

The fourth and third were an item. He: black wool cap, black leather jacket, black pants. Black sunglasses; hair flowing and orange and coupled with a beard, he looked like a vaguely Irish-German hobo Jesus, on the prowl for drugs and miracles. She: an Asian girl with short black hair shaved down and spiked, save for one wave that swelled from her left temple and crested across one side of her skull. She cradled herself in a red shawl, which stretched just below the waist of her pants that hemmed just below her ankle line, giving way to a patch of skin on her open-top shoes. She had a neck tattoo – surely, it was inspired by a previous boyfriend’s in the same place, a piece of skin art that she undoubtedly loved to snuggle up against and lick – and a matching one on her foot, same side as the neck tat and the sweep: left side.

Number five jogged across the intersection like a stiff-backed, handicapped gazelle-man centaur. It was like a computer approximation of striding with back straight and knees reaching up toward Jesus. He was Asian, in glasses, in his forties or fifties, wearing white slacks and a blue jacket and looking very recently removed from an 80’s comedy role as a stereotypical foreign tourist.

Numbers six and seven dueled for supremacy across an intersection. Six: the brown woman. Jacket, blouse, pants, even open-toed sandals all in various shades of brown: ecru, mocha, chocolate, taupe. So creepy. Across from her, the carriage lady. She pushed her things in a pram as though her torn rags and trinkets were a baby.

The eighth, and most aggressive – the craziest crazy I met – ambushed me in the parking lot of my apartment building, where he’d stolen my space. He couldn’t wait to start talking to me about my new car, which, yes, is nice but the way he comported himself – damn. Hands always going down to his pockets, where he pressed his palms obviously against his hipbones. For the pleasure of the sensation? I’m not sure, and I don’t really want to know if I do happen to be right. He spoke animatedly, never leaving a half-second’s break in conversation, and took the ball and ran with it to bring up all sorts of digressions and stories-tied-to-stories about his life that never left me a chance to steer the conversation toward, “Nice to meet you, good luck; I’m leaving now.” He also sucked loudly on his spittle when he talked – and this was not an old, drooling man, he was either a post-drug abuse late thirty-something or a forty-something – which was distracting, gross, and made me think that he might carry a knife. Not because he looked to use it, but because he’d be beaten like a mouse more than a few times and was ready to stab somebody if things got too crazy. Or the pink elephants came back.