“I recall distinctly how I enjoyed my suffering. It was like taking a cub to bed with you. Once in a while he clawed you and then you really were frightened. Ordinarily you had no fear—you could always turn him loose, or chop his head off.”—Henry Miller
And that’s what those kids said, and so sure, maybe in San Francisco nothing will be discovered. Maybe it too has dried up. Maybe the paper is all digital bull and the cash cow is mooooooooving in. Maybe big brother and the spices of the far south have come home to roost, and maybe even in San Fran (and don’t call it that—don’t call it San Fran because the locals will say “what are you boy, some kind of square or retard or something? What are you boy…”—and trust me don’t ever call it San Fran in San Fran—because them those now folks there…well…they don’t like to be called San Fran)—but truthfully and honestly I don’t know anymore—maybe it’s true what they said, and maybe nothing left anywhere on the planet. And I don’t know how long it’s going to take but one day though, and maybe not soon, and maybe not later—I don’t know—but one day I’ll see it with my own eyes and not with only the stories as told by other writers and dreamers and travelers and long lost dead taps. And what will be found when I get there, and that is and truth be told, if I really do get there, because it’s going to be real hard trying to find the time to actually stop these panic attacks that are building up within me and the hell of a devil of a lord oh how the heart is beeping—it’s havin’ itself a good ol’ spasm of a time with its thumping and its pounding and its moaning—how the heart is just a’ trying to keep this old ship—this old kid’s body alive. But I could do it. I could let-go and give-in to love…that is…if you do too—but not now…no—and I know what I need—I just need to take it real easy-like—and I used to and somewhere I forgot how to, but if I remember correctly that when I just walk and smile and be me everything is cool—and man before those three kids well I’ll tell ya a’ story about how I once slowed down and found me some good music that even the beats and that poor bastard Kerouac—well even he loved that Mingus—that sax-a-phone a’ playing of a great young rebel. So it’s true that once in a while Darlin’, that some of them had it right all along, and nothing really matters and time it does…time it slows down, and right then and once again more people walk up into the attic and I’m slow right now but none of them have a clue what we’re about—no—they don’t care—they don’t care about love not-one-bit—no—at least not when it comes down to it really. They just want things. They want everything. They want all things. And I know this because sure as spit in the morning sink well around this house it never slows down and that panic for some reason is eating my soul. And I’m told to chill-out and shape-up and move-on-out to that good ol’ San Frannnnn Ciscooooooo—and further north you’ll find that Big Sur that Mr. Miller talked about before anyone really arrived on the scene yet. Big Sur is a place I’m 110 told where the writer can write in peace and dream on his back looking towards the stars, and below is the city where the poets transfer ideas to paper and as you scribble society claps and hushes itself down enough for your mind to think and that’s where you can slow down and be you. And that sounds great…real nice… doesn’t it?—yeah…it sure does. So the story goes it’s true brother man and young rebel child, that it’s time for you to chill your soul out, because in Big Sur everything goes the way it goes and nothing is ever questioned—form and syntax and let’s edit your shit down real nice and tight… ya’ dig? And I don’t know what anything is but they go and go and burn out real young. And so shall you go as they did before—and so let’s go with another rewrite and do this over and how long you been at it—and kid—it looks like you really did a number this time—you lost everything again kid—and why—but only so that you could write it down. And that’s real sad stuff kid. I’m sorry kid. I’m sorry you lost everything again kid. I’m a lost cause, and so that’s the story Darlin’, and for now the record scratches and shut your mouth Darlin! I told you that we have everything that the poet wants—and once again you made me miss it. Why do you ask such irrelevant questions—and those thoughts of….what and who and what and where—when—and how? Please just stop it please—just do what you do and stop crying Darlin’—because I told you already to stop it because these questions sink on’ up to the stars and I’m so slow right now—and sure…maybe I’ll go with those kids, and maybe I’ll go and I’ll pack-up ship once again, and just maybe it will be the same as the last time, and maybe I’ll go go go…and I’ll go because I know that something a rather has to be real close. It just has to be—NO! PLAY SOME MORE MUSIC NOW DARLIN’, AND STOP YOUR BITCHING. POVERTY IS ONLY IN YOUR MIND—and I’m sorry that you’re sensitive to me being a man, and I know that I get mad…I’m sorry…real sorry… and have I ever told you that sometimes I go out at night and watch the house under tree on curb…on other side…of street—and the time? Around 5:45 in the morning and sometimes 11:45 at night. These are the times when the train is a’ coming and when it’s a’ leaving. These are the hours of the day when the horn is a’ blowing and the people are for the most part either a’ boozing or a’ sleeping—these are the times when nobody even cares to pay attention to their surroundings—and it’s real easy to explain why I do this: I like to get another perspective on the way it is—see from the people over here’s perspective—and I like to see what they see, see what I could see, see into what I might not be…you know…and that is…if I was them…looking at me—and no…it’s not that strange…because it’s only a reflection. The other day I sat on the road and once again I did the same thing last night and everybody was inside the house and I watched the party. You were seen by my new eyes and Darlin’ you were dancing in the windows and Darlin’ you were looking fresh. The house was full and all our friends looked like beautiful fools and like strangers and everyone was so happy…and there… I sat…and I watched what I am, and yawl were so different and I was alone—I was watching my life without anybody even seeing me—I was just like a ghost with memories. Across the street I sat and smoked and watched, and I wasn’t dead yet, but to you I might as well have been—and I remember those were the good times—those were the days—those were the days and years full of those past things—those were the days now dead and those words and love-making times and body gestures and those were only a couple of years ago…and now I can only ask, how did I get here? And I don’t know and yeah kind of like that song by the Talking Heads—and sometimes I forget about good posture and sometimes I forget about good songs, but with enough time they both come back to me and maybe that’s why my neck hurts. And I feel my body and your body and maybe we’re all a bunch of forgotten ghosts and maybe there’s no time to think about this bullshit because it’s lovely and time sure as hell isn’t waiting for me. Nothing is ever going to change this time traveling paradigm and so once again I’ll be real easy-like and let’s just be here and be here right now and Darlin’ and my love, my lovely love, let’s just be here in-love within the winter and sleep in this soulless attic. It’s them again…
“Let’s smoke all of this” someone says and another person said they’re going to “roll a four paper joint” and back from Chicago and they take over the room saying they did some great cocaine and man everybody laughs and I’m not laughing and I get up and walk away and darlin’ you just stay there because you’re laughing and now I’m behind a mirror typing on a desk and my mind is focused and there are always so many people around and I’m mad and I still haven’t finished my drink and I bet the track is almost over and so what that someone may be judging me right now—and so what is right—because I don’t care. People are always asking me what I’m doing and I wish people would just leave me alone because I mean who the hell are they to despise this man…this heck of a man and a great man…that perhaps I am? Who are they and who are you and maybe this is just the tide of the past. Maybe my words follow the crest of the river sea and maybe my words have been consumed and turned into lakes of blood that break with sound that can only be made in the night…wait…I hear static and I can’t understand these sounds anymore. I feel young-er and unawar-er, even though I’m old-er and clos-er, to death—and everyone hates me—and so what that I don’t know what to do anymore? Their sounds scare me and I’m terrified and alone and I hear more feet and the wood bends and more static and made-up truths without proper information or the proper time given to understand the information. You can’t just read the book once. You have to read it five times in one year and the only thing it really is…is talk—and the talk is bullshit. The sounds deceive me, and these were the same sounds that used to make so much sense back then, and maybe the words and the lack of erase and delete and think for just one second and just write spontaneously and free, maybe my style and my discipline, maybe everything that is writing has taken it’s sweet time at killing me. The infestation is eating my brain and now the kids are talking about needle point prickers and the future of bullshit and I’m ripping up tarot cards in corner and man……..what the hell? And Seriously Henry Miller, what are you doing now? Are you out there? I want to tell you that you that handed down some wisdom and the sex and the booze and the tales and the travels and then those boys thought of you as their father and they traveled all over your America and they found something—and they found your novels that were in motel drawers that were years before traded-in for bibles, and in return the future of art was made, and I was made, and I was born, just as they were born. Thank you Henry Miller, because this is really the mutation of your art, this is really your America, and so back then finding your Tropic and your Cancer, your Black Spring and your Air Conditioned Nightmare—and when they found out they went and be-done and be-gone—and off they were as they went by boxcar boxcar boxcar—and these kids and these orphans of America ended up as West as you can go without swimming in the pacific, and some of them even ended up at the Golden Gate Bridge—some of your adopted children said it’s a wasteland and killed themselves because oh just so many reasons. And then some of these young people became old people and were ugly when they forgot and became the same material of things about order and anger and history, and I think it was only the thought of death which killed them but I don’t know because I’m not them, but empirically thinking it seems like they ended up falling in-love with defeat. and Henry Miller, I hope I don’t die like that… no… I won’t—and you wouldn’t die like that—you wouldn’t die happy—because you knew that the fight would never be over—but back then they lost their cool and the kids and the beat and the maggots forgot about what they never knew, and some of them were even cowards and they lacked the courage that life asks of the writer, and people tell me that you’re dramatic (me) and what the fuck does that even mean I ask them, and I ask them that because life is dramatic, and I always tell them all about everything, and everything is my retort to their lazy self-education, and maybe I shouldn’t use so many bad words but I get mad and people need to take life seriously and after all these are only bad words and not real bullets, and I think that this life is important ya dig? They always sing the same song, and just make yourself happy and be real and create above the future art and just please live because this is all you get and why be anything—and that’s what they found in your words Mr. Miller. They found a reason to live and then some traded your words after they traded old testaments for your words, and then some of them fell for Zen and then hated Zen and then some of them started universities after they dropped out of universities, and then some of them became judges after they were judged, and some of these writing sons and daughters of yours said they were going and they did go and then they did become men and women and owners of shops and then they forgot how it was a struggle and they didn’t bother to tell their children how they made it after they almost didn’t, and it’s just that some of these people never told us how hard it was. holy shit brother man this is some new kind of joy that they found—and that’s what they said—they made songs—crazy love like a Buddha squirrel on a warm winter day—and they did all of this after they found your words and went and traveled all the way from the Brooklyn Bridge and in the cold hell of the winter night they came from New York City and some of them left ma and pa alone in dead small towns and ran away from home to discover (as it turns out) that many of them only left old love in the dust only later to find out that the new love was only the memory of the old love which they ran away from in the first place. Life works like this I’m told. And I’m positive that they were in love with America because of you, and they ended up at a place that is in grave scientific danger of falling into the ocean—seriously Miller and I aint kidding when I say and type to you old dead man…that I’m told this could happen, and did you know that the end is near and that some bloody bad times could go down in an hour or two?—And it’s weird because the truth is very weird and I’ll tell you what’s going on…The last Governor of the State of California was an action figure (toy) that was called the terminator (a killer robot) and this isn’t no joke—this is real life and I’m serious Henry Miller that it’s a fact that he was a time traveling robot who really put the fear in my head when I was a kid, and so here’s a short story: So I woke-up in the backseat at a drive-in movie theater to the visuals of bloody cops and pumped shotguns while he was asking for a boy who would end the machine human war. The governor was shooting at kids and he only had half a human face because his skin was only a shell of a real human man. And I remember that I asked to go home and was told to go for a walk and so I did. Getting out of the old car I walked around a cemetery that was located next to the drive in, and it was a long walk and I looked at the monuments of the dead during the last week of August and the leaves were already brown and the earth smelled good. As the movie played I walked an entire double-feature and I wasn’t even ten —and my age didn’t really matter because I felt like I was eighty years old. And while I walked and looked at the sky the cemetery was the most peaceful place on the planet. I was so sick of the violence and that’s why I started reading and looking at words and thank you dead man because you always gave the reader a choice. You can turn to any page in any of your books and find something new—and if you don’t like sex or love or poverty or health you can turn another page and find something else about joy. And thank you Mr. Miller, because these are only ideas and the intelligence factory has toned down our souls and this is real life these days and people don’t have anything to live for other than the implosion of the picture. We have film-strips but nothing is moving and I don’t even know what they could be looking at anymore, and I’m sorry there aren’t many words left to make sense out of this letter but still like you said it’s lovely and not everyone is as happy as they show you they are, especially after they murder you in your sleep. The truth makes so much sense to you, but not to me. To me it’s all bullshit and static, but it is…right?—and Henry Miller so get this: my generation has been called the future for the dead and the internet is something we have and all these damn truths are understood by everyone but me—and who am I?—Can you please tell me that Henry Miller? There’s so much static and silence and since you asked…sure…I can tell you a bit about who I think I am—and so I’m a writer—or I used to be a writer—and I say that because honestly I don’t know what I am anymore. I have no money, no resources and unlike you I am not the happiest man alive—wait…Henry Miller, how did you find happiness? You were just joking weren’t you—and maybe you weren’t—or maybe you were happy in a different kind of way—but for some reason I can’t understand how any of this is possible, and I feel responsible for all of this and maybe that’s how you did it. You separated your role from the herd and maybe that’s what I have to do too—maybe I have to just take it easy…but that’s not easy…and my back hurts and my fingers hurt and I have arthritis and a young face. I have a college degree but nobody will give me a job. They want me to suffer. They think I’m an insane writer but I’m a nice man, or was, and maybe that’s my problem—maybe I need to not give a shit about the poor and the beat down and about the slaves of unity; maybe I need to just fuck and dabble with paint and yell and remember that you can always be reflective when you’re an old man… but a young man…no…there’s no time for any of that gibberjab. Maybe it’s true when I say that a young writer who’s also a man—maybe he has to be a brute. And a nice girl said to me last night that I’m much too grumpy for my age. I said I know when really I don’t know what she was talking about so I must be missing the point. I read everything you wrote, tens of thousands of pages, and right now I’m almost thirty-two years old and I’m more alone and terrified of living than I’ve ever been before. The thing is you never told me what to do, and if anybody really knew what I thought there would be some serious consequences. Henry Miller, so tell me why I should hang around with these kids and come see your refugee camp? Most of them are as ignorant as the shell of hard dog shit and not one of them is a real artist…an artist… whatever the fuck that even means. And art isn’t what I’m worried about—rather the concern I have is maybe they aren’t humans….robots…no…. zombies…that’s the biggest of gimmicks, and I know they’re alive and I know they exist, but what I’m saying is that I’m pretty sure they need to be educated and here is the problem: most of them think some form of the ‘concept’ is a truism and that something is factual when as it has turned out to be the case through some serious years of philosophical and sociological observation of these humans (outside of academia) that nothing is but what we decide for it to be the rule—and most of them are skimmers and butterfly catchers and they already think they think, which of course they don’t even know how to think, and I think Heidegger said something about that subject but let’s not get into that right now because I think I already talked about that in the very beginning of this book—and I’m real sorry to sound condescending but these kids who want me to go with them to see Big Sur are bad people and got my girlfriend into smack and now she’s a slut who hates me and last week I had to drag her out of the emergency room after they said nothing was wrong with her, and these kids said they were raised by bad people who think they have to do things and are a bunch of planners of the apocalypse of my death—and when I count on my left hand while still typing with my right hand I know maybe five to fifteen good people but they are so poor and don’t steal from their parents and these kids…no—it’s as if a god fucked a devil and shat-out the post punk soul of melancholy and I’m sorry to offend—I’m sure you could make me conform…that is…if you were nicer to me, but it’s frustrating to the point of the harmonics of a love affair I could see myself having with a shotgun to the head—and so am I mad? Yes. Am I real mad? Who cares, because my bullets are only these words and I know there’s no such thing as enlightenment for folks like these kids, because I’ve hung around with three generations of the counter-culture only to learn that I’m not even liberal. I’m flesh and bone and my heart is chaos. I’m nothing because there is only nothing but the users and the used and then there’s my atheism in not so much a lazy metaphysical realm but rather my unbelieving servitude to their lazy economy—it is simply insane—and so that’s why I ask you because in the end they said if it gets bad they will fly home and I can’t fly home, and I know when they grow up these kids will hate me and they will leave me to die because I’ve been left to die by them before—not exactly the same them—but people just like them. I know them already and they will try to kill me when it gets real bad—they just don’t know it yet. And I don’t know and none of this matters either way, because I’ll probably waste my time and I’ll go with them—and it is true that everything is in some sense a waste of time. It is also true that we’re all going to die someday so I guess you’re right that I might as well have a good time and maybe I’m just tired because writing makes you tired, and so I have no respect and no money, and I’ve had love…but love… leaves. This could go on forever, and it probably will. The truth is I rather have never met you, and I think my entire life would have been much different if I’d never had read a single book written by you, and I wish it would have went differently for me, but once you fall down this rabbit hole, well then you are what they call ‘fucked’—and that’s why I’ll go with them… because of you…and not because of them—and so can you tell me what’s even there? Is anything left? People are strange, and this is what my grandmother told me…and I agree because people are strange and people are mean and sometimes I get mean—and I started writing this letter to you about three weeks ago and I even typed it up on the old black Remington and so now I’m already packed and ready to freight. Yeah Henry I’m coming somehow and someway I’ll make it out there—but you never told me and will you please tell me what I’ll find when I get there. Will it be more death or more life? The truth is I’m older than you and I’m alive, and I get so tired but can’t ever fall asleep—and I’m slowing down and need a smoke and I constantly need a break and I wish I contained the energy that you had. And for some reason I can’t block-out other people and the sounds that they make anymore. I get real mad real easy and just stop and feel sad and you wrote some billion words of joy a day and your books were brilliant and then the Beatniks and then the French and some of us in this new generation have turned each page with such hope, as if a dream that said that being a writer was noble in a world run by fascists and money makers and people who yell at the worker for being tired—and you made me think that words were some kind of magic-trick…POOF… that you could control—and before that I was just like them—I was just a box-screen with nothing in it, and some of us read your books with so much admiration and it was almost as if you were a wizard man er’ something. And so Henry, you might wonder what I’m going on and on about—just spit it out already and just say what’s on your mind or stop with the babble. And what I’m talking about is truth and about happiness and confusion. I’m talking about smiling and wanting to write about beauty during a time when people buy real bullets to kill fake zombies. I’m writing to tell you grave people of America about a time when people are afraid of robots killing them from the air and a time when people are wasting time planning for the war that will never happen instead of planning for the future utopia that will conclude this war either way, and this long wind of prose is why I hereby declare social nonsense and the media and the public’s love of zombies is a sickness, and so to watermark my tongue with my soul of peace I’m making a new political party that has no name, and it’s because of this talk about nothing that comes from both the left and right—all of this is really only an evolution going backwards towards the lizards that will in….the end only end with the extinction of everything, and it’s fucked up to say that this movement has been paraded as the future of the future, and I don’t know what I’ll call it yet, but my new party will have a mascot, and the mascot will be a wolf with a bat sitting on the wolf’s head smiling as the wolf is standing on a mountain made out of paper—P.S: I’m not in Big Sur. I’m in Ann Arbor and I’m alone. Goodbye Forever. It was the last party before the end, and the book was from my Grandmother. It was called, ‘The Present Age’. Within its war-to-be specified pages it described the same problems that our culture forgets about today, and some call this modern angst and some say get over it and grow up. And that’s fine regarding what they say… but I say no. I reject this American notion of defeatism which is also the act of simply retreating into the fake theory of what’s been resurrected in madness and called the metaphysical. Somebody once told me that I have to change and grow and learn how see things from a different perspective, and I forgot who said that and why they said that, but yeah so I did that and decided to choose to fight for this reality, and so come-on…come-on people…this is life, and so come-on…come-on people…let’s not destroy everything. Oh shit—I hate this kid.
You’re back again?
Yeah. About fifteen minutes. Leaving for good. The house is yours. The city is going to kick you out soon. The cop told me to get out of town.
The girl here? Saw her car out front.
No. She’s in Washington. I took it back.
Shit. Girl still owes me about three hundo for… I know. It’s gone. You owe me money remember? Of course you don’t. Let’s say were even.
The way I see it I should…
What? Sorry about giving you a black eye, you caught me at a very low point and I was sick of your gibberish and telling everyone you’re a sociopath like that’s some badge of honor. Do you even know what things are? Never mind—I don’t want to hear it and this isn’t a conversation—we’re even and I don’t care—I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone and then you’ll be dead and then I’ll be dead. Chalk it on up and move on.
Whatever. So writer man…I thought you were going to kill yourself? Ha…
Fuck you. You know what that means right? Just go have a good time. Don’t talk to me ever again. Ok?
Wait man, all of it?
Seriously, I’m not kidding man…
Still the good old lunatic I see he said.
And I hate that kid but it doesn’t matter. The ship has sunk and nobody knows it yet. Everyone is drunk and everyone is in love. The basement is full of instruments and this is the last party. No Big Sur only going east in the same state, and after what happened the cop said:
“You’re smarter than that, punching a homeless kid. Said he wanted to press charges but he was high on so much junk and doesn’t have an address…so I’m not bringing you in. He said you opened his mail and I said I don’t care. But this is bad news and…”
And I totally agreed with the cop because he’s right. I have no business being here and that’s why this is the last party. I’m going with Ian to Ann Arbor but for now a guitar is played and there’s even the rusty ol’ Sax-a-phone sound but it’s still nice to hear if you use your imagination, and everything slows down and then it heats up again and like the engine that my father looked at after he spent all day working on and under the hood and without supper and grease burning on his hands and I tried to help…. I always tried to help…but man that glare and that angry look of destiny in his eyes when he fixed one of those old Fords or Hondas or whatever they were called was the look of a god…of a man…of a giant man who just destroyed everything and then put it back together again, and he did this just because he thought he knew what he was doing. That old man broke more cars than he fixed, but for some reason he acted like he conquered the world. I never understood that guy, and he was my father—and he was an asshole of an old man but he taught me a thing or two about getting mean, and he always told me to get out-of-the-way boy because I would only slow him down, and He always told me to remember that nothing stops and everything keeps going and as the hands of time wipe away all that you feel on that or this day—kid always remember that you haven’t done shit yet boy so just move and get out of my way, because you’ll only slow me down. I still get a kick out of what my roommate said…and here we go again and the same people who yell at cops always run to the cops, and that’s the same boy that just the other day said he wanted to kill him some cops. So after I made him bleed he couldn’t fight back so he ran to the cops that he said he wanted to kill. I never told on him because I know that nobody is going to do anything about nothing but get drunk and waste my time. Nobody is going to overthrow any system. Nobody wants to lose. The only thing that boy is going to do is slow me down—and so “Kill him some cops”—oh that would be the day. He’s no gangster…hardly even human—he’s just another child—another same as the old and a boy of the elite—another one of the educated who will get run-down and drug-down the social roads until he’s old and done with his studies abroad, and when the house fails and when the band fails and the painting is slop—and then like everyone else he’ll be no more. Kill him some cops, that boy—when it’s over for him he’ll be all dried-up pleading to the cops to save him. It’s true nonsense. That’s all it is, and all of them have such hop and fury and they all hold the dream together without knowing what anything is about.
What you need the kid asked me. You need something…
You need something I know it. Your eyes are fixated on something he said.
And Laughing I said that I just need to write and stop listening to people like you.
Bullshit the kid said. You’re always talking about writing but I don’t know who the hell you are. You’re nobody. So what you need. I can get you anything.
I need a question
Ask me anything. I need a question.
What do you write about asshole?
I told him that I’ll write about anything that’s relevant. I’ll write about love and hate and about hippies and the rich—I’ll write about the grass that somehow makes it out alive from the top of the snow and I’ll write about hell or the destruction of heaven and about the young and the old and the tears from hipster girls and I knew it was going to happen—I knew that when the going got rough she was going to tell me that she doesn’t want to live in the ghetto no more—and now she wants to go home and so that’s where she went, and after a month and half after these assholes moved in I knew it was over—savages—and they killed my kitten and they said it just died. I was gone for the day. They said can we watch him. I said yes. It was my fault. And Kittens don’t just die and nobody ever asked me if I was ok when my kitten being dead—and I wasn’t cool with it and so that’s why I broke his face open. It wasn’t about money or the drugs that he said he was off of—it was about rage and it was about my dead kitten.
The very same questions almost fifty years later and the same words can no longer sing without a computer…
What’s going on?
What’s going on?
And I don’t know the cause of the disease and maybe I think the problem is that we’re all poor and dying. The buzzword is the name of what I studied long ago—and postmodern? Come on…really—this word is real but the thing is excuses are also real. This word is an introduction into the sociological imagination, and it’s a post stamp that sticks to my pale white-skin, and for so long I’ve said nothing to these people when I’ve been told them that I don’t know shit, and so “just listen Andrew because we know all about everything” and well that word postmodern—“it sounds like science-fiction and calm down son because I know you’re a shaman warrior but let’s look at the facts: We got nothing at all and I’m trying to see here-right-now—and so be-here-right-now and shut the hell up.”
This was the last night I would see the kids and the girl was already gone, and I said “enjoy the last party or go away and make some wisdom on a different porch because your words and your voice are bringing nothing to me about the truth of the times”
And “bad vibes man” I’m told I have, and I say “listen asshole, I think we need to look at these bad vibes that you say I’m sparking because maybe we need to operate on the organ of shit or go to war before we have another food stamp dance party…kapeesh?”
“Fuck you man” he said—and then I got drunk and happy and forgot about him, because well it was the last party and everything was gone and nobody listens and I got nothing and the city turned the electricity off again and the future and the theory of whatever is Postmodern—all of this is in the past and it is nothing but youthful bullshit and so just dance, please dance, because what’s the use and there wasn’t any use for my generation and I already knew that.
The meaningless of my existence was unbearable and I couldn’t take it so now I’m typing on a typewriter and she’s gone and the records are gone and the kitten is dead and the cops are waiting for something bad to happen and I’m here alone and typing with only candlelight while the savage young sit out there and I see their shadows which are waving flags and sticks and eating bark and Mingus is dead and Henry Miller is dead and my books have been sold for pennies and they don’t care that I’m alone because the shadows are singing and ranting and praying and dying and they are out there playing drums in the snow and searching and they are in love with being crazy and they are burning the liver—and what’s going on—what’s going on—nothing—the human eyes do not exist. These are the days that will never be defined in history books, and that’s why I’ve written them all down, only to remember that this isn’t what I thought the future was going to be like when I was a kid.
There aren’t any flying cars or interstellar starships—nothing is moving at the speed of light other than my brain that fires words to hands reaching into the external world where there’s an unprecedented response of two rolling eyes plotting within an under-appreciated reservoir of a mind that’s powered by celestial waves in-which keep this human body writing even though the writer boy-now-man is lost within the aftermath of a great recession and is now leaving what nobody wants to admit is the fallout of a university wasteland. And this is the future, please remain seated. And this is the future, it isn’t going so great.
QUICK ENDING TO LOVE
I stand in the pit of the city down the street from medical mile. The winter has come back after five years and people are pissed—they have been born from fear and now they are bored of being terrified.
I’m standing as I smoke outside, and I’m reading a poem about the last gangster alive written by a poet named Gregory Corsso. He said something along the lines that the guns have frozen to bodies and that the old bullets are no good no more. It hurts turning the page but the page warms my brain, and I am alone, that is for sure, and since I’ve been in this skipping stone of a city I’ve been alone, but at the same time I’ve been surrounded by old spirits and pictures hanging on walls. One time not long ago I even got arrested for standing while smoking too close to a building and I’ve been hit by hands and been given a bloody nose. I’ve shoveled the snow and plowed the snow and I’ve changed brakes and brought water to the sick. I’ve worked as workers do and taken pictures of street signs that go north and south and everywhere that only bring the young writer back to home. But now, home is gone, and it’s never enough to make the terrified happy. It’s just been a real cold winter. I’ve read and written words and fallen out of love in less time than ever before, and people turn into stone in the winter, but they catch the bug at the end of summer, and expectations lead to war, and sometimes love ends with an unknown man’s gravestone.
I’m standing outside in the three degree weather, and a dog starts barking at me, and it’s the same dog, it’s an old dog, and the dog is with his old masters—the dog is old and is barking with his rugged old dog bark. There’s no bite and we know the truth: the days are numbered for people who don’t say hello when their dog on a leash is barking at the man who they met back in the month of July, and back then when the pit was a swamp and when the doors were open and when the sex was heard, and back then when the love was the future and when the street signs still led home to the lake. Back then things were good and I stand outside smoking and reading a poem and the dog still barks and strangely enough it’s wagging its tail. At first when I heard the dog bark I was pissed because the dog always barks at me and I say hello and I say nice dog to both the master and the owner and every day when they sneak out to look out into the woods to watch the squirrels run after each other—jumping from branch to branch as people talk about coyotes that nobody has ever seen—as hobos walk down the trains tracks that lead to and away and from the county prison—as the cardinals and the monk birds and a cat named Mark Twain come up from the pit and eat some crumbs and then slowly go back to the small forest woods that is an island for the small goodness—and the birds and the cats and the rodents and the shadows are all sitting on trees and bushes looking at this apartment complex down in the pit of medical mile, and they watch this place but they don’t envy what we have and that’s fine, because we have bigger brains and have evolved to care for them even if they don’t care the same way about us, because their littler than us. And I stand here and there’s a dog bark and the weather froze my toes, and I was standing outside smoking and I turned the page, and I was angry and then I faced the direction of the wind chill and I was standing there with the dog and the old man, and at first I was shaking my head but it was time to let go and so I smiled at the dog, and I smiled because I’m a nice person. And I’m sorry I said to the dog and the owner looked at the ground…
Nice dog I said and the owner growled.
You’re a very good dog I said and the dog barked and the birds chirped.
He’s old the owner said.
No need to be sorry. I know I said.
And I’m not sure if he knew what I was talking about or not, and that doesn’t really matter—but standing outside smoking a smoke in the cold winter weather I said enough is enough you’re too good for this fight, they don’t even care about you anyway. Walk away and hit the road, you’re too old for this nonsense.
He lived in the Black Forest Mountains, and I don’t know why I’m reminded of this obscure story right now, and it doesn’t really matter because everything is such a brilliant waste of time, and it’s very cold outside and the apartment is so hot because I don’t control the heat. I’m writing in swimming trunks without a shirt on and my beard is itchy—and I was going to shave today and slowly pack up because I’ll be moving soon, and that was the plan, but like usual the hours go away like an unverifiable rate of exchange for the dollar bill, and it’s just when you wake up it takes two hours to forget about the pain. And don’t ask me but I’m thinking about something, and the sun sets and the yellow wood garages and the white snow becomes the new color of the red roofs, and as the green walls change colors and as the houses across the street turn on lamps by the condemned school that still needs to be powered because the pipes can’t freeze, and as the sun sets the mouse with the broken foot that was in my house last night and no…I didn’t kill it…because I didn’t want to hear the sound of a living creatures bones being crushed, and when I woke up and smoked a cigarette I felt bad because the mouse forgot that it was cold and got out the door and froze to death in the driveway…poor thing.
As I think about how everything has slowly fell apart since December, and about all of the blown motors and the last breath of a few engines and a couple of loving relationships, and as I think about the night when I was stranded in the vortex of a science fiction meteorologist’s vision of the future, and back then I was walking over mediums and twisting ankles and grating ovals of flesh and bleeding my knuckles while falling over turtle fences and small rivers of snow that divided highways and townships—and it’s just that there was too much darkness and I was “done for” and so I’m “going this way” I said—and trying to survive I walked into a brand new neighborhood with brand new houses and all of the lights were on. It was minus five degrees out and I felt old and I didn’t think I was going to make it, and so that’s why I said, “Hello… is anybody here…help…anyone…please…”
There wasn’t much time to think and it was a strange moment of isolation, and even though I was embarrassed to be here I yelled as loud as I could…but no…and within five seconds I gave up because there was no way for anybody to hear my voice, because as I looked up and blocked out the sharp snowflakes with my fingers dripping with blood and ice, that’s when I looked for rescue, but I knew there wasn’t any rescue or help, not in this kind of place, and I knew that because I stood there looking and reflecting in brand new glass windows while watching spirals of smoke and steam rise out of brand new brick fireplaces—it just didn’t take long for me to realize that I was alone. And I was panicking because I was learning what it felt like to die. I just stood there under spotlights and I laughed to keep warm, and that’s when I read a sign that said, Country Time Condominiums Opening Soon.
For some reason this really happened, and it felt like a terrible sick dream because nobody was there. I was in an empty neighborhood of a new sub-division where nobody had moved in yet, but I couldn’t think long about this so I walked fifteen more miles down a country road while the Passat was buried by the present—and singing a song of anarchy I ran as I heard the sound of the zippers on boots crumbling like dead leaves, and as I think about the trees and the ninety feet of snow that I’ve shoveled and that at night becomes a romanticized feeling as if you’re walking in the trenches of war, and as I look at the nine to five commuters going home as I’m typing more minutes while looking out the window that’s blurry because my reading glasses are all fogged up, and as this day freezes over and is forgotten just like all the days before, I don’t know why but for some reason I’m reminded about this specific story of that old dead philosopher, and how he was once laughed at for saying that art was the only way to search for the true essence of a being in time.
It is a new day, a great day, and now it’s time to move on. And what I know about reality is that modern public transportation in America is a hoax, and so what being back in the real world means, is that I’m done with theoretical philosophy—and who am I kidding—I aint no philosopher—I’m a damn writer. And after being stuck for three days next to cots and yelling high school dropouts and running into ex-girlfriends who finally respect me after they were backslapped one-too-many times by reality, and after the yeast smells of the pipes down by the terminal where me and yawl waited in the vortex trying to buy some instant karma by doing our best not to fight one another out of boredom, and even after the scent went away in the mouth and after we waited next to the liberals and the conservatives who were yelling and arresting the taxpaying smokers and even the poor who thought maybe going to jail sounded warmer than here, and as a cowards hid in condos and took the day off, and as the pipes were breaking inside of the neo-rich kid’s breweries and after reading books and waiting and eating cheese crackers for dinner and shoveling city streets for fifteen dollars, and after I handed the leadership duties back to the scarecrows with suits and nice cars, and after I said “you got the jobs pal and so next time grow some courage and do something cause it’s just a farmer’s winter”, and after I was digging people’s tires out-of-holes with kitty litter as they sat in heat and rotated wheels grinding on ice while I was scooping snow out with bare hands that were pushing real hard and red, and as the young police cars just drove by, and after I was all done feeling the worst kind of pain as my hands thawed in real time and I was screaming in head to just “Leave me alone to suffer please”—but face-to-face with brothers and sisters I was looking happy and such, because during war it helps if you smile. After the snow and after the song ended, and after the screaming that hid in the corners near bus bathrooms, it’s just, that I realized that I really need to get done with this body of work and then move onto everything else.