Saturday, July 4, 2009

Firecracker, firecracker

Saturday, July 4, 2009
I realized that my romantic life can be summed up by a thought that occurred to me a couple of years ago, sitting on my back porch, listening to the neighbors light Christmas/New Year's fireworks..."I can hear the firecrackers, but I can't see them..."

I'm tired of being able to hear the fireworks, but never see them. Tired of lighting them for other people and watching them chasing them off into the dark.

I wish some one would light me a Chinese lantern and watch it burn with me.

Grandaddy used to light me Chinese lanterns off the dock in his backyard when I was a kid. When they were done sparking and started burning, they'd fall into the river...which always pissed off the fish that swam up to the surface because of they were attracted to the lights.

There are people who fish that way, you know.

For some reason, that reminds me of one of the times I ran away. I ended up in this hotel in New York...we were out on the balcony, having a few drinks...and when they passed the...well, I'm not telling you what it was...I didn't decline. Anyway, we were really stupid, so no one stayed sober enough to babysit. Ryan always took it easy, though, so he came back to himself first.
And I was gone. They all freaked the fuck out, too. My clothes were still in the hotel room. Where was I going to go in a wife beater, Spiderman underoos, and my knee socks from soccer? They looked EVERYWHERE...
Anyway, fast forward about a half hour, and they find me on the roof, smoking a cigarette. They're all freaked because I was sitting on the edge, I guess they thought I was gonna jump. And while I was, indeed, suicidal on and off during that period of my life, that's not why I was up there...I just wanted to see the sunrise. It was so beautiful...watching the city lights go out one by one, and then the horizon turned grey...and then purple...and then pink, orange...the stars faded out so slowly.

I smoked my last Newport and watched the sunrise a couple of months ago...made me sad for some reason. All I have are Canadian cigs now.

You guys...I miss my kids. Somehow, this whole entry is partly about that. It's about other stuff, too, but...
I don't know.

Light me a sparkler?

'Night, kids.

Ah, are missed...

The following essay on Cheese and the people who chose it appears on the inside of the cover to Frank Zappa's album, You Are What You Is. It was submitted to Newsweek magazine for their guest feature column, but was rejected on the grounds that it was "too idiosyncratic."

It's been suggested that the Gross National Product is perhaps not the best indicator of how well we are doing as a society, since it tells us nothing about the quality of our lives. But, is this something worth dwelling on as we grovel our way along in the general direction of 21st century? When future historians write about us, if they base their conclusions on whatever material goods survive from present-day America, we will undoubtedly stand alone among nations and be known forevermore as, "Those who chose cheese."

As you will recall, folks, nobody ever had as much going for them in the beginning as we did. Let's face it; we were fantastic. Today, unfortunately, we are merely weird. This is a shocking thing to say, since no red-blooded American likes to think of his or her self as being weird. But when there are other options and a whole nation chooses cheese, that is weird.

Our mental health has been in a semi-wretched condition for quite some time now. One of the reasons for this distress, aside from choosing cheese as a way of life, is the fact that we have, against some incredibly stiff competition, emerged victorious as the biggest bunch of liars on the face of the planet. No society has managed to invest more time and energy in the perpetuation of the fiction that it is moral, sane and wholesome, than our current crop of modern Americans.

This same delusion is the mysterious force behind our national desire to avoid behaving in any way that might be construed as intelligent. Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity. To cosmetize it, many otherwise normal citizens attempt a particular type of self-inflicted homemade mental nose-job designed to lower the recipient's socio-intellectual profile, to the point where the ability to communicate on the most Mongolian level provides the necessary certification to become "one of the guys."

Let's face it, nobody wants to hang out with somebody who's smarter than they are. This is not fun. Americans have always valued the idea of fun. We have a national craving for fun. We don't get very much of it anymore, so we do two things: first, we rummage around for anything that might be fun; then, since it wasn't really fun in the first place, we pretend to enjoy it, whatever it was. The net result? Stressed cheese.

But where does all this cheese really come from? It wouldn't be fair to blame it all on T.V., although some credit must be given to whoever it is at each of the networks that "gives us what we want." You don't ask, you don't get. Folks, we now have "got it." Lots of it. And, in our infinite American wisdom, we have constructed elaborate systems to insure that future generations will have an even more abundant supply of that fragrant substance upon which we presently thrive.

If we can't blame it on the T.V., then where does it come from? Obviously, we are weird if we have to ask such a question. Surely we must realize by now, except for the fact that we lie to ourselves so much that we get confused sometimes, that as contemporary Americans we have an almost magical ability to turn anything we touch into a festering mound of self-destructing poot. How can we do this with such incredible precision? Well, one good way is to form a committee. Committees composed of all kinds of desperate American-types have been known to convert the combined unfilled emotional needs and repressed biological urges of their memberships into complex masses of cheese-like organisms at the rap of a gavel. Committee cheese is usually sliced very thin, then bound into volumes for eventual dispersal in courts of law, legislative chambers, and public facilities, where you are invited to "eat all you want."

If that doesn't fill you up, there's the exciting union cheese, the most readily available cheese-type offered. The thing that's so exciting about union cheese from a gourmet's point of view is the classic simplicity of the mathematical formula from which it is derived. In fact, it's difficult to avoid a state of total ecstacy if one contemplates the proposition that no import quota yet devised has proven equal to the task of neutralizing the lethal emissions generated by the ripening process of this piquant native confection. Should we not be overtaken by some unspeakable emotion, when we consider the fact that the smaller the amount of care taken in each union cheese artifact, the more triumphant is the blast of the vapors streaming forth from every nook and cranny of whatever it was that the stalwart craftsperson got paid $19 per hour to slap together?

Still hungry? Union cheese might be the most readily available, but no type of cheese in America today has achieved the popular acceptance of accountant cheese. If it is true that you are what you eat, then surely our national willingness to eat this stuff tells us more about ourselves than we probably wish to know. Obviously we have found the cheese to believe in. Why not? It's manufactured by people who count money, endorsed as nutritionally sound by civic leaders, and delivered by the media door-to-door. The quality of our lives, if we think of this matter in terms of how much of what we individually consider to be beautiful are we able to experience every day, seems an irrelevant matter now that all decisions regarding the creation and distribution of works of art must first pass under the limbo bar, a.k.a. "the bottom line," along with things like taste and the public interest, all tied like a tin can to the wagging tail of the sacred prime-rate poodle.

The aforementioned festering poot is coming your way at a theatre or drive-in near you. It wakes you up every morning as it drizzles out of your digital clock radio. An arts council somewhere is getting a special batch ready with little tuxedos on it so you can think it's precious.

Yes Virginia, there is a free lunch. We're eating it now. Can I get you a napkin?


Friday, July 3, 2009

Look at your face like you're killed in a dream...

Friday, July 3, 2009
Theres a letter on the desktop
That I dug out of a drawer
The last truce we ever came to
In our adolescent war
And I start to feel the fever
From the warm air through the screen
You come regular like seasons
Shadowing my dreams

And the mississippis mighty
But it starts in minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down
And I guess thats how you started
Like a pinprick to my heart
But at this point you rush right through me
And I start to drown

And theres not enough room
In this world for my pain
Signals cross and love gets lost
And time passed makes it plain
Of all my demon spirits
I need you the most
Im in love with your ghost
Im in love with your ghost

Dark and dangerous like a secret
That gets whispered in a hush
(dont tell a soul)
When I wake the things I dreamt about you
Last night make me blush
(dont tell a soul)
And you kiss me like a lover
Then you sting me like a viper
I go follow to the river
Play your memory like a piper

And I feel it like a sickness
How this love is killing me
Id walk into the fingers
Of your fire willingly
And dance the edge of sanity
Ive never been this close
Im in love with your ghost

Unknowing captor
You never know how much you
Pierce my spirit
But I cant touch you
Can you hear it
A cry to be free
Oh Im forever under lock and key
As you pass through me

Now I see your face before me
I would launch a thousand ships
To bring your heart back to my island
As the sand beneath me slips
As I burn up in your presence
And I know now how it feels
To be weakened like achilles
With you always at my heels

This bitter pill I swallow
Is the silence that I keep
It poisons me I cant swim free
The river is too deep
Though Im baptized by your touch
I am no worse than most
In love with your ghost

You are shadowing my dreams
(in love with your ghost)
(in love with your ghost)
(in love with your ghost)

Is the moon as big from your window? Or is it covered in fog, as it often is there?
Do you still think I'm beautiful? Did you ever think it in the first place?

I was finally happy. And you took it away. I wish that you'd never given it to me in the first place...if you were just going to take it away.

So it's sink or swim...and I'm dropping like a stone.

So here I sit, with nothing.
I mean it, kids...NOTHING.

I can feel my guitar looking over my shoulder, taunting me because I can't seem to master C#m...
I can feel my sketchbook calling me, scolding me for not working on my commissions...

But I have nothing today. Except words...and we all know how useless those are.

I've been okay recently...trucking along. As long as I have something to occupy me, I'm fine, really, I am. Kind of like a long as I keep swimming, I won't sink like a stone. Or think too much, because that would be equally hazardous to my health.
But today...all I can do is think. And feel. And it SUCKS.
I mean...really?

I hear the staccato of rain...but I washed my hair already. The rain does nothing but keep me from comfortably walking to the park to sit on the swings and ruminate with my headphones on.

I find myself lonely, today. The kind of loneliness that has pushed me into relationships before.
I guess we'll see where I am when the dust settles.

Here's hoping I survive the weekend...
<3 me
Design by Pocket