bring your angularity

What the Chakackas Guitar Riff Wrought

Ox Mayday was a brutal man… (No, I don’t have to show you the throttled necks, the extracted teeth, the multifarious testicles hooked up to electrodes, or the sound of the crushed metatarsals—I ain’t Chekhov! I’m telling you Ox Mayday was a brutal man—take my word for it—you don’t wish to cross him)… but Ox Mayday was a flummoxed man this evening—sweat beading on his pockmarked forehead, his carotid artery palpably pulsing on the surface of his sandpaper neck, beneath the glistening cauliflower ears.

Suffice to say that listening to “Jungle Fever” by the Chakachas on repeat for half-an-hour drove his cortisol levels to extremis.

So Ox did as the monk said and looked into his hands—mentally carding as if through a cluster of wool—looking for ancestral generations. Looking for others beyond the gamblers, thieves and drug runners and abusers; looking beyond the counterrevolutionaries; beyond the abusive harpies; and finally beyond the conquistadors, inquisitors and crusaders, for someone to connect to. Some aspect, however fleeting that resonated deep in his being, and with what he had intended to be. He found no purchase, no place to moor his vision.

Light streamed from his pouch, or should I say his “pooch.” And Ox soliliquized for the first time in his snub-nosed life:

The damndest thing, the damned cur opens its mouth and laser lights pierce the dark like it was a Pink Floyd laser show at the planetarium. Then as it whimpers I can hear strains of Ummagumma seeping out between its canines. There’s no one about to explain to me what the hell is happening. First, why Pink Floyd and not Pink Flag by Wire?— I hate dinosaur rock, with its attendant mellotrons and 3-hour guitar licks. Make it stop. Then, why lasers? Why not spotlights, or better yet, why isn’t the mutt breathing fire or something? The strangest stuff always happens to me, and of course I can’t get any post-punk or no wave strangeness, its always progressive rawk fossils like Genesis, circa 1974 — or King Crimson, any year in the last 6 decades. Please, someone make it go away! Bring back Mark E. Smith and The Fall, or at the very least X-Ray Spex. Uh!

(Flat, flat, flat, ‘dat…)

***

It is my job to write and that is what I’m going to do…

I hear hammering.
I hear you knocking.
I hear the sounds of the ‘70’s.
My head is a morass of sound and lyric snippets, voiceovers and music beds, stingers and soundtracks, and movie scenes.
Once there were harsh, deep, metallic sounds that echoed like bombs coming from the dumpster.
Our former president was not only a dumpster, but the fire to boot.
To boot a golden ball, this quadrennial, one must have golden balls or an approximation of Au testicularity—muscularity in synthesis. Synesthesia, anesthesia, and amnesia supreme. Haven’t you thought about a stop bath or D-76 lately?

Come bring your angularity to bear on my planar surfaces. You bulge out in the right places for police confiscations.

You struggle in the right places for lacquered telestrations.

Take this telestrater, brother. May it serve thee well.

(Something to that effect).

(What was that all about?)

What I’m Reading:

“To make love, turn to page 121.
To die, turn to page 172.”

— Bernadette Mayer / “[Sonnet] You jerk you didn’t call me up”

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monsters of jamaica plain

SOME ASPECT HOWEVER FLEETING
THAT RESONATES DEEPLY
IN YOUR BEING
FINDS PURCHASE
A PLACE TO MOOR YOUR VISION

What I’m Reading:

“I think the arts exist because they are useful — essential to our species. I think it’s part of being human, to make art and need art. For the pleasure of it, and for whatever knowledge we get out of it. Reading each other helps us imagine each other. And empathy seems like something we are in great need of, as a species, in order to survive.”

— Sharon Olds / to Joy Biles in interview

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cut and paste

Hegemonic Extirpation Day Blues

It’s a ragged sort of heat. The call of the west again. Then a discomfiting sort of rain. It’s my first day out of the house in nearly three weeks. Just 2 days ago I was fetal, on the bed, unable to sweat the thoughts away.

I walk into this:

A litter of puppies feeding in the corner of the living room. Dried shit streaked on the bathroom towels. The, too-early, Christmas tree is canted and some of the ornaments are unfurling their covers revealing the styrofoam balls beneath the loosened string. The last year they had glass ornaments the piles of colored glass shards spread throughout the living room—my cousin wore multiple band aids on his feet. Those styrofoam balls must be 25 years old now. That smell is truly remarkable—sour broiling turkey mixed with wet dog fur, overfull litter box, and Lysol. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Someone’s cut and paste — forlorn and left out in the desert — cries out for purpose. There is no liability. There is no curse. Caw, caw…

I considered the crow a baleful thing; it darkened my day instantly like a light speed sarcoma. My day, my year, my life was shot in that cut and paste. And in that instant I wrote this, and never wrote again.

Happy, happy, joy.

What I’m Reading:

“Was it better to resist the new language where it stole, de-fanged, co-opted, consumed, or was it better to text thanksgiving titties be poppin to all your friends on the fourth Thursday of November, just as the humble bird of reason, which could never have represented us on our silver dollars, made its final unwilling sacrifice to our willingness to eat and be eaten by each other?”

— Patricia Lockwood / No One Is Talking About This

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my amygdala grates

The Apotheosis of the Crab

What if what I wanted to write what didn’t need to be written?

What is this strange atmosphere that has settled over me?

One of my holy ghosts has scrammed for a patch of stratocumulus, and I feel a tenth of a degree colder.

I’ve patched my pants and holes appear on my socks. I darn my socks and my amygdala grates itself and hides in the parmesan container in the cheese drawer. The cheese drawer wishes to paint vibrant watercolors depicting scenes from Alice In Wonderland, as Salvador Dalí did—it claims to have always aspired to high surrealism, and to have read André Breton’s oeuvre. Breton’s ghost invites one of my holy ghosts over to his cloud perch, and the ouroboros renews itself.

And I’ve yet to write what didn’t need to be read.

And a strange atmosphere is just descending.

And one of my holy ghosts remains still.

And I’m still warm.

What I’m Reading:

“He took film of sunsets and cloud and sky water and tree film and projected color in vast reflector screens concentrating blue sky red sun green grass and the city dissolved in light and people walked through each other—“

— William S. Burroughs / Nova Express

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in my neighborhood pt.19

What I’m Reading:

“If developing countries can not pay their debts everyone will suffer. If we do not take care of poorer countries the well-being of richer countries is not going to last and we will not be able to continue living in the way we have been for much longer.”

— Thich Nhat Hahn / The Heart of Understanding

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see my altar

The Best Stuff I Read Yesterday

“I will cease waiting for someone to do something about the war, the walls, the guns, the drugs, the stupidity of leaders, and ally myself with citizens who practice the art of tossing their shoes at heads of state.”

— Sandra Cisneros / “Having Recently Escaped from the Maws of a Deathly Life, I Am Ready to Begin the Year Anew”


“Go to a ball game. Watch the fans in the stand.
Watch the irrational fits of anger. Watch the uncontrolled frustration bubbling forth from people that masquerades under the guise of enthusiasm or team spirit. Booing, catcalls, and unbridled egotism in the name of team loyalty, drunkenness, fights in the stands these are people trying desperately to release tension from within; these are not people who are at peace with themselves.”

— Bhante Guranatana / Mindfulness in Plain English


“*Delay can be a tactical tool of control. I have noticed that misogynists are often late. They make you wait so that your confidence and certainty evaporate. They arrive and seamlessly grab the reins you didn’t even realize you dropped.”

— Meg Ramey / Begin By Telling


“We need each others’
breathing, warmth, surviving   
is the only war
we can afford, stay”

— Margaret Atwood / “They are hostile nations”


“cop27 is one more reminder, however, that justice only proceeds, fitfully, through politics. Rebalancing the world’s wealth, even a little, is the trickiest of political tasks. Yet our chances for a livable world may depend on it.”

— Bill McKibben / “How To Pay For Climate Justice When Polluters Have All The Money”


“You have to work for the survival of the other side if you want to survive yourself. It is really very simple. Survival means the survival of humankind as a whole, not just a part of it.”

— Thich Nhat Hahn / The Heart of Understanding


“On Day of the Dead I ask you to come
home with me to see my altar.
That’s a better line than come and see my etchings.”

— Sandra Cisneros / “Dia de los Muertos”

What I’m Listening To:

“I can’t sleep at night
But that’s all right
The M.D. tells me
My heart’s on strike
Emanating, originating from a love asphyxiation”

— Issac Hayes / “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”

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does not work

Uh…

This system does not work.

Desist.

What I’m Reading:

“Soon enough me and the United States of America will be dust.”

— Meg Ramey / Begin By Telling

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swagger of hope

i dreamt

i dreamt myself into being
at the aperture of solitary sanguinity
it was somewhere near the sun
for i felt the furnace heat

the cold tried to muscle through
but it was kept at bay
in darkness

i dreamt myself into a foray of nucleotides
so base in the compound of life
compacted, refracted, primordial
i felt the furnace heat

death
in its infinite darkness
was away at hermitage

i dreamt myself into a swagger of hope
the heat and the hate sloughed away
a second skin
barren husk

i hissed at the universe—
sir,
i exist!

i dreamt
that i dreamt
at the bottom
of a dream

What I’m Reading:

“Everyone tells everybody else to write on water if he wants a durable medium. I hired a durable medium once and got to talk to everyone of Karl Marx’s imitations of Attila the Hun.”

— John McKernan / “Dear Y.”

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trouble falling asleep

The Vow (redux)

He read that men who have trouble falling asleep have a twenty five percent chance of dying earlier.

He vowed to never sleep again.

What I’m Reading:

“We must look death in the face, recognize and accept it, just as we look at and accept life.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh / The Miracle of Mindfulness

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your morning ablutions

Bade an Aubade to Bad (redux)

You must remember an aubade is a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning.
You must remember your rituals—your morning ablutions.
You must remember the wine colored stains on the walls of your coffin length room.
You must remember that all you need to speak, or write, are seven words daily, and then you’ve used your allotment.
You must remember silence is best after that.
You must remember: every dawn is an apocalypse.

What I’m Reading:

“We both worked honestly at our jobs: all day Death
destroyed traffic with wailing ambulances while I killed
hours & lines on eight-&-a-half by eleven inch pages.”

— Laure-Anne Bosselaar / “Late Afternoon Stroll on the Cliffs”

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