Saturday, June 26, 2010

didn't it rain

I should maybe start to organize my work. I found a poem called "dare I eat a peach?" (T.S. Eliot reference, again) sitting over by the television today. I *think* I did a second draft but I have to find it.
I just got back from California yesterday. I had a lot of fun hanging out in the desert with siblings and other people. I did a couple rewrites while I was out there and what I think are possible beginnings and ending to "neighbors". We'll see.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tonight, I have to leave it

Less work than I expected was needed, though I'm sure it probably needs more.

"Tonight, I have to leave it"
Jones hurried out of the QFC supermarket, past the old man selling Real Change newspapers and across Pike street. With barely a glance over his shoulder he continued up the block to where a woman was standing next to a club, Neumos. He smiled at her and bent to pick up a backpack from the ground .
Adjusting the straps on his shoulders he winked.
“What’s wrong now, Jen?”
"You” she muttered.” We have a bag full of beer, yet you continue to tempt fate.”
Jones cocked an eye at her. “It’s a sport, my dear. The security guard in there  busted me at a Safeway in West Seattle, once. Old Friend.”
He wrapped Jen in an all encompassing bear hug and then kissed her on the nose. "The Park, then. Shall we?"

The Park (as it is usually referred to by those who thrive on the underbelly of Seattle’s Capitol hill neighborhood) is officially known as Cal Anderson Park. It is popular for the wading pools and fountains located in it’s center. Most summer days you’re likely to find any number of children splashing about and plenty of family picnic fun. It’s also popular for it’s softball field and tennis court.
Pretty much year round, weather permitting, you’ll see any number of sports being played, from bicycle polo to friendly pickup softball games.
It’s also popular w/ the bums, the punks, the drunks.. pretty much any type of person who isn’t comfortable living within society’s norm. They cluster around picnic tables or pass out in the grass. They shoot smack in the bathrooms, smoke crack in the shadows or simply sit on hills and guzzle beer.
Jones considered these types his people. He spent most evenings here w/ one hand gripping a can of beer, the other on Jen’s knee. He was famous for peddling bootleg  Vietnamese Marlboros, bought on the cheap from a woman in the International District. The punk kids being either too lazy or too young to cop their own smokes came to him in droves and Jones was more than happy to take their money.
 Recently, malt liquor had been banned on the hill . Jones didn’t like selling his supply but he wasn’t going to turn down three bucks for a 24 oz. can of beer, either.
Jen gripped her boyfriend’s hand as they entered the park The sun was setting, early, it seemed to her. They  found a table near the street, on the 11th avenue side and each lit cigarettes. Jones pulled a green Fosters can from his jacket, popped the tab, took a sip and placed it between his thighs. He glanced at Jen, smiled and began to watch the street.

It seemed most folks came to make his acquaintance from behind, Jones was thinking. He looked at the sky. The sun was gone and he was on his second beer. Jen nodded her head at him. “Company” she said.
A  lean 17 year boy came into sight. ‘David!” He  smiled. “Alone to the party?” He asked , handing him a pack of cigerettes.
David opened the pach, stuck one in his mouth, lit it, inhaled, exhaled and pulled it from his mouth.
“I sent the lady friend to panhandle on Broadway. She doesn’t know I have beer. What are you two up to?”
Jen remained smilingly silent. “Usual” Jones replied as he a lit smoke of his own. “Have a sit, the cops have been through already tonight. We’ll get drunk and yell at the moon.”

Jen took a small sip from her beer can and rolled her eyes. The boys were much further along than she was and were babbling typical drunken gibberish. She was waiting patiently for something to happen. Sometimes it did.
“The fact is” David yelped “god is bigger than any of can imagine. This is why it doesn’t make any sense..God is fucking mystery. The asshole can do anything it pleases.”
“ Well then.” Jones replied “considering we’ve already had this conversation at least five times is there anything else to talk about? “He looked back into the park. “Anything going on out there? Is that your lady?”
 David smirked. “That would be my beautiful Delores. Lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree, I’d wager. One day she’ll grow up and become the hooker with the heart of gold but for now she doesn’t know any better and is more than happy w/ scum like me. For now.. “ He suddenly looked serious. Jen, don’t you dare tell her I said that“.
Jen laughed and took a much larger sip.
Five minutes later David stood up as Dolores ran into his arms. Jones looked at them, shook his head and muttered: “David and Dolores, god help us.”
Jen glared at him, silently threatening him to behave himself. The lovebirds ignored them both.
After their kiss ended Dolores held up a plastic bottle like the prize it was. A grin spread across David’s face. “Where the fuck did you get vodka?”
“Feminine wiles, of course” she answered back and threw the bottle to Jen.

Some days can be measured i the numbers of drinks taken. This was one of those. About a quarter to the bottom of the half gallon Jen’s head was in Jones’ lap and she was staring at the sky. “Do you know if this is forever? Is this it? Are we even enjoying ourselves?
Jones winked. “Aye. Fuck. Now I know you’re  drunk. Why is it liquor always makes you think?” He laughed. “You know I don’t know. I want a life that isn’t desperate.. I haven’t figured out the way to that yet. Is it enough that I’m trying to work it out?
Jen coughed. “Haven’t much choice have I?”
 Jones stood up and kicked David twice in the upper thigh. He  began to stir. “Wakey wakey. Eggs and bakey, motherfucker. Come on. I’m bored.”
David begin to rise, dusting himself off as he did. “What’s the good word ?“, he asked?
Jones took a drag off his cigarettes and a hit from the bottle. We’re leaving. Y’all have a crash spot in mind?”
David reached for the bottle. “Not really. “ He made a half assed attempt at a smile”
“We have extra blankets“. Jen piped up. “If you  can walk and if you can get your dead broad to rejoin the living we can get you guys warm and secluded.
“Sound good.” He began shaking Delores.  “Goddamnit ,woman. You could sleep here but I wouldn’t recommend it. No telling what kind of  fucking crackheads are out tonight. And I can’t fucking carry you.”
He continued shaking here and she eventually found the world of semi-consciousness .
“What is it?”
“We’ve got to mosey, little trail hand.  Quickly now, before our benefactors change their minds.”
Jones laughed and shook his head. He lit a cigarette, reached for Jen’s hand and they began walking to Broadway.

'You wanna rock? Why not!"

 Sitting in Portland airport listening to Prince's "good love". One of those amazing tracks he used to shit out seemingly without trying. Mostly unknown except to the faithful. Also: "I could never take the place of your man". Cannot fuck with, almost totally untouchable, by anyone.
I'm yelling at the only piece of prose fiction I've actually finished. It's called "Tonight, I have to leave it". It's mostly a mess. I wrote it to try my hand at prose and it's very apparent that I really need to train myself to write decent prose. Some of the dialog sounds a bit forced ("One day, she’ll grow up and become the proverbial hooker with the heart of gold, but for now she doesn't know any better, and is more than happy w/ scum like me. For now.." Seriously) but a lot of it I like. The Jones character is very real. He's a mix of a lot of people I know but also someone I've only just met. I'm sure we'll see him again.
I'll publish it here when I've cleaned it up as much as I can.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From Walt Whitman's "To a Stranger"

I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again

thinking of at least two different women, that is all.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is from last summer, I think. I found it in a book of re-writes from last year. I forget where I stole the opening line from but I did steal it.

"happiness is a molotov cocktail thrown at the sun"
i do not think the ending can be right
no ending, and there always is one
fire, concrete, or a simple "go fuck yourself"
nothing ends on time
and rarely the way it should

if you thought you deserved this
you wouldn't be weeping
regardless of our sins
we rarely warm to our comeuppance

so, i will wave my white flag
that's me, standing by the freeway
smoking a cigarette
and yelling at the sky

i will accept whatever ends poorly
with restraint and few tears
i've come to understand
that most of life is failure

still we search for little specks of joy
for times spent in true happiness
are so few and far between
grab what you can and hold on for dear life

Last day of school tomorrow and California on Friday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the girls want to be with the girls

I wrote these this morning on the train. Less about content and more about playing around with style

"also a scar"
i don't know where she came from but i found her in the forest
she came stumbling out
with crazy written all over her face
wearing a loose peach blouse and corduroy jeans
all she wanted was a cigarette
all i wanted was someone to yell at me

i never found out her real name
she only followed me for a while
maybe she went back to where she came from
wherever that might have been
i hope i left an impression, she left one on me
and also a scar, when i tripped while watching her smile

"bad soup"
only excuses
tiptoe us back
to our favorite dooms
i can watch you
you can watch me
and we can screw
and we can shout
and we can drink
and we can damn
i'm pretty almost
as pretty as you
my friends ask me
not to kill me
they must like me
and i like you
almost as much as
you like dope
or i, gin
reality is uncomfortable
and i don't like it
i want to swim grudgingly
and gain perspective
gain ground
push away fault
and grow
until i tire
and you, too
simply, it's surgery
it's rough living
it's barren life
the thrill of agony
how you're taller than i
and only remember my name
when you're high
or drowning
or flat
it's ok
we can go back

Monday, June 7, 2010

Communists in the funhouse

I'm working on a new poem cycle called "neighbors". I found a bunch of random line groups and some of them are very interesting. I guess I wasn't thinking about about these turning into completed poems so I turned out some ballsy writing. Lines like "nothing terrifies me like new love." A lot of talk about women and etc. This will likely be used for "neighbors":

i believe that anything
can be severed
if you try hard enough
i believe that
chaos is nice and
we could all use more of it
why are you looking for water?
why aren't you looking for yourself?
why are you rich?
why am i melting?
your tendencies, my tendencies
i believe that each and every one of us
we are all up to no good.

I'm still writing notes but that gives you an idea of where I'm headed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Here is a poem:

"first poem for T."

this city could be new for us
as if- you never knew elliott bay books at it's old adress or
i never passed out on second and seneca and got picked up by the cops 
the bad things that happened to us here
they built us, they rest in our bones and we'll leave them there
they need not have happened
we can go back to the dog park on bell
and stare at the space needle
as if we're seeing it for the first time
let the sound of rain direct our traffic
let us have new lives 
in our new city
we are born again

That will most likely be the last poem for T. I'm not saying it's completely impossible for a reconnection to happen at some point but at this point I highly doubt it. She decided heroin was important again, and I guess sometimes it is. There may be more poems written about that but I doubt it. We only met once and I can't see me getting much out of our late night phone calls. Anyhow, if you do read this thanks for whatever inspiration you did give me. I'm more excited about poetry, prose and possibilities than I've been in a while and you gave me a few ideas I'm trying to figure out how to implement. Here's hoping you don't kill yourself, you're one of the better poets I've known and the world needs more of that.
I was going to type something I wrote last fall up but I'm not in the mood at the moment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here is my weekly update. I am in a very bad mood. I would type poems but again, bad mood. It will likely persist for a day or two so.