Saturday, December 10, 2011

Battlestar Galactica, Christmas Car, and Saturday Song Salute

Not very long ago I finished watching Battlestar Galactica (the 2004 series, not the original 1978). The purpose of this blog entry is not to adorn this masterful series with gratuitous verbage, but to merely inform you of it's exquisite existence and to share the following quote I enjoyed from the final season:

"Have you ever seen a star go supernova? No? Well, I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull. With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. With ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air. I don't want to be human. I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language. But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws. And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me. I'm a machine! And I can know much more, I can experience so much more! But instead, I'm trapped in this absurd body."

Moving on.

This morning I awoke with a hangover and found my kitchen empty of the crucial items needed to stabilize my aching brain (coffee, coconut water, breakfast). So, despite the frigid early A.M. temperature, I clothed myself double ply and began my walk to Safeway. Why was I walking, you ask? Two reasons: A) because the grocery store is very close, and B) click here. My car keeps letting me down. I've replaced the engine, the clutch, the transmission, and still it wants even more from me. It desires the tender coils of my insides, my first-born child, my favorite possession. I refuse to give it these things, I refuse to give in to the machine.

Okay, back to my morning walk. On my short journey to grocery bliss I passed by an interesting sight. I noticed a man decorating his car in steep Christmas fervor, and so I approached him and struck up a conversation. This fella was quite nice and welcomed my interest in his rolling work of art. Here are a few pictures I took (with his consent):



We need more people like this on planet earth. Most of us wouldn't fathom driving around in a vehicle such as this, but this guy excitedly recited how the Rudolph ornament was the catalyst that spawned the rest of his automotive creativity. Once he attached that red-nosed reindeer to the hood, the rest was history. In the second pic down you can see him attaching a motorized bubble machine to the roof. Yes, that's correct, a bubble machine. As he drives along through town he leaves a trail of soap bubbles behind him. I ask you, dear readers, how fantastic is that shit?

Upon returning to my apartment I realized something while putting all the food away: I forgot to use the "5 dollar off" coupon I had been saving for over a week. I'm such a 1/4 Jew sometimes.

In closing, I will remind you that today is Saturday Song Salute, and today I salute the venerable British folk singer/songwriter, Richard Thompson, for his song "Why Must I Plead". This song can be found on the 1991 Rumor And Sigh album. Sit back, put your headphones on, click play on the video below, and read along with the posted lyrics as you listen to yet another amazing Saturday Song Salute:
Why Must I Plead
by Richard Thompson

All your bitterness and lies sting like tears in my eyes
And a thousand lovesick tunes
Won't wash away the wounds from my mind

You've been seen around, you're a new sensation
You got a better deal and you took his invitation
You've been sitting on his lap and taking his dictation

Oh but mercy, we used to love all day and drive all night
Oh mercy, jealousy used to whet your appetite
Oh mercy, we were low as dogs and high as kites

Why must I plead with you darling
Why must I plead with you darling
Why must I plead with you darling for what's already mine

My friends are indiscreet and I sing myself to sleep
I don't mind the red wine
Or the pickup line as long as it's cheap

Well, I ask you what's wrong and you say I'm all yours
I ask you who your friend is and you say it's Santa Clause
I ask you to come home, you say you're tired of being indoors

Oh but mercy, you know you signed on that dotted line
Oh mercy, well you signed yours and I signed mine
Oh mercy, you said forever till the end of time

Why must I plead with you darling
Why must I plead with you darling
Why must I plead with you darling for what's already mine

I said, why must I plead with you darling for what's already mine

Monday, November 28, 2011

Swish

      "What happens to love when it disguises itself as a foggy window?" Edgar asked as he squatted near the side of the pool table to gain a better view of his balls. He had a difficult shot on the 11 which would leave him nicely lined up against the far rail for a great follow-up shot, but the 15 was just sitting there, perfectly aligned with the corner, begging to be kissed in. "Inquiring eyes want to see what's on the other side, then a hand moves in to wipe away the window sweat," he lined up on the 11, took his shot, and missed before continuing, "and with a quick swipe, love becomes transparent, obvious, stares you right in the face again."
       Edgar stepped away from the table and placed his cue stick in the nook where the wall met the back of his chair. He picked up his beer, took a long sip, and turned to look out across the bar just in time to see a girl with pink hair standing on a bar stool. Several people were gathered around in excited fashion, and after a few moments of discussion she pointed at two guys, nodded, and they quickly reached in and yanked the stool out from under her. Edgar lost sight of her as she crashed to the floor, her body disappearing within the gathered group of onlookers.
     "What was that all about?" Em asked as she made short work of her next two shots.
      Edgar turned back toward the game at hand. "I'm guessing she thought she could levitate," he replied, "I'm also guessing she's fairly drunk."
      Em continued her Sherman-esque march across the pool table, sinking one billiard ball after another. Edgar seated himself at the waist high wall table and watched while she did her damage. Next to his elbow lay a small stack of books, scattered sheets of papers, two cell phones, two beers, an electronic dictionary, two pens, and a VOX bag. He looked down at the top sheet of paper and smiled at the myriad scribbles she had made within the margins. Notes, ideas, reminders to check/change lines later. "This girl sure knows how to write," Edgar thought to himself as he looked back at the game. She had just made her fourth shot in a row and was lining up on the 8 ball. "And she sure knows how to kick ass at billiards too," he thought again.
      "Hey, Em, you really suck at this game, you know that?" Edgar chuckled at her teasingly.
      She paused mid-stroke, turned her head back, shot him a trumped up smile and continued. There was a sharp cracking sound followed by the 8 ball disappearing into the side pocket. Em stood up and placed her cue stick against the table, turned back toward Edgar and said, "That's game, my snigger!"
      He watched her sit in the chair next to him, confidence replaced with cockiness. She was still smiling as she grabbed her beer and finished it in one swallow. She reached for the electronic dictionary and turned it on, and a moment later slid it in front of Edgar. He looked down and it read: snigger (n.) an utterance of laughter made in jest.
      Edgar smiled, finished his beer, and said, "Did you know there are 437 movies with the word love in their title?"
      "Why are you so interested in love today, Edgar?" Em asked.
      "Because it's February," he replied.
      "Um, no. It's still December, silly" she added curiously.
      Edgar looked back across the bar, carefully scanning the room for any abnormal activity as he spoke, "Did you know pigeons mate for life? And that the reason a homing pigeon hurries home so quickly is because it yearns to be reunited with its lover?"
      He turned his gaze back toward Em and caught her smiling in such a way that her cheeks pushed her thin-rimmed glasses up. She didn't catch him looking, she was too busy fingering the corner of a sheet of paper that lay between them. Her long black hair fell across her shoulders, slightly brushing the table top. Ali Baba couldn't have asked for a prettier thief. Edgar recalled the first time he saw her, sitting at a bar called The Patch on the other side of town. She was alone then, but carried with her a warmth that illuminated the entire room. It was a brief encounter that will forever be etched in his memory, and since that night, they've been practically inseparable.

      "I'm scared of stones. And birds. And multitasking. I would love to spend a night with you. Just once," Em suddenly said aloud.
      And without hesitation Edgar replied, "Once a night, in the land of multitasking bird stones, a mother hen crushed her fragile eggshell competition."
      At this point Em had straightened herself in her chair, her eyes locked onto Edgar's as she continued, "The knowing crows hissed and clawed purposeful crosses in the softness of the hen's pastry sensibilities. But once a day, she crushed everything."
      Edgar quickly followed, "She crushed everything, and left a noble forgotten god burning like pepper in a frying pan. And the hen said: love me not, for I am inside out, breast to scar, a momentary act of feathered reason."
      "And with flashes of bright orange and neon yolk yellow, she acknowledged her stones sitting warm in a pot. No soup can come if I leave it alone," Em added.
      "Over you, my mind dribbles, over you, all things come. I stir my drink and nothing nibbles, I start to think and leave it alone," he said.
      "So with everything brewing but nothing much cooking, mother hen shuts her window again. The crows will all know if I make soup from these stones, it's best just to leave it alone," she finished.

      They sat in their chairs for a moment staring at one another, smiling uncontrollably. Then Em hopped over into Edgar's lap and kissed him.
      "You need a girlfriend, can I go find you one?" she asked. "I'm pretty sure it'll be easy to pick up Miss Pink, ya know, since she's having trouble standing on her own two feet tonight."
      Edgar laughed and squeezed her tightly. "That was pretty cool what we just did there. You are remarkable, Em, I'm so glad I met you. Now if you'll excuse me, I do need one more beer." Edgar stood up and walked over to the corner and smashed a nearby spider with his fist. He brought the dead thing back, grabbed his empty pint glass, and excused himself to the men's room. Em asked what the hell he wanted with a dead spider, to which he answered, "I'm going to place it in the bottom of this cup, pee into it, and give it back to the bartender. Upon seeing the spider floating in what he can only assume is beer, I will surely be granted a fresh one, compliments of this fine establishment."
      And at that, Edgar turned with a nod and a grin and headed off to the bathroom.
      Watching him walk away, Em muttered, "I love that man."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Incubus Woodstock

Halloween came and went, and this is what I looked like this year:




Allow me to explain a few things about this costume and answer questions that I'm sure you have. The first, and most obvious question, what the heck am I? Good question, and to answer it I will tell you how I came up with this creation. I do the same thing every year: I go to all the local thrift stores and explore every nook and cranny for odd assortments of interesting clothes and accessories. As the day progresses and I accumulate material, a vision formulates in my head as to what my costume will look like. This outfit came together rather quickly. It only took two thrift stores and about 3 hours to put this thing together. Fantastic! Now, what am I? Of all the people in my life I have only one friend who, instead of asking me what I am, instantly decided to name me. She called me The Incubus Woodstock. And I love it! Thanks, Brit, I adore your creative mind ;)

And for those of you interested in some of my creations from past Halloweens, I will indulge your curiosity:

































 Okay, moving on... I experienced a momentary spell of writer's block there for awhile. It had to do with personal things happening in my life, which I won't go into detail, but I will say this: I've learned that the poems and stories and blogs I write are sort of like my children. I create them, I care about them, and I'm protective of them. There is no worse feeling than sitting in front of my laptop staring at a blank screen and a blinking prompt, waiting for the words to come and they never do. Night after night, blank screens and dissolving dreams. It was getting to the point where I thought maybe I had ridden this literary horse as far into battle as I possibly could, and that it was now time to fall on my own sword. But no, the writer's block has lifted and my current gift to you, dear readers, is yesterday's raunchy story and today's Saturday Song Salute:

Today I salute the band, The National, for their song Slow Show. I'm not sure exactly what to say about this one. The somber sound of the tune appeals to me greatly and the lyrics remind me of the odd thoughts I often give to many of my characters when I write. It's a strange dichotomy between incoherent ramblings and ideas that make perfect sense. I just love this song, give it a listen:
Slow Show

Standing at the punch table swallowing punch
Can't pay attention to the sound of anyone
A little more stupid, a little more scared
Every minute more unprepared

I made a mistake in my life today
Everything I love gets lost in drawers
I want to start over, I want to be winning
Way out of sync from the beginning

I wanna hurry home to you
Put on a slow, dumb show for you and crack you up
So you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
God, I'm very, very frightening, I'll overdo it

Looking for somewhere to stand and stay
I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away
Can I get a minute of not being nervous
And not thinking of my dick?

My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins
I better get my shit together, better gather my shit in
You could drive a car through my head in five minutes
From one side of it to the other

I wanna hurry home to you
Put on a slow, dumb show for you and crack you up
So you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
God I'm very, very frightening, I'll overdo it

You know I dreamed about you
For 29 years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for, for 29 years

You know I dreamed about you
For 29 years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for, for 29 years

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blemish

Kim calls me from her friend's apartment phone at 2 a.m. I don't recognize the number, so I don't answer. I'm sitting on my couch practicing scales on my guitar and watching old school bush porn when my cell rings again. It's the same unrecognizable number.
     "You were supposed to be here an hour ago. Where are you? What the hell are you doing?" she asks.
     "I didn't recognize this number." I say as I reach for the remote and turn the volume up on the television. A knock suddenly raps against my front door and I ignore it.
     "What does you not recognizing this number have to do with you not being here an hour ago?" she asks. I can tell that her mood is off, that maybe she is a little perturbed tonight. Earlier today she missed her period and most likely this was still weighing on her mind. She also woke up late and missed an early bird shoe sale at Journey's. Girls have strange ways of dealing with things.
     A man partially dressed as a mechanic has slipped out of his work pants and is now banging a brunette against the side of an old Plymouth. Her arms are outstretched across the top of the car and her head is tossed back in pleasure. She moans loudly, telling the mechanic how badly she wants him between heavy breaths. Her tits flop against his Dickie's work shirt while he rails her and grabs her ass cheeks with his hands. A second round of knocking can be heard at the front door again.
     "Is that a girl I hear in your apartment? It sounds like she's crying," Kim says.
     "She is very sad, she just found out her poodle died," I lied. "Her boyfriend is here and he keeps telling her 'oh yeah, it's good' and all she can say is how badly she wants him. She really loved that dog I think."
     The knocking on the front door continues. I hear Kim say something to someone there, her hand muffling the sound of her words as she speaks. When she returns she says, "Emkay wants to know if we should wait to start dealing the next hand. You were supposed to be here an hour ago."
     I'm very aware of the guilt trip she's laying on me. She is so skinny and her pussy is small and my cock feels like a champion inside her when we fuck. I love her, and she always wants to face toward me during sex, but I have trouble cumming when she looks me in the eyes. I was the first boyfriend she fell in love with, so naturally I have to pretend that fire-breathing dragons still exist in the land of Camelot. I'll protect you, my dear.

     I answer the door and it's Becka. She has a cat in her arm. "I'm pretty sure I told you about our pet deposit, right?" she asks. This is our code. About a month ago we decided that if we were going to keep it up we needed to devise a plan, and so the cat idea was born. Becka glanced past me and noticed the sex taking place on my television. "Looks like I caught you just in time."
     I glanced back into the living room just as the mechanic was about to peak. The brunette's moans were especially loud now as I retrieved the remote from my pocket and turned the volume up several more notches. I was trapped. A pearl growing inside of a clam. Suddenly I found myself wanting to be free. Spit out from the mouth, the music cut in half. I wanted to become a memory and float away lazily, landing softly in another town. I set my phone down on the junk table near the door and grabbed Becka by the shoulders and bit her on the nose. She freaked out and released the cat, which ran off into my bedroom.
     "You just fucking bit me!" she screamed.
     "No I didn't," I replied and walked past her out the door.


THE END.


Note: My friend tells me the point of writing fiction is that it doesn't have to be clarified, and yet here I am making this disclaimer anyway. This is just a story, people. Something I made up in my head with the help of several beers. It's just practice for my writing. Yes I used first person narrative, and I think I did that so I could get closer to what my character might feel in this shitty situation of sex, lies and adultery, but fear not friends, none of this happened. And in case you're wondering why I even feel the need to make this clarification, my mother sometimes comes here to read me. This story... probably not her favorite :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hello Goodbye

She was sitting on the thinly carpeted floor, legs crossed and reading a book, when I turned the corner of the literature section and saw her. Her purse lay on its side next to her, contents spilling out. She didn't seem to care, or possibly hadn't yet noticed, me or the purse. She was blocking the poetry section, maybe because she figured nobody ever visited these books, or maybe because she simply did not care. Either way, she was blocking me. I was here for Sexton.
     "Your purse threw up," I said. An electronic dictionary/thesaurus had slid out, along with a guitar pick, a beer coaster, a cell phone, and a little plastic monkey.
    She turned from her book and glanced over at her purse. She looked up and said, "Thanks, guy." She put the remaining items back into her purse and pushed it between her legs just as her cell phone beeped. She ignored it and continued with her book. She was here for Neruda.
     At the indoor coffee cafe on the other side of the store a man could be heard swearing at a girl behind a cash register. He wasn't using his indoor voice when he gave his opinion on how much a 16oz cup of "lukewarm" coffee should cost, and now everyone else in the store knew how he felt too. It was a vulgar attempt at side-stepping consumerism and his repoire made me want to leave poetry, locate the section on weaponry, find the biggest book on the subject, and slam it against his face. Apparently my anger was shared by a man standing nearby, as the situation quickly turned into a scuffle and security was called.
     I turned my attention back to my aisle. She was still reading Neruda, seemingly unaffected by the loud outburst that had just taken place. Her hair was dark brown, long and pulled back in a pony tail. She wore a fluffy white blouse and mango colored corduroys. Mostly, I could picture her and I feeding seagulls together, laughing as they swooped down to retrieve each new offering, crying as they flew away.
     Without looking up from her book, she started talking, "My brother used to always backtalk and yell at my mother until one day my father caught him doing it. He grabbed my brother around the neck, dragged him into the living room, pulled the biggest hardback he could find from the family bookshelf, and turned his ass inside out for the next four minutes. I know it lasted four minutes because I was sitting in the corner chair the whole time, listening to Sister Christian by Night Ranger in my headphones. Length of punishment equaled duration of song. I turned the volume up loud enough to drown out the sound of my crying brother, but I could still hear and feel the impact of the book each time it connected with his reddening bare ass. Toward the end my father's arms grew tired, and while his delivery remained sharp and powerful, his aim faltered and the corner of the book would sometimes graze my brother's ass, leaving long, red welt lines that looked like worms crawling across fevered skin. My dad never noticed me sitting there."
     She paused for a moment and flipped through a few pages before speaking again, "Fast forward to present day. I'm 31 now, and the only way I can orgasm during sex is if that song is playing loudly and I am being violently spanked. It's amazing how fragile our early years are, and how all it takes is a four minute moment to completely affect an adult life. "
     "Which book?" I asked her.
     "Pablo Neruda," she answered as she flipped over the book she was holding so I could see it.
     "No, no.. I meant which book did your dad use on your brother?"
     "Oh, it was one of those giant Do It Yourself home improvement books. Like the ones you see for sale at Lowe's Hardware and such."
     I spotted Sexton down near her knee and excused myself as I retrieved the book from the shelf. Her complete life's work in 600 pages, her words waiting to be read. She knew Plath. They were friends against doctor's orders. Gas, pills, poetry... c'est la vie, ladies.
     Now it was her turn to look at me while I peered into a book. "So you like poetry, huh?" she asked. "Can't say I know many boys who like poetry. And when they do like it, they typically say so using a fat tongue stuck in a warm cage. I have to pee." She stands up and brushes out the creases in her clothing. She is beautiful and my heart feels like it sprinted seven flights of stairs. We are in the poetry section together. Her eyes are mildly grateful and she has to pee. If I don't say something right now, she will leave.
     "Why the monkey?" was all I could think to say.
     She smiled thinly and asked me who my favorite poet was. I told her it was a three-way tie between Bukowski, Plath and the man she held in her hands. She smiled again and asked me to prove it. I removed my backpack, reached in and pulled out the very book she was holding. I stood next to her, shoulder to shoulder, and rifled through my copy so she could see the marks I made on all my favorite poems. I looked back and saw her fishing around inside her purse.
     "Here, you can have it," she said as she handed me the plastic monkey. "Did you know the oil of freshly picked cashews is highly caustic to the skin until you roast them? Our soldiers in WWII used to call them Blister Nuts, but I call them Monkey Nuts because it's a favorite food of monkeys in Africa." I told her I didn't know that and thanked her with a smile as she began to walk away. I looked down at the plastic monkey. It was fat and slightly heavier than it appeared and I noticed a dividing line where the head and neck met the rest of the body. I twisted it and the two halves separated from each other, and inside the belly was a handful of roasted cashews. I smiled and looked back up. And as I spotted her walking across the store I stood there watching her go, gently holding my nuts in my hand.

***

"Sister Christian
Oh the time has come
And you know
That you're the only one to say
O.K.
Where you going
What you looking for
You know those boys
Don't want to play no more
With you
It's true

You're motoring
What's your price for flight
In finding mister right
You'll be alright tonight"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sometimes You Gotta Shake It Up

I won't embed the video in my blog, I refuse to. If you want to actually watch the clip of what I'm about to discuss, then you have to make the individual effort to find it online and see for yourself. That being said, I am questioning whether or not it's okay to generalize in certain situations. In this case, I find myself loathing an entire country over one isolated incident. The story has swept across the mainstream news channels so I'm sure you've at least heard about it by now: a 2 year old girl in China was run completely over by two different vehicles, and for the next seven minutes a wall-mounted CCV camera captured 18 different people casually walking (or riding bicycles) by her without the slightest care or concern while the little girl lay writhing in pain and dying at their feet.

I am disheartened and sickened with emotion. As I watched one passerby after another ignore the little girl, tears began welling up in my eyes, and by the time she was run over for a second time I was full-on crying and had to click the video off. What is the explanation for that many adult humans choosing to walk around the outstretched arms of a child who is bleeding and broken on the pavement and crying out for help? Is this a societal flaw of mainland China or China as a whole? Or is it more global than that? Could this happen in America? Canada? Germany? I really don't know. I hear so many sickening news stories that take place all over the world, but none has unsettled me more than this one. I really don't want to write/think about it anymore.

Since I began this blog entry in the most depressing manner possible, I will do my best to end it in a confetti explosion of laughter and smiles. Is everyone on board with that? Of course you are, you dirty ditches. Moving on...

Do you remember the the sexual revolution that occurred in the exercise and fitness market several years ago? If you've forgotten, don't worry, here's a reminder video clip:
Yes that's right, the Shake Weight! I was fairly certain that a newer, sexier product would eventually cum along and send the Shake Weight packing, and guess what dear readers, that time has finally cum. Allow me to introduce you to the Free Flexor:
I don't blame you if you couldn't stomach watching the entire advertisement, so I'll go ahead and tell you that at 1:28 this gem of a quote is said, "Once you start getting the momentum swinging, it starts to go deep." Haha, oh boy. Now, as if the actual ad isn't funny enough, here's a clip I found that does a hysterical job of tying the two products together. Allow me to introduce the Shake Weight, the Free Flexor, and of course... Hitler:
Okay, I think I've played around with Youtube long enough for one blog. Moving on...

The last thing I'd like to talk about is a conversation I heard on the radio the other day. Halloween is coming up, and in the eyes of many Christians, this holiday is a concerted celebration for all Atheists and Pagans. Maybe so, I don't really care, what I do care about is what I heard a televangelist (Pat Robertson) say to a caller who asked whether or not his church should celebrate Halloween by putting on a haunted house for children. Pat's response was this: "Christians believe in God. We don't believe in ghosts or the dead walking amongst the living or any of that crap. It's wrong for your church to celebrate this holiday." Hmm, Christians don't believe in ghosts or the dead coming back to life? So much for the trinity (father, son, holy ghost) and so much for the entire story of Jesus. Jesus Christ, Pat, did you not think that one through? At all? Hahaha, oh boy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No Colored's Allowed

It's Saturday Song Salute, but before I reveal today's song I think I'll tell you a story first. This is a story of misunderstanding, please enjoy:

This story takes place in Carney's Point, New Jersey in the restaurant section of a Days Inn just off the highway. It is late Saturday morning and many of last night's travelers have long since risen and eaten breakfast, but my family is getting a late start to a new day because we had clung to the previous night dearly and did not want to let it go. We have shuffled down to the dining area and are greeted by two dozen tables covered in the remnants of breakfast, so we choose the least cluttered table and seat ourselves. After a few minutes an exhausted looking waitress appears at our table. She is young, probably still in high school, and she offers a smile that fools none of us before asking what we want. And I'd like to be clear on her line of questioning, "What do you want?" was her exact phrasing.

Pancakes with blueberries. Three eggs, scrambled. Bacon. No, make that sausage. Coffee.
Okay, and you?
2 eggs over easy. Wheat toast. Coffee, cream and sugar.
Okay, what about you?
Western Omelet. Fried potatoes with hot sauce. Toast. Orange juice.
And you?
Chocolate milk. Fruit plate. Toothpicks. Egg whites. A straw.
Toothpicks are by the magazine rack.
Oh, and a coloring book and crayons for the kid. And can I change the sausage back to bacon? And instead of scrambled, can I get fried eggs instead?
Fine. It's gonna be awhile, we got swamped during "regular" breakfast hours and the cook has already started shutting down the grill. You'll just have to wait.

And then she walks away. Soon we are greeted by another young worker who has introduced himself as Rashon. He too is young, most likely still in high school, and is a good looking lightly-colored black man. He excuses himself politely as he reaches onto the table and begins to remove the dirty dishes and left-over food. While he performs the tasks Days Inn demands of him, I begin my discussion of where I would like to hang out and drink once all the cousins show up later in the day. Ideas get tossed around the table and mom & dad recommend places they used to frequent when they lived near here so many years ago.

Gentry's Tavern and Jack's Place have long since shut down, man. Those cats ain't been around since I was in pre-school. Roshon says.

What about Elmer's? They still open?
Yeah man, but you don't wanna go there, the owners, they a bunch of racist pricks. They got a sign on the main door, before you even enter the foyer, that reads "No Colored's Allowed".
Holy shit, I exclaim.
Yeah man, that place is hated by me and all my friends. We often talk about doing sumthin bout it, but of course we never will.

Rashon leaves carrying an armful of dirty dishes as we begin to discuss the astounding nature of what he has just told us. No Colored's Allowed? On the front door of an establishment that exists in the year 2011? It can't be. We refused to believe it, but Rashon's emotion was evidence that this kind of racism still blatantly exists today. The conversation resumed as he returned for a second round of table tidiness.

Yeah man, the parking lot is always full of motorcycles, you know, the sort that would love to lynch a brother and laugh about it over a beer an hour later.
It just can't be, I don't believe it.
Believe it, man, I saw it with my own two eyes. No Colored's Allowed. It's a large white sign with black BOLD lettering. First thing you see before going in.

I thought about it for awhile longer as Rashon began to set out clean dishes for us. Plates, forks,  spoons, cups, napkins. He glanced at my nephew and mentioned how cute he was. We all agreed. And then suddenly it hit me.

Wait a sec, Rashon, tell me something, did that sign specifically say No Colored's Allowed or did it say No Colors Allowed?
Um, it said No Colors Allowed.
I smiled and sat back in my chair. I looked at my family and smiled. I had figured it out. I looked up at Rashon and told him that he had misread the owner's intentions. He stared at me blankly while I explained.
Motorcycle gangs wear "colors" to represent their affiliation. The sign on the door is a warning to motorcycle gangs that they are not allowed to wear their "colors" while they are in Elmer's Bar.
No Colors Allowed.

Well I'll be a son-of-a-bitch, ain't that some shit. All this time, and I thought...
Heh, it's okay Rashon, that's a hell of a misunderstanding that I can easily see how you made. I'm glad you and your friends didn't burn the place to the ground.
I'm real glad too. Thanks man, for bringing that to light. It has been a serious source of irritation for many black folk round these parts. You have no idea what you've just done by shedding a light on the subject.

                                                                           ****

Okay, my Saturday Song Salute goes out to Ben Harper for his song titled Amen Omen. It's a timely pick for me, seeing how I somehow managed to find myself in another failed relationship. Yay, go Mick. In Amen Omen, Ben Harper captures all the emotion of a break-up that is based upon a strong love, and if you can listen to it without having the hairs on your arms stand straight up, then I must assume you are an alien to this musical world. Here, just give it a listen (I apologize for the vampire video that accompanies it, I couldn't find an official video version of the song. My suggestion is right click the link and open in a new tab, that way you can avoid watching it but still hear it):

Amen Omen

Lyrics:

What started as a whisper,
Slowly turned in to a scream.
Searching for an answer
Where the question is unseen.
I don't know where you came from
And I don't know where you've gone.
Old friends become old strangers
Between the darkness and the dawn

Amen omen,will I see your face again?
Amen omen,can I find the place within
To live my life without you?

I still hear you saying
"All of life is chance,
And is sweetest,is sweetest when at a glance"
But I live,
I live a hundred lifetimes in a day.
But I die a little
In every breath that I take.

Amen omen,will I see your face again?
Amen omen,can I find the place within
To live my life without you?

I listen to a whisper,
Slowly drift away.
Silence is a loudest,
Parting word you never say.
I put I put your world
Into my veins
Now a voiceless sympathy
Is all that remains.

Amen omen,will I see your face again?
Amen omen,can I find the place within
To live my life without you?

Amen omen,can i find the strength within

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street (List Of Demands)

 Below is a working proposed list of demands by Occupy Wall Street (OWS):

Below is a list of proposed "DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS":

"The Sovereign People's Movement, represented nationally through the people occupying the various Liberty Square locations across this great country, have laid out and democratically submitted and are currently voting on the list of following Demands to then be distilled into one Unified Common demand of the people."

"Participate in Democracy and Have Your Voice Heard"

    LIST OF PROPOSED "DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS"CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 ("RETURN TO PRUDENT BANKING ACT" http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1489 ). THIS REINSTATES MANY PROVISIONS OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act --- Wiki entry summary: The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks. Most economists believe this repeal directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors' money that was held in commercial banks owned or created by the investment firms. Here's detail on repeal in 1999 and how it happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act#Repeal .

    USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven't been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film "Inside Job" that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn't take long to develop the list.

    CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. This legislation should also RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media.

    CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES AND ENACT A PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE. No more GE paying zero or negative taxes. Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation so the rich pay their fair share. (If we have a really had a good negotiating position and have the place surrounded, we could actually dial up taxes on millionaires, billionaires and corporations even higher...back to what they once were in the 50's and 60's.

    CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It's currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmm.

    CONGRESS PASS SPECIFIC AND EFFECTIVE LAWS LIMITING THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATING THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION THAT ENDS UP ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.

    CONGRESS PASSING "Revolving Door Legislation" LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED. So, you don't get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year. While they're at it, Congress should pass specific and effective laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control.

    ELIMINATE "PERSON HOOD" LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS. The film "The Corporation" has a great section on how corporations won "person hood status". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SuUzmqBewg . Fast-forward to 2:20. It'll blow your mind. The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you "can't deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law". Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said "corporations are people." Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment. 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It's time to set this straight.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Saturday Song Salute

I'm starting up a new series for my blog called The Saturday Song Salute. Every Saturday (duh) I will pick a song that I feel is truly remarkable and should be heard by all. My choices will span across all genres and there will be no rhyme or reason to them. I will include a Youtube video (or some other method of listening) along with lyrics to accompany each song. Okay, enough with the opening statements, allow me to introduce my very first pick:

Today I salute Jackson Browne for his song "For Everyman", a song inspired by the friendship with David Crosby, a sailing expedition through the South Pacific, and an overall longing to escape from reality and the creation of a better life. I could set this song on repeat and listen to it all day long:

(lyrics)
Everybody I talk to is ready to leave
With the light of the morning
They've seen the end coming down long enough to believe
That they've heard their last warning
Standing alone
Each has his own ticket in his hand
And as the evening descends
I sit thinking 'bout everyman

Seems like I've always been looking for some other place
To get it together
Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race
And maybe find something better
But all my fine dreams
Well though out schemes to gain the motherland
Have all eventually come down to waiting for everyman
Waiting here for everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand
Waiting here for everyman--
Don't ask me if he'll show -- baby I don't know

Make it on your own if you think you can
Somewhere later on you'll have to take a stand
Then you're going to need a hand

Everybody's just waiting to hear from the one
Who can give them the answers
And lead them back to that place in the warmth of the sun
Where sweet childhood still dances
Who'll come along
And hold out that strong and gentle father's hand?
Long ago I heard someone say something 'bout everyman

Waiting here for everyman--
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand

I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan
Turn and walk away if you think I am--
But don't think too badly of one who's left holding sand
He's just another dreamer, dreaming 'bout everyman

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bend

bend
poem by Mick Tomlinson


we will recognize that steep mountain pass
as a barrier to our love, and we'll tremble,
and the distance between us will resemble
oceans of bravery conquered only by ships
and the heavens above

and love will listen from far away
as the roots of summer dig into the earth
and the stars form bouquets in the sky,
and your beautiful silence will sing out across
the desert of middle Oregon

where we will meet often, naked beneath
the sunlight. shadows will fall away,
childhood will return as we leap into a leaf-piled
romance, covered with laughter and love,
consumed by heartfelt celebration.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Playgrounds


I have been distracted. Actually I'm being distracted on several fronts, but each one feels like a jump rope session on a Saturday afternoon. "Blue bells, cockle shells, easy ivy over". A group of young kids have gathered along the brick ledge of the southwestern side of the school yard again. Their lives are simple and carefree, their voices still full of that childish charm that goes missing as we get older. Times are hard everywhere else, but here on this playground time represents something so much better. I want to be part of it. I want to feel every rope skip, every kick of gravel from each sneaker as it leaves the ground. To these kids, a home doesn't represent a credit card yet. To these kids, the playground represents a lifetime of learning, and the rope is their foray into life. A perfectly timed entry is all that's needed... tap, tap, tap, tap... matching rope smacks to heartbeats before leaping in. "I like coffee, I like tea, I like the boys and the boys like me!" Then the rhythm of the world enters the soul via song, and the feet find their place on the pavement... up, down, up, down... each in succession, hopping to the chorus, tap dancing to the tempo of life. I watch the rope swoosh high through the air and come back down to the ground, creating an egg shape with every pass. I watch the girl inside the egg do a 1/4 turn with every jump: north, west, south, east. She sings along to the song, only pausing when laughter completely takes over.

It is time for me to leave now, for I have no child of my own, and this molested society has turned school yards into danger zones. Signs inform me that No Adults Without Child Accompaniment are allowed, so I turn and walk away as the tap, tap, tapping of the world's heartbeat echoes behind me and the song of our youth grows quieter with each new step I take in the opposite direction. And looming just ahead of me, a different kind of playground: flattened earth paved over and filled with stacked layers of concrete and steel; skyscrapers that extend toward heaven like a green mile smile. The bellies of clouds pierced by their far reaching rooftops, antennas project their agendas across the sky like invisible ink. This is the playground built by/for adults, with signs posted everywhere reminding me that my wallet has replaced my jump rope, and that a new song is now being sung.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ring Of Fire

Hello readers, it's been awhile. I find myself saying that each time I sit down to write a new entry, and my lack of dedication to this site is beginning to baffle me. I used to come here with wild ambition, with words begging to be released, with the sleeves of my shirt rolled up, elbows shining with exposure. But now it feels like a chore and I don't know why. My poetical crescendo has reverted back to a plateau, so I can't use that excuse anymore. Sure, I'm still writing poems, but not nearly at the fireball pace as a few weeks ago. An excuse I can use, however, is the fact that I have taken up learning to play guitar.


It's something I've always had in the back of my mind, bet the thought never really entered my heart until a few weeks ago after a conversation with my best friend in Texas. She is a remarkable writer and musician whom I often look to for inspiration, and I give full credit to her for plucking the idea from my mind and allowing it to flourish in my heart. Everyone knows the mind is the progenitor of all great ideas, but the heart is what guides them to fruition, so thank you Brit. I practice everyday, as much as my tender fingertips will allow, and I'm taking lessons downtown at ABC Music with Nate Hagen every week. So far it is slow going, seeing how I've had no previous knowledge of this musical instrument. It's fun though, and taxing on the body and brain, which leads me to my next topic.

A couple Sundays ago I was at home exercising to my Beach Body Insanity DVD when suddenly I started seeing bluish spots everywhere I looked. It was startling, but not too alarming since they subsided after ten minutes or so. I chalked it up to an incorrect balance of food and exercise and went on with my business. The next morning I woke up and went to work as usual. Approximately 45 minutes into my route I started seeing those spots again. As I continued driving the spots morphed into an angrier, larger version of themselves and eventually completely hijacked my vision, forcing me to pull my garbage truck over in a church parking lot. I started getting pretty scared at this point.

I'll try to describe what happened next the best way I can. Imagine that you are hovering 20 feet above and directly below you a ring of gasoline has been poured into a perfect circle on the ground. It is night time and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness when suddenly the gasoline is lit and the image of the ring of fire is burned into your vision to the point that no matter where you look, you still see it, eyes opened or closed, it doesn't matter. That's what I was seeing while sitting there in my truck. And as if that wasn't bad enough my stomach became uneasy and I started throwing up. I honestly thought I was experiencing a brain aneurism and that I was about to die, so I pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote out my last will and testament. I told my family I loved them and that I was sorry for moving so far away. I gave away my DVD collection and TV and guitars, and jotted down the password to my writing websites and told my mother to make me famous. And then I placed my head onto the steering wheel and waited...

For the migraine to kick in.

Haha, that's right, I got attacked by a migraine that sorely mistreated me, but did not kill me. The worst of it only lasted a day or two, but the residual headache and abnormal brain functioning lasted throughout the week. I was having trouble spelling simple words and forming complete thoughts. I do not like migraines at all! And my heart goes out to those who suffer from them on a regular basis.

After giving it some thought I think that migraine was the result of me being hunched over a guitar every day, with my neck/shoulders/back/fingers cranked in awkward positions, and my eyes and brain focused on learning the notes hidden on six tiny strings. Does this mean I'll stop playing? Hell no, I'm in the middle of learning Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, man! I'll be damned if I'll let a migraine prevent me from learning that great song!

I guess that's all for now, dear readers, but I like to think this blog entry is my return to the foray. I do have so much more I want to discuss and write about, but I'll end here with the full expectation of a quick return. Take care!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Clangor

it is a chore now, where did my spirit go?
relatives call me out to the harvest
covered in the dust of day.
factory smoke chokes the life from the sky
like a monthly meeting.
death staggers in and sits next to me,
closely watching.
I pretend not to notice the TV tuned to FOX.
I did not choose it,
it chose me.
the struggle of a poet trying to find his words
inside the belly of a fish
swollen by a tiny hook-
oh these great misfortunes and terrible pains
that disease us daily.
through the punishment of space
we find ourselves cramped
and illogical, immediate beings always wanting
more more more,
but lacking a place to put it all.
where did my spirit go?
it is a chore now, reaching out to your wild mind.
I feel ill and useless,
trapped in a tin like sideways fish,
an orgy of assassins resting before another
fucking kill.
taste me, lover, take my words and shape them
into genital dreams.
I'm still in love with a face in pain
and a head bursting against a door jamb.
the raging light,
the temporal flare that straightens rivers,
the wrath of a thousand gods...

where did my spirit go?


poem by Mick Tomlinson

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Girl Outside (part three)

(Part two of this short story can be found here: Girl Outside Part 2)


Edgar and Mandy walked along the bicycle path that hugged the side of Wallace Road, the street lamps illuminating their way through the silence of the evening. Every now and then a car would pass by and interrupt their speechless journey, but for the most part the crickets and occasional dog bark were the only things they heard. The distant sounds of the church extravaganza were a faint song being played far off in the distance, one that Mandy would remember for awhile.

     "So," Edgar said, finally breaking the silence, "when you were smashing the dragon wagon with that bat, you yelled 'Desperta Ferro'. Will you tell me what it means?" He continued looking forward as he spoke, inspecting the shrub line along the sidewalk for indications of a pathway.

Mandy replied, "Well, it's kinda corny, but at the same time it's my favorite quote from history. You see, back during the Middle Ages there was a group of Catalan soldiers who were feared and recognized for their efficiency in battle. And before each fight they would hit their iron swords against the rocks creating showers of sparks and they would yell, 'Desperta ferro!' at their enemy, which means, 'Wake up iron!'. I remember reading that story in Mr. Rickson's class and it just stuck with me all this time. Like I said, it's kinda corny. Can I ask you something?"

     "Actually it's quite beautiful and such a perfect quote for you to be carrying around in your back pocket. And by all means, ask me anything, Mandy" he said as he looked up at the next street lamp and marveled at the huge cloud of insects hypnotized by its light.
      "Why did you destroy your car?" she asked.
     "Well it's like this. That was the car I bought for my ex-girlfriend 5 years ago, and since our break-up I have been driving that metallic monster all over this simple town. I tried to disguise its history with an artful dragon across the hood, but to no avail. No matter what, every time I drove that car I was reminded of the heartache that had happened, and finally I simply couldn't take it anymore. I hope you don't mind the walking, but we just happened to have met on the exact same night that I planned on letting go of that machine."
     Mandy continued walking in silence for awhile before answering, "I'm glad I was part of that, Edgar. Letting go of the past is is a painful process, something I struggle with everyday. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it, and I can honestly say that yours is the most unique method I have ever witnessed. So, thank you."

Edgar smiled and nodded at her as they kept walking. They passed by several side streets that lead into sleepy neighborhoods full of families turning in for the night. The sound of a bell alerted them from behind as a bicyclist pedaled past them in a hurry. After a few more minutes of walking, Edgar stopped and turned his attention to a small field to their right. They were standing at a narrow pathway that broke through the grass and disappeared down a slope towards the darkness below.  He made his way over to the concrete base of a street lamp, sat down and pulled out the brown paper bag that was stuffed into his jacket pocket. Mandy joined him, quietly waiting his next move.

Edgar upended the crinkled bag and dozens of clumped dollar bills fell to the pavement between them. One-by-one he slowly unfolded them and placed them in a neat pile near his crossed legs. "Are you familiar with origami?" he asked her.
     "I'm familiar, yes, but I don't know how to make things," she replied.
     "No worries, I will teach you right now," Edgar said as he handed her a dollar bill.

And so they sat, side-by-side, Edgar showing Mandy how to fold her dollar bills into intricate little creations beneath the street light. A swan with workable wings, a turtle with a moveable neck, a wearable ring, a green house, a butterfly, a miniature person, etc. They laughed and talked as they folded each dollar bill into new delightful shapes, while the minutes passed by like water. At one point Edgar looked over and asked, "So what happened, Mandy? Why are you homeless? You said you were on TV, what did you mean by that?"

Without looking up from her current origami project she replied, "You'll recall I said I never did drugs before. Well, it was my senior year of high school and my best friend, Laura, well her boyfriend introduced us to a drug called Salvia. It's a psychedelic plant from Mexico which gives you a particularly strong head trip for about five to ten minutes. It was the newest craze that a lot of kids my age were getting into, smoking this stuff and videotaping the experience and what not. Well after doing research and reading that it was completely legal and didn't have any harmful side effects, I decided to try it. We went to a park and I smoked it while sitting just like we are now, but out in the middle of a huge lawn. Laura recorded it on her iPhone so I'd be able to see everything that happened after it was over. Little did I know she uploaded the video to Youtube, and to make a long story short, the media decided to run a segment on this drug and used my footage, along with several others, as evidence to accompany their news story. It was seen by everyone here in town, and all across America. I lost my college scholarship almost immediately and my father, who is the pastor of a mega church here in town, disowned me out of fear of a blemished reputation. So just like that, in a mere blink of an eye, I found my entire world turning its back on me. I had shamed my parents and this community, and have been paying the price ever since."

Edgar finished folding the last dollar bill into a heart shape, collected all the others and put them back into the paper bag. He stood up, brushed the dirt off his pants, and motioned for her to follow. They entered the pathway and walked down through the field, eventually reaching a small park with benches and picnic tables lining the perimeter of an open play area. All told, there were five tables and four benches, each occupied by horizontal silhouettes of sleeping homeless men. Quietly, Edgar approached them one-by-one, reached into the bag and removed an origami dollar. He placed them all around each dormant body until there were no more left in the bag. He turned and looked at Mandy and whispered, "Okay, we can get going now."

Once they were top-side and walking along the street again, she finally spoke, "I've heard about you, Edgar. You are talked about amongst the homeless here in town, and even further out in the surrounding areas. You are known fondly as, The Dollar Dude, and even though I've never awoken to one of your folded creations, I dreamed about you every night. Each time I'd fall asleep on a park bench or behind a garbage bin, I hoped that you had find me there in the night, and that I would awake to one of your gorgeous green swans tucked inside my blanket. You give them hope, Edgar. You give them something to look forward to. You mean more to these destitute souls than you could possibly imagine."

Mandy began crying as Edgar stopped and pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. They stood there, wrapped in a warm embrace for what seemed like an eternity, until he finally said, "Sometimes people don't get a fair shake in life. Sometimes humans are too quick to shit on other humans. Sometimes family can act like the enemy. And sometimes people are just born into unfortunate circumstance, but even so, it's still no excuse for those of us who can help, to turn our backs on those who can't. Despite all the disdain that I have for our species, I still love them all the same. You included, Mandy. Now, let's go meet your new friends." And at that, Mandy and Edgar started walking again, up the street and headed towards the House Of Muse.

The End.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life Update

I know my blog posts have dwindled lately, even after I said I would pick up the pace and start writing more short stories. You see the thing is, I've been hammering out poems, one after another, over at my poetry website, and while I'm in that groove I don't dare disrupt it. I've posted only a few of them here, but trust me, there are many. My inspiration has been a mixture of beautiful friendship, relationship woes, alcohol, and a few of my favorite poets (Bukowski, Plath, and Neruda). Together, these ingredients have elevated my mind to a point that it has never been, and I'd like to keep it there for as long as I can.

That being said, I thought I'd stop in and offer a quick hello and briefly describe a few new things in my life. I suppose the first change to be discussed is the fact that I am single again, go figure. I made a half-hearted promise that I wouldn't talk about this too much out of respect for her, so I won't go into detail. But let's just say I've never been more confused about a relationship failing than I am with this one. It lasted only less than a year, but still, it was many months of great moments surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. I pride myself on having a remarkable record of being an honest and caring boyfriend, but this time around I've been told I didn't live up to the mark. I don't get it. So many things went wrong that I can't even put a finger on, and I know in my heart that I don't shoulder all of the blame. And after analyzing everything from all perspectives, I've decided to chalk it up to "divergent personalities". I really don't know what else to say about it, but then again I said I wouldn't, so let's just leave it at that.

Since the break-up, I've decided to attack my body fiercely. I have spent many years doing jobs that place me in seated positions behind steering wheels of large vehicles. This is so unhealthy, and coupled with the fact that I don't eat right or exercise and am getting older, it has been catching up to me. Well, enough with the bullshit. Step one: I started taking lots of pills (a mixture of multi-vitamins, antioxidants, brain enhancers, and mood/appetite stabilizers) in order to get my insides more in order. I'm up to six pills a day, but that's nothing compared to Ray Kurzweil (that crazy bastard takes like 250 pills a day!). Step two: I'm changing my eating habits. No longer do I over-eat, and now I snack throughout the day and for dinner I try to stick to a paleo diet of meat and veggies. I'm not exact on this yet, but I'm getting there. Step three: P90X. Yep that's right, when I get home I pop in the P90X dvd and give my body a punishing workout that makes my muscles hurt so good it's hard to shampoo my hair in the shower. Ugh, right now my body hates me for it, but after a month or so of this, it's going to be great. I can feel it. Something else I've done is removed all nasty liquids from the fridge and replaced them with coconut water. These boxes are expensive ($5.00 a pop) but totally worth it, I love me some coconut water! I still drink alcohol though, that's something I'm always going to do. My body just has to deal with it.

Okay, so that covers it I think. Oh wait, no no no. I recently moved into an apartment in West Salem and now I ride my bicycle to work everyday, which is really awesome. My car just sits in its parking spot all week long, I seldom have to take it anywhere. Everything I need is within walking distance, and that is very cool. And even though I was a little skeptical about moving where I did, it turned out to be a good choice. It's quiet at night, rarely is my sleep disturbed. All of my neighbors are really nice and easy to talk to. The apartment itself is in great shape and quite comfortable. There are so many shade trees that even on our hottest days (which have been few and far between) it never reaches an unbearable temperature inside. So, all is well with the new living arrangement.

And that about does it, I think. Oh, and one last thing: many, many thanks to my special friend who lives so far away. You know who you are, and by now you know what your friendship means to me. I want to thank you for being there, for making me laugh when I felt like crying, for making me smile when a frown seemed inevitable, for bringing out the writer in me in such a way this world has never seen. You inspire me to be bigger, to be better, to keep going forward when I could easily regress. I'm not very strong when it comes to these things, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I'm so glad we are friends, life would be stupid without you. And on that note, talk to ya later, fellow bloggers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Under The Serpent Sun

passing by Deaf Man's Drift,
bowled delights of heaven shine down
illuminating soft treasures
and links within the shoreline.

the cloud empties without reason,
dumping raindrops the size of yesterday
on everything it meets. the earth swallows,
water rushes up to greet me.

now, today is just like yesterday,
a drenched insomniac's dream
that I am walking through, like a devil
trying to escape a reputation.

night climbs up to the edge of town
puts its elbows down, watching.
I remember this now, from a nightmare
I had when I was sixteen feet tall-

the hidden springs inside the machine,
squeak squeak squeaking..
the rooftop caving in, again & again..
a cavalry of Cavemen on horseback

dragging the bodies of Europeans
behind them in a slow death trot..
mother calling me away from the cliff edge
as I dangle one foot, then the other.

the sweetness of this is the hunger
that follows the serpent sun,
a journey through the gut that explodes
on the other side like laughter.

these walls are dangerously thin,
they do not keep the strong from pushing
through, nor the weak from listening in
on the laughter that mocks them

from the other side. too many
nights of misery and sudden-death
experiments shaped like fairy wings-
the trickery is in their eyes

and the way their spirit flies, you see.
together, the strong and the weak
meet in this awkward place of reason
and they both say to me, "We suffer."

"Love, love, love is the answer
on the islands of paradise that float
out in the sea," I tell them.
because we know it, we've felt it all along.

we've listened to the sea song,
placed our hearts down near the water
and twisted weeds.. the tease of a dream
awakened by a shrill alarm of arrows

that penetrate our mountains
and our mole hills, our sheltered streams
of purity, the frightening frontier
of love, happiness and broken windows.

wait for it, my friends. there is a tide
that will bring it back to you,
a tide that resembles a wind storm
full of flowers and seeds of change.

nothing is lost, nothing is gained.
do not fear the names of the unknown,
nor the falling branches, nor the dark
earth inside our eyes, for it belongs to us

and we belong to it.



poem by Mick Tomlinson

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

End





these fingers
that hold this drink,
curved with appetite and misdirection,
feel lonely tonight.
In each man
temper
trumps tempo,
stars adjust in heaven and
mistrust their master.

when love escapes
the roots of springtime,
when hell is passed down
like water
to a drowning child,
all becomes forgiven.

I'm betting on the singing fools,
memorizing their music-
la da da dee da, la daa dee da

these notes
extend past the blueness
of the horizon,
fold back in on themselves,
muffled by the beauty
of the song.
I am puzzled by the nature
of everything,
especially the cool wisps
and the long cup goodbyes.

I think there's a chance
that I love you,
whom
who
whoever.
you started up this hill
and carried me to the top,
and the view is absent
without you
in the
end.



poem by Mick Tomlinson

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yay For The Local Guys!

I don't typically do this, actually I've never done this, but I'm about to use my blog page as a platform to applaud a local business here in Salem. Before I moved to West Salem I lived in a two story house in NE Salem where I was the upper-half tenant. This house was ancient, abused, even derelict at one point, and the entryway to my area was a steep, narrow set of disenfranchised stairs. The reason I make mention of these stairs is this: at one point my refrigerator quit working and it had to be replaced (and the poor guy who had to lug that fridge in and out of that house did so with gusto, don't ask me how). Now, if you follow my blog then you already know the (gin & tonic) back story that explains why my refrigerator quit working. I'll not re-explain it, for the sake of those of you who are super cool and follow me all the way into the depths of hellish despair. But if you really want to know, click this: BLOG ENTRY.

So when the fridge went down I shopped around, called all the local appliance centers here in town, and ended up making my purchase at Capital City Appliance on Portland Road. Very friendly, helpful, reasonably priced, and the owner got a kick out of my destruction story. The replacement fridge was delivered the next day and everything was great. Until two months later when that fridge decided to quit on me. Grrrr.... but this time it wasn't my fault! It was simply "one of those things", a strange coincidence, have you. So I called Capital City and told them the situation and since the fridge was still under warranty, they said they'd be out to take a look. Turns out the fridge needed to go back to their shop for a maintenance procedure (I bought a used fridge, btw) which they took care of in a timely fashion. They came and got it, fixed it, and brought it right back. No fee, no hassle, no problem whatsoever. They really did take care of me in a way I haven't seen in awhile. In this day & age, it's a sad state of affairs for consumers once the sale has been made. Post-sale customer service tends to drop off remarkably, am I wrong? Well, these guys were the exception to the norm, and I thank them for that.

Why am I telling you this? I guess because I feel it's the responsibility of a good citizen (who has a blog that is displayed across town) to inform other citizens of all things good (and bad). And in this case, I had a terrific experience with a local business and thought you should know. And think about it, I just sacrificed valuable writing time that I could have invested into creating a new short story or something as equally entertaining, but instead I wrote about an appliance company here in town. That should say something all on it's own! Haha, alright friends, until next blog.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Telescope

(Seriously, if you are at all offended by perverse sexual depictions, do not read this short story. Or at least skip the section that begins with "Sometimes she would snoop". Now that you've been fairly warned.... enjoy!)


It all started when...

A girl came into my life during the Second Recession, she brought with her two handfuls of heartache and a heavy dose of love. I insisted on examining everything equally, but instead was met with a telescope that could see only into the future. I told her a great deal could be learned by exploring the past, but she couldn't put that telescope down.
     A lifetime is a long time to be unhappy. Between us, we shared sixty years of delusion and the world hasn't stopped spinning even once. Several moments were close encounters, comet fly-bys, but we just blinked as the danger raced by at 20,000 mph.
     "I feel like we're doing that," I said.
     "What?" she asked. I blinked and stared down at her hands, then up at the sky.

***

An average tree can suck several hundred gallons of water in through its roots each day. The root system then delivers this water up through the trunk via the sapwood, and out to all of its branches and leaves.
     If you stood next to it the entire time you'd never know anything was even taking place.
     Trees are mysteriously quiet like that.
     Birds find refuge in their canopies, as do other forms of animals and insects. A tree feeds off life, life feeds off trees. Trees give off life. It's a pretty amazing sequence that often goes unnoticed, and it was decided long ago that trees would be here for a very long time. Fires remove them, they grow right back. Humans remove them, they grow right back.
     We were holding hands while walking along a dirt path through the forest when she stopped and said, "I know we've only been together six months, but I love you, and you say you love me. I don't understand why we just don't move in together."
     I could hear a bird somewhere off behind me, singing a song that sounded a lot like laughter. The sun pierced through the branches illuminating my body in sections. Suddenly, I could feel water being sucked up through my feet, gallons upon gallons of icy cold water rushing up my legs and out through the rest of my body.
     Brain freeze. Stop.
     I felt the pressure building inside my mouth, the water searching for an escape. I felt like I was drowning. This must be what water boarding is all about.
     I glanced up at the nearest tree to us and said, "I think our relationship is a lot like a tree."
     "What do you mean?" she asked.
     "Never mind," I replied as I squeezed her hand and started whistling while we walked on mysteriously quiet.

***

Sometimes she would snoop. Trust was a coin that got flipped early in our relationship: she guessed heads, it landed tails. Ever since then, I was under the impression a snake had been slipped inside my pillowcase. I could hear the long, steady warning rattle of an apprehensive tail shaking faintly while I slept at night.
     I was put on defense before the ball was ever hiked.
     One time my brother texted me a sequence of dirty pictures. The first pic showed a beautiful blonde sitting on a counter top with her legs spread open wide. She was completely naked, smiling at the camera. Second pic: camera moves in closer, a tight shot of her shaved pussy and a finger touching her asshole. Third pic: finger is inserted all the way in asshole, a slimy grey squirmy thing appears in her pussy. Fourth pic: camera even closer, the slimy grey squirmy thing reveals itself to be an eel backing its way out of her vagina. Fifth and final pic: pan out, girl still fingering her asshole, smiling, eel is writhing on the tiled floor beneath her feet.
     "Why do you always do that?" she asked me.
     "Do what?" I replied as I flipped shut my cell phone.
     "Every time you get a text message you always angle your phone in such a way that I can't see it. You're hiding something and it makes me nervous. What don't you want me to see?"
     I looked back down at my phone as it vibrated in my hand and the light on the side flashed green to let me know I had another incoming message. It felt just like a rattlesnake tail against my skin, and the burn of the bite would surely follow.
     Goddamn technology. It can't be trusted.

***

When I was little I met the monster that lurks in a child's imagination. We met face to face. He was handsome and well suited, smelled of chlorine and drove a brown Saab that needed push-started half the time. The wind became heavy, the air thick and harder to breathe.
     Everyone thinks blue is the color God gave to the sky. Everyone thinks the clouds take shape of  fun-loving creatures. It's all a charade.
     My heart is wiggling on the linoleum like an eel. People suck the souls out of other people like thirsty trees. Comets rock a fragile world at an early age.
     Devastation. Unfixable bullshit. Hands held together with tears. These were the things I showed her. This is everyone's past. She gave me love, I gave her sorrow. Her legs were strong and continued walking, deeper and deeper into the wild. Step by step, she disappeared into the forest of my mind.
     "Here, this is for you. I want you to have it, you need it more than I do," were her last words to me as she handed me her telescope. I took it and held it in my hands, examined it for flaws.
     It was perfect in every way.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Little Things

I went over to where she had stood and placed my feet in the exact two spots where her feet used to be just moments ago. In an attempt to recreate what life would be like at 4 feet tall, I squatted down in the aisle and peered up at the shelves of food looming before me. I scanned the myriad selection of canned soups and stretched my arms high, but struggled to reach the New England Clam Chowder. Being 4 feet tall would exclude my number one pick from the dinner list, forcing me one shelf lower to where the less desirable soups were kept. Damn, life at this altitude sucks.

I pivoted around while still crouched down low, sort of like a goose waddle, and slid my empty grocery basket toward the opposite shelf. After flipping the basket over, I climbed onto it and was able to reach a jar of bread & butter pickle spears. Score! I climbed back down, erected myself once again, and dropped the jar of pickles into the basket. Upon looking up I noticed a mother and child halfway down the aisle. They were looking directly at me, standing completely still, and as I gathered my basket and started walking toward them, the mother grabbed her daughter's hand and quickly stepped to the side.

"Hi there," I said with a smile as I passed by. My greeting was met with silence and a bewildered look from the mother, while the little girl eyed me curiously from the safety of her mother's hip. I tried to imagine how it appeared as they turned the corner and saw a grown man goose walking in circles, trying to reach for food while crouched on a plastic basket. I can't imagine any excuse that would've eased their curiosity, and the truth (that I was pretending to be the midget who was currently browsing the next aisle over) probably would've been equally alarming.

I left the soup section, turned the corner into the chips and soda aisle, and there she was again. She was walking away from me, her short muscular legs pumping vigorously with each little step. She held her basket by clenching the handle in the crook of her left arm. It was full of groceries and the head of lettuce sitting on top gave the appearance of a baby being carried in a basket. Her orange sleeveless shirt was riding up and I could see the chubbiness of her side undulate as she continued walking. An orange shirt? Why would someone who already attracts stares everywhere she goes be wearing a brightly colored shirt like that? I'd be going dark blue, maybe earth tones, anything but orange.

 She stopped when she got to the flavored pretzel section, hooked a quarter turn, and looked up. She was eyeballing a bag of honey mustard pretzel bites, a fine selection if you asked me. I was standing several feet away from her, staring at her pudgy arms and noticing the way her legs bowed outwards slightly, when suddenly I realized she was no longer looking at the pretzels. She was watching me watch her look at something she couldn't reach, damn. Her feet were so tiny, like babies feet stuffed inside sneakers. Her face was long and thick and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail to reveal a forehead that was shiny and well developed. I pictured her blowing a giant pink bubble with the gum she was chewing and imagined her little fingers pulling the sticky strands off her face after it exploded.

"I'm not gonna get any taller the longer you stare at me," she said, snapping me back to attention. The pink bubblegum disappeared from her face and suddenly I could see her eyes for the first time. They were set low and looked up at me widely, her eyelashes caked in mascara. She kept staring at me, waiting for something. "Well, aren't ya gonna say something?" she asked.

I stood there quietly, not fully understanding the situation. She was very little and her body twitched slightly when she spoke. I wondered if somewhere beneath her blouse was a metal circle attached to a string waiting to be pulled. "How many different phrases did this one know?" I wondered. "What about songs? Does she know any?" I thought to myself. She had turned her attention away from me and back to the pretzels. She set her basket of groceries down and stretched out her arm, massaging it with her other hand. There was a red mark where the handle used to be. She looked back at me and shot me a peculiar look. I wasn't exactly sure if the look was meant for me or for someone else, so I turned and looked over my shoulder. Nobody there.

We were all alone in this part of the grocery store. I turned back towards her just in time to catch a blurred glimpse of her war face as she rushed at me full speed. I thought I heard a hawk screeching seconds before a painful blow was delivered to my groin. Before I could even register what happened, a second blow to the nuts rocked me to my knees. We were now eye to eye, almost. She still had to look up slightly as she spoke, "You fucking weirdo pig! Whose handicapped now, bitch?" She stormed back to her groceries, reached in and pulled out a can of soup, tossed it at the bag of pretzels which fell straight down into her basket. After giving me one final pissed-off glare, she turned and duck-waddled her way down the aisle and disappeared around the bend forever.