Thursday, January 31, 2008

The master of song

Want to be depressed? No, it's not another political post, so just relax. Franz Schubert wrote over 900 separate pieces of music, nearly all of them very good at the absolute bare minimum, many genius, some utterly transcendent.

He died at 31.

Happy birthday, man with the glasses, un jour far worthier of celebration than the diabolical blight on humanity that was born/spawned/fabricated/conjured up 67 years ago yesterday. Oh, and that fucking Ashcroft tune? Sorry about that. Here, imbibe some actual artistry to magically cleanse the aural filth clogging up the byways of your mind.

Schubert's Im Früling sung by the legendary Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Feel better, no? If not, you could always try booze or weed.

Remembrance of things past

A scoundrel in his last refuge. What sweet, soulful singing.

"I don't recall."

Boy, that sure was funny, wasn't it. Ha ha, and such, chuckles all around. Let us hope when the replacement candidate is up before the Senate Judiciary Committee, that he will get grilled like the wingnut salmon that he is and not be confirmed. Could you pass the lemon sauce?

Torture for thee but not for me! Conscience shocking.

"I don't know whether he [the president] acted in violation of statutes."

Egads! Oh, Charles, what do you have to say for yourself now?

I thought there was a hope, not large, that you just might rise to the occasion. So I’m not surprised with your testimony, but I remain disappointed.
I suppose we shouldn't be too rough on you. It's not like we weren't surprised either. Of course, there's that minor, nondescript, thoroughly unimportant fact that none of us are on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On November 4, vote Democrat.

They may be amphibious, but at least they aren't poisonous.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Omen

Yesterday was quite the balmy day...

...the lovely ladies were out soaking in the sun...

...the kids were enjoying all that life has to offer...

...yet... one, not man, woman or child, heeded the cosmological warning that the gods visited upon humanity during the black of night once more...

...the sky grew chill, filled with a dire message...

...the winds whipped, the surf churned, the temperatures plummeted...

...and our flesh and bones, nay, our very consciousness, was battered by the lurking, gnawing taint of blasphemy that was visited upon this earth so many years ago and which, gleefully, violently shattered all good sense, ruthlessly sent reason, broken, to the land of Nod to rot for all eternity, forced the virulent disease of insanity upon our minds...

What horror could be so diabolical, so permanent, as to render the entire world outwardly forgetful, willfully burying the terror so deep in the crevasses of their spirit, telling themselves that it'll be alright, it'll be alright, it'll be alright, I pray to you Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Shiva, Odin, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulhu that it'll be alright...

Just for today - oh, how I pray you listen to me! - you absolutely need to:

1. Threaten someone on the other side of town.
2. As they begin to question why, take a crowbar to their knees.
3. Steal candy from children, kicking them as you leave.
4. Fill your gas tank up and drive away without paying.
5. Reveal the deepest secrets of those you know to everyone else.
6. Get a job at McDonald's and put lead in the chocolate shakes.

Why? To recognize and offer homage in celebration of the unholy birth of everyone's most feared psychopathic Lord of Hell!

You must heed my words!

For if you do not complete these tasks, he will devour not just your body, but your very soul.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No President Left Behind

"I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox. I do not like them in a boat. I do not like them with a goat. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Nance-I-am. Heh, heh."

Hey, can I throw up in your bathroom? I'll buy something!

Replace beer with wine
and thus no surprise.
Well, I don't burp
or make a single flick,
just waste paper
with a stroke of my Bic.

H/T to Mathman.

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Asshole

"I got this far being one, why stop now, heh, heh."

President George W. Bush will begin "unprecedented steps'' to trim billions of dollars earmarked by lawmakers for pet projects, a White House spokesman said.
I'm guessing he means these kind of pet projects, and not these kind.
In his State of the Union address tonight, Bush will promise to "veto any spending bill that does not succeed in cutting earmarks in half from 2008 levels,'' deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said in an e-mail.
Sweet! Another chance to watch Democrats cave in the days ahead! I wonder how they'll do it this time: the Harry Reid Hustle, the Animal House 'thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another,' the cower in a corner curled up into a little ball. That's called freedom of choice, baby. God Bless America!
Bush will issue an executive order tomorrow directing federal agencies to ignore any earmarks included only in committee reports, not in the text of legislation.
An executive order? Ah, that takes me back.
Bush will say that if spending for such projects is warranted, then "Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote,'' Fratto said.
Damn right they should. Right, Dick?

Rock Me, Amadeus

"But you can't hold a whole masonic lodge responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole masonic system? And if the whole masonic system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire Viennese society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth Emperor Joseph! Gentlemen!"

Sure, he didn't rock as hard as my man, Beethoven, but you know what, this Mozart kid ain't half bad. Here's something nice and minor key. Since I remembered at about 11pm while half-asleep, and was thus too tired to post, happy birthday one day late, powdered wig dude.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

With friends like these...

"Come on, give us a hug. We're still pals, right? know the rest.

The top two American intelligence officials traveled secretly to Pakistan early this month to press President Pervez Musharraf to allow the Central Intelligence Agency greater latitude to operate in the tribal territories where Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups are all active, according to several officials who have been briefed on the visit.
But in the unannounced meetings on Jan. 9 with the two American officials — Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director — Mr. Musharraf rebuffed proposals to expand any American combat presence in Pakistan, either through unilateral covert C.I.A. missions or by joint operations with Pakistani security forces.
I'm confused. I thought Mushy was our Number One BFF against the Evil Doers®!
Instead, Pakistan and the United States are discussing a series of other joint efforts, including increasing the number and scope of missions by armed Predator surveillance aircraft over the tribal areas, and identifying ways that the United States can speed information about people suspected of being militants to Pakistani security forces, officials said.
It's almost as if Mushy, concerned about his own ass, doesn't want to put forth full effort in hunting down Al Qaeda and their leader, Captain What's-His-Name. It's a good thing our President doesn't think like that because he's fighting to the finish!
In Washington, however, the Bush administration has said that fighting terrorists, chiefly Al Qaeda, is the primary purpose of the $10 billion in American aid that has been sent to Pakistan, mostly for reimbursements for the cost of patrolling the tribal areas. President Bush has often praised Mr. Musharraf for fighting terrorism, pointing out that Al Qaeda has tried to kill the Pakistani leader. But White House officials were silent when Mr. Musharraf said this week that his efforts were focused on the Taliban, and that the main problem the United States faced was in Afghanistan, not Pakistan.
"I'll take your money, but I won't plow your driveway."
Last Tuesday, the State Department’s counterterrorism chief, Lt. Gen. Dell L. Dailey, echoed some of those concerns, telling reporters that there were gaps in what the United States knew about the threat in the tribal areas. “We don’t have enough information about what’s going on there,” said General Dailey, who retired from the Army with extensive experience in military Special Operations. “Not on Al Qaeda. Not on foreign fighters. Not on the Taliban.”
Too bad we were never close to nabbing Captain-What's-His-Name before. All this back door wheeling-and-dealing could've been avoided. C'est la vie.
In dealing with the American requests, Mr. Musharraf is conducting a delicate balancing act. American officials contend that now, more than ever, he recognizes the need to step up the battle against extremists who are seeking to topple his government. But he also believes that if American forces are discovered operating in Pakistan, the backlash will be more than he can control, especially because the Taliban and Al Qaeda are trying to cast him as a pawn of Washington.
Honestly, can you blame the guy? We've seen all too well the inevitable, grisly demise of poodles upon the world stage. Why resort to eating the dry dog food when you can have the fancy kind? There's real meat in there!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout the Little Guitars of Mean Street

Monster riffs and classic Dave cheese. No 'hello, Cleveland!' though.
The audio must've gone out.

Fuck, is that great. The song, not necessarily the duds. Oh, those wacky 80s.
And how the fuck did that not become a hit? Stupid corporate programmers and idiot listeners.

Man, I love me some old VH. One of those Warner Bros. 'Nice Price' Women and Children First/Fair Warning two-albums-in-one was the cassette that started me on the path to all things heavy, a quarter of a century ago. Fuck, I'm getting old. So many memories listening to these dudes for hours on end. Memories which never seemed to include a chick, but merely air, in the chair next to me. There's a price to be paid for being an über-dork, mes amis.

Diamond Dave, how schmaltzy you were, one of the all-time great frontmen. And fuck, could Eddie play the guitar. Happy birthday, you crazy Dutchman, and thanks for all the tunes.

"That's called 'technology.'"

"If I turn the knob this way, she bends to the right!"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Songs of guilt and naiveté

William Blake isn't a bad dude to riff off of, methinks. Because I've got nothing else today - you know, this is rapidly becoming a disturbing theme - here's a piece of junk I wrote once upon a year. Blake was aiming for profound. I was aiming to poetically bitch my default state of cynicism.

Sure, I set the bar six feet under, but I think we were both successful.
I easily cleared five-and-a-half.

All distortions are one

Go on and cry, voices -
everything’s quite been laid out before us.
I speak from experience.
Angels or devils, no matter - the spirit
generates inception.
Intention remains ever the same
and fills in the cracks where need be, usually pretty deep.
You and I have been here often before,
so walk outside, shut and lock the door, and get lost.
You’ve brewed a solution that tastes bitter!
I’ll just drink what’s now on this table.
Same as it ever was, Roman, American, asshole,
lend me your invention.
I have a perception it’s not much better than mine.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's time for another Mandate

No, not that kind...

...this kind!

With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.
Let me translate that into English for everyone: you're going to let us do whatever the fuck we want, whether you like it or not.
This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.
The mental image drawn up by the words 'buzz saw,' a churning, razor-sharp scarifier of lethality, kind of loses its edge when followed up by 'fragmented' and 'weak.' Not to mention the unspoken reality that Iraq is a dependent state. But what do I know. I'm just a naive, potsmoking, poem-writing, metalhead blogger. Dude, those are my corn chips...
At the same time, the administration faces opposition from Democrats at home, who warn that the agreements that the White House seeks would bind the next president by locking in Mr. Bush’s policies and a long-term military presence.
Oh, no! Not the Democrats! Why, they're nearly as unstoppable as the Washington Generals! Or the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
“These are going to be tough negotiations,” said one senior Bush administration official preparing for negotiations with the Iraqis. “They’re not supplicants.”
"Yes? Are you a new applicant?"
"Actually, I quit and I came to get my job back."
"Through there."

"So...come crawling back, eh?"
"Seems like the classy thing to do would be not to call attention to it."
Under an earlier agreement between the United States and Iraq, those contractors have been exempt from Iraqi law. Justice Department officials have said it is not clear whether any crimes committed by contractors in Iraq, including the role played by Blackwater employees in a September shooting in Baghdad, would be subject to American law, but the administration has taken steps intended to close any loopholes.
I'd like to know exactly how the administration has taken steps intended to close any loopholes. I'd also like a pony, a naked Alessandra Ambrosio waiting for me when I get back home from work in about two hours, some vintage Black Sabbath soundboard bootlegs, a few bottles of absinthe, the skill to craft memorable verse and a year's supply of Turtle Wax.

How do I love thee...

...let me count, er, I'm sorry, so very sorry, mon bon-bon Dana. Math has never been my strong suit. I have failed you once again, my dear.

Here, one last token of my love, this poem, before you leave me forever.

As you read these wretched words
praise your spin of the Gospel truth
in ways to help neither Iraqis nor Kurds,
but to further shine the spoon that rests on Bush's tooth,
I open my heart to thee, every artery and vein,
yet you block love's arrow like Claudio Reyna -
can't you see your absence is my very bane,
oh, won't you ever love me, sweet sweet Dana?

In today’s press briefing, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Dana Perino about the new CBO estimate on the skyrocketing deficit. Perino didn’t have much of an answer, however, and simply replied, “Well, I don’t know how they come to all of their numbers at CBO. It’s a little bit — math is not my strong suit.”
Oh, Dana, this proves that we were made for each other!

How my soul doth sing once again!

Come closer, feel the thunderous beating of my heart! A kiss, for only you can cut through the lies - those terrible lies that once brought naught but acid rain upon your flaxen hair - and make the sun shine again!
I hardly think that the study is worth spending time on. It is so flawed, in terms of taking anything into context or including — they only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world.

Because, as you’ll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed the dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence.
Yes, Oh God Yes! Others have lied too, so it's not that bad! You're all lying liars!

Oh, Dana, how clear everything is now, all the filth that you cleaned out of every corner of my being when you put on your galoshes and waded through the septic tank of democracy and cracked those fuzzy, freedom-loving little bunnies on their skulls!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Manet, Manet, Manet, Manet...


Yeah, another "hey, guess whose birthday it is!" post. I'm running on creative fumes, mes amis. Too much brain power used up writing offline. I don't know how some of you fuckers do it. Thus, another example of cheating in fulfilling my unspoken goal of a post a day. And hey, if I get at least one person to check out some new tunes or anything else, then I consider my work done.

Plus, his birthday gives me an opportunity to post yet another pic of a scantily clad or naked chick. Oh, baby. Hey, fuck you, it's art.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I keep on having this recurring dream where I smash neocons and their corporate paymasters under my thumb. Then I wake up and they're still in charge. Dammit.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wherein a smarter dude than I articulates truth better than I ever could, so get reading!

Paul Krugman is a groovy cat.

Historical narratives matter. That’s why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seemingly distant past, affects politics today.

And it’s also why the furor over Barack Obama’s praise for Ronald Reagan is not, as some think, overblown. The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.
Exactement. Never, ever, ever tie Saint Ronnie's name with anything good. The majority of people paying attention to politics in any capacity are not to going to think in nuanced terms. No matter how well spoken and crystal clear a candidate speaks, the public is going to hear undeserved niceties tied to that fucking horrid mouthpiece of a diabolical movement that never had, and never will have, the best interests of all Americans at heart.
This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have.
Can I get an 'amen?'


Careful with that bike, Eugene Ernest

Chausson giving a helping hand to Debussy.

Everyone has that handful of artists he or she feels is their own, that no one else knows about, that they alone possess. It used to be like that for me way back in the Dark Ages of the mid-1980s with Metallica. Then everyone started liking them. Then they started becoming musically mediocre. But I'm not here to rehash Metalli-bashing. I'm here to sing, well, type, the praises of French composer Ernest Chausson, whose works, at least in the United States, never seem to get played.

The dark, somber piano trio in G minor, the concert for piano, violin and string quartet in D, the thick, Wagner-esque symphony in B-flat, some of my all time favorite classical pieces were penned by this dude. In addition, Ernest has the distinction of having proved just how dangerous riding a bike can be. A shame he died with easily two or three decades of composing ahead of him.

Assuming he decided to walk everywhere.

So when you're pedaling through your illusion of sporting the yellow jersey of the Tour de France leader, don't be a, er, dope [I can almost hear the guffaws, thanks]. The next great American novel might never get written. Oh, and happy purposely-belated-by-one-day birthday, Ernie.

The brilliant David Oistrakh playing the first half of Chausson's Poème for violin and orchestra. Forget the fact that there's no hot string-on-string action to see. Close your eyes and dig the music, mes amis.

I'm hoping it'll soothe the savage beast that is my anger at the Packers for their loss to an inferior team. Blah.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Conference call

Bet you didn't see that clever post title coming.

I told you there would be some weird shit. Darren Sproles providing the second-most electrifying play of the day, he who was in danger of being cut in training camp? Billy Volek spearheading the eventual game-winning drive? And goddamn, the refs last Sunday levied a bushel of questionable calls against all four teams, including the godawful phantom hold that nullified the most electrifying play of the day. These are the ones who graded out the best? Poor Peyton Manning. Shot in the ass by his own teammates with their inexplicably erratic play for the second time in three years - o-line last time, defense now - though tossing a ball to Kenton Keith probably wasn't a good idea regardless of the subsequent turnover at the 2 yard line. The Colts are turning into the football equivalent of the Atlanta Braves.

I wish the Browns would turn into the football equivalent of the Baltimore Ravens. Thus, as I pour this libation of tea upon the holy ground of my front yard, I humbly proffer this meager hymn!

Ye glorious football gods!
One lousy title is all I ask of thee,
sandwiched gleefully
by the occasional island of decency
in a churning sea of fuckery,
as is your inscrutable and omnipotent want!

Huh? Oh, right. Thanks a lot, Art. Please live forever in mental and physical anguish. And gods? Fuck off.

San Diego (13-5) @ New England (17-0): I remember it well. The 1994 AFC title game, the Chargers a big underdog against the 'Blitzburgh' defense that was hitting its stride, having waxed my beloved Browns the previous week. I don't recall the spread, but it was easily double digits. There was no way in hell Junior Seau alone would take a bunch of nondescript never-would-bes and never-weres to face the winner of the Real Super Bowl®, the victor of the San Francisco-Dallas game. The Chargers were indeed outgained 415-266, had 13 first downs to Pittsburgh's 22, while holding onto the ball for a lousy 22 minutes and 47 seconds. Final score? San Diego 17, Pittsburgh 13. They decided to make Neil O'Donnell, Barry Foster and Bam Morris march methodically up and down the field, shutting off the potential for big plays, of which the Chargers themselves had a couple. Holding the vaunted Steeler ground game to a lousy 66 yards didn't hurt the proceedings. Sounds eerily similar to what Jacksonville attempted last week, doesn't it? Don't get too giddy, residents of the city with the most boring weather in North America. You guys will blitz more, and a fully healthy team could've kept it close - the Chargers really do have a nice collection of talent, probably second only to New England in the entire league - but that's about it. Being banged up? With Billy Beer possibly starting in place of The Motormouth? Good fucking luck. The Patriots have far too many weapons to deal with and a big edge at the most important position in the sport.
New England, 34-20.

N.Y. Giants (12-6) @ Green Bay (14-3): Wonder if Brett Favre is licking his chops at facing a injury-riddled Giants' secondary. The forecast, unfortunately, doesn't call for copious amounts of the white stuff, but it's supposed to be fucking cold, thus, Ryan Grant left, Ryan Grant right, funky Favre tosses to Driver and Co., then some Ryan Grant up the middle for good measure with head-to-toe soreness from sideline to sideline, everything lost in a Hound of the Baskervilles-esque fog of sixty thousand breaths. Hell of a run by Big Blue, especially the justly-maligned Eli who has decided to stop the insanity and make less mistakes than his brother - all with an injured no. 1 receiver, a bruiser with hands of stone and a 7th-round pick as his top complimentary pieces - but it ends on the frozen turf of Dairyland against the most complete team in the NFC, thereby setting up

1)a ratings bonanza that has corporates foaming at the jowls
2)479 quadrillion puff pieces about Favre's humble upbringing
3)a slightly less amount about Brady's hot babe horizontal shuffling
4)and one that tells the gripping origin story of Belichick's unsartorial hoodie.

Green Bay, 27-13! Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of hype! Save us, Jaws!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nevermore? Never.

How many times I've sifted through your writings for ideas,
a spark of inspiration, I could never hope to count.

Happy birthday, Edgar Allan Poe. Ah, here we are -

I cannot, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since elapsed, and my memory is feeble through much suffering. Or, perhaps, I cannot now bring these points to mind, because, in truth, the character of my beloved, her rare learning, her singular yet placid cast of beauty, and the thrilling and enthralling eloquence of her low musical language, made their way into my heart by paces so steadily and stealthily progressive that they have been unnoticed and unknown. Yet I believe -
- huh? No, seriously, why are you still here? Go read his stuff. Now.
Don't make me post another one of my poems.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Virtue and Vice

I have very few of the former and a whole lot of the latter.

Why The Black Crowes again?

For starters, they're fucking great, you knuckleheads.

For endings, their first new album in seven years will soon arrive.

Look! Frankenstein Post! Run for the hills!

"If we strategerize the economizing, cutting taxes for corporatisms, then good docs won't leave and can practice their love of women folk and the mens can work two and three jobs, which is uniquely American."

"What a fucking idiot."

"I know someones who reads papers, and he says Bobby Fisherman is dead. I always liked fishing growing up. Checkers, too. King me - oh, wait, ya'll already did, heh, heh."

"What a fucking idiot."

"I predictioned there will be peace in the Middle East by the time my terms is done."

"What a fucking idiot."

"Now hang on a sec Paulie, I didn't say when I'd be leavin', heh, heh."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Loose lips

"Stretch, gimme a lemon. Makin' that face is hard work, heh, heh!"

Squeeze me tight, baby

No, tighter. Ooh, you know how I like it.

New data from the Labor Department confirm what most middle-class Americans already know: Inflation is squeezing them.

As consumer prices rose by 4.1 percent last year, the highest rate since 1990, the prices of basic essentials such as food, gasoline and health insurance climbed far more steeply, explaining why so many Americans are telling pollsters that the economy is their chief concern.
There has to be some good news in there, right?
The inflation news would be worse if not for China. Prices for the types of consumer goods that are coming almost exclusively from China were down last year as in earlier years, serving to hold back broader U.S. consumer inflation.

Apparel prices fell 0.4 percent in 2007, footwear prices fell 0.9 percent and the price of furniture and bedding — China- and Brazil-dominated products that once were the domain of the Carolinas — fell by 0.9 percent.
The price of toys, which now come mostly from China, fell 4.7 percent last year. It's fallen every year since 1997.
Ha! Told you so! Sure, it's all the stuff tainted with lead and chemicals, but as Wal-Mart truthfully proclaims with mucho gusto, 'save money, live better!'
Think how cheap the iodine, skin creams and bandages will be!

In case you were still harboring some doubts about these complex economic issues, fret not, mes amis. I'm sure if we just cut taxes, everything will be both hunky and dory.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I've got nothin' today, so sneak a peek through my window - not that way, you denizens of the gutter - and read some extra bad verse. If you're indeed brave enough to go on, you'll no doubt see that I certainly didn't drink from the same well of creativity as the mighty Swedes above - though it's a distinct possibility that I was listening to their CD as I wrote this - but given that it's one of my less lame pieces - I know, frightening thought, isn't it? - here you go. Suffer! Enjoy!

Reveries of the moon

The prominent solitude wakes and leaves the room,
past the massive darkness to dream like DeQuincey,
to ruminate over locked-away confessions;
for everything counts, says the midnight gardener.

Descending a thousand fathoms, always too deep
each hour, another step further than last evening.
Planets spin and rendezvous with the stars, fixed heavens
each second drop signs once corporeal, once cold.

The sparking ceiling, an old house deserted.
I see ghosts in glazed mouths, crying out nothing
but a warning of the deceit of reason;
I can never become lost while in Carceri.

They spoke and told me if I wanted to sleep, stop.
Whispered, if i wanted to suffer, remember.
But when aurora ascends, they’ll fall nevermore
and become to me memory, the storied dead.

Iconic bodies take flight from the filthy seas
on endless stairs that overhang the depths, that end
at the brink; I cannot move, and remain unfinished.

I cry and hide away from the sun, a haven
is this maelstrom; I wait, restless, for this hollow
to be drowned out by golden sounds returning.

A vast choir, voiceless, sings of a fiery angel
bearing necessities forsaken, and now I,
in a tearless meditation, I am alive.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rumors of War

If I had a band, it'd be just like High on Fire: fucking ugly and fucking loud.

Oh, relax. They're only rumors.

It's not as if there exists a concerted, coordinated effort to:

1. Shamelessly promote mindless consumerism

2. Through enlisting the help of so-called allies

3. To divert attention from the greatest foreign policy fuck-up in American history

4. In order to vigorously prop up an even more scarifying cartoon supervillain

5. To maintain the numbing disinformation campaign of the status quo.

Jeez, you moonbats sure are gullible.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What lies beneath

Trying to explain how I feel during, after - and why the hell not, before - writing is nigh impossible, nearly as difficult as transforming a beautifully tormenting thought or emotion from its natural, excited state into the human construct of written language, which, no matter how successful the writer is, will always seem cold and placid in comparison to the unstable superheat that arouses our senses, our desires. In a recent post that was primarily concerned with the part of the writing process that's observable by the human eye, i.e. the words on the paper, there were indeed erratic flurries of not-so-subtle hints about the churning maelstrom underneath.

What lies below the surface is inextricably linked with the phenomena seen outside playing on the fields of white. Within and without, two sides, two as one; Apollo may be the lord of poetry, but would we not be remiss in forgetting about Janus? For what is a poem, any piece of writing, but a doorway permitting a glimpse of our interior life, a snapshot of a being looking both forward and back, to cherished memories held with the utmost care, ahead to ones yet to be fulfilled, perhaps never. So, thanks to the query of b, let's see if I can try and articulate the obscure goings-on of my terminally fucked up insides, one man's experience of something that anyone who writes - forget about poetry or fiction for a moment, every single person who has a blog does - deals with day after night.

To understand, we must first return to the provenance of all things.

Hear me, all ye hallowed beings/Both high and low of Heimdall's children/Thou wilt, Valfather, that I well set forth/The fates of the world which as first I recall.

Too far back, dumbass. But pass me some of that mead.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Quoi ?

Hey, wacky cosmos, let's keep it in the here and now, shall we? And nothing about the blind idiot daemon-sultan, Azathoth? Your funeral. Anyway, the mind is always calculating, the heart is always beating, thus, there's always going to be a wisp or a thousand of an unwritten composition floating through the ether, even if unrecognizable or veiled to my conscious eye. On the wing of fancy flights is where I generally reside, even if rudely and consistently interrupted, pulled back down by life on this nondescript ball of molten rock.

A feeling, a sensation, a memory, one of these three abstractions is what jumpstarts the whole process. The possibility of overlap between one or more certainly exists: a memory of a feeling or of a sensation, whether from actual physical proximity or contact or gleaned from the words or look of another. The skin gets tingly, the blood rushes and I reach for my notebook. Yes, there are most definitely times when the biomechanics remain the same, but the stimulus is instead of a darker nature. Not everything is poetry underneath a breezy sky flush with clouds along the Seine while sipping a bottle of wine. I won't go into specifics, but of course, I've written things from a point of utter sadness or passing anger. Though, no, if I stop to think about it, sadness underwrites nearly everything I create, a deep strata hiding under the one you read. And if I manage to craft it with skill, perhaps a word or a line will impart its melancholy perfume, creating a piece more complex than mere ruminations on mundane love that you'd hear in any number of overproduced pop songs.

Whether you've seen someone once, never, will see them next month, next year, in a decade, in two hours, via the written letter, an email or a text message - ugh, forget that last affront to language, yikes - love is never purely sunshine and beds of strikingly red roses. Perhaps for others this isn't the case, but love hurts. Ooh, big revelation there, Randal. Yeah, I know. Thanks. Love is uncomfortable. It's certainly not the default state of humanity, at least no humanity that I'm familiar with. In each poem I try and capture a piece of that instability, whether stretching closer to physical lust, something platonic or a shiver that reverberates through your limbs to where your fingers and the toes on your feet feel it, the tip of your tongue, every last piece of you.

Skulking in the shadows of my mind as I write is the ever-lurking notion that when I am finished, whether completely or with a single stanza - though I'm never truly finished - there's still a load of laundry needs to be put in the dryer, that pile of dishes from lunch is waiting to be cleaned, the kids need help with their homework, my wife wants to discuss the evening's dinner and who's going to cook it.

I write a line, and often it will consist of ten or twelve syllables. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to such lengths. If the second line conforms - and I try to not put too much thought into the structure at this point, as everything must submit to the lordship of emotion - I may decide to keep that pattern throughout, perhaps varying stanza size in a gentle nod to variety. Free verse is always an option as it's more malleable. As for time-honored prosody, it really is quite difficult. A simple guitar riff may be easier to write, but a well-written one can pack a thunderous, memorable punch. A complex passage requires more attention to compose, with all your diminished ninths and iambic pentameters and dactylic feet - I apologize for the mexed missages - yet both forms of beauty have validity, one the stately Parthenon built in antiquity and admired by Petrarch and his Renaissance disciples, the other a Led Zeppelin The Rain Song or a My Dying Bride Your River sculpted in the modern style. The classical and linear contre the more personal and mercurial. And in between we can find, for example, Beethoven's piano sonata no. 14 in C-sharp minor. Love can be plaintive, agitated, fiery. Whatever my mood is at any given moment - and Lucifer, how it can change despite its proclivity to stay set on 'brood' - dictates the distinct path of love that I will write about.

Then the agony truly begins, the fabrication of those perfect words in their correct places. I cannot help but think of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's oft-cited remark that "poetry" is "the best words in the best order." Oh, that's all?

So I write and write, crossing words out, moving them around, making a mess of sheet after sheet in between sips of wine - and yes, sometimes a beverage of the non-alcoholic variety such as tea - and the occasional pause to sit and listen to a few bars of rumbling piano, lilting strings or crushing chords. Perhaps I'll hear a word in a lyric that will make sense, or will provide just enough of a hint for my mind to grab and run with, searching the nooks and crannies in my head to find le mot juste. Measures of notes have proven time and again to inspire the wheels of creation to move faster and faster - until the next measure when they stop as I effortlessly slip into daydream, absentmindedly dropping the pen onto the pad, succumbing to gravity as it slowly rolls onto the floor, the soft clink of plastic on hardwood shattering my temporary catatonia.

Reaching down to pick it up, I often notice as I straighten out my back that all I've managed to do is write two, maybe three, lines. Which, yeah, can be deflating. In this case, however - the first stanza of which appeared in the 'prequel' to this post - the words, or more accurately, the rough structure, the skeletal frame, materialized without too much exertion. A rare occurrence indeed. It was the words themselves, balancing between whipsmart and clever and a maudlin market hawking so many kinds of cheese that your nostrils simply cannot take it anymore and you faint from the stifling air. Not literally of course. I like a slice of cheese. More scratchings and arrows and swearing and dejection and sweating and pointless thought interjecting such as why haven't I shaved in a week. A tidal wave of irrelevancy threatens to derail the whole process, so I stand up and with an erratic gait, pace around the table in front of the couch, flanked by the very computer that might have this interminably rambling post see the light of day at last.

Passing by my bookcase, I run a finger along the spines, hoping through some long-lost art of osmosis that I'll be inspired. Perhaps I'll pull a volume out, placing my discman - I'm the last mp3 player holdout between the ages of 18 and 49, methinks; even my kids have them - in the empty space that resides above the books, randomly opening upon a passage to see if anything contains the power to inspire me. Or will I go back to one of the wells I've drunk from so many times before to see if I can rework a line for the five hundredth time, each generation's copy weaker than the last? Finding nothing, I sigh.

I sit back down and scratch that itch.

Perhaps another cup of something, red, white or leafy.

The word found at last?

No, roars the thick, black stroke piercing the letters as if Vlad Tepes himself had run through an entire Ottoman squadron now perched above the earth, sliding down towards the blood-soaked dirt, agonizingly slow, jealously watching their insides reaching peace first.

Unexpectedly, a flurry of verse threatens to overwhelm as line after line effortlessly flows. A cursory glance reveals that they aren't half bad, obviously a product of my delirium. Oh, I'm sure the gentle reader has assumed too much drink. You might be right, so better let me read them again. I fear my subject may have tricked me, for

quick into view comes your beguiling mouth
and I know those words you speak - oh, how I know - are worse than the sirens' song. I raise the volume a bit higher, for I have no wax to protect me from your aural spell. Yet, the crash of cymbals, the rush of strings, the end of one measure breaking on the next, each distinct sound, so often lost in the alluring cacophony, becomes as clear as the nighttime Western sky in July, each note recalling nothing but your breath, the hypnotic warmth of your skin, your words that hold the world. The spell has woven its magic, has opened the gates for the whisper of the muse to come through and into me, inking the last script on the sheet, inscribing an unresolved ending.

Once the deed is done, I am left with naught but her unyielding presence in my thoughts, the world slowly flickering away, the impending bout of insomnia - the price I must pay.

If I were a rich man, and if you've had the strength to read this far, you would most certainly be rewarded with a cash bonus or its material equivalent. But since I'm not, thanks for using up a few minutes of your life that you'll never get back. Ha, I say, ha, as I bid you farewell, for now it is time to dig deep once more, it is time to write.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hey, kids! Pop quiz!

Guess which quarterback is going to the NFC Championship game?

Hint: it's the happy one.


Oh, how this country needs one.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Divide and conquer

What a strange Wild Card weekend that was. Seattle was up 13-0 going into the fourth quarter. Then the two teams combined for 36 points. Jacksonville wastes an 18-point lead through David Garrard, he of the three picks the entire season, nearly doubling his turnover output within five minutes, while his counterpart tosses three of his own. In the first half. Eli Manning doesn't suck at all, but plays like his older brother. The Titans do a masterful job of shutting down the best running back in football, so, of course, Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson catch a bushel of 20+ yarders. Expect at least one more odd occurrence this weekend. I'm not sure in what capacity, nor in what game, but there's gonna be some funky shit.

Anyway, on paper, these are all pretty decent matchups. Yes, including the New England-Jacksonville game. These Jags are even more physical than the 2005 squad that got waxed by the Patriots - which sounds like it shoots my argument all to hell more than I'd like - plus Garrard can make plays with his cleats, unlike human statue Byron Leftwich. Don't be surprised if at least one road team pulls the upset, as has happened in eleven seasons and fifteen times overall in the divisional round since the playoffs were last expanded in 1990. It could occur in the AFC, though it's more likely in the NFC, not because Dallas and Green Bay are relatively unexpected top seeds, and thus carry an aura of the postseason unknown about them, but simply because they're more flawed than their AFC counterparts. So watch Jacksonville win.

Seattle (11-6) @ Green Bay (13-3): The Packers want to score early and run run run young Ryan Grant, weakening the effectiveness of the blitzkrieg Seahawk D. Green Bay has a stout defense of their own and given that Seattle is a bit more one-dimensional these days, all the pressure will be on their Republican quarterback. Sure, Favre might try and toss a ball or five into coverage that he shouldn't, but for all of the talk surrounding Seattle's talented receiver corps, Driver, Jennings, Jones and Lee - sounds like a fucking law firm - ain't too shabby, either. Always heed the mantra of the Mighty Jaws: you've got to have balance. The Packers do, 27-20.

Jacksonville (12-5) @ New England (16-0): And so we enter end game. This matchup strikes me as a poor man's take on the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. A powerful, nearly unstoppable offensive machine versus a scrappy, overtly physical bunch. That ragtag group of unknowns hit the all-pro receivers in the mouth, constantly disrupted their routes, and pounded the hell out of the league MVP, defeating a team that, with a victory, would've joined the pantheon of all-time greats. Yes, they were that good. Better put your excitement away, Florida. Bill Belichick, not Mike 'why sure, I'll be glad to waste the best player in football to pass 50 times' Martz, is your opponents' coach. New England, 34-21.

San Diego (12-5) @ Indianapolis (13-3): Along with Tennessee, San Diego is one team that has in recent years played the Colts very tough no matter the location. Bob Sanders is healthy and one just needs to witness last year's Super Bowl run and the entire 2007 season to realize that he, not Dwight Freeney, is their most important defensive player. Ronnie Lott? Kenny Easley? This dude hits just as hard, and that's fucking saying something. LaDainian Tomlinson won't be held to 42 yards on the ground again, but real estate is going to be hard to buy, nevertheless. Though, if Philip Rivers finds a bunch of inexplicably wide open receivers like he did in the wild card game, the Chargers can win. He won't. Indianapolis, 27-17.

N.Y. Giants (11-6) @ Dallas (13-3): If you're a Cowboys fan - and nearly 99% of my 1.3 readers seem to be - you can't like how your team played down the stretch, though I personally found it hilarious. Yes, the World's Worst Teammate was out, and Washington had everything to play for and the jackasses didn't, but man, did the offense look bad. Ineffective. Preseason-y. For three games running now. And now they're going against a team that can really pressure the quarterback. Owens should play and I cannot imagine Dallas not being able to run the ball that poorly for a second straight game.

Before I continue with my not-in-depth preview I'm going to do something I can't believe I'd ever do, defend Tony Romo. The whole Jessica Simpson In Mexico garbage is the same bullshit that Vince Carter got in 2001 when he was at North Carolina in the afternoon for graduation then flew to Philly that evening for game 7 of a semifinal matchup. Carter's series-clinching three at the buzzer was no good, thus he was skewered with such righteous indignation that I half-expected Half-Man, Half-Amazing to go half postal. Yeah, he shot 6-18 from the floor. He also had 9 assists, 7 rebounds and zero turnovers while playing all 48 minutes. That season's darling, Allen Iverson, shot 8-27 (a lower percentage in case you were at all curious) with 16 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 turnovers. But that's never brought up. So if Tony Romo wants to hang out with his chick during a weekend off, whether the media approves of her or not - and if she was a nondescript babe from the suburbs, we'd be hearing nary a peep - Terry Bradshaw can go fuck the hell off. The 1980 Oakland Raiders were notorious nogoodniks and partiers. The Eagles were strait-laced and stoic. The Raiders crushed the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Ron Jaworski was my favorite non-Browns player at the time, so I remember that week quite well. Thus, talking hairpieces, shut the fuck up.
I don't give a fuck if you DID play the game. You don't have to have your nose buried in your playbook 24-7. Is number 9 suddenly going to forget how to play quarterback against a team he sees twice a year and beaten both times in 2007?
I almost want Romo to toss for 400 yards and 5 TDs just to shut you inane jackasses up. Almost.

Anway, if the other quarterback, Eli something-or-other, once more calls signals with élan, the Giants can win. Much to my chagrin, and the chagrin of those righteous souls not afflicted with Cowboy-itis, he won't. The image above will not have a sequel. This week. Dallas, 28-21.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rock on, motherfuckers!

Once again, I've got nothin' - I really have to stop with the emotionally revelatory crap, be it sappy love or venting vitriol, 'cause it drains the creative juices something fierce - so let me join the endless cavalcade of faux musical hijinks.

Let’s Make a Band:
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your pic.

I have no photoshoppin' skills -
or any programs that
approximate photoshoppery -
so all digital wizardry
crafted with supremacy
via juicy creativity:
the flowing computer key
of the groovy Freida Bee.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

C. R. E. A. M.

The savior of the republic?

Unpaid bills.

Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.
Well, I suppose we could handle this problem in the short term without too much harm. A few American criminals might escape, but we're waging a greater war, an existential conflict that's been going on unabated since 632 A.D. between the shining and humble armies of light, and the grotesque minions of darkness.
In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.

Why do the telecoms hate America?
Fine's report offered 16 recommendations to improve the FBI's tracking and management of the funding system, including its telecommunication costs. The FBI has agreed to follow 11 of the suggestions but said that four "would be either unfeasible or too cost prohibitive." The recommendations were not specifically outlined in the edited version of the report.

Even the FBI, the organization of Rudy's! fashion guru, hates America?

Have the Islamocommunistofascistojihadists infiltrated every level of power in our great nation? No expense must be spared to rid our Christian body of this disease, of this - er, what? Really?

Nevermind, FBI, go on not paying those bills. Bush says everything will be cool.

Truth or consequences

"Think we should let him out?"
"Why not. Let bygones be bygones, I always say!"

The following is a prime example of why I really don't fucking feel like subscribing to the progressive and humanist ideal of finding some common ground with those on the other side of the proverbial aisle at the moment. Which seems to be happening more often every day. Why? Because for a lot of them, and the entire administration itself, this doesn't bother them in the least.

Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

“This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”
Yeah, uncool might not be my first fucking choice of word.

Golly gee, Beav, who might have been the perpetrator?
Both the helicopter and the vehicle involved in the incident at the Assassins’ Gate checkpoint were not from the United States military, but were part of a convoy operated by Blackwater Worldwide, the private security contractor that is under scrutiny for its role in a series of violent episodes in Iraq, including a September shooting in downtown Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead.
Blackwater. Being paid by your tax dollars.

Pissed off yet?
“You run into this issue time and again with Blackwater, where the rules that apply to the U.S. military don’t seem to apply to Blackwater,” said Scott L. Silliman, the executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at the Duke University School of Law.
Is this your United States of America?
Blackwater says it was permitted to carry CS gas under its contract at the time with the State Department. According to a State Department official, the contract did not specifically authorize Blackwater personnel to carry or use CS, but it did not prohibit it.
Army Staff Sgt. Kenny Mattingly also was puzzled. “We saw the Little Bird (Blackwater helicopter) come and hover right in front of the gate, and I saw one of the guys dropping a canister,” Sergeant Mattingly said in an interview. “There was no reason for dropping the CS gas. We didn’t hear any gunfire or anything. There was no incident under way.”
Chimp and Darth, we should listen to the army, right? Listen to that.

All of you fuckers on the right who support this either tacitly or openly, civilian or administration can fuck off and I hope your life turns into abject misery. I have nothing in common with you. Nothing. You are a poor excuse for a human being and if you dropped dead right now, the world would be better off. And all of you on the left who think the Democratic leadership is a viable alternative, let me know when the first high-ranking official associated with these fuckers is frogmarched off to jail. Henry Waxman can't fucking do it all by himself. But please, fucking save your change is slow/we don't have the votes/we're trying to win an election/they're trying the best they can/you're so naive/just have faith bullshit, because I've fucking heard it all before. The Reagan administration got away with fucking treason on a consistent basis only to be cowardly bailed out first by technicalities then by Bush. And now a new batch of fuckers runs the show, even more insidious than the psychopaths under Tricky Dick and the Saint, many of whom have returned to gorge with renewed greed on the living flesh of a fresh batch of humans both home and abroad.

Evil men will do evil things until they are prevented from doing them.

So how about you let me know when crime no longer pays.

And if by some miracle of miracles, a Democrat gains the White House, it's only temporary until the next Republican gets in, when the cycle will begin anew. And once more, after yet another slate of pardons for war criminals and traitors, that'll be the end of it and we'll be told that what the nation needs is healing. As we were told in 1974 and 1992.

Oh, by the way, any of you fuckers out there jonesing to get your rape on, apply for a job with KBR, also paid by your tax dollars. Apparently, there are no consequences. Noticing a theme?

I'm sick of healing. Aren't you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Since I've Been Loving You

Why Zeppelin? It's the birthday of this dude. Pay your respects, bastards.

Why this song? Nice musical coda to yesterday, perhaps.

Why this post? I can't think of anything to write about.

"Why all the black?"
"Why all the pearls? Why all the hair? Why anything?"
"You look a little nervous, Dad."
"No, YOU look a little nervous, Lisa!"
"You're up to something, aren't ya?"
"No! I'm just going out to commit certain deeds. Suckers."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Le mot juste

What's in a name? that which we call a word
By any other name would drive us just as mad.

Sorry for taking liberties with your immortal lines, Will, but I have good reason. As a few of you may know, the one creative act that I've made a concerted effort to explore - because I'm that much worse with everything else - is poetry. And as all of you should know, the building blocks, the soil, the rocks, the clay, add your own cliché, of verse are words. The meaning they hold - literal, personal, abstract or, as is usually the case, a dash of each - the way they look on the printed page - or the screen - the way they sound to the ear, both by themselves or in relation to the words and lines embracing them, all of these linguistic, visual and aural textures come into play when writing, and for those of us not gifted with genius, we have to work all the harder to hopefully rise even a smidgen above mediocrity, trying our damnedest to avoid the syrupy, the maudlin, the mundane.

Often, a phrase or an idea will pop into my head out of nowhere and without thinking - if I'm lucky enough to have a notebook or any piece of paper nearby, though the skin is always present as a last resort - I'll transcribe it, not giving its quality a second thought. Just get the words down now and worry about the rest later. Even more often, as I'm lost in daydream, something will come, something is borne on the images and colors and sensations that filter through that hallucinatory mist to become words. Those too will be recorded on paper.

There is one final, broad category that I must address, for it is the most troublesome, nerve-wracking and sleep-depriving of all: the solitary word. Sometimes excised from verse I am working on, sometimes manifesting out of the blue or chosen with a purpose, a lone word can be the perfect starting point to a wonderful piece or a tough, thick vine twisting around my feet keeping me from moving any further. Perhaps it's broad enough in sense and meaning to be the quotidian seed from which a rich bouquet will grow, a clean palimpsest of cultural or personal experience that hides secrets, seen if only I'd look closer. Maybe I simply like the sound, the way it appears to the eye. In each instance, the word is insistent in its continued existence, in the same way a disdained melody or song throbs in your head without cease, no matter what remedies you apply.

But this? This is much worse. You know that in time, that godawful music will disappear. This word will not until it is transformed into the root of a creative act and nothing you do, not ignoring it, delving into another activity, putting up a blogpost full of scantily-clad ladies, writing an angry letter to your Congressperson, nor drinking heavily can hope to change that universal truth. This beautiful, maddening seductress cannot be sated. There is no protective circle, there is no crucifix, no silver bullet. There is no escape.

So what are you waiting for, fool? There's the discarded word. Write.


Most would be hit with visions of the mysterious, of the dead upon seeing or reading that word. I've woven patterns of the former in some of my works, not too much of the latter, save the occasional vampiric metaphor. But only in an alluring, come hither kind of way, not with a 'I vant to suck your blut!' I very much dig the old Universal and Hammer Horror flicks, but those aren't all that romantic, now are they? I'm certainly not aiming for things associated with a crypt, at least not in a motif of dark, dank limestone slabs housing rotting corpses. Though something is indeed sleeping, a feeling long dormant, or long searched for and found - possibly - at last. Here's where the mystery comes in.

Mystery. What does that word conjure up? Or the penultimate word of the previous sentence? No, despite the apparent ease of A linking to B bringing up C, the verse itself remains unclear. Yet there is a definite accumulation of related concepts: mystery, ambiguity, conjuring, magic, sorcery. Not in a cheesy, MMORPG sense, though many would no doubt interject a "hey, Randal, the other way is just as cheesy, you dumb fuck." You're right. To you, probably, it is. But being a big sap who won't write about my cat or my job or doing the dishes or strangely attired passers-by or existential problems or politics no matter how much I may want to because I simply cannot regardless of how hard I try, I'm stuck with, aside from the occasional nature poem with impressions quietly pilfered from John Clare - shhh, don't tell anyone - the emotion that, above all others, drives humanity fucking insane.

Thus, I build around that word floating in a sea of reverie, waves of consonance and assonance and rhyme battering, smoothing out the rough edges, leaving jagged those that need to be sharp. The word itself, with Greco-Roman roots, has a whiff of the Anglo-Saxon, not exactly ponderous, yet still heavy. A disruptive sound in need of softening. Both literally and emotionally, another word beginning with a hard C fits as the perfect suffix: caress.

Cryptic caress? How fucking stupid, no? Yet, find opposition between ideas of death and life, of the unseen obscured in the dark and the tactile feeling of a lover's hand on your flesh - another word that will find place in a line in time - all which circles back to the shadows in twilight, the red of the setting sun flush with the imprint of love, both won and lost, despised and longed-for, the shock of that touch, soon soft, then gone. And what is more mysterious, more damning than love itself, a sentimental ouroboros that we hope will protect us yet can just as easily be nothing but a prison? In my mind and heart, at least, I know and feel what this one word, now two, means, so it must be moved from the first line to the last of the first stanza. The foundation, though remaining visually so for these four lines, becomes the emotional denouement, the pinnacle, the spire in the clouds, before le deuxième acte.

Yet, the lines that lead to this climax remain unknown. They must be uncovered syllable by syllable. So many structures of antiquity were shaped in stone; they were permanent, both a guardian and a barrier. Thus,

Raising the stone
removes the obstacle and permits the passions to be free,
allows the fire to roam,
forsaking the sleep, the hibernation that maliciously dulls the senses, that lulls desire to become dormant, creating emotional inertia -
leave the void of velvet slumber behind.
Now awake to burn away the veil that deadened our perception, that left a placid heart beating unfulfilled; a perception true for so long begins to melt with that fire
Spreading throughout the nightmare of the soul,
returning with a gentle fury, the inflamed hope of our being, welcoming the turbulence one can only find with another,
in spirit and flesh, your cryptic caress.
The entire piece remains in the dark, but there, where I could not see very far, was dappled with the merest light whose spell began to break through, pushing me to write further, capturing the unspoken that offers the gentle illusion of you, the cause of this joy lost in the firmament. Stormy, unstable passions you give to me, those barriers crumbling to dust as does my strength, my resolve. Cursed with the inability to handle the ideal, my pleas collapse as your fire vanishes, the last chords of your grand symphony, along with the terminal sounds of my feeble verse, fading into silence. The stone is replaced, shutting out the final strains of light, your imagined caress now my crypt. Through the course of twenty-eight lignes en decasyllable I am brought to hinted-at ecstasies far too short in duration - and the inevitable return to the precipice, the plunge back into darkness where I hope that another perfect word in the days ahead can gift to me one more moment, however fleeting, of love.

Give me liberty, and give me death

Once again, those Frenchie snobs kick our ass.

Bill O'Reilly must be rolling over in his grave.

France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.
Ouch, neocons, that number's gotta hurt. Just imagine all the extra battalions you would've had for the next surge! And Iran, too!
"I wouldn't say it (the last-place ranking) is a condemnation, because I think health care in the U.S. is pretty good if you have access. But if you don't, I think that's the main problem, isn't it?" Nolte said in a telephone interview.
Then it's a good thing health care access in the United States is the best in the world. I don't know how many times I've told you unbelieving fuckers that the immoral corporate con game free market solves all problems!
The researchers compared these rankings with rankings for the same 19 countries covering the period of 1997 and 1998. France and Japan also were first and second in those rankings, while the United States was 15th, meaning it fell four places in the latest rankings.

All the countries made progress in reducing preventable deaths from these earlier rankings, the researchers said. These types of deaths dropped by an average of 16 percent for the nations in the study, but the U.S. decline was only 4 percent.
They fell 16 percent whereas we only fell four? We fell less than they did, hence, we win! There's your mathematical facts, potsmoking liberal wonks!


Monday, January 7, 2008

Six steps to a better you!

"Don't worry, Mushy, we have a plan for mis-der-eck-shun, heh, heh."

Step one: send in the inspectors.

Step two: conveniently ignore salient points.

Step three: ratchet up the rhetoric.

Step four: send in the big cheese.

Next week, we'll learn steps five and six: how to conveniently ignore his findings and then blow shit up.

This time-tested program worked for Iraq, it can work for you, too!

Mid-morning mis-der-eck-shun update!
"Those wacky Iranians, what are you gonna do!"
"Oh, I don't know, buy everything hook, line and sinker, I suppose."

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Why Breakdown? Serendipity, mes amis.

Screaming last night at the Floridian parade of second-half defensive breakdowns. Tom Petty is from Florida. Breakdown is my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song because it's a dark, quietly menacing, bitter lament which somehow seems appropriate for a moment, fleeting, soon to be gone.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is it in the cards?

Think we'll see something as memorable as this?

Fast forward to 5:31 for our special guest star!

So pumped up was I after a pretty thorough beatdown of the Flailing Forty-Niners last Sunday, that I started typing up my hotly anticipated Wild Card preview immediately after the game. Think of it as one of those mysterious IPOs that everyone's talking about, that makes everyone millions in the first minute and has them in the bread line the next. Wait, that analogy isn't very funny and its application is negligible. As I type these words, I'm nervous about the Colts game (they're down 7-3 but fuck, Bob Sanders can fucking hit), so bear with my bout of idiocy. Yes, staring me in the face was quite a quandary: what if my beloved Browns didn't make it?

After much internal deliberation and outward yelling at my vaguely visible reflection in the monitor - so that's where that crack came from; sometimes it's hard being an ugly motherfucker - I decided to write up both previews and simply cross out the one that proves to be as false as a neocon with a soul. Pretty please, kick large amounts of ass, Quartered Peyton Manning and Keeper of the Kubiak Flame, Jim 'Motherfucking' Sorgi!

10:11 pm, touchdown, Colts! 10-7! [think of this as live blogging that I traveled to the past to do]
10:18, Young's hurt and now out. Good!
10:22, that's right Kerry, another stupid penalty! Ha!
10:24, fuck, a field goal.
10:39, goddammit, stop them on third down already!
10:40, um, it's KERRY COLLINS, you fucks! Come on, it's time for your poor man's Vinny Testaverde impersonation. Toss that pick!
10:47, a motherfucking 54-yard field goal. FUCK. Titans, 13-10.
10:54, good job, Jimmy. That was a beautiful three-and-out.
10:59, this is turning into a preseason game, a fucking average NFL QB against 3rd stringers.
11:02, Titans, 16-10. One timeout and the two-minute warning. I wish I still had some fingernails to bite.
11:06, an overthrow and an underthrow.
11:07, what the fuck is this flanker screen shit? Stop running that fucking play, it hasn't worked since the fucking first quarter. Well, that's it. I'm going to bed.

And now this crap is starting. Guess it's better than having no quarterback, which has pretty much been the case since current genius and professional jackass Bill Belichick ran Bernie Kosar out of town. Fifteen years ago. Anyway, here's my Browns-less picks. Blah.

Washington (9-7) @ Seattle (10-6): I had the Redskins (people, can we please retire that name already? It really is fucking racist, as bad as Chief Wahoo) pegged as a wild card team - serious kudos for coming together after the senseless death of Sean Taylor - and the Seahawks winning their division, so eat it, Jimmy the Greek, you fuck. Anyway, Seattle is the better team, records notwithstanding - I trust Matt Hasselbeck more than whomever Washington tosses out there (but only on the field as Matty is a fucking Republican) - but Shaun Alexander is turning into every other brokedown running back on the wrong side of 30 and they can't seem to get much juice out of Maurice Morris either. If Seattle gets a lead, their smallish D can rush the passer like a brigade of Hessians charging a lone Mel Gibson Patriot. Should be a good game - and it wouldn't shock me to see Washington imitate the 1995 Colts, another tough, but flawed 9-7 team winning two road games before falling short in the conference title tilt - but Seattle wins in the wind and rain, 24-19.

Jacksonville (11-5) @ Pittsburgh (10-6): First, I had these picks nailed, too. All Hail Randal. Secondly, what the hell has happened to the Steelers' offensive line? I know that Willie Parker was leading the NFL in rushing at the time of his injury, but with a nondescript 4.1 yards per carry. Yes, left tackle Marvel Smith is out, but yikes. The fear of The Chin is long gone. And now you can run on them, as well. Roethlisberger is the shiftiest big quarterback I've ever seen, but Jacksonville plays Steeler football better - hell, Ben is always chucking the ball down the field - than the Steelers themselves nowadays and they'll do it a second time. Don't turn the ball over, smack you in the mouth on D and run it down your fucking throat. Jacksonville, 27-17. Sorry, Megan. Muahahahaha!

N.Y. Giants (10-6) @ Tampa Bay (9-7): I had neither of these teams making the playoffs. Hey, my batting average is still better than Condi's in diplomacy. The Buccaneers might want to fumigate their stadium and facilities, as there seems to be a lingering stench of Dungy-itis. I'm all for resting key players - and Jeff Garcia is banged up, so better protect him from the league's top sackers, Chucky - but they've barely tried at all the last two weeks. They also don't turn the ball over (+15, tops in the NFC), while the Giants certainly do (-9, worst of the twelve playoff teams), and when is the last time Tom Coughlin won a playoff game, you ask? With the Jaguars in 1999, 0-3 since while being outscored 79 to 34. The Bucs win 21-13, because they have home field and a less stupid quarterback.

Cleveland (10-6) @ San Diego (11-5): Yeah, make us wait until fucking Sunday afternoon, you bastards. San Diego's defense isn't as brutal as it was last year, but it's still decent which is certainly more than I can say about ours. Sure, we're improving, but our glaring weakness is against the run, and lest we forget, the best running back in the NFL plays for the Chargers. If we don't turn the ball over - ARE YOU LISTENING, DEREK? - we can make a game out of it. Otherwise, even Norv Turner can't screw this up. Unfortunately. Chargers, 34-24. Sigh.

Tennessee (10-6) @ San Diego (11-5): No miracle this time. Chargers, 30-13.