Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flash flood

New sentence, same faded yellow bullshit.

I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys. Bare feet, a strange sound in this rain, for the summer of frolicking children was long dead. A grave tread, an off-kilter staccato riff of submissive plinks & thumps sad & autumnal as the date splashed on the screen of my cell, evaporates as soon as I turn around, the umbrella's ribs twirling drops into nothingness.

Today's special, pig in a poke, what I had for breakfast every Tuesday, what I had not ten minutes ago. I had gone around the block, passing the diner I had just left. Footfalls & jingling bearings, Mr. Jingaling in color & in black & white so good to see you, Gozer the Gozerian's keymaster wearing out its VHS stay, doors unlocked, snapshot snapshot, there's too many. Slow down! Let them linger a bit, please.

Footsteps on the wet sidewalk & the sound of keys, here & gone, there & back again. Not a ghost, because those you can see in their filmy, flimsy special effected glory. Hallelujah, maybe it was the food. I felt fine. My stomach was peaceful. Jingling keys all sound the same, there's either few or many. Yes, I know. Yet I've heard it before. Das Unheimliche. Many times, these few keys. I know them, a broken mechanical, a familiar out-of-tune tune on repeat, precision like big number karat Swiss clockwork. The diner's on the other side of the street. How I hated that jingling & how she knew it, reveling.

Yes, I know, I know. Why do I keep turning if I'm seeing nothing? I don't know.

I want to. So I keep turning.

Tectonic plates shift, attempting to catch my attention, a delivery truck vibrates blacktop to radiate crack, a cell set to rumble, the office wondering where the hell I'm at. I'll answer, but they won't hear.

Yes, a cup would be nice, the usual, why, work is fine, thanks. I wait, snapshot snapshot, more than I can handle. No matter, now I have time to slip past bars, to gaze & ogle & get lost running & falling in rolling, benumbed neurons. Free refills, Polaroid & digital, invisible carvings spread over greasy Formica, deep in fleshy, pulpy bark. I pass tick tock knowing I won't see my grimace mirrored by a grin. I bet she'd be surprised at my smile this time.

No, nothing else, thanks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Importance of Being Earnest

I shush because I care.

"This coffee's bitter."

C'est vrai. If I want bitter, I'll go home and talk to my wife.
Badabing, that's the end of this life. Let me make this

perfectly Nixonian, incoming freshman class:
you are the victim of deception, of agitprop.

The library does not guarantee free textbooks for all.
Free textbooks for all the library does not guarantee.

The bookstore guarantees textbooks for thee,
gold coin or pound of flesh, gallows or the axe,

death by desperate, knotted stomach, winded pipe
or bleeding through merry halls til thou expire.

Wars & security states ain't cheap, bub
but they sure is rub-a-dub-funny.

Shush! or you won't hear the laughing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where did you progress, Juan Valdez?

Not as catchy as the original, but this ought to catch your ocular.

That was my reaction, too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If all the world were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work

I'll take my chances.

What about Kenyan birth certificates? Please, not-so-gentle hippie, re-barn your pitchforks & dunk your torches in the sweet, sweet Cuyahoga. As if Puerto Rico is American territory.

Speaking of America, how come no American teams have made overtures to UEFA to join their Champions League? In footie, as in war, we're the best and we want to balance ourselves against those Hotspur usurpers who claim such bestery. Mighty Joe Public, thy vice, thy corruption scarest me not.

Speaking of corruption America redundancy, I had something else to post about, but since I've forgotten it amidst a frenzied bout of tried & true bibliothèque coworker solidarity, the comic behind-the-scenes story swap, enjoy the new rape vans.

Hey, if your naughty bits have nothing to hide. Oh, I remember.

Speaking of naughty bits & libraries -- now I've piqued your interest & in only six paragraphs -- our printing system is now BFF to that found in campus laboratories, thus non-current affiliates are disbarred from using 99.9% of terminals. Its first casualty, a prof emeritus regular who must now go elsewhere for his daily porn fix, the way it should be.

Why do you think they built public libraries in the first place?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Go ahead, Grigory, give our paymasters yet another bright idea.

Sure, the chance of America's cardboard box being patched is now a smidgen less, but with our judicious expansion of this, imagine the gobs of loot we, the unwashed masses, will scratch out via a vast network of toll booths.

Shitloads of dimes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cronos Quartet (and something about flashing so you know what this is without having to waste time reading you're welcome)

Under penalty of torture, our fearless leader has ordered that we compose in a literary genre exciting & new. I can't promise that Gavin MacLeod will make a cameo, but there's always hope & change.

She knew time was running out, fast, but opening that door was Pandora's Box all over again. The world could never comprehend how titanic a task it was shoving all the evils of the cosmos into a thirty-two cubic foot closet, how relentlessly numbing was the epoch-spanning sift through the asphyxiating detritus of a temple built with the woe-lashed clues of a thousand thousand years, tracking each malignancy regardless of dimension through long-crumbled bricks of an Alexandrian murder, Godfrey's bone-strewn prize, Ottoman bloodthirst, Mengele's blade, a script of ancient massacres & fresh-faced sequels, the Amazon stripped & replaced with a river of poison, every realpolitik assassination, every capitalist black ops & rote, mote interpersonal, interoffice dismissal to dig beneath the world's rib, dredge from the dissembling muck of a trillion pulsing organs their hiding places, bring their rot into the light & back into the magic Mason jar.

Only to let them out again, for time was running out, fast.

Long bubbled the ground & the fizz in the next table's glasses, the cthonic blood of slain gatekeepers & celebratory champagne, for every day was worth celebrating now, to the point of absurdity. She chuckled at the overt contrast found only in the pages of poorly written fiction.

Looking out the window, the surface of her drink lay as silent as her drab mask, the space above conquered now & again by the ghost of a cigarette no doubt celebrating the gift of a another new minute.

One by one she gathered her plan & her doubts, not with an Olympian rage but a Wertherian resignation, sounds & furies signifying time making corpses of us all. A shot in the dark can still kill, right? An imagined laugh washed down with a last swig, for tomorrow, she thought, we'll all probably die.

A thin film of creamy louche remained, a pale green become old copper in the diminishing light, quietly gurgling to an unseen turbulence marching beneath the nurturing topsoil, to the frenetic buzz of a nest of bowels. The jangling fifteen percent refused to settle, a quarter rolling off the table towards the door. She got up & followed, knowing there was a good chance, an excellent chance, that the coin would soon be spent not on vice, but on passage to the land of the dead.

Exiting out into the black, she strode past a choking, naive joy & over the angry earth to open another door, open the hope of man in stopping Time himself.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I'm from a casino." "Good enough, let's go."

The signage & merchandise better be in comic sans.

One minor quibble, PD. Any particular reason you're using a file shot from last century? Are all staff photographers currently caught in the nefarious clutches of Gamblor?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I had pondered penning a wondrous proposition proving the complex perfidy that proudly preens past, pressed hungrily against the patriotic potboiler whose purloined pseudonym is the pernicious Victory!®


since everyone knows insistent Iranian influence shall illuminate Iraq with such incandescence as to incinerate our irises, thus further inculcating an insidious incomprehension of inexorable intensity,

we are left with

naught but an endless gnawing of bloodstained grout found glissando on the greasy ground of our own greatest generational grotesquerie, the gurgling groan of greedy gullets its grimy elegy. Whatever, let's

rock and roll.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh! hio! No!

One more state worker stealing from the taxpayer.

Hey, gooper, follow the money law. Not my fault you've never read Randal's Rules of Etiquette®: be overly concerned with proper clocking in/out & not-concerned-at-all between those boundary points, thus, having satiated your slacker skeleton, no personal leave is left to make trouble. Now, buy a 44-cent stamp, burn (more than) 52 cents worth of gas driving to the nearest post office two towns over because the one down the street was shipped overseas last year & pay the 96 cents like a good bipartisan.

Speaking of loot, is it me, or is it worthy of gusto-filled chortling that this meme

Strickland, like other governors, has been forced to cut services to keep the budget in balance.
has become something beyond the beyond beyond axiom? Mmmm.

Imagination nation: land of chocolate & 90% top tax rates. Aside: right, like you aren't jonesing for a little class warfare entertainment. Furthermore, I apologize for the length of this caption, an affront to accepted practice.

Regarding Ohio's continuing centrality -- I dare say, the very spine of the body politic -- to the future of this great turd, from rooftops I shout: read my lips, no new narcissism. Shitty and/or choking sports franchises keep us humble.

First responder.

Once humanity gets bored with warring over taxes oil & substitutes the object of combat for that most truly precious of resources -- outside the magical grace of sky fairies & the comfortably numbing exploits of wife-swapping bug eaters who think they can dance, natch -- it remains vital that us on the north coast begin girding our sweaty, buckeyed loins in expectation of coastal hippies, flatland rednecks & cracker retirees sending their collective private armies to steal our fresh water.

One way of such girding is through aquatic watchdogs.

You've been warned, bub, but why the hubbub over this?

Don't get caught.

Naked lady or torture, it's common knowledge that, after the bed or the closet, underneath the desk is the most common place for analog porn storage.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today is a most glorious occasion, the annual celebration of the Great August Socialist Revolution, aka Shelf Reading Day.

So while us civil servants are tilling the tomes, weeding out decadent Western art, put down the computer & be sure to plant enough rutabagas.

Today's dumbassery is yesterday's dumbassery. Trust me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Earplugs, earplugs, my kingdom for earplugs!


Ah, respite, quiet as a library Masterpiece Theatre, or a church.

This is beautiful, what is this, velvet?

No, no, as a staunch supporter of Cthulhu, I care little for the spate of parish closings, mergers & reopenings, but in light of yesterday's post, gather around ye this small chuckle:

Strange women lying in ponds need somewhere to distribute their swords.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

¡Escritura en las votaciones son el único camino a seguir!

Hang on sec.

Look people, move away from the new book shelf, can't you see I'm trying to sift through my pervert tumblr subscriptions? Sheesh.

Thanks. I'm back.

This is a joke. I say make the entire ballot Spanish alone. Because I care deeply about their sanity & thus, by extension, ours, it's in everyone's interest to keep wave after wave of crackers from carrying concealed Schlitz- & lard-saturated brain cell counts into polling places in lieu of their natural environments of the cubicle, workshop & couch. Whether 60%, 80% or 12% of the electorate vote in a given election, rest assured that the song shall indeed remain the same.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I couldn't eat another bite, Jeeves. Throw this mutton & duck out, let the skippers & dustmen fight over the bones.

Interior, Cleveland Regional Transit Authority bus.

The work environment is Tyrannosaurus-eat-King Kong atrocious, bien sûr, but when public transportation, unlike commercial, is as comforting as taking the waters, misery's thirst is easily quenched.

"Flying used to have ... well, class," says DeYoung. "It used to be exciting. "Now it's just like riding the bus. You get where you need to go. That's what it comes down to."
You dare proffer that screaming infants & parental counter-screams, suits bloviating into their cellphones, mall-bound teenagers nearly drowning out albums on eleven & the omnipresent stench of stale sweat occasionally peppered with the faintest whiff of urine don't represent class? And your band sucked, too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Lay on, Internets, and damned be he that first cries, 'Hold, flash!'"

I hope this doesn't get me killed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read is true. Only the dialogue has been eliminated because when one is in love, eyes are all you need except when compiling a grocery list or are about to shuffle off a mortal coil, just ask a Scot.

It didn't matter that the housing bubble burst because, staring beatifically, Bobby & Bambi McGregor beautifully brought back rambunctious residues of childhood rubber Superballs religiously bouncing over bramble & brick, G.I. Joes & Barbie dolls, bridesmaids & bills, all once thought lost to the dust of time 'til the pining overcame & they mounted a crusade to bring the Superballs back, finding them at last, neon colors in troubling toil, cramped in cobweb, a sublimity able to see the light shine one more time.

Burgeoning laughter split their sides open, memories flooding, pulses ebbing, Bobby disentangling the snaking cord to call 911, Bambi disparaging his aluminum foil hat, mad as an Art Bell regular, I'm fine, I'm fine she said & bouncing over table & chair, lost to the particleboard 'til the pain overcame & he mounted an expedition to the phone screaming dial dial dial & let the curlies queue in proper order we'll gladly pay you noday because we lost the house today do you like that line?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This post, like discothèques & glides through beauteous Cleveland vistas, is made possible, by you, the taxpayer.

I'm not lying, I wrote this at work. In fact, be happy/sad I'm a civil servant or you'd have one less blog to enjoy/avoid. Boy, do I have to be civil? I wish someone would serve me a sandwich, I'm fucking starving. This place needs a better lounge area.

That balcony out back's gone unused for too long. No, I'm not going Black Tuesday. Plenty of space for a grill, mini fridge, comfy chair for flinging book sale rejections* at passers-by, like this guy.

Oh, who am I kidding. We're comrades-in-slack, this Mr. Bush (not that one, settle down, hippies) & I. Furthermore, 'tis a shame when such honesty as the below forces one to submit to rabid dogs masquerading as commoners & resign.

He said he cannot spend his entire day sitting in the county's administration building, where he has no office or Internet access. "I like to serve the people, but I've got to do stuff," he said.
You'd leave the office too if you didn't have internet (Internet? INTERNET!) access. I just hope these Osh Kosh Polygons have some. Seriously, what the fuck is there to do in Kyrgyzstan besides riot?

Oh. Your. God. Train kept a-rollin' all night long.

*we rarely, if ever, burn recycle items in lieu of putting them in the Perpetual Book Sale Machine. Once upon a time, you, yes, you, gentle reader, could have owned Walter Wager's Telefon in near-mint paperback or a copy of the 1970 Congressional Directory.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh, privately owned means of production, you scallywag!

On bus rides, joyous taxpayer-subsidized glides through beauteous Cleveland vistas, I glance past glass & get lost in profound serenity such as this:

Where's Waldo? In the ravine, with the rest of Famous Ray's refuse.

But lo, yesterday evening, I found myself at the mercy of l'appareil sanglant de la destruction, ♫corporate advertising♪ (ed. note: pretend you hear the ominous soundtrack) & was pained with this:

Oh, I'll pay. Don't think I won't pay low low prices!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Which came first, the poet or the activist?

One of the perks of being employed by a taxpayer-funded discothèque is all the unsolicited swag we receive, 100% of which takes the form of *shock* the printed page. We might have gotten a t-shirt once, but since it was for Transformers 2, we threw it out. Anyway, of these pages, some in Chinese, some hawking scholarly wares or office supplies, most come in the form of literary and/or poetry journals.

The summer issue of Fence arrived yesterday & the editorial caught my fancy. 'tis perhaps a bit long for you AD-addled youth, so I'll summarize: some organization/coalition/group of slackers calling themselves The 95 Cent Skool apparently declared a jihad on an individual poetry; social poetics is the wave of the futurama. The editor proceeded to go apeshit, but intellectually.

Given how 99% of my awful verse is individual, personal, I was, on the surface, inclined to immediately agree. I'm not a smartypants but since I play one on TV & the CRT, I felt it best to dialectically dive & see if the other side was as single-minded as 'down with The Man!' (a sentiment I share) or whether the situation was a bit more complex.

Thus, a response from a member of the school skool whose seminar is now scattered to the four winds. Shorter, encore: we know change is bullshit, we just wanna hang with folks who hate The Man. Oh, personal expression takes precious time away from imaginary revolution.

C'est-à-dire, slight miscommunication of a Three's Company variety, without Mr. Furley and babes in hotpants, of course. Aside: Joyce DeWitt was the finer; go play in the street if you disagree. Raging against the machine in bricked stanzas or chronicling on stray strands the beautiful & maddening genetics of the quotidian, you, I, both sides know the inexorable, unquenchable accumulation of capital & the wages of this sin being the fuckery of everything below the penthouse will continue unabated until an ostentatiously theatrical (I hope) apocalypse of our own creation.

Think global, act local? Perhaps. Let me steal & apply famous Benjamin:

Opinions are to the vast apparatus of social existence what oil is to machines: one does not go up to a turbine and pour machine oil over it; one applies a little to hidden spindles and joints that one has to know.
The sphere of influence is inverse to the distance traversed. No one has more influence over me, someone I ostensibly have to know, than me -- except when the opiate of new music purchasing proves too strong. Well played, oligarchy. I have less influence over my wife & children (that's for sure), even less over city & county governments, state bwahahahaha. I won't even insult your intelligence by going any further in this mostly evidence- & anecdote-free demonstration.

My personal, obvious conclusion: write whatever the hell you want to write. The only thing you can ever hope to change is yourself & if you get lucky -- really really lucky -- you might be the spark for someone else's inferno. Marxist red, or lovelorn blues, that's their call.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to implicitly support the system by writing a love sonnet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two great tastes that go awful together

Thinking of stuff, was in the mood, but then I came across the below & had to static kill the gushing post that never did quite gush. You can thank the mud for sparing you yet another batch of incoherent cookies.

At least until the inevitable crack & you're drowning in oatmeal raisin, a generic, bland house brand with sharp, stale oat flakes & unknown objects disguised as fruit, a fitting metaphor for this blog.

And now for something completely different.

Don't scoff, he's lucky he wasn't killed:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Falling in flash

This week or any other, daredevil, watch your step.

"As with juggling, the key to life is to keep the procession moving steady and don't look down."

He wondered where they'd end their journey, primary colors tumbling over sidewalk cracks and crumbling curbs, red disappearing into a sewer grate or touching just enough of the rusted plate to bounce and be devoured, digested by the dark underbelly of a parked Toyota; yellow resting comfortably in a tree lawn, the cast shadow of a telephone pole transforming it into a lime that had slipped out of a torn grocery sack; blue, who knows where he would end up or if he'd ever be found.

He wondered if she'll remember to play that song, the one he never learned the title of but whose melody moved from cloyingly sweet to heavenly the moment she began to dance in her seat, swaying for who knows how many traffic lights, not even stopping as they stepped out, her ebullient laugh disarming his embarrassment with ease.

He wondered if she'll serve food on those plates, the ones from their first apartment that even after moving once, twice, thrice, they couldn't bear to part with, cheap, off-white china ringed with thin strips of black and something that was supposed to be gold but was more the hue of a daffodil slowly drained of life in the doggiest August sun.

He wondered if she'll forgo the whole goddamn thing because it'll cost and even now, especially now, they -- she -- couldn't afford such an expense.

He wondered if she'll be alri --

She wondered if his last thought was of her.