Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Monday, October 31, 2005

[The following piece is a found piece of art with modifications. -- jds]


 
My Dog Stan
by Daniel Mann


A few years ago when I was about eight or nine years old I had a dog named Stan. Stan was a dobermanpincher and came to about my belly. My dad got him from a friend who went to A.A. meetings with him. At first I didn't like him because he looked mean but after a while I started to like him. My sister Dawn and I started to feed and walk him.

After about a month my sister and I would turn on the sprinklers in the backyard and play in the water with him. He loved the water! Sometimes we would bring him inside. He and our cats would fight, well mostly just the cats would fight. They would just pounce on him and hiss. After a while our cats got used to him and would hiss but not attack.

Soon about two more months rolled by and Stan started to try and jump the fence. One day I came home from school to play with him and he was gone. My mom had already gone out to look for him and didn't see a trace so my sister and I went to try and find him. We didn't see a trace of him either. Everyday after school for about two or three days I looked for him.

Finally my dad called animal control to see if they picked up any dogs in the last four days and they said you will have to come see so he did. When my dad got home he had Stan. Later on that night he wouldn't eat anything so my mom and dad got worried. Sam's belly started to swell. About midnight that night Stan's belly was so swollen he couldn't even walk. He died about fifteen minutes later.

I was so sad that night I cried myself to sleep. The next day my dad and I took Stan out in the desert and burried him on a cliff. After that we made a cross and put his name on it. Then we just sat there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"Yes," the morning songbird says, "it is a very small hour indeed."


Listening to the Wind:
What the Hell Happened to Cat Stevens?

Sunday, October 23, 2005


daddy says things are going to change
once we're shed a'some or all this junk

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Production, Local

My sister and I took a drive down the creek road to get a look at the outsized movie shoot. We talked to somebody at the roadblock who explained to us the fiasco that was this production and told us that we had to back in, up the hill, if we wanted to get a look, and we did so. We drove in reverse up the incline, overlooking the steep sweep of the set and its principles now composed. We drove in reverse up the dirt road all the way to a lookout at the top of the hill. The movie was supposed to be an epic travelling caravan realist western of sorts, but supposedly it had all gotten bogged down here deep in production on this hillside. We had come here, my sister and I, to get a glimpse of this project because we'd heard the talk in town and it had seemed a fun thing to do, but seeing all these folks camped and ragtag around campfires curling smoke and tents pitched haphazardly upon this scrubby, rockstrewn hillside that was--according to our source at the roadblock--supposed to be a green valley, I felt sharp and close the proud burden of this epic project. In short, I became quite sad. Lost, I look at my sister. She smiles.

"Well..."
"That's actually pretty neat."
"Yeah."

And we start downhill.

horsehoe bend

when i think of running loose with childhood friends among the roads & arteries, the wooded lots & open expanses of the as yet undeveloped horseshoe bend area, i think of nervy, experimental anarchy, intoxicating skittishness, a ducking & dodging & dashing rebellion within the arena of single childhood nights. i think of being one with a strange group, a group that will never again be, but that this night is strong in its alliance, so powerful, each of us taking turns following and leading, instinctual and guessing, sprinting across highway & ditch & into a stand of trees, disappearing into trees, up and away from the approaching headlights, quick leaps for cover, rolling into a ball in shadow, hiding, car travelling by leaving us in its wake with giddy, unconscious belly laughter, and then suddenly the eyes and senses alert again to the continuing adventure, the drama at hand. up and running again, wild in the night. on and on and on, until, from the shadow of forest, we come to a quiet, chest-thumping rest at the edge of a communal, manmade lake, a massive clearing improbable in the wood, an amphitheatre lit to a fine glow by the moon overhead. soon, of course, all the land in this region is to be cleared, like the plot of land in which this small lake rests. communities are to be developed, lots apportioned & sold & developed & razed & resold & redeveloped. horseshoe bend will come to be known as horseshoe bend parkway. but tonight yet, this night, there are no houses on the edge of a cleared forest expanse, there are no prying eyes or sleeping families. here there is only us, and the sky overhead is clear, bright, several clouds drifting soundless and that cut piece of moon, images given back to us doubled in the calm surface of the small, square lake, and the feeling is that we stand on an edge with an endlessness overhead and an endlessness below. until stones are tossed into the water, stones have to be be tossed into the water because stones are at hand and the water is so placid, inviting disruption, and the water's surface ripples, the reflected images tossing and glinting a'crest ripple, when kitzi shouts and the whole thing starts anew and we are once again too loud, to caught up in our play to notice anything but ourselves.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Indie Rock Projects I'm Getting Off the Ground
(Note: I will gladly sell out just as soon as somebody asks.)

Smokey Little Puppy
Christian Death Ensemble
The Battle of Troy Robinett
Alligator Crocodile
Bill's Fertile Crescent
Humpback & Dromedary
Thicket of Pine
Man-Sized Thingie
Bad-Hair Life
The Flamboyant Return of Jamison
Saturated Fat
Houndstooth Jacket
The One Stooges
Protean Sporty
Freak Boat
Honey Springs Baptist Church
High Falutin
Horsehair Junction
Atlantis Bath-House
Sharp-Dressed Failure
ManBoy
Ballad of Fartbag
Black Bean Dumbo
Puddleglum
Applied Behavior Analysis
Old Mex
The Hind Tit
Rythm and Sin
Brand Spankin New
Time-Out Room
Sundowners
Soiled Doves
Fair But Frail Ones
Agitato
Ruckus
Wild Times Saloon
Lunas Peliculas
Will Rogers TurnSpike
Edith and Booster

Slubway

Well, my bun, mister wanglo saxon, it's true what they say, New York City can turn the desolation into beauty and the spirit into poverty and I saw it when I sat down in the subway car, I heard a man cough himself up and I watched him die in the middle of himself in the middle of the crowded subway car and home, home here is little more than a cavity, wherein near regularly my body aches and my back aches and my bottom aches and my eyes ache, my guts constituted themselves, at which point my bottom fell out of me, stained the floor, and I high-step to the door thinking I have got to, got to get out of here and so I jump the traintracks, flip a hatchet, and I start going backwards with my thoughts turned down and I will steel and asphalt and iron and concrete and I write words across every discarded scrap, every piece of debris I can find. I love this town.

Top 6 Best Movies I Never Did
by Burt Reynolds


1) Spoede Road-- The lost Kubrick masterpiece. I don't know that history could've handled the pairing of Stanley and I. From the beginning, time and fate seemed to be against us on this project. You can read extensively about this project in my autobiograpy. Would've been awesome.

2) Big Dumb Country-- In this one, I'm rugged, hard-living and handsome Walt Jimson, the legendary demolition derby king of 1970's New Jersey. His family put the kibosh to this project while it was still in pre-production, after I'd slept with Lanie Jimson, his daughter. Shit. She wanted it, but you didn't hear me say that. All I gotta say: Demolition Derby, King, Me. What more can I say? Would've been awesome.

3 Hotflash-- In this one, I'm cocky, headstrong Joff Dillen, a Los Angeles dance choreographer who is also a heroin-addicted, but brilliant, bank robbery mastermind. I would've been around a bunch of hot young dancers (actresses trying to break into the entertainment industry playing dancers trying to break into the entertainment industry equals mucho sex for me. Hotflash indeed!) Would've been awesome.

4) Black French-- I'm a smooth-talking international assassin, The Rooster, but on this mission, which is supposed to be my last, everything goes wrong: I meet my match in love with a lady who talks smoother than I, and I cross paths with a homocidal maniac who has my number. I consider this movie one of the best six I never did because I would have almost certainly gotten to sleep with Ali McGraw, who had been slated to co-star. Now that would've been awesome.

5) The Hard Two Yards-- This was a really good biopic that just never got off the ground. In it, I would've been Sizemore Lannigan, a little known but fast-as-a-fucking-Japanese-train running back for the Mackerly Browncats of the south-Louisiana-based Tom's Extra Quick Stop Convenience Food and Liquor's Football Macro-League, Season 2, 1984. Would've been awesome.

6) Smokey and the Bandit Five-- Waiting on the script, brother. Waiting on the script. Skipping Four, going straight to Five. Iconic Rebirth. Conceptualized by Justin Stone (motel, glimpse) who is slated to write and direct. Look for it in late 2006 if Hollywood can get its head out of its ass.

absurd
vs.
dull and tedious



Who: Dalai Lummox Productions
What: small hats
Where: Himalaya on Sunset
When: In the time of the alliance (this friday only!!!)
Why:

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Valerie

That warm winter light will forever be yours,
No less mysterious each time I wake to it,
No less suffused with a dreamlike sense of epiphany.

There are so many things to say, it would seem,
And just now I feel so very illiterate, so tongue-tied.
The lesson may be that enough has been said and that now is simply to do.

The high sweet sound of your laughter,
The paintings of green & gold & brown in your eyes,
Your touch delicate & bold & enlivened,
Your curiousity & wonder, with such calm sense of self--
To these things I can only return,
As to the perfect pool in the perfect clearing in the perfect wild,
Under a bewitching gypsy moon,
I will return and I will return,
Remarkably alive.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ballad of Doug and Jackie Figg

For but a short time during middle school, Jickle Figg served as manager for the seventh grade boys basketball team. Jickle's father had by this point long since moved to Mexico (or so Jickle said), and Jickle's mom spent most of her time home, in bed, bedridden in a bad way. One time, I watched Jared Pater, back-up forward for the seventh grade boys basketball team, hit Jickle full in the face with a basketball hurled intentionally and with extreme malice at very close range. Jickle, rendered unconscious and weightless in but a moment, dropped to the ground like a thing discarded. I remember Jickle sleeping through the entirety of that afternoon's basketball practice, nearly lifeless on the couch in coach's office. (On an unconnected note, I remember that Jared Pater started the very next game as forward for the team, scoring sixteen points and registering a whopping eleven steals. That very same day, I remember too that Jared finally got up the nerve to ask Julie Dryer to go out with him, quickly becoming the first serioulsy making-out kid I knew. Moreover, Jared was the squad's starting forward for the rest of the season, as well as every season thereafter, through middle and high school, even becoming all-state his junior and senior years. But again, this is all unconnected to our story.) Jickle dropped out of school three weeks into his ninth grade year, just after the death of his mother. At one time, Jickle's real name had been Adam. Early in his life, his mother had taken to the name Jickle and it stuck. Surely, she could not have realized the wrath such a name would induce within the public education setting of Jickle's peers on that long ago autumn afternoon early in the second grade year when she arrived to pick Jickle up from school and casually called out to her young son across the elementary gymnasium, called out to him with the name she thought had just the sweetest, funniest ring she'd ever heard, a name so perfectly capturing her boy's eccentricity and life-love. It was from this afternoon forward that the name Jickle become the intellectual property of Jickle's classmates--kids who knew of no such thing as eccentricity, kids who knew only what they thought was a stupid name when they heard one. Stupid name for a stupid kid. Fact, Jickle was forced to assume many names over the years. At one point many of us began to call him Buttcake, though the reason behind the name escapes me now. Much escapes me now. What hasn't escaped me is the memory of Jickle Figg descending like so much empty weight and quite literally piling up on the glossy, hardwood flooring of the middle school gymnasium as light careened through the windows up near the vaulted ceiling and dappled us in silent gold-dust. The punishment inflicted by Jared Pater had happened with sudden improvisation, almost whimsically, simply because Jickle had been there in that single moment, eagerly watching his fellow seventh grade boys run through drills. The last thing I heard about Jickle Figg was that he had moved to Mexico (or so everyone says).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

They called him Little Smoky. He was always popular at parties, but you seldom saw him otherwise. He had a sharp taste, they said, and an even sharper, lasting aftertaste. He caused no small discomfort in certain people. On the other hand, some people could not get enough of him once they'd started in.

Get along, Little Smoky.

a beautiful sprawl

the city was lovely to me then,
the urban curiousities inviting,
and friends walked in evenings
teeming with streetnoise,
streetsights and streetsmell.
one night as i stood on the roof of a tall building,
looking out across the city,
i saw what i imagined to be the the future of the city,
and also the future of me,
all of it purple and rapid and alight and alive.
i am breathless now as i remember.
it is true what she said to me then,
as she walked away from me and around the corner:
we live numerous lives all at once.

The Gambia, Here We Come!

"...the extensive government-funded report stated the crux of the matter succintly: 'There really are no famous people in the Gambia. This is the nature of the Gambia.'" Fortunatley for both the Gambia and the rest of the world, the United States Congress is now considering a Famous Persons Loan Program, a kind of Famous Persons exchange, in the hopes of distorting the Gambian sense of self-worth. "You have to understand, the life of the Gambian is a joy-less life, devoid of television and unattainable hopes, devoid completely of bankrupt desires," said Rep. John Garland, R, Nevada, "It is our duty, as Americans, to make sure that these people stop considering their own trivial day-to-day life struggles as something of any tangible merit." There is already widespread support for the plan among the entertainment industry's royal family. Among other celebrities, John Travolta has taken a very vocal lead in raising awareness of "the vacuum of real star-power" in the Gambia, volunteering to "do anything humanly possible to help ease the plight of the Gambian people." Travolta has suggested the title Ambassador of Fatuity and Celebrity Awareness. Diplomats have suggested rotating celebrity ambassadorships with new stars coming into the country every few weeks to walk the dusty roads of the arid countryside and the densely congested highways of the cityscape in whatever fashions may be trendy or in at the moment, delivering unto the Gambian people well-lit, bright smiles, chiselled features, sparkling eyes, knowing glances, ironic asides, peals of sudden too-loud laughter, practiced charm, killer wit, excellent cosmetics, empathetic nodding of the suddenly moist-eyed, purse-lipped, too-big and understanding face, all in the name of lifting the Gambian spirit to new conflicted heights, giving them new goals to fall short of, and something naively to believe in. "God," said Rep. Garland, "Just seeing Jennifer Lopez in sunglasses and hopefully that hot little leather thing she wore last week while on the town in New York City... why this could change everything, and I mean Everything, in the Gambia. And just think if we could get Ben Affleck back on her arm, Jesus H. Christ, a married Ben Affleck, a father no less, back with the old chick, man, strolling in the hot sun, those people would be falling all over themselves in confusion and sudden enlightenment. Wouldn't that be awesome?" For once this is something the Washington politicos and the Hollywood A-list can agree on. Suddenly everybody is aware of the problems in the Gambia, aware that change has to happen and has to happen quickly. "As it is," said Tom Cruise, on board his reverse-particle spaceship, "all the average Gambian is concerned about right now are things like eating and drinking and survival and I think there is something we can do about that." Cruise's eyes suddenly moistened, his lips pursed, he downturned the edges of his sly, cunning wolfmouth, while nodding repeatedly in a knowing, caring manner, keeping his face turned in just that right way. "No," Cruise continued, "There is something we must do." His machine's silent engine revved as he jacked up the reverse-particles and he shot himself toward the moon. I know we were floored! Those little Gambians don't know what's coming!"

"Wow, that's really something to feel good about, John!"

"You bet it is, Christy, and I can promise everyone out there that we here at Entertainment Tonight will be keeping our eyes and yours on any breaking developments in this important story. And now in other news, the always interesting Matt Damon, on the set of his highly anticipated new thriller Duck Money said that women really and truly love his cock. "I don't know what it is," he tells ET in this world-exclusive interview, "but I walk into almost any room in the world now and I get the idea that every single chick in that place wants my fucking cock. It's unreal. I think it's hilarious..."

Fundamentals

As in free-throw shooting: the ability to visualize. This team's vision is twitching erratically across the court of play, the task at hand, and they are unable to home in on that one goal, the front of the rim, putting the basketball over and through that rim. Theirs is a terrible free throw. And the free throw, in this day and age, really ought to be a given, a simple point to tally. What we see is an inability to focus, a sheer inability to tune out everything but the task at hand. Manifestation. The team is realizing nothing. They appear overtaxed, lazy, confused, almost blurry; their collective mind is quite literally all over the place. Up and down the court like drunk puppets: jacking up ill-advised 3-point shots, making soft passes, picking up the dribble halfcourt in double- and triple-coverage, getting trapped, losing possession of the ball in graceless, herkyjerky style and then committing sloppy, arrogant fouls in foolheaded, too-quick atonement for having lost the damn ball in the first place, trying to force shit. Where is this team's patience?

A brief compendium of notable German realist "street films":

* Karl Grune's The Street (1923)
* G.W. Pabst's The Joyless Street (1925)
* Bruno Rahn's Tragedy of the Street (1927)
* J.D. Stone's Breakdown on Skinny Street (1975)

Soft in the morning, giving,
Face and eyes crinkly like time-worn paper.
You are so warm, so readable.
I can curl up next to you even after
I have been awake, working,
Attempting to capture an essence that you just are.

creekbank

The days of crawdad catching, minnow observing. The days of laying still on the rocky bank of the creek, vaguely reptilian. Big fat tad poles. Snakes skimming acoss the water's glistening surface--we were told to look out, get back, there's a snake! Legs and arms splashing for dry land, anxious looks over the shoulder. Giggling anxiety which quickly dissipates in the light of day. One sees things reflected in the creek. One makes the most of it. The day is one of slow motion. We are still as the water while we sit on towels and eat the cheap foodstuffs and drink the flavored soda. We are red in the face and the shoulders and the arms and thighs and feet. Fed, we return to little games: the stacking of rocks, creation of creekside pools for the catching of small game. We scatter and shout. Later, late in the day, one drifts way way back up into the woods that rise from the creek's far bank, through the trees and the shade, the cool green tangle, and again, one turns and looks back, always turning, always looking, and one can see the family, the friends, the car, the play of light and shadow and imagination, sun glinting from the surface of the clear pool, stone and leaf playing their part, and somebody screams and splashes into the deep end of the swimming hole, and comes up to the surface blinking, reaching, sputtering, a smile wild and beautiful on the face.

The Fox and the Goat

The fox says to the goat, "Hey, c'mere a second."
The goat says, "Naaaaaahhh."
The fox says to the goat, "C'mere, c'mere."
The goat says, "Naaaaahhh."
The fox smiles and says to the goat, "No, no, c'mere. Just for a second."
The goat walks over to where the fox is,
And fox pokes him in the eye.
The fox says, "I told you so."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pedro the Burro

The burro who lives in the treespotted field across the country highway from my house makes a sound so plaintive, so rich! Many a person, walking into or out of my home has had cause to stop still in their tracks, turn to me and say, "What is that thing?" I always say, "That's the burro." What I really want to do is get the burro in full guffaw on video, but I cannot coax him into performing for the camera. When he does let forth the guttural plaint it is without fail an impromptu event, as I come or go from the house, thinking no burro-related thoughts--and out of the blue he splits the world with his madcap noise! On the few occasions I have walked across the road and up to his fence with my camera in hand, eye to eye with him in the dusty corner of the field in which he inexplicably makes home (the rest of the field is so green and shaded!, yet he stays in the barren, desolate far corner of this field, the corner closest my home), and when I begin to roll tape on the blue velvety eeyore in unornamented close-up, he has absolutely nothing to say. He becomes all big eyes and downturned head and kicking feet and swishing tail. I coax. Believe me, I coax! He will not holler on cue. Why exactly my neighbor even has a burro in his field here in the middle of Missouri is unknown, for he is no farmer, and I've not seen him ride or even approach the animal. There is a small hand-painted wooden sign tacked to the corner fencepost which tells us that burro's name is Pedro. Pedro the Burro hangs out way over in this corner of the field, seemingly selfconscious and segregated from three lazy cows who roam the remaining expanse of field. It is like the cows have a club and clearly burro is not a member. He is somewhat an iconoclast, burro. A roller in dust, a possessor of dangling black erection, a soundmaker when least expected. He wants nothing to do with the preening bovine. Once though I did see Pedro lay his head down in a ramming position and charge headlong into the very middle of the cow congregation, sending the stalwart animals atrot just as quickly they were capable in three different directions. Following this wild, brief disruption of cow routine, Pedro sauntered back to his corner, kicked himself over onto his back, did a number of rolls in the dust and then got back to his feet and resumed his stance on the field's margin, the cows behind him already clumping back into a stoic, chomping fraternity. Burro made his point, whatsoever that point may have been. And one of these days I am going to catch his massive braying on videotape, I will make record of his antics. If I make but one more movie in my life, let it be that of Burro Pedro's solitary song! My neighbor has a veritable wild kingdom over there across Highway W and I will play the neighborly Marlon Perkins, and one live morning I will hover in low with my helicopter and I will catch a primtime bit of footage.

Out on the playground, an outsized, troubled kid kept pushing another, smaller little kid to the ground, fairly shrieking with each shove, "Don't get up, you're dead!" in a very retarded-kid voice. And the little kid would climb up, hating this, only to get walloped again. This thing went on and on, you would not believe how many times. Both kids were completely bawling their eyes out, the one shoving and shrieking, other other now very bloody and trying with a feral desperation to escape. "Don't get up, you're dead!" It was now a guttural cry. The retarded kid really did want this other kid to just lay still upon the ground and act dead. A bunch of the other kids and I, their teacher, stood enthralled with this outlandish grotesquerie. Unable to move, we watched for a very long time. At some point the retarded kid kind of pinwheeled and whistled and then clutched the empty air in front of him and he sucked in a feeble breath before pitching insanely onto the ground, where he rattled a few moments, tryingtryingtrying, shushing himself, and then he came to rest, and he laid there with his friend and they stared toward the sky, and it was in this moment I realized, that is going to be the title of my one-man show: Don't Get Up, You're Dead!

Friday, October 14, 2005

he got him a new toofbrush and a spitshine,
he got him the hernia shovelling snow at his greatgrandma's trailerhome.
he ate two chocolate bar for dinner, an egg,
exacerbated the pain in his backhole night in his girlfriend bed.
now he sleep in his chair, he say woe is me.
he heard them say if you don't like the weather in missouri, just wait a minute!

the library

Heart racing arrythmically he tries to go to sleep, to find sleep, to fall into sleep, he cannot catch a breath, he cannot find any comfortable position in which to settle his uncomfortabling body in this narrow bed and in this the very word settle is trailing so very many stray thoughts through his mind and now the very word rattle, the very words, words?, i've gone and done it now, he thinks, why do they call this buying the farm? there are so many things now but what were they are they things? the morning, the screened-in porch, the yard, the yard fields the grassy expanses, trees, movement, rain, dusk and animals gathering in the treeline, cows in fields along the highway indifferent, indifferent the cows and indifferent the highways, the feel the smell of warm earth, the soil against my face and hands, facedown in the soil and grass, I could have lay in that one place forever! he would like to walk again, to walk in a walking person's walking body, walking, he cannot place himself in that context now, of all the things which felt final in his life, this is the finalest, and he would never have used a word such a word in what he now knows was an other life, he would never have even thought of such a word as finalest, it's not a word, I'm not a word he's in stacks of bookstacks in a room, in a library, deep underground, seated crosslegged on the floor, it is all gathered here it is all gathered here thumbing through a

Oh, man, Slicko McButt! A life!

"Hey there, I tell you what!"

He pondered long ago on the real difference between the Sick Day, the Tired Day, the Vacation Day, the Exhausted Day, the Grievance Day and the Shakey Day, and he came to this conclusion: "Them is all the same to me!"

Slicko has pushed his "far too conservative" employee attendance policy to its extreme limit. He is "way, way out there, man."

"What have we got Sick Days for it ain't to be sick! I'm going to be sick."

He conjures up flu bugs, doctor appointments, brokedown cars, deaths in the family, acts of God--"Whatever it takes to get the job done!"

He is very good at using his "sicky voice" to call the office in the morning. He will say to whoever picks up the phone, "Uh hey there, I tell you what, I ain't going to be able to make it in today."

And they say, "Oh yeah, Slicko, we'll see you again soon! Hope you start feeling better!"

He starts feeling better the moment he hangs up the phone. He says, "Hot damn! That's work in and of itself. I need a break!"

Slicko McButt eats a leftover piece of birthday cake for breakfast, pours a cup of coffee, falls into his easy chair and fires up the internet.

Browsing, he happens along a headline in an online news site: "Sengelese Loner Works to Build Africa, His Way."

"Hey there," Slicko says, "I like that!"

Slicko McButt does not read the story itself, but that afternoon he will chat online under the moniker "Sengalese Loner."

"If only they knew," he thinks, quite pleased with himself, "If only they knew."

The Legend of Jilly Back:
Picking Things Up, Fighting


"You may think that you are it,
But somebody comes along
To be the bigger asshole."

the lost continent

living from hand to mouth. he feels the dull fingers of a stroke working under his scalp. he fills himself with toxins and in the mirror's reflection he sees facial pores, gaping holes in the face. what he sees he sees a face that as a child he attributed to lousy, unkempt adults, people who seem to kind of puff out at their unclear boundaries, blinking often and in a vague, unseemly manner. his nose is getting bigger--just as the noses of these strange denizen always seemed to loom largely on the face. nose and eyes and pores. almost nothing but. blackheads. dandruff. rings bruisy under the eye gapes. to hold his face in his hands, smell his hands smelling his face.

a synthesis of years:
the st. louis cardinals baseball game broadcast on an alarm clock radio:
a darkened room on late evening, a bed.
my hopes and focus come to rest on
a hardened, wise and salty radio voice:
the ageless jack buck.
we are both disembodied this night, jack and i,
and we are both pulling for a win.
but there are, as time and experience has proven,
so many things beyond our control.
there is a crowd in my room,
a raucous, edgy milieu,
and for a night life's uncertainties
become sport and entertainment and reverie.

the cardinals go on to lose this game,
thus ending the season three games shy of the world series,
but the game was a good one,
the time well spent.
thank you, jack buck, and good night.
i think we both look forward to sleep.

momentum will return.
belief and ability will again seem a gift.
future plays will go our way,
and we will run onto the field, joyously delivered.

Trust Fund

Stillphoto: the band is arranged in postures of affected relaxation in the lamplit corner of a wellworn room: two guys sitting on the arms of a couch, two guys on the couch itself, and one guy, the singer, on a chair just to the rightside of the couch. We are to believe that this is a pensive moment, either before or after a show, the rock show, and the band members are neither talking nor not talking, gazing in random directions (no two looking in the same direction), and nobody--nobody--looking into the camera itself. Their hair is rather moppish and hangs over half-closed eyes, dropping shadows on pursed lips. Something on the mind? Something wrong? It is hard to tell. This is a natural lighting and shadows dress them all. These boys are in the warm interior of the band. Things have happened and the band waits for other things to likewise happen. May be that they are the best of friends. Something of a bohemian support system. Comfort to one another in casual slack and hyper-sensitivity. Or it may be that, say, the boy on the left arm of the brown couch hates the singer, hates him in the chair he's sitting, hates the singer's slouch and ambiguous ways. Jealousies and judgement and misunderstanding and false assumptions run rampant among the martially disaffected and casual. May be that the lot of them are considered assholes by everybody they know. Or it may be that some or all of these guys are the kind of striking person that you need to be friends with, in the know, amazing people to have as allies. But in this photo, this moment, their audience is with themselves. There is in this world of thriftshop boys new opportunity, something bigger, they would like to believe, than themselves. Tonight and seemingly forever in the corner of this room.

Perhaps, young Willie, you could call that album The Dead-Headed Stranger, or Shacked Up. First however you must write the songs.