Nobody's creekbed

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

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lighthouse Orbits the Moon
(Memorial Day)

Hi, friends. Mom. I hope the barbeque was good today, the weather fair. I hope your crazy second-cousin, the one with the absurd cowlick and the brown tooth, I hope he fired his contraband bottle rockets into the sky, far away from all precious eyeballs. I hope the fields were not too dry. If you were down at the track gambling, I hope the fix was in. If you were in the car driving, I hope the road unspooled before you like the perfect cast, and that arriving at your destination was like then landing a plump, speckled salmon. I hope your feet are now up, your belly full, the conversation good. It would be really awesome if you were having a singalong, some folk standards or hymns or what have you. I am a huge fan of Shenandoah. Just an idea.

I stand before you with an embarrassed grin. I am not sure what to do with my hands and my feet are suddenly very itchy. I wanna look at them. Shake them. Maybe take them off. Awkward. And there's some kind of smell all of a sudden? It is burning up in here. Positively dirt street blues.

Best if I just cut to the point.

Recent days have found me digging through the archives of my writing, the old works and cast-off freaks. There were a staggering number of journals I have been reluctant to revisit, but for the sake of both obsessive compulsion and honest personal accounting, I had to do it. Going in to this task, let me say that my expectations were low.

But that they could have been lower.

I guess many of us are familiar with how clumsy can be our attempts during adolescence and early adulthood to be a decent, involved human person. Hell, even beyond early adulthood, it is nigh impossible to constantly keep a sure footing or soft, confident hands in the world of the standing and the holding of things. Moreso, if you are one of these nutcases concerned at all with expressing yourself, telling stories or writing songs or such, and you have even the tiniest ability to be self critical, you are used to the clanging racket of everything falling apart, things being dropped, pianos you were playing tumbling out windows, your body pitching headfirst down stairwells, etc. I would even say a certain kind of mental disorder is necessary if one is to keep trying, year after year, to put thoughts into words, fashion ideas, tell pictures.

That said, I found some rambling disasters in these old books, friends. Many, many of them. Faulty observations unnumbered. One excruciating attempt at "deep" introspection after another. Asides that so wanted to be clever, wanted to run longlegged right up to you and kiss you full on the lips, but that ought to have been taken out behind the barn and put down. Deformed literary experiments. Mangled metaphors. That is just for starters. The major offenses are the ceaseless gimcrack justifications for outlandish behavior, the noble, self-righteous affectation, the self-flattery. All dry-mouthed and cracked. There is no way I can ever take back these words. My gawds and baubles, the letters I sent! Far worse, and the reason I write to you now, there is no way I can take back my concurrent actions in the actual world of the living over this same period. Our world. Yours and mine. I cannot say at this moment that I ever even had an idea who you were. I cannot believe that nobody has ever kicked my ass. It is breathtaking. The urge must have been overwhelming. Why have you not punched me in my big, smart face? Knocked me to the ground? Crumpled me into a little ball? There must be dozens of you lying in wait to do just that. Believe me, I am on your side. I do not know who this egomaniacal, petty, irrational, jealous, delusional, paranoid dandypants thinks he is! The sense of self-importance is staggering. The knowing every goddamn thing. Embarrassing. Do you know how being embarrassed for somebody else is an extremely uncomfortable feeling? I do. The uncomfortable look you have been giving me all these years makes perfect sense now.

If you have had the misfortune of being personally acquainted with me in this life, in particular between the years of 1990 and, say, yesterday, then I must apologize to you. I am on my knees before you. I'm kind of blubbering, inconsolable. You may punch me in the mouth, rap me on the skull, pinch my ears. You may twist my name into scathing, run-on curses. No doubt you have such diatribes on the ready, dangling eager on your tongue. You have rehearsed them countless times, waiting for the day to just let me have it. Here I am. I'm your boy. I'm your huckleberry. I'm the trough in the men's room at Busch stadium.

I will not say that I am going to make it up to you. How could I make it up?

Know that I stand on watch.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Abe at Night
by Justin Stone
cinema on woodpaper on static canvas

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"A Most Wondrous and Frightful Wing-ed Creation"

Once the smoke cleared there was no party
I kept telling me about this idea I had called Old Jack City
But it was never going to work
"Qualities of stillness in the actor"
And in the world at large
All the Fallen Zingers
I can remember most of them
Or some of them
A couple of them
Like nobody wants to be ordinary
Mechanic soaks his hands in bleach
The word metalcate
To metalcate
Processes of metalcation
Metal Kate, she comes to me in dream
She asked for a prom and we gave her a prom
But all she could think about was how godawful and gaudy it all was
The flowers and the dresses and the table decorations
None of it would hold up
She had imagined something that would last
What she saw was the curtain pulled back
Laundry Matt, he comes to clean you out
Where is the lost reel?
I am pretty sure that was the reel
With the story on it
Somebody lost it
Somebody disappeared
I am pretty sure that is the reel I keep dreaming about
It was in a drawer
Or the trunk of a car
With one of those handheld mirrors
Lunas Peliculas
Even the word anxious sounds anxious
When it is thought about
Like it is pulling you forward from the chest
A chain
He completely misunderstood the meaning of a runner's high
Poor, poor him, in his new shoes
And his hill of beans
He pitched me a short story he'd written called Jack and the Beanstick
One called Rope Swing
He was given his walking papers
The liquid pullout
Wrack Focus
Keep a whole lot of it close
Throw away the rest
In a world of less information
Less stimulus
We might gather in to it
The quiet that is after noise
Bless you that soft spot in your heart
The flush you call it
The breeze
He seen good luck turn a man to california split
And glad hands
The Gambler's Lesson
You will always be coming clean, Pigpen
The Dead will go on without you
Lost in the song
To the ears of the Dead there is no best show
I hear tell
Janis sang too hard
There may be no quantifification for the problems imagined
What then?
Bent Out of Shape
Ceaseless mis-figuring
Missouri Break used to say
"Punch me, see if I'm dreaming"
His was a bed of only wrong sides
They called him The Poor Man's Bruce Willis
Sunday we go alone to matinee
Where running is like sped-up walking
And sitting there lasts almost forever
"There is no such thing as a foreseeable future
But decorum demands we behave accordingly"
When I awoke
I looked close at my pillow
Saw a great many fallen hairs
It may be that I am becoming a character
An overly considered thing
It may be that I am learning what it takes
What is taken
The fifth easiest piece
"Survival demands we behave accordingly"
He said, "The bed is like the back of the truck
And I fall off the back of it every day
In to this town"
One called Glory Hole
He asked me to pitch my story and I said
"Life is complicated
But in the end the alien lair is discovered
Spawn destroyed
And then everybody gets married"
It is a ghost story
Like the one about Dangling Mary
My agent out there in the Valley
Keeps his blinds closed
Peers outside anxious
Turning to and from and away
Asks me what else I got
"When mortality calls
Don't answer
What after all
Would you say?"
"There's the one about people running"
One called Thin Gypsy Thief
About trying to go clear
And one about
A movie about moms and sore shoulders never rubbed
"Have you got anything where people get killed?"
"There's the one about people running for their lives"
Did you ever go clear?
I am not sure what is is I want
But that I want
"I forgot to write the first thousand love songs"
"Goonies redone with an all adult cast--
'Well, this one's my wish
And I'm taking it back,
I'm taking 'em all back'
And the story picks up right where all the wishes have been taken back"
An oldie but a goonie
We raise a house in almost no time at all
Make a joke about the Amish and barns
How we only need the beards and the hats
A buggy
And then what it means
To drive the buggy in to town
How interesting it is that
To raise a house
To raze a house
Sounds like exactly the same thing
In the jury assembly room I heard somebody say
"I'd rather not have to count on anybody in here"
Ahab in his Bathrobe
Never met a morning he didn't like
He wears a necklace with his baby teeth on it
Calls it Baby Tooth Necklace
Wonders what kind of democracy the dolphins have
"I am going to need to speak to the Dolphin President"
"I woke up one day and I wasn't anxious anymore
I was just bored"
All the ideas of plant
To stand still, to bury, to hide for future find, to grow, to sabotage, to give, to seed, to be
If there is intelligence to creation
It ain't this
(the missing reel might be in the chest)
Opening to the sun
Take the sun
(in the draft)
So many plans for the after
No plans for the during
So clean we were invisible
The draft was our breath
(beneath the floorboards)
The silent room our absence
Raise your hand if you are not here
Do not ask any questions
You will not be called on
What feels like freedom one day might be disaster the next
Witness Stan said
"I went back there hoping to find myself
What I found was a nitwit"
As leaves in wind
The heart does rustle
Estabien, Soft Heart
A rustle inside
And out
I remember a thousand little dream of fish
A world without us
Gesture upon gesture upon gesture upon gesture upon gesture
Flinging Hands Flinging
Schools of thoughts
Movements in schools
"Minnows are starlings are creation"
What we hear inside
And out
The world in longshot
You in closeup
"That's a wrap"
He said and fell down
Light passed through a medium
We met at the bottom of the lake
How they solve this
I will never know
I thought about leaving this behind
Leaving Something Behind
but I cannot