Saturday, December 23, 2006

There are two types of people: those who want to be rock stars and those who want to rock.

Because some people will never know, because there’s just no learnin’ ‘em. I was so much older once, I dumber than that now.

You can never tell … but look at it this way … or if you would … just remember … when Johnny comes marching home…

I am looking for a girl that can bring out the darkness. I am looking for a girl that can make me as crazy as I know I might be. Apply within.

By transitive property anything is possible. Math is the music of the unknown universe, ubiquitous silence of the teeming masses, language of all the rotting gods. Let us stand on the mountains built by those who came before and piss on the houses of those who will come after. There is only the interminable boredom of now. Let there be doubt. And it was good; or something.

I like it. Even if nothing else has changed and we are dying like we were yesterday, I am better than I was before. It makes it easier to deal with the monotony. But waking up is just as hard. Work is bullshit. But don’t tell anyone, the workers of the world might decide to unite and lose their chains, quit there jobs. And then who would process all the oil we went to war for? And who would make the SUVs we need all the gas to drive? And who would help desecrate the planet? Such a debacle. All because I am lazy. And beautiful.

For some reason we all enjoy destruction. If I were to ask you a question … (she slapped me in response)… wailing is the new black. So is the old black. Go figure. The family that stays together still doesn’t understand the second son. I’m the little brother. Black sheep black sheep, have you any wool? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. But we decided to keep it off the market in an effort to stem supply and increase demand there by increasing profit. You know how capitalism is… Them’s the breaks. The stories we tell are all the same. It’s just an effort to get back to a home I never had. A feeling I can almost remember. Freedom to be myself before any of my friends and teachers told me I was wrong. Before TV told me how to behave and my I could understand that I was an outcast. In the before time. In the long long ago. Who goes to carousel tonight?

Life is comedy. Tragedy is all in the details; a myopic failure to see the bigger picture. Pins and needles. Macbeth with a gun; his speech bubble says ‘bang, with a smile!’ Hamlet holding his skull; he takes Advil for his Excedrin headache and whiskey to wash all the dreams down. Romeo decided to go back to Rosalind; she did this thing with her tongue that Jules could never really figure out. Who the fuck knows anymore. I fired the censors. And smoke filled the bar, haze obscuring everything. There was a fight that I shied away from. And a bottle that I didn’t pay for. But everything else was noise and the moment. Get me my longsword, ho. And get me another beer from the fridge, too… ho.

Watch Ye Therefore isn’t a real band. I wonder what a psychologist would try to tell me based on the lies I try to tell her…

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

learning to trust the madness/ignore the voices

Two seemingly inconsequential gentlemen stand on a street corner in the rain. One is called Sims. He wears a gun in a shoulder holster hidden well beneath an appropriately tailored suit. The other also wears a gun. They have silencers. A necessary addition. They are waiting for a man to meet them. When he arrives they will kill him, take everything he has including the drugs and all identifying documents, and leave. If asked why they would do such a thing, why they would consider such a heinous act so commonplace, the one called Sims would reply simply that ‘the money was right.’ Sims is the more talkative of the two. In fact, to the casual observer it would seem as if he talks needlessly as if only to hear the dulcet tones of his own voice. The casual observer, as is often the case, would be wrong. The other is a veritable stoic, a man hewn from granite and not given in the slightest to the frivolities and excesses of his companion. It would not be wrong to say that these two seemingly inconsequential gentlemen are often and easily underestimated.

Life has fallen off of late. I knew it was going to happen. Deep down. You would not be wrong in assuming that I am a rather intuitive young man capable of seeing deeply into the flaws and imperfections of the human soul. You would also not be wrong in assuming that I was just dumped for an investment banker/consultant/entrepreneur far more successful and capable of social advancement than I. I suppose I should have learned from the Monkees. Or perhaps just have known better than date a girl with a taste for the finer things in life; like following every possible ill advised fashion trend featured in a magazine and a unquenchable thirst for all things unaffordable. Freelancing just didn’t bring enough home, I guess. Or maybe I am missing the point. To be honest, I don’t know why she left. I have a meeting in the morning. Nothing else seems to have stopped.

The man arrived carrying a nondescript duffle bag containing either illicit drugs or a clever ruse intended to imply the presences of the former. The matter is of no importance as he was about to die. Perhaps thoughts were rushing though his head at the moment. Perhaps in a moment of prescience he saw his impending doom and his life mysteriously flashed before his eyes in a series of poorly edited video clips. The one called Sims moved out of the shadows and into the dim pool of light cast by a flickering streetlight. Despite the fact that they were in the middle of a street there was no danger of traffic or notice. No one respectable would come to these parts. It would be an open acknowledgement of the inherent disparity that allows society to function. The other gentleman remained in the shadows. He signaled his presence by lighting a cigarette. The newcomer was far to calm. Either he was a cop or he was an idiot. It became increasingly clear that he had not foreseen his demise. The last look on his face was priceless, or would have been to a collector of such things. A tree fell in the forest and no one heard. There was nothing to mark the act save the indifference of his killers. Perhaps one should be amazed what is truly possible when the money is right. Perhaps it is none so amazing after all.

The meeting went the way I expected. I got approval for the story and a smaller advance than I had been hoping for. The man was a self-indulgent fuckhead. I knew from the moment he started the meeting: “What’s the sound of one hand clapping? Ha! Ha!” What’s the sound of one hand flipping you off? I ignored the comment fully aware that he did not want a response, just a tacit acknowledgement of his subversive wit. I smiled and gave him a nod. He went right on talking. I find that with his type it’s best not to talk. He doesn’t want to hear what anyone has to say. How could he? We all know he’s an ass. Not feeling any better than before, I spend five minutes sitting at a coffeehouse trying to decide how best to slip into oblivion now that I have nothing to do and no promises to keep. I also wait for a phone call.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Heat Death in America: Drifting Sun

Of course I am a liar. How else could I make any of this look good/work at all? It’s not that it is wrong or even emblematic of some situational ethics or moral relativism. It’s just that the truth is just as much of a fiction as anything else. So why hide from it? Why deny it and by doing so lose power over it. I am the creator of my own destiny because I have chosen to manufacture it myself. I have chosen to be the madcap liar writing my profanities on the underground walls of all existence. Wait for me, I’ll find you soon enough. Wait for me.

There is vitriol enough in me to power three punk bands and several excessively angsty books of bad poetry and even worse pen and ink drawings of the flawed circuitry of my mental process. God, but the suburbs bring out the worst in me. Ever the misanthrope I daily find myself wishing only to raise a black flag and jolly roger my way around my happily corrosive community raping and pillaging the automatons back to something vaguely resembling being alive.

The fun no longer has any bearing on life. The sun has drifted from its cardinal path and now refuses to show the way. Star charts having already lost their importance have now lost all meaning. And we refuse to acknowledge that anything has changed. I think I should get another beer. Or maybe it was take a nap. I can’t remember which silently complacent activity is appropriate to the situation. Perhaps this is the moment in which I was supposed to learn to cry.

It’s like I am so too easily distracted; confused and yet entirely aware. I know what is going on even when I refuse to pay attention. Osmosis, it seeps in. the tape keeps looping through my brain, the scanners playing old cartoons that no one ever drew and graphic and disturbing scenes that one can only hope will never see the blinding light of day. There is so much there, to distill it, to bottle it, to pour it over ice and drink it slowly and sensually is damn near impossible. I barely know how to begin. There is no road map, no X marks the spot for this treasure hunt. No wonder I refused to choose a path in the woods. No wonder it didn’t make a difference. Lack of wonder is the leading cause of heat death in America.

I was born in the fading autumn of ’83. the only moment of significance in any otherwise stultifying era, I brought the promise of a new era; a road made straight and then destroyed and made the way I imagined it should be. Don’t listen to me. I don’t know anything. The story is always better when you invent the ending yourself. So here is the beginning of my manifesto. Here is my anthem for yet another generation of disenfranchised disillusioned dissolute youth. Raise your fists my brothers and sisters for we are a people born of defiance and we will rail against the coming dawn with a beer in both hands.

One day we’ll look back on all of this and smile. But on that day I won’t be alone, so I might just be smiling for her.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

tales old men tell when the fires are low and they are filled with too much drink

There is a forest at the edge of the world. A deep, silent forest of old growth trees that have been there since before the dawn of mankind. There is knowledge in this forest; and such memory. But few have ever treaded within its shrouded depths and with good reason.

Venture not to the center of the forest, lest ye perish. There is a single tree that marks the center of the forest and it is the Tree of Death. Counterpoint to the Tree of Life from which springs forth eternal life and wellbeing, this is a tree of such malignant nature that it will bear no fruit. No leaves or blossoms will grace its branches. Some would claim that it is simply another old dead tree in a forest full of old dead trees. But this tree is not dead. She pulses with unholy life; black sap coursing through her. The Tree of Death is home to the Devil’s own watchers, the First Murder of Crows. They are the gatekeepers. For this tree is the second gate of hell. Do not think the gate lightly guarded because no threeheaded beasts are extant. The First Murder of Crows are no mere birds. The Eaters of the Dead; consumers of both decrepit soul and pallid flesh.

There is a tree that stands alone in a barren wasteland at the farthest edge of space and time. There are no roads that lead to this tree. There is nothing and so very much of it. It is a gnarled tree, a serrate oak, utterly useless and completely out of place. There are many names for this tree, but the most popular name, the most well known appellation for this seemingly indistinct tree in the middle of nowhere is the Tree of Death.

The leaves and blossoms of the tree are ever and always black, petals falling to earth gently drifting upon the breeze, like a silent omen of destruction. The fruit, withered and unappetizing, is the color of dried blood. To eat of the fruit of the Tree of Death is to know Eternal Darkness; to dine with Lucifer and drink with Belial; to join the Great Hunt and the ranks of the thrice-damned Goatherds.

The Tree of Death was once surrounded by trees of every description; the centerpiece of the greatest garden ever known to man. But with the Fall of Man, what once brought the knowledge of good and evil could only now provide death. Its corruption spread until it destroyed the rest of the garden by its own damned presence and its root system ran all the way to the depths of hell where it found fuel for its insatiable nature. And so it stands alone, on the edge of space and time in a land long forgotten by the race of man.

Two roads meet in the desert. They travel just slightly off the cardinal directions, but only ever so slightly. This is no ordinary crossroads, this is the Crossroads. This is where Legba tuned Robert Johnson’s guitar and the blues were born for the price of his soul. In the southwestern corner there is a tree, a hangman’s tree. The noose hangs such that the dying may be framed by the arc of the setting sun. This tree is no ordinary lynching tree. This is the Tree of Death. The Devil’s own gallows, a direct conduit to hell and thinning of reality: one of the easiest places to cross beyond.

There are many stories about the Tree of Death. Some would have you believe they are only stories, myths not worth living by, superstitions not worth keeping. But those people would be wrong. The Tree of Death is as real as the Tree of Life, providing balance as all things in nature must. There are some that would say the Tree of Death is a cherry tree with black petals or an oak tree complete with a hangman’s noose. The truth of the matter is something else entirely. The Tree of Death is no ordinary tree and thus it cannot be classified by ordinary terms. It is much much more. To underestimate the Tree of Death, to dismiss it casually, would be rash and inadvisable to say the very least.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

All Art is Autobiography

I have an aversion to plot. I know that. Little actually happens in the stories I write. What with the majority of my existence being internal, it’s hard to care overly about external action. And yet for some reason I write minimalist instead of psychological. I might be wrong in classifying my writing as minimalist. I don’t know for sure what that entails. I’ll look it up.

It’s about time the literary world was handed an upside down urinal. And I am just the fucker to piss in it.

Willful ignorance and hypocrisy are the great traits of my generation.

The beginnings of an UnEnlightenment manifesto:
The death knell has sounded upon the cleverly arranged and intentionally ironic silver bells of postmodernism. It turns out that none of us really give a shit that the world is all meaningless simulation. I mean, it doesn’t change how we live, how we got to make a living. And if we are drinking more and doing more drugs as a consequence, well we probably would have anyway. You can call us degenerates. I’m pretty sure we won’t be insulted. Except for that one guy in the corner who is going to kick your ass, but that’s only because he thought you said something else and he will apologize for it and buy your drinks for the rest of the night. So no worries really. I couldn’t read the rest of the napkin, so I’ll make some more up later.

Face it; there is basically nothing that is not rendered completely impotent in the face of our apathy and indifference. We know the world is going to end. We know that shit is fucked up and should be changed. But we know that we aren’t going to make a difference; that we can’t make a difference. Spot overestimating your importance. So we do what any sensible twentysomething would do in our position – we get fucked up and enjoy ourselves best we can. We deserve it. Our jobs are shit. Our lives are shit. Our apartments are shit. It’s not escapism. It’s taking back the weekends for everything we lose during the week. Because I don’t feel that I need to stand for anything in order to be authentic. I already know that authenticity is a lie. That selfsame passive sense of distrust that Oda Saku knew so well. This bottle is for him.

Towards a nonexistent purity (of essence or some such other): keep crossing those thresholds. Open the doors, ever changing new experiences. All the better to see you with my dear. Trailing off into whatever.

Plot needs events of significance, it needs action. It needs things to matter and it needs the protagonist to actually do shit. I have difficulty understanding why anyone would want to do that.