Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The carpet had the fewest stains

Karl Gómez dreamed of a window, of having a window. The fan on the ceiling groaned but kept it's slow widdershins. He had been told to keep an account, the three notebooks now yellowed, full of nearly illegible chicken scratch in blue bic typical. Numbers, dates, accounts. Shopping lists, book catalogues, stray thoughts. He could never tell what was important. But he hadn't been hired to think. Just the notes.
"The facts, ma'am, and a slice of that cherry pie I saw coming in."

Poor humor had always been his defense mechanism of choice.

Karl Gómez changed into his spare shirt. If he was to meet the big man, he couldn't go in a drenched wifebeater and stained khakis. The suit was tight around his gut so he left it unbuttoned. They would be sitting most of the meeting, surely. Near a window. Mr. Jones certainly had a window. Probably windows. With views.

Karl Gómez put the notebooks in his backpack. It didn't match the suit, but it couldn't be helped. The advance had run dry weeks ago and he still didn't know if he had anything to show for it. Who could say what he had been looking for in that overheated basement "office"? Numbers, number stations, quotes from popular newspapers and magazines, street signs, bits of doggerel. He had even found one poem written above a urinal in a turnpike truckstop. He didn't know how it was relevant but he had feeling, a queer sort of sixth sense certainty.

Karl Gómez turned off the radio in the middle of a Thirteen Faces song (it was all the place these days, does that make it was good) and headed for the subway.

Location:Anchorage Dr,North Palm Beach,United States

He stole water from the moon.

...like forcing a wet mop through a keyhole. All I get is the rank rot of decay and a slow trickle of grey water. Welcome to the Marketplace of the Soul!

Johnny Marag crooned menacingly, spittle forming on his lips, flying into the black of the audience. Bright lights, sweating stage. Ram's horns curled up over his dripping black hair and with his legs wrapped in curly black wool he was the very picture of a modern satyr. Satyr with a ebony Gibson Les Paul Custom. Baa baa, black sheep, fork my whorish tongue.

Pan Io. Io. Io. Pan Io. Pangenitor. Panphage. Io Pan. Pan Io.


The opening band had been something of a disappointment.
Hi! Hello there. We are the Skinflint Berrypickers. Enjoy. Ready, boys? And a 1. 2. 3. 4.

A trio of fat boys: black overalls, black bow ties, & guyliner. Bluegrass metal.
"Froggie went a courting and he did ride. Uh huh. Froggie went a courting and he did ride. Uh huh. All the way to Frankenstein's hall, stole himself a bride. Uh huh."

L'ironie est mort.

The next set was a conventional set of outoftowners that were in tune (if nothing else). Must find that van comfortable. Couldn't say why Mr. Jones would have booked them. Maybe they put out.

Then Marag took the stage, already glistening. The emo chicks creamed, the shoegazers gazed at their shoes, and the planets did align.
"Ladies and Gentlemen and drunk fuckups of all ages:


Vive l'ironie.

Location:Anchorage Dr,North Palm Beach,United States

All your heroes speak English

The dreams of dead men...

The computer screen flickered with the storm. Søren lit another Gauloises and sighed, nostalgic. It was his last pack.

He began to type:
Like tumblestone ram bladders...
Words & phrases (parsed)
Lyrics & lyricism (typos, included)
Picked from the æther.

Three teen girls by side of the road
With ballon swords
And imagined foes

I'll be your
(nothing but a)
Carry on.

Assumed to be a bit of doggerel (a poem to be jotted on a spare bit of parchment and left to the wind, a sharpie and a stall in a truckstop men's room) he emailed it to the whole staff. Subject: Everything is true but the flayed god hears no screams.

He looked at the pile of written requests in his paper inbox. Worse than the email. He looked at the first - a glossy black and white of Mayan statuette that looked to be smoking, breathing out the winds of death. He decided to label it "Codex Huracan". The museum staff were so beholden to his supposed expertise and to refrain from questioning even his most questionable moves. It would serve to confuse, the wise would pontificate and the fools would smile. It would buy him some time. Jerome peeked in to say hello, check what was to be checked. Søren proffered his whiskey to the night guard. It was well past the day that anyone pretended they didn't all drink on the job:

"How's the family?"
"Same shit. Wife keeps nagging that I should switch shifts, that we never see each other. Course if I did, I'm like as not to catch her balling the landscaper."
"Maybe that's what she's going for."
"Nothing that cunt does would surprise me. But the divorce would be hard on the kids. They're too young for this shit."
"Better you keep your separate spheres?"
"While she hoards travel guides and I buy guitars... So it goes... But how's bout you? Still living the high life?"
"Mr. Jones is growing impatient..."

Søren dreamed of running again. This time he was in a pawn shop haggling over the price of a '62 fretless Fender J. But running. Always running.

Location:Anchorage Dr,North Palm Beach,United States

Thursday, June 16, 2011

full house lazy Thursday afternoon broken string tension blues

I could scarcely say and it kept nagging at me.
I could scarcely say and it kept nagging at me; working and worrying it further.
The sound's a little thin but what do you expect? It's a laminate.
Gone flat and flabby. Nylon's lost it's kick. (Daddy poke back)
Sunny and I dreamed of rain (rain and far shores, gone from this place) considering the cost of acquisition.
Silence is what you are buying, son. Your wife will thank you, I guarantee it. She doesn't want to be listening to all that banging and twanging all night, knowwhatimean? Got kids? Sure you do. And I bet they don't want to be bothered while their facebooking and messaging pics. Silence. Golden. And today. For you. Cheap. Let me just go talk to my manager, see if we can't knock this price tag down a bit. I'll be right back, don't you go nowhere.

Stickers for the case. Proof of something: travel, experience, humiliation, humanity. The words go unread. They can wait, I can do it later. There are more import - well, no this isn't really important but -

You see, I want to be loud.

"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." - The Commander-in-Chief
"I'm a Yankee doodle dandy." Paul Revere, Jr.

Location:Anchorage Dr,North Palm Beach,United States

Friday, June 3, 2011

Playing to an empty room

I am a man of rather extreme pretension. I style myself a writer, aim to be a musician, a renaissance artist, and a dashing rogue (with rapist wit). A restless soul. And the wanderlust. Not to mention the occasionally pathological drive to know more and more in a rather desperate archeology of (low) culture.

In times of desperation or introspection, I find myself questioning the validity of these stylizations. I am a man. Husband, father. Son, brother. I am a student. These are the facts that can be legally conferred upon me. That and the unpleasant student loan debt. The others are, naturally, considerably more relative.

I can call myself a writer as I do write, have been paid to do so. And yet. There is the sense (often illegitimate) that a writer must make a living off writing, must be on a trajectory towards Stephen King success, must be known and popular, &c &c.

Much the same for music. Not only must on be proficient on the instrument but there must be a record, the record must be disseminated.

It would seem, at least to me, that these titles - writer, musician, artist, et al - must be externally applied. That they are titles others give you, labels they put on your great work, your passion, your pastime, whatever it is we do when we do it. That it isn't true unless it is externally verified. You aren't an artist until someone else agrees. Jack Black claims that "one great rock show can change the world." But what if you only ever play one show? Or is the exhibitionism inherent in the label. People who play music for their friends and family alone wouldn't call themselves musicians?

I hate to think that commercialism is what defines the artist. Not that I dispute the holism of the Culture Industry. Cultural production is a Being-toward the Industry even when it is not a planned participant in the gated community. Yet, it is the commercial viability of the of the work (whether mainstream audience or niche Internet subculture) that allows the artist to be defined, to be disseminated. Or is there something to just putting it out there: writing on a blog that no one reads, posting videos that no one watches, playing music for an empty room.

Until that day...
... "I'll see you all in the coming fall in the Big Rock Candy Mountains."