Saturday, November 29, 2008

No one looks good in a crowd, by themselves they are captivating. Screens of sunflowers flying by on tvs.

Same stuff to everyone, one person telling the same story to different people at different times during the same night. Show them doing this.

Driving on the highway, street light patterns, white in blue, I'm happy to be sitting in here.

What wasn't okay is now okay. The questions left without answers aren't important anymore. Slaughtered by slapping. Cockroach killed, found alive, killed again. Being in an insular insulation.

A consultation consultation. Talking about talking about talking about talking.

The Cruise

“Yeah, this is pretty boring,” Dan said to Jason.
“Fucking booze cruise.”
Neither of the boys drank. Not because of religion or righteousness, simply because they knew it tasted disgusting and preferred to treat their bodies nicely.
“Where's Jake?”
“Over there somewhere, I think.” Dan pointed to the far side of the ship's top deck. Beyond his pointed index finger, past the well-worn college youths and their elder, fiercer predators, a tall manic was visible. Jake was almost sent home the previous day for the handle of vodka that was found on him, empty, after a day of touring the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. He did the tango in the Church of St. John the Baptist, and then passed out cold in the Monastery of Constantine. Currently, he was enjoying the company of two dark-haired females, one had bare feet and the other had a light moustache.
“The music's decent,” Dan said with a straight face. Jason laughed.
“Let's take our clothes off and dance like assholes.”
Dan and Jason took their clothes off and began to mix elements of hip hop with writhing, rhythmic spasms. Jake caught their eye and immediately stripped down to his boxers. A circle of amused locals enclosed the boys and brought the evil eye of administration upon them.
“Jake, what the fuck do you think you're doing?” said the buzz-killing group leader, Megan.
“Dan and Jason are doing it, too!”
Megan looked over at Dan and Jason and thought to herself, those boys never seem to have any fucking fun. What do I do about this?
“If you offend a single person here, Jake, I swear to god, I will kill you. You probably already have, but as soon as it becomes my problem, you're dead.” With that, she turned her back on them, sat promptly at the bar, and took a shot of tequila. The harsh ass-grinding music sounded sweeter to her, and she was proud of herself and her job.
Jason walked to the mast of the ship and pressed both hands down on a railing. He stuck his ass out and wagged it back and forth to the beat. Dan watched Jake vomit over the side of the ship.
“Don't waste that!” Dan said.
“I never do.”
“You know what I can't stand?”
“Small talk. Probably cause I suck ass at it.”
“Aw, sweetie! You're not terrible. What makes you think you're so terrible at socializing?”
“Earlier today I asked some girl what she was majoring in. She said sociology. I said, 'Doesn't that whole science, if you can call it that, disregard free will? Does that scare you at all?'”
“What'd she say, then?”
“She didn't say much. I mean she said some neutral stuff. Then I said, to try to smooth the whole thing over, I said, 'I mean, if you believe in deterministic philosophy and what you choose in every decision you'll ever make is decided by everything that happened before, then understanding the main superstructure that governs everything about our lives, in the immediate sense, is very useful. So... sociology is a practical science?'”
“Is that even a fucking question you can ask?”
“What the fuck, Dan! You should have just said, 'How do you feel about the fact that we're all going to die soon?'” Jason chimed in.
“Yeah, or, 'Ya know, here's something to think about: everyone you love, you can never really be close to. You can only try. And then you'll just die anyway, and it'll be like never knowing anybody. Weird, huh?'”
Dan smiled despite shivering a little bit from the sea winds and his absence of clothing. Jake wiped his mouth one more time with his wrist and straightened up. Jason finally stopped gyrating in a way that compromised the ship's structural integrity, and together the three of them walked back into the mess.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Young Woman

A young woman crossed the street and walked towards the bus stop to wait for her ride back home. When it arrived, she boarded and sat in her seat with her ankles crossed. She wondered why the driver wasn’t more attractive. I’m glad the apartment’s clean, she thought. Then she wondered whether or not she had gotten on the right bus. It seemed to be stopping longer than usual, and not at the normal points of her route. Where is this taking me? But she didn’t get off.
It was a cloudy Thursday afternoon. She had spent the day sitting in her office, downing cup after cup of weak coffee and trying desperately to at least draft the insurance sales report she had been assigned last week. Everyone always seemed to think their business was more important than hers. So maybe she was a clerk, maybe her job was more or less capable of being done by anyone with a teaspoon of brain, but that didn’t bother her. She made enough to cover her rent and the company covered her commuting costs, which weren’t very high, but nevertheless made her feel that she was being cared for. Her employee benefits were wonderful. She even got dental.
Her dentist told her one time that she had gracefully shaped teeth. She had never thought so before, but after he mentioned it, she smiled into the mirror in the dentist’s bathroom and saw for herself what he was talking about. They were marvelous teeth.
The seat on the bus that she occupied was exceptionally curved at the bottom. Either someone very large had sat in the same seat, or very many people, or it was just designed that way. She looked out the window. 7th and Brookview? Where was the bus going? She pressed her feet to the floor and stretched her long back up against the seat. She reached her arm behind her to press the lighted ribbon that would indicate she wanted to get off at the next stop. She reached it, but nothing happened. She considered reaching out to a fellow passenger to inquire about the destinations on this route. Maybe a more frequent traveler could tell her where she could get off and pick up the proper line. Maybe the M5 stopped out here.
Before she leaned in to ask her fellow passenger a question, she realized there was nobody else on the bus and she was, in this sphere of public transportation, completely alone. Alone, with the exception of the driver. She stood up carefully, checked her teeth and hair by her reflection in the window, and walked row by row to the front of the bus.
Excuse me, I made a mistake and I don’t think I should have gotten on this bus at all.
Where did you want to go?
I live in Chapel Hill.
That’s far from here. It would take at least an hour and a half to get back there.
I need to get back there.
Well, you can’t on this bus. I’m taking it in.
Can’t you take me to a different bus stop so I can work my way back?
No. I have a schedule. The holidays are coming and I always get a punctuality bonus.
I’ll pay you.
With what?
The advance from my first bestselling novel.
She hadn’t written a story since the sixth grade. You a writer?
You don’t look like one.
He kept driving. She didn’t look like anything in particular, but she thought it gave her mystery. At an office Christmas party last year a secretary who worked with a different broker called her by the wrong name. They’d worked practically side-by-side for months. Things like that happened to her pretty consistently. She tried to ignore it, but there were times when all she could think about was how fucking stupid and self-possessed you’d have to be to forget a long-time coworker’s first fucking name.
What do I look like?
Dentist’s assistant.
Because of my teeth?
I can drop you here, but get off the bus in under one minute. Get your stuff together now.
I have it all. She stood by the front doors of the bus, in front of the fake video camera and the line no one should ever be standing ahead of if things are moving. The bus driver yelled NOW and opened the doors. She jumped down the three ridged stairs and stood on the street corner with her briefcase. Which way to the bus stop? She wondered if she would get home in time to go to the convenience store around the block from her building. When was her next dentist appointment? A week from Tuesday. She hoped she’d make it back for that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Young Boy

“Weeehhhh it's so hard to be a freshman! I smoked weed for the first time but that isn't like who I AM you know? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??? I know I don't participate in class that much but things are just kind of piling up in a really intimidating way and I got a beej from a girl in Hill but she won't ACKNOWLEDGE me in the halls now and I'm just confused about what she wants us to be you know? I've never had so much work due. What I'd like to do is to have a complete draft of the proposal so I can get that out of the way but my drunk roommate might be freebasing again and I can't tell if I was supposed to LIKE it last week when he jerked me off in his sleep and I was still PARANOID HIGH from the first joint I had ever smoked the week before and I just HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON! Everything is so new here and there are so many people and it just isn't like Topeka at all and these kids from New York are everywhere and I tripped the other day and I fell flat on my face and no one helped me up and a man dressed as a turkey handing out flyers on the walk laughed and laughed and I looked at my reflection in a puddle and no one would help me but I didn't want them to think I wanted their help which I really did and as I saw myself in that gross watery mess of dead leaves and condom wrappers I thought 'who am I? what have I become? WHAT AM I DOING?' And it's like, I DRINK now and is that what my mom's paying for? I mean GOD do I TELL her that I did a bump off a zebra's dick last week just before it fucked a stripper, but then she and the zebra both died because even though I kept yelling stop! Stop! Enough is enough! What is enough for you people! You don't know yourselves! What do you do this for? Who are you impressing? What does all of this mean? They just kept going and then the zebra made all of these weird noises and the stripper had been still for a while now and they both died? How would that make YOU feel on your 18th birthday? How would that make you FEEL?”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

there's something we kick between us
at 3 o' clock, it doesn't work this time
but it always works so we just feel
relieved when we try it and it works again

the superiority of optimism is its realist take on doubt
it could have been true, it just wasn't
it's like how seeing the same act over and over again makes us
think of progress, when really we're just not noticing time going by

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i told you i can't explain it
i need you it can't explain i
feed you i it explain can't
i behold you explain it i can't
beg you can't it explain i
fool you can't explain i it
i grasp you explain can't i

Monday, November 10, 2008

it's all sustainable dependent on self sacrifice
the limitations of which can only kill you
or your perseverance and both
supply and demand command attention

there are memories of a difference
that was impossible for us now
we have established the rules
governing ostensible circumstance

signing up is some other reform
a motion made ready by our ulterior
attached to what we don't want
wearing pockets of other people's hands

like cracking a window the seeds spread
until the only choice is open
and there is no redemption
unless it is brand new

hire someone and they come
to meet the depth of field
look straight and it's a hole
walk straight and it's a wall

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

art + design museum

around the corner behind the velvet rope
a woman screams at her companion who
had left for the other side of the room.
"why," she belts, "is that porcelain dog
wearing those high heeled shoes?"
the heaviness of the jaw
or the fullness of the tongue
marks the feel of a reclining
pose above rubbed covers
allowing what pulled nights
coupled, each body a cradle
against repose, recollection, recoil--
revive the need for afterthought,
aftertouch, obligation stirs the eyes
and resent meant for what meant