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February 02 2018

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The Existential Detective

I spent 20 years writing a mystery so mysterious that it disappeared as I wrote it.

I was in front of the hotel across the street, in the car, on a stakeout. The job was to take pictures of the adulterous lovers. I snuck behind the hotel trying to get a better angle but wandered into the forest taking pictures of birds in the light of the full moon.

I’d snapped off most of the roll when heard a woman scream. I ran to where I thought it was coming from, but I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t find anything. All night I ran in circles, deeper and deeper in the woods until I became hopelessly lost.

Eventually, I found a stream and followed it to a river. I followed the river to the desert. Just before the endless expanse of sand, I saw a gas station café. A sign said it was the last place for gas or water for 112 miles. I crawled inside and collapsed in a booth. I ordered a large ice water. The waitress brought me a telephone. My client was on the other end.

“Did you get the pictures?” he asked.

“I did,” I said. “I’m just waiting for them to develop.”

After I hung up the phone, the two lovers walked in. They sat down across from me. They ordered apple pie a la mode and coffee. They giggled and fed each other as they planned their escape. I noticed a feather in the woman’s hat. She turned to me, nodded and smiled.

I sat sipping my water until they left. I hitched back to my car and called my client. He met me later and paid my fee. I gave him the envelope and he flipped through the pictures I’d taken. He turned them upside down, sideways and even looked at the back of them. It was as if he’d never seen a bird in the moonlight.

“Is this some kinda joke?” he asked.

“The conditions weren’t great,” I said, “but I think they’re quite lovely.”

Then I showed him the new shoulder holster I’d gotten for my .45 and he got all weird and left in a hurry.

I gave the money and the pictures to the Audubon society.

February 01 2018

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Let Us Pray

A huge orange monster attacked the capital city. He crashed in right in the center of town and plopped down on the capitol building. The citizens were terrified but the government officials reassured by saying the monster was contained and they could control it. Just remain calm and it’ll go away. Eventually.

Every now and again, the monster would tear open a city bus and shake the innocent commuters into its cavernous mouth. Or it would smash a hospital or library.

Folks out in the country thought this was hilarious. To them, the city was full of corrupt politicians, drug addicts, smug liberals and immigrants. They thought the monster would level the whole place and that would be the end of all that sinning.

Just like Sodom & Gomorrah.

January 27 2018

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TGIF! 

January 26 2018

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clawmarks:

Illustration from Colour, a handbook of the theory of colour - 1900 - via Internet Archive

We forgot
We lost something somewhere
We ran over it in our endless rush
to get wherever we needed to be

And now we are here
and everything is shit

Did we betray
something
Did we forget
the one thing we needed

It’s not too late, ya know
It’s never too late
That’s the magic
of life and love

Let it crash into you
Let it drown you
Let it all coast to a stop
in the clang of horns and shouting

Sit in the traffic jam of your endless failure
Weep because you are love

It’s not too late
never is
on this journey
in this life
in this weird struggle
to stop struggling
and live.

January 18 2018

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Communion

When I was 11 years old I had to go door to door and witness to my fellow human beings the power and glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My foster family made all their foster kids do this. That is until the Charlie Anders incident.

The residents whose doors I knocked on were generally pretty nice. Or they didn’t answer the door. Younger people usually said they were busy, “Praise the Lord,” and thanked me, and closed the door. A few were weird and suspicious. I liked to pretend they were Satanists or demons. The old folks would invite me in. They’d offer me a soda, or cocoa if it was cold. Then we’d sit and chat about all sorts of old people stuff. The old ladies would pump me for gossip, or prattle on about their terrible kids and grandkids. I’d nod solemnly, tearing my way through a plate of assorted cookies. The old guys would show me some oddity, a moose head or a blood-spattered flag they’d captured in some war. Old guys never had much for snacks. Maybe some hard candy.

All told, it wasn’t a bad racket. After one old gal gave me $5, I realized I could get other old timers to cough up a few bucks too. For the ministry. I liberated a box of small prayer books from our church and would show them the cover that was a picture of Jesus knocking on a door. I’d say,“We are supposed to sell these for a $5 donation, but I want you to have one for being so kind me.” Most of ‘em were good for a few bucks.

One old guy I visited regularly lived all alone in his mother’s giant house. Jerry’s mother had died years ago. He was in his 50’s, wore bib overalls, and combed his gray hair like a little boy. He showed me a framed picture he kept on his dresser of his mother in a casket. I shamelessly studied it, while Jerry sat bolt upright, grinning, wide-eyed, cocking his head quickly side to side like a little bird. Later, he took me out back and showed me his skinning shed. It smelled bad and was full of animal pelts. Muskrat, coon, possum, and one he claimed was a Bigfoot. All their carcasses were hanging in there too. They looked like baby monsters with their faces flayed off and their teeth exposed. The odor reminded me of a really strong cheese, moldy books, and something else. I thought it was awesome.

I went to see Jerry almost every week. I developed my rounds and regularly hit up my favorites. Jerry always gave me a Squirt soda and three Oreo cookies, and I’d read him a passage from scripture. One week I read about how when Jesus died, Mary and the disciples went to see his body but he wasn’t there. He had risen.

Jerry laughed and said,”He wasn’t risen. They ate him.” When I made a face, Jerry said, “What do you think communion is?” With that, he popped the top off an oreo and ate the filling. He laughed.

Jerry sold his animal pelts and he dabbled in other things. In his basement he had a full-blown mad scientist laboratory with jars of weird specimens. He had animal brains and eyeballs, coiled snakes, a two-headed kitten, and almost every animal skull imaginable. He was also trying to teach himself taxidermy. The man seemed perfectly harmless and I was always too excited to feel afraid of him.

That fall I went to stay with another foster family on the other side of town. The kid who replaced me was little Charlie Anders. Charlie was two years younger than me, a shy, pale kid who was always sick. Charlie didn’t do so well in the door-to-door Christ business.

When he went missing, a massive manhunt ensued. They found his body after two weeks. It had been packaged in boxes, stored in Jerry’s house. They also found human bones from several other people never identified.

The strange thing is, after hearing about Charlie I felt sorry for Jerry. I really liked the guy. He was funny and kind. Plus, he’d never even touched me. I never felt weirded out by him.

However, I was overcome at Charlie Anders’ prayer service. His little gold coffin was closed - for good reason. But I wanted to see his body so I hid behind a curtain in the funeral parlor and waited until everyone else left. In the silent altar light, I snuck up to the coffin. I stood in front of it, my heart pounding in my ears. I cracked open the lid, little by little, until I could see the coffin was empty.

January 12 2018

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horrorsoflife:

Artist Joan Cornella

TGIF!

December 29 2017

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gameraboy1:

Virgil Finlay

TGIF!

December 24 2017

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Happy Holidaze!

I spent a lot of holidays alone when I was younger. I remember walking around alone on Christmas eve, early evening, the world silent with snow. I would look at all the warm lit up houses. The families inside, eating dinner, washing dishes, opening presents. I would be overcome with melancholy and feel sorry for myself through New Years.

It took me a few years to come in from out of the cold and share in the holiday cheer with family and friends. I do remember one Christmas dinner with an ex-girlfriend’s amazingly dysfunctional family. I was washing some dishes just to get away from the madness for a few minutes. The hot water had steamed up the bottom of the cold window. I saw a boy slowly walking on the sidewalk, alone as I had once been on Christmas eve. I motioned to him and he stopped. I mouthed the words and I could see him shrug, uncertain of what I was trying to say. I wanted him to know, so I scrawled my message in the fogged window. I realized I needed to write in in reverse. REDRUM!

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Saturday Night Thoughts While Getting Arrested At A Prayer Service

The truth is, no one gives a damn about you. It’s OK. They don’t give a shit about me either and I’m fucking fabulous. Actually, I used to think I was a big deal, but it turns out, I’m just a mop closet full of light wearing a monkey suit.

I pretend to be too high-brow to watch TV, but the truth is I can’t handle it. I get really upset about sitcoms. I’ll get so embarrassed I have to get up and leave the room. Happens to me in reality too, but I can’t just step out into another dimension. Oh sure, I could, but I’m a sucker for punishment. I must enjoy my own pain. It’s better than nothing, I guess. If only life had commercials breaks…

Maybe it does?! Last night at a party I felt like everyone was trying to pitch me TV shows and phone apps. I wound up hiding under a bed with a cat and a Mexican take-out menu. I ordered the tacos. The cat went bonkers and got the chimichanga. You shoulda seen it. It was bigger than the cat.

December 22 2017

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TGIF!

December 21 2017

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SERVICE MEATS & GROCERY - SHAVED HAM - HELP WANTED

When I was a young punk I was always broke and routinely stole from my places of employment. If it was a convenience store, I’d palm small items, cigarettes, or a few bucks here and there from the till. Once in awhile, I’d get desperate and go for a slightly bigger score. I once stole engineering books from the college bookstore. I gave them to my buddy and he sold em back to the store during the annual buyback. We made a few hundred bucks.

The one place I never stole from was a small specialty grocery store that was mainly a butcher shop. The two guys that started the place were left handed so they hired left handed butchers only. That’s the way the machines were set up. They had five left-handed butchers on the payroll.

One night the cops found a body in a hotel room across the street. The stab wounds clearly indicated a left-handed perpetrator. The case went unsolved. But it made an impression. I never stole a nickel from that joint.

December 19 2017

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Ya know when ya get older and you realize that you’re not as cool as you thought you were, but now you’re too old to do much about it? You’re never gonna be in great shape or get any prettier. You’re not gonna be rich so no one will even pretend for you.

Well, some of you might this sad or something, but it’s really awesome. Cuz now we’re free. No more fantasizing about some weird preprogrammed societal BS. Now we can get ugly and go live in the woods like a coven of electric witches. Talk about last night’s dreams to a murder of crows and run around screaming nude in the woods as fast as we can.

It’s time to get fucking real cuz we can see Death’s house and it’d be nice to make a little racket first. Let’s enjoy our own madness and this carnal form. Hmmm…. is Death flying a red kite?

Reminds me of an Issa poem.

That gorgeous kite
rising above
the beggar’s shack

December 15 2017

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TGIF!

December 08 2017

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TGIF!

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fuckyeahmodernflapper:

Autochrome, Thomas Shields Clarke, ca. 1910

Old Mcdonald had a Farm

The farmers were disappearing. I can’t remember if it was before or after the bees started dying.

The sad, fairly simple chain of events was easy to trace from beginning to end. The farmers were broke. Most were forced into increasingly desperate chemical measures to wring every last cent out of the earth. Every year they would produce a higher yield, but the markets paid them less money. Eventually, they found themselves selling their harvests at a loss. They found themselves in a dark corner and, one by one, they disappeared back into the earth. Victims of a strange famine of greed.

Meanwhile, in town, everyone was moving into 8x8 foot hovels that provided one cot, free wi-fi and 59 cent double cheeseburgers.

At my father’s funeral, I saw the last bee I can remember seeing. My father had taken his monthly dosage of painkillers in one night along with a box of wine. The next morning, when all the snow had melted they found him dead in an oak tree still clinging to a large branch overlooking the back 80-acre field. It had been fallow for over a year, but I like to imagine that with a head full of pills and cheap red wine that my father imagined the corn as eight feet tall and dancing in the wind. The tassels full of bees and the birds singing one last song.

At the cemetery, the priest was droning on with a half-hearted eulogy when suddenly he stopped. There was a bee buzzing around the casket. We’d been told that all the bees within the tri-county area were gone for good. We all watched quietly as the bee landed on the casket and disappeared under the lid.

That night I dreamt my father’s casket was a hive. His body had turned into golden honey, buzzing with new life. I woke up crying, certain that somehow he’d save us. I kept waiting to see a honey bee as if it were a sign, but I never saw one again. Not yet, anyway.

December 07 2017

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I’ve been buying a lot of new gadgets on Amazon. I buy five to ten things at a time and they all ship in separate boxes.

A strange hole opened up in my head as I began to break down all the boxes, plastic wrap and clamshell containers. I worried that the animals would get stuck in the bags and packaging. So I cut them into long strips but I still worried that the animals could become entangled. So I cut them into small squares.

I spent most of the rest of the week cutting packages into smaller and smaller pieces until I was left with nothing but a fine dust which I accidentally inhaled.

I then crawled out into the backyard wheezing in a suffocating panic. Just before I lost consciousness the animals gathered around me. I tried to shoe them away. “If I die, please don’t eat me!” I said. “I’m no good for you. I’m no good for anything!”

December 01 2017

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Whitey

I had seizures when I was little. The first episode was when my mother and father split up. My mother waited until my father went away on a fishing trip, then we packed up the entire house late into the night. Uncle Al came by the following morning with a moving truck and loaded up the boxes and most of the furniture.
 As I watched them load my little bed I decided I wasn’t going to leave. Actually, I’d decided before that, when Mom told me we were leaving because Dad was sick.
 I sat down where the dining room table used to be and said to myself. I’m not leaving. My mother yelled at me that it was time to go. She seemed really far away but she was in the same room. Things had slowed down and everything got blurry. When she tried to pick me up it was like a jolt of electricity surged through me. I thrashed once or twice and went completely stiff. I heard my mother scream and I woke up in the hospital.
 In the hospital, everyone was really nice to me. I was given a toy airplane and ice cream. I could watch TV all day.

The second seizure was a year later when I was in 1st grade. We had to take a phonics test. I felt a wave of panic because I never did any homework and was terrible at phonics. And then it was like I was swimming inside myself away from my eyes. The harder I tried to swim back to my eyes, the more it hurt. So I let go and fell into my shoes.
 I woke up in the nurse’s office. They gave me some cold apple juice and my mother came and got me. We went to the hospital but they didn’t keep me overnight. I got to stay home from school the next day and watch TV on the couch.
 I liked the game shows. Everyone was always jumping up and down and screaming, while the lights flashed and music played. Strangers ran up and hugged each other. I practiced winning too, jumping up and down on the couch and hugging my stuffed bear. My mom came in and yelled at me that I was going to give myself a fit.

Ever since then I’ve tried to stay calm.

November 25 2017

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Black Friday

I bought the newest video game console. I take it for long walks in the woods and ask it questions. I hold it like a baby and rock it back and forth as I wander through the trees and over the rocky terrain.

Tonight I made it all the way to the junkyard to see if the chief was there. The chief claims to be Native American, but everyone knows he’s really a totaled ‘73 Mercury.

The chief speaks to me, asks if my baby can sing. I assure him my baby can do anything.

We sit on the riverbank and listen to the inert strum of black plastic - the hum of the land singing in the wind. The chief smiles and nods at me and I smile back.

“These black Friday deals are pretty great,” he says.

“Yeah.” I nod. “It’s almost like the real thing.”

“Almost,” says the chief.

We go see Grandmother. Grandmother is a wolf who became a tree after her lover died. Grandmother never says a word, but she says plenty and she feeds us.

Afterwards, the chief walks me halfway home under the vast twinkling night sky. We can almost hear the satellites whisper above the crickets.

“Your baby is right,” he says.

“I know,” I say, and we both laugh.

November 16 2017

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but I get up again

November 09 2017

An excellent 6 ½ minute film on art, awareness and simplification.

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