Monday, November 21, 2005

You know you've been diagnosed with a steady case of bloggers' block...

...When you peek under your dashboard and realize that every date is neon green (neon green on blogger is indicative of a germinal blogg draft in utero) and you realize that no one has viewed anything you've scribbled over the past summer because you haven't bothered to buff up the interior rants and emotional blatherings of your ever bleeding, pulsating, foundering heart.

In a way it's nice being anonymous, but I dearly miss the cyber-companionship from hence this blogg was based--and if the cornerstone of all aesthetics isn't love and friendships and community then, in the immortal words of the Stratford bard himself "I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

And everyone who knows me knows that Buddy has a whole lotta love.


Graduated Magnum Cum Laude in May. Got hired on as full time faculty at the library in June. For the first time in shit-knows-how long I'm raking in bank. For three years I worked between 50-80 hours week, lived more or less at the poverty level, was eligible for food stamps and never knew the definition of the word weekend.

If you dedicate your life to something other than yourself you invariable end up knowing a lot about poverty and suffering and loneliness and failure and hurt. Over the past three years I experienced poverty...I've crashed in my car, lived in houses where there was always cat shit on the carpet ( damnit Alexander!), lived in an apartment where I had to practically dissect the toilet everytime in order for it to flush. Two years ago I had only two pairs of jeans, a six hundred page long manuscript, a vehicle that needed a new serpentine belt, and a family that wanted little--if anything-- to do with me.

Now color is wending its way back into the bends of my flesh and forehead, I have more than one pair of shoes in the closet and I am starting to work out again--both at the gym and on the keyboard. I'm sending stories out on a regular basis for publication and my mother cuts my hair every two weeks.

The healing didn't happen all at once, but gradually, over the past three months, I'm starting to feel revived. I'm starting to feel alive.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Because, in a weird way, she requested, that's all...

The memory of the two of us was perfect. Thanks for bein' my muse last semester, angel.

somehwere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands


Monday, October 31, 2005

So you wanted to be a writer, hey boy....


(journal comments transcribed from various inky squiggles)

* This is how fiction works. Like in the beginning of Cannery Row when Steinbeck pisses out a sully vignette for the reader about “a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, “whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,” by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, “Saints, and angels and martyrs and holy men,” and he would have meant the same thing. . . .”

*This is where fiction takes you.

“Fiction is what it’s like to be a complete, sentient fucking human beings versus a rather sophisticated mammal.” -David Foster Wallace author of Infinite Jest

“ Though the night was made for loving and the day returns to soon.”

Licking the circuitous fiction with your pen, you’re wont to comment about what doesn’t work for you, yet you forget that secret place—where language opened up, like her body opened up, where language gave birth to that scene, to that story, to linear horizon of that perfectly trimmed sentence, tugging across the page in lil’ locomotives whiffs.

Climb aboard.

“Early in my life it was too late.”

I fell in love with the girl who wrote the taco poem. Fell in love with the neon splash of lights brushing into the parking lot, fell in love with the oblique angle of the first kiss, fell in love with the way the sentences open and closes the way garage door opens and closes.

“She’ll be riding three white horses when she comes.”

George Saunders, Ryu Murakami, Sherman Alexie, John Updike, Jim Harrison, Tillie Olson…scraps of New Yorker entitled fiction eviscerated from the guts of the magazine in little ridged sears.

Like sex, our instructor urges us to read “Hard, fast and well.”

** Implicit Irony. Our instructor remains dubious of the unblinking oracular lens perched above drywall like Poe’s pestering ode to ornithological beaks and flaps, irked of Big Brother’s espial sonnets, yet we unzip lives, split veins, caligraph images in our blood.

Outside of class I petitioned females. I asked them if they were elusive Sappho that penned the Taco ode.

****poem by Rishika Murphy to brighten up my facebook

“Here I sit
Broken hearted

Had to shit
But only farted”

Compared to Pounds :
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;Petals on a wet, black bough. “Love is not Love which alters when it alteration find” An ever fixed mark: The story about Prince Albert; the loafers in search for the perennial jell-o high, Pastor Rupert, “ A garrison of single-engine planes,” the porn star, the dildo, the Speed Date D-cup dating service, the monkey pajamas, the funeral home victim, lying supine and listless. The instructor oriented memos received via e-mail chauffeured via warbled hieroglyphics splashes of the mother ship. “When something is well hidden it is hard to find.” “Oh we are being visited.” Heaps of linguistic slop. Alphabetical flotsam and jetsam. Peoria—the genital wart of the Midwest. Bradley university. David von Behren. Illegitimate great-great grandson of Lydia Moss Bradley. Still 30+ in the hole. Turtle Tinswell, Sister Terisita, “Those panties saved my life.” Sister Marva and her anatomically correct gnomes. The anecdote about the clowns who run the STD clinic. Fucking Jim Les. (Dick Les) fucking president Broski who doesn’t read. Fucking witches in Swords Hall. Fucking English department on the hilltop that lives familial comforts appalling to the so called loser –scribblers whose tomes they teach. Writers who lived in squalor so English fuckwads could live comfortably Joseph Campbell on being a writer: Can you afford ten years of your life and not make it. Joseph Campbell on not obtaining a PhD: You can tell the level of [intellectual puerility] dependency by the number of footnotes in their writing. Even the Guerrila Girrls were afraid to be naked while “intellectualizing” their passions. Write a book that they’ll boast about. Make sure to employ witticism, catch phrases, memorable characters…..put yer’ heart in a gin bottle and hurtle it into a shopping mall as far as you fucking can. Watch the spume of glass christening the linoleum pavement of commerce… The spasmodic bleeps of barcodes, the sounds of traffic lumbering in a parking lot, jockeying for position, the poetry of ATM machines. “All my life Father believed in Angels.” Rick Bass. Denis Johnson. Anthony Doerr. Loorie Moore. Carole Maso. Jerzy kosinki. “Why don’t you pull a Holden Caulfield and tell your readers something that they really want to know.” The perfect sentence. The perfect female. Ulysses, The Recognitions, Mason and Dixon, Underworld, Infinite Jest, War and Peace, Women and Men, Gravity’s Rainbow The moment where author, language and reader becomes one entity The acquiescence of the trinity, taking your breath away, taking you to that place that you are afraid to go on your own…. “Alas poor yorrick” We read and we ink and we peruse over lumpy, cancerous sentences, drilling our eyesight between the collective gaps of images, hoping to lose ourselves in a wayward image.

Where would the college of liberal arts and sciences be w/out the trite phrase “I think that…”

Don’t think. “Write like your life depended on it.”

Fuckin’ Dave Eggers.

No one has time to write a novel the size of an SUV.

Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die.

Ineluctable modality of the visible.

“I don’t understand it.”

“I think…..”

“Everyone wants to live forever but no one wants to grow old.”

Just give the prof. what he wants. Just give the readers a story.”

“Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable.”

Where would Best American Short stories be without Oates, Munro, Updike, TC Boyle?

Don’t talk about writing, don’t write about writing, bring something into the world. Quit putting it off, brother.

Even Hawthorne had to begin with the letter A.

If you want to know what fiction is, write what you think that fiction is…..

“listen, I will be honest with you;
I don not offer old new prizes; but offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you”

John Gardner. Raymond Carver.

Where are the prof’s that submit there shit on a weekly basis?

Where is anyone who gives in order to shine?

“old country Soul/Where’s your Jesus”

I finally found her—after numerous interrogations and a couple of shits and a party at the Treehouse.

“Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there/ With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.”

The girl. The taco poem. I wanted to eat her tongue. I wanted to lick the unsuspecting fingers tips that trifled out such beauty.”

“I didn’t really think the poem was any good.” Was all she said, rather coyly, flapping the curtain of bangs gently from her forehead.

“The golden apples of the moon/ the silver apples of the tongue.”

“Though the earth was made of loving.”

Quit worrying so much about what the author is trying to say and start worrying about you want to say.

“What thought lovest well remains…”

Try to split your heart our from your fingertips, on to the cosmic blue of the computer screen

“…the rest is dross.”

Call for the high road once again:

Small town girl, a train in england, vital nutrients, life of a pen, a poem written in the fashion of a calculator which my classmates have deemed as “cute” and Ezra Pound has deemed as…..

Just show up every morning at MS Word—like left field, once that ball is hit out there
Be there to receive it….

I love the sentence “ She could feel him growing inside of her.”

The hoi poloi of fiction. The journey of discovery. The place where you go when you want someone to hold you, baby.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

poem for angela

Here's a poem I wrote for a children's mathbook (yeah-me-math-kids-nada)...The book was edited by angela (who makes young writers look good!!!!)...angela also made me feel VERY special when she stopped me in the middle of the road one day and told me that she loved my writing. Only angela wasn't angela then (she was a stranger) and when a total stranger waltzes up to you and says "thank you" for something you've scribbled, you know you're in the right profession, damnit! No matter what the take home bank. So, without further ado.....


Many a half-moons ago across Sunshine Terrain
Lived the Integer family of 3.14 Prime Lane
A decorous Kingdom of dactyls and digits
No rascals, insurgents or mischief’s or midgets
No negative dashes or frustrated fractions
No unfinished units, or wayward transactions
For the Integer clan was quite certain of one junction
That each separate member of their family held a certain function

King Cassius and Queen Carnessa, royal father and mother
Had added the sum of thousands of numbers
There was Cody and Caitlin, Colette and Christine
All shaped like the numbers ahead of sixteen
Cassandra the bore who was looked like a four
Cormac and Clinton who discretely swore
That there were no greater numbers of royal court ordinals
‘cept for oldest sib Cameron who kept stats for the Cardinals.

The King and Royal Mother were proud of their progeny
All capable of excelling in numerical homogeneity
The off-springs were excellent in deducing absolutes
Whether adding, dividing or extrapolating geometrical proofs
So proud were the parents of both children and place
They adhered to the Laws of the numerical race
Except for the youngest the sweetest and dearest
Shaped like a zero, his name was Cornelius.

Cornelius was egg-shaped, his cheeks were quite bare
He sat in the center of the number-lined Fair
To his right he saw negative digits saluting
To his left was his family all perfect, recruiting
Fellow Integers to add to the Integer chain
But Cornelius would always remain the same and the same
Stuck in the center while numbers stretched far
While Clinton and Cormac harassed and sassed, claiming
“How could you be so important if you know not what you are?”

Cornelius was sad. He knew not his function.
Queen Carnessa decided to host a family-all luncheon
She invited second cousins of triple esteem
And numerical pillars from Rome so it seemed
She sat all the numbers around a golden timetable
Clearing her throat, as if commencing a fable.
“Lend me your ears, calculators, rulers and proofs
your tip charts, your protractors, line graphs and mathematical truths

“You make fun of Cornelius, thinking his sum worthless
You scoff at his semblance and heckle his purpose
You think of him funny, deem him a heathen
While some brandish him odd, others think him of even
And while it will appall you, you’ll think it’s not true
That his total existence marks the absence of you
So I invite all my digits to squint and take a closer look
Sometimes the truth differs from the answers in the back of the book.

“For Cornelius the Zero gives birth to your shape
Your worth, merit and height, your numerical weight
Think his contour the egg from hence you all hatched from
The ongoing center of the infinite drum
The moment from when time convened there was nothing
Except for Cornelius he was there, he was something!”
Carnessa paused in her speech, she looked throughout all the legions
The Thousands, the Millions, the Billions, the seasons

Of numbers stretched far as both eyes could see
Then Carnessa turned to Cornelius and giggled with glee.
“It’s a glum paradox by not being you be
By not being you, you Cornelius, give life to me
You give breath to the shapes of every number indented
You are the greatest concept ever invented

You serve as the greatest numerical threshold
You separate the positive and chauffer the negative
You keep all the numbers in balance in check.”
Turning to her fellow Integers, the Queen adjusted her neck
“So next time please, don’t be so rash with your assumptions
For even absolute nothing creates an important function!!!”

So next time you find yourself alone or estranged
Feel free to skirt across the sunshine, to 3.14 Prime Lane
Where wise Queen Carnessa will tell you herself
That Cornelius the Zero is a concept, one cannot do without.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Very sniffle sniff-sniff sweet and sour sentimental "Awwwwwwwwwww"

After devouring barbecue ribs marinated with either arsenic or hemlock (!) and spending the fourth day of July puking the crimson interior of my guts out, diagnosed with vile food poisoning, my beloved co-workers pulled a fast one and threw me a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!!! They even sang Happy Birthday to me in the middle of the library atrium!!!!!!

What a staff!!!! ( I know, they're just probably sucking up to the boss so I can give them all the hours they want next semester--hehehe) But still, I was EXTREMELY touched. Lena made me a birthday cake, Erich supplied the pop, Barb dished out copious amounts of KFC, and somebody even bought Humus, for all those devout vegetarians out there!!!!!

Once again, to my beloved staff( Justin, Lexie, Gretchen, Erich, Lena, Jysonthna, Jessica, Sarah) you guys are awesome!!!!! Thanx for ALL Your HARD Work! And thanx for making this crazy writer feel so welcome!

Sometimes its nice just to feel like you belong...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

All is fair in blogg and war...

Here's a filched e-mail I received last week from an (ex-ex-ex) girlfriend ( 8 years ago) whose semi-elusive face occasionally blurs its way back into my blogg. I figure it's only fair to let her have her say in cyberspace. Enclosed is the letter she sent me and my response. I'd love to hear what my devout fellow bloggsters think about this one. For her privacy sake, I'll omit her name, and for confessionalists sake--yeah, I was prety much an asshole:

Googled my name (as everyone must do once in a while), and came across your "musings." I saw "Infinite Jest" on the clearance rack at Borders the other day and thought of you. I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

Things here are going wonderfully. Chad and I have been married 4 years (and believe me, I am equally glad it wasn't you in the picture with my wedding dress), and we have an amazingly beautiful 7 month old son named Griffin, who I take care of full-time. My life is just as I hoped it would be, and I don't think everyone can say that, so I consider it a success.

I have to say, I felt kind of violated when your blog came up with my full name in it. I guess you can just post whatever you want about someone else, but it's still kind of invasive. And I think you took a bit of poetic license.

I hope your life is on track and things work out for you as you wish. In spite of how poorly you treated me, I made my peace with you a long time ago, and know that a lot of that came from how unhappy you were. Hopefully you are happier now. Oh, and by the way, I "know words" not because of who my uncle is, but because of that 800 on my SAT verbal :)


Mrs. ________!

Wow!!!! Glad to hear your life is fabulous!!!!! I actually almost accumulated the gall to dig up your digits and phone you up threeyears ago the night Duke lost to Indiana in the sweet 16! I thought itwas rather ironic and living in Indiaina and being such a Die-hard coach K fanatic.

Congrats on your marraige and newborn!!!! (didn't you plan on naming your first born Christopher? Chris Collins will be dismayed.)

Sounds like you did some serious cyber-splunkering to locate my blogg. After I received your letter I did numerous google searches on your name and nothing came up. Hell, if you type in my name into the vacant googolized horizon the address for my blogg doesn't even come up, so lord knows how you managed to unearth it.

Life here is good. I just got hired on as faculty at the cullom-davis library. I sold my first short story last October and just completed awhopping 700 page single spaced page manuscript which took me fouryears to scribble. The novel is titled YELLOW MONKEY BARS & UNBIDDENERECTIONS: A FAILED CAMPAIGN. The protagonist name is a lad called BUSTER HIGHMAN. He's a portly, bavarian flatulant artist and who can't get laid for the life of him. I seriously doubt if the novel will eversee the light of day, but who knows.

Sorry if you took offense to anything that was written. I sort of use blogger as a verbal batting cage--a place to bash around thoughts before I go down on MS WORD for nine hours a night. Blogging's a great method to blow some steam, reminisce or simply feel creative.

Time to go. Looks like we both inherited the beautiful lives we were meant to lead.

All the best, ____, and let the beauty you love be what you do....
David Von Behren",1]

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Patriarchal Pandora and a new found feather for my father

Every male that I know of keeps a chest of mired masculinity burrowed somewhere deeply inside their immediate living environment. Sometimes the chest is an old NIKE shoe-box or a chipped briefcase. Sometimes the chest is on-line or stashed in soft-core passges, nestled between makeshift matresses. Sometimes the chest is a bucket of failed memories, burnt out bric-a-brac randomly arranged inside the lonely vectors of the man's pulsating heart-- a wild sputter of echoed aches, lost throbs and smudged glories.

Sifting through the contents of these private treasures is like probing into the archeology of the feral continent of a man's heart. The peeping pandora finds out of what an individual lives for-- you rake through his mistakes, his foibles, his sins--you glimpse through a keyhole and catch a snippet of his forbidden love, the morningdew still moist from childhood, the electric frisson of his first kiss--the sudden arrival of his life.

Some men keep pictures of wives or girlfiends or ex-lovers or children. Some men keep cigar wrappers, condoms, phone numbers, forlorn love letters, jewlery, vacant bottles of cologne, valuable baseball cards, jaundice yearbooks, varsity letters. Some men keep overdue bills, passports, family heirlooms, birth certificates.

In my own chest at home (a self-ordained muse box) I have rough drafts of a few of my early stories, two rings that belonged to my father, photographs of ex-girlfriends, a CD of my own father's funeral I still haven't accumulating the gall to audibly relive.

I have pictures of females. The proverbial "one that got away", a portrait of the blonde-streaked feminist-bitch who smashed my heart into fragments of chipped pottery, another photograph of the woman who chose to marry for money and so did.

And letters. Inky strokes of palsied promises and violated vows. Letters fused with loopy feminist handwriting--long paragraphs paragraphs festooned with shapes and breath dredging up a memory, a voice, a warmth.

Here's a letter I found a few weeks back while sifting through an old chest of my late-father's personal belongings. The letter was composed forty years ago, by a gentlemen named Russ Peterson. I have no clue who Russ Peterson is. At the time the letter was written my father would have been seventeen years old, graduating from High school, ready to attending the University where his only son has recently been employed.

I post the letter today in lieu of father's day and as a meditation of manhood. I simply request that those who peruse it, take a moment to think about their own lineage.

Dear Friend Arthur,

Often I think of you and keep you in remebrance and in my prayers. I know you are graduating from High School this spring but know not the date; thus this may be late. Nevertheless, I must send this to you. I went to five stores attempting to find a card that would express what I wanted to say to you but to no avail, thus I hope you will not mind this simple note of greeting.

I pray God our heavenly Father, His gracious blessings for you as you soon are to graduate. I thank our Lord he has given to you His light and understanding. May the Holy Spirit lead you and give to you the inisght to use what you have learned in school so far as preparation for fuller service to Him and fellow men in whatever that calling may be. I thank our Lord, Arthur, that He has given to you faith in Christl love and hope and a Christian outlook on life. I know that in years to c ome you will continue as you have in the past, to live for Jesus, and to HIs honor and glory. May he give to you confidence in His guidance, a strond trust in His love and grace as you face new decisions and uncertainties and possible doubts for the future. Above all, may your youthful and loving heart ever find peace and refuge in the loving heart of Jesus, in whom we have fellowship with one another.

I say this not sentimentally, but in all honesty and sincerity, you are a fine boy, credit to your family and a jewel in the kingdom of God. I recall one day, Arthur, while you were still attending Christ School (8th grade) you had just come off patrol duty and was riding north on your bicycle on Starr Street. Some small boys from school were playing with a ball in the playground (you perhaps do not remember the incident but I will always remember it). As you passed the playground the ball ran into the street and one of the little first graders ran after the ball. Just as he was to step out into the street (there was traffic) he noticed you had stopped your bike. You laid down your bike on the curbing, went out into the street, retrieved the ball to the curb and handed the ball to the little boy.

As I stood in the library alone and looking out I witnessed what you did. I prayed a prayer to Jesus which went something like this: "Thank you Lord for this fine, wonderful boy. In love for thee he has shown love for this little boy. O Lord, guide him, guard and protect him in service for Thee."

I am thus confident Arthur, that by the Holy Spirit within you and your love for the Savior who has redeemed you and loves you to the end, you will always love Him and serve Him who has done so much for you and me.

Thus, in whatever calling he will lead you, I know you will be doing it in service for the Lord Jesus. To this end then, dear Arthur, I commend you to the care and keeping of our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus.

Greet Dad and mom, Larry and little Chris. We remember you all and think of you often.

Your friend,

Russ Peterson

dated Sunday, May 30th, 1965

Happy Fathers day, daddy!!! Love you buddy.

David Arthur Von Behren

Sunday, May 08, 2005

B(itch)logg and Happy Mother's Day

Been working around the numerical disc of the clock; the emaciated thin limbs of the hour and minute hand shuffle past stiff integers of time as the semester wends its way into completion and I find myself (in less than a week) cloaked in a drape of black, jigging to pomp and circumstance, grasping the slanted palm of Dr. Browski--prestigious president of BU--fightin' off the spontaneous urge to spoonfeed him the finger (my own diplomatic dactyl of integrity and emancipation) while humming out Pink Floyd's infamous introit, more apt in an age where the once gilded, inemitable annals of higher education have sourly transitioned into a financial bulwark oppressing the financial future of many a working-class students, such as myself, for the next three-to-four decades.

"We don't need no education!
We don’t need no thought control!
No dark sarcasm in the classroom!
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!"

Yep, education these days pretty much truckles to the whims of all the pretty-boys Little Lord Fountainbleau's hailing from the likes of Skokie and Schaumburg. They have short hair, drink cheap domestic beer, deem themselves an authoritative asset on politics, never fully know their spouse, inherit their father's erstaz bussiness, have a hard time getting through Slaughterhouse Five let alone allowing their terse attention span to trek across any narrative that can't be imminently fast-forwarded, rewound or freeze framed.

It's almost an evolutionary phenomenom. Six million years ago; by process of evolution and natural selection, certain vectors of our species become bi-pedal, learn to walk up right, learn how to stretch and instigate muscles they never knew existed in order to behoove the development of the clan and perpetuate the betterment of mankind.

Now, six-million years later, society still seems bracketed into those who can walk and those who can't. (When those who walk employ SUV as crutches--the artist has no choice but to fledge his wings and offer those with attuned lobes a healthy flap).

The north american yuppie--a most disgusting mammal. The pessimism that exudes through the cracks of this entry comes from working thirty hours straight, ferrying to the whims of these short hair pretty boys. It comes from bantering with them, encouraging them, appeasing them, lauging with them, serving them. It comes from secretly wanting to be one. Wanting to have the assurance, the commodities, the trust fund christened from umbilicus, the mortgage (the know-it-all Manard's on Saturday, tinkering around the house genius, the bolwing trophy wife)--It comes from being exhausted. It comes from realizing that, the role of the Buddha is "Joyful participation in the suffering of the world" even if that suffering means you'll be in a piss-all tax bracket; that suffering still alloactes an element of freedom--it allows you to be able to sing, to dance, to make love, to be astonished by the thermonuclear slants of the sun, even in old age. It allows you to see.

True, looking back, myself (like allota kids I admire) have never known a week of school where I wasn't engaged in working extraneous jobs to pay exorbitant tuition rates. Scribbling out third shift timecards on a weekly basis may have deprived me of being a student, but, in all realization, it crafted me into a storyteller. It hardened my arteries, bolstered my awareness and apprecieation for the working class, made me dubious about US politics and above all, gave me the one diploma, that is never finished, that I work on every day, every hour, every moment....

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A blogg for the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.....

No, not Maggie this time. Nor Sexy Sarah who reads Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and has a splash of red hair that would drive any mammal in possession of male artillery thin-weak at the caps of his knees. Nor vivacious Stephanie whose been a real buddy to me this past semester (even though she always leaves her goddamn panties at my house *smiles*) nor Brilliant Hippie Nicki who studies philosophy and whose mind is a gaseous planet full of atmospherical insight and profound beauty. No, sorry, not even Arya and Daniela both of whom in the past year have provided me with the feeling of security and love that often eludes me in face-to-face relationships. Not my brilliant sister Beth, either, who practically disowned me after my father's sudden death, claiming that I was being too selfish (Beth and I have rectified our rapport since then--she's graduated from LAW school in downtown Chicago in two weeks and I couldn't be more proud)--Nor my graceful sister Jenn who has the lead in CRAZY FOR YOU--and who I'm still "working on" to better our rapport--No, this is a concourse orchestrated Blogg directed at a dear friend of mine name Tricia Nyhus, an english teacher here at Bradley, a fellow contemporary 'crazy' screenplay writer, a wife, a mother of three, and--most imperatively--my hero.

I first met Tricia at a reception for then poet laureate of the United States Billy Collins, April of 2004 (Collins' wrote the cigarette poem I posted a few months back). Collins' gave a sold out reading at Dingledine and the following day twenty students were invited to attend a lecture
by Collins. I was in awe just being in his presence and trying to impress him with lord knows what sort of verbal bosh and pretentious tongue blather which made him role his eyes and question the veracity of our department.

In the circle (english majors form circles EVERYWHERE they go) there was one lady I had never seen before. She was wearing a mickey mouse shirt, glasses and had hazel bangs that slipped down the side of her face (which I would learn later on was a wig).

The lady smiled incessantly throughout the discourse of the lecture. She flirted with the poet laureate and made a joke about S &M that made Mr. Collins hackle with delight. At the end of the lecture she promptly gathered her folders and confidently strutted out of the room.

About a week later I was in another classroom (with desks seemingly arranged like crop-circles) when I inquired to Shannon Moore if she knew the origins of this affable creature who felt so comfortable cracking sado-masochist jibes with Billy Collins.

"Her name's Tricia." Shannon said. "She's a grad student and teaches at ICC."

It turned out that Tricia was going through chemotherapy for a lump she discovered late last autumn. Her hair was fake; she wore glasses so that no one would suspect that the streaking brows a top her nutmeg eyes were penciled in and that chemotherapy had ruthlessly stripped her every patch of her hair on her body, like brown bristles sprinkling off a dead-alley evergreen several weeks after the joyous holiday has past.

By the time Tricia was diagnosed with cancer I had already had my fair share of the disease stain the blood-lining of my familily genes. In less than five years I lost two grandparents, a cousin and my father. The last father to son activity I performed with the old man was helping him take a shit, lowering his boxers and wiping the ass of my father before two days before he died.

There's many things I hate in life (rich bradley kids from Northshore 'burbs, my ex-girlfriend, AIDS, poverty, academic dross-n-excess, financial destitution, Dr. Gorin, Illinois Public school systems in general) and Cancer ranks right up there, and, pardon my candor, but FUCK YOU twatty Georgie W. for not possessing the elementary social insight to diagnose CANCER in itself as a weapon of mass destruction. There, I said it mister president, Fuck you. Your troops are haggard and on there deathbed here at home, chief and you manipulate biblical passages for your own global naivete. In the immortal words of Greg Brown "I have my hand on my heart but I don't know what for." I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

To the best of my knowledge Tricia was never as truculent as I am towards the disease that blasted the cells of fifteen percent of my family from me over the past half-decade. In fact, what makes Tricia my hero is that she conquered the disease in the same manner in which she conquered the heart of the US poet laureate that one spring morning:with charm and laughter.

The local paper did an account on Tricia this morning and showed a Christmas card of her and her family smiling. Tricia is sporting the infamous chemotherapy-inspired Sinead O'Conner doo while her three children and husband are each wearing a sort of nylon over their heads, pretending to be bald as well.

"Merry Christmas!" the card said, "And a Happy New Hair!"


Last semester Tricia stopped me after a Screenwriting class to congratulate me for a local writing award I had won. It was my first encounter with her tete-a-tete. Ironically the story that I sold was about my father who had died from a disease she was all too familiar with.

What happened next was weird. She just wanted to talk about my story and all I wanted to do was thank her for surviving. She smiled and acted like the twelve months of enervating chemo treatments were no big deal.

"When you have kids its just something you do. You survive."

She was wearing her wig, the same wig she had on the first time I had spotted her flirting with Billy Collins. In the article this morning she talked about loosing her physical identity, but never loosing her sense of humor."

"Look," She told the local Urinal Jar (Journal Star) reporter. "I thought to myself, If I'm going to go through this experiment, I might as well laugh my ass off."


The last time I saw Trish was about a month ago. We were walking opposite directions. A woman with scruff short hair was power walking on the sidewalk opposite from me. She hollered out my name and I had no clue who it was (I thought it was a lesbian at first)= to my dismay it was Trish.

"Can you believe it--MY HAIR IS COMING BACK!!!!"

"So it's gone?" I inquired. "The cancer is gone?"

"As far as I know." She responded. She went on to talk about her screen play (80 pages!!!) how BU had hired her to teach two classes this pending autumn. When I asked her again about the venom that momentarily rented the inside her body, she just laughed, referenced her kids and again, insinuated, that surviving is just something you do. You live and laugh as much as possible through this process of life--through the art of living.

I tried telling Trish just how much her survival meant to me that afternoon. She blushed it off and I hugged her goodbye, told her that I was proud of her. That she was my hero for conquering the disease that took my old man so suddenly three years ago.

Her shock of short hair looks like golden wheat atop her head and (using her own humor) Trish, you really were the sexiest lesbian I've ever seen that day (with the exception of late night hi-channeled adult quality viewing, of course....hehehe).

What Trish doesn't know is, after our last encountered, I cried. An avalanche of tears spilled from my sockets. True I was missing my dad, pissed off that he had died before he ever had the opportunity to escort one of his daughters down the aisle; pissed off that he had died while his only son and first born was engaged in a rather hedonistic and unhealthy lifestyle.

But mostly the reason I shuffled tears away from my cheekbones that afternoon has to do with beauty. Beauty in its most true and unadulterated form seems to sometimes involve an intersection of suffering, glory, resilience, laughter. What I saw that day, gazing at Trisha's back confidently power walking down Cooper as she gradually dissipated was simply a person who had accepted the "test" they were for some horrible, inexplicably given and had impeccably passed it with multiple plus signs following the first upper-case vowel.

Most notorious writers can't do this. For a long time I hid. I hid behind the blonde that was coddled in my right palm and the beer that was grasped in my left. I hid behind a plume of arid, cancer-friendly cigarette smoke. I hid behind prose so bloated it must be mistaken for splashes of genius 'less it be uncloaked for the elementary ink-drops that it truly was.

For a long time I hid. The Dragon firing up my cigar. The lizard pouring me another round. Mara telling me that the girl who just rightfully dropped my ass and has deemed me a 'creep' was a bitch-to-begin anyway before I cozen her into a kegstand and wet-t contest.

What I saw in Trish was a human being who accepted what life/God had given her and laughed, joyous streams of laughter in response.

Attagirl, Trish! Atta fuckin' girl!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Dust yerself off and try again...

All semester long there was Maggie; the fair skinned doe-eyed wild irish haired lass who sits next to me in irascible Doctor Gorin Soc for inane masochists. All semester long there was her--the beautiful fair-foreheaded goddess (she's like, twenty times more intelligent than I am!). Maggie who said the word 'Quarks' the first day of class. Maggie who dreams of taking her father to Ireland before he dies. Maggie who looks like a snow angel when she blushes, the folds of her smile creasing into the avenue of her lips; Maggie who loves the same state Park I trek to every season for spiritual nourishiment. Maggie whose favorite book is Jane Eyre which, after hearing her tithed confession (shhhh! don't tell her) I read for the first time. Maggie who gave me her phone number and then disappeared for a week and then wanted nothing to do with me. Maggie who either looks at me like she is totally in love or like she just miscarried every time we chat. Maggie who looks sexy in her spectacles. Maggie who inexplicably removed me from her facebook. Maggie who quite possibly, was the creative catalyst behind the best short story I have ever written (ibid see 'The Sail' publication pending and Miss Schutz, if you ever read this, that story belongs to you, so SMILE!) which is saying alot because I fucking write all the time, Maggie who I told my sister all about when I was drunk during the Illinois game. Maggie who I freaked out over because after I met her I felt that we had some weird connection. Maggie who works as a check out girl in ghetto Sav-a-lot of all fucking places. Maggie whose eyes look like lunar satellites every time they blink above the gentle pasture of her prominent cheekbones. Maggie who, I really believe this, is going to rock the world someday--a young woman who says so much simply by staring into the constellation of your forehead and offering the world a terse grin.

All semester long there was Maggie. The joy, the horrible awkwardness, the initial shock when I groped her pallid limb inside Jesters coffee and she said that she was in no particular hurry to get back to her dorm.

All semester long there was Maggie, beautiful, brilliant, wild-eyed erudite Maggie.

And tonight there was someone else.

And there were kisses, beautiful sweet kisses, the dew of spring, the awakenning of youth, the moment of oneness, feeling her body ache in the dark and wondering where she has been all this time.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

In this way we are wise

Butt-ass exhausted. Working all the F**king time. I get off work at six am, get a few hours rest, clock back on at nine am, work on and off until 3, come in tomorrow at four, work til midnight, take a three hour hiatus, back on at noon saturday...all just tryin' to get a lil' bread in my jar......

wish I had a warm body to hold....

Saturday, April 16, 2005

He who knows not how to hide....

...knows not how to love, so the adage goes. Went through four discrete drafts of my novel today, sifting through 1500 pages, four years of slapping shapes and milking metaphores. I'm exhausted. Twelve hour work day which because of pay crunches, I'm only paid for eight and a half.....

Brilliant writing buddy of mine found my blogg. He asked to remain faceless. Here's what he had to say:

Sir David--

Did something I've been meaning to do since NewYears. Recall our conversation with Dr.______,bedfellow of ____ the Plum Persian. Doctor insisted, rather insistently, that Kurt Vonnegut had recently checked out. You and I looked askance. Surely such news would have come to our attention. No, no, saidDoc, a bit dismissively, he's smoked. Are you sure you're not over extending your grasp Doctor? I mean,look, a guy needs a rubber glove in the ass and I'm sure you're just the man for the job. But perhaps you've strayed from your domain on this one. No, no,Kurt Vonnegut is dead, you ninnies. You are piddly writers. I am a medical doctor. You're degree is in abstraction, binge-drinking, mental masturbation. Mine is in medicine, in self-satisfaction. You two will stumble home tonight to toss off in a stack of wrinkled porn right about the time I'm mounting this plum Persian babe all knockered-up on Apple Martinis. Now, do as the good Doctor says and take yourmedicine, boys. I am right. He is dead.

Kurt Vonnegut is an 83-year old this year, and arather sprightly one at that.

Also, I checked out your blog. What a gig. It's the only blog I've ever intentionally read. Your fan base is impressive, though frankly, I'm worried, I'm worried for my life. I came upon the Dave Eggers story--well told, if you'll oblige some simpering. But oh the responses it illicited. I've heard about these blogging types. They're home-bodies,night-dwellers, tomb-raiders; they're wickens, they're patrons of dark lands with mystical powers. They take drugs, they have strange piercings. They have misinterpreted your yarn. They have bu-fooed context,and they have wished me ill-will. They have cursed me. Help me, David, please, to redeem my good standing in the universe. Tell them all that I have amended myself. Tell them of my support for your craft, my unflappable loyalty, my respect for all life and art. Tell them of my pathos, of my commingling with the needy. Tell them of my passiveness--I attended anti-war rallies in three states, albeit inadvertently. But a fine track record nonetheless. Tell them I'm a nature boy. Tell them I've sufferedfor my phone prank. And yes, tell them I have indeedheard of Karma. Tell them Karma recently visited andleft a raging case of ass herpes. I have repented.Tell them. Please. No more bad blogger Karma issued out of misconstrued context. The ass herpes hurts, somuch so I'm reduced to writing this email standing up.Bad bloggers, bad, bad bloggers.

Blogger be good, be good to me my babies. Love and peace to all of God's creatures unless you're and atheist then I love you too and good luck to the Muslims and people in India and I hope you all have enough rice for the winter and good toilets because cleanliness is next to godliness and that counts for you atheists too,



Saturday, April 09, 2005

Blog Fog

What's been goin on...

* Month of March: In like a Lion, out with a hangover.

*New Wheels--No insurance, no problem.

* Who left the thong on my desk in the library???? (very funny guys! Hahaha. Aprils fool!)

* Found out that b/c I pay so much for school I'm eligible for Food stamps (What!?! I work ALL the time!!!!!!!!)

*Tryin' to be cognizant about my health without making myself and everyone around me feel like a total uptight anal wad.

* All I want to do is sit on my ass and write all the time!

* Biggest graduation party known to mankind planned end of May. It's for myself and my sister whose graduating from law school. My Uncle just splurged on this halycon patch of Illinois soil so the party will entail camp out and keg, requisite late spring bon fire, solitude, fishing canoeing....ahhhhhh!!!!

* Told my prof. that I'd have a copy of my 700 page novel finished and buffed by MAY 13th!!!!

*Biggest Lit-week on campus--two writers, release of new journal (I have three pieces!!!) followed by poetry reading and awards banquet. In a conciliatory gesture, I invited moma bear to awards banquet.

*Go Illini! Wait....

Exam from Hell on monday morning. It's a soc. 100 class but the prof. is driving us all nucking futs. see here:

* It's spring which means I'm in love....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


It was a feast
Our bodies

Your blanket
Our table

Our outfits
Placemats on either

And for once


Supped from each

For once we
Fell inside

Each other
And drank to

The victory
Of our

Oneness. My chin
Tucked like a

Napkin between your
Breasts, and all I

Can tell you again
Is that I love

Every bite of you
Love to chew

love to bite
nibble and lick

But first we give
Thanks for all this

-dvb 2003

Grapple Them to Thy Soul with Hoops of Steel...

So much for masks. I've reposted both my first and last name on Dashboard (even though bloggins takin' a back seat to my other crazy fictional forays these days) the last seven years I've lived in ten (count 'em) different addresses. Moving around all the time has severed many frienships. My hope is that if you stumble upon my blogg CONTACT ME....esp if your name is Mark Feaster, Patrick "the great" Mullowney, Damien Segoiva, Misty Gerber, Brooke from Roanoke (sorry I fogot your new married name)-- "Jungian" Brook Jackson from chicago ( crazy loose-loined wild haired trollop that she is), Kris Weberg, Vanessa Hall ( stale apologies and an overdue european tryst are in jeopardy) the former Harmony Anne Dusek of Spokane, Megan Snow, Staci (yes anastaia it's been over a decade and i still haven't forgotten) Blake, Jim McGarth, Courtney from harrisburg (shit--what's your last name girl---that sunrise over Chespeake Bay on Bloomsday was simply unreal)...Matt Brown of Dallas, of course, it's been a long ass time, and yer' hospitality what--eight years ago--changed my life...Jana solomon..yeah, I should aplogize to you to for being such a dickwad, but I guess it all worked out in the end....Kyle Dooyle ( I know, marriage sucks brother, warned you) Karl Gibson, Alexis Jordan (which I guess it's Doctor Jordan--congrats on the white coat)--Sarah Wright, Andrew Engle.....anyone who was on PARADE's '93 YOUNG COLUMBUS trip to LONDON--the trip that more or less opened my eyes to the world of the arts and oriented me into a life braiding words into linear slants......

Dave Strickler--bro, how much crazy shit we did in High school together....

Hilary Lamontaigne, god girl, it's been a long ass time....

Also JoEllen, Brook (number three) Blowzis, Drunk Mike "soon I shall prove to thee world..." Cigar friendly dilettante of life Mike Davis (where are you!!!!!)

Just a few, if your name appears above this sentence feel free to contact me at any time. You've added much beauty and joy to my life. All I can do is to say thank you........

Sunday, March 06, 2005

...such a lonesome vocation

Writing is such a solitary profession. You spend hours a day going down on MS word, licking the square shapes of homerow with your imagination, chain smoking, trying to primp that slim sentence into linear perfection--here's one of my favorite stories about a young writer trying to make it---on his B-day no less:

It's the birthday of journalist and novelist Gabriel García Márquez, born in Aracataca, Colombia (1928). Until he was eight, Márquez was raised by his grandparents, and once said that all his writing had been inspired by the stories they told him. His grandfather was a Colonel and a liberal veteran of one of Columbia's worst civil wars. Gabriel's grandmother told him fantastic legends and tales of witches and ghosts. He became a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and later became a foreign correspondent, traveling all over Europe and the Americas. He had published fiction already, but had long wanted to write a novel based loosely on his hometown and his memories of his grandparents. His inspiration for the book came when he realized he had to write it in the same tone of voice his grandmother used when she told stories, describing both supernatural and political events as though there was no difference between them. The style later became known as "magical realism." Once he had the idea for the book he quit his job and wrote for eighteen months, without a break, smoking six packs of cigarettes every day. To support his wife and children, he sold his car and every household appliance, and borrowed money from all his friends. When he tried to sell pieces of his wife's jewelry, many of them wedding gifts, he found out that all the gems were made of glass. By the time the book was finished, he was $10,000 in debt, nearly poisoned by nicotine, and on the edge of a mental collapse. But the book, called One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), was a best seller, and he never had to worry about money again. The novel tells the story of the Buendía family in the fictional village of Macondo and begins, "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." This was based on a true story that his grandfather told him. Márquez is also the author of Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), a story, based on his own parents, of two old lovers reuniting after 50 years.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

So much sadness, so close to home....

What's up with all this? My best friend novelist was in tears this morning because he told me he feels that he's wasted too much time to ever finish his novel. The beautiful firey-haired wild-eyed creature who gave me her phone number then inexplicably removed me from FaceBook now won't even bat her eyes in my direction....ahhh...fucking sadness...good news is the fast has quelled my exorbitant caffeine least during daylight hours...also writing has been amazing. I've been supplicating about 8 hours a day turning the alphabetical squares of the keyboard into a confessional booth. I'll spend five hours on a single line of a poem, rip the entire poem apart like a linguistic pineta, slowly slap the sentences back together again. I love it.... Also published a few poems taht appeared here on Blogger (hence the name change to ASHER HALL).....................

Friday, February 25, 2005

Love is not Love which alters when its alteration finds....

Sylvia Plath (books by this author) met Hughes at a party in a bar, and the next morning she wrote about the encounter in her journal. She spent most of the evening talking to someone else, who she described as, "some ugly, gat-toothed squat grinning guy named Meeson trying to be devastatingly clever." She said the party was "very bohemian, with boys in turtleneck sweaters and girls being blue-eye-lidded or elegant in black." Plath had been drinking a little, and she wrote, "The jazz was beginning to get under my skin, and I started dancing with Luke and knew I was very bad, having crossed the river and banged into the trees..."

Plath said, "Then the worst thing happened, that big, dark, hunky boy, the only one there huge enough for me, who had been hunching around over women, and whose name I had asked the minute I had come into the room, but no one told me, came over and was looking hard in my eyes and it was Ted Hughes."

Plath quoted one of his poems to him, and he guided her to a side room of the bar. She wrote of that moment, "And then he kissed me bang smash on the mouth and ripped my hair band off, my lovely red hair band scarf which had weathered the sun and much love, and whose like I shall never again find, and my favorite silver earrings: hah, I shall keep, he barked. And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on the cheek, and when we came out of the room, blood was running down his face."

Plath composed a poem over the next few days after meeting Hughes. Called "Pursuit," it was a poem about a woman being hunted by a panther and was a response to a Hughes poem called "The Jaguar." Plath spent the night with Hughes and his friend in their London flat right before going on a spring vacation in Europe. When she returned, they spent even more time together, and after seeing so much of each other for a couple of months, they started thinking about marriage.

They got married on June 16th, four months after that first meeting, but it was a secret wedding because they didn't want to jeopardize Plath's fellowship or academic career. The ceremony was in the Church of Saint George the Martyr in London. Plath wore a pink suit, and Hughes gave her a pink rose to hold as she walked down the aisle.

Plath and Hughes spent the rest of that summer in Paris, Madrid, and the small town of Benindorm in Spain. They passed their days swimming, studying, and writing. Plath wrote the poems "Dream with Clam Diggers," Fiesta Melons," and "The Goring" as well as many others while on this honeymoon. Plath told a friend many years later that Hughes had gotten very angry with her during that trip and tried to choke her while they sat on a hill. She said she had resigned herself to die while it was happening, and she worried she had made the wrong decision in getting married so soon after meeting him.

Plath and Hughes decided to separate in 1962, right after they had moved back to England and had a second child. Plath discovered that Hughes was having an affair. She said in an interview that year, "I much prefer doctors, midwives, lawyers, anything but writers. I think writers and artists are the most narcissistic people [...] I'm fascinated by this mastery of the practical. As a poet, one lives a bit on air. I always like someone who can teach me something practical."

Plath committed suicide in 1963 by sticking her head in an oven. Hughes's mistress would also kill herself years later using the same method. Hughes was left in control of Plath's estate, and he edited her poems and controlled what of hers was published and what was not. He once was met on a trip to Australia by protestors holding signs that accused him of murdering Plath. Plath fans trying to chip away the word "Hughes" from her name on the tombstone have repeatedly vandalized her grave in Yorkshire, England.

Nom de plume

Mark Twain, George Eliot, O. Henry....what's a poor writer to do?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Recipe for Dragon Stew (help!!!!!!!!)

First step in killing the dragon--get organized! Find a set time for work (H.W.) Writing...keep your room clean, go through old clothes. Return mounds of library books. Throw away lighters. Serious consider the amount of caffeine you ingest on any given day as being lethal (esp. if you're a pygmy). Make your bed everymorning. Quit clicking on ex-girlfriends blogg every two seconds to see who she's currently banging. Realize that you live with a very nice old man who has helped you out. Realize that you don't want to live there forever. Send out manuscripts more faithfully. Send your mother a valentine card. Don't sleep with girls you hardly know just to feel better about yer'self. Apply for auto insurance. Try to do laundry more than twice a semester. Budget!!!!!! Think about giving up caffeine and alcohol for lent (last year I gave up chastity and sobriety)...Smile at everyone you meet. Hold doors open for females. Be polite. Quit talking about yourself so much--focus more on the other person. Don't be Bette Midler, where in an interview she once said "Enough about me--what do you think about me?"

Be careful how many times you use the F word in public. Wash your hands. Be open minded. Make everyone around you feel like they're golden, even those f'ing Indian students who always seem to break the computers at work. Live your dreams. Most importantly recognize that place where you have come from no longer exists. Quit reminiscing about the past. Realize that you're a different person now. That you're always growing, evolving and that this Lizard silhouette is sometimes just a part of us that is comfortable and doesn't want to grow....most importantly smile. I read somewhere once that you burn just as much calories smiling and laughing as you do while having sex.

Laugh. Pull petty pranks. Tell your girlfriend she's beautiful. Be devout in your routine. Push-ups and situps before bedtime. Run around with the little kids. Realize that NO matter how bad you think your life is, you live in a country that has it better off than 98% of the globe. You've had your sanitized water. You've wiped your ass with something soft before flushing. Quit bitching so much.

Learn to be. Act spontaneously. Know what you want. Put the ball in the hoop. Don't be afriad to lead the life you feel that you were meant to live.

Monday, January 31, 2005

This poem should hint (Wink-wink, nod, nod) at the passionate pow-wow stampeding in my chest, right now.....

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Here's a love-letter I wrote to my ex-girlfriend Brook, four years ago, in the autumn of 2000. Brook was a sexy thirty-three year old Jungian going through a divorce. I was a 23 year old writer, who, like Peter Pan, kept rifling through females sock drawers looking for my shadow. I found this old e-mail today and, in an endeavor to come to grips with my past in the wake of a new four-year cycle, felt compelled to post it. Feel free to read as much or none.

Dearest (Shnuggly-Whuggly) Angel,

Hey girl, how's life with you? Hope I didn't smurf-n-smurf alike my cold with you this past weekend (you know, like, when we were e-e-e-e-e-e). I'm still weathered and nasally washed-up and went to the healthcenter today to get some more medicine. The nurse said that my sickness, in all possibility, was spawned by malnutrition, not imbibing enough fluids (she explicitly told me using her hands demonstrating that, in this quote medicinal 'context' alcohol was not synonymous with the noun 'fluidity' and such underground collegiate panacea's such as 'Hooch' and MGD should be as now declared void and intrusive to my infective immune system) and mostly just over-actuating my deft scholarly prowess by staying up late at night and writing such kick-ass "David, in addition to being the Universal emblem of theworld's-most-Sensuous-lover ( internationally noted asthe Doob-lay-vay, Ehm, Es, Elle-WMSL, en France) you-also-write -the-most-orgasmic-bedpole-tittering-paragraphs-that-it's NO-wonder your-nervous-system inwardly- capitulates- to- such- maladies-when-your-passion-fraught- paragraphs-evince-the erotic ardorusually- reserved- for- the- likes- of- Lesbians."Anyway, maybe I was just drugged up, but that was I thought she told me...

I ended up writing you two 'real' letters last night at work (the kind you have to lick first) and sent youa botched e-mail which became cyberoptically effaced when my computer spontaneously shut off(MERDE-TECHNOLOGY)....

How is my most benevolent BU? Life there (classes wise anyway) was twice as simple. It was like, @Bradley, the teachers would use Baby butt-wipes and here I'm lucky if I can find a sheath of cardboard. My one literature class keeps my elation sky-high. Sometimes I'm just off the wall in the classroom and the teachers and students smile which is cool, b/c at Bradley I had a proclivity to accost LIT/ CW classes like I was DF Wallace's IJ publicity photo and sometimes (esp. twoyears ago) I would act all Serious and evince this inadvertent My-vocab-makes-your-vocab-look like Cream-of-Wheat sans the raisins type of hip-fatigue semblance (yes-my college foibles)which some of the teachers and V. thought was a cool aura to give offonly intrinsically it was not me......(V is still very much like that-henceforth the bombed dyad)..Today Iactually punned the analogy "A verbal Versailles" to describe something, which I thought was cool for only getting 25 minutes of sleep in the last 36 hours..


The short stories I've been working on, not as assiduously as I would have like to but sedulous in sincerity nonetheless, entail a montage of interlinked motif's...very collegiate ambiance shit slathered in a stage-drop that is very oh-so reminiscent of that ADM-noisome watered town which held so many friable avenues of my dreams clasped in it's dog-bear paw. One SS deals with a "true" FRATBOY ritual where all the boys (new initiatives) clamor around an Avantis gondola and, all, at the same time, choke the chik-a-fillet and the last one whose shlong comes on the gondola is coerced by his so-called gelled-hair and dungareed 'brothers' to "Sink the SUB" if you know what I mean.....yeah, I know. "David, thank you very much for that discourse in puerility prior to lunch." Well Angel, anything for you.

I paid your parking ticket yesterday so next time your down here you won't inadvertently get towed. I miss ogling you and giving you back rubs in the thoroughly air-conditioned summer-shaded library. Miss waking up and walking Zoe and making alchemical coffee in Greata's funky-coffee beaker, miss tickling you on the couch and watching your eyes set into Jungian somnolency. Miss the showers and the unbidden view of Illinois from atop of the Handcock. Miss the spontaneous fling of clothes, the Zoe imprints on my sweater, the sound of Kate Bush on the stereo, the fizzily-corona-bubbles moving up-and-down like a lavalamp. Miss the dissipation of summer, the outing's,Gormans and Guiness, the ubiquity of mocha-huedworshipers of Islam and Indra, the Dunkin'-Donuts cooffee runs prior to class. Cream, no sugar. Miss the sight of your skin in perfect proximity to mine. Missthe sound and subtle hums your body gently emits when it is silent and asleep.

Hopefully we'll be able to purloin an autumnal weekend or two and hit Mattheison or Allerton orChi-town for a crazy (though financially complacent)jaunt. Went for a requisite long walk last night priorto work dandling both a Cuban cigar and mirrored beneath a sheet of respelndent stardust and my dreams. My wings fledge as my dreams leap out of the contour,off the frame, into the wildest thoughts of human genomes........reading poetry and thinking of Walt Whitman and Tennyson and (always room for)Shakespeare. Working on a postmodern treatise and writing and wondering how not to get too fucked by my art b/c I'm so indulgent-and-solipsistic that I stop talking to foreigners......

Brooksie-Angel, know that even though I am not with you I am with you. Hourly thoughts of you beseech me harboring poignant memories. Touch knows you before sight. Hang in there with D'ric. Soon, all shall be conciliated. Slow down. Life offers us enough curves as it is. Pull off the four-lane Kennedy and take that lone country road where only you and your thoughts and the sunset thrive in full bloom. I think and pray(I've started 'praying' since -utilizing Socratic Q &A of course- a non-corporeal-intuitive God must existsince the Divine-ineffable palm of Providence willassist me me with my CHEM lab) for you daily that you will find, above all, equanimity and love.

Time to egress this e-mail and hit the books and sleep.
I love you.

Chin'up kidd-o.


(ironically dated September 11th, 2000)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Entrance by alphabetical troops....

Last couple of days I haven't been able to sleep and have been stomping around my house in pajma bottoms; my body quietly tucked in the helm of my late-fathers flannel housecoat like a drape or a fallen husk-- writing nonstop. This happens maybe twice a year (mostly with "poems"), the words decide they're going to deprive me of even more sleep and I can feel the hard slants and sensual curves of language--the verbal gargle of my life, slowly sieve through my pores, demanding this insomniac to surrender and splatter whipsmart shapes and images against the new born snow of a fresh page.

All I can do is stare at the square bluish tint of the screen and rattle out images.

It's the best feeling on the planet.

Whatever your gift is....whatever your passion, never stop giving.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Shadows and silkweeds and the possibility of a prayer

Leaving early (early) tomorrow morning for phase two of my vacation. Wakey-wakey arrives at 3:30am so I can bus it up to Chi-town. After that its about an hour rickety commute up to Wilmette where I can capitulate for a couple of hours into the clandestine womb of prayer. In all candor, I hate praying--hate praying!!!! Or rather, I hate praying for myself...hate asking my own myopic heavily Westernized ideology of a Diety for assistance. For wayward orientation. For direction. Even if I'm lodged on a kyak in a remote corner of the Pacific with nothing in paw but a limp compass and a box of stale cracker-jack to subside on, I'm more wont to rely on my own "interior" sense of navigation--where I think I should be going--rather than humbly asking for guidance.

I come from a family deeply rooted in spiritual soil. Growing up we were known as the freakish family who squinted our eyes, lowered our collective chins and "prayed" in public restaurants prior to taxed meals. My parents were never embarassed by this--thanking a supreme being for nourishment (in the similar fashion of our Neanderthal relatives offered gratitutde thanked the spirit of the hunted animal prior to consumption) but myself and my sister were horrified. In the mid-eighties, the age of Max Hedron and ALF, praying in public places was a far cry from posh.

When I was around the size of a firehydrant, my father would come into my room, tuck me in, bow on both knees and pray. He would pray for his childs safety. Pray that his child would be healthy. Pray that his child would know what was right--for his future partner and that the two of them would be blessed. Often, during the prayer, dad and I would volley the lyrics to "Now I lay thee down to sleep" Dad chanting the first line, his son, thirty years younger with a snotty lip, echoing the refrain.

Mother always prayed in the early hours accompanying the gravitational tilt of the planet into the solar tug of dawn. Some of my most cherished memories of my mother were waking up at 5am and watching mother huddled in her green housecoat sipping weak tea, a splayed, thoroughly annotated NIV splattered across her lap like a wounded dove.

Mom always had "prayer partners." Over the past holdiay I tumbled across a huge literary "tome" chronicling decades of my mother's spiritual epiphanies. In one box alone, I found about thirty spiral notebooks, each brimming with mother's swirly blue-inked cursive handwriting.
These notebooks contained my own matraich's "Blogs"--her spiritual yearnings, her humble requests for her progeny. Like her eldest, mom could write for hours; but unlike her firstborn, mother didn't rely on her own intelligent or acuemen; she mastered the capacity to whittle her own ego and ask for guidance in something whose worth transcends temporal material satisfaction. More than any other human I have ever met--my mother has put her stock into something higher.

Don't get me wrong. I have no aversion to prayer; towards the art of supplication and praying--
I've never held qualms abouy uttering "gratitude" prayers. Prayers of thanx and joy. I once heard a Philosophy prof. deliver an emotionally riveting semantic sermon on how the words "thoughtful" and "thankful" were derived from the same etymological prefix.

"At one time a 'thankful person' was synonmous with a 'thoughtful' or 'intelligent preson.'"

The prayers for the departed also hover on the tip of my palate like a canker sore. Uncle Mike (whose an ornery hybrid between Gandalf the Good and a spiritual Socrates) always insists to remember the souls who don't have support. Every time we drive past an open cemetary, I sense Mike uttering the words for those souls that have "abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spirtual world."

On my first sojourn to the House Of worship, the caretaker, Eve, ferried me around, addressed me as "honey," and I sat upstairs, head down and uttered prayers for my late-father and grandparents.

Six months later, at Greenlake, I encountered Eve again. She didn't remember me, but when I accosted her and thanked her for giving me that tour (mentioning to her that I happened to be in chicago for my grandmothers funeral at the time) Eve immediately reclined her lunch tray, clasped the lids of her eyes shut and submitted the prayer of the departed in the middle of the cafeteria. The fact that my identity was a blur to her was merely secondary.


After grousing to Nick the Writer and Shannon Moore about yearning to find a short story that grabs me by the labels--I found one. A story entitled "Bamboo" published in the chicago Tribune five years ago. I stumbled upon it via Microfish (ick)'s a brilliant story. A yuppie going through a divorce falls in love with the chain-smoking female carpenter constructing his sun deck. It's been, by far, the best short story I've read in the last three months.

The part of the story that melted into me was one that carpenter, who it turns out was an ex-priest, told her amor that she left the seminary after reading a story about national Geographic about a succinct type of bird that migrates thousands of miles every year, to this one remote island, sheerly to mate.

The carpenter relays a story to this yuppie--how a science experience was conducted. Scientists incubated several of these birds in Scandanvia; hatched their eggs; kept the winged creatures indoors in a covered cage. When the brids swiftly arrived into sexual maturity, they were released into the atmosphere for the first time and they immediately new where to fly. They knew exactly which part of the planet to flock to in order to continue their species. They new where to go, even though they had never been there.

I've mulled over this analogy alot over the past couple of days. That spiritually imprinted in all of us is the ability to know exactly, our purpose---not only to know, but also, perhaps, to live out our destiny as well.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Mara under the Mistletoe.....

Happy New Year to all ya'll blog oglers lurking around the bin of cyberspace!!! I can't even begin to fathom all the possibilities this New Year will avail and wish all who read this joy and happiness and of course, and endless stream of creative karma flooded with fields of laughter and smiles and friendships and lovers and all the things that add meaning to this skip-n-sojourn around the sun.

Highlights from the past holiday include being Net free for two weeks (it's amazing how peaceful life was prior to our warbled obsession), presnting "angels" to Mama Bear on Christmas day --she liked the golden cross I purchased for her better, but that's just her--travelling all around the state, spending New Years eve with a mixture of Iranian dissidents, anarchists, heavy drinkers, Med students, and my best friends Nick the writer, song writer Dave McDonald, published scholar DUST and of course, a friendly close-lippped "button" kiss from my beautiful friend Jennifer on the final gong indicating Midnight (was she Jennifer or was she Cinderella?) .....perfect.

I went Ice fishing with my Uncle and Brother-in-law the day after Christmas. The pond was frosted over with about eight inches of ice. In mid-winter, the brittle Illinois horizon is streaked with a hard nickel back gray refulgence. The tufted clouds seem splattered against the atmosphere in an overhead puddle of silver bulbs. With the snow patches and barren landscape, the sky and the land seem to weld into a subliminal oneness with the earth, with the body, with the soul that yearns--the heart that seeks; the flesh that aches to acheive this sort of oneness.

My Uncle, my late-father's younger brother, is a flannel shirted man of the hills. We drove out deep into the country, swerving down slings of gravel roads and rackety hills. Way out, past Glasford, we found the frozen mecca--the pond, a chalked fount awaiting the orchestrated casts of our wrists; the dips of our baited lines.

We drilled holes, smoked cigars, drank pissing hot coffee from a thermos, froze in between shots of family philosphy and idle jokes.

"That's what Jesus told St. Peter when he tried walking on the water. 'Just try it in December!'"

While sloshing to work in the frigid rain this morning, I came to the realization that the reason I love writing so much is that a writer--the true artists-- understands that he is always a dilettante; always a virgin. There's no black belts, no PHD's, no corporate rungs, no anniversaries. No matter how much a writer has published or written, he always arrives to the pristine winteresque blankness of a page--the virgin whiteness of an oblong sheath--the bridal pinings awaiting inky scratches--the overall newness of language. Same with a painter and his blank canvas; or as my brother in law noted, a doctor with his white coat- an estimatation that no matter how much we learn or acheive about the human body; about the world of art, about the pulsating spirit, we will always be sophomores--always be yearning, acheiving and growing in our finite knowledge of our ever vibrating globe.

True the race may not be to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor wealth cosigned to men of understanding, but chance and time do happen to us all. On the advent of this New Year, my friends, let us never forget how little we know, how profound and curious the world is and what a joy it is to be immersed in this bubble of life one magical eternal moment at a time.