Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rearview reflections and mirrored muses--a remberance of 2010, the year that somehow escaped us still....

The year convened with the billowing hard-Arctic cough of a mid-January wind skidding down from the feral tundra of the north in icy sheets of isolation and hollow blankets of loss banked beneath the chalky outline of petoskey flavored clouds looming overhead in grisly claustrophobic blimp-like fashion, as if gazing into the plateau of the planet through the lidded ceiling of smudged Tupperware, the writer addled and all alone on the cumulus bulb of a seasonally frigid globe trying to find something he had lost so long ago, changing my itinerary at the last second in the snow, boarding an unknown bus in the frost-riddled breath of downtown Chicago, looking at the barbed-wire lassoed ink of my expired decade old handwriting culled from a journal thirteen years earlier like an atlas of youth capitulated and loss, dreams as stale as expired new years eve confetti, finding myself in Milwaukee boarding a second chrome-colored bus heading north for three hours through the chapped snow abutments and abandoned barns breezing through what looks like leftover Leinenkugel country almost swearing that if I stare through the tint in the back of the window in the charter bus long enough I can see my nineteen year old visage staring back at me like an forgotten film negative, a strip of undeveloped light. Arriving in snowy paragraph footprints welcoming the bucolic hamlet that looks like a diminutive Christmas village as one arrives wailing and bleating into the periscopic consciousness of life, feeling like the size of a bushel of fodder corn all alone freshly ferrying carryon luggage lugged over my back like a Neanderthal man and a fresh kill trekking the three miles in the snow to my hotel room, stopping at the library to confirm the digits of her old address, chain-smoking with locomotive intensity as I meandered, stopping beneath an overpass and taking intermittent swigs from a forty, thinking of Chris Mccandless and Jack London tramping out into a glazed lip of unknown ice. The last time I was in this town I was nineteen years old and spontaneously dropped 500 dollars on a plane ticket just to wade in the scent of the sensual-seraph I had been writing letters to all summer (the kind you had to mail with a stamp, undressing the envelope w. the tips of your fingers, giddy with schoolboy elation upon finding the tithed rectangle in the creaky jowls of yer mailbox opening the white shape like trying to unbuckle a bra for the first time before skinny dipping into the sentences of her breath)long just to espy the solar wink of her smile, to hear the carbonated echo of her laughter. To buckle my northern anatomical limbs around her petite frame like a life preserver of hope before reeling her into my torso, splashing my lips against the cinnamon bagel-architecture of her neck. To read her the poems I had written for her. To recite her poems by Rumi and Shakespeare and Whitman and Jack Kerouac. To tell her that I wanted to be a writer.

To tell her that I wanted to be with her.

On a wintry-whim I decided to traipse to her town in the middle-o-bumfuck-nowhere curdled cheese countryside of Wisconsin somehow to find her once again even though she lives two thousand miles away dandling a two year old, the scent of her lover indenting the foamy topography of her mattress every night, following the tracks of my journal entry from over an eclipsed third of my life earlier. Eating breakfast at the same ma and pa restaurant where she testified in front of the empty jury pews of my chest that it just wouldn’t work out between us (note thirteen years earlier we were both furiously chain smoking in the booth when you could still light up in ma and pa restaurants). Ambling past the soporific shingles of her house the next day, thinking that if I squinted I could somehow see through the quantum bridal veil that is the transitory tissue of time, the illusory see through shower curtain of reality, could somehow perceive the inky shadow of the crisp haired nineteen year old lad from all those years ago. Uprooting instead a local nest of writers of light. Meeting Dave at Jim's. The immortal ROXY RENO who writes for a kick-ass indie publication in Green Bay called the SCENE, looks like a KILL 'EM ALL rendition of James Hettfield from Metallica, bounces at Cleo's and reads poetry on an overturned bucket like I read my poems on the pouting emerald lip of a local bar. The classy girl with short black hair batting the rich Caribbean azure of her eyes and who I was too (wait for it...wait for it)tattered-hearted and timid to speak to, handing the bartender a forty as I exited the Jim's on North informing to keep to buy her a bottle of the Merlot she was sipping compliments of the crazy yet shy lad seated at the far end of the bar. The year of the poetry of Kyle Devalk meeting him with both hands hovered and cupped over a beer as if trying to stay warm at a homecoming pep rally wearing a trench coat and beard looking like a 21st century ricocheting Rimbaud fraught with fire and wit, Kyle Devalk, a fellow poet beat aficionado, high alcoholic content microbrew drinker and a true brother indeed who I continued to pound beers with in clinking accelerated tempo before making out with the middle-age married woman at the end of the bar, groping her shaved treble-clef pudendum beneath the penumbra of the counter, not realizing at first that her husband was outside smoking, watching her head loll like an inebriated otter as I endeavored to yank her into he stall of the nearby MENS room, slamming more shots of Jameson before her husband rejoined us for another, the couple driving me back to my hotel room, having her repeat the digits to my room number to me one final time like a rote Sunday school bible verse memorization contest as we embraced, leaving the door to my hotel room slightly hinged open awaiting her breath as I passed out on my mattress anticipating her nocturnal arrival. Waking up five hours later, the sun entering the room like a vodka-screwdriver in translucent tangerine ribbons of flaring orange, myself stapled on the mattress in crucifix fashion, rising into the drunken earth of my flesh, slipping into my jeans like a denim mermaid fishing for her lost fin as I stuffed my bag like a grocery check-out clerk before leaking out of the bedroom sans kissing the snow globe center of her forehead faretheewell.

It was the year of arriving home and finding all of my friends out of work, desolate-eyed and downtrodden. Sad. Arriving back into the financial wound and working class welts of the sleepy river town where I live and finding everyone I love bruised and spiritually bandied, jobs wadded up like corsage-shaped overdue credit card statements of loss. My friends, working in the same tractor plant for over a third of their lives, dripping with emotional distraught, arduously assaying the inside of the classified ads, willing to work any shit-time job just to fleetingly arrive at the existential punctuated stump of another week, burnt out, jaded and alone.

The year where I worked six days a week, third shift, and had no social life whatsoever and felt like a burnt-out exclamatory mark all the time.

The year of falling in love with the domestic happy-hour cyber herald known as the Peoria Bar Review living vicariously through the elusive-shadowy entity known only as the chief (hell if I'm unplucking the feathery headdress of his true identity) vigorously stampeded through the bibulous underbelly of Peoria night life in search of soused stories of working class beer-belly blathered bliss yearning to intellectually imbibe and draught from the perfect pint and then blog the phuck-out about the aftertaste.

The year of "Shouldn't it be Jennifer Smith?? Think about it?" (Bobble-visaged pensive scowlish underwater slow-nod cosigning pendulous deep thought).

The year of obtaining the dilapidated BMW which I'm never going to sell--(it was the same type o' vehicle that was used in the Guns-n-roses Don't Cry video at the end where AXl is limping into the cemetery and sees his own grave)from my cool brother-in-law who simply handed me the keys in the middle of march madness, the day Northern Iowa upset top ranked Kansas and inquired if I could keep it parked in my garage and then inquired if I would be interested in purchasing it for a frivolously low price. The car I always find myself harnessing the steering wheel furiously chain smoking, blasting into the Flannery O'Connerish rye-bread colored country side of Illinois chasing the pastel sentence of a pink sunset through the windex silhouette of my reflection. The vehicle where, the second week after I found it stowed in my driveway, the swivel esophagus of the rear view mirror inexplicably fell apart, shattering into a visor of glassy triangles and rather than fixing it all I could think about was the Frank Lloyd Wright quote about how every time he gets a new car he rips the rearview mirror from the front window so that he "never looks back." To plow through life genuflecting into the direction of one ebbed and fleeting universal narrative and to not phucking look back ever at all.

Not looking back at all.

The year of (sexy) Barbara Antoniazzi...If all english professors were as sexy as you baby the catastrophic epidemic of errantly misplaced commas would be globally assuaged. Barbara who teaches Cormac McCarthy in Berlin and lectures at literary powerhouse Dartmouth in the summer. Barbara who stumbled across a poetic pasture of some of my writing when she was doing academic research on Nathan Englander (I've been a dilettante of his prose since the late-90's and I'm still not sold..."Tell us about yer new book Nathan. I bet you're really gonna be creative with that six-figured advance you garnered and the protagonist for yer new novel is going to be jewish again !!!").... Barbara who has said just gratuitously kind things about my writing and who herself is poetically pissing out a beautiful dissertation that has to do with (well, what else) the liberating feminine vagaries of high-brow prostitution in late-19th century (c)literature. Barbara, who has been a true buddy these last couple o' weeks as I've been emotionally dredging through some arduous times and who, after she uprooted me on line, I began addressing solely as Beatrice, to which our good friend Miss Antoniazzi then sent the following almost haiku-like missive back in return:

Dear Dante,
Beatrice died young and unhappy, you know that.
Moreover, it wasn´t me - although on the whole it sounds like a fun night.
We never met.
I found you.

...thinking only after I read it that sometimes it feels good just to somehow, in the narrative valence that is the rippled continuity of time, be found indeed...

The year Peoria native Marty Womabcher (whose liver must look like an elephant pissed on a cracker-jack box by now) jousted like a clumsy knight clad in alcoholic amour and frequented a different bar everyday for the dainty discourse of an entire calendaric year. Marty Womabcher who constituted and scribed this phenomenal bulletin called P.O.P. (sounds like what my Chicago relatives call my pepsi) back in the day and has been crashing in Manhattan for the past 18 years. Marty punctuating his year-long sozzeled sojourn of alcohol-induced ambrosia inside the kiwi-avocado lime pie flavoring ice-shack sized exterior of one of my favorite neighborhoods taps lodged in my backyard.

The year of finding myself draped in the pasty pergola of her limbs once again, late February, the woman I had spent the previous autumn making love to under the cosmic constellations doting the skyline of my backyard, floating into eternity beneath the clanging nest of galactic orbs, burrowing our respective loins into the life raft of each other's respective limbs as if entering the palette of the universe in sputtered, pedaling thrusts of aching consciousness, chiseling Egyptian hieroglyphics into the sweaty canvas of each other’s lower neck . The creature who dissipated like quavering coffee house incense mist around thanksgiving who I found once again, looking behind me at a poetry reading, only to see the coy hush of her smile. Misreading her Facebook profile status discerning that she is in love, misintuiting her mantra to mean the solipsistic creature I have been lodged inside of like a miniature windows-arrow-transitioning-time capsule for the entire discourse of my usurped existence, realizing only too late that she was reunited with a former friend plucked from an earlier highlighted chapter in the beautiful narrative of her life and that she is madly in love as the hard snow caking the scalp of the planet began to transition and slosh into weak-tea colored puddles of street gray, somehow the promise of a new found sun reflected in each muddy dinosaur footprint-sized moat.

Somehow the promise of spring.

Spring opening up from inside the fruity womb of the earth the way a woman opens up her body for the fleshy sheath of a man. Spring arriving in fused shocks of lavender and drizzled-lemon petals of iridescent light, the arable turf of the planet jisiming in countless colors of applause. Spring where I moved the writing desk belonging to my late-father out into the woods and wrote (long hand, on parchment) every morning, sipping coffee, sometimes knocking back a few beers after work, almost always doffing my shoes as to feel the pulse of the planet with the peninsula of my bare feet, wildly stamping away as if trying to click into the chorus of a sentence on 10 acres of raw nesty foliage-fretted land, a bulbous-chinned solitary slab of crisp earth galloping above the lavender silhouetted hills behind Cams bar on Farmington rd ejaculating the see-through-washing-machine of swirled oscillating emotions stuck inside the empty socket of my chest waiting for a metaphor to peck itself free from the egg-white freshness of a new page and to somehow hatch.

Spring where we planted Sully, Peoria's premier barkeep, into the used coffee grounds of the earth down the street from my house, dying on Good Friday, the incipience of the season of new life.

The spring where I became truant in paying off my student loans (note--nothing like owing 20,000 dollars to an institution that has your name on the wall in its most prestigious hallways and then who fired you for unfounded remarks).

Echoing in the chorus that is spring with cloudy cackles of laughter on the first fake-candle integer shaped day that is the formidable farce of April. Engendering an outlandish narrative about meeting the love of my life MAE DIFLOWRZ (b/c April 'fulachio' showers bring May (de) flowers) flaring amorous facebook status updates fabricating a fragrant dyslexic-ditzy star-crossed narrative about driving all night into the horizontal lavender slit of a pending Spring sunset down south sans state-required rearview mirror b/c, of course, I don't look back, plowing my carriage into the dusty arteries of back roads to find the girl I lost oh-so long ago, using a usurped photo from the ol'-spring-titled sitcom BLOSSOM b/c when I shear my hair short I look just like this phuck (ie, damn gaunt euclidean-angular nose that looks like a beak-shaped acute right angle from sophomore geometry shit....when I was in great America in '92 all these teenage girls with crimped side-pony tails and tattered SKID ROW t-shirts and training bras kept accosting me for autographs and I played along and told them thanks for watching before scribbling something illegible below their necks and then the same scenario happened later in London that same year) christening a facebook page for my mock muse, employing the author-shot of then little known writer CE MORGAN to serve as my surrogate deflowering spouse, CE MORGAN whose anorexic Ashley-Olson sized novel ALL THE LIVING is the length of a vacation bible school bulletin with glitter and who was lil' known last April and then in June, hit the publishing lottery by being coronated with the NEW YOREKR appellation of TOP TWENTY WRITERS UNDER 40 (phucking richwads, well I have 2 Golden Liver awards for being the soused scribe to immortally imbibe the most 40oz. under the age of 40). The gag, working spilled wonders, garnering backward-hurled rubber chicken bridal bouquets of lapsed levity getting AT LEAST 10 of you (fess up, you know who you are) including one second cousin in Canada who sent me a forty-dollar check and offered congratulations and profusely apologized for missing the ceremony (um, spent the money on a half-keg of Moosehead lager there, eh) and an ex-girlfriend who sent me a scathing valentine stating that I had way too much time on my hands (which I replied, 'You outta see what I have in my other hand,'). By far the best response was from my old buddy Joe Milton who read that I got purportedly nuptially-manacled and then never learned it was all a laudable lark and three months later was in a bar telling a mutual friend that I must be busy with that new wife of mine when he discerned the hoax and sent me a tirade-laced three minute voicemail beginning with the vituperative phrase, "Dave you cock-sucking sonuvabitch motherphucker all this time!!!!!!" As for the author CE MORGAN (ie Mae DiFlowrz) I am certain we shall meet tete-a-tete someday. Writers harbor an incorrigible proclivity to tear into and open each others’ body with frissoned passion the same way they tear into and dog-ear annotate books so undoubtedly our incumbent meeting shall transpire in the same fashionable inflection of Ted Hughes meeting Sylvia Plath with either a mad cocktail-induced make-out session ensuing or simply she will bite me until drawing a pint of blood.

It was the spring where sometimes I just couldn't quit.

The spring where I went through three months where I just couldn't stop watching this movie and couldn't stop drinking beer while watching this movie, commiserating somehow with the life of cowboy drunkenly drifting into a beer-botched sage-brush blur of reality only to be awoken by the lips of a good woman chirping out the scent of her smile in the chords of a song.

Spring where my house got struck by lightening blowing out two televisions, a house alarm, a dvd player (my entire basement erupted in a vesuvius like sneeze) and where I lost everything on my desktop hard drive (always back shit up people).

Spring where, as is tradition, I find myself outside the granite collesium of US CELLULAR field in the southside of Chicago with my brothers Danish and Mike Nelson, drinking beer on the PERFECT opening day. Southside pride, watching with athletic awe (and from the first base sideline) when Mark Buehrle defied the vicissitudes of physics and made, quite simply, the play of the year hiking the stitched planetary orb like a football on fourth and goal into the knuckeled-clutch of a barren-palmed Paulie all the while Lord Nelson was straddled on the porcelain throne (you and yer damn beer shits mike).....

The year where spring sliced into the elongated evening chapters of a summer night and I found myself riding around the back country roads in tandem with my best friend Hale always smoking cheap cigars looking for Podunk-trashy country bars with female bartenders bearing big boobs and bad teeth. Bars with so much white trash you'd run out of twist ties if ever you'd ever try to bag it all up. Bars like McDucks (the Schlitz sign looks like the Atlas Shrugged cover from Van Halen's 5150) and the Goose Pit in Banner. Bars like the Edwards and Manito Blacktop tap and the Blarney castle in Rome Illinois, sitting down, having a few drafts, listening to peoples stories. The Shed in Buzzville on Lake Chautauqua sitting next to the seventy year old denim overall-clad farmer who spontaneously swiveled his bar stool in my direction and said, “Can you b’lieve this shit. My girlfriend gave Chlamydia. Phuck’n Kly-med-dee-uh. And she’s not yer young kids age either phuckin' everything in sight. She’s phuckin fifty. Shit.”

Places that are semi-seedy like Marty’s tap in East Peoria or the Get-a-way in my backyard. Katie McButts which I adore or Whitey's where I drank on my birthday. Larry's in spring bay where the bar is intrinsically an old-fishing shack and in the autumn the colors are achingly stunning or the Hannah city tap where the floor panneling has been kept the same since it was a railroad depot in the late 1800s. Drinking at Whitey's on my birthday the day I turned the same age as Christ b/c that was the last bar Sully drank at before he died. My best friend Hale driving me home in my vehicle, asking me what happened to my rearview mirror.

"I uprooted it out," I told him in a half-truth slovenly drawl, "I don't want to look back. Ever."

The summer of live art, Phoebe and co brandishing the stems of their paint brushes in orchestral conductor like-tandem on the cement hyphen of the riverfront splattering visual cadences of collective human longing with each flagellating stroke as the sun casts lavender ribbons of eternity against the lazy slink of water below. Phoebe who I found for the first time (met)sitting all alone a la ingenue-eyelided Ponette from Les Miserables on Bloomsday inside the sunken emerald glower of Champs West, sidling up to her with a Guinness in paw as if learning how to parallel park for the first time before dipping into the silent semi self-conscious hush of her smile.

The year of spending every other weekend in the air-conditioned brick-kiln like contours of my moms house off Smithville rd and spending HOURS combing through my novels on the marble desk she refurbished in her kitchen, staring out into the sylvan merkin behind her house, espying the swang-song shadows of hobbits and fauns, often nursing a DAVE's Pizza from Bartonville (can't beat their combo) as I continue to pelt and massage my fingers into the keyboard of a fresh doughy page.

The year of DJ Ferg. My cousin, forever the smirky countenance south-side smart aleck eternal rocker who extinguished his own individual demons and vices and now continues to shine.

The summer of witnessing my dear friend and creative cohort in all things passionate and poetic Heather Fowler, small press princess and nuclear incendiary-haired firecracker when it comes to productivity. Congrats on the release of your new book girl!!!Nothin' like the life of a wayfarerin' writer or, in yer case Miss Fowler, the lips of a sensual scribe french kissing the forehead of each fumbling vowel with a voice that is somehow all her own....

The Summer where, after two skipped laps around the sun, my hair finally spooled into the tanned canyon of my shoulders and became pony-tail length again and, for almost inexplicable reasons, I dyed the auburn tresses of my hair a menstruating shade of crimson...Danish asking me outside Comsikey park, "Whadidyoudo, have wet dream about that girl from the Wendy's logo again??? Nothin' like a post coital-frosty in lieu of a french fry eh-there Ronald McDonald?"

The summer where I verbally went off on (emotionally lacerated) the woman who for the last eight years served as my every poetic pulse, my creative compass, the bartered oxygen of my every breath. The woman I met while she was giving a lecture on mysticism and who I have this weird metaphysical bond where she gave me a chunk of copper that looks like a cancerous testicle and everytime I would think of her and grope the copper I would glow. The woman who I wrote a love letter to everyday for over two years even though she got sociologically shoved in a wedding dress when she was young and has been married since before I obtained my drivers license. The woman who when we were together our limbs would buckle around each other's limbs as if we were trying share the same husk of flesh, cloaking ourselves in the sway into the pond of each other's thoughts, wading in the time signature of each others breath and somehow it was gentle and pure and then it was still gentle and pure but it became about something more. The woman the narrative of my whole life revolved around like the earth to the nearest day star for over the past eight years. The classy creation I said things that I knew would hurt her, pissed that I wasn't her disgustingly rich husband, pissed that I felt I was never good enough for her to wake up next to every morning. Heading out after the tirade to my writing stump in the woods and witnessing the slow change of the seaons. The earth cooling off as if after an intense workout before practicing pialates. Crickets emitting sputtered intermittent time-to-change-the-battery-in-the-dildo staccato-like purrs, straddling the seat lodged at my writing desk all alone in late august when the refulgent nod of the sun paints the world through a bottle of Southern Comfort fools- gold yellow,the colors of the planet transitioning the earth into leafy shades of copper, chestnut, nutmeg, continuing to write, thinking about the last eight year using only the crust of the earth as my dashboard, the rearview mirror of reality being superseded by the kaleidoscopic veil of the setting sun as I continue to press my fingers into the keyboard welcoming a new season and a new page.

The year where we lost one of our own. My best friend Hale finding her body swaying like an upside-down metronome, an extension cord knotted into a fitting noose around the petite frame of her neck in lariat-colt like fashion, a CD playing some sort of GOTH song over and over again while her twelve year old progeny caterwauling out of control, spining around like a police siren emitting screams.

Jenny who was a heroin and later a hardcore methodone addict. Jenny who tried to commit suicide the week before by jumping off the Murray Baker bridge, only to be restrained at the last minute by a gaggle of police. Jenny who met her ex-con loser husband in AA and who had a schnauzer-like orange goatee and a skull-sized tattoo of a sick clown etched into the veiny dome of his bald head and who didn’t even show up to the funeral.

Jenny who married one of my oldest friends when she was 17 and he was only twenty (guess the name of the recently turned 21 year old lad who purchased the booze for the reception??)...Jenny who was only married to my friend for six months because he covertly taped her cheating on him. Jenny whose smile made you immediately tilt yer head and smile back at her for some reason and who had just plain disgusting things happen to her courtesey of a hornball freakish stepfather when she was very young. Jenny who is the mother of 12 year old Zac, the coolest kid I have ever known. Zac who b/c of his house situation was crashing with my best friend Hale. Hale who has had one bitch of a year and is out of work and who I have (quote) never heard complain or grouse or bitch even though when he was making bank and employed at CAT he was the bread winner for three families. Zac, irnoically, hanging out with my sister ('aunt bethany') running around the Gatsbyesque house her and her husband purchased on the lip of grandview drive overlooking what looks like eternity, playing with the cats, making "Kiddie-condos" out of cardboard boxes at perhaps the same moment his mother fitted the wiry extension around her head like a tiara of loss, tightened and pulled.

Thinkin' of this song though I hadn't heard it in years. Thinking how Jenny made her mattress only to lie in it. A princess bartering the beauty of the bridal chamber for a bed of syringes, thinking of bassist Kristen Pfaff who died on a heroin overdose shortly after this video was shot.Kristen Pfaff who died on Bloomsday '94. The day my favorite movie Before Sunrise purportedly takes place on, the summer I got my drivers license, always adjusting the rearview and side mirrors before coasting into the stream of traffic ahead.

There are other memories of course. Lifting up the front of Loorie Newmans shirt like the stage curtain to a victoria secret puppet show in the antique center with dave and Matthew and watching as her face transitioned into a blushed shade of burgundy.Flirting with Wendy at Tartann Inn (I wanna be Peter Pan to yer Wendy...Maybe you could help me find my shadow, baby). Reading GATE AT THE STAIRS and having the tang-colored light of a June night casacade all around me and just crying for the last forty pages. Hoisting the sixty-year old denim flanks of my uncle's legs in alighting teeter-tooter like fashion as he did a keg stand at my cousin Brianna's wedding and barking at him in fraternity-laced monotone to chug. Jessica calling me ‘Brawny man” as I shovled her tire free out from the snow. Sauntering with J through the clover aisles of Barnes and Nobles and watching with delight as the most erudite and well read mother fucker this area code has to offer alighted the untattered spines of Vintage contemporaries up to the ceiling as if looking for a watermark and smiled with joy. Coercing the writer Stella Link into a nature hike in Bradley park even though cinderella was clad in stilletos. Stella, adorning my neck with a cool necklace she crafted inside One World on a rainy august afternoon which, after almost six months, like a collar, has not left the shadowy circumference below my jawline and chin. Listening with awe to Jeff, my favorite bartender on the planet, at the Billy Goat tap to his stories of getting drunk with the late Mike Royko and Bill Veck. Painting Shannon’s apartment a pastoral shade of lime with Adrienne on a screeching autumnal night and listening to a radiohead CD which for some reason kept inexplicably skipping back to this song over and over again like a searing industrial chorus of existential loss. Looking at the chandelier overhead blown-fuse of expired stars and drained solar systems in my backyard with Dan Hinckley, talking about chatras and mulling over the metaphysics of all mankind and (oh yes)all the while making references to Morrissey. Sitting next to the 85 year old former editor of the Journal Star John Armstrong at Champs West while smoking cheap cigars, reminsicing in a plume of smoke the size of a sunday comic-strip dialogue bubble about the old writers and hard-drinking journalists from back in the day who just didn't give a phuck, feeling, at the end of the night, that a metaphorical torch of some kind has indeed been passed. Refelcting over Thanksgiving eve, chain smoking clove cigarettes in the rococo-flavored lobby of the Old Madison theatre remembering a time (remembering it well) when our tresses scaled back from the cognizant attics of our respective scalps like Rapunzel patiently awaiting the tug of a wished-for suitor with Charlie Bennet of Freudian Press renown apres his kick-ass reunion set at the Whammy bar. A minstrel. A wizened gen-x troubadour who wields his guitar upsidedown pelting out acoustic locomotive frets of loneliness, whispered epistles of eternity, symphonic folk anthems culled from the leftover childhood magic in the air of a cradled lullaby-- delightful indulgence of a dared afternoon daydream. Charlie and I who talked about Abbie Hoffmann and who is a serious baseball aficianado and who I can't thank enough for the role his music has played in the skipped soundtrack of my yielded youth.

The year of say chop-chop.

Chop-chop who is the size of a fire hydrant and is a vivacious perennial spume of energy.

Chop-chop who makes la-la Telly Tubby sounds when she cums. Chop-chop who I called drip-dry because she kept on using up all of my god damn toilet paper as in ‘learn to drip-dry, bitch..” (Chop-chop 2 DVB via text: Girls don't drip-dry, David. That's dirty-dirty). Chop-chop who is into antiques. Chop-chop who I get off on thinking about her with her jeans reeled down, lassoed around the ivory piano key-colored caps of her knees.

Chop-chop who tastes like a pop tart and whose freshly-cut cucumber porcelain hued flesh is classically reminiscent of sheet music sans the dripping dollop of imprisoned quarter notes. Chop-chop whose hair is a cidery orchard of autumnal flavored tresses and who looks just plain sexy as phuck in that checkered blue-flannel shirt always inexplicably buttoned to the top.

Chop-chop who for a glorious month last October-slash-November was like my best friend and whose smile does things to the interior of my chest.

Chop-chop who made me wait downstairs for I swear damn near a phucking hour the first night we met almost a year ago and I peed on the potted plant in the lobby of her apartment building at four in the morning and it overflowed like dropping a freshly opened agitated can of beer into a baptismal fount in front of the altar of God in an act of sacrilege.

Chop-chop who I christened with the moniker “chop-chop” after waking up in the stippled impressionistic yawn of early February the morning after having met her and hungover, endeavoring to scissor my way back into my jeans as she adorably shooed me out of her apartment cause her sister was coming over to look at her car, clapping her hands in stuttered applause echoing out the dual-syllable snap like a chorus as a feisty refrain to tell me to get the phuck out. Telling me to hurry up. Telling me to chop-chop.


Chop-chop who I didn’t see for six months and then had an awkward Age of Innocence Newland Archer staring up into the balcony of Countess Olenska in Paris end of the novel encounter and not having the balls to say anything moment when she drove past and I was helping my aunt move and we both kinda looked at each other still-life and poetically petrified and said nothing.

Chop-chop who texted me the next day.

Chop-chop whose facebooks statuses always crack me up and whose smile fueled me with this weird sort of kinetic splashing energy where I was just plain phucking happy all the time in a goofy way and where my chest felt like this helium beer keg of energy I somehow was able to harness and then (shit, phuck) write (sic) for hours on end.

Chop-Chop who would always erupt in a pint-sized carbonation of sprinkled giggles and then flirtatiously slap me with the wing of her left arm after I said something inane and then she would look down into her lap in coy-countenance fashion and then smile again and then point in my direction and tell me to shut up (shut was always one monosyllabic word said with a tilted smile) and then bat me with the lithe foam of her forearm once again.

Chop-chop who everytime she drinks a beer always inexplicably peels the moist label off in medias swig so it looks like she is giving the amber-colored stem of the scepter-shaped bottle a long overdue anniversary handjob.

Chop-chop with whom I commenced volleying long-long tortuous letters back and forth, each letter almost always ending in some Krazy-krazy video clip while devising a private lexicon: (Wait for it…wait for it), oh lord, (seriously) For Chrissakes put some panties on!! The write (sic).You Kill Me!!! The scribing out and delineation each others' dreams which we, for some psychoanalytical reason, both appeared in. The peacock. Talking to Gladys on a bananaphone by using my imagination, burt. Telling her to go queef into a cornet because she is always horny. Her telling me that I am forbidden to have sex on the giant trampoline in the house she wants to buy.

Chop-chop who taught me how to write (sic) the expletive 'fuck' using a ph to make it look more scholarly.

Chop-chop who always called me by my full name, which kinda meant alot.

Chop-chop who when I was havin' a bad day sent me a drippingly adorable picture of herself with a doted red-orb (???)photoshopped and buttoned over her nose which made me laugh.

Chop-chop who got drunk one night and sent me a message overtly ordering me to write her poems that would make her cum (note: I obeyed).

Chop-chop who I informed to refrain from answering her phone after one of our libidinous two-hour text-sex bed-tittering-meandering-messaging-phuck-fests, leaving the scene she shared with me from one of our video-bartering letters, the first clip she ever sent me from a movie I had never seen, stating that this is how she envisioned us initially meeting in a plural universe, me telling her that she plays very well.

Chop-chop: So do you.

The year which ended in the similar fashion in which it began, embankments of tufted snow aligning the chapped sidewalks of the town where I live, everything bone-marrow cold, the color of an expired ice-cube tray lodged and forgotten about for years in the back of a deep freeze. I found the bar I drank at in downtown Peoria the night my father died, doing shots of Jameson with my good friend and mentor folk singer Dave McDonald. Dave was also in Freudian Press back in the day and, like Charlie, is a troubador and a story-teller. He owns the guitar shop downtown next to the antique center and, like the rest of us, like my best friend David Hale like myself two years ago, like ten percent of the working class american pabst blue ribbon swiggin' populace, lost a job he truly cared about earlier this year. Dave and I who used to traipse from Braldey campus down to Jimmy's bar by foot through the frisbee-golf hurling hippies in Bradley park down Farmington rd, not too far from where my writing desk is now and sit in the beer garden and drink Jameson-sevens (tall! you won't find a more potent one in the state) and smoke clove cigarettes and poetically pontificate aout life. Dave whose anthem of lost "Merry Monday Happenstance" I kept on thinking about when my father died. It was noon and Dave and I were almost done with our lunch when he kicked his barstool in my direction and said, "You know what David?" (Dave has a deep trumpeting resonant voice, that sounds kinda like a cherub singing the blues with sandpaper lodged in his larnyx) "A couple of years ago bro I was in Red Rock (colordado music festival) and I was trippin' and I just started thinkin' about this one girl and I hadn't seen in like a decade. There were all these people around and I really strated thinkin' just about this one girl, I mean really thinkin' and then about ten minutes later I turned around and shit, she was there. We both live nowhere near where this festival is happenin' but shit, I thought about her and the next thing I know she appeared."

We both saluted our drug-tested size shots of Jameson, gave a farethewell-fellow-traveler tight squeeze embrace, wished each other a happy new year when Dave turned to me again.

"You know what bro? I think there's just something aout going out and finding a girl. Finding something you once lost. Finding something that once inspired you and meant something to you."

We hugged again. I went to my dilapidated BMW and thought about his mantra.

"Just something about goin' out and finding a girl."

As I drove through the vacuous-chilled eternity of the city where I live, I looked out the canvas of my windshield. I couldn't see the girl who 14 years years ago I gave up everything to be with and who last year I went back to her town once again. I couldn't see the classy artistic (noveau riche) goddess who the last eight years of my life evolved around. I couldn't see the woman I shared my bed with all those cold nights a year ago. If I squinted hard (real hard) I could probably make out chop-chop or at least hear her sprinkled laugh, chop-chop who I was meeting later on that night to celerate our christmas and who left her phucking kermit-the-frog flavored glue drizzled lancome-laced emerald vest under my bed which I had been sniffing the phuck out of like a high school kid trying to show how cool he is by ingesting cocaine at a house-party but truth is, I couldn't see her either.

I don't have a rearview mirror.

I don't look back.

When I arrived back to my house I went out into the woods back to my writing desk. It was maye fifteen degrees outside and too cold to take my laptop out but I still chained smoked and thought about the last year. I wrote a few pages, smiled, and somehow remembered that I still as of yet have a job to do.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Your body hung like a wet quarter note pinched from
Sheet music so white it matched the pasty color of your forehead
The day before your first born progeny found you
In the bass cleff den of your uplands apartment
Extension cord lassoed around your neck
Swaying in almost pendulum motion
Limp metronome, flaccid and lost

your son

screaming out of control on the bottom of the basement steps

Finding a note pinned to your chest in almost voodoo-doll fashion
An inky receipt culled from the past thirty years
Crumpled into a corsage of destitution
I remember in high school between church services
Hearing about how your father fished his fingers
inside your carebear underwear when
You were all of eleven while

the rest of the family was bowing their
heads in reverence to a faceless diety at the thanksgiving dinner table
And how you moved out the day you got your drivers license
With a pack of Winstons and a Metallica CD
Blaring the chorus of Master of Puppets
As you shifted unknown gears

The first time you shot heroin your
Eyes hushed closed like the lid
To an advent calendar popping in reverse
And you thought your belly button
Was the stub to a broken telephone wire reaching back
Into the conch of whispered time


How you lived your life like a feather shed
From an angel gang raped and battered
Bitched slapped by a bearded god the father
Clad in a white beatie drinking Miller hi-life
Dildo fucked by a flattened brim of her own halo
bleeding bible verses
All rise for the gospel
The victory of our god
cross shaped ladder
sans the assistance of a (wished-for) rung
A swan whose song still has yet to be sung