Thursday, December 24, 2009

Story Published

Two stories out there. One was the seed for the other. . . Happy Holidays!

Fringe Indie Magazine published this story which spawned into a greater story. I'm still working on it. Doesn't feel quite right yet. But a girl who works as a publishing assistant liked it and wanted to put it on her blog. Read here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Until Next Time

Sitting here at my desk, straightening thoughts out, and the lightning cracks like a shotgun. The rain is now steady, much more than I have been lately. Lots of crazy thoughts going round. It gets like this upon the eve of change. Taking inventory and such.
I'm leaving soon for the States. Coincidentally, or perhaps consequently, I have decided to stop the blog here. For now, at least. I will keep it open and post any updates about my work getting published. I started the Blog at Syd's urging. He said it would open a long dormant voice. It did. And now I want to scream it.
I now have 50 something short stories or sketches for a story. I think it's time build on each, or make them one. Stateside unemployment will be good for this.
I have two stories being published next month. Like I said, I'll be sure to post a notice when they are ready. One story will be in Word Riot, which I am very proud of. An editor at Word Riot read one of my stories and really liked my voice. We went through one hell of an editing session to create a more literary feel. Honestly, I always like the originals better, but the experience was invaluable. Word Riot has published many incredible writers, so again, I am very happy to be making this kind of progress.
Thanks for supporting a friend on the fringe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Humans Can Turn Demons Into Art

It was a Neil Young/Bukowski kind of night. A night where she cooked and I read old Bukowski aloud, sipping cold beer and laughing. Music about rivers, rainbows and cowgirls in the sand shot through the evening, ricocheting from wall to wall, marrow to mind.
It was the kind of night where humans don't let you down and the taunting totality of the past carries cadence and finally fits to rythyms.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lasers, A.K.A Lazers

In response to a question I had about lasers and their importance to the late 80's and early 90's, Brandon J. Conaway responded with this brilliant letter:

At it's height, a laser was an extremely effective and scary weapon. Jonny 5
had a laser mounted on his shoulder and the Predator wiped out all of
Arnold's guerilla warfare unit by primarily using his laser. I don't know
what started the fall of the laser but it has gone from the penthouse to the
outhouse. The lasers demise has been historical.

As far as I'm concerned, the laser started losing momentum with me when they
opened Lazer Star in Oxnard. I realized then that to be good at lasers, you
don't need to be cooler or faster than the next guy, you just have to be a
massive dork. Lasers started becoming associated with dorks and started
becoming a lot more harmless.

From that point on, lasers lost a lot of steam, I think it's like, lasers
had a really bad Publicist, probably the same chick that Tom Cruise had.

Let's review:

Lasers were cooler when they were spelled like Lazers. Lasers' publicist
made an error here to go with the s over the z. It made the word laser sound
less powerful and more Euro. After lasers became ineffective in the weapon
and destruction market, they became laser pointers. This was a big blow for
lasers ego. These were pretty cool at first but lasers' publicist was
worried that it made the laser look too wussy. They had to say that even
though the laser is small and hand held, the laser would blind you if shined
directly in your eye. This theory became disastrous for laser when everyone
realized this to be false. The straw that broke lasers back was when the
only relevance laser had was for laser eye surgery. At this point, laser was
an alcoholic and very depressed and didn't even take the initiative to take
the name for it. It became Lasik eye surgery.

I don't see any way for laser to make a comeback at this point and regain
its once ferocious reputation. Put it this way, I don't think we will see
any more soccer teams called "The Lazers". Unless it's in a gay men's soccer

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I spoke with Dylan today. We both confessed how we are living in horrible states of depression. The worst part of admitting you're a writer, we decided, is how low you feel when you are not writing: The damned dregs of the earth; slovenly in appearance, hazed in thought and habit.
We went on about suicide and Celine. And I got to thinking about the last time Dylan and I met. We were living on separate continents coincidentally reading Henry Miller and equally wild about cunt. We arrived in the hotel lobby out of shape and licked by booze from spending the past months writing words, columns and chapters. We were each working to create our own Tropic. Not sure where that idea went. It vanished during our stay in the Village Amoedo. Maybe it went up our noses, or inside our gullets. But when the weekend was over we admitted the Tropic we wanted was a Tropic already had by greater men. So when we spoke today about our state of being, we briefly wondered if we should get into the rhythm of our time and meditate on inner monologues of self-loathing and existential worry and get bent on Dave Eggers. I guess it was just that kind of day. Hope not to have it again soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Story Published

Fringe Indie Magazine published another story of mine, and apparently this issue will be available in print. I'm happy they thought of me for their publication. I wasn't aware that they were going to use "More Lives Than You'll Ever Know." It's too bad because the story has changed a bit over the past few months. Not many changes, but a word can make as much of a difference as a wrong note. If you want to check it out, click HERE

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't Talk About The Good Old Days

I liked waking up in the Riviera. It wasn't of my concern how Caitlin made her money. She kept a good house. Her 2nd floor flat was atop a Mediterranean villa. It was clean, white-themed, and I had my morning coffee and cigarettes on the attached balcony that overlooked Santa Barbara and the Pacific. She stayed up through most of the nights. Her pills were time-released and she often took them well into the evening to get her through work. So she stayed up during the nights cleaning and keeping the place in order, and by the time I lit my first cigarette she was finally asleep. But I liked waking up in the Riviera. Santa Barbara was new to me, though I had lived in the next city over for 20 years. Santa Barbara wasn't a place I cared for. Ventura was harder. It had street cred. Santa Barbara seemed pussy to me. But atop the Riviera I felt good, regal. After the smoke and coffee I'd often walk to her desk and look at my band's CD cover framed on her mantle, then look back out over the Pacific, then at the naked girl in bed and back at the CD. Those were hot times for me. Just like Uncle Rico had his '83 and Osborne his '03, 2005 was mine. The band had just played Vegas for New Year's, we put out our first album, my girlfriend was a stripper, and most importantly, I went deep for the first time--Left-center, Carpinteria High School, against the Gigantes. I was playing hardball in the Santa Barbara Mexican leagues, a sort of resurrected dream. I had been a good ballplayer throughout my youth: a scrappy leadoff batter, sidearm pitcher type of player. I hit the gaps plenty and rattled a few off the fence, but never in my career did I take one deep. But I was hot in 2005, and at 25 years-old I put one over against the Gigantes. The greatest thrill of my life. My team, The Carrillos, mobbed me at home plate. "Chano! Chano!" they cheered. It was easier to say Chano than it was to say Shane. And in the dugout a little Mexican boy had already retrieved the ball and presented it to me. The ball was holy, and it had the mark of my beast. Caitlin was the only Anglo in the bleachers of Mexican wives, and she was smiling at me. She was the only stripper there, or maybe just the only one who worked at the Rhino, and the only one with ape-head implants for a chest. But I didn't care. I was hot. I walked to her as my cleats crunched the gravel and pulled her in. She said the homerun was the hottest thing she had ever seen. I then looked at the ball in my hand, then at her and back at the ball. Yes, I gave it to her.
That night I went to the club and sat V.I.P. courtesy of Caitlin. She told her stripper friends about my band and my homerun, and that they should sit with me when they weren't busy rubbing their snatch in front of strangers. So I drank red bulls and soda with strippers for a few hours. Sometimes they'd rub up on me and say that Caitlin said it was cool. And I watched Caitlin walk around in nothing and go into private rooms with scum and come out smiling.

I wanted my ball back.

I didn't see her for the next few days because she was busy with beauty school classes and my band was practicing in Ventura at night, but I knew where the ball was. It was on the mantle next to the album. Kind of a creepy Shane shrine. She kept telling me on the phone how cool it looked and when was I going to come over and why was I acting so weird. She wanted to know if it was another girl, and actually there was. So I took my eye off the ball for a moment and told her about Lela. She called me names and hung up the phone. I laid down on my bed, and before calling Lela, I relived the homerun. I was locked-in and crushing it.
I woke up the next morning to a very angry woman in my room. Caitlin was standing there spitting ugly words at me, while holding a brown grocery bag full of things I had forgotten at her house. I tore through that bag, tossing clothes, CD's and pictures, but no ball. "Where's the ball? Where is the fucking ball!" I was screaming as I rummaged through the bag. She called me more names, and then reached in her purse and pulled it out. I snatched it from her hand and I began fondling it, caressing it, whispering sweetly to it. She continued with the disgusting words and then finally pouted out of my life.
I was so hot in 2005.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Speech At The Locklear Wedding

I gave a speech at the Locklear wedding. It was captured by an iPhone and now resides on the worldwide web. The best part about this video is you can't see anything,; the darkness preserves the speech. Otherwise you'd be distracted by the glory of my mustache. Check it out HERE

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I saw a touch of senility in my grandfather, wrinkles around my mother's eyes, acne on my brother's face and a ring on my sister's finger. My friend's have become husbands and fathers, entrepreneurs and laborers, drunks and addicts, bald and pudgy. At 29, I am now noticing that those I have lived my life with are finally growing older. My grandpa was always about 65, mom about 40, brother about 9, friends around 18. But Time has finally happened to the generation of people I have loved.

Monday, October 5, 2009

When Men Hold Each Other

Sam awoke to the sound of murder. He was dazed and dizzy in a dark bedroom. He quickly reached for the nightstand to aid him upright, but missed and tumbled to the carpeted floor. Then, murder again.
"Dave!" Sam hollered. "Dave!" Sam reached out to Dave's bed, but it was empty.
He squabbled to his fours, a jackhammer suddenly throttling the inside of his head as he tried to get his bearings. A weak, feeble voice squeaked from down the hall in the bathroom, "Sam." He recognized the voice as Dave's. Dave wasn't dead but he was surely dying. "Dave," he cried out in the dark, still helplessly paralyzed on his fours and absolutely bewildered. "What's going on? Where are we?" Dave gasped, "I think I'm dying."
"Is this hell?" Sam asked, now breaking sweat. Dave began sobbing, almost crying, "Oh fuck--" Then deep from primordial bowels, Dave bellowed and screamed, vomit splashing and splattering the porcelain toilet. The vomiting sound triggered Sam's gut, and from his fours he heaved his insides onto the carpet, fell over next to his pile and passed out.

Earlier that day Sam and Dave had arrived to the stunning Buzios, the St. Tropez of Brazil. The two Americans were traveling the Brazilian coast, and upon arriving at Geriba beach in Buzios the two young men celebrated with Caipirinhas on the beach. Dave went to buy the second round and returned to Sam with two more drinks and an older Irishman named Tom. Dave introduced Tom to Sam. "Heard him speaking English trying to order a drink. I had to help him out, " said Dave, motioning a cheers to Tom. "He bought these for us. He and his family are renting that palace up there." Dave turned and pointed to a beautiful place on a cliff overlooking Buzios. Tom chimed in, "You boys would love it. I been with the bloody wife and kid all weekend. How about you boys join us for lamb tonight."
"Lamb? This is Brazil, man. The beef is the best in the world," said Dave playfully. "What do you think Sam?" Looking up at the gorgeous cliffside architecture, Same replied "Oh fuck ya."
And feast on lamb they did. They washed it down first with a bottle of Talisker and Merlot. Everybody was drinking hard. Tom, his wife Aideen and their 16 year old daughter, Orla. The more this family drank, the louder and redder their Irish faces became, cursing everything not Irish. Sam and Dave loved every minute of it, trading looks of disbelief and surprise from what the world had offered to two intrepid travelers. Soon after the meal, the dining table was covered with wine and whiskey bottles: Talisker, Jamison's, Glenlivet, and Macallan's. They were playing dice games and whenever Orla tried to tell them they were playing wrong, Tom and his wife yelled at her to shut up. "Can we tell her to shut up too?" asked Dave excitedly inebriated. In slurred drunk speech, Tom proclaimed "In this family we abuse the shit out of each other and see what comes of it!" He and his wife collapsed in laughter. Orla pushed away from the table, telling everbody to fuck off and die and ran away crying. As she was running from the table, Dave and Sam simultaneously yelled "Shut up Orla!" and joined Tom and Aideen in whooping laughter.

Sam awoke once again not to the sound of murder but to the buzzing of flies. He moaned in disgust, hitting them away from his face. He rolled over to push himself up and was faced with the buzzing flies in his rancid puke. "Ugh," he moaned feebly and sauntered carefully to the bathroom to rinse out his acrid mouth. Dave was passed out cold on the tiled floor, vomit splashed on the toilet and the surrounding tile. Sam stepped over his friend and washed out his mouth. He nudged Dave with his foot. "Dave, Dave, wake up. Come on. We got to get out of here. Wake up!"
Dave slowly wakes, groaning remorsefully. "What the fuck?" He continued groaning, now clenching his stomach. "Listen man," said Sam. "We got get out of here. We fucked this place up. Come on. Get up. It was that fucking lamb."
"That fucking lamb. I told you. What kind of asshole eats lamb in Brazil. Irish bastard." Dave slowly rose to his feet. He saw the mess he made and became sick once more in the sink.
"I'll get our bags," said Sam and dashed out of the bathroom. He return to the bathroom with both backpacks. Dave was on the floor again looking miserable and holding his stomach. Sam grabbed Dave under the arms and dragged him from the bathroom. Dave's feet dragged through some vomit and trailed it on the carpet exiting their room. Sam pulled Dave to his feet and aided him quietly through the dark house. They made it out the front door just as dawn was arriving.
Sam continued pulling Dave along until they reached the cobblestone street. The house was on top of a steep hill, about a kilometer up from the rest of the town. Behind them the sun was rising over the hills.
"Sam, my stomach is fucked. I can't walk this hill."
"Just hold on to me."
Dave wrapped his arms around Sam's shoulders. Sam held Dave tightly around his waist, and the two friends slowly descended the hill into the dawning day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some Kind of Update

September vanished. A few beers, and some long naps and like that it's gone. It seems that no matter where I am in the world October makes its entrance with a crisp chill. Today the temperature plunged about 20 degrees with hard rain. Supposed to be a warm spring now in Brazil. October, and it's hidden little mysteries. The boys are wrapping it up now. Yankees are in. Red Sox too. Nobody cares about the Angels, and the wounded Tigers are fighting off the Twins, which is never easy when there is blood pouring in the hallways and the twins are catching up to them on tricycles. All work and no play. . . In the National Leauge, Cardinals are in and Mugger says they are the best team in baseball. But Mugger also said the Dodgers would clinch last night, yet they only mustered one hit. So while the Dodgers limp to the finish line, the cocksucking Phillies will be awaiting. I'm probably supposed to mention the Rockies.
So, now we know October is here packing mystery and dramatics. In a week I fly back to California for a few days. I'm looking forward to get to those golden rolling hills not because I miss it, but because I am eager for the perspective into what I can do there. For the past year I could have been in Brazil or Timbuktu (nobody really knows where that is) and it wouldn't have really mattered to me. Just needed a place to get my head straight. I'm better now. Healed. Recovered, whatever the word is. Anyhow, not sure how the job market will treat a writer there. I am aware its tough. I am also aware I may have pigeon-holed myself into a career as an international teacher. It's nothing I am too keen on. Its exciting, but a lonely existence without friends, language and family. Very heady.
About the writing. A while back I sent "Loam" to a bunch of publications to get a feeler on it. Based on what I wrote I was asked by a travel rag to submit more and turn it all into a travel feature, to ultimately have it scrapped. Editor didn't like the Hemingway aspect of the character, kind of crying-in-the-beer hero. I like these types of main characters (maybe they are crying in their beer because they couldn't live up to the heroic ideal, but did the best they can. If anybody wants to read it, shoot me an email). Then a few simple "no" replies from others, then today--October-- another personal letter from an editor. She really liked it and either wants me to develop it more or send her some more stuff. It's never just right for them. Loam is fucking good. She said it just needs to be longer. Why? So, I have an idea about how to extend it, and I'll work on it with October.
I'll finish this post by letting you in on what I do for a living, and why I am looking forward to ending this life chapter. In an international classroom, my new American student--my only native English speaker--though he is from Houston, turned this piece of work in as a response to religious conflict in the Middle Ages:

"The interaction bettwen the faith juadisom and cristianity in islam wasen't favravel to the Jews. It all manly started seens some jews had important government and and schorlarly posts, so the christians"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Notes--'To Be Young'

Two 13 year-old kids, Pedro and Luci, sneak under the school's chain-linked fence and into the shambled construction lot where a new playground is being built. They quickly pass through the lot and hide behind a tree in the mango grove. They embrace and tongue-kiss for maybe 40 seconds. Pedro says they should get back and that he'll walk ahead of her so it doesn't look strange.

They make it back safely. Pedro tells Felipe. Felipe gets pissed because on Friday Luci agreed to be his girlfriend and on Sunday he heard she was at the mall holding hands with Kevin on Saturday. Pedro can't believe it and apologizes to his friend. They agree that Luci is a bitch and a slut, and they will spend the rest of lunch telling the school.

Word gets around quickly that Pedro and Felipe are bad mouthing Luci and writing about her in the bathroom. Luci starts crying. Gabi and Ana console her, rubbing her back and stroking her hair. They go and tell.

Pedro and Felipe get called into Mr. Aeillo's office. They vehemently deny everything in a panic: "It wasn't us. It wasn't us. They're lying. It's not true!" Mr. Aeillo tells them how disgusted he is with their behavior, how their parents will be getting a phone call and how could they say such things about a young girl. Pedro becomes sweaty in defending himself, but Felipe has shut down. He is quiet and brooding in smoldering rage. Pedro is getting louder, his voice quivering until Mr. Aeillo says he has had enough. Felipe awakens from his darkness and screams, "BUT SHE IS A SLUT AND A BITCH! SHE IS!"

"Excuse me!" Mr. Aeillo hollers back. "She is a young girl who--"

Felipe hostilely interrupts,"Is a bitch and slut!" His hands and body pleading for Mr. Aeillo to understand.

"How can you say these things, Felipe?" asks Mr. Aeillo

"She said she was my girlfriend and then she goes and holds hands with Kevin at the mall," Felipe's quivering voice finally cracks. " Then makes out with Pedro behind a tree!"

Calm and cautionary, Mr. Aeillo says, "She is just a young girl trying figure out who she is, Felipe. It is normal for young adolescents, especially your age to explore their sexuality. I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it, or intend to hurt you. This is a confusing age for young people."

Now sobbing, his hands making one final dramatic plea, Felipe wails, "But she is those things! She is! She is!" and his wet face collapses into his hands. Pedro put his hand on his friend's back.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tom Waits

Today I read an interview with Tom Waits. Here is what I took from it:

Q: What is a gentleman?

A: A man who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spanish Sword-Fighting

The day I won a Spanish sword-fighting competition
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scripting a Pilot: The Whistling Contest

Cal: I have this idea about a 15 year old mexican homo-embarrassment story
Brett: Thats what I'm talkin' bout!
Cal: So like, one boy named Pablo is dating Lupe, but Pablo is secretly gay and is in love with Jorge, who is Lupe's brother
Brett: Did they meet at a Quinceanera?
Cal: No, they met because they're probably related
Brett: Oh, ok.Cal: So, the unique aspect of the story is that there is a whistling contest coming up that everyone in the neighborhood participates in and Lupe is the winner 2 years in a row, but, because Pablo is in love with Jorge, he starts abusing Lupe with silence and she loses her ability to whistle
(they've been dating for 2 months)
Brett: Wait a minute!
1) what does a whistling contest entail
2) how does silence hurt her whistling ability
Cal: a whistling contest entails different whistling categories. There's a category for police notification whistling, white people are around whistling, bird whistling, and then, Lupe's category, cat calls at boys.
So, she loses her ability because her mouth dries up when the silence overwhelms her and she stops speaking except to say Si o No
Brett: This is unbelievable material!
But like in a good way
Cal: It takes place in Oxnard, California
Brett: I think i can weave in a duplicitous meaning because whistling kind of goes with silence, yet it is silence that crushes her whistling skills
Cal: Yes
Brett: OK, continue
What about the gay love?
Does that matter?
Or is it just a vehicle to drive the story?
Cal: So, when Pablo comes onto Jorge at a bbq at a park while taking a break from handball, Jorge turns him down without even knowing that Pablo is even coming onto him because machismo obscures the possibility of gayness altogether
and Pablo is crushed!

Jorge doesn't even notice the tension
Brett: OK. Got it. Continue
Cal: So, Pablo is forced into intense introspection where he has to realize one of three things 1) he is generally gay (this will turn his own life and his families upside down 2) he is only gay for Jorge and needs to continue to pursue him, or 3) he should stay with Lupe
Brett: For number 2, we would definitely have to mention the word "loins"
Like when you are not generally gay, sometimes your loins can momentarily lust for another man...but not your heart
Cal: Exactly, and that's really what's happening, he's just lusting, which is the first step toward general gayness, so he does what most young gay boys have done, he chooses to stay with Lupe. And just in time too!
Brett: So he goes back to her before the big showdown!?
This so romantic!
Cal: Because she cannot whistle and has not entered the contest, so Pablo returns to her and kisses her sweetly, tells her he loves her and wants to get her pregnant, she whispers, "I already am" and then takes the stage and whistles her little heart out
The story ends right there, as she's whistling
Brett: Oh. My. God.
Cal: It's a good story
Brett: One more question
Cal: sure
Cal: How do you imagine a whistling contest? Like in someone's backyard?
Are there judges or just mob approval like when Eminem raps in 8 mile
Brett: No, it's in the downtown square. In Oxnard there is an old gazebo where mariachi bands play during special events
There are judges
Brett: And seats?
Cal: No seats for the crowd, because they gather around the gazebo, they simply surround the whistler in community support
It's very cultural
Brett: Tamales?
Call: Oh yes, the smell of tamales and rice and helado
Brett: I can't wait to start this...this one wont easy but twice the fun
Cal: Well, the structure is there so working on it will be easy because you know all the parts
It's just a matter of finding your mexican voice
Brett: Ya, thats the trick
Cal: You have to write it very seriously, without jokes

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Heart of the Gorge

Early morning, a slight tilt before the sun. I awoke from a night terror--a loaded image driving me into waking fury. It was an image from last November:

I needed a breather. I had been trembling for the past 80 miles, and the deeper I went into the Columbia Gorge the worse my nerves became. I pulled the rental car over into one of those scenic point-of-interest spots. I got out of the car, into the rain and onto the edge of the bluff. I looked out over the misty gorge wishing something affirming would seed my thoughts. But I couldn't shake that past month in Portland. The month of undying darkness. I was treacherous. It was me against police, lawyers, spies, committees, girls, alcohol, solitude. The immediate result was defeat. I was 86'd from several bars on W. Burnside until I finally just stayed at home drinking while strangers came over to my apartment to take my furniture for a few bucks a piece until it was all gone. I rented a car, said goodbye to the few friends that knew the truth about the mistake I made, or perhaps the mistake that made me, and made for my dad's hideout near the Idaho/Canada border. And now in the Gorge, in the thick of it all, I could no longer move. I seized up. Emotional paralysis, maybe. The thought that the past was still wide open made moving forward futile. This siege of the senses would come to haunt me over the next year. Sometimes in grocery stores, or in the woods, or watching television. It was like stepping out of my body and leaving it privy to spiritual vultures. Yet the initial impact of this madness happened in the Gorge, in the rain, and on the edge. And the night terror haunts this location indefinitely, hovering all around that poor bastard teetering on a sharp cliff, weathering the elements in the heart of the Gorge.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Joel, You Are A Pussy

The most entertaining thing about pursuing writing is that you are welcomed with these things called Rejection Letters. Writing is very ego-driven, and the rejection letter is courteously aimed at the windshield with decapitating intentions. It is loaded with pleases and thank yous and graciouslys followed by a declining, not a good fit blade to the neck. But those are the experienced executioners. Like McSweeney's. They usually tell me something about my writing being too rooted in the short story. I mean, shit, if I had to be rooted to something. . .
Yet sometimes those carrying blades are no more than fools finally off the leash. I received one yesterday that had "guest editors" make the final cut. Nobody knows who the guest editors were, but I am assuming one was this kid named Joel who I beaned with a fastball in Elks Little League 19 years ago, who I have always suspected of dedicating his life to collapsing mine. Anyhow, Joel responded via his online magazine's guest editors:

Editor 3 Vote: No

Ed. 3 Comments: Wasn't clear on the point it was trying to make.

Editor 4 Vote: No

Ed. 4 Comments: I don't understand this.

Ok, Joel. Well, we all saw you cry after I hit you with that fastball. Pussy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

True Story

I have inherited a colleague's science class. Kids are about 12-14, scab-faced and developing quickly with gossip about drinking, smoking and screwing. All except for a little Norwegian girl named Ann. In each class, little Ann with her flat chest in cartoon t-shirts and peach haired legs has sat dreadfully quiet by the window, her eyes trembling with prayer.
But today she spoke.
We were discussing animals to dissect to best learn about the human body.
"A frog," suggested Maria.
"Mice," shouted Enrique.
"No way! A pig!" some other kid yelled.
Then, little Ann politely raised her hand. "How about a moose?"
"A moose?" I asked her raising my eyebrows. The class began giggling. "I don't know if we--"
Ann interrupted, "Ok. How about a bear?" She was nearly pleading.
"Ann, I don't...why are...I, uh, a bear? Why a bear? Or a moose?" She straightened out her frail body, rested her hands in her lap and brought her chin close to her chest. "I just want to know what makes them so big."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Novel and A Wish

I've taken to carrying around paperbacks whenever I leave the house. Philip Roth has seen better days; scratched with sand, pages torn and front cover nearly decimated. And this is what I adore most about books. The novel goes through human experiences in which no other medium of work can travel while simultaneously influencing animate life. Life and the novel can became attached, a sort of symbiotic relationship. When I see a book I have read I know exactly where I was during that read, and what I was going through. It's a profound relationship, perhaps common with music, maybe art, not film. . . I remember reading Bukowski for the first time while working a dead-end job. I took old Bukowski with me on my hour-long city bus commute. I sneaked in some words during cubicle lapses, during cigarettes and food. That book witnessed spiritual misery. Then suddenly, near the end of the book, I raised a fist at my boss, kicked over a chair and quit.
Or reading Hemingway on train in Germany and speaking in only declarative sentences during that read. Shit, Anais Nin was a dangerous one. It was during a careless time in my life, and I ended up high on opium with a few naked strangers in a bathtub greased with Crisco. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And now I'm in a solitary phase reading Philip Roth and consequently analyzing the minute details and causes that propel human emotions and actions.
As a person becoming more interested in writing, I have also become more conscious of style and affect. Which I suppose has been the purpose of this blog site; exploring different voices and characters and how the story is told or a thought expressed. And as the sun is now setting on my 29th birthday, the voices of all my experiences rattle and echo in my head, all wanting to heard and not drowned by alcohol or quick blog, I am birthday-wishing that I will find the right one during this next year to be my teller and begin my first attempt at a novel of my own.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Underwater Explorations and the Shalimar Motel

The crew docked, unloaded the ship and checked into the Shalimar Motel. The Shalimar Motel was a fuck house, fuck pad, fuck stop, fuck whatever. It was where you went if you wanted to keep a secret from somebody you are not supposed to keep secrets from. But it was classy, in a scummy sort of way. There was a whirlpool in each room and above each whirlpool was a retractable roof that opened into the Rio de Janeiro night. There were mirrors on every bedroom wall and ceiling, porn on every television; king sized beds and a glass cabinet stocked with lubes, oils, condoms, champagne and bottled water. It was cheap and, hell, if you can’t bring back a woman in the evening, you still got a whirlpool and porn and all sorts of oils to get weird with. It may have looked odd for a crew of seamen to be checking into the Shalimar Motel without women on their arms, but it was where Captain Kane liked to stay before a major exploration, and tomorrow they would be setting out to find Atlantis.

It was also in the Shalimar Motel where the crew’s deckhand, Steve, was fingered in the ass for the first time. And it was the last time he ever thought about home.

Ever since Deckhand Steve was old enough to recall memory he couldn’t recall his home and had only a vague memory of his parents. He had a constant stream of ocean coursing through his memory, but could not put a land to that sea. A runaway orphan, deckhand Steve had been working ships since he was twelve years old in hopes of one day docking in a place that he could recognize as home. Five continents and five years later, Deckhand Steve was now in Brazil, checking into the Shalimar Motel.

He had stayed in fuck houses before, but nothing like the swank decadence of the Shalimar Motel. In fact, the aesthetic of the motel was initially too intoxicating for the young man. Besides, he had a new city to explore, and perhaps a home.
Unfortunately for Deckhand Steve, Brazil was not his home, nor were the Brazilians his people. While feasting on salgados in a nearby bar, the locals quickly informed him in broken English about the cornerstones of their society: women, barbeque, and soccer. Though he enjoyed women and meat, he loathed soccer. He detested the notion that a professional sport could end in a tie, that a championship game could be decided by a shootout and why these guys made such a big deal about scoring a goal if the size of the ball is miniscule compared to the size of the goal. He wrote off Brazil like he had all the other countries he visited, further accepting the fact that his home is no longer a part of this world.

Deckhand Steve fell into a draining depression. He was only 17, yet he had searched the seas, traipsed many lands and penetrated dark caverns in search of origin. Finally defeated, deckhand Steve raised his hand and bellowed, “a beer and a shot of that shit,” now pointing to the cachaca.
His gringo speak spoke volumes in the crowded bar. It said, “I am lonely and god-damned tired,” which upon entering a Brazilian woman’s’ ears, specifically Nilcea’s, it translated as, “money, and sex.”
Nilcea approached Deckhand Steve and asked, “Oi, tudo bem? Voce parece triste, por que?” He glanced slowly up to the beautiful Nilcea. He did not know Portuguese, nor did he feel like trying. Instead he repeated the one phrase the crew told him to say in case of a situation like this. He looked her in the eyes, grinned fretfully and squeaked, “Shalimar Motel?”

Deckhand Steve opened the glass cabinet, pushed aside the oils and lube and grabbed the champagne and two glasses, while Nilcea turned on the whirlpool, retracted the roof and stepped out of her clothes. Steve followed suit after popping and pouring the champagne, and the two sat naked in the bubbling water timidly sipping from the glasses. Though Nilcea throbbed with excitement of being in the Shalimar, Deckhand Steve remained taciturn. His laid his head down on the edge of the whirlpool, closed his eyes and began fantasizing about a home he couldn’t recall. Perplexed, Nilcea was not going to waste her time in the Shalimar Motel. The décor and the deluge of swank had incited a ravenous sexual appetite inside of her. She lowered herself into the water and waded closer to Deckhand Steve. She reached to his right foot and with her fingertips began lightly gliding up toward his calf and back down to his ankle. Her touch sent an electric tremor through Deckhand Steve’s idle body, clearing his mind of distress and hopelessness. His eyes remained closed, but his lips began to smile. Encouraged by his response, Nilcea sensually continued working her fingertips slowly up his leg.

Suddenly, as Nilcea was exploring the contours of his leg, Deckhand Steve found himself no longer in the whirlpool but in a submarine. He was on an underwater exploration navigating the depths of the ocean, seeking uncharted territory. The submarine was moving simultaneously with Nilcea’s hand. The closer her hand moved towards his groin, the closer the submarine approached a distant radiance.

Nilcea, furthermore encouraged by his glowing expression, worked her way up his thigh, unaware that Deckhand Steve was no longer present but deep within the Atlantic.
The submarine was now gliding through a dazzling glow. It was too bright for Deckhand Steve to see beyond the luminosity. He shielded his eyes from the light; unable to make out what was ahead. Just then, Nilcea reached the base of his penis and began stroking it carefully. As she did this the submarine moved through the light and into the clear view of a disenchanted, ancient city. Deckhand Steve’s heart began to race and his body stiffened in shock. Nilcea mistook this reaction as a sign that he was going to blow, so she quickly removed her hand from his dick and began massaging his balls. But the real cause for his reaction was that for the first time in his life Deckhand Steve had recognized a foreign place. He had been here before.

The submarine moved slowly around the city just as Nilcea slowly moved his balls around. From the viewing window Deckhand Steve saw how this place had once defied dimensions with staircases in all angles, stretching for miles. In the center of it all was an eroded palace with barnacled gates, and it was surrounded by destructed housing foundations and extending roads. And remarkably, Deckhand Steve knew exactly where those roads once led. As he began mentally reconstructing this place from memory, he began to see apparitions of the people who once lived there, and as these apparitions became more vivid he began recognizing the people and remembering their names. The city began to rapidly reshape and rebuild itself. The algae, the barnacles, and the decay all gave way to fantastic reclamation until it was suddenly a functioning city again.

Nilcea began exploring the region between the balls and the anus. As she did so, Deckhand Steve saw his parents. They were walking home from the market and they looked exactly as he remembered them. Then from up the street, little Steve, maybe four years old, came running to greet them. It quickly dawned on him that his submarine had entered a portal to the past, and he became terribly afraid of what he would see next. His parents suddenly froze and his father dropped the groceries. People began to panic and run madly in all directions. In the meanwhile Nilcea was inching closer to his asshole, and he had a wild look on his face. She asked him something in Portuguese, and he responded with a gasp so she pressed on. But the gasp was obviously not a pleasured response to what Nilcea was doing, but to the horrors he was witnessing from the viewing window of his submarine. His people and his place were being crushed and ripped apart by atrocious sea monsters until there was nothing left but ruins and a solitary escape vessel vanishing safely in the dark sea.
As he continued to look on in dismay, Nilcea slipped her middle finger into his asshole and penetrated.
“ATLANTIS!” he shrieked. It scared the shit out of Nilcea and she quickly withdrew to the opposite end of the whirlpool. “ATLANTIS!” he cried out once again, his eyes wide and crazy. He jumped from the whirlpool and skirted across the tile to the telephone. He quickly dialed Captain Kane’s room number.

“Captain, this is Steve, Deckhand Steve. Listen , I won’t be with the crew tomorrow. But I have no doubts you will find Atlantis.”
The captain chuckled. This wasn’t the first time he had lost a crew member to the magic of the Shalimar Motel. “This is a common feeling to have in the Shalimar, young man. Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
“Captain, what’s the point of returning home when all it means is ending up where you started?” He then hung up the phone, got dressed, grabbed his bag and opened the door. He turned and took a long look at a startled Nilcea sitting frozen in the steaming whirlpool. He really didn’t know what to say to her, so he shrugged his shoulders and squeaked, “Shalimar Motel?”

He left and headed for the docks where he purchased an eternal ticket on a ship that never stopped sailing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Story Published

An online magazine, coincidentally named Fringe Indie Magazine, published a part of my psychosis. You can check it out here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

up for air

The travels have not ended. But as the black man slumbers, I have found enough repose to claw my way to the Internetting place to offer a quick glimpse of what the past few weeks have been like:
We stumbled into the morning from the rented apartment like vampires being crushed by sunlight. As we made our way to the building's exit, Luis the doorman/launderer motioned me over.
"Some tenants complained that last night there was a lot of noise and yelling and that there was a transvestite screaming to get in and causing lots of problems," said Luis nervously.
"Yeah, sorry about that," I told him in Portuguese. "We had a small problem last night. It won't happen again. Tranquilo?"
Luis smiled, shook my hand and asked if he could go collect and wash our linens.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Danger Doggie: An Update

I have been traveling this past week, and not paying much attention to the fringe. Which is good. The fringe is a brooding hold-over. In the meanwhile I have been working my way down the white sand coastline until I hit Rio, where I will be meeting up with a profane war veteran and a Hollywood Jew. After ten days with these two, the Fringe will need a new server. But for now here is quip of an udpate:

The first thing I realized is that Brazil is actually a nice and friendly place. I have decided that my city, Macaé, does not belong to Brazil as Fort Lauderdale does not belong to America. They are just fucked-out...well, see previous blog.
Last night I was bussing it to Saquarema, one of the best surf spots in Brazil. After a missed connection, or miscommunication, I exited the bus in Bacaxá thinking it was Saquarema. However, Bacaxa is about 8-10Km away, and I had just exited the last bus.
I purchased a bottle of Itaipava, and with my belongings on my back and Havaianas on my feet I trekked the highway through the starless night, passing jurassic aloe veras and exchanging boa noites with the 0ccasional cyclist. It was the most pleasant stretch of time I have covered in a long while.
I arrived safely, feet severely cramped only to find pro surfing had beat me to it. ASP, Rip Curl and Coca-Cola will be hosting the WQS for the next week.
I awoke this afternoon and headed to contest in time to watch Brett Simpson win a heat against a weathered Neco Padaratz. As the contest continued I realized I had been speaking only Portuguese for the past week and suddenly desired to speak English. It was then I spotted some blonde haired bros with Jack's lamenated on their boards. That meant they were from San Diego, so began walking towards them. As I came closer I picked up on the language. One bro hollered to the other bro a high-pitched "Yew!", then followed with, "danger doggie!" and slapped hands with one another.
I became very uncomfortable and continued walking by as if I had somewhere else to be. I was then reminded by something my friend Asa once said. "I have never met a guy that was actually from San Diego that I ever liked." But Asa also once said that "it is hard to be both Chinese and cool."
I don't know what the truth is. It's funny what our tongues do, dictate and decide. They are fateful rudders that. . .no, no I am doing this right now. I am on vacation.
More to come soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fucked-Out Cunt

Nothing proud in form here, in this fucked-out cunt of a place, but poverty expensive with vagina. Men extract their dicks like syringes from petroleum and inject and inject and inject billowing foul motel shadows across the streets that used to dance, but now they hook and con with the taste of oil oozing everywhere bubbling into a swath of ecstasy, disease and chains trailed by beggars and stray dogs.
And in this fucked-out cunt of a place a gate was built in front of our community to protect the middle class from what the rich have done to the poor. But there are nights of imperious invasions when the gate rattles and shrill voices cry my name. I used to appease them with concern and plead in an language I no longer speak.
I know now of their origins and design. It is all a fucked-out cunt of a trick. This my fringe, and I see it all.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hiding Hearts From The Rain

The rain has come, landing softly in silent rhythms. Silently enough to keep us awake at night without anger. We breathe like the rain falls, afraid that the slightest interruption may cause a crack in the sky, or crack our chests open again spilling out our depraved longings for America. So we keep the sheets up to our neck.
The rain can do such a thing to a man and his woman. The way it stirs you up, makes your head crazy until you're sitting cross-legged on your bed, sheets around your waist, looking your lover in her wide eyes, and she is willing to listen to you and love you because you have an idea, a mad introspection, a daring translation of the heart. And so you translate: I miss America terribly. I know a guy back in Ohio, and a way to make some money.
But you've done it before and now you know better. You know not to let the rain speak for you. Nobody really knows a guy in Ohio, and you certainly don't know how to make money.
As for America, the rain will tell you that everyone is having a good time and is moving on in their lives. Everyone is a postcard image, a childhood memory.
But we know now that no one is moving on or is having a good time; they're all crawling like spiders trying to scratch it out from day to day. So when the rain falls silently like this, we tuck into the web we have scratched out for ourselves, and we think of all the rain tucked into all the pockets of the earth and how god-damned crazy everybody will be should we lower the sheets, expose our hearts and crack open the sky.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Got Nothin'

Can't come up with a decent story lately. I won't call it writer's block, but something is in the way. Got no substance right now. Eh. Won't spoil ya. For the time being, here is what's going on around here:

The owner of the school died in a scuba diving accident. Nobody knows who is in charge now, employees have started to hate one another, and we all take it out on the IT guy. This boat is definitely sinking. This IT guy should be able to fix something, anything, but the server keeps crashing and without the monolith we are doomed! We tell him he has one job and he can't do it, and that his interpersonal skills need improvement. "Of course," he says, "Which is why I work with machines. I can't stand people. " Now we think he is doing it on purpose, and we keep a closer watch on the IT guy rather than our students. Did I mention this ship is sinking?
Today we met to discuss who can design a curriculum since the academic coordinator just quit. Instead we blamed the printer, and that if it ever worked we could maybe teach a planned lesson, so fuck curriculum, and what about this IT guy? He can't even fix the printer. Then, shortly after the meeting there was a shootout in front of the school. We all ran to look, secretly hoping the IT guy got it in the gut. Instead it was some ragged favela kids in an awry car hijack, but since the IT guy had nothing to do with it we cared little and went in our own directions. Not sure what anybody else did, but I ended up drunk on wine and painting my neighbor's toenails.

Monday, June 15, 2009


The last I heard from Zillmann was a few months ago. He was writing mad poetry about Mars and working in a plant nursery. We spoke recently and he said he has been digging his hands in the fresh loam. I told him it was vile to say such a phrase, but he insisted the loam is where his hands have been. I countered by telling him that if I ever bothered to find out what the hell loam is, I may congratulate him on his loam. But for now I will keep my eyes set upon this bloated dog on the sunny side of the road hoping that Zillmann will keep his loamy hands to himself.
Been on this bus for too long. Somewhere between Only God Knows Where and a Borracharia. I feel all these people have a right to be on this bus because they need to be on this bus. They need to be somewhere, and hopefully soon. Maybe it's work. Or maybe family. But it's important for them to get there.
I have nowhere to be. And I tell myself that is a good thing. Some kind of Buddhist load of shit about not being owned by material obligations, and letting go, yet I feel queer and nauseus with these thoughts. And it could be because I am writing while in a moving vehicle, but maybe I have reached a time in my life where traveling has become tiring revolutions around the anywheres of the world. I am no longer shocked by culture, wealth, poverty, or landscape. I understand that we live in different places and that we eat different foods, that water falls and deserts dry, and the hills are high and the valleys are low.
What blows my mind more than anything is that we are alive. That on this bus we have all achieved, up to this point, a moderate success in not dying. Waking up is a tremendous miracle. Throughout our experiences, at any time, the introduction of one unneccessary particle to one ordinary situation can shatter everything. A displaced particle can make this bus driver kill us all, or such a particle can cause the man next to me go for my gringo throat at the next rest stop. But none of this will happen. We will still drink wine and eat bread; this is miraculous. We are alive while phantoms circle over our bodies. Zillmann sifts through the loam and writes beautiful poetry about Mars.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Pattern

I write a lot about women. But it's mostly because I write when I am in trouble. When I am in trouble I need a parachute, and kisses make the best ones.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More Lives Than You'll Ever Know

There is a woman out there who I love dearly. I have said it out loud before, but only when I am close to the floor. It is much easier to squash such a thing when it's that low.
Well, see, I love her now a whole lot. I didn't really before. I mean, I did, but well, I was stupid. I would fuck around a lot. I thought different pussy was always gonna be different. But it always ends up the same. Usually mad at me.
So, as the story goes, I got her sister pregnant.
Did I mention she had--not her sister, but Eilene--has had two abortions for me? Simply because I asked her to, and she loved me. But I didn't really love her, even though I do, but not really at the time. So, ya, I fuck around and I started doing it with her sister. And like I said, her sister gets pregnant. I guess I got one hell of a seed. Christ. Anyhow, I decided the right thing to do would be to tell Eilene.
I brought out the Teacher's whiskey, and I had her sit with me on the floor. We had a few drinks. Maybe six or so. She started telling me that we should probably stop drinking like this. I asked her if she would like to move up to the table. But that wasn't what she meant.
She continued on about how we were killing ourselves or something, and what the hell was on my mind? Just then I remembered this phrase from our little Portuguese phrase book--we used to try to learn one phrase a night. It was under the emergency section.
"Nao ha antidoto para essa vemeno."
So, I said it. My face got sweaty. I guess I panicked. What that means is "there no antidote for this poison."
She slapped my leg like I was playing around. "I love that one! Like, why would anyone ever need that phrase? I'll drink to that," she exclaimed. But that wasn't what I was trying to say. So then I came clean. I told her how I fuck around and got her sister pregnant.
She stood up and over me looking horribly massive and powerful. Then she said with a clenched, low voice, "well, kill it like you killed mine."
I don't know where she is now.
I've been stuck to the floor for a few days. It is easy to squash such a thing when it's that low.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh Sister

Buelton, California, 4 a.m.?-

I have lost my journal. It is somewhere between Mary Beth's car and Buelton. I feel sorry for the poor bastard that finds it....

Tomorrow is today, yet so suddenly it is yesterday. The promises made for tomorrow have impetuously arrived, but it's too soon because it can't possibly be today when yesterday is definitely still today.
There needs to be a new term for this time of twilight. Something to do with confession; with being conquered. There is something about it that makes me admit my nocturnal orbit and ferocious urges.
She was married. Is married. Will be married.
I won't keep with whores anymore. I made the promise when she said "I do," but does that count as yesterday, today or tomorrow? Because when I look to my right I am reminded that I have once again shattered my word.
Who decides if it is yesterday, today or tomorrow? If it's God, then I must be him. If it's me, then I must be me. If it's you, then I must be you.
I need a new tense. One that blurs past, present and future together. Not synethesia, nor anesthesia, but something with a bit more swirl.
She said "I do." She was married. Is married. Will be married.
My heart has no shore.
There is something about this age that blurs tomorrow, today and yesterday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Talking To Myself

-Let's try and do something good for ourselves tonight. I know that TV, drugs and whiskey are cool and all, but there is more to life than that.
-Yeah, maybe. But what are you going to do about it?
-Well, I have been trying to write something about it. Here, look...
-Ok, but if the first line is about TV, drugs and whiskey then obviously it's the inspiration and without it you would have nothing.
-But that's just it! What if I was living without this shit? Imagine what could be accomplished during a day. Imagine making love and actually feeling it!
-I feel it.
-Well, yeah, but-
-Listen. You can keep imagining all this shit, but without all this, you wouldn't even be real. This is your life right now, and there is no other, or at least no other that you are aware of. Let it go. This is why you have a failed career, failed relationships and own nothing. Because you can't fucking accept who you are in the present. Now--no, not a word, I'm not finished--do yourself a favor. Pour a glass, roll a joint, watch the television. Fuck wildly when she comes over and say things you don't mean.
-Like even that trash about anal sex and a vibrator?
-Absolutely. We can say it over and over again, and we will pretend that we have harmony and that all the things we do in the dark bring you happiness. Then, I assure you, we will have cast enough worry, doubt and illusion into the rill of goodness that you still hold onto to write whatever it is you want to write.
-I hate it when you're right.
-And I hate it when you write.


I have a fairly decent part in Henry Weintraub's new full-length zombie film, "Melvin." I play cop who turns into a zombie, who then eats a girl's arm. It premieres this weekend in Eugene, Oregon, then Portland, Salem and hopefully to Mars.
But in all seriousness, help support truly independent art. Go to to check out the premiere times and order a DVD.
Also the band, Shim Come Quick, has two songs, "Why" and "Kelly's Not Watching," featured in the movie.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Get Back To It

Today I told a student to "stop poking at the surface; try making something bleed for once."
"This is a writing class, not a science class," she coolly responded.
She is not an artist or a scientist. I don't know what people like her become. Probably teachers. She is the same girl who thought the kids in Lord of the Flies were "stupid." I figured that was a teachable moment and replied, "well, don't have kids." She said, "whatever."
Anyhow, back to the blood. Back to riding the pulse over a shallow reef. To being locked-in. To the sea, to the moon, to the road, to the rocks, to the mountains, to the wind. Back to it all crumbling before you can pull out. Back to being spit out. Back to claiming it. Back to screaming it. Back to expression, style, composure and chance. Back to backing out. Back to saying "it's mine."

Monday, May 4, 2009


I have been looking at the paper long enough to know I cannot re-create you. Unlike my tried words, charcoal and spit I cannot cross you out, rub you out or dry you out. You are not a synonym, a shade or unpalatable. So what do I do with you? I will do anything to re-create you. Or destroy you. You are the enchanted, haunting wraith of my conscience, or sub-conscience, or whatever the hell else it is that distorts me. I have no idea what you are anymore, or what you meant to me. But I need you on this paper, on my wall as you are. Then I will turn off the lights and throw darts. Or enshrine you with candles. I don't know which. But one or the other needs to happen because I can't keep waking up like this. The kids are getting worried.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stupid Face

When Stan was 19 he tried to kill his father. It wasn't a capricious, lethal twitch of rage, but an honest go-for-the-throat execution. Only, Stan had failed.
His father, like the rest of our fathers, was an abusive drunk. Except Stan's father still held most of the state's wrestling records for his weight class. After the initial stagger, he quickly reversed his son's choke-hold, pinned him to the living room floor, spit in his face and beat him good. He hadn't a victory in years.
While Stan lay choking on tears and shame, his father quickly went back to the bar and told everybody, everybody being our fathers. So, the next day us guys knew all about it, and once us guys knew about it, our girlfriends knew about it, and shortly thereafter the whole stinking town knew about it.
Stan had been a solid acquaintance of ours. We weren't terribly close, but close enough to know somebody. We all knew how bad his father was, but it wasn't far from our realities. Just different nights of the week, I suppose.
Stan was a good lucking guy, too. But an interesting thing happened to his looks. After the dream of killing his father was pinned and replaced with a town's embarrassment, Stan became ugly. His stature, once strong and straight, slouched remorsefully. And his face, well, it was just hideous. It was as if the demons inside his head, angry with the failed execution, began torturing him with pitchforks. Picking an prodding, scraping and pulling until Stan was no longer Stan.
He dropped out of the JC, and began working full-time as a grocer at Lucky's. He was such a drag to look at that we stopped shopping at Lucky's and went across town to Sam's. In fact, we all possessed a quiet hatred for Stan. He had taken a dream that belonged to us all, and he gave it life. Dreams cannot breathe in this atmosphere. Everybody in this town knows that. Stan's dream, our dream, the dream of killing our fathers was pinned down to Stan's stupid living room carpet and spit on. And now Stan has a stupid face, and we all hate him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Between The Gutter And The Stars, People Are What People Are" -K. Friedman

Sao Paulo, 3 a.m., maybe 5--

I'm at that point again. The point where the beers can't do a god-damned thing. I wish they could obliterate my memory, knock me out and put me to bed. But I'm still disastrously awake, sitting at the desk in my motel room. The lights are off, and I am writing in the dark. I tell myself that maybe that last sentence carries weight. Stupid to think such a thing right now. Just write.
I peer out the window upon graffiti walls of exposed concrete. A few heads milling about and some cars driving slow. Somebody told me the transvestites walk this street.
I wipe the sweat off my brow and rub it into my hair. I ring out my eyes. Maybe one more beer will do the trick? I turn to fish one from the ice in the sink. The ice has melted. So has Camila in the bed. Camila. Camila. I like to say the name. I say it aloud this time, "Camila!" She wakes up briefly and spouts something hostile towards me in Portuguese, then melts again. Camila.
I met her this evening at the reading in Madalena. She approached me shortly after I read and told me that my poetry was vile and it disgusted her. I told her I agreed, that it disgusted me too, and that I hate myself most of the time, so I'll buy us a round to celebrate our honesty and disgust...
Now my disgust sleeps there in that bed, wrapped up in my sheets, in my sweat, even a little bit of blood, and she is about to become another one of those poems. Somebody out there loves Camila.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I haven't posted something in a while. I'm sure the three people that read this are pulling their hair out. But things are happening and piling up, and my head is quite heavy these days. I have an agent now. I know he's reading this, so I'll just fuck with him for a bit. He researches blogs, and as he put it, is "trying to find a voice in this free medium." What a guy! Anyhow, he needs a short story to shop around. I told him that "We Honor You With This Chicken," Said The Brother is a phenomenal story, but he is really into this idea of "fresh." My sister would appreciate that.
Anyway, I haven't posted because I have been working on some stories for this guy. I've been switching between two. One is about an American insurance scam ultimately leading to a bad car wreck and not having sex. The other has to do with the idea of going forward in reverse, literally and symbolically. As much as I want the former to work, the latter is consuming more of my head. Secretly, however, I am pulling for the insurance scam. What American wouldn't?
I am leaving for Sao Paulo tomorrow. Be back soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brazilian Women

In America, men are madly infatuated with Brazilian women. Mention something about Brazil, and possessed like a drunk confession, a man will drain all of his brilliance into retelling a story he once heard regarding Brazilian women. Sometimes you get somebody who has even been to Brazil.
I was in a small restaurant having dinner with family a few days before leaving the States. An elderly man and his wife, probably in their 70's, were eating dinner at the table next to us. He overheard that I was leaving for Brazil, leaned over and grasped my arm with desperation. His eyes illuminated. A death grip. It was over for him, I thought. But it was only beginning.
Sternly, fiercely and longingly, "Son, you are moving to Brazil?"
I nodded.
"I was in Rio in '63. Son, the women. I have never seen anything like it. Never-in-my-life."
I nodded again, saying thanks and that I was looking forward to it. He let go peacefully, looked towards his wife, recognized her briefly and returned to their quiet dinner.
I have been in Brazil about four weeks. Every few days I get a letter from a friend wondering if I have done it yet. Wondering if I have slept with a Brazilian, and to please include details if I have. Ok, I have. I have done it. I have slept with about 30 of them.
First of all, they have three tits, golden vaginas, and if you touch them just right they come liquid diamonds. Upon request, their golden vaginas have the ability to clench the base of the penis just before climax to ensure longevity. When kissing, their lips release the most dreamy hallucinogenic. It's a personal trip, so whenever I kiss them I end up in a forest full of boobs, spirit guides and electric guitars. Sometimes my friends Charles is there, but he usually has his own thing going on. Also, they can defy gravity. Once a good rhythm is established, weightlessness is achieved. Sex happens near the ceiling, in the sky, in the clouds, near the moon...They can even descend to hell if so desired. I don't recommend it, however. I tried it on a whim. It's filled with American women, age 17, and they are very, very attractive.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good Lovers Don't Make Escape Routes

I have been surrounded by lava since I was a child. When I climbed trees, the lava bubbled below. Streams of lava filled sidewalk cracks, so I hopped each one. It sneaked into my house, and slithered through the linoleum. I jumped from couch to chair to chair to kitchen. It quickly found the grooves in the kitchen tiles, and the tiles were tributaries for the burning madness. So, the trick was having an escape route. Out the back door, off the porch, and onto the skateboard. The skateboard to the brick wall, climb the wall and jump to the garage roof. It was easy. I practiced it often.
But my parents were always caught in the kitchen, fighting and screaming. They never made it out of there. They burned up; they drowned. I guess good lovers don't make escape routes. Good lovers try to withstand the heat. They believe their passion to be greater than the elements. They let the lava in thinking it will be a rush, but too often they are violently consumed. Then, they are reincarnated and start climbing trees and jumping cracks as if nothing ever happened.
There are some people who understand what they're dealing with. They don't dive in. Instead, they make little boats and float through it all with the occasional burn. But are they still good lovers? Do they speak to one another at dinner? I hope so.
Since the moment my parents were consumed by lava, I have sailed through it in my little boat from house to house, school to school, car to car, and city to city. I'm in my 15th apartment, 8th city, 4th country and 3rd broken heart. It's conclusive. If good lovers don't make escape routes, I am one of the worst.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When A Teacher Doesn't Teach, But Thinks About Beer

I shifted the classroom discussion into the impact of technology on our lives. I asked each kid, ages 12-13, to tell me how they use technology and what they would do without it, et cetera et cetera. Typical teacher bullshit to pass a Friday, and about 5 minutes prior, Dave popped in to let me know he just put the beers on ice. So, mentally, class was over. Getting through it physically was all that remained. They raised their hands and said things about their Nintendos, MP3s, cell phones and computers. When it was Pedro's turn, he seemed flummoxed.
He is the thinker of the class, and his responses are usually a bit more complex.
"Well, es downloading. I download all de time," said Pedro, startled. He then went quiet and I could tell his thoughts were trailing in darkness.
I didn't really know what to say to the boy, but just getting him to expel whatever was in his head seemed like a good move.
"Ok Pedro. Well, what do you like to download?" I felt ridiculous asking such a question. A human asking another human what they like to download...
"No!" he quickly shouted. His voice remained loud and his eyes were wild. "Es no about what I like or what I don't like to download. But my whole life, I think I can download it."
Some of the kids laughed, but when Pedro didn't smile they stopped laughing.
"You can download your life, Pedro?"
"Yes! My father, he es always filming everything. I am serious. Everything. Then he puts into a file. Always files. A file for everything. I am a file. My seester, she es a file. My mom, everybody, a file. And anytime I have question about when we live in Columbia, or Venezuela, or wherever, I must download. I have so maaany questions about everything so I must always download!"
Wow. I was blown away. This was deep. Poor Pedro, so young and already in the matrix. But again, this was Friday, the humidity was heavy and I knew we had beers on ice at home.
"Wow Pedro. That is really crazy. Technology has really impacted your life. Maybe just stop downloading for a little bit. Ok class, no homework this weekend. Get outta here. Have fun!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Mask, A Revolver and A Police Chief

9 o'clock in the evening. Monday night. I'm in Brazil... Christ, let's be honest. I'm in some oil-town, ragged-ass Brazilian holdover. It's edgy as hollowed eyes. And the heat won't relent. My shirt is off now and the beers don't do a god-damned thing after a certain point.
I'm trying to wrap my head around the assassination. The assassination that was on pg. 6 in the local press. The assassination that read "a masked man using a revolver" blew away the Police Chief while he was picking up his wife's prescription in the pharmacy.
A revolver....A mask...the Police Chief? It's getting Western out here.
The reports said it was related to what happened a week before; when this notorious favela gang came to town to have a shootout with the police. The police had apparently shot and killed a member of the gang some odd weeks ago. The favela had been planning the attack since. Everybody knew when and where it was going to happen. So to prepare for the shootout, the city blocked off downtown as if it were expecting a parade. The shootout happened. And nothing happened at the same time. No deaths, just wounds and such. I guess the moral is that if you want something done right, make sure you have a mask, a revolver and a police chief.

Monday, March 16, 2009

“We Honor You With This Chicken,” says the brother.

I'm on the back of Marcelo's Kawasaki and we're speeding through O Centro. Kids shooting marbles. Black woman breast feeding. Trash fires in the street. It must be 100 degrees out.

We cut up a small hill and race across a field towards the mountains, and now we're nearing what resembles a ranch. Chickens everywhere. Squawking and pecking and bobbing and Marcelo says we're here.

It's becoming dark. The humidity says it's only getting worse. We're in a shed now with who I think is his brother. He holds a knife, but a machete is on the wall. On the ground there is some hay, there is some blood, and I'm guessing a killing stump. His brother exits the shed.

Marcelo rubs his hands together, says I'm going to love this. His brother returns with a whale of a chicken. It's going nuts, and it's getting loud, really loud and I hate this. I hear the wings hoping they will finally fly and the brother's feet shuffling for position through the hay. Marcelo yells "Ya!" as his brother becomes too large to be human. I can't feel anything.

The brother looks at me and smiles. He's missing teeth, and what I finally think about is, "he's missing teeth." Then, wham! Cuts through the chicken's neck.

Marcelo whacks me on the back and looks to see how I like it. I look at him like I've suddenly gone deaf. But then, I smile. I look at the scene again and feel the moment's exclamation flush quickly to my face the way a new bruise pulses pain. I laugh or cough, can't really tell, but I'm ecstatic. My throat clears and I'm howling now, whooping it up with Marcelo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There It Is

Today I leave for Brazil. Or how about: Today a monster drowns in my wake. Its last breathe ignites me to new waters and the cosmic ricochet blasts like it hasn't in years, rattling the green light so that it flickers through the fog just enough to show me it is still there.
Goodbye, and so-long suckers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thoughts Are Heavy Tonight

sink, think, sink, think, sink, sink, think, think
rarely float, think, float, think,
mostly float
never swim, think, swim, think
but swim, swim, swim.
sink from thinking, thinking of sinking
sink, think, sink, think, sink, sink

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nice Today

"Have I been nice to you today?"
Yes, you've been very nice. You gave me orange juice and tylenol. You gave me breakfast in bed. You put lube in my palm and said, "show me how."
You've been very nice to me today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Murder City Devil

Last night I dreamt I was standing tall above a floor of dead, naked women. I was sucking on blood oranges and carelessly tossing the rinds on their bodies. My hair was slicked back and I wore a black collared shirt, unbuttoned and partially tucked into pinstripe pants. My feet were bare, nestled against the deceased and my face was shaved clean but with scatterings of pulp around the mouth. I ate maniacally, devouring blood orange after blood orange, tossing rind after rind.

I awoke painfully aroused. I had no idea if I was actually turned on by this dream, or if it was simply morning wood. I felt catatonic and queasy. The next thing I knew I was cooking tomato soup for breakfast. When it was ready I brought it to the living room, turned the blinds to block the sun, cloaked a blanket over my shoulders, sat on the couch and began reading an Anne Rice novel.

Shortly thereafter my thoughts got muddled. It was like they were fast forwarding and rewinding simultaneously, occasionally flashing graphic images from the dream . My body ached horribly.

I called my sister and told her I needed to talk and that my head was all messed up again. She said she was swamped at the moment, but would come over as soon as she was finished and to please, please promise to not leave the house until she got there.

I hung up without saying anything. That is about all I can remember...(tbc)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feeding the Pattern

"I can't do this. I can't do this," she wailed as she shook the grocery bag. "I can't keep on like this knowing you're leaving. " We stood in the street on our way home from the market. The rain fell heavy and the clouds swelled closer to the dark earth.
"If you believe that, say it again and I'll walk away if that makes this whole thing easier. You'll never hear from me again."
Then the bag broke. The eggs cracked. The wine shattered. The milk found the gutter. Some other shit rattled around, too.
"No, No!" she screamed glancing quickly at the mess, then back at me. "That's not what I want!" Won't you fight for me?"
"No. I can't; I don't have the strength right now. But each day I'm with you, you build me up. And I think I do, or did, the same for you. But you're right. Maybe we can't make believe anymore. Look at it." I motioned to the broken, cracked-up mess we made. Her eyes fixed on the mess, and her head cocked slightly to her right shoulder. She smiled peacefully.
"What?" I asked her.
"Funny," she said almost whispering, still gazing upon the mess, now converging into one stream quietly flowing in the gutter to the drain. "How it comes to this. How such a mistake comes to make sense. It's all feeding the pattern."

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Waiting....

Lately, she is calling me pet names like “Shoo-Shoo” or occasionally, “Sparky.” She also smells like cheap vodka instead of that god-damned rum, so maybe I should let the pet names slide for the time being, or at least until she discovers the euphoric twists that gin can put on the brain. Then, maybe, just maybe, she'd call me Saber-Tooth, or Falcon. But for now, with the vodka blurring my edges and putting me on fours, I am Shoo-Shoo, sometimes Sparky.
It doesn’t matter to me or emasculate me the slightest because I'm in the waiting room. She could spit on me while fucking me, then call me Johnny and it wouldn't matter. In the waiting room there is no feeling, no sensation. It's all sterile. Some old magazines and insipid wallpaper. But on the other side of the wall, something will happen. Whatever that something is, no matter the importance it may play in the grand scheme of things, it will occur and then old Shoo-Shoo can kiss my ass. I just need that fucking VISA to arrive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Great Dust-Up

I was told to expect one great dust-up in my life. I had imagined a hospitalizing brawl, or too much cocaine in a weak heart. Maybe an unwanted pregnancy. Something like that.
But Mighty George cooked up something more original, more delicious.
It happened shortly after my 28th birthday. And once the dust settled, my career, money, house, friends and girlfriend vanished. They were replaced with lawyers and cops, fright and paranoia. Looking back on it, I wish somehow guns could have been involved.
As the intermittent days eerily crawled along, as I sold my possessions, drank remorsefully and said my goodbyes to the place I called home, I figured America didn't want me anymore.