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.