Thursday, November 30, 2006


The questions about the chimera's existence were getting heavy. Though it stood before the philosophers, its dragon head eating one of the assistants, its lion's mouth roaring in their ears, its goat horns bumping against its cage, none of them would admit it lived. We had to escort the learned men into the gate, each one wearing a slingshot and a Goliath fan club t-shirt, to make them see what was before their eyes, just before they were plucked out, and their bodies incinerated by fire.


My mother plugged me into the TV as a baby. As a child I powered myself up with fruit roll-ups and beer. During my teenage years, I constantly shocked myself at night, when everyone had turned their bodies off. At school teachers didn't understand my electrical nature, how my handwriting carried currents of unstable knowledge, how my pens' static charge made girls' hair stand up. When I entered the workforce, I blew up the reports with exciting phrases, galvanized the readers back to life with my zappy phrases. Now I listen to all the people typing on computers, writing their secrets in e-mails, publicizing their lives on blogs, and I feel I can electrocute their longings, be the lightning bolt that unwraps their unconscious, so their mummy can walk around in photons, signaling hope with bandages of light.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What Poet I Am on Survery

Philip Larkin! You scored 50 Demeanour, 54 Debauchery, 58 Traditionalism, and 60 Expression!
Cheer up, asshole. Everyone loves you, and still you treat them like shit. And still they love you! They love you all the more for it! Why is that, do you suppose? Because you're a freakin genius, that's why! You make an insult sound like love song! You spew your venom at the world and the world laps it up! From your dark, ugly little heart gushes forth a veritable geyser of gorgeous ideas and melodious language. I hate you. Let's hang out sometime. Your masterpiece is "The Less Deceived".
My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 99% on Demeanour
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You scored higher than 99% on Debauchery
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You scored higher than 99% on Traditionalism
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You scored higher than 99% on Expression
Link: The Which Famous Poet Are You Test written by Torontop on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Heroes and Mothers

Heroes forget their mothers in the talks they give poets who record their deeds on scrolls. All types of info about the magical horses they tamed and the princesses they rescued then left on desert islands to die. Plenty of details about the way they chopped the head of the tyrant and left his body to be devoured by scorpions in the sun. Even contract language about the percentage of the profits to be shared by the writer and hero are included, with a small cut given to the loyal partner, who's still smarting from having an arm eaten by a Hydra. Nowhere do mothers get their thanks; instead they're made into constellations later by the gods, after the jealous divine queens realize their all-powerful husbands impregnated the mothers so long ago and sends a snake to strangle them or an army of carnivorous cockroaches to eat them alive. Then, they sit in the night doing laundry forever, hanging a sheet of stars in the galaxy, while their sons ride the heroic hippogriff above them, getting the limelight even after their deaths, which have everything to do with their faults, ones they regret putting on paper, ones no book advances can solve or give them immortality while keeping them alive.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


The circus comes to town, and once again the sky is purple with unhappiness. That's because it's an abused god, bruises from the stars, its spouse. The moon knows all about this problem. It's sometimes eclipsed and pretends not to notice the shredding of the night. Meanwhile, elephants toot their kazoos, unusual for this time of year, Winter, and the tigers whip the master of ceremonies with his own head. Popcorn sellers are about to go out of business, because of too much inventory, and the zebras eat themselves in the forms of crackers. The sky wants to shield them all from the audience, but it can't even save itself from pinpoints of energy that apologize each time they send a meteor swarm though its clouds. Summoning its roar, the crowd inflates the pink tent with all the hot air it needs. A cage of clowns rams into a train, stopping the load of people and coal, and they all drop out into various poses of death. Tickets are sold by inflatable chimpanzees, who swear they've torn them when they really haven't. They don't cost enough to dissuade everyone who can from coming, even the elderly and infirm. A loudspeaker prepares the announce the first act. It'd be excited, but it's a machine, and it can't see the colorful riot of legs and arms about to stampede the chairs. Tightrope walkers are drunk. The sky hears fireworks and knows once again it's going to get hurt. Police officers, shaking their heads, are ready to shovel the dead in their wagons.

Friday, November 24, 2006


The numbers for the drawing: 6 6 6. I'm not superstitious, but I think the world is trying to tell me something. That's why I wear my devil mask everywhere and listen to Perry Cuomo singing Iron Maiden songs. It gives me something to do. Then the baby next door believes her father will come to take her to his infernal palace. Fat chance. A disguise is what I need, a balloon one maybe, where people run after me with pins. I don't doubt Satan exists, but I've heard he prefers to be called Stan. That's what trying to fit in gets you. I also carried a pitchfork to work and threatened the boss with eternal damnation. More work, that's what it got me. Doubt is impossible in this world. If faith has reached its bottom, keep scooping it out, eventually one will drink the Bible's liquid pages. Because I won the lottery I was given a motorcycle without a helmet. I'm too scared to drive it around, because cherubs follow me on astral projections of tricycles. Hearing the wings flap, angelic as they are, gives me the heebie jeebies. Try telling a joke. O.K., this one's about a guy who couldn't screw in a light bulb, so he posed as a travelling salesman and met and married a wonderful farmer's daughter. She was a horse, though. This is where you're supposed to laugh. The new numbers are the same as the old, always.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The lantern lost its light. We sent out search parties for it; they carried bags of sticky shadows to catch it. They looked under rocks, where worms said, "please give me some peace and put the stones back down." They also peeked inside tree stumps, where raccoons bit their noses and escaped chimpanzees played the bongo drum on their heads. Even the rivers were examined, but glimmers only proved to be false gold, fishing tackle, and valuable diamonds. We cracked the lantern, hoping it'd tell us something it was holding back, contained within its oil and wick. The lamp's metal pieces exploded, drove themselves into our brains. That's when we found it, the unconscious flash of neural lightning we'd been seeking. The alphabet was branded in us with manic stamps of fire. A ran away with B over the moon, C danced with the D, and the rest of the letters played squash and tennis on the thick courts of our new ideas. The search parties were brought back, given a heavy lunch of ham, squid, chocolate, and cherry tomatoes. We were trying a whole new theory of food, and it didn't matter if the searchers became sick, because we'd just develop new medicines for nausea. We'd cure all illnesses, bring together mortal enemies, and write a story about a source of enlightenment no one's ever heard of, just to prove we can do everything.

Monday, November 20, 2006


If you look closely you can still see the lines once sketched on this sidewalk. It's a huge part of our history, the Chalk Wars of 2006. You see, youngsters, a group of ruffians out west didn't like this part of the country. They bought a large box of colorful chalk to mark the residents out of existence. Each time they drew a person he blinked out of his life into the picture. How horrifying, to be stuck in a work of art, knowing no one can make you real again. Then, with a little elbow grease, water, and high powered cleansers, the gang vanished the human being as quick as a hummingbird's eye. The citizens of this country started to fight back, but instead of chalk they used pressed wood, known then as "pages." They used their complex vocabulary to trap the criminals inside a sentence. For example, a black bearded misanthrope named Jack was put inside a very small one. He wanted to fight his way out, escape their clutches, bang on the punctuation until the commas let him out a backdoor, but there was no one to help. It's because of those brave men and women that we're here today inside this network, minds floating through electronic seas, free to be copied and re-copied forever. And why Jack isn't.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Harvesting is damn hard work. Someone threw in a neck with a screwball, and we all knew body parts weren't allowed in the cart. A wrench fell on some one's head and we had to bring him to mortuary. Funerals slow us down every five minutes or so. Overhead, a beastly sun doesn't see us trying our hardest to work without rest. Behind us the hearse slowly creeps through the fields. Scarecrows are getting suspicious that they're next. Yeah, but it's rewarding. When the boss gives us tickets we eat delicious meals fixed by the cooks on roller skate wheels. Someone tried to put a disco here but it failed when square dancing took the nation by storm. Our hands are dirty and so are our thoughts. Stop licking that hammer, always heard by the crew chief. Then there's the girls and guys, who are crazy about field hands. Roll your coarse skin over me, honey, let me touch those scabs and burns. Except now the serf turnover means we earn less than ever, which is really never. It's almost November so the tool stores are loaded with W-D 40 and plenty of nails. That's what it's all about. Another boy fell face first into the mud, splattering the whole workforce. Excuse me, a father says near me, that was my son. I might just cry.


We're not religious around here, and if we see a cross, we bend it into the shape of a star. For the cosmos is our great love, and we kiss pictures of the Milk Way before we go to sleep and do erotic things to giant telescopes. The chapel, though, regrets letting us move next door. It's now surrounded by houses and houses of ex-scientists, who still remember what a theory feels like in their hands just before they fire at the latest bad experiment. The chapel's monks like to play on the swing sets and pass their Bibles to one another. We'd like to break up their games, shout like an old man who's forgotten what spiritual joy is. We'd love to take off their brown dresses and outfit them in clothes that don't need ropes around the waist. Lately, a comet might prove to be our answer, if we can summon it with our machines. The pews would explode after being hit, the parishioners would call it The End of the World and expect to gain their souls and lose their clothes. The paintings of saints would melt, a martyrdom to art, and stained glass windows would crack like a safe worked on by a master criminal. If it doesn't happen, we might have to learn to co-exist. The foundations of life support everyone, whether they believe in them or not.


I like this delicious cloth on my skin. It almost feels like real beaver seal mastodon bald eagle chipmunk hippo anteater shoe salesperson ant. Who did you kill to get it? Wait, don't tell me, the local clerk at the liquor store? He had it coming for years. Every time he checked my I.D. he asked if that was my real photo, when I'd tried that day to look as dead as possible. Or was it the local pharmacist? She wouldn't give me the narcotics I needed to get through one more day with you; sorry, angel, but it's true. His bottles winked at me like two moons jump roping over a cow. I don't think that makes sense, but these new meds might not be working. Perhaps you just tortured someone for loot and vocabulary. I think you found an English teacher and now know what the word "pellucid" means. If you use it in a poem, you must be shot, though. Or you hurt a politician, learned to say "love" and really mean "withdrawal." When you say "kiss me," it actually signifies "fight the romantic insurgents." But, oh, this fabric is fantastic. Like living in a second skin after the old one has been sublet to a couple that argues a lot and burns cigarettes on the carpet. I won't trouble you with any more questions, just, why the decapitation hat? I thought they nailed those heads of traitors to the bridge for everyone to see.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


We'd been swimming past the same seaweed for an hour when I turned to our SCUBA instructor and said, "Do you think the sharks are around here and aren't they waiting to eat us?" In return, he showed me some forks and knives in his satchel, attached to his belt, and told us, "When we're in their stomachs, try not to make them sick." I remembered at that moment a conversation I had with my father the other day. He wore the same alligator skin hat he always wore, and his advice was no better than his usual advice. "Find yourself some seafood, then you will be happy. There's nothing like hiding yourself in a clam on a fine morning." His suitcase was full of canned tuna, and when he knocked into a vase on his way out, Charlie bounced out of the open case and gave us his pitch: "You should try some of me, I taste really great." Suddenly, bouncing me out of my thoughts, a tribe of whitefish surrounded us, told us they were bringing us to their leader. I prepared speeches, the instructor took out his harpoon gun, and the faceless minions with us kept discussing the Great Whites. A giant hook lay in the center of their camp, and they asked which one of us had tried to use it on them. We all raised our hands like Spartacus. The fish lined us up, stabbed us all, and made us their worms.


Stop filling it in with black holes and stars. Ask it when it's going to lose weight. Make fun of it for being less essential than the other parallel dimensions oscillating in our heads, the ones where dinosaurs fight in each other in bi-planes and wolves chomp on Little Red Riding Hood in fairytale lands. Demand that it keep its secrets, the cosmic radiation and dust it's hiding in a galaxy. Tell it there's no dessert today, the cafeteria lady has run out of big bangs. Invite it to a party, so it gets dressed up in a tuxedo and orbiting moons, then watch as it's disappointed to find nothing but noxious gases at the supposed meeting place. Limit it to two scoops on Sunday, so it observes a day of rest after creating itself. Let it know how upset people are at it everyday, from the man finding a flat tire to a woman watching her house get bombed. Sanction it when it fishes in a pond clearly marked by signs stating "No Universes Allowed." Live with it on a deserted island, decide who should it eat whom first. Try to make it feel better about the heat death that's eventually coming. Set it up on a date with another world, which doesn't mind if it's ruled by an omniscient god and has nose hairs. Send a card congratulating them on their baby. See them both blink out afterwards, like soap bubbles popped by fingers, all of them dirty and dead. Wave goodbye to it, then realize one can't: all human arms have melted like rain.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


It's undeniable that the paragraph is a useful shape to organize prose into. For years, everyone from theological scholars to unscrupulous con artists have sworn by it. There's not a woman, man, child, or intelligent dog that does not use one on a daily basis. But just because the paragraph is so common does not mean than it is not under constant danger from assault. As I write this poets are lining up outside the walls of cities, armed with iambic catapults and archers who shoot fierce rhymes. I think we can withstand their force, as many of them are reliant on dues and fees to have their weapons known, and we have pots of boiling memoirs to melt their troops. Our scientists continue to write studies trying to figure out ways to rid ourselves of the poetic menace. We hope that soon we'll have developed a P-Bomb, which should be able to destroy all poetry in a 25 mile radius. We're infiltrating their readings, disguised as versifiers, disrupting their communities with prose disguised as poetry. I don't have to tell you what it would mean if they were successful. Histories would become as unread as "Paradise Lost." Students of economics would be required to assemble their graphs as concrete poetry. Our constitution itself would become an avant garde poem, where the amendments are stanzas and our rights to pursue happiness become the rights to confess our sins. We'd describe beauty but never get any closer to the truth. So, record your thoughts in paragraphs as much as possible and don't listen to those barbarians at the gate, who are trying to destroy our well organized, theme-sentenced way of life. Your un-rhymed and rhtyhm-less soul may depend on it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The weather is not so nice this time of year, but if you're smart, you won't tell anyone this. I've seen people offended by the very mention of storms and hail. They'll put you under sun lamps until your head wrinkles like a raisin. They'll attach you to a homemade rocket they launch toward the tropics. That's why you see men under umbrellas about to mention something to a stranger, then just look away to a puddle they're likely to soon walk into. Or why women buried inside a blizzard don't call out to anyone for fear that Frosty the Snowman fans will respond, who'll remove the women's noses and replace them with carrots. Then there are the children, who are bullied by teachers into cutting out paper rainbows for hours, when what they really want to do is feel icy rain pounding their backs. I'm going to be secret about it. I'll send anonymous letters to the newspaper complaining about the snowbanks in the yards and the sled dogs who're being exhausted. At work I'll post little cartoons of characters asking "Is it cold enough for you?" and "Do you think it's like this in hell?" They might identify my handwriting, though I've added hearts over the i's and loop my letters like minature roller coasters. That's why I need to build a weather control machine, to blast them with hurricane force winds, send them home sick to feed on chicken noodle soup. They'll sit in their study, huddled under scratchy covers, and wonder when my mudslides and tornadoes are going to end.


Bologna had an argument with Lettuce. Bologna was a vegetarian, you see, and wouldn't believe Lettuce was sentient, and therefore wanted to eat it. Lettuce, on the other hand, tired of political correctness, wanted to consume some processed animal parts and looked at Bologna with feelings of hunger and longing. The disagreement involved their place in the refrigerator, in the crisper or in the regular bins. Bologna wanted to be in a bin so it could corner Lettuce and smother it with its greasy skin. Lettuce preferred Bologna be placed in the crisper, so it could slip out of its bin at night and roll over the Bologna until it surrendered. What none of them understood was the Mayonnaise and Dressing had their own agendas. They had ordered a hand from beyond to carry them all out of the fridge, to be squirted and stacked on bread, to suffer the little deaths Mayonnaise and Dressing had been looking forward to for days. Meanwhile, the hand itched for its own solution, a gun in a box under the bed. After lunch it was going to fire the revolver at something, even if it had to kill the body, its friend.

This Blog Work Is My Version of a Workshop

The short prose poems I've been writing are in draft stage, and I'm looking for comments on them, if anyone has the time. In a sense, they're a creative sketchpad, and I hope to refine them later for a book, submitting, etc. I hope you all enjoy them, even if they're written very quickly and not quite polished yet.

Monday, November 13, 2006


When the cell divided, the two parts argued and decided they had to go to court. Part 1 was unhappy with its space in the organism, and Part 2 believed Part 1 had cheated with a nasty virus. The judge, a DNA spiral that had spiraled through centuries of cases, presided over it one life cycle ago. The attorneys, two mitochondria. on the outs with the thin, permeable membranes, did their best to argue for their clients. Part 1 kept trying to add the judge to its body, and the bailiff, a rogue germ, had to separate them continually. Part felt reason would help, asked a scientist and her microscope to map the paths they took through the bloodstream to figure out what really happened. Unfortunately, just as the verdict was going to be read, the uncertainty principle happened upon the proceedings. Part 1 turned into a banana. Part 2 became two lords arguing in 16th century England. The judge stayed itself, but added an autistic component that would make 2 parents very unhappy, while the attorneys found themselves in a desert behind the wheels of an angry jeep. They didn't know why the vehicle was upset, just that they flew in the air over a gully, heard explosions overhead, and saw the midnight fiesta of death hand them balloons, which they grabbed then floated into the sky, which made them forget everything.


The temperatures are getting old around here. The ones who hit their seventies are still very pretty, but the eighties sweat all over the carpet and the nineties' tongues are lagging out. The sun wants to put all of them in a nice greenhouse, where plants will look after them, but the mountains and trees won't listen. They remember those kids The Ice Ages, who threw snowballs at their trunks and topped them with everlasting frost. Mercury is up and down about the whole thing within thermometers. The degrees still talk about the one time they killed a whole busload of children, who'd left their windows closed while sleeping, and cackle over the deserts they created when people weren't expecting them, who then died of thirst. Wouldn't they be better off in the pages of a story, then? A fairy tale where a prince of a northern tundra asks his greatest explorers to find a warm place to live. They meet tiny babies of weather who exhale white mists in their faces. Cracked ice, lakes of freezing water, mad wolves, falling icicles, improper clothing, lips frozen to telephone poles: all these dangers kill some but do not stop the rest. In a valley faraway they discover the dinosaur jungle resort, where 70s wear tiny bathing suits and 80s give them cups of water from sparkling fountains of youth.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I promise not to tell the teacher that a friend dunked a chicken in a vat of yogurt. I promise to believe in every word the principal told me about paddling and damaged stereo equipment. I promise to feel the insides of my spirit that the school nurse told me about while she was dunking a kindergartner in icy water because a class had accused her of being a witch. I promise a liver and onion sandwich that I will not trade it for an ice cream cone. I promise the bully after school that I will marry him and that all our states of consciousness shall become as one. I promise the individually wrapped snack cakes that I will dedicate a book to them so the company hears about it and sends me boxes and boxes of treats. I promise the pommel horse that I will not allow my body to be flung over it in vain. I promise the school president that I will lick every letter of her sign until the red exclamation points bounce off my tongue. I promise locker combinations I will not remember them ever and have to call the lock corporation with the serial numbers. I promise the parents that I will not force them to watch our talentless shows or eat our recipe food accidents. I promise the store bought masks and valentines I will file them with the holidays so the calendar is disguised against anger and always walks its days in love.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Everybody now has their own vaults in their backyards. Nobody planned it that way, they all thought one bank in the town was enough. It had a strong enough safe made of steel and glass, which could hold all valuable things, from a couple's first love to a child's sense of innocence. With friendly tellers who didn't judge you for depositing your lust, and new account managers who never pushed you to place your compulsions and addictions in obsessive checking, the enterprise seemed like it was doomed to succeed. Except, a little girl went looking for her feelings of joy and happiness that had escaped its collar and forgot where its home was. Searching in the vault, she was locked in after closing time, when dreams put on their suits and ties for the work night and nightmares grumble about their commute while pouring scalding coffee down their shirts. The ghost detectives looked for her in the graveyard, in the swamp, in the creepy man's house, but she never showed up in their life detectors. It's only when the combinations were dialed that the bank president gasped, and the policemen took away the crying employees to the angryhouse to be fitted for nooses, and the sadnesshome to sit in chairs, look at flies buzzing on their fingers, then look away into the gloom.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Everyone is crawling away from the radio. It broadcasts what they don't want to hear. Noise. Tin cans rattling. Skies breaking apart under the pressure of God's forehead. A lemon being slowly squeezed by a torturer. Phlegm. A chocolate cake being sliced into unequal slices at an unhappy birthday party ruined by a pony trampling over the presents and a deadbeat dad showing up with a stripper and an inappropriate gift, a case of Miller Lite. Coughing that won't stop. Everywhere they go, though, the speakers follow. Across deserts without neon or any shade of humanity. Over mountains people have already climbed and are now safe for tourist consumption. Through walls after learning the lessons of ghosts. In basements where lazy twenty year old bachelors hug the covers more tightly to themselves and change the channels over and over, until even their dried out eyes feel like bursting. Every place is filled with sound. Glass not cracking, but about to crack. Teeth preparing to grind. Orchestras tuning up, their last miserable instruments hitting bad notes. Heads going boom-boom-boom. Aircraft and bombs. Silence after the pin is dropped, as people try to get out of the way.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The little boy wants bigger wings, but his mother's hiding them in the cookie jar. He could break it with his arrows, shoot love for the chips into the ceramic so it hugs crumbs to death. But then she would find out, see the abandoned shafts on the floor and have to sweep them up with her giant broom, sighing the whole time. So, he hatches a plan for the angry flying turtle to carry him to the top of her universe-wide refrigerator. He offers the tortoise its favorite vegetables and to teach it how to say the alphabet. Thousands of years and it still couldn't read a newspaper or even spell. After it agrees to help, Cupid rides the shell upward, gives nasty looks to the toaster, heating up affection, and the blender, creating another dangerous obsessive cocktail of lust that ought to be marked poison. The boy's tiny arms accidentally collide with the drink, and it's spilled all over the earth. So, while Cupid is enjoying his bat wings, pretending to be a super-hero, the whole planet suffers compulsive desire for things they can't have: a partner who can look her in the eyes and be true, a lover who doesn't reach for a thesaurus in his brains for words he says mean "love" but only represent a body wrapped around a body, a chest hot and ringing like a fired gun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The worker outside my window wishes I didn't exist. Then he could shovel stones and dirt without worrying about my ears' sensitivities to the sounds of earth being excavated from its womb. Births are always hard though. The other day I saw a full grown politician erupt from the ass of a hippo, and I saw nurses clean it off with brooms and washrags, though it wasn't enough. Another time I saw a rock and roll star form from the high-pitched notes of a guitar. The chords bled to death, another band member set the strings on fire, a pyre for a once great instrument. Lastly, I saw your introduction to the universe, because I can travel back in time with a wave of my hands and the repetition of secret words. Your mom wore a hard hat and your father still had a toolbelt around his waist. When you dug yourself out of there and jackhammered the doctor with your forehead, we could see you'd one day become a construction worker. Now you're outside my window, cracking open the sidewalk with a power drill. You stop, look into the gouge for a few minutes, as if expecting wisdom to fly out, tell you that your work is done.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Everyone's fading from my life, but I'm thankful for it. Certain parts of my brain feel like rain has washed over them, running the dirt of ex-girlfriends and bad bosses down into the drain. In fact, a fountain of youth has replaced ghosts of memories deciding to haunt my neighbor down the street. Now, she's not sure why she believes she should apologize to certain people, frown when someone tells her she's lovely, or why the bridge and its river at the bottom look inviting like an unknown chocolate in a wooden box. I can see those phantoms waving at me, asking if they can visit to burn holes in my cortex with lit agonies, but I'm now at a new place and it's too hard to get back to the old neighborhoods. It's awkward when I run into them, hovering around my now tormented acquaintance. I squirm when I hear her yell, "Why me? Why me, God?" There is no reason, just as the flowers in my yard grow brighter and lovelier each day, though I've never visited their ocean of seeds with boats full of water, or drowned under the earth long enough to feed their roots.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Instead of foam the extinguisher sprayed Boston creme. I called the building supervisor and he said it was cheaper, since a donut shop was down the street and the inspector approved the change, with a few kickbacks and a dozen cruellers. What if a fire comes, though, and I can't depend on sugar to save me? Then the supervisor opened a fat door filled with a purple and red chain of sprinkles and glaze. If you smell yourself burning, take this and throw it out the window. A squad of policemen will catch its scent, the ambulances will run over children to find this sweetness, hydrants will beg hoses to shoot water all over you. He left, satisfied with his answer, and I placed the extinguisher back on the wall. I looked at the glass case that was supposed to be broken. A resident was chewing it, trying to get to the candy center, where a peppermint axe would cut him loose, allow him to open the complex's front doors, pull carrots out of gardens, consume all the lettuce in the world.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We're going to punch you in the face until you relax. If punching doesn't do the trick, we'll smack your kneecaps with lawn gnomes,on loan from the Smithsonian Museum of Award-Winning Yards. Since their heads might break off, we also have a genuine rack from the Spanish Inquisition waiting for you in the living room. Coffee and cake will be served to the audience watching you close your eyes and moan, trying to get in touch with your safe place. We'll make a videotape of your friends and family being told you were killed, then play it for you in a room with a too-small screen and seats covered in bubble gum. Some of them will not be all that sad. The gnomes who were damaged will be ground in a blender and we will serve them to you as a plaster smoothie, with some calming extracts while you luxuriate in a warm bath of sulfuric acid. Because we're so interested in you reducing your stress, we also have the current heavyweight champion of the world, who should be able to knock you into a blissful state of rigor mortis. In case that fails, and you continue to live, we have a convenient battlefield adjacent to our headquarters. We'll watch you on TV as you try to avoid the carpet bombing, a deep shag of shrapnel making you so lost in death not even God will find your relaxed, in pieces body.

Half Past Sleep

I have gone half past sleep down insomnia road. The map's all screwed up, the monuments to warm milk pour over the express sleeping pill highway. Perhaps I should just pull over and consult the warm pillow leaning against the light post. Mr. Pillow, do you know the right way to get to dreamland? He shakes his fluffy head; goosefeathers sprinkle out onto the melting clock ground. I've missed you, he says, where did your head go? On top of a pyramid-shaped building my skull is bathed in neon, a symbol for a new casino: The Thoth-icana. My eyes bounce unwanted Z's from entering, and my ears give nightmare monsters free drinks if they promise to keep hiding in my closet. Suddenly, I make a decision, jump out of the car, tackle Mr. Pillow, and tie him to the train tracks instantly appearing at my feet. It's either you or me, I tell him, make a choice. A lipsticked mouth appears in the pillowcase, sticks out a loathsome lime green tongue. The train is just around the corner, smoke puffing from its pipes. A robber on top of it wrestles with a marshal, trying to escape the law and sleep in his own bed again for at least one night, even though he's a criminal and everyone knows this, and him.