Wednesday, December 28, 2011

iron stove burns a slow red-veined coal morning


iron stove
burns
a slow
red-veined
coal morning
and
I'm clutched
by this gentle woman
at the edge
of last night's
calorescent
bliss.

my toes
at untucked
blanket's edge,
tips cold
like double-paned
frosted windows
compliment
our Christmas
fire
'neath
the sheets.

the city
is waking
hear
its citizen
sounds
but tender
I hold
my gentle woman
and
prolong
our present
glow.

morning stillness,
like a shield
or
an army's
barricaded flank,
forestalls
with unified purpose
cold's invase
and our
coalescence
with
citizen sounds.

For Poets Must Love

Heaven's most violent gust skates down an ice blue peak
Crashing into men or hardy tree
Or pulling sky's soft-white fall along like ice-diamond sabers,
Until the Heavenly burst reaches iced silence, a fin.

Whether in deep winter night's cold or summer solstice's dance
Where the joy of Dionysus lures domestic men and women
To the orgiastic wine-stained frenzy,
Even the tireless God must sleep.

Whether the West takes or the East gives,
Earthen days march steadily towards the Woman
Ready to wrap black cloaks across shoulders of the weary,
So they can rest, finally.

Yet before Her cloak touches skin,
Men and women seize chances for intimate revelation
To share, while wrapped, warm, in the arms of a lover
The grace which makes deep cold winter worth bearing,

For then we are Gods.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Before Roots Can Rot

Before roots can rot,
Pull with extravagant force towards the stars
And reverse the plant's gravity.

Make the ocean the sky
And the rain rise.
Force adaptation, incite the growth of healthy roots.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My love is mine to give and yours to do with what you will

Although I love you,
My love is mine to give and yours to do with what you will.
As the days grow short, my heart begins to long
And the distance between us,
Is far too great to travel by foot but our words can yet be
   passed along.

May your silent readings of my poem wrap my arms around
   your breast,
And squeeze you gently tight into my chest
As my bearded lips whisper hoarsely the proclamations of a
   distanced love
And you lean your dark-haired head onto my shoulder and
   purse full lips to kiss,
But the words go on, steadily on, until the hoarseness of my
   voice ceases to exist.

Although the cloudless sky has covered that shortened sun,
And I have returned to where I have begun,
My love is mine to give and yours to do with what you will.
But now that my gift of words is sent and its reciprocate's
   future unknown,
I tolerantly wait, for my love is mine to give and yours to do
   with what you will.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Have a job for the town
and a job for the state
And a job for yourself
and a job for history
A job for unity, strength and resolve
and a job for being a man
A neighborhood is best explored by foot
A city by biking
A state by driving
A country by air

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fridge Poetry 3

brilliant
my life & laugh
listen to the wild
warm - its kiss,
let's lie lingering
below marble clouds over trees
--
cat crap colored cool caramel
desired for delicious dodo drink
--
sex dances
surround me
two at a time
their moist magic melts
men and women
of hard long heart
to liquid velvet
--
did you heal at home
before the dog died
remembering his joy

no ghost nor angel
flowered night's window
as stars devoured the dark

the sky brings morning
it comes
breathe my son, slowly
--
animals almost always
blaze by blushing boys

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fridge Poetry 2

fool's joy
can be cupped
--
if I die
I go through
smiling
or I linger
--
red desire melts
the prisoner's hard heart
a champagne dance as
smokey sex
green glass & blue grass and, and
when will I be one?
--
my sister and I worry
must men moisten their lips
about me wild for her?
make home would you
without her!
the dark morning comes
not night-time poetry
--
eat more over need
candy and coffee,
fish and fat,
pies into poison
as porcelain breaks

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stabled

Feeling like nothing
Is moving forward
At a pace that suites my needs

Can I move as quick
As I want
When I'm held back like a steed

Between my teeth
A leather choke
Pulls my lips closed tight

But the snarl'n my face
S'easily replaced by a smile
For a challenge to come

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fridge Poetry

remember red embrace
born of perfume use
the prisoners peace
& a woman of
the window
if good do you
desire
--
I is am was
and will always
be
--
a life
dances on the air
like a slow liquid
hard with dirt
--
celebrate brilliant poetry
by making warm magic
for me
--
after a dark boy
she goes
more alive
--
coffee cup dazzles
my surrounding home
melting morning blue into
red marble fire
--
see the velvet universe
vast old eternity
and young
look at it with your heart
heal it with your eye
--
my girl like ice
whose sad lips
wet her breath to die
and broken porcelain
can fool a naked man
to steel concrete ghost

Friday, May 13, 2011

Eduardo Sanchile

The sound of sirens thumped through the air. I'm tipped off, Sanchile thought. The woman on the bed lay with her blonde hair spread across the pillow, asleep, ignorant to the sound of the chase. Sanchile snubbed his cigarette in the ashtray and put on his low ride jeans. His black linen shirt lay strewn across a straight backed chair discarded in a lustful moment.

The whirling grew stronger as the patrol cruisers approached the hotel's street. Blue and red flashes streaked across the soft landscape barren of other moving cars in the first hints of sunrise. Sanchile put on his Ray Ban sunglasses and the cool linen shirt and stepped his boot up to the window sill to look through the red curtains. The police cars shot past the corner of the hotel as their high frequency call instantly dulled to a warbling distortion. He was still free.

With relief, he climbed onto the bed and kissed the forehead of his lovely night-time companion. She stirred with pouted lips and pulled the cloth blanket above her bare breasts. He whispered sweet things into her naked ear and she showed a small smile. Sanchile looked on his woman with affection. He didn't know that she would change his life.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sands of Time

The fruit vendor smiled at me through his sun-blinded eyes, enjoying the warm breeze and salty air. During casual banter with his customers, he seemed to know the smallest details, even ones they couldn't remember sharing. Each time he walked past me stretched out on the sand reading Incan history or mythology, I bought some delicious fruit. In late August, as I was about to turn in for the day, I patted him on the shoulder and said, “I'll see you tomorrow morning, friend.”

Still smiling, he replied, “No, you won't.”

“What do you mean?” But he was already walking off towards the horizon calling “Mango. Mango con Chile.”

As I walked back to my aunt's beach house, I wondered what the fruit vendor meant. Throughout my stay in Venice, California, I didn't want to miss a single day outside. The beach beyond the boardwalk, with its self-proclaimed wino singing for drinking money and tattoo parlors outnumber only by its smoke shops, was a curious place to spend my summer. I thought that there was no where I'd rather be.

When I got inside, I threw my beach shorts and towel into the hamper, put on some comfortable sweats and checked my messages. I booted up my laptop and checked my email. Among the numerous spam messages and newsletters was one market URGENT in its subject from the archeological fellowship I had applied to after graduation. Although I was told that I held a position on the waiting list, my pragmatic half told me that if I hadn't heard by late July, my chances were near nil. However, due to a last minute cancellation as of today, an opening for me became available. I called their office immediately.

“Excellent,” the fellowship administrator said, “we're excited that you're on board. Since the cancellation was so abrupt and your orientation begins in Peru on Monday, we need to organize your flight from the Los Angeles International Airport tomorrow morning. Once you land in Lima, a shuttle will be there to pick you up.”

“I can't believe this! How awesome,” despite my efforts to maintain utmost professionalism, I couldn't hold my childish excitement back.

“I will email you all the details after we end this call. Just print them out and get packed. I can tell you're eager to work with your peer team on this Incan excavation.” My world buzzed after I hung up the phone.

By November, I held no doubt that I'd been paired up with the love of my life. I stood behind her as she knelt in the dirt peering at a recently exposed object. She reached her hand back, and I knew, without her saying, that she needed the dusting brush. A recent graduate from Harvard, Ladhi was born on the coast of Western India south of Mumbai. Her two parents, both lawyers, had relocated to London when she was young. I actually first met her while switching planes in Panama. She wore tan khaki shorts and hiking boots, and looked like she belonged at a dig site.

“Are you going to Lima for the archeological fellowship?” I asked compelled beyond normal understanding.

“You've very perceptive. Yes I am.” She said and extended her slender hand in greeting. I later learned that she was always this direct. We exchanged names and sat in adjacent seats on the plane. Spurred on by our complementary airline drinks, we talked nonstop to Lima.

During the second half of the fellowship that spring, we were inseparable. The other fellows had been calling us L2 since the holiday break. Although a world traveler, Ladhi had yet to see Los Angeles, and my aunt urged us both to visit Venice after our program's conclusion. In June before us twenty fellows readied ourselves to return back to our distinct corners of the globe, we all exchanged emails and hugs. At the airport, Ladhi and I sat together in reverent silence while we waited for our plane to board.

The next day, the Los Angeles sun awoke me from a dreamy reverie, and I rolled atop the beach towel onto my side. My arm rubbed against Ladhi's warm skin and stirred her from shallow sleep. I pulled close for a kiss. My aunt had picked us up at LAX the previous night and had an avocado accented dinner ready for us at her home. Today our plan was to lounge on the beach sand all day and tour Hollywood that night.

“Mango. Mango con Chile,” I heard from the horizon. Remembering, I jolted up and saw the silhoutte of the fruit vendor. I waved him over.

“My friend,” he said once he was close, “I see you made it back again. Did you see the Incas' work from those books?”

“Yeah,” I answered with disbelief, “that and more. Who told you I was in Peru?”

“News travels,” he said, “like you.”

“Back in August, how did you know that I wouldn't see you?” I asked. He handed Ladhi and I each a bag of mango con chile.

“Can't tell you,” he laughed and still smiling, turned as if to go.

But before he could leave, I asked “Will I see you tomorrow, friend?”

“Yes, see you tomorrow, my friend.”

Friday, April 8, 2011

This is a description of the most wanted man in America, according to the FBI's most wanted list:

"Brown speaks fluent French and has a Masters Degree in International Business. He is an avid golfer, snowboarder, skier, and dirt biker. Brown enjoys being the center of attention and has been known to frequent nightclubs where he enjoys showing off his high-priced vehicles, boats, and other toys. He has been described as possibly having bisexual tendencies."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Official Pressure

“Your assignment is garbage,” Mr. Brown growled after reviewing the numbers. He threw the paper down on the table and stared at Mr. Green until he looked away. Mr. Brown opened the bar fridge underneath his desk and took some ice that he broke into a highball glass. He opened his top right drawer and took out a chrome flask of Crown Royal and poured it until the ice floated. He swirled the drink clinking the ice against the side of the glass, smelled the liquor and gulped down half his poison.

“But sir, I tried to make it exactly as you wanted it,” Mr. Green begged. “I even smudged the accounts just as you like to make it seem like larger profits this past quarter,” he mumbled with his head down.

“I want it done again you incompetent son-of-a-bitch,” Mr. Brown took another swig. “The shareholders need to be pressured to buy and stick with their investment in our company. We don't want them selling because of some unfavorable news in this past quarter. Green, either make this perfect or you're out. I don't care if you're my son-in-law, you bastard. Favoritism does not rule this firm, money and profits do. Cold hard cash. Each employee is treated with the equal opportunity of success or failure,” Mr. Brown stared at the accountant with his brows furrowed and a burning look in his eyes. He gripped the highball until his knuckles whitened.

Mr. Green submitted and left his boss's room with the damned account. He sulked back to his cubicle across the office floor where he looked at the picture of his wife and son tacked on the cork board over his computer. After exhaling a sigh, he started clicking away at the keyboard. All day he fudged the numbers until time ran out and they were due.

Thirty minutes before the end of the day, Green stood staring at “Richard Brown, CEO” printed in white on the glass entrance door to his office. He cradled the manila folder enveloped around the warm, freshly printed assignment and greeted the young secretary. Because Mr. Brown expected this visit, she knocked on his closed office door and announced Green's arrival.

“Come in,” rumbled Brown's voice from behind the thick door. “What did this bastard bring, Cheryl?” Mr. Brown said to the secretary while looking at Green.

“The revised accounts, sir,” replied the girl.

“Cheryl, tell him to enter the room but only if he's prepared for his judgment.”

“Please go in Mr. Green. Mr. Brown is ready to receive you now.”

The door slammed shut onto Green's heels which jolted a shock through his tense body.

“Papers,” Brown growled. Mr. Green scampered to the large mahogany desk and set the folder down. Brown snatched them up immediately and looked at Green with his eye brows slanted and his nose wrinkled. Brown poured himself more liquor without the rocks from a large bottle of Crown Royal; the flask lay empty nearby capsized on the desk. He slammed the bottle down on the wood surface and then emptied the drink. He kept looking at Green as he hastily rifled through the papers.

After a few minutes of hasty review chock full of disgruntled grumbling, Brown put down the papers. He kept his gaze on the desk until sweat began to pop from the pores on Green's forehead.

“What did I tell you, son-a-bitch?” Brown slurred with violence. “You're fired. Tell your wife that I'll be over for dinner tonight and that I expect my steak rare. I better see you in the apron.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The City Den

The armed guards slid apart the barbed-wire-fenced gates and admitted the tall lean man and his blonde companion. Large jeep trucks were parked on the cement and hungry dogs walked around with their noses to the ground. Inside, men brought them to the drug lord.

Men with guns lounged on couches smoking hashish and opium. Women strewn on the arms of couches and chairs like forgotten jackets were passed smoking pipes. Jesus, the man in charge, stood with his back to Eduardo Sanchile at a white marble counter. The man's wavy black hair was slicked back tight against his scalp. He turned to face his client. His blood-shot eyes opened wide and his face tensed.

“Who is this?” Jesus asked seeing Kaite. “Do not think you are above the rules, Sanchile, just since we have known each other since childhood.”

“Never mind,” Sanchile said, “she is with me. I trust her.” Jesus lunged for Sanchile and pushed him against the mildew-yellow wall. He held his hunting knife up to his bare neck.

“No visitors, cholo,” he growled. “That's the law here and I'm the law.” The long knife pressed into Sanchile's neck turning the skin around it pink from its pressure. Sanchile stood still. Kate's arms were held behind her by a different large man. Jesus lowered his knife and thrust it towards the woman with a snarl. He took her from the man and grabbed her around the chin. She squirmed but didn't scream.

Sanchile moved to rescue Katie and then every man in the place despite smoking crack or drinking booze lifted the muzzles of their guns up in his direction.

“Don't think you can get out of this,” Jesus said. “You will either let me take her to bed or die.” Sanchile stood with his feet wider than hip-width apart and his arms bent at the elbows. He was only armed with a pistol which would not last one minute against the army of AK47s and automatic handguns. The drug lord stared Sanchile down and bared his gold-plated teeth.

“Remember our struggle Jesus,” Sanchile said. “We were both little boys with nothing and as a team we helped each other survive. I would distract the American tourists and you'd take their money and run. We'd use that money to eat together. That makes us brothers and brothers watch brothers' backs.”

Jesus's bulging eyes widened even more, and he grinned to his ears. “Put down the guns, cholos,” he said. “This is my little brother, si? We're just playing, right Eddy? Like old times. Here's your whore,” and Jesus shoved Katie back to Sanchile. She fell onto her knees and the room erupted in laughter.

“Brother,” Sanchile said offering Katie a hand, “I thought you knew how to treat a woman.”

Jesus laughed, turned back to the table, and said “Let's talk business.”

The shipment was in white-bagged kilos. Jesus wanted Sanchile to distribute the cargo to more than a dozen distributors around the city in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

“Do you think you can handle such a big boy task, little brother?” Jesus asked Sanchile.

“I've never let you down,” he responded. “Get me some bags to carry the goods in. I'll need a new hotel room, $500 cash and a gun.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vocal Shadows

It's been happening again. Now they're knocking on my door ready to break through, and I don't know how she followed me inside.

It started with small fireflies that would disappear as soon as I noticed them. Like little sparks of electricity in the atmosphere or dissipating after thoughts. I would be in the shower lathering my arms and these light-bugs would appear for an instant. I remember smiling and in a high pet voice, greeting them and wanting them to stay and play.

I think it all started with the light-bugs. Those came just a few weeks ago before the shadow-beetles or the big long black bugs that crawl on the sidewalks just out of vision. They're like full adult roaches but all black and swim on the ground like amoebas. They always dissipated like shadows in the sun before I locked my gaze on them but they followed me along on the sidewalk, just a few at first.

When they came into my apartment, I could feel them behind me when I'd sit on my rug. I'd quickly turn to catch them but they'd be gone. So I bought insecticide and the poison took care of the horrible infestation a few days later. Although my apartment was free, the edges of the city streets still crawled with these indiscriminate eye-sores.

Thousands of shadow-beetles appeared on my walk over to my friend's house for her dinner gathering. There was no use counting and the only defense is to look straight ahead or straight up in the air. She lives less than a mile away from me in a rental house. I pushed the unlocked door open and greeted my friend and met several new acquaintances.

“There certainly seems to be an infestation of the shadow-beetles around town this time of year,” I said. A young man looked at the hostess with a raised eyebrow. My friend laughed but it was clear to me that she hadn't seen the beetles. After a few minutes, she called the gathering to order by bringing the fragrant dishes to the round table.

I finished every morsel on my floral patterned plate then rested down my fork and listened. One of my newly acquainted friends who was introduced to me as a yoga instructor held the conversational thread. While he talked, a woman began muttering behind me. It was distracting so I turned around. No one was there.

“I make my baked goods with applesauce instead of eggs,” he said. The others continued conversing, but that same woman's frantic high voice spoke on a completely irrelevant topic.

“I left my daughter at the daycare center but I just don't trust those people there. I've got to go back and pick her up and take her home,” she said. “I can't believe I left her there, I should have trusted my feelings. I can't stay here anymore. Why am I here? She's not safe.”

I cleared my throat and said:

“Why don't you leave and pick up your daughter. I'm trying to listen to the yoga teacher.” The whole table went silent.

“Jim,” the hostess asked clearly uncomfortable, “what are you talking about?”

“One of you was talking about leaving your daughter at a daycare that you didn't trust. I was just saying that you should pick her up so we can keep talking. Worrying about it's not going to help.” Everyone at the table was frowning now as they looked back and forth amongst each other. Then they rested their steady eyes on me. They were putting one up on me.

“None of us have any kids,” she said with concern.

“Just because I don't know everyone here, doesn't mean I have to be the butt of a big joke,” I crossed my arms on the table and tilted my chin towards my chest. They kept looking at each other, still frowning, still scheming.

“I've got to pick up my daughter,” the woman's hysterical voice wavered. “Those people can't be trusted. They'll abuse her and make her cry. I don't like how those men LOOK at her.” Her voice dropped in volume at the end of the sentence.

How could the other guests be so unsympathetic to this woman's pain?

“If you're going to gang up against me,” I said, “I'm going to go help this woman pick up her daughter from daycare.” I quickly thanked the bewildered hostess and excused myself. “Come on lets go pick her up.”

Shadow-beetles littered the streets. My eyes followed the center crack in the concrete sidewalk to avoid looking directly at the swarms of beetles that bubbled over the curb and out of the grass. To ignored their fluid movements, I listened to the woman. She followed closely behind me and would not stop worrying about her daughter's safety. So I sped up.

The day care was closed and had been for hours but the woman continued to wail. I told her that there was nothing I could do now to help and that she should try to get a good night's rest. I walked home but she followed me still hysterical. The darkness moved like a woven carpet of shiny black beetle backs stretching across the streets and up to buildings' stoops. I began to run from the woman and the shadow-beetles.

The stairs to my apartment were beetle free, and I bolted up the three flights until I was short of breath. I unlocked my door and quickly shut it. I spun around making sure she wasn't behind my back and pressed myself up against the wall to make sure.

“My daughter!” she screeched.

I couldn't see her but she was in the room. I jumped on my bed and collected all my sheets up close to me as she began to violently sob.

I didn't sleep, but in the morning an authoritative knock sounded against my door.

“Jim, we're here to help,” a man said.

I couldn't be sure.

Topic 5

3/23-3/25
The newest topic is Emotions

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New topic

Let's get our schedule back; new topic for 3/19-3/21 is Degeneration.

 Welcome to Electric Thought! Thank you for visiting.\

Gratitude

Currency

Friday, March 18, 2011

Condoms as Currency

Sex has become a commodity. It denotes power, influence and high status. Evolutionarily sex or reproduction along with survival carries genes and lineage from one generation to the next. The millions of brains among today's digital society have yet to fundamentally adapt to technologies that diminish the value of humanity's survival and replication traits that have reduced many common threats to our lineage.

Condoms allow the exchange of sex to occur at an exponential rate with fewer consequences. These 20th century technologies have diminished the power of sex's value toward reproduction but the human brain fails to evolve fast enough to adapt. Psychologically sex is as powerful 5000 years ago as it is today. The rate of exchange for sex has drastically increased with the introduction of a medium, condoms, of trade.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Currency

Mine's a dream of circle-value
 Net 0 creates no-
        thing without our
    investment
 to which we reply
"all of it"


I have in my notebook "if you please" as part of the last line but I'm not sure about it. Thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Off to Mexico

By this time, they had nearly reached the Mexican border in their 1970 lime green El Camino. San Diego disappeared in a blur of conversation on meditation and altered mind states. Vince who had traded in his Beamer for the perfect getaway vehicle kept his eyes focused on the road while he listened to Joey talk extensively about his two favorite subjects. Eric sat in the back seat leaning forward in an attempt to hear the topic of conversation over the howling wind.

“The mind is our last frontier,” Joey continued with exaggerated gestures like those of a television salesman. “There is so much to be explored and so little explanation on how to do it,” Joey said. He was too excited to stay sitting in his seat for long. When he turned his head towards Eric, like a dial or knob his hips would twist as well. “The geographical world has been uncovered. Nearly every inch and cranny fully explored and charted extensively except perhaps the deepest oceans and the coldest parts of the poles.”

Vince turned to look at Joey over the rim of his ice black sunglasses. His dark eyes and brows were relaxed. He observed Joey's quick movements and excitability and wondered how long his energy would last. Their trip to Mexico had only just begun and they hadn't even approached the border yet. Vince nodded because he agreed with Joey's ideas and the car peeled down the highway.

Eric watched Vince's shortcut black hair grip the wind, followed his strong neck down to his arm which he held out the window. Anxious, because he got caught up in the spontaneous decision to blow off everything and drive to Mexico, Eric crossed his black shoes at his ankles and held his restless hands in his lap drumming his fingertips together. He leaned further in towards the console trying to hear Joey talk over the high winds storming around the convertible.

Joey's demeanor relaxed for a moment and he took a breath.Vince let go of the wheel and clicked on the radio. A hissing jazz station came on it. He drew his left arm in from the arid burst of wind and stroked his hand through his hair. With the convertible top down, the alto sax's faint call could still be heard over the wind tumbling past the windshield.

Freeway signs for 905-East shot by the El Camino which continued on towards Tijuana. Other green signs announcing the approach of the Mexican border sprouted up in the highway embankments like Picasso cacti. Joey reached out and pretended to grab the distant sign in a tight fist. When it quickly bolted past, he darted his arm back and released his grip. The frills on the sleeve of his red leather overcoat got caught in the wind hurricane rushing by the convertible. The walking bass of the jazz song inflected the wind's roar with a heavy swing.

“There's no rush to get where we're going,” Vince said lifting up his glasses and showing his white teeth in a smile. His faint five o'clock shadow gave his jaw authoritative definition. “Sit back. Enjoy what's brought to us as a gift. We are the prize.” Eric nodded and looked at Vince's sleeveless black leather vest. His muscular upper-arms had several dark tattoos which writhed as he gripped the steering wheel. Vince swung his glasses back up to his eyes shielding them from the afternoon glare and hung his left arm loose out the side of the car. Eric tried to sit back and feel relaxed, but he couldn't get the feeling to stick. He couldn't appreciate that this adventure had really materialized and they were now on the road to Mexico, on a whim.

Joey settled his back against the passenger door and bowed his head down to listen closely to the music. With his focus he picked out sounds amongst the environmental chaos of a drop-top convertible and identified the Dave Brubek quartet. He could hear the familiar song now amongst the gusts of wind. He closed his eyes and filled in the missing pieces till it came in clear.

Soon the traffic around the El Camino began to slow as the border approached. As the car's speed reduced the wind's monopoly on the rider's ears let up, and the end of the song was audible. While the drummer faded out the track with cymbal rolls, Vince switched off the station. Eric looked around at his surroundings and realized that he was scared that it was too late to turn back from this unknown adventure.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New topic

After a short delay the topic for C is in
--
¢urren¢y
Pane of glass:
Show me shadowed reflection
          to look through
myself I
   (on the other side)
see simple things; cars,
 fence
 telephone pole
How fascinatingly mundane I am
 inside

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Banality

tap
tap
ticky type
the pads of my finer fingers
plod about the flatness with raised squares
each square represents
a representation of
a piece
that represents
all that is imaginable all that is seen
all of all
simple utterances
guttural grunts
phonemes strung
from fingertypes
onto blinking screen
share
what is good to see hear feel
do

Typing typing, odd meditation.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Banality - the inventor's dilemma and biggest fear. An inventor consistently needs to create something new and original or else his failure is complete.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Organic Banality



I got into a big argument with someone tonight over something so minimal. These moments punctuate my life. I'm not usually proud of them--I see them like binges, unhealthy episodes which mark, simultaneously, my passion about something and my inability to face something. Often when a relationship with someone enters a certain level of intimacy, a certain degree of importance, a stupid argument occurs. I must not be alone in this. But it's particularly frustrating when it feels like I'm unable to move beyond the banality that initiates the argument, to get to the level that actually matters to both of us.

My Indian flatmate says, Black men have big penises, Asian men have small ones. I can't begin to count the number of times this has come up in a conversation I've witnessed. It's come up so many times that the question itself has become a truism.

The relationship between race and sex is the most complicated part of this discussion, and the part I began to try to talk about. Public debates about integration in the United States would hinge, quite often, on the segregationist's question: "yes, but would you want your daughter marrying one?" For me, this question leads to the banal part of the discussion: was there not a more profane implication in this question? A question about your daughter's white vagina, and the black man's penis?

I objected to the way that she summoned this "simple fact," I guess because of the number of times I've seen it summoned, as though it was a reversal of racism, in itself, as though the person saying it was somehow correcting a wrong or doing someone a favor. I've heard people say that God cursed black people by taking everything from them but the consolation prize was the big penis. This is a joke, but there's something so deeply unfunny about it. A few people have pointed this out to me carefully, that people so easily accept the idea that a big penis is a good thing, a blessing, when so recently it meant an equivalence with animality, with banality, perversion and lowliness. This is why Michelangelo's David has a child-sized member.

It is as if the final undoing of racism is supposed to have begun in the most banal way, in the male sex organ, that all of a sudden the entire hierachical system of Western aesthetics will have been overturned, starting with the revaluation of a 'natural physical characteristic' of a homogeneous group named 'Blacks.' The most amazing part is that we actually accept this without thinking about it. Fanon explains this in Black Skin, White Masks. While castration of blacks is a common practice of white racists, the Jew (or the Asian) is not castrated by the racist--only killed or 'neutralized,' because it is not his physique but his mind that is a threat, his cognitive and technical capability to make money.

In this sense the supposedly small penis, of the Asian or of the white in relation to the black, stands for his actual dominance, economically, cognitively, and technically. The symbol stands in this case for the antithesis of the actual. This is the hidden, awful thesis in the penis size debate. It may be that blacks have the 'best' bodies, but we know very well that this is their only prize, and that this is not a social construct but an immutable biological fact.

So the penis size debate may seem to be an empirical one, a non-racial and non-political one. You can leave it at that if you don't want to ruffle someone's feathers. But it is also one of the many places where the importance of metaphor presents itself once again.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hanging Off Half Dome

A few summers ago my friends and I road tripped from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park. We planned to climb half dome, our biggest adventure of the trip. It's a full day hike that includes an 18 mile trek and 9000 feet of elevation gain. When we got there Friday night, we made a delicious campfire meal, had a few beers and then slept under the infinite stars.

We got up early and drove to the trail head. I packed my green Jansport bag full with tuna fish, nuts and water. The trail was quite steep and I could feel it. At the time I was a heavy smoker, and had lost a lot of my fitness from years of karate and wrestling. But the hike was hard for my friend Ana too. I hung back with her for a while and helped her get through the difficult parts. After a while though the mountain air, energized me and smoking seemed to be a thing of the past.

Our group of six made it to Nevada falls where we ate lunch. We ate our peanut butter and tuna fish near this beautiful river that continuously roared past. I lied down on the sun-warmed granite rocks and ate my food. Several squirrels were smart enough to hang around. One had enough gusto to drag a plastic bag with our rations towards the bushes.

Before we kept going, my friend GB jumped into the river. That's what she does. We all jumped in after her. Although it was July, the fresh water was still chilly.

After a few more hours back on the trail, the dirt path faded away and we arrived at the actual rock of half dome. When you look up at the last several hundred feet of the climb up the rock face, an anchored rope is your only support. While I pumped myself up for the final stretch, a group of people came by and told us that a few days ago “someone had fallen and died, so good luck”.

After picking up a pair of climbing gloves that endlessly cycle up and down the steel cord, I gripped on and started up. Honestly, I was scared shitless. The rock is slanted at 30 to 45 degree angles at certain points, and I knew that if my brain somehow failed to communicate to my hands, “hold on,” I would tumble down the top of the mountain to my death.

By the end my forearms were so tired that I thought they might stop functioning. I was gripping the cord like a lobster. Eventually the rock face evened out, and once atop half dome my friends and I photographed the panoramic views. We all got on our stomachs and peered over the edge of half dome. We looked down and around Yosemite valley. I saw hawks gliding effortlessly in the sky. The height and sheer drop was incredible.

But this was only half of our adventure. We had to get back down.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New topic for B, round 2

I was trying to avoid this as a topic. Or maybe I had thought of a different topic that I liked more but forgot it. Anyway, new topic is Banality. Sorry for the delay

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Approach

Had a good technique exploration today (I think, we'll see if it actually yields anything). I sat in on a class on James Joyce's Ulysses and felt wholly inadequate in front of the breadth and depth, the general vastness, of his writing and the wisdom behind it. How does one approach the topic of writing in the shadow of things like this?

Icy pool of
Staggering blackness
Infinitely deep, I
How to immerse
the I
into
such knowledge
cast away on waves
of insufficiency, drowned
in
oceans of my own shortcomings
How many years did it take for him to Bloom?
Can I last that long...
One petal at a word;
continue

Ultimately, the goal is to be able to use all these smatterings of practice to weave a single idea together over a great deal of time. I gotta keep my eyes on the goal; learn how to induce a state of 'focused inspiration' rather than a state of whimsical candor. Basically that; induction (though it may be 'false inspiration,' as some would say true inspiration 'strikes you' rather than you making it happen). We'll see

Monday, February 28, 2011

Round 2 -- Begin

We made it all the way through 26 cycles of topics and we're about to do it again.

Let's keep writing my friends.

New Topic: Approach
--------------------
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of a song?

long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And for the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's
ou t of my r ea ch
slowly fli tter ing
Just to dangle a meter away
Emphatically, I stress
"How tan ta li zing"


I was poking around with meter and syllabic force. Way out of my league for now. Also, it's hard to illustrate how I would want this to be laid out given the blog's limited formatting capabilities.

The Zenith

When that tormenting red sun reached has its peak, I find that I forget myself as I am savaged by the dread heat of its hateful rays. My strength withered, I run to shelter. I want, I forget, to stand in that scorching judgment, to feel the blistering grace of an angered god beat down upon me. I want, I forget, for my body to do what it does. I forget and I fear, for heat has numbed my mind. It takes so long, it seems, for my skin to open up and cleanse itself. I forget, and I run to mild, meek shelter. This shade does not stand against the burning ghosts in pride but spirits me away to mirthful shelter in infancy. I forget, I forget, until I leave this murky cave, why I wanted this sweltering heat, why I came out here at highest noon, but the sun seems long past its prime as shadows stretch, signaling the dusk of my sorrow. I look at my skin and feel the living medium between myself and the world and find it clogged evermore with dirt ground into it from my time frolicking in that cave of banal mildness. No, I ventured out to sweat today, to purge from within the choking comedones of my spirit. Like God's vengeance, cull the filth with the everflowing Cleansing waters of hardship. But now, but now, this sun seems to be setting and I still stink of moldy childhood.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Z!

Z is for Zenith. Y turned out to be a much bigger project for me than anticipated. It is forthcoming.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

to yearn
is a behavior rewarded
non-desirous pawns
lack personal power
in the societal struggle
for more,
the strongest will
can dwell
in the city
interact with fellows
but be unaffected
by motives of greed,
economic success
tributes the sure
with recognition
stall aspiration
and the world
still moves on.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New topic

Will says the new topic is xylographs or xylography (carved wood printing). Since we took so long to get the topic up, we'll make this topic go from 2/18-2/20.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Woods

I started out pessimistic, but I resolved to not condemn myself to failure in this (meta) piece. It is here that I am beginning to understand the holiness in writing.

What can knowing the secret paths of the forest do me? I alone know how twist and turn yield sacred grove, quiet pod of wooded solitude, where time reflects upon itself for endless eternities. Amanita ring where faeries dance, erratic, wild, free. Where sable stag's pride echoes from knot to trunk and eye. Where winds whisper between trees ripe and silent with sweet dew, wisdom in gospel pages of softly flowing leaves, where canopy breaks and all the world becomes dust in the night sky. The silence there, O, I heard it once.
Yes I know the way there. My legs bleed from thorny trails, I am harried by night's hunters, by shadows without number. Yes, these trails must be walked at deepest night, at the zenith of our loneliness. My smiling companion I must abandon, her shining visage cannot guide me where I go, nor offer me respite in its silver light.
My legs ache, my heart heavy with fear and bleeding from solitude. The only sound I now hear reminds me I still live in mortal flesh, the thundering timpani of my quaking heart. I have lost so much on these hidden trails.

I like how it begins. The transition when I decided to be more positive feels a little forced to me, but maybe that's what it will always have to be for me. As much as I like poetry, I think that the semi-aphoristic/poetic style is more what captures my (arrogantly) gravitas when I speak. Then again, this is just practice, I must remember that practice is not meant to be good, it is meant to be meaningful to me. I still feel my legs are too weak to reach that holy place, but that may just be today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

David's Song

David played his guitar, serenaded every beauty, and won every heart
But beauty is common and the one he loved, would not succumb to any flamboyant art.
So he left all behind to learn from the woods and discover its secret to seduce his beloved.
For years, he sat on the root of the beach to listen and glow in nature's harmony.

Leaves fluttered onto his strings, but never did he stop playing these autumn things.
Snow dusted the guitar's wooden neck, but not a second would winter linger his set.
The melt and dew washed off the dust, and in spring his pursuit carried on in lust.
The shade made cool his fingers in summer, and not a second did David's music stutter.

His hair grew long, a patched beard formed, and his skin turned as gray as the tree.
In sickness and in hunger, skinniness took over but he wouldnot stop playing his song.
Ten years he played to win her affection, listen, practice, and repeat.
When he was ready to return, his weakened legs wobbled him down into town.

While there he found his red-haired love on a bench in the grass in the sun sitting fast.
He played her his ripe soul of autumn leaves, of powder snow, of flora grow,
Summer warmth and shaded breeze, of skinny trees and mated bees.
Frozen seeds and sprouting greens, of mulching leaves and scented trees.

Of lighted paths and mirrored lakes, of mountain rocks and twilight hawks.
Partnered fish and water's hiss from the waterfall's gentle bliss.
Sunset's grace and mammal's haste, of lazy snow that heat erased:
This through his guitar she did hear, for David combined all he could for his dear.

But all in vain for the vanished years had changed the lives of those in town.
A bolder lover had advanced, won her heart, on more than one stance,
And a family had begun which now included their newborn son.
David's playing had no hope to change his lost regrets and lover's elope.

When the sound of his music, he no longer could bare,
He went back to the woods and the beach tree's place, the same woods where he'd learned to hear.
He sat for weeks on that same gray root huddled in comfort under the light green roof
David forgot the years and his many tears, till the beat of his heart daily fainter got.

His body decayed, his mind was stolidly made, and all his pain slowly drifted away.
David died on the root, a gift back to his muse to eventually get carried up in the rain.
Where he fell from the sky to soften the earth, seep through the ground
And slowly feed that gracious tree, and in his gift David's song was lost to eternity.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Erykah Badu: a Commentary on a Commentary

'In the woods' = De La Soul's tastefully veiled phrase for gettin' it on. And a great song, vulgar in a completely old school way, like when they chant 'stick the bush...stick the bush...'




I was googling about Erykah Badu today and I found a fascinating, and hilarious, forum post about her somewhere. If you're not familiar, in a way you could say she's the undisputed queen of hip hop... She tours eight months out of every year and has collaborated with almost everybody. At the same time she has a mystical vibe which keeps everyone guessing, and a distinct hippie vibe...like Lil Kim or Nicki Minaj, she's always changing her hair and wearing radical outfits, but she doesn't present herself as a sex kitten, exactly. She's more of a philosopher, an intellectual--she appeals more to people who smoke a lot of weed and read political books, and she doesn't get a lot of play in clubs.

In any case, she's also really gorgeous, and her beauty is not separable from her talent and the undeniable eccentricity which she's always displaying. She's been seriously involved with Common and Andre 3000 of Outkast, two of the biggest names in hip hop, and now she's with another rapper.

So the guy was arguing in his forum post that there's something about her sex, about having sex with her, that completely changes guys, and he based his findings on the music of Common and Andre 3000, pre- and post-Erykah. Here's the post:

is it just me or did Erykah Badu turn sexy?

Maybe I'm trippin, I didnt use to be all that attracted to her, but I saw her recently on some show or magazine or something and I remember being like, "I dont know what it is about her but I really would like to impregnate her"

maybe its that voodoo that she hit Common and Andre 3000 with that made them all crazy! She sees something she wants and then she transforms their preferences to include her look.

yep, Erykah wants me.

She has to have the bomb cooch! Think about it. The sheer exposure to it will change a Timb & hoody wearin emcee into a vegitarian, art fruit who refuses to wear anything that a black man should ever wear. Its wild! Not only that, but the badu-snatch affects musical output of whatever victim she chooses so much so that it should have a production credit:

"Between Me, You & Liberation" – 6:23

* Featuring Cee-Lo
* Produced by ?uestlove, James Poyser, Jay Dee, Pino Palladino, and Erykah Badu's Vagina

from http://forums.undergroundhiphop.com/readpost.asp?Forum=Producer&Whichpage=5&QuestionID=786575


You really have to listen to their music to understand the change, and it is remarkable. But here's a visual cue:
Andre before, on the right:


Andre after:


This argument taps into all the male fantasies, and fears, about love: on the one hand, it will change you, on the other hand, it might sap you of all of your manhood, because all of your creativity will belong, ultimately, to the inspiration of the Earth Mother Vagina who you will worship for eternity. I would say that this sentence describes a straight man's greatest hope and greatest fear at the same time.

But then there's the whole question of the aristocracy of taste, as Pierre Bourdieu put it. How classy of a woman do you want? For some of the respondents to the post, Erykah Badu is, maybe, too classy, or too intellectual, and, therefore, crazy. For lots of men, you don't want a woman who is more avant garde than you, who is so creative that she can take a good rapper and turn him into a weirdo, who is, nonetheless, still a good rapper.

But if creativity isn't sexy, what is? If a woman is not creative, what's left? And if her creativity falls solely within the boundaries of the 'domestic'--cooking, cleaning, giving sexual favors--is she still creative? Is Erykah Badu sexually unique, like the post would imply, or is the change she solicits in her former lovers an effect of her philosophy, her music, or both at once?

What we are approaching is the limit-point of gender as the unity of opposites. These comforting and oppressive oppositions, between looks and personality, emotions and sexuality, aggressiveness and passiveness, which so predictably structure gender relations are beginning to unravel. It is no longer possible for a straight man, unless he is a complete fucking idiot, to look for looks alone in a woman, just as a woman can no longer be passive the whole way through.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Going Thoreau style: Set yourself in the Woods

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The class had just begun and Riley was already struggling with the content of the professor's words. Rat – a – tat a – tat – rat – tat. The professor turned around and started writing on the black board. The chalk's clicking sounded in a curious counter-point to the cadence of his voice. The words meant nothing to Riley.

Riley kept forcing his attention back to the words and their meaning. He hurriedly tried to catch up with his notes. What would Dad think? He frantically scratched the writing on the black board into his legal pad. The other students in the classroom all sat with their backs erect and their gaze hooked on the professor at the podium and the board behind him. Every time Riley's body drifted into a slouch, he lost the words' meaning again. Although he kept correcting this over and over trying to get into the material, Riley's knowledge was gapped.

He only needed a few more years of business school until he could finally join a big New York firm, wear a business suit and be a man. He just needed to persevere through this tedium until he could finally become something. He knew it was just around the corner.

But Riley couldn't keep his focus on the lecture. His mind kept drifting away from the meaning and towards their sounds. Da – da – do Rat – ti – ti – te

The lecture ended. Riley was slumped back in his chair and was the last student to begin packing up his belongings.

“Riley, can I speak to you for a few minutes?” the professor asked. Riley put his notebook and pen into his bag and met the instructor at his desk in the corner of the room.

“Your midterm results are in,” the professor began, “and it will take your greatest effort just to pass my class. I've spoken with your other professors too and you aren't doing well with them either.” While the professor was talking, Riley stood still and made eye contact. His father had always demonstrated respect and confident communication during every business deal Riley ever saw him make.

“You may want to consider withdrawing from my class or even from school this term. I understand the tragedy that has befallen your family recently. You may want to take some time to allow those feelings their place. Otherwise, your GPA will likely suffer and hurt your chances in the future.”

“Thank you for understanding,” Riley said, “but professor I can't give up. It would let my dad down.”

“It isn't necessarily giving up Riley to take some time for important things in life. You can resume your studies in a few months which in the long term doesn't amount to much time lost.”

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Practice practice practice

A crown of leaves
heralds spring's new coming
Trees broken by snow heavy
shed silent tears for winter sorrows
"We, constant vigil of verdant fields,
stand our ground at frost's void"
Guard us from our harrowing doubt,
night's dark succor
temptation of winter months
to watch the world die and mourn
its passing.
Dry our tears with blooming boughs
sound the trumpets of life's return.
Silent guardians, share with us the tenderness
of spring's unfolding
First flower blooming
Save us from our infinite Fall.

Catchup

Simple bricks make mortar flow from contingent soul
Sight dominate sound
crash my heart
to rigid wall
Hard lines drive reason to rage
How obvious, in light of day, I am right
But right bar me from your side by moon
Hard lines bring hatred to your heavenly touch
Gentle hands need gentle mind
Calm, calm
Dissipate
I..
You..
Breathe

New Topic - Void

2/8/11 - 2/10/11
Void

Every prophet sought out companions.
A wall standing alone is useless,
but put three or four walls together,
and they'll support a roof and keep
the grain dry and safe.

When ink joins with a pen, then the blank paper
can say something. Rushes and reeds must be woven
to be useful as a mat. If they weren't interlaced,
the wind would blow them away.

-Rumi "Of Being Woven"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Neil and Eric were waiting for me near the bar as I walked off the dance floor. Some other people were coming to meet them. I saw them standing next to the only girl wearing a pink sweatshirt in the trendy club. Neil introduced me to Jane. Her blonde hair was pulled in two pig-tails. She didn't say anything to me because her soft-lipped smile and confident gaze said enough.

Drawn by instinct, Jane walked into the crowd of pulsing dancers. Her hips led her purposefully towards the center and her pinched shoulders gently swayed and gracefully maneuvered through the tightening mob. I looked at Eric and Neil and followed after her.

Her distinct baby pinkness stood out from the black wearing mass. I watched her reach the speakers and begin to move to the loud music. I came up to her and offered her my hands to dance. I held her slender fingers in mine. Her eyes captured me as she looked up through her eyelashes. In them, an impenetrable calmness looked out at the world and watched it's story unfold.
The days that go by adding together in sequence form a schedule of habit. Strung tight the right pattern of attainment connects the intended end of the gulf with a first step out of fear.

Many instant desires are out of reach from where we stand now. Arms cannot stretch across a river and clutch a feeling from the expected and pull it back into the breast.

Patterns create power and movement that use the world's tendency to create a future event in the now shortening the wait for distant dreams with each step.
Unattainable-Their kingdom favored illusions of desire and power. Obtaining only the quantifiable, for modern materialism was religion. Drugs and androids holding hands, instructions on how to think pulsing lyrics of sin. In a sober mind this unpleasantness points out the extreme of the minds known limitations of perceived reality

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The test begins only when the stakes are high enough to kill. Where it's do or die. Those moments when my choice demonstrate who I am. Until the action is made and I stamp my intention onto the world, the future is an illusion of my weak projection. But every time I step up with confidence, my trust in my action will create the future of my dreams. Each second I live asks me to live it well and full as a trial of who I will become. A test that I cannot fail but have illimitable control over it's result and therefore must never stop studying.
Willing to lose it all
I step down from my throne
Into the common homes
Into their lives
Where I understand nothing
From where they came
Where they hope to go
But my desire to understand
Lets me begin to learn
And humbled I discover
The throne was my only advantage

Doing some catch up

A term that I came up with that I really like (and it relates to loyalty); one's ordinal paramount. It's basically just a fun and more poetic way of saying the 'most important thing to you' Ordinality is just the concept that one can rank things, i.e. A>B>C>D (the difference between A and B need not be the same as the difference between B and C), and paramount means preeminent, most important. Kind of redundant, but it is at least fresh and still has life left in it (isn't that what poetry is all about? Trying to say the stuff that has become so overworn that it has lost all its meaning). You are loyal to your ordinal paramount, period. Your loyalty to everything else only goes as far as it is on the path towards your ordinal paramount.

2/1-2/3

Trial (not necessarily the court kind)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Across the Floor

He had lost control of his feet. This didn't usually happened but when he saw the way the dark haired girl ran her hand through her hair, he found that his feet had chosen for him. He walked up to the group angled towards the dark haired girl.

“Can I get your opinion?” he said over the roar of the barroom. He connected eyes briefly with the raven haired girl before quickly directing his attention towards the other girls in the group who were turning around to face him. “I'm doing a test. Tell me which one you like better, okay?” He took out two trial-sized colognes and applied them to each of his wrists. The he held out his hands palm up towards the center of the group. When the girl with the dark hair leaned in for the first sniff, Spin said, “She's very pushy, isn't she?” A few of the other girls giggled at his remark.

She clearly wasn't used to being talked to like that. Her manicured eyebrows furrowed and she pursed her full lips. Despite the remark, she still smelled the colognes first. “This one,” she said indicating the Pacific Ice on his left wrist.

Spin made small tally marks on each wrist as each girl in turn stated her preference. In the end the results were 3 to 2 Pacific Ice. “Thanks for participating in this informal survey,” he said and then immediately changed the topic of conversation. “I come to this bar a lot, I like the atmosphere and the pool tables.”

As the conversation naturally shifted to introductions and small talk about work and interests, Spin took the chance to lean his shoulders against a column near the bar. The girls moved in a little closer. When Spin said something funny, he would reach and playfully touch the girl he was talking to on the arm, but he kept his attention off of the dark haired girl who, by now he discovered, was named Rachel.

The blonde girl, Kelsey, who stood closest to Spin really liked his stories and would laugh animatedly at their climax or exaggerate a frown if the topic was more serious. Now Kelsey was pulling her hand through her hair and collecting it in a bundle and releasing it onto her opposite shoulder.

When Rachel who for the most part was being ignored started to look around the bar for other people to talk to, Spin said, “If you girls don't mind, I want to talk more with Rachel because she hasn't gotten much floor time.”

“Sure, if it's okay with her,” most of the girls said nodding and looking at each other.

Spin guided Rachel by her finger tips to a dimmer corner of the room; he noticed that she didn't recoil from his touch but actually held firm. Spin leaned back into the floral wall-paper and Rachel came up to his left side. He smiled at her and she showed her teeth too.

“You know, I bet you think you can get any man in this place,” Spin started to say. “But you'd be wrong. You see, you can only get a man who chooses you. Look around, there might be other men in her who you would like to meet, but they are all surrounded by girls. I'm sure there are girls in here who would like to meet me but they won't get the chance because I'm perfectly happy talking to you. So appreciate your time with me.”

She was clearly bewildered by his speech, but not unconvinced. The silence between them was growing. “So,” Rachel offered, “what do you do for fun?” Spin started to tell her about his friends and the exciting traveling he had recently done. That and other activities he mentioned really resonated with Rachel who wanted to spend time in Paris for at least a summer before she was going to settle down.

Throughout their conversation, their bodies were moving closer together and Spin would periodically emphasize a point he was making by resting his hand on Rachel's bare shoulder or on her forearm. After much teeth showing, Spin suggested they take a seat in a booth to continue the conversation. This time when he squeezed her hand, she squeezed it back.

The booth was vinyl red and lavishly padded with deep inlaid black buttons. Both of them were happy to rest their feet after standing for more than fifteen minutes.

Now, the pleasant gaps in their conversation began to widen as the mood shifted. They played with each other's hands and Spin put his fingers through Rachel's dark hair. They gazed into one another's eyes for several seconds and Spin leaned in for a kiss. His lips met hers and he gently sucked on her ring piercing at the center of her bottom lip.

Now's Wings

A gulf,

Deep enough to kill a
          f
       a
     l
   l
  i
 n
g
|
body

Stands between every moment,
And
I have this choice.

With each hesitated second, its width expands
Threatens to expose a secret
Volatile
Enough to shatter the life that’s become.

Not paralyzed, recognizing fear shakes my limbs;
Release myself from false directed expectation,
I     L     E     A     P
Across the divide on wind’s shoulder.

But to leap revealed the nature of a good secret,
Which froze me from dipping into its unknown
And gliding with now's wings, I did let go.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The greatest secret of the West, of Civilized Men, of society with a Christian legacy, however hidden and denied, is that those with the most power are easily seduced, not only by people but by murderous ideas, by phantasms whose existence they deny.

This secret manifests itself in a particular binarism, a way of dividing the world into good and evil, each pole corresponding to a great variety of terms, with one side generally dominant and controlling: Active and Passive, West and East, Inside and Outside, Consent and Coercion, Justice and Tyranny, Health and Sickness, Authenticity and Fakeness, Nature and Corruption. They move into descriptions of people, Black and White, Male and Female, Straight and Queer, Rich and Poor. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a very popular book's title, as is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Sometimes I want to write an inane book like that so that I can live on the proceeds for the rest of my life. Rich Dad, like most bestsellers, reinforces a dichotomy while appearing impartial. It argues, essentially, that the poor dad is poor because he has chosen to be poor by being profligate, and this supposed to be empowering: any dad can become a rich dad, if he just works hard enough! This leaves out the question, of course, of the multitude, the other millions of poor dads who will be left behind, the ones who actually influence the world the most and make everything run.

This type of individualistic and individualizing thinking is the means by which dichotomies are reinforced: the Good and the Healthy are nearly always the Few.

One who accepts this thinking, who finds no possibility but to accept this thinking, finds oneself at an utterly awful crossroads where it feels like a choice between becoming a rapist and castrating himself. This is the straight white male fear, which can occupy anyone: Either I fuck someone over, or I get fucked over. There can be no compassion, no generosity, no forgiveness, no trust. I am Tony Montana, or Dylan Klebold: you are all my enemies, so I win. If I lose, it is only in a bloody apotheosis.

This mindset is not “a part” of rape and murder; it is the foundation for rape and murder. This explains, on its own, why men commit the vast majority of violent crimes.

Case studies are needed at this point, but are difficult to provide, precisely because white middle-class men are the most unassailable group, and they are growing as Arabs and Latinos follow in the footsteps of the Jews, believing that they, too, are white. Tim Wise points out that we must begin to look at this problem of near-random shootings (Arizona, dozens, maybe hundreds, of American high schools)as a white, male problem, and that we have thus far failed to look at it, almost at all, because we are, as Americans, terrified of the notion that there could be anything wrong with this group.

And this will continue to be true as long as people believe that race equals skin color, and sexual orientation equals who you fuck, and gender equals your genitalia. These arguments are equivalent to saying that the iceberg is constituted by its tip. And if you believe that, your ship is going to sink.

Of course each of these factors play a part in the larger topics of race, sexual orientation, and gender. But to reduce them to these is disallow an understanding, on the one hand, of the way in which oppressions between these groups are interrelated, and, on the other hand, of the effects of these oppressions on the privileged groups. Because if the story of Columbine, Jim Jones, or Jared Lee Loughner teaches us anything, it is that there is a kind of suffering--not oppression, but suffering--visited upon those who are in positions of relative privilege.

This suffering has to do with the feeling and the belief that one's kingdom is crumbling, has crumbled, has been undone by hordes of filthy, corrupt, perverse devils. "A donkey, a donkey, my kingdom for a donkey!" This may as well be the battlecry of the Tea Party Movement, whose collusion with Loughner has been widely denied although everyone knows that the Tea Partiers are just as strong in the belief that one should take up arms, as a white American, to defend the interests of white Americans.

We must take as one of our starting points the understanding that this belief is genocidal. It relies on what James Baldwin called the "dream of safety" whose endpoint can only be "the nightmare orgasm of genocide."

Most people, Americans especially, will be shocked and disgusted by Baldwin's idea. We would have to recap in order to see where he was coming from.

More than almost any author, Baldwin looked directly at the experience of Black Americans since slavery. He was particularly attuned to the aspects of this experience which were overlooked for they were shameful, both to whites and to blacks: the way in which racism acted on a psychological register which overlapped with the material, the way in which racism function in terms of homophobic and sexist violence, the way in which racism was a crime against the dignity of both the oppressor and the oppressed.

His short story, "Going to Meet the Man." The story is about a Southern sheriff in a small rural town. More directly, it describes his thoughts as he lies in bed, next to his wife. His thoughts are obsessed with thoughts of "the niggers," how they disgust and shock him, how they occupy him with rage. Having engaged in behind-closed-doors conversations with white men, and having been one myself, I can tell you that this is completely normal. There is no word that better describes the attitude of the American white man for the black than envy (and I would say the same goes for straight men toward gays and men toward women). "There were niggers in the Army right now and God knows they wouldn't have had any trouble stealing this half-assed government blind--the whole world was doing it, look at the European countries and all those countries in Africa (209)." The blacks, with their scheming, albeit stupid, ethical laxity, are stealing this country from under our feet!

What, however, keeps a man in this stultifying position of loss and envy is his separation from the blacks, which, he believes, will temper his jealousy, his rage, his resentment. If only I can keep them out of my life, I will be able to focus on normal things. As long as he does not face them, Baldwin wrote, he will not have to face himself.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Topic

This time I'm offering a choice between two topics. Feel free to relate them.

Seduction and Secret
1/29-1/31

--
"He leaned up a little and watched her face. Her face would now be, forever, more mysterious and impenetrable than the face of any stranger. Stranger's faces hold no secrets because the imagination does not invest any in them? But the face of a lover is an unknown precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment."

--
James Baldwin from Another Country

Thursday, January 27, 2011

RE: game theory

I have been watching http://academicearth.org/lectures/introduction-to-game-theory and I think I figured out a way to phrase what we are trying to do in our revaluation. The concept I was referring to is called dominant/dominated strategy. A strategy strictly dominates another strategy if, in all cases, regardless of another's actions, there is a better payoff. What we should do to break the dilemma, then, is to create a pure, perfectly dominant strategy. A perfectly dominant strategy would be one that, regardless of the situation, dominates all other strategies. To create this we need to change our payoff to be one that is outside of another's control, thus making others' actions irrelevant. This can be done by the promotion of the feeling of self-pride, pride in having done the action knowing the consequences. The outcome of the action is irrelevant (even if it hurts another, but this will be discussed later). What matters is that we shape our payoff to be the pride that comes with acting, not with the consequence. Cheats!


The problem with this idea, like Alex mentioned, is that it leaves no place for ethics. It's effective as a cold war strategy, and it's the reason John Nash was so enormously well-received, despite his paranoid schizophrenia. It's the idea of purity, the idea of an infinitely superior position, a position so superior that it will never be demoted by another seeking superiority.

You can't "break the dilemma" once and for all because you can never make the payoff entirely outside of the other's control. The actions of the other are always relevant. This is what ethics means. It's not a popular viewpoint, but I think that a new symptomatology of things like paranoid schizophrenia and autism could show a relationship between these disorders and ethics. For instance, autism is characterized by a 'lack of theory of mind,' an abiding disregard for the viewpoint of the other, or an ignorance of such a viewpoint. Simon Baron-Cohen published a fascinating paper arguing that autism is much more likely to occur in children of mathematicians and scientists than in children of those who work in other areas.

I digress, but I hope you see my point. I'm sure there are even mathematicians who have used formulas to argue against Nash's theory, but they don't get much funding because the government wants ways to win wars, and as a way to annihilate other people, game theory works quite well. That doesn't mean it should be eliminated or that it's wrong. You can't annihilate annihilation. But you have to move outside of it as well.
How do you redeem those who believe that they are safe from everything? How can safety be something besides genocide, besides the killing of that element which is seen to be dirtying a pure culture?

Safety is given to us by our blessedness as much as our technology. Frankenstein and I, Robot are the literary manifestations of what we fear and what we know: that techology can make us less safe, or more of a threat to ourselves. Safety is not something which can be guaranteed in a risk society or a society of control. But despite this the society relies on the guarantee of safety to do work. You can't have a massive social venture without an insurance policy, or, if you do, it's a guerrilla movement, it's underground, it's a resistance. You will be smoked out of your holes if you don't take out an insurance policy.

It used to be that an insurance policy was like the bridge, it was something to be suckered into. In the age of betting against the market, is it still that way? It's hard to say.

Insurance is a scam only insofar as the state is a scam, only insofar as the society of control fails and breaks down.

As the sunset echoes

As the sunset echoes wave across the horizon,
Apportioning in descending orbit certain evening calm,
Anon to arise from measured depths unseen by worldly eyes
To always battle that notion of tomorrow,

The heavenly bedsheets blaze God's purple into distant black,
And we, hand-in-soft-hand among half-moon friends
Rapt into a spiral whirlwind of woven human connection,
That lifts the crescent-company above God's vanishing bed.

Dance-sing-touch-celebrate another day well lived,
Resonated with the fundamental frequency's sinuous oscillation,
Struck firmly each moment in flesh, land, and sea,
That struggle-free must abided be.

Feet like drum sticks, we clock in chaotic concord
To commemorate the many lost and dead on this dying day,
Yield to the spinning disco stars our ceaseless attention
Drawing muscular moments into long sensuous hours.

At gentle glimmer's candle warmth anew on the polar shore,
The moon-time artists weary-worn settle to the terrestrial floor.
Grateful, God's smile punctures the hazed dawn,
Appreciating us dancers' surrender, with an open welcome, 'come on'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

O wtf we have ads on our blag now. We better be rakin' in fat $$$$
Every time I see you
I want to bolt out in song.
My voice cheers for happy tears
And I can't be silent for long.

Your curled flowing tresses
That I love draped across your brow,
Are more fuller than the feathered colour
Deepest on the crow.

Yet your eyes that peer past
The lively raven locks
Are more tempting than the sweetest helping
Ever offered me in stocks.

Although it may be hard to win,
I know my voice can sing,
But if not the phrase, than its import I raise
Can my hopes your joyful smile bring.

If you will be mine forever,
My promise shall never deplete
For we shall never be poor for lack of musical score
Since my love remains engaged on repeat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Schmuckler

This isn't quite finished but I wanted to get it up here anyways. It still needs an ending, but I hope you find it an amusing story.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
He saw here on the squat machine. She was his kind of woman. Her glutes could have been taken from Playboy. Schmuckler was watching her in the mirror as he did his reverse shoulder rolls with the 5 pound weights. She went up and down in rhythm with the metallic slide of the exercise bar on the guided track. When her thighs were parallel to the ground her butt was shaped like a pear. It looked more like a pear than any pear Schmuckler had ever seen before.

He sat down on the bench leaning against the vertical back rest and started to swing his skinny body with each alternated bicep curl. He was lost in her reflection and completely forgot he was working out. His eyes had moved to the woman's teal sports bra that was pulled taught across her spinal ravine. He wanted to be her dashing Indiana Jones and rush across that unstable bridge to get to her hidden treasure. All he lacked was the basic handsome requirement.

The woman straightened her legs and stepped forward to lock the bar back onto the machine. Schmuckler continued to sway his body left and right so that his loose tank top shirt revealed the lack of firm muscle and healthy skin that he believed he still possessed. Intuiting some imaginary social cue, he dropped the green dumbbells to the ground which wasn't louder than an orange's thud on the floor.

“I see you like to do squats,” Schmuckler said running his hand past his sweat band and through the donut of graying hair.

“That's right,” said the girl. She tucked her bangs behind her ears so she could put her earbud headphones in. She was easily half his age.

Headphones. Schmuckler liked when women played hard-to-get, and he was up for a challenge today.

“Tell me your thoughts on this place,” he coolly improvised. He removed his horn rimmed glasses, breathed on them with an open mouth and rubbed them on his sweaty tank top shoulder strap. This obscured his vision even more. The grease on the lenses made her look like she was melting. Am I too hot for ya? He couldn't help himself from chuckling out loud. He didn't listen to a word of her response.

“Looking at you, I can tell that you come here a lot.”

“I can see that you don't,” she said and turned away.

This did not bother him. Throughout his life, he learned not to give up, and he wasn't throwing in the sweaty towel yet. For the other gym-goers who were halfheartedly watching them talk, they could easily tell that the girl was fed up. She was trying to back away from the bald pasty man. But Schmuckler, blind to her cues, kept imagining her undoing her black hair and shaking it loose as she swaggered over to him resting her hands on his shoulders and pulling him into her chest. He let out a sigh as his imagination took him there.

For several minutes, he mildly harassed her around the room staying close as she tried to continue her workout. Although numerous features of the aging man could easily scare off potential women, the girl in the black skin tight shorts was most disgusted by his ceaseless sly yellow grin. Although Schmuckler's youthful body was lost years before, the gentleman held on tight to his self-image. Good for his self-esteem but not so much for his prospectives.

The girl had resorted to turning up the volume on her music player, going to the other side of the gym and even closing her eyes while she worked out. But Schmuckler didn't keep his distance and started to lift some weights for show while biting his lower lip.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Artillery ads aimed
at lowest common denominator.
I scramble to safety under rhythm's carapace
and close my eyes to drown out
the grasping hands of my fleeting eye
Hold Hold Hold stand
Hold Hold Hold stand
Hold Hold Hold stand
4/4 time chants to me
Simple, I know
but sanctuary


I can't decide whether to use sanctuary or shelter for the last word. PENIS ENLARGEMENT, GET THIN QUICK, FIND GIRLS IN LA.

New topic for 1/23-1/25

Figure I do this while I have the chance and we're all straight men and all the other restrictions that would come with this once our writer-base expands. Write about your Queen, as you would have her.

Bias

Neurological pathogens
sharp needle of disease
scrape a sample of
biological tissue
Blowing, light as leaves
in autumn breeze.
Since sense seems abandoned. //
right reason, ha
We mad as scientist forge
forward our method loses
experiment.




Getting closer

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sometimes dreams come a little later than expected and are the harsh reality of a world you'd wish to oblivion

New Topic

Pertinacity is the new topic for 1/20-1/22

Tim will choose the topic for Q from 1/23-1/25

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Nepenthean Phrase

“Doctor, I want you to hypnotize my husband so you can teach his subconscious a phrase that will make him forget the last quarter hour he just experienced.”

“Ah ha,” Dr. Punjester said. His interest was aroused. “A nepenthean phrase, very interesting, but not complicated. Why, may I ask, do you want to obliterate your husband's short term memory?”

“I can't trust him with my secrets Doctor,” Mrs. Oafleton said. She recrossed her legs and took a drag on her French cigarette. “It's rather a private issue that I'd prefer not to discuss with you. Because of our professional relationship of course.”

“Of course. Confidentiality is my specialty. I won't pry into your marital affairs any further Mrs. Oafleton. What's between you and your husband should stay that way. What phrase would you like to choose?”

“Large banana,” the married woman said tilting her head back as she put the cigarette to her lips.

“Large banana? My, my. As you may know, that fruit is just about the most popular in this country, madam.”

“Never-the-less, my husband has a near fatal allergy to bananas, and we can't have them in the house. I can't tell you how much I miss those large bananas. My life would be so much more pleasurable if I could have my fill. You understand the dilemma don't you doctor? When my pathetic husband goes to the super market, his throat closes up. Bananas may be the death of him.”

“Very good then.”

“Good, so it's settled. Now remember, I will bring him by early next week on the pretense that your hypnosis will cure his severe migraine headaches. So you might as well through a cure in as well.”

“As you wish.”

On Tuesday morning, Mrs. Oafleton surprised her husband with the news that she had scheduled an appointment to see a headache specialist across town. Together they both left their home and drove to Dr. Punjester's office. Mr. and Mrs. Oafleton were told to go right in by the receptionist because the doctor had cleared the whole morning of other appointments.

“Mr. Oafleton, thank you for coming,” Dr. Punjester said as he rose from his desk. The two men shook hands. “Now please get comfortable so we may begin. No time to waste.” Mr. Oafleton took a seat on the Suez-lounge and reclined himself. The doctor took a wide-legged stance near Mr. Oafleton's feet and pulled out a gold pocket watch.

“Keep you eyes on my watch,” he said as it began to sway. “Allow your eyes to feel sleepy. That's right. They are getting heavy, aren't they? Like sand bags or two lumpy sacks of potatoes carried on each shoulder of an Irish farmer. Feel the lids touch together and feel relaxed. I will snap my fingers after I count back to zero from three. When you hear the snap you will be completely under my influence. Prepare to surrender to me. 3-2-1-0.”

*snap*

“Now! Nod your head up and down.” He did. “Good boy. Shake your head vigorously.” He did. “Now put your finger inside your left nostril.”

“Dr Punjester! Please remember our business,” Mrs. Oafleton said. The smoke from her freshly lit cigarette was spiraling towards the ceiling.

“Just having a little fun, Mrs. Oafleton. I suppose you could say it's a little dirty habit I have. It's so fun to play with my patients. What else did I go through all that medical school for?” Dr. Punjester turned his attention back to her husband.

“Mr. Oafleton, now listen intently. From now until the end of your life, when you hear the phrase 'large banana' you will forget everything you saw, smelled, tasted, touched, heard, and thought within the fifteen minutes prior to hearing the phrase. Nod your head if you understand and will obey.” He did. “Good. And you are also permitted to stop suffering from migraine headaches. Now, when I snap my fingers, you will gently return to an engaged state of awareness feeling as excited as a school boy watching his favorite Saturday morning cartoons.”

*snap*

Mr. Oafleton opens his eyes and within moments he was awake and engaged.

“Honey,” Mrs. Oafleton says, “how is your migraine headache feeling?”

“Quite fine dear. Let's go home and watch some T.V. Thank you Doctor.”

Two weeks after his hypnosis, Mr. Oafleton was still headache free. He was feeling so good that his job performance had also improved. His boss was so impressed, he let Mr. Oafleton out early. On his way home, he decided to buy flowers for his wife as a surprise. When he entered the house, his wife wasn't in the living room or the kitchen. Thinking that she must be taking a mid-day nap, he quietly walked into their bedroom.

Sprawled limply beneath Mrs. Oafleton's naked back and buttocks were two hairy legs. Her curly hair was bouncing up and down in rhythm with the sex.

Stunned, Mr. Oafleton stood immobile at the doorway. He did however drop the bouquet. “I love your large banana!” Mrs. Oafleton yelped.

Mr. Oafleton's eyes went blank.

“Oh yeah! say it again,” Dr. Punjester, the hairy adulterer said while gyrating his hips. “I like when you talk dirty.”

“Large banana, large banana, large banana!”

Mr. Oafleton's memory was never the same again after that.

The Prisoner's Dilemma ptII

I have been watching http://academicearth.org/lectures/introduction-to-game-theory and I think I figured out a way to phrase what we are trying to do in our revaluation. The concept I was referring to is called dominant/dominated strategy. A strategy strictly dominates another strategy if, in all cases, regardless of another's actions, there is a better payoff. What we should do to break the dilemma, then, is to create a pure, perfectly dominant strategy. A perfectly dominant strategy would be one that, regardless of the situation, dominates all other strategies. To create this we need to change our payoff to be one that is outside of another's control, thus making others' actions irrelevant. This can be done by the promotion of the feeling of self-pride, pride in having done the action knowing the consequences. The outcome of the action is irrelevant (even if it hurts another, but this will be discussed later). What matters is that we shape our payoff to be the pride that comes with acting, not with the consequence. Cheats!

Monday, January 17, 2011

New topic

Will says new topic is Oblivion. I'm putting this all up on my calendar again. This period goes from 1/17-1/19. 1/20-1/22 will be P, chosen by Alex.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heroes and Villians

A tall man pulled back the bolt ejecting the empty shell and thrust the next into position. He hoisted his rifle to his exposed shoulder, looked past the brim of his hat and lined gun's sight up with the target's Adam's apple below his black beard. Pete Gunsgallow gently pulled the trigger proving that his life is not graceless. His muscular arms lined with gray and black wartime tattoos don't buckle under the rifle's recoil.

After the direct hit, he slammed the butt of the gun on the ground like a walking stick. During his second tour of duty, an explosion coordinated by Iraqi insurgents had mutilated his leg. The limp in his stride is now barely noticeable but sometimes the pain returns. The doctors were able to remove all the shards and fortunately no bones were broken but they can't identify the cause of his intermittent pain. Bits of shrapnel had torn apart his left thigh and removed him from his God-given right to fight. At least he had no regrets. Before his injury sent him home on disability, he killed fourteen of those brown-skinned terrorists.

The only colored tattoo on his body is the American bald eagle soaring against the backdrop of a fluttering American flag. The eagle can be seen flying across his left ribs towards his navel through the opened front of his sleeveless jean jacket. He opened a can of Bud “full fucking taste” Weiser and half emptied it in a gulp. Beer numbs his pain. He wiped off the foam from his manicured mustache and scratched his bushy side burns.

Gunsgallow struck a match along the splintered table in his backyard to light a Marlboro Red that he pulled from a crushed soft pack. Despite the direct hit to the target's vulnerable throat, Osama Bin Laden's portrait remained pinned to the bald cypress seemingly alive and well. The bastard still held his omniscient gaze and never broke his eye contact which seemed to say, “you are forgiven.”

“Fuck you!” Gunsgallow exploded with a hot cloud of smoke bursting from his mouth. Biting the Red between his teeth, he grabbed his 9 mm semiautomatic from the table and loaded in the extended magazine clip. Gunsgallow did not conserve his bullets. The shots echoed through the bayou along with his war cry, “yeeee haw!” He replaced the blacks of Bin Laden's eyes with bullets.

“Howdy. Business as usual?”

“Oh same as always, reckoned you'd make it today.”

“Always make it on 5 cents off Monday. Can't pass up the bargain,” Jim Goodman hands the clerk a twenty dollar bill for his gas. “You know, why don't you give me two good pieces of that jerky your wife's been making. I hear she's got it better than before.” Goodman stands across the clerk and places his leather wallet on the counter. He rolls up the sleeves of his blue shirt and leans on his elbow.

The clerk picks up a pair of orange plastic tongs and opens the plastic case that holds several strips of lean jerky. He finds one of the most appealing and picks up a bag to put it in.

“No bag. Them's for you and me right here and now. What do ya say?”
“Thanks partner.”

As they're finishing up their salty snacks, a man walks into the gas station and quickly slips around to the back refrigerator section. The clerk was busy telling Jim about how he had shot the steer and cleaned it up himself and how his wife's been making the dried meat snacks. Neither man paid any notice to the stranger assuming he just wanted a cold drink.

“Hands up. Empty your drawers.”

Both men look back at the man who'd previously came in unnoticed. He holds a gun and switches his aim between the two at the counter. A black ski mask disguises his face revealing only his eyes and white teeth. With his left hand, he throws a pillow case at the clerk. “Fill it.”

The clerk opens his register and starts to move the cash into the bag. All six eyes are on the transaction. The robber dances his body's weight from foot to foot and holds his gun's aim on the clerk. He keeps turning his head towards the door to make sure they're all alone.

While the crook is focused on the money, Goodman punches the crook in the face. He follows the momentum of his punch in towards the robber, and Jim skillfully twists the gunman's wrist and wrenches the handgun away. He kicks the robber to his knees and aims the gun's barrel between the crook's eyes.

Pete Gunsgallow walked towards the pin up of Bin Laden and counted 28 hits out of the 30 shots from his handgun's clip. He snubbed the cigarette butt with his finger and thumb and flicked it into the swampy grass of his yard beyond the trees. Gunsgallow took long slow strides back towards the table with his thumbs latched into his belt loops. His leather work boots clunked against the soft ground. He chugged the rest of the open Bud, crushed it and tossed it into a pile of others. He reached for another inside the open fridge pack on the table.

“Fuckin' empty,” he said. He swung his fist, dented the cardboard box and sent it flying. Since it was still light out, he decided to go to the gas station for some more beer. He loaded the handgun and put it in his dirty jeans' back pocket. He never went anywhere without it. He climbed into his rusted Ford pick-up truck and saluted the photograph of his dead army companions that he had clipped on his sun-visor. Then he turned the ignition and put the truck into drive. The tires crushed the empty Bud box on the driveway as Gunsgallow left.

After Goodman had subdued the robber, the clerk puts the pillow case by his feet, closes the register and immediately calls the police on the phone. The robber's immaculately snow-white teeth are clenched together. He has his hands on his head and watches intently for a mistake. But Jim knows how to handle a gun, and he holds the crook's pistol steady and ready for any unexpected moves.

“Fuckin' asshole,” the clerk says. “You won't be messin' with any 'Bama men again soon. The deputy's on's way and'll be locking you up.”

“Take off the fuckin' mask,” Goodman says waving the gun upwards. The crook's confident blue eyes are locked on the black man's face. He doesn't make an effort to follow the order. Instead, he silently lifts his lips in a crooked smile.

“Take it off,” Jim says with forced emphasis, but the crook doesn't seem threatened by Jim and the gun in his hand. The robber bets that Goodman will not shoot out of anger but only out of necessity. So he decides to wait for a moment of weakness to reassert his position of power. But Goodman doesn't give the robber a chance, because he grabs the top of the mask and pulls it up.

Pete Gunsgallow probably hit a squirrel on his drive to the gas station or a cat if he was lucky. At least no one else was in the other lane when he swerved into it. He didn't bother counting how many beers he drank anymore and only noticed when there were none left. He wasn't even sure if the pain was still in his leg because he didn't bother to get sober enough to find out. He pulled his truck into the station and stepped out onto the pavement. He lit a fresh cigarette and walked up to the door leaving the truck running and the door agape.

As Jim Goodman lifts up the mask, Gunsgallow opens the glass door. He sees the black man holding a pistol to the submitted white man's head. Gunsgallow does not hesitate. He grabs his American made 9 mm semiautomatic handgun from his back pocket and aims. Hollow point bullets tear apart Jim Goodman's chest and skull eating away his life. Goodman's body is thrown left and right with each impact slamming him into the glass counter. With the cigarette gripped at the edge of his mouth, Gunsgallow shouts “yeeee haw” as the shots ring out.