Crime into gag

The holiday season turns crime
into gag. I swear, if you had been there,
you’d have gotten righteously indignant,
kicked the bumper
of that bastard who always parks
in the spot you dream about
and it would have sagged right off the car,
defeated after thousands of miles of battle
with a San Diego rush hour.
Instead, I watched the fog crowd the world,
1 am,
and traced the “AWS” some asshole
scribbled on my door, white spraypaint
like permanent pigeon droppings
slowly cracking through the reflection
of the empty parking lot across the street,
in the middle of a ghetto I called home
so long ago.

And then, like a five year-old who’s just seen
an evil clown magician
with half a cigar exploding out his stubby face
stab a knife into the kid’s favorite stuffed animal —
like a five year-old that discovered that all magic
is nothing but a cruel parlor trick,

I chipped the spraypaint off with my thumbnail,
and realized it was just sprayed-on frost–
the kind that overzealous employees coat storefronts
and yorkie-poodle mixes with. Crime into gag.
Drama into comedy. Except noone saw me slap my knee,
guffaw, or even so much as hiccup.

Instead, it makes me wonder what kind of people
dance around this world of fog, lacing the night
with egged houses and holiday fear.

I’ll bet anything they’re on the naughty list.

Litestep madness!

I haven’t really messed around with Litestep since I was back in high school. But seriously, I’m geeking out on it now.

Litestep is a shell-replacement utility for Windows. Basically, it allows you to completely customize the way your desktop looks and functions… it can be minimalistic or cluttered, colorful or black and white, and it pretty much makes you not need a start menu any more.

Depending on how you use it, it could also take up less system resources than the normal Windows shell (called Explorer). It’s good times.

Anyhow, I’ll be in San Diego today through probably Monday or Tuesday. Keep it real.

Farscape and rest.

Rest is great. Unbelievably grand.

Honestly, Farscape has to be the weirdest, craziest, most amazingly fresh sci-fi series I have ever seen. It’s sci-fi in terms of biology more than anything else… how does a ship with a small crew, all made of very different kinds of biological life-forms, interact? I was watching an episode where the entire crew is suffering from starvation, and one of the characters, who happens to be plant-based, grows spores and starts trying to seed the ship, and everybody is allergic to her.

I don’t know about you, but coming from someone who is intrinsically familiar with Star Trek, where most of the problems with alien species come mostly from not being able to find a common ground, it’s kind of refreshing to see aliens who vomit, fart, mutter obscenities (like “dren”, “frell”, and others) and basically are so different from humanity that there is no way you could ever confuse them. Jim Henson’s creature shop did a fantastic job on the show, and every episode there are crazy aliens running around. For example, there’s an episode where the crew comes across a mining colony inside of a moon-sized creature that looks like a humongous dinosaur fossil.

Man, I’m geeking out.

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I marked where on a promontory it stood isolated,
Marked how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

The edge

The edge
by Bob Hicok

One day the kid showed up with a tattoo of a stapler
on his shoulder. The others had tattoos of geckoes
and fish and the Incredible Hulk, an emerald
Lou Ferrigno against a background of fire. He’d
have been beaten up except they were dazed by it,
not just the precise cursive of the word Swingline
or the luster of the striking plate but the fact
of the stapler itself. He got the last pizza
at lunch and was touched on the wrist by a girl
at the fountain. This made him believe he was real
in a way breathing never had. Over the next
few months he stopped feeling he lived
on the wrong side of the mirror. There
was an election & his name was penciled in
on a few ballots. The guy with the red Camaro
gave him a ride home and let him pick the music.
In second-period French he stood to ask
what Harcourt Brace knew all men wanted to know,
if Monique and Evette would join him Saturday
on the sailboat. First the teacher cried,
then the students sang the Marseillaise
because in four years all he’d ever said
was comment allez-vous? No one questioned the tattoo.
Who’d believe he got up to pee and it was there,
just as the image of the body of Christ
appeared one morning on the thigh
of St. Barthelme of Flours. Otherwise
their stories differ. St. Barthelme was stoned
to death. The kid went to homecoming in a tux
with blue cumulus cuffs and a girl
embarrassed by anything but the slowest dance.

Pendulums of an old grandfather clock.

Last night, I was still awake in bed, and every time I closed my eyes I felt the gears and pulleys of a giant grandfather clock closing around me. I spun through this hallucinatory state, probably brought on by tears and sore throats, and at one point I coughed so hard I threw up a little. Every time my eyes closed, I felt claustrophobia set in, and all I could think of is a line a friend in my poetry class wrote once:

The world is a formula
and we have yet to crack it.

Today, I have to say I’m confused, more than anything. I think that in any situation, I am constantly reminded how, no matter what kind of effort I put into a bad situation, it cannot become a good one. I wish I would have learned that lesson a long time ago. I still don’t think I’ve learned that lesson.

I walked along the beach in Morro Bay with Jim yesterday, it was overcast but the sun slipped a few orange meanderings on the horizon, and the sea mist was so tremendously concentrated right at the waters’ edge. As Lucy, the pink schnauser, ran after birds I could never have named, I felt the world was complete there. But this old grandfather clock, these gears, this fear of being crushed in the workings of a world that is far too small and much too dictated by timing and rules for where pendulums are to swing… this old grandfather clock haunts me.

I have no interest in cracking formulas. I am only interested in being happy.