NO LESSONS! NO TALENT!

My father used to ask me when I was going to grow up. Except he often used to insert "the hell" between "when" and "I". And I would answer him "April 12, 1978." At the time, I thought I was giving myself a vast ocean of hours, days and minutes to formulate a plan for transitioning to adulthood. Or at least to be struck by a meteorite packed with the requisite paraphernalia: a pipe, perhaps, a set of car keys, a small green bottle of Aqua Velva, that kind if thing. But those meteorites apparently burned up in the atmosphere, never to pierce my adolescent brain. Now, suddenly, in a warp of time, space, and some a them string-theory dimensions, I find myself way way over on the other side of April 12, 1978 without having made the slightest bit of progress in my quest. And talking to my contemporaries, which I can't avoid from time to time, I'm surprised to learn that they pretty much feel the same way, the exception being that they seem to have collected most of the trappings of adulthood anyway. Me, I don't seem to accumulate trappings; trappings slip between my fingers like a cherry pie made from cherries, flour and water. A bizarre analogy to you, no doubt, but one with which I am intimately acquainted. This absence of the burden of trappings probably contributes to the sensation of hurtling toward some looming denouement while standing still, although my trappings-encumbered contemporaries would probably say they feel the same way, as they turn to their flat-screen tvs to check the stock reports, the cocksuckers. Sorry about that; I'm still immersed in season two of Deadwood.

SOMETHING-NEEZIBAS

Wouldn't it be nice if you could press your hand onto the surface of a lake and it would leave an impression? If only for an hour or so? I failed printmaking in college. I couldn't turn my brain to see from the other side of the metal plate. It seemed like a parlor trick and I resented it. I was arrested once and had my fingerprints taken, just like on tv. The cop took each finger and rolled it firmly onto the card. It felt good. In a file cabinet in Ohio somewhere, there it is, my legacy.

MY BEAUTIFUL DREAM

Some nights I accidentally swallow my Breathe-Right Strip and then I have these weird dreams. One night I dreamed that tuberculosis was spelled with a "y". Another time I dreamed I was holding a #2 pencil, and right before my eyes it turned into a #4 pencil! I woke up in what I thought was a cold sweat, but it just turned out to be Bernice's saliva.

GRINDER

Some days pleasure eludes me. It hides in a kitchen drawer that I would never think of checking, the one with two lightbulbs and a sponge in it. Or maybe it's spending the day across the street with people with whom it's more simpatico--I can hear the laughter drifting over into the wee hours. Other days, like today, it smacks me right in the face as if it had been loaded onto a trebuchet. After which delicate weightless wispy seedlings float in the air about me just like they do in Avatar. And there are chimes, I think I hear chimes. And the aroma of grits, grits with Texas Pete. I don't question these things. You have to take them as they come.

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CLEANUP CREW


Took a break from Sunday Morning Talking Heads, and boy did it feel good. Nobody should have to be subjected to Dick Cheney on Valentine's Day, you feel me? When somebody like me starts saying "you feel me", you know that phrase is dead. De-ceased. I am like the consume-by date on a can of mackerel. You could think of me as an anti-hipster, but you'd be wrong. Even the anti-hipsters are way ahead of me. All I can say is thank god for Kansans. 

TIME FOR A RANT

I avoid ranting as long as I can these days, but it builds up in me like the egg sac of a brown recluse. And then it's gotta blow. So, get ready, America (or the tiny little corner of America that's reading this):

Today’s rant was spurred by reading that conservatives are accusing liberals of being condescending and insulting to the “common people”, the tea party attendees, ignoring their wishes, sneering haughtily in their innocent upturned faces, the people with whom the Republicans are so empathetic, people who will go their entire lives without saying “with whom”, the veritable salt of the earth, whose salt our dear right wing friends lick with naked lust, while embracing them as blood brothers. 

What a crock of shit! The spittle has hardly dried from the presidential campaign, which was punctuated with the shrill complaints of the right that the mindless masses were being hypnotized and led away in lockstep by the empty celebrity of a master charlatan. Remember that, Republicans? You labeled the majority of voters in America dupes! What a convenient sweet amnesia you indulge in. And your lustbunny Sarah Palin has the gall to stand up and ask those who put their money on Hope and Change--the majority of American voters--”How’s that workin’ out for ya?” Have you asked yourselves at whose expense she’s laughing? Of course not. Introspection is a decadent luxury of the elite. Time to grab a pitchfork and storm the ramparts! But first make sure your bespoke suit is hanging safely in the closet--wouldn’t want to get mud on it.

THOSE CHARMINGLY QUERULOUS CONSERVATIVES!

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You gotta love 'em. Well, no you don't. You don't have to love them at all. In their headlong frenzy to trash everything Obama, they've now got their Garments in a stinky twist over the coming trial of Sheik What's-his-face in New York. We're giving him a free pulpit from which to spew his noxious views! they shout in high spittle-flecked dudgeon. Well, yes we are. But if you'd been paying attention your entire lives, you lot, you would have noticed that we have extended the same privilege to mass murderers, church bombers, child rapists, cannibals, and every other sort of unpleasant person who has come before the bar. And it's made us a stronger country. It tells the watching world that we're stronger than any heinous individual, to whom we'll apply justice in a spirit of utter transparency. Behaving like our enemies just creates more enemies. Take your eyes off Sarah Palin's butt long enough to think about that.

WHERE DOES COMMUNISM COME FROM?

By the time I hear about a hot new faddish term, you can assume it's no longer new or hot. So it is with the use of FAIL as an expletive. All you young punks out there, probably the same ones who cut across my lawn instead of using the sidewalk and then flip me the bird when I rail at them from the porch but who start running like frightened little bunnies when I fire a warning shot over their heads, can stop slapping FAIL on top of photos in order to make them seem funnier than they are, which is not very.

FROM THE HEART

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I mean this in all sincerity. I am as sincere as can be. Hot little whiteheads of sincerity are popping out all over my forehead. I fall to my knees. I beseech. My hair stands on end. My eyes expand. I run off the cliff, legs pumping. My sincerity keeps me airborne. Elsewhere, a large can of pumpkin pie filling sits in the darkness. I think, now that's sincerity. Down I go.

JACKPOT

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I've found that giving a picture an enigmatic name can make it seem more profound than it actually is, which is usually not at all. I hope y'all guys aren't offended that I'm implying that I can manipulate you so easily. But see, that's the Art Game, and nobody said it was pretty. If you can't make your mark via sheer quality (and who can?) you use whatever strategies are available to you. And by that means you can parlay a modest amount of talent into "mad coin", as the hipsters say. Or if not mad coin, enough to pay the rent. That's my hope, at least.

UNDERNEATH

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Plangent, there's a nice word. For anyone into lamentation. Not necessary keening lamentation, no one's a fan of keening lamentation. That'll clear the dance floor in a heartbeat. But plangent beats venerous all to hell, that's for sure. At least you can look it up. Tumbling down the cliff, looking for a lucky break, clipping the rocks, that's when the word plangent presents itself for your inspection. Cast it a gimlet eye. Feel the tingle. Is that a screw-worm embedded in your brain, its handle toward your hand? Or am I just glad to see you? Maybe it's time to tweak those meds...