Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Celtic Round

I write a dream or ode or villanelle,
About the Irish who drink life to end
(I think I love to face this frothy hell.)

The songs of Danny, a sheep, an old bell,
The rain, the strain from Spain, darkens us then.
I write a dream or ode or villanelle.

On green hills we drink, smoke with sadness, dwell
On the perfect stripes of feathers from a hen
(I think I love to face this frothy hell.)

Old man’s tears for a carcass in the kell
Or the child late married--twenty plus ten.
I write a dream or ode or villanelle.

Life hovers wet as air above a soft well.
We hear the songs around every hard bend
(I think I love to face this frothy hell.)

I have dreamed of castles to build or sell
But there are smaller things the sky will lend.
I write a dream or ode or villanelle
(I think I love to face this frothy hell.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Civil War

As soon as the Neo-Cons started the lies about WMD and made their push to invade a country that was never a threat to us, it became SO CLEARLY EVIDENT that this action would lead to one thing: Civil War

It was the first thing that came to my mind.

Since I am not a political pundit, but merely a guy who can sometimes connect the dots within a large landscape, I think it would not be overreaching to assume that Civil War was one of the outcomes the Neo-Cons considered. A Civil War, of course, will bring Iran into the quagmire in a very earthy way. All along in this circus, was the plan to fail with security? To maybe even foment mosque attacks so an even bigger mess of Civil War would tease Iran into the big top? And if so, was it not Right-Wing mad genius to bide their bumbling time while things got even worse so the enormous problems of both Iraq AND Iran could ultimately be met in one big, horrible blood bath? (Knocking out two countries in the Axis of Evil?) Is this not the End-of-Days, clash-of-the-cultures that the earth has been waiting for since Byzantium collapsed?

And in our arrogance, are we not the horrible pigs who are the only ones powerful enough on this earth to do all this? Perhaps bringing the Middle East into the post-Renaissance?

I am not saying I agree with any of it. But, could this have been the intent all along?

And if so, do we have any faith that this plan will work?

We do not understand these people of the camels and chickpeas. As this conflict grows more insane, I do not have faith that we can make things over in our grabby image.

Where the HELL are we going?

Friday, February 24, 2006

My Brother's Ear

Though gerbils would have eaten a child such as me, my human mother dutifully took it upon herself to make sure I survived. I appreciated her deep caring for me in that little yellow house on the downward sloping property in that sleepy rural neighborhood of my youthy youth. My brother and I shared a bedroom in the finished basement, next to the playroom. My sister had her own room upstairs across from my parents’ bedroom. We had a living room with 1960’s stick lamps, a tweed couch and a sharp-edged kidney-shaped Formica coffee table that my brother once fell onto while jumping on the couch with my sister and me. He landed on the nasty edge of the brown kidney which split his ear clean through the cartilage about one centimeter (I was born metric) above the lobe. The edge of the ear, bleeding like a split ear, separated where the split occurred and as if some special ear tension had held the ear together. The severe cut allowed the now two separate pieces of cartilage to move far away from each other. This gave the appearance that a part of the ear was missing, at least to the doctor but not to me (I was a born diagnostician).

At the emergency room, we were sent home to look on the floor for a lost piece of ear. My sister found a piece of fuzz under the couch and declared proudly and with sheepish hope that she had found the lost part of her brother’s ear. She wanted to be helpful and she also wanted to be noticed. My parents explained to her that it was fuzz. The phone rang and the doctor explained to my parents that upon closer inspection, my brother did not lose a piece of his ear, that his ear had actually separated and they sewed the ear back together and we could stop looking for the missing piece. I knew the whole search for the ear was silly as I saw my brother hit the table and nothing flopped away from his head that looked like flesh. Sadly, to this day, I am not sure if he just fell off or if I pushed him off or if my sister and I pushed him or we were all pushing each other, but I felt terribly guilty about this whole ear mess and I knew there was no missing ear section and if my sister thinks fuzz is flesh, then give her the prize and I’ll go back to my room which made me feel even more guilty. I knew the search was a waste of time and I naturally sported a disaffected attitude while I imagined my brother practically bleeding to death in the hospital. Though having the clarity of one who spends many nights lying under an icing of Vicks, I just knew this ear accident was nothing more than a cut ear, there was no missing piece and everything was going to turn out fine. And it did. This whole ear incident made me even more resistant to horseplay. I stayed indoors but off the furniture. I played records, read books, took very safe walks, got sick, grew weak and pale and cankered.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Man is a Fool for Kitchen Resurfacing

Long live the kitchen.

Long live Adam.

Long live old New York stoves.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

One Full Week Without the Ball and Chain

Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California Domestic Partner, went to Queens to scrape, sand and paint our kitchen.

I do not remember another time when I have been left alone in California for such a long time. I usually travel and leave him behind to feed the dog and cats.

I missed him and such, but as I like to stay focused on the positive, I will share the two best things about his one week of absence:

1) The television was never on. To have that kind of quiet is pretty much heaven on earth. It's better than a load of virgins in the after life. It's pure peace and beauty.

2) Trader Joe's is the best thing on earth. Adam loaded me up with foodstuffs before he left. Mostly from Trader Joe's. How did people survive before this company existed? Potstickers ready for nuking. Pureed soups ready for heating up. Bags of pre-washed spinach ready for steaming. All fresh and delicious.

Tomorrow, Adam comes home. The food will still be good. The television, well, not much I can do about it. At the end of the day, it's what ends up buying us the food.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Was Once Seventeen

And apparently had very bad taste in hats.

Monday, February 20, 2006


You have to see it. My friend, Mary, suggested we go. I pushed for Cock and Bull, instead. How wrong was I!

The Matador:

1) Well acted
2) Funny
3) Great design
4) Writing was very good (though completely ridiculous and winking at itself)
5) Overlay themes keep you surprised
6) Fun, going to Mexico City
7) Great that Pierce Brosnan pulled this off
8) Hope Davis has a very layered hair cut

I have always been resistant to the work of P. Brosnan. Mostly because when I first moved here, I waited tables for a few weeks and five minutes before a lunch shift ended, Pierce waltzed in and lit a cigar and started a Chess game and we all had to wait around for him to finish before we could leave. It was so obvious that the restaurant should have been closed, but this big ego dude didn't care. It was upsetting.

The Matador

Friday, February 17, 2006

I Love Widgets

I am not a shill for Yahoo. But Dan Kaufman, my friend, introduced me to Widgets and I have to say, I love them. Little special things that sit on your desktop. I particularly like Picture Frame--which randomly presents pictures from your files in a cute little box. I also love my Weather Widget.

I can only imagine that these things are sitting on my desktop collecting all sorts of information about me. But hell, at least I get to see the thousands of pictures I have taken and I always know what the weather is in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Maybe this is nothing new to you. But they are to me. Check them out. You hate them, you can delete the Yahoo Widget Folder from your computer.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Morning Becomes No One

Make Hay while the sun shines? Why? It’s so much hotter then. And who the hell buys hay?

During the day, people are up to no good. In Los Angeles, I spend my days with the shades drawn and the curtains pulled tight. I loathe the sun. It pierces my skin. I often joke that I have a touch of the Lupus. I just can’t stand it on me. Never could. Wears me out. Not to mention, I do not like to acknowledge the daylight hours. I thought I might do a little better in France.

I am not a morning person. And on a recent trip to Paris it became clear to me that I’m not much of an afternoon person either. The problem with the daylight hours is everyone is so busy working that I find it detracts from my main belief of physical infrastructure: Everything that exists for my consumption (and yours) and my pleasure (and yours) magically appears by machines and spontaneous generation. Human beings pass their time solely in the pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment. Of course I am very aware that my thinking is delusional, but isn’t it a better delusion than the huge clothing corporations who trick themselves into believing it is fine for small children to ply the needle? In fact, as I will state again and again, I do believe all work could be given to machines while the living enjoy the day. Since this has not yet come to pass, I refuse to pay attention to the day, much like a mother will ignore her screaming brat in hopes that the behavior will disappear. In my quest to change the world I have taken what may seem passive to others, but to me it feels like the most obvious choice of bravery. While others rally as the sun hits their windows (or cardboard home) I stay in bed as long as possible. This is my personal revolution and I entice you to join me for there is power in numbers and believe me, sleeping late is better than getting up.

And what about all that noise? Why are garbage trucks so clamorous? Like passive aggressive carpenters, do they assault our ear drums by purposefully avoiding being considerate? Do these garbage trucks rattle and bang in order to arouse me from my hotel bed? They are six floors below my window, yet it is as if they are collecting refuse in my bathroom. And what a small bathroom it is! These French don’t waste space on their ablutions. This, of course, should have been clear to me as I have noticed upon close inspection their hair, which barely hangs as it greasily sticks to their frozen heads mere centimeters above their frayed Hermes scarves and their duck liver stained Channel suits. Are the small bathrooms, these torture chambers like wet pens for veal, the reason they don’t last through the full act of personal hygiene? Are they just too cramped? I don’t believe so. I am a middle sized human and I get along just fine. I am about the size of most Frenchmen and certainly larger than most Frenchwomen. There is no lack of water in the country. And from the store windows I have noticed they make as many kinds of soap as they do cheese. In the end, one can only wonder, why are the French so dirty? But more importantly, why are they so unfunny? And this brings us back to the point at hand which is the morning and its abusive act of rattling us out of our beds.

This rattling certainly must make for a cranky society. This holds for all societies, but maybe has a lesser affect on Americans as we have always been a culture of farmers and religious zealots, both of whom must get up early to catch the worm. But we’re talking about Paris and there are no farmers here and certainly no one believes in God. And one would think that a post-religious society would at least have a street sense of irony, but this has remained undiscovered in my view. I have never met a more serious bunch and let’s face it, they have every reason on earth to be joking. They have been on the fade since the First World War. Their beautiful language does not hold the same sway in the world as English. Their music is bad. And they’ve been eating the same food for centuries. In truth, their empire is gone. The only thing that remains are the palaces and these have all been turned into museums or government offices. And they are filled with very busy, very serious workers who get up in the morning and go to their travail with neither smiles nor song. Here, in a country that is so teeming with beauty, the sunlight pelting the fountains and monuments, and everyone is so glum. Even in spring. It hurts the non-Latin heart to see such grimness in such a bountiful, beautiful land. They do stay up late for dinner and for this I am very grateful as I despise eating my main meal of the day until after the movie. And there I am in a restaurant loaded with Parisians snarfing on oysters and paté and bread and choucroute and saucisson piled to the golden rafters. I cannot imagine they are in bed sooner than One A.M. However, unlike me, they have to go to the office to make French decisions, go to the boulangerie to make French pastries, go to the pharmacie to fill French prescriptions (most of them anti-depressants, I am so sure) and all this could be so completely avoided if they just stayed in bed and let the machines do it.

Now, I am not one to propose taking away a job that someone likes to do. One person’s torture is another person’s boucherie. So, if they want to be bureaucrats, bakers and candlestick makers, be my guest, but after staying up late at night digesting all that animal fat, wouldn’t it make more sense to stay in bed until at least, I don’t know, noon? The mornings would be quiet and I bet the French would feel much more rested and perhaps have time to laugh a little? It takes a well rested person to be in a good mood. So my suggestion to our friends in Gaul is to pull those covers over your heads and fart a little and please, by all means, do not collect the garbage before my maid empties my trash and believe me, she isn’t coming into my room before thirteen o’clock. If the French begin the revolution, which really is their main role in Europe, certainly the rest of the E.U. will follow and we Americans who are opposed to sunlight can all move there and let the farming and the religion continue in full daylight as is necessary. If you have any opinions on this subject, I advise you to call me, though please don’t try to reach me before three-o-clock.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day, Sixth Grade, 1974

I got Valentines from two girls and my teacher. The bird one is from my teacher who I call owl eyes cause she wears big glasses. The other two are from one dog named Robin Guootius. And another card was from a girl named Sheryl. But I threw it away. Well I got little candy hearts from dad. Goodnight.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Living for the Rodents

I've been very busy lately.
One might even say productive.
And not just in a vacuum.

There have been meetings, requested manuscript mailings, a publisher, an agent awareness and other rubs with life enhancing possibilities--


What I have found to be the most soul edifying within the past few days has been figuring out the fingering and perfecting a jazzy version of Muskrat Love on the ukulele.

Friday, February 10, 2006

February 10, 1974

Our night table tipped over and my picture plant broke. I have to buy a new pot. Oh well. Goodnight. I had a nice day.

My memory of this event is a little foggy. Perhaps I had taped a picture to a flower pot? Vaguely, I remember some sort of art project in school where we took a picture of ourselves and somehow got it to stick onto clay that would air dry and then was painted.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Plug: And the World Goes 'Round

Friends, I am reprising my role as Mr. Cellophane. Haven't I always been transparent?
Back in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1994, I was in this show. The best part about it: visiting Eureka Springs. Cool town.

Full details below. Note: Friday nights are mostly for subscribers and would-be board members. So, if I were you, I'd go Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.
Also note: If you go on March 5, you will be out in time for the Oscars.

I can tell you this about And the World Goes 'Round. It's Kander & Ebb music (Chicago, Cabaret, etc.). A bevy of really good singers will entertain you. I will be singing, playing piano, plucking the guitar and rubbing up against an ample bosomed woman in the song, Money Makes the World Go 'Round. A jazzy rendition of Cabaret in the style of Manhattan Transfer is probably the most interesting musical number. There is dancing. The performers are haggish and faggish. This show was a bit tired when I did it twelve years ago. But hell, it's self contained and cheap to produce. And there it is.
The lights will be dim. The seating will be at tables for four in a large, open brick warehouse that used to be a sweat shop.

The sponsor is Pinky Vodka and as this is a fund raiser, the pushy wait staff will be encouraging you to buy plenty of Pinky-based drinks. Money raised will be used to convert the really cool space into a theatre. Worth seeing this hangar before it gets converted. And we're right behind an Armenian social club for men(or are those hairy beasts women? Who knows?) One of the "guys" was smoking from a tobacco filled hookah on the sidewalk the other night. I wanted to snatch it from him.

Come on down. You might as well.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I hate Radiohead.

I tried. A few people told me, "You'd really like them."

I bought Ok Computer a while back.

Someone bought me Hail to the Thief.

Having only listened to the CDs one time each (sort of) well over a year ago, I decided, during our reorganization of our CD collection (we tossed the old CD racks and bulky jewel cases and put the CDs in thin sleeves, in boxes) to give them another try.

I'm just not there. Yeah, yeah, I know. Post-apocalyptic. And alienation. And down-with-everything. I just can't.

And the same tone again and again. It's like a skit from Saturday Night Live.

And the song titles?

Climbing Up the Walls (I sure did.)

Sit Down. Stand Up. (This one was so reptitive and foolish, I had to lay down.)

We suck Young blood (Why bother?)

I know this youngish guy who writes music and records it in his apartment. He's a decent musician. His stuff is just like this Radiohead nihilism.

I guess we could be headed for total ruin and the only thing to do is to whine and feel awful. But man, I'd rather listen to the moronic stylings of the Bee Gees.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Things I Considered over the Weekend

1. Pride is the greatest stupidity of the human species. Christianity offered the whole "turn the other cheek" thing. Of course, this idea has been flouted by everyone on earth, including the frigging Christians.

2. Iran, in their stupid posturing, will soon be toast. Why not, at this point?

3. The Arabs want Israel to be toast. I feel more afraid for Israel now than I have ever felt in my life.

4. After WWII, Palestine was, indeed, colonized. And no whimpering Zionist can convince me otherwise. However, it's a done deal. Why doesn't the West drop its mantle of righteousness, apologize for inconveniencing a bunch of horrendous, backward Palestinians and give them their own country...including the tasty bits in Jerusalem that they really want? And then, if they keep bombing Israelis, the entire country of Palestine can be obliterated. Right? I am so sick of living on the earth with this problem unresolved. Resolve it. If you have to obliterate millions of people to do it, fine with me. I've got mall shopping to do.

5. Why is George Bush suddenly figuring out that oil is the problem? And why is he the slowest dope on earth? And who are these millions of Americans who voted for him, twice? How stupid are they, really? And why do I live anywhere near them, never mind sharing the same government?

6. Arnold and his big ideas. Failures. Where's my fucking subway to somewhere?

7. Why gay people continue to file federal income tax returns is beyond me. Since gay people are not, usually, suffering in any great way, financially, and since gay people can vote, there really isn't much to do in the way of civil disobedience. However, gay people got cash. The only way to hurt this government is to refuse to give it any money. They'll feel it. If you're gay, why not put your house in a trusted relative's name and stop filing federal income tax returns?

8. San Diego has its problems. High in the suburban hills, one can hear the constant churn of freeway traffic.

9. The feminist movement was so quick and so effective. Why don't you women file away those torn ticket stubs from Brokeback Mountain that you all loved so much, and rally around the gay people and get us past this static hump?

10. Theatre is heart breaking. It could be so much more. Most of it panders and remains wretchedly timid and uninteresting.

11. That Grizzly Man was crazy. Bears like to eat nuts. What was so surprising?

12. Felicity Huffman is very talented.

13. Eating nonfat, plain yogurt every day keeps the good fauna going.

14. February is such a short month. It always feels like a sprint.

15. Why do writers in The New Yorker and now The LA Times, insist on using all those annoying Latin phrases, when they could just as easily use words like, "for services rendered" or "for free"?

16. There is nothing better than good chocolate.

17. When you die, you just return to the year before you were born. Don't sweat it. Think of it as going back in time. You'll feel so much younger.

18. Those wooden blinds for the New York apartment aren't going to order themselves. Get cracking.

19. If India and China are such economic threats, then why are those people so poor?

20. Will Joni ever put out another CD worth listening to?

Friday, February 03, 2006

February 3, 1974

I wanted to go skating but the ice aint thick enough. Well I'm a saying.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


The Palestinians are anti-Zionists.

It's that simple.

The dilemma will never be resolved.

Maybe it's time to give Arizona to the Jews? We can put in some imitation landmarks. A grave of Sarah here. A wailing wall there. A mount or two. Call it an imperfect, yet workable solution. Change Phoenix to Echnavivitch.

Be done with it already. I love the Jews. I could love them with much less worry if they were all safely living within a day's drive from Tucson.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Every Day I Get the Same Email Offer

Fuck her to Death with Generic Viagra

I'm pretty sturdy. But this does get to me.

Could it be the word "fuck"?
Sure. It's pretty strong. Not your usual word in an email sales pitch.

Could it be the word "her" puts me off?
Yeah. I'm not so interested in her.

The phrase "Fuck her to Death"?
Seems pretty misogynistic. Even to me. Degrading. Angry.

And then with "Generic Viagra"?
Makes the whole thing sound so cheap.

I think I will forego the offer. I choose Not to Fuck her to Death with Generic Viagra.