Category Archives: Writer

The last normal person on Earth

lives in Urbandale, IA; he is always thirty four years old and goes to Supercuts to get a side parted trim every six weeks.  HIs girlfriend comes over three times a week and they eat pasta and a plate of cheese while discussing what they each did at work and then watch Two Weeks Notice  or some reasonable imitation. Neither knows what a macaroon is though will not admit it to the other; everything else, other than the macaroon, is normal.

I lived in Urbandale, IA for a year out of the two I lived in Des Moines. This was right after two years of grad school followed by a nervous breakdown, the worst two years of my life outside of ninth grade. Des Moines was very brown and beige; if a pair of Diehard pleated khakis went to school for architecture this is the city it would create.  The airport and the buildings were coated in every shade of brown rejected by autumn;   the two years in Des Moines got me back into theater and saved me from a self-apolcalyptic implosion of a plastic life built over a supernova.   Ferreting out tiny invisible fractures in the soul is hard when you have a life of subtle infractions; a palm reader once told me I was exhausted by the age of two and she really had nothing else to sell me so her motives were pure;  it rang true;  and the invisible fracture finally broke through like renegade  quarks in Iowa. I also lost my virginity in Iowa; virginity proper, proper Christian wholesome definition; this whole piece of my life is going on stage; it just popped in my noggin and I’ve been in my apartment all weekend recovering from an intestinal cleanse, a sexy romp with the bathroom and I am depleted this evening. I can’t hear colors. If I can’t hear colors, I’m out of it.

I did see Hugo this evening and my favorite parts were clips of ingenuity from the French filmmaker on whose works the film revolves. What a genius and what excitement that his wife was and actress and his muse and they went into business together and bought a glass house that became their studio.  When I have more energy I’m sure I’ll have latent gushings of longing and love for a life like that; I am a romantic; I am a realist; I am a filmmaker with a vision of creating a similar life; it reminds me that every project, for me, must be large and sense-engulfing and viscerally intelligent; I have begun my first novel, titled Point of Venus and I have picked it up and put it down which I’m finding very challenging with this medium because I forget what details have been revealed and I don’t want to repeat to contradict myself. I wish to honor my characters, especially Lona, the main ‘protagonist’ if you’re into storytelling jargon. I may start posting bits of it here.

Good night.  My left eye is already closing.

The words beat the music by a blinding headwind

I’ve always known I would write. In 4th grade and 6th grade I was chosen to go to Young Author’s Conference while living in Indiana; both stories were about orphan boys looking for homes; I’m adopted;  psych majors can ring me up for a last minute term paper on that one;  I have them printed already  $49.95 and I’ll commit typos so it looks authentic.

In 6th grade I wrote a story in class called ‘A Future Christmas’.  In this modern upgrade, Santa in the future, around 2030 I think, was stressed because his elves were on strike, Mrs. Claus had died the prior year from a stroke, he was a sugar junkie  drowning in pancakes and I think Rudolph was having some health issues.  Looking back, if my kid wrote that, I’d send him to Tommy’s Holiday Camp immediately or at least have a good cry and seek Buddhist intervention;  the story is laying around somewhere; I’ll transcribe it as it as profound and prophetic as the book of Exodus.

Over the years as I have cracked open again and again writing has always been there but over the last few years music has gained some turf in the inner life real estate of my soul.  I wish I was a lot better of a musician but we are where we are. I seem to want to do everything, like many artists;  I do know the first four titles of my my albums once I can get the music out of me without driving up sales of ear plugs in my building;  this is exciting and flips me back to the times of LP when album art covers were part of the music experience.  Itunes has put a big petrified poop on that. So now, on the pre dawn dusk before filming the promotional trailer for Frenemies, I want to compose the music.  And this is where I get amazed at how naive I can be in life; when I look around sometimes I feel the world is ten years ahead of me, like going through the excitement of recording a song; of making a living at acting; of expressing the wonderment of being in love like a five year old at Disney World; I like that as a person and artist because it keeps life fresh; keeps expression in its own flavor.  So with music I feel like a three year old who has just seen a puppy for the first time; I want to pull its tail and poke its butt; that’s me and music;  I am amusing combination of naivete and wisdom that when they grind, I end up running naked outside my apartment or similar such tremor.

I am a lousy patient; I don’t like being under the weather;  I’m already moody as the surface of Mars dipped in the Atlantic Ocean so making me sick stretches my moods like taffy and everything gets exaggerated or shrunk according to where the virus sits in my blood stream; I have energy and yet I am forced to be idle. I watch TV. There’s a religious channel on my cable and every once in a while when flipping I see ‘Defending Life’ (which is about strategies for pro-lifers to push their agenda and bug the shit out of unsuspecting uteruses) and I get excited and switch to it because I mistake it for ‘Defending Your Life’, the Albert Brooks comedy from the 1990’s which I love. I fall for it every time; I may call Cablevision and have them block the channel. That and all news channels.  I have not been paying attention to the 2012 election cycle, which began in 2006 it seems, or 1914, depending on your point of view.  It seems, from quotes I read from some of the (Republican) candidates, we’re dealing with complete sociopaths and/or morons. Harrowing. Starting to feel sick again…

 

Yoda Penetrated

I bought an artificial Christmas tree, something I said I would never do.   Last year a friend of mine fed me grief pellets through my shame cage for buying real trees, dressing their corpse in decorations for a couple of weeks and then tossing it in the trash with old cabbage.  Now I have a fake tree, an AI tree if you will; RU bot or not?

On the phone with me friend who gave me a Yoda puppet as a gift, I was playing with the little green zen machine when I placed him at the top of my machine tree where the angel or star usually goes and with about six inches of plastic covered tree wire inside him, I swear there’s a smile crept across his face;   who better to inaugurate the yuletide season that an anally penetrated Yoda feeling young again?  I say no better way.

I have been detoxing all day, as I have been under the weather after eating ‘food’ like pizza and french fries while home last week. Usually I call this the ‘mystical flu’; I don’t have congestion or cough or a fever; I just have a cryptic disequilibrium that causes me to feel chronically ill;  this is a mild case; it used to knock me out for weeks; as my stomach and being have become more sensitive, going back to french fries can take a toll, and right now I am sort of awake, waiting for a revelation or two as happens when the mystical flu grabs me;  I see something, have a single clarity that could only bee seen surrounded by fog;  I’d rather wake up tomorrow and feel completely renewed and to hell with revelation. I’ll do that next week. I want to sleep but right underneath I can feel myself wrestling with wants and their authenticity and place in my life and body and invisible body;

getting dizzy…good night London.

With Just a Dash of Suicide….

One of the worst jobs that ever had me, and as an artist all jobs are at best a nuisance and mostly a time gobbler, was at Kaiser Permanente, the health insurance company out in California. KP’s corporate office was in Oakland and for four almost unbearable months I commuted from the very west of San Francisco to Oakland.  I started the same day as this sweet Chinese woman who looked like she could crack under a falling leaf.  My manager was named Kitty; she was five feet and getting shorter by the hour and reminded me of Holly Hunter if she never realized her true life path and went into health insurance.   She was a soccer mom.  And after a few lonely weeks there I realized the place was overrun with soccer moms.  My office did have a door;  for a consultant that’s the equivalent of getting to urinate in the King’s chamberpot and even get some on the floor without worrying about it.  There were boxes filled with supplies, including a woman’s sweater. Kitty mentioned it was the last consultant’s materials; take what I need;  free rummage sale.

After a few weeks another of the soccer moms came up to me and chatting about the woman that was here before me, said, circa 1956,
“DId you hear what happened to her?”
“No, I don’t talk to anybody.”
“Well, about a year ago she checked into a motel down the street, took a shotgun, and killed herself.”  Soccer soccer soccer.

Ten seconds later I went to Kitty’s office and demanded she get all of her personals out of my office. Kitty changed colors and got defensive and at that point I realized that health care offices are not for the sensitive and caring individual who needs healing.  A few weeks later I saw my Chinese friend and her face was red and she was almost in tears because she was so miserable. Her boss was this guy who looked like Major Dad gone fascist (I interviewed with him and at some point I expected him to pull out a chocolate schwastika and offer me a bit while complaining about women).  I felt for her. She was working for am misogynist and she was female.

A couple of weeks after this the admin there, who seemed functional and friendly, started talking to me about religion and the power our Jesus Christ, nay superpowers, and giving me a pamphlet on such foodstuffs.  I said literature, DH Lawrence, was my religion.  I should have tried to make out with her and got fired on the spot.  It would have saved me another month.

About four months into this, the Other Soccer Mom once again approached me and once again, circa ’56, said “Oh, did you hear what happened?”
“No, unless we’re discussing Jesus and you have pamphlets, I don’t talk to anybody.”
“Oh, well, the girl who killed herself last year; her boyfriend works two floors below us and last week he went down to the same hotel, took a shotgun and killed himself.”

A day later I made my recruiter buy me lunch and almost in tears told him I quit. Kaiser Permanente….our name is your address.

The reason this sprung to mind is that in my current gig a few months ago one of the consultants suddenly died. Nobody says why or how and yet she was a fixture on the floor; I had just spoken on the phone with her a couple of weeks before; now I am looking through some of her old materials; it’s an eerie thing, like a geyser with a lighthouse built on  it ready to blow,  as far as scrubbing the psyche of corporate America clean; subtle invisible psychic punishments are hard to spot and easy to cover…for a while.  I guess we’ll see.

Back in my drug days, at the lowest point of my life since ninth grade, sitting there getting high with my girlfriend there was a point where a line appeared, a floating line of sand from some hourglass measuring my life in time and it dared me to cross it; and part of me wanted to die and wanted to take too much of what I had for a few reasons but I wanted to kill myself at that point and didn’t.  It’s a damned six dimensional miracle that I didn’t die in that scenario but since then, there’s been a grappling with what I call facing your own suicide.  For me, it’s been a grappling over the years; not killing myself in a physical sense, but a suicide built on some spiritual ending; then I realize suicide is just death with poor taste in fashion and that it’s really about walking through your own death;  it’s a shaman’s call and it’s a terrifying relief and liberation.  Crumbling towards ecstasy I suppose.

Ah, and last night I dreamt three Muslim men were holding me captive; I tried to smart off and one grabbed me by the face and I think had a gun; then another older man with a woman came in concealing a gun to help me. The Muslim men did not treat the woman well but the older gentlemen shot the leader, who I think was sitting.   Well there it is.

 

 

 

 

The hummingbirds inside the evergreens

Back in New York time which is three clocks stuffed inside one as my brain re-acclimates and puts all the thought monkeys back on the treadmills; I will say, coming back from a week in suburban Pittsburgh that I am glad to bobble in the sea of beautiful women that seem to flock in the dozens in my Brooklyn neighborhood and in Manhattan though they’re slightly different kinds of beauty; I appreciate both.  When in Pittsburgh I looked around in a store and was amazed at how extreme the ages were; either in Medicare’s crinkly grasp or fifteen years old.   It was good to see my family, good to drive a car, good to experience the Warhol museum; one thing I didn’t know was that he was a devout Catholic;  while walking the halls I realized that sometimes creating art is a form of outrunning large shadows from birth  that feel built by institutions like religion that borrow pieces of your soul as mortar and brick and wild plastics and soon you can’t tell what you believe or what has been believed for you;  for me, Catholicism is a large shadow that is always in danger of swallowing me at the last minute, waiting at the gates near the feet of my soul when it all opens up like a planetarium on a night full of busy skies;  that was my permeating thought; art sometimes can be outrunning a plastic shadow or taking back what was borrowed from your soul and creating a fashionable Frankenstein of yourself; sex and fashion are two pieces, latent and waiting, together perhaps, to feed my life a high impact diet;  I love colors and my favorite piece of Andy Warhol’s were some sketches he had done using serpents as the theme and shapes. I would rather feel the large hunkering shadow and fight than walk around with a blind spot sponsored by the Vatican.

A few thoughts and wishes:
-I look forward to making money making art  so my dad can stop asking me when I’m going to make money making art.  I can understand but I also realize compromise is not on the menu, dine-in or take out;

-I sometimes hit these oil slicks of self hatred and try to get it cleaned up before someone else stumbles on it because I don’t want to have someone else to have to wade the tarry waters; then I think maybe her hands are the hands meant to hold the water and punish the bruises out of it and maybe I can do the same for her;

-I realize I have a great capacity for suffering but that as the mouth of joy opens wider so does this kind of new suffering, what I call Romantic Noble Suffering, where the pain of separation becomes some sort of melted starlight that poses nude in my blood and demands for me to wait, to wait humbly in purity for as long as my heart holds guard;  the harsh combination of becoming emotionally ready and self accepting with this mystical tonic of sexual harmonics that together make me wonder what Love is, what being human means and when does cruelty between Man and Woman melt into mere poetic love and hate in a calmness swung on vines hanging from two bodies. Somewhere here on this nutty orb there is someone who enjoys surfing on a ball of Mars hidden seas;  if so, I’m your man.

Professionally, here comes Frenemies…..