settling into my vacation

. . . all the
gears spitting us out each day
time cards
stupid smoke breaks
racist radio shows
top 40
trivia, back stabbing
nastiness, hypocrisy . . .

It is cold enough out to be snowing, probably cold enough in here, too. We’re all bundled up on this Thanksgiving day which I don’t want to be reminded of, but everyone, if with simply mad footsteps tumbling down the stairs – in that busyness they enjoy so much when parents are in town or they’re out the door to see them – it’s enough. Turkey day, they call it. Have a happy one. It never fails to make me, as a vegetarian, sick to my stomach just to think about it, how a country in a time ready to bring family and friends together and count up their rights, privileges, and blessings, alternately, is so ready, so quick, to thoughtlessly chop off another living being’s head and put it across the table’s spread as a symbol of pride and celebration, as if this is another one of their privileges, and even an event they have been waiting all year for, to claim something righteous about themselves – especially if a punk jumps up to stomp that spirit out. They defend, for the life of them, all their death, the mass trucking, mass packaging. Forget the idea of tofu grossness, they say. What kind of holiday is that, without that, without that real bird on the table, who deserves it anyway?, because we’re American and the natives, with us, had some, too – at least in the beginning.

I come along and say, no, check me out at the register with a few items and I will wait at home for it to snow all around our building while I spend hours reading and reading like a madman with some sense left in his head.

We run into this couple we know, they’re standing in this crowded supermarket line waiting to look surprised to see us. Oh, it’s you guys. Yes, us. Here we are. There you are, what do you know? What’s going on? Their basket contains one of those beer bricks. It seemed to be mocking us, saying, “This is where the real party is going on. You two, you two go and play checkers or something. Good luck with that.” Casey plays role of the diplomat in these situations when I feel too disgusted to talk, and she jokes, lightens everything up, and before you know it, time enough has passed that I can say oh look at the time, how brutal is the time!, you can hardly blame us for wanting to move along now, go have yourself a happy fucking butchering and don’t think about anything else for a split second between your football commercials and Nelly songs.

What an enjoyable day, on that note – spending all of it in doors, cleaning the dishes up and down, taking naps, reading, working on the computer, the smell of her cake, the warmth of bed whenever I wanted it. Three more days, too, I can hardly believe it. Such a happy shock to the system. Just a week ago I was getting home from work, ready to bust into a million little pieces for all the things I had to put up with that day, just one little thing was ready to set me off into some unknown direction. When it did, suddenly the big blue bean bag chair on the bed became my punching bag for the next few minutes while I shot downward at it with undisciplined fists, a child’s tantrum, a grown man’s losing it, a decent into monstrous revenge, leading me still to tears before a bathroom mirror, punching the wall, ending it there. I had trouble sleeping on my sides for days after that. My arms have been so sore since then. I’m hoping soon for it to be gone, like a bad job in the south on crack!

Much of the day has been spent reading James Baldwin. If things go simple like that, I’ll have a nice vacation on my hands.


sick season

I don’t want to ignore this, whatever it is that I may need to get better. I’m not well. to hell with the flu – I’ve got something worse. it’s scaring the shit out of me. I really think I’ve got good potential for losing it. anger is getting the best of me. it’s almost like I’ve crossed that line already, fevered like Raskolnikov. I can’t handle my job and therefore can’t handle winter. the favoritism is heartening. my boss, this lady, goes out with one of my co-workers, and the other one is her brother. me and the other guy are under the gun. we want to take the disciplinary forms from the cabinet and make paper air planes out of them. I’m to the point where I don’t care who reads this any more.

I’m sure I’m no fun to be around these days. I don’t have anything to say to anybody. it’s just that there’s no one to really talk to around here. books provide the best company. my journal can last me a good bit, too; it’s just a matter of sticking with it regularly. and I have to push myself to keep the pen moving and not let up. stream of consciousness, free writing, whatever you want to call it. when I get home, something my wife says might set me off – she’s not always innocent, but neither am I. I won’t apologize for myself lately, because I have a feeling these are the small insults and a big one is on the horizon. that could be too much drama television in me predicting that. but with money the way it is, I can feel myself about to snap. my mental health is not what it should be.

rant the workman’s woes
sleep on broken glass
wake up hopeless and
full of curses
lungs scarred and

keep saying
make the best
of things
when you meet
tell them
of the good
things in
come here and
you get the
dose of
problems for real

feeling special
especially now
like the
big day
was yesterday
and today
was an all right day
but tomorrow
is what stands

note about
toxic anxiety:
if you’re not
what troubles
you at work
winds up
poisoning you
your enemies
start manifesting
from within

I want to really love and be in love and feel like a real human being and concentrate on each sentence I read with dedication and passion for life. people with guns and military fervor and nothing else to say but, “where do I sign?” have got me ill in the way the walls present their most putrid colors, and if words could kill and death would come as that last flavor, it would be in that ashtray of a building where everything smells of smoke and toilet stalls unflushed and written on, with the light bulbs faded out. collapsing to the floor is the body doing the soul a favor.

morning notes

it is beautiful out there, looking out the window. I’m grateful for the indoors, though; I need some warmth and something to eat. then I can read, and maybe write something. waking up early, I never feel all that on top of the world, with my congested chest, my disoriented stumble across the wooden floors, the bright lights coming on around me.

it feels good to be out of the shower and wearing fresh clothes. I hope when I go into work in a little bit that I can focus on everything coming at me. Mondays are always rough like that, because it’s a jolt to the system. you enjoy your freedom over the weekend and again have to return to the slavery for a whole new string of days. this goes on and on and on. it’s enough to severely fuck up a person. and it does. I feel above it sometimes, but I have to wonder, just by how much.

asthma session

It’s an overused, I know, but when I have asthma like this, I feel like an animal backed into a corner. You work a man to death and then you starve him of food, deprive him of sleep. Being poor and getting any kind of health care means getting pushed through winding lines and at the end of it only receiving more anti-biotics.

hot tea
going down
to soothe
the troubled
please o’please
work a
magic miracle
restore me to my
for just
a few more

In the night a hail storm smacked up against our window. A guy comes to the door and gives us his spiel. I have no money and have to turn him away, which is all right, since I’m having to turn myself away these days, too. Going without.

even the tea this time around will not stop the wheezing. I’ll try to get some sleep anyway.

the plan is to outperform everyone there and be fired for that shit.

more tea
late at night
I tossed and turned
in bed early until
it became late
I started coughing
then got up and
boiled some water
if I give myself something
to do for a little bit
maybe I’ll get tired
and the sleep will come

anger acts
as a magnifying glass
killing ants
on a child’s
chalked up driveway

Radiohead is working on their new album, predicted to come out around March next year (near my birthday). I’ll be turning 30 then. I don’t get it how someone could not be into Radiohead. it’s beyond me.

what about the Misfits? they’re still around, but not really, not to me. not without Danzig. what about Danzig? Danzig is still rockin’ it. I’ve only heard good things about the new album, that it’s really heavy. soon it’ll be coming in the mail. at work I like to listen to really hard and psychotic music because the pop culture coming through the radio there is like water torture. on Friday I was listening to The Hope Conspiracy. very nice the way 108 ripped it. might was well add some Nerve Agents to that, and Son of Sam. all of this helps me to concentrate and get through my work. working through the hours and barely socializing at all, that’s my formula. be a good employee because the pain of being faulted is tremendous. work harder than anyone there. be in the earliest, plan everything out like you’ve got a blueprint and your planting a bomb up in the heat ducts. the music is my connection to my past, present, and future – my roots in punk rock, hardcore, straightedge, DIY, vegetarianism, the underground, and so on.

listening to music in bed can sometimes keep me up. I started out with Run DMC’s “Raising Hell.” Proud to Be Black finished up and I was still awake. I put on a Radiohead mix and for the next hour and a half remained very emotional. now the rain is falling and I’m remembering authors like James Baldwin, his book Giovanni’s Room, and The Fire Next Time. Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. and Crime and Punishment.

I’m pretty upset over the Run DMC news of Jam Master Jay’s death last week – I really don’t know what I could possibly say about it. I just wish it would be taken seriously in the media. If they’re going to cover the story, do it with respect and some class, don’t include it in your “cheese and sleaze” section. if you must, please do us all a favor and afterwards go out and bang your head in with a hammer until we see some jelly.

that bell in Peter Piper throughout the first song is just so awesome. I remember when I heard that as a little kid. there was nothing like it at the time. on sick days I’d have that album cranked up. when I “became” punk and adopted safety pins, thinking their was no room for it, I winged that cassette out the window. painful to think of that now. in “becoming,” I threw around the house one of my first cds: U2’s “The Joshua Tree.” I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. probably not much, immature little brat that I was.

of course
of course
no horses or
swimming pools
for you
what’s this –
I hear of
another plane
always install
your seatbelt
welcome back from
your vacation
you’re fired
well now how
do you like that?
goes to show ya!
enough butter
on your popcorn
now they call it
movie theater butter
I have plain old
regular popcorn
for dinner and
go to bed
I’m sorry if that
offends you
I’m amused if
that offends you
what is it when
you start to take
these lyrics seriously
they say, “this guy takes
himself too seriously.”
I say you’re a louse.
I don’t care what
you think about it.
I’m through with
defending myself
to a brick wall
drive and
pray for no accidents
no more accidents
just good non-violent
food with friends and family
on any old day of the year
because really
how many
do we have left?

I say it is winter right now and you say the other thing. sure, 70 degrees now, wait a few minutes.

it’s a strange night lying back on the bed like this trying to read while my wife is sleeping, and the cats are sleeping, and the whole world, for that matter, is sleeping and leaving me to myself, alone. left alone, sad ideas, strong ideas, take birth revolutionizing my self-center, thanks alone to this book in my cold hands.

the way the author pushes the ink through the pages, I accustom my eye to the flow and I can go faster, cover more ground. the more sense it all makes to me the deeper I go. as I read I write out in my head my own paragraphs.

this man, the author, is my friend – I will defend him for all the things he’s shown me. I want to search down people like this and share with them some winter quality Philadelphia.

word history

From American Heritage Dictionary: The obscenity fuck is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first, though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first known occurrence, in code because of its unacceptability, is in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, “Flen flyys,” from the first words of its opening line, “Flen, flyys, and freris,” that is, “fleas, flies, and friars.” The line that contains fuck reads “Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk.” The Latin words “Non sunt in coeli, quia,” mean “they [the friars] are not in heaven, since.” The code “gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk” is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then and now: i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and vv was used for w. This yields “fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli.” The whole thus reads in translation: “They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge].”

early morning notes

for two days now I’ve been waking up around 5am. it gives me so much time to do all the stuff I want to do – write, read, listen to music, news, etc. – and it’s nice to be awake like this several hours before work. getting to see the sun rise is an additional bonus. I really hope it gets a little warmer, as forecasted.

my body is trembling
from lack of food
I try to focus on
taking better care
of myself
to even out
how I’m being hit
with the lower modes
of nature at work
a lot of negative emotions
in that office
ten minutes left.
all for now.

I woke up in West Virginia during a thunderstorm. we lit fuses and put firecrackers in the hollow pipes of clothes lines. I will do this several more lifetimes before I bring myself to vote.

just a few notes before bed. I’m definitely inspired to write more, since I’m reading more. just a few pages a day is something. I will be writing out page after page – just as I’ve been doing. the years have treated me well in that way.

I’ll get in bed with my headphones on and think over whatever comes to me. unfortunately, I have unresolved issues to deal with; and the nightmares come.

being trapped in a job is no fun. you can tell by the expression on someone’s face just what kind of job they’re working, if it’s terrible or not. some say it’s irony. it’s either irony, or karmic. you work this 40 hour sacrifice to get by, to pay off all the bills, to keep the lights on, the heat on, put food on the table; later you find it’s not enough, that you’re *not* getting by, you’re still struggling and worrying and losing it.

close your eyes. done. but they’re sore, all of me is sore!
sick of it.
when I was a kid I sat on the hood
of my first car
looking out onto the street
thinking what a harsh world this is
thinking about what I was up against
today I thought about old people
in Florida
that can barely get it together
to vote
because their bodies
are breaking down so severely
they can’t really concentrate.
they pull out into the road without
even looking
they see nothing there
they fall backwards.

I guess I would like some relief. I could use some intense, real happiness these days, something more substantial. I have my humor and cynicism that go for a good while, but down in my soul, at that level, I think I need to do more. pray. write. those things.

whatever happens – happiness, misery, I’ll be here through all of it, accompanying you as World War III, the war of our lives, wages on.

the adventure is always up ahead of you. you make your home into an absolute turmoil. everything y

I’m sitting sipping late night raspberry tea to calm the asthmatic phlegm. it’s something I’m beginning to accept as a ritual. the same goes for work. soon the whole Monday morning sacrifice will crawl up and dig in its claws. she laughs and calls it exaggeration. it’s to get the pin man’s eyes stabbed out once and for all. I feel less innocent. I start wishing ill on them. supply me advice if you can. save me from the rage in me boiling up over the bad luck days.

it felt good tonight lying in bed reading Henry Miller and the first few pages of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. puzzle pieces started fitting.

fit your
into place
make sense
of your mind
and soul
sell out
in the
name of
your thirst

I am coughing
up late like this
my wife up
the cats are
practicing some
serious destruction
back and forth
from bedroom
to kitchen
innocent little
the smaller with
so much energy
and the larger
sheltered with me
on the pillow . . .
I bat the bunny rabbit
away when he comes to
bother us

NPR: San Francisco has
a 200 car pile up;
Alaskan earthquake
expect more.

my small sentences
add up with the
claw marks on the
tops of my hands and
fun domestic wars
Miller in the 20’s
pages I read
these grown men
behaving like children
confused like children too
writing and speaking well
rabid tangents in Europe
rich women in hotels who will
listen, push away
dried up husbands
run off to new countries
let it all go to hell –
dispense with you!
we will eat fresh pastries
and enjoy existence
to the last drop!
these figures fall over
as if they were propped up
against the wall
for a long time collecting dust
(dust is not fodder)
sliding sliding . . . thunk.
then biodegrade into the earth.

always on the verge of
but when will it
take flight and happen?
one needs more of
a worldly know-how
an adult gets a business
license and opens up a shop
what’s my equivalent as
an earnest writer?
who would I write for?
how would it all make sense? where would I collect my check? would I tour? would I have an agent? would it be more fun doing stand up comedy? should I merge writing skills with other talents to do bigger things? has America stopped reading?

the adventure is always up ahead. I think you’re wretched. maybe you’re reading into this. simply that you’re altogether wretched, mindless, and unoriginal. all your jokes are recycled over and over. to be around you makes me cringe. you show your true self in no time. most of all, I hate how you don’t care about anything.

this whole paragraph was . . . I can turn it back on myself. I hate you. I hate you. watch me bash my own skull into the siding of the house and the neighbors can come along with a hose later and spray everything into the storm drain. look deep within. look into it.

my head is spinning. the concerns are basic. I work for you and help your damn company make so much money; I simply ask that I be taken care of. why, after all the hours I put in, should I be short on rent, bills, dinner, books I want to buy? what kind of life is that, with socks wearing out, knees torn out of my pants from the constant wear?

I’m glad not to be sitting out in the cold. we have shelter from the harsh winds and rain, also snow, sleet, ice. we get to sleep in beds and type slash / / marks / / / / / as much as we want. the internet guarantees there will be at least one reader. and tea is ready if I can’t sleep.