a movie-going young man

was crying by
the time they
rolled the trailers

black ink
strong on a
blank page
the room we
sleep in
Thoreau says:
“I can’t believe
how their idle
sitting does
not lead them
to suicide. they
deserve some credit”
walks in Rock Creek Park
a temple effect

sun all over my face. don’t walk around without shoes all over a dirty city. hammer to bash self into pieces while alone. ignorance. om mani padme hum.

can’t make enough money to live here. splotched hands. bad reaction to something. sun on the steering wheel.

latch, attach, latch onto. new desire is hatched. likes and dislikes. this awkwardness of not being with people. feeling like the village idiot. I’m sitting here wondering if I should be wearing a different mask. disconnected. who is this guy? busses flash by. I should adventure outdoors to keep awake because I’m yawning, or adventure down the page, just one more, one more. we’re all threatened by different things. most of it amounts to very little, in truth.

she is ready for hardcore shopping. shop and drop. don’t stop. shopping stamina.

spend entire lifetime trying to be yourself or someone else. many armor themselves from others. I’m looking for that open door that seems to be closed.
but when you’re alone you can write!!!

was this man annoyed by the two attractive girls who were slow to understand what he was saying to them? they threw their “charm” around and made everything better. typicals. she said she was willing to provide the eye candy. he drove from Maryland to get a pack of Now or Laters.

a self
to hate itself

MHH (my hip hurts)

move in, move out. strangers on a train. journals on a train. this just feels assigned on here. I’d like to tell you that the sun is strong today and there are so many people all about. I’ve forgotten what it’s like here. my early arrival has me sitting on the ground outside the theatre. a friend has lost himself to depression and I no longer hear from him. I should nevertheless continue sending him letters.

not “hope you survive” but “hope you live a full life.” ink advice. ink talk is easier. bridge to outside world. me mean meander me and her heralder newspaper boy singing outside edges rooting for teams a mold a people. I was born to write in DC on a train on the edge of thin sanity.

sit down, abide your time in the written word. whatever can be in it. I’m sitting at this bench behind McDonalds in Silver Spring. my pen is sauntering. the smell of chicken wafts in the breeze. I can see that people themselves are being handled, not cared for. as I make it to this next page, I’m trying to explain it better. you’re sometimes born into the middle of some serious struggle like a lung struggles to make it to its next inhalation and exhalation. what you get easily in life is usually not the real thing. harsh realities, cruelties, gun fire, theft, are rampant. a guy wants to carry his food and coffee without being kicked face down onto the sidewalk, or something even worse. a couple walk home together. man crosses the street looking down pressing numbers into his cell phone. two people walk on the white paint. bus driver continues from where he left off yesterday. Ride On/Metro. I would swim at the Holly Hall apartments with my dad. my swimming remains probably more than half of what it should be. I try at times to get into someone else’s business. others try to get in mine. so often they talk down condescendingly, but I don’t look up to them like they’re standing on something higher or in the sense that they have achieved something monumentally worthy! this means there is a clash of “who-are-yous?” who are you? who are you? no, I asked you first. I mean, who are you really? I mean, I thought you said . . .

15 years ago we were in that building across the street, a pharmacy where Derek got caught steeling something like a piece of candy, or double A batteries for his Walkman. that building is hallowed out now and being destroyed. something bigger and better to replace it. “gangs” walking by. one kid has a yo-yo to swing around and cap people’s teeth out.

Stage Fright was a great movie. in the lobby I was nervous and said, “Hi, can you sign this to Glenn?” she did this silently, taking some extra time to write out her last name, “Hitchcock.” as she wrote this, I added in, “thank you so much.” getting an autograph from someone in general is just an awkward thing. I could have said things like, I drove 4 hours, I really admire you, I’m reading your beginning chapters . . . but none of that is easy.


quiet, unedited notes being submitted to a worldwide audience (and still not nervous)

good to be back. went to DC over the weekend and I’m just rolling back into the practice of writing in electronic form. the return to DC meant a reintroduction to writing “physically” on the train. it is good practice. also a reunion with old friends, congestion (traffic), and the summer bustle of a big city with a larger populace (giving the NYC vibe: “a city that never sleeps”). my good friend Derek was incredibly generous in letting Casey and I take over his apartment, giving us the key while he stayed both Friday and Saturday nights with his girlfriend, Chantal.

both nights saw two Hitchcock movies at the Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. phenomenal. Hitchcock’s daughter Patricia was there and I got her autograph. this woman is brilliant. she took the stage at the end of each movie and spoke with the President of the theatre and answered questions from the audience. an incredible moving going experience, as they say. it made the entire trip, as I anticipated.

in the short moments that I spent with Derek, I felt incredibly non-verbal. “Roanoke has made me inarticulate! please don’t tell me this is what you’re thinking!” this was sort of going through my mind. Derek is sort of the life-of-the-party type of guy. this had me thinking a lot where I fit into the picture, if at all. non-verbal is the best way of putting it. a few jokes here and there, but really offering no substantial food for thought, or whatever, even now.

writing out things like . . . all the people around me have more interesting lives and ideas. of course my nightmares are more alive and twisted. this is quite a safe bet. you will beat me at Connect Four, but if we compare dreamscapes, you will be floored. you can talk to the hand on that one and not even go there.

a change of scenery, I guess, has me off kilter. D. and I got to talking about Buddhism and meditation. early on in the conversation I realized that I wasn’t going to say to much about it – because who am I? I could see that he was much more in touch, his life much more “fluid,” for the lack of a better word. though he doesn’t practice “Buddhism”, I could tell he had much to teach me about the essence of Buddhism, lived well there in the heart of Adam’s Morgan. and Chantal, his girlfriend, for that matter. I oberved this is just walking around with them. amazing how all over DC people would walk up to them and say hello. “this is my friend, Glenn.” he’s pretty much non-verbal.

how about
I be a bird
I’ll settle for
bird seed I say-chirp
I will
avoid cats
and unskillful thoughts
but still read
look down
from telephone wires
accounts of
Alma Hitchcock
the woman behind the man
her contributions
her cooking
her splicing film together
her meeting Alfred
for the first time

please don’t
be ill-at-ease with me
if I say nothing
of my lackhouse burning
for the first, second, and third time
that will
probably suit me
just fine
you notice that
even for a bird
I sing

fear of the unknown, panic, danger in the woods, comfort that ice cream brings in summer, the desire to be scared.

running to the ice cream truck
what do you have for me?
a frog, young man
fat frog with m&m eyes
okay, I’ll
take it
how could I not?

running through the woods
throwing rocks
we would
amass as many
as possible
build forts
out of trees
that we could bend down

some of our parents would
not pay
for a pool membership
we were the
kids in the woods
behind the place

but we were afraid
of that old house
off in the distance
at the edge of the woods
dated white paint flaking off
there was a rumor
that a mailman
went into that house
and was never seen
coming back out
and a man
once who walked the
woods with viscous
dogs was said
to have come
from that house

my mother told me
a story that she and her
friend were stopped
by a man after school one day
going along a path
they managed to get past him
but two weeks later
another girl
was killed by that
same trail
by then they were
already taking
the long way around

sometimes we can
not to be
so efficient
what do you think?

1 o’clock
the fan

save yourself
the trouble
admit you have to fall in

adding up the small moments and getting lighter

stunned stopped
in place
cover my
face in shame
can’t utter
my own name
the game is
I help myself
the center
of a new mess
serving up
a new drama
and what,
I’m going to
read this drab
at a poetry reading?
“this one’s for you stewart.”

tonight the tumbleweed rolls through.

to the next hour, if you really want to know the truth. I can type faster, if that’s what it takes, too. when the shower head constantly pops out, I now take it differently. I think of it as “service to the community” that I shut the water off patiently and reattach the hose. why attach it with all this malice? it simply will not hold. as I said, the anger begins within the self.

on the road, that’s where I’m having some challenges. 15 cars in front of me drive 25 miles an hour. so enjoy the scenery. I can go ten rounds. that means I have to write ten rounds. more than ten rounds. classified as a loser according to what I do with my Friday or Saturday night, treating them like Sunday nights. my work ethic is so strong it’s not a work ethic, it’s a work biscuit.

doesn’t even matter if music is playing in the background any more. I’ll pour the words out till I lose my humanity, I might have been human for too long anyway. everything is energy. I go right through it like Neo in the end of the first Matrix. energy, digital or otherwise. no mind? no problem. washing dishes is not a problem. it is simply a flurry of hand movement, or in slow motion. then, all-knowing one, take the same attitude for cleaning up each room. okay, it’s like this. I need to scheme something more workable according to where we can put dirty clothes. as for now, they’re thrown into a gigantic pile. that’s the only “problem” really. other things clutter the place a lot less. but the pile, the pile grows and grows and crowds space. I can’t even bring the chair into the room any more.

I don’t want this to be a struggle in the sense that I’m trying to get to something “out there.” I want to realize that I’m already there.

next paragraph parachute doesn’t open. I’m falling for awhile, which feels great. but as I get closer to the ground, I start to panic a little. now I’m getting a little closer – I am beginning the transformation of soiling my britches a bit. I’m about to hit.

chute 2: back in the day, I’d send prank telegrams. is your refrigerator running? please check yes or no. if so, you better run and catch it. I invented that shit. bet you didn’t realize that. checking calibrations.

a good night for

harmony damper. no, don’t do that. don’t put a damper on some good harmony. it is a good night. sit down for a few minutes and listen to this Bob Marley record. it’ll do you some good. sit down for a few minutes no matter what. this is a live wire into another late hour. go ahead and ride it on through. rock this.

my two cats are fighting. the little one is growing up nicely. they love each other so much, despite the small daily rumbles.


translation for
that is:

now come on, why do I have to be so cruel? non-clarity is cruel to me. I am cruel to you for passing it on. that’s just the way it works. I’m humbled by it. a terrible host, thirty years of age, of course apologizing, and you, you saying, “make nothing of it.” okay, fuck you then. just kidding, just kidding, I assure you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me tonight. “well now you’re starting to push it a little bit. don’t take this friendship for granted.” I know, I know, you’re right. my mind is in the gutter today. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

is it because
I have so much time
feel like
to cover this up
I say we
should get
in the car for a drive
go buy some ice cream
water, orange juice
I will do all these things
read, watch some TV
maybe it will help

right now it hurts
what hurts?
that wife
in my mind.
that drama
in my mind.
that rejection slice
of pie
that I so love
to imagine,
that clouds.
that is
not even there!

yes, that

the power
drops out
I throw myself
onto the bed
faced down
day glowing
a hurt


1 of 2
I think I kissed this guy’s girlfriend in last night’s dream. he was pretty pissed at me. we were in a public bathroom and he smashed the back of my head on a sink. it was the worst pain I had ever felt. I was on the floor feeling this pain, this lump the size of an apple starting to rise in my forehead and moving down. as this guy laughed at me, it started moving further down through my nose, moving, moving, reaching the tip of my nose. then it bursted. there was blood all over the floor. all over the tiles. we both looked closely and there were parts of my nose there drained of all color, looking like seafood. he stopped laughing. he didn’t mean to mess me up this bad.

2 of 2
not really sure what I did to you for you to do such a thing to me. I’m all over the floor right now, thinking about dying, probably because I’m going to. I’m in a state of shock but still able to write this. I have a weird taste in my mouth. what reason could you possibly have? I hope someone will come and put a blanket around me and hold me against the ground until the ambulance comes. please don’t let them put me on a stretcher. I don’t want to be put on a stretcher. a small crowd gathers about 10 feet from me. they look horrified. a few children are crying and are told to run home. I can barely move. everything is turning white. don’t let them put me on a stretch . . .

Glenn Burns
1973 – 2003

an entry

remember when . . . the sentence ends. next train of thought. then the next. a coca-cola bottle cap. in other words, nothing. bigger things are happening out there. hidden things. the whispers slide in under the door. so n’ so won’t be here for much longer. let’s hope he enjoys his lunch. he said crass, fowl things. such big babies act like they got rabies.

infinite wisdom. I don’t want to wish ill. but can I sit still? I am with others in my first Roanoke sitting, one block over. my mind freaks out. the pain it takes to sit straight for 45 minutes is tremendous. but I come through. my will holds the hard work of it in one piece and then I go home, rest up for the next time. I keep making the mistake of putting so much hope in the next time.

writing session from the grand ballroom

you want a background? you got one. hazed photoshop noise, tint, backdropped. check. question, when can this be done? oh, it’s done right now. finished. stowaway. is it okay to collect stamps? what about coins? tell me the whole deal. what about MP3s? I download and listen later. inspired? I don’t hold my breath for it. comes as
like the . . .
health food store
about to open
directly across the
street from where I work
juice bar, everything!

I’m falling in
and out
of consciousness
the moment
rough edges
small kitten claws
blurry fast paws
pass gauze

yesterday, slept too much
woke up in laurel, md
in V. India
they exchanged my cash
and I bought ginger tea
for the first time
smashed the
clay cup against
the wall when I was done

I refuse to
do too much business
who is this guy?
dollar signs
in his handshake
falling out of
his cuff

when I heard in LA
they’re using hip hop
to teach 1st graders
reading, writing, and math
I thought, right on!
old business-type man
frowns on it
reads a poem outloud
“now that’s poetry”
what’s this guy’s problem

1. saw a rainbow the other day.
2. rained so hard we thought we’d be ripped right off the road.
3. this man speaks, they record his voice.
4. there is a junk drawer in every home.

how many records do you own? how much disc space do you have left? thread topics that never get posted by me.

get this: I’m trying to see all of this as my time. for ten years I’ve been seeing it like here’s work time, here’s personal time. the liberated mind doesn’t think like that. it might be a thick-headed aspiration, but time is time, it’s just a matter how you go through it. you are a variety of selves, you are just as well the next person, you are just as well yourself, self sane, til you bring duality to the table and kick and scream, burst at the seams, get it your way or now way at all, letting yourself go, heading for a fall, dropping the ball, tackled, shattered like a vase.

crisp bills flipping in the air. what’s for lunch today? I’m just a baby bird now with my beak open waiting for rainfall. I don’t hang around truck stops too often. joys come and go, depression clouds gather less. I’ve realized it’s not a chemical imbalance. the mind has its bad habits. brothers and sisters, thank you for your sage wisdom, for writing all these books, a daily pilgrimage for me. Dostoevsky has my head in the clouds of old Russia. Baldwin, Paris. Salinger, where are you, again? Holden was in New York, that prep school at a difficult age. if I thought I’d could do it, I’d write Holden a new set of adventures.

this woman drives by slowly, sticks her head out and asks me where the drop box is – thinking I work for Blockbuster. no mam, that’s next door. confused woman slowly gets the car back around there. it is amusing the way I easily get around town, while the others seem to be getting into some major disagreements with their vehicles. fist fights brutal! in D.C. you see traffic jams that really exist. Ronaoke pretends their traffic jams, tries to simulate what even an ordinary one might look like. in Roanoke you’ve got full turnoff ramps but empty highways! this is truly wondrous!

the sun coming out and me writing passing the time feeling good that I’m doing the right thing

Essentia water. feel your breast plate. clean the slate. my place in time is based less on events, more on a state of mind. that’s what’s going to help you, to read back and see truth of actual thoughts, not necessarily concrete “today we went to the county fair and in the first five minutes, it rained like a zombie attack.”

to pass some work time, I’m writing out entries:

today I was jumped on the playground. it means nothing to me now.
today I skated off the loading dock at the school down the street. though I didn’t land properly and splattered myself into the pavement pretty good and cried my damn head off, I’m going back tomorrow.
today I realized the girl I have a crush on crushes on someone else and there’s not a chance in hell for me.
today I became a vegetarian.
today my grandmother peaked in while I lie in my crib, almost asleep. ba ba ba.
my assignment today was to memorize my street address and home phone number. I go slower than the other kids, I think because I’m just not that interested and take too much of the negative social stuff to heart and dwell on it. my mind is elsewhere.
today I got another crush on a girl. I will probably develop multiple crushes. note: no one should know about this!!!
today I had my mouth washed out with soap.
today I skated off my first picnic table.
today I got a flat tire.
today I was put into the hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. they say I should stay a few days.
today I started getting more curious about punk rock.
today I got my first “real” job organizing boxes in a greeting card factory. I can tell it won’t be much fun.
today I met a nice girl named Millie. she’s in my gym class and we hang out and talk and flunk out while everyone plays basketball.
today I regretted some things.
today I said something the wrong way and it turned into something hurtful. my friend zips about and is hard to nail down. will I ever be able to explain . . .
today is another one of those days.
today I quit my job in such a grand way. immensely proud of myself, I am.
today out of many days, I cheated on my science test.
today I became a monk. I’ve lived here in Philadelphia for three months.
today I played my first video game. Atari is so amazing. I will rule on Space Invaders!
today I made out with this girl and wrote her English paper. because she asked me to.
today I had to get glasses.
today I drove around in my mom’s car unsupervised. 15 year olds like me are supposed to have a guardian – enough of those distractions.
today my mom and dad took me to see Star Wars here in Indiana. I want to become a Jedi so bad my kidney hurts.
today my dad told me he quit smoking because of me, because I told him I didn’t like it. I wonder if that’s the whole truth.
today my grandfather was put into a retirement home. my grandmother keeps saying how she should go in, too.
today was a good day to get married.
today I slept a full 24 hours. I think I’m going to die here in India. all I can think about is getting the hell back and eating my grandmother’s blueberry pancakes. Maharaja says soon we’ll fly to the east coast and stay on the beach of Puri, and it will be amazing. I hope I can regain my health.
today I went to this coffee house called Planet X and watched the poets. my friend Jason got up and read one of my poems because I have a sore throat. next week maybe I’ll break the ice.
today I was punched in the face six times. I came home and threw up about three times.
today was a good day for returning to chocolate.
today I was suckered by a rickshaw driver here and Puri. was chastised pretty severely by Maharaja. “I wasn’t thinking,” I said. “You don’t seem to be at all lately.” I feel like such an asshole.
today a front tooth got knocked back playing football across the street. I hate the dentist.
today the Fong boys continued teasing me about liking a girl I barely even know – “Eva K.” I will never like girls, ever!
today I told my dad I would shoot him when I got older. I’m going to become a cop and kill a lot of people.
today I climbed our tallest tree and got bug guts in my eyes.
today during soccer the ball knocked the wind out of me so hard I thought I was going to die right on the spot.
today I drove over to my girlfriend’s and received my first passionate kiss. it was amazing just short of sex!
today was Christmas and I got a pile of stuff, as usual. I am into Transformers and Coleco Vision.
today Chris got his forehead bashed open at a hardcore show in china town. I sat there next to him in the car while he bled. he looked like a totally different person. I said we should go to the hospital, but he refused. he was really upset and kinda took it out on me, which is alright.
today I had my black dress socks on, slipped and fell down a long flight of wooden stairs. my right hip is killing me.
today all I did was watch TV. mostly cartoons. this flu has me delirious.
today we decided we should call it quits on the skate shop. we’ve put in a strong two years. now it’s time to move on.
my GED came in the mail today.
Today I realized that I’m seeking truth.
Today I went to the frozen lake, imagined that I would jump on it really hard, make it crack, and fall through. This will be on the cover of my album one day.
Today my friend woke up in the hospital and was told that he and his brother were the only survivors. His mom, dad, and sister had died in the crash.
Today the space shuttle blew up and we were sent home early from school.
Today was a good day.
Today everything went smooth. Nothing much to report.
Today I talked with this homeless Christian guy in the park. He behaved like a real messiah and waved me off when he discovered I had eastern prayer beads. “I know how you are,” he said. I came home and cried a bit. don’t really know why.
Today we traveled out to see Casey’s family. our conversation sustained us the whole way; by the time we got there we were hoarse.
today I sat and missed the old days.
today I left the temple because I just couldn’t take it any more. I still want to be involved, but just not at such a close range. now I’ll have more time to write. I can start on this new project, Journal of Thought.
today I thought about how everything constantly changes. rereading old journals really helps me to see how this happens in myself, in other people, and how we go on changing. she said our lives are like individual whirlpools in a river. they don’t last. they drain out and become the river, flow right into it. we cannot box any of it in and stop that from happening. accept the change and flow.
today is a good day.

monday monday monday!


quiet monday.

missing manual. I write this with my eyes closed, as a suggestion. whatever brings flow. so i go with that, tacking words on one after the other. pain from here to there, free flow, freestyle. punctuate. warehouse music. downtime. ephemeral belongings. wanting. salivating over. plans. hands. awoke and made the mudra for warding off evil. this was not religious, merely a gesture of good intent. be kind to the mind like that.

thursday poetry readings, rain or shine. pain shines. I can write to the next millennium. they do more than yawn, they die. I keep reading. I keep boring the audience to death. I keep sharing my breath. I keep killing them with whatever I’ve got. each day. it is a quiet and gentle monday. I’m going to treat it kindly. a pain in chest and shoulder loiters there for a good bit. someone’s lost drill bit. on ground we spit. clear ourselves of anger, the harm we cause ourselves.

change. each part of you. do you need examples? I don’t feel like giving them. the hills are steep. that guy, that guy is a creep. creeps up on people from behind. you were crept upon on now clapped on, clapped off, the clapper, the dagger, the stabber, the runner, the hitchhiker, the outlaw. scene change, font change, food thaws. such an ambiguous host you are!

I’m a tired Buddha today.


…Our expecting mind wants life to turn out a certain way: we want to feel good, we don’t want to be confused, we don’t want to get upset. …But when you’re tired after work, that’s the tired Buddha; when your legs hurt during sitting, that’s the hurting Buddha; when you’re disappointed with some aspect of yourself, that’s the disappointed Buddha. That’s it! -Joko Beck


Don't Trip
You will be smothered under a rug. You’re a little
anti-social, and may want to start gaining new
social skills by making prank phone calls.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
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