Sunday, January 29, 2012


I have a distinct memory of sitting in a circle of lawn chairs in the middle of Iowa, on a day so humid you think something’s going to happen. I must have been about nine years old. I must have been wearing pants. On my right I see the forearm of an elderly man in a white button down shirt, he’s lifting a female infant above his head and talking to her in the third person, telling her she’s perfect, and innocent. I remember remembering that he was the one my mother called a racist bastard. I remember thinking at least he’s nice to that baby. Six years later, when I kissed the black boy on the church steps, I remembered the racist man again, and I wondered what color my baby would be someday, and I wondered if any baby of mine could ever make it through Iowa. On my left I see my mother; smoking, ignoring the racist bastard, and the innocent baby. Directly in front of me I see a pair of bare feet, and the pair of bare feet is talking, agreeing with the other voices that Jessica should take a ride on Festus, Jessica is the perfect size for Festus. Then I remember complete darkness; root canal darkness. Then I’m standing on an upside down bucket while the bare foot voice is whistling through her fingers and shouting things like baby, and sweetie, and honey pie, and sugar snap pea, and I’m thinking why don’t they call Festus; Festus. Festus is a mule. A grey mule just my size. He was dying twenty years ago, so I can only imagine he must surely now be dead and gone, burned and scattered over the bigoted daffodils and melting juleps. I rode that dying mule into the ground, I was wearing pants and plastic sandals. He was naked accept for something around his neck, a red string, or a pink shoe lace. The bare foot voice abandoned the left side of Festus and returned to her lawn chair. I was alone with my grey mule, and my country, and the soft places of my body; I was as independent as a white turtle. I liked the weeds of Iowa, I liked that Festus never took me out of ear shot, the babies were louder than the crickets all night. He was like a dog, or a father. Except much different, because his spine was cutting me in half and I liked it. When he finally got tired he just sat down, and waited for me to slide down his spine like frosting out of a plastic bag, he disappeared into the weeds, I taught myself how to walk again. The voices laughed. I felt something in my cotton underpants. Something binding, like chewing gum, or rubber cement. I excused myself to the out house. And because my mother had boyfriends instead of husbands, I knew all about hymens and exactly what was going on. No big deal. I cleaned my thighs with the back of my left hand. I smiled. I returned to the circle and helped myself to a hot dog. I am wild, and slow, a Mona Lisa in a lawn chair. Rest in peace grey mule.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh Boy There,

I took a break.
See, I've been working on one of those blasted applications again,
Trying to air brush my portfolio just right,
Not really feeling like writing anything new,
Feeling emotional looking at everything I've ever written,
And supposing; this has got to be good enough for whoever you are.
I'm not giving up.
We don't do that in this house.

I got two new tunes,
Some chick called Birdy,
She's from another country and she has this single called Skinny Love.
And these dudes from another other country called Of Monsters and Men.
Did I ever tell you I soak up this kind of thing, I mean soak,
Like, wrinkled fingers, and light heads.

And, I started another, an additional part time job.
Another adventure in barista precious grounds.
I'm a barista at Heritage Bikes.
Go there.
Its on Lincoln and Southport.
Right by the Golden Apple and the huge church.
Its brand new.
A tune up and a cup of Stumptown is only ten dollars, and you can hang out all day with me, I'm nice.
And everyone there is really nice.
A young couple from New York, it's their idea, and launch, they own the joint, and they're so hip, and creative, and approachable, and smart, and stylish, and busting with ideas.
They have a sister company in New York called Bowery Bikes.
But, now they have a cafe bike shop right here on Southport, and Lincoln, and me.
Its the first bike cafe in Chicago.
The bikes look so phat.
They're for the casual rider.
Have you heard of tweed?
Look it up.
I am, like totally getting a bike now.
I was afraid up until now.
Not afraid of riding,
Afraid of walking into a snobby bike cult shop nothing, just know everything, which I don't.
And Stumptown is way hot.
They flew out to teach us.
I can pour a heart now.
Yeah, check it out.
This week is soft opening.
Grad opening is this Saturday, 6pm--11pm.
Then we'll be open everyday 7-7.
There's long picnic like tables, and a bunch of hanging Edison bulbs.
Mr. Best Friend was there all day yesterday doing work on this lap top.
And he loved it.
And he doesn't love just anything.

Oh My God!
Like, his show like totally got in!!!!!!!!
Prime Time, 2013, Chiang, be there!
We have a year,
Lets get to work!
I'm in it too, so is T--Rex,
Hans Lullaby is in it too, first time on stage, ah!
And some other people that Mr. Best Friend doesn't know yet.
Its about fate, and Lord of the Flies, and a bunch of other stuff.
It's going to kill.

Then the president of Monkeys asked Mr. best Friend to direct a school show.
And he sure is going to direct it.
And as far as I'm concerned that's a big deal.

And then his painting that he painted with our good friend sticky,
They submitted it to a gallery in Seattle,
And it got in!
So, their work is going to be hanging in a real gallery.
How bout that?!
Their art space is launching by the way, they're having a soft opening next week, it's called Dead Squirrel; A Neo-Futurist Art Project.
Whatdoya think ah that!
I'm the managing director, I'm making the pamphlets.

Doing things.

I performed with Paper Girl two nights ago at the Hideout, it killed. It was for this thing called GRAZE University. We lectured on the history of the horse. It was so fun. It was a pot luck, I had the best cold curry noodles of my life.

Just keep eating.

Gotta go jet set some crazy stuff,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Portfolio construction dolls

And in my most confident of puffy chest selves,
I have to admit,
I knew that she wasn't there.

And, I have to conclude from the feeling I find,
The feeling I scrape
From the edge of my grey spotted chicken liver;
That I didn't want her there at all.

It doesn't make sense now.
Sure maybe if I'm at a fork in the middle of a Chinese take out land mine I wouldn't mind, could even relish
A conversation
A glass of milk
A damp living room on a third floor
If I'm shitting my brains out in a public Bulgarian meat house,
If I'm far far away from the blond familiar patty cakes
But, we don't really have to worry bout that
Because the hour I first believed has led me home I see
No more bad childhood
No more fat jokes
No more I'm a bad writer and they don't want me small talks
And fake mom and I have transitioned nicely into plain mom
And I'm sure you wouldn't mind
Cause you always seem to do your best
I venture to say with every Buddha blowing ass wrinkle it takes to squeeze that out nicely
Thank you millions of pennies of coffee shop therapy

But, In my waking life I don't have time to long for anything
I'm busy taking orders
Rolling forks
Operating land lines
Selling out
Ordering out
Pushing down
And out
The Calvin Klein cologne of your 100% GAP branded cuff
And chains
And hard
Crunch pounding first snowy
Queen kiss

And, furthermore, I am ripping my shirt off,
And I am screaming,
"Take a pottery class!!!!!!"
This is not about you!

There is that copy of King Lear I keep on my dining room table that I haven't touched in years.
There is that copy of Motherless Daughters I keep on my shelf that I haven't touched in months.
Over two hundred interviews.

Respectfully, this is not about you.
Its barely even about me.
Its about that copy of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters that I haven't touched in days,
On my night stand
On my chamomile,
My honey
My lavender

It doesn't go away.

She asked me what was wrong

I told her I broke a window

She laughed and said that she had been meaning to get a new window

Three years later

She told me she was leaving

One year later

She was gone

Every time I take my shoes off I remember her

But somewhere

In between the rage and the cold showers

And the fried chicken

I couldn't care less

Except there sometimes seems to be a thumping in the back of my head

Especially when the seasons change

Particularly when I cross a street between the hours of noon and four

I’m talking about my mother

I’m looking at the patches of light on the floor

I’m drinking tap water

Happy enough at my table


Wailing on Wednesdays out my back door

Like a kitty lost

Come back Come back Come back

You little wretch like me,

Skin & Toast

PS: Watch Letterman tonight. Count Animal and his lady of the pink tights have friends appearing as tonight's musical guest. As I would imagine they say in the Merge house; support local music bitches.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I know I know I know I know I know

I know that all the sugar plum visions are wrapping against the pads of your fingers
I know it happens to be that instant of the calendar where the globe forces you to consider
The breaks and glitters and cracks and hikes of the most recent past
And with that comes a lofty to do list
Loft like those Wicker Park cheese cubes I remember eating when I still wore pink dresses
When I valued things like survival
And water supply
Looking back at the past ten years I realize an internal platonic shift from
So glad I didn't die last night
To let me get a look through that telescope please
I seem to be disenchanted with the reflection
I seem to feel the plates in my back expanding
I seem to keep depression at bay with a diet low in dairy and very high in food
Just keep eating
Never stop
Blend everything together with chocolate powders and do some mild stretching
Barely break a sweat and don't bother to take your socks off
Socks are key this time of year
Lambs wool
Lama's breath
Spider lips
Bundle up and turn it on
Keep those tiny embroidered daisies around your ankles and forget what you were talking about
I'm a writer!
I can tell because every time I go to the Grind I run into six people I know through the work
Through the business of salads and words and hugs and hanging lights
Have to settle my tab,
Skin & Toast