Category Archives: Random

The Sound of the Breeze

Shoe on the highway. Just one. A kid’s shoe. Where did it come from?
There’s a red stain. But that could be from paint. Right?
Like: a kid is tagging a wall. The cops come. The kid takes off.
His shoe flies away. The shoe he dripped red spray paint on.
Does he get away? Yes, because this is not a sad story,
and the cops would have stopped and picked up his shoe
if they’d caught him. Right?

There was a restaurant on the beach. A beautiful beach.
The tables plopped right down in the sand, the tide almost
licking our toes. The fish was pulled right out of that ocean,
put on plates and served to us fresh. Candles flickered, the stars
mirrored them. It was the most romantic place I’ve ever been.
I told her I loved her. She yelled at me for talking too loud.

There’s a crow on the telephone wire. Smart motherfucker.
Crows can figure out incredible things. Like how to crack a nut,
and how to get inserted into this story. It looks at me with those
smug eyes. This crow knows how intelligent it is. More importantly,
it knows how stupid I am: that I don’t look very far past
my telephone wire for inspiration. Smart motherfucker.

crow

We were walking through a field of flowers. This was in Montana.
I was 20. She was 19. She had freckles and I had a weird
sense of humor. We were on a road trip from Los Angeles
all the way to Boston. There was a river somewhere. We could
hear it, gurgling in the distance. Somehow, although we hiked
for more than an hour, we never found it. Now, I’m almost 40,
when I think of this story I don’t think about her freckles,
I think about the sound we heard, the sound of the river,
and I think it was actually the sound of the breeze.

I’m cutting pineapple into little chunks — you know what they say
about pineapple. And if you do, then you probably already went there.
If you know what they say about pineapple, your mind goes a million
different places. Actually, maybe just one place. A dirty, sweet place.

pineapple

There’s a long line of people waiting on the sidewalk. I ask them what
they’re doing. They’re lined up in chairs and sleeping bags.  There’s a new sneaker coming out in the morning. Limited Edition. This is the only
place in the country you can buy it. The only place in the entire world.
Not everybody will get a chance to buy it. One guy shows me a picture
of the sneaker. It costs 300 dollars. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.
I tell him good luck and walk away. I don’t understand. It’s so ugly.
This makes me feel very alone.

She tells me, “call me Sleeping Beauty.” But I’ve never
seen her sleep. I don’t think she does. It’s 3 in the morning.
She’s now telling me about the time she accidentally shoplifted.
She tried on a hat and walked out, forgetting it was there.
It’s not a bad story, there are humorous bits, it’s just not a 3am story.

I saw a falling star and instead of thinking about the Universe
and its overwhelming unfathomable beauty — the whole time/space
thing — I thought: ‘how unfortunate I didn’t capture it with my phone.
I missed out on all those Instagram Likes.’ A second or two went by.
‘What does this say about me?’ I thought next.  And then: ‘I can turn
this series of thoughts into a blog post?’ You know: how we exploit our experiences for fleeting validation from those we barely know, and we’re
never happy with the results; so like addicts, we throw more meaningless
wood on a pointless fire that is burning us, destroying us, slowly from the
inside on out. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. I can’t escape it either, despite being aware of it. Like a three-time junky with the needle plunging
into his arm. Follow me @artofstarving.wordpress.com

star

I’m alive and breathing. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.

Loveliest Ghost

Tony Peppercorn rode in on driftwood, big and tall and made of potato and fiber; he walked up to Lulu Tomato with Saint Elmo in his belly, ready to pour his heart out to her like a frozen pond draining in Springtime, through creek and river to the sea, the only route it could possibly go, you’re the only girl that could make my bicycle spin, he’d say, but when he stopped in front of her, in the flesh, for real, fluttering like an epileptic butterfly, and she lifted her snapdragon eyes in that slow motion method of hers, he melted into a puddle of lukewarm dishwater that she didn’t even notice so she stepped in it, splashing thirteen raisins that were gathered, huddled under a blithering vine, to discuss overthrowing the government and, despite being hardcore revolutionaries, they didn’t mind the interruption when they looked up and saw how pretty Lulu Tomato was, and how ripe, and how embarrassed and remorseful she was, a sweet, sweet soul, even picking up one of the disenfranchised raisins and giving it a gentle kiss that turned it into a grateful grape; Lulu put the grape into her pocket, thinking ‘I can make some wine,’ Lulu, always the optimist, kept floating down the street, the prettiest ghost ever, (because something this lovely can’t stay alive forever) enchanting the universe with her charm; the sun and the moon both agreed they’ll take turns loving her — and that’s why they stay on opposite sides of the Earth — everything spinning, whirling,  and Tony Peppercorn looked up through watery eyes and his splashed-out, boot-crushed, oil-slicked, bottomed-out, discarded, disused heart at the sky-parade, the celestial carnival, lily limericks spreading eternal myths to the end of everything, and he wondered how he could compete with the stars that seemed to shine just for her, the heat and energy emanating everywhere. Lulu Tomato, the loveliest ghost, let me pick a cilantro top for you.

Kryptonite Sunset

ö

It’s like a drum in your head,
connected to your neck,
a single thread
whipping wildly
and
untethered
*

*

WON
DER
IS

              This world…

*
big fat brain
on the artichoke plain
*

        YOUR STUFFING AND SIGNATURE IS REQUIRED

YOUR LAST GASP… WITNESSED BY A CAMERA FLASH

*
THE OYSTER SHELL IS SO BOISTEROUS

IN BEVERLY HILLS, THE BOYS WILL TELL
*

I
ACT
LIKE
A
MANIAC:
PANICKED
AND
MANIC,
A FINELY
STITCHED
TRAIN WRECK
ON THE TITANIC

(forward all emails to the volcano)

I STOMPED ON THE GRAPE,
PLAYED THE MAN WITH THE CAPE.
THE KRYPTONITE
WAS MY VERY OWN MIND.
SHOT BY A RADIOACTIVE DART
IN MY OVER-REACTIVE HEART.
I FINISHED EVERY SENTENCE
BEFORE I TOOK ANOTHER SIP….
////

        Look up….
*
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED
WHAT UNDERWORLDS
ARE WORTH?
*

AM I A FUCKING ARTIST?
OR JUST FUCKING AROUND?

IF I WAS A FINE WINE:
I WOULD BE LIGHT AND DRINKABLE.
IF I WAS A SHIP:
I WOULD BE TIGHT AND UNSINKABLE.

*

THIS IS THE POINT,
WHERE THERE IS NO POINT.
AND YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT IT
AND MOVE ON,
GET YOUR GROVE ON,
MAKE YOUR NEURONS
DO WRONG.
____________________

         (i swallow my tongue… drinking the ink… reading the wine… trying to shake it away)
                                            

I’m okay…
with just being okay

/////////////
WRISTWATCH SLINGSHOT
TIME IS BLOOD ON THE ASPHALT
FIRST THOUGHT/BEST THOUGHT


GET UP
ω

DANCE
FUCKING DANCE.

IT’S LIKE A HOLE IN YOUR SOUL,
WAITING TO CLOSE.
LIKE THREE RABBITS
HUDDLING IN THE SNOW.

ö

(CHANTED. SHOUTED. READ. WHISPERED. SUNG)

(CHANTED BY 3 MEN
AND 3 WOMEN)

In the middle of the night,
in the middle of your life,
you hear a little rumbling
from something you don’t like.

You get out of bed,
but forget your head.
You go to retrieve it,
find a watermelon instead.

And you try to make sense
but something doesn’t make sense
so you stop trying to make sense
of something that doesn’t make sense.

(SHOUTED BY A
HOMELESS LADY ON
MELROSE BOULEVARD)

“Fifteen dollars?! My man said he’d give me fifteen
dollars for my fish, but that motherfucker
was dead! I flushed him down the toilet!
My man, not the fish…
Punk motherfucker!”

(READ BY A BLIND POET)

I was wearing my genome on my sleeve,
you walked up and let out a sneeze,
we talked all night, until the moon was released
from its cold sheath, you gave me a kiss,
and told me ‘I love you, Chris,’
but my name is Steve.

I have white orchids sitting in front of a white fireplace.
The room completely covered in white paint.
There is a motor home parked outside
and the neighbor’s cat sitting in the window.
I’ve been waiting all day for you to come home.

The wind tastes like licorice,
I hold a Polaroid of your flesh,
your scent of Earl Grey tea and hemp
is all I have left.

(WHISPERED BY A
DRUNKEN MONK)

If I told you the truth, you’d spill your cup,
the world revolves slowly until you’ve had enough.
You’re going through life with headphones on,
but no music, your eyes are made of red protons.

Buddha sits atop the Matterhorn,
at Disneyland, with Chardonnay
in his hand, watching ant-like tourists
with cameras pass, and he yells down
from up above, “The more you try
to hang on to good things,
the more they don’t last.”

(SUNG BY A
FIVE YEAR-OLD BOY
IN LINE
TO THE BATHROOM)

i gotta pee…
i gotta pee…
i can’t hold it in
much more
because…
i got a lotta pee

Tombstones and Telescopes

Who will bury the shovel?
Who will place the tombstone?
Who will say a prayer for the flowers?
And where will the band play
when the instruments are all confiscated,
and the music masticated,
and your heart lacerated?

“Rags to more rags,” he moaned,
splayed in bed with a stained shirt on.
She flatly concurred. He shot her a mean glance
as she took a long drag on her cigarette,
meeting his stare.

Like, who the fuck will dig a gravedigger’s grave?

The plane ticket was in the drawer next to the magnifying glass and a bottle of his prescription pills; what else was in there, he wondered as he rubbed his beard and searched through the cobwebs of his mind. After the stewardesses inspected the cabin and sat down he took off his seat belt. The passenger next to him looked in his direction but didn’t say anything. That’s the one good thing about cancer, he decided, you don’t have to be afraid anymore.

She put perfume in her purse — because you never know when you may need it. The taxi pulled up and she plopped on the seat like a crumpled bank receipt. The cabby put one arm on the passenger backrest and turned around. She hated this part; she hated to say his address. The cabby waited, an unlit cigar hanging from his scruffy  jowl turning his head into a mallet. Finally, in a raspy Moscow accent, he asked her, “Well, lady, where do you want to go?” Something snapped, she went offline. “I’m not a prostitute,” she blurted out. “I don’t care,” the cabby told her, “Where do you want to go?”

I’m a concrete man in a digital land/
reading lost scrolls in philosopher robes/
Quick sliding in the sand give him a hand/
the flowers froze when there was no where to grow/
And I can’t stand/
the machination of the Master’s master plan/
Don’t you know/
I come from a long lost clan/
of poets with a pen and pad/
fighting tyrants from the highlands to Lenningrad/
My mind’s starched like the deserts of Arizona/
Heart’s on the march like the bulls in Pamplona/
My bones are loaners they’re only mine till I’m a goner

He built a telescope in the woods and a path that leads from his house up the hillside where the telescope is located. There is a dense coverage of ferns and many birds sing a chorus throughout the day, but at night when the stars are out insects take over and their chattering is louder than any city on Earth. He goes up there and observes the stars and charts them on his little map of the sky. Tonight the sky was clear and lit up like a Vegas casino.  He had his scope trained on the northern horizon when a star he was watching, five times the size of our own, suddenly flared up in size and then disappeared. He had witnessed its death.  This massive, hot ball of gas, light years away and billions of years old, vanished from the sky like a candle being blown out — at least the light it emitted while it was alive(?) had finally disappeared. The truly astonishing thing is that this star has been gone longer than he’s been on this planet, and all this time he’s only been observing a ghost. This fact gave him pause. He wanted to call her — when his wife left him she told him that the boredom was like a slow death — he wanted to tell her she was right.

A transitory hiccup in the mouth of time.

“That little red toothbrush makes out with that blue one when we sleep.”  “How do you know it’s a he?”  “Well, it’s yours, right?” “I guess.” “And that hairbrush is all over the razor.” “I can see why.” “But the eye drops are too lazy for romance, it’s just jerking off all day.”  “What about the deodorant?” “The deodorant’s gay.” “How’s the deodorant gay?” “They just are. The Mitchum and the Clinical Gillete are in love.” “It’s like a wild orgy of beauty products in our medicine cabinet.” “I know. I love it.”

The night is a piece of fruit, ripe and scrumptious, ready to be consumed and enjoyed, but there’s a part where you know you’ve hit its pit, and it’s hard like an avocado’s, and you know you can go around it but you can’t go through it. And so you slow down and keep your mouth shut and try to keep the walls from falling.

Is that steak medium rare??!  Aw, fuck, whatever, I have my knife in my hand already. You can never get steak cooked right these days.

There’s that TV show that she likes but can never remember its name.  It’s about a pair of detectives, one of them totally unhinged and hilarious and short, and the other super-serious and tall; and they bundle their way to solving the case each week even though they leave the evidence on top of their car and drive away in every episode, leaving them without any clues; anyway, she loves it and talks about it all the time but can never remember its name. And neither can I.

We’re all made up of alien lifeforms when you think about it.

Brake Lights

There are times when I’m stuck in congested L.A. traffic, knuckles clutching the steering wheel in frustration, staring at a sea of brake lights, when I think to myself: damn, “sea of brake lights” sure is cliché. These are the moments  when I force myself to become a better writer than the one I am, the small epiphanies that compel me to say things like, ‘staring at a gulag of pulsing blood-crimson brake lights.’ 

And the following moment, another epiphany! There are times when the well-worn cliché works just fine…

Shit

Sometimes when I am using the bathroom, and I’m sitting there waiting for things to happen, I think about what it means to be alive and to be a man. Then when I am finished I get up and see that what I have produced in the bowl isn’t “shit”, but something tiny and rodent-like, more deserving of the term “pellets” or “droppings.”  At these times, I think to myself that I can not call myself a man, not like when I leave behind articles that are more deserving of the term “shit.”