25 June 2010

Farewell, SuperTrashCan

This is a tin commemorative Superman wastebasket I've had since I was a little boy (age six, approximately). On one side we have the image of Clark Kent as a little boy (age six, approximately), lifting a truck up off the ground and saving the life of his father just as the jack supporting the truck collapses (this is a salient moment in the film, as it marks the first time young Clark Kent's superpowers are witnessed by earthlings). On the other side appears the iconic image of a full-grown Superman, powering through the ionosphere above Metropolis. Little man's all grown up and ready to flex.. Inside the trashcan is a big "S" emblem - the same one emblazoned on Supe's, uh, unitard.

I fell in love with this trashcan the first time I saw it, and I remember begging my parents to buy it for me. That was thirty years ago. Recently, Janelle deemed it "too stinky" to continue using, and I agreed...so it's off to the charnel grounds, Superman. Thank you for thirty years of loyal service. (As you read this, I am placing my SuperTrashCan within a larger trashcan and wheeling it out to the curbside as "Taps" plays on the hi-fi.)

24 June 2010

Imitation Of Life

First girl I ever kissed was a Southern lass name of Misti Pearson. Her Pa was a U.S. Postal Delivery man in our hometown. Anyway, I did my homework in preparation for the moment: I watched a kiss scene from the film Fright Night over and over on a VHS tape I rented from Prime Time Video. Also, I drew upon a scene from Do The Right Thing (when Mookie lays the Mack vibe down on "Tina," played by Rosie Perez). In case you ever wondered what might happen when an AfAm indy film darling informs a wormy Cracker from the Deep South, just look to me. I am your specimen...well, but, yas, yas, of course The Kiss was an epic failure (and by that I mean that it was clunky, toothy, and that Misti initiated closure before me) - but at least I got it over with. Why am I telling you this? Because recently I bought some Proustian "GEORGIA PEACHES" at the Hy*Vee and looked & seen that they was growed at a farm name of Pearson Farms, which is about 50 miles from my hometown. Small wee li'l global corporate-industrial world, this one.

I'm The Operator Of My Pocket Calculator

I had never listened to Kraftwerk until this past weekend, when I found myself driving around rural Iowa for uninteresting reasons that resulted in an antique bed for Eleanor, who is mighty, though wee. The album? Computer World. (And, you know, a few days earlier, my man Richard dropped by - Richard, Chicano americano don't fuck wit' 'im arhat of the narrative arc, no bullshit. He said, "Man, that feedback on my novel in that letter you wrote me is the only thing that makes any sense to me," and I said "Cool. Wait. What did I write?" and he said "Fuck you," but understood a man's attention so we chilled and he told a cuento that put Mickey Spillane to spinning & my neighbor lady to peering down from her kitchen window at the loudmouths getting drunk on each other's storytime.) And this music is just about perfect for cornfields cornfields cornfields billboard cornfields cornfields cornfields...Finally, Kraftwerk's mitered to its most perfect landscape...and I had no idea Richard & I would connect in such a way, but any artist reading this will understand the power of unforced, easy, natural collaboration: It's like finding someone who's from the same planet you are and flashing cosmic gang signs all along the Yuga.

18 June 2010

Bowel Paralysis

Dr. George Nichopoulos, the personal physician to Elvis Presley, recently published a memoir revealing the true cause of the King's death: constipation: "He would get embarrassed, he’d have accidents onstage...it was really a physiological problem. During the last few years we were going back and comparing pictures, some of them were taken just two weeks apart but he looked like he’d gained 20 pounds when the only difference was that he had a good healthy bowel movement and then lost a lot of weight from that. Usually you pass it all in two or three days, but at the autopsy we found stool in his colon which had been there for four or five months because of the poor motility of the bowel...if they had done the colostomy then, he’d probably still be here. But it wasn’t acceptable treatment at that time."

16 June 2010

Threshold Sunbeam

Today I biked over to the Dey House to use the copier while the secretaries were out to lunch - not that they'd mind, but that it's nice to not implicate innocent bystanders when perpetrating acts of questionable ethics (in this case, pilfering University resources for my other job). While there, I ran into Jim McPherson. He invited me into his office and we talked a little while.

"If you ever need a letter of recommendation from me, just let me know."

"Thank you, Jim."

The sun is out and now I will mow the knee-high grass.

13 June 2010

Beer Thirty

Homebrew. Last night I was the mad scientist. Had you walked by our house at 2 a.m., you would've heard the sound of a a large fan in the kitchen and, underneath that, a high, rolling boil and the documentary on Jung, Matter of Heart on full watts. More overpowering, though, would've been the beery smell of boiling wort. It's a time consuming process. Labor intensive. The house got so hot from the stove that I had every window and door propped open to catch a lazy breeze. Jung had visions of the apocalypse before he died - a fact I'd rather not acknowledge at all, but must.

12 June 2010


More graffiti from the bathroom at a local public park.

11 June 2010


I have a thing for pidgin. Creole. How tongues can blend. I have a thing for how cultures merge - which means conquer, submission, linguistic feats of assimilation and survival. I have a thing for slang. I have a thing for how dissent springs up in reaction to orthodoxy, and how the orthodoxy responds. The world is a complicated place. Words are a complicated place, too. I have a thing for graffiti, for the subjective voice, for "folk" customs. I'm into the creative force, lineage. Action, reaction, improvisation. Dialogue. I have a thing for ghost stories, fairy tales, and free jazz. The beat. Somewhere in the aching woods nearby there's a ring of stones just waiting for a spark and some souls to complete it. Sun is setting. I will meet you there. Bring your fire, cousin. I'll bring mine.


I watched The Road last night as a reward for navigating the interpersonal and intrapsychic intricacies of my first day back on the job as a psychotherapist. Yes, I'm back in the saddle. And so what's The Road about? It's about the complete dissolution of social order, humanity, and the substrate of life on planet Earth. It's also a heart-rending metaphor for fatherhood: "He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke."

09 June 2010

Oracles: Part III

My man Pat just dropped off some Beckett...word. Anyway, sometimes I grab a pen & just draw straight from where the unconscious meets the conscious mind...powerful energy at that nexus...and what unfolds on the page are these almost entheogenic oracles, each bearing its own message.

Oracles: Part II

She says, "If you're a parent,it's really important to know how to relax and soothe yourself. At the very least, it's important to be able to notice when you're stressed out. Otherwise, if you don't acknowledge it, your child - who learns how to live and be by observing you - will confuse an unnamed, free-floating anxiety with normalcy. Can you imagine growing up with this kind of confusion? It would only add to the garmonbozia of life...and some people spend their whole lives trapped under an unnameable, weird freight..."

"If you don't have children, it's still important to be able to watch your mind, be aware of its vicissitudes, and self-soothe. The children of the world are watching you, too, after all. And so are other adults. We're all learning from one another at all times! Pain and suffering can never be eliminated. By failing to talk about it, by failing to conjure up an artful response, we go deeper into the territories of horror. On my bad days, the horrors of the world outnumber the chances for happiness. My good days are like a walk in the park - they give me the hope I need. Because of that hope, I can quite often whistle while I work."

08 June 2010

Oracles: Part I

Snake man awakens like anybody else and faces the day. He says, "May it be an inoffensive day." His heart is neither especially heavy nor light. And as the fog of slumber burns from his mental landscape, the coffee maker sings a promising song in the green-tiled kitchen. Cream and sugar - that's his way. And Snake man lives alone, so he puts on yesterday's slacks, then a moderately clean shirt - it's his most comfortable shirt. Now it's time to part the curtains. "Hello sssssssssunrise..." The joke of life is on Snake man, but Snake man is in on the joke.

They Conduct Heat

Sometimes I make form-fitted tin foil shoes for Eleanor to wear.

05 June 2010

Culture Fail

Tomorrow we're having a big party for Eleanor's 3rd birthday. We've rented a city park, bought enough cow meat to feed a small nation, and will soon begin constructing the world's largest fruit salad. And earlier today I rode out to Walgreen's for some party favors & saw the image you now see above - some kind of in-store display for facial creme. "Good god," said I, and snapped a foto that rendered the neo-minstrel blond into a white flash cyclops.

04 June 2010

Bison Language Fail

My friend Sterling once told me that it's impossible to convey in words the significance the bison skull holds for the Plains Indians. It's something like life-god-sustenance-survival-hope-existence-emptiness-death-genocide-decay-oblivion-evil-sorrow-rage all upon the altar and all in one flash that enters the eye and tears down through the chest, gut and out the bottom of the feet clear through to the center of the world's red hot mystery.

03 June 2010

Rough Trade

Five Things You Wouldn't Expect A Cartoon Tiger To Say:

(5) "Your account balance is past due."
(4) "Rough trade is better than no trade at all."
(3) "Welcome to the terrordome."
(2) "Hegemony."
(1) "There ain't no life nowhere."

02 June 2010

Black Lodge

I was recently asked to drink beer and read poetry at the Black Lodge...so I did.

01 June 2010

Two Points

"...All human interpersonal behavior represents blends of two basic motivations: the need for control (power, dominance) and the need for affiliation (love, friendliness). Persons interacting with each other continually negotiate two major personality issues: how friendly or hostile they will be with each other, and how much in charge or in control each will be in their encounters."

- D.J. Kiesler (from Contemporary Interpersonal Theory & Research: Personality, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapy)