Sunday, December 30, 2007

Black Cat and Pants (Retrospective Prophecy)

Black Cat and Pants (Retrospective Prophecy)

"All of us, among the ruins, are preparing a renaissance... But few of us know it"
---Albert Camus

Walking across the Auburn University Campus at night is like walking across a frozen dream--deserted, forgotten, so full of vital life only hours before. The setting of the sun earlier and earlier each day depresses the shit out of me, and I always hope I can hold on through one more winter until the promise of spring once again....I've been reading a lot lately, which isn't solice for a heart unfulfilled, but seems to nonetheless connect us with those who have felt longingly before.....I crossed a black cat's path on the way to the library and wonder about the superstitious ramifications of such a move....

Every love I have ever had is gone forever and I am coming more and more to the grips of that realization with each passing minute and hour--I might be alone until the end of time, which is only the summer of 2012 if Nostradameus or anyone else has any say in the matter. I almost got knifed by Dinky's sister Bunnie the other day because I professed my disbelief in Nostradameus and if that is a capitol offense I might not make it until 2012....I only believe in stuff that makes sense, or that I have percieved personally, which are usually two totally divergant paths so who cares? I don't think the big guy is keeping score even if He cares....

I've got a plan, which might come as news to anyone else who has been keeping score, but it mostly revolves around my coming closer to the mystery of who I am. I wonder endlessly if a person can divert the heartfelt worship of women in general and unrequited love towards two women that he cannot be failed by romantically. I wonder what it is like to have two grandparents who are alive, and maybe even a biological father who remembers you. All questions only time can answer, right??

The bus grinds north as soon as $115 cash can be brought to bear on the Enemy, and the Enemy is Time and Space.

I like little saloons where you can sit down and drink a beer in peace and mourn the passing of someone like Eval Knevil and rumifacate on the end of the world in uninteruppted, staccato sentances without syntax or meaning. No one cares what you really mean as long as you have cash or something that passes for it until the cops come.

I remember once my mother called me excitedly to tell me about a pair of pants that she bought me, and this must have been within days of my finding a pair of Unionbay pants that I fell in love with and then, after a day or two of wearing them, became incredibly afraid they may have belonged to my friend Susan. After I found out this suspicion was untrue I still couldn't bring myself to wear the pants nearly as enthusiastically as I had originally.

I ran out on a bill once in Downtown Charleston, at the Mellow Mushroom that reminded me of the fact that, despite being an obvious pinwheel of my group of friends the first time I lived in Auburn, I had never been to the infamous MM downtown. My wife of the time and I think a couple friends and I darted through the beautific apocalyictically styled eighteenth century decor to the heartbeat of war drums half a world away. The Iraq War came at a particular time in my life, and will prove to be a particular time in the timespan of my entire generation that hails for digital mania and constant entertainment. We were raised on video games and murderous movies and entertainment, and were grown to be the most perfect killers history had ever seen. We are good, and know it, and waste no time in niceties.

It hit me the other day that all three of my literary heros, for the first time, it really hit me that all three were dead, and that I could remember the moment I had learned each was dead---HST, Feb 20, 2005, JH DEc 12, 1999, KV Ap 11, 2007. The death of each had brought a tear to my eye, and I remember distinctly, the day that I learned Kurt Vonnegut was dead was just before my birthday this year, and I spent my birthday in almost complete solitude, drinking drinks for us both in retrospect. I could have been at the outdoor cafe at the end of the world with any of the three, for eternity, and felt complete. I wonder if any of my journals will be one day found and of interest to someone other than a future vainly driven version of myself. I wonder if I will spawn an entire generation of copycats, and if the world could sustain such economic and social pressure. I remember the time Eminem walked into the Grammy's with a line of a hundred clones and declared his dominance on the game and I wonder what uniform I should require of my neophytes.

I wonder if a sexual encounter counts if it wasn't complete, but you still feel satisfied. Does a job well done more depend on your own, or the object's, satisfaction? What is satisfaction in a world gone hypermodern haywire? Do people in big cities still care about nature?

I remember the feeling of sacrificing everything twice---not two different sets of sacrifices, but the same ones, made twice, and knowing deep down that the objects and possessions could never be replaced or returned. I remember the regret and guilt, felt as a combined double factor of ten because it was coming both from the feelings of attachment to these things, and also, the ideas of such or the opposite, loss of everything. Now I would rather keep my possessions to fitting neatly and without cramming into a boyscout backpack, but keep these conspiracies to myself in mixed company.

I walked out today on the home I've had for a few months and a new person I met today asks--"What, you're not even going to say goodbye?" and I respond, "No, I'm a sailor, and saying goodbye is bad luck--everyone knows that"---and I wonder how many times I have left a bad impression by not saying goodbye. At heart I am a sailor, and it is bad luck to say goodbye, as it tends to lead to never returning...

We all die alone, or with gawkers who don't know what the light really means, so what else is there? I can accept that. I am not angry, nor am I afraid of eternity, alone, bitter, always cold on holidays and never clean enough. Who will notice? I stain every nice shirt I have.....

The need to escape is always tantamount and compared to the need for security.

I have a hundred lost friends, I have a hundred lost loves, I have a hundred dreamt dreams and invisible enemies. Keep score, because this is gonna be good. Sometimes we cannot recognize the destination for the journey. Most of my friends can only see the line item, and I hardly ever read the title. At the end of the day all of our shortcomings equal one well adjusted adult, so probably, we'll make it in this world if we stick together.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth
Originally featured in Throwrag #4, February 2008.

I was officially sworn into the United States Navy on October 15, 2002, over a year after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, which actually had almost no bearing at all on my decision to join. I had grown up in a largely military family, and while most had been in the Marines, I had an uncle who had been a Naval Hero and innovator of naval weapon systems, and after retiring from the Navy, had become a civilian contractor and key designer of the Aegis weapons platforms, and later, Uncle Buddy and his Panamanian wife Amaya moved to central America where he died a few years later and we found out almost a decade after the fact. My mother and her family had some sort of rift that developed when I was a small child and I never really understood. Amaya and my sister Debra had been my primary babysitters in my youngest days, and I grew up knowing Spanish as well as English, only to forget Spanish after a few years of non-use. Mementos of Buddy’s naval career had remained around my grandmother’s house long after Buddy and Amaya had left our lives, and for many reasons, I always felt closer to that side of the Naval Department than the Semper Fidelis side, so after my first run at adulthood had proven unfruitful, it seemed the natural if not fateful choice that I would enter into the armed forces, and what better time than then? I had started the process earlier that summer, and only my aborted relationship with Solara distracted me from the goal of a life at sea, and one night after we broke up, Solara gave me a ride to work and I asked her, point blank, if there was any chance that we might get back together—she told me no, and the next day I called my recruiter, who I had rudely snubbed after Solara and I met, and we picked up where we had left off. It took several trips to MEPS to get myself physically cleared, and I still had to lie about a couple of medical problems to ensure my induction. After the induction ceremony, my recruiter—a newly stationed recruiter who had to do no lying or false promising to entice me into signing my contract—convinced me to stay one more night at MEPS so that I could take the Nuclear Power test. My ASVAB had been a nearly perfect score, and while I had done my best to explain to my recruiter that I was very non-scientifically inclined and likely to fail the test miserably, he persuaded me with a case of beer and the prospect of staying one more night in the hotel. The hotel reminded me being in some foreign country, since the only people around were US Service personnel or Intelligence Agents on various excursions, and at least eight different languages were being spoken in the lobby, with a lot of desperate last minute hedonism going on by the other inductees who were leaving for their basic training in the various branches the next day, living it up during one last night of freedom. My roommate the night before had been from Montgomery, and had brought over several of his local friends to smoke drugs and get drunk, despite my warning that he would probably fail his drug test the next day if he kept it up, which I am sure he did although I never saw him again after our rousing and departure from the hotel that morning at 4 a.m. The next night, drinking my free case of beer with my new roommate, a really tightly wound kid that reminded me of my young friend John-John Nittany, I explained to him the process he would undergo in choosing his job rating the next day if he was able to pass his physical. I had been inducted as a future Electronic Warfare Specialist, which I was told was much easier and not nearly as technological as it sounded, and a duty station promised to me of Pensacola, Florida. I was not at all expecting that I could pass the Nuclear Power test the next day. The change in rating, if I did pass the test, would get me an additional $10,000 of bonus money once I finished the two and a half years of Nuclear Power Training. Also, and more importantly, my recruiter promised me that I could leave in early December, instead of having to wait more than eight months for departure for boot camp if I was to remain in the job rating I was already in. The next day I accidentally passed the Nuclear Power test by two points, and was re-inducted as an outgoing Navy Nuke, which changed everything. All of a sudden every Naval person that came into contact with me on base suddenly treated me as a celebrity, and I was assured my career would be fantastically great and rewarding. I did not care, and internally my countdown clock started, waiting for that fateful day I could leave in early December for boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois. Because I had moved back to my hometown from Auburn after the start of the recruiting process, I was no longer anywhere near my recruiting station, and was allowed to skip the weekly delayed entry classes that were supposed to prepare us for an easy transition into boot camp. I spent the next month and a half laying about, trying to get the last final touches on my writing project of the time, Maya, and arrange for it to be published under a pseudonym through Debra so that it would not endanger my Security Clearance, which, based on the amount of lies I had told my recruiter, and then, on my recruiters prompting, the US Government during my induction process, was likely to be a big problem later on. I had black marks in every single category I was told would be analyzed, and the smallest amount of digging by the FBI would no doubt reveal enough to get me tossed from the Nuclear Power Program, and possibly, a decent stint in Levinworth. I had been given a couple of books that I was told, since I was not going to the delayed entry classes, would at least inform me of all the pertinent information I was expected to know on arrival in Illinois. I maybe opened the books twice, and probably only looked at the pictures. The day I left the recruiting station for the hotel and one last early morning at MEPS before being flown to Illinois my mother asked the station leader why he wore a different color uniform than my recruiter, and he explained that he was a chief, and it dawned on me that, despite my four years of experience in Army JROTC, I had no idea what the rank structure was in the Navy, and I suddenly realized that maybe I should have paid attention to the book, if even for an entire hour at any point. I was flying very blind and only then did it become obvious.

At MEPS the morning of my flight I was entrusted with the service files of eleven other Navy Nukes who were transiting with me, and told by The Chief that it was my responsibility not only to ensure that all twelve of us made it through the three airports we would be passing through that day, but once we got to Great Lakes, to make sure that all of us made it through the first day without being sent immediately home. I was told that there was a point during our arrival phase called “The Moment of Truth”, and that they would take us all aside and hound us to admit any lies that we had made during our enrollment and induction process, and I was supposed to convince everyone with me to keep their mouth shut. I was severely hung over, so much so that I was confronted twice that morning by two different officials who were on the verge of ending my military career on the spot, and through some miracle I was able to make it as far as the airport and tie-on another good drunk, getting back up to mental speed and relieving the effects of the hang over. I almost lost two guys in the Montgomery Airport, and then another in the Atlanta Airport, and almost forgot the files in the airport lounge after a few more drinks and a cigarette in one of the smoking boothes that the kind people in Atlanta equip their concourses with. I forgot to eat in Baltimore because I had gotten beers instead with a couple of the other Nukes, and we had been promised a meal in Chicago once we got there, which turned out to be a lie. I was finally relieved of the files in Chicago, and miraculously got all of my stewards all the way to O’Hare with just a few minor incidents aside from the ones I caused on my own. Trying as hard as I could to keep everything quiet and not so obvious, my drunken exploits were already becoming the stuff of legend, which made me feel proud considering the just over two-hundred year history of the Navy for hedonism and reckless abandon. I was disappointed later to learn that the US Navy referred to itself internally as “The New Navy”, and at some point in the recent past had began a process of overhauling its image and traditions, which was spoiling the areas of drinking, womanizing, and foul language that had been the US Navy’s biggest selling points as far as I was concerned.

After three hours of stressful, hungry delays at O’Hare waiting for the charter buses taking us and the assembled mass of other recruits to Great Lakes, and the half-hour silent bus ride where we filled out a quality control questionnaire on our recruiting experience, we arrived at Great Lakes and within minutes I was among the first to get berated for some minor infraction probably due to relaxed reaction timing. We were stripped naked and deprived of all of our worldly possessions, given our new Naval possession, and brought into a large classroom and told to put our heads down and wait. It was well after midnight at this point, and even without a day spent on a roller coaster of excitement and drastic drinking, I had been up since 4 a.m. and exhausted, and just as I was about to fall into a mild cat-nap, we were awakened again to take our drug tests, and after this process, which took much longer than it should have because a couple of recruits fearfully circled the room, drinking water from the water fountains mounted on each wall, expecting perhaps that a few more minutes and a gallon of water might ensure their passing the drug test, a Chief came into the room and started screaming at us to own up to all the lies we had told to get to where we were at. We were told that the US Navy is based on Honor, Courage, and Commitment, and that lying was not the way to enter into that grand tradition. I was unconcerned, as I had been told by the recruiters that it was already too late to change my story, and that The Moment of Truth only caught idiots or people who did not really want to be there. After this Chief screamed at us for a little while longer he left the room and then another Chief came in and nicely pleaded with us to just give in, that the FBI, Homeland Security, and the NSA would quickly unravel our lies if we persisted with them, and if we gave in now, we could surely save and repair whatever damage had been done. He reasoned with us that all recruiters want is to reach their quotas and did not care for us as individuals, and that they routinely did the wrong thing and made mistakes during our induction process, and now was the time to come clean. Not a single person had budged, and I was certain that this was just a legal formality that was supposed to somehow discharge someone somewhere of some accountability. Just as I was sure that the process was going to be over, that the Good-Chief, Bad-Chief routine had reached it’s maximum extension, a hand near the front of the room went up. Within a matter of moments ten people had raised their hands and stood up and said that they needed to reveal things that they had been dishonest about during their enrollment process. I was astounded and terribly amused, trying hard not to laugh out loud, when one of the Navy Nuke’s I had herded like sheep from Alabama raised his hand, and my stomach turned. I felt that it might reflect negatively on me with my recruiting station to let one of my charges blow his Moment of Truth, but I had no idea how I could help him now that he had stepped into the crossfire. Then another of my Nuke’s raised his hand, and another, and another, and before I knew it every single one of the Nuke’s I had travelled with from Alabama was standing in the aisle, awaiting their fates as liars. I suddenly became afraid that perhaps it had rested on me to relay the message from our recruiting station Chief to the rest of my travelling companions that we should keep our mouth shut during the Moment of Truth, and I remember my recruiter telling me after my induction ceremony in October specifically that any misrepresentations of facts that I had made with or without his knowledge should be stuck to by the letter, and that it was too late and too dangerous to change course from that point forward. No matter the gentle and soft-spoken nature of this chief’s voice who stood before us, eliciting even more recruits into admitting their dishonesty, I was not convinced that horrible ramifications were not directly around the corner. I considered my options—I had an entire closet, amoire, and cabinet of skeletons that I had no desire to revisit or reveal, but was equally afraid of somehow letting my Nuclear Charges from Alabama slip from my grasp. I felt personally responsible for them, as if I was an extension of our recruiting station, and in a flash decided to raise my hand. I needed to see what was going to happen, and was directed to line-up against the wall with the rest of the liars, and after a few more minutes the sea of raising hands subsided, and more than a third of the room was now lined up around two walls, and we were directed through a maze of hallways deeper into the building, into a narrow hallway where a chief asked us who was nukes, and a few more hands other than my group raised their hands, and we were put at the front of the line. I remained at the rear of this group as I had been the last nuke to join in the fray, and one by one each was taken into an office, and as each came out and was taken back to the room we had just recently vacated, I became a little more relieved that perhaps it was all going to work out. I ran through my laundry list of secrets and decided upon the most unctuous to admit to, and after all the other nukes had gone in and came back out, their faces relaxed with relieved anxiety, and I was finally brought into office. The chief introduced himself as a former Nuclear Electronics Technician, my desired job rating, and told me to sit down.

“Okay, in what way were you dishonest with us in your induction process,” he asked, staring into my eyes, looking for the subtlest signs of deception. My mind raced for a moment, I considered perhaps laying it all out on the table and seeing where the pieces might fall. I was not entirely enthused about the Naval Nuclear Program, and perhaps I would be re rated back to something decidedly easier. Then I remembered the $15,000 on the line.

“I still owe Auburn University something like $900,” I said, “They asked me if I had any outstanding debts and I thought I would have it taken care of by now but I couldn’t get it all paid down.”

“So no past drug use, legal problems, or anti-government associations?” He asked, and I said no, lying on all three points. “Okay, well, we are just going to forget this little conversation—it would be more trouble for us to go back and alter your paperwork, and let’s face it, you are a Nuke—you are special, and while you shouldn't take this as a license to be unethical or dishonest in any further way during your career—in fact you’ll be held to a higher standard than any other enlisted person in the military, let’s not put a wrinkle on your career before it even starts. So, your recruiter was not at all aware of this situation, or enticed you into lying during your induction process?”

“No, sir,” I said, and was quickly reminded not to refer to him as “sir”, that a chief was a chief and a petty officer was a petty officer, and I wondered other than uniform color, how I was supposed to know the difference since all the ranks looked the same to me at this point. I was lying again on this point, as my recruiter had told me his theory, which was “No equals Naval Opportunity”. When I had told my recruiter and station chief early in my recruiting phase that I had until just recently smoked pot, they both took me outside, as if their offices were wired for sound, and told me that I was to never admit that to anyone ever again, a policy I stuck to throughout my Naval Career, never even joining in the “back in the day” conversations that were so prevalent during our down-time at boot camp and later Nuke School.

Then the Nuke Chief told me something that has echoed in my mind every since at crucial times, “The lies you might have told to get you to this point must forever be buried, your new life begins today, you are being born with a clean slate, and just hope that nothing you thought was dead comes back to haunt you later.”

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Return to Light

Return to Light

I go through these cycles sometimes where all I can think to do is sort of isolate myself from everyone and everything. I definitely went through that much of this year---starting in March, when life took some unexpected twists and turns.

The thing about these periods is that I lose touch with almost everyone, family, friends, acquaintenances, all those people that life is too short to really let get too far from hand.

Changed careers recently. By changed I mean more or less I got fed up with the old one, and have decided to go a different direction although that direction is unsettled. In the middle of semesters is the most productive time to think about going back to school because you can't. When a new semester is coming is the best time to come up with excuses why you can't. Trust me, I'm 27 and I've got some sort of amalgamation of 2 years worth of college credits but only the technical credits I would need to be a Nuclear Engineer, which does you no good when you want to be a teacher.

I rediscovered bowling and poker. That's about all I do aside from work. See some of my friends here in Auburn but definitely not as much as I would like. Would like to get home to Scottsboro to see it before all the greenery coming down Sand Mountain from Section dies but I hear it's half dead anyways and time is running out. Oh well maybe next year.

As we get older the bad things we never could imagine happening to us or anyone we know start happening more regularly. This is not fun.

I have tried internet dating lately to mixed results. I'm too flighty in real life,and if someone is not in that inner sanctum of my continuously shifting madness, then it is hard for them to keep up or understand. I like most females, and especially if they seem to like me back at all, and then I guess I try and grasp for all the other reasons why it must be right. It's usually not.

There was a girl I've had a crush on for something like 6 months, longer maybe even if I think about the first time I ever saw her which was over a year ago but at the time of course I wouldn't have even THOUGHT about it....but anyways I finally got the courage to ask her out on Friday and she had plans all the way through Friday and gameday Saturday. Said she would call Sunday. Didn't. I called her Monday and she said she would call me this week sometime. My phone is out of minutes now so who knows??? This girl (I say girl but mean woman....I've never grown up in vocabulary) is the same age as me, beautiful in all regards, single, etc etc. Kinda trying for WAY out of my league and in the middle of a job change is probably the worst possible time to tackle that challenge. But who said I ever do anything the easy way??

I don't care that much. I mean, maybe if there is such a thing as "The One" she will pop out of some woodwork or some life-coincidence-meeting or the internet and then it will work. If not I'm sorta getting used to bowling, playing poker, writing, and being alone. Maybe this was what I was made for. Thinking about how I was as a kid and as a teenager, I wasn't much different then, except I played sports I was less good at, and played games that I made no money playing. Now at least I have adjusted to things I can pretend to excell at.

I first played poker for money with Ben Keller, Tutt Rhodes, David Sanders, and several other people back when I was 17. Used to go with BK to Huntsville and play people there too. I was sorta a rounder before I ever knew what it was. We always played draw. If someone would have told me at 17 I could have just grown up to be a poker player and not something important or requiring of a college degree, I would have been on that like crazy. In the Navy we had Friday and Saturday night 7-Card Stud games, and I did well in those too. Then I get out of the Navy and about 2 years later discover that "Texas Hold-em" is all the rage, learn that, and can hang with some pretty good players now. Got destroyed last Saturday night. First major loss in 3 months or more. By major loss I mean I lost $40. That's still not fun. Forty is sorta my limit.

I don't gamble on bowling. It is the only sport I still routinely play that brings back that child-like zeal for life.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Basic Life InCohesion

Basic Life Incohesion

As always the last few days have been interesting and as luck would have it circumstances have conspired to place me in the right place and right frame of mind to record some of the more interesting intersecting of circumstances.

This evening my friend Dinky and I went out to eat after I got off work after a few rather deflating moments with some females of interest. Why is it every time you might start to like someone the VERY NEXT time you see them they talk about some other guy they are dating, if they don't just BRING them with?? Is it just me?

Anyways we end up spending a combined fifty dollars on steak and eggs and pancakes and an appetizer that arrived about half an armful before the main course which is almost exactly enough to make me, the habitual non-complainer (especially in resturants) into the guy waiting for the fat manager to walk around again so that I can vent. But even better---then the guy comes outside while Dinky and I smoke cigarettes waiting for our to-go order for a friend like he's afraid we are gonna walk out on our ticket. And the syrup wasn't even warm. Maybe he should be rubbing his fat titties on the bottles of syrup to warm them up before they bring some colder than room temperature syrup for me to not enjoy. Thanks.

The benefit was Dinky and I talked about a composition of some sort that we are gonna co-write about how we used to love the internet when it was simple. All this "progress" (other than Myspace) is really just vamped up consumerism and an attempt to woo mindless zombies away from TV's and to the You(boob)Tube. (considering I hardly ever talk about breasts, it is quite a feat I have mentioned them three times thus far! Chico is rubbing off on me...)

The other new thing going on is that I have been getting ready to relaunch HC-LotDE, inviting new "friends" (readers) to the profile, trying to touch base with the more important artists, etc. When I am inviting people, and considering I am a single heterosexual male, it is no doubt natural that I would tend to pay more attention to the cute girl profiles (which are VERY few and far between in the wells of political activism, counterculturalism, and literary arts that I pull from) and I ran across this one girl whose profile included the following:

..> ..>

About me:
i just wanna be somebody's zelda fitzgerald.
Who I'd like to meet:
i'm running out of ethnic friends.

..> ..>

Generalnone, whining, learning big words then forgeting what they mean, attempting to mooch off the government, appearing clingy, keeping warm, commiting suicide, bulking up for winter, being mean.
Musicbad music for bad people.
Moviesthe flower that drank the moon.
Televisionmy super sweet sixteen is the voice of my generation.
Booksanimals no one loves and BRAINPOWER

...and who doesn't believe I Love a couple of THOSE things?? Already I've got more in common with this girl than all my wives added together. Unfortunately also her profile included the following information:

90 years old
manhatin', New York
United States help on the age front. Manhatten is awesome but slightly far away. Except when you REALLY think about it, like when you are really drunk and high or run into someone from high school in a totally different state unexpectedly---then you FEEL like the world is REALLY small---when it isn't---it's freaking HUGE!---have you ever walked to the grocery store? And not even the closer grocery store, but the one that is twice as far but half as expensive. Yeah, the world is at least a million times bigger than that! Anyways my bio-mom and sister live near The City (NYC is the only city that can be referred to, from any distance by anyone, as "The City"), and Dinky and I are planning on trying to make it to NYC soon for an art exhibition, so anything is possible.

More of her info:

..> ..>

Here for:Networking
Body type:7' 11" / Body builder
Ethnicity:Black / African descent
Zodiac Sign:Aquarius
Children:Proud parent
Education:College graduate
Occupation:ex lion tamer
Income:$250,000 and Higher

...obviously mostly bullshit.....

..> ..>

St Francis College
Brooklyn, NY
Graduated: N/A
Degree: In Progress
Major: none of yr business!

2006 to Present

...hopefully meaning NOT younger than 18, but unfortunately probably younger than 21, unless, maybe like me, she has procrastinated in college, or maybe taking it a step further, procrastinating in ENROLLING in college, who knows?....

finally here is a picture---not the profile pic but my fav thus far:

Something classic/futuristic at the same time. Neato. (call Guinness, I now have proof I am the last living person outside the state of Idaho using that word)

So anyways, I of course respond to the Zelda remark immediately with the following message accompanying my industrial friend request:

..> ..>

Date:Sep 27, 2007 12:09 PM
Subject: Always on the lookout....

A line I use a lot with my friends is that I am always on the lookout for my Zelda Fitzgerald.... I thought that was cute on your profile.....

Who knows, I might be your F.Scott!

Michael Bernard

...well, I didn't get a typed response per se, but I recieved a friend request back from her, which meant she probably (like me on this profile) erased the request automatically and then, curiously, checked the profile to see what/who it really was. Usually these fake camera bitches get turned in as spam. I probably will someday also.

So last night I couldn't sleep, and what turns out to almost always be the wrong decision, I decide to turn the computer back on to see what's poppin, and seeing as how it is about 5 am at this time, nothing is poppin in this hemisphere although the parties are just winding down in Thailand which does me no good at all......So I compose the following, poorly concieved, executed, and most certainly, recieved email in the history of internet dating (stalking). (note the reference to how she is running out of ethnic friends under the "who I'd like to meet" thing...)

..> ..>

Date:Sep 28, 2007 6:49 AM
Subject: <---sorta ethnic
Body: I'm sorta ethnic.....Half Argentine, half Irish......My biological mom and sister actually live in W-- NY, and as far as I know, my mom works somewhere in the city.

Also I have been told I have brainpower but I don't believe it.

I don't have to appear clingy, I actually AM if I'm not careful....

I like to attempt to keep warm and keep my home at -65 degrees. It's a hobby I enjoy. I have a wool sweater that doesn't zip up but is apparently very anti-stylish that I wear constantly. Also a green longjohn shirt I paid way too much for at an American Eagle one time......

I had a friend once tell me things you find, win or steal are way more valuable than anything you buy. I think he was right.....Almost everything I treasure (which isn't too much I'm not into "things" very much) has a really good story behind it.....

I read and type at the same time all the time.....I've got to multitask to get everything done I need to in the procrastination-protracted timeframe necessary for basic life incohesion.....

I'm not sure if your statement about "My Super-Sweet 16" is sarcastic or not. Usually I say stuff like that with a great deal of sarcasm and latent frustration. I'm an outrage poet. I gotta have something to be outraged about, besides everything else screwed up in the world.....disillusionment poetry also is mixed in there somewhere....

I hate being mean and do almost everything possible to avoid hurting people's feelings (except outrage poetry, as it turns out....).

Sorry if I'm bothering the crap out of you---I'll stop but if you would like to continue this 'through-the-void" random conversation feel free. Also, my personal profile is the first of my top friends on this profile, and that contains my most recent blogs and a little more about me....this profile is really 99% professional....I can't remember if/when I have ever conversated as such with a (hopefully future) reader so forgive my unprofessionalism. It's like 5:35am here and I haven't slept in two days out of stress and tonight out of relief. Long story that either paints me in a really cool, outlaw light or marks me as a dangerous counterculturalist. Or both. I like conflicting truths.

The Zelda thing got my attention, though....Here, at the Montgomery Museum of Art, there are two paintings by Zelda Fitzgerald that I always stop in and see when I go to the big city. When I was a kid, growing up in MN, I thought I might be the reincarnated F.Scott Fitzgerald. Now I'm pretty sure I'm not although much of my life trajectory has followed suit......Or maybe I am, I don't know......

I'm off-kilter and I'm known for these kind of emails with my friends, not usually with strangers but who knows??? How many Jack Kerouac's are writing you completely random emails this early today morning???

I've got to sleep eventually but I'm either not as crazy as you think or twice as awesome as you suspect. Or both. I'm also old as hell (27) which is a third of your myspace age (90) and maybe almost a half decade higher than your actual age. I'm not sure but anyways....sleep beckons, taunts me from the edge of daylight saying "your hopes of sleeping when it is dark and being productive in the sunlight will have to wait at least one more day". I've heard that one before...

Take care and if you like keep in touch!

Michael Bernard

.....bad, bad, bad. Like when you wake up the next day and can barely remember the night before, but can remember enough to know you've got a lot of apologies, explanations, and/or people to avoid for a while. Combine that with attempts to pick up random strange girls in different states via Myspace, completely unsolicited other than finding them in the friend list of an artist you closely align with artistically or a political viewpoint you agree with, and that is kinda what I feel like.

Except I spent most of today thinking---"Hey, that might have worked---she might have got that message, and after having seen all my other drastic coolness (via my professional profile), fell madly in love".....I am a hopeless romantic, optimist, and idiot, as it turns out.

So I predictably spend my waking time before work checking my inbox (in both profiles) and my outbox to see if the message had been read yet, almost every five minutes religiously until I absolutely have to leave for work or risk being later than I'm going to be anyways. I get home at nearly midnight and the message had been read, and no response as of this being about twenty four hours since sending the message. And I am left wondering at what point you cross the line into internet stalking. I am trying to ween myself slowly, like only checking my inbox every 10 minutes for a while. Sleeping. Writing this action report was a way to trick myself into doing something else for a few also.

On a side note the female friend I made recently that I hung out with once and then missed her coming to visit because I didn't know she was coming and went with Chico that afternoon for some errands has not really been in touch with me recently. But as with almost any female I find myself dating or wanting to date, the complications and intricacies of the situation make both likelihoods (that it is just everything else in life distracting her and not me) [or] (that it is me, that I am a weirdo barely able to function in normal society and definitely not a candidate for whatever it is you get when you find someone like you but the other sex) equally possible.

It might be natural at this point to say "Maybe I should tailor the way I do things to be a little less over the top". You know, like not ambush a girl right out of the gate like that. Like maybe introduce her to my insanity and constantly shifting madness at a slow pace. Like maybe even pretend to be normal until at least the Antogonist Movement Event and then maybe reveal it after if it turns out she likes me enough to not just run away. But, like Dostoyevsky, I say, "have I not done her a better service, and myself also, perhaps saving years of misery for us both?". Or like Sexy Rexy Grossman, I say, "Fuck it, I'm throwing it downfield!".

Because, if anything, if I've learned anything from the millions of platitudes your friends tell you when you end up back on the open market, "just be yourself" being the king of all these platitudes (and how I hate platitudes!), it's that if I am as I am (nuts), then I need to embrace it. I need to be just as confident as Sexy Rexy and know that when I fling this insanity out into the wind as I do, that the ball will at the very least look beautiful as it spirals and arcs so gracefully, no matter who catches it. (The defenders wouldn't get so many interceptions if the balls weren't so perfectly thrown in the first place, such tight spirals...). Every pass play should be a touchdown or a pick-6. This isn't golf. Life is fucking football. I don't have time, patience, or willpower left to do the whole sociopathic "mold yourself into someone who might be worthy of companionship" method I so embraced and ran into the ground for the last 27 years. What was I thinking? I mean, just because I'm all screwed up doesn't mean I can't find someone who is attracted to it. Truely, living your life as a series of compromises made to build yourself into a respectable human being, contributing member of society, and law abiding citizen is for jerks. The kid gloves are off, like my current anti-hero, I'm laying it all out there every play. The endzone isn't in the flats, the endzone is at the end of the field, and all those short passes are for pansies. I go for touchdowns.

Friday, September 28, 2007



My hobby of collecting obscure music in droves took a new twenty-first century leap thanks to my friend Daniel, who has worked with me the last two days teaching this non-technology inclined moron how to download entire discographies at one time. Dinky's computer just informed me that I have just now finished downloading all 23 Halo's of the Nine Inch Nails discography. In just a short amount of time I will be able to recover most all of the music I remember I have ever owned, and not only this, but quickly accumulate all the new stuff I get addicted to every other time I turn around.

I had spoke with Daniel a few weeks back regarding plans for creative endeavors, and as it turns out, his musical interests and my own are very similar. Not only this but I am slowly learning the language of this musical taste I have had for so long but was unable to define. Apparently it has roots in "Acid Jazz", "Trance Techno", and "World Music". I had clues that was the track I was on for a while, but never knew for sure what someone (such as Daniel) that really knew about this stuff would call it. Now the present goal is to find a drummer and a singer for this project of Daniel's so he can go forth. I am very excited about the possibilities here!

In our most recent discussions Daniel exposed me to some of his musical influences, and I have to say, they are terrific. Shpongle and Hallucineogen are apparently trance groups fronted by the same guy and that specialize in different aspects of trance music. Supposedly trance is going out of style in favor of "House", and still I don't understand the distinctions of the different genres of techno (in my head techno has always had to fight for it's area of legitimacy to start with, much less deserving of other subgenres---like present day "Metal"---even though I have been a fan of Lords of Acid and God Lives Underwater for a decade or more, and whole-heartedly believe the "Deconstructed" album by Bush to be the most underrated album of all time). I don't care about the subgenre's. I know what I like when I hear it. That goes for all types of music. Mediski Martin and Wood is an "Acid Jazz" band that I have downloaded extensively in the last couple of days, and I look forward to chilling out to the double-set live concert I downloaded where they cover Jimi Hendrix songs entirely. This will be a treat! I also stumbled across a song by Fedde Le Grand called "Put You Hands up For Detroit", and the Shprongle song I'm listening to right now just seemed to bust into the same bass/drum groove (heavily chopped and altered) in the song that is playing now on my turntables ("A New Way To Say Horray"). Awesome since I was going to next talk about this song anyways. Oh, and I also downloaded the entire discography of Nirvana and Beastie Boys in the last twenty-four hours. I'll be occupied for months now.....

A moment I have wished for for at least a week happened today when a couple friend-girls challenged me to whip it out in front of them so that they could rank me amongst whatever it is girls judge them against. I mean I know what they are judging it against but it's like a test you take on friday and find out if you passed on Monday. This is a test as far as I know I have never really failed, but a passing grade in this case is not binding obviously since neither female is really available as far as I know, or in my league necessarily.....The reason I had been wishing for this moment (more than the usual tendency for a red blooded american male to desire to whip it out often) in particular because of a snippet of conversation I heard about a week ago where some girls were talking and comparing the size of various guys they knew. I wanted to be included in the National Title Conversation. I think I got the goods to go the distance, or at least, to deserve to be in the hunt.......The problem for me was that I was so ready to ablige I didn't have a second to stall and work up a semi or anything so it was basically in it's "sleeping" form (although not George Constanza "post-pool" crippled). Oh well now that I don't have that going through my head anymore I may proceed to newer, higher level obsessions, such as the meaning of life, love, and everything else...........

[......or as I just discovered in the restroom, probably haunted by the feeling every time I see it for the next week I'm going to think "why couldn't you have been that big at that crucial moment last saturday"....]...

A word that fellow half-ass Minnesotean Laurence "Kool Aide" Maroney (inadvertantly I believe) and I are trying to MeMe into the cultural conciousness right now is "Construda", which is basically a modern adaption of the late-90's word "Quan".

Do you remember the movie "Jerry McGuire"? For years I had been perplexed by the very obvious guy anti-bias to this movie and the almost universal female adoration of it. It was not until tonight while pontificating that it became clear to me----Jerry McGuire is a chick-flick disquised as a sport's movie. How obvious! How did I not see it before? Probably because I am a hard-core american male who is secure with his sexuality and who supremely loves the odd and rare chick flick (don't get me started on "While You Were Sleeping"). Sometimes I will take my chick flicks heavily disguised ("Meet Joe Black") or super violent ("The Long Kiss Goodnight".........."What?!?", you may ask, "didn't The Long Kiss Goodnight feature more Samuel L Jackson bleeding than almost any other Samuel L Jackson movie ever made, which is a highly impressive and bloody feat for ANY movie to aspire to?"...........the undeniable truth here is any movie that has a female as the main protagonist is automatically a chick flick.....I'm a sexist, so what?.......Even that movie where Demi Moore shaves her head to become a Marine [and technically any movie where a woman shaves her head]is very clearly lesbian soft-porn......the closest a female protagonist has ever come to not being the star of a chick flick was Meg Ryan in "Courage Under Fire" and maybe "Domino" since I haven't seen it yet.....). Even comic book movies about girls being badasses are really chick flicks (even my almost favorite movie in the world, "Tank Girl"). So what? Are you secure in your manlihood? Does it frighten you that "Resident Evil" is a chick flick? I don't care, you don't need to watch that stupid bullshit anyways.

But see because I had never gone through the process of realizing this Truth, it had never occured to me why my metaphores relating to "Jerry McGuire", especially to other guys, were falling flat. So let me start with "Quan", then I will do my best to describe what Kool Aide Maroney ("bout time we got some construda in dis mothafucka") has been too unintelligible to describe clearly for the American Public.

Quan is the idea that success is a combination of many different elements of your life that need to be in harmony to make the greater whole worthwhile. One of the plot angles of Jerry McGuire was that we need to align our personal character strengths and flaws to better atune ourselves to the harmony of the Quan we might already have, or to better achieve the Quan we want.

Construda is the word we are going to use for this for now on. The reasons are simple. One, no red-blooded american male (namely me) can relate lessons and insights from the movie Jerry McGuire (even if we are both closeted fans of the movie, Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr, or even god-forbid Renee Zellweger) to one another without crossing what is a very well-defined guy boundry.

Sure, we might have watched the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" with our mom and loved it, but we can't say that to another guy without possibly invoking the Mercy Killing Rule. It's like "Dacing with the Stars", or anything on MTV in the last most of the decade. I mean, I can and sometimes apparently do (like right now), because while I am aware of this boundry, I was not informed on how far the vast woman-wing conspiracy was willing to go to take this shit over. This is why I am just getting used to (and excited about) the fact our next president is Hillary. I hope she is. Do you remember growing up in the Clinton Utopia? I do, and I want it back. All my reservations of being under the power of a woman be damned.

So I've been thinking about my Construda. What I've got; not a whole lot of possessions and absolutely the opposite of any sort of status symbol at all at this point (despite there being credible eye-witness testimony available that I used to have such things in abundance), but a whole shitload of really cool ass friends, a life-time of awesome experiences from which to draw wisdom (even more important wisdom than figuring out how the mass media is slowly castrating us with a rigamarole of feminist and homosexual brainwashing), street cred (big time), a car (sometimes), money (less and less frequently), the possibility (although abstract at this point) of one day being in love or having sex and maybe even both together at the same time or in that order even is cool with me, being on my way to achieving lifegoals that are almost as old as me......What more could someone want? I mean, other than a blue-water sailboat, a porsche (again), a badass condo or impressive place to live (again), a bigscreen tv bigger than rhode island (again), money in the bank (a distant memory, but again), and impressive wardrobe of clothes and in fact the daily dressing ritual of Peter Dragon (was up to watches last time)............and then look at it----do you see it??, is it coming through to you now?----The posessions we desire due to social, marketing, or experience conditioning, even in their absense the desire and idea of ownership and possession causes us to be owned BY THEM, not to mention the responsibility and anxiety (and possibily the deflating dissatisfaction) of the reality of actually having such things to maintain and many times have you gotten exactly what you wanted just to be let down? I think instead about the stuff that would REALLY make me any happier than I am now, not inconsequential material goals that either vicariously replace the spiritual completeness of a fulfilled life or distract us from our God-guided quest for upper level I think tonight about things I would REALLY like for myself...... a hot girl to lay in bed with at night, Brain Greise getting his ass lit up tomorrow and Rex Grossman coming in to beautifully blow the game for the Bears, the Vikings maybe winning, having even just a hottie being interested in me more than any other guy in particular and vice versa, maybe even miraculously the Falcons winning, seeing the Pacific Ocean one day, being full-size or real close when I whip it out for a girl for the first time next time, going significantly west of the Mississippi River, seeing long-seperated family and friends again, travelling the world and being a semi-piss-poor represenative of straight-edge American culture but a very very awesome example of underground counterculturalism and being a seeker of the Divine Moments of Truth. My Construda will never have to be checked at the Airport Baggage Claim. Hurricanes won't destroy it (although could threaten the immediate comfort of that night in bed with Mrs. Future). It cannot be stolen or taxed. It is a currency that is unique to us all individually, while we share in it with all of each other forever. My wealth is in my relations with other people and the experiences we have shared, and will share together in the future.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hickory on Donahue

Hickory on Donahue

Hickory on Donahue, Editors Choice Award, International Library of Poetry, 2007.

How many times I must have passed
below your outstretched arms and leaves
in life and dreams
hickory tree reaching over this sea
fifty years or more of history
and thousands of versions each of me
as we travel to downtown and the lights
or in return to our beds and high on revelry
leprous stringy bark, coarse to the touch
grown bonzai shaped to avoid
our relentless restless human progress
another half century we shall remain
as ghosts or memories.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wu-Tang Forever

Wu-Tang Forever

Last night I stayed up late
going through old music
and I remembered how I
had forgotten the crisp casio
keyboard logic of Wu-Tang
Clan, NYC rolling bass
and Worldview
I stayed up an extra hour
collecting every song and
instrumental I could find

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Two of Me

Two of Me

There of are two of me
I am quick to say
Twenty times a day when confronted with
this duality that presents itself as me
In my heart I know I am a winner
yet often art is the representation of the despair
of someone who has not won all the games
I have been 32-5
I have been the lead off batter on a team that barely lost
I have been the leading gross salesman
and still been dragged down by this thing, my heart
I have lost the ones I wanted on the battlefield
I have sacrificed The One(s) for that intanglible
Victory at any cost, give it all for The World
Twenty-Four hours in a day, how many to win?
I win, that is my job, that is what I do
Now, twelve or more hours a day
lonely am I in whatever hours I spend away
from the battlefield, confronted with the emptiness
of a home abandoned, a life forgotten
an eternal love foresaken for earthly, fleeting pleasures
How much more could I have won?
Had I forestalled Love for Victory at every turn?
but as a human I have made the choice a dozen times
to follow my heart and lose the battles in heat
Now I Am Clear
I see, there is only one player in this game, It Is Me
and the Team I believe in, and who appears to reciprocate
I give myself, prostrate myself, in hopes of recognition
In hopes of being noticed in my unyielding flight
I will win for you, sacrifice for you, I will destroy
Whatever life might be outside this little world
This little battle we fight every day to survive
I will be who you need me to be
because I know there have always been Two of Me
and my losing tendencies have come
when I could not decide which one I wanted
in control.

Friday, January 19, 2007

They Say The End

They Say The End

They Say The End, Immortal Verses (anthology), 2007, The Sound of Poetry (anthology), 2007, Editor’s Published Poet Ribbon Award, Intenational Library of Poetry, 2007. Editors Choice Award, International Library of Poetry, 2007.

They Say The End of Days are Near
every twenty years
another war starts, the market crumbles
someone important dies or is born
another prominent figure goes environmentalist
new catastrophes, new enemies
it will never be the same again
the dreams we held dear are so far away
visions of apocalyptic nightmares
They Say The End of Days are Near
because what we once thought sure
has again become suspect
crime goes up, the glaciers receed
inflation goes up, freedom is repealed
pollution piles up, species disappeared
They Say the End of Days are Here
dictators and presidents and lobbyists
pundits and local politicians
judges and advocates
law enforcement and Multinationals
citizens and criminals
men of God and the children of the damned
They Say the End of Days are Here
we listen, we hear
we have heard this all before
and we console ourselves with doubt
and hope maybe not this year

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