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RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Hollywood.
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

BACKGROU­ND:
The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
fantasy.
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
King!
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film strip around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!


PARAMOUNT STUDIO:
Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

WARREN BROTHERS:
During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Dorothy A Aug 2010
Phone in your home
Phone with you on the road
Three way connections
Incoming calls, not one, but another-aka call waiting
Phones with caller ID
Cordless phones
Hands free phones
Toothy phones sticking out of people's ears
Picture phones...say cheese!
Phone texting instead of talking
Hello? I cannot hear you!

Television and movies in your home
DVD players in your car
Watch those images on your computer
Watch them on your cell phone
Television in the airport
Television in the restaurant
Television at the gas pump
Television in the grocery store line
What's next? Television in the operating room?

Music on your home stereo
Music on your car radio
Store it all on your traveling ipod
Melodious cell phone rings everywhere
Your mp3 player and new computer speakers
Your favorite cable music channels
And plenty of music blasted in the stores
Can't I just have a thought to myself?

Don't forget computers!
Instant messaging
Junk mail in cyberspace
All your shows and movies
always at your instant access
Computer dating
Computer stalkers and hacking
Computer crashes I foresee
because computer bugs and viruses
are trying to invade my soul!
And I feel sick!

I can't get that music out of my head!
I think my ears are ringing!
You've heard of couch potatoes
I think I'm a mouse potato!
How is that for a human spud?
Yes, I admit I'm addicted to my PC!
That I spend more time with technology
than I do with the human race!

I should be burnt out
like old hardware
that is on extreme overload
Not made of wires and steel
but of flesh and blood
I am designed!

But I can't stop!!!

The technology of the future is now here!
I know what George Jetson was saying when he said:
JANE! GET ME OFF THIS CRAZY THING!
Love is beautiful
Patience and kind
Movie star kisses
Making passionate love
Paints a pretty picture
But lets get down to the nitty gritty
*** is ******* good
Rough and passionate
But the next day can be filled with regret
The next ******* day is plan b
And why don't people *** after *** on the television?
Thats a urinary tract infection waiting to happen
Or yeast infection
What the  televison doesn't t tell you
you can get hpv with a ****** on
Hpv leads to cancer
(but not all strands- you still got hope)
maybe a chance you already have hpv
Because almost every sexually active person will have it at one point in their life
What the television doesnt tell you
after **** some girls will have to take a huge ****
And most girls don't like ****
It hurts every ******* time
What the television doesn't tell you
how to use proper protection
That you can be rubbed raw
Get a hernia during ***
Sometimes its pretty ******* bad ***
Its not pretty
It can be awkward
It can be silly
and you do not need to act ****
What the telly doesn't tell you
Is how it doesn't matter about the age you loose it but when you have the emotional intelligence to go through with it
Even then you do not know that you have opened Pandora's box
You do not know what you think you know
The specialist are still figuring out ****** hygiene
So the next time you watch the television and you see the **** stars or teen lovers
It is not so easy
*** is complicated
But can be good and worth it with the right person
No matter what age or relation
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
The **** kids gaol



Once upon a time there was this kid named Brian Mandler who was 14 years

Of age and was sort of obsessed with figuring out a way to catch and reform

Really dangerous criminals.   When he explained how he’ll do it to his family,

They told him that they don’t want to hear it and they all leave the room and

Brian went to his room and got onto his computer and started to track

Down some dangerous criminals and as well as that he will watch Australia’s

Most wanted and unsolved mysteries to make sure he is up to date with the

Goings on and when he catches them he will give them a pill which puts

Them to sleep and it makes them dream that they are on TV and Brian

Can watch it to keep him informed on their goings on.

When he saw the first criminal who was named David Perton Brown who

Was a real evil child snatcher who loves to pray on vonerable kids who

Haven’t got good lives as well as robbing them  and leaving them to die

and then he’ll do about 180 on the freeway trying to **** families

On their way to their holiday destination and quite often he succeeded but

This time Brian got onto his computer and said that he wants to get David

And put him on a early morning childrens show called the Saturday Morning

Cartoon hour where he’ll meet people left, right and centre and most of those

People will be children and he’ll have guests who will give him heaps for the

Crimes that he did and also he’ll have a visit from the police every 4 Saturdays

To really check up on him but he had to make the kids unaware by posing to

Make sure that kid’s say no to drugs and lifts with strangers and that meant

That the host could try something outside.

As well as that Brian put him on a nightly music show because some of his

Victims are now teenagers who like music and Brian made him the sort of

Host that will constantly goof up a lot.  The program was called The Talent

Quest and he’ll be teamed up with 2 police officers who are making sure there

Is no funny stuff going on.

Brian planned to keep him in his little gaol for a long time till he starts to settle

Down a bit.

The next criminal is Joshua Tartwright who is a vicious modern day pirate who

Takes adults over 40 and holds them captive in his little boat and he has been

Doing this for about 12 years and Brian got onto his computer and told it

That he wants Joshua to on the pirates of the Carribean TV series and keep him there till he realises that he is no match for those pirates

And he doesn’t feel like kidnapping them anymore but this was hard to get him

To take the drug and Brian had to get to rough police officers to hold him down

And then force feed him till he his knocked completely out and then his life as

A television star started.   Joshua was excited about being on a pirate show and

He wanted to email all his friends but he was stuck in another world and also

He was the one the pirates wouldn’t leave alone and he felt weird and wanted

The drug to wear off but we all know that when it wears off it’s dinner time.

As he started the pirate show it was hard for him to be his own man because he

Was kidnapped straight away it was hard for him to understand what this

Dream meant and was trying to tell Brian that he wants his blood.

Brian jumped on the computer and said how about we keep him captive there

For 2 hours and then it would be dinner time and h’ll enjoy that.

Meanwhile Brian wasn’t scared one little bit and watched the television to

Catch another criminal and it was Mark Dellar who tried to make John the

Baptist (the religious fellow) look evil by coming into the Christian church and

Preaching that John the Baptist was evil and every thing that he did

John the Baptist was telling him to do it and the Christians were very

Upset and screamed so loudly as Mark stole money from everyone in

There and Brian got onto his computer and said that he wants to put

Mark in his gaol and make him a religious guru to be put onto Television

At 5 am every weekday morning as well as listen to good people’s

Prayer requests and he must help them as well.   The first request was a

Man who is terminally ill and there is no way he will get out of it and

This man yelled at him in the prayer request that he sent and Mark

Tried to tell him that he has nothing to worry about because God

Is on your side and Brian got onto his computer and made the walls

Cave in and knocked Mark out and the man just ran away saying

We won the first battle and Mark woke up and he had a cup of coffee

And a biscuit waiting for him and he was relieved but there were more

Strange cases in his dream and Brian is there to reform him.

Brian thought it was a good job he gave him as a Television preacher helping people get better than making people feel Worse which what he was doing..

Brian watched more of Australia’s most wanted and saw a group of

Violent and dangerous armed robbers who were knocking over 7

Eleven stores and rich people’s houses as well as stopping the

Families from going out and having fun and Brian had his little

Plan to get them in his little gaol.     He wanted to play them at their

Own game by pretending he was a rich powerful man because

He had more dangerous things than any robber like his booster

Shot in which Brian wanted then to be cops in televisions cop

Drama ‘cop department” in which they deal with dangerous criminals

Like them each day and Brian thought that they will reform if they

Knew the kind of trauma they were putting their victims through and Brian

Keeps them there forever if they don’t reform even if it eventually kills

Them so the crooks can’t escape because Brian is too powerful for

Any of them.

Brian sat their laughing at the armed robbers playing cops and at

One moment they were locked in a security vault which had a

Bomb in it which is set to explode in 20 minutes and Brian went

On the computer and said let the bomb go off and then they will

Be put back in their beds and we will have lunch for them before

We torture them some more and then Brian sat down and said

What a job well done but there are still heaps of dangerous criminals

He needs to catch yet

Brian turned on America’s most wanted and there was the Texan ******

Who preys upon women in their 20s by luring them into his panel van

And keeping them ******* in his back shed till they are killed and Brian

Said that he wants to catch the Texan ****** and start him on stint on

General hospital where he will play a young woman who is the target

Of a never ending ****.

The police took the drug off Brian and went straight to the Texan rapists

House to give him the drug and at first he wondered why he needed to

Take these drugs because he wasn’t mental he said and there is nothing

Wrong with him and he refused to take them and tried to escape and

Then Brian got onto his computer to make him too slow to get away and

Brian was happy to get him onto General hospital and make the old ladies

Very happy.

When he first fell asleep there was a ****** at the end of his bed and wanted

To get within his sheets and really let him have it and the Texan ****** was

Screaming so loud stuff like” Let me go I’m a man not a woman but this

****** just heard the innocent lady scream and there was no way that he

Was to escape and Brian was laughing like crazy at the Texan rapists bad ordeal

And went onto the computer and said I want him to be attacked every day

To understand what it was like for his victims and they started to employ

People to play the rapists straight away and Brian was happy to see that this

Plan of his is working very well.

Brian was the envy of all his friends but noone apart from his best friend

Thomas knew about it because of the closeness of their friendship,

Brian’s secret was safe with him.

Brian and Thomas went to the park to have a drink under the tree

Together and talked about their lives and Brian isn’t aloud to talk about

His gaol life just in case anyone was around and at the moment noone

Could suspect anything.

After Brian had a break he watched more of Australia’s most wanted and

Saw there was a man wanted for bank fraud who is on the run in Brisbane

And Brian wanted to track him down and give him the drug that puts

Him in his little gaol where Brian will put him on as victim of fraud who

Was on Brian’s fake edition of 60 minutes until he realises that what

He did is wrong and that he will never do it again and when the police

Arrived at his house to give him Brian’s magical reforming drug he put

Up a fight and started to flee away on foot down the street that he lives

In with some police following him and others contacting Brian to use his

Powers to make him slower and catch him and give the drug to him and

Put the fraud man who doesn’t tell people his name into his little gaol and

When they did Brian was so happy of all the crooks he caught without

A worry in the world , Brian watched the episode of 60 minutes and

Really enjoyed him suffering because of all the people he made suffer

He needs a taste of his own medicine.

They asked him what is it like to be a victim of fraud and do you think you will

Ever see that kind of money again and he told them that he wants the money he

Stole so he could go to the Bahamas and cruise around looking for chicks and

Brian went straight to the computer and said keep ribbing him because it’s fun to

Make this guy suffer because what he did was terrible so rib something fierce.

Brian watched this music show and He was happy that the young people who were at the music festival were

Really letting him have it and this really entertained Brian a lot and

Then he switched it over to the Talent quest where our criminal was being

Told he was talentless and was upset with the whole outcome of it all, he

Threatened to jump off the top building and be dead forever and Brian

Went onto the computer and said that there is no way that he will die if he

Jumps off the roof to the ground, in fact he will just wake up and a guard will

Be there to keep an eye on him and now he was aware of the fact that noone

Could escape from Brian’s little gaol.

The Saturday morning cartoon show went very well with the child snatcher

Being teased by 2 11 year old girls and one 7 year old boy  and he nearly lost it and Brian was so happy that they were teasing him.  Then he told the kids that

He will **** them all and Brian went onto the computer and said don’t try any

Funny stuff because there is no escape for you now fella,and then he put

one of the cartoons which was our modern day pirate who was being tortured by Blackbeard and Brian was happy because this man needed to know why he is

in this little gaol of Brian’s, and then he went onto his computer and said to

Blackbeard too never let him get free because what he was doing to these

Adults was a very bad thing and then he went back to his chair and laughed at

Blackbeard the pirate torturing this modern day pirate like a lamb to the

Slaughter.

Blackbeard also made to walk the plank and Threatened to cut his head off

Agreed that it could be fun to see him suffer.   Like what it was like for him

In the end of his life and the pirate said “please don’t **** me please don’t ****

Me I am a modern pirate and in days to come pirates have a lot of vegeance

Than in these times” and Brian went to the computer and told them to

Chop his head off once and then keep trying to do it so he could suffer

And that would be heaps of fun Brian thought.

Brian turned it over to general hospital where his Texan ****** was screaming

In the back boot of a car and noone could hear him except for Brian who was

Watching him and he got up and wrote on the computer “He wants them to

Feed his body to the sharks at 11.59 am so he could be ready for lunch.

He switched the TV over to the cop show where our armed robbers thought they are in the perfect job because there were no crimes around so they just sat down

And relaxed and Brian wasn’t happy and went to this computer and told

Everybody to put on a few situations to make them really suffer like they

Did to the police on Earth and then suddenly there was a call on the 000

Saying there was a mother and her 13 year old son locked in their panic

Room while the robbers were having a field day robbing the place

and the cops went straight there only to find out that this was their first

test, because when the reached them the crooks turned on them and

left the mother and 13 year old son in the panic room and Brian went

to his computer and said I want these so-called policeman to try to save the

mother and son instead of trying to **** the police and if they don’t they will

flunk the test.  So one of the policemen went into the house and tried to

save the mother and son while the other two were having a gunfight and the

policeman who was in the house saving the victims couldn’t get the door

opened and screamed for his mates to help him but they were too busy

having a gunfight in the front lawn with the neighbours scared for each others

safety, and Brian went to his computer and said give these ****** gunfighters

a wake up pill because they don’t seem to realise what is really important

here and that is saving the victims and not killing the cops like cowboys

and Indians you ****** fools.

While all the caught prisoners eating their meals Brian watched Australia’s most

Wanted to try to catch some more crooks and they told him about the

Charnwood child snatcher who lived in “as the name suggests” Charnwood

And he took street kids off the streets and he would tell them that he has the

Perfect home for them and as a matter of fact he would tie the kids up

And when they die of starvation or dehydration he would take them out

To the cow paddock and let the cows pick at them and When Brian heard

The details he got straight up to his computer and said that he wants to

Put the Charnwood child snatcher on a new show called Sugary who is

A very witty and smart seal who is befriended by this 8 year old boy who

Is the Charnwood child snatcher because Brian wanted to teach him

Not to destroy the family’s lives, like he did when he kidnapped their

Children from them.

Brian sat down and watched the first episode and they had this evil

Genous who wanted to take the seal and sell him for seal meat and

The boy was so determined to stop this crook he would stay out and

Guard Sugary all night and hours and hours went by and noone turned

Up and the boy was determined not to leave because Sugary was his

Favourite pet.

When the crooks got there the boy jumped up and said” If you want

Sugary you have to take me as well” and the men said “Whatever”

And shoved the kid in a bag with the attempt the **** him and then

**** Sugary soon after and Brian got up to his computer, don’t let them

Be killed, just keep him ******* till the end when the parents come to save

Them and make sure that sugary is safe as well.

Then Brian sat down and saw The father rescue the boy and Sugary from

This evil genious and the evil genious said I will get you next time boy

Next time heh heh heh and then you won’t escape from that.

The Charnwood child snatcher woke up and found himself locked in a room

And he looked outside and a lady has a cup of coffee for him and he took

The coffee and thanked the lady and sat down until it was time to take his

Reforming pill.

Brian was happy because the Charnwood child snatcher was forced to learn

The perfect family bond between parents and children.

About 5 hours later than that Brian sat down and watched the 6 o clock news

And they informed everybody with Christmas approaching there was man

Who escaped from prison who is a good santa claus impersonator and every

Christmas he would go to Santa School and pass the test and then he’ll be

Assigned to working in one of the shopping malls and that doesn’t sound

Like such a crime and Brian was thinking this is a happy story until he heard

The next bit where he will get the kids to put their name and address so he

Knows where to go on Christmas eve and then he studies when the kids

Will be alone in the house and comes to their homes
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
You know it's not worth all the trouble
The stationary on the table
Open the doors to needy families
They need their ice machines
Need their locks and they need keys
And they need chairs and beds and ashtrays
The stationary on the table
Next to the television
I was in the shower
Looking for my soap
The doors were closed, I'm sure
No one knows I was there
Kept it well hidden, then I
Did what I had to do and then I
Walked away and I forgot this day ever happened
Ever happened
It's easy to walk away just turn your head
And forget this day ever happened
It's easy just to walk away, turn your head and forget
That this day ever happened
It's easy to forget, turn around and leave
Wrap it around your sleeve and forget
Forget this day, this day ever happened
Left the ice machine
I left my locks and keys
I left my luggage and my ***** magazines
I left my ashtrays
Left my bed and my buffet
Left my chairs and my keys and
Lord, I left my "Do Not Disturb"
Left my family, left the housekeeper
And I left the ice machine
Left the postcards of the pool
Left the restaurant, left the shower
And the rooms and the signs that say:
"Soap upstairs, stationary on the table
By the television."
I stole the towels and the TV guide
I got into my vehicle, I stole another ashtray
From the bar, by the bed, by the buffet
Sat in your electric chair and thought of children
I was a clerk, I had a "Do Nor Disturb" sign on my head
And the Doors were playing in the background
About the broken families
And the housekeeper at the ice machine
Where she lost her keys, but she never could find the locks
And her luggage and her magazines
Oh, she's on the phone too much, and the pool is warm but it's closed
She's got a postcard
There's a remote chance that the restaurant is still open
But we've got the keys to the rooms
We got showers, we've got signs that say:
"Soap can be found upstairs
By the stationary on the table
Sitting by the television."
Well, I brought back the towels but I kept the TV guide
My vehicle's in the shop and the ashtrays are filled
With roaches and roach clips
And the bar of soap that I stole from the hotel
That was by the beds that were never quite made right
And the buffet that didn't taste right
And we were sitting in the chairs
We were listening to your children
Oh, that purse does not seem to like me much
I said, "Do not disturb my meditations, if you please
Turn that Doors tape off, if you please."
Gotta get home, back home to my family
I once was a housekeeper, I once was a housekeeper
Yes, I was, do you remember when I was a housekeeper?
But I never knew my way to the ice machine
And they never gave me keys so I never knew where the locks were
And I never needed luggage because the only things I'd seen were in magazines
Heard about on the phone - spent some time by the pool
Writing on the backs of postcards, suicide notes
But it's remote- this restaurant will not be the place I do it
I know I need some rooms - rooms with showers
Need myself a sign that says "The soap can be found upstairs
Next to the stationary on the table by the television."
I need some towels but I don't need the TV guide
So I got the TV, yeah I put it in the vehicle outside
Along with a couple of ashtrays
And a bottle or two that I had ordered but never paid for at the bar
Well, the beds were made this time
But the buffet still didn't taste quite right
And the chairs they gave us were much too small
Like they were made for children
But the clerk was not responsive to my complaints
She kept on saying, "Do Not Disturb me
You know the way to the doors."
If I had a dollar for all the families who were expecting me to be a housekeeper
I'd go buy the ice machine
Empty the ice and find the keys
And then I'd go look for the locks
Take my luggage cram-packed with magazines
I've got some quarters for the phone
Brought my swimming trunks for the pool
Send a postcard
But there is a remote possibility
That I might never leave here
But stay here
Eating in the restaurant
Where the rooms are not too cozy
And the showers ain't got no running hot water
We need a sign, there were nothing but signs
I should have been paying attention to the signs
I should have brought my own soap
The thought occurred to me as I walked down the stairs
That's why I need some stationary
I'm gonna sit down at the table
Turn the television off, send back the towels
Open up the TV guide, think about the vehicle outside
archwolf-angel Aug 2016
Monster
Trianna POV
It took me time to accept what I was being pushed into. Ever since I was young, my mother and father told me that one day, I might grow to hate myself. I know, what parents tell that to their child right? But they saw no point in lying to me. It was going to happen. I was going to hate myself.

I am half-vampire.

Not because of my mother, not because of my father. It was my paternal grandfather.

It was a miracle my father got none of the vampire symptoms. It was the best miracle. My grandparents were one of those unbelievably fated couples in the world. A vampire and a human fell in love and got married and had my dad. They were prepared to have to deal with a vampire child, but, miraculously, it did not happen. My father came out normal, as normal as any human could ever be. It was not surprising; he had more of my grandmother’s genes. Eventually, my father met my mother, fell in love and got married. I came along. That’s how the equation works right?

They had nothing to worry, for they were both human. However, something was not right. When I was 3, my eye color changed. The color was nothing like my parents’. Their eyes were a nice shade of hazel and dark brown. Mine, was green, dark, forest green. As a kid, my treats weren’t sweets. They were blood, small droplets of blood from my parents. But by the time I was 7, my parents and grandparents helped me grow an addiction to lollipops, making me turn to them whenever I had a craving attack. For blood that is. But craving attacks were rare, very rare. I was only a half-vampire anyway.

As the days passed, I grew into a teenager, my parents and grandparents aged, except my grandfather. My grandmother long got used to the fact that my grandfather would not be able to age with her. After a while, I found it weird that my father was starting to look older than my grandfather. Things all went well, until the night before I turned 18.

It was taboo.

All a taboo.

I really hated myself now.

No one saw it coming. So we didn’t make precautions.

I killed them. I killed my parents. I didn’t even know what happened. I couldn’t even remember. I only remembered that I was enjoying a movie on television with my parents alone at home as my grandparents were out for a friends’ gathering dinner or something. And the next thing I remembered were my parents, lying in their own pool of blood, not breathing. My hands and face, stained with blood. My grandfather tried to stop me but feeding me his blood, but it was too late. It was all too late. I held onto my grandfather’s bitten arm and lay there, just staring at my parents. The clock struck midnight and everything turned black.

I woke up the next morning in my own bed, an urge to puke filled my guts as I rushed to the toilet to throw up. Nothing came out, just regurgitation. I looked up in the mirror, and blinked. I blinked again, harder this time, making sure I was not hallucinating. My eyes were, green, not dark green, but a lighter shade. I pulled the side of my mouth to reveal my canine teeth. They were sharper than before. In a state of shock and panic, I ran down the stairs, where I knew where my family would be. The moment I reached the first floor, I saw my grandparents outside, in the backyard.

I hesitated to move. Someone tell me the nightmare I had was not real.
“G-Grandpa?” I murmured. My grandfather turned, making my grandmother do the same. My grandmother had a tear-streaked face and a handkerchief in her hands. My grandfather looked the worse ever since I knew him. I swallowed hard before walking closer to them, and I noticed two coffins being laid on the ground.

Tears fell down my cheeks as I realized who those two being laid there were.

“Grandpa… Tell me this isn’t real…” I struggled to believe what was happening in front of me. My grandfather held onto me before I could collapse.

“Trianna, please don’t be like this…” he pleaded.

I knelt in front of my parents’ tombs and bid them a last farewell before they were being cremated. The fire was burning away so many memories. I almost wanted to walk into it, almost.

“I’m sorry…” I whispered under my breath and said a deep prayer. I lifted myself up from the ground and dried my tears. Walking to my grandparents, I gave them both a tight hug before my grandfather could go on another trail of apologies about how it was his fault I am what I am now. Worse, I am not a pure. And that is making things so hard for us to decipher. It was something none of us wanted. However, I had to blame myself. And I blamed myself, a lot. But I never mentioned anything about my parents ever since my 18th birthday. I wanted to escape.

For one year, we continued to stay at that same house. And every day without fail, I would walk to the backyard where my parents were cremated and kiss the ground, apologize then do whatever I had to do for the day. I stayed away from school which my grandparents obliged. I doubt anyone is ready for me to have a sudden craving attack again and start ******* the blood out of my classmates since my cravings were stronger now. I used to only have to **** on lollipops whenever I see blood. But now, I had to have a lollipop in my mouth 24/7, considering the fact that we are in fact staying amongst humans, and most probably have to for the rest of my life, and I start wondering how long my life would be.

To start things anew, my grandparents decided we needed to shift to a new state. If we continued to stay in that place, as they assumed, would be bringing me way too much pain. I had no opinions; I just needed to follow them wherever they wanted to go. However, I did mention there was not much need to actually move, I was over the whole blaming myself about my parents’ death thing… I think.

We settled down in a small town called Kingslet based in the United States, where Grandpa once lived with his family. I heard that that town was secluded, but definitely still populated with humans, moreover, rich humans. And probably some vampires.

We moved into a cottage that my grandfather bought over from an old friend. And when I said old friend, I meant like, a really really really old vampire friend of his who happened to want to move away to another town with his family. My grandfather drove a van that he had rented from near the place where our private plane landed to the location where we were destined to live. Upon arriving, my jaw dropped. That isn’t a cottage, more like a mansion, for goodness sake. Alighting from the van, I took one breath and knew it was the signal for me to be ******* on lollipops again. I took one out from my backpack and opened it before popping it into my mouth.

“The smell getting to you already? That’s fast.” My grandfather, who was obviously already immune to the smell of blood, chuckled.

“Shut up.” I mock-glared my grandfather and smiled as I helped with moving the luggage into the house. Being half-vampire, for the moment, was not half bad. I get extra super strength, a cliché vampire gift. I did my own research of my own kind. We get super human strength, sense of smell increases and super human speed. But I figured maybe because I was only half-bred, I wasn’t sensitive to the sun, nor to garlics, or crosses. I consider myself lucky.

Entering the cottage, I placed the luggage on the floor before taking a look around the place. The place was really not bad. It was huge, comfortable and very cozy. My grandmother would definitely love it here. Well, she would be the only one hanging around the house 24/7. I don’t really want my 75 year old human grandmother wandering just anywhere she wants alone. High chances are that she was going to get hurt or something. But touch wood. And true enough, my grandmother was already taking her place on one of the sofas furnished in the living room by the fireplace, smiling at my grandfather.

“It’s wonderful here, Xavier dear.” She complimented.

Both grandfather and I smiled at her then at each other.

“Glad that you like it here, Katrina darling.” He said to my grandmother, making me quiver at their sweetness, but it was not like I was not used to it. “Come on Tri, let’s start moving the things.” He turned to me and suggested. I nodded with a smile. As we were at moving, I was told my room is on the second floor, in which I get to choose between three bedrooms, and the other two would become any room I want them to be, and that most likely means I would be having the whole second floor to myself. This really doesn’t sound so bad. I picked the biggest room, and poked my head in, realizing that the bed and all were already furnished perfectly. It must be grandpa. He knows me really well. Too well.

I threw both my luggage onto my bed and opened them, revealing my clothes and all my other belongings and started unpacking. First, my one and only family photo left after grandpa decided to keep the rest away from me at our old home. He only allowed me to keep one, the one we took when I was 15, in which I really don’t look much different compared to the present me. Staring at the photo, I wished so much that they were still here with me. It didn’t matter if we were going to move either way, as long as they were here, things would be perfect. I quickly put the picture frame at the side of my bed before I could actually start crying my green orbs out again. I proceeded with the rest of my unpacking and once I was done, I had also finished my lollipop. Being lazy to open another open, I chose to leave the empty lollipop stick in my mouth and chew on it instead.

Heading downstairs with my headphones hanging around my neck and smartphone, I hopped onto the longest sofa that was facing the wide screen television, switched on the television and started to channel surf, deciding to figure out the town’s frequency, hoping they have my favorite music and drama channels.

“Trianna!”

I heard my name coming from behind me, before turning to my grandmother. She merely shrugged at me, so I pouted at her and responded to my grandfather. “Yes, grandpa?” turning to meet gazes with him. I instantly felt a bunch of papers being shoved into my hold.

“What is this?” I asked, flipping through the pieces of paper, which I realized had my name and identification number printed everywhere.

“Your new school registration confirmation. I have already settled everything for you. And you are reporting to school the day after tomorrow, on Monday.” My grandfather said, taking a place next to my grandmother as they cuddled up.

“Isn’t this a little bit too soon?” I frowned. I really did not hate school. I just hated the fact that if I have to hang around humans, I have to deal with my control over my craving. It’s stressful and tiring.

“You are not getting away with anything this time, Trianna. It’s been a year since you last went to school. And the sooner you go out there to train, the better. Eventually, you will need to walk out of the house.”

Crap. I struggled to find another excuse. And light bulb!

“What about this and this?” I pointed at my eyes first, then my teeth.

“Don’t fret about it. I’m stocking up on your contact lenses for you, and your lollipops. Plus, your teeth aren’t obvious either, those lollipops are grazing them off.”

“But-!”

“Trianna!”

I bit my lips, “Yes grandpa…” I knew there was no way I can argue further. My grandfather was right; I have to deal with this someday, somehow anyway. Why not just go out there and face the music, get it over and done with? He had already obliged to me for a year, it was my turn to listen.

Dinner was spaghetti with carbonara, my grandfather’s best cuisine. Nothing beats this. It was my favorite behind lollipops. After dinner, it was sliced fruits and television. Once I felt I had my fair share of the night, I kissed my grandparents goodnight.

Third Person POV

After Trianna headed up to her room, her grandmother frowned.

“What’s wrong, Katrina?” Trianna’s grandfather asked, caressing his wife’s cheeks.

“Xavier, don’t you think it’s a little too harsh on Trianna? Making her go to school now? Go out there with the humans?” she questioned, as worried as her face portrayed her to be.

Xavier sighed. As much as he did not want to risk his one and only precious granddaughter, he had to. “Katrina, we have to let her go. She is very unlike me. If we don’t let her go, we will never have our answers about her. I know I promise to ask my friends more about Dhampirs. I will. But Trianna still has to go. I cannot protect her forever.” Xavier let out another sigh, “I don’t even know for sure, if she is a Dhampir.”

Trianna POV

The morning sun shone on my face indicating the new day. I struggled to open my eyes as I lifted myself off my bed. I stretched uncomfortably and yawned. This new bed sure needs some getting used to. After combing and tying up my shoulder-lengthed dark brown wavy hair, I washed myself up before heading down to the first floor.

“Good morning Grandpa. Good morning Grandma.” It was a habit to greet. A good one, I know. It was pancakes for breakfast, I could totally smell it since I was upstairs. Popping my head into the kitchen, I took another deep breath.

“Pancakes?” I asked, excited.

“Bet you smelt it the moment you woke up.” He laughed.

“Not exactly, but when I was upstairs, yes.” I chuckled along, moving to hug him.

“Good morning Tri.” He greeted, hugging me tightly.

“Where’s Grandma?” I bobbed my head around, not seeing her anywhere in sight.

“In the backyard trying to do some exercise.” He answered.

You are seriously letting a 75 year old woman do exercise alone in the backyard. Call yourself the best husband in the world. Creep.

I ran towards the backyard and saw my grandma doing some stretches to the morning radio slowly. Like literally, really slowly. I skipped over to greet her, shocking her a little before I pounced slightly to hug her and give her a daily dose of her morning kiss. Sensing that my grandfather was almost done with the pancakes, I led her back into the house and sat her down on her seat at the big round dining table. After helping my grandfather with laying the table, we three finally sat down for breakfast.

Picking up the maple syrup, I poured enough to cover my pancakes before placing my block butters on them, melting them and coating the pancakes. Love them this way. The silence during the meal was perfect, until my grandpa decided to break it.

“So,” he coughed slightly, “Any plans for today?” he asked, looking straight at me.

“No… Why would I have any plans made in a new town?” I asked, avoiding eye contact with my grandfather because I knew exactly where he was getting at.

“Why don’t you take a walk around the new town?”

I cursed under my breath. I think I forgot to mention. My grandfather’s vampire gift, was reading minds. That was exactly why, he knows me very well. ***** to be me, sometimes.

“Sure, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea before the start of school?” I replied. I was not out of my mind. But since I had already promised to go to school, there should not be a problem with just walking around town and try to get used to humans one day earlier. “Are you two coming with me?”

Grandpa nodded and said that he had already suggested to grandma about taking a walk around town, to let grandma know the place better as well as get to know a few faces around us. He felt it wasn’t nice to not greet if you are new in town.

After getting changed into a simple tee and shorts matched with my favorite pair of converse shoes, I hung my headphones around my neck again, plugging the end into my phone and opened one lollipop to pop into my mouth before heading out. The smell was already overwhelming at the door. Thanks, you pathetic piece of body. But if grandpa could get used to it, so will I. I saw my grandfather picked out his favorite hat and placed it on his head and I smirked. At least I can handle some sun.

Walking around town, we got to know a few people. Like Uncle Tyler, owner of the Italian restaurant along the streets, and a few other people around my grandma’s age or slightly younger. I merely greeted and smiled at them, not knowing what to say. Sadly, my grandpa had to introduce himself as my grandmother’s son. Very heartbreaking, to me at least. My grandparents long foreseen this and had been mentally prepared, I really sal
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2017
it's almost become a standard... in making the internet
  a bit like the choice of television
channels in the early 90s...
      bbc 1, bbc 2... i.t.v....
  and then there's the alt. that's channel 4...
channel 5 comes later, but
     i don't even watch that crap...
i've reached the point where the social
aspect of the internet doesn't exist...
it's literally one-dimensional...
  and then comes the "real" life bits
that people using the internet concern
themselves over...
         ******... i walk to the bank and
do my banking with a real-life: human
interface...
   i didn't ask for an interest-free
            overdraft... but since my student
days when it stood at two-thousand quid...
mine still stand at: five-hundred quid
         interest free...
                   what am i going to do with that
allowance? buy a scooter and deliver pizzas?!
  i watch these youtube videos
and their twitter stories and i'm like:
huh?!
          i don't get it!
                       did these people pull out these
stories of "apartheid" out from their *****?
  juicy **** stories?
                 i had to invent my own "m.t.v." /
m.c.p. (music computer network... lgbtqrsia...
    you're missing a few letters to join
it to the alphabet... but i guess that's how
acronyms work: music - computer...
and then the network bit is like: hello! i'm here!
hello!)
              it's not even about being socially
uneasy... globalisation created these large distances...
last time i had a pint with someone i knew:
i walked about 5 miles to the destination...
last time i was in the high-street i realised:
i'm actually not going to buy anything from these
shops... maybe a pair of headphones for
under two quid and a bottle of water...
           oh that famous saying: in the "real" world...
what, like internet banking and russian thieves
hacking your accounts isn't the "real" world?
              amazon.com / .co.uk isn't the new
   highstreet shop?!
                      too much ******* matrix analogy!
i can't stand it... i'm taking a **** 3 times a day:
first the chocolate... and then:
                           foo! a ******* geyser of ****...
                   i swear i just drank two cups of milk
and i'm thinking: an intolerance to lactose?
          have i drank a chocolate milkshake in
the past five hours?
            no... but i swear to god my **** feels like
i just rubbed chilli powder into it...
               strange how the internet can become
so constrictive, that you're almost hugging a boa snake...
           and the feeling it mutual...
brick walls become all the more fascinating...
once you read a news review article about
    free speech... it's like: now i really don't think
like talking...
                         i know i'm writing in a public
sphere and i might be considered as: a wocal vorrior
      in publishing it... but where i'm writing...
it's just "raindrop" tapping shrouded in
earphones of music blazing...
          a bit like talking when in bed with someone
and the rain just taps the tin roof...
                         i.e. for those yet to be born;
it might come in handy, some day.
            but the internet has shrunk for me, it's not
even as expansive as it deems itself to be...
          most of the time it just feels like
daytime t.v., how the hell did that happen
is probably the same reason as to why television
is what it is... poland won 2 - 1 against
monte*****... i think my fascination with
the internet declined to a few pages after hearing
about language being so restrictive...
           surely it would have been easier to be
illiterate and having the full capacity of the body
being exercised to a job, rather than having an ill mind
and having to succumb to the gym, and exercise...
now i'm scratching my nose going: nod nod... aha.
i really have allowed myself the "luxury" of
recreating the television... most of the time it's
hellopoetry           facebook (4 friends, used to be over 200...
deleted them myself), i called twitter: twatter...
      had a post here and there, never became engaged
to stage a fright! akin to being deleted...
wikipedia...
                       youtube...
         oh and certainly dictionary.com for etymological
reasons...
                               sometimes amazon.co.uk
if i want to buy a book or a c.d. -
          otherwise?
                                  the point of a fraction 1/10 of
an iceberg being seen... and 9/10 being unseen...
and that's without the deep web...
then it's more like 1/100 and 9/100, and the 90/100
     i'm thinking: covert army plans?
          it's an attempt to recreate the television (i think);
evidently it might, but it probably won't work...
i just hear stories about the 20th century decades
when television first came about,
and 1 person owned a television on the whole
street, and people who didn't have one
used to congregate...
               usually during news and football
matches... then everyone had one...
                      which translated into ageing people
having conversations in the supermarket check-outs...
both men and women (it isn't just the women)...
                        me? i'm talking to a blank canvas...
if writing could be (remotely) compared to painting:
   it wouldn't be treated as either: prompt for
conversation... or equivalent to a comment section...
i guess bypassing any publishing deals does that
to writing, as in: aww... you lonely?
                   ****! i'm drinking and i don't know
whether i have diarrhoea or that i'm constipated!
      it's almost both!
                 i can "talk", the reason being:
    i'm writing from the outskirts of London,
and you (e.g.) live in San Diego...
                                   it's not lazy or anti-social or:
ooh i'm scared to leave the house scenario...
                            what is... is... what isn't... was...
there's no chance going back to the 20th century.
Sacrelicious Mar 2012
I had to write a process analysis paper for my adv. comp class Senior year.
My topic was an acid trip. Hope you enjoy.


Bored with the various street drugs that you take daily to achieve a mediocre high, you long for something new. You're striving to reach enlightenment, mental clarity, and an escape from your worldly woes. By chance or fate, you come across a man selling what he claims to be the best of all drugs: LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide-25, better known as acid. This appears to be the only way your mind and, in turn, your soul will experience the mysterious and desirable acid trip.
Upon impulse, you purchase the drug. This was saturated in a piece of newspaper. As you survey your ticket to mental bliss, you read the words on the small paper. The sentences of the article were cut to meet the spacial requirements of the acid. This made the paper difficult to read. Deep within the mess of incomplete thoughts and ideas, your eyes cross paths with the word peace. The simple but powerful word that was camouflaged in the unfinished article increased your desire to take the LSD. The "peace" was your chance to free your mind and consequently yourself.
Giving into impulse, you place the paper under your tongue. Like the words on the paper, the acid dissolves into your glands entering your body with aspirations of arriving upon your brain. Moments later, you feel nothing. You were expecting the drug to work immediately upon contact. This was far too big of an expectation. LSD like many other medications needs time before it comes to life. Disappointed, you retreat to your living room to watch a film on the television. As you sit in the dark, ruby red chair, your only thoughts are about acid.
An hour later you feel nauseous. Racing to the bathroom it starts to hit you. The porcelain toilet and clear water within is your muse. With each heave, you notice a minor change in your mind. When finished with vomiting, you realize your stomach is empty. You try to think of something to eat but your stomach has no desire to take anything.
The mirror catches your attention and there you stand staring at yourself. While gazing upon yourself, you notice your pupils have dilated. The large black circles that were once small now resemble the largest craters on the moon's surface. During this moment of time, your vision is misty. Every shape has a fog surrounding it.
When your hand reaches the forehead, the temperature of your skin burns it. As your hand rests there longer, your fingers are cooled by little drops of sweat that slowly flow down your forehead in an effort to cool your body. You conclude that the fever has created the sweat that is secreting from your body. The moisture from the evaporating liquid has created a misty air. This realization leads you to believe that the acid was beginning to take control.
An immense thirst has dried your throat and mouth. Like a desert they both need water. You have this newfound energy and possess the amount of adrenaline that can keep you up for days. You feel invulnerable and this is the healing hour for the body and soul. As the second hour of your experience comes to a close you have covered a lot of ground. You have gone from having control to no control. The acid has changed you. The man you were two hours ago was in a different dimension. In this dimension you are a new and different man.
The third hour has brought the acid to its maximum power. Your high is peaking. The visions you see and the sounds you hear paint beautiful hallucinations. They feel sensational and bring waves of shivers up and down your spine. The television screen looks like a portal to a new world, and the sounds it makes sound like greetings in a foreign language. Your eyes close and you open them immediately. Realizing this is not a dream, a state of confusion fogs your mind. Despite reality, every thought and action feels dreamlike.
Contemplating the situation, you ask yourself if this is normal. Cackling, you scream, “Normal does not exist. Normality is simply an impossible goal that has plagued society since the beginning of time." The once well known actions and thoughts that molded you were strange and unknown. This was the point of no return. You would never go back to the past. Normal process occurs no longer this far into an acid trip.
You feel groovy. Everything is fine. Your face is frozen in the shape of a smile. Nothing can take you down. The serotonin in your brain has been altered, making every moment feel good. Still staring at the screen, you see a tiny man waving at you. The physical greeting he gives you carries the sound of a hello. When he opens his mouth you see what he says. Each word is portrayed by a symbol in an unclear language. The symbols hypnotize you and give you comfort. The mind without acid would see nothing in the hypnotic symbols. But the symbols converse with you. Your sensations have now crossed over. Sights have turned to sounds, and sounds to sights.
Matter is glowing with a faint rainbow that lies on each objects surface. The fourth hour of your high is ending, the man in the television is becoming harder and harder to see. Like your high, the man is leaving. Over the next two hours, you slowly drift back to reality. The once sea bound boat is approaching land and, with each passing wave, you are coming closer to sobriety.
The loud song of the cuckoo clock has marked the sixth hour. LSD no longer controls you. You are a different man but in the same respect, the same. At your command you gave yourself to a higher power, one that intensified your emotions and took you back to man's primitive mind set. Drained from the crusade, you turn off the television to rest in the quiet. The sun is leaving with your energy. A cool breeze travels through the room which carries you to sleep.
sobroquet May 2013
once I beat a television to death
it was a very bad television, always showing me bad things
almost as if it had some proclivity for badness
but how can an inanimate thing have an inclination
surely what it showed to me was of my persuasion

So soon after I'd thrown it out
I sat around fulminating in something of a pout
at first I missed the sensation, the noise and the thrill
and observed  I'd become quite inured to the ****
and little by little as such thoughts soon languished
it occurred to me also such thoughts would be vanquished

So after a spell, I obtained another  set
and soon I  was  reminded, it wasn't finished with me yet
oh the gore, the blood, oh the sinister grime
oh you and me what a ghastly good time
and then and there I again realized
the images I'm viewing  are  choices of mine

How quickly we forget
memories of convenience
blaming the other guy
scapegoating reason
nobody forces you to watch the modern megalith
and once again I beat another television to death
almat011 Mar 2019
Me pulls to you ..... so strongly attracted to you
color of your skin so ****, ******, and very attractive and beautiful
In my opinion you are the most beautiful in the all universe space, measurement, worlds
My compliments, the truth, and no there is no flattery. In my opinion, this is how looks the most beautiful girl in the world. You are a very beautiful girl. You're a very **** girl. You are perfect. You are a masterpiece. You phenomenon of beauty that can not be repeated. So juicy, so exotic. It seems to me that you have an amazing beauty. You are the most beautiful in the universe all the dimensions of all worlds, you are a supreme being supreme creation, the crown of evolution. You're beautiful melody of love. You are so beautiful, just magic.
You to the point attractive ****. What you want to do countless times having ***.
I only dream if only one your kisses that blossom my soul. And from the touch of your hands on my body, and your lustful-touch for my private parts. I only dream to merge with you forever, body and soul, I only dream of an eternal, continuous *** only with you alone. I only know one thing, that I will forever love only you
Only at your most beautiful, stripped the body, you want to watch and view forever.

Every cell and molecule of my body and my soul is overwhelmed with love only for you. I long to be your beloved husband for all eternity and all lives, and even after death

Do you desire, you are perfect. Soup-navel **** genius. Do you like the sound of "the sound of a roaring engine ****** smart cars": VUM) VUM) vuuuuuuuuoooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmm) You paradise, you're mens happinesse. Easy, clean, gentle, heavenly delight. You dream of a lifetime. You're pretty unrealistic. On even to the extent to which she can be beautiful, it's just unbelievable. You are the best gift of fate. Before your powerful ****** charm simply irresistible. You're the most beautiful girl in the whole universe. It's a great, great. You luxurious gem. This delicate pearl skin, you sample the true human beauty and femininity. All the other girls compared to you quite simply uy) uy) uy) uy) uy), believe me you are very vip **** girl. Most also come up on the throne of honor honored the goddess, the great pedestal. Majestic music sounds, so subtly and sensitively praising your beauty for you. In your arms a man feels in the higher realms of pleasure. **** regal lioness. Graceful affectionately snarling tigress. Puff) bang) bang) bang) bang) mega glue your beauty kills all competitors by felling. Amazingly beautiful. Sultry, cool and ****-Mego. You are elite, you're a lux, you extra class Your beauty captivates the hearts of men. The queen of all men, divinely beautiful, majestic lady. **** kitten. Mens ******* myself in the pants, with excitement at the sight of you. My heart you certainly won. Imagine that you are on the sandy planet, and every speck of gold pure gold, these grains of sand, the golden thoughts about you and only about you. You stunned, and I from you noodle. You just incredible girl, unbelievable. You're a *** symbol. You is Brand, (dreaming about you) cool, greattbl, superebl. You're like a beautiful peacock, revealing to the people the infinite perfection of their external and internal beauty. Words gently kiss and hug. The outline playful. Queen of ardent passion, so a bit awe velvet body. You idol of femininity and nature ... anywhere in the world to find such a beautiful sight as yours, which is just crazy, captivating with their enchantments of love, and you can not escape from the past and it is impossible to pass, look pierces the tenderness of their feelings.
you thermonuclear *** bomb you lux extra class.
Your passionate gaze iceberg melt. A look of love, perfect beauty. You are an incredibly beautiful girl, you're a mega-explosion of a nuclear bomb.  Boooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmm), a brain explosion, demolition of all its rivals mega wave. Sweet, sweet as honey. You're sweeter than any candy. You have the talent to charm the guys for their beauty. Your beautiful image of a gentle heart overflows with love for you. Goddess of all men. You are the most gentle in the world. You are wonderful. You as a model in these photos. Original and stylish. Pretty number one in the world. You like to radiate special energy of love and pulling for you. With you all the time you want to be, always and forever. With no one way can not be as good as you. You are infinitely deep and beautiful as the universe itself. Because it is simply not possible. After all, you're stylish, cool, cool. As you have all that is in the ideal image of a woman. Fantastically beautiful. Moon Flower, gently shimmering in the sunlight. How beautiful are your eyes, like a mermaid I want to plunge back to see you sitting on his throne, beautiful creature mermaid her voice beckons you, only your arms, I shall find eternal rest. Awesome adhesive modest. I can not believe my own eyes, how beautiful you are.  you like cream with chocolate .... same tender .... sweet ...... "Your charm charms as analgesia. Do you use it perfectly. Beautiful eyes look like hypnosis. Such a nice warm look. Concealing in itself a treasure of delicate beauty. Infinite height. from that soars from the love of you soul. I like your figure beautiful nymph ... I conquered your soft intriguing, mysterious look ... marvelous sweet charm tempts and drags a.
You are my sweet dream.
I give myself to you forever.
Your loyalty and sincere love.
That's all I want.
You only one I ever want.
You are my love, my fondest wish.
Your photo makes me so *****
I wait from you of reciprocity and understanding.
My word is my tongue that gently caresses your skin and soul.
Gentle and sweet flesh of thy nothing in this universe is not.
Hot passion of your reality in this I do not find.
My words and my eyes tell you only one thing.
The best you never find.
In) during) during) during) during) during) during) during) during) during) Check it out, acclaimed, reviewed, look. Composed for you, about you, tenderly loving s) a) a). **** Barbie, Babe attractive, graceful lady, tender crumb, kitty) kitty) charming cat, sweet baby. One only your smile, this is a great victory and the men feat. Rather Go up to the throne of the goddess honored the great pedestal. Lyrical music sounds just as sensitively and subtly praising your infinite beauty for you. You're a real beauty icon. Designed for real mens, and gentlemen. Vuuuuuuuufffffffffff) tuff) tutuf) tutuf) speak very gently and quietly) tshshshshshshshsh) sounds quiet hypnotic music of love) I'm fascinated by your sensual, delicate charms, leads to you inexplicable wonderful attraction, about how beautiful your magic your charms so vague and so beautiful like brave a charming dope) of your charismatic charm my calls so subtly, subtly and clearly, so sensuously and easily, fervently and passionately, and so ****, ****, cute and appetizing, attractive, beauty, beckoning your temptation, seduction, you're tempting, seductive life you my call, just you alone all the time waiting and call about how much obsession, just the warmth of your feelings gently warms and the confluence of feelings showers my thy soul seizes you soft velvet and silk, you're hot sweet gentle sweetness) only happiness) happiness) and serenity) verily, thou great priceless personality, being at the mercy of your hot emotions and sweet emotion, want to be in them always and forever), I gain peace and paradise on earth, the gentle heat of your mouth, and the warmth of your tender eyes , takes in the wonderful world of your bliss, perfect minute clock, and second only to you, and I want to be just with you, because you have life, you're my only reality, you are my world and the whole universe, keep true allegiance to you, and I just

quietly and timidly say that the only one you love. Without you, life is impossible. You're perfect, you're Suite) glossy, glamorous cute Moore) Moore) Cutie) Ya) ya) dastish fantastish) perfecto) shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiik) You just mmmmmmmmmmm). This sweeeet) beautifuuuuuuuuul) well just aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh) pass out of love for you. Being with you is the continuous buzz, yummy relish) you so photo-film ****-genic photogenic, for movie movie-genic, urrrrrr). We humbly bow to your greatness, great, beautiful goddess, you are perfection. You cool muse, you're cool motif gives your beautiful image of a mega positive, you're a real Kulnev neo) neo) creative, "you're a real jackpot, juicy freshshshshshshsh)" you're the main leitmotif of this world, you're center of the world, a great Bagheera, the pearl of the world. Yes it's true because I think you only one I admire. The idol of all idols, the goddess of all goddesses. Take my word, because it's all true, and I sincerely hope that you give me at least not much pleased. Chorus: "You're **** Bugatti, Maserati best, fastest Ferrari, Pagani elegant. You stylish Bentley, luxury lambordizhni, royal Rolls Royce, wonderful noise voice, only for a cool boys ", voo tyzh) bad, whip. Your extraterrestrial beauty in a nutshell is this: "beautiful and saucily". And I long to see your gentle green light. abruptly, clearly, accurately, rarely smooth, sweet, stylish, strong, powerful, precise, transcripts, honorable. When you're near everything it is not important, so slow and so pointless. Great, great, grand girl yooo) Great, great, grand girl yooo) Great, great, grand girl yooo) ...... Yop) Thank you exist, let sit next to you, take my word for all this is not flattery, be your this is such a great honor, but this is a boon to any man, veeeest) Because you are the most cherished love and the dream of every man. Oooo) Olya-la-la **** figure in this world only you. All attention is focused only on you, everything pales in comparison around with you, and I want to be next only to you, but you pridnalezhat one. You are luxuriously best bust, sweet with sweet lips and mega **** predatory gaze from his amorous feelings rage, my wash only about you say, look what they do to me from the love of you are doing, your beautiful image on forever in itself charms shining, inspires, subordinates, intoxicating. **** goddess. Number one in the world. My low bow only to you) worship only you) Uffffffff) When you're around, getting hot, bright, nice, snip) snip) Vuoks) as a flamethrower let go the flame of his fine feelings, heart pounding more often you zhzhosh not for children, I want to see often, so sultry, beautiful, navel-soup finally, uhhhhhhhhhhh) love is so strong that even begins to hurt the heart. Luxury queen of all parties and catwalks, you unattainable pinnacle, all societies, beeeem) cupid shot of powerful magnum, oooo) complete demolition of all reason, can not hear anything except for you, and now can be seen, only you feel now just you and I I think that I was created just for you. Thank you, thank you, that drew on this as I am. For you, this is only for you, but it's all for you, all for you. I suffer, expect all the time I love you. You're the most desirable woman in the world. Epic, lyric, simpotichnaya) You're beautiful in everything in this world, only you're beautiful. You are endowed with charismatic energy inexplicably beautiful charm ... .ihi) ...... Mochi-mochi-mochi, manenko, manenko, manenko such mainka, mainka, krasotulechka, slyadkaya-slyadkaya girl Lapushka, adorable, cutie, baby, cute flower, candy, umnichka, bird, swallow, Rybonka, kitten, sun-golden-favorite-of-the-most-expensive, good-natured as fluffy hare .................. PSA) PSA) Oooh yeaaah) PSA-PSA) honor) worship, revere, and boundless respect, PSA-PSA) is the only real girl in this PSA, PSA world) you're the most epic, lyrical, lovely) PSA-PSA) you are best of the best, but you have no equal, PSA-PSA) you're the most endowed the title of the most beautiful in the history of mankind, PSA-PSA) you are the most important, the most glorious hero, the only one worthy of a goddess. PSA-PSA) is any place adorn, and instantly all the guys for their beauty by felling you fought, PSA, PSA) and all competitors envy into a deep depression makin PSA-PSA). Because you from herself beauty and eroticism idea tirelessly all its beauty and all are striking. Poetic, exotic, ****** lyrically. Living next to you harmony, grace, take my word, words can not convey, and I want to give you his heart. The sweetest voice only you, the skin so tender and pure, like a beautiful flower, on the face of my delight. So serene, so peaceful and quiet, static, nice and smooth, their places of origin is not in the universe, the soul like a light cloud in the sky hovering, always remembers you, you my love gives. The rays of your love life shines gently nurtures and warms, under your angel wings minds gradually falls asleep. A truly happy life does not happen without you. Next to you, my soul is in heaven remains, and only you, only one truly trusts. Your personality is loud, cool, beautiful, unique. Loud) loud) loud) You're a valuable copy of human beauty tadts-tadts-tadts) tadts-tat) tadts-tat) tadts-tat) uooo) uooo) uooo) tadts-tadts-tadts) tadts-tat) tadts-tat) tadts -tat) uooo) uooo) uooo) oooooo) you higher hooooootest bella mamasita, so moschnobl) with you all the time you want to be srochnobl) tochnobl) you're so cute, I love devotedly, furiously and fanatically. All zabyvaetsya around when you're around, captivated by your unique gentle gaze. Diamond beautiful, deep sapphire, stratsno rubirno, amazing emerald, pearl cute, I was very hooked, very surprised, so beautiful that a tear struck, and tenaciously for his soul took in your deep beautiful distance afield, was happily and easily, and suddenly the shower glittered and blossomed. One only makes your **** look and feel embarrassed blush. See how I want to enjoy it. It makes harder and harder to fall in love with you, I want to again and again appear near you, and never to say goodbye to you, and do not give up when you're around wants to smile with happiness, and you always stay on. Soft) soft) soft) How marvelous your gentle eyes, a beautiful shine, so deep beautiful color, hi) and the lips gifted hot, passionate force, like a sweet juicy berry, shine sweet tender crumb precious shine temptation, fantasy) romantic) ****** ) to you so goes the lipstick) gentle, spectacular pretty perfect) yes) so accurately) not lying, exactly) so refined, so perfect it all, only you, you can safely say all envious yeeeah) baa) baa) beeeee) each part of your body, is true, unattainable, infinitely ****, perfectly gospodstvennoe, divine perfection, which is the business card of your wonderful personality, a genuine sample of the sweet candy, delight, joy. You are an ideal model for the most famous, the channels, magazines, you have the sweetest voice in the world, so it is ideal in television and radio broadcast, a perfect icon of the media, the beautiful goddess of the VIP, I think so. And only love and honor. You are the most precious value in this universe. Heart and love is boundless open and so clean and perfect for you, all I say is not in vain, my love for you is a whole universe dedicated to you. You are beautiful in every way, so different, so special, your presence, gives a special feeling of harmony and peace, you are like a hot flaming fire of love and creation. Bright spark your feelings enliven, inspire. You are like a breath of life, fresh, cold water, your nature is so beautiful, so deep. Your acts as the earth itself give rise to life. You merry wind of freedom, infinitely great, free, you are giving hope and life, really need you like the air. Ooty) Ooty) Ooty) multi-billion-dollar celebrity babe, baby on triliard. I give you a well-deserved medals: for the record for the beauty of the world, a record for the entire beauty of the universe, the medal: in the beauty of a well-deserved
Author: Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
I.

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex



II.

She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

and,
under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.



A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.





III.

The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.



IV.

Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.





V.

A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.


Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.





VI.

The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.



Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.



VII.

I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.



My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.



A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.



My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.



VIII.

I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.



IX.

It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three



This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.





He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said

Disgusting.

People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.

Instead,

she would take their money by managing them.





X.

Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,

fabulous.



Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.





XI.

We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,

Whiskey,

Cognac.

There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then



It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.





XII.

A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.



XIII.

She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.



She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.



XIV.

She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect

Tall

Blonde

Model.

But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”



XV.

I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called

Marlene

and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.



XVI.

Her prison number was

888

which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.



XVII.

Never have *** on the first date.



XVIII.

There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.



“Allô oui,”



It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.



She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!



XIX.

She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to

Dior,

Vuitton,

to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.



My Swans.



It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was

better-dressed,

better-looking,

and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.



**.

The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all



Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,

chins,

teeth,

*******.

There was a lot to do.



Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,

read

certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.



You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.



It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”





XXI.

A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said

Neuilly.

Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.



I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.



Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.





XXII.

She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.



That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.



It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say

Yes,

Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.



There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be

beautiful.

Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.



I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or

Nulle.



Or,

on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?

No.

They paid.



XXIII.

Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,

oh,

a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.



Remember,

this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.



XXIV.

For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,

l’angoisse.

It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.



XXV.

I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.



XXVI.

There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all

here.



She will take many state secrets with her.



XXVI.

I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people

Who

were

beautiful.

And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.





XXVII.

I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you

‘advice,’

She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!



Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.





We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.



I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.



XXVIII.

That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.



XXIX.

To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.



Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.



By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they

chatted,

ate,

and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.



They’d order women up like pizza.



Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.



***.

Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.



The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.

Never!

What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’





XXXI.

Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.


It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.


To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.



XXXII.

She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.



She was, how can I say it,

classy.

When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.





XXXIII.

I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.



If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.





XXXIV.

I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.



I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn



She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.



Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.



Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.



XXXV.

You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business



XXXVI.

I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.



I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!



XXXVII.

Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!

Braaawk!

Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.



I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.





XXXVIII.

The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.



I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.



Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.



XXXIX.

I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.



Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?



Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.



That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.

Really?

I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.



He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.



XL.

I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.





I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.

Girlfriend?

Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.

Huge!

She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.



XLI.

No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.



We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.



XLII.

The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.



XLIII.

If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it

But,

if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.



She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,

crying,

and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
Matt Jun 2015
Why is the television always on?

Turn it off
I ignore it now

Sure, I'll watch an occasional sporting event
At the gym it is usually on

But the news
Ugh that is the worst

When people just sit in front of the 4 p.m. news
Just seems like a waste of time

I think every American household
Would be better without a television

And as I type
The television makes a noise
In the background

I come back from the stillness
Of the hike

Sitting behind the tree
Observing the birds
Hopping and eating berries

I saw a bird fly about 4 feet
And grab a berry in midair
Then return to its resting branch

Reality beats television
Reality is reality

The program is the program
Tune into what is real
EARTH
camrie Feb 2016
We are in a locomotive television.
Our head is heavy of the phosphors.
Glitch spills on our tongue.
Vases are going off the rails, blue cells, sick berries.
Endlessly in speed, our hands off the wheel.
Rotten, hulled in our own battling skin,
discordantly beaten throughout our membrane.
Insane, swiped under stumps.
Blackened spew forked our third eye blind.
Hooked to the ***** of pills murmuring us to keep calm.
Dying inside trying, can’t walk in the open
because it is already too late.
Shredded to worn, almost choking in the swarming
dead gore germs from our own mouths.
Our house has become a wolf hole.
Feasting on cold bodies blue,
eating the faces off of the unmindful.
Our feet in the gruel of grey maggots, black cadavers
and soft sad tissues.
We are tricked, taken for a ride whenever we are to transpire tiredness from this horrid immoral reality.
Nutmeg scattered on our nerves.
We are too close to the television, our hair roots are dull.
Tangles sea coral through our head.
Witnessing our own self into the suction to not turn it off.
We are in a locomotive television
Eugene Melnyk Mar 2015
The man woke up.

He walked to his refrigerator hoping to find last nights left over veal, but he doesn't.
He thought maybe it's a sign veal is bad in the morning, so he made his coffee and sat down to watch the news.
Linda Sparoski was on talking about Gun rights.
"I kind've want a gun, but it probably wouldn't be the best idea."
He kept watching until he heard someone at the door.
Paranoid, he crept up to the peep hole.
Peering through he saw an elderly woman delivering what looked to be like a package.
"I wasn't expecting anything... **** it must **** to be her age"
He waited until the frail old woman made her way back to the UPS truck and drove away.
He went outside to pick up the box, only to find it very light. Much lighter than he expected.
On the outside scribbled in blue pen was "The man's name" so he knew it was for him.
He saw it was taped up pretty good, kind've how a child wraps a Christmas present.
He grabbed his kitchen knife.
"Scissors are like double knifes, except you don't need a cutting board."
He put the knife back and grabbed a pair of scissors.
"Scissors are ****** double knifes."
He put the scissors back and grabbed the knife.

When he returned to the box, he seemed to stare at the handwriting for quite some time.
He began to cut into the box.
On removal of the layers of scotch tape was a little note before the rest of the box could be open.
"Promise me?"
He was really confused now.
"I need more coffee"
Chugging his third cup, the man returns to the box.
Determined to open it.
He lifts the ***** keeping the pieces of cardboard box cube shaped, and begins to look inside.
The man sees photographs stacked on top of a few letters.
"Possibly something underneath."
As he dug through he saw a picture of himself dressed as Captain America on Halloween.
He tries remembering that Halloween but just can't quiet do it.
"I was never Cap.. "
He dug through more.
Found pictures of old beach houses he vaguely remembers, some pictures almost looked like a sonic drive through.
Stomach growl.
"Last nights quesadilla"
The man went to his fridge, with no luck of finding this cheesey goodness.
In fact his fridge was empty.
He doesn't remember it being empty.
He starts thinking about Halloween.
The man kicks the box under his coffee table, and stumbles to bed, even though it is only 6:47 pm.
Dreams of sand.
Dreams of sand.
Dreams of water.
Dreams of her.

The man woke up.

He heads to his coffee ***.
He has not made coffee yet.
He heads to his refrigerator to find last nights left over lasagna.
"When did I make that? 2 weeks-ago-ish?"
He does not find lasagna.
His coffee is done brewing.
He walks away without a cup to find the box.
The news was still on. Linda Sparracci was on talking about the man's town.
She said that the man's town was experiencing the worst drought since two thousand and sixteen.
"What year is it?"
The man tries to find a calendar but only finds twelve.
"So it could be 2025, 2026, 2028... Wait."
He deducted that it must be 2026, for this calendar had the most dates circled, and he has felt quite busy recently.
The man then fell.
When he came too he was on the couch.
It was snowing out.

Deciding it must be around December  time, he goes throughout his home looking for objects to wrap up and give to his family.
He finds a box.
The box has a note on the outside
"Promise me"
Without looking through the box, he wraps it up with what he can find.  
Thinking of where to send it, he thinks of the first address he can remember, presumably his parents house, and sends the box off.
"Captain America... "
The man decides to watch Duck Dynasty season 34 for the first time, without seeing the prior 33 seasons.
The man passes out.
Dreams of white.
Dreams of red.
Dreams of death.

The man woke up.

He walked to his refrigerator hoping to find last nights left over veal, but he doesn't.
He thought maybe it's a sign veal is bad in the morning, so he made his coffee and sat down to watch the news.
Linda Spurokik was on, talking about the new Captain America movie.
"I was Captain America once.."
The man gets up to feed his dog.
The man does not have a dog anymore.
The man sits down.
Halloween 3 comes on the television.
He remembers getting her roses, because she was mad he didn't want to go trick or treating.
They ending up going trick or treating anyway.
She didn't like the roses.
The man tries to imagine what Michael Meyers must've felt like.
Being cast so many times over because of his creepy plastic face.
"I bet it was really hard to find other work though..."
The man was unsettled with this thought and turned off the television.
With nothing to more to do, he crawls to bed, even though it is only 6:24 pm.
No dreams
Just blackness.

The man woke up.

He heard someone at the door.
Paranoid, he crept down the stairs to the window.
Peering through he saw a young man delivering what looked to be like a package.
"I wasn't expecting anything... **** it must **** to be that young in this day and age"
He waited until the man made his way back to the USPS truck and drove away.
He went outside to pick up the box, only to find it very light. Much lighter than he expected.
On the outside scribbled in blue pen was "The man's name" so he knew it was for him.
When he opens the box he finds a picture of himself dressed as Captain America and she was beside him.
"Even trying to look ugly she was beautiful."
The man begins to cry a bit.
Gently places the picture down, he digs through more.
He finds an old Valentine's Day card.
"Signed your's forever, love you so much"
The man puts the contents of the box back, and gently pushes it under the table.
He turns the television on and Linda Sadok is on talking about a fire.
"3 dead, 2 injured with 3rd degrees burns along 85% percent of their body"
The man states "****" and turns the television off.
"I'd rather be one of the three than one of the two"
The man grabs the last pack of tostitos he can find, and chows down for awhile.
The man dozes off.  

A few hours later the man awakes.
He house is quieter than normal, but he normally has all the washing machines running so he thinks "all good."
Walking to his refrigerator, he finds it filled with Mexican Taco Hot Pockets.
Not wanting to get fat, he rejects this refrigerator and demands a new one.
He does not get it.
Hot pocket.
He walks to his coffee table.
It is very long.
His box is gone.
Befuddled, he walks to his hallway to check under the door.
Upon opening the door, his house leads to another one of his houses.
It is the same house though, it's just his other one.
Walking to the refrigerator, he finds it filled with ingredients for fresh pesto and Texas toast.
Thinking maybe it would upset his stomach. He throws the fridge down his garbage disposal.
On returning to his living room, he sees a man.
This man is talking to the man about life.
Talking about how long could one go on for in the same space.  
This man tells the man, maybe you should **** yourself.
Get out.
The man has never liked suicide.
But given the preposterous conditions of his life, he thinks about it.
This man says a hand full of advil or a few too many sleeping pills could do it.
The man says no.
"I can't leave, I'm not done yet.
Then, this man asks what the man has not finished yet.
"I don't remember..."
This man tells the man, that he is not Captain America and disappears.
The man disagrees.
"Photo evidence"

The man wakes up.

He finds the contents of the box sprawled all over his chest.
He had fallen asleep on the couch.
He hears her say goodnight.
He says I love you.
There is no one there.
He crawls to bed, and it is 2:34 am.
He cannot sleep.
This man returns to him.
This man asks the man if he had finished what he wanted to finish.
The man says no.
This man asks why once more.
"She's still gone, i'm not letting go"
This man says the man already has.
The man rolls over in his bed.
This man says you've been done here for awhile.
The man pretends to be asleep,
motionless, yet awake for hours.

The sun never came up, because he didn't want it too.
The fridge was always empty, because he didn't want to eat.
The box would appear, because he wanted it too.
She was gone, because he knew she was gone.
He stayed, and kept resealing and opening that box. Day in day out.
Surviving healthy off of nothing at all.

He never left.
Not poetry
Not poerty
Andrew Switzer Jun 2015
Opia. Noun. The ambiguous intensity of looking into someone's eyes, which can fell simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

As you lie in my arms, watching the television, you don't notice that my undivided attention is focused on you. Something I've been dreaming of for weeks, and it's finally come true. Even better, from your angle, you can't see me staring into your eyes, so I don't feel the nervous compulsion to turn away. Whether directly or not, I could drink in your eyes with mine, for hours, and they would be among the best hours of my life.
Then there's the other hand, held tightly by trepidation. I love the prospect of your eyes staring into mine, but it's not without its fears. I'm afraid you'll see all the pain and fears that I've spent the past seven years working to overcome. I'm afraid you'll see all the insecurity and doubts I have about myself. I'm afraid you'll see all the words that I long to whisper in your ear, but can't, because I'm terrified of scaring you away. I'm afraid you won't like the fact that, behind these eyes lies only pictures and thoughts of you. But most of all, I'm afraid that, unlike me, who loves every detail, and lives for moments like these, you won't love the things you see. I long for the day when you stare happily into my eyes, but I'm frightened that you won't enjoy the secrets they reveal.
Fa Be O Jan 2013
you were a television soldier,
and played into the hours of the morning,
killing virtual versions of demons gone amok;
this was better than staying here with me,
and chasing mine away.
you were a television soldier,
and i would smile to imagine you,
my little pacifist shooting away,
turning into a gory executioner;
the smile would fade.
your hands were not meant to ****.
your mind was not meant to contemplate ******.
no, your hands were meant to caress,
my body and my soul;
your mind was meant to consider life with me.
you were a television soldier,
but you want to serve a nation?
serve it here with me:
what this country needs is not war,
or more young men dying;
no what this country needs is love.
1/15/13
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.ludo savis... play nice... ludo savis... play nice:

i knew the relationship was over when i encountered her ex-boyfriend sitting in her st. petersburg flat drinking ***** with me, no, wait, it was when she started questionning me using cosmopolitan magazine quiz about perfect girlfriends on our way from st. petersburg to moscow to see metallica, while all i wanted was to listen to bob dylan and appreciate whatever rural russia had to offer... beside that? it took me quiet a time to fiddle through and find the glagolitic alphabet, the slavic alphabet before the learned greek came across "my" people, given the romans never venture that far... good luck finding an african phonetic encoding system, beside the hieroglyphs... i won't bother looking right now... not to insult, though: so much for a large phallus megalomania contra envy... Ⰶ: życie (life) is not the half of the caron ž in the form of: the acute... (ź): ździra (don't ask, seriously, the word implies worse than ***** / szmata)... źródło (source)... eh... the one-armed caron (ž)... ź... i can't explain it any further: you need to speak the lingo to keep the "nuance" alive... southern slavs treat the caron akin to ž = ż... how beautiful... given the english language has no diacritical marker application: can't exactly claim diacritical markers using only the automated hovering decapitated heads above ι & ȷ... i'm not english i'm tired of looking up h'america's *******! i don't need not fancy pants to debrief the people i'm concerned with to mind, not giving a **** about them... thanks for your jeans: subtitle made in canada... beside the whole mao shitshow of: made in china.... back in the 1990s! *******... even in terms of music h'america isn't really relevant.. it just is... and "whatever" this "is" is to be, will remain... but only as an r.e.m. ref. pointer, that requires the physical translation of the lyrics: the one i love... a simple prop: to occupy my mind.... fire! the silesian vampire... because... said so... learning about monsters is what i could only fathom, which included me... but, sorry... the glagolithic script... ⰄⰀⰏ: dam... i.e. i will give... fun fact: r.e.m. didn't sell their: it's the end of the world as we know it (and i feel fine) to microsoft for a commercial break.. glagolitic script... where are the africans? oh, right, nowhere when phonetic encoding is turning heads... **** me... even the blind are onto the affair...  i went as far back as the glagolithic script: pre cyrillic, about the same time that the latins incorporated the northern "savages" with applying the chisel to the ᚱ / R... ᚠ / F... copernican "up-side down": why do all tree (beside the pines) resemble a Y shape, a gamma? why did god compensate his existence with opiates?! refresh my memory, though, why am i drawing blanks at african phonetic encoding? **** me, the blind drew something, the deaf too... if you played the guitar, forget about reading braille... you need tender, french, fingertips.... you can't play the guitasr and read braille... mind you... encoding morse overshadows braille... but even the european blindman overcomes the fully ****-naked butter-cup sprinting *** of a black man every day of the week: i'm not here to compensate for a leprechaun's sized *****: mind you... in the hands of a porcelain ***- beauty? everything looks like a hiroshima... i just started to entertain an asian fetish... 4th knuckle mizzing... missing... the most ****** aspect of a female aesthetic? her hand... when *** & the city cited trimming ***** hair (no circumsion, really?), so no asian porcelain hands, no 4th knuckle missing?! i hate what the anglo-speaking world has become, it's this, this, this quasi-Islam.... at least i respect the Quran... but 1984, by the secular prophet of the western world? why do people still calling it: silicon vallyey... it's a ******* curtain, smart-you not seeing the replacement mechanisms of the silicon curtain: now wow... ******, where you're getting-to-go get from? any ideas?! a tehran baza?! ******. 1960s homosexuals fiddling their way past the tunis police, happy? loitering sucker-****** pansie? again... entertain me... where is the african phonetic encoding system... this is my "i.q." avenue masterpiece... i don't care about i.q. but a ******* blind man beat the african at phonetic encoding... personally?


one just simply falls, tired of the right-wing momentum regarding beauty, it's such a bothersome crtique of its generic foundation if beauty..... i hate it, this objective classicism: back to the future take no, 4; *******...

             again, where were the africans sorting
out their invetement in the slave trade...
ONLY WHITE PEOPLE
WERE BAD, CONCERNING BLACK PEOPLE...
Idi Amin... Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin
Idi Amin... Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin ....
******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
   ******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
i said: ******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
i'd love to see an african-h'american
in africa... mouthin-off their stature...

                   african phonetic encoding....

debussy                                       chopin




satie                                              schumannn...

­and?
              there's too much of loon'don....
                   had enough of it, ****'s....
too much ***-kissing,
too much of the h'american swindle...
carelesss buggers; these brits...
******* ****** jolly-tribe
               ****-ups....
  
i drink and relax solving a sudoku -
i'm not doing it to compete -
   just having a conversation with
my neighbor about the difference
between Alzheimer's
and dementia brought back memories
of what i negated for some time...

it's only when someone else tells
you of their elder relative's dementia
you muster the courage to
spot the same symptoms in
your relative...

         my grandfather has dementia...
my early teenage years,
every summer visiting him,
traveling to Krakow,
     going fishing,
riding our bicycles in the afternoon...
he feeding my what books
i should read...
      i still visit,
  spend about a month,
say, keep him company,
   fix up the kitchen...

  but it's such an exhausting disease...
not so much for the sufferer -
this mild form of Alzheimer -
no killer proteins eating away at
the brain cells -
   dementia?
the ontological nadir of old age...
then again, perhaps the zenith...

a closure...
   the long term memory opens,
while the short term memory
closes -
   he still can solve a crossword
puzzle like a mad genius...
but he lapses into what is
the cinema of mortality...
                 he remembers things
like the two SS-men
   posted in my home town,
running up to them
and saying -
herr bitte bon-bon!...
  the raven black of the uniform
and the glaring *******...

    i blocked the fact that it was
dementia, when my grandmother
thought it was wise to scare all
of us, uncle, mother and father
into thinking it could degenerate
into Alzheimer's...
        he still recognizes me!
Alzheimer's sufferers can't
even muster that!

   at best... dementia couples itself up
with melancholia,
  the natural melancholia
akin to the sadness expressed by
Nietzsche: only when the house
has been completed,
but never during the construction...

dementia is just an endless memory
loop...
   when man is allowed to finally
put down the hammer, the sickle...
and retire?
  he's standing on the precipices of mortality...
on a dam about to crack open,
and release a surge of the sea
of memory...
   why wouldn't he take the time
to remember?
  to remember himself?
        
the tedium comes when the same
persons implores others to listen to them...
when memories become less
of the old man's cinema and more
affairs of an oral culture -
our culture has lost the point
of oral transmission -
  hence dementia sufferers have
to evolve -
                  into not talking so much...
not as a mean spirited conviction -
why? i do the same -
   i have about 10 focal memories
that constant revive me -
               and i'm only 32...
          but i don't talk about them...
hell, i won't write them...
   it's my own, private cinema -
but my grandfather comes from
a time before the optical explosion
of television...

         i don't need to hear what he saw -
all i need is to tattoo his mannerisms
and face onto my psyche...

   but dementia, thank god,
is a listening tedium...
                     point being...
a life opens up,
   but any immediacy of life disappears...
hence his persistent ability
to solve crossword puzzles,
enjoy reading the newspaper -
but the significance of remembering
yesterday is missing...
    
he's an old man...
   he has no obligations in terms of
duty in a professional arena of
the metalwork factory...
why wouldn't he attempt to push death
aside and not linger on
the memory of his, magnum opus -
his life sigma oeuvre?

     me?
  some would call this music neo-**** skinhead
****...
   wumpscut, two songs...
   thorns & wreath of barbs,
     bunkertor sieben (reprise)...
but it relaxes me when sitting on a sudoku,
drinking Bacardi cola and lime...
      enjoying the cool August air
after just enough rain
that manages to exfoliates the flowers
with refreshed sensuality...

  sudoku no. 10101...
    after enough numbers pop up,
the tactic is to hone in on one number
in each of the 9 squares and 9 vertical
and 9 linear line...
for sudoku no. 10101 in the Friday's
edition of the times?

   it went something akin to this

[8, 5] - [3] - [1] - [9] - [7] - [2, 6] - [4]

that's the closest schematic
i'll have for you,
   with regards to how the grid is filled.

i drink and relax solving a sudoku -
i'm not doing it to compete -
   just having a conversation with
my neighbor about the difference
between Alzheimer's
and dementia brought back memories
of what i negated for some time...

it's only when someone else tells
you of their elder relative's dementia
you muster the courage to
spot the same symptoms in
your relative...

         my grandfather has dementia...
my early teenage years,
every summer visiting him,
traveling to Krakow,
     going fishing,
riding our bicycles in the afternoon...
he feeding my what books
i should read...
      i still visit,
  spend about a month,
say, keep him company,
   fix up the kitchen...

  but it's such an exhausting disease...
not so much for the sufferer -
this mild form of Alzheimer -
no killer proteins eating away at
the brain cells -
   dementia?
the ontological nadir of old age...
then again, perhaps the zenith...

a closure...
   the long term memory opens,
while the short term memory
closes -
   he still can solve a crossword
puzzle like a mad genius...
but he lapses into what is
the cinema of mortality...
                 he remembers things
like the two SS-men
   posted in my home town,
running up to them
and saying -
herr bitte bon-bon!...
  the raven black of the uniform
and the glaring *******...

    i blocked the fact that it was
dementia, when my grandmother
thought it was wise to scare all
of us, uncle, mother and father
into thinking it could degenerate
into Alzheimer's...
        he still recognizes me!
Alzheimer's sufferers can't
even muster that!

   at best... dementia couples itself up
with melancholia,
  the natural melancholia
akin to the sadness expressed by
Nietzsche: only when the house
has been completed,
but never during the construction...

dementia is just an endless memory
loop...
   when man is allowed to finally
put down the hammer, the sickle...
and retire?
  he's standing on the precipices of mortality...
on a dam about to crack open,
and release a surge of the sea
of memory...
   why wouldn't he take the time
to remember?
  to remember himself?
        
the tedium comes when the same
persons implores others to listen to them...
when memories become less
of the old man's cinema and more
affairs of an oral culture -
our culture has lost the point
of oral transmission -
  hence dementia sufferers have
to evolve -
                  into not talking so much...
not as a mean spirited conviction -
why? i do the same -
   i have about 10 focal memories
that constant revive me -
               and i'm only 32...
          but i don't talk about them...
hell, i won't write them...
   it's my own, private cinema -
but my grandfather comes from
a time before the optical explosion
of television...

         i don't need to hear what he saw -
all i need is to tattoo his mannerisms
and face onto my psyche...

   but dementia, thank god,
is a listening tedium...
                     point being...
a life opens up,
   but any immediacy of life disappears...
hence his persistent ability
to solve crossword puzzles,
enjoy reading the newspaper -
but the significance of remembering
yesterday is missing...
    
he's an old man...
   he has no obligations in terms of
duty in a professional arena of
the metalwork factory...
why wouldn't he attempt to push death
aside and not linger on
the memory of his, magnum opus -
his life sigma oeuvre?

     me?
  some would call this music neo-**** skinhead
****...
   wumpscut, two songs...
   thorns & wreath of barbs,
     bunkertor sieben (reprise)...
but it relaxes me when sitting on a sudoku,
drinking Bacardi cola and lime...
      enjoying the cool August air
after just enough rain
that manages to exfoliates the flowers
with refreshed sensuality...

  sudoku no. 10101...
    after enough numbers pop up,
the tactic is to hone in on one number
in each of the 9 squares and 9 vertical
and 9 linear line...
for sudoku no. 10101 in the Friday's
edition of the times?

   it went something akin to this

[8, 5] - [3] - [1] - [9] - [7] - [2, 6] - [4]

that's the closest schematic
i'll have for you,
   with regards to how the grid is filled.

oh sure sure, the uncircumcised man,
crucified when all the orthodox were
drunk,
                   פור day,
       drunk cruxion?!
                 lovey purin "misgivings";
what's next?

   oh sure sure, the jews would hav e crucified
me on the hill of: tel megiddo
****-heads throwing up their kippahs
into the air in some skewed form
of celebration...
       like bacchus entering
Valhalla asking: where's the mead?
    i've had too much wine...
where'y the whiskey?

   i'll keep repeating...
              talk about jews among the polonaiase?
hush hush: ****, dont want to bring
bad luck... jews in poland are very much akin
to roma gypsies: lucky charms...
but... do you see any ******* leprechauns
around? look at me: i see none...
  let's tell the joke in verse,
not the stadard: a priest a rabbi and an imam
walk into a bar...
****... is that even a joke?! muslims don't drink!
what's the imam having; cranberry juice?!

and englishman a scot and an irish walk
into a bar... the three of them walk
out on stag-duty with inflanted sheep and
speaking cymcru... terrible joke...
as all my jokes were to begin with...

         i am currently navigating,
my uncle's ex girlfriend is sleeping downstairs
on the couch,
blah blah Tuscany... blah blah prosecco...
i'm becoming suspect: she's a gemini,
isn't she? all the geminis i ever met where
extroverted self-absorbed louis XIV types...
they need to, they need to self-absorb themselves
in order to extract the sort of energy
associate with rhetoric,
   and how they constantly digress,
there's always a sub-plot to the plot... nay,
there are always sub-plots...
          great company, i mean...
when a person speaks all the time there are
no awkward moments of silence,
until the said person tells the "eager" listener...
play some music...
she's a warsaw girl, so she's a pretty learned
in the ways of the world,
i'm just an ostrowiec commoner...

    oy vey! oy vey: she'***** 40 and lamenting...
i too complain about my uncle...
she had an abortion with him...
i once talked with my uncle about music
while he surfaced at mrs. roshandler's back garabe...
we ate sri lankan fried chicken wings and
chips and listened to californication
for the very first time...

   abundance of hope in Tuscany...
"apparently"... but if you have ever watched
a woman, borderline on asylum incarceration?
i was looking at one just example...
  it's not a pretty sight...
even when she asked: how's *** and business?
i'm a monk...
          or at least i tend to...
even if she came from a stock of
failed relationships: fine fine...
            now?

i served up decent food,
a malvani and a tikka masala curry...
          naan bread,
     turmeric infused rice,
vanilla cheese cake with strawberries...
she enjoyed it,
i like to please people...
    mind you: ever see a slim chef?
i wouldn't trust a slim chef,
i never have, i never will,
you need some chubby chub chub rounding-offs...
mind you: i much prefer cooking
food than eating it,
but i would never trust a chef associated
with a c.o.d. associated with counting calories...
never have, never will...
two noteworthy proverbs:
1. too many cooks in one kitchen =
no decent meal is being made...
  one cook, one couldron, that's your best bet...
2. never trust a slim, athletic cook...
those ******* can shove their kale
       smoothies....
they can slurp up those smoothies
turning their ***** in straw ******* vortexes!
i'll cook on lard trimmings,

em....
  [9] - [2] - [6] - [3] - [8] - [1] - [4] - [5, 7]?
that's when the sudoku puzzle was filled...
all the nines... all the twos... etc. became filled
in the 9 grids...

well...
     "apart" from: my uncle's girlfriend:
i've been living in englamd
for nearly 30 yeasrs...
i've dated a french girl,
an australian, a russian....
but u've never dated an english
girl: i guess they much prefer
aged pakistani grooming gang
members....
            i guess:
**** gasoline on them,
they're all readied and geared up!

braille contra morse?
if you want to play the guitar?
forget the braille....
you need tender fingertips
to read braille...
morse? nit so much...
here's a comparison...
i see!

    a.:   ⠓⠑   ⠺⠓⠕
                       ⠎⠑⠑⠎
    ⠊⠎       ⠁⠃⠇⠑
                   ⠞⠕
                                     ­   ⠗⠑⠁⠙

b. play the guitar and learn to....
read finger tip braille, ******....

· · · ·  ·         
· − −  · · · ·  − − − 
· · ·  ·  ·  · · · :
                  · ·  · · · 
▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ · − · ·  ·  (a / b)
      −  − − − 
                   · − ·  · ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ − · ·  (a)

(he who sees: is able to read)...

           i can attest...
             i would find myself readily reading
morse in braille,
than braille by itself...
                far more easier.

finger-tips... i'd sooner read your morse
as braille, than braille as morse..
Nicx Feb 2019
When did things change so much?
When did I get so encapsulated
Into the world of technology?
When did I stop listening
To myself and my own thoughts
And instead add another view
To some article or YouTube video
Just to reach some spoon-fed "opinion"?

When did we stop engaging
In life and with ourselves?
When did playing video games turn to
Watching other people play them online
Numbing our brains to the world
And "filling" our social needs digitally?
When did watching television turn into
Binge-watching an entire series in one sitting?

With this much constant stimulation
It's no wonder we're bored so easily
And that no one goes outside anymore
And that I don't feel alive anymore
Because one of the first things I do
When I get home from work or the gym
Is turn on the smart tv so it can warm up
Because the apps on it take time to load
And I already know that my free time
Will be spent in front of that screen

Lately I've been nervous about
Eventually moving in with new people
Primarily because I spend a lot of my time
Passively using the television
I was concerned with how we'd balance our usage
Instead of considering changing the way I spend my time

When did I start placing my use of technology
Above my own self-care?
When I spend hours watching YouTube
But still forget to take a shower sometimes
And I truly wonder if my recent urges
To leave the state to work on a farm for a month
Are more indicative of some deep desire
To unplug and reset my energy and priorities
Than my interest in agriculture or
Learning to live off of the land

When did I start to feel the need
To take such drastic measures
To change something so simple
Something I could choose to disengage with
At the simple touch of a button?
Tom Leveille Oct 2015
i don't watch home movies
hate them
reason being because
when i was young
i was looking for a movie
my mother
had recorded for me
and accidentally
put one in the vcr
that i'm not sure
i was supposed to see
i know the obvious response
"uh oh, ****"
sorry to disappoint
they were only marked with dates
  1991
on live television
montel williams asks my father
"how can you just throw
your child away like a piece of trash?"

   1994
i spend so much time
in the emergency room
that my parents stop
penciling in growth marks
on the frame
of my bedroom door
i always thought
it was because they believed
i would never grow out
of this sickness
sometimes i believe
the reason that they
never bought me a dream catcher
was because they never thought
i'd live long enough
to see them come true
   1996
i am eliminated
from a spelling bee
because i didn't know
the 'dad' is silent in 'family'
   2013
before i got into poetry
i used to do standup
none of my jokes were funny
one of the other comics
tells me my skits are dry
sometimes sad
he says "why don't you joke
about something like your family?"

so i say
"i never wore any sunblock
because i didn't want anything
to keep me from my father"

i say "what do you call christmas
without lights or heat?"

before he has a chance
to answer
i say "1997. better yet
why don't you
make like a dad and
leave"

   2014
every time we drive
past the hospital
my mother reminds me
how much it cost to save my life
like she'd rather
have her money back
she doesn't have to say
that sometimes she wishes
it was me who had died
instead of my brother
i can hear it in the way
she says "love you"
sometimes i imagine
that if i were to die
that she
would pick out a casket for a child
because she never loved
the person i became
yesterday i told my father
how close i'd been
to suicide lately
and he said
"that's my boy,
livin on the edge.."

and i can't remember
if i laughed
or cried
Jack Radbourne Jul 2019
good old television
or televisions plural because
this shop window has
twenty-two of them
all showing a celebrity
cooking show twenty-two

identical pans containing
the same cuts of chicken
or maybe pork or whitefish
being lightly browned while
no voice can be heard from
the twenty-two tanned faces

smiling out at us and
here the homeless man
watches them all from the
pavement and the rain
good old television
something for everyone
Mitchell Duran Sep 2013
The retainer where she was put
Was made of concrete. My father told me they had
Dug the grave first, then poured the concrete in, waited for
It to dry and harden, then hammered in six
Circular spikes in the four corners, two on either side
Of the middle. They lifted the concrete cast out with a crane.
My dad was going to be charged 300 dollars a day for the rental,
But because of the circumstances, Home Depot let us have it for free.

-

Where was she?
Where had she gone?
Would I see her face again?
Would she want me to
Meet her on the other side of the river?

-

I answered my cell phone.

"Make sure to bring flower's."
She had been crying. Her voice wavered the way sun light
Does on moving water.

"Make sure to bring flowers," she repeated, "And
That you wear what your father and I bought you."

I nodded my head with the receiver pressed up against my ear.
We both let out a sigh. My mom hung up. I put my phone in my back pocket.

-

Lately, I had been seeing a shrink about repetition. He liked to use the word cycle.

"Everything is repeated," I would tell him.

"Life is a cycle," he'd disagree so to get me talking.

"Can cycles be identical?"

"Technically not. Some cycles are extremely similar, but no two cycles are
Completely the same. Are two people's lives ever exactly the same?"

"I wouldn't know. I don't know that many people. Maybe."

"You know lots of people, Camden. You have told me about many of your friends."

"Are we talking about the seasons?" I asked, changing the subject, "Like fall, winter, spring, summer? We are born, we live, we die, and we are born again?"

"That's a very natural way of looking at it."

"I know it is." I inhaled deeply, swallowing air and wondered what time it was.

"If you are so sure, why look for validation from me?" He liked this one, I could
tell. I imagined him shopping for clothes and then exploding in aisle 16 because of a sale on jeans.

"The word cycle is used by people too afraid to use the word repetition. Everything is
Repeated for the next generation, the next group, the next of the next of the next. We shift things
Around, give things to one another to shift life to make it look different, but, things remain the same. Everything contains the primal function we were all doing and living from the very beginning, only now, there is more of a separation. Music is still music, words are still words, paintings are still paintings, love is still love, death is still death, only done differently and more intensely."

"We are talking about man furthering technology because we, as people and creatures, are
Statistically more prone to flee than fight?"

"Why do you think it has caught on so quick?" I touched both
Corners of my lips with my tongue and suddenly realized I hadn't eaten breakfast.

"It is a theory," the psych nodded, "A theory with, I am sure, many
Palpable facts you could make a very nice report with to prove...something." He
Was at a lost for words and I felt guilty that my mom was paying him $75 an hour.

"We are very split. There are too many of us. Too many hands spinning the china."

"Who is we Harry?" The psych hadn't looked up from his pen and pad of paper, until now. I could
Tell he was annoyed with me either because he was making no progress or because the session
Had just begun and I was already digging into him.

"Culture. The government. You, me, my dad, my mom, the taco bell cashier, the geniuses at Apple computers, a paper weight, my dead sister. We're all apart of these shifts, all putting in a certain amount of energy and lies to keep the protection of the projection going. The question I keep asking myself is: do I want to use my strengths to be apart of this cycle or not?"

His eyes flared open for a moment like he'd swallowed a firefly, not at the question I had posed for myself, but from what I would soon see was from the mention of my sister. He had something.

"I was notified by your mother that you may not want to talk about your recently deceased sister. Is It O.K. if I ask you some questions about her?"

I was leaning forward on the couch with my hands clasped in between my legs. The psych had looked up at me now. He was sweating at the top of his thin hairline. Observing that I was staring at his building perspiration, he, trying to be nonchalant, took out a thin, white napkin from his grey shirt pocket and dabbed the top of his head. The napkin looked like cheap toilet paper. I'd have offered him some water, but I had no water to give and I didn't know where the sink and cups were to give him any. I figured he did - it was his office - so I asked him for some. He pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. I got up and found a stack of paper cups. I poured myself a cup and went back to the couch, but instead of leaning forward, I sat back, relaxed, and let the expensive leather couch take the weight I had been carrying away.

"So," the psych maintained cooly, "Would it be alright if we were able to discuss your sister?"

I lifted the paper cup over my head and the psych's eyes, after I poured the water over my hair, my face, and clothes, was a mixture of what my mom's eyes looked at the funeral, defeated, confused, and with a loss of faith and hope. My father's eyes had only held hate, anger and the need to lash out at someone, but the only someone that would have fit the bill would have been God.

"Sure," I answered, "Let's talk about my sister."

-

I finished drying myself in the car. The psych had let me keep the towel.
I leaned out the window to look at myself in the side mirror. I looked fine.
Presentable. Accountable. Like I had been through something where I had
Faced my soul. Like I had used and abused my emotions. There was comb in my glove compartment, so I took it out and rushed it through my damp hair. Slicked back. The sun
Was out, no clouds, burning up the inside of my car. That taste that comes after
Finishing something that's supposed to do you good didn't come. I was left with an unsure hand.
Putting my keys in the ignition, I turned them, and felt the engine rumble in front of my legs.
The sun sat in the sky like a lazy hand and I had nowhere else to go but home.

-

"Let's go to the river today," my dad said over coffee and two over easy eggs on top
Of burnt wheat toast. "I'll drive and you and your sister can sit in the back and sing."

I looked over at Ally. She was gazing into her fruit bowl she had prepared for
herself because dad didn't understand the concept or how to make it. The lamp light above us
reflected in the smooth apricot yogurt and the flecks of granola scattered on top
looked like beige, jagged rocks. My dad's offer hung in the air and neither
of us bit the lure. I had just woken up and was unable to speak clearly, a decent
excuse. Ally was simply choosing to ignore him.

"What you think there Ally?" I asked her. I sipped my coffee. It needed more cream. I got
U, got it and brought the carton to the table.

"We can take the truck down there and load the back with the fishing poles and tackle
And inner tubes. We haven't...done that...in a long time," he said, chewing his food as he spoke.

Ally poked her fruit bowl with her spoon, silent.

"What you think, Cam?" My dad was desperate. He knew I'd say yes.

"Sure. I've got no plans this weekend."

"No schoolwork?"

"It can wait till Sunday. Only math and some reading."

"Ally, what do you think?" my dad asked, leaning over to her. I could see he was
Trying to be as courteous and gentle with her as he knew how to. I felt bad for him.

"Sure," she muttered, "That sounds like fun." I could barely hear her, but somehow,
I could tell she sounded happy.

"Perfect," my dad smiled, "We'll pack the car up Friday,
Drive up Saturday morning early, camp one night, then get back Sunday afternoon." He
Took a long sip of his coffee and swished it around in his mouth, then dug
His fork into the dry toast and ran his small steak knife over the eggs. A silent pop came from
The egg and the light orange yolk spilled out. "Perfect," he repeated, "Just great."

Ally poked a grape from her fruit bowl and dipped it into the yogurt.
I took another sip of my coffee and looked up into the fan, spinning above us.
We were going to the river.

-

"Your sister turns five today," my mom told me, "And that means
I want you to be on your best behavior."

I nodded, unsure what the point of a birthday was. I had had one before, or at
least I thought I did, and all I remembered was that I got presents and the colorful balloons
and the cake we all ate with fire kind of floating and burning above it. Somewhere
in that moment I remember thinking that the cake was going to catch on fire, then they, everyone,
some that I knew and some people I had never seen before, yelled and shouted to
blow the fire out, so I quickly did, but not because it was for a wish, which I later found out it was supposed to be for, but because I truly thought the cake was going to catch fire and they wanted me to take care of it. At that point, I was unsure what it meant to be alive or why to celebrate it all.

"This is her day, Camden," my father told me, "So I want you to be happy for your sister."

"I am," I said. I was wearing my favorite white and blue striped t-shirt and
New shoes that my mom had bought me for the party.

"Sometimes you have to think of other people," my mother continued, "And today is one
of those days. I don't want any crying because you didn't get any presents or that none of your
friends are at the party. There are going to be a lot of Ally's friends there, but not many
of your's...do you understand?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Do you understand, Cam?" My father repeated. His skin was the color of a burnt
pancake and he smelt like stale sugar and sun tan lotion. He was in front of me and was
holding a thin magazine with a man in a boat holding up a fish on a line on the cover.  

"Yes, Dad," I said again. I was hungry. I wanted mac n' cheese, my favorite food.

I had been on the floor, laying on my stomach watching Ren and Stimpy. They were standing in front of the television and I remember trying to wish them out of the way. Behind them were two, large bay windows where three palm trees stood in a row like tropical soldiers. I could see there was no wind because the three of them stood still, as if posing for someone. Their leaves were bright green, a mixture of the neon green Jello I used to love to eat and the orange Jolly Rancher my dad would always have in a tiny tray in the middle of the dining table. My mother hated having them there because it always tempted Ally and I, but he never moved it until he moved out.

"Do you like your show?" my mom asked, turning to see what I was watching.

I nodded, absently. Ren was licking Stimpy's eye because he was complaining about having
an eyelash in there. Stimpy was completely still and smiling like he does - dumb and content.

"Interesting..." my mother trailed off. She walked to the kitchen behind the couch and
Opened up the pantry for something. "You hungry, Camden?"

"I'm starving," my dad said, "Let me go check on Ally in the bedroom. She should be up
from her nap."

I got up from my stomach and sat back on my legs, "Do we have mac n' cheese?" I asked.

"Let me check."

She reached up for the cabinet over the stove where I could never reach and
Opened it. I rose slightly up from where I was sitting to see if I could see the glorious dark blue and orange package, but wasn't able to see over couch. I hovered there, still like a humming bird.

"You're in luck," I heard her say, "We've got one box left."

"Yay!" I screamed and got up, running into the kitchen.

"But," she smiled, stopping me, "You'll have to share it with your sister."

"No! I don't want to! I always have to share."

"What did we just talk about Camden?" she said, lightly stamping her foot.

I tried to remember, but couldn't. I shrugged.

"You need to learn to share, Camden. You also need to listen better when your father and I are talking to you. You and your sister are going to know each other a very long time and I want you to learn how to share now, so you two can be happy in the future."

"The future," I asked, "What's that?"

She paused, then said, "It's a time," she paused again, "Ahead of us."

"Do we know where it is?"

"Not exactly," she sighed.

"What's it look like?"

"No one really knows. People can only imagine it."

"Is it very far away?"

She opened the top of the blue and orange mac n' cheese box and poured the dry macaroni into a large silver ***, lifted the faucet, and let it run inside for five or seven seconds. She placed the *** on an unlit burner and turned to look at me. Her eyes looked far away and right there with me.  

"Closer then you think," she said and turned the burner on.

-

I turned into the taco bell parking lot. There was something I was trying to remember that was in my trunk, but I couldn't recall the picture. A haze blew over the windshield that was a mix of heat and wind; I wished to be somewhere else, someone else, someplace else, but, there I was, sitting there underneath the sun, like everyone else. If I was able, I would have unlocked the door to my car and opened the door and walked out - but - there was something else lingering underneath my fingernails, something I couldn't name.

"Two tacos," I said into my hand, "And a water."

"Pull to the window," the voice buzzed over the muffled speaker.

"Yes," I said through my split fingers.

In front of me, over a patch of clean cut green grass and a yellow, red, and orange Taco Bell signature sign, was a fresh gas station with a willow tree *** near the front entrance. He had a sign that hung around his neck that read Juice Please - Very Thirsty. How I knew this was because I had seen it every time I had been asked to fill up my dad's car every other Sunday. I had never given the tree a dollar, yet, I felt that I owed him something. I tried to pull up to the window, but my clutch was grinding and a cloud slunk overhead. I was tired and only wanted to eat.

"That'll be a two twenty-five," the voice said through the thick, clear glass.

"Yes," I said to myself, digging into my wallet for three dollars.

I ****** the three onto the thick plastic platform. A quick sweeping plastic brush pushed the bills toward the asker, and the bills were gone. I had no food. I had nothing. My money was gone and all I had was a gurgling car in front of me and an empty front seat beside me. A pair of clouds waded by my front shield window. A shadow drew itself out in front of me like a **** model. A beep. Sudden and behind me. There was sound. I looked over my shoulder and a black  2013 Cadillac was sitting there, windshield tinted grey, the driver a shadow. I was unsure what to do...so I pulled forward six inches, hoping the offer would be enough. I wasn't in the best neighborhood.

The window to the left of me slid open. An arm erupted forward with a plastic bag,
"75 cents is your change."

The hand dropped three quarters next to the plastic bag. I grabbed the bag with the two tacos and three quarters and quickly wound up my window. The face in front of me was a dangerous blur: smiling, frowning, not caring either way what happened to me next. The hands had gobbled up the three dollars and I was happy to see it go. Who needed money? I tossed the plastic bag onto the passenger seat and sped off two blocks for my grandma's house. Salvation. The holy land. A place with free hot sauce and two dog's that were stolen without paper's. Eden.

-

"What are you learning right now?" I asked Ally.

She hesitated, then said, "Something to do with science." She paused," Lot's to do with rock's."

"Rocks?" I stammered, not remembering a time when I learned about rocks in school, "What kind of rocks?"

"I don't know," she grinned, looking up at me, "All kinds."

I laughed and kicked a stone into the river. The sun was out and reflected on the water like an unpolished diamond. We had grown up a quarter mile away, but still, it felt foreign to us.

"I like it. There's some things you could see that you would never think to read about it in books."

I had read plenty off books. Most, I took little from, but Ally, I could see, had taken plenty.

"What are you doing in school?" Ally asked me.

"What do you mean?" I
Keith J Collard Dec 2012
I still have flashbacks, horrifying and spectral: of conference meetings, projectors and efficiency meetings...corporate metrics, acronymic value cards that read like a Masonic Temple's pledge.. ...honesty, commitment, sacrifice, the dutiful worship of mercury and saltpeter; also customer satisfaction.
           Those flashbacks frequent my mind alot--especially when I am ramming my co-workers into the trash compactor with the blades of the fork truck. They say " ooooh" and " ahhhhh" as if they are getting a massage. They dull my blades with their dull heads.
          I have to ram them with the blades of the fork-trucks, or they will scramble out. They still say things like, " make sure that has a tag,".....and " wear your safety goggles," making chills run down my spine. I haven't put all the workers from the " Do-Wee depot" in the compactor only corporate cadavers and not zombies.
          But I have to forewarn, the zombies are not a threat, it is a few cadavers and the "consumers" that pose a threat to me and what I have built. The zombies are producers, even only if it is moans and putrefaction, but they are good sports, and my only friends.
         Some co-workers, who I was friends with before, I have spared from the compactor--owing mostly to that the part of their brain that was corporate, either fell out on the floor, or was gnawed on by a fellow zombie rendering them good sports and not cadavers.
        I use the building material section to chain them to their previous aisles. Jose, was my best friend, he was shaped like a slug, with a huge lower lip, and slicked back greasy hair, he always cheered me up, how busy it was and how slow he remained. Him and I worked together in the ' outside-lawn-and-garden' section. Even his zombie self has kept his lisp.
          I chain him to the outside lawn and garden section, where he likes to water the flowers. He lunges at me sometimes, but the chain is thick, and Jose is still a cool zombie.
Angry Joe is out there too. He is chained to the 'reach' truck. He is always mumbling about overtime.....or " Im not staying late."
         I have disabled the riding engine, so he just stands on it and runs the fork blades all the way up then all the way down, beeping the horn the whole while. He is the only one I kept, that has some vestige of corporacy in his brain, for the reason that he watches the back gate. The consumers are constantly probing this outside metal fence gate, and Joe has eaten all of them. Don't get me wrong, Joe can be a good sport, when he is not drooling about 'overtime' or ' I havn't took a lunch yet.' He can be quite funny.
          He banters with Ryan from inside 'lawn-and-garden' all the time. Ryan is alot younger, alittle younger than me. He has a mullet(what I call a mullet and he say's a hockey cut) and verily is--before he become a zombie-- the laziest person ever, and now that he is a zombie, well let's just say, I don't have to chain him anywhere, I know where to find him.....at the back gate smoking a ciqerette backwards with his mullet on fire or in the break room. He had the most squeeky voice when he was a human, but now odd fully enough, he sounds like Tom Jones.
         " You ate my cosumer Ryan," drools Angry Joe, " No I didn't Joe, you ate your own consumer," Ryan rejoins in his acapella voice ( I like hearing Ryan's deep zombie voice).
There are others, in the various departments of the Do-Wee Store, but this journal is to relate the first most pressing concern, two cadavers have escaped the compactor.
             The store manager Joyce and her minion(the assistant manager Damien) have escaped. They were ******* humans, and remained so in corporate cadaver form. They hide from me, as I plow through the aisles with the inside forklift. I have used wire from the fencing aisle to reinforce my forklifts. Sometimes a cadaver co-worker will jump out with a price gun, drooling " where is your spootterrrr...."( a safety regulation in the store).....I run them over with great gladness, but then wishing I heeded their advice of safety glasses."Splat."
            I have my theories, on how everyone turned to zombies. It started with over-ocurring routine, which my a.d.d could have been impervious to. But I couldn't have been the only one in the store with a.d.d? But that seems the case. The first day when I showed up to ' outside-lawn-and-garden' it took me six hours before I noticed everyone was zombies. I didn't notice they were zombies until I noticed them in good spirits.
               But the first day of the zombies, was concurrent with the rise of the consumers--ever more dangerous, greedy, and audacious are the consumers. They consume everything in their path, they consume good conversation, good manners, and replace with their mark, which is this....your life with the current moment is to be sacrificed to get them what they need to continue resuming their lives. They do not enjoy shopping, but enjoy holding you in place, consuming you and your values into their value, which has no value at all, since their mind has consigned the present moment that has you and not them, to a number that always has too much value, and they will bring you and it down while you are subject to time and they are not.  
             They turned my friends into prisoners of arbitrary time; and like putting a rabbit in a dank dark basement, with plenty of food and treats and space, it will slowly get diarrhea and die.  Everyday I marked the sunrise, and I would always pay thanks to it, no matter if I was on break or not.  The nine hour day could not ruin me, but my friends being ruined, that started to ruin me.
                       And that is what I believed started all this, nature has no room for two kingdoms of Consumers. So the producers(zombies) were created from the routine of being divested of life, and from nothing they came to produce: producing gases, vile ****** smiles, human  cannibalism, hearty conversation, practical jokes, moaning questions to the infinite sky.... they were created human again, given value, and most of all, I have my friends back, and they are happy again. But, the corporate cadavers that escaped the compactor , put my creation in risk, they look to let in the consumers again, they are up to something...
             But presently with the corporate cadavers gone, and the consumers held at bay, I have my Depot of Eden, I can grow anything, make anything, and soon will be able to ferment everything, especially fuel.   Now monday morning conferences that threaten you to pick it up because there are alot of people out there that want your job( iterated by the frizzy headed gangly Joyce) are replaced with 'zombie dance parties'.  
            " Zombies, what is the first rule of zombie dance party," they reply to me, " dohmp talk bout damp party," then we make a music video.  I let loose a couple of cat's in the break room, and presto, an agile cat make's flesh eating zombies look like Micheal Jackson.  Even I get busy with them, I feel so comfortable with them; dancing to Juvenile "back that *** up,".the best dancer gets to eat the cat...sure beat's listening Joyce's depressing morning pep talks about quotas while I am watching a bird outside the front glass trying to eat a dragonfly, " Keith you paying attention."  I just want to say, " No I am not you frizzy headed gangly walking skeleton key(she is skinnier than the gang of keys jingling on her belt)."    I will find her and put a roofing nail in her temple and her plans.
                The sound of zombies walking in here is music to my ears, like gypsys walking barefoot on a strawberry patch.  I don't know what that has to do with anything, but I like it, and don't care who knows.

            I fortified the outside of the store with everything within the store. I grew a garden, with all the fertilizers, and acids and alkilines of outside garden. I also use the garden chemicals to sprinkle on the brains of my co-worker zombies to change their acidity(almost like a hyrdrangea shrub). The purpose to get them somewhat coherent to play poker and darts in the breakroom. I figured out how to make explosives, with the nitrogen fertilizer and pool cleaning acid, well actually HeyZues did, he always eats both, and one day he moaned really loud  " BLOOOONDEEE " ( his nickname for me from The Good The Bad And The Ugly) and  gestured his expanding stomach, he blew up and gave me my first wound, he destroyed my dart board.   I took his head and posted it on the back loading dock, I know there are consumers trying to infiltrate when he sounds off with " BLOOONDEEEE..."  resounding through the whole store (almost like when he was a human).   I created another dartboard, I can create anything here, sometimes I think, that feeling is what........
                But the point of this journal is the two who escaped the trash compactor, Joyce and Damien. They haunted me before and haunt me still. When I leave to venture outside for gasoline for the generators(the only thing I need, not for long hopefully) they run amok. I will see new ' sale signs' in zombie penmanship, and I can see that they have hidden co-workers to have cadaver meetings, where they talk about ' customer satisfaction.'  I can sometimes hear keys jangle, it has to be Joyce, for the sound is to the cadence of her John Wayne walk, like she has been on horseback her whole life.
            Outside is very dangerous. There are many consumers out there.
                 I was outisde in the parking lot, where consumers still wallow around when a consumer asked "which product is better." I had to drop a cinder block pallet on him with the forklift; they are more adacious then my zombie co-workers. Even after a pallet of concrete is forklifted on them, they wave fliers with sale advertisments from underneath.
            Well, this particular trip, I returned inside and was startled by the loudspeaker, it was Damien's voice, the same as before, paging the hardware department. I jumped on the fast slim forklift to hunt for him. There are phone terminals everywhere, and he could be in the upper level offices. I saw Joyce's shape through the window once.
          They are up to something.
Everytime I ventured outside, the store became altered. I even saw a consumer waiting in line with the cashier machine now on. I sent the consumer to Angry Joe, who was due for a lunch break.
          There is a gap in my wire somewhere, I know it.
            I was at the gas station, getting propane and gas, when a consumer was scowling " where is the gas attendant, is everyone stupid or what?" while he was trying to figure out how to pump gas. I disabled the safety pumps, they do not shut off, and do not coincide with numbers, you hold the handle it pumps out as much as you need.
              He was pacing around like a little kid denied recess and suffering from sounds of frolic and kickball--dragging his feet due to the fact he had to pump his own gas, I heard a scraping metallic clicking noise. My eyes were caught by a bright glare on his shoe tread, I gripped my nail gun..... then he dropped the hose and walked back to his car with gasoline gushing as his wake. I saw what it was on his tread, I had no time to flee....it was a push button grill ignitor with the orange tint of a " Do-Wee" label on it......" ****."
              The last thing I registered was the consumer saying " ahhh don't touch me," apparently talking to flames. I woke up in a ditch, the big fork truck and my gas station destroyed.
I limped back to the " Do-Wee" store, and utter horror greeted my singed and surprised eyebrows.
              " Grand Re-Opening, 50% off everything." I squeezed the trigger of the nail gun, the nail harmlessly echoed off the parking pavement at which it was aimed. "They set me up at the gas station. "
               They had to do better than that to separate me from my zombies.

             I entered through the store in a nun-plussed state. I woke out of my unbelieving stupor with the sound of Jose's voice. " Welcome to Doooooo-Weeee....can I eat your...."
            "Jose it's me, who chained you to the entrance?"
         " Dammian, Keeeeeth, they are waiiiting....here's a newsletter...." --he smacked me across the face with the newsletter.
        " I don't want that ****.....' as I clutched the newspaper the loudspeaker went off in Dammians annoyingly over-polite and late-night-voice.
       " Attention shoooppers. all prices are feeeefty percent off, ask our associate Keeeeeth for a 80% discount, he is the skinny deleeecious looking kid with spicy skin, and a boston red sox hat on."
Hundreds of consumers pivoted their heads to my direction. " Hey, that kid has a Boston Yankees hat on."
         " Run Keeeth," zombie-lisped Jose.
           Fifty million imbecilic questions assailed me at once......" can I return this sprinkler for a jacuzzi.....can I get 120% off.....can you come to my house and fix my television for free"-- it was unabashed audacity, survial of the most annoying and repetitious; and the corporate cadavers have let this consuming flood in on me and my poor zombies.
           I needed to find my steed, my inside forklift. It was not where I left it near the entrance.            
        Surely they have sabotaged it. " the riding mowers," the thought uplifted my fading resolve. I darted past wallowing consumers before they could get my scent. I heard a consumer, " you obviously don't know what Im talking about," talking to zombie George, who was munching roofing nails.
         The consumer grabbed me, and said "here he is, this is Keith, he is wearing a Phoenix red sox cap"--panic bit into my brain, this consumers grip was implaccable. The grip that holds the steering wheel tightly driving nowhere fast, with anything in that interstice of commuting, not worthy of manners and the least of which being a friendly wave to 'go ahead.'
           They formed a wall of uttering stupidity, escape was cut off. They scratched at me, hissed, tore at my flesh and screamed demonistically in my ears. I caved and and called the hoard m'am and sir, they choked me, and loosened their grip only so I could tell them " Im sorry, sorry for your inconvenience, take my life and personality as tribute, take my imagination rendered prostrate by these sceptic corporate words that this mouth emits, betraying my personal form, the human element to this lifeless purposeless machine....destroy me, for finding the infinity between letters of corporate law and none between nature's laws......"
        I was almost unconscious, giving a speech to imagined hooded phantoms......" destroy me, for valuing friendship and imagination, and seeing infinity, in the shadow of a letter, eternity in the numeral of a number, and for defying the order to see things as others do....."...." destroy me, for seeing that people are unhappy and trying to uplift people for the sake of seeing them smile....destroy me, destroy my smirk, and add a lifeless smile to my corpse."
              I heard a horn, the riding floor mopper/buffer, it was Ryan, he commandeered the machine with precision-like drunkenness. He knocked down the consumers like twenty pin bowling. " What's up ***** cat," he possibly said, and I climbed to my feet.
         I walked to the riding mowers, and turned the key on the floor model. I sped the main aisle, with caresses of consumers that would be deep clawings at a slower speed. I dodged stupid question, and swerved from unabashed frugality. I turned up the tool aisle, grabbed a battery nail gun.
              " It says batteries are included, but are they included?" I answered with a 12 gauge nail, and resumed my course to the upper offices, that for too long looked down on me and my friends. I climbed the stairs and entered. The office was abuzz in corporate banalities. " Hello, this is Damian how may I help you.....oh helloooooo keeeeeth, one minute.......sir hold one second thaaaanx."
                I aimed the nail gun muzzle at his ugly overly polite mug." I finally found you, I will get the store back in shape Damian...."
          He cut me off, " no yoou woonn't, they are pouring in, we will meet our quota for the year...."
        " Me and my friends
oni Feb 2015
i am a
television
with many
channels
and i have yet
to find one
without static
Cori MacNaughton Aug 2015
Here is the inimitable Jeff Buckley's poem, "My New Year's Eve Prayer," which he performed live at Sin-é in Manhattan, NYC, in 1996.


"You, my love, are allowed to forget
about the Christmas you just spent stressed out in your parents' house.

You, my love, are allowed to shed the weight
of all the years before,
like bad disco clothes.
Save them for a night of dancing ****** with your lover.

You, my love, are allowed to let yourself drown
every night in bottomless wild and naked symbolic dreams.

You, my love, in sleep can unlock your youth
and your most terrifying magic;
and dreaming is for the courageous.

You, my love, are allowed to grab my guitar
and sing me idiot love songs
if you've lost your ability to speak.
Keep it down to two minutes.

You, my love, are allowed to rot and to die
and to live again,
more alive and incandescent than before.

You, my love, are allowed to beat the **** out of your television,
choke it's thoughts and corrupt its mind.
****! ****! ****! **** the *******
before the song of zombiefied pain
and panic and malaise
and it's narrow right-winged vision
and it's cheap commercial gang ****
becomes the white noise of the world.

Turn about is fair play.

You, my love, are allowed to forgive and love your television.

You, my love, are allowed to speak in kisses
to those around you
and those up in heaven.

You, my love, are allowed to show your babies
how to dance full bodied,
starry eyed, audacious, supernatural and glorified.

You, my love, are allowed to **** in every single endeavor.

You, my love, are allowed to be soaked like a lovers' blanket
in the New York summertime
with the wonder of your own special gift.

You, my love, are allowed to receive praise.

You, my love, are allowed to have time.

You, my love, are allowed to understand.

You, my love, are allowed to love.

Woman, disobey,
when little men believe;

You, my love, are Rebellion."
For Hello Poetry user "Jeff Buckley":

While I agree that musician Jeff Buckley's lyrics are poetic, and often reach the level of true poetry, here is one of his actual poems, never set nor intended to be set to music.  

It is a ****** good poem,  touching on a number of subjects near and dear to my heart, which strongly resonates with me.

For the record, I have come only recently to the music of Jeff Buckley, within the past year, through my wonderful and musically adept husband Marek.  Buckley's music has moved me far more than that of most other singer/songwriters, save only for Steven Wilson, Mariusz Duda and Nick Drake.  He and I shared a lot of influences in common, from old 1920s blues and jazz, to pop standards, French music, classical and early British rock and progressive rock.  His first and only studio album released during his lifetime, "Grace," is not to be missed.

Sadly, he drowned at the age of 30, accidentally or otherwise, robbing us all of his incredible gift.  Not only was he an amazing songwriter, but a fine guitarist and, most of all, an incredible vocalist.  He had not only an amazing vocal range, but as mentioned a widely divergent source of influences, lending to some truly transcendent music and lyrics.  

RIP Jeff Buckley.  You are sorely missed.

For those interested in seeing his performance of the poem, which shows what a humble guy he was, you can find it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duoujUI--Mo
Dorothy A Mar 2012
The tired, old cliché –life is short—is probably more accurate than I would care to admit. With wry amusement, I have to admit that overused saying can be quite a joke to me, for I’ve heard it said way too many times, quite at the level of nauseam. Often times, I think the opposite, that life can be pretty **** long when you are not satisfied with it.

I am now at the age which I once thought was getting old, just having another unwanted birthday recently, turning forty-seven last month. As a girl, I thought anyone who had reached the age of forty was practically decrepit. Well, perhaps not, but it might as well have been that way. Forty wasn’t flirty. Forty wasn’t fun. It was far from a desirable age to be, but at least it seemed a million years off.

Surely now, life is far from over for me. Yet I must admit that I am feeling that my youth is slowly slipping away, like sand between my hands that is impossible to hold onto forever. Fifty is over the horizon for me, and I can sense its approach with a bit of unease and trepidation.

It is amazing. Many people still tell me that I am young, but even in my thirties I sensed that middle age was creeping up on me. And now I really am wondering when my middle age status will officially come to an end and old age will replace it—just exactly what number that is anyway. If I doubled up my age now, it would be ninety-four, so my age bracket cannot be as “middle” as it once was.

When we are children, we often cannot wait until we are old enough, old enough to drive when we turn sixteen, old enough to vote when we turn eighteen, as well as old enough to graduate from all those years of school drudgery, and old enough to drink when we turn twenty-one. I can certainly add the lesser milestones—when we are old enough to no longer require a babysitter, when we are old enough to date, when girls are old enough to wear make-up, or dye their hair. Those benefits of adulthood seem to validate our importance in life, nothing we can experience firsthand as a rightful privilege before then.

Many kids can’t wait to be doing all the grown-up things, as if time cannot go fast enough for them, as if that precious stage of life should simply race by like a comet, and life would somehow continue on as before, seemingly as invincible as it ever did in youth. Yet, for many people, after finally surpassing those important ages and stages, they often look back and are amazed at how the years seemed to have just flown by, rushed on in like a “thief in the night” and overtook their lives. And they then begin to realize that they are mortal and life is not invincible, after all.

I am one of them.

When I was a girl, I did not have an urgent sense of the clock, certainly not the need to hurry up to morph into an adult, quite content to remain in my snug, little cocoon of imaginary prepubescent bliss. It seemed like getting to the next phase in life would take forever, or so I wanted it to be that way. In my dread of wondering what I would do once I was grown. I really was in no hurry to face the future head on.  I pretty much feared those new expectations and leaving the security of a sheltered, childhood, a haven of a well-known comfort zone, for sure, even though a generally unhappy one.

Change was much too scary for me, even if it could have been change for the good.

At the age I am now, I surely enjoy the respects that come with the rites of passage into adulthood, a status that I, nor anybody, could truly have as a child. I can assert myself without looking like an impudent, snot-nosed kid—a pint sized know-it-all—one who couldn’t impress anybody with sophistication no matter how much I tried. Now, I can grow into an intelligent woman, ever growing with the passing of age, perhaps a late bloomer with my assertiveness and confidence. Hopefully, more and more each day, I am surrendering the fight in the battle of self-negativity, slowly obtaining a sense of satisfaction in my own skin.

I have often been mistaken as much younger than my actual age. The baby face that I once had seems to be loosing its softness, a very youthful softness that I once disliked but now wish to reclaim. I certainly have mixed feelings about being older, glad to be done with the fearful awkwardness of growing up, now that I look back to see it for what it was, but sometimes missing that girl that once existed, one who wanted to enjoy being more of what she truly had.

All in all, I’d much rather be where I am right this very moment, for it is all that I truly can stake as my claim. Yet I think of the middle age that I am in right now as a precarious age.

As the years go by, our society seems ever more youth obsessed, far more than I was a child. Plastic surgeries are so common place, and Botox is the new fountain of youth. Anti-aging creams, retinol, age defying make-up—many women, including myself, want to indulge in their promises for wrinkle-free skin. Whether it is home remedies or laboratory designed methods, whatever way we can find to make our appearance more pleasing, and certainly younger, is a tantalizing hope for those of us who are middle aged females.

Is fifty really the new thirty? I’d love to think so, but I just cannot get myself to believe that.

Just ask my aches and pains if you want to know my true opinion.

Middle age women are now supposed to be attractive to younger men, as if it is our day for a walk in the sun. Men have been in the older position—often much older position—since surely time began. But we ladies get the label of “cougar”, an somewhat unflattering name that speaks of stalking and pouncing, of being able to rip someone apart with claws like razors, conquer them and then devour them. There is Cougar Town on television that seems to celebrate this phenomenon as something fun and carefree, but I still think that it is generally looked at as something peculiar and wrong.

Hugh Hefner can have women young enough to be his granddaughters, and it might be offensive to many, but he can still get pats on the back and thumbs up for his lifestyle. Way to go, Hef! Yet when it comes to Demi Moore married to Ashton Kutcher, a man fifteen years younger than her, it is a different story. Many aren’t surprised that they are divorcing. Talking heads on television have pointed out, with the big age difference between them, that their relationship was doomed from the start. Other talking heads have pointed out the double standard and the unfairness placed on such judgment, realizing that it probably would not be this way if the man was fifteen years older.

Yes, right now I have middle age as my experience, and that is exactly where I feel in life—positioned in the middle between two major life stages. And they are two stages that I don’t think commands any respect—childhood and old age.      

I’ve been to my share of nursing homes. I helped to care for my father, as he lived and died in one. I had to endure my mother’s five month stay in a nursing home while she recovered from major surgery. I have volunteered my time in hospice, making my travels in some nursing home visitations. So I have seen, firsthand, the hardship of what it means to be elderly, of what it means to feel like a burden, of what it means to lose one’s abilities that one has always taken for granted.  I’ve often witnessed the despair and the languishing away from growing feeble in body and mind.
There is no easy cure for old age. No amount of Botox can alleviate the problems. No change seems available in sight for the ones who have lost their way, or have few people that can care for them, or are willing to care for them.  

I think time should just slow down again for me—as it seemed to be in my girlhood.

I am in no hurry to leave middle age.
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
My Second Letter to Allen Ginsberg
Dear Allen,
Almost five years ago, I wrote you a letter, and in
That letter, I purged my drunkenly woeful cries
That seem so first-world now and naïve –
The things I grimed over with luxuries I didn’t
Realize that rubbed against my plump limbs
Like millions of felines poised at the
Tombs of pharaohs.

Oh, Allen, I’m so tired –
These politics, and poly ticks, so many ticks that
Annoy my tics. Allen! I smear your name so liberally
Against this paper like primer because the easiest way
To coerce someone into listening to you like
A mother
or predator
tugging or nibbling on your ear –
Swatches of velvet scalped from a ****’s coat
Are you and I talking to ourselves again?
Candid insanity : Smoky hesitance.

Dear Allen, I’m so tired –
Yes, I love wearing my ovaries on the outside like
Some Amazonian soapbox gem glistening from beneath
The iron boots of what the newspapers tell me while
I cough at them with the hurdled delicacies of alphabet soup.
Give vegetables a gender and call them onions, Allen.
Sullied scratch-hicks pinioned feet from slapping
Society’s last rung on the ladder.
Ignore the swerve of small-town eyes.
Scapulas, stirrups, pap smears, and cervical mucus – now do you know who we are?

That fingernail clipped too short, Allen. We’ve all got AIDs
And AIDs babies, haven’t you heard? Hemorrhaging from the political
****** and out – they haven’t reached the heart.  
Since when have old white men given a **** about some
13 year old’s birth control? I’m riding on the waves of the
Parachute game and I swear this abortion-issue is just a veil outside Tuskegee University
Being further shove over plaintive eyes, swollen and black.
Pay up and
shut up.

I still remember my first broken *****, Allen.
Can you tell me all about your first time?
The vasodilatation that made veins rub against skin,
Delirious brilliance : unfathomable electricity.
I made love during an LSD experience, Allen,
And I am not sorry. I see cosmic visions and
Manifest universal vibrations as if this entire world is
A dish reverberating with textiles and marbles, and
All are plundering the depths of the finished wine
Bottle roasting in the sink like Thanksgiving Turkey.
The patience is in the living. Time opens out to you.
The opening, between you and you, occupied,
zoned for an encounter,
given the histories of you and you—
And always, who is this you?
The start of you, each day,
a presence already—
Hey, you!

Ah, Allen, if you are not safe, then I am not safe.
And where is the safest place when that place
Must be someplace other than in the body?
Am I talking to myself again?
You are not sick, you are injured—
you ache for the rest of life.

Why is it that I have to explain to my students that
sometimes what I'm spouting is prescribed by a pedagogical pharmacy --
but all they want to know is "what do the symbols on the television mean?"
I am completely aghast against the ghosts of future goners --
I am legitimately licensed to speak, write, listen like some mothers --
I am constantly cajoling the complex creations blamed on burned-out educators --
I am following the flagrant, fired-up "*******"s tagging lockers --
Pay up and
shut up.

Yes, and it’s Hopeless. Allen.
Where did we get off leaping and bounding into
The dogpile for chump change jurisdiction, policing
The right and the left for inherent hypocrisies when
Poets are so frightful to turn that introspective judgment
Upon ourselves?
We didn’t see it coming and I heard the flies, Allen.
Mean crocodile tears. Flamingo mascara tracks
Up and down : up and down: bow – bow – bow – bow
Buoyant amongst the misguided ******* floating around
In the swirlpool of lackadaisical introspection.
What good is vague vocab within poetry?
Absolutely none.
Would you leave the porchlight on tonight?
Absolutely, baby.

Dear Allen, would you grow amongst the roots and dirt
At the knuckles of a slackjawed brush of Ever-Pondering Questions
Only to ask them time-and-time-and-time-and-time-again.
Or pinch your forehead with burrowed, furrowed concentration upon those
Feeble branches of progression towards something that recedes further
And further with as much promise as the loving hand
Attempts to guide a lover to the bed?

Allen, I wish to see this world feelingly through the vibrations of billions of bodies, rocking and sobbing, plotting and gnashing like the movement of a million snakes, like the curves collecting and riding the parachute-veil.

Ah, Allen! Say it ain’t so! Sanctified swerve town eyes.
And everything is melting while poets take the weather
Too personally
And all the Holden Caulfields of the world read all the
*******’s written on the walls and all the Invisible Men
Eat Yams and all the Zampanos are blind and blind
And blind and blind and blind and blind
Yet see as much as Gloucester, as much as Homer,
As much as Oedipus.

Oh, Allen, do you see this world feelingly
and wander around the desert?
Colored marbles vibrating on the curtailed parachute paradox.
Lamentation of a small town’s onion. Little do we know, Allen,
That what you cannot see, we cannot see, and we are bubbling
Over in the animal soup of the proud yet weary. I can see,
However, how the peeled back skulls of a million
Workboots and paystubs may never sully the burden
Of an existential angst in miniscule amounts.
Pay up and
shut up.  

My dearest Allen, there is always a question of how
The cigarettes became besmirched with wax to complement
What was once grass, and
What was once a garish night drenching doorknobs.
The night's yawn absorbs you as you lie down at the wrong angle
To the sun ready already to let go of your hand
As you stepped, quivering, on to
The shores of Lethe.
SN Mrax Sep 2014
late at night
when you want to sleep
and you can't
bear to surrender
press the strange button
disguised in your remote control
and your little television will flicker
with an odd and greyish picture
and you can hear my voice
and see another moment for a world--
pearls of wood tinkling
a wild woman hacking through a jungle of words
uncovering swirls
of teacups and curls
and tiny grey horses
sprouting antlers of moss
and dancers and jokers
and portraits of loss
each one of these threaded
through the path of destruction
she's hacking her way through
your television
while murmering
oh so quietly

then turn off the image
and lie down and rest
reassured by the knowledge
that out there in the world
there's something just as deranged
as you feel in your chest
and it's there as a gift of
tiny horses in teacups
for you if
you can find it.
Lenore Lux Feb 2015
I think sometimes, about what it means to be transgender. I probe and probe for answers, because as the possibility for a new age of enlightenment and safety increases, the others want to know. I’ve come up with many answers, but I can hold to none. I don’t deserve to paint the definition of a culture with the limited experiences I’ve had. I don’t see myself in the transgender identified people allowed on television. I don’t see myself in the transgender identified people making news feeds and giving high profile interviews. And as my nation’s exposure to our culture increases, likely will their curiosity. Am I transgender? Do I have the right? I’ve heard doctors, psychiatrists, may refuse transgender patients access to hormone therapy based on how dedicated or convincing their portrayal of their identified gender. If you want to be a man or woman, you’ll have to look like the women and men on TV. If you want to be transgender, you’ll have to look like the trans identified people on TV. Every single one of us who has an active role as either participant or observer in our society is prey to the crisis of validity. Am I pretty enough? Am I strong enough? Am I brave enough? Mom enough? Dad enough? Competitive enough? Successful enough? Rich enough? **** enough? Pious enough? It never ends. We’re, as a nation of people, being crushed and compartmentalized by this ever present lens, looming over us, exploiting our weaknesses and fears so it may grow wider, and support itself as it follows us, seemingly forever into the future. And one of the worst fears this camera of existential torment exploits, in most of us every day, is, “Do I have a reflection?” “What does it look like?” “Do I look like me?” What does it mean to be transgender? I can’t get away from that question. But I don’t have an answer. There are varying degrees of anguish, depression, panic, anxiety, and other wonderful emotional states that creep up on you and breathe down your neck nearly every waking day. Absolute contempt for the lie of a life you’ve lived till now, and contempt for the fragments still stuck to you, in memories, attached to your body and mind. Fear of those in your own community who would purposefully humiliate, invalidate, or attack you, choosing their own universal moral code over the innate urge and capacity to support the health and continued well being of another human. A ******* neighbor. A ******* pupil. A ******* employee. A ******* sister, brother, son, daughter, mother, father, cousin, ******* blood. What is being transgender like? By my experiences, it’s just like being anyone else in the country. But with a lot more fear, death, exclusion and medication.
Andrew T May 2016
After drinking a glass of bourbon, Calvin popped a videotape into his VCR and lounging back on his pull-out futon couch, he watched the large television screen crackle, then cleanse, and then brighten with a clear image of his dead wife Marcy playing Mozart's Symphony No. 40 on a baby grand piano. She was sitting straight and tall on a plush leather bench, spreading out her delicate hands in an effortless and graceful motion. Marcy smiled and fluttering her fingers, she pressed down the black and white keys with a deft, light touch; a powerful and full sound burgeoning from the instrument. Her cheeks were sunken like capsized buoys and her lips were pursed together tight. She wore a dark red dress and ballet shoes. Marcy played many chord progressions, swaying left to right, synchronizing her body to the rhythm. Her curly locks of brown hair tumbled down her bare shoulders, and her green eyes were trained intently on the sheet music, as though the notation possessed a hidden map that held clues leading to nirvana. She released her fingers from the keyboard and turning around, she said in a smoky voice, "Baby I'm getting pretty thirsty. Aren't you thirsty? Let's drink some water and I'll play more later, okay?"

Calvin reached over and lifted up the bottle of bourbon from the tabletop and poured more bourbon into his glass. He watched Marcy get up from the bench. Calvin’s arm shook as he drank the bourbon. Marcy stared right into the camera and winked. Calvin cleared his throat and heard a cheerful voice leak out the television speakers, and on cue he synced up his tone and inflection with the voice and said, "Honey you play like an angel, a beautiful angel. You’re so talented and you’re right water sounds great right now. I'll put some ice in your water, would you like that?" Marcy beaming a smile, nodded. She walked towards the camera and closed her palm over the lens.

The television screen blurred with gray pixels and white dots, and then faded into black. Calvin turned off the television with the remote, walked over to the VCR, and popped out the videotape. He stared at the tape and cried in silence, wishing that the video was longer than five minutes, so that he could hold on to a stronger memory of his wife. The tape was a worn plastic rectangle with black spools of footage that were frayed from repeated viewings; 462 times, equating to one year, three months, and five days.

Calvin remembered recording the tape on June 8th 2013, which was the same day that Marcy took her own life with a gun. He felt that the videotape preserved Marcy’s voice, her appearance, her piano playing, but what it didn’t do was reveal her motivation for killing herself. Calvin had searched through his entire apartment and he had not been able to find a suicide letter, which was frustrating and confusing. A letter could have provided him with answers. He wanted to know why she ended her life. Didn’t she care about him? Weren’t they happy together? How was she feeling at the time? These questions couldn’t be answered, but when Calvin watched the videotape, sometimes he felt like Marcy was speaking to him through her piano playing and giving him insight to her thought process. And sometimes he felt that she wasn’t speaking to him at all, and that if he kept watching the videotape, the reason behind Marcy’s suicide would haunt him for the rest of his existence. Calvin put the videotape back into the VCR, turned on the television again, and watched Marcy play the piano.
Cunning Linguist Mar 2014
The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the ***,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the ***** rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His ****,
And How the Monkey Lost His ****,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the ***** looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
A brilliant read from one of my favorite authors,
If you don't know his books or influence, shame on you.

— The End —