My books

No Love Lost

I watched the neighbors on the opposite ridge bulldoze the property line, each in turn. Each had a bulldozer. They were being sold posts and barbed wire by a dealer in town. Repeatedly. Follow the money. One day the girl on one side married the boy on the other and the war transitioned to a delicate cease-fire. When they were divorced, the bulldozers started back up. It was love. Then it was lost love. Before that it was just business.

Fun in Summer

I’ll tell you how she won his love. She used to chase the boy and when she caught him she would sit on him. This was also how she lost him. It became old hat. They needed to shake it up and were thwarted by tradition. It was what they knew. Not enough.

The feud resumed easily. It was what they knew. But now it had more vigor. Teeth. They enjoyed it more. It had a history. A violation of code. Familial.

But at last one of them sold out and moved away. Was replaced with a new family. There was no fight between the houses on one side or the other. The bulldozers were never seen again. The new people didn’t even own one. Absent pride of ownership, the fence stood. The new neighbors had nothing in common with the old. They didn’t socialize in any way. They really couldn’t stand one another.

It was a cold war.

Pro-logue

Pro-logue

“I’ve had enough of your horseplay,” s/he said. “Off you go now.”

Everything in the world is seeking to stand on the highest point. Where one can see. There is nothing else which explains the urge to climb mountains, get there first, or pat oneself on the back. It even explains the eruption of volcanoes, the contents inside wishing to come out on top. That’s the prime real estate. No matter what one has to do to get there. That says a lot.

Eruption by Richard Lindsay

That’s why an eruption is such a sacred shared event. A seismic shift. People remember it. It burns itself on the social memory pad. Changes everything. I saw such an event once. It was my first. After this I saw more, but they were robbed of absolute novelty. Because If you see one you’ve seen it all, the world order set up.

At some point everything becomes common place. It starts to look alike. A revelatory illusion.

Everything is built on something else. The novelty is an illusion. The present is a time shift of the past. It seems clear because there has been a precedent. A prologue. An introduction. And when we left we said “Make it look like no one has ever been here before.” So as not to rob the future of its own initiative. Priorities. I don’t make the rules, I break them.

The present has to be built. In detail. For the purpose of references. Few check these out. Outdated.

Once it is built, it seems to have always been there. This is the natural order. It’s traditional.

My first book was a stapled together mess called A Child’s Guide to Suicide, and I handed it out at a punk rock club. Have you ever been hugged by a sweaty punk rocker? I don’t even have a copy of it.  You come away looking like you were up on the stage. The copy I had drowned in a flood. It was from a hot water heater. Twenty years old, it sprung a leak into the basement apartment. The trauma of aging. I was dreaming at the time. I dreamt of water, a gentle flow. A steady dripping and splashing of the tropics. As if I were stranded on a beach. When I awoke I splashed down, as my feet hit the floor and were submerged. I salvaged what I could. And rebuilt. It’s what people do. By conditioning. Tradition.

So here we are.

She had short hair, light brown, when she approached me. She was tall and played the bass guitar. I had been admiring her from afar, but she had no way of knowing this. Like when you look to the top of Mount Everest with longing in your heart, though you understand the perils inherent in such a desire. It’s a question of preparation. How well you pack. If you are ready. If your heart is strong.

“Are you handing this out to children?” she demanded. And it was a set-up to a joke, but instead, for love, the punchline was moved to a footnote. And so the response was left wanting. And she walked away with a flourish. And perhaps that was the greatest gift I could give her. For who can understand the nature of love, for which so much is sacrificed in our perpetual present?

More than One Day

The More than True podcast returns with a vintage story about spies, Russians, shoes, USA electoral politics, and raisins.

It’s an audio rendition of the story More Than One Day in the Life of Igor Igoravitch, from the collection Hard Fought Illusions of Choice. Enjoy. It is strong. Like Stalin.

“Winner Winner!” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

“Someone Else’s Memories” from the album The Politics of Desire by Revolution Void licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.

Just Zep on in

“And I am a great businessman,” Zeppo said, really swinging the ladder. “You got that right. And funny. Say, did you know I catered my own wedding?”

“How’d that come off?” Carl said.

“I am pleased to say without a hitch,” Zeppo said. “Served animal crackers and duck soup. Didn’t last. She was Daffy. Oh, I get enough of that at home.”

“I understand,” said Carl. “Most marriages end in the home.”

“You can say that again, doctor,” Zeppo said.

“I said, ‘Most marriages end in the home,’” said Carl, glad to be of service. Zeppo was such a nice man. People tended to fall all over themselves. It was a concern. Even now.

“It was then I sent you that letter,” said Zeppo. “Requesting our meeting.”

“It was a strange thing,” Carl said. “An opening and a closing without the part in the middle.”

“I didn’t think that was wholly necessary,” Zeppo said. “Ipso Facto. Superfluous, as my brother Harpo might say. So I cut it all out. Swept it under a rug.”

“Well it really left me,” Carl said, “hanging.”

“Sorry doc,” Zeppo said. “Vaudevillian’s curse.”

Carl thought there must be a better way to enter and exit a Zeppelin, and someone would surely cash in on that in the future. However, upwards. To the inner Zeppelin. The guts of the thing.