Thursday, April 26, 2018

mmdcclxxi

Maudlin

That part you have
right.  That part of
me wading in all of
the bullshit, you de-
scribe it differently,
and it’s your bod-
given right, abso-
lutely, because
your attention is
sick, and not in a
good way, sick as
the victims you
point at all day
long, thinking
nothing, per-
taining to the
victims, but
even moreso
how you feel
about this sys-
tem we spent
time building,
applauding,
lauding, up-
setting, and
rearranging,
along with
our values,
how wonder-
fully precious
to have one or
two of them,
but eviscerated?
I don’t recom-
mend it, nope.
I believe that’s
what’s so shock-
ing about these
stocking-stuffers
so heavily weight-
ed with self-esteem
isssues, depressions,
the inactive ideas of
each yesterday’s gung-
ho, being solidly put in-
to a place where nobody
can remember (the idea,
yesterday, the solidity,
the action of inaction),
the pitch-perfect abuse
(sitting in front of Life-
time television yell-
why stay with such
a son-of-a-bitch!?I,
the killing of the hap-
py (where did those 
drugs go, right?)
as a sneaky mur-
derer of worse
crept in to our
universe of val-
use and such,
wow, what a
valuable uni-
verse (because,
yes, of course,
it’s since been
completely re-
veresed!), ig-
noring con-
sequences, as
if what are those?

Let’s pause for
just a moment
to prepare for
what otherwise
would be a lethal
isolation.  Which
means ignore my
pleas, ignore my
please, snub ev-
ery last one of
my pleases,
take a step
closer, just
one step, and
recall how much
further it was than
the step before
from the bleak fix
that is me, how dar-
ling of me to nostalgic-
ally imagine it so, ano-
ther step closer/further
and we might even re-
discover that release
sensation, the valve
and value of which
we lost, broke, or
just forgot to keep
their forwarding
addresses...

(to be continued,
always at some
futuristic hour,
so long as we are
still skipping and
beating, breathing
and slipping.  So by
all means stay tuned)

Monday, April 23, 2018

mmdcclxx

2. out of sorts (5 letters)

It's like

a cross-
word
puz-
zle.

It's

not
going
to work
without
the words.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

mmdcclxix

How No One Is Who You Say You Are

Who you
say you 
are is
mostly
every-
one.
While
some
do, most
people
never
add that
part to
them-
selves.
Admit-
ting the
fault that
is yours
isn't half
the battle,
but owning
up to what
one's sub-
tracted from
oneself. Hon-
ing that down
inside even
your great-
est others
is nothing
about vul-
nerability.
It is quite 
simply
about
the
truth,
which,
when all
is said and
done, turns
out to be
nothing
but a
hole. 


Friday, April 20, 2018

mmdcclxviii

This Is Not At All How I Feel About It

Many apologies. In all the years of our correspondence, I
do not recall broaching this subject, which has been many. 
And this particular topic is uncannily important, especially
with regard to our relationship. So it is with all due respect
that I respond with a question.  This is what we do.  The
answer is not when will I become my old self but how.
Sometimes never is a bless├ęd thing.  Its a lousy example,
but when I took the Hippocratic Oath, I never thought
I had become such a hypocrite.  Maybe the Greeks were
all Geminis, I dunno (I certainly dont remember copulating
the Halloween previous).  “I wasn't on hand for that part-
icular heartbreak,” he says nostalgically, not even using
them (his hands) to make the point.  Amused by this, Arthur
begin to sing La Isla Bonita while the rest of the knights
are serving all of their soldiers for dinner (shining armor,
indeed!). All of the henchman agree upon specifically
what to do about history. The agreement, stacked as it
were, rock upon rock (as I recall, it was mostly slate,
done in the classic style so predominant in those less
volatile but much more tawdry times), was hinged
into about seven triptychs. “What do you mean,
what is there to do about all of this history,” she
asked the by then vanished capitan while astral pro-
jecting herself into a different parlor which housed
all of the same strange people at the other parlor,
except this newer family looked a lot more exhausted. 
I agreed as I twitched back and forth amongst extreme
clarity, juxtaposition (again, in the nature of that
particular era), a perverted cynicism and a very
oddly-whetted comedy at which only I occasion-
ally would squeeze out a dry chuckle or two.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

mmdcclxvii

The White Cliffs of Dover

           Old age is not to be believed.
                                          —Joe Brainard

I woke up
this morning
with no hang-
over (I mean 
like the ones
that occur
without the
aid of a yes-
terday of
drinking or
participating
in alternative
festivities).
Meaning:
I’m young
again. Check
Roger slither-
ing out of the
bedroom and
into the L-
shaped hall-
way.  Check.
Roger.  I’m
slithering as
well, out from
under my blank-
ets to grab my
favorite pull-
over, head to
the shower
for a quick
scald and
a comb-
over.
Mostly
happy,
like al-
most al-
ways; re-
lieved with-
in the con-
viction that
I’m in no
need of a
do-over.
“Check,”
shouts
Roger
with both
arms up
in the air.

Monday, April 09, 2018

mmdcclxvi

New Poem

Stay true to your
self.  I try to be kind.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

mmdcclxv

Comic Strip Yappy

Diane, I don’t remember all these cartoons.
We have novel-sized reams of mail sent to
each other from the nineties (in particular).
Was your intention to send me both Mary
Worth AND Apartment 3-G?  The latter,
whatever the case, seems hilarious,
looks like it would be a total scream 
to me (now - I certainly did not get
them at the time).  Also, The Far Side
never grows old, apparently.  I love the
one you sent of a young Captain Hook
who’s seeing a “job therapist” (I could
definitely use one of those, by the way)
because he’s torn between two potential
careers: pirating or massage therapy.  The
look on the therapist’s face is priceless.
Or did I make that part up?  Anyway,
one thing I didn’t make up were two
“Special Report” sidebars you must have
cut from something (From what, though?   
Was there a magazine called “Special Report” 
to which someone in your family – or, just as 
likely, you – subscribed?) that were titled
“Special Report 2” and “Special Report 3.” 
They remind me of the pamphlets that folks 
in and around Chinatown are always passing
out about the ... Falun Gong ... I think?
I’ve no recollection beyond that, at
the moment because I’m reminded
of the man (I actually really miss him) 
who stood on a dais made of a couple 
of milk crates, I believe, on the corner 
of Grant and Washington Streets (or 
Grant and one of the cross-streets 
nearby Washington Street) literally 
all day long sing-saying “Happy Happy
Happy” over and over and over again.  
Only it sounded more like “Appy Yappy
Yappy” to me.  So I’d be sing-saying
the same, all the rest of the day, 
when I had the joy of running into him.  
It gave me a very warm feeling, and I 
felt reassured and okay, as in I’m gonna
be okay because Appy Yappy Yappy.  
There really are a lot of these letters, 
Diane.  All in one envelope, for example, 
there’s an 8 1/2" x 11" handwritten letter, 
along with a Gil Thorpe stripan always 
seemingly worthless comic (to me) that 
I only now, as I read through your letters 
and their various surprise enclosures,
seem to be getting.  Like, I GET 
Gil ThorpeHow crazy is that?  
And then there’s Mary Worth
another soap opera strip with
only two or three frames a day,
like the soapy and oh-so-slow
moving Dick Tracy, a strip I 
actually read and read, but
never actually got, to be per-
fectly honest.  Who knows why,
though, because even back then 
I loved  soap operas (I’d watch 
Days of Our Lives and The Young 
& the Restless – which starred
David Hasselhoff, at the time – with 
my mom from before I went to school.
I remember this!)  I always felt in these 
drawn-out dramas that there was
some sort of humor that I must surely
have been totally missing.  And
there must have been.  Because 
you sent me strip after strip after
strip, along with your three- to seven-
paged incredibly engaging letters,
most all of which I took photographs of 
before everything in my storage unit
went to auction.  These are the things
that life is made of. Of which life is 
made.  Which make life.  For which
I am beyond grateful.  

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

mmdcclxiv

Latin Pig

Greetings, beneficiary!
There’s the “ick” of St.
Petersburg.  And then
there’s the “ugh” of St.
Petersburg.  Lucy lives
in St. Petersburg, but
she is not to be con-
fused with the one in
the sky with diamonds. 
No, but she has immeas-
urable amounts of gold.
During the warm season,
and sometimes during
the not-so-warm season,
the gold cascades down
the mountaintops that
surround Lucy’s daringly
hip (for Russia, you know)
mansion.  So, yes, lots of
gold.  Urp!  And lots of
icky sky.  Ugh!  But the
golden icing on the peaks
of the summits surround-
ing her dainty mansion,
and the gold itself, seem
to be the only pollution
in Russia’s Amsterdam
(however, I will always
prefer Venice).  The pol-
lution wraps the city into
a singularity, so it can be
stuck into a sentence all
the more appropriately,
all the more violently,
with the common sway
of the boughs, the overly-
ornate parlor parquetry,
the kitchen cabinets that
are so often open, hanging
limply like the lower part
of the human body around
a broken bone, a leg bone,
as it sways ever so slightly,
to and fro (for purposes of
this missile, we can deny
the pain of it all; there’s
enough in the beautifully
wrapped city of St. Peters-
burg, whose inhabitants
seem endlessly enraptured
by the sunken rooms in
their own homes; rooms
we’d probably call dens.
In fact, “Down with the
dens!” is the somewhat
unofficial motto of the city
of St. Petersburg.  A den
with an extra e  is of course
Eden, after all.  And always
he sways and she sways,
in unison, in solidarity, it
seems with the bows.  He
sways, she sways.  And do
I ever love it when you sway
on your uniquely bland (for
St. Petersburg, anyway)
porch-swing (also unique.
in that same way) in the
indelibly heartwarming
city of St. Petersburg.