Thursday, December 31, 2009

the comedian-2

i have an abscess on my gum line. most lonely hours are spent tonguing about the area. there is a twinge from the pain but nothing too great, more like an annoyance or hobby. as i sit on park bench spotlighted by street lamp i rub a pencil between hands trying to forget, though like the hiccups it comes on again. while writing i find my tongue sneaking up, giving a quick brush then off before i can catch him.
i am frustrated. i am a man in a sky blue suit, non ruffled shirt open at the collar. there is a potato sack covering my face and as i feel my tongue darting i bite down then spit a bit of blood. gasping at the new pain amazed at the pain we get used to. the pain we can forget.

a joke:

there is this father. he is forty-two years old today. he has not been able to get a replacement for the job he lost ten months ago. his family has not been able to find a buyer for the house they are going to lose two weeks from now. they have downgraded from new toyota's to old ones by way of reposession and family loan.
his wife works to make ends meet but she makes too much to qualify for public support. the state food stamps are out of reach. the state health plan is out of reach and insurance will cost them four hundred dollars.
today is this guy's birthday.


how ridiculous! there are some who would let it stop them. there are those that believe you have to have a stage, that you have to wait until a club allows you on before you can perform. can you believe that? my stage is where i am standing at the moment i begin.
i have performed on street corner, on escalators, on parking structures and in toilets. dreams are gardens that have to be constantly tended. some may sit in their apartments or worn couch homes and think 'i will start on this day when this happens' like the obese and their pursuit of the perfect monday or the drunk and his search for rock bottom.
i was that once. now i have a bag to cover what motivates me. now i see. alone, when i towel from a shower, the commitment it takes.
i read about the christ. i read about the begging disciples, the whining disciples his motivation. he taught before them, but now with dependents it becomes something of more power. it becomes pressing to prove the dream so to prove their time was not in vain and they are not the joke of the neighborhood. look how far he proved that.
'no, your crazy' they would say, or think.

a joke

how do you get a republican to help the middle class? have a democrat vote against it.

a joke

my neighbor went off to afghanistan only to have his left blown off by a seven year old. when the child was questioned why he did it he said, 'my father told me to.'
so i asked my neighbor, i said 'what do you think the we ought to do in the middle east?'
he stared down at his stub and said, 'glass make it lots of glass.'
i though about this then asked 'but what about the jews?'
he sucked his teeth for a moment and said, 'don't we celebrate christmas, here?'

a joke
how do you make a anti abortion rally disperse?
you ask them to adopt the babies.

there are good days and then bad. the crowd that has gathered seems to be cold. the only one who hasn't groaned or pushed their finger towards me is a woman who seems to be on her lunch break.
'boo!' they say.
'not funny!' they say.
'i know somebody that...' they say.

a joke
i use to think it should be illegal for lesbians to use dildos. then i watched my first pornographic movie.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12/30 the com.

a joke:
so this salesman is in a diner in small town south USA and he asks the waitress, 'this is my first night in town. is there anything here worth doing?'
to which she replies, 'oh yes, you just have to go to farmer jacks chicken show.'
'chicken show?' he asks.
'yes, it is a tap dancing chicken.' she says.
'well i do have to see that.' he says
so she takes out a napkin and writes the directions to the farm. the salesman pays his bill and drives through the wilderness and dark for about twenty minutes, until he comes across a farm house with a sign that reads 'thunder the tap dancing chicken'. he goes to the door, pays some old lady two dollars and walks inside.
the farm house is full, of what appears to be every person in town. kids are celebrating their birthday in one corner, men are standing around talking sports in one corner and woman are in the middle keeping an eye on everything.
suddenly there comes a clank of a cow bell and the farm house lights flicker causing everybody to go to their seats.
the salesman watches, as outsiders tend to do, and ends up with a corner piece of bench in the front row.
there is a red curtain on the stage that parts and from out behind it comes a chicken dressed in billowy white open at the throat dress shirt, his pants are tight lycra connecting to polished to shine black tap shoe.
the chicken stands at attention. someone in the crowd whistles. then the music starts. as the drums begin to thunder the chicken begins to tap dance.
the salesman is immediately taken aback. it moves in perfect rhythm to the drum. the chicken moves, not as a wild thing unknowingly typing hamlet but as a professional. it's chicken head bopping to one side then to the other as the dance dictates. the animal does not make the cluck of a chicken but keeps quiet wings tight to it's sides shirt perfect in the movement.
the dance lasts for thirty breathtaking minutes. as the curtain parts and the chicken disappears people are hollering and applauding wildly. someone stands and throws feed at the stage causing others to do so. the salesman is so moved as to wipe a tear from his eye.
never had he witnessed such random strokes of genius.
as the crowd begins to thin out he makes his way back stage where farmer jack is standing beside the caged chicken and a group of other farmers all talking weather and news of the day.
'excuse me.' the salesman asks.
'help ya?' spits farmer jack.
'i just have to know how you trained that chicken to dance,' says the salesman pointing at the bird that is now clucking and chickening about the cage.
all the farmers look at one another knowingly and smile.
'well son, it's real simple. lean in close and i'll tell ya.'
the salesman leans in until he can smell the tobacco on the old man's breath.
'yes?' said the salesman.
the farmer takes a quick glance about the room then says, 'you don't take your dick out of 'em till your finished.'

real time:

i am at the kitchen table, my face soaked, my head soaked in gasoline. it is near two in the morning. desperation has pushed me to this. when allowed we push away our dreams, we become sidetracked. we fear and curse and move away from the path.
in my hand is a burlap sack with the eyes cut out. in front of me is a table of pain killers. i must burn for awhile. on the table is bottles of booze. i must be left with no choice. like moses face covered to hide the scars of the kiss of god, as i deliver the word.
gone will be the hours of the cubicle. gone will be the put off of open mics and the writing sessions to television. if i must be homeless, i will be homeless, if i must starve, i must starve and if i must die i die.
i am a comedian.
i am talking into a tape recorder.
i am a comedian.
in my hand is a burlap sack.
in my hand is a lighter. it makes a clicking sound as the fire comes off and on.
faith requires the sacrifice of everything to the glory of the goal.
we have fire. we have heat. we have no turning back.

introducing...the comedian. the soap box.

Monday, December 14, 2009

the last of the bums-

the last of the bums,

they come at 4 am at 5 am at any am crying you from sleep. they come tugging their blankets, soiled and hungry. they the youth being dragged by the wild animals that grow in the heart, the animals of adventure and discovery and once we were them. now we are sore from the work, sore from the mountains of letters and endless hard fought miles to keep the lights on.
we the grey hairing, we the worn sunday slacks hard sighing when we squat in the pew to serious our intentions to the orthodox christ while they giggle draw and stomp their feet. we the love makers heavy flesh crashing like waves into the hard beach line of wrinkled sheets and worn thin pillows.we lay gasping for air in the raven black winter night as they call out as they stumble across darkened flooring tears falling paining under the labor of teeth eruption.
where once there was the rush of downtown where everything was wet lips rudded cheeks flushed and all sentences had the passion of an exclamation point.
'who was that!?' she would say.
'immortal lee county killers!'
there was fire outside doug fir where we gasped these things. where we paced, she in her white puff jacket, where we smoked cigarettes rubbed our fingers together drooling slightly from the sides of our lips hungry for sex for next for something something something!
you must learn patience for the youth. the youth do need that. you must learn you can't get red wine drunk singing outside until three in the morning. you must learn that chasing your now wife through music clubs or the art museums can't happen anymore. the youth need that. the freedom for that.
i try these things. i get hungry still. i chase still.
these the new legions of champions have little to no time for your ornaments of nostalgia and they shouldn't. if we always looked back think of the pot holes we stumble upon, twist our ankles, hair smashed flat from falling down. onward i say, burn your bridges the future is out there not behind you.
i can tell them these things. for me, i am overgrown with the roots of mine mind. i spend hours watching the light change on the pavement or ceiling in a trance of remembrance.
why remember the time i rushed across country hearing j.r. and thinking we'd be received as conquering heroes. why remember when we (dear j.r.) stopped in new mexico and slept on the blood stained sheets? remember the fear of the scorpion? shackleton and his rattling thin bones of madness? the quick steps of sundar chasing us kids down?
there are fiction machines there are philosophical machines there are theological machines there are the dream machines.
i the dream machine, the reflection machine lost in the fog of war tracing shells and corpses ready to report when asked, 'what happened?'
remember nick your rude joke we teased you about?
remember josh the double mac?
brian's fisting?
i do.
i go back to three years older than my son, that is how long this machine has been on. it was idaho, it was early fall before all the birds had flown. young over stuffed tired from peddling it was time to relax and reflect (think of those things that machine had to dream upon!). while watching the transformation of cloud to baby, from cloud to two headed hell hound, to green lantern there came a tugging at my shoe. my gaze descended to find myself surrounded by a group of local toughs, three ducks had settled on either side and one at my feet. the one a green to grey white collard joe tugged playfully at my toe as if to say remember now is the time to focus on what's going on here.
i watch the fumbles, the stumbles bonks bumps and bruises. i watch the crazy dance move, the terrible cry fests and listen to goobles and shouts. i watch and record and wonder upon him as he drfeams is it of fantasy, is it of the day or is it of the vast endless universe that he rushes to embrace thrusting his tiny hands and legs straight in the night air to anxious to begin for covers. go forth, rush on don't fret for these memories, my boy, i will collect, record and remember these things.

the honeycomb
clung to his beard
causing the hair to mat
while the fish oil
weakened the scab
an the blood flowed


there is no holy testament to the drunk anymore. there is no prophet of the booze anymore. the tabernacle of the blessed pub sing alone. i, man, cling to the hunger for drink drunk that rattles through my rib cage and knocks into my head.
a glorious drunk we sang, watched and danced to those that moved through the night. glorious in our wine stained button shirts meaty stomachs pressing stretching the buttons while rubber lips flap and bounced against each other calling out to perfume and rouge.
oh wifey, you know as well that we would never have made it without red wine. with your father flushed angry bald head and silence. he did not take our laughter well. how they sat as we babbled on about the future, how i came and talked for two hours straight about my failures in life. oh the joy when your full of magic, love and merlot.
do you remember hood river and the thing we broke?
do you remember your mother calling?
the threat of the orphan close?
now we sneak drinks. from nine to nine-thirty. we huddle on the couch and talk through hand signs in case we wake them. how can there be joy when there is no guffaw, no belly laugh no loud fast conversations of whats to come?
they say farmers make the best parents because their only interests are in how to make things grow. i was raised among faith healers and the latch key orphans. it was not bad parents, it was idaho where everyone learned from the fields that you leave it alone, that you let it go. they believed that in the womb of the soiled earth their fortune did grow.
i wonder if texans are the same?
could you imagine? out in kansas corn fields they can point out the window, 'look see there it grows!' out in the dairy land, 'look see they grow!' to the idaho farm land, 'look see have faith it grows!'
the ease of the faith in christ must be born from the memories of the blank idaho potato fields where a man could sit on seemingly blank soil wipe his brow and dream of a spring time treasure.
it means i pace, it means i get uncomfortable watching my children unfold. it means i understand why my father went vacant and my mother held a job. it means that with most things i want to cover them up and return later for the harvest. it means it is unnerving to watch and see children take actions that cause damage or embarrassment. it means that you get worn thin when you have to stifle your orgasm and must limit yourself to, at most, two glasses of wine or booze. it means i see the miles of mail thirty five years worth, still to come! it means i am scared that when the harvest comes there will be no potatoes just empty soil.
it means faith is not the absence of fear but that your still farming even when your terrified and consumed by the hopelessness of it all.


the pigeon
bob my head
in agreement
to my son's
toddler babbles
while my lips are wet
cause they kissed my wife
an yet
hunger for more.


it's 6:30 in the morning. i begin with the trisagion prayer, the prayer of repentance, the prayer of a parent for their children and finally the marriage prayer. it is december and good orthodox christians are fasting. while i normally fast for lent and rarely eat red meat i do eat dairy, eggs and fish with backbone. i have made my peace with the fact that walking the mail six days a week and starving do not, necessarily, go hand in hand no matter the piousness. once i held all orthodox fast, for the entire year of wedensday, friday the nativity fast, lent etc etc and almost killed a neighbors cat to satisfy the anger and poison of a body on strike.
these things, they are not fixed, they are liquid and sand running through your hand. these things that we practice. they are warm and feel important.
i can't listen to the television or the talk radio anymore. i can't listen to the opinions anymore. they are tilts towards a demographic and extremes.
we are littered with icons. the sit on the table, they sit on the walls and all are staring out, all are waiting to be received, greeted and kissed. i use to circle like an embarrassed dog stealing a kiss or finger rub. i use to walk by oblivious to their thin yearning faces, i use to walk by them and curse for the added work of this new religion.
it was my wife, syrian, long black now auburn highlighted hair, strong lean legs of a colt thin hour glass body, deep pools of innocence and fire in her brown eyes and a smile that is genuine. she is honest and tough always true. she has a great beauty and a sharp mind that required me to come out of the wilderness. my wife led me to the church, would not get married unless i converted.
i was not an easy dog to train. i curse under my breath while they prayed. i had pornographic thoughts while the priest gave liturgy and always came hung over. while they prostrated themselves i sweated and watched the lights swing. while they crossed, while they spoke the creed i rubbed my damp forehead and pinched my excess fat.
i spent my time finding holes in the cause. i spent my time making jokes about 13 men and a hooker out in the desert. i spent my time vomiting forth all sorts of nonsense about a hatred towards something i never knew i had.
faith is a thin blanket. you can see the troubles, you can feel the wind and you can hear the pleas but your warmer than before. faith is a constant exercise in embarrassment. one must kiss those wooden pictures of orthodox saints as if you mean it. one must be reverent towards a man in obnoxious robes, bow before him, kiss his hand. one must breath in incense and think of those that have passed on, say the prayer for the departed and recite names over lit candles.
i came from a man that thought faith of anything more than yourself was a waste. the faith of the dreamer is to configure a want then push the universe around until it rewards you. faith in the holy trinity is that you walk this path and god's will be done.
i came from a philanderer and an adulterer. i came from a singer and a hotel runner. i came from a lumber barron and a moonshine runner. i came from dutch blue blood and a indian chief. i came from across the ocean and from this soil. all the way back my blood must have been baptized how many times? then lost to wander foothills and war grounds now back again. i see my son and wonder at where the future will take us.
the last bums
we waggle our fingers in the air
never good at roots
we tumble
through gutters
garbage cans
and women's arms
to find a nest
with permanent address
but still
we watch
the horizon line
an wonder if we meant
to tumble
a little more


our lord
jesus christ
son of god
have mercy upon me
a sinner.


this morning broke with my son tugging my arm. we sit and watch curious george as the work hour creeps near, as the breakfast hour creeps near. he is young so i'll hold him without embarrassment, so i will tussle his hair and pinch his toes. so i will have to wait until the night. wait until he sleeps, until his sister sleeps, until his mother is off to phone call or magazine articles to try and write again.
the sacrifice is worth the reward.


oh abraham why did you not fight for your son? oh abraham to abandon him and his mother to the mountains. where is the obligation of man, holy man, first man back bone of a nation man? i dream as i parse parcels and letters to ebony faces, auburn faces, dirt stained white faces, bloat face, stuck in wheel chair faces, the bloat faces of the infirm in ghetto homes pregnant with the stink of cat shit and bacon.
oh where would we be without abraham and the first act of the first free trade system? i take this over that. is that not the stain of the entirety of the book? the golden calf and the choice of the martyr?
i watch three year old mexican boys wander in dirty diaper. they lean and lurch weighed down by rotund stomachs gripping bottle full of soda. i see negro girls click clack their beaded braids together as snot run down their nose smiling through half plywood great windows.
the dogs are loud, aggressive in the yards of the ghetto. protective, i wonder of what? all the junk and garbage, who would steal?
there is desperation that seeps through the rust over eldorado to the high wheeled impala. there is desperation that bonds neighbors to each other. when you got nothing you have to rely on kindness.
oh abraham what different would be your choices if you were in the ghetto. what different if your pockets were empty and the utility man cometh wrench in hand to take your water away. what different your choice if you could feel the neighbor eye prying.
the god of the desert has no space on the city street to work it's mysteries.
the god of the desert has no space to move amidst concrete towers.
the god of the desert called the jews out of the city where the buildings huddled close. come out away where it's just you an me, where no one can see and judge if it's right or wrong.
the god of the desert is always making deals.
what does that mean?
i watch the parents in the ghetto in the slums supported by social security and hud. i listen to their booming voices calling their children out of the places where mystery could happen. i listen to their booming voices chiding them out of walking alone.
'now, listen, you don't ever go anywhere without your sister. you don't go anywhere without your brother, you hear?'
the american church is a testament to the crowd.
abraham would not have withstood the gossip. would not have gotten away with no child support. would have made a different decision.
i am baptized orthodox. my church is the church of the crowd. it is uncomfortable there, amongst the faithful, rubbing shoulders, whispering about so and so's new hair cut or pending divorce. the god of the desert, the god of vast empty spaces, the god of jagged rough faced mountains is not around.
i am that i am.
i watch these crowds of humanity move through school halls, through bar halls, through shopping malls. i am apart, i am lonely and most invisible. growing up the youngest, in the empty plains of boise idaho peddling my bike through vacant streets space enough to day dream.
the mailman ghosting across miles of sidewalk and yard. invisible. listening to the chatter and witnessing the glories of the people before company arrives and their face is put on. the answer the door in robes, they answer in dirty yard work clothes. they answer unwashed and unbrushed. some don't answer at all. these people, when i arrive and make my call.
i hear the wail of babes and drift on ishmael. abandoned by his father by the god of secret whispered promises. i hear the wail of babes and drift on my own children a sickness forms in the pit of stomach that i am not there for what tears the day may bring.
we all got some promise we act on faith.
the job faith
the marriage faith
the daycare faith
that buoys us as we abandon our children for the holy dreams of the workday hours.
it is the faith that in our seed is a great nation to come. that is the faith of escape that powers the people in the great dying molded tenements. one day their seed will find it's way to purer soil.
i don't know, but i pray everyday anyway.


this is about anger, mac. this is about the stress of it all. there are days that they scream until you want to wreck the car. there are days where you step in mud holes in front of the first mail box and have eight hours of drenched feet. there are days near the river when you see the piles of garbage bobbing like fisherman on tide waves.
we spend most days alone, you see. we spend most days apart. we spend most days on the phone talking about what we lost out on because of economics or lack of baby sitter.
there will be no time off.
sunday we watch, we polish ourselves and watch a man in 20000 dollar robes swing incense in a golden ball. watch amongst the other suits and loafers, while he holds his golden and ruby cross and ask for thousands of dollars to paint icons on the wall.
it's about anger.
i am losing myself in a sea of clothes that used to fit. i am losing myself to the silence of no company where the mind dreams up passions and frustrations. i am losing myself to impotence of inaction, to the impotence of talking but not doing.
to feed to insure to roof to cloth to love these things cost. these arms are heading into my pockets leaving my penniless and exhausted. abandoning me to the abandonment of friends and their calls.
'hey, let's so and so get the kids together?'
'ah, i am only available sunday from 3- 4:15.'
then there is no rest. then there is the pacing back and forth. then there is thinking, 'i have to be at work tomorrow. i have to be up at 6:30 to pray, stretch, eat, shit and write.' then i think of the gutters to clean, of the leaves to rake, of the car to gas, of the clothes to wash and food to buy etc. etc.
it burns slow.
there is my wife. there are the phone calls begging for a day off. there are the bills that stand in the way. there is my wife moaning the lament of the promises that fell flat. there is the grandma that has to go back to work, to eighteen hour days, there is the threat of failure all around the darkness of the void.
what if i twist my knee and can't work for a week?
there goes the mortgage.
the cycle is endless. always something to complain on...
this is about anger.
a man of full health, mind and ability can't change this? it's on you.
dream of the blind, dream of the infirmed, dream of the neighbors blown to half pieces in the war.
there are children in the streets of afghanistan orphaned whipped by shrapnel and driven to terrible acts from starvation.
there are children here, down the street, same diaper for days no food beaten by drug addicts.
if, even then, in the worst of it the heart beats and the mind dreams isn't it about hope?
i watch my son and hold him. i lay and stare at the ceiling. i can feel our hearts beat together and fuck it. life is about hoping and going for the thing you will be happy dying to reach.
if it's about anger. then it's about anger as the fuel to get you out 'the hole that he's in.'
let's us pray.


so we talk of death. so she runs her fingers through early morning hair. so we keep up with the jones' and the skeletons in their closet. so our son plays and dances to the twinkle of the christmas tree lights.
she talks like a woman. she talks while criss crossing her legs deep kind eyes gaze towards the ceiling and even now, without shower or makeup she is gorgeous. she of the heaving chest and quick tears when a child bumps it's head or i trip. she of the great deep belly laugh, she of deep wells of passion that erupt at a moments notice. there is love there.
the death of a partner, i watch her hands stab the air while she talks of the self imposed nunnery. while she talks of a life of abstinence. while she erupts, leaps and waves her hands over her heart.
'god forbid!' she says.
'dead is dead. what do i care if you screw some body on my dead body?' says i.
'god forbid!', she says.
'listen, forever is a long time alone. you should allow yourself...' say i.
'well your a man,' she interrupts, 'men can't be alone.'
'i'll just hire prostitutes,' i laugh.
'like that's better,' she hisses.
her lips purse and she stomps her feet like. there is a tenderness, a warming of the heart when you can see through the grown up and catch images of them as a child. i can see her now defiant against the world one shoe untied eight years old and ready for a fight.
i take time to engrave these things. these piles of innocents. it's after the storms when the world is clean and rainbows trace the path to buried treasures. it's the crisp fresh morning waiting for the fifth grade bus and going flush in the cheeks from limitless possibilities. it's the security of the promise to be true and honest at the altar of marriage.
'life is about the effort. when your dead your dead. do not bother yourself with such things dear,' say i.
my son runs an excited finger against the dark grain of our cheap coffee table. my son goes arms upstretched into a squeal and circle. my son collapses to his chair and takes in his shows. my daughter is sleeping in her crib tender fresh lips slightly parted in a blow. my wife walks towards the kitchen, she stops kisses my forehead.
'i'll wait for six months...', she flashes a smile, 'then i'll join a nunnery.' she is before the christmas tree the slow twinkle light highlighting the honest unblinking auburn eyes, highlighting the raven and ash highlight in her hair, highlighing her trim lean long athletic frame. 'i'll be laying right next to you, god willing, i WILL be laying next to you,' she says as if a threat to the universe.
god forbid.
she begins to pump her milk. my daughter stirs. the morning light brightens. life is good.


there are children
out lost to laughter and asphalt
wearing deep blue
or black
or polka dotted hats
waggling their arms
seasonal joy
of winter break
of the mystery of wrapping paper
the rain slicked
the grass
and roads to a shimmer
it's the puddles that cause one
to stop
and wonder
if that's reflection
or another universe
i seen the sky in the water
and realized we're all upside down
and none of this existed
save but in the heart
of a warm blooded
dream writing about love
the comfort of arms
or lips
or telephone calls
that you remember
i spent the moments
after we made love
thinking of soldiers
with their guns and santa hats
in the streets of a muslim city
i love
i hope
i dream
that we all make it home
to enjoy the holiday


it's the cold. that is when i grow this beard. scruff wild with an island of gray. it is christmas, or the morning after, it is the tens of slices of pie left to consume. it is all the noise of the electric children learning toys. it is the predawn dark of the rumble work trucks heading to paycheck alley. it is the construction of a new duplex down the street casting a black grim shadow over the neighbors house. standing as a slap in the face to humble house in front. it is the 92 year old neighbor suffering slight madness and walking in circles through the back yard snow white head twisting to the sound of a grandchild's laugh. it is the evicted cat family, cat father hat in hand mewing to be allowed entrance to the cellar, mewing that they 'most certainly won't make noise or knock apart furnace pipes this time.' it is the balancing act of my three month old daughter as she demands to stand. it is my father bringing roasted chicken and pie in his dirty pajama bottoms. it is the energy of my brother as an uncle squishing, tossing and rough housing the children into submission.
there are open shops. there is the mad woman having an argument with her split personality. 'one pack, we get one pack, no one pack, stop it, okay, sirsirsirsir, can we get two this the right chang...oh wait your right two packs. thaaats one for me and one for you, twotwotowopacks.' there is the loose eyes of the man behind me, whose presence felt seven feet tall an eight feet wide. 'i got me here some winners,' to pile of tickets.
so christ was born in spring. so what?
there is this beard and a wife's new haircut sexy though an attack on confidence. there is the morning and there are ideas to be tried. the redbook has spoken. time is up!


faith along the way. i take pictures of discoveries, of loosed twigs or branches that have fallen onto the ground to form a cross. i take pictures of children laughing as they slide. pictures of old timers that still lean into each other for healthy kisses. pictures of the things that first blush cause you to go warm. there is space on empty intersections when the weather is cold and the sun light fills. there is space between men on bar. there is a fullness an airdustrial (vitally invisible) quality to it all.
i hear garbage trucks to collect our christmas discards. does it strike a chord of joy or melancholy? do we focus on the smiles from the gifts in the boxes or on the smushed torn paper taking with it another season to the recycle pits?
i am heavy. my body aches in the morning. emits loud grunts or blasts when i bend or twist. i have to stretch in the morning now. i have to bend with my knees to pick up mail bins or my kids now. there is a feeling of marriage, safety, peace and union in our love making now.
gone to pasture the savage hunger of youth. gone savage the idea that makes your head damp and emit steam as you power up and down dirty city asphalt. gone to pasture not blinking but staring deep into fresh new women at the bars or poetry readings.
i have no patience but live on the cheap which is all patience. the patience to save for things. the patience to not eat the whole box of chips or every apple. where at first it was ah youth the consumption machine to ah father the patience machine rub their head and cheer them onto the discovery themselves.
where at first i would abandon and rush about saying,
i got me
some here fire
in the gut
and i am looking
for love
or lust
or blank fresh skin
to moan my poem
an don't mean nothing to
nobody or
leave no instruction
so let's us just
an scream
an fuck
let's us just
drive fast
with the windows down
in the winter
to honor the dead
let's us just
spend all our money
an wake spent from it all
bathing in new sunlight


you got's to
do it
use your pole
find your fish
dream over the
an if somebody says
leave them behind
to kiss with tongue mother
i had a hard day at work
an our anniversary is too
far away
to be strong
men will come
the great destroyers
thieves in the temple
take your pole
find your own fish
an never give away
what you aren't willing
to lose
or be stuck to

i see the emptiness of my fridge. i see the sad exhausted face of my clothes hang limp and dirty from their hanger. i see the hair on the floor. i see the frozen dishes. i see my wife exhausted and leaning into the couch as the children coo and rush from mound of toy to mound to toy. there is music in the air.
we the family. we are exposed on the toilet by the son now.
there is something full mysterious and wonderful laying across us now. our burdens filled with purpose. our patience tested and grown by the farmer hands of babes.
the christmas tree dies naked on the porch. the ornaments and toys are put to slumber. the morning sun is cresting and my son is going to sit on the toilet for the first time.


my father wanders his cold rental thinking about failure. he holds a drum stick and apple pie, both home made. he says 'no names' full puff nose and forest of eyebrow hair dancing as he speaks. my father rub's his stomach and says 25 more lbs. his holiday in stained pajama an abandoned thing, uncared for lost to madness his voice a low grizzly growl as he rocks his grand daughter to sleep.
there is the smell of age about him. there is the threat of impending doom. there is my personal pride for all he has accomplished and overcome battling the failure's witnessed as he grew. we grow to better understand it was only the best effort that they gave and nothing was intended or malicious.
i look about, at his family in ruins. all scattered to the wind. my mother lost to the ocean waves, my sister to the LA skyline, brother to the big business bank machine and i to the circle of city blocks i trot mailing about. we are the family of the spread hand. all connected but distant from the others.
my father the outlaw.
they don't retire from the life. he drives with no license. he drives with no insurance. he carries all his money in a cash knot in his pocket. he leaves with no notice. he is the wild dog chasing dinner in the blood sun set desert sky.
i admire him.
we follow not out of loyalty but after years of instruction. i see know, with my son, how it must be. every day there is instruction. every instruction carries with it a choice, once rewarded and the other with consequence.
we are the memory machines. what you chose to study to remember to create skill is the reward generator. i the medicine memory man produce more rewards than the door knob memory man who produce more rewards than the hamburger check out man who produce more reward than the can collection and return man.
i remember him. as he liquidates his assets and burns his roots off. i remember idaho and the beard sharks. i remember the karate pajamas and freethrows with our eyes closed. the outlaw. the last of the bums. on his way to mexico to find his graveyard. as my son stirs and i can hear my wife's magazine pages i can feel the sunset on our backs as we wander fields to find the rock to pay our respects to.
i love him.

the end.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12/11-the actor

glenn dale jefferson owns three oscars. glenn dale jefferson prefers to go by the name actor. the actor has reads no newspapers watches no tv and will only own nondescript things. he is a blank slate ready to be written upon.
his life was one of a ship at sail, doing it's work, taking pride in it's own ship body doing it's ship work. the actor would train his vocal chords, he would mimic small animals that would skitter across his property, grasp fallen acorns and stuff them in his cheeks to understand the life of the squirrel he was to play in an animation film. the actor studied the asian woman for his big business drama about going to china and ending up on top. today he stands leaning against a bus stop dark glasses blocking his vision as he clings to a light pole learning the ways of the blind.
there is a man with a pout belly hurriedly walking towards the actor. the man reaches out one stout arm and grasps our hero as he trips over a bench and begins to fall.
'gotcha,' says the fatso.
'wooah,' says the actor.
the robust man helps steady glenn dale jefferson, the actor, on his feet and asks 'are you alright?'
'i am fine, i guess this is the trouble you get in with your dog in the shop.'
they laugh.
'thank you for the help,' says the actor.
the actor is wearing a gray sport coat over a green christmas tree sweater over a black button up shirt all above unzipped slacks and mismatched tennis shoes. the fat man is wearing a business suit and has combed his hair slick over his bald spot.
as the rotund man began to make his way down the street the actor called after him.
'sir, your name?'
'gerald,' said the man.
'gerald, i have an appointment i can not be late for. have you ever eaten at pepino?' said the actor facing a store window.
'no, i can't afford that place.'
'lead me there an it's on me. a thank you for helping. what do you say?'
'i don't know, i have to go back to work...'
the actor waved his hand in the air, after lunch we will go to work and i will explain to your boss.'
'i don't know,' said gerald.
the actor runs into the glass, spins about and heads towards the busy street saying, 'life is to be lived! even i, with my condition, have come to the realization each breath is the death of that breath. each day is a day closer to the end. forget treading water, and swim! now if you wish to tread, that is your decision but i must swim to pepino!'
gerald reaches out and grasps the actor just before he steps in front of a speeding taxi. he pulls him to the sidewalk and says, 'it's always better to swim with a partner. listen after lunch you must go to my office and prove my story.'
'sir,' said the actor, 'by the end of lunch we will be out of this stream and into the wilds of the ocean where all things are possible.

-pepino the director producer and the write in.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


it is early and cold. i am watching curious george with william and joanne. we are considering burning the house down and starting over. somewhere between clinton and now life has gotten hard. not just the everybody is broke and losing their jobs but something more internal. it is stressful to be american. there is the great pose down of representatives, i mean how can you not alleviate the struggle of the small business or independent insurance buyer? how is no the right answer to even looking at these problems?
it is true that i believe merkley was the wrong choice, not because i am republican but because oregon had a unique situation where our democratic rep and our republican rep liked each other and both held some position or chair in their respective party. this is not a shot at merkley but i can not shake the feeling that if gordon smith was still in office oregon would have a viable candidate for president.
i do not think oden is cursed. i think that the blazers must take out the magnifying glass and look at their training staff. to have this many problems is not the effort of the cosmos but a real failure of the training staff to stretch and/or care for the athlete's parts. bill walton would not return to the trailblazer organization because he felt the training staff failures cost him his career. watching the continual collapse of our players health one finds that hard to argue.
i am reading dan jenkins semi tough, it is a riot.
you can say what you want about granderson, but to steal bases you have to actually be on base.
is it amazing that the oregon ducks would still be in the rose bowl if they were undefeated, but there would be a great offense to having to play that game. so you have to wonder if you wouldn't take the same out come in boise and stanford. with these two losses it makes the rose bowl game a true reward worth celebrating.
thinking about football how is portland state such a terrible draw? is it the conference? have you been to civic stadium? civic has a great atmosphere and nestled in downtown gives a true personality you can not find anywhere else. i remember when pokey allen was on the television talking about how 'if you don't buy season tickets a meteor will land in your yard' and the place drew. now it is a ghost town. sure psu is a commuter school, but come on if portland is a sports town than it has to be an administrative failure to not find a local coach who can get the best kids in the portland area, or at least the third best kids.
if glanville could not draw, could not recruit than maybe the place is dead.
what about them pilots? top twenty five? that's redonkulous! is that a inspiration for the vikings football program? do they draw? if they don't than shame on us.
dear governor can you not cheer minimum wage job creation? to work to bring in companies how about looking at the places these companies already are and grandfathering those environments to oregon. how about single payer insurance, elimination of all tax save sin and consumption and federal. how about letting business pay unemployment and worker comp and that's it. how about giving business that freedom on the condition that they build green and work green. making oregon the green state the leader in the new economy. how about opening up the waterfront to the casino and creating an oregon boardwalk for tourism?
why does it seem like we are not the state of dreamers of pioneers? hello we would not be here without those things, and the business in a world wide market can pick and choose where they operate. look at michigan, a dead state well what if michigan tells the corporate world 'you can operate from here, in america at the exact same price you are operating in china or taiwan or wherever?' wouldn't they want to come back?
i could go on and on
i could write how alderidge should be traded for kevin love, how roy is not happy and secretly wants to be traded but there is always tomorrow!
thank you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12/8s introduction.

this is the story of the 'ricker'. i am the 'ricker', rick naljev and i make love to women. it's always the same, they come up to me saying such things as, 'oh, you have such wonderful hair. how do you keep it so raven feather black?' to which i would respond with something like, 'the true miracle is in my pants, darling.'
it is true that my hair is a magnificent deep shade of black. i comb this masterpiece straight back, slicked so as to accentuate my chiseled cheeks and deep tender doe brown eyes. you see when a woman takes in a man she looks first to the hair, then the eyes then the shoes. she does this to see if you can take care of the small details, but not so much as you wouldn't need her to improve that area of your life. as we get more modern, as we get more lazy women want to improve her man but do not have the energy for a full remodel.
a woman knows immediately if you are married or in a relationship. if she goes with you then do not feel any guilt towards her for she has made her bed. the secret to the adultress is that she does not want to take on the full task of caring for a man so she chooses the committed man to share this duty. the woman who is being cheated on knows immediately when her man begins to stray and thus has her reasons for not stopping it. either she is ready to be out of the relationship, wants something that heretofore the man has not given her, or has lost interest in full ownership and may be looking for another part time investment.
the 'ricker' does not get involved in these types. i am a romantic.
now i understand that you are thinking to yourself, 'how can a man who has screwed so many woman (thank you) possibly be a romantic?'
well, first of all, i make love to these women. secondly, it is not about moving from one woman to another, it is not about another notch on the belt. i am not wilt chamberlin, i am looking for a true love and give my heart completely to each situation. i go in with the excitement that this could be the final stop for the 'big rick express'. to each woman i give an unbiased chance at success. each could tame the wild heart that beats in this chest.
'well rick if that is true than why do you immediately make love to them?' you could ask.
i make love to them on the first night, because i believe that the moment after you climax, when you are laying side by side you immediately know your future. if you get anxious and want to leave then it was just lust, if you stay, hold hands and talk of the future or fall to some joyous sleep then you have something. either way she receives the great gift of rick for at least one passionate, orgasmic night.
it is important for a man to make a woman orgasm. if you can not cause a woman and most importantly your woman to orgasm then your are in for a life of misery. i have always maintained that a woman who is not made to orgasm by her man should feel no guilt about having a wandering eye. we all must be satisfied.
i have made love to each and every nation. i am unbiased when it comes to delivering pleasure. i am not boasting when i say that i have a generously sized penis and i know how to use. though most men talk of their masterful cockmanship the true lover, the most generous of lovers will use, not only his penis but also his mouth and fingers. the 'ricker' has always believed that the secret to a satisfied woman is a good warm up and nothing will warm her up like a good oral session.
to a woman the orgasm is like a rope, the more she has the tighter you are bound. if you are inclined to read these lines and work these wonders on more than one woman understand that each will become bound and infatuated, this is the reason that i only have one woman at a time, unless more is requested, and that immediately after the fire of our love has withered i let them go. never keep a woman that you have lost passion for life is short she must have the respect to know she must keep looking for her partner.
during my adult life friends have come asking me, 'ricker, what can i do with my wife...' and i always stop them there for i have never been married so the 'ricker' can not discuss such things. though i believe that one should be open and honest with one's wife or husband. if trouble arises it should be tended to be a counselor or preist.
the way that i have handled threesomes is to be honest. since i am not in a marriage i can say no men, the 'ricker' is not interested in that. i don't think i would want two men coming after me if i was a woman anyway just seems like more work. so, if a woman wants to have multiple partners they must be women or not with me, but if i was married then i would have to consider my life partner's wishes, dreams and desires in order to keep the marriage healthy and happy.
enough of this for now.
let's bowl.
-------------next how dressing specific to desired nationality will help you get foreign poon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


league night and we are rolling at alley cat lanes.
the thunderbolt. that is what i call it. my mustache, as it strikes women dead in their tracks. the slow roll of the bowling ball, from my hand, is the rumble of thunder. i strain, perched one leg stiff long pointed behind me, one arm straight to the side and the rolling arm extended down the lane. i form a perfect 't' as the ball moves towards the center pin i turn around head down, then suddenly, as the ball explodes into the pins i look up into her eyes and 'bam' lightening strikes.
'rick naljev, how are you?' i say extending my non wrist guarded hand.
'pam, fine, knew it was a strike?' she asks.
'i always do.'
this is a league night so i am wearing our 'pin heads' ruffled white tuxedo shirt and blue polyester slacks. i can feel the cool air rustle the fabric against my thin frame. pam has highlights through her dirty blonde hair, she is five two with grey blue eyes and a simple beautiful face. she is above average and that is good.
'you want to sit and enjoy some of my chili fries?' i ask.
'ooh, a real romeo,' she says.
'so, what brings you here?'
she spins a fry through the chili onion and cheese staring down sheepishly. she moves slightly casting her eyes against my adams apple while placing the fry through her teeth she speaks, 'i was supposed to be meeting someone but i guess they couldn't make it.'
i run my fore finger across the thunderbolt and watch her eyes trace my movements. the juke box starts to play a familiar song from the eighties as i lean forward and say, 'some men are intimidated by beauty, me, i admire it.'
'oh really,' she says.
'yes, very much so, and you know where the best place is to admire such a beauty as yourself?'
'lemme guess, your bedroom?' she says with a sigh.
'i was going to say the dance floor, to this familiar and wonderful song. but what ever you want to do is fine with me?' i smile which causes the thunderbolt to dance for her. she blushes when she smiles and playfully punches my arm.
'oh pam if you knew your own strength, i bruise easily!'
we laugh and head towards a small parquet floor between the snack tables and video games. we dance slowly, in a circle she playfully puts her head on my shoulder. i playfully say, 'here comes the ass rub,' she blushes and says, 'you didn't just say that?'
the music talks about the rose, how every rose has a thorn and as the guitar solo begins we are no longer playing but quiet holding each other, moving in circles.
i close my eyes, breathe deep her perfume, feel the sway of her hair across my neck and chin. i grasp her hand close to my chest and feel the softness of her knuckles, rub with my forefinger across her chewed and rough nails.
pam sighs, she sways and rubs the back of my shoulder holding on, drawing in moving to the rhythm of the song.
when it is over an old woman claps and the pin heads sing over, 'ricker you ready to bowl this fucker down? you can bring your girlfriend.'
i nod and laugh, 'how 'bout it girlfriend, you can eat my fries.'
'that and a beer will get you a 'yes',' she says.
'you have a deal.'
this night i am magnificent. the pin heads are cruising. whenever the maulers get within striking distance i push them away. pam is cheering each roll and her voice must bear the power of the bowling gods for the ball moves true.
'the ricker is on fire,' the pin heads say.
i stare up at the score sheet and see a miracle forming, then stare across the pit to pam and see the miracle that is. pam laughs and i shrug. she drinks her beer and point to my stomach mouthing 'what about me?' she comes over and shares.
in between rolls we are together now. inbetween roles we are cheering on the team, i have my arm about her i have my legs crossed. she is leaning into me, she has her ankles crossed, she is wearing denim jeans, she is wearing a dark shirt underneath a light zipper hoodie and she is carrying a small dark purse.
the strikes continue as the game wears on. i have not missed they say, i am on pace for perfection, they say. i can not focus on the moment for i am lost into her, into this, into us.
'burn 'em down ricker,' she says.
'here comes the fire,' i say and blast through the final frame, the final toss the final strike. the maulers lay defeated as we cheer and clutch at one another. balloons fall from the ceiling as a 300 blinks on the score board. i am awarded a free pizza coupon, i am awarded a plaque, i am awarded a t-shirt with a picture of me against the score board. i pull pam in for the photo.
it is after the game, it is late, it is closing time and we have talked the whole night through. it is closing time and we are on fire for one another.
'who lives closer?' she says.
we say our address, she is closer. we are on our way. i am driving. her hands across me, all over me finally landing against the thunderbolt and stroking the hair down.
we arrive.
i watch from her doorway as she turns the lights of her apartment on. i watch as she moves back towards me, i watch her pull me in and close the door. we are across each other, we are all over each other falling over furniture and pulling at our clothes.
i close my eyes. i smell her. i open my eyes and watch her. i watch and fall in love with her humble body with her small one bedroom apartment. i can see her struggle and poverty. she is making just enough and on her own. she has broken her dad's heart because she won't let him take care of her.
i see the shadow of her body through the light reflecting off her glass frames. her things cute and thoughtful. as we roll and strip, as we make our way towards lusts climax i think of when she bought the salt shakers. i wonder if she was in a relationship, if she was happy alone or was this with friends . i imagine her alone shopping in some retail store, going through things, no one at her side but happy just because all her bills were paid and she had some left over for this.
we are kissing, we are moving we are making love and i am overwhelmed with the idea of her at the store alone. it is beautiful. we climax we surrender.
when we sleep she is cute, innocent, curled against me in a crescent moon. she has her hands tucked beneath her chin and her face is lax. i lay on the bed and try to imagine myself here. there is the answering machine, how many messages has it received from old lover boys and best friends. she has a giant stuffed bean bag chair which is ridiculous and would have to go.
i make my way to the toilet and relieve myself. there is a cabinet full of her things that i do not snoop over. i am sorry when i open the door and find there is not enough room for my things. i look at her shower curtain it is plain see through and would have to change.
i wonder how she can sleep knowing i am here wandering through the apartment, using her toilet maybe secretly thinking of eating her food. she is still in bed, but i can tell she is fake sleeping so i make a joke, 'oh good i can sneek out of here,' to which she pinches my arm and pulls me in.
'i don't think so,' is her sleepy reply.
we lay and dream happy for something found.
dreams are like rivers they snake around only to find themselves back again...
league night and we are rolling at space lanes.
the thunderbolt. that is what i call it. my mustache, as it strikes women dead in their tracks. the slow roll of the bowling ball, from my hand, is the rumble of thunder. i strain, perched one leg stiff long pointed behind me, one arm straight to the side and the rolling arm extended down the lane. i form a perfect 't' as the ball moves towards the center pin i turn around head down, then suddenly, as the ball explodes into the pins i look up into her eyes and 'bam' lightening strikes.
'rick naljev, how are you?' i say extending my non wrist guarded hand.
'misty, fine, knew it was a strike?' she asks.
'i always do.'

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


i have a pig. in the middle of the city he naps against the radiator snoring kicking his hooves and passing gas. charleston pig begat by princess snortus who was begat by king henry baconton the greatest show pig in american history.
charleston pig has taken home a million dollars in show prize money and stud fees. i do not have the heart to tell him what happens to his male heirs. famous actors buy his children to serve on easter or thanksgiving. famous chefs come calling two years before the president comes for dinner and they ask.
as i watch him dream i am filled with guilt. my room mate, my income, my friend how many of his children i have sent to the slaughter.
in an effort to suppress the pain i allow him to rut through the center of my life. when i invite a woman over i leave their clothes on the ground so he can roll across them. i shovel mounds of his waste off the floor and wipe the front room down. on weekends we spend hours at a small eastern oregon farm so that he may roll and frolic in the mud.
i do not know if he feels sadness. i do not know if he thinks of the ghost of children past. i do know that he will not mount any of the first class pigs that have paid for his services. charleston pig loves slumming it. he mounts freely, only the lower class and impregnates only the worst of the lot.
the farmers in the places we retreat to know this, they trade the land use and pig mounting for the chance to claim his blood line. each pig that becomes pregnant wins the pig lottery, as they will not be slaughtered. they are spared until they give birth and charleston has moved on to another pig.
i use to think this was just his taste. to each his own, as they say. then it began happening, where if i left him alonew with his woman he would snort, cry and dismount. he wanted me to watch, wanted to stare into my eyes as he performed. if i looked away he would snort and gnash his teeth, only quieting when i returned his gaze. this new practice caused a tremor in my heart.
each year, charleston pig, artifically inseminates 30 she hogs. each hog will give birth to eight piglets. that is 240 piglets, of those all but 30 will be slaughtered. we have been in this business for 10 years. i have sent 2100 of charleston's sons and daughters off to die.
i am the hitler of high quality pork products. as charleston lays and sleeps and dreams i watch, tearfully remembering those that have come to pass.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the weather and time change

has really got me tired and confused. so i am wandering the city with a headache. i will return. soon. after i figure out what all these bricks are about.

Friday, October 30, 2009


we suffer from?
old man with needle
behind ear
like cigarette
or pen
calls from beat winnebago door
'hey mail man,
you got anything for 2345?
i'll put a box soon.'
he is dressed
always slicked and suited
save for the worn slippers
on his feet
he makes his way with
elder son
with obese grand daughter
tumbling forward
no matter the morning
to the local corner market
the poor buy in ones
one cigarette
one tall can of beer
it's pay day
my deposit
my check
didn't arrive
and i marvel how close
i am to the edge.
poverty drives my dad
to mexico
poverty drives my
back to the restaurant kitchen
poverty drives me
to the streets
in circles
day after day after

Monday, October 26, 2009

10/26- back from vacation

harold williams was a stout man, who preferred open collars to the tie. he was an excellent business man who, over his life, had acquired enough wealth to never worry about cost. in fact it was well known that mr. williams would become extremely angry if anyone even inferred that there was a price and he was interested in it.
as wealthy as he was, his wife cindy was his equal in beauty. she of the long brown hair, lean legs that ran straight and tall as pine. her blue eyes staring out above perfect pouting lips and a catalog of magazine covers completed picture.
cindy williams, who graced the swimsuit edition of a sports magazine, sat straight and tall in creaking wooden chair. she is across from harold as her divorce lawyer discussed the division of assets. he takes the bulk of harolds sweat, the history of his working life and begins to crack it apart.
'it is one thing to give and quite another to have to give away,' thought harold as he sat collar askew hair unkempt watching papers move back and forth. his lawyer discussed as a man who has given in. he did not spit or bite, did not take the papers from the other and tear them in half storming out. no, this man stared at the paper lean into harold and said, 'this is fine.'
the motto of the divorce lawyer, leave enough to pay the bill. the motto of the divorce lawyer, get enough to pay the bill.
harold felt a heat growing in his stomach. there was a anger that moved from the pit of his stomach as he watched these two banter over his things. he tapped his thigh as he watched his ex wife stare at the glare of the light off the diamond bracelet he had purchased her.
as these three moved on, oblivious to his existence, he began to think of all the things he had bought her. there was the dog, a small nervous ball that soiled the floor whenever a loud noise went off. there was the shopping spree's for clothes, not at the stores but the designers coming to their house. there was the house, a sprawling coastal mansion that had to be torn down and rebuilt as the doorway was not grand enough. there was the three story apartment downtown where they spent the majority of their time. there was the donations to her associates art shows and fund raisers. there was the operations, the collagen injects, the facial scrubs and tightening, there was the breast lifts and tummy tucks.
all of these expenses began to tick off in his head until one stumble forward, out of his mouth and into the ear of his lawyer.
the lawyer leaned in to listen then grew pale. he turned to look at harold, with eyes that seemed to ask, 'are you serious?', to which harold williams nodded.
my client would like to inform your client, mrs. williams that she can have whatever she wishes. that mr. williams would only like for her happiness. that if she felt the same way, that if she would want mr. williams to be happy, too that she would consider his offer. no, his trade. for mrs. williams can have whatever assets she wishes, without fight, if she is willing to give mr. williams her vagina.'
here mrs. williams stood up indigent. her lawyer thrust his hands in the air turning towards the other lawyer, 'unprofessional,' he says.
harold williams remembers the cameras. he remembers cindy when she said she had some work done. that she had, 'done it for you, as a present for you. my gift to you,' she said.
he had never asked for the vaginoplasty. it was his birthday and she had presented it to him. he remembers quite well, the study, they have camera there. he remembers her telling him, screaming to him that it was his. that he owned it. those tapes could be presented.
he whispers to his lawyer. the lawyer writes a number down on a yellow legal sheet and passes said number to mrs. williams representative.
mrs. williams lawyer looks down and passes the paper down. mrs. williams stares at the number the blood slowly draining from her face as she twirls nervously the diamond bracelet.
'there will be ground rules of course,' she said.
mr. williams nodded.
'health and dignity will be provided at every meeting,' she said.
so began a second round of negotiations. these moved rather rapidly and ended with both lawyers turning to their respective clients and shaking hands.
the ex-mrs. willams was reclined in the limousine when the telephone rang. she pushed the button allowing the drivers voice to fill the carriage.
'one stop on the way, misses. we have to pick up the security.'
'one must do what, one must.' she said.
the limousine slowed before a two story brown stone. the driver moved from behind the wheel to open the rear passenger door. there he allowed a man in his mid-thirties to enter. this man was breathtaking. his form as if chisled from stone. his dirty blonde hair cascading down the side of his face, three day stubble erupting along cheek and chin. he would have been perfect if not for the open collar.
the ex-mrs. williams caught her breath, she sighed as he climbed in, having had enough of the open collar for one life time.
'excuse me,' she said extending her hand.
'darren,' he said giving her a firm handshake.
'yes, darren, i see. well, darren, i have had enough of the open collar for one lifetime. so i hope you would be good enough to button your shirt.'
'no problem,' he said, 'the customer is always right.'
the limousine was silent as they made the rest of their way to the estate of the former mrs. williams.
it was later, while watching the evening news, that her phone rang. she answered, listened for a moment whispered 'okay' and hung the receiver up. 'it seems you have a date tonight,' she seemed to say to no one in particular as the room was empty. in fact she was not talking to anyone in particular but to one thing in particular.
harold williams past the security gate that he once owned. harold williams walked up the blue stone steps that he once owned into the house where he once lived. inside the foyer he was met by cindi williams, they did not exchange pleasantries. cindi led him down the hall where their wedding photos once hung. she led him past his old office, now sitting room through the old game room now reading lounge and into the dining room.
the dinner was set out and they seated, he on the north end, she on the south separated by feet of oak a bottle of wine two candels and steam from the foot.
'so how was your day,' he said.
'a day is a day,' she responded.
the returned in silence, her in her tight black cocktail dress and him in a loose collared maroon shirt, black jacket and slacks.
'well i will drink to that,' he said after a moment.
'yes, lets.'
so they drank, each glass warming their blood and softening their tongues.
'you look good, are you still in those classes?' he asked.
'well you have to keep yourself fit, you know. well you wouldn't,' she said.
they both shared a small laugh causing the candle flame to dance and the house to warm, soften and come alive.
it was after desert, it was after coffee when the clock was nearing midnight that she led him up stairs where she disrobed.
'oh how i missed you,' he said.
it did not respond, but could have been suggested to smile, the small patch of hair on top short and very modern.
cindi williams put headphones over her ears and closed her eyes, while he made small talk, while he kissed it, held her buttocks to push it close.
'darling, has that witch mistreated you? how i wish you would come home with me. how i wish for the old days when we were together all the time. one must be strong, love conquers all, love conquers all.'
he caressed and loved the vagina until all his energies and passions had been exhausted. harold williams lay beside his love his tears staining the sheets and dampening it's furry top as sleep over took him.
'time to go,' she whispered.
harold rubbed his eyes and got dressed. he blew a farewell kiss as he made his way out the door, down the stairs through the hall out the door into his car and on his way home. while driving he received a call. he answered not to a voice, but to the throws of passion. he smiled as he listened, someone had accidentally rolled over their phone and dialed him.
'by god, he is a real master,' he thought as he listened to her moan approval.
'ahh!,' she screamed and the recognition of the voice caused his vision to blur and him to pull over.
'aghh!' she screamed in pleasure as harold williams wept, beating his hand against the steering wheel.
'errgh!' cried the man and harold knew he had been cheated.
'what to do?' he thought, biting his lip. the tears had caused his eyes to swell and the fury had caused his face to redden so that he looked as if he had been in a heavyweight boxing match. the air in the car had become thin, the space too tight, harold opened the door stood in the night with both arms rasied crying out, 'vagina!'
'what to do?' thought harold williams.
the answer was attack. harold called his lawyer, who called the private detective, called the collection agency and replaced darren. for cindy williams the pressure was enormous, too much to bear. she awoke to an empty bank account, she awoke to the power off the hot water off, telephone off save her cell phone which was full of messages from collection agencies trying to recover the money she had been paid per her and harold's contract.
cindy called her lawyer, she lay on the bed staring at the roof wonder what to do. outside the bedroom their paced samantha, darren's replacement. samantha was a husky, squat bodied lesbian that cursed and sighed as she leaned against the wall.
darren sat at the edge of her bed shaking his hehad as cindy muttered, 'it's all over,' again and again.
'damn, i am sorry,' he said.
'it's all over,' she replied.
'if i knew, i mean i would never have...'
'it doesn't matter,' she said.
the sat in silence for a few moments before darren spoke.
'if it's not you, but it that he wants, why not hold it hostage?' he said.
'what are you talking about,' she said.
'kidnap it, tell him the danger it faces if he does not relent.'
'interesting, but i am not sure it will...'
he cut her off, 'what do you have to lose?'
cindy williams walked towards the wall and flicked a light that would not work. she opened the window and stared out at the forested acreage, watched the deer leap playfully about. turning towards darren, cindy spoke, 'what do you have in idea?'
darren took out his swiss army knife.
as harold williams stare out across the miles of free way watching the traffic slow and back up his secretary knocked.
'come in,' he said.
'this was dropped off for you sir,' she said.
harold took the envelope and opened it. as he pulled the content a tuft of hair fell to the desk top, harold opened the letter and immediately paled. holding the paper against his chest he opened his cell phone and made a call.
'yeah it's harold let's back off and let it cool. do it now. goodbye.'
harold placed the phone back into his pocket, sat in his chair behind his vast mahogany desk and stared at the paper.
written in blood was 'call of your dogs or it gets it', he read the phrase twisted the hair in two fingers beneath his nose.
as he smelled the perfumed hair he took the phone out of his pocket, 'yeah, it's me, let's locate the violet hatchet.'
5 the violet hatchet the unknown mexican girl the end?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


i am watching my son dance, clap and try to climb on the couch. a man is made by risk and his reaction to them. why without risking he never would have discovered the joy of turning the television on, the dishwasher on or the vast amount of other things he can do.
he loves to dance, and read books.
i am watching this while taking in morning television, which is filled with a collection of preening schmoes and bone thin tarts. even during the worst of news they can maintain a dour face for so long before the smile returns. is there the director in their ear screaming for more effervescence? public option down the toilet as a personal story of health care causing bankruptcy runs they are back smiling, preening and moving on.
from health care to some old geezer's horrible looking face staring dumbly as the show celebrates the person's 100th birthday. i am not getting to 100 i will tell you that. i am certain, at some point life will just get too tiresome.
who wants to lump around in a motor chair wearing a diaper and talking of the 'good old days' or nosing about the new generations life? not i. if i find myself in one of those chairs it will be driven off the first cliff.
i have always been fond of the viking funeral. how glorious to be lit on fire and sent down the columbia as archers shoot arrows. though, more than likely, i will be stuffed in some hole in the ground and as everyone walks away somebody will stub their toe and curse under their breath. that at somebody's house they will all get drunk and slowly the tide turns and the great book of complaints will open up.
'that s o b only thought of himself, maybe i wanted to be on top one time.'
'you couldn't just follow directions, could you? i wrote down super speed bmx and you get a huffy? what kind of monster get's you almost what you want? so you have to smile and dance about though in your heart your screaming at the bastard. you know as a kid you can't return those gifts. how are you going to return the bike? you have to ride it there! though they were the same price and you subtly ask, 'this bike is wonderful, but were they sold out of the super bmx?' to which he would reply, 'no'. never an explanation.'
to which they chime in
'if you asked for whole milk with the yellow front, he would get the whole milk with the green front and say 'that was what was in the fridge', never mind that i have told him a thousand times, if once that i switch the milk every week so that we don't have to spend so much. by god asking him to think about a budget you might as well ask him to land on the moon.'
with the other one saying
'maybe, just once i would have liked to sit on the porch, but no everytime we had a free day we were always moving always going to some place, a museum or garage sale or water front. some days you just need to laze and recharge your batteries. and don't get me started on the idea of school and grades...'
so you can't win.
there is a great joy in family but it comes with the price of living with your judge and jury. every word studied every move watched, charted. nothing goes unnoticed.
we live in a time with cameras. cameras everywhere. every thing is recorded every body is photographed like a movie star and they are their own paparazzi. we have fifteen sites to record how we are feeling or what we are doing and spend so much time recording we have no time to create. but isn't that what this is?
my son dances and laughs and the morning son breaks through fall clouds. there is rain coming, i have a whole in my pocket that is leaking time, talent and energy until all that will be left is grandpa the reflection machine, grandpa the baby bouncer, and it sounds wonderful. as i watch my son laugh and dance and grow i am excited for him. as i watch my daughter coo, cry and woggle i am excited for her. no matter the advances everybody has childhood memories that seem old fashioned when reflected upon.
as our family grows, i hope to find time so that we maybe a tree that feeds instead of a parasite that just eats. i hope when we preen and schmuck about our facebook pages some of it will be dedicated to recording a few charitable acts.
secretly i hope that at my wake, when they complain it will for having been pushed to acts of charity so that when they complain everybody will whisper under their breaths, 'wow what a collection of ungrateful monsters.'
my wife folds, my son watches, my daughter sleeps and i record as time leaks out under the doorway or through the cracks in the floor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


my name is humberto alvarez. i have a huge mexican stomach, long wiry black mustache and an affinity for skinny jeans. my family relocated from san gabriel to portland in search of work and a better life. i was only two years old.
as a baby i earned the nickname 'el gordo' for my bulbous belly. my father and uncles would take me every where they went. i spent the night watching them salsa dance and drink beers with my mother and her friends. during the day i stayed home, with my mother and watched television while she cooked and cleaned. my father was a heffe for a small residential construction company. he would come home smelling of cement, but would always stoop to kiss my mother's forehead and tussle my hair.
it was in my thirteenth year that i started cock fighting. at first it was a way to raise money, but soon it became my passion. i started a gym in the back yard, for the birds. while others were out cavorting around town i was studying the movements, the attack strategies of the birds. the losers were pushed out of the community while the winners were bred.
it was three months later when the black tornado was hatched. he had blood shot eyes and would move in a violent circle of claws and beak. the black tornado would give a high pitched battle wail as if to warn his fellow combatant of the forth coming onslaught.
soon enough i had moved the black tornado out from the practice gym. he was decimating my fowl population and his violence did not end there. the tornado destroyed everything in his path, from coop to car tires. the tornado had to be graduated. he trained against stray cats, dogs, raccoons anything i could get my hands on.
no matter the size of the foe he would come out on top. the neighbors began to post signs and inquire into if i had seen their lost cat or 'whoever that bastard is that is poking these dogs eyes out and slashing their legs.' to which i would bow my head and say, 'i understand' all the while feeling the cold red stare of the black tornado.
it was during this time that i became aware of the national tournament in los angeles. it seems that portland had been chosen as a qualifying circuit, that the winner would receive gas money and a free hotel room if they won.
the black tornado made quick work of the northwest birds. we accepted our trophy and winnings amidst the back drop of blood stained walls. there had been gasps and fainting during the battle so that now, while accepting the award, the room appeared to have been visited by a chain saw.
the first time i had hear of el diablo was while searching for training tactics. el diablo, it had been told, was the greatest fighting bird of all time. this cock had been known to gut and murder a human adult male. el diablo has never suffered defeat but also he never has brought forth a male heir.
there were rumors about los angeles, rumors that el diablo was coming out of retirement. there were rumors that his owner, javier jiminez believed the fights would cause his testosterone to rise and thus give way to a male heir. we drove all night arriving in los angeles during the predawn traffic jam. the black tornado rode in the passenger seat, proud his elegant black neck and head bobbing out the window watching the scenery crawl by.
when we arrived in the hotel room there was a envelope on the pillow to greet us. inside were the details, we were to meet at sunset, meet at the vacant meat packing building and bring only ourselves our cocks and gambling money.
it was a room full of mexicans. we strutted about the place nodding silently looking under each others arms and inspecting the competition. there was no sign of el diablo and with out that mythical foe the room appeared to be nothing special.
black tornado made quick work of his first toe foes causing the crowd to lean into each other and whisper. while the fights would go on i noticed a man in dark sunglasses, hair slicked back and a gray shirt with only the top button buttoned. this man had a stack of cash in his right hand, the left he used to wave over a bald man to which he whispered and gestured.
the third bird to face the tornado was ballena asesina, this fowl was titanic. from beak to ass it measured more than five feet, with claws as long as steak knives, a beak that glistened as cold steel in the light and eyes of cold black.
as they met in the center of the ring the ballena asesina lay all it's weight on tornado. the tornado fought to break free from underneath such a gigantic stomach. once free the black tornado turned away to catch its breath. this moment caused ballena asesina to strike. using those long claws he caught tornado underneath the right eye. there was a hush in the room. both birds staring at the other, then suddenly there erupted a wail from black tornado who spun a three sixty to land atop the body of ballena asesina to be joined three seconds later by it's now severed head.
the crowd sat in stunned silence then broke, erupting into ovation. tornado strutted about the ring as if asking, 'is there not one who can stand with me?' and right on cue there descended from the ceiling a fire colored bird that hollered and rattled against it's cage. this bird caused the building to shake from it's movements, it caused the skin to crawl from it's blood thirsty call and as the cage landed on the battle room floor it attacked smashing into the gate, smashing through the gate and standing beside the wreckage in all it's glory...el diablo.
there may be grander birds, larger birds, but none that contained such anger and strength. el diablo was a sea of muscle that caused it's feathers to ruffle as it puffed it's chest. when it placed it's foot down the floor shook and the black tornado looked on.
there was a tense stare down before the battle. the black tornado looking ahead, unblinking into the eyes of el diablo. el diablo looking deep into the soul of the black tornado and when each had their fill the moved. there was a fight but one could not have seen it. for the birds moved too fast for the human eye and when it was over there lay both birds. black tornado with it's right leg, one eye and half a wing missing. while el diablo was missing parts of both legs, it's lower beak and three quarters of it's wings.
both birds fighting to the end, both supreme competitors. as they lay bleeding, dying before our eyes myself and the owner of el diablo did what is in cock fighting tradition we made love to them as they passed from this world.
i am a man, but i am man enough to say i cried that day. while we consumated black tornado's life with such a tender display, i cried. i cried for the memories, for the victories, for how far we had come from our oregon home.
two days later, as i held his body at his favorite fighting alley we all said a prayer in remembrance before my girlfriend veena cooked him. that night we partied and i swear i could hear black tornado's victory wail and as i sucked the meat from his breast i knew life was good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


all new posts are chapters added to 10/2 unless you see a new story.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


yes we can...
unless you want
the olympics
public option
guantanamo closed
the us out of
we've seen the last
dead soliders
an innocents
unemployment check
lying congressmen
and lobbyists
change we can believe in

Friday, October 2, 2009

billy mac- 1st draft finshed 10/27

see when you die you do get to heaven. see the roads are lined with gold. see there are angels honking on their trumpets. see whatever you believe in that is the neighborhood you go to. there is a catch, that when you sleep you dream from the state of your body. if you were buried then you sleep peacefully because your body is resting peacefully. if you were cremated then you have nightmares and pains of being burned alive. if you are like me where your head is in cryogenics then you dream of what is becoming of you.
i hate to sleep. there is my wife, not my earthly wife (til death do you part) but a real dark chocolate model who was originally from brazil. by god the love we make is incredible. she once whispered of her time as an olympic gymnast and i have no reason to not believe. so there she is, sleeping peacefully her dreams of what's to become of our child.
you see think of it exactly as life is on earth. you are born into this as a babe when you die, that is why you don't spend your life weeping over your earthly loves or family because it is all new.
so she sleeps like an angel (which she is literally, i guess.) while i gnash the air and scream obscenities towards the janitors and doctors that wander past the jar my head sits in.
'by all that is good i will leap from this water and eat your jugular!' i scream while my frozen half open lids and dope quarter slung lips pout back.
'i'll trace your blood lines and slap your dead relatives for this!'
meanwhile most amble past on their way to the coffee machine or toilet. it is the late night crew that is the true monsters. it is them that must pay.
while the world sleeps, these animals get drunk on cheap booze and dance through the aisles. these criminals spin there girlfirends or women of the night in their mini skirts and tight tube tops. they proceed to laugh, to roll about the coroner table, they proceed to let in to their lusts as the steely eyes of us in state stare on.
he is a young italian and it is his job to watch the meters. to make sure the fluids are fresh and that we stay at our eternal temperature awaiting the medicine to revive us. it is not his job to take baseball swings at our heads causing them to clunk like a frozen turkey down the hall! it is not his job to put them on his shoulder and pretend to be a two headed monster and it is certainly not his job to quickly switch our face with his in the dark so that his lover kisses our lips and screams in horror.
too many times i scream for revenge as he runs vodka down my nose to take a 'frozen shot'. too many times i have heard 'what are you looking at old man?' only to be farted on. too many times, in a drug infused frenzy, have i seen him pull a knife out and scream 'what are you looking at? you want some of this?' to the row of my compatriots.
now you may say, 'by god why would a person want to be frozen?'
in my time and from my study i have discovered that i was the most famous baseball player of my time. i was the only player to ever hit 400 for an entire season. by god if it wasn't for the time i lost during the war i would have been the greatest to ever play the game.
playing a fool i have gone to the library and watched old film. the hair on my arms stood as the crowd chanted 'billy joe mcentire' or 'billy mac' they would clap their hands and shout 'billy mac bring us back!' i watched in awe as i hit countless game winnners, dove for the most unlikeliest of catches and kissed impossibly beautiful women.
today, up here, i am a mail man. though it is a good job and we have a fine life, i mean, come on who would trade the two?
'why not return to the field?' one may ask.
well, it seems that when you are reborn you are entirely new, save for the soul. so though i am the spirit of billy mac i am not the athlete. my thrity year old body willing but the talent level was not there to make it able.
it was while studying to relieve my bad dreams that i discovered these things. it was a terrible episode over the long weekend of memorial day that caused me to seek revenge.
this young italian man, who had the run of the lab at nights, was whistling as he approached. his red eyes had a fire that betrayed the joyful madness of the drunk. he wobbled to the left and right almost tumbling as his neck swung loose as a dead turkey.
if there was a way to smell through dreams i smelt him, smelt his breath as he leaned in close and spoke, 'i'm going to take a dump on you jimmy mac,' as he lifted his arms and grabbed my jar.
i writhed the sheets screaming towards the dark ceiling, 'your the son of a whore mother! i'm going to find you and tear you apart! you son of a bitch!'
my dead eyes and loose lips could do nothing, nothing to portray my anger nothing to whisper a defense no matter how soft or quiet.
'this is how you played in the series, jimmy mac...' he placed me on the ground as the nauseous sound of belt unbuckled zipper unzipping and fabric his the ground.
'please, oh god save me from this!' i cried.
'bwattt' went his body as a darkness fell across my eyes. past the 'squirsh' of exertion i could hear him calling, 'jimmy mac couldn't bring us back' and then a woman laughing, 'oh anthony catalano you are insane.'
the laughed as i wept through the humiliation.
they laughed and sang 'oh here comes jimmy mac, swinging for the fence he will bring us a trophy, he will play his best and while the mighty yankees were swinging for the trees jimmy mac's defense will bring them to their knees.'
it was here i felt, what must have been an earthquake in the lab as my head began to shake violently translating to my body in heaven. i was mauled by the violence into consciousness where i stared into the eyes of my sweet ana lisa. her auburn eyes burning as she spoke, 'if it is revenge you seek, i know of people who could help with such things.'
'what are you talking about?' i choked out while trying to focus my eyes.

the alleyman has long dreadlocks that drape across his mocha face. he moves like a panther inbetween the street lights, pacing green eyes dancing to the notes written in freckles across his cheeks. a man in filth. he has long fingernails and dirty worn fourth hand clothes. he leaps from the dark to a corner and appears with a rat.
'you can come back but you can't come back all the way,' he says between bits of rat fur, crunch boning with blood down the cheek.
'what's that mean?' i ask.
the wife stands between us two. her hands are tense, ready for action. she turns to me thin frame electric with anticipation while her soft oval face is beautiful as she speaks.
'some men are lost to madness, some men are lost forever when you cross you cross and your mind is cleansed. when you cross you are fueled by only what brought you. when you cross it could be anywhere, it could be anytime. the only truth is you will have the opportunity to complete your mission, if you so choose.'
'how will i come back?' i ask watching the man furrow the darkness looking for additional rat or garbage dessert.
'at the proper time, after the decision you will have the truth and the truth will set you free.' she said.
there is the rush of car there is the sound of children sing song from alley way windows to one another. i can smell pizza, i can hear the click clack of women shoes and the laughter of new love.
'is the risk worth the reward?' she asks.
'is there a reward or a risk?' he says.
'he took a dump on my head,' i say.
the man smiles and i see he has three teeth, the other spaces vacant and there is a terror in the darkness. the moon is full and a fat man curses the stairs to his brownstone.
'a man deficated on a frozen head. a man did nothing to you, your gone. this is like the butterfly defending the empty cocoon.'
'i may be a butterfly, but at night i live the life of the cocooned caterpillar. i can not rest, i can not dream of better things. instead my head is filled with pain with torture with the anger of what is being done and this must be resolved,' i finished shaking with rage.
'at all costs,' he said.
'truly at all costs?' i could see in her eyes.
as the 's' left my lips there was a torrid of dust, jacket and words. it all took three seconds, then he stopped i could see tears on her cheek.
'revenge,' he squealed and slit my throat.
as i lay bleeding out on the alley floor i watched her walkaway. her last words, 'i love you.'
as i bleed out i could feel them atop my skin, as i faded the last image of the full moon blacked out by the dirty ass end of a rat.
then i fade to black.

i can not recall the fury of my infanthood. i can not recall the long hours spent wailing in preschool. as a matter of fact i can not remember much of anything, save for this name 'anthony catalano'. by god these words have been seared in my brain.
if i had spent a night sleepless, moaning from my crib, it was not because of an empty stomach but because of him. i wake, i shake my fists in the night hollering to god for a revenge that i can not remember.
i was born to a mother and father in boise idaho at or around mid day on march 1st 1977. they called me chase but settled on gregory as my father could not see a chase graduating from an ivy league school.
my father was around, but was not available. he was a lumbering ox breathing cigarette smoke and delivering the stone hand of punishment. my mother was not around but available. she would spend her days and sometimes nights running a giant hotel. her weekends were spent designing ad's for some local furniture store while i spent the time drooling in boredom or stuffing my ever growing stomach.
it is true that boise was innocent then. we had no major mall or toy store and by god some of our main roads ended in dirt! there were holiday festivals and hot air races. my mother ran for office and sang opera, my father ran a newspaper or designed and installed windows. it was a glorious time when all the bills were paid and still we could breathe fresh air in our lungs.
i was born into a family of four. my brother and sister took immense pleasure at bossing my about. i was sent into the snow in my under ware so as 'to prepare for any soviet invasion or tornado' i was rolled into a sleeping bag and pushed down the stairs so as 'in case of fire and we need to escape.' i was given food only to be told it had been stepped on, 'in dangerous times one must sustain oneself on even worse,' they sang.
i was born into a family always on the go. my mother to her job, father to his, sister off with her tough neck friends or some smooch it out boy and brother to the basketball fields or some smooch it up girl.
i was abandoned to microwave meals, abandoned to great strategy meetings with he-man. i would pace and day dream while he-man lead his charge. i would walk the stairs and shout hello or sometimes bop down on my butt. i never played with knives, but sometimes would get scared that i heard ghosts rattle their chains and spend afternoons sweating under my blanket.
i was not completely alone, we always had a pet of some kind and beside that i always had a hamster.
in case of a strange noise hammy the hamster would gladly roll his excerball out to investigate. if he returned with a cheery continence i knew the coast was clear. if he returned looking nervous we would wait in the closet for someone to get home.
during the school year, i made all sorts of friends, during the school year i would wander home. i would stop at the local pond and cavort with the ducks. they would quack tales from their southern trips as i pondered the elegance of their formations.
as we performed all our feats, or exertions as we made our way from place to place season to season time did as it always has passed.
for as long as i can remember i dreamed of the same thing. there is a black woman standing vigil in an alley. there is a jar of a head. there is the head and it turns. there is the woman and she turns. there is them both in unison saying 'anthony catalano' while a freckle face green eyed man in dirty clothes leaps and spins about them with a rat hanging from his mouth.
this is the majority of my dreams. yes there are the occasional rocket ship to the moon fighting aliens, or (as i grew) the sexy lady dancing about, but mostly i dreamt of this.
i would wander the idaho roads wondering about such things. i took time in class to watch the shadows pass on the tile floor and wonder about these things.
my old man hovering over his hamburger said, 'you don't ask the television to tell you it's deeper meaning. so before tv, all they had were dreams.'
i would think of that.
there was my brother and sister who said 'maybe it's brain madness from all the diet soda.'
while my mother would say, 'it'll come together soon enough.'
so, convinced, we all have one problem or another i let these images drift in and out as they pleased. while life carried me down stream, to wherever i was destined to go.

it was my eighth year and still it persists. anthony catalano would torture my steps. a good ruined as the name would suddenly strike. leaping from mental bushes or splashing my face with a cool breeze. 'who is this monster?' i had taken to ask.
because of the fury i felt, and the recurring dreams i decided to take study. the library held many answers, why there was ramona quiimby teaching me how to get my dad off smoking. there was the lone ranger and tonto teaching me the value of moral fiber and there was james joyce teaching me all about ireland through a wandering dream map among the others i consumed. though when it came to anthony catalano i began in religion. in the christian books there was no mention of such a demon so they were left behind. in the other facest of monotheisim there was no mention of the demon so they were left behind. in the buddhist manuscripts there was the talk of the river, there was the talk of all things just being, i found a value in this as it calmed my nerves as i waited for anthony catalano to reveal itself, if indeed there was something to reveal.
the most fascinating idea was the idea of hinduism. the idea of reincarnation, that maybe i was anthony catalano and maybe i had slept with my best friends wife and the guilt has followed me ever since. maybe i was the character that hawthorne had talked about, save i was a man with the scarlet letter. or maybe anthony catlano was someone who had abused us or talked angerily to my children, maybe kicked me in the shin at the exact right moment to cause me to curse in front of his parents while i was about to take his sister to prom. that his sister would have been the love of my life but now that chance was ruined and i was left with penny baker who was a miserable drunk that wrecked my fancy sports cars i earned from my job at a prestigious law firm.
all these options. if we were both reincarnated then how would i know him? would anthony catalano be anthony catalano here on this world? was he looking for me? was i the monster and the name in my head was to protect me, keep me on the look out. the questons abound, as i sat and became dizzy, my head swimming i knew that i had begun to stumble in the right direction.
to save the chance that i was the monster and someone was coming to redeem themselves, someone was coming for revenge i would follow these manuals to lead a goodly life thus when i asked for forgiveness this fellow or female would look upon my body of work and sigh saying, 'changed man.'
now, taking that route into account i threw myself into the religion of mercy, the religion of piousness the religion that turned the other cheek. i grabbed a copy of the bible and began my slow path to orthodox christianity.
as i peddled i felt a lightness in my heart as if a bridge had been repaired and traffic once again flowed. as i peddled i dreamed of bowing before this creature seeking revenge and saying 'mercy', with a voice so tender, innocent and sweet that they would have no choice but to forgive.
to celebrate my discovery i took the rest of the day for daredevilisim. i ghost rode into garbage cans, would rush towards trees leap to the branch at the last moment causing the bike to crash and women to faint. i spent it on table top rock screaming in pain while launching the bike off the side causing news cameras and crowds to flock. rushing to join the crowd i would paw the dirt with a toe and say, 'sorry it got away from me there,' as they respond with a weary, 'too bad' and head back to business or home.
this day had been a miracle and i would have felt home free if not for the night. for it was during our family movie night that my father chose to show us highlander. highlander is the story of immortals hunting each other down and whacking their heads off.
immediately a cold chill rushed down my spine causing the hair to stand on my arms and my teeth to clatter.
'by god,' i thought, 'what if i am an immortal, that instead of living forever at some predetermined age of a dashing 32 or 45 that we grow and live normal lives. what if we, even, die? though it is only our bodies that die as our souls move from one vessel to another, through the same family line until we discover our mortal enemy and fight to the finish? i could be my great great grandpa or better yet the first of our family line, the first man and anthony catalano is the first man of his line and somewhere during the early times something happened between us. worse yet, nothing happened between us and we are just programmed to kill each other. what a world!'
i studied the scenes with intensity, focusing on the swordsmanship. each clang of steel opening another portal to the past. i could imagine 192- kansas, clang! 1845 new york, clung! 1736 england, bong! so on and so on until the final clang had me standing over the first dawn of the first day of mankind watching others clamber out of whatever primordial ooze that existed.
i studied my name charles sterling, i studied how many times it had been given in our family tree and it seemed to surface every eighty years or so. though this brought on another question, 'which side do i descend from? i mean what if mr. catalano is looking for charles sterling but descended sneakily from my mother's side, while i am the immortal charles sterling on my father's side?
i could not take any chances. if knowing was truly 'half the battle' then i must prepare. so i clambered down the stairs and out the back door to find my father in his usual midnight perch. he leaned into the plastic lawn chair smoking cigarettes and staring up towards the moon, with a look that said what he truly saw was somewhere inbetween.
'dad?' i asked.
'yeah son,' he said stubbing the cigarette and pulling me onto his lap.
'do you think it would be christian to learn swordsman ship?'
he took a moment to again admire the invisible monument inbetween himself and the moon. then relaxing his gaze he rubbed his chin and said, 'why i think the history books have proven out that fact. have you heard of the crusades?'
'no,' i said.
'well i think a man owes it to himself to study the history of the things that fancy him. a man ought to be a man in full when it comes to the topic of his passions.'
'what does that mean?' i asked fingering the material on his shirt and breathing in the smell of old spice and tobacco.
'i think it means we ought to go to the library and give you the chance to research these things.'
he was right. he usually was right about such things. why if it was not for him and his study i would never have heard of super jack the daredevil or how to make a perfect french toast. why if it was not for the opportunity of spelunking such topics i held passion for think of how thin my cultural shell might be. though i had a great joy for doing such research i felt a fire in my heart that burned for the answer, for if i met my match on the way to the library and he would, indeed, not take mercy but instead want my head i must be prepared.
'we will and we shall. but i wonder, just this once, if you could give me a hint.'
'hmm,', he said and shifted his weight slightly, 'does a bear crap in the woods?'
i moved the question about my mouth, tonguing each letter against the back of my teeth.
'why, yes he does.' i said.
'there you go.'
i made my way through fog of smell to kiss him on his dear old grizzly cheek. i leapt from his lap and stood with my hands on my hips.
'by god i am saved!' i said.
the anticipation took hold, my heart raced and flung my body into the yard. it was not an easy search for a limb that had fallen, as my father had turned our back yard into a forest scene landscape and he would not stand for the breaking of limbs by our hand.
'breaking that limb is like that tree coming in and breaking a finger or toe, would you like that?' he would say.
so as i rushed, too excited to hear the hissing, i stumbled over what felt like a limb. too dark for my eyes to focus i reach and grabbed, instead, the furry paw of a raccoon. there arose, above the tree line, shattering the dark a mighty howl as the animal lept to action. i screamed and pulled as far back as i could manage but it was no use. the animal had attached itself to my left hand and would not let go.
the piercing pain of his teeth caused me to pass out.
the grim look on my parents face as i awoke made me wonder if i still had my hand. i wiggled the fingers and winced in a joyous pain.
'what's the matter?' i squeaked.
'your very lucky is whats the matter.' said my mother.
'you'll be fine,' said my father.
'well this would not have happened if it was not for that damned forest, if we could just have a regular damn yard...' said my mother her faced flush red as she faded out and grasped her hand towards her mouth and teary eyes.
'he'll be fine,' said the doctor, 'a few months of tetanus shots and you'll be right as rain.'
'what happened?' i said staring at the grapefruit that had become my hand.
'you rushed out and found a raccoon.' said my dad.
'if you hadn't gotten your hand in the way that thing would surely have gotten to your throat,' said my mother, 'and my god what would have happened.'
my blood suddenly went cold as i reached up, towards my neck and felt the bandage. there was a shrill pain as my forefinger ran over each set of stitches.
'what happened to the raccoon?' i asked.
'your father had to put the animal down.' said my mother.
'the damn thing was so attached that i had to cut it's head off with the head trimmers.' he said.
as i lay in that hospital bed, listening to the be bop of machines and staring back at my parents a joy swept up over me. this animal had truly been after my neck? the thoughts from the movie sweeping over me. this animal lay in wait for me, attacked with a relentless fury trying desperately to remove my head.
'by god,' i thought, 'anthony catalano have been the raccoon?' it did make a lot of sense. why would that movie have been chosen? why would my father tell me about the crusades? why would i have gone searching for a sword to practice? it seems mr. catalano had put together the seemingly perfect plan.
how many years had he been watching, making sure that i truly was the person he was after. how many nights had he lay in wake waiting for the movie to be delivered? the true characteristics of the cold blooded killer.
now all his plans lay in waste, destroyed by the love of a father to protect his son. my father the hero! he would never know what he truly had accomplished...or would he?
was the immortal blood line a family secret? had my father brought home the movie on purpose, he too, lying in wait for anthony catalano to show?
as i began pulling the string the whole plot slowly unwound. two families, generations of secrets, generations of preparation all leading to this moment. the surprise attack thwarted, the sterling family standing tall!
i was kissed by my mother, i was kissed by my father and slowly i fell to sleep, for now, believing that all had been accomplished, that what lay before me a life of joy and ease.
though the enemy had been defeated, his head absconded from his body, i remained loyal to my word. i took to the study of christianity. i followed her history from the staking of their leader through the great schism past the crusades and up to the mega church prayer television of today. what a life they had lead, from the humble poor outcasts, from the bottom they rose to the mega wealthy american ideal of today.
as i studied i began to drift, not forwards towards the singalong lecture hall modern church but backwards to the incense to the prayerful to the icon laden walls of the old church, the first church the orthodox church.
it was here, amongst the original idea of christ and his followers that i took refuge. it was here that i would have led a fulfilled life of denial if only my cherubic american physique could have maintain the schedule.
fast days were lost to extensive bike rides and ice drink laughathons with my pals. though they would bow their heads in reverence as i made the sign of the cross and prayed the lord's prayer before consuming any food we were too consumed with youth to give totally over to the orthodox structure.
it was by chance that i found my calling. while sorting through the recent baseball card shipment at the local convenience store that i over heard some plump girl talking on the pay phone.
'oh, god i hate going too, but at least there is doughnuts.'
she was in her sunday dress, a pink frilly outfit that had to be wrangled together before attempting to pedal. i admired here as my heart leapt, was this the call of the lord sending me home? i felt i had to investigate.
as she placed the receiver back upon the cradle i slid up alongside her.
'i'm sorry, i couldn't help but overhear that you had doughnuts.'
she tilted her head back, taking me in. my green latern shirt worn, my jeans a little dirty and one shoe untied. i must admit that the power to be the first at the baseball card shipment overtook my desire to shower, though i am no animal and took the time to rinse my mouth with mouthwash.
'yeah,' she had made her decision on me, 'my church, it is such a bore. but they give us a doughnuts afterward.'
she turned and began to mount her bike when i took the opportunity to clear my throat. my stomach barking, i made a desperate attempt at the doughnut hall.
'you know,' i said looking down at the pavement in an effort to appear pious, 'the christian thing would be to invite me to the church and maybe save a soul.'
i shot a furtive glance up hoping the arrow of guilt would find it's target.
'ahh, fine,' she said and as she gave me the name of the place the clouds that once hung over the sun broke and a fresh morning ray found my face. i took this as god's approval.
i whistled while i put myself together, though admittedly, hurriedly as the service began soon enough to put a bike ride (even by one as magnificent as i) into doubt. i ironed my only white button shirt, tied my tie threw on my khaki pants and brown shoes and was out the door.
i arrived mid scream about how 'everything is the devil coming to creep upon us, take our soul and lead us to hell's fire.'
sliding into the back row next to an elderly black woman that held her arms aloft and swayed eyes closed like a tree in the forest. as i surveyed the crowd the majority stood waving some screaming in a babble and others stood only to flop on the ground when the preacher slammed the pulpit. as he performed a line began to form.
'this is the line of the army of god, the recruitment line by god one and all if you have not received come now and enlist!' he hollered.
as i watched bodies slowly shuffle, first in line, then up towards the man to get bopped on the head some fell to fits some just walking towards the side a little flushed i felt a tug on my sleeve.
'if you want any doughnuts you gotta join,' she said and pointed towards the line. it was the girl from the store and she looked serious.
i would have protested by she cut me off, 'i invited you to save a soul not feed a heathen.'
so off i went.
as i approached i could feel her on my side, like a hunter showing off his prized deer. there was a trembling in my heart that i could not tell was either fear or excitement. saying the lord's prayer i made my way towards the pulpit.
this was a mountain of a black man, and upon the stage he appeared as tall as everest. he screamed and two in front of me dropped and rolled, he screamed and bopped and the one in front of me laughed then lept two feet in the air. when it was my turn he bowed so that his face was close enough his sweat doused my shirt front and his breakfast breath covered my face. he breathed and heaved and sighed snapped his fingers and i was on stage.
'what brings you to my stage?' he asked.
before i could answer the crowd sang, 'we know'
'what briiings you to my stage,' he said and danced across the floor. a old lady ran up and down the aisle arms waving as if on fire.
'we know,' they chanted back.
'at attention,!' he hollered and everyone went stiff arms in the air ready to recieve.
'it's the devil!' he cried and they shouted back.
'fight on!'
'this young soul, he has eyes that see!'
'fight on!' they screamed.
'he has ears that here,' he said.
'fight on!' they screamed.
there was a trembling that started deep in the pit of my stomach causing the tongue to waggle and as he turned towards me, those deep chestnut eyes inches from my face i reached forward filled with a spirit that took control. my hands latched onto the microphone and i spoke.
'it was the devil that brought me, it was the devil in my stomach. the gluttonous need for doughnuts!'
the crowd silent.'
'i came for the devil's food but instead got filled with christ!'
they cheered as the preacher leaned back crossed his hands over his chest and shook his head like 'yes'.
'i am filled with power of the holy trinity, let us pray.'
with that i kneeled down, causing the crowd to shuffle some to kneel and others bowed there head and the pastor using his hands finally got everyone to their knees.
'in the name of the father son and holy spirit...' i began.
thirty minutes later i lay down upon the stage in a heap of sweat. some in the crowd cheering some crying though all moved as the pastor made his way to take the mic and dismiss the crowd with the following.
'today we came to recruit to the lord but instead the lord came and recruited us, hallelujah!'
the clapped and waved while the organ started up.
'now let's go into the dining hall and praise witness to such a gift.'
as the were dismissed he turned to me and said, 'son i don't know who you are or what you're doing but by god you got a gift, now let's go get some of those doughnuts and discuss your future.'
i closed my eyes, exhausted, and would not have moved if not for the waft of chocolate that filled the air.
'there are many things that have come to light, for me, as i grew. as far as i know, santa claus has discovered a way to travel that is beyond measure, the moon is not made of cheese, iraqi warriors is a game with no end and god calls us all to be something. when you think upon yourself you find certain talents, those are the gifts. these are the gifts from the lord, he has whispered into your soul in order for you to achieve those things beyond your wildest dreams.
'imagine, a small child, the same size and approximate age as me. now imagine this child, this innocent babe racing through the dirt tracks of idaho upon his bmx bike. he is akin to the silver bullet whizzing past the ears of other racers, other much older racers. champion banner after champion banner adorn his room. he is the ideal for which the others aspire. now imagine that same champion taking time from his post game celebration to preach the power of jesus christ, hallelujah.
'would those opponents listen? would they open their ears to hear, their eyes to see? in whatever you are involved in, do you not seek out those that have achieved excellence in said arena? do not basketball stars wonder how larry bird has achieved such feats?
'you see excellence in our craft, excellence in the exercising of our god given talents is our way to preach the word of god. now i want you to take this week to sit and ponder. i want you to take time to think about who you truly are moved to be. write down the ambitions of your heart. write down what dreams move you to excitement. then when we meet again next week in coffee hour we will all sit together and share these things. why i bet in this room we have the power to help each and everyone of us pursue those dreams. we have the power to help unleash the excellence of god's treasure in all our souls. we have the power to build a pulpit of accomplishments where we may stand, each in our own field and preach.
'i can see it now, each pew over flowing, the hallways stuffed the church hall lined out the door, i can hear the clamor of the gentiles begging to be allowed in, begging to hear the word of the lord our god christ in heaven halleljuah! let us pray.
'oh father blessed are you who alights the way and though we may fear and though we may stumble and though we may stall blessed are you who does not allow us to stall forever, blessed are you who says 'get up for you may know the voice of the LORD!' keep and protect us in your name we pray father keep us on the right path on the way to victory in your name amen.'
it is here that i step back, my thin white shirt sweat stained, my thin black tie sticking to the front of my shirt while my white sneakers blink with red robot eyes, as the pastor comes forward.
'now come forward and receive your blessings.'
i had begun my training in the baptist church. though my study of christian history had not ceased i focused on the place where i had the most success. it seems the christ of orthodoxy was a severe man, starving more days than not. that the orthodox christ demands our focus, that the whole of the church moves to gain a grace with trinity of father son and holy spirit. that it was this demand that caused the catholics to throw up their hands as if to say, 'come on. who can keep up with god himself, though we will be severe we can't be that severe.'
from the laziness of the catholics begat the laziness of the lutherans, calvins etc etc until here we are today.
after a sermon and some fun rock songs i can go home and play he-man or nintendo. whatever my heart desires. why if i want i can stuff my face with hot dogs on a wedensday or friday. i can eat through lent and not think twice. i had found a home.
it was on this stage that i would garner national attention. 'come see the young firebrand,' they would say showing moments of my crescendo. it was on this stage that i would dream, holler, stomp my feet, tame the snakes and cast the devil out.
with the blessing of the old black pastor that had brought me to the stage for the first time, i had become a sensation. it was under the guise of a summer camp that my parents allowed me to hit the road, going into tent revivals screaming at paraplegics and throwing pillows with crosses at the blind. it was under the tent that they would come, drooling heavy set women screaming about possession to which i screamed 'out of the satan!' and bonked them on the head with a snake.
it was under the tent, it was during the summer that my scars healed but the name would not leave. was he in my blood? was i wrong? was i anthony catalano at war with myself? if i was was this anthony catalano, was this the devil pushing me under these tents and away from the orthodox church?
it was here that i thought of the seperation between he-man and adam. how adam had to come to grips with his power, how he had to maintain the joy of being adam even with the temptation of he-man at his beck and call. i thought, 'could i maintain charles sterling if i had the ability to be something more? who was christ but the embodiment of adam. he was a man filled with the ultimate power that he not only championed, not only kept in check but also lived in the utmost humility. by god what he could have achieved if he had selfish ends. could he not have held all the treasure? could he-man not have held all the universe in his palm? is the easiest path the best way?
the thoughts filled my dreams, was anthony catalano the raccoon or was it just the easiest path? was it a trick so that mr catalano could sneak in the back door while the we watched out the front? it began to make sense, why would i speak as if from another voice? if not because it was another voice.
as the summer past and i grew from a plain sneaker and white shirt with black tie to the more traditional black suit and neck collar my conscience became pregnant with unease. as charles sterling began to fade anthony catalano grew, he grew from the stage to the floor where he sat with the audience afterward in group prayer. from group prayer to visiting homes of the infirm and casting blessings and prayer of healing. from home visits to recorder where he spilled his philosophy, anthony grew.
it was on the outskirts of nashville where i fought back. as anthony was speaking, where he was juggling snakes and knives of the blessed word i struck. i silenced his voice i moved to let the snake and blades hit the ground and listened to the hush of the crowd.
we stood as if in a showdown. snake black eyes to the left, old timer pastor blue eyed on the right, crying baby fresh from the baptismal tub behind and the many moon faced of the crowd in front.
'enough,' i said and stomped my foot. i began to take off all the clothes and shoes until i was standing in my flash t-shirt and slacks bare footed.
'you people need to understand that he-man is only here to fight skeletor. he protects but he does not baby. a true life is one lived by someone who acts as if he isn't going to show up every time trouble arises. if you love he-man and you respect him then by god do something for yourself and give him a break.'
'judas,' they screamed.
'charlatan,' they hollered.
it was only that i cured a boy in a wheelchair and had him dance the jig while casting out a demon that had caused a woman's blindness, that i made it out alive.
i woke up next to a pond not far from the tent church. it was friday, so i fasted as i began to make my way home to boise. the name bouncing around my head for what reason i soon hoped to discover.
a man has to eat. sometimes rummaging through dumpsters outside a truck stop near cheyenne just isn't enough. i have been sitting here, standing here, thumbing the air waiting for someone to help me get closer to home. in order to avoid being picked up and sent to the orphanage i have used soot to draw stubble on my cheeks and chin.
i pray god to deliver me from this, and weep openly while kicking rocks and dreaming of home. it is in this condition that a man in a business suit taps my shoulder.
'hey kid, whatta doing out in the middle of nowhere?' he growled, as behind him a limousine idled.
'i ain't no kid, mister. and maybe i'm just some murderer out here minding my own business. you could take a cue,' i replied spitting in the dirt.
'well, shit you are feisty. i like that. i don't know what you are trying to prove, but i got a proposition for you.'
my stomach growled.
'why don't you come in the limo, we'll get some breakfast and talk it over. whatta think?'
i rubbed my chin, causing the soot to come off on my fingers. though it should be noted that most of the soot had been washed away due to the constant weeping for home i had been doing. the most dangerous part of life is the risk. a child becomes a man shaped by the results of the risks he has taken. i see the limousine and wonder if it is the next adventure or the last.
'you a murderer or pedophile,' i said and gave my best steely gaze.
the man's face turned red as he slammed one giant hand into the other. i could see the muscles bulging underneath the fine cloth of his suit, the large vein pulsing on the side of his neck. he clenched his jaw while the wyoming breeze blew through his close cropped salt and pepper hair.
'i should smack your face for asking me that. you don't know who i am?' he said and stepped back putting his hands on his hips.
i examined him closely but could not place the face. so after a few up and downs i shook my head, 'no'.
'twenty-three million kids watch a week and i find the one who doesn't. shit, well son, i am don greco the president/owner of wrestling stars. we put on arena shows across the country and well i need to find a kid to play a role.'
'you go to boise?' i asked.
'three stops from here, we roll into boise. why?'
'i have to get to boise.' i said and on hearing the word boise the tears began to fall again.
'well it looks like we are in a position to help each other out. you see charlie fire the masked midget champion hurt his back and has to take a couple nights off. usually who cares, but the people love him. all you have to do is wear a wrestling mask, a suit and tie stand on the sidelines and shout like a baptist preacher. otherwise i'm going to have to call up the union, file a worker's comp claim, fly out another of those little bastards, cost me a fortune. c'mon kid, i'll feed you and get you home.'
the sun cast it's ray over my left eye causing my forehead to ruffle as i though it over. while in the middle of weighing the pros and cons of the deal my stomach began to grumble out it's opinion and i came to a conclusion. 'god's will be done,' i said.
with that a bald eagle cried to the wind. don greco explained the character 'charlie fire' and i began my short stint as a wrestling star.
it is night. we are in some college basketball arena, backstage and i see these monsters of flesh and muscle oiling, flexing and running their lines. there is a man with a hammer called thor he hold's it aloft and screams, 'the power of the gods be with me!' then smashes down on a goat horned black man.
the music blares as a crowd screams then one by one these goliaths head towards the curtain and disappear. a thin man in a green lizard costume begins to convulse, he spits and turns gnashing the air then rushes out into the auditorium heading towards the ring.
soon we are down to three. i am to go out second to last, holding the champion belt while king handsome follows, he is dressed in a flowing red kings cape complete with crown. before we are to go out, the third to last is a man named martin but in the ring he is the clobberer. he is dressed as a street thug, complete with black sunglasses and a chain around his neck. he struts towards the ring as the music blares rock and roll and the crowd boos.
when i head through the curtain, the sound knocks me back. there is the regal music, fit for a king and the applause of the audience. twenty three thousand people screaming and stomping, woman waving their undergarments whjle testosterone fueled men and adolescents wave signs and fists.
i recover from the blast walked ten steps down the runway stop and thrust the belt upward. the place almost crumbles under another blast of excitement, as i stare down the clobberer who is grimacing, pacing and sweating. as i stand, belt aloft the crowd begins to stomp and clap in rhythm breaking only when he appears to a trumpet blast. the king, king wallop appears and i am knocked dizzy by the thunder of their voices.
as i make my way to the ring i only stare forward, the clobberer is strolling, primping and playing it cool. he waves the king's prescence away. he strolls towards one corner and leans easily in the turnstyle and buckles. there are hands grasping for me, for the belt and i have to hold steady or else be consumed.
when we arrive at the ring i hold the rope open so that the king can get into the ring. he moves like a panther, one large thigh into the ring at a time. he bends and i can see the vast community of muscles flexing, peaking through skin as he makes his way in. i place the belt around my waist so i may have the free hands to hold the crown and cape. as soon as i have the garments the clobberer attacks.
he leaps and knocks the king to the ground, stomping his head with his thick black tread combat boots. i scream and posture for the ref and somebody rings the bell starting the match. as the clobberer attacks, the crowd screams for the king, they beg him to rise up and take this cheater out.
king wallop takes a mighty collection of kicks and elbow drops and the end seems near. i scream and cry hoping that he is not destroyed. then, as the clobberer goes to make his finishing move, as the king lays hopeless on the ring the clobberer makes his mistake. he doesn't finish him immediately, he taunts the crowd, he waves his hand to his ear as if he can't hear the boos, to which they grew louder. he points his thumbs to his chest and flips his jean jacket collar up. the clobberer does a quick stomp to king wallops back and rakes his eyes. the king rolls around, he is a man about to be defeated, all that is left is the pin.
i can not take the excitement and holler for help, holler for king wallop to defend his crown. we are one, the voice of the crowd and i. i can hear the announcers and they too are begging for mercy. this as the clobberer goes to his finishing move, he leaps to the top rope and goes into a back flip.
while we were watching the villian, our hero rose. king wallop is standing! he catches the clobberer in mid-air! then in the same motion, king wallop uses the motion of his opponent against him, he flips him into the king's crown and bashes him to the ground.
the clobberer does not move until he has been pinned.
the crowd explodes, i explode screaming and dancing on the sideline. i drop from the ring side and dance down the aisle holding the belt aloft. all are joyous and the clobberer lays vanquished in the ring.
i was overwhelmed by the moment and couldn't hear the lizard coming. i was dancing to the curtain until the noise and the auditorium went black. when i woke up i was on a bus heading west, towards montana, heading towards home.
'what happened?' i asked.
'ah, shit man you got overheated, so when i came to do the final act, set up tomorrow's show, i knocked you out. i feel real sorry about that,' said a cherub faced mexican.
'all's fair in showbusiness,' called out the clobberer.
'you did good there, tonight kid, here you go.' said the king as he gave me a hamburger and french fries.
'hey kid, you earned it.' said don greco giving me a envelope filled with cash.
'god is good,' i said inbetween bites watching the dark highway unfold.
the bus deposited me a block from my house, as dawn crested i headed through the door, up the stairs and finally into my bed. i had a held full of memories and a pocket full of my earnings. as the dawn became morning i was awoken by the gentle kiss of my mother to my forehead.
'good morning,' she whispered.
i blinked a few times and smiled.
'how was your camp? i was sure you would be back later this afternoon.'
'it was tremendous fun, but weather caused it to let out early,' i said. it was a little lie but better that than causing her a stroke from the truth. 'in time, as a i get older, i will tell her the story,' i promised god.
my father came in and toussled my hair a bit, 'hey buddy good to have you home.'
i smiled as they both hugged me close. i could hear in the hall my sister and brother mulling about.
'your brother's home,' my mom said, 'you can say hello.'
'welcome home,' they murmured and rubbed their teenage eyes.
when everyone had moved on to their morning routine i opened the bedroom window and breathed in the fresh idaho air. though wrestling had been tremendous fun nothing beat your own bed and your own home town. familiar streets to bike through, familiar faces to meet at the card store...that is when i remembered the knot of money don greco had given me. i pulled them money from my pocket, stared at it then gasped with excitement. the annual idaho card and toy show was going on this afternoon. i would be there. i would be buying.
as my mother filled the air with the smell of breakfast and coffee i dressed, went through the closet grabbed my back pack and thermos.
'mom, can i go,' i asked hurriedly.
'where, i mean why you just got home,' she asked.
'what's the bug up your butt kid,' my dad said from behind the paper.
our seventeis built two story box style home was suddenly rocked by depression electro rock from my sister's bedroom while the other side was rocked by the seventies era arena rock from my brother's room.
'i forgot about the toy and card show. i have to go, have to go, have to go! please,' i said hopping from one foot to the other.
my mother sucked her teeth for a moment looked over my shoulder to my dad and then down on me, 'sure you can go, but after breakfast. tomorrow though you are staying with us we are having a family day.'
i leapt to her arms and gave her a hug then moved to the six seated natural wood table we had our meals at. as my mom put the plates of food in the center of the table my sister and brother came down and took their positions.
we ate, i greedily, while our parents discussed the politics of city, state and nation. they discussed grocery times only to be interrupted by the occasional blurp of social calender needs.
'mom i have a dance on the tenth,' my sister said.
'i have a basketball game tuesday and friday,' my brother said.
i was too young to have a developed social calender and thus would have nothing planned until after that day of school.
'so how is steve?' my dad asked.
'it's harold now,' my sister said.
'oh, what happened to steve?' he asked.
'oh dad, come on.'
'okay, how is harry?'
'harold,' he said.
'fine,' she whispered and went back to breakfast.
as we ate, he took a moment to question each of us about our lives and what was going on. when we had enough my mother would say, 'oh, leave them be. they don't want to tell us old foggies what is going on in their world.'
on the street the cold air refreshed me as i sped through the streets heading towards the holiday plaza. as i rode into the parking lot i could see it was full. i quietly cursed myself for being late. my usual routine was watching the boxes and toys being unloaded, then heading in to watch them set up.
as i walked my breath was taken away from the vastness of it all. there glimmering across rows of tables was he-men in their wrappers, some from china and mexico. i took my time memorizing the lines of 'jujitsu' and 'king hiss' then walked down towards the baseball collections. it was while taking it all in i noticed an italian boy who was following me.
it was over the alphabetical cheap boxes that i spoke.
'i can't help but notice your following me,' i said.
'am not,' he fired back.
his brown hair parted to the side, his brown eyes unblinkingly staring back, he looked real sharp in a suit and tie. i guessed he was here for the same serious business.
'how come i have never seen you before?'
'how come i have never seen you,' he said.
we circled each other asking about what school, what street we lived on, where our favorite places to ride were. his name was joseph, joey and they had just moved in from nampa. in fact this family had just moved into a house one block away from my own. joey was going to start at garfield, in the same classroom this coming school year.
after we had satisfactorily answered each others' questions we began to discuss the show, the quality and rarity of the toys and cards. it turns out we both were into baseball cards, the was more a thundercat man than a he-man but nobody is perfect.
we had each others' back as we negotiated for those things we felt were worth buying. if the price got was too high we would pull the old, 'i saw it here for so and so,' casual walk buy mutter that would cause the dealer to drop the price. all in all it was a success and i left with a back pack half full of my stuff and half full of his.
there was a chill in the afternoon air, but the tears on our cheeks were from laughter. in the fire of negotiation a friendship had been borne.
billy crudup was the bully. billy crudup had a mop of orange hair that covered his too large earlobes and framed his freckled cheeks and blood red eyes. billy crudup was the bully and the first day of school was his time to put new faces into their places.
it was while we were walking home on the outer fringe of the playground that he appeared. billy crudup with his teeth bared clenched, saliva ferociously dripping from his lower lip. arthur and walton where his goons that stood behind him making menacing faces as billy paced between joseph, myself and the gate to our subdivision.
'so i see a new face, charlie introduce your friend,' he said.
before i could finish the sentence billy held joseph in a head lock. while the goons were pumping their fists cheering him on i could hear joseph moan from the pain his face purple from lack of oxygen and his inhaler begging for help from the back pocket. as they twirled, there built up in me a fire of rage that enngulfed my soul, it pushed me past thought into action. i lept on billy prying joseph free, his goons came, i hissed and flung my feet in all directions knocking them to the ground causing them to keep their distance. as joseph choked trying to catch enough breath so to use his inhaler i fought on.
billy wiggled and wormed his body free then grasped me with a terrible strength getting me into a headlock vise grip blocking the air to my lungs. as he wrenched down and the goons began to spit and cheer for their hero panic set in.
with my legs going weak from lack of oxygen i remembered the raccoon and struck. i bit down on his hand while erupting a terrible scream. billy lost his grip but i did not lose mine, i bit until there was blood until he began to weep i bit and growled until the goons rushed off screaming in terror.
as billy wept i pushed him down spitting blood from my mouth, 'never again,' i said as he lay on the grass clenching his blood red hand.
as we walked home joseph turned to me, 'thank you, you really saved me there.'
'friends got to watch each others' back,' i said.
the sky had become overcast and a terrible rumble groaned from the distance as we appeared in his doorway. there above the door hung a sign, 'the catalano's welcome you' and as we crossed the thresh hold i heard a voice call out from upstairs, 'anthony is that you?'
i turned, my skin gone white his voice fading out as he said, 'joseph's my middle name,' while i fainted.
there is an alley, there are rats that leap and holler about me. i am laying on the ground as a beautiful woman holds her hands to her chest. she is crying, while a strange mess of a man is chanting and spinning throwing dirt into the air.
rain coats the city streets and the sound of car tires slush the water against the curb. she is long and beautiful leaning over the top of me. 'peace' she whispers into me ear. i can feel a stirring in my chest. i want to say something to her, want to tell her it will be alright, that i love her. these are grown up ideas that are coming through.
the man is chanting over me, the woman is moves to a kneel and grasps my hand. i want to squeeze but i can not, so she squeezes my hand together. the dancing hobo leans into me, i can feel his breath warm, the scent of trash and it is violent against my nose. 'return', he says and i spring from the coach a note in my hand.
it is early in the evening while my mother is making dinner. i sit up, i hear the noise of a ball game in the next room. as i enter i hear their voices, my father is talking about 'that lousy choking dog billy mac.' while there nodding in agreement is joseph, nee anthony catalano.
a violence welled up in me, sudden and furious i grab one hand in the other and squeeze until the skin goes white. while they talk of the failure of 'billy mac in any damn game that counts' i stomp up and down the hall cursing and making practice swings.
there is a fire that burns, burns the idea of peace, burns the compassion of christian out. the fire burns until all there is left is violence. i grab a broom, swing for the fences, storm into the room.
while my mother sings over her steaming pots.
'new york can not win a world series with this s.o.b on the team.,' said my father.
'you would expect more from the highest paid player,' said anthony.
'prima donna, some players play for the love of the game, others for the damn record books and paychecks. look at him, preening for the camera.'
'judas!' i screamed as i burst into the room.
there was silence as they turned to look at me.
'you rotten jerks, you cheer when you feel, you call out when a player is a free agent. 'oh come to my team, oh how great would it be if they signed. you call for mvp and starting all star games when the player is going good, but when they struggle you forget and turn your back. you say your a fan of a team but then abandon the best player because? because a pitcher throws a great pitch? because somebody makes a great play? we are all damned professional players, we all got talent. you think a great player just stumbles upon the numbers of billy mac? noway, those are earned, the hall of fame is earned. why you know where you would be if it wasn't for this player your cursing and putting down? nowhere that's where. maybe we ought to look into your lives and see if you do anything as well as billy mac, hits the ball. as well as he plays the field. why i bet you don't come close.'
as my cheeks reddened, my nose ran, tears fell and i could see their faces lower in shame.
'by god, he is a father and husband, he is the son of a man. what if this was your boy, what if it was me out there. god forbid somebody said those things about me. if i hit a cold streak would you turn your back on me too? i say the new yorkers can win this thing, they can win on the back of billy mac, but we got to support them, we got to cheer for them so damn it lets start now.'
it just happens that billy mac is up to bat. i pace the room clapping my hands and conjoling him to a hit.
the first pitch fouled deep into the stands. my father and anthony leaned forward rubbing their hands together. it is game seven, it is one man on base the new yorkers are down by one. the pitch whistles through for strike two. i stomp and scream slap my hands together rooting the batter on. then they start, first my dad and then anthony clapping softly saying, 'bring us back billy mac,' as if on cue the stadium begins the same chant.
as the pitch makes it's way to the plate we are all leaning forward silent hopeful. there is the sound of thunder from the bat that is passed immediately into the stands. the ball comes to rest 500 feet from home plate.
we dance, laugh and cry celebrating with the team and the city. outside a car honks it's horn in joy and we, three, embrace.
'you were right, son, i am sorry,' said my father tear in his eye.
'i knew he could...' was all anthony could get out.
a late model datsun 510 hatchback, driven by a ten year old girl came crashing through the front room window. i don't know if anthony felt a thing, i never heard him cry. the front end came down both of us, i turned over to see his crushed body, before looking down at my own. as i faded i could see the face of a black woman and i remembered the note i had received, 'if you want it done, do it yourself.'
the body of the young girl lay across the hood and i found a familiarity in her eyes, now cold and lifeless. i tried to think about what it all means, but when my mother kissed my forehead i just fell asleep.