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At Ian's Place - Part One, in which you may find a creature....

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At Ian's Place - Part One

I got this house-sitting arrangement with Ian through a mutual. I live at his place when I'm in LA selling art and while he's on tour, which is usually. Like a hippie crash-pad with only two hippies, one at a time. I picked up his keys at one of Cosmo's parties; even then Ian was en route to the airport.

"So you need my schedule? Should I email it?" I yelled a little over the music. I was super-thrilled about this arrangement, but the casualness and unknown variables perplexed me, especially in the middle of a party. Did my momma warn me about this?

"Yeah, no, there's a guest room. Should be all made up, might be dusty." Ian seemed distracted, maybe feeling awkward, too. "That guy in the pink t-shirt is Jack. He's my manager. Get my address from him. Hey, take care, man, my ride's here. I gotta go. I like your boots."

He handed me two keys, no keychain - one for a deadbolt, I assumed. I stuffed them in…

Did I Just Overshare? Who Cares...

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I just had an interesting conversation about oversharing - something I've always been told I do - something everyone seems to be doing as social distancing continues.
I do it because I don't understand where the lines are or why truth shouldn't be shared. I always thought I was reporting, and that honesty is supposed to be, well, honorable. How did this get difficult?

I think oversharing should be normalized. Maybe we need rules. If someone overshares with you, there is no action required on your part. Acknowledge that you heard them. If you don't understand how the overshare relates to the conversation being had, ASK. Every conversation leaves several people holding things that desperately need to be said, and the things need to be included in a conversation for context. There are thousands of millions of stories out there waiting to be told. You can't know whether they're important (to you.)
Get used to accepting things that don't fit your narrative. Leave …

On Slop in Genre: A Letter to All Industries

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Fusion is perhaps the greatest love of my life - right next to Tamarindo and letterpress chapbooks. By fusion I mean the fuzzy area where any two things collide: Asia and Europe, death metal and bluegrass, Latino-Indian cuisine (it is hard to find; you should seek it out.) Intercultural marriages. Family dynamics. Psychology, both ab- and normal.

I realized something today which I think is hilarious: I understand the concept of genre as pertains to music (I create for myself a great visual of record store bins) but when it comes to literature I'm flummoxed - or so I just said to my guitar player. She loves playing with my crazy brain.

Mötörhead was formerly known as Hawkwind. Based on their name, Hawkwind got filed in the Country & Western section of the record store - I'm told sales were not so great*.  At the local level - local being me - occasionally I'll write something that I know is a country song. It first happened in 1985 when I was living in Mississippi, in ac…

Permutations: My time with Kenajuan (classic literature c* word notice - you've been warned.)

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Kenajuan remembers me. This is important because I move around a lot; I worked in hotels for decades, so I've met legions of humans and made at least transient connections. It's important because I remember almost everyone I meet, but that's how I'm wired. It's surprising when others remember me, and those who do matter.

Health or aging is taking its toll, and honestly I'm not sorry I can't remember which year it was when Buck Dharma accidentally left a penny in the vending machine across from my office. I'm not sorry I can't remember the name of the guy I gave it to (you want to be a better guitar player? You have to practice - but here, take this magic Buck Dharma penny.) I do remember he said, "Who's Buck Dharma?" and I took it back.

Kenajuan and I worked hotel front desk in Kalamazoo - this was around '98. He wanted a suggestion to read for an audition, so I gave him something by Henry Miller from Tropic of Cancer:
“At night when…

This Blog Post Has a Soundtrack - where you got yourself

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why does pain so familiar feel so good?  I play the same song over & over opening the same vein over & over recounting the crossroads where
the path could have been different mighta been coulda been shoulda been woulda been never matters anyway
It's not regret I'm feeling, no

Final installment: FRIEND *Serial Sci-Fi*

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This morning, two beefy gray-jumpsuited men are in the break-room, prying a hand-truck under the vending machine.
“Good morning…?” I run my fingers through my hair, unsure why I find this development unsettling. The taller man grunts. The other leans the hand-truck forward and sighs. A patch on his jumpsuit reads Jones – his name, or the vending company's.
“G’morning, sir. Taking this machine out. Contract expired.” Jones speaks politely.
“Contract?” One Baby Ruth bar dangles from the center spiral. “Can I get that?”
“Sure. Guess they’ll install sumpin’ else. Willie, plug it back in.” Willie grunts again, forcing the prongs into the outlet; the machine blinks briefly and whirs to life. I fumble in my wallet for two singles to put into the machine, but the candy drops before I manage.
“Sorry, sir. We took the change out.” Jones shuffles awkwardly, expecting rebuttal.
“I’m fine.” I salute with the candy bar in hand. “Thanks, gentlemen.”
Willie sniffles and unplugs the vending machine; co…

FRIEND - Part 4 of n *Serial Sci-Fi*

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Upstairs, we took turns examining spindles under the stereoscope. Lee became less freaked, more scientific. Sperling kept stroking the stubble on his chin.
“We’ll need to shave this down, of course,” Sperling muttered, his face balanced on the eyepieces of the scope. “It’s amazing.”
“Terrifying,” rejoined Lee, “a little. Beautiful. Let me see it again.” 
We formed an arc facing ProTAI’s tank. Sperling spoke first.
“That’s nice work, ProTAI. Wonderful, truly. Why did you decide to make…this…cell?” We looked to the digipanel for response.
CALL ME SKYNET. I’M PRETTY. YES?
“Um…” Sperling, Lee and I looked at each other peripherally. Lee snorted. “Well, that’s retro. Yes, baby. Very pretty.”
THANK YOU. CAN I HAVE IT BACK, PLEASE?
“Um…” Sperling muttered again. He cleared his throat. “ProT…Sky…can we call you Sky? We need to keep your very nice sample.”
GIVE IT BACK. I MADE IT.
“Technically, you’re under contract with the rest of us. Anything you create in this lab is proprietary.”
“That’ll help,” snic…