Thursday, July 21, 2016

only being honest

I’ve been sick. I’ve been lonely. More alone than I’ve ever been and I am more afraid of the things I do when I’m alone. People will say, “I’m always there if you need me.” But they aren’t. That is a façade. That isn’t true. If that were the case I’d be okay by now. This past month I’ve been recovering, but slowly progressing. The reason I’m typing all this is to tell you I am appreciative of the support my readers have given me. This is not a cry for help. Although I need some. This is not a plea for attention. I’m just not okay and I’m okay with that and I’ll be fine soon. To the people who try to call or text and say “I’m there” don’t bother if you don’t mean it. I’m only being honest.

Over a month ago I tried to take my own life. Since then I have gotten help and subtracted a number of people/things out of my life. Everybody (or at least I hope everybody) has been wondering if I’ve been okay and alive and yes, it’s obvious, I have been. I’ve lost a lot this year with minimum gain because I hadn’t taken time for myself to make sure I was alright. I have problems, I’m not afraid to admit it. Right now is not a good time for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

thoughts

Too often when we turn on the tv, we hear and see something negative. The proverbial cup always seems half empty. We, as Americans, need to lift each other up more. We need to hold those negative forces that exist among us accountable for bringing the feeling of hopelessness to the front of so many minds. That goes for our politicians, the media, or the friend on Facebook who carries around misguided rage. We need to respond with love, and not get dragged into the trenches of sorrow. This constant divide and infighting amongst Americans, seems to be the new norm, and we must remind each other that we are stronger when we are united. Sadly, our leaders have failed to set this example, so we must use what we do have, our numbers, to reach as many of our fellow Americans as possible. We must remind our neighbors that only we control our fate, our happiness, and if we can come together, the direction of this country.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

why do I write?

For starters, I don’t actually write. I used to write. Then life sapped all the creativity out of me and replaced it with crazy. I’m attempting to get back into it as an outlet for my emotions. I’m not a big talker and I’ve never been a big sharer. I bury things and when I bury them, they go deep.
Why do I write? I write because as long as I exist there are things to be grateful for. There are things only I have seen and done. My perspective is my own, as is my voice. No one can write what I write or be who I am. I’m proud to be me; insecurities, crazy, darkness and all. It makes me who I am.
Like most of us, I keep the real me locked deep within myself rarely releasing him into civilization. Other days, I’m merely playing the part society expects me to play. That has been taking a mental toll on me as of late.
The darkness has been slowly seeping out in everyday life, taking on a life of its own and sabotaging everything I hold close. Therefore I suppose I write to keep the darkness at bay. I remind myself every day there is only one me and if things don’t improve, there won’t be.
Don’t get me wrong. The darkness is a part of me. It always will be. And I’m proud of that. It simply needs to be a part and not the whole.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

lost highway


All you know are a hundred godforsaken motels across the country, most of them in the middle of nowhere. Black hair glistening in the syrupy air, and somehow sweat looks beautiful on him in the neon glow of the “vacancy” signs. Lying awake on smudged sheets, wearing each other’s jackets because you aren’t brave enough to share each other’s skin, your fingers desperately snaked through his hair, lips on his pulse so you can measure just how much he loves you. But you are more addicted to each other’s scent than an old man smoking a cigarette, contemplating his imminent death by lung cancer, and so these shared sweaters will have to do. There are rental cars you learn to love more than the Toyota you owned growing up, because it is only in those anonymous vehicles you can roll down the windows and watch the wind play with his hair the way you want to, and brush hands across the glove compartment, and catch a glimpse of his barely-crooked teeth when you try to sing with Stevie when she comes on the radio. Because you can blame it on the little towns, the diner food, on having to share the same motel room when a convention has taken over town and it’s the only one left. Because you can say it’s not your fault that you went and fell in love, because who doesn’t want to break their heart against a steering wheel while “Rhiannon” plays in the background? Who could stop themselves, when he is the most beautiful man in the thirty-two states you’ve run through; because you know what he looks like shaken from sleep in the morning, stumbling to the front desk for a cup of instant coffee; because you know that your heart still trembles embarrassingly even with his forehead pressed against the car window, soft snores filling the silence of a car on a deserted highway. Maybe, just maybe, he will learn to feel the same way if you keep driving long enough, if you try on enough different lives, if you bury your real name just deep enough beneath the surface.

Monday, July 11, 2016

fresh ink, crisp paper

On my doorstep, there was a poem. The paper was a little crumpled, but the writing was recent and the ink was still fresh. I brought it indoors, as if it were an abandoned kitten, pleading me for a good home. I put it carefully on my desk, and switched on the lamp. The paper was almost see-through, except for the solid ink on it.
When you receive something like this, you don’t afford it the careful, delicate touch it requires. You ravage the words with your eyes, going through the note, and then going through it several times, attempting to figure out what it means. And then you realize it’s a poem, and you heave a sigh of relief. So no one’s in danger, and no one’s threatening to burn your house down. It’s simply a poem.
At the end of the eight lines (four on each side of the paper), was a set of initials. I thought about these initials for a while because I didn’t know anyone with these initials. I thought about who might know my address, and not a lot of names came to mind. I went through the contacts in my phones, from top to bottom and bottom to top, looking for a clue, but there was no one. And I certainly didn’t know any poets.
Although I should’ve forgotten about the poem, I couldn’t. It was carefully crafted, and every word had been deliberately placed. It wasn’t the sort of poem you simply fire and forget, no; it had been made for me. Someone written this poem with me in mind, I thought. Who could know me so well? I had no boyfriend or husband. My parents lived on a different continent, and I had no other family that knew where I lived now. The poem had been left here by a ghost.
The next day, I ripped a page from a notebook I had lying around, the kind with the white specks on a black background. I folded the page in two and tore it at the fold. I set my pen down on it (a contraption I hadn’t used in some time now), and began writing.
By the time I stopped writing, I had a serviceable poem sitting on my desk. Fresh ink, crisp paper. I got up and slipped the paper into my pocket, crumpling it in the process. I’m not sure what the poem was about, but I’m sure it could be interpreted to mean something. That’s how poems work.
I walked past a few buildings before finding one with no guard on duty. I walked in, making sure I looked like I owned the place, pressed a button on the elevator at random, and played eenie-meenie-minie-mo with the doors in the corridor. After settling for one, I placed the poem down before the door, being careful to make sure it was facing the reader. I rang the doorbell, and disappeared down the stairs.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

city of absurdities


I had luck locating a furnished room to rent for the month between Madero and Revolucion on 5th street downtown. A modern and clean joint for $260 a month. Packing my shit, I left the San Jorge and hopped a cab to settle in.
It was the 4th of July weekend and I was leery of finding a spot on account of the massive influx of Americans clogging the streets to celebrate Independence Day. It worked out in the end. After unpacking and chatting with the kind landlady, I made my way to the Praga Café nearby and sat drinking the best coffee ever. Sat and thought. And thought some more. What the fuck was I doing here? I have actually grown weary of Tijuana and all the diversions it has to offer. Oh shut, how I have become such a recluse. I debated simply booking another flight and flinging myself up to Provo, Utah to await public housing and wither away unnoticed until my old age.
Instead, I began to form plans within plans. Perhaps to remain in TJ and finish that book. Afterwards to rent a place on the beach or continue on to South East Asia. I don’t know yet. I feel so lost.
The following day, after showering and getting dressed, I took a clunky bus out to playas and walked around. The sea was so pleasant and the sounds so soothing. Funny note: I stopped to munch on some fish tacos when this old hag plopped next to me and attempted to seduce me with her feminine whiles. I dropped the fag bomb which ruined her entire scheme. She mentioned that she used to know another American, another writer who lived on the beach named Robert Smallwood. “Yeah, I used to know him.” I said. She then went into a passionate soliloquy on her undying love for this man. I stated I hadn’t seen him for years, last I saw he was in Cuba or Spain. She continued blathering about him and I couldn’t eat my tacos fast enough. I paid and left.
At the Praga, I came into acquaintance with an American getting teeth work. An independent film-maker named Randy Atkins. He did a film titled ARSENAL OF HYPOCRISY, made a name for himself. We both sat and chatted. Talked of film and writing. Seemed a good guy.
I excused myself and returned to my room. I lay in the darkness mired in indecision and anxiety. I really have no idea what I want. If I want anything at all.
The following morning, I ran into Randy once again and we both toured around the beach talking of interests and such. I really put on a pleasant mask, because my only desire was to lay down and stop breathing. It has become that dire. I really am done with this whole mortal coil thing.
A ver.

Friday, July 01, 2016

tijuana boogaloo

Grown weary and discontent with the rut and series of disastrous letdowns which had accumulated during my stay in Tucson, I packed my shit and did what I do best: I hopped an early flight west. After a bumpy and slightly nerve wracking flight (I do not particularly enjoy flying – nothing that big and heavy should be in the air I am prone to saying) I touched down in San Diego around 10:30 in the morning. The stewardess or flight attendant or whatever they are referred to nowadays alleviated my anxiety with calm patter and a flight pin. A little winged trinket which was offered and did, I must say, calm my nerves.
As I was saying, landed in an overcast San Diego and made a bee line through that prestine metropolis direct to the border. Clacking along in the trolley, I was utterly exhausted from the trip and the insidious insomnia from the night before. My plan? What plan – I’m winging this shit. No more plotting, no more dashed hopes of comfort and normality based on middle-American ideals. My vague thoughts are to first rent a monthly room – furnished – and figure the fuck out what next.
Taking a taxi to Centro, I first hit a hotel I always rented from in lieu of their cheap twenty a night rooms. Walked in and the sassy bitch took me for a greenhorn tourist and quoted fifty dollars up front for that windowless trap. Fuck off. I dragged my suitcase out onto the curb where an awaiting schlep driving a cab informed me of another joint for twenty a night and he wasn’t lying. The hotel San Jorge on the corner of Constitution and first, right around the corner from the Plaza and kitty corner across from Club El Torino. Not too shabby.
I settled in and took a much needed nap. Afterwards making my way to the Plaza under the stolid gaze of rent boy and hustler, I munched a much needed meal of a juicy carne asada plate with all the trimmings. Cheap and delicious. I explained to Eduardo, the friendly old bitch who runs The Boys Café my interest in renting a room monthly and he offered to help. “Come back tomorrow morning, I am certain I might have something for you.” Righty-oh.
I located a building I knew of on the corner of eighth between Madero and Revolution which offered furnished rooms and good wifi for $240 a month. I guess that will be my digs until I get my shit together. Returning to my hotel, the old ego was boosted by the smiling eyes of some waif rubbing his crotch at me while sitting in the lobby on it's tattered couch. Too exhausted, I simply trumped up the stars, pounded this shit out and called it a night.
All things considered, I am glad I am back where I feel most comfortable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

and so it goes

In lieu of recent events... I have decided to leave this county, never to return unless the events swing into a positive light. Unfortunately, not to borderline pessimism and only my humble opinion, I do not see that happening in a foreseeable future. We have a proto-dictator running for office with a high chance of winning, hatred and anger running unchecked, loss and death are met with shrugged apathy. We are programmed machines. Near-sighted robots whose only pleasure is consumeristic consumption and self-worth based on a ticked 'like' on various social media. It will only get worse in this fledgling Orwellian police-state we were fooled into passively accepting and nothing good will occur if I stay.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

this hotel room before


Once upon a time there lay the most beautiful, young man, lost in a deep slumber. His jet-black hair glinted in the sunlight, his rosebud lips were parted in peace. On, he slept, as the town jostled to life outside his window, oblivious to the world, deep in an enchanted dream. On, he slept, until the sun had slid beneath the horizon. The spell was broken. He opened his eyes.
He awoke in the dark with a jolt, swore, and immediately fumbled for his cigarettes. After many deep drags, he swore again and slid out of bed, his sweaty hair stubbornly clinging to semen and sweat stained sheets. Cigarette in mouth, he staggered towards the bathroom, last night’s underwear still trailing miserably around his ankles. He shouldn’t drink so much, he decides. Gives him the most fucked up nightmares. His eyes are glued shut with kohl but the harsh fluorescent bathroom light still made him shudder and squint. He ignored the dirty socks drying over the bath, and the bloodied boxers lying in the sink, and reached for his makeup bag.
He’s been in this hotel room before. He remembers the distinct stain on the ceiling; if he squints and turns his head it almost looks like a spider, stretching out long grotesque limbs to catch him and gobble him up. He suppresses a sigh and instead forces out a theatrical moan, to spur on the stranger on top of him. It works, and the stranger pushes harder, mumbling that he’s the fucking best. He pushes away the stranger’s slobbering mouth and twists his watch around; the stranger has three minutes left to use him and take him back on her corner. His Handsome Prince for three minutes; after all, the stranger’s taking care of him, crying out that he loves him. He moans a little louder, and decides he’ll need alcohol to sleep again tonight.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

cover idea

Though it's still months away from completion, I began drawing up ideas for the cover.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

passions

video

“There are only two types of people in the world,” he said without looking up from his glass. “People who go to bars alone and people who don’t.”
I wouldn’t had known he was talking to me if it weren’t for the fact there was no one else around. Maybe he wasn’t talking to me, maybe he was thinking out loud. Nonetheless I was lonely and he was handsome and it was just me and him and the sad half-empty bottles of liquor lining the wall in front of us, so I said, “There are two types of people in the world, people who drink before noon and people who don’t.”
He smiled, turning to look at me and then tilting his head towards the window, where diamond-like drops from the drizzle were sliding down the pane.
“There are two types of people in the world. People who like to walk in the rain, and people who don’t.”
This morning I had wandered the damp streets for an hour, with no sense of purpose or direction, eventually winding up here. I wondered if he could smell the rain rising from my skin.
“People who drive to get somewhere, and people who drive to find somewhere.”
He nodded in approval, took a sip of his drink. I wondered what it was. Gin, perhaps.
“People who want to go everywhere, and people who want to stay in one place.”
“The settlers and the restless.”
“The lovers and the losers.”
“The left and the leaving.”
“People who kiss strangers…” He leaned across the space between us and pressed his lips to mine. It was vodka he was drinking.
He slipped away, settling back on his barstool. I saw his sad eyes and his alcoholic lips with a smile like a riptide in the ocean, like a crack in a frozen-over lake. Outside, the rain became a deluge.
“There are two types of people,” I said. “People who understand, and people who don’t.”

Sunday, May 22, 2016

laughing at my incapabilities

On my first night in the hospital I was given a brief, rushed tour, culminating in the “patio” which more resembled a human bird cage than the relaxing outdoor resort/recreational space they seemed to be striving for. Suspended four stories in air, surrounded on each side by seemingly ancient brick, stood this terrifying structure, made shakily with fencing more suited for lawns, connected at all sides and a ceiling to boot. I eventually made my way out onto the patio by the week’s end, able to briefly enjoy the summers approaching breeze and almost forgetting that the shade provided from above was in fact put in place so we never tested our abilities of flight.
To think, all I am and all I feel distilled into woven metals wrapped loosely with plastic.
This, however, was reality. Every meal, every meeting, every moment spent in that room operated beneath the shadow of this cage, a constant reminder of my predicament - no matter how freely I moved and careful I spoke, there was simply no escape. I am not sure if I ever wanted to escape, or even if I could have, but nonetheless my brain acted as though this were some monumental challenge, some schoolyard dare - I invented scenarios, prepared my route, timed my nurses and knew their routines. I was going to undo this decision and run away from help, happy and desperate, clutching my hospital gown at its ends like some cartoon housewife afraid of a mouse as I darted across the black parking lot and into the town below. Here I would swagger like some drunk Frankenstein monster, young and alone and desperate to be loved.
There he would descend, the monster gaining speed, bashing in bar doors and raising all sorts of hell. Spinning tales of his story to justify the garb, getting loans from strangers and starting some new life in the craters of the old, just beneath the warm radar of friends and family who would mourn his loss so long as he pulled it off just right. It would be profitable, at first, but he would get pinched and simply run away, catching the closest train by its iron railings and stowing away until friendlier lands crested over the horizon and cleared into view.
And then, as quickly as I managed to enter these fictitious bars, I would find myself behind them again - ripped and slammed into my bed, bed two, room 467, Holy Name Hospital, where I belonged. If I were a fiction writer I would have made my escape by now, probably met a mentor of sorts on my way, began plotting my next move under the watchful eye of some well constructed and exotic boy, smelling faintly of Axe Body Spray and resembling the face of every guy I’ve ever loved.
I am not.
I am penning a flowery memoir at best - a product of my youth, desperate to make each sentence some new sensation.
They are not.
I could not sleep on my final night in the ward. The prospect of re-admittance into our carnivalesque existence repulsed me, the notion that I would forever reflect on it scared me, the bed I had slept in was simply all wrong. Too hot, too stiff, too thin, too foreign, still, after nearly a week. Nothing is comfortable about these nights - solitude may be bliss, but like all experiences moderation is key. The sheer totality of this solitude became sickening, choking all desire at its locked door and fenced wall - remember, you decided to be here.
There is no clock in my room, there are only my thoughts, loud and awake, pushed to their limit. Thoughts between the ears of a man who had not spoken in days, who had not seen loved ones or even smoked a cigarette, blissful till its end all filter and ash. My dreams and my reality began to blur, as I gave in one final time to the mystery of these walls, the completeness of my dreams, the fruitlessness of my “escape.”
I was on a city street clutching a carton of records, preparing to lay out my treasures and sell them to strangers streaming by. I was hungry, I was frantic, they seemed to keep falling out my hands and shattering on the floor. People stared in disappointment, it became a spectacle of sorts, an opportunity for these strangers to unleash some vitriol, spewing obscenities and laughing at my incapabilities. I bent over to pick up a record and sliced my fingers on its shattered edge, but the blood was black and began to pool on the ground like heated tar, absorbing the records with its steam, an appetite unmatched, eventually swallowing my feet, somehow bare, creeping steadily towards my knees, black and absolute. I looked up and was standing not on the city streets but back in my room, watching myself sleep, a body nearly consumed by the tar as it crept above the sheets, choking my breath and staining my sheets, approaching and blocking the lone window’s light. Soon the room is full, and yet I can see myself asleep, in peace, suffocated and pristine, intestines flooding with tar and eyes glazed over in something feigning acceptance but revealing some childish fear it was still juggling upon life’s completion.
I stood in the room, breathing the tar, staring at myself until my door was opened, and the new day had begun. Awake and alone, sweat pouring from my body, the final morning had begun and a nurse was taking my vitals. The dream had ended. Or so I hope. For even as I write this I am not fully sure. Some piece of me died in that room, in that night, and I watched it conclude, in peace, consumed before the chance for struggle - choked before the chance to speak - dead before time to think.
I belonged, in some way, to that world, and am still not fully convinced of this one’s appeal.

Friday, May 20, 2016

beyond my consciousness

I’ve championed this notion, for as long as I can recall, that between all of our skin and bones lie some latent cancer of brilliance. Never fully rearing its ugly head and consuming us with its dread, it gives me comfort nonetheless, and sometimes is able to spill out if I leave my mouth running for too long. Spring a leak in my consciousness and out seeps this goo, these thoughts, wordless yet pursing: I am something beyond myself, I am here to create something beautiful.
There is something that happens when you are alone, when your most basic comforts are sacrificed and the world outside is just that - outside. You become lost in well-earned dreams. Hours of sweating, tossing and turning, awake and frustrated, lost in the blackness of night and simply awaiting the dawn you give in to dreams that best life in every since. Dreams so real and moving you catch yourself trying to speak, waking up with words already spilling out of your dirty mouth - speaking to nobody in particular and in response to the blind brilliance of the world beyond my consciousness.
These places are secret. They are holy. They are grand and intricate, foolish and gaudy, ruling a realm invisible to even the greatest of microscopes and keenest of eyes. Dreams of my mother, offended and spitting. Dreams of my lover, captured and beat. In a world of darkness the brain has no responsibility to keep you entertained, and so in this space alone was I free to move and seek and feel.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

you will find me

You will find me in the shadows of a worn-down café where a crackly speaker plays old school jazz music. Lazily my eyes follow the words on the paperback in front of me but soon enough they stray to the table underneath. It’s an anthology of stories in itself, with decades of vaguely reflective statements and declarations of youthful love carved into its wood. Saxophones and caramel voices fill my ears while my fingers trace the etched echoes of people who were here before me in another moment, in another time.
You will find me by the shore, gazing out into the ocean. The sparkling waves are magnetic but my feet remain anchored in the sand. Blue stretches on for miles and I ponder how something can be so terrifying yet so fascinating. Fear and wonder must go hand in hand, I think. I will never be unafraid of open waters, but that’s okay. It means I will always be spellbound by the sea.
You will find me by his side, trying desperately to silence the pounding of my traitor heart like tremors tearing apart the iron cage I’ve built inside me. His grin can start a storm, his kind eyes a hurricane. With clumsy hands, I attempt to strengthen my defenses, but he smiles at me and I come undone once again.
You will find me on a busy street, the noise of the city like a symphony to my ears. There is beauty in everything, even this glass and concrete world. I find constellations in the checker board windows of towering skyscrapers and dusty apartment buildings and listen to the untold stories in the sea of faces rushing by. My voice is just one drop in this moving, breathing ocean, my footsteps just one echo of a hundred others. The thought should overwhelm me but it is strangely comforting. Here, in this urban jungle, is where I belong. Here is where I am home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

tall grass


I was almost 18, but not quite, the first time I sucked a dick. I understood the politics of having straight sex, but I couldn’t imagine how to get a guy to let me suck him off. I wasn’t bold enough to ask someone face-to-face, so I lied about my age on a singles ad.
A few guys replied. The first few were too old for a not-quite-18-year-old, but one guy was really nice, even though he was in his mid-30s. He refused to send any pictures, but we talked on the phone. He was married, had a few kids, and wanted to help me explore my sexuality, he said.
So the next day I met him behind a restaurant near my dorm. He was in a beat-up SUV, and he was handsome in a daddish way. I got in the passenger seat, and we drove around looking for a place. While we drove, he told me about his wife, and his son, and his son’s girlfriend. He told me about his neighbor and how they’d fool around when they were home in the afternoons.
We parked in some tall grass near a park and got in the backseat. He pulled his sweats down and took out his cock, already heard, a drop of precum oozing out.
I don’t know why I thought it would be hard for me. Seeing him there, lying back on the bench seat with his dick stiff and leaking, my mouth knew exactly what to do. And after he flooded my mouth with his cum, he pushed me back and fished my dick out of my jeans. As he swallowed it to the base, moaning around the width of my cock, I realized: sex with men was a whole different animal.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

word vomiting

Side effects of being numb due to mental illness:

  • not crying for weeks and weeks on end until one day, you’re breaking down over something that isn’t actually worth getting upset about.
  • not being able to tell if your feelings for people are platonic or romantic or if you’re just lonely.
  • instead of caring too much, you don’t care at all about anything.
  • not being able to process anything going on in your life and when you try, your brain stalls out.
  • losing your train of thought every five seconds, so when you try to have a conversation, you have to pause and remember what you were trying to say.
  • word vomiting.
  • mind “static”.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

an oasis in a wasteland

I recently overcame my writer's block and began writing the chapter in which Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr visit Joan Volmer during William Burrough's hiatus down in the Amazon. This is an experpt and unedited, of course. So, please refrain from any judgement. I like this chapter, because in lieu of research, it will be bitter-sweet and funny opposed to the dire depression of the previous chapter. A well deserved holiday for our intrepid and well inhebriated characters. Enjoy.



FIRE AND BRIMSTONE
an unedited exert from Blew the Shot

While William and Marker roamed around South America and explored the lush jungles of the Amazon basin for yagé, Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr, accompanied with Lucien’s dog, Pasky, made a surprise visit to Mexico City in a beat-up old Chevrolet to visit Joan.
   In apartment 8 at 210 Orizaba, Joan lay in the gloom on the sagging couch. Her body, though numb from the excessive alcohol intake, still throbbed from a discomfort overtly visceral; mostly from boredom and loneliness. Joan glanced over toward the dusty writing desk cluttered with unanswered correspondence. Billy Jr., who had just turned four, sat on the foul carpet in soiled underpants rolling a toy car back and forth. The front right wheel long missing. Frail Julie slumped in the adjacent chair listening quietly to her stomach growl. It was early morning and Joan was gathering strength to prepare a simple breakfast for herself and children when a series of loud knocks issued from the front door. Joan remained immobile, staring up at the stained ceiling, taking a long drag from her cigarette. The pounding repeated itself.
   “Mommy, someone’s at the door.” Julie faintly stated.
   “I hear that, sweetie.” Joan croaked.
   Bam! Bam! Bam!
   “Aren’t you going to see who it is?” Julie asked. “It could be daddy.”
   Joan took another puff and sighed. “Your daddy wouldn’t knock.”
   Bam! Bam! Bam!
   “Well.” She looked at Julie and smirked, “I assume it must be important.”
   Julie giggled and with a weary groan and a bit of effort, Joan wobbled to her feet. Clutching her cane, she awkwardly ambled toward the door. Cracking it, all anxieties and depression dissolved as she screamed in glee when she flung the door open to reveal her old friends Allen and Lucien standing on the landing.
   “Oh, my Lord!” She squealed as she leapt onto each man with a tight embrace.
   “Joanie!” Lucien said. The force of her actions nearly knocked the dangling cigarette from his lips.
   “Didn’t you receive my letter?” Allen asked. “I never heard anything back.”
   She smiled a toothless smile, coyly brushing down the wrinkles of her rumpled skirt. “And I do wish to apologize for that, Allen. I never got around to mailing my answer. You said you were coming down with Jack, though.” She glanced quickly past him expecting her friend to be lurking in the shadows. “Where is Kerouac?”
   Lucien dropped his duffle bag next to his dusty shoes. “Oh, that kook dropped out at the last minute. Some ordeal concerning his mother. I’m here because I was invited to attend the wedding of a friend from UPI who is staying down here. So, not wanting to go alone, I simply drove around to where Allen was living and said, ‘Al, it’s time to take a couple of weeks off and go to Mexico.’ He drolly agreed, ‘Fine, I’ll have to pick up a sweater.’”
   She smiled at her old roommate. His hair was thinning a bit and he sported a black beard. Yet, the same passionate fire broadcasted past those thick horn-rimmed glasses. “Same old Allen.”
   “It was a nice sweater.” Allen sniffed. He said to Joan, “You gave it to me, remember? Anyway, as you well recall, I don’t drive, so it was down to Lucien, fueled by alcohol, to get us there.”
   She took Allen’s hand, pressed the delicate fingers with her own. “How was the trip? It must had been long and painful for you, dearest Allen.”
   “Allen is no stranger to things long and painful.” Lucien interjected, dropping his cigarette butt onto the floor, squishing it with the toe of his shoe.
   Allen ignored the jib and stated feyly with eyes closed, “Entirely uneventful. We only stopped to sleep in the car and grab quick meals. The solitary calamity being the top of the Chevrolet’s thermometer blew off as we drove through a dreadful Texas heat wave. Other than that, it was pleasant. Well worth the trip to come and see you and Bill.”
   “Where are my manners…please, do come in.” Joan said.
   Allen forlornly examined Joan as she gauchely turned to usher the two in. After several years of not seeing his old roommate, he noticed she had deteriorated strikingly, akin to a withered potted flower uncared for and left to rot on a windowsill.
   Allen and Lucien entered the dank apartment, glanced around the unkempt room. Allen immediately noticed little Julie sitting on the overstuffed chair. She looked like a dirty doll gazing at him with oversized eyes.
   “Is that Julie?” Allen smiled warmly at the child.
   “Indeed, she is.” Joan croaked. “Julie, you remember Allen, don’t you? He visited us when we lived in Texas?”
   The child remained silent and actually seemed as if she was attempting to sink farther back into the cushions.
   “She’ll be giving you competition soon,” Allen told Joan upon noticing the girl’s blossoming beauty.
   “Oh, I assure you, Allen, I’m out of the running,” responded Joan, glancing out the corner of her eye at the unopened bottle of tequila that stood on the table.
   “Billy? Is that you?” Allen boomed at the small boy. Billy Jr. shot a startled glance up toward Allen and then scampered quickly into the bedroom, slamming the door after him.
   “They’ll warm up to you.” Joan sighed apologetically. “They’re just hungry. I was about to prepare breakfast. Care to join us?”
   “I could eat.” Lucien smirked, rubbing his stomach.
   Allen frowned at the shut bedroom door, “Lucien brought his dog. He’s still in the car. Perhaps after breakfast I can bring Pasky up and the kids can play with him. Would you like that, Julie?”
   Julie simply shrugged.
   Joan made her way into the kitchen and as she noisily began pulling pots out from the cupboards, she called, “Well, sit and make yourselves at home, fellahs. To commemorate your arrival in Mexico City, I’ll whip up a time honored breakfast of huevos rancheros. Lucien, grab some glasses and pour us a shot of that tequila there, then you can astound and amuse me with your tales of high adventure and romance.”
   Lucien found three tumbler glasses, wiped them with the front of his dusty shirt and began pouring the shots, “Speaking of adventure and romance, I heard Bill went to South America. Is he back, yet?”
   Allen flinched as he heard a skillet loudly being slammed onto the stoves range.
   “I regret to inform you he has not.” Joan casually responded. “You know Bill, his addiction to junk is only surpassed by his addiction to the boys.”
   Allen took the glass offered by Lucien and sipped the contents, wincing. “Well, that’s a fucking bummer. I really wanted to see him. Lucien and I have about a week to waste, you think he’ll return by then?”
   “Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not even the angels of heaven. Lucien, you mentioned something about being down here for a wedding?”
   Lucien handed a glass to Allen, strode into the kitchen and handed one to Joan. “Shit. Bill’s not here? What a fag. He knew at least Allen was coming down. He should be here.”
   Joan cracked two eggs into a greased skillet and said, “So, what about that wedding?”
   “As I stated, a coworker from the newspaper lives down here and is tying the knot. He invited me. I invited Allen.” Lucien handed the glass to Joan. “And now, I am inviting you.”
   Automatically, Joan gulped the shot and held the empty glass to Lucien. “Oh, I don’t know. I have to tend to the kids. Bill is due back any day, I am certain…”
   Lucien returned to the living room to refill the glass. He swallowed his own and replenished Joan and his glass, “Screw Bill. He left you here to rot in boredom.” He returned to the kitchen holding out the glass to Joan. “You need a little diversion. I’ll pay for someone to mind the kids. I insist you go, Joanie.” He smiled, “There’ll be unlimited booze.”
   “Unlimited booze?” She repeated flopping tortillas onto the open range to heat them. She turned and took the tequila from Lucien, instantly throwing it back.
   “Unlimited.” He stated coyly, tossing his own shot down. He took the glass from Joan and went to refill them both. “Plus, it would be good for you to get out and meet some new people. I insist.” He walked back into the kitchen slightly wavering. Tequila dripped off his hand onto the grimy tiled floor. “I am certain you will wow those squares with your vast intellect and razor sharp, witty repartee, just like you did back home.”
   “Please, Joanie?” Allen pleaded as he began clearing dirty dishes off the dining table and placing them in the already over-filled sink. “It won’t be cool if you stood us up, too.”
   Joan took the glass from Lucien and glanced at them both, smiling. “Because I missed both of you and because you are both so sweet to me, how could I refuse such a temptation? And as you both realize, I can resist anything but.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

sit in silence


I will write about myself as a ghost until I die because I have constantly existed in another dimension, here and somewhere else, gone and present, invisible and begging to be touched even though your fingers will pass right through me and my sister and I still haunt these abandoned trailer parks.
The earth is a silent killer, a patient assassin. Waiting until they leave before reclaiming herself or simply poisoning them with the fruits of her beauty. We sleep in a rusted train car, watching as the vines wrap themselves around our home, squeezing the past out of it, melting down the artificial and digesting the sins of technology. Of what we called progress.
How poetic to be thriving in this mess. Because I can feel the phantoms of these dead dreams, the lost thoughts of what people once believed they could be. We gorge on them, feel them pass through our insides, kissing our lonely intestines. This is what feels like home. Rot is not such a sad thing after all.
Here the lillies make their presence known atop the corpse of a playground. Time slows, twists upon itself until it forgets to tick, and here I can sit in silence and the grass seems to rise fast and tall as trees, reaching to rub cheeks with the sun, basking in the victory of growth. These sunburns are not so bad, except for the part when they peel, and then I itch with the urgency to reveal a new me. Again and again. Again...
My profanity, my vulgar existence, dirty hopes, these are forgotten. Left to die between the half devoured teddy bears, the faded lawn chairs, the rancid mattresses. They thought nature would swallow me too, that their consciences would be wiped clean in my absence. But the earth is a lover of lost boys.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

writer's block

While William and Marker were roaming around South America and exploring the lush jungles of the Amazon basin for yagé, Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr, accompanied with Lucien’s dog, Pasky, made a surprise visit to Mexico City.

I have been staring at this sentence for over a week. I have come to a complete and tragic stop. Perhaps I need a vacation. Anyway, this is the begining of the chapter Fire and Brimstone of when Allen and Lucien visit Joan while William was away. At least I achieved setting the tone for that!
Quite personally, I have a lot on my mind and not a lot of time to make my decision. I wish to return to Tijuana. I also wish to relocate to Cambodia. Both are pleasing to me, but I told myself I wouldn't make up my mind until the first draft of this book was finished and that deadline is September.
For myself, I have come to the dire realization that Tucson is not my time/space location. If anything, every attempt to settle here has fallen flat or mired in bitter discontent towards the fat and ignorant locals. It is seriously time for me to begin to locate other avenues of inspiration....

Friday, April 29, 2016

becomes my habit

Hector traps the cylinder between his pout. Gently gripping the filter the way you would hold a lover’s earlobe between your teeth, applying just enough pressure to communicate your desire. The flame of the lighter teases the end of the cigarette to life, like the tip of a quivering tongue, tracing the lines of a lover’s lips to stimulate a hungry response. He inhales sharply, with a sexy little hiss. Smoke fills his lungs, like tiny whimpers of pleasure echoing into the sensual cavern of his wicked mouth. He arches his back slightly and tilts his head to one side, exposing the muscular curve of his vulnerable throat; exhale...he smokes slowly. Each time he tilts my head back to exhale, his mouth remains parted in a small O shape, like he’s frozen in a moment of orgasmic passion.
My hands tighten to fists. I gnash my teeth and dig my nails into the flesh of my palms. It’s all I can do to stop myself from pouncing on him… and licking the residue of nicotine from his lips and fingertips.
Equal to the carcinogens slowly swirling through the room, my passing days with him are both intoxicating and delightful. He becomes my habit.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

chalk it up


He holds the pool cue gingerly between his knees as he chalks it up. There is something profoundly stupid about how he does it that makes me question even his sanity. Behind him on a shelf the bar’s cat naps. It is midnight and we are the only ones left - he refuses to leave until he wins. The barkeep is a friend, he brings me beer and the burger I ordered.
“Come on, guys, it’s almost…” he pauses, “what’s that part after night?”
“I’d call it day.”
He laughs sarcastically, observing intently as I peel the rind off my bacon. I have an aversion and he likes to chew the fat.
“Nah, I mean the bit between.”
“Dawn?”
“Nah, fancier.”
“Twilight,” he corrects me as she takes the first shot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

my tongue in your tail

Here is another section from the new novel on William Burroughs and Joan Volmer I am currently working on. I have just completed the chapter on Burroughs and Marker's trip to Central America (no longer titled Queer, I have came up with a new chapter title and am quite pleased. I told you I would) Again, this is an unedited first draft. So, please excuse any discrepancies.




excerpt from BLEW THE SHOT

Before William made his departure for South America with Marker, and in lieu of the numerous complaints from their fed up neighbors for raucous behavior, the family relocated to apartment 8 at 210 Calle Orizaba; on a residential lane in the Roma district.
   Uninhabited marshlands by the end of the nineteenth century, the area was renovated with French-style mansions during the Porfirio Díaz regime. Nonetheless, the openly elite disposition of the Roma district began to dwindle by the 1920s. The area further degenerated in the thirties and forties with the rapid construction of lower-middle-class apartment complexes and a multitude of small businesses, removing any chic or progressive charm that remained.
   Not only middle-class Mexicans moved in, but Jews, Arabs, and German émigrés resided in the district during the 1940s. Various celebrities also lived in the neighborhood during the first half of the twentieth century, most of whom William had never even heard of and much less cared. The Café de Nadie, a den of the Stridentist movement which stood on Avenida Álvaro Obregón in the 1920s, hosted the Mexican version of Dadaism, where Manuel Maples Arce, Arqueles Vela, and Germán List Arzubide, among others, denounced against the good behavior and hygiene of Mexican culture. William remained unaware of all that, also.
   By the time he and the family relocated to Zona Roma, it was a lower middleclass neighborhood swiftly succumbing to commercial development and nowhere near exclusive or baring any artistic merits; a tranquil, gray zone of simple architecture and mediocre aesthetics—which didn’t seem to matter much to Bill and Joan.
   In the crumbling patio which led to the white-washed apartments, little Billy sat nursing a sore foot encased in over-sized and used shoes. With tiny, dirty fingers, he scooped beans from a can and shoved them into his mouth. Across from him, in poncho and sunlight was his little Mexican friend, Micco, who sat quietly playing with his pet rabbit named Chili. Earlier that day, Chili had bit Billy Jr. on one of his brown toes and the child screamed so long and loud that Joan had comforted him with not only his first set of footwear, but with a fresh can of beans.
   “How the fuck do you expect me to feed these kids? I can’t believe you are simply leaving us to lay a boy?!”
   Billy tilted his head upward toward the open third floor window. He listened without understanding why his mother was yelling at his father.
   In the kitchen, Joan stood at the open window above the dirty sink, fuming. She propped her bent frame in one hand with her cane as with the other she sloppily filled a grimy eight ball glass with tequila, sloshing much of the contents onto the littered counter. She threw back the tequila in one gulp as she heard William from the bedroom.
   “I explained this to you before, Joanie. I am simply surveying new prospects for the benefit of this family. I will locate land, we can settle in and farm and not have to worry about any altercation from the government.”
   William hurriedly dashed from one side of the room to another, grabbing clothes from the closet and tossing them into a leather suitcase opened on the sagging, unkempt bed. He continued, “I will only be gone for a month or so. I will wire funds for rent and food. No need to worry, I will take care of you.”
   Joan filled another glass, threw that back and sighed. She stared out into the sunny vista of brick and adobe terraces. Clothe lines and television antennae as far as the eye could see. A maudlin Mexican ballad wailed from the distance. She slurred over her shoulder, “We wouldn’t be in this predicament if you took a fraction of interest in our well-being as you did this Marker.”
   “Now, Joanie, he is simply along for the ride.” Was the muffled response.
   The warmth of the tequila fought with the dire need to vomit as she evaluated with an intoxicated mind the thought of their lust filled expedition. “Ride is right. How much of our funds did you fork over just to get down his pants?”
   William retrieved his drug paraphernalia stashed behind the end table. The syringe and burnt spoon was wrapped in a soiled handkerchief. He buried the works deep into the suitcase. He stated, “No need to be vulgar, Joanie.”
   “Vulgar?” The anger mounted, her voice rose to a frustrated howl, “I’m not the faggot here. How can you do this? How can you be so unthoughtfully callous?”
   William exited the bedroom. He stood in the archway between the kitchen and living room looking grim and holding the packed suitcase. He stated without anger, “Joanie, I will send for you and the brats once I locate a hospitable country.”
   “Stop referring to them as that!” She spat. “They are children. Our children.”
   He tipped his fedora clad head mockingly, “I will send for you and the children.”
   Joan filled another glass, throwing it back. She grasped the rim of the sink and with dramatic effect, said calmly as she glared at the pile of dirty dishes, “Allen and Jack wrote. They said they will be down here next month. They are coming to see us. They are coming to see you!”
   William placed the suitcase onto the soiled carpet and glided up behind her. He put his hands on her shoulders, “I will be back by then. With my land money I will take us all out. We’ll have a ball. I promise.”
   Joan did not turn to look at him. She said dreamily, “Why am I here, Bill? Give me one good reason why I should be here when you come back?”
   “Because you find me irresistible. As I do you.”
   She turned, smirking, “Irresistible as a scorpion.”
   William gently massaged her shoulders, looking down into her moist eyes, he said, “Who knows not where a scorpion does wear his sting? In his tail.”
   Joan sighed. Her hatred and anger dissolving. She grinned and looked away. “In his tongue.”
   William took her free hand and held it to his chest, “Whose tongue?”
   “Yours,” She looked up at him, smiling. “If you talk of tales, and so farewell.”
   “What, with my tongue in your tail?” He said with a raised eyebrow.
   She began laughing and pushed him away. “Okay, you big goof, go on your expedition. I’ll be here. Waiting.”
   William walked over to the suitcase and picked it up. As he made his way to the front door, he turned and said, “Joanie, you have my word. Upon my return I will fulfill your innermost desires. I promise.”
   Closing the door behind him, Joan stood listening as William clomped down the spiral staircase to the street. She turned to her bottle, filling a glass. Gulping its contents, she stared back out into the bright sunny vista, whispering, “That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man, if with his tongue he cannot win a woman.”

Sunday, April 24, 2016