Tuesday, July 31, 2018

quick...

white flash...mangled insect screams...
I woke up with the taste of metal in my mouth back from the dead.
         trailing the colorless death smell
         afterbirth of a withered grey monkey
         phantom twinges of amputation...
"Taxi boys waiting for a pickup," Eduardo said and died of an overdose in Madrid...
         Powder trains burn back through pink convultions of tumescent flesh...
         set off flash bulbs of orgasm...pinpoint photos of arrested motion...
         smooth brown side twisted to light a cigarette...
He stood there in a 1920 straw hat somebody gave him...soft mendicant words falling like dead birds in the dark street...
"No...no more...no mas..."
A heavy sea of air hammers in the purple brown dusk tainted with rotten metal smell of sewer gas...young worker faces vibrating out of focus in yellow halos of carbide lanterns...broken pipes exposed...
"They are rebuilding the City."
Lee nodded absently..."Yes...Always..."
Either way is a bad move to The East Wing...
If I knew I'd be glad to tell you...
"No good...no bueno...hustling myself..."
"No glot...C'lom Fliday"
Tangier, 1959

Saturday, July 28, 2018

me? i'm nobody



In the dry desert heat, I ambled across the street toward a 24 hour café near the old Greyhound station. I found the neon lit, brown brick restaurant relatively empty. I entered the diner dizzy with heat and loss and despair and made my way to the counter. The café was small, offering four worn leather booths running along a set of large plate glass windows dirty streaked with soot that looked out into dark and empty streets. Along the counter were beige faux leather stools (the leather cracked and peeling) bolted to the checkered tiled floor. Along the walls were tacked hundreds of amateurishly designed garage band flyers and invitations to local art shows. The café was occupied by a middle-aged and obese couple who were poured into a booth and a tall, read headed guy who sat at the counter staring perplexingly at the television set mounted to the wall over the cash register.
I sat at the counter and ordered a cup of coffee from a sullen, green-haired waitress with a nose ring. Following a news clip of four police officers violently beating a Latino homeless man with batons, the image switched to an arthritis medication ad.
“If you think Arbitol is right for you, consult your physician.” The images displayed smiling elderly frolicking in a pastoral park as a calm voice rapidly stated, “People who have used Arbitol have noticed the swelling of legs, hands and feet; capillary leak syndrome; fever; muscle pain; unusual bruising; dizziness, blurry vision; rash; hives; blisters; nervous system and blood disorders; lymphoma; swollen tongue; dry mouth; weight gain; inability to fight infections; nausea, diarrhea; constipation; depression; dehydration; suicidal thoughts, and death.”
Gawddamn! After all that shit, who the fuck would wanna take any?” Spat the red haired man sitting next to me. In his late thirties, dressed in Levi’s and a plaid shirt, he sported a dull orange mullet and his face and arms were covered in freckles.
“Old people with arthritis problems, I assume.” I mumbled as I tore open a sugar packet and emptied it into my coffee.
“Buncha bullshit.” The man snarled as he scrapped his fork in the sloppy remains of egg yolk. “Everything in this fucking country is designed to snatch up what little money you got.”
I took a sip of my coffee and chided, “It’s fear. Fear is the most valuable commodity on this planet. Look on the TV. What do you see? People selling only products? Nope. They’re selling the fear of having to live without their products. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, of poverty...of failure. Fear is the single most basic emotion we have. And most importantly, fear sells.”  
The man slowly glanced over at me, ticking particles of food from his teeth with a serpentine tongue. His stare was both predatory and ominous. Gray eyes of a dead animal. Frowning puzzledly, he sighed, “What are you? Some kinda fucking intellectual?”
“Me? Nah…I’m nobody.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"where my free shit?"


I have lived in abject poverty. I am perfectly aware how dire life can become when you hit rock bottom and I mean rock bottom when all options have been depleted and there are only two avenues you can follow: either change your situation or die. Now, this can apply to many things: addiction (all levels), mental stability, and/or financial stability.
With that being said, I’d like to focus on what happened earlier today. I went to change over my mailing address to my new apartment from the building where, if you are homeless one can receive a multitude of services…all free of charge and receiving mail is one of them. As I stood patiently in line among the insane and unwashed, there was an obese bull dyke on a phone apparently abusing her underpaid caseworker. That wouldn’t had bothered me until she snarled, “I want the things from you that I am entitled to!” In which I casually turned to her and stated, “Lady, you aren’t entitled to anything. Not one damn thing. These people don’t have to do anything for you.”
“Why don’t you mind your own business?” She snapped at me.
“Since you decided to yell and include everyone in you dilemma, you obviously made it my business!” I stated.
“Fuck you!” She barked.
“Nope. It is you who are obviously fucked.”
She rose red faced and faux hyper-ventilating, “I need someone to talk to! I need to calm down! This fucker….this fucker can’t talk to me like that!”
I sighed, “Look, lady, I’m not your therapist. Pay me $250 an hour and I’ll tolerate any asinine bullshit you can spill forth and then tell you all is okay. But, you don’t, so I’m not.”
Eventually, a case worker whisked her outside and I finished my business and left.
On the walk downtown, I was approached by an elderly woman. In a timid tone she asked, “Could you help me? I need food for me and my kids…could you spare anything?”
I explained calmly to her I just left staying at a shelter (her attitude dissipated quickly) and when I informed her of the family services provided at the Primavera Foundation (food, clothing - all free), she mumbled okay or something else dismissive and sulkily walked away.
That and that alone is why I never assist anyone in this country. For one, I know for a fact that the homeless or near homeless in The United States receive benefits free of charge that would be envious of anyone in other countries who work and toil for their meager possessions. As a matter of fact, years ago when I resided at the St. Vincent de Paul shelter in San Diego, during their lunch a kid from Central America was appalled and shocked at the amount of food wasted by the clients who ate – for free – in the cafeteria. His comment being the amount tossed into the garbage could feed the people in his village for an entire year.
The homeless of America – generally – are spoiled and over privileged. They believe they are irrefutably entitled to all free benefits and do become quite irate when those benefits; i.e. food, financial, or housing – are not provided at the given moment requested. They expect everything without any effort to work on the situation themselves. Please recall, I lived among them and witness this time and time again, so save your ignorant comments.
I for one will never assist anyone down and out in this country unless I knew them personally. There are far too many organization who will assist with food, housing, clothing, employment, among many other things most people take for granted.
As I have mentioned, I have lived in other countries and witnessed unassisted poverty at its most insidious. Most, and I refer to most and not all, Americans are in it for the short con…I ought to know, I did it for decades…

Thursday, July 19, 2018

the bad touch



The bar itself was out of the way, I mean, it was downtown, but hidden. Located in a dusty, cobble-brick alley from the main strip. For me that worked, I didn’t particularly care to be around a bunch of loud tourists…or students, for that matter. I ducked into the door, a battered, metal one plastered with flyers of bands no one ever heard of and after my eyes adjusted to the dank I took a seat at the counter.
The bar was small. The counter itself only offered about six or seven chrome stools bolted to the concrete floor. There were four booths lined along the opposite side of the bar. A large, dusty plate glass window shrouded in dead neon tubes. The bartender, a flabby, balding middle aged man with a ponytail, attended to a group of four University students who sat at the end corner of the bar.
I ordered a beer as I scanned the dank room for a familiar face. Nothing. Everyone I hung with previously in this town, where did they all go? An abrupt wave of alienation surged over me. An absolute feeling of being severed from the human condition.
I took a napkin and began jotting down notes for the novel I was working on. I made no eye contact with the group of raucous male students as I sipped my beer. Heaven forbid I get wrapped up with the Are You A Writer/What Are You Writing crowd. To be sure, conversations of that ilk don’t unsettle me, but at that moment in time, I simply wanted to drink, not to be bothered.
On the second bottle, I was approached by a scraggy little lad in baseball cap and worn jeans who apparently stumbled in from the heat. Shaggy, black hair fell out from beneath the cap and cascaded down over much of his dark, Native American features. Short but skinny, he obviously was poor and undoubtedly lived either on the streets or South Tucson. He was actually ruggedly handsome, but already intoxicated. The group of white, male students scowled at him in derision. He wasn't bothering anyone from what I could tell. I saw him as simply another guy out for a drink and managing with his life’s hardships like anyone else, through alcohol. I sighed, glancing at the students. People can be such hypocritical shits.
As I stated, he approached me and slurred timidly if I was German. I smirked and said no, I was American. He never asked, which was a plus, but I chose to drink with this guy, who said his name was Stephen. He was twenty-two and worked parking cars in a parking lot. For almost nothing, he sustained off of the meager tips from washing the vehicles and guarding them against thieves who have a habit of stealing license plates and selling them. He stated he wasn't queer and actually never had sex with a man. Leering at me he smiled that tonight he might want to change that. I laughed and said calm down tiger or some stupid shit in a vain attempt to be coy.
Noticing my scribblings on napkins, Stephen asked what I did for a living. I mumbled, "A writer."
"A writer?!" He snatched a napkin off the bar and plucked a pen from his pocket. "I don't believe you. Write something."
I smirked, grabbed the pen and scrawled out, "His eyes were stone. Sadness. Yet a spark rose from the ashes with a sudden burst of lust that was likely to drive a man mad. He eyed me as he ran his fingers gently back and forth across the stubble on his chin. His mouth was slightly open, his lips plump and soft, with a glint as though he had just ran his tongue across them. He wanted something. Actually, he wanted it all. And one day he would have it."
He glared at the scribbles and said in mock surprise, “Oh no! That’s about me?! It’s good, though.” As he folded the napkin and placed it in his front pocket, we both burst into laughter and more beer was ordered.
Things were going good and pleasant until Stephen threw up. Right there at the bar. A cascading flow of pinks and yellows splattered onto the cigarette butt littered tile. The students and the bartender reprimanded him as Stephen stumbled back into the mensroom.
After a bit, the bartender snarled at me, "Go check on your friend."
I rose and when I entered the toilet, I found Stephen passed out in the urinal. After a couple of are you all rights, I succeeded in pulling the young man out. Unfortunatly, a student witnessed this and repoted this fiasco to the management. Thanks, snitchy.
The bartender behind the bar ordered the young man out. Two of the students grabbed the lanky lad and tossed him out on the street. I followed them to the curb and picked Stephen up out of the gutter, handing him his cap.
“I want to go home.” He said, wobbling.
“I’ll walk you to your bus stop.” I stated.
“This late? Not running. I need a cab.”
Thoughts of dragging this lad to my house and doing all sorts of nasty things flashed through my head. Literally using his anatomy as my own personal amusement park. But, I digress. I am not a monster. I agreed to find a taxi to take him back to South Tucson. One surly fucker stated eighty dollars and before I had time to protest, Stephen climbed into the back of the cab. I handed the smirking jerk of a driver four twenty dollar bills (all I had left), waved goodbye to Stephen and headed back home.
3:26am. I exhale a breath and look around at the still buildings where I see darkness and light. I bet most people are in bed right now sleeping or reading a book or novella while some people are on the phone, watching the television or maybe there’s a few in love couples lying beside each other carrying on a conversation while sleep beckons for them and the smile and voice of the other encourages them to continue to ignore the sleep.
I walk the long, lonely way. Nothing out on these dark streets. Not a soul. I feel the beat tide of depression consume me. I seriously do not know what to do...

Monday, July 16, 2018

i don't want to be like you


My God, this is becoming fucking unbearable and I am not being overly dramatic. I realize it has been only two weeks since I moved into my apartment, but it has been three months since I have been living in the States and that is what is irritating me. Americans…Jesus Christ you are a bunch of sulky, arrogant, foul mouthed self important assholes! That is all that I have come in contact with since I returned...and the one's who put up a front of being kind and or considerate? I see right through your fake asses. In a few years when this country is laid waste from full scale atomic annihilation, all ya'll definitely got what you deserved…
Fuck! Let me calm down. I was all set to get the fuck out of Dodge and live an exciting life in the manner I saw fit and yet I found myself tempted and seduced into choosing a life path I had so many times before mocked – an uneventful existence of debt and hate filled paranoia. I literally cannot take this shit anymore. Everyone is fucking arrogant and hostile…why? What purpose does that serve them? I realize Americans always attained a shitty reputation, but goddamn, they really are pushing the envelope. Is it because the asshole warming the Presidential chair is such a pathetic role model? Can the masses not realize that ideal of base hate is all wrong? Is the concept of common sense a dead medium?
I seriously do not know how the fuck I let myself sink this low. I definitely do not like it here and I will be damned if I remain…

Thursday, July 12, 2018

wrong side of the road


I am bursting with artistic energy at last. Spending long hours in the middle of the night at the 24hr coffee shop near my place writing out the new novel invariably titled The Algebra Of Melancholy. Here is an excerpt from the opening chapter. Young Ford Davis is hitchhiking from a small New Mexico town to find excitement and adventure from the stories he's heard of the city San Diego from a mutual friend. On the way, he is picked up by a smooth trombone player named Otis Hampton. Please keep in mind this is the first draft and will be open to much revision:


“Where’d you go, homie?” Otis Hampton’s question knocked Ford out of his revelry. Otis glanced over at the scrawny youth. He was too pretty, too delicate and fair-skinned; each of his features was shaped with a sensitive accuracy, and a girlish tenderness softened his eyes, which were brown and very large. His brown hair, cut short, was streaked with pure yellow strands. A kind of tired, imploring expression masked his thin face, and there was an unyouthful sag about his shoulders. Otis smiled.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Yeah…sure.”
“You gay?”
Ford thought. What does that have to do with anything? Is this guy homophobic? Am I gunna find myself face down in the desert on my stomach, beaten to a pulp with my underwear around one ankle turned inside out?
“Oh…uh…” Ford finally said.
“Look…I just want to give you a heads up. You one of them pretty boys with no experience in life whatsoever.” Otis Hampton took a long drag of the joint, never once diverting his eyes off the interstate ahead. “When I was younger, I played around. Had my fair share of homosexual experiences across the Great Southwest. Grew out of it, that’s all. I like pussy now. But, I remember.”
“What do you remember?” Ford asked.
“Not much. Only 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 your heart still trembles embarrassingly even with his forehead pressed against the car window, soft snores filling the silence of a lonesome car on a deserted highway. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll 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…”
Ford chewed his lip, and was silent a moment. He was crazy with questions he wanted answered, but the idea of asking them embarrassed him, for to be so ignorant of one’s own seemed shameful.
Otis Hampton shot his car into the city limits of Tucson as the sun sunk below the rocky mountain range in a fiery rupture of reds, purples, and pinks. The city spires, with lights now on, reflected the darkness of the desert surrounding it. The air was still ungodly hot and the dust choked the throat. Ford coughed as Hampton pulled into the parking lot adjacent to the Greyhound terminal.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

no sé esta vida



I can't do it. I simply can't. As Bukowski once stated concerning the extravagant apartment he was awarded by a friend to write his first book, "It's a gilded cage. A locale where I simply stare at the walls and rot as the world passionately lives around me. It's nothing but a fancy mausoleum."
I feel the same way.
I was so headstrong on relocating to South East Asia and then touring the world, writing about it, experiencing life no matter how good or exceptionally bad, I wanted it all with a mad passion. And now, I am holed up in a fancy uber-modern apartment with all the trimmings, been there less than a week, and I am already bored and mired in loathing. I took a walk along the main strip last night along Congress Avenue and down 4th - Tucson's hub of night activity, neon splashed bars and clean cafés occupied by bearded, man-bun sporting hipsters and their summer skirt wearing female dates. I felt so severed from them…like the proverbial fish out of water. Definitely a college town of mostly contented, privileged white kids. Not my cup of tea, really. They come across as so…phony. I can’t really blame them, they know of no other way of life.
Perhaps I have been living as I do for so long, I am the one who knows no other way of life. I suppose I should give Tucson a chance…stay long enough to make friends and perhaps grow roots. I mean, it is what I had secretly wanted. Right? Right? Ugh…the notion fills me with depressed horror. To become a lonely, pot-bellied gay American who wiles his middle-aged time away watching reality television and arrogantly brags to other deaf ears about his attempts to bag the homeless guy down at the Greyhound station. A life of advent paranoia and condescending abhorrence.
Speaking of paranoia, the foremost reason I do not wish to remain in the states is the current political climate. How dire it has become. A functioning police state on the verge of totalitarian control. I simply do not wish to remain on this soil when the trap finally snaps shut.
So, here we go again. I will assemble plans to leave the turn of the year. As I previously mentioned, I have begun to pen another novel, so that will occupy my time. Also, I have some personal matters to tie up and quite frankly, I don’t want to be in a rush and botch this up unlike last time…and the time before that…and the time...oh, you get the picture.

Monday, July 02, 2018

all good things


And so, fate it seems have thrown me a smile. For uncounted years I have dwelled in sorrow and confusion at what this life of mine was supposed to be about. Then again, perhaps it was supposed to be about nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed most of it. Though I find myself cringing when I hear someone remark “Oh, your life is so exciting, I wish I could live like you.” I invariably shake my head in shame and answer, “No. No you don’t.”
Well, my original plan was to remain here briefly in Tucson and prepare for my eventual sojourn to South East Asia, but in the middle of last week, I was notified that my name had come up on a waiting list for these uber swanky modern apartments I had apparently signed up for as far back as 2012. I had completely forgotten all about it. Since traveling is in my blood and I had done my fair share the past few decades, honestly, I was becoming burned out on it. Internally, I secretly desired a stable home I could reside in the remainder of my years. Honestly, I thought I would never achieve that dream and was destined to traverse this world as a homeless phantom writing about my misery and trails for your enjoyment. I moved into said apartment yesterday. It is over. I will attempt to retain this place the rest of my days. It will be my home. Home. I really do enjoy saying that.
And what of this blog? It was began as an exercise to unleash all the horrors I dealt with on a daily basis, to vent the strange and unusual out of my spinning head. That, too, it seems is over. I don’t know if I am going to continue to write here any longer. All good things come to an end and it has reached the terminus point.
I would like to thank all the readers over the years for hanging on and tolerating this travesty I waywardly endured, nevertheless I am tired, both mentally and physically. It is time to stop.
Thank you and see you down the road...