July fried dried and laid to the side
July 2016– “Life’s contentment is like an abstract edifice with a domed ceiling of insanity” ― Munia Khan
(Title-unknown detail canvas Vincent Quatroche Sr. Circa 1950)
Muted phone ringing from the shower nozzle
announcing her flat tire in the Doctor’s Office
for a routine visit parking lot ordeal.
I was all wet and
failed to hear the distress beacon.
Meanwhile her Daughter struggled
with an important message and remember
her mother’s name.
I was never informed.
I was only taking orders.
Releasing the proper identification code
Triple A was dispatched and was in route.
When I arrived at work
Mental health was waiting
with a videographer who wanted me
to talk off the top of my head about
involvement in the arts being a bridge
between sanity and the local homeless
populations struggle for employment,
rural reality with an urban contextual equilibrium
and intellectual/spiritual community based identity
supported in a half-way house residential setting.
After the camera stopped rolling
he pulled me aside
reassuring me that the independent film
project was still a go, my role in it assured
and no it wasn’t my fault the
leading man had gone insane last Fall.
The balance of the rest of the work day
operated within normal parameters.
The general population of the incarcerated
wanted no part of my services. Multiple refusals.
Only Mr. Clutter elected to be escorted by the guard
from Pod B to my basement facility to continue work
pursuing his goal of obtaining GED and compose poetry.
Driving back home in the late July
sunshine I experienced a rather unsettling
vague sixty mile an hour accelerated confinement
and isolation from everything Summer was
except through the concurrent
concrete ribbon sentence appearing
in my windshield like asphalt cell bars.
Mid afternoon I went to the bank
withdrew a large sum of money.
Seven new crisp one hundred dollar bills,
with enhanced security threads
and holograms to discourage forgery and a loan
dirty, limp, crinkled, worn, tired gray lettuce
tinted fifty with Ulysses S Grant scowling.
I immediately turned over this amount
representing half of the nearly bankrupt nation’s
economic stimulus stipend to all citizens
to my daughter’s mother in hopes the disappointment
of the mornings amnesia would be forgotten.
She took the money out of my hand.
Remarked she needed new tires for her car.
The phone was ranging again.
This time it was dry.
I hear it distinctly
I was at the sink practicing
my best Prufrock imitation
carefully counting spoonfuls
while making coffee.
It was him.
The son of a great brilliant Jazz musician
presently composing infinity.
I had listened to his old man’s music my entire adult life.
His son wanted to talk.
I was glad to hear from him.
It had been a long time.
However he was in an extremely agitated mood
His voice exploded in the phone.
Didn’t I know about the fuel cells that were methane based, people building cars with toilet bowls in the driver’s seat, Hydrogen on demand, the mutant killer seaweed of doom that was choking the oceans, the hand sake between Prescott Bush and Hitler and J. Edgar Hoover’s head mounted on a turtle’s shell draped with a pink lace pinafore ?
The government’s new Active Denial System Ray Gun,(Actually I did know about that one, the only problem was you had to catch your enemies in tin foil hats), what about his abacus beaded with skulls ?
Had I seen Raw Man around anywhere lately ?
What about Columbus signing off on a deal with Spain to buy all the souls in the new world before we even got here, that all our hearts need to beat with a hedgehog’s intensity to increase the amount of compassion in the world, we had the memory span of goldfish, we better start learning to float in our imaginations like porcupines, stop breaking all the octopuses’ hearts while remembering that ants don’t sleep. Armadillos can house broken. It just takes time and patience. As the icebergs are melting, they are making a fizzing sound. Betsy Ross was born with a full set of teeth.
I was lost. Grappling with the meaning of it all. It was no use. And then he said….
And of course….What about all the Blue-eyed Macaroni !?!
And last. I understood and calmly replied….O….now your talking the Four Horseman of the Semolina.
Finally we had found common ground. The conversation ended on a positive and friendly note with his request I contribute an essay to a new project of his addressing a post-modern socio-political perspective comparing the Chicago based artist Dwight Kalb who had created a statue on Madonna out of 180 pounds of ham and the Greek Painter Zeuxis from the 5th century who it is alleged literally laughed himself to death.
It was approaching supper time.
Ill relevant to me as I was fasting that day.
Went to the Supper Market in observance.
Had my favorite Cashier de jour scan my bag of ice
while discussing people who peeled their bananas
to eat stark naked discarding nature’s perfectly designed napkin.
She referred to me as dear, handed me my change.
Before I went back to work
I stopped in at the house
to find her car parked in the driveway
with three new tires and one worn defective
thread bare one that had been left on for
I went up to the University
to finally work with an electronic device
that could keep up with me.
I reproduced hundreds of copies
of lessons needed to start the semester
the following month.
The place was deserted.
I was the only one working this time of year
at this time of night.
Completing my task
I discarded everything in the recycle bin.
After all I had done all this before
and if I was lucky
would be able to again.
What better way to insure the possibility?
Now the sun was really setting on this July Abstraction
in great sideway shafts of yellow light.
I found myself with great thirst.
Drove straight down to the Dive.
Discussed baseball with the bartender.
We agreed in principle that 3.25 million
dollars was reasonable for a middle aged
middle infielder batting somewhere in the mid 250s.
I produced my notebook.
Two young tough looking barflies
started complaining about their warm beer to the bartender.
I took note of this.
One of the guys glanced over in my direction
And sneered, “ And just what in hell are you writing ?….”
I glared back at him over my sunglasses and with a bright menacing grin retorted…
“My Doctor thinks it’s a good Idea if I write…”
They tipped and left.
Just then a trio of young Harlots saunter in the bar expressly ignoring me as I wrote
as the old man I had become which might have been true enough
but I sat there ablaze in the sunset glare from the windows resplendent in
the glow of a July abstraction diminishing me however, but now I could clearly hear
the orange and red disappearing ball of molten flame ringing in my name.
-08/08 – The Terrible Now
July is sneaky fast- Traditional post for the half way point for the boys of Summer.
The All Star Game
(audio version- )
(for Ted Williams)
Summer’s clock is all time great passing.
July sneaky fast
will not be in the line-up tonight.
The disabled list
of the terrible now.
Besides that view
from the dugout is fine
and as close as
you can get to it from here.
June is out.
Won’t be back this season.
August is on deck.
Rubs dirt on his hands.
Take a few practice swings.
They all dream of October.
But wonder who will be left
around to see her.
They know this game.
Once your out…
Time has no extra innings here in the ballpark earth.
The Umpires name is…
So there is the sound of the faceless throng
roaring twilight shrouds of dusk and down the power alleys.
You make the call on the curves of youth’s shoulders.
All her tight brown curls laid out infield triangle like.
Do you remember the summer you polished that diamond?
All-star game tonight.
Summer’s clock is all time great passing.
-Attitude House 2001
Just so much Space
You can move only so far
I’m told in a very small space
Most human skulls are about
Just under 2 feet by a ft & a half
Yet they contain everything single
Perception one can fathom
In a life time about the universe.
So that world between your ears
Can be as wide or narrow as
You make it.
Shrink or expand
Exclude or include.
But I would advise you
To take care with the dimensions
You will ultimately design in there.
Because that is all
You are going to take with you.
His Yellow Tonka Truck
(Attributed to Matt H)
Outside of the bar that evening
After discussing guns and booze
And I just didn’t have the heart to tell him
Playing so contently in his sand box
With his yellow Tonka truck
That someday he was going to
Have to deal with women.
Herman Munster was an artist.
He loved the strange sounds of words
And how meaning could jump the tracks
From children’s books to surrealistic art.
So the TV monster based upon Shelly’s nightmare
Found notoriety and fame as being the
GD nicest fiend on the block
Who like to phrase his delivery
In the cadence of his mom.
Fighting back with Art
Wishes always it seems
Have to take a back seat in some cab
While nightmares ride first class
Like a holiday heart attack
That happens in front of the kids
On the Thru-way
Headed out to see the fireworks
And the numbness will continue
Till the awareness shows up.
Duck Dvorak Duck !
July early evening
After a stunning warm
Summer day with a brilliant blue
Sky without a memory of a cloud
In the world.
In reflection while the radio plays
Dvorak thinking over all the swings
And misses that fate has taken at you
Over the years.
Best take care before you
Grin and smirk…
You can trust me on this one.
Is always just now
And headed straight at you.
So it perhaps might be
A bit premature to request
Fate at the piano to play
I’m just a lucky so and so.
-Sometimes Grief 2012
July 4th afternoon
The grill is on
And it’s been beer after beer after beer after beer.
Old dogs and their cheese burger bitches
Barbecue those oldies on the radio
While they lurch looking at the
Bottom of a bottle holiday
They regale some illusion of
Freedom, youth or lucidity
Your pick there
But the blue veins in stubby cut offs
Resound in male pattern baldness
Beer guts and semi-congenial
While in the kitchen
Fat broads blather gossip
And shoot dirty looks
In the direction toward the only
one of them there
who still has her figure
and a history.
They all secretly envy.
-Got Abstract ? 2014