Epitaph by Bill Marlin

June 19, 2012

This was written years ago by my adopted Father Bill Marlin who died on this date 3 years ago. RIP

Epitaph

If I can make your

light brighter

then let that be my

benediction

in this

walk

trot

run

walk

which I pass.


Chronic Chronicler Disorder

March 9, 2012

Dr Arkmahlk said I was “a chronic chronicler”

Deciphering my voice tones and transcribing my scribblings with determined fury seeking the cure or at least a treatment to

Coherently present me in a way I could pass for human.

 

I’ve tried the walk –right foot first at a 45-degree angle followed by the left foot at a 27-degree angle outward.

 

I’ve tried the talk- “I was reading in GQ today that  . . .” “I going to get my drink on tonight.”, “How about them Eagles?”

 

I’ve tried the career- top advertising executive in the firm making over 100 grand a year

 

I’ve tried the house- a beautiful townhouse in the best neighborhood

 

I’ve tried the car- classic 1969 black Mustang fully restored and my blue BMW

 

I’ve tried the wife- beautiful, charming trophy

 

 

THE LOOK-

 

I’ve tried the clothes- tan or black John Varvatos khakis and Brooks Brothers Chinos, Gucci horsefit loafers, argyle socks, colorfully striped Fred Perry Polo shirts or eModa plain, plaid and “revival” button up shirts, and Barney’s vintage leather jackets.

 

I’ve tired the haircut- closely cropped on the sides and the slightly longer messed spiked hair on top with Enpir brand moisturizing hair gel.

 

I’ve tried the shave – I shaved every other day to keep the slight 5 o’clock shadow look with short trimmed sideburns.

 

I’ve tried the teeth- professionally whitened by the best dentists

 

I’VE TRIED

 

“Look Doc. I can’t pull this off. I’m an alien to this world and I’ll always be this way. I am not human.” I said.

 

I sat there with my long unrushed knotted hair, long gray beard, rotting yellow teeth, wearing 2nd hand clothes- t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, unemployed, divorced, no car, no friends and no connection to the human race.

 

“If this is true you realize that despite Doctor patient confidentiality, I have to report you to the authorities and they will revoke your citizenship to the human race. You will be sent away to an Alienation National Hospital for the Socially Challenged. There, depending on how bad your condition has become, you will be subjected to the constant hammering of your creative instincts and eventually create your own new world or unfortunately, become a casualty like 86.45 % of the patients there to the final escape- non-conformist rejection and Alien alienation to the point where there is nothing or no one left to chronicle. Not even you. You’ll be a shell of instinctual fortitude existing only in your own actions.” Dr Arkmahlk said.

 

“Any advice then Doc?” I asked my last question to anyone ever.

 

“Yes. Take 2 of these and you won’t call me in the morning.” He said handing me the cyanide pills.

 

The last thing I thought was what my grand father used to say to me at bedtime “Good night Irene you jelly bean.”


Uglytown -A Poem

January 20, 2012

 

Ugly people making

An Ugly neighborhood

Uglytown

Someone tapped y head walking the neighborhood

He made an uglier face than

He already had and ran ahead of me.

I was scared for my life, wife and money

 

We were together

My new wife and

My Best friend

Shopping on the border of

My ugly town

Uglytown

With ugly people

 

I spot Marie

Walking with a younger

Handsome me

She waves to me

From outside the store

 

I tell my girl who knows her

And we go outside while

Marie is inside another store

On the border of

Ugly town

Uglytown

 

We meet up with Marie who is with 2 older

Heavy men, one older I find out

One younger version of the older

Looking inbred and dirty

Assuming one of them is Marie’s boyfriend

 

We made a wrong turn and almost ended up

In ugly town, my town, my home.

Uglytown

 

We were at a restaurant of some sort in a mall

A mall with a view of an ugly town, my ugly town

Uglytown and

It’s ugly people

It was me, myself, my girlfriend with no name,

My best friend with no name, Marie, the guy

I thought was her new boyfriend and

 

What or who looked like her boyfriend’s father

It occurred to me that the older guy whose scraggly hair and beard kept growing and getting grayer might be her boyfriend

 

The film crew was set up and a new arrival besides the crew said

“Action”

The show officially started as we suddenly found things to talk about as if I knew my lines for a film or TV show I had no idea I was part of. I looked at my girlfriend and she stayed in character

Asking what the inbred dirty redneck friends of Marie do for a living.

 

I knew my friend and girlfriend were waiting for an answer hoping

The answer was something I could do and get me in a real job

The younger guy who was touching Marie said

They started a business installing lights or something similar.

I was going to ask him more and out table got distracted

By a fight breaking our down below in the food court

 

Children fighting children

Ugly children fighting

Pretty children and

In between children fighting

Pretty children fighting ugly children

In an ugly town, my Uglytown

Uglytown

The war has begun

I woke up

 

I went outside and lit a cigarette

I heard gunshots

I saw police lights in the distance of the ugly town

My ugly town

My ugly home

Uglytown

 

I heard the voice on a megaphone

Telling someone to drop the gun

I finished my cigarette

Business as usual on a Thursday night

Back to my

Safe little room

Escaped in a book

 

Oh ugly town, oh Uglytown

I’ll miss you one day

Uglytown

 


Smith, Burroughs, Curtis, Scarface and Shepherd

December 23, 2011

This story starts early on a Sunday morning. A couple of friends and myself took a ride to West Philadelphia to the last residence of our closest departed friends, Marcus. Our mission was to gather his belongings and get them out of the house. Since our one friend was in a hurry we didn’t have time to go through everything. When we arrived Marcus’s friend who rented the room to him greeted us and had all of his belongings packed randomly in milk crates.

Let me back up. My story concerning Marcus started a week before he died. Once my “childhood” (in my mid-20s) hero, Marcus turned me on to many authors, poets, music and some films that I may not have found without him. He was my Shaman and friend and I devoured a lot of his interests. He had bee in and out of hospitals this year and ended up in a nursing home to care for his final ailment, celulosis. I visited for the last time (unknown to me while visiting) a little over 2 weeks before he passed away. We talked on the phone a few times the week before he died.

For some reason I started reading poetry that he loved out of the blue, authors like Arthur Rimbaud, Walt Whitman, Allan Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Jim Caroll and William Blake. It wasn’t a conscious effort. I was writing poetry and devoured the greats that Marcus turned me onto. For some reason I actually understood the poetry for the first time. I even mentioned this to Marcus when he was lucid and not in pain, over the phone.

The day before he died I started a poem about him because he deserved one for his accomplishments and his contribution to the world. November 10th I found out Marcus died from blood pressure and heart complications, I felt as though he jumped inside of me that day. “ghosts crowd the child’s fragile eggshell mind” to quote Jim Morrison who claims to have had dying Indians’ spirits he witnessed as a child jump into him. He stuck with that story until he died mysteriously in Paris, France in 1971. I felt Marcus in me for a at least a week or so. The extreme presence has faded but part of him remains in me.

The week of his service I was reading Arthur Rimbaud’s biography and discovered that Rimbaud also died on November 10th, 1991, 120 years before to the date. How appropriate I thought. I told his friends that knew his love for Rimbaud and they all agreed that it was some kind of spirits working there.

So, my 2 friends and me are at Marcus’s last house, his last home before the hospitals trying to avoid the temptation of going through his stuff and loading it into the car. I did manage to take a few minutes to throw together a crate of books and cds for myself. I tried to go through more while we were driving but I was in the blind spot of the car so I had to wait. I’m still waiting but in no hurry because I have months of books to read and cds to listen to.

I am.

The very afternoon I came home I started reading Patti Smith’s autobiography/ Robert Mapplethorpe’s biography written by Smith called Just Kids. Patti was in the top 5 of Marcus’s favorite performers, poet/lyricists and both he and other friend mentioned how great of a read it is. I have been obsessed with it.

Another related side story. My love for Patti Smith, like the majority of my sub cultural loves, have come from Marcus. I listened to her tender and abrasive mix of songs, the spiritual punk rock Queen. Marcus used the line “the sacred and the profane” to describe her, stolen from her own words at a show or interview. I had heard her on vinyl, tapes and cds. Watched video of her, seen endless photos of her. I found out she went to high school, a grade between, my biological mother and my aunt in Deptford, NJ. I had never seen her.

One cold December night in 1995, while living with Marcus, I passed on the opportunity to see not only Patti Smith but legend Bob Dylan at the greatest and at oldest (it has moved but still the same vibe from what I’ve heard) Philadelphia venues, the Electric Factory. I was in my depressive, isolation mode at the time. Sometimes I would create some original art in these modes and I felt this was one of those nights. Marcus felt different. He bugged and pestered me to go with him, he would pay for my ticket (I had no money and he had money back then), It will be one of the greatest experiences of my life. I fought for my right to pout and stay home.

He left. I was relieved. The thought did cross my mind when he and my other roommate went to see David Bowie on his Spider tour with Nine Inch Nails and I regret missing that one. I’ve seen both bands before but it was a different show. Marcus wasn’t even gone an hour and he came back home and burst in my room.

“I am not going to let you miss this one time event, possible the event of your life. I bought you ticket and you’re going back with me.” He said.

I was guilted into one of the best and the most spiritual rock n roll shows I have ever experienced. Patti was first. Marcus made sure we were almost front row. I can’t recall the exact set list but she lived up to her “sacred and profane” performance and lyrics. The deafening speakers in our ears, the crowds cheering all became distant sounds as I became one with Patti Smith, with Marcus, with God. I was disappointed when it was over, walking to the back of the Electric Factory when the more than legendary Bob Dylan hit the stage. I’ve had an on and off love for Bob Dylan and his music. Patti blew me away and the several times I’ve seen her since.

Reading Patti Smith’s stories of New York and her relationship with the controversial artist Robert Maplethorpe almost mirrors my own memories of Marcus and I, Patti and I, art and I, God and I. I can’t stop thinking about Marcus because of our mutual connection.

In 1996 or 97, Marcus and a couple other friends went to a record store for Patti Smith’s book signing. Marcus had been into drawing his favorite writers and rock stars on t-shirts with markers or Sharpies to wear and show off his art, Patti Smith, Keith Richards, Marc Bolan, Walt Whitman, and his personal favorite Jean Genet. Knowing that Genet was Patti Smith’s favorite writer, he brought it to the signing, to show her (I thought because it was his favorite shirt). When it was his turn to talk to her get the book signed he gave her the Genet t-shirt and told her he made it for her. A mountainous sacrifice for Marcus to part with that shirt with his painstaking time consuming beautiful art covering the front. When it was my turn I told her that my mother went to high school with her. She shot me a dirty look and said “oh yeah?” I was speechless and grabbed my copy of her poetry book signed and followed Marcus, giddy as a young artist showing his first work to his teacher. I left pissed at Patti Smith for a while but got over it when I thought of how stupid what I said was or could have been interpreted.

To the last time I saw him, he swears that she wore it on stage at a show he attended. He was so proud. I missed that show. Oh well.

A few nights ago I had a dream about William S Buroughs, one of my favorite writers Marcus had introduced me to. It’s a recurring dream I’ve had for over 10 years where I have conversations with Burroughs or I am chasing him down at a convention of some sort. The next day I read about Patti Smith having a dream about William S Burroughs, one of her mentors, and then actually meeting him the next day. This blew my mind. I knew it was Marcus at work inside me.

The next day I went to Social Services in Camden, NJ. In the waiting room there are clothes for people to take. It’s mostly women’s clothes so I never bothered looking. This day there were 3 boxes of books. I didn’t expect much besides best sellers that I wouldn’t read. First I spotted a Howard Stern Book I already own. Then an AC DC biography I grabbed and put to the side. Like it came down from heaven I spotted the name Jackie Curtis on the spine of one of the books. I grabbed it so fast and gave up on the AC DC one, knowing I might not read it with all of the books I’ve been acquiring. I’ve always owning beyond my reading capability. It started with my comic collection. I had to read everyone I owned. The book was called Superstar in a Housedress: the Life and Legend of Jackie Curtis. Jackie was one of the early Andy Warhol’s drag actors. There was Candy Darling, Holy Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis. You might know the names from the Lou Reed song Take A Walk On The Wild Side. He mentions them all by first name. The book came with a dvd documentary about Jackie Curtis. Once again I knew Marcus had something to do with it being my only friend that knows who Jackie Curtis is and my fascination with over the top drag queens. My favorite was Divine from the many John Waters’ films.

I was feeling sick all day so when I came home I relaxed and watched the documentary. I loved it. I learned a lot about the actor, the writer, the poet, the addict and the superstar by the name of Jackie Curtis.

I was looking for another movie to watch after the documentary. For some reason I watched Scarface, not having seen it in years. I figured after watching a documentary about an artistic genius drag queen superstar I needed to even it out with a movie about a Cuban druglord. I usually watch the featurettes and extras when I am finished. I did. The featurette made references to the original Howard Hawks’ Scarface movie from the 1930’s and the phrase “the world is yours” was used in both versions of Scarface.

After dreaming about transvestites, fame, writing, Patti Smith and Tony Montana, I awoke confused, groggy yet awake and ready for the day. “The World is Yours.” rang in the back of my mind. My morning rituals, when I don’t have to rush off anywhere, are to find some decent light music to listen to, drink coffee, write and read, alternating the reading and writing. I even alternate which novel, prose or poetry I write and the books I read. The Patti Smith biography, Just Kids has been winning out as my reading choice more and more.

I came upon the part of Patti and Robert’s life where they are living at the famous worn down Chelsea hotel in New York, home to celebrities (underground, big names and has-beens), junkies, prostitutes and everyone in between. They get in with the Andy Warhol crowd slowly by showing up every night at Max’s Kansas City another celebrity haunt. Patti meets Jackie Curtis and is asked to be in her latest avant-garde play called Femme Fatale playing a male role, playing opposite sex roles was common and almost mandatory in a Jackie Curtis production. Marcus at work again, I thought after reading this. My mind was blown further when I read a comparison of a neon sign Patti and Robert were looking at to a scene in “Howard Hawks’ movie Scarface where Paul Muni and his girl are looking out the window at a neon sign that said The World is Yours.”

I used to think Marcus was full of shit when he would tell me of his visions and special stories or that they only happened to him Now they are happening to me with Marcus there every step. I’m not the only one.

A few of his closest friends and even those connected with him from a distance are feeling his power, his life, and his soul. Some are in the form of lucid yet surreal recurring dreams while others actually see and feel him while conscious.

In life he wanted to be famous, to be remembered. In death he’s keeping his dream alive. He knows if he comes to me I will write about him and keep him alive.


Don’t – a Spoken Word Poem Video

June 16, 2010


No Guilt for Fate

June 6, 2010

Fate. God’s Will. What is meant to be is to be. Call it what you want but I believe things happen for a reason. I believe in this more and more every day. Everything that has happened in my life has lead me to who I am now. For better or for worse depending on the day and my spiritual condition or mood. It’s all about today for me, today.

I don’t have any regrets of my past and what I have done or haven’t done. It is what it is. I try to make the best of each moment and when I’m down I just ride it out and it goes away eventually.

My recent unfair job loss has freed my mind up a bit. For now. I’m in a position to move on creatively and try to improve the quality of life for myself. By losing my “job” I got to thinking about what I really want to do. I’ve known it for a long time now but I want to write. I want to write and make a living off of writing stories, novels and poetry. I might get sidetracked here and there but I know deep in my heart what I want to do. What I’m good at.

Recently (but before I lost my job), I wanted to recreate myself as an artist. I’ve been toning things done a little here and there. I created a new blog page online to help promote me as a writer. I was going ot only post the less offensive writings. I’ve been holding back on my online social networking pages as well because family and people I know casually are on there. You know what? I don’t care anymore. To quote the great Popeye “I am what I am”. I did what I did.

I was worried about future employers googling my name and finding out about the xxx movies I’ve made, the serial killer songs I’ve written, recorded and performed, the sexual or offensive stories I’ve written and the “sick” drawings I’ve done. At one point I was considering deleting everything I could off of the internet. That’s impossible. I did what I did. Some things I’m proud of and some things I’m not but it all contributed to making me who I am today. It’s all part of who I am. People will see it and choose if they like it or not from there.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am perverted, dark, and weird. They also know that I am a decent person that doesn’t revolve my life around my darkness or perversions. There is another side to me.

It took another loss of a meaningless “job” to open my eyes to see who I am again. To quote Patti Smith “I am an American artist and I have no guilt”.

Today I will either create something perverted, dark, or light and funny. Whatever it is I am on a mission to constantly create no matter what anyone else thinks or says about it. Amen.


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