Run

June 26, 2012

 

I offer you my chair

My invisible chair

I offer you my pillow

My invisible pillow

I give you my heart

My invisible heart

 

You take it and run, run, run far away

Levitate, meditate and run

Playing checkers and run

Watching TV and run

Run

 

I offer you my sunlight

Moonlight too

Invisible sun and moon

I offer you my organs

Before I even die

Invisible organs

 

You take them and run, run, run far, far away from me

Lactate, eviscerate and run

Playing solitaire and run

Watching Foreign films and run, run, run

Run

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Drag Drag Drag and on

June 13, 2012

Drag drag drag myself out of the warm covers in the freezing bedroom on a hot muggy day that I don’t don’t don’t want to face just yet. Groggy from all of the action my mind had while I was sleeping. Sleeping can be so tiring sometimes. The memories of my activities fade with each move I make out of the bed and towards the bathroom to release a night full of liquid. Groggy I stumble back in my room to try and pray to my God not yours although they may have met at some Deity convention we don’t know about. I smoke and wonder what would Jesus do if he had these habits of smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. My muzzled pounding thoughts expire to endless words spewing and I have no control. It makes no sense to be this tired and unmotivated and think so fast and too much. Even my God cannot quiet my insides.


Any Dream – A POEM

June 10, 2012

Any dream left untold is like a dream left unsold

Marketed to the next available reader, listener

Therapist, Psychologist or friend

I never meant to be like this a voice tells me remembering or not

Another voice says cheese taste much better fresh from the deli

It’s a shame you’re allergic to shellfish and not selfish.

Boogity. Boogity. Boo.

The brakes slam. The air bag deploys and everyone flees the scene of my dream except me

All alone to deal with consequences  of constituencies of someone’s actions and I don’t know who.

My oh my what a wonderful day

Plenty of fish coming my way

“Eat up” you tell me “ It might be your last meal”

I am reminded of the days I have left so I count the days I have left behind me. Love is losing. Succeeding is failing. Fame and glory is poverty and anonymity

I know because I count the days I have left behind me.

I pay attention to some things Pigboy so crawls back in your mud

You have lived nothing but pain. I’ve seen beyond the rain. I’ve danced in sunshine and I may not be where anyone wants me to be including me but I have days to count of the past when and where I was happy. It brings a smile and a tear but I was something and I never know what’s down the line to tow.

Give me back my dreams.

Any dream will do.


Angel Train and a Cup of Joe

March 16, 2012

Sometimes I think she’s the prettiest girl alive. She might be. She certainly is to her boyfriend (I hope). Long black hair. Big brown eyes. Petite and well proportioned. I’ve never had a real life conversation with her. I haven’t even physically seen her in a couple of years. I rarely see her post on facebook. I rarely think about her. This has little to do with my story except it’s about her. Carmella or Bailey. The 2 names I’ve assigned to her for anonymity sake. She is still my guardian angel. I only have interactions in my dreams and they are not always significant either. She’s in my life and subconscious for a reason.

 

Her face was the last one I saw before my alarm went off at 7 am this morning. I woke up with a smile. The thought of her always gives me a smile. My dreams of her always give me a smile. Maybe I should think of her more so I smile more.

 

The dream wasn’t anything out there or cosmic. It was a dream of hanging out with a bunch of friends after an unrelated dream. Half of the friends I knew and half I didn’t. Only Joe, Brian and Seth were actual real friends from real life. The rest were acquaintances and people I’ve seen before like Bailey who I choose to call my guardian angel. We were all riding a train going ot an event of some kind. A concert, a parade, a convention. It was some event I normally wouldn’t go to and ride a train to. I was hanging mostly with Joe. He was out of character. Not at first.

 

Joe was his usual self drinking a coffee and letting me talk when I spotted Bailey. I wanted to point her out to him because I’ve talked to him more than anyone about her. He seemed too distracted by the people and the good time and tuned me out. This wasn’t the unusual part. Just as I was trying to tell him about my guardian angel personified he chugged a 5 hour energy drink and as we got off the train Joe ran off into the distance forcing me back in the crowd next to Bailey and a girlfriend of hers that I have spoken to but didn’t know real well. I was forced by the crowd to exit the train next to Bailey. I told her what Joe had just done.

 

“He drank all of that coffee and a 5 hour energy drink on an empty stomach? That’s crazy. No wonder he’s running off with all of that temporary energy.” Bailey spoke to me for the first time in what I perceived as real life in my dream.

 

How did she know all of the details when I didn’t know them all? I was just overjoyed that she spoke to me and said something back to her to make her smile. She has the brightest happiest smile that made me smile more. The damned alarm went off before  could talk to her more. That’s all I wanted.

 

But still, I woke up with a smile and felt compelled to write about it. About her.

 

Is it possible to be in love with someone I don’t know? Or am I just in love with the Bailey that appears in my dreams? I’m not even sure what love is. This dream and my thoughts of her will fade within the day and it’ll probably be months before I think or dream of her again but I know she’ll be back. I wonder what this means. Then again I wonder a lot of things.


Time Travel is Not My Primary Concern Chief – THE POEM

February 21, 2012

Sickness of my psyche

Rapes my body furiously

Like a grape devouring a sunset

Exhausting my entire vessel

I am vacant and wearied

 

I run in slow motion to

The food truck of love

Careful to avoid every crack along the way

To avoid herniating my dead mother’s discs

 

Hopscotching the bricks of the city with

Carmelita as she flirts and leads me on and over to

Successive numbered city blocks until she has

Vanished permanently from my sight

I move on lost in the darkly lit city

Lost in my contemplations

 

I find my filthy white car and

I try to drive it around as people cheer me on

I leave them behind and fall asleep at the wheel

 

I wake up in my motel room and I try to wake up

And pack a weeks worth of belongings into my

Two suitcases

Panic fills my essence

 

Relief arrives in the form of Carmelita the motel maid

In my room with the manager telling me to take me time

He lifts her skirt to reveal her big pantyhose covered ass

They tell me to help them and I can stay for free

Arousal versus my need to flee

 

The sickness of my psyche


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.


Out of the Closet

December 11, 2011

When I came out it wasn’t a closet. It was a trashcan.

I’ve known for a long time what I am or I should say who I am.

I am an artist. The most precious blessing and the most horrific curse. Forsaken and trampled. Survival is rough. I must persist.

“Resistance is futile” as the Borg say on Star Trek. I cannot assimilate with this world. I am an artist. It’s not a choice. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s the way I was born. I nurture it when I’m not fighting it.

“Get a job” you say.

I have a job, thank you.

I have a job. I must create to live. To feel. Alive.

It’s my job.

Job.

I like my job but the pay sucks so far.

Writing and drawing is my life. Your career or your family is your life and art is mine. Why do you push your life on me? I never tell you to be an artist. Far from it. I say “stay away from it unless you are already wealthy.”

There were times I considered and even convinced myself I wanted to be like you. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be liked, loved and accepted. The older I get and the less I want your life the harder it is to live mine. I have no choice really.

I can’t change my skin color, my sexuality or my need to create. I guess I have to change my acceptance of you.


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