The Recluse Speaks

19 Mar

I obviously don’t update as often as I should, but I did just add some new links to recently published poems in the poetry section up above.  It’s better than getting your eyes gouged out with nail file.  Probably.


A Year is a Long Time

14 Aug

Time waits until you come to.

Obviously, I haven’t posted anything here in a long time.  Life, the bitch god, reared its ugly head and demanded of me more than I had for well over a year.  Or perhaps she was merely testing me.  Either way, I’m still here, miraculously, and I’m still writing.  Which is good, because there is work to be done.

I’m looking forward to it.

What Happened to Us?

11 Dec

I know this woman–I know many women, more than would probably admit to knowing me–the fiance of my close friend’s brother (if you were hoping for some comically drawn out web of relationships connecting me to this quite possibly imaginary woman, well, so was I) who recently commented that she wished she were on Bridal Plasty. Now this girl is twenty-two and smokin hot (not that it’s relevant to this discussion), and she not only thinks she needs plastic surgery, it sometimes seems that she’s obsessed with the idea that she needs it–in her words she “would want so much done it’s not even funny.” What. the. fuck.

Let it be known that I do not watch television. I do not own a television. I have never paid a cable television subscription bill in my life. So I had to look up this show. It’s on E!. Being on a television network that includes punctuation in its name was a big red flag to my brain. I regrettably let my fingers surf through Google to find the show’s website. Fuck flash. Right off the bat there’s the asinine auto-play trailer made possible by Adobe’s bloated, disease-ridden crappile of a platform. The voice over:

[Cue romantic engagement photos, slow tempo violins]

There’s nothing like a starting a new life with a brand new…

[Cue mainstream rock band pretending not to be; up tempo]

EVERYTHING! Sundays on E! these brides will fight each other to win the ultimate celebrity wedding and their perfect dream body.

[Footage of quarreling women fighting to have their psychiatric issues cured by letting a highly trained surgeon cut them, rather than doing it themselves like usual]

Jesus. fucking. christ.

After cleaning the vomit from my shoes, I opted to “Meet the Brides.” A comely bunch, not one of them is ugly to begin with. A few are definitely overweight, but so what? In this country–have you been out in public around here? Most people are. Almost two-thirds of them anyway. Sure, none of the women have ‘prefect’ faces (whatever the fuck that even means). So what? What part of any of that justifies what I just watched? Watch that trailer. Hear their voices. The strain, the frustration, the anger–the emotional stakes are clear. And insane. And America is tuning in (apparently) to watch them. It’s sick if you think about.

I’m not opposed to plastic surgery a priori (though I do dislike breast augmentation; I do not want to be groping the same stuff used to glue my bathtub to the wall–no, don’t write me about the difference between silicone caulks and silicone gels, that’s not the point, both are unattractive). It has its place. What bothers me is this sick obsession I see all around me with being something, rather than being. We want the perfect Hollywood face–so I’ll take two nose jobs, a lift, a little cheek lipo please! My own face isn’t good enough–yes, my mother gave it to me, and that’s why I resent her so much–give me someone else’s face because I hate looking at myself in the mirror.

You see, being is work. You have to do it every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year of your life. But being something? Playing at fantasy narratives constructed around our self-hatred? That’s easy. I am a lawyer, I am a homeowner, I am a model, I am every invented category I jerked off to as thirteen year-old in the back of a run-down movie theater, I am a beautiful fucking snowflake. Never I am. And if you aren’t, then you’re already dead. Your body just hasn’t figured it out yet.

Watching that trailer, seeing those women, hearing people hate themselves, hate being, day in and day out–it makes me weep.

I’m Thankful for Black Friday

27 Nov

Not really, but this seemed to be the common refrain that I saw in the first hours and days that followed the recent nationwide fowl binge (bonus points if you went for the tur-duck-hen hat trick).  Not that it was a surprise–I know people who were planning for Black Friday back in June.  Trampling other tightwads in the parking lot in the wee hours of an especially frigid November morning is, it seems, serious business.

Far be it from me to criticize anyone for being frugal.  Frugality is to be admired, and even aspired to.  I just don’t see how going out and spending $300 on a 44″ flat screen plasma television is being frugal, no matter how cheap that is compared to the “normal price” (hint: MSRP’s are made up numbers, they are no more normal than sale prices; discounts from MSRP are not real discounts; hell, discounts are not real discounts, there are only prices paid).  However, even that wouldn’t be so bad, except that the sheer frenzy of it is…well, creepy.

There, I said it, the whole thing is fucking creepy.  Grown men and women stampeding a Walmart to get their grubby hands on a big-screen television at “discount” prices is fucking creepy.  This is what we abandon all pretense of humanity for: the big sale.  A Black Friday sale is a sacred occurrence in American culture, a religious ritual if you will.  Participants imbibe the sacred waters (Starbucks Double Carmel Frappucioniattos) to prepare themselves, and at the appointed moment are struck by divine madness as the power of their God infuses their bodies and drives them to superhuman feats.

Welcome to America.

Workloads and Writerdom

20 Nov

My posts have been a little sparse the last two weeks.  So sue me.  I’ve been busy.  It’s not easy keeping my schedule, and if you think you could do better you’re welcome to start your own blog, write your own short stories, and give it the ol’ college try.  In the meantime I’ll be sitting here in front of my aging laptop with a bottle of gin thinking of dick jokes for my next short story.  Or maybe a poem.  Ode to a Cockmuncher.  Something like that.  Yes, I’m 12.  What of it?

Puerile jokes aside (I can’t be the only fan of Pynchon around here, can I?), my issues with workload (yes, recovering from the night before IS part of my job) have got me thinking about all that lifehacker shit (does anyone actually buy the crap in that 4-hour work week book?).  My favorite productivity aid (in theory) has always been Seinfeld’s calendar streak–you don’t want to break the streak.  If only I could be arsed to go buy a wall calendar to write a streak on…

I will continue to be sparse until after Thanksgiving.  After having given thanks for the lightening of my weekly workload I will return in prolix fashion.

Poetry man.

13 Nov

Last night I did my first poetry reading.  No, really.  I, a presumably grown man, stood up in front of a group of strangers are read structured verse sans rhymes that were (more or less) about my feelings.  The weird part is that they were well received.  Don’t take this to mean that I would denigrate the fine art of verse.  Rather, I’m denigrating those foolish enough to think they’re writing fine verse.  You know the types–they’re the overly enthusiastic ones in every creative writing class across the country.  If you’re really unlucky, their significant other is in the class with them, and they read love poems to each other.

It’s a little too much circle jerking for my tastes.  Yes, I write poems about women.  Mostly women I’ve lost.  I’d only read the poems to those women out of spite, or, if the poem is vague and disguised enough, out of some pissant irony, snickering to myself as I say mean things about them without them getting it.  Alright, my poetry’s not that petty, but it is that selfish, and the thought that I would dare think anyone else would care about it nauseates me.

So why did I do it?  Why did I read poetry to a crowd of strangers?  Fuck if I know, but I do know that I liked it.  And that’s the worst part.

Not the bar, man.

6 Nov

I am

Not because I lost $150 this week, though there is that.  Not because Community sucked this week.  It did.  I’ll harp on the 55-inch digital boob tube later though.  Today I am displeased for a reason that is far more Old World than any of that (do they even have elections back there?  I doubt it, lucky bastards).  I am displeased because the City Council has decided to close my bar.

I have had the misfortune to be geographically stationary (more or less) for the last two years.  In that two years there has been one great shining light in this pastel hell: my bar.  My bar stood as a monument to something greater than over-watered lawns and HOA approved hedges.  My bar has stood as a bulwark against the forces of nine to five button and tie, six to ten dinner and kids, with a pity screw from the wife who doesn’t want to but can’t be arsed to fight you off.  My bar has been a place of freedom.

An assault on my bar is an assault on me.  It doesn’t matter which bar is my bar; an assault on my bar is an assault on your bar (where do you think I’ll be going to drink now?).  An assault on your bar is an assault on you.  We are all in this together.