Stranger Danger

I met a strange woman

yesterday.

She wore

horned-rimmed glasses

like a whore

like a dangerous librarian

and when she spoke to me

she said things about me

that I never knew.

She paid with 50 dollars—

I couldn’t believe it

it was only a shoelace

She might as well

have only been wearing

a pair of shoes

along with her angel wing tattoos

I followed her to the beach

and she lay there

letting the sun do things to her

while the men

missed-out

like lonely trees

casting small shadows.

She could’ve been anybody

but that’s not the point.

Who was she?

I’m a dangerous man.

That’s why I don’t go out, and I don’t approach the dangerous woman.

It would be like gasoline, getting with fire

So called, “Dangerous People” are a dime a dozen, and nothing bad ever happens to them

because, they’re liked interchangeable, pocket change

lasting for hundreds of years

on the streets.

I’m like a burning hundred-dollar bill

that won’t last—

easy to kill

and that’s why,

I stay away,

from the dangerous woman.

It’s a Relief to be Loved by the Strange

F. Scott Fitzgerald

was trying to be upper-class, while writing about the upper class

to win the heart of a dream girl, who was a nightmare, who wouldn’t marry him, because she was worried, he wouldn’t make enough money.

Eventually, she went insane.

Just think about living your whole life, not being good enough, because your standard came from somebody who was crazy.

Zelda, this poem is for you.

I can’t go to a job, or enjoy a hobby

as a guy who doesn’t know very much, and isn’t sure how to act

among the worst kinds of people. You know who I’m talking about

they lecture you, use their limited knowledge to sound like experts

or, point-out something wrong in your appearance.

If you stay, you have to play along with them, like you are having a good time

but what you really want to do

is throw a drink in their face, or see if they have a plan, after they get punched.

Unfortunately, these acts will make you a pariah.

If Kanya West can become a social outcast

at the pinnacle of fame, social scorn can happen to anybody.

I always feel like I’m giving up too much

to try to fit in,

and

many are given lee-way, to act like fools.

What about them?

They talk endlessly about reality TV, relationships, money, where they are going to live, countries they have been to, their education, careers, and incompetent husbands.

They live empty lives, and need to fill them with gossip to get through their tarnished days, without sparkle.

It isn’t what you do, that matters, but how you do it—a fresh way to approach dull situations.

The world looks like a flea circus to me, and doing strange acrobatics, won’t make you less of a flea.

However, I want to write the Great American Novel—and it may take me 20 years, or 20 days—that is the gamble—the not knowing—that makes life worth living.

The goldfish watches people from his glass prison and wants to walk, but it will take him billions of years to do this, and then the five-year-old boy, on a whim, cooks him in the microwave, and he sprouts legs, in 20 seconds.

Whenever I go somewhere, I have to become something, to deal with the realities. If I am only me, I feel like an empty vessel, tossed by the winds of absurdity. At church, I am a cult-leader. At work, I am a prophet or a healer. When I am with people, I want to understand them. What makes them tick? Are they a broken clock, that tells the right time twice a day, or do they tell perfect time, all the time?

I cannot enjoy life, without writing about it. It’s too disappointing—too boring—too horrifying, all on its own. No—I must become a reporter. I might go to a murder, describe the stab scene—the artistry of the crime. Perhaps, the man who got away with it, used creativity, but that’s the exception. Most murders, like everyday life, don’t involve much thinking. They happen in a fit of rage, in 30 seconds, or less.

As a reporter, the worst situations become interesting. People aren’t paying attention, and the reporter must listen and watch for something to write down. Narcissists who talk endlessly about themselves are excellent characters for novels.

I can’t pay money to go dancing, because all dancing is—is a way for a man to get with a woman. I don’t enjoy walking in patterns on the floor to music, but someone could just as easily say, “I don’t like golfing, because all golfing is—is putting a ball in a hole.”

Nature does that to reproduce, I guess.

It’s best not to think too much about nature. Otherwise, futility sets in, like a cold or a hang-over, and the desire not to move is real. Writing meets many of my needs: entertainment, escape, pain relief, and a free psychiatrist.

I met a guy for lunch the other day. He had a good heart, but he was lonely. Many years ago, I realized people can’t solve my loneliness. It seems logical, that if you spend time with others, you will belong to them, but more often than not, this only increases your distance. No amount of conversation will bring you together. I gave this guy advice, without being an asshole, but he wasn’t ready to listen. It’s easy to give up on people when you are in the desert, but I don’t—there are grains of sand there, that are good friends. Sometimes, the absurd winds blow in your direction.

“I’ve always attracted dysfunctional people,” my dad said.

“Me too. Like attracts Like. It’s okay to be strange. It only hurts you, if you don’t know who you are. Being accepted by perfect people is no great thing. In fact, they are often the nastiest people under the sun. It’s a relief to be loved by the strange.”

“Cheers to that,” my dad said.

Holding My Breath on my Best Day  

I catch the girls

stealing looks,

in their hiked-up jean shorts.

They won’t last

forever

and they won’t stare at me

unless I have the perfect body.

Humanity

doesn’t care about itself

It only wants to make more

of itself—

that anonymous thunder

and flash of genius

on the interstate

where the cars pile-up

in single file lines, like coffins of steel

in the rain.

My body doesn’t obey me, at 35

what will it do, at 72

die?

It’s hot

the girls get younger.

Maybe,

if I can put my life in order

I can understand it, but

a life equation, is not what I want

it need only be

a symphony—

magical music, among the droning hum

of dump-trucks and traffic.

The feeling

of being

above it,

like a small plane, above a big city

doing acrobatics

wearing a starched polo shirt, with the perfect golf swing

and sunglasses,

feeling

that I am writing thoughts

that will give birth

to the next American Novel.

Men at work, exist

unfocused

with nothing to focus on

but the end of the day

in pursuit

of what they don’t want

their dreams

above the clouds

dirt, is where they belong

where they go, when they die

and

only for a moment, are they young

able

to touch the sky.

The fat man

I have known

since I was five

waters his yellow daffodils

on his green lawn.

Is this, the good life?

Nobody admits, they quit

but the day they decide, is the day they remember…

“What was the best day of your life?” 

“Freshman year in high school—when I placed fourth in the State golf tournament,” my friend said.

“That was 20 years ago.”

“It was a good day.”

“You mean to say, all this time, you haven’t had a day like that?”

“Yeah.”

So, I challenge you

to live each day, like it will be your best day

or don’t.

When I am close to breathing my last

I will hold my breath

to break the record

I set

when I was young.

Where are the survivors?

I walked into the grocery store

and the baggers, the clerks, and the customers

didn’t look like they could survive for 24 hours in the Alaskan Wilderness.

You know it, just by looking at them—dead stares, hair that grows everywhere, fat clinging to their bones, like garbage bags.

Even with a survival kit, they wouldn’t know how to boil water.

There is something missing in humanity. I don’t know what it is. They are passive.

I was talking to my dad, yesterday, and I suggested the survival diet as a reality TV show.

“Fat people are put on small islands, and watched. There are coconut trees and crawdads to eat. It’s like Castaway. They have nobody to talk to. The person who stays on the island the longest, is the winner. A doctor could give them weekly check-ups. Fast Food boats would arrive and offer KFC, McDonalds, and Burger King, but they would need to refuse, or forfeit the game. How long would they stay on the island?” I asked.

“Not even a month. People love food, more than they love religion.”

“Is that why people don’t fast?”

“Probably. Look at them. You can tell they’re spiritually sick. They haven’t missed a meal since the microwave was invented.”

“On the flip-side, people do die. It happens quickly.

Making sense of it all, has much to do with what they loved

or who they loved.

A hero’s death is worth it.

Being a teenage heart-throb, and then dying in a car crash, is the way to go.

It makes old people bitter, when they watch parade after parade of young people die, while they remain forgotten in later life.

There is satisfaction, knowing you are still alive, but you are also, waiting on death, and taking death into your own hands, is something that won’t wash off.

Most people are afraid of what they don’t understand. That’s why people are ignorant. A person walks willingly into the Savanna, or they stay in camp, and wait for the lions.

I prefer the hunt, but I don’t want to die young. It’s best to have something to write about, until death.”

“You’re full of shit,” my dad said.

“That’s because I like to eat.”

The Disease of Writing

I take writing seriously.

It never does me any good.

We only have 80 years on the planet—what else can we do?

My friend called me from Israel.

When I tell people this, they ask if he’s Jewish.

No—he’s very much American—blonde hair, blue eyes, loves hamburgers, pizza, gas-guzzling trucks, and always wears an American flag for a t-shirt.

“What are you up to, man?”

“Just writing.”

“I sat next to a girl on the plane. She had piercings and tattoos.”

“Oh—those are red flags.”

“She asked me how old I was, and I told her to guess. She thought I was 23. I’m 32. I don’t want to become a womanizer, man.” I could sense the desire in his voice. “She smoked, and she told me she was divorced.”

“Man, she has more red flags than a Chinese Communist Parade.”

“Do you want to go to Turkey?” My friend asked.

“I don’t know.”

When I traveled with him before, his sister came along to keep him calm. With his other red-pilled friend, I think I would surely die. I just like to write… It gives me stimulation to think, I have enemies that read my blog—Senators, looking for an excuse to shove a sword in Caesar’s back.

I may think too highly of myself.

“What have you been doing?” My friend asked.

“I’ve been riding my bike, writing, playing golf, smiling at pretty women, and writing about it.”

“You need to do something else.”

“I do things, so I can write them down. When the disease progresses to the mind, it’s similar to the disease of getting older.”

“What’s that?”

“You can’t do anything about old age. There’s less to write about, and I have the need to write more.”

“You need experiences, man.”

“I’ve had enough of humanity. There are people who keep calling me to hang-out, but I don’t want to. When I was 23, I needed other people, but they never needed me. Now, the reverse is true. After years of tough love (which means no love at all) I enjoy being by myself.”

“Dude, you sound like a narcissist.”

“I’m a writer. We’re all that way. We are so impressed with ourselves, we write it down, believing we have something to say.”

I Want You to Sleep with a Mermaid

“We have to get your mind right.”

“You must be Neb.”

“Nebuchadnezzar, at your service.” He bowed. “What’s keeping you from winning?”

“If I knew that, I wouldn’t be here. One day, I got the shanks, and they won’t go away. It doesn’t have anything to do with how I think. It’s just a random curse.”

“Well, if it’s a curse, we’ll deal with that, but if it’s not—I have other remedies. My goal, is to understand your symptoms. Contrary to popular belief, there are no losers, only lost people. If it’s a curse, we’ll start there, but in my experience, when dealing with a man, it’s usually a woman, at the root of his problems. How’s your love life?”

“Non-existent.”

“That’s bad, and we’re on an island, so it can be difficult to fix that.”

“What would you recommend?”

“I’m thinking… How far are you willing to go?”

“To win the Open?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll die, to be great!”

“For fame and glory?”

“What else.”

“A hero. Good. I want you to sleep with a mermaid.”

“A what?”

“If she doesn’t kill you, she will make you stronger. Plus, you will be able to go all day and all night in bed and out of bed. The problem is, most men drown.”

“Dude. Mermaids don’t exist.”

“What are you? 35? And you think you know everything. I’m 70. I’ve lived twice as long as you. Come with me to the ancient burial grounds, and I’ll make you ready to dive into the deep.”

I followed him, convinced he was a madman, but I had spent time with worse, in the field of education. The women there, thought they were female gods. They taught about God and turned him into a woman, by referring to the deity with female pronouns. A chip on their shoulders? It was more like, a hatchet job. So, when I walked into the woods with Neb, it didn’t bother me.

“Watch out for snakes,” he said.

“What? We’re on an island.”

“Sea snakes. They like the shade, and they burrow into the sand, to lay their eggs. Don’t get between a mother and her young, or she’ll lay her eggs in you.”

I knew he was trying to scare me.

We entered a clearing, like stone henge, with boulders, pointing to the stars.

“Runes. If you want to attract a Mermaid, you can’t come-off as desperate. If she knows you are trying too hard, she won’t touch you. Under each stone, I’ve buried a dead golfer. It requires necromancy, to attract a maiden of the deep.”

“Now, that’s going too far, Neb. I won’t sleep with a dead body, let alone a male golfer. That’s worse than Ted Bundy and Harvey Milk combined.”

“Oh—you’re confusing necromancy with necrophilia. What you need is one of their golf clubs I buried with them. It’s kinda like fishing. You pretend to hit your shot into the ocean, on accident. Then you go to retrieve your ball, and the mermaid will save you from drowning, and then you will make love to her on the beach. It’ll be better than Tiger Woods and his Swedish wife. His problems began when he cheated on her, so don’t cheat on your mermaid, or you will regret it.”

“Neb. Where did the dead golfers come from?”

“Don’t tell anybody, but I’m a serial killer,” he laughed.

“I believe you.”

“I’m only joking,” he smiled. Many golfers want to be memorialized on this island. They have good memories of playing golf here when they were young, and it becomes a place to die. They want to be buried with their clubs, like a knight with his sword.”

To be continued…

Narcissistic Dog Walker

In this society, if your self-esteem comes from yourself

you will be labeled a deviant, certain sure—a psychopath. I walked my dog through the woods.

I remembered what it was like, to feel that I belonged to the trees. There is a coolness and a warmness and a breeze.

My dog couldn’t see it happening, but I was getting better. A black lady with big bosoms walked out of the brush

near the river, and my dog growled at her.

“Come on Belle—get movin.” And she obeyed. I was her master. I felt badder than ever. And the black lady had a look of terror on her face.

I’m a nice guy, and I generally dislike everybody.

When you are good too long, it feels good to be bad.

We got to the river, and I took-off my shirt, exposing my white skin to the sun.

I only had a few minutes before the burn.

My dog looked nervous on the shore.

“Come on Belle.” She took-off because she was scared, and I had to walk down the path to find her. She was barking at some black people.

I was the only white guy on the river. It felt good to be a minority—the way it must feel to go into Harlem as a white guy, and come out alive—like I had accomplished something.

“That Devil Dog! Get that Devil Dog away from me!” The black lady screamed.

If what she said was true, I was the devil—a white devil.

The power.

The culture, I had at my fingertips.

I can play Mozart on the piano.

I’m getting into painting.

I go through obsessions, like some men go through women.

When my dog saw me, she smiled. She’s a good dog, without any hate inside her mouth. She just gets bored, like me—and I’m glad for the stereotypes in society, about single white males who like to go for walks in the woods.

I might be a serial killer or a pervert or a supremacist, but what I really am—is me.

It’s exciting, to be dangerous, to be profiled, to be hated.

A black man walked out of the woods, and when he saw me, his eyes turned into saucers.

If people are terrified of you, it can be, a good feeling, but nobody talks about that. It’s deviant, to think such things, but those sorts of thoughts cross my mind, all the time. I have a deviant mind.

Ordinarily, people want to be liked, but I find this tedious.

I put my leash on my dog, and brought her into the river.

She is fine, when she is with me. That makes me feel good. A dog’s love is genuine—her trust is real. People pretend, for any number of reasons.

I took her off-leash, and she swam around in circles, biting at the waves. There was the Y-shaped tree, I used to read in. It’s growing at a 45-degree angle, so I can walk into it, like walking up a hill. The big oak is covered in moss, with exposed roots, where I buried my treasures in 2010.

I clipped the leash on my dog, feeling like a master. I walked through the forest to my parents’ house. I cut through the swamp. I know that place like the back of my hand. That patch of land belongs to me.

I told my parents about scaring black people, and their jaws dropped. I stole a bag from Safeway, the other day, without meaning to. It feels good to be on the outside of society.

My friends keep wanting to hang-out.

I just want to spend time with my dog.

The Ferry Man

The ferry man gave me the creeps. He had these yellow eyes, jaundiced, from too much drink. His whiskers were thick and white. He wore a sailor’s cap and jeans, with a vest, exposing his tanned chest, with hair billowing out.

“Pay the toll,” he said.

My uncle reached for his credit card.

“No—cash only. And with the economy the way that it is, I might start asking for gold.”

My uncle was the type, prepared for disaster. He was sending me to the island. “Now, don’t worry. I phoned ahead. I got the butler. There wasn’t an answering machine—but, they’re expecting you.”

I looked at him. He knew I was desperate. This was the trip, to end all trips. Even LSD, wouldn’t do what the island would do to me. And, somehow, I knew this.

There were seagulls, diving into the tug boat. Screeching, like hungry birds. If they had teeth, they would’ve eaten us all.

“Don’t mind them. Them is sailors’ souls. Traitors. Mutineers. Trapped forever, until their neck is broke. I release one from time to time. Gives me something to do. Cast off.”

“What?”

“Undo the rope, attached to the dock.”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

My clubs were safely on board. That’s all I needed. That, and a stiff drink. There was no island on the horizon, but according to the GPS, it was just hidden, on the other side. We hadn’t gone far, when it appeared.

“Skull Island.”

“Why do they call it that?”

“Well, the rock looks like a skull.” And sure enough, I could see two inlets, that looked like sunken eyes.

We landed, and the butler was waiting for me. “Your name?”

“Andrew.”

“Well, master Andrew, Neb says there isn’t any time to lose. He wants you to change the cups on the course. Then, cut back the brush on the water hazard on 6. After that, he might allow you to mow the fairways.”

“How is this going to improve my golf game?”

“Another thing, Neb doesn’t want you asking questions.”

I stared at the butler. He stared at me, with big eyes that could hypnotize. His black hair, sunken cheeks, and sallow demeanor, made him look like a vampire.

I stared across the links course, with treacherous caverns, going down to the surf. I could smell the salty air, hideous with seaweed, gritty, like a scent smelled by the gods, unable to appreciate the meat of burnt sacrifices. There was a lighthouse, on the northside of the island, blinking, winking at me, like I had found the right place.

“I’ll show you to your room, and then, best to get-on with the list of things to do.”

I turned to thank the ferry boat man, but he was already out to sea. Apparently, he didn’t want to stay long.

Changing the course, took me back to the past. I shoved the plug, into the green, and rotated. Then I filled the previous cup, and stamped down the turf. There was satisfaction in getting the grass level. Cutting the grass, is like trimming your toenails. They’re going to grow back, but it feels good to cut them. I hacked the bamboo on number 6 with a scythe. When that was cleared and put on the bonfire, I went for the garage. There was a monster of a mower in there.

“I dieseled her up and oiled her,” the butler said. “Take her out and trim. You should be able to finish before sunset.”

I did as I was told, hoping to meet the greens keeper in the morning.

I began cutting. It felt like I was paving the roads of heaven, and the horizon opened up with pink hews, and the lighthouse kept me company, and I felt like there was no world—only this place, and who I was in a past life, didn’t matter. I pulled the mower in, and turned off the engine. It shuddered, and died. The butler led me to my quarters in a wooden shack, in the attic. He provided espresso on a tray and a kerosene lamp to read by.

“Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book—compliments of Neb.”

I drank in the darkness, and enjoyed the fundamentals of the game. I woke up, before I realized I was asleep, and a little man was watching me.

To be continued…

Childhood, Bachelorhood, Adulthood

Dishes in the sink, means

that I have different priorities

Flies in the air, means

I have not taken out the trash

Paper scattered everywhere

means

I’m trying to think

I’ve enjoyed bachelorhood, just like I’ve enjoyed my education

Nobody wants to stay in the same place forever, even if it’s heaven.

Well, maybe that’s not true…

but the urge to move-on, is like the urge to pee.

I’ve let this place go

let myself go

trying to be literary.

I know so much about what I love

and now it’s time to love

what I don’t know.

Time to

walk back

to go forward.

It takes a heck of a man to change

Staying in a good place for too long

makes a man bad.

We have to get hurt to heal stronger

be hungry to enjoy a meal

Life, is more than what we feel

It’s where we go

who we know

what we do

How long, we hold onto,

until we can’t.

I fiddle with things

like a crab, carrying his shell

a house full of memories

thrown away, and kept

like photographs

or play things, from the past

Life begins, and dies

I walk on overgrown paths

that were well-worn

when I was young.

In the Imagination Lands

I feel

like

I’m being suffocated

with a plastic bag

by a clumsy intern, working for the mafia

the bullet holes, never come

like marbles, that might impact my skull.

No—it’s this vague loss of air. It could be my perception

or my attitude, but it doesn’t seem like there

is enough time

to adjust either one

with a potent enough fantasy.

I have to become totally make-believe, to do my job, standing there, in lines, listening to teenagers

a calm and crazy place

I go into

a personal philosophy

to interpret mundane and murderous tasks.

I go for a swim and walk-through creeping vines

in 1773,

between the pages of 7 beautiful books, that smell like gold.

Nobody I know, appreciates, where I’ve been

because, it was the greenbelt, behind my parent’s house.

I read in a tree

until the sun goes down—

that magical light, casting shadows on the ground,

where treasure might be buried, but actually, it’s the gas line.

Children spend time in fantasy, and then

in the adult world

filled with

square city grids with skyscrapers 60 stories tall, and no words in them

except, the absurd

Somebody goes up and down an elevator

like Sisyphus, pushing his rock, up the hill

the power of being super human

is a need

I fulfill

in my personal library.

Anybody who removes a book

will be skinned

and

I know how to do it

because

I’ve been

Ed Gein, Buffalo Bill, and Hannibal Lecter

on my worst days,

in psychology class.

“I think, therefore, I am.”

Potent words, if you believe them

Thoughts, inside your head

become real.

All man-made things, begin as thoughts

spoken into existence

with words.

Be careful what you think…

Science-Fiction turns into Rockets

What man can conceive, man can achieve

a world is built with words

a language uttered in silence

like spelling-words

casting a spell

on a dark universe

where the tower of babel lies in ruins

and

buildings, three miles high, touch the sky

Men

become gods

in the imagination lands.