Monday, June 29, 2009


The bed was always crooked in the back of the van, just like it was askew that a boy from the suburbs of Upstate New York would be living in a parked van with a lean toward the gutter on the dark streets of Los Angeles. This isn't a violent act, I wasn't doing anything wrong, nothing to have the red lights of justice swirl and bleed through the black curtains of my home. Cops with their Eye O' God iron flashlights and I would lay real quiet and listen to them talk, walking around the van. I'd hear one try to boss the driver side door, with the clicking and the shake, the butt of the flashlight rapping against the window. Voices like exhaust, and I slowed my breathing. I pulled my wool cap down over my eyes with two slow fingers and slinked tighter against the edge side of the van and the mattress. One cop called out my name, asked me to come out. I was sweating ans shaking, prayers like ticket tape behind wide eyes. This is all I have, it's all I have.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Here's a couple of pictures of the first leaded stained glass window I did for my mom. She found out I wanted to do stained glass so she put her order in for a couple of windows before I lost interest. LOL! So not much time to practice.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It's like going down the boulevard in a
methyl-alcohol powered rocket sled that can't
be stopped, just ripping through everything
that gets in your way and seeing the whole
thing explode before your very eyes. You don't
even feel the impact and it slows you down in
no way, the only thing you hear is the high
pitched whine of your engines. At 240 mph all
they have left is premonition. You rip through
suburban houses with no regret, through 50
story office buildings, cutting through xerox
machines, typewriters, and executive office
suites, paper sticking to your windshield, you
can't see what is ahead of you and soon the
paper is colored--white, red, brown, then to
ash. Glass storefronts are only an illusion
and you slice through translucent marble like
sunlight. You are the yin and yang, the zen
of motion, the Buddha of speed, and you strike
like the Holy Spirit of destruction and
rebirth, baptized in Kerouac's oasis. Spinning
the wheel like a barrel of a gun, you find the
direction and embark on your intention. The
straight line divides, then christens you in
liquor, gasoline, ice cream, and blood. With
the bank up ahead, you take your first pass
through the building, cranking the wheel after
passing through the first wall, spinning
through the lobby like a death star, through
the wall opposite. No green bucks on the
windshield so you start through the building
again. Whirling gold and glass sparkle before
your eyes, more paper, and you realize that
you've hit the safe deposit boxes. The vault
couldn't be far from this, so on your next
crusade through you figure you'll spin through
the lobby again like the blade on a table saw
when you are close to that same area.
Jackpot!-bills and coins and you try the same
maneuver again to make sure that you've ripped
this pyramid wide open. Paper plasters your
windshield so you hit the wipers. The first
swipe of the blades strips the bank and the
town from your vision and you find yourself in
the country, flying through meadows, toppling
trees, barbed wire streamers cling to the base
of your windshield and you jerk the wheel
again, sending fence posts whiling like
medieval weapons. Then you decide to go back to
your home town on the east coast and pay those
fuckers that you grew up with a little visit
to remember you by-

-After Las Vegas

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When great orchestrators and arrangers die, do they work on the sounds that occur during a storm? "Okay Jones, you got the thunderstorm in Cleveland. Thomas, you handle the same storm in Chagrin Falls when it comes down there. You won't need as many woodwinds. And keep an eye on Reeves with the tympani! Last time he got carried away. He's lucky he didn't get moved to the glacial melting project up north after that one."


That's it. Reeves blew it. He's been moved to Wilson Smith's 1954 Harley Shovelhead with the blown out exhaust baffles over there on Cypress and 54th in Mesa, Arizona, south of the reservation.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


A local pizza place displayed a banner, offering a free personal pizza to all fathers this Sunday for Father's Day.

I watched a priest read the sign.

Monday, June 15, 2009


scratches paper
with a stick
but no words come
of a language we know

the map of a place
she remembers
from a long time ago

When she was seven years old
at her grandmother's house
in the basement
behind the water heater
Maybe some treasure
someone forgot about

A woman
A treasure
An artist
A key

I collected baby food jars. Every time that I had a painful experience or was in a time of frustration I would open one of these jars and fill it with the ether of emotion, cap it, and label it on the lid, figuring I'd open them later when I felt I was able to better deal with them. I wouldn't stick the tape on the sides or the bottom, because I wanted to see through that time, all the way through, see how the contents would change shape with looking through the glass-quantum like. I had about a hundred jars, all the way back from my teens when I started.

I had them up on a shelf, never out of sight. I would try to guess at what they were before I looked at the label. I got pretty good at that. I would arrange them as far as how painful each one was, then chronologically, or by their complexities like a vintage wine or, I guess, whine.

When the earthquake came, I heard the jars fall to the floor and smash. I jumped out of bed, the moments shattering in the darkness all around me, the sound splashing and running down the walls. I cut my feet on the broken air, I jumped off onto another painful lacerating moment that pierced high into my foot, up to my knee. All that pain I stored up.
All that pain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is what the walls of my apartment USED to look like about 5 years ago (ALL the walls)...

And the windows didn't look much better!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Wind blows
Reeds bend
upon each other

Hard wind
Reeds press
share the warmth
and the ache

a stray seed
grows a reed
that bends

and breaks
now a stick

With time it grows
grows to bend
perhaps to break
perhaps to ache


From my kitchen window I spied a skunk rummaging amidst my neighbor's flower bed. There was a toddler out in the yard, all of three years old, playing with some toys. The child heard the rustling of the leaves and went to investigate. At first the skunk moved away and then, later, out of that mutual curiosity, eventually came closer. The child kept his hand out and the skunk sniffed it. The infant's face showed no signs that this was a formidable creature. There were no tears, agitation, or accompanying facial distortions, although I waited - from afar. This went on for about ten minutes before the mother emerged from inside the house and, seeing the skunk, shrieked the child's name. Just then the tail of the skunk went up, spraying his own name nature gave him, and scampered off. The child screamed and the mother, not knowing what else to do, ran over and spanked the child's butt, whisking her off to the back of the house, Wisdom under the arm of Knowledge.

Friday, June 5, 2009


On the 33 going downtown, the bus was almost
full when I looked up and saw this young Black
woman carrying a triangular cardboard box,
almost cradling it. She was trying to stick
the tape back down. I recognized the shape of
the box, a 3/4 size guitar. She kept pushing
on the tape, as if not to have any of the music
escape out of it before getting it hoe. She
kept smiling coyly, as if it were her joy she
was trying to keep in that box. I wondered if
she would ever play anything as sweet and
personal as the expression of her face. Then I
noticed on the edge of the new box, stamped in
red "USE NO HOOKS" and I wondered if that was a
warning or the first lesson.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009


I drive my car
like a needle in the arm
of a junkie in heat;

Primal scream of guitars
leave suburbia scarred
-as sirens wail for sympathy.