Monday, October 15, 2007

"praise jesus"

this past weekend i celebrated my thirtieth year. (were we celebrating past or future?) the old house was cleaned out and polished, lights hung in the trees in the backyard, the patio swept and the firepit set, bottles and bottles on the table in the dining room.
i find myself continuing to crawl backwards into myself. no more moving outward, no more extension, but myself folding in, inverting. all the stories i could tell seem so useless when they pile one on top of the other. to explain this i must tell that, and to explain that i must tell this. and so why bother. isn't it easier to vanish?
i talked to my father yesterday. (how many things unsaid even in that simple statement...)
he told me that he had taken a trip to maine. he sailed a sailboat out into the ocean; sliding through marble waters. on the last day as they sailed toward port, the wind picked up. the waters swelled and splashed over the edge of the boat, misting salt spray. he told me how perfect it was. meanwhile my mother hadn't received the check he should have sent. and the present he could have given me lay locked up in a safe at borders.
still in maine, my father ran into a woman he had once worked with. my father had been fired from that job and given an apocalyptic prophecy as a send off: my father would never work again, he wouldn't be able to send me to college, his life would descend into an unidentifiable mess. "but look at me now", my dad said to me, imagining he was confronting his old boss. "i'm on a cruise in maine. i showed him. i wonder what sort of stories they are telling in the old office now."
"i couldn't imagine a better way to write that script" he told me. (never mind his recent divorce, his isolation, excommunicating himself from the church, or his estrangement from the son of his old age)
then my dad related the entire story to the folks who were hosting him. how he had been unjustly fired, cursed with a dire prophecy and how after all these years he had gotten the upper hand. he had showed them. fuckers. afterward they all said in unison...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

razor blades and a warm bath

i am nearly finished with sylvia plath's the bell jar. this is probably not the book i should be reading at this moment in my life. what's more, my wife warned me not to get it. i suppose there is a kind of sick justice that i used my father's gift card that he bought me at borders (he had the manager lock it up in the safe so i could go pick it up - what warmth - happy birthday son!) to buy the book.
i loved the first half of the book. the second half is nothing more than shock treatments, mental hospitals, razor blades, glass bottles of pills; suicide in all fashion. suicide has never seemed as attractive to me as it has in this book. i am not saying: committing suicide is attractive to me. it isn't. but the repeated variations, and the beauty of her descriptions combined with the psychologically awkward place i find myself in is an unhealthy combination. she manages to even make the process of disembowel ling oneself a aesthetic exercise in death.
"When they asked some old Roman philosopher or other how he wanted to die, he said he would open his veins in a warm bath. I thought it would be easy, lying in the tub and seeing the redness flower from my wrists, flush after flush through the clear water, till I sank to sleep under a surface gaudy as poppies.
But when it came right down to it, the skin of my wrist looked so white and defenseless that I couldn't do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn't in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get at."

Saturday, October 6, 2007

for public consumption

The snow fell lightly, pattering against the windshield. Earlier the air had been thick and the streets dirty, but the snow seemed to cleanse things and put a chill back into the air. Leah drove the truck slowly down main street to the brick church where the AA meeting was scheduled for noon. She turned into the parking lot; two cars were parked near an entrance. She pulled up next to them, turned the keys back toward herself and sat for a minute. With one hand she tapped her leg to the subtle beat of the song on the radio, remembering the promise she had made, with the other she held onto her dying cigarette, gently ashing out the window.

Inside the church was silent, and it smelled like antiseptic cleaner. The fluorescent lights along the hallway gave it a greenish glow and the linoleum dimly reflected the ghastly light of the long thin bulbs. Every other one lit to save energy and money. Leah passed classroom after classroom looking in each one, walked down the stairs covered in linoleum tile. At the end of the hall was a room decorated with pieces of kid art. Mobiles hung from the ceiling and pieces of construction paper were taped to the door. They were cut into shapes of animals with cotton balls glued on as tails and black buttons for eyes. In the middle of the door was a sheet of white paper with a big yellow sun on it, with long rays like blond eyelashes. At the bottom of the sheet were three people: a father, a mother and a child, stick arms reaching up, holding hands.
Inside was a circle of chairs, and seven people sitting down, they all turned in their chairs to look at Leah.
“Come on in,” they said almost in unison.
“Is this AA?” Leah asked, poking her head inside the door.
“Yes. Get some coffee and grab a seat.” An older gentleman pointed to a long folding table with a large metal percolator, Styrofoam cups and a basket full of creamers and sugar.

Kath came in three times. The first time, Leah lay on the bed, turned away from the door. Her coat still on, her hat still on, and the leg of her pajamas wrapped around her face. The heavy sour smell of cigarette smoke lingered just above her.
“How did it go?”
“What go? Fucking AA?” Leah turned her pajama covered face toward the door, toward her mother. “I’m eighteen and going to AA. Fine, it went fine.”
“I’m sorry I asked…”
“Whatever.” Leah muffled through the pajamas. She pushed the pajamas up above her eyes with the palm of her hand and played with her fingers. Kath watched her every movement and put her hands together.
“I like your jacket.”
“You got it for me.”
“I did?”
“Mom, God, you bought it for me two years ago for my birthday, remember.”

Kath came in again and brushed the leg of Leah’s pajamas back from her face, kissed her on the cheek, and gently touched her face.
“It’ll be all right babe, everything will be all right.” And she left.

The last time Kath quietly sat down on the bed and placed her hand on Leah’s shoulder, “You know you’re pulling a mother. When I was young and things didn’t go my way I ran into my room, and shut the door.” Kath stood up and let her hand trail the length of Leah’s arm. “But your door is open.”

Leah had fallen asleep, but awoke when she heard the heavy thudding of her father’s thick feet on the carpet. He didn’t say a word. He just knelt by the bed and laid his head against the edge of the bed. He put his hands against the small of her back, as if he were consecrating her to something pure and holy. Abraham sacrificing Isaac. She was still. Moments passed, his head still resting on the bed, and then he rose and went to the window. He pulled the shade, careful not to wake her, and as he left, he shut the door.

When she woke, it was some time later, and all that remained was the vague remembrance of her father’s hands on her back, her mother’s words and her own anger. She got up, wiping sleep from her eyes and walked down the hall, hugging the wall, and went outside for a smoke. The air was biting and the fresh snow looked blue and crisp. Clouds of steam came from her mouth and nose. She walked from the porch out onto the front lawn and stepped toward the trees that bordered the house. The cigarette hung loosely from her fingertips. She stopped and stood quiet for a moment, and in the trees and bushes she heard the snap and rustle of movement.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

radiohead link

per the article below, here is the radiohead sight where one could, if one wanted, download their new rainbows...FOR FREE!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

iron and wine interview

one of my fav bands, iron and wine just released a new album entitled, the shepherd's dog. here is an interview with sam beam, the creative muscle behind iron and wine.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
also, on another note a new radiohead album will be coming out on oct 10. happy birthday to me, and what's more, you can download it for free from their websight. check this shit out!