In an effort to regain something akin to confidence in my narrative voice (and out of naked curiosity) I decided to peruse an old notebook I’d found recently in a box of books. Most of the entries provide the date of composition, some even include the time. All are written in a tiny but elegant hand, my own as it existed pre- meningitis vision damage. A lot of vapid versifying, drunken drivel, and piles of paltry prose comprised the bulk of the scrawl between the notebook’s grey cloth covers. Some initial drafts of poems I fleshed out in later revisions caught my attention, as did some other items I’ll share with you now.
“Sometimes I feel like a Hindu night crawler on a phosphorescent planet full of transsexual geraniums.” ~Dr. Onid Snave
Ode to an Idiot *
Discussion of pragmatics,
an exercise in futility.
This is Bob’s best chance
Now that we’ve embarked
on this particular strain,
the spot’s perfect for Bob,
master of the inane.
His wealth of trivial knowledge,
which he so proudly flaunts…
The perfect place for Bob
is one where vapidity counts
Bob’s the most amazing guy in this class;
A man who can speak with his head up his ass
* This is not an ode, but a sonnet that errs in terms of meter, scansion, and artistry. It did, however, cause me to chuckle. So it’s got that going for it.
“Some bullshit has priority over other bullshit.”
`JLV, a.k.a. The Worm
Sherwin broke into his Christ child grin as he scanned the club. Not a familiar face to be seen, aside from those sharing the stage with him, the prodigiously endowed olive skinned vixen who had first approached him about this gig, and the ever agitated, ever perspiring proprietor of this hall. The show wasn’t due to begin for three hours, yet there were at least forty, perhaps sixty, people in various posed of languid attention milling about the dozen or so square tables and on the edges of the oversized dance floor. There were no chairs, no stools along the bar, shaped like an elongated letter “j”. There were also no women save the stacked booking agent (if indeed that was her title) whose name sounded something like Mushy. “Weird”, thought Sherwin,” a full on sausage party attending sound check. But whatever. The pay is phenomenal.”
Sherwin approached the mic to the rhythmic clacking of the drummers sticks striking one another to form the letter “X”. At the eighth clack, Sherwin’s three mates produced a feral, tortured, angry wall of sound that caused the entire congregation of onlookers to simultaneously flinch and wince. “A good sign,” Sherwin thought as he licked his lips. In a guttural growl he sang,
“Dirty desert douches get back to Iran
Wipe your ass with water from a can
Hey! You fuck-ing ra-aa-aa-aag head
Just wanna see your stinking ass dead
You can all hurry up and go to hell
While your mother blows me through her veil
Go-oh-oh-oh back! Go-oh-oh-oh back! Go-oh-oh-oh back!
Any place will do just as long as you’re gone”
Suddenly, the power to the mic was cut, the main master volume cut in half, as the club’s owner, in a state of animated agitation, perspiration flying from the crown of dark hair surrounding his dark pate launched into a vitriolic diatribe in Farsi.
Sherwin stared, slack jawed and momentarily at a loss for words ( a rarity, glib and gregarious being two of the most common terms used to describe him), stunned by the sudden, unintelligible outburst.
“Wha…what the…what the hell did you just say?” he managed to say to the wildly gesticulating little ball of sweat and jangling gold jewelery.
Ivan continued to tickle the fretboard of his bass, resigned to a private oblivion, his eyes half closed in a soporific trancer. Mikhail held his Telecaster an inch from his modest speaker stack, left hand strangling the guitars neck as if trying to inflict mortal harm, producing a sonorous hum of screeching feedback. This produced a second round of simultaneous wincing accompanied by more than a few hands rising quickly to cover ears. Sherwin noticed a few more cheap suits amongst those gathered. Bradford, the papal legate from an alternate universe, looked on in utter enchantment, perched upon his throne, sticks aloft, grinning and glaring at the proceedings.
“Fuck dude!” Sherwin, the frontman and creative force behind Scrotal Pus, finally exclaimed. “If you’re gonna get pissed off and bitch me out, could you at least do in in a language I understand? Otherwise it loses its power and you waste your breath. I speak four languages–english, french, spanish and german. For all I know you my have been over excited contemplating gnawing on your nancy boy lovers hemorrhoids til your unshaven chin is coated in coagulated pus and blood, for Christ’s sake! Let’s try again…what?
The club owner, sweating so profusely as to be soaked clean through to his designer boxer shorts, began shuddering violently, then suddenly melted into an opalescent pool of steaming sap.
Sensing trouble, Branford descended the throne, nodded East, North, West, then South. The other members of Scrotal Pus turned to face him, and dematerialized, equipment and all, beamed aboard the mothership Cacophony by the ever resourceful Scotty.
Those crowd alternated their gazes from the heap of steaming gelatinous ooze on the linoleum floor to the recently vacated stage,wordlessly gasping and wondering. Finally, from behind the bar the throaty voice of the voluptuous raven haired woman uttered a single syllable;