Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If you want a guarantee, go buy a toaster.

“Boy, let me show you something.  Stand here… yes, just there.” He dug through his pockets for a moment, until he found what he was searching for: a small wedge of white chalk.  Mumbling to himself, the Barber began to pull the chalk here and there, in lines, in swirls, in curves and in dots.
“Now. What do you see?” he said, gesturing to the mess of symbols.
“I don’t know.  It’s an explosion!” Ethan simulated the explosion by jumping and swinging his arms out wide.
“Guess again. But first—step backwards a little.”  He took Ethan by the shoulders and pulled him back.
“WOAH!” Ethan exclaimed.  As he stepped back, the lines and dots, though still in the same place on the pavement, seemed to move together, until they combined to make a face, with swirls for eyes, a toothy smile.  “How did you do that!”  Ethan danced around the Barber, throwing his arms into the air.
“Just a bit of trickery,” the Barber tapped his nose with the chalk, leaving a white smudge. “Well, anyhow, the Earth is much like this drawing here.  When you stand so close to the earth, as you and I do, It doesn’t much look like what it really is: A giant ball.  If you stepped away from the earth a ways, you’d see this for yourself.  Yes, a giant ball, slowly rolling around through the air.  Now, lots of folks have their own thoughts on where this great ball came from, why it’s rolling slowly through the air.  I, however,” the Barber straightened up, raising one hand in front of him, like an actor, “Know for certain.  It began a long time ago.  Before I was even born, before the sky woke up and laughed for the first time.  Two creatures called Robbleramps where playing a game.  I can’t tell you exactly how they look, as I wasn’t there, but from what I’ve heard they’re hairy.  Very hairy.  Indeed they have so much brown hair covering their enormous bodies that their eyes look like shiny black beetles in a patch of burnt grass, and when they speak it’s in a muffled kind of ‘RRmph’.  Now, these two Robbleramps were playing golf.  One of them, named RRmphrMMM, (the Barber pronounced this with a kind of hum at the end) was grumpy because the other Robbleramp was being difficult.  The other Robbleramp, RRmphrRRH, (the Barber pronounced this with a little shout at the end) was bored of the fields they usually played on.  He wanted to perfect his game.  There was a glint in his little black eye when he thought of himself, raised onto the shoulders of his fellow Robbleramps, shouting his name, having just been made their king.  Golf is the center of every Robbleramp’s life.  Every one with sense, anyway.  The Robbleramps whose game was flimsy, were made to eat garbage, which was mostly made up of bent and broken golf clubs.  Don’t ask me how they eat with all that hair, that’s a question left to a Robbleramp specialist.  The Robbleramps whose game was mighty became leaders, with one chief leader called the ‘RRRRR’ (the barber growled reverently).
RRmphrRRH had dreamt for many years of becoming the RRRRR (a passerby on the street looked at the Barber amazedly, and pulled her child away around the nearest street corner) and had heard that if you hit a ball off of the Cliff of Strangeness, your game would become mighty. The reason none of the other Robbleramps dared to hit a ball off the Cliff of Strangeness is because it was considered cheating, and cheating, if discovered, was punishable by banishment into the ocean of stars.  The Cliff of strangeness was not exactly a cliff at first, rather a slant, and then a drop.  On this slant are all types of sticky things unknown and unexplored to Robblerampkind. 
So, RRmphrRRH strode gallantly forward, through the mustache jungle and past the lake of… er… shaving cream, into the wild unknown.  As they reached the last of the mustache trees, and broke out into the great spacious Plain of Strangeness, their breath was snatched away from them, as if two invisible hands reached down and plucked it out of their mouths.  It was a glorious sight.  The solar wind was breezing gently, and the ocean of stars lay spread out against the atmosphere, almost filling up their entire eyes with its hugeness. 
RRmphrMMM exclaimed that it was too much a sight to behold for long, and pleaded that RRmphrRRH hit a ball off the edge and be done with it.  RRmphrRRH shook himself out of his Strangeness-trance, and walked up to the edge of the Slant of Strangeness.  After peering over into the hazy, mucky purple fog that covered the slant for a moment, he laid a ball into the red grass and took a few practice swings.  At last he laid his club up against the ball, drew back, and THWACK! (the Barber made a knocking sound, and then made an arc with his hand accompanied by a whistle) The ball soared! It pierced the sky! It was RRmphrRRH’s finest shot! It dropped, down into the purple fog, and found the slant, and began to bounce, and to roll, through all the muck and gloop and unexplainable things.  First it rolllllled forward through some very blue very wet strangeness, and thus oceans were wrapped around the golf ball. And then -- BOUNCE! And with that, the great plains of Africa were stamped onto the side of the golf ball.  BOUNCE! America! BOUNCE! Iceland! After the last BOUNCE, which some believe to have been Australia, it came to the edge of the cliff, and stared over the unbelievable space that lay out before it. The Earth gulped nervously… and fell, fell fell.  And today, it is still falling. Falling and rolling slowly through the air.  And someday, there will be a great BOUNCE, when we hit the floor of the bowl of the ocean of stars, and who knows what will happen then.   But I wouldn’t put much thought into that, it won’t be for a very, very long time. “
The Barber finished his tale, grinned and bowed extravagantly to Ethan’s applause, which was absolute magic to him.  A small clique of townspeople were standing at a distance, and one of them muttered that he would never put himself under this particular man’s scissors if he hadn’t known him to be an excellent barber in spite of his lunacy, to which the rest nodded and “Hmph’d” in agreement, and parted to their various day’s entrapments.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I stood in front of the mirror today to sketch a blind contour drawing of myself for class (blind contour is where you don't look at your paper until you're done) and when I was finished I looked down and to my surprise it was a perfect portrait of George Clooney.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Union Jack Attack

Today we found a thousand-year-old tree, and when I walked up to have a closer look and admire it John was pissing on it.
"It's a mark of respect!" quoth he.
What if the tree pissed on you, John.  What if the tree pissed on you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Big Book of British Smiles

I flew to London today. On the flight from UT to Boston I sat next to a short, portly man with a rich mustache who sported a camo backpack and heavy work boots and didn't put down his Tom Clancy novel the entire flight.  I listened to Julian Casablancas, Brandon Flowers and Passion Pit for eight hours.  I ate some Skittles (thanks Lydia) and then I ate the portly man next to me. Still didn't put down his book so I ate that too. I'm too poor to afford in-flight "goodies" and the complimentary thimble of peanuts wasn't exactly doing the trick. hopefully none of you have to endure a hungry pissed off Chris, because then the situation starts to look like this:

The appartment I'm living in is drenched in the fetid stench of pineapple.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Oh, the Temptations!"

Nighttime kicks daytime's ass.  It picks daytime up by the collar and throws him down a bar counter, shattering glass and spilling booze on all the drunken customers.  Then it grabs a bottle and breaks it in half, and I drew this metaphor out too long.
I forced myself into bed tonight at eleven after a vicious round of mario kart with Amy, and woke up ten minutes later without an ounce of sleep on me.  The past few nights have been particularly sleepless.  After a while the minutes just start to pile up on the floor, and I have to stretch my legs.  I recommend y'all step outside at 3:30 a.m., take a solitary walk around the block (just not everyone at once, see, that defeats the purpose) and tell me that nighttime doesn't kick daytime's ass.

It's a kind of quiet you never see anywhere else.  When you only have yourself to talk to, the quiet comes in good colors and in bad ones too.  Easy to scrutinize yourself.  Hate to say it, but I've probably had more conversations with myself than I have with anyone else. Everyone in the world should have the chance to be an insomniac for a week, I think a few obnoxious things would be absent from the day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Empty House

I think I've never wanted anything more in my life than to be genuinely, unabashedly in love.  I think it ought to be the paramount priority in everyone's lives.  There's quite a bit of shite involved with the enterprise, but there's not a person alive that could convince me that it's not worth it.

anyways, I'm skipping town for England next month to become a writer and an adult.  I'll be dead in the heart of Zoobiedom with thirty-odd art majors and an english major here and there.  I've made myself a promise to explore every inch of London that I can fit into four months, because I may not be going back for several decades.

Going back to London, for me, is kind of like going to visit a poetic uncle who has no reigns on his alcoholism.  Sometimes he's fun, sometimes he's outlandish, sometimes in a drunken babble he lets slip something that makes you reconsider what direction you ought to be taking in life.  London is indescribably awesome, and yet sometimes it can be a complete nightmare.  I'm hoping to catch a little of both while I'm there, because without a bout of hard times, you couldn't recognize good times if they punched you in the mouth.

Everybody, find someone to love already, you insufferable time wasters.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I met a troupe of racecar drivers today at the Silver Sage, the dusty grocery dead set in the middle of Vernon.  Slickest vehicles I've ever seen.  The drivers, however, looked like they came straight out of the cast of Waking Ned Divine. 

No, no pictures of the movie. Go look for yourself, you lazy gorillas. 

In the Silver Sage, there's a tiny corner marked "produce".  "Produce" consists of a couple of moldy-looking bananas and a package of fruit snacks.  Damn good burgers though, no doubt.  If any of you stay-at-homes venture this far out into nowhereness, get the Cowboy Special.  Trust me, you won't have to eat again for six months.  You can buy hand-made scorpion hot sauce holders for your table, and specially marked "Vernon, Utah" baseball caps for your head or wherever you prefer to wear them.  You can buy cotton candy in a can.  Cheri, the flamboyant cashier, will tease you relentlessly for being a "city kid", and tell hilariously dumb jokes as you wait for your food.  I may be falling for her.  I could settle down here, nestled among the sagebrush and scorn for outsiders, and slowly get dustier and dustier.  With God as my witness, if I stayed out here until I was eighty, my loved ones wouldn't have to strain their backs digging a hole to put me in, I'd already be six feet under. 

Oh, and guess who hasn't showered for a week. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jesse, just look at them grass.

Last night I tried desperately to remember what it was like to be a five year old, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that part of me is gone entirely.  I could try to find some semblance of my childhood persona, but for the most part he's gone.  I tried to retrace my steps and find some familiar landmark that I could latch onto, but there was some gray lump in my life (presumably in high school) when all the days started to fold together into some kind of road block.  I can still appreciate childlike joy, I can play in the mud and eat cookie dough when my mum's back is turned, but I can no longer empathize with my past self, and it's a little sad.  I haven't found this to be a sobering fact at all, however, and rather have used this disconnection as motivation to be twice as adventurous and innocent in the quest for discovery and wisdom. (paradox alert) 

When I was five I cried when I ate all the candy so no one else could have some, I loved to climb trees and eat dirt, I essentially dug my fingers into every aspect of my life that I could touch, and I plan to retain some of those childhood aspects of my identity into adult life, or I'll die trying.  here's my favorite music video.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Mighty Wasp. (Greenjacket ch. 1)

today was a life and death experience.  Niels and myself were cornered in the cabin by an angry, muscular wasp.

we panicked at first, and opened and closed all the doors several times (which is quite a feat because the sliding door is broken and takes the strength of an ox or thirty Chris Hemsworths to open) in an effort to "entice" the wasp to the sunny weather outside.  We even tried coaxing it verbally, like reasoning with it; "C'mon, Mr. Wasp! The weather is grand, it's stuffy in here, it smells like dust!" On and on.  If anything, we more convinced ourselves that our living conditions are sub par to say the least.  Once it relaxed and sat on the windshield, we had also calmed down slightly to the point where we could look at the situation logically.

"What if I played loud music at it?" the first idea of mine; Niels was still in some sort of stupor, barely holding himself in consciousness.  So I took the matter into my own hands and grabbed the crappy speakers we've been using, chose the song "I Worship Only What You Bleed" by the Black Dahlia Murder, and held the speakers next to the wasp menacingly.  just so you can have an idea, here's a clip of the song:

after that failed and the wasp gave each of us a dumbstruck look, I put the speakers down with a new determination, a fire in my eyes, if you will.  I picked "Habanera" by Bizet for the soundtrack, and circled around the wasp with a long-necked lamp that I found in the back room.  By this time Niels had gotten grips of himself and was encouraging me like I was some kind of gladiator.

"Come on, kill it!"
"Here, take out the lightbulb and I'll trap it in the end of the lamp and hold it there forever."
"Alright, good idea."

This obviously didn't work, and it flew around the room erratically like a drunken boxer.  Niels and I, each holding one of his Birkenstocks and poised in the 'ready' position, (knees slightly bent, elbows at the sides, eyes unflinching on your target) were startled slightly, but still ready.

The wasp finally settled on a picture of Jesus I drew that we hang up on a nail in the ceiling for Sundays,  and Niels and I resolved to both swat air at it with our Birkenstocks in unison.  This also failed and I lunged forward in complete desperation and struck the paper wildly.  It flew towards the door, but was all "Psych, this is MY house now!" and veered around and flew straight towards us angrily.  I assessed the situation, and decided to run towards it, dodging its trajectory and out the door.  Niels just cowered behind a cabinet with his Birkenstock over his head.  The wasp decided to search for sweeter blood, I suppose, and explored the rest of the cabin.  It settled on another window, and I dashed inside and grabbed my trusty lamp, brandishing it in front of me like Glamdring,

and began to poke at The Wasp uneasily.  Just as 'Habanera' struck those four famous forte notes, I struck the wasp, injuring its wing! It crawled, not necessarily defeated, up into the side of the window, most likely to plan a counter attack, but I wouldn't have any of that.  I opened the window with one hand, it crashed downward, and I stabbed at the wasp hidden in the side of the window with all my strength.  it dodged, and flew, cursing, out the window.  I shut the window again behind it and gave an enormous bellow of victory.  Niels and I high-fived, of course, and God shed a prideful tear.  We left the cabin, beaming, for the main house to eat our dinner of pita pockets, with a tale to tell future generations and a newfound strength in ourselves.

Any wasps that are reading this:  DON'T FLY INTO OUR CABIN.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a smoke.

Title thanks to Groucho Marx, without whom I would be nowhere today.  This:

And now here's a poem I wrote a couple of years ago, which was the initial purpose of this post.

I stood before a portrait of a stream
Whose sinuous waist was lined with daffodils
Each yellow head bent down as in a dream
My heart, a cup, began to slosh and spill
Some color down into my marrow deep.
But I inhaled the scent of musty oil,
And through my patchwork lungs began to seep.
My eyes were sharpened from a soft recoil
And I, about to turn, spared one last glance
My shoes were firm cemented to the floor
As I beheld those daffodils now rustling in a dance
I cried with want to step inside that calm, beloved scene,

Stepped I forward, but now was grass where cold, hard tile had been.

My cry had risen from these depths across a windy sea
And filled the ears, reduced to tears some wizened wizard there
He climbed his tower and brought up to his eye
A pair of magic spectacles a rare
And multicolored specimen of lore.
His sight was stretched over rock and gull and sea
And caught my face inside a prism of light
And God did melt into a cup some steaming empathy
And dumped it down into his chest, down to his soul contrite
This eccentric man took both his hands
And rubbed them quick together, mumbled this:

"Spleen of newt, Apollo Contraband,
Ease a weary soul now, such as his."

He then released a slow and shaky breath
Into the space between his thumbs through which
A Golden Scaled Lizard scrambled west
And tore his way into this oily stitch.
The daffodils, once frozen cold in stance
Were Lizard-Born, and round my feet now danced.
I, in half a mood of fright, the other half in glee
Did swivel on my heel and turn to see what I could see
A painting hung now parallel to my embrightened eye
Around the frame, adorned with stars, a dark black smoking sky
Upon the canvas, not a smudge was found
But purest white, which dribbled to the ground
At my finger's touch, as from a wound
The white began to gather at my feet
And I began to make a slow retreat
I turned around, my scene began to melt
My heart began to drain, a strain I felt
As all the yellow hoods dripped in the stream
The cold white muck had raised, I was waist deep
The fiery sky behind did raised a smolder
The cold white muck had risen to my shoulder
And as I cried to God to save my soul
I woke in sweat, my heart an empty bowl.

Thought I'd share it with you, the philistine masses.  Feel free to print it out and stick it to the fridge with a novelty magnet in the shape of a buffalo head from some Yellowstone gift shop.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Concerning Hobbits

Considering it's the end of the world today, I thought I'd join the fruity ranks of blog-makers everywhere.  Yes, that's YOU, America.

If there's anyone I'm excited to see if the end of the world truly is today, It's Bernie Mac.  The way I see it, Bernie, God and myself will sit in velvet armchairs and smoke cuban cigars and just talk for eternity.  

Anyways, I thought I'd make you all a list of ten things to do today.

1. read the love song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot if you haven't already.  there isn't another poem I've come across that has made me laugh and cry in equal measure as thoroughly as this one.  and despite the number of times I've read it, it's always fresh for new interpretation.  The more I read it, the more I feel it's mine, made for me.  I'm certain it'll do the same for you.

2. Watch Thor in 3D.  Niels and myself sawr it today, and I got this strange compulsion to start carrying around a hammer everywhere I go.  actually it's not that strange.  THOR!

3. Catch the nearest flight to the British Isles, take a ferry to the Isle of Wight, and find Tennyson Downs, depicted above.  I spent the night up there with some of my pop's students the other year, and I sat on the grass and stared into the sky like a five year old through the night owing to the overabundance of stars.  It's perfectly indescribable unless you've been there yourself. 

4. Go to Japan, find a "dollar store" and check out the merchandise.  They're a barrel of laughs. for example, puppets, like finger puppets, only designed for the male genitalia.  WITH PICTURED DIRECTIONS ON THE BACK.  Just... Japan.

5. Find Bayley Christensen and chat her up.  Ten minutes with her and you won't want to talk to anyone else ever again.  She's a doll in the first degree.

6. Try and fail to beat my high score in Robot Unicorn Attack. 

7. Read The Book Thief.  wonderful book. I'd be reading it right now, but my copy is a soggy swollen mess at the bottom of some trash can in Keswick, due to a faulty zip lock bag and a 14 mile hike through hell itself over Scafell pike in stormy weather.  John, I hope you're happy.  

8. watch the music video for 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig' by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  here, let me get that for you.

9. play scrabble with my grandmother.  She's a rapscallion and will stop at nothing to outscore you.

10. stop reading dumb blogs.  It's the end of the world for god's sake!