notes on writing below

  • Notice of Copyright: all writing posted here by the writer using the web name “zombiedisco101” and the pen name “D.T. Hart,” unless otherwise attributed, is copyright by him on date of posting
  • format: a) “titles” in quotes are fiction, b) titles without quotes are nonfiction
  • music/film/tv links are stuff we listened to/watched before or while writing the posts
  • this wordpress journal was set up Nov. 16, 2016, w/posts dated earlier transferred here from an older journal on

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Posted in Uncategorized

“prince of peace”

… as prince of chaos

pe - njolstad-trump
(Olav Njolstad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, announces on Feb 28 that the committee has received a second, forged nomination of Donald Trump to receive the Nobel Peace Prize — from “The New York Times” / The Joker ruling Gotham City — from the “The Washington Times”)

“How fitting,” Marcie says as she reads the story aloud to Kingsford, across the small wood table with two chairs by the kitchen window that looks out on Water Street, three floors down. “The Prince of Chaos.”

“Fraud Daddy,” Kingsford replies, smiling as he looks over the pages of the sports section while watching her read. Their plates of scrambled eggs and jam-spread toast, and glasses of frozen re-con orange juice, now drying crumbs and slender threads of citrus pulp.

“Trump, the Frump of Chump Dump,” she says as they begin the trade-off.

“The Bogus Woe’s-Us.”

“The Man from Glam Sham.”

“Tiny Gold Fingers.”

“Baby Huey with a Head Ker-Blewy.”

“Tawdry Audrey with the Blob-Wad Body.”

“God of Shod.”

“Pluckster of the Liar Lyre.”

“Walking Ejaculate of the Permanently Buck-Fucked.”

Marcie drains her coffee, stands, grabs his empty cup and steps to the narrow counter by the fridge, as a loud pickup truck with more rust than paint passes on the street below.

“And just where’s this fucked duck headed to an end?” she asks, topping off the refills with an inch of 4%.

“With a wimp-purr followed by the fake stud-muffin news of a Viagra bang.”

“A tiny, exploding-penis gif, posted on @theRealDonaldTrumpPenis. I can see that trending.” She puts his cup down and sits.


“And this is why you read the sports section?”

“I don’t really read it. I just skim the stories looking for key words left from, and to, Russian spies.”

“So what’s the latest?”

“Frog Walley, the hacker from Olga on the Volga, needs to write home and let his mother know everything’s okay.”

“With ‘mother’ being …?”

“His spy boss at the Directorate of Hacking,”

“And ‘everything’s’ …?”

“The status on his mission to swing the November election in favor of the PRTs — Pro-Russian TransInvestItes — with bought-and-sold candidates running in key districts in the neo-nutsy-lands, who will convene a new, Constitutional Congress that makes Russian Oligarchs the new founding Boris-fathers of America.”

She puts her cup down and picks the paper up, again. “Which is why I’m really glad.”

He’s reading about the history of lacrosse in the well-lawned exurbs of Connecticut. “Glad for what, Pumpkin Patch?”

“That your swimmers can’t reach the coast, now.”


“So thanks.”

“No problemo, sweet vulvino.”

“Vulva — you don’t hear that word nearly enough, today.”

20180304 01:24 Sun (396 words)
▸ M. Ward performing “The First Time I Ran Away” from “A Wasteland Companion” 2012
▸ Clare Teal performing “We’ll Gather Lilacs” from “Hey Ho” 2011
▸ Patrick Wolf performing “Time of My Life” from “Lupercalia” 2011
▸ Murrieta performing “Joaquin Dead” from “A Head & Hand” 2014

Posted in Uncategorized

“north of montana, e3”

(photo of Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia, from

Episode 3: “Mountain Ears”


Opening titles and music begins. WILL, wearing a parka, gloves and wool watch-cap, leather boots, gaiters and jeans, has stopped walking knee-deep in the snow. He turns to LOLA, the Goth-Girl waitress from the roadside diner of ep 2, who stands beside him, speaking with her heavy Russian accent.

… cont. below

a) script: wr tlp – north of montana e003 d02 20180211
b) char list: wr tlp – north of montana e000 series notes 20170409

20180211 18:59 (4635 words)
(/wr tlp – north of montana e003 d02 20180211.fadein)
▸ Fleet Foxes performing “Grown Ocean” from “Helplessness Blues” 2011
▸ The Leisure Society performing “Last of the Melting Snow” from “The Sleeper” 2009
▸ Villlagers performing “Ship of Promises” from “Becoming a Jackal” 2010, “Nothing Arrived” from “Awayland” 2013
▸ Dan Mangan performing “Road Regrets” from “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” 2009
▸ Jake Bugg performing “Slumvile Sunrise” from “Shangri La” 2013
▸ Ben Howard performing “Promise” from “Every Kingdom” 2011
▸ My Brightest Diamond performing “I Have Never Loved Someone” from “All Things Will Rewind” 2011
▸ Birdy performing “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, from “Beautiful Lies” 2011
▸ Kathleen Bird York performing “In the Deep” written for the film “Crash” 2004

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

“outfamous recipies”

… and other gastronomical cures

(“Brit supermarket chain Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing,” from “The Register”)

“The Yorkshire Pudzza Corn Soaker”

Directions: a) place 2, 12″ Yorkshire Pudzza Corn Soakers in a 350-deg. oven for 15 mins; b) take from oven and place on floor in TV room in front of favorite chair; c) place one corned dog (foot) inside each soaker and soak for 20-mins; d) wipe each dog with a paper towel when done, then place each soaker on a plate and share with a friend. Bon Appefeet.

20180205 17:28 Mon (77 words)
▸ Castanets performing “Tell Them Memphis” from “Decimation Blues” 2014
▸ My Brightest Diamond performing “Pressure”, and “Lover Killer” from “This is My Hand” 2014

Posted in Uncategorized

“unmelting the meltdown, v. 0.0.2”

.. an analogy to uncover how hackers might use “Meltdown” and “Spectre” to uncover important stuff you thought you’d hidden pretty fucking well

sw - meltdown and spectre
(photo from

Sitting in a booth at the Taco Bell on Water Street, you write a breakthrough joke on the receipt for your three burritos and a Pepsi, and put it in your shoe for safe keeping.

On the way home a mugger with a gun stops you and, in trying to determine if you have anything worth stealing, begins asking questions.

“What President is on the 20?”

“Jackson, Michael Jackson,” you answer, then expand on the answer because you’re wondering if his gun is really empty, or fully loaded with the latest mugger ammo. “Michael actually wanted to be on the 10. But people at the Bureau of Printing & Engraving thought 10 might be too young a denomination for him to be associated with.”

“So you think you’re funny?” the mugger asks, pressing the barrel of the semi-automatic mugger pistol against your sternum.

“No, not really. A funny guy would have you totally disarmed by now. I mean, a funny guy would have taken your gun, “and” both arms, for good measure. He’d probably then toss your arms into the box of a passing pickup truck, and hand the gun back to you by placing it between your legs, with the barrel pointed up.”

“That’s not funny.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m being serious, here. Deadly, mugger serious. You can’t get much more serious than that. Unless you’re tending goats while wearing a turban, and a Reaper drone suddenly pops up above the tree line.”

“People pay money to listen to this shit?”

“Sadly, no. More and more, people are just staying home and watching trending stuff on Twitter.”

“So tell me the joke you have hidden in your shoe.”

In response to this, though you try not to, you immediately flinch. And if there’s one thing muggers are good at, it’s reading flinches. So you laugh and say, bending over: “Guess you found me out.” Then you remove your right shoe, the one without the joke written on the Taco Bell receipt, but the one that’s now a hot house for an abscess on your big toe, that has spread from a severely infected case of toenail fungus. You hold the shoe up, a foot below the mugger’s nose.

He flinches and begins to gag, instinctively bringing his dominant hand, now holding the mugger gun, up to his nose. As he does this, like a ballet choreographed in slow motion, you reach out and tap the barrel end of the gun, just once, causing it to pivot on his trigger finger, which depresses the trigger just as the barrel is pointed at his face. There is a click, which shocks the mugger, and makes you smile. He looks up from the barrel of the gun and sees your smile, then turns and runs.

You bend back down and put your shoe back on, still smiling. Then you stay there for a moment, kneeling with one knee on the sidewalk, as the adrenaline that’s coursing through your veins gives you perfect recall of the joke that’s resting in your other shoe.

You imagine yourself standing on a stage and telling a packed comedy club this joke, and as you deliver the punch line and wait the one-second, laugh lag time for the audience to totally convulse in ha-ha’s, a window air-conditioner from the Struthers’ bedroom on the 5th floor of the building you’re in front of, falls.

The air-conditioner hits your head, and then embeds it into the first three inches of the concrete sidewalk, your left leg and the shoe that holds the breakthrough joke, splayed out behind you like a sausage on a leash.

Okay. So what’s what in this analogy?

1) In the Intel version of the story, the breakthrough joke, hidden inside the micro-processor of your shoe, was never really threatened. The complicated nature of the other items that make up your computing ensemble, along with the odorous pathogens you have allowed to be harbored there because of your own duplicitous, fungal nature, are more than sufficient protection to keep anyone from wanting to snoop around and find anything worth finding. Still, out of the kindness of their corporate hearts, and as a way of keeping class-action lawsuit awards below 30% of market cap, Intel suggests you visit a variety of third-party repository sites — designed to completely negate any liability — and install firmware updates to their chips.

2) In the Operating System version of the story, the code talkers notify you of patches, much like your mother calling to say that there are now patches for your computer ensemble, like the ones she used to iron on the worn-through knees of your favorite jeans, back before puberty made worn-through jean knees a total turn on, and people took perfectly good computer ensembles and intentionally wore them out by installing stuff that is known to weaken the knees of any operating system. But you install the patches, anyway, even though you can’t be sure the micro-iron you got from Amazon is really getting hot enough to do the job, since the only settings are for “permanent press” and “cotton,” and you’re pretty sure you should be using “operating system kernel.”

3) In the User version of the story, you install the firmware update and operating system patches, only to notice that your laptop is now humming something that sounds a lot like the Chinese National Anthem, sung by Madonna from the bottom of a well. An added bonus is that everything you type suddenly disappears, and then reappears three weeks later to the hour, the letters arranged in vertical columns, with the punctuation in a font that’s eight times larger than the letters. But you don’t complain, since the stuff you were writing anyway wasn’t all that great, and this at least has the benefit of being different. So you print out two hundred pages and send them to an editor you saw on Oprah, before she started running as “a better tv President.” The editor writes back with an advance for $50,000, and says this is the first great book of the century. Which seems crazy, until you remember what Great-Aunt Dingle often said: “Face it, Sweetheart, if you wanted sane, you just got on the bus a little late.”

20180108 17:06 Mon (1099 words)
▸ Turin Brakes performing “Average Man” from “Ether Song” 2003
▸ Ambrosia Parsley & The Elegant Too performing “Skin & Bone”, “Empire”, and “Make Me Laugh” from “Weeping Cherry” 2013
▸ King Creosote performing “For One Night Only” from “From Scotland with Love” 2014

Posted in Uncategorized


… oh, roam-e-o — the real rom-com-dram heartthrob, now, is following the flashing link-links, running free-ass thru our indie heads

(photo from

Scene 27 – Besper’s at the Bridge.
(Ten inches of new, January snow covers the plastic tables and chairs stacked on the patio behind the Truro Beach Food Shack. Rectilinear brushes the snow off four chairs with his gloves. Then he and Isabeltow set out the chairs, pull blue foam sit-upons from their knapsacks and sit, legs and boots up on a second chair. With the snowstorm passed, the sky is deep-end blue, the air so dried-out it feels abrasive. The sun, reflecting off the still pure, flaked-up whiteness, is like a blazing, 3D winter fire — as they both unzip their parkas and slide the hoods back.)

ISA: Good crowd, today.

REC: Twice as big as yesterday. Wait — two times zero, equals what, again?

ISA: Zero.

REC: And yet — there “are” twice as many people here today, as yesterday.

ISA: Yes. It’s a problem math has with numbers. We rely on it because we think, compared to us, it’s the paradigm of a rational, expectation and delivery vehicle. But the truth is math has never been able to really deal with its relationship to nothing.

REC: What’s the saying?

ISA: In the land of zero, the math dunce head is king.

REC: That’s it. Who said that? Pythagoras?

ISA: Originally? No idea. Recently, it might have been a follower of Trump’s on Twitter.

REC: Which is why he’s such a “stable genius.”

ISA: Who knows his way around the land of zero, better than anyone, today.

REC: Which is probably the real reason the voters, in 2016, decided he deserved another, reality tv show. How many realities is it possible to portray in reality tv shows?

ISA: I’m pretty sure Pythagoras dodged that question.

REC: Well, Pythagoras isn’t here.

ISA: I wonder why?

REC: 21st-century, Pythagora-phobia?

ISA: Possible. It’s what I had in my freshman year of high school.

REC: Really? How’d you get to be a math girl?

ISA: I managed to push through that first wall of the “quantity and shape arrangement” blues.

REC: Algebra. I remember the nightmare. How many math walls are there?

ISA: “Not more than a few infinities,” Einstein might have said.

REC: Math was pretty good to Albert. For a guy who only had one stein going for him.

ISA: Sometimes it’s not the quantity of steins, but the quality that counts.

REC: Which is why Trump is the epitome of stable genius.

ISA: Zero is pretty much the genius heart of stable.

REC: And Trump’s Twitter feed would be the epitome of e-pit-o-me.

ISA: Did your mother ever catch you?

RED: Doing what?

ISA: Playing with your word self?

REC: No, fortunately for the language.

ISA: It does seem to like you.

REC: Thanks. But it’s not really me it likes.

ISA: Really?

REC: It just uses me. Or, to be more accurate — uses my neural apparatus, as a vehicle for moving its long and sordid record keeping of the spec, on down the road.

ISA: And you’re okay with that?

REC: About as okay as okay can fucking get.

ISA: Because?

REC: It’s like your thing for science lingo. And — this particular, mother fucking-orc-va tongue, is such a youthful and full of life, old cunt bastard.

ISA: Which makes you feel, how?

REC: The only way I want to be …

ISA: Yeah …

REC/ISA: Alive in time.

20180107 01:20 Sun (580 words)
▸ Fink performing “Shakespeare” from “Hard Believer” 2014
▸ The Leisure Society performing “The Last of the Melting Snow” from “The Sleeper” 2009
▸ George Ezra performing “Drawing Board” from “Wanted On Voyage” 2014
▸ Birdy performing “Wild Horses” from “Beautiful Lies” 2016
▸ Turing Brakes performing “Dark on Fire” from “Dark on Fire” 2007
▸ Shearwater performing “You as You Were” from “Animal Joy” 2012

Posted in Uncategorized

“bad night, short light”

… kite for sale

bicycle - columbia standard
(photo of a Columbia “Standard” bicycle ca. 1880, from the Smithsonian)

Charles Isherwood Greenleigh Sale, “CIGS” for short, was a tall fellow of some renown. “The length of person you’d gladly welcome onto a boat, in case the mast snapped in bad weather,” as CIGS liked to put it in his own, personal version of self-affirmation undersell.

“Hey, CIGS – how’s the weather up there?” kids would yell as, at 16, he rode by on his five-foot-high bicycle. CIGS would smile down, and sometimes wave, if he wasn’t too distracted by looking in the second-story windows of the daughters’ bedrooms along Doctors Row.

He was “no salesperson of the self,” he once said. “If fact, if you gave me three-dollars-ten on Tuesday, and asked me to invest it in the latest, la-ti-da of self-promotion, by Friday I’d still have the full, three-dollars-ten resting in the pocket where I’d put it deep, on Tuesday, having gone on to think of better things.”

“Boy’s a fool,” Elwood Grainger told his daughter, Junie-Tune, when his peripherals observed her glancing at the cyclist as he passed. She blushed, Elwood shook his head, and CIGS kept on biking.

Some of the denizens of Empire False were surprised when, after high school and six years at the Polytechnique, he put aside the various techniques he’d successfully polified, and began racing on the big-wheel bicycle circuit.

“I had no idea there was a big-wheel circuit,” E.F. inhabs said to each other, over short picket fences, and long ice cream cones at the Frozen Numbler.

“Apparently it’s something that he started on his own,” others replied. “There are no races — not against other riders, or the clock.”

So it became a generally-regarded weirdness that was mostly overlooked, as people realized they liked to see him riding by. And once it became a fashion to toss dollar bills ten feet into air as CIGS passed, he began carrying a long-handled butterfly net to pluck the fluttered money from the air, like butterflies with cameos of Lincoln.

Then as word spread, CIGS spread his big-wheel wings and began touring across the country. In 1885, with few automobiles on the roads, and horses that remained surprisingly unspooked by the passing of a six-foot-seven-inch guy on a five-foot-high bicycle, traveling on the roadways of America was like opening presents on Christmas morning — an unfolding adventure of surprise.

20171212 15:45 Tue (414 words)
▸ Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan performing “Volcano” in studio, from “0” 2002
▸ Family of the Year performing “Hey Ma” from “Loma Vista” 2012
▸ Noah and the Whale performing “Give a Little Love” live, from “Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down” 2008
▸ Kodaline performing “Love Like This” live, from “In a Perfect World” 2013

Posted in Uncategorized


… a story of excess as told by three, temporarily reformed excessories

(photo from

Scene 27

(A cool glade on a hot day.)

ANGEL PURSLANE FREEBUSH FRANK: (looks out from wood edge, smiling) Feel that air? So — cool.

JINKLES THE CLOWN: Yes. I can actually feel the neural warriors on my social battlefront, unclench their weapons of self-esteem.

GUILTY AS SIN IN RETROGRADE: Same here. And though I love the little hu-bris-tles standing upright on my neck, when they slink back down to the entrance to their skin caves, life always does seem to get more peaceful.

(Two mourning doves flush 10 yards out, wings beating as they squawk: “Shoot me, shoot me now, you ape-like fucking pigs!”)

ANGE: And right on cue, the pinheads herald us in this, the clearing’s welcome.

JINKS: I really should have brought my gun.

GUIL: You mean the one that’s not the tired, rope of puss, hanging ‘twixt your legs?

JINKS: Clever. But I think your “I am Bic, pent with meter” — is a little limpy.

ANGE: Hmm. A Twix does sound good. Did anyone remember the candy bars?

GUIL: Sorry. It was all I could do to remember the rugby balls. (slides knapsack from shoulder)

JINKS: What is this thing you have for leathered balls?

GUIL: (shakes cherry bonbon from cardboard box into palm, hands box to Ange)

ANGE: Thanks. I love this particular blend of chemicals — chocolate-covered, Marist-chinoed cherries — they’re like smiling priests in cotton slacks, covered with a dark temptation. (takes one, hands box to Jinks)

JINKS: Oh “these” rugby balls. Thanks, man, your balls are the best.

GUIL: (eating bonbon) Like you actually possess discernment.

JINKS: (eating bonbon) Met her once …

GUIL: … but she didn’t hang around, long. (swallows) … Yeah. That joke is more worn out than Snow White’s titties, at a county fair petting booth.

JINKS: Is it true (swallows) … that in the original Disney drawings, Snow White had a rack that looked like Mae West waiting for a train?

ANGE: “She Done Him Wrong.” (blurts, salivating) I love that movie! (swallows)

GUIL: Snow White pulling a train — I’m thinking you might be spending too much time at

JINKS: Thanks for the assessment, Mom.

ANGE: I feel like taking off my clothes and running naked through the meadow, like a wood nymph who has just discovered the savanna.

GUIL: And “savanna” with a final “h”, with your tiny, unripe Georgia peaches barely bouncing as you run.

JINKS: I should have brought my camera.

GUIL: You mean the one that’s not the instrument recording the nonstop frames of puss running through your head?

ANGE: God, I suddenly want to give someone head right now. Are there volunteers?

JINKS: Naw. But thanks.

GUIL: Yeah, same here. I’m 14 months hormone sober.

ANGE: Yeah. What was I thinking. That was the old me. I really love the new, orgasm-free me, so much better.

JINKS: Yeah.

GUIL: Abso-fucking-lutely. (holds out box to Ange) Bonbon?

20171202 14:09 Sat (498 words)
▸ Broken Records performing a) “A Darkness Rises Up”, b) “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns”, c) “You Know You’re Not Dead”, and d) “Home” – from “Let Me Come Home” 2010
▸ Sophie Hunger performing a) “Headlights”, and b) “Train People”, from “1983” 2010

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“ego, a me go”

… and the distal thunderdome of break-gazing at the mirror of the bloated-gloated self

nat - flame bowerbird
nat - volglekop bowerbird
(photos of flame and Vogelkop bowerbirds — with 5-min videos at the links)

“Break-gazing — it’s like break-dancing, but as a narcissism syncopation thing, where you just stop looking at yourself — whether in a mirror upon a wall, or in the mirror-of-self that’s turning in your head.”

Alex Garther “Noobie” Fleck is trying to describe, via instant messenger, what she means by saying “ego is a relic from the tribal social night, a social-life thing and not an indie-life thing, that we’ve just retrofitted to make it look like an individual offering to the social no-cap gods, of which there are now none, by definition of the indie-real now, and not the social theme-park now — which is why the whole ego deal seems so mindlessly reflexive.”

“Uh-huh,” Hanscombe “Farside” Wilson sends back. … “And I have no fucking clue, what your go-on is about.”

“Yeah …”

“… So?”

“So, what? Explain myself?”

“No. I’m not parental unit ‘Alpha-Male-47-Ginger-Tango-Boop-Boop,’ defining you by social role.”

She smiles and breath laughs, and sends back “sbl” for “smiling breath laugh.”

“So … you need a few minutes to collect your thoughts?”

“Few years would be more like it. Ask again in maybe 2023.”

“Ok. I’ll put it on my calendar.”

“Cool. See you then.”

“Right. Be good, and keep your ideas down.”


“Yes, ma’am?”

“Why are you so fucked?”

“No idea, Ask me again in 2023, after we rehook-up on the interwebs. You know, if cyberspace hasn’t actually melted down around the melted blue-goo of the planet. … Hey, Noob?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Do you think one upside of global warming is that in, say, 30 years, we can eat toasted cheese sandwiches without actually having to cook them?”

“Possible. Are you still eating, like, a car-battery size brick of cheddar cheese each month?”

“Yeah, but its like a battery for a really small car, now.”

“Good deal for your arteries.”

“Yeah. … So the photos at the top?”

“Yes — and how do they relate to the current search for a bt — big-theme — that I have so effectively ill-defined?”

“That’s it, the theme bacillus. Continuum, please-um.”

“Ok. … So the two bowerbird neighbors from New Guinea. One builds elaborately decorated ‘seduction parlors,’ as Attenborough refs them, and the other builds something like a cattle chute, before which he does an elaborate, pupils independently dilating, bird-guy Kabuki dance. Both working toward the same hormone-driven goal, which is, you know, the bird cloaca version of ‘fuck the girl.'”


“So one bird is like a master architect, carpenter, interior decorator and landscaper, all rolled into one small beak and head. And the other is like Baryshnikov in his prime as the Emperor of Japan’s voo-doo-eyed, brightly costumed boyfriend-girlfriend.”


“But they’re birds. You know, animals that are ‘bird-brained.’ At least when measured by the mirror lens of self-awareness, as the thing that makes ‘oh-so-smart’ so smart.”

“Because birds don’t recognize their own reflections.”

“That’s it. But if …” she trails off, with a long pause before he replies.

“Okay, I think I see the story-line. But if, say, you put a self-awareness, narcissism on parade, unable to feel empathy psychotic, idiot non-savant, former real-estate developer dancing on the edge of bankruptcy who is now the greatest leader ever in the history of the Milky Way — if you put that pile of steaming horse shit beside the actual work-product of the two bird-brain specs shown in the photos at the top, then what is smart and what is just doo-doo with a self-awareness comb-over?”

She chirps out loud and sends back “col.”

“So, at this the fade-out of the roaring vanities of a 20c as the Age of Narcissism, maybe smart is something else?”

“Which is the question of the bt: When did anything that anyone ever managed to do well, get done because of, and not in spite of, the self-mooning eclipse by the twin cheeks of self-awareness and self-reflection?”

“So your bt involves a step-back look at us, in time?”


“With the current bloom of ignoranti —

“– being not as dumbed-out as they act. Not really biologically impaired. Just breast-thump clinging to the tribal, brutal beastie night.

“Which is empowering. So the group-hug of the past is group empowerment, at the expense of the empowerment of the individual?”

“Right. Which is the “Welcome” at the theme park of delusion.”


“Because everything that ‘is’ today, is ‘because’ of the empowerment of what is individual. That’s what art and science are about, now, since the R-word — seeing the depth of field in seeing individual things in space and time. Which is not about the hug of common-focus groupies, finding-making things as proof of the grandness of a higher form of social la-ti-da. The effectuality that can happen through the sharedness, is a ‘result’ of the effectuality that can be realized in the indie-focused looking.”

“Ok. Makes effectual sense to humble typist me.”


“Have you heard the line that if Descartes had used a computer, he’d have said: ‘I rewrite, therefore, I am.’?”

“Yes. It’s written in Sharpie above the toilet paper dispenser in every stall, inside the 2nd floor figure-with-a-skirt restroom in Lester Hall.”

“Oh. So you aren’t the girl with knee-high socks that say: ‘Support me, please, I’m really not all that elastic.’?”

“No, but I think she lives on my floor in the dorm. And you aren’t the guy that carries sparrows in his knapsack?”

“Knapsack sparrows? No. Are they like smaller house sparrows, that eat the small pieces of paper left on the spines of spiral-notebooks?”

“And by ‘spiral-notebooks’ you mean the ones where you write ten words on any subject and then roll the notebook vertically inside itself, as the notebook then multiplies the words into a paper suitable for scholastic presentation?”

“I think you might be academically confusing me with magic.”

“You mean you’re not the image of the person that I’m corresponding with, now, inside my head?”

“No. But I think he might be living on my floor in the dorm.”


“Yes. This ‘is’ sad.”

“Yes. I guess I’ll just excuse myself, wash my face, and say good-night.”

“Me, too.”

“Ok. And don’t forget to put on the heavy nighttime mittens your mother gave you when she began to notice mysterious, stiffened aggregate, on your pajamas with the dancing bears.”

“Thanks for the reminder. Good-night.”

“Good-night. And …

“… same time tomorrow?”

“Of course. Why would anyone say no to this?”

“Why in-fucking-deed.”

20171114 15:37 Tue (1137 words)
“Kicking and Screaming” 1995, Noah Baumbach’s first and best movie (at 26), with an amazingly real perf by Olivia d’Abo – on Netflix
▸ Gabrielle Aplin performing “Panic Cord” from “English Rain” 2013
▸ Whitehorse performing “You Get Older” from “Leave No Bridge Unburned” 2015
▸ Lord Huron performing “We Went Wild” from “Into the Sun” EP 2010
▸ Hey Rosetta! performing “The Simplest Thing” from “Plan Your Escape” 2006

Posted in Uncategorized

“the four jockeys of the apopka-lypse”

mechanical pony
(photo from

“The boys” — aka Billy Evers, Theodore “Hangers” Timms, Franklin “MoonSpoon” Willis, and Sharky Gilmore — rode their bikes most weekday mornings, during their summer break between grades three and four at Andrew Molton Elementary, to the “pony track” just inside the doors of Avalon’s Market, on West Orange Boulevard in Apopka, Florida. At 9:30 the place was never crowded, and the four mechanical horses, shipped from the Ohio Pony Works in Cleveland in 1963, were still just “5 mins for 1 dime.”

Septimus Avalon bought the ponies after a traveling salesman sold him on the “future draw” of mothers who would be glad to leave their little ones, happy in the saddle, while they shopped. Septimus, not the most astute of grocers, reckoned that the Cadillac convertible with Ohio plates the salesman was driving was tangible proof enough of a “future draw” that would, in fact, come true.

In truth, some fifty-four years later that “future draw” never quite panned out as Septimus had hoped. But his daughter, Julie-June, kept the ponies where they were when she took over running the store in 2000, as she’d spent a lot of hours, herself, in the saddle of these horses, while riding out the cowgirl stories in her head.

The stories that the boys were role playing, now, had no cowboys ridin’ ‘cross the sage-brush dotted plains. They were saddled-up on thoroughbreds and racing with each other on the track at Gulfstream Park. Crouched forward in the saddle, heads just above the horses’ heads, as human and equine brainwaves mingled in the gallop of the moment — the boys whispered, in four-part harmony to the rhythm of the pounding hoofs, sweet nothings of encouragement into their charger’s ears.

The horses, track, and scene — all, just human dream time running in the wind.

20171110 17:47 Fri (307 words)
▸ Sophie Hunger performing “Heharun” live 2013, from “Danger of Light” 2013
▸ The Lumineers performing “Flowers in Your Hair” 2012, from “The Lumineers” 2012
▸ Fink performing “Warm Shadow” in studio 2013, from “Perfect Darakness” 2011
▸ M. Ward performing “Sad, Sad Song” live 2011, from “Transfuguration of Vincent” 2003
▸ Anna Ternheim performing “No Subtle Men” live 2013, from “Separation Road” 2006

Posted in Uncategorized

“love for sale”

… and the art of selling anything on eBay, while pimping la histoire

(photo from

It took a few months to figure out exactly what was going on. Even for the software geeks at eBay in San Jose, it was difficult to wrap their code around. They’d always thought it was “possible” to one day sell anything online. But actually selling emotions like “love,” seemed like an idea that was just too emo-hung to ever finally get dressed and make it to the party.

Barry Struthers, on the other hand, never understood what people meant by “doubt.” Since the age of nine — when he buried ping pong balls, filled with paper envelopes of Drano surrounded by lighter fluid, deep inside an 80-lb. bag of “Mr. Garden’s Super-Nitrogen Fertilizer,” resulting in a lift-off that put most of his parents’ one-car garage on the roof of their neighbor’s house — Barry had been certain that he was born to move the world.

So at 24 and barely two years out of tech school at East Evanston Kinetics (EEK), when Barry discovered, while seated at the work bench in his parents’ rebuilt garage, that emotions were actually just human reactions to a particular harmonic frequency in sound waves too low to be detected by the human ear, the eBay logo flashed before his eyes.

And flash it did, as the “Love Store” he set up on eBay sold half a million CD’s in just six months, with a variety of “Love Waves” from: “So hot and horny my desire to do the orgasmic choo-choo in your presence is like a locomotive running on adrenalin.” … to “Girl/guy of my dreams, I want my loins super-glued with yours forever in an act of holy pubic procreation.”

“So I just went with the flow,” Barry said two years later, on “The Entrepreneur” segment of “Good Morning Evanston.”

“And at the end of our first year we had worldwide sales of $150 million. That’s when Google, Amazon, and Facebook made their offers, followed three weeks later by DARPA at the Pentagon. Suddenly, everyone was interested. Even the Joint Chiefs of Staff saw the potential of turning a war machine, that was forecast to consume 300% of the Gross Domestic Product by the year 2040, into the perfect market of a self-sustaining — or “economically self-procreating” as we like to call it — love machine.

“Which was a big change, when you think about it. From a ‘war machine’ to a ‘love machine.’ And it’s something the military and the CIA had initially fought since the ’60s, when they figured out what the Summer of Love was all about.

“‘Fine,’ they thought then, ‘we’ll let the kiddies have one season, but by Autumn we’ll turn this Hippie-Skippie thing around and show the world what a Winter of our discontent is really all about.'”

“Wow!” Jennifer Stiletto Heels, the co-host of “Good Morning Evanston” responded. “It all started with the Hippie-Skippies?”

“Yeah,” Barry answered. “And one day I just woke up and heard the music. Thank God we keep records of this shit.”

20171023 13:00 Mon (518 words)
▸ Howe Gelb performing “The Three Deaths of Lucky” from “The Coincidentalist” 2013
▸ Bear’s Den performing “Elysium” from “Islands” 2014
▸ George Ezra performing “Don’t Matter Now”, a single 2017
▸ Bahamas performing “All the Time” from “Bahamas is Afie” 2014
▸ Lower Dens performing “To Die in L.A.” from “Escape from Evil” 2015

Posted in Uncategorized

“bus talk”

… while exchanging condolences with the psychotic-in-chief

bus interior 02
(bus photo from

1) Lucille, please come back where you belong.

LADY JACKS: (40-something girl in fire engine red spandex jumpsuit, lime green hair and moo-goo-party pink sweatshirt with “Foley’s Jacks Will Jack Your World” on the front, sitting by the windows half-way back, bus-left) I think his name is Bo.

LUCILLE: (80-something girl sitting next to her, with a freshly-permed white Afro, looking like she could be Little Richard’s mother if Little Richard’s mother had lived to be 180, and been white) Are you sure? I was thinking Bootsie-Lee.

LADY JACKS: No. Bootsie-Lee was the guy who played double-bass while dancing around it like a dance partner, in bare feet with toenails painted in mural scenes of Rome in the 4th century ICE.

LUCILLE: (smiling) “ICE”? I thought it was just “CE” for Common Era.”

LADY JACKS: Yeah, it is. I added “In the” to push it forward. You know, as the kind of ironic, anti-dignifier that would apply to a God-forsaken planet, slowly burning to a crisp.

LUCILLE: Crisps. As a poor girl growing up in Cornwall we ate crisps most nights for dinner, and called them “pomme de flambé terre.

LADY JACKS: Another three hundred years and potatoes will likely come from the ground, already cooked. That would be a plus.

LUCILLE: Yes. So electricity, that would normally go towards cooking, could be —

LADY JACKS: — used for air-conditioning. Right. (smiles at her) You’re pretty cool.

LUCILLE: You mean for an old lady who looks like Little Richard with a snowball perm?

LADY JACKS: (breath laugh) Yeah. The perm is definitely selling the sanity of roots.

2) HandsomeFootsome, a boy with digits made of steal.

WHOLE FOODS: (teen-something girl with mid-back-length hair gathered in a tightly-braided horse tail) He does have nice hands. Don’t get me wrong. His fingers might be light, but there’s not a thing wrong with Abstell’s grooming.

PIERCE ARROW: (teen-something girl with more studs and rings tethered to her face than a pirate looking for a place to drop anchor) Yeah. I could eat off any part of that boy, and never feel like I was holding back.

WHOLE FOODS: Totally. Microbes cross the street when he walks toward them on the sidewalk.

PIERCE ARROW: I bet his boxers smell like laundry dried on a clothesline in the 1600s – back when the air in North America still smelled like a wilderness of virgins.

WHOLE FOODS: Yeah. I love that smell. It’s like the fresh, absence of odor.

PIERCE ARROW: Totally. Like Nuns smelled, back when religion was still hot.

3) Ezekiel, and other kick-back toys.

BOOK NOOK: (teen-something boy in the backseat, leaned against the window, deep into a paperback; looks up) Yo, Mo.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (teen-something boy skinnier than a push-broom handle waiting to grow bristles; sits) Abstell. How’s the mother?

BOOK NOOK: Fresh out. (looks back at book)


BOOK NOOK: As a Nun with money left in her allowance.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (mutters slowly) F-uh-hkk. (looks at him) Any suggestions?

BOOK NOOK: Dry fry’s buy-one-get-one, this week at Save A Lot. (looks at him) Or … you could try the choir.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks forward) Nah. My thoughts are way unclean.

(both are silent for a few blocks)

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks at him) What’s the story about?

BOOK NOOK: (looks forward) A guy spends his life dreaming of riding the bus and writing down what he overhears people say.

HAND-WASH GLOW: (looks forward) So it’s a western?

BOOK NOOK: Good guess. He lives in L.A., like a monkey trapped inside the desert sound stage of his head, who never sees the light of day.

HAND-WASH GLOW: Yeah. I can see that movie, with music by a Swiss girl who digs her spaghetti and spinach. *

20171007 13:38 Sat (667 words)
“The Sweet Life” 2016, available on Netflix
▸ Sophie Hunger performing: -a) “Spaghetti mit Spinat” * from “Supermoon” 2015, -b) “LikeLikeLike”, -c) “Souldier” from “The Danger of Light” 2012
▸ Buffalo Springfield performing “For What It’s Worth” from “Buffalo Springfield” 1967
▸ Little Richard performing “Lucille” 1973, from a single 1957

Posted in Uncategorized


… and other things that float on seas of mysterious importance

leaderships 03
(not to scale photo montage of: a) Royal Caribbean’s “MS Harmony of the Seas” – launched 2016, 1,200′ long, 227,000 tons, 6,000 passengers, crew of 2,000; and b) a replica of Ferdinand Magellan‘s “Nao Victoria” [2] – 89′ long, 85 tons, crew of 43; the only ship of the original fleet of 5 to complete the 3-year-long, first circumnavigation of the world in 1522)

Sally Newburg-Rice With Fixings is waiting for the Elm Street Market bus, her ragged jeans butt-parked on a low brick wall as she reads page 97 of Lanford Struthers’ novel on elliptical projection, “Wilco’s Quest,” a second time.

“Wilco led with his chin in all things,” the page begins. “Which was not by chance but by direct result, the result of a brief growth spurt he’d gone through at age 15, after learning how to prime the pump and use the lever of his loins to bring his nocturnal, wet-dream dreamtime fun, into the elliptically-projected light of day.

“At least this was Wilco’s theory to explain the happy coincidence between a sudden growth spurt and the discovery of how to erotically prime the loin-lever pump. Which he tended to as enthusiastically as any student of engineering might, after discovering how well a humble lever can seriously move your world.

“Lately, the boy seems to be using a lot of toilet paper,” Glenda Dupree said to Grover, her husband of one decade plus.

“Let it go,” Grover Dupree answered, and continued marking up his “Daily Racing Form.” “Just be glad the boy is not plugged up.”

Sally’s own mother, Helen Newburg-Rice With Fixings, expressed a similar sentiment with regard to Sally’s younger brother Edgar, after he, too, discovered popular body mechanics. So Sally found she could relate to Struthers’ novelistic, elliptical projections, even if the dotted trail of the projected ellipses, in the light of day, often left some dreams unrequited.

Sally closed the paperback on her bus-transfer bookmark and looked across Forest Avenue, thinking about her brother, who’d left high school and moved to L.A. a year ago to be an actor. Much like her father, Randall Fixings, had done 10 plus years earlier, leaving a note for her mother underneath the kitchen table cookie jar.

“Babe – going to Hollywood to make my mark. I’ll send for you and the kids soon.” That being the last news Helen received from, or about, Randall Fixings. Which was okay with her, since a decade plus of marriage had settled in the long bilge of her life, like a dampness that she’d wished would really find another place to be.

20170926 09:51 (383 words)
▸ King Creosote performing “Something to Believe In”, “From Scotland with Love” 2014
▸ Birdy performing “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, from “Birdy” 2011
▸ M. Ward performing “Hi-Fi” in studio 2014, from “Transistor Radio” 2005
▸ Milo Greene performing “Royal Blue” from “Control” 2015
▸ The Dodos performing “Jodi” live 2008, from “Visiter” 2008

Posted in Uncategorized

“anger management, 101”

… a survey of current events and other tribal social, regurgitated deformities from the dark and brutal, beastie night

evnt - charlottesville 20170813 b - bbc
(photo from BBC story Aug 13, 2017)

GUY WITH CLUB: A/*Q#N@ #O$P!M%$ SH(#&P$>W*Yr@! K//G^>FFF<!!!

MERRIAM WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY TRANSLATION: ugh \often read as ˈəg or ˈəḵ or ˈə\ interj (1837) – used to indicate the sound of a cough or grunt or to express disgust or horror


ON-SCENE TV REPORTER: (to camera guy) Quick! Get the fuck out of here!

“FOX AND FRIENDS” GUEST COMMENTATOR WITH TWO RIGHT ARMS: (watching video) Obviously, to anyone who has actually seen the video of what ‘was’ a peaceful demonstration, organized by people with an appreciation for a view of Southern history that is not the revisionist history of the global “unity through finding commonality in diversity” Nazis – the peaceful expression of Southern heritage here, today, was turned into a violent confrontation when the political-correctness fascists attacked the demonstrators with the aggression of their words – words full of the insidious innuendo that has, so successfully in the past, been used to inflame the moment. As the pluralism-Nazis successfully turned these humble demonstrators into the raging lunatics they wanted them to be, in yet another example of social transference, as alt-left zealots – the bad people – turn good people into the bad people the bad people really are.”

“FOX AND FRIENDS” ANCHOR HANDSOME HANK: (reads stock response as intern Wendy kneels beneath the anchor desk and tidies up his zipper with her tongue) No one here can argue with that.

VIEWER IN WHITE HOUSE TV ROOM: (writing with his thumbs) “Alt-left = Bad #LoserPeople! BAD!!!”

20170817 13:51 (302 words)
▸ John Lennon performing “Imagine” live (1972), from “Imagine” 1971
▸ Bruce Cockburn performing “Pacing the Cage” in studio 1998, from “The Charity of Night” 1997
▸ Destroyer performing “Bangkok” in studio 2015, from “Poison Season” 2015
▸ Blaudzun performing “Revolver” from “Blaudzun” 2008
▸ Passenger performing “Rolling Stone” live (2013), from “Whispers” 2014, lyrics
▸ Mindy Gledhill performing “Winter Moon”, from “Winter Moon” 2011

Posted in Uncategorized

“penis colada”

… a favorite drink for infamous people

(penis colada photo from here and here

Ingredients and Special Tools

a) one very tiny, presidential penis

b) one industrial-grade strainer


a) Remove the penis from the owner with a dull, rusty knife – preferably a knife that’s been sitting in the back room of a junk store for at least fifty years, after being purchased at a police evidence auction where the dried blood of several political wiener amputees is still evident on the blade, after the removers were acquitted by not-very-well-hung juries twice, the second trial taking place in Zürich at the former Bank Nationale de Filthy Riché, and now a burned-out building serving as a court of injustice reversal.

b) Place the crudely severed penis in the industrial-grade strainer, with the special hydraulic macerator pressed down at the full 5,000 pounds per-square-inch of pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Then place a thimble, or other receptacle of appropriate size, underneath the strainer.

c) Place the former owner of the penis in a chair beside the macerator/strainer, for a good view of the proceedings.

d) Turn the macerator on. After all traces of the penis have disappeared from view, stop the macerator and remove the thimble, or other receptacle of appropriate size, and slowly decant the strained liquid into a special, crystal decanter, blown specially for the proceedings and bearing a strong resemblance to the lucky star of the show.

e) Seal the decanter and send it upstairs for display in a gallery of the Museum de Political Wiener Amputees. Send the other residual material, including the former owner of the penis, to the museum’s incinerator, after raising a hand perhaps as the trash cart is wheeled out through the doorway, as a sign of praise for the process of cutting off the “in” from “justice.”

2017-07-02 17:29:51 (342 words)

▸ The Ass Band performing “Hail to the Chief”

Posted in Uncategorized

“the smoking mouth”

trump 02e
(manipulated photo from “here” and here)

“This photo is the updated version of Nixon’s ‘smoking gun’ story,” Angel Suarez says, standing at the front of Helen Riley’s fifth-grade “Current Events” class. Behind her on the screen pulled down over the whiteboard, is the projected image of a slide she made of “Smokin’ Donald Trump.” It’s her assignment for “A Summary of this Week’s Current Events.”

“Who’s Nixman?” Billy Cosgrove asks from the back of class. Billy’s wearing the “Amalgamated Dog Meat Workers of the World” t-shirt he got six weeks ago from his older brother, “Wilco,” before Wilco left Wisconsin for the BeachBabeLands of Florida.

“Richard Milhous Nixon,” Angel answers, “37th President of the United States, forced from office in 1973 by the threat of impeachment. What came to be known as the ‘smoking gun’ of the investigation into Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, was a tape-recorded conversation he’d made in the oval office with his chief of staff, as they talked about how to best obstruct the investigation of their possible involvement in obstructing the investigation of the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, in the Watergate office complex in Washington.”

“So with Nixman, then, the smoking gun was a tape recording?” Billy asks.


“And with Trump, the smoking gun was his mouth?”

“Right,” Angel answers. “The man had shot his mouth off for years. But, being an extremely wealthy man of no real consequence, each time he shot his mouth off, what he hit was also stuff of no real consequence. Until, of course, he was sworn in as the president, where he was slow to realize how much a life of little consequence he’d actually lived.”

“So what he said as president …”

“Quickly showed how empty his self-importance really was, as what he said became like bumper-sticker proclamations of his unfitness for the job.”

2017-05-21 14:13:46 (323 words)
▸ Daughter performing “No Care”, from “Not to Disappear” 2016
▸ The Guggenheim Grotto performing “Told You So” live, from “Waltzing Alone” 2005
▸ Mumford & Sons performing “The Wolf” in studio, from “Wilder Mind” 2015
▸ My Brightest Diamond performing “Inside a Boy”, from “A Thousand Shark’s Teeth” 2008

Posted in Uncategorized

“north of montana, e2”

(dugout view from here)

Episode 2: “Welcome to L.A.”

(A single camera, urban/mountain situation-comedy set mostly in L.A., about people finding their own, individual direction as they attempt to navigate the social misdirection around them, and try to earn a living in “the business” – told in 22-minute episodes with a scene/character list in the attached spreadsheet.)


Opening titles and music begin – Canadian Rockies, a cold snow-covered February morning. Opening helicopter overheads of mountains, trees, snow, then a lone highway with WILL’s solitary, older, rusty green pickup driving down it. Camera overhead from behind the truck drops down to road level on a vehicle following for five beats, then the pickup signals, slows, and pulls into a roadside restaurant parking area.

… full script and scene/char list on .pdf links below
wr tlp – north of montana e002 d02 20170506
wr tlp – north of montana e002 notes 20170418

2017-05-06 09:39:17 (4246 words)
(/wr tlp – north of montana e002 d02 20170506.fadein)
▸ White Hinterland performing “Icarus” from “Dead Oceans” 2010
▸ Jono McCleery performing “This Idea of Us” from “Pagodes” 2015
▸ Blaudzen performing “Heavy Flowers” from “Heavy Flowers” 2012
▸ Amelia Curran performing “Tired Circle” from “Lullabies for Barflies” 2007
▸ Passenger performing “All the Little Lights” from “Young as the Morning Old as the Sea” 2013
▸ Shovels & Rope performing “Keeper” from “O’ Be Joyful” 2013
▸ Patrick Watson performing “Blackwind” from “Adventures in Your Own Backyard” 2012
▸ Hey Marseilles performing “Bright Stars Burning” from “Lines We Trace” 2013, and “West Coast” from “Hey Marseilles” 2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

“north of montana, e1”

(photo from yellowstone insider)

Episode 1: “Get Your Bearings Here”

(A single camera, urban/mountain situation-comedy set mostly in L.A., about people finding their own, individual direction as they attempt to navigate the social misdirection around them, and try to earn a living in “the business” – told in 22-minute episodes with a scene/character list in the attached spreadsheet.)


Opening titles and music begins – L.A., a warm February day. Opening helicopter overheads and street-level shots of a beach-side L.A. neighborhood.

Opening titles and music continues.
On a street near the beach, The Ice House is a small ice cream stand that sells cones from a take-out window. From across the street, WILL opens the driver’s door of an older, rusty pickup. He gets out and crosses the street, walking toward the take-out window, wearing old running shoes, jeans, a t-shirt, jacket, a faded Red Sox baseball cap, and carrying a folded-over, marked-up newspaper employment want-ad section in his hand, tucking it underneath an arm as he crosses the street.
Behind the window HECTOR is sitting on a stool and reading a newspaper. On the wall behind him is a hand-painted menu. HECTOR looks up as WILL approaches.

… full script and scene/char list on pdf links below
wr tlp – north of montana e001 d02 20170415
wr tlp – north of montana e001 notes 20170409

2017-04-16 15:31:01 (4622 words)
(/wr tlp – north of montana e001 d02 20170415.fadein)
▸ The Weepies performing “Sunflower” and “No Trouble” from “Sirens” 2015
▸ The Magnetic North performing “Signs” from “Prospect of Skelmersdale” 2016
▸ Fossil Collective performing “The Magpie”, “Wolves”, and “Boy With Blackbird Kite” from “Tell Where I Lie” 2013
▸ Beirut performing “Perth”, “No No No” and “Gibraltar from “No No No” 2015
▸ Feist performing live at Le Trabendo, Paris, Dec. 2005

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

“abraham bicycle”

lincoln bike 01
(manipulated photo from pinterest and diversified antiques)

“Okay, class,” Doc. Armbruiser says, “regarding this week’s writing prompt – ‘Three to six hundred words on how America, today, might regard the country’s 16th President, if, instead of a Lincoln, he’d been a Bicycle.’ Are there volunteers?”

It’s a Friday in early April, 6th period, “Senior English as a Creative Field of Dreams” at Oliver Wendell Holmes High in West Ft. Totten, Illinois. Charles “Chuck” “Chuckles” “Chuck-it” “D.A.” “Doc. Armbruiser” – aka “Charles Armbruster,” a self-proclaimed “uncertifiable doctor of nothing, with an interest in philology” – has been a fill-in teacher since last Thanksgiving break, when Clarice Frances Whitherall’s head fell face forward into the mashed potatoes at her granddaughter’s house in Topeka.

Emily Clark raises her hand.

“I see a hand,” D.A. says, now, leaned against the front edge of his desk and wearing his standard costume of an ancient polo shirt tucked into a pair of faded jeans, above undyed wool sweat socks and ratty loafers. He moves his right hand up, covering his eyes. “I’m guessing it belongs to … I can’t … see it … clearly. What head might claim, this lofty mitt?”

“Fortenbra,” Emily answers in the low, husky voice of someone who has spent decades fighting pirates in the Caribbean. The class laughs.

D.A., smiling broadly, moves his hand back down to the desk. “Fortenbra? As in …?”

“As in a girl wearing a fortress of a bra, lined with parapets and gun emplacements.”

“And you’re going to read the whole story in this voice?”

“No,” she says, her voice cracking back to Emily, “I can’t do it longer than 10 seconds.”

“I see.”

“Hail, the mighty Fortenbra!” Andy Simms then shouts from the back row, his arm and fist raised high. Andy is the designated cheer driver each Friday for “read it and weep.”

D.A. then raises his arm, along with the rest of class, saying “For-ten-bra” in chorus.

It’s how things go on Fridays. Which is something everyone looks forward to, and a way of doing “school business” that the “Parsons of Our Better Judgment,” aka Principal Richard Hertel, and Vice-Principal Phyllis Dracula, have come to leave alone.

“So?” D.A. says to Emily.

“So,” Emily responds, leaning back and stretching out her legs beneath the desk, while resting the two-page printout against the desktop edge.

“Born in a log cabin near the Sinking Spring bike trail, just outside of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Alexander “Two-Door” Lincoln, and his bride Luella, raised their son, Abraham, in the customs of the day. Which meant that after finishing his homework, each evening by the fire, he was free to let his head play amongst the stories of the 19th century’s version of video games, also known as books. A few of Young Abe’s favorites being ‘Grand Theft Horse and Buggy,’ ‘Super Mario Bros. Buy a Farm,’ and ‘Call of Duty: Modern Musket Warfare.’

“He was a pretty normal kid, except for the fact that by age 14 he was 6-feet 9-inches tall, a power-forward born before his time, since the game of basketball would not be invented for another 70 years. If handling an ax had been an official NCAA sport, Young Abe, then living in Indiana, would certainly have received a scholarship to a big-ten school. But, in the dark years before Pell Grants, and without tuition money of his own, the boy was left to find his own way through the wilderness of 19th century, higher education.

“Which was cool, since it would pretty much form the genome of his character, along lines that were in-sync with the national customs of the time, producing a strong sense of individual accomplishment as people, doing their own thing, made their own way through the wilderness of an unsettled life upon this still, as yet definitely unAmerican continent.

“‘Dad,’ Young Abe would say one day, ‘I think I have the stuff to be the country’s President.’

“‘Uh-huh,’ Two-Door Lincoln answered. ‘Have you fed the hogs?’

“This short scene outside the family barn, turned out to be a defining moment for the boy. He realized that, in the spirit of the pioneers still swimming in his blood, in order to achieve the full potential of his promise he would need to leave his family life behind, and venture off into the wilderness of a future that only he could settle.

“Which, a few years later, would become the venture that he made, traveling further west into Illinois where, as a tribute to his early years in the log cabin near the Sinking Creek bike trail, he would change his last name from Lincoln to Bicycle. Which was certainly a forward-looking thing to do in the sparsely settled wilderness of 1830 North America. Though not really all that strange since, in point of fact, both then and now, we are all born ahead of our time, as our lives consist of what comes after the great and glorious, slip-and-slide of birth.”

Emily drops the pages back onto the desktop, and looks up. “That’s it, Doc.”

“Very cool,” D.A. says, then raises his arm, with the class following in a chorus of “For-ten-bra.”

2017-04-08 01:10:23 (886 words)
▸ Damien Rice performing “The Animals Were Gone” in studio (2007), from “9” 2006
▸ Daughter performing “Youth” 2013, from “If You Leave” 2013
▸ Dan Mangan performing “Road Regrets” 2010, from “Nice, Nice Very Nice” 2009
▸ Delta Spirit performing “People C’mon” from “Ode to Sunshine” 2008
▸ Beruit performing “Forks and Knives (La Fete)” live (2011) from “The Flying Club Cup” 2007
▸ Israel Nash performing “Rexanimarum” from “Israel Nash’s Rain Plans” 2013
▸ Turin Brakes performing “96” from “Lost Property” 2015

Posted in Uncategorized

“last gasp sally”

(photo from “The Daily Mail”)

Sally Franklin Jones — born April Fool’s Day, 1995 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the latest offspring of what would grow to become a family of 26,912 siblings, before the industrial revolution gave way to the debt revolution and the family’s bankruptcy, in 2002. Born mostly gender-neutral, Sally and her semi-sisters were given “certain female characteristics” at the Cedar Falls Resuscitation Practice Doll factory on Milk Street, three blocks from the river.

It was a sunny, early-April day, the city still mostly surrounded by the bare dirt and short-stubbled litter of last summer’s corn harvest. With one North Star “White Mule” heavy-cotton gloved hand beneath each armpit, Mary Orton lifted Sally from the conveyor rollers at the tail end of the assembly line.

She began working at “Doll Town” in January of ’93 at the age of 19, six months after graduating from Cedar Falls High and one month after dropping out of the University of Iowa as an at-sea freshman. Ten years of good-student citizenship for Sally had gone south in her junior year at CF High, when the previews of “Hormones, the Musical,” began playing in her head.


MARY: (speechless, blushing, looks down at her Chuck Taylor high-tops)

HBG: Wanna, you know — do something?

MARY: (looking at the scruffy grass behind the portables) Something, like … what?

HBG: Tongue hockey?

MARY: (glancing up at the 17-year-old tower of boy hormones with invisible hormone-smoke coming from his nostrils) Dunno. Maybe?

(Cue music: “Hockey Glottis” begins loud, as six boys, and six girls with pompoms, leap around the corner of the portable, in full cheerleader dress. Mary and Hot Boy Gregory, oblivious to the singing and dancing going on around them, begin making out like two thirsty travelers in the social desert, now happy to be guzzling at a wet and sloppy, hormone oasis.)

Which soon led to an extra-curricular education where bonework began to push homework off the subject stage.

“How’s Mary doing at school?” Mrs. Robinson would ask her mother, six months later, in the canned soups-and-vegetables aisle at Wigwam.

“She seems distracted,” Heather Orton answered with concern, putting a can of Progresso Minestrone in her cart.

“It happens,” Linda Robinson replied, smiling. Linda worked in the sales office at Doll Town, having started on the assembly line soon after high school, herself.

As Mary lifts Sally off the line, now, she gives the lip-lock princess one final look-and-see, before laying her out in the corrugated, cardboard coffin that will send her off to spread the kiss-of-life across a waiting world.

2017-04-01 11:52 (449 words)
▸ Destroyer performing “Bangkok” and “Times Square” live 2015, from “Poison Season” 2015
▸ Megan Washington performing “Limitless” and “My Heart is a Wheel” from “There There” 2014
▸ Leftover Cuties performing “What’s the Matter?” from “The Spark & the Fire” 2013

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… a girl walks into a mess

(photo from

Marebeth is writing her five-minutes of fame for this year’s “Senior Talent Show.” Yesterday, she bought a “humor dress” from the thrift store on Commerce Street, to show she’s serious. “It’s a hippy quilt” she said on the phone to Suzanne, her best friend since fifth grade detention after both girls were caught sharing a “hefty blunt,” as Officer Wilber described it, behind the portables.

The blunt, in fact, was actually a “porker” Marebeth had rolled from Bugler cigarette tobacco, using a technique her Uncle Feldy taught her when they fished together from a small, blue rowboat each summer on Hayber Pond, near Fairbanks. Uncle Feldy was a native-born Alaskan, though his mother was born in Russia and his father came north from Calfornia to pan for gold during the depression.

“Why’d they call you ‘Marebeth’?” Suzanne asked behind the portables, passing her the porker. “Is it because your Mom dreamed of one day having her own horse?”

“Not sure about the horse,” Marebeth answered. “They told me it was from ‘la mare,’ French for ‘the sea.’ Apparently in the car on the way to the hospital, my Mom’s water broke. And the way she told the story later, when they reached the hospital and opened the passenger’s door to let her out, a waterfall gushed out of the car and into the ER lobby.

“No way,” Suzanne said.

“I’m just repeating the story as it was told to me. It seems there were a number of steelhead trout that ended up near the nurses’ station, that gave the security guards quite a fight.”

“Uh-huh. So how’s the monologue going for talent show?”

“Okay. Want to hear what I have so far?”

“Why do you think I asked?”

“Dunno. I thought maybe you were just being polite, and … wait, forget it. For a minute I forgot who you were.”

“Funny. So what’s it called?”

“‘A Girl Walks Into a Mess.'”

“What’s the mess?”

“Current life.”

“Cool. How’s it start?”

“‘Marebeth is writing her five minutes of fame for this year’s Senior Talent Show,'” Marebeth reads from her laptop screen.

“It sounds like a story someone might post online.”

“Yeah. It’s a story monologue, intended to sound like a story someone might post online, that’s about a girl preparing for her five minutes of fame at this year’s talent show.”

“Am I in it?”

“Of course. Who else would I be talking to about it? Just some imaginary person in my head? That’s crazy.”


“Yes, Suzanne?”

“I think it’s time you ran for President.”

“Really? Would I have to get new underwear?”

“Huh-uh. The balloons and dancing bears would fit right in.”

“Cool. Can I use that in the monologue, as an offhand comment on the current can’t-add-ministration mess?”

“Of course. What are ghost ghost writers for?”

“I was hoping you’d see right through this,” Marebeth said. “I need to hang up, now, and go pee on something in the toilet.”

2017-03-12 23:34:42 (516 words)
▸ UMass Dynamics performing “Landslide” by Dixie Chicks, from “Giraffes Out of Bed” 2013
▸ Blind Pilot performing live 2016: a) “Joik #3”; b) “Don’t Doubt” from “And Then Like Lions” 2016; and c) “Half Moon” from “We Are the Tide” 2011

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