I am attending a family wedding held in a farm setting. I try and help my mom by helping prepare the food in the kitchen. She is being impatient with me and she is about 40 years old. I go outside and spread out a bunch of greens in the grass from a large bag by the gravel driveway. As soon as they have been strewn I begin to bag them up again. I see that I need more bags so I look at a nearby rotating rack which holds cheap, folded rain ponchos. I return to the kitchen with a question for my mom and she curtly tells me to 'figure it out.' My old friend RdF arrives, walking up the gravel driveway holding a gift but I can't chat and catch up right then. I turn and head into a department store to try and find a bag to put all my greens in. I pass through the store finding nothing and return to the rack next to the driveway on the farm.
Someone yells for me to go inside the main house and I go upstairs to a white, rustic bedroom. My sister is laying in the bed, clothed. I ask her if she is going to get dressed for the party and sit down on the bed beside her. My question produces a self-inflicted panic as I only have sweaty work clothes on myself. Just then the bedroom door opens and Bruce Springsteen enters. He and my sister start talking in an easy, familiar manner. I am thinking that their chat is sounding very friendly, almost flirtatious. I myself feel at ease and don't feel out of sorts being in the presence of such a big star. I make a joke about having nothing to wear and perhaps I'll just put on the bed sheet like a toga. I also joke that a lot of people would like to date my sister, too. The Boss plays with her foot at the end of the bed while they make small chat, then gets up and says he'll see us at the reception and exits. As he leaves, my sister, married for 20 years with four kids, says she has something to tell me. She says that our uncle had an unnatural crush on her since puberty, but he didn't do anything to her physically. He just said skeevy things and sent oddly suggestive gifts. I ask about her relations with Bruce and she tells me that they have been having an affair for 29 days, she says that they met at an event that she and her husband T attended. He's a LED salesman.
People outside the house are now clamoring to get inside as a storm is fast approaching. I run the other way with a few recycling bags to fetch as many of the greens blowing around on the grass as I can.Continue reading
The Blue Leaves stem from the floor of the furnace,
which places its head on the pillow next to you
In a bed of cow chips glued together
by mysterious shrapnel.
The oldest line segment in the world receives for its birthday
a monetized phylum who bites his tongue in victory.
Yet the rosin winks its eye at the passing puddle
floating about 'sept pounces' above the honeyed fjord
Never able to dance for her father as the hearse sells hair spray
from its unhinged jaw, tail-lights awaiting the jury's cough.
"You can't scull-fuck an onion ring!" screams the garden fence.
"But pajama bottoms on a car horn can bring a snort," replied the terabyte
just as it pointed towards the eyepiece for a long, projected period of silence.
My kids and I, two boys 15 and 11 are at some event at a rural fairgrounds setting. The late afternoon holds an overcast, if slightly threatening sky. The event, whatever it is, is over and folks are walking to their cars, which are spread out over a few hundreds of yards of grass and sod. Me and the boys are walking against the tide of people who are dressed mainly in flannel, t-shirts and jeans.
Next to the road, which resembles Blue Ridge in Raleigh that runs right by their fairgrounds, is a long-hooded 'funny car.' It's parked in in the front yard of a small house near the mailbox. Grass has overgrown near the tires, it looks like this car hasn't been used in a while. As we have no way home, I squeeze into the single-user driver's seat. A large spoiler just behind the roll-bar is connected to the chassis by an elaborate tapestry of small rods and bars. Also nearer to the ground on either sides are platforms which I instruct each child to step on and hold fast to the support bars. I turn the car on and each kid hops on excitedly, the youngest at last questioning if this is a good idea. I tell them that we are going to drive super-slow just until we get home, then I'll drop them and return the funny-car.
We start out on the road, the kids are whooping and hollering enjoying the ride. Due to the design of the car, steering is a bit difficult but I'm able to manage. After a mile or so, going around 20 MPH, I hear a siren behind us. "Oh shit," I say, "I knew this was going to happen." We pull over and the cop comes over to me. I thought he was going to ask about the welfare of the children but he didn't. Instead he asks if I have permission to be driving this car, especially since we're in a lockdown. Knowing my kids are getting disturbed, I opt to be as forthcoming as I can. Feeling their worried eyes boring into me I explain that no, I didn't ask permission to use the car, but I'm going to return it as soon as I get the kids home. The officer tells me to get out of the funny-car.
He takes the three of us to the police station, which more resembles a pick-up/drop-off kiosk in the rental car section of a large airport parking lot. Inside the tiny all windowed office two officers are having a conversation that all of us can hear. "I knew as soon as I saw that car on the street whose it was, and I knew right away it wasn't that guys," pointing at me. Then the cops turn in my direction. "Do you know the owner?" "No, I do not. Look, I apologize and I want to be completely truthful with you." The kids are still staring at me, taking in everything I'm saying. I know how I handle this will leave an imprint on them for life. "I just needed the car to get them home, then I was going to return it, honest. I wasn't trying to steal a funny-car." The phone rings and a hardy policeman twists around uncomfortably to pick it up. He says a few words and then to us, "It's the owner." After a few more uh-huhs he puts the phone down. "He's not happy." I look back down at the kids who haven't looked away from me. One of the officers stands up and grabs his coat and tells us, "let's go."
Inside the police car on our way home I ask what the penalties will be. One of the cops says one of the charges will be "47 bucks," which has to do with getting the police involved. The other fee is for theft, "20-80." "Twenty dollars?" "Heh, two-thousand, eighty dollars." I inhale deeply and say ok. Inside I begin to feel the dread of figuring out how I'm going to be able to pay. I do some calculations in my head; second job, sell some gear, et cetera. The feeling is like my insides have rotted. As I do with money related issues, I get depressed.
Then thanks fuck, I wake up.Continue reading
The billionaire's codpiece collected more aerial footage than elastic humus,
The innocence of his youth as shrouded by time as the Lord's taint.
We should never speak of this, said Earl for the first time.Continue reading
Late for an appointment on a rainy day just as its turning dark, I stop into a school on the boulevard where they are beginning their night classes. I'm delivering a large, fully-stuffed duffel bag whose color in my mind alters from orange to blue. I'm not sure what's in the bag as I hoist from my shoulder on to the cabinets by the windows. Its full and feels like linens, one of the adult students suggests that it might be covid-19 masks. Nearby there is a lady in her early 60's perhaps sitting at one of the students desks. She is agitated that her laptop is not functioning properly. The woman asks if I know anything about it and I offer to take a look. I recognize this lady, its the famous film critic Pauline Kael! I am able to make a little progress while hovering over her, but impatiently she springs up and takes her place in the front of the classroom. I take that as a queue to continue working on the computer. I quickly explain that I can do this better if I were able to leave the room. I pick up the laptop and with her approval walk out of the classroom door and down the school hall.
I find myself in an abandoned locker room-cum-parking garage. I reason that the lights are all turned out is that the kids are not at school due to the cornona virus outbreak. What I'm not prepared for are the mice running around. At first I thought they were rats but they were too small. With laptop in hand I exit the locker room-cum-garage and enter into a small apartment kitchen. This seems to be Pauline's as there are pictures of her and family and friends around. Its quaint and kind of old-timey with yellow flowered wallpaper and a red-checkered cloth on a table that couldn't fit more than four. I have a seat and resume looking over her laptop. Pauline breezily enters and cheerfully asks how its going. I explain that I was just now looking at it. She pulls up a stool right beside me and then stands upon it in an effort to retrieve something from a high shelf. The dimensions of the small kitchen mean that her midsection is right by my face as she reaches upward in a black long sleeved, form-fitting shirt and a black miniskirt on top of black tights. Her bright demeanor and her body so close, she at the moment does not seem unattractive, especially when she steps down and I see she is wearing tall black pumps. I stand to help her with her box and am a little shocked to find that contrary to all I've seen and read about her, she is a good four-inches taller than me!
She then expresses that the laptop can wait but we have to right away go and join her friends for lunch. With the laptop we exit the building through the locker room-cum-garage and down the street. I am drumming up the courage to explain to her that I am a filmmaker and that I am very familiar with her writings. I begin to speak on it after resolving how to phase such an exhortation and she stops me halfway through. "I know, I know... I'll be happy to discuss this with you later, don't worry. But we really have to get to the lunch..."Continue reading
At first I was attending a Bob Dylan concert in a medium sized football stadium. It was daylight and the venue seemed more like an older English stadium or a college football stadium here in the US. The steps and seats were old and concrete, not modern at all. Curiously the section where I found myself unaccompanied, was populated with loads of very young children and their mothers. Kids and their accouterments were everywhere. There were blankets, coloring books, toys, bottles and children scattered all over the seats and in the aisles. Clearly they were not interested in the show at all but having a grand time at their massive playdate. A few groups of mothers stood like buoys monitoring the sea of toddlers, also not prioritizing the performer on the field. I passed through trying to find my seat, delicately stepping around children and sippy cups.
I made my way down from near the top of the semi-covered arena to an area closer to the field. I squatted down in an empty space beside a few others doing the same in an area where there were no seats. It seemed that this small space was formerly perhaps a janitor's closet that had been partially torn down. A window facing the field was all that was left of this six-or seven foot area in the middle of the stadium seats. As I crouched and focused my eyes I could see Dylan on a small stage on the field. It was chilly and he was bundled up in a coat, scarf and mittens(?) He wasn't playing at the moment and you could see through his frosty breath he was smiling (!) A small group of 4, also bundled came up to him on the stage and as he clearly recognized them he eagerly shook hands and gave out hugs. I felt a tap on my shoulder, was I obstructing someone's view? I turned as if to get up but a man pointed down to the field instead. He asked if i knew who those people greeting Dylan were, I told him I did not. He said they were 'Blondie.' Right at that moment on the field I see Debbie Harry with her long gray hair grab Dylan's face and plant a lovely, warm kiss right on his mouth. She held it for a few seconds and then finished with a dramatic 'Muah!' Both of them had huge grins on their faces, the crowd cheered and inside I melted. It was so sweet and unexpected.
Next I find my self stepping out a window onto a flat roof space that's only 3' x 3', not very big. I'm up about three stories and its a beautiful, cloudless day going towards mid-afternoon. The setting is sparse, like a Magritte or de Chirico painting. The building I'm in stands about five stories total and about 40 yards away on the same side of the street is another one just like it. In between is a small plot of grass and what looks like a windowed porch but it's not attached to a house. It's just an open room on one side and the roof and walls are made of glass. Inside there's only enough room for a couch and a few plants. From my perch looking down I see there sitting, strumming a guitar, none other than Dylan himself. He's singing a song I don't recognize, but its in the jauntier tempo of something like "Love Minus Zero/No Limit." The one line I did hear and remember goes like, "The clothes on the rack there didn't say a word, they were muted."Continue reading
I'm looking for a cul-de-sac that'll fold my laundry, lapping at the mitochondria, lapping at the mitochondria.
The barbed wire fence kneels to the lower case 'r', balls out on french fries.
Pinks and blues and yellows and slag, the sky is kind to you.
I'm rusting for an answer.
The power line geometry in an avuncular polar cap. No need to remember the calm beneath the nip, lost in deep pools of blond, tethered to the sidestepped frame that holds tonight's conquest and tomorrow's high five.
The porpoise has reservations at the finest abandoned factory, he enables the dim sum to shine. Shine, shine.
The grass is geeky, the diner is deep purple and the houses can't keep themselves off of each other. Residential centipede, smoke 'em if you... nutin' right or left.Continue reading
I'm in a small Asian mall, seemingly near the water in Chinatown. I have my old blue camera bag with me. In my mind I have set out to accomplish two things, one of which is to get my camera's firmware updated. My friend from work, DlC pops up and says he will take the camera bag and get everything serviced for me. I thank him and continue outside the shops. The other thing I had to do was to make some edits on a film through Adobe Premiere. The edit suite was close by and I walk to the small, ground floor office by the docks. I click on the light and power up the computers. Once I see the project on the screen I notice that there’s something missing. At this point its getting late in the evening. The wife back home knows I’m working late, I look at my phone to see if there are any calls or texts from her and there are none.
I continue walking on the street, which resembles a shanty town with people hanging out in their warehouse and garage openings; talking, drinking, smoking. I enter one building which has a chintzy gift shop on the main floor, selling cheap tchotkes. Toward the back of the room is a split-level loft space with a number of well-worn bunk beds and singles like an army barrack gone to seed. There are a number of TVs on various platforms. I walk up the two or three stairs to see that most of the beds are taken by older Chinese people, sleeping off a drunk or drug high, some are just crashing and watching TV due to nothing else to do around midnight. I spy a spot on a lower bunk, the beds are large enough to accommodate two people I now see, and I scoot around a small older lady asleep on the edge of the bed to the inside of the bunk and lean against the wall. At the foot of the bed I adjust myself to stretch my legs out on a box facing one of the TVs, perpendicular to the old woman. She awakes and even though we are not in anyway touching she gets up perturbed and says something in Cantonese and pads off. I begin to grow tired and lay back down after turning off the tele. From down the way I hear the lady complaining to the manager. The manager comes over to the bed to look for herself, she herself is a middle aged Chinese woman with glasses (maybe horn-rimmed?) on a chain and dangling off her nose. With hands on her hips she looks down, gives a shrug and walks back the way she came.
On the bed I pull up some sheets and I close my eyes. I feel someone beside me. I reach out and touch what feels like a female in a short thin dress. I open my eyes and in my arms is a young Chinese woman, probably 19 or 20. She is cute with short hair and bangs. She turns and puts her arm around my body in a suggestive way. She tell me that we shouldn’t be shy and that we should always take advantage of these situations as we don’t know how many more we may get in life. I look over quickly to my phone that’s beside me to check the time, and to see if anyone from home has been trying to contact me. It’s 2:30 AM and I’ve received no notifications. The girl and I begin to kiss and feel around each other’s bodies. She puts her leg over me and crawls on top. We are rubbing our parts together and are both aroused. Our clothes are unfastened and I want to enter her in this position. She slips off to the side and embraces my penis against her breasts, I am hoping for oral sex. Some voices float over from the bed across the room and I look over and see a Caucasian male with a head of thick curly, blond hair and beard talking to his young children, a boy and a girl. I tap my partner to emerge from under the covers as there are families in the room. I now see the man get out of the bed, it’s the only one lit by a bed-side table lamp. He gets a painting out of his bag that’s around 2’x 3’. The kids hop off the bed to have a look, now they are standing by my bed so I can see the painting clearly. The art is of a tree which has a human face drawn into the top before the branches with leaves can obscure it. Right beside the tree face are two other faces closely positioned as if they are huddling together to pose for a picture. One of the faces seems as part of a cloud and one is of the blue sky. The man explains to the children that the sky face is of Great-aunt Sadie, the cloud their grandpa and the tree that of a dear cousin.
When the family leaves I look to reignite the fire with my new friend. She is now not feeling so randy. Instead she wants to talk and get to know one another. She tells me that she’s a student from China and is very excited about seeing America. My new friend sits up and straightens out her dress. I start to get myself together as well. As she leaves to go into the connecting shop, DlC returns and puts the blue camera bag on the bed. He tells me everything with the camera is good and even scored a few extra SD cards. He opens his hand and drops three light blue cards and one black one into my hand. I put them into my pocket.
I thank DlC again and take my bag and go outside. Once again I check my phone and no messages or missed calls in the wee hours of the night. Outside the shop/flop house just a property or two down a man is unlocking the door of a small restaurant. He appears to be getting it ready for customers that will appear in a few hours. On the step to the side of the entrance a ruckus is brewing, three or four lobsters are in a war with three or four pigeons. The fight is furious and feathers are flying, even though the pigeons don’t appear to be typical city pigeon but a little larger and more prehistoric looking, complete with teeth! The restaurant owner makes a comment that the battling crustaceans are a “new pod of lobsters” that have recently come up the river from somewhere south. I leave the fray and walk back to the shop to look for my friend, there I find her continuing to shop, merrily. I ask her what her plans are and hope for an amorous response. Instead she explains that once it becomes light out she’s on a bus to see the country. I bid her safe travels and give her a kiss on her forehead. I leave the shop for the last time and begin walking to the train station that will put me at home right about daybreak.
I went to see Everton take on Chelsea. I was somewhat dreading the outcome but hoped that my team would at least show up and give the London squad a tough game. I was very interested to see that the pitch was not near-flat like at most stadia but this fixture was to be played on a large stand alone hill, with trees and protruding rocks. The goals were located on the bottom of either side of this craggy mound. Needless to say there was no seating but the few fans that did show were able to amble around and up and down the hill to get better views of where the ball was being played. Aside from the obvious disadvantage of limited sight lines, the players didn't seem to be bothered with the conditions and just got on with it. There was no grousing for those in action, darting around trees and balls bouncing wildly off of rocks. By halftime I was elated that my Everton had thus far put in a good shift and the score was 0-0. Soon the game was back on and I turned to a man standing next to me and addressed peculiarity of this event. He replied that today they were playing by Huddersfield Rules. Wandering around the side of the large hill on this overcast day I had trouble following the play. The final whistle blew and I asked a few wandering nearby the result of the game. I received conflicting reports that my team either won or lost 3-0.Continue reading
Last night I dreamt that I was startled to hear noises coming from a small bedroom off our steps that don't exist. In the dark I carefully approach the door and slowly open it. There in the tiny bed I see the calf of a young lady uncovered by the sheets. As I enter the room I see the head of the lady sleeping, rather talking in her sleep. She has short, curly, dark hair and looks perhaps of a Mediterranean origin. I grasp her exposed calf firmly and give her a shake to rouse her. She rubs her eyes and looks startled at me. I ask her who she is and how she got into our rather secure apartment located on the second floor of a house. She told me that she just needed a place to stay for the night and would leave in the morning. She added that her name was DRIAGFA. When she said her name it was as if the walls themselves began reciting her name "Dri-ag-fa... Dri-ag-fa... Dri-ag-fa...!!!" I returned to my bedroom with this name ringing loudly throughout our home.Continue reading
Last evening I met an old friend I haven't seen in quite some time for drinks. In honor of this event and out of respect for my revered companion 'V,' I dressed in all khaki. He was so overcome by my sartorial remark that he had to excuse himself only nine or ten times to presumably wipe away tears and and/or powder his none-too-distinctive nose. Additionally, I'd like to share a dream I had back in the heady month of November of 2014 featuring V, who we will now call A.
'A' had recently become obsessed with an original member of the Doobie Bros because he had read that the musician had survived a horrible near-drowning in a subway station. A had decided to get around in an electric wheelchair that didn't work and was a bitch to push in homage of the injured Doobie. One day after drinking a Guinness, he still had the foam over his lip, he got into a loud screaming match with another one of our friends and took a souvenir rectangular guitar and threw it down the corridor of an emptied school. To cool off, I encouraged him to come with me outside. There we saw a small do-gooder group building some kind of ring of honor in a little wooded area next to the school. They asked A if he'd like his picture taken with them in the ring. We struggled to maneuver his wheelchair into the circle over the branches, twigs and pine straw the group had gathered. With his Guinness grin still in tact, A posed with the do-gooders as they gave thumbs up all around him.Continue reading
Taken from a dream sometime December, 2017
We are in the Appalachian Mountains, walking along a scenic road and following it into a driveway. My Dad is with me, there are others scattered around. The house is a small museum with a gift shop on the first floor. Through the house and out the back door is a gathering area where a stand is serving beverages. This area is outdoors but seems to be bricked in with attractive shrubs and very healthy grass. Incongruously, the house in another angle opens into a shopping mall. I now see that this is the house of Warren Zevon. The house itself is tidy and neat, no real flavor. The gift shop is small, not terribly commercial; a few cds, mugs and maybe a t-shirt on a stand. Our attention is drawn to the backyard where Warren, noticeably not holding a beverage, is holding court. He is dressed more like a suburban dad than a rock star. He has on an aqua blue polo shirt and khaki pants. I go up to the group he's speaking to and listen in. Closer up, he looks like in his mid-50's, a short goatee and a little pot-belly. As the group disperses, I catch Warren's eye and drop a few well placed comments. He smiles as he can tell I'm more than an average fan and I get a feeling that he'd like to chat more but has to obey his duty to mingle. As "Hula-Hula Boys" plays on the built in speakers, our paths cross again in the garden a little later. We are standing beside a steel contraption that resembles a single covered seat on a Ferris wheel or a non-glassed in cab of a bull-dozer. Inside there is a single lever, like for an airplane. Outside, the top is connected to an array of long arms of metal folded upon itself. Warren gets in to demonstrate for the people. He sits in the car and tugs on the handle. He rises into the air about 20 feet or so and its unfolding arms move him above the crowd any which way he chooses. When he lands it back in his dock, he exclaims that this is his 'flight simulator' and its where he goes to 'be by himself.' Having read about this device, I ask him if its from... And he interrupts me. "Yes William Burroughs found it for me." As my Dad and I wander the small gardens I ask him if he knows who Warren Zevon is and more importantly that WZ died back in 2003? We walk into a modern looking classroom and in the build up before class begins, a young woman about 16 and pleasant, asks me about my shirt. I look down and its a NYFF shirt from the late 90s with letters in the bold primary colors of blue, red and yellow. I laugh having never seen this shirt and she makes some comment about how recent it was, (or old.) I ask her if she's a fan of Zevon and she answers in the affirmative. As she talks about her favorite songs, I watch her to see if she is referring to him in the past or in the present. I determine she is not speaking of my present. I walk over to another desk where my father has a large portfolio opened examining old photos of me when I was a baby. Some of these don't exactly look like my baby pics, some even have my eyes as blue. As he packs up the large portfolio and we exit back into the driveway, I tell him my theory that we've stepped back in time somehow by going into this house. Without surprise, he says that its possible and we continue to a place that resembles the first apartment I grew up in, just updated in style from the early 70s when my dad used to live with us. He has his hands full with the portfolio and other things he's pulling out of the mailbox. He tells me that he'll see me later and I go upstairs and to what seems as my bedroom but positioned where my parents room used to be. I sit in the bed and lean against the headboard with the window above my right shoulder. I glance up and see a shadow, which is odd as I'm on the second floor. The shadow appears to be the shape of the grim reaper. Its shaking about but not at all in a menacing way. I stand to see what's up. Its a grim reaper shaped balloon on a stick being hoisted up to the window by two of my longtime co-workers. They are shaking it and laughing. One of them says that my dad forgot to leave it with me.
Taken from a dream the night of February 27, 2018
My lady and I walk into a restaurant that I've been to before. The ceilings are very high and the room is very spacious. The tables are arranged as to make way for a white, enamel colored dance floor that must have been built in the early or mid-century. Where the band would be is a large parabolic window running the length of the large room. Behind the window, which has pink curtains drawn to the sides, is a group of about 20 or so musicians taking their seats and tuning their instruments. They are all clean cut, middle-aged and wearing tuxedos. Behind them is another large space and an actual bandstand. I can't quite make out the thin, cursive letters that form their logo on the stands. In the restaurant, most of the tables are empty, it feels as if we are arriving before the dinner crowd, if there will be one. I comment to Ned that this place used to really swing back in the day. The maitre d, an older Jewish woman, takes us to our table which is draped in a royal red cloth. As we settle the orchestra begins a slow, lush tune that would be right at place on the Lawrence Welk show. I keep my observation to myself as I doubt they had the Lawrence Welk show in Ireland. The waiter, a 60-ish man in an uniform that matches the tablecloth and must be a few decades old ambles by to take our drink order. He's holding an old-school notepad. I ask what kind of red wine they offer and with a slight smile he responds that the restaurant only has one kind. I tell him that I remember from my last visit it was perfectly acceptable. My partner orders a seltzer. In his New York Jewish accent he asks her where she's from, she replies, "I'm from Ireland." "Ireland has a lot of ports" he remarks. We both nod in agreement with his observation.
As we're listening to mellow strings of the band our waiter returns with our drinks and two dry, flaky, square biscuit looking things. We have a glance at them but return out attention to the music. A family walks by our table and a 6-year-old stops and without guile reaches over and grabs a bread. As he mashes it into his mouth, crumbs flying, his father turns to us and says "Sorry about that," also in an urban Jewish accent. I somehow come to the realization that the restaurant must be situated in either Forest Hills or Kew Gardens in Queens. "No worries" Ned replies with a giggle. "Where ya from?" asks the 40-ish father of the crumbmuncher. "Ireland." The man takes a pause and cocks his head to the side in contemplation, "A lotta ports over there..."Continue reading