Archive for June, 2011

ALWAYS, THE CURTAIN COMES DOWN

faked by Monday, June 27th, 2011

The good doctor
has his fingers in the mouth
of a red-haired man.

Repeat after me, the good doctor
says to the red-haired man:
this vindictive creature, he
swallows the delicate flower
.

It beat counting pills, it all
beat counting pills.
He was fine with being a
special guest star, fine with
being the villain. As long as he
wasn’t down in the Bronx,
counting pills.

The red-haired man squints &
mumbles. The doctor spreads his
cheeks, pinches his tongue:
Again, Carlos. Repeat after me.

FLOOD WATERS

faked by Monday, June 20th, 2011


For a few weeks now I’ve been working with Anna Kline and the Grits & Soul Band on a design for their forthcoming record. Anna and the guys play what I call old timey country music—mandolin, hand clapping, real macaroni & cheese porch music. I sat around on the porch at Sneaky Beans recently and listened to them roll away and you just sit there and smile and sweat. It just feels real.

Anna really likes the intricate hand-lettering and feel of early 20th century sheet music and hymnals, so I tried to capture that feel for a design for the “Flood Waters” single. We sat around her house the other day and this is what we came up with.

This is just a sneak peek from the forthcoming record—Anna + the band will reveal it when it’s final. You can like the Grits & Soul Band on Facebook, or check out their Reverb Nation profile. Anna also tweets at @gritsandsoul.

GO SPARTANS

faked by Monday, June 13th, 2011

They used cracked and splintered
porch doors as stretchers for the bodies,
for the mommas and cousins and math
teachers.

(Whatever would do. They were out of
proper stretchers, and bandages, and
morphine. The Red Cross was set up
at the Piggly Wiggly. You don’t get
choosy in wartime).

The house where we played Neuromancer
on the Commodore
was gone.
The house where you’d put my hand
under your black bra
was gone.
The house where we’d listened to Tesla
was gone.
But these were just places, just
gray plastic and dull copper,
Dothan brick and Bessemer steel.

Fresh cut wood, that’s what my daddy
told me it smells like after the storm, after
the phone lines are back up.

(He told me this on April 27, 2011, as I stood
in the middle of Saint Mary Street and stared
at the sky, biting the insides of my cheeks).

His house didn’t get exploded, he wasn’t
left with shatterered femurs twisted under
concrete blocks, he didn’t have to ride on
a busted porch door to the Red Cross shelter
down at the Piggly Wiggly.

They don’t even give the damned tornados
names like they do their slow, fat-assed cousins,
lumbering in from the Gulf, chewing up
everything in sight, names so kind, almost
mild: Camille, Hugo, Katrina, the names of
mommas & cousins &
math teachers.

KEEP HATRED FROM THE MIGHTY

faked by Saturday, June 4th, 2011

I flinch for like the sixth time while passing the exit to Yazoo City. It’s one of the organ donors that does it do me this time; he’s alone, clad in green Kevlar, riding without a pack, bobbing and weaving in between the battered Corollas and single-headlight F-150s. For the hundredth time I think that anybody riding a motorcycle this fast on the highway in Jackson must have a sincere desire to go out the old-fashioned way: with a joyous spray of arterial blood over the spiderwebbed windshield of an elderly Baptist deacon driving ten miles under the speed limit while buzzed on Mad Dog and Kools.

When I drank I never used to flinch. I used to bob and weave in traffic like the organ donors on their chopped & screwed Kawasakis and Ducatis. I’d have the windows down in the Camino—the windows were always down—with a Miller Lite tallboy between my legs as the little cassette player struggled to cough up enough decibels to get over the sputtering engine and roadhum.

I’m singing along to Stevie Wonder asking for Heaven to Help Us All when my phone buzzes. I miss y’all. I am at a country western bar that is playing rap music. I grin so hard that I don’t even flinch when a two-toned Caprice edges me off the highway by riding down the middle of both lanes, a dense heartbeat of bass throbbing and Dopplering behind the Chevy as it roars into the distance, painted yellow by a hundred sodium vapor lights. There are no taillights.