Archive for the ‘Gorjus’ Category


faked by Thursday, November 14th, 2013


3734 E.P. Blvd., Memphis, Tennessee 38116, Polaroid 600, film expired July 2007, Photo taken November 2013.

YOU ARE TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD and on Beale Street. Just like every other 21 year old in the history of Memphis who is 21 and on Beale Street you have been drinking whiskey and dancing to the blues and sweating even though it’s wintertime. There was an hour of R.L. Burnside and then J.S.B.X. screaming about how now they got worry. Between the two bands there is a century of blues. You’re pretty sure they ain’t got the heat turned on in the burned out old theatre you’re dancing in.

Christina from Boss Hogg is there amidst the busted Budweiser bottles and she is impossibly tall and wearing a floor length white mink coat. She is the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. There might as well be a forcefield around her, a ten foot invisble cordon. After the show you shake Judah Bauer’s hand and it is a massive paw, your hand like a little kid’s in the middle of this great rhythmic device of calcium and cartilage.

You are with your two best friends. One is a drummer and the other a singer and sometimes you will make fliers from cut-up bits from 1960s DC romance comics and then pull on a pair of your girlfriend’s fake leather pants and put on a lot of makeup and plug in a knockoff Les Paul and drink Colt 45 and make a lot of noise. You are 21 years old and drunk on whiskey and you want to be in a band so bad, the only thing you really believe in is holy blues, sacred rock and roll. It is the only thing anyone on Beale Street at midnight truly believes in.

Sweat freezing on tender young necks, y’all load up in the van, drive ten minutes South, wind down McLemore and Mississippi and spit out onto South Bellevue—that’s what they still called it when you were little, even though they’d changed the name a long time ago—and there you are, he’s long gone, long gone, Johnny Bye-Bye. But when you put your hands on the rocks and blue suede Converse scrape against mortar you can just believe, cutting your hand on the stone, you can just believe that if you make it to the top of the fence he’ll be standing there, and in the dark you can see the long limbs of the Weeping Willow sway, if you just make it to the top everything’s gonna be okay.


faked by Monday, November 11th, 2013


I can’t stop from overhearing the couple in the booth next to me. I just want some fettuccine Alfredo, and it’s murderous here—like, can’t reheat it, there’s so much butter, it’s amazing. If you put it into the microwave the next day it just turns to pretty swirling yellow grease, and the cheese clumps up. It’s never worth it, but nobody could eat the whole thing, plus bread. I can’t, anyway. And this is after years of fettuccine being basically the only thing on the menu somebody that avoids pig and cow and chicken can get a hold of. Al dente noodles and a creamy sauce, what else do you want.

Anyway, this woman with tired eyes and brown bangs is telling her friend about how she got a new phone number after her ex got crazy jealous and threatened to kill her German shepherd, which I agree is super aggro behavior, I’m not sure what self-help manual she’s reading but “How to Kill Her Dog to Get Yr Girlfriend Back” is probably not a real reputable title even at the worst strip mall Barnes & Noble. So she gets a new phone number, and apparently it belonged to somebody who owes everybody in the world money, plus has a friend with a deer camp or something in East Arkansas. So there’s a dozen Citibanks and Sallie Maes and Imperial Credit Companies calling every hour, plus some goon texting her night-vision pictures of deer with glowing green eyes and “BOOM BOOM” as the caption.

The server brings me by another Diet Coke in a tiny green bottle. I have no idea how much they cost and don’t really care. She starts to set down a little water glass stuffed with blurry cubes, her hand shaking a bit, and I wave it off. The pleasure of a carbonated beverage in a real bottle with a thick lip on it is not to be missed, and certainly not to be avoided altogether, and then blunted by pouring that fizzy fake sugar drink over Jackson ice. A Caprice thumps by outside playing a Big K.R.I.T. song, the one with Ludacris doing the verse at the beginning, that was on like everybody’s mixtapes a couple summers back.

“So I get tired of fighting with all these folks and telling them I’m not the person who had the number before,” she goes on. “I try that for like a month, but it’s a nightmare. I’d end up in all this conversations with CSRs and they are just plain crazy, they always wanted to know my Social and when I wouldn’t give it to them they’d say that proved it was really me—I mean, that I was really the person who used to have the number.” She took a long pull off her sweet tea. “Kafka.”

She tilts the screen towards her friend. It’s a contact with a dozen dollar signs as the name. “So I just started threading all them numbers into this one thing, like alternate numbers for my mom or something, and then when I see a dollar sign come up I know to go on and mute it.” Her friend pushes around some mystery fish on her plate. “Nobody worth anything is calling me with any money anyway,” says brown bangs. I drain the rest of the bottle; the thing must only hold like five swigs.

“Deer camp, her I texted with for a while. I figure there’s a deer camp, might be fun to go out there one weekend, a few cases of Miller Lite in a refrigerator. But she couldn’t spell at all and Lord knows I can’t abide misspelling.” My fettuccine finally wanders back from the kitchen, hot white curls on porcelain.


faked by Monday, November 11th, 2013


I am standing in front of the stone walls of Graceland. They’re covered with names from all over the world. I wasn’t going to take a picture but there’s a Weeping Willow. I love Weeping Willows; I don’t even know if there’s one in Jackson. When I was little I liked to run through them, and feel the gentle fronds brush against my face. I thought of them as a character in a book: capital W, capital W. They weren’t necessarily sad, just ancient, majestic, filled with knowledge: like Aslan. Weeping Willow. Even the name is beautiful, like something I would name a plantation or a mansion if I ever made the money, bought up an old place outside of Minter City. I mash the big red button, but there’s just a dry click, and no whirr.

I am sitting in the stands of Bryant-Denny. I’m laughing because my Pop won’t use the crimson and white shakers they put on all the seats. Men of a certain age won’t; it’s unspoken but well understood. I have decided that I will give in a jump around to all the dumb songs that I was sick of even back in 1992. When “Thunderstruck” comes on, Pop starts to cheer, and I say “don’t you feel bad for grounding me from this concert now?!” He throws his head back and laughs, and the tall guy next to me who looks like Vince Vaughn starts cracking up, he can’t help it. He really did ground me, but Amy Leath brought me a fake dollar bill with Angus’ face on it, one of thousands they dropped from the ceiling during “Money Talks.” I’m just as happy 20 years later with being able to say I got grounded from seeing AC/DC as to remember the show. I wish I knew where that Angus dollar was.

The Vince guy is wearing one of the rented radio earphones, which lets me know that he is both hardcore and also probably a guy I like. He wants to hear what Eli Gold is saying about the game. He is not afraid to use the shaker. He also flips it around and uses it to stir bourbon into his co-cola. He’s got the same flask I have: heavy pewter, with his initials stamped into it. Every groomsman in America probably has one. I jacked the top of mine up at a Drivin’N’Cryin’ concert one time, couldn’t get it open. Mine has sat empty and cold for the better part of four years now. Maybe I should give it to somebody who could use it, but it feels like giving somebody an obligation, or a bomb.

There is an older couple in front of us. The man stands, gingerly; he’s wearing a khaki coat. We’re in section N, high up, just under the overhang, so the driving but gentle rain rarely reaches us. The wife doesn’t stand so well. She has the close cut white-gray crewcut of a cancer survivor. Maybe she just likes it short. It looks good; like an Emmylou Harris color, silvery shot through with dark gray. After Bama scores in the 4th on another run by T.J., the man leans in, and they kiss very softly, very sweetly.

The picture from Graceland didn’t turn out, but I kept it just the same. I’m going to smear an inky red thumbprint on the blank lemon-colored front, scrawl an apology on it, and mail it across the ocean. I don’t even know where yet. A bottle in the ocean with the same message on bloody parchment, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, it was all my fault.


faked by Thursday, November 7th, 2013


Memphis, Tennessee, Polaroid 600, film expired July 2007, Photo taken November 2013.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

faked by Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


Polaroid 600 (film expired 2005), 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee (November 2013).


faked by Monday, November 4th, 2013


Memphis, Tennessee, Polaroid 600, film expired July 2007, Photo taken November 2013.

Thank you, Margarita Luisa Chascarrillo

faked by Sunday, November 3rd, 2013


faked by Tuesday, October 29th, 2013



I wake up with a killer hangover, or
a bug that feels like it.
Can’t have a hangover, haven’t had a drink in
twenty-six months and—not that anybody’s counting.
Not that I count, not that I need to count.

Can have the damned flu. Can have wrestled a
bit with sleep last night and said screw it and
got up and grabbed the first Pretenders record off the shelf
and drove up and down I-55.
Kiiiiiiiid, precious kid,
Chrissie moans, over that beautiful rubbery riff, you got all sad,
so I feel sad, too

I kind of wonder how old she was when she
wrote that lyric. It seems simple isn’t.
I ought to just look it up,
but it’s one of those nites everybody on the highway
is driving like murder, and even a casual glance
down at my phone feels risky,
makes me feel guilty.

There’s a 24-hr. Burger King by where
Video Library used to be, I bet I can get a
milkshake for a couple bucks. I’d rather get a movie,
but I was always bad about picking them out, just another
Robert Altman film festival, and besides
I haven’t had anything to watch it on in a decade.
And Video Library is long gone, but I could really
stand to watch that one long shot at the beginning of The Player
a couple times.

11:17 at nite the Burger King
is a reality show crime scene. It’s sort of amazing
and beautiful, like being under the stands at a
high school football game.
Everybody in the drive-through line is clearly drunk.
It’s hard to miss the window, but the Tahoe in front of me
first blows past it, then backs up, scraping off
a side-view mirror.
You can hear the stoned laughter reverberate
off the beige bricks.

By the time I get to the window
the Pretenders are bragging about how they’re special
soooooo special, you almost believe her, and
Burger King is trying to sell me some kind of mushroom burger.
If it were just me and Mushroom Burger on a desert isle,
(the thought balloon over its head being me dressed like a turkey,
the thought balloon over mine of Mushroom Burger
as a block of tofu), I wouldn’t touch that thing, let alone
pay somebody money for it. There’s nobody else here,
I just want my milkshake, no one like me.

I mash—-> over “Lovers of Today,” it’s too maudlin.
The holy God drums of “Mystery Achievement” kick in,
like the Golden Mean of rock and roll, drums on a
precise mathematical algorhythm, then the bass, then
the guitar chimes in, then ooooooooooooOOOOOoooooo,
it’s all in perfect sequence,
you can count it off to eight each time,
I never wrecked a car to it, but maybe should have.

They hand me some kind of drooling
monster, a liter of ice cream and syrup.
I hand the girl at the window a five automatically.
The girls in the window are still screaming at each other
about the drunk boy in the SUV, how cute he was.
“I had a small,” I manage to say.
“What,” the girl says, no question mark.
I question their commitment to Burger King,
question their taste in boys.
“I had a small,” I say, sober, exhausted, sick of everything.
She shrugs, hands me back three dollars and change.


faked by Monday, October 28th, 2013

She used to like to go to the Wal-Mart down at the end of the highway in the middle of the night. I’d run into her sometimes when I was getting off my shift. She’d be standing out in the lobby, plunking quarters into Big Klaw 1000, a ripped up red flannel shirt knotted around her waist.

“What are you winning, Winnie,” I’d say. “Fabulous prizes, fabulous prizes” she would chant softly, kind of with a lisp, just a little bit on the zees. I’d ask her if she wanted to go get a beer and she’d laugh. She never said yes, never said no. Just laughed.



faked by Tuesday, September 17th, 2013


The proud future insect lies repulsed at me, at us all.

There’s several pictures of it culled from the past decades. Shiny black in most, with stark white tones. The earliest images are worn smooth and blurry, printed thirty two years ago on thin cheap cardboard folded then jammed into rectangles of plastic, stories about the creature’s exploits detailed on the reverse.

The insect’s logogram, thought jammed through words, a knife slid through the ribs, the best we can do at explaining: code with a spider’s legs.

Eight proper ones as we would understand them, two antennae, a half a dozen feelers trailing behind the creature, pentagram carved into its ebony carapace. Even at the dawn of it all the proud insect was there, crawling through a sky of clockwork over blasted blue dunes.

Stamped on thousands of arms and torsos like the face of a lion on a coin, rays of sun spilling from its mouth, red triangle on a beer bottle.

The proud future insect scurries away.