Archive for June, 2011

Old Men Go Crazy

When I got back from the city on Monday morning
I went to bed and told the box turtle
in the bathroom to hold my calls until Tuesday.

I went to bed
and hoped for the best.

An hour later,
and I’m riding with a friend who spit lit cigarettes
at red lights and swore he’d kill the judge at his court hearing.
Unless the assault charges from his son’s fifth birthday party
were dropped with extreme prejudice.

You can only imagine
how things turned out.

Two hours after the helicopters
left the scene of the crime,
I was trying to believe that the June bride
sitting across from me at The Waffle House
really did want to leave her husband for me.

Let’s remember she looks at life as being
a lot like some of the darker Zevon tunes.

Let’s also keep in mind that she came back
from the dead last Christmas, and that she clearly suffers
from Multiple Personality Disorder.

I don’t want to be presumptuous about her sincerity,
but I think it was smart to just sit there,
look sad, drink four liters of coffee
and squeeze the waitress’ hand when she brought the cheque.

The bride and I parted on good terms,
and by the end of the afternoon
I was auditioning for a play at gunpoint.

I did that while sending furious text messages
to a homeless guy who claimed to know
my whole future and just wouldn’t leave me
alone about it.

Palm readers don’t even bother
with human interaction anymore. It’s insane.

I didn’t get the part,
and I had to spend most of my evening
watching amateur doctors pass out
at the sight of the four bullet wounds in my left leg,

There was a riot just beyond the cold operating room,
but I couldn’t tell you anything about it. I just walked through
the wreckage, gave the guy at the grand piano a five-spot
and tried to make my way back home.

I almost made it.
I almost hit the pillow on my bed
from as far away as the long steps up to the front door.

That’s when I got a phone call
that had me spending the rest of the week
wandering the Mexican bars in Chinatown.
Keeping the crowd around me entertained
and pretending I had never fallen in love the hard way.

I’m a fool, you know.
I was still optimistic about getting some sleep
when I finally made it home the following Sunday morning.

My box turtle knew the score though.
She wouldn’t even look up from her dried-out lettuce.

Anybody Alive Out There?

I’m not great at written introductions.

You’re going to get a sense of that very, very quickly.

In person? I’d like to think I do a fairly good job. I tend to look at myself as a writer and entertainer (not the healthiest or smartest way to go through life, but it seems to dictate the pace for my days and nights nonetheless), so I’m always gunning for a good first impression. I can’t say if that actually goes through or not, but I seem to be doing okay judging from the fairly decent-sized assortment of people who put up with my nonsense on a day-to-day basis.

But written introductions? Shoddy at best. I love opening lines. It’s one of the few things I sincerely believe I’m good at as a writer. That doesn’t seem to translate to something like this. I’m at a loss for anything interesting to say, so the end-result is a lot of rambling before I finally get a sense of what I might want to say.

You should see the ten years of journal entries I’ve got on this computer. The long-winded energy in those is off the page.

The whole point of this blog is to give myself yet another avenue to get my writing out the door. Writing has been one of the great consistencies in my life for most of my life. I’ve been coming up with all kinds of weird ideas since I was about three years old. The stories, comics and other oddities I came up with were one of the few things I got complimented for in elementary school. At thirteen it was already difficult to imagine doing anything else. By sixteen it was impossible. It’s up for debate as to whether or not that’s a good thing. I wonder often if I perhaps might have been better off focusing on something a little more practical or, oh, I don’t know, more useful.

Unfortunately I’m twenty-six years old, and I just don’t have the patience or energy to go out and find a new passion and then create the energy necessary for it.

I’ve added to the writing over the years. I’ve been lucky enough to work for a popular Virginia radio station writing and reading news copy, in professional writing, as a stand-up comic and even as an actor in theater and film. All of it ties into that entertainer persona I’ve crafted for myself. Everything is a gig. Everything will eventually work its way into some form of creative effort on my part. That would explain my addiction to traveling and get wrapped up in as much weirdness as humanly possible.

At the end of the very long day all of these things amount to the only thing I’m really good at or interested in doing. I can’t say if anything I do is extraordinary, but the whole creative shtick is the only thing I’m really comfortable with. For good or ill I’m stuck with it for what I imagine will be the rest of my life.

So, the whole deal with this blog is that I hope to put together a column for it. I’ve written a few of those over the years, and it’s something I’d like to get back into. It may not be a column though. I may just wind up throwing a whole bunch of reviews of books, films, music and the like. I do a fair bit of review work for Unlikely Stories and The Modest Proposal, but with this I hope to write about things that wouldn’t necessarily fit with either of those publications. I’m also planning to toss up any short stories or poems that I’ve been unable to sell to literary journals. I may even deal in some novel and screenplay excerpts (I’ve written two).

And then there might be times when I’m just going to rant and pretend I’m making some kind of larger point.

This entry would be an excellent example of that.

Contrary to popular belief I can actually be a very private person. I don’t plan to lay everything on the line here, but I hope to perhaps reveal a little more about myself and hopefully promote my work as an actor and writer in the bargain.

Thanks for your attention and any support you might throw my way.  I’m grateful for anyone who is willing to dig what I do.