Sentence Assignment

A sentence a week. Now I’m only 3 weeks behind. And it doesn’t look like I’ll beat the midnight click of the clock. But that’s ok. Sometimes, it’s ok to write past midnight. I BELIEVE that thoughts can get away at night. I believe in the magic of the dark. Here’s the next sentence. And I have to write about it for four minutes.

“Who has more fun than people?”

Not horses. I mean, HBO’s Luck got canceled because some horses died, because apparently they are very sensitive. I JUST recently was explained what that whole leading a horse to water business MEANS. So, not any animals. Maybe dinosaurs did, though. But I doubt it. We’re all animals anyway, right? Besides, the question is asking WHO. Not what. But ain’t no who that ain’t people, right? I mean, is Nintendo a Who?

Perhaps we should ask Horton. He may have heard.

It is obvious now that I blew my entire awesomeness wad on my first sentence response. This is pure shit. Maybe toilets have more fun than people. I mean, if people could open the top of me and pull on a thing and I had a monsoon going on in my mind, that’d be kind of neat. But the shitting and the pissing and the vomiting, maybe not so much fun.

You know the planet’s not having fun. Or cars. I thought, maybe hang gliders, but nah. I mean, people wreck those things all the time. And there’s no hang glider hospital, you know?

I once had a friend say about his kids, “…they’re not people! Look at them! They’re animals!” but I think they’re just little people.

I been racking my mind about this shit for no good reason. Who has more fun than people?

Nobody, dude.


Sentence Assignment

I have to write about the following sentence for four minutes. I get one of these a week. I am four weeks behind at this point. This should take me twenty minutes to do. I should be able to beat Midnight if I am swift enough.

“There wasn’t one to give.”

A fuck. A duck. A dollar. An excuse. A good reason, even. A moment. A picture. One last song. A story. Tell me about a good day recently. Something that made you smile. Maybe you saw something funny in traffic. There’s always interesting people driving cars and doing other shit at the same time. The assholes that have the bluetooth headsets that seem like they’re talking to themselves. The women putting on makeup in the fucking merge lane. I love the people who sing and drum on their steering wheels. What about the people singing sad songs? I like them, too. Heads slightly tilted forward, mouth not quite opening all the way. Some of them seem to be humming.

I used to listen to more music on the way to work. In Oregon, I drove over a valley and some mornings, there was fog down there, made by the river, which was warmer than the cool spring air. There used to be trees. There used to be bus rides. There used to be a whole country to give my speed to.

Now I feel I don’t have a minute to give, to lose, to make things, to sing a song in the car.

Writing Assignment

My friend gets a writing assignment once a week at school for the next four months. His teacher gives him a sentence and he has to write for the next four minutes with that sentence in his head. I’ve decided I will go along so as to keep my mind from atrophying as quickly as it is right now.

This week’s sentence is: “Half the lies I tell you are not true.”

I am not even sure what this means when I first read it and technically I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days. Mostly I am not sure I’ve remembered it correctly, but looking at it up there now, yeah, I guess it was the weird thing I thought I’d read. So it sounds like it means someone is telling someone else some truths that are lies, right? I’m telling you a lie, but presenting it as truth, so that’s why it’s not true. I don’t know what else to make of it. Someone was just trying to sound cool. I’m trying to type this on a keyboard I got for my ipad, while lying in bed, on my stomach. My shoulders are up near my ears. What do shoulders sound like?


I wonder if it means that someone is telling lies, but even the lies being told are not true either? Kinda like, if I TELL you I’m lying, maybe I’m telling the truth? Like you have sex for the first time and you’ve been lying to the girl beforehand, telling her you’re very experienced. But everything you know you learned from videos and you make sure the both of you are nice and drunk and buzzed and happy so that when it’s all sloppy and like fish fins slapping at each other, it’s not because one of you has never done it before. It’s because of the booze, but this girl is taking your virginity and she does not know it.

Time’s up.

10 o’clock on a Monday

I tried to find a song
didn’t know the name
or artist of it
just needed
to hit the spot
bring me down
to the llano
something in it
about a hundred phones
One of them
was calling for you.

Clicked through
the emo junk
painted blue fingernail crap
crude mascara painted tears
trenchcoats in summer.
But I stopped
Wish You Were Here.

I turned off
the music
one line blazed
on to the torn
and yellow
projection screen
in my crusty head:
And I’ll still think of you on cold winter mornings.

I remembered
Trains to Brazil.
My face went from
scrunched up concrete
rigid arched lips
to silk slack
gargoyle down.

I looked in
on the boy.
His pale skin
caught bits
of light
from the toys
that cast stars.
Today he busted his lip
first time taste
of blood
but he went to sleep good
sucking and chewing
on his bug eyed
pillow friend:

I sat in
my Cuban carved
rocking chair
Indios o diablos
etched into
the arch behind my neck
I closed my eyes hard.
Waves of words
rocked me
back and forth.
I said
your secret name
to the darkness
five times.

Red Deck, Blue Sea

Almost done painting the deck

Almost done with the deck now. The worst of the cracked and rotted boards have been replaced. They sit on the temporarily relocated deck table in the northeast corner of the yard casting long shadows in the late afternoon sun. Some of boards’ ends arch up at the sky like old fashioned cartoon skis.

Got all the rails and the posts under them done yesterday. That took up a gallon; so many damn skinny posts. I went for another gallon today, but we ran through that, too.  Going to need another one to finish feeding this monster.

I have learned that this is the thing with wood: it swallows paint. Like it knows we’re trying to change it. Maybe this is where the ghosts of the previous owners make their last stand.

I admire these stubborn boards. I don’t like being prettied up either. I grumble at change. I creak. So maybe it’s just having a drink before the pretty party. Taking the edge off. It’s an alcoholic going on a final drinking binge. A painted oblivion. Lying out here behind the house, drying, creaking, cragging its edges up. Cutting and splintering. Taking a nice chunk of my right pointer finger. I’m letting it scar. It’s best to respect the deck. It took its flesh fair and square. A lil thin string of Cuban for about 130 feet of wood.

I remember the first time we saw this house and the realtor gave us a tour. I remember a child’s things in the back yard. A plastic Playskool playhouse and assorted dolls and a toy shopping cart. That playhouse was still there when we skulked through the alley in Elaine’s car later on, peeking at life in a home we thought we’d never live in. I was a little surprised the playhouse was there. I was sure the realtor put it there to sucker in anyone with kids. But I never thought about the darkness of the deck. That faded blue jean deck that seemed like a cowboy’s best friend.

Wasps underneath. Tripping me in the dark while I carry a bag with a dirty diaper in it. Splinters. This one board that rotted through so bad, a leg from the barbecue went in and the whole thing tipped over, spilling ash. The side steps that don’t really seem attached to anything. They clunk down when you walk on them. Like a lil wooden gotcha.

The toys in the yard made me ponder a family life. The grass made me consider responsibility and the upkeep of a full on home. The deck lured me in with promises of barbecues, card games, shade under the umbrella, and whiskey sours.

This week, it left me with a sore back, sunburns, and the smell of treated wood in my nose. Even in the light of the computer screen, my flesh is emergency sign red.

Jack slept for most of the time we were out there painting. Momma brought him out when we heard him on the baby monitor smacking around the toys in his crib. We’d run out of paint  by then and had been chilling under the fox palms. I had my head in her lap and Jack was standing on my face. It’s what he does. He climbs people.

The deck squatted before us, with just that tiny section of blue left. Defeated, really, like this was the last tooth left in its mouth.

Millions of wooden slivers of blue made up what was left: about 12 square feet.

Christina mentioned how beautiful Jack’s eyes were. So blue. Though sometimes crossed.

She comes from Vikings, you know? And his blue eyes are her baby blues which turned green eventually. Green by way of the blue sea that Vikings sailed while pillaging.

I wonder if they burned any decks.

American: Bill Hicks

I want to see this. Bill Hicks is great.

I love this line: “Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration — that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death; life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves… Here’s Tom with the weather!”