Archive for August, 2010

breaking down…

Posted in Descartes, JL Stories, Philosophy, Sir Marshmellow Trowell with tags , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Caribbean Fool

From the Diary of Sir Marshmellow Trowell

Terrible conditions from which to fight against dying tree leaves and shorter days. Desperation might be beautiful if it weren’t for the forced attempts to communicate what I don’t know how to say. Over and over again trying to explain how drowning works or why movement is desired but rarely achieved gets frustrating, alongside so much other debris. I gotta kick the can just to see the floor, that kind of thing. If it weren’t for cigarettes, I might have to revolt. Little can be gained from this whole enterprise, and I’m not sure how to explain it any better than that. Locked in here is staid; having broken my own spirit on the wheel… well, what next?

With the last of what’s to be found hanging out in the doorway and blocking every attempt to leave, everything seems like forever. Most of me is convinced that it’s all some type of coma-dream or narcoleptic state brought on by the collapse of some essential support system. The rest of me knows this is as real as it’s gonna get. Same as a recently killed pack of cigarettes. For most of the day you got backup; now you still got backup but it’s new backup. Nothing really changes and everything always changes. None of that can be true so it has to be.

Past these semantic overlays is the feeling of constant encumbrance. Moves like an ideal stallion, or maybe a bird of some kind with the strength to ignore down-drafts. I keep finding little chips and cracks; pieces of evidence that don’t point in any particular direction. Whaddya do with shit like that? Ask the question, answer the question, propose some kind of derelict reason, dress the whole thing as wisdom and play pretend? Doesn’t it all have to fall apart sooner or later? I can’t claim any kind of authority here. This is the what in taking what you get. Fuck it, right?

Searching for rationality can be a daunting prospect if you consistently look in the wrong places. I used to think advice was harmless until I began to listen to the advice I was handing out. Feeling particularly horrified by monotonous repetition, all the while nobody ever questioned if it was wisdom because of an unspoken yet agreed framework for busting through the seemingly insoluble. Simple in-group inclusion and the deed was done. I couldn’t help but wonder how much trouble I’d caused. Extrapolating from my own experiences with advice didn’t settle any nerves, instead pinching off Descartes greatest achievement (not my characterization, but you get the point) so I could pretend everything was going according to plan (it wasn’t.)

Well, another reason for the cosmic pencil to come equipped with an eraser. After all, the deed was done, all we had now was recognition and as many cigarettes as we could get our dirty hands on. Everything melds together if you wait long enough, so I suppose I could always join with the predestination crowd if my conscience kept throwing up the past until all I had left was stomach acid and a burning sensation.

Things could be worse; at least it didn’t burn to take a piss or any such bullshit. Nowadays, that’s cause for celebration, at least locally. Yet another in a long line of uncredited achievements gained by repetitious breathing and a little luck. That’s the comes in taking what comes. Moving past all of that madness, the constituent parts seem widely displaced. An overwhelming feeling forces me into a prone position on the floor. Faint whiff of dualism; every time I think it ain’t enough, it morphs into too much. Grass is green and the sky is blue. I know, I know. More JL masquerading as something other than what it is. Right now, I couldn’t be farther from caring about any of that shit. Wrap yourself in what you got on cold nights. Remember it’ll be just as dark on the warm nights. Take comfort, assuage hope, repeat as needed.

Yet here we are, on the verge of watching Casablanca play out one more time. Maybe there are a few rusting hooks in me. Like I said, could be worse. The last refuge I can think of is the desperation itself. It would be impossible to be desperate if there wasn’t something worth protecting, even if I don’t know what it is. There are only the barriers we need, and the price of admittance differs in each case. Playing pretend with rationality is a symptom of some hidden sickness or extreme curiosity, and whatever it is that feels like it still needs my protection, I am determined to play my part. The timing is bad and the rewards nonexistent. In other words, you have to sit somewhere, play that cards you’re dealt, insert whatever cliche you find least objectionable. I’m exhausted from trying to convince someone, anyone, that what tastes like blood and looks like blood can still be corn syrup. That is reduced luck and faith, distilled into 2 proof mouthwash that don’t burn or hurt. That’s where I’m going you know. Even Superman needed a place to hide out. I’m as far from him as you can get, so you see how this gives my case a good finish with a touch of gravitas.

Now is a good time to quit for the day. Cigarettes gotta burn if only for the calm nerves and relaxation to be more than a pipe-dream inspired by proto-evangelicals hyped up on speed and preaching like there’s no tomorrow. Careful where the advice comes from. Sorry I can’t do more. Guess we’ll find out if there is a future in oppositional attraction or if the whole thing is mythology. Gotta put your money somewhere. No use fighting for nothing.

something short…

Posted in Poetry with tags on August 31, 2010 by Caribbean Fool


i look for my name in
titles of songs, figuring
that if someone else wrote
down the legend,
i’d know what to do next.

sometimes you get lucky,
oftentimes not,
but that don’t mean
a damn thing except
when everything is an option,
is still on the table
waiting on choice
or direction or sign.

when i pull myself from torpor,
i wonder what i’d do
with a less common
name. call me anything you’d
like; it just widens chances
& opportunities.

wooly wooly pecka pecka…

Posted in Poetry, thoughtful trips with tags , , on August 31, 2010 by Caribbean Fool


i shouldn’t be doing this.
damn door to the outside world
is wide open, waiting
on me to make up my mind
amidst oscillating temperatures,
sweating palms &
wishing i hadn’t
left corporeal me
so hostage to temptation.

mistakes like this don’t
leave scars; well, no
visible scars. is
reading about someone
else botching the job
supposed to make me feel better
about that failure?
great big gulps of oxygen
infested air quiet
the hum of the cosmos.
you hear it for a few seconds
only with the right gas.

the door is still open,
but who has time to worry about
all that? that neighbor walkin’
her dog used to seem
inviting; guess she’s got a new
toy cause she don’t
say aloha anymore. catch
as catch can; that’s all.
aloha & laughter & skunk.

i cheated; picked
up the story in the middle.
just before he took
out his gun, trigger-pull
towards infinity.
was it a .45 or a .38?
did his choice belong to you?
nobody gives you everything.

the last half more
than broke my heart.
i get bored when the
good-guy wins all the time &
that used to be my secret
until i gave it up. you’ve
given away a few
secrets yourself; i
hope you saved something
to keep as your own.


dedicated to Eireann Corrigan who has more guts than me, strangely enough. I’ll give you a cookie if you figure out why.


push me hard…

Posted in JL Stories, Music, Poetry with tags , , on August 29, 2010 by Caribbean Fool


i reserve the right to pass out;
carte blanche folded in half
to be stuck in a pocket & pulled
out only
when desperate.
other than silver trays making
too much noise,
i’m all alone.

at home there are
rugs that sit convincingly
underfoot with each step,
walls that never tire of
holding up the roof
keeping rain from decimating
the electronics; &
everywhere familiar.
more nonconvertible currency
in memories; worth
almost nothing,
though some days
they breathe on my

i reserve the right to pass out,
whatever else doesn’t much matter.
i’m scared & worried
but not desperate.
walking larger circles changes
everything i see & still
gets me nowhere. dragging
my left leg to the tune
of a broken radio,
i’m slowly turning as
if on a spit too far out
from the fire to notice


a monstrous song
hidden in static.
air conditioner-silence was better.

i could have given
over more fully, but i didn’t.
never really have.

gotta keep reminding myself,
everything goes to plan;
even when it doesn’t.
how else can anyone be convinced
they remain
on their own
righteous path.
all that said,
i reserve the right to pass out
as needed;
nothing more or less,
& only when desperate.


Ever think you might have taken the wrong fork?


some time…

Posted in Philosophy, Poetry with tags , , , on August 22, 2010 by Caribbean Fool

paraphrase, or life as a puddle

spent some morning-time
as a rain-puddle;
long enough to decide it wasn’t
much a fit.
can’t abide
such easy movement;
dictated by minute degrees
of difference from the
perfectly perpendicular;
existence all relativity
of sloping surfaces
& surprise floods.

when i wasn’t looking, i must ‘a
fallen down an
asphalt list of priorities. teasing
out gentle equivalence
when i used to be picked first
the price for softly failing
to deliver. prices, contracts, proper
hedging of risk; all that
good ol’ MBA bullshit
might have been good preparation
for such moments;
as much lying in wait to attack
as described on resume paper.

as a puddle
i didn’t bother with prep-work;
means we’re all taking whatever
comes out on sunday
speed. slow
convection heating of the puddle,
shrinking me down.
now i’ll have to wiat for rain
to get more of me back.

i’d meant to be something
else. puddles being transitory objects,
even admittedly innocent ravings
can’t stop sunlight & heat
from working their own
peculiar magic on puddles,
no matter how placid &
inviting the water.

There are times I wish I was better at all this than I actually am. If it weren’t for teachers that appear when they can do the most good, I shudder to think what would happen. My gratitude, as always, to the wise and sage-like willing to help out when puddles are shrinking and the lights are too bright. Another chance to owe more than I can repay, but here’s hoping. Some days you just need something good more than anything, and finding it can really make things better. Even rough mornings can be overcome with a little good luck and a willingness to admit mistakes and all those times you were wrong.


when i smile you should ask why…

Posted in bumper sticker stories, Sir Marshmellow Trowell with tags , on August 19, 2010 by Caribbean Fool

From The Diary of Sir Marshmellow Trowell

What started as an interminable morning was easily exchanged for a more pleasant internal psychosis. I didn’t bother to shave, but brushing and flossing and sledgehammering the face smoothed out the rough edges well enough. To get through the next 24.5 hours, it was going to take every last bit of fortitude to push everyone else into the future, then drag my own fucked up form along with them. No gun or knife will be of any use; what we need here is to arm ourselves with the usual cagey luck that shows up only when a true fucker cries out in desperation. That and some great big brass balls to keep the whole movement on the right path. I don’t know what I would do if we somehow strayed and woke up all together yesterday. “Don’t like that sir,” to paraphrase the fat man, or, as you might recall him, Mr. Greenstreet.

After fixing my head and straightening my eyes, I found some music floating right where it had been thoughtfully left to be found as needed. A mango for my growling stomach, a sharp knife for the mango. All this junk in my blood mixes so easily with everything else, I’m wearing my easiest smile, ready to embrace the hours of the day when my more adventurous side splits off and leaves the coward to deal. Until that happens (roughly 18 hours from now if my math is close to correct) I’m pretty sure everything can be managed. Didn’t Lehman say those exact words? Ha! Fuck them, they don’t have my adaptability.

Having slavishly moved through the last four days, I’m ready for freedom. Every time I slither through this maze, the payments get harder to pay. I wish I could explain my willingness to play the game and pay the costs of business despite the giant chunks of flesh required, but all I can say is that I’ve got just enough reasons to tip the scale towards buy now, pay later. The rest of it is just maneuvering myself through the wreckage. Nothing that can’t be shared with the rest of the species. (Keep telling yourself that. Someday, you might even believe it.)

A few more flakes in the bowl to soak up the rest of the milk and a diced mango are fuel to burn up in the course of proving to myself some semblance of normality. You might question why someone like myself would need any part of that insipid game, but we’re all curious about that which we cannot possess. Same goes here. Watching all the weddings and newborns squirting out at an alarming rate makes me queasy. We can only hope they know what they are doing. I don’t, so I stay out of the whole thing on what might be generously termed “epistemological” grounds. Laughter still comes as easy as heartache, but that’s no reason to give up on either.

Maybe it is the same as an indecipherable language long dead. Fragments still exist to puzzle over, but the master key is lost to history and time. Now, that presents a problem to understanding, but an opportunity to ask as many questions as you want without limiting them with answers or those dreadful dualistic judgments. My questions all have to do with celestial navigation during the day or tolerance for pain. Plenty of time to seek out the answers, assuming of course that they exist. There are questions that have no answers, and they scare the shit out of most people. No time for that now.

Nor is it time for false-fronts of any other such clam-bake bravery. I hate dressing up, and for most people, I wouldn’t entertain the thought. (Always some connection between statements and language. Like meme is not the root of mimetic, yet in some ways, it could be. Get me?) Not long now. Mangoes, music, minor miracles considering the geography and poverty of this particular situation. GIGO, right? Perish the thought. It’ll work ’cause that is how these things always seem to go down to the wire. When push comes to shove, step aside. Let some other asshole go down with the ship. Tomorrow we just might be on top of the world. I’d hate to miss it, especially over some tenacious urge to follow protocol. Dumb fucks…. some people never learn. Don’t be one of them.


Posted in Music, Poetry with tags , on August 18, 2010 by Caribbean Fool


i didn’t get any warning
about broken backs;
shoulda known better anyway.
i’m embroidering myself
under a sky pissing rain. only
’cause i can’t care
about getting wet,
fucking embroidery is ruined
and i don’t feel a thing.

rain water all flows down storm
drains…is it even a waste?
everything comes back again
one way or another.