[Achilles tells the horses not to prophesize at him]

notebook dump

observed: woman on a phone call via bluetooth, whispering mostly, as follows:
oh no

nope

no … over the winter?

hell no no uh uh

like that?

“CASH 4 SMELLS”

New Orleans May 2017 Old car in old garage worked on by old people everything is filthy except for the car which has a doubly spotless white novelty place reading ASK ME TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN

Haleyville, AL site of the first 911 call
1: What’s your last name
2: [says last name]
1: with a D?
2: with a P [spells last name]
1: That’s … that’s Sanskrit … that means something in Sanskrit
2: It’s a Czech name
1: [not fazed at all, keeps talking about what it means in sanskrit]

January Cleveland dunkin donuts
“Reincarnated as a parking lot”
Cleveland winter face: Looking like a pet went to the bathroom in the house and or you have bad indigestion
Nice older middle aged people having polite catchup conversation They ran out of sports to talk about and went quiet

Carrion birds adusting their feathers like poorly fitting funeral suits never much worn
calmly stepping aside to let my car through, returning to the roadkill in the mirror

How the handsome man can mislead

Lamar ave outside Memphis
Low slung pregnant pitbull chilling on the tarmac of the gas station
man in a grease stained polo buying Gatorade and condoms

stopped to use the bathroom in Clines Corners New Mexico, the grass was a pale mint

Prices on signs like holy temperatures

Stumpy red mesas squinting into the morning sun with me

Cows finding the shade cast by a casino billboard

cleveland june 2017: totally professional looking middle-aged lady wearing nice clothes and pristine air jordans fast asleep in a chair outside this coffee shop at 11 am. little kid selling candy walks past and she wakes up and produces a cigarette from somewhere in her hair

nashville may 2017: putting my bike back on my car after attending a triple-A baseball game. i had parked the accord in front of A Around The Clock Bonding (in the twilight-length shadow cast down the hill by the TN state capitol) i parked there because there was a dude from the bail bond place tailgating, or maybe just grilling, on a tiny stumpy grill in the tiny parking lot and i felt like a sort of smog of domesticity, felt the implication that the grilling bail bond guy might be hanging out all night so my car would have company. anyway i ride my bike the wrong way on some one way streets across some active train tracks past barstruants then back to the interchangeable bail bonding district dribbling out of every large legal facility. i left the game a little early because i wanted to get to this motel an hour north of nashville but i wound up stopping at the wrong motel anyway. the hassled, fried looking dudes finish parking and one of them kind of reels out of the truck and says are you from ohio where in ohio i’m from mansfield and i said yeah dude Mans Vegas I’ve been there and Cleveland I’m from Cleveland and he said the roads up there are seriously and I’ve never and They’re super fucked up Like for real and he was straightening out a bushel of five or six loose cigarettes and his eyes seemed to roll like billiard balls but he nodded soberly and went into A Around The Clock Bonding and I drove to Cave City. Omaha Storm Chasers 8, Nashville Sounds 3 (11) WP Bobby Parnell LP Simon Castro

idea: exercise to the point of spiritual exhaustion every day

to do list with one uncrossed item:
“breathe”

pretty detailed handwritten directions to offsite parking at ATL airport

 

Eric Ravilious made pottery?

some scrabble scores

some library call numbers

a bunch of to do lists with the same thing over and over again moving up and down depending on how long i have been putting it off

 

s___brainedness.

intermittent proof that i am working on writing and not just pretending to be in graduate school

I have got a dispatch for you Horse lathered and rider panting hard enough to bust hearts from haste

Here is the dispatch
This world has got manure for brains

Our skulls is dunged lavishly Spaded carefully all over uncleared stumps and bankrupts and exploded boats and houses what fell down before you even sat in them a single day Our Cleveland is composted more lavish than royal palaces

I wonder how much skulldung they have got up in London Paris and Philadelphia I would like to see every corner of the world weigh out the manure in our beanpots and seen who had the biggest heap

Permit me to news-paper for you scenes what convey the brawny uncouth odors smoking from our ears

As soon as we Americans had got the slipperiest of holds on the working what a steam engine could do we turned them to our two great pastimes The making of money and thickheaded behavior Steam lent herself to both eagerly Steam factories set to the making of durables And steamed boats was near to ideal suited for both moneygetting and idiocy

For a long summer season of the mind the clean brushed young swells seemed to drop from trees in Cleveland And the coem of fall knocked the idea of racing steam boats into each one of their meager brains They did not lose their purses any come in the descent from the arbor But soon enough they would dump out those pocketbooks on the fitting out of a Lake Erie steamed boat

These boats looked the same to their masters as man and wife come to share one aspect across their two persons All were tall lank Decked out in what you would call the haberdashings for a boat Decks tidier than a childs heart Timbermasts raked back swinging Inkstain flags enough to be the making of a thousand diapers Diapering for every large and small rearquarters of strangers what come off the canal Their Inkstain colors brighter than any fruit or fowl you seen in nature No red cardinalbird Blue summer sky or Whitewashed bones could beat the colors of the Inkstain flags you seen on a steamboat ripping down lake Erie

Those what rode on the steamed racers did their best to match with those colors Womenfolk armored in a wildflower garden of calicoes under great laced bonnets like the prettiest single cloud dancing The menfolk were only a step behind in costumes Great sharplined suitclothes under fresh straw with ribbons what a boss Catholic priest would have been sheepish under

Put all that in your minds eye and set the folks to chatter and gay laughter Then set it to slashing across Gods great washbasin five miles or more in an hour You had got the general sense of what a steamed boat race done to an imagination

Now of course I am speaking to you of the general s__brains of my Cleveland and you are chiding me Medium Son It is true that diapers would be more useful than a flag And yes boats have more sober uses than racing but people have got to have some type of idiocy to look on Otherwise the river of days were grim paddling How will this come to a true s___brainedness

Let me complete my thoughts about the steamed boats if you would not mind

more brother rides

buick

disclaimer: it’s 1836, big son can talk to wolves, the wolves pretty much just swear at him, the inkstain is the united states, the narrator is big son’s brother

Big Son he rode out often some like an explorer in search of navigable waters He werent canoeing after the passages to the Orient or the cities of Cibola but for something to do with himself Some significance to prop him up Big Son were not much for contemplation He did not do well in quiet reflection or solitaire On these cutting outs he were often riding out to talk with the wolfs He cared for them after a time Cared for the socials

Now one such instance Big Son come back from the wolfs smiling Even the bay were grinning He told that the time of this occurence he were faced off with a special bold and cussed wolf Not content to whisper contemnation from the safety of the shadows But to step out into Big Sons clearing and denounce him in the open Saying in his wolf way F this and F yours and G D your Inkstain America and such I never heard any wolf speak so it is down to the honor of Big Son as to whether any of this were ever said or heard or drunk up into a dream

My brother he said I seen the line of civilization marching across the land like a great leech as wide as half the world.. But more inspiring more democratic than regular leeches This were the very jaws and teeth of the inkstain and it left back a type of slime or grease after it And he told how as it come forth everything went more orderly, more likely behind the earth come greener and trees stood up military dress The leafs got themselves more orderly

My brother said then right in the mist of a terrible wolf sermon the line of the Inkstain The big long leech swept over that creature and his whole aspect temperanced The wolf seen the light of mans reason Said to Big Son Mister I must apology for my nature I am a wolf I cannot do any other wise but I do appreciate coming into your Inkstain keenly The wolfs teeth cleaned up Gone from piss yellow to hotel linen And that wolf he danced off back to his proper place in the cheek of the wood Where Big Son could hear his curses take on a more cheerful tune Still curses and scabrous but more in the type of a proud drunk boast than the Dog Dockstatter line of talk

Big Son even in the teeth of such portents he had an eye for another interview To know if the big leech of the Inkstain herself had any talking in it Now that she were burst out of inside the maps and minds of her citizens So he rode out after the sweeping line of civilization and barked Hallo.. Hallo.. How do you do.. My compliments Fine to be here in the cool of the woods and out of the sun.. and other bowing and scraping He turned the big bay up to where the Inkstain trucked westward He and the bay danced between trees along the very frontier Half in a nation and half out And he felt a worm up his backbone Like a wash of whiskey but nothing in his mind at all Although his eyes did blink some He said he called out to that Inkstain And all he heard back was his own words But scrambled some like light off broken glass

mostly putting this here as a proof of life shot for myself when i go back and ask what was august 2016 like

my dreams are dogs that bite me

2nd half of 2015 uncollated personal humanity

August
I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to get an MFA in creative writing. I lived in a house in a graveyard across the river from campus. The first month was lost in novelty and huffing the rich scents of the one-time middle-four-figures stipend the university gave us to get set up in Alabama. I abandoned a lot of materiel when I left Cleveland at the end of July, silently essential implements like vacuum cleaners and incidental furniture, after abandoning a lot of material in Brooklyn. In leaving two places within one year, I abandoned or never occupied a sense of complete belonging. Not knowing where in the grocery store reside the things you want. More knowing where in the place you live reside the people and vortices that sustain you. It’s easy enough to proceed without a sense of belonging although it is also easy enough to drive a car until it runs out of gas.

September
Grandma died, went home for funeral. Got depressed re: alien corn, general feeling that life was a new pair of shoes that did not entirely fit. Participatory ethnography of bad habits, old and new. Continued making new friends. Wondered whether I was too old for any/all of this, determined that I had no practical options re reversing direction of space-time. Which led me to October.

October
Officiated wedding of friends. Basked in radiant practical operative love. Self-lectured about being in school to write and to put own ass in gear re personal implementations of telos re caulking seams in sense of self.

November
Like October but with Thanksgiving. Attempts at writing and being human continued with typical rate of success.

December
Stressed over emerging demands of grad school (it turns out you can’t just poke at a weird bunch of fiction and then get a graduate degree at the end, you have to do some actual thinking and working). Met emerging demands after some whining.

I wrote 30 postcards to my mother for her 60th birthday. My sister sent the other 30.

For three days I went to New Orleans. As I walked past a washeteria on Prytania Street, a man in a green shirt said a pinched high sweet accent “You can go on and do what you want but when we get you, this is what we’re going to do to your ass.” He wasn’t talking to me. New Orleans is broken/fixed, bones peeking through skin, beautiful/ugly &c. I want to go there again and fail to see everything again. I saw the jaw bone of a hog killed in self-defense by two Confederate soldiers near Port Hudson, Louisiana. I saw Jefferson Davis’s robe and slippers, and a crown of thorns that the Pope made by hand for the ex president of the Confederacy. I saw a hologram fridge magnet that showed Robert E. Lee knelt in prayer. I ate banh mi in a bleak strip mall. I lost $1 in a video poker machine in a cafe where I got Vietnamese iced coffee that tasted like butane. During the Vietnamese food interlude I received and transmitted information on the phone about my mother being in the hospital with abdominal pain, just two days after she turned sixty.

I drove back to Alabama and packed up my stuff in the graveyard house. For four days I looked after three old black dogs, aged 14, 14, and 12 years respectively. Dogs this old take very short walks. Sometimes dogs this old stop in the middle of very short walks and look at you with their rheumy eyes. I frequently ascribe human-wise thoughts to the expressions of dogs. When these dogs stopped in the middle of walks their eyes said I forgot what we were talking about.

The civil authorities of Western Alabama, even in the relative congestion of Tuscaloosa, have austere ideas about streetlight placement. On the dawn walks the sun pushed up behind the broad prairie of chain retail to the east of town/university and the sun helped me see where I was going and more importantly it helped me see the dog poop I was duty bound to collect per social norms. In the hasty December dusk, that same sun hurried out toward Mississippi. So I walked the black dogs in the dark. I had to bring my cellphone on the walks, to use its flashlight to discover the poops of my charges. Otherwise I went to the gym and watched Netflix and ate at Waffle House. The first time I went to Waffle House a strung-out lady came in at 6 am and asked for plastic bags. I finished dog-sitting and moved all my stuff into a new apartment which coincidentally is very close to the Waffle House. I subsequently ate there a second time, the third time in my life to date.

I drove back to Ohio in stages. I saw my sister and her family. I shopped at Ikea with money I would probably have done better to save. I drove on to Cleveland and looked at newspapers from 1836.

I was a child in the churning world

tumblr_nxip1gJoPJ1rqxd5ko1_1280

In 1917, you are born, a fine baby. Really the only thing wrong with you is the third eye.

The midwife says Oh that’s just a baby eye, we used to see those all the time before they put iodide in the salt. What a hoot.

Your mother is reassured by this.

Your father takes a short performative breath and asks Will we be charged extra for the third eye. He says that No one asked if we wanted a third eye.

The midwife says No it’s cool, the baby eye is free. It’s like baby fat. It will just melt away, close up by the time the kiddo is 12 or 13. Sometimes before they’re 10. Everything they see through it will be forgotten. It will even disappear from any properly formatted digital photos. If you do choose to have an oil painting or sculpture made of the child, that won’t update automatically. You’ll have to bring it in and in all likelihood it’ll be out of warranty.

So it does cost extra, your father says with a thin vinegary smile.

this lump of bad meat

holiday

photo (c) peter holliday

Deserter 105 could not stop blinding cyclopses. The other men were running down the shore, fleeing to the hollow ships. Odysseus gesticulated wildly come on come on dude hurry, but 105 still struggled to lift the giant stick, its sharp burned end fouled with eyeball bits cooked like egg. The other cyclopses could come get a piece, he screamed to his departed shipmates.

+++++

Deserter 106 walked naked from the bushes to ask the princesses for help. The guards stabbed him infinity times.

+++++

Deserter 107 left the island of the beautiful sex goddess after seven years of beautiful sex. He stole some of her shit on the way out.

+++++

Deserter 108 felt bad about his body and excused himself whenever sex or nudity or princesses were discussed. The guards stabbed him infinity times also.

+++++

Only the priests had knowledge of the calendar but Deserter 109 went through the temple garbage and found a printout of the sacred dates, brushed away the coffee grounds. Deserter made a Google Calendar and invited everyone to celebrate the holy days. Everyone subscribed but the priests took away Deserter’s computer privileges.

+++++

When the shepherd communities began to rise like bread into permanent villages they needed a heart. The shepherds chose as their heart a sacred fire guarded by economically disadvantaged virgins. Deserter 110 was the poorest of the virgins. She was behind on her bills and desperate. She sold the eternal fire on Craigslist. She forgot to take the ad down.

viagra-eyed athena

car

it has been a minute (time works differently in a one-way derelict medium). semirandom nugget from school-derived stuff.

Secret Donald excerpts
Secret Donald’s family painted outlines of him on walls and floors and couches like his memory murdered.

Donald left for work that day without finishing his prayers. No one could be sure what god he was aiming for. They left the words there like unwatched TV.

The painted outlines became a whole thing a mode of expression different colors different patterns different sizes. Nothing like Donald at all.

Gods were always stopping past on their summer vacations. Gods on their days off. No winged shoes. No makeup. No bright eyes. No pushup bras. No thunderbolts. They saw the halfsaid prayer and tried it on. Tried to pull it out of the stone. Some gods laughing, some gods shaking with effort. Some gods tried so hard to make the prayers theirs. Some gods just looked at it and said This prayer sucks I won’t hear it. But one god did that thing where he was obviously thinking about buying it and asking the questions you ask a salesgod. There wasn’t a salesgod just that same god imagining himself in a polo shirt. He pretended to get a phone call and walked out of Ithaca.

The prayer and the outlines existed and we gave fucks but not like quality fucks. Not the kind you give as gifts or burn as offerings.
A generation rose up unhappy with the outlines, constrained by even mutant memory not out of hatred but forgetting and because the outlines stained their beautiful tunics.

When the season for god tourism ended, Donald’s family took off their salesgod polo shirts and looked at the prayer and tried to finish. They tried every letter but praying wasn’t Scrabble.

The absence of Donald was like someone else’s money Squint at it all day, see where it gets you.

What if we just had one big outline? We could change it around seasonally Different colors different meanings. We could honor veterans. We could stand up to cancer.

At night Donald’s family would get shitty and work on the prayer. But the one who cared the most grew old and died. No one knew about the spreadsheet and they just kept unmaking.

We have to let Donald go to hold onto him or maybe we got it backwards.

Why does the outline even have to be Donald? At a certain point you have to consider his absence a desertion.

Eventually they decided to treat the halfprayer like they treated the outlines

I mean I don’t know what the deal with Donald is either. He should have been home fifteen years ago. But we were not even waiting for him It was not his birthday. We were not going to jump out from behind the halfprayer and yell DUDE YOU MADE IT AROUND AGAIN and make him sit in the outlines and take pictures.

If they can’t have an outline of Donald, just burn the fucking place down.

Because the halfprayer got sacred they stopped looking at it. One day the youngest baby  knocked the prayer over, translated it into a different forgotten language. Who would ever know the difference?

The snow’s smile fell and it built unfinished churches on Ithaca.