Tuesday, December 15, 2009

lips with strings attached hang idly,
an imaginary mobile pondered with,
blind and bedridden by heed.
the prestigious dance macabre
of fictional openings and botched pie crust,
the peripheral nature of ardent space.
the mystique of nautical liaisons
heavies the heart with barnacles.
the plaintive pull of heavenly bodies,
wall-flowered by recollection,
draws my culpability in the sand.

Monday, November 30, 2009

In the bosom of the old world

lies a subterranean halo.

A marvel of concrete and conjecture.

The ulterior coition of

Alice and Atlas'

violence delivers

a multidimensional nativity.

A theoretical cherub

with curls of quarks

and dark matter pupils,

taxing the pugnacious nature

of Newtonian Apostles.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


roused. simper.

silently aware. gray tones of late dawn. the poor man's dove calls out.

an acknowledging breath. sore. soar. a modest tenderness.

lyrical tones of cigarettes and vermouth loiter on lobes and lips.

bare. a shared point. green is not vain.

beside besides, besides, besides (searching).

a path of cognitive discernment.

the spirit swells. quintessence.

the remains of their tenderhearted coil softly disseminate.

and so she and him came to be. a strange romance.

entwined. au fait.

the first drops of sentimental flooding.

Strigiformes behind the curtain all along.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a wolfs towel

a wolfs towel

i see my headless trunk,

cold and weary,

an ill expanse of years

without play,

through the hot brume of an

aging mirror.

rusty tissue and sinew droop

over rigid organs

that frame my damp form.

but I hold

a wolfs towel.


hardwearing stones

tear the fear from my hide

peeling away my hesitation,


a fetching fellow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

centuries inside

i, anima.

an accident in appropriation.

a restless binary

reared by lightning rods.

a basement boy in august.

an uneasy parade of

antediluvian distresses

wearing a veil, not a mask.

keepdancing, he says

Monday, November 16, 2009

The poetry of a bored man

I lament for those days
when youth seemed
to bloom
(and girls)
Time could be
the problem
I seem to be
Looking back
Looking backwards
for something
I have forgotten
Prayers recited
while my thumb
extends to
write a passage
of time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An open letter to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

Dear Moro Islamic Liberation Front,

I happened upon your recent act of terrorism in the news this morning and wanted to let you know it did not work. I was neither scared nor impressed by your ruthless aggression toward's the kidnapped irish priest, more so, after reading about your organization, I was almost bemused. I feel the reason I had this sort of reaction was because of the title you've chosen for your terrorist organization.

Please, before your terrorize again, change your name. I ask this because as a terrorist organization you need to strike fear into the hearts and minds of all those who do not see the world as you do. Your organization, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, doesn't make anyone in the west think terror. True, there may be some parent out there who don't want their 14 son kidnaped by MILF's, despite their son's excitement at the prospect of this happening. When most westerners think of MILF they think of sad, lonely mothers who want to nothing more than some sexual attention from a handsome nineteen year old pool boy, and not terrorist.

After reading about your organizations attempts to establish an islamic state on the island of Mindanoa, you may be surprised that tourism from westerners increases in the area as news here in America will claim that MILF's have taken control of a tropical island in the Philippines. You might want to put some guards at the air ports because there will be a massive escalation of college men in your country if you are to succeed. I also wanted to warn you that there are not people in the west who are out to attack your organization. Despite their title, MILF Hunter's, these groups of men are after something very different.

Kellen Terrett

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

no one says i love you to baristas

no one says i love you to baristas

the bar tender gets the cheers

of drunks

of degenerates

of people running from their past

the waiter gets the tips

for knowing the wine list

for peppering your salad

for keeping your water full

but no one

no one says i love you to baristas

the barista deals with addicts all day

from every walk of life

men in suits, moms with strollers

boys in tight pants, and girls with books

the barista keeps the oil flowing

caffeine to keep the spirit going

yet no one

no one says i love you to baristas

baristas are colorful people

from every walk of life

yet no one knows our names

but we know your drink

and make it to perfection

but when you see us on the streets

you turn your head away


because you want to say i love you

to a stranger who makes

ne plus ultra dans une tasse

but then you'd be admitting you love us

more than you love your job

more than you love your children

more than you love your bike

more than you love your stories

so you tip a piece of silver

a contrite way of saying

i love you

Monday, September 14, 2009

Excerpt of Current Untitled Work

"Untitled" a fictional story.

"I don't need a bag" but he robotically places the brown paper bag inside the black plastic. My request echoes in my head as I stare at my late night purchase. I'm not sure if it is the language barrier, the heat, or the hour that stopped the balding man from even acknowledging my presence. Most likely a combination of the three. Something about the emptiness behind his eyes didn't match with the blue tooth headset stapled to the side of his head. I exhale, attempting to let the mild frustration melt off me like the sweat on my neck. But like the sweat, the frustration clings to my subconscious, aided by humidity, and continues to irritate me as I walk out, bags in hand.

I feel like the inconspicuousness of my parcel was lost on anyone who might pass by me. I hate black plastic. It screams. A white plastic bag could contain any number of items. Acceptable purchases are placed in white. The virgin box of cookies, clothed in white, paraded for the entire neighborhood to see. But black is the color of sordid investments. Black plastic is neither discreet nor ostentatious. The black sack hanging at my side oozes of squalid hobbies shamefully acted out behind closed doors. My purchase is only as obscene as the imagination of the other allows.

The walk from store to home is short; A nice walk in Spring, miserable in Summer, invigorating in Fall, and an unmanageable in Winter. The trail takes me past two 24 hour laundromat occupied by hispanic women and children, K's an underground dive, a mattress store that never has anyone in it, a mixture of ethnic restaurants, and several beaten down apartment buildings. It's an old neighborhood, a conveniently forgotten one. As the roaming tamale vender says "Gentrificación no aquí en mi casa". I approach my building. It's residences are almost all asleep. The light of a forgotten lamp, a television projects a dance of colors onto a curtain, and the ever present hum of old air conditioning units; signs of life in an quiet building.

My keys sit firmly in my right pant pocket. I reach in with my free hand and grab the warn leather strap attached to the key ring. On the ring are five keys; the front door, apartment, post office box, storage space, and a safety deposit box located downtown. I am proud of my efficiency with keys, and when I reach for them, a small grin of trivial satisfaction emerges. The simplicity of my pockets contents are known and celebrated only by me, and is something that does not need to be known by others. To them, it might just seem like I'm proud of monotony.

The sound of heals reverberating off the brick and tile seem to be following me as I enter the building. The rhythm of the walk paints a picture in my mind of the owner these shoes. I imagine they are yellow, mostly because I see a lot of women wearing yellow. If Dorothy had been wearing sapphire slippers instead would she have gotten home. I doubt it, and remember that in the novel, Dorothy has slippers made of silver, which I remember enjoying as a child. Does the owner of these shoes have any opinion of the works of Mr. L. Frank Baum? I doubt she would even be able to make to correlation. To busy finding dresses to go with the yellow shoes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sleep and it's Relation to my Life

"What do you mean you don't like sleeping" is often the reaction I get from people when I tell them that sleep has never been something I desire. I know many people who's favorite thing to do in the world is sleep. To many people sleep is an escape from the difficulties of life. Their troubles can only follow them into the world of slumber via dreams. And when these people awake they are relaxed and rejuvenated from a fulfilling nights sleep. So when I tell someone with a great sleep habit, that I do not have a good sleep habit, they often look at me like I'm not right.

"It's just what you do; you get up, live out your day, at the end you sleep, and then repeat it the next day". This came from a friend of mine who recently sat down with me and discussed why my sleep habits are not in sync with the rest of humanity. I told her that when I was little I slept like other normal children. My parents would see me rubbing my ears and knew that I was getting tired. Though as I grew up, my desire to sleep lessened. The more aware I became of my reality, the less I wanted to be away from it.

And that's where my problem stems from; my continued desire to stay connected to my personal awareness. Sleep for me is almost scary at times. My eyes become heavy, my brain slows to the point where my thoughts are almost incoherent. It is that moment where your consciousness is taken from you for a brief moment and then next thing you realize several hours have passed, you are in a different position then you were when you were last wake, and if you've dreamt, then your mind is filled with bizarre imagery that have only slight connections to the reality you are now a part of.

To me, I equate the moment before sleep to sinking into dark water. I'm not saying that when I fall asleep it feels like I'm drowning (as a former life guard, I know that drowning is a very violent ordeal). I say this because when you sleep, you give yourself over to sleep. Sleep, like the water in this example, overwhelms your mind and body and takes you away. It almost reminds me of descriptions of alien abductions. People experiencing lost time, not understanding where the last few hours had gone. A complete lack of awareness to their reality. Also, alien abductions are also something I fear.

Now you may be thinking, Kellen, you have to sleep, it's part of life. I do sleep; it's just something I mostly struggle with. When I do give myself over to it, I sleep deeply, and wake up fine. Though more often than not I would rather be doing something creative. Night is my time for writing, reading, making music, etc. And when I do eventually lay my head down, my mind likes to wander. It does what it has been designed to do for millions of years. I attempt to solve personal problems, I create stories in my head, I speak narratives of my life to myself to assess where I am (for more on how I think see my series "Ruminating on my Ruminations"). As anyone who has ever shared a bed, a hotel room, or a tent with me will tell you, I don't fall asleep easily because my mind just will not let go. Though when my mind eventually succumbs to the magic of the sandman and I do nod off I've never been someone who struggles to reenter the world of the living.

That term 'the world of the living' connects to another big fear of mine. My desire to hold onto my awareness of my reality is not just a fear of sleep; it's also a fear of death. I feel I understood death at a very young age. And not because I had a friend or family member die. I was a kid who asked a lot of questions. How does this work? Why does this happen? And when you're a kid who asks a lot of questions, eventually the subject of death comes up. Why do we have to die? What happens to us when we die? My parents, being good Christians, hold me about God and the idea of Heaven. I don't want to say that I was a skeptic as a child, but the idea of our lives ending and continuing in a divine reality, or worse, the one filled with misery and pain, has always been something I have struggled to understand and accept. Lucky, I've got some time to figure out what I believe.

In the mean time, I must spend my days working, writing, performing, pursuing the opposite sex so I can copulate with them to create tiny copies of me to continue my linage of DNA, and eating. And between all of this, I will have to sleep. I must do this in order to survive. "Regular sleep is essential for your survival. Without sleep, you will get sick, and die" she told me, trying to snap some sense into me like I was a junkie. Ironically, earlier she had said "sleep is my drug. I'm an addict".

Sleep for her is just as important as awareness is to me. And as we spoke I began to understand that the longer I had these unhealthy sleep habits the worse my connection to my awareness would be. "You're not 18, or 21, or even 24 anymore. The older you get, the worse it'll be". If I continued to avoid sleep, maybe I'd begin to lose touch with the world when I was awake?

Which makes me remember back to when my grandfather Robert was still alive. I can recall once staying up late with my family, and he would stay awake longer than anyone else. Then sometime in the early, early morning, you'd smell coffee going, and by the time you'd wake up, he'd have a full breakfast ready, read the entire paper, and have started his day off long ago. I asked my father about this, and he told me that my grandfather just was like that. He'd go to bed late and wake up at 4 am and start his day. My grandfather was a product of the great depression, the dust bowl, and years of service to his country in the air force. He was a man of habit, and somewhere along the his life he'd chosen to work hard, and thus sacrifice "healthy" sleep habits.

This anecdote doesn't justify my habits. All it does it make me feel like there's at lease some reason I don't sleep well. Be it genetic, fear based, or just a desire to do things other than dream. For now, when I look at my bed, and think about what it means to me, I attempt to stay positive. Because if my bed only represents a negative space then how will I ever be able to develop positive relations to it?

At then end of our conversation my friend asked me what I was going to do?

"I'll sleep when I'm dead."

So that didn't happen. But it would have been really cool if I had said that, right?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thanks You Letters to Strangers

The Lady with the Black Dog

The crosswalk of North Ave. and Wood St., Saturday morning, Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Your back was turned to me while you were talking on the phone. Your dog, a big black lab mix, held his nose up, smelling the scents coming from the Gallery Cafe. I had just exited the cafe having treated myself to a delicious egg, turkey sausage, tomato and swiss sandwich on hearty multigrain bread. You were talking in a slightly raised voice, one hand on your hip, in a fist, and the other holding onto the leash. A few moments passed as we waited for the light to turn.

I cannot help but listen to the increasing distress in your voice. You realize that I'm standing there, and try to walk the other way with your dog but he is not moving. You pull at him, and he just sits there. I glance down and see he's looking up at me. The overwhelming frustration of the two actions causes your eyes to water up and your checks to go flush with blood. It reminds me of someone.

Without saying a word you hand me the dogs leash and walk the other way. Each step the sobs get a little more pronounced. The dog turns his big head from me to his owner and then back to me. Looking down at the beast I see that his nose is graying and his teeth are slowly falling out. I kneel down, placing my right hand on his head, rubbing his lower ear with my thumb. His eyes slowly close as his panting increases and his tongue falls to one side. His smile is infectious.

The morning sun is falling down on us. The streets are waking up as pedestrians begin to make there way to and from shops, cafe's, etc. The neighborhood reminds me of Portland. Small streets. A couple passes the dog and me, looking at how happy the two of us are. She whisper to him, 'I want one' and without looking at her he says with authority 'No.' which causes her to look back at us with a longing.

It's been about ten minutes and the owner eventually returns. Her conversation is over though it is apparent that the words exchanged by the two parties are weighing heavily on her. I stand, and hand her the leash. She politely thanks me and turns to walk the other way, pulling at the dog. The dog stands, and follows her. I turn and walk towards Ashland to catch my bus home. Neither of us look back.

Thank you for letting me have that moment with your dog. I hope everything is fine.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Capturing Rudolf

I took a series of photo's three years ago which I now call "capturing rudolf". these are my three favorite photos.This is one of those shots you take and remember for a long time. Rudy Tyburczy was my model, who agreed to dance (practically naked) around the streets of Eugene OR only because he was drunk (as was I). We did this because my roommate at the time has asked us to leave the apartment because a girl he'd always wanted to sleep with was in town. We got drunk at a local pub, returned to see that my roommate had yet to attain his goal. We decided to be little devils and began jumping on his bed without shirts or pants. We then walked a few blocks up the street, where I asked Rudy to run, jump an dance in the street. Odd what the mind thinks of when it's pissed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fun with Words II

Comment with a word. I'll see what comes.

'Fumble' suggested by Devika

i fumble

fumble rhymes with jumble rhymes with tumble rhymes with rumble rhymes with stumble rhymes with crumble rhymes with mumble rhymes with humble rhymes with grumble rhymes with bumble rhymes with fumble.

fumble with my words. fumble with my hands. fumble with my thoughts. fumble with my past. fumble through a class. fumble with women. fumble with a bra. fumble in the darkness. fumbling to please. fumble out of bed. fumble with excuses. fumble.

jumbled words. jumbled thoughts. jumbled books. jumbled songs. jumbled stories. jumbled relationships. jumbled messages. jumbled meaning. jumbled apologies. fumble my jumbles.

tumble down a hill. tumble down the stairs. tumbled thoughts. tumble to the ground in laughter. tumble into open arms in tears. tumble across the dance floor. tumble drunkenly into a cab. tumble in the sheets. tumbled hair. tumbled clothes scattered across the room. tumble dry. tumbled heart. tumbling emotions. tumbled affairs. fumble with tumbling jumbles.

rumble between gangs. rumble between friends. rumble between lovers. rumbles behind closed doors. rumbling voices. rumbling thunder. rumbling stomach. rumbling engine. rumbles in the heart. rumbles from the past. fumbling rumbles of tumbling jumbles.

stumble along a path. stumble onto something new. stumble into someone on the street. stumble out of a party with a stranger. stumble home drunkenly. stumble through a conversation. stumble under pressure. stumble with responsibility. stumble with a weakness. stumble over my words. stumble with lies. stumble across self discovery. stumble across hidden beauty. stumbling across fumbling jumbles and rumbling tumbles.

crumbling ego. crumbling connections. crumbling love. crumbling perceptions. crumbling to the ground. crumbling under wear and tear. crumbling roads. crumbling buildings. crumbling statues. crumbling cities. crumbling societies. crumbling ideas. crumbling remains of a once proud civilization. crumbling on the cold bathroom tile, alone, crying. crumbling on a bar stool, to pissed to stand. crumbling connection to someone being buried. tumbling rumbles of crumbling fumbles set against stumbling jumbles.

mumbled feelings. mumbled truths. mumbled replies. mumbled actions. mumbling old men. mumbling under her breath. mumbled protest. mumbled confessions. mumbled fears. mumbled requests. mumbled desires. mumbled rumbles and stumbled fumbles, tumbling over crumbling jumbles.

humble pie. humble abode. humble servent. humble thoughts. humble admissions. humbling moments. humbling words. humble men and humbling women. humbled by the presence of a greater being. humbled by recognition of ones personal mistakes. humbled by the praise of others. humbling criticism. humbled by an understanding of our own limits as human beings. humbled by tragedy. humbled by the compassion of another. humble apologies. humbly holding your head in shame. humbly he fumbles with mumbling praises, nervous rumbles, stumbling over words, the jumble of thoughts crumble as his ego tumbles.

grumbled complaints. grumbling over burn toast. grumble over consternation. grumble over that fact that 'umble' really can only produce so many ideas, emotions, memories, words, etc. grumble over this stupid exercise. grumble over my own inability to just press on. grumble over the music I'm listening to. grumble over R.E.M.'s 'Second Guessing' and how it fits perfectly in the moment. grumble over my own second guessing. grumble that i'm not better at this even though I've been working on it for more than an hour. grumble over wasted time. grumble over not having enough money for a proper dinner. grumble over customers taking their bitterness over a rainy day in July out on me. grumble over not having the confidence to talk to freckled yoga girl. grumbled mumbles and stumbling fumbles, on top of hungry rumbles and tumbling jumbles, humbly crumbling quickly.

bumbling idiot. humble ownership that i fumble often, stumble under pressure, tumble into bed, ignore my rumbling stomach, crumble in the presence of beauty and, grumble and mumble when confused, while all along happily bumbling through life.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips

I am a fan of crisps, or as we in the United States commonly call them, potato chips. It is the comfort and simplicity of the chip that has always brought me a moderate sense of gastronomic fulfillment. The chip isn't meant to be a meal, more so a side, or something to accompany a meal. Chips can of course be a meager substitute for a meal, often caused by late night movie watching, sports events, or boredom in the kitchen. Chips often lead someone to gorge themselves on handfuls of chips due their inability to actually fill your stomach with anything more than small bits of processed root vegetables.

I eat chips because I like the taste, and texture. The salty taste causes my mouth to water, craving the salt it ferociously does not need. The salty flavor can pair well with most sandwiches, BBQ, and almost any other snack. A plethora of chips can cause the human taste bud to implode with chemically manufactured taste. The texture is comforting against the soft den that is my mouth. The ridged edges of any chip easily cut though my weak gums. The chips break apart in my mouth, each piece becoming a separate razor sharp slicing implement. Welcomed torture in a bag.

Frito-Lay's is one of the largest American producers of chips, owning Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, and Cheetos. Cheetos technically don't count as chips, and is more commonly classified as a "cheese curl" thought should be classified as cheese flavored home insulation. Frito-Lay is owned by Pepsico inc., the world's fourth-largest food and beverage company who make "a wide variety of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, as well as salty, sweet and grain-based snacks, and other foods" (wiki). Companies under the Pepsico inc. umbrella are Mt. Dew, Gatorade, Izze, Naked Juice, Starbucks Frappuccino, Quaker Oats, and Human Pride and Dignity. This only furthers my belief that the world really is controlled by lizard people who want me to become fat, and unhappy so they can feed on my life juices which are extracted by television.

One of the many wonderful "food" products that Frito-Lay's produces is Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips. The bag itself is expertly designed to make you believe the contents are wholesome and hand made. A soft blue banner frames the image of a few fresh potato's, a small black kettle, and thick, lightly salted potato chips. The Lay's symbol shines like a sun (obviously intentional) above the modern-olde-englishly text. And proudly printed on the top right corner "0 grams Trans Fat" allowing all the obese Oprah following mothers to feel better about their children eating two bags each in one sitting.

The chip itself isn't bad. It's as thick a chip that the stingy bastards at Lay's could possibly make. If you take a regular Lay's chip and put it against a light source, the chip resembles an oily discolored sheet of news paper. Taking a Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chip and repeating the same action, makes the chip seem more like few sheets of oily paper pressed together for a few years, dried, and then fried. The chip is rather tasteless, uncomfortably crunchy, and oddly small in size. Kettle chips I've had in the past have always had a rich taste, whether that be sea salt, sharp cheddar, or wasabi. They have also had a great consistency in texture, allowing the chip to have an appropriate heaviness, and crunch.

Lay's chips on the other hand feel more along the lines of a handful of chips in your mouth rather than the traditional kettle chip. The so called crunchy part of the chip seems more along the lines of being stale, and over fried. Rather than dense the chip seems bulky, though this is only compared to it's brother the traditional Lay's chip. Compared to a real Kettle chip, the Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chip seems hard, and unrefined.

Traditional kettle chips have a hand cut feel to the chip, and even the larger companies that produce kettle chips still have a human presence to their product. This is because traditionally kettle chips are made by frying the chips in a batch all at once at a low temperature, where as Lay's makes it's Kettle Chips by using a "continuous-style" by cooking the chips on a conveyor belt, expediting the process and taking out the inconsistencies that are brought about by human interaction.

As stated before, I'm a fan of chips. Sometimes my gluttony can get in the way of my inner snob. I'll eat crappy chips if it means that I can take advantage of post fourth of July holiday sales at supermarkets. Lay's Kettle Cooked-Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips are a fine chip to eat on a hot day with a cheap beer and a boiled hot dog if nothing else is available. Just make sure you're not doing all that in front of the TV as to not wet the ravenous hunger of the Lizard people.

Friday, July 3, 2009

God, I miss beer.

God, I miss beer

Beer was an experience to be shared.
Beer was something to look forward to.
Beer was part of every meal.
Beer was story time.
Beer was a creative outlet.
Beer was welcomed laughter.
Beer was mentally stimulating.
Beer was the boys.
Beer was courage.
Beer was vibrant.
Beer was away.
Beer was pointing fingers over heated debates.
Beer was after work.
Beer was bohemia.
Beer was for the porch.
Beer was always a block away.
Beer was seasonal.
Beer was a conversation starter.
Beer was collective freedom.
Beer was...

Beer is merrily that.
Beer is soulless.
Beer is simply consumed.
Beer is obvious.
Beer is four red white and blue taps.
Beer is disconnected.
Beer is homeless.
Beer is everywhere.
Beer is forced.
Beer is disinfected.
Beer is clout-less.
Beer is cheaper than water.
Beer is monotonous.
Beer is spilled and forgotten.
Beer is expensively flat.
Beer is vapid.
Beer is pointless nonsense.
Beer is the smell of trashy girls and dipshit boys.
Beer is...

I miss,
Max's Tavern, music blaring, dimly lit booths, fresh popped corn.
The Beer Stein, waiting for a table, pico and chips, hundreds of choices.
John Henry's, rock and roll, the tattooed bartenders, 32 oz. High Life.
High Street, summer, the smell of hops as they brewed in the basement.
Cornucopia, juicy burgers, dark beer, the smell of body oder.
Jackalope, darts, baskets and baskets of salty fries.
Sam Bonds uncomfortable seats, bingo night, tom waits tributes, locals.
Random parties with random home brews.
Family dinners, standing in the kitchen, sun setting over the west hills.

I long for...
Imperial India Pale Ales
Black Butte Porter
Anything Ninkasi creates

God, I miss beer.
I pray that I find it soon.
My the angels touch someone here.
And create something that reminds me
Of what I left behind.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The End of the Rainbow: Pride Parade, Part Two

(As the day continued, more and more my attention waned from Barry's rant and to the fête on wheels.)

The song stylings of Prince blares across the street as half a dozen mostly naked men dance a top a story tall float. They are wearing chrome speedo's and chrome cartoonish top hats. Bellow them is a pastel neon portrait of the 16th President of the United States. Mr. Lincoln's beard is green and his eyes stare deeply into the crowd. His demeanor is of hidden bemusement, which seems to be his conduct in any portrait. The men above shake their muscles, proudly expressing their freedom to "Party like it's 1999".

A short asian woman dances on a float themed "Hero's". Along side her are a few non recognizable generic hero's who have obviously put no effort into their costumes. The asian woman has on a classic piece of comic book history. She dawns a perfectly fashioned Jean Gray costume. But not only that, it is Jean Gray as the cosmic entity know as "The Phoenix". The gold boots and gloves match perfectly with the hot green top. She is sexy without needing to compromise the integrity of the character to show her legs or chest. She moves in the costume like she has warn it her entire life. She smiles proudly, knowing that the few people who recognize the her will appreciate the effort she has gone to as a designer and as a true fan.


Gay cow boys square dance to a remix of "These boots were made for walking" and the crowd goes nuts.

Latino drag queens, dressed in Quinceañera white and red, smile in the sun. Their skin shines in the heat of the afternoon. Their hair, despite the wind barreling down the street off the lake, stands defiantly still.

The Illinois Lotto float slowly passes. It is a golden temple littered with sparkelling men, rippled with muscel. A fat queen sits behind on a thrown, quietly watching her subjects. As she passes the protesters, a smile as wide and bright as her float emerges on her face and she stands, blowing kisses to her "fans".

An silver ice cream truck slowly stops in the center of my view. On it's side are a signs for different flavored popsicles. The flavors are all sexual innuendo and puns; the kind that would be written out on a piece of paper in junior high and passed around the class while the substitute teach lecturing about fractions. Atop the roaming example of camp is a giant purple popsicle. A half naked man and woman unashamedly startle the shinny phallus. As the crowd shouts the man and woman raise their hands to the sky and the cheers are rewarded as the popsicles tip explodes with a gush of white steam. Smiles and laugher run rampant through the masses. The level of joy at the end of the rainbow continues and I wonder if the festivities are ever going to end, and if I care?


Walking along the sideway are five waiflike boys dressed as Dorothy, the Tin man, the Scarecrow, the Good witch and the Wicked witch. All are only wearing elements of the original costumes and are mostly naked, their heroin chic bodies on display. They all laugh and skip, singing songs from the land of Oz. Dorothy grabs the Wicked witch by the hand and the wicked witch turns and pulls Dorothy into her. The two passionately kiss, groping each other, Dorothy pulling the witches leg up to her hip and reaching across the black mini skirt to paw at her ass. The other three continue prancing around the lovers as Dorothy's heals click together rapidly. It is a surreal, phantasmagorical sequence that could have only been staged by the ghost of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

It was then understandable that I was in a strange place when I saw that TV personality Billy Mays had been found dead in his Florida home. I don't know why the shock of his passing affected me the way it did, but I honestly shed a few tears behind my dark sunglasses. I then texted a few people, got on Facebook to see who knew(because what's the point of social media if not to see who follows current events and posts their reactions). I sat back, slightly numb, and watched the parade, as a large black pickup truck transporting three aging drag queens passed my view.

Having thought about the death a little, I can say that I was saddened by the loss of someone I had grown to trust. The recent slew of deaths in the realm of Hollywood had no emotional affect on my life. I felt sad because Billy Mays was a old style sales man, someone who had never lead my dollar astray by his endorsements. Yes, some of the product he put his face on were silly and mostly useless to the able bodied. In the rich and affluent '90 my family used OxiClean, and I can still look back on those softer, cleaner loads of laundry with sentimentality.

The demeanor and energy Billy Mays possessed made you believe that no matter what he sold you, it was going to work fantastically. In an age where quick and easy has lead to a global financial crisis, it was the voice of Mr. Mays that the cynical American consumer could trust. I hate to say this, but I'm almost glad to see him go. Much like the greatest minds of the modern era, those who have burnt brightest, and sadly shortest, leave an everlasting impression on us. Thank you Billy Mays for letting me believe that even a sales man could be trusted.


May your coffin be sealed with Magic Puddy, so if the gates of hell open, and the dead rise, I will never be forced to take an axe to your head.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"It's like Gay threw up all over the neighborhood!" My day at the Gay Pride Parade, Part One

From my shaded patio seat, iced coffee in hand, I waited amongst the thousands of Chicagoans participating in the 40th Chicago Gay Pride Parade. I say participating because there was no way you could simply be a spectator at the event. The parading men and women enticed you to stand, sing, and dance like a fool to the sounds of the recently deceased king of pop. This was a celebration, pure and simple. Afterwords, exchanging stories of the day with a friend, she described the event "like St. Patrick's day but instead of bagpipes, there were hot pants".

I was privileged enough to be seated at the end of the parades route, where forty or more police officers stood next to a 20 by 10 square where civil protest was allowed. And protest they did. The area spewed over with conservative christians whom were there to have their opinions hear against the noises of the carnival. A rotund man stood on a latter, his megaphone next to him on a stand, and regaled the crowd with his thoughts on their lifestyles, their place in the world, and the wrong doings they we were all consciously committing. After four hours of non stop talking and yelling I doubt the man walked away with any new friends, let alone his voice. For the sake of this article I'll call the man with the megaphone Barry, most cause "Barry the Bigot" has a nice alliteration to it.

My role in the parade was of documentarian. I sat through the parade, at the cross roads of Pine Grove and Diversy, and observed the thoughts, actions, and images of the celebration. What I gathered are quotes, personal musings, a few silly jokes I wrote, and later, my utter shock and reaction to the new of the dead of television personality Billy Mays.

{while MJ plays in the background}
Barry "Michael Jackson is not singing 'Beat It' where he is! He can't fool God! There are no lawyers in Heaven. There are no loop holes in Gods kingdom! Once you are dead, like MJ, then there are no opportunities to begin a relationship with God. "

{i'm denoting my thoughts with a little ~ mark)
~No loop holes in Gods kingdom? What about Limbo? What about accepting God on your death bed? I think there are plenty of loop holes in any millennia old monotheistic religion based on the dogmatic practices of multiple religious sects. But what do I know?

Barry "I'm a man in love with a man. I'm allowed to love one man. That one man is Jesus Christ!. He's the only man I let come inside me."

~I really thought the joke was on me when I was listening to Barry say this. I couldn't believe he was saying this with a straight face, and not with a wink and a nod. This is a classic routine, and I just don't think he was aware of what he was saying.

Barry "You need to be born again! You must! If not, then you will be an illegal alien in the Kingdom of God."

~Do people sneak into heaven and work the shitty jobs that Angels don't want to do? If so, are Angels doing anything so that these aliens (in this case, non born-again christians; a Lutheran for example) can be stopped from entering heaven illegally? Are Angels who live along the boarder of heaven forming militia's because God doesn't want to build a fence? A gate, a big book and St. Peter are not enough to keep illegal aliens out of heaven!

Barry "There sure are a lot of dogs in this neighborhood. God said do not lie with a man. The next verse is about lying with a animal. I guess you all lie with your dogs. Sick Perverts"

~There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood. But a lot of these dogs miniature or even toy sized and are owned by all the rich L.P.C.'s (Lincoln Park Cougars). He later pointed out that a dog was wearing a dress ( Barry "A DRESS HE CHOSE TO PUT ON!") and stated in all seriousness "That dog is a homosexual!"

Barry "Will you get this parade going? You aren't the only people we need to save today."

~Barry wasn't a patient man the entire day. I guess he missed the day the priest talked about Jesus's teachings in Thessalonians 5:14 'And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.' Again, what do I know, it's his book, not mine.

Barry "No one should have a parade for sin. Cry about your homosexuality. Cry about your venereal disease. Why can't you be normal like us? He can give you a new mind. He can give you a whole new out look on life. Yu need to be born again. See bible for details!"

~' "See the Bible for details" This reminded me of a informercial' I wrote, which would scare me when I would learn of Billy May's sudden death later on that day.

Barry "God did not create you a homosexual. You are a homosexual because you like it! You enjoy homosexuality! Shame on you.You need to get serious about God. Stop being a homo. Stop being a homitte...homoete."

~Homo is the masculine, and Homoete is the feminine. I actually laughed out loud when he stuttered and corrected himself.

Barry "Hell is going to be filled with people that god loves and people who love god. How many people end up in hell who commit there life to god? Many! Why? Because they are homosexuals! "

~I think the sun was beating down on Barry's fat bald head and got his ideas a little confused. I litterally looked over at a guy who had heard what he had said and he looked back and said "Um, I think I understand what he meant?"


A enormous American flag begins passing where I'm sitting, carried by at least two dozen people. They are all chanting "U.S.A.". Barry responded by stating that he lived in the "United STRAIGHTS of America". I had to give him props for coming up with that on the spot.

A float passes with the phrase "Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame" and I think 'That must be a had club to get into What sort of voting process goes on for you to get inducted? Do you get voted in by the press and members of the gay and lesbian community? Or is it like the rock and roll hall of fame where you just put together another "Best Of..." compilation to get a lot of press before a world reunion tour?'

Barry "No one wants a parking ticket from a homosexual! " As the Chicago Police Dept. walk by with a banner, family members, and smiling faces. The boys in blue who are protecting the protester all cheer proudly for their fellow police. It's a really nice sight.

Barry "John Lennon was a homosexual! " as a young woman plays 'give peace a chance' on a guitar. Wow!

Barry "Hockey is a homosexual sport!" as Chicago's Gay Hockey team practices drills in roller blades, and multicolored briefs.

There begins to be a rumbling in the distance. And with a sudden BANG! a gang of gay female bikers is ontop of us. I am suddenly thrown back to my childhood, as my mother and brother and I travel to Sturgis, South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. Little did we know that at the same time the annual Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally was taking place (as I write this, I check the Strugis web site, Strugis.com, and see that there is a little more than a month until the 69th rally commences). The sounds of the booming engines alone bring me back to an awkward stage in my development towards adulthood. Seeing these leather clad women stratal the gas powered rockets certainly caused an emotional reaction of nostalgia. And when one particular woman looked over at me, raised her fist high into the air, opened her mouth to let out a cry of passion, it caused a very different emotional reaction; one of desire to get on the back of that beast and have it fly off to cloud city. Nerdgasm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fun with Words

Fun with Words.
Comment with a word. I'll see what comes.

'Rump' suggested by Kara.

Rump. When the word hits my mouth I feel my tongue rise up. It brushes against my soft pallet. My lips purse, and a small push of air parts them to finish it. Rump.
Rump. The word makes me smile. You have to make the Mmmmnnn sound. The same sound you make when you smell cookies. Mmmmnnn. Warm cookies, fresh cookies, your cookies. Cookies you made for someone to enjoy. Cookies you made as an emotional outlet. Cookies you made because you need to bring something to a party, or dinner, or a child. Mmmmnnn. Think of cookies someone made for you. Think of the act as a definition. You are recieving more then just baked goods. Cookies take time to make. Cookies take time to perfect. Mmmmnnn makes you want cookies more. Mmmmnnn. For cookies and rump. Rump.
Rump. You also make the word Rum. Rum is warm. I get warm when I drink rum. I'm not much of a rum drinker. I remember the sensation of being warm. It's the sugars. Wonderful sugars. Cane Sugar. We've forgotten cane sugar. It powers engines now. The world use to fight wars over sugar. And salt. No salt in rum. Or Rump. You almost loose the effect when you put rum in cola. The cola is a synthesized sugar. The rum gets lost. The warm looses something.The sugars make you feel safe. Comforting rum. Soothing. A drink that makes you warm. Not temperature. Warm in the mind. You get warm to the idea of something. You warm to the feeling of conversation, of contemplation, of deconstruction. You find yourself dancing. Rum makes me dance. Dance! I hate dancing. Rum makes me warm to dancing. I like rum because it makes me dance, even though I hate it. Dancing makes me feel strangers rumps. Rump.
Rump. Rump has an end. Pu. Pu is a fun act. Just playing with the end of rump creates a sensual feeling. The mmmmnnn causes the chest to vibrate ever so slightly. The tongue is crossing your mouth, making you aware that you are salivating a bit. Because you're thinking about cookies, rum, dancing kissing or because you're excited. Because of rump, or a rump, or your rump. Then pu. You're blowing a soft peck. A kiss to some one. A kiss for someone. Exhaling your sentiments. Experience the sensual nature of Rum, Mmmmnn, and Pu. Rump. Close your eyes and say it slowly. To a rump. Rump. Rump. Cookies, rum, dancing, kisses, rump. Rump.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ruminating on my own Ruminations; A continually evolving essay with myself about How and Why I think the way I do.

Part One

I don't always speak my mind. Some might argue that this statement is me lying to myself, and that the gateway between my thoughts and my voice often overflows like a river after a Spring snow melt. Those who know me, or have seen my work, understand I have a gift for discourse.

I was raised in a family that, despite its reservations on talking about taboo subjects (Anarchy, Godlessness, Sex), encouraged conversation. To this day I admire my Mother and Father who could answer all of the perverse questions my young mind could muster. My parents taught me to engage the world through my mind, and allowed me to spend family dinners, car trips, and commercial breaks, as a time to use their minds as a sounding board for my own.

But what most don't realize, or to be truthful to myself, what most cannot comprehend, is the fact that I don't speak my mind because, at times, I literally can't. I cannot fashion into words the vast amount of ideas that bounce around my mind all day and night. No one can. We're not computers...yet.

To foster the idea that I could accurately communicate this ever-changing amalgamation of thought would grossly overestimate my command of my native language of American-English. Which is itself an infinitely transforming bank of terms, facts, idioms, slang, and funny noises. The quandary that arrises when someone like myself, who seems to have such a wonderfully charming grasp on expressing himself through words (i.e. the last paragraph), cannot, is why?

I know I can speak my thoughts. I think something, it forms as words, and those words represent ideas which I cast out onto the world. I am a fisherman of ideas, throwing my thoughts out into a sea of the conscious other, hoping to get a bite. I real in the catch and I have landed a partner in communication, if only for a fleeting moment.

I've described this as 'bridging'; creating a means of connecting to another via emotional investment, similar language, and mutual understanding. I illustrate it as talking with a stranger on the street about something you both love. This incredible feeling you get when you connect with an unfamiliar mind can be one of the most magical sensations a person can experience at any place in history. Strangers passing on a train. That fleeting moment where you glace across from you, and despite the fact that you have no previous knowledge of this person, you know for this instant, you understand each other, perfectly. An impression of beautiful innocence which is impossible to sustain.

I reach out and try to bridge with anyone willing. And if they aren't willing, well, I'm charming, intelligent, and observant.
So I cox
and question
and dig
and prod
and bully
and manipulate
and intimidate
and interrogate
and threaten until I can get this person to connect.
And they do, because I know how to get people to engage.

But sometimes I cannot engage. I don't speak my mind when I am lost within it. It is a miserable experience to be stranded in an abstract which is ordinarily a place of comfort. I become consumed by thought to the point where the present self becomes absent, and my emotional existence seems implausible. The world is but an echo. I see everything as a distorted reflection of my own overwhelming fears. I liken it to attempting to grasp fog; an impossibly frustrating task.

I do eventually escape the labyrinth; always a little stronger, a little wiser. The mystery is how?

To be continued