Tuesday, February 15, 2011

sixty minutes

“Your cat just fucking winked at me.”

“They do that.”

“But it wasn’t, like, a blink. It was just one eye, and the other one was right on me. Spot on.”

“Yeah he does that sometimes.”



“What are we listening to?”

“The new Del.”

“I like it.”

“Yeah it’s good.”

“We should do something.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. What do we do?”

“I don’t want to think about that.”

“We could… watch a movie, play a game, get beer, take a walk.”

“Let’s take a walk.”

Full moon. White circle on black sky. A postcard moon.

They walked south, east-ish, following the curve that led up to 17th street and the a-bit-too-honest mechanic shop, so honest it seemed almost suspect. Sticker patches invaded the sidewalk, pleading for the significance of human diversion. Another warm summer night. Blue glow, she noticed, from two out of three windows.

Everyone is watching TV.”

“I’ve noticed that before, too. Once, when I was a kid, I remember I was walking home at night, like by myself, and it was really cold and I was really tired, like I’d walked a lot that day or something, and I just wanted to be home, you know? And I remember walking past all these houses, you know—small town neighborhoods—and most of them had their curtains open, like, in their living-rooms, and I could see TV’s on in every house. I remember, I remember like watching TV, a football game or something, through someone’s window for something like ten minutes. I’d sat down on the sidewalk across the street and was just watching TV. I think it made me feel like I was back home or something, you know, warm and resting. I must’ve watched TV at three or so different points on that walk. And you know when you’re a kid it’s like, you don’t even need sound, you know? You’re just… watching TV.”

“Yeah, I remember in 6th grade all I did all that summer was watch TV. Mostly MTV. And even then I could feel the entire day passing by me. Because, I don’t know if they do it now but MTV used to do news, you know, every hour, with … what was that dude’s name?”

“John Norris?”

“Was he the one with the diastema?”


“No, the other one then.”

“Guy or girl?”


“Kurt Loder?”

“Yeah! Kurt Loder. Weird. So yeah I’d be sitting there and it seemed like every five minutes it’d play that sound with the typewriter or whatever and be like “M… T… V… News! You hear it, first!” and there’d be Kurt Loder, at “ten to the hour, every hour,” you know? And each time one came on I’d be like, ‘Fuck,’ you know, ‘there goes another hour.’ And I’d see ten or so of these MTV News things in one day.”

“Yeah, I watched too much TV, too. I could watch the same movie over and over. Bad movies, too. We had one of those illegal cable boxes, you know, and I swear I watched The Fugitive something like twenty times, in like, a week. Because we could pick up Pay-Per-View, and back then it just showed one movie, like repeatedly. I’d spend entire days watching the same movie, the same ninety minutes.”

“Should we turn back?”

“Yeah, probably. Want to get some wine?”

“Yeah, what time is it?”

“Ten, but it’s Friday so they’re still open.”


“And what’s even worse than this is I remember, one time, a few years ago, one of the times my grandmother was up here in the hospital, I was down at UMC, you know, visiting her. My mom was there and we’d been in the room for hours. She was really in bad shape so the nurse wasn’t on our ass about visiting hours or anything. And after a while I felt like, maybe my mom wanted some time alone with her mom, so I decided to go outside for a bit. Plus this was back when I used to smoke, and I wanted a cigarette anyway. So I went outside of the hospital, and I think this was like right after the smoking ban happened so I went all the way across the street, and I remember I was standing across the street by this bus stop or something, and I looked up at the hospital and I saw that same glow, you know, like this house here, in like every window. And it was really fucked up because I was thinking, you know, like, like some of these people in these rooms might be dying you know? Like, they might be fucking dying and they’re in there, watching TV. And I don’t mean that I’m above that or whatever, or that they should be, like, fucking writing profound poetry about their lives or whatever, but it was just a sort of fucked up feeling, thinking that even in the hospital that’s what everyone was doing with whatever time they had.”


“You got any cash?”


“It’s cool, I can get it.”

On the way home her phone beeped, declaring a text message.

“Who’s that?”

“I don’t know. Local number.”

“What’s it say?”

She showed him the screen: “Hey zexy lady. $WEST-SIDE$.”

“What should I say?”

“Ask who it is?”


“What kind of wine did you get?”

“Coppola Merlot. It’s cheap there.”

Another beep: “Whoz diz $WEST-SIDE$.”

“What now?”

“Make up a name. A cool nickname or something. Like… Socks.”


“It’s funny.”

“Okay. Socks.”

“You have a bottle opener right?”


Beep: “My bad wrong number $WEST-SIDE$.”

“That’s great.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Your mouth overflows with baby oil.
Sex is like petting a stranger's dog or
A rubber bag filled with sand,
Filled with putty.

The blonde girl is dissecting a beetle on a plastic table,
Folding and unfolding several days
Seen together through a kaleidoscope.

A beauty mark
Chewing your candy-bar arm.
A fickle and insignificant burned-out
Eyeball rolling along a fixed billiards table.

Pink metallic yarns
Surrounded by virgins,
On The Zipper you lost your keys
And live with the carnival now,
Forever operating the Casino
And breathing slow and deliberate.