sick jokes stick to the roof of the mouth. can taste it again and again. preferable to some other tastes, to be honest.
come shining and shy. be mismatched in existence for the sake of a sound. a series to go with the entrance as silence will be all there is for the exit.
ancient and reckless. nothing left to lose. everything important already fell off.
there's always nowhere else to be. then there's here and now in West Bubbafuck with two options not to choose from but two options are given anyway. two options are always available as options but not really as choices. there's a difference but only in the dialect of this land.
this place is somewhere and it doesn't matter. not much these days.
the sun is restless. relentless. never takes the hint. will bark up every tree and write home about all the wrong ones. there are situations to be in and situations to leave. live by the situation and die by the situation but leave a beautiful corpse. a supernova of a dead star.
in the mean time, Mars loves Venus.
and the telescopes all sing sad songs.
the maps go back to telling stories even though the globe has no sense of humor.
the truth is no better than the lies but it's more affordable. the truth is a lie bought from the clearance rack. so last season.
running on empty is just second nature which just a-okay since first nature wasn't any good anyway.
always check the expiration date.
don't drink the water.
tip the bartender.
tomorrow should be clear skies and warm weather. a high in the lower highs. t-shirt weather for some and a hoodie for others. wearing a heart on a sleeve will never be a good look but when in Rome take a vacation in Sicily or get out of the country. see the world.
Utopia is up ahead and the Land of Nod is a couple more exits down the road. almost is never almost enough. should've left the backseat back in the Elysian Fields. should've picked up some more sorrows for later in the Garden of Gethsemane.
hey, what's the big idea? how does one get off? where does one get the gall? well, dear inquisitor, the gall is coming from a sentence that can finish itself as any good sentence should. communication is not a fucking mystery to be solved even if there are a million questions to be asked between the subject and the verb.
inside out. the wrong way fits as a glove could if and only if one did what one was accused of doing.
eventually eventually every boat sets sail if it is a sailboat and the sail has been hoisted and somebody puts it out on a body of water. a boat won't venture out on its own. of its own free will. now, accidents happen. tides pull and winds push. things have a way of getting loose.
sooner or later are not opposites. the opposite of sooner is surprise and the opposite of later is never. or not the opposite but an equal force exerted upon a moment to come in one's mind that has yet to arrive if ever an arrival will come.
hyperbole is always so much funnier in private.
it's not 4 in the morning. it's a quarter to one in the afternoon. stomach growling but also should've been in bed at least an hour. work hard enough every night just to afford to stay up late into the day doing not a goddamn thing. show up every shift to be able to pay for all this stupid daydreaming. to be so fortunate as to have a window and be close enough to somewhere with some wifi.
when will people stop dick riding intuition so fucking hard? oh well, maybe sensation gets its rocks off by just watching. who knows? that sort of knowledge is never really known. it's more felt or maybe more thought of and about but rarely confirmed and once that is added to one's own personal bias, shit starts getting political. instincts and the innate are big talking points. nature is debated. especially human nature. so then the political comes back for revenge upon the personal and one can see that shit clearly now the rain has gone.
can see all the obstacles in the way. gonna be a fight fight fight in a money-minded kind of way.
when the shadow can't find Jung to explain itself to where does it go for advice? Kristeva maybe. wait, is Kristeva dead?
don't want to send anybody to meet the Maker before the bell has actually tolled but then again, that coast is always clear. smooth sailing into the next world. a harbor is sure to be found somewhere.
words are failures. the tag team partners of the imagination. put into a submission hold. tapped out. uncle. mercy. by God, stop the match.
redemption is a punchline. aspirations are the setup. there is no applause. there are blank faces. sometimes a narrative arc just bombs. reality rarely kills but every day is a funeral.
nothing ruins a good day the way that sharing a good time with the wrong somebody else does. maybe one should just be grateful. maybe but it's not gonna happen. at least not today.
appreciation can be so meaningless sometimes.
a memory is a jealous twin. only one half of what has been born into this world from one's own mind. the other half of this Athena-esque chimera is experience who is not jealous but is an actual imposter. nothing honest ever happens. there's no bigger con artist than existence. but damn what a fine fucking huckster. never oversells the show. just let's the acts and attractions be all that needs to be said to get a buck. every soul deep down is just begging to be a mark. every spirit is the antithesis of the fakir. every essence, every aura just wants to give it all away but not as a form of charity or to get closer to the divine but simply to disappear and see what that means. see if that has some kind of a value.
high and mighty but long gone. high and mighty due to being long gone.
oh, nobody believes this nonsense. nobody is buying this. this is another scam. it has to be one big act. a routine. a real laugh riot. well, a riot at least. this is not a peaceful resistance. this is not non-violent. distractions are not meant to keep the peace. no sleight of hand is here to uphold the status quo. tricks are the one surefire way to change the world. or at least to question it in a lasting way. the empirical has to be put on trial constantly. make everything unbelievable. the only thing that can be proved is the absurd.
one has to kick the serious cold turkey. go through withdrawal for a bit. check in to a rehab. join a support group. get over what makes perfect sense. let go of so many explanations. but maybe, come up with some new ones.
be new. but don't ever think that one can be original. be reborn. be an afterlife. be undead. be nothing. that would be new.
the greatest lie the truth ever told was that it exists. no, that's a lie. the truth is, the truth exists but it has a bad memory. bad not as in forgetful but bad as in villainous. so sympathetic but so misguided.
is this a cop out? and is that any better or any worse than selling out?
it only takes 5 minutes to write 5 years of new work. everybody knows that. well, not to write it write it but to think it think it. some work is invisible. some products are also. not everything comes with a hard copy. a thought is a year in the making. not a year but time works differently in different places. gravity affects time. this is both scientific and absurd but there's no reason to talk about time. time does enough talking but never enough thinking. anyway, the point is meant to be missed. nobody wants to get to a point. the point is the end and who wants to be on the wrong end of the end? there are lots more questions to ask the point but nobody here in these thoughts is an investigative reporter so it makes sense to ease up on the questions a bit.
no hurry, just wander. that's the problem with problems these days, there are only two reasons to end up in these situations: 1) thoughts and 2) feelings. but, these situations aren't problems that ever needed a reason. the maze has always been here. the city was built on it. the maze is a graveyard for some and a harvest to be had for others. a game of hide and seek for some and a stroll in the woods for others. it's haunted but maybe also fun. it's not welcoming but one is invited in. look, a story is not meant to be seen, especially not its ending. it's to be understood or felt but to be felt brings one back to reasons and problems and that's a threat. understanding also leads to thoughts or arose from thoughts and what is one to do with that line of thinking, that reasoning? the maze is more innate. the teller or the tale needs to follow this lead but also take the lead even if every story told is a tale being retold and really one maze and only really one maze was well-known for its relationship to a thread.
"... metaphor can also be irresponsible, especially when an image shares its territory with a strongly held belief." (Claire Cronin – Blue Light of the Screen: On Horror, Ghosts, and God)
dream logic? perhaps, dream bullying or dream legislation. the law and order of dreams. the protect and serve of the subconscious over the conscious as most readily understood in night terrors.
spent too long looking for a shirt that was never found yesterday. it's still irritating and will be until it is found. spent the morning looking too long for a piece that was clearly labeled as opposed to most other pieces in these diaries. may tomorrow come with no looking for anything.
one does not need to have courage to face repetition. one needed to have had courage or one needs to eventually obtain courage. repetition will always catch up to where one is or where one has been.
"... the tape runs on in silence." (Samuel Beckett – Krapp's Last Tape)
is this a conversation? no, it's a routine. ah, could be worse. could be a piece. could be material. could be a stanza. it's a miracle. but still not happy to be here. yes, here. right now. but such is the curse of a miracle.
the best writer in the world is no longer writing. the second best is. the best living writer in the world is dead. the second best pulled the trigger and wrote the best-selling eulogy.
could just sleep this life away. and dreams are made of emotion. flirt with the counterfeit, elastic eyes, telescopes and microscopes. be released from outtuition (?), the extuition (maybe) of the everyday. the world swirling around in the know. the rumors, the gossip, the deja vu for some and the jamais vu for others. a feeling on the street. a thought on the tongues of loiterers and passers-by. nothing on the inside can help in a situation such as this so better to be a bore. say nothing. be of no interest. return to the underworld. look back and keep on looking back.
OK, how else can it be explained? never mind. some things are easier done than said.
it's a miracle. it's a miracle. it's bullshit. shut up. shut up. silence. stop talking. shut the fuck up. just kidding, nigga. there's nobody else here. it's just a one on one. a one in one. a hole in one. an ace. a tête à tête in one single tête. hand in hand and out of pocket.
and dreams are made of emotion.
wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey. winner, winner, chicken dinner.
it's a miracle.
cute little dog there but hold on, could've been George Washington in a past life. nice cat, could've been Anne Oakley. pet reincarnation. find out more about all sorts of furry friends. lazy puppy, could've been Marcel Duchamp. the bird won't stop squawking, maybe Marcel Proust. never hear a peep out of that goldfish? perhaps Marcel Marceau. what human beings were these companions?
what's on next? hopefully another commercial. need to pretend. no disbelief to suspend. just follow the plot to its happy conclusion.
the weird used to be tied to the wayward but now it's not and that's why it's not what it once was. would prefer the askew. that which is just off. whether by a little or a lot, it's never on the level.
things are always different but tomorrow will be mostly more of this same shit. all of this time and all of this money. all of these miles in uncomfortable shoes wasted on nothing altogether new but not exactly more of the same old same old.
this text was supposed to be engaged with another text by now but the other text turned down the proposal.
and the tape plays on in silence.
shut up. shut up. shut the fuck up. shut up. shut up. silence.
it's a routine. what would the dead sea do? leave room for mistakes. but make it all float. not just the cream deserves to rise to the top.
themes are made of emotions.
" 'because' is a fantasy" (James Hillman – the Politics of Feeling)
what follows does not follow but appears next on the scene. in the scene. in on the act but always a headliner never an opener. not exactly a fan favorite but a usual. what follows is what happens. what happens is a mystery. always a mystery and never a hunch. always a mystery and never a clue. always a mystery and never any evidence.
a halt. grinding down.
"a connective tissue of obsession and bewilderment, obscene craving and total disorientation. futility of the fever-dream." (Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh – Omnicide: Mania, Fatality, and the Future-In-Delirium)
formally. Sunday's best. sign on the dreaded line. reply all.
erase the start of the sentence about the gears being of no use and start another one about the grease being wasted drop by drop. erase. drop by drop and rethink what it means to be wasted. the grease served some purpose in the moment.
once in the ocean. twice in a river. half in the tub. about ready to get out of the shower and arrive about 15 minutes late.
no grace period has the grace of a period.
sadboi and fangirl both disappointed together for different reasons.
nobody here is telling anybody any jokes and that is a waste of this space. there's something about everywhere that really lends itself to a bit of parody. everybody should be writing jokes after every armistice as so seen on the big screen whether it was nominated for an Oscar or not.
Horkheimer and Engels always sit through the credits waiting for one last scene.
there is no author worth crediting when it comes to listing all those scrolling names but somebody wrote that. published it.
rest in peace to recognition. this is Hollywood complete with class traitors. lights, camera, action.
these words will be read in black and white. these words were spoken in gray. most people forgot how to hear colors a long time ago. colors are too over the top anyway and black is so melodramatic while white is so tragic. gray is the most Gothic quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.
there needs to be no further explanation that was not also copy and pasted from the dictionary and not properly cited.
but if one sees these definitions in the street, it's on. on sight means on cite.
how the comedian begins a set is not the same way that a musician does. a fork, knife, and a spoon are a set of silverware and even the fucking poets don't want to talk about that. all of the sudden people are too good to get the food off of the plate but love that act of having eaten. what kind of bullshit is this? but some foods are finger foods so that's ok. one can forgive the novelist if a narrator chooses to eat cake. the speaker of the poem on the other hand had better give glory to the cup or else may there be only tummy aches to come for the inobservant but more so for the lyrical desire to skip steps. only a memory can play hopscotch. to be sentimental is to be it. to have been tagged and to yearn to tag someone back.
when the comic enters the stage the comic goes over the topic of the day and seeks to address the elephant in the room. the playwright put that elephant in the room and called it cruelty. called it as was seen fit to be called. a calling is not the same as an address. nobody puts a calling on envelope with a Toni Morrison forever stamp.
everything that was ever heard around the world was mistranslated by every individual listener. not on purpose but never put faith nor trust into one's own ears. be Odysseus. just stop listening for a second. it's for one's own safety. meanwhile, for the rest of the crew...
no discussion is needed but it will most assuredly come to pass as so one generation will beget another one and a curse becomes a family's pride and heritage. as one becomes a half and half becomes a quarter. as long as the arithmetic stays simple.
everybody has enough shit to do without ever doing it especially the ones who are out there doing all that feeling. a mood is a fucking job and one surefire way to be fired is to think. nobody is paid to be thinking but may have received a payment for having had a thought. in fact it was Spinoza who once said something that nobody in here can either confirm nor deny since nobody here was there when Baruch said that one thing that one time. everybody in here had something better to do than to travel in time and across the globe to hear out what a poor lense crafter had to say. it's ok but this narrator will neither forgive anybody here nor forget about such transgressions. every listener is a Hatfield and this narrator is a real McCoy.
one could become a one trick pony if only one could learn how to commit to the bit. and that's the problem with niggas out here nowadays, can't commit to shit. these niggas ain't loyal.
the hills out here are crazy and that's why can't nobody trust anybody who says that the world is flat.
somewhere over the rainbow there is a more inclusive version of the rainbow.
with enemies like these, who needs friends? no fight left in this dog, just a longing look.
at a loss for silence, words are set up to fail. who has a a good pep talk for these morphemes on the losing side of this game? nobody? see again, everybody here is just here to let somebody down again. thanks.
"ashes of memories still aglow" (Ultravox – Visions in Blue)
the letters are looking at the numbers again. don't bother. it isn't fair. and nothing will ever make any punctuation feel wanted. it's a goodamn shame the way people treat certain marks. guess, we're all in this together but some are just more together than others. and that is why we always ask, who all's gonna be there?
got some skin in the game. got some nail clippings also. best part of the day is being asleep. the worst part is waking up but goddamn anybody who would wax nostalgic about what occurs between the extremes.
been making dreams mad since before Y2K but Y2K is still partially to blame.
don't give the soul any warning. the anima/animus/animx can't have too much prep time, it's the Batman of the self.
destiny is willing to pay the fine. but if destiny is coming then Fate won't want to come. and Outcomes might also back out.
"nothing is lost but nothing is ever the same. each present is an inaccurate replication... recategorizing of all [of one's] pasts." (Leo Bersani – Marcel Proust: the Fictions of Life and of Art)
been running on momentum, drugs, and lust. when can things just go back to the way it wasn't? can it be the way it was when it was only a scheme? this was about getting rich quick and now it's a long con.
trust and believe.
got divorced before being married. makes more sense to get the easy stuff out of the way first. now all there is are kisses mismatched and piling up. stars crossed up worse than Jordan was. twice on one play by a rookie.
with the electric being what it is, who needs "friends"?
what makes anybody's day? don't answer that. nobody wants to get a conversation on a special outfit. this thing ain't nothing special but nobody wants to do more laundry than is absolutely necessary. except for maybe some Virgo somewhere.
visions in blue. vision thing. revisions and yet this still remains?
the things that dreams are made of are much too rich for this blood.
perhaps this subconscious died in a car crash years ago.
been burning this ritual at both ends. bring a tradition down its center or off-center if the ends aren't burning evenly. this is not the plan. nobody is trying to play favorites with any sort of superstitions. that's how things go awry and the midnight oil is already pretty rancid.
been spending way too much time just trying to get the gist of some shit.
this is called circling the drain. a title should always go in the middle since titles are stupid and quite often so forgettable also. such as that one movie with that one person. came out a few years back. was snubbed for an Oscar. that one. that title was perfect.
also the bio. the time used to write that bullshit could have used doing something else equally if not more narcissistic.
just remember, as Visage said, "the damned don't cry."
in too deep, standing here waiting. breaking in two. the mage and the fool. lost in a familiar place.
if a camera can add 10 pounds then just imagine what a memory is capable of. but also, remember that Wittgenstein said that "a picture is a fact" so jot that down.
it's not Friday night and that is pertinent information that will not come in handy again at some later date. a lot of information is entirely unhelpful outside of certain specific moments. from here on out there will be no more collecting of data. nothing else will be recorded for posterity.
carsick. going too far away from home for no good reason. overpriced and underwhelming. excitement is always a no-show. oh, don't be that way. there's always somebody new to meet. well, that's not really selling the scene but ok, it's something to pretend to consider.
could live behind a computer screen forever. could become a computer. this is actually ChatGPT.
nothing is actual. in all actuality this is nothing. what occurred really didn't and there are pictures to prove it. one thing is real and that is that nothing ever ends on a high note. or maybe that's a mistake. consider revising. don't consider it for too long. don't ever be too considerate to the work.
this whole thing was a mistake. don't believe anything that was said or will ever be said again as relates to this.
duped. turns out that one can fall for the same trick twice. Benjamin Fondane said there would be days like this and then he was murdered. should've listened to him earlier.
by Michael Seymour Blake
Do-do-do-do you have it? GUTS!
There’s a lotta talk about guts in Kinji Fukasaku’s (Battle Royal) crime/action/drama, and our main man Gunji (Kôji Tsuruta) has’em to spare. He walks headfirst into bad situations with a monomaniacal confidence that demands respect—kind of like a calmer, more compassionate Captain Ahab. Gunji’s unwavering audacity keeps us glued to the screen.
Unpacking the subtext of this film is way outta my league (commentary on colonization, post-war Japan, American imperialism, etc.), plus more informed people have already delved into that stuff. All I’ll say is there’s a lot going on if you care to look.
But the movie is strong enough without any knowledge about the backdrop or inspirations (one of which being Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers). Everything we need to know is right there on the screen. These are men who have no place in the new Japan, and who want to go back in time when things were a little more chaotic, a little less organized. Chaos, for them, means opportunity. Their way of life is being squeezed dry as bigger, more corporatized gangsters move in. So they travel to Okinawa where there’s a heavier American presence and a little of that magic chaos remains. There are “last stand of the old west” vibes all over this.
The jazzy soundtrack sets the mood perfectly, inviting us into this crime-riddled underworld. It’s dangerous and dark, but still cool place to be. Even as one of our gang members dies, he admits he had a “great time.”
Is the bloody ending a message that crime don’t pay? Are we supposed to walk away feeling disgusted at it all? Are we supposed to cheer as our underdogs go down swinging? I don’t know. But it leaves a mark.
Everyone is doing great work. Tomisaburô Wakayama’s performance as Yonabaru, the brutish one-armed gangster, was my favorite. His character feels mythic. Anyone within range of his hand or feet ain’t gonna last long. He’s old school tough. One of the best exchanges in the movie (and there are a few to choose from) is when Yonabaru confronts Gunji, who’s moving in on his turf.
“This place is ours,” Yonabaru says in a gruff, no-nonsense tone.
“This place belongs,” replies the imperturbable Gunji, “to whoever the fuck takes it.”
Ain’t that the truth in life?
Would make a great compare/contrast with Takumi Furukawa’s Cruel Gun Story.
Upon first glance, if you didn’t know that memoirist Hannah Sward—author of Strip—and I are both Jewish women who graduated from Antioch University Los Angeles, you might not think we have much in common. She is a recovering addict (meth and alcohol) and former sex worker who suffered early childhood sexual abuse—three boxes I cannot tick. But isn’t the human condition so much more nuanced than that? When I read, “I waited for this terrible [yearning] in me to go away…an aching that I didn’t like, a longing to find comfort in another,” I thought—yes. I felt seen. I kept turning the pages late into the night, my bedside lamp a source of light through some dark moments in Sward’s layered life.
“The saddest girl in the world,” Sward is abandoned by her mother in her youngest years and finds herself wondering “what kind of woman I would be like if my mom hadn’t left.” Her poet dad meanwhile, though a mentor to her, is also busy with his pursuits—from typing all the “poems in his head” to spirituality to women who are not Sward’s mother.
While my own parents didn’t leave physically, both were unavailable in their own ways, so I was familiar with that deep sense of childhood loneliness (for which I was put on anti-depressants at age ten), and, later, with a desperate neediness for which I too sought counseling at the same Beverly Hills, sliding scale center as Sward did. Fortunately, I never got into drugs (my father was a habitual pot user, and I very much resented the foggy haze that separated him from us, even when he was around), but I certainly had my vices. Though I never made a career of it, I—like Sward and her mother before her—was promiscuous and probably could have benefited from a 12-step program for addictive tendencies of my own, love among them.
So, when I say that I kept seeing myself on the page, I don’t just mean on the surface level, even if Sward and I do share a similar hair color and Canadian roots. I mean that, in baring more than just her skin, Sward taps into the universality of what it means to be human, and this is what kept me invested in her story. “I was unhappy. I didn’t know what I was doing with my life…I loved the ritual,” she writes of her descent into meth use. I made a checkmark in the margins. I could have written the same sentences about myself, only my ritual of choice was getting ready for dates. Those dates, and the two drinks I usually ordered on them, helped to take the edge off—the edge being how alone I was in the world, an edge Sward and I (and so many of us) share. “Maybe I would have…made choices that weren’t destructive, if I had formed a [healthier] sense of self,” Sward muses, and I often thought the same as I found myself in an endless loop of date-going—countless, interchangeable dates on which I almost always had casual and unprotected sex—until eight years ago, entirely by chance, I met my future-husband on one of them.
As my grandpa says, life is a series of accidents. In my case, ninety-three sexual partners in, I accidentally met someone (my 94th) who loved me in spite of the childhood wounds that shaped me into the needy woman holding onto her wineglass as tightly as I’d hold onto any man who’d let me. In Sward’s case, she accidentally got hooked on drugs—which she only planned to use temporarily to lose weight—and caught in a cycle of sex work—which she only planned to do in the short term to make cash for college. My path wasn’t so divergent from Sward’s, until it was. My series of accidents could have led me down a different (and much darker) path entirely—one that included sexual assault or sexually-transmitted infections, for starters—and I have only luck, not good decision-making, to thank for the fact that it didn’t.
For Sward, there is luck, even if bad luck, and then there is the deliberate choice to get clean, which altogether alters her course for the better:
I was thirty-six, lying on the floor of my pink bathroom on a Saturday night in Los Angeles, torn red from fighting with vines in the garden…I don’t like gardening…but on meth it was very interesting…I saw no escape…How many years had I spent in the bushes with my head down, tangled in the weeds…of my life?
I told you as much in the first paragraph, so you already know that our heroine finds a way to untangle herself from addiction, and I’m so grateful that she does. But it’s not only sobriety that she works hard at. She also “face[s] the lonely, frightening” prospect “of sitting with [her]self…in the hours…with the words” to write this book—a fact for which I’m equally grateful. Before ultimately finding redemption, Sward—always with the loveliest, most lyrical language—shares her lowest moments, her secrets, and her very soul with us, so we readers can see our own imperfect, complicated, sometimes-ugly-but-more-often beautiful souls reflected right back.
Tortoise Books, pp. 264,
Sept. 6, 2022 publication date
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