Monthly Archives: July 2011

Luck Sucks

Dan had no skill. He didn’t know how to do anything. All he knew was that he didn’t know what he was doing. Still, whatever he did seemed to work out. Dan won every lottery he ever entered. After winning the state lottery a record tenth time, the State of Alaska conducted an investigation into Dan, looking for how he had rigged the system. The authorities could find no evidence of wrongdoing, still, The State of Alaska prohibited Dan from ever playing their state lotto again.

Dan did not take great comfort in his great wealth. It made him feel guilty knowing he’d won it by dumb luck, so he gave it all away to every citizen, writing a personal check to every one of the 698,473 people who call Alaska home. It would work out to $443.22 per citizen. It would prove to be the most popular thing one person had ever done in history of the forty-ninth state.

Dan found the popularity equally unsatisfying, knowing he was simply popular for giving away something that had never been his to begin with.

‘Any idiot could do it,’ Dan knew.

What Dan wanted most was to be a great writer, though, he had no ideas in his head. This did not deter our hero, who started pressing buttons on his keyboard with the faith that if 10,000 monkeys pounded away at 10,000 keyboards, eventually one would pound out Hamlet. Dan hoped with his luck, he could be that monkey.

Dan scattered his fingers all over the keyboard, hitting the space bar to separate sentences that he wasn’t even reading, simply typing. Dan knew a story could qualify as a novel after 60,000 words, watching his word count grow from 500 to 5000 to 50,000 to 60,001.

Dan stopped typing, he had written his novel. He believed that if his luck was real, he wouldn’t have to go back over it, his luck would have gotten it right the first time. So, he sent it off to a dozen publishers, starting a bidding war for the hottest new book ever.

His book sold for three million dollars and it went on to sell three hundred million copies. Movies were made of his book, television series spun from its pages, making Dan, (now Daniel) filthy rich.

Dan felt no sense of accomplishment. He still hadn’t read a single page of his writing, though, he had seen the movie. He didn’t recognize the story of a man fighting to prove himself by getting into a bull ring with absolutely no training, or experience fighting, or even, dining with bulls. Yet, he would dance the bull into a dizzy. The bull would pass out from exhaustion trying to keep up with the gifted matador. After enough passes, the bull stopped, moaned and fell over. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered. They’d never seen anything like it. That matador, Fernando Valenzuela, would go on to be President of Mexico, and get into secret deals under the table with all sorts of U.N. nations, using his matador skills to wear down his counterparts and opponents. It’s a hell of a story, I don’t want to give away the ending, if you haven’t seen it, it’s really quite something.

Everyone wanted a piece of Dan. Every microphone in the news corps was pointed at him. Dan knew he had nothing to say, but, he had nothing to do, so he did an interview with Sky Blue, a reporter for Naked News.

“Daniel, what makes you tick? What turns you on?”

“Naked reporters.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Sky smiled her award winning smile.

“Good, you should.”

“Daniel, tell us what inspires you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, what inspired the book?”

“I don’t know. I just started typing and stopped at 60,001 words.”

“You mean you didn’t think of the story, you just typed randomly on the keyboard?”

“Yeah, that’s what I did. I’m not talented, I’m lucky.”

“I’m not sure if I like your book any more.”

“Oh, don’t blame the book. The book didn’t do anything wrong, the book hasn’t changed.”

But, the story of the book had changed and that interview would go viral and Dan’s book sales would go down.

Dan would try his hand at something subjective like fishing. His first cast would net him a 1000 pound marlin. This fish meant more to him than the book. The book, he knew, had been luck. The fish had been deserved.

Earth Comes Between Venus and Mars

Mating the future with the past births the present

bursting forth from a bottomless night sky.

Stars hold on

like the spaces between fingers of lovers

hand in hand having fallen in and out of love and back again

like sex breeds love, hate and children

even in a woman, a man is outside,

unless the man is entering The Statue of Liberty,

then the man is swallowed whole by Lady Liberty.

Yet, even with sex,

there is the slightest of spaces separating woman from man,

from conception to condoms,

Earth comes between Venus and Mars.

Poetry For The Damned

Tonight I write poetry for the damned

to be loved only by those who life hates

who life scammed.

This is free verse for vampires, lepers, leper vampires, freakshows, tacky fashion shows and perverts of all kinds.

Let the lovers and the beautiful people have their Byron and their Shakespeare

tonight, we’re gonna fuck, how’s that for poetry?

Tonight we will squeeze every last bit of proof out of this yeast

infected and fermented

till we’re dead drunk on sobriety

like the worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila.

But, if you look closely

you can see he died smiling.

How Many Psychiatrists Does It Take To Unscrew Me?

I need your help. The following is what I typed this morning as soon as I awoke from my dream. This is the first dream I have remembered in years, so I think this must be a very meaningful dream, but, I have no clue what it means. I’m hoping you could read it, and give me your best diagnosis of what’s right with me. It’s already obvious what’s wrong with me: I’m crazy. But, for the good.

I’m walking by the Ganges river along the ghats, in Varanasi, India when a flock of flying penguins comes from the East, and I know it’s the East cause I’m told by the man lighting a pyre for his television, smashing its screen with a bamboo pole, letting free the soul of all the actors of all the shows he has ever loved. Some souls tangle together like badly tied shoe laces and fall into a warren of rabbits, infesting their souls with their own, so the rabbits become tripolar, hoping to hop, skip and sleep all at the same time, crippling the rabbits with a paralyzing sense of ennui, leaving the entire rabbit populace petrified. Suddenly the price of rabbit goes skyrocketing, literally on a skyrocket taking all the cash machines in the world to prices that are found at the intersection of Infinity and Beyond. I’m the only one who can see the rabbits are suffering from too many souls, kinda like having too many chefs working on the same soup. And I know that if I play the right song, the rabbit’s true soul will come out to claim it, and I know that right song is Love In An Elevator by Aerosmith. But DJ Dali Lama is all out of Aerosmith, so I have to play Love In An Elevator on the bagpipes that are growing out of the mouth of my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Thoms. And as I play bagpipes, I try to talk to Mrs. Thoms to see what she’s been up to in the thirty odd years since I’ve seen her. She tells me not to talk with my mouth full. As I open my mouth to tell her I’m not, I swallow the entire Pacific Ocean that comes pouring off the map on the classroom wall. I get punched in the stomach by Mrs. Thoms and I throw up the Galapagos Islands, where I find myself playing go fish with a dolphin and a walrus I know to be John Lennon. The dolphin asks for the walrus’s autograph. I see the dolphin holding a copy of Catcher In The Rye and I scream at the walrus not to sign. It’s too late, and the dolphin has shot the walrus as the flock of penguins fly over head singing, ‘Give Peace A Chance.’

I awoke to the sound of penguins shrieking like alto sopranos singing Chinese Opera.

It’s almost twenty hours later, and I’ve analyzed it and conclude that I am in no shape to consciously pass any rational judgement on the merry-go-round called my subconscious. I leave it up to you, My Favorite Reader, to find meaning in my dream.

These Cliffs Don’t Echo

Where do yesterday’s echoes go

when the wind winds round canyon walls?

What sound is buried beneath such stone?

How many cries died in those petrified water falls?

From drowning souls screaming their prayers

at a granite faced god

lost in layers

of fossilized sod

sleeping stone dead

till time gnaws at its bones

with only sand to be bled

and even Mount Everest has shed

four meters off the top

proving anyone can climb Mount Everest

if they’re just patient in time

you won’t have to take the trouble to climb

you can let it come down to you.

Thoughts Passing Through The Chunnel

I’ve never been here before, but it doesn’t matter, I can’t see it.

I’m here, but, I still haven’t been here.

Too fast and too deep inside the earth’s core to call this England.

I met a traveler in Thailand who told me, ‘You haven’t been somewhere unless you can speak the language.’ That means I haven’t been to most of the places I’ve been. I’ve certainly never been to Thailand, though I spent three months there.

I am physically in The English Channel, and though, I speak English, I’m still back in France. Hell, I feel closer to Thailand right now than England, since I’ve never been to England, though, I’m here right now, five minutes from emerging from The Chunnel’s  birth canal on England’s green and pleasant land.

The Book of Genesis: The Soap Opera! (Episode 10)

Announcer:  When we last left off (July 19) Eve had delivered her twin boys, and Mr. Satan had kissed then bit Adam. We take you now to the open air mansion of Adam and Eve.

Eve:  Oh! This is exhausting! All these babies do is cry and wanna suck from my boobs. I need a break! I feel like a cow!

Adam:  I’m sorry, hon, but, I don’t seem to make milk flow from my nipples. If I could, you know I’d pitch in a breast.

Eve:  Maybe we can ask Mr. Satan for a daycare service with a wet nurse.

Adam:  Lucy can’t make people, only Dad can do that.

Eve:  Then maybe you could ask Our Father Who Art In Heaven.

Adam:  Actually, I think He’s at the cottage, fishing.

Eve:  Well, maybe you could go talk to Him.

Adam:  I think He’s pretty pissed with us, hon. I’d be surprised if He’d even hear our prayers.

Eve:  Can’t hurt to try.

Adam:  Sure it could. Dad’s capable of anything. I saw Him strike down a mouse running across the kitchen floor with lightning; I use a mousetrap, Dad uses lightning.

Eve:  If not for me, for the boys. They need their mother better rested.

Adam:  Ok, but, if I come back in ashes, it’s your fault.

Eve:  I’ll sprinkle them somewhere you loved, like on the head of a brontosaurus.

Adam:  I’d rather not get hit by lightning at all.

Eve:  You won’t. Here, I made your Father a fruit of knowledge pie, his favorite. Take it, it’ll butter Him up.

[Adam exits with the pie. Mr. Satan, who had been listening in the other room, appears.]

Mr. Satan:  I got something better than that.

Eve:  Oh! You scared me! Do you make it a habit to hide out in other people’s apartments?

Mr. Satan:  Actually, this is my apartment, read your contract.

Eve:  It’s too long.

Mr. Satan:  Here, I got something for you.

Eve:  What’s that?

Mr. Satan:  It’s the fruit of eternal life, it’s wickedly delicious. Wanna try?

Eve:  Sure. I’ll live forever?

Mr. Satan:  If you keep eating them. You know what they say, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away but a fruit of eternal life a day keeps God away.’

Eve:  Yeah, who’s they?

Mr. Satan:  They, them, those who are coming later, don’t worry about them, you wanna live forever or what?

Eve:  I guess so.

Mr. Satan:  Then come over here and get your just desserts.

[Eve approaches to get the fruit, when Mr. Satan leans in for a kiss. Eve, desperate, kisses back. Mr. Satan bites her.]

Eve:  Ow! Stop doing that! I won’t kiss you again if you keeping biting me!

Mr. Satan:  It’s my signature move.

Eve:  It hurts!

Mr. Satan:  You’re welcome.

[Cut to the door of God’s cottage, on the upper west side of Eden, on an emerald green river. Adam hesitates before knocking. The shuffle of feet, then the voice of God on the other side of the door.]

God:  Who is it?

Adam:  It’s your son, Adam.

God:  I have no son.

Adam:  Yeah you do. You made me first, remember?

God:  My first son was no more than a failed science experiment.

Adam:  I’m a work in progress, Pop, you gotta give me another chance. Listen, I brought you a pie.

God:  What kind?

Adam:  Fruit of knowledge, it’s your favorite.

God:  Blueberry’s my favorite. You don’t even know The Lord, Your God and Father’s favorite pie? Fruit of knowledge tastes like nothing to me, no flavor, cause I already know everything. Thanks for nothing.

Adam:  I’m at least trying here, Father. I’m here trying to mend fences.

God:  What do you want?

Adam:  I want a wet nurse.

God:  You sick pervert.

Adam:  It’s for Eve.

God:  What do I get out of it?

Adam:  I’d be indebted to you.

God:  You already are, you ungrateful son of a God! Get out of here before I get angry and get the river to rise and drown you.

Adam:  Wait! Father! I have a way that is mutually beneficial.

God:  I’m listening.

Announcer:  What is Adam’s proposal? And will God accept it? Find out in the next episode of The Book of Genesis: The Soap Opera!

Teaching Killing

The grade four class finally got their piglet. Their teacher, Mr. Yamamoto, had told them since their first class in April, that they were going to be raising a pig to slaughter and eat. The children were so excited by the news, they asked every day, “Is the pig coming today?” And one day in the middle of May, their teacher answered, “Yes.” The class cheered.

They kept the pig outside the class window in a little pig pen the students had made with the help of Mr. Yamamoto and Mr. Suzuki, the school janitor. Mr. Yamamoto would spend the rest of the school year getting the students to stop looking out the window and watching the pig.

“Naoko! Yusuke! Eyes front !” Mr. Yamamoto barked. The children folded their hands on their desks and faced their teacher. When Mr. Yamamoto felt he had the students full attention, he began, “Now, what shall we call the pig? Any ideas?”

“Baseball!” cried Daisuke.

“Oh! I don’t like baseball!” Ryo let known. “And baseball’s a bad name for a girl pig.” Other students shared her sentiment.

“Let’s call her Hanako!” Aska’s suggestion got claps and laughter from her classmates.

“So, how many want to name the pig, Hanako?”

The class cheered; it was unanimous.

Mr. Yamamoto could see his pupils getting emotionally attached to what was supposed to be their supper. He thought it had been a mistake to suggest naming the pig. It’s easier to eat a nameless piece of meat than one you were on a first name basis with. The exercise had been to teach the children responsibility for a living thing, while educating them on the importance of producing for society. On the responsibility towards a living thing, the students were scoring high marks, taking turns feeding the pig, cleaning it and its pen. However, on the importance of producing for society, Mr. Yamamoto would wait before grading.

It was late winter, and the school year was winding down. The students had taken most of their final tests, there was just one more before the year was through.

“Now it’s time to go on line and find a butcher for our pig,” Mr. Yamamoto told the class.

The students sat, mouths agape, horrified.

“Why are we selling our Hanako? She’s been so good!” Aska, the same girl who’d named Hanako, asked on behalf of the class. The students had been told that they were getting close to slaughtering the pig, and each student, except, Yusuke, were against it. They had met after class the week before, and elected Aska to ask their teacher not to kill their pig.

Mr. Yamamoto had been expecting this. “Children, the exercise has always be to produce for society. If we keep her as a pet, we are actually using more of society’s resources, without contributing any of our own. When we slaughter the animal, we can share it its abundance and have a delicious dinner of pork ribs.

The children screamed and cried. Mr. Yamamoto had just made vegetarians out of half of them.

“I’m not eating Hanako!” was a popular cry amongst the wailing students. Only Yusuke kept his cool. When the moans and cries tapered off, Yusuke spoke.

“You are all selfish. And disrespectful of Mr. Yamamoto and Japan. You will only eat from the work of other people, but, you won’t do the work yourself to feed others. I am ashamed to be in this classroom.”

The pig would be spared, sent to a petting zoo in nearby Fukuoka, and Yusuke would be the only student to get an A that year in Mr. Yamamoto’s grade four class.

A Toast to Good Spirits

I drink therefore I’m drunk.

I think therefore I thunk.

Is my mind so inconsistent that it can alter reality with just a few sips

of cabernet sauvignon?

Am I what I eat?

And more, what I drink? Am I so weak?

Would I be writing this if I’d had water instead of wine?

What was Jesus’s point making such a miracle? Why not grape juice for the kids?

I think my thoughts stem from such a basic biology. I think I’m drunk.

Tonight, my spirit drinks from from the spirits I now hold up to you, My Favorite Reader,

in a toast to good spirits.

Cheers!

Five Ways to Fix Toronto

* Get a giant statue of Michael Jackson, much like Rio’s giant Christ. Why not? Michael Jackson played Toronto way more than Jesus played Rio. And who’s bigger right now? If Jesus and Michael Jackson came back tomorrow, who do you think is getting the front page of The Sun? Sure, Jesus could walk on water, but could he moonwalk on it?

* Next time, elect Don Cherry as mayor. Why not? He got more attention at Rob Ford’s inauguration than Rob Ford.

* Get an NFL team and a CFL team. Have the NFL team play the Argos every year for bragging rights as the best football team in Toronto. Sure, the NFL will disembowel the CFL, but not always, and, it could only help the Argos attendance, which helps the CFL. No matter which team loses, it’s a win-win for the city.

* Inspire artists. Encourage them to street perform, throw spontaneous performances any where, so, that part of the excitement of being in Toronto is knowing that art could break out at any second.

* Get over our inferiority complex of New York. Like penis envy, we have Empire State Building envy, which is ironic, cause our tower is bigger.