So Dig This Big Crux

Postcard to Canada

canada

She was the first to leave something at Bourse – a postcard on its way home. But why here? Later, there’d be politicians, TV crews, mothers, children. An army of momentos. But for now it was only her.

How was it determined, who’d be the first to leave such things?

Nutty

monk

Goddamn, you off the deep end.

Shit, motherfucker is the deep end. But this shit right here, this shit’s absolutely jacked. Nobody keeping with the changes, just speakin’ tongues. Fucker turned “Nutty” round and sped it up. He think I wouldn’t notice that?

Goddamnmotherfucker.

I Am the Rooster of Spanish Harlem

spanish-harlem-jul-72

They pass me all the time, not noticing there’s a rooster at their feet. Mainly French tourists, looking for the gospel churches. I want to tell them they’re on the wrong side of town, but I can’t. I bob my head—sometimes rather furiously—in a westerly direction, but to no avail.

Pictures in a Book

bacon3

This woman’s got a screaming kid, strapped in a stroller, rolling through the Francis Bacon exhibit at MoMA. They’re getting a lot of fuck you and your rotten kid looks. She’s taking her time with the paintings though, which is admirable, considering the crying, and the insane amount of people at the show. Mom doesn’t seem like your typical art tourist — selfies in front of The Starry Night, gunning for the gift shop and poster — but you think her pace would speed up a bit. Gauging by the freak out level, you think she’d hightail it over to the Water Lilies. Maybe she’s a Bacon fan, though she looks more like a Jeff Koons person to me. Fucking balloon dogs. Either way, she’s giving Bacon’s work the time it deserves, even if the kid is a rage of bloody murder. Makes you wonder what kind of mom brings a kid to a deal like this. 

But I think she knows exactly what she’s doing. Get that kid in front of a Francis Bacon painting as soon as possible, make him realize life’s just one big scary shit show.

The earlier the better.

Memory Hotel

americana

She said she had a Bowie story.

It was ’76. Her friends were going to the show at the War Memorial, did she wanna go? Of course she wanted to go, Bowie was everything. Mom wasn’t cool with it, thought she’d be kidnapped or drugged, or both. So she runs away, just for the night.

Show’s great, best ever she says. Bowie’s a white-light blur and he’s beautiful. After the show, she tries getting backstage, but it’s no go. Out in the parking lot some guy comes up, says he’s part of Bowie’s road crew, maybe she wants to party with the band back at the hotel?

They drive to the Americana, a place she knows cause her dad used to live there. She’d visit, they’d go swimming, eat chips, drink Coke. Sometimes they’d just sit there in the room together.

So the lobby’s filled with cops, everybody’s yelling. Crew guy tells her she’s gotta split, there’s no party, not tonight. She tries telling him she’s got no car, but he’s already gone.

It’s 3 in the morning, everybody’s gone, she’s alone in the parking lot. Then there’s Bowie, standing right there, right next to the vending machine, eating a bag of chips.

True fucking story.

There’s Home, and There’s Everywhere Else

home

We’re buying beer. I want the Rainier sixer cause it’s cheap, she says don’t worry, she’s been copying twenties at work. So I buy the twelver.

I’m supposed to show up at midnight, says she can run off a few then. Why twenties? The old ones, they’re the easiest, she says. I get there at midnight, says she can’t do it, come back later.

I’m over at Dots. Bartender looks rough, says he didn’t see the inside of his bed sheets last night.

Back at the copy place, says she’s running the thing we talked about, tells me to go back to Dots.

Bartender looks worse than before. I ask about his bed. I say something like Wouldn’t it be I haven’t seen the inside of my bed, or something like that?

He doesn’t look too sure.

Leeway

leeway

Sometimes he’d drive the hearse around town, even when it was empty, just go for a drive. Onetime, somebody left a hat on the passenger side, so he figured he’d ride the hearse over, return the hat and that’d be it. But something happened on the drive; at red lights people would look over, give him a nod – “It’s ok, I understand you’re haulin’ round a dead body, that’s pretty fucked up, so go ahead friend, this one’s on me.” He felt he was given license to move, move around freely.

So he drove that hearse all over town, any chance he got.

Dancing With The Devil

dancing

Sixty minutes in a holding cell
She asks, “Are we in Hell?”
I guess it could be wore than that
To be in the cold flat on your back
Well it takes time to realize
That we live outside the flow of time
And when the dark comes over me
I’ll already be there waiting in line

Dancing with the devil
On a moonlit night

As he walks through my dreams
Crazy as that might seem
Have you ever felt caught in life
In the middle of a frozen stream
In hotel bars with washed up stars
He talks trash with a Spanish guitar
She can’t get going in the morning
He can’t stop his past from catching up

Dancing with the devil
On a moonlit night

So of the few things I think I know
What’s clear is the pain of fear
So I’m going where life don’t mean so much
Down below the conscious flow
And like an old train on the wrong side
Look at the canyon, the world is on it’s side

Dancing with the devil
On a moonlit night

Denver on Sunday

denver

They walked through Denver; one carrying a beer, the other wearing blue sunglasses. The city was absent, dry.

“Why aren’t laundromats open in St. Louis on Sundays?”

“This ain’t St. Louis.”

They went down a street, found a couch, and sat.

“So what I’m saying is, there’s nothing out there, beyond us, I mean.”

“What about the laundromats?”

“The what?”

“The laundromats, in St. Louis?”

“Shit, you haven’t heard a word…”

A crowd passed the alley, unknowing and free. Red signs, cowboy boots. The air was sweet and thin, the light was flat.

“It’s just a weird mountain town.”

“With mass shootings.”

In Extremis

thing

The cousins watched The Thing together, almost obsessively. Some days, they’d watch the film more than once, their record for continuous viewing being nine.

They owned many copies of the film, each one slightly different: a second-hand VHS cassette, a collector’s LaserDisc, a cable-access taping dubbed in Japanese. Some versions had been edited, rearranged; an entirely silent version held new meaning, hypnotic without dialogue or soundtrack. One tape held traces of other films underneath its recorded layer.

Later, the cousins could only share thoughts on the film through letters, as they were both incarcerated in different parts of the world. Some letters explored the psychology of paranoia that imbued the film, others touched on the innovative special effects. A favorite topic was the film’s eerie, minimalist score.

At some point, the letters simplified to mere lines of dialogue. Their relationship had crystallized and an essential form of communication emerged.

“How will we make it?”

“Maybe we shouldn’t.”

It was all they would need.