A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…
A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…
November 17, 2009
you know when you’re washing the dishes
and you find a tall glass
and it’s got a milk spot encrusted right down in the very bottom of it
and in the very center of it
and it’s there and it’s impossibly stubborn
because you’ve neglected your dish washing duties for the last four days
even though you generally don’t mind doing the dishes
it being a meditative task with the water running and all
usually while listening to My Bloody Valentine
or something equally as transcendent as Mingus
and smoking a nice bowl of Purple Nurple
and drinking a tallboy of cheap cold domestic beer while you’re doing the dishes
just to give an extra semblance of significance
and something perhaps bordering on semi-fun
to the utter banality of things
to the existential banality of repetitive patternistic things
not giving it any more significance than God would give it
for God’s sake
but still, an extra semblance of significance
to consider this mundane practice worthy in this very moment in time
this exact moment in time never to be again in the history of the planet
and you can’t quite reach this awkward spot of dry rotten milk
because your hand is too large and it’s a very tall slender glass
and you know, it’s like you know, it’s like a highball glass, you know
like something that Ava Gardner would have drunk a Sea Breeze out of
and so you’re forced to become ingenious about it all
and you, being a tool-using human and all of that
thusly pull a dirty knife up to the fore
and push the sponge down into the glass
and stab at it with the butter knife
and push the tip of the knife down
into the bubbly center of this murky universe
and you scrape it around down in there
round and round in jerky little circles
with the Brillo side of the sponge doing a lot of the work
you being temporarily happy that the Brillo texture was created
for a job just such as this one
for the abrasiveness needed in a situation just like this one
and you pull the sponge out, figuring you got it all out
with your forced agitation and your fading punk rock ethics
and you rinse the glass to still find
to your giant dismay
a miniature Antarctica
still down in the center of this glass
and so you take a hit of your tall boy and you really hunker down
to get this very insignificant yet crucially important task accomplished
and you fuck the sponge this time and just go right at it
with the sharp point of the knife in the bottom of this tall glass
and you have a go at tipping the glass up
and you look at it in the light
and scrape scrape scrape in mappy little lines
where strange formations continue to hold down in the bottom of this unusually tall glass
formations of an almost human nature
and you feel like you’re holding an upside-down bell
and you’re ringing with the ringer like a monk or a priest
and you mumble under your breath of quickly dying breaths
the consciousness of the Never-again, the consciousness of the Ever-again
and the snow star palm tree perspires with the impassioned tears of California Jesus
and you feel like you’re almost hip to the salt and pepper of things
and to the lion and the gazelle of things
and you can actually hear stars falling gently into a glass ballerina box
and it reminds you of getting the last bit of mayonnaise
down in the very bottom part of the jar when making a sandwich late at night
and it’s that sound, that sound, I tell you old sock
that fucking distinctive tinkling sound of stainless steel on glass sound
and so you’re very thorough and thoughtful with the ringing of this bell
because you wouldn’t want to crack it
or God forbid, have to rinse the soap off of it once again
like if there was a spot being missed, like missing a spot, like an errant spot
that wasn’t being tended to properly
like all of your other neglected personal duties
like all of the dust bunnies underneath your bed
and your unpaid student loan tickets
and the remiss phone calls to your schizophrenic mother
and the forgotten spiritual obligations in your terribly non-obstructive life
however you feel confident that something positive could now be happening
something positive, something illuminating, something absolutely worthy of living
but the joy, the joy, the Non-Ultra Joy
creates the perilous threat of a slippery glass
and one careless move
would make this whole mission completely moot and senseless
and so you pump up the H knob with the scalding water of Los Angeles
jettisoned with an added force straight down into the center
the center of a blown glass bottom being laced and concentrated
with the power and the diligence of clear hot hydrogen bubbles
and you raise the chalice up, up, up toward the light
and you finally gaze upon only clarity and purity
and the right side of cleanliness and godliness
and you finally give the glass its rightful dripping rest
onto the Swedish wooden dish rack
and you take a hit of your tallboy
and you feel good for following through on the small stuff
This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 at 8:36 pm and is filed under Nihilism, Poetry, Transcendence. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your
June 22, 2009
If Mom were a superhero, she would be The Piddler.
When she needs to wash her hands, she’ll look through coupons first. If she needs to pick up the dry cleaning, she’ll stop at the antique store on the way. And when she needs to go to work, she’ll watch a rerun of Ab Fab, then show up half an hour late claiming, “Traffic was just awful today,” which, turns out, is every day.
I’d like to say that old age is responsible for this poking trait, but Mom’s always been a world class stoner without the weed.
When I was a Sid-and-Marty-Kroft kid, we’d always roll into church during the second hymn. I can still recall Birdie Cullen’s glass eye popping over to sneer at us as we inched down the red carpet to an open pew in the front (always in the front!) while the congregation sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” completely off key.
[Church was where I first realized that God hated me, but we’ll get to that later.]
My sister, clever mother of five beautiful children whom she manages with aplomb via color coated folders and spreadsheets, often gives my mom the incorrect time for family functions so that mom is sure to arrive on time.
“I gave her an extra hour,” my sister huffs as she opens the door for Mom who is now thirty minutes late for the event (an hour and a half if you go by the time she was told to be there.)
My brother, a staunch Libertarian who spends most of his Saturdays cooking tenderloin on his Smith and Hawken grill while wearing his sherpa-lined Crocs, bellows to his Belarusian wife, “Expecting her to be on time is like expecting Bill Maher not to cuss. Ain’t gonna fucking happen. Have a radish, monkey?”
“Thank you, Puffin,” she coos before turning to adjust a place setting, most likely from Williams-Sonoma.
They make me sick with their love.
But I’m happy for him.
One time, The Piddler made us late for a funeral.
Somebody’s uncle had died, and we never missed a funeral. They served bar-b-q beenie weenies afterwards, usually with cellophane toothpicks.
On this occasion, we made our way down the red carpet to a pew near the front (of course), right behind the weeping mistress who outed herself that day.
She was the widow’s best friend.
There was a slapping fight in the lobby afterwards. The wife lost her wig. The mistress lost her dignity. I permanently lost my appetite for beanie weenies.
[Why do friends fuck each other’s husbands?]
[Why do Protestant churches all seem to have red carpet? Isn’t red the color of Satan? And whores? And fire? I contend there is evil envy in the church, but we’ll get to that later, too.]
(So many questions, so few acid trips.)
Once again we had to pass Birdie Cullen, always a fixture at any church function, which included funerals, weddings, baptisms and bingo.
Birdie’s face never moved whenever we passed her. She would be transfixed on the pulpit, seemingly entrenched in the pastor’s words, but then that glass eye would whip around to find us, like the Weirding Way fighter training module in David Lynch’s Dune; and boy, could that eye shoot daggers faster than a pissed off carnie.
It was just a matter of time before Birdie’s eye started killing. Of this I was sure.
“Don’t stare,” The Piddler reprimanded, then waved to the church organist, Randy Butterman, the first closeted gay man I ever met.
(Mom and Dad were professional dancers, so I only knew the braggart kind.)
Incidentally, we were late for the funeral because The Piddler wanted to deadhead her geraniums.
Another time, The Piddler made me late for a concert I was supposed to play in high school. I was fourteen, an especially sensitive age.
We arrived at the auditorium fifteen minutes late (in retrospect, not too bad for The Piddler) because Mom wanted to make a quick stop at the drug store to get a new pair of pantyhose since the ones she had on had a run. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and The Blue Law forbade her from buying pantyhose on Sunday.
[You were also forbidden from buying washing machines or frying pans, which I found ironic since most religions like to keep their women cooking and cleaning, preferably barefoot where I’m from. The Blue Law seemed counterproductive. But life is full of these wonderful paradoxes.]
Though Mom was a practicing Presbyterian, she didn’t conform to a lot of religious hoopla, especially if it meant she had to go anywhere with a run in her stockings. After a meaningless but heated conversation with the pimple-faced clerk, she left without a new pair of nylons but did manage to procure a new romance novel, which she read at all the stoplights on the way to the concert, much to the chagrin of neighboring drivers.
When we finally arrived at the concert hall, the orchestra was already deep into the Summermovement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and I had to creep through the violas during the simulated thunderstorm.
To add fuel to the fire, The Piddler kept snapping my picture as Sammy Black, my super duper badass crush, watched me stumble with my cello through a maze of moving elbows. Flash after flare, The Piddler seemed to capture every nanosecond of this bright red moment. At least the flash was in time with the music, and it did add to the stormy atmosphere of the movement.
When I finally arrived at my chair, my nemesis, Sandy Ween, grumbled, “Figures.”
I jabbed her in the head with my bow.
The Piddler snapped a picture.
Later that evening, I asked The Piddler, “When will you develop the film?” I wanted to relive my magnum opus with Sandy Ween over again.
“You know what’s funny?”
“What?” I replied.
“I completely forgot to put film in the camera.”