Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Gold Standard

What People Do for Money, by Kandi Kane.  

Warning:  although the book begins idyllically—“It was early Saturday morning I was awakened by the birds loud chirping.”—all hell breaks loose quickly, and it becomes a brutal, nasty morality tale—evil vs. really evil—set on the streets of Detroit in a culture of killers, perverts, addicts, dealers, thugs, thieves, pimps and hos, with graphic descriptions of degeneracy, rape, torture, murder, you name it. 

But that’s a different post.  Like the blurb says, “When money and power take over the hood ain't nobody safe.”  This post is about language. 

Authentic, expressive writing, can be stylized or it can be like “The word on the street travel fast, Smoke and Slick was already on the scene.”  Whatever way, good writing gets in your head.  Even with all the butchery and bloodshed and the lewd and lascivious behavior going on in What People Do For Money, you can’t help enjoy, on a different level, the accuracy of the author’s descriptions:  for example, when the scene is “the Fat nigga Babymama house” you can clearly hear the risible scorn, as well as vividly see it in your mind’s eye.

Kandi Kane provides many examples of vibrant writing to choose from; for instance, replacing “there” with “it”:

·         When they entered the house it was two guys in the living room playing video games.

·         The house was full of shit on the floor but it wasn't no dog around.

·         It was so many drug dealers present they took…”

·         It was a bunch of guns in the room he grabbed them too.

·         It was a 45 and some Kush in the car.


And I’m a sucker for the use of “had went”:  “A few days had went by so we…”

And, finally, the sampling and mixing: “Light bulbs and dollar signs start going off in their heads.” Or, “Money was the root to all this evil that we had been experiencing. We had crossed a road where we couldn't turn back…”

The plot also gets tangled up in itself and all the killing and mayhem—a few more paragraph breaks would help—but  man, this is what the 99c genre for literary entertainment should be—this is the gold standard by which all 99c entertainment literature should be measured—when it comes to the precious use of language.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Market Deli


IN WHAT LOOKS LIKE MY MOBILE PRESENCE

Acupuncture
Market Deli
Foot reflexology
Income tax
Yoga
Water
Donuts
Dry cleaning
Poetry


MARKET DELI

They’re super friendly.
Billions of satisfied customers.


SUMMER CLEARANCE

Lowest prices of the year.


POUND AND A HALF

Just like this.


FOR HER

Playing cards and rum.


EXTRA STRENGTH

With sparkling stain fighters.


SHE THINK THIS A HANDCLAPPING STORE?

That girl gets kind of scattered.


COMMUNITY BOARD

Free tapirs.
My husband will kill me.


SPRING MAGIC POWER

Laundry detergent.
32 loads.


OUT WHERE I LIVE IT’S SAV-MART

Sav-Mart.
Sav-Mart.
Sav-Mart.


DANTE’S PRESCHOOL TEACHER

Said Dante is going to do
Something exceptional in his life.


I ASKED THE CASHIER

How to apply for a job. 
She said through the computer.
It’s the only way.


MALE WANTING TO RIDE

On back seat of motor bike.
Or be a male biker’s companion.


AND WHAT I’M DOING NOW IS

I’m yeah.
I just uh.


CUSTOMER SERVICE

Aisle 9.


AND DO YOU HAVE

Flavored cream cheese?


TITLEIST 4

Dad pushing a wide stroller.
Triplets.


175! HOLY SHIT!

I mean you talk about a numbers game.


YOU KNOW I WAS GOING TO

Look in my phone and see
If I had your contact information.


METATREAT

Everything your pet needs to stay wild.


I THINK JAVIER

Javier’s at that awkward stage.


LET ME GRAB THAT

Real quick.


THE BEST BORSCHT IN THE WORLD

I eat it all the time for lunch.


WE MAKE IT

Just for you.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

At the Super Tent Event

CROSS CUT FRIES

They’re seasoned like curly fries.
Just a different shape.


SUPER TENT EVENT

Live tweeting.


RABBIT WITH NO LEGS

Thumper went viral.


CHOICES

Three separate handbags.
Or one handbag that goes three ways.


NATIONAL PASTTIME

What it feels like when
Tommy John surgery fails.
And then you get Lou Gehrig’s disease.


TURNS OUT THAT METHANE

Comes from cactus.
Big Whoopee pin cushions.


AND THERE’S THE JUICED KINE

Swedish meatballs growing on their necks.


ELECTED OFFICIALS

Crowd sourced.


ICONOGRAPHY

Gangsta mariachi.


SUICIDE AT CHEER CAMP

Parents dismayed.


THE GARAGE DOOR OPENER

Blew up in my hand.


THE BEDROOM IS A CASINO

No me gusta Vegas.


GRAFFITI AT HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT

Feeling displaced?


YEAH IT’S TRUE I MEAN

Everything goes through i-Tunes.


FROM THERE ALL THE WAY DOWN

Clear past Soda Flats.


I’LL BE GO TO HELL

That’s not the America I know.


NO ME EITHER

Oh no.  Hey.




Friday, September 18, 2015

Oskar Nodd at Thermopylae

The keen/illimitable secret of begin --- E. E. Cummings

FRIDAY MORNING, NICE BREEZE

Sparrows having coffee on the mailbox.


GREEN SHIRT AND SLEEP PANTS

First person shooter.
Text-based game.


IT ONLY COSTS I FORGET

What it costs but it’s
Not that expensive.


OK UM WELL BUT

That’s too bad.


HUH? WHAT?

What can I do?
I already did.


IT MAY HURT YOUR FEELINGS

But it flat out disgusts me.


YOU KNOW WHAT THERE’S

No I’m.


THEIR JAWS

Flapping like Gumby balloons at Insta-Lube.


SO UH LET’S DO IT

Let’s do it that way.


YOU CAN’T

You broke the rules.


THAT EXPLAINS

The poop glove.
I suppose.


THE TROUBLE IS

It may be a welcome addition
To the two-piano repertoire.
It’s not exactly a poem.


THAT ONE’S DEAD

Which I have another one.
So.


AND JUST TO BE CLEAR

Your time starts yesterday.
No later than chocolate.
Or a former shampoo.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Cape Today: Three Sequences

SEQUENCE ONE


MAHLER

Mainly known for his big giant symphonies.


AFFECTION

You OK booger butt?


UNLIMITED

1.5%
Cash back.


STAN AND I

We’re like.


IT’S LIKE A

What do you call it?


ACTING ALL

You know.


SEQUENCE TWO


IS THAT MOOSIE?

You got moosie Comet?
Is that moosie?
Is that moosie?
That’s moosie.
Good dog.
You good dog Comet.


THE CAPE TODAY

The frogs in the pond are getting louder.
They sound like cows.
Vikings off a half day boat.
Giant liquidation.
Thinking of Africa.
Fish-n-Chips.
Close the loop.
Respawn.


PREPARING TO STAND BY

What are you doing?
Waiting for my boyfriend.
Which one?
First one’s the lucky one.


SEQUENCE THREE


“PRINT-BASED THOUGHT IS ABOUT TO BE OVERHAULED.”

Yeah so but, oh gosh.


YOU THINK OH

Well look I mean.


IT’S HOT HERE

I got news for you.


IN TERMS OF

Yeah.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Love This Cultured Hell

You pass three large feed lots coming in from, or leaving out of, the north end of town, and there’s another feed lot on the south end.

He’s dressed for success in camou slacks, black work boots, a green and brown houndstooth sports coat, a USA flag do rag on his head.  He’s walking her to the school bus stop.  He’s her dad, and he’s holding her hand, and she loves him and is proud of him.

I remember the raging of AIDS in the late 1980’s.  I remember the healing services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, mid-week, at night.  Men gathered, praying.

The school bus goes up the hill and the road curves left carrying it out of sight behind a rise. Inside the bus, the kids blaze in thrilling English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, French, Tagalog, German, Armenian, Russian, Japanese, Farsi, Khmer, Punjabi, Arabic, Hmong, Navajo.

I am awed, entertained and inspired, on a daily basis, by the quality of so much of the literary art I see on the Internet and in the journals (paper or electronic); new writers, international scope, artistic intrepidity. But…why do so many adepts of new media (mis)use it to perpetuate and valorize memes that went out in granddad's time? 

Action, guey, action!


(The title is borrowed from the poem America by Claude McKay.)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stinky In My Soul

WE LEFT

Well Brick and me did.
Isaac stayed.


ASS END OF LIFE

Promo code: fuckingloser.


MOM WAS ON THE RANCH

For 20 fucking years.


EXECUTORS

He named the twins.
The boy?
Well.


OWWW

Isaac get out.
Get out if you’re going to hit me.


SHE WAS MORE THAN HAPPY

To move her fucking kids
Into Grandpa’s place.


I SLEPT IN THE SCULPTURE ROOM

With
Majesty and
Grace,
The dogs.


DUCKS AND GUITARS

Hung by their necks.


JEMELY, CRUZ, SKUNK

Everybody talks about
How fucking disgusting it was.


WHITE SUPREMACIST WORLD

Too much anger.
Too much stupidity.


DISASTER RESPONSE PROCEDURES

Twist open.
Take the dogs and go shooting.


AND SEE ALL THE PEOPLE

Packed in like seeds in a goldfinch feeder.


WHEN ANOTHER CAR PASSES ME

I feel aggrieved.
Dissed.
It’s like OK.
I need to kill that motherfucker.
Same with insects.
Insects are my mortal enemies.
Any insect comes near me, I kill it. 


IT’S PATCHABLE

Your heart.


NO, GIRL

I have stinky in my soul.




Monday, September 14, 2015

Get More Out of the Web, Get More Out of Life

THAT’S LIKE ONE TIME

I went to Mars.


I THINK WHAT I’LL JUST DO IS

I’ll kind of dive right in.


 IF MULTI-TOUCH WAS SUCH A GAME CHANGER

Imagine what dynamic interaction will do.
It’s like grrrrrr.


RIDING THE WILD SURF

Clarifying angels.
Hog heaven.


FEELING SORRY FOR THE KARDASHIANS

There’s always some drama.
Somebody’s feelings are hurt.
Poor people are chronically stressed.
The piddliest little shit.
Relax ladies.
Before you have a stroke.


I ALWAYS HAVE TO THINK

My fishing gear.


CONTINUE READING ON YOUR PHONE OR TABLET

And you get the 4th tire free, instantly.


THE PSYCHEDELIC CUMBIA

Of river bifurcation.


GENESIS 43:24

“…and he gave their asses provender.”


IT’S LIKE MY SWIMMING POOL

I wish I had a deep end.


THE PROBLEM WITH HUMANS

You can’t satisfy them.


THE THING WITH GOD

Doors close.
Doors open.


THE LUSTY DOVE

On the corner of Jesus and Nobody.
You can’t profane someone else’s hustle.


TOMORROW VERDAD?

Later my dude.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Sunday Post: Reading Matters

“…a desperado is better at comedy than an eccentric, you walk out the door, there’s a car waiting.”  Bernadette Mayer

“the car had an open top that he never looked out of as he drove straight ahead.  An iron mushroom.”  Clark Coolidge

Throughout this 2015 northern hemisphere summer I had the opportunity, and the time, to read freely. I hit it hard. The continuum was beautiful, “discovery” (like the two writers above) or “re-acquaintance” (Zora Neale Hurston or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) two after two, three after three, and the next leading to the next, and the next, a profusion, an explosion, exponential growth.  (I think I know what exponential growth is:  kind of like my Facebook “People You May Know” list after Friend requests get confirmed.) 

Here’s a mash-up of some of the authors’ names and/or titles of written works (and maybe a quick comment):

Anne Waldman; Peter Munro, Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques; John Keats, Poems; Willa Cather:  One of Ours, Death Comes for the Archbishop; Guy Davenport; Anne Carson; Jenni Rivera;  Vilum Flusser; Alina Bronsky (a pseudonym and I called “her” out on it in my review); Violet Duke (modern romance writer); Joy Williams; Annie Proulx The Shipping News; Kurt Vonnegut Cat’s Cradle; Evan Rail Why We Fly; Thomas Ligotti; Claude McKay (1889 – 1948); Michel de Certeau; Maxine Hong Kingston; Rebecca Solnit; Kate Wilhelm; Yrsa Daley-Ward; Robert Frost; Charles Slater; Gertrude Stein; Sam Pink; Chelsea Hodson; David Gordon; Arthur W. Goodhart; Terri Jenkins-Brady; Jules Verne (under the sea and center of the earth, great fun); Herman Melville; Robert Louis Stevenson; Kafka, The Trial, The Castle, both long and dull compared to shorter works such as Metamorphosis and A Country Doctor, to name two.

(BTW A Country Doctor is a “must read” IMHO.  From Wikipedia:  "Psychologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia published a report in 2009 using A Country Doctor as the variable in a study testing what impact reading absurdist tales has on their cognitive skills. The study showed that reading the story improved test subjects' ability to find patterns. Their findings summarized that when people have to work to find consistency and meaning in a fragmented story, it increases “the cognitive mechanisms responsible for implicitly learning statistical regularities.”)

And finally, a line from Drop Dead Perfect, a cop and crime thriller by Rick Murcer, which I read in one evening after getting home from a long drive in heavy traffic—it was the perfect escape, and I couldn’t stop until I reached the conclusion.

“He was on top of the heap when it came to being an asshole sometimes, but he did all the hard things right.”

Looking forward to autumn!






Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Saturday Evening Post

Thomas Merton, champion of, and cheerleader for, hermits and contemplatives said it was dangerous to enter into solitude “merely because you like to be alone.” This morning I passed by a person who looked like a victim and recent escapee of just such a trap, the scariest guy I’ve ever seen, actually, and he’s staring at me?  Apparently, my strict diet of heartless artichokes, reindeer sausage and vodka hasn’t had the desired results.  Then I realized I was looking in a mirror.

So, instead, let’s change the subject and talk about books. What is a book?  Just another device you have to carry, but one that doesn’t take pictures and you can’t call or text anybody, and except for its own subject matter, not very smart. And as for the flatulent raptures about typeface and ink and paper—not to mention the erotic longings for the “feel” of the physical book—bullshit.  Here.  Feel this.  In other words, compared to a screen device, a book is pretty much useless.

Nor do I consider the loss of brick and mortar bookstores to be that great a loss, except to the livelihood of the proprietor (and employees, if any)—I don’t miss the precious bookmarks or the bookstore cat, not to mention all the titles they don’t have in stock but they can order it for me.  Hell, I could have ordered it myself from a screen, at a substantial discount, and had it delivered to my door without leaving my recliner or missing a single play in my NFL package.  I’ll take a screen anytime.

That being said, the introduction of the implant that obsoletes all devices---oh that glorious day is the only reason I can come up with for wanting to live any longer than I need to.  Otherwise, death is still my first choice, and pretty much all I think about. (But in a good way.) 



HEARTLESS ARTICHOKES


OPEN IMMEDIATELY

Important document inside.
Important plan information.
Important privacy choices.
Do not discard under penalty of death.


AGE DECAY ADDICTION FRAILITY LOSS 

And so much more.


LIKE THE DEATH OF FLAMENCO

Charm, romance, and color--kaputski.


DEAD BLOG
 
My heart sits vacant.
Kneejerk flowers.


CAUSE OF DEATH

That’s a good question.


DEATH VALLEY DONUTS

It’s Mocha Monday every day!


BIRD INTO WINDOW

Entering eternal life.


PILING ON

My support network
Is in worse shape than I am.


PAST TENSE OF DEAD

El career de Randy.


READY TO CHECK OUT

His life has been added to his cart.


SUBJUNCTIVE MOODINESS

He wishes he were
Soon to not be.


PERMANENT DEATH

You won’t find me
Buying additional lives.


QUALITY TIME

In the grave.




Friday, September 11, 2015

At Dinner

YOU KNOW HOW HE’S

He’s.
I mean.


SNEAK UP ON IT

And put it on a what if basis.
Keep everything what if.


BUT NO I MEAN

He actually likes the color.
It’s the sheen he doesn’t like.


I HEARD HE’S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT

So uh yeah.


HE TEXTED ME ON TUESDAY RIGHT?

He texted me on Tuesday.


THE THING ABOUT IT IS

I’d’ve still.


WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THAT

We’ve talked about
A major gut
And remodel.


INSTEAD OF JUST

A one and done
Bring this out three feet
To where it looks nice.
Kind of trend piece.


AND HE’S LIKE

He’s.
It’s that.
That sensitivity.


BECAUSE LOOK

What if?


WELL HE’S IN MEXICO

Right now.
Heading there.
Driving down.





Thursday, September 10, 2015

Szabo's Army

BIRDS PLAYING GRAB ASS

A rondo in A-flat.


SEEING STARS

I was the co-winner in season three.


CACTUS FLOWERS

Are the prettiest flowers there is.
But them thorns offsets the pretty.


SILENCE

Bruckner’s 7th hit by a power outage.


UNINHIBITED LASSITUDE

Living on tree-fallen money.


SCRUBJAYS

Le gusta a comer espagety.


CHICAGO

There’s a very good Persian restaurant we go to.


TEENAGE GIRLS

Smartphone carytids.


MARIJUANA BUTTER

Turns dessert into an instant party.


VICTORY LANE

Or a fur traders convention, one.


CONCIERGE

If you need something
They’ll give you directions
On how to get it
Kind of thing.


MARINA

Canap├ęs for giants.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Oh no no no.
UT or A & M.


CHALDEANS, TERRIBLE AND DREADFUL

Habakkuk 1:8-10.
(Bible KJV Cambridge Press)


O.T. AT THE J-STREET 7-ELEVEN

“Achingly romantic.”


INFOTECH CENTER

Bioethics and mini-storage.


TROKA DE LONCHE

Jalisco cathedral on wheels.
Blue scrubs from India.
Turkey burrito.
Make it a meal.
Thaya go.


SZABO’S ARMY

I have five across on the eight horse, Szabo’s Army.


BRAHMS PIANO CONCERTO NUMERO UNO

And that’s only the first movement.

Fuuuuk.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Mean It's Yeah

YOU FIGURE

It’s like.
Kind of.
Maybe.
In a sense.


I CAN’T HELP

But think.
It should be.
Pretty close, anyway.


LET ME ASK YOU THIS

Um.


YOU KNOW THE OTHER THING IS

What might have to happen.


YOU’RE KIDDING WOW

But then again.


I MEAN IT’S YEAH

Just like.
So many different.


IN OTHER WORDS

You suggest.


ON SOME LEVEL

In some insane way.


THAT CHANGES IT

To right back where we were
Before, almost.


I’M GOING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING

There’s never been a better time.


OK WELL I MEAN

That’s saying something.



www.randystark.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hotel Inca Real

Without making eye contact, a guy in the elevator asks what I think about the priest in the news who committed suicide. “I believe it is always darkest before it gets even darker,” I respond thoughtfully, “But, a ton of undeclared Irish pork bellies shipped to Illinois, Mississippi and Nevada is the same as a ton of mozzarella sticks with undeclared yellow #5 and yellow #6 turning up in Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming, wouldn’t you agree?  A ton of crickets is the same as a ton of boulders, only noisier, and what doesn’t kill you only makes matters worse.”

The guy looks up from his phone.

“Away and mock the time with fairest show,” I say, as we reach the lobby and the door is thrown open.  “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”

The must and muck of wild asses profanes every niche of the once ornate lobby.  The concierge emerges from a restroom holding the cardboard center of a toilet paper roll as though it were a dead bird or a toy airplane, a couple of strips of tissue like feathers attached to the fuselage. 

The lounge is quiet.  A party of four in mute multiplayer mentality has spread over a loaf of green chairs:   Rug Doctor, Diaper Genie, and a pair of two by fours.  A prostitute sits at the bar watching TV, a rerun of “Little House on the Prairie,” with the sound off.  The makeup betrays flow states and kill streak rewards—each eye a different shape and color, like an apple and a lemon side by side in a rachitic fruit basket. “You want to try something really good?”

In lone wolf play I ask in the restaurant about the difference between the regular steak and the special steak. “The special steak is more juicier and more tastier.” But instead I decide on the salad I saw on TV, with the fermions and the boson vinaigrette, the one everyone’s having.  Mariachi play for other tables.  I look outside; a woman is walking with her arms full, a bundle of flowers wrapped in yellow paper. But it is not flowers, or paper, but a child, in a blanket, and when the mother peels back the blanket and the head emerges a good head of hair, and the body, bright happy face, it is a flower after all! 


www.randystark.com

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Blogathon

Work Song --- Nina Simone 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; show a man how to fish and he’ll hate you for the rest of his life.  --- Stephen Thomas

Work and capitalism.  To me educated in the UsA iit’s the same thing.  I’ts tats and multi-platform environments, USDA choice ribeye roasts, and the frisson of courtroom bombshells.

With the exception of a tiny minority of half-wits, no one believes in work anymore… --- Giorgio Agamben

The hard way is a worthless instrument these days, as obsolete as a roofing specialist in a world without sky.  There is no honor to Sisyphus; Camus is wrong.

The horse was created to pull and carry, the bull to plow, the dog to keep watch and hunt; man, however, was born to embrace the world with his gaze. --- Cicero

With his gaze.  Doesn’t sound like work to me.

They say hard work never hurt anybody, but I figure why take the chance.--- Ronald Reagan





Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fluffy

SCENE I

I’ll never forget the time when was it?


MESSAGE

Take Fluffy to the vet.


YOU WERE WORKING

And I was like
Pretty fucked up.


DOS PUEBLOS AMBER

Brewed in Crimea.


SPINNING

Helicopters, ceiling fans, water in the toilet bowl. 


BEER CAN WIND CHIMES

Playing Mussorgsky.


BACKUP BEEPING ON THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE

I was like oh.


SUNLIGHT

Raising trust issues.


ACTUALLY THERE MIGHT BE

Let’s see.


OK. SO.

Table grapes.


SCENE II

Hey.  Someone’s been digging a hole.


FLUFFY

Hairless.
Yellow eyes.


FUN ROUTE

21 bridges.
22 tunnels.


CAR WASH

For a faith donation.


I WAS OFF COURSE, NO GPS

Opera House and Hotel.
Flags, flamingos, oboes.


STREETS OF TWILL AND PENTIMENTO

People out to get theyselves a dozen.


ON THE ISTHMUS

Burros everywhere you look.


IN PASSING

A slappage of asses.


REMEMBER WHEN WE TALKED

About karma?


NO INTERNET

Forced to chill.


I WAITED

And I waited.
I don’t know how long I waited.
Forever.


SCENE III

I get my sugar rush.


DONAS

Mini-angels of our better nature.


FLUFFY’S LOOKING AT ME LIKE

Feed me.


FLUFFY SAID THE VET

Lacked bedside manner.


SCENE IV

You had to be there.


FLUFFY TOLD ME AND I THINK IT’S TRUE

She said.

Uh.



Saturday, September 5, 2015

Raised By Accordions

CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

For Lease.


WHAT A HORRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN DURING

Staff Appreciation Week.


MY PROBLEM IS

Six billion like this. 
What’s your problem?


FORGIVE ME

For everything.


LIKE US ON BUTTFACEBOOK

Hashtag I’d rather be dead.


CRUISE SHIP IN PORT

Shithead Princess. 


THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Blah blah blah.


STATE BIRD

Cooties.


BECAUSE OF YOU

Or current resident.
Kids are being saved in your community.


ACTUALLY I DON’T REALLY COMPOST

I try to compost.


JESUS APARTMENT COMPLEX

A one-bedroom joke.


THAT’S WHAT I MEAN BUT LIKE

I was raised by accordions.


HOW’D ALL THIS MENSTRUAL BLOOD

Get on my newsfeed?


WARNING

Never be alone with your thoughts.


I FIGURE

It’s nobody’s birthday.


QUICKER THAN YOU CAN SAY

Anasazi departing.





Friday, September 4, 2015

Last Blast

SUBATOMIC PARTICLES

Some jump, some fall.
Some get pushed.


MANHATTAN BEACH

Clickety-clackety.


BILLABLE HOURS

Heart-shaped.


WITNESS

You’re never the only one.


HISTORY

Epic lip sync.


ADULTHOOD

In some fashion.
At some point.


CHILDHOOD

Organized beyond recognition.


FAMILY FUN

Party Ice.
Baby pool rules.


HUMMINGBIRD BATTLES

Tiny swordplay.


ABDOMINAL PIZZA

It’s awesome.


TRAFFIC JAM

Feed lot.


HEAVEN

Cash for my gold.


IT SAYS

Little Bangladesh.


SPRINKLER SYSTEM

Comes on like a pack of lynx.


TIME

Being.


SEARCHING AND CLICKING

Flights to Shanghai.


ORGASMS

Two for me and one for you.


ARJAY’S LIKE DUDE

Today’s special is just yesterday’s special
Repurposed.


TOO MUCH ACCESS

My phone exploded.


BEER GARDEN

Oooorgg thoom orgh ptooom. 


THE BRAIN

Do not bleach.
Do not iron.
Do not dry clean.
Do not tumble dry.


SEAL BEACH

You know how like the water.
Uh.


www.randystark.com

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Oddzenendz

The quality and quantity of the artistry, all media, on the web and off-web, continues to be thrilling.  Pay no attention to the basura behind the curtain.

Artist Peggy Zask shaming the safe and genteel 100 % mild aesthete:  “I’m not putting up paintings on the wall where you can stand back and go, ‘Oh, that’s so masterful! She really knows how to catch the likeness of that mustang running in the wind.’”

Abishag, Ira, Kezia, the companion blog to the novel Three Wise Cats is back and being updated regularly. If you want to be able to brag you knew about the novel before it became a blockbuster movie, then you better buy it now!

In the Fall 2015 Rattle (#49) Peter Munro’s interview is interesting.  So is his work

Steve Cutts has an exuberant cynicism.

Speaking of regular updates, Melanie Swan has been busy this summer.  If titles like “Popup Dining as Distributed Autonomous Space” entice you to read more, or “Smartgrid Life:  Block Cryptosustainability,” then this blog is for you.







Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mood Pieces

Enough with the birds, hopefully, until USA Thanksgiving at least. 

I remember mood pieces being anathema to literary magazines. Does that attitude still exist?  I like to write mood pieces. 

Two blocks from the jail, a man is walking his bicycle and pulling a shopping cart, attached by a rope, and a dog sits in the child’s seat. The rig passes a woman, unsteady in her walker, eating from a trash receptacle, reaching down into the barrel and scooping it out and gobbling it up. 

The jail is built on top of ancient hunting grounds that had been shared by surrounding tribes. An inmate is awaiting a sentencing hearing, having been found guilty of murder, kidnapping, torture, “involuntary debasement” plus the special circumstance of gang enhancement.  He’s a dog groomer by trade. 

The glass door didn’t break, but when they shoved her into it she bounced backward like it was electrified and broke her head on the sidewalk.  Dude they stabbed in the neck and stomach and he bled out. Tourists, a couple from Germany, here to bicycle through the wine country.  

His brother testified against him.  The dog groomer’s ex-wife says it’s a case of wrong place, wrong time.  Their kids go to see him on visiting days, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 


www.randystark.com


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

I was fact-checking my post.  The Shakespeare phrase I am using as a title is also the title of a popular, award-winning science fiction novel published in 1976 by Kate Wilhelm. (I ordered the book, a classic, and am adding it to my Labor Day reading list.) 

THE MARSH

Loons, egrets and grebes in speculative activity, insects riding light waves, and in the reedier section red wing blackbirds mounted like warning strobes. A great blue poker-faced wader parses the creek, the detritus vomited up on account of yesterday’s storm--rubber balls, Aristotelian logic, Styrofoam cups, diapers, beer cans, Euclidean geometry, candy wrappers, energy supplement ampoules, a broken violin, 50-quart coolers, dental picks—a supersweet stench ascending from mauve scum.

WHERE LATE THE SWEET BIRDS SANG
 (Shakespeare, from sonnet LXXIII)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.