Saturday, July 9, 2011

On The Frontline

Ryna huddled down behind the bunker. Bullets whizzed past his ears. He was sure that the noise must be deafening, but strangely enough, he could no longer hear it. His mind was set on the task at hand. Everything else had melted away hours ago.

He was a mess. His clothes were in tatters from being on the field for so long. Blood soaked through to the bone. He would have been alarmed, but he knew most of it wasn't his. There had been a lot of splattering. Besides, he had no time to be alarmed. There were still enemies to kill.

Unlike the days before, where battle had been fought in forests and on beaches, today's battle took place in a clearing. Cover was scarce, and there wasn't much room to work with, considering the size of the meadow, but nonetheless, this was his element. He knew that in this mission, time was of the essence. That suited him. All that waiting and planning in the forests wore him out, both mentally and physically. Here, he had only to act. His adrenaline kept him sharp and focused.

As he peeked over the bunker, he saw his first enemy nestled behind a tunnel of sorts, no doubt used for sewage at some point, but long since abandoned. For a split second, the two made eye contact. And then the world erupted in gunfire, tearing through the quiet of Ryan's mind. This was it. Time to make his move.

After ducking down behind cover briefly to evade the enemy's bullets, he quickly sprang up and laid down a suppressive fire. Just as he had hoped, the enemy was forced to duck down behind the tunnel. This was his chance. He sprinted over to the end of the tunnel nearest to him and slide behind it before the enemy had time to see him. No doubt his opponent would think he was still behind the bunker.

Glancing down the tunnel, Ryan contemplated crawling down it. If he could get to the other end, he would be right behind the enemy. No, too risky. If anyone were to look down the tunnel while he was in it, he stood no chance. There would be no room to maneuver, and he would surely be shot.

Discarding the idea, he decided to crawl along the side of the tunnel, the side farthest awhile from the raging battle. He would surprise his current adversary, and then would assume the position he held, thereby gaining the enemies' flank. Fortunately for him, a series of short, impromptu walls had been constructed by the enemy to give themselves cover. Now he would use that against them.

Crawling his way behind the first wall, he peeked out to see if the enemy had detected him. It was clear. He proceeded to the second wall, and just as he was leaning out to advance to the third, the enemy showed his face. Ryan hadn't expected the man to look his way. He had been planning to surprise him from behind, but this would work just as well. Wasting no time, the soldier brought his gun up and fired two rounds in quick succession. POP POP.

"AAAARGH," screamed the enemy, before he dropped to the ground, dead. Both rounds had soundly found their mark: the enemy's head. It was hard to miss from that distance.

Ryan quickly took up the fallen foe's position, and as he was about to advance to the final wall where he would have the best flanking position possible, he heard a loud BANG. Pain shot through his arm. In a stupor, he glanced down at it. Surely there would be blood. If it hurt this much, he must be bleeding profusely. But he wasn't. The bullet must have glanced off his body armor and just bruised him.

Not wasting any time being thankful, he scrambled behind cover. Taking a deep breath, he prepared himself for what was necessary.

Springing up quickly, he returned the favor to his new enemy. Though the bullet only made contact with his shoulder, Ryan could tell he had severely wounded him. As he was about to finish him off before he could limp to cover, he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, another enemy. This enemy was directly to his left. Nothing stood between the two of them but open space, yet by some twist of fortune, Ryan had not yet been noticed.

Seeing that this third enemy was firing upon his friends, Ryan new that the threat needed to be eliminated immediately. He didn't want any more of his friends to die.

Swinging his gun around, Ryan opened fire. It wasn't long before he heard his enemy's shrieks. When they stopped, Ryan knew he was dead.

Turning back to the soldier he had wounded moments before, Ryan realized that he had vanished. Taking a quick scan of the surroundings, he saw that the battle was dwindling. His troops had gained most of the clearing, and it appeared that there was only one enemy defender remaining, stalwartly entrenched behind a bunker. The enemy was returning fire from the east, and had forgotten completely about the man who had wounded him. Ryan wasn't surprised. In the chaos of battle, a soldier tends to deal with the issue at hand. Right now, that wasn't him. But it would be. He would make the enemy pay for his neglect.

Abandoning cover, Ryan started to slowly advance, his gun trained on the enemy's location. He did not fire yet. That would only waste ammo and alert the enemy of his presence. No, he would wait.

Finally, after almost a minute of walking up the field, Ryan had a clear shot of the enemy's back. He took it. Wanting the battle to be over and not wanting to take any chances, he fired three of four rounds. It was sufficient. As Ryan watched blood blossom from the bullet holes in the enemy's back, he knew it was over.

Standing on the silent field of victory, he raised his gun to the sky and released a triumphant roar.


Conor - Too Late

I'm trying my best to get out of bed right now and failing. It's 9:13 in the morning, on Saturday.

1:00 AM I crawl into bed and sprawl out on top of the covers. I know that I have a Classic Brian to write, but I don't have it in me right now. "It" being the ability to do much of anything other than be sprawled out on top of my bed. I spend maybe 15 minutes looking over at the light switch, wondering if it's worth the effort of turning it off. 

"I can probably fall to sleep with the lights on," I think. 5 more minutes pass. "Yeah definitely." 

I set my phone alarm to 4:30 AM. After all I have a Classic Brian to write.

4:30 AM Whaaaaaat what the hell sound is that. What is happening who is happening. I hate this I hate everything that is awake right now why am I awake right now. Cell phone. Why are you. Bam. Bam bam. You're off. Rot in hell cell phone alarm. I am victorious once again. Goodnight forever.

7:15 AM I used to be asleep but now I am awake. Why is this? It's 7:15. Nothing good happens at 7:15. I have no need for this. Why did I wake up? I feel guilty. What do I have to feel guilty about? My conscience is clean. Yesterday I finally returned Taxi Driver after weeks of forgetting I had it. Uhhhhh what else. I feel like there's something I should be doing.

7:45 AM  I'm sorry, maybe you didn't understand, me. I wanted to go back to sleep, not wake up every half an hour. This is bullshit.

8:30 AM Riiiiiiiiight. Yeeeeeeah. Classic Brian. Ssssssssssss. Yeah I'll get right on that... Yeah, yeah, one second.

8:50 AM Riiiiiiiiiight. Okay. Okay game time. I've got this.

8:57 AM whatiswrongwithme


I have work at either 10:30 or 11:00. I'm not entirely sure. I'll split the difference and show up at 10:45. Make everyone happy. I'm working double shifts today and tomorrow because this one kid needed the weekend off. We had set up this elaborate system of trading days so he ended up covering some of my shifts in return but somehow that didn't work out. Except for the days I'm covering for him. Cool good.

Poetry, you say? Poetry... I only really know that poetry I read in Lit classes in high school. There's nothing interesting I could contribute to a discussion on poetry, but I will, anyway.   

A Dream Deferred

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Live your dreams. I am. By going back to sleep for another half hour.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Brother Beaver

by Brendan Cavanagh

Tuesday Classic Brian writer Mada is notorious for initiating trendy blog posts. Well, just one I guess. Everyone is familiar with the innovative, knee-slapping first installment of Classic Brian's most famous phenomenon, Zombie Snowpocalypse. Then there was a kind-hearted, failed attempt at reviving the belly laughs incurred by her take on zombie survival, the inexplicable animation of every one of Springfield's statues. This week Mada used her Tuesday post to share with us Allen Ginsberg infamous epic poem evocative of the 50s / 60s Beat Movement, "Howl."

I imagine, despite the lack of her own personal input, Mada wanted us to focus on poems this week on Classic Brian, so I will ignore Eliot's thoughtful opinion piece and post a poem that has a feel of sentimentality when I read it. This is a poem my friend Griffin and I were assigned to co-write in our junior year American literature course, one that had to echo sentiments and themes residing in the literature produced in the Romantic or Transcendental movement. I can't really be sure which era exactly because the poem is so poorly manufactured that it lends no credence as to what period it evokes.

The poem is called "Brother Beaver," and it goes like this:

“Brother Beaver”
As I roved out one summer morning,
I witnessed quite a scene.
Brother Beaver building
In the middle of a stream.

“Brother Beaver,” said I,
“Dost thou know who has created thee?”
The busy beaver answered,
“Boy, do not question me.”               

He turned around quickly
And continued with his laborious task
Like a zealously scurrying ant.        
So again in autumn I did ask,

“Dost thou know who has created thee?”
Beaver was no less determined
In his line of work.
And He said to me, “Don’t ask me- I’m just vermin!”

I returned to the dam in winter
To once again make my plea.
An old, retired wise man, Beaver said,          
“The same divine Power who created you created me.”

I can only hope this trend of posting poems has a shelf life of longer than two installments. Go poetry!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Casey Anthony trial... something I don't care about. Yet, it's managed to capture the entire nation's attention and make everyone in America (approximation) hate Casey Anthony. I mean, I don't think anyone is on Casey Anthony's side, at the very best Casey Anthony didn't murder her daughter. People don't murder their daughters EVERY DAY. That's why America doesn't hate them, Casey.

However, when you take tragic issues like these, play them up on the news because you know it will snag people's interest, that makes you lame as shit. That's why we have movies, not why we have news. Casey Anthony isn't OJ Simpson, a beloved celebrity personality, she is a person like you or I who supposedly murdered her adorable little girl. (I say supposedly not because I think she didn't, but because I merely suppose she did.) The glamorous coverage of what is pretty much a horrifying episode is really shitty. Why should Casey Anthony be a world-famous and notorious evil person when all she did was be a despicable mother? 

Public trial was incepted to prevent conspiracy, or at least that's what we said. Really, we like seeing what happens to troublemakers. And now it's becoming America's best television. Are we proud to hate Casey Anthony? Does that give us the self-satisfaction of moral code? Or is it just us poking our head in on some business of someone else. None of us cared about Caylee Anthony before she went missing. Does it feel good to feel bad? I just get enough of a sense of humanity outside of worrying about a dead girl, that's all.

Also, hey look at me, I'm an asshole now because I'm not sad about Caylee Anthony! What is wrong with me, right? It's not that what happened to her isn't sad, but sad shit like that happens every damn day on this planet. People go crazy and do unforgivable things to people that don't deserve it. Just a question: if Caylee Anthony was black, would it be such a public issue? I don't want to bring race into it, but only because I'm afraid an argument could be made for it.

There are tons of Gilbert Gottfried type jokes that could be made. I sorta wanted to, just to push the envelope and go there, but I won't. Unlike Caylee Anthony, I have a life to live and would rather be playing video games than making an ass of myself writing this.

Another point I want to make; Danielle Loftus. I think what happened to her is awful and tragic. However, I don't think it's right to decorate the town with "Pray for" signs either. My initial reaction is that I'm supposed to elect her to office. Publicizing tragedy is something I guess I'm not for. It seems callous to not concern myself with it, but really, I just don't need to saturate myself with any more troubles. I'm thankful for what I have, and am aware of tragedy existing fucking everywhere.

Caylee Anthony, poor girl. She's dead now, along with all my grandparents and eventually everyone. She had a shitty mom, who she would have hopefully grown up to be very different than. But at the end of the day, Casey Anthony has to live with herself, and I have to live with myself. Pardon me if I choose to live without the concern that Casey Anthony is out there. Being insensitive about the issue isn't going to make anything better or worse. It's a world I don't live in, so by all means, I do not care.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Read This Poem


By Allen Ginsberg 1926–1997
For Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,
incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak furnished room,   
who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,   
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung-over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blur floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,
Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time—
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipsis catalogue a variable measure and the vibrating plane,
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.


What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smoke-stacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!


Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland
   where you’re madder than I am
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you must feel very strange
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you imitate the shade of my mother
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rockland
   where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
I’m with you in Rockland
   where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
with you in Rockland
   where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse
I’m with you in Rockland
   where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb
I’m with you in Rockland
   where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won’t let us sleep
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself    imaginary walls collapse    O skinny legions run outside    O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here    O victory forget your underwear we’re free
I’m with you in Rockland
   in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

San Francisco, 1955—1956

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nick - Everything Is Art

I'm sitting listening to fireworks going off outside of my window, and my reaction to them is always the same. I look at them in awe, and then I think about the person who put them together.

Fireworks are something I don't know how to make. And I'm guessing that's true for most people. But seeing the brilliant explosions makes me picture the person who does know how to make them. The person who meticulously arranged the ingredients in the right places so that the colors and shapes all align perfectly and detonate at just the right altitude. I've even seen fireworks that explode a second time, or do other cool tricks.

A while back, Roger Ebert famously claimed that video games cannot be art. To which I say, bullshit. Even his defense of the statement shows that they can be, and indeed are. But as Ebert argues with other critics, reviewers, and scholars, about what is and isn't art, all of them are missing the broader point.

Anything that someone does can become art. Dancers can evoke emotion, making them artists. There are electricians who could wire circuits with an intricacy and mastery that you and I couldn't understand. Scientists and athletes alike have refined their trades into a kind of art.
Everything is art.

Seryn - This Is Where We Are

Robert Langellier

Seryn: "This Is Where We Are" from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

Free download: "We Will All Be Changed"

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Robert Langellier

There is only one thing worse than a 13-year old, and that is a 19-year old speaking like a 13-year old.

For some reason, there are those out there unable to process the social cue demanding them to stop talking like this. Nobody else does, but will that stop Billy from yelling fail! at the falling longboarder? Never. Billy, of course, will never get those precious laughs he so longs for in his underdeveloped heart, but often this is not enough to quell my rage at the drivel wasted upon my ears. I decide that perhaps things are not as they seem, that perhaps Billy has earned my respect in a way. Perhaps Billy is not, in fact, as pathetically mired in 2004 verbal trends as it appears, but instead perhaps is fearlessly* spearheading* a classic* term which he finds still endearing and funny despite nearly a decade of aging, the entire rest of society be damned. And then I realize that this is precisely what it means to be mired in 2004 verbal trends, and my thirst for punching is immediately reignited.

*Replace asterisked words with the following synonyms: shamelessly, clinging to, outdated

There is no opportunity in any syntax, context, or capitalization that makes beast a cool verb. There is no way to express how much more unattractive girls become upon utterance of the noun fail. I can say, however, that it ranks similarly to septum piercings and having ants spawn out of your belly button.

I despise these lesser peers. They are the absolute dregs of society, rolling with laughter in their own preteen vomit of comedy. The internet has the unstoppable power to lift high some of the coolest words in the English language and then slam them repeatedly into the ground until all that remains is blood and scattered feces. People that use the internet are able to take that blood and feces and continue, unrelentingly, to use them in my scowling presence until I wish there were never such things as cool words to begin with.

Maybe we can reclaim these words, I thought. Like "queer" or "nigga," except with probably less at stake. We can join a collection of terrible words into an absurd pile of ironic comedy, I thought.

It is only as I spend forty-five minutes finding out how to upload all this onto the internet that I realize that, combined, these terms only lend themselves to the potential of becoming three times the annoying. Were I required to choose one demographic to exterminate, any kind of demographic, I would choose people like you, Billy. I hate you. Your unforgivable slaughter of my native language brings into question both theories of human design, from an unsuccessful Darwinism for allowing your birth to a God whose image you apparently and unsettlingly represent.

Seriously, quit saying that. It's bugging me.