Thursday, September 28, 2017

angel of thirst vs. the angel of dust

at the edge of some
surrealist landscape, all grey
fields and monotone sky and
                      blood red roses

late november and the
highway littered with bones

the crows grown fat

nothing to do with the gun
in your hand but kill

no one to tell you they
love you but your children
and your children are gone

the enemy is always
in your blind spot

is always creeping closer

how else to end this war
but with the slaughter 
of those who are wrong?


Thursday, September 21, 2017


Books rule. 

Every time my kids tell me about a movie they love, I tell them “You should read the book, it’s even better.”   Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series don’t necessarily apply here, of course, since they were valiant efforts to adapt books I’ve loved most of my life, and it was just great to see them on the screens with big-budget financing.  Technically, the books were still better, but DAMN those visuals were impressive……

The one big exception to the BOOK BEATS MOVIE rule that comes to mind is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  The main character in the book was just too wishy-washy and washed-out pastel grey and, since the story was told by him, none of it really came to life for me.  The movie had much more depth, since the supporting characters could actually be seen through the camera lens and not just the eyes of the narrator.  Excellent movie.

The one time that book and movie kick equal amounts of ass is CLOUD ATLAS.  Fuck the haters on this one.  Read the book first so you know what’s going on, and then watch the movie 2 or 3 times, and then read the book again.  Fucking incredible shit.  God damn.  The layout of the book is perfect (and makes perfect sense), and the movie fucks with that, but for good reason and to awesome effect.  The actors and actresses ROCK in their multiple roles.  The visuals are incredible.  Enough said.

There’s a peripheral person in my life who shall remain unnamed, and I use this individual as a casual movie guide.  When they say “That movie is stupid, I didn’t understand it at all”, I’m immediately there to watch it.  100% prediction powers so far, the movies that confuse this person have all kicked righteous ass:


This person hasn’t yet given an opinion on Mr Nobody, but that movie also is mind-blowingly awesome.  And Synecdoche, New York. 
Boo. Fucking. Ya.



Sunday, September 17, 2017


or this idea of the police
beating a man to death

the need to ask the color of his skin

of the sky

blood raining down from it
onto the houses and the cars
and the children

the indians marched to the desert
then slaughtered

the pregnant women
locked in cages

everything done in the name of freedom
and then the churches set on fire
and then the names of the
people trapped inside

their screams lost beneath
the roar of progress

their bones
picked out of the ashes

the way we plant them and
wait for a
different beast to grow



Saturday, September 16, 2017


Conventional wisdom always seems to list Bob Mould as the main Dü Dude, but I stand by my claim for Grant Hart supremacy in the post-Dü world.  His solo work was more varied and nuanced than Mould’s, his songs were much hookier, and his two albums with Nova Mob beat Mould’s two Sugar albums hands down (granted, Copper Blue is awesome, but it still gets a little tedious when I listen to it all in one sitting).

Everything he released after HD was too easily overlooked due to its tiny indy-label status (he never got bigger than SST, I don't believe), and his second Nova Mob was insanely underrated by all the dipshit critics who, that same year, heaped praise on Sugar’s meh FU:EL.

But fuck, man – Hüsker Dü.  They were one of the handful of bands that kept me alive during high school.  They will always have my gratitude for that.


Poll Reveals the First Word That 
Comes To Mind When Americans
                   Think of Donald Trump.


It’s a questions that is asked often.

“What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump?”

That’s what Quinnipiac, a trusted polling agency, asked Americans in a survey. And the answers given paint a sad picture of the level of confidence Americans have in the president. The most popular answer: “idiot.”

At the G20 Summit, Trump went out of his way to prove Americans right. When Ivanka wasn’t sitting in for him, he was busy saying “America First” to every trade negotiation. It got to the point where the Italian Prime Minister had to question why Trump was trying to damage the growing world economy, and other European countries threatened to retaliate if Trump raised tariffs on steel—essentially, Trump’s nonsensical blustering may cause a trade war between America and the 19 other nations in the Group of 20.

But it’s not just at the G20 summit that he’s proving that he’s ignorant (the 9th most frequent response) and stupid (the 12th). Trump doesn’t understand or even know what’s in the Senate health care bill which has his name on it. He doesn’t read his intelligence briefings unless they mention him every few sentences and have pictures. And he only watches Fox News.

It’s been six months with Trump in office, and Americans already think he’s an idiot. Even worse, every time he speaks with a foreign leader, the rest of world loses even more respect for America.


Friday, September 15, 2017



Cirino has always been a touchstone for me.  Our styles are pretty different, but I’ve always liked his sensibility, and we had an intermittent correspondence for about 15 years in which we exchanged works-in-progress, anti-academic viewpoints and general worldview philosophies.

He’s been dead for about 5 years now, and I’m pretty disappointed in how his name seems to have faded away instead of growing in stature.  Last I heard (about 2 years ago), there was a bunch of his unpublished work looking for a publisher, but it doesn’t seem to have come to anything.

These books are a part of my Cirino collection, many of them bought from Leonard directly, some of them traded for, others picked up on the used book circuit.  For one of them, I had asked him to point me in the right direction so I could buy a copy, and he ended up sending me his last personal copy.  That’s the kind of person he was.  He liked the ink-on-paper approach, even after the ascension of the internet, so there was a lot of his stuff to track down.  I’m actually waiting for a book right now, lokks like a few copies finally showed up on the market.

Two of these collections I did myself, using unpublished work from the internet (including his blog, which is still online and which he almost never updated) and poems he’d send me in large batches every now and then.  I also have an additional 100+ poems on paper that he mailed me over the years before (and after) we both finally got computers.  These have all been pronged into report folders, more or less chronologically.  There are a few broadsides and poster-size pages tuked away in there, too. 

Dude was prolific.