Along with a redesign of the ol’ personal website (which was creaking a little bit under the weight of the 2009-ness of it all), I’m happy to announce a new direction. Or more a return to form.
This website was started as an outlet for my art and I’d like to steer it back in that direction, starting with the publication of some new fiction.
I get it if you want to peace out because you came for the incisive political commentary. I just don’t have a steady well of that to give anymore.
To everyone else, just for sticking around, here’s the first new story: The Big Black Book.
The Big Black Book
I take it out. I take out the big black book and blow off the dust, blow it onto…
The pile of clothes. The pile of clothes next to the overloaded bookcase in my old bedroom. The one on Main Street next to the stadium. Where you sat on my bed. Where I did speed alone that morning after you went away before I made my first record which I told you was about you but really when I look back it wasn’t.
I take it out and I marvel at it, in its leathern perfection, by which I of course mean its completion. Falling for you I figured out the meaning of love, just like an unceasing tornado siren on an eye-stinging useless August afternoon. Just like that.
Like a car that only runs when it’s raining. The universe is a sheet of glass and the gods smashed it or something and your piece was by mine and that meant we were meant to find each other again someday. Or at least I told my mom some such about another boyfriend in high school. I thought…if I look forward and my dry eyelids crinkle past each other and my vertebrae are stacked just right, I thought that
If I gathered up all the meanings of love I could find and bind them in a big black book, you would see how useful I was and make me yours, forever, like a tattoo, amen. Golly gosh, I mean add the speed back into the equation, and there you have the age of 23 for me.
I feel like there was another part about jewels. Like kaleidoscopic diamonds all in a row, in lots of rows scintillating right in front of my eyes…or like a disco ball mosquito that won’t leave me alone in the shower. The more you think about anything that happened back then the more likely it seems that drugs are the answer.
Oh god which is disappointing because…what if. What if you’re secretly not that interesting and like Jesus still loves you and you still love him back. Or like you don’t love your job but you want to do something other than just be the boss. What if it was all this wall you built against the fear that you would be average.
Like as though anyone were even looking. And as though you would notice anyone who did matter! Oh not that I want to proselytize. Proselytizing things I barely understand is one of my major flaws. Another is falling for anyone who presents a meaning of life that significantly contrasts with the one I was presented as a child.
Jesus has a plan for me but I won’t tweet it.
You saw. You saw before any of us how bad it was going to get. Right here in this book you wrote back when you could ask me to edit it in person, right there you saw how we were sacrificing our realities to the surrealities contained in our pockets – the Janus-faced (you’d like that) worlds of wonder that would narrow our visions and hump our shoulders, cutting up our dreams in ribbons of ad sales.
I inherited a fear of even mentioning mobile phones in writing. Bringing them into contemporary prose almost feels like admitting there’s not any longer a point in writing stories. You broke up with me over a mobile phone (I figure), and I took that call over a mobile phone. I’m glad you didn’t text me. At least we were having a cordless version of an established human crisis. But aren’t text message breakups just Dear John letters anyway.
At this point your ghost has smacked me upside the head for even thinking about things like this when I could be tripping in nature. But I took a walk already this morning, ok, and I am plenty high on good old-fashioned bong rips. “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.” But I want the new godly way. And in the end, man, you were just another hippie who smelled good and made me want to feel bad about my spiritual evolution.