Tuesday, March 31, 2009


cold day

i would like to be simple today and i would like to do simple things.

it would be good to do simple things today.

it would be good to reserve today for the doing of simple things.

first i will fry an egg.

then i will eat the egg.

after i have eaten the egg i will sit by the window and think about the egg i have just eaten.

after i have sat by the window for an appropriate amount of time i will want to put on a sweater.

the sweater will be blue and read: MOUNT SEQUOAH and it will cause me to think of my beautiful arkansas.

i will return to the window and sit and think of arkansas.

i will want to wave to the neighbors but probably will not because they mostly carry shopping bags and mumble to themselves.

i actually don't think they are my neighbors at all.

sometimes they try to sell me drugs when i am talking to mother on the phone on the porch.

i will do things like this for the rest of the day.

perhaps i will read a book.

perhaps i will lay in my bed and listen to traffic.

perhaps i will pretend to be a catepillar in my sleeping bag.

i will be very intentional about the things that i do today.

i think i will try to call you on the telephone.

it would be good if you came over.

it would be good if you rented a movie so that we could watch that movie together.

then we would not have to talk to anyone and we could just watch the movie together, not talking to anyone.

if when we are watching the movie my blue sweater begins to bother you because of how blue it is, i can take it off.

i am okay with that.

if you asked me to put on pants i would be okay with that too.

i would put on pants if you wanted me to.

if you were uncomfortable.

or something.

the movie that you would rent should be something old and on VHS.

it should be something like brewster's millions or groundhog's day.

something like that.

it should be something like about a man who wears a blue sweater and sits by the window.

if you rented 'top gun' i would push your face into the earth slowly.

if you rented anything with arnold schwarzenegger i would touch your eye with a pencil repeatedly.

except maybe for 'kindergarten cop'.

that was a good movie.

if you rented 'E.T.' that would be ideal i think.

it would be good if you came over and walked with me to the mexican bakery around the corner.

we could get pastries for 50 cents a piece.

then we could walk back to my house eating the pastries.

maybe i would point out how much i like trees in winter.

then maybe you could remind me that it's spring already and that today is just a weird hiccup or something.

that would be okay with me.

i would be okay with that.

Friday, March 27, 2009

dream #19

as i mentioned before all of these dreams have been stimulated by my recent purchase of a kyanite crystal necklace. however lately i have been waking up sweating or terrified. these are two of the dreams that stood out most from last night.


we were driving on a two-laned road through a wooded area. there was some kind of construction on the road. up ahead was a parked gravel truck. there were also these dark tires marks straight up to it and dust all over the place. we pulled up slowly and saw two overturned cars.

there was a man under one of the cars covered in white dust. he had a puddle of black blood dripping from his head. he lifted his face and mumbled something to us dazed. he started to drag himself out of the car drooling blood on his chin. when he freed his last leg it was a splintered jagged stump of bone and blood. he looked at it and mumbled something and then tried to get up and talk to us. we kept yelling at him to lie down. there was a hospital down the block and nurses and first-aid people came running out. we took them to the hospital and heard them screaming and crying through the curtain dividers. when we left we saw an orderly picking up their limbs into orange plastic and stuffing them into dumpsters near the parking lot.


we were at a great picnic. it was held in a friend's front yard and there was a great field across the road. richard and i were talking on a tree stump. in the distance we could see a great fleet of UFOs coming from the east or something. they were met with other UFOs coming from the west i guess. when they met above us it was like a tapestry of little flying things. layers and layers of discs and jets flying through the air. suddenly they started attacking each other above the field. we began to think this was not a safe place. then they started attacking us. everyone started running and screaming. they came down and hovered next to us and chased us. richard and i ran into the backyard. he hid in a dog house but there was no room for me. i hid in a box behind the dog house. it was too small for me. a little UFO was shooting at us and i was yelling and frantically trying to place an upside down trash can over my head. then i woke up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

dream #18

i was performing stand up comedy. i had no material. i was very nervous. suddenly these large youtube videos dropped down. the youtube videos were playing louis ck. i started copying all of his material. then i got really bored. everyone was laughing but they weren't my jokes. i was cursed to watch louis ck for the rest of the night. i knew i was dreaming. i kept waking up and saying 'please god please.'


i went to my first poetry reading last night.

naomi shihab nye.

she is famous or something.

i was very bored.

ted kooser was there.

that was 'okay by me'.

a girl in front of me kept looking at her friend

when some funny thing was read,

her face was like,

'we are both experiencing this together,

isn't that wonderful?'

i imagined i was a giant moth

hovering over ted kooser's head.

afterward i was exploring around the stage.

someone wanted to take a picture of naomi and ted.

naomi told me to move out of the way.

i said 'okay'.


Monday, March 23, 2009

dream #17

i have recently become the owner of a kyanite crystal necklace whose properties stimulate the recollection of dreams. as a result i am having the most surreal and frightening and absurd dreams i have ever ever ever experienced.

lincoln looked like new orleans. there were hookers and dancers leering at me from doorways. i had just arrived in town with my backpack. there was going to be a great event. i found my host's home through an old town plaza and a cobblestone road. the home was a two-level building on the street made of wood.

our hosts were an elderly couple and the old man wore a neck brace. an insurance salesman came by to sell him life insurance and the old man told the insurance agent to 'go fuck yourself.' the old woman was sweet and made us food. a lot of us were staying here for the event. at night we had a party. we sat on the floor around the old man's chair and i was smoking from a long pipe.

a guy and his girlfriend walked up to us. his name was tommy and i don't remember her name. they were both autistic. they came inside and we all did drugs. everyone left. it was me and tommy and a friend. tommy went upstairs laughing. he would stop on the stairs and look down at us in the living room. he kept laughing and his eyes were blood red. he punched a hole through the wall and put his hands in his mouth. he grabbed the piece of wall and threw it at us and laughed more. he started snorting and growling. then he broke the banister with his fist. he started to run around all fours. he ran away and then all the lights went out. he started running through the house destroying everything. he was breaking holes through the floor and laughing down at us. he started screaming for us to leave and he was dripping blood from his nose. he ran past me in the dark and i could feel fur on his back. the lights flickered on and off and the house was destroyed. ghosts were screaming through the house and tommy was seizing on the floor.

the next night we had another party.

i met a tweeky kid named little jonny who always carried around a green notebook. he was always twitching. he had been at a party in omaha last night. he showed me pictures on his phone. paris hilton was there and also the actor who played jett jackson on the disney channel. jonny would write down details about the city like how many windows were in the shops and how nice the people were. he wanted to know if were a nice town. little jonny loved chocolate. he was very excited about sweets. he called them 'little duddies'. he wrote down in his notebook that lincoln was a good place to get duddies. he was very excited about litle duddies and he winked and licked his lips every time he thought about them.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

sex, economy, freedom, & community

i am reading sex, economy, freedom, & community by wendell berry. he reminds of a less-, or not-at-all, depressed version of noah cicero. his first essay, 'conservation and local economy', was one of the most powerfully rhetorical things i have ever read. then i got to the second essay 'conservation is good work' and i had to set the book down and put my head in my hands.

here are some things i liked:
"the idea that we live in something called 'the environment,' for instance, is perposterous. this word came into use because of the pretentiousness of learned experts who were embarrassed by the religous associations of 'Creation' and who thought 'world' too mundane. but 'environment' means that surrounds or encircles us; it means a world separate from ourselves, outside us. the real state of things, of course, is far more complex and intimate and interesting than that. the world that environs us, that is around us, is also within us. we are made of it; we eat, drink, and breathe it; it is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. it is also Creation, a holy mystery, made for and to some extent by creatures, some but by no mean all of whom are humans.... no one of this intimacy and responsibility is conveyed by the word environment.'
all religious or deistic implications aside, if we begin to think of the earth as something contingent, as something created, we can start to humbly think of ourselves as wholly part of this created thing that feeds and clothes us and that is also clothed and fed. i think we can maybe begin to see a pattern in other things (community, seasons, tides, charity) that are linked all around us. we can see ourselves as part of a universal plot, like some quitch patchwork that we are all working on together.
'no settled family or community has ever called its home place an 'environment.' none has ever called its feeling for its home place 'biocentric' or 'anthropocentric.' none has ever thought of its connection to its home place as 'ecological', deep or shallow. the concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of 'ecology' and 'ecosystems'. but the terms themselves are culturally sterile. they come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. the real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes, roads, creatures, and people."
i think more writers and artists should really take it on themselves to do this work of making ecology culturally relevant. the people with the most cultural influence should present the seriousness of the situation. and do work their in not just fetishizing nature but by cultivating some real attachment to the earth in the forms not only inspiration but survival, diversity, adaptability, and strength. specifically in going to pains to print books or pamphlets on recycled, non-bleached paper.

i feel anxious with all this romanticizing of nature in art and music lately. it's great that artists and writers can return to using nature as a muse, anything that will bring more attention to the earth and our innate identity. i am eager to see it go further. but i feel like words like 'nature' and 'organic food' and 'conservation' are just becoming these cultural memes of personal identity. something 'liberal' to align yourself with. i once saw a picture of a girl talk concert and some girl wearing a shirt that said: CONSUME LESS. but the thing is that she's dancing in this cloud of strobe lights and smoke and confetti and toilet paper being blown out by leaf blowers. this is the shit i'm talking about. people pulling on this cloak of identity rooted in the cause but not inthe work.

meanwhile indie girls are talking about feathers and putting owls on dumb things and filling up little boxes with seashells. and this is great and tender but there's so, so much more. we should be asking, where is our food going to come from in 20 years? who is looking out for the farmers? who is looking to help people even begin to care? the situation is seriously fucking dire. the solution is in people actually planting their own food in any capacity, spending time touching things that are real, and loving and taking care of each other, because the way you treat each other is the only way you will know to treat the earth.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


**written mid-last-lonely-and-terrible summer**

It is 3:30 in the afternoon and I am sitting at the computer in my underwear, feeding myself grapes like a king with a ceiling fan going over my head like a slave waving me with wooden plate feathers. I have not eaten since this moring. In the warm milk of the afternoon I am lounging. In the clothes I slept in and in the chair I have been sitting in since 10 o'clock this morning. There is sweat built up on my skin. I do not shower enough. I don't care enough to shower. I don't have a job. I am a goddamn fucking writer. Jesus.

All day I have not worn a shirt. It is summer and I have not worn a shirt because I did not sleep in a shirt and I am still not wearing one. I am scratching my head like a chimpanzee. Today I saw a documentary on PBS about chimpanzees. I am eating with my hands. I am disgusting. Jesus.

During the commercials, I get up and look at myself in the sliding mirror closet doors in my parents' bedroom. I look at my frizzy hair from the shower I had last night and I look like a Jewish bookie. That's funny, I say and then I laugh at myself. I look at my teeth and I say, I should take better care of my teeth. They are repulsive. There is shit caked around my incisors. Jesus.

I wait until 4 o'clock for Seinfeld to come on, that way I don't have to think. I just laugh. I can just laugh. I didn't waste today.

I have a list of things to do. I wrote this list this morning when I woke up, early, 7:30. I woke up early to write. I went to bed late and yesterday afternoon I said, Goddammit, I'm going to wake up early tomorrow and write. And I did. I woke up early this morning and I worked on a short story about the plasma donation center I used to go to on the corner of M and 17th. It was going nicely and I had been working for an hour when I came to a wall; I was stuck. I had a question about musical notation and the correct vocabulary for a specific thing I saw in my mind. I could draw this thing but I could not say it in words so that others could understand me.

So I said, I will go ask my sister. I left my little apartment house and walked the few feet to my parents house and I remember saying, God bless everything. And I asked my sister my question. I said, She plays piano and is 12 years old. She will know. When I found my sister she had just woken up. I asked the question and she could not remember the answer. I felt wild and quirky for being up so early in the morning, and what were my parents thinking of me now, their son, up early, committed to writing, to being a writer, only 22, so young and beautiful, so dedicated to something, how precious.

I said I will go to the computer. I will go on the internet. I sat down at the computer and I began to research the internet about musical notations. I had my list of things to do for that next to me and I did not bring my . I had questions about certain things that I needed before I could write. I will not waste time, I said. It will all become a part of some good and distant thing, I said.

I sat at the computer listening to Cumbias Amazonicas. I enjoyed myself.

I said, I need to get my own laptop instead of using my dad's PC. I need to send things from own computer and I don't have a flash drive. So I went to my house and got my laptop plugged it in and I haven't left this chair since. I have not even left to eat. I am considering pissing on myself. I am considering trying to see if I can maybe pee into my own mouth. Then I would feel good. I would feel 'accomplished'.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


photo: tatiana ryckman

Monday, March 2, 2009

doors to doors

after 8 months of working and saving money, i have recently made the seven-hour move from siloam springs, arkansas to lincoln, nebraska. this is part of the drive.

it is very flat here and a lot of people look sad and like they all have jobs working with heavy machinery or something.

i am squatting at a friend's apartment downtown for a month or so while i make money. after that i don't know.

i can say however that i miss arkansas terribly. i miss my walks through the park and the forest behind my parent's house. i miss my dear and beautiful roommates (i keep saying to people here 'eat my asshole, fuckface' and i only get afraid-looking faces like they don't get it). i miss the shadow puppet shows i used to do for tracie and i miss getting up early to read emerson in the cafe with josh. i miss being able to walk to work and i miss not feeling weird about not flushing after i pee (conservation). i miss the back porch that hung over the street. you could see the park from it and a little waterfall in the creek. it was all a very wonderful time but i was very ready to leave.

in other news, this is my new roommate: lillian.

this is her and her mother, ember.

tonight i read her books on clothes, homes, and animals. she played my tambourine loudly and sang.

i have just finished putting her to bed. she cried for a few minutes but now she is quiet and making small cooing noises like she is talking to herself. this has been going on for the past 15 minutes. i don't understand it.

there is something magical happening in my life right now. it is very big and i sometimes feel overwhelmed by it.