Category Archives: Confessions

The Cloud City of Nashville

Photo by Mont Photographs on

And there I was, raspy as a ghost lost in time, so drunk on the night that I tried to put a pair of glasses on over another pair I was already wearing.

Earlier I had been in the bookstore in the cloud city of Nashville. I saw the metal and glass buildings—squares, oblongs, towers, spires, spheres, all golden blue and silver and the clouds hung heavy in the heat because it was in the June of the year and all was warm and sticky in the world and there was this girl in a pink shirt and sea-blue capris and she was wandering around with her glasses and her cocked head reading titles on the shelves at an angle and she had a fantastic ass and I tried to bump into her but she was rebuff in her intellectually stimulating breasts.

I was too coy and couldn’t do it as she melted into the aisles of made up things by made up beings and all around was the roar of human traffic as they found joy in the pickings there, like air it was for me, to breathe, in that sea of paper and ink and pictures and descriptions and all those heads like I say, cocked at an angle to decipher the spines, and there that girl again making eyes and saying she wanted to be my wife for one thousand years and then some and I couldn’t help but splay forth my guts and heart and say YES! YES! I’ll do it because I love you madly like no other love there ever was and she took my hand, and she took my books, and she took me to the front, and she paid for everything I wanted and then boom we were off through the glass doors and out into the steam heat of the cloud city of Nashville.

And we went forth along the wide lanes and the wild rush of the engines and the people sailing like maniacs because everyone, dear everyone, was rushing mad like wild old time western folk trying to get somewhere that wasn’t even all that important in the end and boom we go, and boom we row, this maiden of love and cornflower eyes, the perfect lips, the perfect kiss, and we went back to the town on the outer edge of this cloud city of Nashville and it was still hot and the engines still roared and we went into a store , a small grocery store and I wandered around like a weirdo looking at meat like someone may look at art and I picked up a spiraled ham and I threw it across the store and it hit the floor somewhere and I just hear someone hollerin’ about loitering and all the world comes rushing in to accuse my abuse and say I am nothing but King Kong wrong and I slam that golden gong like a monk in search of just some god damn peace and quiet! Paradise…

I was just released from the cell of Sith meditation in the Red City called Hell Street, the place of magic cauldrons and bellows and mattress motion from the fornication fry house, spy house, back to it we go…

Earlier still we had been driving on the mad freeways, life and death all churning and burning in a soup of rapidity, insanity, the leopard engines roared like mad, and all signs pointed to my nerves, my hyped-up hypomania, a clockwork chicken fried steak plops onto a plate, and this is life, life like the movies, life like liquid, all the goings on behind steamy windows… The window cleaners dangled above the cloud city of Nashville, their canopy tilted, their boards wilted, and then it was just restless space and reflections, blue glass reflections of life in all directions.

A Mail Slot Groveet

Photo by Phil Ledwith on

Shards of grass, comatose glass, liquified emotions in a cage of all the rage baked and sliced and handed by. Replicants rest by water drip. Sleeping with window veils pulled wide, the city outside, aglow in its ambers and blues, the steaming hues, the pink bruises, the cottonmouth blooms, the glistening tombs.

Azio turns his head to see. The sleepers are holding him down. A witch arrives in a gong gown, right through the wall she comes, like a whisper in satin. She numbs the air with her voice: “The dreams you’ll need, the dreams you’ll feed…”

There’s leftover coconut cake in the refrigerator. Azio looks at it as it sits on a plate in the overbearing light. He grabs a carton of melk, pours a glass, thinks about shapely ass. He grinds on the coconut with his teeth. It feels good to him. A plate and glass clink. The refrigerator blinks, then says goodnight.

He lies back down, the symphonic band plays in his head. The bed sucks him in like quicksand, the sand man has a noose, “Sleep, forever sleep,” he too whispers with sinister intent. It’s during the night the beings really crawl out from inside his oversized mind to take a bite.

And he remembers riding the snake through High Dallas. The things man has made, he wonders. Or was it men at all? He likes to think not. The machine swayed as it moved on its elliptical course around the city. The people there swayed with it. He recalls the frightened eyes, the dead eyes, the dumb eyes. All the eyes full of lies. He remembers the moving mouths, the lazy legs, the twitching hands, the Easter eggs from outer space.

See, the egg is a symbol of life, Azio thinks in his cyberpunk bed suit. He turns to look at the invisible her. “Why don’t you ever want me?” he confesses. She’s 100 billion miles away, running through a green meadow together, hand-in-hand, with a perfect robot. The insomnia devils stab at him with red pitchforks now. They torture him with these scenarios of lust on a ship. A buttered orgy ensues.



You, again.

The erratic sidewinder in plaid.

Going apeshit over a loaf of bread.

Have you ever heard of tranquility?

Oh, I see, you reach for it there, you look for it in your…earbuds?

Why do you stop and yawn and pause and breathe and think and question?

The world says go, mind skids, the world says know all you can… The mind knows fear, trepidation, hesitation, latency, blueprints burning in an Oxford fireplace. Plans going up in smoke like Colorado reefer in an apple bong.

The gong in the mountain. The birds gather, flutter at the entrance to the cave. There’s something deep down inside. Get it out. Tell it. Feel it. Peel it from the botchwork in your soul leather this night. Flowers in October. Snowmen in May. Rice soup in August. The clock runs backward, faster, faster, faster… Until you are born again. The priest moves a red velvet curtain aside and walks out of a highly polished mahogany box. He holds the baby aloft in his hands. “He has returned,” he says in three slow breaths.

He passes him to a man dressed like a smokestack. A cloud of thought is spewing from the very tip top of his head. “This,” he begins. “Is an exercise in recreation… And I will swallow all lives whole.”

He drops the baby into the top of the smokestack and there is a minor explosion. Confetti the color of candy suddenly bursts out. The baby has slid down to the furnace. He will work there for another 71 years. “Nobody ever says they want to be a furnace worker,” the man dressed as a smokestack says. “So, we make the decision for you.” He laughs out loud and the priest lumbers over and gives him a high-five—flesh against brick.

“Let’s go back to my place and drink some wine,” the priest says.

The man dressed as a smokestack laughs. “But I’m not a kid!”

A synthetic laugh track laughs mechanically along with him.

The camera zooms in on the priest’s long, scowling face. “Oh, come on!” he says. “We’re not all perverts… And besides, you just swallowed a baby.”

“I did no such thing,” the man dressed as a smokestack says. “I simply set him on his life path.”

“That’s no life,” the priest complains. “That’s hell on Earth.”

“Hell is Earth, you fool. Earth is Hell. How could you have not figured that out by now? Your God play, your religious charade is simply a tool, a coping mechanism. You are a victim of your own game.”

“If this is Hell, then where do we go after we die?” the priest wanted to know. “Hell 2?”

The man dressed as a smokestack laughed his bellowing laugh and his bricks shook. “We come back for another round. I mean, you just demonstrated that very same thing. Are you blind?”

“I am only blinded by the misguided nonsense that is you. Your lack of anything that resembles wisdom is nauseating. It was rebirth. The child found goodness and you suddenly plucked it away from him.”

“You handed him over! That’s what you do. You raise them among sheep and then throw them to the wolves. You have all these pictures of sheep, but why not be honest about it and have some pictures of wolves, snarling wolves with blood dripping from their fangs. Show your dumb bunnies, your people, reality for once.”

“This conversation is going nowhere. I must be off,” the priest said, and he turned and swiftly disappeared to another part of the sanctuary.

The chimes of Saturn clinked like metal jewels tumbling in an out-of-control spaceship. Alternative lemons hung heavy from a tree wet with morning California dew. The man once dressed as a smokestack but now just as an ordinary man, sat on a bench in his garden. The roar of traffic on the wide interstate rose from beyond the grove. A dome of pollution muddied the blue sky giving it a dull yellow tint. He took a deepening breath and her taste still lingered. He turned to look at the house, dark wood, a mass of glass windows, numerous rooms and levels, secret passageways, greenery, a waterfall, an outdoor kitchen, stone walkways, a myriad of verandas, his very own creation.

He knew she was still sprawled in the messy sheets, sleeping, dreaming, aching. He had snuck out early for the ceremony. He wondered if he should tell her about what he had done this time, the one about sending the newly reborn baby to work for the rest of his life in the depths of hell’s furnace. He decided not to, he didn’t want to upset her. She was so easily upset. He picked some lemons and went into the cool house and made a fresh pitcher of lemonade.

The zippity zodiac cigar syndrome ship floated among the stardust near Saturn and its wedding rings. The crew were blasting Bowie and eating Hostess cupcakes. Everyone felt weird because there was some sort of magnetic pull on them, some invisible entity had the ship sandwiched between fingers and palm, the hand of God, they wondered.

“Are we merely all sharing the same dream?” Captain Dogwood asked, but no one was listening. They had all moved closer to the monitor widescreen, space floating by them like a stream, the hand pulsing goblets of gold blood in the pious veins. The captain rose from his seat and watched with them. “Or have we reached our final destination? Is this the web of serenity we’ve been searching for?”

The lumbering priest with the long face who had so recently cast the fate of some newly reborn baby to a life of suffering in the furnace depths of a hell factory stepped through the doorway to the bridge of the SS Cuckoo Clock. “You called for me Captain Dogwood?”

The captain turned and looked at the tall, lean man in black. “Yes, father. We were hoping you could tell us if what’s happening to the ship has anything to do with God.”


“Take a look for yourself, padre. See that hand, out there. It’s got a hold of us and won’t let go. I’d like to know your thoughts.”

The priest stepped forward and studied what was on the monitor screen, it was indeed a hand, a hand still pulsing goblets of gold blood in its pious veins. “I can’t say if it is God, or not God, captain. I just don’t know what it is. But it does appear to have the ship in its grasp. Have you tried blasting your way out?”

Violence interrupts violets. A silver coin calls for Uhtred. Night calls. Sleep calls. Madness calls. Dreams call. Some have the fear of lying down for it may never come to sweet, peaceful fruition. The same ones fear the lying down of death. What will the black mask bring? What will be beyond the veil? What is on the other side of the passage? A bright place in which to finally sit and breathe… Or another rattle of decades in the mines of meaningless.


Brain Fumes

Photo by David Cassolato on

I built a chair today in my workshop

I made it out of milk skin and aggression

God was my co-pilot but then the plane crashed

I wrestled with tangled earbuds

I woke up at 2 a.m. and ate English muffins with butter and honey

It’s hot outside but I’m cold

I like to play but I’m old

I want to be like everyone else but then again, I really can’t stand most of humanity. Humanity? Insanity in a skin wrap. Like a spring roll from a Chinese food joint. I need some Jade Wok and their orange chicken with a side of fried rice and an orange soda.

This is just an exercise in scrambled egg brains. I’m just tossing thoughts out there. Senseless, whimsical, ancient thoughts like from the time I sat atop the Sphinx and ate a bagel and watched the dip of the Egyptian sun. Then I turned to look at the great pyramidal power station. It’s so much more than a pile of rocks, Indiana Jones.

I wish I would have done so much more. I wanted to get a worthless English degree. I wanted to be a geologist. I wanted to be an architect. There was even a time I thought I wanted to be a priest. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

I was once going to be an airman, a drag racer, a mountain climber, a boxer, a cartoonist, a photographer, a psychiatrist, a chef, a monk…

And now I’m this. A man who pecks at illuminated letters on a keyboard in concert with the thoughts in my maniac head.

Yes, I’m a sane maniac.

But at least I’m not maniacal about serving up the world’s best fried chicken.



I went to the place of high sands,
the place of paper wasps swarming around my heart
looking to sting, to puncture another hole
in my already bruised organ.
I walked among the hibernating cottonwoods
and the mulberry bush lapped by the setting sun
I saw a great owl rise quick from his post
and the noise and speed startled me, really startled me
like a pan noisily collapsing atop its pile in the cold
of my romance novel abode gone sour
every niche cold and silent
every breath weeps lonely
and I cry out for childhood again, dumbfounded
and swimming in the hopes most likely false
and it kills me inside
wants to make me kill it all around
tired of this everlasting ache
constantly welling up, then subsiding
welling up again, never subsiding
as I try to ignore the complications of human existence
as that bird outside my window
takes a kamikaze dive into the crooked steeple
the church bells toll
toll through my soul
golden gongs of everlasting love
echoing of destiny derailed
and the sands of time don’t spill quick enough
it’s already all flubbered and flucked
and I want to get off, get off, get off.

The days here now are cold and polished
the gray sky like some sheet of ice dangling from the
clouds like membranes all pulled apart
everyone flying south
and I just want to go north or east
to feel her breasts press against my chest
as she goes down on me in 4 a.m. lust,
the sands of time, the sands so smooth and arched
trickle down with gravity
filling in all the spaces
that I’ve stepped in before
erasing me, erasing me from the palette
all color blank and void
the purity of her pronounced speech
fading to a cold, silver shimmer
sand and shotguns
blasting me all away
to another day
where my memories do not thrive and poke
where my past no longer plays magistrate
eternally swallowing the key
if I knew not love I could triumph in life’s wars
not knowing love I would be without a soul
where do I go
without a soul
I do not know.

When life has ended at the midpoint
but you are still waking up,
still breathing,
what memento have you become?
what cherished scrapbook do you yellow within
what guts are you released from ever so violently
wicked violets leaving purple bruises on the hands,
on the cold glass of winter dusk,
on eyelids heavy with sleep,
on dreams inked by the utterances of self-depravity,
lost in all the spaces melting together that crush
crush me, crush me, crush me with charity
and the goodwill of electric casual sex.

I am the canvas stretched and splattered,
splattered with the annoyances of modern artists
of cave dwellers
bar dwellers
bedroom noise dwellers
and the sinking feeling you get
when you break a bone
and you are all alone
and starve helplessly
gnawing on carpet fibers in your very own home
but no one is really home
the doorbell is disconnected
the knock is dissected
the blessings never resurrected
like Christ tied to a goal post
and everyone kicking the shit out of Him
just because He is who He is.

Everyone gasps at his philosophy
he is such an atrocity
how can he be allowed to live
mumble the Pee and Em
as they read from the good book
and hate and kill just the same
behind turned heads and silver tears
candy is the only one left on Earth to me
and even sugar is drifting away
sometimes it seems
though not entirely elegantly true
throw me another bruise God
wipe my face across the broken glass once more
kick me breathless
beat me senseless
stuff me back into the womb
and cut me away
why won’t you save me for another day?

And everyone walks on eventually
can’t stand the sight of me
so what is my reason today
to breathe, to walk, to slide away?
To put on shoes
or arise from slumber
I’ll only be smacked around
with a piece of jagged lumber,
a beer spill down the shirt is cold
and I want to be washed away to a bar in Denver
hyped up and comatose
with a drink in my hand
and a smoke plastered between my fingers
talking to the broken bodies of bones
who pass by me like nuptial ghosts
and I never rode a hotel bicycle in a wedding dress
phoning cock-throbbing villains
fleeing the scene like sand
carving away another piece
of forgotten history, tucking it neatly in a pirate bottle of glass.

King of Dropolis


An anguished chill hurts the night king
the moans of traffic dissect the interstate
lonely bellows of travelers of midnight passage
and me, well me
I don’t really even know where I am, who I am, why I am
some windy, flattened palace
of stone and glass and flickering neon
and I a statue filled with blood and pain
rolling through my nightmares in dirty sheets
waking to another day of heat and wind
I crawled away, from one hole to the next
this one deeper and meaner
my crazed mind begging for bandages
as I shake and crash my car in the parking lot
of a miniature KFC
this fast-food world
these strips of seductive shopping
we work, work, work
to buy, buy, buy
the oppressed
chained to numbing desks
chained to numbing machines and boredom
the boredom of it all
bored out of my skull
and being human is slowly, no quickly
losing its meaning
in this Dropolis
and I shudder at the thought
of bringing breath to dawn
a heart attack, no stroke
on the precipice
of another day of hopeless struggle
and I wonder
what is a smile? what is laughter?

Zippers on Donuts, Cathedrals on Mars

Cathedrals on Mars.

Sure, I read Bukowski. He’s good. To me he’s good. I got to be in the right mood, though. Some people hate him. He’s a little rough. But he tells it as he sees it. Told it as he saw it.

I was really into Henry Miller in my 30s, maybe 40s. He’s tougher to read. A lot of French in those Tropic books. He had an extensive vocabulary and I had notebooks filled with words that I didn’t know the meaning of. But I learned. I wrote them down and looked them up. Now I forget. I have no idea where the notebooks are.

I was reading Tropic of Capricorn long ago in a motel in northern New Mexico, I think. It may have been Northern Ireland. It was a gray and blue evening, the dusky sky being the color of a human bruise. I don’t know why, or maybe I just don’t remember, but there was a lot of sadness in that night. I think I was supposed to be somewhere, but I wasn’t there. I probably had let someone down again. Despite myself always being let down by the same others.

I had wandered off again all lopsided and loony because I never could find a place I fit into. I was never comfortable in any space but my own, that I made my own, away from the mad world and its defining rules and painful pinchers and suffering structures and caustic cubes and devices and policies and directives and common senses and lanes and boxes and pews. The gods especially, had too many rules.

I was never good at following along with all that. The only thing I was ever good at was being alone and thinking about things, writing thoughts down and looking up at the stars and falling in deep love with a girl from that green Tennessee. But even in that I am rough around the edges. I was born tarnished, perhaps. I always have a tint of unwanted patina upon my living being. I’m like a wormed apple or a brown banana or a stuck turnstile in the subway tubes of the gaseous underworld.

The people of the world. I often cannot stand them. I don’t want to join them and cheer for the idiots. I don’t want to put frauds on pedestals. I don’t want to wave flags in favor of death. I don’t want to buy into the latest and greatest because it really isn’t all that great. Most of the time.

My rocket always comes around from a sweet, lonely trip to the dark side of the moon to see the light in her ocean eyes back down there on blue marble Earth. There’s always that desire to return to love.

I also like going to the cathedrals on Mars. It’s a fantastic getaway. The best is San Sarro on the Boulevard Elliptical Wave. It’s the one right across the sandy, windy, partially upturned square from that famous Martian donut place — The Red Vibrato Hole — they have donuts with zippers on them, edible zippers, candied zippers that melt in your mouth, and you can open the donut up and look inside at all that delicious jam or cream, like having your wife for sex dessert. The Red Vibrato Hole is more of a sweet café than just a regular donut shop there on the Boulevard Elliptical Wave. The coffee is very good, maddening good, and I like to just sit there by a thick window and look out at sandstorms and ancient ruins and the people who wander there are just better. Their priorities on Mars are more aligned with my own thinking. Most of the time.

It’s hard to breathe sometimes, though. The wind, the dust, the cold in the summer, the heat in the winter. The last sip of my coffee is always bittersweet. I must get back to Earth to cook spaghetti and meatballs for the prophets and all their wives. It’s usually something like that that calls me away. I always tip my waiter well. He’s always so nice but has weird eyes that make him look evil. But he’s not evil. His name is Bruce. Sometimes the ones who don’t look evil are the ones you should watch out for. Why are they trying to be so perfect? Is it all just a pleasant disguise? The sheep are so easily won over by the fake pleasantries and promises and chilled buckets of hate.

I saw some angels swimming in space on my return trip. The captain alerted us to their presence and said we should look out the window for a “real treat.” The angels were glowing like Los Angeles and soaring like glittery whales in the ocean on Christmas. They sang a similar song. I turned off my overhead light and rested my head against the ship’s inner hull on a small pillow the color of cranberries. I had a dream of someone shaving and cleaning cobs of corn at the same time. I hope the people who eat that corn don’t confuse shaving cream for butter. I think it would taste like soap. There must have been something weird in that donut to make me think of such odd things. Fucking Bruce. Whatever or not. I have always been weird and misaligned with the real world down there. I hold my breath as we descend.