No Mas

Tonight, the Latino grill man sings Kumbaya
while he slops together another hamburger,
as though his singing will rouse God
from his day off and come rescue him…

His faith doesn’t care for history
of field hand strung to trees of the past.
Especially in this town, where the locals
look at him with contempt because
all the plant workers names
end in Gonzales or Hernandez.

And he can’t help it if he knows Spanish
because Mama wanted him to remember
where he came from. Mama who knew
America for its HMO’s and not for homeboys
who’d sit on their porches and watch her pull
clothes from the line while mocking
senorita bonita through beer and Jack Daniels.

Poor Mama, the Virgin Mother can’t save
her son from losing himself to ‘Merica
or losing his life to a farm boy
too ignorant to stop pistoning his fists
when the lil’ Mexican cried out.
I see him slide the burger into a tin foil bag
and call my number, hear him sigh audibly,
as he starts singing, once again
it looks like God’s going to be late.

*** First Published in the [i]Taj Mahal Review[/i]

In Search Of Dog (an Eclectic Journal: Long)

May 9, 2002–Springfield, MO

On the 157, 643, 241, 708th day Dog created me–and he thought it might have been a waste of his time.

11:49 pm

Dropped CM off at his place about 20 mins ago. Beginning to wonder how many people think I’m homosexual. I tend to have more guy friends I hang out with, and more female friends I consult with, but I am really good in bed…(I am an egotist!)…or does that mean something else.

Sign says: watch for backing cars

I went to punch it on Grand at the Jefferson intersection, and the auto-clutch stalled. Upset. Still loaded on caffeine from the Mud House, no sleep tonight, acute insomnia.

Love–need someone here to have fun with, CM is awesome, but not what I’m looking for. Really miss holding JRH and watching her sleep. Someday. Patience.

May 10, 2002–Springfield, MO

Once I denied the existence of Dog, and Dog denied the existence of me. Then for a change we denied the existence of everyone else.

sign says: complete disregard for human life

At Work

(The building) Still smells like BBQ. Everyone was worked up, because they thought it was a gas leak. People taking stuff home this weekend–I can’t understand how someone can have so much crap: live more SIMPLY!

have riffs of silverchair’s “shade” in my head

May 11, 2002–Springfield, MO

9:45 pm

Just finished reading a letter SM sent me in October, almost in tears now. Lonely. Tired of dreaming when my dreams leave me so distant from everyone. Maybe I’m just tired.
Want J here.
Want to be 18 again and not walk away from SM.
Want to be 24 with a mil-5 and a studio in Soho.
Probably won’t happen.
Just another fucking dream.

Dog would tell me that dreams are worth dreaming for the sake of the dream. And I would give Dog a biscuit.

Score: Dog 1 ____ Me 0

9:53 pm (note to self)

–Don’t forget the “Art of Forgetting.”
Mantra: There is no yesterday
There will be no tomorrow
There is only now
Bleeding into itself


The Greek cult of Dionysus gives two unique terms:
ekstasis: “standing outside oneself”
enthousiasmos: “being filled with god; the god within”

May 12, 2002–Springfield, MO

2:19 am

Talking to JRH–upset, but I won’t tell her. Thinking about pictures I saw of her and her ex. How happy they were, what I can’t give her. I wonder if anyone ever thinks of me like that. I have no pages and pages of happy pictures with people. Only scattered memories, dates, a week, a month. She talks of seeing someone everyday and doesn’t realize I’ve never had the chance. And if I did I threw it away.

8:48 pm

Taking a break from working on my movie script. (Captain Black) My head hurts from staring at the computer monitor.

“I suggest we love ourselves, before it is made illegal.”–Incubus (playing in the background)

I find I have the problem when working on a project that I get ideas for 2 others. My mind is too creative.

I wonder what Dog would say about creativity, as he chased cars in the street, or chewed on a flea bitten spot for an hour.

Talking to JB about the correct font to use in a personal letter. So far we’ve chosen either Bookman Antiqua, Comic Sans, or Enviro. She chooses Enviro. Everyone is happy.

JB–Would you give Dog a Scoobie Snack?
Me–Damn right. Dog would be high as a motherfucker.

10:53 pm Steak & Shake (Campbell)

Springfield is wet, as it is raining yet again today.

I forgot how far this S & S is from campus. I could have gone to the one on St.L., but I felt like driving. (my waiter is really pushy) Ran into fellow insomniac C talked about opium, religion, government…

“Someday I’m going to go walk around with a big stick bopping people in the head and tell them not to worry because it is in the past.” –C

11:22 pm

Leaving S & S, the rain has abated.

11:35 pm School Parking Lot

raining again, parked finally after not finding a spot

VanHalen (w/Roth) “Jamie’s Crying” stuck in my head now. being drown out by the thump of rain on the roof of the car. should go inside and try to get some sleep. Note to self: Don’t lock keys in the car.

May 13, 2002–Springfield, MO

10:34 am

Ego-tripping over my last Critical Lit essay.

11:03 am

Ego-trip over, crash land. I hate being up and down. Wondering if JRH and I can make this friends thing work, or if I’m going to have to walk away in order for us to have time to heal. All we do now is fight and make up; it’s not healthy. I feel selfish because all I really want is to have someone appreciate me, and some of the little things I do. No one seems to understand.

sign says: Everyone can leave me the fuck alone.
(heart says: Save me please…)

In my life I’ve been called:
� complicated
� untouchable
� confusing

4:12 pm

Crying again, hate this life. Well, not life per se, but this way of life. Remembering how happy I was with JRH, trying to think if anyone ever made me so happy. (Doubtful!) Why this hurts so much now, I feel empty.

Dog would say, emptiness is a sign of unaccountability. Failing to realize what people are around you. And I would chase dog with a newspaper.

Score: Dog 3/2 ___ Me 1/2

I don’t like walking away from anyone. Especially JRH who has been my sister for 3 years, and who I’ve always wanted to be with. It’s like I had the chance to taste the pure essence of good/happiness/ecstasy, it was a drug. An elixir. And I am a junkie in need of rehab.

Score: Dog 2 ___ Me –1

Why can’t I be Hippolytus?
(I have asked that before…)

Maybe, I can find an elixir that will work again. Maybe I won’t have to walk away. Maybe the word maybe should be stricken from my vocabulary with worry, want, and need.

Dog would say maybe…And I would reply, the trick is to allow people to be absorbed in you and not allow yourself to become lost in people.

Score: Dog 2 ___ Me 0

May 14, 2002–Springfield, MO

10:47 am

Trying to piece together everything that happened last night. Not a good sign considering I was sober. Hung out at the Mud House with CM, CJ, and JH. Then ate at Chili’s, then back here to watch Futurama with NP, probably the last Futurama bonanza. So much to do before I leave. Whatever did transpire last night, all I know is I woke up happy today. Happy as I’ve been in a long time.

At Work

Something keeps sliding into the back of my mind, and it isn’t German homework. Of course it’s JRH, what else would I write about. She told me that she never wants to feel like shit again. And personally I agree with that. She needs someone that will make her happy like her ex. did, someone she can snuggle against at night. I still dream of one day being that someone, but I wonder if that is just a dream I will have to wake up from. In my lifetime how many other people have I made feel like shit? Even accidentally. I do not dwell on such things anymore. Ah me, eventually I will learn the power of not speaking my feelings.

May 15, 2002 – Springfield, MO

8:29 am

Thought about asking Dog, if he were here, for help on my German final, but I know Dog would just laugh and tell me I should have studied more.

May 17, 2002–Allen, KS

3:21 am

my dad made an omelet tonight, I can tell because the pan is still out.

Finally had a chance to sit down. The drive home is insane at 2 in the morning, especially when I got shit-faced on tequila the night before. An awesome night worthy of its own entry.

Read NP’s note she handed me–short and sweet. (Hmm…too ironic to be coincidence.) I will never understand how I can affect someone’s life just by being me; after all, my ego is HUGE!

Tonight, I told JRH that I had inner peace and effective ways to remove stress. Then I wonder if my search for what SS calls “the perfect Dog” is in vain.

The Tao Says:
Once one becomes enlightened
They will see that they have been
Enlightened all along

Is that the reason Dog howls at the moon to keep himself company? Or is the meaning of life to search for its meaning?


spent the day with SM and then went to Mrs. A’s house.

Never really liked my personality type until today, when I was lying next to SM while she napped. How strange it is when my friends relax around me, because they trust me. And how one of my backrubs can incapacitate anyone.

SM is the most beautiful person I know, and will succeed in whatever she does. Lying there feeling the regulated pattern of her breaths, I knew that what we shared had been something special and I would never be who I am without her in my life. As she, and everyone else, says: everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in fate, but
certainly the experience I had with her is something I will cherish.

Mrs. A’s was the same old, same old. Reminiscing on high school, what my fellow alum are up to… Discussions on future plans, my love life (or lack thereof–being so success driven), the usual interrogation…of course over Tacos and Cactus Juice.

May 19, 2002–Allen, KS

2:54 am

Just got back from hanging out with SS and JT–playing hearts, watching Carlin, et cetera.

Song lyrics for later use:
It’ll be the bad days
That make us appreciate
The days like this

There is much crazy life to live. I feel I would need three lifetimes to live it all.

Today, my father and I got along–a personal best for us. Yesterday (two days ago actually), I spent a great day with a friend who I am not sure I will ever see again. I should be sad, it should be bittersweet, but I feel exuberated. No words…no words…no words…

Somewhere in the cosmic fishbowl Dog swims with an alligator companion, waiting for me to dip a toe in and test the water.

No words…no words…speechless…

Before Bed

Calvin and Hobbes and Rainbow Sherbet…mmm…transcendence

11:19 pm–NW of Reading, KS

Spent the day at SS’s playing videogames–no over-exhausting mental stimulation. Worked on some songs.

(SS note to self) “Never make an allusion to love involving Pine-Sol.”

Discussions on how extreme a situation has to become before a person give up all logic. My brain can’t take it, ARG!!!!!

Shermanisms: adreamer, asan, daymare

May 20, 2002–Allen, KS

2:12 am

Just back from SS’s–eating cold pizza and cheese for a snack. Eerie driving back from his house at night. The back roads become a tunnel where you can’t see anything besides the swatch your headlights cut. I love driving: alone, fast, it’s therapeutic. Some times I wish I could show people what it is like, but I don’t know if they would understand.

Sign says: stop here on red

Night driving is best, no one else on the road. Reminds me of my excursions home when I lived in Wichita, driving on I-35 to 254 to 235 at 1 or 2 in the morning. Where I’m the only car in 4 lanes for 30 miles. Almost as fun as Chinese Fire-drills on the intersection
of 13th and Ridge. Always something fun to remember.

Tonight’s Soundtrack – Sponge, “Rotting Pi�ata”
Opening theme: Giants (it’s like giants falling down)
Closing theme: Plowed (say a prayer for me)

May 23, 2002 –(Somewhere), Illinois

2:17 pm

More than half way to Westland! Making really good time considering it is Memorial Day Weekend. Stopped at Arby’s to grab something to eat, having not eaten since 8. I’ve been in “the Zone” for the last 6 hours. Stopping only to get gas. Still averaging over 70 mph.

May 27, 2002 – Westland, MI

11:14 pm

Memorial Day Blues are back again this year. I’m so fucked up in the head. Just a shooting star that needs to burn out or fade into oblivion. (6 am comes early)

Tonight, I said goodbye to JRH (let’s see how long it lasts). In the end, it will be for the best. Change is always delayed without need to change. I’ve learned much in the last few months. Metamorphosis is what I need now. I will not become depressed; I have the inner strength.

What worlds are left? What dreams remain? What people have yet to be met? Am I dreaming now–just too scared to wake up?

11:49 pm

Realization…dreams come true.

Maybe people fail to see that dreams come true because they expect them to last a lifetime. It’s okay to have big dreams, but what if they only happen for a day, a week, what is the fuss when it is over. It happened! Never quit dreaming…

Dog-somewhere I am sure you are as happy as me.

June 3, 2002 – Westland, MI

11:36 pm

I’m off my writing rhythm.

In the past week I saw Dog 3 times, twice at work and once in myself.

Dog said, “you will never enjoy life until you are completely humble. until you know nothing, do you truly know anything.”

What was the great undertaking of ridding myself of dogmatic rules–the constant struggle to remove myself of mythical teachings in order to become a mystic? When was the instant I forgot everything and had to recompile the world in order to grow? Has it happened?

Meditation Techniques (advanced)
-Picture yourself in a void

mantra: empty your mind

Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself in the third person, as thought you are not there. Because, you aren’t–the conscious/emotion is separate from life energy. The two are in turmoil and must be fused together. Feel without feeling; breathe without air.

Life events: Found a cool hang out at Plymouth, lots of unique, intelligent people. Surely, Dog will shovel along the sidewalk begging for scraps and lap at our toes.

Random line: and god was a firefly passing through my fingers (song lyric?)

“Have You Seen Me Lately” by Counting Crows running through my head–not bad to fall asleep to.

June 17, 2002 – Westland, MI

10:17 pm

After a much needed hiatus, the search recommences.

I’m convinced to what separates Dog from humanity is that Dog is always loyal and compassionate. Dog does not attack out of spite or for pleasure, but instead as Judo, Dog uses an attacker’s own aggression against the opponent. Patience, coil reaction, Dog is unknown until the point of attack.

I get so fed up with friends and their irrational, almost childish games. To the extent I’m nearly to the point where I know what is coming next.

Dog would tell me that only a fool does not learn from past mistakes, and that only by living the lie once can you attempt to show others their follies. And I have lived the lie, have lived the role I was assigned–no longer…

song: Rancid–Let Me Go (“correction, I need no direction”)

There are so many things to consider. If breaking a promise is as bad as the lie one protects? If friend are worthy of the title? If the world turned inside out could Dog still lick himself? So many…

June 24, 2002

6:43 am (at work – parking lot)

So disgruntled with JRH because of how much she complains. I know it isn’t her fault, but sometimes it looks like she says things just to get attention and then turns around and says she’s strong enough that she needs anyone or doesn’t have to do anything to change.

August 6, 2002–Livonia, MI

3:05 pm (at work, 2nd break)

Once in a dream, I was walking down the street with Dog and we happened upon a vendor who was selling Happy. “Why don’t you buy some?” asked Dog, “It is what you’ve always wanted.” I just stood there silent, not knowing what to say, so Dog walked up to the vendor and bought some. When returning, Dog replied, “You’re right, I’ve had better.”

Sign says: Laundry, Tanning Beds, Computer Cyber Caf� (seen while driving home)

SoBe cap says: “SoBe a hero.”

August 7, 2002–Livonia, MI

10:05 am (at work, 1st break)

Pushing to stay awake after not sleeping much last night. Keep thinking about something NM said to me on the phone: “it isn’t human nature to think that way about love.” This coming in response to conversation about how friends could love one another without any romantic connotations. It is true that the “L” word is dreaded in social settings, but as I told her: “I love all of my friends, and I’m not afraid to tell them.”

I assume Dog would say, “love anyone willing to reach a hand out with a loving stroke or a filling treat. But don’t immediately bite those who strike out in anger.”

I say love is not only something that should not be feared, but openly shared and expressed. Hippiesque maybe; after all, I do have the hair for it.

score Dog: several million Me: 2 �

crazy vision about 12:15…cosmic heart beat

I was working in the warehouse, doing a repetitive job that I found had a certain Zen feel to it. Letting my hands work without thinking about what I was doing, allowed me to let my mind wander on what is the true sense of self. I started to go over the thoughts on how to know one’s inner self, by forgetting only for a moment who I am, everyone that has affected me, every interaction that has taken place within the timeframe of my life. Slowly, the world around me stopped; people, objects, sound disappeared. I was left in a void, staring at a heart, the heart beat once sending rays of energy out in every direction. Suddenly, I was back in the warehouse continuing to do my job as normal.

August 11, 2002–Westland, MI
(one month until my birthday)

11:48 pm (-10 mins)

My comforter smells like NM’s apartment from last night’s movie fest, concluding with Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo ’66 at 4 am.

Holding NM I began to realize the difference in love. How to distinguish romantics from adoration, lust from passion, and how all have to be kept in harmony because they act on counterbalances. Truth is, I terribly adore NM, but can’t feel for her romantically. (A good thing, being as she is a “big sister”.) I have a lot of passion for her, but can’t act upon it in a physical (lustful) pursuit. (An even better thing for the same reason.)

A friend of mine would say that I’m flat fucking crazy. And I would have to reply that crazy is just another Zen art.

Dog, humping a chair leg, would explain that it is often hard to subvert animalistic tendencies. And I would reply that only through self-control can one achieve balance.

A thing everyone should try with a close friend/lover/etc. is mutual meditation. Sit, Indian Style or Lotus across from each other, stare into one another’s eyes, hold hands, and repeat a simple mantra. This is similarly described in texts like the Kama Sutra, as a way of developing a bond.

Similarly, after giving NM a massage today, I laid next to her hold one of her hands with my other resting on her back, telling her to repeat the word “relax” in her head. Within minutes we were both asleep.

U2’s “Kite” running through my head: “whose to say when the time has come around, don’t want to see you cry…I know that this is not goodbye”

Last Night’s Movies
° Reservoir Dogs
° The Royal Tenebaums
° Buffalo ‘66
° Being John Malkovich (not watched due to sleepiness)

Beauty Of Simple Things

(The Poem of Our Lives)

If we were to walk
down a deserted road
in autumn, I would not
point out the foliage,
nor mention the clouds
or how the breeze
meanders along.

Instead, I would find
a felled tree and count
the concentric rings
encompassing the stump;
remarking on how
a year’s growth had been
by the width of the band.

Then I would look up
and ask: why don’t we
recycle the paper we use
to draft the poems
of our lives?
or burn all of our money
and move to Tibet?

After this thinking
had exhausted us,
we would lay down
and not speak.
Imagine how the other
looks to the last detail
and realize the beauty
of simple things.

Cacophony Of Voices

My room is an abyss
windows blackened
with construction paper.

I lie alone, awaiting
enlightenment, incense
burning sickly sweet.

Apparitions of people
appear, examine me
with physician eyes,
determine the dimensions
of my dementia.

I do not see them.
Instead, they chatter
while they work
their of voices
blistering my brain.

The process is slow,
but eventually I will
tear the covering
from my windows,
flood the room with light,
and become invisible.

Four Views Of Allen Lake

This is no hallow place
it is pasture land and that is all.
Why do I find myself at it
in times of trial?
And have since November ‘97
10:00 pm–20 degrees
steam rising in phantom sheets
off the hood of my car.
Even when I am nowhere near
I still find myself drawn here,
always with the same question…


I walk the gravel trail
adjacent to the water’s edge
noticing the broken beer bottles
and charred remains
of a previous night’s exuberance.
A five-leafed marijuana plant
spotlighted in the moonlight
makes me laugh. It is no weed.
More likely the remnants
of someone’s cheap bag–
perhaps they are growing it–
another laugh. I consider
crushing the plant under the heel
of my shoe. It cannot help me,
it is out of the question…


At this distance it is difficult
to hear the semi-trucks
on Highway 56, the drivers
No Dozing their way across America
I look back at the ’90 Chevy Beretta
parked next to the boat dock,
just able to make out its maroon doors.
I have been here before.
Am I dreaming now?
Is that the question…


The moon falls in the lake,
is Li Po drinking again?
Should I try and save him?
I pick up a flat stone and
sidearm it over the water’s surface,
letting my emotions ride eddies
into the horizons.
There are two moons; similarly,
there are two of me,
each a reflection of the other.
I look up as if to ask myself:
what face will you wear?
Already knowing that I am
asking myself again:
what face did you wear,
when you looked to the sky?


From the outside
looking in

this appears
to be a normal place,
but nothing is
normal about it.

Objects move,
and philosophers
feverously grind words
to their nubs.

How much a ticket?
how long a ride?
do not ask these questions.
Save your money
for the cinema;

you would not
like it here. Stand back
telescoping the madness
that takes place–

for there are those
who, once walking on water
never again touch dry land.

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