Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy a way

It's been seven days since my last post. I've been busy with my writing, getting some entries into a competition, and working on what to do next. I find the writing isn't the hardest thing (although sometimes it's tough). No the hardest thing to me is trying to decide what venue to I approach? Contests are fine, but eventually the entry fees will kill me, magazines sound good, but the more I research the more I think that gone are the days of just sending in your work to any magazine out there and getting it printed. I've read article after article about querry letters, cover letters, how to find a publisher etc...and frankly I'm lost.
When I first approached this idea of being a writer my youthful mind kicked in and I wanted to just jump in feet first, screw the job, the screw the bills, and just go for it. That was three years ago. Apparently my no longer youthful brain prevailed and instead I spent those years working in a my soul and heart to THE MAN.
A month ago I chucked it all. Blew up, fought to the end for the people I believed in and got canned for it. My wife says; "then you should go for it. It's what you want to do anyway." (Gotta love my wife) So I decided to shoot for it...youthful spirit in hand.
A month in, I approach the pool of my life with tepidation. Dipping my toes in and shivering because the water seems to be too cold. Long gone are my days of just jumping in head first I think. My timidness is going to kick my ass I think and for that I'm affraid.
Anyway, today marks the 30th day of my termination. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to me I guess. Catch all you on the flip side.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Cold Lost Marbles" by William S. Burroughs

my ice skates on a wall
luster of stumps washes his lavender horizon
he's got a handsome face of a lousy kid
rooming houses dirty fingers
whistled in the shadow
"Wait for me at the detour."
river...snow...someone vague faded in a mirror
filigree of trade winds
cold white as lace circling the pepper trees
the film is finished
memory died when their photos weather worn points of
polluted water under the tees in the mist shadow of
boys by the daybreak in the peony fields cold lost
marbles in the room carnations three ampoules of
morphine little blue-eyed twilight grins between his
legs yellow fingers blue stars erect boys of sleep
have frozen dreams for I am a teenager pass it on
flesh and bones withheld too long yes oui oui
craps last map...lake...a canoe...rose tornado in
City night fences dead fingers you in your own body
around and maybe a boy skin spreads to something
else on Long Island the dogs are quiet.

I read this last night just before going to bed. Wasn't sure what I thought about it at the time, but this morning I woke up, read it again and it blew me away. Something about the rhythm, almost desperately seeking sanity rhythm, that I liked alot so I thought I'd share it with you guys. As noted above, it's written by William S Burroughs who was a writer during the beat generation. I copied this from; THE BEAT BOOK which was edited by; Anne Waldman with a foreward by Allen Ginsberg. Good stuff if you want to check it out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Corporate Amerika

I'm feeling very socialistic today people. I can't help it. For the longest time I thought it would be the coolest thing to work in some large corporation. An annoynmous soul in a cubicle...that was the dream. What the hell was I thinking? I just got done with a three and a half year stint in such a world. It's been almost a month since I left (or was asked to leave) and I still seeth in the brain. THREE AND A HALF YEARS of watching my supposed "non profit" health insurance organization line the executives coffers with the sweat and tears of those of us in the cubes. BASTARDS everyone of them. Now if you're a follower of Gordon Geckos' "Greed is Good" philosophy you should change the channel right now friend, because I'm affraid we won't be seeing eye to eye.
Now let me digress here for a minute. I love our country, I don't believe there's a finer one on the planet, but seriously! Do we have to be a nation full of people who's every waking thought is; "how do I get ahead of the person in front of me?" Do we really have to have such a noticeable difference between those that work and those that are responsible for making sure the work gets done?
I've had some experience with this and I'll tell you this, those people who have led me and at the same time weren't affraid to get in there and get their hands dirty too are the ones that I've always respected. NOT the fat cat, lazy, sit in their office, and dictate policy executives I just got done working for.
I've spent a lifetime working for The Man and I'll tell you something I'm done. I told Lisa the other day; "I'll never work for someone ever again!" I'd rather be homeless and not a penny to my name than to go back to giving my soul to someone who's just going to use it to GET AHEAD!
All right, now see that was some good stuff. I ranted a little, got some stuff off my chest and now I feel a little less clogged up. Nothing like taking the plunger of rage and sticking it to the toilet bowl full of Corporate Amerikan CRAP!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where have all the action heroes gone?

I grew up in the age of Stallone and Shwartzanager. First Blood, Rambo II, Commando, The Running Man. These were movies that shaped my childhood in some fashion. Shit, even Red Dawn with Swayze, Howell, and Sheen moved my world and the world around me. It was the 80s and we had heroes. Heroes that stood up for the tortured souls of most of us and kicked ass!
Today? Today we still have great movies, but where are our action heroes? Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson seemed promising (ala-The Rundown) but then a string of Disney movies killed the image. No way could he possibly come in and save the day with "Be Cool" and "The Tooth Fairy" under his belt now. Before Johnson there was Vin Diesel. Who didn't love Riddick in Pitch Black? Who didn't want to go Fast and Furious? Alas, the "Diesel" went the way of the "Rock", Disnefied with movies such as The Pacifier. I've heard rumors Vin is got some good action movies coming up, but can we really buy into it now? I think not.
So what's the big deal? Why do we need action heroes anyway? Well my friends, that is the 1,000,000 dollar question isn't it. Think about this, every generation before ours had their heroes. My Grandparents had real life guys like; Eisenhower, Patton, and Macarthur. They even had their make believe ones- The Green Arrow, Superman and Batman (in comics).
My parents generation had characters such as The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, Joe Friday,and Mike Hammer. In real life they had serious people with serious messages; Martin Luther King, Malcom X, John F Kennedy...Great passion, great messages, great intentions.
All their generations had one thing in common- they had heroes! Who do we have? Fictional character or otherwise? Anyone? In our time, we root for the kind hearted, honorable theives (Ocean 11,12, and 13), psycopaths with a pentient for fighting (Tyler Durden- Fight Club), or a loan shark looking to break into Hollywood (Get Shorty). We have a charasmatic President. Obama certainly talked the talk of our parents generation, but over the last year and half since he took office I haven't really seen him walking the walk...have you?
We need our heroes, where will the come from? In what form will the show their faces? Can we afford to wait?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

day in day out

Have you ever felt like your life was on a treadmill? I'm sure most of us have at some point. Most days I get the feeling that my parents sold me on crap dream. Betting against life sort of like Goldman Sachs. Hedging their bets, figuring if the kid makes it GREAT, but let's not get his hopes up.
I mean what kind of life is it where you get up, go to work doing the daily corporate grind for 9 to 10 hours, come home, and get to spend only 3 maybe 4 hours doing what you REALLY want to do? this is the American dream? I don't think so.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about hard work, hard work doesn't bother me. I remember days (back in my youth) where I'd come home from working in the factory, dog tired, physically spent, and damn proud of the work I'd accomplished. Those were rewarding and good days, the grind didn't seem to be so overbearing. Of course, that was in my youth.
Now, I'm 39 years old going on 60 it seems. Corporate life is so much different. Too much politics, too many snakes in the grass. We've all heard the line from Wall Street, we all know Gordon Gecko's mantra; "Greed is good, greed is right." But I don't think we should be going around the office, screwing people over just because we can.
I remember not too long ago I seen the absolute perfect example of office politics. My "manager" (we'll call her G) was talking with me and a supervisor about the upcoming promotions. G had assured me a spot and I felt I'd earned it. The other supervisor and her were talking in front of my cube about this person and that person, people that were interviewing for the same position. People they'd worked with for years. They had just finished laughing (yes laughing) about this one person who had applied and how ridiculous it was that they had even thought to be considered when lo and behold up walks that person (just finished with their interview). Man the the change that took place! suddenly it went from how horrible this person was to "HIGH, how you doing? So glad to see you!" Literally people these vipers hugged the poor woman they'd just got done trashing...HUGS!!!!
That scared the crap out of me! I thought; "what the hell are they saying about me behind my back?" You can't see something like that and not suddenly feel pretty damn paranoid.
I got the job, but I spent the next 9 months looking over my back. It was worse than being in a prison yard. You never know where that shank is coming from so you do your best to make sure there's plenty of open space between you and everyone else, so you can see them coming.
In the end, I couldn't take the politics. I blew up, freaked out, went all "Jerry Mcguire" on the corporate bastards. I couldn't get past the idea that Managers and Supervisors are supposed to be there to PROTECT the workers, not figure out new and inventive ways to screw them over.
Now here I sit, chasing a dream at the ripe age of 39. Everyone I've ever known has said that in the end I should be a storyteller and I figure they're right. I should be, hell I'm alot better at that than I am at anything else.
So, what's my point? My point is this- I figure I might not make it as a writer, but I'm going to give it one hell of a try. I jumped off the treadmill, said; "bye bye" to the day in day out BS. I think we're inherently supposed to be creative people, I just think somewhere, somehow, we got lost. I GOT LOST!! I pray I've found my path again.. I certainly do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

drinks with friends

Friday Lisa (my wife) and I went and had drinks with some friends. The odd thing about friends (for me anyway) is that there is always some sort of resposibilty attached to them.
I had a friend, Scott, for example that I thought for the longest time was going to be a life long friend. I envisioned him and I sitting in some Florida retirement community one day. Spending our days sitting on some balcony drinking coctails and bitching about how maintance never came by to fix the air conditioning and then at night we'd hit a nice restaurant and bar, eat some u-peel 'ems, some oysters on the half shell, drink some beers and enjoy watching the tourist drink their memories of their "real lives" away.
I don't know where Scott is now. We grew apart (as do most of my "life long" friends) at some point. I don't know what happened, but one day I woke up and was different- I'd changed and he hadn't. Now he's gone, I'm still here, and we'll probably never speak again.
I couldn't help but think about Scott (and all my other "life long" friends I've had) while sitting there enjoying hanging out with these new friends. I wondered how long it'd take for them to tire of me (or me of them), how longe before the phone calls wained, the cook out invites stopped coming, and then the next thing you know you're seeing each other at the local Kroger and not even recognizing each other (or at least avoiding the inevitable uncomfortable conversation by pretending not to recognize each other).
I hope that doesn't happen, but I've lived long enough and been through this enough to know that if it does there'll probably be new friends that come around and we'll swear over coctails one Friday night that we'll "life long" friends.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Call it a poem or prose- just don't call it crap :-)

Sitting on our Balcony

My wife and I live in a small one bedroom apartment.
It sits on the back side of a complex which is butted right up next to a ritzy neighborhood (We both find this rather fitting-always good to remind them of what the world is really like)
We have “neighbors” that we can see from our apartment (they're nice people, we never talk).
The apartment is on the 2nd floor, but strangely we’re eye level to their house (sometimes this is uncomfortable, like when we're having sex in the living room).
We go outside to smoke on our balcony.
Our cat likes to sit outside as well (although she doesn’t smoke)
So being on the 2nd floor works for that too (because she's a house cat, not an outside cat).
I was there just now, enjoying the spring weather; the cat next to me doing her cat thing.
We were both watching the birds that like to sit in the trees of our neighbor’s yard.
I think we were doing this for different reasons.
For me-
I was waiting on inspiration, something to write, something to say. I’ve got a message.
As for the cat-
well I’m pretty sure she was just thinking about eating one of those birds.
Makes you think that you’d rather be a cat. Doesn’t it?

7:10, coffee, the draft, and my cat

Well it's 7:10 and here I sit, drinking my coffee just coming back in from a smoke. There's nothing like the taste of coffee and a cigarette. All you non-smokers can say what you like, but when you took away the ability for me to enjoy a smoke during my coffee at breakfast you really pissed me off.
I get the whole health thing and I'm sorry for my second hand smoke...I really am, but crap man! Give us something- give us a tiny room with a huge vent stuck on top that's hermatically sealed at all points..there only has to be two tables in the room too (least we offend anyone for taking up too much space)...I DON'T CARE, I'll wait in line for an hour just so I can go, sit down, order a cup of joe, read my paper, and smoke my ****ing cigarette! (I did warn everyone on my first post that I have a propencity for ranting..right?)
You know the funny thing about that little diatribe is that neither my wife or I like to smoke in the house!! Can't stand the smell, so we smoke outside-even during the winter. We'll get all bundled up, throwing our coats on, hats, scarves, gloves..step outside and puff one down in 5 minutes and then go back into the house.
So big news of the day- THE NFL DRAFT..My Steelers take a center in the first round..God love the Steelers and The Rooneys! I was worried all day they'd trade Big Ben for some ridiculous value (Santonio Holmes calling...anyone there..oh it's you 5th round draft pick!) but thankfully logic prevailed. I'm not a fan of Ben off the field, let me just say that, but the dude can play football and he's won us TWO superbowls so I'm thinking- slap him around a bit, scare the crap out of him, and then make him tow the line. Which should work. Now that'll probably be the last time I mention sports in this little blog of mine except when the Steelers win, or when Marco Andretti wins the Indy 500..after that..I swear to all you that are faithful I won't write about such mundane topics.
Some how I think that's an excellent segway into my observations about my cat this fine morning:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back to the Underground?

I keep reading books by guys like Kerouac, Cassidy, Ginsberg,and Bukowski. I see these guys sitting in an era where if you were a creative mind then you were on outsider. Moles tunneling through the underground of imagery and thought. I see their worlds as mirror images of our world today. We've come full circle I think.
Today- if you don't have a "job" and all you do is sit in a one bedroom apartment, feeding your cat, watching the birds, and waiting on the words to come "from your soul like a rocket" (to quote Bukowski's So you want to be a writer?) then you're a nothing, not even a "has been"- you're a "never was". That's a tough world to be in.
Now here I am, posting my first blog (well actually it's my third- I deleted the other two), reviewing websites for places to submit my stories, reading lists of literary agents hoping to find that one person that will read my stuff and say; "damn this guys got IT".
I don't know what I'll post on this here site, if anyone knows me they'll tell you I have a propensity for ranting sometimes (hence the deletion of the other two posts). More than likely I'll be creative so feel free to follow my tunnel through the imagery of my own thoughts. Your comments are welcome (although since no one is really going to read this I don't imagine I'll have many of those)so come on anonymous internet, let's do a little dance and see where we go!
I've got to go feed the cat now, more later....