No, Thanks!

The position being taken is not to be mistaken
For attempted education or righteous accusation
Only a description just an observation of the pitiful
Condition of our degeneration

Sonoma Coast State Park. April, 2014.

San Francisco. April, 2014.

Load yourself onto a catapult. Have six friends rotate the dusty, creaking 2-ton wooden weapon West. Scream and yell something abnormal and outrageous. This will signify your readiness. The massive rope begins to wind tight around the greased cylinder underneath you.

A rush of blood startles your nerves from the increased weight on the back of your skin. You’re lowered closer to the earth with seven uneven tugs. Let out a second roar.  One of your friends kicks an oil rag off a stereo. He hits play on his iPod, which is connected to a tape adapter that sits inside the stereo.

The song you were secretly thinking about starts blasting, the only song that could match your current adrenaline levels. One of the girls in the group, with her dark sunglasses that sparkle red freckles in the sun, climbs up to you.

She reaches down to your stomach, her fingers swirl past your belly button, down in between your legs. She leans in further, brushing her lips against your chest. Her golden orange hair falls across the side of you neck.  

Now she pulls back. A hard, brief kiss and then she’s gone. When they let that lever go, all else will gone as well. This is all that’s clear to you. 

One last shallow breath. Then another. Then it’s over. No one’s letting go. You won’t be some lifeless marionette dancing alone in the blue sky after all. Pause is hit on the iPod. Climb down off the catapult.  

NEWS FROM HOME::::

A week after Dylan learned to walk we took him to the zoo. He became so enamored with the Rosy Boa exhibit, he began imitating the snake at home and flatly refused to walk again, no pun intended!

NEWS FROM JULIA:::

Seattle had a week of warm sun before the sky strapped on its wooly anonymous gray sweater. The car that brought me out here three years ago wouldn’t start yesterday morning, so I’ve dusted off the goulashes and took out the beach cruiser, which looks pretty silly among the low rumble of fixed gears.  I care not. 

NEWS FROM THE BOSS:::::

This company, man. I’ve got a date tonight. Oh shit, did we buy a cake for whatsername- that’s today, right? I was up all night thinking about our new initiative. I’ve got to take my mother to the airport tomorrow.

NEWS FROM FRANK::::

I wrote this song for Julia before she moved out west. I never told her about it. The words go something like..

"Pulling the grass from your fathers yard, 

Under the hammock we swung, that one time too hard.

Two feet to the ground,

the dirt stuck to our nails.”

Have you heard from her? I haven’t.

NEWS FROM THE WIRE::::

STATIC STATIC Russell 2000, S&P 500, Cotton, Crude Oil, Copper, Live Cattle, Lean Hogs, Soybeans, Silver, Wheat, Gold, Aussie Dollar, Corn, Sugar, Natural Gas, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Bonds, 10-year Note. 40 Degrees Here, Pile up on 95. 

NEWS FROM MR. GILLIAN, NEXT DOOR::::

Ah, you see? The cold dissipates as the molecules in the atmosphere close in on each other warming the air. I was telling my son this morning that the world is emerging from the dilapidating winter depression. I told him his smile will be his armor. Boy, you can have your stoop beers and you can watch the dogs at the park and eye the glowing skin of the girls on the subway but don’t forget the to visit the forests and seas that frame this city. 

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Samz always told his squat-mates, with his right hand over his heart, that “12pm-1pm is the hour to best consecutively switch from black coffee to red wine in the same mug.”

Dillon nodded, tossing out the cold sips he had left over his shoulder while Frankie said a “Here Here”, and they both raised their cups and let the wine flow.

"Specifically, 12:17, I’d say." Samz’s prescription was out of date and couldn’t quite tell that the wine was overflowing the mug rims, cascading over his dear friends fingers and onto to floor. 

My posters are bleeding.

The yellow blood drips from the frames down the eggshell walls. 

A stagnant pool along the molding. 

Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan 1/24/14 @ Grand Victory, Brooklyn.

The sill from which we perched,

from early afternoon until the end

was blanketed with rainbow-edged, wrinkle-sized bits of glass.

As the helicopters landed in the cul-de-sac,

you couldn’t explain to me the boredom you felt

while the rounds fell from behind the blinding lights.

I was coughing up blood just to tell you 

the past three and a half months

weren’t about anything.

On the carpet next to his bed, Brandon just finished his eighth sit up. His blue jeans had salt stains eating away at his cuffs. His bare back was collecting dust and cat hair, digging into his skin teasing his allergies. The fear of the eventual itching spree kept him from stopping his semi-regular work out.

He started to slow down after twenty-seven sit ups, then; at thirty he had had enough. His sat up and his view eclipsed his bed sheets. Visible now, under the half-rolled up blinds was a snowy backyard lit from a sickened orange glow of a bent streetlight.

Now on his feet, he struggled to use both arms to reach every pore of his back whose itch’s true cure could only be learned from several months observing a black bear and a redwood tree, or maybe never.

Maybe never is a popular conclusion. 

Maybe never is something Brandon meditates on a great deal. 

She would do all the talking, Matt remembered. He conjured enough focus to recall that Holiday Inn ground floor suite in the middle of February in rural Minnesota. The faint scent of chlorine seeping through the walls radiated around their stripe sweatered bodies. Such a dull yet wholesome memory. 

This was Cesar, Columbia. A leaky house on a bare hill that faced away from the Zapatosa marshes. He was supposed to be in a barbiturate-induced coma. Maybe he was. Matt was well aware of the red and blue tubes that dangled above him feeding a chartreuse substance into his veins. There was a dank breeze swirling around the room through an open window. 

Weighed down by 100 tons of exhaustion, he couldn’t ask his best friend and lover of 11 years why she’d discarded a british accent for something that wasn’t Spanish, something much more ancient. Matt couldn’t ask why she now floated above these borrowed hospital sheets, stabbing and twisting an unsterilized scalpel into his numb temple.

"Stop calling me that, Matt." was something he thought he heard. He didn’t remember saying anything, much less being able to move his jaw, his tongue, or any significant jolt of life being sent down into his vocal chords from his brain.

Talia was convinced that if you listened to enough Chino Moreno with a cup of whiskey before going out to meet friends, the entire trajectory of your night would change.

“Change how?” Her little brother Kevin asked as he fingered the books on his sister’s shelf. “For the better?”

Talia thought about it. “Imagine a paper forest, the coffee stained sheets of trees scattered through out a dark field. There’s mud of brown yarn, hoots from cotton owls and a mist that tastes like Sprite.”

“Mountain Dew”

“No. Gross. If not Sprite then some other lemon-lime carbonated drink. Anyway, you’re not physically in this place- it’s sort of hazy- it’s a place your subconsciousness is inhabiting.”

"Sounds.. sinister." Kevin looked at his feet.

"How many coins have you tossed off your roof into that stream of trash that flows through the alley?" Steph withdrew the sour apple BlowPop from her mouth.

"Don’t you wish you could clearly recall every face you briefly met eyes with over the past year?" Fey grabbed the lollipop from Steph and made it disappear behind her own pink lips. 

Spent an hour dipping a rolled up dollar bill into hot rose scented wax. Sat with this look as though I was so disgusted with everything. 
Slowly drank Mexican beers behind a crowd in a hidden venue in South Williamsburg. Ran into friends of friends. Watched their band. Wasn’t sure about what I’d do next, but someone at the show suggested I Party Forever, so-
Now, at 1AM in 7 degree East Village my legs are so stiff. Hot chocolate from Ray’s and suddenly 15 minutes into a conversation about upstate parks with some stranger. I have that look on my face again. 
In the morning I swear there’s frost in my hair. Girl across the hall knocked on my door to say her heat wasn’t on and asked if I smelled gas. No, I said with crust in my eyes. 

Spent an hour dipping a rolled up dollar bill into hot rose scented wax. Sat with this look as though I was so disgusted with everything. 

Slowly drank Mexican beers behind a crowd in a hidden venue in South Williamsburg. Ran into friends of friends. Watched their band. Wasn’t sure about what I’d do next, but someone at the show suggested I Party Forever, so-

Now, at 1AM in 7 degree East Village my legs are so stiff. Hot chocolate from Ray’s and suddenly 15 minutes into a conversation about upstate parks with some stranger. I have that look on my face again. 

In the morning I swear there’s frost in my hair. Girl across the hall knocked on my door to say her heat wasn’t on and asked if I smelled gas. No, I said with crust in my eyes.