29 April 2011
25 April 2011
All you narcoleptic monkeys can hit your snooze buttons and go back to sleep - me and Preacher got promises to keep and paths to cross where no monkeys can be led. We sojourn the highs and lows across the river valleys where the fading light has fled. We ride the soft machine through the high Sierras on crashing waves of surf music and part the sea with our hocus focus. Never have two sinners so bruised the concept of morality as we itinerant dreadnaught bums - Preacher and me.
And Preacher says to me “Johnny, don’t you ever sleep?” I answer, “Preacher, don’t you ever wash?” We like that hard corn liquor from broken bottles and chew our cactus buttons from the cob. Those painted ladies know us by our Christian names; they call for us on the lonely nights when they need the warmth of their brother souls and the pure friendship of the lost. Those consolers of the lonely furnish us with snake oil and bathtub gin. We drink to the poor in spirit, to the meek, to the mournful, to the merciful and the pure of heart, to the blessed peacemakers who have inherited hell here on Earth. We toast every sorry sucker who was ever pinioned to his cross and every lowly leper who never felt no magic touch.
Me and preacher got no place to lay our heads, we take our rest on stony ground. The only beds we ever see come with iron walls – courtesy of the local sheriff who steals our fire water and stamps on Preacher’s rabbling tongue. He wears the wisdom of Solomon for a crown, but blows foolish flat notes from his hollow horn. We are fishers of men, we catch ‘em and let them free again to shoal in circles through their idiot oceans. No-one is redeemed without a ticket, don’t wait for no resurrection – the kingdom is within and you’ll find him there – he burned himself into the universal mind. That boy had fire coursing through his veins - he was never meek. He looked every man in the eye - that's why they killed him. If he ever felt fear, he never showed it, but if I told you he was just a man you’d split in my eye and knock me down - that’s ‘cause you don’t know what kind of stuff you’re made of.
The ancient Babylonians were confounded by a thousand tongues, but we’re fucked up by literal truths and shackled imaginations. Me and Preacher never listen to the foolishness of men; our minds and imaginations are our connections to the spirit and we must polish those connections to remain free. Our clothes are as dirty as our blaspheming mouths, but the chords that attach us to the universe are chromium shiny and reflect whatever gifts the radiance of being sends our way.
Jesus wants you for the sunbeams Preacher and me weave into Indian blankets to drape over the shoulders of the homeless and empty headed beggar billionaires bereft of thoughts or dreams. They panhandle for alms from the bonnets of black Cadillacs parked bumper to bumper on skid row. Their body servants sketch pictures for the blind and play music for the deaf while collecting dimes in golden plates. Those tax free donations build empires of dust in the districts of Columbia and buy party favors from uncrowned kings.
Me and Preacher cruise the wrong side of the tracks where he likes to listen to dead men talking from under the burden of philosopher’s stones. Those heavy words wear grooves in his psyche in patterns existential and provide the ballast he needs to stop from floating away on the breeze. I press the petals of she loves me not’s into sweet communion wine to anoint my parched throat and smoke jimson weed to muddy my still waters and lay me out in pastures green to dream big dreams about big girls.
Preacher takes his crayons to the bumper book of the Apocalypse and colors an Armageddon rainbow. “When my saviour returns” he proclaims, “the drinks will be on the house and so will the women.” Them monkeys can kill each other in the name of redemption, but Preacher and me are gonna party like it’s the end of the line. Until that day we have many rivers to cross and mountains to climb on our pilgrimage to Zion. Our forty years in the wilderness have just begun, Preacher and me voyage east of Eden where monkeys are thin on the ground; every sinner is a saint and every highway man and grave robber is your brother. When we reach our final destination we’ll keep on going, for Preacher and me this journey never ends ‘cause we have been cast out and there is no road back when you’re wearing one way shoes.
24 April 2011
19 April 2011
They say the Kiowa people snare Moondogs in golden filaments
They wear their luminous pelts to dance in their lunar mystery rites
When the big shiny glows like a silver dollar across the wilderness
And them Moondogs hunt the dark in packs and tug Coyote tails
Their howls fill the night air eerie as spirit songs on the breezing
They paint the Joshua trees large and the Desert Lupines aquatic frost
Them Moondogs cavort like ghosts and caterwaul in the inky
Their rhythms light those blues when the sky falls on the land
And we are sunk under her mystic woven blanket of dreams
Them Moondogs chase their tails around the angles in between
15 April 2011
11 April 2011
Craters filled with dinosaur teeth
Vast archives of dusty elephant tusks
Mountains of torn old manuscripts
Broken road signs and tattered flags
Crazy paving stones leading nowhere
Fractured rainbows and sullen assent
False prophets and broken idols
Idiotic geometries of insane dimension
Incestuous romantics beating off franticly
To jungle rhythms played on thigh bones
Mutant junky baboons tapping veins
Wiping their asses with William Burroughs
Living relics of the beaten generation
This is the land of who gives a fuck
Where tomorrow never comes around
Where the streets have no shame
Whores give blowjobs for food stamps
And souls are rented by the hour
Jesus never lived in this neighbourhood
The light here comes from a darker sun
The residents await repatriation to hell
Nothing comes easy or cheap here
It’s the sleazy dark side of civilization
Spreading like a cancer across the city
Creeping like a nightmare into your room
A kingdom of have little’s and have naught’s
A filthy empire of broken promises
10 April 2011
It’s a beautiful world, make no mistake; it’s full of hatred, violence, spite, cruelty and ignorance – but it’s a beautiful world nonetheless. Every shining day that dawns is the first and last for some hundreds of thousands of souls. The sun that rises on one quarter sets in another, it’s the cycle of light and dark, birth and death that marks the passage of our days until our days are marked no more.
We are spring lambs, innocent of cause or fate, who live shepherded by the rules of the flock to graze pastures green with heads bowed low, to never see the skies above, nor gaze out on the world and wonder at its glory. The sun that warms our backs provides sustenance for the grass that fills our stomachs and fattens us for the slaughter. We know not the number of ours days, but we know that they are numbered. Not one of us will run so fast as to avoid the shepherds crook and the butchers block.
It’s a beautiful world, make no mistake; miraculous in the pythagorean intricacy and symmetry of its fractions, the minutest components coalesce with alchemical precision into the myriad patterns of life that flourish beneath the sun. We take our place with the hunters of the Serengeti and the great white predators of the barrier reef – veracious in our lust for life and greedy for every morsel of experience, or with the sheep grazing and bleating in pastures green, awaiting the fate that visits lions and lambs alike.
..Graphics by Stanley Mouse
4 April 2011
It was one of those sunny days you dream will last forever. All time stood still and stretched into infinity beneath a limitless azure sky. Cotton puff clouds sailed gently through the air; Columbus’s fleecy white galleons drifting aimlessly in search of new worlds. Gulls spiraled effortlessly in silence on unseen thermal elevators into the blue yonder. The air buzzed with stifling hazy brilliance; bumblebees and bluebottles made hay beneath the warm radiance of our mother star. Somewhere, someone was listening to the Beach Boys and it seemed California was only a daydream away.
I sat on the doorstep drinking coffee and watching the children play in the yard. They were absorbed in sowing dreams; digging holes and carefully planting invisible beanstalk seeds. My wards for the day were my girlfriend’s kids; a ragamuffin boy with wingnut ears called Ross and his runny nosed, pouty lipped cherubim sister Kerrie. It was Kerrie who seemed to officiate over the cultivation, holding the watering can and instructing Ross in the digging of holes with a small trowel. Both were smeared in mud which had caked dry into their clothes and over their smudged faces.
Suddenly Ross stood erect and picked his way through the flower beds treading on a few sleeping bluebells and pansies on the way. He dropped his trowel and stooped to pick something up and made his way back now oblivious to the fate of the innocent flowers he crushed under his feet. He was now completely absorbed in the object he cradled in his hands, I could make out that he had found a dead bird. He approached me on the doorstep and held out a dead Starling; his black plumage reflected with green and purplish metallic sheen in the bright sunlight, his breast was spangled with small pale creamy spots, and his bill was lemon yellow. He was altogether beautiful and he was altogether dead.
“Fix him” he said. I smiled and told him regretfully that I could not. Ross had a concerned expression of deep felt compassion on his streaked and muddy face, he was not about to take no for an answer, “fix him” he implored. “I can’t” I replied, “Once a thing is dead, there is nothing can be done to fix it.” Ross was unconvinced and holding the bird out to me said, “Then take it to Kevin.” I was nonplussed, “Kevin?” I enquired. “Take it to Kevin,” repeated Ross. He expected me to take possession of the bird, which I did reluctantly. Ross knew nothing of death or of germs – I was a little ashamed of my aversion to the poor creature. I felt like I was turning into my mother. “Who is Kevin?” I enquired. Ross rolled his eyes and told me in a slightly exasperated tone what everyone else patently knew, “When you die,” he explained patiently, “You go to Kevin and he fixes you and sends you home!” I smiled and Ross did too, now that I understood it would surely only be a short time before his little friend would be restored to health and on his way home. I sat there before the expectant gaze of brother and sister at a complete loss for words.
I knelt before the grave of ‘Birdie’ - as Ross had christened him - flanked by the two solemn mourners. Ross seemed quite sad, but Kerrie appeared more curious than sad, “Will he grow again?” she asked. “Maybe,” I replied. Ross gave me a quizzical look. “Maybe his soul just flew away and he’ll be reborn as a baby bird in another nest somewhere else.” This answer seemed to cheer them and after crudely replanting some flowers on Birdie’s grave they had returned to their games having forgotten the entire episode. At least that’s what I thought, until a couple of weeks later when Ross called me excitedly outside. There on a fence post at the end of the garden a starling sat singing his heart out in the afternoon sun, “It’s Birdie,” beamed Ross, “he’s fixed.”
2 April 2011
The foaming crests of elation,
The deep troughs of despair,
I glide the waves of emotion,
As if I just don’t care.
The waves are inspiration,
Nothing can compare,
The ocean sets me free,
I like to hang out there,
I’m a glorious mutation,
Hang ups can’t ensnare,
Just look at me you’ll see,
I never been no square,
I’m a destructive distillation,
That’s combustible with air,
If you’re gonna fuck with me,
You really should beware.
Graphics Rick Griffin
1 April 2011
Say what you will, I fear no man’s judgment. Perhaps I am deficient in some of the attributes I ought to possess before endeavoring to rise above my allotted station, such as, modesty, diplomacy, and patience. I don’t say I’m a hero, but that I lack the domesticated temperament required for standing in the shadows of lesser men. Maybe I was attempting in one lifetime to do what could only be done in two or three generations. If you had deemed me a success you would celebrate my name and say ‘what a man that is - to have come so far from such humble origins’ - but instead you deem me a failure and scoff saying ‘who did he think he was to dare to dream he could rise above the throng?’
Heed my words, because although I stand among you now, I have travelled farther than you can imagine and my head is a granary of understanding you will never comprehend. I have learned that a man’s worth is not in the riches he has accumulated, but in the knowledge he acquires and the friendship he engenders. I have learned that he who tries never fails, whereas he who does not - already has. I’ll never stain my lips with bitter words and recriminations and I’ll never ask for pity. I freely admit to a million faults and I know when I’ve done wrong. I care not for the understanding of strangers, but everything for the pleasure of my family. You’ll know me when you see me – I’m the arrogant fucker who’s standing tall, the one who’d rather go barefoot than squeeze into little men’s shoes.