Tuesday, December 8, 2015


The title should suffice.

Profound Shit

She collapsed on top of me

And rolled over

To the side,

I was more exhausted

Than she was,

Funny how that works,

After a few minutes

She spread her hands

Across my chest

And plunked her chin down

On them,

Then she made the face

Of little girl

Waiting for story time,

“Tell me something deep,” she said


“You heard me.”


“Well, you’re a writer, aren’t you?

Don’t you guys come up with all sorts of

Profound shit?”

“Uhhhhhhh …”

I thought for a moment,

I saw the daylight

Coming in through the blinds,

I repositioned myself and

Got ready to speak,

Then it came sailing out:

“When you realize

That Time is your kindest friend

And Death is a beautiful maiden

Waiting for you at the end of a long, dark road

The power of life

Will grip you by the legs

And swing you into

The sun …”

There was a sharp silence,

Then I heard her laugh,

I looked over at her with

An injured expression,

She was talking

On her cellphone


An American Voice

I’ll be walking down the road

Some grey day,

Wrapped in thought

Or burying my nose

In a book,

Then suddenly

I’ll hear it;

The hideous reverberation

Of a thousand lunatics

Gurgling cum,

Or simply put,

An American Voice,

Its owner will undoubtedly

Be saying something banal


“Where the hell are YOU going?”


“Jesus, that stinks!”

And I’ll get this urge

To draw my fist back

And smash that fucker’s face into

Bloody screaming bits,

And then it dawns on me …

I’ve been talking

To myself



Check Please

One time

I was on a date

And we got on the topic

Of heroes

And my date asked me:

“Who were your heroes as a kid?”

I hesitated to tell her,

But eventually,

She dragged it outta me,

“My heroes as a kid,” I said.

“Were Freddy Kruger, The Joker, and Hannibal Lecter.”

Her eyelids slipped back around her eyeballs

And I could see the veins

Like tiny red worms

Writhing in milk,

After she caught her breath

She spat at me:

“How the fuck could your heroes as a kid be

A child-murderer, a cackling psychopath,

And a practitioner of gross cannibalism?!”

I took a sip of my beer

And chuckled:

“Their elected professions

Weren’t what I admired

About them.”

“Well what was it then?!” she screamed.

“What the fuck could you have possibly seen

In these gigantic assholes?!?!”

I looked her up and down,

She was wearing a grey blouse

And her hair was pulled back

In a ratty bun,

An angry white dot of spittle

Had formed at the corner

Of her mouth,

I handed her a napkin

And said:

“Forget about it.”


The Creep

So I was sitting on the tram last Friday

And I was in my groove,

I had my headphones bumpin’

And my fingers jeweled up

And my neck shinin’

And my teeth out rappin’

With Biggie,

Then I noticed this

Little blond boy

In the adjacent seat,

He was staring at me

With his big vacuum blue eyes,

Absorbing my rhythms and my shakes

And all the crackling noise

Around me,

I could tell I was

Creepin’ into him,

So I lifted my pinky and used its long nail

Like the beak of humming bird

To prick his spirit,

When his moms caught sight of this

She pulled him away,

Then the tram stopped

And the two of them got off

And left me thinkin’:

“Damn, I hope the little dude

Doesn’t grow up to be

A drug dealer.”


Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Doing It

I know I haven’t posted anything in a while; I’ve been busy fiddling with the word and being an asshole in other countries. Anyways, here’s a little taste of what it’s like being a writer these days. For those of you that don’t write, this’ll be a whiff of a new flower. And for those of you that do write, well shit, you should probably click this off and go back to it.

Last Luxury

When I decided to

Pitch my future in the toilet

And write

I knew I’d have to take

Some serious downgrades

From my cushy


And sure enough

Since moving to Prague

To really do it

I’ve had to eat Ramen noodles

For weeks on end,

Live in shitboxes

With assholes that would

Curl your toes,

And fuck women so ugly

They could melt the warts

Off a leper,


There’s one facet of my former life

That I refuse to compromise on

And that’s

Red wine,

I don’t care if I have to

Scratch the utilities

And jerk off

To the crickets,

I’m getting that bottle

Of 2010 Isosceles Reserve

And sipping it from a paper cup

While the lights



Holy Moly

It’s always the way …

I don’t write for

Three or four days

And I feel like

I’m finished,

Like my juice

Has dried up

And my hands

Are nothing but

Dead mackerel

Hanging from my

Wrists …

Then one day

I’ll be pressing the head

Of my penis

Down into the toilet

So I can urinate on the crap

I’ve just made, and


A needle of fire

Will strike the center

Of my forehead

And I’ll go sprinting

To the computer,


With piss dripping from

My genitals,

So I can lock down

The fading words of

Some unknown



Matter of Style

When I first started

Sending my poems

To the magazines

I only got rejections,

They were short rejections

And I got so many

I quit reading them all through

And instead sought out the word


In each letter,

Then tossed it

In the trash

Now I have a few things published

But mostly I still get rejections

Though these are

Longer rejections

That are filled with phrases


“Your poems have heart, but …”

“Your poems are powerful, but …”

“We really, really like your poems, but …”

These half-compliments

Are invariably followed by

Statements claiming my

“Style” just isn’t right

For such-and-such magazine,

At first I wondered at this

But after reading hundreds of poems

In these magazines,

Poems about

Sipping white wine on sunlit verandas


Cuddling a loved one in warm bathwater


Laughing out loud on family getaways to Florida


Merriment in life despite having recently lost a gerbil

I’ve come to realize

Exactly what it is about my


That these motherfucking nitwits

Don’t like


One Word Novel

The master wrote

His first novel

In a week

At 18

His second novel

In a month

At 22

His third novel

In a year

At 30

And his fourth, fifth, and sixth novels,

In 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years,

At the ages of 40, 50, and 60,


Each of these novels

Was shorter than

The next

And when he finally started

His masterpiece

At 75

It took him 25 years

To write it

And then he


Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bodhisattva Dog (Part 2)

By October 1st (2014), I was all moved into my new place. It was nice and quiet but the bed covers were shit and there was hardly a fork to be seen in the kitchen. I gathered what little money I had and went shopping. I dropped some pennies on new bedding and a load of kitchen supplies (pots, pans, plates, bowls, knives, silverware, etc), as I planned on doing some major cooking. I went back home and got to work. I stripped the crummy cover and sheets off my bed and replaced them with fresh-out-tha-pack ones then I got to filling the kitchen cabinets and drawers with utensils to cook and eat with. By the time I was done it was nearly midnight. I had blown my fingers and back out and desperately needed to sleep. I put on a shit movie and reclined in my stately bed. I was out within minutes.

At around 3 am, somewhere between dreaming of elephant-headed women with giant tits and scratching myself, I heard a noise. It started as a faint yipping then mushroomed into a series of full-on “yelps.” The “yelps” hopped through my wall and into my ears like angry crabs. I tried to ignore them but they pinched at my brain wrinkles and pulled them out through my ears like crooked earthworms. As my mind was being unraveled out my ears, I could feel my face growing hotter and hotter. When my skull was empty and my face hit steaming red, I lost it. I threw my whole leg into the wall. The force shook the windows and pushed my bed back a foot. The yelping continued without pause. I drew back again and again and again till my toes were numb and my leg muscles were cramped and singing. The yelping finally stopped. After twenty minutes of controlled breathing, I drifted back off to sleep.

The next morning, I went to class. I did a full day of teaching so when I got home I needed a nap. I passed out for a good two hours. When I got up I was fresh as a sliced orange. I put on some black tea and poured myself a cup. I went to my room and sat in front of my computer. I was eager to crank out a book chapter or at least a short story. I wanted to see how this new little place inspired me. I opened a Word file and put my fingers to the keys. I started typing but my prose was dry. Every time I made keystrokes it felt like little puffs of dust coming up from my fingertips. I switched to poetry and found similar results. All I managed to write was this poem:

He sits at the computer

With his dick

In his hands

And isn’t it funny

His name is


I gave up on the poetry as well. I just sat there with my arms folded and thought about what the problem might be …

 Is it my new flat? My new hood? The changing weather? The complete lack of pussy in my life? Maybe my ever sagging tits are to blame? Or the fact that as the days go by my cock gets browner and browner while the rest of me gets whiter and whiter? Pretty soon I’ll look like an albino who just fucked a chocolate doughnut. Hey that’s pretty funny! Maybe I should write that down and make it into a short story!

I laid my fingers back on the keys. I typed out a paragraph that saw a very light-skinned man walking into a “Krispy Kreme”. I nipped at my black tea and started a second paragraph. I got a few fine sentences in when through the wall came:

“Yip! Yip! Yip!”


I pulled my fist back and smacked the wall. The yipping continued so I pounded and pounded and pounded. I pounded so hard my knuckle cracked. I left a smudge of blood on the wall when I pulled away. The room was silent for a bit. I collected myself and returned to my story. I tried coaxing it from its shell again. I was just about there, when …

“Yip! Yip! Yip! … Yip! Yip! YELP!”

I flew into a rage. I started banging and kicking the wall like mad. I wanted to pound those “yips” out of existence. I wanted to crush their little backs and stomp on their heads and rip their tongues and eyeballs outta their ugly little skulls. I Bruce Lee’d the wall for a full minute. When I stopped, the “yips” were silent again. I went and sat back down. Then I heard a “Bang! Bang! Bang!” on the wall.


I grabbed my hoodie and pulled it over my head. I went outside and up to my neighbor’s door. I knocked three times hard. The knob twisted and the door swung open. An old lady was stood there. She had a mouth like a splintered asshole with a smidge of bright red lipstick in the middle. Her skin was the color of decaying brains. She wore a curly blond wig that was bare in places. Her bony limbs were weighted with costume jewelry. Her eyes were like beads of estuary sludge. She took a drag of a thin cigarette and glared at me. Her mangy black poodle, which was right beside her, glared at me as well.

“Why the fuck were you banging on the wall?” I asked the lady.

She pulled the cigarette from her lips. In one poof she blew all the smoke in her lungs against my face.

“You banged first,” she said. 

“You’re goddamned right!” I said, fanning the smoke away. “Your dog woke me up at three o’clock this morning and was just barking like crazy while I was trying to write! I work from home, you know?!”


“So?! Put a muzzle on it. Or take it into the next room. Do something! It’s not fair that I get woken up at 3 am only to have to deal with more damn barking during the day.”

She held me with her sickening irises. Before I could say anything else she flicked ash at me and slammed the door. I went back to my room fuming. I tried to write but after a few minutes the yipping started up again. I gave up and turned off my computer. I slipped in bed, clicked off the lights and passed out.


The yipping continued in earnest. It usually happened 4-5 times during the day and 2-3 times during the night. It infuriated me beyond belief. It ruined my sleep and my writing. I knew I couldn’t reason with the old bitch. And I knew pounding on the wall would do nothing but make her pound back. I tried to take solace in my powers of avoidance. But this was tough because twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) Ms. Wigg got decked out in her bling and took her shitty dog (Yippee) for a walk. Most of the time, we missed each other. But at least once a week, we’d run into each other on the stairwell and the cunt would give me the cold eye and let Yippee run up and snap at me with his brittle, yellow teeth.

I contemplated telling the landlord about all this. I approached my new flat-mate about it and he laughed.

“I used to live in that room and I never heard any barking. And besides, even if the dog is barking a little, the landlord won’t do anything about it. The guy barely fixes the heat when it’s messed up, haha.”

I was at a loss now. But I knew something had to be done. One Friday in the winter, I was in class listening to one of my students babble. He was talking about how he had just moved into a new flat. I wondered if he was dealing with the same dog barking bullshit. I asked him if he was and he said no.

“Vhy?” he asked.

 I told him the story of the lady and her barking poodle next door. He threw up his arms and laughed. Then his face grew serious. With business-meeting frankness, he said:

“Vhy don’t you just poison dog?”

 This struck me like a pebble to the forehead. I shook my face hard and re-centered.

“Are you serious?” I asked.


“OK, well first off, where the hell am I gonna get the poison? And moreover, how would I feed it to the dog without getting caught?!”

“Hmmm, good one.”

My student thought for a moment. Suddenly he raised his eyebrows.

“I know vat you could do. You could just leave bit of chocolate on stairs. Dog vould probably eat it ven dey vent for valk and nobody vill know. I mean, you said dog vas old. It vill be dead before ten minutes and old lady vill just fink dog died from too many valking.”

 It was a brilliant plan. I don’t know why the hell I hadn’t thought of it myself.

I finished my day of teaching. I went home and thought hard about the conversation I’d had with my student. Yippee was yipping his fucking head off in the next room. I decided I would give the chocolate idea a go. I looked in my wallet for some money but didn’t find any. I thought about hitting the ATM but ditched that cuz I didn’t want to incur a withdrawal fee just to buy a fucking bar of chocolate. I went to look for my coin jar. I found it in one of the bags I’d stuffed with unwanted crap. I took the jar and dumped it out on my bed. There were coins from all over the world in there, plus paperclips, nails, screws. I started sifting through the junk and picking the Czech Crowns out. As I did, I noticed something shiny and odd. I lifted it to the light and squinted. It was the silver rupee my uncle Paco had given me.

“Jesus, how did this get in here?” I muttered.

I figured it must have gotten thrown in during the move. I fished it out of its case and looked at it. It glinted at me in the soft light. It reminded me of the bodhisattva and the unearthly crash of his cymbals. I thought of my anger at the bodhisattva.  I thought of my uncle’s words about me having “missed his message.” I heard Yippee, yipping in the next room. I imagined Ms. Wigg: no husband, no children, no friends, just an embittered old woman, chain-smoking on a threadbare couch with only her rickety black poodle to keep her company. A strange feeling grew in my heart. It wound itself open like the petals of a rose. I looked at the coin once more and gripped it. I knew what I had to do …


I went out and did the deed. An hour later I was at Ms. Wigg’s door. I knocked on it and smiled. She opened up with a scowl. Yippee was down at her feet growling at me with his yellow teeth.

“What the hell do you want?” Ms. Wigg asked.

 I had a hand behind my back. I pulled it around and opened it. Inside was a gourmet milk bone from one of the fancy pet shops in town. When Yippee saw it he jumped up and down and started panting and yipping and wagging his tail.

“This is for him,” I said.

Ms. Wigg gave me an incredulous glare. I rolled my eyes playfully and smiled again.

“It’s fine,” I said. “Look.”

I took a small bite off the corner of the milk bone. As it was gourmet, it didn’t taste half bad. I held the bone out in front of Yippee’s nose. This really made him go bonkers. He started yipping his little throat out. I thought he might soil his hind legs. Ms. Wigg looked away from me and down at her dog. Her heart softened and melted through her eyes.

 “Fine,” she said, taking the bone from me.

She gave it to her dog. The little thing snapped it up and devoured it right there at the door. Ms. Wigg actually cracked a smile at this. When she noticed me watching her, the smile vanished.

“You can go now,” she spat.

She closed the door on my nose. I went back to my flat feeling satisfied with myself. I even opened a bottle of wine and did a bit of writing. I could feel the good words growing in me.

An hour later there was a knock at the door. I looked through the peephole and saw Ms. Wigg standing there. I grabbed another bone just in case. I opened up the door and smiled.

“Need another?” I asked, holding my hand out.

Her face was a mess of bleeding mascara and wrinkles. She smacked the bone out of my hand and screamed.

“What the fuck did you do to my dog?!”

“What?! What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean!!!”

She raised her fist at me. In it was a long, sharp hairpin with a bejeweled crown. She lunged at me with it. I parried her and she went crashing into the coat rack. As she gathered herself, I reached behind my threshold. I grabbed the machete I hang on my bedpost for just these occasions. I yanked it from its sheath and drew it back. She lunged at me with the giant hairpin again, screaming. I swung the machete and hit her square in the jaw. The wet crack of steel against bone bloomed in my guts like a sick flower. Her mouth was a jagged, dripping mess under her shocked eyes. Her legs were jellying and crumbling underneath her. Her face slid from my blade like a slice of hot butter. She collapsed to the floor with a resounding thud.


When the screams cleared and the blood cooled, I pondered my predicament. My flat mate Pavel would be in Ostrava visiting his girlfriend till Sunday so I had some time. I knew I had to get rid of the body. I thought of hacking it up and putting it in a suitcase bound for the Vltava but then I remembered the case of Issei Sagawa . Issei was a Japanese student of literature, who in 1981, while living in Paris and studying at the Sorbonne, murdered and cannibalized his crush, Renée Hartevelt. After raping her corpse and filleting her legs for sushi, he hacked her into pieces and dumped her into two suitcases. His plan was to ditch her remains in a remote lake outside of Paris. But while crossing the Bois de Boulogne park, he was sweating and wobbling so much that passing policemen got suspicious as to what this slight, perspiring Japanese man was doing there with two huge suitcases, so they stopped him and sure enough … Lucky for Issei he had a rich and powerful Dad who got him declared insane and extradited back to Japan, where certain circles dubbed him a “true artist” and even featured him on cooking shows. But I didn’t have any shit like that in my corner, so the Issei route was out.

I was left with only one option. I quickly scratched up a plan and got to it. First, I mopped up all the blood and urine with bleach. Then I laid some plastic down and went to Ms. Wigg’s flat to get Yippee. I found him curled up on the bathroom doormat. He looked like a carbonized hunk of meat that had cooked in the oven for too long. I lifted him from the ground and took him to my flat. I laid him next to his owner on the plastic then selected my instruments. I got my straight razor and all my pots, pans, knives, strainers, etc, I’d bought back in October. I laid everything out on the kitchen counter then went to the pantry. I selected the spices I’d need. Among them were cumin, thyme, basil, marjoram, allspice, and oregano, to name a few. I put the spices on the counter next to the cooking stuff. I filled a laundry bucket with hot, soapy water and grabbed the straight razor. I pulled off Ms. Wigg’s clothing and bling and lathered her and Yippee up. It took a lot of skin-scrapping and bloody mistakes but after three hours, I had those babies bald and gleaming. I stood back and took a moment to admire my work. Ms. Wigg and Yippee looked so beautiful, lying there on my kitchen floor like Momma and baby alien asleep. It almost pained me that I had to move onto step two. But, as I already knew from the two “zabíjačky” (pig-slaughters) I’d attended, after ya kill the animal, ya gotta cut it up and cook it quick or it’ll rot … and then where will ya be?

I got down to the shitty titty. After gutting the lady and her dog and slicing their bones of their sweet parts, I washed, chopped, cut and ground everything then mixed it with all the spices. I had the pots boiling and the pans sizzling and the oven blazing. I placed everything in its proper receptacle, measuring it and molding it just right, then I let the ingredients and heat do their magic. My flat filled with the smell of roasting spices and meat. It was a glorious thing and I could see the air sparkling with inspiration. After 24 hours, I had a veritable feast. All my favorite zabíjačka dishes, including mozeček s vejci (brains with scrambled eggs and onions), ovar s křenem (boiled and diced head with grated horseradish), smažák (baked liver and sirloin goulash), jitirnice (liverwurst), jelita (blood sausage), prdelačka (blood and grout stew), škvarky (fried skin rinds), and tlačenka (head cheese), were present.

Because of my bald head, olive skin and pointy facial features, the Czechs often say I look like their most famous celebrity chef, Zdeněk Pohlreich. I usually take the comparison as an insult cuz Pohlreich is damn near sixty, but in that moment I was proud to share looks (and talent) with the motherfucker.

Once the dishes cooled down, I put them into Tupperware containers and stuck them in the fridge. All I had left to do now was dispose of the bones and Ms. Wigg’s bling. I gathered everything in a sack and tied it off. I kept one pretty ring cuz I’m sick like that. I put the bag in my backpack and walked outside into the night. The moon was high and bright and the air was crisp enough to bite. I walked across the streets and parks and out to the Vlatava. Its waters were dark and distorted and there was a long snake of moonlight slithering across the top. I pulled out the bag of jewelry and bones and weighted it down with stones. I pitched everything in and watched it sink and disappear into bubbles. I walked back to my place whistling a jaunty little tune. I slept that night like a corps.


Pavel arrived the next evening. I was in a fantastic mood when I greeted him. He had been traveling all day. He was starving so he opened the fridge straight off.

“Jesus, where did you get all this food?” he asked.

“I went to a zabíjačka this weekend,” I said.

“Wow, they gave you a lot!”

“Yeah, the pig was enormous and there were only a few of us there. We each got about 40 kilos.”

“What are you gonna do with it all?”

“Don’t know. I was thinking of selling it to the meat shop down the block, or …”

“Well, my company just released a new product and we’re having a big event on Tuesday to celebrate. I got stuck with the job of handling the food side of things, so shit, I’ll buy it off you. Nothing like fresh zabíjačka!”

“OK, sure.”

“How much you want for it?”

“Let’s just say we’re square on the next rent payment.”


Pavel took the food in on Tuesday. I ran into him that night and he raved about how good it was. I simpered sweetly and listened to him as he went on and on. The whole time I was imagining a bunch of cock-nosed yuppies in business-casual attire, gorging themselves on Ms. Wigg and Yippee before shitting them out into porcelain toilets.

Pavel eventually finished blabbing. A few moments later there was a knock at the door. I opened it and looked on. Standing there were two cops, one male one female. The former was built like a bank safe and had crossed eyes. The latter was hot and blond with a bubble butt and a tight ponytail. They asked me some questions about Ms. Wigg and her dog. They told me the landlord had come by two days in a row looking for the rent and found the pair missing. I shrugged my shoulders and raised my palms.

“The last time I saw my neighbor was Friday night,” I said. “She was taking her little poodle for a walk.”

“Well, did you notice anything strange?” Officer Chunk asked.

I thought for a moment.

“Well, she was wearing all her gaudy jewelry, as per usual. Maybe someone went for it? This is Žižkov, after all.”

The cops mumbled something about having indeed seen a big empty jewelry box in her flat. After a few more banal questions, they thanked me for my time and left.


The following week, there was a police investigation. Some detectives with cameras and white gloves came to Ms. Wigg’s but as there was no sign of a struggle or foul play, the investigation quickly ran cold. A few days later, Ms. Wigg’s place was cleaned out and renovated. Another old lady moved in there but this one had a sweet little cat that never made a peep. Because of this, I was able to sleep well and concentrate on my writing. With a fresh head and eyes, the stories and poems came flowing from my fingertips in strange and beautiful shades.

One especially inspired night I was sat at my computer. Halfway into my tenth poem, I heard a knock at my door. I opened up and there was Pavel. He had a very concerned look on his face. I looked down at his hand. In it was a box with a picture of an upside down rodent with Xs for eyes, on the front.

“I found this under the sink,” he said, holding the box up. “Do we have rats in the building or something?”

I thinned my eyes and smiled.

“Not anymore.”

Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bodhisattva Dog (Part 1)

It was hot out and the air conditioner in our building was busted. We were sitting in there, twenty or so of us, listening to our TEFL lecturer Mr. Marionette babble on about something or other. I about skewered my brain through my nostril with my pencil while nodding off in heat-induced boredom. I repositioned myself and tried to concentrate on the lecture. It was important that I at least pass the TEFL Cert class so I could get my ass outta Cali. The plan was to find a flat and a job teaching English abroad. Once I got everything set up in that regard, I’d get to the writing I’d been putting off for so long.

The class droned on and on. The heat pulled at my face like heavy fingers, making my cheeks and eyes sag like a basset-hound’s. I fought off the urge to pass out by writing the lecture down. I scribbled a few key points but was distracted by a loud noise outside. It sounded like a crack-spun monkey trapped in a kitchen full of pots and pans. I tried to ignore it and concentrate on the lecture. The banging blew through my skin and shook my bones. I came tumbling out of my head and down into my shoes. My face turned red and I climbed back up into my head. I got up from my seat and looked out the window. In the UC Berkeley quad I saw a strange man. He was seated on the rim of a concrete tree pot in the lotus position. He had dread locks like melting bonsai branches. His face was needlepoint thin and very tan. He was dressed in crumply gold clothing that sparkled in the sunlight. In his skinny hands were two outsized cymbals.

 I watched him for a good three minutes. He had an odd rhythm to what he was doing. At first he’d just sit there in silence, holding the cymbals out in front of him. Then as if possessed by the wind or the gnarled branches above him, he’d spring to life and start banging his cymbals at the clouds and the plants and the buildings and the streets. It was an immense racket. Even Mr. Marionette, who had Teflon nerves from years of teaching, started to get annoyed. He told me to come away from the window and not encourage the guy. I did what he asked and sat back down. The dickface outside continued banging away on his cymbals. The air conditioner inside continued not working. The heat and the noise continued to eat my attention away from Mr. M’s lecture. It’s a wonder I ever passed that class and got my TEFL Cert.


As I was driving home from my “graduation ceremony” – lunch at a crummy Pakistani restaurant on the students’ dime – I got a call. I didn’t recognize the number, but decided to answer anyways.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hans, that you?”


“Hey, it’s your Uncle Paco. How the fuck are ya?”

I punched the air and voiced the words, Shit! Shit! Shit!

“I’m fine,” I said.

“Hey look, the dogs and I haven’t seen you in a while. Wanna come by today for dinner?”


“How’s 6:00 pm sound?”


I hung up the phone. I contemplated calling back and canceling. I thought of my Uncle Paco all alone up there on the hill with his dogs. I decided to be a good nephew and show.

I dicked around in Berkeley till 5:30. I drove across the bridge and arrived at my uncle’s at 6:00 pm on the dot. I walked up to his black metal gate and banged on it. His voice resonated through the hall of ferns inside.

“That you, Hans?” he said.


“Hey, I hate to be an ass but Howard (his beagle) just shat himself everywhere and Hank (his rot wilder) took to playing in it and tracking it around the house. Now, I’m in here cleaning up piles of turds and shitty paw prints. Can we make the dinner at 7:00?”


“Sorry, man. I’d come out there and greet ya, but the smell on my clothes would kill ya.”

“S’OK, I’ll wait.”

“Thanks, man. I promise to make it up to you with a nice dinner.”


I walked down his driveway and got in my car. As I drove off I imagined my Uncle Paco rolling my enchiladas with shit-caked fingers and whistling to himself. I nearly threw up my mutton curry. I drove the queasiness off and came back to his place at 7:00. I parked my car and walked up to his black gate. This time it was open. I walked in through his hall of ferns and up to his front door. I rang the bell and waited. The dogs barked their fucking heads off and the door flew open.

“Haaaaans, man!” Paco said.

He stood there with open arms and a horrendously big grin on his face. It looked like he’d just sliced away his lips from his teeth with a razorblade. I schlepped up to him slowly and put an arm around him. He enveloped me with his orangutan limbs and squeezed me tight. My neck and back cracked simultaneously. My eyes almost popped from their sockets. I could smell the caves of Paco’s armpits. They reeked of seawater and beans.

“It’s fuckin’ good to see you, buddy!” he said, pushing me outwards by the shoulders so he could have a look at me.

“It’s great to see you too, Paco,” I said.

“Anyways, come in, come in. The dogs have missed you.”

I followed him into the common area. As I did, the dogs jumped up around me and sniffed my testicles.

“So whaddaya think, man?” Pace said, fanning his arms out. “I just redecorated the place.”

I looked around. The walls and shelves were riddled with ancient and frightening artifacts from all over the world. There were black African masks with ghastly horns and tongues, samurai swords of impossible sharpness and fetal deformations in jars of cloudy liquid. There were rare stamp collections and photos of smiling dictators in their youth. There were glass bottles of every shape, size and color that looked like groves of crystal mushrooms growing up from their shelves. There were hollowed out gourd instruments that reminded me of shriveled cocks, and teakwood shrines that housed daintily contorted Gods making little circles with their thumbs and forefingers. There were paintings of ghostly steamships pushing off into the blue American horizon. There were rows upon rows of antique coins, sucked tight in shiny plastic. Tucked below everything was a single shitty paw print, radiating stink. I glanced at it and snickered.

“Pretty neat,” I said.

“Pretty neat, he says. HA! My place is fuckin’ groovy! Well, minus the shit smell. Do you notice it at all? I’ve been breathing it for the past hour so I don’t fuckin’ know.”

I squinted my eyes and swallowed the puke juices swelling around my tongue.

“Can’t smell a thing,” I said.

“Great, let’s eat.”

Paco put on his mitts and went to the kitchen. He opened the oven and pulled out a streaming pan of red enchiladas. The smell of cheese and onions and chilies filled the room. I almost forgot about the kaka. We loaded our plates up and got to it. The enchiladas were fantastic and the arugula salad to go with was just as good. We washed everything down on the back patio with a few beers. When our bellies were full and the sun was setting behind the hills, Paco asked me what was new.

“Well, I just got my TEFL Cert,” I said.

“Oh yeah? Where’d you get that done?”

“In Berkeley, haha.”

“Why do you laugh?”

“Well, it’s just full’a weirdoes. Like the other day there was this guy with dreads and gold threads in the quad, banging away on his cymbals while we were having our lecture. It was so fucking annoying. Berkeley is filled with these sorts.”

He snorted and swigged his beer.

“You missed his message, man,” he said.

“What? What message?”

“That was a bodhisattva. And you missed his message.”

“What the hell is a bloody-shit-butt?”

“In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing this so he can take compassion on suffering beings. I met a bunch of those guys while artifact-hunting in Northern India and they tried to give me messages like that too. Some I got, some I may not’a. You clearly missed this guy’s though, haha.”

I was inclined to tell Paco to piss off. And had he been anyone else trying to school me on cultural oddities, I’d have done so. But Paco’s unique in our family in that pound for pound and hair for hair the fucker’s been to more weird places and gotten into more weird shit than I have by a pretty green mile. I’m not at liberty to recount all his wicked tales. Let’ s just say the worst of them involves a bag of magic mushrooms, a dead body and a headline in the Caracas Times that reads “Hippie Assassin,” with a photo of my long-haired, eighteen-year-old uncle underneath flipping the bird at the Venezuelan police through the bars of his single-seat paddy wagon.

When Paco finished chuckling at me, I didn’t know what else to say. I sucked down the last of my beer and pitched it in the trash. As I made for the door, he held up a long finger.

“Hang on,” he said. “I got something for you.”

He ran into his bedroom and closed the door. I could hear him shuffling around in there, dropping boxes and flipping chairs. He spat the words “fuck” and “shit” a few times. Then he ran back out.

“This is for you,” he said, holding his hand out.

In his palm was a laminated coin. On one side of it was a faded print of Queen Victoria and on the other, some writing in Sanskrit. I eyed it up and down.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s an old silver rupee,” he said. “Keep it for luck. And hey, it might save you from selling your ass out there on the streets one day. Writing don’t pay much, ya know?”

I laughed and thanked him for the gift. I went in for a hug and he squeezed me again till my bones buckled. The dogs jumped up around us and barked and farted. We said goodbye and I was off.


I left for Prague the following month. I had interviews at two schools and a few flat viewings lined up but that was it. The first of my interviews panned out. By day three, I had a job but still no flat. All the flats I looked at were shit. Either they were cram-packed with smelly students or haunted by one old hag with a platinum hair-bun, shuffling the halls aimlessly. By day five, I was desperate. I searched the net for flat listings but only found one within my price range. I met the proprietor at a pub in Žižkov. He was tall and tan with spiky red hair and green eyes. He wore a Polo shirt with three buttons open and khaki shorts curled at the cuffs around his knees. He reeked of cheap cologne and had a grin on his face that matched his scent. He introduced himself as “Jarda.” He seemed nice enough so I asked him to show me the room. He took me to a graffiti-racked building up the street. We went inside and up the creaky elevator that I swore would give out under our feet. His flat was on the top floor. We went inside and he took me to the room. It was spacious and well lit. The furniture was a bit lacking and the bed looked like it had seen a menstruating stripper or two, but overall the place was decent. I got to chatting with Jarda and, like me, he had a great interest in the Roma (Gypsies). I quizzed him on a few things concerning their language, origins and culture and he nailed all the questions flat. This impressed me a lot. I had a few beers in me, so I decided what the fuck?

I moved all my stuff in the next day. It was balmy out so I had my window open as I unpacked. I put some trance music on to keep my mind occupied. All of a sudden, I heard a rash of barking outside. I looked out the window and saw a dog tied to a post in front of the Billa Supermarket across the street. Pretty soon another person tied their dog up there and it too started barking. Now there were two dogs going at it. The street below was a flooded with barks. Soon another smaller dog joined in. It was a veritable canine “a capella” and it dwarfed the trance music I had blaring from my speakers.

When I’d finally had my fill, I went over and knocked on Jarda’s door. He opened up in his boxer shorts with a toothbrush poking out of his mouth.

“What’s with all the dogs barking?” I asked.

He pulled the toothbrush from his mouth.

“Yeaaaah, dey do dis sometime. I try tell owner I vill release dog if she let him der again, but fucking bitches no listen.”

“Well, is it like this every day?”

“Of course.”

“What do you mean, ‘of course’? I mean, who in God’s name brings their dog to the supermarket?”

Jarda laughed.

“To supermarket?!” he said. “Dis nufing! You no see dem fucking everyvere?!”

With all my flat-hunting and interview prep, I hadn’t noticed. I decided to keep my eyes open from then on. The next day, I took the tram to the center to run some errands. Sure enough, no fewer than six people got on with their fucking dogs. I got off downtown, hoping it was a fluke. I went in a pizza place and ordered a slice. As I waited I felt something brush against my calf. I looked down and saw two schnauzers looking up at me and panting. I grabbed my slice angrily and marched off to the post office to mail some letters. To my dismay, a one-eyed bulldog was outside the building, scratching his balls. I mailed my letters and went straight to a pub. I figured that at least an establishment where people eat and drink would forbid dogs. I went inside, and My God! For every dingy dickhead with a beer there was a dog of equal dinginess, biting fleas from its asshole under a table. I shirked the beer and went to buy some clothes. I went on the main sales drag, thinking surly, SURLY, these people don’t take their miserable mutts clothes shopping. When I got there, I was yet again flabbergasted. It seemed like every minute, a long-legged beauty in pumps would tock by with a scruffy little dog face poking out the front of her designer purse. I skipped the clothes and took the tram back to Žižkov. When I got off, I noticed that the entire neighborhood was peppered with dog turds. To top it off, most of the dogs doing the shitting were dressed in cutesy little outfits. I had half a mind to punt one of the little fuckers, mid-shit and send it yipping in front of an oncoming tram.

As I hop scotched back to my place, I thought about everything I’d just witnessed. It occurred to me – as my heel squished a yellow turd - that never in my life had I seen such a disgusting display of canine love. Even my uncle Paco, whose dogs are his surrogate children, didn’t treat the things with such saccharine kindness. I mean, these people were gushing over their dogs; dressing them up in crummy little hats and sweaters and parading them on their spindly legs through the city and into every kind of establishment and not only were others tolerating this, they were downright fucking LOVING it! Don’t get me wrong, as an American I naturally love dogs, but what I saw in Prague that day (and every day after) makes The US look like Yulin, China where they actually have a dog-slaughtering festival during which dog after smiling dog is clubbed over the head, skinned, disemboweled, sliced up and fried into scores and scores of dishes that the townsfolk devour over drinks, dance and general good cheer!

Besides the Czech Republic, the only place I’d ever been to that had showed a single animal species so much love was India, where the cow is worshiped at an almost godly level. My first time in Delhi, I remember thinking, after having witnessed freeway traffic screech to a halt for a crossing cow but then nearly run over the pedestrians that followed it, that if reincarnation was a real phenomenon then cows in India were without question former Hindu holy men or Buddhist monks who had reached the pinnacle of carnal existence and had only to enjoy the fruits of their last earthy shell before slipping into the grey bliss of infinity. But after seeing the way dogs are treated in Prague, it became apparent to me how quickly Buddhist monks must forget their potty training once they reside under the manicured fur of a pink-collared, Czech Chihuahua.

I went back to my flat, hoping the gruesome carnival of dogs had all just been a slimy nightmare. But when the barking continued and intensified and blared from across the street that day and for four solid years afterwards, I decided, despite loving my room and the location of the flat, to leave it, the dogs and my fuck-head charlatan flat mate forever and search for greener pastures.

In September of 2014 I finally found a flat. It was a harrowing affair that left my nerves frayed and sparking like cables in a raided basement. To add to that, I was nearly broke. And since it was the beginning of the school year when classes are light, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing a decent paycheck for at least another two months. My only salvation was that my new place was a bit cheaper than my first. Plus, the guy I’d be living with was chill as a snow pea and split on the weekends to see his chick and as there were no supermarkets across the street, and, as homeboy assured me, no loud dogs in the building, I figured life would be pretty sweet …
Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eat My Shorts

I’ve been reading a lot of poetry lately and have noticed a disturbing trend. I don’t know whether it’s due to my choice in poets, but it seems to me that most poems in print are longer than ten lines. This isn’t to say that a “longer” poem is a bad thing. But that the vast majority of published poems are of lengthier content, reinforces the idea that “longer is better.” While I must admit, it’s very satisfying to work my lips around a nice long poem; it’s the shorter poems that often get me off because, at the end, they’re the ones with the most “pop.”

The following “shorts” have been selected from my stash with great care. May they bring a smile to your face, if nothing else :)

You can’t change

Your nature,

But you can become

Painfully aware

Of it
Leave Your Shoes at Home
There’s a laughter

That swells in me

Like a mushroom cloud,

Splitting my insides

On the way to

My mouth

If I remove my hand

The sky will break

And shower the people below

In pink glass
The Reindeer Man
I can hear the spirit in the reindeer man’s voice,

I can hear its injured call

Ring out through his words,

He walks alone through the tundra

With the last of his herd,

The sun melting his steps

From the earth
Soup’s On
It’s not enough

Just to take their bullshit

You have to like it,

You have to enjoy

Getting your guts ripped out

Through your asshole

And fried in front of your eyes

For supper
The difference between

A good writer

And a bad writer


A good writer

Writes a lot of bad drafts

And a bad writer

Only writes

Face in the Water
In my quest

To be loved

I’ve stared into more

Toilet bowls


Pretty eyes
My Girl
I’ll know she’s for me

If I give her earrings

At a restaurant

And she leaves the box

On the table
Her last words to me were

“Fuck you.”

And when the phone


I saw my heart …
A diseased rapist

In a red van
Christmas Wish
As I sit at the dinner table

Amidst the turkeys

And the candles

I want nothing more than

To slice my hands off

And slide in the spa

And watch the blood

Issue from my wrists

Like smoke
By the Fire
At the end of the night

The sweetest thing

Is hugging my grandma’s belly

And listening to

Her guts squeak
Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm Just Kidding

At this month’s “Alchemy,” I decided to do something different. Instead of reading a bunch of depressing crap like I have been these past months, I went for poems and shorts that were a little more humorous and light. I will say that not all of these pieces started out being funny. In fact, with some of them I was trying to be very serious, but didn’t quite hit the mark. Anyways, I’ll let y’all be the judge of whatever you find in these pieces. And if you find them to be just plain pieces of shit … well … consider the source :)

The Worst Poem I Have Ever Wrote

I’d like to know this creature
He’s a funny sort of deal
He wears his clothes inside out
But freaks when people turn him on
He lets the water see him naked
But not those of his kind
He likes to kill
He likes to fuck
But when it comes to making love
He’s as sour
As a duck


The Greats

It seems that

In the past

To be the greatest living writer

Meant you were one of

“The Greats”

But in this age,

Where the real poets


And prose-men

Have been sucked from the landscape

Like old dust,

Being the greatest living writer

Means nothing more

Than outdoing the schmuck

Who pens the instructions

On airplane




Baba Broomstick

I sat with my sister on a big couch

In her big new house,

We sipped green tea from big mugs

While a big screen TV flickered in front of us,

My sister flipped the channels with a tiny remote

 “Which show do ya’ wanna watch?” she asked

“I don’t know,” I said. “Something about travel.”

She put on a program about an idiot

Who farts around in other countries,

In this particular episode

He was in India during Kumbha Mela –

The largest gathering of people in the world,

He walked around the filthy streets of Allahabad

Gawking at the meditating Babas,

There were many and they were strange and wild

With powdered bodies and dreadlocks and eyes like onyx stones,

The most interesting of the bunch was a skinny one

With a broomstick in his hand,

He stood bare naked

And his penis hung from his crotch

Like a baby elephant’s trunk,

“What’s your deal?” the host asked him

Without answering

The Baba flipped his broomstick over

And put it to his crotch,

He grabbed his giant penis

And wrapped it around and around

Till it was good and tight,

When he finished

He smiled and released his hands,

The broomstick hung there horizontally,

“Sweet Jesus,” the host said,

The Baba blinked twice and continued,

With his cock still tied

He kipped his legs over the broomstick,

Bent his knees

And went bouncing up and down

Like a basketball,

On sight of this

I threw my head back and roared with laughter

My sister just sat there, puzzled

“What kind of message do you think he’s sending?” she asked



The Alchemist

We sat in the bar

And drank craft beers

And my old buddy Roy

Asked who I was reading,

I dropped a few names




Roy sipped his beer

And leaned in,

“Have you read Coelho?” he asked.

“Jesus Christ, not this again.”

“Haha, OK he’s not for everyone. But there’s one book of his you have to read.”

“Lemme guess, ‘The Alchemist’?”

“Yeah! Hans, it’s an excellent book. And true too. I mean, if you follow your dreams, the universe
really does conspire to help you.”

“I’ve had the opposite experience.”

“How do mean?”

“Well … every time I sit down to write, a dog barks or a car beeps or a shithead snores, so I stuff wads of toilet paper in my ears, but before I know it a jackhammer goes off in the next building or a smoke alarm blares overhead, and I’m forced to deal with that bullshit instead of my writing. Then there’s the rent to be paid and the teaching to do, and my students and colleagues and bosses are always trying to rip my time apart like a hundred hands on a bank note, and just to deal with all this I have to blaze trees and pound booze, and this puts me in a spot ‘cuz it burns half my money and gets me into close contact with shitty women who wanna burn the other half, so now I’m outta cash, outta time, outta patience, and the only thing keeping me from swallowing strychnine is the thought of my mother weeping at my funeral,  so I keep pushing, and keep working, and keep trying, but my teaching never goes anywhere and my poems, short stories and articles, all come crawling back to me like wounded crickets, and I can’t help but think this whole fucking planet is one big gun barrel pointed straight at my retina!”

Roy thinned his lips

And grinned

 “But you write about all that stuff,” he said.

“True …” I replied.

… But Coelho still blows.”


Nimrods and Garbage

There’s nothing worse

Than forcing your way

Through a crowded rest stop

Only to find the Men’s Room

Loaded with grizzly characters

Who have taken up all the stalls

And left none for you


When you finally get in one,

To find that some asshole

Has pissed his way around the toilet bowl

And another before him

Has left a turd floating on the water

Like a dead frog


When you finally get into another stall –

One that’s somewhat clean,

To slip your skivvies down,

Crap massively

And go to wipe

With toilet paper that’s so flimsy

Your fingers literally punch through it

And dig right into

Your shitty asshole,


This world is filled with such

Nimrods and garbage

That even the simple pleasure

Of taking a dump

Is ruined by it all


Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.