I’m still working on the project I’m using the working title “Sweet & Salty” for. It’s a project that started out of nowhere, just by sitting down to write whatever comes to mind, and it quickly has become the largest piece of writing I’ve ever worked on. It’s a departure from my normal poetry writing and even though when I last wrote about this project I wasn’t even sure if it was a play, a memoir or what but now as I work on it, I know what it is. It’s my first novel. Here’s a small taste:
The first time, my first time was on the floor in her parents living room. The movie A league of their own was on the TV but the TV was muted and music played from a boom box. I don’t know why we were on the floor and not the couch, it almost felt like she was afraid of the furniture. Maybe she was afraid of leaving a stain or something, I don’t know. I was afraid too but not of stains or furniture or if Dotty’s husband would return from the war or if Kit could pitch a win for the big game. I wasn’t afraid of having sex, I wasn’t afraid of STD’s or of making a baby. I wish I had a photo of the cashier’s face at the pharmacy when I bought a box of condoms. Thinking back on it, it’s funny but at the time, the look on her face when I was twelve years old buying a box of condoms. To this day, I have not been able to forget her. She was probably in her 60’s with white hair that was curly but thinned out enough that her scalp was immediately obvious. She was wearing a baby blue t-shirt and a yellow cost cutters apron. Her hands were spotted sacks of bones that once resembled an actual hand and they trembled slightly. She spoke no words. Her face said it all. Her blue eyes piercing out from over her sunken cheeks with too much blush stabbed me with the horror they felt. Her lips with too much red lipstick that had stained her teeth pink, her mouth closed aggressively from a gasp to a scowl. This forced me to break eye contact and look down at her name tag. Her name was Cindy. I mean was because she must be dead by now. Even dead, that face, that look on Cindy’s face it still scares the shit of out of me. Silently, On the TV Rosie O’Donnell is eating hot dogs while catching foul balls and Gina Davis is doing splits while fielding pop flys. On the Radio, Linger by The Cranberries plays. The song was much longer than the sex. Much longer. The sex is basically just a side note to this story. From this point and through most of high school, one thing was true. One, She got me wrapped her finger ah ah ah do you have to let it linger, do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger. I was 16 when she became the first repeat offender. We were on her bed, in one of those small 2 bedroom, red brick apartments, so common in north jersey. The bed was right under the only window and outside the window was a small patch of woods. On the other side of those woods was the middle school, the school at which we first met. We were in high school now so I wanted her to know I knew what I was doing. I did something you are never supposed to do. I came inside her. I was wearing a condom but I didn’t want her to think I was so ill prepared and unpracticed that I couldn’t last more than 2 minutes. So, I did my best to hide the silly orgasm look on my face and kept on humping. She asked me rather nicely if I had finished. I of course denied and boastingly asked: “I’m a lot better than I use to be, right?” I smiled and tried to act like what I thought a man would act like. Tough, proud, confident. I was none of those things. In my heart, I felt terror. What would Cindy think?
Do you think it’s possible your writing could give people an unfavorable view of you?
What you’re asking me is will people think i’m an asshole, and yes i think there’s a very real possibility of that. i reveal a lot about others and not always in a very kind way. My family will be horrified, people who were co-workers, bosses or my employees will be shocked, ex-girlfriends/lovers might be flattered, embarrassed or completely outraged.
Is it your intention to be shocking.
Like i’ said before, i never set out to be controversial or shocking. i just wanted to be as honest as possible and it turns out honesty is shocking. While is was in the writing process of The Lies That Cause The Cancer i was completely unaware of how what i was writing could make me look. It wasn’t until the editing process that i became aware of how self-absorbed and even misogynistic it could come across. There are definitely lines in the book that still make me cringe and i’ve been living with these words for a few years now.
Why not edit the book to put a better light on you?
i made a conscious decision to respect the words and the moments. Self-editing can be very tricky, there’s a big difference between editing and rewriting. Trust me there was plenty of things i wanted to omit but i knew then it would just be a book of lies. In hindsight, i learned something about myself. Nobody judges me more harshly than i judge myself and i think that’s why my words can make me seem so shitty. It’s because that’s how i felt about myself when i was writing them.
“I can only live this life as best I can. I am a flawed human and the world will soon know it.“
Don’t worry it’s only a good portion of the world. It’s just the majority that’s out to get you. They want to eat your flesh and dance in your blood. It’s only the sons and daughters of Mother Nature, your siblings that want you dead. They want you mutilated. They want your blood to mix with the dirt underneath their finger nails as they dismember you with their bare hands.
Like I said, don’t worry. There is good news. You are not the lowest man on the food chain. You have brothers and sisters below you; men, women and children that you can slash and stab at with dull rusty weapons. You can open them up and remove their guts and keep them for yourself, smear their blood on your face like war paint, all while growling and hissing at the world. Go ahead and crack their skulls like hard boiled eggs, eat their intellect, consume their experiences and wash it down with the urine left in the bladder.
Do God’s work.
Their blood is slowly seeping through the ceiling, maybe the attic was a bad choice. They need to go somewhere though and that seemed like the most logical place when this all started. Can you believe it’s been a year? Almost a year and 1000 victims saved. I know I could have done better but it’s hard to find the motivation. I’m tired all the time. I don’t sleep much anymore. It used to be the vile, putrid smell that kept me awake but I’ve grown use to that. It’s the cough that I’ve developed that keeps me awake at night now. It must be from black mold that has been flourishing on all the damp blood stains on the ceiling and down the walls. The sounds have also been keeping me awake. I can hear the maggots feasting on the rotting flesh while the bones shift and settle. The maggots are the worst part of this mission. I can’t eat potato salad anymore because the sound of the maggots is the same thick, wet, mushing sound as stirring together potato salad. Not that I have much of an appetite anymore which I think is another side effect of the mold.
I’m glad to have finally received a response; I know you were probably just busy with the mission. I must admit that I was worried that I wouldn’t hear from you. I feared that you had been captured or worse. I could not be happier to hear that you are well and in good spirits. I’m really impressed that you filled both your attic and your basement and that you’ve started filling your living room. It’s impressive but risky so please be careful. I’m going to have to cut this short, the sun is setting and I must hit the streets. As you would say “I have to go do God’s work”. I look forward to hearing from you again; this is a lonely mission we are on.
Be strong, be safe, your loyal friend and follower.
(I’m not sure where I’m going with this. It’s maybe something worth expanding on though.)
WHITE BOY THAT LOVES TO SUCK BIG BLACK COCK HIT ME UP! BBCSLUT21@gmail.com
This is the graffiti, exactly as i found it, from the left mens room stall at the A&P in West Paterson, NJ. (I know it’s Woodland Park now but I refuse to refer to is as such.) The email is accurate and I don’t know whether or not it’s real but you can email White Boy yourself to see if you get a response.
The reason I wrote down this bit of graffiti was because it gave me an idea for a story. A story about a man who contacts the people on the other side of all the bathroom wall art he comes across and all the adventures he would find himself on. No, it wouldn’t be all nasty sex stories! Get your head out of the gutter pervert.
The more I think about this idea the more I think about just contacting the people myself from the calligraphy I find on my journeys through public restrooms. Who knows maybe some of them are real or at least the contact info goes to someone even if they didn’t put it wherever i might have found it. Again, you seriously need to get your head out of the gutter. I have no intention on meeting anyone in person. How unsavory! Plus you should know how much I don’t like meeting new people. I don’t like to see the people I already know. If you want to see me you’ll have to become a regular or get a job at Chilis. Anyway…
It sounds like it would be interesting to see what people have to say about why/how their info got tagged on a mens room wall. I would be inclined to share such stories with the three of you. OK, maybe I should just write the story as the idea first developed or maybe I should do BOTH. I don’t know, I don’t know if there will be time.
Tonight i worked on my poetry book, The Lies That Cause The Cancer. Someone of you already know that i write by hand in spiral notebooks and i’m in the process of typing up all the material i have so far. I just finished typing the 146th poem and there’s quite a few more to go. As i work on this book i have these moments where i feel like, holy fuck this might actually be pretty good shit. i feel that way tonight and thought i’d share a couple poems from the book with you. i wrote these many months apart from each other but they still kind of seemed to fit together.
a guest in a house not so familiar
the room bathed in the yellow street light
reflecting off the snow
my eyes saw shadows
my mind ghosts
the wind talked dirty
the house moaned
and played along
into a dirty sock
i watch the shadows dance
they move to the rhythm
of my life
i move with them
soothes the burning
of my unfulfilled desires
the shadows are comforting
like a cold wash cloth
on a feverish forehead
like the warm soft touch
of your lovers hand
on the back of your neck
the shadows are my lover
they are my life
and we dance together
moment to moment
I sat for a few hours tonight at a book store working on my book. I find that I’m more productive there than at home. While I sat there working on my book I started to think about what affect this book could have on people. It’s the most honest stuff I have ever written. It’s also less like poetry and more like a list of confessions. Which is fine by me, I’ve never really liked that idea of being a poet anyway. Poetry is not a word I’ve ever liked, it sounds inappropriate to me.
“This guy just showed me his poetry!”
“Ewwww! That’s gross! Was it short?”
I don’t know if this book is good or bad and it doesn’t matter. Over all the bands, songs, albums, shows, zines, books I’ve done in my life, I am most proud of this collection of work. I am both extremely excited and completely terrified as to how it will be perceived and also of how it will change people’s perception of me.
The truth about me is that I’m a very sensitive guy. If it wasn’t for my heart I would have no sleeves. I put my heart 100% into everything I do. I’m not just talking about writing and music either. I am totally invested into my job. I have to do a good job I don’t know how to not do a good job. I care about everything single person I work with. I care about my friends. I want to help them with their job, their life. I want to make them smile and laugh. Occasionally, I get angry and yell and say mean things but only because sometimes caring so much gets frustrating. I share my life, my stories openly with people because I think maybe that will help them in some way. If nothing else they can get a good laugh at how foolish I can be. My heart is exposed at all times. If I’m hanging out with a girl and like her, I can’t hide it. I say silly things and write cute poems like a 16 year old boy with a crush.
All of this is why I write and play music. It’s why I’m writing this book. My exposed heart gets pretty banged up on a regular basis and I need a way to recover. Being creative and pouring my heart out does this for me. It’s also a way for me to give a back a little for all the love I receive from people. If I can somehow help and inspire just one other person in my life than all of it will have been worthwhile. It has been worthwhile because I know I’ve helped people. I get gifts with cards with little notes saying how much I’m loved, how much I’m appreciated. I get emails from people thanking me for giving them the courage to do what they needed to do in their life. I do make people smile, I make them think and want to improve their lives.
I truly have an incredible life. I’m so proud of the little bit I’m able to do for all of you and will keep doing more because that’s least I can do for you. The bottom line is, you all do so much more for me I could never do enough to pay you back. You’re in my life and for that I am thankful.