more bot mail for Dusty

My cat, Dusty, recieved a new email from the Russian bride bot scam:

localDateTimewithTimezone("February 25, 2005 8:31 AM","timetag1");
25 Februari 2005 10:31:00
Hello!!! I shall be very glad correspondencewith you!!! To me 33 years. I live in Russia.I am singleand I have no children. I am very much disappointed with relationswith Russian men and consequently I want to try to find the loveoutside Russia. I very much hope, that the Internet will help me tofind the beloved. If you have interest to correspondence with me writeto me on e-mail LUDMILA1970@BK.RU


I was a college gonzo

Hemingway used to say if he couldn't think of anything to write, he always knew he could begin by writing "one true thing." If Hunter S. Thompson ever brought anything to the table of the way we document people, places, events et cetera it was a penchant for telling the most outrageous truth in the most outrageous way. Nonetheless, he was telling us the truth.

17 true haiku

... for Hunter

all you can do, Bub
fenced in by terrible lies:
hold fast to that truth

in the first person
interspersing opinion
subtly into it.

The goal: to stay true;
to make a clown of oneself
& call it “gonzo.”

Entertainment, Bub,
is merely a side result
of the getting there

the countless pieces
of himself the reporter
decides to reveal.


I, too, was a failed
politician w/a taste
for controversy

Drugs. Bombast. The road.
A disdain for self-import
& pragmatism

w/penchant for foot
in my or any other
hack-throated shit-mouth

in place of that truth.
The universal given:
politicians lie.

Does the journalist
embellish to remove self
for story’s angle.

Does the candidate.
Do our heads & heels of state.
Does everyone, but

to opt for the truth.
To stare, unafraid, into
hwys less driven.


I could praise you, Bub.
I could sing this elegie
simply as waking

easy enough to
account for the substances
ingested myself

in my stupid youth
w/both feet inside my mouth
vivid now as then.

I could, but I won’t
describe you as god-like, or
even as hero.

Just another dead
disheartened by that true, blue
American Dream.


ars autobiografica III

My mom had remarried a couple years earlier, to a complete ass-hole. L was a surly insurance peddler. His parents had kept him on a leash as a child. He thought he was pretty smart. Figured he could talk my mom into moving us into a more blue-collar edge of town where the schools were lousy so he could catch a tax break. Though he never succeeded in doing that, he did manage to mangle the better part of three years of my life. He was a fairly abusive guy, sometimes in the physical sense. He tried to restrict what my sister and I could watch on TV. Claimed MTV would rot our brains, but didn’t seem to mind my listening to his old Black Sabbath records. Go figure.

Anyway, that shit starting hitting the fan when I entered high school (If you’ve seen or read “This Boy’s Life,” my situation was pretty parallel). I started lifting weights and playing football to get out the mounting aggression I felt toward the cockholder my mom had married. Or maybe I just enjoyed the extra time away from the house.

I really never understood all the crap they feed you about high school being the ‘best years of your life.’ That’s pretty sad. I mean, you’re just pubescent, you start getting all of these near-uncontrollable urges, your face breaks out and no matter who you are or how hard you try, you can’t please everyone and ‘fitting in’ takes on a very disproportionate importance.

So, I spent the first year or so of those years hitting the weights, ‘jocking out,’ if only for my own protection. My grades started to hit the shitter, except for Spanish and English. I could blame it on that bastard or on myself being at one of those awkward stages. I just accept it as the way it was and uncontrollable.

The end of my freshman year of high school, I took a job setting up and then operating rides at a church festival. I was 15, but lied and told the carnies I was 18, so they could hire me. All I really remember about the time were these semi-toothed career carnies asking me if I knew where in town they could score crank or “sweet asshole.” I was pretty naive about drugs and pretty quiet about sex then and, sadly, unable to help them with either.

I took my carny pay to Puerto Rico with me that summer, did some fishing with my uncle and cousins, bought a guitar I wouldn’t be able to find on the mainland, scoped out all the beautiful women of the island, drank real Pina Coladas and experienced my first tropical drunk, spent a great day at El Yunque and hopped a hydrofoil to St. Thomas with my mom and sister. I remember a voluptuous caramel-skinned woman at a restaurant making eyes at my mom. My mom divorced the jagoff later that year and a healing came upon us all.


Ars Autobiografica (part 2 of a few)

So, I transferred back into the public school system in the tree-lined suburbs of Youngstown, OH. Youngstown itself is a sad place from a sad Bruce Springsteen song. It’s a lot like Michael Moore’s Flint, MI. Poland, however, was a bit more hoity-toity. It’s one of the oldest towns outside of the first 13 states, and most of its upwardly mobile residents act as if their families have lived there since the 18th century (most of them are newer residents who live in gods-awful cookie cutter McMansions). My family was not so well-off, but we happened to live within the borders of the school district, so I was in like Flynn. Or, at least, I was in the door.

In 7th grade I had an English teacher who thought I wrote like Stephen King. Even at that young and impressionable age, I was no King fan, but I milked it in her class and I guess that helped some initial skills-honing. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life (some may say I still don’t). I wanted to play my guitar and get lots of women and float down the river to New Orleans in a canoe and maybe lead a 3rd-world revolution. Some goals never change.

In 8th grade I started up a band. It lasted for about a week or two. We played covers of Pat Benatar and Scorpions and didn’t bother to find a drummer. I spent that summer in Puerto Rico with my aunt and uncle. It was a storm-ridden summer, and I spent most of it reading old standards like “Ivanhoe” and “Wuthering Heights” and “The Sun Also Rises.” “The Sun Also Rises” is still one of my favorite books. I remember sending a long and silly letter back to my cousin Adam in Youngstown about the crazy amazon-like women of El Yunque rainforest. It was just goofy, pubescent boys-will-be-boys stuff, but his mom then forbade him from hanging out with me, the *crazy* cousin, and grounded him to spend the rest of the summer listening to awful Christian Metal like Stryper. Once again, I felt like I was onto something with this writing thing. Again, my poor cousin was somehow involved.

Those years, school sucked. Most of the other kids were the sheltered spawns of newly-rich assholes recently moved out of the city for fear of people of color. I preferred the city to suburbia. I hung out a bit at a really cool secondhand book store and started buying $1 and $2 copies of whatever struck my fancy, or looked cool. I spent a lot of time alone with my guitar. When I did associate with others, it was a grungy circle of other not-so-rich kids who happened to live within the outer reaches of the school district, an edge of the community we lovingly called the “ghetto” of Poland.


Ars Autobigraphica (part 1 of several)

In 4th grade at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic, my homeroom teacher was an angry bear of a woman named Miss DiOrio. We called her “Miss Diarrhea.” She was shrewd and oppressive, as was most of that period of my life.

As I recall, we would occasionally be assigned ‘creative writing’ projects – every week or month or something like that – it was a long time ago – the Reagan Administration was young.

I remember concocting a story about my cousin Adam and me taking a hot air balloon to New York, where we then did battle with some psycho-balloon-hijacker-types. I was 10. I watched a lot of “The A Team” and “Dukes of Hazzard.” Miss Diarrhea criticized that story in front of the class, claimed it was “ultraviolent filth.” I think that incident must have been the first time I thought I could pull off this “writer” farce.

The next year I started playing guitar. Like most beginners, I was pretty awful. My mom signed me up for lessons, but they went slowly. Thankfully, my dad had shown me a few chords and my mom had given me a “Complete Beatles” songbook as a companion gift to the guitar (the guitar itself) was a blonde dreadnought Dad had bought for $70 at JC Penney). So, I “read ahead” and learned some rock and roll basics – you know, I, IV, IV and power chords and never get too hung up on any one lady, because you’re a ramblin’ man. Don’t give your hearts to a ramblin’ man, Waylon used to sing. . . Anyway, the first “song” I wrote was that year, and followed the basic chord progression and tune as the Champs’ classic “Tequila.” It went something like:

“Gonna blow you away
gonna blow you away today
gonna blow you away ... “

A month or so later, toward the end of the 5th grade school year, there was an inclimate weather day, and a classmate and I spent the break period drawing pictures of naked women. My drawings were good enough, considering I hadn’t really seen any naked women or taken any formal art lessons. But the nuns at St. Luke’s were not so fond of these drawings and they sent me home with my artwork sealed in a Manila envelope for my mom. My mom seemed to think those drawings showed some aptitude, so she marched me back to St. Luke’s and informed those reactionary nuns I would be returning to the public school system. Happiness all around.