Monday, October 31, 2011

The Vestiges of a Lucid Dream

An alleged serial killer was swiftly swinging through ironic person-sized holes in strange mechanical structures that rotated throughout a dystopian sci-fi elevator shaft in an intricate and indistinguishable pattern.  He may have been escaping from a futuristic maximum security prison, or just practicing.  This faceless antagonist had calculated the timing so precisely that he could execute this feat with ease, while others would have surely died trying.  His astounding agility and intelligence were clearly apparent.  Another scene involved the killer planning his attacks - surveying various empty houses and other buildings.  Suddenly, first person perspective was implemented, which meant I had become the killer.  Soon enough, I had the profound realization that I was innocent - that I was actually in my bed, dreaming in REM sleep.  This came as quite a relief, as I hid behind a TV, wondering if I would be able to get a few shots off without anyone seeing me.  The images in my dream began flickering, fizzling, and turning to static.  It was like the end of an ancient reel of 8 mm film, crackling as the quality ominously disintegrated.  It was the impatient pops and clicks of a needle clinging to the outer edge of a vinyl record.  I became aware that the REM stage was nearly finished, thus completing another sleep cycle.  In the distance I could hear a fan and an aquarium.  I then made the seemingly autonomous decision to depart from this nostalgic realm of fantasy and return to a warm reality, like being born again.  After all, my dreams were crumbling.  What would you have done?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Broken Body Blues

I've never been in a car accident, but this is how I imagine a victim might feel afterward.  Excessive knots ran throughout my entire back like miniature landmines, and the skin on my face had been insistently scorched by an uncompromising solar orb.  Even my scalp was unfairly and inexplicably burned, despite an ostensibly protective layer of hair.  My wrists and ankles were sore and useless, and my left shoulder was pulsing with inflammation.  So was my right forearm.  My hips and inner thighs felt as though I had narrowly escaped being drawn and quartered.  These conditions functioned as a straight-jacket, restricting my range of motion significantly.  I twisted and contorted myself, attempting another spinal adjustment, again to no avail.

Such a state of anatomical devastation had left me with additional afflictions, such as mild nausea, a complete lack of energy, and a diminished capacity to concentrate on anything beyond pain, discomfort, and frustration.  My demeanor and outlook were as cynical and pessimistic as ever.   I was frail, humble, and unmotivated.

"Whoa! You're as red as hell!" a coworker blurted out.  Evidently he was unaware that I possess both mirrors and nerves.  He was unaware that I was aware.  Either that, or he fancied himself a merchant of rhetorical statements and senseless observations.   I wanted to tell him his hair was as black as coal.

"Yeah, I got sunburned..."
I didn't want to be clever, or funny, or affable.  I didn't even want to be polite - I just wanted to be a ghost.  I was disoriented and half asleep.  My passion and creativity had been marginalized, in favor of a cold, apathetic gaze.  Luckily, a simple text message revived my spirits.  Damn.  Tennis is a brutal sport.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Attention Deficit Diaries (Pt. I)

Sleeper's Block is when you have nothing to sleep about, or maybe nothing to dream about.  It is the opposite of Writer's Block, because you have plenty to write about.  I was at Walmart the other day, and the tragic, yet secretly entertaining spectacle engulfed my senses immediately.  This place is the armpit of Western Civilization.  On my way to the health bar and vitamin isle, I saw a weary middle-aged train wreck of a man, hobbling along, strung out on the American Dream.  His dirty t-shirt cradled a bulging pot-belly, but nothing propped up the grayish bags under his tired eyes - they were just another victim of gravity.  God.  I couldn't let him go on like this.  I wanted to grab him by the collar and shake him like an over-sized infant.  I wanted to yell, "Wake up!  You don't have to live like this!  Throw your TV away!  Be creative!  Be spontaneous!  Eat a fresh-cooked meal!  Get some exercise!"  But who was I to judge?  Maybe he was just another victim of society.  Maybe he had given up, after realizing that the world had given up on him.  Maybe I'm wrong - maybe he had been living it up, drinking in all of life's pleasures.  Maybe this intensely passionate and hedonistic lifestyle had taken a substantial, yet worthwhile toll on his physical appearance.  Or maybe he was just having a bad day.

I saw a zoo-worthy family of moaning primates - barely homo sapien.  The frantic mother was pregnant with her eighth or ninth, and her cart was overflowing with cholesterol, sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and hopelessness.  I wanted to stand up on the cash register and shout, "The last thing you need is another diabetic rug rat clinging to your quarter-ton calf!  The condoms are right next to the heartburn medication - You and your alpha male counterpart should have patronized that section four births ago!

But the game is rigged, and it isn't her fault.  She is another victim of society.  These are calculated symptoms of systematic dehumanization.  There are plenty of resources to go around, but sustainable living is not a human right.  Neither is dignity.  We are the bewildered herd, the bovine humans, pumped full of pills, patriotism, and predatory paralysis.  We are rats in a maze, but in order to get the cheese, we need to grow wings.  A shadowy ruling class keeps that glowing chunk of divine cheddar dangling above us, promising, swearing that if we're good rats, we can have a taste.  We can sink our shaking teeth into what they have - what we've seen in captivating bursts between commercials.  But we can't.  We won't.  As Voltaire once said, "The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor."

At this point I would intuitively go on a rant involving socialist propaganda and the plight of the proletariat, but that's a topic for another article.  I will try to stay on track.  This article was supposed to be about writer's block, or maybe insomnia.  But all I can really think about is summer.  School is out, and so are the fine young ladies.  They seem to come out of the woodwork, sporting incredible bodies and naive, yet seductive smiles.  They allow me to momentarily rediscover my heterosexuality, before nearly running a red light.  But even now, twenty-seven years deep, these enchanting creatures are still a complete enigma.  What do they want?  Does Mel Gibson know?  He certainly knew what Christians wanted - a high-budget snuff film.  But ladies are each so idiosyncratic.  As a group, their desires are much more difficult to pinpoint.   You can't just say, "Hey, wanna split a bottle of wine and watch the return of the messiah with me?"   

Sleeper's Block is when you can't fall asleep because you have too much to write about.  One of my main predicaments is my eclecticism. I am interested in too many things - too many styles of music, too many movies, too many current events, too many perspectives, etc.  I am too unconventional for the yuppies, and too indie for the punks, and too mainstream for the art fags.  I seem to have one foot in each counterculture, but lack affiliation.  I am spread too thin.  I enjoy riding my bike, but I don't wear one of those tiny racing caps and I don't know how to build a "fixie" out of PBR cans, so I am understandably shunned by the hipster community.  And the bourgeoisie is disconcerted by my wine apathy.  I don't even have specific goals in my pursuit of the fairer sex.  Do I want a one-night stand, or a long lasting, intimate relationship, or a friend with benefits, or something else?  I have no idea.  I'll take one of each please - the sampler.  Do I want to get married?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But the heterosexual ladies out there seem to have their priorities all figured out.  When met with any of the aforementioned courtship proposals, a woman might respond, "I'm not that kind of girl", after consulting her mental checklist.  There is no equivalent for me.  I can think of almost no proposal a beautiful woman could make that would cause me to reply in such a manner.  For instance, if a striking young damsel had some sort of sadistic role playing fetish and she wanted me to reenact the vomit-inducing amputation scene from the film 127 Hours, I would respond by simply asking where she keeps her butter knives.

But after the pleasure, confusion, disappointment, psychopathic flashbacks, and myriad other sensations instilled by romantic pursuit, I always have my amigos.  These are the dudes I rely on to maintain a minimal level of sanity.  Only with a vague reluctance and a non-sexist, ironic sense of humor would I dare employ the ancient adage "bros before hos", but if it applies to anything, it applies to whatever point I am trying to make now.  Having a beer and a laugh with a group of buddies is the best therapy I have thus far encountered.  This therapy often includes unapologetic food and drink binges, noteworthy misadventures, and sinister jokes, macabre enough to make Jack the Ripper cringe.  I plan to spend a significant portion of my summer participating in such behavior.

So go ahead - crack open a can of your favorite lager and gaze up at the cosmic ceiling of Planet Earth.  Alas, summer is in full effect, and we can all just relax.  Well, maybe not folks in Syria, or Yemen, or Chinese sweatshops, or most of the world, for that matter, but to all of us here in the good ol' US of A*, I would like to make a toast to the most beautiful and carefree time of the year.  Cheers! 

*excluding the millions affected by economic, physical, psychological, or total devastation 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Pleasant Distraction

Falling eyelids make time freeze
Lashes smile, a subtle breeze
Orbs at rest behind incisions
But when revealed they cause collisions

I must digress to assess
How on earth one might possess
Golden locks, legs of a goddess
A countenance so bleak and modest

And as she struts past
I find that she has
A bun in the oven
A beauty so sudden

My heart is tender, calm and coy
My mind is eager to destroy
The notion of her lips so red
Grazing mine, entwined in bed

Alas, I return from the unseen
To greet the steel of my machine
This purgatory where I work
This factory where bosses lurk

Then I remember Johnny Cash
And all the great ones from the past
Etta James and Brian Jones
Malcolm X and Al Capone

And all the books I haven't read
Every author, 'live or dead
I think of them, and I can say
My soul is fine another day


Haiku #2

All the crickets laugh
"A seemingly small giraffe!"
From a distant path

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Haiku #1

Mao's little red book
In my glovebox, have a look!
It's my secret nook

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Benevolent Mentor

An internal battle begins
White blood cells die for my sins
An ominous crash of thunder
A torment in my chest, and under

But a cool wave makes its way inside of me
And gives my soul back to Sobriety
I was sick with a fix of childish hope
Naivety the needle, desperation the dope

Where have I been since the sun went away?
In Milwaukee, to see the Ancient of Days
A weary traveler, aged beyond his years
Yet drank more life than any of his peers

He took me in, under his wing
A weathered, feathered, leather thing
And through the skies we whirled and twirled
To see the wonders of the world

Hedonistic queens of sex
The Brontosaurus and T. Rex
Microscopic Asian germs
And enormous slimy worms

Everything in its place
Grown in time and flown through space
Turkish Bath, Barcelona Beach
I shall learn and he shall teach

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grandpa Vern is a Legend

Grandpa Vern is a legend.  He has sprinted faster than a deer, won several prestigious awards for his outstanding journalism, and once killed a deadly gorilla with his bare hands.  Or did he kill a bear with his deadly gorilla hands?  The act was conducted too quickly to tell.  In any case, Vern also served an unspecified country bravely as a Kamikaze pilot during World War II.  He has been around this world, and back.  At ninety-nine years young, Grandpa Vern is still kicking, and despite witnessing innumerable nerve-wracking sporting events, his tell tale heart is still ticking.
            Regardless of Grandpa Vern’s breathtaking history of mind-boggling accomplishments, he is really just a simple man who loves and cares for his family, his community, antique cars, and the meticulous documentation of trivial occurrences on his calendar, year after year.  But the vortex of Vern’s legacy can be found in the countless gifts, vast and subtle, that he has bestowed upon his na├»ve kinfolk.  Now, everyone knows that Grandpa Vern has graciously made charitable contributions to the empty pockets of his grandchildren for decades, but let’s examine the inception of this compelling tale.  First, Mr. Vernon J. Cahak gave one Sally Lindsay the gift of his hand in marriage.  After several under-the-table deals with The Stork, Vernon gave the gift of Life – three lovely children, who each stopped crying at night when given a pacifier dipped in whiskey.  Through these initially offspring, a batch of an additional 9 grandchildren later sprang forth, and so far, an additional great-grandchild has shown his bright little face.  You might think Vern had little or nothing to do with these seemingly isolated incidents of procreation, but think again.  Vern’s benevolent yet regulatory hand was guiding this process, as he kindly passed the gift of favorable genes on to each of his grandchildren. 
Yes, superior genetic makeup is but one of the many wonderful gifts Vernon has given.  These specific biological mechanisms have allowed enhanced athletic abilities, impressive writing skills, patience, understanding, eloquence, humility, a good sense of humor, or simply exhibiting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  In rare cases, such as my own, a descendent might end up with all of said dominant traits (perhaps excluding one).  However, these genes may lay dormant, and may require the powerful presence of their almighty founder in order to be expressed.  Vern’s presence, which includes exposure to his uncanny wit and wisdom, allows several units of his deeply poetic phrases, peppered with his patented profanity, to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  As you may have noticed by the diction and flow of this piece of literature, I have been in Vernon’s presence quite a few times over the last 27 years.  You might also be interested to know that, because of this stalwart grandfather, I was, at one point in my career, that fastest kid in elementary school.  I went on to play on the little league all-star team, and became one of the top sprinters and long-jumpers in track and field.  Again, relating to Vernonesque genes, I kept several journals when I was a child, and I have been periodically updating a personal narrative that mainly chronicles my college experience in Milwaukee.  This Microsoft Word document is now 90 pages in length, and none of you will ever read it.
When engaging in the writing process, my aim is to entertain.  But this is a serious matter!  Grandpa Vern is the reigning patriarch – the king of this family, and he deserves some respect.  He is the best father my mom has ever had, and he is my favorite grandfather on my mom’s side of the family.  Not only that, but he is a model, an archetype for all future grandfathers around the world.  Yes, even Oriental and Colored grandfathers.  He is the quintessential grandfather.  Grandpa Vern’s stealth and cunning, though notable, are no match for the community involvement, goodwill, hard work, love, care, and kindness he exhibits on a daily basis.  Though often referred to as “Grandpa Vern”, Mr. Cahak has recently earned the prestigious title “Great Grandpa Vern”, mainly due to his evident greatness.  This Man among men has provided infinite inspiration to all of us, and we love him dearly.  Grandpa Vern is a true American hero.  In a lively chant, I must declare, “Ninety-nine more years! Ninety-nine more years!