Wednesday, December 11, 2013

cradled, jeans, flannel, beard, toxins.

i never realized how much i am like my father
until i saw myself in a caretaker/older male figure
in someone ELSE's life.

so it goes.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

the road to south carolina.

THE PLAYLIST: road to sc

this is a mix, sort of. on the drive from new York to Charleston I put my Zune on shuffle and let it play whatever songs I had on there in the order it chose. randomly. it was fine. seeing as it’s only 30gb, most of the stuff I put on there is deliberate. not too much random stuff that I’ll want to skip through. and the drive took about 16 hours. I’m surprised that I only listened to about 178 songs, or something along those lines. these 25 are songs that I wrote down in my moleskine as particular tracks that seemed to match the mood of that particular moment. thought the way that they’re playing here are not set up in the order that they played in the playlist. no, this is more of an audible chart of how my brain started to fall apart on the trip down.

I left at an absurd time, something like 6 or 7 in the morning. before anyone had woken up. and at this stage, all I’m thinking of is the distance. the amount of time I’ll be in the car is sort of hanging in the background, but nothing about what life often passes within that time period. meals, interactions, walking, standing, muscle utilization. even little things that your eyes do that prevent them from droning off into a horizon.

and that’s what the first portion of these songs represent. (at the drive-in – ticklish) excitement and a positive attitude. strapping into a cockpit. this song was actually the first one that came on after about 7 of them that felt like it really propelled me into an excited state of mind. a setting off into a new life. and the sun is coming up and there isn’t much traffic and everything is completely fresh. this is just a drive and it’s going to be far away. (mae – runaway) finally hitting a straight pitch of freeway and not having to even change any lanes to go around any cars going too slow. just mellowing behind some guy doing 70. it’s not cold and it’s not hot. and I have my window barely down and I’m cruising. this is while I’m leaving long island, you know (hot rod circuit – knees) and I’m feeling my hands beat on the steering wheel in some kind of rhythm that is SORT of what the drums in the song are doing.

(Manchester orchestra – virgin) and then it starts to get a little dicey somewhere when you start to hit the boroughs, and the bridges. it gets a little more abrasive. I go into my head a little bit. I’m hitting some stand still traffic. using my head more, a lot more concentration going on, a lot less of that whimsy. (as cities burn – this is it, this is it) getting a little aggressive. merging when you have to, not letting people merge when they shouldn’t be, or rather when they should have when they had that chance. when you saw them choose not to. that competition of driving, that sort of lesson teaching that you try to do by your gates of allowing people in and not allowing people in, patiently waiting for them to say the right thing with their blinker or with their usage or lack of braking. especially when things are so incredibly dense as people are leaving the NY metro area, hitting those bridges, hitting those tunnels. (dredg – the tanbark is hot lava) choppy, terrible post-construction. destruction. and I start getting stressed a little about my car being a bit on the older side, though maintained. caring and then thinking about not caring and then ultimately not caring. still daytime, still a long way to go. still, absolutely positive. because despite “NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK THEY’RE DOING” [- everyone, to everyone] I’m leaving. and I’m on zero time table. this is my own time. and for me, that’s enough sometimes. if there’s nothing on the other side of anything that says I have to be anywhere by anytime, I’ll often feel MORE motivated, more proactive, more fluid, more alright with anything and anything else and everything else in the in between. (letlive – renegade ’86

and traffic lets up and things feel good and despite the fact that I’m alongside what feels like legions of cars going to the same exact place, they’re going the speed THAT I LIKE THEM TO and that I want them to. and we’re a rolling force moving ahead. getting to that jersey turnpike, everyone is going the same direction as fast as they possibly can. and with purpose. feeling good again, feeling like I can get my bearings again. can get the sun under me and in me and along me again. roaring with the music. banging my steering wheel to where I can almost feel the feedback from not only the soft plastic wheel, but the entire column gonging back at me, and the tires lipping back asphalt. passing over every number white line on the turnpike. and only changing lines to go around families in mini vans or people learning how to drive moving vans with their nerves on their fingers. (mindless self indulgence – wack) dancing in the driver’s seat. and then 295 south. something like 90 minutes of blasting in one direction. (kanye west – diamonds) pacing yourself becomes important in a way, sort of only taking on about an eighth of this trip, and getting out of the most populated area that you’re going to drive through, the most types of directions you’re going to change until you’re in the area where you’re going to have to learn new streets in a matter of minutes. where google maps tells you you have to turn on a new road that might not be named that road anymore in 1.3 miles that feels different in every city and every town and in every different landscape. trees going forever. highway laid so strategically and surrounded so permanently by forests. and I’ve always wanted to see some kind of nature in those tree beds, but it’s only ever evergreen backdrop.

(the strokes – happy ending) looking back in my backseat, almost everything aside from every SINGLE piece of media is coming with me. clothing. video game consoles. bunch of books, bunch of games, all the blu rays. uploading into a new state, a new city, a new configuration. these are going to be hanging in different closets. stored on different shelves. watched alongside a new set of eyes, with a new voice to echo reactions off of. and the sun is up up there somewhere and it’s still September. warm. we’ll have a chance to see the new place as it’s alive. not just someplace that we’re living, but someplace that it’s blooming. driving 80. sometimes 90, but then I get nervous a little bit about the car falling to pieces right there under me and I’m left scooting around on some kind of go kart or maybe a wheel flies off of an axel and I’m sent rolling into an embankment or a ditch. (days away – knows my name) people saying “did you see that, what happened?” and I’m just someone that fucked up on the side of the round in a burning mound and then sirens become more of the story than the guy who was going 80 or sometimes 90 but only by mistake. not really mistake. but you know, rolling ahead, and just foot on the gas and feeling good. feeling fine. just going fast. and looking at the clock being the absolute worst thing you can do, because the only thing you can feel is that you’re making good time, because you’ve been doing it for so long and you’re far away from where you originated. (ghosts and vodka – bizarre funeral) and you’ve been going so fast with no stops at all. the way you wish you could drive to work with no lights and no traffic. driving to work SO FAST so that you’re NOT LATE and you ABLE TO DO WORK earlier than you would have if there was standard traffic. and you’re unfortunately feeling so surprised every time things go exactly the same way as they’ve always gone. driving out and open like this, really, everything is a surprise, but NOTHING is a surprise because there’s no expectation. on such a long stretch, it’s all new, and so often. every time I’ve taken on this stretch of the turnpike and then 295 and then 95, I have a bit of nostalgia. I drove to Richmond a bunch of times in that red ford probe. and then that jetta. and drove to DC in a Nissan filled with people. and it always feels very open and sort of similar and I always feel like I want to see the Baltimore ravens’ football stadium.

(silversun pickups – well thought out twinkles) going 80 and sometimes 90 by mistake. in the car for hours on your own. literally could go anywhere at this rate. always thinking about how easy it would be to do this in a brand new car that never needed any bit of maintenance, that has never given an issue and that is far from its first hiccup. always some weird guessing game. but still out there in the open and exploring. remember that driving around was a thing when I was 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. but there weren’t these bridges and these wide wide wide open national straight aways, but there were beaches and towns and a lot of street lights and almost no chance of getting lost. super nostalgic feelings of being out on the road. of looking over at someone and laughing at something. but moving ahead towards a new collective. (radiohead – stop whispering) making a huge change and taking a huge chance. no matter how sure it feels, it’s still a major risk. diving off of the high dive into a safe, deep pool. still a bit of fear. not TERRIFIED. I’d love to see more people have something to completely go off onto an island for. just to give something completely unsure a chance. like driving or quitting or flying or telling or leaving or fighting. standing up. five hours, six hours alone on this trip and a lot of the drive is so fast and it feels so far and it feels so right and it feels so good but it feels like your favorite episode of your favorite show on forever without commercial breaks. (saves the day – you vandal) but the directions say 12 hours, so we’re halfway there but the clock said that, but the map says something else and the number of miles left doesn’t match the amount of time left and you start to want to feel comfortable in the sun and the car and the warmth and the earth but it’s getting a little crazy. (everyone everywhere – blown up grown up) and could it be that maybe I didn’t follow the directions properly? no, absolutely not. getting on i-95 and that’s the same stretch I’m going to be on for 400 miles, or 450 miles or 464 miles or four hundred and sixty four miles, there’s no way I’m going to get lost. not going to do a damn thing but drive. just drive on this forever.

(blonde redhead – maddening cloud) until it starts to get a little dusky. and I’ve stopped at a couple of rest stops, and it’s been gorgeous, just sitting on the side of the road in the sun in Virginia and taking pictures of the trees there and the sky there and the Americans there. calling friends. texting people to catch up, the people you just saw yesterday or before yesterday who you won’t see for months. acting like, oh, yeah, it’s not a big deal, I’m just out. the rationalization being, for me, you went from the womb until we met without meeting me and you’ve been fine, so why wouldn’t you be fine after you’ve met me and now you’re living the same way? sort of the type of thinking that I’d adopted while driving my life alone and living with friends in friends’ houses and rented houses and rented apartments and being alone in each of them, but completely not. (l’altra – say wrong) really slowly drifting off on a floe and misunderstanding that I’m part of the society that I’m trying to study by disappearing into it and out of it and assuming nothing applies to me because I’m just a standardization and a generalization and a dramatization and a flick of binary. I’m just out.

but you hit that pull of i-95 and day groans into dusk. no matter how good you want that piece of light to become, you swallow it into a pit and you start to drift into this dark place. same activities, your foot weighing down on two different pedals, making little personalities based on the cars and how they’re driving, and what they’re saying on the license plates and stickers and the hats they’re wearing and the number of people in the car. the color of the car. whether or not something is hanging from the windshield. you’re competing with these people. taking it so personally when they’re passing you, or chasing them to pass them. interchanges, traffic patterns shifting. still tapping your fingers. still nodding your head. I’m making it down the coast. (American football – honestly?) trucks seem so much bigger. their lights seem brighter and indicative of something hidden. rolling forward. and I get down i-95 and I get out of Virginia and I’m in north Carolina. there are only two Carolinas and I’m into one, so I’m in one half of the Carolinas so I’m BASICALLY already there. so around 1:50 of this song, this American football song called honestly?, this is where it all starts to feel exactly this way. when you say “it’s only this far away.” or when you give in to the concept of almost. it’s this. it’s the monotony. and it speaks to you by repeating itself. and you seek a meaning in the repetition of it. or you try to limit what it means by reducing it to the lowest common denominator. because there are so many of the same things happening, that you feel it can be folded in on itself like a blanket and skip the iterations because it’s the same thing and it’s going to get shorter. this is the equivalent of the concept of JUST. why don’t you JUST. it’s JUST three hours. eyes go crossed. I’m starting to lose it here, in the dark, with these massive trucks, but I’m in north Carolina. and there’s all this time behind me and all this distance and I’m so far, and I’ll be back and I’m JUST out and I’m going to be somewhere new soon and day was just here and the same thing is happening and I’ll skip it by JUST continuing to do it for the same amount of time.

(brother sun, sister moon – ghosts of barry mill) night becomes a startling calm when you get the truth of it. thinking over it and over it is not reducing it but rather empowering it. and there’s a new boost in the cycle. something feels motherly and wombly. dead sleep but with the senses on. eyes as heavy as crushing undercurrent. (trent reznor and atticus ross – the same as the others) everything is ticking and everything is waves. there’s a digital watch alarm in the background, packed away somewhere and calling to you the same way it’s putting you to sleep. wheels coming out distinctly, like pristine woodwork against the headlights in the darkness. the tread standing still. the trees cascading into the horizon that you only pick up when you pass by a city or an habitat that’s way beyond the distance, way beyond the places you’ll ever be. holding down the gas and wishing it was an escape pod, just pulsing you forth. the pep talk becomes based upon simply staying awake. making deals with an inertiatic devil, begging for the willpower to push on, begging your body to do the idle work while your brain could just navigate the breathing, the pulse, the blood pumping. (trent reznor and atticus ross – please take your hand away) cars passing you and wondering how they’re doing it still. hoping they’re understanding. eyes on the clock every ten minutes becomes every seven minutes. the time you’re expecting to arrive there just a mistake, just some lie you told yourself. not even motivation anymore, just an impossibility. want it dead. the rotating cylinder of sound on the inside of some bigger cylinder packed quietly away behind some sound muting chamber still holding you tightly and swinging you in large, wide circles. heavy and spherical weight. the body even further from doing the work for you, the mind even further from staying focused. too distracted to think of distractions. sensory deprivation. reading braille for the first time. hands starting to feel like a constant vibration, the wheel shaking because the column is shaking because the tires are reflecting the speed and the asphalt. you are promised you are going to die by going over the side of some device. going careening into a ditch. trucks weaving to miss something and putting you into a chaos. a deer becoming a missile. and then there are only two lanes. and you’re in south Carolina. and there are two lanes. and there are trucks going faster than thought.

(health – severin) I can’t tell what’s going on anymore, but we’re going very fast and I’m not at all comfortable with it. like when the shoulder pads go down and there’s that moment where you feel the slight tug of some under wire on a roller coaster. it’s coming and you have no control. but there’s the body and there’s the brain and there’s all the crossed signals that are yelling at you like the poor from the sides of roads in third world countries. haywire. haywire. you can’t mess this up because you’re almost there and it’s dark and they’re calling on you and everything is going so fast and NOW’s the time they’re keeping you in a traffic grid again and NOW’s the time that you have to be a uniform distance from the other machines and maintain a uniform speed so you don’t disrupt the manifestation of a traffic parade that’s converged from every corner. and paranoia starts to become a new mode on top of the exhaustion because I feel like I’m the only one who’s never been here before and these are all of the envoys from every other place there could be and these are the ambassadors that are showing me that I’m doing it wrong on this particular road.(palms – Patagonia) and I want out. there is no ocean anywhere near here yet, there is no place that makes sense of what I’m seeing. but I feel surrounded by water. the road is dark and the periphery is dark and everything except what’s directly in front of me is black and almost reflective of all of the darkness reflecting itself. there is no moon, only headlights behind me and brake lights in front of me. I pull off into a rest stop because I’ve had enough and I need to have a moment of give up. a second to know it’s over. and I put my head to a pillow and I can’t stop from twitching. all of the reactions that have built up but have been subdued are glitching my muscles now that they’re not suspending a fatality. where I thought my eyes closing would bring sleep right away, I notice that there’s way too much adrenaline or spirit or inertia or life inside my veins to make that a possibility. it’s having the shortest REM cycles and the briefest dreams and haunts gasping and running across the stage. I feel cursed. I feel like an actor who’s trying to act like they’re having a nightmare on a television show. I feel torn into specific threads of muscle and separated into harp strings. sleep never comes. but I feel unwound, I feel without tension and without ripples in an ever reaching pool. I regain a sense of calm. I realign with my vehicle, with the land, with myself. (sigur ros – eg anda) there’s no panic anymore. there’s no fear.

and I turn on the headlights again and turn the car on again and there’s a stretch of grass ahead of me that I can still picture, and I reverse out of the parking spot, and switch into drive for the final pull. i-26. forever however long. the traffic pocket has collapsed. it’s just myself. and I eventually catch up with what seems like a news van. and it’s driving 65 and I’m driving 65. and I’m not passing it. I truly submit to getting there tomorrow or a week from tomorrow or in a month. and I turn my phone off because they’re calling and getting my timeline to shake the earth beneath me. and I’m behind this van that feels like it’s the only thing on the road besides and despite myself. and I can’t even tell if it’s real, because its consistency is jarring but feels like salvation. there are no cars behind us, not as far as I can tell, just an endless cipher. lightless static. twenty miles before I’m there, and the van pulls off. and I know my next exit. (earth – hung from the moon) and there’s a countdown now. I cross a bridge, I cross actual water, and I can see the deep orange of lights reflecting off of it and I can smell the biology of the ocean of it and how salty it is, like the garbage has floated to the top and it smells deep and alive and I feel like I’m escaping the whale. there’s a long bend left and the long bend right and then the exit surfaces. I get off of the highway that’s lasted since the birth of hell, and pull off into what seems like stock footage from the surrounding areas of the towers on The Wire. but it looks human and inhabited, even at midnight, even this late, even though there is no one outside. there’s a gas station that looks gutted and rusted and dried up that I park in and call and try to get my way to the final place I’ll park for the night. I have to cross train tracks and follow the road right and make a sudden right into a parking lot and then I have to stop my car and meet the people that have been waiting for me for what has felt like my entire life.

and none of this was significant. it was a drive on a road. but it was solitude and it was hollow. it was muscle absolution and obedience. for days, my hands felt rapid vibrations, almost pins and needle numbness. I felt like a landed satellite. 785 miles of tunnel or space or prayer or function. and I’d made it. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


twins switch at birth, each with the scheduled and
constant certainty of cicadas. both marked equally
with a tragic sign, destined for a persistent loss and
old age. constantly surrounded by love, devotion and
worship despite their crass nature and starvation for
solitude. visiting the home of the priest to witness
miracles. eavesdropping on exorcisms to feel a real
dedication. poring over end of the world verses.
impatience and brooding during signs of the cross.
ONE ever interested in the PLAGUES to match
HIS BROTHER'S passion for the FLOOD.
coaxing a dying horse to release triplets from its womb.
reading old letters to a locked and caged wolf.
blinding and maiming it for its duration.
between them,
they never knew a woman,
never engulfed
a female within a night of
feverish submission.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

sincerity projected.

breaks and travels to a nameless end. the wise and gone released.
remembers most the separation of her philtral columns 
and then the rest fills in around it like sand against banks.
all he's known of her seems shaped by slow and rolling waters.
it's her name he's holding onto, whether she's existed or not.
she is a banner, she is a walled city. folded pages in books.
from plains of onyx to obsidian, he walks his horse and its flayed ribs maplessly.
loved her almost to death once. he can't release his ghost from her crypts.
mammoth and catacombed, his heart drones out a sinking pulse,
numeric and sentient.

Monday, July 29, 2013

motion in the sclera.

and if anything is dead we'll stuff it with pigs and plastic bags,
leave it all in fields we'll avoid in our beat up station wagons covered in rust.
we'll burn all the stalks that sssstick up, surround the plantations with heads on stakes.
the doors will be barred with no locks, no iron, no trap, no warning.
for a day or a week we'll hole up in temporary tribes and sleep in the same dirt
with our eyes on each other or our eyes on the endless ahead. 
singing birds will zazz over the hum and purr of insects that whip and chase.
a whole nation gone goddamn inside out and ribs up. 
you leave a trace of obstacles and distractions.
you leave an example and you leave a threat.
you save every song you've ever heard for no one.

Friday, June 28, 2013

morning, wood floor.

good christ, there was a vision. 
endless and impactful.
looping on itself, hungrily.
vomit and feces.
devouring and starving. 
AIDS, engulfing.
stringing code together.
it was always there in length and width.
good christ, you've seen it in slivers.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

tiled, gilded.

recurring dream right before actual sleep:

being shoved into subway tracks and being dragged forward by the train and sparks everywhere for so long i get bored of them. when the train stops i'm caught between two cars, being fed alcohol by coworkers in bottles of peroxide. time ticking down before they move the cars and everyone thinks I'll live but i know I won't.

Monday, June 10, 2013

can't make you work.


Thursday, May 02, 2013


would it make my father proud or not?
fuck him.

drove home drunk. and he hit her and it's her fault or it's not. she ran fast enough and at the wrong time or at the right time i drove at the right time or at the wrong speed at she's not even an issue anymore than before so i'll be okay and you'll be okay and he'll be not okay and i'll be okay. it's parentheticals or chance or possibility or chance or fraction or not.

i ran.

i was trying to listen to the proper type of music and all i was doing was putting on a new cd and all he was doing was maybe not, because i know him better than that. but not better than him because obviously, he'd try to come up with something else to say but what he would say would be something completely different and i'd support him no matter what, so his story might either be lies or:



that's okay because i was driving drunk and all i was doing was driving and trying to listen to music and i was drunk but i drove careful.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


i don't know what he used to record it. it sounded like an audio cassette found under a railway. but it was over and over. i didn't hear the voice anymore. just the hiss and the scratch. and his chest and his lungs. and no words but vibrations of the insides of his throat. endless over and over for 13 seconds at a time. an audio clip. saved. set to repeat. again and again. his computer locked. his bedroom door locked. password and deadbolt. and the audio on loop. and his heart fueling his lungs with blood to press the wind outside his lips. telling the same story forever. and we bashed the door in just outside of an hour. and we fought the password until we lost the will and unplugged the machine. it had been playing for probably days. and we left the room, splinters accenting the carpet. left the apartment. they'd found his body in Arlington.

Monday, March 25, 2013

waiting to tell you something.

fingerprints on reptile's brain.
you can't call it cutting someone loose if you never meant to keep them anyway.
ticking down to an endscape with a grotesque face on the television.

every day you can ask yourself a million questions to find an easier way to find yourself when someone asks you a patient, prodding question. but when how you're living your principles as your answer, nothing will feel a foil.
she has the smallest face and broad shoulders. black hair.
features that pout the way juliette lewis does. a girl from the country.
spent too much time in the sun.
if she smokes, she's dead.
if she has a dark idea, she's dead.
if she has no idea, she's dead.
if she communicates deeply without the panic of an internal collapse, she's dead.
if she's never thought about the bottom, she's dead.
if she's planning to hit the bottom, she's dead.
if she's dead, she's dead.
if she refuses to understand she's dead, she's dead.
someone's going to promise her the things i've promised everyone and it will be ruined
and she will forget until she remembers to ignore the things that have happened that will force her to forget.
and she will hang on.
there aren't any more of me once this one is destroyed to dust.
this is an outdoor operation.
distinct metal bell.
recorded enough times to eventually sound like a word and then a vision.
one solid, clear, succinct independent wave.
long learned abilities leading to a powerful death.
a martyr assassinated off-screen.
seizures in a hiding place.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

for the first time.

renee's amber
and the hornet's manuscript.
still with us as we go to be siphons
and hundreds of pages of violence and gold vomit forth.

estrangement, yes.
it allows for many interpretations.
a book broken down into two phases
of spiraling desires.
a greater resistance to reach their flowers on either side.

firing out,
i would assume what it says,
and tell you to transplant how they grow
(you know the sky)
and draw parallels to zodiac charts
and optical phenomena.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the work.

i've tried to keep a moleskine specifically for writing in everyday. to fill a page. but i think it somehow backfired. i missed a day, so i didn't want to go back, almost in shame. i didn't know whether to fake the day and write TWO days. or to leave the page blank and X it out in the middle. to put the date in the top right hand corner and leave the page completely nude otherwise. i didn't know what's best. i'm left now with a dozen or so empty pages, screaming "failed attempt." i haven't lost a love for the work, but i've kind of lost a core of inspiration. for a long time, i wrote from a dismal sadness which transformed into a hopelessness free from subject.

i moved on from there, i started writing dark things, things that characterized the end of all things or the decimation of many.
i started writing comedy about sex and the human hunt of it. i started channeling that hunger.

i stopped for a while.
i started writing about beautiful people who may or may not exist.
i stopped.
i started writing a daily.
i stopped.
i'm here now.

i was staring blankly at the screen the other day and almost out of a dare, i threw open microsoft word just to shove myself in the right direction. i wrote the following small piece. i don't think it's great but i don't think it's awful.

i spoke with brian maybe months or maybe a year ago. it was while i was asking him to help me edit and tighten up GUNS. we talked about the way that i write, and i think we pointed out together that when i write, it seems that i'm always aiming for a killer line with every sentence i aim to deliver. and i think when i read this piece, i feel embarrassed about it, mostly because there are standard lines in there. small descriptions that aren't massive gothic arrangements. this is just a setting and a clipping. i'll try for more.

opinions are obviously always welcome but not necessary.


we had found the butcher and whatever was left of his mark. her body was in tact. everything was present and in its sterile state. she was tied to a chair. her spaghetti strapped, flower print dress was clean but for her sweat. she was heaving, her collarbone galloping like a guillotine.


there was no reason here, there was no process to explain how to begin to put it together without serious payroll hours dumping into this. she sat, doe eyed. this would never be closed for her. she breathed hard with her mouth in a frown. she’d never feel plain again. her pale skin in a constant opal tint.

her veins showed heavy in her skin, pushing out like tendrils. they were thin. I wanted to twist them together into knots. she was catatonic.

how does a chase end here?

he sprawled on the ground in alien alphabet. his brain was on the wall, his gun was in his hand, his jeans were on his legs, his bootlaces were undone and in their holes. he felt neither happy or sad or accomplished. was he watched? was he worried? what, just now? was he talking or speaking? was there a last word or phrase?

he became a victim and he’d robbed us of this case. he closed all the doors.

she had on soft, old jeans.

I held my hand to my stubbled mouth, stared off into whatever lay five inches ahead of me. into abyss. a song stuck in my head danced. I licked my teeth, sucked out food from my gums. “disgusting.”

I sat in a corner, squatted, triangled into the room’s elbow. hands empty. I wanted to watch this happen.

she didn’t scream or talk or cry. she looked at me once. eyes not brown.

a dead partner and a followed anonymous tip. séance. police work.

butcher down.

Monday, January 14, 2013

mix xxii - what you've been, where you are.

mix xxii. what you’ve been, where you are.

dikembe – scottie spliffin i’ve been having a hard time with communication lately. in the last couple of months. I’ve been saying one thing, people taking it in another direction. and I feel an instant tail spin. I think the dialogue between Lindsay and Nick from Freaks and Geeks completely sums up exactly what I have been getting met with in a lot of conversations I’ve been trying to have. on top of that, this song is the kind of aggressive and starry style that I’ve been trying to push on you guys for years. and dikembe is a great band capable of big and little sounds. they’re good. trust.

foals – miami remember I lived in Miami? da fuck. foals, though, is a band out of London. they have a very supercool vibe going for them. they have a little bit of a The Cure sound, with a more positive, less “I’ma kill myself with this icicle I’m so goddamned sad” spin. these guys have a new record dropping next month and the two songs that have been shown from it have a very similar, if not even smoother tone to it. but the record this comes from, total love forever, is very pretty. it sounds like very expensive shoes on dudes with styled hair. right?

HEALTH – tears this song is the backdrop for one of the coolest scenes in one of the coolest games that dropped last year. max payne 3’s airport scene. yo. SO REAL. I’ve also had health on a previous mix, and there’s something about the way that the guy runs his voice through the pedal system and their guitar/key tone is ice cold, emotionless and uncaring that reminds me of Los Angeles in all its glory. seeing this band with crystal castles (see: track 7!) was probably the best show I went to last year, and maybe top five show experiences of my life.

forest swords – visits there is something so feudal japan about this band’s record. I envision a crushed earth, simultaneously stripped and overloaded of its technology fetish. geared up hacker samurais traveling from village to village to megacity in search of mercenary work, temporary love and eventually peace. I can’t hear this stuff without having pictures painted in massive kanji strokes. all in the color and style of classic Japanese folding screens. but holographic and steel.

black moth super rainbow – hairspray heart more pedal, roboty stuff. clearly, this seems to be my motif as of late. easy to get lost in with the headphones on. lots of speaker panning stuff, lots of layers.

purity ring – fineshrine i sent this exact text, which I then quoted via wrankmusic in my records of the year list. “you know i’m in a weird mood today. i listened to purity ring’s ‘fineshrine’ and was almost brought to tears. don’t get it.” it has become less about a current mood that I find myself in and more about a simple truth about this song. a feeling I can relate to in an almost entirely feminine way. a love so grand and real that you cannot express it openly and verbally. you can only open up your entire body and want to pull this person into your chest, to keep them in next to your heart, enshrined and safe and hopefully they can keep step and pace with you. this beautiful feeling is the feeling this song gives me. I think it sort of carries through in the next four songs as well. just a very positive, overglowing feeling.

crystal castles – kerosene to continue the thoughts about the health/crystal castles show last year. I just remember darkness and strobe lights. a room filled with people fucking dancing and feeling. I went alone and I experienced the entire night in an almost different character. I never opened up my mind or soul as much as I did this past year and I think it was on this night, during this show, that I really experienced what it was to be completely liberated and free from any weird perceptions or hang ups about dancing and being in tune with the music AND the band and not the people in the band but ALSO the people in the band. I don’t remember this song specifically being played, but this song inspires the unbelievable groove that I hit during that show. “I’ll protect you from all the things I’ve seen.”

the ice choir – a vision of hell, 1996 this came out in 2012, not 1982 or 1992. it comes off of one of my favorite records of last year, this band’s afar. there’s such a good feeling not only about the song itself, but about the fact that a group of young people was able to pull off this sound in such a modern way. it’s a testament to how choice but also niche and ridiculous that the music that came from the neon era was and still is.

yeasayer – madder red not going to lie. this is pretty much all about that hook. the almost native American chant. and just how massive and powerful that makes you feel. I almost get the same kind of vibe from these kinds of things that I do from punishing breakdowns (as seen later in tracks 13 and 15). there’s almost an enya thing going on? I couldn’t tell you. what I can confirm is that the video for this song, starring Kristen bell is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen and it only endears this track more to me. this whole record actually kind of rules.

skrillex & Damien “jr. gong” marley – make it bun dem yeah! skrillex!! I did it. yeah I said it. I ain’t going to front. I think if you’ve heard the last couple of mix, you can kind of get an idea that I’ve been getting a little bit into the reggae stuff. or at least it’s kind of flocking to me in an interesting way. and dubstep is something that, in moderation, has a really good amount of potential. I will tell you this. if you aren’t fond of this song, then you’ll thank me for not putting a six minute Elephant Man track on here. but that shit is so right! um. but yes. this song is directly from the far cry 3 soundtrack. and it isn’t even something that plays regularly. only through one mission where you are burning down a massive marijuana crop. so. you get it. but once I realized the song was gone, I needed it back. wait. is that two songs from video games on this mix? ayyaaaa.

fenton robinson – I fell in love one time I thought this track was kind of interesting, seeing as it came off of a blues collection. it was surrounded by delta style contemporaries, and meanwhile this guy’s record jumps out at me sounding like a gil scott-heron except wielding a guitar. very smooth sound, but still very clearly lyrically and instrumentally influenced by the blues.

kanye west, big sean, pusha t & 2 chainz – mercy .1 I felt absurd being completely obsessed with this track when the record first dropped. but there’s that great great great hook, that wild Jamaican sample. that BASS, though. I kind of don’t care about the lyrics on this track, but if I’m going to pay any attention to it, it’s with a gigantic smile on my face with my entire hand over my eyes. there is something truly fucking cool about the dude just saying “swerve” behind the track throughout almost the entire song. I think around 3:13 during this song, you can skip it though. because it gets to be a little much and you don’t need it. but also around 3:13, you can kind of feel a Side B happening on this mix.

counterparts – the disconnect this record caught me simply by its unique breakdowns. it doesn’t really stand out to someone not into the genre until those moments. the guitar tone is actually kind of unique. they’re not doing anything truly heavy. very similar to a misery signals vibe, where they’re letting the actual notes speak instead of the heaviness of said notes. 1:23 into this is when it starts to show they’re going all over the place within this genre. the build up to the breakdown is solid and then the payoff at 2:10 makes me want to kick down shanty towns. such a cool, subdued sound. after that, they do some weird post rock stuff which is cool. I really can’t stand the lyrics towards the end of the song, though. usually not an issue, but bums me out. get stoked man. lemme give you a mix and tell you about how my soul and heart opened up, DAWG.

birds in row – pilori kineticsm. 28 seconds in. the growl. fuck. there’s something both honest and enormous about this song that grants it such an earnest power. the wall of sound they create through production is great as well. I feel like this is the sound of farmhouses being pushed to dirt by mushroom clouds.

solace – stockholm syndr(h)ome solace is the solo project of the lead singer from misery signals. and to be honest, the whole record was kind of a disappointment. not overall. I mean, it was fine. but this one seemed to be closest to what I really loved about the band that he comes from. attention to detail from all angles. still a heaviness in both tone and lyrical content. but then refrains and very cool production and glitch effects. worth noting, this entire record was done using a drum program (toontrack’s superior drummer 2.0). it sounds pitch perfect. well. maybe natoli would say otherwise. but. YA KNOW.

o’brother – malum I saw circa survive this past fall, and when I saw this band’s name as one of the openers, I instantly wanted to hit the NEXT button on my life’s discman. is it SKIP? I forget. but watching them was super dark, very impressive. super sludgy, super dense.

marriages – ride in my place hearse music. kind of another sludgy jam, but also with the type of vocals normally reserved for lower action styled trip hop music. this band’s five song ep was actually an outstanding release and their live performance opening up for russian circles actually was a brilliant translation of their sound.

polica – leading to death whole record rules. I think I made that blatantly clear in the description of the top ten list of 2012. this song has the best groove, though. there are songs where they show they are darker, there are songs where they get a bit more experimental. this doesn’t show the breadth of everything that they are capable of. but this song is a great strong heart of where and what they are as a band. simple and pretty and extremely unique.

fiona apple – valentine I’ve not been a fiona apple fan. I always kind of knew her as the girl in the video with the underwear who was super skinny and strange in that video that time. then the name of the girl who many girls I spoke to truly revered as an artist. then this album came out and at a mall, it was purchased. and listening to it, I really wanted to listen back through her catalogue and hear it be as completely untogether and distraught as this record is. like she sat down at a piano and demanded a divorce from her husband on his birthday in front of his friends. this song was chosen because it won’t scare you away, but might scare you in. she is some wild talent, and even if I don’t like everything she’s done, I kind of want to give her a nod when I pass her in the halls. respect.

sigur ros – rembihnĂștur honest. I get it. it’s a sigur ros song. you can probably imagine what it sounds like and be 80% right. but it’s got kind of a structure and sounds like a song. and is so pretty.

teen suicide – swallow sounds like weird, found footage cassette tape of a sort of apology, sort of confession. again, very honest, very authentic here. their record, I believe, is free online at this point. don’t visit their facebook because they come across as kind of mean and kind of very cool, so it mars up the suspense of disbelief pretty convincingly. it’ll be gone in an instant. but their stuff is very good.

Friday, January 11, 2013

when i was here.

recommended living:

write a letter a month. to someone you don't speak to anymore, to someone you love, to someone you live with, to someone you want to tell something, to someone you don't tell anything. it doesn't have to be deep and illustrative. just keep your thoughts fresh, keep your thoughts bare and easy to share. catch people up. feel okay about all of it. think hard over it or don't think at all.

if you hate your handwriting, put it in an email.

let people know you're still real, outside of your facebook check-ins and your tweets and your xbox achievements and your tumblr posts. let people know there's stuff going on in your head when you're out drinking with each other. there're things that you're just not thinking to say at any given time, and you are okay to put it out there when it is.

if you put it in a letter and not in a text, it shows you set the time aside to do it.
texts fall out of us and then off of us.

write it for them.
don't expect a response. but be grateful for one.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

eight waves.

i have always found it completely strange that when we interact in a positive way, when we try to be outwardly generous with good energy, we are looked at as "drinking the kool aid." i'm guilty of it as well. i'm not sure why we tend to disbelieve others who are operating in a positive, uplifting and ultimately eventually spiritual light as someone who is doing it wrong or being all the more unbelievable about their current outlook. i think because maybe there are times that said person doesn't look back. doesn't have the other side of the coin. the dark half.

i just wrote descriptions for the newest mix cd that i put together and i found myself feeling almost guilty for admitting a lot of the positive things it made me feel. mostly the things that didn't have specific physical actions that tied to it. feeling good on an inner level. again, a spiritual level. a soul level. even when writing about my favorite records of the year, i feel like i reached a place at times that felt almost too revealing. like giving away a little bit of light was going to make people feel that i was faking it. that was going to ruin my credibility.

i think i found a new place there. i did a lot of renovation over the course of last year and i think a lot of the negative stuff that i had all stored up was holding me hostage. i wasn't able to see a lot of what was fully incredible about a lot of specific situations. there are a lot of factors that were folded into it. but i think a major thing that i've made a staple of my personality and my discourse has been seating myself on a place of judgmentalism. i drew a lot of conclusions about a lot of things and a lot of people before i really allowed myself to experience or listen or learn from them. and i'm trying to take down a lot of those filters and gates that i put up in front of myself and just let things play themselves out and accept them a lot more without completely trying to remove the comedic and observational elements of myself that made the world that i was a part of so enjoyable. it's complicated and layered. i'm getting there.

going back to where it began, though. there are a lot of things i'm going to try to be more open and positive about. and publicly. i have a lot of voices and a lot of outlets and i'm going to try to use all of them and become all of them and join all of them. i'm powerful in my own way, even if for my own self. i'm going to try and change a lot of the ego and arrogance to positive self assurance and confidence. it's tough. it's a growing up type of thing. but it's a very standard fact that i'm not going to be able to ride a completely positive, divine wave without dipping into an undertow that can be just as severe. i'm not trying to reinvent myself and go out there speaking like a guidance counselor who keeps the blinders up.

i'm a realist and have always been a realist.
but i think the doubt and disbelief that comes with that is the heaviest lead vest i've ever had to shed.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

14th st.

too many drinks. and the lights are too many drinks. they move around me in cages, in caged movements. like captors. everything is too beautiful and i've wanted to remember it for the longest time. i can barely hold it all inside me within the time that it's happening so i lean against a wall. it reminds me of high school hallways with the thirty to forty layers of paint, so thick and textured that it is smoothed and impersonal. i know this song over and over again. the band is playing from such a far distance. with my eyes closed, i can tell where the speakers are set up. when i talk about this night i'll want to say that i'm sorry for missing it. i did it wrong.