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Monday, December 29, 2003  

“Tiger town” Willie, from the south of Wales, left buckets of piss at his door to ward off intruders. On Saturdays, treks to parliament hill yielded frustration with un-trained kite pilots and unleashed dogs. On the bus, snarls and sneers greet eager passengers as the 24 makes its way north. And as he stepped off the bus one day, Willie was struck by cab, flailing his arms, cursing the driver, and all the while focusing his sight on the shadowy path up into the Heath, like waiting for breath, until it came no more.

Papers would miss the story for valuable add space. His contemporaries wondered the plans of his estate, for while no inheritance was expected, they were curious as to his family; not whether or not he had one(for they were quite sure he could not have supported himself without one) or whether or not they were crazy (they were, after all, supporting him), but how crazy they were. They were all sure Willie had family. No man gains habits without influence, even when feral.

And when little Janie Babbit, an orphan, was found in the east of London, laying bold claim to the only living seat on Willie’s family table, everyone wondered the outcome.

Willie’s estate, as it turned out, consisted of a considerable amount of land in the south of England; water front property worth a fortune. Janie’s foster family took charge of the estate, selling it off and starting a off-shore trust before the trust law reform, ensuring an annuity to Janie and her family.


“Gets dark early...” Janie sits on the porch swing.

“Wouldn’t want to be out there alone, would we Snickers?” Janie closes her eyes and embraces her stuffed dog. In the distance, the moon is a lozenge, and clouds clear away. There is no sound, only the squeak of the porch swing as Janie hugs Snickers.

“Janie darling, it’s almost dinner time. Come set the table. Come on, darling.” That would be Evelyn, the foster-mom. Evelyn’s ambition in life; to get married and raise children, was subverted by her alcoholism, leading to the untimely death of her first child, Jonathan, who was born without ears. Evelyn slapped herself in the face and together with her husband, Victor, swore off the vile liquid. Janie would be their retribution.

With Janie’s fortune, Victor was able to quit his job, and Evely, Victor and Janie moved out to the countryside.

Janie came in from the porch, swinging Snickers around by the tail.

“You know, you hurt puppies when you do that.”

“Wham. Wham. Whamwhamwham.” Janie smacks Snickers savagely against the staircase banister, then stops to appraise the damage.

“See, he’s fine.” She throws her tongue out and skips up the stairs.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 12:47 AM | [View/Post Comments]

Sunday, October 26, 2003  

Towns intend themselves like poetry; unwittingly created to in (not of) themselves inspire. Sight and sound invoke memory. These sweet gems of mystery implanted by intent alone, coaxed in by the alleyways/doorways to nowhere, the rampart greens; the solemn oath of the edifice is permanence (at least, within the context that it is reasonable to assume; your life). Entangled in unimagined senses is the imagination of our fondness for these things and this is the poetry of you and your towns.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 2:18 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Saturday, October 18, 2003  

"I'm having writers block."

She said this coldly. So cold, in fact she didn't even say it, she texted it to me.

"Well fuck if I care!"

I did say this, but not to anyone in particular. The woman standing next to me gave me a glance like I was one of those crazies who walks down the street all day long making bird calls. And I am not that crazy, no, I'm a different one. I’m the one that seems normal, but when you're not watching, is walking down the street behind the crazies, making bird calls back at them. I just don't stand out and put it in your face. I like to keep it my secret.

But that’s not the point now, is it?

She’d been doing this thing lately. And this text was just another foray into it. We were about to have a fucking fight because she couldn’t do her work and the reason she couldn’t do her work was that I didn’t show enough affection, or because I didn’t call when I was supposed to, or because she thought that I thought that she thought something. And with every word about to be tapped out like morse code, I could see it all coming.

So I texted her back. “Take a break. We’ll have a coffee and you’ll get back to it fresh as new.”

“Come over.”

At this moment, I can only imagine she threw down her work and hustled to clean the overstuffed ashtray, mangled avocados, and piles of watched and re-watched video tapes that were all scars of her over-commitment to a task which she just didn’t enjoy. Liz just didn’t like writing. Oh, she loved to read, and would take for days about whatever this or that she happened to be powering through. But when it came to writing her own book, she just liked the idea of reading a book with her name on it I think, and this was all she could have reasonable written a book about. It was all she knew.

I was at Elizabeth’s at the time, ordering a coffee. This meant I would have to go back to my office, get in my car, and drive for 45 minutes just to rescue her from this abyss that she blames on me for not doing things like what I’m about to do. I do this all the time. And what’s the fucking point if she’s always mad at me for not doing what I do all the time.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 11:14 AM | [View/Post Comments]

Saturday, October 04, 2003  

Freed from my troubles I think, it means. I mean. What’s in words that can’t be broken by the type of the film that comes in cans of soup? It’s a language we know true, and what is true but what feel inside. This catapult hurls knowledge like yarn unwinding. This bleak underbelly tolerates only what feeds it. I’m talking about the ritualistic intent of modernization. I’m talking about the power to compromise the will in gentle supplicating waves. I’m talking about the power to free you from your troubles with a perfectly reproducible nightmare for only a nominal fee. The sights I have seen can remain unchanged for the eternity it takes to embrace them and then the eternity it takes un-break their hold.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 10:57 AM | [View/Post Comments]

Friday, September 26, 2003  

Settling down the highway jack-hammer style. The drive’s side rear wheel is nearly unbolted and tilted severely from where it should be. There is rain, broken windshield wipers and a pink boombox on the passenger seat trying, trying, trying to belt out tunes. Matthew left Wisconsin 7 hours ago and still drives, hunched over the wheel, smoking cigarettes and, in alternation with the flicking of his ash, he wipes the fog from the inside of the glass.

This is poetry.


“I have all these words trapped in my chest like a cough.”

He sips vermouth.

“I want to speak to them all. Most of all when I’m off. When I’m too drunk to stand and too stoned to open my eyes I want them to die laughing at my anecdotes. We’re all just anecdotes. No, we’re all just carriers of anecdotes. Yeah. That’s fucking clever.”

He sucks from his cigarette and turns to his notebook, jotting something down.

“Carriers... of... anecdotes...” he mutters and then sips vermouth.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 9:42 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Monday, September 22, 2003  

Ernest Mungabi hauls his old bones up onto the stone while waves crash without rhythm and Miles, his black lab, prances with the foam. One leg crossed under the other, he releases Miles, rests his elbow on his knee and drops his chin into the palm of his hand. Miles sticks his nose to the ground and runs off along a path of footprints in the wrong direction. The waves consume sound, then sight and then Ernest himself. With the silence, he is swept to sea while Miles tracks prey.


“Did you want sambucca or grappa in that, sir?”

“Grappa. And please…” don’t call me sir.

After a pause, “And please what, sir”

“Nothing. Sorry. Grappa”


There are junkies in a fully disastrous procession. Cash and kilos rain from the sky while the petty few police clamor back and forth, unsure as to the course of enforcement. It had started as just one, standing there, waiting for the window to open. Waiting for the sign to come through the doors, up the stairs, into the room where bullet holes would not seem out of place and mysticism is called upon only to perpetuate the circumstances that lead to the mysticism itself. And as one entered another would arrive to repeat the dance.

The police, as they are inclined to do, had attempted to raid the building; an expansive complex of single rooms glued to a long straight hallway on each floor. And as the police entered the building the spotters rang their horns and the dealers cleared their stash, tossing what couldn’t be flushed in the toilet out the window.

Cash and kilos rain from the sky while the petty few police clamor back and forth in the long hall, trying to judge the prudence of stopping the madness in the street over stopping the madness in the hall.


“Excuse me, sir, do you work here? Do you know how long the wait for a table is?”

I don’t work here. And the patio’s fully of empty tables.

“No. Sorry.”

“Oh. Well. Do you know where the waitress is?”

Shrug. I sip my latte and note distinctly the flavor of sambuca and not grappa.


“How’s your game?”

“Golf?” I wait for a nod, “I don’t play... Haven’t ever since the circus.”

“Do you still talk to Alexsandar?” Alexsandar Ivanova. I haven’t heard that name in years.

“I have this picture of him standing outside a club in Chicago from about 5 years ago. They kicked him out after he professed his love, on his knees to not one, not two, but three separate women he had just met over the course of his half hour stay. The last woman dumped a bottle of vodka on him (which they made him pay for) and in the picture you can see the damp, stretched, rumples in his shirt where the guard’s hands gripped him and dragged him, on his ass, out to the street. They took this Polaroid of him I guess to make sure he wouldn’t be allowed back in the club, but he managed to deck the guard and steal the picture before sprinting away into the rain, howling like a madman.”

This was one of the last times I had seen him. The picture, which he forgot in my car several days later, has lived in my breast pocket in lieu of his poetry.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 3:56 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Friday, September 19, 2003  

too few posts these days, as i find myself traveling too often. this is the first week i've been at home in the past two months, and i'm getting ready to leave again on wednesday for another extended jaunt to london. and no, it's not as exciting as it sounds. the perils of success, i suppose. and while there's much news, it's all work related, and i try to stay away from that here.

oooh. this was exciting: someone either likes what i write or else thinks it's aweful enough to be pointed at.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 2:31 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Thursday, August 21, 2003  

social memory lives like a brain.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 2:00 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Monday, August 11, 2003  

apparently, my site is the premier source for information on cleaning cat piss.

posted by Diesel Donkey | 3:57 PM | [View/Post Comments]

Monday, August 04, 2003  

BBQ Pics

posted by Diesel Donkey | 1:17 PM | [View/Post Comments]