Friday, July 23, 2010

Little Caesar's

We had seven maybe eight pizza boxes. We were, as earlier stated, a cliché college house. We had collected the boxes over a length of time unknown to my roommates, myself,
and probably God. These pizzas accompanied football games, hangovers, and nights when there were no clean dishes—often various combinations of these.

We had at least ten pizza boxes and I had the day off. It being the heat of summer, I woke up early. It was noon and I had at least ten hours to kill before I was going to go back to my cave and sleep. It was hot. There was no need for a fire. But I had time and pizza boxes.

I lost my shirt after the first four started burning. Cardboard burns hot, and it was summer, and I was alone, and I don’t need a damn reason to take my shirt off in my house. When I threw in the next three, I lost my pants; which invention of a fire dance. The dance consisted of a pattern of thrusts and shakes and something like a wobble. If my roommate hadn’t walked in before I burned the next four, I think I would have looked quite silly. But as it was I was only mostly naked dancing in front of a burning pile of Little Caesar’s at one o’clock in the afternoon. Nothing silly about that.

My Brother

[I suppose this is some sort of flash fiction or something]

My big brother used to come home from work and eat frosted flakes with me. We’d sit out on the back porch and talk about girls. He’s the one who convinced me not to quit the football team, and taught me how to swear.

He was an asshole too. After he moved out he got mean and drunk. Once he showed up late and punched our dad in the face. Broke his nose. My mom and sister were crying and I told my brother he’d better leave.

I saw him two weeks later. He asked me for money and I asked him about girls. Both our answers were disappointing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This Morning's Thoughts

I wish oatmeal tasted more like frosted flakes
I would be a better man if it did.
The coffee makes me feel like I’m in a commercial
only there is no attractive woman bringing me my coffee,
just my housemate Caleb, and the memories aren’t Vienna,
they’re a truck stop in Montana on a road-trip to Yellowstone
with my dad and uncle after my uncle started to dose at the wheel.
I used to only be able to listen to finger picking in the morning
now it’s overwhelmingly positive pop music or metal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Theology and Star Trek

When you got back from the public lecture
on the interface between theology and art,
specifically music, you’re mind was working
making new connections and it was easy to tell
you were excited about the new ideas.

When you asked me what I had done with my night
I said “watched Star Trek” because I had watched Star Trek.
Four or five episodes of Jean Luc patrolling the Neutral Zone
not letting those sneaky-ass Romulans get away with any of their shit.

You laughed. It was funny.
I said it dry. Like I was being clever.
But it wasn’t a joke, it was a lament.
I just said it like a joke because I say everything like a joke.

Instead of going to a lecture
and discussing the lecturer’s points
over beer and sweet potato fries
I sat on a couch and watched
science fiction. And as a result
my mind was busy with
critiques of Data’s conclusions
about what it means to be human
and the theological difficulties posed
in Star Trek’s condescending utopia.

Somehow, I think your thoughts
about Handel’s Messiah
and how it mirrors the Psalter’s movement
from individual lament to communal praise
will be easier to discuss seriously
than my thoughts about Worf’s commitment to Klingon tradition
while being a Star Fleet officer as a model for the Church
in a pluralistic secular society. But to be honest,
I thing both lines of thought would be correctly described
as being ridiculously nerdy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Mixed CD for Graham

1. I’m So Bored With the USA, The Clash

I understand why you had to leave. I suppose I should be excited for you. But my writing has gotten worse and there’s no one to go on pointless drives with anymore. Still, I’m happy that you’re learning new ways to curse.

2. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel.

The Atlantic is much too large. I realize that the Pacific dwarfs it. But I don’t much care about China and Japan. I’m sure they’re beautiful. But somehow, I think part of their beauty is in being far away. Wales could be Oregon and still be cool. Being on the other side of the damn world is just excessive.

3. Of Minor Prophets and the Prostitute Wives, Pedro the Lion

I suppose in this analogy you are a whore. A moniker you probably are not wholly unused to me calling you.

4. This Side of the Blue, Joanna Newsom

This side is in decay. Families are spread. The Seahawks are getting worse. Coffee shops are going out of business and rent is going up.

5. Ramblin’ Man, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan

I suppose ramble is a romantic word. An odd construction of masculinity. As if moving around made one more of a man. Are restlessness and solitude badges showing your rank in the fraternity of dudeness? Still, when Isaac told me how he always dreamed of riding the rails, I think the word I used to describe this longing was “badass.”

6. Be My Baby, the Ronnettes

Since you’ve been gone the oldies station became a talk radio station. Talk radio. What the world needs now is not another talk radio station.

7. Call Me (Come Back Home), Al Green

I’m not sure about the long distance rates. I’m suspicious of Skype. But the sentiment holds true. When I first left home, my mom never nagged me to call her. I hardly ever did. So consider this nagging.

8. 18 Wheels, Murder City Devils

Things need roots or they fall down. Tires have no roots. Most barely touch the ground. The big trucks are the worst. All they ever do is hover. Never touching down. Long drives with bad coffee from state to state, never actually being anywhere. On a trip to Montana, I passed a semi that the wind had blown over. I was not surprised.

9. Stuck On You, Elvis Presley

Everyone talks about you. These days, I’m asked about what you’re doing more often then I’m asked about myself. I am not annoyed by this. When asked about myself I say “napping.” When asked about you, I lie. You have really gotten into the music scene in Wales and now wear eye-shadow and have tried heroin more than once.

10. Bring It On Home, Sam Cooke

If there were no predictable songs, how would it be connected with the person who sent it to you? Also, I secretly wish I were a soul singer.

11. He’s a Mighty Good Leader, Beck

Good indeed. He’s like the president in Independence Day. Though sometimes we have to listen extra hard to hear the inspiring speeches. Sometimes they are not inspiring at all. Sometimes they knock the wind out of you. Sometimes they’re too easy to ignore. So I guess he’s not all that much like the president in Independence Day, but I still think he’s good. I hope you don’t have to listen too hard these days.

12. Eurotrash Girl, Cracker

I don’t suppose the girls are much different there. Famished for complements and exceedingly attractive. But aren’t we all?

13. Thrice All American, Neko Case

Remember what I said about this side and the decay and lack of oldies stations. It’s true. But it’s home and homes are hard to come by. Just be glad yours isn’t Tacoma.