28 February, 2011

Another Quote From The Muckraker Chronicles

"People think the world is a complicated place. But the world isn't complicated. It runs on a very simple plan -- the same plan since the beginning was the beginning. The plan is this: the people who pull the strings keep the rest of us dancing. And it works because the best plans are always the simplest ones that require the least imagination." -- Wallace Gimley, The Flying Man From Pin Hook

25 February, 2011

End Notes in the Book of Dreams: 2

There is never enough.
Work more but fail.
Work more and fall
farther behind. This thing
they call dreaming –
it's not like the movies.
It's not like the bedtime stories
we were told in history class.
It's not a churchman's parable
or some enlightened
moral allegory.
                        I am tired of being told
life is unfair; I am tired of hearing
this is the first lesson people learn
living on their own. I am tired –
exhausted in my bones of apathy
and being steeped in animated corpses
wandering the streets hoping only
for a good death
and the existence of heaven.
                                            If I were
unreasonable, I would understand. But
do not confuse
a simple life for a sparse one. I know
I am a creature with simple tastes; I ask only
that there be enough: a small semblance
creature comforts to remind me I am still human
in the face of my darkly dimming humanity.
Before it's all over, I expect I will be
one more howling baboon in a man-constructed wilderness--
lonely for memories
fast fading
resonance long lost.
                                Pulpit jockeys tell me
my purpose is to work until I die,
to deny my nature, and the natures
of others, and hope for heaven. Prophets shimmy
on crumbling street corners, beg for change
and scream about freedom
and sing about the end of time
and paint word pictures
of the rot buried in all our busted guts.
I close my eyes and find that rare moment
that sensation of the clockwork universe
pulsing behind my eyes and in my fingers and toes.

Bur then it is gone. And I am left
with inadequate language
to illustrate. And the words always
come up lacking.
                           Not enough words.
Not enough anything. I think of the country
my father lived in and wonder I how I got here.
Surround myself with words. Books are blankets
for an uneasy soul that can never find rest.
A cup of coffee, a desk, a pen, blank paper.
Words waft and fade in cigar smoke.
True illumination comes from an $8 beer can lamp
and the cadence of a wind up clock
that never keeps proper time.

24 February, 2011

Transcription of a Dropped Cell Phone Call

Myself idyll casualty
wild carousel collected.
Wine-stained office
fact men on madness
ask road west. Locust
calling empowered
the selected clockwork.
Benito melancholy waste,
death's selected letters,
basic Zooey Cossak House.
Tortilla typhoon cradle.
Island pictures mind.
Blues longer drunken
Reigns notebook being
rum screwjack fear
carnival air-conditioned cancer.
Sketches streets.
Installment journey.

23 February, 2011

End Notes in the Book of Dreams: 1

We hibernate for the winter under blankets
and behind plastic covered storm windows
and dream of the desert. Sensations echo
familiar and faint smells have resonance:
cilantro, margarita salt, and cigar smoke,
the feel of a dry, cool air against our legs
in an East Valley February sunset. Snow –
we think to ourselves but never acknowledge –
snow will be the final death of us, buried
in this old farmhouse on a dilapidated back street,
sitting on a corner lot that once (briefly) was all the dream
we could muster. It was all the dream
we thought we wanted.

our only hope is an early Spring.
And even that, I get the feeling,
will not come so easily, or as quickly
as we need. My innards tell me daily
they are withering from the absence of the sun.
My liver is saturated with woe and cheap beer,
trying to make the time pass more easily,
since it will not go fast. My aching feet
miss the flat expanse and cacophony of city streets.
We are too wise to believe in the pre-existence of paradise
but our souls are foolhardy enough to believe
we can still build it – if only
we can find a place
where the earth is neither scorched
nor saturated, neither buried
nor exposed. Where you and I
will (finally) be at peace
and will at last understand
our place in a world
that has, thus far,
declined all self-explanation
and leaves us bread crumb clues
and the odd comfort that comes
at the cost of divine apathy.

21 February, 2011

An Altogether Different Time Table

He drove through the rain and the night because he didn't want to be late. The only thing worse than being late was being later than that. Schultz was a man understood and accepted that all aspects of life function in complex levels of degrees and exceptions. Except that none of the exceptions ever seemed to apply to him.

The rain picked up and so did the wind, which was making it more difficult to see the road in front him. Schultz hated driving at night; he didn't see so good at night to begin with, but there he was, driving through the middle of nowhere in god fuck forsaken Iowa where they didn't believe in street lights, or in keeping the roads paved and even. Various parts of the road were in such need of repair that it felt like he was driving on one long washboard. He'd driven through so many pot holes that he was waiting for the axle on his car to snap in half; at the very least he expected to blow a tire. And just what the hell will I do then? he thought. Change a tire in the middle of fucking nowhere during a rain storm on a road with no shoulder? He didn't think it likely that he could call AAA in the event of something happening. He wasn't sure if there was even a mechanic nearby, and if there was, he wasn't sure that he would trust his car to any mechanic he might find.

It was, after all, a Fine German Automobile, not just some piece of crap Ford.

Even though he was careful to only go five miles below the posted speed limit, for the sake of safety, a large pick up truck had been riding his bumper for the last 10 miles or so. The high set lights made it even more difficult to see; they were a back light against the rain, reflecting off the drops in the sky and wetness of the state route in front of him. He thought of his grandmother, who went blind from cataracts. Is this how it starts? Am I going to wake up one day and not see anything at all? He could go to an optometrist and find out, he supposed. But Schultz didn't like doctors, or any ilk. Liars and pickpockets, his Uncle Carl used to call them. And Uncle Carl would know. He had been an insurance adjuster for over 30 years before he died of thrombosis.

After a while the truck sped up and passed him, splashing water all over the windshield, almost causing Schultz to wreck. The tail lights of the truck soon disappeared, swallowed by the darkness ahead. Schultz thought maybe the darkness was swallowing him, too, that maybe this was what it was like for his grandmother. Not all at once. So slow that you don't notice it. Not until there's nothing left to notice.

He looked at the clock display on his radio. He had a half hour to go and no real idea of how much farther it was. There were no markers, no signs. He wasn't even sure he was still on the same road. For all he knew he'd passed into a different state altogether. It all looked the same, even during the day. How in the hell was he supposed to find his way at night?

16 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Prose # 3

Palm Prose # 3

Before the fog rose up and swallowed the entire village, Board President and Matriarch Zelda Zoomowski sat on her front porch smoked the first cigarette she'd put to her wrinkled, hairy lips in 40 years and sucked the smoke into her withered lungs. As she exhaled, the cracked pavement, the dilapidated house, the empty storefronts, and rusty grain mill disappeared. As she felt the last wisp of the Pall Mall leave her mouth, along with the rest of her, Zelda's final sensation was a smile of sweet resignation.

14 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Prose #2

Palm Prose #2

Hector wiggled uncomfortably in his desk chair. It was a cheap chair that had been designed for someone with less girth. Hector wasn't fat as much as he was just big. The chair wasn't old, but he knew by the sounds it was making that it wouldn't last long. Just as Hector turned to look at the clock on his cubicle desk -- he'd brought it from home because it was shaped like a hula girl and made him smile -- he felt Brad standing behind him. Hector knew Brad would tell him (again) that the clock was inappropriate for work. Hector imagined what it would feel like to make Brad's bones crack like the cheap chair frame. It was 4:45  in the afternoon on a Friday.

Quote from The Muckraker Chronicles

"There was a time when rampant illiteracy was the biggest threat to democracy. Now the threat isn't that people can't read; it's that people are too fucking lazy." -- JJ Rafferty

12 February, 2011

EXCERPT from The Muckraker's Chronicle: In The Back Room

The Arliss County Animal Control and Mental Health Committee met every second Wednesday at nine in the morning in a back room at the dilapidated white wooden paneled building where the Mental Health Board had their offices. The building had, once upon a time, been where the Highway Department had their offices; but they built themselves a new brick building with better windows, more insulation, and with floors that didn't buckle in places, along with with a bigger, more modern garage for the equipment and trucks. The building sat empty for another couple of years until the county, whose hand was forced by the state, created the Mental Health Board. Then, the (at the time) new board chairman Johnny Franz pushed through a measure to consolidate the committees – which led to Animal Control and Mental Health being made into a single committee, since nearly everyone agreed that the only thing more useless than worrying about crazy people was worrying about stray dogs.

The first few minutes was generally conciliatory and boring. Going over the bills. This never took long, because there were never a lot of bills to pay. Stan Sheraton, the committee chair, wasn't one to dawdle over such things as signing off on checks. He wanted to get business done and get back to North Eustacia, where he was the part-time Assistant Fire Chief. There weren't many fires in North Eustacia – but once upon a time his brother was the mayor and his older cousin was the Fire Chief – an unpaid position at that time that primarily allowed him to drive the fire truck in parades. Sheraton was given the title of Assistant Fire Chief primarily because his cousin had a tendency to lock himself in the back room of the barn where the fire trucks were kept and drink homemade rye until he was blind drunk. Later, when the people of North Eustacia had decided they'd had enough, they pushed to make the position a paying one so that the Chief would at least stop siphoning off the fire truck gas to sell. Even this didn't last, however; an honest to god fire happened that resulted in the death of a 10 month old girl named Ada-Lee. Not only was the chief too drunk to respond, but he'd managed to drain the gas tank. The ripple effect of this was that the mayor lost his reelection bid by a land slide and the new mayor hired someone else to be the new part-time Fire Chief, completely jumping over Sheraton, who was kept on because no one really had any issues with him other than his family being littered with fools.

As a result, Stan Sheraton was very conscious of public opinion – which was in part why he was elected to the county board and given the less than glamorous task of chairing the most irrelevant committee in the county.

After the bills were taken care of, Jon Simms the county Dog Catcher – who insisted that he be called the Animal Control Officer in spite of the fact that he never did anything but pick up stray dogs, since he despised cats and refused to handle any wild animal calls – gave his report. In short, there was nothing to report. There was only one dog call, he said, and it turned out to be a rabid raccoon.

“And you didn't try to capture the animal?” asked Babette Rooney. She was handpicked by Chairman Franz to finish the term of Doug Tourney, who died of extreme heart failure at the age of 57. Rooney, who had married into one of the biggest farm families in the county, had once been Don Franz's high school sweetheart, and it was thought by some that he either chose her out of some kindness at the memory of her after their senior prom or because the relationship had continued off and on through the years, or because hers was the only farm in the county that rivaled his for size and affluence in the county. She didn't like her committee assignment any more than Sheraton... but unlike Sheraton, who was a Democrat, Babette was a dye in the wool Republican and so was also given a Tourney's old seat on the Finance Committee. She didn't like Jon Simms, who had been given the duty of Dog Catcher to keep him from falling drunk in the gutter, and she didn't like that the county had to worry about stray dogs at all. That, she figured, was what a bullet was for.

“Well,” Simms shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “It was a RACCOON, and I didn't have the right tool in the truck.”

“So what happened?”

“The complainant shot the animal.”

“And what did YOU do?”

“I... uh... collected the remains and took it to the vet to perform an autopsy.”

“And what's the point of THAT?”

“To... uh... make sure it wasn't rabid.”

“But it was already DEAD. Right?” Old Charlie Bale asked that question. He, like Sheraton, had been relegated to that committee due his ignominious party affiliation.

“Uh... yes.”

“So what's the point in an autopsy?”

“State law requires that any animal suspected of being rabid be tested.” Simms recited it like he'd read and practiced it in front of the mirror that very morning.

Babette rolled her eyes and shook her head. “State law.” She spit the words out. “And who has to pay for this... dissection?”

“Uh... we do.”

“Sheesh!” She said. That was as close as she got to cussing... most of the time.

“So... uh, anyway... other than that...” Simms looked like he was ready to run for the door. “There's not much else to report, really.”

“What's this, on your expense report about $50 for a new pair of boots?” asked Willis Cranston, another committee member. He was also on the Zoning Committee – an appointment he'd wanted in order to push through a zoning change around his house to make his property easier to cut up and sell. He'd been on the committee for a year and had his eye on the chairmanship of that committee come the next election.

“Well,” Jon shifted in his seat and looked at the floor. Whenever he shifted in the old wooden chair, it creaked and wobbled like it was going to come apart any minute. It was also significantly shorter, like it was made for someone even shorter than he already was. “Boots wear out and you gotta replace them.”

“Do you ONLY wear the boots while you're working?” Babette asked.

“Uh...well. Not NECESSARILY.”

“How much did the boots cost again?” That was Mike Seaver. He could barely walk and had two hearing aids, one on each ear. He often excused himself from meetings to go to the bathroom, and when it was too icy outside, someone had to meet him outside and help him in so he didn't fall and hurt himself.

“FIFTY DOLLARS,” Sheraton spoke loudly.

“They must be fancy boots,” Seaver commented.

“So...” Babette leaned in and took aim. “You don't just wear these boots while you're doing your duty...” she paused as if the word choked her “.., as Dog Catcher?”

“Not only while I'm Animal Control Officer, no.”

“Ugh. Fine,” Babette said with disgust. “ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER. But if you didn't wear them out on the job, why should the county have to buy you boots?”

“Well, I did...”

“You're telling me that you don't make enough money to buy a separate pair of shoes?”

“Well, I don't think we should ask the tax payers of Arliss County to buy you a new pair of boots just because you can't manage the money you're paid.” Babette's dark eyes were gleaming. She knew she had won the argument and was now just enjoying watching Jon squirm.

Sheraton cut the victory short, though. “Did you use county money, Jon?”

“Uh... no. I was hoping that I might get reimbursed...”

“Ha!”Babette snorted.

“We can't reimburse you for boots you use for other than official county business,” Sheraton said.

“Can't I get partially reimbursed?”

“What percentage of time would you say you wear the boots for official county business?” Babette asked.

“Huh?” Jon looked like his eyes were about to explode out of his head.

“If you can give use some … PRECISE ACCOUNTING … on just how much time is spent doing your job when you wear the boots, maybe we can come up with an acceptable percentage.”

Simms looked at the floor. It looked like he was thinking – hard – about what to say next. It was difficult to tell if he smart enough to see through Babette's statement. If he gave a generous percentage, they'd make him explain what he did. If he gave a more honest one, they'd ask him why his job was needed in the first place, or why they should bother keeping him as Dog Catcher.  Sorry. Animal Control Officer.

He spoke very carefully. “I... uh... don't have those numbers.”

“Well,” Babette sat back in her chair like she had just finished a large meal. “Then I don't see how we can grant you a reimbursement.”

“Sorry, Jon,” Sheraton added. But it was pretty clear that he wasn't really sorry.

“Can we move on to Mental Health?” Willis asked as Jon skulked out of the room. “I need to get back.”

“Is there anything on the agenda for Mental Health?”

Babette looked through her pile of papers. “No.”

“Then I motion to adjourn the meeting,” Sheraton said.

“Second,” said Babette.

“Is the meeting over?” asked Seaver.

“It is now,” Cranston answered.

“Oh, good,” Seaver said. “I need to use the facilities.”

“Meeting adjourned,” Sheraton said.

11 February, 2011

Poem: Last Man in the Elevator

Seeing Frank is always trying
and the way he talks
I always leave feeling like
the dumb bastard has been
nibbling on my ear drum
and sticking his long spindly fingers
up my nose
to scratch my frontal lobe
in search of some how-to text
describing what it means
to be a human being.

I suppose it's not his fault.
Nothing is nobody's fault.
Not these days.

When I think about Frank
I wonder what the name is
for the disease (because
it's always a disease these days)
that describes exactly why, 
whenever I am trying
to relax he hones in on me
like a fucking bat
and refuses to let me
leave in spite of all my
protests that I am
expected elsewhere
where he is not.  

Gourmand Carnival

The deep broasted lard a la carte
comes a top sloppy blanched greens
over salted and under flavored. And,
for the discerning palette,
might I suggest a warmed sniffer
of freeze dried rinds, liquified
under high pressure using
a secret method known only
to our Aztec Sou Chef
and his mute assistant, Molly
(who is, by all accounts,
one hell of a girl, in spite of
her strict adherence to a
pay to play attitude; our
poor poor Sou Chef
has to pay for even the most
conciliatory of kisses, and her lips,
he assures me, always taste of
who or whatever she had in it
most recently.) And if neither of those
appeals, sir, might I suggest a
nice cocktail or a ceviche salad
made from the fingers of babies
who died from SIDS?

[Scratch]: Palm Prose #1

Palm Prose #1

Joe didn't think the day was going all that bad until he went to the store and saw the end corner display of small stuffed animals. They were right there on aisle 3 staring at him with vacant plastic eyes and sewn, insincere smiles, right next to a display of day old bread, in front of where the tampons and maxi-pads were. It was 9 in the morning.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

09 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Poem # 5

Palm Poem # 5

We are living down our worst nightmares

Inequities a top our host of sins

That we have yet to account for. 

The tent preachers beseech us

Lead us to dry river beds

And we are baptized in waves of dirt 

And sendimentary rock

Back to our roots, 

If you believe all those silly stories,

And we choke 

On the decayed innards 

Of forgotten grandfathers,

Praying for a deliverance

Beyond parched indigestion

Of the usual salvation.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi


The man wearing the bright green
bib overalls, he told me two lefts
and half a mile past
where the barn burned down
and all those pigs died. Then I’ll see
a sign pointing the way back
to the intersection where
I should’ve stopped and
asked for directions
but was being too stubborn
in my insistence that we follow
the path of the waning sun
to our next destination.

08 February, 2011

Palm Poem #3

Three beers and two shots later
And my body still aches. The 
Old men at the bar swap stories
With the bartender. None 
Of the stories make sense
Unless you've lived between
The same two mile markers
Your entire life,
And they have lived here so long
They know every blade of grass
By the direction it grows
In any given season. I have no stories --
Any I would tell
Lack context and meaning. 
And like every joke, when you have to
Explain the punchline
It probably wasn't worth telling
In the first place. Two more shots,
I tell myself, and two more beers
I'll find that Abe Vigoda genius
Lacking in all my sardonic commentary.

07 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Poem #4

Palm Poem #4

Deep snow drifts remind me

Of the desert. Arid heat 

Smacks a different cheek 

Than the arctic wind, but still

Reminds me

Of monsoon season and the

Great swirling clouds kicking up the dust

Making sun worshipping cancer collectors

Run for cover in a flurry of flip flops

And designer bikini tops that were not made 

To wear in the water... in the same way

People bum rush the grocery stores before a blizzard,

Snatching up all the bread and water and toilet paper,

As if the apocalypse were coming

In the form of a lake affect weather pattern kicking around

The East Valley like a prehistoric ice age

Millenia before we had the words

To articulate our fears.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

[Except] The Muckraker's Chronicle: The Gauntlet

 I drove one town over to talk to Sam at the newspaper office. The office for The Arliss Star Advocate was actually a large garage that had been converted into a print shop, and later a newspaper. It was a squat, dirty looking building nestled in behind his house the way a shy child nestles against it's mother in the presence of strangers. Sam inherited the business from his father, along with all the petty territory wars and grudges that have always been a part of small town journalism. He was, I think, nearing the end of his tether. While he wasn't an old man by any stretch of the imagination – he had 20 years on me, but that's far from old in this day and age – it was a hard 20 years, the last 10 of which he'd spent as publisher, pot stirrer, and lightening rod for the voice of progress in a part of the country that fears change as much as it fears a dry growing season.

His version of progress wasn't the same as mine; although he never came out and said, so, I suspected that he was a closet Libertarian and a strict constructionist in his interpretation of the Constitution. This meant that we agreed on some basic tenants: the drug war, like most foreign wars, was completely unnecessary. Taxation should be minimal and fair. Mostly we shared a staunch independent streak. The only difference is that Sam still believed in Democracy and I believed I had been born to watch my civilization fall into decline.

I walked in and rang the bell on the counter, announcing myself. The only other person in the office at the time was Virgil, Sam's son. Virgil had no interest in journalism; he was hiding from out from the economy, working for his dad and living at home. He'd been living in a Chicago suburb when the bottom fell out.

“Hi Jay.” He was the only person who ever called me Jay. I'd always gotten the sense that Virgil didn't like me, though I was unsure why. Before I started writing for the paper, I sat through an interview with him during which he seemed incredibly uncomfortable. I know I make people uncomfortable sometimes; I thought maybe I wasn't urbane enough, or that he expected someone different when he read me on paper. Interacting with Virgil wasn't the first time that it occurred to me that I wasn't civilized enough to do the kind of work I was doing. Not refined enough. People assume that once you've reached a certain level of education that refinement is inevitable. That being literate and having an above average vocabulary means that nothing gets to you. Mostly I've found that what most people mistake for intelligence or gentility is rampant dishonesty. Be polite, but not kind. That sort of bullshit spreads like a disease. And in spite of the fact that I interviewed well and that my credentials were solid, Virgil didn't call me back and I had to hound Sam to get a chance at writing for the paper.

“Can I help you?” He's always so guarded and oh so polite. I wasn't sure what he did before he moved back home, but I was sure it was customer service related.

“I'm here to see Sam.”

“Oh.” Was that disappointment? Or masked annoyance? “He's in the back.”

Of course he was. “Thanks, Virgil.”

Sam's office was a large windowless closet in the back corner of the building, just big enough for a desk, a file cabinet, a small computer table (one of the cheap roll away kind) and a couch that had probably been salvaged from somebody's garbage once upon a time. The few times I'd actually visited Sam in his office, it was always in a state of total disorganization; the desk was littered with piles of papers that didn't appear to be organized, and he was almost always on the phone, trying to get a new advertiser or wrangling money owed from one he already had. This time was no exception. He was on the phone when walked back and stood in the doorway; when he saw me, he waved and motioned me towards the couch.

I sat down and waited for him to finish. The couch sunk down and it felt like I was almost sitting on the floor. When he was finished he hung up and turned to me.

“Thanks for coming down,” he said.

“Not a problem. I was wanting to get out of the house anyway.”

“Do you have anything going this week?”

“A few stories I'm trying to tie the loose ends on. It's been a pretty quiet week.”

“Have you talked to Don Parton lately?”

Ah I thought. Here's the reason. “Don Parton?” I paused and pretended to think about it. “Nope. Don't think so. Why?”

“He called me last week.”


“He called to talk about you.”

“Nice to know he cares.”

“He cares enough that he's threatening to sue you.”

“He threatens everybody.”

“He threatened to sue the paper, too.”


“You remember that article you wrote about people trying to get a concealed weapon law on the books?”

“Yup.” I'd about a group of citizens that had been meeting with the intention of petitioning the state to make “fundamental changes inherent and necessary to the free American Spirit outlined in the Declaration of Independence.” The group, calling itself the Arliss County Auxiliary, was a mixture of social conservatives, gun nuts, and anti-government paramilitary paranoids – among them, Don Parton. I attended a meeting, interviews Parton and several others, and wrote it up as it happened. The ACA's first objective was to get a concealed carry law passed in Illinois like the one that passed in Arizona – all that John Wayne / armed against the criminals rhetoric that the NRA used to bandy so effectively until Charlton Heston started loosing his marbles.

“Apparently he thought your coverage was less than objective.”


“And...” Sam stopped and shook his head. “Look, he called and screamed at me for about 45 minutes.”

“What'd you tell him?”

“I told him he should write a Letter to the Editor.”

“Sounds good.”

“He said he had no intention of being the butt of a public joke.”

“He's already an ass most of the time. How would it be any different?” That made Sam smile a little. Parton's pro-gun stance was not all that interesting, nor was it surprising. But when he launched into his litany of things he saw that “required a 2nd Amendment Remedy” – including everything from the current administration to the county health department to gay marriage to the “problems that fester in Niggertown” – some people's name for Chicago – apparently he felt I was too specific in my depiction of him as a raving dumb ass. Go figure. “So what's he wanting?”

“A recant.”

“Based on what?”

“And he wants me to fire you.”

“Did you tell him I'm freelance?”


“He said he didn't care what your job title is.”

“So ARE you going to fire me?”

“Were you disingenuous in your article?”

“You mean, did I make up any of the shit they said?”


“No. They don't need me to make them look stupid. They do just fine on their own.”

“I know.” He sighed. “Look. I think I can appease him with an editorial response.”


“I know you do good work,” he said. “But we can't afford a lawsuit. And a guy like Parton would keep it going just to make a point.”

“I know. You're not firing me; right?”

He shook his head. “No. I just wanted to make sure you were aware.”

“Okay. No problem.” I knew where this was going. Sam knew I was right, but I was going to get thrown under the bus. He'd write an amicable editorial response proclaiming the paper's support of all our Constitutional rights, and throw in some of Parton's propaganda bullshit to make it all feel balanced. The fact is that Don Parton, other than being one of the biggest land owners in the county, was also known as one litigious son of a bitch by everyone who knew him. I'd heard that was how he acquired the last 25 acres of his property; he sued somebody over an easement issue and kept it going so long that eventually the other person went broke, gave up, and sold him the property at a massive loss. The American Dream in action.

“Alright, then.” His mood lightened somewhat and we talked some more about nothing particularly important. Maude would be relieved that I didn't lose my job; but she'd probably freak out over the possibility of being sued. I was debating about whether I should mention it to her when I left, drove back to Mount Arliss, and headed straight for the Moose Head.

06 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Poem # 2

Palm Poem # 2

I met a man once in a New Orleans dive bar

who claimed to carry the Apocalypse

In his fanny pack. Why in a fanny pack? 

I asked. Have you ever

He answered, tried fitting a white horse

in your wallet?

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

05 February, 2011

[Scratch]: Palm Poem #1

Palm Poem #1

She bought Easter candy at the store

Because the marketing boys

And the processed sugar pushers

Are in league against forgetful husbands 

And sexually frustrated women

Who will never quite be able to master

The fine fine art 

Of the inadequate apology

Nor will they ever understand

The absolute gravity of silence

In that moment after raised 

Voices have rung themselves out

And all that's left

Are candy covered chocolate eggs.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi