And hello Everyone!!!

It's good to have you. get comfy. Imagine we're in the same room, imagine I'm handing you a cup of coffee, or a beer, or cigarette.
Or soft, fuzzy slippers.
Peruse. enjoy yourselves.
For a submissions and bi monthly mailings of the WWD tiny magazine send an email to
Also Check out The Year That Everyone Died - Season 1- Rich and Free. Complete, in order, hyperlinked internet adventure.
Also check out the WWD reading series here.
Also check out the trailer for Heavy Hands here.
Also Check out the WWD ONLINE STORE
If you want, order a paperback copy of House Of Will on the left side of your screen. or download it digitally for FREE.

good to have you. Stay awhile.
love, world wide dirt

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Acid Fizz - 11

nodding off, i post another.
when it's up i'll twist the covers.

if you've been reading, you know it's the tits.
if not, you'll need preceding bits:

Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6
Acid Fizz - 7
Acid Fizz - 8

Acid Fizz - 9

Acid Fizz - 10

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


This is what she looks like: her eyes are little domes shut to the world and mascara crystals bind her lashes.   Her nose is like the entrance to a forest cavern.  Her lips are too glossy and too red even after I asked them to dull them and even after I dabbed them myself with my handkerchief.  They’ve never looked like that before.  Her mouth is closed to hide her mangled tongue.  Her cuts are caulked and plastered now.  She looks perfect.  Not perfectly her, just perfect.  Her face is a wax model.  I squeeze her hand.
I’d always thought she was happy.  She looked happy.  Did she come into the house singing like that so that I’d think she was happy?  Because she knew it would make me happy?  How many times has someone looked at me and said to themself, “she looks happy?”  Did I give it to her?  My mask?  Did I pass it down so that she could walk around like I do, looking alright so no one would ever ask if she really was?  Did I doom her?  Did I even know her?
What was so rotten in there?  What poison broached those gleaming sealed lips and sickened her?  She didn’t drink, didn’t do drugs, didn’t even smoke.  I’ve been looking at her and looking at her, just looking for one thing.  I want to know who she was and what was inside of her.  What did she want a week ago?
            The light changes as the rising sun breaks in, lighting her more evenly, less dramatically, and she looks even weirder.  I resent the sunlight coming into the room.  It’s been just me and her for hours now, alone and painted in this room by the night and now the light shines in and the birds are chirping and there’s some creaks from the foyer.  The world is trying to break in.  I’m supposed to burry her today.
            They’re whispering just outside the door.  I don’t care what they’re saying, probably who should check on me.  Am I alright, barely leaving her side for the last day, singing “Plaisir D’amour,” her favorite song as a girl, to her all night until my voice went hoarse and probably keeping up Clyde and the rest of the Matheson Funeral Home family awake?
            Someone’s coming down the steps, Helen probably.  I need more time.
            The door opens.  “Good morning, Ms. Holzkorn,” a man says.
            Who the hell is this now?  I peel my cheek off the edge of the casket where it’s been laying for hours now.  My tears glued it down.  I snort up some phlegm and turn to see this guy who I don’t know at all.  He’s about forty, nerdy with glasses and a short-sleeved button up.
            “I don’t know if you’ve ate, but I went by Alterra on my way here and got a breakfast sandwich and a coffee.”  He walks up to me and offers the white bag and paper cup to me.  I won’t let go of her so he sets them down next to me and rubs his jeans with his palms.  “There’s cream already in it, but the sugar’s on the side.  If you’re not hungry and the sandwich goes cold, there’s a cinnamon bun in the bag too you could have later.  I understand if you’re not hungry.”
            Why is this guy is here?  Why the Mathesons let him down here?  My brain is too exhausted to go farther with a question than just the asking.  I turn back to Ginny and study her neck, the good side.
            He sits down in one of the first row folding chairs.  She never lived to see her breasts sag.  I wish she had grown old enough to get ugly, old enough to know there were worse things than being young and sad.
            “My name is Andrew Chambers,” he says.  He’s probably lived long enough to have ruined his life once or twice, learned its value.  She should have been disillusioned with one life and stepped into another and been disillusioned again and cycled through it until she became unphasable, until she wore rhinoceros skin.  She deserved a decline, she deserved the wisdom that comes with it.  Why couldn’t she just have lived that long?
            “I’m the one who found Virginia,” he says.  “I’m sorry for your loss.”
            I open my mouth and squeak instead of talking.  I clear my throat and rasp,  “Thank you.”  I need this stranger’s consolation less than I need a hole in the head.
            “The real reason I’m here is about a dream I had.  Last night I fell asleep in the lab I work in  and in my dream I saw your daughter.  It was all black so I couldn’t see her but I knew she was there and I could tell that she didn’t know she was there.  Her soul was supposed to go somewhere but her mind kept thinking about where she’d already been so she was just wandering and getting more and more lost.”
            Her stomach is flat because she’s still a girl.  She never had a kid.  Kids rip your world apart and your body too.  I would have liked to see her world ripped into something bigger.  She lived the movie version of her life but I wish it had been a novel, messy and long and with subplots that go nowhere.
            “I woke up back in my lab and it was all dark and for a second I thought I was in that neverending blackness that Virginia was in and I was so terrified I couldn’t breath but after a few seconds I could smell the disinfectant and I felt the seat under me and I took a breath.”  I wish he would leave.  “I knew that something was keeping her here so I looked up the name of her funeral home and I came here and sure enough I find you, holding onto her tight like you’re going to pull her out of deep waters.  Have you been here all night?”
            She died pretty, never lived long enough to see men lose interest, never had to settle for old guys, fat bald old guys.  That Bobby is a hunk.  He came over to console us and ended up balling his eyes out so hard that Nick had to drive him home, poor kid.  Sweet as hell.  Even in the middle of sobbing he thought to congratulate Helen on her baby.  Ginny should have lived long enough for one of them to fuck up the relationship.  Everything ended so perfect with her.  How could she have killed herself?  Just to spare herself the sloppiness of a real life she had to die young and pretty?  Were the cuts some instant approximation of age?
            “I don’t want to come in here and tell you how to handle your pain, but I saw her in the blackness.  It was so cold and so frightening and I’m scared she’ll never find her way out if you don’t let her go.  Will you do that?  Just for a little while?”
            “You are crazy,” I tell him.
            “I just needed to do something.  Whether you let go or not is your business.  I probably wouldn’t listen to what a stranger told me to do right now.  I believe what I’m saying, but, whether you listen to me or not, I am sorry for your loss.  I know how excruciating this is.”
            My hand slides to her fingertips.  I feel along the stitches they sewed over the cuts.  Her head, her nose, her tongue, her fingertips.  Did she scar herself over every point the world could get in to block its entrance?  Or did it open herself to the world before she died?  I can’t think about this anymore.  But I will.
            I unclasp my purse and pull out my cigarette case, pluck one out and fasten it between my lips.
            “Do you have a light?” I ask the nerd.
            “You can smoke in here?”
            “Nevermind.  I found one.”  I pull a Bic out of my purse and start the cigarette.
            “Well, I’m glad to have met you.  I’ll come by the proper service later.”
            I turn and he’s already on his feet.  It’s lonelier in here with the daylight.  “You have someplace to be?” I ask.
            He stops on his way out.  “When I found Virginia there was the stale smoke from a snubbed cigarette in the room and I breathed it the whole time I waited for the cops.  Since then cigarette smoke makes me nauseas.”
            “She smoked?”
            “She smoked?  Ginny smoked?”
            “Well, there was smoke in the studio when I got there.”
            Then that’s one thing I know, one thing I can see inside that pink petite body of hers, a pair of blackened lungs just like mine.
            “It was the same brand, actually,” he says and backs away from the smoke I’m exhaling.
            The stairs creak and suddenly Clyde’s peaking in, wearing his robe, his eyes blinking from early morning re-orientation to the world.
            “Claire,” he says, “I’m sorry but could you please smoke that outside?  It’s a public space.  We can get fined for that.”
            I look back at Ginny, Ginny the pretty, Ginny the young, Ginny the sad, Ginny the happy, Ginny the faker, Ginny the smoker, Ginny the so-many-things.
            “Why don’t you come outside with me?”  Andrew says.
            I let Ginny’s hand go for the first time in six hours.  My knees pop when I stand up.
            Andrew goes out the door around Clyde.  As I pass Clyde I grumble, “Sorry,” and take another drag.
            We walk up the stairs and toward the up-angled golden sunlight coming in through the front door.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Check it.

Check this site. Awesome clothes and other things. I personally don’t buy clothes but you might want to. Tina Poppy - Milwaukee lady. Show some love dirtonians.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Today Was Gifted

So, I’m working on a compilation project with this dude Erik Ljung. Get familiar. Also goodnight, also I love you, Sean.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Acid Fizz - 10

Ten, X, TEn, tEN, teN, x, vv, IIIIIIIIII, 10, tEn, vV, ixi, TEN, ten

This is the tenth episode of the WWD online serial, Acid Fizz.  Below are the previous chapters if you have not been keeping abreast:
Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6
Acid Fizz - 7
Acid Fizz - 8

Acid Fizz - 9

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


If today was not an endless highway, if tonight was not an endless train, if tomorrow wasn’t such a long time, then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all, yes and only if my one true love was waiting, if I could hear her heart softly pounding, only if she was lying by me, then I’d lie in my bed once again.
            Elvis doing Dylan and didn’t Dylan say that was one of the most flattering moments of his life?  And didn’t Dylan do Elvis too?  He did.  Can’t Help Falling in Love, off Dylan.  It’s funny because as soon as I think of that song I realize that I’ve had it in my head without realizing it and Tomorrow is a Long Time was just my brain’s roundabout way of getting to it.  Dylan is a funny album, all stuff Dylan would have tossed out if he’d owned it but Columbia released it anyway and it’s actually good, but of course it is.  Like the Beatles thought Let It Be was all crap, but that was a bunch of crap because that album rocked.
            The rest of the show is shaping up.  As soon as Smiley’s done, I’ll go into this little symmetrical medley, Elvis doing Dylan, then Dylan doing Elvis.  I just have to get back to the studio.  When did I leave?  Can’t Help Falling in Love is really the same melody as Plaisir D’amour, which was written around 1780 something, I think.  So Dylan is in a daisy chain from a two hundred something year old French composer to all the people, French and otherwise, who sang Plaisir to Elvis doing his knockoff to Dylan and then to UB40 and whoever else covering the knockoff.  So Dylan and Elvis are hubs in this kind of daisy-chaining musical evolutionary anthropology, with all the covers of their songs that have been recorded and covers of other peoples’ songs, and they have more chain links spoking from them than they lived days on Earth.  So in the show I’ll focus on the two shortest chains between them, Tomorrow is a Long Time and Can’t Help Falling in Love, then play Plaisir D’amour, which was composed around the time of the French Revolution, creating some context for Elvis and Dylan, a context big enough to fit the galaxy and the two musical gods will shrink relatively from killer whales to killer bees.
            My mother had a Joan Baez album with Plaisir d’Amour on it – I wonder if she still does.  I could go by and see before Smiley’s done.  Actually Dylan is hers as well (actually they both might have been Dad’s to begin with), but I think the Joan Baez is still in the basement at her house.  I used to listen to that song over and over when I was little.  I don’t know why I did that because now I think about listening to the record and I remember the rain weighing down our lawn and the road outside and rolling down the window in Texas, a place I never want to see again.  Maybe that was around the time after Dad, it’s hard to say.  I guess it must have been if I can remember it, the whole of childhood was the time after Dad because seven, eight, nine years isn’t really that long to get over someone dying even if I don’t remember him now and maybe never really did.
            Now that I think of it, Plaisir D’amour might be the song I’ve been thinking of all along and the other two songs were just my brain’s really roundabout way of getting there.  I got the damn radio show wired into my subconscious.  When did I leave the studio?  Plaisir D’amour is about the pain of love, even though the title means pleasure of love and Joan sang it as joys of love.  Can’t Help Falling in Love is about the inevitability of love, not the pain or pleasure of it although it has a pleasant sense to it.  The two of them were in love at some time, Dylan and Joan.  They were in love and then they split ways (ain’t no use to sit and wonder why if’n you don’t know by now) and one sang Plaisir and the other sang Can’t Help Falling in Love, two different songs that were in fact the same song but about two different things even though they were about one thing really, which is love.  The pain of it and the inevitability of it and the pleasure of it are all part of the same thing contained within four letters like a prisoner between four walls, L-O-V-E.  What do I know about love?  I don’t know what I know, don’t know if I’ve been in love, I mean real love.  (Bobby).  (carl, harry, john).
So the whole two hundred and something year life of one song collapses in on two musicians who were once for a few months or maybe just a night in love and each later found themselves caught in the same river of that song that stretches all the way back to that French composer and all the way up until the last man sings Can’t Help Falling in Love or the last woman sings Plaisir D’amour or maybe there’s another progeny song waiting to hatch.  Who knows?  Probably.  Who says Plaisir D’amour was a totally original song anyway?  How many totally original songs could there really be?  I bet there were two songs in the beginning and they met like Adam and Eve and made babies and their babies made babies and Milk Cow Blues and Too Much on My Mind and Sufragette City and Ragged Wood and Who Loves the Sun? and Hold On, I’m Coming and Yakety Yak and I Got Friends in Low Places and every other song ever are the inbred offspring of two songs that fucked good back in the garden.
            I could think forever.  That one time I tried meditating with Helen when I visited home after my first semester away and she had learned it in jail and she told me it was about my breath.  Breathe in, breathe out.  Stay on that.  It’s not about emptying your mind, she said, because that is nearly impossible.  It’s about learning to label your thoughts.  A thought comes and you punch it with a “thought” tag and you throw it out and then another one comes and you punch it.  You never run out, or at least she never had.   Monks do, I guess, maybe some others.  It’s just labeling your thoughts for what they are, which isn’t you, they float around you like clouds or satellites and they have a lot to do with your atmosphere but there’s a whole planet in the middle of it pulling all that gravity and that’s something else.
            I remember that it was noisy and laborious to label them all instead of just letting them swim over me like usual.  Helen said it was like sitting under a waterfall and I agreed and I never tried it again.
            I’ll just get Joan from my mom’s basement and then take the car back to the studio and I’ll have the rest of the show figured out I think.  Cousin songs, sister songs, lover songs, father songs, daughter songs, which is all the same thing because the geneology is so criss-crossed now you couldn’t read it on a map and everyone has fucked everyone and given birth to everyone and combed the other ones’ hair and every other fucking thing.  I could go for a fuck now but I wouldn’t even know where to put it.  Which way is the studio?  Or am I headed toward my mom’s house?  Where am I?  “Thought.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bread And Soup

Believe me, it’s not as funny as it used to be. But the past week has been hilarious and for lots of reasons I won’t tell you why. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Have you been reading the Acid Fizz Series? If not here’s the first chapter.

Have you been listening to Hot Blondz?

Have you downloaded the free digital version of The Wild Introduction?

Have you watched to trailer for Heavy Hands?

Have you read The Year That Everyone Died?

Do these things.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Suddenly I Stopped

George Parker Winship, Sr. with his family somewhere around 1924

A few months ago a tornado knocked a tree onto my grandmother and aunt's house and destroyed both the bedrooms.  In tearing apart that part of the house, my family found a bunch of stuff they didn't even know existed.  They let me go through this chest from the bottom of a closet and I lost some hours sifting it.  I found this poem that my great grandfather George Parker Winship, Sr. wrote in 1922 and thought it was cool so I typed it out for all of you.

Suddenly I stopped,
Swung unto halting wonder
By the sultry fat orange moon
haunting slowly, like a Chinese dowager,
up through the grey blue haze of evening.

Thin light, streaming through mullioned windows,
Gleamed on the sheeted ice reflecting the castle,
And vine stars sparkled in the crystal air.

Cadaverous fingers of two naked elm trees
Scratched black ridges across the low glowing moon,
As in snow bleached cities, shivering beggars
Pluck at the richly stuffed robes of fine ladies
When they step from their cars to the warm drawing room.

Jan. 13, 1922

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Acid Fizz - 9

Here's some new blots on the ticker tape of time, as fresh as any words you will ever read.  One day they'll yellow and blow away but right now they are up to the second current just like whatever's on your mind like that girl or that boy or toothache or rash or running late or a busted engine belt.  Anywho, the new installment of the WWD insano-fiction serial Acid Fizz is underneath this paragraph and so are links to all that came before it if you like:
Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6
Acid Fizz - 7
Acid Fizz - 8

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


The glass door turns and we step together into the dark station.  Music hums from speakers and between every object in the room.  The blood rushing through our veins conjures a palpitating fortress around our senses, keeps the room dark and the music an indecipherable wall.
            Only a little further, Andrew, almost there.
Andrew lets the exhaustion overtake us.  We could run the rest of the way, but he’s scared of what’s in the studio at the back of the station.  I glance on an unread part of his mind and there the studio is the center of a knotted and brambly labyrinth caging a poison-fanged beast.
Nothing will harm us, Andrew.  It’s just one more room in your university.
            In truth, that may not be the case.  I don’t know what that black mass is made out of nor what its defenses might be nor why it rode a bird to its death in the side of this building.  I only know that I saw it in the village and then I saw it again here on Earth after I was sucked back through that tiny fissure Andrew overlooked in patching his machine.
            I only know that I have lost the village and that I am lost without it.  Going back there is the only way forward for me, any place else I go is a result of useless motion.  I ready myself to leap from this body and follow the black mass if it departs from the world of matter, perhaps all the way back to the village.
            We near the studio and I am weary of the Earth, weary of sore feet and carpeting, of shelves and things set on shelves, scotch tape and fliers and aspirations and talk and Tums and Diet Coke and impatience.  We bump into a shelf and a pile of something spills to the ground.  I need to get out of here.
Just a few more steps, Andrew.
            We open the door to the studio and our mind stops.  The exhaustion erupts through our body and we come loose and thump on the ground.  The girl is still as a photograph, a perfectly lit and focused picture of death and horror, painted with blood.
            Andrew’s shock attaches to another picture, eric screaming for help while his leg drizzles away from him in orange broth, he loses balance and topples into the puddle face first and the daisy in his hand falls and lands just outside of the puddle and the scream is gargled and his face turns to steam and the daisy is perfect just next to him and i don’t sleep for five days and melinda gives all she can talking me out of pulling the trigger of the rifle at my head and then we’re both so empty for so long.
            We look at the girl now as Andrew looked on me then and we look away as he did then.  Her departure, like mine, is so violent it leaves the matter around it warped and grotesque like earth torn around an uprooted tree.  If it’s like it was for me then she will be alone in the dark sludge now, losing time and matter, her mind tearing apart.  How long was it before the shreds I was left with began to heal?  It seemed, without time or space, to be infinite.  Infinite agony.  She will scream for anyone out there in the sludge to help her and no one will answer and when some sanity materializes so will the conclusion that she is all alone.  That will be the most painful part of all, to be certain that somehow it has become only her.
            I could help her.  There is still a faint trail stretching from her body and out of the world of matter.  I seep out of Andrew’s skin and slide after her and let the world shed off of me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Acid Fizz - 8

Hello wonderful people.  Thanks for all the feedback I've been getting.  I'm very pleased to know that you're enjoying the story so far.  I'm posting this edition from an amazing little town called Abingdon, Virginia.  I wrote some of it in Milwaukee, some in a Super 8 in Indiana and the rest  right here on my cousin's twin bed, which isn't quite big enough to accommodate my feet.  If you would like to catch up on the story so far, click the links below:
Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6
Acid Fizz - 7

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


He was supposed to call.  I can’t even look at the phone.  It’s right there next to the switchboard.  I avert my eyes while I raise my Dr. Pepper off the desk.  Bobby, what’re you doing right now?  Are you playing guitar on the edge of your bed?  Are you eating popcorn?  Are you working your fine pecks?  Are you jacking off?  Do you ever think about me when you jack off?  Or are you just sleeping?  If I called you would I wake you up and get you irritated?  Will I sleep with you?  Will it get better if I do?  I want to.  I would tonight if you’re still awake, though maybe I shouldn’t.
            I should probably figure out how to finish out the hour, got another forty minutes to fill, so, so, so…  Keep it upbeat I think.  Smiley Lewis?  What’s happier than Smiley, right?  What Smiley do we have?
I pull the three-disc greatest hits off the shelf and scan the track listing.  I scratch the sunburn I got at the zoo on Wednesday and the skin flakes off.  I don’t want it to.  I want that day burned right there on my skin.  On that day I was almost sure about him.  Today I can’t tell, when we were lying around in his dim basement room with the movie playing and a brush of skin and a kiss here and there and he said he’d listen to the show tonight and call and request something, but he didn’t call and he didn’t request so I’m probably playing some music he hates and he’s not even listening.
He’s probably sleeping.  I wish he wasn’t and he would call.  I hope I can see him tonight.  He’s working and practicing tomorrow.  I’m afraid the next time I see him will be next Thursday or something and then the feeling will be gone and we’ll go to dinner and feel like strangers and then maybe I won’t even want to kiss him.  My arm will be done peeling and look brand new and all I’ll have left of it all is the wax mold monkeys he bought me at the zoo.  He said he’d make a request but maybe he didn’t mean it, maybe he just said it.
The Smiley CD’s are still in my hand and I got to pick a track.  How about… da-da-da-da-da… Down Yonder We Go Ballin’ (way down yonder on the farm we go ballin’ with Doctor John)?  Yeah, that will work.
The station phone bleedeledeleeps.  I tighten.  The line one light blinks.  It’s him.  It might not be him.  The phone bleeps, the red light shines and winks out.  My hand hovers over the receiver and I try to loosen my throat muscles so I sound relaxed and before I’m ready the phone is on its way up to my ear.  “Hello, this is Ginny.  You like what you’re hearing?”  There’s no answer and my hope stretches out over the silence.  “Hello, you there?”  There’s breathing and faraway static that I’ve heard before and my hope sinks into the fuzzy connection and I make myself sound chipper as I say, “Hello, Hello, you’re caller number four so you won a chance to tell me who the fuck this is calling.  Hello.”  There’s nobody there or what’s worse there is somebody there, but they’re a blank.  “I don’t know who this is, but you can talk to me.  I picture you like No Face from Dick Tracy, but you can tell me who you are.”  No answer, but I hear The Models under the fuzz and I think that’s a cat whining.  “If you’re not going to talk, then please stop calling.  Okay?”  Nothing.  I hang up and leave my hand on the receiver.
I want to talk to him.  I’m gonna be putzing all day tomorrow if I don’t see him, don’t talk to him, I’ll be thinking on him and thinking on him.  Fuck it.  I yank the receiver back off the cradle and clasp it between my head and shoulder.  While dialing I cue Smiley up on the stereo.  I’m a multi-tasking machine.  It rings.  I’m gonna put on my sexy DJ voice for him.  It rings.  I’m gonna tell him that I’m coming over tonight.  It rings.  I’m gonna show him my body tonight and I’m gonna see his.  It rings.  I’ll rock him tonight if he lets me.  Fuck next Thursday.
Smack!  Something just hit the other side of the wall.  What the fuck was that?
Ring.  God damn it, voicemail.  Did he ignore my call?  “Hi.  It’s me, Bobby Hendershot.”  Is that Spanish Key in the background?  “Leave a message.  Thank you.”
What the hell was that smack?  It was like something cracking.  An egg?  It was too loud.  An egg fired out of a canon?  That makes sense.
I turn away from the wall and try to be cute and say, “Hello, Bobby.  It is me.  In case you don’t know who me is, it’s me, Ginny Holzkorn, and I am calling you because my show is almost over and I’d like to see you afterwards as long as you are awake.”
My head starts to tingle a little.  God, is it that big a deal?  He can’t make me dizzy, can he?
“Even if you aren’t awake, I still want to come over and you know, watch you sleep.”
I’m really lightheaded.  It’s like I smoked an instant blunt in the last fifteen seconds.  I shake it off.
“Not that I enjoy watching cute boys sleep, but I fear that you might have sleep apnea and unfortunately the only way to diagnose that is to watch you sleep all night and count the number of times you stop breathing or something.”
This is weird.  I tingle all over and the edges of the room dim.
“Though one time stopping breathing really seems like enough, but still I have to count them all night and if I happened to get into the bed with you then that is clinically uh clinically beneficial for reasons too complex to go over on this voicemail message, so give me a call back, Bobby.  I’ll be seeing you.”
I drop the phone.  My hand is too weak to hold it.  My fingers dangle from my palm.  I can’t move.  What the fuck is happening?  Snap out of it, Ginny.  Snap the fuck out of it!  My head lolls forward.  I feel like I’m on top of a mountain and about to fall off of it.  Oh God.  Am I dying?
There’s a rattling somewhere under me.  It’s my legs, spazzing like a marionette’s limbs.  A seizure.  I’m only, only, only, only twenty-two, I can’t have a seizure.  Oh fuck!  What’s happening to me?  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.  I don’t want to be here.  I don’t want to be here.
I topple off the chair.  Bend Me, Shape Me ends and nobody is there to push the button for the next song so it’s silent except for my legs and arms rattling against the desk’s legs.  The receiver dangles off the desk and over my head.  I hope Bobby can’t hear this.  Why can’t I just know if he likes me?
Darkness smothers my eyes and I choke on spit and the whole world squeezes my head.  I hear a grotesque gargle.  It’s a sound that old people make, that echoes in hospitals and nursing homes and back alleys and third world countries, around sick people, dying people, not to me, not to me, I’m young, I want my mom, oh Jesus I want my mom, spit floods my lungs and darkness seals my eyes, I’m going to die, I’m going to die, no, no, please no, no.  No.  no.


I cough spittle out and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand.  My hand is soft and small, my lips are soft too.  Up on one elbow I check myself out.  I look good, modestly cute, the polka dot bra under the tie-dye v-neck seems innocent, kind of adorable.  I fall on my back again and cough.  I have to concentrate to get the coordination down.  Prop myself up again, grab the table edge, hoist up, plop down into the chair.
            I hang up the phone and sip the opened Dr. Pepper next to the switchboard.  It tastes really good.  It’s so quiet in here, it’s an Edward Hopper night in the city still life with the half-eerie, half-magical dimness and quietness.  It must be wonderful to be a night DJ.  But there should be music playing, no?  I fucked up her show.  Oh god.
            The CD player blinks the arrow and parallel lines, play/pause, “3 0:00.01.”  Everything is synched up, just need to press a button and the show goes on.  Boop.  And there it goes.  I snap to the beat.  I sip the soda-pop, so good.  I don’t suppose she smokes.  Rifle through her purse and, oh yes, American Spirits, the turquoise kind, two left, one flipped for luck.  I put one in my mouth, not the lucky one, and it tastes good just sitting there.  At the bottom of the bag I find a Bic.  I withdraw it and torch my smoke.  I pull it in and it smacks my lungs and wow, incredible feeling.  This is why exus come back to Earth, I suppose, just for the tastes.  They don’t have that in the astral villages, I guess.
            Another drag.  Mmm.  I need something to cut with.  There’s a pen, but I’d have to jab it right through the skin, better to slice with something.  The sharpest thing in her bag is keys.  Paper cut, no, that probably wouldn’t do it.  There’s a 45 sitting right there.  That might work.  I pick it up.  “SEA OF LOVE.  PHIL PHILLIPS with The Twilights.  Khoury’s Records.”  Looks old and in good condition, hate to do that to her, but I don’t have all the time in the world to go hunting around the station for a blade.
            I crack it over the table edge, little wax droppings dribble to the carpet, I like the sound of that, and I’m left with two jagged semi-circles, one in each hand.  I slice the tip of each finger, first the left hand, then the right.  One of the dials on the switchboard has a masking tape label that reads, “MICROPHONE.”  I slide it all the way to the top and put every bleeding fingertip against the metal grating of the microphone.  Thank you, Ginny.  Oxalá, thank you for again allowing me to pass from this body and through your realm on my journey.
            Here we go.  I force myself to the fingertips and…  I’m still here.  I sigh.  Okay.  I take one last drag off the cigarette and put it out in the Dr. Pepper can, no distractions, let’s go.  Oxalá, my head is yours, I humbly beg you to let me pass out of this body and pledge to repay you with one hundred offerings for your blessing.
            Nothing.  I need more exposed area, that’s all.  I cut the tip of my nose, the tip of my tongue.  That smarts a little.  I’ll have to find a way to repay Ginny.  I’ll send her some money from Brazil.  I’ll send a nice gift box with a pack of American Spirits and some new 45s.  She’ll like that even if she won’t know what the fuck is going on.
            Deep breath and push out, out of the fingertips, out of the nose, out of the tongue.  Breathe in, push out.
Still here.  I slash my forehead twice, making an X.  I spit out blood.  Come on, come on.  Oxalá, thank you for allowing me, a humble man, into the other realms, thank you for allowing me to travel the paths of the gods on my way between forms.  Please allow me to continue doing so for only a little longer and then I will serve you.  One thousand offerings for you to let me out of this body.   Thank you, thank you.
I shrink my consciousness down to one dimension, pure, simple, ready to float out of her and into the microphone.  But I still smell that cigarette steaming out of the can, still feel the stillness of the empty radio station.
What is the problem?  It worked fine with the bird.  I was out of it and in Ginny within seconds of hitting the wall.  I didn’t even barely have to pray.  It died and I was free.
It died.  Oh no.  I don’t want to do that.  I don’t have to do that.  There must be another way.  I could stay in Ginny, fly to Brazil.  And what if she doesn’t have enough money?  What if she doesn’t have a passport?  I only have four days, four days to get to Bahia and perform the ceremony or it’s all over.  Who knows how long it will take to get there even if I go the direct route?  But I can’t do that, I won’t do that.  I’ll just have to figure out something else, like…  I could…
I wipe the blood out of my eyes.  Damn it. I can’t kill her, it’s not fair.  She seems nice, she’s so young.  I could do something else, I can do… something else like… fuck.
Just do it, before you can think another second, just – I drive the corner of the broken record into my neck and slash it across my throat.  Oh my god.  The pain is bludgeoning my nerves but I just need to keep myself on the chair and by the microphone.  Oh god.  The blood falls over my breasts like a sheet, I fall limply against the chair’s back.  I can feel the record wedged into my neck as the blood bubbles around it.  This is agony, at least I spared her this, at least she can’t feel it, she’ll just be gone.  Oh god, don’t let me just be gone.
Oxalá, father of gods, Oxalá, my head is yours, Oxalá, protect me and let me pass through the dark realms, Oxalá, please don’t let me die, please Oxalá, please don’t let me die, Oxalá, please, Oxaláa, please.

Revolving Door

My uncle fell in love with a woman in 1984. they moved into an apartment at the downslant of the river edge, it was quiet and smelled like fish. A dead railroad track rotted at the foot of a bridge just across the street.

They cooked together and cleaned and watched movies on TV. They had a dog that died too early of a cancer the doctors could barely explain. She was pregnant once and lost that too. He always promised that things would be OK.

And they drank sometimes and got mean, they drank sometimes and cried while fucking ruthlessly in the bed they shared. Eventually they did not fight. They hardly spoke but talked bittersweet to friends behind the others backs.

It was cold in October of 1994. On a Monday they shared a pot of coffee and he watched football on TV. She cooked dinner. She said she need cigarettes and was going to the corner store. He watched the coat hanger sway as she closed the front door.

She didnt come back to the apartment by the hill. He hears shes in Utah now and eats dinner alone. Every night, from then till now, he lights a cigarette and looks at that front door. He waits for it to open and the coat hanger to sway.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Get With The Getdown

They necked in the backseat on the way to Perkins and Pete Carter turned on Tom Petty and turned it up, the silos and freight cars banged beneath a failing gut shot moon. She whispered “hi” in his ear. And right then he would have fallen to pieces if he knew ‘what was what’ and how it’d be. Them’s the breaks.

And they held hands under the table and he didnt feel like an idiot at all. He was on his game that night, a little drunker than everyone else. He ate a cobb salad in a bread bowl and it was dope. He made a few good jokes and they necked on the way back. She whispered in his ear “Hi”.

Then his mom made him breakfast and he drank a Mountain Dew driving to school. It wasn't a worry back then. It wasn't dramatically different either and though he didn't say anything about it, there was always a change in mood.

Like the moment had passed repeatedly, catching waves, tumbling out, losing momentum carefully. Measuring the awful handouts of encouragement and affection, adding something to something and something again. Where only pasts are precious and the present takes a nasty hit.

Be mindful of the pity party, he says now, show mercy to others and to yourself.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Acid Fizz - 7

Hello, WWD readers.  Happy Fourth of July.  Maybe between the brats and fireworks and ferris wheel rides you will find a minute to enjoy the all new edition of the World Wide Dirt serial Acid Fizz that I made just for you.  If you haven't been reading, catch up on our previous chapters here:
Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


Come on, come on, you busted ass aging box of shit, come on.  This machine.  Brand new mass specs are scissor lifted up to Spinozza and Wang on the eighth floor while a 1995 Dell blinks DOS at me.  I just want one thing from it you, you one foot in the grave obsolete motherfucker.  Give me the god damn read out, give it to me.
I smack it once.  I close my eyes and scoot my chair backward so I don’t do it again.
The computer screeches, vibrates, sways the whole desk left and right and then the readout blinks onto the screen: no change in the compound’s chemical structure.  How could there be no change?  It ate the magnolia I gave it just like it ate Eric, it should change, should absorb the magnolia’s chemical properties just like it did with Eric.  But it hasn’t done a fucking thing.  Why am I wasting my fucking time?  I knew it wasn’t going to work, it hasn’t once since Eric.  I could try to make more of the compound, but where the fuck would I keep it?  They’re not giving me money to buy a new afm/stm.  And I’m not going to dump out the only batch that ever worked.  I don’t know.  Why did I go so long without letting myself think about this?  Because it sucks to think about.  Motherfuck.
I’m liable to sock the monitor.  I stand and stretch and walk into the hallway, where it’s quiet and the lights buzz.  I angle some linty change from my pocket into the vending machine’s coin slot and hit the Diet Mug button.
I shouldn’t even be here.  What is it, eleven? eleven thirty?  Jesus Christ, get out.  It’s a quarter after two?  How?  I haven’t done anything, how could I have been here for six hours already?  Well, what else am I going to do, go home?  I’m not tired and I don’t want to watch DVRed TMC in my junk-piled living room right now.  Ever since last week and that leak, something lit a fire under my ass.  It’s like I give a shit again.  How could that be?  I don’t know but I might as well ride it out while it lasts.
I crack the can open and suck the foam in and I look out the window at the end of the hall and I see a bird, but see it deeper than I see everything else around it like there’s a hole cut in my vision and the bird is in that hole, in the layer underneath it.  The bird flies right to left.  It’s white, a dove.  It goes behind the wall at the end of the hall and as it does, it clicks against something deep in me and I see it again, but now it’s not a dove, it’s a shadow of a man, a solid black figure flying through the night.  Deep in my mind the figure drags vague notions behind it: a village made of white smoke that I have lost in my travels, I have seen the black figure that hovers around the bird in that village, and I see it here now, if I can catch it, it could tell me how to get back to the village.  Whoozy ideas like ones when I start to fall asleep, but they’re thicker.  I don’t understand them but they stay true as I think on them. 
I run down the hall toward the skyway.  I need to follow the dove because I need to find the village and I don’t know what that means so I will put it again like this: I need to follow it, I just need to. Something about this is bright in me.  It has both dread and wonder, it reminds me of being a child and discovering a dark cave or a secret attic and believing that somehow I was stepping into the world I always wished I lived in with magical forests and hybrid beasts and superpowers.
My legs burn with every step.  I want to stop.  I don’t.  Through the windows of the skyway, the campus looks neat as a model railroad with flat shiny grass, trimmed pyramid shrubs, don’t even see cigarette butts on the gray sidewalk.  Too bad no one’s here to see it during the summer.
In the Biology Building a custodian hums a buffer along the floor.  I know most of the campus shortcuts.  The dove is flying east and this is the only way to move that way without losing more ground doubling back to a stairway.  I swing the glass door of the greenhouse open and step into the solid air, the yellow light casting between green leaves.
There are plants here, surprisingly, hundreds of plants and all I’d have had to do was ask for one of them instead of driving all the way over that florist in Shorewood to pick up that magnolia.  But I don’t like going into greenhouses, they remind me of Eric.  I can almost see him tending them in his nursery, talking to them, misting them, staying up all night tying them to braces and feeding them.  Just their fucking cartoon strips and notes pinned up all over is too much to look at, evidence that they’re at home in bed tonight and coming back to tend these plants in the morning because they don’t have a motherfucker of a chemist brother to kill them with negligence.
I punch a pot sitting on the shelf and it falls off, fuck, explodes on the floor, god damn, soil spilling as I trip over my own legs turning around, but I have to keep going forward.  Fuck.  Shhhhh, I tell myself with unexpected calm, keep going.  I do.  I’ll have to come back tomorrow and explain it to the asshole botanists.  How do I explain that?
I push out the door into the night, let my feet drum down the cement stairway.  I burst onto the campus mall and my huffs and puffs fumigate the air around me.  I flip my head to look up, shaking sweat drops off my forehead, and the dove is tiny up there, just over the union and flying right toward Stadler Hall.  My legs don’t hurt anymore, they’re buzzing, moving like oiled pistons.  The buzzing is everywhere in me, from my muscles all the way out to the sweat on my skin.  This feels good.  The bird is very close to Stadler like it’s going to perch on a windowsill.  I am going to catch it.  That’s crazy, it’s not really possible, but I can feel that I am going to fucking do it.
I look up again.  The dove crunches beak-first into the wall.  What?  Not even into a window, right into the brick.  I realize that I’ve stopped running and my momentum takes me a few trods extra.  The black figure flickers around the dove’s  body and seeps through the wall as the bird flops downward.  All at once my breath is brawling to get in or out of me, I can’t even tell.  I stoop and clutch my gut.  My breath is greasy fiery smoke and I feel sick exhaling it.  The dove’s corpse claps onto the grass.
I wheeze as I lumber toward it.  I am afraid to look at it but I will anyway.  The sound around me turns up, the sprinkler clicking its arch, the water fountain just behind the Music Building, the lamps all brighten and everything looks clear as the sweat steams off of my skin and I walk toward the dead bird on the ground.
I think of Eric but the pain is on the outside of some wall and I see it for what it is.  It’s where it should be, behind that wall, not corrupting my work.  I need to make more of that compound, one way or another I need more of it to go any further in the research.  I’ve known it for a long time, haven’t I, but I had to work through this fucking maze in my head before I could get there and really see it.  I don’t know what to do with the batch that ate Eric, but I need more.  Anything else I do is just thumb twiddling.
I stand over the bird, its head is a few strings of flesh, bits of its beak cracked like pieces of an egg shell in bloody yoke.  Up at the sixth floor is a dark spot that’s trickling down the wall.  Something is in this building that I need to get to.  I could stop now and go back to the lab or go home or do a million other things, but they wouldn’t be the right thing.  I know when something is left undone, hollow and waiting to be fulfilled, and something is in that building, something with the shape of a solid black figure that I need to get to.  I pick up my legs and lug them toward Stadler’s front door.