Monday, March 29, 2010

pieces of taxi

something about afghanistan: © 2010

Trip 459-2010. old vet, new vet
...what you whinin’ for?
Your terrifyin’ chemwar and yer spdrs and yer slot-ls in redux? Sheesh!
We fought back in the day where they had mosquitos! Fer cry-eye!
We didn’t even had no war. They called it "police action." One that cost 50,000 ‘Merikin boys dead and buried. Check it out. All they names on a big black rock a half mile long in DC.
That qualify?!
So yer stupid winless "war" on terror cost us 5,000 boys [and some grrrls] dead and buried.
Desert wars are EZ.
I hear tell we both killed about the same # of non-combatants–you call collaterals. Geez-sheets!
What kinda word is that?!
2 million each.
Ours took longer, and they’re still dyin’.
Count ‘em.
Course, gotta admit yours’ll die for centuries, y’know, that DU stuff. Un-depleted you ask me. UDU. Or, you do. Voodoo. Sheesh! We used white phosphorous on peephole too.
Or you can drop a Daisy Cutter: you go an’ toss some fine spray napalm from a plane and kill ever’body ever damn thing that lives or breathes in a big circle. From six inches deep to twenty stories high. In a dome of death. That’s not war!
Don’t know the name...wanna call it a Daisy Cutter.
But that ain’t war....

Trip 56-2010. whippersnappers.
Young guy gets in my taxi at the airport with his wife and a little girl. He’s got a big black halo ‘round his head on stiff little poles attached to his shoulders. After a better look I can see the "halo" got some sticks stuck right into the skull and same for the shoulders. Sheeee-aye! When he turns to talk, which ain’t often, he has to turn his whole body. So his neck won’t swivel.
He’s got the Marine cut so I ask him. He says yeah. Get that apparatus from the Afghanis?
Wife blurts up first, "Yes, he did. IED. It killed his best friend and nearly killed him!"
Did not expect that outburst.
Shrapnel just missed my spinal cord. He explains. By a quarter inch.
I look the situation over as we pull out of the airport. Pretty hectic behind us tonite. Pretty wife to die for. I pause to check out with the mag card press it to the reader screen. Look back at the little girl about 4 hugging her dolly. Boy! I go. Sort of losing it. Sorry. But I say, Prettiest little girl I ever seen! What’s your name, angel? I fergit what she said. I flash one more glance at the wife–I swear. By this time. 10 seconds the A-hole driver behind me is honking. I flip ‘m off out the window so the young wife don’t think I’m a jerk. We head out.
Spent five and one fucking half hours waiting for planes here. If they don’t get their shit together...I dunno...tomorrow we gotta be in Fresno.
Why you gotta be in Fresno?
Everybody’s waiting.
Relax. I tells 'im. One, you’re a national hero. The airline company is heartsick about your inconvenience, and I’m as sure as hell [on this planet is where you came from] about that. They are probably sick about disappointing you. But they do not want to kill you with a plane with mechanical difficulties or some other kind o’ dangerous flight when you are about two days away from paradise. You hear me, Marine?
He looked at me stern and full of macho indignation at me telling him shit. Any kind of shit.
Nobody has a better shot at happiness than you right now, I go on. Just look in that back seat! I was not lying and they all knew it. A woman knows how good looking she is...and how good she wants to be as a person as well. She spoke:
He got hit on the road. Just driving along. We are so happy to have him back with us...
And she trailed off.
I didn’t want this to get saccharine, nor worse, theoretical. For all I knew the wife was a lazy, ego-maniacal heroin addict whore. All I’m sayin’ is she did not look like that...and dammit I wanted it to have a chance as if some dumb cabbie’s tough love is gonna add to their chances...and not detract.
So I asked him, "What’s goin’ on over there? What’s it like? They never tell us anything."
"It’s fucked, he said. The people are fucked. The situation is fucked. It’ll never work. I think we oughta nuke the entire country and bring everyone home. Nuke the whole place!"
I felt I was in the tilt position to be able to have some positive input–as a random source of some sort of coincidology. Just one American speakin’ to another.
I felt if not pressure, then the seriousness of my imagined responsibility. Under the gun so to speak.
I asked him. You ever hear of Malalai Joya? He said no. Remember that name, I told him.
She agrees with you. About gettin’ out anyway. Don’t imagine she’d go for the nuke ‘em part. She taught little girls to read in secret schools. When she was 18. She’s 25 or 6 now. She’s the youngest woman, of the few ever elected, in the Loya Jirga. She rocks, man. She wants us out. She says you cannot bring democracy. It has to grow up from people. And she would work to teach girls to read and vote and work and go to school like they never could before.
I went on a little roll: teach girls. That’s what you want, I bet. And let girls become all that they can. Let ‘em learn physics. Become doctors, scientists, architects, politicians. I can’t believe women would have got us into this mess...
He said yeah. I’ll look her up.
He said the hotel name they were goin’ Snarled a bit. I said, Paradise. You got one night of paradise. Great family. I had loved these guys at first sight. Man, I said, enjoy every breath of free air you get with these two angels. Take that hotel to heart. It’s free, huh?
Oh yeah, he goes.
Get smart, says I. It’s a holiday. Now tell me what’s it like.
You wanna know what it’s like?
For sure.
OK. We got a report from a farm. The guy had been having trouble with the Taliban. Stealing his food and shit.
So we convoy up an head out there. It’s good intel. We get into a fire fight, and we chase them away. So it’s over quickly.
Kill any?
Yeah. Several. I didn’t see the count. Don’t matter. We didn’t get ‘em all. They fade into the hills. So we return to the farm. The owner is an ass-hole.
How so?
He’s pissed we upset his schedule. Says his goats and cows are upset. Gotta milk ‘em and the chickens are over the place. His wife is crying. The Captain is trying to pacify this idiot. Then in the middle of talkin’ he spits in the Captain’s face.
Real a-hole.
I look back at the wife. She is nodding at me. Positive. About the vocab-constab-ulary or what? The whole interrogation? This is de-briefing taxi style. I’m into it.
What did he do?
Do?! He did what he had to do?
Kill the guy!?
No. He ordered the house cleared. Then he had a tank run over it. Back and forth a couple times.
That shuts ‘im up.
I bet. Then what?
We left.
There was a bit of silence there. The little girl was looking out the window when I took a glance in the mirror. She was hugging her dolly and looking out her window at the night. At Millbrae, California, on the bay side of the freeway. Big expanse of darkness off to our left which was salty water.
I said, if you got time. You get up early. You go for a walk here cross this street. Big, long park. Goes for miles. I didn’t know that for sure. You can see the birds flyin’ in under the jets. See the jets flying in to come and get you outa here. I hope you come back.
Yeah, great.
Then it came to me. The farmer. The captain. Had they talked before?
Yeah. I suppose they had to. There would have been some questions. How many insurgent? Maybe some directions. I guess. Stuff like that.
And it was friendly?
I didn’t see that.
Y’know. The genius of those two is cool. We pulled into the driveway of a very nice-looking hotel. Wow! I go. I ask the girl if she ever stayed at a hotel before. Unt-huh, she says.
[I’m going bananas inside.]
But I tell the girl, "You gotta try room service and free movies and order a coke and try pancakes for breakfast...that’s what you do in hotels. Use everything. Use ‘em up!"
Mom was sliding over to the girl’s side to get out. Daddy was pulling an airline voucher for the ride. I’d seen those before. Heck, happened to me one time. I’d had an angel with me too.
Gettin’ them together like that, almost out of the taxi, I said to the Marine, "They did it so he wouldn’t get killed."
I mean, you guys couldn’t be there all the time. You had to return to base. So the Taliban would’ve killed this farmer if you hadn’t knocked his house down. It was survival. Your Captain only had to wipe off some spit and knock down a crappy house. He saves a family.
You got the same choice. Only you won’t get spit on. You get loved.
You’re the luckiest man in the world. If I were you, I’d wear that thing around your head for as long as it takes to never go back.
His wife touched my arm.
He nodded.
Peace, I said.
Driving back to the airport and the short line, I almost cried like a baby.
Joya. I kept saying it. Thinkin’ how I forgot her first name in the tears...
gonna be his moon
jimmymankind © 07/07
She knew she wasn’t ever gonna be his moon.
‘cause the things he did to her were dumber than a loon.
He’d promise her the worl’,
then she’d find him
chattin’ up some other grrl.
He’d tell her he’d be goin’
and she’d see him in the mall.
(You could tell he wasn’t that enthrall’d.)
And she’d hear...he’d been seen
rubbing faces with some...ditzy human bein’,
While Jojo languored cooked up
instead of hooked up
somewhere on the softer side of
You here,’s the hold-on
grrrl, you, me, the good man at your side.
These bright wondrous days are for when we love.
Life–y’all–boils down to a few salient days:
the ones when we are love.
You who make me laugh.
You here, me.
The rest be chaff.
Yesterday afternoon
I was sitting/in my car/in the safeway/Sparkling lot
Listening to the snooze upon the radio.
My car’s burnin’ oil just like the nation
(tryin’ to stay ahead of China and Big Oil’s constipation.)
And I’m Thinking,
angry. romantic, and dangerously lost ! ,
of Starting up
Some sort of "Don’t Tread On Me"
to make the Boss man even more angry.
Like me:
romantic, and dangerously lost.
He be some kinda foo’! Man!
He turn my brown ass blue.
She knew she wasn’t ever gonna be his moon.
Because the things he did to her were dumber than a loon.
He promise her the whirl,
then she find him in the mall
chattin’ up some other grrrl.
He tell her he be goin’
and how he got aroun’.
She hear he been seen
rubbing faces
with some ditzy free for all
Latina human bean-a.
While Jojo languored all cooked up
and broke-up
like some defunct...
No where she’d be seen.
It was a day for the audacity of hopes
I had the newspaper open to the Sun.
Cuppa coffee on the dash–this was some kinda fun.
I was counting the dead as best I could,
Until the numbers turned to oatmeal
In my head. Or vice versa.
I dug into the billions wasted, stolen, lost...out upon the sea...under desert rocks... bad peephole’s pockettes.
Burnt. Manured somewhere. Or forgotten like squirrels lose nuts.
I got all confused.
That led me to a-dreamin’ ‘bout the more manageable simple number
of wars per century, and if ours was not the worst of all the bad...
ones viewed from this late perspective,
from this point of human evo- devo- or our reso-solution.
On sun-dried killing fields where there was only one army
not at home
whose jones was blowing
up no one’s
homes Or homes unknown,
So that was not a war...exactly. (If you don’t know who you killin’.)
Like unintended murders have unintended consequences w/o intent
–these gloves fit all sizes.
When my eye caught something all weird and fluttery ‘cross the street
high up on the tarry old telephone pole–slash–dead tree:
y’all be darned if they wasn’t a couple a coupling
California Blue Jays up there high above it all,
Kali-forni-cating’ they (dumb little) brains out.
"Omigod! Omigod!" she seemed to squawk,
squashed down upon their/her polestand. "Omigawd!"
As her old man pounded, "Uhnt. Uhnt-uhnt!"
And–finally, "Uhnt...! Squawk. Caw!"
Just like any man would sound if smaller,
and with wings in feather.
One more Spring.
Oh. Joy,
I thought:
High hopes.
You here,’s the hold-on,
grrrl, you, me, the good man at your side.
This bright or gray, illuminated day, when we love.
Life boils down to a few salient witnessings:
the ones when we are love.
You here, me.
The rest be chaff.
High hopes.
red spot t-shirt
© 08/06
"Haight and Fillmore. Pick up."
"8-7, check."
I was driving up Haight with just a twenty to my night;
It wasn’t late but my hand was pretty tight.
Suddenly a fresh-faced blond kid, maybe twenty-some,
held up a shaky arm and signaled me to come.
He stood too long in one place for me to tell.
(There is a ritual for catchin’ cabs, y’all.)
Suddenly he reeled back into the pole,
Leaned there uncertain, not like he would chill.
He wore a pair of jeans, the uni of the night,
and a white t-shirt that looked a bit too the flourescent blue-white light.
I raised my hands to him, in the universal, Well, what?
When at that moment he sat. He just went phump!
He slid down his back along the pole.
His grrrl friend screamed at me, "Please don’t go!"  
She tossed her head up, down, to and fro,
Jumpin’ at my door and jerkin’ towards her beau.
While his face turned into some angelic kinda glow,
Her screams rose as if I was something slow,
but I’d pulled over, opened up the door, all set to go.
It was he who wasn’t movin’, seemed somewhat outa flow.
When she tried to lift ‘im I could see the whole
Of a tiny spot of red to the left of center
Below the patch where ciggies go.
It started out real small like that and then began to grow.
His head fell over, the wet spot spread and white went red.
I hit the mike and screamed, "I think he’s dead!"
"I mean," I said. "Mayday! This kid gone red!"
"Corner of Haight and Steiner, send the man!"
"The kid’s been shot! He barely understands."
"Don’t worry ‘bout findin’ us. Here they come!"
Two gangs, I spose, incitin’ fightin’ without bendin’.
Ran by cross the street and veered toward downtown’s ending.
We’ll need an ambulance, two shots a ‘drenalin,
This could be the bitter pill.
He’s twenty-some, looks real ill.
Grrrlie’s screaming at me.
Her boy can’t talk.
I said, "Just hold his hand. Tell ‘im how you feel.
If he can’t hear you, I think it’s time to kneel.
They’ll be here ‘fore we could lift him up."
She turned to him–and stared–her mouth all stuck
Big red spot from clavicle to down to where he opened
She dreamed of one more chance...with any luck.
But that dream faded as the EMTs arrived.
Seconds later cops strolled ‘round to find that he was not alive.
The big red spot now filled his shirt.
His Grrrl all covered with his dryin’ stain.
Sobbin’. Lookin’ up at me like she’d been hurt.
I nodded her way. Through all her pain.
I tried to say...something any...
Way. Then the bulls walked in between. Asked, who are you?
I called it in. I called for you. So don’t play me to diss. I’m the ride he missed.
There came a squawk from my machine:
"1-8-7! You OK?"
"Yeah...," I heard me say, as I reached back to close the door. "Haight and Steiner, no ride here. 1-8-7. Free and clear."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

fry pans or hot head, cold feet

fry pans or
hot head, cold feet
everyone wants to win; nobody wants to work up a sweat.
everybody wants to know the ANSWER; nobody wants to read a book.
everyone wants to go to heaven; nobody wants to die.
everyone wants to be free, and yet, is repulsed by politics:
whereas, refusing to get into politics assures politics will get into you.
So. It’s not so surprising to watch the eyes glaze-over when 911 comes up.
I went to a Thanksgiving Dinner Party the other night, and the hostess comes out of the kitchen bearing a really great tray of oeurs d’oeurves.
As she sets it on the table she announces pleadingly, "Tonight let’s all promise not to talk about sex, religion, or politics. OK?"
I quickly blurted my agreement, smiling, "Yea! Sports!" And some of the looser guys cheered.
"No! Not sports either!" she cried, returning to her kitchen.
Hey. What else is there to talk about in America? Music? I’d rather just listen to it. Art? Who knows anything...? Lit? Who reads? Science? Yeah, how about chemistry? Like what’s cadmium doing in our landfills and hence, water tables?! Or what about the amount of lead in our nation’s meth supply? What is coltan for?
"BPA in baby bottles!" shouted a skinny blond I hadn’t met, yet, and whom we all wanted to take home. So we all stared...the guys wondering if, and even the girls, whatever they wonder. "I mean," she pursued her thought languorously like a wide river rolling past Natchez, "It might be a cause of autism."
"Hey!" I shouted toward the kitchen. "In Seattle they measure the air for silt levels wafting over from China’s Badain Jaran and Tengger Deserts, or whatever...want some Gobi in that souffle? Anyone? The air is yellow from nano-particulate. Worse than smoking cause it won’t leave your lungs!"
Omigod! I’m making myself sick.
"Stop it! Jimmy!" she screams from the kitchen.
"Hey, chemistry is good things brought to meth!" I went, one time too many.
"Oh. God!" our hostess uttered at the point of exasperation.
"That’s religion, dearie!" I countered.
Then she dropped some lid or pan on the floor and I backed off. In soto voce I offered up this one: the melting point of structural steel is 2900 degrees versus the combustion temp of kerosene, or jet fuel, is only 1450. Duh....and it makes one wonder how the buildings fell. Is alllllll...i'm sayin'.
I went on: "If petroleum could melt steel, the City of Pittsburgh would’ve been in Texas. And Cheney ran NORAD that day," I added. "Drop a bowling brawl fromthe roof and see if it doesn’t hit the sidewalk after the building does!"
"Shut UP!"
"Why all the secrecy?’ I wondered out loud. "They could’ve let everyone go down there and look around after the steel stopped melting. I mean we had to wait a month for it to cool, just to send it to China and India?!"
Jimmy! If you wreck my party...!
"Just because they repressed the evidence, don’t mean they didn’t do it. Ha! There was enough circumstantial evidence buried in there to hang a black man in Texas!"
Jimmy, if you wreck my party...!
If you wreck my country...!
"That does it!" She squawked.
"One question: what happened at 8:36 AM on 9-11? And Where? Anyone have the answer?"
Huh! Went someone. The buildings didn’t collapse until after 9...
Two jet airliners were in the same exact spot! Guess which ones!
So what?
Dig it.
Yer crazy.
How could you be so fucking stupid?!
You’re a glazed donut, you sheeple!
Fuck off!
Go to hell!
Die, fascisti...!
Great party...!
Another grand banging from the kitchen. Something smashes. Two of the girls jump up. Then, blocking them at door, this...
"JIMMY! I want you to leave my house. Please Go!"
"Well. Happy Thanks-f-ing-giving."
"Well. There’s no red-skinned naive-american indigenous people here anyway...just dupes. Great, I get booted from a dupe party.
I left. Stormin'.
I went to a Chinese market. Almost all the way across town. I was so riled up. It just happened to be the only thing open. I bought all the iron skillets they had. I charged it. It cost me 128 dollars.
You bettah off.
He helped me carry them out to the car. I needed a plastic tank and or I mean a five gallon paint can. Make that a pail. He had one. No, two. OK.
The Chinese man thanked me repeatedly–I thought for what I was about to do–me, the patriot. But he was thinking he’d made money this day! Now he could return to his own home, to his chiding wife, head up. I had just verified his whole existence.
I went to a gas station. Filled up every thing I had that could carry gas, including the car. More credit. I bought a hose for syphoning. Used.
I raced back to my ex-friends’ house. They were eating dinner. Talking about anything they wanted except sex, religion, politics, shopping, sports, environmental issues, drug addiction, war (a subset of politics), and I guess, 911, [as well as the insidious perversion of woman's lib.] They were drinking and having fun. They were laughing like Mad Nazis around 1937, and I, paranoid, imagined I was one of the jokes.
I began stacking the frying pans on the sidewalk in front of the house.
5-10-15-20-30-40 pans high. [At 3" each that would be about 120 inches, so maybe only 30 high. All I know is no one noticed and my arms grew tired.] All the once-strong good ol’ US Steel from the WTC, I’m thinking, now laced throughout these iron pans, and maybe some (un)depleted uranium waste product was all I could find here in this town of West Coast Thanks For Us-ers. Of all days. Maybe it went into syringes, or stainless pots, or desk chairs, eye glass hinges...bomb shells....
I filled the frying pans with the gasoline (careful not to let my fucking cigarette drop into the mix as i flipped it downwind.).
Carefully pouring, more and more easily I poured: as the lifting becomes higher, the load becomes lighter. Or me stronger, under the spell of my rising revolutionary zeal. Soon the volatile liquid filled all the pans. Up over my head. Here, a couple more!
All filled with more jet fuel, proportionately, than the Twin Towers 1 and 2, and on every floor, but not any on Building #7, remember! And if this doesn’t do it!? I squealed in my Zapata!
I ran up and rang the doorbell. I knocked ten times.
I yelled. I yelled, "Fire!" Someone finally came to the door. I screamed, "My head is on fire!" Actually, there is going to be a fire!
I ran down the stairs before anyone could figure out they ought to stop me.
I yelled, "LOOK! You'll see...!"
And I tossed the match about 1/5th of the way from the top, right where the jets hit the towers more or less exactly. Only in MY tower experiment the whole thing went up like Jonah’s Ladder! WHOOSH! It went.
Up over the power lines and way past the phone polling interview telecom lines that made Lynn Forester rich and famous in semi-cryptic FISA-justice the entire stack exploding in a grand sigh, sucking all the Oxygen offa da street for miles around just like a mini-Daisy Cutter bomb would.
Cough, cough, I went. I can’t breathe!
in mute resistence
to all the liars
and all the psuedo-analysts
and corrupted sycophants
and the lying fraudulent fascists of Amerika, Inc.
And in front of the glazed-eyed don’t wannabe involved non-thinker sheeples i used to call friends...oh god...what sublime aloneness i was feeling in my satori bliss
My frying pans held: 30-plus weak-sister precursors to steel, mere iron, just like Nietzsche, Heidegger, Strauss, were precursors to Hitler, and he, maybe more accurately, Mussolini and his cheap, Slutty g.f. Carlotta Petracci, were precursors to Wolfowitz (and his chp. S. g.f., who got him fired from the WTO), Perle, Kissinger, Friedman, Harriman, Cheney, Bushes I and II, Hannatty, Limbaugh, Baker, condi "legs" rice, the Rothschilds, shoops! don't kill me! Kill us all!
Stoically ironically steely-eyed, standing beside my own burning man the burning Bush of un-melted metal lightness and brightness in the Tower of Truth that I’d built--just slapped together--in front of one and all. I yelled out to the populace, "Wake up! Wake up, Viet-nam! Iron does not melt under flaming jet fuel! Come witness the TRUTH!"
A curtain moved ever so slightly in a window across the street. One eye added to the witness pool. A phone picked up faster than if i was ms genovese screaming for her life.
30 frying pans strong. Holding in mute infernal evidence another inconvenient truth we got to deal with....
Mute evidence unmoved and unshaken by this paltry heat of 1450 degrees just like science would have it.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2008. Seven years is never too late...
While the oil-based plastic coating of the communication lines above dripped all over my antique Plymough Valiant with a goup I’d never wash off even if I could.
"How did you know?" someone asked. (I think it was the skinny blond.)
I read a lot, I said. Staring at the fire. And I began to believe the fire would have been even hotter where they really go, on the stove. Over flaming natural gas, sometimes all day...never melting in mute service to knowledge. Steel pots simmering stews for hours around the world. I thought of: Mere iron gratings of the millions of stoves over natural gas, and jet engines made of steel, steel branding irons; conversely, perversely raw steel being melted by chemical actions in the Bessemer process. All the fires that went out too soon (in skyscrapers) and somehow didn’t let us know that steel don’t burn, or melt, by any plasticky burning of mere carbon...all the losses we have incurred for not knowing that...not to mention the loss of spunk. The demise of American Don't Tread on ME! vs. the crying shame of sheepleness.
What a dumb waste.
Of our trust...and our senses.
"C’mon, baby. Let’s waltz," I said to my Valiant. "Our work here is done."
Someone grabbed my arm.
Wait a sec. I’ll get my purse, she said.
My name’s Sheri, BTW....
And the fire on the sidewalk slowly died...for another one risin’ in the heart.
"Where are we going?" she asked in admirable amiable wondrous-ness.
And I said, "Wherever you want. Thankyouverymuch."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

jimmy.mankind: gulag master

From jimmy to all gulag masters:
Everything is impermanent. impertinent, and either older or raw.
Nothing has intrinsic or inherent reality. love doesn't abother with such distinctions.
All emotions are painful (including love.) all feelings are variations of pain (unless you like it.)
Enlightenment is beyond concept or understanding by the intellect.
Too bad some intelligent lad had to say that. I just about had this life figured out.

These are the Four Seals as taught by the Prince Siddhartha after he became the Buddha - or the Awakened.
Of course, this all depends on what your definition of "IS" is.
We think we know what we know. We have suspicions about what we don't know. We don't know what we need to know. And we now know what we didn't know we know now. Which is:
Do not drink any more aspartame, Donald.

solid dare is he.

No bacon, no bullets, no butter, no beer.
No backup, no bail-out, no bitchin', no bench.

The Best Of My Life

these days are love
these days are blue
This is when we feel deeply: what's wrong with that?
this is where the march of life has taken us.
this is when we know we know.
this is where know-how pitches in
for sure.
this is when love surrounds us
in its purest form
this is where each word and hug and howyafeelin' ?
really means it.
this is whew! the next hill looms!
and that last one! whew-ee!
this is truly Now!
i like to think with substance all stored up for our use,
i like to think with the track records we have set,
and prior displays of courage
to remind us
how strong and competent we are...
Today is the first day for the best of my life.
i'm working free of me.

Written by:
(c) 02/10