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tearing the rag off the bush again
Letter from America PDF E-mail


Dear Editors:
I would understand completely if you discontinue your reading of this experimental but off putting stream of consciousness. Honestly I could not tell you to which category I am submitting but isn’t that a nice thing to be able to do? Either way. Much gratitude for your time and consideration.

Maybe I just don't feel as though I am standing on a concrete sidewalk all of the time. I disagree with you, you porcelain bitch on a glass shelf. Sometimes I do not feel like penning a novel or eating chocolate or playing a set of stolen bongos beneath a flight of stairs. Sometimes I wish to find the most gentle grass and let jet planes survey my indifference. I have seen you on run ways and in brown dresses and talking about LIFE, UNIVERSITY, AND LOVE and I simply am not interested in the aforementioned subjects. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I'm not here anymore, maybe I was never here in the first place and the only thing that matters is whether or not we believe in ghosts. I've never seen a ghost but what I have seen is the interior of the hospital and perfect, three hundred sixty degree circles of girls reinvent themselves over the slightest bit of nothingness. The spontaneity and the musicality of creation is stupid. Ginsburg would have disagreed with that statement and agreed with this poem. But where is Ginsburg now? We can't hear the howling through the dirt and we certainly couldn't hear it through the porticos of the contemporary classrooms. Again I say, the spontaneity and the musicality of creation is stupid. Of course, I am a liar. Today I sat under the sun eating raw fish covered in salt. I was attempting not to grow ill when a voice asked me if I was enjoying myself. In an effort to appear cordial I said, "Yes, yes, of course I am enjoying myself." But what I really wanted to do was pull down my pants and jump in the lake. The concept of enjoyment is not so much subjective as it is elusive. Have you ever wished you could titty fuck the librarian? Well, I haven't but I am sure someone has in the past and was not able. The fact that I have not desired to titty fuck the librarian makes the subject subjective but what really counts is the fact that whoever did was not able to attain what would truly make them happy and this of course, is the elusive nature of enjoyment. I may as well rehash the following... Once I received a blowjob from a bisexual on a twin bed while we were waiting for a bus that seated 12 to take us to the local skating rink. When we arrived at the skating rink I kept dodging the bisexual and holding hands with an aspiring scientist from the east coast. I persuaded the aspiring scientist to hold my hand by pretending that I was much worse a roller skater than I happened to be in actuality. Later that night we (meaning me and the scientist, not the bisexual) got drunk on seven dollar blush wine and fucked to the theme of some Bob Dylan song I didn't like at the time and probably still don't. In the morning I woke up in a skirt and had to make a run to the grocery store to buy a grill and some ketchup. On the way to the grocery store the bisexual asked me "Where did you sleep last night?" I told her I slept at my friend Evan's house but she knew what I really meant. While we are talking about poets being assholes, I remember a time last April when an experimental book mobile came by led by Neal Cassady’s son. I think I smoked a cigarette with him. Anyway, I’m not sure of the exact details because I wasn’t physically inside of the book mobile, but word on the street (???) was that Neal Cassady’s son tried to rape this nice girl with 34D breasts and a penchant for avant-garde photography. Well, his problem was that she was a lesbian and lesbians never put up with that sort of bullshit. She called security on his ass and the resurgence of the beat generation would have to wait. The problem with art is that it can never be quantified. What I mean by that is that there was a time when I was drinking port with an unnatural red head who had a meth problem and believed that her backyard was haunted. She told me “One time I was out in my backyard and I saw a bright white light carrying a meat hook.” I asked her to please go on but she just insisted that I read her one of my poems. I did not want to read her one of my poems because back then I was doing all of my writing in this uncomfortably large leather bound book that had flowers carved into the leather and I believed that hindered the writing itself. She persisted so I finally read her a poem about Minnie Mouse and my unjustifiable dislike for Alfredo sauce. She applauded the poem and as she put on her pajamas she asked for me to please get the hell out of her six by eight room so she could “…get some goddamn sleep.” Enough of the memories what are your thoughts on William Carlos Williams? What?!? You think he was just a nasty old man who liked to pleasure himself with plum juice??? DISGUSTING! But I must say your thoughts are much more refreshing than the thoughts of someone who reads historical fiction. The following account of events is going to be imbedded in some unpublished and experimental piece of literary trash and that is precisely why I have chosen such a venue for such an embarrassing and revealing reminiscence. Here it goes…About 3 years ago I was coming home from work (I worked as a barista in a chain of coffee shops) when I received a call from my friend Al. Al was a homosexual, in all senses of the term. He liked to look at pictures of men and he also was interested in theatre. Al said to me “Come over. We’ve got wine and some pot.” Well, I like wine and some pot so I drove over there. (Interesting fact: Al’s house is right down the street from my current girlfriend who I was not dating at the time and who will read this and say JOE WHAT THE FUCK!) So I arrived and there was Al and Aubrey smoking the bong and drinking glasses that were about half champagne and half beer. I think we may have played a game of monopoly, perhaps it was scrabble but either way by the end of the board game I was on the floor and Cammile was talking about my penis. “HEY” Al shouted. “I’VE GOT SOME PILLS!” I asked what kind of pills and he said he wasn’t sure. He went and got them and I took four and a half. “LETS SEE IT.” Al said. “SEE WHAT?” I asked. “YOUR COCK” He said. As the case may be I dropped my penis and some time later I was standing on top of a queen size bed and both the boy and the girl were giving me a blowjob. I came and they gave me another. Afterwards we all shared another bottle of white wine. Cammile did not take any pills so we had her drive us to the local beach access. The time was 6:23 and the Sun rose at 6:29. I think that may have been the only time I have witnessed beauty in it’s entirety. Please forget what you have heard here and do not repeat it. Like I say, Allen Ginsburg couldn’t be heard through the walls of classrooms. Not that I want to be like Ginsburg but what I mean is that no one discussed his sexual indiscretions. WHY DO I KEEP SAYING THAT DAMNED NAME, GINSBURG? Or is it Ginsberg? Bukowski used to misspell that man’s name on purpose but it’s rumored that before a reading at a southern California college, behind closed curtains Bukowski finished his whiskey drink and the only thing he said before he walked on stage and read his poem “The Genius Of The Crowd” was “Ginsburg, you’re a great man.” So, there you have it, everybody is sucking everybody else’s cock apparently, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The other night I was masturbating in my bedroom (However, I have never masturbated in a church, although I do have friends that have done so) and I received an invitation to attend a blues concert. I went because it’s been fucking ages since I’ve gone anywhere and done anything. It was a decent place, with decent people, and decent food, and decent drink. A gentle place, it was. About an hour into the thing I looked around and got the sudden need to run out of the door and just keep running. I could not be in that room any longer. Something was digging a mine in my heart and I could not tell what it was. The beer was delicious and the girl on the stage had more soul than anyone I know personally and the company I was keeping was nice and gentle but I JUST COULD NOT BE THERE ANY LONGER. I told the person who invited me I felt ill which was true in a certain sense and a complete lie in another sense. He drove me home in his BMW 351ii which has a bike rack on the roof (a bike rack on the roof is something I always wished I could obtain). I’m still not sure what was wrong with me, or what remains wrong with me. On the topic of spontaneous loss of sanity: Have you ever been in the absolute middle of fucking an absolutely magnificent woman and wanted to stop, pull out, and walk out of the room just to see what would happen? I have not done it but someday I will. It remains a goal of mine. If you just think about sexual intercourse from a logistical stand point it is simply absurd. You place something that sticks out of YOU into the indentation of SOMEONE ELSE and then you move about like a centipede being prodded with a high voltage wire. Perhaps I’ve lost it. Lost what, though? Listen, I said, I KNOW YOU. She said that I certainly did not. I certainly did. We had met in a diner one time and shared a piece of blackberry pie with a mutual friend who enjoyed hand rolling cigarettes on the beach. YEAH. I told her, WE SHARED A PIECE OF BLACKBERRY PIE. She rolled her eyes and moved off to the other side of the room. I stayed where I was eying her, knowing what kind of pie she preferred. How had I gotten roped into enrolling in a business class anyways??? There is this real genius of an artist, a dim-the-lights-light-the-incense-sort of artist, who has this huge Moses like beard. I fancy myself this sort of artist but I am not on the same platform of genius. Thus, I’ve been attempting to grow the same sort of beard. It’s working a bit but not quite. Somebody offered me 20 bucks to trim it and if it goes on any longer I may get fired from my common labor job. I SEE THE BEARD BUT WHERE IS THE FUCKING POETRY??? One of my exes is in Dublin right now. I had a poem published in a journal based in the United Kingdom about a hypothetical situation in which she gets impregnated by an Irish man and cons him into supporting her and he falls for it because of his Catholic upbringing. I don’t think she’ll ever see the poem but if so I’ll simply ask her “How was Dublin?” and that will get her off it. I’ve always wanted to see Dublin myself. (Drink in Dublin? Have some sex where the dirty talk is done with an accent? Isn’t that what we all want?) There are only 2 pieces of literature that have ever made me cry: Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Nausea” and J.K. Rowling’s final installment of the successful Harry Potter series “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. Sartre’s book forced me to put down my own pen for several months because I was certain nothing I would ever write would be one sixteenth as powerful as that thing. I wanted to take book itself and shake it in people’s faces as they passed on the street and say DON’T YOU SEE? DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS WHOLE THING RIGHT DOWN TO WALKING ON THE STREET IS A FARCE? I cried because the book was right. With “…Deathly Hallows” I cried because the actual existence of the book signified the end of all things joyous. I know, I know, He’s a WIZARD. But I loved that fucking wizard. Does this make me a poor critic of literature? Does this make all visceral writing I attempt null and void? Perhaps. A lot of people, probably 30 to 40 people jumped ass naked into the community pool this one night in late August 2005. It’s curious…that meeting people while your cock is hanging out and their tits are hanging forward and strangers can see your ass while you meet someone does not affect the meeting process. You still shake people’s hands and say “Hi my name is ______” or whatever you say when you meet someone. Given the circumstances you would think somebody would say “Hi. I see you have a vagina, may I touch it?” or something to that vulgar and intrusive extent. I met one pale soft thing of a girl named Laura. We were both naked and swimming butterfly when we bumped into one another. Somehow the conversation made it’s way to the topic of coffee beans. I had some vanilla and orange ones back in my room. She said she’d stop by in the morning for some flavored coffee. I said all right. The amazing thing is that at 7:50 the next morning I was nursing an ice block of rum hang over in bed when she showed up at my door. I fixed her some orange coffee and told her to have a seat in the chair I purchased at goodwill for 7$$$. We discussed Hemingway (I believe, It was somebody LIKE Hemingway at least) and she left. About 6 months later we got drunk and I was about to make my move when she got the call that her best friend from grade school had been taken to the emergency room for alcohol poisoning. She asked me to comfort her and I did and now we do not speak. In fact, she looks way too much like the girl who is in Dublin as we speak. (Or as I write). Just looked at the Newspaper. In the events section there is a photo of the sister of a kid who used to sell me acid. I used to go over to his house and buy acid when she was, say, I dunno, 12 years old. Now she’s filled out nicely and is wearing a corset in this photo. It’s for a cabaret. I will not attend. Just got a pleasant letter in the mail to inform me that a literary journal in which a work of prose I had hastily written was going to be published is halting production due to lack of resources and interest. To be fair, it was a themed publication and those always tend to give me a certain feeling of illness. Listen, let’s get back to the reason I sat down at the type machine in the first place… I was walking passed a group of chairs with my 20oz. coffee in hand when I noticed that one of the girls sitting in the chair LOOKED LIKE A GHOST. Not a murderous ghost or that bright white light with a meat hook I spoke of earlier, just a ghost like any other. White skin, eyes like a doe or a dinner plate. She spoke to another immaterial figure about simple matters such as her boyfriend. I had seen her someplace before and could not figure out where. Where would one see a ghost? This was the sort of thing that causes a man to walk directly into a break wall. Which is subsequently what I did. I walked directly into a brick wall of a library and ironically libraries are homes for books. What’s depressing is that the coffee spilled and when I came to, the chair that the beauty ghost was sitting in stood empty.

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