Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I say HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA to serious me. To hell with pathos.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Here is the first draft of the heretofore untitled article I am submitting to the Cooper Point Journal, my college's student newspaper. The article will consist of reviews of all the awful merchandise I can find at Goodwill. This is a review of "Cruisin' Ukuleles," an album I found in the two-dollar bargain bin.

I don’t know how the ukulele was invented, but after listening to this album I can only conclude it was the result of some evil warlock’s failed plot to shrink the hands of honest, hard-working Hawaiians everywhere; dooming them to pluck sad little mutant guitars forever. Considering the fact that “Cruisin’ Ukuleles” exists, I also conclude that this black magic is alive and well in the world, corrupting the hearts and souls of Pacific Islanders and annoying people worldwide.

The liner notes begin, “The arrangements on this recording come from an era when cruisin’ the drag and listening to music on the car radio was the hip thing to do. If you didn’t have ‘wheels’ you could always stop at the local hang out and hear those same special tunes on the jukebox. Let us take you back to an era when the music made us feel good. Come join us as we take you cruisin’ ukulele style.” After about ten seconds of play, it becomes clear that “cruisin’ ukulele style” constitutes a harrowing thrill-ride through the twisting mountain roads of pure, existential anguish.

Imagine a fifth-grade recorder festival. Now imagine the fifth-graders are all forty-year-old Canadians wearing fanny packs and tonelessly thrashing 112 ukuleles (literally) while a chorus of young girls chant Beach Boys lyrics in eerie, spiritless harmony. Take the whole scene and place it on stage at a yacht/barbeque/riding lawnmower convention and you begin to appreciate how difficult it is not to pass out while listening. “Cruisin’ Ukuleles” couldn’t be more banal if it was performed by an entire fleet of nine-year-old girls riding ponies.

The Ensemble’s perspective of American history is questionable. As far as I know, no jukebox playlist in this country has ever included the songs “He Ono La,” “Lahaina Luna” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Ostensibly, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble is attempting to reinvigorate some vintage favorites with a fresh and quirky sound, but the end result is something akin to renovating a decrepit, classic automobile only to use that automobile to run over a troupe of boy scouts who are also orphans. The highlight of the whole album is “Four Chord Medley: Silhouettes / Blue Moon / Heart and Soul / Diana / Rama Lama Ding Dong,” a baffling ukulele mashup of five golden oldies that surpasses the Ensemble’s own precedent for inanity. I don’t know what “Rama Lama Ding Dong” means, but my best guess is that it’s Asshole for “we will not stop until we have destroyed everything you hold precious and beautiful.”

So if you like ukulele solos, “special tunes that make you feel good” and misery, Cruisin’ Ukuleles is for you. . As for me, I’m throwing my copy into the cold waters of the Puget Sound, where it will languish forever before the tiny, mercifully uncomprehending eyes of crabs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fuck you Wulf Zendik with your promises of holy loneliness with your arrogance and beautiful hatred. Fuck you whatever part of me it is that strives to be ever more alone until I am simply a shivering point in space.

Who convinced me that solitude is the divine ultimate truthful thing from God’s mouth? Who convinced me that this born into thing is wrong, so wrong and horrible and soul crushing there is simply light and the illuminated, there is a celebration of present things yes of PRESENT things not apart and lonely things but of things which defy all that is lonely by occupying space it is the revolution of flesh and stone and air, an impossible and holy comedy one joke after another one absurd little molecule of presence pressed up against another all vibrating and joyous in the face of absolute nothingness daring to be here now. HOW CAN YOU EVEN SAY THE WORD LONELY much less fill your life with it, you fool, I am a fool.

I am saying fuck you my past filled with horrible loathing and doubt I am saying fuck you Zendik Bukowski Me who dip my loneliness in gold and smother the face of God with your very very very so very important malaise that is more important than love that is more important than the joke, ha ha ha ha eternal joke, eternal joy and being and togetherness.

I will huddle in the darkness with that first bit of hereness, whatever buzzing little fleck of matter was first to drift with that terrible ecstatic wit that made everything I will bask in the absurdity in the unlikely furnace of creation of life and the forever dance and laugh and laugh and laugh fuck you my dear loneliness.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Maybe you don't want to read about all my loose ends. In which case, sorry. It's just that this year continues in its subtle brutality and makes me think about all the years that came before it. They all unfold into that kind-of-beautiful thing. You know.

I just want very badly to be able to translate some of the geography of my experience onto your computer screens because I feel the collective Poetry of anyone's life is the greatest gift that can ever be given, and I want you all to have mine, because I want you to know me.

I have become terrible at levity. I read too much by serious men with black-and-white pictures. I'm going to learn how to breakdance as soon as my foot and knee heal, if that's any consolation.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If there's one issue that currently defines our identity, it's our treatment of the environment. Our conscience is crippled by it. The guilt touches every one of us, because we've been brought up to hate ourselves for our implicit cooperation. I say to hell with all of that. Whatever is happening may be happening for a reason and it is the height of arrogance to impose an aesthetic (it's little more) on the consciousness of entire generations with all the dogma of an inquisition. It's the lack of ambivalence that offends me.

There is a better way; my father promotes it. There is compromise. The spooky graphs and statistics we summon are not nearly as important as the questions we ask about our purpose; whether we continue to nurse our sense of loss or make something useful out of the experience. I just wish everyone would stop walking around thinking they knew exactly what is right for the world. We will never have that answer.

The Frightened Earth

You are all afraid and guilty,
I can see it in your talking,
endless talking
and alarms in the

as a baby screams because
death is still fresh in its soul.

You are a part of it,
smokestacks and dead penguins.
But why feed betrayal to your children,
why this endless lament
when you don’t know,
when no one can ever know
where it ends

I say you have invented this evil,
there are no monsters under the bed,
Al Gore is not your messiah,
it is all foolishness,
this terror,
this guilt.

So who are you to scream your
conjecture into the void and
call it law,
to make our spirit cower
and hide its poor head in the
acrid soil?


No one knows.
No one.

This is the 500th Phobitopia post. 500 is because I wanted you to feel part of what I am, and because that part is the important one.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

George W. Bush

I am sorry you had to become
this thing, George,
though secretly I think I
admire you in a way,
how you give America its
true face and make us
think about cleaner things.

I am sorry you were
born into your world
of power and cabals,
secrets and winks
and nods that mean death
for children.

You are not my villain, George.
In the way that no man is a villain
but a

Because you know the hum of
and God sits in your heart,

So I am sorry that you
have become America,
as no man or woman should be
money and indifference,
as you are not,
I think.

I would sit and listen
to what wisdom you have,
as every man and woman has,
some dark night
in the White House.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It is good to be home.

It is so good to be home.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I've often toyed with the idea of creating another blog, but I was always afraid that it would dilute what little readership I maintain with this one. However, I decided to create an online dream journal because it's interesting and I can generate limitless content with a minimum of conscious effort. I will still post to this blog as frequently as I have things that need saying; I've been writing Phobitopia posts since seventh grade and I'm not about to stop.

Good Nights

Friday, October 13, 2006

I look back, and I see my friends being taken from me, one by one.

There was beauty, is joy still. But I remember my first steps into darkness. I remember the first tokes, walking for hours because I couldn't feel the pain in my legs. I remember the terrifying steps up to the front door, feeling alien to my own home. I wallowed, hid in my room and listened to the insect purr of my own mind.

I woke up in time to see my friends fall over the cliff, one by one. The powder made them hollow. I believed their empty reassurances. I was paralyzed but couldn't bring myself to hate them. I wandered with them, admonishing vaguely but staring, blankly, at the violence. Then Sean was gone from my life and the wound opened. It's still deep enough to hold the child soul of every single one of them.

Then the bad news, weeks and weeks of arguments and pleas and terror, absolute terror before the awesome power of the law. Then seeing Grant lowered into a police car and weeping into a pillow because tyrants were eating my friends alive. And they did; they ground the happiness from our bones. I wandered again, we all did, in a new and lonely world.

Just remember it, is all. Leave the emptiness. We've earned the right to be whole again.

Cars At Night

That was our holiness,
the thrum of engines.

I loved you then,
I was distracted.

I’m sorry,
I didn’t hear you,
the buildings looked
like they were going
to say something.

Is it cold?
What are we buying tonight?

That was our holiness,
caravans in the dark.

It took you then,
and I told the Earth
to shut its ugly mouth.

And I loved you.

That was my holiness,
watching you fall.

Turn down the radio,
the streets are saying
their goodbyes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Some serious investment in existential crises is recommended. Going back to the beginning and examining your own birth and urgent terror at the thought of death. Yes. A frank evaluation of life's only important riddle. Inviting the puzzle in, railing against the injustice of absolute spiritual ignorance. Colors the world pale and new and entirely lawless, beautiful. Removes the language of entrapment. And "go fuck yourself and your atom bomb," there is too little breathing to waste on killing.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Beauty unto all of you.

In these new days.


Unto all of you.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

In movies, adolescent boys are always portrayed as surly, distant, self-posessed. They are dark fools. A shared joke, asinine ingrates drunk on grandiose malaise.

And I see this and I learn that that part of me is a dark fool, a joke, asinine. It is not something I am allowed to be. I am robbed by art.

My favorite poets, too, are drunk on grandiose malaise. Kerouac, Bukowski, Patchen. They turn over the rocks of the soul and examine the squirming, brainless things beneath. Robert Bly talks about draining deep waters, one bucket at a time, to find the long-haired wild creature below.

But this process is made impossible, because I am male and I am young. If I stare into the void; if I say things like "stare into the void," I am a target for ridicule, a landing zone for stereotypes.

This art kills growth. Farce smothers dialogue.

Dark is damned important sometimes; turn over a rock.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Our First Story

It was quiet after entrances
into white light,
hello's and tears.
We will take you all home
now where you will
grow sated and unknowing.

They smothered all the wolves
and closed the doors.
It was warm inside,
we walked barefoot
in the streets.

It came one day after
we forgot how to play emperor
and had begun
to notice all the blood.

He was shoved into the back
of a police car with a hand on the top
of his head,
roll cameras.

They knew, to look at
our pale faces.
They knew the betrayal
and their eyelids held a steady line.
Their mouths could
form no apology.

Welcome again,
we know you are frightened
but so are we.
Gather what you can
from curfews and parades
and then set out.
Do not come back.
The doors
will close
behind you.
I expected to make some sprawling, pseudo-poetic blog opus about the end of high school, moving out, the beginning of college, all of that. But it's too much to try to fit into my inadequate little words.

I think it would all summarize into something like "be nice to each other and be nice to yourselves."

Ultimately, all I feel when I look back is "well shit, it is what it is." Time to make something new.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Her underwear comes from
a communal pile

She is told to face the
wall and her sandals
are aligned perfectly
outside of her cell

She cries when she
reads letters

She was kind
and filled with a
quiet kind of goodness

All she wanted
was to be included

We were too important
to be gentle

And now she is
pleased when she
is allowed to clean
the toilets.

Now she is stripped
when her parents come
to cry.

And I would give her
a piece of my soul,
if it would fill
one empty smile.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Where the hush is,
I am laying down.
I am sleeping
and then not.

under my back
a wheel
turns in
the darkness.

Ants have
found the

I am feeling
my heart,

it is calm
and alone.

Rabbits do not notice.
They chew warily
in their holes.

The world births itself

a new pair of eyes
blinks against
the wind.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm doing research for the Primary tomorrow, weeding through tidal waves of rhetoric and empty promises, and I come across this site, the homepage for a Democratic contender for Insurance Comissioner named John Kraft. This website is totally delightful, it looks like either he himself made the entire thing or hired a high school multimedia class to do it for him. Be sure to find one of the "Go to Hispanic music" buttons, it's inspiring. Also watch the totally confounding video in the "Video" section.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

If there is one thing I have learned in my recent life it is the importance of loving the people who surround you, and I want you all to know that you are my friends and you deserve the full spectrum of my affections, beyond end-of-high school sentimentality, beyond late-night confessionals, with the sacred part of my being I love and I wish there was a less awkward word but there is not and I love everyone and I will gladly bear the embarassment of saying so because right now I feel this is the most important thing I have said in years.

Sorry for all the heavy-handed ardor recently, my life has developed this odd habit of disintegrating, perhaps for the better.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I am left with the feeling that something is very wrong about the way people here live. After I've scolded myself for being arrogant, after I've extended the benefit of the doubt fully, seen, begun to understand and forgiven, I am continually disappointed. But the creative responsibility is ours, is mine, and it has been my fault always, dwelling, chewing over the same general malaise that's been swimming in my gut since I forgot I am a child.

I conclude that we are all equally responsible for the souldeath that cripples the human animal (and when has it been different?) if we allow it to set up camp in our own heads.

I can't do it anymore, ruminating always, scowly, whiny bullshit.

I've been watching birds lately, learning more about the world in the past two weeks than I have at any time I can remember. There IS beauty here.

Today I found a tiny hatchling, about two inches long, on the ground, struggling and panting. The nurturing instinct returns, a driving urge to protect vulnerable life. It is powerful. In a rush to identify its parents, I found that Orange-crowned Warblers build their nests on the ground. I watched one of the parents feed spiders and grubs to the infant. I would later discover a second hatchling. The cat stays inside.

There is a cycle, unyielding, a vaguely knowing consciousness in the inquisitive quickness of a bird's eyes. There is a web, and I am part of it. I put out seed and the birds come and more birds come to eat what falls from the feeder and their scratching feet plant the seeds and rabbits come to eat the sprouts. Mourning Doves, pensive and cantankerous, fight with one another. The crows, indifferent, watch.

There are no guns here, no politicians and politician language and politician thinking. There is no feeling awkward, mistrusted or unwanted. There is no dull, thudding heartbeat of a culture forgotten what happiness is. There is only the cycle, the buzz of cicadas, the shuffling of wings.

I think I'll miss it here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Stillness and quiet
write softer their song
after stillness and quiet
pass on.

The smiles of friends
burn endlessly strong
when the faces of friends
are gone.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My life has struck a vein of coolness. Another of my poems was accepted for publication, this time by

Here's the poem:


you will be late
for waking.

And in that endless moment,
the song of all your gunshots
will deafen you
in the blackness.

(Click here to see my poem on the site) It's also a semi-finalist in the monthly contest with an $1,000 prize.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A truly wonderful idea.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I found out yesterday that one of my poems was selected for publication by the League of American Poets in their annual anthology. Here is the poem, I've posted it before:

Their Guns Are Not Toys

Sometimes I forget
that it's not silent here all the time,
then at 10:20, an hour after I was supposed to be asleep,
I hear the sound of gunshots from where the soldiers are training.

They must be out on late maneuvers,
roused gritty-throated from their beds.
"When yer in the shit,
Killing Or Being Killed
will not wait for you to drink yer got-dammed morning coffee!"

Soldiers would say things like "In the shit."

I picture them,
ropes and bars
bright in the halogen darkness,
weaving and dodging,
preparing for Killing Or Being Killed.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I got my Selective Services registration confirmation card in the mail yesterday. All the literature I've read suggests compiling a Conscientious Objector profile early, so I'm starting now. I hope all of you do this too. If anyone wants information, I'd be more than happy to share.

First things first, either send them a letter stating your intention to register as a CO or write it somewhere on the card. Photocopy this, mail it both to them and to yourself, to get the time stamp. Don't open the envelope.

How wonderful that playground bullies have the power to send the rest of us to die for their causes. Too many angry words for blog.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Aaaaaaaaaaah DAMMIT, that lasted, like, a day.

"Boy, I sure do enjoy the lo-tech egalitarianism of the internet, kept alive by sites like YTMND," I thought to myself as I loaded the homepage of aforementioned website. Clicking on the first animation I saw, I was greeted with this garbage: Bilbo wants it.

Good job, soulless, soulless coolfinders, you found the cool. Your prize? The knowledge that you wipe your asses with culture and cheapen everything you touch. The fact that this animation was in the "Top Five Rated YTMNDs" section doesn't make sense, because it's neither funny nor original, benchmarks of most super-popular YTMND's. That is, it doesn't make sense until you realize the admin may have been paid to display the ad prominently on their site.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's time for a mid-year's resolution.

I've had my fill of Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, President Poopyshorts and the proud nation that follows them around like a horde of lost ducklings. It's no longer about politics, it's about not being an idiot.

I am going to do my best to leave it as their problem. I'm tired of being worn down by ignorance, of feeling embarassed for my country and freaking out every time I see an H2.

I've come to the realization that there is balance to be found. For every Insane Clown Posse zealot, there's a thoughtful, insightful and informed citizen who can engage in intelligent discourse without screaming about "titty huntin' " and waving their middle finger around. For every overgrown gym class bully who watches Hannity and Colmes, there's someone who actually reads the newspaper and makes decisions only after close scrutiny of the information available to them. And maybe soon there'll be a hybrid car to match all the giant trucks and East/West/Orange County Choppers (side note: I hate "choppers." A lot.) clogging the streets.

My head needs a vacation.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Our childhoods will all be gone soon, in matter if not in heart and mind. Surveying the remaining artifacts, I can see only transience.

This morning I found that my rope swing is gone. I say my rope swing because it was mine. It belonged to me in the same way that it belonged to everyone else who enjoyed it when there was nothing else to do. In this suburb, where the best use of space that thousands upon thousands of people can find is to fill it with houses, manicured trees, concrete, emptiness, that swing was something special. It was my own. It was somewhere to go. Somewhere without straight lines. Now it's gone, because someone thought it was dangerous for children.

At home, I composed half of "An Open Letter to Scripps Ranch." I want people to see how lifeless they are making this place, how flawed is their manufactured perfection, how alienating. I want them to know there is a better way, to live together, to trust, to cherish, to grow and build and collaborate. I want to take them all to the rope swing, where there was some small bit of freedom, awkward and spontaneous intimacy, the simplicity of holding on to a stick thirty feet in the air.

But I know how easy comfort is. I know that people want the alienation, the appearance of community, the substancelessness. I didn't finish the letter.

I have always tempered this thought with the idea that what appears as empty to me is rewarding and stimulating to others. I have often thought that people may find real comfort, real community in Blockbuster, McDonalds, Safeway, endless streets and sidewalks, curfews, God Bless America, "Country Living," the Chargers, shaved mountaintops, stucco and stucco and stucco, but I am beginning to doubt.

And I see it all perpetuated. I see it in little acts of thoughtlessness. Like cutting down the rope swing. Like alcohol, cigarettes, Marijuana, Cocaine, Ecstasy. Like not caring. Like squirming at words like "love," "empowerment," "kindness." Like giving up.

I'll be leaving soon. I am thankful for my home, my life and the people who share it. I just hope people will remember that freedom is as simple as a rope and a ladder.

The Rope Swing
By Matthew Louv (3rd grade)

grab hold of the rope
run like the wind down the hill
hold on very tight
hope to god that you don't fall
and swing like never before
swing as high as trees
fly as high as high as a red-tail
don't ever look down
twist and turn and glide and fly
and land with grace and beauty
and then look around
the teenagers stand in awe
and then the applause
stand there, bask in your glory
hope you can come back again

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Handwriting Analysis

The results of your analysis say:

You fill every waking moment with activity.
You are a social person who likes to talk and meet others.
You are negative, fearful, resistant, doubtful, and/or selfish.
You are not very reserved, impatient, self-confident and fond of action.
You enjoy life in your own way and do not depend on the opinions of others.
This Thursday, it happens.

I will be getting my driver's permit.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Here's to picking up ugly old battered coffee-stained books and spending hours reading them:

Henry Miller is incredible. Love it love it love it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I watched Grizzly Man last night, and I think everyone should see it. I fell asleep thinking about it, I woke up thinking about it, and it becomes even more profound as time passes.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sometimes I forget that it's
not silent here all the time,
then at 10:20, an hour after
I was supposed to be asleep,
I hear the sound of gunshots
from where the soldiers are training.

They must be out on late maneuvers,
roused gritty-throated from their beds.
"When yer in the shit,
Killing Or Being Killed
will not wait for you to drink yer
got-dammed morning coffee."

Soldiers would say things like
"In the shit."

I picture them,
ropes and bars
bright in the halogen darkness,
weaving and dodging,
preparing for Killing Or Being Killed.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some day, I will do battle with this man.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hello all. Sitting around feeling all Hunter S.'y with nothing to do.

There's going to be some new content on this blog soon as I get adequately mopey and/or pissed off.

I recently had a dream that I was walking the streets of London after hours, yelling in a cockney accent about how I was a prostitute to try to bait Jack the Ripper into attacking me.

Favorite dream ever.