Thursday, January 29, 2009

Muddy Shoes

I was walking through some muddy woods on a foggy evening when I slid on an embankment and landed knee deep in cold murky water.

An unexpected voice cried out: "Get outta my swamp!"


"Get out of my swamp before you ruin it, you damn idiot."

I heard the clicking of what sounded like a shotgun being readied. I moved out of the water and ran wildly through the woods, and didn't look back.

Get out of my swamp before you ruin it.Who could be so possessive about still, murky water? How does one ruin a swamp? I may have come across some fiendish inbred hillbilly with a bent for violence. But there were no hills where I lived. More likely it was some old hippy gone bad. The whole episode was very strange to me and I wouldn't want to relive it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blood Oranges

Blood oranges sustain me this time of year. As their name implies, they are a bloody red in colour. It's fun to squish them around in your teeth and see in a mirror the reflection of what resembles a vampire. Other foods can be awesome too, like mangoes and pineapple juice. I ate fresh pineapple years ago in Hawaii. I wouldn't say it was a tongue orgasm, just pleasurably close to one.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Old to Young

Bafflement and beauty. Muddled and clear. State of mind in old ideas. Brains and brawn, the body weakens in time. Call out decades, whisper the years. See if they remember when; when you were young and strong; when your mind was in blue eyes beholden to time. Lips grow mute. The eyes, too, as darkening circles closing down the mind.

The Earth Is Falling

Earth is fragile and precarious like a ball on an old Christmas tree. Should it fall from an orbit it will land hard and break into spaceships of flying glass. No one will survive, only the gods remain to sweep aside the mess.


Pressed for time.
Waiting for an eternity.
Free falling in an abyss.
An IPOD stops one second too late.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Memory Lane

I was wading through a stream-of-consciousness when I came face-to-face with an old memory. I eyeballed him for a second before I shook his hand and said thanks for being in the past. But, old friend, these are the times you let me down...

Weather and Life

All calculations are made cold in winter. Just as in summer all emotions burn hot. It is during spring and autumn, those in between seasons, when there is less extremeness to life, when wild emotions are tamped down and cold calculations melt away.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I'd Say

Dead inside people rarely laugh. When they do it's slight, short, and barely audible. If I were to advise a stand-up comedian I'd tell him to ply his trade away from a government town.

Friday, January 23, 2009


What happens if you get stuck in a moment of time? Are you frozen at that second forever? Are you too reflective of a 'then' and an 'I remember when'? Best, I think, to move on, to never stay in one place, not even to catch one's breath. Best to step away from a backward sadness, to march ahead forewarned but not unaware of a future that maybe gleams just for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Saul Bellow

Opening Paragraph From Saul Bellow's 'Augie March'. Is it a great twentieth century novel? Square Corner thinks so. Square Corner also wishes he could right half as well as Bellow.

“I am an American, Chicago-born,Chicago that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes not so innocent. But a man’s character is his fate, says Heraclitis, and in the end there isn’t any way to disguise the nature of the knocks by acoustical work on the door or gloving the knuckles.”

I Feel Fine

Clogged arteries. Wax filled ears. Stuffed-up nose. May as well stay in bed all day and eat rice crackers and seaweed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Artist

I read of an artist who had a swirling, twirling mind that would spin out of control. He would crash and burn but wouldn't be consumed by his own fiery temperament. He'd rise up again, his creative mind cool and capable once more.Then he'd paint for the ages. But predictably the cycle began anew. I guess he was what he was, a creative genius.

Finding Freedom

I think the core instinct of the individual is to make himself free. That goes for other creatures too. Birds fly. Fish swim. Wild horses gallop. Even a snake slips away from his skin. What that way is for the individual depends on the person and his life circumstances. Often times the song of freedom needs to be played over and over inside a man's dreams; the song spun many times to reveal its truest notes. Should the tune be sung just right he'll slip away from his skin, gallop to freedom, fly to where he wants to be.

Kafka In A Can

Of course the conclusions you draw from what you're about to read depend on your view of life. But if you've got even a pinch of cynicism then you should be informed of an author who wrote like a kindred spirit. He was the late Kobo Abe, a twentieth century writer who has been heralded as the Japanese Kafka. To make the connection between these two scribblers I'll refer to his novel about a protagonist who lives both inside his head and a cardboard box that becomes his mask. It's Abe's statement about the numbing conformity of modern society and how an individual avails himself of a box to preserve a thread of his humanity. A comparison can be made to Kafka's short story 'Metamorphosis,' where a twentieth century man wakes up an insect, imprisoned inside a cockroach's armor.

So I look at an empty can of Diet Coke sitting next to the corner of my keyboard and wonder what it would be like to shrink myself and make it my solitary home. If I could find a total body reducer machine I just might try it. Shrink a ladder along with me as my mode of entry. I could bore some holes through the walls in order to allow a freer flow of air and gain a better view of whatever surrounded me. But there are downsides to consider. Like the errant smoker who drops a cigarette butt into my new home like a smoldering A-bomb. Worse yet would be the overzealous 'dogooder' who collects the can and tosses it--me bouncing around inside--into a bin of recyclable water bottles and plastic yogurt containers.

Might be just as well do give up on these crazy ideas and continue my blogging. Better that than breathe inside a modernist can with all its risks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Dear President Obama,

You are president. Yiiiiiiiiiiiipppppeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Square Corner

Monday, January 19, 2009

What Have They Done to My Font?!?

What has blogspot done? They seemed to have taken away the option of enlarging the font size. I like writing in the bigger letters. It is part of my style, and I implore them to bring the option back. It's like taking away the colour blue from a young Picasso. I feel sooooooooooo damn frustrated. Wonder if some evil computer Hobbit at Blogspot headquarters is punishing me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Interview

I just read an on-line interview with a writer. He received a $75,000 advance to tell how his family was touched by madness, loss, and fate's broken promise. I guess a writer puts his life story into a book, while a songwriter does the same with a song, and an actor with his role. Everyone has a story and so many ways to tell it, if they tell it at all.

The Donation

I heard a loud knock at my door so I opened it with a wary hand. An intimidating 7ft. Zombie in a mask stood before me holding a large white flower. "I come in peace," he said.

With a deadpan voice he told me he was collecting contributions for a Zombie orphanage. His story moved me enough to hand over as large a donation as I could. I told him I had nothing more to give but a glass of sweetened fruit juice. A smile came to his giant face. He drank the juice in one monstrous gulp and went on his way, taking the glass with him.

The next morning I heard another knock at my door. But this time the knock was slight. It came from a Zombie child's small hand. He gave me a juice glass that held a large white flower. He smiled at me, I smiled back, and I've never seen nor heard from a Zombie since, even though I'd say we're the same kind of people.

Blinded By A Date

I went on a blind date with a chick who had a Carly Simon face and a British accent. It didn't work on her. Taken separately it would have been fine. In fact, either the face or manner of speech can be rather becoming in a woman. Put together it's like Stilton Cheese on apple pie.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Luck and Crackers

It was early evening when Tortelli walked through an alley that separated a grocery store from a church with a soup kitchen basement. He came across a tin can that he stooped to pick up. He decided to call his crazy friend Zigman Zibanski and tell him of his lucky find. With a quarter in his hand, Tortelli came across a pay phone.

Tortelli: "Hello, Zigman. You'll never guess what I found, a can of Campbell's tomato soup. You got any crackers?"

Zibanski: "Yeah, I got some. You wanna come over?"

Tortelli: "I'll be over in a flash."

He walked it to his friend's apartment and was surprised to find that all the utilities had been cut off except for the phone. They improvised heating the tomato soup by holding the open can above a candle flame with a monkey wrench. When it started to bubble they poured the soup into a couple of coffee mugs and added crushed crackers.

They drank from the mugs with small plastic spoons when Zigman spoke: "My ex-wife called. She wants the back payments from our alimony settlement by the end of the week. I told her I got laid off and she'll have to wait till I start working again."

"Why don't you send her an empty soup can?" Tortelli asked. They both laughed and Tortelli spoke again. "I saw something on TV about Japan. You know they got golf driving ranges on the top of office buildings. The ranges are surrounded by netting and Japanese guys stand on platforms and drive the balls as hard as they can."

"Crazy world," Zigman said. He took out a battery operated transistor radio and tuned it to an Oldies station that played songs they knew as teenagers when all in life seemed possible.

Zigman Zibanski and Tortelli quietly finished the soup and wished they had more.

The Long Walk

Some day I'm going to find 40 miles of rugged northern coastline and begin a long walk. It's going to be a solitary journey. On the small chance I come across a fellow traveler I'll smile, nod my head, maybe tip my cap, and continue on without breaking stride, my walking stick to keep me in a steady rhythm. This is what Thoreau would have done on a path along Walden Pond. Walt Whitman, too, would have looked at the moon and stars, watched the roar of an ocean, felt a salt breeze and felt closer to a God who created him and all that was around him. He would have come to a coast like this to quell his creative angst, to resolve his place in a world he sometimes thought incomprehensible in all its tumult. Read As I 'Ebbed With the Ocean of Life.

Occasionally a blogger just needs to clear his head, get some exercise along the wildness of God's ocean coast.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Unexpected Detour 0f The Mind

I saw a shrink today for the first time. It was a therapeutic disaster. As soon as I walked into the doctor's office he broke down into a million pieces. He bemoaned his estranged wife, out-of-control kids, over domineering mother, and career that's fallen short of his youthful expectations. The more he went on the more inconsolable he became as he pulled at his thin grey hair and wailed loudly: "Why? Why? Why?". I wasn't sure what to do, so I did what I thought was right. I grabbed his Rx pad and sketched a prescription for some powerful mood relaxants, Valium to be specific.

I hope he takes his meds to calm himself down. If he does, I can assist him next session with a combination of Freudian and Jungian analysis with the purpose of unburdening his melancholic mind. Maybe we can clear away foggy memories of childhood conflicts with sandbox bullies and a sullen seafaring father. While I admit to being a bit of an amateur about matters of the psyche, I have watched Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting enough times to put my counseling skills on par with those of Dr. Phil. Besides, I kind of like the ole' headshrinker, so I feel duty bound to set him emotionally straight. It could also work to lift me out of my own purple funk, help me conquer a case of minor neurosis. And it may even help me to deal with friends of mine who seem to do me little good whatsoever. Like that character Zigman Zibanski. Talk about a guy with poor emotional underpinnings and noxious underarms.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Problems at My Door

Lately I've been bedeviled by badgering beggars at my door asking for money. They say in exchange for a handout they'll shovel my walk, take away my garbage, repaint my white picket fence. I tell them I'm as broke at they are, and besides I live in a fourth floor apartment. I don't mind beggars so much, just dumb ass ones. Better start reading and making myself smart before Mr. Landlord gives up on collecting my back rent and tosses me over the balcony. Who knows, maybe I'll get a job before that time. Then I'll just go door-to-door as a hobby.Could be a good way to meet a better class of people.

What Should I Do?

I have this constant dream I shouldn't be where I am. Instead I should be on the road, wandering about with a day pack slung over each shoulder. One holds my imagination, the other words I own. When something strikes me as interesting I match the contents of the two and that becomes my tale.

What am I doing here besides living on a slow burning debt and the empty fumes of hope?

Time to go? Time to carry my mind and my words and go wherever my boot heels take me?

The Coincidence of Tortelli

Tortelli finally got his fingers on an unemployment cheque with his name on it. He wandered into a neighbourhood grocery store looking for some budget rigatoni when he ran into a trouble making acquaintance by the name of Zigman Zibanski. Zigman is the kind of character who's a couple of quarts short of a full can of gas, the kind of explosive personality type who easily ignites into a fiery madness. Or so it seemed.

Tortelli turned into aisle six and saw the odd immigrant toss jars of tomato sauce on the floors and ceilings. First he went through the cheap Ragu stuff, pitching them with caution, making sure they missed fleeing customers. By the time he got to the thicker organic brands it was only Tortelli staring at him. First Zigman looked around and then hit the aisle sign dead-on with a jar. It exploded like a red grenade, some of which fell on his acquaintance's head and shoulders. He then gave a wink like everything was under control.

At that point crazy Zigman starts breaking open waxed cardboard tins of Kraft Parmesan cheese and shakes them all around. He does this until the manager and a pack boy built like a high school fullback meet up with him. On the first rush the kid slips on a puddle of sauce and crashes into the pasta section, bags and boxes of spaghetti, macaroni, and rigatoni fall and break open.

The young dynamo tackles him on the next try and drags him away, and puts him into the arms of the police, who take him to the station and charge him with disturbing the peace and assault with a deadly jar of tomato sauce.

Tortelli didn't get his bag of rigatoni that day, but he was soon to find out that the authorities thought Zigman was in a troubled state of mind that bordered on insanity, and no knowing judge would find him guilty. So the charges were dropped and he was placed into some retraining program where he got himself steady employment with benefits and job security.

This got Tortelli wondering. He knew Zigman Zibanski well enough. He saw his smile that day and believed that he was smarter and saner than he let on. Tortelli wished he had the guts and ingenuity of Zigman, but he didn't. So Tortelli keeps waiting for those cheques to come in until something better comes his way.

The Human Heart

I woke up this morning with my heart stinging like a pair of scraped knees. I must have fallen recently, but I don't know when. In the last few days I haven't lost a job nor has an important woman walked out on me--those things happened a long time ago. No point in pondering what's been done. I've got to put an antiseptic on my wounded heart before I dress it with a band-aid. It may sting awhile and when I pull off the band-aid it will hurt like heck, but it will get better. And if I'm lucky it will leave behind a neat scar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Slip and Fall

When sidewalks become slippery because of black ice it is best to watch the steps one takes. A man in his early sixties was preoccupied as he carried a jar of orange marmalade. He slipped on a patch of ice and fell beside me. He was OK, except for some of the wind being knocked out of him. Of course the jar was shattered; its shiny sweet contents had combined with the broken glass on the concrete. This upset the man more than his calamitous fall. As I helped him up he told me of his mother in her late eighties who he said was now too old to cook. What broke that afternoon was the last jar of marmalade she would ever make.

I asked if he was sure he was OK. He replied he was, and bent over to collect the large pieces of glass. No one would be cut because of his fall, because of his icy bad luck.


The sky is dark and moody just like me. That's why we are friends, why we talk so much. Misery invites company, I suppose. I like it most when the sky grows thunderous and releases bolts of white hot lightening. I like it least when it turns sunny and bright; it's too much of a jolt to my system. Dark and moody is best for me. That's when I speak to the sky and write my blogs.

9 Lives

Three places turn me down
Three women hid their hands in marriage
Three times in a drunk tank
Three times I embarrassed myself so bad I nearly wetted myself
A cat has nine lives
3 is enough for me

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Someday [Dox Inspired]

Hard Earth
Stony Ground
A poor boy rises

Ghetto Streets
Guns and Gold
A poor boy rises

Sanctify the Fighter
Toilers of the Gym
Everlast Dancers
Sparring poor boys, black and white, skimming tassels on a blood red canvas

"You're going be champ someday. You just wait." They Say, but they know.

A poor boy rises
A poor boys rises, too

One wins
Another loses
One dies
Another lives again

Sanctify the fighter
Bury him in hope, the Everlast Dancer

He'll be champ someday, you just wait
A poor boy rises

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Evening Sky

It was early evening when I was nearly strangled by a sunset. The sun beat like a giant reddish ember--its rays like deadly octopus legs trying to strangulate my pasty white neck. Luckily I had a small mirror to hold up to the twilight, turning the dastardly solar strangler back onto itself.

As can be imagined, I made it to the safety of my home with some speed and hid myself away in a black basement closet. With the hours gone by I moved with trepidation back into the night and was relieved to still be at peace with the moon and stars. My quarrel was with a setting sun for reasons I can't ascribe. I'm going to assume it was a case of celestial mistaken identity and that by tomorrow evening it will have been corrected to my relief. If not, I will make myself famous as a bat researcher, a kind of modern day Bird Man of Alcatraz. Best to always keep busy, no matter what sun comes your way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Waking Dream

I got up this morning and left a dream where I was alone on a deserted island with only dried strawberries to eat. My days were spent watching black and white re-runs of Ed Sullivan episodes with its jugglers, jazz dancers, Beatle singers, Borscht Belt comedians on one liner highs. "A really big shoe," I'd repeat as my late evening mantra as I skated along a sandy white beach on wooden skis.

My awakening was accompanied by an empty belly so I went to my cupboards and found what was left: a single dented can of coconut milk and cellophane bag with a small serving of Captain Crunch cereal. In despair I picked up a shiny aluminum pan and saw a face reflected back to me: sallow skin, drooped flesh, grey eyes once brilliantly blue. Only if I had money to buy DVDs of The Ed Sullivan Show. I'd watch them on a large TV in order to cheer me up, to keep me sane. But there were still the dreams of Borscht Belt comedians, a last laugh to keep me from falling to pieces.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Beans and Musings In the New Year

I open a yellow can of navy beans.
One spoonful is enough.
Two is too many.
Five is what I eat.
I put the can away and wonder if fruit flies like beans.
Maybe a crushed banana is better.

I Knew A Guy

Once I knew a guy with plastic veins he got as a result of plastic surgery. One day he stood too near an open flame and his insides melted like a burning straw. The doctor had warned him about heat and fires, but he decide to live life at both ends of the candle, ignoring all the risks.

My Street, Your Street

My Street, Your Street, what do I see? I see greying buildings, facades of crumbling civilization. I see weeping sorrows rise from heat and Godless fog. I see misty, pumped-up street punks on adrenaline and ice, plastic and gold bling bling, warring urban wolves, legends of city gaols. I see druggies, drunkards, slatterns, scalawags, sailors in white caps and blue pea coats in search of blacked-eye prostitutes. I see neon signs advertising Peep Shows, All Night Pool, 2 for 1 Booze. I see migrained magicians sapped of strength pulling soulless shoes from bellies of stuffed rabbits. Ah, the power of the poet's eyes, his arching words, verses dripping on tungsten lines of yellowing foolscap. To the lumbering lunatics, disposable in careless worlds of crazy minds of unglued rumblings. What of my street? I see acid face cops. Baton twirling. Broken heads. Social Workers on sedentary couches. I see unhinged accountants, undone and overdone roaring like lions at racing ambulances, drivers in front seat cabs reefing Jamaican Joints, driving the dead and dying to bloodless doctors and wily nurses slipping bennies into dry throats and rich plastic surgeon tum tums. Close your ears and stop the lions roar, the thieves and the pushers, pimps in pompadours, porno queens, drug addled flutists selling Bach out of a burlap bag of baroque tunes to fill tuneless lives.

But what of your street?

Tucked in the suburbs. The white picket fences. The manicured lawns of green grass and stone paths that lead to the rustic New England home. Hardwood floors. Stainless steel stove and refrigerator, marble counters of carbon steel knives, shrimp sauted in churned butter dipped in sour bread loaves. What of your street? Loveless teenagers, lonely embraces on a double size mattress on parent's springs, crying in the night. Bed wetters and Bed Sitters. Mothers comatose on the three seat couches...alcohol, prescription drugs, sixties memories, absent husbands in Cairo whore houses, rich salesmen of olive oil and farmed mendacity. Oblivious to the world of a Suburban street. Oblivious to the maelstrom of Mid East madness. Gun Ships. Rocket Launchers. Apache Helicopters. Silly Putty Bombers in strapped suicide belts of vinyl and aluminum grommets. Homicide. Suicide. Self-Defense. Self-Preservation. Self-Immolation. Endless Sorrows in sequels of time immemorial. What of the streets of rapping Rabbis. Hip-Hopping Imams. Crooning Calvinist. Dancing Taoist Monks in Mary Quant mini skirts throwing garlands of peace at bespoke madness in Saville Row suits. My Street, Your Street, Mad Streets, Streets everywhere rising up and lifting the mothers off besotted couches, colliding in a giant chamber of love and despair, happiness and sadness. Look into the sun. See the moonlight of our civilization. The streets awash in tears, paved in hope for a tomorrow, any tomorrow while it lasts into the twilight.