Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unemployed: Redux company stopped being a company yesterday and I'm now out of a job, which obviously means that I'm going to Mexico indefinitely. So...goodbye, Jake Kilroy! Hello, Senor Joaquin Salvador Funnypants!

"funeral for the middle class"

"funeral for the middle class"
written while watching a movie with a man in bandages by jake kilroy.

what is the condition of the middle class?
flat-out fucking dead?

this is why we attend plays,
to pretend culture,
or why we spend hours looking at christmas lights
on december 27th,
because we can't ever go home
without thinking
about the lovers
we pray are dead
without us.

the middle class is one big mass grave
of people that considered revolution
and then stopped.
twas just working class jive talk
that fell short
in the mechanic shops
where fear paralyzed us
and the shitty bars
where everyone drowned.

so we built churches
and prayed to gods
made of wood and regret,
called coffins statues
and feigned misery
to feel esteemed.

no gods,
no masters,
no peers,
no nothing.
this time,
we dance until we cry.

without songs or souls,
merciless and less,
we're starving at buffets
and complaining
about snacks.

this is the world,
broken and buried,
shoved into a closet
that belongs to the world's loneliest poet.

ethnic food for the white beggars
with income and benefits.
failure for the poor,
failure for the rich,
goddamn nothing for the middle class.

this is us sneaking into coffee shops
and hiding out in record stores,
all so we can get drunk
and check our voice messages
and hear the horrifying gasps
of our ex-lovers
that once left us
for people
that were like us
that don't like us
and wear better clothes.

in between the lines,
tucked away between words,
i'll explain everything to a stranger
at the airport
after a handful of pills
and a mouthful of shots.
but i won't brush my teeth
in front of my significant other
because i find this home life
the most doldrum waste of scars.

sure, sure,
these are the bandages i shoplifted
and the keepsakes i dipped in holy water,
the laughs i kept in glass bottles
and the weather i hoped would never come.
but it'll never be the party i wanted,
the shot of adrenaline i called medicine,
the hope with me i carried like a lucky coin.

this is a terrible idea from a scholar,
a wish from a kid who can't dream,
maybe even the last train home,
in a house where no one sleeps well.

so if this is the funeral for the middle class,
the one foretold in rumors and fliers,
you better count your lucky fucking stars
that i've got a few good dollars in my pocket.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"in a nation of hope"

"in a nation of hope"
written while putting off needed sleep by jake kilroy.

a couple of black flag songs
being played too loud
in the basement.

one kid working on his car,
dreaming of highways
and empty beer bottles.

this country at war,
carving hearts up
and framing them.

play music,
drive fast
and stick around.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Five Things That Are Awesome

1. BAND: The Horrible Crowes
You know who's rad? The Gaslight Anthem. You know what's rad? The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon doing a side project that he describes as "The Gaslight Anthem : Bruce Springsteen :: The Horrible Crowes : Tom Waits." It's Fallon and his guitar tech, Ian Perkins, and their debut album Elsie is so damn legit with the right amount of everything. Like the Gaslight Anthem, it's broken hearts alongside brass knuckles, churning honest nostalgia into earnest swagger. Check out these songs: I Witnessed A Crime, Crush, Behold The Hurricane, Ladykiller. Black Betty & The Moon.
2. MOVIE: My Dinner With Andre
I rented My Dinner With Andre from my local library because of a spoof episode on Community. Also, I like Wallace Shawn a whole lot. Plus, an entire movie that's just a dinner conversation with four stars from Roger Ebert? What I thought would be an extended conversation about art and friendship turned out to be one of the most diligently philosophically and easily engaging movies I've ever seen. The two of them discuss the whimsical big picture (musical theater in a European forest) versus the appreciated small things (morning coffee and crossword puzzles) in such a poetic and amusing sense, you feel as if you're eavesdropping on old friends at a fancy restaurant.
3. TV SHOW: Community
I can't believe they might cancel Community. That's goddamn insane. The show feeds my love for pop culture, meta-humor, wit, deadpan, real world observations and spoofs. I don't have to describe it because you should already be watching it. I mean, we're going to cancel Community and just let NCIS have another fucking season? Great, world. That's just great.
4. BOOK: The Girl Who Played With Fire
With years of investigative journalism behind him, Stieg Larsson understood an important thing about storytelling: people make events, events don't make people. You'd think this would be obvious to novelists everywhere, but, year after year, one lazily written book comes out after another and it's due to authors wanting scenes and outcomes more than motives and movements. The thriller genre of fiction lets that shit slide like crazy. But Larsson's crafted a tightly wound trilogy and I'm in the middle of the second book. The Girl Who Played With Fire changes up the story better than almost any other sequel I've ever read. Larsson has created exciting characters that have realistic feelings and function with deep purpose in a world of horrendous violence.
5. RANDOM: Derweze (or Darvaza)
There's a Gate to Hell in Turkmenistan. Soviet geologists were drilling there in the '70s and the ground collapsed. Underneath the rig was a gas pocket. Thinking it would burn off in a few days, they waited. Well, now it's 40 years later and the pit is still burning. It hasn't stopped since. Hell yes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Old Flames XI: The Genius Art Of A Fallen Society

Run from this town, I've got the get-outta-here blues. Pack up the caskets and feed the horses, we've got a two-day ride. To where, a man of god will ask. To the promise land, an outlaw will answer. And all but the preacher will laugh.

This is the highland lowlife livin' we told and sold to the saviors. These are the secrets we used to bargain for our lives. What did you give up, the public will ask. We'll say nothing and they'll believe it. But then we'll say everything. We gave up everything. Every word in the dictionary was given up. Every misspelling in the holy books was given up. Every error in the history books was given up. Every laughable mistake in brochures and presentations was given up.

"This is the time of the businessman?"

"Nay, this is the fall of the businessman."

Well, what gives, donkeys and elephants? Where's the school spirit? Where's the ol' college try? Maybe these questions would be more opportune if you hadn't cut the education budget. Thanks for burning the prisons so we could have the caves, pundits. We waged war with ourselves and all we got were these lousy casualties. Is there honor in merit? Well, consider: is there merit in honor? Answer either and you'll be shot for the irony.

Remember what plagued our lands? Good, then tell us. We're nearly out of sitcom reruns to behold. Give us our holiday, what be the enemy's name?

"Us," she'll say in red and gray.

The crowd will panic. And that'll be the end of it. That'll be the last great act of this country. It'll be our ruins, left for the world to behold the first country to go mad with power.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"betray your heroes of rock 'n roll"

"betray your heroes of rock 'n roll"
written off-hand by jake kilroy.

part i:
betray your heroes of rock 'n roll.
give up the drugs, stay home
and get a job.
attend museums and organize picnics.
talk about daycare centers,
talk about tax reform issues,
talk about the future, finally.

build a fence, paint it white
and buy a dog.
name it after someone you loved.
keep it to yourself
until you tell your family at dinner
on some random sunday evening.

eat healthy, jog at night
and be safe with fire.
remember pranks that went wrong.
laugh about them,
but quietly wish you were
a teenager again without a curfew.

tell your kids your favorite memories
but paint them as mistakes.
lose control one evening
and blow off steam by driving.
recall how you used to smoke cigarettes.
don't buy cigarettes.
buy a coffee drink you can't pronounce.
don't go home.
end up at the hill overlooking the city.
don't give up.
just recite yourself the promises you made
when you were a kid.
rationalize everything.
tell yourself you accomplished everything.
tell yourself that your inner kid is happy.
tell yourself that yourself is happy.
apologize to your heroes of rock 'n roll
and tell them they don't mean shit to you.
you have a family now.
and the last thing you want is rock 'n roll.

part ii:
listen to rock 'n roll on the way home
and tell it that you'll never leave.
but you still have a family.
and they mean everything to you.

part iii:
listen to rock 'n roll when working on your car
and you can't find the tool you need.

part iv:
listen to rock 'n roll when your kids go to college
and you have an empty house.

part v:
listen to rock 'n roll when you reach your twilight
and you want to relive.

part vi:
listen to rock n' roll when you've got nowhere to be
and all you want in this world is a song.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"dig at your own bones"

"dig at your own bones"
written earnestly by jake kilroy.

dig at your own bones,
scratch 'til your skin opens up,
'til your flesh gives you a home.
open yourself up like a gift
and claw at the demons
too high on opium to fight back.

wiggle your fingers into the heart
and pump it yourself.

brush off the dust from lack of use.
swallow the dust to put something in your stomach.
let the dust settle when you go to bed alone.

curve your muscles as a refresher course.
remember what it feels like to fight.
beg your body's forgiveness.

put both hands in now.
tie your fingers together.
make prayer.

tug on your lungs to cough up stale air.
choke on it, sniff it back in, spit it out.

crawl up your throat and remove the words
lodged in there for years.
give gravity to them and push into your heart
to hear your gut grumble with unease.

stand back up.
brush your gums clean from the inside.
grit your teeth and swallow your tongue.
give it back to your mouth and lick your lips.

carve last words into your chest.
so when the coroner comes,
he'll know your regrets.

dive your wrists down your torso,
massage the roots of your organs
to give thanks that they still work.

make yourself honest
by dragging bloody fingers across your skull
and proclaim it rock art
for scholars to find,
when they want to know how we failed as a species.

nod to know you can.
reach down to bend your knees.
make prayer again.
wipe tears.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"wet bible pages"

"wet bible pages"
written with very little by jake kilroy.

a coughing fit at midnight,
spilled water on my books,
realized i still had your bible.

read it through, didn't ring true,
so, darling, to hell with you.