Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"noir city heat"

"noir city heat"
a poem of diabolical implications by jake kilroy.

i wrote poem after poem about you
with sweat beads dotting the eyes
and lips sounding out letters like smoke rings.

one night, i imagined
my teeth were ivory stumps,
sold to merchant ships
and given to lovers
as necklaces
after the
man they
got caught.

the heat skulked around the house like a banshee,
and i barely dressed in anything respectable,
just waiting for death to show up with junk mail.

i marked my own skin like celtic illustrations
and watched the sun rise at night.
toothpicks gutted my gums
and the fan rolled around like a dying man.

the music got in my nerves then
and shook my bones
like waves against a prison.

my brow was bad architecture,
unevenly built in the graveyard,
but when i winked...
all hell broke loose.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Two People Talking Beside A Fireplace

They lied next to each other, counting the holes in the ceiling. There were none.

"Don't you think it's kind of stupid to run your air conditioning just so you can use the fireplace?" asked the young woman.

"I don't care," sighed the young man.

"Also, should we even be smoking in the house? Every window is shut."

"Ok, I guess that is stupid."

He sat up.

"But I don't plan to change what I'm doing," he remarked gently. "I'm too comfortable."

She sat up.

"This conversation just took a turn for the worse, didn't it?"

"Every conversation with me takes a turn for the worse."

"You're in rare form, even for a Saturday night."

He laughed.

"I'm not even depressed. Not really apathetic. Can't say I'm drifting either," he laughed with a shrug. "Is it possible for a person to have a heightened sense of entitlement so bad that they grow delirious from confusion?"

She stared at him.

"You have to start sleeping."

"Can't. The coke makes a loud racket."

"Oh man, that explains so much," she said, shaking her head.

"It really doesn't. I started doing the coke because I wasn't sleeping. I started doing coke again because it gave me something to do at 3 a.m."

"Everything you're saying sounds like the most unhealthy thing I've ever heard."

He shrugged.

"WebMD would tell you that you have cancer of the conscience," she said with a wry smile.

"No guilt, no reckoning. Maybe boredom is a symptom."

"Do you hear yourself?" she asked. "Ok, I know how that sounds, but you're clearly dealing with some turmoil."

"I don't think I am. What if insomnia is just a way to get by? What if sleep was really killing me?"

"You need to get out of this empty house. Where are your roommates anyway?"

"One's in L.A. Other's in San Francisco."

"Place is all yours all weekend?"

"Afraid so."

"And you wanted to spend it smoking cigarettes with me?"

"And you wanted to spend your weekend in an empty house with a guy who can't sleep?"

"Fair enough," she answered. "So what's your big problem anyway?"

"I think I wear too much plaid."

"No, really."

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I don't drink enough?"

"We both know that's not the problem. Loneliness?"

"My sheets may have thinned out, but they aren't without filler."


"You asked."

"So it's just boredom?"

"Maybe it's worse than that."

"Nothing's worse than boredom."

"Maybe it's that. Maybe that sentence is the problem."

"I think we nailed it."

"Right to the cross."

He laid back down.

"By the way, your new man seems nice," he said, shadows fang.

"Listen, you can be psychiatrist next time. I think it's obvious you're the patient tonight."

There was a heavy silence. He finally broke it.

"You ever watch Korean game shows?"

"Jesus, you're in trouble."

Saturday, August 25, 2012


This was work yesterday:
This movie looks tremendous:

This show is fucking incredible:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My New Book Idea

You may have recently noticed that this thing is kind of popular...
...which is why I've started work on my book of these:

See you on the bestsellers' list, America!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Mom & Mad Men

"Don Draper has a past with another name, his wife is zombie-like, Peter Campbell makes $75 per week, $35000 a year. What a different time." - my mom, who just started watching Mad Men

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Autumn Magician" - New Song

This is only my third post about making music, as the only other two posts I can think of were about my EP, Great Western Skies, and the song I recorded with Grant called "Darling." I don't make music often (enough), but, when I do, boy-howdy, it is a hoot!

This song is called "Autumn Magician," and it'll be on the new EP I'm (very) slowly working on, tentatively titled Criminal Chants. There could be a song about women. There could be a song about dinosaurs and lasers. Who knows? Anyway, hey, here's this song I made. You can hear my dog's collar in the chorus, and, as always, disclaimer: I can't really play guitar or sing. Thumbs up.

The Story
Two years ago, I had the house to myself (and Charlie the dog) on a Saturday. Naturally, I spent the afternoon trying to play guitar, which I can only compare to an inexperienced 14-year-old trying to go all the way for the first time. I'm clumsy and hesitant when I make music, but I have so much fun doing it. I'll probably never actually invest time in it to legitimately improve my barren skills beyond "guy who mostly plays easy folk chords as fast and recklessly as he possibly can."

Anyway, it was August, and I had read Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes that summer, and I thought it was just terrific. I started drinking a good helping of Jameson and then wrote a song, from start to finish, in four hours. A lot of the lyrics were lifted from a poem I had written the month before, which was also influenced by Bradbury's tale of two boys reevaluating their thoughts on age when a mysterious carnival comes to town.

The Lyrics
"Autumn Magician"
by Jake Kilroy

Hey, autumn magician, when will the spooky winds come?
I've got questions for pagan gods
about youth, nostalgia and love,
and I'll ask them without
jokes, poetry, sarcasm, threats or irony.

Which rituals do you think involve broken hearts and lovers' blood?
What spells do we try to make ourselves in basements and backyards?

Memories are like old movies,
playing on a rusty projector
until it's just you, cold and asleep,
in the empty theater.

Think of carnivals and tattoos,
and wonder which better represents you.
You can't have both, which you probably know,
sustaining some laughter and growth.

Which rituals do you think involve broken hearts and lovers' blood?
What spells do we try to make ourselves in basements and backyards?

Surely, you've tasted the salt of summer skin,
just to spit it up after too much rum
that went straight to your new autumn head
as you were finding balance in a winter bed.

Which rituals do you think involve broken hearts and lovers' blood?
What spells do we try to make ourselves in basements and backyards?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Infographics: The Power Of Visual Storytelling

Hey all, the cofounders of Column Five wrote a rad book about infographics (that comes out September 4th). They did a hell of a job, and they were nice enough to include me and my eternally uneven sideburns on the cover. They're swell dudes, and I'd be all sorts of thankful if you could light up them social sharing buttons (Like, Pin, etc) at the bottom of this here book page. Thumbs up.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"immaculate heat, beloved exhaustion"

"immaculate heat, beloved exhaustion"
after a long talk with two friends by jake kilroy.

under a barrel moon,
we watched our hands age.
we heard the crickets in our bones,
we felt the sands of time replace our blood,
and we buried our heads in hats
that we never would've worn when we were punks.

our pins and patches had been replaced by collared shirts and slacks,
our fevers had been replaced by conversations and pats on the shoulder,
our hunger for women had been replaced by heartache and marriage.

it was the hottest night of the year,
and the air conditioning was broken.
we fanned ourselves like debutantes
and licked the sweat off our lips like sugar.

we spent hot nights differently once,
but this was educated. this was promise.
this was truth given to us like a beating.
what good were the lines he wrote in our girlfriends' lipstick
if we were only to renounce our own hearts years later?

"how well do you think i'm doing?" one of us asked.
and all that came was a batch of confident words and more gin.
he wanted us to tell him that the what-ifs disappear,
that hospital beds and cemeteries were fine places to discover hope.
he wanted to hear us tell him how we couldn't believe our luck,
that we loved like outlaws and made a living like bank tellers.
but he knew.
he knew that the only difference there was a dress code.
deep down, he knew that liars can be saints sometimes,
just to keep a man from the gallows.

but this is what we can do for each other.
we can speak of glory,
even though we wouldn't be caught dead in a rapture.

tequila sunrises are the only morning shots this crew of lunatics wants,
and we'll settle for sunsets if we can sit on the edge of the world
and welcome the darkness as our great comeuppance.

christ, this is inexcusable.
given everything as charity,
wanting nothing as inheritance,
wishing wandering eyes could stitch up broken hearts.
what arrogance we've made a mess of.
what ego we should double-down on.
what card games are even left in this town that aren't crooked?

as i cracked the window
and pulled the sheets from my bed,
i thought of all that went unused in my life:
the typewriter i picked up at a garage sale that i left in my parents' attic,
the woman that wrote me my last love letter,
this summer, last winter, that spring i was a hypochondriac.

i was exhausted,
from the heat, from the drink, from the work,
but i was once exhausted from moving forward
with everything i had in me.
even though i was once tired from writing letters,
from swimming coasts, taking on storms, and cooking up trouble,
this sleep that came swallowed me whole,
like a whale with a fetish for bible verses and tongue lashings.

i woke up this morning terrible,
with a nervous system shredded and a cut-up mouth,
and it took everything in me to just stay awake long enough to write this poem.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"two holes in my lungs"

"two holes in my lungs"
written in a seattle library by jake kilroy.

dear god,
i've got holes in my lungs
and stars in my eyes.
there's a girl in this city for every line,
so my mouth wrecks dry until it's wetted.
but i wait for the breeze
that tastes like autumn leaves and dust
and then hail a cab before the rain
comes to wash this city's heart out time and time again.
the locals would bathe in the water
if it wasn't so filled with gasoline this weekend.
so some boats met up to talk shop,
and the shop was a liquor store apparently.
we drank with everything we had in us
and smelled sweat and motors
until we choked on the scent of regret.
speaking of which,
what feels like a lifetime ago,
i went to bed in a girl's lake house
where i barely slept for two days
because drugs nearly talked me into a heart attack.
this came in the sullen hours after we all sat on the dock
and lit wish lanterns over the lake,
which drifted into the forest,
and we thought we were going to burn down the island.
thankfully, this didn't happen.
but i couldn't get up because i was paralyzed with dreams
and heard a bayou song somewhere in my heart
and a doo-wop tune somewhere in my head,
and, as always, i didn't know what to listen to.
so i sat there and clicked my tongue,
flicking a cigarette
and whistling in the darkness,
barefoot and overwhelmed by the world.
this was a far cry from home,
but even a bedroom has its tears.
i remember one in particular.
oh, i told that story last night,
down at the neighborhood bar
between the coffee shop and the library,
before falling asleep on a wooden floor
too tired to even edit my own novel.
the fan near the window was a beautiful hum
and i was a man barely dressed
in a place unfamiliar,
but it reeked of promise as i stretched my sunburned back,
and i felt somebody close was destined for hope.
i didn't know if it was me that tasted like the future,
but i licked my lips and caught sight of one star
through two blinds and straight on 'til morning
that could've easily been the porch light
that belonged to the girl with the mustang outside
that lives in the back house with the planter box of golden leaves.

i hit the road tomorrow to tail the west coast's salty air
down to southern california and maybe even mexico
if that backseat driver god just lets me breathe right
to get out of this city and into my own skin again,
for one last time before my decent heart breaks
like a southern boy who's never seen the ocean.
but i've taken love for granted and i've spilled my guts to the night here
enough times that these lakeside bugs could write this poem for me
if i ever dipped them in ink instead of smoke and secrets for once.

but, one day, i'll be restless again,
and i'll have to weigh my heavy heart on some lone dock,
listening to the quiet waves of mercer shrug against the shore,
whistling my lips chapped and filling my lungs with dirty breaths,
only to consider this leafy town the greatest secret in america.

goodbye, seattle.