Thursday, May 30, 2013

From The Archives of Jake Kilroy

I write a several times every week. It could be a poem. It could be an essay. It could be fiction. Or it could be the wild space known as miscellaneous. I never want to get rusty, so even when I don't have inspiration or motivation, I'll write...something. Anything! But a whooooole lot of it turns into nothing pretty quickly, and I'll move onto something else. So the pieces just sit there as drafts, unpolished, untouched, unfinished. Well, yesterday, I went through my drafts for the first time in years, and I was stunned by how many items I had abandoned.

Anyway, if you're wondering what the drafts of a twenty-something idiot writer, here's a batch of the nonsense.

September 6, 2012
Junkie mad spirit, restless as a roller in church. Made prayers in the bathroom, somewhere between the cigarette and the pill. The house of a god is getting hotter. Somebody pay the bills. We ain't got nowhere to go but up from here, but that's only 'cause we haven't got the strength to dig to Hell. We probably ain't welcome there either. Not good enough for the Lord, not bad enough for the Devil. This is the dumbest march we've ever taken underfoot. I remember when I was a gumshoe. The women were wilder then. This season is a burning one, save for the few cool-offs in mountain lakes and group showers. Hot damn, you could eskimo kiss out here in the brink. Wait for sunset. It'll be better then.

August 13, 2012
"I'm just trying my best to not get old," said the young man in a straw hat, a white shirt, and pin-striped pants. He kicked the smoke out of his gut and scratched his head in the heat.

"And the women?"

"Always the women."

He nodded and put his face in his palms.

"I'm worried if I'm alone, I'll fall apart."

"I have the exact opposite worry."

March 22, 2012
reading classic literature,
followed by horror novels,
followed by the cold shivers,
followed by not eating.

November 4, 2011
Holy shit, people. Steve Jobs was an incredible guy who did incredible things in the world of technology and communications. He built one of the greatest companies in the history of business. I absolutely agree. His dedication to his brand made it a brand dedicated to its customers.

But, come the fuck on, he didn't personally raise you. He wasn't president of the world.

October 26, 2011
Pre-Halloween Plans: Party all weekend.

On-Halloween Plans: Watch From Hell and pass out candy to kids.

Post-Halloween Plans: Recover from stomachache.

August 13, 2011
When I record music, I feel wildly productive until the realization later comes that I just spent an entire day getting drunk with my dog.

August 4, 2011
“There’s A Moon Out Tonight” by The Capris played on the radio that sat on the white wood railings of the back porch. It was the Fourth of July, and Judy and Jack waited for fireworks.

May 18, 2011
I rarely think of myself as a genius. And when I do, it's not because I said or wrote anything profound. I've come to realize that the only time I award myself the title of "genius" is when I make complex meals without recipes (which is often achieved by randomly combining ingredients I find around the kitchen) or by turning one meal into many. That's about it. I really only declare myself a genius when I have a mouth full of food. "Kilroy, you magnificent bastard genius," I recently announced to myself with a mouth full of rice noodles and soy chicken, watching yet another episode of Cheers (the entire series is on Netflix's instant streaming, people). I had heroically saved the broth of Saturday's royal noodle soup and turned it into a fourth meal by adding a few ingredients. USA! USA! USA!

March 30, 2011
"Hey, what do you think of Gail?"

"Who's Gail?"

"You know...Gail. Gail, Wesson's secretary."

"Isn't she only like 30?"

"Yeah, so? We're only like 30."

"Yeah, but not named Gail."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"I just don't think anyone under the age of 45 named Gail should be trusted."

"I can't tell if you're paranoid or delusional."

"I'm cautious."

October 11, 2010
The most out-of-touch my mother has ever sounded was when I said, "Oh man, I'm stoked," and she replied, "So this stokes you?"

October 1, 2010
"Break-neck speed!" yelled the toad captain.

"We're out of beer," said the badger, sifting his paw through the ice of the cooler.

September 22, 2010
As Casey Affleck has informed the public that I'm Still Here is, in fact, a work of fiction, meaning that Joaquin Phoenix was acting, then...well, I've come to be inspired. This bold (and confusing and pretty radical) performance piece has made it so other actors, such as myself, can finally come clean about it all. And I have a big announcement to make.


I know, right? Your mind is so blown that its collapse into itself like a dying star. Your face is now a black hole. You've nearly swallowed your tongue. You've got "boners of intrigue." But guess what? It means you were part of my big performance! How cool is that? But it also means that a lot of what I did was fake. Acting!

That time I let you down? Fake.

That time I RSVP'd "Yes" to that event and didn't attend? Fake.

Those hundreds of times that I didn't answer my phone? Fake.

That time I said something super hurtful? Fake.

That time I made you cry for no good reason? Fake.

That time I told you whatever you liked was stupid? Fake.

That time I swore I'd send you something in the mail and didn't? Fake.

That time it took me weeks or months too long to respond to your e-mail? Fake.

So,'re welcome, America. I did it for the ladies and gentlemen of the world. I did it for the history books. I did it for art.

July 29, 2010
"I think we should see other people."

"I thought we were seeing other people."

"No...wait, have you been seeing other people?"

"No...have you?"


"Right," he said, "because we can't see other people."

"Well, you can now."

"And so can you."

"Actually, I've already started seeing someone."

"Is it that guy downstairs with the stupid red hair?"

"No, that guy's gay."



"Hmmm. So who's the guy?"

"I don't think it's best to talk about it."

May 19, 2010
I hope there's a point in my life where I'm forced to say, "I've had too much drugs. No more for me."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"los angeles romantic"

"los angeles romantic"
written young and reckless by jake kilroy.

los angeles had me before i ever
waxed nostalgic, waxed poetic, waxed on the record.
smokey breaths left me like climbers,
as i sipped coffee in diners
and had to wait around
for a girl to get off work
at a fashion magazine.

still, we talked delillo and we loved like anarchists,
with aches in our muscles instead of our smiles.
she'd do mimosas for breakfast and i'd do jokes.
sometime around blood marys,
she'd ask if i wanted to stay the weekend,
and i'd think about an L.A. life with an L.A. girl.
what's it like to live in a city where the only thing sacred
is the city?

i'd wonder around the time she'd kiss my ear
and tell me black and white films were for romantics
and megalomaniacs who didn't know themselves all that well.

it'd be afternoon when i'd try to find my car
on a tree-lined street being used as a movie set.
"can you play the part of a guy trying to find his car?"
they'd ask me, and i'd just keep walking.
and i'd shrug.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"too many anchors"

"too many anchors"
written after a good line that wasn't by jake kilroy.

too many anchors,
as the memories push and pull.
every breath is gravity.

what an empty crowded ocean.
what a sight to behold and let go.
what a horizon to burn away.

a library that sank to the bottom,
a monument that came to be ash,
a museum of nothing and everything,
this leaky head flooded and drowned.

no services will be held for the future.
no salute for the cemetery architect.
nothing but heavy breaths in a hot shower.

Friday, May 24, 2013


a story for Carlos, by Jake Kilroy

Based off of a Facebook comment from Carlos:
"Requesting you write a short story about life on Earth with rings!" - Carlos, with this link.

The rings wrapped the sky like a neon ribbon and shattered the colors of the sunset. Carlos and Jake sat on top of the barn with several empty beer cans between them and their legs dangling. Carlos leaned forward and spit, wiping the foam from his mustache. Jake nearly dozed off.

"What do you think it'd be like without the rings?" Carlos asked.

"Boring," Jake answered, rubbing his eyes. "I mean, what would be left? Empty space and a few stars?"

"Well, we'd see more stars."

"We would?"

"Yeah. Without the rings, there'd be less light in the way, and the sky would look like a diamond quarry, I assume."

"Sunsets would be flat."

"Probably true," Carlos agreed, "but the only light pollution would be from buildings."

"And streetlights. And headlights. And those swirly lights at movie premieres."


"Ah, that's what they're called," Jake said with a snap. "Wait, that doesn't make sense. They're facing the sky. What are they searching for?"

"I don't know. God?"

"The only god you'll find at a movie premiere is the god of fake boobs and fur."

"That's real deep, Jake."

"Would God love or hate movie premieres?"

"He'd probably have mixed emotions," Carlos explained, considering another sip.

"God has emotions?"

"Well, he's capable of wrath, right?"

"Yeah," Jake mumbled with a squint.

"And he's capable of pride."

"Right, but not gluttony, since he can't eat."

"Gluttony isn't an emotion. It's a sin."

"So is pride and wrath."

"Good point," Carlos agreed.

"Is haircuts one of the seven deadly sins?"

"Ok, I think you've had enough to drink."

"Which would be sloth."

"The guy from The Goonies?"

"Now who's had enough to drink?

"How are we going to get down?"

"Hey, do you think you could slide down the rings?" Jake asked, pointing up.

"I doubt it. They're just jagged ice and rocks."

"They are?"

"Man, your high school science teacher should be put in front of a firing squad."

"You're an enemy of science, Los."

"I'm the one explaining the rings!"

"Los of the Rings."

"Ok, well, that was lazy."

"I kind of wish we could see the sky without them."

"We probably wouldn't know what to do with all those stars."

"I don't even know what to do with the rings."

"Maybe we should just leave the sky alone."

"Sounds good."

And so the two men toasted the sky, clinked their beers, and went on arguing about Tim Duncan.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"spirit guide"

"spirit guide"
written with a rusty history by jake kilroy.

i died in the arms of a night one time,
years ago, out in the forest of oregon.
the mist coursed through my lungs,
and my clothes reeked of the pines.
all that was left was a baptism revival
in the long, cold arteries of the river.
an acoustic guitar crooned from the fire.
a girl waited for me back in california.
the headlights popped from my eyes,
and my friends let me disappear
into the woods as a quiet specter.

my limbs spread out like that of a dead bird's,
dragged slowly from the ground to a headdress.
fireflies passed me, curious, and then followed.
the animals winced when they saw me fly,
but they slowly moved, mesmerized, to watch.
the trees saluted me with grace and madness.
and the sky rolled over me like a blanket.
i was a sight to behold.

by morning, i had no answer for where i went.
i was smoke in my own cavern of a traveler's body.
and i remember the sounds of nature's well-wishes.
but i don't know where i ended up.
it was somewhere above life,
but not quite the life above.
that's the last time i remember being magnificent.
since then, i've drank the potions under a few mystic tents
and swam nude while laughing 'til the moon made me dizzy.
but there's always the wild woods of oregon
to remind me i'm forever human
and it's forever a blessing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"reading a northwestern passage"

"reading a northwest passage"
when considering a million things by jake kilroy.

i remember the copy of east of eden that dried out at the beach house,
torn by the wind, scratchy to the touch, a perfect token of the past.
it was northwest by heart attack blues, up the throat, out the mouth,
and i read a passage from the classic while the surf got up sleepy.
but there was nothing to do but drugs and dwell on your desires,
set against a quiet forest road that lead us here one friday night.
i spent two sunsets at the local dive bar listening to classic rock,
hating my beers while loving the prices, and gutlessly praying,
this time for a lack of irony when i penned napkin poetry.
but i was happy, and there was hardly anything to say.

Monday, May 20, 2013

"the good ones"

"the good ones"
written after the wild by jake kilroy.

the lights went out in the canyon,
except for the porch lanterns and stars,
and it was a red summer to come,
but it was a springtime meal
of promises and wine,
lacerating the insides
of every wedding guest.

"i wish it was monsoon season
or that we lived somewhere wet,
so i'd have something to protect you against,"
crooned the man waiting out his own mouth.

what a time it is
to think you're being young and stupid,
when the line you thought you walked
somewhere between reckless and carefree
is tightening around your neck
with each passing calendar tear.

every summer wasted and won,
this year was supposed to be lethal,
the buried truth of it all strung up
and out there to dry in the wind;
a banner year, a welcome home sign,
a protest against the aging process itself.

surely, each crown weighs heavier than the last,
and the royal museum, built of blood and muscle,
waits for new patrons to survey the artwork
and tell you your hands aren't older or shakier.
but it's not true, and you know that,
so you dig through the earth yourself,
hoping it all lasts, that eons aren't dreams,
that something does indeed conquer time.

is it so remarkable to tread lightly on the future?
i should hope so, for what good are we
as words and actions merely reacting to the present?

this is what i wish i had said:
"it is nothing to consider freedom."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"there, there"

"there, there"
written after a special occasion by jake kilroy.

in my will,
i left everything to the wind,
to distribute my life accordingly.

madness in deep breaths,
with each cleaner organized
under the sink,
i made sure it all flew up
and tore through the power lines
over the city
across the country
into the lives
of the women.

there, out in the wilderness,
one light after another snapping,
the great lengths of a future crawled.

so the baskets of gifts
and chests of treasure
were ransacked properly
with all of my table of contents
spilled in the messiest last meal.

there, somewhere out there,
awards and rewards fluttered to
the one that had the hollywood loft,
the one that always ate licorice,
the one that came from the bay,
the one that read me delillo,
the one that thought she was the one that got away.

and then there was the next one,
waiting for the new empire.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"god help me"

"god help me"
written with a sore body by jake kilroy.

it was a roman empire conqueror’s kiss,
an act of passion that would've been the ocean
after the movie characters drove off the bridge.

god help me,
she punched the eyeballs out of my sockets.
my mouth ended up in a treehouse of a past life.
my body was torn asunder in the great church of nature.

oh, i told her noir stories of my youth,
leaving out the hand claps, the pocketed stars,
and the mangled masochism machismo machine i was,
but i kept in the literary time bomb devices
to explode her heart into a million puzzle pieces
so i would have a magic trick to figure out
when i got too crafty for my own terrible good.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"the poplars of california"

"the poplars of california"
written on a busy day by jake kilroy.

i stepped out to the back porch of vines and tiny lights,
away from the noise and the racket and the mystery,
to have a late-night conversation with myself.
"what good is all this?" i asked.
"who knows?" i answered.

that was the end of it, and before i had time
to drag my knuckles across the wooden fence,
i was gripped at the throat by american promise:
me, in a suit, wind in my hair, driving a cadillac,
woman at my side, picnic basket in the backseat,
down the scenic route through the poplars of california.

back at the patio, a guest in the waiting room of a party,
smoky words left my mouth as i considered my drink,
a sweet yellow concoction made by a pretty girl
with a taste for rum and men of a different class.
it breathed new life into me, and my pupils twitched,
but that was the end of it, here,
a place that smelled of jasmine
and reeked of book junkie spirit.

i caught myself sucking down moonlight next,
peppermint vapors from the heavenly wasteland
that went through my lungs like silk ropes,
tying my heart to my guts to my spine
to my brain that cut loose and cackled.

this was the barest of politics,
mangled in youth, tangled in sex,
wrangled by the hands of a working man.

instead, my tongue sped across the highway of my front teeth,
an inventory of ivory i'm thankful hasn't ever been purged
given my attempts at driving the first amendment into the ground.
what i'd give for another warm bed, i wagered in the soft glow
of a location i could sell to a hollywood scout for top dollar,
but that was where it ended, at the beginning, when i broke,
when i crashed, when i spiraled, when i got that wildest of ideas,
coughed, laughed, and headed back into the party for another.