Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the one that laughed forever and killed them all doing it


Time machines... et cetera.

This isn't the beginning of something beautiful. This is the end. A standing ovation. An encore.

Sometimes in the winter, you forget what summer looks likes. There are chalk outlines on the cement where the people inside of them just get up and walk away. The sky leaks light. And some things are glued together shoddily but with very good intentions. I don't think God meant for the human heart to crumble so easily. We were a mass-produced flaw. Good to look at, but shipped with a label that says "Damaged Goods".

Do you wonder what we have instead of wings? We have crowbars and kite strings and multivitamins, and the secret that is kept in the breadbox is that God is a little jealous of our beautiful hair, and our way with words. He must have said, "Yeah, yeah, this is where I'll leave the rest of the gods." Because looking back, God shouldn't have given us such beautiful crowbar wings but He took the car and ran out of gas.

The thing I've noticed about people is that they know a lot about circles but not much at all about straight lines. Try to get from point A to point B; I bet you can't. There is a lot that we can't fix---the stars are exploding, the milk is spilling, Cleopatra is dead---but there's tape for that. If we can't fix it, we sure can write nice poems about it.

You are beautiful like a moth. And when Peter, James, and John come to dinner, they don't even wipe their feet; and if they eat a slice rhubarb pie, I bet you will, too. You hate rhubarb pie. Sometimes the little things are the ones that kill you. Blood vessels, arteries, scrap metal. Eat what you want.

When God was making man he must have just closed his eyes and pointed to the nearest miracle and here I am: an empty spot in heaven. God said, "Hey, where'd everybody go?"

No, I didn't bite the hand that fed me; I licked it clean.

I'm out for blood.

I'm impatient and I didn't even bother leading the horse to the water. I carried him on my back and showed him where the kept the cans of Coca-Cola. Oh yes, you unbendable little beauty, you bracken-watered little fool. You forgot all about how men are beaten out of boys, torn kicking and gnashing their teeth from the beds that they slept in as children; they were always just chapels and steeples and heavy wood doors. They were always religion, the very stomach of it, religion and good to pray for.

You coward. Bloodied from the wars your father taught you to fight in, worshiped by the schoolchildren whose scraped knees you spat upon, "Get up. Get up." You were uncovered like some rare Paleozoic skeleton in the dirt, millions and millions of years too late to say "I forgive you, Mother". You coward.

Who tucks you into bed? Who prays for you?

You have never been older than you are right at this exact second. But also, you're never going to be this young again. That's a lot of responsibility.

You put "Proceed with Caution" signs up on your bedroom walls to remind yourself to stir the soup and look both ways when you're yielding to pedestrians. Your slogan could be "Maybe later". Try to locate Heaven on a map of Ohio, because you'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't; there were never enough tomorrows or crayons in the box, Lucifer you had your fun, and I will never become what you were when you were bright: bright, bitter, and beautiful in your blistering youth. You have been wondering why the stars aligned the way they did because they spell your name and they break your heart; but how broken-hearted could you be, exactly, with your name across the sky in stars. Oh yes, the ones I love most have me by the throat.

This is a public apology... and I accept. I forgive you.

Keep it warm for me in the oven. Write it in pencil. Tell me just how much you wanted to see my skin stretched for miles and miles and miles across deserts that used to be oceans. Because some things don't have endings, sometimes it's very hard to find the last page and sometimes it's very hard to say good-bye.

Thank you, John F. Kennedy for taking the bullet for me.

Who loved you best?

This has been The Devastation Diaries.
(good night)

Sunday, May 6, 2012



hunter/gatherer ; lover/fighter

Five foot three and almost responsible enough to set her own alarm clock. Good whistler. Even better liar. Friends with freckles and cut-up hands; enemies with everyone else. She can sing most of the jingles on commercials and that's either sad or pretty cool. She can wear fishnet tights and usually people don't bug her about it too much. She goes to school, she goes to sleep on the couch. Alas, an ordinary world where chocolate cake is for breakfast and girls are in love with their own shadows. Fingers like candy cigarettes, home like Sundays after church. She says "I love you" and she means it. She says "I hate you" and she means it, sometimes. Ordinary world where everything happens to somebody else. She always finds someone else to blame. Ordinary world where linoleum is beautiful and the sky is made of buttered toast. She loves you so much that she almost doesn't believe that love even exists.

She's the hero, here to save the day.

And that's when the world ends. What an adventure. Everyone's dead, and good thing too, because she probably doesn't know how to save a life anymore than she knows how to fix a tire.

What the studio audience would like to know:

1. How many miles from here to San Clemente?
2. Wait, can she even sing the "Stanley Steamers" jingle?
3. When will she get her driver's license?
4. Was that a cop-out? (answer: probably)

This has been The Devastation Diaries.

this is a filler blog post, tentatively titled: "filler"

Sometimes I can't think of anything to say. And then I have to google "Where can I get cheap black market Birkenstocks in Utah?" instead of blogging, which---in case you're about to go search for it---has surprisingly unhelpful results.

If any of you know where I can get cheap black market Birkenstocks in Utah, please let me know asap. My budget is between $0 to $8. Thanks in advance.

This has been The Devastation Diaries.
(I'm really sorry.)

Monday, April 30, 2012

midsummer night's press conference

Here comes the round of applause. "Hello, hello". I almost always see you going, but never coming. "Hello, hello". We almost never say good-bye.

This is where we go wrong every time: I say, "Hey, what gives?" and you say, "Soup kitchens. Mothers. The Federal Return." It's a figure of speech. But you---broken-backed, literal beast that you are---come home with your hammer and your copy of The New York Times and you break down the house with both. Literally. 

I say, "Hey, dear, what's the scoop?" And you say, "Vanilla ice cream. Mulch. Cat food, and by the way, we're running low, dear". It's a figure of speech. It's an idiom, and you can't translate it into French or Japanese because that's how different we are; that's how beautiful we are. That's how colloquial we are. You don't understand the simplest forms of simile or verbal abuse. I've never been kind to you, but that's because you told me to never water down gasoline or pray with my eyes open. You told me, "Don't write your name on your math homework and don't leave your receipts on the counter"; it's because you love me, you jealous little coward.

These are the shinyugly days. These are the saltygritty, headyripe, bendybreakable days of almost-summer. Windywarm. Brittlebright. I have a whole fleet of little soldiers who bring me snacks and kill my enemies. They say "Who makes your bed in the morning?" and I say "The queen of England".

I have a confession: I don't want you to fly in airplanes because I'm afraid you'll get too close to heaven and God will just take you back, right there, right over the Great Salt Lake. So stay grounded. Stay here and I promise, I won't be the one that corrects you when you blunder your way through every single one of Shakespeare's litanies. I won't even capitalize your name.

When I say "How are you feeling?" and you say "Thirsty", I'm still going to leave, but I'm going to leave the doors unlocked and the car idling because I've never wanted to abandon you without you. And that's where I'll leave you, that's where I'll desert you: right here with me. I am Judas.

Everything is trite and untrue. I long for summers away from suburbia and salty fries. I am Judas.

This has been The Devastation Diaries.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

slow dance music by tom c. hunley


Hey. Read this.

Slow Dance Music by Tom C. Hunley

I can’t explain the rain’s attraction to my head,
though I’m touched by its will to touch me,
and I don’t understand how I got here any more
than a lobster understands how it ended up in a tank
next to a Please Wait To Be Seated sign,
but both of us can read the faces of the cruelly beautiful
women pointing at us. I always feel eyes on me so
I apologize to insects after I kill them
and to the salmon on my plate, caught being
nostalgic for home. Everything makes sense if
you squint just right, and at least once a day
I realize that whatever I’ve been saying
isn’t the point at all. Like yesterday, I heard myself
say “Nostalgia” comes from Greek roots meaning
“painful return,” which is why your childhood
home is paved over, a bump in the commuter
path of your old classmates, the ones who have
never gone anywhere. And so instead of leaning
in for a kiss, I give my beautiful wife the umpire’s
signal for “safe.” And when I say “I love you”
she becomes red-faced, hits me with the back
of her fists, and calls the cops, because those
words no longer mean what they once did.

..I'm very obsessed with it. Poetry is cool.

This has been The Devastation Diaries.
(And Tom C. Hunley)



Sunday, April 1, 2012

pocket lint


Places that you forget about:
  • Behind the fridge.
  • The baseboards.
  • Bottom shelves of closets.
  • Winter coat pockets.
  • The building you used to go to church in.
  • Attics.
  • Old friends' bedrooms, and the beds in them.
  • Slovakia.
  • The corner in the garage where the brooms are.
  • The backs of photos where someone had written "Los Alamos, 2002".
  • Under the deck.
  • Old art classrooms, old computer labs.
  • Last year's bird nest.
  • Furnace rooms.
  • Linen closets.
  • The last parts of notebooks that you never bothered filling in.
  • Cookbooks that you never really liked.
  • Hat boxes.
  • The top of the bookshelf where you keep the key, and the dust up there.
  • The cupboards you fit in when you were that small.
  • Your tenth grade locker. You remember the combination, but not the location. 
  • The booth you always sat in when you used to go to Denny's all the time. Remember that? You were so tired, lit up in the florescent dusk, and you never finished your tea.
  • The hamburger shop on the way to work. You never stopped by there like you said you would.
  • Wednesday afternoons.
  • Under the sink.
  • The glove compartment.
  • The spaces between your ribs.

This has been The Devastation Diaries.