Litkicks Message Board Archive
everything that could, went wrong
Young men old pass their days and tortured nights in bottles clear as gin.
-A Thousand Years of Night
Follow did I the drinking, naked, stirring poets of broken highways and no name streets in back alley towns and all along the way getting into trouble getting laid going mad. I chased myself in and out of them grim bricks and iron bridges that gird the East catching the hum that comes from the voice of the sprawl of the unending West that beckoned me and everything in between gray and dawn, broken down in winter’s claw of death an aching shaking blizzard of doubt falling all around me like wet, dead dogshit leaves on the ground. So I left. In New York City I peed on the subway tracks. A transit cop wrote me up and said “clear out son before you send a thousand volts up your spine, what’s the matter with you anyway?”
Jesus fucking hell. Translation: Some day I will have to grow up and pay the heartbreak fine of a black comedy clown.
I drank my way never asked for eternity wave and wonder why all the way here to San Francisco for my bothers – whiskey, wine and beer. Food for queers and Quaker brothers. Sometimes I drank in the shaking pit of the morning light, sometimes I drank the spirit blind at midnight’s tomb dumbstruck in love and in doom, my fortune in my liver fat and scarred forever hanging down more than before and enlarged. Once I got here after I got fired for oral injury – charged because I had mocked my comrades and challenged them to a witless duel they didn’t understand. In my extremities, I’d called them assholes, too, and my good friend bob the gentle giant flatulent kook I called him the biggest pussy of them all standing in the lunchroom his ponytail in hand that prickless smoking suck just because he was tired and wanted to go home and only privately complained about staying so late for a fire-drill and even on the deck he told me he knew he was a joke and never laughed and I launched upon him and he then let me dig my grave shoveling dicks and writhing snakes in a pit whipped by masked killers for the two of us in spades.
Parked in a palace hotel we had listened all day to a lawyer show us the golden way to solve our differences and my comrades revolted me. They made us come back to the office and work together as a team and get along. Come up with a new business pitch for the agency! the executives cheered us on. None of my teammates listened very well nor had they paid any attention during the six hours of that crispy duck lawyer who tried to teach us all how to reach that joyous moment of understanding and resolution. No new agreement no vision in action no getting current and complete I told them a story they did not want to hear. The covenant of joy was broken and I had broken it by poking the bear inside. I didn’t get along, no team-player me, I didn’t fit the corkscrew like they liked. Ah, butt-fucking angels would have a better thing to have called them. So they fired me on the spot and walked me out the door just past midnight. The pumpkin popped and I slipped unseen a bottle of wine in my briefcase, surrendered my keys and then I kneeled. Ten months down the drain and I laughed I laughed in the empty skyscraping streets echoes in the autumn silence all the way home.
If you’re ship is going down, why not make the biggest wail you can in case someone hears you and throws you out a line before you drown. They showed me the door all right – it was actually three dollar Maus and sure he always made me laugh because of the way he’d rush out during Fleet Week to find a pilot to jump his bones and only a pilot and nothing else mattered for the holy blow. Fly high when you can, he’d wink at me and ran, ran out the door in search of flying fucks in bell-bottom navy whites. I crashed when I got home and blinked at dawn. A letter and my final check soon arrived and the letter said I was terminated for verbal abuse and attempted destruction of company property.
At least I didn’t have to wake up and do my presentation. I escaped that torture of make-believe insults from those not my kind and so instead I slept until noon and smiled in my dreams. Mad bag I awoke and sipped from a slug of Irish whiskey beside my bed that had become my daily dose chased and chosen chaste with a budweiser beer and ten Marlboro lights. I curse that man who first fixed me up. I felt a sudden twinge for navy pilots because they are such fucking magnets of doom whenever they roll into town, leaving the smell of the sea and cum in their rooms.
It was October, the edge of winter, and the rain came and stayed for a long, long time. Kerouac was gone in October didn’t you know and a final cleansing of the creative crippled home and came when a vein burst and he bled from the inside out. I promised myself never to eat tuna from a can again. I looked outside and saw it wasn’t cold just wet but I didn’t plan on seeing that sun of a bitch singing in my day blue sky for a long, long time.
Swansea and Lowell and North Beach all them sea-sick sailor towns, mad bag clowns in all of them young men old and me and my big mouth standing watching it all fall down, the years of screams and yawns and Naked trees everywhere, the sky rained down broken hearts and assholes on the ground. I finally sat down and sighed in San Francisco. I was a sad, tired, stupid man boy clown mad bag and fired and now having to feed two wives, two kittens and a sawed-off dog, not to mention all those greeding needing bartenders scattered across the bay on seething shores lapping at the land at me, a stinking crimson tide. Drinking that stuff, it always made me sick. Snap snap snap to the beat is a drunk napping in all the back alley towns in every town a one-eyed man squints back at you is where you will find them sleeping in a cardboard box whoring roaring pissing drunk but you won’t hear them unless you take the time to look around. Look around. In every sawdust town the bars and barns I’d tumbled in, I paid for every bar stool with my liver and my guts soul bound to a crooked stick and something flapping overhead slapping greasy, hungry, thick.
Time had taught me nothing more than the song of a misspent youth. If it was a road I followed at the end I was drunk and sick and tied to a stick and now I had no job. But stars! Stars! Luck was in the air for me and I didn’t even know how. This was the time of the great engine of a new and spinning economy of changing dollars raging pouring forth and I could work as long as I didn’t mind the electric handcuffs that clamped my wrists to a computer.