Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This One's for You, Dare

I had another blow-out all-night gig last night. The testosterone factor, when guitar players get older, is out of proportion. It’s like all the really huge zoo animals are too close…elephants, lions. The bellowers. I wonder if zoo animals get tinnitus.

On the way home the Palestinian off-license guy started ranting at me about the Israelis. He speaks Hebrew. He has slept with Jewish women…maybe even loved them. But what is going on in Gaza is not comprehensible. The information we receive is excessive, and biased. A ship bringing aid was rammed in the water by Israeli boats. It is always the innocent who suffer, everywhere. The children…those who fail to be evil.

My friend’s boyfriend drank anti-freeze Christmas night. Something anti-poetic about that…but I couldn’t help thinking the guy felt stuck somehow. Frozen. It is an uncomfortable death and fortunately or unfortunately he survived. Another victim of the economic holocaust that is leveling the already-compromised struggling among us. Survival of the richest.

I have done this sort of hidden-camera test lately without the camera. Dressing as badly as I possibly can— noting the unbearable intolerance of the terminally bourgeois for the poor. We are nipping at their skirt-hems, tracking them down like hungry dogs after a lone car on a Mexican dirt road.

Try to return a gift at a department store without a receipt in dirty sweat pants and ripped sneakers. They’ll be on you like a master criminal. I’ll bet Bernie Madoff, just a month ago, got served tea by well-dressed sycophantic salesmen at Tiffany’s. A free side of Nova at Zabar’s. I wonder if he tipped his building staff proportionally as much as I did.

At a Chase bank I wanted to pay my Mastercard bill and they asked for ID. To make a deposit. All those smarmy pathetic fake-MBAs in their blue uniforms…walking around like proctors while the tellers do the only actual ‘work’ if you can call it that. Everything is in their computers… except attitude.

I am reading this new Charlie Smith poetry. The only contemporary poetry I can stand. I’m dressed for it. It is like walking on a lunar landscape—dark, monotonal and sharp. It makes me think that life is kind of the B-side of death. I feel like I know exactly what he means, like we are 2 mangy dogs on parallel dirt paths but I can’t tell him this because I’m just Writerless.

Some people drink anti-freeze and live. Other people, like the guitarist in my band, throw up one time from gastro-intestinal hypochondria and check themselves into the ER. He needed an audience, I guess. He needed some insurance-covered sympathy which was worth the co-pay. Not me. Medical self-indulgence pisses me off, when half a million African women and children were bayonet-raped and have permanently messed-up organs. Unspeakable pain and humiliation. When a Palestinian mother loses 5 precious children--5 times years of diaper-changes and breast-feeding and 24-hour bloody heart-ripping maternal sacrifice--- to senseless bellowing.

I'm not taking sides here; I'm not standing on soapboxes or sending out any pathetic holiday message. I'm not even singing. I’m eating flour-water pancakes, reading my Charlie Smith and toasting the anti-freeze guy. Wondering what the year has in store for those of us who go to sleep at dawn listening for the B-side.

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