*October 16, 2018* With the clock quickly ticking down before the United States Senate departs for the end of the legislative year, the International Cam...
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Nuff fuckin around. this whole thing relates to an uncertain time. when ain't they been, and me a codger seen the good times. what are they then - you tell me.
Seven Eleven . Southland Corporation , mmm , Midland Texas. Fuck if I know. They had dental insurance like kings and senators in the '70s.
Ashland Oil bought em out (overhead costs cut) and now they're SuperAmerica. How fucking fitting.
SA store up on ... dunno , I'm looking East in my mind, uncertain, like I said, 3 blocks off (300 meters, f'in metrical) I seen the most beautiful pit bull I ever seen. How does an old geezer recog nog this?
Pattern perception. And this pup with the two slouches was adorned with the most gorjuss fawn markings, trad size old school and cut like a beast. ol' boy knows qual-a-tie
the two motherfuckers with him? They were motherfuckin trouble. 9 seconds i figgered this, less than a ogling accusation. It's the law.
... I decided to wait ...
three blocks, I can be in and out in blink of an eye en-circling the - entire - area.
I know where. over NE ,,, that black lady from mmm St. Louis. My home state ... she work there. her hair fallin out. too much process? I dunno ,,, My boy goes in. I follow. dog and shadow fade out.
I get my shit and woofie in a fight with my gal pal. he's runnin her down. mf 'er gotta hard on ... 15 other m'f'ers in the joint nobody says shit.
It's gettin embbarrassing man.
I complete my circle n' ease on up beside him and say in his ear, `,`,`,`, .
hE JuMPEd! I spoke to him politely, whatever it was... he does his thing I do mine, he's grumblin, yep me mate's there, she says thanks, I say "gorgeous smile" so she makes with the gorgeous smile and I check my boy's still there, he's waiting. Through the window, he's acting out a bi polar ballet. I smile at bae, I don't see shadow...
and with that we concluded our transaction and said good day.
son is ... a transplant from the Rust Belt or part's East, Detroit, Chicago by default, maybe local, odd, so close to the 'burbs, anything goes this town swings like a pendulum do, the northern most port on the Mississippi. It's enchanted. The City of Thieves.
Cat's all ebonics , little fella, big ego, bigger complex, this boys been hurt and he wears his chip like a medal of failure and despair. where he come from, you 'have', too. It takes stamina. white boy too. Minority.
W7th was like that, mex irish ital indian big swede, finlanders, krauts and cowboys drunk and disorderly a different breed "I'll knock you out!' a pastime like as much challenge. Blue collar lost their shirt, fuck you very much . I seen it.
this is different. its pandemic. i push the glass open, breathe out.
It's the usual shit. peewee herman real aggro, cutting, c'mon, let's fight, oh yeah, I'll set the dog on ya how'd ya like that?
where is shadow lurking? two bystanders leaving. slow traffic at xx am, light good, 4 cars, dog is looking at me, I yawn, pause, stretch , shake my head, the slightest breath, relaxed (dog lingo, I come in peace) then look at my boy. but I'm studying the dog.
Perfect. Structure. Bones. Proportion. Attention. Does he admire me?
65 lbs vs 165 with one trashed knee? Sure why not. I'll get lizard on yer ass, c'mon, 23 ft
... and a half step more to my driver's door. left, laterally, is the passenger door open? fuck it.
I looked at that sod with pity, or disgust. Both. he made his scene, no harm done. I never liked to bicker. I was the quiet one.
I turned my back on him and walked around to my car door and got in. Going through my rote motion to ignition, I glanced and studied the boy, still gaffin', like he was a lab experiment.
He seemed to be losing steam. good. he'll probably beat that loving soul some day and the dog won't know why. God what a beautiful creature.
Traffic was light. Ambling along i studied the side compartment and it's contents: mag lite, 3 cells, ute tool, sword (razor knife), retractable, napkins, butterfly bandaids, trash.
Double clutching that loyal little four banger, I pulled the ice pick from my sleeve and dropped it on the pile where it came to rest, amongst the clutter, almost disappearing from sight.
I thought I was old then,
but I'm much older now
Monday, October 15, 2018
Thursday, October 11, 2018
skeletons for sale -
the seed corn store a bit shy
on Hallow's Eve
egg whites poured on water
torch light sun wise round the house
not such a friendly place
since the wifi tower's there
in a city in search of blossoms
Monday, October 8, 2018
Dottie, mighty huntress, Editor in Chief, Haiku Bandit Society, Judge Emeritus, Dottie Dot Monthly Moon Viewing Party and Haiku competition, an International celebrity on five continents and able to smell a chicken bone beneath four feet of snow. Bodhisattva ...
Send your remembrances in the form of a moon haiku. We'll display them close to Bonfire Day.
You can leave your poems here, in comments ::: Bandit @ Haiku Bandit Society.
Friday, October 5, 2018
You see these old guys with long hair in a pony tail, like it's to make up for male pattern baldness? Or, it symbolizes something counter culture, or Grunge, or criminal even? Some, that do, are none of those things ...
I thought at one time I would grow a pony tail when I got old.
I soon realized that if you were in the fight of your life having a pony tail was *not* a good idea. It could be grabbed on to for control.
Even though I run in calmer circles now I've kept it short since then. The funny thing is, people often would mistake me for military personnel, or a police officer. It happened a lot! Might have worked in my favor. And, once or twice in certain situations, maybe, I know for certain it saved my ass.
Yesterday I glanced in the rear view mirror and mentioned I needed a hair cut when suddenly the celluar phone emitted a loud, long buzz of sorts, annoying as Hell, and one I'd never heard before.
"WTF is that noise?!" I said. The damn thing kept it up, too. "Shit!" I said. I snatched it up from its stowage. Emergency Alert is all I made out on the screen.
We were running errands, in the car, so I set the phone down. The buzzing stopped after a minute.
HunnyBunny said, "It's the Emergency Alert System running a test. And they will do them every month from now on."
"The Hell you say?"
[The government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent messages to 200 million mobile devices on Wednesday.]
"Nope. It's part of a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System in the event we're attacked by a foreign power or to warn of a catastrophic event." She never even blinked.
"I got your catastrophe right here.... O', you mean like if Afghanistan mounted an assault to conquer us and like that?"
"... like a Hurricane, or a tornado?"
"A Hurricane in Minnesota would be devastating. We lack preparedness."
"A tornado, maybe? We already have alerts and sirens from the Weather Service." Her lips formed a slight frown. I studied them out of the corner of my eye, lingering a bit where they curved down at the corners and said nothing. We had arrived at our destination.
Once inside as we made way to the bird food section, the Alert System buzzed its raspy call again. This time, however, from two other customers. They stopped dead in their tracks and obediently looked at their phones. You could hear the sound elsewhere rising and falling from other phones throughout the aisles. I wondered what the range of the signal was.
Answering the question, my cell squawked the strident signal.
"God damn it." I kept moving, quickened my stride. I studied my surroundings before stepping deftly aside to safe haven between racks to allow someone to pass. Retrieving the cell from my pocket I squinted at the screen. I could not turn the power off. I couldn't either when it went off earlier .
A certain irony overcame me. I never had wifi on any cell phone I owned, nor would I initiate GPS. I didn't need it. I had a compass in the car and I always knew where I was going before I would disembark on a journey. I used Map Books on the fly, if need be, charting course like some elusive pirate. I'd delivered coupon books for a flat rate, hundreds a day in unknown territory. Preparedness was key. Innate direction. And pay phones ...
I like to travel light, carry no more than I need. Like a man on a horse; turn on a dime or make way with all due haste. A guerrilla fighter. I had been a grocery merchandiser once upon a time ... construction, through the housing crash and beyond. Guerilla tactics were employed, oh yes ... spies, and assassins, too.
Initially, My reasoning was the expense. In the day, apps and a subscription were damn expensive. Later, after observing the addictive relationship inherent in their use, I eschewed any purpose not for communication. Telephone was invented to talk to actual people and communicate information. I preferred not owning one. And I screen my calls. Too easy to disrupt a productive day.
"I can't turn the power off on the phone." I said to no one in particular. The noise was abrasive and the device vibrated angrily in my palm.
When I'm not listening to hard Bop music, or if I'm cloistered in silence, then I might be listening to heavily distorted guitar riffs, clanging and bending like a down'easter rippling a Viking long ship's sail. I could fall asleep to that.
This sound made me uneasy. Nothing worked on the phone, for that matter. No command would stop its insistent demand.
The text on the screen patiently noted the test mode, and beneath that, a button stood centered in the margins that read: OK.
I looked up with a start and studied what others were doing. A few were still answering the summons as it began to quiet down. I looked over my shoulder again. I was waiting for the pause. The horns were coming in salvos.
"It's on again." She appeared like some ghostly waif in front of the shopping cart.
I observed her with a gimlet eye. She'd snuck up on me.
"I'll wait 'til it pauses and shut down. If I can ... hey, little girl, you want some candy?" We were next to the Halloween display.
"No." Expressionless. My cell took a break.
I stepped closer, lowered my voice, lips almost touching her ear.
"Did anyone ever show you what an inappropriate touch is?"
But it couldn't be denied. I had to answer this call. No lying away position or the nearest cabstand. Relent. 45 minutes later, and the Emergency Alert awaited my compliance still. Chinese water torture would be a walk in the park compared to this. Nor could the phone be put to use. Not even to call for help. Not one FAQ to sustain me. No. It was an impasse. Not unless;
I had to submit to this intrusion and signal my obsequiousness with a conditioned response. "OK"
Ever look at something that was meant to be a representation of a purpose or ideal, but then, later, realize it was something that was not what it proposed to be?
Almost like staring at a 3D image, or, a picture hiding an image within. To see what lies beneath the facade, you must stare intently into the rendering, allow your focus to dissolve ...
I have to laugh. It reminds me, my hair is thinning rapidly, and the strands are almost shot clean through with gray, but if I comb it like I always have, what is natural, it remains in appearance, at least, the same as when I was a young man.
Some say grayness is a sign of wisdom. Maybe I'll let it grow again.
If someone don't like it , then cut it off ... if you can.
Useta be local for inner W7th St kids with some CDBG funds sprinkled around and a good line of bullshit. All them negatively charged particles comin' off the river, Hell, it was every man for his'self! ... wander in to Cosseta's down by the Levee, the spices would get it to stick. Italians, Swedes, Irish, Mexican, German - wops, oles, mics, spics and krauts. The Northernmost port on the Mississippi. Pirates, thieves and robber barons, come to make their fortune where the breadbasket of America shuttled off it's bounty by train or barge. Indoctrination by the State, my ass ... they talk a good game. It ends there.
We were so drunk one night we had to wrap Shear up in tinfoil to keep 'im from drivin' troo' the police station doors a second time. That patrolman, he just told us to go home.
Hell, last two guv'ners I seen, the cop with 'em be havin' a fit! Unless it's Crocus Hill, any address under a thousand was a hard luck job ever since the Depression. That's when all the famous gangsters hid here in plain sight. Cops on down to the lowliest inspector were always on the take. If you could hustle, it wasn't that long ago you could make anything happen - that's the way it works. Just don't rock the river boat 'cause it's a small town ... fuck them lawyers. Now it's all legal thievery.
Back then, Charlie McCarthy wasn't phased ... just turn on the siren that big Lincoln limo o' his. State? Like we used to say, "that's sad"; it makes me wanna laugh... Latimer and Norm was the only good mayors after that. ... They don't make Pfeiffer's no more. How can beer be so cheap but so good? Breweries are shut down, too. Nobody's seen the Hamm's bear, and them sky blue waters run all the way down to Swede Hollow where the poor squatters would tqke turns eroding and using a creek for plumbing.
Principal Zucco at Jefferson Grade School tol' my Dad we should move when we first came there ... he arrived like I did, from out west. After the Great War to grow up in the Roarin' twenties, when Fitzgerald drank his way to Hollywood and back. This time, just him and me, and a hard time of his own makin'. I still have a photo of him as a teen, dressed up like Dillinger.
I did move, but later. Burback and Ricky Elm burned down half those boarding house mansions in Irvine Park by then. Urban Renewal. Some joker with the HRA sold the place out from under us, then put up the first townhomes in the Twin Cities. You can't pull that off no more.
Real dumps. They been tore down for ten years. Nowadays, it's big showy development with everybody put their 2 cents in. Bigger and better thievery. Millennials movin' in with no where else to go but their parent's basement. Urban homesteading.
I was the only survivor, the last man standing. First my grandparents, then my Dad. Color me gone.
Rice St., by the state Capital. Dutch Bar, bikers and working class, German girls and Italian RR workers living in postage stamp housing, a fight every weekend at the White Castle after closing. Blacks on Whites and vice versa. They'd duke it out and go home with a mean hangover. Nobody got killed. If you did go to jail, they'd rough you up in the elevator at the station if you were a hard case.
Hubert Humphrey come over the viaduct in the Rice St. parade one time, in the back of an open convertible. I saw him first, more aware of currents, I guess, or a propensity for remembering what I'd read. He looked right through' us. So what we was smokin' a joke? Our hair was that long, drinkin' Boone's Farm, fuck you Mr. Businessman. We laughed in his face. We had no idea how evil he was.
Walked up on Arne Carlson at Arlington playground on another occasion. Bodyguard watched me all the way in, so I watched him. Fuck 'em. The Governor, too. I was a cocky young stud with a wife and a kid, and I'd out work any fucker that tried. That trooper almost shat! He was scared of a working class neighborhood. East Side.
Yeah, the crime rate was high - for the most boring town in America. If you want to get rid of somethin', leave it it in the yard overnight. That was before the factories packed up for Mexico and China. Now it's liquor stores and convenience markets.
So many immigrants for so many years, yeah, it's a city of thieves, all right. What else you gonna do for fun? I volunteered there years later, started a non-profit when the first went down. I promised I'd make a phone call. Next thing you know ...
I had just gotten off of work. If he'd gone for his sock holster I would 'a knocked him out.
The Arlington Playground Booster Club got robbed eventually, embezzlement of gaming receipts, couldn't pay the tax levies - the entire board was about to be charged with felonies. The city come through eventually and got them off the hook. No one stepped up to take over the charitable gambling for children's activities. 1000 kids hit the St. Paul streets. I know them well.
Norm was Mayor. I made the phone call; the first of hundreds ... I'd promised to make "one". I learned a thing or two. Still more a Carnival barker's skill in motivating people. Two years later we had a new Booster Club. That was grassroots. It hurt.
The ten year plan took 20 to come to fruition. Final form, partnering with a church, library, involved in the 20 million dollar new complex' direction. The place looks more like a scene from the Warriors - all the gangs gather in Central Park? Warriors, all gathered together in one spot ... funny how they don't look at you, blank stares, no direct eye contact. Always sketchy, reliant on fear. Intimidation. They hate me. They were taught to.
I go out of my way to talk to them, break old patterns. Or, I try to invite it, step on a few toes. Accidently.
It never gets that far. A guy got a brain injury down in Railroad Island trying to help some girl in a fight. He's toast. I was once heard to say, "don't go to the ground, don't go to the ground ..."
I coached US Youth Olympic development soccer... the whole loss of programs got me interested. I worked my way up to a D license. Then I quit. Burned out.
I saw Norway beat Brazil in the Cup. It was Flo's Berserker run that clinched it.
The governor had come for the first Neighborhood Night Out. I wouldn't go out there after dark now, unless I had a mission. A good shepherd dog, too. Sumpin' up my sleeve, a real - bad - attitude.
Cops wanted to recruit me. If they only knew. If I knew what I know now. You hear them old East Siders warn people. Working class, half way in the right, "take it on home knucklehead ..."
We had the best welfare in the country. Now we have a crack trade. We got the Her'on. Mexican Meth. People with chips on their shoulder. Where they come from, they need to have. They work three or more states at a time. Entire complexes devoted to SSI recipients from Somalia, from Laos, Viva La Raza! .
Still vote Democrat. Ever since the New Deal. Union town, too. Until they fucked us. A billion dollar industry of fraud nobody knew about. Almost killed me. I learned a thing or two. Not to fear death was one. The other is it doesn't matter. Don't trust institutionalized organizations. Power corrupts everything a human endeavors.
I live in Hudson now. They don't think as fast as they do in the Cities. Don't need to, I guess. I see problems with that. I follow current events a long time. They are the harbinger of futures past. A hard winter is gonna come again some day, along with it, more hard times. They get harder til it's over. This is the beginning.
They don't get my jokes either. What's with these people? Is it me that's out of date? The man from another Century? That's how I find out things; get 'em talking about anything, about themselves.
I'm Hell on wheels, baby, that's what I do. I made it this far by my wits and my stubborn nature. Ignore pain, anger on the backburner, go it alone, never tiring. What I believe. Don't let on what I'm thinkin'. Somebody needs me, I'm no good without a mission.
This place is so stuck up. Wannabe Stillwater. Never happen ... Rich Carlson is such a creature of habit. He's the friggin' Mayor. Used to be County Commissioner in river town. They just put condos on the shore drive here. Shit holes. I built thousands. The ghosts of my energy will coo a thousand babies, lament at thousand deaths.
Glad I live by the tracks, up in North. You can feel the little glacial river's pull, it's so close - and those trains at night. The damp night air. It's like they're far away, ya know?
Ride with me, baby, mount my endless need,
fondle its fire, give it a little squeeze
it wont be long now, fall, fall, you know how,
through the centuries, for a moment's bliss,
to turn again and ... on the endless wheel,
you know you can't resist ...
will you release me? can I ever let go?
"C'mon love, give us a little kiss"