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Showing posts from 2010

Holiday Goat

Holiday Goat I arrange to make the razor strapped And dream of two-doored Cadillac’s. From the shadow of a broken rock Above the flatness of promised land A harshness shines in waves Of colors bruised and bloody And the wind blows grit across an empty field Where the only smells are salt and rust. Winged and weightless, the flies hover, Sure that in the intensity of sheen A sweetness is upon them, Just as I mistake the agony of effort For a prayer of submission. In spring the newborns played By summer all the doelings caged And only sheep remain at graze To see the winter coming. From the old I take the young And leave the damned to mourn the loss In faith that ritual sacrifice Will ease the doubts I’m given to. With a razor strapped and a marble slab I make a myth of ruthlessness. Mike Brady 2010

Oklahoma, Maybe.

Oklahoma, Maybe. In Texas: We don’t use French in poetry -- It’s all affect, no matter the alliteration, The vowels add only unearned arrogance. Some German works: Our thoughts sound best In the language they were born. Italian is just a kind of lust With all the strangeness of rhythmic sonnets... Their love is just a hole to step out of. Latin words mean nothing. Iambic my ass, we’re not Rome -- We plan to still be standing for the fall. Michael S Brady 2010

Christmas Wish List 2010

A cast iron skillet, (I’m doing cornbread variations this year.) An electric water boiler for morning coffee. Curtains for my bedroom, (On days off, I’d like to see the sun later not sooner.) Six-packs of chili – Denison’s, Stagg -- any bean type, (Chili never goes out of style.) Good and solid socks, dark and uniform – and ones that don’t ball up into black linen chunks and clog the dryer. My mind has not the inclination for the asking For World peace, or any less of strife, And though the Sudanese could use a break this Christmas, They are probably not the type that wants the fix. (And it’s best to let the gods play to the finish, Omnipotence is jealous at its best.) Bacon’s good, but not as good as Crisco, Yet Granny’s biscuit’s might require both, I still don’t want a microwave, they’re ugly, But an iron cornbread muffin mold is nice. My father’s praise, but not so much my mother’s Though my mother knows me better than he does, My father knows me like I know my children But a

The Fall

The Fall You ask for signs and see Blowing across a frozen lake Some scattered leaves Burning, as if the wind could Start a fire, Or the ice could give off heat. It’s time for the fall so The leaves don’t surprise you As they fly from branches, released by death to ride uncertain winds like the kites of careless boys in late November who are too distracted by the cold to hold on tightly -- Leaves bounding in a random dance, Trying to bounce their way across the promised winter. It’s the movement of fire in the timing of your head That makes you wonder if this is a portent Or an answer, Or just some strangeness unreported – Some farmer burning trash, Or a city in flames making its own weather-- (The ashes of civility blowing in from the middle gives you pause,) or a star exploding to show you the face of God -- Whirling flamed chariots of dancing death to make a point to you alone. But this sign is not for you, it’s just wordles

The Toast

"Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives... and to the ‘good life,’ whatever it is and wherever it happens to be." ~ Hunter S. Thompson

On Unemployment

RALSTON: How would you have voted on that bill to extend unemployment benefits?     ANGLE: I would have voted no, because the truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does. And what we really need to do is put people back to work. So if you want to ease people back into work, what we need is an unemployment benefit that pays part. You know, you go to work, you have something of a safety net, in unemployment. But just to give them full unemployment benefits and then extend those for two years or more gets them not only out of the working class but it also depreciates their skills, so they're not actually able to go out and compete in that workforce, so what we really want, is we want something that stimulates a group of people to go back into what we know as that free market. Ralston then played a clip of Angle, explainin


Malaise “We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I've warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.” Jimmy Carter, 1979     Nobody wants to hear the truth, it’s uncomfortable and forces hard decisions on people incapable of making hard decisions – how do you think we got in the place where someone had to tell us the truth anyway? Even when time has magically transformed truth into history, it’s only comfortable for most if changed and revised until it no longer looks like something we could have anticipated and done anything about – as if god alone were making the choices that led us from then to now.     Thirty years ago we faced the truth and were offe

Job Searching

Job Searching "The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation." Jimmy Carter      The candy dish on the receptionist’s desk was empty, just full of dusty balls of detritus that blew back and forth when the central air kicked on. This was useful in roughly dating the last time anyone filled it or saw the point of filling it. Also, on the counter were large, and hefty, prepared packets of applications – useful as an industrial and assembly line statement for those job seekers overconfident in the estimation of their worth. The receptionist, attractive and well dressed, had been reduced by the volume of work and was functioning as a human phone tree – catching key words to direct you to one place or another. Since there

Fathers Day 2010

    When the kids were small, for shits and giggles, I’d pick them up by their ears. I’d look at them and say, “I’m going to pick you up by your ears,” and then reach down, with my palms facing their little heads, I'd then wrap my fingers around their ears and press my hands together, to squeeze them in a gentle vice type action -- and then I'd lift them up in the air a foot or two -- just enough to say I had.     Allison knew from the start, and from an inner instinct she was born with, that the trick was to grab my forearms with her hands and to hold on tightly as I lifted -- to allow the grunting and flourishing that I was acting out to steal the show, while safely playing the straight girl, and to allow my dramatic showman's flow of personality to distract. I love her because she was in on the joke from birth – and she always will be.     Kayla never knew it was a trick. She thought I could make the magic real and that everything I dreamed of could actually happen.

Two Funerals and a Cup

Two Funerals and a Cup As I write this, little flies are bouncing off the glass door next to me, frantic to get out of here and away to something else, anything, else. They seem to be the same as the ones that were frantic to get in earlier, though, since they are flies, it’s difficult to be sure. I’d like the power to dip them in amber to make them live forever and, maybe, make them be a little less anxious about what they are missing as they ram their little heads into the wall. I’d like the power to read them – to unzip their DNA in real time, to play them back in reverse until I understood what motivated and drove them, to gain a little fucking perspective. The only thing I can see now is that they eat shit and make more flies -- and I wonder if that’s the point, and if it is, why? We are not movies, but we might as well be for all the acting we do living and dying from scripted cause and effect. And maybe it is all written and we are just playing out a strange combination of

Boulder Utah

    I finished my five pounds of crap coffee this morning – a gift of something that might have been abandoned in the trash if not for my poverty – a gift given in a large plastic zip lock without label, identification or aspiration. Not wanting to go crazy by getting too ahead of my station in life and say, rocket up to something more substantial like Peet’s, I bought a pound of Mr. Coffee ‘Bold Brew’ with a plan to live with it until the next upgrade cycle – maybe then to switch to Dunkin Donuts, or something similar. It’s just a drug, and the dosage stays the same no matter what the taste – and I’ve forced down worse for less in my lifetime. I ended up with the bag of crap coffee because Mary needed the can for medical reasons – to wrap a thromboemboletic stocking around the lip of it in order to allow her mother an easier way to put the damn stocking thing on her feet. (Get can, wrap stocking, insert foot, and pull stocking,) She dumped the coffee and kept the can – after drinkin

Tuba City

      Tuba City       It ended well: with us sitting in a nice Travel Lodge restaurant sharing a common meal of roasted chicken with a Harry Potter birthday party, but it didn’t feel good on the way to getting there. Arriving was the best part of the day.     We had decided to head south from Moab -- rumor and deductive reasoning said the road would be pretty, and since it was new to me, a bit of something different to tell tales about to others. (When traveling, I tend to tell the same stories about each milestone on the trip. If you travel with me two times, you only get one story, so it’s best to seek out new roads – best for everyone.)     We are headed south but it feels like we are just going down. To the right, uranium mining tailings and to the left, not much. There’s a big-time headwind – I feel like I’m riding a motorcycle with a cracked windshield. The road just goes on – Monticello, Blanding, Bluff etc. We look for a place to stop and eat, but each town has little t