The Albertson’s Zucchini is Too Young for Love

“Fuck god! Fuck god!” The JC Penny cashier yelled at the school children on a scavenger hunt, knocking over displays trying to find a severed human head. “Fuck god! Tell your mothers! I fucked them too! Your mothers are all butt-whores! They bought so many zucchini at Albertson’s for dildo use it exploded the commodities futures price quotes on vegetables and four o-level executives at ConAgra died of terminal bonerdom! I saw it on MSNBC, fuckos! Jim Cramer knows all!”

The cashier looked like Mick Mars on a bad shroom trip, dyed black hair and corpse-like eyes, a polyester clip-on tie with a Gibson Flying-V guitar pin on his blazer as the one fleeting attempt at retaining hipness in his mandatory uniform of dorkdom. Drool hung from his mouth as he lovingly humped the Nixdorf cash register. The beige plastic of the fake PC terminal creaked and groaned with each pelvic thrust, threatening to explode. “Stop using adverbs to describe my life, you writer fuck!” he loudly screamed. “And watch your dialogue tags! If you tag dialogue with anything but ‘said,’ you’re doing it wrong, you piece of shit!”

An assistant manager ran to his station, speaking in tongues like a Pentecostal snake charmer. He hit the Mötley Crüe clone in the head with a metal brannock device from the shoe department, the foot width slider smashing into his occipital lobe, Frances Farmer-style. “CF Brannock died for your sins! Improved upon the wooden RITZ stick and raised the dead with foot length, width, and arc! Patented in 1926, for your pleasure!” The children scattered in fear throughout the Big and Tall section, psychologically scarred for life, forever having to guess their shoe sizes for fear of getting a steel measuring device lobotomy.

“You’re sick of yourself!” he yelled at the teenies coming out of the DEB store across the mall concourse. “You’re sick of it all!” After Paul Shart the mall cop gave him a beatdown and a tazer-teargas one-two, county would haul him off and the magic would begin. The doctors would give it a number out of the DSM in order to charge maximum fees from the state’s medicare plan, but until they locked him into that 60-day we-can-rebuild-him, he’d feel anything but alive. It had nothing to do with the formaldehyde leeching out of his new house, pickling his brain. He couldn’t remember if you actually smoked formaldehyde to get high, or if it was just slang for cigs dipped in liquid PCP. It was possibly covered in the director’s commentary of that Training Day movie, but Denzel Washington looked like the devil in his mind, and he couldn’t bear to watch.

I’d see him a year later, during one of my outpatient stints with a shrink at county, another drug freak that would try to get me on ten different pills to make my life complete.  The Mick Mars clone would be a ghost of his former self, hair matted, lobotomy complete, forehead scarred from ECT and banging his head against the wall of his padded cell.  But mellow, comatose.  Good people.  Until then, I continued to fill out my fake credit card application, using the name Joseph Mengele and the address of 1060 W. Addison Street in Chicago. I’d get those goddamn free M&Ms.

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Look at my knees! Look at my knees!

First things first: go to The Lit Pub and read this review of Thunderbird:

I am still working on two projects, switching back and forth when one gets to be too much. One is just starting, and the other is getting close to 100,000 words, but is still very vague in its overall structure.  That’s keeping me busy, but it’s also taking all of my time, which is why I haven’t been updating much.

I have been obsessed with the movie Eraserhead for the last few days.  This started because I went to Amoeba records this weekend, which is my favorite record store, although I usually associate the name with their big store in Hollywood, because it is the record store in LA.  I don’t go record shopping anymore, and buy everything from iTunes, which I don’t tell musicians, because that’s sort of like telling old people about Obama.  But I used to love going to record stores, and walking the racks from A to Z, looking for stuff I hadn’t seen elsewhere, rarities and imports and bootlegs and whatever other oddball stuff I could find in the wild.  And Amoeba is a cool store, a wide selection with a lot of unique stuff and a cool staff, so I grabbed a few things I hadn’t seen lately.

One of the things was the soundtrack to Eraserhead, which is this twisted combination of ambient noise, wind sounds and radiator hissing and layer after layer of dialogue and dirge and destruction.  It’s the perfect writing music, because it’s ambient, but isn’t new-agey and won’t put you to sleep.  The only problem with it is that it pulls me down this rabbit hole where I need to watch the movie again, need to read all of these articles and interviews and find out what was in Lynch’s head as he put this whole thing together, and it’s an unanswerable question.  I can’t even find the real script, which is some 20-page oddity, a prose poem with weird drawings all over it.  But I find too many articles about the movie, and they keep me diving through the internet, coming up with more questions.

One of the things I wonder about with Eraserhead is if it’s possible to write such a minimalist surreal work in print.  My writing tends to be the opposite, long sentences with lots of twists and turns and terminology, very manic and frenetic.  I don’t even know if I could write something so subdued.  But I wonder if it would even work without the film element or the soundtrack, just the text itself.

Music makes me think the same thing, because I listen to a lot of drone music, stuff like Boris or Sleep, where the same riff or guitar feedback is sustained or repeated over and over, building this long-form sonic texture.  I don’t know the literary equivalent of doing that, because if I just repeated the same text over and over, it would get stupid fast.

Nothing else to report.  I’m trying to cram in as much writing as possible before a flurry of appointments and travel and other distractions come up in the next couple of months.  I’m also getting close to the book purchase lockdown that I have to enact before the holidays so I don’t buy duplicates of gifts.  That means I’m buying too many things now, and I have a stack of reading taller than me.  What about you?

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