"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Shit From an Old Notebook

I spent the afternoon going through my grad school files: an old, huge cardboard box containing pretty much everything I've written, read, copied, or taught over the past four years or so. Now that it's time to write the dissertation, I've decided to clean things up.

Anyway, I found the following in a notebook, dated "Tue 5/16/00"--at this time I was teaching an intro creative writing workshop. I believe the title of the free-write below (though not that free, as I managed to put it into lines) is cribbed from a Dean Young poem.

Don't Wear That Shirt With Those Pants

And mother snatched a velvet
covering from the China hutch,
recited 15 ways to make a sauce
from only chiles, vinegar and pain

and walked out back to check
on the ungodly proclivities
of her son. "It really pains
me to see you like this, Tony,

probably on dope, and have you
looked for work today? Here, take
this dollar--go buy me some
vinegar." Tony snatched the bill

away and wandered down the alley
where Tommyknocker waited
in a copse of cardboard boxes.
And at the store, they bought a bottle,

returned to Mom and sang a dusty song
about some revolutionaries and their
not-quite-natural relationship with a
flock of grackles. Mother frowned

and roasted chiles, then pounded
them to a paste, recited 50 ways
to leave your lover, but only
made it up to "Slip out the back,"

before she noticed Tony's not-
being-there. The sauce had
extra staining power that night
and was as hot as, well--something

very hot. After dinner, Tony
smoked a joint w/ Tommyknocker
and wrote a song about cashews
called "The color of my favorite nut."

Mother wasn't pleased as she put
creases in her wicked son's
favorite khaki pants. "Here, get
dressed," she screamed. "And for

God's sake don't wear those loafers--
who knows what the neighbors might
think! now here, go get a bottle
of wine--Father O'Brien is [drinking]

with us tonight. No profanity. Jesus
loves you. Tuck in your shirt.
Wash your face. And try to smile
for a change. Put away that damn guitar.

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