Tag Archives: memories

No Nostalgia Sundays: New Shoes (And Real Old Poetry)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: New Shoes (And Real Old Poetry)

Summer of 2003 was not a good one for me: I had lost my first love, caught my first pair of handcuffs, and was just generally blowing it all around. I had been an adult (on paper, at least) for just a handful of months and I had already begun to muck things up pretty badly. In hindsight, however, it may have been one of my better summers out of the ensuing decade. Not to say that this one was good, because it totally fucking wasn’t, but the sad reality is that I was merely getting started with my misadventurous journey, the trend of which would be things growing ever worse (and never better).

I had turned eighteen with little fanfare, from others or myself. The only thing that seemed to change for me when I hit that dull milestone was that I became a little more aware of the fact that I was expected to figure out what I was to do with my life, or at the very least make the appearance of doing so. But I didn’t really want to get a haircut and I wasn’t really qualified for a real job, so I had to pick something that was more aligned with my lifestyle back then.

Basically, something that would complement the odd hours I kept and the bad habits I was into, but also had some semblance of respectability. The obvious choice was to become a writer. It seemed to me that writers were encouraged, perhaps even obligated, to live a reckless existence, and I, all of eighteen whole years, was already way ahead of the curve on this one. Yes, I thought to myself, I will make a fantastic fucking writer.

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

While attending university, I spent more time in barrooms than I did in classrooms. I don’t think this was a conscious decision on my part, it’s just that classes were held on set days for predetermined periods of time and bars weren’t. Most students seemed to prefer boring places to study like the library or cafes, but I was always of the opinion that bars were the best places to get schoolwork done– even if I’d end up getting so drunk that I’d forget my completed assignments when I left.

The funny bit about all of my bargazing was that I hated all the bars in Berkeley, and yet I found myself at Kip’s and Blake’s and even the fucking Bear’s Lair nearly every day. I mean, the Bear’s Lair didn’t even serve liquor, for Christ’s sake (as in the Japanese wine, which they also did not serve).

I would usually choose Kip’s out of the bunch because it was the scummiest and I preferred dive bars over the more frat-friendly establishments. The bartender there also made an all right Irish Car Bomb and, after becoming accustomed to my drinking habits, would oblige me when I would order two or three at a time for myself. One time though I walked in there at eight AM while the dude was cleaning and tried to do the same. He looked at me funny and told me that he didn’t open for six hours or something and that I would have to come back. I was really perplexed; why would a bar not be open that early? When I moved to Oakland the next year, I found that the people there seemed to agree with me, because the bars were always open around sunrise when I needed to treat some shakes.

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Feeding Back The Feedback, Jack

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I got bored this morning and made a trailer video for my YouTube Channel (Prank Calls From Outer Space). Some of the quotes I actually swiped from my followers, so check it out to see if you’re in there. I didn’t mean anything with the clowns, by the way…

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Beansprout Dracula

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Beansprout Dracula

Dear Dionysus,

I don’t want you getting the impression that the only women we interacted with over there were prostitutes. That wasn’t the case at all. After a week or so of trying and failing to have any sort of meaningful interaction with German girls (solely for Franky’s benefit of course), we started to have a bit more luck.

Our luck started with kabob.

You see, Dionysus, we would stay out to all hours of the night drinking, and we’d inevitably get hungry, except the only spots open that late were kabob stands. They were like the German equivalent of Del Taco, except a little less accommodating to a vegetarian of my convictions. I didn’t touch meat then, mate, which meant that I usually A) sucked it up and went hungry or B) drank more beer because, after all, beer was food, really.

One night we were hanging around one of these kabob stands, and were already a little tipsy. Franky and Yorick were devouring their Döner which, despite it’s revolting appearance, was rather appetizing– according to them at least. We had been bar-hopping, although none of the bars were very interesting and we didn’t stay at any longer than a drink or two. We had no idea where we were going to spend the remainder of the night.

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Hanging With Mr. Carter (And The Acid Kid)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Hanging With Mr. Carter (And The Acid Kid)

My first year at Berkeley, I resided in the Channing-Bowditch student apartments, which was a far less interesting place to live than the co-ops or dormitories. The apartments reminded me of the waiting room at the doctor’s office, only the magazine selection was a little worse.

I composed the following poem my second semester. My first semester had been largely spent doing every conceivable thing I could think of to get expelled so that I could return home with a (not really) valid excuse: I attended class infrequently, got written up for drinking dozens of times (a building record if I’m not mistaken), and acted erratically.

Basically, I was just being my normal, lovable self.

But I didn’t get expelled, and my second semester found me living with The Acid Kid* in room #233. Every apartment in the building had the exact same layout: two bedrooms with two beds each and an adjoining shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom. The Acid Kid and I shared one room, and these two real square kids shared the other. I think they were engineering majors or something equally lame, but they didn’t drink or smoke or curse or fuck or anything. They were there to study and better themselves and were, as you may imagine, not into the perpetual soiree of self-destruction that Acid Kid and myself had going on.

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Author Reading “Experimentation” With Piano Soundtrack (Silent Film Style)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: All Allusions Go To Ante-Purgatory

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No Nostalgia Sundays: All Allusions Go To Ante-Purgatory

Oh, what a clever little git I was at the tender age of nineteen.

Here’s the deal: Circa 2004, I was attending community college and taking lots of Honors English courses. I was devouring volumes of literature and poetry, both for and outside of class curriculums. I had just begun composing poetry seriously, which in this instance means that I would dedicate a few hours each night to scribble drunkenly in those ridiculous little Moleskine journals.* Ninety-nine percent of the time, I couldn’t decipher what I had written the next morning and I certainly couldn’t remember what I had been trying to get across. I thought I was smarter than all of the other students (a debatable claim) and, furthermore, totally set apart from them, both by choice and by default.

I wanted to be just like all of those writers and artists and musicians I dug so much, and I thought this required a certain level of exile (self-imposed and otherwise). My peers didn’t understand me, but all these dead cats that I studied did: Dante, Poe, Shakespeare, et al were my pals, and I spent more time with them than my real-life friends. In fact, I developed a juvenile sense of jealousy about all those guys. Whenever somebody else would talk about one of them (as is likely to happen in, say, an English class), I would often grow indignant and offended: “How could you say that about Will Shakes?! You’re wrong! YOU’RE FUCKING OUT OF LINE, PROF!”

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File Under: Lycanthropic Psychedelia

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I’ve done a lot of short-lived musical projects with shaky and questionable premises. The full moon tonight reminded me of one I haven’t thought of in quite some time: Werewolf Sonata.

Werewolf Sonata lasted two very drunken songwriting sessions and one and a half recording sessions (the result of which was two charmingly raw live tracks). It was all  a bit disappointing to be honest: I had this dream where we would tour with Vampire Weekend and, like, only play gothic cathedrals on full moonlit nights in the Romanian countryside on lots of LSD.

Pity, that.

File Under: Lycanthropic Psychedelia

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CLICK THE PICTURE TO LISTEN TO THE ONLY TWO LYCANTHROPIC PSYCHEDELIC COMPOSITIONS IN ALL OF EXISTENCE, MAN! AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Deconstructing Pinocchio; or, Will The Real Boy Please Stop Dancing?

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Deconstructing Pinocchio; or, Will The Real Boy Please Stop Dancing?

I don’t think Walt Disney intended for Pinocchio to be an absolutely terrifying experience for his audience, but to me it certainly was. Living wooden puppets with bugs for consciences and creepy old men who are really into making said puppets and also other creepy old men that are really into taking said puppets and turning them into slave donkeys and some fairy chick who essentially just popped in from time to time when things get especially fucked to say “I told you so” and bail?

I’m pretty sure that movie was my first drug experience.

I was about five or so when I first saw the film and heard the song “I’ve Got No Strings,” but it wasn’t until my early twenties that I got anything out of either (aside from sheer terror). In college, I developed a fondness for the Bildungsroman and picaresque novel, two forms of storytelling that I related to on a personal level. Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: The (Dead) Flowers of Regret

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No Nostalgia Sundays: The (Dead) Flowers of Regret

I have decided to begin posting older work on Sundays, for the sake of housecleaning, cataloguing, reminiscing, etc. This decision is, more than anything, selfish pragmatism: I am currently suffering from a severe lack of free time, and my creative output is coming more slowly (but still steadily).

I will also try to give some sort of explanatory introduction to each piece in regards to where I was at when I composed it and any other relevant little tidbits. For this first little number, I don’t have much to say other than it’s a dope/lovesick threnody of mourning for Camille that I composed a year or so after she split. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, try reading this first.

I will try to, as much as possible*, refrain from criticizing or critiquing these older pieces, many of which I feel are the ill-formed flailings of a kid trying to find his own artistic voice. Read the rest of this entry