In The Now

In a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carver‘s minimalist realism, Charles Bukowski‘s raw journals of life’s underbelly and Alan Ginsberg‘s poet-political essays, Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized, short stories, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartbreaking, describing often in non-linear dreamscape narrative with the liquid lyricism of a poet; the love, loss, joy and angst of the fascinating and often mystifying connections of men and women in the intimacy of their daily lives. His writing style is both Anti-Novel and Imagist; fragmenting and distorting the experiences of characters, forcing the reader to build a reality to the story from a disordered narrative, stressing economy of language; writing free, with precision of imagery and clear, sharp language and clarity of expression with precise visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi

Who Murdered Michael Brown

“Where there is darkness crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime but he who caused the darkness.” – Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Who murdered Michael Brown?
Who sent the bullets that laid him down?
It wasn’t us said racism and poverty
It wasn’t us made him angry
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No; you can’t blame us at all.

Who murdered Michael Brown?
Who sent the bullets that laid him down?
Not me said the light in the loafers cop
spawn of Pee Wee Herman and Carrot Top.
A sniveling, lying, cowardly prick
trying to extend his three-inch dick.
With a story so unbelievable
it couldn’t be believed as a fantasy novel.

I could have shot him in the foot
that would have been all it took
but then he’d be allowed to trip
and tell everyone how I flipped.

He tried to take my gun from me
I was rat-trapped and couldn’t flee
He ran I chased and put him down
pumped your tax paid for bullets into his crown

Why you want to blame me for?
Did just what you pay me for
To keep the fear from your door
It’s just what I’m suppose to do
you’d do the same; wouldn’t you?
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No; you can’t blame me at all.

He came like a crazed Mandingo demon right for me
Full of your bullets he charged big as a tree
His stare gave me a knock-y knee
I was so scared I had to pee

He had one hand in his waistband
The other in a fist
so I put him down in a bursting cloud of red-pink mist
He did it to himself you all
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all

The cops and firemen said we’ll make em’ pay
Like they did after Rodney King in L.A.
Let them burn down their own domicile
We’ll protect the rich folks turf sit back and smile.
it wasn’t us that killed the boy
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No; you can’t blame us at all.

It wasn’t me said the prosecuting attorney
who lead the grand jury right where he wanted them to go
in his element; in his flow.
It’s too bad he had to go
But there was a pressure on me too, you know
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No; you can’t blame me at all.

Not we said the vampire media tools
Who don gas masks looking like fools
who profit from leads that bleed
and feed the fat cats bosses filthy greed.
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No, you can’t blame us at all

It wasn’t us said the pious clergy
In starched white collars custom-made
Follow us in prayer and trade
your riotous anger for our clown parade
Don’t say ‘murder,’ don’t say ‘kill’
It was destiny, it was God’s will”
it wasn’t us that made him fall
No, you can’t blame us at all

It open season now on young unarmed black men
all you need is a badge and a pen
to write he charged me, went for my gun
and like they always do;
put their hands in his waistbands and run
We’ll say he was just another crazy nigger
we had no choice but to pull the trigger.

The heartbroken people marching in the street
will try to download all their grief
wondering if tomorrow their sons
will have to themselves defend
worrying if it’ll ever end.

While the harder ones all full up
of hopelessness and broken luck
will strike a match and shoot; Kapow!
Then ask the powers; can you hear us now?

Saturday Night

Makes it kind of special down in the core; dreaming of them Saturdays that came before. Cruising down the boulevard; looking for the heart of Saturday night.” - “The Heart of Saturday Night” – Tom Waits.

The carved pumpkin heads are frozen stiff; looking like decapitated zombie corpses in suspended animation. They hadn’t even started to wither and collapse in on themselves in that perennial grotesque ripening – decay dance when scarecrows upstaged them and morphed into snowman freak shows. Fall muscled Spring to the mat without much of a fight, pinned it, winked a few dying colors, then, falling early, crumbling and tumbling down on its knees; stepped aside. Strongman Winter, proclaiming itself the dominant season here; bullied its way in.

Heavy snow laid a thick blanket over catatonic ice; putting the pavement to sleep like a hit man until spring. After a couple dozen days of gloom and plenteous amounts of the powdered-sugary slippery skid stuff; the sun greets my morning. Its valiant appearance gives me a Pavlovian electroshock response that tickles my dreams of California. A glance toward the thermometer slaps me awake; the mercury has settled on one degree; O-N-E degree! What is that? That’s not a temperature; it’s a Three Dog Night song. It’s the age of an infant; the scenic route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. .

The bitter cold in November has late night lovers at the Bijou sitting close together to get warm; while wet wind from the lake, struggling against the sense memory of months of the frozen concrete prison to come, rushes ashore; knifing through us as we exit the theater like the Almighty Hawk of my youth screaming off Lake Michigan. It cuts our faces like shrapnel and gets inside our skeletons. We wear the red, raw Tenderloin complexions of hobos stuck street-side in a blizzard waiting for the flophouse to open; just two more stew bums queued up at the Salvation Army soup kitchen; two-legged shadows in the infinite surround of white on white; walking ghosts in the fog.

Murph the Surf passes me the Dobbin; the last whiff of summer life from his horticulturist love-swaddled herb garden. I wash it down with sweet nips from my flask and thank the gods for still having enough bread to buy the good stuff. The weather demon sends shock waves down jet stream corridors; currents of wind come in waves; buried somewhere in her bowels lay the voice of a woman screaming something primal; on the order of the noise an animal makes while getting crushed by a steam roller. Gods farts are like hammer blows banging my skull; I wince, imagining I could actually feel the impact. It is the wild country version of violence; equal to getting raped or slugged or dragged into an alley in the cobblestone city battlefield where combat is on an all out basis; where men fight with the white-hot fury that men display when they forget they are men.

With shoulders hunched against the wind I pull up the collar of my Italian cashmere overcoat; its opulence as out-of-place here as me and my lazy shuffle. This place is as clean and dark and quiet as the middle of the ocean on a moonless night; a silence colder than the wind slicing in from the lake. It is everything the city is not. The river stiffens and creaks; the wind is out for blood; snow drifts eerily ghost like; mimicking sand blowing across Highway 10 outside Joshua Tree.

Lets go to the diner” I said. “Naw man, they’re serving’ up hot germs in that hash-house” Murph said. “Well, how about Miller’s Cheese House. They got 70 kinds of cheese and they got fudge” I said; sarcastically mocking the ubiquitous radio commercial repeated ad nausea on the gym radio. “Naw to that to” said Murph; every time we eat in that joint I need to call roto-rooter to ream the cholesterol out my veins.” “Pass the splif Murph” I said. “You need to lighten up on this shit; brings a brother down; turns his brain to mush”. “Yea”, said Murph; I hope so.”

Gun-Play

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“The veneer of civilization is 1/4″ thick. Man still rules with club and prick”.

Little boys no older than those sacrificed to the worship of guns wasted at that elementary school in Connecticut last week, like almost all of us boys, get introduced to our first taste of manhood throwing a ball around the back yard with Dad. Sport for boys symbolize maturity; we compete and watch admiringly and often worshipful, the professionals; a phenomenon corporate, capitalistic and American as “baseball and apple pie”. Professional sports are the military’s number one recruiting tool.

This weekend the NFL will start every game with jingoistic American flag waving extravaganza’s, with some flags ½ the size of the entire field, hoisted by spit-shined Troops from all the services strutting like real life G.I. Joe props complete with medals and guns sending a subliminal message to America’s youth to join the army and be…

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Deer-ly Departed

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

Hey Joe; where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?” – Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

 

One-half million cold-blooded deer hunters locked and loaded wait the starter’s pistol while one million warm-blooded deer clutched in panicky conclaves contemplate catastrophe. Imprinted synapses generations old fire a sixth sense existential clock alarm ringing alert in both player and prey; today starts the yearly open season genocide.

Licenses sold in Minnesota foretell 522,000 itchy index fingered Davy Crockett wannabes twitching, poised on triggers of shoulder weapons, same as the twitching buckskin covered muscles of twice as many anxious deer. In both species the imprinted sense memories announce from one-half hour before dawn until one-half hour after sunset for the next eight-day running the state transforms from idyllic paradise to killing field.

Seventy percent of this massacre occurs in the first two days. The slaughter’s efficiency, 186,000 felled…

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Harvest Moon

 “Autumn is the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

Surfing ever-deepening grooves carved in this country road by repetitious smoothing from my extremely low-frequency sounding spaceship tires, I zone into my own private symphonic opera. A humongous full moon meets myhigh beams and swallows the horizon. Pitch dark street light free ribbons of black asphalt snake along narrow paths to home and back separating the wild from the man-made world. By their grace I live in this dirt and courage wilderness.

I wave, as is the custom here, to the other spacemen travelers inhabiting our lifeline corridor as we whiz past each other with that all too familiar catatonic stare that monotony turns all commuters faces into; a kind of crazy, irrational drunkard swoon that seems to us all too rational. We are compatible complaints; dutifully fulfilling our social contract and coloring safely inside the lines.

Our axis rotating planet is orderly and slowly releasing its summer soul; producing more dark each day than light. In the murmuring twilight the gloaming summer is lifting her skirt. Summers death rattle beckons the underbrush and she begins to whisper as seductive and dangerous as a woman’s breath in the throes of passion. The sun begins to fall faster and everything seems to take on the sighing autumnal ember colors of all the sadness there ever was.

The pumpkins appear overnight, lined up and stacked in pyramids of orange and white like harmless cannon shells strategically set along highway shoulders for some impending artillery battle. Battalions of corn stalks surround them and us and everything for more miles than eyes can see. They are zombies, stoically awaiting the farmer’s murderous front row cultivators, threshers that mutilate then bury the detritus that once winter ferments will resurrect. A crisp cool Canadian breeze foretells fortune tales of fall.

Flowers fade, fruits flourish and fresh vegetable Bodega glisten with a luster from the sky. You can feel the baby’s breath of winter. Harvest moon is the fullness of life. Leaves turn red on their last days full of life and color them beautiful in death as they abandon the twigs that sympathize with their decay. Albert Camus opined that autumn is a second spring. But the migrating geese and me agree; we put distance between ourselves and funerals.

It’s a Paul Bunyan land of ballgames and barbecues here; a feast of Walden Pond and Lake Woebegone. The thousand little compromises we make every day that eventually add up to the loss of ourselves, that decayed stench of hollowness, disappears. This life to death with beauty dance is the real thing. Welcome to Pleasantville, USA.

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