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, philosophical essays, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartrending, 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 precise imagery, clear, sharp language, clarity of expression and meticulous visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi

 

Vigilantes and Me

” A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” Kay –  Men in Black

The fears of my youth, unlike many of my contemporaries, were not handed down from the paranoid 1950’s cold war vision of Russia’s Sputnik circling overhead. I feared what I watched on TV Saturday mornings in the same way president Lyndon Johnson feared the communists would drop bombs on America “like kids dropping rocks onto cars from freeway overpasses.” In 1960, when Eisenhower handed over the reins of power to JFK, I was twelve years old; the height of Hollywood’s B Movie westerns. Back then I only feared two things besides my father; quicksand and lynch mobs.

After a fevered trip to my local library I quickly learned that drowning in quicksand, as long as you didn’t panic and struggle, was nearly impossible. Having done so I jettisoned my unwarranted fear of it. But ever since those westerns put the fear of vigilante lynch mobs in my impressionable head, unless I joined them outdoors at a Hippie rock concert, I have avoided crowds.

America faces, now and in the coming months, a new Ox Bow Incident moment. For those who have missed this passion play on Turner Classic Movies, that film was an authoritative indictment of angry mob rule and violence that lead to a brutal lynching of three suspicious outsiders – all innocent of the “trumped-up” charges. When seen by American audiences in the early 1940s during the progress of World War II, the implication was obvious; Hitler’s evils in Europe could also inhabit the ethos of the sacred American/western frontier.

This stark anti-Western’s valid observation is also stuck in the chewy center of the recent fascination closest to the dark, fear-filled hearts of right-wing, white-wing FOX News acolytes; those fanatics screaming Build The Wall at Trump’s Nuremberg style rally; better known as the Republican National Convention; ethnic-nationalism. The idea that by looks alone we can describe and define as criminals the Other.

Yet tomorrow begins the counter-argument the Democrats will make, sanity will return and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. John Wayne in the disguise of Hillary Clinton, white pants suit a substitute for the John Wayne leather chaps, will ride to our rescue and protect the innocent, threatened by the angry vigilante lynch mob we’ve been forced to endure nigh these last few months. There’s a new sheriff in town and she don’t allow no lynching. America for the better is a country of laws not men and certainly not strong men. We tried this once before in our recent past when eight years of Richard Nixon spawned America’s bloodiest modern war and on the domestic scene incarceration rates soared; from 300,000 then to 2.3 million today.

I’ve been predicting, and waiting now some 50 years, for the new generation to replace the old; for the party of old white men to die off and a new global awareness take hold. Now I wonder if I’ll live to see it. The Bernie Sanders revolution has given me some hope but alas we’ve been here before and though his is as big a movement as I’ve yet seen, inexplicably, to those that know me; I back Hillary.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m the problem I seek to solve. It’s the contagious attraction to our American brand of social capitalism that co-opts the ambitious and the aged. Once we have stock in the apple cart, we no longer wish to see it overturned.

Dream

The other night
I had a dream
it was not the first.
I dreamed of an alternative
universe.

News Barkers shouted that
I’d been made king for a day.
The Press came a callin’
asking me
what I had to say.

I said stand back
hear me loud and clear
put up your potions,
your weed and your beer.

Now since you all
have made me
king for a day,
lock and load
if you want to
or knell down and pray.

Whichever you do,
decide to leave or stay,
I’m comin’ strapped
to take your guns away.

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration

Summer Women

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“I knew a girl who was almost a lady; she had a way with all the men in her life; every inch of her blossomed in beauty, she was born on the Fourth of July. She slept in an aluminum house trailer and she worked in a juke box saloon; and she spent all the money I give her, just to see that old man in the moon”. – The Great CompromiseJohn Prine

We met the Fourth of July in a small kitchen in Berkeley that succored the cream of intellectual hippies of the day; the academy kids from Goddard and Yale who were working off their guilt trips by sharing their trust fund purchased educations with the less fortunate but infinitely happier inner city minority kids from neighborhoods that supported their high schools; savants who’d  exemplified themselves enough among their peers to be selected to…

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Trumps Xenophobes

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“And they don’t quite seem to understand; the way the hammer shapes the hand” – Casino Nation – Jackson Browne

Immigration Nation

Barbecues crackle from grease bubbles that drop and crystallize; looking like broken glass. The wafting above makes waves in the air like heat over a radiator. The aroma of fricasseed flesh wafts sour weenie smoke up and down the lacing of the shore.

Suddenly the world outside my writer’s window erupts into electric splinters as the patriotic bombs explode in the cloudless sky, showering the trees with a million tiny neon bulbs; the preparatory whistling sounds imitate a mortar attack. Swooping strands of light rising, rising, rising until they merge with the stars and make a bridge right up to the heavens; Boom! Boom! Boom! The fourth of July has come early to my middle American alcove.

Anything with a spine has fled; hunkered down and shivering in the forest while the…

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