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



Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

A young man in Mexico,

poor enough to live in a hut

with a dirt floor,

fiercely religious,

speaks no English,

crawls across an imaginary line

in the desert

in the dead of night

to OZ .

He labors bent over

in a strawberry field

picking my food

for sub-standard wages,

no health care,

no other kind of care,

no safety codes,

no rules that favor him.

He pays taxes to an invisible hand every payday

for which he receives nothing.

He is reviled.

One day men with American flags

festooned on their drab military style uniforms


They call out “criminal”.

He looks around to see

who they speak of

as their well fed

white knuckles

grip his arm.

He is going home.

Migrants in Mexico

who risk the road to Xanadu

are folk heroes.

They are urban mythologies.

Those that hire them,

the Patrons,

rich and…

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Deer-ly Departed

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 last year; marks carnage only exceeded by the cataclysmic obscenity that was Rwanda. If wind blows over ten miles an hour, affecting the deer’s smell, they’ll hunker down in hidden lairs. The corn harvest, twenty-five percent complete, makes surviving stalks safe harbor for the helpless dinner bound venison. Those advantages aside; nearly twenty percent of the community is exterminated in the ensuing holocaust.

The victims support sales of vast numbers of guns and shells and the gear associated with this lethal outdoors-man industry; so it’s no contest in these gladiator style hunger games; the state of Minnesota Vs Bambi. The virginal white landscape will be pock-marked blood-red.

And so it goes.

Stumbling off slumbers oblivion drapes are drawn to witness greedy tree branches gorged on pure white cream silently deposited overnight. Between midnight and the cold dark dawn angels in heavens bakery have wept paste colored confetti; coating everything under this magical open heaven with a patina of powdered sugar snow flake diamonds. God’s maiden is dressed in floor length virginal white.

The gluttonous appendages of spruce and evergreens labor and sag under the weight, so bloated each tiny baby breath breeze deprives them of their bounty; it falls in drifting mist showers.  Braving zero centigrade I venture out examining the magic mayhem; listening to the stiff starch rustle of the leaves; sun lances through the gaps.

My environs melancholy and lonely as ancient dried bones accept a chilly wind that blows over the lake and through the sky, making the autumn leaves cut loose and fly; leaving me wishing I could follow. The content of my flask brings a warm yellow glow to my chest. Inside my gelid eyes the daybreak brings a quiet silver sheen; the tired dread of winter is bitter as rue.

Though summing the prospects daunting I search for the bone upon which all of this beauty is grafted. Meandering through the woods my poet’s apothecary strains with a mood that achieves a stature dwarfing all near companions; eerie, numbing gas chamber music covers my thoughts like a shroud from burnt out psychedelic dreams. I grasp the wish for summer a fool’s errand; the true death is going back; to spawn is to die.

Withered twisted bodies of autumn leaves black and brown, lying flat, emotionless in the midst of intense contortions like defeated soldiers, resemble frozen in time victims of Pompeii, vanquished lifeless soldiers rotting lost on the brittle mausoleum soil floor. Their hosts emaciate toward eventual skeletons now. When once I was surrounded by the glittering virtue of summer, the freezing fog of winter blankets me and everything else alive with a sad compassion of rotting sweet, flat lethargy; yearning for hibernation.

Listening to the wind howl as it races toward the approaching morning, this kine-scope painted wilderness holds charisma; drawing me in; a devoted follower it offers a likable, powerful, dynamic, irresistible combination; covering the long dark winter in me and bringing forth the warming broth and nourishing marrow of goodness. .

I suddenly realize I’m wearing a snow-white turtleneck shirt and forest green cords, I blend and I’m in the kill zone. As the stat number of weekend warrior Barney Fife shooters that fell their own flash through my mind I split.  Armageddon outta here.


Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“Compared to war; all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.”George S. Patton

The bone-dry Persian Gulf heat has sweaty index fingers on the fruit of America’s hands slipping across hair triggers mounted on floating space age kill machines set to deliver silent death from the sky over another religious backwater whose people still hack enemy heads off with scimitars over some incomprehensible nonsense that probably never happened in the 12th century. In the aftermath we’ll likely have delivered more Hatfield’s and McCoy’s style vengeance, killed and maimed more innocent Syrians, than the devil of Damascus Assad wrought in the obscene and sadistic heat of his chemical weapons attacks.

Unlike the heated anguish ridden and tormented moans of outrage over collateral damage from drone strikes that kill far less than errant rifle, mortar, cannon or war plane fire; it’s not likely we’ll hear much heated…

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“This is a violent civilization; If civilization’s where I am. Every channel that I stop on, got a different kind of cop on; killing them by the million for Uncle Sam.” Gun – Gil Scott-Heron

Boys, some no older than those sacrificed to the worship of guns, wasted at yet another school shooting this week, like almost all boys, were introduced to their first taste of manhood by 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 flags the size of the entire field, hoisted by spit-shined troops from all the armed-services strutting like real life G.I. Joe props complete with medals and real guns sending a subliminal message to America’s youth to join the army and be tough and brave like the gladiator pituitary cases on the field; about to chance ruining their health for money. All festivities accompanying the games will combine unspoken words of patriotism with multimedia presentations replete with renditions of The National Anthem and God Bless America while Stealth Bombers fly overhead.

What all that pageantry has to do with football, or the other sports that do much the same, is the link of sports tomilitary service; where you’ll get to compete but with a gun; and we’ll give you free of charge a bunk and grub and life long health care, life insurance, subsidized housing for the young wife and child along with a modest paycheck and a chance to blow stuff up just like in those ubiquitous video games that glorify murder that we weaned you on; albeit murder by “the good guys against the bad guys” perpetuating the obligatory obscene xenophobic myth.

But moreover the whip cream on the apple pie is, and this is the accepted politically correct practice of all Americans, honoring our warriors as if they were not just the tip of the spear but the foundation of the nation; you’ll get respect; every young mans quest. Bashing the troops for any reason is akin to treason in our society. So from babies; its sports good, army good, guns good. Is it any wonder we’ve spawned a culture that has resulted in America having half the guns that exist in the world and more guns in the country than people?

I’m not saying sports are bad; I played and I’ll be watching. Nor am I saying ban all guns since it can’t, unfortunately, be done. We are where we are. But guns are for cowboys in Cripple Creek, Wyoming, cops and army guys; they have no place in the modern city in the hands of civilians. Besides; truth is; real men don’t use guns.

In my youth we still had street fights using only our fists. The Italian kids Vs the Polish kids was a regular obligatory match. Every one carried at least one or two trophy scars from earlier fracas, badges of honor for bragging rights and a teenage macho ritual.

Chicago was a city of alleys. In the old days the alleys were the main streets where rag men in daylight clumped along cobblestones in wagons pulled my beat down nags and housewives leaned over dilapidated balconies buying fruit and bartering for worn out second-hand clothes and pots and pans. On dark summer nights turned moist with heady smells, these alleys became battlefields beckoning the warriors.

Car loads of young toughs on the way to match deeds with reputations, or make new ones; the taste of adrenaline in our mouths, all sinew, muscle and bone aching to be unleashed, raw nerves, high anxiety and hot wire tension. Beautiful then, heart breakers and life takers we’d enjoy saying, but no one ever died. Once you conquer the fear of close hand combat you discover that it doesn’t hurt when you get hit, not then when your nerve is up and the adrenaline and hot blood is pumping. You hear the punches but you don’t really feel them, until the next day.

The two boss stallions square off while the pack sizes up the prey. Gradually more guys step to each other and before long everybody is throwing hands. It’s a hell of a thing to watch and everywhere we went there were girls. Sometimes they even got into it, slapping at each other harmlessly and pulling hair.  Soon someone would yell “Bulls” and off we’d stagger to our chariots like wounded Spartacus, scrambling to safety to lick our wounds, kiss the girls and lie about the force of each blow. It was how it would be decided who you were, who was who and what you were.

Everybody except the truly psycho even spoke of using knives let alone guns; where no contact is required and nothing is risked, nothing decided, nothing affirmed. We all just wanted what boys today want, to feel like we are somebody, to show what we were made of and in the same way a soldier signals to his mate “I’m here for you” experience the camaraderie soldiers are known to say is why they fight; and when it was over, all that was needed to be known, was.

Indian Summer

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season; infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled”. – Henry Adams

Returning to my comfort station, reclining as calm and safe as a man watching a snow storm from his fireplace, resplendent in my throne as form-fitting as a dentist’s chair; the Technicolor movie that never ends burns outside my writers window; bringing me once again to a level of consciousness and sense of detail rarely met. The weather seer on the magic box tells me this very day brings forth the peak of Fall’s funeral colors.

Autumn leaves empty of promise as a woman past the magic of birth cascade choreographed in a wonderland as quiet as asylum walls, yet hot as the boiler room of the damned; death colored egg yolk yellow and shot through with…

View original 342 more words


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