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

 

Memoriam

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“There are women and women and, some hold you tight; while some keep you counting, stars in the night”  – Come Down in Time – Bernie Taupin

There’s a girl who lives in the north country of California; an eco-village of recyclers, compost turners and organic lifestylers, who united with me for a time back in the day. She was the only one of the élite women that affixed her heart to mine over this lifetime, and even though we shared the most intimate of hours, with whom I could never find purchase. Even in our most intimate hours there sat between us a kind of violence even in our ardent love-making. She remains to this day an impregnable force, like a freight train, whose gears I could not convince to yield, whose machinery chewed me up every time I tried. I was left to simply buy the…

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Harvest Moon 2016

 “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.

Friends

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“United we stand-divided we fall” — The Liberty Song, John Dickinson

The test of a true friend is their willingness, upon your request, to offer a hand to one of your friends; someone they may not even know.

As I read Michael Moore’s autobiography “Here Comes Trouble” I was stunned by the avalanche of hate that descended upon him as a result of his acceptance speech at the Oscars after he won the famed prize for his first film “Bowling for Columbine”.  While a few luminaries like Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese clapped wildly in approval, others like Robert Duvall went on the attack. Upon returning to his hometown in Michigan he and his wife were bared from their own property by three truckloads of horse manure piled waist high in their driveway and signs reading COMMIE and TRAITOR tacked on their trees.

As threats of…

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Homeward Bound

Four Years on…

Nick Masesso, Jr.

“Riding on this rolling bus; beneath a stony sky, pale moon rising; smokestacks drifting by. In the hour when the heart is weakest, the memory is strong; time has stopped, the bus just rolls along. Roll on, roll on” —Ace in the HolePaul Simon

The first crude sign I saw while crossing into Washburn County en-route to Spooner, Wisconsin shouted the following pitch: Beer – Bait – Guns – Liquor. Moments later a much larger and more dignified and meticulously wood-cut sign announced “Welcome to Vacationland”. After seven days, six nights and 2,300 miles, mostly on two roads all the way, I pulled into the driveway to greet the heart warming smiles of my Mom and Sis. I was home.

I used to spend two week vacations here with my family every summer in a rented rustic cabin with outhouse; on a lake fishing and swatting mosquitoes…

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Extinct

“Now for me some words come easy; but I know that they don’t mean that much. I’m good with the words that are spoken with a lovers touch. You never knew what I loved in you; I don’t know what you loved in me; maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be.” – Late for the Sky – Jackson Browne

Rose felt the trembling tingle of a sleepless night. She stared at the full moon outside her window on Charles Street in New Orleans as thoughts of her lost lover slipped through her fingers. Beams of blue flickered through her window pane and caressed her face exposing the brown stains under her eyes; etched there forever by her rusty tears.

Palmetto bugs danced all around the flames of the many scented candles she’d lit before she lay upon her futon to contemplate her lost desire. She wondered how that same pale blue moon looking down on her could shine down in his eyes all those thousands of miles away.

She dreamed that she was sleeping and in that sleep dreamed how every minute of pure ecstasy she’d felt with her lovers in their cathedral bed had brought 1,000 hours of torment when the alliances inevitably spun apart.

Planets rotated, glaciers melted; and without trying or practicing or even knowing it could be done, just by thinking it, she suffocated her desire, sure that like the morphine that rose like a flood, pounding in her blood, the rapture she felt from her lovers touch was not worth the sickness that came when, always, inevitably, they left her; lost and desolate.

And so, when the next lover arrived and the fevered ecstasy dance began anew, slowly moving them toward each other like a magnet, she surrendered to the pull. Yet, when finally they were inches apart and the game was surely afoot, she felt nothing but the bottomless abyss, completely deserted in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness. Her desire, once so omniscient, the thing which gave her life meaning, evaporated into a whiff of smoke; and she with it went.