Saturday, April 30, 2011

one part of thirty from INVENTORY (3)


When the war broke out in Europe
Charles Laughton was on the set
of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
he recited the Gettysburg Address
dressed in full Quasimodo costume
the entire film crew and cast stood
silently and listened


On May 23, 1936, Robert Desnos wrote a poem.

On May 25, 1936, Robert Desnos wrote a poem.

If you put them together, they almost make one poem.

It’s very beautiful but he didn’t say that this is what he wanted.

But what did Robert Desnos do on May 24, 1936?

One day before the war ended, two Frenchmen asked him,

"Do you know Robert Desnos, the French Poet?"

Robert Desnos said, “I am Robert Desnos, the French Poet.”

And they offered him a rose and he said, “Merci.”

Robert Desnos died the next day. And the war did too.

But what did Robert Desnos on May 24, 1936?

What did he do before?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

one part of thirty from INVENTORY (1)


I would love to live in a house made of Chiclet gum
and hear the sound of rain coming down and get out
my umbrella and walk outside and find out that it was
raining Chiclets and that my umbrella sounded like
a drum played by Gene Krupa in the real wet real rain.


The tire exploded and my creepy

little hand started wiggling its fingers


and then stopped

Never say very much. Don’t say that you replaced the bicycle tire on its rim and that it wasn’t seated properly and so an hour later it exploded. And don’t explain that the sweet old man with the little grey beard gave you a creepy mechanical hand that was battery operated and commenced to wiggle every time there was a vibration in the room like a bicycle tube exploding and that you kept it in the room with your bicycle because your little son, who the sweet old man gave it to, thought it too creepy. If you take all of that out and just write what is left, you have a nice little image that can stay in sight for a minute, and then disappear like a wispy white cloud in the sky until all the fingers stop wiggling.


I would like to be the best in the world
at something, and then I would like to be
modest about it. I would like an award.
I would like to walk to the stage.
I would like to smile. I would like everyone
to applaud. I would like to see giant replicas
of myself on the stage. I would like to hear my theme
song. I would like to wipe a tear from my eye.
I would like to be great. I would like to be modest.
I don’t want to choose. If I have to choose, I just
want to be great. I just want to be modest.

Monday, April 18, 2011


The best day of my life so far was the day that I went to the Pepsi Cola bottling plant when I was five years old. There was so many empty bottles all being filled one by one on a conveyor belt that was so fast that everything almost seemed like a blur. I had never seen such clean Pepsi bottles before, and I had never seen them filled by machines with shiny steel nozzles before. And I never imagined how this all happened. Somehow I thought there was a room in a small building somewhere with a lot of people filling bottles with little funnels. I had never imagined so many machines and most of all, I had never imagined so many clean and beautiful bottles of Pepsi--rows and rows coming into the room empty, rows and rows going out of the room filled and ready to drink. After that day, I started to realize how many people there were in the world who loved Pepsi Cola and probably drank it every day like my Dad, and how many people there were in the world probably didn’t like Pepsi Cola and probably drank iced tea like my Mom, but mostly I thought about how many people there really must be in the world all together, and although I didn't know it at the time, I would never be as happy as I was on that day watching all those beautiful bottles of Pepsi Cola coming and going with shiny nozzles that sprayed effervescence inside each and every bottle faster than you can imagine and how happy all of that made me. It was the best day of my life! Sometimes it’s as if I almost remember the day you were born.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Today I am particularly popular in countries that do not speak English as a first language.


I am completely out of chocolate but I do have this. What will happen if I eat it? Is it one of those temptations in the desert things you read about sometimes?

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Another day in the an unknown land and I almost stepped on the Queen of England.


I say, "Yoo Hoo! Look at me! I am not in Spain!"

All the little girls on the beaches in Spain giggle when they hear that.

And they eat ice cream cakes.

The bulls, however, do not like liars.

How their nostrils flare: like this!

They do not eat ice cream cakes.


I enjoy taking pictures of distinguished looking guys in paintings who are who knows who.


This beard takes lottsa pencils, said Leonardo da Vinci, but I’s gots me lottsa pencils.

If you want to use a printer, said Benjamin Franklin, you must paradoxically advertise pencils in print but then he lost the rhythm of the epigraph by continuing with In your Pennsylvania Gazette, and then, as if not to shut up, In 1729.

There’s nothing like surveying the territory of Ohio, said George Washington, with a pencil But who knows what Ohio will someday be? He mused prophetically although he proferred it will be pretty flat and etc. with Wendys and horses and shit and big schools.

Hard and Black is how I like ‘em said Henry David Thoreau with no teeth and mouth a’slurpy and ornery with a handful of hard ones nestled in the sylvan glade.

I do so love a good battle scene sketched on high quality vellum just as the sun begins to break over the dusty fields and the kiss of a good woman who drinks like a good woman too said Ulysses S. Grant drinking like a good woman looker sketching as the sun begins to break over the dusty fields.

Three, said Thomas Edison, Inches of pencils, in my pocket, my ideas to jot, added Edison, carefully, he said, Now Whoa! Now WHOA!

An entire cedar chest that I mowed like a lawn for the simple purpose of possession of pencils, cedar pencils, sixty a day, Grapes of Wrath, Cordially, John Steinbeck, Esquire.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro were only cold as MY cedar cabin disappeared cedar pencil by cedar pencil in order to write The Snows of Kilimanjaro from my lonely cedar pencil cabin nestled at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro said Ernest Hemingway, ernestly.

Hey That’s My Idea! said everyone from George Washington to Thomas Edison. Let’s not forget Henry David Thoreau, neither, nor Ben Franklin nor U.S. Grant nor Ernest Hemingway nor me ekspecially. No, let us not forget famous pencil men talking pencils and pencils.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


They are filled with bananas. I used to love to watch them because you never knew what was going to happen next. But now everybody says “They give away the whole movie in the trailers these days!” And I just say, no, the problem is all the bananas. In a way, though, we all agree: if you eat enough bananas, it is easy to imagine what might happen next in a movie because bananas make you smart. Everyone thinks that. But we still have the problem of all those people who think that the trailers give away the whole movie and that trailers aren’t filled with bananas at all but I disagree of course as you know.


People in Bulgaria love when I talk about Marvin.
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