Thursday, June 30, 2005

Spiteful And Meandering

I hate you all. What's worse, I hate myself. What's worse, everything around here keeps breaking and I can’t fix most of it and I hate all that shit, too! Damn the garage door, damn the weedeater, damn all cars forever! Why oh why do I have to have all these intimate relationships with inanimate things? It isn’t reasonable! It isn’t fair! If it was convenient I’d cut off my head and throw it at you all! I used to be rather good at games of dodge ball back in elementary and junior high school. I could give you such a smack! Not to mention, everyone who thought it easy to hit a big target like me didn’t realize I could catch a dodge ball with ease. My body absorbed the shock and my hands latched on. I could grab and I could dodge! If it’d been a football, they might have "got" me—but dodge ball was My World. I didn’t always win, but I often did. Ah, days of Glory! Now all I have is this meandering blog and all these pathetic posts. Today I am even more meandering and the post even more pathetic. But I filled some white space, so to speak.

I counted up my commenters from last year and there were 13. I counted the same unlucky 13 last week, but most of the commenters were different ones; 3 or 4 may have been in both lists, but that's all. There were some commenters in-between the lists, but I'm not going to try to count short-term "fans". All that's probably more a reflection on me than on my commenters. I'm rough on people. I'm trying to stay in shape for destroying the planet, you know.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cowgirl Leah, Part Two

Leah had made some progress and now she was proud of what she had. Johnathan watched her as she danced lightly around the room, dressed in nothing but her skirt. She looked like a girl barely out of her teens, though in fact she was 22. She was rather ordinary to look at, short, her figure slim but not too firm, yet she seemed at this moment full of light to Johnathan. He licked his lips and she saw it. Leah laughed, came closer, and, rising on her toes, kissed him on the nose. She felt coy and daring, all at once. He felt it too. She wasn't always this way. She lowered her eyes, raised her dress and exposed herself.

"This is my little pussy-cat!" she purred, adding the last syllable at the last possible moment. She said it as sweetly as a little girl who didn't know any better. She was old enough to know better.

"Of course it is," he grinned, nervously running his hands over her thighs and buttocks. "What else would it be?"

"I'm just proud of it, that's all," she told him. "It makes me feel so good!"

"You should be proud of it," he laughed, sliding his hand up her legs and possessively resting his hand on it. "It makes others feel good, too."

"You talk too much!" she laughed and wriggled away from him, starting to dance again.

The young couple thought they really liked each other, though they were still learning about one another. They hadn't been together that long. This wasn't the first time they'd slept together, but it was their first time in broad daylight or in a room where there was time to lounge and talk afterward. They didn't have to hurry today or get up to get dressed again. Up to now they'd made love once in his car, once in the bushes at the park, once at her apartment when she knew her roommate would be gone a few hours. Today their lovemaking had been really comfortable for the first time. It had been very good indeed.

Later, as she roamed around the room, exulting in her nakedness and her freedom of movement, she looked down at him on the bed and spoke cheerfully. "Say, Is that all you've got?" she asked.

"Under special circumstances, it gets larger," he smiled.

"Yeah, and I love it when it does!" she laughed.

A moment later her face changed, looking a little as if she'd bitten a lemon. "But, sweetie, now it looks like a wrinkled little worm," she said. "Why does it get like that?" she added in a forlorn, complaining tone.

"I'm sorry if it doesn't stay splendid all the time for you. You know, it's hard to keep it hard when you do the things you do to it."

He was still joking with her, though he sensed something definitely going wrong. Was she really that ignorant, or just enough so to bring it up?

"You really liked fucking me, didn't you?" she said.

"It was wonderful," he told her.

"You sure fucked me good," she crooned.

"We try harder," he grinned.

"What was the best part?" she grinned.

"Ah-no certain part," he said, a little confused. She was starting to get under his skin now. He wondered if there was something wrong with her. If she was twisted or something.

A few moments went by, then she spoke again.

"I was really good, wasn't I?" she asked.

"Uh, well, yeah, I guess so," he said nervously.

"Did I give you the biggest ole hardon you could possibly get?"

"Yeah, I guess you did," he answered irritably.

"You really think I was good, huh?" she grinned, hiding her face and trying to look "cute". It was one time too many for Johnathan.

"I think," he said, rolling away from her and grabbing a cigarette off the nightstand, "that you just might be the biggest cow in Texas and that you're squirming around way too much about being prodded by a little prick."

There, I've done it now, he thought. He lit his cigarette and puffed.

"You big prick!" she snapped at him. Her face was red and hostile.

"No, I'm not. Or if I am, it contradicts what you were just saying, doesn't it?"

"Well, you're a bigger prick than I was thinking, then, okay? Shit!"

"Well, aren't you a little angel?" he said.

"Well, why are you so mean to me?!" she said, sounding tearful, but not looking it. She looked bold as brass.

"I'm the same as I was a little while ago," he said, pulling the sheet over him.

"No, you're not; you're mean!"

"I don't know about that," he said. "I may even have loved you, up until a moment ago."

I don't believe that," she said petulently.

"It isn't very clear what you believe."

"Well... Well, I know I don't believe that you're very pleasant!"

"I don't imagine that you do," he said in a neutral voice.

"You son of a bitch," she said angrily, "what makes you think you know so goddamn much? What makes you so smart and smug?"

"Mother nature," he told her.

"Oh, that—that's perverted!"

His face turned red and he paused a moment. "Listen, go fuck yourself," he told her quietly.


"Go fuck yourself if you want to see something really perverted! That's what fucking you really felt like to me!"

Leah's face turned nearly purple with anger. She shouted, "It's not me that'll have to do that! I can go out and get somebody to sleep with me any time I want to! You're the one that'll have to stay home and fuck your fist!"

"You silly twit," he said. He was trying to sound calm, but there was an extreme edge in his voice that he couldn't hide. He felt like killing her.

"You'll be lucky if you ever get to fuck anyone else again for the rest of your life," she shouted. "You and that, that—that short worthless dick of yours!"

"You're a marvellous big cunt, aren't you!" he said savagely.

"And you're a wretched little prick!"

"Then how come you thought I fucked you so good?!"

"I was lying!" she screamed.

This time he didn't answer.

"You're a nice son of a bitch," she said sullenly.

"Yeah?" he said. "You're pretty nice, yourself."

Johnathan got up and left the apartment and they didn't see one another for the rest of the week. Before long, however, they made up and made love once again. One of these days, she just knew, they'd get married and have a family and stop being so silly.

No such thing ever happened, though.


2nd draft: 06/27/05
©1989 Ronald C. Southern

I think in an earlier draft these characters were more likeable in a smartass kind of way, but that's not there any longer. So I think I ruined it to a large degree. I'm not going to rewrite it at this late date, though. There are other stories with these characters, though, at least one of which is not so bad, but the characters are still unpleasant. I'm sorry I lost the pleasantness, but...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cowgirl Leah, Part One

"Are you ignoring me?" Leah asked him.

"No," Johnathan told her insistently, "I'm talking to you."

"Well, why does it feel like you're ignoring me, then?"

"How should I know? Maybe you just like to complain."

"God damn you," she said softly. She didn't know what else to say. She hated to keep arguing with him because she liked him; she just didn't like him to act the way he did.

For his part, he was even more exasperated with her than his comment showed. He was as sick of her questions as he was of her pretended virtues.

Every time he asked her a question, he could almost hear her thinking before she spoke. It wasn't premeditation, but consideration, and every time he heard it, it nearly gave him an erection. She wasn't very quick, but she wasn't stupid either, he felt; she just took a lot of time to get there. She worked so hard that it always pissed him off and yet aroused him. It was strange to see her facial expressions as she struggled to understand him.

"Everything we know contains the world we know," he told her one evening, knowing that she wouldn't comprehend, but that she would long to. He didn't bother to explain.

Playing with her like that was a big mistake on his part, but not his first or last.


2nd draft: 06/27/05
©1989 Ronald C. Southern

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tom Cruise Is Out Of Control

I don’t want to get in a battle about Tom Cruise being “great” or not so great, but I’m starting to believe he is in a publicity frenzy lately that has left his brain addled. It had already been suggested that he was putting on a jackrabbit show with his fiancĂ©e to get attention for his movie career, but that’s his job, isn’t it? But lately he’s giving other actors medicinal and psychological advice and telling them that they don’t know squat while he does. I agree, squat is what he does know.

And nobody better give any offence to Oprah, his new best sofa buddy, like the French department store Hermes just did. Oh, lord, the Wrath Of Cruise will come down upon them! He’s already given them warning! As if the richest woman in the world (besides Queen Elizabeth) needs the protection of Cruise!

I’m tempted to refer to him as a noodle-headed boy and suggest gently that he put a sock in it, but Jesus Christ that Dick Clark clone is 42 years old now and ought not to have to be babied! He ought not to need to be told to stay out of other people’s business. If he can’t resist giving advice to strangers, he could give it more privately, couldn’t he? Just because he’s the famous Tom Cruise (whose known talents, as far as some of us are concerned, consist of standing around looking cute or handsome in motion pictures) doesn’t mean he must live every aspect of his Hollywood life or private opinions out on the public stage, does it? According to his interview with Matt Lauer, Tom is more intelligent than anyone and checks out the facts, unlike others, and apparently doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Boy, that Tom Cruise is a rocket scientist and I wanna vote for him for President! No evidence is necessary; after all, he's the Cruise!

I can therefore be sure he won’t respect Brooke Shields for noting that he should mind his own business or my opinion that he's a prissy twit, either, so there need be no further argument about it, does there? We’ll all just shut up about it, Tom, and let you rave about your favorite bullshit. But if the talking heads and loons on TV keep inviting you back and letting you do it with their blessing, if NO ONE has any common sense or self-restraint, I’ll be expecting to see live coverage of you wiping your ass, with close-ups and instructions on how to do it without injuring the Star. TV reporters would lick it clean for you if it would bring them higher ratings! Trouble is, so would you, Tom, oh holier-than-thou Scientologist movie star! (We don’t mind you being a Scientologist, but being holier-than-thou does not wear well.)
"If there's anything unsettling to the stomach, it's watching actors on television talk about their personal lives." — Marlon Brando

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bugfuck and Caca Beans

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." — More twisted entertainment by Aristotle

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Indifference About The Special Ed. Boy

from Dogger Gatsby’s High School Notebook

It was all over and the truth had come out. Yes, the truth about our thoughtless, inherited mores—and on the truth of all these suppositions we hung, with eyes wide open, ashamed only that we’d been caught. We hung on desperately, claws dug in, refusing to give in, savage accomplices in a modern crime of dispassion. Maybe we wouldn’t have been any better if we had been more passionate, but it seemed to me we would. Everyone showed a facsimile of passion, an appearance of regret, but it was actually just another fine indifference. Each insisted that it was the others, not him. Somehow, nobody had thought it up. All of us had been there, but we weren't there together. Someone had told him it was an initiation. Later, it got out of hand. The school board didn’t want the humiliation for the district and the sheriff made sure everyone kept their yap shut.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bugler, Rizla, & The Beatific Zig-Zag Man

Dope Paraphernalia And Tobacco

Just trying to remember about Bugler tobacco and Rizla rolling machines and Zig-Zag cigarette papers back when I still smoked pot and coffin nails, my brain fogs up all over again. Bugler was awful, I guess, but it could be made into damn cheap cigarettes. The rolling machine and the sweet little bamboo device whose name I can't recall were necessities of life, though, since I never became proficient at rolling by hand. I owned dope paraphernalia, not because of pot, but mainly because of tobacco!

I don't know about it now—though certainly it's still around—but at that time Bugler was the cheapest crap on the planet. It was almost as cheap as not smoking at all, though not as pleasant. To an addicted smoker however, it was a way not to have to quit smoking until the next paycheck. Then you could breathe free (ha!) and go buy some Winstons or Marlboros. Because certainly you couldn't just quit!

I guess maybe you find this about as interesting as I'd find it if Grampa started telling all the details of his sanitary habits back on the farm with corn husks, corn cobs, and tree leaves. I don't know and I don't want to know! Maybe you feel the same way about tobacco. I nearly feel that way and I smoked the shit! But no matter what smokers were used to and claimed to like and pretended that they weren't really addicted to, as far as I was concerned, that nasty Bugler proved what a wretched dope addict I was! It's just that my dope of choice was (and still is) legal. I wonder if I could even smoke pot any more, I've had so little practice inhaling since I quit cigarettes?

A Modern Bugler Smoker

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Cornish Hens

Austin 1974

Tanner knocked on the screen door at the side of Beau and Darby's house, knowing that they were often in the kitchen. In fact, he'd seldom entered the house through the front door or seen anybody else do it, either. He was feeling good, really good for a change, and it showed. Darby, sitting at the kitchen table, cutting flowers for a vase on the table in front of her, put her cigarette in her mouth and waved him in. She noticed the difference right away.

"Damn, Tanner, what're you looking so happy about?"

"Good day selling on the Drag," he told her. "I've got loot pouring out of my pockets."

"Hmm, very good," she said, removing the cigarette from her mouth and waving the smoke away from her eyes. "Let some of it pour out over here, will you? Say, do you owe us any money? This sounds like a good time to get it."

"Uh—." Tanner was taken aback. Did he? He owed people money often enough that even though he always paid them back, he had to think for a moment.

"I don't think so," he said hesitantly. "Do I?"

"No, just kidding, silly, don't get uptight! If you owe Beau any money, I don't care, it's between you and him. But I don't think you do."

"Don't confuse me like that," Tanner said, wiping his forehead.

"You confuse too easy, anyway," Darby laughed. "Anyway, you had that good a day, huh?" she added, changing the subject.

"Leather goods have never been so popular," he grinned.

"What's that I see behind your back, anyway?" Darby asked.

Tanner brought forth a bottle.

"Ou-wee! Chivis Regal. Better than your usual drink! Celebration stuff, huh?"

"Yeah. A fifth of the good stuff. Thought y'all might like to get loaded on something decent for a change."

"I've drunk that stuff before," Darby laughed. "It is good. Just overpriced, you know."

"Usually, I'd be the first to agree. Not today. Where's Beau, anyway?"

"Out chasing down some damn dope deal, I think. Something went wrong, if I get the drift of things. He's not exactly talking about it, which is really all I have to go on to make me suspect something's wrong."

"True," Tanner nodded. "When things are going well, he talks his head off, doesn't he?"

"You got it," she said musically. "He's my babblin' fool!"

Tanner, who knew she was kidding, grinned. It was her usual way of speaking about Beau. Most of the time she seemed to like her husband about as well as anybody liked anyone else, as far as Tanner could see. Nonetheless, sometimes they fought so viciously in front of him that it embarrassed Tanner and he had to leave.

"Uh, we're gonna have Cornish hens a little later in the evening," Darby said. "You're welcome to stay unless Beau comes home with other plans. Okay?"

"Yeah, sure, that sounds great," Tanner said pensively. He was wondering what the hell a Cornish hen was and how come it took more than one. He was too shy to ask. "Thanks for asking me."

"Well, aren't you polite!"

"Sometimes I am, I guess."

"Mostly you aren't, though. I know you. The first time we all went out to eat with you, I was amazed that you were so polite to the waitress."

"Christ, am I as bad as all that?" Tanner asked in a perplexed voice.

Darby could tease him sometimes in the most discomfiting ways. He was often unsure sure where he stood with her. Like Beau, she was ten years older than he was, and though they had a lot in common, it wasn't uncommon for her to change suddenly from her usual amiable silliness to an annoyingly uptight and ugly older woman, representing an unpleasant "adulthood" that seemed prepared to hold everybody responsible for everything, particularly for whatever happened to annoy her. She was hardly the only one he'd ever known who acted that way—secretaries around the world behaved like that—but it made him nervous because he wanted so badly to get along with her. He really liked her, and he hated to see her act so unpleasantly.

Darby was a charming, handsome, very solid woman—that is to say, somewhat overweight. She was dark-haired and wavy-haired, neat yet robust, a woman who liked to eat as much as he and Beau did, which was one of the many things he liked about her. She was intelligent, saucy, inventive, all of which he considered amiable attributes. She sometimes even seemed to be flirting with him, which he took as being sort of complimentary, but he was certain that if he weren't imagining that part entirely, it was truly only flirting, and that nothing greater than friendship would ever come of it. Besides, there were the other times he wasn't even so certain of her friendship. Sometimes she liked to play "Grownup" in a way which indicated she didn't even like him and he could barely cope with that. If it was her period or some undeclared disease she suffered from, he wished she'd just say so and get rid of him. But about the time he was ready to leave at the drop of the next shoe, she'd say something nice and smile.

"Some women just like to flirt a little," one of his girl friends had told him once, "it doesn't always mean anything."

"Isn't that a little dangerous?" he'd asked her.

"Yeah, sure," she'd grinned. "You know it and I know it, but curiously enough, not every woman who flirts really knows it! Not about herself!"

As time went by, he'd seen that she was pretty much right. Besides, however attractive Darby was as an "older" and "sensible" and deliciously intelligent woman, she was married to a friend of his. Not that that made her proof against Tanner's desires, but he had no desire for a confrontation with her husband and his Smith and Wesson. Beau was by no means a bad guy, but Tanner figured he wouldn't be a good guy to cross. Of course, there was also the money. Between Beau and Darby's legitimate business of handmade jewelry and Beau's dope deals, they had plenty of money, and Tanner knew he couldn't compete along those lines. It was all too fast for him. Still, it often felt good being around her (just as it was good being around Beau, when he wasn't taking his dope deals too seriously). The "fun" of being around Darby, of course, was always contingent on whether she was being congenial and silly, or her awful "grownup" self instead. When she put on her disagreeable "adult" mask, he usually just scrammed.

After a while Beau came home and acted as if he was glad to see Tanner, but also seemed nervous. Tanner guessed that maybe the dope deal wasn't finished yet or else hadn't gone well. Tanner didn't really want to know; he figured if he ignored it, it would just resolve itself without him having to be involved or know anything. He had a couple of other friends who dealt pot and he never wanted to know anything about them, either. It was a fucking crime, after all, and he wasn't making any money off of it, so why know!

He and Darby and Beau drank and talked about preparing the hens. Darby's teenage daughter from a previous marriage, Sue Darla, came home from next door and went in and out of the kitchen, trying to remember what she'd forgotten. Then two visitors arrived who were obviously associated with the dope deal. Beau went into another room to talk to them, and Tanner did all he could to tune them out.

Beau was a hard-nosed, good-humored, long-haired (but going bald), transplanted Louisiana boy, a drug dealer who sometimes now carried a gun on business, yet who only two or three years ago had sworn to Tanner that he'd never deal dope.

"It's just stupid," he'd said, confident of his powers of perception. "I can make plenty of money the regular way, without the risk."

Later he became one of the most businesslike purveyors of pot in Austin. Sitting by the telephone now, waiting for news about the drug deal that seemed to have gone sour, Beau oiled his Smith and Wesson and reflected.

"The older you get, the more these goddamn revolutions take out of you," Beau said.

"Well, it's not as boring as the real world, apparently," Tanner said.

"Sure, it is. You just don't realize it yet."

Years later when he no longer lived in Austin, Tanner would think of that conversation from time to time. By then, everyone he knew was a little or a lot more boring than they used to be, including himself, and everyone he knew, except himself, was in the stock market. Only rednecks and rock stars were wearing their hair long any more. Country music has become so popular that Tanner has begun to get the impression that most of the new rock stars were rednecks. Or was it the other way around?

"Christ," he thought, "I've become a reactionary!"

Beau was getting irritable, but tried to distract and calm himself with the preparation of the Cornish game hens. He drank some beer. He'd fixed the barbeque pit and started the hens when the phone finally rang. Beau hung up and left in the middle of cooking. Darby, now drunk as a coot on the Chivas, undertook to finish cooking the hens, but couldn't seem to get a handle on it. Maybe she didn't really know how long it took. The hour got later and later, but the hens refused to cook. Darby, out of patience, brought them inside and put them in the gas oven.

Sue Darla observed quietly, "Mama, it's real late."

"It's real life?" Darby asked stupidly, thinking that Sue's remark was stupid, not having heard it very clearly.

The hens got served, still not quite cooked. Darby ran to the bathroom, and after a while to her bed, and then to the bathroom again. She was looking terribly sick and ghostly.

Sue Darla remarked shyly to Tanner, "Mama gets sick sometimes in the heat".

Why do children imagine that other adults can't tell when that child's parent is drunk? Tanner kept playing with the hen, but it didn't look or taste cooked and he didn't dispose of much of it. Sue Darla tried, too, but she too found it couldn't be done.

Beau was still hung up doing the dope deal and nobody had any idea when he'd return. Sue Darla and Tanner yearned to finish eating.

Darby returned from the bathroom, lurching. "Sue Darla, go to bed! Haven't you finished eating? Well, hurry up."

Darby ran back to the bathroom, sick again. Tanner continued to sip his whiskey and wondered when it'd ever be over. He spoke a bit drunkenly to Sue Darla, who started to look somewhat delectable to him until he remembered that she was only 13 years old. He realized he might be in a stupid, possibly dangerous position and, pretending to be more drunk than he way, left her alone in the house with her mother, driving away with a sign of relief. On the way home, he stopped at an Arby's for a roast beef sandwich. Recalling those huge horrible inedible Cornish hens and realizing he no longer had to try to eat them, his mouth began to water for food again. He bought two of the beef sandwiches instead of one. It took a lot to kill his appetite!


Current draft: 06/21/05
©1989 Ronald C. Southern

"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't, either." — Dick Cavett

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

That Kind Of Dream

I think I dreamed about sex last night, though not in any way that allowed me to wake up with any sense of satisfaction or celebration. Damn, what's the hell's the good of that kind of dream?! Reminded me of some kind of funky Randy Newman song where people get to leave their hats on during sex play or talk about kangaroos and Italian shoes, you know? A man could get the shivers.

by Randy Newman

Baby, take off your coat...(real slow)
Baby, take off your shoes...(here, I'll take your shoes)
Baby, take off your dress
Yes, yes, yes
You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on

Go on over there and turn on the, all the lights
Now come back here and stand on this chair...that's right
Raise your arms up in to the air...shake 'em
You give me a reason to live
You give me a reason to live
You give me a reason to live

Suspicious minds are talking
Trying to tear us apart
They say that my love is wrong
They don't know what love is
They don't know what love is
They don't know what love is
They don't know what love is
I know what love is

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How I Blog

And How Much Longer

Maybe not long, but I figure some of you wonder how I write so often or how I write so well. (Some of you may not feel that I write particularly well, but that's your right. I say Fuck You and why are you hanging around here, if that's the case!) Well, the truth is I depend on old short stories and vignettes, old notebooks, old poems never seen or seen by few, old smart-aleck remarks scribbled down so many years ago I can't remember now why I wrote them or how I wrote them. Who were they aimed at, myself in an honest moment or some chickenshit bastard I knew? I can't always tell. I used to make fun of Bob Dylan for repeatedly denying that any of his song lyrics were about himself when it was obvious enough they were. I've certainly written "you" a great many times in my life and figured out later that I was talking to myself! (Of course, Bob said "Fuck you, who cares?" but you can't please everyone.)

With some of my writings, the only thing I recall about them is when I copied them from old index cards and other scraps of paper into the computer. Even some of those files have been through two or three word processor programs. Some of them make sense to me now, some of them don't. Some of them get rewritten yet one more time before you see them, others I only correct the spelling and a few word choices. When these old sources have dried up entirely—they are running short already!—I guess I'll write less often and maybe less well. Or I'll include more old songs and other people's poems. I can't keep a blog successful very long like that, though. But maybe a bus will strike me down about that time and it won't matter, anyway. People can keep me alive a short while by asking each other, "Do you remember how Ron used to…" or "Did you suspect him of lying that time he said…" But that will pass, as all things do. We're here until we're gone, then we're just formaldehyde-flavored food for earthworms.

by Bob Dylan

Ramona, come closer,
Shut softly your watery eyes.
The pangs of your sadness
Shall pass as your senses will rise.
The flowers of the city
Though breathlike, get deathlike at times.
And there's no use in tryin'
T' deal with the dyin',
Though I cannot explain that in lines.

Your cracked country lips,
I still wish to kiss,
As to be under the strength of your skin.
Your magnetic movements
Still capture the minutes I'm in.
But it grieves my heart, love,
To see you tryin' to be a part of
A world that just don't exist.
It's all just a dream, babe,
A vacuum, a scheme, babe,
That sucks you into feelin' like this.

I can see that your head
Has been twisted and fed
By worthless foam from the mouth.
I can tell you are torn
Between stayin' and returnin'
On back to the South.
You've been fooled into thinking
That the finishin' end is at hand.
Yet there's no one to beat you,
No one t' defeat you,
'Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad.

I've heard you say many times
That you're better 'n no one
And no one is better 'n you.
If you really believe that,
You know you got
Nothing to win and nothing to lose.
From fixtures and forces and friends,
Your sorrow does stem,
That hype you and type you,
Making you feel
That you must be exactly like them.

I'd forever talk to you,
But soon my words,
They would turn into a meaningless ring.
For deep in my heart
I know there is no help I can bring.
Everything passes,
Everything changes,
Just do what you think you should do.
And someday maybe,
Who knows, baby,
I'll come and be cryin' to you.

Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Monday, June 20, 2005

Service Station Do-Me Blues

He watched the skinny young brunette go into the ladies' room, then laughed to himself and followed her. The station was closing and the service guy didn't seem to know that she was back there. Darley had admired the young woman's boyish good looks and was wondering if she was as flat-chested as she appeared to be. Sometimes he wasn't any good at guessing. Women could dress so deceptively. This one practically looked like a boy, though, she was so plain-faced. Her appearance didn't matter so much, really. He'd been in prison and he liked lording it over boys, too, when he got the chance. And he liked flat-chested women as well as any other, so none of that mattered to him. She just looked like someone he could take. He could imagine hurting her and getting away with it.

He watched the service station man leave, then followed the girl into the rest room. He listened carefully, peeking between the crack of each stall. At last he heard the trickle of water and saw her feet. He glued his eye to a crack in the door. She wasn't aware of being watched.

The trickling stopped and she wiped herself, but she seemed to wipe herself for a very long time. He began to watch her hand more carefully and realized that she didn't have any paper in her hand, that it was just her fingers she was moving between her legs. Her eyes were closed, her mouth hung open. She was furiously masturbating herself. She looked like a woman who had escaped from some institution herself, she was so intent. He grinned. After a while, he could hear the wet slish-slosh as her finger flicked rapidly up and down her slit.

He coughed and pushed the door open and looked at her. His face was red, and so was hers.

"You don't have to do that for yourself, you know," he said.

"I—wh-what? Who—who are you?!"

"Aw, c'mon now, baby, you know that doesn't matter," he crooned. "C'mon, sweetie, let me finger that pussy for you."

The girl looked at him briefly with a dazed expression, then closed her eyes, sighed, and leaned back. She put her hands on the edge of the toilet seat and pressed downward, thus lifting her buttocks slightly off the seat. As her behind came up and her hairy twat came into sight, she spread her legs wider.

"I see you ain't like these young girls who shave it bald!" the man grinned.

Then he knelt down in front of her, quickly slipping his hand between her legs. Her cunt was moist and warm, and his finger slipped into her without any trouble.

"Jesus, you're wet, girl!" he jeered at her. "Did you wipe yourself at all?"

She opened her mouth to protest, but he shook his head.

"Listen, I don't care," he told her. "You can piss in my hand, for all I care, as long as I get to finger your cute little pussy!"

He pulled her head down to his and kissed her hard on the mouth. She struggled for a while, but not very hard. He wiggled his finger rapidly, rhythmically in her cunt, and soon she too was too excited to care. She wriggled her bottom against his finger and ceased struggling.

"You're such a beautiful cunt!" he said. "God, what a little whore," he thought.

When she stuck her tongue in his mouth, he knew he had her. She flexed her leg muscles rapidly against his arm and her cunt muscles fluttered around his finger. He took his mouth off of hers and nibbled her ear.

"Oh, God," she gasped, "who are you?"

"It doesn't matter," he told her hurriedly. This is what matters," he said, spreading the fingers of his hand and squeezing her cunt.

"Oh! Oh, oh, God, yes!" she cried. "Oh! Oh! Oh!"

Darley used his free hand to unbutton her blouse. She wasn't wearing any bra. He'd seen that she was pretty skinny and now he saw that she was just as under-developed as he'd imagined. Still, she had large pink nipples that made his mouth water. She looked like a sexually-precocious little girl to him.

He bent forward and sucked first one long soft nipple, then the other. Her face went slack and she murmured with unbridled pleasure; she sounded like Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop, a wind-up betsy-wetsy who, instead of "wetting" herself, grunted, groaned, and whinnied in intense orgasmic delight.

Darley's dick was as hard as rock and far too tight in his pants; he pulled down his zipper. The girl heard the sound and her eyes popped open. Eagerly she bent toward him and her hands groped for him like a homing pigeon. She seized his cock in her fist and rapidly stroked it. He wouldn't last long like that, he thought. He took his finger out of her cunt and stood up.

"Go on, gimme a little blowjob," Darley told her.

Momentarily, he placed his cock in her mouth and she sucked him hungrily. He held her head between his hands while she hummed noisily and fingered herself.

After a few minutes, he said, "Listen, if you want to get fucked, you'll have to get started now. I tell you I'm ready, too! God, just looking at you makes me want to come, you flat-chested hot little bitch!"

"No, don't! Not yet!" she cried, looking panicky. She squeezed his cock with her fist as if she could hold back his orgasm.

"C'mon, hurry up!" he insisted.

She stood up and looked at him shyly. Her next line wasn't very shy, however.

"Stick it in me from behind!" she gasped. "Hurry up, I want to see it go up inside of me!"

She reached behind her and spread her cheeks. He dropped his pants and pushed his cock into her cunt with one hard thrust, jamming it in to the hilt. She groaned and lunged forward, banging her head lightly against the wall. Darley held her by the waist and fucked her hard and fast, her head banging repeatedly against the wall.

"F-f-faster!" she told him insistently. "Do me faster, I'm almost there!"

He listened to her breathing and tried to time himself. Her orgasm began before his and lasted until long after he'd finished. The juices were running down her legs like spilled soup, sweat dripping off her tiny flat ass in buckets. At last, she collapsed forward convulsively, her quivering legs straddling the toilet bowl, her breath coming in loud gasps. She didn't even turn around when she spoke next, she was too exhausted.

"God, mister, you really can fuck," she told him, shuddering as if she had chills. "I've never been fucked as good as that. Not to mention that nobody ever got to fuck me so fast. You must be a hypnotist."

"No," he told her with a grin. "Just the horniest bastard you ever saw. It helped that I found you fingerfuckin' yourself, don'cha think? Ha! But I'll tell you this, though; I'm gonna make you stay in this pisshole until you're ready to fuck me again."

"Oh, but that's okay with me, really!" she told him, turning around and smiling at him. She pulled his face to hers and kissed him gently on the lips.

"I want to be fucked again," she said sweetly. "I want to be fucked a lot! I want it over and over again! Just give me a few minutes to get over the first one!" "Okay," he said, "but a cunt like you ought not to take very long. "As soon as I'm ready, you're getting it whether you're ready for it or not."

"You don't have to be so mean," she said in a sulky tone.

"I'll show you 'mean'," he told her. "I'll fuck your skinny butt so hard it'll tear the membrane between your cunt and your asshole!"

"Stop it!" she said sharply. "You're frightening me. It's not good to frighten me!"

"I never said this was gonna be good for you, you stupid cunt! I never worried whether you'd enjoy it or not either. If you did, fine. But if it felt like a telephone pole with nails in it to you, and it felt good to me, I'd still do it to you, you know. Hell, I came in here to rape you, you dumb bitch, not make love to you! Hadn't you figured that out yet?!"

"Oh," she said quietly.

She hadn't known. Or, maybe she'd forgotten. She'd been without a man for a long time in the hospital. She'd had vivid fantasies about them, though, and she'd thought she'd stumbled into one of her own better flights of imagination. Now she saw she was wrong. He was just a mean damn bastard, like her husband. Like all the rest. But possibly worse.

"By the way, whore, what's your name?" he asked.

"Evelyn," she answered sullenly.

"Talk dirty to me till you're ready for another good fucking," he said. "What?"

"You heard me."

"Do I really have to? You mean, you really like that?"

"Yeah, who don't?"

"If this is what you really want," she said, "okay. Here I go. Uh—I'm going to let you jack off on my face and tits and then I'll smear it around on me, how's that?"

"A good start."

"After that, you can fuck me in the ass, and then I'll lick the shit off your dick—I can't get much dirtier than that, can I?"

"Goddamn, you are a dirty-talking bitch."

"After I've licked you clean, you can fuck my face. You know, full-tilt-boogie, in and out like gangbusters, as hard as you want to!"

"Yeah?" he grinned. This was great. Between every comment, she was wetly, noisily, licking the head of his dick.

"Sure. You can fuck my mouth like you were fucking a cunt! Sex without mercy or memory—that's what a man really likes, isn't it? When he can find a woman who'll let him have it that way, I mean?"

"Uh, yeah," he said, his face turning red again.

The bitch was really going! She was almost embarrassing him now.

"You know why I'm willing to talk to you like this, don't you?"

"Because you like it?" he asked.

"No. Because it kept you distracted while I got these things up close to you and—" He felt a sudden agonizing pain.


He screamed. She had escaped from somewhere, it dawned on him. But it didn't make the least bit of difference now. Nothing did. She'd cut off his softening cock with a heavy pair of serrated scissors, the kind used for cutting leather. It was serrated so it could get a good grip. She'd stolen them from the hospital hobby room. By fucking her exactly like he'd wanted to, he'd fucked himself up, big time!

He covered his groin tightly with his hands, but the blood oozed freely between his fingers and dripped into the toilet. He was blinded by searing pain. He'd be dead in a few minutes and didn't even know it, for the pain was too great for him to think. Doubled over in pain and horror, he made a desperate grab for the thing floating in the pink water, but was far too slow. Grinning idiotically, she put her foot in his chest and pushed him back against the door. He sprawled onto the floor where he writhed and groaned like he was having the world's weirdest ejaculation. He looked up in horror and watched her flush the commode.

"So long, little pee-pee," she said, staring between her legs into the toilet.

"W-w-what?" he moaned in disbelief. "No, don't! Oh, God, w-w-why??!?!"

Evelyn, with a mesmerized expression, was still talking to the toilet bowl.

"No more dirty damn bitches for you, huh, mister? No more dumb little flat-chested girls to facefuck, no more nasty pussy?" she giggled.

The last thing he heard as he lost consciousness was the sound of the toilet filling up with water again.

As she straightened her dress, picked up her purse, and began walking toward the door, she sang, "Oh, it's tooo baaad, tooo baad, tooo saad, I flushed it down the toilet and I'm glad, glad, glad!"

Third draft: 06/19/05
©1990 Ronald C. Southern

"Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?" — Jay Leno

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Life Has A Way

From Dogger Gatsby’s Alienist Notebook

Life has a way of rushing forward, then ending.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Poem by Robert Graves

The Great Grandmother
by Robert Graves

That aged woman with the bass voice
And yellowing white hair: believe her.
Though to your grandfather, her son, she lied
And to your father disingenuously
Told half the tale as the whole,
Yet she was honest with herself,
Knew disclosure was not yet due,
Knows it is due now.

She will conceal nothing of consequence
From you, her great-grandchildren
(So distant the relationship,
so near her term),
Will tell you frankly, she has waited
Only for your sincere indifference
To exorcize that filial regard
Which has estranged her, seventy years,
From the folk of her house.

Confessions of old distaste
For music, sighs, and roses—
Their false-innocence assaulting her,
Breaching her hard heart;
Of the pleasures of a full purse,
Of clean brass and clean linen, of being alone at last;
Disgust with the ailing poor
To whom she was bountiful;
How the prattle of young children
Vexed more than if they whined;
How she preferred cats.

She will say, yes, she acted well,
Took such pride in the art
That none of them suspected, even,
Her wrathful irony
In doing what they asked
Better than they could ask it…
But, ah, how grudgingly her will returned
After the severance of each navel-cord,
And fled how far again,
When again she was kind!

She has outlasted all man-uses,
As was her first resolve:
Happy and idle like a port
After the sea’s recession,
She does not misconceive the nature
Of shipments or of ships.
Hear her, therefore, as the latest voice;
The intervening generations (drifting
On tides of fancy still) ignore.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sense Of Burden

From Dogger Gatsby’s Private Notebook

My sense of burden about being an adult sat as heavily on my shoulders when I took responsibility for anything as my sense of guilt did when I didn't.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Don’t Sweat

Easier Than You Think

It's wonderful to me all the things that even the most serious of men cannot control. The FBI likes everybody to think of them (or, at any rate, they certainly like to think it of themselves) as an efficient bunch, that they are quick to get their man, etc. But it took them nearly 20 years to get the Unabomber. The CIA has an even higher opinion of itself, but they cruised around for 20 years with their fingers up their butts while Aldrich Ames sold a couple of million dollars' worth of American secrets to the Russians. Ames even passed two lie detector tests. The Russians told him all he had to do to fool them was to keep thinking "These guys are bozos" and not to sweat. It worked. Who are you trying to fool these days? It may be easier than you think.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dear Ron

A Letter From Dogger G.

[Just before he committed suicide in June of 1994 at age 50, Dogger took to writing me more often than before. At first I had taken it as a good sign, not a bad one. Some of it was lucid, but some of it wasn't. It was all a matter of Decay with Dogger Gatsby, no question of that—it was what he talked about, one way or another. From the inside to the outside, from the spirit to the flesh, everything was wasting, wanting, wearing out. And yet he was still sometimes amusing, even charming.

I wondered if he was suffering some combination of diabetes, arthritis, bad circulation, and brain damage. Or maybe that's just what he wanted us to believe. Dogger said at one time that he'd spent every day that past year or two feeling profoundly poisoned—"snakebit", he said. His assortment of daily symptoms included, as I recall, aching knees, legs, feet, ankles. He had backache and soreness in his sides, dizzy-headedness, poor concentration and failing memory. He was bound to die of something.]

Dear Ron: Time moves on. I don't. That's not the news you want to hear, and so I commiserate with you that you are now glancing down and thinking to yourself, "What a long damn letter this is." I could understand if you find it shit-stinking difficult to put yourself to the task. I could understand if you find yourself skimming the letter, trying to race past the bad parts or the inevitable negative parts. I could understand, too, if your future retention of the letter's content is not very great since it is very long and seems quite repetitive. If it transpires as usual, it not only repeats itself within the letter, but also repeats what other letters have delineated. I am such a boring shit sometimes, I know.

One of the great things about sex, aside from being good exercise, a relief from tension, or on occasion an actual expression or dose of love, is that it transcends all the usual prosaic verbalizations. Not that it ever stopped me from talking, I suppose, but it surely made talking easier, less frantic. If you've never had sex with me—oh yeah, that's right, you haven't!—you'll have to take my word for it. There's an irony at work somewhere in that, I guess, for, of course, it's the excess of words that are the issue. In my mind, at least. That's where you are right now, if you haven't noticed. In my mind. I have you here, whether fairly on unfairly, whether fair or foul. I acknowledge that by the time you think you are here, something else will have transpired and I'll be gone. You'll be talking to the wall or something. I don't think we ever know who we are talking to in letters, really. There is an additional level of removal in letters, but we are almost always at some remove from one another. Why does the telephone seem personal, for god's sake? Even in person, we say one thing and think another. Our brain goes ahead or falls behind. We speak our words, whether we speak our minds or not. It takes a lot of time and effort to do otherwise.

I didn't mean to say this much. (This much about what?) Not that I've said anything that's clear. None of these are things I can claim to give good advice about, after all. I have a list of those who have excommunicated me that is slightly longer than the list of those I've excommunicated, but neither list is one to be proud of. This hermit's madness has lasted all the time I've been away from Austin, and seems to be becoming steadily worse. If I were a man who could say that lovers aren't friends, it might be easier to contemplate how long I've been without a friend. (No, no, dear heart. You're an "old friend", a friend at a great distance. You don't qualify here, no matter how good you are.) But the reality is about women, I guess, and that I don't remember what a fresh kiss is like. Maybe I should go out and buy one. But that would require something more drastic and brutish than just being able to separate friends from lovers.

There is no explaining how anyone so warped can still trust his own judgments, yet it seems somehow that I do. I don't guess I even think that I should. Things have lasted too long in some regards that I can't quite explain. The word "jaded" comes to mind, but that implies a condition resulting from a surfeit of experience rather than a dearth of sensation.

"Numbed" or "indifferent" could be a more correct articulation. Unfortunately, one is never numbed to one's own pain, only to the glitter of the roadside attractions. I am, I say with horror, pretty much indifferent to those attractions that are meant to draw one back to life's sensations. I feel the fear, of course, but, more to the point, I fear feeling. There is no excitement in me at the prospect of seeing a new attraction that turns out to be just another two-headed snake or chicken.

I think of suicide often. Not because of any brave intent or any increasing likelihood of it happening, but because I think anyone in my position would, should, think about it. We will all die, after all. Oh, Christ, I am always meaning to not write this kind of message any more, and then I do. The more I love anyone, the harder it is to keep my mouth shut. I know which way the scale points when it comes to any evidence of love on my part. I don't know what love is. I don't know how to act about it. Perhaps there was a time when I did, though it didn't seem to suppress my bad behavior. I think these days that the answer to the question about love may be exactly as uncomplicated as that: a matter of behavior. If you behave as if you love, perhaps that is love, or will become so. Now, only fear excites any bad behavior in me, and love—well, that hasn't translocated very well. It has become hard enough just getting a hard-on. The more complex notions and motions required for love are far more difficult. If I knew what love was, I'd behave some other way, though. Even I know that.

I am presently involved in such very deep procrastinations and edge-skatings. I don't know why I do it, since it upsets my stomach. My guts are twisted. I'm afraid. I talk to no one any more. Was there in fact a time when I did? I think so. Therefore I am— This.

Signed, Dogger G.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Love And Hate

"I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!" — Tom Lehrer

Monday, June 13, 2005


What comes from dreams in dreamland
Moves no heart but mine, turns no head
But mine; what comes with hope's swift yearning
Is just another measure in the rhythm of the tide.

Go far ahead, go, stride like those who went
Before us, who turned the narrow footpaths
To avenues, who turned the earth's resistance
To their wills, subdued the forests and the
Waters to their flared, hair-raising wills!

Sister, brother, hold to one firm course,
And never turn, look back. What's straight
Ahead has nothing on either side (yet what is
That in dreamland that cries against such pride?)

What's gone ahead will not come back,
Will stay in place despite us; whose heart
Is moved by what moves gaily out beside us
Will never know us, never show us
What makes their hearts so hopeful or so gay.

Wind swept through the brush at dawn's tide,
Rage burnt through the brain at swept-tide,
Hell made in the heart at riptide,
Cries out to hope-in-wait:
"What hope have I in hell's eye?
What hope have I?"

What comes from dreams in dreamland
Moves no heart but mine, it seems, turns no head but mine.
What comes from pride's slow turning on the spit
Is just the painful pleasure of the heedless primal tide.


5th draft: 06/08/05
©1980 Ronald C. Southern

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Automatic Garage Door Repairs

This is not really a repair; more like half-assed maintenance, maybe. No surprise, all of my maintenance jobs are half-assed or half-witted. First, one of the wheels that rolls in the metal channels as the large wooden door is moved up and down jumped out of it’s track earlier this week. The door would still go up and down, but it looked wrong, wrong, wrong! I got on a ladder and shoved at it a little with a hammer, trying to move it back into place, but no dice. Being on a ladder, I felt my face and fingers were too close to the work and that made me too nervous. I had serious trepidation about losing a finger or a nose. I finally got off the ladder and used a mop handle to shove the wheel back inside the track. That felt a lot safer and I therefore felt freer to give it a good hard shove!

Whoopee, an easy rescue, I thought. And I guess it was, but I still don’t know WHY the wheel came out of its track, so I can’t stop wondering what’s to prevent it from happening again tomorrow or next week? I’ve kept an eye on it, but to no avail. There's nothing to see. I greased the metal channels moderately to feel certain there’s no binding that occurs for that kind of reason. I can’t tell that it’s better or worse, though. Hope it doesn’t fall on the car.
"It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion." — William Ralph Inge, from "Outspoken Essays" (1919)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mowing Grass In The Texas Heat

I worked hard today (well, for me), mowing and weed-eating and trimming with the shears. It took a good part of the day, though I admit I took my usual extensive and frequent breaks. Here I am all tired out, my feet hurt, my back hurts, my hands and arms hurt, and I suppose that I could feel some sort of sense of victory about "beating" today's problems or getting my work done except for one thing—this is the third, not the first day, of working at this bloody infernal task! Jesus, I'm a zero!

You may be wondering, what's the number of hours involved, the square feet involved, and then you'd figure out if I were slow or fast, dead or alive. Blow that. It's enough for me to know that I used to able to do the whole thing in two days, sometimes (if I gave a damn) even one day. I used to do it better, I used to do it more nimbly, and I used to By God do it way the hell faster!

It's not even hot here yet (not for Texas), so that torture factor does not yet have to be computed. Of course, you might have to spend more time in the sun all at once than I do to be any real judge of how bad the Texas heat is. I know it's hot—that's why I wear a hat. But, in local parlance, it's not "broiling" yet, and that's what I'm considering as "hot". This heat today was baby stuff. And when it does get really hot, you'll wish the day was half as long and that you could spend half of that in the air-conditioned house.

We had no AC when I was a kid in Texas; when I got hot outside and came home, I'd flop down in bed while the huge attic fan sucked a continuous breeze into the house through all the open windows and across my sweaty flesh. I would stay there and gasp like a fish for what seemed like eons. Eventually, evaporation began to work and I caught my breath again and my body temperature normalized. All I can figure is that the pioneers who settled Texas must have been some inhumanly tough sonsabitches. Me, I would never have paused here longer than it took to get a drink of cool creek water.

Well, there's worse places, of course—I think they call it The Desert! Is that an improvement of some kind or what? It's true you don't have to mow any grass in The Desert! But it seems like Bad to Worse and Bad to Worse all over again to me.
"Communism is like one big phone company." — Lenny Bruce

Friday, June 10, 2005

My Old Girlfriend

From Dogger Gatsby’s Oblique Notebook

All at once, there she was, all innocent twat and twaddle, as usual, then she went off with a friend of mine. The next time I saw her, she couldn’t walk straight or talk right or keep from grinning or refrain from flipping the hem of her skirt back and forth, so was I really out of line to just assume he’d drilled her? I know my phraseology isn’t very nice, but they looked disgustingly happy. Just push my nose in the dirt, thank you, and don't bother me if I say Fuck This or Fuck That!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Man's hope is cast down by man.
Civilization's a joke that we told, one to another,
on mercenary streets between these intersection ruts,
beneath thatched roofs and thwarted struts,
waking and walking and waiting,
waiting for the sky to fall.

But what, what is told?
If what comes out from heaven's gate
is always heaven's own,
what meaning can be told?

Each is responsible for each,
We hear it every day;
But turning in our tracks,
Forever saying, we do not teach or learn.
Our words come back. The words won't tell.

Man's hope is cast out by man.
Can this be told: this thunder-stroked,
this water-stained, this tissue-thin,
this tangled skein of hell?
This deeper-than-thou refusal?
Oh what, what is told?
Is it the merit of meanness
Or the fitness of fools surviving?

The fit may yet survive,
but only the fit-to-be-tied,
only the fit-to-be-whipped
in whom blackness cries to confess:
"We suppress the best—so what?
Our hearts are firm and pockets rich—
So What if we are cold?"

Each other is only an other.
We look for selves alike—
for each man loves his own crime best,
and the same dull crime in each other.


5th draft: 06/05/05
©1983 Ronald C. Southern

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Old Bachelors

"Here we are, three old bachelors," Tanner sighed.

He paused, and Sallye and Phil glanced first at one another, then at Tanner leaning his elbows on the kitchen table. He was lighting another cigarette and they could sense a speech coming on. They'd been sitting around Sallye's combination kitchen/den for hours, drinking, talking about a lot of new things and a few old times. Tanner talked as much as ever, they noted. Sallye and Phil couldn't help grinning at each other about it; it had begun to feel like old times.

"Here we are now," Tanner continued in a familiar facetious tone, "emerged from that faded old Summer of Love, from that tired old Age of Aquarius, sprung forth like awkward grasshoppers into our jaded middle age, into this New Aquatic Age—oh, excuse me, Phil, that's old stuff!—this New Age, this energetic green world! Yet still the world is filled with loutish generations in front of us, more of them coming up behind, and we're starting to be suspicious of one another. We still don't have anyone to go through it with, no one who might make going through it at least tolerable, if not worthwhile. We're like unicorns without mates or the likelihood of mates, with no one but ourselves for company and no one but ourselves to blame."

"We only have ourselves? Is that what you mean?" Sallye asked him.

"Yeah!—isn't that so?"

"Well, maybe. Should we be depressed?"

"I'm not sure. That's what it sounds like I meant, isn't it? I don't feel like that much of the time, but I guess that is what I meant."

"It's not true that we only have ourselves, though," Phil said, a little indignantly. He'd been fidgeting for some time. "We have each other!"

"What's this?" Tanner asked with a friendly smirk. "Some kind of Big Chill hope-you-feel-better philosophy?"

"Maybe," Phil said spiritedly, almost defensively. "What's so bad about that, if it makes you feel better?"

"Nothing! Nothing at all," Sallye said quickly, hoping to sooth them. "God, you two are nuts," she said, smiling but slightly annoyed. "You argue sometimes even though you actually agree with one another, and I don't understand it at all!" She'd never had much patience with their argumentativeness.

"Well, we are here, after all," Tanner said in a half-sullen tone.

Sallye looked at him quizzically, then shook her head as if it didn't matter. She got up and went to the refrigerator. She quickly came back and set a coke down in front of Tanner, a wine bottle in front of Phil, then went back to get a beer for herself. After all these years, their tastes hadn't changed much and she pretty well knew what was called for without asking. Tanner, who'd been carefully preparing his next remark, had barely noticed her activity. Suddenly he saw the Coke in front of him and took a sip and grinned.

"We were always the best and the brightest," he said. "So we thought, anyway!—certainly we were the most particular, and in the end just far too fucking fastidious. We're still intelligent!—brain cells sacrificed to drug experimentation notwithstanding!—and still at least half-charming to anyone who likes that old intellectual crap. And!—well..."

"And all that jazz," Phil grinned.

"Correcto," Tanner acknowledged good-naturedly, glad to have someone fill in the blank. But then he went on to finish his statement, anyway. "And yet somehow we are still alone. Just alone, a good deal of the time. It isn't right. It doesn't make sense."

"Who ever said there'd be sense? Or justice?" Sallye asked him.

"Jesus, how the fuck would I know?" Tanner laughed. "You're the goddamn lawyer!"

"She's not that kind of lawyer!" Phil laughed, highly amused. "Nobody can get you justice in that sense!"

"Not hardly," Sallye laughed, pointing back over her shoulders. "No angel's wings here, you know!"


5th draft: 06/03/05
©1989 Ronald C. Southern

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." — J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

One Of Our Best Actresses Has Died

Anne Bancroft, one of our finest actresses, died today of cancer at age 73. I hate that. I won't make a list of her acting roles—you can Google it for yourself—but I'll bet that nearly everyone who's ever liked movies at all know two or three movies that she was great in! I recommend her role as the writer Helene Hanff opposite Anthony Hopkins in 84, Charing Cross Road. It's a movie for people whose taste is not limited to action films.

Ambrose Bierce "Devil's Dictionary" Again

"Admiration, n.: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves." — Ambrose Bierce

"Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion." — Ambrose Bierce

Monday, June 06, 2005

Let’s Break Bloglines’ Kneecaps

I wonder why it is that my stupid Bloglines sometimes (often, lately) keeps highlighting the recently published blogs that I subscribe to despite the fact that I’ve visited and read those sites? It usually happens to only one or two sites at a time, but that doesn’t make me feel good about it, for it often persists in those one or two sites for days. If Bloglines would totally screw up, it would be easier to reach the decision to drop Bloglines and speak ill of it at every opportunity.

I wonder if Bloglines has a Policy Statement somewhere that says as long as they don’t screw up every single thing they touch, as long as they did a few things right today, it’s okay and they ought not to be blamed for anything by anybody?

Is anyone else out there getting this slouchy behavior out of Bloglines, whether seldom or frequent? I’m just curious.
"Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." — Jef Raskin (human-computer interface expert, developed first Mac computer)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Beautiful Flicker

Here's a flicker, similar to the one I saw yesterday on a pine tree limb in a neighbor's yard. This is a good head-shot, but I'm going to search for a good "full body" photo. Okay, here's a nice illustration of this very different-looking woodpecker!

Kettelton Quote

"History is almost always misstated, misquoted, or misconstrued." — Maldive Kettelton

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Man Of Heart Alone

To touch the stone again
Yet keep both hands wrapped
Tight around the wheel

Or see the way again
Yet feel both feet
Set firmly on the ground—

The way-of-the-world on-the-loose
Takes time to learn, takes time to teach,
And I am wise but wasted now,
A man of heart alone.

Fear, or courage,
Neither one now matters,
But only this that drives us.

Not breath held back
Or blood stopped cold
But only hope's bright falcon,
Our love that's flown unmeasured.

Not the fury that swells the blood gone wild
Or the need in the cries of the child,
But only this limitless searching,
The soul-in-term's firm grasp.

Suzanne, come heed, come feed me;
In the pleasures of knowing
Are limits that limit our pride;
Our passions are proud, and just, and shy,
But the world, make no error, will lie.


3rd draft: 06/02/05
©1980 Ronald C. Southern

[It's an old poem and was always a sort of impressionistic or abstract piece, without concrete detail, and I was never able to rewrite it in a more realistic vein. Better to leave it like it was, really, except for some small changes made recently.]
"Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter." — William Ralph Inge

Friday, June 03, 2005

Deep Throat

Revelation of "Deep Throat's" Identity

Now that we ostensibly know who Deep Throat is, I can't say that I'm amused by the remarks from Chuck Colson, John Dean, and the other Watergate crooks still alive. Their comments seem to mostly be about Mark Felt having been "dishonorable"! Isn't that the new definition of the Pot calling the Kettle black? Isn't this the Snake complaining that the Mongoose doesn't fight fair? Sounds to me like the sphincter calling the colon dirty and disagreeable!

I don't believe those shitheads are accomplishing anything except obtaining a speaker's fee or "guest" payment for themselves. For 30 years I've known this same team of burglars, plumbers, and constitutional back-stabbers were only loyal to Nixon and were not honorable men. It upsets my stomach to hear their corrupt opinions still being listened to respectfully. If the question comes down (as I think it does) to who served their country well in this matter, I'd say Deep Throat was on the right side of things, that of the truth. Whatever his motivations, his info facilitated the dissemination of the truth. Nixon and his bunch of crooks came as near as we ever want to come in this country to dissolution due to lying and unconstitutional skullduggery in the White House!

Nobody so far has exceeded Nixon's crooks at making up their own rules and behaving any old way they wanted to, as long as it was done for good old Mr. Nixon. Though I don't see Mr. Felt as a hero, I do think in this instance he was more honorable than the Nixon louts.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Life In Sequence

Empty arms in turning rooms of no consent:
One's self in motion interrupts to say "alone":
Builds resistance: voiceless sighs: "resent".

Hope turned soft and nudist in evening's light,
Waste wed to heartbreak no man alive can fight.

Time in the morning, time spent alone,
Waste fed by heartbeats each soul lives alone.

What's out the window? Who's on the phone?
What tells the heart it's boring to speak of what is known?

I've kept my eye on wedlock,
Grown reasons in the weeds, felt
Finish in the sudden breath inswept,
Drawn knowledge from unknowing, and duly wept.

I've seen our death in all due reasons,
Drawn blood from the wound and was proud;
Kept spite in spite of all forgiving,
Kept faith with only what my own intractable self allowed.

What went with life in sequence?
What went with life in tow?
What comes with time's hard frequence
Is someone softly saying, "See, I told you so..."

Empty arms in turning rooms of no consent:
One's self in contemplation takes chance to say "alone":
Voids resistance: voiceless sighs: Consent ...


5th draft: 05/31/05
©1980 Ronald C. Southern

"The world tolerates conceit from those who are successful, but not from anybody else." — John Blake

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sinatra Sings Zappa In Heaven

I Ain't Got no Heart

Ain't got no heart
I ain't got no heart to give away
I sit and laugh at fools in love
there ain't no such thing as love
no angels singing up above today
Girl I don't believe
Girl I don't believe in what you say
You say your heart is only mine
I say to you, you must be blind,
What makes you think that you're so fine?
That I would throw away the groovy life I lead
'cause baby, what you've got yeah
It sure ain't what I need
Girl you better go
Girl you'd better go away
I think that life with you would be
just not quite the thing for me
Why is it so hard to see my way?
Why should I be stuck with you?
It's just not what I want to do
Why should an embrace or two?
Make me such a part of you
I ain't got no heart to give away!

by Frank Zappa

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers, the ones with the large red crests, are a little bit rare in Southeast Texas (or at least pretty difficult to spot!). I usually see one or two a few times a year, but last year I didn't see a single one! They are the largest and loudest of the woodpeckers, unless the very recently re-discovered ivory-billed woodpecker is larger, and it's my impression that they're about the same size. (OOPS! Wrong! The ivory is about 3 inches longer than the 16.5" pileated. It's hard to remember the details of a bird that up until a few weeks ago was extinct!)

All this in mind, I was considerably excited yesterday when I heard a loud knocking and looked up to see one of these birds in plain sight on the oak tree in front of me. As my jaw dropped, another one joined the first one! They stayed in sight for a good while, first on that tree, then on another tree across the street, but still close by. I assume they are a breeding pair and I hope they hang around the neighborhood a while or at least return a few times before summer is over. Maybe if I pay enough attention I can figure out where they're nesting. Of course the nest that's accessible to them might not be very accessible to me. Life is more difficult when you don't have wings.