Poem: Public 1

A mortal cloud sits affront me, at the sides

as well is a crunching Armada, and passing is Pointless

Shadow on the right, Vacuum on the left

with taunting vulgarity, chit chat hyper fuse

apocalypse bringer, Task Force United, T.F.U.

screamin’ up capitol streets with odd numbers

in ‘em, strangely catatonic facially

reconstructed bubble-butt beasts, the future is bringing

a porn mag in the bathroom, lockin’ the door

not for shame but safety, which is first

then teamwork, keeping cautious eyes

on each other permanent, just in case

interruption is lurkin’, shame over shoulder

Setta Strike, leading team Point Chuckle

up the park to the tennis court, a bad place

to be masturbating in the day, but at night

the sensation is priceless, I’m sure.

Poem: Public 1

Novelistic

This trashy beach novel, written sunbathing

about the future of our planet, which I found

on the shores of lake Minotanka, is pessimistic at best,

in its vision of the future, the pantsless emperor

is given a knife, and he’s running around the U.N.

stabbing at ghosts, because he was celebrating

the assassination of the previous emperor

and he did too much acid, it’s a hilarious romp

featuring a choreographed dance of death

with full penetration, it has everything.

Novelistic

Poem: Nightmare 2

I shock into the world everyday

at dawn, I’m surrounded by trenchcoats

surrendering to the past, flicking butts

from day to night, as the world turns

they learn not at all, as they are all fury

fear and fellowship, so to speak down

is knowing the time of day, the masses huddled

no more, girded by spiteful fury

depression draining life forever

Poem: Nightmare 2

Poem: In The Wartime

The battle was weeks of hell, baskets of mortar

dropped on a frozen rope, onto my friends trapped

with nothing to win, they are happy now

rendered headless, chopping off what we could

to drop into the sea, we are war machine screaming

merciless mantras, passing a chalice

boozy of humor, laughing with satan

at the suffering fireworks, burn the wound making

cauterized ruination, I fear sepsis

taking hold, for I will die before its done.

 

Pandemonium marketplace setups

selling soldiers to the bidder, elevated not

though square dealing on the level

with rules to follow, and malice aforethought

you understand, for a known game is just

talk of death to traitors and spies

wearing suits, costuming a new hell

in tatters as death in the mirror

again, the children are hungry

but nothing grows anymore period.

 

A cruel, merciless decision we made,

admittedly, to stand apart from fury

with sickly cowardice we turn away,

though we chastise ourselves and each other

for acting likewise, because flagellation feels

good when we use words, joy is diminishing

words we don’t like to use in public

but we still do, for wouldn’t you

if you had esteem waiting, but you don’t

because you only serve, like a lever.

 

Check marks, first thing is the first,

a nice fruity phosphate, Mountain Due

Condition Blue or something, tasting love

is sweet sunshine and comfort costs

money in peacetime, my arms rendered

useless but to pull a lever, push a lunger

off the edge, slipping into a dragon chase,

or maybe it’s a nightmare, but waking

in a box is a bad omen, I’ve heard.

 

Large in charge of the floor, big shot

all of a sudden, struggling still up against

a whiteboard colored in bullshit,

first buy the bonds, afterwards pay the piper

for the tolls that number sixteen

more than before, on the same street

all of a sudden, knowing there’s not a place

we could afford uptown, anyway

hunting a point out, precisely placed

because you might have just one chance.

 

Voltaire and Camus came together

to work on “All Quiet,” or whatever

it will be called, and directed by Dickens

with Gandhi producing, De Sade scripting

the tale of a lonely stable-boy in love

with a maiden of the conquered people,

but alas he is gutshot, and dies alone

in the dark, no dry eyes, best picture

contender at least, that’s for sure.

 

I feel like Django, dragging a coffin behind me

filled with my trespasses, and the yelping

victim wails that fell on deaf ears echo

in the night, haunting things I’ve done

rest in the unknown enemy’s moving tomb,

they would’ve done me as I did them,

but still they glare with hole eyes, sucking portals

sucking to a world of shit, so forever good night.

 

I wrote a book called “Push the Chips”

detailing my fall and rise, it was a whitewash

snow job poorly detailed emotional history,

just as devotees rise and shout praises

out of tune, paper away the detritus

pushing to next, and gearing up is the key

with a spiked helmet and chains,

you gotta mash the allies, tell no one

what you’ve done, it is a horror.

 

The movie’s have changed, and none remain

better then ever, though history clones are

all the rage bubbling, they disappoint

with cookie-cutter mechanics and terra cotta

characters, so open the door and pull ideas

off of the chaff pile, we will shield them

with complacency, I have to write

my new novel, the one to lift them up

by the heart, which is all there is.

 

The first time I attempted suicide

I woke up in the hospital, zippered

into my bed, joining rage and regret

in a blender, pushing pulse over again,

smearing pain and scrawling hate

on the wall, they started marking milestones

after a time, now not even a walker

with me, the sad kids get some hope.

 

This is my resignation not from chiefs

of executive office, in them a poison

growing from their heart through their pores,

making them seem soupy, and red

of brick and beet and tomato, but we know

what it really is, representing an ending

for everyone, I move to my forest cabin,

shut off, my kids won’t talk to me at all

now, maybe they’ll never, but I’m finally free.

 

The court calls me Notnow Neverwas

and they laugh, when I enter or leave,

they say it through a cone, long and loud

“Ladies and Gentlemen!  Boys and girls!”

then they lower the boom, pointing to me

a smiling finger, no, they cackle grimly

without humor, but they don’t even know

no one’s laughing, either and I have a knife

behind my back, time for some justice.

Poem: In The Wartime

Movie Review: Grosse Point Blank (1997)

Grosse Point Blank (1997)

Director: George Armitage

Writer: Tom Mankiewicz (story) Tom Mankiewicz, D.V. DeVicentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack (screenplay)

Actors: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Akroyd

Streaming on Netflix

Thanks in large part to John Cusack’s intensely likable portrayal of a remorseless killing machine, Grosse Point Blank stands as one of the weirdest, funniest, and most entertaining romantic comedies of all time.  Feeling like the inspiration of several coked-up movie executives on a bender (“Let’s put The Killer together with Peggy Sue Got Married”), this movie is pure crackerjack entertainment from start to finish.  For instance, in the same ten minutes, Martin Q. Blank (Cusack) has an emotionally weighted reunion with the love of his life (Minnie Driver), and has an insane gun duel with an eastern European hit man (Benny Urquidez) holding two submachine guns.  The gun duel is far from outstanding, and the romance at times seems preposterous, but when married, these two seemingly oppositional styles of filmmaking combine to paste a wide grin on every viewers’ face.

This movie exists in the (likely heavily fictionalized) world of killers for hire, and as it begins, Martin Q. Blank (Cusack) turns down fellow hit man Grocer’s (Dan Akroyd) proposal to begin a union of contract murderers.  This plot line provides the grist for the action, of which there is plenty, in the movie, but it might have been tiresome were it not for Dan Akroyd’s sensational turn as the villain.  Akroyd exhibits such loud, boorish machismo that in every scene of his he is simply hilarious.  Alan Arkin, another fantastic comic talent from Chicago’s Second City, brings a superb touch to the role of Blank’s psychiatrist Dr. Oatman.  Early in the movie, Arkin and Cusack have a scene together filled with so much perfect timing and comic invention that I almost wish the movie focused purely on the interaction of these two characters.  However, as the movie draws on, the amount of exemplary comic acting becomes simply staggering.

Joan Cusack is exceptional as Blank’s “handler” Marcella, while Hank Azaria and K. Todd Freeman have some very funny moments as the frustrated NSA agents tracking Blank as he winds his way through the movie’s ludicrous criminal underworld.  All of this, however, is secondary to the movie’s central plot line: Blank’s reunion with Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver), the true love he abandoned ten years earlier on prom night to join the army.  Minnie Driver does her best to create emotional heft in this crazy story, and while I’m not sure how successful she is in making the characters seem emotionally real, she is extremely charming and gives the movie the closest thing it has to an emotional focal point.  Jeremy Piven also makes a notable appearance as Paul Spericki, Blank’s old high school buddy, creating even more laughs and good will in this already stuffed movie.

Everything about Grosse Point Blank exists in a fantasy realm, occurring in a world where everyone has something funny to do or say, and a world where high-paid assassins use two pistols at the same time.  This is a movie that seems made by committee, and judging by the fact that five people get writing credits on it, that is the case.  While in most instances, this would likely be a considerable drawback, for this movie it’s an absolute boon.  By packing the cast with wonderfully adroit comic performers, this movie is able to throw everything it can imagine on screen, confident that the actors will make everything (I use this term loosely) believable.  Every piece of Grosse Point Blank lends itself to a delightful movie watching experience.  The screenplay sizzles with whip-smart joke lines, the action is frenetically silly, and the performances are delightful with each actor putting their own twists on classic tropes.  This movie might have been made in a lab, but it’s a hell of a good time.

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Movie Review: Grosse Point Blank (1997)

Poem: Waking Nightmare

If you see a nickel on the ground don’t bend to meet it

because it’s likely a disease nest, an assemblage of noxious

viral pathogens, it will turn your insides to jelly

after it steals your voice and makes all your holes leak

fluid the consistency of paper mache, or perhaps it will pass,

who knows in this uncertain age, where our leaders are a pantomime

circus of dung and vomit, society is a sideshow slideshow

erupting from our own minds as we look into a mirror

weeping “Why!?”

 

We would ask god but his ears are plugged

with the fact he doesn’t exist, not in any way

that would make a difference as far as you or anyone

could ever really know, making religion a drug,

not an opiate, but a benzodiazepine pill

because of it’s predilection to cause aggression

and behavioral disinhibition, which combine

messily to make for mass shootings and genital mutilations.

 

I watch the news and hear the wails of the prostrate

penitent prison punks, guards jam nightsticks

where the sun shines not, just for fun is what one would assume

given the way they smile, but the world is yours

if you can convince yourself its worth taking

by the handle, because at least you can blow

your brains out with it.

Poem: Waking Nightmare

Poem: Cruel Scars

Bulging blood slipstream, I emerged into air

annoying and bored, divided red into slots

pachinko bubble maelstrom, all us roaring scavengers

feasting on the flow of chaff, strafe and circle triggering

a button-mash uppercut, charlie brown bouncing

along a bright blue light, dart and tagging daylight

showers afloat and smiling, losers were white-washed wet

tasting the ground on the asphalt, deaf and numb to them

I’m sorry Scott at end Eric, I would cut you and laugh

in ways I may have felt justified, I floated a giggling

coliseum spectator, I was justified vile

I’m sorry Scott, I posed a phantom enmity

for you you were very funny, but your chuckle gurgled

and you wiped boogers, and on your bare arms

or so they said, though I never saw it

I could imagine it, you could’ve been a big bully

instead you were gross, sweet and gentle and icky

with a heart of gold, but I don’t know what good I did

as I could’ve met your gaze, fuller pressed your palm

but they were watching, but I was small and weak

in frame and spirit, I can’t lose what friends I have

I daily sanctified, my faith in the laughter

and brotherly revelry, sweeping the world away

with our callous nature, cackling at victims

mocking virus infection, nothing is at all authentic

in my irony chain mail, no skin is exposed

as plates become spines, none may near me

for I never think about them, what do I care I ask

about my conceptual guilt, a fact sober puddle showing

we are all what we all are, for now and forever on.

 

I reject my own theory, I am not cruelty incarnate

or an ape with a club, there is more to society

built on bone rubble holes, sunken in a black hole

wealth sucks within, coaxing a violent flame

for art’s sake, an implanted desire of life that is

art can be subverted, directed to poison its own ends

expounding on an evil, seducing the weak and venal

kindness loving loyalty, we can love the oppressors

trusting molesters and nazi’s, trusting scammers and thieves

till in the mirror is a stranger, so we are to know how

the greatest good is reason, daily dedicate ourselves

signing the pledge of truth, true now and ever we know

no hate love or sympathy, we must follow Kant

by categorical imperative, golden rule redux is

the maxim by which you act, should work for all

to do what everyone should, even though they won’t

one must hold himself above, serenely overlooking

morality landscapes, wrong is was will be wrong

adolescent ankle cutting, as I once participated in

I know and I’m sorry fellas, but I think this is it

for poetic apology, children are cruel as I was

cannibal pundits in a pit, soul-sucking clown poison

either you’re a victim, or you’re a torment storm

for silence is no acquittal, we all did or allowed it

because it happened, but now what’s to do but

apologize to their faces, this will never happen

nor to their voices or eyes, just to this poem,\

which I think this is enough, it’s all they’ll get anyway.

Poem: Cruel Scars