Kari Edwards, XO

I just found out kari edwards died of heart failure. I am so saddened by this news. kari and I first met in 2001. We smoked cigarettes and told our stories of how we came to be. Before we parted, I asked if I could get a list of 5 books she thought I needed to read. She gave me this list. I have yet to go through it. Tomorrow I will.

1. Louis Celine, Death on the Installment Plan
2. Kathy Acker, Demonmother
3. D. Hardin, (Dis)tortion
4. Justim
5. Judith Butler, Gender Trouble


Thank you for your wisdom, kindness, and beauty.



Still Going

Drew Gardner linked up to Giant Steps. It's a cool animated film, synchronized to a John Coltrane solo. I dug it. Especially the music. There is something so magical about Coltrane's horn. It always inspires.

What else?

Last night I went to the Dresden to meet up with members of my TESL class. Most were in attendance. We talked about where we were going, parking tickets, and how I needed to hook up with T. in Thailand, because he could show me a whole new frontier.

"Yesssss," went his drawl. "Thailand."

T. was everyone's favorite in class. He just didn't hold to any borders. If he felt like telling you his encounters with prostitutes in Bangkok, he would. If you encouraged him, he would lay it out for you.

"You have to watch out for nipples. Some girls put drugs on them to knock you out. Then they make out with your phone, wallet, clothes, everything."

"Has that ever happened to you?"

"No," Tyree smiled.

He is an amazing person. I'm sure if I visit him, it would be a trip I wouldn't ever forget.


"The Trip"

I still haven't sold the car. I got the passport, packed 2 suitcases, and have given notice to my jobs. Now it's just the car. I've taken an ad out on craigslist. Hopefully, someone will respond after Christmas. In the meantime, I am running laps around Hollywood, watching bad movies, and procrastinating going to the post office to mail books. It's a great life.


"Them Crazy Bitches"

Them crazy bitches keep
taking me for a ride.
They say it's a one way ticket.
They say it's fun.

I'm still waiting for the pinatas.
I haven't seen any clowns.
All I get are freak show accidents
with my head in the ground.


3 Weeks!

...and 13 things left on my list of To do's.

#10 is to sell my car. I am well on my way on this item. I spoke to a mechanic today. He gave me the low down.

"How much is the bluebook price?"

"1400 to 24," I said.

"Then I would sell it for 24."

"Really? I was thinking a thousand."

"No," he smiled. "Start high and go low. Not the other way around."

I'll tell you my friends that is some sage advice. It is also only the beginning of what I found out from the mechanic. Apparently, everyone in the shop was Korean, and knew everything about where I was going. They even knew the school I was going to.

"Oh, you going there?" Mr. Park asked.

"Yeah," I said. "Is that a good school?"

"Oh, good school," he said. "Good choice. Just becareful about the motor."

"What's the motor?"

"Motor? Marijuana. You smoke that stuff, and you get 2 years in jail. Right away."

"Okay," I said. "I'll stay away from the motor."

"You going to have good life. You teacher. You going to meet a nice girl."

The other mechanics laughed.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Lots of girl there. Pick a rich girl."

"A rich girl?"

"Oh, yeah! A rich girl. It don't matter she be ugly. Just rich."

"Okay," I said.

They were real nice guys. We all worked on my front liscense plate (it was stuck). We also shot the shit about other stuff (more stuff about girls). I liked being there. It was real comfortable. I even thought about working there. It might be nice. I know Chuck seems to dig it.

Maybe, when I get back to L.A..

I think I'd be good with cars. I could make them purr.

The Secret to Writing

1. Think of yourself as a light bulb. What turns you on? Is it this sentence? This word? No outline? Outline? If you answer these questions honestly, the writing will continue. If you don’t know what electrifies you most, then try the possibilities. One will have you skipping writing sessions, while the other will have you writing until one in the morning. Just ask. Then turn on the light.


The Slipshod Swingers Hit Itunes

The Slipshod Swingers are now available on itunes. Simply click here to download your favorite song. You can also purchase handmade copies of Orange Lamborghini here.

If you are curious about what other digital stores you can purchase your favorite Slipshod tunes, just pick one, and we're probably there. If not, let us know, and we'll make it so.

Happy Holidays,

Captain Picard & Company


I helped P-man move into his new apartment. It has a beautiful view. You can see all of L.A..

"Isn't it great?" he asked. "You can see everything."

"Yeah," I agreed, and leaned on the balcony wall. "I can see Hollywood Boulevard."

"And look!" he pointed. "There's the Observatory!"

"Yeah," I smiled.

I enjoyed looking over the world of Los Angeles. I'm glad my brother has a beautiful apartment. I am also glad I get to argue about Jay Z's new album with my other brother, P-nauh, who thinks he knows everything.

"You hear how he used punctuation?"

"Poets have been doing that for years."

My brother clicked on another track, "This is the one with Beyonce. It's not that good."

"This is the best one so far."

"Nah, man. This sucks."

"I like love songs."

Pan makes a face.

"How about we do the Velociraptor Song?" I ask him, and dance with short arms like a T-rex. "Wouldn't that be a hit? The raptor! The raptor! The velociraptor!"

My brother laughs, then shakes his head.

"You don't want to make a video?" I ask, still dancing.

"This is a good song," he says, ignoring me. "I like the beat. Dre did it."

I listen. It doesn't do much for me. Maybe, I'm an idiot. I don't get why Jay Z came back from retirement anyway. It seems like a gip. Why didn't he just manage Def Jam and call it a day?

"You hear what he said? Kingdom Come! He's the King of Hip Hop!"

"I don't know about that," I rolled me eyes. "I'm just not feeling it."

I didn't press my brother though. If he likes the album, he likes it. I just prefer Cyndi Lauper anyway. Why not some Arrested Development? What ever happened to "Walk Like a Dinosaur?" I'm going to bring it back. I just needed an accomplice.

Luckily, Dacheux called at that very moment. I had her on speakerphone.

"Hey, little buddy," she says.

"Hey, big buddy," I say.

"How about an executive meeting?"

"Sounds good to me."

"Okay. I'll be over in a little bit."

We must have said some other stuff, or maybe it was just the way Stacy and I chit-chat, but Panauh was laughing his ass off.

"What's so funny?"

"You guys are so funny," he laughed, and covered his mouth.

I smiled. Then I got ready. It was time for an executive meeting. I walked down to the 7-11 and got a turkey sandwich. I ate it and sat on the rail outside. Pretty soon, I could see Stace making her way down Hollywood. That's when I stepped off to meet her.

"Hey, little bud," she said, and hugged me.

"Hey, blocky ock a too," I said.

"You ready for a little executive meeting?"

"Yeah," I said.

We walked all the way to the Arclight. We got tickets and sat at our favorite booth. That's when the meeting started.

"I want a cosmopolitan," Stacy told the waiter.

"What's in those?" I asked.

"Triple Sec, Grenadine, and Vodka."

"Sounds good."

"It is."

"I want the same thing," I told the waiter.

After we had our share of alcoholic beverages, we went into the theater for a little Holiday movie. It was pretty cute. We both liked Kate Winslet. We thought she was cute.

"She is," Stacy smiled.

"Yes," I agreed. "I like her."

We talked about other things. Special executive meeting stuff. Top secret, you know? About projects, dreams, and our special times seeing bad romantic comedies together.

"I love seeing these kinds of movies with you," Stacy said. "I wouldn't ever see them if it wasn't for you."

"Neither would I," I laughed.

We walked back down Hollywood. Stacy pointed out the hybrids in the car lot.

"Look! Field of hybrids!"

I smiled. She was right. A whole field of them. Then we kept walking. It was 4 more blocks until we got home. We hugged and she was off. I stepped inside, checked some emails, and then called Lotus Blossom 75. She was excited to meet me on Saturday.

"I want to kiss you," she said.

"That's how it starts," I said.

Lotus Blossom giggled.

Now I am going to bed. Jim has sent me poems. I will read them and sleep.

Tomorrow I will start again.

TESL Course Continues

Today we listened to Louis Armstrong sing "What a Wonderful World." I get choked up everytime I hear that song. It's one of the best ever written. I think one of my classmates could tell I dug the song. He reached up to his eye and pretended to joke-sniffle, but I could tell there was real passion behind his sarcasm. He even qualified it for me, by offering the entire class a Cliff Clavin about the song's history.

It was 1968," he paused, getting into radio announcer timbre. "Armstrong knew it would be his last time recording. He was in his old age and had wanted to see one more hit top the Billboard charts. The song was released in 1968 and made a bigger splash in Asia and elsewhere than it did in America. It wasn't until the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam featured the tune as part of its soundtrack that the song topped the charts once again."

"Yeah, we liked that song," another classmate agreed. "We used to listen to it a lot in Vietnam."

"Why is that?" our teacher asked. "I always imagined you'd listen to heavier stuff."

"Sometimes we listened to tough songs, but there were times when we listened to peaceful stuff. We liked listening to it. I don't know. I think it was good to have something calm and nice, when we were in a place that was so opposite that."

I am amazed at the lives of the human beings who surround me. There are so many incredible people on this planet.

Tonight I spoke to Lotus Blossom 75, a nice, North Cali girl who I've been asked to communicate with in robotic bips and whistles, much like R2D2 of Star Wars glory. Always a robot to please, I mustered a good-intentioned C3PO, and sat back with utter enjoyment, to make heads and tails of her half Southern California lilt and Japanese "O's" like "W's".

"So/w/ te/r/ me about /ch/oo?"


"What about you?"

"Me? What do you want to know?"

"You say you have brother?"

"Yeah, one lives with me. He's 20. Good guy."

"And you have another?"

"Yes. He's 26."

"So you have a lot going on?"

"What do yo mean?"

"A lot of brother."

That got me laughing. It was also when I knew I was in trouble. You don't want to make me laugh. It gets me fired up. Really, it does. In the world of turn-ons, I would say laughing is the biggest for me. If you can make me laugh, you got my heart. Put that in combination with an accent from a sexy women, and I'm ready to keel over and float in the clouds like an angel on Sunday. Especially when Lotus Blossom 75 uses words that are completely outdated in the English language like "squished" or asks me if "everything's alright?" when she doesn't have to. Those are definitely winners for me. But what took the cake was when she told me her roommates cats love HER more than him:

"They just like ME better," she says. "But I can't sleep with all 3 of them on the bed. They are too big. I get squished."

"That makes sense. They're big cats."

"Yes," she giggles. "Fatty is a big cat."

"Sounds like it."

"Yes," she laughs. "His name isn't really Fatty. I just call him Fatty."

"I know. I like that about you. You have a cat named Fatty."

She laughs for a bit, then composes herself. (I envision alien love.)

"So you say you work a lot of job?"

"It's actually a world record. I've had 32," I tell her.

"32!!!" she yelps. "Oh my, Gawd!"

"Yeah, it's a lot.'

"Why, so many?"

"I don't know...It ended up that way."

"So many-"

"Would you like to hear them?"

"Not all of them. Maybe, one or two."

"How about you guess? I've done them all."

"Okay...Porn star?!"

"Well, I do have a story about that one..."

We are supposed to meet for coffee sometime this week. I think it'll be fun. Especially meeting in Long Beach. I don't think I've ever been down there. I've just kept to Hollywood for the most part, since I moved to Cali. Call me Sheltered.

Tonight "Life Is Beautiful" was on television. I couldn't go to bed. I had to see the whole "Bonjourno Princepessa" plot to its end. It's one of the most brilliant 'falling in love' sequences I've seen at the movies. It might even be better than "It's a Wonderful Life." Or rival it, at least.

Anyway, I got to get to bed. I have nothing to do tomorrow. That takes energy.

Well, hold on, I'm so tired I almost forgot that I was going to talk about the first time I saw "Life Is Beautiful." I was in Philly. It was some theater right off 95 near South Street. I had just broken up with this person I was seeing, and feeling sad on love. Kind of lonely too. I went into this bar across the street, and ordered 3 martinis. By the time I showed up for movie time, I was completey blitzed. It took me the previews, the first fifteen minutes, and an espresso to finally get zoned in. Then Roberto Benigni took over. I laughed through the whole movie. Then I cried.

Later that month, I fell in love with the Ex-wife, and I took her to see the film.

Today I actually spoke to Mrs. X. She slighted me for not being the bread winner while we were together. Well, for clarity purposes, lets paint this picture to the tee.

"So how come you're not with me? What? You get tired of trying to save money with me?"

"Well, I had that one on my own," she grumbles.

This was where the conversation got real quiet. I wasn't upset or anything. I was just taken aback that she was still so angry with me. I figured a a couple years would wind down the heat. I also wondered why I didn't notice the anger while we were still puppies and kittens. You'd think a person could tell when someone's mad at them. Who knows? Maybe, this is a new side of the coin with her. Whatever it was, I didn't know it as what Mrs. X was when I was with her. Then again, I could just be a year older and wiser as Mickey G says.

Now I'm over and out.


*Bobbie Hawkins once critiqued me heavily for using the word "squished in a story. She called it "disgusting."**

**Bobbie also refused to allow the word "placed" in any of my stories. " 'Put' is so much better," she told me. 'Placed" is just awful." That made m laugh, but I listened. And you know what? I think she's right."

Things That Piss Me Off and Turn Me On

1. Bureaucracy: First of all, I can't even spell it. Second, I am sick of passport agencies who say a passport is arriving one day, then tell me another, and when I expedite the process with mucho bucks, they tell me the request isn't being honored, and why don't I make an appointment to go into the passport agency. What!? Well, what's the point of mailing your passport in, if you're going to tell me to come in person anyway?

2. A bird shitting on my pants as I deal with another cookie cutter receptionist from the passport agency.

3. Not being able to shit on things that shit on me. I'm just too spiritual.

4. Words like spiritual.

5. Girls who try to hook me up with their friends after I tell them I am leaving the country.

6. Packing.

7. Amazon Marketplace who emailed me to let me know I could keep my books on their site, if I paid an additional $65 per book, and qualified the book as "Publised by Lulu." What a gip?

8. When I start whining like Haulden Caulfield.

9. People who tell me my books remind them of Catcher in the Rye.

10. A Day in the Life

11. Jennifer Connelly

12. Guitars.

13. 4 in 1 printers.

14. Chewbacca!

15. The following poem...

"Outside Art"

A humble monumental
music made of syllables
or a heartbroken crystal
cathedral with gleaming walls
of Orangina bottles

--Harryette Mullen

16. The next book I read.

17. Jesus.

18. A light switch.

19. Me.

First Songs

Briggs was in high school. He had just gotten out of computer club. He walked down the yellow hallway to the front entrance. His friend, Nick, was on the stoop. He had a Casio SK-1 on his lap. He was practicing some "Great Balls of Fire."

"That sounds good," Briggs said, tapping his foot.

"Yeah," Nick agreed. "It's Jerry Lewis."

Briggs didn't know Jerry Lewis. He had never heard of him. All he knew was the stuff he got on a mix tape from a kid in his neighborhood. It didn't have Jerry Lewis.

"Can we write a song together?" Briggs asked.

"Okay," Nick said.

Briggs sat down next to Nick. He imagined himself a famous star. He would be onstage. People would take his picture. He would smile. Then they would play their song.

"What do you know?" Nick asked.

"Um," Briggs smiled. "Lets just make it up."

"Make it up?"


Nick played a few chords. Briggs tapped his foot. Then he sang like he felt.

"Oh, Errrriiiiin! Oooh Oooh. Eriiiiinnnn."

Briggs had met Erin in first grade. They went out for 2 years. It wasn't until The Temple of Doom came out, that he moved. That was the last time he saw her. Now he was singing about the time she asked him to be her husband underneath the pine trees. This was what Briggs knew. It was what singing meant to him.

"You got to sing about what's most important," he explained to his mother when he got home . "That's what music is about."

"Okay," his mother smiled. "Do you want a snack?"

"A yogurt."

Briggs went to his room. He wrote 2 songs. They were about the yellow hallway in school; the way the girls looked when he talked about bugs; and his dreams to be a basketball star . He put them in his Trapper Keeper. He was going to show Nick tomorrow. They could write hundreds of songs. The yellow hallway was just the beginning.

"The Yellow Hallway"

We walked down the yellow hallway.
It was me and Nick.
The girls made faces.
We were singing.

Bugs! Bugs!
Bury them bugs!
I got a 100 bugs!

Eeeew, the girls said.
Eeeew, you're gross!

We played basketball in the gym.
It was me and Nick.
The girls made faces.
We were singing.

Balls! Balls!
Bounce them balls!
I got a 100 balls!

Eeeew, the girls said.
Eeeew, you're gross!

"The Yellow Hallway, The Sequel Like Indiana Jones"

I am good at math.
Mrs. Manila said so
Her class is next to the yellow hallway.
That's where our lockers are.

We're in the 6th grade.
We're cool.
We can play songs.
We're going to be famous.

Do you want our autograph?
You can't have it.
Not for all your Garbage Pail Kids.
Not for an A in math.

Only Erin gets autographs.
She's my girl.
She makes me happy.
I miss her.

I'm in the 6th grade.
She's in 5th grade.
She lives in New Jersey.
I live here.

Family Jam and Dancing

My brother put up this video. Pretty good, jam. JP plays a pot. I'm on bass. My brother paiman is on guitar. And the rest of the family is dancing, including the 'rents. Thought you'd dig it.


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This next video is me dancing with my dad. My youngest brother, Panauh calls it the funniest thing he's ever seen.

Twist & Shout

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I'm going to miss these guys this next year. Love you the mostest, P to the Hizzle!!!!

TJC: Day by Day

Countdown: 46 days!

Lots of things left to do before I hit Korea. I've only crossed 4 things off my list: switching bills, looking into an international atm card, getting a dreamweaver for dummies book, and cleaning up my old computer for my dad. I still have big things to do, like selling my car, and cleaning my room. I am not too keen on cleaning out the room just yet. Believe me. I would like to. I can't stand half-open boxes in my den of inequitude.

Tomorrow I will take a stab at some major overhaul in the box arena. I will also get myself out on the running slopes for some much needed cardiovascular incubation.

Dacheux and I might make a going away album together before the move date. We hit upon some sweet lounge type tunes about love. We're thinking that I croon a line, and then she'll add commentary in-between.

When we did it for the kids I live with, they were very enthusiastic.

"You're funny," my brother's girlfriend said.

"It's good," my brother agreed.

Now my other brother is here. He has brought his dog for me to play with, while he hits the sauna. I think I'm going to teach his dog how to do a cartwheel.

ESL Teaching and Other Questions

Today I got back into school. I am taking a course in Teaching ESL overseas. I figured a game plan on how to proceed would be beneficial. Thus far, it's a wonderful course. My teacher is a bright chap, with ample experience both as an ESL teacher and a creative writing instructor. I was literally mesmerized by his teaching style. It was filled with confidence, dynamism, and openness.

"When we notice that students aren't getting the material, what do we do?" I asked him.

"Well," he smiled. "It's usually a case of teaching material that is beyond their level. Go back to an earlier lesson, or simply think of other ways in which to convey the concept."

"What if you can't think of any other ways? Do you employ a different topic and come back to it later?"

"If you've exhausted ways in which you can present the material, and folks are still not getting it, then move onto something else, until you can come up with a different way to present the material."

He is truly excellent. I could also tell that he was a bit winded by my excessive questioning. He challenged me a few times. This threw me off a bit, and returned me to the old ways I used to feel in classrooms. In fact, I remembered a discussion I had with a professor in my undergraduate years, where after bonding in her office, she told me that when she first met me she thought I was this arrogant, know-it-all.

"It was the way you held yourself," she told me. "I didn't know if there was anything I could teach you."

"Are you kidding?" I laughed. "You are an amazing teacher. I love your class."

I find it surprising when people get this impression of me. I am such a lover of learning. There is nothing I like better. And this ESL course has been a godsend. We went over verb tenses, and I felt much more confident about the teaching practice involved. We also went through different ways of encouraging and eliciting responses from students.

According to our instructor, it was important to draw out answers from classes, rather than doing all the work. This practice encouraged a more active class, and lessened the amount of work we would have to do with instructors.

"Does anybody know what TTT is?" he asked.

"Teacher Training?" someone called out.

"Yes," the instructor replied. "Teacher Training Time. You want to make sure that you limit TTT, as I call it, and get the students involved. You also don't want this to be a "me" oriented classroom. Students pick up on this, and it makes them less than happy with their learning experience. This doesn't mean we can't have a bit of the performance side of ourselves exhibited. There's nothing wrong with that. But when it becomes more about you, than the students, they'll notice this. A better way to look at it is in the language we use to describe our classrooms. Did anyone notice how I described classroom?"

"You said "our," I said.

"That's right," he replied. "It is our classroom. We are doing the assignments. We are deciding what to do. When we make it about ourselves, the "me" attitude, than we are going to turn the class into a showcase, and no one wants that."

I really liked that idea. It's one I've tried to impart in my classes as well. I'll have to keep this "our" attitude in our practice lesson tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what comes up.

Novels Are About Work

No doubt about it. You got to have discipline. That means there needs to be a serious regiment. A day in, day out practice, with clarity about what you want to accomplish.

When I wrote my first novel, I studied texts for about 2 months. I read everything around the world which I was about to create. Then I began with "no mind." Just doing. I would require 1 good chapter or 2 by the day's end.

Sometimes I would stop in the middle of a chapter to have an easy starting point for the next day. I found this helped to launch me faster into the heart of the narrative.

Another trick, was to read all that I had written up to that point. This practice gave me momentum, and a frame of reference for where I would land on the page.

These landings were usually dictated by a them I wanted to explore in a chapter, (say "forgiveness"), or it would begin with a sentence that lead me to many, such as, "It felt good to be on an adventure."

A poem's entry point can be rather different. Sometimes it's the sonic adventure that triggers a framework from which different levers begin to align. For example: "shell shackle pure fish/ fists among the muck/turned right and faced eloquent/ changes turbulent/seasons change."

This is just random words. They have no semblance for an inherent structure or meaning, but in there innocence there can be many gems which are pulled together to form a link of sorts.

Lets see if it's possible.

shell shackle pure fish [I like this line. Lets keep it for a minute.]

fists among the muck [Not sure about this either.]

turned right face eloquent [Remove the conjunction and the past tense of face to create "right face" as in soldier.]

turbulent changes [sounds better than "changes turbulent" to my ear.]

these seasons. [I love making a "This" or "These" in poems. It creates a breadth and clarity. What is the turbulent change? These seasons.

Now we have the option of reordering the lines. Sometimes this can be helpful in an edit. How about

shell shackle pure fish
these seasons
fists among the muck
turbulent changes
turned right face eloquent

The next question I usually ask after a re-ordering of lines is what is exactly being said. What is this about? I can understand seasons changing. That's simple. But what's shell shackle pure fish?

This is where it gets fun.

I often take lines that don't make sense to me, and try and come up with what they mean to me. What was my hidden urge that brought them to fruition? What's going on with me? Is this personal? Objective? Can I pull in something from popular culture? The outside world? My present surroundings? All good questions.

shell shackle pure fish...hiding chains among innocent fish
these seasons...an emotional balance
fists among the muck...pounding the dirt
turbulent changes...waves into tide
turned right face eloquent...and die

Now we could keep these translations with the originals. We could even build upon the translations, creating a topography of sorts. Why not? Sure. It's possible. Just a choice. No foul.

We could also look at the language in each line. We can ask whether we want to complicate the language Will Alexander style, or make it colloquial. Why not complicate? What would that do?

carapace manacles unalloyed piscatology
epileptic mutation
intusscept sanctimonious camouflage
vehemence and rot

Okay. This is interesting. It's translation now creates a new metrical line. We can go back to adjust the phonics, mix and match the colloquial, or return to the question of conveyance. Lets return to the latter. What does this mean? Say it as simple as you can understand it. Do the reverse. Be the child.

Hiding in my shell
winter fists
fits and changes
spiritual camouflage

Make it easier.

I am hiding in my shell.
I don't want change.
I like my masks.
But they are torn away.

Personally, I like it simple like this. I also like to find a story or create an altered reality. What if this was about a sea turtle? We could give him a name. An entire world.

Mortimer hides
his hide
a cross and over Coronado

A religion like dust.
It's pockets change in water.
Tune into rust
at the slightest decible.

Now we finally have a poem going. It could do with some more fine tuning, but it's a start.

Notice how much play was found once we allowed the poem to go into it's own world, rather than try to dictate it. "Shell" suddenly became "hide" to play on the previous lines "hides," which in turn allowed for another play on "across" into "a cross" and its relation to "coronado."

From that point on, the poem takes a fanciful dip into the sleight of hands among the relationship dictated by the play.

We can also notice that no meaning has been lost on our part. We know the direction of the poem, and its underlying arch. Now it simply becomes fun to see where the possibilities will lead.

Who knows? There could be a series of Mortimer poems.

In my experience, one journey like this can erupt any number of linked poetry. It can create a polished voice from which one would be able to pull for other poems, or it could even facilitate a further push into turn around, where Mortimer comes out of hiding.

Anyway, that was a tangent. I was talking about writing novels. Yes. They require discipline. Set-up a regular reading schedule that will include the topics you are interested. This can range from themes you want to explore, to voices you want to learn from, or even the simple pleasure of reading itself. The only guideline is to pick books which are inspiring around your novel's general direction. For example, if you're doing a novel (or poems for that matter) about sea turtles, why not get some children's picture books; a Jeaques Cousteau video, The Old Man and the Sea, whatever.

Then simply read your heart out. Immerse yourself.

Every once in a while, see if a sentence pops out. Try it in your head: "Mortimer liked the Caspian Sea. He also spoke Farsi quite well. This was unusual for sea turtles from our neck of the barnacle. Most of us spoke Greek and Latin. The classics, you know? That's what really got the ladies going. And if you wanted to be somebody in the Persian Gulf, you had to avoid oil spells and speak a dead language. That was basically the only thing that kept a turtle going."

If you're able to build on the story. Then stop reading. Start writing. Let it go, until you have no more sentences.

Then stop, and write down possible chapters that you might want to tackle tomorrow. It could be "vegetation", "Mortimer's girlfriend", "riding water currents", whatever.

As you make the list, compile the books that you will line up to read the next morning that will shed light on the possibilities. Then rip again, when the feeling suits you.

Anyway, I've been going for a bit now. It's probably best to hit the sack. I've got anxious parents in the house, and they rarely give a son the chance to be groggy or a late riser.

Talk to you soon,


P.S. I'm thinking about changing my name to Mortimer. Sike!

Inside the Void

Mr father and I scaled a cliff face today. It was a slippery slope. Lots of loose stones. He was not keen on the idea. I found some mountain goat in me, and took a pass to the left. I managed to get to the lip of the mountain.

"Let it go," my dad called after me. "Pirooz!"

It was a dangerous maneuver. I would have to go into no man's land - my hands free from the rock, without any supports. I looked down at my shoes. Not much. Just regular New Balance. I wish I had Go GO GO GADGET mountain boots!

"Pirooz!!" my father shouted. "Your shoes."

It was as if we thought the same thing. That was enough for me. I could risk death another time. Not today.

"Okay, dad," I smiled. "I'm coming."

I made my way back down the mountain. When I got to the bottom, he was waiting for me with a pair of sunglasses he had found in the dust of the canyon. He handed the glasses to me. Then he said, "You were right there."

"I think I could have done it."

"But your shoes is not good."

"That's true."

"We can make it though."

"Maybe, if I push behind you."

"No, that's not necessary. We could do it."

As we walked back down the trail, my father caught sight of a rabbit. It was his first sighting of one in Los Angeles. It impressed him very much. "Oh, look at this guy," he said. "Is the first time I see this rabbit."

"Lots of rabbits," I told him. "Lions too."

"Oh, this lion is dangerous."

"You have to make yourself as tall as you can, if you run into one. Then you make a lot of noise."

"Oh, yeah, man. You have to get a stick put it on your head."


My dad thought it over, "Maybe tree is better."

"Could be," I laughed. "It won't help you if you run into a bear though."

"Oh, no," my dad frowned. "Bear doesn't care how big you are."

"No," I agreed. "They are the most dangerous animals in the world."


Got the Job

It looks like everything has worked out. I'll wait for Jim to give his A-OK on this contract, and then South Korea here I come. I'm so very excited. It will be a thrill to be in Seoul, and whatever other countries I will travel to after that.

I'm coming to beat you in chess, Jim!!

I am also coming to you, Mars.* We will be together again.

*If you haven't figured it out yet, Mars is me.

Birds, Birds, Birds

Just got back from my brother's birthday party. I had a nice meal of chicken quesadillas. I watched people die on television. I played "Walk on the Wild Side" on the juke box. I listened to my brother play guitar. I drove down Wilton Avenue to get back home. I talked on the phone. I felt 3 drops of rain. I asked what I would write if I was going to die. I asked what I would do. I had an image of making a joke. This happened earlier, then it passed. I can't even remember the joke. I can remember the question though. I ask it often. I like that. It's an interesting question. I don't even know if it's a good one. I ask it though. It's who I am. This I don't know. I can't be anything else. I don't know if I'll write. I don't know if I'll stand. I don't know.


There is a bird named Frenchie. He lives next to Mortimer. Mortimer is my best friend. We usually play in the grass by my house. We like to look for ants. I'm really good at finding them.

Mortimer makes me smile. Yesterday he told me ants were made just for us. I didn't believe him. I knew ants were made for the rest of us too. It was still nice though, so I smiled.

I smile when I least expect it. I don't ever smile when I do. Then it wouldn't be a smile. I know that. I've practiced it in the mirror. I smile real big to see the difference. Then I can tell. It's all right there.

The oak where we live is a tall tree. It's not like the other oaks around the glen. They are about a foot smaller. That makes them better for squirrels. Birds like oaks as high as they can go.

Tweet, goes my beak.
Tweet, tweet, is my song.
The farmer can hear me.
He looks up from his corn.

I like the farmer. He puts bird seed out by the mailbox. We eat there when it gets cold. It can get really crowded.

It's good to be black in the night. Sometimes when I blink, I disappear. I told this to Hoopoe, who watches over us. He said he liked disappearing. It was what he was best at doing. Then I smiled, and closed my eyes.


Birds, birds, birds
mind on birds
Birds, birds, birds
mind on birds

DL and 26 Jobs

DL - Obviously, my long post didn't communicate to you.

I didn't mean to offend you. It's very easy to miscommunicate on a blog. All I was saying was think outside your box. But, fuck it! It doesn't really matter. Don't give my words so much power. If you're able to put yourself out there no matter a positive or negative remark, you'll be better off for it. And the funny thing is, that all you saw was negative in my comments. Honestly, that wasn't my intention. I play devil's advocate to my friends in conversations and in critiques. It's not about taking away drive or passion, but to catalyze a deeper intention.

Writing is like enlightenment. People think it takes years. It doesn't. Writing and Enlightenment are already yours. There's nothing you have to do.

If anything, comments that challenge a person who already feels that they are in shackles, can do one of three things: 1. make the shackles heavier, lighter, or non-existant.

From having an internet relationship with you for over a year and a half, I thought you would take my comments like friends I have known personally for that long. That's my mistake. If I had known that any of my comments would have hurt you, I wouldn't have said them. I was responding like I do in a workshop. That's what I thought was happening.

There is also a lot of miscommunication going on. People I know personally would get what I was saying right away. I thought you would too. When I ask if a person is just writing pretty poems, for a particular audience, or any other external other. I am simply asking who the audience is. It is a question; not an accusation. Because :), we all right for different audiences. There's no escaping that audiences do come up. It does for everyone.

I believe there can be a deepening in writing that happens when you let the audiences, alter ego's, and personal critics in your mind go bye-bye. From my perspective, I wanted to offer an honest take. I wanted to ask the question. I ask it of myself, and I ask it of other writers. It is not an implication or a separatist position. We are all trying to do our best with writing. It's new every time. And everytime we have different things that will launch us on the page.

My biggest mistake with you was thinking that you weren't writing without an audience in mind to begin with. This is my presumptious behaviour, and it is not fair to you or your writing. I can't know in any way if you are writing for another audience or not. If I have offended you by being presumptious, I apoligize. I really do want to encourage all artists around me.

I know I have a tendency to be short and tough with artists I feel particularly close to or admire. I treat them as artists who are already there. Artists who have found their voice and are using it. That's where I was coming from with you.

Now I realize that I'm better off not saying anything to someone about possibilities, unless it is asked for. I didn't mean to offend anyone on your site or you. Believe me. That's not what I want to do.

I hope you can hear where I'm coming from. If not, I understand. I wish you the best with your writing, life, and all that you do.



P.S. I have also found that thinking in the box is nutritious. You don't have to be outside anything. Inside, outside. It's all the same. What matters is if you're passionate about it. That was my point in my email (not sure if you got that). I've gotten thousands of critiques that are just soooo way off. I just wanted to offer something unexpected. I wanted to challenge. That's fucked up if you don't ask for it. It's also fucked up anyway you look at it. But that's my issue. Not yours. You be you. Work, write, live, play.

P.S.S. And don't you dare think that I'm saying you got shackles on (well, you can if you want) - I am saying the opposite. I'm saying there are no shackles. It's only when we believe our thoughts that we have shackles. It's when we believe others' thoughts that we have shackles too.

That's why critiques that bruise are so useful. They can be launching pads - a place for an artist to put down their shackles. It's about asking what is true. And all in all, nothing is. It's all an illusion. That's why I know you love me deep down inside. That's why I know I didn't really hurt you. You're beyond shackles. You're already Enlightened. You're already an artist.

There's nothing you have to do, if you can see there are no shackles.

P.S.S.S. Byron Katie's story...

So this lady, B. Katie, was walking through the desert. Suddenly she sees a snake, and like jumps a freaking foot in the air. Then she looks down and sees that the snake wasn't a snake. It was a rope.

That was when she realized all throughts were just ropes.

Writing is like this story. We think there are all these snakes, but they're just ropes.


In other news, it is still my brother's birthday. I am excited to see him and kiss him. I am going to miss him and all my other friends here in L.A. and in the states, but I'm excited to experience Korea, write, and play chess with Jim. It's a Godsend really. I've been trying to rack my brain about how to pay off all these student loans and save to start a publishing/record company at the same time, and I've finally found it - teach as a professor online and teach esl overseas simultaneously. It's a minimal workload, and gives you plenty of time to write.

The girl I've been seeing is mighty upset with my decision. This is understandable. I hope she gets over it though. She is way too cute, and we could make up for lost time, by having time together now. Hopefully, she'll melt at the sight of me, and we'll get to have some quality time before I take off.

As far as the count on jobs Pirooz has had, I think it may be time for a tally...

15...Waiter, Cokesbury Village Nursing Home
16...Service Merchandise, Electronics Department (where I would meet the lead singer for Spindrift, Kevin Thomas).
17...Pizza Express, Slowest Delivery Guy (I had no idea it was a front for an acid haven. I was so clueless).
19...CRWings (Wing Slinger)
20...Road Construction, Flagger (worked with some tough guys who liked jazz)
21...Dishwaser, East End Cafe
22...Waiter, East End Cafe
23...Booking Agent, East End Cafe
24...Visual Artist, Macy's (I dressed mannequins!! Can you believe it?)
24...Mason, (Laid brick for a real chump. My brother still likes the guy, so I won't bag on him too much. Chump.)
25...Sinclair's Cafe, Waiter
26...Iron Hill Brewery (Lots of chumps here. Most corporate job I ever worked.)
26...Physical Education Teacher, Frederick Douglas Middle School
26...Men's Fragrance Specialist, Strawbridge & Clothier
27...Audio Engineer, Naropa University
28...Adjunct Faculty, Naropa University
28...Creative Arts Teacher, Seven Oaks Academy
28...Hair Salon Receptionist, Pompadour's
28...Telecommunications Expert (I told people they won free vacations, which they did, but they had to show up to a seminar. I quit after a month. Told the lady thanks, but no.)
29...Dub Logger, Weller Grossman Productions
29...Academic Manager/Tutor
29...Associate Producer
29...Post Production Coordinator
30...Associate Producer
30...Online Instructor
30...ESL Professor in Korea

And through it all, I have been writing. Thanks for stopping by. I hope these next two jobs will be my last. I want to go into business for myself now. I'm thinking

31...Publisher/Record Label Owner

Either that, or I'll join a monastery.

Most people will probably think I'll do the latter.

Who knows? Not me.

Blow, wind, blow. Blow, Jack! Blow Allen! Blow! Blow! Blow your tops off Jim! Blow to the wind Stace! Blow those candles Pay! Make it last Hoosht! I could be dead tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!! So blow!! Blow!

The wind I can't hear
because the window is shut
doesn't stop me from listening
to the cold I can feel.

Happy Birthday Paiman!!

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Except maybe Mapquest. I'll see you at Medieval Times tonight

Outside the Box

There have been plenty of times when I have gotten an artistic critique that made me cringe. I mean, even last month my brother told me he didn't like my comic books as much as my novels. At first, that hurt and it made me upset. Then I realized he was just telling the truth. It was his truth. I love that he can be honest with me like that. It's what I want and expect from my friends and family.

In the world of critiquing art among friends on the blogosphere, it becomes very difficult to see people remove you from their blog lists or ostracize you as a friend for speaking your truth. I am very up front when it comes to possibilities in a piece of art. Like many of you know, I don't believe in a good or bad. Art is art and that is a subjective process. You do it. Someone likes it. Someone doesn't.

Now when it comes to critiquing this is outside good or bad. It's simply an option for possibilities. Each artist when viewing my work can see different choices that I could have made, whether it's punctuation, word choice, or theme. This is the nature of art and it's a process. Just as much as the critique is a process for us to move deeper into what we do.

I am continually looking for new ways to present the internal me in an external format. I get critiques from dishwashers, corporate executives, hair stylists, priests, you name it. Everyone has a way in which they can see an art piece go a different direction. They might say, "Did you have to use so much green?" or "I don't like the way you wrote this line."

That's okay. It's not personal to me. I might like the green. I might even look at the painting a few days later and say, "Hmmm, maybe I could use less green." It doesn't really matter. Our choices as artists are our own. We decide what is right for what we do. And second guessing ourselves doesn't come from the outside world. It is there internally, then externally.

That is why when someone says that I am ________(insert adjective here). I look for it in myself. Am I arrogant? Have I been stubborn? Can I be insensitive? Could my novels be a different type of writing than comic books? Sure. I can be any number of things. So can my artistic work. Me, like my art, is in constant flux. There is no end or perfection. It's simply trying again in each moment I have.

That is the secret to a happy artist and a happy person. We can't look at the approval or disapproval of someone to dictate who we are. We can't expect to be perfect in our life and art, or expect others to be models of what we're not. All we can do is try and change what we are. Then the world around us changes. This is the truth.

Now for me as a critique of a person's work, I do not have an intention to do harm. All my questions or comments correlate point ouside of what is possible. This has been the modus operandi that has been offered me by my favorite critiques: my family, Ann Waldman, Cole Swenson, Shane Book, Jim Goar, Stacy Dacheux, Dana Lynn, Rebecca Loudon, Moksha, Michaelangelo, Fitzy Boy, Bret Agins, Franky, John P., Vikram Bhagat, you name it.

The list continues upon itself a thousand times over. It can be my 5 year olds at Seven Oaks Academy, who said, "There's not enough kissing in your story." Or it could be a big, Turkish guy who says I'm not a good singer, because I can't sing like the lead singer of The Cult. All these moments are opportunities for me to show up. I can either run from the question, or I can ask if there is truth to it.

In the end, there is truth to every critique. I am an imperfect being just like we all are. That's a beautiful thing. Especially when it comes to our art. It can be just like us - imperfect, shallow, arrogant, proud, beautiful, touching, skimpy, and fat. Whatever it is, it will be equal to what we are as well.

If we can move out of our safety zones, out of our needs for approval, fame, or success - if we can take a critique without flinchng against our own truth - if we can move beyond the external factors of art - we will touch upon why we create before there was Rolling Stone, Sub Pop, City Light Books, Hollywood Stars, Atmoic Bombs, or MFA's.

This is where I'm heading. It's a beautiful road. It will include teaching writing, reading, making, creating, you name it. And I won't hesitate to offer my friends, family, lovers, or strangers the truth about how I feel when I read their work, hold their hands, or kiss them asleep. I won't hesitate to see my stupidity, arrogance, or sense of ineptitude. I will be me. A man who is searching, honest, trying, and feeling his way to the truth inside him, to the wonders of creativity.

To no boxes! To freedom!!

Pirooz Mahmood Kalayeh

Could This Be Real?

My brother sent me this video. I can't ever tell if these things are real.


Add to My Profile | More Videos

Thanksgiving Wrestling

My dad was a famous wrestler in Iran. He never failed to demonstrate this to me. All it took was a little goading. Maybe, a slight shove before he grabbed me, shouted PUSH! PULL! and knocked me on my ass.

In order to compensate for his incredible skill and speed, I'd stand 3 feet away from him during any wrestling extravaganza. If he got too close, I'd punch him in the face. He hated that. I got a mean fist, and it does me justice.

"Shahin, quick!" he'd shout. "Get me ice."

So ended our wresting moments. My youngest brother is not as bright though. He still thinks size makes a difference in a wrestling match.

"I can beat you now, Dad," he says. "You're so little."

My brother flexes his 300 pound, 6' 2" frame, and waits for my dad to take the bait. I can even see him pull his fists up unconsciously. He's ready. At least he thinks he is. My dad snaps his arms together with one hand, and pops them forward and up into his face.

"Ow, Dad!" my brother shouts. "You got me in my eye."

"Panauh, you don't realize," my dad smiles. "I reserve 1/3 of my power for God."

I laugh for a while. All the way back to 1952. This male thing of hurting one another, when hugs can't make it through.


The Doctor Is in Town

Tonight I hit the Blockbuster with my Dad. We're there about 5 minutes, when a girl I know from a sister production company waltzes in. She hasn't seen me for a while, so we do the song and dance of what's new.

"How are things at WG?"

"Good," she says.

"This is my dad," I gesture.

"Hello, very nice to meet you," my dad says.

"Nice to meet-"

"You can call him the doctor," I interrupt.

"Okay," she smiles. "Hello, the doctor."

"No," my father says, and bows his head, "You can call me the ant."


"I am humble person," my dad smiles. "I am invisible."

When we get back from Blockbuster, I tell the rest of the family how dad told this girl he was an ant and invisible, and they all lost it. My mom even got into one of her laughing fits, where she can only say one non-related word - as if a thought had formed under a genetic mutation - it is quite something to witness someone's mind combust during a good laugh, and my mom has made it into an art form that may lead to infinite comedic chuckles.

Here are a few of her combustions:

1. "Ha hahhehehehha...and the Chinese...HAHAhahahahe..."
2. "...the sabzi..."
3. Ah!!!!!Ah!
4. ...eh stop...is this...hahahahahha


On the way home from Blockbuster, my dad stopped to wave at a burly woman pounding a punching bag. She glared back at him.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I am just saying hello."

"No," I said. "You're trying to be funny."

"No," he smiles. "No mind."

I smile back.
Today I went hiking with my dad. We heaaded up a trail in Griffith Park. About halfway he turns to me and says, "I have to use the bathroom."

"Number 1 or 2?" I ask.

"Number 4," he says.


We spend the rest of the hike philosophizing about life and spirituality.

"I want to make a connection with you," he says. "Remember this Star Wars?"


"Why did Darth Vader become Darth Vader?"

"Because he was manipulated by the Emperor."

"You see? Life is like this. We are manipulated by the Emperor."


I am not sure what to do at this point. I am feeling like George Bailey. In fact, I just watched "It's a Wonderful Life" for the 36th time. It's my favorite movie. I get emotional every screening.

Tonight I got to the end where Clarence writes: "A man who has friends is not a failuire" - and I thought, "Maybe, I'm a failure. I don't have too many friends. Then I realized at least I have a few. I also got me. That's enough."

Then I thought about what life would be like if I'd never been born. What would be different? Have I maade a difference? Have I helped people enough? Have I been a good enough friend to my friends?

I hope so. If I haven't, I apoligize. I do my very best.

Sometimes I disappear. I have to be in solitude. I have to sit with myself. I don't know why this happens, but it does. I've grown to accept this about myself.

There really isn't any other choice.


meeting aliens is like meeting a bike for the first time.

Listen to Slipshod at CDBABY

Orange Lamborghini Cover

Orange Lamborghini, the new Slipshod Swingers album, is now available on CDBaby.

To listen to the album click here.

For those of you who prefer a digital download, The Slipshod Swingers will be available on itunes, napster, and the rest by the end of the month.

Keep Rockin'


I have been trying to write this post several times now. How can I put it? Since I've been away from television, life has slowed down to a standstill. It's one of those moments where something feels like it ought to happen, but nothing does. I don't know. I can't even say what's going on. It's strange. It's as if something is falling away. Something old. Like the big, fiery demon that whips up and snags Gandolf's foot in the second Lord of the Rings. That's where I am right now. With Gandalf.

I didn't really want to be a white wizard. I haven't really wanted anything. That's the strange thing. I've never felt so empty of so many things. I don't want to write, draw, make music, work, take a hike, look around, nothing. I just sit there.

I'm sure I just have to accept it. I'm in this spot. That's it. I simply have to stop trying to understand it. Okay. You ready?

Um...do I have to?


You can try and figure it out forever.

That's what it feels like.


Aside from the strange emptiness and lack of motivation, I've been reading Kenji Yoshino's Covering. I've gotten 3/4 through, and now it doesn't hold much more for me. I just keep thinking about Martin Luther King Jr.. I see him giving a speech, and then I have to shut the book. It just starts sounding like talk, talk, talk...

My brain does enough of that.


Los Angeles has been lonely these days. Not much going on. I'm looking forward to Korea. It'll be nice to hang with a friend.


I'm listening to Cat Sevens right now. It's nice. I've painted many times to his voice.

I don't feel like painting though. Nothing.

It's 626PM. I have to tutor a kid at 7.


It's 628PM. Cat Stevens is still singing. I still have to tutor a kid at 7.


...A red legged chicken stands ready to strike
And everything's emptying into wine...

What does that mean?


The first time I made love to a woman, I put the condom on backwards and it broke.

The first time I got my heart broke, I listened to Dinosaur Jr. for one month straight and got severely depressed. She was pretty amazing. I still love her a little.

The first time I got mad was when my dad tried to teach me math.

The first time I listened to Cat Stevens I was in Boulder, Colorado sitting by myself.

The first time I got a dog I was happy. I had a friend. Then my dad took him away. He did this once more with another dog. Then I couldn't take having dogs anymore. Friends either. I got very suspicious someone would take them away too.

The last time I had sex I felt old and useless.

The last time I changed a tire I was in Philadelphia with 3 so-called friends. They helped me by standing around me in a semi-circle. I got the lug nut off, by standing on the wrench. It took me an hour. Watch out, Nascar.

The last time I had lunch with a friend they asked me if I was out of it.

The last time I turned a lunchbox into a rainbow, I was at Ben Franklin Elementary. It was an assembly. My lunch was weird to the kids at the table. It wasn't bologna. One of the boys traded me bologna to try it. He liked it a lot. He traded me from then on. That was fine with me. I liked bologna.

The birthday when I got knocked in the head with a golf club was my most memorable birthday. I wore a red Polo shirt, with Polo cologne, and I felt popular. Then I got knocked in the head with a golf club. I cried. Then I didn't feel popular anymore. I hid in the bathroom.

The funeral when Shikor was in the cardboard box was the hadest funeral I have ever been to. It made me mad when his dad told me that he smelled his shirt after he died. I almost asked him if he smelt it while he was still alive. I didn't go there though. I offered my condolences and hugged his mother.

The first time I smoked weed, nothing happened.

The first time I got acid, it was a joke. My so-called friends gave me a fake tab. Then they laughed, when I asked why nothing was happening. It made me feel popular yet again.

The next time I punch someone it won't be with my fists. It'll be a sentence that tastes like sugar.

I am a powdered donut. White on the outside, but it's just sugar. Shake it off and there you have me. Brown and crusty just like you imagined.

I am a menace to no one. I would like to say I was, but I know people will make that choice based on nothing that has to do with who I am. They will have heard of me. I talked to someone. I said this thing or that. I didn't though. I don't even remember. It will be that way to some. To others I will be the hero I see in me. I will be the light from an old Bic. It will burn the charcoal in your grill. You will turn a piece of meat and stare at my ashes.

The touch of a woman can make things stop for a moment. The touch of a man can do the same.

"It won't stop," Monty decided.

"Kiss me."

"It won't."

"And then?"


Now lets all start living for the one that's going to last.
Don't you feel the day is coming...

It's 652 PM. I have to go tutor. Bye.

Adyashanti on Wanting


An eventful day in world of L and A. I got my paperwork done for this online teaching gig, hiked up Griffith, got a couple cans of peas (I heart P's!), and what else? Oh, yeah. I got an oil change and car wash. I also cleaned again. It seems that living with teenagrs requires continuous up-keep. It's definitely making me very cleanly, although I might be sick of the lesson by now, so PLEASE PLEASE let me get FREE! Ahhhh, they ren't that bad. Just messy kids. I can be that too, so WHATEVER.

I would rather spend my time contemplating my role in society, how I can change the publishing and writing world, and how many peas to eat tonight for dinner. I am thinking this on all topics: EAT PEAS, 1 CAN, THEN WRITE A POEM TO END ALL POEMS. Isn't that what's it's all about? To destroy and pillage, to conquer the world and eat the meat dripping flesh of our competitors? Don't we want to let the money bleach us dry into powdered donuts that flake into crumbs and ash the moment we shake a tail feather to CRATE & BARREL for an OH-SO-YUM-YUM chest with drawers?


Sometimes poetry is about being so emotional that you can't write nice sparse lines. It just wants to come out of you, to rip up the world. I say let it. I say find out where every thought goes. Don't flinch behind anything. Just write it. Write the mind on fire. Where will it get you? Will it drive you mad?

Well, lets get mad. Things are not right in the state of Denmark. Why? Because I can't smoke outside anymore. People are complaining. They complain everywhere. They think it's some goddamn right to point and tell and say how I can be more like them, but I don't want to. I don't want to...

There are many voices that shout in the night. There are many things that can be censored with a can of bleach. There are many things tat may seem as cryptic as a hawk swooping down over you. There are many things.

Today an artist cried to me on the phone about success and fame in this grand city. Oh, how many artists are crying, trying to see a way to move through hoops and gt that power and privelige to be who they are without apoligies - the promise of success.

"I want to be like Jack Black," an actor smiles. "So I can eat whatever I want."

"I want to be a famour director," another coughs. "So I can make movies and everyone and everything can think I'm great and kiss me and make my wounded soul feel a bit like normal."

"Um," another laughs. "I want to eat PEAS!"

Well, then, I say. Peas it is.


I can see how my life has been shaped by covering various identities throughout my life.

Iranian, Artist, Musician, Poet, Novelist, Spiritualist, Smoker, Lover, Conservative, Liberal, or Activist?

I resist coerced classification and want to be functional in society at the same time. What is one supposed to do? How do we operate within the cages we place ourselves?

Buddhism would suggest the cage is our mind's eye. Byron Katie would say to accept reality as it is. The Sufis would support complete dismissal and refusal to assimilate. Kenji Yoshino, the author of Covering, provides a new civil rights action that educates and creates inclusion for those who feel outisde and in. I am curious whether reading this book will resolve the various disparaties I have about my role in society.

This will be interesting.

I will talk more later.

Quotes from Vikram

"You are only allowed as much suffering as you can handle. You are also only allowed as much benefit as you can handle."


"Think of yourself as an orange. If you squeeze, what do you get?"


"Right, orange juice! Now that's all that's really inside you. Juice! When you get squeezed and you get mad or angry, that's not the juice. The point of Buddhism is that when you get squeezed all you get is juice. You're just an orange."

-"So not being an orange is bad?"

"There isn't good or bad in Buddhism. It's better to think of it as cause and effect. Your past dictacts the effects you're having in the present, and your future is made by the causes you make today."

-"So we can control our destiny?"


"Karma isn't like karma in the Hindu sense. You aren't bound to your karma. In Buddhism, they believe your past karma (past lives) put you into the situation you are in today - but it's not an ending - it's a continuous thru-line. You can effect what karma you will have tomorrow by what you put out into the world today. You can break from your past family line. You can be free from the 4 states - doing meditation and chanting that's what keeps you from bouncing between all these states, so that you can stay juice no matter how hard you're squeezed."


It was interesting talking to Vikram tonight. We spoke about a lot of things - societal demands, our upbringing, race, gender, covering, you name it. In the end, it was cause and effect. It was trying to find the space for us to be happy.

Isn't that what we're all looking for? What happiness is?

Is it a house? Marriage? Money? A book published? Doing good for your fellow man? Doing good for you?

Vikram believes happiness is being an orange.

That sounds nice. I like oranges. Apples too.


The gibbons
deep, guttural cries
mark territory
with swelled throats.
I watch.
Is this my home?
Is this where I come from?

At graduation,
I sat with my family.
Grandfather recited a prayer I did not understand.
“Jang!” he said.
“Jang,” I agreed.
Arms raised.
I shook them as he did.
Knew it meant something powerful.

tea in hand,
around the rug,
My father woke us from the quietude:

“I am Hussein. I am Sadrollah. I am Camiar. I am Talat. I am Aziz. I am Mariam. I am Khadijeh. I am Ismail. I am Ayatollah. I am mountain. I am desert. I am spring. I am freedom. I am unity. I am Mohammad. I am Esfehan. I am Hooshmand. Son of Ayatollah. I am Hooshmand. I am Hooshmand. I am Hooshmand.”

It moved me very much.

Was this my home?
Was this where I came from?
I asked him to write it for me.
He did not remember.
“I just say it now,” he laughed.

I remember only details:
A taxi,
the chick I bought from the vendor,
the golden cage,
mohst, a Persian yogurt,
I fed to my pet.
My grandmother upset.
Khan Joon, my
great grandmother,

Ayatollah in a yellow hallway.
Young and tall.
He looked at me for a moment.

Her arms.
The room spinning.
smiling at me.
Hands on my wrists.

This is all I remember.

Other memories,
not mine,
are told to me,
as if,
I simply
could not
But no amount of digging
can bore water
from an empty well.

my Father said,
I must write for Iran,
for his sister, Soheila,
for all those poets
who are being persecuted.

“You are their voice!” he shouted.

He almost convinced me.

Still lost
Stations A and B
I did not know
how to convert
miles to hours.

The child’s desk
he had bought for me.
My left hand
dark from the lead.
His voice urging me on,
“Again! A-gain!”

He almost convinced me.

In the lounge –
Say Anything
on the screen
in the background –
His voice
a whisper,
“I will send you wherever you want after you finish your degree.”

He almost convinced me.

My mom puts cardamom in my tea,
“Is special ingredient.”
My wife calls me baby.
My dog snarls like Elvis when I smoke.
Our roommates are barely ever home.
My brothers live far away.
My father’s sharp laugh.
Reunions at Broadkill Beach.
Marshmallows and saffron,
poppies and dill,
the deep color red.
These things I know.

I drink from my hand,
an endless well,
whole in spirit.
ears intact,
I see no winter
or dead flies in cupboards.
No voices to tell me what I am
or judge to shout wrong.
Only gibbons in a far off canopy.
A lonely bear on a mountaintop.
A humpback whale 300 miles away.
The plant on my desk.
The earth beneath my feet.

Happily shipwrecked.
My possessions in my throat.
The New Moon
drops into the valleys of my hand.
Great rivers of intoxication.
I drink what I am I am.
American lands.
Arapahoe country.
Canyon Boulevard.
Boulder, Colorado.
I am mine. I remember.
I am mine! I shout.

October 26, 2004 11:35 PM


I have received word from one recruitment center. It looks as if I will be interviewed within the next couple days. Hopefully, this will go as planned without complications. I am much more keen on having a recruiter place me within a school, than for me to pick one at random. I simply can't tell which is better than another, as I have little or no knowledge on the geography of South Korea, and am left fairly skimpy on my BEST LOCATION bat sensors.

Jim has sent me a contact through his university, so hopefully they respond favorably to the letter I sent them - a great option come appointment time. As far as others, my family is keen on me staying in the states living an EMILY DICKINSON LIFE, which is a step backwards and dehabilitating to someone of my character and resolve. I am simply much more cogent and lively in uncharted territories, and fairly sullen when I am given the option to be lazy, and not forage for myself. I am not sure if this is the hunter in me, or simply the warrior-explorer who is my true-core-yum-yum.

My guess is the latter.

Jim has just sent me a leter regarding the fish market in Seoul.

"Good stuff," he says. "Was wondering if you'd like it."

I'm sure I would.

Job Run

Well, it looks like today is the day for jobs. I sent out for my passport to possibly teach in Korea; got a call from a producer to work for the Style Network (something asscoiated with Vogue); and I will be having a phone interview to teach classes online in an hour. Hopefully, if everything works out, I'll have an opportunity to do all 3.

I am no good without a job. I love to work. It's when I'm the most productive in every way.

Pray for me,


The Los Angeles Project Flourishes

"Collectively, if geniuses were able to build something destructively unimaginable out of science, surely we can build something constructively unimaginable out of art. This is a creative issue, not a political issue. This is the beginning. This is where you and I hold hands & walk into the project."
- Stacy Elaine Dacheux

Just imagine a world where we can create something constructive with our artistic forces. Something that can counter the most destructive nature of the human species. This is truly a remarkable project. I thank Miss Dacheux for putting into the world such a beacon of light, and encourage all of you to spread the word, contribute, and unite our collective genius to make a difference heard louder than any atomic combustion.

Susie at Giant Robot on the 11th!

I am very excited for Susie's show. I love her finches and the rest of her birds. I will be there on the 11th. If there is anyone who would like to come and hang with Susie and I, let me know. I got 3 seats in the car.

Where? Giant Robot, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd

When? November 11th, 630PM

Why? Because Susie Ghahremani is the bomb! So is Snoozer!


Wow! Thank God that's over. That was probably the darkest I have ever dug. Whew! I thought I wasn't going to make it there for a while.

Then... I pulled myself out. [insert pic of Pirooz as Superhero here.]

I'd like to thank the following inspirations:

1. My brother, Paiman.
2. My pop, Hooshmand.
3. That Daniel Johnston movie that was so depressing it made me sick.
4. The guy who emailed me and said I reminded him of Daniel Johnston.
5. Charles Bukowski and every messed up writer I know, which is a lot of them.
6. Myself - for letting go.
7. The Moon for taking me under its wing.
8. The cat who visits me everyday.
9. All these crazy Buddhists who think they know something, but don't know jack.
10. Ryan Phillipe for being a jackoff and making my dreams come true.
11. Douglas Adams for being so incredibly funny in my dreams.

Tangerine News: Today I finally got the Orange Lamborghini album off to CD Baby. Now it will be 4-6 weeks before The Slipshod Swingers have their own itunes listing. This makes me very happy.



A Better Brain

The October issue of Ellipsis just arrived. It marks the end of The Whopper Strategies being published by this fine ensemble. I thank Richard, Perry, and all the editors and staff at Ellipsis for bringing my work and so many others to the mainstage. It was a thrill to be a part of the magazine. Thank you. I wish your publication continued success and an even wider readership.

For those of you who read The Whopper Strategies and are curious about "Enlightenment in a Box" I did notice a missing element to the last installment - the secret itself. I will put it below for your viewing pleasure. Just remember not to let Enlightenment go to your head.

In other news, I have taken Jim's advice and checked out online teaching opportunities as an option to my burgeoning producer career. If I am offered the opportunity, I will let you know of its pros and cons.

As of this moment, I have compiled a list of independent publishers who might take an interest in the various novels loaded in my arsenal. Top among the list is Manic D Press, Soft Skull Press, and David R. Godine. I will query all 3 with different pieces. My guess is that they will be curious enough to see a complete manuscript.

The other publishers that I am on the fence about are Chronicle, MacAdam & Cage, W.W. Norton & Co., and City Lights. I will definitely query the first 3, but City Lights has become more of a poetry publishing platform, so it may be wasted postage.

As far as my decision to remain in Los Angeles and continue to be a producer, only time will tell. Several of my friends have gone the route of teaching and whatnot, and I am not opposed to that path. Still, I like the weather here. (I am not one for jackets or hoodies. Believe me. 4 years in Boulder, Colorado was enough.)

In the dating scene, I have lost another girl to my whimsical leanings for confusion and mental instability. For some reason, I have the propensity to freeze up at the mention of commitment and leave myself wide open for stakes through the heart, followed by garlic, and a sad cacophony of 80's music led by Cindi Lauper & friends.

My brother says I am an idiot. "When it's there, it's there," he says.

I didn't argue with him. He could be right. Who knows? My father helped me find solace, when he complained that the brain was at fault and could use a better design.

"This brain," he said with the utmost conviction, "it needs to be improved."

I must have laughed for 10 minutes. I love his scientific approach to matters of choice and heart.

Right now I am wishing there wasn't a bag of Snickers on the coffee table. I am also quite thrilled about it at the same time.

FYI: I will document my submission process and the company's replies. My hope is that by making my queries public and discussing choices, I will make the process creative enough to hold my interest, and possibly benefit others in their searches. If anyone knows of an independent publisher whom I've overlooked and you feel would be a nice match for my work, please let me know.

Until Tomorrow,


I-land Called Me

They will be shutting down parts of the 105 and the 5 for the new Die Hard movie. This doesn't really affect me. My show is done and most of my days have been busy with a) either dreaming in mounds of lush covers and pillows or b) reading through every book that catches my attention.

Right now I am reading T. (complicated middle name) Boyle. It is a good book of short stories - not an "I'm going to recommend it to my kin," but enough to garner a nod of sorts, most especially for his run-on sentences that he disguises with the Kerouac dash, as in - to make things go forever. Of course, he uses his dashes in multiple ways, and a bit more grammatically correct than my last flourish. It's more like an aside - 9 times out of 12 - or a disclaimer that will give you a humorous nugget - in some cases - not given in the description of a character.

Boyle's style can be easily mimicked if you have a propensity to describe food like a four star chef; an over dramatic flair that borders on fantasy; and a balance between absurdity and reality that leans more on the latter for comfort and moralistic A-Ha's!

I like it. I can see why he is a popular writer in this age. I have even considered doing a PhD with him and his compadres at USC. At least, considered it among my 1001 other possibilities. My God! I don't even want to think about it yet. A couple more days on my I-land. Maybe even a margarita.


is in my cranium

My Savion and yawning yawn to Yanni

Desert of Arabia
Judgment will it favor the
guilty who are sitting there
Corn Puffs, underwear

I don't even really know
what would be the best for your
head rock ore lock
Johann Sebastian Bach

Ante up
for a game of luck

Can't you save the spam for supersonic

waves that are coming through
like PBS are good for you
nothing else, save yourself
and working on eubonics

Had enough of all your fear
Turned around just like a deer
head first, feet first,
grazing in a mental purse

Won't you say desire?
Stuck between your tongue -
a charred and smoking lung?

Won't you say desire?
For all I really care
the world is under there

Feed on...and on...and on...

I like

me. I also like butter. Not a lot of it. Just enough and usually on bread. I don't really like butter on anything else except for my mom's rice. Oooh, that's good. Shish kabob, rice, and butter. Mmmm.

That's one of the things I've enjoyed since I got Enlightenment. The other is all the questions people keep asking me, like: "What's it like?" and "How does it feel?" Those are some funny questions, because I don't feel any different. I'm just Enlightened and I like butter. That's about it.

There are times when I have kooky dreams. I don't know if that has to do with Enlightenment or not, but I do get them sometimes. It usually happens after I have a lot of butter. I'll be sitting there thinking about going to sleep. I'll be like, "Hey, I'm about to go to sleep," when all of a sudden there'll be this big, red plate coming towards me. Usually, I try to duck, because it looks like it'll take off my head, but after a while, I'll realize it's just spinning there and I'm dreaming, so I'll just sit and watch it.