"I want to call the book Why Do Men Do Stupid Things for Ass?" I tell a colleague.
"That only appeals to men," they tell me.
"I like that title," a young woman says.
"Sounds good to me," another says.
I don't know what will be right. I sweat it for an hour or so, until I get a heart to heart with T. She sets me straight.
"It will come to you," she says.
"Mmmm," I say.
That is the truth. Listen. Then act.
Sometimes a friend has to remind me of that. I am glad I have many friends who remind me of this daily.
Right now I am going to go to The Upright Citizens Brigade. I want to see JP perform. I want to support my comedian friends. I want to dance with Dacheux.
It just might be what the doctor ordered.
I would have liked to spend more time in the Air and Space Museum, but it was hot and I was with a guest so I abstained courteously from perspiratory activities.
Luckily, I got the images I needed. I also managed to amass an armful of freeze dried ice cream and various astronaut paraphernalia to hang about my room as the novel dances.
These are astronaut log books.
On my way back from D.C., I had the pleasure of sitting next to a Naval Officer. I told him of my dream to be an astronaut.
"That's why I went to the Air and Space Museum," I explained. "Now I can write myself as one."
The Naval Officer smiles. He has a disarming smile - full of love and understanding.
"You would have made a great astronaut," he tells me.
"Thank you," I say. "You're two sweet."
We had a wonderful conversation about love and life all the way to Phoenix.
He even gave me this proverb: Mas sabe el Diablo por viejo que por Diablo.
The literal translation is "More knows the Devil for being old than for being the Devil."
I will use this one day, I thought.
An engine from Saturn 9. I loved the color. I wanted to remember the color.
Pirooz with Triceratops. Not a more beautiful image. A perfect hello. My friend, Shaniqua, taught me the proper hand sign for "West Side." I wanted to represent my peeps from Cali. I also wanted to create a gesture for "Jurassic" but that didn't come to me until now.
Another thing for the novel I suppose. Either that, or the folks at Weller Grossman will be giving shout outs to their favorite dinosaur epochs come tomorrow morning.
"Spring Scales" I found inspiring. The white plastic. The simplicity of the tool.
This is the amazing thing about astronaut tools. They are so effortless and simple in their design. That reminds me of my art. I like that.
Maybe that's why you can see my reflection in this photo.
"We had some good journalists," he says. "They didn't get in the way."
"That's good," I say.
"And they treated us good out there. They had concerts and everything. That was good."
"Makes it feel like home."
"Yeah," he nods. "That's the greatest feeling too. When you get back home to American soil. You just get down and kiss the ground."
"I hear that."
"Nothing's like being home."
I tell the marine about my trip to D.C. That I would like to explore for a bit.
"Oh," he nods again. "I would like to do that sometime."
"I'm sure you will."
"I would like to visit the Vietnam Memorial. Those guys had it bad. People spitting in their face when they got home. I don't think I could take that. I would probably fight someone. I know most of the people in my unit would."
"Well, things are different now," I say. "That's not happening."
"Yeah, I'm glad. I couldn't take that. And people have been good for the most part. I just don't understand this one woman. She protests at funerals. That's just wrong for me."
"I hear you," I say. "That's a sacred moment. It's a soldier's funeral."
"Yeah, it is. I mean, they got family there. And I'm not saying I have anything against protesting. But go do that somewhere else. And it's not like we did anything. They got to bring it to the people upstairs."
"They make the decisions. I understand."
"Yeah," he nods. "We're just doing our job, you know?"
"Yes," I say. "I understand."
"Yeah, we had some accidents out there too. The journalists didn't put it out there though. They lost the tape. People don't need to see that kind of thing. It's war, you know? Sometimes you shoot the same side."
"Yes, I understand. It's not your fault. You are at a different level of awareness during war time."
"Yeah, I mean, there were these barricades. You couldn't miss them. There's barbed wire and these huge pieces of wood. No one's allowed to go through, and when this truck started pulling through there, we had to spread some shots."
"I understand. You were protecting."
"We didn't know it was a woman and her kids. We just saw a truck, and the thing was pulling through there, you know?"
"My buddy was real distraught. It really broke him up."
"It's not his fault though. He didn't know."
"Yeah, he didn't. It's war, you know?"
The marine takes a drag from his smoke.
"The Sergeant was supposed to take the shot. His barrel locked though. Then my buddy had to take it."
"It was what he had to do. He was doing his job."
"Things may even change with a new leader."
"I hope so."
"I would have liked to see Colin Powell in office."
"Oh, he's great. Black, white, whatever you are. He's a great leader. I saw him in Baghdad. There was this huge escort. These tanks, cars, and then him in the middle - in a Suburban - kicking dirt around turns. It was great."
"It would be great if every soldier had that kind of escort."
The marine tells me how he spends an hour with his kids every night, how he has a great work ethic as a loan officer, and how he likes educational programming on TV.
"I don't like that Beavis and Butthead stuff. Discovery is a great channel. So is the History channel."
"They are," I agreed.
We walk to the elevator. He tells me I would do good to try and go to CNN.
"You could really move up there."
"Yeah," I say. "It's possible. I wouldn't mind helping to choose some programming."
"Yeah," he says. "Pick some good programming."
The marine gets off the elevator. He wishes me well. I turn to the mirror in the elevator. I think about love. I think of war. I think of how precious time is. I think about getting tapes off to the network. I think about my dad. I think about my brother. I think about this soldier. I think about love. I think about this soldier. I think about me. I think about this soldier. I think about this soldier. I think about love.
Last night Dacheux made friends with a coyote.
"Don't go near it, Pirooz!"
"But it's so cute," Alan said.
"You want me to go say hi?"
"Yes," Timeray nodded.
I reach out my hand. I make kissing sounds.
The coyote stops. Then runs. Then stops again.
He is a good coyote.
"Oh, look how nice," Alan smiles.
Later, we walk down Franklin. I sing to a Nightingale. It whistles back.
"What's up with that crazy bird?" Jesse asks.
"It's a nigthingale," I say. "They don't repeat the same song twice."
We walk towards the Fortress. I tell everyone how I ran into a skunk and cat the night before.
"It was like Peppe Lapew."
"Ha," the group laughs.
"The skunk was sniffing on the cat."
"Skunk love," Alan remarks.
"Heeey," Dacheux winks.
I make a left down Taft. I wave goodbye.
The group stops. They turn. They reach out for shakes and hugs. I offer where I'm needed. I turn again. I cross the street. I think that about how there are a lot of animals in Hollywood. I think about calling Timeray. I do.
She tells me things.
I lean against a tree.
I say goodbye.
I walk home. I lie down. I sleep.
A friend said this to me tonight. I love it so much I am going to tuck it in next to me. I've even lent it a pair of jammies.
In the morning, I am going to dress it for work. I will take it with me there too.
Hopefully, we can have a relationship.
That would be nice. Maybe, even some babies.
"You never know."
At least that's what this statement says to me.
Thank you for passing it to me, Moksha.
U is Magic.
With All the Love in My Heart,
"There Is a Door by My Abdomen"
There is a door by my abdomen.
It can open if I pull a string.
The string is made of sulfur.
My abdomen is made of smells.
My dad is made of whistles.
My mother is made of bells.
My body is made of thistles.
My brain is made of hair.
There is a door by my hair.
It can open if I tug a stick.
The stick is made of gravy.
Hard and old and ready to eat.
I don't eat it though.
It's hard on my abdomen.
It's whistles and bells.
My parents wouldn't want it.
They don't know gravy well.
No, we would eat gormeh sabzi,
or rice with lima beans.
My dad's beard filled with white.
Always socks on his feet.
No one talked during dinner.
No one made a peep.
Legos on the ground.
I built a ship and smashed it up.
I built a lego town.
I built the hand, the feet, and nose.
I built this heart to meet a rose.
Melt me. Slay me. Take me. Give me. Grate me. Cheese me. Latka. Latke. Overtime. Matza. Mayflower. My flower. Gin Blossom. Holy bottom. Wave got em. Hell hide em. I am um um um. Save yum yum yum. I un un un. Spell. Spell. Spell. Name Name Name. P P P. Rooz Rooz Rooz. Rose Rose Rose. Rise Rise Rise.
"U Drive, Me Shift"
Last night we had to bail on Spaceland. Line was around the block for this band called The Bronx, so Mickey and I decided to go to the Disco House (what he calls his studio apt). It was just what the doctor ordered. Hawkeye was there, Mickey's roommate, and we shot the shit about his new job.
"You're looking good," I say.
"Yeah," I say. "Your hair's all trimmed. It looks good."
"Well, you know," he says.
"Yeah," I say. "Well, I'm here. Lets record some music."
Hawk was game. He pulled up this beat that was low key. It had some low, electric guitars with a hip-hop shuffle.
"Reminds me of Jane's Addiction," I say. "Porno for Pyros too."
"You compare all my songs to early 90's bands."
"I love that."
"Well, I know my music."
I tell Hawk to let me have one pass at the song. I figure I can carry a high melody throughout. I have no idea what I'll sing, but I tell him to just record.
"Go ahead," I say.
"You don't want to hear it?"
"I'd rather it be a surprise."
"Okay," he says, and starts recording.
I lay one vocal. It's pretty. The only lyric I remember is "Everyone's got problems." That was the chorus. That was nice.
Hawk was all about one of the verses.
"I love how you said, "We ran away when we were 16."
"Yeah," I said. "Young love is fun."
I tried doing another take for harmonies after that, but their recording equipment was a bit outdated and I could tell I was better off bringing the tune where I could actually do some work on it.
"Hawk, want to be on the new album?"
"Well, this is what I want you to do. Burn this beat to disc, and meet me on Saturday at the Fortress (this is what everyone calls my house). We will work on it there. I will email you lyrics and then you can see what you want to add."
"On second thought, I don't have the time to do that. I'll tell you what. You listen to this improv thing and pull the lyrics you like, and then write some of your own. Then hand it to me 10 minutes before we record. I am pretty sure that will keep it fresh and raw."
"Sounds good to me"
I was real impressed with Hawk's beat. It is definitely a keeper. I am excited to see what happens on Saturday too.
I wonder if Hawk knows he's a genius.
Bootylicious / Mars, the Album (Release Date TBA)
Lead Guitar, Vocal: Bret Agins
Percussion, Vocal: John Posatko
Guitar, Vocal: Pirooz Kalayeh
Click here or on music bar to hear Bootylicious.
There are no orange Lamborghinis in Hollywood.
I’m just setting the record straight.
I am also writing a poem.
It was written by a gangster.
His name was Freddy.
He wanted to die.
It was a Tuesday.
He was going to Pappy’s.
That’s on Melrose.
He shot his gun.
He grit his teeth.
He walked back home.
Now it is night.
I am reading his poem.
It’s got some good rhymes.
Makes you think too.
The curb sits adjacent to the
window is open and I can
catch a glimpse of her
shorts are worn by a mature
woman is described as older than
me don’t know no better so I
walk back and forth in me room
thinking I could snog a cloud.
I tug drop the hottest spin drop you done ever seen. We be doing it to James Brown mighty nifty. Kicking like you know we be. Hot and crazy like my parents can dance. No dance be doing though. She be more like ain’t no dance be dropping on this done day. It be hot and I is running me a temperature of a hundred and two. Damn, it be hot. Give me some crunch. Damn, give me some.
Ain’t nobody be giving hers no crunch. She don’t be needing it. Dancing all like that. Her head hot and crazy like Tsotsi. Like Pippi. Like a 100 girls be done up on my grille like nasty and please don’t be coming all fast and gush, you know? So we be hiding, we be hiding, hiding in this shell, and we is waiting, waiting, waiting, to break.
"Hot Fudge Sundae"
ZI to MCU Raccoon.
WS – Sunset
ZO and PL to MS – Raccoon
Audio music plays.
“This is a raccoon.”
TU to trees (non-specific)
Audio music plays.
“These are trees.”
“Summer wind comes blowing in…”
“I don’t practice Santeria…”
MS – Billboard sign.
Cut to: Crane POV
No woman’s pants.
PL to WS – Sunset.
PL 360 to MS – Me.
"A Poem to Read into the Mirror of My Bathroom to Help Me Quit You"
Letters to gush
the pile of leaves into one corner -
she pulls her hair over her eyes,
pulls the best and worst of woes and cries
feeds the flame with a reflection
so she knows
it is only a matter of time
before the world gushes
and turns the ignition
to play her theme song -
the old bump and grind
with a bird, a voice, and suggestion:
to feed the fire,
to breathe the pyre,
to wish the once was once again
to fish and find the done is done
to know there is no loss or one
to let it gush
to let it gush
to let it gush
and said again
and said again
and said again
a hundred times
a hundred times
a hundred times
U! is everything
and said again
a hundred times
All of My Love was recorded in December. This was the last song we had before Franky went on tour in New York. He left with a serious goodbye though. The saxophone solo makes this song what it is. Sexy, sleek, and beautiful. AML is a true Slipshod tune. She is our Cover Girl.
Franky Ewing: Guitar, Keyboard, Guitar
John Posatko: Djembe
Pirooz Kalayeh: Vocals, Bass Guitar
Panauh Kalayeh: Engineer
Click here or on Music Bar to hear AML.
All of My Love / Mars or Bust, the Soundtrack (Release Date TBA).