Yes, I know what you're thinking? Why is Pirooz reading Life & Style? Does he like gossip?
Yes, I do. I also like to reconnect with pop culture. It's a good gauge for where the world is. That's right. Life & Style! It dictates a lot of what ends up happening in the world. All it takes is a fight between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton in Silverlake, and then there are 300 girls across the Midwest, showing up at a party to pull each other's hair and pretend they are going to be in the next Herbie film. That's how it works.
I am counting down to the headline. Either that, or I am going to write a poem. I might even like it enough to post it.
Has anyone heard of TV on the Radio?
I read about them in Spin Magazine. It seems they are getting quite a bit of notoriety for their lives as Olive Garden employees made rock stars and their interest to use royalties and donations through paypal to fund other bands in the New York area.
To read it from the source, you can visit the band's founder on blogger. That's right. He has a blogspot.
Anything else going on?
Well, just the "Nudist Colony of the Dead!" Watch at your own discretion. The song is catchy.
There is also this cheesy Darth Vader meets store clerk film. It's the talk of the internet with over 1,000,000 hits. Fascinating.
I am in another office. I write a letter to my boss. He doesn't want to go to work. He has just gotten back from vacation.
Work might be nutritious.
You might get hugged.
That's better than mugged
or hair plugs.
I am working with Carl at
They are buying us coffees.
The lights have dimmed.
"They are dimming the lights for Starbucks," someone chortles.
I laugh some more. I ask about Rite Aid.
Is it really open 24 hours?
"Yes," someone says. "Like Ralphs."
"Like God too," I think and say.
"God?" a colleague asks.
"Yeah," I say. "God is open 24 hours."
"So is his wife," another says.
I do not understand. I like them though. They are nice.
I smile at them.
I write you this letter.
I smile again.
I hug you in space.
Did you hear right? Am I working on a craft show for DIY? That's right. I am. If you would like to be on the show, send your contact info, craft, and bio to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay. Who is the wise guy that put me on 25peeps?
It's little bits at a time.
If there are musicians or editors out there with contacts, hit me up. Tell me what you know. Give me some advice. What labels do you like? Do you know someone who knows someone? Whatever the link, pass it onto me.
In other news, I saw that I am now listed on IMDB. This filled me with a particular sense of glee. I wanted to rock the acting when I first started my career as an artist. Now it has come to fruition. Unbelievable. Thank you.
Last night, I went to Lucky Strike for a friend's birthday party. Right away I started mad hitting on this woman who has that bohemian-artist-centerfold-naughty flavor that will make this man grumble for various objects to fall from the sky in no particular order. Naturally, I grumbled and had an assortment of triangles and squares punch me dead in the nose. Of course, in the beginning it was roses. Plain and simple.
"What do you do?" I ask.
"I'm a producer."
"Oh, yeah," I say. "Me too."
"Yeah, you like it?"
"It's a lot of pressure."
"Yeah, it can be. But I got a secret. If anyone does me wrong, I'll send them a memo. It's the letter U. Capitol. Then DIE! That does the trick. Gets the message across."
She giggles. I take that as keep it coming big boy and shake your ass a little. Naturally, I am one to oblige. I shake my ass. I bowl some strikes. I am huffing in that nether world of mojo that slightly pulsates from the cosmos to the very sphere of my being - over and over like a breathing heart - alive and free.
She notices. She blushes. She points her toes together. Music is playing. The Power of Love. Huey lewis. I shake my ass. She talks 80's. I talk 80's back.
"So you like The Karate Kid?"
"I love The Karate Kid," she smiles. "I love Ralp Macchio."
"Oh, yeah. Me too. Except I was in love with Elizabeth Shue. I wanted to marry her and have her babies. Maybe, that can still happen. We can work that, you know? We could act scenes from the movie. I'll do crane kicks. We can even get some blonde guy to be the bully and they'll shout, Sweep his leg. Who knows what kind of wonderful sexual excitement we could create?"
"I left that movie behind a long time ago," she smiles.
"Lets bring it back."
She laughs. She blushes more.
"Yes," she says. "It's part of the job. The pressure. I haven't been able to quit."
"Well, come have a smoke with me."
She obliges. We're out on the veranda. It's like Gone With the Wind in Times Square, except we're on Hollywood Boulevard and there are breakdancers street peddling in the background.
"What's your house like?" I ask.
"Oh, it's nice. My roomate and I-"
"Yes, my husband."
"Yes, haven't you noticed?"
She holds her rock where I can see it.
"Oh, man. You're married. I had no idea."
"It's okay. You can still think I'm pretty and great and all. We can be friends."
"Man," I say. "I am seriously verklempt right now. I think I might bust a few tears over this. I've been hitting on you all night and you're married. That's really kind of devestating."
"Oh, don't shed tears over me."
"I've got no choice. They're coming."
"Well, only 3 then."
We hug. She goes off. I cry my 3 tears. Now it's 924pm. It's Sunday. Record heat in Los Angeles. 108 degrees. Haven't been able to do much of anything. I talk to Moksha. He tells me I'm doing good. I talk to the ex-wife. She tells me I'm doing good. I have dinner with T. She says I'm doing good. Now I got to see it myself.
I will have to consult Roshi. Benjamin Franklin. Einstein. Then the greatest of them all.
This is what I will name my first born child. It's a good name. They don't even need a last name. Just Saveus. It's French, yo! I dig it too. I also dug the concert/play I went to tonight. It was AMADEUS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Neil Patrick Harris.
In case you don't know Neil from his Doogie Howser days, he's the guy who ripped lines and did X in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Neither were bad works, if you ask me. His version of Amadeus wasn't bad either. I mean, there were parts where you could tell he was pulling from the film version, but, overall, he did a good job with Peter Schaffer's extravaganza.
I, myself, could have done it better. I was born to play Mozart. Ha! Yes, Mozart or a Middle Eastern guy who is killed by Keifer Sutherland. Wouldn't that be grand? Well, it just might be on the horizon. Who knows?
I got a call today from a friend who wanted me to send in headshots to a casting agent.
"Oh, Pirooz! I know you write books and everything, but just send me your headshots."
"All I got are author pics."
"That's great. Send those."
"Yes! Send them!"
I sent them. I had no idea what it was for. I didn't even ask. I figured this is Hollywood, and just be open.
When I got an email about what it was for, I was pretty flabbergasted. I even thought, is Hollywood this easy? Maybe, I need to do acting. Who knows?
Not me. All I know is that in this town you meet people and these people meet people, and they throw ideas around, and your name comes up, and then they're like, lets put him in this. It's really fascinating. It's also really simple. Out here, if you hang in entertainment circles you're bound to have an opportunity show itself. I mean, I have done more acting here than writing.
Fascinating. Saddening. Okayening.
I haven't really talked to anyone about my views on Hollywood. Sometimes I say a few words about dreamers, how it's a good thing because everyone is dreaming and that creates an equal playing field because anyone could shoot up and be somebody. That's sort of accurate. At least until my run in with homeless slam poet. Now I realize it's a bit more than just having a dream in Hollywood. It's being in the right circles, being authentic, and socializing. That's Hollywood.
Like the other day, I go see Dacheux's Glu Gallery. She's doing her thing, kicking ass, hobnobbing, you know? I'm mingling in and around her because I don't know a soul, but then lo and behold there's Jason Schwartzman.
Then I mingle with Dacheux's compadres and I realize most everyone at this scene is either a casting director or producer or some kind of big shot for major motion pictures.
They even give me a once over when I ask what they do.
I ask anyway. I want to know. Who is this human being? What do you do on this planet?
"I'm a casting director," she says.
Then I get the cold shoulder again. That's A-OK by me. She must think I'm an actor. She must think I want her to look at my headshots. I don't though. I'm just there for Dacheux. I'm her cheerleader, whether she needs it or not. And these days she might not need it at all. That girl is tearing it up in Hollywood. Man, oh, man, my droogs if you could see her fancy wag with those skully mucks. It was pure bright sight to see. I tell thee. Could make a man out of a plumber and piecemeal out of a dog. You know the expression.
Anyway, it looks like I'm back to producing in telelvision. I had an interview today, and I'm on at another production company doing a crafting show. Who would have guessed it? It looks like I am meant to do something in television.
"I'm proud of you little buddy," Dacheux tells me. "You done good for yourself."
"No, you, little Dacheux," I say. "You are the ass kicker."
"Well, hold on there eh - you are a doing well I tell ya."
Ay, I hear you Cap'n. That I am. I would have liked more time off. Maybe, not. 3 days was good. I got to run a few miles, query two agents, and sleep for about 18 hours. That's plenty good.
I will talk to you peeps tomorrow.
P.S. If you're wondering about these pics, you'll have to come back on Sunday to see what they're all about.
Someone at work just sent me this clip. It's fantastic.
I told her I liked it.
She made fun of me.
"What's with the nosebleeds?" I ask.
"If we make fun of you, we like you," she said.
I think I'm in love.
Behrle found this for us. "...black juice..." It's a gem of a poem. I couldn't stop laughing. I couldn't even make it through the clip. I had to stop. Put it to rest.
Yeah, maybe, it's not for people to visit. Yeah, that could be right. In any case, I have linked up to Mr. Behrle. He has been writing some wonderful poetry. There was a chapbook on his site at one point last week. Very good.
I even went for a run the other day and thought about Behrle. I wondered why he was so violent. I wondered if he was afraid of his own success. Then I figured we're all something at some point. Then I thought it didn't really matter. Then I thought about that chapbook. I would like to have it. It is beautiful.
Anyway, still at work. The job is icing. So easy.
I'll tell you. Put an artist in television and they'll have plenty of time to live well and do their real work at the same time.
I loved the movie. Owen Wilson makes me laugh and laugh.
I swear afterwards I felt like I had run a couple miles. That's how good Owen Wilson was.
Dacheux was glad I liked the movie.
"I'm glad," she said.
Then we walked to Home Depot. She got polyuerathane. I got this soda called Vault. It was a hybrid energy drink. That's what the bottle said.
I had four sips. Then I tossed it in a plastic bag that was hanging from a guard rail by the potted plants outside the Depot.
Dacheux talked about money.
"I like thinking about how it started," she says. "Here, take this paper to see a movie. Take this paper to do this. It's really funny all this over paper."
"Yes, it's funny," I say.
"Well, not funny," she says. "We kill ourselves over paper."
"True," I say. "We die writing over paper too."
"This is also true," Dacheux agrees.
JP and I run into this slam poet. He tells us he's bipolar. He can't hold down a job. He just moved from Ohio to Hollywood to be a slam poet. He came here for poetry.com's convention. He has been here 8 weeks. He is performing on the street. He thinks someone will see him.
"Dude, go back to Ohio," I say. "What the fuck are you thinking? A slam poet in Hollywood? Why Hollywood?"
"This is where dreams happen," he says.
"What dream?" I ask.
"To make it."
"Make what? A living doing poetry? You got to be kidding. There's no living doing poetry. Not unless your a professor."
"What about Saul Williams?"
"Yeah, he makes a living."
"On his poetry? Maybe, a bit. Not much. The guy has got a Master's in Acting from NYU. He's doing spots on the WB. That's what's keeping him straight. He's an actor. This is what put him into that position. But there isn't that kind of living for all slam poets. You don't even have a home."
"I don't know, man. I just want to do my thing, you know. I want to be a street performer. Maybe, someone will see me. Maybe, they will hire me to be a writer."
"A writer? On what?"
"For a screenplay."
"Why? How can you go from homeless, slam poet to screenplay writer? How is that going to happen?"
"I don't know, man. I'm just doing my best."
I stop talking. I can't say another word. JP gives him a spot he could perform at. I give him some cash to eat.
"God bless you," he says.
"Yeah," I say. "You too."
Today I talk with Moksha about ways to raise paper. He comes up with some good ideas.
"Sell the music," he says. "Get an advance from a label. Then you can publish books or do whatever you want."
It's not a bad idea. I may try it. Who knows?
I have 23 books about Mars on my bed. I have an Excel spreadsheet set-up to query agents. I am waiting in my shell, waiting to erupt.
There is a new song from The Slipshod Swingers: U Drive, Me Shift. It is mixed down and ready for a listen.
"Can I hang with gangsters in Hollywood? What about hip-hop? Can I hang with Eco-poets? Will a gallery put up my painting?"
This didn’t help build community. It only moved me further away from unification with others and myself. It was only after I realized community had illusory borders that I was able to move freely within artistic communities.
“I can do whatever pleases me. It doesn’t have to be a certain kind of poetry, visual art, or musicianship. It is simply doing what holds excitement and interest for me.”
The same is done by others. Some are attracted to language poetry. Others are into graphic novels, Cubism, conceptual art, you name it. There is no real separation. We are each trying different things that excite us. We each have our intentions. And we all have our unique tastes for what we will hang, listen, view, or read in our private time.
If we open our lens’s aperture to a global view of artistry and poetics, our previous conception of our local community will shift. We will no longer look at a network in terms of an “outsider” or “insider” reality; “language” or “formal” aesthetic; or even Britney versus Beethoven disparities. These perspectives hold no weight in the magnitude of an infinite viewfinder .
This is how I approach each action in my life. It helps me see I am not alone. It helps me recognize the interconnectedness of all things. It helps me see how my community begins with my perception of it, and how my perception of my community begins with me.
K. Silem Mohammad is discussing community at Limetree. Visit him there to see how this conversation began.
I love this card. Got it today. It came with about 20 cigarette filters stuck in the envelope. Hilarious.
Now I will die slower.
For those of you in Los Angeles who want to join in the festivities, we will meet at the Sabor y Cultura Cafe (Gramercy and Hollywood), get a couple Mexican Mochas, and walk down Hollywood to The El Capitan Theater for an 8pm show of Pirates of the Carribean.
(I have 10 tickets for distribution...the rest are on you.)
I don't really like movies a whole lot, but I do love that theater. I like getting confetti squirted on me. I like feeling young. The El Capitan knows how to do it right.
If anyone wants to get tickets in advance, go for it. It might be a good idea.
After that, I will probably hit The Frolic Room. I like its seediness and its proximity.
Disney and a bar. Perfect.
Anything else going on?
Not in the least. I will be out of work come Friday. I will write a novel in the next couple weeks; send off some manuscripts to Chronicle Books; and maybe query select agents who catch my eye.
My best to all of you,
from The Rose Garden by Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi
The feeling of the banal self
is like a fly which has landed
on the side of the basin.
If the fly would choose a better place for landing
it would immediately turn into a phoenix.
"This will be the last week," my Supervisor says.
"Okay," I say.
"You are great, Pirooz. We really loved having you."
"Well, I enjoyed being here. Maybe we'll see each other in the future."
We shake hands. I walk out. Downstairs. An intern accompanies me. He asks advice about girls. I give the best that I know.
"You're not alone in anything," I say. "The sooner you realize that, the easier it is to be forgiving. We're all imperfect. Shit, man. Look at me. Lets ask right now. Who here among the two of us sitting here has done this awful thing you're talking about?"
We both raise our hands. He laughs.
"See," I say. "You're not alone."
"I like you, Pirooz."
"I like you too, XXXXX.
Now I am in the office.
There is no wind.
Only desert heat.
Dry and beautiful.
I didn't have an answer.
"It's time to get it out there. It's like a diamond just sitting there."
"I hear you."
"What do you need? I'll finance it."
"What do you need? A thousand dollars? I'll give you a thousand dollars."
"Well," I think aloud. "We could put it out ourselves, if we got everyone to chip in...but I don't know if that is the best thing to do."
"I can help with the publicity," Dacheux says. "I could handle press releases."
I mull it over with my tequila. I have no answer.
"It's a good book," Jim says. "It needs to be out there."
"I don't know what more I can do."
"Well, we have to do something."
I smile. I drink more tequila. We go to other bars. More tequila.
"Women are beautiful here," I tell Jim.
"Yes," I agree.
I make small talk with the bartender. I ask if she likes my mohawk. She says she does.
"Good," I say. " Two more tequilas."
"Yes," Jim agrees. "Tequila."
"You still hungry?"
"I need to eat."
We hit Tommy's burgers. Double cheeseburgers. Fries. Jim is happy. He smiles at the burger.
"Good burger, huh?"
I tell Jim to get a phone.
"Follow Catherine Zeta Jones," I say.
"Okay," he says.
"Then call Dacheux. She'll take you to the library."
"I need a computer."
"Then get a computer."
"I want to see Macho Libre."
"Go up Hollywood to the Grauman Theater. I'll meet you after work."
Jim bites his burger. I eat a fry.
"Good to be here with you," I tell him.
"Yes," Jim smiles. "I like Hollywood."
Here is a small bit from "Way of the Sufi":
Once, when Bishr was a Sufi disciple still dependent entirely upon the comfort of men, he was on the Island of Abadan. There he came across a most unfortunate man. He was suffering from leprosy, was blind, and lay on the ground with nobody near him. Bishr went to him and raised his head on his knees, speaking some words of reassurance and humanity, feeling sorrow and compassion. The leper then spoke out, saying: 'What stranger comes here, to stand between me and my Lord? With or without my body, I have my love for Him.' Bishr recounts that this lesson had remained with him throughout his days.
Mashghul says: 'This story can only be understood by those who realize how the leper was preventing Bishr from indulging his own sentimentality and ruining himself, through being turned into what humanity calls a "good man". "Good" is what you do voluntarily, and not in furtherance of an appetite for indulgence taught by others in the name of humanity.'
~Bishr Ibn El-Harith
I have a mohawk. I will post pictures.
Jim is here. We will hang out tonight.
"This is neglect," he says. "It's six months past."
"Mmmm," I say. "Yes."
"You know it can get impounded right now?"
"Yes," I said.
"Let me see your license."
I was glad I had gotten the license last week. This made it easier. I was proud of myself for that. I think the cop was too. He handed back my license and issued me a citation rather than impounding my car. That was nice of him. I reminded myself that when I looked down at the yellow stub and realized I'd have to show up in court for this.
"I could have impounded it now," he said, as a way of consolation. "It's neglect."
"Yes," I said. "I hear you."
Lovely bureaucracy. Truly.
At lunch, I decided to take my chances with the DMV. I was hoping it would be effortless, and, initially, it was. It wasn't until I ran into registration issue that it became a problem. Apparently, this family car I've been driving for the last 10 years has not ever been put in my name, and now it leaves me with a wonderful solution - shit out of luck. They made me pay another 75 dollars and told me to come back and pay some more.
"Come back," they said. "Pay some more."
"Sounds good," I smiled.
"And get your father to sign each document and get it back to us. This will cover you until August. And I will be waiting for those signed documents."
I have half the mind to forge some documents.
Now I'm in the office. Work continues. Jim Goar will be here tomorrow. I'm in a foul mood. Hopefully, he'll bring some cheer. I've got plenty of bitch slap.
Yes, I have been foul this last week. Just awful.
I don't stand for anything. I even catch myself saying things like, "Just punch him in the mouth."
At work, someone failed to accomplish a task for me, and I wrote a memo to them that went simply, "YOU DIE!!!"
They found it funny.
I wasn't kidding.
Sometimes you need to go in the shell. You need to hide for a bit.
Right now I'm a dangerous animal. I could punch you for no good reason. Just try me. I'll knock you out. Seriously.
This might have something to do with the timely nature I find myself in. I am 1 year older in a couple days. I have been reading Bukowski non-stop. I am sick of working. I am ready to write a novel, and now I have to deal with crap.
Get out of my way.
It could be that it's just hot. It could be that I'm tired. It could be that I live alone. It could be that I'm old. It could be that I'm poor. It could be that I need a drink.
It could also be that I'm just plain mean.
Looks like I'm dying again.
I'll punch you. I swear I will.
Just die, punk.
What can I do to make you happy?
Take it easy on me. Sleep. Get something to eat. Chill. Relax. Slow down. Take care of things one day at a time. Deal with what comes. Don't freak out. It's cool. Nothing's going to happen. You'll get your dad to sign the documents. You will show it to the lady. You will call and take care of student loans. You will write a novel bit by bit like you do everything. I love you big dude. Just chill. Relax. Listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I hate Lynrd Skynrd. I don't even know how to spell their name.
Is that true? You hate them?
Nah, they're okay. They have pretty songs. I like Forrest Gump.
Yeah, now you're talking.
I just need some sleep.
That's right. Get some sleep, beautiful.
Yes, sleep. I need sleep.
Go to bed, darling.
Alright, I'm going.
Same to you.
I keep running into famous people everywhere. Yesterday, it was Giovanni Rabisi. Today it was Natasha Mcelhone. She was in that Picasso film with Anthony Hopkins.
She was with her kids. She looked happy.
I poured my coffee.
I have only spoken to one famous person in Hollywood. Well, two actually.
The first was Chris Rock.
"You're great," I said.
He shook my hand.
The second was Chekov from Star Trek. I said he was great too.
"You are," I said.
He smiled. His daughter smiled.
I walked home.
They are still playing Lynyrd Skynyrd at work.
My foot hurts. It wants sleep.
Hopefully, things will brighten as it gets darker.
His short story, Among my Peers, details a middle school running race in the early hours of a Los Angeles morning.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
P.S. For those of you who are interested in participating in next month's Perfect Post Award, please see the link provided.