THE TIDAL WAVE…LEANING OVER.IT’S A HIDEAWAY.KEENING ’S OVER.NOW YOU’RE RIGHT AWAY.TRAVELING SIDE-A-WAYS.SLEEPING OVER.YOU’RE WIDE-AWAKE.DREAMING CODAS.IS A TIDAL WAVE.HERE’S THE TIDAL WAVE.THE PARADE OF THE SHADOWS CASCADES DOWN THE STAIRS.THEIR APPEARANCES SHALLOW BUT CLEARLY THEY’RE THERE.FACES ONCE BRIGHT WITH EMBERS NOW EMPTY AS BRIGHT BROKEN AIR.CLEAN AND COASTING.IT’S THE IN-A-DAY, OUT-A-DAY.KEEPING SOBER.IS A TIDAL WAVE.HERE’S THE TIDAL WAVE …LATEST DISEASE…YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO THE SONG, BUT YOU’RE PRETTY SURE I’M WRONG ABOUT IT.AND EVERYBODY’S CLEAN, SO THERE’S NO LATEST DISEASE, HOW BOUT IT?.WELL MARK MY WORDS, BUT THE TELEVISION’S LYING.AND YOU CAN TAKE YOUR FILL OF THE BULLSHIT YOU BEEN BUYING.YOU CAN DEPEND ON A SMILE FROM MY EYES WHEN YOU’RE LEFT CRYN ABOUT IT.AND THERE’S NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY’S GONNA COME CLEAN.WITHOUT A WAR WE KNOW NO PEACE, THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN.CAN’T ONLY SEE WHAT YOU WANNA BELIEVE ABOUT IT.I KNOW IT’S WEARING THIN, BUT WHEN I SAY YOU’RE BUYING IN, I MEAN IT.THE LATEST OF DISEASE, WE ONLY LISTEN AS WE PLEASE, IT’S FIENDISH.WHAT I DON’T KNOW I AM WILLING TO BEHOLD.BUT I WON’T LIVE MY LIFE DOING ONLY AS I’M TOLD.DON’T TELL ME HOLD THE PHONE JUST CUZ YOU THINK WE’RE OKEE-DOKE, I SEEN IT!.OH, TAKE YOUR TIME.ONCE I AM GONE YOU’LL KNOW THAT YOU’RE RIGHT…FRESH AND HIP KIDS…WE THOUGHT THAT THERE COULD BE NOTHING OUT THERE UNDER OUR FEET.WE THOUGHT THAT WE WERE JUST WALKING ON THE ASPHALT.THEN THERE WAS SOMETHING RISING OUT OF THE STREET.IT LOOKED LIKE BUT WAS MUCH BIGGER THAN A TURTLE.OH, SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE AT LAST I’VE FOUND YOU IN A FREAK OF NATURE.OH, LET’S JOURNEY UNDERGROUND INTO THE MAGIC WORLD OUR WASTE CREATED.THE MUTANTS FRIENDED US AND TOOK US ALONG.INTO THEIR UNDERGROUND LAIR IN A SEWER.IT’S NOT THE KIND OF PLACE YOU MIGHT WANNA STAY.BUT MAKES A MIGHTY FINE INTERESTING TOUR.WHAT IS THAT?! WE CRIED AND TRIED TO HIDE.FROM THE FREAKY AND FURRY HURRIED MAMMOTH OF A MAMMAL INTENT ON.BODY SLAMMIN OUR SLAMMIN BODIES TO THE GROUND.HE WAS THE MASTER OF AN ANCIENT ART FORM.OH, HE SAID WE HAD THE CHOICE TO JOIN HIS RABBLE OR TO PERISH THERE AND.OH, WE SPOKE IN ONE STRONG VOICE “YES WE WILL FIGHT FOR WHAT IS GOOD AND FAIR, SO”.AND WE FOUND SWEET SALVATION IN A REVOLUTION BORN OF OUR OWN POLLUTION…CLEANING OUT THE PENNY ARCADE…WELL HOWDY THERE MY TIN CAN FRIEND.HAVE YA GOT YERSELF A STORY TO SPILL?.WHEN OPEN ON UP, DON’T SPARE ME A DROP.I GOTTA PRETTY SPELL A TIME TO KILL.WHAT’S THAT NOW WIDJA SO BIG MOUTH.GONNA RUN AND TELL ALLA YA FRIENDS?.WELL, YA BEST KEEP YER SECRETS IN YER STITCHED UP DRAWERS.OR I’LL CARVE ANOTHER SMILE BELOW YOUR CHIN.IT’S SO FINE.YEAH, IT’S SO NICE.TO SHARE WITH ONE LOVE.ALL THE LOVIN’ IN YOUR LIFE.WELL HELLO THERE WIDJA SKIN LEFT BARE.OH YA MUSTA HAD A ROTTEN RUN IN.WELL COME RIGHT HERE AND SHARE YOUR TEARS.LET’S CLEAN YOU UP LET’S TUCK YOU IN.YA BUTTON TONGUE, YOU RABBIT EYES.YOU KNEW YOU’D GET ME LEAN ON UP.NOW YOU LEFT A MARK, NOW YE’R OUT THE DOOR.OH I LOVE IT WHEN THE GAME TRIES TO UP AND RUN. IT’S SO NICE.TO TAKE A CHANCE.AND SHARE WITH ONE LOVE.ALL THE LOVING IN YOUR COLD, COLD HANDS…NO FLOWERS…YOU DON’T SEND ME FLOWERS ANYMORE.WHILE I’VE BEEN BRIBING POSTMEN TO BE KNOCKING DOWN YOUR DOOR.OH, YOU DON’T SEND ME LETTERS CAN’T YOU SEE,OH YEAH IT’S BAD.AND YOU, YOU SAID, YOU WOULD AND I BELIEVED YOU.YOU DON’T SEND ME FLOWERS ANYMORE.AND THE SONG YOU SING IS HOLLOW FROM THE WAY I HEARD BEFORE.OH, YOU DON’T SEND ME LETTERS CAN’T YOU SEE.OH YEAH IT’S BAD.YOU DON’T SEND ME FLOWERS ANYMORE.AND THE STATIC IN THE AIR IS NOW MUCH HARDER TO IGNORE.OH, YOU DON’T SEND ME LETTERS CAN’T YOU SEE.THIS WAS A PROMISE YOU BROKE THIS WAS A CONTRACT YOU BREACHED…THE NIGHT I CAME HOME A GRIZZLY BEAR…IT MOSTLY HAPPENS WHEN YOU SMIRK IN YOUR SLEEP.I WONDER ARE YOU KEEPING SECRETS FROM ME.AND WHEN THE MOON IS OUT THE SUN SEEMS SO FAR.AND I SWEAR THIS WALK HOME HAS GONE ON FAR TOO LONG.THE NIGHT I CAME HOME A GRIZZLY BEAR.I’M BEGINNING TO QUESTION THE STATE OF YOUR HEALTH.YOU USED TO LOVE IT, NOW YOU’RE NOT LIKE YOURSELF.AND WHEN THE MOON IS OUT THE SUN SEEMS SO FAR.AND THIS DARK IS NOW DEEPER THAN WE EVER ARE.PLEASE DON’T SAY THIS WILL LAST FOREVER.YOU NEED YOU WANT IT YOU SEE IT YOU GOT IT.YOUR EYES ARE ALWAYS OPEN.YOUR HEAD IS NEVER HAUNTED.YOU NEED YOU WANT IT YOU SEE IT YOU GOT IT.I’M HUNGRY…HAVE YOU SEEN THE SUN?…YOU’RE RIDING HARD UPON A LARK THAT YOU’LL MAKE LOVE WITH THE LIGHT.YOU SHOVE YOU FACE INTO THE FUZZ OF AN ELECTRIC DEVICE.EVERY NIGHT IN THE HOPES THAT YOU MIGHT.(BUT) HAVE YOU SEEN THE SUN?.NO YOU KNOW IT AIN’T DIGITAL.YOU’RE LICKING SWEAT, A HEAVY PETTING, PAWING; FINGERS AT WORK.YOUR EYES, EXTINGUISHED, NOT A SINGLE LICK A’ LIFE TO REPORT.WHAT’S THE WORTH? YEAH THAT LIGHT IS INERT!…CREEKE…ALL THESE PICTURES LEFT, UNKIND.TALK TO YOURSELF CUZ YOU’RE LOSING YOUR MIND.CREAK WENT THE FLOOR OF THE RIVERBED.THE CREEKE MUSTA KNOWN I WAS SNEAKIN IN.I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.AND ALL THESE GHOSTS THAT DOT THEIR HEARTS.TELL YOU DEAR DON’T PAY NO MIND.SNEAK ON BY WITH A PEN IN MY HAND.A SONG TO TEACH US OR LET US IN.CREAK WENT THE FLOOR OF THE RIVERBED.THE CREEKE MUSTA KNOWN I WAS SNEAKIN IN.I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.AND ALL THESE GHOSTS ARE SO UNKIND.OH I TELL YOU KID DON’T PAY NO MIND.OH, ALL I’VE GOT’S MY MIND…DAVINCI (LORA)…LORA I KNOW I’VE BEEN GONE TOO LONG.THINGS I SAID THEY ALWAYS CAME OUT WRONG.I’LL SAY THEM ONCE MORE IN THIS SONG.AND NOW THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO DO, EXCEPT A DOWNER OR TWO.TO THINK LIKE DAVINCI, TO MAKE SOMETHING ART.TO BE SEEN AS GOD, OH, TO BE GOD IN PART.LORA, I KNOW THAT I HAVE BEEN.GONE FROM MIND TOO OFTEN.LORA, I KNOW I WASN’T HERE.WHILE YOU CRIED, I DREAMT THROUGH MOST OF YEAR.AND NOW THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO DO, EXCEPT A DOWNER OR TWO.LORA I KNOW I’VE BEEN GONE TOO LONG.LORA I KNOW I HAVE DONE THINGS WRONG.BUT I WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD FOR YOU.I’D BUILD MACHINES TO WORSHIP YOU.I’D STOP THE DREAMS TO BE WITH YOU.I’D DO OTHER THINGS THAT I CANNOT DO.BUT ALL I EVER SEEM TO DO, IS A DOWNER OR TWO…I GOT RAYS SHOOTING OUT OF MY CHEST…WHEN THE FOREST BURNS DOWN ALL THE MONKEYS GET HUNGRY.GONNA EAT ALL OF THE PEOPLE GONNA TAKE ALLA THEIR MONEY.YOU SAY SEASICK, I’MA GET SEASICK.SUCH A SAD SUCKER, NEVER GONE SEE IT.YOU SAY MY BAD, I’MA PACK MY BAGS.SUCH A SAD SUCKER, RAYS SHOOT OUTTA MY CHEST NOW.WELL YOU GOT PRESENCE; I’VE GOT PRESENTS.I’M A GONNA GET SOME; YOU AINT GONNA GET NONE.WHEN THE FOREST BURNS DOWN, ARE WE GONE BE FRIENDS?.ARE WE GONE BE FRIENDS?…ALL MY LOVE…IN THE TREES, IN THE THROATS OF THE BIRDS IS A NOTE.IS THE WORD AND I FREEZE – A TIRESOME STING.IT’S ROTE A COATED SINGALONG THE BIRDS EACH BRING.THEY THINK THEY’LL SPY THE WARY EYE, THEY’LL ONLY CATCH A FLASH OF TEETH.NO THING OF NOT THO I SUPPOSE IT ONLY GOES TO SHOW THAT THINGS THAT FLY HAVE EYES FOR ONLY PREY.AND IF I MIGHT, HOW WAS YOUR FLIGHT? INDEED, IF I MAY PRY, IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT WHEN YOU SAID.ALL MY LOVE TO YOU GIRL ALL MY LOVE TO YOU.THE NIGHT IS DARK, A SHADE OF SILENT BLACK THAT HUNTS THE HEART.AND BIRDS WITH BRAINS ALL KNOW TO HIDE AWAY.AND THIS I GUESS IS WHEN YOU THRIVE PERUSE THE NEST ADEPT TO FIND.THE SLEEPING YOUTH YOUR SWEET TOOTH PINES TO STEAL AWAY.BUT ALL THE HURT I YEARN TO BURN AWAY WITH WORDS EXPLAINS THIS POTENT PAIN – I KNOW THE PRICE I PAID.NO CHILD AM I, I KNOW THE BIRD MUST LEARN TO FLY, OR IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT WHEN YOU SAID…?
All (c) 2009 MB, xcept FRESH AND HIP KIDS, (c) 2009 Grace McLean
The tense and stagnant air rudely leans its elbows on the table; the audience for these minutes that concern how we will, all of us, become, very soon, fodder for an awfully large fire called This City.
In attendance: Two (2) Teddy Bears, I (me), An Ensemble of Chairs (7 and one (1) Sofa), Jim, Sophie (Sophia by birth), Some Flowers (Wilted, Despondent, Annoyingly Lackluster), The Echoed Screams Cascading From the Streets (Many).
Here, in the basement, at the table, the Teddies Two hit on some apt talking points, though, rendered tetherless by Those Lead Shoes That These Times Sport, have wandered airily to nostalgic stillness time and again, with an “Oh… yes,” and “but that was… long ago” holding the empty space while the Chairs and Flowers remain chiefly unconcerned observers. Sophie has reserved herself to the Nintendo and Jim is dead, has been, near on a day, is spoiling in the corner. You know, where the walls meet.
So it’s mostly me, me and the Teddies, the Teddies and I trying to figure this thing out.
First: The ultimatum seems pretty final, we agree, and one of the Teddies - the one I will go on here to call daft and brilliant - he laughs and says, “well it is, after all, an Ultimatum.” We laugh, too, I and the Other Teddy, who, I think, doesn’t follow, keeps saying, between laughs, “but…” (ha ha) “traditionally…” (ha ha) “an ultimatum…” (ha ha…).
Sophie burps a little (she’s drinking a cola) and will ask whether any further pizza is to be ordered. Jim continues his crusade on better smells, addressing only the wall and whatever personal demons one tends to face in the hours following ones murder.
The Teddies have wandered again - low utterings of time spent in Rome, safari stories, the Great Wall - current matters are forgotten, or, more likely, pulling us, so soundly, from top to bottom that they are forcing us shorter and making us smaller ‘til bone matter and brain stuffs and heart beats and nerve tension become Some Liquidy Mess, where pieces-once-us swim by, carp in a small tank, flecks of color calling the eyes by name, here to there, again and over, ‘til there need be no plot, no line of reference, just the weight, the weight and these myriad memories. The Flowers and Chairs will not speak on the topic.
Then: The Echoed Screams are impatient. They are calling us to the orgy, and the immediacy of their tone snatches us, it seems, by the earlobes, back from most certain liquification. We are awake again. The first Teddy, the one I find daft, though rather brilliant, releases some air from his lungs, imitates the deflation of a tire. “I wish this on no one,” is what he says, and is it daft or brilliant? See? Our task is kindred to that question, and it calls my fear. I can smell its iron in my nose; I can taste it in my dry mouth.
I am afraid the dark will not be kept outside the windows tonight. I am afraid the Screams will grow further towards impatience, will scheme past walls and take on the light. I am afraid that our meetings are senseless, that the Fleet will do as they please - as they have told us they will - and that we should perhaps be spending these last few hours calling ones loved, preparing wills rather than drafting missile defense plans and counter-Ultimatum offers on my sister’s graph paper. There is immediacy, finally; what I have been screaming across great chasms for, throwing rocks into the teem below, the staggering, tail-chasing beasts. The Dark was coming, came, and I prayed for this sense, this prickling in the asshole of each beast, this urgency against the Dark. I threw rocks, I screamed I would lead them, I threw rocks. And when Dark fell, there it was, my wish. The beasts in the canyon; they were urgent, rattled, rioting. And I was urgent, and tired, and useless, standing here at cliff’s edge with nothing but rocks in my empty, empty head, my head at the end of where my spine should be, but only rocks there.
Finally: The Screams have made their point and head off to some new part of the city. I wonder what they left on my stoop. This is our stab at normalcy: Before death is delivered, we will seek it out ourselves. The clouds are growing darker, black and red, and I know this is not some storm, but the end, the Fleet. There is a gunshot, stunning close, showering light through the room’s small windows and onto the state of our world.
There is some discussion, once the pizza arrives, over who’s ordered the peppers, because no one here likes peppers, even a little. Dinner is quiet, and, afterwards, we reconvene only to call it a night, perhaps a life, and go our separate ways: The Teddies kissed and into their bin, the Chairs under the table, the flowers to the trashcan. Jim is on his side, lips apart so slightly, eyes grey and green unmoving, his brain, I can only imagine, unthinking. Lucky fuck.
Sophie and I retire to my mother’s apartment and I sleep on the couch. At approximately 10:30pm, I look out the window towards the horizon, and the lightning is spectacular.
All that stuff was by me yesterday, now it’s back to found art.
I recently started taking pictures with a Holga plastic camera. Took about 80 shots over a 4 month period. After accidental exposures, I got 39 shots back from the shop. 11 were decent. 1 was good.
I learned a bit, though, about lighting and focus and taping up the holes in my camera. I’ll do better next time, I think. Looking forward to what the next batch - and this big step toward finding my creative self - brings.
Let’s form a band, yeah, ‘cause, I’m sick of trying to be normal. Let’s you and me evade this indie scene and be the real up-and-comers we’re looking for. Hold off on buying that, and I’ll sell my collection; maybe we can get a kit. If not, I know Blake plays, and he’s a cool guy, and you already have that old keyboard (I know, we’ll get you a new one when we get big) and I’ll fix my bass eventually, I swear. Is this too contemporary? I’ll ask you that ten times. We’ll move out of the city for a while, play in a barn and try to forget what we’re supposed to think we’re supposed to be like. There’ll be hay in Blake’s hair when we get back, and you and I will have had a falling out (I’m still sorry, and, I’m sorry, I’m still in love) and that will have made our work all the stronger, we’ll agree, with wordless, sullen and slightly humorless nods to one another. ‘When did you pick up the fiddle?’ people will ask me. This will cause a laugh among us, a gentle one, and you will say, ‘Have I got a story for YOU!’ accenting the YOU like that guy we met did, and that will cause us to laugh harder, though we never actually tell the story about the Fiddle Lady and her Three Tests, but, hell, it’s in one of the songs, just listen buddy. We’ll start small, trying to follow the plans we laid out before we’d left, but, it slowly dawns on us, some night, between pack-up and sleep, we’re beyond all that now. Blake’s the one that suggests the trip through the Mid-West. We rent a small van and I make chicken sandwiches and we’re gonna be gone for months. The smell is what did it, we decide halfway through OK, or maybe LA. The city smells like people too much, people and their ideas, their ideas on ideas. Out here we can smell, taste and hear straight, and there are the notes, just hanging out in the rafters when their part’s through (‘cause they have that kind of respect for their sisters). There’s so much to be seen then, now. Things start losing walls. We played the Jug in AL for what may have been three days. It was night the whole time, people just kept coming, the rafters whispering and chattering with fullness, black. You passed out in NV. Blake had a new idea, but none of us were ready, we just stared out over the mountains and tried to remember any of last week. We showed up in CA with nothing in our hands and they asked us what we played, so I shrugged and you two couldn’t stop laughing. Out on the beach, after the show, we aren’t there much more. I can see right through you, the grounded part of you, and that cloud forming, the deep black sound bubbling out from and above you, long ago seemed deeper than the three of us combined. Blake says it again and this time we nod, together, quiet. I’ve read that they’re still looking for us, sending special planes out over the ocean and all, ones that can hear real good, make sound into people again. Capitol and Warner are funding the search; say there’s a double album in it for us. I dunno. Maybe in a couple years. Right now Blake keeps humming at me about radio waves and space travel, and you seem happy just whispering to the gulls. We’ll hold a press conference when we reach the coast, maybe, or maybe we won’t.
This is in regards to your competition to find the next The Next Teflon Boy.
First, I would like to express my true and deep sadness at the loss of Charlie, The First Teflon Boy. He was an inspiration to millions, including me, and he will be missed.
You may ask yourself why I show such interest in becoming Charlie’s successor. Perhaps I am unaware of the grisly details concerning his demise? I assure you, I am fully aware of the dangers, having kept a scrapbook of Charlie’s adventures; the newspaper investigation, the crime scene photographs, the articles in the medical journals. I am aware of these things and still I beg of you:
Make ME the Next Teflon Boy!
I believe you will find that I am an individual of exceeding quality, with an immune system robust enough to withstand the daily injection regimen and a work ethic that would make even ol’ Charlie proud, God rest his poisoned, deformed soul.
Enclosed, please find my resume (note 2 years experience in field) and various pictures of me in capes and such related outfits.
PS. Some friends and I were wondering if you could settle a bet: Were Charlie’s last words a condemnation of your work, or merely incomprehensible gurgles of blood?
Writing a musical with Daren Taylor. Recorded the first five songs over the last few weeks, with some help on vocals from my buddy Grace McLean.
We’re Doomed occurs towards the end of the play when the merger of the Internet and all phone services appears to go horribly awry. People, gasping for tech like fish out of water, begin turning into zombies. And they rap about it a bit.