Author Archives: jssmrks

Sometimes I’m a Lizard


“Oooo-oui! That looks like some of that “High Powered Rocket Fuel” I’ve been hearing so much about lately!” said Wesley, wide-eyed. His breathing was in clumps, rolling out of him and down his chest as he handled the unmarked bottle of clear viscuous liquid Norman had produced from his orange satchel, twirling it slowly like a rotisserie gas-station hotdog, the liquid shuffling over itself in globs.

“Ah, why, yes Wes, it is some of that “High Powered Rocket Fuel”, replied Norman, tongue poking out of the edge of his mouth.

Things were getting out of hand; I wasn’t sure why I came here. There are those evenings when one realizes the exact proportions of their own depth only the moment after they’ve plunged slightly below, slightly too far to get back. Wes of course is a Mariana Trench of spiritual and psychic exploration- this I know. But evenings like this, when Wes puts on his multi-colored lights and that music, and strong drinks gave way to various strains of bud, and normal conversation turns mystical, and that strange aura burns off Wes and you feel it too, to say nothing of Wesley’s strange friends like Norman, who take too many washroom trips and spend slightly too much time in there and then foment a certain sinister weirdness- these evenings tend to sweep you away; High Powered Rocket Fuel hardly seems out of place. I am compelled.

“Well, let’s see what all the fuss is about” I say. Jesus! Why did I say that!

“Howard! Good man!” Wesley eyes appear to glow blue. He uncaps the bottle, tilts it, viscuous fluid inching towards him. “How much do I need?” he asks.

“Not much. A sip will do; a gulp will probably be over-doing.”

“Ha! Well, Norm, I’d be nothing if not a gulper and one who belabors any point that could be made. Here’s a point…of departure! Ha! Let’s go there! Let’s just abandon rational thought for the rest of tonight!” He takes a considerable chug; his face contorts and scrunches. “Good Lord! Miserable! It’s like eating glue!”

“It helps if you drink something with it.”

“Fucking right.” Norman has already taken a sip. I try to gauge how much he’s taken, but depth perception has become an issue for me.

The bottle is in my right hand. The liquid looks like molasses, clear, thick, granules of varying size floating around at varying paces.

“Jesus, it’s like a cosmos, uh, a galaxy!”. I’ve just said that aloud; no indication, thankfully, of either of them hearing me….or Spencer. Spencer! I forgot: Spencer is on the couch, passed out; he surpassed his depth almost immediately and has drowned, metaphorically speaking. Although, in the red and green light emanating from Wesley’s lamps, Spencer looks….spectral. Wrong word, probably. Jesus, I shouldn’t be drinking any of this. A sip, though; a sip.

But, of course, its more than a sip; tooooo drunk. A paste-like texture, warm; I imagine akin to eating damp paper towel.

“How quick does this work?” I stutter.

“Now” says Norman. He cocks an eyebrow; tongue now drooping out of the left side of his mouth, a curt and tense smirk slowly ascending up his face. His facial hair looks like writhing ants. Oh god: horrible paranoia: I can’t trust Norman.

Don’t trust Norman. He just wants to get us fucked up to laugh at us, or worse. But he is Wes’ friends….Jesus. I feel as though my legs are being slowly hoisted up in a hospital bed. It seems as though I can imagine a scenario of hospitalization for what seems to be intestinal inflammation whilst still maintaining stuttering conversation with Wes, who is now victim to a fit of giggles.

“Right now, I really want to watch television; I hope to God it works! I’d be devastated, just DEVASTATED otherwise! Hahaha!” he howls, head tilted back on the couch.

Television: Soccer Highlights: Sunderland against Newcastle: Sunderland wins in dramatic fashion at the last moment: Paulo Di Canio, manager of Sunderland, runs up and down the touchline screaming, leaping, punching the air.

“Hahahaha! He’s a LUNATIC! And a NAZI!” bellows Wesley. “And just look at those grub-faced people in the stands! Jesus. 40,000 people sitting together to watch teenagers kick a ball! My god! We’re all insane!”

This shit is hitting me weird. The room is normal beyond optical effects that my earlier combination of substances tends to produce, but my brain feels like a computer. I begin to understand the connectivity of synapses, veins, musculature; I am conceptualizing my body in exquisite detail. Flashes of my earlier hospital bed imaginings: Doc says I got the worms.

Television: A Show Called “Morgan Freeman Is God”, wherein Morgan Freeman explains all of phenomenological reality. This is Wesley’s favorite show.

“My savior! Norman! Have you seen this show before?”

“No”. Norman looks metallic in the easy-chair, inert, overly-observant; a fucking human-android drone.

Jesus, that can’t be real; but if it were real, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Like, I imagine, easily, that Norman could in fact be a highly sophisticated robot designed to spy on random people purely for the sake of spying on random people, an avatar of common experience. Like, people just watch video of this fucking robot going around living a normal (Oh my god! NORMal! That would make sense!), uh, a normal human life- well normal in the sense that using recreational drugs would be normal; just pure voyeurism and scopophilia to the max. And idiots would watch it, too.


“Ha! You said it! Yes, Norm, this show is amazing. Did you know that Morgan Freeman understood the universe when he was a child?” Norman gives a noiseless chuckle. I don’t like him; his vibes are no good. And this shit is hitting me really weird; various strains of thought and cognition seem to be trailing off like laundry lines from my forehead, branching out in every direction; reverberating phrases repeated over one another until it becomes a mash of noise.

“When I was boy I was fascinated by my shadow”

“Ha! I TOLD you! Wait for the visuals!”

“It seemed strange to me that the only way I could perceive light was its absence. It made me wonder: what is nothing? Does it have tangible properties? Could it in fact be….something…after all?”

“Hahahahahahahaha!” Wesley’s laughter is enveloping the room, like that pink insulator shit behind the walls; like it’s coming from the walls. Good Lord!

On the television: sudden zoom into Morgan Freeman’s right eye, in which is contained the Milky Way; continued zoom towards the patch of the Milky Way which contains the Solar system; faster zoom, past the Oort Cloud, past what one assumes is Pluto, over Neptune, under Uranus, between the rings of Saturn, right next to the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, its many moons hurtling past like beads of sweat, continuing through a multitude of asteroids, past Mars, Earth growing larger and larger in the screen; slower zoom, through clouds, towards north America, over the mid-west, birds eye view towards a city, streets, trees, apartment, through the ceiling- stop, hovering now, fly-on-the-ceiling view overlooking a living room: a young man wearing a paisley robe drinks liberally from an unmarked bottle containing a viscous and clear liquid; another sits sprawled in a bean bag chair, appearing to be stoned to the gills; a figure who has been lying down sits up and looks at the television, which portrays the very same room.

“Woah! Its us!” Spencer shouts. Woah! Its us! Shouts the figure on the television. Atop a manikin whose head has been removed is a camera. Cut to said camera: pov : man on the floor heaves with ruptures of silent laughter; man on bean bag looks on in utter horror; man on couch begins drinking from the unmarked bottle.

I look up and see a moth or cricket or spider or some fucking bug on the ceiling; it does not appear to have a camera attached to it. Looking back at the television, I see Wesley’s face contorted with manic laughter bathed in orange light on the screen.

“Wait!” He shouts, channelling to some random tennis match amid more rippling giggling. “I’ve got an idea. My apartment is perfect for like, a talk show!”

“What?” I’m confused. Spencer lies back down and is again unconscious; his non-prescription glasses fall to the floor.

“I agree” says Norman, scratching at his chin.

“Yes! We’re going to film it, too, from each of our own perspectives, then we can edit it and do shit with tryptich and whatever else. It’ll be great!”


“Our phones! So let’s make our characters….so I think it should be a literary show, don’t you?”

“Absolutely. Let’s be co-hosts, Wes, and we’ll be interviewing Howard about a new book he’s just published.” Rasps Norm.

“Ooooh yes! You dig that, Howard?”

“I think so.”

“Okay! So, I’ll be called Kyle Francois. Norm, you can be Ryan- or Norm. Co-host; side-kick, yes? Howard, how about Jesse Marks, author?”

“Works for me”. I feel as though someone is hugging me from behind.

“Okay! Great! So, Jesse (hahaha!), wait outside until I come get you; we’ll just like, roll with it. You can improv, right? Hahaha! Okay!”

He seems different. Wesley is one to take a bit or joke or whatever as far as it will go, and he seems to have created a backstory for this character known only to him.

Outside is cold. Wesley lives near a small creek, and I can hear ducks being throttled by an animal that is making a wretched and high-pitched squeal. My phone is on, camera set to video. I am recording Wesley’s door, white, plain, for an unknown amount of time. A disconcerting sense of hollowness enters my mind, that somehow there’s nothing behind this door, that I’ve been duped.

But then Kyle Francois opens the door, and I enter into a room that is bathed in orange, the multi-colored bulbs replaced. A song is playing which sounds like National Health….or something like that. Kyle and Norm are pantomiming laughter and jovial gesturing, Kyle sitting agile and cat-like on the arm of the large blue easy chair where Norm reclines, hands clasped together. Kyle has changed his threads, replaced his robe with red-grey camouflage shorts, a heavy wool plaid jacket, and hiking boots; Norm has put on a snap-brim cap.

“Let’s fade out the music, ” Kyle whispers to Norm. His voice has changed slightly from Wesley’s, which I suppose makes sense since he isn’t Wesley…

“Welcome, welcome to another episode of the….show. This week we have the pleasure of having Jesse Marks, who’s just put out a new novel. But first: Norm, would you offer Jesse a drink?”

“Of course! Jesse….what’ll you drink?”

“Ahhh, well, I’m a whiskey man, in truth….uhhhhh” I’m toooo drunk and toooo stoned and tooooo Rocket Powered. Kyle is talking in a bizarre mixture of antiquated idioms and a vibrant jutting hep-type vernacular. Norm returns with a glass that is half whiskey and half High Powered Rocket Fuel.

They begin discussing the newest book Jesse Marks has written about a man who grapples with the conflicting religious beliefs of his Scientologist father and his Orthordox Jewish mother amid the chaos of the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in NYC.   I watch, live, on my phone’s camera as Jesse Marks responds in listing, slurred, nonsensical answers, punctuated with crude grunts and curses. None of it makes any sense. Kyle is tossing a pen in the air and catching between his fingers:

“But what does the protagonist WANT! What does he want! Norm, his protagonist wants something, I ask him what that is!”

“Kyle, I’d say given the motivational ambiguity, perhaps the protagonist, Roger, wants what he already has.”

“Ahhh splendid! Do you agree, Jesse?”

“Uhhhhh….I just wanted to convey a man’s attempt to connect to a natural truth in the face of an artificial….uhhhhh…”

“What about your controversial over-use of semi-colons?”

“Shit…maaan…..9/11 WAS a fucking semi-colon in history….shiiit”

Fade to Black.

Dino Remembers: The Worst Valentine’s Day Party Ever

[As you may be aware, Dino Manonne is a man of many adventures and exploits, peaks and nadirs, (near) successes and catastrophic failures, all of which make him a vast mountain range of experience.  From time to time, he sits down and types some of them out for us: Dino Remembers– Jesse]




A Total Fucking Waste of My Time: I Blow My One Chance of Collaborating with and Fucking Goldie Hawn

So it’s Valentine’s Day, 1981 or ’82. Don’t quite remember because, again, I was pretty fucked up and 1972 until 1985 feels like it all happened over a weekend. Doesn’t matter.

But anyway, we’re at Clive’s house for his Valentine’s Day shindig, which back in those days was basically a fuck fest. I am very lucky to have been invited to this party- no idea how it happened. Crystal Grass* was never a “big deal” at any point, I’ll freely admit. But I suppose in the music business or any business it helps to “know people”, and we certainly knew people who allowed us to score some high quality “party favors”, which was certainly another large part of Clive’s parties.

So it’s a fun night, we’re up our own noses, schmoozing, boozing, and I see Goldie Hawn. Now, I was certainly a fan, and on top of that, she’d been talking to Clive about trying out another record, because I mean every fucking movie star tried out a record in those days, so I’m thinking I can get in on all of that, if you catch my drift.

So I amble over there, probably white-nosed and google eyed, but fuck it. It’s a fucking party and it’s not like everyone else there wasn’t a jittering freak, too. I’m talking like 6 words at once- basically like, “this is going to be both a chance for Goldie to break out again and for a new direction for the band we shouldn’t be thinking too much about all this fucking bullshit space or cowboy shit we need get back to thick cuts and thick jams and shit and “Goldie” was a pretty solid album but it was like fucking 4 or 5 years too late and like it could’ve been more thick if you feel me like it sounds like she’s skipping in a fucking garden for some of those tracks she needs to be like screaming you know fucking primal grooves if you feel me because that’s the thing these days Clive is shit is fucking plastic like we need goop on our tracks you know what I mean like I can see like Goldie like standing over a fucking manhole cover like fucking hefting it up and screaming down into the gutter at the fucking rats and vermin and alligators you feel me and like they’re making this wretched fucking retort roaring back up at her and you just put like a hefty fucking beat on top of that right and it’s fucking see-saw this fucking you know balance between good and evil but there’s a bit of each in both if you know what I mean Clive I’ve got the fucking tapes I’ve been laying this shit down Clive you feel me?”

And what was so great about those days was Clive was not entirely opposed to the idea, based on my pitch, and I was getting some fucking traction. Goldie wasn’t completely on board but then again, what the fuck did she know about music, anyway?

So I’m feeling pretty alright, it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s Clive’s party, let’s fucking party. There was a band there, which I think I was actually supposed to be a part of, but again, back then people just kind of did whatever the fuck the wanted. So I’m trying to warm up to Goldie because I’m fucked up and I wanna jam, schmoozing some more with Clive because I need to get my name on something that isn’t just B level back up shit.

Then the band is playing, and Clive, whose now as totally out of his fucking gourd as I am, for some reason wants me to get up and sing some shit or something. I don’t really know for sure anymore. So fuck it, sure, let’s sing a song or whatever. But at this point I’m just thinking about Goldie, seal the fucking deal. So I stumble up there and I’m just going to fucking nail it:

So that’s my big fucking oeuvre, which I’m pretty convinced as gone over swimmingly. It has not. In fact, the general atmosphere of uncontrolled libidinousness has freaked Goldie the fuck out, and she now has changed her mind about not only working with me but with the whole album. Not good.

It was these sorts of things which, in looking back, definitely contributed to my early exit from the band and the first of a few hiatuses from the business. But by the same token, fuck it, you know?

By Dino

*Dino was keyboardist and back up singer for Crystal Grass from 1976-1981, a group led by singer/songwriter Steve Leach.


The other day I was a bit of lint under my dresser.

I lay motionless in the shade, time not existing for me, as centuries passed by me and days accumulated like little bits of paper. I watched a thousand people build false-fronted saloons with swing doors. Volcanoes developed on my now unused loafers.

It’s too cold.

“It’s too cold!”

One year I saw an ant; he sniffed, felt me with his feelers, then dragged me away. There was only darkness.

Rick the Ant argued unsuccessfully with the other ants that perhaps they should leave apartment no. 7. There were only a handful of them left; maybe they should start over somewhere else.

But they wouldn’t listen. They could smell something yummy in the kitchen, and they all went running toward it.

When the inevitable happened, when they were all coated in cleaning fluid, slowly suffocating on the fumes or drowning in puddles, Rick really couldn’t complain: it was really yummy.

Denny–Meditation #2: Muffin/Pizza


Whatupskis!  So, it’s been awhile, dooders.  Totes my bad.  But I’ve been doing a lot of artistic shit on the side, to say nothing of the fact that I kinda view all of my life as a living novel/art instillation, so, like, putting things down on paper or on the internet just seems kinda inadequate, amiright?

Buuuuuut I know Jesse asked me to pitch in from time to time, so I got really fucked up and looked through my fridge last nite.  FEED YOUR HEAD.

Oh man…..I’m really hungry. I’m so hungry….so hungry….that….I don’t know what to get in the fridge….guess…..guess I’ll take a look.

 It’s…..fridge is so cold.

 Oh…I think, uh, I think I had….some muffins.  Let’s see. 

 Ohhhhhhh no there’s, there’s, uh… muffins.  Maybe I ate them yesterday……

 Sometimes I forget……muffins…..well, uh, well, maybe I have some, oh, uh, some pizza leftover from the other day: no, no pizza, either.  I’d really like some pizza….like, pizza with some pepperoni, yeah that’d be sweet….and maybe, uh, sausage….yeah….yeah…that’d be good, yeah..and maybe some mushrooms too, yeah….mushrooms, uh, mushrooms are okay on a pizza for me….yeah….and…oh, it would tastes so good….yeah….it’s almost like I can taste it now.  Pretty good. Yeah.

 I guess I could go and, uh, get it now: call the place, uh, order my pizza then walk down there to get the pizza then walk back here and eat the pizza.  Yeah, sweet, I think, I think….I think that’s what I’ll do….make the call.  Yeah.  I’ve got a loud phone, I forget.

 There, I ordered it.

But it’s….oh!  But its really…it’s so cold….just… way, too much.  I’m going to be hungry forever….forever….


Yeah, I know.  Pretty fucking awesome.  Yeah, I know.  It is kinda like Burroughs and Joyce looking through a fridge together.  Thanks.

Well, chowser Bowser.  I’ll check in later with some more BOOM BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.


“There You Go With All That ‘Balloons For Skin’ Talk Again”

He needs them to imagine it as echoes, the audience.  Uh, that is, he needs them to hear what he’s about to say as echoes; they’ll uh, hear the echoes, that is.  Oh yeah.  Money.

So he turns on the mic all cool like and says, “You imagine this is echoes…it echoes”.  Now for some serious fucking spiritual exploration on a grand scale.  Good lord, he was just visualizing electrical wiring where his nerves should be; or that his nerves ARE like, bio-genetic material!  But so he’s like excited, this dude, Wesley, Wes, who is excited.  Oh yeah, he’s higher than he’s ever been since last he had thought that, he’s primed, engine pumped, gas full, pistons of perrrception getting ready to burst and emit noxious fumes of wild imagery.  Oh yeah, oh yeah, and ohhhh yeah.

 “The body may not be kind, may not be kind

The body may not be kind, may not be kind

 But let’s go further, let’s go further,

No flesh, no bone, to brain tissue”

 Oh yeah, oh yea.  There it is hey!  Oh, he’s no longer speaking on the radio; he did repeat himself, not for the purpose of echo but because for its aesthetics it needed to be repeated.  But damn, that needs some actual echo.  He’s aware; it’s true.  Jesus.

Oh god, there is for fuck’s sake; there’s a fucking pad- magic pad!  Control panel of the Brain Plane.  He finds it and says it again, the phrase.


 Oh god his words, his thoughts, the electricity and chemical synapse are erupting into his microphone; synthesis of art and cognition for him, right?  Maybe not, but like so he read somewhere that when you try to be creative your engaging in a light form, or at least an ‘acceptable’ form, of madness- like what, schizophrenia or something?  But like, so then everyone is just as fucking crazy as you because they accept this wild thing as something admirable.  What a thought for him.  He likes it.

“Like, so then we don’t like bad art things because we know they’re not honest to the utter madness that art is?  Or something like that?  Or what, just me?  I’m the only one who feels like having a song in your head means you’re hearing something that isn’t really there- you FUCKING LUNATICS!”

Oh God, he said that on air.  Well, they should hear it anyway.  Music is freaking him out, so disjointive: its wild Sun Ra and it sounds so sad and remorseful, but Sun Ra said his music was “joyous noise” like adulatory bits, songs of praise.  But he’s not feeling that way.

“Say something wild?  Uh, how about flesh made out of that synthesized rubber or whatever thing.  So it would cling to your bones and musculature and all that; but if you added enough air, like, your flesh would expand and your organs would be, like, I guess floating?  I’m not sure, actually, what the organs would do.”

“Man, this is a hell of a broadcast,” he thinks.  Says…..good Lord.

Is there a better way to do what he’s doing?  He’s not sure.  However, he now begins to execute a glorious maneuver: fucking psychic projection: his brain into mp3, transmitter synapses, brain is a broadcast apperatus….and shit

“Jeeeeeeeezus,” he huffs.  That’s a mildly threatening tone of voice his brain has taken on…or tone of thought.  He’s starting to feel slightly overwhelmed, reflexive accusatory shit making him awful uneasy….


The Legendary Exploits of Leopold, King Of Nevareaux! Ep 3: All Is Not Naught

The Greatest King ever to sit upon the throne of Navereaux

The Greatest King ever to sit upon the throne of Navereaux

Many years ago, there lived a great and noble king.  He was wise, strong, fair, and all his subjects were happy to be thus.  He was: KING LEOPOLD, Protector of Nevareaux, leader of her armies, greatest King to ever sit upon the Throne!


Dino Remembers: Chip Tahoe and the Semi-Tones

[As you may be aware, Dino Manonne is a man of many adventures and exploits, peaks and nadirs, (near) successes and catastrophic failures, all of which make him a vast mountain range of experience.  From time to time, he sits down and types some of them out for us: Dino Remembers– Jesse]



A Total Fucking Waste of My Time: Chip Tahoe nearly Rips off Columbia Records

So it was about 1980/1981.  Some time around there.  Everyone in Hollywood was coked out of their fucking minds, Travolta had just come out with that awful mechanical bull movie and so suddenly looking like a gay cowboy was IN.  And like “IN” like a fucking BOMB, you feel me?  Like, I remember going out with Steve Leach* to some stupid club where all the kids looked like they were Space Cadets one week, then the next they were all Rhinestone Cowboys.  But in all honesty, this could’ve been months later since I was just as coked up as anyone else.

But anyway, cowboys, country boys, South south south, all that.  Who the hell knows why?  But for a while it was all disco cowboys, at least among the set I was hanging out with (again, my set was into some pretty heavy shit back in the day, so who knows for sure).  But the Band had done okay, I was trying to get into more of a production role as well as perform, so I was hanging around Clive Davis as much as I could, who at that time was giving some consideration to these sort of Urban Cowboy types, maybe make a record or something.

Just so happened that there was a bar where we’d hangout.  Nothing special, but drinks were cheap and they didn’t really care what you did so long as you didn’t mess with the wrong types.  One of the bartenders was this guy, Chip.  He wasn’t just doing the whole “Hip Funky Country” shit, he WAS that, from Oklahoma or Arizona or some bullshit like that.

He was alright, and let’s just say he was a ‘facilitator’ for certain ‘things’ that we needed to ‘procure’, and those ‘things’ were ‘prime quality’ and generally ‘free’.  So we go out there, Steve and me, shoot the shit about Clive thinking about putting out a funky cowboy record, and Chip overhears and says he moonlights as a singer, open mic nites and all that.  Now, I sorta owe this guy a favor or two since I rarely paid for anything at this bar, and he seemed like he meant it when he told us how good he was, so I figure what the hell.  Let’s tell Clive.

So first of all, Clive doesn’t know who I am, because I’ve been ‘hanging around’ but I haven’t said much, so he’s a little skeptical when I come right up to him and tell him I found a guy who’s a Funky Cowboy.  But it’s 1980, we’re all fucked up ALL the time, so some crazed  keyboardist from some minor band in a minor subsidiary of your company coming up to you and shouting at you about some guy called Chip Tahoe who’s a funky Cowboy and has more snow than Santa isn’t that far out from your usual daily experiences.  And it doesn’t sound like a terrible fucking idea either.  “Sure, why not?” he says.

ALSO just so happens that Kenny Rogers is hanging around, for reasons I don’t know.  He’s just come out with “Gambler”, or whatever the fuck it was, so he’s living it up, partying with everybody in LA (that son of a bitch can PARTY, let me tell you).  Now Chip was clearly not quite what he told us he was, because this song he’s sure is going to be a hit sounds an AWFUL lot like “Gambler”.  But Kenny is THERE partying with us, and he says he doesn’t care how similar it sounds.  “Hell” he says, “You boys can use my fucking band if you want!”.

So we get set up, everything’s good to go (minus obviously that we’re fucked up) and….

Yeah, I know, a fucking DISASTER.  And that’s the BEST FUCKING TAKE AND THE ONLY FUCKING SONG WE COULD EVEN RECORD.  Couldn’t release it, and I’m surprised I didn’t burn my copy.  But the thing is, we STILL bring this piece of shit to Clive because we figure we put some effort into it so maybe there’s still something we can work out.  Noooooo fucking way.  Because Clive might indulge, but he didn’t let it turn into the fucking shit show everyone else did.

So that about ends any dreams I have of becoming a producer.  Chip gets pissed and thinks I sabotaged him, so one day at this fucking bar he pulls a knife on us and chases us out.  Steve starts to “worry about your decision making recently” which more or less sets the stage for when I eventually was kicked out of the band.  So I guess the lesson is audition someone before you try to convince your boss to let you produce their record…..

By Dino

*Dino was keyboardist and back up singer for Crystal Grass from 1976-1981, a group led by singer/songwriter Steve Leach.

To The Best Pair of Socks I’ve Ever Worn, Now Unraveled

Mes Chausettes

                  My heart aches.  It creaks and groans, like a rusted, obsolete, crumbling frigate fighting its way back to port, trying with all its might to stay above the waves.  Oh!  But it’s been buffeted by the jabbing torrents!  Oh!  But it’s charred by the powder of its cannons; it’s cracked and bruised by the missiles of other frigates!  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  But though the waves bash its iron sides, though it smokes with fatigue, its mortar expended, though it lists to port, jagged and bleeding into the sea, it is undone but by a lose bolt.  The acidic, putrid waters need only an initial trickle to drag the poor old boat into the bay.  Its wrestled to the muck at the bottom, and fastened with mud and grime, never to rise, never to scale the crests again.

But why, oh why, my pretty, perfect love is I so morose?  Why do I talk of drowning to you?  Why do I feel as though I’ll sink into oblivion?  I wish it was just a funk.  I wish I could say that I’ve got indigestion.  But its you.  Its you.

You are the best socks a man could ask for.  You’re woolishness caresses my feet like the masseuse of the gods.  The clouds descend to the earth so that I might walk upon them when you are around my feet.  Could there be a more contenting, marvelous, orgiastic feeling that to wear you?  No there could not.  That is why I am so lowly, angel socks!

You see, I’ve noticed a loose thread.  It’s but a little strand, but you know as I know that this quickly becomes a small hole in the toe, until you will not exist.  You’re decline and ultimate extinction is therefore inevitable.

What happened?  I haven’t worn any other socks for years.  How dedicated I am to you.  I have walked gingerly, even in the lotus fields, even in Olympus, even when I float lazily across hills and valleys of tulips and lollipops and ice cream.  I have caressed you as you have caressed me.  No one would doubt my utter devotion to you, my supreme love of everything about you, so I don’t understand how this could happen!  Has some demon come in the night through the window and cut you with a tiny scissor?

Or, is there another foot?  I remember how you looked at me that day in June when I wore sandals to Emily’s barbecue.  Remember how you pleaded with me?  But, didn’t I tell you it was just too hot, that you should rest?  That surely it would rain soon and we could glide across the puddles like little rubber duckies?  Were you so jilted that you scurried away from our hole in the wall to some alluring piece of cheese?  Was it worth the pain you’ve caused me?  Was it worth your own demise?  That’s all that’s come of it!  You ran off, slipped onto some strangers’ feet, and maybe it was a snugger fit than mine, but there was no love in those feet.  You held onto them out of desperation, out of jealousy, out of some primeval momentary hatred of me, but did those feet hold you back?  Did every hair on them curl into your fibers until foot and sock ceased to be two separate entities?  No, they were rough and stony, and now you’ve a thread lose.  So I have to throw you in the garbage.  I don’t want to watch you unravel before me!  I couldn’t take it!

Don’t you dare think this is some excuse for me to find better socks; no socks are in your league.  You had a monopoly on my feet, and now that you’re insolvent, the bench is broken.  I will never wear socks again.  How can I?  After what I’ve let get away from me, what I’ve had to discard!  I will wander the world with my soles exposed.  The gnawing cold will chew on my toes; the fiery wind will burn them black; the leathery heat will peel my skin away, the broiling asphalt will scramble and bubble them.  But every callous, every scratch, every cankerous pus filled wound on my feet will number only half that are on my heart.

Oh how I loved you!  Still I love you, now and forever!  So long my love!  So long!  Oh! Oh! Oh!

The Legendary Exploits of Leopold, King of Nevareaux! Ep 1: The Thirst for Wisdom

The Greatest King ever to sit upon the throne of Navereaux

The Greatest King ever to sit upon the throne of Navereaux

Many years ago, there lived a great and noble King.  He was wise, strong, fair, and all his subjects were happy to be thus.  He was: KING LEOPOLD, protector of Nevareaux, leader of her armies, greatest King to ever sit upon the throne!

His court was a citadel of good government, equitable and just rulings dispensed with alacrity and aplomb.  Yet, though a King be the supreme mind and the corporality embodied, truly it is the validation of these traits that he seek to enlarge his eminence further: thus we laud our young but fiercely intellectual sovereign who when encountering a conundrum does not simply bash it all into tiny pieces but instead seeks its considered and staid solution: we of course defer to his kingly wisdom when he does bash conundrums into tiny bits, for he above all is knowledgeable of the appropriate times to do so.

However, here, the beginning of our telling of the legendary exploits of this titan of cognition and logic, here is but a sterling example: when first our King realized that his intellect may touch the clouds but not the stars and thus sought to ride to the heavens.