Tag Archives: Journal

“I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” (Hank Williams)

Now you’re lookin’ at a man that’s gettin’ kind-a mad
I had lots of luck but it’s all been bad
No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive

My fishin’ pole’s broke the creek is full of sand
My woman run away with another man

No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive

A distant uncle passed away and left me quite a batch
And I was living high until that fatal day
A lawyer proved I wasn’t born
I was only hatched

Every thing’s against me and it’s got me down
If I jumped in the river I would probably drown

No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive

These shabby shoes I’m wearin’ all the time
Is full of holes and nails
And brother if I stepped on a worn out dime
I bet a nickel I could tell you if it was heads or tails

I’m not gonna worry wrinkles in my brow
‘Cause nothin’s ever gonna be alright nohow

No matter how I struggle and strive
I’ll never get out of this world alive

And a goodbye to you, 2014…



playing with the moon by laurent laveder (6)

Passion is…

Passion is me, the writer at the desk,
my blood scrawled on loose, horrible pages,
heart aflame, hair a tangled mess,
clouds of weed smoke locking my eyes
in a stare designed for the ages;
Passion is fighting through the fall,
no matter how hard I choose to veer,
or what harm could come too near,
what hypocrisy will catch my ancient sneer,
drowned in pot, echoed with cold beer.
Passion is being prepared to die.
Passion is the way I feel at night:
electric, wild eyes lit large by weird moonlight,
as me and you are tangled oh so close,
and you listen, and you try to understand
this mess known as myself.
Passion is the rain at night, that sound like
typing on thin glass, and you drive,
and you drive, and you drive,
all for some misbegotten hope
that you really know what it’s like to be alive
you have no idea what (anymore)

Passion is the blood, mixed with the ink,
how explosive, like how poetry will end:
fierce fire, then a blink…

Jackson Williams.

“Cottonwood Creek”


Good morning and welcome to another edition of The New American Poetry Hour. I’m your host, Pretentious McDouchebag. On today’s episode we have an old poem by Jackson Williams and let me tell you now, dear listeners: they’re not that good. This poem is not that good and show the marks of a young man who learned very early on that he’s not that good with poetry. It written during the summer of 2006, eighteen years old and fresh out of high school. I apologize to those tuning in today. 

But mmmmmm, this is good java, no?

Old Glory


Let me go back
to where existence began:
I believed by that water, no older than five,
that our dreams will happen
where our hearts feel good enough to thrive,
only after we rise up, and remember how we ran.
At night I still remember crickets by the thousands,
a plague upon the eardrums, turn up the television;
fresh, holy visions of summer days, spent under a bridge,
a B.B. gun for frogs, scattered rocks to throw,
a time we will remember, until the creek runs low.
August brought us rattlesnakes, and ghost stories
of old dead miners breathing under bedroom windows,
don’t wander and disappear alongside the creek,
ghosts and goblins, demons who would not speak,
and we would listen: Cottonwood Creek, what is yer secret?
We would spend days there, trapped in time,
then we’d surrender it, just barely in time;
my thoughts began here, I do believe,
and the more time passes, this much becomes clear:
this quiet haze began here in our history,
still I know less parts to what must be a mystery
of what always brings me back to here;
So terrorize me, hypnotize me,
lie to me and please be kind to me,
because the mind moves swift, like a river,
but it is a creek that forms my soul.


McApple Pie of My Eye


Eyestrain Productions

If you know me personally at all, chances are you’ve heard about The Pie. Maybe I’ve even taken it out to show you, let you touch it, encouraged you to sniff it. The Pie is legend, and has been for a great many years now. And if you know about The Pie, then you know we’ve just passed a significant milestone on its journey through the ages and into immortality.

The rest of you I’m going to have to bring up to speed.

I mentioned an important anniversary several weeks ago in this blog. Not the one related to the blog itself, nor my comic book work. I’m talking about that other, mysterious anniversary, I was so specifically vague about. The twenty-five year anniversary.

Rather than recap the whole sordid story from the beginning, let us instead begin at the end – or at least the end as it stood…

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1181 Durfee Avenue: 1983-1986

Tropics of Meta


Between the fourth and sixth grades, you are seized by three deep and compulsive obsessions:

            Marvel comic books (all things Daredevil and X-Men and Spiderman).

BMX bicycles (yours: a second-hand Mongoose, unwieldy and spray-painted black after you stripped the frame down to its bare chrome-moly tubing).

And video games.

Your parents find all three activities doubtful.  Comic books are allowed since they get you reading something else besides MAD magazine and therefore seem remotely educational.  And when you’re on your bicycle, you’re out of the house, out of your parents’ way, and doing something sort of athletic, even if the extent of this athletic activity is you and your friends racing up and down Parkway Avenue, seeing whose tires can leave the longest skid, and assembling ramps from plywood scraps.  (One day, your friends will shove a few extra bricks under one of these ramps, raising it higher than…

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Spaces of Freedom In the Islamic Republic of Iran

jake threadgould

Tour Guide


I was sat on a large wicker chair in the rooftop café at my hotel in Shiraz where, in keeping with the Shirazi tradition, a group of guys next to me were reciting poetry. The scented smoke of a bubbling qaylan pipe twisted and turned on the blue tarpaulin above. Downstairs, in the courtyard restaurant, the voices of men and women competed with a cross-legged Kurdish chap in the corner, playing a sitar. Tourists and local men alike pulled chairs up to the tables of young women to chat, safely hidden from the gaze of the authorities outside. Spaces such as that hotel provide an environment of freedom in Iran. In here a woman’s headscarf can teeter tantalisingly close to sliding down the nape of her neck. In here each drag of her cigarette flies in the face of that deeply held taboo. In here large, brown eyes wandered…

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