I Haven’t Got Time For This

Until Don­ald Trump squeezed out of America’s lit­tle brown eye last Novem­ber, I had no idea there were so many grue­some, half-wit bil­lion­aires in this coun­try. I’m not talk­ing about Trump – pri­mar­i­ly because I don’t buy for a sec­ond that guy is worth any­thing close to a bil­lion dol­lars. I’m sure he’s got some pret­ty Appren­tice coin, but I’m also sure he’s in debt up to his gill-slits to bankers, oli­garchs, oil princes, and who­ev­er else he can get to float a cov­er loan to pay off all his oth­er loans.

You can see how he oper­ates when you think about his wall. First he pro­pos­es a tacky, unnec­es­sary, and almost cer­tain­ly unfea­si­ble south­ern bor­der wall to make Amer­i­ca safe, keep out the rapists. Plus, it will be a huge piece of art : “It’ll be a beau­ti­ful wall, a real beau­ty,” he said repeat­ed­ly on the stump. But walls are nev­er beau­ti­ful ; a wall is always an eye­sore, albeit some­times a nec­es­sary eye­sore. (Speak­ing of which, I won­der if any­body on the trumptrain has con­sid­ered that as soon as a wall is built, it will become the largest can­vas for anti-trump art and pro­pa­gan­da in the world.) Over and over he made the same unre­al­is­tic promise : “Mex­i­co will pay for it.” Sure, what­ev­er, but now he’s Pres­i­dent, and he changes his tune : he wants to build the wall first and make Mex­i­co pay for it lat­er. It’s too impor­tant to wait because ter­ror­ism­rape­mur­der. So now we’re pay­ing for the wall up front and we’ll get reim­bursed down the road. But what does reim­bursed mean ?

It can mean any­thing. It can mean a bal­ance of trade deal with Mex­i­co where time or inter­est rates are shift­ed slight­ly. It can mean a tar­iff or an import tax. It def­i­nite­ly won’t mean actu­al cash, because Mex­i­co nev­er was going to pay for the wall. I’m also pret­ty sure the wall will nev­er be built — not as Trump sold it — and what will be built will almost cer­tain­ly be tied up in court. That’s how Trump makes mon­ey — false promis­es, bull­shit account­ing, bad financ­ing, and lit­i­ga­tion. So if he says he’s got (laugh-choke) 10 bil­lion in assets, he’s got to owe 9.4 bil­lion, min­i­mum.

But there are all the­se oth­er bil­lion­aires com­ing up like cicadas. Bet­sy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Lin­da McMa­hon — all of them unre­mark­able in any way except for their ridicu­lous for­tunes. And they’re all in Trump’s cab­i­net. That’s excit­ing. Now I read about anoth­er cou­ple more bil­lion­aires — Robert Mer­cer and his daugh­ter Rebekah Mer­cer. Robert appears to be a math savant who made a lot of mon­ey run­ning a hedge fund. Rebekah seems like a wom­an who is per­fect­ly capa­ble of run­ning an online bak­ery, which is what she did before invest­ing in Bre­it­bart and Steve Ban­non and decid­ing her mon­ey meant she gets to make the rules. And thanks to Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and the flat­line-induc­ing lev­el of cor­rup­tion in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, she does. She and her father have despi­ca­ble ideas about human val­ue and they’re racists, of course. But I have to admit I real­ly liked some­thing Robert is quot­ed as say­ing. He’s talk­ing to Shel­don Adel­son, bil­lion­aire (yawn) casi­no mogul and Zion­ist cock­suck­er, and the quote is meant to illus­trate Robert’s extreme mis­trust of the élite polit­i­cal class. But I don’t care about any of that. I just like his turn of phrase.

I don’t know any of your fan­cy friends,” Robert told Adel­son, “and I haven’t got any inter­est in know­ing them.”

I like how he says “haven’t got” instead of “don’t have.” I’m total­ly going to do that now.

#11

In the hottest bar in Wis­con­sin
the singer sings about blind white pan­ic
and crys­talline faces com­ing in from the cold.
The dying singer sings about love,
and I can see the band behind her
sigh­ing into the lights.

In the morn­ing, red crows bang
the high-water pylons and fold back into the sky.
The mild sounds : a moist wing, a fin­ger in a trout,
the girl with the hiss­ing lantern
comes down the stairs like water under ice.
The pines are deep in snow, but they don’t know it yet.

My Nana’s Rhino

One year, I thought I’d try writ­ing a nov­el in Novem­ber. This is the entire result of that her­culean effort :

Lordez is the girl, the one that was at Lisa’s baby’s par­ty, Lordez Rodriguez, which you’d think her mom could’ve said out loud to make sure it didn’t rhyme – no, not Rodriguez, it’s some­thing-ez though. When she told me I want­ed to say “Pleasedez to meetez you.” I think I did say it actu­al­ly, but she didn’t hear me because the rain sound­ed like some­one was hit­ting her car with ham­mers. We didn’t talk at the par­ty, but when it start­ed rain­ing I was ask­ing every­body for a ride and she felt sor­ry for me. We didn’t talk in the car either because the rain was like ham­mers, except she said her name was Lordez Her­nan­dez, and she’s the girl I was talk­ing about the oth­er day.

Smokey and The Bandit

What are you now ? The por­tion left to sleep is
cry­ing in your sleep. They want to take your leg.
Your oxime­ter chirps behind you. Behind me,
Ban­dit steals a kiss from the Frog.
Ssome­how we smoked and snort­ed
our way into the same bed, moth­er and son.
If the Snow­man and Fred saw us like this
they’d chew each oth­er to the bone.

Fear Baby

Alan fled New Brunswick and his peo­ple there ear­ly last spring, fled their ven­omous cuisine and their aim­less hump­ing, their fid­dle­heads and their home­made maple rum that inflamed even the old­est of turds to fits of pri­apic square-danc­ing and, lat­er, rut­ting again­st the cor­ner of the bar ; he fled his moth­er, who had con­vinced her­self it was her shy­ness and crip­pling pas­siv­i­ty that drove Alan’s father to walk into the sea, and who, after hav­ing found the need to “ideate” a new life for her­self, sat down one evening in Feb­ru­ary, shut her eyes, and imag­ined a dar­ling baby, “a beau­ti­ful baby all my own” (Alan found that par­tic­u­lar­ly galling), a baby not made of skin and bone but of fear and anx­i­ety, bun­dled and swad­dled just like a real baby, ten­der and needy just like a real baby, the idea being that car­ing for her fear baby would help her come to terms with her weak­ness rather than let it shame her as it had all her life, which seemed to make sense to Alan, except after a few nights of this, he found his moth­er in her chair, red-faced and groan­ing, her hands crush­ing each oth­er in her lap, and it didn’t take a genius to fig­ure out she was chok­ing the ever lov­ing shit out of her fear baby, which now she was call­ing Alan ; but most of all, he left Monc­ton because Veronique wasn’t ever going to come back.

Heat Nap

I fell asleep for a bit this after­noon and dreamed that I got a call from my agent. James Fran­co had request­ed me per­son­al­ly to teach him bird calls, specif­i­cal­ly Cal­i­for­nia shore bird calls, which appar­ent­ly were my spe­cial­ty. I was skep­ti­cal, not sure I could deal with a dilet­tan­te try­ing to learn in a week what had tak­en me my entire bird­ing career, but I took the job. When I arrived, James Fran­co was sit­ting on a met­al chair in a poor­ly lit con­crete bunker, in an orange t-shirt and brown pants, whistling like a lunatic. Uncer­tain if I should inter­rupt, I start­ed to set up my play­back sys­tem, which involved reel-to-reel tape recorders, a Super-8 movie screen, and cock­pit head­sets. Fran­co stopped me. He didn’t want to learn how to iden­ti­fy birds by their calls, he said. He want­ed to learn to whistle like the birds. I told him that wasn’t my thing, and he said, “David, we have to learn to speak to the birds. They’re nev­er going to learn how to speak to us.”

Dreamy

What does it mean when you dream you’re at a gallery open­ing watch­ing a video instal­la­tion of Madon­na in a night­gown and tear-stained make-up slap­ping a young, blond, naked Alec Bald­win with a gun ? (One mon­i­tor is a wide shot loop, one a wide slo-mo, one a close-up of the pis­tol nip­ping Alec’s sta­men.)

Ask­ing for a friend.

The Odds Are Not In My Favor

I start­ed run­ning today. I’m not a gam­bler, but gun to my head, I’d say the odds that I con­tin­ue run­ning in the com­ing days are as close to 0 as as my ass is to the ground. Oh, wait that’s my stom­ach. “So you’re say­ing I still have a chance…”

Not real­ly. I’m 54. I haven’t run in 15 years. I’m what­ev­er word comes after “mor­bid­ly” in the obe­se con­tin­uüm. (My vote goes to “Mor­bid-Pro”.) Also, I hate run­ning, and I have an arthrit­ic knee, flat feet, and neu­ropa­thy.

So, I’m kin­da hot­shit, is what I’m say­ing.

Tonight I ran like this : one min­ute run, then one min­ute rest. Repeat that sev­en times. The good news ? On the last rep, I actu­al­ly ran two blocks before I gassed out.

The oth­er good news is I have done this before. When I was in my ear­ly 30s I decid­ed to start run­ning. I was in ter­ri­ble shape then too, and I start­ed the same way, increas­ing the time by one min­ute every week and slow­ly decreas­ing the walk­ing. And it worked. I was run­ning three miles a day in two months. At one point, I was up to sev­en miles a day.

So I know this can work, which doesn’t mean it will. Espe­cial­ly when I don’t real­ly care if I can run sev­en miles. Or three. I just want to be able to run and hike as eas­i­ly as I ride a bike.

Because as out of shape as I am when it comes to run­ning, I have sur­pris­ing­ly decent cycling con­di­tion­ing. After not rid­ing for three months (thanks to the holy trin­i­ty of crap­pi­ness : ill­ness, weath­er, and ill­ness), I got on my bike and was back to rid­ing 15 – 20 miles on my lunch hour rides in a few days. I want to bal­ance things out : glutes and quads, not one or the oth­er.

Plus my cycling goals now are so time con­sum­ing. 100 miles a week, 50 mile rides once a week, 2500 feet of climb­ing a week, etc. That’s hours of rid­ing, which I would love to do, but I don’t real­ly have the time. To reach a huge run­ning mile­stone, all I have to do is run twelve min­utes with­out walk­ing. One mile. If I could do that, I’d call the Queen and take her to lunch — it would be a big­ger accom­plish­ment than rid­ing a cen­tu­ry.

It’s not going to hap­pen, but I’m post­ing this just in case.