words by J. Michael Niotta

fire

100 ft walls of flame cross over freeway lanes
State of Emergency!
schools & banks & businesses all shut down
homes evacuated
planes won’t fly
even cats freaked out

Hysteria Death Ash like rain Looters

& now I hear Governor Davis declared this place a Disaster Area
San Diego burning!
the horizon cut from the picture
nothing past 50 ft
no sky no mountains no trees no buildings
only the break lights of other autos on the road

there is no sound
& no one walks the streets as if some kind of
George Romero-ian world has taken over

ashtray view
yellow cancer
8 AM more like eve
making even LA pleasant

100’s of homes toasted
PANIC
PANIC
the flames 10 stories high

I’m driving…
& I see flames
everywhere

a lot less like bleakness

“If you don’t learn something new everyday you probably lock yourself in a room & talk to nobody,” she assures me.
“Well…I guess there are some days I don’t learn a thing then,” comes my reply.

We speak on the phone in one of those easy conversations that nudge you a little further off from the sadness & draw you in…easing over into the light that comes with newness. New speech. New thoughts. New face. New legs. & last night in bed she nestled up close…comfortably…not at all cat-like. & in the morning she woke real well…few women that capable. & now on the telephone the evening after I ask if she’s met any guys the year she’s been in town.

“None worth worryin over,” jumps quick enough.

It’s alright to be picky I explain…no harm knowing what you want. & then I even dare, “Somewhere out there, there’s something somewhat like greatness, I suppose.”

She has me saying shit a lot less like bleakness…& I like that.

i’d heard that one too

I ran into a guy I ran into from time to time at the same place. I knew him from somewhere else but I’d seen him here so often I couldn’t remember where we’d first met. He was checking out the over-exaggerated shit on the walls that someone had just hung & the painting just overhead took so much of his attention he failed to notice me.

I gave the weak whistle of someone who either couldn’t whistle or had just had a bad start. Either way it diverted him from the work & we said our hellos.

“You writing?” he asked.
“That’s what I do” came my reply. “Lots lately,” I explained.
“I go in spurts myself,” he confessed, not at all hiding the shame.
“Yeah,” I tried soothing “…sometimes it’s like tryin to piss right after you cum.”

He found that amusing.

“Yeah…I guess it is…but I’ve heard you’re not a writer if you don’t write everyday.”

I’d heard that one too. It rang like something you’d read out of something that published really hokey works like Better Homes & Gardens…or publications gearing themselves at studied-unsuffered-wannabe-writers. & I milled it again. When things are good I usually spend more time living than sitting alone watching other people breathe & function just so I have something to write about. When words come they come in that copious fashion…like porn-stars. There is plenty of time & plenty of ache to stir up on a page when it is just so familiar because the blade is hanging out your back & they haven’t reattached that severed part…& having the ability to function as that shaky-line-of-normalcy tells you, is something you just can’t seem to do.

Hmm. I preferred my definition of a writer better.

“Right,” I offered “…& yer not a child molester unless yer dick deep in little Bobby’s or Susan’s underpants every fuckin day.”

I guess he found my take on it more suiting cause a laugh & a smile escaped him before leaving.

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One Response

  1. RE: Writing everyday
    My same thoughts, different wording.
    I know some people who talk all the time whom I’d like to tell to shut up.
    Good job, Justin.

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