Sunday, June 26, 2011


One would think as fingers close a drawer that one would have enough room to think fast enough and clearly enough to keep one's fingers from getting caught in the drawer as it is closed.  As it is closed.  One would think as it is closing.  Fingers still get caught.  One would think that all that stuff we catch that we would rather miss and all that stuff that we stretch or can't stretch or don't want to stretch to catch we miss as it lays stuck in the web of our memories as one would think to forget but not today and not tomorrow and one would think maybe even next week or next month that it remains in the many webs of our thoughts some thinning and other thickening more brittle more crusty to hold and to adhere to the things we have missed and have caught the bloody fingers bloody nails the illnesses the wind of words of distinterest dislike contempt all waving and undulating but still very stuck in the web blown by the winds of the same the very same.

One would think to ask or to remind oneself one would think and yet the spaces in the webs of our thoughts widen with the winds of the same to modulate the disappearance of things the little things to hold on to no more no more one would think at least sometimes just a little more than never about that it comes and goes so infrequently one would think it might arise a little more frequently than it does and it does not as one would think to think long and hard and just how productive is this thinking long and hard as one would think long and hard to bear forth the infrequent the emaciated the aged the aged fading as one would think all the fragmenting and protecting of the tragedies and disasters ambitiously feed their ambition to reassemble for their service to the assemblies of puzzle solvers who have resolved to that all the assembling and reassembling go back over it again and again visit and revisit tugging on stroking on the long and hard thinking of the web flapping folding and unfolding and folding again in the breeze the dry hot breeze of the winds of the same.

There once was a mother and a father and a brother and another brother and a sister and a daughter and another and another as one would think or not as one would think by the light or the dark halls.  They figure prominently and indirectly before they arrive before they leave for parts limited and predictable.  The mother or the brother put up wind chimes that chimed with the winds of the same and their tune echoed the same that dulled and thinned and thinned and dulled ringing upbringing bringing up the sounds and images of the winds of the same.  And the daughter and another and another each or neither together or not at all either slapped and tangled these chimes in their playfulness as one would think and not too long and not too hard as one would think or as one would not think along the lines of the metal or plastic legs of chairs in the aging classroom as one would think to color stripes around the world in books and out of books stripes around the world before striped by straps bookstraps strapped no longer as one would think to open the weakened jaws of books that cough dust dust caught in the wind chimes that echo with the winds of the same.

Tangled silence tangled truth reveals the lies that surf on the wind gliding no longer on their own power but as one would think fueled by the stripes that strap and colors that color one's eyes and thoughts caught in the web stuck and plucked by the dented fingers caught in the drawers of information catalogued as one would think along the invisible waves of the winds of the same the same.

Little fingers tangle threads of chimes that echo the winds of the same.  Little fingers that pick noses congested with what the wind has exhaled exhaling more of the same.  Little fingers that tangle hair that has grown down and out.  Down and out.

Bigger figures bigger digits as one would think long and hard through days and nights worked long and hard untangle and curse and tug and stroke the web that undulates with the winds of the same.  So brittle so thin so thick so non-existent so still there so the same.  Bigger figures bigger digits bigger brains as one would think untangle by ripping and disconnecting removing the web that is weaved by the chimes.  Only to be replaced by chimes much higher more remote more beyond space and outside of time.  Beyond the reach of little fingers.  As one would think a silence that once allowed the shorter and the softer to see to the hills where trees welcomed their tangling fingers to twist the truth and reveal the lies of the winds of the same. 

A daughter and another and another shorter and softer try in vain to encourage bigger figures bigger digits bigger brains to stop long enough as one would think long and hard enough through days and nights never worked long and hard enough to let them look long and hard enough into the evening sky at little lights to determine if they move or are still arranged along constellations drawn by their minds by their thoughts drawn with the webs that catch that have caught that have dropped that have been dropped as the soon to be brittle thinned and thickened waving in the dark breeze of the winds of the same.

Winds of the same stirred by the chimes and the times and the signs.  Holding up signs holding down little ones.  Out of space and time out of the reach of the shorter and the softer.  Hung one would think from shoulders one would think only to read about hear about question about or no longer question no longer and harder thought about one would think of the shoulders that are somewhere up there or back there behind there not there.

Daughter:  How old am I?  How old am I?  How tall am I?  How short am I?  Lower your shoulders miles and miles and miles up there into the sky up in the stars.  Lower yours shoulders soon.  I've forgotten what they look like what they feel like how things look from up there miles and miles and miles up there in the sky up in the stars.  Miles and miles between stars falling between falling all the way down to the ground this time with no shoulders that don't catch fallen many times without shoulders without hands and don't get back up from after falling that far.  Miles and miles and miles that far into a long sleep you never wake up from.  A sleep that goes on and on without dreaming for years and years and to a number as big bigger than any numbers I can write on all the sheets of paper in our house or all the houses in the world.  Too big too many numbers.  Numbers.  Numbers.  Numbers math doing math not doing math tell time don't want to tell time are we there yet when can we go here we go I want more I don't like it when I don't like it and I ask for it all excited when I asked for it are these my words are these my words are they your words I think they are your words your words my words my words stuck with them stuck in my hair in my hair my hair that grows down and out.  Can't say anything when you get that way when they get that way when I get this way when you they get that way this way this way and that back and forth in and out like my hair that grows down and out down and out.  Why did you give me this?  Is this all there is?  Is this how things will always be?  Will we always live here in this place this place we call home.  Is home really here?  What does it mean to call here this place home?  Are these my words?  Since when did I learn these words and are they my own?  Will they ever be my own?  Are your words your words and not somebody else's?  How come I remember where you put things and you don't?  Will I forget like you?  When I get as old as you or will it happen sooner sooner than now than before now that's not possible is it?  When did things become possible and when did the impossible become possible so that they switched places like in a dance and the possible is now impossible?  When did that happen?  Do you remember? Do you remember when you caught your fingers in my drawer when you put my clothes away after the laundry before the next laundry and before the next laundry after that.  Do you remember when you caught your fingers in my drawer my fingers don't get caught because I'm careful one would think you would be more careful watching out for what gets caught and what gets missed.  Do you remember anything anymore?  How old have you become?  How old have I become and are my words my words or are they just your words and are your words your words or just somebody else's?  One would think you could get your fingers out of the way out of the way as it is closed.  And then you got your fingers caught and not out of the way as it is closed.  It was too late before you realized it.  Before you realized it was closed.

- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Speaking of the world
What would happen to it
If we stopped speaking of the world?

Noise in our mouths
Making food for opinions
Blah blah blah blah
Hate it when it hate it when it
Doesn't stop not for a moment
For a moment
Just a moment
Don't stop stop a moment
Getting nowhere
Making mistakes
Lots of mistakes
Hate it when it hate it when it
Doesn't stop not for a moment

Drop the sky right now
Just drop it strangle it with
What would happen to it
If we stopped speaking of the world?
Speaking of the world

Nails in our mouths
Not to seal it to shut it up
Nails in our mouths
To build scaffoldings
For our team things
Teeming with team things
Blah blah blah blah
Doesn't stop not for a moment
For a moment
Just a moment
Don't stop stop a moment
Getting nowhere
Making mistakes
Lots of mistakes
Hate it when it hate it when it
Doesn't stop not for a moment

Drop the sky right now
Just drop it strangle it with
What would happen to it
If we stopped speaking of the world?
Speaking of the world

Axes in our mouths
To cut down forests
Where the memories
Climb and build hide outs
That have been torn down
Splintered into splinters
To fence in those who now
Go up and down little sidewalks
Pushing carts of clothing
That gets thinner and thinner
While muttering
Blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah

Doesn't stop not for a moment
For a moment
Just a moment
Don't stop stop a moment
Getting nowhere
Making mistakes
Lots of mistakes
Hate it when it hate it when it
Doesn't stop not for a moment

Drop the sky right now
Just drop it strangle it with
What would happen to it
If we stopped speaking of the world?
Speaking of the world

- Max Stoltenberg

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Is this a this or is this a that?  Is this a play or is this a dialogue?  Is this a play on words?  Is this where we go no further than our buttons because that is that?  Not where it is at for uncertain when the mind goes blank just before the brick wall the block wall is it?  Is this where we go no further than our buttons because that is that for all that?

It is all about the structure of the body of communication made up of people making things up and at the level just above this it is a large table who knows how long filled with cell phones lying on one lying plane of reality functioning as the social recharging pad.  Upstairs from something that used to be referred to as humanity lies the lying plane of cell phones.  The cell structure making up things that are made up. 

Cell Phone #1:  All the lying, it makes one sick.  Knowing it's only a process and not being able to trust the process.  Not knowing what to do and lowering one's expectations all the time all the time that heals nothing.  They say, "time heals all wounds," but I think it just passes over them just like water and either spreads the pieces further apart or clumps them into a clumpy mess.

Cell Phone #2:  Can you believe what he said to me?  Can you believe it?  Can you believe any of it?  Do you believe in something intervening?  I mean sometimes because the light turns green it doesn't mean you're supposed to go right then?  Sometimes there's a pause because something wants you to wait and then when something runs the red light from the other direction it makes you wonder doesn't it make you wonder like it makes me wonder if something is intervening or has intervened or hasn't intervened at all?  Could be just luck.  Can you believe it?  I mean the not going when you're supposed to go the pausing the intervening or the luck.  I mean is it something intervening or is it just luck or something?  Which do you think it is?  Do you believe in luck?  Or is it that the word can't think of it I think it starts with an "f" - no, not that one.  It starts with an "f", yes, I'm sure.  Oh, shut the fuck up.  Fate!  That's it.  Do you believe in fate?

Cell Phone #3:  I don't know where or when it started.  All I know is I lost her for good now.  So cold and icy and it's beyond the point of saving.  She hardly looks at me and when she does it's like I'm not here or I don't exist.  Actually, I've gotten pretty used to it.  The not existing is a strange I can't even call it a feeling it's more like a condition like I've been conditioned by her actually by most of the people in my life actually by everyone.  Conditioned to not exist.  I've gotten used to it not only recently, but I've always been used to it and then I get this what has become an irritating thing that just pokes itself up like a weed or an itch and it persuades me that love is real and it can be found and that it exists and then I find someone where the flame is either almost completely out or it has been out longer than I have assessed and then when I finally realize it I am reminded that love doesn't exist and then I stop existing and it's OK again.  It's when you re-appear back into existence that things go dreadfully wrong.

Cell Phone #4:  I can never tell by the tone.  I can't tell if they're really into what I'm into or not.  Underneath it all I just want to shout at them that they are just a bunch of liars the two of them faking their way through it all.  They act like they care and then they spend so much time trying to arrange it so they can spend more time together away from me and then spend all this time wanting to have their talk time.  And then I get my notebooks out and try to write and I'll spend hours late at night too wired to sleep writing about how I feel and all the words and then I just stop and look at it and I ask myself if the tone of it is just what's the word and it's not dramatic although I also think it is, but it's another word like it or I know it's melodramatic or something I think it is and then I try to keep up my conviction that I'm right in what I'm writing and then I just stare at these blotches of ink and dark strings strung along and want to destroy it all because I'm so damn furious with the empty hole that seems to grow inside my head like a drain just spiraling everything down into it like the end of a bath that didn't comfort a thing.  Feel like I'm being melodramatic now and it would be better to just say nothing . . .

Cell Phone #1:  Why get your hopes up anyway anymore anywhere at any time there never used to be a time when it was better.  Others say that, but I'm not buying what they're selling.  Everyone's selling something.  Everyone's a sales rep representing someone or something else.  And that's the process I don't trust and can never trust.

Cell Phone #2:  Are you honestly going to defend him?  I can't believe you're actually going to take his side.  Can you hear what I'm hearing?  Can you hear what you're saying?  Can you believe that I can't believe you're actually siding with him against me?  Me?  Against me?  Because if you're siding with him then you're against me and there is no in between.  Can you understand that?  Can you grasp what he's done to me by doing what he did?  Can't you believe what I'm telling you what he said or are you saying you don't believe me?  Does anyone believe me?  Does anyone believe a word I say?  Or are you joining a growing mass of thousands against me that thinks every word I say about him the verbal abuser the man who every word he says to me is sharpened to the finest point to pierce me and poison me while all of the thousands of you are being poisoned by his charms.  You probably see through me because of all the holes he's made in me.  Can you believe you're talking like you see through all my holes?  Can you believe you see through everything and that nothing intervenes no one intervenes on my behalf or anyone's behalf unless that half is the other half against me?  Is all the luck on the other side against me?  Can you believe that everything everyone is conspiring against me?

Cell Phone #3:  I don't know where or when it started that I got this crazy idea of love or hope or hope for love that festers under the surface of my monotony and then penetrates into my awareness like an out of place hair and I would do better to pluck it out and be rid of it, but I don't know where to start or where it emanates from.  It's like I know unconsciously that if I started began pulling it would just keep stringing me along and I would never be able to find the end of it or the beginning or the root of it.  It's better to leave it and ignore it or close my eyes and see her looking at me like I don't exist and then I disappear and everything is all right again because of all the conditioning her conditioning everyone's conditioning.  Everything is mostly all right, from all the conditioning, some of it's all right for now or about to be as I just wait for some of it to change to being like I don't exist and I wait for something to change and sometimes nothing changes for now and waiting for that not existing from all the conditioning to empty everything, but it doesn't always arrive, not yet.

Cell Phone #4:  And the tone of all the stuff that I've written that I haven't destroyed yet I sit there late at night and I mean late and the lack of light that I think is affecting the tone is replaced by the morning light of the next day that sheds this light on all the words and the tone I just can't tell if it's not melodramatic or I'm kidding myself for all these years and if it's me writing it or me trying to be someone else or something else writing in this tone that's not my tone.  I've never known what my tone or voice is.  Maybe it's that my tone happens to be some other tone and not my own until I find out what that is if I ever will probably not probably never and then I that sounds like more of that tone that keeps me from the tone that might be my own, but I have no way of knowing what that could be.  The only thing I can be sure of is all the things I am not.

Cell Phone #1:  It's all slamming of doors in my face.  No one's home.  Shutting of opportunities.  Shutting down of the process that seems to only take place somewhere deep in the center of an impenetrable maze that I will only be able to orbit on the very outer layer of and make no progress.  I'd like to slam the door on them and see how they like it.  Slamming the door on all their selling and deals they want to make deals have made deals all my life to have something just enough to stay in the game.  I can hear the sound as I talk about slamming the door a big thick door that slams with a booming judgment of condemnation on their way of life where I can send them on their rejected way to feel the humiliation of not making the sale so they can carry on their burden to make their commissions so I can get back to my business of making enough to get the stuff I need.

Cell Phone #2:  Can you believe that luck has it out for me to have people enter my life and punch all those holes through me and all that I believe and then abandon me to my holes where life and luck just pass through me like I'm less to bother with?  Can you believe that I don't go when the light is green and when I'm supposed to go because something is intervening so I don't collide only to survive so I can experience more of the people who put me down.  No intervening then with friends or so-called friends intervening for the people who put me down because they don't believe me, can you believe that?  The cards are stacked against me as the tables are tilted in everyone else's favor.  Do you believe the game is rigged?

Cell Phone #3:  Did you ever hear the one about the group that ran out of icebreakers to begin their sessions?  And someone suggested they play telephone, you remember, the game where someone starts a message and it's passed along until it reaches the end where everyone gets to hear the last person at the end say what they heard and everyone hears how much the message has been changed.  Well, as they're playing the game, they realize that through the course of being in group for months it has made them such good listeners that there is no variation in the hearing and transmission of the message and when they reach the end the message is the same.  They are so disappointed with the loss of hearing something absurd that they decide to start again with a different message to begin again with and it still stays the same.  They try again and again changing the message each time they restart recreating and various members even try to pretend they are mishearing when it is their turn that they begin feeling guilt stricken about their manipulations and some even criticize their lack of spontaneity and methods of absurdity and failed attempts at humor that they spend most of their time processing their guilt and criticisms.  Eventually, more and more members peel off from the group in order to re-encounter what it's like to be the way they used to be in their absurdities before all their conditioning in the group.  They have grown to mistrust the process and all the conditioning.  However, they are stuck in patterns of conditioned facilitating in all their conversations outside of the group that more and more people avoid them so that they continue to experience all the disconnection they joined the group to escape from.  In this, too, the message continues to pass along from person to person and remain unchanged from all the conditioning.  All the conditioning.

Cell Phone #4:  So, I sit there late at night and notice that there is now less that I have to show for that I have written due to destroying so much of it all the tearing and ripping and shredding and crumpling and even burning the smoke all the smoke and then I write more and I stop it's when I stop look at it and feel that drain opening up again in the mind taking all the uniqueness and all the lack of originality and all the certainty and all the doubt that there is nothing left to defend the words and they end up no longer on a page or ebbing in my fingers they just end up between my fingers or palms ripped and bent and torn and smeared to end up in the trash and their memory doesn't last long and they fade so quickly in the bins on their way to be recycled elsewhere and back in my late nights and early grey dawns to reappear as words to be doubted and mistrusted and destroyed again only to reappear and doubted and mistrusted and destroyed again.

Cell Phone #1:  Making enough to buy enough to eat enough to slam and open doors and slam them shut again only to reopen them to make enough to buy enough to eat enough to sleep enough to have enough energy to slam doors open doors all the selling and all the buying.

Cell Phone #2:  Can you believe all the crazy luck the crazy biased luck while nothing intervenes?  Can you believe that?  Do you believe in luck?  Do you believe in something?  Do you believe what I am saying about what he said?  Do you hear what I'm saying?  Can you hear what I'm saying?  Are you still there?  Is anyone still there?

Cell Phone #3:  All the conditioning all the disconnection before and after where's the beginning and the end?  Just one big middle conditioned to repeat itself to repeat the message that never changes.  The lies that never change.  The illusion that never changes.  A message that can't be changed from all the conditioning.  All the disconnectiong before and after where's the beginning and the end?  Just one bid middle conditioned to repeat itself to repeat the message that never changes.  The lies that never change.  The tone that never changes.  The lives that never change.  Off the hook to remain on the hook.  By hook or by crook.  The message never changes.  The tone.  All the conditioning and all the disconnection before and after with no beginning and no end.  Just one big middle conditioned to repeat itself to repeat the message that never changes.

Cell Phone #4:  Switched to writing on a computer to get away from all the ripping and crumpling and destroying to replace it with all the writing and typing and doubting and deleting and then the draining in the head the emptying the draining deleting and retyping staring at the screen and doubting and draining and deleting retyping the tone that continues to be doubted and drained deleted and retyped never finding the right tone, but the one that pretends to be.

- Max Stoltenberg

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Where to start where to end it never ends who knows when it began just missed missed it by a long shot a short sighted wrench wrenching one's back back to the beginning that retreats run away far away from them from yourself from this from that nothing is nothing is not going to cut it cut it out cut it up no matter how you slice it up into smaller and smaller pieces of a bigger and bigger picture turn around turn around face forward look behind you can you sense it no intervention no reason happening happenings stringing together dripping nothings dripping with something dripping and whipping it up into shape to march in time all the time in time all the time until it is time to drop in place inside the machine inside the leviathan the monster's body gaping gaps and arms embracing with barbed wire encircling and wrapping in metal health metallically adaptive for maladaptive adaptations for him for her for his and hers for hers and hers and his and his and his and he she it it it it it from the beginning that revs up endings that coming starting over and over listening to the dark face shining with compassionate anger that riddles little observations to agree with agreements signed in blood steeped in blood coursing through veins and muscles constricting little skeletons to obey and say yes and no on cue wait for it the cue they mean they don't mean any of it running the projector flashing overheads hanging from overpasses passing you over for someone else to agree with their disagreements and invalidations stamping over hands and feet toes eggshells walking on foregoing going for the one to stare up at skyscrapers that look like they're falling with the passing obscuring clouds what an illusion they never fall yes they do so many people dying less people dying these days modern technology saving lives making them remaking them casting them rejecting them recasting them rejecting them ejecting them employing them deploying them organizing them disorganizing them uniting them fragmenting them segmenting them regimenting them dementing them cementing them into a hard crust around so many agreements disagreements underneath them beneath them bequeathing them squeezing them every last drop good to the last drop not so good to the last drop stop stop the whole thing have to keep up where are the socks knocked off by the projector flashing eyes flashing faces flashing persuasions agree with the we with the spree with the glee and off to be off to be on to be on it to find the boots the bootstraps strapping and slapping faces bottoms faces bottoms towards away come here not going to hurt you don't flinch let the dark face dark hands just pinch what a pinch what a cut what a hit what a shit in the pants laughing they are all laughing laughing still find the boots to march away run away take off the boots leave them behind sore behind still stinging with the ringing insults ringing in one's ears soothing wind as feet sock feet bare feet heading for the ocean that ocean drowning out the agreements and disagreements drowning the stinging and the words rock heavy heavy boulders inside the stomach ballast for departing from language into a wordless transparent poetry washed through with ocean tides ballast to digest the nausea of agreeing with all the dark faces and the dark hands on shoulders and back scraped with seashells and rocks and driftwood drifting in the surf taken out to wash back up vomited up by the great sea that has agreed to go no further wouldn't dare to overwhelm the coast that dries the dark hands and dark faces and their language for agreements and disagreements where is death?  where is death?  hasten hasten listen listen to more dark hands and dark faces and their language for agreements and disagreements to be signed resigned cosigned resigned designed to be signed again appropriating more breath more voice with fine print define print refine print stint stilted stunt little runt litte runt that wants to punt and sprint and run but can't run but can't stay that can't say that can't play that can't say fine print bacterial print less breath less voice less is more and less is less.

- Max Stoltenberg

Sunday, June 19, 2011


He found another angle.  Another angle to look at the bedroom window the bathroom window the kitchen window window window pane glass blinds closed now open not now then before after after what after her aftermath the bedroom window it was it was not and if if it isn't it isn't.  No use now to talk to whisper about being useful just keep it down keep it up after her let it go let it go down more comfortable less pressure the windows all of the windows all of the panes all of the pain all of the neutral indifferent blankness.  Where did his voice begin when did it speak up inside his mind his head his shoulders that shrugged for words that held his hands and arms behind his back?

Man:  Behind the scenes deleted left out and left off unfinished incomplete scenes left behind.  Life is a palindrome.  Screaming up into the ceiling that ascends and descends with the circumstances that wash around the stem of one's brain.  These windows this window all those windows of places left behind where plans were left behind.  Pages and panes and panes covered and inscribed with the breath of frustration and disappointment.  Trumpets and other brass are stuffed with emaciation of elusive beauty and disappearing into the aesthetics exchanged for affections expelling the pus of misunderstanding.  No more.  Percussion of the roof's response to the sky's promiscuity hint at memories of fingers of another on one's neck.  Those fingers these fingers untangled for the loneliness that ensues upon these angles presenting the blankness in the windows this window this bedroom window.  Lying on one's back on the bed that shrinks with the vocabulary of forgotten enjoyment being torn out page by page pane by pane from the window curtains torn asunder by the end of illusions.  The end of illusions takes these hardened feet to kick out the glass and send shards upon the grass to spread toes once younger over that knoll serving in that past as the cushion for his body softened from older angrier voices eased by the breeze made out of oboes and violas.  Frozen in the glass blankness filled without trees or leaves or distant mountains.  Clouds cover this window these eyes these thoughts. 

Other places other panes other windows are absorbed into these windows this window this cold window window hot with the rage unheard or laughed at ridiculed by voices that refuse to dissolve.  Doomed into a reverie infected and festooned with blighted icicles shaped by all the ignoring built by vats of advice quilted with miles of averting eyes that see now and tomorrow and yesterday only the grey of larger hands those larger hands that left their impressions on shoulders held back and held down and the face turned suddenly glancing with forced quick fleeting glances that cannot flee as the eyes surrender their moistening water to sadness hardened into fists tightened into words that elude these pages. 

Eluding the pages a language just for those who can still escape into memories large enough to fit narrowing bodies that compress all that all this all those pressed fading withering petals between pages before they are all ripped out and off they ride the waves or the atmosphere skipping off into other adventures denied by denial of pain into the panes the window panes iced with the neighborhoods of frozen occupants incarcerated by addresses made to them to all by words in envelopes sealed with the spit of forked tongues.

There once was a zebra that would sit at the chess table in the wild and make a point of luring various animals to play and refuse as soon as they took their seat.  Every animal would make a sound to express their umbrage at the zebra's obstinacy.  Finally, one day an orangutan asked the question all the other animals had neglected to ask.  The orangutan asked the zebra, "Why do you invite the challenge only to refuse it?"  The zebra sat silent for a moment and replied, "I am looking for bigger game."  The orangutan said, "There came a time when the land absorbed the lakes and waterfalls and water was scarce.  All that could be found were mountains of boxes.  A zebra came upon one of these mountains and asked if it knew where all the drinking holes had gone.  The mountain of boxes sat silent for a moment and then responded, 'What do we know?  We are only boxes of board games that have been put away until we are unsettled by questions, curiosity, and disasters.  Between those times we take long spells of sleep resembling comas and death until interrupted by the above mentioned items.  Items.  We are items replaced by other items that now never sleep and have arisen as the board of players that use this whole world for its playing board.'" 

Playing board upon playing board stacked into the darkness of the universe.  Rules competing against laws outside and inside these windows all these windows this one blank window.  Shoulders that shrugged for words that no longer arrive.  Left waiting and left left waiting again for words that have been delayed by uncertainty and hopelessness tinting the glass with a doomed reverie doomed into a reverie infected and festooned with blighted icicles shaped by all the ignoring built by vats of advice quilted with miles of averting eyes that see now and tomorrow and yesterday only the grey of larger hands those larger hands that left their impressions on shoulders held back and held down and the face turned suddenly glancing with forced quick fleeting glances that cannot flee as the eyes surrender their moistening water to sadness hardened into fists tightened into words that elude these pages and fall into a doomed reverie doomed into a reverie doomed to fall into a reverie doomed into a doomed reverie. 

Other places other panes other windows are absorbed into these windows this window this cold window window hot with the rage unheard or laughed at ridiculed by voices that refuse to dissolve.  Trying to dissolve those voices that refuse to dissolve and resist the end of illusions.  The end of illusions takes these hardened feet to kick out the glass and send shards upon the grass to spread toes once younger over that knoll serving in that past as the cushion for his body softened from older angrier voices eased by the breeze made out of oboes and violas. Frozen in the glass blankness filled without trees or leaves or distant mountains. Clouds cover this window these eyes these thoughts. 

Reaching this end of the world where it turns neither into darkness nor light but forever into a dead blank page where words encounter nothing but lifelong orientation to empty surroundings devoured by the mercenary appetite of time.

- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Existence acknowledged
Arrival into this thing of things
Another stretch of days
Stuffed with packing peanuts
Taped shut with guesses
Wrapped in scenarios
Scribbled in the greetings of control

Told what to tell
The anxious demand analysis
While they circle themselves
Take one's eyes to the cliff
Where they look down and rest
From labor's dizzying monotony
Look over with congested heart
To open and let arteries drain
In preparation for the dive into the seen
And soon to be overexposed
And welcome black
The chalk outline
On the negative's emulsion
Erased by the ocean's spreading

- Max Stoltenberg

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The wall of the office shook.  Something was being ripped off.  Off the wall it was being ripped off.  The old time clock was being taken down in a process that appeared to be done in reverse.  Screws were rotated in the opposite direction to leave the holes in the wall.  It was happening in reverse as time was removed and seemed to stop and move forward again and all the time it was moving and accelerating forward.  Something was being ripped off and replaced.  The part of the hallway that had shook echoed with drilling and the bending of plastic and metal.  And then it was silent again.  There was a different time clock and it had the wrong time and the wrong day.  It was pushing things and people ahead into tomorrow.  A tomorrow that had a different way of telling where all the time had gone and where all the people were and were not.

A group of people were and were not gathered near the new time clock discussing the machine's capacity for malfunctioning. 

McSpeely:  And he fell from the top of my palm tree.
Dendrites:  At least he didn't fall far.
McSpeely:  My palm's tree over a hundred feet tall.
Dendrites:  At least it was an uninterrupted descent.
McSpeely:  No, he hit something on the way down.
Dendrites:  As I recall palm trees have no branches.
McSpeely:  I attached some wooden boards to it at 50 feet up.
Dendrites:  What possessed you to do that?
McSpeely:  It was a failed treehouse project.
Lambini:  Is it a retina scan?
Dendrites:  A what scan?
Lambini:  The gadget here on the wall here right here.  Does it scan our retinas for identification?
Fraskoggon:  It's too low for that.
Lambini:   Grelcher in Accounting could get her retina scanned.  She's not above 4 1/2 feet.
Fraskoggon:  She is rather stunted.  I wonder if it was her mother or father who sabotaged her growth?
Lambini:  I think it was both her parents who damned her to a life of being looked down upon.
Fraskoggon:  When she clocks in do you think she would have her left or right retina scanned?
Hondrillo:  It doesn't scan your eyeball.
Mintab:  How does this one work?
Fraskoggon:  I don't look down upon her.
Lambini:  You don't look down upon who?
Fraskoggon:  Grelcher in Accounting.  I don't look down upon her.  I mean she is down below me I mean that most of her hair ties come up to about my sternum. 
Lambini:  Are her hair ties the uppermost altitude of her structure?
Fraskoggon:  Well, I'm basing it on when she puts one of her pencils in her hair and it looks as if it's her tallest point like a radio antenna.
Lambini:  If she puts the pencil pointing straight up.
Belbesh:  Grelcher usually puts her pencils in horizontally.
Fraskoggon:  Horizontally?  Are you certain?
Belbesh:  I'm pretty sure because she puts a pencil in before she goes out of town gambling.
Lambini:  Like a lucky ritual or something?
Fraskoggon:  Maybe if this thing takes pictures we could see if she wears her pencils horizontally and on Fridays like Belbesh says.
Lambini:  I don't think it takes a photo of us.  At least I hope not.
Dendrites:  So did the wooden deck you built at 50 feet up at least break his fall?
McSpeely:  No, the wooden deck snapped and broke off.
Dendrites:  Did he impact the wooden deck with his feet first at least?
McSpeely:  No, he hit it head first.
Dendrites:  Top or back of his head at least?
McSpeely:  No, he smashed into the deck with his face.
Dendrites:  Oh, crap.
McSpeely:  And then it was an uninterrupted fall from there the rest of the way.
Dendrites:  This is the palm tree you have in the backyard?
McSpeely:  Yes.
Dendrites:  Then at least he landed in your pool at least.
McSpeely:  Yes, but we drained it the week before.
Dendrites:  For crying out loud.
McSpeely:  No, actually, he didn't make a sound. 
Mintab:  Does this thing work with a voice ID or something?
Hondrillo:  If that's the way it's going to be from now on then Tessporp will have a difficult time of it with all the mumbling he does.  I've given up asking him to repeat things.  Listened to him at lunch the other day for over 10 minutes and thought he was talking about golf and then I think it ended up being that he had a friend or it was his father named Ralph who went through a windshield in a car accident or that he was actually recovering from gout.
Lambini:  Does Grelcher really only come up to your sternum?
Fraskoggon:  I'm basing that on all the chest pain I've been experiencing recently.  I get lightheaded and when the stars begin sparkling it reminds me of how Grelcher comes up to right about there at my sternum there by all the pressure there.
Lambini:  Are you kidding?  How long have you been having chest pains?
Fraskoggon:  Only a couple of months.
Lambini:  A couple of months?  Have you seen your doctor? 
Fraskoggon:  Not really.
Lambini:  Why not?  Don't you want help with that?
Fraskoggon:  Not really.
Lambini:  Why not?
Fraskoggon:  I figure since he got in the way of my being taken out by the pneumonia and then the lung cancer that if I stopped going to him I could finally go peacefully.  I mean what peace is there left?  I want to make my exit.  I am growing tired of the noise of the drama the same tired old drama and play acting everyone does and watches and does.  I want to divest myself of this thing this costume and be rid of the lumbering movement between audience and stage.  When I lie in my tub at night free of my outfit, I still feel like somehow someone is watching me and reporting to someone else who reports it to someone else.  I can't just close my eyes at least not yet.  I still have too much life in me that flows through my body my skin that's another costume that has to keep playing it straight and moving my head all around like some crazy bird looking for holes in my bathroom walls the little pinholes little camera eyes looking and recording and reporting making stacks of reports.  If I'm not seeing those sparkling stars I think I see nothing but little pinholes that poke into the other side of the universe that's just one big dark room full of nothing but wall to wall video screens flat screens for a world that still thinks it's flat.
Lambini:  That sure is one strange last name.
Fraskoggon:  Who?
Lambini:  Tessporp.  It starts out nice and then loses a wing by the end.
Mintab:  I think Fraskoggon is right. 
Lambini:  About what?
Mintab:  I think this does work by taking pictures.  It looks like it has some kind of a pinhole.
Hondrillo:  Where?
Mintab:  Right there.  See?  In the top left corner there?  Right there.
Hondrillo:  Oh yeah.  Looks like there could be a camera in that hole like some dark eye.
Lambini:  Great.  Are you trying to bury Fraskoggon?  You may as well just keep shoveling dirt on him after you push him into his grave. 
Fraskoggon:  Pompilius.
Lambini:  What?
Fraskoggon:  Nautilus pompilius.  The pinhole eye of the nautilus.
Hondrillo:  A cephalopod that lives in the ocean and floats along in its shell.
Fraskoggon:  Haven't evolved much since the Cambrian over 500 million years ago.
Lambini:  Really?  That's a long time of the same thing.

- Max Stoltenberg

Monday, June 13, 2011


In the dunes where they shave seeing nothing with the tides of foam escorted upward to their privacies by blades reflecting less light with the sunset.  Parting departing compartmentality from softer cooler rooms have brought them here between insects and the words that buzzzzzz.  Zzzzzz to sleep from their sleep to creep between wings exchanging no change or impressions that erased by the sighs of the crosswinds.  Their sighs compose the next wave the next dune to eliminate the positively dreadful. 

To the f and up and coming to the f if filling dots and dashes light on light off on ended that resolution for a long standard way mesmerized with nothing but the best of nobody's business away as the notes drop they drop and fall off those pockets that accept their stumblings their stumbledness dipped in tears shared with eyes against each other's cheeks pulled apart by the sand's abrasive sighing.  It knows and it knows less than they just lowering the dust over their lids weighing them down and next step watch it careful never mind don't listen to yourself you've been told too much of the dry and the watery.  They look at each other and laugh. 

Fuselage rests with unapologetic carelessness.  They say they are sorry and they do mean it until they hesitate to take a breath into bags of kitchen floors where they cooled their red hot spines compressed to whip up another meal and whip the sides of their tree with its branches withdrawing embraces from how they kissed for the next step down off the bridge expectantly stretching across the river where they swam together missed and tried to face what was current in the currents rejecting and splashing spit in their mouths right there it goes not right there it goes many more successive strokes astray from their in between stands for lost names.  Searching within and around the re-awakening mind from sleep that pinches elbowing for the spot where to continue from left off the right way to process anything reminiscent of solid space free of details broken up and down and up into little things.

Her hair was filled with little things.  She could come upon them as she passed her fingers through locks and combinations of strands tangled with associations and frankness caressed with a fondness for gritted lips that could be persuaded and yet insist on shut postures statuesque and demurring with cold eyes glaring down bullets melting down their boastfulness in the wings waiting and waiting along with the incarcerated they hold their darkened uniforms over to differentiate with moments of elusive heroism that never comes.  Never comes but into their own view projected by voyeurs of the seeds crossing and falling on linoleum not too far from the body frozen before images and a tone tingling with circulation swirling an immune ignition along the maelstrom of wasted time.

Piano notes take her fingers back from sandy hair and bugs in shirts stretched across abdomens covered in what they have been fed and re-fed on been have been has you and her.  Leave those wires as they are to burn the place down they will or not as the potential for disappearance lies hidden to be revealed after it is gone. 

She notices her fingers in her hair as more than her own belonging to the touch of another her body shares so many similar differences to.  Her words are surrounded by colors that help her feel her feet.  Her toes point to the Earth through to the other side's canopy blue and white with breezes redirected by the forms of men and their forms to be filled out and weighted with murder multiplication tables.  Does she rub her legs against the other reflection divorced from secrets in the opened mouths lying under what falls in from above in the forms the bloody forms of blood sustaining life and polluting legs to take their position along paths unhindered by the stains of myths and their roles wrapped in barking wrapped around trees tied up in chainsaws and filling books to embalm old currency sprinkled on stoves to perspire her and her there convincing herself and herself not as much as the other herself who left the malodorous embalming of what was current that inflates its shrinking value with every stroke of the pen with red ink.  It comes off in the end they do exploding with the instability they have planted with their seed spilled outside the family's connect the dots and dashes again no channel no channels there are no channels left same channels.

They laid on towels atop one of the many dunes.  Serenaded by the wind and buzzing of flies.  Hesitant and persistant the bugs that bug that's what they do could fly elsewhere while there is still an elsewhere.  What else is there where there is nowhere but elsewhere that drifts further away and drops off the edge of the horizon to come up against it to be behind what they have put behind them.  The world shrinks as it dries into one dune while the women sweat to quench thirsts those keeping their heads above to drag ladies down bloodying their wrists even though they have had enough of blood to jerk themselves free of jerks to submerge them below where they would rather not hold their breaths. 

One sits up to see the other lying on her towel face up against the blue and the white and the grey of the sky darkened by what has disappeared from the surface and transparent to what was believed to be beyond and impregnate with hot air the two who ignore the buzzing buzz words of those they have put behind them.  One of the women hesitates to speak to the other who lies with her chest an echo of the dunes.  The other who lies with her chest an echo of the dunes.  An echo of the dunes.

They took advantage of the clouds that shielded burned shoulders where children once slept, vomited, and did no such thing.  No such thing when advantages are taken and create nothing but the loss of opportunities for finding hidden objects behind the backs back there they still crouched envious of beauty that sizzled releasing its juiciness into reflections within leaking minds that tighten to preserve it.

Andrea was her middle name or her last name, but was her first and now last husband's last name that had been working to rid herself of what she had taken on been given to take care of taken for rides into the desert that had not returned hadn't panned out.  She had had no brothers had not wanted any and a brother in the major rescue efforts were no longer necessary too late and emptied of middles, ends, and names and places in the desert that absorbed them all under one word for the void.  Not to be known again by any of those names, but what she called her from across from her with her toes and ankles.  Crescent formed out of her lips and penetrated her with what it captured in all that had eclipsed her and her returning the light that sought to shame her had not gone out, but captured it as she clung to the rim pulling herself up into the next out of the light and gravity seeking her fall.  Damaris sat across from her facing her with a face that had not smiled in many a sunbathing windbathing sandbathing time, but when she had it was like Crescent tried to hold in her hands like the landscape used to be before it was used up like both of them. 

Crescent:  The flies are back.
Damaris:  They don't understand.
Crescent:  Unfortunately, I can still understand them.
Damaris:  What they want.
Crescent:  To annoy.
Damaris:  With the same old argument.
Crescent:  The one about the indeterminate spontaneity of their random flight patterns.
Damaris:  Don't bring up the patterns.  Remember?
Crescent:  I try not to.  You're right about that.  The only absolute thing. 
Damaris:  I have it.  Let's stop talking about them all together and they will move on.
Crescent:  They just might feel the weight of their own ignorance falling back on their wings to bend them beyond the stressing point with the counter-argument of our own determinism and their predictable failure and they may end up having a rest on us.
Damaris:  I kill my imagination a little more everyday with people's endless variations of what they want to impress upon me.
Crescent:  I don't think it will rain again.
Damaris:  It never rains anymore.
Crescent:  Anymore.  For us and our attempts to remain or escape the patterns of others.
Damaris:  I told you not to bring up the patterns.
Crescent:  Sorry, you're right. 
Damaris:  With every repetition it gets harder to rub off their dirt the dirt they pelt us with.  No water to wash it off, but the sweat of our efforts to hold our own against theirs.
Crescent:  No water.  Salt of the vanished ocean ebbs only in our pores.
Damaris:  You say we didn't, but I think we used to lie by the ocean.
Crescent:  I'm pretty sure we didn't.
Damaris:  You're so convinced, but it could have been a lake probably a man-made one with all the flies.  Have you ever had them help you with your memory and your past?
Crescent:  Who?
Damaris:  Your therapist.
Crescent:  There is no therapist.  There has never been a therapist.
Damaris:  Just like we never lied down on towels by the ocean?
Crescent:  I'm getting to you.  This might actually strike something down below.
Damaris:  Just as dry as it is up here.  I am parched all the way down. 
Crescent:  Even though it frustrates the hell out of me, I still like the way it makes your voice sound.
Damaris:  Let's still lie still and maybe the flies will move on.

They both remain silent for a while.  The flies leave and quickly come back.

Crescent:  Any other ideas?
Damaris:  It's possible it was a puddle we used to lay our towels next to.  The last drops of an ancient and vast sea.
Crescent:  Careful, you almost smiled. 
Damaris:  It is only a kerf above my chin.
Crescent:  Is there some chiseling between the lines on the other side of your mouth the back of the mirror.
Damaris:  You can look and gaze all you want and continue to see what you think you see what you want and continue to see you think is there looking at you into what you think is inside you that reflector placed there by men that crouch behind us.  Back off back up. 
Crescent:  I have nowhere else to go.
Damaris:  I was not speaking to you.  How many times do we need to go over this?
Crescent:  I don't know and I don't know if we'll I will well enough will it away from not going over it again I think I learn a little more.
Damaris:  A little.
Crescent:  Better than nothing. 
Damaris:  A little is less than enough to see over into the next.
Crescent:  I see it or think I see it and think I see that these thoughts are different and more and new.  Maybe what's next is not new not different just next and we go over it and go over it.
Damaris:  Do you tell her these things?
Crescent:  Tell who?
Damaris:  Your therapist.  Do you tell her what you just told me?
Crescent:  There is no therapist.  There has never been a therapist.
Damaris:  And what are you trying to say now by that?
Crescent:  By me by you by that by this by bye bye farewell not to you but to me and to you when to me.
Damaris:  I thought I knew what you thought and when you looked away thought I had it right in here and it was you had it with others knowing and thinking your wires as they sparked and fired off at back there and there and here needed to be plugged into and plugged with connections to other connections to ascend the steps where blood ran down from their fountains that recycled only that.
Crescent:  Doesn't help me finish it.  It never does despite the claims of those who stand up and volunteer behind those who crouch behind us.
Damaris:  Behind us without us.  Things happen without us.  Making plans and other plans overtake us and us and our steps ahead of their plans implications implicate us and hands wave and hold hands feet steps ahead of us and our heads thoughts not much ahead of what's behind us without plans without us and behind us.
Crescent:  Besides us used to be the case as things happen as the case to make a case.  Break glass in case.  Cut feet on broken glass.  Give us a break and in our case this is the case in our case of broken glass.  Broken windshields broken eyeglasses broken windows broken bottles broken French doors broken sentences broken down broken up upbringing always bringing it up broken no breaks but broken repair each other break each other up breaking rules rules to be broken. 
Damaris:  Besides behind us hard to put back together the besides that this these thoughts.  Broken shattered to see their faces and actually see how many eyes they really have to scare them back more space for now more distance it scares them back back off our backs broken backs back off.
Crescent:  No more buzz words.  Enough stings from the buzz words.  Did you say something?  Must be flies buzzing.  Fly woman woman fly.  Die die die die music can't get loud enough drown them out with brass and basses sawing their noise filled with the buzz words buzzing dung they've been sitting on.  What they lie atop they lie and they top it off with what they vomit back back off not an original bone in their bodies only what clings to them fanned by wings those wings so acrobatic styling patterns in the hot air patterns identify patterns put together again together to read their patterns curves and angles sharp as a tack pinning it with patterns to the screen still getting an image start with the edges a pattern familiar rectangle angles and curves patterns.
Damaris:  Patterns impressing no one but ourselves with patterns seen stereotyping behind us stereotyping us both patterns humor decays into their patterns.  Can't hold your face with the wave of the hand that inadvertently deliberately involuntarily perfunctorily highlights everything all blue blue patterns of blue everything all highlighted and your face and your body scroll away up bring you down with the usual words and your body your face scrolls down below hold on hold on just more than a minute several minutes to hold you in front of me to see more all of you look at me with your expressionless face and melt it before the sun does before the sun before besides behind us scrolls you away with texts of cliches and poetry that tugs and extracts and lands you on the deck of ships returning to turnover yet more turnover.
Crescent:  Hold on to your knees and part the doors passing into you without encountering what lies behind and still clings within the halls of preference and patterns the patterns curves and angles less angles more curves circling concentric circles rippling into each other into one thick circle to break the sand around us and let us drop into the lower levels of judgment falling into the plans without us made for us to downfall befall fallen and land afixed upon condemnation and fixed for them to be comforted in their dehydrated expressions chapped minds chafed attachments arms strung together around us in an atmosphere of thought to influence our air and etiolate our skin with their compassionate coercion blanching us into pallid we fade plans fade as their plans darken their plans taking up time taking up space lightening our loads and blenching our expressionless caresses carcasses to nurture nourish themselves being right and forever nibbling on our giving in not giving in not giving in for all their giving.
Damaris:  Does your therapist have an agenda for forgiveness?
Crescent:  There is no therapist.  There has never been a therapist.
Damaris:  So you say so.
Crescent:  So you say I say so so that you can say what it is that some alleged someone is trying to get me to say what it is you are getting at that I'm not getting at what you're getting at.
Damaris:  Alleged allegations allegedly.
Crescent:  Allies against alleged allegations.
Damaris:  We beat around the bush.
Crescent:  Can't put my finger on it.
Damaris:  Please do before another pattern draws us away as we only insinuate and internalize or externalize putting what is behind us to follow behind in the margins between our thoughts.  I want to hear you sneeze after a wind blows the dust that makes you do that.  You roll your eyes with an expression of surreal passion that cannot stave off the release and contortions your body goes through.  Watching your chest undulate with the tremor and settle.  Most of all there is the awkward look on your face making you look like I am about to find you at the end of a harrowing episode.  Sounds weird weirder than the ridiculous sound you make, but it's like you said a little a little something better nothing.  The wind brings the dust, but not often enough.  Is there some idiosyncracy of mine that provides you with a slight satisfaction?
Crescent:  I'm thinking, but all I get is this all too high definition image of my ex-husband preferring to wear his sunglasses while taking a piss.  Let me see or don't let me see it's so visual there about you no not you wait has to be when you in the elevator that's someone else the man my boss when he doesn't like the smell of someone who just got on the elevator and his eyes have that look of helplessness and then anger and the scrunching of the nose both to not  let other people know and to let other people know let me know how he really felt.  Something about that, but that's not you no.  Had nothing to do with you.  This is hard.  Still searching the database.  Probably in a sub sub subfolder somewhere in the directory you know.
Damaris:  Don't hurt your memory card.
Crescent:  Saw a card at the store with a little girl and her dog and stood there holding it for several minutes and realized the dog reminded me of this dog we used to have don't remember how old and I wonder what happened to that dog it was there in the backyard my parents never interacted with it that I could remember think so and then one day it was gone after we had moved I think it was and then when I tried to talk about it my parents said "what dog?" tried to act like it didn't exist when it did exist and then I was insistent enough they said it was gone because I was allergic to animals.  And I went to a pet store looking for a dog just like that one could never find it, but I never sneezed.  It has always been dust the dust blown by the wind the blown dust.  Life has been nothing but wind blowing things into me and away from me. 
Damaris:  And we run after it so we stay ahead of whatever we leave behind us.  We stay a few more steps ahead.
Crescent:  Don't let up they don't let up.  Would very much relish their being taken away by the wind and we stay still.  Look up every day to see if they are still there while we stay and the dunes shave as we shave the insect hairs be taken away take them away and the dunes shave themselves with the blade of the wind and all that is revealed is that through all our sweat and blood and awkward idiosyncracies that they get unburied.  The monuments all the monuments unburied and resculpted by the shaving wind that wields it sculpting blade to cut again into the shrines to tragedy.  They grow back the insect hairs to cut them again they cut again with the blade of the wind shaving and leaving cuts and monuments exhumed to remember to dismember again. 
Damaris:  Faint clay to put the impressions of toys that for faint moments push against the impressions that get left the deepest until the clay hardens and is permanent to put behind us impressing upon us the so-called importance of their words impressed upon our cartilage.  What impressions have you processed with your therapist?
Crescent:  There is no therapist.  There has never been a therapist.
Damaris:  Put your hands on me on my legs in our sweat and blood and press hard on my knee jerk reactions.  That kick at your expressionless face waiting for it to melt or burn or darken or for the wind to blow the dust that awkward expressionless face torn in two where your pictures of me are ripped again by a memory put in mother's little blender.  Half blue all blue clay permanent can't break against this surface we lie within all picture termed dust blown run after stay stay still behind us put built into the landscape dries it out to shave away and scroll up and away into a voice a whisper naming the expressionless face to give it more contour half memory blended into each other mother no picture of me or it was folded and torn carefully or hazardously carelessly blue all blue high speaking to the f l hen note worthless expressionl f l f don't bl o w  m   e   a   w  a       y          

- Max Stoltenberg

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's what he reads
It's what is written
It's what he can't find
It's what is left unsaid

Necessary nets and nuts
Illnesses nest for them to
Discern and sink into fingers

Wavings with what how danger
Never ever ever never no
Not that yet and why hasn't
It smashed the screen yet
Crushed the skull and
Broken the hardware
So the glow the starry internal glow
Will fade to dust and join the other
Dusty pillows growing higher
Than the mountains surrounded
Their houses and pet enforcements
Wooded to intercept
Civilization that creeping
Monstrosity artificially colored
With light

Foggy ground
Rise up and erase all
Foggy ground
Drop and leave hanging
Decorated erections
Of control to be unplugged
Left hanging to fall
Along the long tunnel down
Into the bed's stopper

It's a mess you know
You know nothing
Holding on to the illusion
Unplug unplug and yank
Your yanks until the sparks
Burn your eyes out in a minute
In a minute detailed with no details
Gotten farther without them
Unplug and unplug
Pull when it pulls back
To back you up
No one there to have your back

It's what he reads
It's what is written
It's what he can't find
It's what is left unsaid

- Max Stoltenberg

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Mr. Thelleramsk discovered too late that he had entered the wrong garden.  It did not lead as he looked around to the path he thought would take him on his way to properly exit the center.  He struggled to see where the parking in the back was in relation to his current position.  His current position seemed so clear and yet so disorienting.  Missteps had become a part of his arrivals and departures and when alternating them they actually facilitated a dissolving of the more structured itineraries that pushed him down many a slide that had dropped him into the pools that claimed to disinfect his organizational movements with a stinging that burned what he took to be the weeds in his thoughts, but left the singed stubble of their lost relevance.

Dubious trimming framed the tall bushes and ivy casting the labyrinthine margins of his options and nomenclatures supporting vines tangled with direction having a disquieting and hushed conversation with itself.  One of his shoes shuffled roughly startling him into the harshness of another premature commitment primed by ambition piped through just about every channel of the sights and sounds collecting within the walls of his skull.  They opened onto puddles of distracting attempts to undermine hardwiring as well as well as it well could be water damaged by the moisture of cold calls from the chambers of assertions.  Chambers hung within and without the edifice that adhered to his peripheral vision to embark from the hedge rows.

Staring into a dead end where the dark landscaped borders met in austere dissociation wiped clean any considerations either way or any way for the moment and the next subsequent next.  Moving with several corrections through the narrow conduits of a irrefutable topiary maze began to generate fragmentary shapes that were superficially the lanes of a bowling alley where slashing the perspectives of the vanishing hollow pumpkin servants mumbled comments amusing themselves while others laughed without hearing them without seeing them without necessarily stitching along sounds between leaves of boards and gutters where the weight of awkwardness reciprocated impacts of clouds that had wandered inside within and tucked into boxes and boxes of sliced adjustments elaborated for no one who'd pay attention to tobacco boats afloat and memorized only called to the back of the mind taking a back seat to fists too inflated to take the wheel out for a stroll down the lane as a poem was heard over the speakers throughout the hall:

Dented and sudsy
Locations blossom with planning
Planning another shoreline
Lapping the countryside's attitude
Attitudes and attitudes
Are these days not these days
Full of the bikini mixture
Striped breeze closing eyes
Burned by absence
Smoke rises incessantly from no one there

A party years in the soupy past stirs people, friends, enemies, irritants, and stimulants for another connection snapped a decade too soon.  A living room dance floor turns upside down and shakes the snippets of faces until they eventually fall from the bottom of the Earth and out the bottom of the solar system.  Requiem for unrequited adolescent acknowledgement poured into the dark blue bottles of bright blue eyes smiling across cloudless skies has its notes thus far and evermore under aging bootsteps.  Almost out turning a corner to enter upon a possible exit from the back evoking a painting and its brief anecdote. 

The old sandbox spoke with its still unevaporated water gathered from rains and what welled up from below if that could happen and couldn't did not, but counting it out of the picture with a brush stroke of contradicting pigments skeptic and fresh with standing over that redhaired girl of nearly 4, i.e., by not quite very far beyond more than 17.9 playtimes over 3.  She goes around in circles and funny circles to sit herself down in the water.  The tightened throat standing over seethes with the expressions of, "get up get out get in get changed get washed get dry get to bed get dark to get light to get sense from the whispering contempt in your head in your body wrapping you with its accomplice outside you outside your muddy filthy pigpen."  The girl does not budge and holds her position while softly saying, "It's the way I like it after the rain.  I won't get sick.  I won't catch cold."  What stood over and its constricted silhouette lifted the girl and her wet dress up into the midst of the cold front that would strike her mind and its tissue of contagion knotted into not snot not not yets and probably nots more than likely impossibilities and without hers to experience the catching of cold words, snatches of cold regret of her entrance into this cold world of rocks and sand that stick to her wet dress as she is pulled up into the arms that admonish a new trajectory within the cold of space and time as an object among the cold rocks on their cold sabotaged ellipses bent with cold thoughts and hands to abandon the optimum number of possible futures to places frozen by the cold of other bodies lifted from their playful solitudes into the cold arms of other communities adorned with the cold and shining to reflect the famous they admire in their glimmering and cold illusion of passion more brittle than the gates that surround their rehearsed cold gestures warmed by effects and hidden behind dark cold glasses.

Desperation opened the door that led to the corridor taking up residence in Mr. Thelleramsk's existence abiding and hedging his bets fencing in his chances within the room he had to work with windowless fluorescent light to feed the dying seeds of his education.  He had a theory about that or was it something else he had set aside for a time that would crawl by beneath his acceptance and trances he shook with the growing indifference of his head bed head beheaded before dawn reattached with showers and signing his name.  It helped him hold onto that much.  That much of the corridor elongated and stretched as it declined into the chambers their chambers dark chambers.

First Voice: Are we missing anyone?
Second Voice:  Nine of us and one more makes ten.
First Voice:  Pin number?
Mr. Thelleramsk:  11508.
First Voice:  Do you have a middle initial?
Mr. Thelleramsk:  Yes.  It's K.
First Voice:  K.  Let's make sure we have enough volume on the outside traffic.
Third Voice:  How is that?
Fifth Voice:  What was that?
Fourth Voice: Sounded like "throttle"?
Fifth Voice:  That's what I thought.
Second Voice:  Did someone in finance throttle someone in maintenance?
Sixth Voice:  The other way around sounds more believable.
Fourth Voice:  Unless maintenance finally went to that mediation training and let the employee from finance get an open shot in.
First Voice:  No.  That's not it at all.  They said, "bottle."  Maintenance found a water bottle that belonged to someone in finance.
Seventh Voice:  Did maintenance come upon it or were they called in to repair it?
Fifth Voice:  I didn't hear a work order for a water bottle over the traffic.
Third Voice:  They wouldn't bother announcing something like.
Eighth Voice:  Plus those water bottles are very durable.  You can drop them on solid concrete.
Fourth Voice:  If you drop it just right you can catch it on a bounce like dribbling a basketball.
Second Voice:  Actually it was finance that found a water bottle that belonged to maintenance.
Sixth Voice:  I accidentally put my water bottle in the microwave once.  I took it out after 5 minutes when I finally realized what I had done.  The blue color was gone and the contents were completely turned to steam, but it was still in one piece. 
Third Voice:  That's where all that steam came from when I almost slipped in the corridor when it was wet from the humidity that day.
Second Voice:  That day has no place in my mind.
First Voice:  Can we get on with the agenda, please?  Who is taking the minutes?
Third Voice:  I am. 
First Voice:  Good.  Your notes are straightforward and you avoid intellectual terminology to keep things simple and understandable.  The only suggestion would be to forego the doodling art work on the borders, it divides one's attention and divided attention perpetrates an inertia that some claim helps them to take inventory of vantage points, but in actuality it more often than not leads to confusion and more opportunities to be distracted by outside influences that hamper focus, clarity of direction, and forward movement.
Third Voice: I was just trying to keep my artistic creativity fresh while taking the notes.  My mind can hold more things simultaneously and I find that keeps me alert and prepared.
First Voice:  Creativity is all well and good.  Creativity reminds us that we create designs and structures and plans to give those structures forms and bodies to move.  If anything the operating philosophy is to move.  Move forward.  We are the creators.  How else are we to distinguish ourselves from what is outside in the traffic we listen to while we convene.  While we convene and move forward with focus, being clear of our direction with clarity and transparency.  And with that we continue moving forward.  There is no looking back.  Now, where were we?
Second Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk.
First Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  Morning.
First Voice:  It is evening.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  Evening already.  So soon late.  Must be getting old.
First Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk, it is appropriate I and my cohorts have been having this preliminary discussion regarding the subject of distraction.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  I was wondering when things would come around to me and my problematic distraction. 
First Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk on behalf of my cohorts it needs to be mentioned that limiting one's terminology to the more familiar and less over-intellectualized is preferred.  Words and their potential are also employed to provide channels for the expression of energy, the active, and movement.  Otherwise, our expressions cloud transparency and only give the false impression that our intentions are to conceal and repackage the old as new along conveyor belts tied into a greater network of curves and turns forming adjustments that only carry us in circles.  On the contrary, we continue moving forward.  We are moving forward without looking back.  Now, where were we?
Second Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk.
First Voice:  Mr. Thelleramsk, before we rush into the subject of distraction, I did not want to exclude any from my cohort who might have any other subjects of concern they would like to contribute.
Eighth Voice:  Humor.
First Voice:  Thank you, yes.  There was the subject of humor.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  Humor?
First Voice:  Yes, humor.  Inappropriate humor.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  You mean math puns?
First Voice:  We deal in mathematical operations of the highest importance and answer to higher authorities who wish very much for us all to perform to our fullest in order to reach the highest numerical values possible and impossible for all things are possible when it comes to honing our skills to focus on the purpose at hand and maintaining a disciplined and humble compliance with the will of the higher authorities who have invested a great deal in us and their down payment that they have placed in earnest must be returned with all seriousness for the values representing the quantities of their initial investment and subsequent investment and there are subsequent ones that we don't always see even though many interpret it as indifference or non-existent.  It has always been there from the beginning.  Without your re-established sincerity, commitment, and freedom from distraction, these figures and values will sink as representative of their mathematical spirit being exasperated and grieved to sink further and descend into the fire that will consume the work of those of divided attention.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  As in the importance of water bottles.
First Voice:  Have you had any neurological testing conducted, Mr. Thelleramsk?
Mr. Thelleramsk:  And what does that have to do with anything?
Seventh Voice:  You did mistake evening for morning.
Fourth Voice:  And make the comment, "Must be getting old."
Mr. Thelleramsk:  I was actually not referring to myself, but to this.
First Voice:  This?
Mr. Thelleramsk:  This.  This must be getting old.  In fact, it is getting old.  It has too soon become too late.  And I have been wanting to leave.
First Voice:  Distraction.  Outside.  A reality.  A distracting reality, but a reality nonetheless.  We must be aware of the outside traffic, but not of it.  Unless it should draw many astray.  Drawing many astray to the point that their loyalties and boundaries come under question.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  This is true.  One does get distracted when it appears that what lies ahead or looks up or within or inside the inner circle only facilitates a gravitational pull beyond your control and leaves you to orbit at great distances and to weather being eclipsed and in the shadows and in dark silences.
Ninth Voice:  An echo is repeating a message from various bodies so that they each meet and combine on the table they gather around in a fellowship of verisimilitude.  The structures have been thought out, designed, constructed, and permitted to convey its bodies between margins widened and narrowed and mostly narrowed to place unpredictability on the most restrictive diets of conversation salted with exaggeration and sandwiched with criticism to snap one another out of the frozen dinners of leaner underachievement and trances resulting from avenues of escape to take the edge off of self-inflicted burn out. 
First Voice:  Speaking of loose cogency, Mr. Thelleramsk, since you are not exactly being forthcoming regarding your mental status, a referral to the EAP has emerged as a recommendation.
Mr. Thelleramsk:  It's no surprise, especially when being able to leave at indecent hours in indecent times from indecent places to lie in one's bed with indigestion from eating obscenely late meals insufficiently heated from their cold storage from an external wasteland with temperatures that rise and fall with redundance and indifference impervious to one's despairing resignations to hopelessness and exhaustion that withholds annihilating sleep and vainly ignore the voices in one's head that relentlessly follow the same words of the same voices here uttering their hollow black holes in these dark chambers engulfing as much information as can be managed and destroyed in your latest project that it is never too late as it never sleeps and never closes its eyes all its eyes watching all of us for whom it is always too late as you want more and I want less and prefer it that way as you expand in larger and larger circles as more of me disappears these meetings continue moving forward into tomorrow.

- Max Stoltenberg