Category: writing

posted by ben on 07.05.15 at 15:35, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

Best dinner in a long time…
Last best was ---
In Boulder with prosciutto
Sad, Bourdain is right about sex and food.

I'm ee! (or her (ewwwww))

posted by ben on 07.05.15 at 15:35, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

I just called you
And briefly considered leaving a long, rambling
          Message of the sort
          I’m accustomed to
…but thought it best to write

posted by ben on 07.05.15 at 15:33, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

I hate seeing girls try to kiss mouths
          and get cheeks
there’s something so alarmingly sad
          about a missed kiss.

posted by ben on 07.05.15 at 15:33, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

New phrases are seeping into my mind. I just thought the phrase intolerable bore without even planning it… without even the effort to sound like Hugh Grant. I now say bloody hell as a matter of course… and matter of course for that matter… for that matter? Bloody hell.

art art atrt art

posted by ben on 07.05.15 at 15:32, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

And Kind of Blue comes on. What I wouldn’t give for someone to tell about how much I appreciate the genius of Miles Davis… and the beauty of …, girl, jazz girl, jazz player, beautiful girl and chemist. What?

Something is wrong… very wrong. Where are all the artists? Making their art? They’re working. Working? They’re supposed to starve… and make art.

I’m not starving. Where’s my art? I’m not making art, I’m not starving… schizophrenic conversations with myself… these happen sometimes.

A Wild Pack of Camels and Nicholson Baker

posted by ben on 07.04.03 at 20:30, null, writing, New York, 2 comments Permalink

About First and Twelfth, they’re selling Camels… $60 for a carton in one of those ubiquitous 24 hour shops surrounded by cheap bouquets. I bought one and took it home, unwrapped my perverse new Christmas present, and studied the carton.

Disappointed, I discovered there aren’t 12 packs of 12 cigarettes as I’d imagined. I liked the symmetry of that… also, the idea of parallels between eggs, bagels and cigarettes… that seemed like something that should be.

Opening the carton, I made a little Stonehenge out of packs. In a circle, toppled slightly… too white and too new.

I unwrapped each pack… surprised at the similarity to a new cd… that scratching along the small end, trying to get some purchase… trying to get the damn thing open, because I need cigarettes.

Inside each pack, I’m pleased to discover 20 cigarettes. This seems like a good deal, especially considering I was only expecting 12. Even with the 2 packs missing, my mere 10, I’m still up 200-144=66 cigarettes. So many… have you ever laid 66 cigarettes out?

I laid out all 200 out on the floor, rolling my hands over them… feeling Egyptians moving great blocks of marble with logs… I roll my hands over them until they start to unravel, leaving dry tobacco crumpled in the cracks in my floor. This is all, somehow, immensely satisfying… and best of all, no one is hurt by it.

Comment from: graham [Member] ·
You should take the tobacco and filters out of all of them and make one giant cigarette. Maybe you could find some huge rolling papers, but maybe you'll just have to use a paper towel tube. Then you could sell it for $100, because quality craftsmanship is hard to find these days, and also because if smoking is manly, a cigarette with 200 times the normal amount of tobacco must be really really manly. Even better: Make a whole pack of them.
My friends won't let me do this with their cigarettes, but I'm not sure why. It seems like a good idea to me.
Permalink 04/04/07 @ 11:54
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
Which way does it work if you want to be incredibly feminine... a la Audrey Hepburn? Do you put the 200X cigarette in an enormous ivory holder, supported by guy wires from the ceiling? Or do you go the other way, with a cigarette holder only possible thanks to recent advances in nanotechnology?

I want to start saying feminine "fem eh nine." Somehow that appeals to my current aesthetic.
Permalink 04/04/07 @ 20:07

...just found this on an ancient notepad... I don't like ancient notepads.

posted by ben on 07.02.18 at 17:28, null, rant, rave, fetishizing intellect and beauty, writing, 2 comments Permalink

I envy you because even if you were felled by some unkind act of god, this instant, you would end knowing her better than I will, if by some chance, we lived to be 100 as we are now.

I need to get out more.

Comment from: Shenandoah [Visitor] ·
I recognize this quote, its out of "J. Benton Lackey - The Interweb Nastygrams of 2004".
Permalink 03/10/07 @ 01:06
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
I don't think that one was even about you... I'm innocent I say... oh well.
Permalink 04/04/07 @ 21:32

posted by ben on 06.09.02 at 12:52, null, seattle, writing, Leave a comment Permalink


posted by ben on 06.09.02 at 12:50, null, null, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

She has curly brown hair, different colors in the sunlight.

On a telephone pole covered with signs, there’s a poster advertising tango lessons, printed out on someone’s home computer with ten little stubs of contact information. None of the stubs are missing.

She studies the band flyers, then something about AIDs prevention before settling on tango lessons. She studies the poster briefly. She looks around to see if anyone’s watching her, but doesn’t notice me. Then, when the light changes, she quickly tears a stub off the poster, stuffs it into her pocket and crosses the street.

“Do you really want tango lessons?”

Halfway across the street, she turns around to see who’s yelling at her.

“Why did you walk off so quickly? Are you ashamed that you want tango lessons?”
“There’s nothing wrong with tango lessons.”
“My point exactly.”

The light changes again, now she’s holding up traffic, standing in the middle of the street. She heads back toward where I’ve been sitting, watching her like the creepy old man I am.

“So, why tango?”
“It was there.”
“Surely there must be some greater motivation, a desire to tango rooted in the texture of the word as it comes of the tongue perhaps? Maybe an association with the form of the dance, the desire to be some tall dark woman in a long red dress? You want to move elegantly, to be loved elegantly, and finally, to learn to love with an elegance that you fear is lost.”
She started to speak, to say something about how the poster stub was for a friend. She doesn’t really like to dance, but her friend might…
“Never mind that, let us dance.”
I stood abruptly. I quickly assumed the posture of a man decades younger, upright and bright eyed, imagined my hair black, combed back, my suit pressed and light, my shoes black and clean. I prepared myself as I stood, so that when I was standing, I snapped my fingers in the air.

Inside, Zachery, my compatriot, my fellow lover of anachronism and misplaced sentiment set the music playing. And, I led her briskly up the street to the bright harmonium of Greco. We danced into traffic, across cars, and over shopping carts. We melted the asphalt with our steps, the queens of Capitol Hill swooned, the sun fell from the sky and, finally, she collapsed exhausted into my arms. When she awoke, she looked up, her eyes into mine and spoke. She said, “I don’t like the tango.”

My eyes moved away from hers, my tears fell behind her… finally, I muttered, stricken with grief, “Why? Why not?”

And, she, standing away from me now, met my eyes one last time, and spoke again. She said, “It’s not enough.”

“Not enough? Of course it’s enough. It’s the divine expression of love, lust and life, all in dance. How is this not enough for you?”
“There’s got to be more.”
“More? What more could you ask for? More? What more could you imagine?”
And, she paused, studied me as if to say something… began to speak several times, before repeating herself.
“There’s got to be more.”

when I was a child, art robbed me of my humanity.

posted by ben on 06.05.21 at 22:55, null, null, kittens, puppies, writing, Leave a comment Permalink

If I had known how lonely they were going to make me, I would never have read a book. When presented with my first copy of One Fish, Two Fish, I would have bitten off a piece of the cover and done my best to choke on it. I would have run my soft, new face over the edges of pages and drawn great rivers of blood. My mother would have wrenched the book from me, and replaced it with something less likely to harm me, maybe a gun.

But, I didn’t know how lonely books would make me. So, I reached my plump little hands out toward her proffering hand and grabbed at the book, trying desperately to please… sounding out “new” and “blue,” moving my fingers carefully over the words, and ensuring a life of misery.

I read other Seussian classics. I learned to yearn for an environmentally sound world where the Truffula trees could stand tall. I learned all war could be reduced to a gripe over toast. I learned to be dissatisfied with the status quo: I learned to be miserable.

It only got worse from there.

Books about magic, kings, rings and grand weddings gave me an overdeveloped sense of my own potential, of my own importance. Endless mysteries viciously targeted at the youth taught me to value intellect and wit.

Once I’d made it through the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Encylopedia Brown and the Babysitter’s Club, I began finding new books on my own. I discovered new genres. I read books about space elevators, an uncle obsessed with the collecting and freezing Picasso’s semen and something about the six legged majority.

And, it worked like a disease, a horrible addiction.... I read more, one book would reference two, from there I’d be reading four, until my library was exploding exponentially.

All the while, friends, family, teachers, all urged me on… telling me I must develop my mind, learn… and I did. I picked up poetry, saw beauty in a young boy’s rosy cheeks, laid beside her in the dawn and died a thirsty death surrounded by water. I learned to see beauty everywhere, beauty in the wonderful, and beauty in the terrible.

And that led me to philosophy. I learned that being is nothingness. I stared up into the night sky and felt heat death creeping down from heaven. And through all this, friends continued to urge me on, to ever increasing heights of madness.

I lived my life eight hours a day, with three lattes, four hundred pages and three homeless bearded men at a coffee shop telling me half truths about categorical imperatives. I made friends with the characters in my books. I loved beautiful women. I painted Tahiti with my fat Polynesian lover, but died of leprosy. And for what?

I exhausted English literature. I read ever novel of note from the last 500 years. Then I wandered the streets looking for someone to talk with. But, unlike Miller, I could no longer relate. I’d read too much. I went into bars and attempted to talk about that time I became unstuck in time… to tell people about how I iron my shirts, moving my shirt only 2 times.

Worse, I started to write. Language is a virus. I read, it incubates, and I write. I only hope the wretched soul who finds this puts it in the wood chipper where it belongs.