The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Friday, March 31, 2006

My latest police report

It is easy to be intolerant of the fat-bottomed girl who jogs slowly. There is so much shoehorned into those red pants that she moves as if through water. Sweat drips out of unfathomable places. Her face does not conceal the effort it takes to lift each leg. Each leg is God's Turkey Leg, engineered for a great heavenly feast, albeit through a cruel genetic scheme. Moses, Peter, and Martin Luther's ex-girlfriends salivate while global warming preheats the oven. It is easy to be intolerant, but her soul will dine with them, and mine will not.

My car wants to blast through the crosswalk like the athletic machine it is. We wait: the car impatient and the driver hypnotized. The driver is a compulsive fantasizer. No amount of horns or curses can rouse him from the smothering scent and lack of sound. Tethered to his face, the softness is everywhere, like a body pillow hooked up to a dialysis machine. The blue-faced driver slumps, and his right foot is lead on the gas.


Friday, March 24, 2006


It is a wonderful time to be self-medicated. The smoke spirals and swirls before the monitor, and the big band sounds innocently tinny on the radio. I imagine a time before stranger danger and the advent of television news, when a couple created scandal by holding hands in public. Children played hardball until dusk, pretending to be Stan Hack, Andy Pafko, or Phil Cavarretta, who would cut out your heart for a run. Tussles broke out over the words "fink" and "keister." The air smelled dewy sweet, and even your old lady's keister tasted like candy.

I medicate myself with fermented barley and hops. It is the only medication that is sufficiently diluted to stretch the process of insanity long enough to analyze its components. Beer slowly disables those safeguards and self-delusions that enable one to maintain a socially acceptable train of thought.

Tonight's insanity seems to be composed of childhood viewed through wax paper. I see myself at midnight, tickled on shag carpet, convulsively laughing, gasping, "Stop, stop!" I know, though, it will never stop, these fingers in my armpits and in the hollows of my ribs. I squirm and shiver and scream for help, but the fingers cannot hear me, and would not care if they could. The fingers belong to disembodied hands, and the hands belong to something in my mind that loves to hear me laugh. I need to pee.

I see myself throwing my best friend's hard little poop-ball at his head after it bounced off my back at the kiddie urinal. Then we are in the principal's office, in big, big trouble. Covered in tears of shame, I yell that he threw the poop first. Panicked, he does not deny this, but he claims that it was some other kid's poop, as if that would be better. Our bathroom privileges are suspended.

At recess, I see myself hiding beneath the boughs of a pine tree with a large dark spot on the front of my red corduroy pants. Outside my disgraceful cavern, Tracy giggles and taunts, "He made ca-ca in his pants! Come look, the little-boy made ca-ca!" Tracy is older and Korean, but, "Ca-ca," I think, "isn't that poop? Maybe I'm too young to know the difference between pee and poop. I thought that I learned the difference when I was three years old." I hold up three fingers. Head down, I exit the cavern at the teacher's imploring. I am whisked away before the laughter grows to a crescendo, but inside it already has.

The doctor in my head, who I know as Paul, but who you should know as Dr. Sarducci, asks why I take medicine if I don't need it. Well doctor, why do I eat taquitos if I don't need them? Why do I listen to the Glen Miller Band if I don't need to? Need is a powerful term, often misapplied. The only things I need (in the next three weeks) are oxygen, water, and a way out. Medicine is a way out, but not the only one. There is also the front door.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reciprocity and future peace

For those with interests in music and anthropology: Mayopants
For those who prefer sandwiches and home brew: Sethwerks
For those who wish to avert future wars: Mr. Behi


Friday, March 17, 2006

A Journey from Dinner to the Mountains

Last night I made vomit for dinner. For future reference, vomit contains ground pork, alfredo sauce, tri-color rotini, yellow bell pepper, onion, mozzarella cheese, and a tablespoon or so of the seasoning known only as Savory, "the hot dog of herbs." Ah, you say, but that can't be vomit because you did not add bile. But you're being unreasonable, I say, how would I go about getting bile untainted by some previous meal?

Let's brainstorm. Not eating a previous meal is out of the question, as are syringes, (reverse) feeding tubes, and major surgery. Indeed, the bile must be extracted from a second party, but many people are gluttons, and many more eat food regularly. What sort of person maintains a pristine stomach environment, unravaged by modern grain, populated only by gentle schools of Crystal Light? I think we both know the answer.

How would I go about attracting an anorexic? The strategy should be the same as catching dandelion seeds or down feathers on a windy day, as all light things behave alike. I could not hope to just grab one and take her home with me. The odds are hopelessly against this. What I must find is the weakness of the light, the thing the light craves. A dandelion seed hopes to form another plant. Laughably (if it weren't so serious), most wind up in rocky crevices or curbside gutters simply because rich, moist topsoil isn't an effective windbreak.

Human dandelion seeds, anorexics hang around men who exhibit characteristics typical of rocky crevices and curbside gutters. These men are hard and shallow, square-jawed and scarred, and may be dirty if not swept clean. They live in the streets of Chicago and the mountains of the West. They are slow to anger. My inferiority complex gives thanks that I know no men like that.

Come to think of it, I just won't make vomit for dinner anymore.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Dear Conscience

You love the pain, you prick yourself,
Enamored, you're alive.
Efficient torture practiced soothes
The buzz inside your hive.

The lawn lies bare except for there
A ruddy iron rake.
You cast your seed upon its tines,
And garden in your ache.

Now curse these blessings that would speak
To give away your ruse.
Both God in here and mother dear:
You have so much to lose.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Darwin's Pomade

My tuft of hair that won't stay down despite combing and sliming and cajoling is beneficial from the point of view that reproduction is right and proper and spiritual. My cowlick is a trait bred down generations, enhancing the capacity to attract an asexual mother figure who will coddle me 'tween her great mams, hugging me so hard that I get so hard. We commit incest!

With wine, we reproduce.

That is the easy part. The hard part is all the discipline and masculinization of our boy when my wife is constantly adjusting the tuft of hair. She spits on her hand, she pats me down, she is six-foot seven and has breasts whose tidal influence is the moon. Plenty of shellfish and plankton wash ashore, but also kelp.

We grow a homo, and that is okay.