The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Off to Work

Good worker bee.
Good worker bee.
Ga-ther mo-ney.
Ga-ther mo-ney
No bites for me,
A good worker bee.
Ga-ther mo-ney.
Ga-ther mo-ney.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Morning in the Loop

This morning I dropped off a friend at Union Station downtown so he could take a train to the nether regions of the state, where you don't dare even mouth the words, “secular humanism.” The corporates were going to work with their shiny cases and their ties, their shiny pumps and their stockings. Stopped at a red light, I rolled down my car window.

“Attention,” I yelled, “I'm a productive citizen! Just like you!” Unfortunately, I timed my bit just as a group of mentally handicapped adults were crossing the street. They smiled, though, and it amused them. Of course, the things I have in common with them are far more important than the things I have in common with the corporates.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Voice, pared down

It's not the phrase. It's the person. It's not the phrase, but its inertia. The big red "G" that must come from the small of your back and radiate frontward and upward? You don't know what I'm talking about? I'll be damned for eternity.

I don't understand why I've written something sometimes. I've learned enough-though, to let it be for awhile. Sometimes six, seven hours, sometimes eight, nine hours. After a voyage through sleep. Sleep is nature's colander, letting all the brown waste run through its holes, hey, what do you use a colander for? Responses will be awarded prizes.

I think I might have one good paragraph left in me.


It's not the phrase. It's the person. It's not the phrase, but its inertia. The brain is a balancing machine. The more innocent you behave, the more depraved your thoughts can be. Other people's opinions are ballast on how much you can deviate from the norm. The more you hate one thing, the more that you can love another, although I may argue that hate and love are analogues, and that the true opposite of both is apathy. Try your best arguments against that. You may be right, but people will hate you.

I don't understand why I've written something sometimes. I've learned enough-though (see the pretty symmetry – so pretty so pretty I hate using lotion Kleenex for this), to let it be for awhile. Sometimes six, seven hours, sometimes eight, nine hours. After a voyage through sleep. Sleep is nature's colander, letting all the brown waste run through its holes, hey, what do you use a colander for? Panning for gold? Responses will be awarded prizes.

I think I might have one good paragraph left in me.


It's the phrase, and its inertia. The brain is a balancing machine. The more innocent you are, the more depraved you can be. Your opinion of yourself is directly proportional to the degree you can deviate from the perceived norm. Hate and love are analogues, and the opposite of both is apathy.

I don't understand why I've written sometimes.



Monday, November 20, 2006

A Monday Rant

A Monday after a Bears win is more like a Thursday (link for international audience).

Yesterday, I listened to the first half of the game on my car radio because I was driving to the parents' house for an early dinner of ribs, baked potato, and seven-layer salad (From top to bottom: bacon, shredded cheddar, mayonnaise, red onions, celery, peas, iceberg lettuce). Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer are in-game therapists, sharing my joy, explaining and directing my anger so I don't aim it at myself. It is a terrible pity that the WBBM radio broadcast is several seconds behind even antenna-based television, probably because some corporate stuffed-shirt at WBBM is afraid that Rex will throw a pick and Tom will swear (like ninety percent of the fans), and they won't be able to edit it. Fuck our Puritan roots.

I watched the second half on television. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are the best play-by-play/color commentator combination that Fox has, which is to say that they are only mildly intolerable. They're politicians: all empty rhetoric. I understand the need to be team-neutral on a national broadcast, but why dumb it down to the point...oh, Fox, right.

Speaking of Fox, you ever seen Rick DiMaio's local weather broadcast? He's greasy smooth, but the suns and clouds are much bigger than other stations' suns and clouds, and they shimmer. The high and low pressure systems are nothing but sparkly ovals, and the jet stream -- who cares where it is as long as it's long and shiny. Silly of me to analyze...


This is a good Bears blog.


Seen on a Google search link to this blog (sometimes I like to see where you've come from). The searched item was "masturbation without finishing" and took phrases from "Dialogue between a writer and imaginary agent" and "Writing Aids":

There’s no point to masturbation without the orgasm.” ... Upon finishing the rich nutty brew, it is my habit to stop writing and begin wasting time. ...

Today's Meditation

And as I lie on the bed breathing deep a cold fire comes from my chest, glinting outward like so many needles or knives. And this is it, I think, this is what I cannot talk about. And this is the transition between living for what others think of me to living for what I think of myself. And these needles and knives are the years of hurt and sorrow deflected aside as nothing much, no big deal, and the heart quickens and knows that it is right.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Aunt's Bathroom

The guest bathroom of my aunt's house is pleasant. The floor tiles measure eight by eight and have a nice muted earthy tone (what color is mauve?). The marble countertop reflects my face when I look down at it. White curtains conceal the windows, each curtain embroidered with a single pink rose on the bottom inside corner so that the roses nearly touch.

But there is one thing...

On the wall above the toilet tank hangs a black-framed ink drawing of a toilet in an English garden. In the white space to the right of the toilet and to the left of the manicured shrubs reads, "Use me well and keep me clean; I'll never tell what I have seen." This makes me feel self-conscious, and not because of the semicolon. The bathroom is a space where voyeurism should not take place, especially when the voyeur is a presumably inanimate fecophile.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dialogue between writer and imaginary agent

“I don’t think I’m very good at writing.”

“What are you talking about? You’re great at writing. You just need to do it more.”

"I need to do it more for sure. And by 'do it,' I mean have sex, with whoever you got, like some kind of crazy girl who thinks she's a poet, and she probably is a poet, but I'll give you five dollars..."

"You need to write more."

“But no one ever published anything I wrote, except for that poem, which you said was saccharine, and they didn't pay me anything, and they misspelled my name...”

"Listen to me and listen to me closely. This is the time in your life when you can publish. Hormones impaired all the work you did in high school. You rushed all the work in college because you wanted to drink. And since you've been working, you're wasting energy on paying bills. You’ve shown the ability, now you just need to put in the time. I have faith in you. I put my faith into you. You.”

“Me...But what about all the others that have put in the time since they were children. They’re all better than me. More natural.”

“These days it's just about market share. No one is better or worse. They’re just different.”

“You’re saying that Scott Fitzgerald wasn’t a better writer than me.”

“Okay. But Scott did a lot of literary slumming in his time. You have talent. You have a way of putting things that’s very distinct and pleasing. Funny too.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“But I don’t have the drive to become a writer. I can only write for an hour a day. That’s not going to pay the bills.”

“You just need incentive. You can get laid for writing even a lousy book. Laid, baby.”

“Since when have I gotten laid for writing?”

“Since when have you written a lousy book?”

“Good point. So you're saying that the drive should come from being horny?

"Of course. Where do you think all writing comes from?"

"Women in short leather jackets?"


“Maybe I should give up masturbating.”

“That’s your business.”

“Well, if your hypothesis is correct, if I give up masturbating for a week, I should double my output in writing."

“Assuming not masturbating makes you more horny.”

“Jesus, isn’t that a given?”

“Some people get more horny from masturbating. The repetition. You know, like when the ladies are having a lot of sex...”

“Please. We're not talking about the ladies. People who get more horny from masturbating don't have orgasms.”

“Of course they have orgasms. There’s no point to masturbation without the orgasm.”

“Ha! Haven’t you ever heard of tantric masturbation? Because of the breathing, the whole thing feels like an orgasm, yet nothing comes out.”

“No, I haven't heard.”

“Me neither.”

“That’s funny.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”



The Second Head

I have two bodies and two heads. As the magic of consciousness gives me only one personality at any given time, I must alternate day-to-day. Today I decided that it was too much trouble to carry over my shoulder another full body -- especially when I go on vacation. How much easier it would be if I just took the second head. It would fit so easily in a backpack or a bowling bag, cliche as that may seem.

So I cut off the head that I was not using. I dumped the body over a bridge. Tomorrow I will just replace the head that I wear today with the head that I carry under my arm. People are staring at me like they've never seen someone carrying a head identical to the one attached to his neck. Though it does drip.

Now I have just had a troublesome thought. In order to switch heads, I will have to cut off my current head tomorrow, killing me unless I can hire a live-in seamstress who sews quickly, professionally. I bet the stitching will still be obvious and ugly, and what if she sews it on crooked? I can fix the former problem with a turtleneck, but the latter will be difficult to resolve, at least until the next day's decapitation.

Now the head under my arm is beginning to shrink and turn black. I did not forsee this. It looks like a gorilla head. It is unusable. I have only one head and one body. I am not unique anymore.


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Friday, November 10, 2006

Midnight pancakes

The cold mist angles over the orange street lamps. It is almost time for pancakes. Pancakes for midnight dinner? Oh, yes!

Melt in Your Mouth Pancakes:

1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder

1) Stir ingredients until blended.

2) Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot greased griddle. If you have no griddle, use something else hot and greased. No, not that. I know you've been stirring with it, awkwardly hunched, but it's not hot enough or big enough. Are you crying? I'm sure you're adequate. Oh, that's just the sting of the lemon juice. I empathize.

3) Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden. Makes 7 pancakes. Serves one, obviously.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sinatra Alarm

From sleep's caul I pop engorged,
Exchanging glances, a neighbor's morning taste,
With a red Filipina dream.
Not a stranger to the night or the hot lounge,
I give thanks to Godlike.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Project for the New American Dinner

I went grocery shopping and bought several things that are good for lunch: tortillas and quesadilla cheese, potato and onion pierogies, Krakus ham, and six pack of Heineken. It is not lunchtime, though, and dinner ingredients are scarce. I fear that I will not eat, so I will focus the available resources of my household in a Project for the New American Dinner.

The Project for the New American Dinner is dedicated to a few fundamental ingredients and beliefs: that Texas beef is good both for me and the world, and that such beef should be served free of spices and condiments used by brown or poor people -- like hot sauce; that the white potato, of the starches, has the strongest moral vision in its many eyes, and that its vision condemns the carefree depravity of wild rice, the undemocratic fluffiness of bulghur wheat, and the French cut bean; that the can of peas has been engineered to perfection by visionary scientists, and that the PNAD will bring the world peas.

I have been given a great opportunity. Since I showed the world that borscht contains evil beets, leading to the fall of borscht, Beef and Potatoes stand as the world's preeminent dinner. Some liberal elements (they call themselves gourmands) want to squander this unique chance. But I will not fail in this essential challenge. Indeed, failure is not an option.

Some critics may argue that my Project for the New American Dinner is neither new nor American; that it seems similar to German dinners in the first half of the twentieth century. But the Germans were not prudent in how they cooked their dinner. They did not heat up enough peas, often substituting sauerkraut. Furthermore, their peas were not plump and sweet like mine, although they did have a project to engineer the perfect pea.

Such a dinner of beef, potatoes, and peas may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if I am to eat and ensure that I am full before I pass out from prescription drugs. And not generic ones either.


Why does this taste like corn and soy?