Saturday, February 20, 2010

Borrowed View

“I used to be an athlete,”

is what I think in the shower

looking down at myself.

Strange to know a past

hidden from everyone.

I was walking alone

when I started to feel better.

Perhaps I thought of you

reading my last letter:

your shock or your disgust

keeps you quiet. You don’t know?

I was your borrowed view

behind the gate, the wall of leaves.

“This is the last string

you attach to me,” I say

and let bleed what bleeds,

having been touched

on the surface.

*Soren Stockman is currently getting his groove on in Italy. He reads this, tell him how much you love and miss him.

Michael Excerpt #3

(February 1974)

I look at myself, my face. Bumps sprout around my nose as I watch, and I can feel the thin layer of sour white shift when I push my skin. I dim the lights in the bathroom, watch in the mirror as the room darkens. It never gets cold in Los Angeles, but last night I slept with my comforter and my sheet, and I writhed my legs until they felt their blood. Something hot underneath all that.
This dark mirror again. I raise my hand slowly just to see it move, interpret the gesture. It feels personal when I meet my eyes. My mouth hangs open slightly and I see my tongue. I run my nails over my chest, watch the fingers swoop and circle. I don’t say anything. What would someone else think of this? I wait for the touch of my fingers to root in me, to forget touch is happening. I go to the closet and I get my stand-up lamp, and I bring it into the bathroom next to me. This is when I examine my face, turning my head to the right forty-five degrees in order to follow the line of my cheekbone. The line travels crookedly up, a little puffed and rounded. Then it bends back in for the dip of my eye socket and back out again. I turn my head left. My eyelashes poke out of the line, into empty space. Trying to study myself without locking my eyes to their reflection, I move the lamp around my feet to the other side. The light changes my face, and I move in and out of it slowly, tilting and nodding my head.
Prickles of hair stubble my soft cheek, and I hate the razor. Don’t think about it. I get so close to the mirror that I can’t see around myself and I squeeze the bumps on the bridge of my nose. They sprout white and black, like disease in a ruined place. I find the flat places on the right side of my nose. I squeeze every dot I see, though some of them won’t come. I get as many as I can, especially around the corners of my nose where the oil seems to breed. The left side of my nose. I count every pimple on each cheek as my fingers absently graze my chin, prodding and pulling. Then I use force, and urge the skin together on two sides of a blemish.

*Soren Stockman

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lady Gaga in a Nasty Plane Crash

Once or twice a week I like to log into my facebook account and make a comment on something that is on my mind. Last week I said " I HOPE LADY GAGA DIES IN A NASTY PLANE CRASH!!!" and I believe I offended a shit load of people. I would like to explain what exactly I meant by my comment....I have been listening to rock and roll/pop music since I was 4 years old. My first 3 favorites were The Monkees, Herman's Hermit's, and the fucking Beatles. As I grew up in the 1970's I listened to the AM radio which played the top 40 hits. Back in the 70's on the AM radio you could hear rock n roll next to soul. ( Kiss and the Commodores for example back to back) I went from loving the Bee Gees and KC and the Sunshine Band into Kiss and Cheap Trick. In the early 80's I got into the new wave/punk rock stuff (The Clash, Psychedelic Furs, Gang of Four) and also discovered Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. At the age of 16 began working in a record store and continued working in record stores till June of 2009 at the age of 44. For the last 11 years I was the full in store DJ at the Virgin Megastore Union Square in NYC. I played everything at the Virgin Megastore and even got turned on to music that was not rock and roll. (Hip Hop like Jay z and Nas; electronic music like LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk; old school reggae like Bob Marley and Dennis Brown) I always had an open mind when it came to any genre. There is a lot of music that you would call rock and roll that I cant stand. I like melody...pop music...I like a good song whether it's Paul Simon singing something with an acoustic guitar or the Ramones with loud and fast guitars. ( I like something I can sing or hum later) During my last year at the Virgin Megastore I played a lot of Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga was in our top 20 sellers for a long fucking time. My co-workers loved Lady Gaga and would ask me to play her all the fucking time. I honestly dont mind the record. I dont like it but I dont hate it either. It reminds me of some of the new wave pop music from the 1980's that I used to dance to in the clubs in my camouflage pants and eyeliner! I think what bothers me is how fucking popular this mediocre music has become. Of course I understand that music is "art" and people should like what they like. ( I like stuff that people love to make fun of- Barry Manilow, Jimmy Buffet, Neil Diamond, Cinderella, England Dan and John Ford Coley just to name a few!!!) I certainly do not want Lady Gaga to die in a nasty plane crash. I am amused that people would take that literally! I really meant to say " I CANT BELIEVE HOW POPULAR THIS SHIT IS!!!" One more thing...I like the internet, email, and facebook BUT I think some of these people who are on the internet all fucking day should leave their fucking house do something other than type on their computer all fucking day.

-Brother Mike Cohen NYC.

That's Jesus Speakin' To Me!

A few years ago I used to have a routine. Five days a week I worked at the Virgin Megastore Union Square and on my two days off from work I would have a bagel and read the New York Post at David Bagel on 1st Avenue between 13th and 14th Street. I would wake up on my day off and not have my first coffee until I arrived at David Bagel. At David Bagel I would order a large coffee and a whole wheat bagel with extra veggie tofu. I would read my New York Post from front to back and enjoy my coffee and bagel. At the end of my meal I would feel a bowel movement coming on but I would attempt to hold it until I got home. ( Home was a 7 minute walk from David Bagel.) As I walked I felt like I would not be able to hold it and that I was gonna shit my pants but my ass muscles are pretty good to hold in the first shit of the day that was awakened by a large coffee, whole wheat bagel, and extra veggie tofu. 7 minutes seemed like a long time but I would do it. When I reached my building I would run up two steps at a time to the fourth floor. After entering my apartment I would take all of my clothes off and turn the stereo on and FINALLY sit down on the toilet. The shit would come out of my ass with gusto and I would look up towards the heavens and exclaim "THAT IS JESUS SPEAKIN' TO ME..THAT IS JESUS H. CHRIST SPEAKING TO ME..THANK GOD..THANK CHRIST..THAT IS JESUS FUCKING CHRIST SPEAKING TO ME!!!" My cat would be staring at me from the kitchen wondering what was happening.

-Brother Mike Cohen, NYC