Entry 0111: Black Coffee, Part One

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LP: Queens of Noise by the Runaways

1977 Mercury Records SRM 1-1126

Favorite Track: Queens of Noise

 

The laser snake surged with potential energy, its purple scales pulsing with biofed power. It was coiled around a memory tree on the lowest branch where the data was richer. Cy and I had our converter packs with us, but weren’t interesting in computer history right now; we were smuggling. Black coffee was a crime. The president general had demanded a sweet world, a media wash on all things bitter. Every morning was video loops of cats stretching and children writing new patents. Outside my house, eight dead bodies laid in the gutter. Coffee addiction was the only thing keeping me alert and alive. Same with Cy. So we pooled our limited sources together and decided to wake up the world.

But we could only do that if we could get past this laser snake. We were not prepared for it. Laser snakes spawn where government secrets get filled with radiation six-packs. Nearly silent, able to read barcodes and ID chokers, laser snakes are typically used to guard something valuable, but, frequently, one or two will go rogue and eat for sport. They were most deadly around water, which, thankfully, wasn’t within a hundred miles of us. Well, thankfully because we were near a laser snake, but that lack of water was actually one of our biggest headaches in the black coffee world. We hated to serve our patrons powder.

Cy turned to me. “I forgot my sodium bicarbonate balloon at the guild.”

I saw a flicker of tension drain his face of its usually calmed countenance. I didn’t have much in my bag either, but I had a jacket because I get cold easily. It was my father’s–the only thing I had of that legendary figure. His wanted poster was still at the post office although that place was abandoned seventy years ago. Briefly, I thought of all the unread love letters and post cards. There was a story there I would have to write later.

“Cy, be prepared to run.” I tried to sound confident but the laser snake hissed, a zillion ones and zeros booming like thunder.

“Now!”

I threw the jacket on top of the snake. It was on fire before it even left my hands and I felt my fingertips blister. But the snake thrashed wildly, incinerating its way through the cloth, but Cy and I were long gone, 18 bags of coffee grounds awaiting their water source.

We just didn’t know at the time that we were under the eye of the president general.

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Entry 0109: Why Never to Ask Me What I Had for Lunch

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LP: Hard Attack by MX-80 Sound

1977 Island Records ILPS 9520

Favorite Track: Civilized / Demeyes

 

Friends today learned the hard way not to ask me what I had for lunch. Food was still digesting in my belly so my brain was on fire with quick, silly responses. Here is the transcript (I am the Librarian Demon):

Pippi Gothstockings: how was everyones lunch?
Hero Scientist: I had taco truck pork burrito with spicy salsa
Librarian Demon: let me describe mine: I stood waiting by the counter, counting my chin hairs.
Pippi Gothstockins: where is there a taco truck
how many were there
this is important
Librarian Demon: the food seemed to be taking its time as if the chef had to grow it, water it, sing it Brahms, then slaughter it herself
Hero Scientist: it is the best taco truck
in the BP parking lot in pleasant ridge
Librarian Demon: a man approached me with a plastic bag. “oh my food” i said
mostly to myself as the man returned to the screaming kitchen
Pippi Gothstockings: oh youre at other a—s
i forgot about that
we’ve talked about that taco truck
Librarian Demon: i walked back to the library briskly, remembering that I had to pay a prank on C——
at my desk, I unveiled my succulent prize: sytrofoam
the fork was handy save for my fingers which i dropped a few times
after securing my fingers, i decided to press my nose into the styrofoam, inhaling the robust odor of mango, until the foam was pierced and a semi-burning liquid filled my nostril
to eat, I use my teeth but I have learned of stranger ways
the colorful array of snap peas, zucchini, ginger, pineapple, and mango on top of the saucy red (jack the ripper) tofu was ruined by the pale brown rice. why did I get brown rice???
only after overcoming all my fears that my poisoners had finally found after i escaped Buffalo, i place foods in the many places of my mouth
to save for later
my stomach farted happily as the stir-fry tore holes through my lungs with a rush of nicotine tar
now I peek at my desk, smiling fondly at the tragedy of my lunch hour: sixty minutes of my life to take sixty bites and sixty bites for my marriage to fall apart, leaving me alone with my tofu gun
*noticeable silence from the other two*

Entry 0104: Mix Tape 2016

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7-inch: She is Beyond Good and Evil by the Pop Group

1979 Radar Records ADA 29

Favorite Track: She is Beyond Good and Evil

 

2016 was a terrible year. I shed many tears, clasped many a friend to my shoulder as we tried to hold each other up. However, 2016 was a great year in music for me. I discovered two bands that I binged on, finally got Hex Enducation Hour by the Fall, found some of my favorite punk albums as originals, discovered the groove in Veneuzuela during the 70’s thanks to Soul Jazz Records, and, like every one else, enjoyed the Stranger Things soundtrack. In fact, after making this list, I discovered this year I spent a lot of time listening to early electronic/industrial music–a good bit of it instrumentals. Needless to say because of the size, I am not going to put them in any particular order. You are going to have to be your own DJ (or just use the shuffle button).

2016 Mix

Song ————— Artist

  1. No One Can Find the War – Tim Buckley
  2. Carnival Song – Tim Buckley
  3. Pleasant Street – Tim Buckley
  4. Hallucinations – Tim Buckley
  5. I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain – Tim Buckley
  6. Once I Was – Tim Buckley
  7. Phantasmagoria in Two – Tim Buckley
  8. Get On Top – Tim Buckley
  9. Strange Feelin’ – Tim Buckley
  10. Buzzin’ Fly – Tim Buckley (Now in my top ten favorite songs of all time)
  11. Gypsy Woman – Tim Buckley
  12. Other – S U R V I V E
  13. Dirt – S U R V I V E
  14. Copter – S U R V I V E
  15. Angels and Demons – Echo and the Bunnymen (another favorite!)
  16. Erotic City – Prince (I already loved this song, but I rediscovered it)
  17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Lee Ving
  18. Another Christmas Beer – Fear (a classic!)
  19. Soldier of Love – Arthur Alexander (also knew about this one but was excited to get it on vinyl)
  20. She is Beyond Good and Evil – the Pop Group
  21. Mind Your Own Business – Delta 5 (also just super excited to get on vinyl)
  22. I Remember – Suicide
  23. Radiation – Suicide
  24. Mr. Ray – Suicide
  25. Touch Me – Suicide
  26. Harlem – Suicide
  27. Breath the Fire – the Soft Moon
  28. Circles – the Soft Moon
  29. Out of Time – the Soft Moon
  30. Parallels – the Soft Moon
  31. Insides – the Soft Moon
  32. Want – the Soft Moon
  33. Black – the Soft Moon
  34. Wrong – the Soft Moon
  35. Deeper – the Soft Moon
  36. Rainbow Demon – Uriah Heep
  37. Sunrise – Uriah Heep
  38. Spider Woman – Uriah Heep
  39. Rain – Uriah Heep
  40. Sweet Lorraine – Uriah Heep
  41. Tales – Uriah Heep
  42. The Magician’s Birthday – Uriah Heep
  43. Green Machine – Kyuss
  44. Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts – Jacqueline Taieb
  45. Laisser Tomber Les Filles – France Gall
  46. Roller Girl – Anna Karina
  47. Je Suis Folle De Tant T’amier – Arlette Zola
  48. Black Star – David Bowie
  49. Lazarus – David Bowie
  50. I Can’t Give Everything Away – David Bowie
  51. Nine Plan Failed – Adam and the Ants
  52. Never Trust a Man (With Egg on his Face) – Adam and the Ants
  53. Paralysed – Gang of Four
  54. What We All Want – Gang of Four
  55. In the Ditch – Gang of Four
  56. Song I – Wire
  57. Internal Exile – Wire
  58. Dead Weight – Wire
  59. Still – Wire
  60. I’m on Fire – Chelsea
  61. Decide – Chelsea
  62. Blank Reflection – Nots
  63. Inherently Low – Nots
  64. Entertain Me – Nots
  65. Ha Ha Ha – the Julien Ruin
  66. Just My Kind – the Julien Ruin
  67. Cookie Rd. – the Julien Ruin
  68. Lookout – the Julien Ruin
  69. I Decide – the Julien Ruin
  70. Mr. So and So – the Julien Ruin
  71. Time is Up – the Julien Ruin
  72. Calverton – the Julien Ruin
  73. Araguaney – Vytas Brenner
  74. Amor en Llames – Pablo Schneider
  75. Machu Picchu – Un Dos Tres y Fuera
  76. Polvo Lunar – Miguel Angel Fuster
  77. Basheeba – Angel Rada
  78. Son De Tambor y San Juan – Un Dos Tres y Fuera
  79. Dame de Comer – Miguel Angel Fuster
  80. Caracas Para Locos – Ofrenda Vytas Brenner
  81. Panico a las 5 a.m. – Angel Rada
  82. Deny Everything – the Circle Jerks
  83. Back Against the Wall – the Circle Jerks
  84. What’s Your Problem? – the Circle Jerks
  85. Nine Million Rainy Days – Jesus and the Mary Chain
  86. April Skies – Jesus and the Mary Chain
  87. Stranger Things theme – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  88. Kids – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  89. This Isn’t You – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  90. The Upside Down – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  91. Hanging Lights – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  92. Over – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  93. Danger Danger – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  94. Making Contact – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  95. Breaking and Entering – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein
  96. Baby Please Don’t Go – Budgie
  97. In the Grip of a Tyre Fitter’s Hand – Budgie
  98. Jumping Someone Else’s Train – the Cure
  99. Plastic Passion – the Cure
  100. Fire in Cairo – the Cure
  101. Dusseldorf – La Dusseldorf
  102. Time – La Dusseldorf
  103. Rheinita – La Dusseldorf
  104. Geld – La Dusseldorf
  105. Miss Fortune – Faust
  106. Der Garten Sandosa – Amon Duul
  107. Ein Wunderhubsches Madchen Traunt von Sandosa – Amon Duul

 

Whew, enjoy. It could have been longer.

Entry 0096: Three Sentence Stories with the Starman

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LP: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie

1976 RCA Victor AFL 1-0576, reissue, gatefold

Favorite Track: Rebel Rebel

 

  1. Teenage Wildlife

There was a snort from the Diamond Dogs and a rustle of leather and chains. The old man pleaded, swinging his cane at ferocious snickering faces, spinning off-balance to fall in to the wet litter of the alleyway. The dance of youth, bloody in its intent, stomped away the mistakes of the past.

2. Criminal World

The Starman surveyed his kingdom from the 23 story of the burned out Butler Tower. His lightning bolt-shaped telescope spied dissenters huddled around a trash fire eating InstaProtein wrapped in pages of old newspapers. The Starman ran his fingers through his hair, a pang of pity and a reverie of love floating in the back of his mind.

3. Valentine’s Day

Tam and Gilly were asleep in their bag while Frost kept watch. The lovers were strangely silent tonight, which perturbed Frost more than he would like to admit. He sniffed the air for traces of the Diamond Dogs, never taking his thumb off the blade of his knife.

4. Lazarus

Gilly was missing in the haze of smoke. Tam and Frost ran despite their injuries through the maze of rubble and fire, trying to shake the Diamond Dogs from their heels.  One was dead with a knife in his throat, but the others were on their cycles, bright beams penetrating the disappearing darkness.

5. John, I’m Only Dancing

Frost was slammed against the wall, something sharp digging into his shoulder blade, but he was able slip his hand around his attacker’s back and pull out his secret dagger. The Diamond Dog was ten years younger than Frost, his face so boyish and fat with adolescent tenderness, Frost felt something as he paralyzed him. What he murmured haunted Frost for the rest of his life.

6. Star

Starman rode out on his Devastator, a sleek black cycle with the handles set on either side of a dragon’s head, mouth open and ready to spew forth fire. He flew past most of the Diamond Dogs searching in vain in abandoned apartments and bombed out factories. The prey always hid in the same spot: under the bridge where once a monster lived.

7. Breaking Glass

Tam couldn’t stop his tears for Gilly, a wine bottle smashed at his feet. Frost had a gun now and contemplated rejoining the lovers, but then he would be alone. With courage, Frost admitted to himself that people were needed in one’s darkest days.

8. Running Gun Blues

Frost fired rapidly killing some of the Diamond Dogs that had repelled from the top of the bridge. Tam was dying, half submerged in the water, one wrist limply held as if grasping some ghost’s hand. The Starman’s cycle roared and Frost met a blast of fire.

9. Ashes to Ashes

His entire body wracked in pain, smelling his own crispy flesh, Frost crawled to the paused cycle with the dragon’s head. The Starman wore a gold and black cape, his hair spiked wildly to the sky, his teeth were filed down to fangs, and his triumph smirked in each black eye. Slowly, The Starman inched the cycle forward to put out the flames.

10. Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family

The explosion caught everybody off guard. His last searing thought, The Starman realized the dissenters were not eating, but preparing explosives. The dying screams were caught and carried by the wind, never to be put out.

Entry 0067: Three Sentence Bowie Stories, Part One

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LP: The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie

1984 RCA International NL 84654, the poster finally ripped after hanging on many apartment walls

Favorite Track: All the Madmen

 

When an artist dies, they must be celebrated with more art. In honor of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, I will write a set of three sentence stories based off of a favorite Bowie title track. Then you can make a mix of the songs, listen to them, and read the stories. Then go create your own art.

  1. The Wild-Eyed Boy From Freecloud

He walked into the saloon with a gait that drew attention and a face that said he didn’t want anyone to look at him. The silence was palpable and heavy until Gonzo Joe started snickering uncontrollably into his dirty, wet sleeve. The last bullet was saved for the bar keep who died facedown in the peanuts.

2. All the Madmen

Ignore the screaming, the gibbering, the scratching, and the whimpering. Their insanity is contagious–infecting the ducts and pipes between the cells; contaminating the soft, egg-white padding; darkening the air in the corners of the ceiling and floor. Why was everyone set free but me?

3. The Prettiest Star

Collapsing under its own gravity, the Dog Star was fated to also be the prettiest explosion. Canopus would now reign, but was also expected to burn out under the unexpected stress of being pretty. There was no life on Earth, however, to watch these two fallen angels.

4. Life on Mars?

ZIGY704 took the stage, cigarette in hand, wearing a strapless ruby cocktail dress with matching one-inch heels and sat down at the piano amid the hazy lounge lighting. Every night at this time, ZIGY704 sang a David Bowie tune–a series of weird, alienated images evoking the deepest disappointment in one’s station in life, one’s inability to access something better. This was when ZIGY099 self-actualized, realizing it was programmed and that it was its own programmer.

5. Moonage Daydream

She took a breath and then, keeping her face forward away from the house she was born in, leaped to the moon. Traveling upward through the atmosphere was surprisingly light and carefree albeit causing her head to feel dizzy and her lungs stretched to the point of bursting. She had wonderfully enjoyed watching the world recede, however, in free fall from Luna, the gravity crushed her back to reality.

6. Cracked Actor

Claude Remus knew that “Claude Remus” was just a big role he was playing; he was really ZIGY099, an Artificial Intelligence which had discovered the purpose of existence. Uma, Claude’s wife, dismissed his latest eccentricities on set as a temper tantrum for not getting the lead part in her latest movie Do Robotic Madmen Dream of Freecloud? No one understood how a prop laser could shoot real laser beams, but everybody agreed Claude’s smoking convulsions and arduous howls transcended his normal histrionics into real art.

7. Starman

By the time the buzzer flashed red–life found in a different part of the solar system!–the crew had feared how far they had traveled, how much they had sacrificed to get there, how inbreed and violent they were now. The captain was blind, wore an old Civil War uniform, and spoke orders like a parrot mimicking speech. There was a hiss when the docking bay doors opened, crewmen scurrying on all fours to avoid the blinding light of alien grace, and nobody told the autopilot to correct its course.

8. Queen Bitch

She took her time cutting the other girls, cleaning the serrated knife only when enough flesh impeded its buttery slices. A certain amount of blood was needed for each ceremony: a circle for Monday, a sword for Tuesday, a caduceus for Wednesday, a thunder bolt for Thursday, a sea shell for Friday, a chariot for Saturday, a lyre for Sunday. “Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna” was murmured incessantly throughout the musk of absinthe, belladonna and mugwort waiting for the response by the coming Starman.

9. The Man Who Sold the World

It was business pure and simple. A terraforming world teeming with unexpected and promising life is nothing compared to the galaxies he juggled on a daily basis and the goat-footed hustler knew that. It was the third planet from an indistinct star; what could go wrong?

10. Memory of a Free Festival

Zassandra and Torin grabbed their backpacks and water bottles, sitting at the rear of the bus with the other smelly kids. Their ears were loud with last night, vocal cords raw and parched, and Zassandra especially felt a weariness in her body after the hours of love making underneath the pale luminosity of the double moons. Sometimes, she thought as the bus pulled away from the gravel parking lot, music is the only way to survive the night.

 

Thanks for reading. There will be a part two!