Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ask Gideon Welles


Dear Gideon,


Several years ago I was crossing some railroad tracks when I spotted a youngster fast asleep between the rails. He was sleeping so soundly that I did not bother to wake him, even though several coal freights passed through town each hour. Did I do the right thing? --Slightly Curious



Dear Samaritan,


You not only did the right thing but the sensible thing as well. Children so often misbehave when they are awoken from a nap prematurely; the resultant mayhem and hi jinx would no doubt have caused you much grief. I once left a sleeping newborn tied to the bottom of a threshing machine for this reason, and while the results of that decision were far from picturesque, to say the least, I’m sure things worked out much better in your situation. It is a little-known fact that locomotives can stop almost at will, and--if the engineer in question was as observant as his arduous task requires--he spied your young sleepyhead with plenty of time to stop before greasing his wheels with him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ask Gideon Welles

Dear Gideon,

My hipster neighbors recently began using clear plastic trash bags. Is it ethical to examine their weekly trash for letters, receipts or other materials of an anti-American or otherwise conspiratorial nature and judge them accordingly? -Seeking Consultation Regarding Every Williamsburg Yupster




Dear Megan,

Your dilemma is one that plagues me daily. Of course you should not only perform a cursory examination of their trash but stab it open with any available sharp instrument. Deftly cut a long incision across the width of the bag; listen to the bag softly gasp as you release the air within. Watch the garbage pour from the hole onto the sidewalk as you smear your guilty hands in it. Take some of the oozing refuse--the fair trade coffee grinds, the leftover organic sauces--and use it to write your neighbors a note on their windows and doors. A kind reminder such as "Stop Hexing Me" or "I Know You're Watching Me in My Sleep." Remove any mail or letters from the bag and read them at your leisure. They were written about you anyway, so why not? After reading them three times burn them in the toilet with charcoal lighter fluid and a blowtorch, or with your mind. It goes without saying that as hipsters most of the contents of their trash will contain items of an Anti-American nature. As we all know, Whole Foods is a thinly-veiled front for the Taliban, who uses the proceeds to stone anyone even considering using irony. So yes, you will find such materials, but more importantly these items need to be tested in the lab I've constructed in my lower colon to see if they are magic, or at least if they possess magic dangerous to you. Stop bathing in their trash immediately and send it all to me in a big red box wrapped with electrical wire, flares and eight rolls of duct tape. In the meantime prevent your neighbors from further misdeeds by relieving yourself in their mailbox, or, as a timesaver, by setting their house on fire and seeing if you can knit a sweater out of the flames.


Copyright 2010 Max Jukes/Brian Edward Hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without permission from the author. Illustration copyright 2010 by max jukes/brian edward hack.

Ask Gideon Welles


Dear Gideon:

Last week I accidentally walked in on my fifteen-year-old son masturbating to my wedding album. As you might expect we are both embarrassed and it is becoming more and more awkward the longer we pretend it never happened. What can I say to alleviate his worries and let him know that masturbation is a normal part of adolescence? -Worried About David

Dear Mrs. Weaver,

Since the early nineteenth century, when young boys first began masturbating to seed catalogs and the drawings on the front of burlap feed sacks, interlopers such as you have unwittingly interrupted what otherwise would have been a peaceful "yank of the plank," as it was called in those days before cleverer euphemisms were invented. Masturbation was greatly enhanced after the arrival of the daguerreotype in 1839, although the long exposure time almost but guaranteed that the act would be completed by the time the photograph was developed, mounted and stuffed down one's trousers. Later experiments in masturbatory stereoscopy necessitated the creation of a two-handed, and later, thankfully, a one-handed stereographic viewer; one lad's diary entry from 1858 reported that seeing three-dimensional images of nude statuary made him "quiver so violently that the horse in the adjacent stall released himself, although I am quite unawares of how so much of the milky brine landed on my face and person." This leads us to your current situation. Your son David Weaver needs to know, as do all of his tenth-grade classmates at R. Budd Dwyer High School, that masturbating is essential for proper nutrition and health. In fact, in the mid-1950s it was frequently taught as part of the Home Economics curriculum, as a supplement to those long tedious hours baking and cleaning house. You might begin to repair your relationship with David by spending a few days with him perusing your wedding album. Ask him which photographs he most enjoyed, and then ask him why. Have these images tattooed on his chest by a competent tattoo artist, or a neighbor.

Copyright 2010 Max Jukes/Brian Edward Hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without permission from the author. Illustration copyright 2010 by max jukes/brian edward hack.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Both Captor and Hostage, My Mind and I

The atoms pulse and hover and fade as I turn away, then focus and form into the familiar upon my return. In my absence they can be themselves: solids relax into blurry whirls of possibility; liquids bend and unravel at their leisure, scattering themselves into marbles of gossamer; even the air assumes hues and shapes that slither along the tenuous matter in which I believe. I believe in the cloaks of objects, and in the consensus constructed around them. Because I believe, you believe, and because we believe, they believe, and they believe because those before them believed. The painters and the poets aspired to lose their faith, and pierce the gauze upon the world to reveal its truths; their tools conspired against them, being in on the ruse from the outset. Even the mind, unseen and unknowable, is particularly unreliable in penetrating material truths. It harbors great secrets. Out of kindness or contempt it refuses to offer a glimpse of what lies beneath. The mind gives form, gives names, gives expectations and veils the buzzing hovering of matter. This enemy within is unflinching. If I stop believing, will objects dissolve into themselves as they are without the deceitful filters of eye and mind? Am I to have faith in what I cannot see, or faith in what I can?


Copyright 2010 Max Jukes/Brian Edward Hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without permission from the author. Illustration copyright 2010 by max jukes/brian edward hack.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Lange Eylandt Limericks, Concerning Setauket and Neighboring Environs, for the Full and Rapid Release of Ribaldry














An amazing young man from Syosset
Arrived with the force of a faucet.
Yet the briny cascade
left his lovers dismayed,
for they frequently drowned trying to cross it.

There once was a man from Setauket
who kept his wife's pic in a locket.
When girls would ask, "who
is that woman?" he knew
it was time that he run out and hock it.

A well-endowed man from Setauket
Would blush when the ladies would mock it.
"We can see that it's long,
but isn't it wrong
to keep it unleashed when you walk it?"

There once was a girl from West Islip
known as the "Ten Dollar Vice Grip"
Slip it in for a five,
But to pull out alive
Cost you five dollars more, plus a nice tip.


Copyright 2010 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Available at bookstores nowhere





















Copyright 2010 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author. Photograph copyright 2010 max jukes/brian edward hack.

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36 Rhymes for Troubled Times


Uncut pages, an uncracked spine; an untouched tome, this life of mine.


Regardless of what you may have supposed, I dare say that thongs leave too little exposed.


Never trust women who reach for Parnassus; McSweeney's is nearer but not for the masses.


Strangled and tethered to an unfeathered bed; weathered and blistered and wistfully led.


I wrote you ten letters, then lit them afire; still roaring and rising and soaked in desire.


Be mindful your actions when seeking distractions.


As Hesiod said on one of his walks, "The past was the evil in Pandora's box."


On the boil but on the backburner; such is the curse of life's slowest learner.


Swiftian plans never do any harm; seeing them through is just part of your charm.


Your innocuous stalking is less than discreet; modern day footprints do not require feet.


Who could be miffed by a stray misanthrope, surrounded by books and abandoned by hope?


Every so often the past reemerges, and bludgeons the heart with impetuous urges.


"I'm at the end of my rope," she cried in despair; "so you are," I replied, "but I do need that chair."


Your head in the oven, a note on the table; So nice you could write, didn't know you were able.


Follow me out to the snow-smothered street, where sidewalks and shovels shall curse as they meet.


While the pyro in you is too much for my liking, your fondness for matches can be rather striking.


I really can't see you vacuuming nude; now open your curtains, and don't be so rude.


Predators lurk and elude thorough searches, sheltered by shadows in neighborhood churches.


Innocents die, Pat Robertson lives; Nature, I love you, but really--what gives?


Dabbling and babbling, it's all that I do, a library book forty years overdue.


Why is my life such an onerous chore, assigned as I am to mopping the shore?


Conjoined at the phallus, the twins know about flowing; but only they know if they're coming or going.


At SeaWorld I saw that my life had no porpoise; nothing to show but the crime and its corpus.


Promise me nothing and I'll do the same; remember my words but never my name.


Flattering me so has lightened my heart; but stroking my ego is merely a start.


Up on the ledge, what a surprise; a cliché was your life, why not your demise?


The children were muzzled, all snug in their ropes; no one will find them, one only hopes.


Poor Noah Webster, his wife's done him wrong; seems only his words were sufficiently long.


The children were hung by the chimney with care; if you walk by, please try not to stare.


Apparently no one has shown you the trick: you need more than your willy to play Hoop and Stick.


Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a sculptor by day, spent evenings lamenting his feet made of clay.


Should guests at a dinner develop a cough? They certainly should if their mutton's gone off.


You are what you eat, as idioms go, is true in my case--if I am a crow.


I've tried knocking loudly and ringing your bell--you hide behind sofas abundantly well.


Your mailbox was open, so sorry to pry; no letters from me, I think you know why.


Dear Mr. Wilde, I simply must vent; I'm sorry that you, not the wallpaper went.



Copyright 2010 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author.



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Saturday, June 05, 2010

In spread-out beds of sprawling limbs

they had surrendered the shudders and moans of private devotion to the dog-eared victors of words, books of words, and words of books and that was as it should have been. Tongues were tethered to well-weathered spines and scarce was the day that they sought other, far more warmer and wetter venues to explore; yet the nights were nuzzled with velveteen, high above the princely sounds below. When they came to the last page, she had finished first. Or perhaps she saw the ending coming and began perusing the shelves for a more satisfying read. For when he looked up she had climbed down, down into the heat of the Big D, where other books and other words burned mesquite-slow and lingered longer in her memory. Amidst more dim and distant digs his pages foxed and fell from their brittle binding, spilling, spitting, spewing down the littered lanes. As the days piled into months and heaped into years his hopes were wrung out and hung out and left to fray in the wind like the white flag of a war where news of the treaty had never reached the trenches. Letters and desires went unanswered, unopened. But one afternoon, in the nook of a dark and narrow nave, he dipped his fingers into the font and found the faith to ask for someone, anyone, to help him bind his scarred and scattered pages.


Copyright 2010 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

"The Donner Party Wasn't Much of One,"

she said before our tongues and our lives entwined. Usually women would say that sort of thing to me as an easy out, a Governor's-phonecall-at-the-last-moment-before-they-flip-the-switch way of getting themselves out of my futon and into anything or anyone else. These sorts of phrases were uttered to evaporate whatever negotiations may have been underway between my mind and the various other freelance ambassadors of my body. Or else they would move my hands from wherever they were to wherever they wanted, and say something like, "Don't expect anything. What's left of my soul went down on the Andrea Doria." Then I would grumble and shuffle off, stumbling half-drunk in the diamond grass at dawn until I unfurled myself upon the unpopulated tundra of my mattress, resigned to spilling rivers of my own longing. But here, but now, with the Donner Party running its course across my upper lip I could only surmise that someone had finally succumbed to the hunger to feed upon the breadcrumbs of my not-so-distant denouement.


Copyright 2006 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author. Photograph copyright 2006 max jukes/brian edward hack.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The last thing I want right now



The last thing I want right now is to hear you
The last thing I want right now is to dream
The last thing I want right now is to drop
The last thing I want right now is to slither quietly
The last thing I want right now is to listen respectfully
The last thing I want right now is to perform diligently
The last thing I want right now is to drink hemlock
The last thing I want right now is to wither drearily
The last thing I want right now is to pass out willingly
The last thing I want right now is to linger unwittingly
The last thing I want right now is to pamper unmercifully
The last thing I want right now is to dredge the cesspool
The last thing I want right now is to defend the rest home
The last thing I want right now is to reframe the bedpost
The last thing I want right now is to untie the masthead
The last thing I want right now is to unfurl the curtainrod
The last thing I want right now is to mend the soiled sheets
The last thing I want right now is to swirl the majorette’s ribbon
The last thing I want right now is to splash in the refuse
The last thing I want right now is to meander in the forest fires
The last thing I want right now is to drink from the grail of sorrows
The last thing I want right now is to harvest the lingering lusts
The last thing I want right now is to torment the fascination within
The last thing I want right now is to foster the animosity
The last thing I want right now is to follow the footprints of the faithful
The last thing I want right now is to be strangled by the ghost
The last thing I want right now is to look through the venetian blinds
The last thing I want right now is to fall through the lint catcher
The last thing I want right now is to schedule a moment for you
The last thing I want right now is to paint a mental portrait
The last thing I want right now is to dress in mesh and turpentine rags
The last thing I want right now is to think of hard-boiled marmelade
The last thing I want right now is to stretch in the sty with your memory
The last thing I want right now is to tease the hands of Time
The last thing I want right now is to bathe in the saltmines
The last thing I want right now is to fling the foster children into the fire
The last thing I want right now is to slumber with the multitudes
The last thing I want right now is to ascend the parchments hidden in jars
The last thing I want right now is to see the ground below
The last thing I want right now is to philosophize on the merits of chairs
The last thing I want right now is to pull out the steps on the card house
The last thing I want right now is to drizzle the dreary documents of truth
The last thing I want right now is to freeze in the midst of mediocrity
The last thing I want right now is to defend the denizens of this or any other time
The last thing I want right now is to speak of anything or anyone
The last thing I want right now is to muzzle the rusted gates of your mouth
The last thing I want right now is to bathe in the blistering sun
The last thing I want right now is to harness the moment
The last thing I want right now is to undress in the restless closets of your memory
The last thing I want right now is to pummel the horse
The last thing I want right now is to question the maudlin troubadour
The last thing I want right now is to seek the bleached words of the turncoat
The last thing I want right now is to liberate the cream-lined cages of your pigeons
The last thing I want right now is to don the mantle of scrambling peons on the portico
The last thing I want right now is to scream to the sky that chains me here
The last thing I want right now is to dismantle the pocket watch of creation
The last thing I want right now is to reclaim the drainpipe trousers of your youth
The last thing I want right now is to document the synapses
The last thing I want right now is to educate the brilliant
The last thing I want right now is to gesture to the fetid unbedded teenage phantasm
The last thing I want right now is to careen off the juggernaut of sensual boredom
The last thing I want right now is to mention the serpent rouge
The last thing I want right now is to be initiated in the ancient mysteries
The last thing I want right now is to defend whatever it is I am
The last thing I want right now is to slowly know the oak-lined path
The last thing I want right now is to exude the pomposity of unfiltered thought
The last thing I want right now is to apologize for thighs intertwined
The last thing I want right now is to bellow in the token booth
The last thing I want right now is to strangle the mangling machine that scarred me
The last thing I want right now is to be knighted by the blind-eyed myths
The last thing I want right now is to kneel to the collective hope
The last thing I want right now is to take a number
The last thing I want right now is to break the tainted seeds of unneeded wheelbarrows
The last thing I want right now is to cast my bobber in the crippling miasma
The last thing I want right now is to drip down the sides of the lips of the lids
The last thing I want right now is to broil beneath the brow of the possessor of words
The last thing I want right now is to tame the goose while the noose hangs high
The last thing I want right now is to face the mane
The last thing I want right now is to hear the dreary words of a mountain trickle
The last thing I want right now is to thread the needless through the holes of space
The last thing I want right now is to dust the rusted wheels of the cyclotron
The last thing I want right now is to spin endlessly in the carousel of your gaze
The last thing I want right now is to attend the farmhand’s debutante ball
The last thing I want right now is to free myself from the mire
The last thing I want right now is to blame the Lusitania for my headaches
The last thing I want right now is to make change for my soul
The last thing I want right now is to dwindle the spires of the sycophant
The last thing I want right now is to bequeath the britches of a blood-soaked tyrant
The last thing I want right now is to lie silent beneath the marble
The last thing I want right now is to engage with the anemone
The last thing I want right now is to coddle the throttle with you on the brakes
The last thing I want right now is to draw the map of the inside
The last thing I want right now is to strike the serpent-staff against your temple
The last thing I want right now is to treat the uneaten portion as a formidable good
The last thing I want right now is to drain the pages of their wasted ink
The last thing I want right now is to allow the worst to occur on your watch
The last thing I want right now is to singularly worry about the impossible hopes
The last thing I want right now is to orphan the manatees of their sleepyhead desires
The last thing I want right now is to drown you in the frothy moats of mental instability
The last thing I want right now is to plan ahead for the tainted torment of talented spirals
The last thing I want right now is to gild the barn door with pamphlets of ample maturity
The last thing I want right now is to consider the widow in her morbid housecoat
The last thing I want right now is to lift the shiftless philanderer to the heights unknown
The last thing I want right now is to pull the arrow from your jugular
The last thing I want right now is to claim you from the dream I had
The last thing I want right now is to cling to any hand that offers to drag me
The last thing I want right now is to sustain any popular thoughts in those I contempt
The last thing I want right now is to have dreamt of the passionate fellowcraft
The last thing I want right now is to laugh at the troubling footnotes
The last thing I want right now is to drift into your eddy
The last thing I want right now is to strive to be anything
The last thing I want right now is to market the mouth of a meddling pedestrian
The last thing I want right now is to stroke the lambskin dinner plates in your cupboard
The last thing I want right now is to explain the feigned reasons we are here
The last thing I want right now is to rage against the pages of lost gospels
The last thing I want right now is to call off the talons and fangs
The last thing I want right now is to repeal an amendment to my cement mixer mind
The last thing I want right now is to cower below the square without my apron there
The last thing I want right now is to whisper the unknowable unspeakable name
The last thing I want right now is to violate the cryogenic stockades of pseudoscience
The last thing I want right now is to fill the jars with senseless acres of tapered logic
The last thing I want right now is to stretch my lips to grasp the enormity of your senses
The last thing I want right now is to drench myself in trench mouth streams
The last thing I want right now is to label the moments and stack them longwise
The last thing I want right now is to perambulate within the stated corral
The last thing I want right now is to arch into the position you designated
The last thing I want right now is to filter out the arbitrary aspirations of has-been nations
The last thing I want right now is to bleach the streams of stress that surround me
The last thing I want right now is to stagnate the seas that swirl within me
The last thing I want right now is to tangle the lines of the telephone wires above me
The last thing I want right now is to blanket the tankards of like-minded stowaways
The last thing I want right now is to monopolize the thighs of immaculate wives
The last thing I want right now is to lambaste the tasteless thoughtless thrashing test
The last thing I want right now is to grace the ozone with your hopelessness
The last thing I want right now is to pull it from the roots
The last thing I want right now is to disband the fragments of the fruitless fervor
The last thing I want right now is to announce the coming of the tambourine squadron
The last thing I want right now is to taste the carbide lightning rod of your blistering filth
The last thing I want right now is to want
The last thing I want right now is to not want



Copyright 2006 max jukes/brian edward hack. No quotation or reproduction of this material without express written permission of the author.

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