More of Them

oh my gosh i'm working i'm working 
it feels so good to finally be able to procrastinate in a merited manner
i'm joking but only as much as you'll find it amusing

Dig this: I'm doing pseudonymous writing for MTV as their Nerd Rock Correspondent. Thrilled am I. It's crazy. My name is 'Benjamin Daniels'; 'Daniel' is my middle name, and nobody saw fit to consider prior to application of said nom de plume that there just might be an erstwhile MTV personality named "Benjamin Daniels"and there is! Life, I am frequently assured, is full of coincidental matter.

(Which reminds me—isn't coincidence in the temporal sense of the beholder? On past occasions of smoking cigarettes outdoors, before returning indoors, I would ask my companions, "Shall we coincide?")

Okay. I'm also editing manuscripts for a start-up publishing company. Aaaaaaaaand I'm still doing the freelance (a modest craze), which sort-of ensures that I am unlikely to ever feel stable. I was refused for disability, and they've threatened to take away my Medicaid (the total annual cost of my medicines exceeds $100,000 USD) and food supplement. But I haven't even been paid! And my tax return, due on Friday, is due also to be eaten, most thoughtlessly, by the watersewerelectricphoneinternetmortgagecomputer entities (I refuse to see them as being people) just as soon as it arrives. I am told that solvency is overrated, but it's been years since I've accepted that as a valid opinion.

The rain fell today, onto the snow, creating a town-sized puddle in which every pedestrian (however momentary the stint of their schlepping) was submerged well past their ankles. I call it "Soup of the Day." And now it's going to be March, and I would love a bona fide reason to be cheerful. I shouldn't say that, because I LOVE my family, but I'm hard-pressed to pretend that this current situation's anything other than absolute crap.

But I have to put some more old poems on here. I still don't have most of them, on account of my computer being in the shop, but that matters less than a whole lot else.

I'll start with a love poem. It's from 1998. I had been stunned into aliveness. The title came 5 years later, on the heels of torment that had been unfathomable.

5 years in every direction

i love you and you love yourself in
beams of freckled fringency, with
waves of subtle stringency, with
flat, distinctive englishness, your
landscapes pocked with canvas bare in
summer seas of stars and blood, a
lilted, spacious leavening – these
fruits with roots in heaven bring what’s
told in its unfolding.

(The font just changed, but that's because I've got a recalcitrant touchscreen.)
This next poem is old as shit, which means (in this case) that it's from 1995, when I was seventeen. I don't even think that I was sad when I wrote it, but there you are, and here we go:

Mean Either

fearing not sleep but a missed opportunity
free of diseases but free of immunity
scared and ensnared by a spurious unity
pleading despair to a jury of ghosts

scattered in dollops the reasons for everything
baked underwater i wait for the phone to ring
time that elapsed when i thought myself practicing
rose-tinted glasses proposing a toast

Now another, just 'cause it's a just cause. This is a poem about Molly, whom I adore. This is also old, but not that old (2003). When I met Molly, everything became very exciting very fast. It remains so, and all of my irascibility, so evident in this post, dissipates when I imagine her sleeping and the sound of her voice.

capital letters

it was helpful for me to remind my
self when starting to write this that it
doesn’t have to be new because well
everything was always here in its way
(rusted-out and lethal fire escapes/droppings
on windowsills and awnings/stubblefaced
dirtyshirt laundrysoon me/sink full of
dishes rinsed and unwashed/dying pen and
dead lighter/words and words used and used
/sealed bottle of vitamins /eight o'clock twilight
/hours-old coffee to go/obscenely mild june
/cars parked over crushed containers/people 
attired in various oblivions/sneezes and the 
odd blessing/lilac and refuse and swears in 
the wind/fingernails bitten beyond the quick
/floors and unpacked-box tabletops)
but what no one would ever know to
look is that every moment that i am
alive is precious beyond prediction
and dizzy with its fullness of you

Thus refined (and in much-better mood), I'll attach a Deep Freeze Mice song onto this post. It's the opening track of their 4th record, The Gates of Lunch
"Red Light for the Greens"


Poems (the first of several installments)

One at a time, I'm posting these. Then I'll archive them into a separate area.
this is from 2003.

if you’re looking

check yourself first if
you’re looking for sense
in the city today, always
down the wrong avenue
or via some flawful ex-
press stratagem. where
is it or has it gone?

it’s moping and bored on a
windowsill, potentially.

it’s in every properly running
fridge and faucet, rumored
and pending substantiation.

it’s somewhere spayed
and then neutered and
suited up fancy, it
might be suggested.

it’s in a yesterday
cup of residue, cold and
colder just the same,
dreaming of spring,
somebody is certain.

it may or might be where
inert emotion’s settled
with the silt and the spit in a
disuseful subway station,
scary and sustaining
the roaches and the rats.

is it in a fleeting equity
that kisses each
creature with a last
heavy blink until
each tomorrow? it’s
possible. nothing is
not. nothing suffers
only to be seen so doing.



See, I didn't even realize yesterday that I'd posted this exceptional program (programme, for you Anglotypes) as a separate blog entryI thought that it was part of "Watch and Observe." So, that should tell you something, but likely doesn't.

Nonetheless, when I awakened at 1:30 in the morning, haunted by heartbreak, I began to reflect upon everything in my life that I've done incorrectly. And this post came to mind. Its original title was "Molly F, filmed this masterpiece," but I'd intended that as a descriptive sentence. Then I saw that I'd already posted a link in "Watch and Observe," and I realized that I had created a miniature golf course from a molehill. I still have very little idea of how blogging works, but that's more than I can say for before now.

Watch and Observe

I have allowed my slothful typing skills to deter my posting to this blog. Also, the fact that my computer is captive to a nearby computer-repair store. But, it is no longer a single shit that I give about any of that.  

How does a person curry favor with the cosmos? I'm speaking in terms of climate. This winter, a brutal and surreal creature, has fragmented us, kinda. We're still very much ourselves and everything, but that's just such an unsettled milieu. In order to like winter, I think that we'd have to sacrifice all of the parts of ourselves that are unique and beautiful at the altar of some allegorical Voldemort. Our disdain for cold just means that we should fucking move. (It's not as if anyone would issue sincere protestation.) I tire of being jubilant when the weather doesn't punish me. I prefer nice things and nice people, and I really couldn't care less about what that makes me.

Sakes alive, have I ever digressed! The true identity of this posting is positive indeed, and I will prove it.

I HAVE WORK! Yes! Writing and editing and omg! From home!

WE HAVE OIL! It's mindblowing and miraculous. Molly and I have resolved already not to repeat this humiliating hand-to-mouth next year, by way of situating ourselves in a considerably milder place.

DESMOND AND IVOR ARE AWESOME!  Caught on tape, for all to enjoy, is their cooking program. It's posted on here somewheres via that link. As my beyond-awesome mother says, "Watch and observe."


Alright Already

excuses reasons
excuse this reasoned excuse

Sorry about that hiatus. I didn't mean to do that.

Okay, well—we live in a town called Brunswick, Maine. Everybody must know this by now. We've been in Maine for 5.3 lonely years, and we'd like to change all of that soon. As we shovel from yesterday's wintry deposit, we're preparing for tonight's installment. I've grown somewhat bitter about all, albeit in a wholesome and jesty way (e.g, people that like it here are referred to now as Snow Humpers.)

How did we get here? Why, maybe? Well, we really didn't see ourselves as having anywhere else to go, and I'll write more about that disastrous chapter someday soon.

We made a decision in August of 2008 to purchase a home, just before everything in the area collapsed economically. I had left my stable position at a Crisis-Stabilization Unit for other work (which appeared at that time to be both lucrative and abundantly forthcoming). Most important was that the house was smack in the middle of a village. A flaaaaaat village. With all amenities in near-obnoxious proximity. This would enable us to perform various errands without suffering beholden to the vagaries of vehicles, which was (and remains) truly amazing (Molly has never been [and doesn't want to be] licensed to drive; I have all of those health problems that, legally speaking, should preclude my driving [but really, any moron could be like
F P. 
T O Z. 
L P E D." 
when given a vision test]). I do declare. 
At any rate, here's our house (even though it looks like a lengthy link):

Due to the continual good graces of loved ones, we have managed to eke something approaching survival out of the swirling completeness of atrophy entropy dystrophy that's about as much a part of our dayafterday as Nitrogen is of air. We're poor, and have largely been just hanging on, and that is no secret. Corners are cut (if not ignored) wherever possible, and I pray that my continued diligence in finding viable work will lead to more-promising pastures (this has already begun to happen, but I'll probably address that later). Every expense for us has been a source of discomfort. Abysmal and/or dismal, truly—I could very easily go on and on about how this doesn't feel like actual life and what's the point anyhow, but I'd much rather not do that, especially when there are such good stories to share, and especially when impecunity dovetails so neatly into the first of them:

Because of our propitious in-town location, I've seen fit to forgo the $1-per-bag weekly trash service pickup, discarding our refuse instead in nearby municipal and/or commercial facilities. I justify the questionable ethics by stating indignantly that it's a quality-of-life issue for all involved. (Actually, it's just poverty.) This was a veritable boon for some time (years, actually), saving us untold dozens of dollars that we could splurge flagrantly on utilities. To wit, it's a rather popular strategy, judging by the mongrel assortment of bags and items in said dumpster. (To everyone's credit, cardboard is separated from other waste and deposited into a different bin.)

Then, two Sundays ago, a police car pulled into our driveway for unknown reasons. My first thought was that it regarded the family's vehicle. I have a car, purchased quite inexpensively from a wonderful and generous friend whom we've yet to pay (it's been over a year, but we're awaiting our tax returns), whose registration (not in my name) is 5-months expired (and whose certificate met a Desmond-oriented demise at some point early last year), and whose inspection lapsed last spring. (At least I have insurance.) So, I thought that I would justly be taken away and flogged or what have you. But this occasion was altogether different.

COP: Benjamin... Gallagher?

ME: Gallaher, yes. That's me.

COP: This is 17 Everett Street?

ME: Yes it is.

COP: And Molly FitzGerald—where is she?

ME: Oh, she's with our baby at the moment; can I help you?

COP (produces crumpled-up household bills): Well, Rite Aid wants you to have these back. Have you been dumping your trash into Rite Aid's dumpster?

ME: Only sometimes. I like to spice it up a bit. Being right downtown, I figured that it was all okay. Nowhere is it posted that that dumpster is Rite-Aid property!

COP: Sir, that's considered to be Theft of Services, and it's a crime.

ME: Really? Even trash that we create when we're walking around? Or diaper trash?

COP: Uh, you'd better use your own trash can. Just don't do this anymore.

I deserved this. Well, I actually deserved far worse. Anyhow, my family has not permitted me to forget this unglamorous incident (although, to be fair, it is pretty recent). In quieter moments (which are few), I have sometimes mused about which is more disturbing—the fact that they searched through small bags of post-toddler waste to find "the culprit," or the fact that I was sufficiently thoughtless to discard my bills thus.

None of this changes that it's haunted me since. I am asked to declare the presence of trash (to Molly) before walking anywhere. And Desmond, who's variously astounding, created a painting, which is not news. The painting, though, is a rendering of the dumpster behind Rite Aid:

Note the yellow toward the bottom of the painting. Evidently, it is text. That text serves to notify passersby: 

"Pops is not allowed to put diapers and trash into the Rite Aid trashcans."


Waxing Intractable

2/8/2001, 10:48 AM

Hi. I'm on Molly's computer (the one with the strange keynoard problems).

There's a lot that will happen when everything becomes whatever it will be that enables me to support the claims made at the beginning of this very sentence (remember that?).

This will be a brief post.

In mundane news, I am still trying to ken how Blogger works. It seems to be somewhat limited. For one thing, I'd like to have the posts be listed in chronological (rather than reverse-chronological) order--anyone?

For now, I will classify my whole please post comments as fodder for discussion attempt as a failed experiment. Since I've been thinking such a lot about failure these days, I have decided here to post an old poem, from 2002.

a failed haiku

at ten nineteen in the morning this morning; in the face and/or faces of foolishness; in the spirits of our captors and their unintended kindnesses; for the sake of both argument and concord; suspended by our own cables under the thumb of this as-blisterful-as-it’s-infinite ether – i with you am alive and living and we together never have known less

at this exact second that’s now-ago over by, i speak in present tense as if to report from some-or-other scene, but i lie without trying, for the body of time that anything takes in its transit makes it like everything sudden and untouchable i forget why

solitary wanting never roots right and even though it’s written plainly all over our aging bodies it’s never sufficient to cripple a system that banks on there being a next moment and a lot of anothers, all of whom employ different techniques (many of which are tediously mirrored in printed literature) in order to say the same thing: “a new past has arrived and more is forthcoming – try not to think too much about it”

so there

and in that torsion that rending that rapture that rupture that turvy and swerve and inverting, we behave accordingly. we fall in love with someone/something/someone’s things (and it is only a story a portrait in reverse forever and irrevocably partial a mosaic both gray with doubting and radiant with serenity) for what

i could combine into one sentence all of that which everybody knows but doesn’t say and let its broadcast lull me into wherever it is that i am, or combine into one unfairly abbreviated dream all of that which i say without knowing, but a memory’s present is only and ever an irrelevant elegy


Declining (in order) to Explain

2/5/2011, 4:25 PM


February says that. It awakens me daily.

Mother Nature has undertaken a convincing portrayal of a redneck at a sports bar after his team loses and he discovers that an anonymous party has done something damaging to his truck.

I refer to myself unreservedly as "a fairweather friend." I'm very sad that I live in such a cold place. Isn't there some kind of natural law that at least suggests a need for the relationship between organism and environment to be free of adversarial attrition? As we await a winter deposit of all-too-typically colossal magnitude, it brings me dismay that people have evolved at all. I am sadder still that tenets of our evolution as a species essentially sanction delusion. People should just... I don't know. Only one force can abet my navigating this mock-polar grumpiness with anything approaching success. Whatever Man.

I'm sorry that I haven't been blogging, but I haven't been able to pony up the $255 to retrieve my computer. My apologies. I hope that everybody is well. Love, Benb xoxoxoxoxoxo


hooray for readers!

2/1/2011, 12:26 AM

THE PRETEXT: Does anybody have any old blog posts from "good ideas on paper"? I deleted a ton of them by mistake. You could ask why or how this happened, but you'd get the same unsatisfying answer that I've already gotten.

I refer you now to "Comments." Love, Benb xoinfinity