A Collection of Spectacles

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Dad was an actor once. He introduced me to his friends from those days a few years back. When “Doc,” as he is called, speaks to you, he doesn’t address you by your real name. Everyone is either “Johnny” or “Artie.” The man was uncomfortably honest about his life. I whispered when I spoke to him so that my parents wouldn’t hear, and I shared my likes under my breath. “I like De Sade and I like Nine Inch Nails and I know about Bob Flanagan,” even though I was thirteen and probably shouldn’t have. He worked in the Adult Film Industry. He told me. I was thirteen. At the time, my favorite movie was Secretary, a Maggie Gyllenhaal film where a girl develops a dysfunctional masochistic relationship with her boss, played by James Spader. Maybe, I was too curious for my own good and too knowledgeable about perverse subjects, and that’s why I allowed people to tell me such inappropriate things. Doc was only serious when he felt the need to remind me of his precautionary warning, “Don’t end up like me, kid.” Because I begged him to, he sent me a huge hundred page packet of writing. I was thirteen and wrote like an angst-ridden fifteen year-old. ABAB rhyme schemes and passes at death littered my pieces. I read the packet in one day while sprawled out on my carpet. After that, I felt inadequate. I realized how sophomoric everything I had was in comparison. So, I let years roll by and pass, until I felt I could send him something worthy of reading that wouldn’t waste his time. We keep in touch occasionally, sending writing back and forth. He’s never said he likes or dislikes my pieces, only, “I’m very gullible, I believe everything and take every word literally!” That, “Even abstract creative prose and poetry can serve as a journal, in your own personal code.” The most unique critique I’ve received. 

His Poem (for some reason this one’s my favorite):

“suture the dividends to the surface of organic nylon

to further impose the wrath of

annointed appointed deities

included in no-holds sparred de-ontological combat orgies

prescribed by the medicine man’s war drum

of prefabricated excuses

of predetrimined failure to consieve and incept

the extinct forgotten race of long-lost die-hards

who sacrifice all life so that 

God 

may breathe underwater”

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