Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This Lasting Image

I am not as much as you.
I am not what you need me to be.
Make a face; you don't approve.
You know it.
I know it.
That's why I have legs.
That's why I have muscle.
That's why I go the extra mile.
I do it all for you.
I do it all for you.
For you.
Make some stupid remark.
I may kill you.
But this is my smile.
They took it from me.
This is my smile.
Somebody made me laugh
before the cuffs came off.
I snubbed out some motherfucker's life.
You found out.
We had a laugh.
You took a picture.
You applied the rules.
No one told me
or I forgot.
This is it.
I had this laugh.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Envision Puppetmasters

Mik Miano with Lindy's puppet
What else is there to say?
I'm lucky enough to hang out with a Texas sculptor who talks like a pirate when he wants to talk like a pirate.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the one and only Mik Miano is in town!
Some of you have seen the bumper on the back of my '81 Toyota wagon. That is the work of Mik and his son, Zack (Zach?).
Mik is visiting from Houston and we went down to see Fred Friction administer longnecks from behind his altar at the newly reopened chapel named Fred's Six Feet Under, which is a cozy basement grotto underneath Iron Barley down near the corner of Virginia and Bates...and then we went to Mangia Italiano and the City Diner, of course.
That's what happens quite a lot when we're haunting the streets of St. Louis together: Irish Whiskey and another beer.
"Yes indeed, I think I will!" Mik said.
This image is worth a thousand slurred words, I do believe. Perched on Mik's lap oh so perilously is the puppet that I am sitting until Lindy comes back someday to reclaim it. I suspect that the puppet will pop up in many other pictures.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


More energetic and delirious than I’d been in awhile, a customer at the bar upped the giddy with silly shit spurting forth with innocent excitement about the world of the new.
“I’m not kidding, Violet,” he said to the bartendress.
“I don’t care what it is, but I like to try anything I haven’t had before.”
“That was good!” he said of a Huber lager. “What else you got!”
She poured him a Schlafly American Pale Ale and he piped up again.
Heads turned.
We were sipping coffee on a day that hadn’t quite yet kick-started itself.
I barely got some lunch in me and was starting to long for the smoke I had left in my flat.
The coffee bent nothingness into something but nothing and I felt conscious for the first time since the whiskey and chronic buzz I had put on a couple nights ago, before cold and dark days of reading and sleeping.
“I discovered Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat,” the wackado continued, loud enough for all in the dining room to hear.
“Man, I had salad and nine pieces of pizza. And then! I had some cottage cheese and some pudding!”
The cat next to me was now crying into his sleeve, not able to laugh out loud.
“Then! My buddy called and wanted me to hang some dry wall with him. Aaaahhh no, I’m immobilized!”
The shit satellite radio poured more 80s schlock into the mix. I knew I couldn’t last long thinking about all the hopeless love I had spent while listening to this dreck but somehow it felt good, sparked by the coffee and an increasing need for inhalation.
“You show me an all-you-can-eat graze bar and I’m there!” he cackled now. “I wish they had a place that had it all. I’d munch cheeseburgers, souvlaki and kani maki.
This little dude must have a tapeworm, I thought…and how does he know about sushi? He didn’t look the type: a buzz cut, weathered face and work-a-day demeanor. But there was something crazy and angelic about him. He took his days with him, I guess. I don’t know. I remember thinking that NOW was enough for him and he was definitely enough for all of us. He had us by the ovaries and gonads.
He let us dive down and sink into our own comments about Morrissey and the shit Brit DJ. Let us look out the windows onto the banking public on Grand Boulevard. Let us sip and wonder “what next?” And then, “I started drinking when I was five”.
Skulls on necks spun, they did.
“I used to sit on my Granddaddy’s lap and drink beer, Violet.”
He had us on the hook again and was reeling us back in, but I was glad that I was not him, yet jealous and envious, somehow.
“He used to give me whiskey, too! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!”

Violet kept herself together somehow. The rest of us were either stunned or crumbling to pieces, but she was clocked in and simply grinning a little.
“Do you like that APA? That’s what I drink,” she said.
I liked her composure, but I wanted more.
“Ah, Man! This is fucking great! What is this????!!”
Violet pointed at the APA tap handle.
“It’s kind of fruity!!” he squeaked as the boy to my left lost it, expelling mucous across his plate of chicken wings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sometimes I Write Weird Shit on Cocktail Napkins...

...and it becomes something else. Sometimes it stays just as it is, word-wise. Here is something I wrote on the back of a drink ticket at work, for instance:

*A Fine How-Do-You-Do

Why don’t you pull

A sumac branch out of

Your innuendo;

Sit on your own face;

And I’ll fuck your god in

The heart

With a pear and pepper

Chutney gun.

Brett Lars Underwood, 2007

The funny part was when I handed it to a customer!

Or this piece of something that I wrote at the final bar of the night one night

*Balled Numb

You know what’s it like

At 3 a.m.

My bones numb from your


The candle has set the town



The bartenders are tired

And you are scared out

Of your mind

Can’t comprehend the


Or even what just happened


So you cry yourself

To sleep

Meanwhile, I laugh in

My dreams

But why can’t you get it?

Brett Lars Underwood, 2008

But while I'm at it, I'll post one that I wrote straight into this machine:

Why I Can’t Run a Thousand Miles per Hour

Funny how I dreamt of tearing

my face from Pompei stone

last year as the gout

continued its assault on my


a letter opener removed a kidney

from Z

or was it S?

Maybe Q?

In my sleep.

Who can tell when there is this volcano

From your mouth

As my father lost the ability to speak

Sincerely knowing the abacus was losing track

and fields of daffodils were silk rapture

up a crazed cunt at the Dollar Store,

and aliens administered your first pap smear

in years

or some shit.

I’m reaching for a cork

For you to put in it.

No worries, though.

I’m not going to act on my thoughts.

I'll have to retrace my Pepto dismal diary

Lick the mud off your corns and hope

for better Casey Stengelese

burps from your Mom's


Does that fit in here?

If it does, I don’t know why.

The rookie can't bunt

to save his life

and they call


what's done in


We aimless gophers

crippled by

the time and magazine news

that thought we knew better.


Shave with no mirrors

I'll open the shades

and drink what's in the fridge.

The rest of you can do without me


Tomorrow, you'd better

have your boots on.

I’m gonna run circles around

Your skinny little asses and

Inebriate the meek

And stack cheese like mice architects.

...and tell me this:

who fucked Mussolini's mom when she

was pregnant with 'im?

Poking him in his fontanel and

then the trains ran on time

with fascism.

Those were the days, huh Bub?

Who shot the shot?

I did!

winning the Harly Race wars

scars on all my victims to be.

I was lauded afterwards for

Awarding slaves to all the


And advancing Prince to his

Upper POP status

…and Glockenspiels were invented

amidst the ensuing orgy!!!

But "Who'll" is fun to say too, Seuss.

Like "Who'll we knuckle up tomorrow, Cassius?"

And I free them all with an afternoon


Oh never mind!!!

Just lather up your limp dicksky

With leather gloves covered in whiskey

and pour another for dear ol' Studs.

If you're working,

dream of suicide.


I'm about to pop open another.

and sing a song about sandwiches.

...or something about dropping bowling balls

from copters on cloverleafs at

rush hour.

That's a clit-tickler in me funny bone.

Jesus, get your shit together, Kids!

It’s the rapture that’sa comin’.

And if you know what that is

You’re an imbecile.

Still, all is forgiven.

Its that kind of day

Though I limp this way.

Brett Lars Underwood, 2007