Experiments: One Page at a Time - 3


Janet thought that she would have gotten up by now.

She was still sitting on the ugly brown couch with her cell phone in her lap. Her tube-socked legs were crossed and propped on the ash-blonde coffee table. They were shaking slightly to an internal rhythm of Nirvana’s “Scentless Apprentice,” which was on a perpetual loop in her mind whenever she contemplated what to do with her life, or if she would ever get a job worth doing if she ever found out what she was good at in the first place.

“Chocolate,” she thought. "I like chocolate."

The dishes from yesterday were still in the sink. The remaining blotches of brown and black from the German chocolate cake she had served for dessert from Bing’s was now partially dried out and moderately wet in the two inches of water that had been poured on the top plates but not any of the others. Cleaning the dishes could have potentially been an excuse to show her overly nosy mother and herself that she was good at something besides the absolute uselessness she currently felt about another uneventful day searching Internet sites for a job making more than $12.16 an hour.

Phil had been with Janet since the first divorce was finalized. He hadn’t been a permanent fixture in the house, until recently when his roommates had banded together real-world-style to confront him about several lively parties and an improper use of the vegan-only-fridge. “WTF?” was the only response that Phil had offered to his roommates via text during the intervention. Then he grabbed some clothes and headed out. He didn’t even bother to pack the rest of his things. He called a moving service the next day and moved in with Janet.

It was now Tuesday. It had been six weeks since his self-administered banishment. He was half-dressed on the bed with the comforter pulled underneath him and the remote control cradled between both his hands as he watched the evening news.

“Stocks in Blockbuster have plummeted after executives announced a closing of all 300 retail stores later this month. Moving out of physical DVD sales, it is Blockbuster’s hope to bring its competitive edge to the market of video on demand..."

Phil had been in the bedroom during the whole conversation. Had he heard Janet’s gasps he might have gone out to see what had happened. He was not as insensitive a person as his vegan roommates had made him out to be.

"You've got some good qualities," Antonio had said flirtatiously.

"Yes, some," Gary agreed, nodding towards Phil's crotch. "But your love for Philly cheese steaks and Korean BBQ doesn’t give you free reign to pollute the refrigerator with the death of animals."

"That's true," Antonio said. "We agreed before you moved in that we would put meat products in a separate fridge. We didn't say we'd mix. That's not okay."

"We definitely didn't say mixing was okay," Gary said.

Gary and Antonio had given Phil an intervention and a lecture about animal products. Phil's response aside from the text was only slightly obscene. He didn't consider it insensitive.

"Kicking a guy out of an apartment for eating a cheese steak and throwing a party that's insensitive."

What do you call throwing tobacco spit on their cars?" Janet had asked.

Last week, Phil had saved the swill from his first experiment chewing tobacco for a neighborly gesture and poured out the contents of the blackish grit onto the front windshields of his ex-roommates’ cars.

"Do unto others," Phil said.

Janet had found Phil’s act to be childish. She had challenged him to go back and clean it up or move out after he told her about the whole affair, but she chickened out when Phil actually began to pack his bags.

"What are you doing?"


"Are you serious?"


"Just because I don't agree with you throwing spit on people's cars?"

"That's right."

Janet wanted to tell him about the phone call. She thought about how she would bring it up. She could write a note and bring it to him with breakfast. She could smack him in the face and scream at him. She could even let him threaten to leave again. Those were all possibilities. But somehow it was easier to envision herself doing house chores and tabulating the big life questions she had yet to accomplish because the ugly brown couch and talking to her mother had sucked her into a time warp of nothingness yet again.

Eileen Is Reading This Friday in NYC!

Eileen Myles and Douglas Martin at Poet's House, NYC
Location:Poet's House, River Terrace New York, 10282
Time:7:00PM Thursday, September 30th

Experiments: One Page at a Time - 2


     Samir looked down at his Blackberry. 10:31 p.m. His cousin and wife were supposed to meet at 10:00 p.m. They were officially beyond being fashionably late. He had warned Rohit that if he were late for his birthday, he would officially fire him from existence.
     “What does that mean?” Rohit asked.
     “It means be on time.”
     Samir enjoyed humor that was often times preposterous. He would join completely disparate elements together in adsurdist impromptu off-key torch songs, or better yet, respond to someone’s quizzical stare with his favorite catch phrase to disguise his humor’s ineffectual punch lines with a rather loud and knowing shout of “It’s cubism!”
     “On time for what?” Rohit asked.
     “My birthday, asshole.”
     “I have to pick up Lotti. Then we’ll be there.”
     Samir was now texting on his Blackberry. He had finished the “are” in “Where are you?” when Rohit and Lotti arrived behind him.
     “Haaappy Birthday, Saaamiir!” Rohit cooed in an overly sentimental way.
     “Fuck you.”
     “Samir!” Lotti said with a frown of dissatisfaction. “We got stuck in traffic for godasakes.”
     “You could have texted,” Samir said and held up his phone above his head.
     “I was driving,” Rohit said, and narrowed his eyes at the phone in his cousin’s hand. “I cant’ text and drive.”
     “Why can’t you–”
     “I told him not to,” Lotti said, and pulled her husband away from Rohit towards the front of the line at the club. They walked a few steps before one of the bouncers with a black Kangol hat, stopped them by putting his hand up. The bouncer put his other hand to his ear. He tilted his head down to whisper into a microphone in his collar. He looked back up at Samir and Lotti. He then motioned to the two of them to come forward.
     “ID,” the bouncer said.
     Samir and Lotti pulled out their ID’s. They were frisked by another bouncer and then lead into the club, where another bouncer took a ticket, and then another bouncer stood a few feet in the club and said, “Have a goodnight.” All the bouncers were dressed in black and over 220 pounds.
     “It’s like a military base,” Lotti joked.
     “Yeah,” Samir said, and looked at yet another bouncer within the club.

The Slipshod Swingers: Tootsie Pop (Rough)

I promised a version of "Tootsie Pop" by The Slipshod Swingers. Here is a rough version. Panauh made me re-record the guitar and vocals yesterday. He says we need to listen to it for a week and then come back to it. That means he's going to listen to it for a week. I know how I like things. I like having UFO sounds and kids screaming, but Panauh says things like "I can't sell this thing with morse code at the beginning. It's too cheesy." This is a case where you have a person with an absolutely different creative vision than yourself. In collaboration, sometimes it's better to concede than to start arguing. I am also aware that "selling this" is not the top priority on my to do list. Like Cush from JERRY MAGUIRE, "I just want to play [music]."

The Slipshod Swingers Back in Full Force!

I have started work on the new Slipshod Swingers album. The first song is being edited now. It's called "Tootsie Pop." I think it sounds okay so far. It might get better with age.

I will put up a version tomorrow.

Working on this album has been okay so far. Panauh is producing. I just write the songs and he tells me to keep playing or stop or try it again or says things like, "Yo! That was pitchy!" and that makes me feel like I'm on American Idol, so I'm cool with that.

This coming Sunday I'm supposed to do something with this song I wrote a couple months ago. Panauh said he liked only one portion of the song and I'm supposed to write a song with only that portion. I liked the whole thing, but you can't argue with Panauh. He's too cute.

The song we work on next week is called "Shanghai Cowboy." Here is the rough draft. Panauh likes from 2:33 onwards.

Experiments: One Page at a Time - 1


Some people can write without thinking about it. Other people need to stare a long time at a blank canvas. I have to make it a performance. I imagine a stage. My words appear on a screen.

I can see imaginary friends in the audience I talked to when I envisioned myself as a winter fly dead in a cupboard of a Jack Kerouac haiku. Old chums with tacky names like Gupta, Sven, and Roger. That is one possibility.

If science fiction that dealt with robots and time machines was doing better these days, I would probably invite a man named Gupven (photosynthesis) who had a robotic brain to come and discuss the finer points of quarks and other pseudo scientific topics without any firm basis in theoretical physics because I have no background in science and I’m too lazy to find out the inner workings of Stephen or Gupven or whatever’s digital mainframe.

Without getting too meta on the data, or dodo on the DADA, or dido on the doo-doo, let me say that while I stood on this stage of the mind, I motioned to a young maiden who compelled me to speak to her from a shared perception of the world as a constant distribution scale dictating how much any variable or human being might desire or want me and how my life depended on this approval or attention because of my insecurity and jaded hipster or post Generation X lifestyle.

The devastating truth of the matter is that my conversation with this woman I often envisioned as being on a stage in my mind was not actually a figment of my imagination, but a real live American housewife of 36-7 years old with a love for Lindsay Lohan, and a slight distrust in me as a narrator, since I would be telling our story – and notice I say our – when, in fact, I am not the narrator of the story, but a character who is speaking through the narrator in a very confusing manner.

To bring this horrendous opening to a close and offer the first segue into a reality readers can accept, let me offer a few specific details to help ground us in the X, Y, and Z of our American housewife and the main character of our story.

My name is Glen. I am a script doctor for Hollywood movies. I don’t live in the past or the present. That means it could be the future by now, but how am I supposed to know when you’re reading this, or if you’re in some movie theater, and some jack-off hack of a writer has decided to use voice over done by some droning asshole with a voice like Christian Slater, and you’ve got me getting to the punch-line and I say something stupid like “Greeting and salutations” in that bad cop movie he did. Jesus, that was a bad movie. Anyway, I’m Glen. This isn’t some crazy story or anything. It’s just some bullshit that happened when I got my heart broken by an American housewife. It’s reality, you know? Every once in a while I’ll try and make things more interesting and get you all confused with some fancy footwork about how I’m not me and you’re not you and blah, blah, blah, and who is Glen, and who is Veronica really, and we’ll all feel a little bit smarter or more confused based on how smart or confused we already are. So, Veronica...

Iranian President Ahmadinejad Tries to Manipulate Press and Elicit Negative Reactions for Political Power in an Iran That Was Over Him Yesterday

I am really happy with the stupidity of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If he continues this hard line approach, and the U.S. and other countries continue to bring sanctions against Iran, the country's government will crumble internally.

Will President Obama be pressured to respond angrily to Ahmadinejad's rhetoric, and therefore make the Iranian President a martyr, or will he be smart and continue to pressure the country with kindness, justice, and sanctions?

The Iranian government is due for a huge unravelling in these next few months. It will either be catalyzed by more sanctions and lead to the removal of Ahmadinejad, or the United States will have to take a more extreme approach and encourage other countries to boycott Iran. The latter is more likely before the country implodes.

Tough negotiation on the world stage! I hope President Obama continues to make wise choices on how to handle this delicate situation and it does not lead to war.

Film Festivals Here We Come!

We just finished a 24-hour session - well, more like three-week marathon and a 24-hour session - to get our still work-in-progress film of THE HUMAN WAR passable for a Sundance and Slamdance submission.

Tom and I were chatting on SKYPE and iChat until about 4 a.m. my time. I am not sure what happened after that. I remember putting together a rough press kit and dragging the Adobe Illustrator file to an e-mail. The rest is a bit of a mystery.

I am now here on my living room floor. It is 6:41 a.m.. I feel a sense of elation. I am excited to see what will come of the final edits (including a new ending!) in the coming month as we prepare to go to color correction and an audio mix - the final stages for a feature film.

At this point, I would like to give a special shout out to Gabriel Cassia, our Editor, who sat with me for 11 hours straight yesterday, and did the same a day before with Tom. We truly appreciate your hard work, willingness to sing songs with your three-word Persian vocabulary (in an Italian accent), and bring such a strong ending ("Goodbye Mickey Mouse!") and moody pacing to a film that would only come from such a unique and talented human being.

I would also like to thank Daniel Brothers, our Post Production Supervisor, who not only helped edit when we had no editor, and then helped again while Gabriel was working Fashion Week, but also for all the hard work downloading the huge files, setting up an FTP site and all the other 1,001 roles besides his own during the pre-production, production, and post-production of this film. (Tom only told me how fantastic you were before I met you two years ago. Now as our work on this first feature is coming to a close, I can truly say I am glad to see the brilliance Tom spoke of, and bear witness as you embark on your first feature.) Thank you for your hard work, generosity, and creative spirit.

Another expression of gratitude goes out to Sonny Mishra, our Composer, who was willing to put up with Tom and I as we jumped back and forth between different song choices. You were able to point us towards a possibility, and guide us gently. That gift, along with all the amazing material you have given this film, has made working with you a true joy. Thank you for the encouragement, patience, and hard work. We look forward to the sonic palette you will create on the next film.

It is a little early for Tom and I to thank everyone in the world. We still have a couple months to go before we're officially done. In two months time, we anticipate a unique film that will reflect the wit, terror, melancholy, and bewilderment at play on the day of March 20, 2003 when the Iraq War was declared and Noah Cicero's fantastic novella began. We are under no illusions about the competitive nature of the film festival circuit, and we understand that chances our slim to major festivals, but we are both happy to have had this opportunity to work with so many talented people, succeed and fail at bringing our visions forward, and watch as our ideas become reality.

Now I will try and sleep a bit. Who knows? I might just watch the 20th version of our movie

Comic Movies

I have been trying to come up with a new way to view literature, film, and comics. I just need to learn how to insert videos into something like this. I think that would be the new way books could possibly proceed.

Jim Goar's Seoul Bus Poems

I just got a copy of Jim Goar's Seoul Bus Poems. I feel like I have friends close to me with these words in my mouth and under my eyes.

Still Editing!

We are still editing the movie for Sundance. We are at it everyday.

After next week, I'll probably have to get another job. I also need to start raising money for SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL, the movie. I guess I need to write the adaptation first.

Sogee is in school.

I got hemmoroids. Supposedly it happens from sitting too much. I have been sitting a lot. Now I am trying to battle it with leafy vegetables and lots of water and fiber. I feel almost a 1,000 years old, but not quite.

Aside from anal pain, I feel fine. I am reading Charles Yu's books. I'll start interviewing him next week. I think that'll be fun. He's an amazing writer with a lot of humor in his work. It reminds me of the past and the future simultaneously.

What else?

Nothing. I am alive. I would put pictures of my trip to NYC and hanging out with people, but I didn't take a single picture. I thought about it, but then I was like, "What's the point?"

I think I need a camera that excites me a little more than the point and click digital thing I have. You don't really have that many options.

I did get a digital tablet though. I thought I could do comics or drawings on it. It's really hard to use. I will draw a comic now though. I will post it with this message. It'll probably suck though. Drawing on paper and a tablet are two different things.

Loren Goodman's Top 500 Songs: 120-130

121. The Archies - "Sugar, Sugar"










Let's Not Do That!

"Let's not do that," she says to me and ruffles my hair.

I look up at her. I feel overwhelmed.

"Okay," I say.

It's two weeks to the Sundance deadline. I hope we can make it.