Friday, October 31, 2008

Witch Finds Enlightenment

I hope everyone has a happy lolloween & is able to avoid the dangers of weird-tasting alcoholic drinks & diabetes this weekend. Self Help Radio exists as a public service to enhance & support your Halloween experience by having two shows available for lovers of both witchcraft & zombiecraft. Both are available at Please to enjoy.

Disclaimer: Self Help Radio does not worship Satan. Satan is, however, a fan of Self Help Radio.

Speaking of suffering, this week's Self Help Radio will help you find Enlightenment. Not The Enlightenment, although that would be a cool idea for a show. No, this week's show feature songs & talk about finding Enlightenment. Drugs are, as always, optional. Visit in the afternoon tomorrow to listen. Afterwards, we'll hang in nirvana.

Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Three

This is a parody of T S Eliot's "The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock" that I wrote in 1997 for a young lady (her name was in the title, but I've renamed it with something other than that, so it won't reflect on her) who, it turns out, hadn't read the original. It did not make her fall in love with me. We had an argument a couple of months later & never spoke again.

The crappy Italian at the beginning was done with something like Babelfish & I have no idea what I meant it to mean. Just nonsense phrases like "My dog is named Sparky" or something.



The Love Song Of L. Betty Butter

Che cosa vuole con me?
Capelli rosso mi spaventa.
Mi piacerebbe fare il bagno regolarmente.
Qualcuno ha preso il mio dolciumi.
Potrebbe essere il mio cane Sparky.
Per favore lasci io solo.


Let me go then, myself & I,
When the evening is sticking against the sky
Like butter & jelly on a cold piece of toast;
Let me go, through certain sodium-lamp-lit streets,
I'm wearing cleats,
Past restless guys with "will work for food" signs
& nothing but dirty thoughts on their minds;
Streets that annoy me like a leering clerk
Soon to be out-of-work
Who think they're asking the obvious question...
Look, don't ask me, 'What is it?'
Let me go & make my visit.

Into the room the toyboys come & go
Talking of Michael Jackson-o

The yellow smog that coats & soothes my window panes,
Yellow cigarette smoke that gets its jollies on my window panes,
Licked its tongue up against my shower curtain,
Gargled the water that ran down my drain,
Let fall upon its back dust from my ceiling fan,
Ran out the open door, tripped into a clumsy leap,
& seeing that it was a warmish January night,
Lay outside my bedroom door & fell asleep.

For that yellow smog that shuffles down the street
Rubbing my back like an irritating boyfriend;
I have no time, I have no time
To wash my face to face the unwashed faces that I meet;
I have no time to murder or create,
No time for all the works & days of hands
That lift & drop their drinks upon my plate;
No time for me, no time for me,
No time for these exasperating repetitions
Or these ridiculous rhymes & revisions,
Before a city bus nearly runs over me.

In the room the frat boys come & go
Talking of Dennis Rodman-o.

& indeed I have no fucking time
To wonder, 'Do I care?' & 'Do I really care?'
No time to turn back & walk up the stairs,
With a rip in my brand new jeans there -
(Someone'll say: 'I see London, I see France...')
My ratty coat, some of this morning's breakfast still on my pants,
My scarf bold & ugly, my school bag full of ants --
(Someone'll say: 'You look stupid when you dance.')
Do I care
About the universe?
I waste a minute (I have no goddamned time)
With decisions & revisions that I will never have time to reverse.

For, let's face it, I've known them all along -
Known the scumbags, dragworms, pretty boys, might-have-beens,
I have measured out my life with skanky men;
I know the voices aching with a lusty croak
Beneath the music of a noisy bar.
So how should I presume?

& I've known their eyes, known them all along --
The shady redness, the dorky color contacts,
& when I get those color contacts out,
When I have accidentally sat on them & crushed them,
& he's weeping like a girl on my bed,
Then how should I begin
To get that crybaby butthead out of my house?
& how should I presume?

& I've known the arms already, known them all along --
Arms tattooed with some other chick's name
(But in the lamplight, misspelled by a nearby flame!)
Is it his underarm smell
That makes me feel like hell?
Arms that grope under my shirt, & into my pants.
& should I then presume?
Or maybe call the cops?

* * * * *

Shall I say, I have stumbled at dusk on lamplit streets
& winced at the lame & tedious come-ons
Of lonely men in tee shirts, leaning out of car windows?

I wish I had a pair of ragged claws
To run across their smirking faces.

* * * * *

& the afternoon, the evening, I get nothing done!
I dream of long fingers,
Sleepy...tired...desire lingers,
I stretch out on the floor, no one beside me.
Should I, after kicking a jerk in his family treasure,
Allow myself a guilty moment of self-pleasure?
But though I have tried & tried, until I wept,
Though I have seen an ex-boyfriend's polaroids of me on the Internet,
I'm no porno babe -- I know what's the matter;
I have seen the options that come in my direction,
I've seen the eternal Footman watch me dress with an erection,
& in short, I was pissed off.

Let's face it, it's not worth it, after all,
After the burgers, dutch treat, & malt liquor,
Among his bar-buddies & their girlfriends all a-snicker,
It just wasn't worth while,
To have faked my friendliness & my smile,
To have gotten so obnoxiously smashed
& began smashing all their empty faces,
Saying, 'I am Jesus, come back like I said,
Come back to show you all, I will show you all' -
If one guy, puking on the pillow by his head,
Should say; 'That chick's not funny at all.
She's not funny at all.'

& let's face it, it wasn't worth while, after all,
Not a bit worth while after all,
After the sunsets & magazines & the city working on the street,
After the phone calls, after the email, after the 'I left my coat at
your place, I can get it at four...'
& this, & so much more? --
Are you understanding just what I mean?
As if my life were just nerves in patterns on a movie screen;
It would simply not have been worth while,
If some guy, getting his coat at four
& settling down on my sofa, arms wide, should say:
'You're a funny chick, after all.
You're pretty funny, after all.'

* * * * *

Fuck this! I was meant to be Lady Macbeth, I know I was;
Not a cute little coed, one that'll do
To stand next to a leading man, steal a scene or two,
Be his pillar, his 'better half'; like some easy, squirmy fool,
All smiles, glad he still wants to sleep in the same bed with me,
Pie-making, Redbook-reading, Oprah watching & shy;
Happy for the 'Wives' Night Out,' but glad, at times, to cancel,
At times, I mean, pretty pathetic --
Almost exactly, at times, the average American girl.

I grow bitter, I grow strong...
I'll wear the bottoms of my trousers long.

Should I get my hair cut tomorrow? Do I want to eat this peach?
I want to make my own clothing, loose & flowing, & walk along the beach.
I want to hear the mermaids singing, each to each.

I really think that they'll sing like me.

I can see them riding seaward on the waves
Their red hair (why not?) like the white hair of the waves blown back
As the wind blows the water white & black.

I will then linger in the chambers of the sea
With sea-boys wreathed with seaweed red & brown
& if other human voices try to find me, then, they'll drown.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whither Enlightenment?

The Most Unenlightened Person On Earth was enjoying a half-pint of ice cream while having a good portion of his life's happy memories erased by watching a crappy sitcom on cable television. Of course, he had seen this same episode several times before, so he was, in a sense, writing over the happy memories of seeing the episode the third time, but, since he never memorized anything unless he absolutely had to - telephone numbers, that Wordsworth poem in tenth grade, all the lyrics to Jay-Z's "99 Problems" - that particular section of his brain, softened & spongy from disuse, carelessly slopped the new short-term memories over other saved memories, rather than putting them in a neural processing queue, as the standard cranial model tends to do.

Halfway through the sitcom, the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth began experiencing gastric discomfort because he had eaten, for the last two weeks, at nothing but American fast food joints. Due to their unregulated status, the "restaurants," as they were misleadingly known, regularly served their patrons at rather low cost food that was as close to being spoiled, rotted, rancid, unwashed, inedible as legally possible, if the laws about the food were enforced, which of course they weren't. The Most Unenlightened Person On Earth was however used to food poisoning & also used to spending long hours on the toilet, where he passed his time & the indigestible portions of his most recent meal (an astonishing percentage of it) reading magazines with pictures of scantily-clad women in them & old Stephen King books he had enjoyed when he was younger.

He hadn't visited a doctor, outside of an emergency room visit last summer, in many years. He did not know that he had a significant E. Coli infection, that his brain harbored something similar to the mad cow virus, that he had Type II Diabetes, & that his heart was beating irregularly due to his growing weight. He drank some antacid to settle his stomach, smoked a joint, ate some popcorn & a baloney sandwich, & fell asleep masturbating to a commercial for a video series in which obviously sleazy men ask obviously inebriated women to show the camera their breasts.

The next morning, the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth woke after a more-than-microscopically small black hole had passed through the center of the earth, &, on its way back into space, at an unthinkable speed & smallness, had ever-so-slightly travelled the length of his body & broke down its cellular structure along the way. He gasped his last gasp as the sunlight seeped in through shuttered windows, & the last thing the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth saw was blood behind his eyes & a night's worth of indulgence littering his coffee table.

& he was not Enlightened.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Preface To Enlightenment: A Cautionary Tale

There was once a terrible man who had sores everywhere, even on his tongue. He lived alone in a perfectly square house that was painted the color of scabs. His undergrown yard refused to even support dirt or stones. Broken cast-off mechanical parts littered poisoned ground like fossils of an extinct robot species. He was also a hateful fuck, with never a kind word to anyone & more grousing & grumbling than small talk. Scary, nasty, disgusting, foul, smelly, ill-tempered, disease-ridden, shunned, loathed, as sinned against as sinning.

& he was the neighborhood's Bodhisattva.

What the hell? It's true! No one could possibly be enlightened because this motherfucker was too unpleasant to be around. But what about compassion? What about charity? This was obviously some kind of loophole. Something about his presence cast a pall over everyone else's attempts to escape the cycle of suffering & rebirth. For someone who was supposed to be helping out, he turned out to be a real douchebag.

This happened, of course, a very long time ago in a place not unlike our own but very different. The rules were more or less the same & the path then, as now, had eight folds, like a complicated record album for stoners in the sixties. Still, the lesson is more or less unclear - the questions were, as always, never entirely answered to anyone's satisfaction.

& oh yes, that hairy, pot-bellied Bodhisattva died & attained Nirvana. The rest of the townsfolk, though, died of the same plague he was doubtless carrying around with him, & they had to do it all the fuck over again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween, My Halloween

I have been invited to a Halloween party on Friday. I know what you're thinking. What! Someone actually invited Gary to a Halloween party!?! Technically, it's not true. I have still not been invited to a party ever. My record remains smirched. Technically I am to go with my girlfriend, who likes me despite the fact that I am no fun at parties & who knows where to find me when I am curled up in a ball weeping & pouring bourbon into my wounds.

I know what you're thinking. What! Gary has a girlfriend!?! Let's not go there.

The point of writing this is not to amaze you with some weird knowledge that someone actually wants me at their party. It's that it's a Halloween party & I have to dress up as something. But what? Everyone knows my standard Halloween get-up: "Dude Who Doesn't Dress Up For Halloween." But that might mean I'm recognized, which would eventually lead to me being dragged outside & beaten repeatedly with the floated keg. I don't want that. The place that rented the keg doesn't want that. My doctor wants that, because he really, really wants to take the family skiing this winter. But really, I don't want that.

What should I go as? Should the costume be subtle, like "sensitive poet dressed as a Byzantine patriarch from the Middle Ages"? Or something Kirby-esque, like Galactus? Or something cute, like a bunny or bear? I have no idea. I'm not good at it. Frankly, I'm surprised I remember to dress myself in the morning. & that's in more or less regular clothing.

Can you help? If not, can you stop helping? If not that, can you do what I'm doing right now & listen to this year's Self Help Radio Halloween show, which is all about witches?

Witches! That's it! I'll go as Paul Lynde!