April 2008


 

  I’ve been writing these blogs everyday for the past four months in order to lure out any weirdoes on-line. If you’re not a weirdo and you’re reading this I apologize profusely. You – the non-weirdoes- are what makes this country tick and talk to the rest of the world with kindness and confidence. I’ve been trying to attract the kind of strange people who think they know a thing or two that the rest of us don’t. The kinds of weirdoes that would find it funny to abduct a child and train him to play the Beatles’ music. It is cute but come on! can a child understand the depth and profundity of those lyrics?  Would John have wanted it that way? Let a child learn to enjoy the Beatles slowly and gradually at a natural rate. There are so many videos of children doing unnatural things – like explaining the Star Wars trilogy, etc- that I’m convinced there’s a ring of kidnappers abducting children and making them learn these strange tricks of amusement.

   Anyway I’m trying to find my boy, Bonobo Samuel Kingston the 3rd, and that kid in the video sure looks a lot like my adopted child from a country with extremely lax adoption laws. Could anyone confirm this? 

  And so here’s a story about another child that I’ve written from the grief in my heart over the disappearance of my boy, Bonobo.

 

Who Cares about the King ? Not I

 

     The King’s officially sanctioned shoelace tier has taken the day off sick (pancreatic problems?) and failed to provide a suitable substitute. Well, a child of four can hardly be considered a stand in for an expert, can he? Even if he is the son of the fastest and most graceful shoelace tier in all the land. Fortunately, our current King is progressive, he swings with the times and so no one need worry about being beheaded,drawn and quartered or iron maidened. Our current King cares(his slogan).

     The King stares down at his unlaced shoes. So far down. He remembers the time he toured the Dominion of Canada and went on an official trip up the CN Tower. At the time, he thought he’d been transferred to another world and he tried to reach down through the glass to crush the ants dressed as people. The King’s handlers sledge hammered the glass to allow him to reach down but his reach took him nowhere. Looking down at his laces, the King wonders if there is some trick of optics at work, some glass in the way, some as of yet undiscovered challenge in getting his fingers down. 

     Try.

     The King stands by the door of his chamber where few are admitted. The shoelace tier’s son jumps on the bed but the King concentrates on his untied laces. Once my fingers are down there, how will I distinguish them from my laces, the King wonders. He looks at his fingers and he looks down at his white laces. They seem different from this distance but side-by-side who knows what confounding similarities will emerge? The King’s neck is getting sore.

     He turns his head slightly to look at the other show but there is no lace. Confound it! The day is already a disaster. The King looks up at the large wooden door (which he may not be able to exit from on this day) and lets out a sigh of discombobulation. He looks over to the bed to see the tip of what appears to be a shoelace sticking out from the bouncing boy’s mouth. 

     In response to the King’s rage, the boy starts to sing a cutesy, childish rendition of the Beatles’ Hey Jude.

     The King is appeased.

     But I ask you all, should our taxes go towards this fickleness? 


 

    And this bloggy-thing seemed like a good idea at the time of its inception, but I’m starting to harbour second thoughts, third thoughts, etc. Initially, I assumed that creating a character everyday and writing a flash fiction from their point of view would take me somewhere unique, take me into lyrics from a different road. In fact, I have broken down some of the flash fictions on this blog and turned them into words which will more than likely appear on our next album but the rest is rubbish. A lot of sound and fury for fuck’s sake.


 

Branches with Leaves Insist Upon Nothing

 

    Strom sits at the back of the northbound 320 surrounded by (in his estimation) igits and douchebags. There are two women from Sweden or Finland broadcasting their conversation for everyone to hear and no one to understand. At the next stop the bus becomes bloated to capacity and a man’s crotch faces Strom who’s squeezed off his seat by the Swede/Finn on his right and a chav with a Burberry handbag worn as a hat on his head. In all seriousness.

   Strom tries to take refuge in a memory, something from his life previous to getting on the 320 but his mind is empty. Worse still, his mind is nowhere to be found. Strom is simply a seat that’s half sat upon and he’s starting to ache. The crotch in front of him starts to make a musical jingle, a Kylie Minogue number that came and went seven or eight years ago but is now making a comeback in this man’s pants. Strom looks up but the man is tilting his head back and forth to another tune between his ipod buds. The cell in his pants continues to sing its na-na-na ring. The Finn/Swede is on a rant of a roll and continues raising the pitch of her voice at the end of every sentence. The chord from the man’s ipod dangles in front of Strom’s face and he considers giving it a serious pull so the man’s ears can be alerted to his cell. But he does nothing.

   What else can he do? He belts out his favorite Humphrey Lyttelton tune.

   And the bus is silent save for Strom’s rendition of a jazz trumpet through his mouth. 

   And if only for five seconds of bliss.

 

   I’m a painter and illustrator from Sweden with a secret penchant for literature. In fact, each of the ninety-one stories that I’ve written on this blog have all originally been written on canvases which I’ve painted over. I like the idea of falsehoods wrapped around stories tucked away forever, epistemologically, keeping us on our toes.

  And now for some fiction…

 

Goofy on the Brain

   This is convoluted but true. I’m a 15-year old hacker from Trollhattan, Sweden with a secret. This  should come as no surprise as I spend the greater part of each day trying to sneak into places I’m not supposed to go. That’s kind of my job as a hacker. I try to get into government or corporate databases or sites restricted to only a small group of people. But last year I hacked my way into a site that was too weird to be true. I was going deep into the Disney site which has some obvious tricks to getting into but once I’d cleared the initial walls there was another super secure area buried in this cluster of code that looked like a virus. That was its cover.  I spent three hours solid trying to break through and when I left my room to take a whiz I passed my dad who was all zombified from two hours of doing his income taxes. I totally laughed out loud inside. He thinks he has it tough. By the time I got back into my room, I figured out the algorithm they were basing their code on and I was in.

    At first I was seriously disappointed. It was nothing but a community hub with a list of super-ordinary topics that people were talking about. When I explored a little further, however, I saw that everyone was named Goofy, Donald, Mickey Mouse, etc. and their conversations were kind of on the weird side: “Did you get to the dentist on time, Mickey?”  “None of your business, Donald, none of your goddamn beeswax, nosewax or mousewax!!” “Why so hostile?” “Don’t patronize me with feigned ignorance.”  I nosed through other conversations and they were all hostile, paranoid, sexual or the characters were blissed out, talking about how they were flying or remembering something innocent and pure. Basically, all the conversations were totally cracker.  

    After a couple of weeks of following the conversations and snooping around the hidden hub, I found out what it was really all about. I was staring directly into Walt Disney’s mind. You know how he was cryogenically frozen after he croaked? Well, turns out they’re trying to thaw him out and this hub is like a direct link to his consciousness and Disney Scientists are trying to communicate with him by posing as characters. They’re communicating with his unconscious mind. At times he’s Goofy, Mickey or Donald and then the Disney Scientists type away as other characters, trying to calm him down or help him out. 

   My parents want to go to Euro-Disney this year and I’m worried about my safety. That’s why I’ve finally come out with this secret. I figure that if I go public with what I know, they won’t be able to whack me without raising some eyebrows.

 

  Weird, huh? 

     Hello, my name is Dmitry Utkin and I’m the founder of Design your Trust, a daily design, blog and community.  Over the past 90 days on this blog I’ve been writing a short-short story everyday. The challenge I gave myself was to write under a completely different pseudonym for every single story. Each of these introductions and stories contain ads for 90 different products. If you take the first letter of each word in a story, it’ll spell out a product name along with a catchy slogan. Tricky, yes. Impossible, no.

   Here’s today’s story.

 

Itch Becomes Manageable

     Clem Kim adjusted his alarm for an early Sunday morning wake up. “You’re doing an open house for the Lee’s tomorrow?” his wife asked from the valley of her memory-foam pillow. “Yeah, ” he muttered and his head hit the pillow. And sleep. But in the morning, Clem felt groggy and less than professional. Worse still, he had the uncanny sensation that he had an itch he couldn’t scratch, an itch that felt miles away. Later, as he drove to the 2600 square-foot, 6-room, 2 story house, he could feel the itch getting closer. A smiling couple were waiting for him as he arrived. He pointed out the views and the angles of sunlight that would be coming in at various points of the day but he couldn’t help but feel that the north wall of the living room was itching. As he let them look around, he walked to the wall and scratched. He felt relieved but days later, when the itch wouldn’t go away he considered buying the house but not telling his wife why. Weeks later he realized he’d have to befriend whoever he sold the house to. Fortunately, a nice Korean-American couple bought the house. Clem connected with the man on the topic of golf and therefore kept his foot in the door. The itch never went away for the rest of his life.

 

  Here’s truth for a change. I have no name but I’d like to introduce myself anyways: Hello, my name is whatever you’d like it to be. I was abandoned in this library 14 years ago and raised by a kindly librarian who sadly passed away four years ago without ever thinking to give me a name. What she did teach me – reading, shelving, stealing food out of patrons bags, squeezing myself between the books on the shelves to sleep – has allowed me to survive and thrive in my home sweet library. I can’t imagine stepping out into a world where books are burned or sold or thrown at each other in fits of anger. I’m happy in this library even though I have to change my identity daily so that the new librarian won’t realize I’m living off the fat of the land of letters. At the beginning of the year she became very suspicious of me so I concocted even more elaborate disguises and this eventually lead to this blog where I’ve claimed to be over ninety different people. Please forgive me. I’m just trying to survive in my life here in the library where I was raised on cult classics. Today’s story is a pastiche of some of those classics, a medley of madness. Today, the new librarian passed away in the Ancient History corner, allowing me a window of opportunity to tell the truth.

If through a Traveler’s Labyrinth a Mockingbird

     Lawrence Durrell has come unstuck in Sylvia’s mind. His purple prose suddenly shades the seagull flapping pages of Dr Spock’s “Baby and Child Care” and her eyes widen at a passage of what appears to be diaper changing but maybe it’s about the folds within clouds in the sky, the folds on a pair of jeans or perhaps even the folds within the Devil’s pre-frontal lobes. How can prose be so Protean, how can child-rearing be so convoluted, she wonders as she puts the book back within the rumbling sidebag of the motorcycle. She clings to the body in front of her and blinks several times as the no-logoed billboards on the side of the road roll past: Pynchon Peas – Guaranteed to Stumble you into Surprising Places, Ayn Rand’s Selfish Soda, Now no Need to Ever share and I’m Simply Crazy about Nietzschean Nuts. Even these simple slogans unravel into new language in her mind’s ear. She shouldn’t have gulped down that Kool-Aid at the last stop, she thinks as the rider spews words, words and more words in an endless stream of hip-talk jive: “Sylvia, you and I are like a writer and a reader struggling to connect through a crowd of crazies. I shout out a word but you think its from someone else. I love you. That’s no quote from nobody. No more phonies. You and I. You and I. Just hold me harder, Sylvia and forget Durrell. He’s a bum. A bum you can’t sit on. I love you and your mockbirds that chirp from their bell jar homes.”

  

redneckmansion   I’m a set designer named Lisa Smoot with literary ambitions on the side but I don’t really enjoy talking about myself or my intentions. Here’s a story.

 

 

Trailer Park Set

 

    Behind the thin cover of morning cloud, the sun looked like a dandelion gone to seed. “Fuckin’ poetic, I’m gonna weep,” Alice’s husband, Bill, replied in mock heroic response. She shut the trailer park door on the morning and went back to his unfinished bologna sandwich. “That’s going to be in a poem for my class,” she said and plunged the butter knife into the jar of mayonnaise. “You still wasting my money on those classes?”  Bill said from the table. Alice flinched at the sharp sound of a beer opening but she held back the words that were so close to forming on her lips. She remembered something: “Did you use my toothbrush this morning?”  “Is there someone else living here?” “ She walked over to him with the butter knife bearing a glob of mayonnaise. Bill leaned back in his chair and propped up his cowboy boots on the white table for two. “See, we’re saving money by using one toothbrush, that way I can afford to take the class.” Bill tilted back the beer to an angle equal to his reclining self but his eyes stayed close on her. She walked around the table, dodged the half-empty can of beer and plunged the butter knife into his side. An ending to her poem entitled: Her toothbrush. His toothbrush. That evening, the police would interrupt the class of eight during their discussion on metaphor.

 

  Over the past four months on this blog I’ve been writing a short-short story everyday while claiming to be somebody different on each of those days as an experiment in multidisciplinary design. For those of you who don’t know me from breathewords or scene360, I’m interested in poetry, prose and all manner of visual art. For each of the stories that I’ve written on this blog, I’ve also made an accompanying painting, short film and choreographed dance routine with blind children under the age of six. These will be up tomorrow next to each of the 83 short-short stories I’ve written.

  For now enjoy today’s story…

 

Mona Lisa the Clown

 

  It was definitely unlike Mona del Giocondo to throw florins away for fabled fortunes but, on her way to her eleven o’clock appointment at the artist’s studio, she was lured into curiosity just around the corner from the church of Santa Trinita. An old gypsy woman claiming to foretell anyone’s future whispered everything into Mona’s ear for which the woman received three florins in the palm of her withered and weathered hand. Mona giggled as she walked faster through Florence’s narrow streets that nevertheless teemed with all manner of life. What a morning! She played the part of Arlecchino with the children before breakfast, cutting up scraps of silk and placing them around her mouth and eyes. She tilted her head back so the diamond-shaped swatches of blue wouldn’t fall to the floor. “Here are all the earnings from your cloth and silk business, Master Giocondo,” she said lugging a brown basket of golden silk that the children had cut into florins. “You wish to give that to my father. Do not mistake me for my father, Silly,” the boy lisped and laughed. “Oh no I was given orders to present this to the man of the house who stands with the highest stature,” Mona insisted and then pointed the children’s attention to their father who at that moment was bent over in the next room picking something off the floor. “Your head is the highest in this household, is it not?” Her son fell on the floor with laughter to prove her wrong. It was a day of laughter and when she sat down in front of the artist who would spend the day making his first outline of her features, she held back a burst of laughter. That an erstwhile clown should become the most famous face in the world of art! The lies that are peddled for gold. 

Next Page »