Tag Archives: punk

Centrist Yarn, Threatening Wintry Mix With Three Sticks, And Two Carrots

You bellow peace. I whisper war. You spit war. I mumble
peace. Is there REALLY any difference between your interpretation
of the less staggering conjugations of life, and mine?

This transmission is/was/will be interrupted
by Augustine's phlegm-covered book hurling
across the fuzzy horizon from where we stood,
starving, naked, hysterical, corner to corner,
nose to nose, sexual chunks in our well-picked pockets,
and I'm sure we lost a freckle or two banking the surprise
sunrise coasting along the tallest of the Yankee isles,
no man's land to thee.

All good I believe, I believe I think
this is the perilous spot, the one drop
where I lost him, or he lost me. Getting tossed
in the pronouns especially during a bumper crop
is such a sad waste of preventative vocabulary. All
the world's taking medicine to the next level,
or back to the previous stage. I knew better
before I knew good and well

what was the very best for the rest of us...

Communism versus Capitalism: haven't my wife
and I risked the bounty all so many times before,
decreed to charity in the dankest of times, worked
as the most generous of slaves when required
where required to snap the chains off ourselves,
others, and still, after still waters rose,
they receded like tsunami, while we struggle
gently to manifest to spotlight a simple life
without fear of collapse, I swoon al dente,
my central nervous system freakishly frazzled
down to the toes, right through to the freckled skin,
my skin electric, dry, unsuitable for
pickin' cotton or wearin' it.

There should be enough cheese and chocolate to go around.

Whom am I to pick winners and losers? Why should there
even be losers if there are no winners? I have
known many losers. Most have forgotten the sweat of the brow,
but few have ever worn a suit and tie for more than a day or two
in succession. Am I racist, sexist, populist, taking a job
from someone less qualified, less able, more needy,
half as lily but not nearly as dark as I am,
and is there any crossover effect
when I simply walk away and refuse
to take some pitiful but hardworking
wage slave's slot, and keep to myself
my own vision of things created
but unreceived?

Who owns the already money and how do I win some,
just enough, not a stick more, a zero sum, a river I swum—
an unabashed shame between God, the chastiser and myself? How do I win
without making a loser out of someone else? How do I lose
and thus pace the grace to transcend myself, a winner,
in zen mode as the ubiquitous Nazarene put it,
thus finally attaining...

the most unquestionable of statures?

Submarine munitions officer sunk the philosopher's horn
long ago knee deep in red soil, a lava flow. Nobody died,
but eventually a spoiler, the next generation died,
hanging their profits on a baseline thorn
called the Hitchens' apprehension,
a low rider he supplied
for those of us
quiet, alone, violently, or
painfully pleased, as we learned
that static heroes are not always
the best guide.

SAMPLEX Originalis

dancemaid
"Dancemaid" by Gabriel Thy
samplex

SAMPLEX IS THE NAME of the street zine I created and distributed among a certain fan base of Washington DC provocateurs and poseurs in the region's seminal punk and harDCore music scene of 1984-1985. This ludicrous body of half-wit scoundrels, pontificants and prevaricators worked the clubs between Seventh & E Streets and Ninth Street, from "d.c. space" to the "9:30 Club" where fame was chased and fame was made. The 'zine ran eight issues, individually themed, issues which were filled not with the usual confabulated local band lore and raw music sycophancy, but WS Burroughs-inspired cut-ups and collage, cartoons, and other riffs and ripoffs mostly poking fun at the scene itself right from the center of all its purported mayhem, and only the occasional invented or imaginary interview. Each issue consisted of 8-12 pages of tri-folded & heavily stapled panels printed on both sides of 8.5"x14" paper, and xeroxed wherever I could "borrow" a copying machine to print out 50-100 copies each issue. That's a lot of FREE or nearly free xeroxing.

This SAMPLEX blog is in honor of those earliest days of brutal self-punishing self-publishing. New stripes, but the sound, the fury, the beat go on...

PS: Look for reproductions of some of the original SAMPLEX pages here, later, as we post them.

Let's Not Get Carried Away

I enter this tent
baring arms to the thief,
charting threads representing fresh marks of superiority,
a knotty fugitive, sparing no friend, no city,
nosing for booty, until its nose is bent.

Gritty bitter but better nerves down,
this soldier grows bolder whisper by whisper,
proving with scientific uncertainty,
this early 21st Century gown,
unravels from his master's spool,
a dark-eyed blue clown.

Obama the handpicked emperor,
wobbling village sector nefarious
smudges past ink spillage of his own 1980s
still feeling like yesterday will never arrive.

Ignoring the Reagan Years
except when hurling rocks against them
clowns, one show at a time, the Baltic seasons
drew nexus from the hidden years themselves
bunched among hallowed groundswells
of odd manners
like putrid oranges on dirty carpets
sickly sweet among the street gross
standards of contemporary
inspection and high alert.

Fortunately, this old branding
knuckled us the gist and viscera
to strike through any earlier bromide kills
the long dead rope of imagination collapsing
youthful nights churning on digital promise
sealed haircut pretense looking for the quick thrill,
that ample insight, this sudden urge.

Live not a judgement call, but a hard fast slider
licking the dusty ranges of home plate,
we, swinging for the fences
(those few of us who had both
earned the right
and still revered the mighty
and ubiquitous American sports metaphor
generally missing among the tragically hip).

Damn that! Yes Almighty, we the poseurs.
cheering art world outliers. Punk of the year,
bored, drunk, fagged, foul, frank and disorderly,
many of us by nature, others by chance, a few
by intelligent design. We had copped
to the idea that we were nothing
but youth wasting on the bones
of youth. Many would perish
like cunning sundown poets
hurling soup kitchen lines
past the eager and the vaguely forewarned.

Nothing is more rooted in uncertainty
than the brash certainty of youth. Torn oscillating spirit
between nature and nurture, the driven scorn
and the sluggard worn, we dare now, after all
these scantily clad years to remember, not
that we ever forgot, but that we were born,
as generations are born, to stride onward
synthetic, owning the lucid task,
framing imperfect the flaccid context,
alienation the fallen piazza.

Flower power and victimology 101,
the vain hope, the crude struggles for distinction
generating enough peer memory to matter
somewhere somehow something like that
because precisely one proud
and princely thing was certain (recalling our
prior words just now) back then, and that was
we knew we had our bright eyes sullen
and our frank fists founded
on some fair future with all its revelations
ripened to emerge.
And in these trenches
where junior jackboots coughing
and lacy fetish brassieres bumping begged to differ,
on our tongues the frequent riddle
of turnabout is fair play, we also spoke
to a society still girded and burdened in spades.
The poem, the street sheet, an army of one
to come. First bounce in black magic
marker calligraphy on pink
bathroom wall
in Corpus Christi, Tay Hass, we
again whistled a sudden work of literature
within days of that fog-inspired scrawling.

A broken beast, velocity learned,
alternate receiver comes limping but dangerous
into our ancillary cage snapping all records
for glory and shame. Such was and is still
my quantum luck with immutable timing.

[ 2010, Washington DC ]

No Gang, No School

wild9
Making No Sense Of It All
samplex

Originally published on September 8, 1996. I elected to publish Tom's entire note to me since it was one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking emails I ever received from him, and will follow with my response in a separate file with link below.

Thanks for that insight note on joint projects. I have softened my stance after reading one of your first drafts of Autonomous Gazer and listening, rather than continuing to think of what I was going to say next, to your admiration for Thomas Pynchon and the concept of the modern Mega-novel. But I still haven't read his Gravity's Rainbow but seek refuge in genre writing. That's my gang, Lenny understands genre assignments and slips easily into the yoke, and most important to us, the audience understands the genre, has certain expectations from it, and we writers deliver the goods.

But there you are, no gang, no School, not even a salon. One thing about your work that I do relate to is the desire to put it all on the web, I had a very productive day putting all kinds of esoteric info that I thought was important up on the web, that is until Tracy (Styx) came by, restless and bored, to call me away from the computer and out into the cool night air, steps the Great Pretender.

Yes, that's true, newspaper journalism is definitely one of the genres and you have plyed the trade. But I never considered e-mail anything other than a fast sloppy, disposable medium, always short, full of typos and mispellings—meant to be quickly read (cyber-surfers gets hundreds of them) and instantly deleted—but wait, what's this? GT is sending long, thoughtful E-MAILS??? And then saving them, along with their responses? And the e-mail style that's arisen, why is almost everything a flame? The insular anonymity of e-mail makes everyone so insulting, quick, shallow responses, knee-jerk flames, is this any kinda medium to make your mark?

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here..." Abraham Lincoln said that.

"They'll talk about me plenty when I'm gone." GT said that, with a deferenial nod to his Bobness. So far they're mostly talking about your outrageous behavior in public. Your strange and cryptic comments while under the influence of beer swill and private demons. But I know you better, I know something (very little actually) of your writing and desktop publishing and poetry and private library and such flotsam and jetsom of pornography & punk that have washed up on GSIS's shores and mingled with the sublime truths of long dead philosophers, I see you walking along the littered shore line of the twentieth century, looking for treasures in the trash. This is a tired and cynical age you live in, it will be tough to break through to anyone, anywhere—there's a lot of noise in the channel.

—Tom Howell

The Apple, The Worm, The Drip

new-york-apartment
New York Apartment
samplex

As we both once thought true, Landry, Master Jack was the hoofer the the rest of our whole stinking gang suspected was going to fly higher than the laws of normalcy would usually allow, but somehow it always broke down with him. It wasn't me. I had signs to follow, my undoing I suppose. Concerning Jack's failure to rise above, I don't know why specifically, although a major contributing factor in my mind is that crack habit he's got. A consistant need to pound drugs is obviously bad news for most gonzos. And like most gonzos Jack feels immune to these special dangers, and always feels like he can rise above any problems just in the nick of time. But time is merciless, and all I'm saying is I hope Jack steers clear of most of that garbage out there in his new start. Yes, we had a little run in about that rabbit worm (and monkey) of his. He hasn't done it very often and I blew up so bad the last time to the point where he was obviously ashamed. If it happens again, I doubt I will give him a second chance. I just think it is throwing your money away in addition to being a waste of time. I'm at a stage in my life where I just don't want to deal with that crap no how any which way, zero tolerance, no more turning the cheek in allowing lurkers to run roughshod.

B Suzy and I are hopping the Amtrak up New York City this weekend to make the rounds with an old friend, Jennifer. Jack knows her at a distance. Up close, who knows anyone? We are each mere fractals of our true self.

Working on her doctorate in social anthropology—she just got notice of acceptance to Cornell—so she will be moving to Ithaca in upper state within a few weeks. The past two years at the New School have left at the freezeline of parental support, but this Cornell package carries with it an $8K annual stipend, so she's set for pocket flash, but observes the town of Ithaca as an eerie hovel, full of strange hippy looking people, no strip malls, no 7-11s, nothing but a few docile streets, a couple of schools, and hills to kill for if one happened to be a skate punk. She's not, however, and without a car, is already sweating the cold icy strides up and down those inclines, fretting she'll hate it, if she survives it.

Such are the crass ironies of a well-circulated life, eh Landry? Hope all this psychodrip suits you. It’s what I do when I write, and when I am alone wrestling with my thoughts, or wife. My style often takes the form of a complaint. But in all honesty, I just want a live that suits me, just like everybody else. Unfortunately…
Jennifer is still rather gothic in appearance and outlook, can't squelch the hipsterific riot grrrl stirring inside her, although she's embraced an academic mindset, is quite the scholar, dean's list et al, and seething to escape the stranglehold of her past. This weekend should be fantastic now that the heat wave in which we suffered 95-100 degree weather for three days straight has pissed off and new highs in the low 70s are expected. Her lower Lex Ave walk-up of course is slack on AC, and I suppose you don't have one either. I understand there are few of them on the SF Bay. But here at the Dollhouse climate control is ALWAYS a cool calculation.

Well, gotta go start some dinner. I'm blackening some salmon steaks tonight, although Tim is chewing top sirloin because he avoids seafood. The lad pays us a flat rate per as a dinner guest, so if living here boosts Tim's self-esteem and his sense of responsibility a notch or two as he claims and keeps him off heroin as he says it is doing, then I suppose we can all feel grateful that this particular opportunity knocked. His extra money helps keep us on monthly budget and out of hock, so it seems to be working all around, although of course I've had to stand firm on a few principles Tim would conveniently fail to understand, but I should brag in his name that these moments have been few thus far. I guess he's been here eight weeks on Friday. Jack only lasted three days when he returned from Germany, frying my patience before he bolted up to Diane and Adrian's to squander his small forture with them.

Such are the crass ironies of a well-circulated life, eh Landry? Hope all this psychodrip suits you. It's what I do when I write, and when I am alone wrestling with my thoughts, or wife. My style often takes the form of a complaint. But in all honesty, I just want a live that suits me, just like everybody else. Unfortunately...

GT

Scandanavian Jazz

"There are some people one loves best,
and others whom one would almost always
rather have as companions."

—Henrik Ibsen

Throw away that awful ticket stub I said. None of us
here need that can of starch. We know by heart
the meaning of fuss. Baby and the Pacifiers
are playing a gig at the Bistro to start.
Roaring inclinations.
Singsoldier.

We worked out long wars, healing our oyster eyes
with the sweaty breath of evergreen night.
That Lebanon dirt. Manic contours
agreeable to random odor,
magnificently kite.
We knew we couldn't write about
it so we danced.

The proud crystalline swans of our age,
obscuring shades,
sex and stereotype,
wars and rumors of wars,
strikes, balks, and numb nuts,
say hello every sort of way,
wrapping like a nursing maiden's delicate hands
around the seat of our desires,
our strategic pyres,
in place of inspirational jeep: glances
just aren't enough glands.

II.

              She handled
my buttocks and its karma,
so tight and competitively elite,
as I cracked the bloody march.
New Wave Morals.

Immediately I loved her, pledged
a plowboy's pitch across the pink passage
into backyard frenzies. I mulled eloquently
to myself, caught in a whim of fashion,
if I might ought caress the knotted warchest
she portrayed. Her boyfriend's face
I don't recall.

Baby, the pacifiers,
and our wormlike mirrors
responding like thoroughbred
strangers caught in the loosening moods of dawn
were mere constructions of belief.
I worried about my nature to be
direct and innocent. It drove
me to silence.

We never traded namesakes alive.
My boldness froze in cockmassacre
and toes, I twisted & smiled
acres and acres of wilted smiles
planted deeply tapping
her punk nerves sponsoring
my soaring terrain.

Her ravishionary spherical absolutes
aroused my superior being,
those victory moon bavarian breasts
(honorarium of the beasts...)
provoking the shape of things and substance,
my superior being shy,
companionless.

I danced. She rubbed her baubled paws
again along the fine tight lines my crib
drew against hocus evening shadows,
showing there can be no pretense
denying afresh the vital statistic,
no silly discourteous cocktease
stranding scalps and flirting
humor, hunger, hoary
religions that the idle
refuse to prosper.

          We easily could have
made each other blank members
of a riper version, gambling
on last night's cruise into sane
Richard Hell's visitation,
a vanity cruise highlighting
winning girls wearing nothing
but furs,
idols and onan. We became the idea
and did.

And I felt our mutual flash,
hornspun and cursive,
realizing the mediocrity
a poem of words
offers—splash—
beginning of the world
tigers and baboons
thunderbirds and the dung beetle
biting off more than a scientist
can chew,

open clash,
the meaning of her friendship ritual.

She and He
Rocking to and from
in pop style punctuated punk
continuing to
rock to and from
her unannounceable tokens
sheer succulence
well pronounced
shocking my demands on reality,
to and from, rubbing
my arm, now as important
as any zone
I could hope oversimplifyingly
would release me. Graceful
dancer bombardier
balancing virtue
and free baggage. Likelier
choices bait our laughter.
Especially in a gig
of young punk artists
rocking.

She felt herself.
Above the arms of her date.
The three of us knew the heathen pains
of fate which haunt
heaven and the pawnbroker's
pavilion. And
white hawkish sweaters
bulging through nervous nicotined
smoky husks
in the Bistro late hours.