Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Afternoon Line ...

Amici:

GOLDMAN SACHS THANKS AMERICA ....

Goldman announces its heartfelt gratitude for being bailed out and will dump 230 New York jobs: "Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it will cut 230 jobs in New York City between September and March next year, according to a N.Y. Department of Labor filing Wednesday. While the cuts represent less than 1% of Goldman's global workforce of 35,700, they come on the heels of reports that the bank is hiring thousands of employees in Singapore, Brazil and India."

Isn’t the “free market” great? (sarcasm intended)

Way to go Barry ... thanks for protecting all the American workers who voted you into office. Nothing like Hope and Change and an unemployment check to look forward to over the summer into the new year.

On the other side of the circus tent are the Republicans. These are two possible choices (because they aren't locked up in a rubber room somewhere).
Okay, that was a few years old, but really? This is the best either side has? Barry and Bachmann? Oy vey ...

Dodger Blue ... bankrupt? The Dodgers? No sweat, let our illustrious government take over ... we’ll have them solvent in no time ... then they can follow Goldman Sachs’ lead and find players to exploit over in Singapore, Brazil and India.

How ‘bout those Buffalo Bills! Still undefeated in 2011 ... that’s what I’m talking about!

Whitey gets a court appointed lawyer ... you gotta’ love it. “James “Whitey” Bulger, the alleged former crime boss from Boston who eluded the FBI for 16 years and had more than $800,000 in his apartment when he was arrested in California, will get a court-appointed attorney, a federal magistrate judge ruled this afternoon.” One has to assume the feds found something better to do with the $800,000 they found in Whitey’s west coast crib.

The ugly one returned to the gym today after a few days of intense writing. I start anew at 313 (friggin’ lightweight) ... the back porch is fixed and the mini-sauna is out there ready to take care of my sore muscles (and lose half its water) ... it’s a beautiful thing.

— Knucks

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SNHU MFA Summer Residency (Part 4): Rise and Shine ... and a TK bipartisan rant

Amici:

First, the last installment of our SNHU Summer Residency readings ... Ken Butler’s wonderful tale of the morning after our dance party on the island of Shutter. A TK bipartisan political rant follows Ken’s terrific story.

Rise and Shine

Oh, yes, the party last night. Of course I remember it. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. Well, not the very first thing. The very first thing was the realization that I was in bed fully dressed. I usually retire each evening in shorts, my silk-pajama days long gone, along with the pajamas. But this morning I was between the sheets in sneakers, jeans and a Polo shirt. I immediately took note of the fact that I don’t own a Polo shirt.

I painfully opened my eyes, curious as to why, prior to bed, I would have used apple cider vinegar instead of Visine. Or a tile-caulking substance to brush my teeth. I needed a drink of water so desperately, I actually said the word “drink” aloud, like a helpless child or a lost prospector. It came out with the “d” replaced by an “h” – “hrink -- hrink.” I kept a plastic pitcher of water, always filled, close to my bed. It was not there. I never reached the point of pondering where it was as I suddenly realized that this was not my room. It was not the arrangement of furniture, as the cells at this end of the compound were pretty identical, but I would never have owned a “Hello Kitty” beach-towel. Nor the other personal items set neatly around the unit. I was now occupied with hoping that the dried blood-stains on the pillow were not mine, either. This was not as alarming as it sounds. Clearly no one had lopped off an arm. The rust-colored dribble two inches from my vinegar eyes was more along the lines of a cut lip, but my lips, at least, seemed intact.

I lay there motionless, pretending I was dead. I was doing a passable job, when suddenly, the air outside my space burst forth with the sound of harmonized voices, unnervingly close. They were singing a song set to the tune of ”The Camptown Ladies,” but some clever soul had penned new lyrics about rising and shining and upping and at’emming,, doo-dah, doo-dah. I needs must rise, I thought. I rose unsteadily to my feet, with an ax-split canteloupe for a head, and stumbled into the blessedly private bathroom, bless you, Lord, bless you. My cowardice compelled me to splash my face with cold water before facing the mirror.

The reflection was not too bad. My rosy sun-tan covered the green flesh-tone, and my raw, pink eyes would relax behind dark glasses. I particularly admired the small and tasteful gold loop in my right ear-lobe. I should mention at this point that I do not wear an earring.

There are some situations too extreme for panic, like an approaching freight-train. I stared at my blood-caked, swollen ear with the calm clarity of a mescaline high. The happy chorus moved on happily, and I thought it best that I vacate this room before the three bears came home. I made the bed with the sure and steady moves of Katherine Hepburn in her final years. I opened the door and peered cautiously down the porch in both directions, confirming there was no one normal around, and walked briskly to my actual room, like a shoplifter making for an exit.

On the way, I formulated a theory about the earring. One of my residency buddies was a big, bald, bearded, burly bastard named Beal who looked like a bouncer in a biker bar. (I am partial to alliteration.) He wore Harley caps and Gypsy Joker tee shirts, but in fact he sold wicker. It seemed likely he had bestowed the piercing upon me, which conjured up disquieting feelings of my consensual but now regretful violation. I also remembered he had fallen backwards off the porch. I could not recall if he had gotten back up again.

One was not allowed to swim in the chill Atlantic so early without a life-guard on duty, but surely one could wade in up to one’s knees and go soak one’s head if one were in crapulous straits, as this one was.

I stumbled to the pebble-carpeted beach like Hart Crane heading for his last dip, removed my sneakers, rolled up my pant-legs and waded in. When I had reached a workable depth, I submerged my head, holding my breath as long as I could. While I was under, I decided not to find the owner of the polo shirt, as this might lead to unpleasantness. I whipped my head up from the icy salt water like some model in Jamaica, and turned to walk back. An old man in a straw hat and baggy shorts gave me a quick glance and said, “You must be one o’ them writah fellas.”

Kenneth Butler
Star Island, NH
August, 2010


A TK Bipartisan Beef ...
Okay, the ugly one says, “So where’s my end?” After the $700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street, I’m wondering where my share of the profits from my investment are being kept. For one thing, I’m unemployed these days and can use a little spike in income. For another thing, I’m feeling a little bit more ripped off than I did originally; seeing how they not only recovered on my dime, they had record earnings.

Last night Chris Matthews was spinning his usual party talking points while forgetting a few key facts. The maven of Hardball suddenly wants both parties to come together and punish Wall Street with heavier taxes. He wants them to pay their “fair share” ... he wants Democrats to point out to America how it is Republicans who are speaking on behalf of Wall Street.

Interesting, I thought. I think I spent a little bit of blog space these last few Obama years on the $38 BILLION (ALWAYS ALL CAPS, BY THE WAY)tax break the Obama administration excused the same Wall Street firms he bailed out on our dime. Where was Chris when that was going on? Come to think of it, where was Chris when the profit earnings reached new records for the same bailed out companies and none of us (who did the bailing out) received a penny of those profits (never mind getting our jobs back)? Let’s not get into the fact that not only was Wall Street (Goldman, etc.) permitted to outsource American jobs before the bailout, they were permitted to continue doing so after they took our money.

Interesting, I thought, how a Democrat controlled Congress and Senate couldn’t work for the people who elected them and their Democratic President. They failed on national health insurance, they haven’t generated much employment while the biggest contributors to their campaign (Goldman Sachs) keeps reaching new highs in profits. They did manage to involve us in a third war (with a fourth on the backburner), but unemployment rates hover around 9%.

Interesting, I thought, how the only parties promising to protect the American worker is either socialist or communist. And since we can pretty much count on any government system going corrupt so long as we remain a capitalist economy, a very strong case for anarchism exists.

And for all the crying against the “evils” of socialism, corporate America sure seems to be benefitting from government handouts (the bailout that saved the rich being but one of the many perks corporate America gets to protect itself with).

Ralph Nader might get something done, but he’d have to be given a chance and both major parties aren’t about to let the rest of the country hear what anyone else has to say.

What we all know won’t help the American worker is either of the two major parties (Democratic or Republican). Those two couldn’t be more corrupt (literally, I think it’s impossible).

The Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann sideshows are just that--sideshows. A pair of lunatics, one scarier/crazier than the other; both ignorant as most rocks. The “Hope We Can Believe In” slogan has turned into a punching bag joke line. Hell, we’re still waiting for Obama to find “some comfortable shoes” so he can walk the picket lines in defense of collective bargaining (another campaign promise he went bust on).

“Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”


As for the wars ... well, we seem to be involved in more now than ever before. So much for “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time ...”

Interesting, I think, how we all keep taking it. A Congressman sends pictures of his pecker over the internet, something any of us would be “fired for cause” for and thus precluded from receiving unemployment, but Anthony Weiner will have lifetime health benefits and a pension because he got to resign?

Interesting, I think, the idea of a pension. Teachers in Wisconsin average $42K were demonized by lunatics on the right anxious to blame them for bankrupting America. Did those same lunatics not have to participate in the bailout of Wall Street? We already know Democrats, except for those in the Wisconsin Senate, kept their safe distance from those protesting their right to collectively bargain. Party of the people? Really? Democratic loyalists can continue to kid themselves all they want. Holding back a vote for a third party (socialist, communist, green, libertarian, take your pick) from fear of a Republican President has produced yet another disaster (with a majority in both houses upon election, he turned into Obama the ineffective right quick, unless of course, you were one of Wall Street’s privileged).

All I know is I was working 7 days a week under the moron who insisted on tax breaks while going to war in two countries and deregulating us into a near depression. The eloquent one has overseen my 7 days a week turn into 0 days a week (a.k.a., unemployment). Turns out neither President was better than the other. Neither seems to have known enough to run a lemonade stand, never mind a country. Wall Street continues to flourish while the middle class gets beaten down at every turn. Do you really think there’s a difference between parties? Do you really think that oath of office has to do with protecting the constitution? Something tells me it should read the way it is: to protect and preserve corporate America at any and all costs to the taxpaying public.

It doesn’t get much more frustrating than it is today, although I’m sure this government (both parties) will find another way to screw all of us before the year is out. Maybe letting oil jump to $5.00 a gallon ... or charging the same for a gallon of milk.

The good news was New York FINALLY passed the gay marriage act ... so good for New York. It’s a bit ironic that in a land where all men are created equal, we’re still having to depend on legislation to grant equality. Then again, this country had little problem with slavery for a few hundred years ...

Like our motto says ... leave the political party, take the cannoli.


—Knucks

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SNHU MFA Summer Residency (Part 3): PMS and the Oklahoma Kid (and Polar Bears) ...

Amici:

Some wake up on a fine summer’s day and see inspiration all around them; the beautiful blue sky, the ocean’s waves breaking on the rocks, the smell of the sea, the sound of a (fuckin’) foghorn ... and then there are some (our Stephanie Milligan) who wake up, observe nature and all its raw wonder and are inspired to write poetry ...



PMS
plural male stressors
pulse moving slow
pulpy milky sediment
pancake maple syrup
pale mourning siblings
proud mom story
porn mangles senses
promise multiple sins
predict malefic sunbursts
pedophile meet satan
please more sex
protect moral status
pillow muffles screams
pirates must sail
prevent mass suicide
primitive maggot species
plot makes sense


The Oklahoma Kid ... Daniel Mitchell and I met at registration our first day in the program ... we hung out from time to time and he told me some very funny stories about a more rural life than I’m used to, teaching kids and living in Alaska (where an 8 foot Moose scared the shit out of him in the middle of the night when it walked across his Alaskan porch).

Daniel also found his way down to the dock just about every morning to jump in the frigid waters off Shutter Island with the Shutter Island Polar Bears. Here’s his story, The Polar Bear Shuffle:

Day 1:

The first morning on Star Island I wake to the sun slashing through my window, the room far too bright, and decide, “OK. This is crazy, but I’m doing it anyway.” On my bathing suit the hula girls laugh. My flip-flops squeaking at each stride, towel at port arms, I walk out on the porch, and everyone stares. They’ve all got that expression you reserve for whack-jobs at Wal-Mart as I cross the porch and head for the ocean. Even the air is too cold for this, and I only keep moving because they’re watching, waiting to sneer when I fail.

I crunch down the gravel beach, lose the t-shirt and towel, drop the flops, and step in. I look down as I wade through bejeweled bits of broken shells, like broken dreams. The crystal waves rise with each step and I forget the watchers. This isn’t for them any more. This is for me, my own personal baptism.

Day 2:

The alarm croons jazz, and I think, “This is stupid. It serves no purpose. You’re pounding your pride. Just go back to sleep,” and notice I’m already dressed and reaching for the door.

The hula girls are less mocking this morning, a bit uncertain, as I join the gathering crowd. Our cheerleaders, the Polarettes, wrapped in jackets and jeans toot happily on their kazoos, as we pause for a picture on the gangplank, and a chant builds below me,



“We are the Polar Bears.
We swim anywheres.
We’re coooool.”


I dive in second with all the grace of a dead seal and manage three minutes before the intense pain in my now tiny testicles, threatening to crack like ice cubes, overcomes me, and I flee gasping.

Day 3:

“This is stupid. This is stupid. This is stupid.” I chant as I stumble down the stairs, late, chasing the happily chatting Bears down the pier. This time I wait my turn among the crowd, veined hands clapping, voices swelling as each new splash resounds. Some enter singly and some in groups holding hands, smiles for one and all. I do my dead seal dive, my walnuts soon to be peanuts, wincing in anticipation. I make it longer this time. One minute, two, four, eight, and the pain goes away. Suddenly I’m warm. I wonder briefly if this is the first sign of hypothermia, or someone’s bladder just let go. Either way, it’s a beautiful thing.

Graying voices all around me now the pure cries of children as we frolic in the waves. Before I know it, I’m welcomed in and extend my feet to join the synchronized star of silliness, soles touching as we turn. Souls touching as we turn.

“We are the Polar Bears.
We swim anywheres.
We’re COOOOOOL.”


The Drive Home ... Charlie & Mae, soaked to the core, loaded up the Volvo and headed south on I-95 for New Jersey. It was a fairly quick trip and thoroughly enjoyable except for one misdirection (a sign for McDonald’s that left us driving around New Hampshire/Massachusetts for an extra half hour) ... fortunately for moi, I had Mae along for the ride ... all of us in the program (the 12-step anger management program, that is) know Mae as a very calming influence ... and that came in handy when we stopped to ask some guy in a truck where the McDonald’s was ... half an hour later, it went something like this.

“The fuck is this place?” I said.

“The fuck do I know?”
Mae said. “I don’t live this shit state.”

“I was gonna say excuse my French, but I’m glad you let loose, Mae. You seemed bottled up about something since we left Portsmouth.”

“Fuck you, Charlie.”

“That’s what I’m talking about.”


No, no, no ... of course it didn’t go like that. The F-words (a few MF words and the like) were all mine ... and just about when I thought I might play bumper cars with a few foreigners (New Hampshire/Massachusetts drivers), Mae actually did calm me down.

Okay, so she spiked my coffee with Valium, but I did find her prayers soothing. I even remember one of them.

“Oh, please, Lord ... help me calm this crazy white man before he runs us into the back of a tractor trailer.”

Mae is a sweetheart ... and I got to meet her wonderful husband, Chan, when we made it to Casa Stella safe and sound ... and no sooner did she plead with me not to show Chan (a drummer himself) my drum room, I ran him upstairs to visit those bad boys. Mae has been telling Chan drums won’t fit in their house and I showed him how they fit for a 315 pounder (and I have about 150 pounds on Chan so you know his kit will fit even easier).

Drummer’s stick together ...

One-liners about the Pelicans (the kids who worked on Shutter Island):

I have two in my pocket. Don’t tell anyone.

When you push her make sure she doesn’t break an ankle. Make sure she breaks her neck.

I’m just going to put on my strap-on.

It sounds like a choir of drag queens.

This two finger thing is amazing!


The Jersey Connection ... Back to Me and Mae (or Mae and Me) ... sometimes when I’m driving I like to play ”make believe”. Admit it, you all do it. You know how when you slap the top of the hood like Kojak used to do it and make police siren sounds as you drive a little faster? For some reason, after getting lost looking for McDonald’s, I thought “we need to make up some time” ... and because French Fries had been on my mind, I thought, French Connection ... except there were two Jerseyites in the car so it couldn’t be French ... although Mae did seem a bit confused when I called her Popeye a few times ...


We’re winding down the Summer Residency posts and I haven’t been able to find Ken Butler. If anyone has his email address, etc., please have him contact me.

Two Guys on all they missed while on Shutter Island ...

“You hear, that jackass died?” one guy said.

“Which jackass?” the other guys said.

“I don’t know, one of the jackasses. You know, those morons try to kill themselves and film it.”

“Huh?”

“Forgetaboutit. You hear about Weiner?”

“Oscar Mayer?”

“Huh?”

“Weiner.”

“The fuck you talkin’ about?”

“You started it.”

“How about Bulger?”

“Whitey?”

“Yeah, they finally bagged him. Only took them sixteen years.”

“Because they couldn’t catch a cold without a rat, the FBI.”

“Jackasses.”

“Huh? No, just the one. One jackass.”

“The fuck you talkin’ about?”

“Forgetaboutit.”

No, no, no ... don’t forgetabout it ...


—Knucks

Monday, June 27, 2011

SNHU MFA Summer Residency Program, Part 2: Reflections on Star Island, or Who’s snuggling the rat?

Amici:

See Part I (Argh!) here:

As some of yous might have surmised, the weather on Shutter Island last week turned from truly gorgeous to truly horrific (i.e., the setting from the Movie Se7en came to mind more than once). As Wiki put it: In an unidentified city of near-constant rain and urban decay ... substitute “rustic” for urban decay and you’re on Shutter Island. And for any writer feeling frustrated by a lack of success (whether finding an agent/editor/publisher or anything financial), here’s something to keep your head(s) above water with: Shortly after completing his education, he (Andrew Kevin Walker--the screenwriter of Seven) moved to New York City and began a career in retail at Tower Records. During that time, he worked on several projects, but Walker was unable to find much success until 1991, when he completed the script for Seven. Something tells me Andrew spent the summer of 1990 on Shutter Island ...

But I digress ... there was also a lot of fun on the island of shutter and although some of the jokes may be inside (to those in the program), Darrel Leo’s account (his reading the last night of the residency) was both brilliant and hilarious.

Reflections on Star Island, or Who’s snuggling the rat?

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip……

The rickety boat crawled out to sea. Some chipper college coed narrated the trip by pointing out assorted dead shit that we passed.

“On our right is the first naval, penal, leper, chemical warfare testing institution. “

A first semester student puked over the side.

Near the horizon, there were a few lumps of rock; the isles of shoals. Our destination, our home, our classroom…..our penal colony……I mean writer’s colony.

The hotel was okay. I mean okay in a there’s no hot water, your room tilts like a carnival funhouse, and there’s some bitch on the 2nd floor threatening your life if you wake up her bratty ass kid kind of way.

Katie assured us of the history and calm of the island. But… she’s from New York.

She finds Detroit peaceful.

So Not Tim forgot mixer.

I settled in and let myself steep in the island’s environment. I roamed the rocky shores, watched the waves crash in a violent froth and…….what is up with that fucking foghorn?!

We ventured out, rowing to a neighboring island. Captain Merle lead the way. Some went seeking experience, knowledge, excitement. Some went in search of a Dunkin Donuts. Still we ventured into that heart of smutty darkness and none left unchanged. No, really, we all had to change because of the seagull shit.

In our time of need we called out for our intrepid adventurer. “Craig,” we called, but…. he was not there. We later learned he was getting a mani pedi after his Cosmo shoot.

We welcomed new faculty members. After the first student faculty mixer, they were caught trying to hotwire a boat. Unfortunately for them, it was a row boat. As they trudged up the hill in defeat, Ann chopped the heads off all the petunias. Diane was heard yelling, “Residency on an island, bitches!”

Still, we read, and we wrote, and we listened, and we talked. We talked about books and words and craft and how fucking cool are Hungarian midgets?

I learned so much……how to query an agent, “So, wanna see my manuscript?”

Turtles………...are delicious in soup! Jason will take all the mashed potatoes. I can find literary gems in my waking thoughts like “Who’s fucking singing?”, or “Huh. That seagull just took a shit.”

I learned that My novel is always half done and writing from a fish perspective is hard.

There are 200 thousand manuscripts in search of a home. Mine is just one more lonely sperm swimming upstream. We need a workshop on touching ourselves. Kim is devious with corn.

Rituals and traditions endured. New ones began. Friendships made and strengthened.
To paraphrase “veni vedi,…… I didn’t study latin”…..we came, we wrote, we whined about it.

Next summer, I’ll be first on the boat back to Shutter island.


And here’s soon to be a graduate of the program, Kelly Gamble Stone’s reflection on doing time in a summer squall ...

Some one-liners about the workshops:

Tomorrow we examine the geography of blow jobs.

Wait, was the fish the narrator?

She looks normal.

Do it harder.

If you’re getting shot at, you’re going to say the F-word a lot.

Sexual frustration is okay.

I always love a man in a headband.

Are you famous?

I’m using the term shit loosely, of course.

My slit became a slat and now I look like a slut.


Coffee anyone? To say the coffee on shutter island was weak is being more than generous (like giving $77 million to a woman who once spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself). Shutter Island brew was pretty much brown water that permitted one to see the bottom of the cup if it was half full. I drink 3 mugs of the heavenly coffee soon as I wake up. One more beyond four in the afternoon and I’m up through the night, so I have to limit it to another dose before three to play it safe. I drank upwards of a dozen “cups” of the swill served on Shutter Island a day and managed to nap in the afternoon and sleep through the night (once that fucking foghorn became elevator music, around 11:00 p.m. or so).

Ann Wertz Garvin (one very funny lady) and one of the program’s brilliant staff, was clever enough to smuggle concentrated beans (coffee) aboard the S.S. Minnow and was saved from the Percocet state Shutter Island coffee left us in through lunch and into dinner ... which, truth be told, the four day nor’easter offset by replacing caffeine as a stimulant by day 4 of our incarceration. Ann is a native New Yorker and obviously wise to ways of surviving “rustic”.

I’m not sure who managed to capture the picture above of our ferry back to Portsmouth (a truly beautiful city), but a few of our pirates did upchuck their breakfasts on the return trip. As a guy without sea legs (and one who’s spewed on past voyages, both fishing and cruising alike), I focused my attention on a kindle version of a book by the SNHU desert father (Craig Childs), The Animal dialogues ... somehow reading how Craig was almost eaten by a Grizzly Bear made me feel better about our Perfect Storm return trip to Portsmouth. Craig is another of the program’s staff and a truly amazing guy (he danced, he typed on his laptop ... he mentored, he typed on his laptop ... he rowed, he typed on his laptop ... he ate while typing on his laptop ... he even defied the Percocet coffee brew while typing on his laptop ...

Here’s the voices of the two guys I kept hearing on that foghorn ...

“Madonna mia,” one guy said. “That fuckin’ noise. What is it?”

“Foghorn,” the other guy said.

“Foghorn? The fuck for?”

“So the ships at sea don’t crash.”

“What ships? There’s six rowboats and a couple of sailboats out there. And that dopey ferry we took here looks like it belongs on Gilligan’s island. And it’s perfectly clear out. Can’t they use a foghorn when it’s foggy out. I mean, not for nothin’, foghorn does have the word fog in it.”

“Maybe, but I seen some other boats out there too. The traffic could get a little tricky.”

“Other Boats? Traffic? Where? The little lobster things? Those guys working them things are tough SOB’s. Tough as nails they are. They don’t give a shit about crashing. I think that foghorn bullshit is for New Yorkers like us, pro’bly some sound track the back of the prison put on by Red Sox Nation motherfuckers.”

“You know what? You’re pro’bly right. Cocksuckers.”

Der fliegende Holländer (the most famous “ghost ship” of all--until the Thomas Leighton to Shutter Island, that is) ... but one hell of an opera (although my wife, the Principessa Ann Marie, said she’d kill herself before she had to sit through another Wagner opera) ...


Domani, the Oklahoma Kid (Daniel Mitchell) on his experiences with the Shutter Island Polar Bears (they swim anywhere’s ... they’re coooooool) ...

—Knucks

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Southern New Hampshire University MFA Program Part 1: “Argh!”

Amici:


We’re back! And while I’m asking the Doc to “cease fire” until the summer residency blogs are over (not sure how many yet), I was hearing the voices of two (knockaround) guys throughout our summer residency (conversations you’ll find from time to time below). There were also student and faculty readings and a collection of one liners (things people heard over the course of the residency that were then given to Katherine Towler (author of the Island trilogy reviewed here), which she read at the last night’s festivities.

Part 1 (“Argh!”)

While Anthony Weiner resigned, one of the Jackasses (Ryan Dunn) died and the FBI finally got around to capturing Whitey Bulger ... 16 years after he made fools of them (yeah, right, sending them after Osama Bin Laden would’ve been a great idea), Knucks joined the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) MFA troops on campus and at Shutter Island. It’s a group loaded with talent, students and staff alike, and our time together will be treasured for a long time to come (lockups breed camaraderie, don't'cha know).

The “argh!” above has to do with the Shutter Island portion of the residency when some brave staff and students ventured on a journey across the rough seas for Smuttynose Island (where a bloody axe murder actually took place back in 1873). The pirates of the SNHU program took their treacherous adventure on a beautiful sunny day (the last such day before the summer squalls and nor’easters whipped up the last four days of our residency).



It wasn’t just ghosts or goblins or various aggressive naval ships our SNHU pirates had to battle, there were the attacking pigeons (which, Robert 151 Curran later informed me were actually seagulls), too. Lots and lots of them (click on the link below).

Big Pigeons ...

That was the first time I heard the two guys voices ...

“What’s up with all the pigeons?” one guy said.
“Fuckin’ big, no?” the other guy said.
“Yeah and I heard a couple kids in the writing program say they got attacked by them. Had to wave sticks over their heads to beat them off.”
“Attacking pigeons? You’re shittin’ me.”
“I shit you not.”
“I thought they were peaceful birds, pigeons. I see’m on the Staten Island ferry sometimes, onna boats or in the terminals, but all they do is eat and shit.”
“Yeah, well, these pigeons, the island over there, they take your eyes out, eat them, then later shit them back out on your head for laughs.”


Some One Liners ...

This is a little piece I wrote about turtles.

We were snuggling a rat. Oh, that’s what they call it now?

I guess we’re having a hootenanny instead of a reading.

I love donkeys. They remind me of my days in show business.

Every time I do it with a student it’s different.

I am actually more of a moron.

This might sound strange because I’m holding a knife and an apple, but you have very pretty eyes.

Shane Remer’s reading:

This story takes place after a husband returns home from work shortly after his wife has. Each of their inner thoughts (italics) are followed by their verbal expressions, starting with the wife. It’s titled… I’m Sorry

Ah, there’s the asshole.
“Hey there, how was work?”
Slightly miserable, but manageable.
“Fine, how was yours?”
I flirted with the cute delivery guy so that I could feel appreciated as a woman, something you wouldn’t understand.
“Oh, same as usual.”
Shit, she just forced a smile. I did something.
“Should I make dinner tonight?”
Does he have to ask? Why doesn’t he just take some initiative.
“No, I’m still full from breakfast.”
Why did she mention breakfast?
“All right. I’m going to go change then.”
Did he not notice that I said something about breakfast?
“Okay, dear.”
Shit, she forced another smile AND said “dear.” I did something.
“How was your day?”
Oh… now he’s trying. ‘Bout time. We’re only seven years into this marriage.
“You already asked me that.”
Something’s definitely wrong.
“Is something wrong?”
Yeah, you didn’t leave me any milk for breakfast this morning you inconsiderate ass!
“No.”
She’s still forcing that smile. Isn’t that counterproductive to avoiding those crow’s eyes she’s always worried about?
“Something’s wrong.”
Well whoopity-frickin-do, you figured it out. Do you want a Nobel Peace prize while you’re at it Captain Dipshit?
“Nothing’s wrong.”
Okay. Retrace. Is it her birthday? No. Is it our wedding anniversary? No. Shit, it’s probably one of those odd anniversaries, like the first time we kissed, or the first time I did something wrong.
“Are you sure?”
Are you sure? You’re an asshole. You didn’t leave me any milk, and, now that I’m looking at you I think you should get a gym membership and Rogaine.
“Yeah, I’m sure. I’m going to make dinner, how about steak?”
Steak? Why would she cook me steak if I did something wrong?
“That sounds great.”
It sure does, just like a bowl of cereal sounded great until I opened the fridge and realized that my husband is a douche bag. Even Hitler saved a cyanide pill for his wife.
“Okay.”
She’s smiling again. Why is she walking to the fridge while smiling at me? God dammit this is bad.
“I’m gonna go change.”
Three… two… one…
“Oh no, we’re out of milk.”
We’re out of milk?
“We’re out of milk?”
Ding ding ding! And now for part two of why I’m going to cut your balls off while you sleep tonight…
“Yeah, I didn’t have any breakfast today.”
Wait. She didn’t have breakfast today? But I went out and got milk.
“I thought put some in there this morning.”
Oh god, and now he’s going to come up with pre-school lies? I hope you die in your sleep tonight so I can get to that “until death do we part” clause.
“You did?”
Is she really crying over spilled milk?
“Yeah. I spilled the rest earlier today and then ran to the store to get some more that way you’d have some for breakfast. I came back inside and… oh—”
His eyes are dropping to the floor. He’s being sincere.
“What?”
I’m such a moron.
“I think I put it in the cupboard. I’m such a moron.”
Yep, there it is, in the cupboard. Oh no! I’m seven years into a marriage and guilt tripping my husband over spilled milk. Oh my god, I… AM… BECOMING... MY… MOTHER
“You are a moron.”
I’m a moron and she loves me.
“I love you.”
I… AM… BECOMING… MY… MOTHER… The same woman who had six marriages and not one made it past two years! And my husband’s still with me. The moron loves me.
“I love you, too.”

And then there were special musical guest stars (Eric Thomas and Helen Wolfson) who really gave all of us a thrill with their musical talents as well as the wonderfully warm smiles they exchanged with each other while playing their instruments; more than a few of us commented on how happy they seemed playing together (truly romantic). I had a short chat with Mr. Thomas the morning we were paroled off the island and made sure to buy one of their CD’s (My Slice of Forever) ... he and his wife were thrilled by the standing ovation they received from all of us grateful SNHU MFA’ers and even more so when we requested an encore (which they did after performing a Robert Johnson blues tune that had all of us clapping along).

This one is for yous Irish out there ...






More very funny readings (including at least one poem) and some more one liners coming ... and if yous thought you had bad weather last week ... here are some of us making our way to the boat home ...



But first, those voices on Shutter Island meals ...

“The fuck is polenta?” one guy said.
“I don’t know,” the other guy said, “but it looks like somebody already ate it.”
“Try the green shit. Tastes like broccoli rabe, but without the garlic.”
“No garlic?”
“I don’t think they know what that is up here.”
“’Tastes like’ means it ain’t. What is it?”
“Kelp, I think the kid said.”
“The fuck is kelp?”
“Or kale maybe.”
“The fuck is kale?”
“What am I, the green grocer? Eat the fuckin’ thing.”


And this is for all broccoli rabe eatin’ eye-talians out there ...






—Knucks

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gone Fishing ...

Amici:


I begin my MFA program Wednesday morning in beautiful downtown Manchester, New Hamphire ... after a few days on campus we move to Shutter Island off the coast; an environmental paradise (if you’re a tree hugger). For a guy who needs no more inspiration than a pot of coffee, I am not feeling particularly enamored with the setting.

Couldn’t they book a Marriott and dole out the toilet paper ala Sheryl Crow?


Just in case, I am bringing my own toilet paper ...

I’ll hanging with a group of talented writers (fellow students and staff) and that should offset the lock-up environment. I guess I can view this as a leave of absence from blogging/reviews (since Shutter Island tends to avoid WYFY and I will have very limited Internet access). So, no TK’s until June 26 or so (a week I also have a dental appointment so there’s that extra dose of torture to look forward to as well).


Sleeping won’t come easy for the ugly one; I require at least the sound of an air conditioner (which I use throughout the winter--letting the fan run), a hug pillow (which I’m taking) and a king-sized bed. Oy vey, am I in for it ...


Although I’m 130 pages into a crime novel inspired by the MFA program on Shutter Island (a witness protection novel featuring the return of Jimmy “Bench Press” Mangino), my project during the program is a literary novel I’ve been struggling with (on and off) for four years. I will either be successful with it or go down swinging (“Down goes Stella. Down goes Stella” ... don’t bet on it) ...

I’ve now read a few of the instructors’ works (one going back quite a few years that my wife and I recognized once I re-bought her first work on kindle -- a book I had enjoyed so much when I originally read it, I wrote the author (Katherine Towler) about it back then). I reread that one and both the follow-ups and they were truly terrific reads (reviewed here:).

I’ve also read one of the visiting instructors; David Carroll’s non-fiction work on Albert Camus, the Algerian (mentioned in this interview with Declan Burke and that prompted quick rereads of a few of Camus’ books, short stories (as well as watching the highly acclaimed film, The Battle of Algiers). Interesting stuff.

I read one (Season of Ice) by the new director of the program, Diane Les Becquets (an absolutely unpronounceable last name in Brooklynese) and enjoyed that as well.

Right now I’m reading a book (The Suburbs of Heaven) by the Peer Group Instructor (Merle Drown) running the group I’m in and haven’t put it down.

I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking a more legitimate shot (where I’m required to be much more focused) at a literary novel and meeting some talented writers, co-students and staff alike.

So, while Anthony Weiner is in rehab, the economy is in the shitter, Obama courts Wall Street yet again, there is talk of a possible fourth military engagement, I will be in New Hampshire (the dorms at Southern New Hampshire University) and on a New Hampshire Island (Shutter Island) ... teaching craps? No, no, no ... the felt, dice and chips remain at Casa Stella (in beautiful downtown Fords, New Jersey). I will be working towards an MFA degree which I hope to teach with some day in the future (because it was a teacher, Dave Gresham, who inspired me to try my hand at this writing stuff and if anybody owes that man and teaching in general something honorable this life, it's moi) while making a focused attempt at writing something other than mob fiction and plays. I am looking very forward to the work and exchanges with fellow students and the instructors guiding us all. As for looking forward to lockup ... well, not so much.

I leave early in the morning (adjusted somewhat so I can visit Momma Stella before my adventure north) ... and now that the Mavs have taken down the Miami Choking Dogs, I have no game 7 to look forward to tomorrow night (which I’ll be spending at the bar in the Marriott).

And on that note, congratulations to Cleveland for the Mavericks Championship season.

So, amici, until the end of June, it’s addio for now ...



Don’t you love fat guys who sweat a lot?

—Knucks

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Doc says ...

Amici:

The Doc has been busy, but he found time today for a little email to moi ...

Hey Chaz,

Quite a week, eh? Who would have thought that the media talking heads would spend an entire week talking about Weiner ad nauseum. It’s like a Beavis and Butthead wet dream.

“Heh, heh, she said wiener!”

I’m not sure if the administration loves him or hates him. Granted, he’s not exactly the poster boy you’d want for your party, but while everyone is talking about Weiner, no one is talking about the dismal economy or that pesky 4th war in Yemen that Fredo seems to be thinking about throwing a few billion dollars at. Who would have imagined that this jug-eared, pencil-neck, professor in chief would make “W” look like a pacifist. And where is that annoying, little troll, Cindy Sheehan camping out now?

At least we don’t have to wonder where Weiner’s lovely wife, Huma’s heart is at. She decided that this week would be a fine time to announce to the world that she is pregnant.

“Et tu Huma.”

Not surprisingly, Huma is touring the world with Hillary. You have to know that Hillary is one of the two people in the galaxy that you do not want consoling your wife when you’ve been sending tweets of your tallywacker to Vegas blackjack dealers and porn stars. A lot of Hillary’s cures involve super glue and kerosene soaked bed sheets. Just for your reference, the other consoler you don’t want is Lorena Bobbit… and she is ranked after Hillary.

It’s odd that Weiner’s wife who is a devout muslim has decided to use her maiden name. For some reason she does not want to be referred to as Huma Weiner… and we’re back to Beavis and Butthead again.

“Heh, heh, he said “hum a wiener.”

The next Docster prediction is that in a week or two Weiner will be checking into a facility for rehabilitation. Successfully transforming himself from an arrogant degenerate into what Democrats love most in this world... a victim.

Keep ‘em smiling, Slim
Doc

This is dedicated to my truck driving brother-in –law, Jeremiah, who passed away last week. I’ll miss him.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Sports ... more foreign flicks ... why the dick should resign ...

Amici:

Sort of like baseball, except it’s a lot more exciting, the NBA doesn’t really matter until the absurdly irrelevant season and all the mini-tournaments are over and the last two teams are standing. In 2006, I was rooting for Duane Wade (I could never root for a Miami team outright) and against Mark Cuban. This season, after the Heat became the Skankies of the NBA, the love is with the Mavericks and the tall kid from Deutschland ... yeah, even though Cuban is the owner of the means of production ... sometimes you gotta put blinders on.

I said something really dumb a few weeks ago to my youngest brat about Lebron James. “I think he’s better than Jordan.” Dustin looked at me like, “You poor old man. Dementia, at 55?” Anyway, the thing is, not only was I absurdly wrong, I forgot just how good Duane Wade is. Last night he proved that the team from Miami remains Wade’s team. Lebron who?

I once had a hip pointer playing football back in the college days. Four days of ultra-sound treatments before I could practice. Last night Wade took a pointer and was back on the floor twice after breaks to do whatever they did to him in the locker room. Truly unbelievable.

And speaking of unbelievable and my idiot comment about Lebron James ... 2 pts in the 4th quarter? Well, he’s better than me. I once scored 2 pts in an entire season playing for St. Jude’s CYO team. 6 games, 2 points ... and believe me, nobody was more surprised than me when the damn thing finally went in the net (against St. Thomas Aquinas). I think they beat us 56-18 or something. Shortly thereafter I figured out it was my vertical leap that would keep me from journeying through the NCAA ranks into the NBA.

Malena ... hilarious, sad and ultimately triumphant ... a boy falls in love with a beautiful (and I mean beautiful--Monica Bellucci) married woman whose husband is at war in a WWII Sicilian (the real Italia) coming of age adventure. Small town gossip and the trouble it causes ... this was terrific.

The Return ... another Russian masterpiece and coming of age story as the father of two boys missing for a dozen years returns to teach them how to be men ... what a tough ending.


It’s bad enough he’s not automatically terminated (try sending a naked picture of yourself from your work computer and see what happens). Any of us would be terminated for doing what Anthony Weiner did and THAT is the reason he should be fired (never mind resign). How is it “we the people” who pay their salaries have no say in whether they can be fired or not? Do we really need to supply creeps like Weiner, Vitter, Foley, Craig, Spitzer, Clinton, et al with lifetime pensions and healthcare after they’re caught doing what would get us terminated at our own jobs?

Forget the politics of the moment. Like progressive democrats won anything from a full majority House and Senate after Obama’s 2008 election (so quit whining MSNBC). They accomplished what again? Oh, right, they gave away $700 BILLION of our dollars to Wall Street (who, like Goldman Sachs, make no mistake, will FIRE YOUR ASS should you get caught sending YOUR pecker (or whatever) over THEIR internet). Add to that the fact Weiner and his majority colleagues did absolutely nothing for workers (except ignore unions and set labor back 150 years or so) and it’s icing on the cake ... or, if you prefer, a hole-filled prophylactic on the penis.

So, for the sake of being genuinely in touch with the workers he represents (so many of whom are already out of work for any number of reasons, including, no doubt, sending pictures of their peckers over the internet), Weiner should do the right thing and step down so all of us feel just a little less pain where the sun don’t shine.

Capisca? Arrivederci, Anthony ...

—Knucks

Substitute Anthony for Roma (Roma = Rome, that French city on the boot of what passes for Italy when everybody knows Sicilia is really Italy) ... like I said, blinders ...


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What a ... dick! ... Ringing bells and warning the British ...

Amici:

I try really hard to avoid politics of late. Frankly, it's all so discouraging, I'd rather watch foreign films, go for a walk, read a book or try to write one. Then crap like Anthony Weiner's fall from grace happens and my blood boils all over again. One of the very few politicians I tried my best to have faith in winds up just another jerkoff with a little too much time on his hands (so much for all that hard work he was doing on behalf of his constituents). He winds up being just another argument for hardcore anarchists (which I'm starting to appreciate a little more every day) who insist NO GOVERNMENT is better than the shit we're paying to screw us over today. Let's face it, they have a point.


Most of yous know how I feel about both major parties (they are both EQUALLY as useless as tits on a bull) ... they are corrupt beyond measure and way more costly to taxpayers than they are effective. They are tools of big business, corporate America and what amounts to American royalty (the 2%’ers). Add the fact politicians can serve a single term and have lifetime Cadillac healthcare AND a pension and what you have is legitimized organized crime (and nothing less). See Wall Street bailout ...


The latest (at least for today) exposure to what we are ripped off for with tax dollars many of us do NOT mind paying is Mr. Weiner. Someone please tell me this clown, after he is forced to resign (and let’s hope that he does that on his own and soon), isn’t entitled to lifetime healthcare and a pension. Please tell me someone out there has already written (and managed to have passed) a law precluding assholes forced to resign (no matter why--legal reasons or not) from getting another dime of our loot.

For those on the left, consider this a Sarah Palin moment (embarrassment equal to every time that imbecile opens her trap [i.e., Paul Revere warned the British]). To those on the right, Weiner is a much needed dose of reality for independents fed up with both parties but too embarrassed to have to vote for any of the really weak GOP presidential hopefuls in 2012.

After switching sides in 2000 (from pure frustration with the Democratic party), then giving up on both parties after 2006, I at least listened to two Democratic Congressmen (to what they "said"). Dennis Kucinich (who was blatantly ignored by his own party as well as all presidential debate formats) and Anthony Weiner (because I liked his politics). Kucinich flushed himself down the toilet for me when he took that famous ride on Air Force One and turned his back on national health insurance. Now there’s Weiner ... a guy obviously so enthralled with the power granted him and his own dramatizations on the house floor, he felt it was okay to make fools of everyone who voted for him as well as all the rest of the suckers forced to pay for him. Come to think of it, I didn’t see him in Wisconsin either (or his President) supporting collective bargaining. If I remember correctly, he performed from afar. Party of the people, huh?

Only Bernie Sanders (a democratic socialist) remains true to his word (at least as of today). So, please, Bernie, don’t twitter ...

In the meantime, let’s review a few things the average schmucks, yous and me, would have to deal with if we were caught in such a circumstance.

Did Weiner troll for women while on the job? You bet he did. The fact he won’t deny that is more than enough evidence, but examining his hard drive will be even more fuel for the pyre in the coming days/weeks (never mind the "about 6" woman that will turn out to be "about a dozen" who have more evidence than the tearful Congressman was willing to discuss yesterday).

Would you or I be fired? Hell, yous and I get fired for a lot less.

Would we get unemployment? No.

Would we get a pension? Try not to choke while you’re laughing.

Would we get lifetime healthcare? Have someone smack you on the back so you don’t choke all over again.

“[He] and his wife went through a lot in the less than a year they’re married.” I’ll bet. I wonder how much had to do with him trolling for college kids on the internet.

And he wants to keep his job. What he really wants is for all of us to:


This is the state of our political system today. Lunatics on the right who think it’s 1776 (and dismiss the raping of America from the indigenous population and/or slavery that wasn’t an issue for the founding fathers) while waving their patriotic flags ... and then numb nuts on the so-called left who think they can forever con the working man into believing in “Change We Can Believe in” (to include raping the American worker of his rights while feeding the sharks on Wall Street); that they are the party of the people is as valid as Congressman Weiner’s sexting denials.


Did Weiner do something he should be jailed for? I don’t think so, but I sure don’t want to know this asswipe is in involved in the government I’m forced to fund.

TK continues to beg its readers to vote any party/parties other than the two major ones that continue to make fools of us day in and day out.

I emailed Doc yesterday and wrote, “You called it.”

Doc wrote back: You betcha (he can’t resist). Although to be honest, you didn't exactly have to be Inspector Clouseau to know that little fuck was lying... his lips were moving.
Doc

Thankfully, there is some humor this fine day as well. Steven Colbert’s reenactment of Sarah Palin’s version of Paul Revere’s ride:




That wild and crazy (and dumb as a rock) Sarah ... at least she gives us something to smile about every day.

—Knucks

Monday, June 6, 2011

Smiling in Mangel ... Foreign Flicks ... Knucks drops a sawbuck ...

Amici:

The first time I read Charlie Williams was shortly after his first Royston Blake, Mangel story (Deadfolk) was published. Patrick (Irish) Lambe turned me onto what has turned out to be the funniest MF’er I ever read; Williams has no peer for this reader. The Mangel trilogy was one funny book after another (Deadfolk, Fags and Lager {now titled Booze and Burn} and King of the Road). Roytson Blake (he has his own FB page: Free the Mangel One) is an “unstable nightclub doorman” ... his life is an adventure of misadventures, each one funnier than the last. In his latest, One Dead Hen, Royston has been accused of being a serial murderer ... I’m just 60 pages in and was literally doing my walk around beautiful downtown Fords, New Jersey (the state's sister town to Mangel) reading while walking (sporting one of my brand new Buffalo Bills T-shirts). I was also smiling and laughing and taking the occasional look-see to make sure I didn’t run over a tree. I suspect I’ll finish by tomorrow evening and since TK doesn’t provide spoilers, I can already state emphatically yous should all BUY THIS BOOK. Royston Blake is drop dead hilarious ... and Charlie Williams is spot-on the best of the funny lot.

Foreign Flicks ...

Lemon Tree ... a Palestinian widow seeks legal help to keep her lemon grove when an Israeli Defense Minister becomes her neighbor ... it isn’t just a battle against the state of Israel; there are Palestinian causes and customs fighting her as well. This was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. As frustrating as it is heartbreaking. And we think we have problems?



For My Father ... another from the same mid-east crisis, this one has to do with an attempt by a son to honor his father ... the dual politics and cultural infighting is equally crushing on both sides of the fence. Excellent movie ... and I’ll say it again. We think we have problems?



How I Ended My Summer ... from Russia and the arctic with tension and polar bears ... and maybe a touch of cabin fever ... tension that builds and builds ... this one was awarded several international commendations ... all I know is I was mesmerized by the mood the film sets from the very start. Like the French connection, this one didn’t need dialogue to make it’s points. Just a mesmerizing film about two men working at a polar research station in the arctic; one a veteran meteorologist, the other a grad student. Like I said, mesmerizing.


The walking, the dieting, the light lifting ... has led to a drop of two 5 pounds bag of excess baggage from the ugly one’s oversized carcass. As Dick La Monica would say, “It’s like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic.” Maybe, but as I edge ever closer to ducking below three bills, cattle everywhere sleep easier ... it’s all about the pets, amici.

And yes, cows are pets too ...

—Knucks

Friday, June 3, 2011

Top Ten rules to writing Noir ... Knucks in Ireland ... Cugino David and conversations between Italians sons and their mothers ...

Irish author extraordinaire, Declan Burke, interviews the ugly one at his joint ...

Donald Trump buys Sarah Palin Albanian “real New York pizza” ... compliments of io cugino David (funny stuff) ...



Speaking of io cugino ... David Francis Calderazzo is an actor and Manhattan real estate agent and has been on The Sopranos. We talked on the phone the other night for the first time and kidded about how Italian sons and their mothers talk to each other (and how the rest of the world, just hearing us, would think we were animale) ... we shared a good laugh because only eye-talians get it (we think); our mom’s have mouths as foul as ours (where do you think we get it?). Unfortunately, David’s Mom passed a few years ago, but his Dad is doing well (one my mother’s first cousins). In honor of Italian boys and their moms everywhere, this morning I chatted with Spranzi (my mom) and here’s the gist of it:

Charlie: “Hey, Ma, what’s up?”
Spiranza: “What could be up? Gots’n gool.”
Charlie: “You have your phone with you?”
Spiranza: “Yeah, I’m talking to you, no?”
Charlie: “Don’t break my balls, ma. I called you. I’m talking about the cell. You got it on you or not?”
Spiranza: “It’s right here on my table. Go scratch your ass.”
Charlie: “Yeah, I’ll scratch my ass when you fall down again and you gotta lay there until somebody finds you like a few weeks ago.”
Spiranza: “I’m not falling. Don’t worry.”
Charlie: “I have to worry.”
Spiranza: “Why do you have to worry?”
Charlie: “Because sometimes you’re a moron.”
Spiranza: “Go shit in your hat.”
Charlie: “I’m serious, Ma. Keep the fuckin’ phone in your pocket.”
Spiranza: “Hey, what’d you call me to break balls this morning?”
Charlie: “Don’t be a jerkoff. I called you to make sure you’re alive. And to see if you have your phone on you.”
Spiranza: “You’re a jerkoff.
Charlie: “No, I’m your sonny boy.”
Spiranza: “You’re a pain in my ass.”
Charlie: “Fall down and don’t call me again and see what I am.”
Spiranza: “Oh, God, help me please.”
Charlie: “Never mind God. You better pray for the EMS guys that had to pick you up a couple weeks ago.”
Spiranza: “I knew I never should’ve told you about that.”
Charlie: “Because you couldn’t call me because you didn’t have the fuckin’ phone again. I should throw it out the fuckin’ window the next time I’m there for all the good it does.”
Spiranza: “Oh, Lord, please help him. He’s sick, Lord.”

Oy vey ...

I LOVE my Mommy!

And once more, from me to all a’yous for those birthday wishes ...



—Knucks

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Doc says ...

Hey Chaz,

First off, I want to apologize for my last letter. I never meant to imply that there was anything lighthearted about what happened in Joplin, Missouri. My sister lives in Missouri and those poor folks seem to deal with whatever weather Hell has left over. It also taught me a valuable lesson about writing opinion pieces when you’re half in the bag. I promise never to do that again, starting tomorrow.

So, Happy Birthday, Big Guy! I just heard that Marilyn Monroe was also born on June 1st. She would have been 85 today. I guess she just sucked up all the beauty available for June 1st and you were left with fabulous writing skills.

And congratulations to Charles (not Chaz) on getting his Masters. I’ve always enjoyed running into Charles at your “Literary Readings”. He’s a little too thin with a little too much hair, but in spite of that he’s a good man.

I loved seeing the clip from your “sweat” reading at the Literary Club. That place was in the neighborhood made famous by that Springsteen Hit “There’s a Darkness on the Edge of Town”. The cabbie wouldn’t even take me down there until I showed him that I had a gun too. As if the neighborhood wasn’t bad enough, the literary club was held in a former massage parlor. And not just any massage parlor… this was a genuine “Happy Ending/$15/I Love You Long Time G.I.” massage parlor. Ahh, strolling down memory lane.

Now, we get to Weiner’s weiner. So, this arrogant, loud-mouthed, toucan-nosed little congressional pissant got caught sending pictures of his crotch to some 21 year old co-ed. His first defense was his Twitter account was hacked. This is obviously the 21st Century techno version of “my dog ate my homework”. But he wants to get back to serving the American people, so he does not want an FBI investigation into the hacking. Yeah, good call.

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. The “hacker” doesn’t just send the Weiner pic to the co-ed. He sends it to everyone on Weiner’s Twitter account... the all too common “reply to all” fuck up. But wait, there’s more. Then the “hacker” tries to delete the message. Now why would a hacker do that???

The jaws of life are closing around this little pecker’s pecker. He thought he could bulldoze his way through this, but it’s not going away. In his latest interview he claims that he cannot say with certitude (love that word) if the crotch in question is his or not. Huh???

I worked as a professional photographer. Out of the thousands of pictures I took I could identify every single one as my photograph or not. Going a step further, if someone, other than myself had taken a picture of my crotch I could spot that snapshot as well. To summarize, his latest defense is:

“Hey, I’m a public figure. A lot of people take pictures of my crotch. I can’t be expected to remember every one. And then this “hacker” got a hold of one of my many crotch portraits and sent it to all New York State residents and then felt guilty and tried to delete it.”

Yup, that must be what happened.

Just as a side note, Chaz, did you see the pictures of Sarah Palin on the Harley decked out in black leather? (Sarah, not the Harley)

Here‘s your guy.


Happy Birthday, Buckeroo
Doc