Sunday, June 28, 2009

South Of 8 Mile

You were dying when I first started living
The heart's still beating today, but so faint no one can hear it
We crack jokes about faded beauty through burnt out shells
Can try to look away, but south of 8 mile is all of our man-made hell.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Late Afternoon Lust

Those days of wanderlust so alluring
Those times that are lies now
Taking the last ride out of there
Leaving the blood and dirt behind.

Just A Random Update

I feel I've let this slip. Like so many other things I've let slip in my life. So here's an update. My two-and-a-half weeks of cat sitting just ended. While it was relatively painless, it did not make me long for my two cats. For the uninformed, Skinny and Fluff are still in New York and living with my brother. They may join me at the end of the summer or they may stay there. It's up to him. If he wants them, they are his. And if he doesn't, I will go gather them up and bring them out here.

Some are wondering how I left them in New York. I know it doesn't make me look too good. Whether this career switch and move across the country is moving towards something or away from something, I don't know yet. I do know that I wanted to do it alone. Somehow I let my life get shattered six months ago and I felt a need to just start everything over and clean. Maybe it's a geographic, I don't know. Whatever it is, it has worked so far. I have no regrets about moving. I think about a lot everyday, but one thing I don't think about is whether I made a mistake.

If I do end up with the cats back, I will be OK with it. They are good cats and I think they are being better cared for by my brother than they would have been if they came with me. That said, if they end up here I will try to do better. I'm not going to get into all the reasons that I have for doing what I did. They are in good hands and happy. There last few months with me were anything but that.

I have spent a nice afternoon reading a book. Been so long since I got sucked into a book. Pretty sure I'll finish it tonight, which is good since I don't have any other plans. That's OK. I was out Wednesday night at a big industry event. Yesterday, I met friends after work and then went to a meeting and came home. Today I worked out, meeting, did a little cleaning and soon will make some dinner and read some more. Tomorrow I have a full day planned. I am not struggling for things to do. I have reconnected with some old friends here. I am trying to get into the meetings here while at the same time trying not to make that my life.

I am hoping to start writing again soon. I mean book writing. I really do want to finish something, even if I never try to get it published. I just want to have something I completed to look back on.

When I do get around to pursuing this, I will probably have to find a place to write. When I was writing in New York and making headway, it was at the library or the coffee shop. At home it is too easy for me to turn on the TV or surf the Internet. And we know what that means.

It was really warm today, first time in awhile. Maybe the June gloom is finally starting to lift. Anyway, that's my update for now. Hopefully later I'll throw up some morose poetry for you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Running To Stand Still

This morning I actually finally stopped myself from having to be in perpetual motion all the time. I woke up and was out of bed by 6:30. That's normal for me these days. I didn't have to leave the apartment until 9 but I immediately started thinking that I could go for a run or hit the gym or do all these things before I had to be somewhere at 9:30.

What this is really about is me not being in the one place I should be -- my head. I am always moving so I don't have to listen to the thoughts that pour through my brain. Most of these thoughts are not good. I'm either obsessing about the past or some girl (one girl really, yeah she's still lingering there) or beating myself up. If I'm always on the go, that doesn't happen so much.

Except nothing else does either. I have books I could be reading or poems I might be writing. But if I'm always running somewhere, I'm not using my brain, I'm dodging it. I need to embrace this endless stream of thoughts -- good and bad -- that pour through me and use them to my advantage.

This morning I finally said no. I was out the door to run when I realized that I didn't need to and didn't want and was going to the gym later anyway so why am I killing myself? I went in and read a book and made breakfast and had a very relaxed morning.

The porn is the same thing. I don't look at porn because I'm some non-stop horn dog. I look at it because for a few minutes it takes me away from me. Just the like the drink and the drug did.

This all needs to stop because otherwise I won't ever be able to really do the things I want to do, even if it is just reading a newspaper. This desire to always be moving has plagued me since I was a kid. And I don't mean moving like the move I just made to L.A. I mean everyday running around all the time and feeling like a failure if I don't have some place to go or somewhere to be. It's bullshit. Most people like to lounge around and read or write or do things that take them away from the daily obsessions of life. Somewhere I picked up the idea that doing things just for yourself is bad. Even the exercise regime I do is often more out of fear of getting out of shape then because it is something I really want to do.

I have veered off course here but I think you get my main point. I need to learn to chill and stand still. This morning I took a small step towards that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Wednesday

"Did you like it," she asked taking a drag off my smoke.

I nodded as I looked at the melted wax on my arm and chest and reached out for the key which was clipped to her stiletto.

She lifted her leg up towards my mouth and I grabbed the safety pin and tried to undo it with my teeth and tongue. I got it eventually, but not until I'd put a few small holes in my lips. The key fell between my legs and she reached down between the cushion to get it. Then she dragged the key slowly up my thigh and stomach to my wrist and opened the cuffs.

I started to rub my wrists together to try to jump start the circulation while she got off the couch, went over to the table and grabbed the envelope and said she'd see me next Wednesday. As she walked to the door she opened the fridge, pulled a can of Bud out and tossed it to me. I opened it, took a big swig and then poured the rest on my chest. She laughed and walked out the door.

Another Wednesday in the books.


Caught on the line between right and wrong.
Running from the past.
Afraid of the future.
Avoiding the present.
Take time for the moment before its gone.

Why It Works

I'm rapidly approaching four years without a drink or a drug. Tonight I remembered how it works. I was at a meeting and a guy with thirty days shared about the problems he was having with the "God" thing. He wasn't sure whether he could stick or adjust or pray or anything. (On a side note, the AA out here is very fundamentalist compared to New York. I don't have a God problem, but I don't like it hammered into me either and they do that a little out here)

Afterwards I reached out to the guy and we talked for about twenty minutes. I told him that for now all he had to worry about was not drinking or drugging. The rest will happen when it happens. I've seen too many people get caught up in a lot of semantics when all they should really be focusing on is staying clean. There's a sign on the wall of Perry Street that says, "There's no wrong way to get sober." That's the most important thing you need to know.

I have no idea if this kid will stick or not. I was told long ago that when you reach out to someone you are doing it for yourself just as much as you are for them. I get that now.

I don't always talk this frankly about my recovery here. Yes, I write some dark poems and sometimes I relive the bad old days in my head and sometimes I miss it. But I also know that there is a good chance I wouldn't be here if I hadn't gotten straight. I don't mean to me melodramatic and I'm not saying I'd have died in action. What I mean is I was already dead spiritually and headed that way physically. I couldn't look in the mirror. I hated everything.

I am aware now. I am there for other people as much as I can be. I show up for stuff. I buy my niece a birthday gift rather than say I will and then forget. I call my mother. I send my Dad's wife a card thanking her for letting me stay at their place for a week. These are all things many people do without thinking about it, but for me it had to be learned. Everything had to be learned and I'm learning it now.

My self-loathing kept me from so much in this world. I am still full of self-loathing but it is not nearly as bad as it was before September of 2005. I own my life now. I don't drink and drug at people. I don't need to drink to feel or to not feel. I can do it all on my own. It's not always fun. The first three months of this year was brutal. The pain I felt took me to a place that I never would've let myself get to if I was still drinking. And I wouldn't have taken the chances I did if I was drinking either. I'm better for all of it.

I still find it hard to believe I blew up my life and moved back to Los Angeles. So far, I have no regrets. It's tougher work and I'm earning a lot less, but I feel more alive than in a long time. I'm still adjusting to the program here and all this other shit, but tonight I was reminded what it was all about and why it works.

And for that I'm grateful.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Rarely do I bring my professional life into the Back Row, but this video pretty much sums up what's happening in the media biz. It's hilarious,real, brilliant and sad and totally worth the nine minutes.

Why'd I come back again? Oh yeah, it beats putting panels together

Friday, June 5, 2009


Trees dot the hills in ways only Dr. Seuss could imagine.
Sunsets that take my breath away.
So ugly on the ground.
So beautiful in the sky.

Thoughts On LA

The thing about LA is it is ugliness surrounded by beauty. You drive down the street and it's nothing but strip malls. But then you look up and there are hills and mountains or these wild trees that look like something drawn by Dr. Seuss and you are blown away. You can be in bumper-to-bumper to traffic and just look to your left and see a beautiful sunset and suddenly you are calm.

Today I discovered that Venice Blvd. is pretty empty even in rush hour. Was coming home tonight and got on the 10 and knew I'd made a mistake. Even though I missed the Lakers traffic, it was still crazy. I keep thinking this time the freeway will move and then it doesn't. Anyhow, I jumped off and went west on Venice and flew to my destination. Have to remember that trick.

The time zone is still throwing me off. I feel like I'm three hours behind rest of the world. That'll pass.

Oh and I forgot that while one rarely sees roaches in LA, there are lots of flies. In fact, every day I walk out of the LA Times there are a bunch flies circling like they are ready to dive on a carcass, which may very well be the case.

That's all I got for now. I'm sure Tourguide has some thoughts on this one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tired But Not An Excuse

A friend noted that after writing or thinking about writing all day it is understandable why I don't want to come home and write. That's true, but also an excuse. If I want to write then I find the time and I do it.

This job is draining and I'm not used to that. I also don't feel I'm doing all I should be at work. And I'm still adjusting out here.

Sooner or later I'll have more to say. But a little each day may be a start.