drunken ode to mozarella sticks:

mozzarella, you come to me breaded
deep fried, hot and wet with longing. mozzarella, i devour you.
i devour you in the dimlight Shari's two blocks away

from my crappy duplex
i adore you mozzarella,
mozzarella you are renewable and remind me

this too, this dimlight Shari's,

this night alone,
the silent treatment roommates, the candelit loneliness, the love letters from mars,
they all shall pass

and spin into nothing.

at 5000 calories at $6.95 a serving, mozzareelllas mozzarella sticks, i will be your girl forever.

O N   T H E   B E N E F I T S   O F   H E L M E T S
Staying Alive in the Big City

Last night, I went out for a bike ride with a few friends. Denver, Colorado is a great place for bicyclists. Small group, four people, two six packs of Newcastle Brown Ale, easy smiles, light rain.

I've never been one to be overmuch concerned with how fast I'm going down a street, or whether or not cars are paying enough attention to me--it's not as though I can make myself and my 2004 Trek 7100 Hybrid any more visible than it already is. Panniers on the back, wrapped with self-contained bright-yellow poncho-like covers make me even more noticed, one would think. I ride my bike everywhere I possibly can, to work, to coffee, to dinner. It's a commuter bike and I look like a commuter bicyclist.

Last night, after seeing all my friends home, I started the trek back to my apartment. Down a hill, a bit too fast. My front tire clipped between the sidewalk and the wet, shining grass. It split down the side, spraying Goop all over, and spinning the leading tire back towards the street. Without air in the tire, it became an unmanageable mass of metal and rubber. I was tossed over the handlebars, though "tossed over" isn't really the best way to describe it. I took them into my chest, leaving me with a nice set of scrapes and welts.

The bike leaned to the left, towards traffic. In an effort to maintain control, I leaned to the right, hoping to regain a direction. I won, my weight being more than the bike's. So we leaned to the right, and we fell to the ground. I took the first impact with my knee, the second with my brain bucket.

The helmet almost immediately split in half, a ragged break starting where it met the asphalt, ending on the opposite side. Acting purely on instinct, I pulled myself and my bike together and got out of the fast-approaching traffic. Onto the sidewalk. To stare at the two halves of helmet I had in my hands. A pound of lightweight, sturdy plastic and fiberglass and foam had saved my life. A $30 investment kept me from having my brains splattered all along Colorado Blvd. like so much cheap plastic. It was over and done with in just a few seconds, couple blinks of an eye.

Helmets save lives. The next one might be yours.

Bukowski ate women like they were convenient comfort foods
served up like mediocre apple pie in a dusty roadside diner in the west
presentation lacking but not to be turned away
redheads with bad skin, blondes with fallen arches, brunettes with small mouths

where are all these women, these whores, these crazed wolverines now?
who tried to take a piece of his soul, to devour art from his fuck
I wonder if they succeeded

I wonder if the crazed fuck I have given to my men

my pliable, endless stream of short, tall, quiet, crazy men
with their bad habits
overgrown eyebrows and hair
unclipped nails
big mouths with large too slow tongues for talk

has given them a piece of my dysfunctional spirit
wandering restless passion during mania
bleak defeat during depression

they wouldn’t know what to do with it
but Bukowski’s women might know
their cravings for raw potential to be fucked into them
I understand

I'm really sick of politics. My sickness is deep. When people bring it up, it makes me have to burp with stomach gurgitation.

The debate is always intense in the run up to the presidential election. With the term of our sitting president punctuated by terrorism and war, it's not surprising to me that passion governs the debate. These are the interesting times the Chinese philosophers warned about hundreds of years ago.

This year more than others I'm finding my highly educated engineer friends willing to cast aside their critical minds in making up their minds to vote. The division seems to follow the lines of America as a whole. Half of my friends who have taken a side are ardently Republican. Half ardently Democratic.

This year the campaign marketing of both sides is what has captivated intelligent people. This is the politics of, "Yeah, but," and "No, but." Among my friends, the vote comes down to whether one feels the origin of the shrapnel in Kerry's ass is divine or accidental, versus whether W's having gone AWOL from the Guard was justified in light of his serious need to party. To them, these issues define our country's decision direction on domestic and foreign issues. Clearly, if Kerry is elected the metal in the ass contingent will dominate the gay marriage debate. If Bush is elected we can expect further leniency for those who go to church with hangovers.

"Yeah, but Kerry didn't actually shoot at the enemy."

"Yeah, but George wasn't actually ever in the war."

"Yeah, but Kerry got hit by his own grenade. He can't even throw, the pussy."

"Yeah, but Al Qaida's next act of terrorism is publishing a Mad Magazine knock-off with nothing but W quotes."


If one were to place microphones in Starbucks' lounges around America and the conversations tallied, the words, "I just don't like him," would be recorded tens of thousands of times per day.

That's what the spin doctors have reduced this election to. Rather, that's what we the people have allowed this election to become.

This is no different than it has ever been, by the way. Jefferson had an election battle. Lincoln did. The nation almost came to civil war over Washington. You think if Abraham Lincoln were running today against Bush he'd be elected? I suspect it would be close.

Today the local paper had an article about me. Front page. They quote a construction worker from St. Charles, Missouri. Kurt Trachte says, "I massively want Bush to lose, but I don't like Kerry."

I'm happy my own opinion transcends my being Californian or in a white-collar job. I too want massively that Bush and his people get jobs doing something less impactful. I don't believe gay marriage or stem-cell research is the reason to blow up Iraq or to move into Iran as they are now planning. A nationalized religion brings Pat Robertson, a man currently selling advertising time to Target stores, one step closer to being a radical cleric with his own army.

But the thought of a Kerry administration strikes some fear in me. The only thing more deadly than the war now going on would be waffling about how to end it. A return to only-decisions-by-consensus politics means gridlock to me. Gridlock in a time of war assures even more death. Frankly, I don't care if Kerry was shot at or not. I'm worried he's got so many patrons of varying agendas to satisfy, the sum of all commitments he must make will guarantee the failure of the decision making process. Then we'll never get out of Iraq.

So I had been desperate to find something upon which to base my vote-making decision. Now, I think I've found it.

Both Kerry and Bush have been seen on camera mountain biking. Bush actually went off-road, tried to take a small drop, got his front wheel tangled and endoed. Kerry stayed on the flat pavement and mugged for the cameras.

Spin doctors and pundits be damned--the decision, to a mountain biker, must be made on the basis of those facts.

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