Drunken Candyland

Posted: 05/18/2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve been going out in public and stuff. It’s a bit weird. Hi to all the folks at Kerouac who grabbed chapbooks earlier. Hope y’all enjoyed the reading and hope you can make it to the showcase on Sunday too. LOVE YOU. Right. I’m gonna try and cut in at another coffee house in Columbus tomorrow. Only so many places it could possibly be, so try your luck if so inclined.

When he came to look at the building, with a real estate man hissing and oozing beside him, he lowered the blinds, muted or extinguished lights, threw newspapers and dirty clothes on the floor in piles, burned rubber bands in ashtrays, and played Buxtehude on the hi-fi–shaking organ chords whose vibrations made the plaster falling from the ceiling fall faster.                 –“The New Owner” by Donald Barthelme

Me and the other cool kids have been working on moving shit lately. The other day I slid a pile of boardgames off a shelf before putting it in the truck and found a couple folded-up pieces of paper underneath. Someone heard me laugh and asked what I’d found. “I don’t know,” I said, “but I’m taking it.” They both sound highly entertaining, especially Kings which might require Google’s help to understand.

The new owner arrives, takes out his keys, opens the locked basement. The new owner is standing in the basement, owning the basement, with its single dangling light bulb and the slightly busted souvenirs of all our children’s significant progress. He is taking away the heat, carrying it out with him under his coat, a few pounds at a time, and bringing in with him, a few hundred at a time, his hired roaches.               –“The New Owner” by Donald Barthelme

Tomorrow I sit at the house, not owning it but at least renting it damn it, to let the painters in and out. The painters, it has been observed, do not paint often. When they paint, they don’t paint much, and what they do paint is usually wrong. I’m not one to hate on working folk (yanno, being one), but damn. I’m going to sit there and read An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, and possibly write a similar guide to Columbus, Ohio, starting with my home.

We whisper to the new owner, through the walls. Go away! Own something else! Don’t own this building! Try the Sun Belt! Try Alaska, Hawaii! Sail away, new owner, sail away!          –“The New Owner” by Donald Barthelme

Better than being homeless, at least. Sleeping in a car is shit. Cars in general are shit.

But mostly drunken candyland.

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