Spring Cleaning and Easter

Usually I begin planning and writing my next Friday Freeflow minutes after posting. Instead, last Friday I cleaned the house in anticipation for spring guests. Saturday we visited our daughter’s family and played in the backyard all afternoon. And on Sunday I drove 180 miles to get my second coronavirus vaccination. Here it is, Monday morning, without a theme for the week, and I feel like my body has been whacked with a club in an alleyway mugging.

I have decided to paint pictures, and finish editing my early book, On Rainy Days the Monk Ryokan Feels Sorry for Himself. The paintings are from this week’s early morning hours, and the writing is from Easter time, 2002, straight out of the book I am editing. I hope the following will inspire you to wipe up your own winter dust bunnies. Art of life is work, else we all end up sleeping on the couch. Thanks so much for reading, and helping me through these crazy days.


Don’t Point With Your Finger, or, I Hate Knowledge

Spring cleaning on West Seventh Street. So much to do. Just one lifetime to do it in. To the teahouse then, for it’s annual wash and burn.

An oily rotten, wreck of an old tool shed I rebuilt for joy to the protests of my family. At first there was an over-populated ant colony eating the wood hollow. A billion ants delivering everything to their queen, herself the size of a well fed mouse. The previous owners, now dead, used the shed to save everything! And everything stunk from the rot the first morning I broke off the door. I knew then that I would preserve Mr. Reynold’s closet workshop at any cost. I would be the one to keep his original, innocent intentions. Certainly he didn’t dream about tools all those long, quiet afternoons in the shed. Whether he knew it or not, he was wondering about the life everlasting.

My first act of demolition was poisoning the ants. No more sweet air for their tiny spiracles to take in. Ha!

Then I pulled out the rot and restructured the foundation by hammering a steel pole through the floor, eight feet into ground. I laid shingles to cover the hole in the roof that rain water, ants and time made. I built a floor on top of the dirt, and sometimes I sit in the teahouse on summer mornings with my coffee. A tall oak tree hangs its tired massive limbs just enough feet above my chair to crush me during a strong wind. Oswego is known for its strong wind. It blows from the west. In the west I built a small reminder of the East I once strove to become.

What is the East? I have lived these last few months in the Northern East. Oswego Siberia, where the Laptev Sea meets the frozen tundra. Life became frigid, sad, and agonizingly repetitive. Even the glow from the glorious Northern Lights was dull and depressed me. I kept a fire lit all day and night, and went crazy. A man will howl at the moon if left alone too long. This was not the East I fell in love with as a youth. There wasn’t even a moon to bark at. I decided to make my move to the hot, wet green of Singapore.

With my small pack and my wild eyes I left the earth’s natural prison. Oh what misery I suffered in its frozen hell. What self pity! The men were wild. Each did something very bad to end up there. I followed the banks of the Lena to the Aldan, eating only snow and reindeer scat until I reached the mountains and the first human village. There I begged the women for scraps until I regained the strength in my arms to work for my own food again. I lived and worked in the village for several weeks until the morning I saw the spring fox gobble up the chickadee.

That day a small sun rose for the first time, and I got a memory of joy. I left the village taking the lumber roads through the Miklav Forest, over conifer hills, and some happier declines all the way to the Sea of Okhotsk. It wasn’t so bad with a sun to rise each morning, a loaf of bread, and traveling men to share their voices with mine.

I bought passage on the first freighter heading south to Singapore. That is when my knowledge fell apart. I can’t find Singapore. Even after searching for five minutes on my tiny plastic globe. Guess what? I say Singapore does not exist. My fingernails exist. I pick at them and pull off each one. Sometimes I go too low and pull off some skin. Blood. There’s Singapore! No, that’s Bangkok. And I should laugh at the sound of that. Because it is funny. The seven a.m. sun rises in the east over Hank’s house and I have more snot in my sinus than salt water in the South China Sea. I am a man. “Don’t shoot I am a man.” That was printed on my bright orange hunting license holder strapped across my back. I never shot a Chinese pheasant. The Adirondack Mountains have wild peacocks living too high up for my hope to climb. Peacock makes me laugh. Mindoro, Panay, Sulu Sea. Still no Singapore. I don’t care how many foreign ships dock there with sailors taking pictures. Bandar Seri Begawan. What is that you smart ass? It’s called “playing globe with a black ocean”. It could be a world of men or one with just black cats. Then no twilight cruise through the Spratly Balabac Strait. Instead a “feed us our dinner now, Ron, or we’ll jump on your head and chomp out your eyeballs”.

Where are we going? Oh yes, to a Singapore that does not exist. Got it! I was wrong. At the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, near the equator. Now wonder what every eleven year old boy, born at exactly 3:35 p.m. on February 8th, is doing in the city of Singapore. That’s knowledge. Try the same thing with an eleven year old skunk. Are there even skunks in Singapore? That is knowledge. I’m on a freighter. What’s a freighter? Now build one, from the up to the ground, all by yourself. That is knowledge.

I hate knowledge. Knowledge is for men and men are woe faces and rollbellies. I distrust wonder because it begins at knowledge, then takes a freighter to the mouth of the Ganges, only to be swallowed by a little Indian girl praying with her mouth open for Rama to get her a toy. I like pretend. Children pretend. I like children because I can trust them to hate knowledge almost as much as I do.

I live in a small house in the backyard of my mind. A grown man must kill knowledge. No one knows a thing, and the book we find to know we know, doesn’t know what the lice is dreaming, so it doesn’t know either. I can wonder if the lice is dreaming about a dandruff dinner. But that’s just silly. I can pretend that the lice will wear a pretty dress and go out to the best hair restaurant in the city. Or it can stay home and sing a song about its favorite pore to bore into.

What are the Nicobar Islands doing without a king? This morning I dub myself Monsoon King of the Nicobars. Me and my bamboo broom sweep out the dust in the brain. Just before the rains come I get a horrible itch on top of my head. Knowledge is a man promising himself last night to write down all he knows about the East. He wants to give an exotic flare to his writing that is dull, pompous, and dull. The man doesn’t know what he is. He doesn’t know what a daffodil is either. One doesn’t have to sit cross-legged to know the overwhelming no-no of knowing. Oh how lucky I am! Oh, how lucky the Monsoon King of the Nicobars! Sweep out the dust. Welcome the spring. Go get a job.


No Buddhas Growing Corn

Never has life been this ready to poop out. Is this not the age of doom? There isn’t an exact hour and minute to certify my prediction of the end. I’m not sure how exactly we will get there. I know Jesus won’t come. If he was the least bit interested, the human race would become extinct the moment he saw three rubber tires left in a swamp. But we are finished, of that I am certain. The age of doom can last until the next millennium. Or it can begin the same moment the last poet gets killed by a hit and run grapefruit truck out in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere is where I like to go witness man’s life falling apart. Even in the boonies it is apparent that Americans are not interested in the beauty and freedom of life. The police will want to make a report: “Looks like a drunk got hit by a grapefruit truck, Sam. Oh my Lord in heaven Sam, look at the sky! Run!”

But it’s not Jesus and a biblical Armageddon. It’s a nuclear bomb from China finishing off the day’s doom. Early this morning they got the big cities. At lunch all the suburbs and outlying school districts. By twilight every farmer and his cow. Tonight when the moon is high and those lucky few left are having a very hard time falling asleep, great China will blow the final death wind over our land to erase all flora and fauna, and the few humans still breathing. And why not? A walk in the country should never ever stumble upon a blue heron standing on a tire behind a Winnie-the-Pooh mailbox. But it does. And uglies like that must be a harbinger of doom. A rusty trailer with a fierce dog on a chain. A line of broken down cars, taken apart for parts to make one loud, big ugly car. Litter par excellence. A refuse ranch. You know the scene. Our noble country dwellers. Living away from the madness of civilization to watch television programming caught from a satellite dish big enough to swim in, make country crafts with glue guns, and never to play serotonin-swelling games with their neighbors. The husbands work in Fulton or Oswego. The wives believe in God and Winnie-the-Pooh. China will clean up the mess if we’re not going to.

There is no freedom in America. There is posted property and cantankerous farmers. I could not build a Buddhist temple in Meridian, N.Y. The farmer boys with their manure bombs would terrorize me night after night. Call the police? You know you’re kidding. The cops are even more crooked in the country, where nobody would see even if they were looking. Freedom in America is a freedom to fear, never complain, and be extremely careful about what we say to our neighbors. It’s their word against yours. And if you happen to be one who yearns for freedom, you will be found guilty always, since it is the opposite of freedom which represents the law. So I got the temple finished last Tuesday. That night a group of farmers stopped by the well looking for my cows.

“You milkin’, plowin’, or selling meat?” asked the head farmer.

“No, nothing like that. Just a small garden for my family and an hour before bedtime to meditate.”

“Where’s your dog?”

“Don’t have one.”

“Tractor?”

“Nope. Got a bicycle though.”

“You plan on collecting broken down cars to take apart, part by part?”

“No, actually, I am planning a Japanese garden, and a teahouse by the stream. I’ll have my hands full cleaning up the mess the last tenants left. What are all these rubber tires I see everywhere?”

“We put ’em there.”

“You’re going to terrorize my life aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

And that is why Buddhism will never flourish in Upstate New York. Christianity rules the roost here. In fact, all the farmers are getting ready for the big Easter celebration this Sunday. Time for farmer Jim to wet down the head and join the folks dressed in his finest church clothes. There can be twenty in a room before dinner, each with his own robin to peck out the eyes, and not a meaningful peep out of any of them. The dead have risen. That should scare the crap out of Farmer Jim. Make him leap from his chair, run screaming out the door, and hop up and down like a monkey on the new grass. But no. Just strained conversation had over a salty pig butt with all the trimmings. Jim is the first to talk—a new tractor, the weather, or maybe a television show he saw last Thursdee on NBC about five new lawyers fresh out of law school. He sat down with his cow shit smell to view it with the wife and kids. The kids didn’t want to watch the lawyer show. The Grammys were on and Junior’s favorite downtown, cop shootin’, coke sniffing rap murderer was nominated for best new video for his song entitled, “Watch Charlie Cut Up Copper.” Welcome to America, Christ. Easter time. Glad you have risen. No one cares. It doesn’t matter what form you take, they ain’t looking for you. Anyway, if this is the mess you’re watching over, then by Christ, you’re one of them and will never convince me of my salvation. What a careless little American boy God you are, driving the speeding white car full of drunk farmer boys all over the county. Out hunting for poets taking twilight walks through the American wasteland. You find one, stop the car, and get out. You walk over to him hiding a bat behind your back. You mock him. The other boys push him around. Then you start to get mad at your own made-up images of him. You dance around his frightened body, poking him with your finger, and spitting with anger. Suddenly you fly into a rage and crack open his skull with your bat. “Drag him over to the bog, boys. Bury him in the sludge!”

What is our future? What would you call an age of doom if this is not? I will offer a random current event to help the reader understand the hypocrisy of Easter and the lie it means to be a United States Citizen. This is not separation of church and state. This is the total inclusion of church in state. Not all churches though. Just the American Christian church. Something disguised. No registered denomination. No deacon. No bishop. No rabbi. No priest. Not Catholic. Not Protestant. Not Orthodox. Not European. Not the African church of white rolly-polly missionaries sent from Arkansas and Tennessee to teach jolly Africans how to despair. This is the American Church of Nuclear Holocaust with Jimmy Swaggart as President. All citizens must participate like members of the KKK. Only the falsely accused, white lady rapin’ negro is everyone of us. We’re the ignorant self-righteous terrorists too, hiding our heads with hoods, and stalking the countryside to bash in any face that doesn’t look like ours. The President supports the wrath of God, wholeheartedly. He is His messenger, and will announce it with glee over the radio, through the TV, into our cars and our homes. The situation is hopeless. We are helpless. You don’t believe me. Write a letter to the President to tell him you are not happy and that you would like to punch him in the nose. Wait a few weeks, and see who stops by. Oh look, men with sunglasses and guns. Now tell me you’re not helpless!

One man is nothing. All men must accept their small helplessness. Those who do not are marginalized for life. Freedom in America? I think this will be the last generation to perpetuate that fat lie. The following is a true story about a current event in man’s embarrassing and very dangerous existence:

An American Navy spy plane was nicked by a Chinese patrol plane in mid-air. The Navy spy plane was forced to make an emergency landing on Chinese territory. There are over one billion human beings breathing in China. There were twenty-eight American spies in the spy plane spying on China. They got caught spying with American tax money, and not one American knew about the American spy plane spying on China.

Spying on China. Spying on China. Spying on China. Is that enough? Are you sure? Okay. Concentrate really hard. Try to remember that an American spy plane was spying on China.

President Swaggart was notified over the intercom while wiping up after his toilet. He’s a sucker for Texmex cooking. Chimichangas and lard cakes for breakfast. Consequently, the first duty for all Secret Service jobs is to scout out any unknown perimeters for the nearest bathroom. It must be secured in the event of an emergency.

President Swaggart has never been to China. He remembers when his Daddy used to call them the “little Chinese”. They are not little. With over a billion strong, even if they were two feet tall, they’d still be bigger than America. Who are they? Nobody knows. President Swaggart doesn’t know. Not even his specialist on Chinese culture knows. And he’s third generation Japanese! No one will know China until China blows her black cloud over America. Then everybody will know China.

Publicly the President is mad at China today because Chinese officials boarded the broken spy plane and won’t turn over the spies to the American embassy. Personally, Mr. President was in the throes of diarrhea at the time and could care less about the little Chinese, even if their police were torturing the twenty-eight paid killers. However, his aides, all of whom are without mommies and daddies who love them, told the President to make a public announcement denouncing China for their mishandling of “the situation”. Bad China. Very bad China. A serious matter. Something better be done about it soon, or the President might gobble up another oily Enchilada.

Who is this idiot we hire? Are we going to let him threaten the Chinese nation of a billion and more because they want to deal with the paid killers in their own way? Was it last year when America had the most difficult time giving back to Cuba the boy who was stolen from his father? Little Cuba had no say, because their bombs weren’t big enough. Now Mr. President and his aides are going to threaten my existence because twenty-eight paid killers got caught peeping their perverted equipment into other people’s business. If anyone poked their dirty face in front of my window, I’d punch my hand through the glass, pull him into my home by his hair, and beat to a pulp the bloody face lying on my floor.

Who are these consultants and aids American voters do not hire? Why do we trust these faceless pushers who instruct our idiot President? Whose money supports them? During an election, neither candidate will talk about the huge fortune to be spent on the President’s helpers—the veritable army of lobbyists hired to act as his brain. We allow it. We elect one man to have five hundred faceless people make life and death decisions in his name. We don’t know China. We don’t know America. A man can be alone with his wife and baby, telling the baby in baby talk that “bunny day” is coming. That a happy bunny will bring Easter presents and hopefully a sunny day for the American President to flush his toilet, walk out into the West Wing and begin the chain reaction leading to all out nuclear annihilation. That means a man picked up his laughing baby and both were melted in the time it took the President’s brain to realize that he just shit his pants. A spy plane got caught spying and twenty-eight paid killers got the whole world destroyed because, after the final analysis, they just wanted to snuggle up next to their mommies. I say to the Chinese government—No, I won’t say that. It is not my intention to be political. I want the truth so I can be free to pick up my baby and tell her that it’s “bunny day”. And then I want the morning to come and Peter Cottontail to hop out of the new spring forest like he used to before nuclear weapons. Like long ago, when Easter dinner came, and the excitement at the table was never Jesus, but talk about the spy plane that went down in the South China Sea. War with China could be heroic without nuclear weapons. One of ours to every five of theirs. Bodies to fall apart, piece by piece; they’ll get charred and eaten by worms—but that’s okay if those who die volunteered their lives for a paycheck. Death is always a fair and proper end for the man who volunteers to kill another man. This Easter after the ham, the farmer will talk about a new TV show. Lawyers fresh out of law school. If he didn’t talk about TV, he would have to think on how he gave up the earth and his children for some hush money and a new tractor. He knows Jesus ain’t coming. There is no Jesus, no Easter bunny, no nothing but a radio to tell him he better kiss his ass goodbye if the President has a bad shit that day. If his father could not stop nuclear proliferation, how was he going to? Would he have to be a hero to his own sons? No. He will help kill his sons. Grandsons too. Great grandsons. “Thanks for the chocolate bunny Dad. Now let the skies light up and melt me and my baby sister.”

Doesn’t it feel sunny sublime this spring morning, knowing that we’re all just a big bunch of dumb slaves to the American lie? And it’s only a matter of time before we get to watch our babies burn up to ash instantaneously. Will we do anything to stop that horror in the gut of the death wielders? Not a lick, I’m afraid. Pass the ambrosia.

And have a Hoppy Easter!


A Stranger, Pan, and the Oswegonian

A yellow tint shows through the morning rain. The drops are heavy. In a day they can make an earth green. I should like to get on a train and travel for a month. I need a dose of reality, a ride through the deep south where animals and men still work and play like animals and men.

America has its wild preserves. I suggest a man preserve. In Montana perhaps? Or does everyone there still think cattle and wheat? What is the difference anywhere? Iowa grain or New York textile? Both think they are wiser than the other. Both will get rich the way they want to and write their invisible epic legacies about shallow beginnings, dry gulch aloneness, smokestack prejudice, high rise nervousness, deep canyon hatreds, wide open illusions...

Finally, the first signs of spring. I don’t think the rain has any intention of becoming snow. Still, one can think worms and robins during a white-out if he so desires. There are two early springs. The yellow rain falling now. This is the cleansing wet side of March. Earth cleansing, part of the eternal wheel, a drenching reminder that life is worth living. I walk a dog and there’s the outdoors everywhere. Rain pouring down on meadow and forest and man is just a small thing not in the way.

Then arrives the sun of March—pre-Easter and downright sad and hopeless. People step out of their homes to pick up garbage and dog poop accumulated in the yard over winter. Gray-black smudges of winter stain every crevice. The roads are brown cake of winter’s salt and car exhaust. The sun shines. The car is filthy. Windows smeared. October’s newspapers collected upon layers of snow, suddenly revealed to expose their old, sad tidings. Every home’s front yard is drab. The trees rigid like cold stone statues. The air is carbon. Even the sun is choked by man’s careless waste of what is truly life and real. This spring America, north of the 35th parallel, has the look of an apocalyptic wasteland.

But at least we have indoor plumbing.

Here in Oswego it’s even worse. That wonderful cleansing rain has turned back to snow. And I know it’s a lie to believe a man fortunate to be alone in the wide open spaces this morning. Here is a small city of men without access to a path in the woods. That’s okay—there’s a beautiful lake to view. Stand at the water’s edge. There. Now forward is the breakwall. After that a sea of fish, a great lake of good and plenty—an endless supply of carcinogens to catch and eat. To the left, the tallest man-made structure in the city. Twin smokestacks stuck out of the oil burning plant rising into the gray sky. You can see their poisonous presence from twenty miles away. The lighthouse of the damned. Burning oil to make electricity? Shh... That’s not the woods. Keep on the path. To the right, close enough to dominate the shore, but four or five miles from the city, stands the final reason why men despair. The Nuclear Power Plant. And it’s not the potential danger, nor its incredible size that contributes to the gnaw busily eating away our internal organs. No, our pain owes its beginnings—Shh... Quiet down. That’s not the path.

There is no freedom of land. You want to walk but you must walk on a paved road. You want to walk to the country without taking a road. No, it’s illegal. Get on the road so they can sneer at you from their cars. You look suspicious. You might be dangerous. If it’s night, the worse for you. They have dogs to bark and snap at any shady looking character passing by. Their children speed by in cars. Sometimes they throw a can of soda at you, or a stone, or a brick. Some young ones are so ambitious that they want to club you with a bat. You were walking a deserted road in the dark. What town justice would be sympathetic to that? Of course you were up to no good. Who were you going to rob? What were you hiding from? The boys are sentenced to a heavy fine and a year of weekends in the county jail. This for dragging your bleeding body off to the side of the road, kicking your head, pissing in your mouth, laughing and spitting, and getting back into the car.

Now is the time to arm ourselves. I won’t stand for pain and humiliation. I want to walk on these roads with a gun. And no one can know I have it. I will do what you cannot. I will kill for my body’s trespass. Whack! What did I tell you? One more digression and I’ll chew off your toes! Now get on the path!

I feel wild. Spring for me is something larger than loin arousal. I want to sing out, but I leave the house just moving my lips to song. Lip-syncing joy. “He’s talking to himself again,” they say, “That guy’s crazy.”

I must quiet down. The Christians want to keep all joy quiet. “Please keep your joyful noises down. Withhold your applause please, until after the performance.” Man, they’re all looking at me. I better take my song to the woods, like Pan, and wait there happily until I shout out all this Easter from my system. I’ll walk west down Route 104, and take a left at the first welcoming forest I spy. I’m warning you...

Oh fiddlesticks, what’s this? Signposts read “No trespassing. Get out! This land is mine, not yours. I have the deed. I own the land. It’s my property. Get out. Get out. Get out!”

Surely this good man will not mind my walking into the woods. That sign is meant for the people of the smokestack whom I left behind. He is wise enough to love the land. I know because it’s still here. Those trees are standing tall, and I can hear the roar of the flooded creek calling me. I’ll just take a short walk. I am searching for freshet and wood fairies to take my mind away from human cares. Yes, but be careful. And you know what I mean...

Unfortunately, no matter how many of us would heave a huge sigh of relief denying such, these are the days of Christ. Although our land has always been more suited for Buddha, Dionysus or Rama of the highlands, Christ owns the property and he alone decides who may trespass. This is the northern forest of conifer and fresh water lake. Deities to run and dance wild around the life of man. America—once a ripe playground for adventurous gods—is now under Christ’s domain, and every other god condemned to the sandbox. Mountains to the east, valleys to the south, fertile land out west with more forest for salvation. I was born here. Christ was not. Christ lived in a walled city. Born in a desert. He wore a robe. He ate falafel. The desert dreams which haunted him were the seeds of future chemical imbalances grown thick and hemorrhaging in our modern brains. Christ walked below homes of desert brick stained white to reflect the rays of the sun. He dreamed his dreams, and now those same dreams make us hot and sick inside. He never saw the leaves of a maple tree turn scarlet in October. What would he think of the raccoon, the woodchuck, the turkey or the deer? Had he ever seen a chipmunk? No. His dreams were about Romans, Jews, money, the funny monkey at the temple, no money, food and his father who was in heaven. After two thousand years of incredible luck and successful war-mongering, every man-made structure in America is a demented Christ devotional littering the once wild and majestic landscape.

Christ, Muhammad, and Zoroaster. Such mean-spirited Middle Eastern prophets-turned gods. Out of spite alone, Christ would beat Buddha silly with a sand rake. Even out west in the soggy forests of Washington State, where Buddha owned some influence once, during a wave of Japanese immigration, Christ moved quickly and dealt a low blow to conquer his weaker foe. He’s not the Christ we learned about in Bible school. The timid turn-the-other-cheek Son of God. Not even the Pope’s demented, circus Christ. The true Christ is the warrior Christ. The American Christ. That was the old Christ’s promise to the New World. “Folks, you just plain soiled Europe. Now I plan to show you how real crazy your Christ can be!”

Anyway, after the death of St. Francis the world was made ready for Manhattan, plastics, and the Vietnam War. Christ got aboard all ships heading west, introducing himself to each immigrant personally. He let them know that America was cruel and tough and extremely dangerous. Every man for himself and for Christ, King of America. “I am no longer the Christ your father and mother loved,” he explained. “I am the new Christ you must fear. I will see to it that you get what you deserve in America. And you will owe me.”

He devoted all ship voyages to tossing overboard a thousand years of their baby Christ hopes and dreams.

The immigrants arrived to settle with Christ and the smallpox. Then Christ had them open up their prayer books to the Lord’s fever rush of hell fire and damnation scare tactic chapter: “Hymns to Sing While in the Throes of Destruction.” And by Jesus did those settlers sing loud and strong! “Level the Trees O Lord, O Lord!” “Build Us Sturdy Christian Folk A Powerful Empire”, “Please God, Let Us Find Killing in Our Hearts.” “Save our Corn, Eat an Indian,” “Convert or Die.” “The Governor is Christ’s Best Friend.” And then later when some American men became more like their own image of Christ... “Conform or be cast out.”

Wait, I was sleeping. Repeat what you just said.

Easter is coming and the forest is getting ready for the death and resurrection. Birds are singing the coming of Christ. All is—Fine. Look, I must step out for a few minutes. Keep it clean. Remember your toes!

All life is stirring. The earth has awakened from its winter slumber. The snow has melted. Wild leeks are the first green born into the forest. I am gathering some now to make soup for my supper. Ho! Here comes a man with a gun and a dog.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Looking for Pan good sir, and wood fairies, and a spring freshet to lift my hopes and bring joy to my heart.”

“You’re trespassing on my property Jack. Didn’t you read the signs?”

“Yes, kind sir. But surely all this beautiful land can stand the walk of a lonely man with a heavy heart?”

“No. Go back to from where you came, Mr. Freakshow. Or I’ll make it so you never leave my forest.”

“But you, kind sir, you’re not cruel and hard like other men. You bought the land to save it from the dirty horror growth of factories and smokestacks. You saved the deer run and gave us back the cool blackness of the night.”

“I did like hell.”

“You mean sir—”

“Yea, I work at the oil plant, and my wife is the lingerie manager at JC Penny. We saved every penny we ever made to afford this land and a new truck, and a new house, and a fat savings account, and securities, and a garage full of tools and a snowblower, and a riding mower, and a trip to the Bahamas, and, oh hell— Anyway, it was my idea. I saved the deer run so I could shoot the deer. Great hide. Good meat too. After the butcher’s through hacking it up.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Say, I’ll let you off this time, seeing it’s almost Easter and all. But if I ever catch you on my land again, I’ll sick my dog on ya.”

“Ok. Say sir?”

“Yea, what is it?”

—Don’t you dare.

Ah damn! You’re back already?

Yes. I told you I was only stepping out. I know what you were going to say.

You do?

“Hey, who the hell are you talking to?”

You were going to say, ‘Now I’m going to eat you and your dog’.

I was, wasn’t I?

Yup.

“Hey, I said, who the hell are you talking to? Yo Freakshow, I’m asking you!”

You can.

Can what?

Eat that filthy slob.

Thank you Pan.

You’re welcome son of god.


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Finally, the artist Don Guy of London, Cool has hosted another Stuckist exhibition, Stuck in COVID. Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Ron