Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2011 by discotejasdiscotexas

Hooves, hooves hitting dry, baked earth carries further than any sound, registers to those, even, who report, with confidence, “I heard nothing.” There was no sound this time.” Some of them say, “There was some sort of noise, or static.” Another predictable subset makes stabs at identification: “I heard something like a waterfall,” “Cheering,” “A factory .” One person said, “a machine gunner wiping out an enemy platoon.” Another suggested, “It sounds like beating eggs in a metal bowl, but from the other room. Someone else is making breakfast.” No one said, “galloping, it’s a pony on the move,” which is good, because then the data would be no good, the manipulation not subliminal.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by discotejasdiscotexas

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My Recollection of a Memorable and Good Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by discotejasdiscotexas

I trusted the man. I knew he was really a good man, the man with the rattlesnake hatband. He wasn’t so bad, even if my mother got all worried just like any other of that certain group of people. Well, my mother was wrong, and I, being young still, had the sincerity to get it right.

Everyone has their faults and special sins, and maybe this man kept a poor house, but that would be nothing so unusual. So he met us outside, my mother, my brother and I, because he knew enough to know it’s better to welcome people out in the nice oak shade than to invite them to an untidy home. Even as a child, I agreed.

My mother ended up asking about the missing beagle (my brother’s, I think) because when my brother and I tried, she couldn’t understand. Of course, the man knew right away (the man with the rattlesnake hatband) because he just always had this ability to grasp what people meant right out of the air. He spent so little time around people, mostly getting along with all his worthless dogs and pretty much everything around him that people didn’t have to even say much. There comes a point where people talking only confuses it all.

But the man hadn’t seen the beagle. That’s how he answered the question. It was a good answer. Answers, everyone knows, close things up. Two and two wander about all lost unless you package them up in four. You can’t put them in five because they will still roam, and they won’t fit in three. It’s not just two and two, you can do this with any numbers. Two, for example, holds one and one. I’ve tried to come up with the number that will corral all the others without getting roped in somehow to still another number. I suspect that the man living there under the oaks with those dogs has figured it out even though my mother, who isn’t much younger, probably’s never even thought about that sort of problem. Even if that man hasn’t figured it out, maybe I will. I’m still so young, and I’m sort of a thoughtful type like this man. I also know that you can’t answer, “what’s two and two?” by saying “three and one,” or “less than thirty and four,” even if they’re both true.

Whether he’d seen the beagle or not wouldn’t change one single thing about the beagle. Anyway, he hadn’t.

My brother and I never, I’m pretty sure, went back down to the creek after that. Maybe it was because the man with the rattlesnake hatband and all those lazy hounddogs, but also it just wasn’t safe down there. It’s full of water moccasins. When we did go there, before, we’d go carefully, slowly. It would take a while for us to adjust to the darkness of the oaks or to get up our courage. We’d just stand there. But then we would scramble over the pile of sandstone slabs by the little creek, rapidly getting more excited but always staying so quiet. Just two boys climbing and leaping in the splotches of sunlight that made it through those heavy oak leaves.

Away from the creek pretty much nothing lived well. For most of my life, the drought forced all the living things down to the creek, not that it has much water to go around. There are plenty of raccoons down here, even bobcats and a deer or two that hasn’t gotten shot. That man living out there hunts raccoons in the creek with his dogs and a .22 pistol. Lately, those mutts are about as useless as himself, but he still knows how to do it. Not many people do anymore, so it’s worth respecting him for. If my mother would let me, I’d ask him to teach me how because even if he doesn’t have all the education he’d like, he knows the things he knows better than most others know anything. My brother and I try to teach ourselves, that’s one of the reasons we would go to the creek. We’re young enough to still understand there’s more to read than books and faces. But we don’t know where to look, we don’t know where our shadows fall or what sounds carry, when to step quick or where to move slower than seconds. You don’t get a rattlesnake hatband the way that man did (he grabbed it and sliced off his head with that very knife he showed my brother and I before it even managed to rattle) without taking time to really study that place down there. I’m glad he showed my brother and I that hatband because we won’t forget that story, and as long as we remember it, we’ll remember that that man had gotten grasp of something that my mother and colonel Hodnet with his pecan orchard and doublewide hadn’t.

We’d (my brother and I) still go down to the bottom pasture, mostly to hack away at the scraggly mesquite along the irrigation ditch with a hatchet we’d take turns misusing. We would shoot at meadowlarks and doves with bb guns. We still couldn’t make out the words on the pages we were turning. With no one to teach us, it’s no wonder we didn’t understand. Like when you say a bad word before you know it’s bad. We did that all the time.

As time went by, we didn’t even get close to the creek anymore. We hardly went down to the bottom pasture. Just like most everyone we went from young and ignorant to being outright stupid. A few more members for that certain group of people known to be fools, that particular number that never gets full, the number of fools.

Even though idiots in our own right, we weren’t so cruel and dumbminded to call out the sheriff about those dogs. Probably Hodnet, my mother, the irrigation district, or just that ass-thinking sheriff. The man down there, living basically on useless land for most uses, not calling for anything other than what he’d earned rightly doing what  he’d been asked to do despite it being a fool’s order for a devil’s deed, he, for one, didn’t do any animal cruelty. His dogs were chained up so they wouldn’t get run over or shot or just get out on some trail and wind up not getting food and water which they couldn’t get just anywhere but that the man pretty much every day put out for each one of them because hunting dogs like them have to get their own or they’ll end up fighting without someone looking after them.

The sheriff already had all the questions and their answers laid out so that that man down there, who was really quite a good person, had to keep arranging truths in funny ways just so that they’d fit the packages the sheriff had brought along for them. He kept himself, though, even though he didn’t need to. He had a rattlesnake hatband, he had answers that didn’t satisfy their questions, he had fours that held more than two twos, and he hadn’t seen a beagle, something altogether different had occurred between himself and something nothing like a beagle.

Now that I’m older, I understand why that man went along with the sheriff. You can’t convince a four that two and one can fill it or that six and seven will fit nice inside it. So, he has taught me something, it’s just that I hadn’t known it until I got to understand it. Answer to answer, question to question, that’s how you have to go down there. With no solutions, no demands, just reflection and movement, like the tree’s shadow leads its leaves.

The Coyotes Are Coming

Posted in Adventure, texas with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by discotejasdiscotexas

We didn’t even have to wait for the stars or the moon to tickle our eyes. George, Rubens, and the rest of the gang must attend their nightly meeting. They call each other to the usual spot just outside the city limits of Bigfoot. The evening sky seemed to choke:

What is the itinerary for tonight? Some bunny play, gopher play, maybe house dog in the middle. Or egg hunting, that is always a fun one. Digging, we must do some digging. Even if we don’t have much to talk about, we need to hang out quietly to make the meeting seem long and important for those brave souls who dare to play during our time. My friends, you know the drill.

By now their presence slips our mind. We have Prometheus going quite strong after the typical nightly scare that he might decide to bail on us (more on Prometheus in an upcoming feature). Our attention crawls towards Club Bubbly. We love the lighting there and all the various stimulants that line the walls. The type of relationship we have with Club Bubbly executives is unlike any other. We can walk in any night we please regardless of the capacity. There is always a private booth waiting for us with a constant flow of drinks, none of which we need to pay for. This relationship is not the superficial type one might think of at most clubs where a regular client’s obese wallet is the reason for pseudo-royal treatment. The moment that wallet gets its physical condition in check, the relationship is dead. Nor are we celebrities who’s presence is appreciated due to the draw of social peasants the celebrity status seems to create. No no, my friend, once that celebrity status slips from A down to B, and from B to C, and so on, the relationship is dead. Our relationship is unlike any other. It exists because we are loved, and we love. Our performances at the Poplar Ink tournaments prove nothing less. This relationship, unlike any other, cannot be taken away under any circumstances.

The excitement and anticipation of Club Bubbly is interrupted by the signal of the Coyote meeting coming to an end. They get on their way, howling, yelping, trying to out-do and intimidate other gangs. We sit and listen though. We try to interpret their games, but it’s impossible with the chaotic back-and-forth calling. It’s distracting, dizzying, and causes our logical, structured minds to fall unbalanced. We have to give in to primal urges that we have tucked away in deep dark closets never to be seen by societies high standards. We fall to the earth. The same place we came from. Our spirit leaves us, and the Coyote move in.

Pogo and I, We Found the Devil

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 by discotejasdiscotexas

Pogo looks back at me warily. I suck in my cheeks and grimace, determined if not confident.

“Oh, Pogo, we’ve got to go. It’s cold out and storming, no night for travel, I know. Come along, Pogo, let’s go.” Pogo snorts and shakes his mane, sending a spray in the last of the firelight.

We set off, clippity cloppity. Clippity cloppity. Every now and then thunder overcomes Pogo’s hooves, so it’s clippity cloppity BOOM BOOM clippity cloppity, clippity cloppity, clippity clop-BOOM BOOM. And lightning slashes through right before these big sounds, bright and close.

“C’mon, get along, Pogo!” I urge because Pogo seems to shy and lurch. Mesquite shadows reach out for Pogo’s hocks every time that lightning strikes, twisted and thorny. “Come along, buddy!” And we go, clippity cloppity, clippity cloppity over the cold, scraggly waste, running with rivulets.  

This rain hardly falls, it lashes about in the wind. It comes from the east, from the north, from the west, not from straight up. It falls in early summer, it’s for the ground. This rain just hisses in from the north then goes wild, stinging faces and beating at the sides of things, like cows and courthouses and jails. I think I see the hills, but it wasn’t the hills in this dark, not yet. The feeling that I’ve been staring with the devil creeps all over me. “Get on, Pogo.” Pogo clip clops along, looking down and abused.

Clippity cloppity. Clippity cloppity. Clippity cloppity. BOOM BOOM. Clippi- “Ho-a, Pogo.” In the flash, the closest oak had stood skeletal, stalwart in the storm, fanning out for centuries. Slowing, we approached the thick cover of the blackjacks, clip clop, clip clop. Under the canopy, the wind and rain dissipated, replaced by a closer mess of hooves pushing through leaves. Looping vines and low branches strike out in a quick flash. BOOM BOOM. The storm is outside now, really. So, we go slow. Clip clop. Clip clop through this oak stand, where mesquite and cacti rarely grow.

When we reach a clearing (for it’s clear that the oak forest reaches further on), it’s apparent that we’ve passed the storm. It’s clear, the sky swept clean and the moon bright, the air a thrill. “See, Pogo,” I chatter, slapping down his neck with a good rub, messing his mane.  He shakes his forelock, excited. “Hey, look, ol’ pal!” There’s a cabin and shed tucked into the northwest corner of the clearing. We clip clop right up, and I slide down, leaving Pogo to stomp and snort. I want to check things out.

This is good! As good, no, better than it looked. “Pogo! There’s hay, hell, fresh grass and grain! Good water, and wood cut and dry. I think there’s food for me, too, buddy. This could be the best of luck!” I set about getting Pogie ready for rest, and have just got a well-placed stove in the barn roaring when it occurs to me that there might as well be whiskey in the cabin. Hunters stash whiskey, there sure as hell is whiskey in there!

Sure enough, there is. A fire cracks and exhales just right at my feet, and I hold the bottle to the darting light. I see wonders. The shadows across my face, I can nearly feel them. Sudden panic tears at my gut. Pogo! My eyes dart about, then settle under their lids. “Oh, Pogo is wonderful, like me.” I see him, munching away, fresh hay twitching out of both sides of his demurely gyrating jaw. I lean back, creaking in the leather-upholstered rocker. I blink at the ceiling-beam. My body tingles like I’ve been brushed by the devil. I lean forward, jabbing a poker into a wandering log. Little sparks gather and whirl up the stovepipe.

My coat is still on, so is my hat. Noting this, I stash the bottle under the chair and clammer outside. Opening the door, a big silence stands in my face. I noisily, on purpose, noisily, shuffle to the shed and duck inside. Pogo turns to face me, the picture of contentment. His tail swishes this way and that, slowly, nothing to bat away. “Howdy, Pogo.” Since everything is in order, I just say, “Just wanted to say, howdy.” I’m looking down, but I look up at the “howdy.” Suddenly I’m back at the door to the cabin. I go in quickly.

I make cornbread because everything necessary is there. While it cooks, I shove the little cot closer to the stove, displacing the rocker, but not the bottle because I’d already removed that. I settle in, the cornbread within reach on the rocker, and start to slowly feed myself. Between mouthfuls, I recite something I’ve got memorized. It’s always Second Timothy. I learned it as a child since was one of the shorter gospels.

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful. He cannot deny himself.

I kept on with the rehearsal, but I was thinking of Jesus and his burro. I thought of Pogo, my pony, and I. I wondered if we’d feel kinship, Jesus and I, because of Pogo and the burro. “I don’t suffer,” I say, looking around. I’m not sure if I’m denying Him, though. I’m chomping on some cornbread when it occurs to me that I’ve stopped the recitation, and I mull over the implications like I’m chewing a cud. Inevitability and fate cover me like a blanket, and the sheltering forest and warm accomodations reach out to assure me. “Out of such a storm!” I think, bunching up around the pillow, “such bliss.” Comforted like Timothy, I know communion with Him is peace and warmth despite the cold and the rain, despite the terror and horror of the flight. Pogo sleeps well, a sure and protecting hand resting on his heart like mine. Sleep envelops me like peach cobbler around a gnat.

The next morning is bright and only slightly brisk. Dandelions and bluebonnets cover the clearing, marked here and there with bunches of indian paintbrush. I take several deep breaths, looking about and gleaming, before I go to check on Pogo. He’s doing well. He tosses his head, and a quick look at the feedpan and leaf of hay confirms that he’s had breakfast and more. 

“Pogo!” I scratch between his eyes and blow into his mane. “C’mon, little fellow!” I open the gate to his stall and out he goes, clip clop clip clippity cloppity into the clearing, tail just sticking straight up. He traces a tight, barrel-racing circle and lets loose a few bucks on the straight-away back towards me. I’m laughing. I feel like Pogo, we’re both so happy. I give him a rough and loving brush-down before slapping his haunches and sending him off for another run. I chuckle and head back towards the cabin, thinking, “there’s no sense leaving here until tomorrow.”

Inside, I find dried beans and chillis. After poking about a bit, I find everything I need and compose a nice pot of chili. Setting it on the stove, I wander outside, rolling a cigarette as I do so. I light up, looking about for Pogo through half-closed eyes. Not seeing the pony, I saunter around back of the cabin and look around.

“Pogo!?” But no sign. I start following the edge of the clearing. Close by, in the northeast corner, I see a hoof jutting into the sunlight. A sweet panic comes over me, and I call out, “Pogo!” knowing full well that ponies don’t nap in the shade. I rush to Pogo, but I startle back. The pony looks in agony, twisted from the inside. “Pogo,” I whisper, leaning but not moving forward. I stand and stamp out the cigarette. I look about. I scan the tops of the gathered oaks. They’re full of buzzards. I vomit and weep.

Back in the rocker, the bottle has melted. I’m sweating and it’s getting hotter. It gets hotter and breathing is just like drinking whiskey, and I’m tired, but by this point I’m sure I’ll not be sleeping. Not ever.

Eurovision for a traumatized America

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2009 by discotejasdiscotexas

We all know not to trust European pop music, or we should.  As the finals for the 2009 Eurovision contest, to be held in Moscow this year, draw near, Americans should take note not only of their inability to influence the outcome but also of the true impact of Eurovision on our communities and lives.  Although we should all be quite used to facing the consequences of ‘democratic’-type processes, Eurovision poses a special threat.  It can summon the forces of nature.  It has before, and it will do it again. There is an eight-year lag, so sometimes the connection is hard to make.  So, I’ll leave you all, doubters most of you I bet, with some pretty legit proof:

1997 Eurovision winning group: Katrina and the Waveskatrina-and-the-waves…flash forward eight years:


nobama norgans no-way!

Posted in Adventure, it belonged to a drunk anyway, Serious Politics on April 8, 2009 by discotejasdiscotexas