Page 1


Â


Wednesday, Sept. 5 2018   It’s  hot  as  a  dog’s  dangling  dick.  No.  No,  I  can’t  say  that.  It’s  hotter  than  trouble over a cesspool of greed. Uh huh. Everything We Are Taught Is False…  This  is  a  phrase  that  got  stuck  in  my  noggin  for,  O  I  dunno  how  long.  I’d  be  walking  the  streets around Logan Square, the Central Library—in fact, it’s quite true. I  walked  upside  down  on  the  ceiling,  staring  at  the  people,  scratching  my  chin.  I  thought  about  Picasso,  Renoir,  Matisse,  Audrey  Hepburn  (no,  no,  no,  I  didn’t,  I  wasn’t  thinking  about  her),  Patti  Smith,  Allen  Ginsberg,  Bukowski,  Henry  Miller,  Shakespeare,  Van  Gogh,  Beethoven,  Mozart,  I  thought  of  the  librarians,  too.  Lots  of  smelly  people  in  the  library.  Loud  and  obnoxious  people—crazy  people.  ​Crazy.  A ​ nd  by crazy, I, of course, never included myself.  I thought of Rimbaud!    He was up on the second floor. Poor bastard.  I’d  go  up  there,  keeping  an  eye  on  my  belongings.  (Which  is  easy  to  do  when  you  can  walk  upside  down  on  ceilings.  Uh  huh.)  And  I  saw  an  entire  shelf,  almost,  dedicated  to  the  French  poet.  During  his  short  lifespan  of  36  or  maybe  37  years,  he  had  caused  an  uproar  in  the  poetry  world.  He  turned  it  upside  down,  you  might  say.  QUITE.  And  I  can  remember flipping the pages of ​A Season In Hell while stationed in  my  old  sanctuary,  the  Cherry  Hill  Public  Library.  Endless  books  to  get  lost  into,  around,  over,  through—I  studied  them  there.  I  read  Hemingway’s  ​A  Sun  Also  Rises  and  Bukowski’s  ​Hollywood​,  each  in  one  sitting.  The  pages  turned  themselves.  A  good  book  was  all  I  needed  to  forget  the  world.  There  were  other  things  I  was  trying  to  forget. But I won’t get into that.  When  I  first  read  Rimbaud’s  words,  I  didn’t  believe  it.  I  thought  it  was  just  a  gimmick.  Maybe  he  was  full  of  shit.  (Sorta  like  Bob Dylan’s ​Tarantula​.) I went back to  a  job  that  was  just  a  job  to  work  a  job.  And  little  did  I  know  that  Rimbaud’s  words  would ultimately change my life as a “writer”.  I  kept  returning  to  that  library  before  and  after  work and sometimes instead of  work.  I  found  myself  repeatedly  skimming  the  pages  of  ​A  Season  In  Hell​.  Somebody  was  finally  speaking  my  language.  An  angsty  teenager,  fed  up  with  his  life at home. A  controlling  mother.  A  world  full  of  bullshit.  He  became  the  Bohemian  Rhapsody,  incarnate.  In  the  late  19th  century,  a  version  all  his  own  and  unto  himself.  Until  he  escaped…   


bae and YASS QUEEN     every time someone says “bae” or “YASS QUEEN”  an angel  is  beaten  and  mugged  in an  alley    its wings stolen and shipped off to Shanghai  and sent back to America as an  iPhone  protective  cover    SIRI,  WHERE THE FUCK CAN I FIND  A FUCKING STUFFED ANIMAL  IN  THIS FUCKING CITY?   


the president has always been a criminal     typing this with one hand while on the phone with PayPal customer service  HELLO, I WANT MY MONEY  sir, can you please tell me the last four digits of your SSN?  YEAH, I WANT MY MONEY  okay, sir, thank you for that, can you tell me the pin I just sent to you?  I WANT MY GODDAMN MONEY, DID YOU HEAR ME?  okay, sir, thank you for that, can you go ahead and try that now for me, please?  THIS BETTER WORK, I WANT MY MONEY, I GOTTA PAY MY RENT  okay, sir, sorry for the inconvenience, did that work for you now?  NO, WHERE’S MY DAMN MONEY?  okay, sir, let me see something here, just a moment  ALL I WANT IS MY MONEY, I GET PAID THROUGH PAYPAL  okay, sir, why don’t you tell me how much you are trying to transfer?  I WANT ALL OF IT  okay, sir, it seems like our system … can you tell me the error msg you’re getting?  IT SAYS I CAN’T GET MY MONEY  okay, sir, well it seems like our system…   OH THERE IT GOES, WAIT NO  sir, okay, well, um…   SAME ERROR MESSAGE, DAMN IT, YOU TOLD ME LAST TIME…  sir…   DAMN YOU, OH, WAIT, THERE IT GOES  okay, sir, you have a good day…   WAIT  yes?  YOU SAID LAST TIME IT WOULDN’T DO THIS AGAIN  sir…   SO IS THIS GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN NEXT TIME OR WHAT?  no, sir, I can guarantee it  YEAH, MY ASS 


Â


Â


TWO PSYCHOS       I’d  been  living  on  the  streets  about  two  years.  After  the  market  collapsed,  I  no  longer  had  a  boat  and  my  wife  wanted  to  leave me. I’d been looking for a job about a  year  and  then,  finally,  she  left  me.  I’d  mortgaged  my  house  for  30  years.  Son  of  a  bitch.  I  felt  like  a  rag  doll,  kicked  around.  Dehumanized.  All  I  had  left  were  the  memories of happier times. I took to the bottle. You know how it goes.    The  bank  was  after  my  house.  Those  slimy  fucks.  The  shareholders  were  grizzly  bears.  They  were  foaming  at  the  mouth  to  get  the  property  they  owned  and  loaned  out  to sucker after sucker after sucker. I was just one in a milestone of 22,000 assholes  in  America  that  bought  up,  line  and  sinker,  the  American  Dream.  They  had  the  fucking  hook  deep  in  my  gums.  Wait.  You  can’t  hook  a  fish  that  way,  can you? I was  shitty at metaphors.    In other words, I was on the street. Tents were inexpensive. The bank took my shit.  The  mortgage  exploded  into  dog  turds.  I  stopped  shaving,  showering.  My  breath  reeked. I took to cursing at the moon and stars at night.    “BLIMEY!”  I  said,  or  I  shouted, rather. “I’LL GET YOU! AND YOUR STUPID  FUCKING  DOG,  ALWAYS  ON  MY  LAWN!  OH,  YOU  BASTARD!  YOU  BLINDED ME! I KNOW YOUR TRICKS!”    I  would  fall  down  drunk,  each  day,  at about noon. It was much easier to buy a few  40s  than  it  was  to  find  a  job  with  health  insurance,  dental,  all  the  rest  of  it.  I  kept  drinking,  every  day.  I  no  longer  cared  about  anything.  I  didn’t  believe  in politics, City  Hall,  the  beach,  yachts,  condoms,  firefighters,  donations,  causes,  sunlight,  t-shirts,  toothpaste,  hairspray,  soap,  etc.  You  get  the  idea.  I  even  stopped  eating.  Merely,  I  shouted  at  the  sun  and  I  hollered  at  the  moon.  There  was  nothing  left  of  me,  but  sweaty malarkey. I was inarticulate to a fault.    “GOD  DAAFGFGAF  AABBAGAA  JABBAAA  I’M  MAD  AS  HELL,  AND  OTHER FINE TOMFOOLERY. ASATSGA BLEEEEEEEHAGADGAAGAE.”    I  got  on  by  my  wits.  So anyway, one day, like the molecules bursting into existence  beneath  the  microscope  and  outta  view.  I  was  sitting  there  in  the  sunshine.  Clouds  were bleating across the horizon.  “HEY!” I screamed. “WHO SAID YOU COULD BE CLOUDS AND ALL?”  Nobody answered. 


It was  a  Saturday.  I  noticed  a  good  deal  of  my  compatriots  wandering  around  the  cityscape.  They  were  dressed  in  colors.  I  rubbed  my  eyes,  leaning  down  at  the corner  of an overpass, ready to hurl up my guts. I hadn’t showered in 32 light years.    “GOD DAMN IT,” I panted. Just to get a glass of cold water seemed like a mirage.  In  the  distance,  I  studied  god.  “HORSE  FUCKER!  PARAPALEGIC  WITH  A  LISP!”    I  leaned  over  and  collapsed  in  the  grass.  The  green  blades  were  cool  to  the touch.  O,  I  needed  them  so.  I  chewed  on  the  grass  and  held  my  hands  behind  my  back,  pretending I was a beached whale.    “Whoa!”  I  heard  somebody  say.  “Look  at  that  fucking  guy!  Oh,  my  god.  Get  your  camera. Take a picture! He’s fucking insane!”  I was thinking about pissing. I won’t say where. It’ll upset your children.  I leaned forward, wherever that was.    “Hey,  you  kids.  You  eat  shit,  now.  FUCK  YOU!”  I  pointed  at  the  cars  passing  by  down across the intersection, a galaxy away. And then some.  Suddenly I heard girls screaming.    “JUSTIN!  WHAT  ARE  YOU  DOING!  DON’T  CROSS  THE  STREET  LIKE  THAT!”  I fixed my gaze on the crew. They were young. I liked them.  “OKAY,” I mumbled, “JUST SLIZERAT ON DOWN TO MARKET.”    The  girls  turned  to  look  at  me.  They  were  horrified.  Then  I  unloaded,  “YOU  BASTARD!  GET  OUTTA  THE  STREET.  THAT’S  A  GOD  DAMNED  CROSS  WALK!  IT’S  A  GREEN  LIGHT!  GET  OUTTA  THE  WAY!  GET  OUTTA  THE  FUCKIN’ STREET! YOU LITTLE SHIT!”  It took everything outta me. I shook my head like a peacock.  “HURRBBSBSB!” I screamed.    I  saw  the  kid.  He  turned  around,  and  stared.  He  stopped  looking  at  his  cell phone.  That’s when I knew I was in trouble.    “What  did  you  say?”  he  yelled  out  at  me  across  the  street  between  the  traffic.  He  started  walking  toward  me,  didn’t  seem  the  least  bit  afraid  of  getting  hit  by  a  car.  They’d  run  me  over  in  a  second,  I  thought,  it  would  be  quick  too.  Fuck  a  duck.  BLARMEY.    “YOU  HEARD  ME,  YOU  GALLYWAT!  GET  OUTTA  THE  STREET!  YOU’RE SCARING EVERYBODY AND I CAN’T STAND ‘YA ANYWAYS.”  He came after me. He wasn’t afraid.  “You old man,” he said, “you piece of shit.”    The  girls  screamed  and  shrieked.  They  were  finely  dressed  in  jean  shorts,  ripped,  and white and blue tops, spaghetti. 


I felt it hot and fast, the sun, the wicked crispiness of his fist on my jawn. I tumbled  over, backward.  The girls screamed again.  “NO! JUSTIN! STOP!”  I caught my bearings. I spat to the ground.  “You fucking bastard. Why don’t you mind your own business?”    I  shuffled  to  my  feet,  struggling  to  catch  my breath. I pulled out my knife. (Only it  was a piece of paper I kept crumpled up in my pocket.)    “THIS  IS  SHARPER  THAN  ANCHOVIES  ON  YOUR  CRUSTED  BREAD,  YOUR MOTHER STINKS.”    He  whacked  me  good  across  the  jaw.  I  felt  the  pain,  dully.  Almost  like  an  eight-hour  shift  on  a  Friday  afternoon  in  March.  When  the  season  changed  and  the  deer scattered in the dandelions of dew and dawn.    When  I  got  back up, I lunged at him. I bit him, clawed him up pretty good. One of  his friends came to help. I roared, spitting, kicking, smacking him across the face.  The girls screamed again.    “Are  you  18?”  I  asked  Justin,  he  was  grabbing  me  by  the  shirt.  Then  I  bellowed  into his face with my head, cracking his nose.    In a matter of moments, I felt an electric shock to the midsection. I collapsed like a  bag of hot air.  I came to, in the back of a cop car. Woozy and uncertain.    “Where  are  you  takin’  me?”  I  mumbled,  my  mouth  sore  and  my  knees  frightened  and my stomach sadder than shit.  Nobody answered.  I looked out the window and saw the kid pointing at me.    “He attacked us, officer…” I could hear through the partition to who the hell knew  where.  “He bit my friend. And then he said he was gonna piss all over us…”  I couldn’t believe it.  I used to be a banker with a six-figure portfolio.  Now I was pissin’ all over myself in a cop car. 


Â


Â


RECORD OF THE WEEK    

  Motorhead 40th Anniversary.  Plays like those three dudes who show up late to their set, rip it up, reeking of weed  and cigarettes, and then they dump their gear back into their pick-up truck.  They need somebody, managers, roadies, accountants. Help these mother fuckers to  keep on making music at light speed.   


Â


Â


SEND SUBMISSIONS TO:   bmyers271@yahoo.com 


Â


Â

Profile for Bryan William Myers

Everything We Are Taught Is False #1  

Issue #1 of Everything We Are Taught Is False. I wrote about Rimbaud, bae and YASS QUEEN bullshit, getting caught on the phone with PayPal,...

Everything We Are Taught Is False #1  

Issue #1 of Everything We Are Taught Is False. I wrote about Rimbaud, bae and YASS QUEEN bullshit, getting caught on the phone with PayPal,...

Advertisement