Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Tale of Ten Books

Ten Opening Sentences in Ten Different Books: An Exercise in ... Possibilities

These do not include prefaces or acknowledgements--those speak for themselves...

None of the books in my father’s dusty old bookcase were forbidden. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. The continuity of the classical tradition has been, until the 20 th century, one of the most striking aspects of Western art. Darius and Parysatis had two sons. Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, with happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place. Law is one of the learned professions. On October 5, 1941, I received a message from General Headquarters: “Stalin wants to speak with Front Commander over direct line.” The Carolina coast was below me; white and gleaming in the afternoon sun. The Catholic Church has always claimed Jesus of Nazareth as its founder, and nearly everyone is familiar with the basic facts about this dynamic Jewish preacher and healer who was born around the turn of the first century A.D. (probably between 6 B.C. and A.D. 6) and was crucified by the Romans between A.D. 28 and 30. The discussion of the subject at hand would gain in clarity if I could ask the members of my invisible audience whether they can remember themselves far enough back in their childhood, when they were not able to count, that is when they could not recite the series of words one, two, three, four, and so on.

By: Homeless with a Laptop, that is my Name

Sunday, May 9, 2010

El Español Es Espíritu, El Ingles Es Material

English is matter, just matter—
Something that floats—
Invisible or visible, a tool—
Necessity of flesh and business,

A thought of clean tongues,
white language,
Teutonic speech.

Spanish is breath
and blood,
the face becoming the thought,
calling forth the hands
in particular tones.

It is a pilgrimage
Through all Latin countries
where lisps are beloved,
s’s, disavowed,
r’s, chameleons,
and everyone knows
how to roar.

In Spanish, kiss me
is one word. Sí
has a sea of meanings,
and you can feel heat
beating from the
o in sol.

And no one loves
Cars and houses—
only people,
their land and their God.

Composed by Federico Anaya Sánchez. Copied, posted and loved by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Life as a Debt Consultant

As all stories start: There I was, on a Monday morning, at our corporate offices in the basement of the Rickards building, sitting at my desk, speaking on the telephone, when my partner, Bill, rushes in, bellowing:

“Gonzo, you’re about to get a parking ticket. Move your car”

“What do you mean? It says I have an hour parking; and my name is Gonzalo”

“Today is Monday and parking is restricted in the morning for street cleaning.”

I dropped the telephone and a possible client, and I rushed out of our corporate offices in order to avoid an $18 parking ticket. Just in time. The unsympathetic motorized parking control officer had already written a parking ticket to the silver Chevy Caprice and I was next. I rushed to the car in the nick of time and managed to move to another place. I walked back to the office.

“Thanks Bill, you saved me.”

“No problem. Let’s have a cigarette.”

We go outside and our sanitation engineer, Shorty the wino, rushes up.

“Permission to address you sir.”

Shorty has delusions that he was in the Marine Corps; too much cheap vodka. That or he’s trying to garner sympathy. Every now and then he tells us that his name is Larry King.

“Request granted. Go ahead.”

“I don’t want to appear like a bum but could you guys spare me $3.60?”

“What do you want to do with it, Shorty?”

“Well, I ain’t going to lie about it. I’m going to get a bottle of vodka for me and the missus.”

“I’ll tell you what. Here is $5.00 but you have to sweep the corporate pathway for us.”

“Bless you. I will sweep it all up. MARINE CORPS… HOOH AHH.”

Puff, puff, puff… planning… puff, puff, puff… clients… puff, puff, puff

Bill: "But Dan is the one that grabbed me and I have not been goofing off…"

Bill, first turn on the power to the computer before you begin to work…

Bill’s idea of business: “Oh come on, we can’t charge this poor lady…”

“I want $100, Bill”

Later that afternoon, here we are, on Aisle 5 of the Office Depot…

“Bill we ain’t going in your trashy car”

“What’s wrong with my car?”

“It looks like someone dropped an atomic bomb inside of it; it’s nuked!”

Back at the office, as he stood up to greet our client, my partner’s pants fell down…

Our first client lost the winning ticket to a $25 million California Lottery. He told us the whole sad story. He bought the ticket at a small Mom and Pop store. Later when he saw that he had won, he went in to cash the ticket. They took the ticket from him but gave him a photocopy of it. Later, no one knew anything about the ticket. The California Lottery Commission attempted to have our client indicted for fraud. Luckily the client ran away …