The Crass Menagerie

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Location: The Promised Land

This is my triumphant return to the lifestyle I've always furthered and forwarded in my heart, at least, so let's blast off. The first half of my life has been incredible and the second segment will include more splendors than any Ottoman Sultan could ever have wished for in his golden repose. Anyway, fasten your laughter belt cuz you're on a collision course with wackiness.

Monday, October 30, 2006


All hallows are required on this day and night. After that we put away childish things for a few hours and look with false sincerity to the coming winter. Hopefully there’s not a sign of hypocrisy as far as the eye can see because I could sure use some presents or toys. Some of the classic elements are present as another lame-o baseball postseason has passed, the smell of pumpkin guts is in the air, and things are just a tiny bit stranger than normal here in Fantasy Land. The sight of someone in costume doesn’t draw much attention but, of course, that’s why I came here in the first place, to be eccentric and have it go mostly unnoticed. Or at least have my oddities pay off.
This is the perfect time for an inventory of fears. It would be an interesting time capsule for comparison if I had made such a list at this time last year. There’s yer value. Perhaps fear defines a man. I can’t decide even though I don’t really drink that much anymore. Drinking may or may not affect decision making but it surely eradicates fear, for good and or ill. People without fear should be feared? It’s an important decision. Have a tequila or a double scotch, if you have to drive. Then decide.
Take note of how people align themselves for Halloween. For men, the classic choices are all derivatives of three main themes: Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man. At least that’s the way it used to be. Now, people dress as poop and condoms and Johnny Depp. Girls could choose between princess, witch, and cat. Those are still prevalent, but you have to add the word slutty to those themes but that’s still the basic spectrum with the princess doubling as a prostitute. Anything else is fake hair on a jack-o-lantern. Some tradition is good to keep everyone in the same realm of fun, or irritation, depending on your disposition. Differences are fun to exploit.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This is my happening...

A new menagerie has sprouted in the back yard which gives me a warm feeling. Anyone who knows me would be able to pick mine out of the bunch. Again, to qualify, I did it in the dark with an old kitchen knife so I’m ok with the results. Normally I would hold myself to a higher standard or, at least, level of craftsmanship. I’m now able to make the climb up the hillside to the exotic terraces of the back yard. There are dozens of great spots to read or meditate in delicate shade or liquid sun. I’m trying to build back a healthy glow after spending a summer in winter and the pale, ashen look of a vampire or a milkman.

I see God out the window.
He “…reminds me that all of Los Angeles is a jungle!”
But we trust each other now.
What I saw of evil was unintentional
Like so much of nature
But I’ll keep the poncho
Covering the butt of the revolver.

This is my pumpkin next to one that a very cute little lady carved. I spent a good deal of time flirting with her and hope to see her again soon and that someday we’ll marry and this photo will be the theme, representing the bond we instantly shared. A replica will adorn the wedding cake and the bride’s family will be identified with the wild star motif and my folks will have the classy Nightmare Before Christmas look. We’d honeymoon in San Francisco, checking in to the St. Francis hotel and reserving the Fatty Arbuckle suite. Or at least I hope I get to sleep with her, but I don’t remember her name at the moment. No matter, if it’s meant to be I’ll slip on it.
October begins to wind down with its usual fury and I try to hang on. Achilles did not recover from his wound but I climb the hill every day now. My mind knows a new freshness as well, sensing the renewal on the first light of morning. Not that I see that light very often.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Les Fleurs du Murder!

I am paralyzed with fear. I don't feel I really have to qualify that. My upstairs neighbors had a little Halloween pumpkin carving party tonight and I got to meet some cool, nice people. I took Annabelle with me and she served me faithfully as I carved away. I hashed out a standard classic jack-o-lantern in no time, even with a rusty kitchen knife in the dark on a beautiful twilight as the degrees hit at 69. On a down note, a disturbing trend continued when I was in a conversation about music with someone and the dude had to tell me, "Oh yeah, my dad's into that so I got into it." So I'm left thinking, ".... ah yes, me and your dad. I'm old." Still, I kept some dignity for my generation, though it was also noted by someone else at the party that no one looks their age anymore, especially here. I'm ok with this.
This is 3301 Waverly Drive, better known as the LaBianca murder house and it's just up the road from here a couple of miles. This is the place where they wrote "Healter Skelter" and "Death to Pigs" in blood as well as carving the word war in to poor Leno's stomach. I just snapped this riding by but I'd been hanging out there a while and had a little lunch in front of 3267, the house next door where Charlie and the killers walked up the driveway and cut across the lawn. Back in '69, 3267 was a "hippie house" which has certainly changed because now there are BMW's and Jaguars in the driveway and the house is probably worth three million. I prefer the hippie joint, myself. But the place had attracted Manson so I guess there's a downside to all upsides. Just ask Christians.

Cue inspiration
In search of my own cold blood
Does it rise or sink

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Sometimes familiar sounds separate in unfamiliar ways and it's either interesting or unsettling, you decide. Cymbal clashes tremor on the night air and then dissolve into black before hitting the ground. I could come out with another jest about the weather but I'm going to ease up and allow the situation to name itself. A waking dream got free and I followed it a long way through a corridor and the door at the end opened to daylight but a light too bright to live in so the music brought me back to Corralitas Drive. Darkness holds onto the hills outside but my mighty oak table that fronts the windows stands firm like the bridge of a ship and I stare out into blackness, looking for a form I recognize. "The Gates of Delirium" indeed pulled me back in to prove Nietzsche correct in that "Out of chaos comes order."
Or maybe I should just blow it out my ass. Sorry for the indelicacies but these are tough times.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cabeza du Jour

Now this got a little weird. I started out with this happy dancing girl and I thought, hmm, I do believe she could be Salome. I gave her this kinda disco dance floor but then the big head of John the Baptist, there, came out and I realized that it was coming out more like Charles Manson and I got a mite spooked because now my Salome looked like any one of the gals at the Spahn Ranch in 1969 (..that..year, again). And talk about spooky names: Patricia Krenwinkel, Linda (Drouin) Kasabian, Squeaky Fromme, Leslie Van Houten. Well, I figured this all just went together somehow and added the skull and Old Spice seemed like a natural choice to finish. I mean, Manson was a baptist too, albeit a demonic one. I haven't made my trek to 10050 Cielo Drive yet to peek at the haunted gate but I'll get to it before October is out. I don't know what's left of the Spahn Ranch but I aims to find out. Then there's Death Valley but that can wait a little while longer.
Nice, cool air as Wednesday turns to Thursday. I watch the forecast every few hours to see if they've backed off the rain prediction yet for Friday but no, they've even added Saturday. We'll see but I'm betting there'll be nothing more than a dampening. Still, let fortune's wheel turn. I gots me a walking cane and I'm going to see how far I can get tomorrow without confounded cursed crutches. Bah, it's only bone and sinew, right?

A dark reflection
My own, with something behind
Raging to break through

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Ah, yes, October and the other sensations involved leave us introspective about next year and the depth of the pain to be endured. Nevertheless, come February, we'll be brimming for news of the stirrings in Florida and Arizona. I really like that the Dodgers go to Florida which just seems more natural. There's something about that Cactus League that feels counterfeit. Anyway, about five minutes of rain interrupted the perfect weather and cleaned things off a bit this afternoon, though it was not nearly the total cleansing that Travis Bickle had wished for when candidate Palantine asked him in "Taxi Driver".

Boo. The mood returns. Some Halloween decorations have popped up which can seem a little redundant in this town but their nature and color comforts me at a time when no real change of season has been that noticeable. Basically, it's fourteen degrees cooler and the days are getting shorter. The foliage is in typical year-round bloom so there's no giveaway there. No jack-o-lanterns to report yet but it's early for that. I may be wrong but I think that's more of an east coast thing. Maybe I'll try to catch the woman who leaves flowers on Valentino's grave once a week. I gotta do something spooky. I heard that Brian De Palma botched The Black Dahlia (what a surprise!). "No, just a heart shaped shower." "There goes that fantasy." But I digress. I'm going to get "Helter Skelter" off the shelf and find out where the Tate house was. I've seen the LaBianca place which is just around the corner from here. That's pretty spooky. Also, Riverside Drive just at the bottom of the hill from here is a hotbed for transients so I'm sure you could kill one and " things with the skin.." but I'd rather not. Still, the roadside is filled with old vans and beatup vehicles that are functioning as homes while the road itself is relatively clean and lush. That's a little scary in a way that you wonder which one of these folks you'll read about in a month or two and find out they were holding Elizabeth Smart prisoner months after she'd been recovered, or something like that. Or maybe the next Jewel lives down there. Now that's spooky.
The empty sockets
While Nosferatu watches
Something behind me

Human predators
Swarming by the riverside
Creeping up at night

Through the dog's nightmares
The house is now surrounded
I watch the doorknob

My first ever Halloween Haikus. Oh, did anyone get the significance of the headline?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Coming Like a Ghost Town

Perhaps charcoal on my fingertips will stay the hunger that roars in my spirit. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, these are the golden days of the Promised Land with the high temperature a cliche 72 and then the chilled nights of sea air caught over a bowl at the edge of the desert. The harvest moon blazes with a blue intensity and blasts through the wispy clouds that collect on the horizon at sunset. And everywhere the sturdy palm manages to thrive, even in the sugar-coated filth for which L.A. is known. I tell you, no dirty city ever looked better. And there's history on every corner.
There's mystery in this corner with a hazy poncho to confuse the issue. Oh, you, hazy poncho! Ahem, back to the Menagerie. I have nothing officially scary to report yet but it's early in the season. I took Walter on a midnight walk to the roundabout at the end of the cul-de-sac in the blistering moonlight and that was kinda spooky. We'll get there, Mr. Homer. I watched "The Trip" starring Peter Fonda and directed by Roger Corman. That was kinda scary, in a bad acted sorta you're-making-me-have-a-bad-trip type of discomfort but I would recommend it for a larf. Keep a stiff upper lip. Sydney or the bush! Give my regards to Broadway. Rebels are we! Born to be free! Just like the fish in the sea! Power has driven me mad.

It starts with a pulse
Add layer upon layer
Collapsing, at last

Monday, October 02, 2006

Like Vincent Price sinister

Boo. October has arrived and the best month of the year begins with knights waving staffs and the great Magician gets it all started. I patiently wait to get my bounty, lining up classic scary movies to watch and celebrate harvest and decline and the renewal of the great cycle. I offer up my own metaphysical wicker man as sacrifice and warm myself by the flames and know that I guarantee another year of bounty. As I walked out today, drops of rain fell just as I opened the door for about five minutes and then fell no more. Strange coincidence. It did little more than make spots in the dust on the black bug but it was nice to feel and gave hope that more may follow. Next time I'll wish for something bigger. There.

Perhaps it's all in the mind but it truly feels like one day can feel like September and then the next day feels like October, like the air is different on schedule. November 1st, the Day of the Dead, the day after Halloween looks amazingly different. It's remarkable, when you get up on November 1st, the light has changed and it looks a little harder and more serious. I've never seen another change from one day to the next that is so ritually dependable. Something build's in the air from the beginning through the end of October and the end of the month is the perfect time for a pagan festival. These are east coast remembrances and I'm hoping they transpose to the west. Only time will tell. "It's a piece of wood. It's got nerves in it." Anyone?

The tease came on cue
As usual I answered
They still let me play

Put down your mice, people of the world, and play some music and get intoxicated by something, be it wine or a book or a painting or a psychotic game of life and death, the winner takes all! I once filled the skies with my planes but now I seek a different challenge and assemble what troops I have for a last stand before they reach the coastline. I'm in the process of assembling rogues and rapscallions for my private militia. Of course, we're protecting the ladies in the rear. How did it come to this?

The skull's open mouth
A dog's nose under my arm
Encouraging me

Just give me two feet
Months of inspiration held
See what I erect

I'm the high bidder
I'll get what's coming to me
In more ways than one

Gershwin to finish
A perfect path to morning
Tumbling in my dreams