Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guest Write - Robert Crisman

I decided to post two pieces from this week's Guest Writer, I hope you'll take the time to read both and comment as well...


Time was when horror meant Bela Lugosi, Dracula, that stuff. These days they’d take Vlad the Impaler and punk-slap his ass, and make him turn tricks in an alley.

Horror’s address? It used to be Hollywood backlots, wherever it was that Lon Chaney slapped on his makeup. But now? Well, say you live out on Elm Street or Beavertree Lane, in a house or a condo, or maybe you live in some ghetto apartment, or an exurban enclave with guards at the gate. It’s all right outside, seeping in through your walls and your pores.

And Freddy Krueger is nowhere around. They’d punk-slap him too…

Horror schmoozes and blusters on cold downtown streets. It gives you the stinkeye at bus stops. It sprawls like dead winos in alleys. It’s a date with a stranger whose smiles hide switchblades.

You can go to the store for some two percent milk on a Tuesday and rub up against it, bad breath and all, at the checkstand or back by the frozen foods section. It might follow you out to your car, picking its nose and averting its gaze as you fumble for keys in your pocket or purse.

Could be it’s the Son of Ted Bundy! Why not? Your priest might be Son of Sam, Jr. And the football coach at your high school? Well, since that girl went missing who lived on his block, you might want to check out the woods there in back of his house…

Not everyone is a killer, of course. Those Rotary gongos drooling like monkeys as girls spread their buttcheeks in strip clubs? They’ve no need to kill; their clown show is nasty enough by itself...

America’s a room full of short eyes and rape-dogs with duct tape and shovels stashed under some tarp in their vans. The roof’s falling in and horror’s the air that we breathe.

Quotidian rebop the whole fucking way.

Despite what Robert Crisman said about Hollywood horror, werewolves still scare the hell out of him.

Coyote Agonistes

(Part 1)

Wile E. Coyote? A junkie strung out on bunk dope…

What’s the visual you get with this guy? Yep, it’s this flea-bitten yoyo plummeting earthward from 5,000 feet as that beep-beeping sonofabitch of a bird waves goodbye from above and boogies on into a tunnel or something.

But then, on a deeper, more human level, you find that—already!—you can relate to the trials and travails of a predator nitwit who will not go out and chase rabbits or horned toads—creatures he might even catch—because he’s got to do what’s never been done, and eat what has never been sucked down a gullet in life.

The question is, what put him there in mid-air, hurtling toward lizards and hard rocks below?

I’ll tell you exactly:

His classmates in high school, especially that fine little blonde with the legs and the lungs who sat by the window up there in front—they all put him down as a nose-picking dweebster right from day one until that morning he slunk to the freightyards and hopped the first boxcar that took him to Yuma and into the desert forever.

You remember that blonde, do you not? Yes indeed…

Hey, snap awake!

The point here is, Wile E., a cultural icon of ours, is chasing the dream, the American Dream—that somehow, some way, he can deep-six that putz jacket once and for all, the minute he gnaws that damn bird off the bone and washes it down with a Bud.

He also dreams of a day that will come at long last—the day he attends his high-school reunion…

He lands his Lear Jet on the fifty-yard line of the field where once they wouldn’t even let him haul water. He blas├ęs on into the banquet room there and surveys the crowd with a casual smile. All chit-chat stops. A cathedral-like hush grips the room.

The beautiful blonde with the legs and the lungs… She sees him there haloed… Her eyes go way wide. Her breath quickens now as he smiles her way…

She gets up from her chair and walks toward him slowly, entranced. Her eyes probe with questions, seeking the sign in his eyes that will transform her world.

A deafening silence…

She melts in his arms…

Wile E. is king of all he surveys!

He dreams the dream we all dream of!

His story is ours!

Quick note: I’m talking to guys here, of course. Not that women don’t have their dick dreams, they do. They too want to rule, that’s a given. It’s just that, a lot of their dreams involve daycare and stuff, and unless the kid’s screaming and she’s got the car, a guy never ever gives daycare a thought…

(Part 2)

Anyway, Wile E. He dreamed the impossible dream. He did seven bits in the joint behind charges involving explosives. His hospital bills hit the moon. He owed Acme billions.

He risked and lost all, or damn near…

And then finally he said, to hell with this falling off cliffs! Fuck dancing with trains in those tunnels!

Forget that damn bird!

These days Wile E. is a vegan! Yessiree, Bob! In October ‘08, he inked a fat contract to push Bird’s Eye’s new veggie health foods on prime time TV. The guy’s stacking bank like a one-man cartel!

And in June of ’09, he dropped in on his high-school reunion—via parachute, man, right out of that Lear Jet!—and, cool as Denzel, he scooped up that blonde with the lungs and the legs and took off for a small private beach in Aruba…

Dreams do come true!

Robert Crisman watched the Roadrunner cartoons when he was a kid and empathized with Wile E. Coyote, some days more than others. Most guys do, whether they want to admit it or not.


  1. Every time I try to skim a read of yours' because I've got a long list of domestic "to do's", I get sucked into the words and forget my damn "to do's". Fun reads!

  2. Thanks Nic for exposing me to your wonderful, talented friends. You know how I feel about writing. I enjoy reading so much more. In Bonnie's words, "I lurve it."

  3. Lot of punk slapping going on!

    I suspected that coyote was a vegan. He meant no harm.

  4. Robertt, partuclarly liked the "Horror" piece. What you say is so damn right...
    As for Wile E. - well, rarely I am jealous of a cartoon character!

  5. Great idea, vivid, stylish, Milton eat your heart out. Werewolves? I think I saw one walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. His hair was perfect.

  6. Bah, I'm still not going vegan. 'tis better to have loved and lost and eaten steak then be saddled with bean sprouts.

  7. Great riffs, again. Love the Wile E story.

  8. Wile was no fool, the blonde yes, vegan no.
    Ater a while the cliffs just don't get it.
    Very interesting read.

  9. Richard, You say the werewolf's hair was perfect? Couldn't have been Warren Zevon then. I wonder who the fuck it was?

  10. Such an intriguing & enthralling story , just so full of suprises - love the warewolves too -great piece.

  11. Hey Rob; marvelous writing as ever.
    Luved the part where he ate her with a Bud chaser. The language and metaphors are vividly excellent.

  12. Don't like cartoons so it took me some time to read this to the end - as always I'm glad I did, as always the poetic vividness of your language seduced me.
    I thought he'd ignore the dumb blonde though