Friday, August 27, 2010

The Novel as Graffiti

The Novel as Graffiti: ""
Armand and Vickie,

Here are the lyrics for my youtube spoken word number, "Telemarketing Blues."

Thanks for asking!

Telemarketing Blues

I was looking to buy a bling-bling
For a girl who’s turning tricks
I didn’t want to go to Sing Sing
Like them gangsters in the flicks
So I got the morning paper
To try and find a gig
Next to the photo of a baby raper
I seen somethin I could dig
If you can sell your sister
Try telemarketing
I heard a small voice whisper
This looks like just the thing
Past a sea of tattooed faces
Down a dirty flight of stairs
It looked like one of them places
Where shady ladies sell their wares
Everybody dialin
Like monkeys in a zoo
The boss man he was smilin
What can I do for you
I said sir I don’t wanta steal and rob
But I need money fast
He said son I can offer you a job
My name is Mr. Crass
You’re bound for success he told me
With a Tony Robbins smile
Take it from Obie Kanobe
And all you gotta do is dial
He was the slickest operator
That ever blew my mind
A human carburetor
I think you might know his kind
Now here’s a little gadget
Let me introduce you to
Son you’re lookin at the magic
Handy Dandy Dipsy Doo
Mr. Crass can you enlighten me
What on earth is this thing for
In a voice that kinda frightened me
He said it opens cans and more
Why it’ll do the dishes and clean out the sink
Turn on some music and pour you a drink
Take out the paper and bring in the chickens
Make your hair grow like the very dickens
Row your boat when you’re lost in the fog
Paint your nails and flurk the dog
Pick the lint out of your navel
Deal straight aces under the table
Give ya plenty of huggin and kissin
Tell you where the cat’s been pissin
Feed a fever and starve a cough
And if you don’t watch out it’ll jack you off
So I started out sellin the Dipsy Doo
I was makin sales and plenty too
Mr. Crass said I was gonna get a bonus
Fer displayin what you might call the opposite of slowness
I kept on sellin and sellin and sellin
I had big dreams cookin in my melon
So you can imagine how I almost freaked
When I got my check at the end of the week
My pay was anything but immense
Fourteen dollars and fifty-three cents
I said Mr. Crass there must be some mistake
He said son there’s no cause to bellyache
I said I guess I’m just not educated
Tell me how was my bonus calibrated
He said son just so’s there ain’t no doubt
Here’s the way it all shakes out
A percentage of your total sales
Minus fifty percent to balance out the scales
Divided by twenty percent for deficit spending
Plus any penalties for money lending
Minus half a dozen cancellation fees
Minus whatever assets we decide to seize
Divided by sixteen times the depreciation
As determined by your financial association
Then you take the number of Nazis in all of the Reichs
Divide by the price of the three sharp spikes
That nailed Baby Jesus to the cross
Minus fifteen percent for cumulative loss
Well I got a call from a lady in Poughkeepsie
She said there’s somethin wrong with my Dipsy
It fried the laundry and killed the cat
Failed to melt away my baby fat
The problems in fact were rather myriad
It caused my daughter to miss her period
Left us stranded at a busy junction
And gave my husband erectile dysfunction
I said Mr. Crass this operation
Don’t resonate with my vibration
It ain’t nothing but a great big scam
And the Dipsy Doo aint worth a goddamn
So I’ll see you around the quad Mr. Crass
And you can take your bonus
And stick it up your ass

© Donald O’Donovan 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My pigeons came back in force. Followed me for almost a mile, perching on light posts, until I got to my bench--our bench--at People's Park. Then they swooped down, a whole squadron of them, ravenous, crazed for birdseed. When a couple of reasonably harmless-looking gangsta guys walked past the park they exploded into flight, made a huge circle, and returned. And when I left the park they followed me for half a mile, almost all the way to the wifi.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Not a single pigeon came to greet me when I got to People's Park this morning. This is the thanks I get! They must have hit it big somewhere else. But I did see an iconic figure--a recycler with a fantastic rig, two bicycles welded together with a shopping cart in between and a little trailer behind, and all of it piled sky high with black plastic bags full of cans and plastic bottles. A skinny African American, no shirt, segmented torso gleaming with sweat--this guy could be the Crown Prince of Third World America. He had to stop traffic to cross the street with that crazy rig, and the drivers sitting at the wheel weren't impatient, no, they were gawking in wonder and admiration.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My pigeons hop right up in my lap now, falling over each other in their greed, and eat out of my hand. Still, they're hard to like, these brainless birds. I'd prefer sparrows, but the pigeons crowd them out. On the way to the wifi each morning I pass some doves. Doves are upper middle class pigeons, the Starbuck's set as compared to the desperadoes who hang out at the Café Cabaret (my wifi). They have their own agenda and aren't interested in my birdseed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The jacaranda trees have all but finished shedding their purple blooms, and are nearly naked. Metaphorically speaking, the days of wine and roses are over and now you get to see her without her makeup. The result of all that frenzied mating? Some eerie Body Snatchers-looking seedpods dangling on long stems. These odd, dangling, suitcase-like “pod people,” will, I guess, fall to the ground—or rather the sidewalk—and the birds then will do their part in spreading the ever-popular jacaranda throughout the world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

After a tremendous struggle and the expert technical aid of a dear friend I finally succeeded in getting my blog to register at Goodreads. But along the way I discovered that the glitches were not all my fault or theirs. A problem locally, for many Internet users, has been that of hungry chipmunks gnawing the insulation off the wires. Nearly every night, in fact, I hear their little feet scampering on my roof. But the problems are not confined to Los Angeles, or even to the US, as I learned through my recent research. Severe weather conditions at Internet Relay Stations around the globe contribute heavily to the difficulties, and living conditions at these outposts are little short of harrowing. Recently I got a rather touching email from a young man named Sergei Kazakov who operates a Relay Station in a remote area of the Ukraine, accessible only by helicopter or troika. This courageous and dedicated young guy spends six months at a stretch in a 500-foot tower on top of a mountain peak, subsisting mostly on borscht, vodka, Russian rye bread and farshyrovannye iaitsa (Russian stuffed eggs). A typical chore: he goes out in a howling blizzard with a pair of special felt gloves and cleans off the ice that’s clinging to the wires. Hats off to Sergei Kazakov and other diligent workers who keep the Internet going!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Walking Lady breezed right by me for three days straight and never said hello, so I figured she “wanted to be alone.” As I approached People’s Park today I saw her up ahead surrounded by pigeons, so I held back, not wanting to invade her space. When she took off I proceeded to the park and fed the pigeons, and I thought, “Maybe she thinks I’m trying to take her pigeons away from her.” When I left the park I saw her coming toward me, headed back in the other direction, and I prepared to be ignored. But, surprise, she said good morning as she cruised past me with those long loping strides of hers. It’s not that I have a crush on the Walking Lady or anything like that. It’s just that we both seem to be “Johnny Appleseed” types, and that resonates big time with me.