online literature since 2007

Sunday, September 27, 2009

this is a poem about poems

dont really know what the point of poetry is

my friend said the words "poetry" and "vagina" in the same sentence last night

i didnt hear the other words in the sentence

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

life change

a kid i knew in middle and high school was a very peaceful type. he was friendly, soft spoken and the school track and swimming star. last year i found out he was a sniper in the US army. today i read his facebook status:

If I Met my self from 5 years ago I think he would be distugested with what he will become. *sigh* then he would probably feel sorry for me and ask if I want a hug.... I miss my hippy self.

i became very sad and wrote this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I’ll love you forever, as long as I’m living. This creeping sensation builds
up as we grow older and eventually festers

within us, inside us, like some black mold promising to tear us
down little by little, clotting our lungs and congesting our reason.

Where did this happen?
How, when we each were once so unique and true, did our days mutate into
something so pedestrian?

This lifelong theme of amour, this hunt
for a sentiment so fleeting in
something so fleeting

is our means to our end

This inharmoniously
dissatisfying bubble spins and turns but never falters

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The History Of Western Philosophy

Socrates-"I'm gay."

Plato-"I wrote down what my boss said but it might just be what I said."

Aristotle-"I'm so old-fashioned. Fuck!"

Jesus-"I don't know why I gave up so easy. My philosophy is weak."

Seneca-"It will be okay, I think, or maybe not."

Augustine-"I'm Christian, but I am a serious philosopher."

Aquinas-"Me too!"

Machiavelli-"I'm the dude who is the favorite philosopher of every dumb bro."

Descartes-"I think therefore.....whatever."

Pascal-"I believe in God because I don't want to go to hell."

Spinoza-"We need to start pissing people off."

Locke-"I'm a racist."

Hobbes-"I'm a douche."

Rousseau-"I want to go on a walk."

Voltaire-"Shit sucks."

Kant-"I will explain everything but you will learn nothing."

Adam Smith-"I love money!"

Mill/Bentham-"Sex is good; so is reading a book."

Schopenhauer-"I hate life, I think. Maybe not."

Hegel-"I am going to kill you and then steal half of your clothes."

Marx-"It is impossible to misinterpret my philosophy."

Dostoevsky-"I write really long books."

Kierkegaard-"God is alive, I think."

Nietzsche-"God is dead, pretty much."

Dewey/James-"We're American."


Freud-"There's something I really want to say but I'm staying silent."

Wittgenstein-"Why should I say anything?"

Jaspers-"I'm random but I fit in somehow."

Husserl-"I'm important."

Heidegger-"I'm a Nazi."

Arendt-"I am a Jew but I think Heidegger is cool."

Jung-"I am indifferently opposed to Nazis."

Lacan-"You probably can't understand anything I say."

Sartre-"We're totally free and this makes total sense!"

Camus-"We're totally free and this makes no sense!"

De Beauvoir-"We're free because I agree with Jean-Paul a lot."

Althusser-"We're not free."

Foucault-"Yeah, we're not free."

Derrida-"Yeah. I hate myself. And you."

Adorno-"Everyone is so critical."

Rorty-"We got to get back to how shit used to be."

Rawls-"We need to help the poor."

Nozick-"Fuck the poor."

Habermas-"What the fuck did you say?"

Peter Singer-"I think he's talking shit about my animal friends."

Baudrillard-"Fuck it."

Zizek-"Youtube me!"

Clancy Martin-"Google video me!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

The elevator was humid and dim and it seemed to be taking forever to go down. I was on my way to a job interview at a company called Martin Publishing House. It was located on the fifth floor below ground level in a skyscraper. Ever since I had graduated from college six months before, I had been pretty lazy about looking for a job. A friend had recommended I apply for a job in publishing. So here I was, trying to move up into the world.
When I got off the elevator I had to close my eyes for a second because the lights in the hallway were blindingly bright. When my eyes recovered from the shock I began looking for the door marked -531. I opened the door to the office and walked up to the receptionists' window. A couple of women were seated on the other side of the waiting room reading magazines.
At the receptionists' window I tried clearing my throat and coughing to get the attention of the receptionist but then I realized that she couldn't hear me because there was a glass window between us.
I tapped on the glass and she opened the glass door and said, "Hello."
"Hi, my name is Bob Dorff. I am here to see Mr. Martin."
"Okay, let me look here."
I waited patiently while she typed away on her computer and flipping through files. I tried to look out of the corner of my eye to see if the two women were looking at me or if they were reading their magazines. I had stretched my face as far as I could without directly looking at them, and then the receptionist said something.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?" I asked.
And she said, "Is your name Bob Dorff?"
"Yes," I said.
She then proceeded to begin looking through a file cabinet again. I watched the hands on the clock behind her desk as they moved. I waited for four minutes and twenty-two seconds.
"Okay, Mr. Martin will see you now. Follow me."
She motioned to a door next to a window. I opened it and followed her down a hallway. She knocked on a door and then opened it.
"Mr. Martin, Bob Dorff is here for his interview," she said.
I heard a muffled, indecipherable voice, and then she turned to and smiled and held out her arm for me to go in. Once again I had to readjust my eyes, because there was only a desk lamp on in his office. The secretary closed the door and left.
I looked over the desk at Mr. Martin. He had gray hair and a moustache. He had on a pair of round, wired glasses that made his stare seem even more intense.
"Have a seat," he said.
I sat down.
"So you are looking for a job in publishing, correct," he said.
"Um, yes."
"What kind of work would you hope to do should I hire you?" he asked.
"I mean, I could read manuscripts and edit them, and that kind of stuff."
"I see," he said.
He began looking over my application. I sat there staring at him and then I began looking around the room. There was a plaque saying he graduated from Dartmouth University. Along one wall there was lots of photos. In one of the photos he was sitting on a beach chair next to a woman. I noticed that he was naked and his flaccid penis was hanging out. I opened my mouth in mock horror (or was it real horror) and then glanced at him to make sure he hadn't seen my make that facial expression.
He continued looking at my application. I could hardly stare at him anymore, for fear of immediately envisioning him on a beach chair with no clothes and a flaccid penis. At the same time, I could hardly look at the walls for fear that I might find another such picture. I decided to look down at my lap.
"Well, it looks like you could do a good job here, Bob, but it will just be a matter of figuring out exactly where to put you. We'll give you a call, okay?"
I said "okay" and "thank you" and then I asked where the nearest bathroom was and went and washed my hands. Then I left the office and walked as fast I could to the elevator. When I got to the ground floor and left the building, I was blinded by the sun, because it was so bright.
Rather than taking the subway, I decided to just walk the whole way home. It took me 80 minutes to get back to my apartment. I sat on the stoop and smoked a cigarette and then I went inside. On the way to my apartment I heard loud noises coming from the apartment across the hall from me. It sounded like a dog yelling in pain. I opened the door to my apartment and went in and shut it behind me and bolted the door.
I went to my bedroom and sat down at my desk and laid my head down on the desk. I tried to fall asleep but I couldn’t, so I turned on my computer and checked my email repeatedly every five minutes over the course of two and a half hours while I browsed websites on the Internet.
I leaned back in my chair and looked at the living room and kitchen of my apartment. I didn’t really need them anymore, because I had moved most of my furniture and the microwave and the fridge into my room. Since I was always in my room, there was no need for the television, because I would prefer to just stare at my computer screen. Since the microwave and the fridge were in my room and that was what I used when I cooked food in the house, there really wasn’t any need for the oven. My proudest possession in the room was a hibiscus plant which I watered everyday. I kept it on table by the window because I was afraid that if I put it on the windowsill it would fall twelve stories and smash into oblivion on the sidewalk.
I called my friend Mark and he told me to go over to his apartment. I took the subway over to his apartment. We talked about how much we hated everything and how we didn’t want to get real jobs and how we were above all that and then he asked me how my job interview went.
“Oh, um, pretty good,” I said.
“Where was that again?” he asked.
“Martin Publishing House,” I said.
“Oh yeah, I remember now,” he said. “Come to think of it, I’ve actually been thinking of taking this job offer from an advertising agency downtown.”
“Oh yeah,” I said.
He began talking about this job that he had been offered and one sentence began to bleed into the next. He began to sound like the teacher sounds in the show Charlie Brown. I thought about feeling sentimental about the fact that we were growing up and then I realized that I didn’t really care even though it did was kind of overwhelming.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a poem constructed out of things that my math teacher said and things the loud girl sitting behind me said, as well as the occasional ambient noise.

prepare your questions;
i'll give you a moment of time.
if you just came in, you need to look at that kid's hair.


feel the pressure on question number ten!
whoever just came in needs to answer first.

time is flying.
we're all gonna fail this class.

another question:
how many of you did the problems?
you are all geeks.
your answers are all correct.
this is only sometimes true.

i explained this very briefly before.
please go over it again.

the distinction between so-called exercises and so-called solutions is not much of a distinction.
right now, i am reading and writing only some of the things i'm thinking.
only some of these words are true.

sometimes they say, suppose this is true?
in such cases, you have two examples of the same kind of sitaution.
suppose it is said the union of these two examples is happening. sometimes this union happens but sometimes it doesn't happen.

distant sirens.

but this example is still not equal to that example. it is very simple to see what is going on.
deception is going on.

this is always true, therefore there are conditions.
ohhhh. ohhhhh. ohhh. yea yeah.
well, I was in a rush.

this is dumb.
this is always true.
this is pure logic.

let's discuss law number 1.
law number 1 tells me these two examples are the same thing.

car horns.

a similar argument proves this law number 2.
law number 2 tells me these two examples are different.
i'm gonna show you this in a minute.
law number 2 can be proven by thinking.
i'm going to prove it to you with a little mathematical trickery.
that is what mathematicians do.
i could do this in words but i like to do it in numbers.

this is always true.
the beauty of this rule is that it is always true.
it is complicated, however. if you think about it, it is because you can never experience either of these kinds of examples in real life.
this is always true.
these rules are sometimes true.
this is simplified.
this was a rule made by people - a convention.
don't get nervous about that.
conventions happen sometimes.
here in mathematics they happen all the time.
there is another possible answer too:
this class is so boring.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I was sitting in a coffee shop staring at a girl sitting a few tables away. I thought, "Should I go up to her and introduce myself?" I thought that she seemed to be involved in her newspaper and that it would be rude to interrupt her. Also, I hadn't the faintest idea what I would do after I introduced myself and was afraid that it might have gotten awkward. I sat there drinking my coffee and contemplating this for several minutes, and then she got up from her seat, threw her newspaper in the trash bin, and walked out of the coffee shop.

During my whole time staring at her I had felt self-conscious, reserved, and detached all at the same time. The intensity of my gaze upon her had been so great that I had realized that if I knew someone was staring at me I would feel very uncomfortable. And yet, it is so much easier to look at someone when there isn't a gaze reflected back at you. But then I realized that everybody else in the coffee shop was involved in completely different endeavors than staring. By the time I thought of that, the girl had left shop, and so I stood up, paid my bill, and went outside and lit a cigarette.

I got into my car and began driving aimlessly. My cell phone began to vibrate. It was Danny.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey, what's up?" he said.

"Nothing, just driving around."

"You want to hang out?"

"Sure. I'll come pick you up."

"Alright, cool. Bye."


When I arrived at Danny's parents house, I sat in my car in the driveway for five minutes, expecting him to come out. Then I called him, and he said, "Oh, you're here?" and hung up.

When he got in the car, we each lit a cigarette, and then I asked him what he wanted to do.

"I don't know, just drive until one of us thinks of something," he said.

I began driving up hills and hills and more hills. Eventually, I realized we were driving near the highest point in the county. I looked out over the hill we were driving on and I could see the whole city of Cuyahoga Falls laid out before me. I looked out over the thousands of beige and gray boxes and felt nothing. I then realized that Danny had been saying something to me.

"What'd you say," I asked.

"I said that it could maybe even be kind of nice to live here for the rest of my life. You know, have my own house and get married and shit."

"No, that's stupid," I said, "Then we would have kids like everyone in all those houses down there and then our kids would grow up like us, complaining about how much it sucks to live here."

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

"You want to go eat pizza?"


I drove to the nearest Pizza Huts and we both ordered the buffet and then we both remarked how all the other Pizza Huts had gotten rid of their buffets.

I nodded out the window at the bar across the street.

"You want to go over there after this?" I asked.

"Isn't it a little early?" asked Danny.

"If it was too early then it wouldn't be open," I replied

Danny shrugged and then he took a bite out of his bread stick. Knowing him as long as I knew him, I figured that meant that we would go to the bar.

After we had each eaten everything on our plates we got up and walked across the street to the bar. Before we went in, Danny said, "Isn't it kind of early," again, to which I said, "It's six o'clock."

Inside the bar, the lights were dim and the music was relatively loud, but neither of these things bothered me because I had gotten used to the fact that most bars were like that. The bartender was watching the six-o'clock news on a television, and I had to clear my throat in order to get his attention so that we could order our drinks.

We sat down at a table and sipped on our drinks. The news was talking about the presidential election. I squirmed around in my seat, trying to find a comfortable spot. I thought about removing my wallet from my back pocket to make the surface of my butt balanced but I was too lazy.

As we sipped on our drinks I looked at the three other people in the bar. One was the bartender, who was still gazing intently at the news on the television. Another was guy that was maybe a few years older than myself, and I suspected that he had some kind of relation to the bartender. The other person in the bar was a rather ragged looking older man who had dirty white hair and what looked like a week-old beard. I looked at his face and then I saw that he had turned around and was looking at me from his chair at the bar. He nodded his head at me and I looked away and began talking nonsense to Danny.

"I was reading about how Sartre did mescaline once and he had a bad trip," I said.

Danny gave a somewhat confused look and then he said, "Cool."

I began telling him how Sartre became obsessed with Judaism and the messiah at the end of his life, and then I noticed the older man from the bar was walking over and I was lost for words.

"How is that related to him taking mescaline?" asking Danny.

I stared at the old man as he walked over towards us. Danny noticed that I was looking oddly at something and then he too began staring at the man.

He walked up to our table, "Hi, I'm Pete, can I sit with you?"

Danny said sure, but he moved over to give the man a place to sit, but the man decided to nudge me over instead.

We all introduced ourselves and then we all sipped on our drinks in silence for about 30 seconds.

"What do you do?" Danny asked the man.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Like what do you do for a job?"

"I'm the bouncer here," said the man.

"Ah," Danny and I each said simultaneously.

"Yeah, I just check ID's and stuff. But I'm pretty good at guessing people's age. You are both in your mid-twenties," I would say.

"Twenty-four," said Danny.

"Twenty-five for me," I said.

"Yeah, thats what I thought," he said. "To be honest, the liquor board hardly ever comes here, so I hardly ever check. I think that if you are old enough to go and die in a war, then it should be fine if you have a drink."

"Yeah, I've always thought that was how it should be," I said and Danny concurred.

"Either of you in the military?" asked the man.

"No, no way," I said.

"Well, I was in the military, back in the 70s."

"That must have sucked," I said and I realized that he wasn't as old as he looked.

"Yeah he sure did suck," he said. "I thought I was going to go do some good, and all I ended up doing was killing people and destroying my mind for the rest of my life."

"Shit," said Danny.

"Yeah, so I wouldn't recommend it," the man said. "What do you guys do anyway," he asked.

"I just graduated college this past spring," I said.

"I am going to graduate next spring," said Danny.

The man asked me what I was doing with my degree and I said that right now the economy was bad and I was just working at a deli in New York City. He asked what I was doing in Ohio and I told him I was home for Thanksgiving. Danny said that he was home for Thanksgiving too, and then the bouncer had to get up to check the IDs of three barely-legal looking boys. Danny and I finished our drinks and walked out of the bar. We got in my car and each of us lit a cigarette.

"What do you want to do," I asked.

And he said, "I don't know, just drive around until one of us thinks of something to do."