The Narcissistic Pin Scratches of Josiah Brown,

(whom they say was vaccinated “with a gramophone needle”)


(a poem for “Paper Planes” by M.I.A)

There are locations in the city where

I experienced things.

The general first memory

-association, and in many (and most)

cases the only that comes to mind,

when I pass them, if I do, and rarely

then, will I slow down or stop, is of the house

and its rules and its ruler.

Houses I only got high in.

This one was treacherous.

One wrong step and you were

tipping over a stack of something.

(magazines, ashtrays, books, dirty pillows)

The guy who lived there would always

reorganize when he got to his peak high,

when he was crashing.

Everything would get shifted a bit.

Even me. Literaly. I moved around the room,

following into the new areas as he produced them.

Giving him the odd hit to keep going and

In Obeyance of House Rules:

(if it’s your first time you pay for everyone,

each time afterward, house always gets a hoot.)

These fucker were veterans I was a tourist

I wept one morning to him like a little child,

I think I even mentioned a God’s name.

Last time I ever did it? Not likely.

But close.

I don’t know any names.

One was a right whore; she lived in a shaft of

a room, down the road at the spot that shifted

all night overtop a poor little Indian Restaurant.

One time her and two local guys broke in.

Burrowed a fucking hole through one of the attached walls.

Stole some petty cash and food from them.

I watched her cook once, when I was in my early 20s.

I had always been fascinated with sadness.

And people aren’t ever as real around you

as when they’re high, out-there-mind, racing

through, smashing the neurons of their childhood,


I walked to the house one night.

And what drove past me but a flatbed stacked high with

the refuse of a demolition derby.

I should have turned around, and indeed

in a month or two I finally did.

And a Shoppers Drug Mart ate the junk motel

The Indian place is somewhere less dangerous

Making equally less money I bet.

Ive gotten high in some dark spots,

but that house was contaminated in

a variety of ways.

Sexual deviances go on in the

crack world as much as this one.,

but they aren’t warm, they aren’t even Lynch or

Aranofsky  scenes,

They’re the ugliest thing you’ve seen,

Uglier than even Requiem for a Dream.

Most of them weren’t bad people either.

I used to ask them what they missed most.

Usually it was the little things.

Going to a movie with someone.

Going to a store and having someone smile and help them.

Being with someone for something real that

wasn’t the one thing they had left, which was.

They just got cast in these junk characters,

I became obsessed with it for awhile,

celebrities of some idealized hell

I had got hooked on understanding.

Thought I believed in fate.

Thought I owed some quasi-demi-god of Beatitude

Time in the alleys maybe.

Thought myself a crude suburban junk con movie kid.

Got lost in a few revolution-complex’s.

Scampered around the truth looking for a piece

That wasn’t there, long enough to hunch for days after.

I’ve seen it.

It isn’t all ocean and sun glistening, Arthur.

It isn’t all pain and dirt either though.

Now I dig jazz and Virginia Woolf and Nabokov.

Pynchon or Borges are the hardest things I crash from.

Fuck all that other shit.

Until the coliseum catches me and they once more decathetor me.

Hook me into my eye/pod again.

Produce my dreams like Bruckheimer,

And my nightmares like Disney Star Wars.

I don’t fucking care anymore.

I’m writing myself out of this here hole.

And Imma get all Bruce Wayne on this mother fucker.

You wait and see.