Monday, May 14, 2012

My Dancing Monkey is Better than Your Dancing Monkey!

My Dancing Monkey is Better than Your Dancing Monkey!

by james bezerra

So what if your dancing monkey

is of a finer pedigree?

This here monkey with me

is the finest dancer between here and Cincinnati!

The stage has yet to see

a more graceful monkey!


Doors in the Night.

Doors in the Night

by james bezerra

Doors dream of running from their hinges.

Of fleeing down the street, in the dead of night.

You can just barely see the pale streetlight yellow glow

glint off a knobs,

off glass,

of lacquered wood

as they all make their break for it.

A stampede of doors. And a strange awkward wooden thumping;

the sound of all those doors running

echoes back to you,

through your empty front door frame,

which gapes with sadness

as you gape with confusion,

and some small bit of admiration.

“Run door, run,” you whisper as

you wonder where your door is off to.


A Long Self-Involved Rumination.

Okay, so I have been getting worried lately. About me. I have alluded lately that I am kind of in a generally sour mood, but I have been totally shortchanging you – dear reader – out of your voyeuristic thrill! The truth is that my long, slow decent into madness has been in full swing recently. Sadly and surprisingly it is not nearly as much fun as I had always expected it would be. I always figured it would be more dramatic. The truth though is that it is now becoming clear to me that my destiny is for a sad, lonely, whimpering sort of naming-the-pigeons-in-the-park kind of madness rather than the loud, zesty supernova kind.
The truth is that I have simply been very sad lately and I have been feeling very isolated from the world. I have been attempting to cope with this by trying to enjoy activities which are inherently isolating. I have been reading a lot (which is ostensibly a good thing) and napping a lot (and it is true that I need as much sleep as I can get) but I can tell that things are not going well inside my head. Here is an example:

I do not enjoy going to bed at night. This has sort of always been true. Or at least it has been since I became single a couple of years ago. It makes me sad to crawl into an empty bed. So I make a subconscious deal with myself where I do go to bed at night, but rather than sleeping in my bed I sleep on my bed under a separate blanket that isn’t part of the bedding (it even kinda clashes). Most nights in the last couple years that is how I have slept. When I was feeling really bad, I would usually sleep on the couch rather than in or on my bed at all. That’s how sad going to bed makes me feel, I simply don’t do it.
 Well I have recently caught myself falling asleep on the couch again. This is a bad sign.

It is especially bad because a couple months ago I was feeling quite good about life. There were a lot of reasons for that: my general mood was better, I felt (at the time) that I was getting a handle on my simply-impossible workload at work, and I was also sort of seeing a charming and delightful girl who made me laugh.

Well those things have all shifted a little recently (though not truly irrevocably in any case), just enough to throw off my equilibrium some. Plus, for some reason I can’t quite figure out, I have been spending a lot of time walking backward through my own biography and along the way I have met some ghosts I thought I had buried already.

So – as I like to point out to myself often – none of this is as bad as – say – the average day in a Haitian slum, though for me, it has been getting pretty bad. How bad? I’ll tell you: Have you seen this Google commercial?

Well the first time I saw it I found it charming, but kind of sad. The second time I saw it I started crying like a howler monkey that – due to a childhood emotional trauma - cries instead of howls. Every time since then, when I have seen the commercial come on, I have either leapt across the room to change the channel or simply left the room entirely.

I’ll be honest, I know exactly what I am feeling lately. It is plain and simple fear. Fear of a lot of things, the things are complex, but the fear itself is not. I am afraid that I screwed things up with my charming and delightful friend (albeit in entirely new and interesting ways which differ from the ways I have screwed things up with other important women in my past). I am afraid that the stress cloud of my work will simply never let up and just hang and continue to press down on me until I … just … can’t … stand … it … anymore … and I will just bail on my whole life to get away from it (I have done something like that before once and it hurt a lot of people I cared about). I’m also afraid that I am going to “turn the corner”. What does that mean? Well I will tell you!
 I have often heard – in relation to professional men (and occasionally women) – that at a certain point, if they aren’t married and/or raising a family, that they “turn the corner” and essentially give up on the whole endeavor. That they accept that their lot in life is to be alone and they deserve it for some reason. It is a kind of complacency that accepts failure. This is when single women start trying to adopt Chinese orphans or when men decide to get a pilot’s license or become SUPER into paintball at the age of forty-two. You intrinsically understand this and probably know some people like this. For some people the acceptance eventually makes them happy, so god bless them. But I know that it wouldn’t make me happy.

Truth is that I do want to be able to share my life with someone, but I refuse to get into one of those so-so, erstwhile, good-enough-for-now type of relationships that I see a lot of people engaging in. I have always called these “time killing relationships”. I’m simply not going to do that. I think it is kind of unfair to everybody. Unless I can be head-over-heels, madly, burningly in love with someone, I’m not going to bother. That’s awful to say, right? Well, this is the dark side of being stupidly romantic deep down; it puts a chip on your shoulder.

But yes, I am afraid of one day ending up simply alone. At the moment though it is just something that I worry about in the same way that I worry about getting Cancer; “I’ve still got time,” I tell myself.

I’m also smart enough to know that one shouldn’t look for their own happiness in other people. That if you allow someone into your life, it should be to compliment the happiness you already have. So I have been trying to figure out what actually makes me happy. I figure that if I can concentrate on those things, then I can make some strides not just toward making myself feel better, but toward actually being better.
 But it becomes a vicious circle! For instance, I actually do enjoy reading. But when I sit down to read a book I find myself asking, “Am I reading this book right now because I want to? Or because I am trying to hide from my unhappiness?” And then I get angry at myself because I’m all like, “Well I WAS having a perfectly nice time reading until THAT thought popped into my head and now I’m not sure!” And that seed of doubt very quickly sprouts into a huge shadowy tree that throws real shade over everything else I’m thinking.

Do I sound completely mentally unhinged yet?!

It isn’t as dramatic as I’m making it seem. Basically I just want to be happy. But I don’t know if I believe anymore that happiness is state that simply happens; the way that a nice sunny day just happens. Lately I’m starting to think that happiness has to be worked for and created and tended to; in the same way that a garden has to be cared for and tended to.

I’m starting to think that the thing that is really preventing me from being happy is how much I am afraid of being unhappy. How is THAT for some self-realization! That I am the one making myself miserable? And that I should stop trying to pass the buck on to work or other people or some nebulous lack in my life?
My ex-girlfriend used to, quite often, accuse me of not being able to accept responsibility for anything. I always thought this was an extremely nasty and bogus accusation (in my defense, my ex used to accuse me of all kinds of stuff), however there may very well be some truth to it, in this regard at least. I think that I do look for validation from the external rather than the internal (I’d be a terrible Buddhist!); I’m realizing lately how much that is true. For instance, I am being more honest with you – dear reader – in this long rambling, self-obsessed blog post than I generally am with the actually people who are close to me in my life. Why is that? I have often had close friends awkwardly say to me, “So I read you blog … I didn’t know you felt that way …” How come I would rather put this crap out there on the internet where coworkers or employers or charming and delightful friends can potentially find it, rather than just talking it out with a friend over a beer? I honestly don’t know. I have no idea why I do this, except that I do feel some sense of validation in having it all written down and available to be read. I will tell the truth here, there is a part of me that wants you to turn to your friends and go, “This crazy guy whose blog I read, he is a total nut job but he’s evisceratingly honest about himself in a way that’s kind of interesting.”

But more than that, this is a kind of therapy for me. Forcing that which is internal - and deeply personal - out into the realm of the external, is a way of forcing it out into the light, so that I can better deal with it. I was trying to explain to someone recently that you don’t run away from the things you’re afraid of, you run at them. With a big pointy stick and you scream “Let the wild rumpus begin!” This is sort of my way of doing that.

Also, I’m a middle child. That probably has something to do with it too.
 So anyway, what have we learned today, dear reader? I guess it boils down to: Jamie, calm the fuck down about everything! You’re making yourself sick!

And probably there is a lot of truth to that. I will now go and read a book and try to enjoy it rather than drive myself crazy about it.

If you have read this far, I just want to say thanks for sticking with me! Even if you only hang around here to feel good about your own mental state by comparison!


The Lonely Neighbor.

The Lonely Neighbor

by james bezerra

The intensity

of your revelry

has awoken me.


I called the proper authority

but they said they were quite busy.

So tomorrow I will most politely

leave you note on my personal stationary:

“I do not mind if you are going to have a party,

but next time please invite me.”


History is Still Happening.

The other day I had one of those wonderful experiences where I went to the library and checked out SO MUCH STUFF that I left gleefully feeling like I had robbed the joint.

You may recall that I haven’t been able to do that I awhile and of course that’s because I, kinda-sorta, owed the Los Angeles County Public Library system like sixty bucks and I really didn’t want to pay it.

Well, enter stage left: Divine Providence!

See, I live in Santa Clarita California, which is a somewhat uppity burb of LA, and the city up and decided awhile ago that it wanted (and deserved!) its own library system. So a hearty thank you goes out to the City of Santa Clarita Public Library for wiping my slate clean!

So for nary a penny I was able to check out eight CDS (which I will totally not be burning into my iTunes) and six books (one on digital photography, two books of poetry, an illustrated memoir, a book about the carbon footprint of everything [from swimming pools and grocery store bananas to text messages and walking through a doorway] and a book of essays).

I was so happy!

Then I was made even happier as I read Sarah Vowell’s essay , “God Will Give You Blood to Drink in a Souvenir Shot Glass” in her book “The Partly Cloudy Patriot”. If you have never heard her on NPR or seen her on the Daily Show, Vowell is “droll” and “intelligent”, or so says the blurb on the cover of the book. It turns out that what she actually is, is gloomier than I am and even more obsessed with the minutia of history. Toward the end of the “Blood” essay she wrote the passage below, which articulates better than I ever have been able to, the way in which history is not a class you’re forced to take, but rather an endless story that you and I and everyone we know is participating in.

Here is what she had to say about it:

The more history I learn, the more the world fills up with stories. Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey caffe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle’s Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top. No wonder it costs so much.

It had never before occurred to me to try and high-five a book before, but I considered it after I read that.


Take that terrorists!

This is no joke, did you hear the thing about how in one of his letters, Osama bin Laden suggested the assassination of President Obama not simply because it would have been a spectacular act of terrorism, but partly because he considered Joe Biden so “utterly unprepared” that his ascension to the Presidency would “lead the U.S. into crisis”?

Man, talk about getting burned from beyond the grave! I like Biden the way everybody else does, he is kind of like that crazy uncle who lived in our garage for that one whole glorious summer and bought us bottle rockets and let us shoot them off in the garage!

In fact, I think that over the summer the President should go out of the country for a weekend and let Biden be “Acting President” and then we will all get free beer and fireworks! Take that terrorists!

King Solomon’s Mine.

King Solomon’s Mine

by james bezerra

If King Solomon was so wise,

how come he didn’t mark his mine

with a giant sign?


Friday, May 11, 2012



by james bezerra

I hope never to be

reincarnated as a glazed donut.

I would feel conflicted about it,

because I know I’d try to eat me.


On the Way to Saint Ives.

On the Way to Saint Ives

by james bezerra

On the way to Saint Ives

I met a man with seven wives

and I was all like,

“DUDE! That is TOO MANY wives!”


The Counter Intuitive Heart.

The Counter Intuitive Heart

by james bezerra

I care for you so!

But why don’t you go

away for a little while?

I will miss you so!

And love you so much more,

the more you go.

After all, remember

absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Just imagine how my heart will grow

the farther away you go!


Angry Out-of-Work Elves.

Angry Out-of-Work Elves

by james bezerra

Please do not use your elfin claws

to rip apart Santa Claus.

He is only trying to

offer to you

some gainful employment.



I have been doing a lot of thinking and reminiscing as of late; thinking about life and the places I have been, the people I have known and the things I have done. It has put me in a positively terrible mood!

Or, I suppose it might be true, that I have just been in a sour mood anyway lately. In fact, I know that I have been.

There are a lot of reasons for this. I won’t bother you with the details, but I think that I have been going through something lately. Perhaps it is a kind of growing pain. I’m stuck, strung in that weird place now where I am not only a grown up, but not exactly the youngest of men anymore, and it is forcing me to take stock of some things. The fact of the matter is that I’m in my thirties and have roommates, so you know that my life hasn’t exactly gone according to plan! That being said though, I could afford to live on my own, I just enjoy having people around. Back to the point though: I have been a little in a sort of sad and introspective and lonely mood as of late.

Don’t fret though; it isn’t like I’m crying into my beer all the time or anything. Over time I have discovered that I get seriously bogged down with my own blustery thunder clouds at least once a year. So this just is what it is, I suppose. I’m not depressed, like clinically or anything, but I’m just feeling … what is the word … think think think … unhappy? Unfulfilled? Morose? Or maybe I am just being introspective and that makes one melancholy ... or maybe I just need more calcium in my diet?

That’s probably it, the calcium thing. Yep.




by james bezerra

I can’t ever remember if pancetta is a meat or a cheese.

If gorgonzola is a cheese or a pasta.

If rigatoni is a pasta or an actual Italian dish.

And I do not know if the dishes in my cabinet have differing names.

I imagine they must.

Some dishes, like people,

are flat, shallow, small.

Some dishes, like people, have depth and thickness

or are unreasonably heavy.

There are too many names of things in the world

to ever know them all.

Because there are, in the world, too many things.

Too many people too - all alive and living, noisy and rushing -

to ever learn their names.

So we do the best we can; say “tall man” or

“Chinese man” or “pretty girl”

or “woman crying in the park”.

These names the brain better remembers.

Don’t blame the brain

just because it can’t

consume all there is to know.

No one thing could ever hold

all there is to know.

The brain does its best though,


it is just an organ, same as any other;

your hands might remember a lover’s body. Your

Fingertips may remember the goose bumps

of her skin. Your lips

may remember her taste.

But you don’t ask or expect

your lips to bring her back or

your fingertips to remember her name.

So what if the brain doesn’t know why the woman in the park

cries that way? So what

if it doesn’t know how one

gets to be Chinese.

It remembers “dish” and sometimes that

is enough. Just

and only barely enough,

but enough.


A Minor Alteration I would like to Make to the English Language.

I find it unfortunate that “palindrome” spelled backwards is “emordnilap” and not something cool, like say, “palindrome”. I suggest that we start using the work “racecar” in place of “palindrome” and start using the word “palindrome” in place of “racecar”.

I think this would be more appropriate. And anyway, a “palindrome” sounds kinda like it could be a kind of racecar anyway.

Also, if it is not too much to ask, I think that “an exercise in pedanticism” should hence forth be called “pedanticise”!


What Could Be.

What Could Be

by james bezerra

I have been told that my life view

is somewhat eschew,

but if only they knew

how much I have had to let stew

they would realize that I grew

from each and every new


If only they knew the history

then they’d have a better opinion of me.

They would all say, “Well gee,

we never knew you’d been treated so hurtfully!”

And then they would see

that it could be worse.

And of course,

it certainly could be.



I love the Muppets. I have a Pepe pin on the backpack I carry with me every day like its my purse. I went through a period (several years long) during which I watched “Muppets from Space” with the sort of frequency and fervor usually only ever seen in Pentecostal churches.

However, I have never trusted Rowlf

Is that weird? I feel like that has gotta be weird, right?


He just seems shifty.



by james bezerra

What I like about a Post-it

is that it stays where you stick it!

For awhile anyway.

And isn’t that a life lesson?

Don’t ask for more than what’s within reason.


He’s Got the Look.

He’s Got the Look.

by james bezerra

There is real irony

in the fact Mitt Romney

looks like a facsimile

of every generic President from every generic action movie.

Maybe – after he loses - Romney should

move on out to Hollywood!

He would be every crappy director’s first call

when they need someone who looks Presidential.


Rose Trellis and Bums.

Rose Trellis and Bums

by james bezerra

I remember you,

sad yet hopeful

under that trellis of roses

in the park that summery day.

You comforted me

by letting me comfort you

and the bums like lizards in the sun,

listened in

on our private conversation.

And it makes me wonder how,

we ended up here –

or rather –

how I ended up where I am

and how you ended up wherever you are now.

I wouldn’t have believed it then

and still don’t believe it now,

though it is as real as concrete,

as real as cold,

as real as it can possibly be.

What would the bums think now?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012



by james bezerra

It was an unlucky concurrence

that I forgot to pay my insurance

exactly one week before the unfortunate appearance

of a hurricane which caused the transference

of my home to another county.




by james bezerra

When I went to Nome Alaska

I was quite startled to learn

it was not named for Gnomes!

With anger and embarrassment I did burn

upon discovering that gnomes don’t freely roam

‘round every corner and turn.

“I came to Nome to see a Gnome!” I did bemoan.

I continued, “The name of ‘Nome’ this place did not earn!”

So finding nary a gnome in Nome, I angrily drove home.




by james bezerra

I met a girl who went away.

I asked and asked for her to stay,

but it turns out that wasn’t her way.

So away and away she went,

until I explained that I’d meant

that my asking her to stay

was also a promise that I wouldn’t go away.

It all gets quite complicated

because we each get so agitated

worrying about whether to stay

and whether the other will eventually go away.

And whether we each should run away

in case the other, one day, decides not to stay.

See, everybody has been hurt in some way

and everyone deals with that in his or her own way.

But I still think that she and I just may,

be able to work this out one day,

if only we could each stop running away

from the other.




by james bezerra

If only I could fence,

then I would have a suitable defense

against all these ninjas! But since

I have no such deterrence,

I usually just run.


Pretty Lady.

Pretty Lady

by james bezerra

If a pretty lady said to me,

“I have something I want you to see …”

then yes, I probably would follow her down that dark alley

and simply hope no one was waiting to rob me.


A Solution for Determining if A Hundred Dollar Bill is Counterfeit.

A Solution for Determining if A Hundred Dollar Bill is Counterfeit

by james bezerra

It is quite easy to tell

if a hundred dollar bill is fake or legit;

the trick is to simply feed it

to a passing sea gull.

The real Mint green dye

causes gulls to die.

So if it continues to fly

then that hundred dollar bill was a lie.



This one is admittedly one of the stupidest things I have ever written. I’m deeply sorry.


by james bezerra

I would feel more at ease

if my dog’s fleas

were not the size of peas.




by james bezerra

I would feel more at ease

if, when my dog pees,

he would not do it on my knees.


Learned to Sew.

Learned to Sew

by james bezerra

It has occurred to me

that sometimes life is just lonely.

No matter who you know or who you be,

sometimes you will quite suddenly

be all by yourself.

This is not the worst way to be;

all by myself I learned to ski,

leaned to sew and to sail the sea.

But it would have felt more glee

had someone been there to feel it with me.


How to Choose a Religion.

How to Choose a Religion

by james bezerra

I am not Jewish.

Though sometimes I do wish

that I were Jewish

See, I love going to Passover!

And I have still never

seen this Elijah fellow!

When he finally turns up, I’d like to say, ‘Hello!’

And though I’m not Jewish

just about my favorite food dish

is some matzo ball soup; so salty and brownish!

I am, however,

willing to try some other religions

if they too have some tasty food on offer.


My Gang.

My Gang

by james bezerra

I have started a gang

and here is our thing:

some of us dress like cardboard boxes

and some of us dress like foxes

and when people come near,

suddenly the seemingly lifeless boxes

pounce on the happy-go-lucky foxes!

It inspires so much fear

because we spray in the air

gallons of fake fox blood.


Escaping the Cave.

Escaping the Cave

by james bezerra

If ever you begin to fear

that there’s no way out of here,

do not despair.

This cave is only guarded by a single bear.

And yes, he breathes fire when we go near,

but I think it is clear

that if you use this fireproof gear

which I’ve made while imprisoned here,

then you can probably get clear

of the fire-breathing bear.

True, this gear has not been tested

and I made it out of plastic bottles which were discarded,

however I think your chances are better than fleeting

as long as you go while the bear is sleeping.


Speaking as a Marine Biologist.

Speaking as a Marine Biologist

by james bezerra

I really very much wish

there were fewer types of fish

because it always embarrasses me

that I can’t remember the names of all the things in the sea.


Those Things Are Weird Looking.

Those Things Are Weird Looking!

by james bezerra

What is my favorite thing about ladies?

Is it their looks or warm kisses?

Nope, it is their complete lack of penises!




by james bezerra

I have completely lost the will to work.

If you try to make me I’ll go berzerk.

I just want a nice cup of tea

and for everyone to stop bothering me.

I’m sorry if that makes me a jerk.