Hevell: the scooped remains of what was once a positive little mining town on the dicier side of the river. Just as most doomed societies of semi-modern times, they stuck around to the bitter end, brazenly thinking that people in the future would even care about what they did there. They didn’t have any bronze statues, not even marble for Christ’s sake. If you’re going to leave behind a legacy, you really need to exert some manpower to back up the talk. No statues, no encyclopedia entry. It really is that simple. The older civilizations were able to lug heavy rocks around and carve faces on them, which is also an acceptable way to earn an encyclopedia entry. The encyclopedic world has defined the initial makings of a proper entry in the history section of its volumes as such: Anything that can weather the elements for millennia and somehow still exude a bit of the overpowering feeling of triumph it was meant to impart upon initial completion as contemporary architecture and/or art of that particular epoch.

The Remainder: All That’s Left — Excerpt 7

Narrow your scope for just a second of your life, would ya? It certainly wouldn’t kill you, and you might just learn something from focusing on single subjects for longer than sixteen minutes. Wouldn’t that be just awful if you learned more than the basic tutorial level of any activity you’d ever think of practicing? Imagine: you’re sitting on the shore of the Pacific (California, probably), eyeing the waves and hoping that about six short shifts of that pesky tide will yield some whoppers.

Burgers aside, we need to figure out what to do with this chimney sweeper’s moustache. It fell right off his face, straight into the soot. I wouldn’t have noticed it, though out of the corner of my eye I saw the wax glimmer with a sheen never seen in coal nor creosote. No ordinary object is this, I said to myself as I crouched and recovered the hallowed hair, somehow bound together at the roots, meant to transplant and land on any face it so chooses.

But why did you pick a chimneysweep? Is there something about his person that draws you to warm his lip? Is he more sensitive? Does he tell good stories? Will you ever let me know, or are you just going to smirk at me like that while I rip my hair out?

The Remainder: All That’s Left — Excerpt 4

Wherein the nights have a stretch memory,
we scan the horizon for a peek of sanity;
none to be found, we hitch a saddle to the moon.

It’s all empty, we just have air up there.
It’s like an attic, just covered with hair.
Kind of bulbous (as Beefheart would say),
fast and bulbous. Got me?

More than an homage, this is necessary for the advancement of strangekind everywhere, the liberties inherent in my birth and subsequent rearing as a beaten beat poet taking candy from strangers because they seem to have the best packaging and marketing strategies. Whoop dee doo for all my grotesque neighbors, seemingly unaware that what they inhabit is more a grid of profane propaganda pushers on every facet of what used to be proclaimed by a proud and noble people as life at large.

The Remainder: All That’s Left — Excerpt 2

Hold back for your own benefit,
or collapse with anxiety.
It’s your choice.

I’ll take the skillet with monterey jack cheese
melted on the mushrooms,
taken for granted by Mr. Poached Eggs over there.
Who puts poached eggs in a skillet anyway?
Where are we, Paris? Where’s his personal chef,
and what’s his extension? I could use a snack.

There are few things in this world that would stop me from devouring a meal at midday. I don’t normally have a large breakfast, never has been my style. I sacrifice spontaneity through the morning hours for a massive course of gorging through sandwiches, potato chips and beer.

Now a poached egg,
on the other hand,
just makes me think that Napoleon had an appetite for something delicate, and mandated that all the cooks from across the land prepare such a breakfast treat for him if he were to stop by on his way through town.


Dictating a meal is much easier than making it, which leaves the evolution of the human race to the carnival barkers and auctioneers out there, those heroic individuals destined to push things around with the power of their words, at times completely overpowering the lives of all around them. Do they mind? Of course they’ve given it some thought. But by damn, are you gonna earn a livin’ or aren’t ya?

The Remainder: All That’s Left — Excerpt 1

Well and so I say to myself, and to myself I say,
that the greatest impediment to the thing that we call life

happens to be the calm mother rearing casualty
socked against a mitten’s worth of snake skin
for what we’d say is the majority
of our public strict seniority
or the face of the ever-stitching grin.

To the ever sticking gin,
to the floor it wants to fall
as the bottle shatters by itself
no intervener’s call
can ever save that glass from smithereens.

We enter to a saloon, drenched in bourbon, rye and spit
to overhear a conversation held out of sheer boredom.
Is it the western kind of sentiment? Well, what have these men ever known? Can you blame them for their arrogance or siphoning of time through their wide-brimmed attitude and cavalier pistol pittance?

I’d say not, and they wouldn’t even know what you’re talking about, anyway. They’d say son, why do you have to go on and do something that foolish? My associate and I were simply discussing the nature of livestock in commerce, as our mutual acquaintance had recently put us into contact for a business deal. Now why in the name of God did you have to go on and make such a dadburn fool of yourself?

It’s at this time we see the protagonist spit into the spittoon (where else) clear across the bar, traveling something like thirty feet and smacking square on. PTING.