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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
Broken News
Excerpt from The Record of My Cure
by Sal Salasin
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April 11, 1995

With a baseball game on the radio in the back. It's a free country, you have the right to remain silent and an attorney will be provided.
      So, what time it is? You utopian social engineers are all alike. This is horrible and it sucks, too. I hear the voices of dead movie stars on network TV. The other nice thing about getting old is that you're harder to convict. It was an easy MO to copy. Bikini Beauty Opens Fire in Fast Food Joint Killing Seven. Seven what? Nothing has any meaning but some things provide relief.
      We know what this is. We've seen these footprints before. Why is it always our lives that suck? Famous last words: "It's a pickle."
April 13, 1995

The problem with Buddhism is it just doesn't set its priorities. My void is law. Besides being a growth industry and leading employer of minority youth, drugs are real good for you. Notice how you almost always feel better, somehow, after taking drugs?
      Joe Stalin, now, there was a funny guy. "And how was your day at the office, dear?"
      "Oh, it was ok. There was no soap in the executive bathroom so I murdered four million Ukrainians.
      Is it all just space? Dearie? People come and go but money lives forever. I call on Poets of the Future to send me spare change. McDonalds and Coca-cola are doing commercial tie-ins so it must be ok.
April 16, 1995

And drop shortly into some manner of reverie. We have a great future behind us so let's kiss tomorrow good-bye today. Or as Bertolt Brecht used to say, once you're dead, all you have left is television.
      I know you're trying to tell me something, your lips are moving. Could you please come to the pink courtesy phone? We're a simple people with a few, simple desires, and you will have to guess which ones.
      This is Eternity for Men. Firestone is ripping prices 40% and you can too. Also, your dentist is a psychopath bent today on letting you know that beauty is a consolation for everything you lose, and that you owe him big for that one. But it's nothing you wouldn't have already seen in Gainesville or the site of any other ritual serial murders.
      Note to Poets of the Future: In my city-state, murder was so common you had to be some kind of artist to get any attention at all. An apology won't be enough I want an autopsy. Why don't you do as I say and maybe this thing here won't go off in your face.
April 20, 1995
A cross-examination of American foreign policy. Go ahead, I tell'em. Publish and be damned. Let's take a long ride in a Buick.
      Sometimes psychopaths are homeless and filthy but sometimes they're suave, rich and powerful (in an understated yet extremely charismatic way). This doesn't mean they'll do you any good, it just means no one will believe you in court.
      Famous Last Words: "I am not resisting arrest."
April 21, 1995

And thinking how like the cerulean sky is the mind. You'd be terrific to drive cross country with, though one of us is better off dead. Welcome to America. No Vacancy. Beyond the Hudson there's no rent control and rivers run strong to the sea.
      That's Mexico over there, we're Norte Americanos not like those spics we hire to kill each other, excuse me, we "train their police."
      But enough small talk. How are you? I'm lying on my back listening to the blood flow through my wrists. It's like a picture of a man in an electric chair and underneath there's this sign that says "Don't let This happen to You."
April 23, 1995

With mothers pushing forward children to wave at the passing motorcade. And remember, it doesn't matter how poor you are, you can still be happy as long as you're stupid. Thus speaks the sacred Wahwah of Khartoum. Nor shall any party engage or attempt to engage in any action, work, bill of attainder, bond or contract to unfix, leave open or unlawfully abandon the affections of another. Thus, the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Thurgood versus Marshall declared plaintiff could not require defendant to "please unchain me, set me free" as defendant had no jurisdiction. And in this way we very pleasantly spent the next four hundred years.
      Yes, but you are not the first to stare into the cold beauty of indifference without a god to defend you.
      Friend? Or enema? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Columbus discovered America then gave natives the wrong name. It could happen to anyone. The meek may inherit the earth but how long can they keep it? The rivers are already choked with corpses.

April 25, 1996

The currency of the heart is suffering and everyone has their price. It was about this time I began to carry a gun and realized, my god, my career really was the only thing that mattered. They tell you that they love you but they only want to search the glove compartment. Shut your eyes and think prozac. The dead have risen and are voting Republican. Cash only and I still want to see your ID.
      Not only am I not gay, I'm not even happy. I lost my parents in a crap game. I want to live each day as if it were my last, namely, coughing and spitting up blood.
      Acting up and acting out. I will call any number, I will talk to anyone. I used to break into homes and redecorate them. I was a model prisoner. Lingerie, mostly. Now I'm a pizza delivery engineer. I eat in exotic, foreign malls.
      "Everybody down on the floor." Another invitation difficult to refuse.

April 30, 1995

Nostradamos predicted over eight hundred years ago that someday an editor would pore over my work looking for Men's Themes. "Clinton," I said. I piped right up. "Bill Clinton. 27, 23, 19, 15, 11, 7, 3," I said. I like to break the ice and correct any mistaken impressions right away. "Loving me is forever," she said. "Sure," I said.
      Two things happen to me as I age but I forget both. It's all Raymond Burr's fault for acting in those Godzilla movies, thus providing the post-War Japanese industrial machine with critical Western knowhow and techniques. "The truth is ugly so they put our prophets in prison." (Charlie Manson). Which has never happened before without prescription.
      Anyway, it's not the movies, the 50's really were dark, grey and repressive. Now it's 1995 and we're right back in the 50's. Notice the color leaching out of everywhere? The Holy Roman Catholic Church is back. Cloth coats, dark urban winters. Sedans. Horsehair stuffing. The writing's on the wall. Newt Gingrich set up a political action committee to finance a curriculum of coursework so he could charge folks to take the course. I'm not hysterical, everyone else is hysterical. I'm very very calm.
May 2, 1995

And all I really remember is a bright light, a lot of blood, and the linoleum floor hurtling toward my forehead. It's 1995 and the yokels have spoken. One person can make a difference, especially if they're willing to die. Me, I think I'd rather drive new cars on empty rustic highways through lushly rolling hills. Or run the elevator at Auschwitz. Lately I've been noticing how much better I think of myself than anyone else does. I conveniently forget a lot. So many women, so few knives.
      One person can make a difference, especially if they're willing to promote the class interests of people who own things. I was watching Crisscross and Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, a Kirk Douglas doubleheader. The voice of the demagogue is in the air. Living here is like watching World War III develop from a cancer ward's dayroom TV.
You know, Harriet, if you were twice as big, you'd get your way a lot more often. Ever notice how the more food Sally Struthers collects, the fatter she gets? Sex between two people can be a wonderful and exciting experience, especially between the right two people. That was then, this is now. That's the way it is, that's the way it still is, and that's the way it's gonna be. It's like living in Pittsburgh if you call that living, or Eckankar and the spirit of Eck. Blah, blah, blah, blah. So. Dja get any? Next up, doglike carnivores in packs join the search for food. They say they love you but then they ask for quarters. And now a moment of silence while I commune with the mother ship. I'm not as stupid as I look. Or sound. It's sort of a moral and spiritual de-pantsing. A glimpse at the evil, nasty, sniveling Republican Party and its leader, Bob Dole, of the stiff and withered hand. Oh look! Some careless creature has left thousands and thousands of dollars lying on my coffee table. It could happen.
      I want to hear those three little words: "Life, no parole."
May 5, 1995

Going to work. It seems so unnecessary, somehow. I'm going to go to Jacobi and Meyers. They've been on my side since 1987. Anyway, I was only in jail one time. It was nine years, but it only happened once. I was acquitted on all other counts. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, namely, a crime scene when the police arrived. Well, the good news is...you don't have to give up smoking.
      This drug test I have to take. Is it graded on the curve? I had a girlfriend once. She was carried off by dingoes. "You never listen to me," she said. At least, I think that's what she said.
      "I slept with your sister," he said.
      "Who hasn't?" I said.
      There are no answers, only multiple choice questions.
May 8, 1995

Jesus told me to sell stuff people don't need to people who can't afford it. What's the American dream for four-hundred, Alex? Now I'm facing more charges than American Express. And this is my lawyer, Jeffrey Dahlmer, Esq. And I realized at that moment that all that really mattered was my career.
      Anyway, I'm a pizza delivery engineer.
      Now I'd like to speak for a moment about the poetry of yeast which is about growing up free and beautiful and later drowning in a sea of shit. "Oh, don't worry about it," she said, "Ed McMahon will come around tomorrow with a big check."
May 10, 1995

Yes, Jesus loves me, the voices tell me so. But other than that, I feel fine. "Did you call me, Gumby?" "Yes, Pokey. Cracow's down at the carnival and reports the thefts continue and he can't find the culprit."
      It's like the Mary Matlin, James Carvell baby. They didn't care if it's a boy or girl just as long as it's a slimy, lying little bastard. I majored in philosophy with a minor in drugs and alcohol. My BAC was higher than my GPA. Wanted: Jester for small claims court. A house divided against itself is a duplex.
      Darling, I look into your eyes and wonder who's driving.
May 12, 1995

The idea is to make kids more independent by not feeding them. To empower them by teaching survival skills like microcircuit design and white collar crime. Newt says in fifty days Jesus will come for you, do not despair. And this is Dennis Hopper my new chief of protocol. As rabid as Eli with the Holy Ghost. Ignorance is bliss and patience is a virtue so I guess you can live a pretty good life if you're stupid and don't mind waiting.
      What did posterity ever do for you? You want a happy god or a vengeful god? I thought so. I'm not so stupid as I look, sound, or best testing indicates. Truth to be told, they wouldn't want you if you buttered your ass and hung it out the window. Your call is important to us. We come into the world naked, screaming, and covered in blood. And I think that about covers it.

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