All posts by Mike iLL

Who broke me and when?

Rikki is at gymnastics with the girls. Rinah does 8 hours a week. “I’m on a team, and I can do a back walkover by myself.” Ashirah can do a backbend from standing without help.

Would happen if one spouse stopped initiating any kisses or hugs in their marriage? Since the experiment’s start, there hasn’t been a kiss or a hug in one particular marriage. Seven year itch. The twenty year funeral.

Is this it? The monster that I fear I am?

Some friends recently divorced after a thirty-five year marriage. Damn, folks. What now, and what was the point of the last fifteen, the last thirty? Are we just too tired to find another path?

Polyamory. Yeah, right. Antiamory. Non-amory. We light flames with our music. Our wonderful, and painfully iconoclastic blend that fits cleanly into a possible future that very definitely does not currently exist.

Went to–or rather took the family to–the state fair last night. “For Over 120 Years.” Purgatory. The carnies. Some friendly. Most tired. Large noses, misshapen jaws, narrow eyes. What drugs were you doing last night? What are you on now? Please, put my six year old on your rickety metal machine that turns her sideways at 40 miles an hour on a metal track.

The music. A cover band sings, “I got friends in low places.” Hit songs of the past five years. Disco here. Hard rock there. Alcohol is served. Dollars are exchanged. Five dollars is today’s dollar bill. Everybody wins a prize. Giant dolls. Inflatable animals. “It’s the fair, you’re supposed to have the best time of your life”, one caller suggested. Purgatory.

What planet are these people from? What planet am I from? Are we the same species? Philosophy descends like a fog. Zombie walk from ride to ride, game to game, guided by Ashirah. Leaking five dollar bills. We eat dry french fries and bagged cotton candy. I skip the cotton candy. Once you’ve had crack…

Cat Nap

Barrel of Laughs

Rising from the dull bed, unfulfilled and seeking to release some restlessness. Make another deposit in the bank of verse. Wrapping this blanket of importance around these broken shoulders.

There is a heart. There is a heart. More than just that little black marble in the wrinkled sandwich bag.

Pull these thoughts. Suck this mind down into the bucket of emotion. Funny thing about a barrel of laughs, when the party quiets down, it makes for lonely company.

Everyone’s asleep including the cat. Wrapped in a blanket of purpose, the poet sets her head on fire, mistaking it for a candle wick.

Works out well. With embers where the face was, she can finally sleep.

Fuck resentment

Feebly following along another path to nowhere. Hello old neglected diary. Rags dies. Ten years old. Poor lonely little pup. His tongue turned to death in his mouth. I held him for the terminal injection. He’d had a pretty sucky looking week. Rivka called it on Friday. Took him to Dr. Steadman on Monday.

This is life. Breathe deep. Susan got cancer. Andrea and Ed died of it. Stress and sugar.

Rikki and I struggle deeply. Our “act” is in the outhouse. Mad Crappy. They try too hard. Which of us is the most narcissistic? How much of a controlling, codependent prick must I be?

Being in a house full of naked females is pretty awesome, even when their pissy toilet paper spills regularly out of the bathroom trash. Why do I wait for them to change it?

Fuck resentment. Fuck mania. Do I want to be awake at 1am writing this? Do you want to be reading it, or is it just obsession? What are we looking for?

Mom is turning 80 and doesn’t want to make a thing of it. I hear that. Fuck birthdays, but that’s kind of selfish.

The kids. They’re all about their birthdays. Aširah wants to invite her new best friend to hers. She met the girl once months ago. We all obsess. She’s getting roller skates for her birthday. And a helmet and knee and elbow pads. Rinah gets some pads too. And a ton of shit from the dollar store. The real dollar store: The Dollar Tree. The final distribution point for commercial failures.

Now is the time to buy grown-up person coloring books. Found some gems.

Carrie’s in publishing. They literally can’t give the coloring books away. Sending them to pulp by the thousands.

On a lighter note, Aširah lamented the other morning, “G’wown-ups a’h duh kings an’ kweens of weelaxing!”.

Just the Five… Six of Us

poh-pih's mama

It’s one thing being gay in theory. It’s another in practicality. Pensacola, Florida ain’t exactly San Francisco.

Eight months ago we were polyamorous in theory. Now it’s real. Our boyfriend is beautiful. Well over six feet tall with very dark skin and a wide, bright smile. His speaking voice has a very high range that on the phone would be mistaken for a woman’s.

Rikki did not expect him to be interested in them. Our new boyfriend is fairly bird-like with affectations that would lead one to expect they weren’t interested in pussy. Whether or not pussy is an interest, Rikki is. The two of them are adorable together. Fucking adorable.

In many ways we barely even know this dude. He’s been our voice trainer for a few months. Sings his ass off. So far it’s just been kissing and hugging and maybe a little crotch massaging. Rikki and I fucked slowly and every time I would gently say the name of our new love, Rikki would moan. Rikki was singing like a bird. Rikki has been on cloud nine since finding out that our new boyfriend was not just my new boyfriend: bubbling and gushing on and on.

I can’t believe that he’s interested in me.

Rikki has always talked about being a fag hag. A fruit fly.

Rikki says that seeing he and I together, I am “so gay”.

You are so gay.

Bubbling and gushing.

hipsandbreastIt’s taking a little getting used to. So gay is something that as a kid in Hoboken, New Jersey was no thing to be. I aim to fearlessly embrace this, though. If I am so gay, so be it. So gay and then some. Fuck yes. How liberating.

And I get to enjoy this absolutely gorgeous feminine partner in skin, shape, voice, motherhood and wisdom.

The top of the world is a nice place to look around from.

More Death

Broken-fuckin-hearted. If I even know what that word means.

Saturday started with an early morning visit to the market for raw milk (3 gallons), vegetables and maybe some humane meat.

Jerry Jackson and I mangreed with each other for a few minutes. That’s where men get together and mansplain with each other. He goes, “I deal with a lot of fundamentalism, but the Christian community housed two hundred people last night, what did the yoga community do?”

Ran into another head-shaving mom and learned about her and her beautiful husbands impending divorce. He insists. They have been co-habitating with her parents, which must tie in at some level.

“You can tell him Mike iLL says he’s being a fool.” And as if on cue, Dude pulls up twenty feet from us on his moped (or whatever it is). She chokes up and walks away.

He’s shrugging his shoulders and looking everywhere but in my eyes insisting that he’s “happier now.”

My usual rap: “isn’t one crazy partner enough? we end up with the same issues again. you are such a great couple.”

Been reading the author bell hooks, who talks about crossing the threshold of pain to find the self and live in love. So when “a round peg and a square hole” comes up I arrogantly say, “you can either go through the pencil sharpener or stay square. you can even die square.”

An hour or two later Can Imagine is at our house with an opportunity. A bee swarm up in one of his trees. It had happened to be National Tree Climbing Day and we spend an hour or two cutting a lowering this limb down to shake the swarm into a screen box. Can wonders if monogamy is actually a good plan. We talk about how many pounds of bees this heavy box must be holding.

Shaking the bees into the top bar hive, there is a pretty large pile, many of which would be dead.

Well today I confirmed that that pile was most of the swarm. Literally thousands of bees, who’s death I am responsible for.

Our marriage has also been very very fucking rocky lately and to complete the weekend, the International Folk Dance Group are discontinuing for the time being do to lack of attendance.

What should die is thinking I’m supposed to be in charge. Fuck you whoever told my great great grandparents that.

Sex Magic

Gorgeous rain. Night rain. Rags shivers always. Does he remember the great flood? Dogs, Gods love made visible. Rags deserves more. Everybody around here is neglected.

“Intense, Remote and Intelligent”, Doris said. Three words. Without a moment’s hesitation. Like she just knew it.

Rikki is transgender. Pussy is a Penssy. We barely use it. Asexuality is a thing. Why do women have breasts? So men will talk to them.

Getting older and staring at women’s asses. Fuck. This isn’t what life is about, is it? What kind of role does sex deserve? Sacred? A distraction? Both?

Oshun is goddess of sex, love and abundance. We barely even have dance. The children do. Spinning skirts.

Om. Indian and Muslim cats who awake at three am for two hours to ponder the universe: hang with God. Jam with God.

Went with almost five Ashirah to the instrument petting zoo today, then croissants on the grass in the park. The cafe had given us red and white checkered wax paper. The perfect little disposable picnic blanket. It was the best day of our lives.

Wondered a little while later, was there a best day? Rivka goes, “you might not remember it.” So fucking wise.

How do I find these people with so much fucking integrity. Even the liars I hang with have integrity. Nice.

Other homeless transgender people stay here now. STRIVE peops. So far between good and great. Or fine and great, anyway. Cool learning. So much to learn.

Try to remember to shut the fuck up. Talking is a dangerous occupation.

Midlife Crisis

Free from eating today. Hoping to track down the cause of this persistent rash on the legs. Would love to reset my ego. It’s a lot of work to haul around.

Maybe happiness is a false goal. An impossibility. We distract ourselves from a giant hole which is the foundation of this existence. A huge longing. Maybe we just want to experience as much joy as possible.

With our art, our projects we place interesting shapes and pretty colors, ideas, graphic relationships across the emptiness that fills the hole. Ideally we paint the sides of the hole. We paint our way down to the bottom of the hole, finding our way to the eternal bliss on the other side. But we have to turn ourselves inside out in the process.

Having never made it through all the way, we emerge from the process having unloaded some pain, some baggage. Maybe we share the process, the colors. An exhibit.

Afterwards we realize we are still half-way inside out. Our intestines are hanging out over the edge of the pelvis. The mouth is inside out, silver fillings and yellow roots showing. The white stuff at the back of the tongue is thicker than you realized. The stomach is stinky. The heart exerts itself publicly, trying to get the attention of the exhausting stillness of the partially unfolded brain.

We start reassembling ourselves into some kind of non-offensive form. Something easier on the eyes. We consider discontinuing the practice. Who would mind if we ceased our endeavors? If we simply stopped generating more colors, more success, more of the music that litters the sound waves, ears and landfills of this world.

Good for you, they’d might say. Well done. If John Lennon became a shoe salesman, would it have bothered you?

The Song

Billy told us a great story last night. His first big gig at like 18 or 19 was playing with this smooth jazz superstar who plays one of the softer-sounding brass instruments. There had been a song at—as an instrumental—was a top ten chart-topper for a long time and everyone knew it. The dude would pay it everywhere: Happy Mood, or something.

The band would get on a plane and out pops the horn. Everyone recognizes the popular melody and applauds. At restaurants after the gig they’d arrange champagne bottles for Billy to play the accompanying beat on.

Smooth Jazz was an object of ridicule and scorn at this point for hipsters and serious musicians, but it was a good gig and took Billy around the world for years as the guys popularity gruelingly waned. Eventually iLLy-B was able to establish himself on a hipper scene and moved on.

When he got married, Billy invited the guy to his wedding, but begged all his friends, “don’t let him play the song.”

During the reception all these edgy, esoteric musicians and the “the song” guy are smoking out back and the guy goes, “ya think it’s time to play the song?”

John—who can’t say no to anybody despite is mischievous nature—breaks the pensive silence with a slow, “yeah.”

So they all go in. Billy’s in his wedding suit. Dude starts playing “the song”: doo doo dawh, dot dot ta-dah. dot dot ta-dah, dee dah dah… . Billy’s heart is sinking. His wedding is ruined. Then someone starts playing along on their beer bottle. And another. Soon everyone is playing. It was the peak of magic. And for Billy, an epiphany.

Fandango the Poetess

A few months ago Rivka decided she wanted to practice polyamory. It’s kind of like the non-slutty version of swinging. I’m down. It didn’t take long to realize that no one was going to be up to Rivka’s standards, but we are enjoying the freedom of knowing we could potentially reach outside of the the person dynamic and potentially even enjoy some group sex.

This poet that we know from the open mic scene in NYC in the nineties and Rivka sparked up a lively video chatting relationship and it was decided that on a US jaunt from their home in the Netherlands, they would come visit us in Pensacola.

Fandango is actively polyamorous, has been for years and is preparing to marry two men: one in The Netherlands and one in Australia.

Cool. Fandango and one of the fiances ended up coming into town earlier than planned because their cousin decided it wasn’t safe for them to come visit their non-progressive town. Following the 30 hour Greyhound bus adventure, I picked them up at around 1am.

Cubbins, the fiance, is really great. Fandango and Rivka have a lot in common. They both don’t drive. Both basically left a non-supportive household as soon as possible and suffer PSTD or at least it’s symptoms. They also both identify as gender neutral or gender fluid or some other place on the spectrum between male and female. Fandango is, however, much more interesting.

They wear only black. Always. Long black coats with pins and spikes on them. Big black boots with chains on them. Expensive baggy pants covered with hooks and rings. The only other color is the white skeletal bones on the fingerless gloves.

Fandango hasn’t performed in years because they are too racist in Amsterdam and Sydney. They are writing a science fiction series which is up to the 14th book, however so one is allowed to see the work until the entire series has been completed. So far this project has taken over a decade.

There were a couple of items in Fandango and Rivka’s online video discussions that raised a bit of a red flag. One was when Fandango explained that the Australian mother-in-law was always trying to get them to do man tasks. Fandango would exclaim, “I am not a man, darling. Go get someone else to do those things.” The other was, “I don’t work! I just get money!”.

Fandango’s dad dies when they were a teenager and they were homeless during high school. They had enrolled themselves in a gay-oriented high school and graduated from there. Very cool. Their mother and grandmother are evil, racist bitches, as are the mothers of the fiances.

Fandango’s role is to tell the truth and most people are not comfortable hearing it. One example of this was, when we had dinner at my mother’s place, stories including exclamations like, “you wish, you racist cunt.” Mom had been planning this vegetarian meal for days, determined to have a nice offering for Fandango and Cubbins. Fandango, however, wasn’t hungry and called their Australian fiance, Vinegar so that they could also enjoy our company.

Fandango wears there headphones that are hooked up to the phone and along with the giant coat — which must be worn inside and out at all times no matter what the temperature — has a lengthy wire that swings to and fro in sync with the flare of the coat and clanking of chains. When not engaged in the 8 hours a day of phone conversations, the thin sound of electronic dance music is piping from the phones. Early on in the visit Fandango drank too much of the expensive tequila we bought and fell, hurting their knee, so that for a week or so, the sound of one foot being dragged as added to the soundtrack. Swish-clank-clunk-flush-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi. Swish-clank-clunk-flush-chooku-dimi-chooku.

In and out of the bedroom, through the kitchen and office all day every day to smoke more pot — the only thing Fandango could, apparently afford to purchase. Actually a big presentation was made: “I’d like to pay for your internet for the month.” Sixty dollars. That was the extent of the financial contribution. The headphones would be worn at  the dinner table: chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi.

Cubbins was basically an awesome house guest, however it shortly became evident that Fandango was incapable of doing any cooking or cleaning. Not a single dish was washed in a month. Piss was on and often next to the toilet seat. We were constantly cleaning the blue stain of stinky mouthwash out of the bathroom sink. Garbage was filling up with styrofoam cups from the gas station across the street. Fandango drinks their coffee, “black and strong”, so that Rivka needed to make two rounds, one of her cafe con leche and the other black. However, Fandango mostly drank the milk-shakey cappucino’s from the gas station machine.

Cubbins headed back to the Netherlands after a couple of weeks — as he still hasn’t evolved to the point of not needing to work — and there was no one but us to serve Fandango, which we got a bit tired of. So Fandango would hang around the kitchen, looking hungry and pathetic at mealtimes until we said, “There’s food in the pot, Fan. Help yourself.” We wish that instead of telling us they would be cooking up a storm, they had warned us that they were totally incapable of functioning in someone else’s household so we could have planed for it.

The most progressive thing that we’re still trying to wrap our heads around — being the old fashioned luddites that we are — is that in the future, anyone with whom a member of a household or community is having a phone conversation will actually be treated as if they are present. We kept thinking Fandango was talking to us, as they would be looking right at us while offering their wise teachings to various friends and followers. We really have a lot to learn.

Fandango almost drove Rivka out of their mind with the teachings. It’s partly because as someone with a vagina, Rivka is sensitive about being mansplained to, and Fandango does have, we’re told, a penis.

Actually Fandango is sexually very wild. We still don’t quite understand why they were totally uncomfortable with us being naked around the house. Though it would be really cool to learn more things about the planet Venus and every science fiction or horror movie that’s ever been made, it does feel like a relief that Fandango has headed up to Chicago for a wild fuck fest.

The Terrible Mystery of What Should Happen Next

Woke up this morning feeling like laziness, arrogance and self-importance are at the root of this life of failure and confusion.

Did some stretching. Actually some abdominal work, for about two minutes. Drank some yerba mate herbal blend from the anniversary gourd.

Wondering if writing this right now is an exhibition of moral depravity. Should be making some money.

Worry that we aren’t spending enough focused time with the girls.

Went out and burned the remains of the again-collapsed bee hive. The queen seemed to have vanished a couple of weeks ago. Beetles took over. I imagine my time in hell may be similar to what the remaining worker bees were dealing with. Larva-ridden slime. A life without purpose. There are probably one or two thousand bees left out there. The hive box is wide open. There’s a maggot bonfire next to them.

If there is in fact enough love in this tired, dry heart, it doesn’t seem to have the voting power to overcome the creative obsession.

Rags has been missing for over three weeks now.