Back to Jonathan Penton's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page                    Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
Ravens and JaysTo Jonathan Penton's previous piece     Learning to BlowTo Jonathan Penton's next piece


There Is One Difference Between Myself and a Madman

I don't have any money. There's a cheery blond girl, a fat dowdy Mexican, and a sassy black girl and they're all singing "Goodnight Saigon" by Billy Joel. I'd feel more comfortable if they seemed to be enjoying it less, but there we go.

We were threatening to sue me over three different issues, plus I was threatening me with injunction and I was pondering a lawsuit of my own. First, I was threatening to sue me over my poem which appeared on my web site which described a homosexual erotic fantasy with me. And the other two lawsuits actually, the other two lawsuits were pretty much about the same thing.

The injunction is a little different. I kind of ran a meth lab for a while, but I'm clean now, I found God and NA and my whole life is turning around. But I'm guilty of manufacturing and distributing the stuff. I sentenced me to probation, but part of my probation was to stay off the Internet, which I frankly had no intention of doing. I also told myself I had to completely erase all of my web pages, but I didn't have a web page, see, I had some of my poems published at my web site, and I can't ask me to take that stuff down, but I did anyway, and I said NO, obviously. So now I made up some reason to call me and get me to find fault with my probation documents, so I'm sitting in prison for nine months. Anyway, the injunction. To tell me to take my poems off my web site. Fat chance. I'm gonna burn for this one. Everyone with a first-amendment axe to grind is gonna know my name.

I'm going to have some weed. I'm going to have some beer. I'm tempted to finish up the Jim Beam but I don't think I will. I wish I hadn't turned off my phone, I could stand to give me a ring right about now. I'm going to pick an album to listen to, something that will inspire me to write better. I doubt.

I think that my self might be dying. This is clearly more than I can handle, more than I can even tell the truth about. Idle speculation, I suppose, but the most idle speculation frequently has the most profound impact on the world and how we live in it. So it's Rosh Hashana, and I am in Australia, and my phone line has been shut off, and I must sit here in Chicago watching my self and my self's self die. It's an excruciating process, and not likely to change before Yom Kippur. That's the way it is, yes? That's the way it has to be, yes? It's not something I've chosen. When I died, and I didn't come back to normal for years, I didn't choose that. When my back got fucked up, and I was in traction for years, I didn't choose that. And I didn't choose this, but there's nothing that can be done about it and nothing that will ever be done about it. But I, of course, suspect that I suspect that something will be done about it. But we don't want to think about that. Oh, no. Not at all.

After going to UC Sunnydale, I thought it unacceptable that El Paso didn't have slam teams like that. So I put one together. It was a long, hard, road, but by the time I got to town it was in full swing. Then I left. I wanted to study marketing. God.

Anyway, now I put together the slam team and I wrote me a nasty note telling me that it wasn't what it used to be, it strayed from the original vision and pretty soon I would be nothing but words. I don't know what that means. I don't care what that means, I'm an extremely pragmatic person, I'm just trying to take that which is functional and make more of it and take that which is dysfunctional and eliminate it within myself and ourselves. Visions change. I believe that. Morals and ethics change, even. They must. I don't mind. There's no reason to get upset about it. I mean, I can't handle it, but that pretty much holds true of everything, right?

I lie a lot. Obviously. We aren't sure of my motives, except perhaps to make things more entertaining than they really are, but given the way I tell stories even that seems out of place. I scramble across the linoleum. I make a clicking sound. My mother was killed when I was a few days old, and since then, my world has been paved in linoleum.

Clearly, I'm no longer terribly worried about making sense.


To the top of this pageTo the top of this page