how do you do it?
my mind is clicking, zipping, changing channels.
do you know how many ideas i have?
when i was in college i was in a poetry class. the nice teacher had a rule: you had to meet with her 2x after class throughout the semester.
the first time i went in there i said, i love your class. she said youre a very good writer. i said thank you! she said but you’re barely getting a B minus. i said, thats actually higher than i usually get in school.
she asked, well hopefully your final will improve your grade. is there anything you wanna talk about?
i said, yes, i have just written a 15 page poem about a girl i made out with over summer vacation. and i would like you to help me with the structure because it changes tempos and styles on every page like a crazy person.
and i gave her a rough draft of The Stamp which, among other things, tries to explain why time flies when youre having fun.
she sat there and read it and laughed and took a red pen to some of the first few pages, but then put it down on page 3 and just read.
when she was done she said, tony i want to ask you something. you halfway through your junior year. there is an exclusive college that i normally teach in where there are no grades, no tests, no finals.
you could write as many 15 page poems you want and not have to worry about B minuses or C plusses.
but it will take you a quarter or two for the approval process to allow you in.
would you be interested in staying at ucsb for two more years with no grades, or would you like to spend the next year and half with grades?
i said, before i answer that, i have a question for you. you say this is the college of creative studies.
i have always wondered about creativity, i said.
she perked up.
i asked, does it go away as you get older? most of my favorite musicians seem to lose their magic after their first few albums.
she said, it never goes away if you practice.
and she said, not tom waits not elvis costello not bob dylan not coletrane or miles not bach
and i would wager, tony pierce will be writing epic love poems until he dies.
that teacher still follows me on facebook and that may be the greatest gift of all.
writing to you? whoever you are?
telling you the news of the day. the thoughts in my head? my dreams my wishes my annoyances?
when i was in high school i started a diary. it turned into three or four.
it would have been interesting if this blog was like that:
“today dawn colvin winked at me. blew my mind.”
“today the Cubs lost. those bastards!”
yesterday the Black Panther died.
people are sad. and they should be. even though he had been struggling with cancer for years, very few knew about it.
43 years old.
it makes you wonder about all the other people who are fighting actual fights.
not just twitter battles.
not just road rage bickerings.
not just bad neighbors doing weird parking maneuvers during a pandemic.
but real life shit.
shit that would scare the hell out of you if you paid attention.
i cant stop paying attention.
im locked in.
he was also Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.
chadwick boseman sure seemed like the most unassuming movie star of them all.
quiet, low-key, reserved.
maybe it was because he had cancer in him for the last four years and maybe he always knew it was going to end in his mid 40s
or maybe he was just the essence of cool.
of all the Avengers was there anyone who walked so softly?
and of all the movies he made, did you ever go into any of them saying, oh yeah this one is going to knock it out of the park?
and yet they all did.
his reward? a couple MTV Movie Awards, an NAACP Image Award
he got to kiss Lupita
rest in peace my man.
2020 sure is a trip.
before that Dynamite
i read the paper every day because of my babysitter. her husband got it.
lots of people i know got it.
or take it as they say.
we used to take the paper but they kept throwing it in the bushes
sometimes my paper ends up in the tree.
it’s a short tree so i kind of like it.
if they could get it in that tree every morning id be stoked.
somehow i made it through the republican convention.
it wasnt as funny as i expected, but it had its moments.
amber kissed me every time someone lied and
that made everything go down a little smoother.
tomorrows friday and my goal is to work all day
so on monday i dont have to kill myself.
after mad i got into Crazy a little
never national lampoon.
but then came Creem
and finally Spin.
but im not so sure.
first off, lots of the people i dont like
would never talk to people on say twitter
especially using their own names.
and who wants to be like the people you dont like?
also how are you going to know about people unless you talk with them?
i have had a great time at Los Angeleno because ive been able to talk with people all over town and they have surprised me every time.
that time i met a couple trump supporters in south LA
that time i had a hard time finding anyone happy that their street got turned into Obama Blvd.
and that time i couldnt find one Uber driver in the whole, crowded LAX rideshare lot who wanted to be an employee of Uber. they said theyd rather quit.
today i wrote about a guy who is a super famous tiktoker who is raking in millions and has handed out pizza to Black Lives Matter protesters, and even built a school in Bali for 200 kids.
and as above, when you talk to people they’ll tell you surprising things.
or at least it surprises me.
this guy says that when he started, after just a few videos, since nobody really clicking his stuff, he was going to quit.
he was going to go home and live with his mom in nyc.
but he was so broke he didnt have enough money to go home.
so as he saved up what he was earning at his dumb job,
HE MADE A FEW MORE VIDEOS.
and as that fateful church street chinese restaurant fortune cookie once said
a flower blooms brightest right before it dies.
and one of the videos he put up when he just didnt give a crap about any more
for some reason it took me weeks and weeks to put that story together.
i was blocked. so blocked.
for two weeks my car has been in the shop.
i have zero distractions.
why would i be blocked to tell a sweet tale about a very nice man?
i just was.
sometimes theres no answer for it.
sometimes you just are.
so imma transcribe this next piece right now
if i dont get distracted talking to the people.
for a long time i tried to ignore them.
i tried to believe that some people are mean and some people just sometimes act mean.
i guess i felt like in this modern world, surely people are smart enough to know whats racist and whats not and they wouldnt act racist to your face.
but either something changed when Trump got elected and they were emboldened or i had just given them more credit than they deserve.
because i am a child of God i dont back down.
i dont think God wants his kids to cower. he wants us to be brave and strong and reflect his coolness — even when we dont feel those things ourselves.
so i dont block them on twitter or facebook or wherever , and if they engage with me, ill engage right back.
if this was the basketball court and two guys showed up talking crazy racist smack, why would you leave? play them. beat them. talk the whole time. run your mouth, make your moves, show them the Black excellence they obviously showed up to witness.
but win. definitely win.
same goes for using words online or in person or wherever.
how is a racist gonna beat me, a person who has written poems and novellas and countless news and opinion articles on the basketball court of Words?
on this blog alone there are over 12,000 posts. how are the ignorant who can barely spell gonna beat me in a tweet or a facebook comment?
use your words.
how do i deal with racists? racists are not my problem.
the demons in my head are.
the ones who say you cant do this or youre too old to do this or that or youre too fat to do this or that or youre not enough this or not enough that.
racists are small potatoes.
small, soft, delicious starch in the Chunky Soup of life.
dunk on them every time and when they’re panting, sweating, and broken, buy them a Coke like the child of God you are.
children of the future, the masked woman on the right is Cher
probably the first armenian american superstar. oscar and grammy winning fashionista.
she wants to save the post office.
we tried to volunteer this week.
they wouldnt let her.
so she went down to the post office with signs and started a little rally.
she wasnt thrilled with the turnout so she went on Twitter and said, lets do it again next week.
so i took this picture and i put it on the Los Angeleno twitter and this troll started trying to troll me.
but my middle name is howdareyou and i gave him the whats for. and because Cher was tagged on it she eventually saw it and made a little joke about one of my tweets and that pretty much made my day. my week even.
then amber came home with burritos. then we got the AC to work. then everyone took showers and then we watched a little of the Wire. and then we held hands in bed and said sweet things to each other.
and as i was saying sweet things to her she passed out.
but i kept saying things.
first i listed all the girls i had kissed in my apartment.
its been 20 years and i look like a runway model so you can only imagine how long that went on for.
then i said alexa turn off the lights
but i couldnt go to sleep. it was only 1am. last night i didnt get to sleep till 6.
so i went into the living room and played with the baseball cards.
played with the cats.
watched a guy catch baseballs at the all star game.
and thanked the Good Lord for my good life.
no ride is fun if its just straight and normal and without any thing to take yr breath away.
tomorrow i finish this thing ive been slaving over for a month.
sometimes it takes a while.
there are good people in the world.
i met a man whose wife is in charge of all the busses in LA
i told him i am busblog
i said i would love to interview yr wife if shes down
later he told me my car would cost thousands to fix.
i said look, if she doesnt want to be interviewed
just tell her those of us who ride the busses and subways
we love it.
then i showed him my Obama tap card.
he had never seen it before.
i said that was a genius thing that came out of her department.
they should make more.
im listening to the police on shuffle
i just air fried some day old fries
thinking about the time i ate too much poutine at the canadian border mcdonalds
st catherines maybe?
wearing a cubs hat and a los angeles x games tshirt because im always a tourist.
that day turned out to be a bad day and my date and i nearly wound up in jail which is a great story id love to tell you but i digress
that day was bad but then it ended up good.
then the whole week ended up good.
it turned into one of the best road trips ever.
tomorrows gonna be bad.
so heres to the good that comes after.