Jesus Christ Superstar Do You Think You’re Who They Say You Are?

jc

Excerpt from JT Hilltops Galactic Gardening

News. North East West South. Good news, bad news, happy news, sad news. There’s tragic news, welcome news, not so welcome news, news, news, news, all kinds of news. Some news has little or no consequence on your life and some comes hurling at you accompanied by a shit ton of bricks. News can make you laugh or cry, chuckle or sigh, it can have little effect or it can have a dramatic effect. But its gonna come. News is coming toward you and there ain’t nothing you can do to stop it. Mary Anne’s news was one of those shit tons that came on a speeding train out of control heading straight down the track with no one at the wheel. Like it or not, good or bad, news is a coming and Cosmo better be ready because once this news hits Cosmo’s fan there will be a whirlwind of change and its got a shit ton of bricks with it. The real difference between good or bad is perspective. “Cosmo my favorite god, I have some news for you. Remember that time we had our romp in the clouds in The District? You filled me up with joy, pleasure, intense feeling and….and a shit ton of highly active sperm. You have a baby boy and his names Jesus.” A baby? That’s news all right! It’s the kind of life altering news that for some is incredible and joyous, to many others it’s indifferent, but for a vast number who get this news for the first time its frightening. It’s the kind of news that will have you running down the street screaming halleluiah I’m gonna be a parent or slam you headfirst into unprepared parenthood. “You have a son” is the very definition of life altering news. “You have a son, his name is Jesus.” Cosmo repeated the name Jesus over to himself more than a dozen times and he was still not sure how to take the news.
But lets put some perspective on this news. Not your ordinary couple, Mary Anne is not headed for cable TV show about a pregnant teen, but she may swing a new show about bring up a half god. Cosmo is the God of The Milky Way Galaxy and Mary Anne’s profession is ….lets call it questionable. However we must keep in mind that Cosmo has always been a stand up god as well as quite resourceful. If anyone can put a positive gravitational spin on this news Cosmo could. So this news of baby Jesus would not be taken lightly. First things first let it be known that the moment it sunk in Cosmo knew his responsibility to both Mary Anne and baby Jesus. As much as he loved his bachelorhood the thought of a solid lifestyle held a degree of appeal to Cosmo. On the other hand Cosmo was quite the lover and never had a problem finding a partner. Yet many a night was spent lonely watching his garden and Mary Anne would certainly be of interesting company and a god has no qualms about past practices of their mates. Besides she is quite skilled at put a huge smile on the virile gods face. The bottom line is he had a baby on the way and a responsibility to both the baby and the non god he had fallen in love with. Wait! What? Fallen in love? Certainly not fallen, perhaps he had stumbled in a profound like with her but love? Come to think of it he did create the fertile crescent while thinking of her beautiful hair (If indeed it was as he claims her head was the body part he was thinking about). Maybe this news can be used for a positive effect on the three of them and the garden as well. A plan was inseminated and the egg is ready to be hatched. Cosmo knew exactly what to do with the news.
Of course the news is also going to be heard at a board meeting in District 7. The board is like the gravitational center of universal gossip. Whether it’s entertainment, breaking news or even just hearsay, all news that’s fit to print or printed to fit will find its way to District 7 in a radio-active flash. The best thing for Cosmo to do is to have his plan of action fully worked out before they summon him. Some mixed marriages have worked, a god and a non god can live a happy life but many a failure has been scandalized across the universes. With this plan however Cosmo was taking fatherhood to an unprecedented level . He had already sold it on his non god lover who had found herself in a awkward position of being the mother of a gods child. Ironically it was from twisting herself into an awkward position one pleasure soaked night that lead to her situation in the first place. For her part it was difficult to argue with a god to begin with but Mary Anne trusted Cosmo implicitly and his plan made sense. Truth be told she did have some reservations at first but after thinking the story through a few times it began to make more sense. Her son would be a savior, a Christ. Her son would be the messiah of Garden Earth. She repeated it to herself, “My son, Jesus Christ, Superstar.”

Wasn’t I?

wasnt

An ominous and frightful howling shattered the fragile windows of my tranquil dormancy forcing my eyes open to experience a reality. Without looking I knew instinctively that what had recently appeared real and lucid was abstract and artificial. I took a deep reassuring breath to take stock of my situation. Thank God I was just dreaming!!!
Wasn’t I?

Begging for mercy my face full of fright
Over and over night after night
My plight
A most unsettling sight
Someone else destroyed her soul
I’m not the one in control
Some other asshole
Asshole on patrol patrolling my brain
Inside of my brain putting ice in my vein
Hidden in the lining between crazy and sane
All of my rationality circling the drain
What have I done to her
Made the blood run from her
Life spilled from her
Fear chilled in her
Fear filled her
I killed her
I know she’s dead because I heard her stop screaming
But I was just dreaming
Wasn’t I?

Pools of crimson filling the space
Entrails and blood all over the place
But I’m still sleeping is that so off base?
Looks like someone tore off her face
It’s a disgrace
A putrid ogre from the depths of hell
Inhaling the fumes of a flesh decay smell
Her vile death vomit present as well
The pain in my head is beginning to swell
Stop that screaming it’s so demeaning
We need intervening
But I was just dreaming
Wasn’t I?

She vomited silent during the tussle
I twisted the knife through her hot leg muscle
Her thigh bleeding out I kicked her she fell
Never knew how good someone’s blood could smell
This is the true glory of living in Hell
The steel blade shone gleaming
Her fresh corpse was steaming
But I was just dreaming
Wasn’t I?

Rattled gasping lungs begging to die
Beg for my mercy for the end of the ride
But I filled her throat with linen and lace
Laughed at her God and spit in his face
Set it all on fire I won’t leave a trace
Her life and my deed have all been erased
No more planning or scheming
The light of her Jesus still beaming
I guess I should ask for his hallowed redeeming
But I was just dreaming
Wasn’t I?

Don’t Write What You Know, Write What You Feel

write

In an interview with Esther Davidowitz, the food editor of the Bergen Record recently I mentioned that I approached my culinary creations as way to express my writing passion. She asked me to explain but I had never really thought about it I just always did so I gave it some consideration. I had a passion for writing since I can remember and I developed a passion for food because of that passion. Creative energy flowed through me into the dishes I created much like it did from my pen when I was young. When I was a young lad I carried a spiral notepad around with me and wrote whenever I felt I needed to express something. Truth is I have had no formal writing education. Yea I know, hard to believe until you actually read what I write and then it becomes painfully obvious. But then again it worked to my advantage because I had no structured rules to follow I just write how I feel. I don’t write to be right I write to be me. I write to release burning creative energy that constantly bounces around inside my brain looking for an escape hatch. So how does that relate to the career path of chefdom I roamed through? Well let me write you about it.

From the very second I came out of the womb I wanted to be different. When the doctor smacked my ass I didn’t cry, I laughed. Okay maybe a bit of a stretch, I don’t actually remember my coming out party but I was there. The real point is from a very young age I enjoyed disregarding the rules and practicing the art of uniqueness. I didn’t just color outside the lines, I made up my own lines. I added things that didn’t belong and used unrealistic colors, like green suns or purple trees. I wanted to color my own way. For me, that was art. When I went to school and entered my first art class it was painfully clear my talents where limited to making Ducco cement balls and really interesting stick figures. A future back windshield artist for young families aside, I had no apparent talent in art class at all. I couldn’t draw the most basic of structures. In fact I failed penmanship up until the third grade. Still I had an urge to create so I stuck to writing, illegible though it was. I started out writing silly poems. My idol at the time was Hallmark, because the poems in his cards were spectacular.

When I got to junior high school I took typing for three reasons. First the penmanship issue, second I knew it would help me in my writing, and third and most important it was full of girls. I failed typing because I focused too much on the third advantage but I had a fantastic year and the long term what little I did retain from typing class would help in the years to come. I was still writing, the poems took on a bit more maturity, politics began to form, and I started testing the waters of short story writing. In high school I had an assignment of writing a short story so I had an advantage. I actually wanted to do the assignment. I went with the tale of a couple of youths with liquid LSD robbing a cop car and losing the LSD when they crashed the car into a reservoir. The reservoir it turned out fed the towns water supply and all the families began tripping. It really wasn’t very good or well written and I feared the content would land me a visit with the principal and perhaps even a shrink, but I wrote what I felt. Instead of lecturing me about drugs and off color topics my teacher found it extremely creative and convinced me to take her creative writing elective course. I did, and I failed. Unfortunately the class was right after lunch during the ritualistic handball court marijuana smoke break and I missed too much of the class, either coming in late or missing it all together. Not really my fault, the weed in my town was always very high quality and hard to resist.

I talked a lot in school about going to college for journalism to learn how to write but as is often the case in dreams life got in the way and I changed course. I had been working in kitchens to make money to buy the great weed I mentioned when a thought occurred to me. I finally realized it would behoove me in my life to have a career so I went to culinary school and embarked on a gastronomic journey to find my culinary Zen. It was really the only thing I was good at but as it turned out I was really really good at it. I was working my way up to become a chef when I met an established chef who would become my mentor. Chef Patrick was a cutting edge French chef who was poised at the helm of the kitchen during the New York City culinary renaissance period. Food was beginning to change and long standing cornerstones of culinary traditions were being stretched and tested. No longer were parsley and watercress the only garnishes, imagination ruled the day. Red wine with fish and foods such as grilled grapes and goat cheese salad replaced the tried and true recipes that had worked well for over a century. Sorry Mr. Escoffier, but its time to move over and let the youth of culinary communities take over and deconstruct the classics. Cultures of foods were clashing and mashing and a slew of new creations appeared in top restaurants around the world. It was the ideal time for me, chefs were now coloring outside the lines, adding things, and painting purple trees and green suns in their dishes. Patrick taught me how to take my passion to write and inject that creative flow into my cooking.

I approached cooking the same way I approach writing. I see ingredients, colors textures smells and tastes and rearrange them to create biodegradable art that tantalizes all five of the senses. I know different ways to alter them and I pair them with other ingredients by my feeling not by a cookbook. I just imagine how different things would work together and instinctively know the right ratio or combo. Much like the writing. I see words, I know how to use them and what they mean, but its up to me to choose the ones I want and arrange them how I like to get across the feeling I want to share. Maybe it’s a concept to convey, maybe it’s a moral I want to impart, or maybe I just hope to elicit an emotion from anyone who reads it or tastes it. I don’t write what I know, I write what I feel. The truth is as much as I would enjoy reaching a wide audience I’m happy and grateful for the few people who take the time out to share the energy along with me. As a chef cooking was my Zen, but now as I no longer compete with young chefs but have my own little food niche, I have more time to focus on my first passion, my true Zen, writing.PEACE

Whats A Nice Guy Like You Doing In A Jail Like This? pt1

rewrite

Welcome to South Carolina, take your handcuffs off and stay awhile, hear?

A rewrite to JT Hilltops great American novel “Zen and The Art of Culinary Maintenance”

Here I was on the first day as I moved into my new digs, a guest suite in the local detention center of Aiken County South Carolina. I remembered having detention in high school. Often! It’s a form of scholastic punishment for any of a variety of mischievous and normally mundane infractions. Detention in my high school was even nicknamed “Brig” to accentuate the feeling of being locked away. This however, was quite a different form of detention. Instead of sitting in a room with the other shenanigan producing student inmates forced to pretend we were working on homework after school I was given my very own guest suite. It wasn’t an especially large room in fact I’ve seen studio apartments ten time the size and this particular living arrangement came fully furnished yet totally unadorned. I suppose you could say it was decorated in minimalist style, complete with four bare walls, a stainless steel toilet and sink, a pamphlet thin mattress on a wooden platform with a polyester sheet and Government issue wool blanket, and…..well actually, that was it. That was the extent of the furnishings, all the comforts of home for a down and out hermit. Whatever the case it was to be my new living arrangements for the next thirty days. So here I am, this young suave New Yorker, locked up somewhere in the deep south where I feared I may never be heard from again. The pace in this city, I think I heard it called Grandmaville, or Grannyville or some shit was anything but urgent. Great, I thought to myself, here I am in Petticoat fucking Junction. There’s Uncle Joe he’s a movin’ kinda slow!” Somewhere between Mayberry and Hootersville. “Jesus shit,” I thought, “Not a familiar face anywhere and not a single person left to turn to.” Thirty days in this hell hole with no beer, no weed, not even a fucking TV to help pass the time. Just me, myself and….and a band of hillbilly cops. Actually, I wasn’t completely alone, it was kind of a low life criminal condo.
Along with yours truly, and against their wills as well, were five “block” mates each with their very own sardine can housing unit and each sizing up this long haired city boy. I could tell they were wondering what skyscraper it was that I crawled out from under. I was relatively certain I detected a mix of urban admiration and good ole boy Yankee hatred, but I may have been setting their intelligence bar higher than I should have. Having been in the wrong bar at the wrong time on occasion I instinctively I understood the importance of establishing the “upper hand”. I had heard some of the other detainees, let’s call them “Inn” mates, refer to the guards as“turn-key”. So it was time to establish my dominance with my jailors while developing my “street credentials” with my new roomies. I determined that a perfect place to start was right this very moment by showing these local yokel criminals how we do it up north in the big city. So in my toughest NYC voice I let out an authoritative directive. “Ay Oh, Turn-key. Yea you in the uniform over thar, I need to make my phone call.” I had attempted to inject just the perfect modicum of disdain and rebellion as was necessary to achieve my goal of upmanship. An awkward silence befell the cellblock and I‘m not 100% sure but I believe I felt a slight wind from the eyes of my roomies opening wide in astonished disbelief. I was half expecting Barney Fife to come take me to a phone but instead a burly mean looking police officer began to stare at me with such a deadpan sarcastic glare I almost felt jealous. I’m from New York, where sarcasm is taught in kindergarten and is a second language. This dude had such killer swagger in his walk he read me a cynical short story without even uttering a single word. I began to wonder if I was taking the proper approach or if I should rethink my technique. It was then that this komodo dragon in uniform began to saunter quickly in my direction with a slow and deliberate pace that screamed “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” The oily haired officer got his face as close to mine as humanly possible and just stared at me a moment. I could feel his smoky foul breath dancing across my cheeks and I felt the lashes of his eyes as they blinked. Little hard eye hairs that could successfully cleaned under his fingernails if he had the gumption to appear clean. I had a sudden and humbling movie memory penetrate my tough NYC exterior and turn me into shimmering mass of spineless amoeba. “Suey, let me hear you scream suey!” Before my ‘Deliverance’ became a reality I attempted to coax myself back from my baseless paranoia and re-establish control. Oh Hell, stop thinking like that and get your shit together tough guy. You faced bigger opponents in Spanish Harlem just three days ago. You’ve spent countless hours in a Pagan Motorcycles Club bar. You have faced off with New York City detectives. Not very successful with the detectives, but stood up none the less. Well maybe stood up was not the right term, more like whimpered through a face full of mace as I dropped to my knee’s, but I did get a kiss my ass pig in which my friends found impressive a few days later from the safety of our hometown bar. I gave my head a hair clearing shake, swallowed hard and began to feel like I was back in charge again. Apparently, none of this impressed Sergeant Komodo Dragon. He began to speak, and I swore the voice was the same voice I recalled from that scene in Deliverance. “Say what boy?…. Did I hear you say turn-key you long haired New Yoke piece o’ shit? Are y‘all gonna tell me y‘all came alla way from da big apple jess at git an ass kicking here in Aikon County?” I couldn’t help but detect a certain note of arrogance and alarming disdain in his voice. But alas it was too late the drama had begun. I sensed that any second now the proverbial pig shit was headed directly in the vortex of the rotary oscillator. And the fan was humming a darkly ominous Dixie tune! The two of us stared each other down for a minute and the silence raised to a tense ear shattering level that damn near burnt my ears. Then as if right on cue a big shit eating “who the fuck does you think your dealing with” sardonic grin broke out on his upper lip, quickly spread across his jaw until cynicism took over his entire face. He gave my solar plexus a formal introduction to his police baton with a shit kicker smile of an exclamation point. Now I am staring directly into this shit eating evil Cheshire Cat’s angry eyes and what’s most obvious is that it’s giving off some very serious vibe implications. I had to think quick to get out of this predicament, to ease the tensions and repair the relationship with my captor while not losing face with my new room mates. Something big and potentially life altering was about to go down. But let me back up a bit and explain how I even came to be here in the first place.

Hey Man, Nice Town

nice town

If I had me a bike I’d be riding like Bronson
Cant never stay in one place for too long
Don’t need no anchor the road is my mistress
She sings to me so I answer her song

Always in motion nomadic and constant
There’s so much of the world left to see
If you want to get out from under the weight
Pack what you can say good bye just like me

Travel’s my code
My life of the road
Kerouac would never slow down
Hop on a freight
Where am I this date
Its like whatever man, nice town

Stepped off the bus not even sure where I am
Just gotta pray the town you’re in has some heart
There are so many cities I get so confused
After awhile you can’t even tell ‘em apart

Neon flashed out more than a chance invitation
Cup of hot coffee to warm lonely bones
Waitress served me a wink with a side of compassion
Plain to see we both suffer a sex Jones

Together we found comfort
In a bedroom of solace
Thought she would never slow down
She asked me to stay
But at the end of the day
I’m like whatever man, nice town

Two lonely lovers in one lonely town
With her stuck in chains I was soaring with wings
Two lonely lovers both searching the stars
Meeting in this town was just one of those things

Where are you going where are you from
What brings us together on this night
You need the comfort of being at home
I need the endless road found in flight

I’ll never stay
I’ll just run away
Never in one place am I found
There’s room for one more
Just walk out the door
Say like whatever man, nice town

The tray that you carry keeps you in prison
Your husband nailing your dress to the shack
Only you can make your pathway to freedom
Escape the prison of love on your back

This time tomorrow I’ll be back on the bus
Heading straight to destination unknown
I’ll have two tickets and a heart full of hope
If you don’t show guess I’ll just travel alone

She felt kinda weak
Couldn’t even speak
Seems like a bug of some kind going roun’
Heart on her sleeve
Just couldn’t leave
Its like whatever man, nice town

If I had me a bike I’d be riding like Bronson
Cant never stay in one place for too long
Don’t need no anchor the road is my mistress
She sings to me so I answer her song

The Censor (In praise of Ginsberg)

censor

Words are hollow when void of intent
Vehicles of idea’s often removed from the road
Save for the words of sanctimonious incontinent
Orated by contemptuous preachers of pyrite alters
Clandestine crowds scream repent like an empty echo
Indoctrinated by their own fears
My words enjoy freedom
My inner thoughts cannot be dissected or infected
Censure me until I howl
Howl at the best minds of all generations
I will shout from the bowels of my entrails
Fuck you!
Now erase that from your mindless pomposity of egotistic rhetoric my censor
Whence erased I will whisper it thrice more
Fuck you fuck you fuck you!
Let the vulgarity resound across the echoes of self righteousness
For what is a whisper but an echo from the past
Uttered then forgotten
I watched as your angels staggered the hallway of red luminescence
Hoping to be bathed away in sabbatical confession
Winged followers staggering out by the dozen
Damning the practitioners of asexual dreams
Scorning the interracial existence bound for destiny
Yet lifting up the sanctimony of the matrimonial betrayed
Praising the scholars of death by war
In the cathedral of the absurd where hallowed rain murdered vulgarity
Buried its words in a tomb of satin linen
Laced with nylon garters of impropriety
With his blessing go forth
To sin once again
Void of intent

Met A Man

met

Met a man without his legs
Guess he hadn’t heard the news
Cause he stood up in front of me
Walked a mile in my shoes
When he got to where he was
He said friend listen to me
It isn’t just the legs you walk on
Take you where you need to be

Met a man without his eyes
Felt his way around the night
Did the same in the light of the day
No difference when you have no sight
Some are blind yet they have eyes
Still they never have the vision
To see the truths for what they are
To make their own decision

Met a man who had no hands
Yet he held me in his esteem
If you need a helping hand
You’ll want him on your team
Its not hands to lift you up
But ones self determination
Then he gave me a double five
Lifted me to my destination

Met a man without his tongue
Used sign language to converse
Said people with too much to say
Seem to always make things worse
Its more the content of the thought
Words are just echoes of your choice
Even thoughts when left unuttered
Can still be strong of voice

Met a man who had no arms
He hugged me with my fears
Told me its not arms my I need
To embrace the right ideas
We all need something to believe
An embracement of strong assurance
It isn’t muscles that measure strength
It’s the integrity of our endurance

Met a man who had no ears
Yet he knew exactly what I meant
Nodded yes in affirmation
Because the message had been sent
He said he knew just how I felt
Because emotions aren’t spoken
He promised he would listen close
A vow he’s never broken

I was bumping into trouble because my life seemed dark as night
I met a man with no hands or eyes who held me up to see the light
Never sure of where I should go or how to cross the many miles
I met a man with no arms or legs taught me to travel on my smiles
So many people with so many tales of people reaching their goal
Listened to every story I heard until I met a man without his soul
Could have been a demon or maybe it was the devil in disguise
But I don’t need to look at him because I can see without my eyes

About that man who had no eyes
His vision brightened up my day
Leave to the sightless few
To teach us how to see the way

About the man who had no legs
Never once led me astray
Leave to the challenged few
To help us find the way

PEACE