Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Odyssey of the Minuscule Crustie

Hello my friends. Here's a story I wrote for SWAP Magazine. Many thanks to the talented and ambitious Hayley Thomas for manning the helm of such an ambitious project and allowing me to contribute once again.


The Odyssey of the Minuscule Crustie

I felt an itching in my sinuses while brushing my teeth a few weeks back; it got worse and worse, eventually triggering a violent, messy sneeze. I thought very little of the resulting blast of mucous that speckled my mirror, until I noticed what appeared to be a blue maggot among the snottage. I leaned in for a closer look and was shocked to see that the maggot was wiggling. What happened next will be difficult for most to believe... A small head peeked out from one end of the blue maggot and I realized that it was not a maggot at all, but in fact a tiny sleeping bag with a small man inside it, about half the size of a grain of rice. I ran into the next room and grabbed a magnifying glass, and upon returning, carefully set the little man down on my sink. Looking closer at him, I saw that he was wearing tattered clothes and a jacket with various patches sewn onto it. The patches were far too small to read, even with my magnifying glass, but it was clear that he was a teensy-weensy crust punk. Suddenly, his mouth moved and I heard a tiny voice coming from him. So tiny was his voice that I was unable to make out a single word, so I picked him up and set him at the entrance of my left ear. He climbed in and introduced himself; "My name is Alex Fuck and I'm from Rochester, New York." he said to me in a scratchy voice, brimming with attitude, "I am a tiny ass crust punk who has hitched across the country on unsuspecting giants such as yourself, and this is my story..."

Part I - A Hapless First Host

Alex Fuck moved about so gracefully that his tiny presence in my ear would have been impossible to detect if not for his voice. As he got situated, he boasted of his ability to pussyfoot his way across even the most sensitive areas of a giant’s body while avoiding detection, and even mentioned the use of certain soft fibers for padding his hands and feet. Once he settled in, I heard him hack up and spit out a gob of something, and when I showed annoyance Alex assured me that his loogie was “but a speck in your filthy inner ear, caked with wax and dead skin.” Normally, I have a hard time stomaching the ‘everything-is-shit-so-why-use-a-toilet’ attitude of the crust punk types, but for this little guy I was willing to make an exception. I relaxed in my bed and listened intently as Alex began his story.

“You must have many questions regarding my origins, but with the safety of my people in mind, I can only reveal so much. There are many of us, hundreds of thousands, living in the walls of a particular Rochester concert hall that I will refer to as simply, The Mother Venue. We are strongly encouraged to live our lives within the walls, and the cities therein are bustling and gorgeous. Naturally, living in an establishment that holds nightly concerts has its social effects; we are a very musical people, and miniature venues - many of which aim to be exact replicas of The Mother Venue - are as common as grocery stores, and serve as the backbone of our society. The outside world is, for obvious reasons, extremely dangerous for people of our size, and even within the walls we face a variety of dangers. Our cities are plagued by invasions from various insects as well as colossal rodents whose tails alone could level a neighborhood with a single lash, and there are, of course, the spiderweb labyrinths through which anybody who wishes to leave the venue must travel. Naturally, very few of us tiny folk ever decide to leave the confines of The Mother Venue, and the few who have were never heard from again. In fact, I am one of only about 75 people who have made the difficult decision to leave, and in my nightmarish escape through the spiderweb labyrinths I passed the cocooned corpses of well over 20 of my fellow deserters.

“It was late afternoon when I made it out of the venue. I found myself at the edge of a rather busy sidewalk and I’d have promptly been stepped on had I tried to cross it, so instead I latched on to a chihuahua’s paw and was whisked away to a quaint cafe about two blocks west. It was at this cafe that I boarded my first giant. I knew nothing of hitching, had no idea what to look for in a host and knew no tricks to help me board one. I simply found the nearest giant whose shoelace was touching the ground and I climbed it. He was a twenty-something working away on his laptop, and within a few minutes I was scaling his denim pant leg, quickly making my way up towards his ear. While climbing along his t-shirt, I paused for a breather and noticed that I was inches away from a massive ORCHID logo. ‘Great’, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve boarded a screamo shithead.’ I’m not sure if this is the case in the world of giants, but within the walls of The Mother Venue, screamo kids are the natural enemies of the crusties. Angry, emotional hypocrites who champion a genre of music dedicated to whining and weeping at the altar of ex-lovers. When I reached the top of his pathetic shirt, I hesitated before moving onto his skin, aware that a simple misstep could cause my host to scratch me out of existence with his fingernail that was undoubtedly painted black. My climbing was clumsy at best, but I managed to reach his ear without triggering any alarms. I walked inside and collapsed on the waxy flesh just as my host stood up and headed out of the cafe. Exhausted and gasping for air after my first real climb up a giant’s body, I stretched out and relaxed, ready to let my giant host take me where he may. Unfortunately, my joy was short lived, as seconds after my arrival the entrance was sealed by a massive earbud headphone. I spent the next hour curled up in a ball with my hands over my ears, trying in vain to imagine myself away from the pitch black screamo dungeon that unknowingly held me captive. All the while I could feel my host lumbering along toward a destination unknowable to me.

“When at last my host plucked the earbud from his ear, I peeked out to see where we had ended up. We were in his apartment, entering his bedroom, and just as I began moving to the edge of his ear to scope things out, the opening was again obstructed. This time by a cell phone. I sat back down and, not having much of a choice, listened to my host’s conversation. I can’t, in good conscious, tell you exactly who he spoke with or what it was all about - it was far too personal. I can tell you that It was some heavy shit that had nothing to do with a breakup or any of the crap you’d expect. I can tell you that it was the first time I felt sympathy for a screamo kid. I learned from the caller’s farewell that my host’s name was David. When the phone left, the earbud returned and David’s body heaved with sobs. This time, my prison’s soundtrack was Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’, a popular song in the walls of the mother venue, and god damnit, it brought me to tears there in David’s ear. This was bumming me out in a big way and I had to help David get his mind off shit. “LET’S GO GET FUCKED UP!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. I tried it a couple more times, but my cries were lost in Clapton’s guitar. I figured I’d try again in a couple minutes when the song ended; maybe the excitement of meeting a tiny crustie and getting drunk with him would be enough to distract David from his troubles for a bit. But next thing I knew, there was a very loud boom and my host jolted, tossing me about violently and causing me to sprain my ankle against the wall of his inner-ear. Then, complete stillness. Clapton still crooned, but now there was a faint light coming from deep inside David’s ear canal. I crawled toward the light source cautiously, but with a pretty good idea of what I was about to discover: blood, brains and skull fragments. David had shot himself. Horrified and in a state of shock, I hurried back to gather my stuff and try my hand at pushing the earbud out of David’s ear. I tried again and again, knowing the horrors that lay ahead if I was unable to access this exit. Look, I’m a strong guy for my size, but god damnit I’m fucking tiny compared to you assholes... the earbud wouldn't budge. I spent the rest of the night limping my way over the slippery peaks and through the blood-filled valleys of David’s brain matter. To make things worse, David had left ‘Tears In Heaven’ on repeat. Not the ideal soundtrack for wading through pools of blood and climbing mountains of gore on a sprained ankle.

“Well, that about wraps up the story of my first day out of the mother venue. I was broken and miserable, but by daylight, I had found my way out of David’s apartment and continued my journey west... Anyhow, I could really use some shut-eye right about now. You don’t mind if I crash in your ear for the night do ya?” 

“Not at all.” I replied, stunned by Alex’s story. “Make yourself at home.” 

“Thanks man. Having hitched all the way across the country, I have many more stories for you if you’re up to it. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll tell you about how I fell in love with a giantess on whom I hitched. While you've likely been privy to the subtle allure of a woman’s underarm, or those captivating dimples on the lower back, it is an altogether different experience to occupy such nooks for weeks on end... the nocturnal voyages into the forbidden zones... enveloped, almost to death, by your lover’s flesh...” Alex’s voice trailed off, then he cleared his throat. “Anyhow, more on that tomorrow. Goodnight, man.”

“Goodnight, Alex.” I replied. 

Minutes later, I was dozing off to the rhythmic, almost inaudible sound of Alex Fuck jerking off in my ear. “Just be sure to clean up.” I whispered.

Alex pretended to be asleep.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Some ole framed work.

Been too busy with school to get much work done art-wise, but here's some stuff from that show a while back at Kreuzberg - terrible gallery area, but I'm grateful for the opportunity. I highlight this text and click 'align left' and it remains centered.

Sickly Demon and the Ghosts of Hindsight

Mitosis of the High School Quarterback

Relatives of a Neighboring Dimension

Pious Demon


2012 Pastel Drawings

Some pastel drawings I've done over the past 6 months or so. Apologies for the not-so-great photos; my scanner bed is too small for these guys.

The Possessed 

The Possessor

Clump of Weirdos



Nightmare of the Sandaled Man