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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

January 16, 2007

Atom Films

My friend Kate works here, and sent me this cool animated movie. If anyone has movies they’ve made, send them to her. Atom Films pays people if they are posted on their site.

January 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!


Well, it was on the tenth. I met a guy who had his mother’s birth date tattooed on his arm, so he wouldn’t ever forget. Starting to make sense…

January 9, 2007

German Notgeld “emergency money”

This is a collection of money printed in Germany during 1922 and 1923, after inflation destroyed the German economy. Every town printed their own and even some businesses, like the railroads, created their own monetary system. I found these in my Dad’s shop and thought they were beautiful. Especially the guy with a crutch taking a bath! The photos are about life size.




6notgeld.jpgalt=”6notgeld.jpg” />


January 8, 2007

I’m getting to be middle aged. 36 years old. I suppose some horses live longer than that, but not many. I have not become the person I thought I’d be by now. But I’m a lot more than I could have imagined. Just not all of it is so great.

I think about my lady, who I won’t commit to. She’s getting older too, and that means no kids even if she wants ’em. I wonder if not having kids is like not being a guitarist in a band. Not reaching dreams. I’ve dreamed about that since I was a boy in roller skates watching girls go by with guys holding ’em under dimmed lights and silver disco ball squares swirling across the poured floor. I was hanging onto the rail by the arcade games, too poor to play them, too clumsy to skate. If I played guitar I could impress people without being seen. I wanted to be big.

I never spent the time learning how to really play the thing. I never put the time into any relationship. I pick things up, put them down. I work for a guy doing construction, then skip town for an adventure. When I come back, people still want work done on their houses, so I pick up the shovel and dig out catch basins and sprinkler lines. Just about the time I remember how lay out a french drain I find something else to learn about. I’ve had some jobs. Lots.

I move around. Some gals might be okay with that, but this one I’ve been with isn’t that way. I’d say most aren’t. She’s a good one. She likes to bathe me. Can you believe that? I didn’t like it at first, I felt like a handicap. Why didn’t she just let me soap up and scrub myself off? No, she wanted to run hot water and have me sit in the tub. I felt like a cat in there, sprayed by a skunk, held down in the sudsy water.

After a while I came to like it. Maybe too I was afraid to like it because then I’d have to do something nice for her. “If we could just each take care of ourselves,” I thought. I didn’t tell her I liked it. I said, “If it makes you happy, go ahead.” That was the fourth time. I said it so it was like I was doing her a favor, since she seemed to enjoy scrubbing me so much. But I’d come to really enjoy the hell out of it.

I’d always been a shower-man. Quick. Easy. Didn’t have to scrub the tub out to lay down in it, just stand under the water. I’d had some pretty nasty looking showers. Black rings of soap scum and dead skin. Drain choked up with hair and strings of semen. Nothing pretty. But this gal, she spent the weekend doing landry, washing floors, scrubbing the tub. I don’t get around to washing my bed sheets more’n once a month I’d bet you. Half the time I fall asleep on the couch or in a chair, so I figure they aint getting used much.

It’s just nice to be with someone who approaches things a little different from you. You learn that way. She got me using lotion on all my body, head to toe, after I get out of the bath. So I won’t be all wrinkled up. “Black don’t crack”, she’d say. Black people don’t get the wrinkles like white people. It’s all that lotion they use. White people like me, we can’t tell when our skin is dry. Well, it feels dry, but it doesn’t look dry. Black people, their skin gets what they call ashy, so they can see it’s time to moisturize. Otherwise they start looking white.

I’ve always been that way, interested in learning about other people. Traveling, talking to folks. Never been interested in settling down and adopting their ways. I suppose I’m a romantic. Which means I don’t want to commit to something real, I’d rather keep looking for new things to dream about. Makes it hard on a relationship.

I wouldn’t mind at all knowing a few good women around the world, and when I was handy, stopping in and getting to know ’em again. Doesn’t work that way. Cuz I’m asking ’em to wait around for me, without even knowing it. This old gal here, who bathes me, she aint waitin’ around no more. She left the door open for me long enough, she told me. Too hard on her to have me coming and going. Time for someone who’s gonna stay around.

People like building things that last. That’s what they say. I don’t see much of anything that really lasts. But I suppose even a life time is long enough. To build a relationship over all those years and differences, that’s a lot of work. Some folks, sixty years of marriage is all they can say they’ve made of their lives, but I wouldn’t knock that. But me, I pick up the guitar and play the couple of chords I learned years back, and try to find an old tune I was working on, and then it’s time to head to the out of doors.

Real smart folks, you read their biography or catch it on t.v., they talk about taking things apart as kids. Taking the radio apart and putting it back together just to know how it works. Me, I took my radio apart and that was enough. It laid on my bedroom floor for over a week, the silver tuning knob and the dial face and some wires dangling onto each other like limbs in a blast, tiny shreds of what used to work left for the imagination.

Maybe I fooled myself that I understood it and could put it back together, so I left it there and my mother threw it away after a while. Or I would dig holes and bury things, planning on coming back in thirty years when it would be valuable. I have toys buried all over the woods on Great Bay Road. From what I hear, those woods have been cut down and houses put up. You leave things alone and they change. I never expected that.

I never expected someone else to move in and take away what I had. Suppose that’s why people marry off. Stopping by to say “I love you” every spring leaves three other seasons to put their touch on a woman. So I can’t blame her for asking for more from me. She deserves it. She treats me real good. Better than anyone. I can’t say I understand it myself, why I still think about heading south in a few months here, and seeing what turns up down there.

Maybe I’m still waiting to learn that guitar before I make another promise to myself.

January 4, 2007


As reported earlier by Mr. Ravioli, there are pregnant robots out there among us. Science hasn’t yet answered, “How did they get that way?”

The revolution won’t be on YouTube?

Television will not be revolutionized!

Gil Scott Heron inspired this one…

He said that the Revolution will not be televised. I was at the Coat of Arms in Portsmouth, NH talking with some friends about that possibility. Someone said we should fund this war in Iraq with corporate sponsors. Dickie’s pants, Timberland boots, Hummer, they could brand the soldiers, field test their product in a convincing way. It doesn’t seem impossible.

However, the revolution Scott Heron speaks of will have to be the one that targets the cell phone satellites and internet servers. It will be a revolution of the have-nots, as he talks about, because those of us who have this technology can’t imagine life without it, and wouldn’t give it up for world peace.

Here’s his take on it…

The revolution will no be televised
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.


“The formation of cities (3500 bc – 2400 bc) in lower Iraq was a revolution in the history of mankind: it brought about the integration of diverse clans, villages, and other small groups into a single society.” – A History of Islamic Cultures by Ira Lapidus

In very small tribes there is little room for individuality. Everyone is watching everyone in a monoculture. When your society becomes larger, people have more room to try customs brought into the new paradigm by other conquered villages.

Is this the guiding principle of democracy? If we conquer un-democratic tribes, we are freeing them to become anything they want?

It’s amazing to think, in that case, that Iraq was the first nation to bring democracy to others. 3000 years before Christ, 5000 years before George Bush. Iraq is the Original Democracy!

B-52’s loaded with democracy to be dropped on Iran, Syria, North Korea…


Jim Rolston isn’t bringing democracy to your neighborhood, he is keeping riff raff out of the scrapyard in Madbury.

January 3, 2007

You are watching a test pattern

I am trying to install an mp3 player in my blog so you can hear my New Year sermon. This is a test. Click the play button to stream the audio track. (Hopefully)

test my levels

this is bullshit.

HA! I got it! Four hours of working on it, went to bed, woke up from a dream where I inherited a cabin built in a junk pile, came out here and got it to work.

January 2, 2007

Here’s some more ephemera from my dad’s shop.

January 1, 2007


This is the comic I found Arnold in.

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