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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

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

September 30, 2011


there’s a reason it’s foggy in the west

It’s foggy in the west. Most of California is a dry dusty expanse with golden grass covering the summertime hillsides. At the tops of the sierras, a saw toothed range 100 miles inland, there is ice and snow, but the valleys that stretch out like a bright shadow are a place for cactus and lizard and thirst. Isn’t that the American conception of the wild west? Heat and high noon sun and a pistol shot that drops a man into the dust?

So what of San Francisco? The edge of the west here is a surprise. The dense fog rolls down the boulevards like floating rain, the air is simply wet without falling in drops.

It’s the heat of the entire west, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, a central furnace that expands out and hits the cold air coming down from the ice block of the northern pole, these two extremes collide and make fog.

The fog can hardly survive it’s trip across the city before the heat engulfs it. The western shore, therefore, can be a dark damp soup, while 7 miles in, at the edge of the bay, residents look out from their rooftops in the sun and see the misty fingers of the fog crawling towards them, vanishing at tapered ends somewhere near Divisadero street.

Its the orthodox Russians, the Jewish synagogue builders, the Irish workers and all stripes of Asian immigrants who make this shrouded end their home.

Sunny San Francisco is how the other half lives. City Hall, the Financial District, the old Gold Mining wealth avoid the gray “outside lands”.

Illegal cannabis production and unlicensed sex massage parlors hide behind stuccoed home fronts on residential blocks so tightly packed one can walk a block on rooftops.

Blame the fog. Streets are empty out here in “the avenues”. The wind is cold and mean as well.

The Hockey Haven is full of these bleak residents who drink quietly as the cars outside oxidize in the salty fog, parked parallel to the depression of this neighborhood we call The Richmond. Believe me when I say it. It’s foggy in the west.

airport floor


Does a crime novel need a murder? Can something ephemeral like faith be killed? What is heroic about about hunting down negligent bookkeepers? Capitalism, or something larger, older, subversive, can create a Goliath that seeks to control wealth and information. Bill Gates of Microsoft was a Goliath, using deception to control a market. Our dipsomaniacal leading man, the drunk at the far end of the bar, Mr Louden, looks over at screams coming from the Golden Tee arcade game.

“We need a first person shooter in here, not a golf game.”

“I always liked Duck Hunt,” says the bartender as he dips a pint glass in the final bath of the wash rinse sanitize cycle.

“How genteel. Clay trap mode? I was thinking more along the lines of Area 51. I love the caterwauling of the dying aliens.”

Your narrator is taking a small vacation during which the Department of Justice’s anti-trust case against Microsoft will be reviewed.
It’s perhaps totally void of a single sex crime, but not to worry. The juicy bits involve our gumshoe, who’s crack habit brings him into The Lusty Lady and surfing the casual encounters section of a newly developed website called Craigslist.

September 28, 2011

this is a 3 D painting


Tried to take a picture through the glasses but no dice.

September 26, 2011


This was in LA, I may have posted it, but during that trip the wordpress app update made it impossible to post photos from the album – wait a minute – who cares? Just enjoy the well fonted yard sale sign.
I passed by another recently, too fast to catch it. It read “Dude! Yard Sale!”

perhaps my problems are small


September 25, 2011

doll garn it

it’s foggy in the west (part two of a crime novel)

“check under the bed”

“I know man, I copped a B&E at 14. This aint my first barbeque. Shit, VCR tapes! You know this is porn!”

“Put it on, put it on!”

The two workers work in tandem, one turns on the tv and gets to channel 3 as the other pushes the cassette into the VCR.

“where’s the remote?” one asks as they look around the room, opening bedside table drawers.

The screen comes alive with a middle aged woman, ball gag in her mouth, a man pulling her hair as they copulate like dog show canines, lacy tutu around her waist, black leather vest over the man’s beer gut.

“that’s this room!” one guy is practically screaming with joy as he laughs and grabs his coworker, turning him to see the headboard behind them.
“they’re fucking on this bed!”

The crew working the apartment next door come in with their Tyvek suits and respirators on.

The goggles come off when they see the screen.

“you found a homemade stash!” on guy says

“there’s a box of it,” the other replies as he pulls up the collection of unmarked cassettes.

By the end of the day all four teams have grabbed a couple of tapes, and more than a few guys have taken the cue and followed along with the story line. Each going to their own private apartment to let loose.

Mr. Louden, lifting an empty pint glass asks for another IPA. The barman comes down and sets it on the damp coaster. Mr Louden continues the story.

“The tenants are finally allowed to return to their homes and discover missing jewelry, bottles of booze, you name it. It’s a few days before they find the gift left behind in the VCR, video of their neighbors having very kinky sex. Can you imagine?”

Not much crime for a crime novel, huh?

Just then shots ring out and a man falls to the ground. Except in Iraq, where we are at war, but no one in the bar notices.

sick of it


Some of us are so lucky the hardest thing in life is getting home safe.

September 22, 2011

it was a dark and foggy nite…

How about writing a crime novel? Wouldn’t that be a slap in the face to a poetry degree…
The hero looks like a junkie, skinny white guy with red skin, must be an alcohol rash, and not enough meat on him to make a sandwich. Haunted. The cheek bones protruding so close to death. But he’s a local. Everyone knows him.

He’s always in the Hockey Haven, a crummy bar out by the ocean. We’re talking Ocean Beach. This is San Francisco, the beach is the least interesting thing in The City. Guidebooks don’t mention it. Just a fog covered stretch of dirty sand abutting a grocery store parking lot. Surfers park and suit up for the near frigid water. Gay’s tryst in the bushes where the overgrown desolate end of the Golden Gate Park runs to the sea.

You shouldn’t take travel advice from a crime novel, but don’t bring shorts when you visit us. It’s never warm and the water will kill you.

Our hero, Mr Louden, holding court at the far end of the bar. Down there you can always look up and see what’s new in town.
“PG&E had a gas line burst and the apartment building was showered in the decimated vent line’s asbestos covering.”

Mr Louden worked for The City in the District Attorney’s office for a few years before the evidence of his crack habit become unconcealable and the liability of a city investigator wired on heavy schedule 3 outweighed his eagerness to do the dirty work they needed done.

Things like stealing garbage. That was Mr. Louden’s forte. Hanging around in Dumpsters, cutting open bags of trash, looking for a paper trail.

“Congealed mother’s milk in the breast pump bags, I wretch on site. A colostomy bag, maggoty meat, yes, that’s gross – maybe a slight (he makes a gagging motion) contraction, but no, rancid mother’s milk. That was the worst.”

But he digresses. It’s the clean up crew in the quarantined apartment building. 12 units. Subcontracted labor and these guys are looting the place. Watches, jewelry, you name it. You had cash laying around? Prove it.
The city had it blocked off, the maintenance guy was incinerated in the basement. They found some teeth. Jammed into a load bearing beam. That was about it. None of the residents were allowed back in.
Now these guys from Hayward are in these apartments strip searching them, and guess what someone finds?

End part one.
( and we may never get to part two)

September 21, 2011

“Flop this over and we’ll dump it out,” I tell Noah as we stand in the back of the truck emptying buckets of dirt.

“Flop? That’s like flip?” he asks me. He’s Honduran.

“Flop is only halfway over, flip goes all the way. Plus, a flip is more graceful. A flop is kind of ugly to watch.”

“You’re very smart Mr. Jon,” he says.

“We’re digging the same ditch so what’s it matter?” I ask him.

All the coffee shop poets are on vacation or too old to ask to do this job, so I called Noah. I don’t like to hire illegals, but Noah tries so hard.

“I only went to like 4th grade in my country, so I believe anything people tell me,” he says. He’s always asking questions too. About a word mostly, or what will happen if he lifts weights and his skin stretches out. Will it be saggy?

“Mr. Jon, did you hear Bob Marley discovered marijuana by following a goat into the woods?”

Sometimes I don’t know what to say to him. But he laughs a lot, and has a good heart, and will carry buckets of dirt in the heat of the day.

September 20, 2011

not for my parents to read

An old friend came to town from New York, where she works as a nurse delivering babies. She asks incoming parents, “Have you made a decision about circumcision?”

“The worst answer,” she tells me, “is ‘Yes, of course. I think. Right honey?'”

San Francisco made the wacky liberal news for trying to ban circumcision for any male under 18 years of age. Isn’t that crazy? Why would you ban that?

Well, let me speak frankly. I’ve been circumcised. My penis is no longer an errogenous zone. I must think about killing my girlfriend in order to have a climax. Sexual intercourse is not sufficient stimulation. A doctor cut away a large part of the sensitive tissue on my sex organ. Now I have to use my mind. Fucking your wife with your mind isn’t what nature intended. The poor women must endure this insensitive inchoate jackrabbitting while you, the man, conjure up what it must feel like down there meanwhile imagining sexy thoughts from lingerie catalogs

“But look how long I can last,” says a friend. “If I wasn’t circumcised, it’d be over in 30 seconds.”

That’s exactly the point. Lasting all night means your penis is basically a wooden mallet that you hammer away at with. Is this what God intended? Oh, let’s not bring God into it, because that invites religion as well. And this whole thing is a religious thing.

Or is it? “It prevents disease,” say the supporters. For 90% of males, if you wash your penis regularly and correctly, you won’t have any problems. The fact I never have a urinary tract infection is not worth the trade off of needing a crack pipe, streaming porn with six windows open, and a length of rope tight around my neck in order to ejaculate.

UTI’s are common in women and they deal with it by drinking cranberry juice. I can drink juice too. It would bring me to a better understanding of their pain if we shared this common ailment.

I’ve used some hard language and portrayed some rough scenes, but we are talking about sex and I only have a few minutes. My circumcised penis has led to a general deadening of human emotions. The most delicate, intimate touch has been removed and all is now slaps and grunts, shoving things into place and guessing what will happen.

to go


The neighbor who normally gives me the block of cheese she doesn’t understand passed this to me on the steps yesterday.
I’ve been afraid to open it till Sophia got here. Boiled peanuts and sticky rice with seasonings wrapped in a lotus leaf tied up with string. Totally biodegradable.

September 18, 2011

this is an ugly block of San Francisco


If you don’t leave history alone but you won’t pay to make things nice this what you get.

$10 lamp

Cathy, the woman in charge, had her clipboard and her receipts and I handed over the $45 rent on my spot.

The two of us stopped our transaction and looked over the tables of junk and the piles of antiques to my neighbor, an older woman who had said what sounded like vagina.

Cathy, she says to me, “he wants to know if she really said that too,” and sure enough a guy holding a lamp said, “excuse me?”

“The vagina lamp? It’s ten dollars.”

Cathy says, “She did say it.”

I walked over and had a look myself. It was a vagina lamp.

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