Thursday, March 31, 2011

NO, Officially

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903


They're all in the air. Except for our people on the ground.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thai Broom

Then What Do You Say?

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just lately I've experienced a sudden flood of re-connections with people from the past, with whom I haven't heard for ten, twenty, forty years. School reunions, war zone compatriots, students and mentors. Some old girl friends. It's quite nice, isn't it? Saying hello once again.

And after a few lengthy updates, what do you say? There is a reason this person wasn't in your daily life. Your commonalities ended. You went on with your life, and they proceeded to follow their own paths. What more can you say?

What changes a relationship? Usually, geography has a major bearing. It could be a job, jail, or attitude. Could be you're on the run, the rebound, a refugee inside your own skin. Maybe you wanted to sober up, make some new friends, a new circle, or entourage. Join some kind of group that already had people in it. Or maybe you went into a depressive funk and wanted people to please just leave you the fuck alone. Relate to that?

Besides physical relocation, what would it be if you were in near proximity...same town, same house, same idea, same T-Shirt, same kind of shoe. Different dynamics would be at work, no doubt. People would be playing race, class, and gender roles, with the circles becoming smaller and smaller, and why is that?

Turns out one day, you're sitting on your step, exhausted, and you look over at the dog. He ain't saying nuthin'...just looking back at you.

Now, THERE'S someone who understands you.

Did I tell you about going into the farm implement store in Nebraska for the third time, after the necessary part, and asking those guys behind the counter wearing company caps, white oval sewn-on name tags, blue shirts, and steel-toed work boots, 'You ever have one of those decades where every move you made...was wrong?'

That got their attention. '...nothing you could do...would please her...your boss...the cat.'

One of the guys turned to get the part. The older guy cut his eyes over at the boss when I said 'boss'. The younger guy, flipping through a parts catalog on the counter, looked up and gave me a look of comprehension when I said, 'her'.

It wasn't a comedy act. I wanted to see if they could relate. Maybe a decade is an exaggeration. Maybe it's not.


So, everybody's away, school, work, whatever they were doing, and everyone's pissed at you, it seems, or maybe you just had this awkward volatile misunderstanding, and it's just you and the dog there on the back step.

Could be you just lost your job, the argument, your composure, got fired, divorced, bad news from the DA, the doctor, the IRS; rent's due, got rejected, was runner-up. And you look around, and there's no one there but the dog. Facebook tells you, 'You have 0 friends.'

Or, could be, you're on top of your game and want to play frizbee.

Everything is working in your dream, and...there are those important to the dream, and those who are not. Simple as that.

So, for one reason or another, we lose touch with folks, everybody does. Significant at the time and place, we may hold an illusion those friendships will last forever, but change in time and place, and life's experiences tell us otherwise. We simply move on. Unless we don't.

And then you get an email from an old friend. After a few lengthy updates, what do you say? 'Look me up when you're in...fill in the blank. Hudson Bay. It would be good to see you.'

You stopped being my friend after you:

moved away
wouldn't answer my call, email, friend request, invoice.
sobered up
got transferred
got married
became famous
found Jesus
insulted me
got arrested
got a life
became a Republican
left me hanging
took sides
went back to the States
pressed charges
voted for Bush, twice
joined the opposition
fired me
testified against me on the stand
lost it on the back nine
screwed my best friend, old lady/old man, girlfriend/boyfriend
screwed me
screwed my bank account
stayed silent
found somebody else
became holy
found the truth
became the boss
got abducted

Why else do relationships end? Mostly it's because of geography, but it's interesting to explore some reasons, which, if we needed to get over, would allow us to write back. But after a few lengthy updates, what do you say?



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libya in Crosshairs



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slow To Come Around

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, eh?

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - This being a public forum, a free-for-all journalistic mud pit wrestle, for what? Communication, Information, entertainment, basically; artistic expression, exhibition, advertising revenue, 2D world second life, purchasing, and what else? Control?

One of the wonderful things about the mud pit is that millions of people worldwide, for whatever purpose, have returned to the joyous craft of writing, lost during the ugly, wired, land line, fixed telephone years of Alexander Graham Bell till just here the other day.

Except now we're writing with our thumbs, a retrograde skill, it would seem, so what the hell, is that evolution?

And by writing to a vast audience through a highly technical medium, sending a message, trying to inform, convince, sell, keep posted, we unwittingly expose our ignorance, mainly; our narrow rigidity, stupidity, vulgarity, infantility, no such word, you get the idea; our intolerance, temperament, opinionated narrow-minded smallness, crass lack of civility, crude lack of propriety or discretion, and whimsical exuberance in broadcasting our claptrap to all the world.

I know, because I commit these whachyoudcall literary sins every time I write. It's a pitfall, a snake pit, a vipers nest, where sometimes your author doesn't even know for sure where he's coming from or at the very least, lost the train of thought.

With the technical means of delivery blistering by at faster than lightening speed, I've stripped the gears in my rational hot-off-the-presses think tank restraint, a kamikaze run, you'll see, and Bobby, it ain't just you and me.

As my Thai friend said convincingly, 'Everything too quick!'


Don't believe me? When's the last time you...? Catch that? See what I mean? Everything too quick!

If you're serious, it helps to have an editor, a Manny father figure around to keep your ass in check. But who has time for that? You'd have to send it, they'd have to look it over, then send it baaaack. You'd have to make the changes....Nobody'sgottimeforthat.

If you're not serious, or think you're serious but really not, you don't need no editor, but maybe a second set of objective eyes, like that gecko over there on the wall. Others can catch stuff we don't see, or even think about...

' you think it's a good idea to talk about....?'

...Drugs, Allah, your politics, your boss, your whereabouts, your breakfast?

If you're not serious, and nowhere near really good, or even near sort of half-assed good, say it, bad, then fuck it, you can let anything fly, it's a free loosey goosey world where you do your thing, voice your opinion*, use your own lingo, do your art, tell people in comments columns to fuck off, go fuck themselves, and worse...because for one, you're not getting paid and there's no advertising pullout threat, and two... one is going to censor or shut you down for saying some half-baked wildass shit...unless you're in an Islamic Having-a-Revolution-Right-Now country, or China, Myanmar, or Pakistan, or the U.S., where gestapo mind police can crash your door to take away you and your computer; and several other free speech countries where you'd better watch your free-lance wanna be journalistic step. The maniac on the loose might look you up.

Odds are not in your favor there's no maniac extremist opposed to anything you might say. You say it, he's against it. And odds are, he's on the loose, smoldering on idle until the last straw you provide.

It's a sad, sad state when a population reveres a murderer for slaying an advocate of moderation, tolerance, and free speech. What have you got when the voices for tolerance and moderation are silenced? You've got a situation where you've got to keep the nukes out of their hands.

We already know what can happen when extremists run the show. Isn't that what got us where we're at now, the subject of my new rap release?

So, freedom of speech isn't all what it's cracked up to be when the integrity of the State or the status quo, especially, is at risk, is it? That's what all them guys, China, Myanmar, Muammar, Sheik and Sultan and 'em, know. Control the flow. Oil, information, arms, commodities, you name it. Seems like it ain't nothing but a matter of time, a matter of time, my friends, before dem wallsa Jericho come a tumbling down.

Join me now in song, ya'll.

(After sitting in my 'drafts' folder for too long, I've decided to publish my newest rap release. Please understand that it is a parody, and not intended to offend the reader, nor do the views expressed necessarily reflect those of the author. I don't particularly care for rap, and there are many thangs about it that go against my grain, in this one especially, but artists, poets, and comics must say things that others cannot, and in this case, say it, let go of it and move on to something else. Unless it can be packaged and sold).

Rap with me, now, 'Axabrutha'; If you wanna, move your shoulders, with the beat. Show some attitude. Get that head moving...and can we get a little rythym for us with them sticks?

Doo bappa, doo bappa, chicka chicka doo bappa. That's it.

Axabrutha ('bout Mutha Erf)

It's a mess, a mess
a muhfuckin mess
people on this hot rock
talkin' 'bout a sun spot
solar mass ejections
electron injections
mayan predictions
and cosmic afflictions

ain't that what yo' mama sayin'?
ain't that what yo' shaman sayin'?
all that horseshits comin down
nasty shit all floatin' 'round
something you ain't seen befo'
in yo' lifetime not befo'
ain't nowhere to run to
'cause there's nowhere else to go

Where is all the people going?
where is all the people going?

High tide mudslide
muhfuckin double wide
crack in the sea flo'
open up a hell doe
all the oil sucked away
belch up a doomsday
muhfuckin walla water
nuke plant fuel rods
gettin' hotta
time to look for clean air
everywhere everyplace
people bein' displaced
swimming in they own waste
now they only wish they hadn't
trashed away they garden planet

Japan took a hit dinna?
make the nippon spin a minna
over yet?
naw nigga
erf a tsunami trigga
on the Richter itsa bigga
land and people undawatta
flood control cannot preventa
bigass hood catastrophe
main street swept up out to Sea

Ripple cross the world went
GPS message sent
time has come to pay the rent
real time
surreal time
time to cut a deal time
on the street
people meet
RPG and twitter tweet
what is on your mind, my niggas?
what's that in yo' hand, my nigga?

I see you got yo' cell phone
i see you got yo' i phone
camera phone
sittin' in the drone zone
waitin fo' a ring tone
masta blasta supa stome
gonna see you make a crater
orchestrate a def theater
muhfuckin detonator
mosque bazaar or marketplace
women children in the space
who gonna say who gonna die
inhuman twisted views apply

They hate you
they hate you
they hate you, nigga
for being who you are, my nigga
what you represent, my nigga
get it through yo' head, my nigga

I see you got yo' camera
you see me with my camera
UTube picture gonna wanna
see you light yo' petrol bomma
everyone a picture taker
photo op the riot maker
upload the atrocity
document the refugee
whole world gonna wanna see
red blood runnin' on the street

who blood
yo blood
his blood
anybody else blood

What the nigga gonna do?
make a martyr out of you?
shut down the internet
set up a dragnet
snuff the poet
jail the writer
execute the freedom fighter
bolt the do'
control the flow
perpetuate the status quo
thwart the niggas' overthrow

Bring on the Big Dogs
that shit can't go on forever
ax a brutha
any brutha
that shit wont go on forever

I got me here my homemade rocket
AK ammo in my pocket
drop a warship out the sky
stop a tank by suicide
storm the gates and then the palace
take apart the apparatus
liberate the torture cell
overtake the oil well
da people gonna take no mo'
till Mr. Nasty out da doe

Left wing right wing
hoodwink in between
wall street banker scheme
pulled a rip off so obscene
take the whole world down the drain
from a villa south of Spain
Tierra del Fuego
where all the people's money go?

And who's it fo'?
you, my nigga
you convinced of that yet, nigga?
you got yo' freedom yet, my niggas?

Uh oh, damn, there go yo' job
then yo' house they gonna rob
while they be livin' off the hog
bonus check and profits, dawg
snatch it out from 'neath yo' feet
put you homeless on the street
downturn didn't hurt them none
corporation giant won

Stole yo' pension broke yo' plan
safety net and food program
poor sap worker bee still hold
myth and bullshit that he's told
rotten cotton he's been sold
dollar still be good as gold
China hostage collar hold
all new shit come from they molds

Don't wanna ask it
body bag basket
dogtags inna casket
implement the masta plan
Iraq and Afghanistan
tribal region Pakistan
liquidate the boogey man
eliminate the taliban
all through the vicinity
war in perpetuity
who the winner gonna be
take a look around you, sucka
last man standin' is one bad muhfucker

Whazzup in yo' world, my niggas?
what happened to yo' world, my niggas
Ax a brutha
Ax a brutha
ax any brutha's brutha
tell me something new, my niggas
someone tell me why, my niggas

copyright 2011.

(I tossed this over to Barbara Bush, and she said it flowed fine, but 'nuke plant fuel rods' was hard to spit. She give me a thumbs up).

Freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression. Those are two wonderful things that some you know have died defending.


Monday, March 07, 2011


Brovic - Blogging since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Wisconsin. Isn't that just up the street from you? People all over the world, picking up a cause. Remember the peace movement? I like the way we defined ourselves by what we were for, rather than what we were against.

'There was music in the cafes at night, and revolution in the air.' - Bob Dylan


Any of you
breathing underwater
in your dreams?

If so
Where did you go?

Same with flying, right? Just have to remember you can, and your technique. Same same Superman. One, Two, Three, up, up and away.

Kind of like watching a toddler realize they don't have to crawl around everywhere.

Get up. Go for a little walk. Take a look arouuuuuund.


You're invited to a dinner party next month! I'll give you a map and let you know the details later. You'll have to find your own way here, because I can't pick you up at the airport, but I suppose I could send a taxi and have 'em hold up a cardboard sign with your name on it. That's a nice reception. Big smile on the driver's face when you see your name and your eyes meet his in recognition.

I've done the fake out before. Look up, see the name, smile and nod at the driver and just keep walking, never looking back again. A person could go so far as to take the fare, have 'em deliver you to your destination, and really screw up Mr. Wolfe in the process. It would be great for a comedic routine, but not so funny in the Real 3D World.

You'd have to go with a Western name, right? It would be hard for my black ass to pose as Mr. Shin. Middle East, no prob. Sweden? Not. And then, you'd have to have the right clothes to look the part. So, if you're wearing less than five-star clothes, you'd need to examine the hotel for whom the driver was working. That's not a lot of time. You'd need to be close. Forget it.

Better for you to hire a guy outright. You'll need to taxi from Suvarnaboumi International over to Don Muang, the domestic airport, and fly from Bangkok into Phuket. Don't pay the driver any more than 1400Thai Baht to get here. Stick to your guns. Start at 1200. He'll laugh and start at 2,500, then immediately offer 2,000, then 1800, then ask around if anyone wants to take a farang to Khuk Khak for 1400. Someone will. Give him a 200TB tip, and he'll offer to pick you up to take you back.*

Don't need to. I know a local guy who'll take you down for 1,000.

I can put three, four, five of you up without discomfort, and sardine-style, like the Thai or Tom Cook's basement, I can put up, oh, about seventeen. The rest of you can stay over at Karl's Lakeview Bungalows, just across the lake.........he was over here today, telling me how to go about my work.

Yeah. Green wood puts off more smoke, he says. No shit, Sherlock. I'm clearing land and burning it off. Green jungle burns. Everybody knows that. He suggested I save it, let it 'dry a littaabit,' and have a barbeque, a big bonfire, after asking why I cut the nature. "Why do you cut the nature?" he asked.

Didn't wanna let it dry. I'm clearing a section of land and burning it off, with the help of my Myanmar gardener friend, the workhorse guy who's hard to keep up with, the one who lives in a pitiful hovel between here and the beach, whose wife died in the tsunami, and whose grass trimmer is on the fritz, and I'd like to shoot a photograph of him and his place, but I don't want to insult his personal dignity.

Dirt poor. Worked all day and took only one break in both the morning and the afternoon, but I beat him back from lunch. It was hot. We're going to wrap up the project tomorrow, and having no further need for it, I'm going to trip him out and give him the saw, just to see the look on his face.

Karl checked out the saw, asked how much I paid for it, and said he was busy, full up over at the bungalows, and couldn't stay. Said he'd see me later. Yesterday, Michael from England said my idea of clearing that section of land was akin to 'that Joni Mitchell song,' 'Pave Paradise...put up a parking lot...' and those freaking lyrics kept running through my head all day.

'...cut down all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum
and charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em.'

Don't want to see jungle. Wanna see the lake.** Already got jungle on three sides, anyway. Got plenty of jungle. Plenty of jungle here. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing, and besides, when you mow your lawn, are you doing it for your neighbors, or for yourself? How about that shed? And the color of your bathroom tile.

Well, you can see some of that 'you oughta' stuck. Now, you could call me a hard-headed nigga, and you wouldn't be the first, but already told you I bristle when someone suggests they know what I should do. Recall that essay on thinking for your own damn self? THAT'S what I'm talking about.

Someone...OUTSIDE, myyyyyy...........skull, wants to tell me what they think I should do.

"If I were you, I'd quit those Krong Thips (local cigarette)," said my friend from Sweden, bless her heart.

"You're not me," I told her calmly without hesitation.

After a long pause, she said, "You're right." And we pretty much let it go at that.


A few years back, the second opinion at the VA ran through the checklist; 'Depressed?' 'Living alone?' 'Divorced?' 'Up at 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock?' 'Wake up in sweat?' 'Resistance to authority?'


Found my head nodding through the questionnaire.

"You brought all that shit home with you," Michael said, when the conversation went near that direction.

"I never killed anyone," I spat out, reflexively, the same thing I told the second opinion. "I don't have no ghosts or flashbacks."

Well, okay. I understand the survivor's guilt, delayed grief, denial, acceptance and all that, but I just don't like it when someone thinks they've got your past, dreams, and motives figured out. I wasn't a fucking door gunner, for Christ's sake. That's what I told him. "I was a medic, a angel of mercy. Guys was glad to see me........"

And he pretty much let it go at that.

But I didn't.

After a pause, I said quietly, "I lost a couple good friends over there...I should have been the one, both times...I saw people, whole people just a few minutes ago, all butchered up, Mike, all torn up, lives changed forever. I treated everybody; Americans, Vietnamese civilians, the enemy......"

He nodded, and I had a story of a North Vietnamese Army patient, but I pretty much let it go at that.

Well, my fellow Americans, that's what wars do; kill and injure people. Maim all the rest. We should bring our people home.

Exhale, Joey. Don't take in water.


That's enough.

- end

*What the heck. You don't have to go right back. If you're coming for the dinner party, you might as well stay a couple weeks.

**With the racket from the chain saw and all, booming across the lake, we attracted the attention of a few monks who sauntered around the bend to see what I was doing over here with the nature. Later, it was our good fortune to be asked by a couple of old local men if they could have the wood. They wanted it over at the temple, they said.

No sooner than I could get 'Sure!' out of my mouth, four Myanmar guys showed up with a pickup truck and hauled off all the long poles. Never mind Karl and Michael - something was very right about the project. The monks got the wood, my friend gets a new saw, and I've got an expansive view of the lake.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Seven Eighty

Live Fire

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand -

The people went to see the king
his politics for them extreme
the king said all is calm and well
the outside world may go to hell

and for this discord who to blame
as common people rise inflamed
their world long tired of tyrant rule
and dignity so miniscule

that hopelessness prevailed on stage
the palace plaza's seething rage
should set to fire all the past
and bring to them their fate at last.


"We're going to issue each of you a clip of ammunition. The first ten rounds of the clip are blanks, but the last five are live bullets, so for God's sake, be careful."

- Commander to a group of children


To set your anguished heart to rest
we'll have a tailored suicide vest
for you to wear to marketplace
and demonstrate to human race
compassion is not commonplace
but murder for the sake of cause
is righteousness devoid of flaw.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Three, Two, One One

Gruffy, P'Thai, Sii-Dam, lately

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Heyyyyyy, when I said 'diapers and a gallon of milk' a couple of posts back, ha, I didn't mean to let on I was still having babies. Nope. Not me. That was intended as a literal, but generic parental statement, and we were talking about 'things' a person needs; diapers and a gallon of milk for, gee, several years straight, isn't it?

Seems like babies, adolescents, and adults are happiest when all their needs are taken care of, with many carrying the childneed right through on out to the grave. A tisket, a tasket, then a green and yellow casket. And what would be your final wish?

"I'm gonna sayyyy...'Master of the univer'"

Is that your final answer?

There may be some who are thinking, 'he isn't talking to me...this time.'* But you can see it played out around you, right? how infantile we can be when we get our way thwarted. Never mind the everyday zen, those retreats, and the however many years of TM did you say?

I am happiest when...fill in the blank...'when everything is going my way.'

And so a person could say, 'world peace' is their way, or something noble and magnanimous. Think we could have something if enough people wanted it? Anything?


Man, I gotta tell ya, I don't care for snakes or any reptile in general, but today the dog, the one that's been hanging around taking Gruffy's share, since Gruffy decided to hang out across the lake at Karl's Lakeview Bungalows, since there are three bitches there, and no males, and the girls in the kitchen keep feeding him, along with all the other guests...and when I pulled up over there for breakfast last week, he came charging up like my long lost buddy, and I told him, "SO!", and he got this really sheepish look on his face, put his muzzle on my knee and said sadly with his eyes, 'you understand...' which I did, but he sure as hell can't just DROP IN spontaneously and out of the blue, expecting his daily handout.

Gave up three square meals a day to go beg tourist tables over at Mon's restaurant. Mon and her sister, Roon, feed him, but Karl doesn't want himl to stay, although he admits he likes having a male in the mix.

"During the low season, that's another mouth to feed," he said.

Anyway, this other dog, a white with brown spots female Thai 'Ridge Back' from the temple with her ribs showing, has been laying around in the sun over here and waiting for Gruffy's share, like I said, and she was barking out there today, enough to make me take a look.

Lo and behold, what was it? I didn't have my glasses. Looked like a big lizard's tail in the crust of an old stump out there. I drew closer, and what the hell? Holy Smokes! It'safuckingsnake. 'I hope it's not a cobra,' I thought and tried to see it's head. There wasn't a head. There was a huge swelling at the other end with a rat's ass and legs sticking out.

When I got close enough to actually make out something I'd never seen before in my life, I finally saw the head, tiny, atop this mass of....and when I saw him, he was looking right at me, and you know how snakes are psychic and everything, and he immediately began disgorging the rat, leaving it in a grey mucous-covered lump of yuuuck, and headed without delay for that hole in the middle of the stump, and within a matter of, oh, about fifteen seconds, the whole show was over.

Except for the rat. What am I saying.? EsPECIALLY for the rat, the show was over. I checked later, and it was still there, covered with ants.

Whaddaya thinka that?

So, yeah, you'll encounter snakes over here from time to time. Last month a cobra sleeping between two sacks of coconut fiber suddenly awakened when the nursery lady pulled the top sack off. He began a slow sleepy slither away, but she quickly grabbed a stick and pulled him back out in the open, whereupon he coiled, rose up, and just when I was thinking, 'I wonder if it's a cobra,' fanned out his hood.

Remembering that they can blind you at twelve feet with their spit, I immediately began a roadrunner-esque back-pedal, a Muhammad Ali bob and weave shuffle, knowing that cobras can't get a fix on a moving target.

As he was following me with his tongue, the nursery lady off to his right was really the one he should have concerned himself with, posing the greater threat, for she dispatched him forthright, leaning over and striking him across the neck, if a snake has a neck, with her lips pressed together in an impressive display of firm determination of intent to kill if I ever saw it.

He went limp with that first blow, stunned and severely incapacitated, although it wasn't fatal. That came moments later across a log. She laughed about it as she tallied up the bill for the coconut fiber and potting soil.

'Ha ha. Sa-nake,' she kept saying and laughing at my obvious discomfort, raising her arm, bent at the elbow, her hand bent forward at the wrist, making a shaking snake's head. I was still trying to discretely brush the goosebumps off my arms, and shake the chill from my spine.

- end

*I'm always talking to you. Every time.
Who? Me? Yes. You.

**'Gruffy' was a nickname given by Claudia. 'P Thai' was the formal name given to him by his owner, who moved back to Takuapa when the high season ended and obviously left him here. We were all feeding him, but he preferred the company over at Mon's, where they call him 'Sii-Dam' (Black). Everybody, the guests, everybody, says he's real likeable. All black with a wispy white goatee.