I view the Fourth with a certain detachment. But then I’m Welsh and not a citizen, although I do now spell in American English and own a blazer. That doesn’t mean I’m still upset about Mad King George losing the colonies. I just wished Old George had spent less time mistaking a large tree for a Prussian king and spent more time making future plans for Dear Old Blighty.

So on this day of fireworks and fired-up grills and stars and stripes, I’ve been thinking about the pursuit of happiness.

And I’ve decided to pursue it like a little cake with red, white, and blue icing. Oh, and with a gun. Hunt that bastard happiness down until I have it in my sights and can unload. In fact, I think more Americans should own guns in order to pursue happiness. Because, what the hell, guns don’t kill people, little cakes with icing do.

I mean, come on, anyone with a half dollar knows that guns are pacifists. Just try holding one of those cowards in your hands. “Please, sir, don’t make me do it! I don’t want to shoot anyone. I’ve got a wife and three kids at home.”

Everywhere I look I see handguns, rifles, semi-automatics, grenade launchers wailing and crying and screaming to stop the madness. Some even get a concealed weapons permit because they’re too shy to show their nozzles. But it does no good because people have turned weapons into killers.

And I haven’t even begun to discuss that wicked beast happiness. It’s such a menace, nuisance, terror, it deserves to be hunted down with a semi.

In fact, let’s arm children as soon as possible, since any day now they are going to discover that there is such a thing as the pursuit of happiness and no Santa Claus. Happiness will be waiting to tear their little hearts out and replace with unhappiness. And this cannot be! We must stalk happiness in its natural surroundings and bring it down before it brings us down.

And what is happiness? Why, it’s a loaded gun, of course. And it’s God in the great Jukebox in the sky spinning the same old 33s like bullets in a chamber. The same God who created Earth and Adam and Eve but forgot all about the dinosaurs. Oh dear me, that was a colossal fuck up, wasn’t it? But I forgive you God since you gave us fast food.

I’m going outside now to sit on my deck with my rifle across my knees. Maybe a few stars will streak like cosmic bullets across the sky. Maybe my terrestrial luck will get a glimpse of happiness tonight and I’ll bring it down with a clean shot.

I can’t imagine what will happen, though, if I simply wound it. All night long happiness will be wailing outside my house and no amount of fireworks will scare it off.

If this happens, I should probably just put it out of its misery and go and join the fun like everyone else.


Bigfoot Strikes Again

This mythical beast has got more names than God: Bigfoot, Yeti, Almasty, Orang Pendek, Sasquatch, and many others.

And now I read that scientists from Switzerland and the UK have set up the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project to prove for once and for all whether or not these mythical creatures exist.

Ah, science, you big show-off, you! But haven’t you ever heard this maxim: No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. Guess not, seeing as evidence to you is just another way of saying proven until proven by science.

Good God, Horatio, don’t you know there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt up in your science?

No matter, science has brought us the 4 known forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetic, and 2 forms of nuclear force. The rest is all hyperbole, hypotheses, and human skepticism.

Tis better to have science and answers than to never have science and answers at all.

And what’s the alternative? Some amnesiac God scuffing around the universe in borrowed slippers who created the world as we know it, how, by coitus interruptus (the immaculate conceiver, yours for the price of religion) or else hands-on onanist? Then on top of that (or underneath, depending on your preference), this raunchy, pernicious, and retributive old God decides he needs some life in the universe to worship him. So out from his hat comes Adam — where else did he come from since there was no hanky-panky for God? But where did Adam come from? Even as a writer, as much as you would like your characters to come to life, they don’t —  so much for the idea of being omnipotent as an author. The only way characters from books come to life is in a reader’s head or else a director comes along and pays some actor tons of money. So maybe God paid Adam and that’s why there is capitalism in the world and the idea of sell, sell, sell until it’s Armagideon time again. Imagine what might have come to pass, though, if God had simply rented Adam or even disguised himself as the first man.

The Irish writer Caitlin R. Kiernan has written: “One good mystery is worth a thousand solutions.” So why make the unknown known? Look at Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

I like that there are still unexplained phenomena laughing in the cellars of this world. I don’t want to know that there definitely exists a Bigfoot as much as I equally don’t want to know there isn’t one. Where’s the mystery in that?

On the Brink of the Last Squawk

Spring has brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot. Yes, that’s Rimbaud, from “A Season in Hell.”

But that idiot laugh has left Paris. It’s left Wales. It’s made a nest in Maine.

And what is this laugh that creeps from grass stem to grass stem? Is it afraid of the sun?

Sometimes I can even hear it in the mad taps of the first moth at night, incessantly striving to get into my home. But for what? What does this nighttime insect hope to find? Will it walk across my scalp the same way Neil Armstrong walked across the moon?

My adult life seems more and more a struggle for financial success. Why is that? If I lick the moth’s dust, will I hear moonbeams, or more frantic wings?

Look! There it is. Laughter in the golden forsythia. Is nothing sacred anymore? No. Not since humanity invented a god who created Adam, who in his crude and pathetic way fashioned woman from his rib. What the fuck is all that about? Like god or man knows anything about woman.

I live with three women (well, one is a girl of 6, the other is 15 months), but, if I was to pull a metaphor to explain their creation, I’d say my three women cupped the cosmos in their hands and sifted stars.

There it is again, that lonely and pitiful laughter, like a dirge on the wind, snapping dead stalks, caressing feathery leaves, and nattering some conservative, emasculated flatulence. But no, it’s not some hot wind out from the wilderness, it’s the hot air of men, yapping like hyenas, bouncing like geldings — ignorant of their loss — that a woman’s mind, a woman’s body, every aspect of a woman is up for auction to the highest political bidder in the land.

Sold! For a birth-control pill and a lovely home-made muffin!

There’s that laughter again. Its dry like dirt. And it’s mewling something about women must be made of high-fructose corn syrup and all things domestically nice and never get abortions because children are, well, all those wonderful impressionable minds that religion can pickle in its great big vat of lies.

God, be still, you wicked, wicked laughter, straight out of banality.

Wait, what the hell is that sound now? Sounds like the sweet rill of jester bells. It’s saying, listen up all you high courts of the land, if you want to implement real laws, how about you scrap the white, old-man gene from politics. Let’s fill the Senates and the Houses with 20 year olds — who at least know how to party and have a good time — and not philistines in their dotage and hooked on the drug of power but who don’t wish to change or do anything. With age does not come wisdom to politicians, just blinkers and piss pots under the bed. Or, let’s pass a bill to make sure every man sheaths his John Thomas before intercourse (why must it be left to the ladies to take the pill?). And to ensure this high decree, roving bands of lobbyists will break into your home and sheath you themselves if you fail to cooperate.

Listen, now it’s coming through the cracks in the wall. What, there are cracks in this wonderful old house called civilization? Damn, I thought those were veins of gold, symbols of the good life, reflections of purity, strength, our gains, our growth, our economic powerhouse.

Fool’s gold, caws the crow with the silver eye on the roofless house.

What, now you’re telling me the house has no roof?

Should I tell you there is no foundation, too, hisses the snake, sleepy still from winter’s hibernation, but free of his discarded skins.

Even the daffodils are laughing, bobbing back and forth their yellow trumpets. What’s that they say?

April is cruel because man is cruel, because he can’t stand to love.

God, even if I trample the flowers in all the gardens, I still can’t escape that foolish laughter. So is it me, or does everyone hear it?

Spring. What makes the lamb prance and jump and all I hear is snickering, like maggots in meaningless roadkill.

I must be an idiot to hear such things.