Charleston, West Virginia Writings

I am Dumb.

Every time I finish writing a post, the other side of the coin starts to shine so brightly that I feel the need to either scrap what I wrote, or else write a second post completely contradicting it.

Recently, I wrote a post called “Projection” in which I painted myself as a smart person pretending to be dumb. But I lied. The truth is I am a dumb person pretending to be smart. 

At the time though, I was just sick of people who think they are intelligent because they eat quail eggs and pretend to read Shakespeare. Look, I know who Phillip of Macedon is and once asked a man for directions to the beach in French! So find someone else to condescend on.

Nevertheless, when it comes to what matters most- practical things- I actually am an idiot. I have no idea how the world operates.

How does money work? Taxes? Automobiles? How do people hook up in bars? Or walk into a dark alley and come back with a bag of drugs? Why is Ryan Gosling considered sexy? What clothes make you seem intelligent? What expression should you make when a friend tells you she is gay?

Why do people visit gynecologists? What papers should be filled out on a regular basis to not get arrested? Can you pour unused paint down the drain? What do you do with the body when someone dies? How can you safely flatter someone without accidentally offending them at the same time? (Hint-don’t complement them on their second chin.)

How do you change oil? Buy a house? Choose the right moment to pepper spray a stranger? Should you scream if a man leaps out of the bushes to grab you? What lines does a person have to cross to officially be a pervert? How do you activate a phone so it will call people? Or keep yourself from going unconscious under fluorescent lights?

What are you supposed to feel when you go to a U2 concert that makes it worth 200 dollars? Why should you travel to see the Eiffel Tower rather than admiring a telephone pole? How do you buy a plane ticket? Will the stewardess ask you for identifying information? How do you get that identifying information and what sorts of identifying information will you need to acquire it?

Even people on welfare amaze me with their worldliness… how does a person get welfare? What offices do they go to and what do they say to the officers? I imagine there would be so many forms to fill out and hoops to jump through that it would be just as easy to get a job at NASA.

I don’t know why I have trouble with these sorts of things, but no matter how much effort I put into increasingly my worldly intelligence, it doesn’t seem to help. For example, I can’t seem to memorize my address and zip code no matter what I do. I even made up a perverted song to help me remember it, but somehow the song gets scrambled in my head.

And being dumb (in a practical sense) worries me a lot, since I frequently feel my survival hanging by a few thin threads. And so I devote a lot of energy to “practivizing” myself but it never seems to help. For every little skill I gain, two slip out the other side.

Being practical is probably a state of mind, more than a set of skills & facts. So how can I get into this mindset? By carrying country stones in my pocket? (Stones are practical, aren’t they?) Eating dry wheat toast? (The texture seems practical somehow.) Wearing more brown colored clothes?

I think that last idea is the most practical of all. Brown is such a practical color. I used to have the idea that a person could become more practical by dressing up like a potato while singing songs about them, but now it seems to me that simply wearing a brown shirt would be a much more practical approach. Or perhaps a simple brown ribbon, tied around the wrist.

Blue, Black, Silver, Water, Moons, Death & Ghosts Hurricane, West Virginia Music & Songs



thick and gray, blobby and wet
turn your eyes away, don’t ruin this precious day– shame, shame

sky of blue, tree of green
can’t you find happiness in the simple things– shame, shame

you know you’re fat, you know you’re soft Blob
it hurts to move, it hurts to walk
you feel your pus, you feel your slime
when they recoil from you, you know the reason why– shame

people smile what good does it do
when you reach out your hand and they recoil from you– shame

they don’t want to touch, they don’t want to play
you must find happiness in another way- shame, shame

everyone smiles, everyone’s a saint
they all pay taxes, they all control their weight
you lurk around in the corners of your mind
dark friends are the only ones you can find- shame

slip and slide, it’s dark inside
everything is too wet, reach for a cigarette– shame, shame

maybe some fun could chase it away
but you’re too tired to run, reach for a honey bun– shame, shame

stick out your hand, when no one is around
plugging your fingers into the silent sounds
you know that evil could throw you a line
clear the cobwebs out of your mind– shame

you know you’ve failed, you know you won’t try again
you know you won’t be happy when the others win– shame, shame

a star of black, a pearl of gray
your ears are open to learn about another way– shame, shame

evil shines, evil frees
it’s the only friend you have when you’re down on your knees
evil flies, as thin as a bone
never overlooked, never left all alone– shame

thin and stern, cloaked in gray
turn your eyes away, don’t waste this precious day– shame, shame

cloaked in gray, cold and lean
now you find happiness in the simple things– shame, shame

Download Mp3: Shame