Tuesday, June 18, 2013



    "Do you find this funny?" she asked as I turned my camera on.
    "It's my job." I said as I checked the aperture and framed her bust with the background. Rule of thirds.
    "Do you find your job funny?" she asked again.
    "Sometimes. Most of the time I find it fascinating. Sometimes I just go through the motions." I zoomed in on her face.
    "How do you find this job?" she asked as I panned out slowly with the lens.
    "Unhealthy." Her expression did not change with my answer.
    "It's suppose to be unhealthy. Our relationship is unhealthy." I panned to a woman sitting legs crossed to one side of a love seat. To frame the love seat or simply the woman herself. "If I confronted him and we talked this through it would mean this is a healthy situation."
    "If it's so unhealthy why are you here?" She asked.
    Stillness, but the camera kept rolling. "I find my job fascinating. I am asked to dwell on something and truly get to know it, study it. That in and of itself sounds unhealthy to me, but I am able to do it and occasionally get paid. I love my work, unhealthy or not."
    Stillness, but the camera kept rolling. "Do you love me?" she asked.
    "Yes." I said. Her face went blank. No smile or frown. "Unhealthy fascinations." Zooming in on her face. She smiled again, slightly.
    "So tell me about your job." she said. I panned out to her bust.
    "Would you like me to give you the camera?" I asked.
    "No. I like this." she finally said. "But will you tell me about your job?"
    "I learn things as I catalog them with this magical device. It let's me review them as often as I need to anytime I want."
    "Unhealthy fascinations." she said. I panned in on her beautiful smile. "I don't love you."
    "I know." I said.
    "Am I going to hurt you soon?" she asked.
    "Yep. I'm going to torment over you for a bit, drink heavily for awhile, and eventually discover something beautiful to point my camera at once again." I said. I shifted the tripod. The camera jerked to a side profile. Aperture. Rule of thirds.
    "I'm not even paying you." she laughed.
    "You don't have to." I said "You're giving me something many people cherish, even if they do not know why."
    "Well don't expect me to let you film us fucking." she said.
    "Maybe we should switch to water." Drinkers. How could you possibly trust them unless they are drunk all of the time.
    "Fine" she said. "Review this when you have to."
     Stillness. The camera kept rolling.
    "Do you really believe in love?" she asked.
    "What did he do?" I asked.
    "He's a professor." she said.
    "I know what he does, I know who he is, but what did he do?" I grabbed the camera off of the tripod and shifted to her feet as she leaned back on the love seat. She kicked off her shoes. "Why did you stop loving him?"
    "I didn't" she said.
    Slightly freckled face. Beautifully asymmetrical eyes. Mops of curly hair. Light hits in a way the camera reveals. "You want to use me" I said. I panned out to a modern reclined model.
    "And you can use me." she said. The light hit her toes, her feet, her legs, her hips, her stomach, her chest, her arms, her hands, her fingers, her neck and shoulder blades, her head and hair, and the couch she reclined on.
    "Why?" I asked with a streaming digital camera I could keep rolling so long as I did not push stop. She curled up into a ball within a square frame. I wished the sun had been setting.
     There was a time when we altered our environment.
     It now seems the environment alters us.
     "He's fucking his assistant." she said. I zoomed in on her face hidden by her tangled hair. It's beautiful. "You love me." she said.
     "You asked me earlier if I really believe in love." I said. "Most of the time it seems like people are desperately trying to find love anywhere they can imagine it." I took my eye away from the camera. "It's as if it is the only thing they have left. It seems pathetic to me since there is so much in this world to explore and understand besides love." I brought my eye back to the camera. "I'm always a little surprised when I do fall in love, and now you are giving me a chance to explore this the way I explore all things that fascinate me."
    "I'm not going to let you film us having sex." she said.
    "I don't want to film us having sex." I said "I'm not even 100% sure I'm going to have sex with you."
    "Oh yeah?" Her head rose from her fetal crouch.
    "Think of offering something that might explode on a person." I said
    "Are you talking about jizz?" she asked.
    "No" I said "but I see where you're coming from."
    "Jizz again." she said.
    "The camera is rolling." I said.
    "Well, what is your point?" she asked in frustration.
    "My point is for you to think about giving someone something that might explode." I said. "No matter what it is." I added. "Even if it is just an ejaculating dick."
     She sat in the middle of the love seat with her head sunk towards her knees. Her hands vaulted strands of curly hair up against gravity to one of many subtle contours on her head and body. A modern model of grief and frustration. The camera rolled on.
     A modern model of rejection and denial. The camera rolled on.
    "He'll forgive you." she said.
    "I don't care about that" removing my eye from the camera
    "If he doesn't forgive you, he's not worth caring about." she said. "He won't forgive me."
    I hated her for a moment. This is my job. This is fascinating. This is unhealthy, but still fascinating. This is something that has happened, does happen, and will happen for a reason.
    "I want to go to bed." She said.
    "Let me take you to bed." I said.
    "Kiss me."
    "It's not fair."
    "I know."
    I turned the camera off.


    "I want to ask you more questions today." She said after breakfast and before I turned on my camera. I took a sip of coffee. Two eggs over easy with wheat toast. Hot sauce on the eggs and butter on the toast. Delicious. I grabbed an apple off the counter.
    "Do you mind if I finish breakfast with your apple?" I asked.
    "Please, I buy them as a guilt trip to persuade myself to eat them." She said staring into her coffee. "I want to ask you more questions today, when we're filming."
    "Really?" I asked.
    "Yes" she said. I took a sip of my coffee.
    "You don't like apples?" I asked.
    "It's the texture." She said. "The mush."
    "When was the last time you had an apple?"
    "I don't know." She said. "Look, I want to ask you questions today."
    I picked up the butter knife from the kitchen table and cut into the side of the apple. The blade broke the apples skin. Juice spurt on the blade as I slid the knife through the meat of the fruit. I took a bite of the apple slice. "Try this." I said. It's firm, crispy, juicy, a little crunchy and sweet." I held out the bit slice.
    "I'm going to ask you questions today." she said staring into my eyes.
    "Okay," I said. "But try this."
    "Not today."
    I turned on my camera after I finished my coffee.
     "Why are you here?"
    "To fulfill a job I was asked to do."
    "Why are you doing this job?"
    "Because I was asked to do it by someone I trust."
    "For money?"
    "I doubt it looking at my background."
    "For release?"
    "Release from what?"
    "I'm asking the questions." She said.
    Stillness. "Yes ma'am."
    Mimosas. Hair of the dog. A camera too. And stillness.
    "Do you love me?"
    "I answered already."
    "I don't love you."
    "I know."
    "I hate you right now."
    "I felt the same way about you last night." I said. "It passed."
    "So you say." She said.
    "What does that mean?" I asked.
    "I'm asking the questions."
    "What does that mean?" I asked again.
    "You'll remember. You'll remember when you found me, discovered me, the woman who made you change, for at least a little while, possibly forever." She said.
    "How many mimosas have you had?"
    "I'm asking the questions."
    "For a little while." I said. "Possibly forever, but a little while."
    "An exercise."
    I turned off my camera.

    "Why are you here?" She asked as I pressed my pale chest against her bare back.
    "Should I get my camera?" I asked as she wrapped her leg around mine. Sweat seeped through our pores as I buried my face into her curly hair. "If this is it, that is why I'm here." I said.
    "Fuck you, sweet talker."
    I kissed her face in so many ways. "Guilty." I said. "I won't forget you. I can't forget you."
    "I might forget you."
    "Sorry" she said.
    I turned my camera on. "May I film you in bed?" I asked.
    "You have to understand this is hard for me to do." She said. "Eventually I will get on with my life and this will probably not be something I want to think about as I get older."
    "You try and forget things?" I asked. "The camera is rolling." I reminded her. She looked over her shoulder into the lens with her lip curled upwards and one eye squinted.
    "You don't have memories you want to forget?"
    "I never imagined I could forget things." I said. "I forget things, more often than I wish to, but it's not something I try to do. My job is to figure out how to remember things. Trying to forget seems counter-intuitive to almost everything I do."
    "But you drink." She said with a blank face.
    I rocked the camera back and forth to signify nodding. I framed her figure under a bed sheet by a sun flooded window. "May I film you in bed?"
    "Aren't you already?"
    "What do you try and forget?"
    "No" she said. "I want to talk about you some more."
    "Would you like the camera?" I asked. She smiled.
    Stillness. I turned off the camera.
    Stillness. I handed her the camera.
    "Do you know how to work this?" I asked.
    "Everyone has a camera." She said.
    "Okay." I said. "Would you like to go for a walk?"
    "Yes" she said. "But wait." She turned on the camera and pointed my lens at my soft pale shirtless bust. "I want you to see this." she said. I bowed my head and smiled. Average white American.


    "When I asked if you try and forget things, I meant do you have memories you regret?" She asked with my camera pointed at me.
    "Of course" I said as we walked down a city sanctioned path parallel to the river which divides it. "Having only good memories is a lie."
    "But why dwell on them?" she asked. She jerked the camera when her skirt snagged a branch.
    "I don't dwell on them." I said as I stepped over a root jutting from the dirt. She chose the proper footwear for the occasion. A pretty girl in a dress with hiking shoes and a camera. A modern model. A guy in used clothes and deteriorating hiking shoes with his hands in his pockets. Visions of Urban Outfitters in nature. Cameras. "But I know they are important. Those regretted memories are there for me to learn from." I said. "even if I do forget about them much of the time."
    "We have different coping mechanisms, you and I." She said. I looked into the lens. I stopped walking. She stopped walking.
    "Not that different when you get down to it." I said.
    "You're pretty good at this." she said.
    "Have you checked your light?" I asked.
    "I can see you." she said.
    "But how is the light?"
    "You can change nature pretty easily with light and shadows" I said. "If you have an eye for it."
    We continued walking. "May I take the camera?" I asked.
    "Did I do something wrong?" she asked.
    "No, I simply want to film our surroundings." Six steps without a voice. "My surroundings." Six steps without a voice. "Your surroundings." Six steps without a voice. "B roll?" I requested.
    "Words are not important know." She said. She stopped. I stopped. She handed me the camera still rolling. Upon review it blurred the landscape into a smeared spiral of color and shadow.
    She walked ahead of me in the green leaves and growing trees. She walked ahead on leaves, humus and dirt. She walked ahead with rays of light beaming through dark wood towers that collapse from time to time when the weather becomes too punishing. She walked ahead on a beaten path matted by footprints. She hopped over a set of paw prints which dug into the path. An animal had made a mark. She smiled as she looked back at the camera, at me. She waved her hands in the air while she walked. She spun around practicing a dance move on the narrow path. The camera jerked as mt foot caught a root. She smiled. She almost laughed. "Are you going to edit that out?" She asked.
    "We'll see how it looks on review." I responded.
    "This feels like a cliche." She said.
    "It is a cliche. Let's enjoy it while it lasts." I set the camera down. We stood thirty feet from each other staring into each other's eyes. I sprung at a dash towards her. She let out a short high squeak as she bounced into motion. She ran and I chased her letting out hoos and hahs when irregular breathing seemed necessary. She turned off the beaten path. Crouched, she grabbed honeysuckle branches, using her arms to navigate with her feet. She swung and darted through the web of flora, the jungle gym next to the river. I followed her, grinning. She looked back, occasionally, grinning. We reached a clearing next to the river with knee high grass. I gained on her. I wrapped my arms around her and spun her in the air. I dropped my knees to the sandy ground and laid her upon my chest. We both exhaled. The grassed tickled my skin. It felt itchy.
    "I feel itchy" she said.
    "Yep." I laid wide eyed.
    Stillness. "We should get the camera."
    "Yep." I said. "Or we could stay here forever."
    "Get real."
    "We should get the camera." She said.


    "Film it again." she said.
    "Film it again" she said. "With your camera."
    "It's all recorded" I said. "It kept rolling."
    "It didn't follow us."
    "The camera didn't follow us." she said.
    "I can't follow you with the camera. Too many twists and turns."
    "You can't follow the twists and turns with your camera?" She asked.
    "I would have to mount it to something so I can use my hands." I said.
    "You don't have something to mount your camera?" She asked.
    "I have a tripod, but it's to keep the camera level." I said. "I film a lot of conversations."
    "Sounds boring." she said.
     "Have you found our conversations boring?" I asked.
     Stillness. She looked up with her eyes squinted, the front of her tongue barely exposed between her lips. "Do you think it's worth getting a moving mount?" She asked.
     "I can set the camera up in the field on the tripod, have it rolling as we made our way towards it."
     "I kind of want the middle part too."
     I zoomed in on her face. "It's going to cost money." I said. "We can buy a body mount or we can hire another cameraman to follow us." I framed only her face, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, her chin. Sunlight cast a shadow on the contours of her face.
     "Let's try it your way." She said.

Take one.
    The top of the screen was young midwestern foliage. The bottom of the screen was grassy wetlands. Two atoms grew larger as they approached the camera. A woman first, a man second. They remained parallel between the trees and wetland. They eventually dipped down into the wetland.

Take two.
    The top third of the screen was blue and white sky. The middle was young green and brown midwestern foliage. The bottom was grassy wetlands. Two atoms grew larger as they approached the camera. A woman first, a man second. They remained parallel between the foliage and wetland. They eventually dipped down into the wetland.

Take three.
     A sliver of blue sky. A small band of young foliage. Two thirds of the bottom of the screen were wetlands. Two atoms grew larger as they slowly sank to the bottom left corner of the screen.

Take four.
    Two thirds the blue sky and cumulus clouds. One third young twisting brown roots and scattered green leaves. Two atoms bounced occasionally above the bottom of the screen. Eventually only a breeze.

Take five.
    The sun set alone, the bottom of the screen the horizon. Two atoms under sight.

Take six.
    The camera framed her head, her hair, her neck, her chest, her back matting the wetland grass. It's beautiful. I rested my head on her breast filming her. A millipede scuttled along her thigh to mine. She didn't notice or didn't care. I rolled back in a semicircle, blurring the screen. I grounded myself and framed her again with her hair in her face and her shirt strap sagging below her shoulder. Wetland grass dangled in front of her lips. She bit the grass. "We need to film the middle part." she said.
    "Okay" I said. "How?"
    "We hire someone to film us." She said. "Someone we trust."


How beautiful was she?
How beautiful is she?
How beautiful?

I know him.
I know what he does.
I know what he is.
I think. Think. Think. Think.
I think harder because I have to, right?

"Why are you doing this?" I asked.
"I answered already" she said. "Who did you hire?"
"Your father." He walked in with a camera.
"I hired your mother." She walked in with a camera
"Do they know how to work those things?"
"Everyone" father with camera said.
"has" mother with camera said.
"a camera" she said.
Her husband walked into the dark room. "Even if it is not digital" he said or wrote.

After the nightmare, we laid in bed both awake and still. The camera may have been rolling the whole time. I'll check youtube occasionally.

    "Say the most disgusting thing you can think to say." she said, breaking the silence in our bed. I rolled over to parallel her body. I put my lips to her small ear.
    "Support the military-industrial complex." I kissed her lobe. "And keep buying shit you don't need."
    "Do it again." she said.
    "Let children die in poorly constructed factories" I said "so you can look stylish for cheap."
    "Do it again." she said as she pushed her back and buttocks against me.
    "Brainwash your homosexual child into believing." I said wrapping my leg around hers. "They are wrong, even if they can't understand why."
    "Faggot" she said.
    "Caught me" I said. "I'm a faggot." I said as I thrust my hips.

    We laid in bed in the morning sunlight, my arm around her waist. "Say the most disgusting thing you can think to say." she said.
    "Consume" I said "without thinking."
    "You drink."
    "Don't think I haven't thought about it." I said.
    "I don't love you." she said.
    I sighed. "What do you love?" I asked.
    "What do you love?" she asked.
    "Truth." I said. "The older I get the rarer it seems, which for some reason makes me want to root for it all the more."
    "You drink."
    "I can pick up a bottle or I can pick up a camera or I can pick up both while I consume because I must consume something to be able to continue to pick up a bottle or camera or both." I said as I rolled away from her.
    "Unhealthy fascinations." she said.
    "Natural fascinations." I said.
    "You're a strange wild animal."
    "Aren't we all."
    "You have a funny way of talking dirty." she said.
    "This isn't dirty to me" I said. "I would only use flowery language to describe this. I would woefully attempt to write poetry."
    "You are a faggot."
    "Just so you know, some parts of your personality seem rooted in midwest America in the most delusional way I could imagine."
    "I can have this anytime I want." she said.
    "Maybe I would write a song instead."

    "Insider" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty was once described as an important poet and figure of Americana music. His music has been a part of my life since before I could choose what I did and did not hear.

    "I can have this anytime I want," she said. "from anyone I want." she added.
    "Not anyone" I said. "Some, but not any."
    "I don't love you."
    "I know."
    "We have work to do."
    "I thought this was work. Unhealthy work."
    "Please take your head out of your ass." she said. "It's natural, but not work."
    "We have different coping mechanisms, you and I." I said.
    She grabbed my inner thigh. I jerked and the camera slipped from my hand. I forgot I was filming. My mind was elsewhere when my hand picked up the camera. "Not that different when you get down to it."
    "I want to make a film." She said. "and I want your camera, if nothing else, to make this film."
    "What will you do with it?" I asked. I framed her face, then her body, then her body within a background.
    "We'll decide later."
    "I have other work I must do." I said struggling to keep her in focus. "For a living."
    "No room for a passion project?" She asked.
    "I'm full to the brim with passion projects." I said. "This is your passion project." I finally focused in on her. Stillness.
    "I can't pay you, but I can pay for us." She said. "I can take care of us." She said. "I can take care of you while we make this movie."
    "What happens when it is over?" I asked.
    "We sell the movie." She said.
    "Do you own a dog?" I asked.
    "Do you own a dog?" I asked again.
    "What are you talking about?"
    "Do you have a pet?" I asked.
    "Yeah, I have a cat." She said. "Do you have a dog?"
    "No, but I empathize with them." I said.
    "Why did you ask if a had dog?"

    Be Your Own Pet. A band I saw during Lollapalooza at Millenium Park in Chicago, Illinois. Underage bodies shaking and jerking and sweating in summer clothes holding microphones and electric instruments. Making joyous racket. I wondered what they were doing at the time.

    She kissed me on the cheek. "Where were you?" she asked. I had slumped the camera on my chest.
    "In my head" I said with the camera still slumped. She pulled the camera up and stared into the lens. "I want your camera even if I can't trust anything else."
    "Fuck you, sweet talker."
    "I write screenplays as well." I said.
    "Full to the brim with passion projects." She quoted me. "I will take care of you for a while."
    "And when it is done?"
    "Jesus, man, do what I do, improvise."


-What is your name?
-You know my name.
-Those seeing this do not know your name.
-Move on.
-What is his name?
-You said you know his name.
-You have made it clear this is not about me.
-What is your name?
-Everything is obvious, but if you want to play games I will happily play games.
-You're a bitch.
-You're a faggot.
-You wish you were black.
-Actually, I don't.
-You want an excuse to be defiant.
-No I don't. I wish I didn't have a something to be defiant against, but I can't forget certain things.
-White, heterosexual, privileged, over educated, midwestern guilt.
-Aaron is also a person.
-Will you help me make this movie?
-Will you take my advice with my minimal, yet useful experience, bitch?
-That doesn't hurt very much, does it.
-I don't love you.
-I hope you learn to love something which loves you back, eventually.
-We're both still here despite such shocking dialogue.
-Taint scraper.
-Sucky fucker.
-Fucky sucker
-Waddling sack shitter of yore.
-That's the spirit.
-Fuck you, fuck him, fuck the guy before him, whatever his name is, fucking sharp chinned, long necked, skinny boned, tight t-shirt wearing fuck.
-That's the spirit.
-Fuck men, fuck man, fuck my dad and fuck my mom while we're at it. Fuck everything I foolishly viewed on the bright side. Fuck this fucking bullshit, I'm tired.
-Fuck it.
-I'm tired.
-Me too.
-I want to make this movie. I want your camera.
-Fuck it.
She smiled.
Such a dark background.
I turned off the camera, took a piss, and joined her in bed.


    "I want you to listen to me, but I don't want to look at you." she said.
    "Look away from the camera." I suggested.
    "I want you in the shot, listening." she said.
    "I can set up the tripod." I reminded her.
    "Your camera filming while I tell you something, and the camera sees it, overhears it."
    "The camera as voyeur." I said. I turned on the camera. A man sitting in the foreground, facing away from the camera in shadows. A woman in profile, sitting reclined in the middle ground, well it.  Behind her a window exposing a patch of moving sky in an otherwise still background. Interiors.

    He's a professor. He grew up in Kansas on a farm. Growing up, his family's farm was fruitful and college seemed a good investment for the extra income. Responsible parents invest in their children when they can. Growing up he spent a lot of time alone, working on projects, cultivating rare plants from the area, singing to himself songs he made up in his head. He's the youngest of three siblings. He rode his bike a lot over the rolling Kansas hills. He thinks it looks like a desert now, not as beautiful as it once was. When I first saw it, it seemed beautiful, but too dry. That's something I think he's right about, his childhood was too dry.
    He discovered college gave him the materials to do the things he had done since before he could remember, experiment. He took at least twenty credit hours a semester, excelling and failing in various subjects which either brought him joy or frustration. He ended up with three degrees: Botany, Physics, and Political Science. He has a minor in music as well.
    He plays cello. He used to be a part of a quartet, but he says he doesn't have time for that now. Music brings him joy like only one other thing I have seen. I saw it when he use to make love to me. He forgot how to love me eventually. He'll never stop playing cello.
   Eventually the University hired him.
   I was a student there in design and communications. I was required to take a Political Science course he taught. Something clicked. I visited his office hours, asked him questions about his course. I bugged him, I could tell. I knew what I was talking about. I studied his assignments and cracked his academic code. I made him trust me, as I strangely trusted him. He learned to love it, love me, for a while.
    He works very hard. He has an assistant who helps him with every little project or grand scheme he can imagine. Explore with me he silently screams with how he presents himself.

    I leaned over and put my hand to my cheek. "He's fucking his assistant" she said looking into the camera instead of the dark shadow in front of her.
   "How do you know?" The dark figure asked.
   "Because they're perfect for each other." she said to the camera.
   "She is rapt by him, his passion, his drive, his ambition." she said. "She would follow him to the ends of this Earth and she is beautiful. She's a beautiful radiant creature." she rubbed her eyes with her hands. "He needs someone who knows what to do with his drive, his passion. He once believed he had it with me." she laid back and placed her left arm behind her head. "But he didn't. He must know everything to be happy. I just want to be happy."
    I looked at the camera behind me.
    "She loves him more than I do, so I must harden up or have my heart broken."
    "Why will your heart be broken?" I asked.
    "Because he's better than me. He's better than us. Here we are trying desperately to create some semblance of human nature, while he and the woman he truly loves work to make this world better somehow." she said looking down at her lap. "It hurts. It hurts because I want to be good enough for him, but he knows I will never be. The only thing I can do is either give up or go out with a fight."
    The Battery died. She wanted to stop for the night and go home to her husband. She never came back. She left her husband and this town a couple weeks later. She left this footage with me and I don't know what to do with it.

    The middle part originally filmed was me setting the camera down. From the ground the camera caught my foot. A small figure stood next to my crumbling monolith of a shoe thanks to perspective. Blurry globes of green and brown radiated gradients of colored light around the small bright figure. My foot blocked the colored light. My foot shifted, letting rays of colored light beam past my shadowed ankle, uprooted from the dirt as we both moved towards our wooded point omega. Frenetic breaks in the light fluttered on the screen as my feet, legs, waist, back, shoulders, head, arms, body, self grew smaller on the screen running towards the small bright figure dwindling towards the horizon in the glowing light. Two beings disappear into the woods.

Aaron C. Molden


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bike Ride to Work

Bike Ride to Work

    Okay, let's start at fourteenth and Kossuth. Everything prior to the intersection was pedaling and easy gliding. The traffic on Kossuth is slow and heavy. Two conveyor belts moving automobiles in opposite directions. A maroon sedan faces me on the other side of these two moving walls. The driver is an elderly woman looking for a way to cross. I can easily turn right onto the slow moving belt and cross over on another street, but I won't. I want to go down Valley street, down the hill that turns Fourteenth street into Tenth street with its curves and dips and beautiful green foliage (it is June of course.)  
    I wait.
    She waits.
    There is an opening in the traffic, but I do not go. Elderly woman in maroon sedan has the right of way because she was there before me. She does not go because she expects me to go first. She casts her hands in the air inside her sedan. "What the heck is this young feller, doing?" I imagine her saying. I raise my hand and smile amiably. Another break in the traffic, another chance. We both go. I swerve left and she swerves right, a symbiotic parallel across Kossuth and now I glide down the serpentine hill. I fly down the most beautiful stretch of downtown Lafayette as the breeze picks up with my momentum. Wonderful! June, Spring, heat, breeze, wonderful. The sweat on my shirt begins to dry. I think of pretty girls I have taken bike rides with on beautiful days.

    After some strange automobile traffic I am pedaling down Main street Lafayette. There are a lot of cars downtown while it is warm, sunny, and breezy enough to minimize ones driving by choice. I wonder how much of this driving is forced habit. Sometimes driving a car feels like wielding a weapon without purpose. 
    I glide down Main street. There are so many people out and about. The middle aged couple walking hand and hand. The old man playing mandolin under the Lafayette Theater billboard with the unnecessary puppet; his voice moves me when I hear it loud enough. The cooks and bartenders and brewers sit in the sun smoking, talking. Pretty girls in summer dresses walk up and down the sidewalk. Young people laughing and flirting. The homeless enjoying the sun and breeze because it is all they have and damn it it that is not enough.
    I see Esteban on the corner of Third and Main. We make eye contact. He waves. I wave. We meet by the side if the road. 
    "What are you up to?" I ask.
    "I'm heading to Foam City for a second." he answers.
    "Cool I'm heading to work."
    "Hey, that comic is coming out in Colombia soon," he mentions. "We'll have copies in July."
    "Oh cool," I say. I forgot I made a short comic for a zine which is published and distributed in the Country of Colombia. I smile. "I'm excited to see it."
    "Me too." Esteban says and we part ways.
    I pedal across Second street through a gap in the buses onto Riehle Plaza.
    "Hey Aaron."
    "Hey Dakota."
     Dakota waves smiling with a skateboard in his hand. He hangs around the shop when he no longer feels like skating. He waves every time he sees me and I wave back. 

    I ride on the sidewalk for a moment because I am still skeptical of riding in two lane traffic. It is a lot of forward moving metal to process. I coast down the Wabash Landing parking lot going the wrong way. I gather my nerve and turn onto State street, pedaling hard. I want to gain momentum before I reach Chauncey Hill.

    My bike was manufactured in Germany and, supposedly, is worth several thousand dollars. It cost me twenty dollars. A student at Purdue did not want to take it back to his home in Germany. He gave the bike to my uncle, who gave it to me. The tires needed to be fixed so I had them fixed. It is the fastest bike I have ever ridden and it helps me take hills like a champion. Having it sometimes makes me feel as if I won the lottery.

    I hit the incline of Chauncey Hill fast. I begin to huff and puff as I lose momentum. I gear down. My legs begin to tighten and strain. I feel a slight burn in my chest, a good burn. Sweating again. I usually turn after Triple X restaurant, but I decide to defeat this hill with my bike today. Gear down, breath evenly, pedal evenly. Everyday I ride these hills become easier. The street levels. I coast into my destination at Amused Clothing. I sit outside for a moment and let the breeze evaporate my sweat. My heart rate levels and I feel that lovely natural high all over my body. 
    I'm glad I didn't drive to work.

Aaron C. Molden 

Loose Paper

From "Pump Up the Volume"

    "What exactly is a troublemaker?" he asks.
    "Someone who is not interested in education." she replies.
    "That includes every teenager I know." he says.
    "Nothing is more important than a good education." she says.
    "Except the basic right to it." he says.
    "The point is, I have the highest SAT scores in the state." she says.
    "Yeah, but how?" he asks.
    "I stand by my record."

Quiet Solipsism

I sometimes feel guilty about writing,
thinking I should fix wrong by righting.

Drawing is neither right or wrong.
Drawing is neither write or wrong.

Without words there is no context
because there is no text.

One's thoughts are their own.
They are thoughts about what one is seeing.
They are thoughts about what one is not seeing.
The only opinion is their own.

Opinion requires no knowledge of familiar characters.
No matter what one's opinion may be,
they can still form that opinion.

They do not have to consider text.
They do not have to consider context.
Or subtext.

They can consider this because of writing
or they may consider this because of righting.
They can, even if they are wrong.
Or they can form their opinion and never ask why.


a line of dialogue
a wall of monologue
an inexplicable photograph
both beautiful and terrific
a doorstop of a book
that transcends its role
as doorstop due to its understanding
and appreciation of a very old
but ever changing code
an image that transcends all code
a market of symbols of humanity
which can be seen heard smelt felt tasted
and possibly most important, remembered
an unexpected encounter in a strange place
how wonderful


Four words a line.
Why not try it?
It can't be hard.
Is "can't" not cheating?
Is using punctuation cheating?
What about writing questions?
Questions without explained answers?
This line not question.
Me write like caveman.
These rules mean nothing.
They don't sound good.
What is the point?
Why limit one's expression?
More and more questions.
Things always get complicated.
Thank god for conjunctions.
The English language forgives.
Eventually, it always forgives.
It is only ideas.
Language is only ideas
no matter how corrosive.
Inevitably, it gets corrosive.
It can be bad.
Only a bad idea.
Ideas cannot actually harm.
Terrible people with words.
One can't blame words.
Just remember that line.
It's pearls before swine.
I have finally rhymed.
I will not deny.
Words intrigue me sometimes.
I must exorcise bullshit.
It makes me lyrical.
Rules cause me trouble.
I wish they didn't.
These aren't real rules.
Why choose four words?
All these questions again.
Rules make one sane.
Something to dwell on.
Excuses for active minds.
Powerless, yet active minds.
An exercise of words.
An exorcise of words.
I like this line
what a circle jerk.
Concentrate on relevant things.
Keep thinking, you will.
You will understand someday.
Hopefully you will, someday.
Why four word lines?
I don't know why.
I asked why not.
Four words or not.

Esoteric Journey to the Center of Random Points, Abridged

Why does the brown guy always die first?
Refer to the Boston Massacre.

Technology is leading us back to simpler times
in a complex and dizzying way.

Why does the brown guy always die first?
Refer to the New York Draft Riots.

Technology is leading us back
to a feudal system that lacks hard labor.

Why does the brown guy always die first?
Refer to Jim Crow laws.

Technology allows close-minded cads the ability
 to better spread their idiotic point of view
 on a far broader (but equally idiotic) spectrum.

Why does the brown guy always die first?
Because, no matter how we are defined as human beings,
many of us are still woefully prejudice
due to our limited exposure to reality.

Technology keeps us safe of consequences
from those who have no power,
and threatens us with those who have too much power.

Why does the brown guy always die first?
Because he prefers different things
and when confident, knows how to get exactly what he wants,
but his skin isn't light and easily damaged by natural forces.

Technology makes us capable of things
we have never been capable of doing,
but it does not make us smarter.

Why does the black guy always die first?
Because we are mostly dumb or selfish
and that is a bummer.

Technology makes us more able,
but no less dumb or selfish
and that is a bummer.

Learn to transcend.


I once knew a girl who wished she was dead.
I tried with noble reason to try and fix her head.
Soon I understood how similar we were,
The things that tortured her are what I try and turn to art.

I once knew a girl who thought world was hard,
I wished to ease her pain and introduce her to my bed.
In evening, when I slept, she explored all of my art.
All she felt for me was soon denoted dead.

3:43 a.m.
Call it.

Art can annoy one the way a wife can.
A wife, annoyed, her husband does not see her artisan.
Tragedy, when each cannot recognize their skills.
Tragedy, when each will not swallow other pills.

I am glad to get this out of the way.


How silly we are pretending
we can't see something great.
We wonder wonder wonder
while we clearly see our fate.

We tumble to and fro,
armored with our doubt.
Attack when we are cornered,
lash out with our clout.

We are strong, but we feel weak,
weak of what we know.
Weak of rigid structures,
boxes hinder how we grow.

We're growing just the same, though
stuck within some gap.
We keep growing growing growing
learning to adapt.

We are nature in a country that secretly hates us.
We are nature in a country that openly hates us.

We have a feeling of learning to weave,
weave through structure with chaos.
We have a feeling of learning to weave,
weave through chaos with structure.

We maybe growing where we never thought we'd grow.
We maybe growing where we never thought we'd know,

We may take root with such strength
no moving monolith will ever take.
We may take flight never to be seen again,
unless, of course, we are for one reason or another.

We may begin to believe in the home,
the world, the meaning, the physical reality.
We may also question the existence
of physical reality.

We may gravitate towards things we love
in order to justify the ignorance we feel
in seeing things we do not understand,
yet still know exist.

We may try some things we've seen
only on video or computer screens.
We may laugh at things we've seen
only on video or computer screens.

We may immerse ourselves in work,
and we'll do it to the best of our ability,
but sometimes we will fail.

We are bound by our influences.
We must find what we love about them
and fix the mistakes,
even if it is a mistake.

If we ignore them, when we know they exist
we maybe destroyed.
Believe it or not, we do not want to be destroyed.
Certain buttons may have not been pushed yet.

We are.
We are, whether or not.
We have no control of it now.
No one seems to.

Aaron C. Molden