Tick Tock





In the future everyone will be famous for 15 dollars.



One day I saw Joseph Brodsky at a café and asked if he had any advice for a young poet. He said, “Don’t use too many adjectives.”



In one of our promotional spots I’m shown kidding around with starving children to raise public awareness of crypto and world hunger.



Still, I kept reminding myself, I’ve had worse vacations. That two weeks I spent in a hut made of tongue depressors and gum comes to mind. And that month I spent being slowly boiled alive—that was a bad vacation. I couldn’t get any rest at all. People kept using me as a metaphor.



What this country needs is a good five-cent assault rifle.



I turned the plane around in the terminal as best I could, gave the Hudson News people a false airline name, told my passengers to quit throwing up or I would give them something to throw up about, and headed back out onto the runway to continue my flight.



New Yorkers have always had trouble with those idle low-lives called poor people. Ever since NYC was built poor people have been plaguing it—sitting on park benches, buying fruits & vegetables from the farmers market & so on. You can hear them at night sometimes playing the piano.



My boss started chewing me out, reminding me of all the things I had done wrong since I joined the airline. The fiery crashes, the drinking, those missing planes I couldn’t account for. All the usual stuff.



Last nite the crowd wasn’t tipping the strippers much. As I mounted the stage someone pulled a dollar out of my ass & tipped me with that. For the rest of my act I had to yell at the crowd to leave my ass alone. There wasn’t any more money in there. And if there was, it was mine.



I watched “The Lost Weekend,” starring Ray Milland. I don’t remember too much about it though—I was pretty drunk.



Look, I’ll say the words slowly so that you can understand them. I’m…not…going…to…pay…a…lot…for…this…muffler.



Eric Clapton (born Eric Douchebag) was suggested his stage name by English blues musician John Mayall.


ICE FISHING is a good activity only for those who are foolhardy enough to think that it is such a good idea that it cannot wait until SUMMER!



I’ve said “ramalamadingdong” so many times it’s lost all meaning.



Whew, it was all just a bad dream. But when I looked in the corner there was a snake playing a harp.



“I realize you’ve got a lot of terrorizing to do,” said the mayor, “so I won’t bother you. The Twin Towers are right there. Or you can plow your pickup into some cyclists. Or… but there I go, telling you how to be a terrorist. Go ahead and do it your way. You’re the professional.”



I wish my theme music played wherever I went.



Like always the reading wasn’t perfect. I kept slurring my words and my pants kept falling down. But I kept plugging away. You’ve got to give the audience something to work with.



They beat me to a pulp and left me in the middle of a Citi Bike station with my butt sticking way up in the air. When I came to someone had parked their bike in my rear end. So besides the pain there was the embarrassment factor too.



As he drove me home, my cab driver said one of his previous jobs had been installing drinking fountains on the moon. If this story was true, it was disturbing. I asked if it was true. He said it was. This was disturbing.



Ye didn’t show up at the concert last night—I think I heard he was skiing in Nazi Germany—so there was an Elon Musk clone singing Ye’s songs.



It had never occurred to me that I was so handsome, but according to this woman, if I heard her correctly, I was a combination of George Clooney.



I never was able to get in touch with her again. Somebody had been doing some major tampering with my phone. The screen was cracked. My headphones were on fire. There was radiation leaking out of the charging port. And the screensaver had been changed to a picture I didn’t like.



Name cards, tiepins, monograms, letters, keys, locks, drains, the color red, spots, basins, washing, haircutting, hair-burning, fires, matchbooks, race cards, addresses, newspapers, music scores, phone directories, phones, papers against a door, doorknobs, hands, cups, handcuffs.



People used to say I looked like Paul Newman. Now my wife says I’m starting to look like Billie Jean King.



“Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." - H.L. Mencken



The tree folded me in her branches and said she couldn't live without me, which was confusing because she'd been living without me for about 45 years, by my estimate, judging by her rings. (I’d cut into her trunk while she was putting on some music.)



Bouncing Around, Jet Black, Exuberant Slew, Pearl Blossom, Disguiseindeed, American Double, Distinctual, Livy, Milliondollarsmile, Ms. Star Duster, Jade Sky, Rose Creek Rose, Mr. Sinatra, Wild Tempest, Private Song, Fire King, Punch Line, Premium, Oro de Mexico, Johnny Legit.




Mike Topp was born in Washington, D.C. and currently lives in New York City unless he has died or moved. Recent books include The Double Dream of Spring: A Peg Sluice Mystery with Sparrow and Born On A Train with Raymond Pettibon.

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