Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 020 by Brandon Mitchell

"One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, should I stick with this premise that I buckle shoes?"  -- OBS

SO MANY THINGS are all over the place. Everything really. You can’t spend all or even any of your time dwelling on it; thinking about it and trying to make it make sense. That thing, whatever it was, is too far behind you. But it wasn’t always.
    See this is how it usually starts. There’s a phrase. Or a sentence if you’re lucky. It sounds good, but it doesn’t really make sense without any context. Then you keep listening. Words keep coming and. . .you give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure it’s confusing, but eventually you think the point will be made. But, it never happens. It doesn’t in the time needed to make a point, because we’re all busy. We’ve got shit to do. No one can sit around and literally pay attention to some random, unorganized monologue about what? A silly phrase?
    These things go on and on. Like the music in the background. That stuff is like. . .

. . .what is it? What am I really supposed to be hearing here? The lazy beats? The chord progression? The endless soloing? The effects? What?
    It’s things like this that get me to start questioning everything. Things that seem so far ahead of me and out of my reach. I race toward them as fast as I can. Recklessly even. And then all of a sudden, without any warning, they come to a complete stop. No signals. No lights. So fast that I can’t adjust my speed. I blow right past them and go so far that it’s pointless to even turn around. They’re long gone and in the other direction. I just move on to something new and tell myself to stop doing it. Stop dwelling on that madness because it really is everywhere. It’s all over the place.

IT WAS A good time. . .back when I had friends. How long it’s been? I can’t even remember how it’s done. I met this young kid and man he thought he had a whole bunch of shit figured out. He didn’t care about his job. He would show up “on time” and “work pretty hard”. All that shit in quotes. So, ten to fifteen minutes late was still on time. He was working and hey, that’s hard. But, most of the time he was just skating around town and eating off the food trucks with his friends. Time was flying and he was enjoying it   . I mean, he’d think ‘work makes sense but. . .it’s not as meaningful as hanging with these dudes. These guys mean something. They make a difference. They make a difference to me at least and that means something. I would do anything for them and I believe they would do exactly same for me.’
    I could see that in his eyes. In his heart. He didn’t have to tell me one of those stories. I could even almost remember for myself. I knew that feeling. I didn’t truly know it anymore, but one day. . .way back. . .I know I knew something like that. Aww God, how did I lose that?
    You see, I could get to the bottom of it. I’ve done it once before. I laid in bed and thought it through until my mind was in pain. My temples throbbing. My lungs vibrated and my heart stung. I just repeated the question over and over until I would answer myself inside my own mind. I did this for hours and wouldn’t let up. I kept trying to convince myself that I had the answer, but I would not be fooled. I knew it was too simple a solution. This one went back all the way. To my first loss. And my first big gain.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 019 by Brandon Mitchell

"Alright. Alright, but if we get out of this alive, I'm gonna kill you. Let's go. Come on." -- M. Douglas

I USUALLY JUST start with how I feel. When I don’t really know, I tend to not do anything. Uhhg. That feels terrible. And there we go! That’s something to work with. Let’s get out of this place and do something. Let’s find an arcade. They exist. It might not be in this city but there are some. In Philly, there’s Barcade. In Chicago, there’s Emporium. Let’s go there and sink ten dollars into Tapper or Rampage or both.
    Tapper’s a great one on one game. High score rules. It’s got patterns like all of those old stand up cabinets, but it’s lesser known or lesser played than a Donkey Kong or Ms. Pac Man. If you can find a Tapper machine, you can usually play it for 30 mins and figure enough out to reach High Score status. Try Donkey Kong and then look at the high score. It’s virtually unreachable. Shit man, you’re better off drinking ten dollars worth of beer. Or. . .that would be two beers if you’re lucky. Tapper though. . .it’s a video game about beer.
    Rampage is a good collabo game. Sit around with one or two friends and destroy shit, eat people, collect points. Yeah, there’s a point system in that game too. You don’t tend to notice it until the game finishes and then you’re seeing if you beat the other players or not. Funny how it starts collaborative and then becomes a competition before you even recognize it. But, now we know that. Let’s go play that and pick one or the other. Do you want to fight for points or fight for all out, city wide destruction?
    So here we go. We’re hitting the road. Something I’ve been doing a lot these days. Just moving. The main thing I always realize first off is that I need better recording devices. So I can capture shit when I need to. Or when I want to. You gotta have access to what you truly desire right at your fingertips at any moment’s notice. This is something I’ve never been good at. I’m the type that would think of something, then recognize that I can’t exactly do it at that moment, and then say something along the lines of ‘Ope, well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.’ Stop that bullshit! If that’s not “meant” to be than nothing is so do what you want to do. And right now I’m rolling to Philly with my woman and it’s going to be a good time. It’s gonna take us a while to get there. Even though overall I feel like I’m in a hurry, I’m not in a hurry to get there. . .specifically.
    For some reason though, I’m in a huge hurry. I’m pushing 90 on I-95 or maybe 95 on I-80. I’m heading west in PA towards Ohio. I’m in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. I realize another one of those universal things like truths. Everywhere is the middle of nowhere. I’m lost. My wife is sleeping in the passenger seat or on her phone. I can’t talk to her and this is no fun. I can’t stop either. Where could I? There’s no W Hotel, no courtyard Marriott, there’s not even a Best Western, a Super 8, or a Red Roof Inn. Back in the day we would have just stopped on the side of the road to catch a couple hours of sleep. But, now adays, the minute I pull over it’s like, “What are we doing? What’s the plan? Where are we? Where are we going?” I say we stopped just to sleep a couple of minutes and she’s back on the phone looking for the fuckin’ Dub or any of those places that aren’t there.
    But, I do have a plan. And this one’ll be a good one. I just have to crank up the music a little bit and pull off an interstate U-Turn. That’s taking two of the four cloverleaf turns and heading back in the other direction. Scranton’s only an hour and a half away and I know some people there. Somebody possibly hooked up with the mob or something. Yeah, this’ll be a good plan.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 018 by Brandon Mitchell

"That looks. . .fine. Millie, did you ever wish you were somebody else, or else just nobody, nothing, nothing at all?"
She looks at me. "I can't say I ever felt that, no. No, if I was somebody else I'd be afraid I might not like who I was." -- R. Carver


It’s already getting hot. So hot that I had to open up the windows. That’s not too bad because the wind starts coming through. And the noises. Outside I can hear life happening. That’s not what’s really going on in here. In here, I’m documenting my age. Every week that goes by, getting older, wasting away, slowly decomposing. I’m not trying to be all melancholy about it, it’s true though. I feel it. Having fun and goofing around is not what it used to be. Back then it was being a goofball all day. That was the purpose to things. That’s what’s going on outside.
    In here it’s work, and that’s good. That’s being productive and creating things that may last longer than I will. But, there’s times of checking out Instagram or You Tube for shits and all that, and that is ultimately a waste. There’s sitting around with a friend and drinking a few brews and talking and laughing. That’s still wasting valuable time. How do we remember how we used to do it? When enjoying everything was the straight up deal? When you could eat a waffle cone outside in the sunshine and get in a car and cruise back roads with no destination? Listening to the same playlist over and over and blasting it with windows down to everyone that doesn’t want to hear it.
    I tried to recreate it earlier this week. I thought about calling up the Jeazje and hitting up Gelati Celesti. Getting a couple of fat waffles and heading for nowhere’s land, man. I put on some sweet shoes and went out to my car. Sat in the front seat, started her up, and then pulled out my phone. I stared at it for a little while. Thought again about making the phone call, but it quickly started to sound stupid. The Jeazje would have probably said, “Ice Cream, huh? How ‘bout we grab some lunch. I’m kinda parched from balancing all this work and play. Plus, I gotta battle 2 dudes in Tai Kwand later on this evening. I can’t be licking up a fat ball of butter cream before my match.”
    He switched gears quick.
    “Oh, are you gonna be around next Tuesday? I just put together this new string of apps on my iPads. They make every woodblock sound ever conceived. They even have all of these different sized African rainforest tree slabs that they cut into planks then recorded the sound of hitting them with mallets and put that into the app so it sounds just like we’re there. You know, in the rain forest, man.”
    I didn’t want to hear all that. I mean, that rainforest app sounded cool, but I wanted to go out and. . .drive. . .like explore. . .have fun, live on the edge you know? Eat ice cream!
    So, I drove there. Gelati’s. Got myself a mint chocolate chip and vanilla bean double dip and cruised down Broad St. Pretty uneventful until I was getting down to just the cone. Ice cream was dripping everywhere. On my pants, my hands, the steering wheel. I couldn’t control the vehicle anymore so I quickly launched the remainder of the cone out the window except in this situation, I hadn’t opened it. I guess it wasn’t too hot out then. So, the cone hit the window and ice cream exploded all over the inside of the car, all over me. Little bits of cone were sprinkled in my hair like waffle jimmies. I was embarrassed even though no one was with me. Good thing I didn’t invite the Jeazje, right? But, that’s probably not the point to life, right? To avoid embarrassment? It should be more to experience things, however they make you feel. And with other people might make it easier to cope. It’d at least be funnier.

WHILE IN GELATI Celesti I overheard this conversation.


        Aww. Did you guys see the show last night?


        What American Sniper?


        No, American Idol.


        Oh, yeah. That’s what I meant.


        Yeah I saw it! It was pretty amazing. Clark
        is the man, but you gotta love Jax.


        I love all of them and hate for anybody to
        go home.


        What do you think they do after they get kicked


        I don’t know probably --


        They just keep working it. That’s what you
        gotta do. You don’t ever lose. You just
        keep working until you win. Like me. . .
        The Spieth.


        Aww. Jordan. You’re crazy.
        Yeah. Yeah.


        Let’s roll guys.


        Yeah, let’s get outta here.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 017 by Brandon Mitchell

"You know what the truth is?" said Karabekian. "It's some crazy thing my neighbor believes. If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, 'Yeah, yeah--ain't it the truth?" -- K. Vonnegut

THIS PAST WEEK was a little wild. Six days on the road with The Anginator. Pretty much non-stop. We spent two days in Connecticut. Visited a number of breweries, but we couldn’t find the Ghandi-Bot. Struck out every which way we turned. Got to sample the Road 2 Ruin and Rye 95 at the larger than expected ‘Two Roads Brewery’. Their firkin Saison with Black Chili Pepper was tasty too. It had people going a little crazy. Met someone who gave me a record player. It looks like it’s in decent condition, but at the same time I don’t really know. It doesn’t have a power cable so I can’t plug it in or turn it on. I’ll have to find one of those. . .and some records. This could be a life changing situation.
    We were on the road like nutz, and at one point I had to stop. I was yawning a lot and we still had 160 miles to go that day. I needed a coffee and a spot to walk around. We pulled off and followed some signs to a FleaMarket. For sure they’d have coffee there, and it was already perking me up that I’d probably be able to kick start my record collection.
    At the FleaMarket, I noticed that it was a place that had a lot of talking but no conversations. It was all people looking at things, no one ever looked at each other. Nobody was looking into anyone else’s eyes. I tried and it was hard at first. I went to order a latte with extra whipped cream and I felt the guy starring me down. I was intimidated for some reason and I just gazed into the menu posted on the side of the truck. I went over and over it while placing my order and paying for it.
    A Single Coffee.............1.99
    A Double.......................2.49
    A Cappucino.................3.49
    and Cafe Latte..............4.29
and underneath it had an asterisk notating .50 for extra whipped cream. Aww, that whip is going to make my day. But, I needed to test my self. I saw that no one would make eye contact and everyone seemed to be talking. And this one coffee truck cashier had the balls to stare someone down? Stare me down?
    So, he said, “Cafe Latte!” with a low grumble and I stepped up. I reached for it and looked him right in the face. That’s when I noticed it. His eyes were like mirrors. I could see a slight pupil behind it like a shitty one way mirror in a county fair funhouse, but it was looking down. Not at me at all. At the floor...in the distance. He was as lost or shy or frightened as the rest at any social interaction, and he was making me feel the same way.
    As I was taking my first sip of the coffee, I noticed stacks and stacks of old - and new - records. I saw a huge pile of Beatles. Early Stuff: Meet the Beatles, Help!, Beatles ’65. There was nice copies of Let It Be and The White Album. The Red and Blue Greatest Hits. I had nearly 20 LP’s in my hands and I starred this guy down and told him I was taking the whole lot for 10 bucks. He said $225. I gave him $25 twice and took off toward the car.
    The Anginator was running toward me. She just threw down .25 cents for a few random A/C Adaptor cables from a vintage technology table. In both cases I felt as if we were making off with a steal. It was about $2.20 per Beatles album. Oh, and I also picked up a copy of ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’, and with those cables Ang had grabbed there was a chance that we did just start our very own record collection.
    And, imagine if we rigged that turntable to play in the car. Install a shock absorbent console in the middle of the back seat and we’d be listening to the Pepperland Orchestral section of Yellow Submarine on vinyl while cruising down Maryland’s 301 toward Richmond. Imagine how fun it would be to listen to long play records again. . .

I REALLY, REALLY want to tell this story, but I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I know the middle of it. I just don’t know how it gets to that part. I could pick a point earlier on and just start talking. That would get the story going. But, I feel that the story needs to be told right. There’s also too many people in it. Too many for me to try to play or too many for me to keep saying, “Well then Jenny said this and Toddler said this and so and so said whatever.” So, what’s the point? Why bring it up at all before the story’s ready to tell?
    Or maybe the point is that there is no story. If the story was good, it would almost tell itself right? That’s how we talk when we’re hanging out, over dinner, on a car ride, in a room, where ever we tell stories right? We just start with something like, “Ooh” then BAM -- Story. But, here is a point in time set aside so I can tell a particular story and it’s not happening.
    Maybe I should just start. . .”Oooh. No. Ooooooh. Hmmm. I needed help. There was potholes everywhere. I couldn’t avoid them all and I was pretty sure I had just shredded one of the tires. I should have just stopped or at least slowed down. It’s just that it was late. I didn’t feel like being out in that particular part of town. I was late too. I was supposed to be home 30 minutes ago and I didn’t want to spend extra time finding an alternate route around all these damn potholes. Shouldn’t someone be in charge of keeping the freaking city streets in working condition?
    All of these frustrations kept boiling up in my head covering up what really should have occupied that space: A solution to this mess because my original solution of trying to barrel through was just about all used up.
    The car started swerving out of my control for a moment until what was left of the tire blew off completely. Now I was grinding on a rim and it was slowing me down dramatically. Finally, I had a real thought, not some hypothetical blame game that I’d use while explaining this all to my wife when I got home. I decided that I would stop and check out the damage. Before I brought the car to a complete halt with the brakes, the potholes outside did it for me. The rubber-free rim slid deep into the mother of all potholes and dug right in. It felt like I had just run into a brick wall. The air bag even popped out and clubbed me in the nose. It deflated immediately and I wanted to just sit there. I was done. I was deflated too.
    I forgot to bring my phone with me that night, as I always do, so I just sat there imagining the calls I would make. Soon after that I fell asleep.

LATER THAT EVENING I wound up talking to Tony B and Pinoke in a bar. They were out watching Butcher Brown tearing it up at The Parkland. They bought me a couple of Victory Dirt Wolfs and a way too full glass of Jameson. I had forgotten about the accident. I forgot about everything. About where I left the car. About going home. I just knew that some bad shit went down and I was trying to leave it all behind.
    Tony B. said something about getting something to eat at the local food eatery and we all decided that it was a good plan. I just had to take a James first.
    In the world that I live in “Taking a James” means to go to the bathroom. It comes from the phrase “Taking a Leak” which morphed at some point in my younger years to “Taking a Link”. I think every crew has their form of slang that just begins at some point. Once it is realized, it becomes funny and fun to do. I think intro to slang was to add “n’s” to words that do not have “n’s” in them. So, ‘Leak’ became ‘Leenk’ which became ‘Link’.     There was a school teacher at the time who was a real wimp. He was always giving away clues that his wife had him by the balls. Something happened with him midway through the school year where he had to quit or he just left or something. Word was that he had lost a bunch of money to some slick real estate salesman and he almost lost his wife during the whole ordeal. I don’t know how everything turned out, I just hope he learned a powerful lesson about ‘Who’s the Boss’. Anyway, his name, the teacher, was James Lyngk. Shortly after he was gone, we switched saying “Taking a Link” to “Taking a James”. Ever since then it stuck.
    It’s important because I had to take a serious James that night. The bathrooms inthat place are up front to the right side of the stage. The men’s room is small with only one urinal and a toilet right beside it. No divider. I can’t stand that type of scene. I went up there opened the door and some other dude was pissing in the urinal. I hesitated for a second to make a decision. I don’t know why I hesitated because it’s not my style to go in there and stand next to that dude and just start doing some sort of collabo James. I’ll hold it and wait.  But, the hesitation at least made me feel more solid about that prearranged decision because this dude was wobbling from too much booze and he was unloading that booze all over the place. I turned around to wait outside and passed another boozehound on the way. He went right in. Stayed in. “So weird,” I thought.
    So, I was standing there on the outside of the bathroom but right in the zone of the Butcher Brown rhythm section. Tight, snappy drumming, thick bass, melodic keys. It was such a transcendent groove that I once again forgot everything that was going on. But, this time I felt energized, pumped up. . . inflated.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 016 by Brandon Mitchell

"A good Session can make you forget about all the bad ones. I had a great Session recently with Will G. That got me real excited to do more. That's not how I feel necessarily after a Session that sucked." -- OBS

BEFORE PLAYING A note there is nothing. Just like a blank sheet of paper. Of course, just like everything, it’s not exactly that. In a room, say even with just three people, there is noise. They might be talking. If not, at least breathing. There is room tone. The louder sounds from outside find their way in. So, it’s more like a sheet of paper with a lot of stuff already drawn on it and you’re trying to add more to it. . .and not make it look like a mess.
    The beautiful thing about the air is that everything in it moves around. When you add your sound to it, it makes way. It's always allowed in without any noticeable effort. The air wants to hear everything. It excepts everything.
    The beautiful thing about people is that if they don’t want to hear you’re voice, they will find a way to let you know. If they let it stay, you’ve already received the best complement you could ever imagine. But, people can go so much further. They can add to your conversation. They can agree. Or disagree. They make it interesting.
The thing about life is it is always beautiful.

WHEN IT ALL ends, it’s going to be an absence of sound. No visuals. No memories. No thing at all. So, before that time hits you have the option to pack it all full with all that stuff. Sounds, thoughts, ideas, adventures, chances taken, goals achieved, others attempted and unfulfilled, a whole life lived. Sometimes we stuff it too full, but as I said, 'when it all ends'. . . I’m of the opinion that too full is better than not full enough. So fill it up. Spill some. Who cares? Try to shave it down to just the right amount. That’s the fun part. So just fill it. Fill it up now. Then have a freaking blast shaving that shit down. Hey, in short...Enjoy Yourselves!

“Take this lesson:” a Greek Yogart told me, “Get someone, a professional to teach you. Even if it’s to learn one new thing. Even if it’s to tell you a bad habit that you have and show you how to fix it. Get someone to give you proper instruction before you keep moving in this direction.”
    I thought it was good advice. They actually always say that Greek Yogurt is good for you.
    So, now it’s time to do something with that advice. The lesson is to get a lesson. Who could I go to? Who would not waste my money? Who would not steal away my time? How do you find someone like that? Does the internet have a yellow pages?
    You find yourself sitting at a desk making notes. Lists even. A diagram showing you the possibilities. You’re piecing things together and they’re starting to fit. You thought you were only working when in fact you were also. . .listening.   .    .

[Sounds of a restaurant]     

THE RESTAURANT WAS busy but not packed. Our table was loud. Everyone was talking. Everyone except me and the kid on the other end sitting at a corner seat. He was eating. He didn’t seem to be paying any attention to the “adult” conversations being shouted in all directions. Topics like stocks, health insurance, what food everyone has and exactly how it tastes. Also, talk of movies, sports and traffic. “How dull,” he should be thinking. But he isn’t. He is deeply concentrating on a phone screen hiding in his hand under the table. He scrolls through defensive plays with his thumb. He’s right in the middle of a game of Madden with a kid from school. A win could give him enough points to move up to Number One in the league. He was good enough operating the game with one hand, so he could still eat his dinner. He didn’t think about the food or healthcare or any of that stuff. Well, sports. But it wasn’t boring like the sports conversation at the table ‘cause that was about golf.


I was...thinking about getting a new album by a new somewhat upcoming artist. It seemed like a lot of money to spend, but I was curious. I first thought about all of the content I could get from him for free. You Tube Videos, Spotify, Copy Shit from Friends. But that would take some time. I could pay the $14.99 and get everything now and I could listen to it whenever. But, then I would probably never listen to it. Then it would be a waste of money. So, I could just check out a You Tube Clip.
    Then I click the play button on a clip and I’m like, “Ehh, whatever. This is lame. I’m going to go drink more beer.” Then I can’t even find where I put my beer so I go back up to the You Tube page. I’m like, “If I start watching that clip I’ll remember why I was watching it, then I’ll remember what I was doing before I started watching it, then I’ll remember where I put my beer. . . and I should give that dude on You Tube another chance anyway ‘cause I was kind of trying to cheat him out of his hard earned money and I just blew him off. Perhaps, the video was good and he’s a talented musician. Perhaps, I was being a complaining doont.
    So, I check out the video and it’s great. It’s great enough that I pay the $14.99 for the entire album because of this whole ordeal: Him having thoughts and ideas, turning them into songs, teaching other musicians to play the songs, learning to perform them, renting out a production space, recording an album, mixing and editing the album, giving it a title, then producing it, packaging it, sell it and promoting it. That whole ordeal to still have free content making it’s way to me and, I can watch that and dismiss it without giving it a fair chance for nothing.  No. That’s worth something. I don’t know exactly what but, $14.99 sounds like more than a fair price.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 015 by Brandon Mitchell

"Too many things to do, not enough dimes." -- OBS

THE BLANK CANVAS. It is a pretty, perfect thing. Decide to add something to it, you will most likely ruin it and it will just become garbage. You can ball it up, toss it in a dark can, and on Tuesday some men will come by and take it a way forever. Even out of your mind. But, there’s always the chance you could enhance it. You could add a mark, a line, a squiggle. A word, a story. Basically you can put imagination on display. What we come to realize is that all that we imagine is not beautiful. We start to think of our thoughts like trash. We maybe start to wonder where we’re going with this shit, man.
    But, I would say this: That is the reason we have trash cans. To get rid of that trash. And, some people turn trash into art. How about that? Here’s where I feel I’m at right now: I’m filling pages. I’m marking up that perfect white piece of paper with almost anything I can. Sometimes I draw one line and I look at it. I immediately don’t like it, but I try for a second at least to defend it. I wonder if I can fix it. Ultimately, I might end up shaking my head, I’ll roll that up, squeeze that into a ball, light it on fire, throw the burning ball into the fireplace, add some logs to it and heat the house for the night. But, most of the time I’m making what I can and leaving it around. Maybe I’ll check it out later, come around to it again. Maybe it’ll just sit there. Forever.
    If I leave too much of that trash floating around, eventually I’m going to have to clean up. That’s some extra work that I have to be prepared for. It’s gotta be expected. Cleaning house. It’s really the case everywhere. You gotta clean house. Constantly. You want to work? You better be able to keep the place clean? You wanna cook? Clean off            that countertop. You wanna live. . .CLEAN!
    This is a messy job. I’m just saying everything kind of is. In this line of work it could be said that the greater the mess, the more enlightening the discovery. What does that mean? I would say: Llllllllll. . .the more you put out there, the more you can see what there is. If you are painting and you have ten colors in a box and you only break out 3 of those, you’ll only be able to do a limited amount of things compared to the options you would have with all 10. Actually, with 3 you may still be able to do the exact same amount assuming you grabbed Blue, Yellow, and Red. You can really make almost every color with those three. White though. White is a good paint to have at you disposal. If I had to choose three I would say: Red, White and. . .choosing three is a tough one. I...would...have...to...say: Blue. Patriotic, I know. For an American. If you were in Europe or something and you said ‘Red, White, and Blue’ to a native they would say, “Yeah, very patriotic, for an American.” I picked blue because it seems as if that represents us. Our blood pumping through us is blue and red. . .right? Actually, that is just the cartoon drawing of blood going through our circulatory system. It’s blue then it enters the lungs and it turns red and continues on it’s journey. But, it’s really not two colors. It’s too shades of red! A more maroonish red and a brighter red red. I suppose that you add some blue to red and you can get to maroon. But, still, it’s red and I think that illustration we saw as elementary school students tricked me into picking blue. I’m going to go back and reselect because I’ve still got a minute on the clock and I’ve never locked it in. Yellow would be alright because you could make all kinds of shades of orange light to dark and get into some sunrise/sunset situations which worked great for any fans of The Linklat - Richard Linklater. But...I don’t love Yellow. Green? Ehhh. Black and Blue. I think that’s the real battle. How fitting is that? Black and Blue fighting it out for the final seat on the throne. You can create some sharp imagery with Red, White and Black. If you like contrast, and I’m a pretty big supporter, you can get some emotions across with that pairing. Violence, anger, pain, fear. . .love? But, ultimately, you can make black with enough red and blue so I’ll have to pick Blue. Locked in.

And I may not have proved that the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world, but as far as picking colors for it’s representative flag, they obviously hit a homerun.

Experimentalist Writing Submission: Entry 014 by Brandon Mitchell

"There's a whole bunch of these oldies that I'm gonna lay up in here to try to catch up. They are what they is."  -- OBS



Shantie walks the plank. She gets three quarters of the way to the end. She stops and looks back at The Man.


            The Man.

                    THE MAN



            This is where it stops.

                    THE MAN

            I know. Well, I mean, a few feet from there
            is where it actually--


            The Man, you really are a jerk ass.

                    THE MAN

            That’s what you always say.


            Could that be ‘cause there’s some truth
            to it?

                    THE MAN

            Some, maybe. But, you’re always going
            for that effect.


            Effect? I’m about to leap to my death.

                    THE MAN

            Well, don’t let me hold you.


            But, I just thought you’d --

The Man turns. He’s had enough of this same old conversation. He walks off into a closed room.

Shantie looks around. There are almost a dozen of The Man’s assistants standing by with hands on their side arms. She solemnly turns and walks the duration of the plank. She looks down.

Below her is a watery whirlpool of circling sharks. A few giant octopus limbs protrude from the center of the shark ring. There is also a bundle of TNT tied to the end of the plank with a timer ticking down from 10. There is also a guy high above her on another shorter plank. He is preparing to tip over a 20 gallon barrel of sulfuric acid onto Shantie’s head. There also happens to be a cloud of mosquitos infected with the West Nile Virus hovering in the air one step in front of her and slowly moving in.

Shantie looks toward the door that The Man walked into.


            I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.
                                        THE END

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submission: Entry 013 by Brandon Mitchell

"Boy oh boy. I tried really hard. Could I have tried harder? Nope." -- Ogle B Straight

I ALMOST DIDN’T put this episode out. I had a surgical maneuver performed on me in the last week and it sort of put me out of commission. Not completely. I could walk and talk, even still play these instruments. I just couldn’t really tell why I was doing any of these things. It was like amnesia except I knew who I was. I knew I had a schedule of items to work on and complete. Things like: practice scales, record a podcast, read the Korg SV-1 Manual, go to the gym and talk to a trainer, transfer X2 videos, practice for an upcoming open mic, research gardening techniques. This was all listed on a schedule of mine. I just couldn’t figure out why it was there. I had to first think back to the surgery.
    It was a house call. I didn’t set it up initially. It was my good friend Karsh McCabe. He stopped into town so that we could play a show for few brave people who were willing to risk their lives driving through the treacherous conditions of a snow storm that basically shut down the city of Richmond for a week. Karsh was coming from Chicago so he was used to this type of wintery disturbance. But, there were a couple of people from California who were blasted with ice and snow all the way from Tennessee. They were in even more of a rough situation when they attempted to clear the ice off the windshield with washer fluid because apparently in California there’s not much need to spend extra money on good cleaning liquid. They use water and it works fine in their stable weather conditions. One squirt of that in 15 degree wind instantly turned the entire windshield into a translucent sheet of marbled ice that became a panel of velcro to stick to the rapidly falling snow. They had to stop every 10 minutes to re-shave a postcard sized rectangle that they were using to see out of. But, they made it. I think everybody made it, but then again, the one’s who didn’t make it. . .I guess I assumed that they just decided not to come. I didn’t think that they could’ve been on their way and. . .I’ve probably got to make a few calls here. . .see if I can track these people down.
    Before the show, though, Karsh and I were rehearsing. It can be a tense couple of hours putting a two set show together the same day as the performance. And that IS how we do it. I’m guessing on this particular day that Karsh was feeling that something was off. We weren’t connecting or collaborating very well and the time was ticking away.  The performance probably ways a bit heavier on him since he had just traveled half way across the country through some dangerous situations and if this music was not on point, it would have been a giant blow to his time spent on this planet.
    About two hours prior to showtime, I believe he made a call. He was trying to get me scheduled for emergency surgery because there must have been some disconnect in the neural passageways in my brain. We tend to have an almost telepathic connection and that’s why we can play music and perform together with only a few hours of practice. But, on this particular day something wasn’t right. We were trying new songs and we couldn’t stay in time. We were trying new arrangements of old tunes and the notes we were playing sounded like hammers beating down on an armadillo’s shell or a chalkboard falling onto a room of kindergardeners. I was trying to push through and simultaneously feeling like everything would probably turn out fine, but Karsh had another plan. Call in the MD fix the problem at the source.
    So, we played the show. We made our way through the tunes and everyone had a nice, safe, warm and cozy time. The MD TW showed up the following day and possibly still performed the requested surgery. It’s tough to truly confirm because we were all put under heavy anesthesia for the operation. Karsh was gone by the time I came to. The MD left a rather confusing bill on my coffee table that I can’t tell if I owe a bunch of money for his services or if it’s all just put on some abstract tab. But, most of all I’m just left with this question as I look around at all the things that make up my life: These schedules and lists, these instruments, these pending plans and the question. . .Why?

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submission: Entry 012 by Brandon Mitchell

"I can't tell how many pieces, but I'm trying to pick up the fun." -- Ogle B Straight

Here’s a little speaking exercise: You can do this anytime you open your mouth. It will help you strengthen the connection between your brain and your vocal chords. When you have the inclination that you must say something do this: First look around and find two sets of eyes. This is important because you can’t just gaze into the eyes of the person you’re talking to non-stop. You need a second place to look to when you’re formulating future sentences. If you don’t have that other second set of eyes, you will look up and to the side into some form of vacant space and that is where your lies are found. Whenever you look there, the next thing you say will be a lie. There’s no stopping it and after a few lies you always start to feel bad. In general, it’s not a good practice.
    So, two pairs of eyes. Now sometimes you will be having a conversation with only one person. That is not a problem. Simply look around and find something in the world that resembles an eye or a pair of eyes. Look back and forth between this and the person you are talking to. Be careful not to spend more time or even an equal amount of time staring at the make believe eyes because that would get slightly weird after a while. You will be alerted to this if the person you are talking to starts to look around in that direction and sees nothing and then turns back to you with a puzzled look on their face.  
    If you do have two or more actual people around, you should be good. Now, pick a word. Really any word will do. Try to stay away from basic agreeable terms like ‘Yes’, ‘Right’, and the most common go to ‘Uh huh’. These will work but they’re a little lazy. Be more specific and when you want to really challenge yourself, go off the wall. Say anything off the top of your mind or the tip of your tongue. Say ‘Pindles’ or ‘Semptrovine’. This will immediately draw people in. And they will have nothing to say because what you’ve said makes absolutely no sense, so you truly have the floor.
    Before you move on, try to remember the last interesting thing that the other person has said. You’re going to need that to close with or if you start to lose them during your ‘time to run’ as I like to call it. And that’s where we are. The ‘time to run’. This is where you utter nonsense and jumble together words or things that resemble words and shift dynamics from whispering to shouting and laughing and nodding. Don’t forget to nod. At any point this is a good move. Nod and stare. Stare at them, nodding, and wait for them to nod back. They will do it. And when they nod, as soon as you can smile back at them. Woo. That’s a clincher. That’s pro level shit. And if you’ve got one of      those imaginary eye dudes hanging out there in the background that’s in reality a symmetrical design on a furnace door or two digital lights on a DVD player or a pair of kitchen shears in the distance sticking up out of a wooden block and of the two plastic loops where one would place their fingers one of them is long and narrow and a bit warped and the other is a perfect ‘O’ and it makes the scissors look like some doofy cartoon character, you still may need to nod at that on occasion. And pay attention for it to nod in return.
    And then when you’ve had just about enough time bring back that detail from before. The last thing you remember from before you took command of the situation and repeat that thing. They’ll love that. It’s like passing the mic or the baton. It’s courteous. And in the end that’s what really matters. Courtesy and some straight up off the wall randomness because people need the challenge and a conversation with you, if you follow these exact steps, would really be doing them a favor.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 011 by Brandon Mitchell

"To most people, I'm a stranger. Say out of the 7 or so billion people on earth, I'm a stranger to 6,999,999,821 of them. Makes me a pretty strange dude." -- Ogle B Straight

I FEEL LIKE I need to address this from time to time. It’s somewhat strange creating these episodes and putting them out online. I don’t always know what I’m doing, but if I didn’t spend a little time each week playing and recording something, I wouldn’t get to. . .I’ve got to have a way I can check up on myself and analyze what I’m doing and see if it’s going anywhere. The real trouble spot is that it’s easy to find the flaws, the inconsistencies, the times where I’m trying to get to something that might be good, but I also want it to be good and sometimes that want gets in the way and things start to sound. . .not the way I want them too.
    It’s like that with the playing. It’s like that with this additional commentary. It can be like that just in life. In normal conversations. You ever tell a joke and mess it up completely? Like before you even get to the punchline? You’re trying to set it up and you fumble through some of the details. You try to restart and say, “No wait, hold up, it was a  marmoset. A marmoset not a 2000 pound gorilla.” And you can’t even go on. You lose interest before the people you’re telling it to, so they’re still hanging on hoping you can at least get through it. That’s I how feel with this podcast sometimes. Actually, deep down I would still feel good at the end of the day if that’s where this was at. If you’re on the other end listening, hoping I’ll finish and just get to the music. I’d be alright with that.
    It really depends on the music with how much I talk. How I’m kind of doing it now - probably have been for at least 5 episodes - is I’ll play and record the chunk of music, then I’ll open the track on the computer. I’ll quickly peruse through it. I have just played it so I should remember some key moments that I liked or want to check back on. I’ll kind of pop through it listening to a few spots every couple of minutes. If something sticks out I’ll note it and I’ll pretty much make all the temporary fade in and fade out points. When I do the recorded listen back those fades could change but for the most part I try to stick to it. It gives me durations of time that I then have to fill with stories or whatever. I find that to be a huge challenge and for the most part I like trying to do it. Through an episode - a 30 min period - I feel like I can go from trying to goof around and even get absurd to feeling like I want to be real and get to some truths. Listening back to it when I’m mixing. . .sometimes it gets strange because that’s when I can come around to thoughts of whether I like it or not. This particular podcast. Do I mean everything I’ve said? That comes up a lot and the answer is no. I don’t not mean everything, it’s just that I’m talking, I’m speaking and thinking - it’s all going by pretty fast and I’m trying to be conscious of how it fits with the music.
    The worst part is that as I’m saying all of this, it starts to sound like I’m complaining and I can say for absolute real that I treasure the fact that I can even do this experiment. I do have a theory that I will discover something great through all of this. And I don’t go through all of this self evaluation during the music part. I’m just working to get more knowledge so I can do and say more with that. If I can get my speaking voice, that portion of things to feel the same way, it may all start to work together. It may become something.        

HERE’S A WEIRD story about us. We’ve never met. You are probably not real. If you are, then you are not the exact person that I’m speaking to right now. You are just intercepting this message. But you, the person I mean, are someone I will never meet. In fact, if you are hearing this, then I no longer exist. I change often. I have never died but most pieces of me have drifted off and become bits of other things, other organisms, even other people. I saw a photo of myself from not too long ago. Probably several years. Surprisingly it resembled me, but it was not. It had memories that I’ve forgotten. It had hopes that never came true. It’s gone and I’m here. I’m recording this message to attempt to reach a ghost, a ghost for me but to you a real thing. See, I’m just imagining you and I do think that one day you’ll be real, but with time being what it is, we’ll never have the chance to see...to communicate...to even recognize...We’ll just have to keep imagining in opposite directions and make the connections...ourselves.

QUIBBELDEEBLANKS (ph.) an expression one uses when they work on something for a while and then they realize that all of it might be shit.

On February 21, this year would be 2015, there will be a live performance of music created by Karsh McCabe and Ogle B Straight. Their collaborations can only happen in brief circumstances like a weekend where the northern and eastern parts of the country (U.S.) are covered in snow. People are under duress. It’s cold, it’s bleak, dare I say . . . it’s pretty grim. But, grim to the brim? NO. Because it’s a weekend just like this where Karsh and Ogle B will come together and ‘Check the Stee’. They will determine whether they have conquered all of their fears. And one can only predict that they will play the following:

She Likes to Tinop
The Blenzian
Tinop NaNinop

What Goes’ On [OBS Solo]
Go Baby Go [OBS Solo]
Once Uninhabited
There Was a Boy
Solar System Drag
The Dub


Editor’s Note: They did play this exactly with the following exceptions:

Karsh joined Ogle B on ‘What Goes On’
They did not play a new duotronic stee of ‘Once Uninhabited’
They did not play ‘Cosmos’
‘Solar System Drag’ segued into ‘Robert Walters’ which segued into ‘The Dub’
They defeated fears, maybe not conquered, maybe created new ones. Only futures can tell.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submission: 010 by Brandon Mitchell

"Being weird is like being normal and not worrying about it. I worry about being weird all the time. Being weird enough." -- Ogle B Straight

I wanna get out of this. (Wrestles around with shirt and pants). I wanna get out of this tight pants thing. This belt’s too tight. This collar. I mean, (looks around) no one’s here. Can’t I break this part of my “personality”.
    Man, that’s weird. That’s almost like me saying that I don’t want to be me. That’s not fair. That’s not fair to me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m all that or whatever. I’m just saying. I don’t know. I can’t really say what I mean. I mean, I mean what I say. I just can’t. . . You know.

GOLD, JERRY, GOLD. I had this friend, Jerry? (Yeah) He was a sweaty bastard. I don’t mean he was abandoned by his dad, he was just sweaty as shit. And I don’t mean to say that shit is sweaty as balls, I just mean. . .well maybe on blacktop on a hot, sunny day. But, his shit stank. It’s like if you took a bastard, and I’m not talking Jerry, I’m talking a real fatherless child and dunked it in a pile of steaming, sweaty shit and then put that in an oven on broil in a kitchen that’s got no smoke alarm, you got yourself some rank shit. ‘t does. Ranks right up there with the best. The best around. Never gonna stop the choir.

THE DREAM IS being the man you want to be. The guy you would be if you could be. You think of a perfect scenario and how far away from that you are. But, it is impossible to accurately judge exactly how far from a situation you actually are. That’s because the closer you get to anything, the more obvious it’s flaws. From outer space, Earth looks like a beautiful, harmonious place. See what I mean?
    “Earth People! New York and California!” a green headed goopey creature shouted. I thought, “I must be dreaming.” I was having a rough time in this world. I felt first and foremost that 1996 was a crucial and sometimes overlooked period of hip hop history. That took up most of my time. It’s hard keeping any conversation going with noise like that going on in the dome. But, there’s some grooves from that particular era that are as good yoga. So, yeah, I can say it was a rough time. And this green headed monster wasn’t calming things down either.
    Timmint leaned over to me and said something in another language that I couldn’t understand. He was new in town and hadn’t gotten a grasp of the lingo. I shrugged and he turned into a plant. Right then I had the classic track “Whateva Man” from Redman’s Muddy Waters pumping in my ears. I looked around for a volume knob but I wasn’t wearing headphones, it was a memory. Then I realized that it was...it really was a dream. I took a second to look at myself and check myself out before I woke up crooked in a couple of blankets. Distorted, twisted, and smelling kind of funky.
    I often think of that guy. The guy I dreamt was me.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submission: Entry 009 by Brandon Mitchell

"Nothing is like being alone and experiencing things. You can't immediately share that experience so you have to internalize it. It fills you with realness that you can't turn into a joke or an anecdote. It allows you to live." -- Ogle B Straight

I kind of wish I was playing right now. Instead of me sitting here listening. But no it’s great. Knowing that I’ve recorded this. However it is. Whatever it sounds like. I still put all of this together. I’m sure it’s easy for some and a pain in the ass for others. In the words of the spectacularly wonderful Lloyd Christmas -- I like it a lot.

A few wonderful things have been said over the past few weeks about the last couple episodes. I’m glad that it’s getting closer and closer to what I want to share. You gotta have an idea then look around at what you have and then use that to try to say what that idea is. First you gotta start to speak. You have to hear how far off from your own idea you are. The next part can get scary. You gotta sit there and deal with those differences. Then you start making decisions. Change some things, get better at things. Get closer to the original idea. I’ll often discover some interesting mistakes in myself. The things I’m afraid people will hear, those are the things I try to dwell on the longest. It may cause a little anxiety, but that shit don’t last. Anxiety always changes into something else. Bring on that change.

IT’S A BIT ODD going out by yourself. It feels like you have on a disguise. Feels like you’re in the way. Almost like a child, lost for a moment away from his mom.
    So, I went out to go to this WRIR party at The Renaissance Ballroom downtown Richmond. I caught the news about it on Facebook after working many hours converting video footage to Final Cut Pro. That process being tedious, solitary, at times frustrating, and seemingly never ending except for the time coming where my computer runs out of hard drive space. After I was finishing that for the day, I saw this post from a great Richmond musician and looper Dave Watkins. This WRIR event is not to be missed. It takes place in this 5 or 6 story building that’s part fancy event rooms and part condo/apartments. I know the RVA people will know all this, but I just want to get a little description in there for the out of town listeners. There are bands set up all over the place in all these different rooms. The ballroom has a big stage, lights, stairs that go up to a balcony where I think you can smoke indoors if you want to. Some of the smaller rooms are just the bands, no chairs or anything, you just stand or sit on the floor. It’s a cool local event. One that I don’t want to miss and it would be perfect after a day of transferring files and managing workflow.
    So, I get my things together and head downtown. I know it’s going to be packed around the Renaissance so I park several blocks away to save time instead of circling the building multiple times and ultimately coming to the conclusion that I’ve got to park several blocks away. On the walk over, I realize that it’s windy and cold as balls. I should have grabbed some gloves. Oh well.
    I’m approaching the building and remember that there’s a back door. Since it’s so cold I figure I’ll try that. I get to the door just as a man about my age wearing a nice suit looking very respectable is exiting. He holds the door for me. We exchange that passing nod that seems to say, “Hi. Howya doin’? Good? Good. Well. . .Take it easy.” I’m in and out of the wind and the place is quiet. This party is probably on the 3rd floor, but I assumed there would be people about. There would be some muffled noise coming through the floors. Some clues to lead me to this pretty big event.
    I’m moving slowly through the hall toward a giant staircase and the door behind me opens back up in a hurry. The man I just passed starts speaking in a loud, somewhat confident tone. “Oh, I have to set the alarm.” I nod again as if to say, “Okay.” He leaves again.
    I go to the third floor. It seems like the right place, but it’s locked. The lights are off. Nothing’s there. I try the 2nd floor. Those doors are open, but still no sign of an event. I start to feel as if I’m trespassing and then faintly in the distance I hear a beeping sound. It sounds like it’s coming from inside the walls or the floor. Is that the alarm that the guy set? What was he setting an alarm for? This is a condo too so shouldn’t it be open at all hours? Maybe it’s secured by an alarm at night unless you have a code to get in? But, more importantly, where’s this freaking party? What am I doing by myself wandering this empty building?
    I know that for a real person this would be easy to figure out - just get out the phone, check Facebook, find out if I came down here on the wrong day which I probably did, but I just got a new phone and I haven’t put in my password to Facebook so I can’t do that option. But, I can go online. I do that, google everything, for a few minutes even everything I’m looking at online is giving me information about this party: Where it’s at - here! What time - should be now. But, no date. What the funk fest? But, I do eventually find it and yeah...it’s tomorrow. I’m there about to go back out into the cold for another 15 minute walk thinking, “This is me. This is the type of thing that I do. Especially when I don’t have another person to check my situation for me. Someone to know what’s happening and helping me make sure I’m heading in the direction that I mean to. But, that’s just the thing. I can’t have that all the time. That life babysitter that I need to run my ideas past before I actually do them. And I can’t just sit around comfortable in my home avoiding making the mistakes that I for some reason naturally make.”
    Thoughts like these keep coming as I’m walking, almost with purpose, back to my car. Trying to appreciate the chill in air as it freezes my nose and lips. Trying at all costs to enjoy myself.  

LATER I FIND myself at Balliceaux before NO BS Brass Band is going to perform. Balliceaux is another hybrid location. Half restaurant - the front half - and the back half is a small music venue. Fits maybe around 100 people. The back half is closed for now. They won’t let people back there until show time. The bar up front is crowded just enough to where I would have to squeeze between people and their conversation to order a drink. So, for a while I hang back feeling a little out of place. Where do you stand in a place like this when you’re alone? Everyone in here has at least one other person they’re with. As the minutes move on, more groups start to arrive. The restaurant portion is getting packed with people and they keep getting taller and taller and louder. The wait staff is still trying to serve people who came in to eat and it seems like I’m the guy who’s always in their path. I’ve got no group, no conversation going to help me ignore these people trying to work and do their job, why am I even here? Oh yeah, to see this band.
    They are popular and this is what happens. The crowd is building. The band members stroll by every once in a while. Some other loner pushing through the crowd, like the waiters, head sort of down, horn case on their back, just trying to get through to do their thing, their job. No one seems to notice them even though they have gathered here to see them.
    I watch them go up the stairs into the back area where we are not allowed and for a second it seems like the coolest thing in the world. No ID, no money exchanging hands, no getting a black sharpie smiley face on the back of their hand, just a nod like the one I gave to that stranger in the Renaissance and they get through.
    At this point I move on through up to the bar and order a Bells Two-Hearted Ale and then continue to the front of the line. Standing there and waiting to get let in. Surrounded by strangers. Some of them alone like me and on their phones. I could get on mine too. Just peruse the internet or text a friend. Actually, I do shoot a text to Karsh McCabe. It says, “Word up.” He responds, “How’s it going?” I say, “Good. Weird. Good.” He says, “Yeah. Good. Damnit. Good.” It’s all an attempt to seem as though I’m not alone. I’m connecting with someone or something out there, but standing there and listening and looking and waiting to be let in to see this sweet band. . .it’s all pretty fun. Having someone or a group of people to share the night with. . .that’s awesome, but that’s also something else. Man, I’m still trying to process it. Just going out and doing something solo, it’s worth doing, just to see who you are and what you notice.
    The last thing to mention, I don’t know how I feel about it exactly. There was this moment as I was leaving the place where I ran into some truly great people that I respect. Reggie Pace and Lauren Serpa. A power couple in the Richmond scene. I don’t know them so well, personally at least. I just respect the shit out of them and just passing by saying ‘hey’ I opened up into a gush-fest of pure love and praise all in the matter of 30 seconds. It was a geyser of adulation dumping on their face. It was most likely a bi-product of being by myself, surrounded by so many people talking and being sociable and me just inundated with my own thoughts all night. Not that I didn’t mean the things I said, it was just a humorous outpouring that happened and then I ran the fuck out of there back into the cold for another long walk.
    And oh yeah, I had forgot where I parked, so the walk was really long and really damn cold.


Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 008 by Brandon Mitchell

"A lot of the stuff I say is not necessarily the thing that’s on my mind. I’m just trying to unlock it. Maybe unlock the emptiness and allow it to be filled."

THERE'S NO SPONSOR this week. Is it funny that I’ve been using alcoholic beverages as my ‘sponsor’? Probably not. I’m just wondering whether it’s ironic that alcoholics often use sponsors to keep themselves out of jams. I use these particular ‘sponsors’ to get me into them. But, I’m also very skeptical of what my sponsors represent. At least in the long run. Dependency is what I’m talking about. Being dependent on a sponsor to be able to do the work you want to do. For example, if you were running a show and needed to sell ad space to keep the thing operational. If you’d depend on those sponsors to just be able to make the show. Those type of sponsors keep things going. An alcoholic depends on that sponsor to keep them sober. So my show occasionally has it’s sponsor. I don't know if I'm dependent on it, but I do feel more at ease when it's there.

THIS IS GOING to be a good time. Honestly, last year was not one of my best. It was okay, but I’m expecting a lot better this year. Last year I was kind of sick a lot. More than usual. And I ended the year surrounded by sickness. Oh, it was terrible. I got the flu shot and I was down for a month. I got better and my wife got sick. I spent New Years with Karsh McCabe, the Uninhabited Mind. Only his whole mind and body was infected with the bug. After all that, I got sick again. So, I’m looking forward to getting going with this new funkin’ year. Actually, I can’t wait. I cannot wait for what goes down this year.
    What if that were true? What if anyone saying ‘I can’t wait’ really couldn’t wait? I will surely tackle that topic a little later. But, right now, I’m really happy. I’m happy to be working on something new. I’m happy to be starting on a new year’s worth of trials, tributaries, tribunals, trips around this great old world. Happy. Like...Like...like that uh...that Pharrell jam. You know what I’m talking about? That one where he and all the people that there are dance around like a bitch? Word.

WOAH, this part! What the hell’s going on?

(center right) I don’t know whether to talk about me, or tell a story about someone like me. I don’t know what people want to hear. Ooh. What if they don’t care to hear either?

(to self - left) What can you make them hear? What?

(center right) Just trying to figure this out make my hands hurt. That’s weak. (voice over) I think about getting a device that records my thoughts so I don’t have to type them. If I type them, I don’t have to think about them. If I say them, I have to hear them. That can hurt. But still. . .this device. If I could get my hands on one of those.

(to self - left) It’d be the end.

I WANNA DO this for hours. Just sit here and think. Listen to some music I just made. Know that I was able to do it. And I don’t mean playing. I can play, and I’m trying something kinda weird at the same time. Not completely unique - trust me I know - but still weird. I want to play. I just realized I want to hear it too. I rarely ever did that. The experience playing is so thrilling that I’m only experiencing that. I barely get time to think while I’m doing it so hearing it too. . .that’s next to impossible.
    Then, I thought “What if I record it?” So I’d think, “That sounds like a pretty good idea. I play it. I seem to like it.  Being able to listen back to it doesn’t sound like an all too terrible idea.” But, then the realization kicks it. It comes in the form of a question. “What if it actually sounds bad?”

“What d’you mean. You just thought it was a pretty good idea?”

        (right) “It is a good idea.”

“It sounds like one. . .but it isn’t. When you’re playin’, you’re likin’ it. You’re havin’ a good time. When you sit back and you listen to some crummy recording of it. . .you’re liable to give it up completely.”

(center left) “No way.”

“Oh, yeah. And you’ll feel bad about it. You’ll hate yourself for it. When it’s all said and done, you won’t forgive yourself for it. And you know what you’ll do?
You know?


NOTHING FELT better than leaving work that day. It was the last day that I would be there. The last time I’d punch in or punch out. The last time I’d put on that fake fuckin’ smile for the customers or the other employees. And don’t get me wrong. I don’t detest the work I did, I don’t detest the people, I don’t detest the fake fuckin’ smile. I got paid pretty well for all of that mess. The point is: It was the last time.
    I left on my own accord. I wanted to do something different. But what was the other point? Oh yeah. Nothing felt better. If I didn’t detest being there; I would go so far as to say I liked working there. I liked the people too, however all of that which I could feel by being there couldn’t match the feeling of leaving that place. It’s real simple too. There was no respect. I could have stayed and it would have eventually turned into a Rodney Dangerfield punchline one-liner with no audience to laugh. I put in fourteen real years of my life and there was no goodbye. No thanks for your service. I was in management on three top teams for the corporation in six years. I took 15 sick days in 14 years. I managed three stores and worked in 10 in three different states. I didn’t expect anything on that last day. I didn’t think there’d be a party or a cake or a card, but when there was nothing and I was walking out still wanting to work, still appreciating what I could do there, I realized this means nothing to nobody. That’s why I left the leadership a year ago. I cared too fuckin’ much. All my peers, especially those above me couldn’t give a dick’s balls about anyone. Probably way down deep they didn’t even care about themselves, just the illusion of what they wanted to be. And you know, that was starting to be me too. Because I always just want to fit in and be appreciated.
    There it was though, my last day, fourteen years. The last two people I worked with were the last two to care. It was fitting. It worked and nothing felt better than that.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 007 by Brandon Mitchell

"Do you think people like meditating because it gives them a reason to feel good that they have nothing going on in their mind?"

That’s how I always wanted to start the show. I thought primarily I wanted to be clever, but really I just want to be real. Really real. So real you just can’t believe it. And you'll be so blown away by the realness that you can't stop thinking about it. You’ll think about it so hard that eventually you’ll think, ‘Believe what?’.

I FINISHED UP working this week. Working for the man. The corporate man. The super rich man that doesn’t know what it’s like. And let’s get specific. Why not? Fred Smith. That super rich man. I’m no longer working for him specifically. Past Friday. I’ve worked for him since 2005. Since around the time I moved to Richmond, Virginia. I’ve worked for his company since 2001. He is the man and I have worked for him. I’m leaving for reasons that are not contempt for ‘the man’ or rebellion against the corporate world. I’m leaving to see what else is possible.
    I said earlier in a fairly general way that he doesn’t know what it’s like. Let’s get specific there too. What do I mean by that? Sometimes when speaking, especially when you don’t have anyone to challenge or throw a question back at you, you can say something that requires more explanation; that demands context. Some ‘matter of fact’ statement that should immediately be followed by some other voice saying, “Wait hold up. What do you mean by that?” It’s actually surprising we aren’t encountered with that question more often. I think if people were really listening they would have that question all the time. But, it’s also hard to question people. We all can get defensive easily and turn it around. Instead of knuckling down, taking time to develop and own an opinion and assuredly state what we really believe, we tend to find ways to quickly cover for ourselves. We can say a generic statement capped off with ‘you know?’. “I’ve been working for the super rich man who just doesn’t know what it’s like, you know?” So many times ‘you know?’ is used not to find out if the other person is on board with the previous statement, it’s like asking quick permission to keep going without having to back that shit up. I really need to get out there and start having conversations with people. Put myself - and others - to the test. I don’t want it to be confrontational though.
   I have to finish this for now. I said something earlier. I said that my past employer, a man who I never met, doesn’t know what it’s like. What was I talking about? What did I mean by that? Well, it may have sounded vindictive and that’s why I moved on. I respect a man who once had an idea and turned that into a multi-billion dollar corporation. The dollar thing doesn’t impress me as much as the action of taking an idea, a concept that springs through one’s mind which is both like a maze and a minefield. To extract that idea and turn it into something real in the world that we live in. To have the idea function so much so that others can see it in motion. And it provides things in return. What is it that good old Fred Smith doesn’t know what it’s like? Well...quite simply...he doesn’t exactly know what it’s like to be me. Indirectly, he has taught me a good number of lessons. He has hired people that I have met and they’ve influenced me. Some in a way that kept me moving forward working for his company doing my best, most focused and accomplished work in my life. On the other hand, he has hired people who have shown me that it is possible to get pretty far in life without truly knowing what you’re doing. Without having deep rooted beliefs in themselves. Without being able to fully and directly communicate their own ideas or without even taking the time to create and implement an original idea. They just piggy back off of ‘the man’, collect a decent wage and slowly climb up the ladder. A ladder that, in my ultimate   opinion, does not lead anywhere but a foggy haze somewhere above our heads. A place with a lot of room to hide and a steady paycheck to make it all feel okay.
    ‘The Man’ does not know what that is like because he doesn’t live in there. He didn’t necessarily have to rise through that because he started on the initial idea before that byproduct was created. When a man envisions a grand idea, he cannot see all that it will create. If he could, it might stop him from moving forward because unintended consequences could arise. The industrial revolution added to the world’s pollution. I’m sure Henry Ford who revolutionized the auto industry or Henry Bessemer, the man who invented the process to mass-produce steel, didn’t set out to put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They just had great ideas that changed the lives of every human being on the planet. The CEO’s of their respective companies now have to knowingly deal with those unintended consequences and that can mean big paychecks because that responsibility can be quite difficult to manage.
    I don’t know why I first uttered that statement that ‘that particular rich man’ doesn’t know what it’s like and it may not mean much. And there still may not have been a reason for saying that. What does it matter? He does not know what it’s like to follow in a dusty, barely recognizable set of his own footsteps that have been traveled over by many other people. Some sticking closely to it and others veering off this way and that. Following that somewhat certain trail into a dense fog where originality can barely be seen or rewarded and steady paychecks can keep you there for eternity. He doesn’t know that. He also doesn’t know what it’s like to be up in there, looking around that blurry mist and confusing it for your own eyesight. Doubting yourself and your ability to see straight, but then making the decision to climb down completely. Off the ladder and standing on the ground where there is now endless other paths that people have had the guts to create. And seeing that somewhat clearly. Knowing just how overwhelming it is to attempt even just the first step in any direction. Ahhh!
    I’m entering a world where I am going to stumble so often. I can’t even take that. Of course I can, but it’s so much the truth. I freakin’ fake the funk all the time. But, after you fall and skin your wittle knees in front of people, you can’t fake yourself around that. You gotta stand up and say, “Yeah, that was me. I fell in that ditch right there. I did that knowing that you all saw me and. . .‘yeah, I’m embarrassed. I want to punch myself in the face, but I’m going to wait ‘til I get home to do that. I don’t care if you know that. But, no, in case you are walking away wondering. Thinking about looking back to see if I am doing it. No, I am not going to beat myself up over that right there. In fact, I’m accepting it. And if you are looking back, you will see that I am already walking the other direction, with my hands in my pockets, at a speed that is not ‘fleeing the scene’. I’m so confident in my stride that you may ponder for a second whether I even fell at all. Maybe it was some bizarre concoction inside your mind. But, just so you know though: I really did fall. You saw everything. And you have a right to laugh.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 006 by Brandon Mitchell

"How much are you going to make me read? A lot? Or a little? If it's a lot am going to have to write more because I wrote a couple of little things and a lot of them are not that good."

OH, WHY NOT? What do I always mean? Honesty is not always the best policy. That might not be the smartest argument to make. Especially when you always lose.You know when I knew the fact that I always lose? When I “won” an argument by busting the “You’re not fair!” Defense. “You’re not fair. You believe that you’re right, therefore you will never really listen to what I have to say...because you’re always going to find a way to prove your point. So, even if I am right, you’ll never believe me. So, you’re being unfair.” If the purpose of the debate were to end the argument, I won because it ended right there. I was up against Karsh McCabe. It was tough but, supposing that killing our conversation was the goal...I won that debate.
    Ever since then I’ve known that I am not “meant” to win. I am not “meant” to lose. I lose. I do not win. But, the only way to really lose, is to try to win. So, I’m gonna try.


I’m gonna try hard
I’m hardly trying to lose
I’ve got this bottle
Got all this snooze
Sleep’s only an enemy
When the enemy’s fast asleep
We’re curled up in bed now
We’re counting sheep
Herds only in memory
I heard my mind clear
Teardrops held back, blurring
Hydroplane and steer
Out of the way
Out of my path
But I do have it
I have a path
Sometimes I ride off it
Don’t know where I am But do I?
Do I ride off?
That’s just my path
I’m creating the curves
Still just going one direction
At any given time
One single direction
Forward’s one
So is backwards

If you want to think
That it’s
“‘Always’ going forward”
You’re wrong
Losers go backwards more than
They go forward
But if losing’s the goal. . .



            No way. Never.




            You think going backward is. . . How do you
            say it?


             It’s going forward.

Tid gives Pidge a look suggesting he doesn’t believe what he’s just heard.

            It is. What if you want to lose? The goal you
            head for is the loss. As you get closer to losing,
            you are moving forward toward that goal.


            No, but that’s losing. That is widely considered
            going in the wrong direction.


            How wide are we talking?


            Everyone - - what? How wide?


            How wide? If it’s between me and you. And you
            think one thing and I think another. If someone was
            talking about your thing, would they say that people, in general,
            believe your thing by a wide margin? Or would it have
            to be, “over 920,000 people out of 1.1 million” believe
            this thing? What do you consider a wide margin?


            Is that how you win these things?


            I don’t want to “win”.


            Then why are you arguing for it?

Pidge thinks for a moment.




                    (open rant)

TID comes in.


            Pidge. Pidge. I made a mistake.

Pidge Pricks Up Her Ears, Gary.


            I got your attention by saying I was wrong.


            No, you always have my attention. I just want
            to have yours.

Later that night in his empty apartment. Just him getting in bed. Not tired enough to fall asleep, but wishing he were. Still thinking of that conversation earlier. Tid didn’t know why he was in that conversation. And he’d been there, in that open ended, repetitive, same rhythm, same rhyme scheme, same ‘what does anyone get from this?’ conversation many times before. At that moment in time, he was done. He was ready to give it all up. That same fucking situation happens all the time and it goes nowhere. And each instance takes less and less time to get there. He had to quit that, but tomorrow, he’d wake up and he’d eventually get back there again.
    Next time, could he make it last longer. Could he pull a stop/start. Could he fake a loss like an “Over the Top” arm wrestling situation. Fall way back then push through with a quick, power slam winning all the dough and making friends with the opposition in the long run.
    Tid was a good man. He was friends with Pidge. That meant he could actually be friends with anybody.


The Experimentalist Writing Submissions: Entry 005 by Brandon Mitchell

,"If these are the dumps then people have been over selling this shit for years" -- Ogle B Straight


Maybe there’s people who have it all figured out. Maybe I’m one of those people and I’m just screwing it all to bits. The tricky part is honesty. You want to be honest with people. People tell you you should be honest. Honesty is the best policy. If that is true, it would take so long to break through all the bull shit to get to the point where it is beneficial. No one wants to hear what I actually think and feel. That’s the honest to God truth. No one wants to hear that because it triggers some feeling of guilt in them. They may be able to push through that for a quick minute and get to going about their day. A lot of people, however, will let the guilt win for a second and they’ll say, “No, I do want to hear. . .” That triggers a feeling joy and belief that they are being honest. Even though down beneath that reaction is the truth that they don’t really give a fuck. So, a meaningless conversation is born.
    I know that no one cares. I want people to care. I tell myself that I have to find the topics that will make people care. Once I find those topics, I have to figure out a way to bring them up in an interesting manner so I can keep their attention. This is already so far out that it seems impossible.

JUST FINISHED watching ‘Altman’, the documentary based on one of my all time favorite directors. It’s average for a biographical doc. Maybe above average. I’m thinking though of ranking it in my top ten for the year. How would it rank? Typically for this type of film I would (and I did) say “It’s average so it won’t make the top ten. It’s good and I enjoyed watching it, but...you know”. But, I love Altman. I don’t say that lightly at all. I wanted to get blazed on a joint to write that but I didn’t. I don’t even know at this moment what that means. The movie covers ‘Prairie Home Companion’, Altman’s last movie. It covers it right. The movie ends in a cliffhanger with an angel coming in to take away the next person to die. The angel walks directly at the camera which is positioned around her midsection. She basically walks right into the lens causing the fade out. With that scene, Altman concluded his whole film career and his professional life. The entire movie is light, funny, heartfelt, and sad. It was disliked by most critics and audiences.
    I thought about Paul Thomas Anderson many times while watching the movie. He shows up in the last few minutes of it and says one word. “Inspiring”. I turned off the movie wanting to write, wanting to drink, wanting to watch “MASH”, “McCabe and Mrs. Miller”, “Nashville”, “The Long Goodbye”, “Secret Honor”, “The Player”, “Tanner ’88”, “Short Cuts”, “Gosford Park”, “The Company”...I neglected to add “Dr. T and the Women” because I’ve watched it a few times recently and want to give that one a little break. Plus, I’d like to add some others that I haven’t seen. Also, I want to mention that I still haven’t seen “The Long Goodbye” but it looks dope as fucking shit.
    Altamanly, the documentary made me feel, for a brief moment, LOVE. For fucking real mother fucker! I was pumped and wanted to do shit. I wanted to get up and write a script. I wanted to pace around and sound out dialogue between characters that I could make up in my head. Then, I thought about Ang. She was sleeping in the next room. I just stood there for a moment like a living statue. Thinking.
    We had the day off together and I was looking forward to it. I’m not working corporately anymore so in a sense I have most days off. Ang is working more than usual to cover. I have just quit my job to become an artist. How wack is that sounding? The most important word there beside ‘quit’ is ‘become’ because I am not an artist. I have never given up anything for my ‘art’. I am 37. I am lazy most of the time so having time off is a fuck head. I watch a lot of TV and movies. I love watching stuff for “research purposes”. What the helmeted dick hose?! And Golf?! I’m into that now with no income. Are you god-the-fuck-damning kidding my shit?
    Anyway, I did that and Ang supports it. So, I thought about her in the next room. We had a day off. We went to lunch. Then, she went shopping and came home and went to bed at 6pm. I worked on X2: The Experimentalist 2 for a couple of hours then I watched “Altman”, then I felt love for two seconds, then credits were rolling. I was in the dark. It was quiet everywhere except for the closing music coming through the sound system. I was like, “I should turn this off ‘cause Ang is sleeping.” I thought that if Ang wasn’t there, I could do whatever I wanted to do. I could move at a regular pace. I could make noise. I could run up the steps and start working. I could act out these wack scenes. But, I was stuck in a pose for a second and then I turned the TV off and tiptoed around the house.
    It was all a dumb thought, because I can still do whatever I want. I’m not held back by Ang or anybody else. If I am held back, and I am all the time, it is by things within myself and they are deeply rooted. They are covered up by decades of moss and ivy and things I have lived with so long that I often forget that they need to be cleaned up. That’s what I’ve got to do now. A lot of cleaning. The start of it is visible and right in front of my face. My office, all of the rooms of my house, the garage, the porch, the yard, my car, the mailbox, my computer. I’ve got to do all of it quick so that none of it gets out of control again and I can move in closer. Get inside and see what the fuck’s going on. The same old dilemmas. That same strife.


Experimentalist Writing Submissions: Entry 004 by Brandon Mitchell

"I'm locked out of the apartment again and I'm still in my underwear!" -- Ogle B Straight


I was pissed at first. I woke up at 6am and. . . got up to piss.  Walking through the dark hallway, I realized what I had done. I was dreaming and the dream was repeating. I was doing things slightly different the second time around but didn’t register that it was repeating because I was dreaming all of this stuff up.
    One of the hardest things to do is stay in a dream once you’ve realized that you are indeed dreaming. Or think you might be dreaming. When I have the experience that I might be dreaming, I tend to get excited and jerk myself out of it and wake up. I am working on a solution to that problem. First I try to calm myself down. I’ll think, “Oh, this is a dream” then freeze. I try not to do anything. Just chill and look straight ahead. Keep my heart beat slow. Then, I have test things I can do. At the moment, I can’t remember a lot of the test things. One could be: trying to hover off the ground. Or simply focus on movements. How am I moving? Is it slowed down? Who’s around me? Do I really know all of this? Sometimes focusing on these things will allow me to discover that I am dreaming and keep me in it for the moment.
    After discovering that I’m in a dream state, I tell myself that I can do anything I want. This is a risky maneuver because I can become excited again and my eyes open up immediately. So, knowing you can do anything doesn’t mean you can just start doing anything. You have to choose something different from the pattern that had been going on which is mainly being conscious of things. Recently I’ll start to hover and coast around my surroundings in the air. I never had flying dreams before. Maybe some falling dreams where I wake up before hitting the ground, but never flying until I’ve made the decision to fly inside the dream. Again, the trick is to stay calm. Sometimes I’ll touch things or people. I’ll realize that in dreams I rarely experience the sensation of touch. So I’ll look for a person. Most times I have never seen that person before in real life. Sometimes when I hold on to a person’s arm and pull them close to me, their face will change. I’ll have a thought that I can kiss them because it is not my normal reality so it will not have the same consequences. All of these things can be the tests to discover if it is really a dream or not.

    Last night, I experienced this new thing. It happened once before and the first time it was amazing. It was a continuous dream that was repetitive. Meaning: It would go from point A to point B to point C to point A to point B to C and so on. C would cleanly lead right into where I remembered the dream starting. Somewhere in the second time through I had the idea that it was a dream but I also knew where it was heading. I started changing some of my actions to see how it would effect the events that I was expecting to happen later. Then, I would get closer to point A and watch how it comes around. Point A was:
    Entering an apartment and getting some people together and saying, “Check out this video.” Pulling out a small TV with a VCR and playing a tape. Point A was on the screen. We started watching until we were in it doing the things. Each time going through the events of the dream, we could make subtle changes and get more and more involved. Small details that didn’t make complete sense the first time through would show back up in different ways. For example: The first time through, and this won’t make any sense but, the during the first pass I read a comic page of a newspaper with a character who would show up later in the dream. I just remember seeing this comic page with the text bubble and he was some sort of action hero. Later in the dream, he (which happened to be TV’s Ken Marino) was part of a crew of dudes walking down a path outside in an open park. Ken Marino was skateboarding. They were basically extras. . .oh yeah, on the 3rd time through I was noticing a lot of the camera shots of the dream. They were wild. Instead of me doing the weird things like trying to fly and whatever, I was controlling the shots and doing next to impossible things with long tracking shots where the weather changes mid take and the camera tracks along side a car for a bit and then leaves that and zooms across a field with hills and. . .this crew of dudes is walking, and Ken Marino is skateboarding but the camera whirls around him to show that he wasn’t really a part of that gang at all. Based on the perspective of the shot on the 1st or 2nd go through, he seemed to be skateboarding along side of them, but on this take where the camera flew over there, he was actually way in the foreground, and he was just an action figure. Some kid was playing with him much closer to the camera and it gave the illusion that he was part of that gang of dude. But he was a small, plastic skateboardy guy and somehow that linked back to me seeing that comic early on.
    This is a new thing for me in dreams. Seeing repetition like the whole dream repeating itself and going through it but being more involved each time. It can take that initial excitement of ‘Woah, I’m dreaming. I can do anything! Oh. . .Oh shit, I’m awake,’ away because you know what to expect, you pay attention, see how you would like to change it and how it gets affected.

    Last night, on the 2nd go through, Karsh was in the dream and he was mentioning that things were happening again. It was about 2 scenes past where point A began for the second time. I realized that we were seeing the same thing, but to me it was like going to see a theater show two nights in a row. I thought it was really happening two nights in a row even though it was weird. Karsh was there trying to clue me in and I just was like, ‘Shut up, dude, I’m trying to watch this.’ Then, I woke up. Didn’t piece it together until I laid there for a minute, determined that I had to take a piss, got up and was walking through the pitch black hallway then it clicked and I said to myself, “Damn, Karsh was there trying to let you do this thing right and you funked it up.”
    The cool thing about a dream though is that it’s either all me. I’m everything. I’m Karsh in that scenario. I’m trying to help myself learn how to do this thing. Or dreams are some sort of psychic reality that we tap into, but it’s so bizarre that we can’t figure the shit out for real. Our dream world exists in some dimension of brain electricity that passes instantly through brief wormholes between space and time connecting the subconscious of people in the world. Because that could have been Karsh. He would have been asleep too at 4 o’clock in the morning.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 003 by Brandon Mitchell

"I started quoting myself in 2005, but I don't think I really started saying what I really thought I said until much farther into the future. It's just a progression. A tough one to follow, but just a progression." -- Ogle B Straight

I’M GOING TO lose myself in a minute. I do these things. It’s like working out, but it’s mental and it’s more like taking myself to a cliff and convincing myself to jump. Since it’s metaphorical, I can jump and it will represent something good, but I still don’t want to because it feels like suicide. I guess I always connected with suicide as an idea. It made sense. See I knew that life meant virtually nothing since I was 5 years old, but I loved the experience of people being happy. It was like an event. People being happy with and in front of you, and you being a part of that moment. It’s a hard thing to pull off and a rare one to be witness to, but that’s...worth living for.
    Pay attention too. When you see a friend, someone you actually care about, having a great time. Laughing, uncontrollably, or just doing something out of the ordinary. . .
    I’m friends with this guy who was once named “The World”. He was named that by some people, but once that was his name and he lived up to it. He made an impression. He was unforgettable.
    I started a band with this guy. This was way back when I was starting to try to start to pretend to play music. Well, maybe I could pretend. At least Karsh McCabe and The World thought I knew how to rock some electric guitar. So, they joined a band with me. Neither of them played really before that . But Karsh was a mind melder. What I mean by that is that he could change his mind. . .he would know why he changed it. . .and he would make it matter. You could see him switch. Like at one point he would be all in love with the outdoors, and then the next day he would retreat to a closet . . . for weeks. Come out at night and grab some food, for survival purposes only. Then, hide away. Never coming out. Why? How could he change like that? So fast? And stick to the change?
    Me? It’s hard to get myself to change. I think it’s necessary and a lot of times I want to do it, but I don’t. So I think about why I should do it. Then, I don’t do it.
    Man, I really don’t even know how I quit smoking. I know I decided on it and I did it. With major, important life things, I go back and forth all the time. I have a corporate job that pays. I’m also good at it. But, I’m trying to change into a musician. . .or .  . more or less so. . an artist. I want to live and say, “That’s what . . it’s about.” I want to understand what . . .that . . .means. I think that the corporate job. . . and the corporate life is suffering task.  It requires a lot of compromise. But, so does every other option. That’s why I don’t want to crush the corporate existence, and my connection to it. It actually makes so much sense to me to do that. But, in a dramatic sense, I would rather die then live in that for the rest of my actual life. I’d rather try something else and if it kills me. . .then I’ll stick with that.
    Why? Just because. That’s the most real reason. Uh, just-fucking-b’cause. Because whatever- -

- I don’t know where I was at in those times. I read the ancient text and it sounds. . .angry. Those time periods were said to have been merry, alive with discovery.  I kind of remember it that way. Oh God!

He crunches over.

- Oww. That fuckin’ hurts. I ate this food today. And drank this nasty wine. It was a bargain, but man, I’m really paying for it now.

He grabs a brew. He opens it.

- Does it look like I’m gaining weight? I’m gonna have to start laying off the brews.

He drinks the brew.

He plays a jam.

- “Ouch.” That really hurts. The thought of not drinking brews. They’re so good. They’re refreshing and they can be creative. Or help me be creative. They’re tasty and they give you all kinds of ideas. . .But if you think I’m fat, I will stop drinking ‘em. I will. I’d rather be not-fat then happy.

- - Some other time I’ll get back to the story of The World and Karsh starting a band with me.

Who would I die for?
      It’d have to be you
Unless you have a better idea
      on what we could do
Personally, I could think of something
      that would be better time
Spent cracking some jokes
      or bustin’ phat rhymes
I know you’ll be wondering
      what I really mean
But it don’t really matter
     ‘cause I’m not coming clean
I’m just doing my thing
      the few ways I know how
Hoping that it’s meaningful
      but I can’t really tell
Sometimes you help me out
     and make sure I’m okay
Pushing me forward
      while I’m finding my way

I couldn’t do it otherwise
I wouldn’t have the guts
But I have ‘em so fuck it
I’ll go find out what’s up
The deal is: You’re crazy
The best it could be
So we hit the ground running
We’ll find what we need
And all the while
We chill and have fun
I’m living each day
Knowin’ that you’re the one


Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 002 by Brandon Mitchell

"I quit smoking in 2008. That was almost 10 years ago. Imagine what else can be done in 10 years. . ."  --  Ogle B Straight

IN REFERENCE TO headphones. I don’t call them ‘cans’. No wait. Sometimes I do. I know other people like to call them ‘cans’. When I’m around those people, I call them ‘cans’.

I’ve been listening to. . .I guess I should say “ideas”. My headphones were on and no matter what sound was entering my ears, it was an idea. Speeches, music, performances, commercials. Ideas.
    They would get to a point were I started to realize unintended ideas. Ideas placed in the audio not by the performer or the artist. Ideas just out of ones reach. There was a live performance from a storyteller named Slashtopher Coleman. He was performing in a poorly lit, annoyingly colored auditorium. Poorly lit meaning: All of the lights on, no spotlight, the crowd is basically lit too, and it’s a giant beige, cinder blocky, square-shaped room. He was at a lower level TED talk. He was delivering an expertly conceptualized tall tale. It was so convincing that I started to believe every word of it. I knew it was supposedly false, but I wanted to believe it. And then I thought it could have been about me; that I could really learn something from this.
    Just then, I noticed a slight, high-pitched little buzz. Mentally, I retreated from the story a little bit. What was that noise? The camera angle cut, but the audio remained unchanged which immediately made me realize that this was a multi-cam shoot and the audio was recorded by a separate team and there was eventually going to be a post-production part to this video that I was watching.. .  . I was way out of the story.
    But, I figured out what that buzzing was. It was something electrical. Something in the lights and the equipment fucking with the microphones and making a feedback noise in the recording. They probably did a lot during the audio mixing stage to get it as minimal as it ended up being in the final version. From the angles in the video, it doesn’t appear that the room was very well put together in terms of the acoustics. I could definitely see some trouble spots.
    The buzzing was so minimal, but I couldn’t stop paying attention to it. I knew it was wrong and I knew that everyone involved in the project probably did everything in their power to eliminate that noise. They knew it didn’t belong there. It wasn’t part of the original ‘idea’. As I listened to it through my headphones, I knew that it itself was an idea. Like I said though, it just wasn’t one intended to be there by the storyteller. But, who would place it there? And why? Or was it just there and all these people got in the way? The performers, the audience, the set builders, the camera crew? Or further back: The construction workers who built the building or the architect that designed it? The city planner who gave the project the green light? Thomas Edison? God? Or is this performer so clever that he knew he would be in a venue where this sound would be occurring and he designed this specific tale for it to build and incorporate the buzzing and...and I haven’t been paying attention for the last 5 minutes so I may have missed that whole connection.
    At this point, I try to pay attention to the story again. It’s still amazing. I listen to it.

Experimentalist Podcast Writing Submissions: Entry 001 by Brandon Mitchell

"I like trying to fit this stuff into the podcast. It's fun to read it along with the music and see if it fists. It's like fisting the podcast. . .with words. I do it lovingly a majority of the time."  --  Ogle B Straight

WOW, A COMPLETELY new 10 pager. I was in the middle of one and I deleted it. There’s a thing that I feel I have to do every once in a while, and that’s ‘back up my computer’. I feel like I have to do it. I feel like I’ve been taught to do it, and that I’ve been told “it’s right”. I never really think about it too much. I just back it up every once in a while. I guess it’s generally when I notice that my memory is getting low.
    But, there’s two things that always happen when I back up my computer. Well first, there’s my process. I will save the entire computer’s contents onto a 1.5 TB hard drive. Then, I will go through every folder that exists on my computer and I will delete everything that I am not currently working on. Sometimes there’s files that I’m taking a break on. Technically I’m not currently working on them, and they’ll get deleted in the mix. There’s quite a few examples of that. Most recently. . .I started working on a writing project. I fill up 10 pages with short test ideas. Stories or poems. Scripts. It takes a long time to create 10 pages. Occasionally, I do tricks like 4-5 spaces between sections. Use larger, like 80pt font, for some sort of effect. But, eventually I’ll get to 10 and then I’ll post it. I just noticed that on my last backup, I deleted my recent 10 pager when I was halfway done with it.
    That is one of the things that always happens as a result of me backing up my computer. I delete shit I’m working on. The other is that I get some odd satisfaction from new amounts of open, usable Gigs on my computer. I’ll free up 200 Gigs of space and I’ll feel like a brand new dad with a newborn baby. Staring at what I’ve just created. This new being that knows nothing. Empty space ready to soak in new information. And me just imagining the possibilities of what that space could become. That feeling doesn’t really last that long because when I start filling that space up, I will inevitably come across the notion that I’m missing a file. I’ll remember working on something and look for it and it’s not there. I’ll start to have a fuzzy memory of backing up files, and I will have to make a big decision: +Do I attempt to find the hard drive with the file that I’m looking for?
    See, I’m building up a collection of them, and I haven’t been labeling them too well. I have less then 10 of them. There are occasions where I will feel the need to find a certain file. I’ll plug in each of my hard drives that I store in a cabinet in my desk. I’ll take some time to look through each one in search of that file. I’ll come across other things. I’ll find an old video that I had forgotten about or I’ll see a folder of old photos from some past summertime event. Eventually, I’ll find the file, check it out, and then make the second big decision. This one is more heavily weighted than the first because this one will need to be made regardless of me deciding whether to look for the desired file or not. I will have to decide whether it’s time to put that idea to rest, or dust it off and return to it.
    In the case of my last writing project, I guess I decided not to go searching for it. That’s just one of those pieces that get lost in the shuffle. Finished but never finished.