So Charles Manson just died. Here's an old free verse poem from our files inspired by his sordid tale:



I am mal hombre

I am the bad man

I am everything

I am nothing

I am the Devil

As much as I am God

And I am God


Son of a streetchild

Thrust from the womb

Of a runaway little girl

She stole for her boy Charlie

Did time in West Virginia

The only thing mother

Ever taught him

Is that everyone lies

Once Charlie punched her out cold


Father died on the battlefield

For his rights

Grandma was a mountain girl

Up there in Kentucky

She never didn’t smoke or cuss

Or lie

The boy went to her church

And swept the floor


Ain’t wise to too many things

But I am wise to one thing

And no

Ain’t gonna tell you


The reformers lay Charlie down

And beat him with leather straps

So he set the school on fire

Got a little girl named Rose

Took some guns

Crossed the country

On a straw hat full of stolen dimes

Turned twenty-one in the LA county jail

Weren't not but a hot second

Been in jail all his life

A bad forty-three dollar check

Got him ten years

Creepy taught him to strum strings

Behind them bars

There's a certain amount of truth in that house

And Charlie took on his share of it

He begged to stay

But they let him loose

Into the streets of ‘Frisco


Charlie was offered a pill

By a ten year-old kid

This is good

Said the boy

It’ll make the colors go

The world was happening

The children wanted peace on earth

Charlie threw his gun

Off of that bridge

Never goin’ back again

Never break the law again


There’s no slack in my act

You go down to St Louis

And you get off the bus

And you’re broke

You get on the phone and call moms

I don’t

I go to the alley

And get a tire iron


All the lost gathered

For no one else spoke such truth

Charlie found him

A new Family

Chosen ones

Flowers in their hair

Blood in their hearts


We had us some cosmic gatherins’

Back on the mountain

Would shake the eardrums

Of a Mormon tabernacle

I face life or death every day

Like dust on the shoulder

Shot a man

Cause Tex was a coward

He owed me one

Gotta fix your life and your death

Tired of carryin’ you

On my back

Suzie, remember them three dudes

I fought off for you

Remember that dude

Whose ears I cut off for you

Pay that to Tex

That thing you owe


They made their home

In the Valley of Death

Lived on an old movie ranch

Took on the lives

Of cowboys and gypsies and pirates

Bunch of kids playin’

Playin’ at livin’


I’d be Riff-Raff Rackus

Steve would be John Jones just come in from Minneapolis drivin’ a truck

And then we’d lose track of who we were

Went off to other different dimensions

Levels of thought and understandin’ and comprehension

Beyond most peoples’ minds





Far out trips

Charlie the charlatan

Acid-shaman guide

A show of crucifixion

Deceit in the desert

Trickster programming

Sleight of hand


You haven't gotten rid of it

I can still see your mother on you

You ain’t dead yet

I would die for you

Would you die for me?


The blacks swore to make Vietnam

Look like a holiday

Took their rage and fire to the streets

The illusionist fell victim

To his own chicanery

Feared those black panthers

Of the night


When I stand on a mountain

And I say do it

It gets done

Or else I do it

And that’s the last thing

In the world

You want

Me to do


Ego is a too much thing

Charlie said

The prophet peered through

His third eye swastika

Made helter-skelter prophecies

Of black and white

And red


Blood on the walls

In Bel air

Awful and orgasmic

Madness its fuel

She begged

For two weeks

Long enough

To bear her child

Two weeks

And then they could murder her

But their mouths promised

No mercy

She ate at her favorite restaurant

That night

And the killers

Drank of her blood

They made ink of it

Wrote declarations of war



(death to pigs)

A star fell from the sky

And became lost in the haze

Between heaven and cold sea

They buried her

With her unborn child

In her arms


When you’re in war

War is war, mister

Ain’t no murder

In a holy war

Don’t make no change

Without bloodshed


Charlie went home again

Mindgames in the jailhouse

Holding the trust of California

In his stomach

Spiritually allied

With the things of the desert

The scorpion and the wolf

He needs no one to protect him

Walks on his own two feet

You spit on him

You got a spit comin’

Sits in his cell

Twenty four hours a day

Doin’ his numbers

Doin’ his time

No books

His thoughts more interesting

Than anything he could read

They won’t give Charlie

No guitar to play

He listens to the radio

Whenever he has one

Reads his mail

Makes little things out of string

Scorpions and other things

Sends ‘em everywhere

Wherever they’ll fit


We’re all our own prisons

We’re each our own Wardens

And we do our own times

Anywhere you go

You’re always there

A man came to me

And said I’m damn glad

You ain’t Jesus

I said why not

He said cause I am


I went to the end of it

And then the old man

Would be ready to die

And he’d say

Well, son, uh

Sincerity is the best gimmick

Remember that

That’ll win it

Sincerity and honesty

It’ll trick ‘em every time

Never tried that

Tried everything else

Maybe I been sinful

Maybe I’m wrong

Gonna change it

Start all over

Go to God

And God said

What you need me for

Go forgive yourself


I get stuck in the game

Of playin’ a goat

Or a teddy bear

What is the real one

Where is the real one?

I don’t know where he is

Some nut ward somewhere


What you see is what you get


Whole lot of us out there these days

I ain’t pushin’ no blocks around

Take it to the Queen of England

Sendin’ her kids over here

Duckin’ that Hindu pimp

Comin’ out of that New Delhi penitentiary

Better bow down

Gonna take your heart away

It’s beyond good and evil

It’s a balance

It’s the pope roller-skatin’

Kids runnin’ numbers

Under the table

Got the dice in their hands

You’re not takin’ care of the kids

You’re feedin’ on ‘em

You’re drunk on their blood, man

Everyone’s playin’ a different game

Playin’ boats and planes and trains

And rabbits and ducks

And swings and hearts and little girls

And everything you could think of

When we started the rainbow


I am your young people

When you look at me

You judge yourself

I’m intertwined

With your very soul

Garden of the mind

Everything is love

There’s nothin’ that isn’t

Even confusion is love

It is a word that we use

To supplement for God

Or intelligence

I am loved

I am love

All the way

I’m around the world with it

Ain’t you seen it?

Ten, fifteen times?

Takin’ up the slack for you assholes

Carryin you around, Nixon

I still got you

Hey, Reagan there, Ronnie

Old cryin’ partner

I didn’t tell them that was your gun

Came out of that trailer


Got a kid somewhere

Think about him

‘Bout as much as my daddy

Ever thought about me

Got to catch it on your own, boy

Train’s hard

Road’s rough

All I ever knew

All anybody ever told me


Dyin’ gets me nervous

Livin’ scares me

Dyin’ is easy

People hang themselves on the ventilator

Next to my cell every day

Thoughts I’m carryin is heavy

Knew I wasn’t goin’ to the chamber

Preacher on one side of me

Preacher on the other side of me

Cause I didn’t do anythin’ wrong

Maybe I can learn to be a welder or somethin’

At least till I get to that front gate anyway

It all ended tomorrow


You got a circle

That a man lives inside of

He is responsible

For that circle

And that circle only

You can take that

To the House of the Rising Sun

In Japan with the samurai

You can take that

To the Second World War

You can take it

And hang it on a cross

You can kill me a thousand times

But the circle is still there

You don’t stay out of my circle

You’re fuckin’ with your own life

It’s not mine


If I could get out of here

If they ever set me free

I’d go to the grass out front

And just sit down for a while

So You Wanna Be A Novelist...

Hey guys... here is a piece Jay wrote for Script Magazine a week or so ago, following up on a #scriptchat we missed but wanted to weigh in on in retrospect—focus is on screenwriters tackling the transition to prose in honor of #Nanowrimo. Just some basic thoughts and advice we hope you find useful. Or not. Whatever.

So It Begins...

Okay folks: this is where we're going to toss up random works to include short and flash fiction, poetry, rants, musings, excerpts from our novels, movie reviews, articles we contribute to other publications, think pieces, behind-the-scenes on film projects and whatever other random shit we feel the urge to share. Bon Appétit!