memory

Moving Back To The Country - an old letter by D.M. Jerman

       I've never been as mixed up about anything as I have been about everything for about a year. I don't know why. I honestly don't. I've searched everywhere and every part of me, honestly and openly, and I don't know what is confusing me…

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Sometimes I get so confused that I wish that I was that same kid that had been dating that other kid while holding hands in church. That's how bad it gets. To think that ignorance and complete acceptance are what I want makes me feel like a fool. Like someone that should know better, but doesn't, and worst of all, is enjoying it. The more I question it seems like the less answers I get, which leads to uncertainty.  I read a review of Jack Kerouac recently, because some anniversary of his was recent.  It said that he made us question the roles that society thrusts upon us.  When it said that he makes us question… that was it. I question things that I didn't before and it's unsettling.  I thought of it recently as being "without joy."  Not that my life in any way is or was recently awful. I teach good kids at a good school and work with good people. I have the least excuse of anyone to complain. But I didn't find joy in things. Things I used to enjoy and really get excited for. I miss the feeling of "the first day of school" or right before a big game, or the moment before you get in a fight. I miss that pure joy of it after the fact is over.  For whatever reason joy has become a lost thing for me. I enjoy things, but I don't get the joy out of them that I used to. I miss that little kid feeling when you know that something great could happen very soon.  Like that movie with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the Smiths, that's what he says to her. You looked like Christmas morning. I want Christmas morning to come again, and more often. I've still been doing what I told you last time, but I think a little better.  I've been a better family member, all around, and I've been better professionally and personally. It's funny, because the more people at my school that realize I'm leaving, the more people come up to me and say they're going to miss me.  It's flattering, but I feel ashamed, because I think of what I could have been had I given 100%. I guess that feeling, ashamed, has also had to something to do with me recently.

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This isn't a life where dreams come easily. And the older you get the harder the dreams are to see, and to realize.  To be honest, I haven't had a clear future picture in mind since college, so it's not as if I'm disappointed. On the contrary, when I search myself right now I don't find disappointment at all. A bit of regret, but mostly a sense of looking forward and finishing strong. The feeling of being close to a finish line, but this is the hardest part of the race. I guess that I've come to realize that I am a person easily affected by my environment in almost all aspects. My roommates have been so great, putting up with me.  Not that I've been mean or a dick or a slacker in terms of my roommate responsibility, but that I haven't been myself.  Anyway, I find that my environment has a great deal to do with my activities and thoughts. I was home recently for my spring break, and I purposely stayed for about 8 days straight at my parents house.  It was different. I woke up and didn't feel a sense of boredom, or as if there were a million things I should be doing but wouldn't, or anything. I felt calm, and got a lot of things accomplished, some of which were overdue. That's another thing I've come to realize about myself: I get deep into procrastination. I'm looking forward to my grandfather's farm a lot, because I feel that it will do a great deal for me in terms of centering me.

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I honestly don't know where I would be if it weren't for you. You're probably the most amazing person I've ever met, bar none. Your ability to take life as it comes, for what it is, amazes me - and makes me jealous. You've been constant for me. Unwavering. If I was ever desperate or upset, or feeling helpless, I knew I could call you and talk, and that helped. The knowledge that someone was there that always seemed to be completely open, honest, and deep thinking. That makes a difference. I thought the other day, "what is the world without you like“ and it was odd. There were so many experiences that seemed like cornerstones to my past. It was hard to see. That in itself tells me how important you are to me. I would say about once a week you're in a dream of mine, often in no context whatsoever. Other times it's such an obvious connection it almost makes you laugh. Here's one that has actually occurred more than once, and you can read it as you want. You and I are together, alone. It isn't clear where. I'm going out of my mind, as usual, like my head's going to explode if I can't organize my thoughts and get control of them. For some reason the obvious solution to my problem is that you're there, and that if I can just have sex with you, I'll feel all better. I don't know how I convince you, it was never clear, but while we're having sex I suck on one of your nipples, and it's as if I were drawing something from you that made me feel all better and that I didn't need to worry any more. It never gets any farther than that, but in short, I don't know your role in my life. All I know is that I feel as if you're an integral, necessary part in the framework that is who I am. I don't ever want to lose you, in any regard, and I would love to spend a large amount of time with you soon.

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I'm going home this weekend with a load of stuff from my apartment/storage area. I want to get a start on it, and I feel like if I do it will feel more present and realistic. Next year I'm going to be living at my grandfather's farm. I don't know what I'll be doing for money yet. That bothers me a lot less than it used to, which is good. Either way I'll be taking classes at the local college and paying the bills somehow. Luckily I won't have many bills, and I'll get to enjoy space, country, and all that those things entail. I don't know where you are right now, or what your plans are, but you should consider staying at the farm with me sometime after July of this year. I'll be there permanently there after that, and welcoming your kind of visitor 24/7. I honestly don't know where you and I go, but it's somewhere.

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Short Work = acrostic + memoir + erotica by D.M. Jerman

FUCK/MARRY/KILL

For a total amount you talk

Unless violence swings on complete

Cock, we had better measure

Kiss with an element which exceeds

Morons deer games won piled

And cross over the wild and

Random expanses fresh or maybe

Rebellious yes rebelling while

Yardsticks are used to collect

Kef and major edges measured by

Individual drunken magnitudes

Lightheartedness while coating precious

Lists of everything blasphemed.

-

When I was working in Kentucky at a girl scout camp, toward mid-summer I went out with some other counselor ladies to TN.

We stayed at hotels in Memphis and Nashville and it was a long wild weekend, but toward the beginning one night in the middle of our drive we stopped at one of the counselors' parents houses.

It was a hot and beautiful night full of stars and mischief.

The counselors were younger than I and impressionable. Over the course of the drive, I had borrowed both of their cell-phones to make prank calls.

I even dialed a number close to my own and an exceedingly nasty woman answered. I called again and she was dumb enough to answer a second time.

While they were indoors, I sat on the curb outside dialed and dialed, leaving spastic patois and jive accents in my wake. Unrecognizable to the perturbed answerer.

One woman challenged me, tho'. As I stared up into the the southern spark-strewn black she talked and I talked and the lonely in her found a story in me. The exchange was warm and kind.

Fathomable and full of small truths, the kind a palm-reader tells you.

I stopped calling after her. I think I got what I wanted or needed, after that.

The next day the counselor's phones rang and rang with people calling back out of curiosity and confusion.

-

206 East Seventh Avenue. New York City, 1953.

Finally Billy Burroughs is topping Allen Ginsberg in his apartment living room somewhere between the roll-up couch and the orientally shagged floor and it's a moment the latter has been jerking it to for some time.

He is determined to be Bud's best lay (nobody calls Billy "Bud" but Allen, who gets away with the pet name probably because it's only used privately indoors), and maybe earn a scraped knee or two trying, cranking his soaking ass right up there to the hilt. Al's come twice but nothing much ever leaks out of his little brown jewcock and pecan balls anyway, so he keeps powering down until about twenty seconds from now when Bud busts and hunches fast over Al like he's captured kill.

Al has taken so many mental pictures as this "tea-n-tea'' real-life afternoon unfolds, his sweaty hair-pulled scalp is tingling in heady waves. Bud makes noises Al's never heard anyone else make ever while he nuts and he's stealing them also for potential later use. Al is only nervous about one thing and that's having more body hair than Bud, but Bud gives zilch for fucks about all that and knows Al was angling for his prick for awhile and Al doesn't really know that Bud is currently taking out his frustrations over someone else who is somewhere else out on him.

It's just sex and it's good. No one is falling in love here.

He pulls out. They arrange themselves and collapse. The room is musty with fornication and the muted chaos of it leaves Al grinning deliciously. Bud smells like stale cigarettes and the last glimmers of a once-bright aftershave wafting from the heat of him. Al watches Bud's thick dick soften and sink. He concentrates on this and mentally connects it with his asshole and the raw bliss of the worked-over feeling he's earned there.

After another moment, Al goes for the cigarettes. He'd been admiring Bud's breathing. Flat on his back, chest rising and falling with the small rouge nipples spread wide over the white barrel. Mouth open and near sleep in the 3pm light. Al fidgets anyway- a default setting from feeling so perpetually freaky-deakey all the time- but is afraid now Bud will catch him watching.

He does his best to be quiet and careful. Strikes the match and gets on with the next phase of afterglow.

by D.M. Jerman

Hi Scott-

I hope you're still writing. I imagine you are. I'm a writer living in Chicago. Originally from western Pennsylvania. It's a whole lot of poetry with some short stories/flash fiction thrown in, for me.

I work in a mom-n-pop bookshop of all-used volumes in the Logan Square neighborhood; as you can imagine I get to read a lot. That's where I found your books.

What I love most about your fiction is the people. Sometimes the ones you remember the most are the ones you see for an instant or two, then they're gone forever. It's like they just swooped down to give you this one thing to remember. Then they're out of here.

I'm familiar with that part of WV where your head and heart are so much of the time. One time my car broke down on the side of 119 somewhere, (which runs north right past the house where I grew up in Home, PA) and I had to wait hours for my dad to come get me. In the meantime I was at the house of this family who had me for dinner and were such dears. They had 3 girls. The girls loved me and wanted to play and play and play. We played inside. We played outside. I was in my mid-twenties then. I was lucky. It was midsummer and I remember the light fading over their dusty back yard. I was exhausted and filthy and I remember going in having turkey and applesauce. Later I sent them a thank you note with a gift basket of fancy foods in small portions and nice packaging. You know, jellies and dips and crackers and stuff. The girls are all grown up. Maybe one of them still has the basket.

Usually I think I'm writing to answer question(s) I find myself asking. That ever happen to you? Like, if I put a few characters thru something, I'll gain some insight. It's a bit like playing dolly in the big-girl sense. If you have too many dollies tho', you want to add them all in. Sometimes that makes it complicated where it probably doesn't need to be.

I watched all the Holler Presents videos on Vimeo and they are so worth it. I hope you make more. My husband used to be a teacher and we watched the video about your Mom's last day at school and we cried. She is so good. And the pastor you interviewed. Good stories from good people who have a way of changing the world you don't see that often, because it's not flashy. But boy is it important.

Hope you're having a nice autumn out there. All the trees do here is turn yellow.

Sincerely, a fan.