Tag Archives: Portland

Still Chasing…….

25 Jul




This summer was supposed to be a chill one. I had a wedding on the east coast, but other than that, my plan was to read books and lay up under the air conditioning all summer. Much like my 2006 plans, things took on a life of their own, and I found myself criss-crossing the country again.

2016 Summer Observations:

  1. Now that Mommy jeans are in full effect, it may be smart to re-invest in Fanny packs. Young hipsters have brought back something so puzzling, that I can’t help but think this is backlash against the increasing creepiness of men’s boorish behavior. It is the only rational explanation I can think of. Why else would young women purposely wear jeans that make them appear bloated and unattractive? Has the buffoonery of our catcalling, drink spiking, leg grinding, and upskirting finally worn away the magic of women leaving their homes feeling beautiful? Is this a retort to the victim blaming laden statement “Well she had it coming, look how she was dressed.”? I hope this isn’t the case, but I also hope it isn’t women being ironic. Not all women age as fine as wine,  and there will come a day when Mommy jeans will be a necessity, not an option. Those wasted days of beauty will be missed down the road ladies.
  2. Seattle is still extremely white. Seattle is so white that it feels like a foreign country. Seattle is so white that when black people see other black people, they not only introduce themselves to each other, they also get invited to dinner and church services. “Come out to Colombia City and fellowship with us. The whole congregation will be there. All ten of us.” One day when I was walking around downtown, I saw a well dressed white man with a cast on his right arm. It took everything I had not to yell out “Ted Bundy” the same way someone yells out “Kobe” when shooting paper into a wastebasket.
  3. I feel sorry for anyone who sits near me on a bus or an airplane. I feel like handing them a card before I fall asleep that reads,” 1-800 How’s My Snoring?” I should just carry a mouth guard with me at all times when I travel, because its inevitable I’m going to konk out as soon as we take off for our destination.
  4. As much as I miss my Okie friends, I do not miss Oklahoma–especially now that its vogue again to be openly bigoted. You will hear some people brag about Oklahoma being the first state to send a man into outer space. I don’t see how this is flattering. I think it displays the extremes people will go to get away from the God forsaken state. The moon suddenly isn’t far enough away from a state that says if a person puts their penis inside another person’s mouth while they are unconscious it isn’t rape. Ironically, sodomy laws are still in effect there. No wonder Oklahoma is 49th in education in the United States.
  5. My top four favorite cities in North America:   1) Montreal Pound for pound the most dime pieces per capita in any city I’ve ever been. Great food. Well designed layout. Reliable transportation and diverse. Tons of street art, and affordable rent. I could tell who the Americans were in the city by their Valley Girl speak. It was rare that I heard people say the words, “Like, you know, and whatever.” Montreal is a world class city. 2) New York, but more specifically Queens. Brooklyn is too trendy to me. Manhattan just feels like white noise. I know very little about Staten Island and the Bronx. Queens though may be the most diverse of all the boroughs. The food is phenomenal. It is a good place to live whether you have a family or you are single. Taking the N,Q, or 7 trains is a convenient way to travel to the other four boroughs. Plus the Mets play there. I do wonder how long it will be cool though. Its becoming harder and harder to live in New York if you aren’t rich. 3) Portland. I forgot how much I love this city–especially during the summer time. I love the heady highs, and the high trees. Now that legislature has caught up with the times, it has become an even more enjoyable place to visit. Even though the town has more happy hours than black people, and buying a house there has become almost impossible for people not making six figures, it is still an extremely fun place. The women aren’t quite as “hot” as the ones in Texas, but they score well because there are an abundance of cuties living there. If hot women were a currency, then Portland would be the Uruguay among North American cities. There is a thriving middle class of cuties who happen to be pretty chill. I dig it. 4) Austin. Of course. Austin is douchier than it was 10 years ago when I first left, but it is also more going on there than 10 years ago. The food is better. There are more places to eat and drink, and its more diverse. Yes its getting “whiter” by the day, but its not all the same kind of white people–at least for now. Much like New York, it may not be as cool of a place 10 years from now.
  6. I left Texas ten years ago hoping to find a new place to settle into–a new career in a new town in a new region. Much of this journey was captured in my collection of poems, Chasing Kerouac with my Credit Card. The trip that I embarked on during the summer of 2006 was a means to explore parts of the United States, and then plop my ass down somewhere.My criteria eventually became: a) A city near the water–namely the Pacific Ocean. b) A city where I wouldn’t be entirely dependent upon driving a car.c) A racially tolerant city where I could at least feel safe as a black man.

    Many people have wondered why I move around so much, and it is because C) has been an elusive find. Some cities are safer than others for black men, but this summer (and the frankly the last 5 years) has proven that nowhere in America is a minority safe–especially blacks. Now that we are on the heels of a Trump presidency, what once felt like paranoia (to other people) is soon to be a reality. To spare us all the unnecessary bloodshed, I just wish all the whites in America who don’t want to interact with gays, blacks, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Asians, Mexicans, and anyone else not straight, white and conservative, would map out a place in the Midwest (we could call it Bigotopia) where they can live with all their distorted beliefs, and not bother (or be bothered by) anyone different from them. The government should just give everybody relocation grants and call it “The Mulligan Act of 2017.” Everyone wins.

  7. Its crazy how fast ten years just flew by. In some ways this summer paralleled summer of 2006. Moving out of town and being technically homeless for two months was again a theme. The World Cup was the social milieu back in 2006 (where France lost in penalty kicks just like this year’s Eurocup), while the Copa America and Eurocup were going on while I was on the road this year. Though this summer wasn’t nearly as messy as 2006, there were certainly some curveballs that have forced me to stay on my toes. Of course this year’s travels wouldn’t have gone nearly as smoothly without all the people I managed to meet and befriend in the last ten years. My Texas, California and Oregon connections have taken me to some cool places that would have been almost impossible to know without them. I can’t imagine my life had things gone the way I had originally planned back in 2004–before my first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Had you asked me what I thought my life would be like at 37, I would have probably said a wife and kids, teaching at a school in Fort Worth; owning two cars and paying on a mortgage. None of that sounds bad, but I can’t believe I would have been successful at that lifestyle at that time.I would have spent all my free time staring out the window wondering WHAT IF? I can’t say that these things won’t eventually happen (probably not the part about living in Dallas), but I can say that I’m at least a couple of years away from that being my reality. We still have a lot to accomplish before that happens. I’m still chasing……….







Union Jack’s

12 May

I'm not big on strip clubs but when I wanna blow money for women who won't sleep with me, I go to Union Jack's on Burnside.

Normally I’d think spending Valentine’s Day at the strip club to be depressing.
But it wasn’t. Maybe because this club didn’t feel seedy and slimy like most of the strip clubs here. Hell, it was Portland where strip clubs were on every corner like donut shops.

I always got bored at strip clubs,
once you’ve seen more than twenty vaginas, then you’ve seen them all in my opinion
“oooooh look at that, two breast, two legs, a pair of butt cheeks, and a vagina. Wow amazing, every woman has the same set?”

This club, Union Jack’s was a little different. Cute girls, natural looking, some had tattoos,
some didn’t. Good variety, and great music.

I had a buddy who knew a girl who worked here, so it wasn’t like we were just hanging around, we were visiting a friend at her job.

We were just talking to her when this beautiful Israeli gal strolled by wearing nothing but panties, high heel shoes and a fur coat. She was pretty engaging, we were just talking, I had no intention of spending anymore money at the club. I’d already bought some food and had a drink.

But she leaned in and said in on of the most suggestive manners possible, “Would you like a dance?”

I stammered, then for some reason my mouth opened and I saw the words “yes, let me go to an ATM.” float out of my mouth.

I’d never even considered paying for a lap dance in the thirteen years I’ve been strip club eligible. For some reason this seemed appropriate. When was I ever gonna have another chance to get a lap dance from a beautiful and exotic Israeli woman? The odds were slim. Even if I made it to Israel for a visit, it’d be quite a few years from now, and the circumstances would be quite different. I’d probably be on a family trip with my wife and sons or something.

Or maybe it was just the way she said it.

Two songs she gave me for 20 bucks, and it was the best 20 bucks I’d ever blown in my life.
It wasn’t just a lap dance. It was a performance. She was fluid, and in control, no herky jerky, but the grace of a belly dancer.

She made me feel like a rich businessman, a Dallas Cowboy, or better yet a sheik.
She rubber her brown nipples in my face, smacked herself on the ass, and rubbed that beautiful bush right against my nose.

Every time she sat in my lap she made sure to lean against my neck and breathe really hard. It was so hot and she had the best body I’d seen on a live woman by far.

I could do nothing but take deep breathes and not behave like a first timer, country bumpkin.

When the songs ended, I tried my best to calm myself down, but the flush leaving my face was obvious.
She laughed and told me I was cute. I wanted to marry her, and if not her, then go to Israel and marry a gal who looked like her but didn’t strip for a living.

Could it be true? Was I turning into one of those guys? Was I in love with a stripper?

Eve of Departure XXX (Some old bulls*&t)

10 Sep

I gotta say I’m pretty excited about m trip out west and then north to Portland.

Things are starting to sort themselves out though. I’ll have some sort of plan by the time I get back from PDX.

I think copies of my next book, “Instant Exchange of Recognition”, will be printed and shipped to me by the middle of next week. Just in time to go visit John Ferlinghetti and hopefully get a consignement deal at his store City Lights Books.

Its been a crazy month and a half and honestly i feel live that ever since I’ve gotten back from Canada, things have been heightened quite a bit. The west coast will be a good mellow pill to chill me out. Ocean, Mountains, fresh air, good friends. It’ll be nice. I’ll even get to visit my old friend Ed Forman.

In some ways this is a small parallel with my first visit to the Northwest, getting over a little heartbreak and needing a fresh scene for a spell. That was four years ago, and to commemorate that visit I’m going to include entries from the old Raving and Drooling column from that time period. I’ll be blogging off and on while I’m out that way, not sure how much of it will be interesting to anyone else, but I’ll mention the noteworthy things until then: Here is some old bullshit!!!!!:

March 28, 2005

So when I got on the plane leaving for Portland two Saturdays ago, my main question was how people in the Northwest would treat a black man from Texas, and how I would enjoy my time there. Here is my breakdown of what I saw there:

Seattle: This is probably the best example of what a city built around a penile colony would be like. There aren’t any women in Seattle. The guy to girl ratio is like 5 to 1. For every one girl i saw at the bar, there wer in my friend Craig’s words, “five guys hoola hooped around that one girl.”

My friend Adam and I played a game called count the black people in the Northwest I got up to 30 while I was in Washington. I stopped counting when I got to Portland because there were lots of blacks. Anyway I noticed that I could easily count more blacks that I had seen than cute girls during my whole stay in Washington…. it was funny

Also it sucks to drive up there. The city is fucking crazy confusing, and you can’y find anywhere to park, everything is so expensive and no matter where we went Metallica or some kind of grunge music was playing. It was like I went back in time to 1993.

Final grade: C What keeps this grade from being an F is that it is laid back, they are pretty consientious about the environment and it is smack dab in the middle of Portland and

Vancouver: A super nice town which I fell in love with instantly. The perfect mix of city and country landscape. The minute you drive into Canada there is an instant calm as you drive 99km/hr down the King George highway.

The city is well put together with an enormous downtown area. it does’t pay to drive around because there are so many one way streets and the public transportation is spectacular. I saw buses running at 1:30 in the morning. something you won’t see in Austin.

I hung out at the University of British Colombia with some kids that I met walking down the street. Everyone was very friendly and wanted to help you, and i had some great conversations with the locals. Sushi up there is super cheap and there are lots of beautiful women from all over up there. The coolest thing though was not feeling like an outsider, a weirdo, people don’t give a fuck up there.I was on the beach (five minutes from the UBC campus) high and the most relaxed I’d ever been in my life, looking at Mercury wobble around in the sky, and it occurred to me that here I was an American in another country and I had felt more welcome, at home, and at peace there than I did back in Texas. I wasn’t prepared to fall in love. In fact i’m going back proabably in June just to get my fill.

Another thing to add, 80% of the men in Vancouver are gay, so do you know my odds of scoring up there are??? Pretty high…..

Portland treated me a little better. It reminded me of a crazier, more liberal, and prettier Austin. There is so much to do up there, record stores, and book stores (Powells is this four story used book store right smack in the middle of town), and lots of cute girls. I wasn’t in Portland half an hour before I stopped playing ” how many black people” and “how many cute girls”. I met a lot of inaresting people there but I honestly didn’t spend much time in the city, electing instead to go hiking Multnomah Falls in Troutdale, driving to Cannon Beach on the coast, and spending St. Patrick’s Day in

Eugene: A parallel universe to here, except not nearly as diverse. U of Oregon is the prettiest campus I have seen yet..well… except UBC which had a direct view of the ocean from campus, so I guess its the second prettiest…. but the people there were cool. Somehow I ended up watching Curb Your enthusiasm, and college basketball at this guy’s house (who let me sleep on his couch) while getting high and listening to Jazz.

He played in a band called The Quick and Easy Boys which he played a demo for me, it was very P-funkish but I loved it….. perhaps it was that good ol Eugene bud I was smoking. NAyway he and I went to this club called the Downtown Lounge and he introduced me to hella girls and some other cool people. I even met some people who knew some people who lived in Denton. It was a good time. We watched this funk band that consisted of a sax, keyboardist who was funky as hell, a bass, guitar, drummer, and a Did-yee–ara-doo player, the higlight was this funky cover of “Last of the Mohicans”. It was awesome. I never felt out of place and everyone was nice. One other cool thing about it was that Thursday night is 80’s night up there and apparently that is where one wants to go if they wanna see some skin.

What probably impressed me the most about Eugene besides the lushness of the scenery, the good herb, the hot chicks, and the nice people was the fact that it was finals week, the day before spring break and it really wasn’t that bumping, yet I had a fantastic fucking time…. imagine if Denton was prettier and not in Conservative ass Texas and you have the University of Oregon. My only problem was there weren’t enough international students but whatever.

Oregon is probably the prettiest state I have ever been to, mountains,Douglas Firs, and Ocean, and cute gals.. It was really hard to come back to Texas. If Texas were my girlfriend then we would be at the “I love you but I need to see other people” of the relationship. I can probably say the same thing about AMerica and Canada, now that my international cherry has been popped, I can’t wait to see other places besides the U.S. The only problem is that I lost my birth certificate on the way back from Portland so………. I obviously have some things to work on before I plan that trip to Vancouver.

ALl in all, a great and eye opening experience. I had such a fabulous time and I didn’t even get laid. That shows you how highly I think of Oregon/Vancouver (fuck Washington)… but yeah super chill in the northwest wouldn’t be surprised if I setteld there within the next five years.

(pretty prophetic huh?)