Grace Dahl Portrait Shoot – 11/10/18

Fun shoot with Grace Dahl the other day. It helped how much of a natural she seemed at being in front of the camera, and I got an earnest chance to try out that Helios 40-2. Very nice, chilly, transitional weather in Puyallup gave some fantastic natural light, so I got to use the most of my aperture. With autumn quickly becoming winter, the skies were clear, and the ground was awash in orange.

Puyallup Narcos

They claim a
Loose little empire
Woven together with
Broken curfews
And worried parents
(In the beginning)

But what night life
Gives way to are the
Vices and devices
To torture those in
The way of whatever
Hit they search for

Living with their
Abusive parents
Hiding their meth
In legendary edition
Halo 3 Master Chief
Helmet, contented

With the threat of
Police finding them
Never manifested
They conive and
Thrive by tricking
Their “friends”

Staying with them
Living with them
Being together
As bf and gf
A title their egoes
Need to survive

But they won’t survive

Not like the narcos
They look up to
They live in the
Run-down small town
Thinking they are
The best around

But they don’t have
A paycheck and live
Off of rainchecks
And IOU’s. Maybe it’s
Best that they are
Thought to be

Kings.

So they won’t
Bother the rest of
Us.

Bane of the Valley

Walking in the rain
Just like everybody else
Titans of our own
Under still the taller shadows

Passing by in leather boots
Wax seals keep the water out
Same as stamps on envelopes
Inviting us to Anthem house

Certain minds but still happy
We splash in puddles on our way

Separate Ways – Journal 10/23/17

You aren’t me, and that’s enough to make me happy.

I’ve mentioned before about how sometimes we all look around and see someone that is achieving by their own admission. Maybe you see their support. Maybe you see their internet points or something. I don’t know. But whatever it is, you start to compare yourself to them. And it doesn’t look good. When this happens to me, it does sting. Some kind of jealousy creeps up and it doesn’t feel good. Then I remember I’m me, and I’m happier being myself than looking at someone else’s achievements.

I say this because I know a few people who are getting ahead in the writing sphere and every time someone announces something it slightly wears on me. Makes me think I’m doing something wrong. I usually get reigned in in about 5 minutes and am only kickstarted with more of a fire to continue what I’m doing. Fuck it, lets get involved in the stock market.

This weekend taught me that I was raised in Highland, California, but I grew up in Puyallup, Washington. After a weekend there on a 2 1/2 hour airplane ride, it doesn’t feel like it’s so far away.

First airplane ride, and I can solemnly say I enjoy the hell out of takeoffs and landings. Took a bunch of photos of landmarks from my window seat. Sea-Tac is a beautiful airport, I’ve learned, and I’ve also learned that the Orlando terminal is awful. At least Sea-Tac had a Starbucks. Pumpkin Spice Frappe started my journey, as I felt I needed to arrive in California as a true Washingtonian.

And I also saw my best friend for the first time in 5 years. He’s into cars. He drives an S2K and he knows San Bernardino well enough. I got to meet his SO, too! Been hearing about her for three years or so now. You know how when you don’t see someone for a long time, there’s a chance that things have changed enough that the reason for knowing each other doesn’t have it’s core anymore? Yeah, that didn’t happen with us. Still very much friends, and still very much ready to either play Xbox or just drive around.

One of the first stops was at a Del Taco at about 1 AM. Fucking amazing food there. Street Tacos: HIGHLY recommended.

We had plenty of Baker’s, as you kinda have to when you’re in the IE. American-Mexican food to the max. Best breakfast burritos, and best hamburgers I’ve had to this day. Also: Baker’s Hot Sauce already has a poem on this very website!

Another was at an Asian food buffet place in Citrus Plaza. While looking for parking we stumbled upon a scene where a guy and a gal were getting frisky behind the loading docks of a Toys R Us. Upon a second or two longer to take in the scene, and the guy tackling gal to the group with a raised fist, it was clear that some domestic violence San Bernardino is famous for was taking place right there in front of us. We gunned the car at the guy to see if he would budge, but he wasn’t too concerned. People were parking and going to the shops, not 20 feet away from this going on. So we pulled over and dialed 911. 12 minutes later, the police show up, go over and talk to them, they wave us off after a while telling us “You guys are good to go”. Hadn’t even been in the city for 24 hours yet. The buffet was nice.

We saw ‘It’! Old Krikorian theater doesn’t exist anymore, but the Citrus Plaza has really grown up and has its own theater now, so that’s where we saw the movie. It’s motivated me to come up with my “critique” section of the website, so that’s gonna happen real soon. But just to get some thoughts off my chest about it: holy fuck the opening scene could be its own thing. *SPOILERS AHEAD* The way Pennywise drools as he talks to Georgie… so fucking eerie. Tiny little detail. Then when Georgie reaches for his boat, Pennywise TAKES HIS FUCKING ARM OFF AND THE KID FALLS BACK IN THE STREET WITH BLOOD POOLING WITH THE WATER AROUND HIM AND HE GETS DRAGGED INTO THE STORM DRAIN. Fucking shit. I love movies that make such bold “fuck the status quo” statements like that. *SPOILERS OVER*

Kids dying on screen in movies so viciously isn’t really a thing in movies unless they are of a significantly darker variety. Classically it’s a no-no, like a few other general things. But nope, this “Stranger Things crossed with The Babadook” movie fucking ripped the arm off of an 8 year old in the first scene of the movie. Really set the tone there, and I was a fan of the entirety of what followed.

I found out about poke (poe-kay)! Had myself a delicious sushi burrito of sorts and now I will never look at Japanese food again the same way. It was like Chipotle but Asian! You’ll see my post Low-Key Night and that’s the thing I ate. Need to find a place that does that around here. Desperately.

We spent a day going to vantage points and taking photos, too. Under bridges, in the barrios, and in my hometown. It was weird being back. Couldn’t stop talking about how small everything was. From old schools to Palm Ave, to Base Line, to all the old landmarks we could investigate as pre-teens. 5 years later, these things were tiny.

I knew it was going to be fun when he put in his ‘… And Justice For All’ CD and we drove really fast in his modded Honda S2K. So from that start we could only do what we knew now. Coffee, sushi, driving, and photography. Maybe some Titanfall 2, too. I’m gonna miss him.

Radio Reality City is back at headquarters (see: my laptop), and this journal’s excerpt will be from “Lakefair”:

“Dead inside beside living
And the carefree
Making fun of them
Because they aren’t

The two
Of us”

About a thing that happened over the summer that I’ve finally gotten some time to write about. Aside from that, I have that Copper Canyon Press submission to edit and submit before Halloween. It’s gonna be a busy vacation week for me.

This is Jake Thomas Shaw from Radio Reality. City, saying thank you for tuning in! Check out the main site at https://radioreality.city if you like what you’ve heard and would like to look at some more cool stuff. Consume reality! Radio Reality City!

What’s Fair

What’s Fair

I stepped up to that booth
In the carnival
And valiantly heaved
A steel ball into milk bottles

While the bored operator
And you lit up at the sight
Of some action finally when
The stacked metal tumbled down.

I looked up at
A colorful, most obnoxiously large
Plush monkey on the prize rack
And picked it out for you,

Parading it around the fair
Under an air of fried confections
Proudly like a boyfriend should
After a supposed romantic gesture.

We showed your dad
And he seemed so
Gleeful about something
So simple.

Couples passed us on the way
Up and down the aisles
Jealous of a big blue monkey
Sat perched on my shoulders.

I still have the plastic ticket
I used to pay for the game.
Sometimes I look at it
And smile thinking of your dress,

But then I remember that monkey
When we lounged in your room
And its obnoxiously big
Plush body sat in one corner

And watched us as we kissed
And had sex and talked about
Our days or why things ever
Lulled or had to end once.

The monkey watched as we
Dressed up to go to the
Theater or out on any one
Of our innumberable dates.

He sat in his corner never speaking
But watching Halloween and
Chistmas gifts be swapped and
A new year give way to warmth.

Every time I come across that
Ticket, I smile because
I can remember some of those
Good times we could share.

I can remember your perfume
You must have put on topless
In front of him after a shower,
For the mist emanated from his fur.

When I saw you nearly naked
On the floor or in photos
You took confidently for me
After I won the monkey

For you at the fair, two years ago.
We were young. Your gold curls,
What innocent
Sights passed by his glossy plastic

Hemispheres slightly brown
With age hanging from the shelf.
At the end of the day, not terribly
Of any individual significance

Beside all the red monkeys
Or the green ones, maybe smaller
But nonetheless beside him on
The shelf and hanging from the tent.

Why I picked him after I looked you
In your eyes, I had to wonder
Particularly why it was him I let
Sit on your bedroom floor and

Be a voyeur from that summer
All the way into next May.
I can still smell your perfume
Sometimes. And especially when

I see that ticket in my lockbox
Or spring and summer come around
I can detect your perfume,
And still sometimes I can smile.

Even after your scent was
At one point choking.
Even after the monkey was
Donated to Goodwill.

I can remember the good and
Try to phase out all after.
I want to forgive you, but
What’s fair wasn’t found in the fair.

The poor monkey didn’t deserve it.