Monday, June 30, 2008

New story

My short story titled "Sasquatch" is now up on Freight Stories, a very cool and prestigious new fiction journal. Check out the list of contributors in the first two issues and ask yourself, "Who should not be at this table?" Which reminds me, I need to get that check out to Andrew and Victoria. What? Like you've never bribed an editor to pretend to like your work. Liar!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In defense of my mullet.

This incredibly kick-ass live cover of "My Back Pages", which includes some of the most influential and rockin' musicians of our time (or any time for that matter)---i.e. Neil Young, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Roger McGuinn, the late-George Harrison, and The Man, himself---was part of the 30th Anniversary Bob Dylan tribute concert in 1992. In 1992, I had a mullet, which many of my friends consider to be on the later-end of mulletdom; thus, making me incredibly un-hip, backwards and behind the times. I finally severed my mullet in 1993, shortly before entering college. However, it's worthy of mention, I quickly replaced the mullet with a spider plant, pseudo-Cobain doo, where I kept the top long and shaved the sides and the back, which, in retrospect, was an even bigger douche doo. Then I grew it all out and became the sensitive ponytail man, an even more ridiculous hair-persona. Basically, I sucked throughout my formative years and beyond. Actually, I'm still a douche with a Supercuts Special.

However, my point for posting this clip is to exonerate myself. Look carefully. George Harrison--- a fucking Beatle, for God's sake!---and Roger McGuinn have mullets. And if you examine this even closer, Neil Young has a little bit of bangs, hence, a mullet. You see, I wasn't a complete turd if Neil friggin' Young was rocking the mullet, too. My mullet had some street cred in 1992. So, hypothetically, were you to visit my parents' place in Rhode Island and see my high school senior portrait framed on the wall in their den and say something like, "Hey, look at Graziano and his lame-ass mullet five years after mullets were popular," I'd say, "Lick my ball-bag, dickwad. George Harrison had a mullet, too."

With enough coaxing, I might post a pic of my mullet on this blog. Maybe. Then again, I'm a public school teacher. Let's change that to doubtful.

Question: Can anyone make out a single word Bob Dylan is singing here? I'm not entirely sure he's singing in English.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New poems/quick fiction/haiku on steriods?

I have some new material on The Boston Literary Journal. It's a form I've been playing with lately, and I'm not quite sure what they're called. On the site, they're labeled as "quick fiction," but not really. I wrote them as prose poems, but I don't think they fit that definition either---at least what I understand of prose poems (which is very little). Basically, they're pieces of writing born as hermaphrodites, confused about their identity. If they make it into my next book of poetry, I assure you they'll be wearing woman's underwear. That's pretty sexy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Snuff this

My review of Chuck Palahnuik's new novel Snuff is in this week's Hippo Press. For almost five years, I've been writing book reviews and have never panned a book, until now. This is just bad. I don't proclaim to be any great literary critic, but I can spot a book that is simply going through the motions, honoring a six-figure (maybe more) book deal.

My daughter graduates pre-school tomorrow. Her class is singing Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" a cappella. Rockin'.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New poem and name change

I have a new poem titled "Dressing Down at the Ninety-nine Restaurant" posted on Thieves Jargon. Give it a read and tell me what you think.

On that note (meaning the note that involves "me"), I watched the movie Top Gun for the first time in years last night. There is sooooooo much machismo, latent homosexuality and pure 80s cheese that I found it beyond satisfying. Since I don't have a pilot name, I'm just going to start calling myself Pete Mitchell.

So enjoy Pete Mitchell's new poem.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yankees Suck

I want you to do me a favor.

Turn off the television or any music in the room. Now, close the windows and fasten your hands tightly over your ears. Listen. What do you hear? That's Yankee fans. That's Yankee fans with their big, fat fucking mouths shut.


Because, right now, the Yankees truly SUCK.

There's no need for the chant at Fenway Park or Camden Yards or anywhere else in any baseball park in America or Toronto. It's superfluous. The Yankees really suck. Might I burn in these words come September? Possibly. But doubtful. This is the truth. The Yankees, literally, SUCK.

And what do you hear from Yankee fans? This is a rebuilding year (translation: we never should have let go of Joe Torre).

A rebuilding year? Really? So why do the Yankees continue to have, by far, the largest payroll in baseball? Injuries, right? Um, what big game player is currently out of their line-up? The Yankee Way---pursuing aging, big-market players in the attempt to field an All-Star team--- can officially be deemed a veritable bust. They haven't won a World Series since 2000 when they wielded a home-grown dynasty. Since, they have signed players such as Jason "The Steroid" Giambi, Gary "The Steroid" Sheffield, Alex "Mr. Playoffs" Rodriguez, Randy "The Big Eunuch" Johnson, Johnny "Cut My Hair and Turned Into a Pussy" Damon, Kyle "Superstar" Farnsworth, and, oh, the list goes on. If only Detroit had learned from the Yankees near-decade of brain farts.

If I'm wrong here, then I deserve all the shit in the world, and I'm sure I'll get it come October should The Yankees mount a comeback. But if a team with Ching Ming Wang as their ace and Mike "The Fossil of a Moose" Mussina at the top of their rotation believes they're going to make it deep into the playoffs, if they think they can even compete with Tampa's starting rotation in the AL East, then, let me say, I have a Brooklyn Bridge for sale. I can only imagine that Hank "Just as Much of a Douche as Dad" Steinbrenner Jr. is wishing Brian Cashman pulled the trigger on the Johan Santana deal about as much as John McCain is wishing he never hugged George W. Bush.

The big question here: Is this hubris? Are The Red Sox, staring at the possibility of losing Big Papi for the season, getting a little too comfortable? Possibly. But the fact remains that Phil Hughs and Ian Kennedy and even Joba "Give Me Some Bug-Spray" Champalian might be a form of rebuilding, as might Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano (destined to be one of the best hitters in the game). Sure, they might be "rebuilding." But when you have the highest payroll in baseball, there's no justifying it.

Fact, right now: The Yankees suck. And I'm loving it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And the Winner Is...

So here it is, the top three Classic Rock suck-ass bands according to my own uninformed, bitter, and judgemental opinion.

3. Fleetwood Mack. Already, I've gotten in heated arguments with close friends over what we call "The Fleetwood Mack Issue." And, yes, you Mack-heads are probably lacing up your umbrage gloves from what you consider the sheer audacity of their inclusion in this list. My response to you, in the words of Izzy Stradlin in the Gun 'N Roses classic "It's So Easy": fuck off. First, I have a hard time considering Fleetwood Mack a rock band. Basically, they're the television show Friends with instruments. But what about Rumors, you say? Rumors, according to Rolling Stone, is one of the best albums ever. Big fucking deal. The band paired up and broke up and if I wanted relationship drama I'd go to a Danielle Steele novel. Lindsay Buckingham, a great musician, should have been banging groupies, not the group. And Stevie Nicks, in all her smoking hotness, was NOT worth the headache. Personally, I don't want a chick in a flowing white gown standing in front of a bay window. I want the trash, the leather miniskirts and the stripper pumps and the fishnet stockings and the low-cut blouses with their breasts falling out. And as a rock star, you're entitled to that. Why, dear God, get involved in relationships and write crap-ass songs about it? Fleetwood Mack is the musical equivalent of a chick-flick. In the name of all that is sacred and rocks, in the holy name of Black Sabbath, please spare me the pain of listening to "The Chain" and "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" ever again. Amen.

Note: The ONLY thing keeping The Eagles off this list is Joe Walsh and the fact that The James Gang existed.

2. The Moody Blues. Instead of persevering, allow me to quote this little spoken word poem at the end of "Nights in White Satin":

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one;
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son;
Senior citizens wish they were young.

A new mother "suckles her son"? Could you force a rhyme any harder? Listen, there's nothing wrong with being gay and being in a rock band. Fine. But, for the point of comparison, let's put Rob Halford at one end of the spectrum and The Village People at the other. Where do The Moody Blues fall? Here's something I can guarantee you will never hear passing my lips: "Let's get some beers and crank up The Moody Blues." I don't get them. I don't get their appeal. I don't get their raison d' etre. See? I start writing about them and already I'm using gay-ass terms like raison d' etre. I'm disgusting myself. Between Fleetwood Mack and The Moody Blues, the next thing you know I'm going to start talking about my feelings. As if I have feelings. Why don't I just go downstairs and ask my wife if we can have a heart-to-heart and discuss our relationship, how I can be a better husband, and whether or not her hair looks better back or down on her shoulders? This, my friends, is what happens when you listen to suck-ass bands with pussy-boy lyrics. Not good. No,no, no. Very bad.

1. Foreigner. I'm not sure this is even subjective. This might be a veritable fact. What the hell happened here? What sort of cultural breakdown occurred in the 70s and early-80s that allowed this total lame-ass, turd-sucking shit band to sell millions of albums? At what point did the listening public decide "Hot Blooded" was acceptable for the airwaves? At what point did deejays decide that "Jukebox Hero" should be spinning in the studio? The truly amazing thing about Foreigner was their tenacity at sucking. And it's not like Chicago, who rocked in their early days then fell off the deep end and started cutting tracks for The Karate Kid movies. Foreigner sucked from the start and just steadily kept sucking more and more. "I've Been Waiting For a Girl Like You." Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, anyone who bought the album with that track on it is complicit in this crime against humanity. Mick Jones, shame on you. And Ian McDonald should have been banned from playing in public venues after The King Crimson debacle. And Lou Gramm flat out sucks the big donkey wad. I realize that 99 percent of pop music is simply insufferable, and Foreigner was a pop band. Fine. And people at the time were wearing nut-hugger jeans and denim jackets and this could possibly explain the absence of decency. But why do people continue to play this shite on the radio? Why is this band frequently considered Classic Rock legends? More importantly, why have taken all of this time to compile this list? Seriously. Homeboy needs his head examined.

Note: Anyone who would like to reprint this list, contact me at It's important that we all work together to STOP THE SUCKING.