From the boggy banks of Unicorn Island….
…the modern ladies and gentlemen of Matador Sequential politely bow in the year of the Tiger, two thousand and ten. 26
fortunate years have passed since slipping through the vermilion gates on my dear mother, and I feel like the time is now to make damn sure it was all for something, at least that is what I demand, all the while seeing it as nothing more than a soiled diaper hanging from the hips of some degenerate 3 year old standing at the edge of a parking-lot smoking cigarettes in the blinding sun. It seems laughable that we start things off with an impossible amount of optimism…forever taking short jaunts up the considerable grade for a chance at real overcoming, but the rock tumbles down. It will continue to, and without struggle there’s nothing to say. So we should have plenty to talk about and plenty to spin dreams for. We reach a point of clarity-a moment of true sight, and everything seems to shine and sparkle. Silver bells ring. We smell cinnamon. It all goes down for a matter of seconds or even minutes, and then its gone.
Maybe it’s the post-holiday malaise that drives one to dissect past a future events…to weigh what one has accomplished vs. what is till to come. Motivation makes up for genius. “God, I hope so!” I think it now and my warring eyes across the fake wood paneling of a desk through the window against the neighboring building. Nothing to see but that faded green wall. “fuck it,” I think. Who needs a view? I’ve spent enough years seeking out the perfect view.
My own Christmas day was far from traditional and my noticeable sadness from having been away from the soil was overshadowed by the unusual terrain and flavors of the dead-creature booze left on counter-top at the coconut candy factory, having been lucky enough to spend 10 lovely days in Vietnam.
entry/December 25th, 2009….
“We woke at 7:00 in Ho Chi Min, and had a typical foreigner’s breakfast of omelet, bread and Vietnamese coffee, black as hell and I thought it tasted faintly of vanilla because of the condensed milk and peculiar silver brewer. Maybe it didn’t. I feel like I don’t taste right. Took a bus out to the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Min City. The uncomfortable ride lasted nearly two hours. My stomach was sour from something I had eaten, so I was indifferent about the passing surroundings. They took us to a factory where crafts were handmade by physically disabled locals from the area 40 minutes outside of Saigon. They told us it was partly funded by the American government. All the pieces were over-priced and clearly geared towards tourists. I felt strange walking in the long lines past the short tables where people worked diligently, barely looking up from their chiseling, or scraping at the line of guilt-riddled travelers snapping pictures in awe at the lack of arms, legs, feet and distorted digits. I didn’t feel sad, but there was a sensation of discomfort at secretly finding it all so novel.
The remainder of the ride to the delta was quiet, with the passengers falling in and out of sleep. We had to change to another ferry to reach Unicorn, Turtle, and Phoenix island. The guides lead us through jungle paths where we tasted fresh picked papaya, pineapple and dragon fruits with small toothpicks and a mild tea sweetened with local honey. I drank straight from the bottle of honey. It was thin from the heat and very rich. A medium sized python wrapped itself tightly around a grey stone in a clear, glass tank.
“His name is Jeff.”
For Christmas lunch we ate a nasty looking creature called an elephant fish. The meat was pulled off the bones with wet fingers and wrapped in rice paper with vegetables. We drank a local beer called 333 (ba ba ba) and shots of Vietnamese rum that were scooped out of an enormous glass jar where dead snakes, birds and scorpions sat lifelessly throughout, supposedly holding medicinal and sex powers for men. On our way out we poured into long riverboats and rowed down a narrow, muddy river. They gave us grass hats. I put one on and felt silly. Along the banks, local people held out cupped hands… “…money. You give money?” I handed a pretty, young girl an American dollar.
The air was cooler on the ferry ride back. The tour guide talked about the local economy and how the delta was everything. Children jumped from a flat fishing boat and splashed into the caramel colored water. Their skin was dark-copper brown.
All things gather up in bright colors and then become quiet. Back to my Tokyo jungle.
J. Tenney and myself thought it necessary to connect the dots by tossing in Bastards of The Infinite 3 “I WON’T GO TO HELL.” This installment of our own up-hill jaunt was written and produced in 2008, on the verge of my return to the states. Down-trodden nothing seekers, Brutus and Ed find themselves filthy and broken, awash in a desert of grief, doing their best to achieve a cool hand and a hard touch as they deal with the American work camp prison, sentenced to toiling the highway under that devil of a sun for god knows how long. Comrade Joseph Tenney was always a little hesitant about this work, but recently found peace with it.
“ -Part three of our first Bastards arch is arguably my weakest work on our line to date, it’s existence has threatened my ego on a daily basis. There was so much turmoil going on both between Kris and I concerning our collaboration as well as my home-front ill-fated romance, much of my weak and troubled mind leaked into this story, however as I was scanning these pages and adjusting the contrast I became much more at ease with them. I feel like the art and story reflect the time in our boy’s lives. Resting assured that part four will blow you away.- J.Tenney
Please enjoy Bastards of The Infinite 3 (Read it online | Download the cbz). It is a very modest preface to part 4, which will be released before you hear the cock howl thrice. The future gains momentum. You feel that heat on the back of your heels? The hot breath of a mangy tiger dressed in designer white-pants paws up the sweet smelling dirt, bringing good fortune.
Have at thee!