“there are favorites and then there are favorites…”: my time in life and books


I’ll do authors:



a bunch more but I won’t give myself too much time to think or else this’ll become ridiculous well maybe I should mention authors, books that meant a lot to me and/ or maybe aren’t mentioned all the time (and some that probably are)….all of Faulkner but don’t often see Sanctuary talked about, which broke the Faulkner dam for me, The Sun Also Rises, which was one of the first pieces of literature I read where I sat and thought “Hmmmmm, I’m reading literature…” (and i did it with a goddamn british accent)….and I stole it from my grandma after my grandpa had died (it was his book!) and I was like where’s the fucking plot though and then read it again and again, and this coincided with my first ‘experiments’ with LSD, which weren’t really experiments except for dying of laughter and allowing me to think more clearly ( also making me think “fuck, DARE lied to us about weed and LSD….so now Im gonna do cocaine and meth and etc and in a few years I’ll be a drug addict for a while off an on…” well, I didn’t consciously think the last part but that’s what happened…it was probably in the back of my head…) and slowly writing poetry (“hmmmm, i’m gonna use a little i here because I’m so inconsequential within the scheme of things…I’m a fucking genius…”) and I had read before but at the time and for a few years after Hemingway was my man and I don’t think I’d be here if i didn’t steal that fucking book! Grandpa would’ve wanted me to….

Hunter S. Thompson, Kerouac, Bukowski, Heller, Kesey…because young druggy american boy (not a cliche at all Something Happened though!)…Dylan Thomas around that time too, stumbling into Pynchon, Joyce slowly learning to actually read…poetry getting better (well, I hope it did….No longer: “I’m genius” rather “I’m a genius…no, this sucks, I’m horrible, this is miserable I should just fucking stop this charade….” etc…)…trying my hand at prose, ranting, trouble, Exley’s A Fan’s Notes…seeing myself in Fante’s Ask the Dust and his living Bandini (I am him!, he thought…he being younger me)….Moby Dick shook me, molded me, Kafka broke the sea within…Williams, O’Hara instantly spoke to me….what’s the deal with Stevens and Ashbery, I thought, and now I carry them with me everywhere….Nabokov is sterile as fuck, I thought, and now I see the ghosts and sadness and generosity in all he does, Lolita being one of the few – to me – perfect novels (novels not being a medium where perfection is possible….and anyways the imperfect is our paradise, and the white album is better than revolver, which has not a single skipper), A Good Soldier, Under the Volcano being others off the top of my head, novels approaching perfection they are…

Beckett and Barthelme came into my life when I was afforded a few hours at the library – I would leave a sober-living facility (I was so broke I measured my money in how much gas I had in my tank….I stole that from a poem I wrote called ‘Upon not being able to like even one of your split personalities’ and a ‘famous’ poet (famous in quotations because poetry and 21st century and america) told me that nobody would ever like a poem that didn’t like itself when they could’ve just said “hey, I don’t like your poem…I especially don’t like the title…” but people get weird around poems and nobody really knows how they work- you only know when they do and it’s magic, sort of…I say sort of because it’s also difficult and exacting and exhausting to get everything working…like good sex…all sex is ‘good’…well if you cum at least, but truly wonderful and memorable sex is not just sex, not just biology, it is that too of course, but it’s also the moment, mood, there’s love (if even for a second), there’s you and then there’s not you, it’s mystical and inexplicable and so are all great things (we must skip over them in silence….and yet I keep talking) …you’re both hyper-aware and you’re dumb as fuck…you have a stupid fucking look on your face and you really are just racing to get your rock’s off (great song; in the running for best album opener ever!)) with a pass (I wasn’t being sober in sober living….a low point in life but didn’t see it at the time, I thought I was having so much fun!…I read a lot though, which surprises me now, I was always partying and fucked up but I took a book and paper and a pen with me everywhere or I wrote a lot on bar receipts, napkins…I had nice bartenders, they’re nice when they lend you a pen); I stole and later paid a small fortune (forced payment you see) for How It Is and 60 Stories….James Kelman, nobody talks about James fucking Kelman, he wrote How late it was, how late, which if you google that book title will be all in caps but Kelman didn’t put the title that way, the internet thinks it knows every fucking thing! but it won the Booker, which is supposedly a huge deal and made him sort of ‘famous’… but he’s great all around, stories, novels…and I’d say that he got famous for the wrong book sort of like Heller….not saying that How late it was, how late or Catch-22 aren’t great but Kelman’s A Disaffection and his Kieron Smith, boy and Heller’s Something Happened are in my fucking opinion their masterpieces…,

Kosinski’s Steps is a fantastic book…I could go on, I like to write about books because you can trace your life and the way your thinking contours and makes the world, it’s like music, or painting, whatever: art is art and it cuts your life into mysterious eras (“O yeah that was a hard time in my life and i was also obsessed with Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)…) …but then again to go on like this, you need to stop writing about them and read or…you could even make your own goddamn little word machines! (and you too can have long and strange digressions and parenthesis that may or may not open or close…I refuse to look back and see).  Go and make stuff that might stick to somebody else’s arteries like Mina Loy’s Song to Joannes what with her lines: We might have given birth to a butterfly/ With the daily-news/ Printed in blood on its wings…cheers, I need to stop…seriously, stop (I just ramble…well, obviously…but then I keep adding stuff and editing….”edit!?” you don’t have to believe me, I don’t blame you).

An older poem I still sort of like in spite of myself

I steal electricity for reasons unknown to me.
                        We are thieves born out of mystery.

The jury wouldn’t look at me when they verdictread guilty on counts one through three.
I wanted to flail my arms crazy;
I wanted to window look out & see the sky being pulled into the sea
pull my pants to my knees. Anything, anything! To take advantage
of this last moment of being free. I guess liberty
is one of man’s many shoddy attempts at approximating eternity
& here! – they are taking it away from me. Deputy puts the handcuffs
on my wrists. Goodbye-
huddle together, you guys can cry.
They will not see tears roll down my face, fuck
them; they will not see the first cracks –
those beginnings which seem to mark the destruction of being, I smirk & know that
the stubborn skin-crusted spirit refuses to evaporate in the warehouse of Time. These men
won’t ever see me truly die. Judge just watches as I’m taking
to jail to wait & sleep & remember everyone
will continue to eat food, laugh, listen to music
while time oozes by- I thought the world
Needed me-O! lovely me
to survive. The days will pile one upon the other, please think
of me living w/ men their dreams dead,  they sleep w/ violence
as it’s lost in the cubbyhole of space that holds their beds. It’s true
I will be upon the same earth as you, but
your land will be covered in mysteries & colors!
My piece of ground, my food & all that is my day will be some asshole’s blueprinted projection of all
that is grey.

When Amazon Fucks Up, and You’re Feeling Insecure, and You Deserve Free Shit


Me: I order these books to be here on Tues. and they were guaranteed and not here today!
You are now connected to Ravi from Amazon.com
Ravi: Hello, my name is Ravi. I’m here to help you today.
Me: and I ordered them for something very important and I have prime to make sure they are here when they were “guaranteed” to be here
Hi steven, your package will arrive:
Tuesday, December 5
info icon
This contains items from 2 orders
Track package
Ultraluminous: A Novel
+1 more item
Ravi: I can understand, how important this book must be for you, am sorry for the delay.
Please give a moment while i check this for you.
Me: Im super irritated, this has been happening way too often lately…I also don’t understand why the “guarantee” or promise and then not following through on it
Jeff Bezos, the amazon ceo is the richest man in the world! he needs to know that people like me “the little people” are why he is so rich! I’m very perturbed…I needed these by tomorrow early and was looking to get a head start on them tonight and was assured they would arrive today by 5 PM
I teach a class and will surely look foolish not being prepared and this could effect my performance and my living and etc…this is is sad and unconscionable…
I’ve spent so much money and time making amazon a beacon for books and alas! I feel as if Im being forgotten in the golden palaces and azure lagoons where Jeff Bezos sips his vintage dom perigean and snorts cocaine off of silver trays carried around by beautiful and exotic topless models…and here I am in the midst of my drab apartment, eating cereal for dinner, nearly crying into my milk because for sooth! where are my books, they were to transport me to worlds unknown!
Ravi: I am really sorry that we have missed this delivery, i will surely escalate this issue right away to the shipping team to make sure you receive the book within 24 hours. I completely understand the importance of this book for you, as you have to prepare for the class.
Me: but here I am, alone! they cost me nearly 35$ in cash money and no book in sight!
it’s more than the class, it’s something that effects me in my bones or in the part that used to be referred to as “the soul”
I’m sure you can see the part Amazon has played in my current desolate mood, Ravi!
Ravi: I am really sorry Steven, we really didn’t expect this to happen,
Me: Why is Jeff Bezzos so rich? Why does he need all that money? He doesn’t! nobody does, he should give to charities, and if he does he should give to more
the strange thing is that we, you and I, are merely cogs to that man!
Ravi: We try our best to deliver the items to our customers at earliest, unfortunately we missed this time, upon checking i see that package is with the carrier already.
and there is a delay from the carrier side.
Me: yeah, but you guys should “guaranteeing” something if Amazon then passes the buck to the carrier
because the guarantee, which is a de facto “promise, begins with amazon and to follow that trail further…to Mr. Bezzos
anybody can guarantee something….the important part is fulfilling the guarantee
like the Seinfeld episode re: reservations
Ravi: I understand Steven, but as this is a Holiday season, due to huge order maybe because of which carrier couldn’t deliver the item on time. I will take this as a strong feedback and will escalate this issue to our shipping team, so that you don’t have to face this issue again.
Me: Ugh, if only you could see my poor, pathetic life, half naked in a fuzzy blanket, face reflected with the dull white light of the computer screen and Im typing with one hand and shoveling cookie crisps into my mouth with the other….when did this happen, and why, o why? Ravi
Ravi: Steven, i completely understand how much this means to you. As the book is very important for you as a alternative, i can issue a full refund for you right away, so that you can look for alternative purchase.
Me: this has thrown me into a tailspin, friend…one of which I hope amazon will do it’s best to help me recover…
Ok, Ravi! I know your hands are somewhat tied…I get that…this is Bezzos’ fault…do you harbor a hatred in your heart for him as deep as I do?
It was around 35$ for those books!
Ravi: As a token of Apology for the inconvenience caused to you in this case, and you being our valuable customer, i would like to offer a $10 promotional certificate to your account.
Me: a pittance to the grand master!
Ravi: and i will issue a full refund for you.
Is that okay with you Steven?
Me: so, as a proffer from you (I will not allow Bezzos to get any credit for your kindness)…I will receive a refund for those two books and a 10
10$ credit…?
is that correct?
Ravi: 10$ promotional certificate Yes.
Me: and a refund for the two books:
Ravi: yes
Me: ? to be applied today?
O, friend, I just placed my spoon into my bowl and got up and did a rather weak dance, but a dance nonetheless…
Did you?
Did you feel some joy at poking the bear that goes by the name of Bezzos!
Ravi: I really appreciate your Patience and understanding in this case Steven, i will issue the refund and will add the $10 promotional certificate to you and will send you a confirmation email once issued.
Me: Ok, Ravi, I appreciate you and your work
Ravi: No problem, I’m glad I was able to help.
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: I know that you personally have nothing against me and that it’s Mr. Bezzos
No, I am fine…there are other problems in my life, of cours…but nothing I think you could help me with…like, why do we even exist…and how
my wife is at a “lawyer event” but should I trust her? is she cheating on me?
who knows?
that isn’t something for you to answer or know…or is it?
Ravi: No, you are the best person to deal with it Steven 🙂
It was a pleasure to assist you with this. Thank you for contacting Amazon.com. We hope to see you again.
Have a great day ahead!
Me: Thank you I will take my filty lucre and go through her e-mails and txts while drinking whiskey and eating a ridiculous amount of m & m’s…such is the sadness my life has become…
when will the refund and money go onto my account?
Ravi: Would you like to have the refund in your gift card balance or in your original payment method?
Me: gift card balance…that way I can keep it from my wife! O secrets…two can play at that game, my lovely wife!
Ravi: Sure, i will refund it to your gift card.
Me: so it’ll be around 45$ or so to expect in that balance
Ravi: You can see the refund amount within 1-2 hours.
and the remaining 10$ will get automatically be applied on your next order# with the items sold and fulfilled by Amazon.
I hope that helps.
Me: yeah, poor consolation is still consolation
Ravi: Is there anything else that i can assist you with today?
Me: I think I have well assisted, friend
been well assisted
please excuse my terrible grammar I have been in a state of undue stress these past weeks
as you can well imagine…hypothetically being made a cuckold out of!
and books undelivered!
but we get on, as we must
Ravi: I understand Steven,
I am really glad that i was able to assist you with this, Thank you for contacting Amazon.com. We hope to see you again. Have a great day ahead
Please click “End Chat” to close this window.
Me: thank you, Ravi
I will press “end Chat” and then I am going to go through all my wife’s various computers and papers because I don’t have the promised amazon books to read…

*unedited…I ordered Ultraluminous by Katherine Faw (sometimes Morris) and Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s The World Goes on

Poems published in former People

Three Poems


there is the link to the ‘magazine’ and poems and then here are the poems themselves and the bio I sent to them:

Three Poems

by Steven Rineer

“I think if we had to pinpoint a specific day…this is the day when he started losing his mind”

i started getting hyper-minded
when this lady was reading a
horrible poem at my parent’s bbq
& i forget what it was about
something like a dead brother
or cat but it just rhymed and was
shitty (not cause it rhymed) but
everybody clapped & then they were
saying, “hey that was a good poem,
steven, yeah?” & then i was just
in a daze, looking at the flowers &
the colors were exploding in my ears
& then i was thinking how i O
wanted to cum on my wife’s face,
this speaker isn’t me & that
never happened it’s a poem

This suit’s not even supposed to get a little wet

There are catholic
clouds in
the ground-
water — they//
are — as cars go by —
splashing my
knee, that high: that’s
lowest sky —

the white of them hangs
on holiest wires you see
see it all just stops now O!//
picture me, my
wet silver
sidewalk making
this happen for you, for you/
I don’t speak of the
grey ash

Singular Absences

Plant placebos in the bathmat. Ergot in your pocket. Ease up shelf and O Dan! Flee please. You’re an anagram – in one way or another. Watch the sky for drones, dinosaurs. Wear a tiny hat; you’ve a large head. Go — at least once — on the lamb. That’s not the word you meant. How would you know? I’m speaking. You are indecipherable among the weeds. Pull trees. The ground spits out animals; all is a-fucking tumbling. I love you and your gurgling. This ejaculate of letters. Let us make a mess of the walls. Not all tickled things are pink. There are many things I will never know. We will never see the tops of stars; we turn too slow and they are too far. I don’t wish to argue with you. Give me a light.


On Being Sick, Astral Weeks, and Sometimes Getting Through

I recently found an old I-Pod that I thought was broken, but it’s been working fine the last two-three days and I can tell how obsessed I was with Van when I put the songs on it, because it has 7 of his albums on it. The other day I was listening to it, near my apartment pool, laying in the sun and there was a bunch of great shit on it: Jr. Walker and the all-stars, Pete Townshend, Nick Lowe, Blood on the Tracks which really floored me and then I listened to Astral Weeks, because those two albums I sort of got into at the same time-when I was maybe 23 but especially Astral Weeks because he was like 23/24 when he made the album and when I look back at the time I see the time as being O Hail to the Thief/ a lot of Neil Young (On the Beach just released on CD…one of the best two guitar solo songs ever, the second one he makes his guitar sound like I imagine lighthouse sounds like, stumbling….Thin lIzzy’s Still in Love with You too)/ Station to Station (not the side effects of the cocaine/ I’m thinking that it must be love)/ Sticky Fingers/ Electric warrior/ Slider and Tanx (I’m a Tanx apologist…..I’ll get into that some other day) Sticky fingers/ & Astral Weeks. It’s sort of weird that my life is sort of divided into musical interludes; so I look back on that, musically, very fondly, but honestly I was miserable. I was fucked in the head; I couldn’t sleep; I quit doing drugs because I was nervous: I felt like my skull was going to break through my skin at any second.  I’d drive or walk around San Francisco, because I couldn’t stop thinking…could never relax and really had no idea what was going on with me; I just felt this guilt or that this was what lot I’d pulled in life and I didn’t have anybody I could explain it to-I didn’t know anybody that was going crazy and that’s what I figured was happening; I’d try to keep my drives near a hospital and sometimes I’d park in the parking lot and think should I go in? But I’d be listening to this music. So it’s great and beautiful and etc., but I thought I was gonna die; thought rooms were shrinking in on me; i was being conspired against; black spots always at the edge of my periphery and this was, I figured, some sort of punishment from I don’t know who . And I never drank heavily before, I was a person who just wanted to always be fucked up, but I always preferred weed or any other drugs and I would drink, but I never had a problem with it (I sort of looked down on drinkers…it seemed so unadventurous)…and all of the sudden I started drinking and it made me less nervous and it helped what i later found out was bad anxiety and depression back and forth, but I drank from the time I got up until i went to sleep…drank at work, drank at school, drove with a bottle and a buzz…I had a gallon bottle of vodka and I kept it under my bed and if it was close to two AM I’d make sure I had a good drunk and at least a fifth of vodka and twenty beers and even my girlfriend was fine with it; seemed a necessary evil- I couldn’t even hang out with a friend or go get something to eat without at least drinking half a pint of vodka and I wouldn’t even get that drunk, I thought I’d only get normal. I was hurt and I can remember listening to Madame George and how he feels guilty for ditching Madame George to go home and how the love to love the glove (like when you keep saying a word over and over and you start to think “that’s not a word, or it doesn’t mean that”…and glove become love and then it is, too) and thinking it was me and why were we ever that way or to be born again (astral weeks, the song) and I thought he gets it, Van Morrison gets it, across all this time and space, one person does. I want another chance at this existence. I’ll see the love first time around, not just in retrospect, because maybe that’s my problem…and then I became sure I was losing my mind, so I talked to a doctor at the school I went to and they gave me medicine and it helped, but I’d already become an alcoholic so i didn’t quit drinking it just made me less nervous- I started using drugs again, but this time harder and etc. etc. That’s another story. So the other day, I’m listening to Madame George and I’m thinking how much Astral Weeks meant to me and how much it still means to me and how I should never let myself forget and it hurt; that whole time period came back to me and the pain and how hurt and arrogant I was and how a few things are a balm and this was one of them and thanks, thank you for this and then I had to put on my sunglasses  and I listened to madame george over and over. I don’t expect it makes much sense, but then again skin never did…I don’t understand what people do without music….it’s the waves of time illustrated, music is our painted time. This music is our painted time. And time is a falling away but music tries (and even more beautifully so in its inability to do fully, like Zeno’s arrow)…I don’t know if this is my favorite record but it means as much to me as anything…I’ve listened to My Aim is True more than any other CD, I have Cocaine records that I cherish still, Sticky fingers and Raw Power and most of Ozzie-era Sabbath…but at a certain point your cocaine use gets outs of hand when you grab a Wham Cd (yes, I have a Wham Cd and in the ’80s as a 9 or 10 year old, I thought “man could anybody be more masculine and cool than George Michael….” In my defense, he had a killer leather jacket and a perfect three day stubble) to snort it off of – you’ve crossed over into addiction, I digress…I think it’s important when you are happy (or going through anxious depression again in different ways and I do) to face the darkness and the occasionally accompaniment that light is. I also really like Tusk better than Rumours….I like the messy, fucked up, stuttering ones….maybe somebody needs this, I don’t know…

I wrote this a few years ago…it still holds, I think…also, in the above: the best cocaine albums are usually black…you’re a dumb-fuck if you snort coke off the white album…