Rot On The Vine

from by Harvey Pekar



Rot On The Vine

Thirty ghosts reside in my shadow[24]. Their achievements: whispers in my ear. I cannot outrun them. They inquire: “Are you a typical 21st century twenty-something? A man seemingly confined to a time zone, who confides in UPCs and quotable platitudes. Oh fortunate son, you tread water, you run in place. Child of privilege, middle-class white male of the Peter-Pan Generation: what is your defense?” What is my defense? I scour my room where painstakingly saved-up pennies and stamp collections dwell[25]. Nothing but to-dos and wish lists and dusty dreams that prove I’ve always been more Cameron than Ferris[26]. What good is a labor of love locked under glass[27]? Even a hopeful future tense has nothing on the active present. I will smash my ceramic pig until I have spent every cent of my efforts.

[24] “Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.” Clarke, Arthur C. 2001: A Space Odyssey.

[25] “Particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.” Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World.

[26] Cameron: “I’m dying.” Ferris: “You’re not dying, you just can’t think of anything good to do.” Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

[27] “You see those cars that are completely stock cherry, right out of a dealer’s showroom in 1955, I always think, what a waste.” Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club.


from Upward, Not Northward, released July 16, 2013



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Harvey Pekar Cleveland, Ohio

Harvey Pekar is:
Elliott Frank: Guitar
Ian Douglas: Drums
Nick Kratsas: Vocals
Nick Schmitt: Bass


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