Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hollywood Sugar

Is this pain private? No pain is private. How can it be? Pain feels private but it’s not. Emotional pain is surprisingly adhesive but in actuality it’s no different than a pronoun run amok in our personal biographies. Like all assumptions, it’s probably wrong. But sometimes being wrong helps us maneuver our words in ways that appeal to our sense of longhand. For example: here I am holding a word. Can you guess what word it is? That’s right, it’s pork chop. Which is two words. It takes two words to make one word because all connections begin with a plug. When pain is painted it flickers into the eyes like a giant handshake with God. We feel more than slightly Etruscan. We might feel Sicilian, or Nigerian, or echo a noise so emphatically that our granulations resemble the camaraderie of the stars and their perfect silence over the deserts of New Mexico. I can slobber like a cow if you’d like me to but I’d rather go on writing as if the sentences were leading us somewhere. Not enough has been said about cutlery. I think it’s only fair to describe time as a bear rubbing itself against a tree. There’s a story about this in the bungalow but I’m too weighted with matter to go and get it. All it takes is a bumped shin to remind me that the subject of pain is fraught with cramps. Let us engage the composition of pain by the scruff of its neck and take it somewhere abstract. There’s a despair so beautiful in its nihilistic distillations that even Dagwood would crawl through the echoes of his existence trying to find the secret behind all those dots that comprise the panels in which Blondie frets about housework and Beetle Bailey is chased by Sarge on the other page. I find most things painful but lately my moaning has assumed a greater resonance. How else describe pain than as a garden of signals and neuronal impulses that produce huge orchids of understanding, black and white and purple and yellow, their pistils yearning for pollination. We must court consciousness as if its answers were embedded in our minds like shovels exhuming the past in great steaming clods of past association, roots dangling, little bone fragments spilling out. Life is erratic. Revolt does little good, but it’s a start. Our actions swarm with it. Words vomit their meaning all over the page and the ether carries their fumes into the algebra of clouds. Eternal flux. That’s where pain is defeated. That cotton floating up there in corduroy and fat. Diamonds sparkle in the palace. The palace of pain. Whose subtleties of architecture fill volumes with the approximate language of existence. The brain reflects on its own reflections until the syntax creaks open revealing a book of shadows, stories constructing themselves out of tenderness and Hollywood sugar. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feeling a Feeling

Consciousness is haunted by the prospect of eternal life. Paper swans milked in the heat of a window. Heavenly dots slammed into decoration. The sand sags by an open fire. Name your favorite emotion. Mine is snow falling on a river. I like that feeling. It makes me feel clean and graceful like a hat. What I see in the sidewalk is gum and time. The concentration of a moment falling into big fat words and creating a sentence that clashes with reality. But in a good way. Like dreaming a conversation with a guitar. There is an open dynamic in music that drips with the silk of intuition. Surely the whole thing is more than a brightness crawling out of the neck. I have a great respect for mint. But the cabbage mistakes our digestion for Ohio. This is not Ohio. This is vapor. Rain on an antenna. Symmetry carries other obligations. Even the way a serape is folded bears certain implications. Secrets spun into the yarn like water. Like tears, or warts. Similes are always so eager to be fulfilled. Metaphors are different. They just sit around and moo. Coins slosh around in my pockets like the symbolism we find in anthologies of French symbolism. Which is to say their metal is not of this world. And so I wander around in my head until I fall asleep. I herd wildebeests. I open doors to other worlds. I bring opinions to the wind. The wind doesn’t care. The wind has its own opinions. I can smell them. They smell like headlights and mustard. And when Mick Jagger asked me to join the Rolling Stones I didn’t tell him I couldn’t sing or play a guitar. No siree. I just got up on the stage and wiggled. Everything changed when André Breton arrived. He lost some buttons and was trying to find some sand for a fable he was writing. I helped with his allegory and he helped me find that moment of the day when there’s nothing to do but explode into light. If reality is as real as it thinks it is, well then, all I have to say is get on with it. But does reality think? Reality is an abstraction. Abstractions don’t think. What would happen if I reached up and touched the moon? I’ll tell you: absolutely nothing. It’s gravity that juggles the stars. Perceptions are there to flatter consciousness into believing that England is punctuated by time and that time itself is a paradigm bursting with pickles and incendiary nouns. Crisis carves its horrors out of the air, not the clock. The clock just sits on the shelf ticking and tocking the way a clock is supposed to. The hands move, the hours follow. And at three o’clock in the afternoon the Hunchback of Notre Dame arrives whispering of bells and waterfalls. Feeling, he says, is one way to feel a feeling. Another is to hop from bell to bell in a glorious hysteria of sound. This is how the rain gets nailed to the stationary and words evoke everything there is in the world except how to be silent. And that takes guts. There is nothing in the mind but shadows, and the mind itself is nothing. We swim in the sounds below our life and when we agree to remember the cabbage it jellies into concentration.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Philosophy Toast

Muscles are lush and germinate mind. Then at devotion a needle cures one’s irritations and accumulates sleep. Buckskin Cytherea pushes a glass tack into an early arrival of content. There is sand about and poles and red bottles such as mussels. Warm oats pushed into a sheen of nacreous sagacity is simply chins. Camellias make the stadium wild. The ocean is ever crammed feeling for its sticks. I have thrilled with such hotels as my very sleeves attest. I have banged on foibles and cured apricot with herring, laced roller skates with fog. Or did I mean white blood cells? This is a sudden area of zip code absorption. Bog saddle. Blueprint of gauze for a paper lion amid crocodile birds. The whistle is not a soliloquy so much as a knot of power. The uninhibited knock that comes with monsters. Bikini diaphragm, or corner glazed with boiling tongues. Suddenly Tuesday appears French as cobblestones and this sentence has a plywood heart. The stomach has its drapery and archaeology has its moss. Lagniappe is a sandwich if a philosophy crackles. Distance is as beautiful as Monday. The snowshoes are a form of negotiation. It is the nature of things to spit because morality offers kites. But why morality? Why not just nerves? Geniality and canvas? The bikini suits me although I’m male and have no breasts, other than what nature has given me, which is popcorn to my dreams of Montana. I feel buxom as a zigzag. And sometimes I’m a river. Philosophy requires toast because it’s Gothic and consciousness tugs at the acetylene poetry of silver and gold. Poetry is an event. Language is a phenomenon. Heartbeats come with tarantulas. There is a tarantula in all of us, and a skeleton and a  pain that cannot be described as broth or leather but will require the grammar of realism and the physics of romance. I feel closer to my neck today than I have before and this is partly the result of singing and partly the result of thought. Sometimes standing in the doorway makes me feel like an alley in the rain. And this, too, is a form of philosophy. If I cater to feathers then the tourists will scrawl their names on the wall and buttons cause the morning to dive into pine. That’s where the breezes go and the air smells sharply and dialectical. There’s leather in light and light in leather. This makes the leather light and the raft depends on inflammations of water.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When Words Grow Wanton

Words are words. It’s important to remember that. Words are representations of things, not the actual things. This is a good thing. This is freedom.  Since words are untethered from empirical realities, they may be used to express anything. They can express phenomena with no correlatives to the world of milk and grass. The world of physical laws and abbeys and jodhpurs and jute. Paul Eluard’s surrealist line “The world is blue as an orange” serves an example of the kind of journeys words are capable of creating.

Words like ‘universe,’ ‘soul,’ or ‘thought’ have a profundity and charge that are automatic in expression but in reality are no different than the words ‘pencil,’ ‘bread,’ or ‘worm.’ Their values differ in our imagination but as entities in a system of signs there is no difference in depth, intensity, or heft. This is where thought is liberated from the dry abstractions of ordinary experience and acquire the sorcery of music. Just as there are no factual correlatives to the mood and atmosphere created by melody, harmonic structure and combinations of tone, there are no factual correlatives to lines of poetry such as César Vallejo’s marvelous invocation to time “vigorously dragging its misery” or “the sound of singing testicles” or “flora of style” “cited in swamps of honor by auditory roses.” These are realities of a different nature than those of differential calculus or scientific measurement. Their charge comes from an amperage of human imagination, the flow of electrons from finger to finger in the dance of our writing.
Words are propositions. Each word is a proposition. Not just nouns, but prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and pronouns. “Of” and “above” and “fast” and “slowly” and “them” and “you” are all propositions. Offerings from the treasure hold of language to the wingspread of the mind. Traction, transmission, tone. Matter, time, justice, almond, space, thunder: propositions.
Words reveal a system that appears to be unshakeable and stable but is, in fact, open and volatile. They’re pieces in a game of classification in which the nebulous chaos of sensation assumes the order and identity of horses and headlights. Words vibrate with witness. Ideas flourish in their example. Processions of knife and knuckle flutter through the vapor of generality and take on specificity and purpose. Caught trout sputter in the butter of eternity. Words are amalgams that help mold perception. They create a sense of cohesion and permanence. But in reality the cohesion and permanence are functions of syntax. Products of grammar. Articulations of sequence. The amalgam can fly apart at any moment, explode into confetti, erupt into cockatoos.
I love fireworks. I love anything that explodes and rains down as stars. But there are subtleties that elude our fundamental assumptions about the universe and revel in our perceptions like the teasing gaieties of unguent and wool. Porosities augment our absorption. Coffee sharpens our nerves. Each second we’re inundated with sensation. But the place where conscious awareness and sensation intersect are tangled and derailed by distraction. Receptivity turns to static. The algebra of circumstance diminishes in our attention and reduces to a vulgar denomination, stale categories of class and description.
It’s in the combinatory power of language that these subtleties of sense are best able to be captured. The language of words bears some resemblance to the language of numbers. Differential calculus was designed to describe a universe in flux. The combinatory power of words acts in a similar manner. It brings elements together and mixes them in an ebullition of nerve and word whose infusions sublimate or distill into a new ingredient, or idea.
Remove words from the equation and we’re left with gesture. I touch a knife, then a loaf of bread, and then make a swinging motion with my arm. Hopefully, the idea of slicing a loaf of bread will be communicated, and not the intent to stab anybody. Most experiences are nowhere near this simplistic. There are emotions whose complexities exceed that of convection currents and kinetic energy equations. Were we to limit ourselves to gesture it would take a bizarre form of acrobatics, a kind of Japanese butoh, to express the inner realms of our being.
This is the sorcery of combination. It happens in chemistry all the time. Take two hydrogen atoms and add to them an atom of oxygen and voila! you have water. Compress a mass of hydrogen atoms at great temperature and pressure so that they fuse to form atoms of helium and in the process you will create a big ball of heat and light called a sun.
The instant pen is put to paper or a cursor is set on the screen and the fingers begin to prance on a keyboard and words are formed we’re involved in the sorcery of combination. Of collage. Of comparison and contrast. The products may be nebulous or thin or concrete as a sidewalk, colorful and vibrant as music or loaded with summer like a gleam of sunlight on a blister.

Structural invariants, whether atomic or relational, are essential to linguistics. Language is a shared activity. It is what holds a community together. There are constraints, but they are the kind of constraints that liberate the sorcery of predication. An abstract machine may be built around variables and variations. Language is essentially a heterogeneous reality. If I want to make an appointment with an electrician to come and install an outlet for an electric range I will  not need to know how amperage works but I will need to know how to structure a place and time. I will need to describe the circumstances, state of the wiring, size of the range. The wiring of language will be a shared circumstance requiring alternating currents, harmonic distortion. The freedom to create a reality different than the normative one of daily reality will be based on the same structure, but its capacity to create new elements will be as limitless as music. And once I get the stove plugged in, I can make a pot of coffee and sit down to learn what a watt is, and amperage and texture and sine waves and seclusion. I can do equations. I can drag time into space. I can swing like Tarzan from language to language. For the jungle is full of vines, and the world is blue as an orange. 


Monday, October 6, 2014


Cubism plays flirtation into helium. Baffled clutters of intent fidget through morality. Metamorphosis sips the forehead. Honor sits in a cemetery. A thumb does ham and it’s magically red. An indigo phonograph serious as an airplane landing in an oasis of introversion deepens the stars. Candy is an invention, a pleasure of visceral lucidity in food. My medication resuscitates its own peculiarities. Structure begs for development. The texture of a sleeve tastes of pagan stubble. Wrinkles of rawhide find their foam of a perfect moment. Finger and mouth go resonant in a concentric propinquity. The sky murmurs of a Fauvist train remembered as an engine of sound. The winches and pulleys of consciousness create a linguistic element that occurs as a wisecrack in the ice and seizes chemicals never before aired on TV and so goes about the interior of the head disguised as an arena in a flake of wax. The mathematics of this is where the squirrels come in. They leave behind a skeleton of numbers. And Cubism arrives at last in a sedan chair of nipples figured by thread. In other words, a perfect concertina. Romance galvanized by a fez, a face in the asphalt, Nikola Tesla standing in an alley in the rain squeezing it in, letting it out, so that a wheeze of music cools into a marvelous stew of shrubbery chalk. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Like a Fur-Covered Teacup

If fur is correspondent to the words will the words be fur? The time and place of a writing has little to do with fur, but the parables that emerge on Thursday are full of entrails. This makes our questions yellow. Green is a calamity. It follows then that when time is chickens television equals the radius of prayer divided by aviation. Molecules are a major cause of shirts. Handstands begin as teaspoons. Reality bounces through a herd of drools furious as cheese and twice as cypress. There are discretions that shiver with engagement and times when daydreaming leads to lemonade. Kerosene mimics the mind when it burns in a lantern quibbling with the breath of night. Yet, when it comes to whiskers, nobility is papier-mâché. Antiques are more like napkins. That is to say, if a yardstick appeals to the variegations of a conversation the words will combine with larder to create apples. They will be real apples, but with eight definitions teeming with thought and bicycles. Pepper comes from incentive, not hills. A flickering purpose walks on clumsy fingers. The piano unpacks a conception of Bach. The resulting melee deserves our attention. Let us, then, slap the stars with our mouths and prepare our invisibility. There is a certain providence in grebes that remembers the coordinates of gambling. Nothing is a similarity without a resemblance. Existence must grow from stress, or else it is mere windows and only marginally soaked with nerves. What is a worm if ambivalence calls its dreams into spicy turmoil and dust echoes dust with the toys of ceremony? What is it to be? It is to be, that is all. Being and water fat with examination. Inquiry earns its incandescence from stone. Libraries hooked on oblivion. The abstractions of a pumpkin are still a pumpkin, but the auroras of astronomy pull their oars through the solitudes of a pocket comb. We send our balloons up through space and time. The thrill is Pythogorean. The cream is thick and copious. If we name at least one sensation we will be that much further home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dance of the Bamboo Nipples

This morning as I fed the cat I realized that a sense of imbalance can result in a romance with gravity and that nearly all of my opinions are forms of speculations raised into speech. For instance, when a map is milk and smells of dwelling the dynamic is sexual and full of audacity. Intentions begin yelling. The  atmosphere turns silk and grammar propels it into textural immediacy, like a bright envy echoing paragraphs of shocking jelly. I put the emphasis on hills. Fingers crave symmetry. But hills, hills are like white elephants wearing ethereal fedoras. I know I sometimes do. Generally when it’s raining and the orchids are bathed in an amber light. This is how I make most of my discoveries. I drop from the sunlight and burst into conversation like the sidewalks of Paris. Then I ask to join the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger asks why, why do you continue to ask me such questions? Because, I insist, the world is full of musicians, but what band has a member that can’t play so much as a triangle? If knowledge doesn’t bounce, it floats. But how, I ask you, how is knowledge acquired? That is to say, if you already know something there is no reason to go looking for it, but if you don’t know something, then how would you know to look for it? The human mind is haunted by its own mouth. Because when those lips get going and the tongue gets to flapping anything can open. My existence on paper explodes into light. Once I get the words out they take care of themselves. They go where they want, they say what they want, they create books of brazen chitchat. Time disperses its syllables in ticks and tocks. The empire of space has wings. If I smell like an elevator it’s because the driftwood is unconscious. And I awoke to find my mouth flying around the room like a moth. Other mornings I feel more like a road in a forest. A quiet thing of dust bending occasionally around the side of a mountain or ascending into Switzerland. It is there that I find the referents I was looking for. Until then my words had no meaning. Not really. They appeared to have meaning but when they began a newer journey I could drink them like wine and eat pretzels in winter the way pretzels were made to be eaten. You know? Like when a nail is pounded into a two-by-four of pine. My life hangs from necessity like a waterfall. The hunchback of Notre Dame walks among these words. And the sweet Mediterranean air flows through the tangle of his mind luminous with saints and roses. We chime through the centuries harboring narratives of grace. Philosophies are deepened by torpor. I feel most alive when idleness visits my simmering mind and bamboo nipples frolic on the lips of an accommodating innocence. There’s no irony here, only a badly shaved Pythagorean pain. I feel open to anything. The afternoon lifts itself into the eyes and the world pulses in a Montmartre window. This is how it was meant to be. Existence, fingers, riddles and being. Good, simple being. The kind that struts on a hardwood floor in footwear soft as belief yet thick as the cotton of October’s sad conceptions. The path of the rug is more like a shadow in the mind. A story in which nothing happens but the jingling of mints and the laughter of pronouns clicking their descriptions at a street.