Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hope is a Painter

Hope is a painter loading phenomena into a boat for a voyage across the River Styx. We see a passport dripping mosquitos. We see a grasshopper fart.
This is my mask. I’ve named it after Lake Purdy, Alabama. It’s my Purdy mask.
This is what it looks like: a dustpan with a vestigial tail and a persuasive idiosyncrasy.
If that doesn’t work, try the winch by the innocent yawn. Call it a house puff. A pocket. A mountain. It will move steadily and search for gold.
And entire mountain searching for gold. As if it didn’t have enough veins already.
I will let this idea fall like an anchor and grab the bottom and allow sufficient stability to incise a participle with an agrarian belief.
I have pulled the altitude of an Assyrian beard from an implication of words and plunged it in silence. I have embraced the raw highway of God’s longest shout. I have become a waterfall. I have become a reflection on a downtown window.
One must adapt to the world in the best way possible. Romance swallows everything. I rode an indicative across a dimension of lamentations until I came to a sea and listened to its waves mouth gnarls of wood.
I will oblige these insinuations until they become swans.
A greasy hostility matures into heartwood and becomes beautiful in its admonishments. We kiss behind the stepladder. The world continues to turn.
We hold the nipple of a wet feeling. We push it to the end of a sentence. It drops on the floor and clouds up into strange predictions.
A day will come when there is more to a chair than a chair.
Perhaps that day has come. My chair is a grammar of wood and finger joints.
Everything drips opinion. I encourage the planting of hyacinth.
Crabs refine our sense of space. I will verify my coordinates when I reach the summit of the next mountain. Meanwhile, let’s just sit in the park and watch the evening sky grow dark.
I like to feel water by swimming in it and drinking it and washing things with it. I do the same thing with my tongue. I toss it into sentences where it learns to ponder the imponderable.
People get irritated and walk away. That’s ok. I have your attention, at least for now.
I like feeling anonymous and moody, like a rhythm, or an escalator. How about you? What lights up your gaze?
The intensity of the dawn breaks my eyes. My pain flutters in the breeze like the ghost of a clarinet. I’m undone by even the mention of braids. I left the oars in the boathouse. We’ll just have to spend the rest of this sentence drifting. It was originally intended to go somewhere.
Let’s just say not all ambitions feed on bugs and puzzles. I don’t go to the opera. I am an opera.
Can we leave it at that? How will it sound when the sounds flow through this sentence expecting conquest at the end? I see the insects scatter. A thousand themes enliven the frogs of Texas, but I don’t know what any of them mean, and that makes the world beautiful.   

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Take a Little Ride

Slop the halibut slash squat. It veers into atmospheric damask. Before I was a laccolith knee-deep in granite and now I’m a sponger chewing the haze of a Christmas rose. The glockenspiel is a mythology of bells arguing the glaze of a birch afternoon. Cab finger sparks abstractions and the spirit dances.
Denim punctuation coughs snow after the ultramarine romance peremptorily favors lake trout. The saga is equally mist. Instinctively, I drawer your whatness in gallop glue. The noise of my skin broods performance. A tattooed slide accelerates shape. Motion’s twigs curve into participles. The shade initiates shirts. I strain to please a tendency. It fits the distortions. The hoe chain hugs your puddle. It is there that we find glass. The jars contain morals. A trickle of words descends into the summer of 1966. Consciousness is powder blue for a day. Explicit as a birth. The details are passionate about ears.
The almond gives itself to the tongue of a moment. Medication enhances a corner of the granite door. What flutter at jabber urges lips. This solace is a cool jerk I can mean to say as much as glue.
I have tailored my farm to sympathize with cauliflowers. The nerves are birds bubbly and gyromagnetic. Depth and volume murmur our intuitive spinning. I experience require. By that I man I require a point above contact that is both cool to the skin and slippery. If we apply algebra to the ovulation of hills the murder opens and no gold can sit down and parrot the softness of sewing.
I will be ferocious and growl.
Sound is equally alluring coming from a guitar.
The incendiary life is there if you want it. Shake it long. Shake it hard. Turn it around. Testify. Talk a whisper into abandoning the bazaar. We unite by bone. Autonomy hands its imagery down. None of it is dreamy and soft. You just feel like sitting down and grinning. Some arabesques break off from heaven and glide into the ears as music.
A cotton pocket gurgles parallels.
Try twanging a wilderness.
It feels good to be vague and malleable for a while. You should try it. Crumple something. Then blow into it. It will expand into ideas.
I word sink the unearthed crawl. A blaze happens by vague interaction with a ripened honor.
Honor. What is honor. Honor is stirring and heroic. It is nothing like cactus. It displays a long solace in translations of the moon by black conviction and throwing knives at a pizza.
This darkness is shattering the place. What are we going to do with the river? Let’s take it with us. Give it bananas. I can already spot Thursday appearing above the horizon.
And finally, I have gulped Boston. My hinges make it greasy. I grant that I have pain. Yes. But what a beautiful havoc wears my abstractions at night when the gypsies arrive and rattle their castanets.


Friday, August 5, 2016


Burst. What did? Collar stud dusty personality muscle grapefruit I myriadly decipher.
Motion stretch. Honesty’s rattle is a heavy throw. Call for an exterior angle. Something veering. See how a sensation is an acceptance study, a batch we expand into ears.
The swell thickens. The operation is on a roll.
Here I am pasting infinity’s leather mutations to a trembling flavor of pathos. The rounded basket with the basset hounds medicates the combustion of preteens. Induces kindness. Welcomes birds. Pulverizes court plaster. The ladies at court all smile.
The abstract is this jingle I bells on a blue orchid. You know? It’s a bit like a badge but more transcendent in its own diversions than a tangle of the mind or a grebe diving into the waters near Iceland.
This red light thing is only a mustache. I said it to build a monotonous tin chatter for a brown probability we can plunge into. Brown is an intellectual color and makes me reflect on boiling.
My act cures ten nobles of wishy washy Latin.
Fathom restoration then fight the barriers to partial differentiation. Trickle hinge subtleties. Your ceremony is a shade of language that I can engage in tailoring. Plough a slow theatre. Meditate paths. An ugly density converses with the ocean. My admonition is my door.
Sift structure.
The world pineapple spoon is its own abstraction.
I stir a burst grape to agree to impart a stimulation to the action behind the barn.
Tidepool spout.
Yell at your hair. A genie will appear and murder the mirror.
Ignite wealth. You do that by pushing money at a congress.
Go ahead. Bloom. The maple has a beard. The smooth it presses reaches geometry and folds. I cod swim there. I remembered to indulge. I’ve had time to think about it for a while. I touched the bump I mentally exceeded. Don’t start the hermitage without me. The crack is a drug eating into the purity of goldfish.
Walk and eat. It’s a solution. The split pea is our threshold. But the world is our halibut. This isn’t a matter of hit songs so much as a plea for arabesques. I compliment the sparkle of your river. The sweet words that are never said but empower descriptions manipulated by hose.
The burst is a forehead drooling cement. It’s all about prolonging the muffins. Forbearance is prayer. The paradigm vibrates its definitions but nobody gets the banishment. The weather at the end of this sentence has been seized by a shiny pain and carried to a woman on the dance floor. That’s why we have maps. Perception is irritating. Proverbs induce grace. Go there. Go amplify a sound of feeling time consenting to change into mind on paper.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Light Green and Oval with a Smooth Edge

Opened the door yesterday and got a frightened yelp from the meter man, a middle-aged black man in a fluorescent orange vest. I yelped, too. We yelped together, yelp to yelp. This happens a lot in our building. I open the door and holy shit! there’s someone standing there. Or, I go to open the door and just before my hand connects with the knob the door opens and Jesus! there stands a neighbor bug-eyed with fright.
Mingyur Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist Master, suggests observing whatever thoughts float through our heads without focusing on them or attempting to suppress or pursue or modify them. Just let them come and go. Because that’s what they do: they come and go. The mind’s cumulus. Roiling, rolling, brewing. Thundering, flashing, turning to vapor.
Athena lies on her pillow licking her belly. There is coffee brewing on the stove. I’ve been hearing the clankety clankety sound of a drill all morning coming from a construction site. Fortunately, it’s coming from a distance, and is mercifully muffled. I can, as always, hear my tinnitus.
I have a fantasy about my tinnitus. I’m on the Starship Enterprise and Bones passes a wand over my head and tinnitus goes instantly. Bones laughs when I tell him tinnitus was incurable on earth even in the 21st century. The Enterprise drops me off at a Denny’s and I wave goodbye. I go in and order a Reuben. I think about Jupiter, about the silence of space. The quiet at the center of a muffin.  Folds of space and gravity in the waitress’s hair.
Does Denny’s still exist? I can’t remember the last time I saw one still open and functioning. That tier of Seattle seems to have been wiped out by the tech industry. Most of the restaurants lean toward the chic, hipsters full of tats and hefty paychecks from Google and Amazon. These cats dig sushi. Artisanal pasta.
I like to gather things. I like collections. Amalgams. Goblets of gold and silver in a glass case at the Louvre museum. Shields, swords, armor. Anything interconnected and multiple. Systems, compounds, compositions. Oysters, samovars, tugboats.
Aldous Huxley thought Joyce’s fascination with etymology and words as magical powers a bit strange and this at first surprised me. This came up in an interview conducted by Alan Watts. Huxley was suggesting, I think, an immersion in language so deep and so intense that it becomes its own reality. This is what he found disquieting. And I remember his discussion in The Doors of Perception about the foolishness of putting labels on things, and not being able to see the whatness of their essential condition because of the obfuscating tendencies inherent in language.
I don’t see Joyce fancying himself as a modern day Prospero flaming amazement in the streets of Paris and creating banquets in the air, but I can see Joyce hammering down on a word as if it were a geode and smashing it to see the formations of crystal on the inside.
Words do command a powerful reality of their own. I have to remind myself constantly that a rose by any other name is still a rose. Or is it a kacay? Words are so powerfully compelling. You really do have to wonder sometimes just how interconnected language might be with our neurons. Each word is a tegument, a site for sensory receptors to detect peppermint, damascene, and sunset boulevards. The magic is in the imagination. The magic is in the gathering, the folds of the mind, which are waves, which are energy in movement. But is there a tangible relation between language and external reality? No, of course not. And yes, of course there is. Both are true and not true. Reality doesn’t stay still long enough to get it into focus.
The word ‘recueillement’ comes up a lot on the French news with regard to the recent terrorist attacks, particularly the one in Nice, in which a radicalized Tunisian living in France drove a 19 ton cargo truck through a crowd of pedestrians on the Promenade des Anglais killing 84 people. ‘Recueillement’ means contemplation, a moment of reverence. It comes from the word ‘recueil,’ which means ‘collection,’ as in the phrase “recueil de données,” data collection, or “requeil des besoins,” defining of needs. Contemplation is different than thinking. When we think, we expect an answer, or at least a glimpse of something coherent, something that will help explain an event or phenomenon. Contemplation doesn’t have that expectation. It’s a form of searching, but without any clear resolution cemented into the deal. It’s a form of dilation. Focus is contraction. Contemplation is an amplification. An enlargement. A letting go of the things that cause blockage. Hatreds, obsessions, grudges. You let go of that or at least give it a shot and hopefully the next sensation will be that of widening, opening, broadening. Sparkle of a wave moving over an oar. A new shade of blue.  
I’m amazed every time I run down Seattle’s waterfront at how powerfully the Sound smells. Acrid, pungent, salty. The waters shift from green to blue in an instant. It’s the liquor of life. The Dragon, a big tanker from Nassau, fills with grain at Pier 86. I see the shine of a battery wedged in a crack in the sidewalk on 5th Avenue North. We stop to examine a tiny black and white sider, Zebra Jumper (Salticus scenicus), on a railing of the West Galer Street Flyover. Roberta thinks the critter is aware of us looking at him. Or her. I’m thinking maybe at least it could feel the warmth of our bodies hovering near.
Story on the BBC this morning about the Mary Rose, a carrack style sailing ship that went to the bottom near the Isle of Wight on July 19th, 1545, during a battle with the French, required roughly 600 oaks (about 40 acres) to build. Construction on the Mary Rose was begun in Portsmouth, England, in 1510. The ship was salvaged in October, 1982, and is now on display at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Later, on the way back from our run along the Sound a couple, middle-aged man and woman,  emerge from the tent I’d noticed earlier, it was so utterly motionless and quiet, was anyone actually in there? do they get hassles from the police? how long have they been homeless? rolling things up, packing, getting ready to move on into the rest of their day.
Blisters on my right hand from trying to remove a locknut from the bottom of our toilet tank. It was a son-of-a-bitch to get off. Finally had to resort to removing a blade from a hacksaw and sawing the damn thing off.  Meantime I’m panicking because I’m getting a slow steady drip from the water supply line. I call three plumbers. They all say “they’re jammed,” can’t come until tomorrow. What do we do till then, piss and shit in the park? I’d like to stop hearing “it’s easy you can do it yourself” from these service people, plumbers and electricians and carpenters. They need to respect their skill set more. No job is going to be easy. It’s easy for them because they’re skilled.
But I did get it installed. Fluidmaster 400a fill valve.
I’ve never told anyone “you should sit down and write a novel it’s easy anyone can do it.”
Nor will I. Because it’s not.
Not easy.
Hung my running shirt on the banister railing and kicked a leaf off the porch. Light green and oval with a smooth edge.  


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fantasy with a John Deere Tractor

The sun at my back, I watch my silhouette slide over the sidewalk, head and shoulders and two swinging arms and think that’s it, that’s ultimately what life is, what being is, the ephemerality of it all, we’re only shadows after all. I’ll leave some books behind that I authored, no kids, just the books, so hopefully a few bookstores and libraries will continue into the future.
What’s real is the sky. That lush blue summer sky. Air and air and air thinning and thinning all the way into space.
Sometimes it gives me a sense of peace to think of myself ploughing a broad field in North Dakota, way up north by the Manitoba border, I’m riding a tractor with a sound system, listening to a Brahms symphony or Shakespeare, Hamlet brooding in his Danish castle, wondering whether to continue living, wanting out of it, oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God, God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world! And how strange to be hearing and mulling that in a tractor grumbling over Dakota topsoil.  Because some of those tractors have fantastic sound systems, one can make furrows for wheat in a John Deere pulling a disk harrow comfy in a cab with Bluetooth,  CD player, MP3 and Weatherband. Heidy ho heidy heidy ho.
Every time I sit down in a chair I feel the weight of my body find immediate relief, bones and muscles all going thank you, thank you for sitting down. Hard to imagine all this biology gone. And me with it. Whatever me turns out to be. What is me? What is I? What is subjectivity?
Scientists say subjectivity may have begun with insects. Brain scans of insects indicate that they have the capacity to be conscious, that they have something like subjective experience. It’s there in the midbrain, the ancient core of the brain, where memory and perception are mingled, stewed, digested, mulled and woven into a sense of the external world, flowers and dirt and hills and sky, neural simulations of being in space, moving through space, representations of reality from a subjective point of view, subjective being Latin for “brought under,” thrown out into the world under a dome of thought, perception, navigating the problems of the world, predators and prey, hurricanes and dinosaurs.
This all strikes me as odd and marvelous but missing a key feature, which is idiosyncrasy. Some of us are odd. I identify with the odd. Like old William Blake. I love that guy’s defiance. He was true to his imagination. Like in his letter to Reverend John Trusler in August, 1799, “Mirth is better than Fun & Happiness is better than Mirth  -  I feel that a Man may be happy in This World. And I know that This World is a World of Imagination & Vision I see Everything I paint in This World, but Everybody does not see alike. To the Eyes of a Miser a Guinea is more beautiful than the Sun & a bag worn with the use of Money has more beautiful proportions than a Vine filled with Grapes.”
There are boots in the closet that I hardly ever wear. But they’re there.
An actress off to the right of the screen on Facebook catches my attention: Mischa Barton poses topless on a balcony in Mykonas, Greece. Her breasts are mostly in shadow. But it’s not her tits causing all the fuss, it’s that she’s smoking a cigarette. Well, it’s gross, I agree, but it’s her life, her lungs.
Virtue for me has always meant living to the fullest, exceeding limits. Being absurd. Because being is absurd. Tell me it isn’t. Tell me a few brief years on this planet with all these hungry, battling, sobbing people isn’t just a little strange.
There are drugs to help with this. But be careful. Drugs can fuck you up.
There’s also cherry pie and dollops of whipped cream to make you smile a little occasionally.
I mean, some things are obtainable. Water, fruit, shelter, fire, tall kitchen bags, dragons, infinitives, one-night stands and onions.
As Eckhart Tolle says you’ve got to trust the pain in your life. Because there will be a lot of that.
I see Intérieur en jaune et bleue by Henri Matisse reflected in our bedroom mirror and dangle a language over an abyss.
Grammaire française.
Tortiller comme un ver. Squirm like a worm.
I study George Harrison sitting in a chair in a huge English lawn surrounded by dwarfs. I’ve long been captivated by this image from the cover of his first solo album, the one with “My Sweet Lord.” He looks so utterly at peace with himself. He seems to be really happy in those big rubber boots. He took gardening very seriously, says his son Dhani, would stare and stare at the surrounding trees and garden making changes in his mind.
I think he and William Blake would have gotten along just fine.



Sunday, July 17, 2016

Official Anthem of the Ping Pong Litmus Association

Puff my unit. The crack I whisper. This zipper glaze honesty. Slither plunge configurational motion door. The crab lights up. This banana gurgles. This meditates my hirsute.
A thought flutters through a talk. I get behind a hint. It ushers a fuse to you. An ultramarine blaze.
We wear stepladder masks and crumple into frogs. A sloppy movement hefts a blue stigma. Necessitates it. We call the gnome. I scratch myself into henna.
The door gets its space over a batch of weather. My pasting for instance. The painter is innocent from swans. Smooth lake arguing increase. Opium is the pressed medication that opens diversion. If you have a spoon try the granite.
Burst dish. Atmospheric gargoyle chain. Acceptance romance. The hair has presence. The red bursts into robbery. Slouch world pulls its trickles to titbits. The snow steams on my glockenspiel.
Hold these brushes. A fiber dangles an academy. Initiates a Technicolor tomahawk. Hollywood here I come!
I collect myriad indicatives. We thicken enfoldments to marble it all.
I feel a certain wrench. A winch beneath the sun.
This will fill the scratch. The slow hold of pasting. The opened burst my impart. And then I subpoenaed a door. There rattled a crack. It burst its hinges and flew. There is a reason for radar. You know?
What gargantuan space brought meditation to hair?
The zipper puffed in heartwood and remembered the dishes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Big European Butterfly

We look for fulfillment in different ways, different places, different people, different scales. Me, I find fulfillment in the clarity of silence, the structure of the lens, the experience of silk. I try to escape the burdens of the ego whenever I can, not by assuming another identity so much as letting the idea of identity go, or expand into enthrallment. It’s harder than you think to attain a state of enchantment. This is not a situation where drugs are of much help. I recommend art, goldfish, and string.
The following sentence has gone in quest of fulfillment, folded itself into a parabolic dish, and disappeared. This would be that sentence had it not vanished into thin air. Why is it always thin air? Why does nobody ever refer to thick air? Or disheveled air?
Is gravity truly a force or an acceleration? Is mass a scalar quantity or a soft pillow on a hard mattress in a town without pity?
Where is Ibiza?
How is meaning possible?
And most importantly, where do all the vanished sentences go? The ones that never get written. The ones that go into the dryer but never come out. The ones that are imagined, that float in the mind like roller skates and shaving cream but are forgotten before an utterance gives them structure and poise. Are these the stillborn? Are these the apparitions of a rampant phenomenology? Are these the fragments of popped cartoon balloons or the confused gestation of predicates and nouns in quest of being in groups of other predicates and nouns?
More subtle problems of grouping are presented by what is called scope. Thus take “big European butterfly”: is it to be true of just the European butterflies that are big for butterflies, or is it to be true of all the European butterflies that are big for European butterflies?
Let’s start there. If a sentence disappears, is it possible that the sentence developed a cocoon and became a butterfly? Is anything in the world truly static? Isn’t metamorphosis involved in all aspects of existence?
Nobody can say that a disappearing sentence is not unlike the magnificence of a setting sun. It’s just that every time NASA spots a UFO they cut their feed.
I did spot a few words lying around sparkling, but they belonged to a different idea, a different theme altogether, and were calamities of poorly conceived meaning. This made them all the more interesting, but hard to maneuver into something declarative and bombastic. Some things refuse to cohere. They crack apart revealing gristle and loopholes. 
It’s rare to see a sentence disappear, especially before it’s been written, and is still a nebular cluster of words and ill formed grammar. Webs, membranes, tactile associations.  
The ocean groans with infinite nuance. Let’s take our cue from that. From surf. From sand. From waves pounding against rocks.
I poured a cup of vinegar down the bathtub drain, then boiled some water in the coffeepot and poured that down the drain. It helps unclog the drain. Steam rose scented with vinegar. It seems to work. Day by day the water drains more quickly. It’s a satisfying feeling. Not that I have anything against plumbers. But the last time we hired a roter rooter operation we got taken for $400 dollars.
Goals are fulfilling in their own peculiar way. Even if you never achieve the goal, just having the goal keeps the blues at bay.
Today I want to forge a new objective and distill a moral of helpful orientation in a post-literate world. It’s strange being a writer in a post-literate world. You find yourself making things that will not garner much of an audience. It feels self-indulgent. What is it, you ask yourself, that I’m contributing? And how important is it to make a societal contribution? Is all art selfish?
Yesterday, after watching a French game show called Question pour un Champion, four separate people in four separate locations each recited a line from “L’homme et la mer” by Charles Baudelaire.  

Homme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer!
La mer est ton miroir; tu contemplels ton âme
Dans la déroulement infini do sa lame,
Et ton esprit n’est pas un gouffre moins amer. 

Liberated man, you will always cherish the sea!
The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul
In the infinite rolling of its waves,
And your mind is no less a bitter abyss 

Which reminds me. The wash needs doing.
There’s a spectrum of mermaids and chimeras in the privilege of insinuating imaginary folds of time in the process of writing or achieving just a few of the impulses lying hidden in any given language.
I know this feeling: it’s mud. The memory of a boardwalk crashes through me. I feel the energy of healing in a metaphor reaching for heaven. It’s a symptom of yearning that turns into candy.
Yesterday’s epiphany is today’s driftwood.
I feel the daily sexuality of a gaudy intentionality.  I shake and scratch with unfettered glee. The trembling of consciousness is awkwardly transmitted. Acceptance, however, is enlarged by a rumination of penthouse vermilion. It grows into phrases, phases, blazes. The feeling of a body, or a conglomeration of bodily sensations, becomes a benchmark of phenomenality. What I want is often confused with concepts that will never quite provide the banquet of my dreams. But what it does do is provide a sanctum for my sunbursts and woodbine.
The sentence sparkles. The placenta circulates a stream of blood. It won’t be long now. Another sentence takes form in the bathymetric valley of insoluble fish.