Friday, February 14, 2020

Philosophy Dog


I like illusions. Life is terrifying without them. I’m also a fan of cognitive dissonance, denial, rationalization, & self-deception. I’m not big on hope. Hope leads, inevitably, to disappointment. The smear in my heart is the hope left over from the last hope. Epiphanies are where it’s at: the manifestation of the divine. A hummingbird hovering in front of your face on a warm spring day surrounded by azaleas & rhododendrons. A sudden acute realization that everything is simultaneously real & unreal, particle & wave, energy & matter. Radiant knots of language pickled in reveries of sound. Whipped cream hissing out of a pressurized can. And somewhere near the horizon the light of the morning star & steam rising off the surface of a river.
Every injury has a moment in which to stick to a religion & describe itself with a little glue, a little glee, & a block of stone. Being is all about conflagrations at sea. Somebody coughing in a movie theater. Everything seems linked to an idea of itself, just like agriculture, always growing things out of the dirt, as if the very dirt had a reason to enter the sacrament of eating. It’s precisely this dynamic for producing a veneer of meaning that gets bumped into Costa Rica. Are you hungry? Please don’t eat me. These are but furbelows, shiny ideas opened by an elf named Sphygm. The only way out is in, & the only way in is to spin there on the Boulevard of Crime.
Words like it when they can bend the world into baseball. There’s a loud whack & the ball bounces to left field where it is caught by a pterodactyl & carried to the end of this sentence & dropped. I pick it up & hear a giant monotony walking around inside of it. There’s a cure for that as well. But it must be collected from the Renaissance in parcels of air. These drugs will reveal the quantum amphibians in your eyes. Little legs of meaning carry me forward. If you look closely at a Viking ship you will immediately notice the magnitude of grace in the sweep of its lines. This might be used as an example of thought. The brain is a typhoon crashing through the void. It’s all in your mind, people say. But what if the mind is a ball, & language is at bat?
If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world, said Wittgenstein. I speak the language of goats. Death is at the bottom of everything. Cabbage, moss, carpentry, water polo. I open my eyes & see molecular blizzards, long roads among the hum of neurons. There’s nothing to believe in. And so there is darkness. And thunder. And the picture gets murky. Anything out there could be talking your language. It could be pain, an introspection, or a little fire in the stove. Creating anything is talking. Philosophy is being a dog in the desert with a billion stars all around. And the pulleys creak as we draw the sky closer. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Politics Of The Soul


Am I sentimental? Can’t say. What is it to be sentimental? It’s all a haze, I’m a guest here, a listless straw bending out of a glass of root beer, the trill of oblivion bouncing on my brain. The stencil is a novelty. My revulsions are inscrutable. But not always. Sometimes the highway is a hypotenuse and my turbidity has a value that only the night can reveal. That’s Vegas ahead. The play of lights is a good indication of a geometry inverted to shine brighter than a joker masticating a slug of macaroni. You can’t duplicate the dust of an ancient library. Just take a volume down & open it. It says that the lechery of any given moment is an endowment pranked to impress the gullible. I’m putting all my money on Foment. Gray is a vernacular of color you don’t often find here. But value it for what it is. Value it for its blind spots & vagueness. Gray is forgiving. Mournful. But redemptive. Intrinsic to the politics of the soul. 
There’s a princess sitting on a toadstool, spreading her ledgers out for all to see. Planet Earth is essentially a tabernacle where these things happen. Things like vagrancy & quartz, jelly & remonstration. Janis Joplin. Etta James. Nina Simone. Delicacies leap from subtlety to outright inundation. We could all use some fireworks occasionally. Editorials that remember what it was like to drive through Iowa protesting the results of a caucus. We’re all involved with the universe. How can you not be? Lives are illegible until the harmonics of our language find their radar & the mechanic finds a cracked head gasket. I don’t expect any answers. But I could do with a towel.
It’s amazing what transformations take place, what apocalypses occur when enough is not enough & the variables curtsy to questionnaires posed by billionaires. I’ve seen reciprocity turn to atrocity, verbosity trend toward monstrosity. This is what happens in a universe of flux. An aggressively friendly realtor staggers through a door of flippers & bells prattling of faucets & bathtub tile. This does little to promote calm & balance. Even the squids wear spurs. And when, for the first time, you see a tentacle reach for a bottle of whiskey high on a shelf in a San Antonio bar you wonder if it’s fair to berate yourself for being so insecure. And sip another apocalypse.
It’s always a bit strange when you see a waterfall of hair & aren’t sure whether it belongs to a woman or a horse. Perception is rarely a neutral registration. Most of the time it’s a dilation, an elation creating sparks & havoc. The news of the day propelled by unicorn. The world wobbles. I warp into nouns. I jingle them like thumbs. Each claw must open a door to let the monster out. I do this in my spare time. This is how elbows happen. It’s athletic to appreciate vineyards. Grapes bring us perceptions of another world. This is by now apparent. The hammer is defined by nails as music is awakened by piano. And this generates the words I’m using to peruse your eyes.
It’s why I do this. It’s why I do anything. Hysterectomies & liposuctions are just the manifestations of a trademark mortality brought to us by life, which is a form of existence, which is a form of grizzly, a big furry raging appetite high in the mountains of an imaginary realm I’ve just now squeezed into this sentence, which is just now reaching a conclusion, though maybe not here, it’s rolling up & down the neck of a guitar in a parallel universe bristling with unimaginable possibilities, the kind of thing that happens to you in mesmerized abandonment, or C minor.


Friday, February 7, 2020

The Fruit Of Subversive Ghosts


I’m not sure what to make of the new flavor. Its vapory essence eludes the chiseling of words, the hammer of grammar, the gloss of definition, perspicuity packed and waxed in syntax. We share such phenomena constantly, somehow, feeling empowered by the concretizing illusions of language, but ultimately chastened by its delusional allure. Below, the slosh of waves is fat with tugs. Everyone is swimming upstream, immersed in argument, the senses heated to horsepower, arms reaching from the water urgent, hot, and phantasmal. My ape is within, stunned by sleep. I’m green. I’m a bistro to my own flutter. Mint condition paraffin causes the ooze of delivery to illumine the cartilage footnoting our bones. Later, when the sun justifies our windows, we find life in our theorems, however misconceived or snapped together like Lego blocks.
I like this rake. I can use it in order to better understand the obscurity that surrounds our drama. The point is well taken. But I remain opposed to crime. I prefer cream. The olive oil glistening on that roasted chicken makes me feel a little mercantile. Is that natural? A storm of decadence inhabits the corner of my mouth, smoldering like a word that I almost uttered, animated with breath and blood and warm intention. I guard nothing as much as furniture. I see mud and forsythia. I see rhinoceros and energy. I think that the universe is made of ink and apricot. Even the fox must flee the mad affirmations of the hippopotamus.
Ok, so then it gets, you know, nothing done, and that’s sophisticated, you know, like opening a door and holding it for an old woman to squeeze through with her groceries, or Ricky Gervais. The map, so they say, is not the territory. And yet my left pocket is a realm unto itself, a monad, if you will, of car keys and loose change, I feel summer in there, the warmth of my leg warming the cold metal keys, pennies and nickels and dimes, quarters, the extent of my symbolic life, which is contact, touch, and sobbing about those things that can never return, they’re bombs in the memory now, illumining the skull with their explosive opium.
I’m a man, whatever that means, it’s a stage toward something exciting, marmalade or maturity, take your pick. The numbers are pastel. They allow us to calculate our trajectory with greater subtlety and flocks of impenitent rust. I see a beautiful wheel. It smells of almonds and travel. These agitations that I continue to plague me at night are legible as courtrooms or bottomless pits. The house creaks like a ship underway in a latitude of trespass and trepidation. It helps to have heat. It awakens the animal in me and enlarges all the patterns. Sooner or later we all become an amalgamation, a sponge, a spherical blob of glistening convolution. Squeeze a brain and words come dribbling out of it. Mop a sentence with the brain and the moisture is vaporized into thought, sublimated into fantasy, steeped in grammar, which is the language of water, which is the anguish of language.
And so the propellers are propositions. How can it be otherwise? Each word has a firm crust and a juicy interior, the etymology a pilgrimage through the corridors of history, people conversing in the streets. Hobnob, shake hands, nod in agreement, emit signs of interior life, moods and opinions. Those inclinations in us that cause perception to meander, enter new dimensions. The prospects are gorgeous. Divinity resides in our hands. Mud combined with thought amounts to bricks, exhibits, the peppermint of kings, and the fruit of subversive ghosts. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Ninety-Two Pounds Of Air


The steam is emotive, effectively vague and good for the mushrooms. I need mushrooms. They’re masterpieces of decay. Thought whistles out of the kettle creating histories of grandeur and iron. Today we begin a new fauna. These shaggy words will bring forth a delirium of coral and cause moods to float through the sentence like dugout canoes with no one in them. At least, that’s the current ambition. Things might change when the prisoners are released and we all have knitting to finish.
Alchemy is, after all, a blue enterprise. It’s not the kind of work anyone can do under fluorescent lighting. The endurance of being is a conversation with death. Always. It’s always been this way. I praise the virtue of aberration. I rip definitions into luxurious indiscretions and multicolored extension cords. I lean against the peninsula of a treble clef and drag the sky over my brain. It feels silk, like the first day I went fishing for a princess in the lobby aquarium. I was not a little hermetic then, and not a little hermetic now, but I still like hunting down reactions to my upheaval. It’s a form of therapy. Like hanging upside down in the closet.
Twilight tastes of sawdust and sausage, the shiver of liberation. Anguish bathed in apology. The clouds must be studied. The guitar must be played. The words must be pronounced. With a harmonica and a tender zucchini. Our destiny is not in the stars. It’s in a martini.
Everything crumbles, this is the reality of life. Even the king must undergo the rigors of mortality, shoulders stooped, muscles aching, bones creaking. However, the sun always rises. There’s a world in each word. There’s the energy of a sun streaming out of our eyes when we engage with words, engage with their sounds, their shadows and vetoes, their tufts and tails of cosmic undulation. The taste of beauty can be bitter, but the soul of the lute is succinct in its string and vibration.
The painter sits in front of the canvas pondering a goat. The purpose of a tool isn’t always apparent. It’s why the trees are so radical. The leaves are pages of a book browsed by the wind. Everything reaches for the sun. For the light. For the heat. For the source of all this sensation.
I like the fog when I can wear it like a shirt, or a debutant at the Ball of Anarchic Banana Jitters. I feel the shiver of consonants in the music of an emerald. The filet is almost ready. It smells like a season ticket to a roller-skating derby. It’s not a normal filet. It’s more like a perspiration of pretense. As you can see, nudity goes a long way here. My sole regret was to spank the meringue before the raven found his timbre. The silence that ensued was deeper than a preposition tromping around in the sentence with an ax.
Something is dripping from my life. It might be me, it might be my life, and it might be buffalo. How bucolic, you say, and I agree. The paroxysms are unmistakable. I've given birth to a herring. Or did I mean hearing? My hearing is here. Where my heart is. Caged in ninety-two pounds of air. Empty. Vacant. But joined by symbols in a usury of emotion. Picture the skeleton of a whale on a sandy beach. That’s it. The dream is gone. But the bones remain. And the angels all weep in the rain.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Savage Mood


A parabola is the trajectory a projectile follows that gravity feeds as gravity feeds everything in space with its ferocious magnetism and repulsive force depending on where you are how situated you are in relation to everything else and that’s a parabola. Parabola the parable of the bowl. Parabola the bowl of parakeets in a parakeet cage lined with newspaper which is lined with the distortions and tragedies of its day.
And what’s the feeling of the hand with a fork in it? The tines are signs of penetration in the glory of a moment too quiet to be fully understood. It’s the secrets in wax that glow in the flame dancing at the tip. That illumine a room illumine a skull illumines the darkness so brightly the darkness grows plump and palpable in that strange new heat arousing the muscle beating the heart the heart making it beat beat beat.
I feel increasingly alien, lost, detached and reattached simultaneously. I feel I belong to something ancient that’s no longer in evidence, that’s been crushed by commodity, industry, that ugly word, industry, yuk, I get antagonized immediately as soon as I hear both those words: industry and commodity. I like things, I like food, I like having money, I like being able to procure items when I want them, whether I need them to sustain comfort and life, or if I just want to indulge in some luxury. But these desires are also burdensome. Confining. Driving. Beguiling. What desire was ever liberating?
When I hear the word ‘industry’ I hear the clank of chains, I hear the rhythms and deadening syntax of monotony, of the extraction of resources and giant holes in the ground, the stink of diesel, the stench of exhaustion, the obliviousness to anything sublime and beautiful. Acerbity rises in me, my blood turns caustic, acidic. I want to escape all this, as I want to destroy it, alter it, turn it back to renewal and interaction with the cosmos and its billions of stars and black energies of light.
You really can’t exaggerate anything these days, that’s how bad they’ve gotten. 7,000 people quarantined on a cruise ship outside Civitavecchia, Italy. The coronavirus is freaking everyone out. A woman of Chinese nationality came down with the flu. The passengers and crew waited for the results of tests carried out by a medical team from Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. And the woman just had a normal case of flu not the dreaded coronavirus, which are enveloped viruses with a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry that have an incubation period from two to fourteen days. Its name comes Latin corona, meaning crown or halo, which refers to the fringe of the virions (virus particles), which resemble a royal crown or solar corona. If you’re going to come down the flu it might as well be something imperial. Lethal, but regal.
But what I find gross is the ginormous cruise ship – the Costa Smeralda – with its 2,641 staterooms, suites and cabins. What’s a ship that big doing on a poor old ocean dying of asphyxiation from too much carbon dioxide and plastic? Don’t have people something better to do than float around stuffing their pieholes with food and booze on a colossal shopping mall at sea? The world is round but the people on it are obtuse rectal rhombi with supplementary angles and diarrhetic hemorrhoids. Completely disconnected. No sense of reality at all. But good at reproduction. I’ll give them that. They know to fuck and pop babies out. And this results in great appetites and lunatic ambitions. The people want more and more and more from a finite ball in space. It isn’t huge, it isn’t small. It’s just a pretty ball of swans and lakes and waterfalls and trees. Pimentos and hickory and bees. Emeralds and eggs and photoelectric emissons. But it can take only so much before it collapses and its yachts and apricots begin to decompose and rot.
I blow on my fingers and wait for the sun to rise in the east. I hear the groan and rattle of a garbage truck. The chirp of robins. What happened to my life, I wonder, where did it all go?
And isn’t earth the ultimate cruise ship?
I need a new alchemy. I need a new way to break the filigree of overwrought thought into vapory ringlets of nebular oblivion. I need the alchemy of experience and the alchemy of trinkets. The alchemy of words and the alchemy of herbs. The alchemy of ancient wizards in old cold craggy castles. The wind raging. The crows cawing. The eerie colors of chemicals, red and green and pink bubbling in glass beakers. The hiss and sizzle of molten metals. The aura of the otherworldly surrounding anything that might catch a little light. And outside the stars send their light shooting across millions of light years of cold dark space. Places where space melts and known laws disappear. We were here, they say, we were here. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

City Of The Future


It was shocking. Didn’t expect it at all. Though the signs have been there all along. I’m talking about dystopia. Nightmare city. The triumph of late-stage capitalism with more than a soup├žon of AI dolloped into the mix. I wonder, in fact, if AI and capitalism have merged in some spectacularly demonic way. The singularity is here, and its progeny is singularly bleak. 
Yesterday afternoon R and I decided to drive downtown Seattle and see the new Guy Ritchie movie The Gentlemen. We parked in the underground parking lot at Pacific Place and walked a half block to the Regal Meridian.
The last time we went downtown to see a movie and parked at Pacific Place Seattle’s streets and department stores were thriving. This time, we saw a lot of empty retail stores and far fewer pedestrians. Pacific Place was crowded and vibrant. All the restaurants and retail stores were doing a brisk business. Now, most of them are closed. Barnes and Noble is gone, and so are J.Crew and Bose. AT&T was still there, and the movie theater, but apart from them, it was a ghost town. Even the coffee shop was gone. The entire interior was being remodeled. There were sheets of plywood to walk on. 
There was now a bank of machines to pay for parking. There used to be an enclosed interior space where you paid for parking and people – most of them from East Africa, Ethiopia, Etruria and Somalia – dealt with the public. I always thought of Rimbaud when I paid for my parking there, his time in Harar when Ethiopia and the surrounding region was known as Abyssinia. The women at the windows were always quiet and dignified and occasionally I could hear traces of Oromo or Amharic. Where would all those people find jobs now?
We discovered the same situation at the Meridian: there were no more people at the box office dispensing tickets, just another bank of machines. The machine we tried interacting with stubbornly refused our cards. Fortunately, there was an attendant available to help us, a friendly young woman whose position would no doubt disappear once the public had become fully accustomed to interacting with machines instead of people. 
In the future, when the dust settles and the remodeling is completed, people will be rendered obsolete. Simple interactions involving the dispensation of tickets and such will strictly be the province of machines. Human interaction will become even more rare than it already is. Conversation is all but extinct. But will it matter? With most of the retail gone, there’s really no reason to go downtown at all. I don’t know where people go now to find jewelry and clothing. People no longer read, so it’s unlikely anyone will miss (if they even notice) the absence of Barnes and Noble.
We arrived early for the movie. We sat in comfortable chairs in the lobby and looked down at the few people walking on the sidewalks of Seventh Avenue and Pine. One man in particular caught our attention. He was a nicely dressed, well-groomed man pushing a grocery cart. He stopped to bend over and pick up a cigarette butt. He didn’t appear homeless at all. I don’t know how he managed to keep his appearance so presentable in such dire circumstances.
I keep wondering, what is Pacific Place for now? It didn’t seem to be designed for a public at all. It looked like it was morphing into some luxurious space outside the sphere of the broadly commercial and was now repurposed to cater to the ultra-rich, though exactly in what capacity I can’t be sure. I strongly suspect the property’s chief value was now the province of hedge fund investment firms and that extreme amounts of money based on convoluted mathematical formulas was the force behind its transformation.
We had to choose our seats before the movie. I told the young woman who was helping us that I did not like choosing my seats that way because I liked the freedom to move if someone sat next to me with a toddler or began to talk and check their cellphone during the movie. But that’s the setup now: you choose your seat and if you move that’s fine, but if you’re in the seat someone else has chosen, you’ll have to move again. It’s an unnecessary and stupid complication.
The seats were comfortable, but there was an entire table attached. The table swing out so you could sit down, then pull back in so that people could get by without crashing into it. Who needs an entire table for viewing a movie? Was someone going to be serving dinner during the movie the way they do on a passenger jet?
Ads began appearing – loud, obstreperous, and grotesque. The worst was a video game inviting audience members to interact with their smartphones. Seriously?!? Isn’t the theater supposed to be discouraging the use of smartphones? I know these were just ads, but once somebody’s got their smartphone out and started a mode of interactive play, what is going to induce them to put it back in their pocket or purse when the movie starts? It’s another anxiety layered on top of all the other anxieties.
So welcome. Welcome to the city of the future. All machinery, all metal and plastic, touchscreens and buttons with nothing human to mar the perfection of monetary exchange.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

New Terms


I learn new terms all the time. Morphic Field, for example, or Justified Sensuality. Responsive Heartstrings and Horny Wharf Incubation. Irreversible Griddle Wisdom and Pinto Hysteria. Raconteur Palisade and Lip Salute Project. Revolving Faucet and Rhododendron Pallbearer Magnets. I consider this to be a product of major reciprocity concerning the isometrics of unseasonable courtyard wheels. Definitions are always intriguing. They contract and dilate, expand and shrink, and do opposite things to opinionated people at inopportune times. This makes leather snort at the dexterity of belts. Mutant flamethrowers cause liquids to listen to their own vacillation. The majesty of socialism is the kind of contradiction that etches work into fairylands of exquisite vivacity. My own thoughts escape me, running around in my brain like chili peppers in a particle accelerator. God particles spew everywhere. And the physicists go home reeling, drunken with pirouettes of discombobulated soul spawn.