Style meets substance on the road ahead and merges with the traffic. Curaçao is blue in the red house of logarithms. Chintz plus fungus equals llama. And there, I said it. Everybody gets a shot to be deputy. Me, I’m the deputy of whimsicality. The pollen is random but the momentum is real. Cognition is mostly ants going off in all directions.
Is it difficult to change? Yes, it is. Extremely. But it can be done. Cosmetic is a Greek word. So is cosmos. There is a universe in your cologne, revelations in lather.
My life has been an odyssey, erratic turns, novelties, joys, the willingness to experience incongruities, thriftless fugues, slippery latitudes, irritations like small edible fruit that get you drunk and turn you mad with memory.
Rubber Soul, age 18, San José, California. Streams of consciousness nourish the flame at the tip of a candle.
But why say ‘tip’? Where else would a flame be? Fire can be mesmerizing.
Fifty-two years later I go outside to see what asshole is throwing cherry bombs in the parking lot. Kids in the park. Can’t see them. I just shout into the darkness.
Down below, at the south end of the lake, where all the high-tech companies are moving in, I see tall building cranes festooned with blue Christmas lights. There is salvation in stars. But if you don’t have stars, there’s always the lights of the city.
I worry about the lack of birds this winter. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking birds migrate. But not as much as you think. And yes, I, too believe that paradise can sometimes be found in a capsule. But will it last? That’s the question.
For example, there’s a hardware store down on 15th West with a big display of doorknobs in the window. I find that fascinating. I imagine Marcel Duchamp standing there gazing at all those knobs, choosing to mount one as a readymade. He’s dead now, of course, but maybe I could do it for him. So imagine that. Imagine this paragraph full of doorknobs. Now reach out your hand and turn one. Does it turn? Does a door open? Good.
My life has been a shipwreck at times, the rumble of a big barn door, the lowing of cattle, that mournful sound, those smells of shit and straw, and later the whistle of a kettle on a wood-burning stove. I go in and sit down and listen to the furniture. Surrealism sparkles like pearls of irrational beauty.
Things to do in Martinique: breathe the air, smell the many fragrances, ride a horse, watch sunlight pass through a glass full of Chablis, a group of gynecologists peering into a hole in the ground. I see sensuality as a flowering of being. An openness that comes over you and shakes your senses loose as you sit and absorb the atmosphere, no division between you and the external world, voices lifted in hymn, the pullulation of words seeking life and fulfillment in the eyes of an attentive reader.
The ego is propped up by wealth. There’s a certain brilliance in the conception of money. But you can’t trust it. Money cannot be trusted. It’s too ethereal, too volatile. It’s like the slosh of sauce, the piquancy of spice, a man jerked out of a stupor in time to see a train go by where he was standing just a minute ago counting the money in his wallet.
Once, there was a snowman arrested for loitering. His lawyer came for a visit, but the snowman couldn’t be found. There was just a puddle on the floor.
Do snowmen have lawyers? Sure they do. Lawyers made of snow.
…sings Irma Thompson: it’s raining so hard, looks like it’s going to rain all night.
Singing is different from thinking. Singing is infused with feeling. Thinking is a hungry mind trying to relieve its own inflammation.
By thinking. Ain’t that a gas?
Thinking transpires in the act by which the thinking subject differentiates itself from its thought. A fiddle is a violin, after all, it’s just played a little differently.
The first time I saw the ocean I couldn’t take it all in at once. Nothing is ever so near to us as the personal, physical feeling of our own being letting the world in. It’s like gazing at an ascension of angels on a cloth of stains. The females have organs on the dorsal webs of their arms. Everything feels like a nebular holiday of junkyard secrets. Birds in dizzying formations. The actuality of twigs. The tortured constancy of lava. The play of light and shadow in a Lisbon bistro. The jubilant brightness of morning in the Valley of the Moon.
Here’s a coupon for ointment, the delicacy of prepositions. We’re all trapped in an illusion of choice, each of us a personality churning in animal tissues. I feel like an ordained fool, an isthmus of unsatisfied consequence condensed into a diving board. Here I go, leaping into space.
Obscurity works best as a meringue of equivocation, a web of abstract commitments. What I want is an augmentation of choice. Not destiny. Who needs that? Destiny is for mythologies. Byzantine monks seeking the ascetic life. Princess Syringe and her system of doors. I want something more geometric, more like the glories of distillation, the colors of the athanor, the feeling that something is about to happen, something real, something exciting, something like photosynthesis or lingerie.
Petroglyphs in the Draa River Valley of Morocco.
The osmosis of jazz.