Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Puppets Are Wet

Blood wanders my body murmuring being. It plays with my bones and glides into temperament. I feel its throats dip into pavement for crystal. Momentum does the rest. I grab some electricity from the clouds and throw it into a book.
A trance converges on socialism. A bump wanders my head looking for a home. Space is a sow drooling comets behind the sheriff. This corresponds to hawthorn. I’m doing my best to understand the pornography of power.
My experiences pull themselves into description. Power is a waterfall asleep on an ironing board. Or would that more properly be called potential? It is called by its true name, which is avocado. Power is the ability to fly a 240 ton cargo-aircraft through the eye of a needle.
And land in Guam. What does one do in Guam? Life is tangential to Guam which is also ribbons and seesaws. Perspective is everything. Including cracks.
There is a proverb in which are clothes are uncontrollable. And our ears reach into the garden for music. We have learned to better understand our knives by shipping them to high elevations and carving mountains out of the clouds. Or clouds out of the mountains. I once punched a stream of water and it blazed into reality as a brain.
My puppets are wet and infrared. Coals flash occasionally in the hibachi. A brain walks by dressed as a human being. I wave. The brain waves back.
My favorite book is a twinkle in the carousel. This involved three casualties, a carp, and an equally tall smack on the lips. If I told you it was raining would you believe me? It’s raining. Cats and dogs.
Most of the phenomena around my legs grow into theorems that I can sift through shouts of eternity. This includes broken plates, accordions, doctrines, luminosities, and corn on the cob. I lead a full life of museums, fingers, and hectic abandon. There is a prominence on the rue d’Orsel that repeats its candy like a true buffalo. I see a bend in the road where we can end our turmoil in outer space.
And then some. You know? Like a real piccolo. I am adrift in a massive trembling that can only be music. My emotions feed it compliments and bones.
My intentions lean against the proboscis of a dead folk song. The new folk song will fling itself at the crowd like a bowl of coleslaw. It will appeal to their darkest instincts and mushroom into sirens. Empires will collapse. The human voice will be visceral as eels.
I know we’ll have fun inventing a new movement. We haven’t had a movement in a long time. Movements tend to come and go. This one will scud across the mind making libraries and ferns. Life will be different it will be more like rain than eviction.
Mongrel birds effect my toga. When the clarinetist is inside her instrument she has an international feeling. Her redemption of chrome walks into shouting and we paint ourselves into a corner with an old air of fairyland rust. Someone rides geometry bareback. The concluding elevation keeps on going until it’s completely insoluble. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Maybe It's A Truck

I’m not sure what to think of it. Of what? I don’t know, pick something. Dance. That ad in particular that appears before the French news at 6:00 p.m. It’s been running a few days now. A woman dances in the Louvre, at night. The lights are off, the museum is closed, but there’s enough ambient light that you can see her movements around the corridors, a swift, graceful imitation of Giambologna’s Flying Mercury in which a lithe, bronze Mercury is poised on a zephyr with one arm lifted toward the heavens and the other bearing a caduceus. The dancer is wearing leotards. Her moves are complicated. There’s one in which she’s lying on the floor and seems to blossom, unfold, ramify into a figure of fluent transformation.
It has often been my opinion that the color pink drives the other colors on the canvas into fast regeneration. Of course, the canvas I refer to is one of honesty, coalition, and garlic.
And then there’s the guy I saw today holding a device over the street, moving it along, it had a pointed rod and a meter at the other end, I think it was some form of sonar, radar, it made pretty sounds, melodic little bleeps, I assume he was trying to find a pipe. Devices like that are so wonderful. They help us make connections between appearances. We can know how things appear to us, but very little about the things themselves since we must rely on our limited faculties to arrive at even a superficial understanding of what they are. By device, I mean of course, metal detectors, ultrasound, psilocybin, peyote, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
The romantic spirit isn’t dead. It’s all about spontaneity, isn’t it? We’re stuck in a world of rampant imitation, and the only way out is through the door of authenticity. But what is that door? What does it look like? Is it a door that opens in the head, or does it open elsewhere, in a different time zone, in a different state?
Maybe it’s not a door at all. Maybe it’s a truck.
Or a stepladder.
My search is my explanation, my explanation my search. A condition is defined by its confections. There were Parisian crowds gathered about our stove during the preparation of food one night. The recitation of Dickens stirred among its dollars. There was a sense of liberation, and a cart of fancy drinks. The narrations were titanic, the tapestries full of prophesy. We found the simulacrum of a worry ventilating in a corner.
I realize, of course, that a worry is a vague emotional state. Intense, yes. But worries tend to run wild and multiply. It can be difficult to pinpoint the actual source of the worry. The worry itself can be anything. Driving, postage, germs, time, death.
You can worry about the government leaders so consumed with greed and power that they go mad and blow up the world or declare martial law and shut everything down. The streets are empty, the houses full of fear. But who wants to feed that monster? I don’t. I just want to back away slowly and go look at something far away.
Something like Egypt. Or outer space. I imagine myself in that place, the non-place of space, far away and unreachable. Like Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Lost, quietly resigned, gazing at a panel of buttons rendered in Mandarin.
I like to imagine distant bodies. Distant belts. Distant worlds. 
Like the moon. Wandering the moon. Dune to dune. Crest to crest. Crater to crater. But like I am now, in a pair of jeans and a cardigan, not hopping around like an astronaut in a bulky space suit. Though I could, I can do that. I can imagine myself in a space suit hopping around in that super serene moon dust. I can do that here on the ground looking up at the moon. I can do it indoors. I can do it sitting on a chair in the bedroom. I can imagine a moon and imagine myself looking up at the moon.
Here is the chair, here is the room. And when I look at the moon I do see a face. The face of a rock. A vague, punch-drunk kind of look. The face of a celestial body traveling through space. Infinite space. Not the space of Arizona highways or dirt roads in Alabama. The space of earth below the sky. Twinkling lights, gas stations, trees silhouetted against the dark.
Whatever eternity is, which I for one cannot fully imagine, I can barely think of it. Eternity. The word, sure. I can say the word. I can say it aloud or say it in my mind. But that’s the word, not the actuality.
The actuality is unimaginable. I’m only a human with a human brain. Lots of neurons, sure, but they can’t do that. Can’t let a thing like eternity bounce around in there. My head would explode. I’d splatter the walls and ceiling with eternity.
Because if you get out of the city and far enough away from sources of light pollution where nothing obscures the night sky it’s mind-blowing. You see so many stars it’s stupefying. So many stars that you cannot help but grant the possibility of things existing that you’ve never thought of before.
Try it. Give it a shot. Try to think of something you’ve never thought of before. Never imagined. Not even in numbers on a blackboard. Invisible things, phenomena without palpable form, cause and effect, quantifiable features. And in contrast, because eternity needs contrast, it’s too much for a brain to swallow, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s what I do: I think of something my brain can swallow, a parable, a pretty arabesque, the way a woman’s legs sound on the floor of the Louvre. And I feel better. I don’t deny eternity, don’t block it out, but I do filter it. I let it percolate in slowly. I see hints of it here and there in the beauties and diversions of this world. The pyramids of Egypt, the leap of a frog, the sway of reeds in a Missouri breeze. Things like fire. Like smoke. Like the phosphorescence of foam at the stern of a ship. Which exists in eternity with all the other haunted ships of this world.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Shift In The Air

This is my amble, the preamble of my amble. Let it shatter into pieces of hindsight. I will reassemble it as an airport. The sky is pink and friendly. That’s where I want to be. Up there. Shaking hands with the sun.
This is the robin that I intended to put in the first paragraph. This is the table that I intended to write this on. This is the water that I intended to boil for coffee. This is how I felt before I said this and these are the words that I was going to use to say it.
Thanks to its anonymity, Bohemia remains erratic and puzzling. But is it? Is it anonymous? Because I just said its name. What does anonymous mean? It means seeing a landscape through a tangle of blackberry vines.
The room is among itself in words of clay. They crumble apart easily, thus allowing our mouths to move. Being has flavor because the world is everywhere around us. We sit beside the knowledge of ourselves in sanguine mutation, waiting for an expansion, a strain of music to pluck our nerves into ideas of ourselves. There are essences but no simple way to get at those essences.
If you want a look at Bohemia, follow the deer to the end of the road. There are winds pushing us toward abstraction. But don’t worry. We won’t lose our way. The handsprings have deformed the eggnog. It now tastes of shadows and paper.
Abstraction is wax. Descartes knew that the wax was wax. He just wasn’t sure how he knew the wax was wax. Wax is wax because it had an infinite capacity for changing shape. I don’t know why that bugged him so much. Me, I go for those scented candles. Light one up and get the room nice and fragrant. Is that a problem? I see no division between the mind and the body.
The human brain weighs three pounds, roughly. How much does a thought weigh? Does it depend on the thought? The brain of a sperm whale weighs (roughly) seventeen pounds. I have thoughts about this. How much do my thoughts about this weigh? Seventeen pounds? Eighty-five pounds? Or nothing at all?
If you said nothing at all, you would be correct. None of my thoughts weigh anything. I nurture this sirloin with all my might. It might come in handy one day. As a pumpkin.
Or touch of cologne.
Sometimes I will feel the explosion of something huge in my being. I don’t know what it is. I like to use the word ineffable. This would be a good occasion in which to use the word ineffable. But I won’t say ineffable. One must be careful in giving names to things, especially feelings. Naming is a form of conjuration. It is how Prospero conjured storms. But it can backfire. Be careful. Conjuration is a tricky game. It can lead to camels, zombies, and seaweed.
Elevations are monstrosities of height smiling in halos of irrelevance.
Being is ineffable. Incalculable and incomprehensible. Thinking is the rhythm of being and its openness to mystery. It reveals itself at the very moment it withdraws. There is felt a draft. A ghostly presence. And then the great mystery is unearthed and the coffin opened and we see bones. Which answers nothing.  
A man pokes a pile of burning wood which releases a burst of sparks rising heavenward into the night. I imagine there were many scenes like this on the eve of great battles. Agincourt, the siege of Stirling Castle, the Battle of Hastings.
The artist is not an army but has the strength of an army. It’s because he has the secret of death in his arsenal. Sometimes it’s red and sometimes it’s yellow. It’s rarely green. Green is the soft power of hawthorn. This is what life does when death isn’t around. It seduces pain with the precision of an insect.
Being, according to Heidegger, is a play of appearance and concealment. Sometimes it’s helpful to put these things within a specific context.
Last night, for instance, the moon was waxing crescent. Humidity was at 86% with winds averaging 12 mph.
I entered the cave of the blue dragon. I heard the animal sleeping. There was an animal in me sleeping. All my fears awoke and walked around in my blood, poking around among my bones, grabbing organs and squeezing. This went on for some time. And then a great light shown from the walls of the cave and the cave itself disappeared.
Leaving behind an old trembling hand.
A sprig of sage in the window, a shift in the air just before it thunders.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Prophecies Are Still Boiling

It is not the world but being in the world that pulls ourselves into ourselves. The world is granite, the skin is soft, the balance is challenging: Philippe Petit 1,350 feet above the streets of lower Manhattan walking on a 26-foot-long cable on August 7, 1974. For some people, this is a daily exercise.
I’m not going to say that life is hard. That’s too easy. Too easy to say life. Too easy to say hard. Too hard to say life is easy.
Because it’s not. It’s not even easy when it’s easy.
So what’s a good adjective?
I’m going to say fierce, turn fierce into an adverb, and say fiercely unpredictable.
Like poetry. Isn’t that the prime attraction? To get a taste of something wild? Untamed? Undomesticated?
Poetry is another dimension. Perhaps not the fourth dimension, which is a three-dimensional Euclidean space with time tossed in like a fashion accessory to make a structure independent of any physical reference points  -  coastlines, laundromats, stars, etc. - but a proceeding, a mode, a mass occupying space in a way that bends our attention, that alters our perception, that trembles in our consciousness like a tendency, a heat.
Dimension is tempting, tempting to say dimension, I won’t say dimension, I won’t commit to anything that scientific or arcane, but something like the fourth dimension, something with the range and flavor of the fourth dimension, maybe even a fifth dimension, something atomic, something inexplicable, something involving energy and whistles, tesseracts and Holsteins.
Is a hill full of cows a dimension? It is if it’s located near Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
In the fourth dimension, space and time are unified in a Minkowski continuum. If masses are sufficiently large, time may fold back on itself. We would have a loop in which we begin where we end and end where we begin. This would result in a causal violation very much like a poem. In other words, a dragon eating its own tail.
We’ve all seen this sort of thing before. The spine, the scales, the loop. The mouth can elude its terminus by speaking. A door swings open. A piano floats in its music. Someone whispers Spain.
This is where mathematics gets salty and brittle, like a potato chip.
Poetry is more like a potato chip. A crisp undulation of carbohydrates, a little frivolous, a little addictive, a little sloppy in hyperbolic rotation, and gently, randomly curved.
One might also mention the bag, the potato chip bag, which is always noisy.
It should be obvious to anyone that potato chips are the product of another dimension. This would be a place where the picnic tables are coalitions of wood joined together by wine and informality.
This is why angels are often equipped with sewing kits. My first instinct in all things is to grip something and hang on for dear life. I leave sewing to the angels. I’m better with a hammer. Better at pounding. Better at humming a Beatles song while putting a picnic table together. Build a picnic table, and the potato chips will follow.
I sometimes crash through myself releasing friendlier versions of pain than the ones I’ve already indulged with pharmaceuticals and drama. This is where doors become important. Open a door, close a door, walk through a door, this is how dimensions are turned into pulp and conversation.
It is by the presence of color that we crumble into the art of being and construct ourselves out of details like age and plumage. It’s a process not a project for Home Depot. There are thousands of variables, all quite random and lovely, lovely in their own way, like maracas and drums, a little scent of hops in the air, humulus lupulus, the drone of an airplane passing overhead, and the hunt begins, the search for that elusive thing called an identity, a name, a coherence, a character.
What chemicals are involved in the perception of space? What are the chemicals of identity? What chemicals need expression as flowers?
There is an insistence to shine. The consonants incline toward problems, difficulties, asteroids and incense. The sentence forms and shivers. A clown appears and punches a Buddhist. The recommendations are unfettered and all the movies are bad. But who cares? The prophecies are still boiling. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


I know it’s not good for depression, but I do it anyway: ruminate. Nothing in my life is over until it has been resolved. The problem with that should be obvious: nothing is ever resolved. Not even close. There are things that have happened over the years that I continue to think about. Mull, ponder, weigh.
Revolve, examine, study.
Without results. Nothing resolved. No sigh of relief. No liberating insight. And yet I keep trying. I keep running that hamster wheel, spinning it round and round.
Why did I do, say, go, yell, blather, drop, erupt, flee, open, close, orchestrate this? Why did this happen, and this happen, and this happen, and this happen?
Shit happens, it’s true, but why? Why did this particular shit happen? Was there a way to prevent that shit from happening? Will I ever understand that shit?
I’ve been attacked, beaten up, flipped off without knowing why. A biker once flipped me off on the freeway when I was returning to the mailroom after a delivery of bulk mail downtown at the main terminal. Did I cut that guy off without realizing it? Was he pissed because the University of Washington turned his application down and so he ended up joining a motorcycle gang? Was it me he was flipping off, or the institution? Or did he just not like white trucks with tempus fugit written into the dirt on the back? Did he think I was a smartass who needed comeuppance?
Why do our ex-girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands dump us then end up with a complete douche bag? Are they being self-destructive because we were such assholes and said such terrible things? Is it our fault they go and find a shittier partner than we were after all our desperate attempts to keep things going? Is it more punishment heaped onto the pile?
What was I thinking when I said blah blah blah blah?  What was I thinking when I dropped acid that particular night? Why didn’t I check to see who had my ticket to the Who at the Cow Palace until getting to the gate and finding out they didn’t have it?
I’ve been dropped by friends without knowing why. No clue at all. Was it something I said? Something I did?
It’s like having a courtroom in your head. And you’re playing judge, prosecutor, jury and defense attorney. You’re the detective bringing in evidence. Various objects, stains, remarks.
The most frustrating part is looking for logic where there is no logic. What was it Pascal said? “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”
Regrets are the clutter you can’t let go of. I never get mileage out of regrets. There’s not much you can do with them. You can’t go back in time. You can’t proofread your life and go back and fix the misspellings and stupid things you said. It’s the events that have a sustaining energy that keep feeding the engines of rumination. The more riddling they are the better. The less they yield to analysis the better. The more ambiguous they are the better. There’s your perfect recipe for rumination: enigma, ambiguity, and illogicality.
Plus all the hints, clues, intimations, insinuations, and speculation you can muster and you’ve got a full-blown Russian novel in your head.
Share it with someone and here’s what they’ll say: drop it. It’s over. There’s nothing to be done.
But they’re wrong.
There’s nothing to be done, that part’s true, but the insights to be gained are stunning. You will think of things you hadn’t thought of before. They still might not answer your questions or resolve anything or stop the obsessions but they will provide nutrients for the tired dirt that is your mind.
I can’t, in all honesty, endorse rumination as a good thing, a mental occupation with positive results. It does not help depression. It really doesn’t. It’s like trying to swim in your clothes. You’re going to be much lighter without it. Once you realize going in that you’re probably not going to find resolution but just keep spinning that hamster wheel round and round, and you make a deal with yourself not to take any of it too seriously, you might find that Russian novel has some really beautiful passages in it.