Monday, April 12, 2021

My Scorpion Salute

It is sadness which is the sun cheese which makes the cabbage do convolutions for the mystery of matter. All things roll the tiger wheel of beauty. The same mechanical liquid that makes shape become lush allows time for sauce. I cherish these hours of bee palpation. If you don’t like this reality you can sculpt another from wax and inject it with the knowledge of currents. The clock will respond with brown & affirm the languor of law. All these things came to me pleading for expression & legs. I gave them the legs of spiders & a bag of rocks to make some noise. The lampshade provides storms. The long neck of the chair makes everything sensual. I call this furniture & whisper it to the mahogany. I feel the heat of the hummingbird’s ecstasy. Is it archaic to believe the moon drools a fulgurant honey? The almond velour of the sausage confirms Saussure’s theory on linguistics: there can be no amalgamation of thought in a mailbox without the dry dizzy weight of the steeple bell in the eye of a sparrow. And that gets the calories tangled up in beans. This is my card. This is the ocean. If you look closely, you can see the foam has a franchise. Therefore, the golden jelly of my scorpion salute enters its articulation. Poplars line the river’s melody. Agates trigger a tale of currents and windshields. The currents themselves plunge the frost house in decimals. The grass flies through the painting of its representation. Everything is as cuddly as reason and assumes a gentle pose in the mind as a harpsichord delivers a shattering melody to the surrounding indifference. The table says now to its food and lifts it gracefully into view the way words do when they’re trying to get something across. And the tablecloth smells of musk and the candles behave like sleep. It is the place of well-being to rise and offer a toast. A circus bear sits on the bed and rests a paw on a woman’s shoulder. We should all scold loving for the cruelty of its twists and shackles. But who does that? Who isn’t eager to get a taste of luxury? Birth has an answer. Tendrils have friends. But the chamomile moon says go into the cave. That’s where the memories propagate in a wind whose source is a complete mystery. The door has a ridiculous weight. Give it a good push and feel the dream open to the mountain blinking at you under the eyelid of night. A wild electricity caresses the chasm walls. Sometimes what I want is a simple theater and a little knot in my brain to come undone. It’s complicated to heal some things. Refrigerators, for example, or saxophones. The junkyards are full of them. it takes months for a sensual wind to engulf my life. But whose life is it? Do I belong to the wind? Nobody belongs to the wind. The wind belongs to nobody. It’s a perfect relationship. Like words in a sentence rowing a chameleon across a bucket of dark weather.



Friday, April 9, 2021

I Is An Otter

Where do people find their identity these days? One nice thing about old age, you stop worrying about it. You don’t need it. It’s just sand bags on one’s inner balloon. The one that rises out of the head & settles like herons on the ceiling which has become the shallows of the Nile. The word 'identity' sounds so formal. Like something you climb into. Rubber wet suit. Face mask. Flippers. Now you’re ready. Ready to be someone. Ready for the ocean. The world of water. Where everything is fluid. And takes on the appearance of its immediate environment. Like an octopus crawling into a crevice of a rock becomes the rock. In the human world, this is called a BCI: Brain-Computer Interface: the human becomes the computer into which they gaze. 
     Identities are ravenous, supple, and hyperbolic. They crave opera. Cataclysms and sirens. Good hygiene. Pretty much anything to do with water. Noodles, for example. Weddings and rice. Seaweed sweeps over the feet of the Atlanteans as they arise from the waves and walk on shore. What world is this, they wonder. They have glowing beards and curly hair. The air is unstable. Ecstasy swims in their eyes. They look inquisitive and sputter like uncut gems. I worry that the storm and its furious illuminations will shatter the cafe with the intensity of their affections. 
     The harness of afternoon sparkles across pendulums of beehive and vine. Neon horses nibble in shadow. Two things to like about late afternoon: one, the pistons have stopped pounding and the machinery of day has shut down. Two: you can take it easy, lean back into a nice soft parenthesis that appears to be a part of the overall narrative but really isn't, it's a passing thought, the drift of smoke from a barrel of burning wood. The eye of the hurricane that is your life. It’s a bussed dining table after dinner and you're inundated, mesmerized by the blue in a glass of curaçao. 
     I like being absent at dinner. When I’m absent at dinner I can eat as much as I want. Because I’m not there. I’m absent. And when I’m not around I can do what I want. I can do anything. I can’t do everything. Everything takes presence & I don’t have any of that. But I do have absence. My absence is present. I’m like a bitcoin. I’m based on nothing. And nothing is my value. It’s the value of absence. I’m having a fire sale on absence. Take as much absence as you want. I have an endless supply of absence. I’m a Costco of absence. Empty warehouse. Of beautiful nothing. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

There Will Come A Time

There will come a time & it will howl. It will cry out for sea lions. And rocks. Rocks for the sea lions. Sea lions for the rocks. Nothing is frozen & everything is intimate. The grotto is exciting & the gentle is lovelorn. We see a masquerade & like to rehearse when the ocean is rubbing against the moon. This is proceeding to bleed indefinitely. Let’s sail into the mystic with the dolphins and dodos and diphthongs and derelicts and facts. Facts are fables of accuracy. How can you miss a country if you don’t have a passport and all of your memories are oceans of mist and multiplicity? I find the meaning of regret in the eye of an egret. Remorse in the back of a horse. I think this song will serve to float someone’s implementation one day. Time is running away, chased by a midnight hour. You could say the minutes are madcap and the rabbits are dead. But the elk are bounteous this year and the lobsters of Paris embrace Nerval like the admiral of a poem. He is dead now and so completely alive in a melon. There’s discipline in an expedition and homework in a mitten. I think you’ll know what I mean if I say that there are no obstructions in calculus only irrational numbers and uncouth nominatives. I can taste the Middle Ages in a mint and Middle English in a ravine. Encyclopedias roam my knob like a herd of outfields. That’s my glove on the wall. We were married in June and grosbeaks flocked around the soup. The book was haunted by an index of hermits and ozone. Images glow in the distance. They were brought here by a language and are accumulating a lot of attention in the ears and mouths of the local fauna. A candy-colored clown they call the sandman frowns as he interprets a hope as a ranch on the range of the inundated. Don’t meddle with a Texan. I can’t help it if I try. I’m inaugurating a neck with a swan. I can’t be bothered with the guffaw even if it is clear and square like an ice cube. Somebody needs to drink this down or it will just spoil. Nothing smells worse than an unread paragraph. Old letters are often perfumed and this is why the past persists into the future. Heathens in the heather overspread the renovation of an old revolt. The least is the last to push a mango through the snow. Don’t abuse the fruit. Get up and jog or else become a nook and dangle here while I look for a nick of time and a nuclear pulp. Immodesty is geothermal. I wear the mantle of a needle in my milieu of kneecaps and dew. The newborns are monumental if the decisions go public and the lights ignite the feeling wrapped around the foreground of a Gothic perspiration. We’re tough and real and jiggle our gardenias. Beat time. Do handstands in Kenya.




Sunday, April 4, 2021

Vaccination Day

We got our second vaccinations yesterday. Mine was easy. A short drive to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, found convenient parking right off, entered the building about 20 minutes early, no problem, I was given a clipboard with a couple of forms to fill out, mostly questions about allergies, I have none, so everything was no, no, no, hand it back, we followed the arrows to the room where they give the shots, we went right in, I removed my jacket and cardigan, I remembered to wear a short sleeve shirt this time, the nurse stuck me with the needle, and that was that. We waited in a booth for fifteen minutes to make sure nothing untoward would occur, convulsions, cold sweats, talking in tongues, we just quietly conversed, the timer dinged, I raised my hand and a young pregnant woman took the timer, checked to see I was ok, bid us good day, and we left, two minutes after 11:00 a.m., my appointed time. R’s was more difficult: a drive to Delridge, easily the ugliest, most confusing neighborhood I’ve ever driven in, once again we missed the right turn, we should’ve stayed to the right but I went to the left and so we missed the correct turn off, no way to turn around, there was a big median divider, a young, disheveled man stood on the island holding a sign asking for assistance, whatever people might spare, an arm stuck out of the passenger side in the car ahead of us, a late 80s model of fading, splotchy, rusty red, gave the panhandler the old hippy peace sign, two V-shaped fingers, a strange gesture which we thought was a bit wanting, but the man returned the sign, a little confused, then the person in the car motioned to him to come closer as the traffic began to move and as soon as he closed in the person hurled a fistful of pennies at the ground. This was spectacularly mean, and augmented my animus toward Delridge. The GPS lady picked up from our new location and guided us the rest of the way to the site where the shots were begin given to the grocery workers. The weather was much warmer than last time and the dispensation of shots was a little better organized and R returned within a half hour. A few hours later, we’re both feeling fine, a bit woozy, a little phlegmatic, but good. I’m anxious to go eat at a restaurant, something we haven’t done in over a year, but R says they recommend not eating indoors even after a 2nd vaccination, which I find irksome and disappointing. I’ve been growing increasingly accustomed to the idea that we may never return to a normal existence. R says it would take at least a 70% herd immunity for dining indoors at a restaurant to comfortably happen, and we still see people carelessly flouting guidelines and not social distancing or wearing masks. It’s crazy. The old world of mud and frogs and crowded restaurants and rock concerts and operas and ballets and sports events seems permanently a thing of the past. Instead, what I hear is continuing spikes of Covid worldwide and debris from Elon Musk’s exploded rocket landing in the fragile Boca Chica Ecological Preserve, threatening ocelots, sea turtles, and rare insects, such as the Boca Chica flea beetle.




Saturday, April 3, 2021

Patch Of Blue Sky

Tiny patch of blue sky I spot through the black tail feathers of Louise, lame crow to whom we toss peanuts every day. There’s a hole in her tail feathers where (according to my theory) she reaches round to fuss with her bad leg. We see her every day now. Soon as we get to the top of Highland or anywhere around Ward Street she appears. She must recognize our voices. Athena keeps sneezing. I change the litter in the litterbox. The Costco litter is extremely dusty. We refill the litterbox with another less dusty brand. It’s rather alarming to discover the number of reasons that cats sneeze. I’ve named the two women apartment-sitting upstairs Emily and Charlotte Brontosaurus. They’re extremely heavy on their feet. The pharmacy lamp by my writing desk chatters when I turn it on. This both irritates and amuses me. I talked to a crow today while she pecked at her peanut. She seemed to enjoy having me watch her eat. The females have sleek heads. The males have round heads. Intense burst of sugar as a Reese peanut butter cup melts in the mouth. Imagine being stunned and incapacitated by the jaywalk of a phylum. The paintings have changed at The Fountainhead Gallery. The still life by Sandra Power of a bowl and pitcher and a glass of water rendered in the manner of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin is gone. R and I like this painting quite a lot. If I had the money I’d buy it, though I might put in a request to have the small shadow under the handle of the ladle resting on the edge of the bowl painted out or redone so that the shadow is consistent with the source of light. It’s very incongruous, as if it were added later to give stronger effect to the weight of the ladle and the illusion of it resting there. Sudden fragrance of rock daphne at the corner of Galer and Willard Avenue West. If this odor had a sound what would it be a Picardy third or a bell? Gaston Bachelard liked to fantasize about bell towers and living in a world of steps and ladders. Bell towers are old and spectacular places resonating in history. The world’s earliest bells, it turns out, date from the 3rd millennium BC. Their origins have been traced to the Yangshao culture of Neolithic China, and were made of clay. The earliest metal bells have been dated to 2000 BC. I like the way the bells sound in Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” “The Bells of Strasbourg Cathedral” is a cantata composed by Franz Liszt between 1868 and 1874. The lyrics were taken from the prologue to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Golden Legend.” Church bells are the loudest musical instrument in the world. I don’t know what got me thinking about bells. Oh yeah. Gaston Bachelard. He called the ascension to the bell tower in Strasbourg Cathedral brusquely inhumane. When you near the summit the columns disappear and there you are, faced with the void.









Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Smell Of Gold

The smell of gold pours down in the form of rain. The frogs respond with a chorus of croaks. An iron door opens to the periphery of a flower. We propose a new color for the daggers of the sun. Admonition sleeps like a tiger in the caverns of the heart. Just one thing I ask of you: listen to the aromas of Martinique as dawn comes riding in on the foam. This is the music of nuance. This is the music of folds and silences in the crevice between the known and the unknown. It bends to hear the secrets of fish. It feels cool on the skin and opens all the doors to the kingdom of the air. There is nothing nebulous about a dinosaur. The skin is rough and tough and pebbly. The nostrils flare, smelling death. I see a history in the distance, running towards a calendar. Prehistory is a scary place. We need words to create a modicum of meaning in an otherwise meaningless universe. But is that fair? Do we know enough about the universe to call it meaningless? The State Fair is foggy this year. The lights are softly dimmed and the effect is chimerical. One begins to wonder if it’s a real fair or a just fairyland of tingly needles on a canvas of sleep. As soon as you think you know something, you receive a letter questioning everything you thought you knew. Swooning is no longer an option. You have to face reality, whatever reality happens to be at that moment. Meanwhile, the history of phenomena grows longer from year to year. And who, exactly, is writing all this down? Do people still bother with such things? We’re going to do a little blues for you now, says Mick Jagger, and the crowd roars. Maybe that’s it, that’s all we need, a little red rooster and a stipend from NASA. We’re all beginning to wander if there will be an end to this pandemic. At least before the next pandemic. Time to visit one another before we retire once again into our caves and try reliving our lives again via Zoom and YouTube. How pathetic is that. It takes a little sincerity and a few well-chosen words to pray meaningfully and unconditionally for something, backed up by some serious drumming. Let’s get Ginger Baker. Wait a minute. He’s dead? Seriously? When did that happen? Fuck me. The situation is worse than I thought. But there’s hope. Hope is obstinate. It never goes away. There’s always something, some bit of music, a dream, a confession, a leap of faith. I’m dazzled by the veins of throbbing desolation on a canvas of white paint and little wings striking the air with surprising force. You don’t expect that from paint. And when language tries to substitute for reality the effect can be startling as an old woman knitting a sweater at a Spanish bus station, who might also be selling rolls of toilet paper to people on their way to the rest room. It makes you take another look at obstinacy and give it a little more credit. Life is stubborn. It’s a general characteristic, and it keeps us going. Keeps us talking. Singing. Dancing. Making love.


Saturday, March 27, 2021


Why would someone name an appliance company Whirlpool? Don’t whirlpools suck things down? Things like ships. And sailors. The Corryvreckan whirlpool between the Jura and Scarba islands of Scotland is the third-largest whirlpool in the world. It’s believed to be unnavigable. Why anyone would consider navigating such a phenomenal whirl of water is beyond me. There’s a smaller whirlpool nearby called Little Corryvreckan. Divers who explore the area consider it as one of the most dangerous dives in Britain. And why? Why would you do that? I’ve done some imprudent things in my life (like choosing to become a writer in a postliterate age), but not that. Our refrigerator is a Whirlpool. Not literally, of course, or I’d be struggling to stay afloat every morning I went for some juice & eggs & a column of whirling water came roaring out. Not that that hasn’t happened a few times already. But that wasn’t a whirlpool that was just life being weird & awful. Old Sow is one of the largest whirlpools in the Western Hemisphere. Situated off the shores of Deer Island in New Brunswick, it’s formed by an extreme tidal range of opposing currents coming together, accelerated by the unusual seafloor topography of the area. The whirlpool makes a pig-like noise. Maybe it’s trying to converse. Imagine having a conversation with a whirlpool. You’d get lost. You’d get sucked into pig noises and strange paraphrases & even odder analogies.  I’ve been in conversations like that. You get sucked down & down & down & then you get up heavily & struggle to get your coat & get the fuck out of there. I once had a whirlpool of hair on the back of my head. I called it Implication, because of the implications, & now that area is bald. Has anyone fallen into a Whirlpool washer & lived to tell the tale? And what kind of an oxymoronic machine is a Whirlpool dryer? Whoever heard of a dry whirlpool? Or a whirlpool you carry around in a basket & pour out on a bed to fold? Whirlpools don’t like being folded. You can find yourself suddenly sucked into a shirt & lose all sense of time & place & go out unwittingly into public with a pair of underwear on your head.