Wednesday, May 24, 2023

This Is The Time

This is the time of early evening when apparitions rise from the water. The air grows fat with interlude and we begin washing our clothes. The cuticle is our line of dispatch. We are amalgams of ham. Let's display our dancing after the boats leave. I want every muscle in my body to employ my whereabouts. I feel like a stepladder. Or a porch. I'm full of light and panic. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. But my legs will widen for you and my arms will swarm with glowworms. Revolt is respectable. I can draw on my flexibility to draw a different conclusion, but when it comes time to walk the heath, I must withdraw from ridicule and ripen with understanding. It’s a tonic that the brush that I have had so long is still there to greet me in the morning and tame the chaos surrounding my head. I burn with vigilance to distill a mirror into a cube of life. Autumn is a sleeve to anticipate. Winter’s a spell to be discussed in silence with tea and cookies. There’s a pharmacy of snow unfolding in my sleep. I have all the tools I need to fix the stool, but I can do nothing for your cabana without a sawhorse, and a proper incentive. There are things about my past that drop into the water like propellers and drive things forward. I came to my speaking in a stupor of good Chablis outside the limbo of daily pretentions. I stopped being fake and started being hieroglyphic. I walked funny. I talked funny. And now, here I am, a babbling subjectivity wrapped in the words of ascension. I rescue the weight of my attention above the phenomenon of plums. This is the summer that simmers in symbols, not because I'm old, but because the turn of events is open to willow. Selling things is a hectic square of whatness. Always. Such as the use of time squandered on a clarity of purpose. What we think of as purpose is actually an alibi for chutzpah. We are the mongrels of ourselves. This is what the rattles tell me in the depths of night, when the components of the universe cling to the architecture of flags, and the trees and bushes thrash about in strips of glittering metal.

Monday, May 22, 2023

If You Press This

If you press this, it will harden the massive napkin my escape accepts. Here I am enjoying a gut lunch in my rolled-up canoe. My suite is intended to agitate our jaws for conversation. I’ve got a wheel of fruit named Tubby, but it needs a biography. If we solicit the gods and buffer time with a little hedonism, things will belch. There will be great relief, and songs to sing, and supplies to replenish. The light suspends my nuts, and the wonder of it prompts the reading to do what a neck does, and speak Navajo. After the bald treasure of evening ripped my clothes off, I saw a water pump in the distance, and my lips, if so urged, would think they had followed my gaze. There are subtleties whose knots can lay bare next to my thought. If any of this makes sense to you, there's an echo I can eat, but I need coordinates. Suppose I object to the pipe. Or the ceiling in the Vatican. Will you come and help me understand things a little better? Everything confuses me. My wrinkles play with my face, and a god percolates in my rug. Realizations come in spurts of emotive delectation, and I felt suddenly quite sure about the Kuiper belt, and the shape of the gravitational wave I was attempting to surf. I don’t understand everything about poker, but I do know that a wormhole works by contortion. Here is an example: a man sewing space with a long rope and the tooth of a shark. It was the day the Everly Brothers came to town, and everything felt creamy and reciprocal. The whispers wiggled in the rhododendron until the bus arrived and my clairvoyance got personal. I’d just returned from Mars and was slapping the dust from the silver of my spacesuit when the skein of everything rational came unraveled and moonlight spilled on the pleasantries. I overheard someone say that the subordination of autonomous artworks to the element of social function buried within each work and from which art originated in the course of a protracted struggle, wounds art at its most vulnerable point. This made me sad. But alert. It was surely not going to happen to me. This sentence is a bullet. If I want to get rich, there are ways to do that. Art is different. It needs bones and pedals. Mimetic heartburn. The geometry of nothing. The sounds of the head raining down on a sheet of paper. If I want to show a feeling, I take it out of my mouth and hang it in the air. Dead Sea mud settles to the bottom of the paragraph. And this is how the mind joins the quiet life of the refrigerator. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Turangalîla Symphony

The Turangalîla Symphony is very percussive. There’s a lot of pounding going on. Things get languorous and dreamy then sounds come bursting out in hectic assertion. It’s a little herky-jerky, like a roller coaster. But is anything in life as fluffy as clouds? Most things are hard and distant, like stars. The things that can go cold inside of you are quiet water shattered by rocks. Shocks to the system. Enough to keep your fingers at the ready on the keyboard to leap into scruples. I like it when all the bows are raised and then get slowly lowered. Pages turn. The conductor’s baton floats gracefully up and down. The strings start to flow longingly and lovingly toward the sublime while the piano drip drops and a clarinet enters and begins asking questions about life outside the solar system. Life, wherever you find it, is deliciously incomprehensible. The fingers spring into action and excite the moment, which is a terrain of monstrous ductility. The greatness of the canyon is due to erosion, the slow wearing away of things by time and entropy. The world can be a frustrating place to live. But is the frustration a source of learning or just a sack of yearning? Words sometimes spurt out of me and I can’t take them back or carry them to the goal of my advantage. I’ve gently carved our lives together on a bar of soap. The trombones entered through the backdoor with ominous sounds accented by thunder. It’s all tension and resolution, emptiness and form. Sandstone is the fun we do on drums. Morning gardenias write what I assume are skirmishes. Conceit pulls conceit and the thirst for autonomy moves towards carousal. Loaf where you can find it, there’s nothing wrong with wrinkles. They give a crucial look to the face. The crushed photogenic body circulates in the wash. I’ve never seen such a beautiful hedonism, every inch of it carried out with spectacular indolence and creativity. Sometimes it takes a little salt and pepper to prove the reality of eggs. The keys we carry through life open doors that we encounter many years later in a mansion of our own contrivance founded on principles of hurt and indignation. Feeding the night improbable headlights requires a special technology of fireworks and hair. There are those who mock the spontaneity of the beats, but what is their aim, exactly? Is a painter’s art crooked because he paints hunchbacks? I record symptoms as I see them. Hegel waddles by flourishing a burning brow. He looks like a fabulous giant bird. I will not bother you further with unnecessary descriptions of Neil Sedaka. I think he had a nice presence is all. At least that’s what I thought in Venice. Things are different now. I’ve gown alien to this civilization. This civilization has gown alien to me. It's on the backs of elephants that we rise to the idea of coconuts. I like nouns. Listen. How softly the rebellion explodes in the distance. Plaster is indispensable. I will engage whatever I come across and make it my viola. Hence the meticulous necessity of my being there to open the door if you deign to enter.


Sunday, May 14, 2023

You Can Heal

You can heal the weight of your conscience by spreading a dirt I used when I buried my regrets. The candy of remorse is bittersweet. I found some on the backseat and beat it with some impact. I stopped for gas in Pocatello and watched the death balloon go up. I felt sophisticated. I think it was the smell of gas. It went to my head and combusted. I looked west and saw a giant shovel crawling across the sky. I ride the implications whenever a passage opens to a lassitude without friction or wrinkles. If there isn’t enough drama in your life already you can get more at the local bar. But I warn you it’s slow, and then it gets angry and gets up to do some very weird dances. When the spirits move through us we must allow them adequate space and time to express themselves. For example, my wife is making movements based on the images on the floor. This would be a thing to appreciate with quiet solemnity, were she not doing it on the ceiling. The law of continuity is a path of stones through grass. As we walk from stone to stone we perceive a pattern. A madwoman in a maelstrom. Cinematic definitions of things like raw self-effacement. Repeating anything will restore one’s confidence. I like to practice things like statuary, or Bivalvia. I feel globular around mammoths, high emotions like prison and rawhide. Those are hard to escape. You can't sit back and settle for conformity. You must own a motel and read palms. When was I ever a good person? I belong to a squadron of words. I'm continually shooting shots of gloomy prophecy. It's hard to make a living doing this. I should've been a rock star. Instead, I went Full Nelly and became a rock. I fell in love with granite. Once you do that, you can’t let go. Especially if you’re 1,000 feet above the ground on a rock wall with tiny fissures. Is it lewd to rechristen sideburns? Is it better to die in the afternoon or early evening? What is the appropriate time to go on an errand? I’m old. I can risk things now. I can visit Malta. The things I find there sparkle and flip. It’s as if a new being had been discovered in my cereal, and all that I had formerly assumed to be obvious had begun to panic in the aerodrome. The living room is where we run away from destiny, but the garage is where I circulate lost cubes. Attending my denim the way I do is the quickest way to soften opposites and move forward using my arms and legs. When the insect kissed me, it altered my appearance. I don’t know if you can recognize me. No matter. I don’t really want recognition. What I want is a ride to the store and back. Yeats is in Chicago. I’m on my own now, wandering the rooms like a stranger.


Thursday, May 11, 2023


R went to buy some dirt for her rose this morning. It arrived in the form of a root packaged in a large box which she ordered from Texas. It seemed to go on a roundabout route for a number of days before getting here. The root looked wizened and old. She took it into the bathroom and washed it off and placed in a large white bucket to soak in some water. Then she got in the car and took off for a gardening center and returned about an hour later with two big bags of potting mix. I helped her move the big royal blue pot onto a small framework of little wheels so that it would be raised enough from the ground to allow water to drain and so that it could be occasionally be moved as needed. The bags of dirt were amazingly heavy. I went back inside and R scooped potting mix out of the bag and into the pot and planted her root, which had three small branches. She added some seaweed extract which makes an excellent fertilizer. The Vikings, R tells me, put it on their fields of barley. Roses – according to fossil evidence – are 35 million years old. The War of Roses were a series of civil wars fought in England from the mid-to-late fifteenth century and had very little to do with roses and everything to do with seizing power and seeking revenge. The Juliet Rose, which cost 3 million English pounds to develop, is described as having “voluminous petals, that ombré beautifully from soft peach to warm apricot. She has a light scent with a hint of tea and can take up to two days to fully open.” Later, R and I ate hot dogs and baked beans and watched an episode of Columbo dating from 1971. Somebody should develop a Columbo Rose. I see it in a trench coat chomping a cigar. Do you think of roses as pleasantries or symbols of romance? I think roses are dreams of fragrance scooped out of heaven. I think of feeding spoonfuls of air to the pathos of speaking and crawling into its shade. The muses love dissonance. The arms have tendency to lift things. The hands have a tendency to hold things. The fingers have a tendency to write things. The voice has a tendency to say things. Parlor my Apollinaire and copperplate my letters. There are bumps along the way expressed in springs. It would be a lot more effective if I broke this paragraph in half, but this isn’t about efficiency, this is about the long slow growth of roses, and all the diversions along the way.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Let's Go Even Further

Let’s go even further. Let’s say life is a jelly I want to spread. Translucent and sweet, yes, but sticky. This would be a manageable life, the kind we like to spend in living rooms, admiring the flowers and plants, sipping chamomile, and discreetly noticing someone’s cleavage, or how beautifully knotted someone’s tie and with what gentle language it speaks to us from across the room. This is but one aspect of life, for which I feel modestly equipped. I have handles and brooms to appease the gods of clutter, and a toolbox full of contrivances, enough to start a circus. Denim tells my story. And whenever I venture outdoors I whisper such things before shoveling or chasing after a bus that I sometimes blush with the rawness of their expression. I’m easily seduced by bric-a-brac. Just show me a little reticence and I will tell you with great eagerness what the Mississippi looks like at dusk, as I deposit a surprised catfish with a ceramic glaze on your open palm and pour us both another bourbon. The other life, the real life, the authentic life, is a raging alligator in the Florida Keys. It was in the Florida Keys that the poet Wallace Stevens broke his hand on Ernest Hemingway’s jaw. Thwack Bloom and I get together sometimes and shoot pop bottles with our .44s. Last night there was a dance in the barn and we got loaded and said things we later regretted. That’s ok. I got up in the middle of the night and wrote them down so I could be sure to regret everything all over again. Language makes me athletic. As long as you’ve got a tongue in your mouth you can enter life through the back door of some abstraction and find your aim in the middle of a frying pan. I simmer as I steam things from the jaw. I spent a night in Gainesville looking for Bo Diddley. I didn’t find Diddley but I did do some diddling around. I walked home in a sentence. The green light of the evening sky churned with heliotrope. The air had a spirit of conversation in it and I took full advantage of the situation. I couldn’t stop talking. If you can’t find a good mulch for the daisies in your speech a spoonful of cogs will do nicely for the hellebore. The most imponderable ideas are generally convulsive. They crackle aggressively, spitting sparks forcefully across the room. I get distracted easily. It wasn’t till the middle of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony that I noticed my zipper was open and the cows were getting out. Moonshine is the pontiff of everything I vacuum. Things percolate through my senses slowly, often taking long amounts of time to reach the brain, so that I remember things in the morning that feel like they happened to another person on a different night in Barcelona, or Sevastopol. I remember a night on the desert with Arthur Rimbaud. He said little. Though once, when a camel farted, he laughed. The time for petty politics is over. Listen. Listen to the music of the spheres. Hanging in space like Lisbon in the fog. You hear it with the ears of the soul. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

I'm Only Laughing

I’m only laughing because the formula for living a good life turned out to be much simpler than imagined. But here: let me give you this. I won’t say what it is, just that it’s heavy, and may require some effort to wrestle it into significance. If you accept this challenge, I will provide you with another choice later on, after the Romans leave, and solicit the use of a pencil with which to draw an accordion, the kind that Marie Laurencin once played on the streets of Montmartre. It will explain everything. The hypothesis making up this pavane is somewhat insouciant, I know, and for that I apologize, but listen to its little heart beat and how poised and studied it reposes on the page. Turpentine is postulated upon freedom, and is composed of terpenes. Everybody knows how important it is to avoid too many adjectives. But if you think getting rich is easy, try living under a license plate. Clatter a pan with a spoon if you believe me. Then plug the toaster in. We have things to talk about. I have things to say to you that you may find picturesque. I need to hold your interest. I worry about falling out of you. You don’t know how hard that is on my self-esteem, particularly as a writer. Will you accept this coupon? By the scorpion in me of all that I hold dear I will make a racket behind the scenes if you can’t persuade yourself that chrome is superior in many ways to copper. It took a lot of pillows to put this thought asleep. And now that I’ve made an arm of iron wire my plan will be to make a contrivance of our alliance, something along the lines of an open field in which the moonlight broods on a mushroom. And the world will be our tablecloth, a place of sharing, a thought to unfold in private, like the embodiment of hunger, or Act III of Hamlet, in which Hamlet utters his soliloquy about suicide. It’s good. We’ll make popcorn. Bring a clarinet if you feel like bathing. I’m not going to force you to do the breaststroke. That’s up to you. But I will be screaming my independence to the surrounding hills. The one exception will be if the moon generates a pane of glass. If that happens, then the dots I’ve painted on the boat stand for nothing. Look at it as an allegory of potential, an unrealized thingamajig. Yes, of course, the trick of certainty is silver. But there’s gold in improbability.