Monday, September 24, 2018

Shakespeare's Beard

I always feel pain in my right arm. It’s become a companion. And what’s this? This is a sentence swimming beneath my face. Human skin is phenomenally soft. Context is everything.
When was the last time you fired a gun?
Wisps of incense unroll into the air. Is there an art to enduring pain?
Follow me. I will show you the effulgence of the dawn as it ascends the Cascades to the east. A spoonful of maple syrup shining in sunlight. Trees hammered into shape by wind and rain. Smoke billowing out in plumes from a crack in the earth.
These words have been cooked in grammar. This is why we see Walt Whitman walking down a street in Camden, New Jersey. It’s the language of water. Rhythm makes us move.
Strange sounds echo in the darkness. Genitalia like being caressed.  A shovel breaks the ground. I want the fog to come out of my head and describe itself.
Music is an oasis of the ears. It’s hard to break free of the Matrix. Music helps. Music helps itself to the divinity within and shouts wake up! wake up! wake up!
The Black Angels, from Austin, Texas.
Think of me as a window, a sweet leap into the realm of dreams. What is this emotion beating against my ribs? My muscles revolve around my bones looking for something to do. It’s astonishing, the way the bones of the shoulder work in symphony. I want to behave indecisively to see what will happen. What might happen. What could happen. What happens. What is happening.
Truth and intuition advance the evolution of the T-shirt.
This is the place where the coyote stops and stares.
What is the origin of art?
A theory of light moves in its fur like an arctic fox. Metaphors enjoy a certain dispensation from the rigors of perceived reality. A cavern wall densely covered with the images of animals punctuate the irregularities of rock and make it alive with the grace of their lines.
Outside, the blood jingles with sunlight. Blue leans into green. Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Our language is in prison. Open the gates and let the words loose.
I have five wheels: four on the ground and one in my hand. Rebekah Del Rio sings “No Stars.” Welcome to the Terra Incognita of the human brain.
Reality is a constant creative enterprise. We create it as much as it creates us. Failure is the form life assumes when it concentrates too zealously on achieving the impossible.
Who is the dreamer? You’re the dreamer. I’m the dreamer. This is a dream. There is a swamp in my finger and a sample of daybreak emerging from a hole in Denmark. This is the syntax of the soul. These words are needles for sewing a fabric of light. The smell of animal fat burning in a stone lamp. Shakespeare’s beard flirting with the puppets of human folly. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Place

I write for people who don’t exist. Readers that don’t exist. How exciting is that? Consciousness is exhilarating. This is why I live on the moon. Do you know that feeling of floating in space? It’s good, isn’t it? Life is otherwise grounded in grammar. When you’re all alone in your lonely room there’s always something churning, something agitating, something that wants out. Be it an infinitive or a mood, it wants out. Let it out. Let it jump into life and swim. Being requires a constant becoming, even if you don’t own a pottery wheel.
Our house is in space riding a ball of rock. The prisons of social reality do not meddle here. Do not matter. Images are baked by desire. I feel the geometry of bone at play in my shoulder and knee. This is where pain resides. This is why I like to think about things. I like to put them into words.
For people who don’t exist.
Do objects speak to you? What do they say? Sometimes I will find an emotion buried in Spanish and dig it up and reanimate it with my mind. This is how language works. You keep tossing words into space until something assumes life and the luminescence of its thought can be seen glowing through the undulations of its profligate claims.
What do you feel when you get out of bed in the morning?
This is something I’d prefer not to talk about.
How do you put into words an experience said to be ineffable?
I want to envelop you in my arms. I want to wander a castle in Denmark pondering the visitation of ghosts. I’m often amazed by the accuracy of instinct. The man sobbing on the sidewalk is a violinist named Morel. He lives in a novel by Marcel Proust. Say hello. Bon jour, Monsieur Morel.
How do you explain the subjective quality of experience? I try everything: hammers, drills, washers, dryers, shovels, algebra, calculus, festival events, incense and gardenias.
The words will never be what I want them to be: boats, pumps, seeds.
Fish, ribbon, Renaissance art.
I can’t really control what an entire language wants to do when I begin to express myself using that very language. It got Hamlet into trouble and he knew how to see through people and fence and direct plays.
I see an army disappear into the hills. Who, at this stage in earth’s history, isn’t worried?
What can you do?
If an agate favors us with the shape of a camel, I will accept that as a sign of grace. Until then, I’m going to keep going on. Storms are much more intense now. It’s true that words set free can free us all. But they can’t repair the damage done. Reality is too obvious to be true, and yet nobody sees it. It’s too obvious to be seen.
This is the song of the misanthrope. This is the language of water. This is the place where the separation between the organic and inorganic ceases to exist. This is where reality comes to question itself. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018


What does it mean to believe in something? I believe in the beauty of fins, the genius of the human hand, and that a walk in the mountains is restoring and sweetens the light of day.
I believe in the sanctity of the Sonoran desert toad. And dirt and eyebrows.
Is there a theme to this? Yes and no. Yes, there is a theme, but no, the theme isn’t pizza. Were you expecting garlic and diced pepperoni? This isn’t meatballs. This is yeast.
Texture is a literature for the hands. It involves capillaries and dots. Prepositions jump into the sentence and make it turn around and go under and sideways and arrive at the piano ready to play something theoretical and fragrant.
Consider the theme as a harness, a strip of leather reaching to the hindquarters of a mighty abstraction which has not yet been identified, other than resembling a horse, quite specifically a Percheron mare with a white blaze on her forehead and a personality big as Saskatchewan.
What is a thought exactly? Does anybody know? Heidegger had his ideas. They involved the meaning of Being, the fundamental ontology of existence, and to what extent the structure of language is involved with possible ways of being in the world.
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. Abstraction doesn’t always wear a veil of glass. Who can function without water? Does such a being exist?
I can walk through a wall of granite. Provided there is a hole.
The tempests on earth are growing in intensity. This is another thought, a shade of inquietude I call prediction. Two men talking about the imminent collapse of world civilizations under the shade of a live oak at an Econo Motel in Florida as the climate grows increasingly unstable and the seas begin to rise. 3.4 million chickens, 5,550 hogs drowned after the rains of hurricane Florence decimated North Carolina.
The lack of planning is breathtaking. Have people lost touch completely with the real?
Men gallantly battle the flames of a wildfire. The world is burning up. It doesn’t get more real than that. Floods, fires, famine.
What kind of species are we? It’s hard to break free of the Matrix. Hard to get to that place where the coyote stops and stares.
The engineering of the human body is amazing. The brain alone is a phenomenal organ. And yet 100 billion neurons are not enough to get livestock out of harms’ way. Do you not see the reality here? Memory harnessed to mist. Life in late capitalism. I use a zoom lens to ponder the chaos. The feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming. Oblivion parades over a problem until the problem disappears.
It doesn’t stop there. Look at the spiraling wind patterns on Earth Nullschool. The atmosphere is churning with our doom. I know that’s an extreme thing to say, but I wish it were otherwise. I wish I could say that tattoos and smartphones will save us.
I watched the typhoon Mangkhut crash through Hong Kong, blowing buildings down, cranes and scaffolding crashing to the streets below. We are sometimes pushed into viewing the grandeur of the void. Each person overflowing with theories while the obvious throws its confetti into the stars.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Strange Business

Today (September 10th) we walked down to Dexter to visit the Pot Shop. I was looking for a balm to help ameliorate the pain from arthritis in my right shoulder. We were carded as soon as we entered the store. I thought that this was strange. The little store was full of items related to the ingestion of hemp and marijuana in all its forms and manifestations. Hookahs, bongs, herbal vaporizers, dab rigs, creams, tinctures and hundreds of concentrates with names like Grease Monkey, Blue Dream and Hindu Skunk. I was helped by a young woman who, as soon as I explained what I was looking for, immediately presented me with several options. I chose a product called Wildflower CBD “cool stick” topical salve, which is applied to the skin like a ball deodorant. The bottom twists making the ointment rise. It contains coconut oil, hemp oil, shea butter, beeswax, ecosoya, vitamin E, arnica, full spectrum CBD oil and wintergreen and has a strong but pleasant smell. Very minty.
I applied some after a run. It is advised to apply the product after a hot shower when the pores of the skin are open and more permeable. Within twenty minutes or so I felt a cooling effect and could move my right arm with less pain. The pain didn’t go away completely but was noticeably diminished. I noticed the improvement most when, after a spaghetti dinner, I put the parmesan cheese away high on an uppermost shelf in a cupboard and had no pain at all in my right arm. Normally, I would barely be able to lift it, the pain would be so acute.
I also felt very relaxed. It’s as though the balm had entered my general being and filled me with a soothing alleviation.
September 11th. 12:22 p.m. I watch a YouTube video in which Hambone Littletail, the persona of a passionate chronicler of the end times named Sam Mitchell, a Texan who lives outside Austin, drives a highway into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for a blue grass festival and encounters a terrific rain storm, lightning flashes on the road ahead, his wipers going rhythmically back and forth, as he recounts once again his miserable time in Scranton, Pennsylvania trying to find a gas station and how glad he feels to be crossing the Mason-Dixon line into the land where his southern accent fits in and he doesn’t have to listen to Yankee accents anymore. He titles this nine-minute episode “Virginia Tornado Is Welcome Sight For Survivor of Scranton, Pennsylvania.” 
September 14th. 11:22 a.m. Florence has come ashore and begun wreaking havoc on the southeastern coast. Catastrophic weather events like this are becoming increasingly common. People like to deny them by saying “this is the new normal.” Like the photo that accompanied the text for an article published online by a local TV news show last August of a thirty-something jubilant dad lifting a toddler into the air with a celebratory grin with the Seattle skyline in the background shrouded in ugly haze from the many wildfires blazing in British Columbia and east of the Cascades. The level of cognitive dissonance so fully evident in this photo was breathtaking. There is nothing normal about these disasters. It is abrupt anthropogenic climate change. And it’s disrupting lives and costing billions.
The anxiety and despair I feel with regard to this situation is chronic. I don’t know what other people are feeling. But if I try to gauge what they might be feeling according to the normalcy of their behavior, my guess would be that they’re either utterly ignorant of the crisis we’re in, particularly the ones with babies and toddlers, or they’re aware of what’s going on but have chosen to adopt an attitude of stoic acceptance and hope for the best. Whatever “the best” could possibly be achieved when everything – already clearly unsustainable – goes tits up.
I’ve never been successful at stoicism. Its ultimate iconic image would be that of the long-suffering cowboy biting the proverbial bullet as a bullet or arrow is removed from his body, or the grim look of the pilots in WWII movies trying to pilot a seriously damaged bomber back to an airfield in England, maintaining attitudes of poise and determination, or the women attending to the gravely ill or wounded in incredible conditions in foreign lands persevering with solicitous care and equanimity and tact. I usually explode into rants and tempests of molten language.
Strategies for adaptation are mapped, contemplated, dangled. I keep wondering what action I would take the day there is no electricity or internet or running water and come up blank. Nada. Nothing enters my brain as a possible remedial expedient for navigating the end times. How does one envision such a future? There have been detailed predictions of various dystopias presented in science fiction. But that was always, you know, science fiction. The Twilight Zone. Outer Limits. The Walking Dead. What we’re facing is as real as the hurricane presently sweeping over North and South Carolina, dropping wind and rain in catastrophic biblical buckets, over half a million people already without power.
“You sit here for days saying, this is a strange business. You're the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine,” observed the Persian poet Rumi.
Yesterday R and I went to a marijuana dispensary in Fremont, on Stone Way, to get a couple of packets of Deeper Sleep capsules containing 45 mgs of cannabidiol and 75 mgs of tetrahydrocannabinol (Indica cannabis concentrate oil). It also contains myrcene and linalool terpenes, ashwagandha, theanine, passion flower, white peony, magnolia bark, and chamomile.
I had difficulty sleeping and so I got up and took one. Within an hour, I was feeling quite relaxed, my whole body felt deliciously sedated. I had an overall sense of well-being. I enjoyed a few vivid images that emerged and disappeared from consciousness as I entered a pleasant hypnagogic state and eventually fell asleep.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Welcome To Planet Earth

I don’t see birds anymore. During a run of about four miles, I might see a single bedraggled crow hop about on someone’s lawn or shrubbery or a swift or a swallow dart suddenly across my line of sight and disappear just as quickly over the houses and apartment buildings that constitute our neighborhood. That’s it. This is disturbing. It’s early September. The days have been sunny and warm. There was a bit of haze yesterday from several wildfires to the northeast in the Cascade mountains, but it wasn’t that bad, not as bad as it was last August, which was horrific. So what’s going on? It’s as though a spaceship from another civilization in the universe kidnapped all of our birds. Sucked them up. Why an extraterrestrial civilization would be inclined to do that, I don’t know. I’m just wondering what’s happened to our birds.
I wrote to the Audubon Society here in Seattle but they never answered.
If I google “where did our birds go” I get a lot of responses, a lot of people wondering what’s happened to the birds, not just here in the Pacific Northwest but all over the world. The answer is simple: climate change. Species haven’t been able to adapt to warming temperatures, or the radical changes in atmospheric gas that we breathe. Birds have tiny lungs. CO2 has risen above 400 ppm for the first time in the past half million years. Methane, much of it from ruminants, forest fires, landfills, wetlands, rice paddies, waste water treatment facilities, peat fires in southeast Asia and multitudes of ice age bacteria and planktonic foraminifera bubbling up from the seafloor and melting permafrost in the arctic is now greater than 1800 parts per billion, an increase by a factor of 2.5 and the highest value in at least 800,000 years. That’s a percentage increase of 150 percent since 1750.
Nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas) has risen dramatically by 20 percent since 1750 due to the largescale use of nitrogen-based fertilizers such as anhydrous ammonium nitrate. Over the past 800,000 years, concentrations of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere rarely exceeded 280 ppb. Levels have risen since the 1920s, however, reaching a new high of 328 ppb in 2015.
So where’s the euphoria? Why aren’t we all dying of laughter?
A few days ago R and I saw a dead crow. It was lying in the grass, its two legs sticking up, not a single feather scattered or torn. There was no sign of attack or struggle. It looked like it just keeled over.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I don’t think it died of laughter. The crow remained there, intact, for several days. Why were no other animals scavenging its remains?
On the third day, the crow’s head and legs had been eaten away. Why just the head? Why just the legs?
On the fourth day, the crow had finally been removed by someone. There were no birds at all in the area. No squirrels. Nothing.
I usually bring a small plastic sack filled with unsalted peanuts to toss to any crows I might see along the way when I’m gong for a run. The last few days I’ve just been putting peanuts where a crow or a blue jay might find them. But I’ve seen no actual crows, except for the one crow I saw in the shrubbery by the grocery store at the bottom of the hill on Mercer Street. He looked old and tired.
I check the air quality index for today, Thursday, September 6th. It is considered "moderate," with particulate matter measured at 90 parts per cubic inch.
I notice the headline “Washington has underfunded efforts to control wildfire burning, despite smothering smoke.” No shit Sherlock.
People are disgusting. They’d rather have money than clean air to breathe. They’d rather have a big house full of shit they don’t need rather than songbirds visiting their backyards. The imbecility and selfishness is off the charts. I can’t find adjectives to describe our species anymore. Words like ‘selfishness’ and ‘greed’ just fall flat. They don’t go far enough. They don’t fully reach the insanity.
Meanwhile, there is a project going on up the street, a massive undertaking involving several steam shovels and a colossal drill, ton upon ton upon ton of cement, for what appears to be a gigantic retaining wall and landscaped garden. I see this a lot, someone with a great deal of affluence using their considerable wealth to put forth a pharaonic construction project, putting more stress on the planet, using more of its valuable resources, for a section of ground that was doing fine as it was, needed no repair, for what will essentially be nothing more than a mere vanity project: “look how wealthy I am.” The selfishness is staggering. A species that behaves like this can only go in one direction: death.
Maybe I’m being unfair. This level of ostentation might be representative of a pathology more serious than vanity. Some psychologists are suggesting it is a form of existential anxiety. An article titled “The Urge to Splurge” from a 2004 issue of the Journal of Consumer Behavior explains this behavior as a form of “terror management,” and argues a way to “understand how the human awareness of death affects materialism, conspicuous consumption, and consumer decisions.” “The pursuit of wealth,” it goes on to say, “and culturally desired commodities are hypothesized to reinforce those beliefs that function to protect people from existential anxieties.” Evidence is provided that explains “how intimations of mortality increase materialism as a way to enhance self-esteem and affects consumer decisions that support one's cultural worldview.” Not surprisingly, this pathology of materialistic and consumeristic worldviews has adverse consequences. I would cite one of those consequences as being the “sixth mass extinction.”
Ironic, isn’t it? Existential anxiety leads to aggressive consumerism which leads to dissatisfaction which leads to frustration which leads to aggression which leads to more consumerism which leads to dissatisfaction, and so on. A vicious circle.
And then everything on the planet drops dead and the delicate balances to keep everything stable and working fall apart and volcanos erupt and typhoons and monsoons and tycoons and dragoons and baboons rip the rest to shreds. You can’t eat shreds. Shreds are shreds. Skinheads warheads bloodshed. It’s a mess. Radioactivity everywhere, plastic everywhere, fish and whales and seals washing ashore dead, species everywhere rapidly going extinct, crops failing, the soil dying, dust blowing, hailstones crashing, cars washed downriver in floods, people desperately fleeing war-torn countries smitten by years of drought, crossing the oceans in overcrowded inflatable rafts hoping to find food and a modicum of comfort.
Welcome to Planet Earth. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Corona Hum

Trek an anonymous testimony and shout. Float electricity. Aim at incandescent change.
Necessity spout. Bandaged snow.
Recognition and disavowal are thus inseparable from one another and basically mean the same thing: a look at the "structure" of the unique. Analyzing the illusion that some subjects are bouncing through their perceptions and have the impression of living somehow twice is pure paleontology.
Do the fleece in the net basement. Knowledge is a wire of diamonds.
Once in the mode of the present and once in the mode of memory, Bergson does not fail to find the theme of destiny: "What is said and done, what one says and what one does oneself, seems inevitable.” This is similar to the tamarind of craft.
Wallowing planets stir the universe.
At any moment, we will have to deal with that, and with nothing else: that the circumstance is gay or sad, whether it triumphs or dies, it is in any case cornered by beauty.
Flex the shaking wind. Purpose shoves the snow into meandering streams of butter. Swim through the steam. Drop an organic thought on the piano keys. Collect paraphernalia. Echo dollars of eyeball tumble. 
The metaphysical dialectic is fundamentally a dialectic of the here and the elsewhere, of a place of which we doubt the geography or taste the bittersweet overtones of chaos until something like a hill or a canyon makes us wonder at the vitality of it all, at the oleander and rhubarb.
One recuses oneself from pumice and brings a fire from elsewhere whose salvation is discounted. This immediacy is given at first: but would not it be rather second? Would it not rather be an orchestra? Or a mushroom?
Smoke the flake disaster.
Leaning muscles shine during the robbery. Build a choke and pull. Glaze the pungent skidoodle.
Rumble on a tour of plants. Pepper the area with pulse and cries of personal liberation.
Swallow the day. Sip the night. Hack at reality with a large recognition.
Wear a goldfish coat. Box the spoons until they fork into knives. Perception makes the artists want to draw the delicacies of the forest. Most feelings are elemental, but some are more like fights.
Gallant pin cough. Subtlety pitch. Empty expansive mirth.
Hit think. The cardboard messenger stands among his own gender groaning like an idea.
The medium is the baby. Squeeze the elbow until a visible detonation tingles with subtleties of afternoon. The conspicuous flourishing of a stray light. The implications of prayer.
A slice of lamp black harmonics.
An unrivalled prodigality propelled by the power to ponder a speed bump.
The crowd grows restless.
Daylight bumps into a conspicuous species. They’re called libraries. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Structure Is Just The Howl Of Ooze

Structure is just the howl of ooze. The heave of the oboes tells us how to fade. For how to you put into words an experience said to be ineffable? Our brains are prediction machines optimized by experience, and when it comes to fairyland, they have bodies of expression combined with a tiny sample of daybreak.
Photogenic oasis. Guzzled audacity. Duodenum is a dream and must remain one in order for a modicum of illusion and a stage of the imaginary to exist.
Energy impels us to run. And so we run. Reality can go on like this all day, running on its atmospheric scorpions, each screw in place, each totality a songbird made of cork.
Imagine a polymer. A compelling molasses of sunlight’s oddities.
Plot of an elegy’s elegance.
Jump the tea. The genre trickles wind.
We have nothing but vats. Nothing but space for the wife’s new horse.
Glide a pound of rain. Do it for wealth.
Sip glass. Pack a mood. Confusion’s gaze is gospel’s gauze.
Squeeze the lobster for milk. The teats are soft and poignant. I tell you this for your own good. The lyre was never so sweet but when the stars began to burn hysterically in nuclear girls.
Take the cartwheels to the beard dump. Then invade Norway.
The spices sputter into structure and charmingly adjust to the chewed bomb of a flourishing window. It’s orgasmic. But mute. High like a wall of rock. Silent like the water at its deepest point in the fjord.
Frequency is the mermaid of style. We grow nails to ponder our languish.
Drive truffles to generate a swollen loop in time. I’ve explored the sob wallet and it was breathed out in stories. Paint twinkles in its churning eagerness. The horizon oaks sigh in space.
Smash the word rattle. Crackle flirts sifted in meridional fruit.
Buffalo Bill was forged in seclusion. He is not to be confused with Sylvan Goldman, the inventor of the grocery cart, who was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in 1898.
The abalone blasted the magician’s iron. That’s how souvenirs were invented.
We sewed a bashful face. Finding parrots is reciprocal. It bears repeating. Sidewalk moo. If you say the right things, I’m capable of being navigated, but you will never know the true destination of my return. The zoom answer glides through its rabbits and pulls back revealing declension. And that, my friend, is called a transition. Someday I will find the confetti to learn you.
The raw sienna of metaphor is considered a joy. The tongue is plough to the goad of knowledge. Existence is a genuine property of icicles. Think of being as a sympathy. An octagonal pharmaceutical. Force discussion. Otherwise everything just dangles in the air like a presumption.
Expansive taste of warped emotion makes me empathic to the burst of gunfire. I don’t know why. Sense is often intuitive. A sky galvanized by the hope of employment is not always equal to the resilience required to detonate a sink. There are always pieces to pick up. And later we are stunned to find our trousers under a skull of clay.