Monday, April 22, 2019

Inimitable Thimbleful

Incendiary this walk on your hook. Creosote hugged there opposes a predicate with which I feel discursive and shortcake. Gloves it novels the chain. Butter this I tickle the grapple until fate summons a condolence. I grow my letters in Africa. The tin I grain to morning. Paddle punctuation if a house is about you. Enfold the echo that you are under the need for explosion. Wheel what treads the airplane across the tarmac. After you I flowed and swelled into my injury like a grapefruit. It was imprecise to disintegrate but the incandescence was superb. I occur among myself fencing a happy distance and deepening a raw sienna that I argue with below my suffering. I’m the painter of the compass I encompass in ensembles of wapiti. Infringe the sternum put the key into a monsoon. Corner the allegory in your breath since your hair is something awaited in cocoa. There I scatter where I endeavor to be the rain I walk through believing maidenhood to be a form of debut. The firmament runs on beginning and is manufactured by a glandular overshoot. It’s deformed to construct the bobble we throb. I climb into death with my pounds of musk-ox. I’m a cloud to myself, a tableau of urges. I shine by a suitcase of garlic. If gravity lingers in this I will poke the technician into platinum. A cherry what? I dribble secretion when I shave don’t ask why. This coordinates the thesis I’m yelling at a jilt. It happens that a frill swings from a veteran and makes it all wicker. And this is my banana.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Beckett 88

I’m looking for a good exoplanet. Earth is finished. It’s been trashed by humans. I need to get out while the going is good. We may get our first blue ocean event this summer. If you think the weather is crazy now, you haven’t seen anything yet. Goodbye food security, hello famine.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found any listings at Red Fin, Trulia or Zillow. The best source I have right now is Wackypedia. Wackypedia is the wackier version of Wikipedia. The information is roughly the same, it’s just wackier. Wacky is good when you’re looking for an exoplanet. The margin is wider, the ceiling is higher, and there’s less resistance to the restraints of logic. Logic isn’t going to get me where I need to go. I need to travel long distances. For that, I’ll need lots of logorrhea. A Winnebago RV capable of space travel and a ton or so of pepperoni sticks.
A recent review ascertained that the exoplanets Kepler-62f, Kepler-186f and Kepler-442b were currently the best candidates for being potentially habitable. But habitable by whom? Habitable by me. My wife and cat. A murder of crows and a washing machine. There are few restaurants or laundromats in space.
By space, I mean outer space. The cold black void on the other side of our atmosphere. Once you get out of Earth’s gravity, hold on to your hat. There’s not much out there except neutrinos, asteroids and comets. I’m hoping we might discover a Motel 6 on Pluto, but once we get past the Kuiper Belt, it’s doubtful we’ll stumble upon a Denny’s or Applebee’s. And the likelihood of a Best Western of Four Seasons is abysmal. Outer space is long on distance and short on amenities. We’ll need plenty of fortitude, ingenuity, and towels.
Kepler-62f is 1,200 light-years distant from planet Earth. I’m guessing I can do it in about 1,500 light-years if I can get the Winnebago near to the speed of light. I won’t have to worry about detours or traffic.
Kepler-62f has a radius and mass bigger than Earth, so we’ll weigh a lot more. That’s important to consider when building a house. A rambler with no upper floors might work. The equilibrium temperature on Kepler-62f is a chilly minus 85℉. I’m definitely bringing a coat. The good news is that it most likely has a rocky surface. It receives roughly the same amount of sunlight as Mars, which isn’t a lot, but if we stay indoors watching whatever reruns are drifting around in outer space, who cares.
Kepler-186f is a little closer at 582 light-years from Earth. It has a radius similar to Earth’s and orbits a red dwarf. I’m not sure how I’d feel about orbiting a red dwarf, but it’s got an orbital period of 129.9 days, which means more birthdays.
Proxima Centauri b is the closest, at 4.24 light years away. It, too, orbits a red dwarf. As yet, its radius and mass have not been calculated. This is discouraging. It also gets 2000 times the stellar wind pressures of Earth, which is enough to blow any atmosphere away. I’m guessing Proxima Centauri b is just not what we’re looking for in a potentially habitable exoplanet. We’d have better luck in Arkansas.
Kepler-442b is more promising. It’s 1,206 light years distant in the constellation Lyra. It’s got a radius and mass bigger than Earth, meaning surface gravity would be about 30% stronger. It receives about 70% of the sunlight on Earth. These statistics are not filling me with excitement. I’m beginning to get that feeling when I go on virtual tours of homes for sale and cheesy rock posters are still on the walls and toys and socks litter the floor. It’s as if the realtor was too demoralized to stage it properly.
I think we can do better than Kepler-442b.
Steppenwolf is a planet in the Triangulum Galaxy. It has an unscrupulously rocky surface and a fat shiny atmosphere of whisky and Benzedrine. The climates are nuts, but the oceans are lush harmonies of jelly and hallucination. It orbits a red giant reeking of garlic and motor oil. It is among the closest of exoplanets, only a magic carpet ride away from all that is holy and vivid and born to be wild.
Wishful Thinking is an opulent ball of congenial rock and clay in the forearm of the Dumbbell Nebula. This is a fixer up planet. The drywall is crumbling and the orbit is decaying.
Planet 9 is actually my index finger in an astronomy textbook. I’m trying to understand celestial mechanics. I thought it had something to do with belly dancing. I was wrong. It’s all about prairie, convenience, and fondue. Community is so important. Unless you hate people. That’s the beauty of space travel: the isolation. The long hours of navigation punctuated by quiet interludes of masturbation.
I like Beckett 88. Beckett 88 is a planet in the Molloy constellation. It glows like a candle in the pineal gland of a chipmunk, alluring and gloriously unscientific. It has the mass of a black opal and a radius similar to the hormone of a beautiful green wind. The surface varies from the bald round head of a granite Sibelius to the soft white sand of an unnamable soap. Water is abundant and forests of fluorescent beauty wink and glimmer in the light of a giant red moon. It orbits a white dwarf named Smutty every 400 days and each day is 400 hours long and four days wide. Temperatures vary from 65℉ in the far north near the pole and 82℉ near the equator. I think this may be the place. As soon as I get there I’ll plant the flag of indolence and claim it in the name of all that is good and lazy. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

In All The Right Places

I agree to use punctuation whenever the staircase glitters. Punctuation is galactic in its applications, broadly universal, most carbon-based organisms will recognize a colon when they see one. There is something natural in the formation of a thought, if we think of thought as words, hard to think of it otherwise, but I’m sure it exists, a cat leaps up to a cluttered table without spilling anything, no books toppling, no glass of water tipped over. The fluidity inherent in language is helped by a gentle, momentary restraint, a sudden burgeoning of ideas is saved from exploding into bedlam, a contagion of words are given a retreat from the catastrophe of their own making, a mastodon may pause in its ruminant abstraction to study a hummingbird, the wedding builds in energy as a comma’s insertion saves the tumult of a dress from total disaster, stem-loops and quadruplexes stabilize DNA, all this theology and juice of existence in our chaotic lives unpacked in an instant, a burst of emotion, often calling for a comma, sometimes a semicolon, to make a point, to emphasize a belief, to clarify a meaning. It’s a form of musical direction. The words are flowing along, perhaps too fast, they could use a pause, here it is, a drop of rain on a leaf of mint. It’s often the small seemingly inconsequential things that promote balance in all the right places, traffic lights preventing death and collision. This makes punctuation magnetic, a hypnotic osmosis, a blessing, a penetration. From Latin punctus, past participle of pungere, to “prick, pierce.” We might think of it as a pollen, a tattoo, an added value, a neuroscientific tool, magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography in the pursuit of an elusive symptom, or perhaps just an afterthought, jute wrapped around a bale of cotton to keep it clean; it’s wedged between words or inserted between phrases in order to pause, break, suspend, pull the seminal beginnings of rock into the fullness of cypress surrounding it at the edge of a cliff, which I have just now imagined, calling it forth from a memory, a road trip to Big Sur. Punctuation arrives by stream, twigs and branches from a storm, the litter of a windy day on a surface of flowing water, we’ve all seen something similar, a sentence flowing along until it greets a period, and the ideas come to a rest, a still pool reflecting the Taj Mahal. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Angle Of Attack

I like the word ‘cope.’ I like its brevity and scope. I like the palatalized ‘c,’ the long ‘o’ and the bilabial ‘p.’ I like the palpable quality of that sound. Its certainty. Its affirmation.
I like the idea of ‘cope,’ of coping with a situation. It’s not an acceptance. It’s not an indulgence. It’s not a concession or an acquiescence. It’s a way – a tool, a tactic, a mechanism - to deal with something unpleasant, something onerous and toxic. It doesn’t mean you’re “coming around” to a contrary behavior or situation; it doesn’t mean you’ve decided, for the sake of the so-called “team” to be pleasant and conciliatory. It just means you’re doing your best to put up with something without going crazy or shooting anyone.
In aviation it’s called an Angle of Attack. This is the angle between the body's reference line (on an airplane this would be the angle between the chord line of the wing and the vector representing the relative motion between the aircraft and the atmosphere) and the oncoming flow of air that gives the aircraft lift. Stretching this somewhat into the vector of the metaphor, it means that whatever angle, slant, bearing, outlook or perspective I bring to a given situation will affect my ability to rise above it.
I’m always coping. Trying to cope. I’m rarely successful at coping. I’m much better at ranting. Flipping people off. Avoiding people. Fantasizing a life lived in a cave in the Himalayan Mountains.
I don’t cope, I mope. I brood. I stew. I ruminate and hatch. I chafe and mull and issue declarations and f bombs. It used to be jobs. My employment history is less than sterling. I’ve endured jobs long enough to feed myself and keep off the street. Afford a six-pack of beer. Benzodiazepines. Marijuana. These are drugs that help you to cope. Cope with the jobs that helped me acquire the drugs that helped me cope. This isn’t a successful coping mechanism so much as a jacked-up squirrel running a hamster wheel. 
My latest conflicts are with western culture in general, particularly in its bloated, kleptocratic phase of free-market capitalism and postliterate hooliganism.
There are philosophies that can help you cope, most notably the Stoics of Hellenistic Greece. Philosophy – like theoretical physics - is intrinsically abstract, an intellectual exercise that may not translate well into real situations, but the stimulation that thinking philosophically provides is essentially empowering and beneficial. The right philosophy can, at the very least, buoy you up a little. It doesn’t need to resolve everything; just providing a course of action is in itself of value.
Coping with life’s unpleasantries was a special focus of the Stoics. There was no shortage of opprobrium and vexation in Hellenistic Greece, nor – it would appear - in the golden age of Classical Greece that preceded it. That’s the age that brought us democracy, theatre, the Olympic Games, geometric axioms and lighthouses. A lot of good stuff. But it wasn’t all men saying important things while wrapped in bedsheets. Politics in Classical Greece did not always engage in ontological and ethical problems. It had its measure of dogma, armed conflict and targeted repressions. If you don’t believe me, ask Socrates. 
Epictetus, a leading Greek Stoic philosopher who was born a slave who – thanks to his wealthy owner, Epaphroditos, a secretary to the Roman emperor Nero – was able to study philosophy under Gaius Musonius Rufus and rose to respectability. When, about 93 AD Emperor Domitian banned all philosophers from Rome, Epictetus founded a philosophical school in Nicopolis in western Greece. One of his main tenets is that all external events are beyond our control. Therefore, we should accept them calmly and dispassionately.
Ok. Sounds sensible. But it’s not easy. It takes discipline. A lot of discipline.
I find the use of the word ‘accept’ troubling. I take the meaning of this word in its broader sense, not tacitly endorsing something but simply not reacting against something. If it begins to rain during a spring picnic, you can shake your fist at the heavens and curse like Shakespeare’s King Lear, or quietly and calmly put everything away and run back to the car and wait for the rain to dissipate. And if the rain keeps raining, enjoy a conversation in the car. Or go elsewhere.
“People are disturbed,” he observed, “not by events but by their opinion about events.”
I like that. Nothing could be simpler.
Or more difficult.
Emotions are often the result of assumptions we make about the world and the people in it that are so visceral and automatic that they lead a life of their own. Presumably, our beliefs and emotions are things that we have control over. I have to think about this a little. I try to remember the last time I had control over an emotion, especially a negative emotion. I can’t. I can’t remember a time in which I thought “feeling this way isn’t doing me any good, so I think I’ll just stop feeling this way, and feel another way, a better way.” That dog don’t hunt.
I have – to my credit – managed to go this far into life without strangling, stabbing, shooting, or assaulting anyone. This hasn’t been easy.
The CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) community have latched onto this strategy as a coping mechanism. It seems to work for a lot of people. I, however, find troublesome aspects about it. It’s designed, mainly, to help people continue working at jobs with people with whom they may despise, or with whom they have such marked differences of value that they feel a deep, inconsolable alienation, resulting in a lot of social anxiety. U.S. culture is particularly hard on sensitive, intellectual types, the Blanche Dubois’s and Ichabod Cranes of the world. Historian and social critic Morris Berman warns against engaging in conversation with Americans. Five minutes in, you’ll want to go shoot yourself.
If one’s attitude toward a society or a culture in general is negative, there may be good reason for this. I happen to believe that most societies are inherently toxic.
I find myself in much more agreement with Erich Fromm. The values of the western world are despicable. They’re centered around greed, power, sexual bullying and toxic masculinity. Militarism, imperialism, capitalism and the destructive, an-hedonic bullshit of the Protestant work ethic which helps feed these toxic ideologies.
No, I don’t have control over any of this, but willfully assuming a passive and agreeable stance in their midst doesn’t boost my self-esteem, it obliterates it.
“It is naively assumed,” observed Fromm, “that the majority of people share certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing is further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing whatsoever on reason or mental health. Just as there is a folie à deux there is a folie à millions. The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
Here are some more words I like: ‘malaise,’ ‘rebel,’ ‘flawed,’ ‘defective,’ ‘perverse,’ ‘eccentric,’ ‘insurgent,’ ‘seditious,’ ‘malcontent,’ ‘incendiary,’ ‘firebrand,’ ‘mutineer,’ ‘renegade.’
In the words of Beck Hansen, “I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me.”
Here’s another person I really feel an affinity for: Henry Miller. Who – in his opus of cultural mutiny, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, observed:

I had the misfortune to be nourished by the dreams and visions of great Americans -- the poets and seers. Some other breed of man has won out. This world which is in the making fills me with dread. I have seen it germinate; I can read it like a blueprint. It is not a world I want to live in. It is a world suited for monomaniacs obsessed with the idea of progress -- but a false progress, a progress which stinks. It is a world cluttered with useless objects which men and women, in order to be exploited and degraded, are taught to regard as useful. The dreamer whose dreams are non-utilitarian has no place in this world. Whatever does not lend itself to being bought and sold, whether in the realm of things, ideas, principles, dreams or hopes, is debarred. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal. 

I prefer the word ‘outlaw’ to the word ‘criminal.’ Politicians are quite generally criminals. I don’t want the faintest whiff of association with that bunch. But when it comes to coping, I like think of coping as the grim determination to get through a day incurring a minimal amount of damage, to myself or anyone else. And when I finally get that spaceship built, I’m out of here, baby. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Data Dump

Whenever I travel elsewhere I alter my inner kaleidoscope how do you take a picture of a black hole welcome to Alaska a voice of scarlet awakens the elves cooking sockeye salmon on Chilkoot Lake surrounded by behemoths of nothingness I need to bend this ink into bells a big vibration in which the universe sweats with chaos
I’m worried about the ice in the Arctic the gospel choir sends shivers through the fabric of space and time I drool meaning on a napkin of metaphors yellow letters on the sidewalk sometimes saying anything at all is like throwing a stick of dynamite and running
To assemble time from the data dump I want to be nicer to people perhaps it was language that brought us into being words constantly weaving between three planes as extragalactic beasts leap about under a tempest veined with lightning two Australian researchers hypothesized that an elemental form of consciousness in the form of a neuronal representation of the universe was born in insects 500 million years ago
How do I get off this planet what led to this turning point history bends under a burden of details inorganic molecules came together to form organic molecules nights in white satin the sexual freedom claimed by feminism and the gay movement has become a way of resexualizing female bodies through what I call scopic capitalism the one who exploits bodies by the look
Were we preceded by consciousness if you’re never disappointed with reality it’s because you’ve fallen into a conspiracy atmospheres relationships self-knowledge I could use some flamboyance we can’t know entirely what a body can do the feeling of living days that are more like a frenetic list of obligations than a deep and meaningful existence the wind opens the door to the church and walks in there are shops selling cups photos stuffed animals on which are written messages tailored to all affects joy sorrow love depression happiness
When you whispered in my ear it was like putting a fresh cold strawberry in my mouth life and culture have a complexity that can’t be reduced to the symbolic
Bazaars of objects thrive in introspection I’ve got a flair for finding good pastry divine protein in hepatic neon appreciate the flashlight dirt it’s particular and rural few things in life are as good as a jelly doughnut
There are moments when I want to be detached with the accentuation of family life love cooked up celebrations Mother’s Day Valentine’s Day we express them as emojis likes hashtags on Twitter which are then sold as viral data
I worry continually about farming communities Polynesian knee tattooed with diamonds a flame above a bronze Buddha talking a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it love has become the indicator of self-worth which is why it has never hurt us so much
Making a statement of any kind can be like forging a pattern welded Viking sword I feel weirdly powerful when I ask myself to explode
Into matter space and time vanish like a dream an iron house beating in a rib cage full of lightning this is the essence of my thinking there’s a clear sense that we’ve botched our time on Earth
Social reality is intrinsically ambivalent I try to avoid the bad breath of politics I like to growl my emotional life into ecstasy our highways are falling apart as hot dense gas swirls around a black hole my own approach to reality is just as important the prodigal allowance of a pretzel means the garage is tilted this is why capitalism gives the feeling of being unsurpassable because it has redefined subjectivity itself not by authoritatively drawing norms but by fitting into what is most essential to it I see hummingbirds occasionally they seems almost preternatural and this is related in some way to the invisible forces of the universe nonlinear processes like gravity thermodynaics harmonic generation and electromagnetism that cause energy to squirt from either side of the nucleus of the galaxy rolling through a restaurant in Thessalonoki that is on the opposite side of the word for gas (αέριο) the dazzling honey of thought green letters extruding into oblivion the subtleties of travel are written in faces people in lines at the airport passports in hand
So fatigued they seem more theoretical than actual the time grows centrifugal the helicopter hovers over the flood victims farms and barns of Nebraska and Iowa and Minnesota I’m a stevedore of the discursive and compound I personify miscellany in the hullabaloo of the barnyard I fling manure at the old suffocations the superficialities I can’t stand them anymore I’m done with this place I envisage horizons where the angels have their own capricious inclinations the planet below speckled with presentiment a brontosaurus lifts its head dripping swamp water the poem brings a wide eye to the vagaries of international capital the curriculum at last splashed with patois the windshield wiped clear of rain 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Heading Out

So here’s me in a Viking ship drifting out into space it’s a fantasy of course the way I envision a good death look at all the drama I put into it ridiculous of course no death has that kind of glamour it’s all ego and cheesy sci fi posters the kind those heavy metal bands once favored for their vinyl record sleeves
Space isn’t a thing per se it’s an expression of interrelations among events when my words touch the air a skating rink explodes with Tonya Harding I like the way red powers its way into green and Tonya lands a triple axel imagine that you awaken one day to find yourself floating in a sealed elevator a fathom is a ceremony of depth thin-boned as a bird all masses all velocities all forces are relative
I’m hungry as a mailbox in Pittsburgh a divine presence has eaten our greed all we have left is one another the taste of a pineapple is sharp and generous adrift in deep space as the more furious energies in the wider universe of galaxies make me think of the faucets of finance as absurdly illusory I’m building space and time like Bill Frisell playing on his Yanuziello guitar a stack of papers black with equations at my elbow morning comes and delineates the crest of the mountains the entire world is but a grand illusion spun in the loom of force fields objects approaching the speed of light increase in mass I feel the temperature at the core of the sun in my vituperative misrule
The interferometer floats in a pool of mercury an enormous ooze seething with declension the clutch of the real holds a two-dimensional wafer of infinite mass I feel like a lost explorer discarding my things on the desert sand to lighten my load I don’t like making oaths my descriptions harden into bone and I keep walking keep following that photogenic grammar of string as matter curves space and I see a man’s head rotating in its mercury pool weaving a web of words across the sky
Ink and butter are lions of moral progress an aroused mind present in glimpses disperses periods of concentration with balance and precision and delights in moving worlds hurtling past one another at staggering speeds through the undulations of space
An old man on his way to acupuncture a ghost ship alive with Saint Elmo’s fire everything clinging everything reaching the whole shebang the modem the piccolo the misdemeanor all make me realize my job is in the nature of being not doing the new soap dispenser arrived yesterday it’s got a sensor you put a dish or your hand under there and soap squirts out
Like words I don’t like it when the same thought circulates in my head we refine our search for gold by walking sideways like crabs and tie molecules together to form objects
Everything on our planet has been created by a fat massive sun which hangs in the sky like an orange squashed between a titan’s hands what if the most exciting thing in life is to die an object increases when it absorbs energy picture a subversive gazing at the silken surface of the sea
Poetry amplifies the air a whirling magnet will generate an electrical current in a surrounding web of wire I knit a black noise bouncing radar waves off Mercury
Out yonder is this huge world which exists independently of us human beings and stands before us like a huge riddle I know my rights I know what I can say and what I cannot say this is true not just for a spaceship gliding toward the stars I have roots in Peru we look up to see a hawk every dynamo houses a whirling mystery I wear my hunger like I wear my sleeve rolled up and lenient nature lives in motion endless covers of “One More Cup Of Coffee” delivered with the energy of a steam engine mass and energy are interchangeable my transformation sparkles underwater
I rise and become a temperature squirting sperm everywhere I put my anguish up for sale my attention is absorbed by a raisin the invisible field that conveys magnetic force I’m a citizen of the universe it’s just that demon life has got me in its sway I fall into morning as morning falls into afternoon the flowers of sedition talk to one another sunlight penetrates the Black Forest I want to paint a flame like Georges de la Tour and push it toward the red end of the spectrum 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Age Of Raisin

I have a craving for raisins. I have no reason to crave a raisin and yet I crave a raisin. The craving of a raisin craves a reason for having a raisin. I raise the craving to the sprawl of possibility. The possibility is everywhere possible except when it’s impossible and then the impossible becomes possible and this possibility is the impossible undoing of impossibility. Impossibility is possible because possibility becomes an impossibility when impossibility becomes possible. The reasoning is circular, like a raisin. A dark wrinkled raisin. Each little raisin looks like the scrotum of a tiny elf. But a mound of raisins, a bunch of raisins, an agglomeration of raisins, is a meditation of matter, an imbroglio of the particular.  
The need for sunlight is the reason why grapes are grown in the San Joaquin Valley. Sunlight pounds the valley like a hammer of radiant force. The grapes dry and their skin wrinkles into dark little kisses of light.
Reason pounds the irrational brain into tiny wrinkled raisins of scrotal scripture.
I love raisins. I like to scoop them up with a spoon and put them in my mouth. I put all my metaphors aside and appreciate them for what they are until they’re swallowed and the metaphors come rushing back into my head and I have to do something about them.
The metaphors, that is. Not the raisins. The raisins have their own raisin d’être.
I have a reason to love raisins and the reason is reasonable and topaz. I don’t know why it’s topaz. I just like the word topaz. My reason for topaz is exonerating and vinyl. You can see where this is going.
A pair of pears glares among the dappled apples. Shinto potatoes tiptoe amid a dumb show of grapes agape in the landscape. Helen’s melons gel in Helena. The swans in Ceylon feed on the lawn in the bygone chiffon of dawn. Hemmed in lemons persimmons summon the calmness of a psalmist in the juice of abuse. And the squash is awash with the slosh of the posh in the moonlight of our midnight appetite.
Clearly, the world is a place of things. Tables, chairs, pulleys, guitars, trees, rocks, hats, plugs, rugs, drugs and bugs. Heliotrope and fruit. Grapes and apes and drapes and crêpes. Figs and twigs and Buddha’s hand.
I’m not separate from the world. Nobody is. When the world dies we die. Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you said Whitman, who had a lot of atoms.
Heidegger referred to the mind as a “cabinet of consciousness” as a false premise. There’s no separation between the mind and the world.
Think about that. Pop a raisin in your mouth and chew it into the universe that is you. And ask yourself: is what is in me and about me and around me one and the same? Yes and no. The body is host to the soul which is nowhere without the body and everywhere when the body goes.  
What surrounds me, what surrounds you, is Umwelt.
That’s what I’m putting out there today, right now. These are ideas. Just ideas. Perceptions hammered into words and vertices. Refreshments on the counter. Spring rain at the window. The blades of a fan. The sheen on the coffee table. The pain in my shoulder. The warmth in my hand. The pleasing reasoning in the taste of a raisin. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Mighty River

Mighty river climbing into pique. Miscreant fiend sulking in jolts of fauna. Punctilious chocolate pleats. Checkerboard porthole crumbs. I’m the extension I wanted the ticks are naughty but the embarrassment is wadded in protons. This makes the nexus vanilla. I’m massive today in my pratfalls. Independent and soluble. I can lariat a grievance and bring it down into dust and cinch distaste into puppets. Gardenias of ruminant formaldehyde darn the unicorns with fingers like wigwams. The fabric I used to patrol the inseam is now a private rapture. The fez of the rival river has rivets of radiant champagne. There can be no metal without a brain that jets around in carnivals. Let this be the patriarch whose biases inflate with authority every time the misanthropes convene in division of themselves. Dextrose parquet or polar stumble, either way, the commas are restored to their natural ideals of blackberry and sage. A viscous discussion of Plato leads to horses, the pounding of hooves and the barking of dogs. The geology leaps onto my lap and breathes heavily like a cardboard upholsterer. Everybody knows the guide is a parakeet. But the fireplace pivots on a dormouse oinking in the rusted failure of our trilogy. Insinuation is often like that. It bubbles in its harness like a hairy asteroid and then is poured over pasta which makes the climate very close to being classified as a contest winner. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019


This morning I removed the screw holding the handle to the sauce pan I use for making scrambled eggs. The handle has a tendency to come loose. You don’t want a handle coming off in your hand when you’re cooking something. For a long time now it’s been my favorite pan for cooking scrambled eggs. I think that’s all I’ve ever cooked in it. I thought if I bought a new Philip’s head machine screw to replace it I could do a better job tightening it. But once I got the screw out and wiped it off with a paper towel it looked fine. The problem wasn’t with the screw. Something else had worn away. We’d simply have to get a new pan. That was the prudent course of action anyway since the Teflon was beginning to flake and come off. You don’t want Teflon in your stomach. I have enough problems with too much butter and keeping my cholesterol down. I don’t need a bunch of polymerized tetrafluoroethylene added to the mix of toxins already scrambled in my belly.
Breakfast is otherwise fulfilled. A piece of toast slathered with peanut butter and strawberry jam, scrambled eggs and a glass of grape juice to wash it down. I love food. I’ve grown to appreciate food more as I’ve grown older. I remember in my 20s breakfast consisted of a cigarette and a cup of coffee. I didn’t begin eating an actual breakfast of food until my early 40s, after I’d quit drinking and smoking. That was the general pattern – a sip of coffee followed by an introsepective inhalation and exhalation of smoke - but there were mornings in my 30s when I was grievously hungover yet weirdly hungry when a helping of bacon and pancakes and fried eggs sunny side up was heaven on a plate. So I’ve had a good couple of decades now of enjoying food, including breakfast. I’ve gone through a number of phases and appetites: scrambled eggs and toast, bananas and toast, bagels and toast, oatmeal and toast, doughnuts and grape juice, cinnamon rolls and coffee, always coffee, coffee has been a staple since late adolescence.
I worry about Nebraska. The flooding there this spring has been catastrophic. Roads, bridges, buildings, homes, farms and levees have been destroyed. It’s the worst flooding in anyone’s memory. The most terrible thing in my mind is the loss of livestock, pigs, chickens, cattle and calves being carried away in cold, muddy, turbulent water. The extreme cold of the winter, blizzards, subzero temperatures, strong, relentless, biting winds was bad enough. But the flooding was its own form of holocaust. I can see the panic in their eyes. I can’t imagine the horror of that.
And the early harvests were destroyed. Food prices will be astronomical this spring and summer. And then will come the wildfire smoke from the north in Canada and east in the Cascades. The planet is quickly becoming uninhabitable.
It all makes writing or painting or building look ridiculous. There’s simply no reason for it. Though I’m not sure there ever was. There are lot of things you do in life that don’t make any sense, but you do them anyway, as if you’re being carried off by an invisible, supernatural current of some sort. It’s an energy. A very goofy energy. It drives you. You could call it libidinal, there’s elements of that, it’s always generally there in one form or another getting people into trouble, but it doesn’t have an erotic vibe. It is something moving through you even in moods of despair and gloom, it expands you, dilates you, makes you feel a little lighter, a little less dead, a little more worried about dying, but not overconcerned about dying either.
I go for an annual physical. I’m early. I fill it out a short form asking questions about the state of my health (hell, I could’ve filled this thing out and mailed it in and skipped the damn physical) and sit and read Le parti pris des choses by Francis Ponge, which I stuck in my jacket before I left. I wonder if Ponge ever wrote about pans? He must have a prose poem somewhere about pans. They’re a natural. Such beautiful objects. I start fantasizing about sauce pans and butter and scrambled eggs. That first pat of butter that begins to melt and diffuse over the surface of the pan and then the eggs plopped in, the shells cracked expertly and evenly, the two halves tossed into the compost.
I read “Conception of Love in 1928,” “I doubt that true love involves desire, fervor, passion. I don’t doubt that it can: born of a disposition to approve anything, then from a friendly abandonment to chance, or to the usages of the world…,” as a young man and woman walk by. The man is pushing a pram with a newborn and the woman is walking awkwardly, her legs spaced apart as she hobbles along.  Funny how Ponge’s quiet and rather opaque reflection on love is echoed by this ongoing reproductive drama of our species, even as the climate warms and the animals die off.
The physical goes fine and I get dressed and go back into early April sunlight and drive home. I fasted for my blood draw and have for the last few days been avoiding all my favorite foods like eggs and butter so my cholesterol levels aren’t too shocking. I hate statins. All I’ve had so far today is coffee. I’m starving. I can’t wait to get some food into my body.
No new pan yet. I get the old pan out, slice a pat of butter and drop it in and watch it diffuse into transparency. Eggs always feel wonderful in the hand. What a wonderful shape. What incredible smoothness. They crack so easily. The insides glisten, goopily, into the pan, the yolks still whole, shiny, bright yellow, like something out of fairyland. I get a wooden salad fork and when the heat of the electric burner begins to make the fluidity congeal I being stirring it up into a chaos of lumpy yellow. I add two pieces of toast slathered with peanut butter and jam and pour a glass of grape juice. Breakfast.

Friday, April 5, 2019

A Species Of Sun

Lightning laziness thinks swaying is reaching for age. Gym chapped greenery that mockingbirds venerate. Mahogany paragraph thunder. Quintessentially elected quilting. Granulated fizzy capstan.
The round weight of the handkerchief adheres to a sense of conceit. So blow your nose. A single pearl will translate the tale. Cravings whistle the light up. A sweet sinking old motion makes the shuffle dance a sensation we can bring to the sandstone and turn to camaraderie. There’s a swirl in my shoulder that confirms the dancing once again in the heat of my emerald. You can always tell yourself to lift your life into the stars. The yearbooks will appear later wearing words like a person.
It wasn’t long before other thoughts moved us forward onto wheels. Everything rolls. Everything bowls. Everything strolls. Bowls and goals and holes and foals and poles and souls.
Loons on a spree in a convent van.
The nebulous mushroom visit made us all happy. The habitat climbed into us to be healed. I’m not sure it worked. The trees looked injured. But the moon was alright. The almanac phenomenon weighed as much as a bell pepper. This amused the extrusion, but the intrusions were sadly trapezoidal, and sank into the ground while the armchair snickered among its springs.
The snowdrift sat in the sauna melting into a puddle of doctrines. I didn’t know what to say. The smells were puzzling. The energy tickled my brain which immediately recruited something to think about. I thought about the radio. The pungency of its shine, the taste of its cyclone.
The current got stronger after the scorpion rain. The wandering ink made its caresses big as throats flopping on a sock. Some things are so obvious it makes you want to molt.
Oh well. Saturday’s scarf is tomorrow’s pillow. Let’s just say that the road is open now and the music is a species of sun.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Harlequin Words

Harlequin words are the laxative the mind needs to liquefy and flow into piccolos and viscera. The harlequin is a figure of perpetual endorsement. Madness in a mule. Misdemeanors of seismic inventory. Imagine a grievance with teeth and a haircut. The quorum is open to lips.
My tendons are happy to do this miscellany. Any time I have a fig newton in my hand I want to be a novel full of underwear. Lingerie and subtleties that occur in italics. Sexual innuendos so large and monumental they make the prerequisite shoulder do things no other shoulder could which is to shoulder the shadow of the moose on the moraine. The wilderness on the tip of my tongue is dripping with fire. I’m principled as a knife. I have the blade of position, the edge of perspective.
One of these days you’re going to come walking through that door and I won’t know what to say. I’m always on patrol. I’m always watching for that rhombus in utter incarnation. The jiggle of meat in salt and oleander. You won’t find any indifference here. I’m not going to coerce anyone into believing that any of this matters. It’s just a nuclear tattoo jacked up on variegation. I recommend the hash browns. But look out for the pancakes. They’re dynamite.
No claim can be too inflated if the immersion is honest and the fingers are willing and the strings on the guitar are flagstones of justice. I presuppose nothing. But I do find that hauling anything can cost money and should be properly secured. When I think of things that a thermometer might represent I feel like soliciting as many opinions as I can, some of the rubber, some of them worthless, some of them haunted and seething.
The sounds are taffy to this form of salt. Oil in the dust coagulating into little green men. Elves, I think. Are we in Ireland suddenly? Is this a word, or a world? Every word is a world. The word is a detail waiting for a sentence to theorize pounds of old thoughts said aloud.
Hysterics are the pyrotechnics of fate.
Although there are other ways to look at this. There always are. Other ways. Theories. Speculations. Goulash and metronomes.
The light of a pearl is a glistening sphere of opulent beauty. I try not to worry about the puddle on my shoulder. I like it when the medium becomes a phenomenon. The camel’s bushy rock confesses to a spinal cord and stands up. We pile up while praying to a cosmetic. Everything is religion. Even the horseradish has a fatuous merit to uphold among the mushrooms.
Marijuana also makes a nice handbag. You can bring it to your visa interview at the U.S. Consulate or gym or favorite restaurant and your introversion will be quenched by symbols. Much of my life has been recorded in rocks and my fedora now swims with radar. The interview was conducted by an ogre, but the view from the window was pleasantly stiff. I paint everything with saffron. It decides what I will do to pulchritude, if there is any geometry I can further advance with my urine.
The human bladder is a place of immense natural beauty. You will love the crows and frog hopper ride. I tend to favor style over content, but you can decide what is true for you and let the rest just crash and burn. Firecrackers will always lisp the patina. Music is so important today that I will spend the entire day walking around the planet in my sweatpants distilling hormones in my little corner of paradise. Forget the walls, it’s the doors that you want to open with your bare hands while your insecurities rustle among your nerves like a school of herring lost in an observatory.  Just smile and wave at the penguins. You’ll be glad you brought a chair. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

So Far

I can’t remember tomorrow. What happened to tomorrow? Tomorrow happened tomorrow. Tomorrow wasn’t yesterday. How could it be? Tomorrow happened before yesterday was tomorrow. Yesterday I could see today. It looked vital and cooked. Today I see tomorrow as a potential happening in whatever way people enter into it and make their decisions and start their cars and sweep their kitchen floors and open their refrigerators and take their kids to school and eat breakfast and remember their youth which is a stuff that becomes history one way or another. An important event or an inconsequential sigh. An old man nodding in an armchair as something historical drifts into vagueness in his mind and I forget that the old man is me and when I open my eyes it’s tomorrow. Meaning now. How did that happen?
“Reflecting on the three ‘temporal ecstasies’ that are the past, the present, and the future, Heidegger says that only when we’re paying attention to it does the "being-been" (rather than the "past") come to our mind and allow us to be ‘present’ to the situation. Future, being-been, present: this is the order of ascendancy in our experience. ‘Being-been is born of the future,’ Heidegger insists. Far from being a ‘not yet,’ the future is ‘the decision’ from which the human being comes to himself - and to his memory of being.
From "I Don’t Remember Tomorrow," by Philippe Nassif. “Eight miles high / And when you touch down / You'll find that it's / Stranger than known.” From “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds.
I try not to look into the future. It doesn’t look good. Ugly, in fact. Horrific. Planet Earth is in peril. The Arctic ice may disappear this year. The weather is already crazy. Floods, fires, hurricanes, typhoons, methane plumes, precipitous decline in insects and songbirds. If there are any humans walking around fifty years from now I’d be heartily surprised. Of course, I won’t be here to be surprised.
I’ve had enough of tomorrow. I want the present to be present as a present and not the shadow of a disastrous future.
What is present to me now is a bed, a cat, a magazine, and a radio.
A lamp, a bloodstream, a spread of fingers, two legs, two feet, thinning hair, mirrors, clothing, books, choices, regrets, memories, suitcases, light, delight, various tinctures of THC, emotions, skeleton, vibrations, inundations, batteries, gravity, space, atmosphere.
In 2007, Keith Richards fell out of a tree in Fiji and required surgery in New Zealand, thus causing the A Bigger Bang tour to extend into 2007.
The Big Bang occurred at around 13.8 billion years ago, cooling sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, atoms, giant clouds of hydrogen and helium, stars and galaxies and The Rolling Stones.
The protagonist here is therapeutic. That would be me. I have to be. I live here.
This is the future. It just arrived. A part of it, anyway. The morning. Pinched, cinched, and wet. It unpacks easily and is wrapped in bubble wrap. The mutations are to be expected. The saffron is long and the theorems are intrepid. The cat is lying on the floor, wondering what’s going on. The future is going on. It seeped into the present and became the past. It wasn’t the future I had in mind but that’s ok. The future is ok. So far.