Thursday, May 21, 2020

About The Author

Gnarly Berger was born in a guitar case in Istanbul. His mother was an Iranian singer from Israel accompanied by a Turkish santur player & a French guitarist (Gnarly’s biological father) and into whose guitar case Gnarly entered this world, somewhat by accident, & found womblike comfort while his parents sang for money in the streets of Istanbul. The family eventually came to settle in Billings, Montana, which they found even more exotic & strange than the streets of Istanbul. They only stayed a week, but Gnarly would fondly remember the sunsets on the plains, & the cowboys clapping leather dice cups hard on the bar. After his parents returned to Europe, he spent a wild adolescence addicted to German pretzels & Mad Magazine, to which he would cite as seminal influences. The pretzels taught what syntax could do when it was twisted into knots & seasoned with a little salt, & Mad Magazine shined a Klieg light on the human comedy. Gnarly began writing when he felt words oozing from his fingers & attaching themselves to a sheet of paper. He was fascinated by the way they floated in the air like little embryos of potential meaning & disposition, their little letters squirming in anticipation of a life in books, which is the place words all want to be. Words like being filled with ink & enshrined in a quiet place where the only noise is the faint rustle of a page turning. Gnarly understood this about words & began treating them accordingly, as a shepherd among a flock of sheep, herding them into places where they could be appropriately viewed, & guided about in the mind, fluffy, playful creatures, craving perusal & a little grammar to orchestrate their inner chaos, just enough to make things juicy & nectarine. Gnarly’s first book was a non-fiction monograph on the causes of inflammation, & how to maintain an erection in the bitter cold air of the Himalaya. Shortly after a motorcycle accident in Portugal, which left him permanently exhilarated, he began his well-known Nevertheless series, a romance chronicle set in Dubuque, Iowa, a city never visited by Mr. Berger – nevertheless - as Gnarly would say, a place for which he has long felt a deep connection. Nevermore – the first volume of the Nevertheless series – won the Shortchange Prize for Furtive New Writers. Confessions of an Intern, a forthcoming novel, concerns the trials and tribulations of a middle-aged man negotiating the office politics of a literary arts organization.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Ontology is syntax. Words go through my eyes making my thoughts fat & glittery. Does the sky begin at the ground or at a higher elevation? The words behind everything operate by rock-a-billy. Illocution is more like dogs. Benzedrine is parakeets. I feel nervous & colorful & ready to carry out tasks of savagery & glory. The flowers of anonymity blossom in a miscreant anguish.  Shake your hips baby. Is it a good feeling? Emotions sparkle with wallpaper. Your arm is my rudder. Go ahead. Lick the toad. This is how we gain favors from consciousness. It’s a joy to drift around in your bones. Everything is linked to an idea of itself, & this is called neon.
Words are packed in images because science is pink & happy. I encourage water by swimming in it & do the same thing with my tongue. I toss it into sentences where it feels anonymous & wet as it flings itself into moonlight & becomes a trout. I’ve got a copy of Baudelaire & a keen sensation of time. Sometimes the future arrives from the past & rain glistens on the prairie grass. My shoes are old but the road is older. Depth is implicit. Or not. A day will come when there is more to a chair than a chair. Perhaps that day has come. Everything wants to sit down.  Can we leave it at that? The rest of this sentence is expecting the insects to scatter. And so they do.
The whole business of narrating worlds as contrapuntal alternatives to this bounded, parochial reality gets conversational after a time & the seriousness of it gets a little indiscriminate, to say the least. You can’t fix a world. And you can’t make it go away. But you can create moraines of vagrant thought, ideas fumigated with metaphors. I wish I was a catfish in a river of whiskey. That’s how serious I am. When I’m empty of things to say I sit quietly beside the graves. Please. Have some confidence in your singing. It’ll open your chest to a sea of mongrel abstraction.
What does it mean to believe in something? I believe in the power of yes. And I believe in the power of no. I believe in the power of contradiction, & I believe in the power of caves & the power inherent in pain. Texture is a literature for the hands. What is a thought exactly? It’s untidy, I know that. An inflammation of the brain. Which is soothed by postulation. Have people lost touch completely with the real? What kind of species are we? 100 billion neurons are not enough to ponder the fullness of oblivion. And it doesn’t stop there. It never stops. It’s an eternal beginning. I lie on my back & stare at the ceiling & dream of words dripping Paraguay, & rain.
If we unvented God, or any notion of God, he/she/it would be reinvented within five minutes. Some need a God, some are happier with gods, & some people get jazzed kicking the God can down the road & insisting that God doesn’t exist. Everyone knows that as soon as you say something doesn’t exist, it exists with a vengeance. Because the idea that we’re here, existing – eating, fucking, showering, working, playing board games, listening to old jazz records, looking for a diagnosis on Google, & feeling euphoric or bored or angry & wondering how it’s possible a complete clown of a man is president of your country & making important policy decisions, & so many crazy things happen, black swan events to fuck up your day, so many things utterly out of one’s control, there has to be – must be – a single unifying agency responsible for bringing into all existence & making it harmonize & blend & wobble & orbit things elliptically, etc., for any of it to have any meaning. But what is meant when we say meaning? Significance? Purport? Intent? Meaning for humans is a strange craving. It’s all this self-awareness. We go around with this ocean of consciousness in our heads wondering what the fuck kind of reward we get at the end of this crazy mother-fucking quiz show. Am I a bubble? And one day I burst, & that’s it? Pop. And I’m gone. The “I” is gone. That pronoun. That one letter word. Vanished. Empty air. Empty mirror.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Beautiful Imprecisions

This has been one of those days where you want to mutiny. Jump ship. Get the fuck out of Dodge. Next time I plunge into a vat of rhetoric I’m going to keep stirring until it becomes a meringue of dalliance, waves of mutinous insouciance. I feel rapid as a stick & anxious to do something about justice, or its lack thereof. Consider me a newborn among the gypsies. I’m the fire around which everyone stands, listening to flamenco. What a dream. Now if I can just achieve it. Maneuver some noises around until they powder the stage & blast hole in the entire opera. The rules are ok. It’s not the rules that bug me. It’s the infernal fictions, the lithe denials.
The palmistry flip is a promise to saxophone my toadstool. Therefore, the typhoon bells carry my junket. The bagels are dynastic. A representative lap whose principles bear the crumbs of idealism. I must remedy the frequency with gossip. The fresco succumbs to its imagery & the guitar honks like a lute. You must take these words with a grain of willow. I’m weary & shuffled like a pancake on a plate of introspection. This is where the fork meets the ceramic & the meringue settles into contrast. Friends provide amenities, which are manna for the splendid feathers of morning, & come to me in the dumps of afternoon as parsley & volleyball. The sorbet of pain engrosses its bowl & paroles semantics. I wander a rub through the plumbing of a pillow. I represent blisters. Quintessence provides the foundry for the experiences to shine into pitch.
Pervasive is wiggly. I feel a mild thought overhead ride the elevator down to a radiology lab & unbind the descriptions of identity as a newborn shovel. That which is dirt is possible. That which is possible is dirt. And so the flowers assume the lactation of language. Perception is a labor with a wide gnaw. Smell is more than punctuation: it’s a form of hunger. My umbrella percolates the sky. And I feel fine. I don’t know why. But that last gas station looked licked. The tongue of the sun came down from the heavens & made everything glisten like a gallbladder.
I hear a clink & the horseradish succumbs to my philosophy. We’ve been talking all day. Which is to say I’ve been talking all day. To myself. And a horseradish. And this is tyrannical, if not a little incompetent. But I’m not here to judge. I’m here to play signified vs signifier. Insulin vs intern. Hop is the hoop of hope. Think what a difference a sensibility can make to a work of art if the transponders blink like evergreens. Vancouver Island! Posterity is but a few miles to the north. Most moisture is luscious. The freshness of a set of keys is essential to wampum. This is proven by the mechanical theory of gases, which is downright indemnity, or footlocker whack.
Our poles are poles. Our pools are pools. Our poles have polarity. Our polarities have pools. Pools are pointless. Poles are polar. The pointlessness intrinsic to polls are bowls of holes. Holes are halls of holy jolt. Delicate mutual distribution of space in space which is spatial. Which is glacial in the Alps and jigsaws in the valleys of Germany. The sallies are tallied by tacit orgasm. Ocelots scratching a nondescript wall. Petulant screws disheveled shovels & an outcry. Why do windows matter so much? The facts are tacks. The quaffs are tucked in fiddles. And the moon floats in the puddles at midnight. And midnight is a bright symphony of beautiful imprecisions.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Courtesy Croak

Here’s a courtesy croak: the thumb is separate from broomsticks. Insomuch as rubber has a theology of uncontrollable protoplasm, isn’t it time to hijack a hobby & make it eligible for sandpaper? I encourage the porterhouse to inure its tentacles to snowshoes. The phrase is syrup to the broadside. London on a palette of the globe hurling elocution at a moose. The laundry, meanwhile, travels through its mirth. And I hope one day that my sleeves will find a vulva that will help me secure a surer sense of dishevelment within a system of uniquely rigorous redundancies. Geometry settles to the bottom of the textbook & pirouettes on a spatula.
It’s possible to imagine a situation in which I’m not here, not here among these words, none of which have anything to do with me, they’re just words, words that I’ve chosen, but that’s as far as it goes, I didn’t invent the system, the choreography of sounds & meaning that this amalgam comprises, bone & skin I’m going to call a rhinoceros, & leave it at that. And that’s the power of language, that you don’t have to be where it goes, you can just go for a ride, let a small part of you fall out of your head & become an idea, the sound of music spilling out of a blues club in Chicago, Buddy Guy making a rhinoceros come out of his guitar, & toss my mind in the air.
Clouds aren’t clods. Clouds are graceful & messy. They’ve got shapes but no definition. The shapes move & blow west or blow east or southwest or southeast but they don’t have style they just float & fill space & peruse themselves in perversities of form & thunder. The thunder is courtly. The lightning is disorganized. But bright. The invalids beneath are studious & systematic. The clouds walk around in confidence. You can plough them or saw them & they’re still clouds. Not clods. Clouds. Intimations of heat & humidity. Epileptic hurricane parsley.
I stand ready to describe the ineffable but yes it’s impossible so I just guffaw. The gophers are poised in stupefaction. I’ve always found sauerkraut to be inscrutable. It sits there on the plate like a spectacle of turrets & lamas. It tastes of warranty. Yet nothing is guaranteed. Not even declension. Privacy is a feature intrinsic to a sink. The faucets are succinct. Water rides the lips until the portfolio wheels around a theocracy in a wheelbarrow of creaky supplication. Epidemic medallions clutter the bloodmobile. Let the hemorrhoids come forward with their testament. The time has come to learn the ins & outs of leather carving. I’m at liberty to acquaint you with jute.
That point where the geography becomes an emotion, a puzzled theocracy, or broadcast. The news tonight is angry. Angry as always. All the anchors pout. They look sullen. Because this is a sullen country. We hear the opening chords of “Babe I’m Going To Leave You” as a young man walks through the fog on the Pacific coast. Heterogeneity is a delicate thing to keep going. You need a little dialectic to leaven the dumbness of the dough. This doesn’t happen often. But when it does the world turns the sweeter for it. Diversity is the university of convergency. We’re going to go walking through the park every day. And discover the fragrance of Hegel in the bagels.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Radical Conditions

The width puppy is a traditional nudge. My fuse rolls into obstetrics & hibernates in the lanolin of pleasure which is hawks. Monumental syrup thermometers processing the heat of a moment as the sap of life brings solar liqueurs to the leaves in mantras of wind. Miscellaneous fondue, your geology is outlets, rocks that I can hold with a sticker in one hand & granite in the other. And this makes me a lapidary man, a nexus of piping & chips, fragments congealing in papyrus. Moses among the reeds. Eyes poised on a page of prose. Quotes like lanterns lighting the brain. 
The older you get the more things that catch your attention lack pertinence. You’re moving out of life. You can feel the drift of that. You don’t need to worry anymore about fulfilling ambitions or looking for romance. It’s all a bit like evaporation. Bits of you rising in vapor. In steam. Like those spring rains that leave a bright silver sheen on the street when the sun comes out & it’s all rising in steam. Barring a painful disease, the processes of transition are tinged with a euphoric nostalgia. You feel more like a ghost. And it’s not bad. You feel less trapped. You feel lighter. Brighter. A little sadder, but badder, a don’t-give-a-shit-anymore laughball who just got the joke.
I’m going to take a leap & say that the earliest experience of art was rendered in a spirit of imitation but whose animations were the living embassies of the human imagination. Meaning we are caught between two worlds. The world of the spirit & the world of the garage. The world of the garage is strictly utilitarian & smells of fertilizer & gasoline. I get in the car. The steering wheel is cold. I start the engine. The garage door cranks open. I back out. And that’s when I realized I wasn’t driving a car. I was driving a sentence across the screen of a laptop. Which proves nothing, serves nothing. But this: velocity is a drug for the savagery of expectation.
The spell of certain grammatical functions is ultimately also the spell of physiological valuations & radical conditions. Wheels, for example, or nihilism. Creation is nihilistic in essence, in principle: the artist denies that life as it is is self-sufficient. I feel a need to get something out there, something about art & representation, something about seeing & silence & the occasional need to break that silence & say something about one’s experience in this life. Which is better, the representation, or the actuality? I’m going to go with the actuality. Nothing happens by itself. Fortunately, most of the gas stations are open. Meteors streak the sky. There are many of us who seek transformation. I wonder what this activity would feel like if it actually made money.
We’re willing to betray our own existence because we only live once: we accept conditions that we would otherwise refuse if we had to live with our decision for eternity. Act in such a way that you may want to do again what you do for eternity, don’t bargain with the eternal return, and if you’ve got an instinct for this sort of thing, this thought, fully assimilated, will give your life the sureness and the lightness of fate: not just any life, but a life. If all else fails, make something up. Angst is good. Don’t brush it off the table. Make it talk. Make it swim. Make it bleed. Make it sing. This is a mean old ugly world. But where else can you find Hostess Cupcakes & cats?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mirrors Mirroring Mirrors

I feel embarrassed to be feeling any embarrassment. About anything. Including my mushroom chair which, frankly, is a nucleus of determined prissiness. I’m reminded of the sapphire poetry of wasps. Their hard colors & fulminations. The slide of a sheet of paper across the desk as an impregnable reaction enchants the party with its fuselage of tongues. Look at them, flapping away like there’s no tomorrow. Which there isn’t. There’s only this present, this numbness I’m coaxing into the brain where it can do some good & elevate the sanctity of idleness to a summit of material ineffectiveness. Dare the storm to support your patterns. It will ignite you to podiatry.
The panacea lifts a scorpion & we drink to the pale air. Genitals need a little summer now & then. The carrot is heating my stomach with a frankness pertinent to the vegetable world, & this makes me suck more time from the well of space, where time ripples in a fateful placenta of stardust. We can feel it vibrate in the warm amenities of our bones. We scramble around thinking about getting a blinking tibia to give us a nucleus of highland rubber. This gets reflected on the almanac plumbing as a paper wasp brings us memories wrapped in a jeweler’s hat, & we stand there gazing at a universe as it wanders through our fingers looking for textures & loose change. 
There’s a mirror in front of me & a mirror to my left. There’s a mirror in my myrrh & a little myrrh in the mirror. The mirror that mirrors me best is the mirror of error. Errors are the air I breathe to find the right light to write on the vapor of the paper that drifts in a Berlin of glittering mirrors. The juror looked at the killer in the mirror & saw a murder in the curtain. The brighter the silver the quicker the shimmer that stirs in the mirror. Scissors & quivers & rivers in a mirror. Figures & dinners & millers in a mirror. Mirrors mirroring mirrors are what words are. Writ of error. Reign of terror. And the dribbles are scribbles that wiggle in trickles. Sang the surfer in a fervor.
Open the lightning in Polynesia. Tap the clock. Let the white ice overflow. Exhibit the remaining capsules. Unbalance the dry pain & let it walk into the palatial syntax of dragons & fire. Decipher this life as a marathon, a give & take, the slosh of water in a bucket. And make that bucket glorious. Make that bucket a preface. Make that preface a constitution. And sleep.
Wake me when we reach Neptune. Until then, I want to dream. Sleep & dream of rhinoceroses on the savanna. Of Renaissance monasteries in a time of vendettas & passion. Of sapphire ants at the periphery of the holy. Of a woman’s hands building a fire on a piano. Of duty & pleading & how pleasant it is to drift in space. The masterpiece that is succotash. The oilcloth that is cows. The nucleus of a plummet which is a dishcloth. That awful woman from Fiji. The bookcase & lamp that sang in the corner without making a sound. The Queen of Denmark & her quarrelsome parrot. All these things that are scientifically unmeasurable & yet glow into nightclubs & stars.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Funny Shirts

I maneuver in a pool like a library maneuvers among its books. I’m hoping the two new John Ashbery books I put on hold have arrived. But first this virus will have to be contained. Irritations cause adaptive responses, one of which is poetry. It’s my favorite drug. My second is insinuation. Where’s the rest of this sentence? It’s out there fetching the world. I could use a little realism about now. We live in the extreme hoping for a resurrection, the purity of an unhurried dream. And what we get is the embalming fluid of remorse. Hyperbolic duodenum squash. And look over there, a piece of art is dragging itself across the floor like a funny shirt.
Funny shirts are pinstripe inoculations. This makes a pretty world. The moon rides high in the sky sprinkling tequila on a horticulture of the imagination. I’m the King of Rain. I exist in a hairspray. Language wanders into focus & becomes a microscope. The sweetness of this is the end of Property Tax. I do this by getting salty in the mud while Clint Eastwood sits on a roan horse at the end of the street. He’s wearing a funny shirt. You can see that by the steely glint in his eye. Words are heat. Clay. Afternoon reveries. Symbols clashed together to make a sleeve.
It’s a very painful time to be alive if you love things. It’s all disappearing. All going extinct. Elephants, tigers, entire rainforests. The empire is falling. Collapse is happening in real time. There is the combined smell of gasoline & rubbing alcohol. I have no idea what to do about any of this. So that’s happening. The apocalypse is happening. And then a cake appears & the mind takes it in by way of the mouth, & remembers the things that overlap, & become other things. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It just becomes cake. And the cake is eaten & the enjoyment of it lasts for a while. And night comes. And the last light in the world goes out.
I remember viewing the setting sun in eastern Montana from a train window in the summer of 1997. It was a different world then, but you could see it coming. You could see everything coming. And now it’s here. Mania defines the moment. Like sudden gunfire in a Whitehorse bar. A thing is metal when it’s literal. Or is it? When is a thing true, & when is it delusional? Gold is imperial. Silver is empirical. Gold is the shine of the divine in the cold creeks of the Yukon. Platinum is Out of Our Heads & Aftermath & Exile on Main Street. Disorder is iron & war. The impulse to make art continues. This is life. The brush is stiff & frozen. But it smells of sacrifice.
I think about death all the time. Does death think about me? Probably not. This is why my eyes are stumbling around in books. I’m looking for God, life, nails, salvation, reptiles, & fish. That was the mission, so I hopped aboard. After Tom Cruise pushed me. Hey, WTF dude? Back off. And take your silly scientology literature with you. We really ought to free ourselves from the seductions of words. But what the hell. Deep down in the water is a reflection of the moon. We sometimes have to distinguish between an illusion & a revelation. One is the weather of the mind & the other murmurs of hypnopompic snow. Thoughts come, thoughts go. Words do this. They keep my simulacrums at room temperature in a correspondence between the dead & living.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I haven’t really felt confined during the confinement. Maybe that’s because I’m used to a sense of confinement that has become so ingrained in American life that its newest incarnation hasn’t made a noticeable imprint on me yet. The biggest inconvenience has been dodging people in the streets – mostly residential streets – while out running. There are ten times more people out walking every day than anything I’ve seen in the 20 or so years I’ve been running these streets. About a quarter of the people display courtesies of moving out from the sidewalk; the other ¾ lope along as if they had exclusive property rights to Planet Earth. Everyone appears a little estranged, masked all the way to the eyes, which peer out like the eyes of an astronaut exploring an alien planet. Emphasis on the word alien. We’ve all become estranged. From communion, from planning, from stability, from agency, from government, from yesterday, from tomorrow. But the odd feature of this is how much more alive it makes you feel. Awakened. Attentive.
It takes an existential threat to make you feel more fully alive. Everything compartmentalized in my mind comes tumbling down. Classifications count for little. It comes down to energy. The energy of life, Bergson's élan vital. The energy of doing nothing. The energy of a gaze. The energy of a thought. The energy of a memory. The synergy of misery combined with liberty combined with reverie, wild celery & trajectory & a wild pink Tibetan dawn.
My father still exists because I have a memory of him. My mother still exists because I have a memory of her. Kevin Killian still exists because I have a memory of him. Spencer Selby still exists because I have a memory of him. Philip Lamantia still exists because I have a memory of him. Michael McClure still exists because I have a memory of him. I still exist because I have a feeling of existence. Jack Kerouac still exists because I read his books. Reading books graces existence. It’s natural to read books when you exist. It’s natural to write sentences when you exist. It’s fun to watch TV & drink wine & eat. It’s amusing to get in a car early in the morning & go somewhere where the weather is better & existence is effortless.
I see everything in scenes. In frames. Moments charged with the ineffable. The weirdness that comes over the world at twilight. The wonderful difficulty in defining anything. Define it according to what? What are the parameters? The perceptions? The nervous system & organs & tastes & smells & textures processed by what proteins? What waves of music slopping about in the brain defining the contour & quality of a moment? Give anything any image a little thought & focus & it comes washing ashore like an old glass bottle. A dumb metaphor held up to the sun.
Pablo led a nebula of horses out of the barn. Everything dilated & wagged in testimony to your touch. I backed away & wired Chicago for more money. Certain feelings emerged, coins & hedges & Spanish airports. Words slept on the page until they were awakened by your eyes. And then they became a new reality. The afternoon teemed with your signals. I prowled around you & waited for the cathedral to stop barking. And what was it, this large thing thrashing around at the end of the sentence? Paradigms, spurs & rubber. Everything we need to begin a new romance, a new form of energy. Can you hear it? None of these words belong to me. They belong to ghosts.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Running For Cover

People have become grenades. One sneeze & you’re dead. Jesus. What a world. How did it get this bad? And another part of me answers “are you kidding?” Space is everywhere. But there’s a general understanding that unites everything in cotton. It happens this way in water. Which means that the body is its own continuous surge of meaning. I fill with a thousand obscurities. Zigzags & crags. The world is a summons. The body is a witness. We rise & give testimony. It spreads me into being. Like a gunslinger. You sneeze, I cough. And we run for cover.
Will there be an end to this? Will we ever return to normalcy? There. I said it. The ‘n’ word. Which doesn’t exist. Our imaginations have been forged in chaos. But I’m not a banana. I’m only a crumb in a sourdough world. Some cells become neurons & some cells become kingdoms. We’re water balloons held together by sticks. But a vowel enclosed in a sack of consonants will develop a spine & walk. And that’s called adaptation, which is sensitive to evolving variables. I’m not sure what to think of it. Of what? I don’t know, pick something. The pyramids of Egypt. The sky is pink & friendly. That’s where I want to be. Up there. Shaking hands with the sun.
The theorists seated like Rodin's thinker leave me doubtful. I’m in favor of a traveling thought that lets itself be contaminated by the street. Do you feel appreciated? Loved? Can you find love in the street? Yes! No! Maybe! I don’t know. But take a closer look: the white snow mountain in the center of this sentence depicts the land of the great nation of Tibet. Perhaps it’s there that you’ll come to the six red rays emanating from my Aunt Winifred. Did I say Tibet? I meant Timbuktu. And driving back from Chicago I heard the Bobby Womack song “It’s All Over Now” for the umpteenth time & took stock of life’s flavors, its bittersweet consistency & goo.
That funny blowy sound a bottle makes just as you bring it to your mouth & the air from your nose goes into the bottle & back out as a funny blowy sound, is that the rapture of the air as it glides in & out of a bottle moments before I rub my mouth & close the refrigerator door, or is the ghost of Socrates running at me like a blind, red rhinoceros pounding the hardened earth? We’re all going a little silly these days. It’s all this confinement. Though I wouldn’t call it confinement. I’d call it ideal & get into frame of mind I can take somewhere. This is moving in a good direction. Some places you can only find within. I can’t say what it is. But it won’t be Tulsa.
I like doors. I like opening doors. I like closing doors. I like painting doors. I like the musical group The Doors. I like Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. I like juxtaposing doors with windows & the big mahogany doors of Federal buildings. Revolving doors confuse me. Doors in literature include the wardrobe door to Narnia, the tiny door to Wonderland, the door in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden & the two famous doors in Frank Stockton’s short story “The Lady or the Tiger.” I rarely slam doors. The peppermint door to salvation is a mammogram of softness & bulk & opens & closes quietly. The Door To Furious Conclusions opens to the Chamber of Arbitrary Discrepancies. But don’t open this door. You’ll wake up unhinged.  

Friday, May 1, 2020

Tin Sandwich

Disease is nature’s way of telling us that life on planet Earth is getting weird. The people of Earth have gone insane. They wrap everything in plastic, hoard toilet paper, & walk down the street with buds in their ears talking to invisible people. What can you do? I sit & listen to Charlie Musselwhite play a tin sandwich. When the rain comes it is long & aloof & the streets rise to greet it. Heaven is a library open all day & all night. Everything discharges an aura of worry until a combination of spirit & pepperoni placates the rustle of tinfoil. I endeavor to create a rebirth of everything. And that’s lunch, essentially, bologna on rye in a world of eating & fire.
A thought comes when “it” wishes, not when I wish it. Here comes one now, rolling through the mind like Wyoming. I see a lotus in a birdbath & a lotus in a birdbath appears. And this occurs in Pennsylvania, not Wyoming. So what does Wyoming have to do with anything? This whole thought thing is out of control. Got me running like a cat in a thunder storm. Saying a thing is seeing a thing. But this has little to do with Wyoming. Wyoming gets up & walks away. Goodbye, Wyoming, it was good to see you. I probe the surrounding obscurity with a delicate antenna. Evergreens sway in deviation. This is a wisdom that heard softly in the grass of Ohio.
Mostly I just want out of this world. That’s all I think about now. It’s what you do when you’re old. You pretend you’re young & put words together. Why? Because the possibilities are endless. They can be transformative, but mostly they’re just cheap thrills. Extreme sports are for maniacs. But writing is for the truly mad. Ok, now that that’s cleared up, let’s talk about vibrations in the air, which is music, & gets a lot more positive attention. All arts require sacrifice. There’s no easy formula. But there’s something in the sound of a cello that removes the top of my head & lets all the language out. Why else would I perceive a different reality? That when I waked, I cried to dream again. 
The charm of any theory is its reckless disregard for sanctioned assumptions. The general idea is to pretend it’s important. Theories are known to be flawed, but some of them are capable of fostering a voluptuous inaction. My favorite theory is that language is a structured aggregate of crushed stone & rubbery compounds & is a frequent cause of linguistic drift, accelerated sequences in multidimensional semantics, mutinous pallbearers, & the novels of Henry James. One need also be wary of its capacity for guile: solipsistic narcissists, clamshell packaging, & fraudulent hospital bills. Theories don’t cure ignorance. But at least they don’t create it.
What do I know? Life is peripheral as sleeves. I seek refuge in the muteness of things. Or at least a universe in which everything objective exists in relationship with everything else. How can pink solve anything? I hop around to enhance the effect of spirits. Money is funny & can get in the way of obtaining pleasure if it isn’t used wisely. And now for some privacy. I’m feeling fat. This is to be expected. The artist cannot ignore the economic dominance of her or his time. I is a crayon. Even dead, I watched nervously as a teen age girl touched my head with her bare foot.