Monday, January 25, 2021

The Wisdom Of Rivers

Meander comes from Greek Maiandros, the name of a river in Caria, Turkey, which today bears the name Büyük Menderes, and flows west to the Aegean Sea in the proximity of the ancient Ionian city Miletus. There’s nothing much there now. It’s good to know that this level of meandering concludes so quietly. There’s no climactic seaport, just arid hills, the mild soughing of a breeze. My dad liked taking back roads and stopping a lot. It was generally to take photographs. This drove me nuts, whenever I tagged along. I’m usually in a hurry to serve my addictions, one of which is inertia. But I applaud people who take their time to take in the undiscovered, the back roads, the detours, the places hidden from view, the places lost to the frantic hustle of commerce. This is what I like about meander, and what rivers are always so good at. “how much / of the ‘way to’ / is loss,” writes Heller Levinson in a poem titled “the road to seep road” included in Seep, his recent collection of poetry from Black Widow Press, lamenting the loss of serendipity, the treasures of the aberrant, thanks to the prevalence of technologies such as GPS. Navigational systems are great if you’re in a hurry or trying to get to a meeting in an unfamiliar city, but they’re a disaster for the human psyche, which is enlarged by accident, by kismet and coincidence, chance discovery and the uncanny flukes that awaken the senses and get us dizzy with the unyoked power of intuitive occasion. It’s stunning to make yourself available to things by dropping all purpose and predetermined trajectory. It takes discipline – a certain willingness coaxed out of the easeful milieu of our internal programming - to be a little unhinged. The French have a word for it: dépaysement. Finding yourself elsewhere. Beyond the borders of habit and routine. The grids and structures that are useful for productivity but poison for the mind. Dépaysement is a state of disorientation. That can be unpleasant. But it’s stunning when you surrender to its limitless circulations and the tumble of its psychedelic dice. Everyone has a sense of losing this world but really what’s going on is a secret rebellion in the souls of the alert. Poets like Levinson denuding language of its syntactical chains and setting the words free.



Saturday, January 23, 2021

This Is Where My Face Begins

Why would the ghost of a clam appear to us as a cow? The invention of thirst comes to us dressed as a Gregorian chant. It’s ok. It looks fine. Just put the fucking turkey in the oven. Nothing beats the elegance of dying. Death is nothing but sugar skulls. The poet is a gravel driveway walking through the eye of a needle. I mean clumsy waves moving up and down a cobra neck-tie. Poetry is an engine of nutmeg. Sage goes better with prose. Basil is good for ear infections and blood sugar management. You can dial an irrational number and get a little closer to Christmas morning. I once dated a tiger with a snake between her teeth. This led me to write with .38 caliber Smith & Wesson. Do you like cream with your gravity? Heartache is a cure for science. But nothing cures a dull yellow like an ivory black in a painting by Rembrandt. No amount of logic can explain the sparkle in the eye of a monkey except the monkey. Let your mind wander a little. Watch it dilate. The mind dilates when it wanders. And yes. I’m hooked on polyphony. And I always liked crinkly old dollars when I sat in a bar in the afternoon and rested my arms on an old oak bar and looked at all the bottles on the wall and marveled at the shape and variety of feelings in me. Feelings have shapes. Some of them are shaped like a hairy arm and some of them can bend a glass of Pink Chardonnay into a leopard. The forklift lifts a pallet of formaldehyde and so concludes this procedure with flames thundering out of the back and becomes a rocket flying through my heart like buffalo on the plains in 1752. I like the little light bulbs in the bathroom on the top rim of the mirror. This is where my face begins to swarm with delusion. And I leave it here at your doorstep as a sandy beach. My mustache is big and flairs out at the sides like maniacal curlicues because I don’t have a mustache. The mustache is imaginary, and therefore lumber. My ego is a tall drafty building. I think I’m a carpenter of description but as it turns out I’m only the definition of a heliotrope. But there’s plenty of room for growth, and so I grow, I grow into adjectives, I grow into self-awareness and attribute it to water, I grow into experience as I’m experiencing the experience whatever the experience is. I experience words just they bring more lobsters into the world. It’s hard to think what a lobster thinks unless you’ve got a bunch of words lying around in your head. Meanwhile, I listen to the Rolling Stones sing “Blue Turns To Gray,” which gives me speed bumps. I belong to a prospect. What I see is hypothetical until it surrounds itself with healthy advantages. An embroidered shoe, a lobed Delft dish with a swan or Constance Hopkin’s beaver hat. It’s hard to carry a generation in your voice. It takes an escalator and the fact of your existence rising to a new level, a new universe. 



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Inauguration Day

Inauguration day. I feel nothing but nausea. And dread. Four years of looting will be replaced by four more years of looting. More war. More extortionate healthcare policies. Nothing given to the public to help with unemployment or relief from the ravages of the pandemic, but trillions pumped into the coffers of Wall Street and tax breaks for the wealthy. Nothing done to relieve suffering while funneling more money to the top. More power and money showered on big pharma and big tech. What a bummer I must sound like to people who continue to hope for better things. Me, too. I hope Biden proves me wrong. I hope his administration shocks me out of my ingrained cynicism by doing a 180 from the policies of the six previous administrations. I move the box of Whitman’s candies from the top of the refrigerator to get out a roll of twine, snip off a strand, and use it to retie the corner of the white bath towel I’m using to protect the newly upholstered chair in the bedroom by my desk from the importunities of our cat. I hear the clunk and clatter of material in a big truck and look out the door to our building to see what’s going on: I see the flashing lights of a park department truck in the alley that leads to our parking lot. I keep re-turning the heat up. It’s a cold gray day today. I take a swig of what remains of this morning’s coffee and return to the drama on Yabla. Certains ne reculent devant rien (Some people stop at nothing) pour parvenir à leur fins (to achieve their ends) Ils se servent de nous (They use us) Ils vont même jusqu’à jouer avec nos sentiments (They even go as far as playing with our feelings) Ils sont tout simplement oublié (They have simply forgotten) que la fin ne justifie les moyens (that the end does not justify the means). The word ‘inauguration’ comes from the usage in French, circa 1560, of inauguration meaning “installation, consecration,” which, in turn, comes from Latin inaugurationem, meaning consecration, or more originally “installment under good omens.” More precisely, the word inaugurationem – as a noun of action – stems from the Latin past-participle stem of inaugurare, “to take omens from the flight of birds; consecrate or install when omens are favorable; from in ("on, in") plus augurare, “to act as an augur, predict.” The augurs at the capitol today are not good: over 20,000 camouflaged National Guard troops stand guard at the capitol, more soldiers than the troops currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. I’ve been enjoying watching Fran Leibowitz talk to Martin Scorsese in Pretend It’s A City on Netflix. I always think I’m going to be irritated by her because of her unrepentant smoking and sour disposition, but I’m quickly charmed. I find in her a kindred spirit. A lot of the things that irritate her irritate me as well, such as people paying no attention to one another when they walk down a busy street. It’s been really bad lately because of the pandemic. Everyone has suddenly developed a passion for walking. This makes the running I’ve been doing in this neighborhood a tedious challenge, constantly dodging and zigzagging around people who pay no attention to anyone else. People seem so cut off from one another. Anyone outside their immediate tribe is a ghost, if that. Not even a vapor. I’m not sure what they see, if anything. And then there’s the sad spectacle of someone sitting in the chair at a hair salon, the hair stylist working around their head while the customer remains silent and fixated on a tiny handheld computer. The atomization of our society is complete. Conversations are called tweets. No room for nuance. Or obloquy. Which is what, exactly? A noun crawling through a sentence looking for the perfect verb.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Wobbly Loom Of Linguistic Relativity

If language shapes the way we think, then what’s this rope doing here? What’s if for? Welcome to the world of syntax. Here we’ll see words as they truly exist, side by side, throwing war and religion at the lightning behind an eyelid. I get dressed in the universe and put on a hat that drips with prepositions. It’s on my head, but it’s in my mind. After I put it on I feel bilateral and creamy. Mimicry is a coin that we pay to the gods of combination. Some things are transparent and some things are golf. I know it’s not good for depression, but I do it anyway: create crime dramas in my head. Then I send myself to jail so that I can break out again. And this is what we call linguistic relativity. You can make a gun out of it, or a speculative fiction. Books will give you a more respectable hue over time. It’s the whiteness of the paper with all those black letters leaping around with rounded limbs and hairless faces. The verbs wear a silky-soft type of reticence when they’re not doing anything, but become nimble prestidigitators when they’re riled. Most metaphysical words in Hopi are verbs, not nouns as in European languages. This is why I think we should keep Europe out of this. England’s ok. Call me fickle, but the loom I’m weaving this on is wobbly. Perspective can get a little tricky. But give it a chance. I’m eager to see the shadows lengthen during the rest of this sentence as Richard II enters on a hot afternoon in mid-July and tells us to make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Ok. I’m up for that. Get your umbrella. I feel my legs broiling like chickens in a rotisserie. Here’s the thing: I crave heat all year long. So when it gets here, I’m fine baby. I will retain some memory of the sun’s luscious heat in my bones when winter arrives. Once there was a way to get back home, but that time is gone, and now home is wherever you find it. Make it. Issue it. Pull it around with a rope. But where do we get a rope? What happened to that rope at the top of the paragraph? Did a typo eat it? Texture is a literature for the hands. That includes rope. Rope involves prepositions and has a personality big as Saskatchewan. Even twine. I mean, think about it, what is a thought exactly? Does anybody know? 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 writing. It’s hard to break free of the Matrix. But I’m trying. I’m trying.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Massage Gun

I opened the case and shot myself in the foot with a massage gun. My leg trembled. The massage was intense. Exultation, delirium and Arthur Rimbaud soon followed. I sat in the Buddhism all around me and squeezed alchemies of personal glory out of my spirit. Sanskrit finished the symphony in total darkness. The patina everywhere thrived like words. The streets were dazzling. When I’m empty of things to say I feel wonderful like a cracker. Waves roll in. Waves roll out. Silence dilates into agitated tongues. Pablo leads the Cubist horses out of the barn. The horses are words that awaken in your eyes. The afternoon teems with neutrons and bark. And what was it, this large thing thrashing around in the sentence? It was an idea eating itself. You’d think it was science talking. But no. The idea may be devoured, but the words come back. They always do. With more ideas. Paradigms, spurs and rubber. They don’t belong to anyone. They’re up for grabs. Words are packed in images because science is surrounded by steam, and scientists feel pink and happy with the ambiguity of it all. Ambiguity is the ambassador of amplitude. I think of my father in October. And Kerouac. My dad was born in October. Kerouac died in October. The mood is there, the chill is there, the skulls and pumpkins are there. Kerouac’s Dr. Sax. Macbeth’s cackling witches. Enraged villagers driving Frankenstein’s monster into a windmill with torches and pitchforks. In the Lushootseed language of the Puget Sound Salish people, October is known as the month when many leaves fall. What baffles me every October is not just the bittersweet memories but the wool gloves I’ll be wearing and a wool hat for the benefit of old parchment and the poetry of elves. Whenever I wonder why things exist I try to remember going to North Dakota with Hamlet on my mind. And where did that lead me? Minot, that’s what. Those days turned crinkly and blow harder you fuckers blow harder or this sentence won’t go anywhere. Why is it some old people are jolly and some are like old roads in deep rich forests of gold. This is the speech of leaves. This is the talk of owls and ghosts. And a big fat moon. We shiver in the cold. The fire is hard to get going. Commas cry at the apparitions they can’t pause. We hear the galaxy in the trees all its tragic flaws and scrollwork. This is how we incite our whispers to open a door in the head. One day sooner or later it happens to everybody. The forehead folds into a toaster and I feel suddenly closer to my body than I ever have. I can feel the plumage I grew last night in a dream. A cloud folded the sky into a molecule and Omaha rolled out. The apples are a mystery. I don’t know what they’re doing here. I like to imitate squeegees. It’s chiefly why I’ve chosen to bring these icicles to your attention. The way they drip. And drip. Welcome to the north. Welcome to the trembling of the air energizing your massage. Your message. The massage is the message. The message is a massage. And mercy. 



Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Cake Doctor Lies On A Slab Of Marble

Consciousness fascinates me in much the same way that Keith Richards is fascinated by the guitar. I find many of the current neurological theories stop making music and begin baking quarks. Do quarks really have flavors? Consciousness says traffic lights are difficult to accept as mud. Which does describe the way consciousness feels much of the time. Like Kleenex. And snot. Let’s take a thought and send it some information. Fatten it up. Get it loaded with morning. What do metaphors think of frosting? The cake doctor lies on a slab of marble. The cake doctor is a book of recipes for making cake. This is how I interpret my experience of the world. Many of the sentences I write are constructed with pterodactyls jacked on methedrine. The emphasis on the materiality of consciousness is to suggest a separation between skin and air, nerve and word, brain and rain. Everything is just a kitchen gadget, a Loch Ness soup ladle or a manual milk frother. It’s anything that bears a little understanding and sympathy: the gong in the bell, the tongue in the mouth, the swirls of the mind in the icing of the cake. Consciousness is an enigma. No one knows what consciousness does all day within the small confines of the skull, but at night it comes out in diphthongs and oils everything with a film of cognitive fever. Wildcats roam this agitation looking for the beard of God. We see the sparkle of syntax rolling toward the end of the sentence and wonder if there’s enough Weltanschauung to go around. I’m pretty sure we don’t have to worry. The earth smells rich. It’s an unmistakable concession. Consider the lilies. They don’t even wear shoes much less explode. Even if a stiffened grammar leans against the ocean, who really gives a shit, besides Friedrich Hölderlin? The smell of desire constructs graphs and charts. In the end, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to find some hydroelectricity to walk around in. It feels anonymous, like mountains. What do we mean when we talk of home? We mean Hillary Clinton grinning at you on a plasma television. Consciousness deserves better than this. Consciousness could use a cake doctor. I’ve never been very good at math, but the local bus is steeped in my mind. The poem is petulant. It wants the smell of sawdust to become a Mexican restaurant. This happened because of a willingness to experience life. Is your reality my reality? Consider the dream of life and sigh. Language is where we meet and discuss Planet Earth. I wonder about this desire to put words together mated with the idea that anything can happen and I find that exhilarating. The poem drops anchor and wonders what’s out there. If we look closely we can see meteors streak the sky. Inside, the windows rattle. The stove heats up. The walls shake. A door slams. The staircase hugs its own shape. Consciousness gleefully does its thing, races around looking for purpose and meaning. Can I include your nails? My hammer speaks German. Life is a problem solved by constructing narratives. It makes the chaos easier to handle. Even the mirror has a pulse. Wyoming flies out of my mouth. What can I say? I’m attracted to knives gleaming in the bloom of day. Consciousness provokes an interest in swans. My head itches. The piccolos are proof that the moccasins on the hearth are universal, although I feel cloudy, kicked and gynecologic. Tomorrow I will be more expectant and louche. Life contains ingredients that I can pronounce, although they’re a little gray and mute. Is this why life was created? Or am I making this up? I think I’m making this up. Or maybe it’s making me up.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Hyperbolic Duodenum Squash

My hat is asymmetrical. This is to be expected. It generally happens between chiaroscuro and a blast of water. Dramatically silhouetting a broker’s yacht, a promise puts coral in the skin of the world. Pulsations do ripples about water lilies. This is the reality of life in Savannah, its proposals of the day. One of which is to visit the library in Thunderbolt. You probably wouldn’t want to dive into me. I would recommend wading. Irritations cause strong winds, heavy precipitation, thunder and lightning. If I wave a staff over the waves everything is what we are. Though I do enjoy my blood. Because that’s what blood does: it penetrates your pain and we feel the pleasure of Crete, the columns of Greece. The rhythms of Bo Diddley, the lyrics of Chuck Berry. I believe that when we stand before art there is a metaphysical attitude. Experiences locked in marble come out and talk to us. These marble men and women tease us out of ourselves and into the sentence to do something we both enjoy. This is when reading just wants to keep going. Where is the end of this sentence? It flips and spits out a gymnasium. I find the sags of old age and turn it into Popeye’s forearms. The mind blossoms among its nerves and jumps into the juice of blue jewelry at rock concerts. There are few artistic directions in life as compelling as Robert Johnson. Concision isn’t all that convincing. We live in the extreme hope of hoping for a hope to complete the purity of an unhurried dream. Let’s talk about pain. Pain is the exquisite sting of a needle. Pain is the sparkle of a rusted blade. Whatever your philosophy of pain happens to be, adaptive hormones are necessary for the growth of hyperbolic duodenum squash. Leave your helmet on. What hurts the most is the very idea of form fulminating in a corner of the mouth. It needs to be rooting in the chest with the drugstore awning. There is a nobleness in living openly with oneself, especially when waiting for a prescription. So do what I do: write all the inflammations you can think of that create the stars in a South Sea of understanding, and then rush the moment until it comes out like a voice prolonged in a sentence headed straight for Aldebaran. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Body And Soul

The one thing that will release me from bondage right now would be a resolution to the Achilles tendinopathy that has dogged my heel now for over a year and prevented me from doing even a short three-mile run. If it heals, as it seems to be doing, finally, I can increase my distance. Running does more than any drug that I’m aware of can do to restore my sense of balance and give the strength I require to fight back the tortures of anxiety and the darkness of depression. The massage gun R gave me for Christmas has been a huge help. I don’t mind shooting myself in the foot. Or heel. Or calf. Or thigh. Jiggle the gastrocnemius into suppleness and stamina. What strange relationships we have with our bodies. I should feel that I am my body. That would make sense. Because it's true: I am my body. I would not exist without my body. But I don't. I don't feel that way. I feel that I am riding around my body. I'm inside this body looking out. Eyes are windows. The brain is a cloud chamber, a seat of power and vapory conjurations. But this is illusion. The more accurate sensation would be the sensation of being my body. Like an octopus, which has brains in its tentacles. The octopus must have a more pertinent connection to the animation of its being. So that reaching and probing things in the world is not that different from reaching and probing things in its mind. Which is an ocean. As for the condensation on the toilet tank, I don’t know what to do about that. Wiping it down occasionally with a paper towel doesn’t do much to remedy the situation. I worry about the floor tiles. Hopefully the humidity will drop. We’ve had two days of steady rain. Humidity is at 92%. Precipitation 100%. I reach into my mind for a solution. For answers. For nutrition. For the protein of ideas. For the sugar of reflection. For the fruit of thought. The big fuzzy peaches of perception. The chocolate of observation. The beets of insight. The onions of concept. The potatoes of philosophy. Metaphors hanging like fruit bats in a nocturnal syzygy of mind and matter. Thoughts blossoming in milky lampshades and old wooden docks protruding into language. Sensations from the outside mingle with proprioceptive orchestrations of turbulent Finlandia. Efferent nerves lift my arms. Afferent nerves lift my awareness. I leave the sauna and take a dive into the icy water of Loppijärvi. The shock of the cold is offset by the hug of steam. In Andrew Marvel’s “A Dialogue Between Soul And Body,” the soul feels trapped in a dungeon, whereas the body feels tyrannized by a “tyrannic soul” that gives life to the body only to let it die and makes it impossible for the body to find peace. The soul is wracked with cares produced by the body’s frailties whereas the body complains of the “cramp of hope,” “the pestilence of love” and “hatred’s hidden ulcer.” What are we? Do elephants and cats ponder such dualities? Was Swedenborg right? Will there be villages and fast-food franchises in the afterlife? I like the mindfulness approach: lean into it. Lean into the body, its pains and comforts. Find comfort where you can. You don’t need to lie on a bed of nails to find the reality of one’s skin, or vanish into abstraction. Read Whitman. “And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?” Run in the rain. Explode into drums. Breathe the sweet air. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Reality Of Reality

What is it everybody hates? Reality. Nobody likes reality. Their own reality. The reality of climate change. The reality of endless bread lines in the U.S. The reality of disinformation. Misinformation. Affectation. Litigation. Jactation. Filtration. Frustration. Stagnation. 
     Somebody needs to invent a new reality. Or maybe there’s one already lying around that hasn’t been discovered yet. Like all those herds of buffalo before they were slaughtered for the railroad. 
     The reality of the railroad is that it’s in disarray. The U.S. rail network is comprised of over 140,000 miles of track. But it relies on a decaying infrastructure. Civil engineers warn that many bridges are structurally deficient, like the eight-lane, steel-truss I-35W Mississippi River arch bridge across Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis that collapsed on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 with rush hour traffic that killed thirteen people and injured 50. Or the drinking water of Flint, Michigan which is full of heavy metal neurotoxins. The Edenville and Sanford dams in central Michigan failed on May, 2020, flooding towns on the Tittabawassee River causing the evacuation of over 10,000 people. Reality is mostly comprised of chinless, spineless, money-grubbing politicians. It’s like something Shakespeare wrote. Richard III kind of stuff. But is that truly reality? I sincerely hope not. 
     Reality, according to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, is not what it seems. He asserts that reality is a weave of vibrating quantum grains. That it’s a network of granular events and the dynamic that connects them is probabilistic. That between one event and another space, time, matter and energy melt into a cloud of probability. That a Thracian named Democritus born around 460 was the first to develop – albeit highly influenced by his mentor Leucippus - the currently accepted theory that atoms are the elementary grains of reality and are indivisible. That the existence of atoms is revealed by the Browning motion of minute particles immersed in a fluid (a theory traced back to the Roman poet Lucretius). 
     And then, of course, Plato. He always pops up. Plato believed mathematics to be the language best adapted to understand and describe the world. So there’s that: figures. Sums. Equations. Algorithms. Asymptotes. Axioms. 
     Congruences, fractals, parabolas and irrational numbers. 
     Platonic solids, polar coordinates, symmetries, topologies, vectors and tensors and magic squares. 
     And what holds it all together is an interaction of electric currents and magnetic fields. That this is the force that holds together the matter that forms solid bodies: atoms in molecules, electrons in atoms. It is this force that operates in the neurons of our brains and organizes our processing of stimulus coming in from the world – that big beautiful ball of water and dirt we’re riding on through space – and animates and guides and colors the way we think. The way we understand, fathom, digest, appreciate and value and grasp. We’re a strand in the great loom of creation, a warp in the woof of reality. It’s all a matter of interaction. Interplay. Strings in a symphony set aswirl by an influx of woodwinds and drums.  
     More precisely, an invisible gigantic cobweb filling space and transmitting electric and magnetic forces from one body to another as if they were cables pulling and pushing. Space isn’t static it’s frequencies of visible light. Our perception of light is a psychophysical reaction of the nerve signals generated by the receptors of our eyes which are able to distinguish electromagnetic waves of different frequencies. 
     Reality –  Rovelli maintains – is an “extended present.” A time dilation. Time stretches and contracts varying with velocity. The faster you move through space the slower you move through time. Your head is slightly older than your feet. That reality is mass and energy and mass and energy are one and the same. The chair I’m sitting in is real but it’s essentially energy, a bundle of energy in a shape that I recognize and value as a chair. A recently reupholstered chair. Reupholstered with arabesques. Because arabesques best define reality. 
     Or should I say describe reality? Because reality must be defined as a gravitational field which moves and undulates. And the universe is expanding and was born out of a cosmic explosion fourteen billion years ago. Old enough to drink and drive and obtrude black holes. 
     That reality, avows Rovelli, is the sensation in brushing against one another’s skin. Encounters and exchanges. Seas and microchips. Fluctuations and fields. 
     That light is simultaneously an electromagnetic wave and a swarm of photons falling like hail on a surface. So you see it’s all interaction. Interplay and combination. Friction and fiction and diction and glue. Gnosis diagnosis osmosis neurosis halitosis symbiosis. 
     Mayonnaise and the very idea of a sandwich which makes you sigh when you’re hungry and the sandwich is beautifully made. The sound of the bells of Saint Sulpice in Paris on a Sunday in August. And above and below have no meaning except for the surface of earth. Above and below have no meaning in space. There’s no up or down. 
     Only in relation with one thing and another thing does anything begin to be real. 
     And between one interaction with something and another something an electron can literally be nowhere. 
     And nowhere is fine. It’s where reality lives. If you want to find reality and bring home a souvenir you’ll find it in DNA, nervous systems and books. Sparklers and crickets. It’s the grammar of stars and the syntax of space. 
     Reality is a sprawl of continuous events. Perfect for a picnic. Ideal for the growth and care of adjectives. You can hear it in a beard. You can see versions of it in a moose. You can grip it or think you grip it when it’s gripping you. Reality is in the hop of a kangaroo and the kangaroo is a field of electrons with fur and marsupial inclinations. 
     Please. Before you go, take this. It’s a piece of reality. I found it under my chair.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Why I Ate The Messenger Boy

What feels like cold piss running down my leg is loose change, quarters dimes nickels pennies, a stream of it, from a hole in my jeans’ pocket. Nice perfumy smell of fresh laundry in the bedroom. Cat curled up on a blanket. I get out the massage gun R gave me for Christmas and press the fork-shaped attachment against my heel where it pulses rapidly back and forth. It gives me immediate relief from the pain of Achilles tendinopathy. It’s such a heavy thing. The weight of it promotes confidence. It means business. Anything that heavy must be profoundly deliberate in its action. The pain dissipates, but minutes later returns. Hope persists that it will remedy my heel permanently. Or as permanently as mortality and old age allow. I iron a patch on my pants pocket. Help myself to a piece of chocolate. Not so many crows today. Wonder where they went. It was sunny, no wind. Can’t figure those creatures out. Always an enigma. Guy in the Safeway parking light in front of me sitting in a parked car with his sidelights on. I was trying to read René Char while waiting for R to return with a German chocolate cake. My eyes kept going to the sidelights. They were irritating. I kept expecting the car to back out and leave but he never did. He was a Safeway employee taking his break in the car. They seemed permanently implanted in my vision after we left, two thin white lines, one on each side of the headlight, at a slight slant. The spider I watched walk back and forth on the ceiling last night while lying in bed was still there this evening. I got a ladder and cupped him in my hand and took him outside and set him down on the porch where he walked away. It was cold and raining but he’ll do better outside. There’s nothing to eat in our bedroom. And I worried that he’d lower himself into my mouth when I was sleeping. Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek opines that while people still meet privately and go to parties, there’s always this desperate undertone of “let’s enjoy it as long as we can.” I went down to get the emptied compost bin and bring it up to join the other trash bins. It was cold and wet. Water is always so jewel-like, especially in the winter. It glitters more brightly than it does in daylight, as if the air were charged with solstitial magic. Somebody already brought the bin up. I went back inside and opened the Whitman sampler. I had a choice between a pecan and English walnut cluster or a messenger boy. R likes nuts, so I went for the messenger boy, a tiny ingot of solid milk chocolate. I think about the friends I lost in 2020: Lee Chapman, Amber Curtis, Noel Franklin, Michael McClure, Judith Roche, Lewis Warsh. If we find our reality in relation to other beings, I’m going to have to start looking into the void. And remind myself how good it felt when the propofol entered my bloodstream at my last colonoscopy and I melted away into oblivion. I could’ve stayed that way forever and not known the difference but that a man in blue scrubs with an inquisitive face who looked peculiarly familiar talked to me when I regained consciousness checking for signs of full cognitive recovery and no, we’d never met before.