Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Knock a juicy thought against the skull and make it rain. The unknown, meanwhile, hammers the brain. There are always things to liberate. Loafs are one. Thoughts are another. Who knows. There could even be some Polynesian rain trapped in a piece of chalk. Jack White in prison. They say you can imprison a body but you can’t imprison a mind. What does that mean, though, exactly? Caves induce strange emotions. The foliage of the mouth shines like a paragraph at the edge of a cliff. Look at that fog roll in. What becomes of the broken-hearted? Speaking of metaphors, telling a future employer that jealousy is a sprain in the heart might not be the best strategy for obtaining employment. Just keep moving those hips like that and eventually you’ll get a few dogs to bark. Think of yourself as a scintillating wizard of process. Reality emboldens geometry. The circle, the square, the ovoid and the sphere are parallels to the kettledrum and its miscellany of sounds. Shape is a function of sound as sound is a function of shape. And every time a Renaissance happens an angel gets their wings. Sometimes I need a hammer, sometimes I need a nail. Sometimes I need a sponge, sometimes I need a pail. Sometimes I need a fuchsia and sometimes I need a pot of ale. Writing is silent. The words come out like postage. You can make books out of them. And paradises and hell. And sometimes a rope a candle and a bell. Think of this as fabrication. Or octaves in a steady 8th note pattern. If you can carry a mouth around on your face you can carry a melody. The color green proposes a certain mood and unless it’s raining the pocketknife loping around my pocket might have something to say about striking it rich doesn’t sound entirely outside the bounds of what a tongue might consider reasonable. There’s a key in the basement we can use for the sonatina. I want to immerse this entire proposal in music. This is why the history of frogs requires so much cotton and perimeter. Perimeter is the parameter of the pinafore as the symmetry is the scimitar of the sycamore.  Not everything is visual. Some things are multiple and need a little topaz. The oar is important and should be included in any discussion of almonds. Philanthropy brings its own set of problems so please send me money now. There are things that delight and bring life to the conversation and things that delight and expand the mind. Sooner or later everything comes together. You would think it would form a blob but it doesn’t it forms a paragraph with an intense resilience and a rubber part of speech that, when pressed with a finger, causes singularities of turnstile to turn into style.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

A House Along The Highway

Those abandoned homes one often sees along the highways, two-story house, a barn, a copse of trees, those deserted expanses, mostly just sage and sand and a few hills, old barbed wire fence, the posts old and cracked, all of it seemingly harnessed to a past that is still alive, still lingering in the shadows, but that’s the imagination at work, replenishing the non-existent with palaces, fairy tales, parables, lessons for the mind, overflowing as it is with fish and mimosa. That big wide ocean of the head, oceanic consciousness, with a void at its center, a furnace of stars, blast furnace turning ore to iron, iron to steel. This is what happens when travel occupies the day. Nothing rooted, nothing static. Thinking becomes navigation. The smell of sage excites the jelly of the heart. Time to open yourself to the negligence of concentration. Keep the channels open. Focus, but watch the periphery. There’s something to be said for the pragmatists. They know how to carry a hammer. If words are nails, the keyboard is a hammer, although it more closely resembles a piano, which makes notes rather than nails. You can build things with notes just like you can build things with nails. Notes will hold a melody together or make a nice arpeggio. The technology is there to create expression out of sound, a sonnet out of silence, and if we enter the cave, the magic gets stronger. The tools there are darkness and vision. Darkness leads to vision. Odors and gases rise from the fissures and pump prophecies out of us. Words rush out in a great disorder. I welcome the gift of time and space in a swoon. Yes, swoon. Nobody uses the word swoon much anymore. But I do. The coarser daubs contain a burst of colors. The intensity of such things leads to worms and rubies. The primacy of the sentence. A house along the highway.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Travels In Time And Space

I’m in space. I like being in space. As long as I have air to breathe and gravity to fight and food to eat and recurrence and rhubarb and hedonistic things to do I’m happy. Ok. Doing alright. Otherwise, you can take your space and shove it. I need space for space. And a little time to stick it all together. Now you’ve got a habitat. I’m in the habit of habitat. I feel secure around them. And a little overshadowed by the rooster proclaiming itself king of this sentence. That’s fowl. Every moment, no matter how seemingly trivial, gives me the shiver when it hits the rocks, and the imagery of the day turns mnemonic. I will remember the hominy, and the harmony, and the panoply of harmonies in the hominy, and the homilies expounded, and the parables paralleled. A little nitroglycerin is a leviathan of effect in a tiny bottle. Think of the haiku as you would a headstone. Or a contraption for catching rainbows. Life will go on no matter what happens. This is the essence of retail. But this isn’t the time to quibble about vocabulary. I only need a little time to consider what to do with the rest of this space. Shall I listen to the Everly Brothers, or shall I invent a tool for vindication? Let me hang upside down a while and think about yesterday. The space behind the mouth completes the picture. There’s a way to say things that doesn’t cause further utterance. But I haven’t found it yet. One thing leads to another. It’s inevitable. And a little suspect. Where am I going with this? I don’t know what I’m talking about. And for that I am thankful, and for the many other things I don’t understand, but come out of my mouth as if I did. Is the monorail still running? The coast here is wonderful. I don’t have to do anything until I get to the end. But who knows where – and when – the end is? When is the when and what is the way to the end of the when when the when whens? Let it whinny. Let it climb the chimney. We will use terry for bath towels and verbs to predicate the future on its silly wheels when the time comes. And the time is coming. I can hear it echo in Waterloo Station. And I’m in Seattle. But whose keeping track of the time? The hysteria is in all the charcoal. Weep for the forest and the whistleblower. But don’t compare the coliseum to a sporidium. Unless you really mean it. And you’ve got a little Worcestershire sauce on your sleeve.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Spark Plug Sonatina

Sunday is the most conspicuous day of the week. It sparkles with leisure and maple syrup. Its hours are insoluble albeit easy to ponder. We give ourselves the kind of embellishment we deserve, which is all anyone can do under such dubious circumstances. We’re grateful for the long song of the windmills. All the experiments are a success and all the mosquitos draw blood with the blush of sincerity. Hope overflows with hummingbirds. I think I’m in love with the rain. Especially when it begins with a rumble. Thunder in the distance. Flash of lightning. Followed by another roll of thunder. How can you not love that? Or ivory or neurology? How can you not love nerves? Nerves love you. You should love nerves back. It takes nerve. But give me one more day, and I’ll find a stylus for the record player, and a premise I can support with rope and suction. This may have no function outside of a musical context, but I promise you the storm will be huge, and the winds will be strong, and the thunder loud, and the imperceptible perceptible. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I enjoy putting words together, I can’t help not do it, they’re there, they’re just there, they’re everywhere, self-propagating constantly, I’m just elbowing my way in, entering the brawl, the dance, the big new paragraph, crowded like a New Orleans bar on the eve of Mardi Gras. Focus, understand, the words say drifting by. And when the words disappear the sky walks back up into the sky and sits down and lights a pipe and takes a swig of sunlight. Sometimes the only solution is to make our mind do push-ups on nothing. No good punch was shaped by logic. Cognition is tricky. Most of life occurs in the space between what I know, what I think I know, what I don’t know, & what I just said, which is not what I meant.  There’s a place, we all have one, where it’s all just a matter of attitude. One might be living in a pile of shit and believe oneself in paradise. How you get there is your own damned business. You can take a bus. You can take a train. You can take a tug or a bug or a drug. You’ll need time. You’ll need space. But believe me, if you’re unable to get out of your chair without losing your balance & tipping over somebody’s wine, don’t let it get you down. At night, in bed, I listen to Zen masters ask “what is the essence of Zen,” & the answer is never the same. Sometimes it’s pickles. Sometimes it’s Tik Tok and Twitter & zombies eating their brains. And sometimes it’s a feeling hanging in the still air of the mind, swinging from neuron to neuron, creating correlation.  


Friday, July 9, 2021

Being The Meaning I Want

This morning, being of sound mind but a little tired of the sameness of it all, I declared to no one in particular, I will be the meaning I want. And I meant it. Keep it simple, I say. These are my feathers. And these are my dreams. Popcorn is available in the lobby. Remember Dots? I don’t have those. But my thoughts are movies. Watch me turn infrared & cry. I’m signalling you from a distance. Can you see me? I haven’t thrown a baseball in years. How does throwing a baseball improve anything? I worry constantly. But the rain falls long & easy & that’s all that matters. There’s no end to it. No end to worry. No end to mistakes. No end to the ending, no end to the ending. No beginning of the end. No end to the beginning. And really, that’s the important part. Beginning is a nucleus. A little knot of sensation. Give it color. Give it words. Elaborate it. Lean to the leeward. Watch the water wobble in a bottle on the bed. There’s a full moon in the pantheon tonight. The columns are old. But not as old as the moon. Age is relative. You can be older than the body you inhabit. Do this to sagging jowls before bed (see what happens). Punch them in the face. I know. They’re committed to your face. But punch them anyway. Let you face know who’s boss. Don’t let your face push you around. Face it. Your face allowed these jowls to happen. You might try visiting a used bookstore late at night. Nobody cares about jowls in used bookstores. There are bigger fish to fry. Murder mysteries. Being and Time. Moby Dick. You could also party late into the night. Try doing it in Spanish. Or Portuguese. Some ointments work by soothing irritated skin while others work to pull the office staff out of a foreign service office, & rubbing them into estuaries. Water enjoys hurling itself into things. Faces, rocks, huge land masses. Water gets its glitter going and moves undeterred. The machinery of the mind is dripping with it. The resulting mood is an apple orchard & a front seat at the Phenomenological Frontier. It’s late at night in the library of a big university with diamond-paned windows and old books with golden titles and impressive spines. Here is everything we need to feel alive, and the ineffable charm of things. Hot showers after running in the cold have an unutterable charm that the skin understands best. Photographs of old women are charming, especially if the women in question are Gertrude Stein or Calamity Jane, who may have been the same person. Fantasias are steeped in charm and so is loam on a hill and the look of grit and sand in a street after a city crew has run a big fat hose for a long while. Hearing “Dear Prudence” for the first time in 1968. Wyatt Earp at 75 1923 sitting in a chair at home in LA looking sad, world-weary, & eerily alert. 



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Purposelessly Purposeful Purposelessness

What if purpose were water, & in a desert of stark nihilism you had to dig deep to find purpose? There would have to be a purpose to the search for purpose. But is water a good comparison? No one can live without water. But you can live without purpose. I don’t know what to compare purpose to. What is it that transmits the energy of a car engine to the rear wheels? Power is transmitted from the engine through the clutch & the gearbox to the rear axle by means of a propeller shaft. In this context, purpose would appear to be the propeller shaft. Or would purpose be gasoline? Derricks in Texas bringing up purpose, which fuels the big truck of ambition. Which is a figure of speech. A trope. With tread. But the actuality differs. Last time I drove a truck there was little ambition involved. I was delivering blood. Which meant it had tor reach its destination at a certain time, or go bad. And somebody loses out, in a big way. Literally, a life or death matter. I got to the real steep hill on Cherry, headed to Harborview, and worried – since this was a stick shift – if I would get the clutch out in time. I did. And felt relief. And delivered the blood and went home. Ambition requires you go in a certain direction, with great aggression. That’s not how I operate. Not in the poetry business. Poetry is all about diversion. Aberration. Divagation. Deviation. I love deviation. I like to go in one direction and then when I least expect it allow something to carry my attention elsewhere. You have to make a path. A compass helps. But if you don’t have a compass follow the moon. The moon will take you somewhere new & interesting. Junkyard of fascinating abstract principles no one uses anymore. Car axles & open-ended coincidences. Or maybe a greasy diner out of an old Twilight Zone episode. James Dean smiles behind the counter because someone just told him a good joke and the coffee is good. And what is the purpose of a joke? You have to look hard to see the real purpose in things. You can do this in language. It provides guitars and mutation. Imagination does the rest. See? The words are smiling at you. Coyly. Like the sex workers on Aurora. Therefore, I have forged a kimono for you. This is a teachable moment. Let’s not let it go to waste. All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you. I want to be a song in your jukebox. I will season it with mushrooms and sing like a skeleton. It will sound like a universe descending from your eyes as you read this sentence. Open the drawer. You will find a shirt with forty buttons and a collar big as Pakistan. Put it on. Now go. Let me sleep. Take this candle. Hold it gently. And light it with your mind.


Saturday, July 3, 2021

Pillow Talk

Today there was a sliver of light on one of the pillows lying on the bed. It looked like a mouth opening and closing, as if the pillow were speaking a silent soliloquy. It wouldn’t be “to be or not to be.” Pillows don’t contemplate suicide. But what do I know? I’ve never been a pillow. Who knows what pillows think. Suppose I were to ask, what is it that silk worms do? A silly question, to which the pillow would respond with its luminous mouth opening and closing but with no sound coming out, no words, go groans or murmurs, just silence, which would serve as a good description of what a silk worm does, making silk in a silence so complete and firm that the silence is silken, mute as a moon. This pillow will be a good place to lay my head when the time comes. There will be no sliver of light on it then. The pillow will have resolved everything by becoming a pillow again, all of its enigmas concluded in the ineffable dumbness of foam. I like the dumbness of id. It helps explains my idiocy. My idiosyncrasies. My need for a good pillow. I like sleep. I like flirting with oblivion. I remove the harness of responsibilities from my neck and lie down and drift into darkness, weird geometries of joy and languor, circles whose centers are colinear and whose sides contain iridescent radii and whose overall resplendence is a toy of time and matter. And then it all disappears and the morning arrives and daylight feels like an intrusion and the floor feels like an intuition and identity feels like a beekeeper on Mars. The physics of the situation is material to my development as a rhythm in a space suit of hair and skin. You can’t call a wainscotting irrational when you’re sleepy. Wait till the rest of the universe gets here. We’ll have a blast. I’m not a harsh person, though I sometimes pretend to be an angry goalie just to irritate people. Nobody knows what game we’re playing or if there’s ice involved or balls. It’s a game of insight so no, ice is welcome but unnecessary and balls will be balls no matter where you put them. Doesn’t matter. We can maintain decorum anywhere. Give me a little gold braid and fiery epaulets and I will rule a platter of hors d’oeuvres with panache and trigonometry. We’re all astronauts. We’re all in space. We’re all encouraged to keep our metaphysical inquiries and fears to ourselves, pack it all up in a wad of angst and set it down somewhere in the back of the brain. Look. There’s a prerogative flying overhead. Isn’t it beautiful? Try snatching one out of the air sometime. It’s your prerogative, both as a human and an astronaut, or somebody just wandering this place in a trance, spellbound by all the candles, all the blankets, and all the pillows. Here for you. Here for me. Here now and forever and the rest of the universe drifting by.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Sound Advice

What kind of sound do you need to make a horseradish? To make a lecture please an audience? To make a nexus with eight arms and a dental filling? To make a piccolo make a pass at a violin? To make ink? To make a pen write with the ink created to make things to say? I have this to say about inimitable: it cannot be imitated. But it can be revolved and examined by a board of dilettantes. And the sound they make will be pregnant as a shield with deep definition and an unworldly iconography embossed in bronze. Give that shield a good kick down the stairs and you can hear it bang down the steps all the way to Reykjavik. And this will be mesmerizing and iconoclastic. The oscillations will be pigments of sound. Audible pinks. Audible oranges and blues. Audible black. Audible brown. Vibrations so garish they slice through the walls of the empirical realm and create holes for us to walk through. This is the effect of music, which makes sound shaggy and warm. Insignias are the sound of myth when it shines like explanations on a tough smooth fabric. Perception has its own mythology, which is based on the gods of sound and vibration, sirens of song, frequencies in the range of 15 to 100 hertz and often higher, energies with black fingers and firework strides. Oscillations that propagate over long distances. If you can hear the shape inside a stone than you should avoid the marketplace until the next dawn when the aurora borealis silences the heavens with the cry of angels exploding from the sun. But if, on the other hand, you can smell England in a Morris dance you can pick a guitar up and let it speak for itself. And when this sound hardens it will be loud as the darkness in a potato cellar.