Saturday, August 21, 2021

Spouting Off

We’ve become a banana republic there’s a big homeless encampment behind the Gates Foundation the economy is cratering due to the pandemic will everyone at some point finally have a health care system that doesn’t cause bankruptcy I still remember drinking a barium shake and watching the weirdness of my esophagus on a screen white and ghostly is there a soul different from the ego I saw John Mayall in the late 80s at Parker’s Ballroom on Aurora the pulsations were exquisite I dreamt that I was sleeping on a pile of snakes and yes I agree turkeys do look like dinosaurs. Robins like getting drunk on fermented berries I’m tempted to call an ornithological club. I like drinking beer by a bonfire hearing the slap & susurrus of the ocean surf the elegance of a French hotel a maple armoire near the bed the desire to die can feel quite natural like the flowering of a knucklebone I want an alpine carrot & an angora sweater emotions boiling over the bliss of ice cold water. I want to grow fat and live behind a fence no I don’t I’m joking I want to pack a basket of lightning in a red suitcase the last time we visited Snoqualmie Falls in 2015 there were no birds no insects no gastropods not even squirrels it was eerie it felt like we were surrounded by Hollywood props instead of a real forest. It got up to 121 in Lytton British Columbia and then a couple of days later it burned down if you want to visit this planet you might want to bring your own weather. The emptiness of Being can never be filled up by the fullness of Beings the only escape from this emptiness that remains is the incessant arranging of Beings in line with the constant possibility of an ordering that takes the form of a securing aimless activity I want to be reborn as a gypsy I think that might solve some issues. People have become disconnected from their own lives and their connection with the planet in which they live white lines guiding us into the night the actual meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’ is to reveal. We saw a big hydrangea today the flowers were huge and white life in many places remains robust and this was near an alley a breeze blows through these words can you feel it words excite hallucinations the wind has lost is balance I see strawberry jam on the chin of an elf soap is the slipperiness of Being on the margins of society there’s a dragon in a shot glass every elevator is a narrative ascending and descending I’m perplexed when someone says they don’t like autumn there’s so much transmundane phenomena waiting to be discovered a witch stuck to a telephone pole on a broom her black stockinged legs sticking out. Think of this is a theory of the universe based on sugar a pendulum on a postage stamp if we begin hiking toward the moon we may escape August’s apocalyptic gloom we may find the secret of time is just a leaky spout.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Everything Shows Me Its Face

Everything shows me its face its innermost being its secret soul the contents of a broken egg sliding into a pan yellow and white and glistening until the heat makes it congeal and there you are scrambled eggs & toast slathered with jam. Wednesday we splurged on seafood R got a birthday coupon for Chinook’s the lingcod was ok not quite as chunky as before the fries are still excellent so is the coleslaw but the Wild Mountain Blackberry Cobbler is gone we don’t know why there was no explanation. The face of the world is everywhere. And it’s looking dire. I don’t know what else to say. We’ve been witnessing the devastation brought about by floods in Belgium and Germany while here in Seattle it’s been unusually hot we worry about more wildfire smoke we bought an air purifier it’s reposing in the closet among the paper towels and toilet paper and clothes what remains of normalcy from a world where air and water weren’t worries they were everywhere. A friend sent a postcard an old typewriter white keys rimmed in steel I remember the joy of using a typewriter the clackety clack clack & ding of the platen. That made writing Buddhist & precious as a teacup I remember the parable the story of the Zen monk’s teacup it fell to the floor and broke and the monk was totally calm how come you’re so calm his guest asked because said the monk the teacup was already broken. And what has that to do with writing writing is broken all the time how can it not be it only dies when nobody uses it appreciates and loves its words coming out and going everywhere Kerouac’s letters are all so vigorous and richly expressive never stiff never formal the language is alive because he understood how all things are in flux this is what it is to expand the mind in linguistic elasticity. I only have to dig out a box of letters from friends in the 60s to be reminded of how much more verbally adept and versatile and graceful in working out their thoughts people once were before all this technology finding that era again of free college and affordable housing and easy access to healthcare seems as distant as Neptune. It’s gone. What we’ve got now is just plain dystopic no other way to put it. I love Peter Green & it’s great to hear him on YouTube so there’s that. Mortality is a bitch and that’s just plain true no matter what era you’re living in. Hummingbirds don’t migrate. They hover. And dart about. And that’s some life they lead. Me, I’ve got a cowboy hat with dust on the brim & I wish I could bring myself to believe in a universe imbued with a moral underpinning. I wonder if it’s too late in life to switch species and become a hummingbird. If an epiphany explodes out of this let me know I’m right here doing the dishes.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021


I split a garish obscurity if, through happenstance, I see a white buffalo. They’re still talking about the curve we extended. May we wash below your iron, dear clouds, if the yardstick divorces itself from reality? We reach our water by flopping on it. A word or two stirs the gurgle. If I’m feeling warm I can flutter around the locomotive which your autonomy has sanctioned by armed guard and telephone. I’m approved around here. Just ask the local press. Ask autonomy. Ask my sweater. It’s mohair. 

Somewhere above the French antenna the sky churns with its ominous toys. Electrical wires crackle in the rain. I’m finding what I find when I find it. The tools are autumn, lying across one another like ribs. The rumination lying on the bottom is perfectly impaired, and therefore salt. There’s an allegory beyond our perception waiting for the right words to come along and bring it into view. I oppose nothing, except opposition. The rake leaning against the wall has shaped my understanding of Being. And the sunset behind the gardenia includes a cow. We’re feeling tangential, and conversational, and the escalator is littered with twigs. There’s a swamp beside the garden and whatever bubbles up is rescued by adjectives. Please stand still. My hug will enhance you. 

The circles are revelatory. They always have been. I like to consider the implications before moving them toward our conversation. Are we having a conversation? Or is this just so much oleomargarine? It wasn’t gambling that built our casinos. It was the paradox of chance: that something as abstract as a handshake has turned into fist bumping indicates an enduring communion. I broke the surface when I took my dive. The river shoved itself into a waterfall and a team of specialists cut it into strips of pink ribbon. I’m straining right now to palliate an appalling lack of bugles. The explanations are all swollen. 

The hospital is lit up by the eloquence of fireworks, and seems peaceful in its gauze, as if wandering through itself architecturally and unpacking all of its stories. We can achieve so much just by whispering, and tasting each moment as it flickers around the chandelier, coughing and cursing. We’re the break it or build it people, you know? It’s what we do. Throw basketballs at the future. We get lyrical when someone brings the chocolate chip cookies out. And the parrots repeat what we say in lines borrowed from Emerson. I now have the willingness I need to move the oars and bring this aluminum into fruition. The shore awaits, and the garage door is open. 



Saturday, August 14, 2021

I Like This Planet

It’s been amusing to watch the young crows with their parents trying to teach them how to crack a peanut shell open to get at the nuggets inside the young crow mimics the parents holds the peanut with a claw and pecks but doesn’t understand the principle behind the pecking and gives up and goes to a parent and opens its beak and pleads for a peanut. I like this planet I like it fine it’s got birds galore and clouds and lakes and quadrupeds and clams but I think it’s time to go while the going is good all I need to do is build a spaceship find an exoplanet & take off I think I’ll take some tinfoil & rubber bands & make an engine a big shiny assembly of predicates & mules. As you might surmise I’m feeling mournful for the erosions of literary culture people in used bookstores late at night what happened to that. I see a robot colossus running an empire of rogue eyeballs zombies walking down sidewalks fixated on a handheld device and think holy shit humans are going extinct. The newspaper comes in a plastic sleeve which keeps it dry in the rain & the words have such irascible energy you can tease a meaning out of anything even a newspaper article it’s amazing a few of those still exist given the hostile environment the pandemic the arguments over vaccination & masks & social distancing why would you even want to masturbate in front of women much less actually do it I don’t know what to make of that it’s just too wrapped up in self-loathing & domination & whole lot of other weird shit above my paygrade such are the bells of the jester in these bizarre times comedy will one day burst out of its precarious shell and ride the range again. What strange strange times I’m freaking out after that last heat wave the Colorado river is going dry Lake Mead & Lake Powell are way below the shore line the hydroelectric generating capacity at Hoover Dam is down by 23 percent if drought conditions continue in the Colorado River basin what will happen is inevitable it will begin with air bubbles on a turbine formed when low water levels in Lake Mead create pressure differentials in the water flowing into the generators as the bubbles collapse and explode they will scour the generators until the entire generating unit begins to buck and vibrate the blades will become pocked and pitted and the whole thing will need to be shutdown leaving 29 million people in the dark. Sometimes I lighten my mood thinking on Micky Rourke as poet Charles Bukowski or the fabulous Baron Munchausen all I’ve ever wanted to be in life is a daring fantasist in a powdered wig. So here I am. Translating this moroseness into something benevolent Winston Churchill’s parrot still living at 118 years or is it more logs in a fireplace popping snapping crackling while Steve Winwood sings “Can’t Find My Home” though it’s obvious by the stone fireplace he did. 


Monday, August 9, 2021

Crazy Patterns On My Sheets

Good to see a motel, even if you don’t plan on stopping & checking in. It’s nice to know it’s there. It provides a way out of all the unnatural concerns with one’s well-being. When life ceases to be a faked wrestling match & assumes the grandeur of trout we must solicit the gods & drink extra amounts of coffee. Consciousness is a boulevard of boundless dahlia. You’ll find ice cubes in the freezer, epiphanies in beans. Dexterity like this isn’t natural, but it leads to enchantment, & fine stationary. When you understand your mind in this way, there’ll be a big fat pillow, & boats at night. Lie back. Imagination is what happens when ripples move to the shore in Shakespeare’s sonnet, each changing place with that which goes before, & getting your mind wet. Moisture is a function of soliloquy. I get quiet in the bathroom. I’m a Dickens in a duck suit. I’m a geyser of spiders & a friend to the web. I’m a crease of Keats & a sign of Stein. I like phosphorus hats multipurpose knives & long walks on the beach. But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. You is a pronoun, I know, but I also knew the prepositions that helped bring you into being. It took a lot of lifting. Pumping. Heavy breathing. It took a team of crack cartoonists just to draw your nose. But hey, I dig your overall look. I like the uniformity of plaid & the flow of your tie is nothing less than suave. The eyeball gloves & intestinal sweater are quietly understated. Gold lamé seems a little too flashy these days, as things often do post-Presley, but you learn to accept this, because chickens have the mass of bears when the weather permits, & their feathers are soft as fog. Funny to think I’ve gone my entire life without wearing a uniform. I guess my old hippie clothes were a strange species of uniform, though they were far from uniform, they were pluriform, a miscellany of items collected, on the sly, from museums & theatres, a brocaded caftan with gold buttons, doublet, codpiece, frogging, jerkin, passementerie, & a Spanish cape of orange velvet. These days all I really want is a simple theater & a little knot in my brain to come undone. Do I belong to the wind? Nobody belongs to the wind. I cherish these hours of bee palpation. Is it archaic to believe the moon drools virgins? Birth has an answer. The good kind, with periscopes and introspection. Most religions travel at an average speed of reverie, which is a daydream of darshan, which is Sanskrit for viewing, or point of view, and is the act of beholding a deity, a revered person, or sacred object. Everything else is just sprinkles on a sundae. Therefore, the golden jelly of vision enters its articulation & feels the warm dreams of earth under the eyelid of night. There will come a time & it will howl a language nobody understands. It will sound like silk & carry its own reasoning. It will sound like something near and far, and have the sweetness of berries, & blow onto land like the morning mist, & harden into words.




Friday, August 6, 2021

The Stay-At-Home Astronaut Manual

What would happen if the universe burped? Maybe it has burped. Maybe it burps all the time. Maybe there wasn’t a big bang. Maybe there was a big burp. This is known as the burp theory. Theories are burps of intellect. They occur after eating hypotheses. Hypotheses are delicious. They taste like chicken. Everything I’ve experienced in life has either been a complete surprise (most of it has been a complete surprise) or a disappointment. There have been a lot of disappointments. The ratio of appointments to disappointments is pretty thin. I don’t want to sound non-committal, but when I close my eyes I drift away into the magic night. This is how I discovered England. It came to me packaged as chocolates. No wall is impenetrable, but some people want to make you believe that they’re bulletproof. I don’t know why they insist so much on this. Today’s literature would rather fool around with the faculty than learn the ukulele. I feel present. That’s what’s important. Being there. It’s crucial. You’ve got to get up and ask someone to dance eventually. Otherwise what’s the point? You’ve got to invent a narrative for yourself. Me, I’m still working on it. It’s too late to become an astronaut. At least in the orthodox sense, with a helmet, a paycheck and a degree in aeronautics. I’m more the stay-at-home kind. I’m already in space. What else are you going to call this space around me? I call it a room. It’s got a view. But not it’s not in the window. It’s in my head. Which has windows called eyes. Which I require for space travel. Inertia works well as well. I like to lie in the bed watching the stars behind my eyes. Think of it. About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second. How does that make you feel? It makes me feel transparent as the wings of the dragonfly. It makes me feel ephemeral. Blissfully ephemeral. And sad. There was no meaning in the end. No apparent meaning. There were the meanings we created. But did that confer them with any reality? Meaning requires testimony. Meaning requires a steady framework. A context. A norm. A dispersal. Meaning is pollen. Poets are bees. They be bees. You can feel it in their sting. Where does that come from? There’s an ocean in every human being and no one can reach the bottom. The basis of the universe may not be energy or matter but dog collars. If you don’t believe me, try whistling. See what comes. Remember Walter Huston laughing his head off at the end of Treasure of the Sierra Madre when all that gold dust blows away in the wind? I think Kierkegaard would’ve like that. You’ve got to learn to trust your brothers and sisters in space. Not their bank accounts. Space travel promotes camaraderie. It’s cold in space. The baseline temperature of outer space, as set by the background radiation from the Big Burp, is -454.81 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a sweater.




Tuesday, August 3, 2021

A Diamond In The Mind

It has often been my opinion that the color pink leads to metal detectors, ultrasound, psilocybin, peyote, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The romantic spirit isn’t dead. It’s standing right there on a stepladder. Installing a simulacrum.  Something like Egypt. Would you like anything? A glass of water? You’ve come this far. You can call an Uber if you want. That’s the end of the sentence. But it’s not the end of the story. The story needs fire. What is desired, what is most needed right now, is an art that smells of sacrifice. All sweet things that come from the air merit the dance of paregoric, the blood around the bone murmuring softly like coal in the pursuit of beauty. There’s beauty in dishevelment, beauty in punctuation, and beauty in light, but does Daylight Saving Time really matter, or is it just malarkey, a fruitcake feeding on lilacs? Matter doesn’t always matter. Not when it’s fluid. And there’s a strange music in the air, teeming with qualia. That’s when matter becomes a matter of experience, of essays, copulas, and process. Intensities mingling to create a momentum of unicorns & broccoli, chimeras stitched by hand. It feels good, that sudden contrast between the coldness of a glass of water handed to someone and the warm of their fingers. And this makes me undressed. Naked as a description. The poems of Emily Dickinson may be found in the glove compartment of my thumb. But nothing can replace nothingness like nothingness, or fill the hole in a lie with another lie. Redolence is not always red but the lips are supple when they find a purpose to what they say. So here. Have that glass of water. Glass & water provide impetus & context, but the water cannot be contained: the water is wild. It carries things away in the current. Squirts from a hose, sprawls into bayous, & roars as it falls from an edge of rock & plummets into the river below, the mad foam of the mind, in which it floats, and together become waves and eddies, each particular, each peripheral swirl. If you compress a body of words hard enough with your mind, your concentration and focus, will it produce a diamond? What kind of writing would that be? What would it be called? And would it even matter in a postliterate world? Always keep a diamond in your mind, said Solomon Burke. Not sure what he meant by that. But I like the idea of it. The idea of it glitters. The idea of it is multifaceted, if poorly understood. If I shake my head can I hear it rattle? How much could I get for it? I don’t think that’s what Burke meant. Who once stopped a tour bus by a mortuary because his band didn’t believe he’d once been a mortician. So they followed him into the mortuary and he showed them how it’s done. It’s done with great patience & care. There’s your diamond. Think of it: the hardness of life, but also its maddening distinctions, its fluted bottles & newspapers. If you ask me mysticism smells of semantic shellac. Some things are transparent & some things are more like the soughing of willow. That's why I'm laughing at the road. It’s so adorably hypnotic.  


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Nothing To Get Hung About

Optimism is hard to sustain in a world gone mad. Despair is easier. How is hope even possible? Hope is over. Forget hope. Hope makes things heroin. The rhythms are fat, like units of mechanical power, & tight as skin. Once everything gels, the day begins to boil, & the narrative arc of our lives get wrinklier & awkward. I can barely stand coherence anymore. It’s goofy to fuss over feelings. They never make any sense. Words are insects, a dung beetle singing alone by a psychiatrist. When was the last time you sat at a small wooden table covered in oilcloth and thought about the humbleness of legs? And then bent down and picked up a jet-propelled reason for everything. What if meaning were a bunch of beans wrapped in a sound like a tasty tortilla? What if your ears jumped off your head & went swimming in some nearby music while you slobbered over a bean burrito? I feel the exultation of stone. This happened once in a dream & another time in the open where the words appeared to carry it away in a circus. No gun is truly cosmetic & the grammar is sad. Meaning is hard to find when it’s sewing itself up with rain. It is not my objective to be obvious. We all want liposuction. But how many among us are willing to renew the moonlight in our minds with a seemly seme and a seamstress? Wave your hand. I think that’s our taxi. Now sit down. I want to tell you something. Nouns are knots. Periscopes. Knockers. We occupy a world connected by hearing and smelling and tasting and sight, images that gleam in the sun like dragonflies, regrets and memories that create a landscape of willows and brooding clouds. The trick is to never hit the ground. Today I feel a little hypnosis around me. My underwear helps me understand spitting oatmeal at the windshield. Most religions travel at an average speed of reverie, which is a daydream of everything sordid and poor becoming blessed, John Lee Hooker dancing across the stage in a Brooks Brothers suit and a bowler hat, shooting lightning out of his guitar. In Indian thought, the word darshana means "point of view." Knowing how to vary it would be a way of approaching the complexity of reality by escaping binary logics, to the point of accepting the coexistence of opposites in the world and in oneself. To understand it, must we experience it as a revelation. Or can we learn it? If the imagery of war enters here, it’s fake. I’ve never been to war. Never fired a machine gun. Never threw a grenade. My war has been fought silently in rooms. The war of the imagination, as di Prima described it, “the war that matters is the war against the imagination / all other wars are subsumed in it,” and I believe this is true. When there is rage in a populace just below the surface, graffiti on closed up stores and people living in tents, there’s been a war. A very evident war. Mass shootings. Shock. Disorientation. Women walking down streets without pants. Smartphone zombies in a trance. When was the last time you thought something contrary, something unpopular, something full of rage & suspicion, something destructive, something negative, & held back, because there was a smartphone in the room, or a laptop, or a PC, & they have microphones, even on or off they can’t be trusted with your privacy, & so you held back, said nothing, or diluted it a little, made it a little more acceptable, adorned it with qualifiers and rationalizations & made it a little blurry, a little equivocal, just a squib, a carefully edited tweet, & felt diminished, a little less alive? I think it’s time to start talking about Umwelt, semantic blobs of nothingness. But don’t overdo it. Don’t swallow the universe. Concentrate on dopey Joey’s aioli. And nothing to get hung about.