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There are 2 places to write from/ 2 ways to write.

The 1st: when one is writing, journal quality- where feelings are expressed in reporting fashion.
It is often sourced from the raw heart, but the other side of the heart. The side where the flowers don’t grow or pepper the in-between-places of words. Visual description is scant, exchanged for survival mode.
The side that is blood-swollen and rugged tender raw. Like half an hour to an hour into a wasp sting.
It’s to the point.
An aggregate of hurt, observation, and questions on the factory line at the beginning of processing.
It’s fresh and harmed. Or fresh and ruby red. Or fresh and perplexed. It’s still warm and may be beating.

The 2nd is once the thoughts have entered the bloodstream. Once the thoughts have become brain food, or maybe even the body has digested all the possible health or false nourishment and excreted the rest. Or maybe it’s sights upon describing the excrement. Or sights on love. Or sights on love that was. Or a safer place in reprieve of conditioning. All in all- it’s a place where art lives. Where words form tunnels that no one’s ever taken that lead to pieces of sky no one has ever seen. And the culmination of comfort, acceptance, and understanding leads to an ability to play with descriptors and bend them now to explain what was once impossible to catch in 2 hands/ to hold in one’s mind.

The same person will write in these two fashions. It is chew then swallow. It is egg then omlette. It is crawl then walk.

The brain intakes, assimilates, activates.

Reading a memoir of an author is likely to be the opposite of their flower writing. If you want to learn about a recommended writer, learn their work before grasping at their version of themselves. It is sleep then dream. But more so learn then understand.

 

*formerly titled “How To Read About Authors (for Dummies)”

Clouds are Easy

Eves-dropping on neighboring cloud watchers across the isle:

–Young girl- maybe age 7- speaking in absolutes: “I see a hand.”
–Man beside her- maybe mother’s boyfriend: “I see it.”
Pause. Watch. Stillness. “I see some mashed potatoes.”
–Girl -calm: “Oh yeah. Yeah.”
“I see a coyote without legs. Do you see it?
Planes are huge. Almost bigger than the world. We’re almost to space. Did you know that?”
–Man attempts an explanation about atmosphere, stratosphere… starts out strong. Flounders. Reverts to talking about library books on the subject.

Girl turns her head from the window of Largest Views. She finds a heated shaft of sunlight taken to sitting on the top of her hand from the other side of the plane. My side.
Reflection projection.
Steady she holds it; her sun-hand. Her free hand whirling small fingers atop its partner’s radiance. Spinning a small dance above orphic golden. She wants to show her mother who sleeps;
Looking back and forth from mother to glow, mother to glow, mother to glow.
She is a kind child. I can tell. Her mother rests on, while dutifully with providence, she hosts the light.
Girl sees me looking and offers a soft-kid smile my way. It’s too late to look away. I’ve been indulgent in my dreamy observing.
Down she puts the sun.

Back to cloud-watch; the line between boredom and the ease of nothing else to do, giving call to the deciphering of true existences.
High game, low stakes.
Infinite interpretive possibility.
A pooh-bah baby; she tells what’s what. The crown in passing light.
In a flash I’m brought back too.
Times no linear thing when you’re suspended in the air and have exhausted your ink pad and reading resources and suddenly… I’m young again, head-scratching, squinting wonder, looking for what’s really out there.
By and by eking out that dolphin pattern of automatic coordination involving focus, locus and vergence.
If I’d stare hard enough… If she’d stare hard enough…

Now the mother’s eyes are opened and the three talk of sun. I hang on their words like heavy warm suds sky bath; well intentioned interloper that I am.
They share curiosities over cardinal directions; the great Atlantic acting to anchor the origin. Wondering just what they’re flying over. Wondering where the man’s house might be very right now.

In an instant the plane tilts- revealing a ground covered in snow. A secret held from us by the simple act of sheltering our eyes. Covered in snow, dotted in trees. All small far down. Snow inside of snow.

The clouds have begun to thread, actively uniting, they soon mimic the land below as a blanket and a few levels higher measured by hundreds of feet, or thousands if you’re good at guessing jelly-bean-jar-quantities; filtering sun, laying across us fly-ers, dressing us in riches of watermelon and orange juice two hues.

Girl, Man, Mother are quiet. My mind quite quiet. And the clouds- speak silence full into the figures we see of them. Wipe away to white. Begin again if you please.

stard

Let Be Wild

Trees; an affront to imposed rigidity and structural predictability,
contrasting the angles raised of long blocks that contain them,
(parks- a slight, conceding effort;)
defying street boundaries;
interrupting, inconvenienced by countless collections of 90 degrees;
spreading roots with great effort, nonetheless.

oa
To be well and free against the opposing absolute and certainty of man-made resolve, in an immediate world of molds and intended order.
In a time where plans are steadfast; where chance is made scant;
lessened; unappreciated, threatened by homogeneity.
I will sing the songs that rise up from beneath my feet, that the pavement has not permeated. I will sing the songs that are not mine to keep.
I will sing what comes forth, be I know not from where.
Songs to soften, with hopes of bringing broader breath to asphyxiated systems surrounded in soil.
Songs to ease the rattle of drilling for more more more when all is what we’ve already, collectively got.
Songs to hug at the earth burdened by those who appreciate her not, yet tug tug and tug relentless at her spine, yes.
Everyday. Back breaking acts in detached formation. Embroiled in entitled ideals.

When did people learn that nature was to be conquered and what happened to their songs?
With trees so tall to walk beside, how can they not feel a hum?

oaaoaaa

 

There is a well of surface-scraped-depth within me.

I know.

And maybe you too.

I need to know what gems lay deep, bound by body basalt; encased in black rock; kidney crystal. Clinging to crags. Affixed & sturdy.

Formations of luster; robust & ripe; uncomprehended in fullness.

And it worries me.

How to mine myself for precious bounty?

Am I made of softer stone? Might I chip?

What earthly instrument would act as chisel?

How much wonder, precision & intent is required for self-extraction.

To mother words.

Arrange them & categorize.

The placement in a great pantry of order, positioning strategic visions; moving over pink salt, second hand plates, glass jars, almond flour, the old orange juice press, wayward spices- to arrange enigmatic & even alien feelings that can use the generosity of air-time to dry upon the lacquered, shaded kitchen shelves still shieldable from light with manageable doors.

That can benefit from this. To breathe & to steady.

The place my private mind has kept sacred & mysterious, precisely where X marks the spot, though barely tended to- not having intended to gloss over them or feed the deterring, fleeting, faux shiny distracting forces; shielding fears of my own discoveries & the responsibility that comes from choking- one day- upon an throat full of undigested diamonds.

How do you do bounty?

We are each equipped with inherent, ancient farming techniques.

How to learn treasure.

Day After Icicle

The heat pushing through the piping of the long house in one steady breath, promising falsely to fog up the windows and appease the chill down to the bones that we all felt; coaxing blood back up to the surface; releasing the tight shoulders in the room, squeezing in desperation to retain the remnant warmth.

Me and you. We are cold together in spite of talk of Tahiti. In spite of flirting with ideas of occupying the shower. In spite of number 70 on the thermostat.

Cold with worn hearts. Wimpy, floppy, sore- from news that came in pin-cushion packages with the pricking points turned outwards.
Packages delivering information that both whispered and yelled at once, as for no one to mistake anything on any auditory level, that the beast had returned; and in it’s believed absence- gained volume and momentum and peculiar support.
An inconceivable menace that was as real as the boogie man, and just as easy to doubt.
And now, in shocking, lurching fashion, a manifestation has come forth onto the eyes of the public- thin with disbelief- banging chest, fragmenting citizens, hissing for allegiance, disregarding all in it’s path of unparalleled ethos.

Ice. A stairway in December with no salt.
Sub zero in some cut off jeans.
Windchill with newspaper blankets.
We begin our struggle to blind ourselves in counter action, to stare in solace at the sun.
To rid the big freeze from our bodies, and find a way to raise a renaissance life of egalitarian existence where chatter won’t break our collective teeth.

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Lightning House 

lightening house

Forty years.
Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, deep-season blanket.
Forty years.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence resulted from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied them. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines pointing & sun bound, they’d  listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-wow-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none was to share any thought; the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky; could’ve convinced the ethers to rain. They would. They wanted.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music was goddamn living.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Life.
And then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.

Empty and Now

The stillness will say take me or leave me, without saying so.
The softness will be yours to find.
We will wake, inevitably.
We will make the creeks and coos and moans that are in concert with the first moments of returning from turning off the grand system of body- the one primary to the sun; heavy bold to cloud shy, where we come back into minds after the curious dream places we arrive. Gathered or spilled.
The stillness is there, upon wake.
The skull- hollow and reverberate. Prepared for nothing. Subject to you.
It’s walls- holding no residue of experience, brain proximity unconsidered.
The brain. The master tenant.
The eye opener to look.
The thought provoker to begin consideration.
Or heavy chatter.
Or worry.
Or cacophony that slips from our grips and pushes us down dried-grass-barbed-slopes of new ideas, repetitive thoughts, or at worst- debilitating dark-cornered-unlovely-menaced fears.
I’ve always maintained “It’s the curse of the artist” to be so embedded in my own head; my own roller coaster emotion- trigger happy switch to take off.
Swapped for creative head- where use of traded goods is essential for self preservation and soul satiation.
In spite of knowing.
That outside my very self- exists all the peace and calm that anyone wants access to, as long as I stay in said stillness. That is there for the there-ness and no agenda to speak of.
And these soft moment-matters, they velvet path our way in elongated instants, where we find ourselves at fluctuating, anytime times.
And perhaps we tap our third eye 3 times with our index finger, to remember, here here here. This this this. Now now now. To stay soft in the still for one more moment.

Evening Stroll

A walk around the blocks.
At night.
When the lights are on in apartments within eyeshot bright enough revealing each illuminated box of walls, furniture, and lives taking place.
Where conversations abound, or peter-out.
Where honesty lays across the table, or secrets stay tucked under lightly-used to heavily saturated napkins.
Where sauces boil
and bubble and forgotten pies burn crisp.
Where old shoes line the entrances and extend into halls, tripping the innocent,
and plants curl yellow in the condensation of windows.
At night.

Where sounds of closing car doors echo louder in the hush.
And cats scramble with their better, dark-favored vision to the other side of the road. And skinny rats develop false confidence, obeying their hunger, scampering out of dirt holes to snatch fallen promise-crumbs.
Where people sleep in dingy, unforgivingly-hard, once-lustrous-marble doorways beneath blankets that once belonged to generous beds; and dream of colorful fantasy pictures, or terrible monsters, or vacations that they’ll take some other life time, or things that they’ll have forgotten by morning. Bother not.

Where pasty, sun-deprived gamers sit in fluorescent, 24 hour donut shops tactically moving board pieces, tantalizing early onset diabetes -dirty flirt-, gorging on fried-sugar-dough, systemically solidifying certainty of never getting laid again beyond glory-holes. Where cups of stale coffee tip and splash spotty pants from shaky hands, and ashy floors, and blurry eyes and sour breath.

Where new couples cruise the banks of the lake, holding hands, kissing at each bench, butterfly bellies.
Where cargo trucks roll about, containing clandestine items of unknown sourcing to half of the drivers. Do tell do tell.

At night.

A walk around my neighborhood.
Around blocks that have begun to encircle a sense of home.
At night where my dog and I walk in wonder.
And contribute to the spectacle of the quite observers observing.

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What’s the method to your madness? You know- the one where you pick at the scab or reactivate the cut again again, or bang your ever forever perma-bruise; only this time instead of puss coming out you get a fine, silky, viscous magic thread of your own musical splash.
Splash splatter shit.
All over your walls.
Hope your carpets’ not too absorbent, ma’ dude.
This welcomed mess; The kind you’ve been keeping your chin up for and doing all your positive visualization practices and your “this too shall pass” breaths. You’re totally pumped because boOm- your muse showed up just when you were trying to name it and give it form, and now all you want to do is make it suiting, stitchy clothes and dress it up like an angel. But it’s no angel, darling. You traded your soul for you art. And you knew that already.
Why do artists carry the cross? Why so encumbered? So fickle and burdened? I’m feeling a Stevie Ray Vaughn song coming on… something about sales… so dust off the wax and we can get those memory cells back on board. I don’t know that you’ll need them if you’ve got the right momentum, but a brain buzzing and flexing with optimal potential only services the rest of us too.
Good luck riding the rocket. And naming the fuel source. And being aware of when you gas up. Because the moon- she waits and the broom is busy.
Draw a picture for me when you get a second. I’ll be here trying to identify my own individual sound. For now all I know is that it’s likely set in minor chords… and probably a really sexy rhythm section.

ed40

Chueco

The strangeness of days. The lopsided magic that elbows you from the sidelines. You hold your ribs, shaking your head. It happens. “Did that really happen?” You’ll say,cued up, but you’ll know. YES.
Eye-rubber, head-scratcher days. Where synchronicities pip, pop, pap and you watch. You know something is right- for you at least- in some way- but what an unorthodox display.
When moments and days segue and transcend perfectly into the next. The foreshadowing-of-strange-life-events feature revving.
As we grow, we become more aware- hopefully of the simple one door closed/ another opened equation. It’s genuine application. It’s mystery promise.
Go on, slap your normativity across the face with a wind up and see what comes. It might be giant. A slow giant, with watchful eye’s yet sloth-like timing. Like a continental drift. Before you know it you’re on the other side of the equator. Eating the same cereal all the while.
It’s moves like this that occur when you were sleeping. Be it literally or physically. Suddenly you might be 35 years old, in a kitchen that’s giving up the battle of white walls, a long and scratchy-floored corridor, old mouldings, access to the roof where you’ll take in first-of-morning moments, big ol’ bay windows at your head where you do your best to rest under your prized Pendleton.
Maybe you’ll have gone to a show 2 nights ago that you were looking forward to. One who’s performer you had seen before, who’s lyrics inspired and tickled you; a voice so soft you wanted to make slippers out of it. And maybe that show turned out to be an absolute flop- mimicking a pitiful freshmen art school project on staccato affects on the audience, and an undeterminable counterpart person on stage to remain turning potentially purposeless knobs and staring, full face into the eyes of your singing sweety who would soon melt before you as a bore. And maybe they would remain, staring and staring some more into each other’s eyes, ignoring the crowd at large, and whispering near the microphone; said counterpart looking plain Jane, but when the light hit her just right somehow Alice Cooper would emerge. Sans light tricks. Just a disco ball 20 some odd feet above. Let’s just say. And you told your friends. And the Alice Cooper thing was just undeniable and so-fucking-trippy and it kept happening. A devil woman!
And then you’re in this place, devising a get away plan, when the show ends early anyway, and you decide “Oh how nice, I shall ride my bike home and retire to bed quite early, making up for lack of sleep. How divine”, or something to that effect.
Home you go. Sleep you do. Until 3:37am when bullets ring out. Maybe 6 maybe 7 you can’t be sure because waking up with jolts and orientation isn’t your strong suit. And then a man wailing begins. And you call the police, and you go to the living room and you watch the man writhing on the sidewalk, 1 story below and about 7 yards from your building and punctured with bullets, and you; helpless in your robe, holding your mouth and wishing for a hug. Reevaluating the definition of loneliness.
Cops come after not too long and your eyes won’t budge until you forcibly pull yourself back to bed with silver brown black red sparks jittering your spinal column, heavying the pit of your back and lay there as the police commence taking witness testimonies right below your bedroom window until 6:50am.
And then your day has begun with sleep being a lost design, and you are nothing more than shot with rubber-band-brain thoughts continually slinging back to the sounds of what is to be a man the most alone in the world when consolation is the most important. And-oh-the-humanity.
And big baby, suck it up because you’re in the city now and it’s time to get tough and cut the gasps.
And then the day passes until the moment where you return home from the long-ass work day, to unwind with your pup-beast-filthy-love-animal-dog, and you go a walkin’ and a talkin'(on the phone), and as you round the dark corner, you emit a silent scream because… a gun! On the pavement. Too much. Your friend awaits on the other side of the phone afraid and waiting to be informed, as you realize- it’s not so much a gun as an abnormally large and angular shaped, 90 degree turd, in the perfect shape of a big big revolver. And you release in laughter and your friend remarks “I don’t know which is worse”, as your dog has begun to help himself to perimeterless snack, so you tell her what’s worse. And you know you have discovered a whole new level of turd burglar.
The continuous line, having been so for a while now; curious, unpredictable, colorful, undeniable. It’s the strangeness of days, when you as the observer skirt harm, eyes alert and concerned, yet an energy of still and constant, if not necessarily detached- lightness of being. Atypical stage. The comedy, the tragedy, roller coaster magic, continuos turn. Wheel gears gripping and moving forward as we ride. It’s all happening.
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