Thursday, December 12, 2019

mmcxli

California

        What are you thinking now?

        I am thinking that a poem could go on forever.
                                                           —Jack Spicer

like life doesn’t?  
only it does.  he
positions him-
self at the cor-
ner of his bed,
the one corner
where the mat-
tress sinks into
the drastically
devastated box
springs.  a day
does not pass
without me
thinking at
least one time
about my apart-
ment’s pre-
vious tenants:
those former-
ly most fam-
liar with this
room (of its
history, its de-
tailed structure,
the tales that
lie within the
slightly en-
larged coffin-
like/ -shaped
space of this
one-room home,
where many a
a dull — story,
and perhaps a hand-
ful or two of more
colorful stories —
persists).  history.
alongside my
story.  a safe
haven. a prison. 
a hideout of in-
troverts and soc-
ially anxious ex-
traverts dying
for the comp-
any of a friend,
yet resigned to
the obvious, that
those folks are
long gone.  Which
leads to endless
hours puzzling
over why.  want-
ing to believe sud-
denly they&rsqo;ll
be back, maybe all
at once, as if to one
of the many parties
you used to throw,
proving that they
existed, but then
understanding,
now is now,
then is then,
and so you
get over it,
you get better,
you begin to
really get it;
puzzlement
understanding,
getting better,
definitely not
understanding,
getting bitter,
understanding
better (not a
eureka! moment
for certain), def-
initely not under-
standing. mud-
dling concepts
like loyalty and
as commitment
zipping for light
years around in
your head.  what
comfort is famili-
arity or dometicity
when just as you
finally begin to
believe in their
existence, they
are ripped away
from you by the
pickpocket of
souls.  now, at
my brokest, now
that I am most
broken, this
fucked up
former king
wants to call
his courtiers,
wants desper-
ately to be the
jester and to
see and know that
his family. the in-
habitants of the
castle (prisoners?)
are smiling with re-
cognition and out-
reached hands for
that electric inti-
mate touch of the
handshake.  where
one’s hand meets
with that of the
zinging grip of
another’s, one
that is not yours
and will never be. 
or there is the
surprises of being
tugged into a double
kiss, one upon each
blushing cheek.
And sometimes
there are the fire-
crackers, the kisses
that are not counted
and fall cleanly upon
the lips. like the inti-
macy of a child
suckling.  where is
wisdom cash and
what can such
currency even
afford?  must they
be worked out as
if carefully script-
ed manuscripts and
delivered while lying
flat upon the couches
of offices with sleepy
doctors who yet
participate as if
their company,
their co-collab-
orateur(s) lying
or sitting, slouching,
erect, leaning on
the armrest, upon
the many couches,
the comfortable
and excruciatingly
uncomfortable
furniture in these
countless over-
ly warm rooms.
each with its own
sleepy doctor in
collaboration. there
is, rather, an entire
portion, a majority
of human population,
let us surmise, that
are strictly drawn
to collaborate in
such ways, whether
they sit in the desk
often behind the large
wooden table or
utilize the varied
other block of
varied furniture
upon which we
are directed to
sit, or lie.  to sit
and to lie.  com-
promise may very
well be earned,
during these hab-
itual processes.
when they are,
they’ as much
revelation as they
are anomaly.  is
it that some are
born knowing...
who they are?
and if so, where
how does this in-
tuition mutate
and then thrive,
when sideswiped
by the glorious age
of self.  this perpet-
uation is probably not
even apocalyptic. in
which case I am
missing something
crucial.  maybe we
all are.  how one
refuses to give
up seems to be-
come something
eternal.  but.  I
must believe and
advocate for those
who are happier and
make their optimistic
quest for more than
delusion an infinity.
or do they die
in tragedy
most times,
almost always,
no matter what?
what single word
could save your world
now? could save mine?
my connections, the
ones which were every-
thing to me, were real.
and yet just as suddenly
(and in tandem) were
flimsy, unreal.  what
is this called?  why 
did they do that!?  why
did they disappear
en masse at such
a crucial time?
I have no time to
dissect delusion.
one day there is
a world living,
breathing, engag-
world around you,
necessary, something
for which you are im-
mensely grateful.
The next, they are
dead.  To me. 
clear intention on
the part of the dead?
What does the one
who remains alive
do with this? The
rumor persists that
they are very much
alive and do not un-
derstand or care
what a few words
or a horrific action
might do for anyone,
for me.  It’s not ex-
actly the butterfly effect
when the eradication of
an engagement of five to
fifteen years or so blows
up right before one’s eyes.
Am I just as guilty?  Is a cry 
for help the same thing as
each act of pulling away?
To fail to see a single one
of these friends (there is no
other word for this:  friend),
to watch as each loved one
disappears synchronously at
the front edge of the most
excruciation period of, one’s
existence (a period, like ex-
istence, that can last a day,
a year, a decade, etc.), of
one’s life.  perhaps the
duration depends is pro-
portional to the cacophony
of such loss, which is, in
all senses, an objective
measurement....   But this...
this has been my life.  I had
a beautiful family, one that
had to be mutually agreed-
upon, whether tacitly or not . 
And now they are gone. 
Which of us are the fools,
me, or my prodigal family?
I reach toward an answer
to this every day, shrouded
in the silence that is left
behind, while desperately
trying to remember that it
existed, so as to not com-
pletely erase that reality.
For better or worse, I oc-
casionally become mot-
ivated to repeat this cycle,
to do it all again, to del-
usionally and deliberately
construct a new family,
just like the one I collab-
oratively built years ago,
forging siblings and part-
ners, to make a small
country, a domecile of
my own.  Like the one
that lost the last war.
A war hatched by some
unspecified reason.  That
is now only an erasure on
this map I keep studying. 
I moved through those
delusions with great
contentment and hap-
piness; it had meaning.
So of course I will re-
ignite this quest. To what
end?  I do not know any-
thing except this: engage-
ment is not delusion.  I
hold the moments when
the delusion was real.
They are inescapable,
unerasable, it turns out.
I will open different doors
as I move forward.  Some-
thing is missing.  Terribly.
Rather than ask how to find
it, I loot to you and ask:  How
might you go about forging
a reality out of a delusion?
And why do I still believe,
my friend?  My friend.  Yes.
Because, even understand-
ing that logic does not
prevail in such matters,
I do still believe.  The
delusion is real.  I can
ask why, or for your take,
until, as they say, the cows
come home; until I am
blue in the face (both
inside and out). And I
do.  Who would know
better than you? 
But I persist.   I
exist.  So I might
as well make it mine,
this blessed delusion.


     


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

mmcxl

sez the punch
i’ve got a hunch
you’re out to lunch.

except i am a pacifist
living within a handful
of miles from the pacific.

zing! goes the punch
swiftly past my ear.
the electricity.

i miss my cat.
i am a misser of
cats.  a cat guy.

have i only
eaten candy
all day,

applying for
jobs as if the
holidays don’t

exist?  i have
become too
close to my-

self.  where
is another
country,

a new en-
gagement?
environment,

not fiancé.
there is a city
full of engagement.

where is this
city?  it’s in
the backyard of

my head.  name 
one thing i do that
drives you crazy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

mmcxxxix

     Light is a carrion crow
     Cawing and swooping. Cawing and swooping.
                                                  —Jack Spicer

A simple twist of fate can
take you places unimaginable.

This is good.  You are better off.
You learn.  You lose all of your

friends.  You come back to life
alone.  Your family and your

family (which you might have
always thought was the imp-

ortant one) disappear.  You
walk around from one office

to another asking for direc-
tions, and you get some, and

you keep doing this, as if ex-
ploring the secrets of a city

you love, only to be at the
same place you were a

month ago asking the same
question you asked then, only

you’ve been so many places
you don’t even remember

that you were here before, ask-
ing the same question, and you

get a funny but familiar look from
the woman behind the desk, taking

all precautions to hide behind her
antiquated computer screen, only

to be told to go to some other place
and ask another question.  You realize

then, aha!  I’ve been here, you even
remember the question is the same one

you are about to ask to the familiar face
that you have only just glimpsed as he

is taking precautions, too.  A cinema,
your favorite sushi joints, a hope into

a Zipcar to head to Sonoma, for may-
be even a weekend, or only a day, some-

times along but usually with friends,,,
with your boyfriend with whom you are

happy,,,,   You start a business, let’s
imagine it is for profit.  It is still for a good

cause.  You rake it in, take a vacation some-
place you have never been before?  Sure,

Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Budapest,
Shanghai, Rio, Lima, Mexico City,,,,

But you're in a gondola in Venice, you&re
debating the Eiffel Tower, afraid of heights,

you&re writing poetry at the Places des Voges,
literally sitting on the ground writing while read-

ing your favorite poet to read, while in Paris,
because he spent a good portion of his own

life there.  You're on a cruise ship filled with
guys, about to dock in Puerta Vallarta, it is

not your first trip to Mexico this way.  You&re
watching the Amazon burn, it is hot as hell

but you are enjoying this new adventure,
which is about as far away as you’ve

ever been before from anywhere, and it
feel right.  You are on a leaky boat melting

into the boiling Amazon reading a book,
the pages of which are burning, but each

only after you finish reading it.  It is a book
by Robert Heinlein.  You get the feeling

you have read it before, but it is a good
feeling.  Unlike the feeling you had sitting

in the Places de Voge (nausea), Venice
on the Gondola (horrible stomach bug),

Rome (the flu).  You are walking the streets
of Paris at one a.m. looking for a pharmacy,

but nothing is open (the vertigo that came and
went in your early 20s — you just turned 40).

Sunday, December 08, 2019

mmcxxxiii

Sorry for the Delay

Hi, has it been a problem?  I mean
of course not, but I was remember-
ing earlier how last year seems like
yesterday.   Or so very long ago.  I
just noticed that you cannot have
the word agony without ago.  And
it is right there at the beginning.  Had
I never noticed this before?  Is it a pro-
blem?  What has made me notice now?
I mean, is the obvious, always so obvious?

Dumb question.  Of course not.  I, for
one (as if there are others; are there
others?), cannot get Freud out of my
subconscious.  Except, how could I know
that Freud was even in my subconscious
(duh because sub; I’ve always been
much more of a dom)?  “Well isn’t that a
conversation stopper!”  Who says that?  I
want to immediately write a book about con-
versation stoppers.  Well, actually just about

conversations.  To narrow it down further, how
to actually have one.  It seems to me that people
do not have them anymore.  I have this theory (Is
this already a thing?  Have I been beaten to the
punch, the pacificist, to his one significant theory?)
that this is because everyone exists in their own i-
maginary world.  Well most everyone?  I’d like to
say not me (of course), but not remembering your
past is sort of like living in a made-up world, am I
right?)....  Anyway, when confronted with the gate-

way into the realm of reality, we freeze, choke
up, incapable of setting foot into it, either by
inevitably diverting from the entrance (this
can be done by sternly deciding not to even
dip a toe into the reality realm altogether,
or by tucking tail between legs and
galumphing away like the Cowardly
Lion).  Sometimes never to wander the
perimeter or get even anywhere remotely
near this fabled realm of reality ever again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

mmcxxxii

It’s Actually Possible That It’s Okay To Be Stupid

Because I am stoned 1st time
in years the clouds play tricks
with my eyes, the sun cools
down the lengthening shadows

and my steps are within (myself:
my home).  This little heart of mine.
Thinking it must be hilarious that we
already found the suburbs and they

weren't nearly as slutty as we had
imagined they would be.  Mom was
caught in an ice storm.  That shook 
us to the core (do not try to peel me!).

Dad was sitting lotus-style in his pod
which is not something to which one 
listens, but instead, keeps noises in their
proper places.  So he could hear naught 

from within nor without (said pod).  My
thoughts, those that are mine, what con-

sists of my mind, are two trains attempting 
to pick up each of the individual Pick-Up-Stix 

without moving any of the other Pick-Up-Stix;
are not intending to crash into each other,
to be jerked from their rails into a catchy 
medley filled with upper-class death, though 

as the game persists, even if metaphorically,
they are coming at each other directly,
each at a high-class speed that is most
certainly not to be sneezed at.  This is

a bit nervously witnessed by men on
horseback.  They are extras in a West-
ern being filmed about a mile away, 
and are now each wondering at what 

speed it is appropriate to sneeze.  The
Stix, I realize, startling myself a bit, 
were actually made of plastic. I always
attempt to summarize, to rationalize.  

Is it my nature or is it inherently human?  
The fog, which wants to roll in this instant,
is nowhere to be seen, but, once here, will 
erase everything that has come before it.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

mmcxxxi

Losing The Most Important Page Of A Speech
  (and Giving It As If Your Life Depended On It)

Alligators and pythons  (who get

along quite well, it turns out).  They

are a sight for sore eyes as the
sweet corn is ground into Sept-

ember.  In the tropics?  Yes, here
I am, like all of those who came

before me.  The peyote poets.  At
least until the first of the Arabian

horses (and, oh, such an infinite
trail of these succulent minia-

ture creatures!) trots upon my sun-
burned lips (How long?  The sun?)

and onto the inside of my jowl
(the side on the outside of which

is the un-sunburned side of my
face).   My mouth still agape in...

something like hunger...so no
harm to the Arabians there.  But

then the epiglottis.  I choked a
bit.  A weak cough, I would say.

then, as the horses still kept
marching inward and ever in-

ward, their infinite trail winding
infinitely, beyond eyesight on this...

mirage...this desert dune, I
began to realize how hilarious

I must look.   And this thought
was not without a tinge of 

my own humor, how hilarious 
I looked, only I could not chuckle

(the Arabians, you see).  With
one full half of my body as red

as an all-but-perfectly-ripe
cherry; the other half as pale

as an ivory teacup full of tap-
ioca pudding.  Later the next

day, by the time the entire
entourage of Arabians had

ever-so-elegantly marched
into my half-burnt mouth,

down my throat and some-
how began to (surely with

some grace) swim in the hor-
rifyingly squalid juices that

dared remain in my stomach,
juices that were flowing freely 

again, I could feel the energy
that I had once known so long

ago, when as a child, it truly
must have been, return.  In

fit and starts at first.  But
then, It was my manhood

again, and later no small
amount of puberty (which,

as it turns out were my
less awkward years)...

anyway, the juices were
flowing again and my eyes,

my lachrymal glands were
most definitely...yes...they

were leaking and soon even
flowing like rivulets on either

side of my snotted nose.
And I desperately had to pee.

Should I do it with the Arabians
in me, I wondered aloud.  Al-

ways aloud, this incessant
voice that is my very own.

Or, more at, should I do it for
the Arabians.  And this I thought

silently as I began to rise and
without a hint of a limp or a 

stumble upon wave after wave 
of sand, I began to make my way 

to what had become of my house,
which I had built with FUTURE all

of those years (?) ago upon a rock.  
In truth, I surmised, as I had for 

what seemed like eons that this fu-
ture that had all but disappeared.  

Was, perhaps, like this so-called 
future:  always non-existent, yet 

spread right there in front of me, 
as if on the tastiest egg with the

largest circumference that would
lean out the edges of all sides of

the square pillows of toast.  And
then I wondered what Gary would

think.  About all of this.  The dunes
The burns.  The banished future.

And the Arabians.  I knew precisely
that he’d be heart-on-sleeve giddy

with the curiosity that always was
life to him.  Taken so young, that

shit-eating grin, that unnecessary,
yet omnipresent, I don’t care.  I

know I’m having fun.  Now.
 att-
itude that never left him, even un-

til the end.  Not a suicide, but....
I often contort my face in honor

of that grin, which does not feel
so good when it is as half-burnt aa

it was at present.  And as my mind
wandered on, in its odd but log-

ical way, I wondered, this time
aloud again, And what would 

my father would have thought?  
To relieve myself of the tension,

I actually said dad instead of
father, but for a moment I got

just a bit caught up in the re-
telling.  Which means I must

still be here.  Somewhere.
What would Dad’s presence 

have to offer:  an uncom-

fortable wave that works its

way through one’s body, from
the tippy-toes to the top of the 

head, that gives one that humble
feeling of knowing that one is

blessed?  Why, yes.  And then
some, I added.  This thought

about my father, about Dad,
proved amazing to me at which-

ever moment, and as I stand
here before you, my scalp is

tingling.  Because, among so
many other profundities that 

one thinks, or sometimes just
dreams up, while stranded in

the middle of a desert’s mirage
of an oasis.  In that paradise

I realized that my father —
the cop, the mailman, the house-

painter, the cattle-rancher, the 
fence-pole digger, the artificial

inseminator (back to the cows,
as it were — it was a thing in 

that era — in fact he was offic-
ially certified), the volunteer fire-

man, the owner at one point (and
at some points even simultaneous-

ly) of a donkey, a mule and a Kawa-
saki motorcycle —— I thought that,

well, I thought that my Dad was more 
of an artist than I would ever be.  Would 

he roll over in his grave, the man who ne-
ver let me get over the fact that I switched

majors in undergraduate school from
Chemistry (almost had it, in fact) to 

Theatre Arts in the middle of my 
junior year (and I personally paid

for all of my education after I left
home at seventeen; it was part of

the deal)?  Do people do that? 
Roll over in their individual graves?

Or wherever the remains of their 
bodies that lie, some in ashes spread

here and there, some in bits and 
pieces in places too numerous

to imagine?  Others, of course,
in literal graves, I suppose.

I am a success at imagining. 
It is one thing I do.  I do not

know if I am an expert.
It is not something for which

I had an apprenticeship.  I

do not hold regular conver-

sations with others who might
be better or worse at it than

I am.  I do not hold regular
conversations at all.  And so,

 I decide to enjoy this feeling 
of cockiness about imagination.  

Which is when Larry shows up.  Is
punishment the greatest allure 

of words?  I wonder aloud. Impede-
ment.  Integument.  Impertinent.

The road to redemption
is long and arduous, is

wild and fun, is up and
down, heaven and hell.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

mmcxxx

There was a bit of an auspicious but
clearly detectable mumble at one end
of the giant dining hall in which a fam-
iliar discussion had begun to engross the
men from the North and South sides of
the border, a tradition that had begun
years ago.  The two traditions: one
was the dinner they were now enjoying
together, one of only four times a year
in which they officially mingled, these
two factions (of course they were not
the first...) that inhabited the local
land.  And the other tradition was the 
subject with which they were by now 
fully entertaining, with mostly respect
and only a few loud voices coming from
a smattering of red-faced fogies: talk of
a long-ago love affair, a suicide, a murder
or three, another purported suicide that 
ended it all — or one would think.  But.
Perhaps it was just the story about the
border, between the two states, an old
and very random wooden fencerow (a
property signifier, they still liked to call 
it — by which I signify that this discussion
captured the attention and engaged all
of those at the table: those from north
of the old fence, and those who resided
to the south of it).  The fence was to
become the basis for the official border
between the Dakotas at this time.  It was
1889.  The party in this grand ballroom
(the joke about in the middle of nowhere
was beginning to be grumbled) always
got a bit rowdy at this point.  The con-
versation was not exactly a tradition.  It
was just something not to be forgotten.
Not by these men.   And this was the
one time it always was brought up.  The
Lindseys weren’t really thinking about
the crows that dropped to the fence every
day about the same time; an ominous
sense of foreboding thought the Milliners
(some had already reduced the name to
Miller, but they were still always called
the Milliners at this y ), but were think-
ing more about the women, and how it
could not be escaped that those from
one side of the fence had a certain
homeliness (some even used the word
possessed) look about them.  On the 
other side were deemed the beauties.  
On this notion, both sides mot often
agreed.  These were quintessentially
male arguments, of course; the women 
were yet to be allowed at the function,
except for the cooking and the cleaning.
Not to be heard or hardly seen.  And now
this gathering of men had moved on to the
more jovial topic, that always followed the
grumbling about the randomness or the clear
thievery of the fencerow that became a border
and would always round out the evening: they
began to speak of the love story between the
an up-and-coming young man on one side of 
the fence who fell for a low-lady, as they
were often still called, from the opposite
side.  This was, of course, anathema to the
tribesmen.  But, as always, this nostal-
gic epic took over the conversation,
the rowdiness became congeniality
and literal awe for the lovers on both
sides of the fence and what became
of their love, which was tragic.  
Although no one was present 
at the table that had actually
known either party, it had become 
bit of a legend; a sort of modern-
day equivalent to the Capulets versus 
the Montagues in Romeo and Juliet,
even though none of these men likely
knew a thing about Shakespeare
except, perhaps that Shakespeare
was Shakespeare.  This part of the
discussion carried inevitably on into the
parlor that wrapped the giant old home
that took up what must have been an acre 
of the dry surface of what was normally
a cracked earth template toppled with
incessant and swiftly-flowing tumble-
weed during the months that were 
surface of the earth was not snow-
covered.  

The youngest of the Lindsey men eventually
managed manipulatively but somewhat 

subtly (he did have a golden tongue, or
so it was rumored) to veer the talk to-
ward the story of the lady he called the
frippery Gaul girl that he currently had 
more than just his eyes on (this particular-
ly frontier's Romeo of the moment, was
this young Lindsey fellow).  He made his
way to the parlor first, which wrapped
neat clean around the  full front of the
mansion (which is what everyone still
called the old Dullmyer place to this day,
even though it now served as more of a
traditional meeting hall, and yet in this
case, the word mansion was an appropriate
description), a place which swore out most
all frontier creatures small enough to sift
through the windows as well as those large
or wily enough to break through the windows
or even the doors (the screens of both of 
which had been special-made in Sweden 
of the extraodinarily exquisitely-stitched 
linen-like but vividly see-through tiny 
wires).  One of the screen doors was
closed and there seemed no way out of
it from the inside and, one always had 
timagine, had no easy way to enter
from the other side, unless you were
one of those fantastical creatures
microscopic.  All of this created a
sense of peace for these third-gen-
eration settlers whose progenitors
had originally been warring factions. 
It had begun with one outspoken
family from a few miles east with a 
grudge against the longstanding
family of old world money.  The
monied clan had already been living
here longer than anyone knew by
the time the tensions even arose.
There was always much discussion 

about how and why this grudge began.
Everything about this monied family was
near ancient now, but there still remained
the sweet and spoiled youngest heir, Julie
(yes, a name after so representative of the 
many such quarterly round-tale discussions
which transpired here ar the old Dullmyer
mansions (the Dullmyers, it turned out,
being that old wealth family of local lore).
But that story is for another time.  This eve-
ning, around that grand table in a place that
seemed destined to retell a Shakespearian
tragic love story four times a year, despite 
the general ignorance in these  parts of that
certain universal British playwright and poet.
And so they did, well into the evening.  
Young Lindsey and his best mate, 
clearly meant by Lindsey to attend 
solely as a companion to remain
unnoticeable, finally, indeed rather un-
noticeably, lit his pipe and began the ritual-
istic trek toward the door, a sort of a double-
file hand-shaking ceremony out of the
mansion door and into the night,
as was the tradition, with each man
taking off toward his respective home,
whether it stood on this side of the
of the border fence or on the other.

As he was walking out, In fact,
the young Lindsey's awe of the
this new woman who he intended
to make his wife engulfed him into
the realization that she was not so very
frippery at all.  She was so very near his
age, which was an unheard-of character-
istic of the general courting which trans-
pired in the area. And as he walked out 
into the moonlight he suddenly realized 
how terribly he had mischaracterized his
love, had indeed not even realized what 
it was about the young Miss Gaul that 
really caught his fancy.  And this realiz-
ation gave him a pleasant pause. Not
an uncomfortable nor a worrisome
one.  Bu, quite simply, he opened
his eyes to the fact that he loved
here for se whas remarkably full
of intelligence.  One might even
say that she was combustible
with sage wisdom.  Fancy that,
he thought as he left the cam-
araderie of the former foes'
traditional gathering.  And
he began to take on a strik-
ingly abnormal spring to his
gait thanks to an unusual lightness
in his walk, the back of the soles
of his makeshift shoes never seem-
ingly making contact with the earth,
never resting from tired ankles,
as if a man on a very important
mission, for the miles that he walked
n his way back home that night,look-
ing ever so forward to seeing the
handsome Miss Gaul at the earl-
iest possible convenience. Yes,
the absolute earliest possible
time, he kept saying in
his head, with a smile
that brought on the
most engaging
dimples.  Which
was a trait of the
men from both sides
of the wall that rep-
resented the border
between the old
warring factions of,
as we all are, of course,
related human beings.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

mmdccxxxvii

Desirous         

              (Achizm #1)



And then…


I wanted to hold


the smoke – the


double-handful


of special breath-


ing smoke – way

up high.


High


over the elk


standing frozen



on the mountains


large winter-


time cliffs


where they


always


maintain


the fogged


bluffs of


desire.