Monday, March 25, 2019

mmdcccxxvii

It’s hard to say
with words

what someone
else says so

eloquently,
so easily:

my hero.

RIP William Corbett

Saturday, March 23, 2019

mmdcccxxvi

They put 
me on top 
of the hot
dog cart,
which I
suppose
is a sign
of con-
fidence.

Friday, March 22, 2019

mmdcccxxv

I am older
than you are.
But I’m not 
dead yet.  It
took nearly 3
years of burn-
ing to face
this.  To “say”
it.  Who cares,
right?  So, when
you sing your
song about old
men, no matter
the look on your
face, I’ll think
‘glorious!’  I’ll
think that it
must be true—
my every dream!
Well, not all of
them.  As for
my additional
dreams, tonight
the moon weeps
for each of them.
They will each 
take time.  And
a little bit of 
death, shall we
say?  Yes, death.
But what’s a 
little death for
but to enthrall,
invigorate, in-
vite introspec-
tion.  The pun’s
on me, and why
not?  I’m not a-
fraid of myself.
Nor what I’ll 
find.  Some may
say that’s a bit
na├»ve.  But not
me.  I have plenty
left of my sleeves,
clumsy as I may
be at finding I’ve
lost nearly half
of what I was
carrying up in
there some days.
Goodnight, you
gloriously sad
weeping ball
of cheese.  I’ll
see you tomorrow
night.  And that's
something you
can count on
for certain. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

mmdcccxxv

Entry Number
DM7cZ1406

“Suicide bomb, that!”
Says the guy playing
the elevator music
on his cellphone (for
everyone in the ele-
vator to enjoy. “This 
can’t be helped,” he
says into the phone
for whatever reason.
(Everyone else thought
surely he was going
to terminate that
hogwash with “can’t
be happening, but it
seems these thoughts
were similarly spare 
of any real foreboding.  
Not being a movie, 
this sort of string of
incidents do not 
lead to tragedy.  
These things just
do not occur in real
life.  Nevertheless,
the pregnant woman 
began to moan.  The
elevator inhabitants 
were on their way
up.  The moans were
barely a blip in anyone's
mind.  And they were
silent enough that it 
did not seem disturbing
that no on was paying
attention.  Visibly, any-
way.  But each person 
in the shaft did believe
they caught an audible
“birth” and “fuck” . . . .
Ah, mumbling.  This is
most definitely not 
what the occupants
of elevator number
five were thinking, 
but how could they 
not know, given the 
cast they encountered 
in the miniature fleet-
ing home in which, 
come to think of it, 
we all spend an awful
lot of time as its 
occupants are zipped
away to another home
(whether zipping down
or up, as it turns out;
to one that's a bit less
miniature and a bit
less fleeting.
Ah, home. 

Back to our story.
With, I'll admit, an
intended level of
suspense, since I 
do know what hap-
pens next, even
fifty-one years 
ence (as I type 
this). How could
I possibly forget.
Who could?  I 
exited the elev-
ator and sort of 
swaggered to my
desk at my less
fleeting home,
after noticing 
that everyone
else in the el-
evator had the 
most unusual 
sunburn. “These 
people are so 
not careful,” I 
remember think-
ing as I swaggered
to toward the coffee
machine.  Pay no
heed to that.  It’s
simply my job to 
think.  Because
I’m the agent,
after all.  So, 
at that lost in
thought moment
of swagger and
impending coffee,
whether it was a 
bomb or not, I 
instinctively re-
moved my phone 
from its holster 
(these things have 
been trending for 
weeks now; trust me, 
just look it up!) and 
I sent one quick text: 
“you still mean the 
world to me, nick!”  
I hit send and quite
fortunately made it
well toward the out-
skirts of the floor
forty-two before 
the massive explosion
on floor fifty-one.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

mmdcccxxiv

like the rebirth of a hard fried egg

the lovers who look like
twins are exhausted.  it's
been seventeen years.

we keep talking about the
apocalypse.  "the what?" i
always wind up asking.

my mom's mustang turned
out to be neither death nor
the long goodbye.  nowadays

the big difference is the swarm
of new late night talk show hosts
who allow her the 'sleep' she never

seems to need.  it's four in the
morning in the pacific and i de-
cide to rise.  like frankenstein or

dracula, in a way i suppose.  stiff
and vaguely monstrous.  who’s 
to say they were ever bad.  or any-

thing but the rest of us, a conglo-
merate of fright. they loved.  we
love.  centuries seem to divine 

different definitions, different 
compulsions, in the meanings
of this illogical force.  each of us,

a monster, cannot make sense 
of the dynamo that takes us over.
it happened.  it happens.  "some 

parts of us are lived in return"
(to quote jack spicer, who says
the rest of us will remain two

persons).  what of the parts of
me that others despise?  the
trail i leave behind as a reminder

to any and all that i alone loved
wholly?   loved divinely?  you may
find humor in this at breakfast,

but by suppertime i know the 
hateful grip of this notion has
caught on.  'is it my legs,' you

might wonder.  "it's my ears, 
i just can't stand it!". "it is my 
pale cheeks in autumn.". and,

as ever, the morbid silence.
if we had a hearth. if only
we each had a hearth. we

could spend our days away
from thoughts of you and me.
and on the bald mountain

that breaks our twisted spines
each long winter.  and then i 
laugh.  your grim lips at your tea.

Monday, March 18, 2019

mmdcccxxiii

Interpersonal Relations
(part two)

    ....throbs to the earlobes.
                       —John Ashbery

It’s “pretty cool” to get exposed to
fine arts at an early age like Kid Rock’s 
doppelganger, we each decide, here in 
The Quiet Room of the homeless shelter
in which I’ve "resided" for the better por-
tion of two years.  Yeah, it's pretty cool.
And then Mr. Lucid For the First Time 
I’ve known him, which has been here
as my bunk neighbor for over six months,
adds “and so are interpersonal relations.”  
Nobody had a clue what to say for a 
long while after that.  We implied it be,
perhaps, by our just being silent.  But,
inside, I’m giddy.  Because this is the 
very foundation of my value system; a 
foundation that his been excavated
and blown up to smithereens over
the past couple of years but yet
clearly remains a big part of it.  
Scrooge just claimed in a very 
poignant moment that interpersonal 
relations are, well, pretty cool.  Any-
way, I’ve really no idea where other 
nearby minds have wandered , but I 
can hardly contain myself.  Which, as 
anyone who has spent more than, say,
fifteen minutes with me knows, is
quite, well, it's an unusual situation
in which to find myself in.  Biting my
tongue, that is.  So it’s impossible to 
speak, and this happens to me next to
never.  A couple of minutes pass (or
perhaps thirty?).  Then, Scrooge,
aka Mr. Lucid for the First Time
Since I’ve Made His Acquaintance,
adds, as if he had only just seconds
ago made the previous observation, 
“Yeah, and you most definitely talk 
too much.”  He’s looking at me (duh!).  
So the moment is gone.  The subject
turns momentarily to other subjects.
Such as earthquakes.  Apparently one 
hit Napa Valley the previous Sunday.  
A 3.8.  I learn a lot from the guys in 
The Quiet Room.  And relearn just 
about as much.  Things with which 
I’ve been out of practice, like re-
gaining control of a sustained type
of optimism.  This, and, as another
example, the art, the sheer necessity, 
of being social (I'm speaking for my-
self here, of course).  I tend to usu-
ally add here that I’ve been diag-
nosed with an am on regular med-
ication for anxiety.  Particularly 
social anxiety.  But yet, I tend to
add I'm a clear-cut extravert in
the Myers' Briggs sense.  So,
I get my energy AND my anxiety 
from people.  It’s a necessity and
a curse (to which I usually add
that I’m a Gemini).  But, this
can’t be that abnormal.  Is
it?  I don’t know.  It’s just me
and every day is learning to 
deal with it.  I stop my mean-
dering thoughts long enough to
listen to the directions the con-
versations have gone in the room.
How San Francisco sucks.  How it’s
A fantastic place to be (whichever, 
it’s home to me, and I do love it,
or wouldn’t be sitting in a home-
less shelter discussing such an 
absurd subject). Next up:  our
favorite spots to sleep when we
are literally "on the streets."  
Mine happens to be Ina Coolbrith 
Park (named after a poet!), a 
relatively untravelled diagonal
block on Russian Hill built on 
one of those avenues that give
way to a dead-end for vehicles
for a block or two due to how
steep they are (or how wealthy
the neighborhood, I suppose).
My mostly six months on the 
streets coincided with the 
longest contracted job I’ve
had since nearly a decade ago,
when (during the earlier time)
I made enough money to take 
three and a half years off of 
paid work and live the life of 
what I considered at the time 
a bohemian artist.  I loved it 
(the park) because it was 
relatively un-trafficked,
I had my own cul-de-sac 
built of boulders to sleep 
within (a fortress, as you 
will), and, night or day 
it had one of the most
beautiful vistas these
eyes have encountered.
I got to wake up every 
morning, pre-dawn,
to the view of the gorgeous
new Bay Bridge, Treasure 
Island, and my “home," of
sorts, the Financial District 
with its familiar buildings
down below.  As I spent 
my last night here at the
barracks (as I called them),
a place appropriate enough
called Sanctuary, which 
stands inconspicuously 
at the corner of Eight
and Howard Streets in 
lovely San Francisco,
feeling the need to re-
cord yet another small 
record of my existence, 
this more straightforward 
(truthful?) than normal 
hello to the world, or the
minute part of it that might
take a listen, I'm content.  
Tomorrow, I shall move on
to better things.  Finally
better things. May it be 
an (averaged-out, of 
course) uphill swing for
many years to come.  If
I had small glasses of
champagne and bubbly
juice to distribute here,
on my last night in The
Quiet Room, I’d send us
all a simple cheer.  On
to the next.  And may
it never be as consist-
ently grueling as the
recent past…



Saturday, March 16, 2019

mmdcccxxii

Interpersonal Relations
(part one)

    ....throbs to the earlobes.
                       —John Ashbery


It’s 2am, Tuesday morning.  We’re
six guys around a table in ‘The Quiet
Room,’ which is never really quiet, but
tonight it’s quieter than usual.  New
faces, old faces. The crazies, the
dependables (such pigeon-holing in
the crypt of pigeonholing is always
relative; more relative than you’d
know for a long while, assuredly).
One guy I’ve never once seen lucid
(he sleep on the top bunk next to
mine; I call him Scrooge, but a 
better description of his night-
time ventures might more app-
ropriately garner him the nick-
name Gargoyle.  Yes, these are
some of the things that have
occupied my mind during my 
stay here of nearly two years
but for the 6 months break
when I was working (and,
lucky me, living on the
streets simultaneously) – 
anyway, this is my first time
experiencing him quite lucid,
and we’ve been bunk neighbors
for half a year.  He’s the life of
the party tonight!  And party it is.
It’s my last night here.  A scan the
“barracks” (as I call it here) in an
attempt to envision this small tucked
away enclave of a room a profligate
(in the best possible way) cul-de-sac
of lasciviousness.  Our “Sanctuary
was home (apparently) to a bath-
house.  In the Golden Age of those
mostly remnants of nostalgia here
in San Francisco.  The men sitting 
here tonight defy sex.  That’s pro-
bably an unfair assessment based
on my own perspective.  But they
do defy sexuality, for certain.  
Except one, who’s a dead-on 
doppelganger for Kid Rock.
And yet, he “got exposed” to
“fine arts” at an early age,
which, as he keeps saying
(and I certainly keep agreeing),
was “Pretty cool” . . . .


(to be continued)





Wednesday, March 13, 2019

mmdcccxxi

 The days go by and I go without them. 
                                     —John Ashbery 
  
Finding crazy means 
you’re lost.  And we 
all care not to be  
too lost, with cert 
itude!    There are 
circumstances, but.... 
“The curtain and a  
curtsy!” the barmaid  
would always snort  
after pouring the five  
kamikazes.  (She’d use  
‘cinco’ for inadvertent but  
appropriate 1990’s faux  
multiculturalist unknowism.) 
Those might have been 
the days, ponders the one 
who thinks he’s actually 
in the know.  Prox 
imity to the hole  
is always important.