Blue Ink # 2 – a dissociative soundtrack

Conversations on the bus are limited by a quiet decency to get along – to make no one any less comfortable than already and the tactic includes going deeply internal, into the glowing screen and headphones – put off an I get along alright vibe, thank you & thankfully not cold enough to blast the defrosters and make us sweaty, make us more uncomfortable than already.

This feels familiar and uncomfortable – anonymous, surrounded by people who care for each other, love like a credit card kept open, “enjoy your promotion.” What is doing the feeling is a sense of suspenseful unwelcome. I know I can expand within Seattle and become an interactive body among the other connected bodies…. (?) …. clearly not enough. Do you know who is hiring around here?

For this to work best it requires cleaner edges, and consistency in font size. Style must be constant enough – it is the same night confined and tessellated here after-all. Consider this a timely prototype and later patterning colors and statements and font size variable based on the importance of what is said.

We are deep within the season of edges, a thin channel walled in by socked-in coasts, like I’m in a rowboat with you and you are unaware of the dangers. Fins multiply, wind picks up – so drink up, have fresh hop while it lasts, love your freedom, assert your empathy, we will be alright, this boat is endless. I did not mean to frighten you with what you avoid.

The choice between noise-punk and indie goddess is decided with a vegan blt. It is ten past 8. Both shows start at 8. The noise punk National play last, giving me time, plenty, while they chop and slice and pile fries, toss dirty knives into a bowl of soapy water, change the radio station, shoot the shit for a minute… it will be a longer show in this manner. It will take me deeper.

(something weird happens here supposedly)

Jesus, I’m not going back there. Instead heading up to see noise at Chop Suey while this prose snowflake unfolds. If you are reading this, understand it as meta, and know this electric navy blue as the beginning of an idea. To fill little spaces, folded, of a full piece of paper, lined, torn out of a notebook, once straightened out and framed, what a nightly kaleidoscope it will make.

Disconnected to the mechanical metaphor of interlocking parts of the city with fiery clarity, this is something I know too well, this disconnection. It will take great effort to enact redemption – moxie, art. The visuals are all there, the substance is out or not quite in – the beauty of a dissociative soundtrack – a glitchy silent film – an anxious pull toward meaning, toward fulfilling work (no one is hiring, the (…?…) is violently competitive.) “Keep up your spirit,” says a whiskey label.

making arrangements

When I materialized back into my body, I realized the coma had broken. There he was, the body I thought I had, but aged slightly, a year, or more, maybe 5 years there resting under the eyes, wrinkles from frowning covered by  beard, it is a seasonal, he told himself, this only happens during the fall transitions, he thought. I am not going insane I am just losing my chlorophyll, bleeding green as it were, and heading into hibernation after hibernating all summer and barely eating enough roots to keep the cave warm. Strangely, and with great hope, I feel I am in the process of resurfacing. Making plans, looking forward to things, all some weeks after becoming shockingly 25 years old and feeling the same sense of estrangement as the 16 year old cigar smoker buried somewhere in the lungs 9 years aged, the wooden heart metaphor, yeah, sure. Nesting dolls. Fabric covering the body no longer fit in. Larger sizes. Mental pingpong. Gasping for air, breathing for the first time in months air unfiltered through a straw or a pond reed or here it is the moment of transition, again, and again, the bursting forward. Is it ever going to stop? Will I ever want it to? This hope for the future always happens in the resolute fall. The endless winter looming. Matt says, “Fall’s always been our season. There’s something in the transitions.” and I can’t argue. I’m no summer lizard (at least whoever I was summer ’16 was not a lizard, more a different species of something hibernating… the unseasonal human boy until fall when everything becomes practical and shares mortality and breathes with cold truths and shoves trees through houses and powerlines and all that.)

I am awake and alive and feel okay.

Say often.

I am alive and okay. Awake.


I am alive to my feelings. Something internal gave the okay to wake up.

Okay, now. Wake up.

Here I am. What good will come of this day now I committed to it.


I filled up the gas tank of the old focus at the dusky Valero en route to the house I grew up in after a 10-8 shift at the flavored vodka factory (where factory means marketing engine, settled nerves, crazed expressions of self-worth, and eventual quiet where everyone in the board room meeting looks down at their hands or flickers their pencils until start blurring and looking rubbery). Lines in my head from Edward Abbey, although I must question some of his tasteless terminology, his ideas about the reason for wilderness, the immersion into the raw experience of life that every other (unpampered) creature must entertain for themselves to remain alive is an exhilarating reminder of why one has whims to remove oneself from the bubbling potions and screeching garbage trucks to move away and into the otherwise unknown beyond. Beyond.

The desire to be elsewhere found itself settled onto my heart at the gas station. The probably gas station where Mike bought me my first cigar, when I was sixteen and not supposed to do such things, but such cool older friends and kept it to myself later how young I will die because of the decisions I made in high school ( who said that, a camp counselor? ) no one said anything about that other than statistical data base computers, and the people who run them for the morgue, the health service, the hereditary alcoholic research group, the liver control board, the mash tank stopwatch kept under close watch, because profits, always because profits and never for consequences, because profits can be spent before consequences catch up.

I imagined the car and the gas pump in a different locality, a desert offshoot somewhere it was crucial and not just a dumb little chore. Somewhere the next gas had to be factored in for the drive, a kind of odometer of the sense, the feeling of lurching toward a new freedom from want, but always finding more want when getting there.

Drive the car its 275 miles before it is dead and leave it there for the vultures. What then? Well, pick up some quality boots before this time of crisis and slowly drain that stupid savings account, the one meant to be spent on music equipment and later travels. Drain now, what are you waiting for, winter is encroaching and removing the summer of its plans, it becomes a cold blur and something without sunrises or sunsets just a factory with indentions of being between the beams of conscious nightlessness and letting go of other inhibitions, in the sultry consumerism of a growing little city, the kind of love affair that lasts until He is done and let the capitalization mean everything possible to you, to you with your ego driven pesticide spraying on the beaches and shorelines of a beautiful estuary we all share, the sea stars, the humans, the sand fleas, and the herons, the great blue herons forced to search for a new rookery and the conservative anti-nature lobotomists who actively (frighteningly actively) believe in the removal of such “pests” for the benefit of condo views, uninterrupted housing developments, and flavored vodkas in the more to top on their bacon raffle tickets.

The title of this post refers to a Manchester Orchestra song of the same name. One that I heard on my way home and listened to three times in a row and this whole thing spun out of that experience and others. The base experience at $99 plus tax and the advanced experience, the one you get to take home, is an additional $49 plus tax. You need to fight the battles that matter to you personally and not get caught fighting against swine who will fight among themselves anyway.

A Storm

Pine needles swirl around in the sky with the wind pulling them from their branches. They are dry and dead with the summer draught in them. Clouds broke last night and supplied the forest floor with rain, the vines with rain, the branches with heavy rain, and the broken wood, the broken trees piled up against the shed, along the path to the forest, in the Pacific Northwest temperate zone, the pine trees, a few madrona, cold to the touch, a great big ancient oak in the center, saved from the hungry jaws of the bulldozer.

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Written Carefully on a Brown Paper Bag


Moody weather mirrors elastic emotions. Forest green

sweater covers coursing red impulses. (she sings while

she works. The older women bicker endlessly about

the arrangement of paintings).

“Too many horizontals in this area.”

I agree. Let’s get vertical.

“Wring out our spines like wet rags,” said an actor playing an impersonation of Burroughs.

We’ve done the damage. Stood up straight sometimes.

You mysterious coward. Great posture. Strong delivery.

Perfect marks on these transcripts

Let’s be parallel.


Did my heart drop when I learned that I failed

to leave behind a legacy? It was expected.

This world, full of vague impressions, forgetful days,

hazy horizons, contorted faces in the sunlight,

shrinking nature, growing clouds of floating filth…

grinds on, indifferent. You must yell

into the face of the world.

Force those vague, forgetful faces,

contorted with memory and pain, to listen

and to listen well.

Maybe all you’ll ever leave behind is a vague impression. What a bummer.

“How are you holding out?”

Just fine.

Heavy Eyelids & Columbia River Ale

Lost more time. It goes whoosh into paper cups. 12 of them for 40 cents a piece. Time left us with a small rack beer pong official length tournament table. Markings all cross hatched it like a multi use carpeted gym in an elementary school. Is it a basketball court today because of the always present grey-blue rain forest cloud cover? Can we use velcro tape to box off “jail” sections for capture the flag? How do we help them through our own horrors of adolescence? The Puget Sound all swathed in the same grey as the clouds and reflecting each other like a foggy mirror in the reflection of a foggy mirror with whales swimming orca-fin-out within.

Weekend goes away like barnacled humpbacks. Disappear into the unstructured depths of dark ales and submersible thoughts of sober intent all warped communication with the surface, some rational part of scientific mind in me was registering a blip on a radar, a blip of warning, a little red dot in a rippling pool of light laser beam green expanding circles, with the counterclockwise motion of the directional propeller, the compass of my desire, buried in the evergreen tap draft, drunk off the cerulean pure water of the local rivers, the confluence, the islands, the names of old, an unexpected sandy beach, an unexpected amount of skin revealed in the hot sun. Hear the groans of tension as we sink to crush depth. Then the implosion in the dark. A can of orange soda run over by a bus.

The confluence of Willamette and the Columbia. Through a cherry-blossom lined industrial park, seemingly abandoned for other venture capitalism on cheap plots of land elsewhere. All businesses out of order. For sale signs dusty and desperate in the windows and no smells of food cooking. Out on the beach and over cathedral park, the st. john’s bridge in its lonely majesty. One of countless bridges over the Willamette yet I know of so little bridges dangling precarious in the winds over the Columbia aside from the I-5 highway bridge out of Vancouver (Oregon Welcomes You) (Washington Says Return Soon!) and the half afloat 4 mile long crazy Astoria bridge over the Columbia delta breeding into the Pacific Ocean with clambeds all asleep and cozied up and yachts and cargo ships puttering about in the huge bay sized river outlet, currents doing nothing against the advent of anchors, the belief in anchors, the water traveling through sunlight to get into the ocean, all sparkled with the lemonworld caustic comments of ambivalent gods in lecture over wine over glasses overfilled, the hall full of disembodied philosophical pretenses and the sour grapes getting into the lake sediment… the Imperial Red Ale pronounced “Nathan” had me set for a moment out in that brick laded river sweet smelling magnolia strip kind of lovely avenue.

I realized my life is nearing enormous tectonic shifts. I will be forced up against finding a new home. Skipping rocks over my schedule gaps and letting Josh take the wheel for a week while I take passenger seat in Brian’s 1970’s Cessna across the great American continent into a landing strip somewhere in Florida for a day or so spring break 2015 and the wildlife that is implied in this adventure, the inability to pass it up, the selling of clothes to make it happen, the cities to plan on landing in, the studying up of electronic touring artists, the dance lessons, the piano at a young age, the breast stroke, the angel fly, the high dive, the boogie board and the sandy surf, the ocean tasted like blue raspberry mint kombucha – out there on the beach. Wondering what life would be like fully suspended in the air. The hawks over the I-5 corridor. The bald eagles. The horrible eyelid-weighted exhaustion. The tension and release of an ankle popping over accelerator and brake pedal. The landlord who walks over the beheaded remains of a poor bird left to rot on the front lawn.