Other than a tunnel-visioning sinus headache, googling eyes out my sockets like light bulbs fallen out of the ceiling, or brighter, the world outside a telescopic view became blurry and unsettled, dizzy, I was chased by lightning out to poetry. See huge angry clouds growling from the North. Moving faster than airplanes. Overtaking helicopters and turning them into glittery shrapnel. Kept pace ahead of this stormy grey mass for nearly a mile when it caught up and coughed some convective heat at me like a demon’s breath. See the grand camera flash and hear the sour ripping thunder as if a portal to the underworld is attempting to open, or something is attempting to breach, the sound of tectonic plates crushing against one another. Thunder directly overhead, the flash light an automated red-light ticket dispenser, I’m the car running the light, the flash is my consequence, I’ll be shocked at the letter in the mail, the letters that never come, especially when it is sunny everywhere and the snowpack in the North Cascades is less than 5% of its normal capacity.
No excuses to water your lawns. We will have to ration. Seattle, too. Draught. Boycott Shell Oil. Become UNESCO city of literature. Understand what that acronym is supposed to be all on about. We will draught and ration and others will excess and talk about the “standards of living” as if having a three car garage has anything to do with that. As if the spatial awareness of my father was hindered by overt ambition. As if twenty years in the pit could bloom and blossom a great new home for everyone. Spotted Owls, included.
The sound of thunder directly overhead sounds exactly like I’ve heard heart attacks feel like. First the hair on the nape of your neck pricks up. This is some sort of evolutionary nostalgia, the ridgeline of the backs of cats when valid threats are near. The prickly porcupine. Something is about to happen. You touch a metal stop sign and watch your energy transfer to it with a small spark and feel like a magician. Then a flash (numbing of the arm) and the tearing, ripping, apocalyptic tearing of something out of you, out of the sky and out of you, your heart is seared steak. I’ve heard astronauts say that space smells like seared steak. the energy of atoms. the biological clock speeding up suddenly as if god were winding it forward.
(above is an image of the Ravenna Park Bridge from the early 1900’s)
Today, spread out on my glass top desk, two parking tickets, one inexplicably unpaid from Multnomah County. The other from letting the old black focus “obstruct the sidewalk” on the selfsame street that I goddamn live on. Public comments include “blocking north-south path” and “blocking east-west path.” Either my focus grew into a meat delivery truck over night or my accuser had no access to a compass or the flickering horizon light of the north star before it died in the sunlight. Thanks officer Gardea! I blame my landlord(s). One in an orange hoodie with hood up and pajamas every day. Goes to the trash bins at least 7 times daily. I wonder where all the trash comes from or if they binge and purge hoarding useless disposable crap. The other is a sickly bakery owner. They live next door to me and email me if my music is too loud.
Other on the desk. A globe. Yeah. A cat license overdue ticket. (Will they confiscate Benson if I refuse to act?) I will tell them he got run over my a meat delivery truck if they pursue legal action, hiding him in the bathroom. Huh no cat here. He’ll be taken to the doug fir soon anyway, anyway. Then the pressure cooking sizzle of the stranger’s potential interest in my writing. My writerly artsy writing? an article in the form of free verse poetry? huh huh? you have all the options of the world opening up in front of you and you need need need to rip open the seams of your life and scream into the teeth of the art world.
Well so and the poetry portfolio for pretty pimone. Pay the fines. Write the poems. Edit the shit out of them and make them little vases of contained specific flowers. Wildflowers from the edges and lips of mount rainier. Then the pitches! Then the 48 to Greenwood in a few weeks to tutor kids with writing projects and space travel in general.
Fucking tickets, though. What a mix of things to do today. There is also a hard drive containing gopro footage I’ve taken of The Netherlands & France from last summer. Also all the electronic/guitar music projects I’ve helped create with YUSO over the last few months. Nothing yet released, don’t look it up.
Put conjugation tables away with a pink notebook bang, a beardless young man attempts a biological and genetic experiment using his own face as the parameters, so if shaven clean daily, will other buried hairs be given chance to grow, a clean playing field, a forest with the undergrowth removed, the pinecones left in dollops beneath the always green shade, forever and ever grey and green, then when he shocks his perpetually cut-at-youth hairs with a razor negligence, his theory is that the sprouts will sprout, the beard will grow, and he can be a public Seattle citizen again. Otherwise, no, nothing of the sort. Stay indoors. Watch the underside of the chin closely in the mirror for saplings to dredge up and out. Wait for the right time and then wait for the right time and then wait.