The House of $2 PBR

I refuse to conceal how sadly present I am in this writing, not freakish, but – the reactions here keep a tone of total indifference. Swing hard, Merrell. It is the bottom of the 9th. Even still, not engrossed by that or what’s happening on stage. In the fog a striped shirted man hollering and strutting, like a Mick Jagger on lean. Classic punk style but vacuous of meaning now that ‘punk’ has illuminated itself elsewhere. 

Standard human hearing. Comfortable socially. There is hardly a method you know, getting neglected in the chain of shots. I wasted it on myself for transient holy feelings when the rest were made uncomfortable with their tasks for closing… you moved nowhere closer to your goal. 

Does that place exist? No, and it was in San Diego. Might be a rush of waitstaff from other places coming in. That’s my temporary. I am sorry for keeping you up – move into an uncrowded bar –  but with too much gain on the cymbals – punk with a miscue in. Painful production (with that high gain) – we capture emotion with intent to make it reach the frequencies of Standard human hearing. 

Let’s talk about dad and mountains. Practice environmental consciousness and think with the M.S. Merwin poem about the names of trees they grew up with and never knew, I don’t know, and I don’t know (cut off the serrated edges next time). I am clearly engrossed and alone, but alone in a place like this, the house of $2 PBRs, looks like waiting, waiting for a beloved friend to show up out of the fog. 

The weather for last call might prevent and influx… “Play like a champion, leave no doubt.” Can you close my card whenever? I’m sorry but who are you. Little cues, rags thrown aside while harmless patrons sip slow last calls or play pool without adding to their stamped cards. You moved nowhere closer to your goal. 

The jealousy can’t be mutual. For me it is a weight I think I can ignore, no matter how many knots form in my shoulders. No longer in the house of $2 PBRs, and cars zoom by the Florida ceiling windows, enjoy yourself angel… enjoy your baseball – share your mouthwash, forget the aux cable, etc. Forget the rest of the World. 


sharing cool things

“I have misunderstood the process of making something cool as the process of making something to share.”

No. As the lady at a crafts booth told me, “You are an asshole if you don’t share your art.”

She had strewn about handmade keychains, picture frames, pastel block prints, planters.

This was 6 months ago. This is now.

I don’t know what I am doing. I am picking up equipment to record through the winter.

Here it is. Let’s go for it.

(dives into the water but makes no splashing sound)

Here it is. Let’s go for it.

(leaps back onto the bridge. runs to the garage with a sweater on).

“Here is a guy who everyone wanted to hang out with, but he did not want to hang out with very many people.”

How can this continue as such madness?
Become domesticated or share what you’ve made of your anxieties.
(with grace, if possible).

This was 10 months ago. Now I am entering music
into the S.E. Alaska State Fair songwriter competition,
though last years winner won with a song called “That’s my Mom!”

I have songs to share with you. (Mountain Lion. Profanity Peak. Northwestern Debris).

She had said, “You are an asshole if you don’t share your work.
You have no idea what kind of good it might do for someone
else. Maybe it inspires them to make art of their own. How god-damn
rewarding would that be to know you opened a stranger up
to the wonder and the joy of bringing new ideas into the world?”

Here it is. Let’s go for it.

“When the Old Pilot Light Gives Out”


A CENTO – ((stolen prose fragments from The Control of Nature by John McPhee))


The crisis was simple and economic,

decorated with a relief model –

to keep them from plunging through.

Fireworks flew high into their interiors,

molten, growling, and weighed

two-thirds of a mile a piece.


As it happened, the edge never being stationary,

one cubic metre of flowing lava, of

prescription beer, and the wind shifted,

houses burst into flame mechanically,

and never took no for an answer.


The volcano came loose, extending

like a finger halfway across the harbormouth.

Dad swims up to the glass in a “silent

scream of terror” and felt but a mild quake

when the living room imploded

and removed itself hereafter.



List of Objects in my Periphery

Half burned sage in an ash tray. Car keys. Wallet. Lighter. A Natural History of The Senses. An observatory – a notebook full of collected little clangs of consciousness. An example: “I remember being told not to enjoy the smell of gasoline.” Wax dripped onto a framed piece of glass. A half-formed collage with blue clippings identifying sky and floral green pavilions keeping the eyes out of the cardboard backdrop. This to go beneath the waxed glass. Paintbrush. Glue. Winning lottery ticket for $2. Shotglasses full of sea shells and evacuated barnacles. Swann’s Way. A postcard from Denver. An old bass head case. Okkervil River CD. Screwdriver. Candles. Geodes from river beds. Candy corn string lights weaving all through these things, illuminates the handle of a buck-knife, a growler from Orcas. In the black window I am frightened out of my reflection, seeing him hunched and itching there, a few feet away, facing me, suspended in the second story dark outside, matching a freaked gaze. Orange in the night. And none of it matters at all when I sleep. None of it helps me dream or lighten up or feel like any more of an artist. It sits now heavy with a sleep I’ll soon bring into the room and blanket the objects with, the desk my mother and grandfather made together, all crooked canvases under my feet from perilous unfinished projects of my past. It is a kaleidoscope of unfinished


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.

Word-Painting # 1

This is a collage. Two feet by 18 inches or so. The canvas is painted black along the edges. A layer of glossy gluey finish holds it all together. A painted on kind of glue-gloss that ruined old cheap red-handled brushes, where the soft bristle became stiff sharp and gouging. Upper left hand corner, perhaps too obvious, is a magazine cut-out of a piece of plywood with the spray-painted words “Welcome to L.A.     Some Assembly Required”  (the book was a small volume about the 1994 L.A. earthquake and the structural damages it caused on buildings and on human bodies – picked up in a Goodwill in Canoga Park, California).

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