The Best Sunset of the Year

wake up to the minutes
& red silk and lipstick
record each other
giving compliments
then slip into bed
which is not to go
wasted on me.


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).

Continue reading

wednesday free-write

11:16 – 11:36

Up the creaking stairs into the heat of the attic, the closed doors and the slanted roof and the stairs that lead out onto the roof. Everything is left white and undecorated. I haven’t the patience for thumb tacks and straight-edges. I do have a special knack for letting my plants toast in the refracted heat through the seesaw window, and banged my head against it while moving boxes arbitrarily, “are you all moved in yet?” and then the trips to the grocery store in the midday allergy heat. The scattering of beads of sweat, feeling myself perspire sans activity, sans the pure David Brower acting, the action with consequence and the monkey wrench tossed into the gears of the machinery, the dynamite hidden under the dam, the tires of government jeeps slashed happily for the salvation of a grove of red woods. The Muir Wilderness is yet to be explored for my own gratification of life on the planet, as a symbiotic part of the greater green goods, a feeling my Dad and my Sister are feeling right now as they traverse a section of the Pacific Crest Trail in this ridiculous heat, from White Pass (snowless this time of year) to Naches Peak Loop, the wildflower vista with views of meadows extending like octopus arms or hearts, I don’t know the metaphor appropriate here. I haven’t been up there since high school. I am a dull and lazy person some days. Existing on lukewarm coffee or scalding hot cups of noodles or freezing cold iced tea, the relief of the three, and wondering how awesome Tuesday night’s sunset must have been to them up there somewhere. Camping in two separate tents. A communal fire set between them for collective warmth. Chopping up fallen logs for this purpose and to cook their little cans of beans and astronaut food. The mutt keeps watch and leaps after rabbits and birds with a reckless dive, crashing through fragile, delicate flowers, crushing and replacing with dust and footprints.

Long tangent there. I was out driving transfers from U.W. Medical Center down through the Montlake Cut, into that cursed left side merging lane onto I-5 south to meet up with people from the North through downtown Seattle, all the hazardous, blinkerless merging to be forgiven with a shrug, and then down past the stadiums and Boeing, the long gradual curves in the highway up through Renton. Boring shit through Fife. But there are a few views of Mt. Rainier along the way, especially during these warm summer nights, where the sunset lingers like spices on the tongue, the soft pinks and purples and golden glow from the west behind clouds and mountains, coloring the glaciers and slopes of the mountain with a painter’s palette…… the moon there in transit behind the snowy peak, nearly full, and the Venus-Jupiter slow dance.