False Summits

Leading up through the scree past where the trees tend to stop. No soil for roots to spread out under like expanding hands and fingers, implacably spreading until the desired balance is achieved. A deliberate balance between sunlight and cool shade. Continue reading

a tornado moving away from you

9:09 – 9:27

Felt strong enough this morning to throw my car overhead into Lake Union, spinning it like a lasso and releasing like an arrow. Watching it rock-skip across and then never sink. I’ve read eating hamburgers is worse for the environment than driving a car, even a leaky, groaning, old Ford Focus. So choose your battles. Watch the others fight and die other issues you are vaguely attached to. Why yes I have a dishwasher. (Or me.) No, of course I wash my dishes by hand. The warm water only comes out at two settings and one setting is not-at-all. Other is niagara and extreme wasteful. Then the clickery heating ducts that tap tap tap on my ears like an ice pick exploring for cranial cables to severe to make me more docile. No no doctor. Give me the surgery that severs my docility.

A stress fracture, or fractured stress, something compartmentalized into different bodies of pain contained within me like sleeping viruses. So I’m anxious because my life is changing rapidly for the better. There is travel momentum on my side.

Brief side story. One week ago today we met up with Kiel in Arcata, California after a terrifying night of cloudy, icy, night-flying over the blackening coast. He droves for free to the airport, gave us a smooch, and off we went. Velocity in tow, our bags full of velocity, our eyes in all directions, our speed our adrenaline, our veins pumping it through the innercity work of organs interacting. Let chemical washes flow. From Arcata we flew down the coast nearly to Oakland before cutting inland, aimed at Bakersfield. Along the rocky coast I saw a pod of whales, I believe to be a pod of California Gray Whales embarking on their great northern migration. We flew at 2,000 feet over them and waved and they steamengined water out of their blow holes for sheer joy of it. They breathe oxygen and are warmblooded. So many swirling blowholing shapes down their among the rocky outcrops and little buried islands, the little buried islands that wreck schooners.

So many other details. A little flight sick for me over the cattle farms and wheat fields a bit inland. After seeing the model villages of Napa Valley. Then over the ass end of the Sierra Nevadas over wind farms and a valley spreading in all directions at sunset. Then following highway 12 up into the city because a visual reference is worth erasing flight plans for. Otherwise vague mountainous hills as we are told to descend via tower and probably terrain alert right into them with a speed of 140 mph, basically just a really fast car all the way down through the air of cold Tacoma to the Gulf of Mexico, the heat and humidity and elevation loss and gain and so many little houses down dirt roads with cars driving on them .

thwarted suite tangerine

Snap fingers, shoot rifle. Jump bridges, gaps in teeth like the accidentals, the black keys, the notes with sharps or the wayward blues, the notes defy grid of music key, unlock, unhinge the jaw, place words on the tongue so they dissolve without water, taste the B vitamins of nonsense here in this cymbal swelling, this sad knowledge of a five year thwarted path, pah! Continue reading

Language – Jen Wood – Dolphins

I dreamed in French last night. My dream was childlike, because my grasp on the language is about equal to that of a 6 year old. They can communicate better than I but I understand the governing concepts behind complex grammatical phrases. I know verbs. Know is a verb. Verb is a noun. Noun is a noun. Is is a verb. And so on.

The dream was limited to my vocabulary. I walked/marché along a street/rue in the night/noir all alone/seul. Poorly lit alleyways, as my more fluent friend stayed asleep in the hotel, I decided on fresh air and the dim alleyways whispered at me to join them in their silence and darkness. Fire escape ends of cigarettes burning above. Grey brick. Black ironwork. Snowglobe stars. I joined the scene, I walked through them, puddles of moonlight, luna, scattered ashes of thoughts now. All is vague, bumping into passersby, je suis désolé they said. ça va. I said and journeyed on.

“When you were a kid, everyone was your friend” – sings Jen Wood, interrupting a 23 year old’s description of a dream. She is the female voice on the Postal Service record. Her music is pretty, jazzy, bittersweet, sad, soft, dynamic. Wilderness is the name of the album I’m listening to. She plays at Columbia City Theater next week. Probably see her.

So the dream ends at the dull interaction between myself and my projection of a local. Perhaps they said more words than I knew, words I didn’t quite pick up. How fascinating if true! If I could dream with better French vocabulary than in waking life. The anxiety of an inability to communicate with someone. Then I think about the Vietnam documentary I fell asleep to. Fire bombs, traps set, ambushes, friendly fire, mortar shells, choppers shot out of the sky, warm beer airdropped. Then I think about the Radiolab episode I listened to about experiments regarding the intelligence of dolphins, trying to find a common ground language between english and ‘dolphin’ and to learn the contents of their sonar, echolocation, flipper-handed, blow hole noises. Are the squeaks and croaks and chirps language we can understand? Research suggests that dolphins call each other by name, having a recognizable ‘homesign.’

What am I in French? What am I in dolphin? Who am I in English, Russian, Latin, Vietnamese? The language of music?


“Firefuck! Firefuck!” I yelled as it floated by with floral wreaths, slowly, somewhere in Tacoma, as a young boy. This outcry did not trouble me but my mother flushed red like the side panels of the machine I had pointed out. Ladder hung on the sides, men in small cabs and yellow uniforms, hats like conquistadors, enormous powerful hoses to dowse the greatest of fires and keep us safe from burning while we sleep. I thought of heroes though never got into comics or television at the depth of many children of my generation. It’s new! It’s great! Everyone is talking of it! No. I was a boy and I loved building empires with lego’s and cheering trains on as they passed. I sat on green lawns and squinted to the skies to form animals out of clouds. Half built a tree fort. The tree has since grown and the platform is no longer flat due to disproportionate growth between branches. 

Machines amazed me. They were isolated incidents. Networks of gears and steam that communicated through cogs and spinning wheels to accomplish a task. Demolish a building. Carry boxcars and hitch hikers across nations. Send people into space. Dowse fires and all. There were parade floats that filled my imagination with wild crime fighting tasks or the impossible scenarios in which I dreamed physically into my empires. The architecture of a child who made his fake lawn blue. It never was about emulating the machines or the nature I saw. I wanted to create my own machine for a heroic task, some closed, self-contained system that would extract kittens safely from branches, or trace around clouds and name scientific terms for their make and model, or the ability for a child to get a cloud down on tracing paper to create monsters or animals out of them, cloud tracing paradigms, musical delirium, it was always about experimentation, and then the physicality within my self that suddenly became sterile and nervous as I grew older. I wish to return to the first time I said “fuck!” without knowing what I was saying whatsoever! On my mother’s shoulders at the april parade. The flowers and streamers. a whole roadside crowd turned and laughed and I smiled, mother blushed. these are golden moments, all of them. the simple creation to develop the child mind into that of an adult should never stop. hence this. this simultaneous idea and creation forum of stream of conscious writing. 

it is a machine and an invention and inevitably unique and you should do it too because it makes you heroic to your future self