obscurely suspended

Now, somehow and immediately, I encounter a freedom I haven’t felt for 542 days. 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?


today. this late. 3:29 am on the first day of this new year…. here is where my unedited daily writing rants will have a home. the handwriting will continue yet the fact this is sent out into oblivion is an exciting incentive to write with a clarity unfounded in my notebooks, a placebo of crowd control, a pill that makes an audience materialize where there isn’t one, a quiet girl who abstains from everything and a party where a dude pukes on the ground while the rest watch the senseless fireworks from the 45th street bridge over I-5 and the voices complain anyways- because they are used to complaining about the cold as if it is news to anyone to say such words aloud, {I require new words. Screamed out loud. New ideas.} The fragments of talk are lost because it is a shit show of a night, with the vomiting and the jazz music in the car and the avoidance of drinking and the sleeping on the orange chair and the strangeness of it all I appreciate and yet I wonder what the appeal of the others was, the allure of the observation and the couch conspiracy and the kayakers and the overwhelming odds, the lost opportunities and the lost girlfriends, cast aside like soft buoys to prevent smashing into loading docks.

What is a BA w/ Writing Emphasis if you do not habitually write? Okay, Sufjan, I agree there is too much riding on that. And I realize the squandered time of my life in education when I could have been studying how to tone car engines, the peer pressure talk about it, and the motor oil companies drilling into the earth with a force of new technology and the hard hats all of those fractin’ fools wear out there to protect themselves.

Nothing matters anymore. Writing because it needs to be a necessity. Writing because Sigur Ros is soundtrack and my night is full of experience I barely understand. My night is full of impressions I cannot fathom and will never be able to. What I felt tonight will explode into the past as soon as I wake up. That is the fear. This will happen continuously until I grow old into retirement and die with mounds of unused cash under my corpse. Yet I also fear the wage of it all, when the money piles on in waves like millionaire pilots or like getting in great shape and making more music because it all matters that my mind is uneasy and the new years in seattle have been bust always and fuck seattle fuck it to its core because it is a bad luck omen at everything possibly relaxing and the quiet is not something I appreciate. I need the noise. I need the words that are considered filler because I need human contact and words like goodbye are not enough to express a longing to disappear, a longing to jump off of bridges alone, alone, alone. Words fix it up and let it golden in the wintry sun.


10:09 am

waking to the sound of trumpet blasts, morning violin, morning guitar, speedy recovery of a lost art, great green ghosts gliding, nothing said, barely communicating with the airs put on by the light weight, collared shirt of a mindful guy, the music and the intimidation of playing guitar, the stylized virtue, the moral values, the codes of conduct, the Benjamin Franklins of our day are in computer labs, typing code, synthesizing data, drinking well whiskey, talking into red wine cups, playing bass in a band like Pete the janitor, juggling oranges on the street for cash, mumbling into the pillow sweet something or others, completing puzzles and television series….

November 18

Shuffle the music, sit under the medieval cathedral inspired archway of the suzzalo library quiet study room and pick a few books at random off the shelf. Today, the randomness was a little biased, my decisions based on snappy flashy titles. Waves & Plagues or The Human Relationship With Nature and others, surrounded infinitely by others, other cities in a huge sprawl in all directions, save the ocean. (Except the ocean). Save the whales. Now I sit with a cold lingering behind the front of my face and wonder if my grumbles of revolt in my stomach are audible. My intestines are rejecting my coffee sans food lunch. I spend a lot (oops qualifier!) of money to caffeinate my consciousness. I wonder why English separates verbs and the word “to” in the infinitive tense rather than combining them as in French. I got a red squiggle under my attempt at making ‘caffeinated’ a present tense verb, an action that can be done to something, to a consciousness perhaps.

Moving away from the linguistic intellect of a degenerate in training. Scoot away from the word play of the wasted green arrows, the collateral damage of the stream of consciousness, the river runs dark with blood and coffee, the stream, the river, the metaphor, “in the background is a substantial settlement ringed by a dense forest. Three mountains dominate the horizon.” and I am totally unprepared for a view of such an unknown shoreline. To show up to critique the works of others, the sporadic collage, the decade, the sickness, and to have no work of my own to throw in the hat, seems like my commentary shall remain limited for this purpose. “both ports languished in inactivity.” and I hope I can keep sailing further and further away from a statement cold war calm sea windless feeling inside of my head, one caused by prolonged drunkenness followed immediately by a slight cold and then the subsequent medications to help pull me through and out, as in breath through a bent straw instead of esophagus and lungs.

So I have nothing to submit. The collage I’ve written feels choked and I have about 50 hours to complete it, 49 hours to practice for a spoken French examination. Sheer minutes until death at all moments, in the hypothetical, sudden asteroid, sudden gunman, sudden car accident, kind of way. This cold won’t kill me and my antibodies are already cleaning me out. But. Mais.

My mind feels a flatline blur. Yeah, Kevin Devine, I know I steal your thoughts sometimes. This is because they are so god damn beautiful. You know how to write about things without squeezing the life out of the topic even if this choking sensation is the topic itself.

“It’s the same dollar drafts
the same whiskey words
the same hanging hearts
the same old scorched earth
further and further from the truth…”

I wanna stop it…

“We like to drink the clock backwards, and pretend like nothing’s changed.”
from ‘Me & My Friends’ from Kevin Devine from Put Your Ghost To Rest from 2006 from Capital Records from Brooklyn from Many Years of Practice and Strong FELT Emotion, etc.

“At this point I became earthbound again…”

IN the cathedral arch room of quiet listening to loud music in my little white headphones reading about japanese art (the la brea tar pits amusement park) wondering why I continue to neglect my collage story, my bipolar illness sister conflict terror of a story that feels so simultaneously overthought and neglected and such a godawful conflict when trying to make a composition sensible. Insensibility can only serve my purpose if there is a purpose.

Okay. I’m going to talk it out a minute. There are a few entries included (mood-stabilizing medications) and (bloodletting) that indicate different historical practices used to in attempt to treat or help those with cycles of psychotic mania and weighty depression. These are juxtaposed against anecdotal accounts of my sister’s own experiences with these sensations, a general distrust of the mind, an overmedication, and a volatile reaction to much external stimulation. She often seems like a cornered animal, sensing aggressive behaviors in those who mean no harm whatsoever. A corner animal in her thoughts and lashes out like a lion against a man with a chair and a whip. I also try to include a narrative of the likelihood or possibility that I could develop such an emotional disorder and that it is a genuine fear of mine.

Three thoughts weave through. Bipolar people are often super creative in their manic episodes. My sister is a real life example of the violence involved in the disorder. History shows the treatment of these people as monsters. I am afraid of falling in to the current of mental illness.

That’s four. The question lingers. How can I write about this stuff in a literary mash up of seemingly disparate parts with clarity?

How do I sound natural when I write?

Back to the books.

Waves projecting long finger-like extensions seem to aid an octopus as it ravishes the young diver.

biophilia: an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world.

“traditional Japanese nature appreciation activities – bonsai, haiku, flower arranging, the tea ceremony, rock gardening- reflect a refined appreciation of nature, even at times its veneration, but also a belief that wildness requires the creative hand and eye of humans to achieve its perfection”

see: environmental generational amnesia, obligatory morality, the carousel of gender roles, children’s understanding of the value of the amazon rain forest

where is a dissipating plume of smoke when you need one?


Wednesday. October 29. 12:45 am

Careful about your age.
I have been believing in magicians for some cynical sense that all is well and right and that we will become resurfaced at least once more before drowning.

I am making a plan and it is tantric in origin with roots in Oregon and desires for Denver in the cusps of my comprehension, while the other sleeps a desolate sleep. Of obscure longing fought off with drinks and dreaming, while the realist wakes up early and confronts the sunrise without fear and without apprehension for the day that follows the suns arrival into our atmosphere.

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Studying English. (bored with my own voice)

Learning about literature and the great writers of our times in a college setting does not make any of it seem accessible. I am still a lost child of my generation, inundated by the sheer weight of every word written in perfect placement by every predecessor. The fault is in my “undeserving” complex. Self-deprecation because How could I ever write a story/song like that? and my complex frames the question hypothetical and unanswerable, whereas it takes baby lion steps. Those first brittle bones arching across the safari until eventually running with the best hunters of the pride. Shaggy mane all hanging down. None of it grew overnight… but that beautiful concept… “Last night a forest grew.” Destruction is fast. Recovery slow. Becoming good at anything is a form of recovery. To rediscover the childlike curiosity and excitement about every living creature and a desire to tell relatives about the day’s discoveries. The sun! The butterfly! This song I heard! Etc.

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Sure there are followers. An elusive audience out there. Beyond. We lost Proust and the apartment quivers itself upset, down.
We’ve green eyes and are glowing from the inside like swallowed fireworks. the soft ones. Gentle little pops where explosions once reigned. Even the trees lean in to hear our derisive pillow talk. I heard them croak and groan outside and got spooked.

Do we dominate our thoughts of death or do they control us? What if.. You are cutting off the city bus passively in a different way. The driver honks and yells curses– inconvenience of mangled glass and bent metal– if traffic is memorable we should hop into the bath tub with knives immediately. Or the belt by the rafters. Others have mysterious ways that take 50 years to enact. A calendar date heart attack – hold my calls.
Wine smeared smile or a jump for joy when a carnival caught fire and a tent took off like a parasol under helium, bridges with archways that maze through a watery city and hard shells bounce or ricochet- depend on convex shape of mirror lens over the (blank) of it all with a shock collar buzzing every time someone mentions alcohol in casual, rather than dire, circumstances.
Someone singing in the backyard. Floating bones up from gravitational center.
Pyramid built fears all piled up rocks until structure and meaning can be.
Hiccups from the gin soaked bathroom and the scissors fly through the hair like little doves flitting about carrying lace down from a marigold river bed, or the glacial till that produces exquisite cold filtered whiskey.
Sure there are followers. At the gates with bricks. Pitch forks and burning torches yelling 40 languages in a delirious blur like an avalanche. Elements from high ground mixing with foot hills in a tumble down tumult. Drops all fragile things- all the sentimental objects from the height of a back lit glass eyed window room. That’s it. Glass-eyed. Drunk-eyed is rude. Glossed over yeux when yer lids relaxed. Ma petite-amie. le jazz.
The followers are shadows. Not human. Are you human? Do you have any desire to interact with me as humans do? Language this dense is what separates us from other species. Moreso than intelligence. I hear a hurrumph! from the science district… “Language is intellect… they are inseparable like pancakes and syrup…”
Why not speak to me? Well, none of us reach out. Only for our defining sexual characteristics when alone and unashamed or the bottle. whatever bottle. cold turkey before the trip. wild turkey.
We pretend friends and dissipate. Move on. Different city in mind when looking at the tan/red brick buildings on the University of Washington campus. Thinking of you, Tempe. Your sky an infinite blinding blue. The buildings colorless. The ground red/tan and dusty. Muted light shades of green in tangles along the road. Called brush. Easy for fires. Lost where I am to go on from. Lost where I am from but I know the intent to move forward. Lost my car keys.

Forward motions are mimicry to an old version of myself, less bleary eyes and more true to form. The body as a form. A statue with ambitious pose, chin up, legs in stride, solid directional purpose; anywhere and quickly. Now? Attempt to force pieces of incongruous shapes into slots of defined edges.
Followers. Myself included. Though I’m tangled up. I see behind myself in the mirror. No pores or blemish. Just a world outside and behind. Past. Wide and yawning like the mouth of mother tiger. It might be regret that I never became the shadow for anyone. I barely cast a shadow. I am nocturnal. Streep lamps muddle the shadow with those of the buildings and lowly brush or are they evergreens? Is this a desert oasis in the second tier of hell? A conservative family dinner rampant with denial of consequence in Topanga? Or a northwest wasteland – flannel and summer dresses and mountains mixed with clouds. Are you there, friends? Do you call yourself that or is it all mist. The horizon swallows mist. scotch mist.
Depression is a declarative statement.