Blue Ink # 2 – a dissociative soundtrack

Conversations on the bus are limited by a quiet decency to get along – to make no one any less comfortable than already and the tactic includes going deeply internal, into the glowing screen and headphones – put off an I get along alright vibe, thank you & thankfully not cold enough to blast the defrosters and make us sweaty, make us more uncomfortable than already.

This feels familiar and uncomfortable – anonymous, surrounded by people who care for each other, love like a credit card kept open, “enjoy your promotion.” What is doing the feeling is a sense of suspenseful unwelcome. I know I can expand within Seattle and become an interactive body among the other connected bodies…. (?) …. clearly not enough. Do you know who is hiring around here?

For this to work best it requires cleaner edges, and consistency in font size. Style must be constant enough – it is the same night confined and tessellated here after-all. Consider this a timely prototype and later patterning colors and statements and font size variable based on the importance of what is said.

We are deep within the season of edges, a thin channel walled in by socked-in coasts, like I’m in a rowboat with you and you are unaware of the dangers. Fins multiply, wind picks up – so drink up, have fresh hop while it lasts, love your freedom, assert your empathy, we will be alright, this boat is endless. I did not mean to frighten you with what you avoid.

The choice between noise-punk and indie goddess is decided with a vegan blt. It is ten past 8. Both shows start at 8. The noise punk National play last, giving me time, plenty, while they chop and slice and pile fries, toss dirty knives into a bowl of soapy water, change the radio station, shoot the shit for a minute… it will be a longer show in this manner. It will take me deeper.

(something weird happens here supposedly)

Jesus, I’m not going back there. Instead heading up to see noise at Chop Suey while this prose snowflake unfolds. If you are reading this, understand it as meta, and know this electric navy blue as the beginning of an idea. To fill little spaces, folded, of a full piece of paper, lined, torn out of a notebook, once straightened out and framed, what a nightly kaleidoscope it will make.

Disconnected to the mechanical metaphor of interlocking parts of the city with fiery clarity, this is something I know too well, this disconnection. It will take great effort to enact redemption – moxie, art. The visuals are all there, the substance is out or not quite in – the beauty of a dissociative soundtrack – a glitchy silent film – an anxious pull toward meaning, toward fulfilling work (no one is hiring, the (…?…) is violently competitive.) “Keep up your spirit,” says a whiskey label.

the Light of August

the light today. the light felt right. there was something in the quality of the light. something magic in the light which gave the birds, the mountains, the green fishing boats heading home to harbor, the irises of the guests, the hanging flowers, the shopwindows a positive identifier : the green ships were aware of how perfect their green hulls flowed greenly through the reflective mountainous hemlock forests who, enjoying their participation in the scene, reflected on other stages in their growth, back before they allowed green ships to pass through their wavery watery underworld.

even the clouds seemed proudly unashamed of what blue skies they concealed. the blue skies, blissfully unaware for the moment of the infinite void of cold, soundless space only a few miles further away from them and the green ships and the hemlocks, seemed happy to engage in the harmony of light concentrated on this first day of August, 2017, albeit intermittent.

the lake was moody when the brilliant blue skies picked out patches of spruce tips and hugged their sharp branches with a golden light. I felt a ripple forming.

the red salmon. the sockeye. the mispronunciation that stuck to the history books. (sock-eye is a kind of onomatopoeia for a Coastal Salish word suk – kegh and the italics, of course, are a translation as well of a spoken-only language into the English alphabet).

the salmon seemed content in their retirement. their dehydrated red fins waving above the surface like flags of defeat. the swimming dead. the final phase change. the home stream. the magnetic influence. the biological impulse. the nutrients in the trees. the core samples. the this and the that about the salmon on this fine day. pick a metaphor and hold onto it.

the swimming dead. these fish fortunately are close to their home channel as they phase change and take on a negligent diet. however, once the circle is met, the spawning occurs, there is nothing in them to keep them alive. they must flip and flop around until death comes by claw or talon or net. their spirit warms the hibernation chambers of a female bear up above 3,000 feet, getting her ready for the birth of her litter of cubs. their spirit rides the thermals higher than the mountain peaks with an 8 times magnified binocular vision zooming in and out of the landscape and providing the energy to swoop in for another kill to feed the young. their spirit fuels a fistfight at the fisherman’s bar over a game of shuffleboard. beer spilled everywhere.

the light made everything aware of itself to me. everything seemed confident in it being what it was. today, the water and the mountains, the movements they make… occurred to me as a correspondence. a long, slow decision making process. the light opened a window into this exchange. the light led me astray in the perfect direction, the noted observations, the new realm of seeing, the opened mind in the light of its own opening, like an iris acutely aware of its height above the buttercups yet jealous of the yellow light emanating from them as reflected indirectly in the diffuse light of the jagged clouds. the clouds held the light back and handed it out liberally to everything I set my mind to today.

making arrangements

When I materialized back into my body, I realized the coma had broken. There he was, the body I thought I had, but aged slightly, a year, or more, maybe 5 years there resting under the eyes, wrinkles from frowning covered by  beard, it is a seasonal, he told himself, this only happens during the fall transitions, he thought. I am not going insane I am just losing my chlorophyll, bleeding green as it were, and heading into hibernation after hibernating all summer and barely eating enough roots to keep the cave warm. Strangely, and with great hope, I feel I am in the process of resurfacing. Making plans, looking forward to things, all some weeks after becoming shockingly 25 years old and feeling the same sense of estrangement as the 16 year old cigar smoker buried somewhere in the lungs 9 years aged, the wooden heart metaphor, yeah, sure. Nesting dolls. Fabric covering the body no longer fit in. Larger sizes. Mental pingpong. Gasping for air, breathing for the first time in months air unfiltered through a straw or a pond reed or here it is the moment of transition, again, and again, the bursting forward. Is it ever going to stop? Will I ever want it to? This hope for the future always happens in the resolute fall. The endless winter looming. Matt says, “Fall’s always been our season. There’s something in the transitions.” and I can’t argue. I’m no summer lizard (at least whoever I was summer ’16 was not a lizard, more a different species of something hibernating… the unseasonal human boy until fall when everything becomes practical and shares mortality and breathes with cold truths and shoves trees through houses and powerlines and all that.)

I am awake and alive and feel okay.

Say often.

I am alive and okay. Awake.


I am alive to my feelings. Something internal gave the okay to wake up.

Okay, now. Wake up.

Here I am. What good will come of this day now I committed to it.

Tomorrow will begin

a newfound passion in a full, artistic life. I have been traveling and writing little fragmented notes and drinking good beer. I have broken an oath to write daily here (dwelling on it) and to let the words sieve out of me in a meditative ritual like lighting sage and humming through the corridor of a cathedral, the cathedral worshipping my body, the heart of the sun, the nerves spread out like river deltas, bells in the distance signifying nothing, letting nothing be known to come about, letting time erase itself like the first high tide wave erases the sand castle, letting the children know of future lost loves, of death of ideas.

Tomorrow I will begin, I promise. I’m feeling weird this evening. Fatigued beyond reasoning. Directionless and panicky. But I want to release the tension. I will dispose of all unnecessary objects in my life, sentimentality tossed aside like a bloody rag in war time surgery, because this is war, this is war against domesticity and laziness, this is war against negative birth defects of gravity, of alcohol torn out of the earth and poured down my gullet by topless body painted Roxannes outside Whiskey Hotel, the fiction trumps the fact, the fiction makes the fact sad it cannot be better and sexier.

So let fact or fiction come out and mix in the soup, the low flying clouds, the aerial dynamics, the choice of words, the verbs of movement over mountains, the Belgian pressure system on the lower intestines, the dry throat, crackling like New Mexican pueblos.

Tomorrow is the first of spring quarter. My last spring quarter before a special bachelor’s of the arts in creative writing. (See me go! Look at me sprinting toward that dangling carrot!) And then what? They ask. Fuck me if I know. I want to answer. I shrug and wonder how often they question themselves. None of us really question ourselves. We say, “I know myself pretty well now that those damned adolescent years and young loves are over with” and then never reform the picture with a body sagging four years in the future from that certainty. What is certainty after years without addressing it? It is not there. It is a crumbling viaduct sinking into the Puget Sound.

Not much in that. I don’t know myself too well. I know I need to be drastic or else I’ll drown. Like fish. They must keep swimming for their gills to work. Fish can drown if the current, or whatever, lethargy, maybe, holds them too still. I’ll just sleep here guys. In the snow drift? No, in my grandmother’s cottage as she approaches the senility of party host and puts sandwiches in the dresser drawers for me to take home and the family is quietly horrified but sings happy birthday extra loud, yawning after the candles are blown out, asking the youngest what they intend to do and saying things like “it’s okay not to know, just look at me” and see a flash of regret like a picture of lightning. An eternal flash. A captured flash. A life of regret in a cottage, in the undertow, in the young love never questioned, in the chastity belt broken and never repaired, in the heart of youth trading itself for a deported cardiac. And here I am saying I wanted to make sense with this proclamation of artistic intent.

But I intended really to say

move on 

such small beer

Let me out, dark cellar on a blustery sunfull day, where hyacinth buds push up earth, premature bloom and freeze to death before spring, ambulance lights hang within misty air of our breaths after drinking coffee but who is us? I am guarded when I feel so aloof, causing a lonely siren to wail along the corridor, chute down into the purpleblack river, so I do not talk, I fear sudden movements, and desire them all the same. A smile from Oh, from Ma, from Vi, or Val and love the moment, my ruined stomach butterflies. I am dead of tongue, tone deaf, in ponderous pain, and wondering where I can go to find this tornado-root of feeling and confront my whirling self, my inability to adapt to a city of large, jagged by grey winds, feeling the sad isolation of crowds or classrooms, keeping my hand at my side, then forgetting my bike lock combo. Take a lap around th’ physics building, aimless, letting the steam out of my skull – the steam horn that signifies going to/getting off work in the old cartoons and write a list of numbers close to the combo, feeling a guilty thief of my own property, finally clicks — ride off wearing my emotions like a helmet.

Dipping again into the sad inkwell of a flirtation impossible.

January 12 – thoughts and a dream

Mechanism is not yet working. I still have dust in my eyes, sleep dust, and I have only a few sips of scolding coffee to make it go away, to shun sleep like fallen out friend. Well, I’ve written of this feeling before. It did not go far. It did not become a poem or a snow globe containing artificial flakes of my life shaken up by an artificial lover, an invention of a narrator, the delusion of a lover, and the tiny cityscape in there. All contained and well symmetrical. But fake and dead.

The feeling is of waking up and feeling a tinge of regret for this or that day passed, person ignored, love lost. Well, I know writing of regrets is unhealthy as revisiting wounds reopens them but this is great material. Those old wounds are skeletons arranged poorly in the catacombs of my memory I can arrange into bone-art. Into skull and cross-bones or mandalas leading the eye to the center, the vacancy where the breast plate belongs but is empty and wonders where the heart went. Maybe the heart left with the sight of the porch maiden. There was a coffee mug, a wine glass, a book, long tangled reddish hair, some new blooming rose, or fresh blood, or more orange, if mixing paint and come across the red of new blood and the orange of tangerine and adding a dash of “brightness” as if a concept such like that could be bottled up and sold and squeezed out of a tube.

So did I wake up entirely? I know what I wish of myself. I wish to record and release some music under the selfsame moniker as this unread blog. So then I can have two unlistened to projects going on simultaneously. Ha! Well, I won’t lie about my joking, yet there is a blockage in me that makes such self mockery somewhat honest, my insecurities long and drawn out because I have the music, I have the equipment, I have the ideas, yet the plunge, man, the diving in of unseeable voids, the first time swimming without a life jacket… Okay. Soon I’ll figure out what motivation means to me. So I can keep the writing up and not let a drunken frolic of a weekend hinder me. Soon I’ll know the technology to record my musical thoughts. Then I look for internships in publishing houses or radio stations or museums or ecological studies with fish or whatever. I have the passions yet the execution is so fucking impossible sometimes. What is that? Edge of the abyss syndrome. Retrograde amotivational stress disorder. Foot in the door fallacy. I place pennies in different label jars in the hypothetical cloud of my disparate projects but these jars never seem to amass any true weight or monetary value. I have been collecting coins as an irrelevant hobby, it seems.

I had an anxious dream. Something crazy. Based in Paris with my mother. Where we went for a few days because I know enough of the language to get around and she has never been. We were near the Sacré Cœur and she was adamant to find the hotel and I wanted to climb and look over the city. To show her a sight worth seeing. We left our bags at the airport to retrieve later. Somehow we encounter my sister and she is smashed. Perhaps my mom and I knew she was coming. I don’t have the logic involved in these flashes. I don’t know the thread. My sister is trashed, my mother cries, we have to look after the sister and she finds friends she knew in high school somehow and they go to a small, small dirty apartment, nearly speechless because they are so high, I ask them questions and they say nothing. It is stifling and odd and my sister is the only one talking because my mother is outside on the phone. I go talk to her. She says that this trip was designed, she knew my sister was coming, and there is a special therapy/procedure from a Parisian doctor that could cure her worries without further damaging her brain, yet the procedure needs a willing and sober recipient. Sober for days otherwise it wouldn’t work. She was to slightly manipulate my sister into accepting the therapy. Outside the stifling apartment were other American tourists in a pool. And we sat sheltered along the side of it. I couldn’t sit. I kept asking them if they wanted to go explore the city yet. Why would we waste our time here? This is not the city. This is an escape. And the American tourists started to get annoyed at me. They sat in their inter tubes and yelled up at me in English. “Why don’t you relax kid. This is the vacation. Take a xanax and float in the pool with us. this is the whole point of the vacation.” Not for me! I yell. “Don’t think you’re better than us, kid. Here we can see the French sky and all the clouds pass over the sights you desire to be nearer to. We can daydream the exploration of the city with the contemplation of the sky above.” Bullshit I say. We are always under the same sky as France and all other countries. “Whatever. Quit ruining our fun. We want to sit and be vegetables and float and drift and accomplish nothing.” (some such dialogue. pool people angry and I am frustrated with their laziness.) Eventually I admit my anxiety is caused because I am an artist, I say. I want to get out there and experience the city, the world, everything it has to offer, so it can sit in my mind and expand like a garden. Then they all changed mood and said “Of course!! this makes sense. Let me get your contact. I’ll buy your art. Now get out of here!”

Something about the dream woke me up. Perhaps it was my cough or it was too real or turned sour. I’m not sure but I know I had a nightmare I can’t remember attached at some end to this. Maybe I dreamed of Paris for the collective consciousness terrorism causes in our modern world.