Thinking About Salmon

Did I ask enough questions or powertrip on the flow of the teacher?

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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 


{originally drafted February 10th 2014)

We constantly have to make a decision between reality and oblivion. For me, this is oblivion. I exit reality in order to assuage my artistic yearnings for the production of things. Writing is oblivion because it is a rambling explanation of reality rather than the present experience of it. Reality is out there, beyond the window of my computer screen and the windows of this house. Snowflakes dangle on ribbons on that window. That is reality out there because I saw a confused young buck with enormous, growing antlers eating the brambles near the old haunted path. My life memories are out there. I could walk out there presently and put this whole writing idea in the can, exiting oblivion.

Marijuana is often a portal for people. If I am afraid or unwilling to live in reality to a full extent, I might smoke myself into the rabbit hole, from which communication with reality becomes difficult. Even now, without the guiding influence of any drugs, I am absent from reality and therefore distant from connected ties with it. I am presently absent. Gloriously vacant and ignorant of the conversations I must have with real human beings, my friends, my old beloved friends desire to hear from me in my cave, but I might hibernate awhile longer, only if my oblivion is productive, you see.

I owe many talks to many people. I owe it to myself to create. I owe it to karma to straighten this all out and balance between the absent minded daylight (however brief today, my god!) and the definitive absence while in dreams.

I Realign

I don’t understand this general malaise. This shaky exhaustion that wakes up with me like it is a warm hearted person draining me of my energies. My eyes feel the sleep heavy in them. Habits are changing and forming though this heaviness, paired with the staggering heart, feel like huge low hanging clouds over my consciousness, the energy wasted away like people in the war or disease time, the plague ravages my awareness and I’m left rubbing my eyes and re-reading sentences until they connect on some base, nocturnal level. Kerouac used to do headstands, even if awake after a bender and a volatile hangover, to wake up his mind for the zen day and begin writing his sensations immediately. There were times when he would vomit during his headstand but he was persistent and placeboed himself into believing it truly worked and like magic, the man became increasingly more aware. Perhaps I can argue that writing in this manner wakes my mind up and that I can make the fog disappear with a luminous eraser like the hand of god scratching out mistakes in the blue blue white blue skies. Pardon me for the idealism. Here’s to hoping.

Deep into a paralysis of thought, the philosopher attempts to locate the root of the lethargy. Surely it must do with a chemical deficiency, a lack of exercise routine, or any routine… an overemphasis on booze and a reckless sleeplessness. He is shackled to his cave and feels himself sunken like an old schooner on which divers never find any treasure. Dive to me you will find nothing. You will find a hollow mirror to see yourself within and scream into your oxygen mask until it ruptures, the lungs collapse, the ship sinks deeper, anchor tied around your ankle, the gloves come off, the octopus awakens in a burst of ink, a bad case of landsickness comes over you, homesick like a missing person must feel for the warmth of familiarity unless made of a certain type, the type that relishes crude curiosity and a world of the unknown expanding large in every direction. I drown and I flourish. I realign.

Paradise Lost & Atheism

My mind is taxed from searching for metaphoric, sometimes literal, Satanic manifestations of animals in Paradise Lost and isolating, then tracing out, the narrative arc for the dark designs which Satan and his fellow devious comrades enact to entice man, actually Eve first, to fall into a state of oblivion, of linguistic strife and all the animals attacking each other… Eden dissolves into a black mist and Satan, as serpent slithers back down into hell awaiting congratulations but only hearing the cacophonous hissing of myriad disapproving snakes and adders, all coiled up like fire hoses, though the flames they cannot douse because the flames are lakes and the solids are liquids.

I also feel accomplished for having finally put the thought necessary into my fast-approaching-death essay. Not saying I wrote the damn thing, but I filled my argument cup with Satanic visions of lions, tigers, toads and their parallel symbolic psychological stances… the wind is howling outside, with planes flying loudly overhead, the continent of Australia stares transfixed from its tomb of the globe to my right– there at the Sydney opera house, I watched a philosophical lecture about how atheists can use facets of religion to their own educational advantage and that the interconnectivity of religious is a facade that cannot be broken down by simple, modern logic. Atheists should use the arts and humanities, public spaces, and social psychology in the same sense that people who believe congregate, make Jesus paintings, mutter to themselves in front of candles in hooded masses, etc.

To start, we should paint over the Sistene Chapel with just empty, black void maybe a star or a few nebulas out there.

Even still… a secular man and a christian man sit and watch the moon move slowly across the sky.

Secular man says, “Gee doesn’t it just make you feel so small? the great distance and the eternity beyond… endless fathoms of dark, astronomical mysteries, branching out to the nebulas and stardeaths beyond where our telescopes can ever see…”

Christian man says, “Sure is beautiful how illuminating the moon is in the sky. God must have been feeling poetic when he dreamed up this scene.”

Secular man disagrees so they rip each others guts out.


Philosophies and psychologies burrow through my mind like tunneling clams. I’m waiting for the tide to rise up so I can climb up and drift out into deeper bodies of water.

strange psychological… abnormal perhaps

I’m compiling souvenirs from my travels inward. There they are, nicely glued into a photo album with a little lotus flower centered in a cross-hatched box on the front cover. The back is a bar code and an etched out price tag. I’m able to view these images through a looking glass, a transient one, then all turns to dust. I often open this book to attempt to time travel to the past to travel inward, but it can’t physically work says Stephen Hawking in monotone, there are feedback loops that would destroy the paradigm before the window could even open wide enough, and the grandfather paradox, or to go back and kill yourself in your laboratory as you are assembling the weapon to do it with. 

I’d go back 20 generations and kill a stranger. See if the changes are perceptible. Most likely something would disappear from history. Could it be possible to discern that missing thread?


Away now from drab philosophy and into an anti-social butterfly, hanging around his rotting cocoon with only feeble activity dictating the health of his wings, those reflective lights adorned around the windows, the hammered nails and closed blinds. Strong beer and an indecision on how to move forward with this impending obscurity. There are books. There are certainly books for that. 

My faraway love asked, “What will you do to tonight?”

Poignant. The question implies that I am the toppling domino effect inciting the violence or peace of this Friday, this very Friday, this moment that my body is contained inside of; so enslaved. A tomb of moments impossible to grasp or repeat. A flash flood of sensations and spatial awareness, although the external is a vague blur of incomprehension. Crows to a scare crow, people are to me. Only one of this relationship lives and breathes and cycles carbon through two straw lungs. 

I will act on tonight. I will not passively allow tonight to act on me. To wash me thoroughly, spinning inside of, and never abated by those tidal great walls, those piles of sand bags and boarded up windows will not keep out the night, it is inside your home when you are least conscious. It is inside your heart when you appreciate the sun and the snowy cascade peaks of in the distance while the stress riddled traffic locks arms and skips between ancient lecture halls, splashing through ponds of mirth and merriment, gorgeous water marks on blank bank notes, chest pounding, water fountains frozen mid air and that whole spectrum is a sinister, dark, nonchalant mess of emotions. you can tell which people are wrangled knots of dark vines inside when you identify their deformed gait. that gleeful skipping whilst whistling. that contorted crease of a mouth as it muffles a deep-belly scream. those shaking floorboards of strange, monsters of neighbors, whom are never more than pixie dust in your life. 

Finding myself in a faraway stare. The moon this morning over the dying cherry blossoms. The oil slick sea life floats belly up. Sides of buildings illuminated orange while the storm rages on the dark sides we can’t imagine from this angle. All we can do is assume it takes on an absolute negative to what we can see, like the dark side of the moon. (is it an angry face? full of craters?)

Top heavy flowers, I tie them together. The sad realization of death and rebirth while I cease forever some day. Natural world mirrors the habits of the sun. A mighty solar flare could scorch us all in an instant. Never forget it. The illusion is so tightly woven these days that the most powerful people in the world (or the wealthiest) could be launching themselves off in a mission to one of the frozen moons of Jupiter as our earth is obliterated by an unfathomable meteorite. It is as likely as spontaneous combustion. As likely as honest, true love…. As likely as God. 

I imagine them, with expensive suits and oxygen masks, awaiting instructions from the lab coat scientists who scramble in fear as the green blip on their radar grows larger and larger, while the sky in their hemisphere remains blue, blue, blue, blue– tranquility paired with dire panic, the sudden flight of all birds in one direction…. the way they came from… they swerve to avoid legions of ground mammals who are also spooked, running in a scramble away from the massive shape beginning to dominate the horizon. 

Rocket launches. Scientists parachute out. The rocket containing all of the most lauded individuals of earth, for their superficial gains, false prophesy, wealth… oil tycoons, billionaires, porn stars, republicans… the dregs of humanity… are in a collision course with the meteor… all countries contributed to this prevention method… thousands of space ships… of the ignorant, polluted mindset, littering, group think, monsters… they smash into the meteor one by one, causing a great fireworks show for the remaining humble on the earth, cowering in sweat lockers and gutters, but as they smash one by one by one by one… the meteor reduces size and stature… the earth is duly saved… a shower of pebbles descends… 

now to clean up the mess. 

tear down the mansions or open them to the homeless public. 

massive ocean cleaning units. private pool cleaning services with their nets.. without their chemicals

cars are neutralized. must deal with public transportation. ride a bike. 



I am sitting on the stained way off white carpet, poorly sized for this room, with a crease down the center all bunched up.  My back against the wall (dark blue, covered in tack holes) staring at a miscellany of art projects from the years, the last four. The last four of them. The four years leading up to this moment, fleeting as it is. I’m already smiling from the future, analyzing this period of my human development with notepads and speculation. Yes, presently, I feel as though this transitional period of mine is some vague turning point, a graduation from my sun soaked days. I tried to contort myself into a smaller version of myself in order to fill the tiny slot they had for me. My presence demands less parameters. No perimeter fence around my nervous system. My girlfriend, at that time and now, always vanilla scented, shape shifting mind, and those sultry eyes, told me, “You’ve become a muted grey version of yourself.”

Truth. I folded up nicely into their tan lined palms to be thrown out with the other recyclables that have absentmindedly been tossed in the trash. A crumpled up piece of paper. Feeling like chewing on tinfoil. Open up a new landfill, you negligent bodies, mother earth needs more blemishes on her skin. More clogged pores and clots in her arteries. Garbage men are not magicians. Poof! Trash gone! No. None of that. But you will be rewarded, by your humble actions, oh brave many, with the eminent white blood cell rejection of your poisons when too many are pumped into her blood stream. Mother will not die but she will adapt and grow accordingly. Either a mutant version of our leftovers (recycled can islands that humans eventually transfer subsidized housing out onto) or a lethal retaliation; as in when she cries for help to the stars for another meteor to wipe out the pests like dinosaurs. Whatever prehistoric complaint she had with the dinosaurs is long buried by our human stupidity and procreation. (no other species kills members of other species to mount their heads on their study room walls). She has learned to hold her temper, keep her patience, or she is asleep. Boy would she be mad if she woke up!


I want to at least try to be bigger than narrow societal boxes. I have graduated from my cave of heat and now move north toward cold snowflake personalities washed in dark shades of purple from unknown, rainy day, bruises.

I see these canvases and drawings across the room. A collection of collages and rambling, searching artwork from years of delve-deep-into-the-self depression and purposeful removal of meaningful social contact. In those images, there is truth. There is evidence of tangential thinking. Here and here and here. (points at colorful ideas started then abruptly finished, each in an individual passion, until all the ideas form a full, somewhat chaotic, thought or feeling.)

One collage I’ve done featuring images from the disastrous Los Angeles earthquake in 1994. At first glance it is, indeed, a chaotic scene. Similar to what it must have felt like to be caught in the damn thing. It is assembled by many ‘vignettes’ or individual stories with characters and color harmony until the whole image acts as a complete piece.

I don’t know. Sometimes I’m on to something and then I dream up something different, which seems better because it is different and go there instead. Leaving that first design, that first fragment of an idea in the dust. Burning through ideas across a canvas like a time lapse image of a laboratory rat completing different tasks in a rectangular maze.

This is a transitional period because I suddenly realize that all of this effort, this meandering on paper, is soon to grow exponentially into a finer point. I will use words, music, and canvases to convey myself in the clearest language, melodies, and colors possible. Here is where all of the time spent writing to write to write, write, write, write– is fully realized as a solid foundation for future growth. The growth of a god damn mountain. Wow. Look at it rising like skyscrapers and creative whirlwinds of thought shut out all possible regret for my decisions.

I am lucky and happy.

I can hear my cadence rising to higher decibels, mountain tops. And also the echoing black void of my past cheering me on. All disappeared versions of myself are reattaching to my heart and we’re getting along just famously. All of those sad nights of pent up angst and emotions exhausted into creative endeavors…. are calling each other up and planning a mighty kegger in Seattle. In January. Next year. Be there. Bring a cup.