Without hesitation, he is concerned with where he will be tomorrow, where the rain will be, and mudslides, and making a way out there to get to a place that makes meditation on the heart rate easy. A serene lake, he thinks. Somewhere with reflective surfaces and distance. Somewhere with old trees to keep out of the rain. Rivers overflowing. Or flowing low or spitting out salmon, don’t remember what happens when you lose three seasons after intending “maybe August” and letting that go, letting the dream of backpacking the Olympics lost, making the music no one asked for and wondering, in this age of wonder, where and when it can all find outlet. Go out and make it to the ocean, lovely human, your body is not lost on you, it is waiting for you to make up your mind on how to fix what is tense, smart, spelled, and coming after you with the chemical make up of invisible threats or serotonin bombs, the fireworks when you are happy, sad duds, the rain picks up I can feel it in my spine and my 1st system edges toward and away from the sound of the guitar music and the old rain. Dry tones with open chord changes, as everything changes, “unbroken for one hundred years in a constantly changing world” and wondering what watch on what wrist can keep me locked away in some false resemblance of time spent hovering away from who you are, barely hiding the taste of the spirits (self-critique squeezing back in) “days are fine, nights are unbearable” and let me tell you about familiar feelings. I feel tired and sore with scratched and stabbed hands a weighted chest with some guilt spiral and some vicious words from a bereaved and November already I lost everything this year, it is all gone and from its absence, this new canvas, I can move away from hating imagining your body and settle back into the flowers, where the haunt is, the rain on feedback loop, the goings on in the night. Nothing makes sense. Let time pass and let yourself feel back inside the body you live in. No abstractions in that. Commit to the body you’ve been given. Its limitations and experiences and vaunt over the depressions with new experiencing conscious art racing heart tracing mountain yodel gallop wild horse kind of sound of the heart beat in the bath tub too small for that same body, the little pump staying regularly heated in the tension and letting itself fizzle down, spark up, and flash red lights to his submerged toes. I am watching this happen from above, as steam rising off a body picking out warm from one source and dispersing it into the room, but is it cold, and why have I acted on such little positive forethought, all a kind of rushed emotion, signifying nothing.
There had to have been a goodbye I was waiting for to say this. To say I wanted to move away the windows willingly, to move away from the steering wheel and into a savage hold up of resources and whims – the nomadic makeup of without and the mascara runs of the internal makeup of within, though a dosage of transience would help everything out because a big burst of colors is always waiting to happen (in the northern hemisphere without light pollution and somewhere in clear skies from Portland to Alberta). It is hard to believe in the churning wheel branches of green that can overwhelm our night stars. Where is this new trip coming from? How many other sensations can I attribute to something like an acid flashback? Is it possible to flash forward and back at the same time? There are oak trees everywhere with roots extending outward beyond any property line.
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.
I can’t get over a few happenings today. This morning I felt slight tunnel vision in Handwerk’s class and made a poor thought out comment about how irritating I think Robinson Crusoe is. I meant, the godtalk, the guilt narrative, not the construction of the book itself. But I set myself up to be used as a launch pad for greater depth commentary, and everyone is so damn shy and quiet in the class I want to speak up even if it is stupid, to fill the uncomfortable gaps, the gaps caused by a professor who knows so much, and who prods at us, and I felt dumb today there. Learned about Defoe’s writing a bit. Returned home for a feast because I forgot to go advising again. Wrote two tasteful parts for the second verse of a new song. Now the chorus is boring in comparison. Will have to spruce that up too. Other things occurred. I read poetry. Drank coffee. Printed poems. Responded to an acceptance letter I got from a small poetry publication who accepted my “Mariana” and I made some ridiculous comments revealing my ignorance to the actual location of the great oceanic rift, which I’ve thought for at least a year was somewhere in the Atlantic. Oceanography, what happened? Astronomy are you out there? What about mixology? My alcohol-themed radio show? And the other games we played and forgot. The parts of my brain that have been intoxicated out of normal worth. There are caverns plugged up with sandy saltwater. Crushed sea shells and the like. Rorschach Orca whales floating out to sea or to shore to dry up.
So a few idiotic things. Finally, and before I get to the middle section, as I walked down the hill from work, some sorority girls were yelling at people passing by to come in and donate for a rootbeer float for some charity drive of some kind, I was ambling down the hill when one started to call out to me, a heavy set blonde girl, the others skinny brunettes in shorts on this cold night, the heavyset girl says “no not him, he scares me” and I had no reply to this! I didn’t scream or frighten. I just bashfully walked on like a true psychopath. At least some wit at the dismissal. No thank you I’m lactose intolerant. Or, no thank you, to be honest you are frightening me. Or just ask, scare you? I just got off work, what is frightening about me not to invite me to your ice cream social? I obviously could not be a part of the festivities if one of the sisters had “an ominous feeling” about my stride, my walking, my red cap, my black coat, my hands thrust into my pockets, my old white headphones dangling around my neck, somewhat of a mustache surrounded by stubble, hard eyes, black jeans, black shoes, black back pack, barely making eye contact when I talked and never stopped walking, and u-turn and no how could I if your overweight friend is afraid of me? Of my presence coming down the hill? And the dumbo 18 year old gall to say that I am frightful to the other girls while I am in earshot.
Why this affected me. I could have at least put some personality into my response. I put nothing. I did not try.
Earlier regret from night shift driving. A man was kneeled down taking pictures of the roof of the Convention Center down town. I wanted to yell at him “How conventional!” and drive off.
Then the episode with the Burke Gillman falcon. I heard a peeping from above, wondering what in hell it was, and realizing I passed it, looked up to see a beautiful amber hued bird of prey sitting on a branch with angry yellow eyes, piercing eyes, a hooked beak, and suddenly it swoops down over me toward the powerlines and a small green belt near the 45th street viaduct. I notice there is a mouse or a shrew in the great bird’s talons, peeping pathetic little peeps for help that will not come. Elsewhere a female falcon is brought a bouquet.
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.
The man with the broken foot limped to the bar to thin his blood, sew his ligaments together, keep his spirits up, warm, bright futures with paychecks written in godscript, a typewritten letter finds its way to your shore in a floating bottle, or drifts down politely like a feather windtornfree of a bird, a dazzling bird, that hopeful blue bird, remember him? He flies away when you know you’ve died.
Bodies decorated with permanent pieces of artwork. Footbroken man slurs at us, “My pain tolerance is notoriously high.”
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.