Friday, September 30, 2011

Epistle. To: Lady Kimono Clan

Perhaps there are no suitable answers to build upon. Perhaps it's just an intellectual curiosity that happens to be strange and gets appreciated each day like the sunlight over the trees. Or how remarkably similar we can feel from one day to the next without even thinking about it. Did we make it that way? Is it built in? Maybe it was just the tortured infected springtime and the glacial pace of recovery that now governs my days. How long does it take to be well? Isn't that a stupid question to even ask? However when that distance of loneliness shows on occasion and begins tossing its weight around and there's no place to hide because it knows where you are, I'm frankly afraid of it, and am conversely, drawn to it like a small bit of magnetic ore. How does it settle in? A chilly ghost-like presence. Now-  here's a niche market to visit - a porn site dedicated to warm ghosts! Yea not only would we show up but there also might be a party! Usually though I look about and see change as the culprit. Which is like a panic attack whistling past and I worry full well that I'll be the one around to live through the change. I mean I accept change. It's the currency formed from all life on the one planet we know about. How do you trade with anything else? Let's face it - the world is in charge! Shifting viewpoints. High tides/ low tides. Storm days/ calm days. Sweet dreams/ drunks singing outside the windows in the dead-night. The stuff of nature grows between and like the fortune cookie fortune said opportunity knocks so pay attention. But there's all these grubby little fears that for one moment show up and just as quickly leave and undermine and fuck up my day. It's like I'm being chased and the only thing I can do to get away from them is to move away and step on that thought - even if that thought and the stepping away were irrational - looking at it and being scared shitless from nothing to speak of -  but also to get the fuck out and to move away physically from it like a yelp from adapt or die like a herd of beasts might do seeing a fire break out across the water hole and begin to spread across the old savannas of consciousness. Do you document it and leave it go and say these are twisted behaviors? Where's the serotonin levels? But in truth - and you do know me - like a warm ghost site! - alas why don't you friend me? - I do prefer an orderly scheme to the way things work. I maintain a time. A practical. A spiritual. An outlook or a leveling throughout the sunrise/sunset thing. I don't even know what that means. And I don't care what it means. And I don't care what it means to anyone else. Where it comes down to is a question. Being scared? Or not being scared? I walk past a yard in the neighborhoods every day. And there's a wagon or cart-like toy in that yard that never moves. It's a peculiar point of interest and I'm drawn to staring at it. How do you look at it? That toy I mean. Maybe it's just flotsam and jetsam. Who's out there to play with it? And if it was just left there, where it is, day after day, no one moving it, how come was it left alone? For me it's been that way for over a half-century and counting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Epistle. To: Mercy Hunt

When I got home that evening not only was I trashed but the nurse was waiting up for me and was livid. What a total pain in the ass she said... and I said something like well anger doesn't suit you.. and she said what the fuck do you know anyway? It was at that point - and it was a low point -  it hit me like I was drunk dialing through an address book and no one else was around to pick up the receiver on the other end and that's like a terrific lonely feeling to have when you're drunk and want to talk and it seems the rest of the world is not around and so pretty soon you get the hint to just shut up. But! To sail away like the hundreds of boats did on the lake after the fireworks were over I said and their running lights slowly erased into the nighttime like candle wicks run out of wax and left to burn and to eventually dissolve. How could you do this she asked? Hearing her shout made my ears throb. All I did was go out I said. Look at you she said! I guess it was true. I did look like a mess. My bandages were unravelling and stunk like beer. I was covered in food stains. What a meal I said! And apparently I had wandered into the lake. The boats I said the boats! The soft casts beneath the leg braces were soaked, and what was inside those casts, like a pair of scared up legs dreaming of dance videos to come, would start to mold and rot if not taken apart and cleaned and have the system put back together immediately. And someone apparently took the liberty to place two ice creams cones - apparently chocolate and strawberry - impale them actually on the upright spikes of the metal halo holding my head up - and while it was probably a fun thing to do at the time but all the ice cream did was melt and run down over my shoulders like tributaries from a larger erosion. I didn't mean anything I said. But what that meant I wasn't sure I said. Can you not mean anything if you've already been out there and done it and then have to think about it afterward I asked? For lack of a better definition what I saw in response to my questions was both the living beauty of anger in its fine amplitudes of righteousness shot back through me like a sledgehammer but also what was there was the stasis of that anger and where it cannot go without doing more harm than already having it. Look at you she said. I wish you were not my problem she said. Ah. I can't tell you how much I imagined it earlier and how much a relief it was to be home then later on.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Epistle. To: Berlin Film Actress

I looked up, from an otherwise Sunday evening - ah - the standard repertoire time invented - the welcome but cumbersome newspaper, the generous wine that has yet to disagree with me, a blue sky like the color of home above with summer clouds rolling across - and there were several fat neighborhood cats walking through the gardens, like they were suspicious, like they knew something else. I watched them for a while. But how long is that in the moments that a cat takes in? Damned if I knew. But the day before was something else. I skipped out on everything. And without knowing why I ended up in atmospheres. Earlier that day the nurse rushed off to deal with a family squabble. Some blood-kin fire for sure that had to be put out and could not be put out without her jumping in a car immediately and driving hours toward Canada. And then once there, waving some black art words through the air like a spell, the family would calm down. The nurse would look around. Peace on earth. Someone in the backdrop as a cousin would pick up a fiddle and start to to play. That was a sign things were good. Soon after, armed with fresh bread and venison meat, the nurse would immediately hop in the car and drive back down from near Canada. At least this was how she explained this whole thing to me. Will you be all right she asked? I didn't know really. I mean I've always taken it this way or another that I will be all right. The nurse said she had to go. And I totally liked that about her. Always a definite in the blank space about what leaving meant.  I could call the emergency number to get help if I needed etc. But she was worried. And when she said that, dare I say it, when I heard it, she was worried, well that little number pulled a heart string. Oh I know. I remember what it was like. To have worry. And to be worried. Weren't those the days! But really it serves notice as such, one evening doesn't change anything. Even if something drastic happened, the next day all the other wheels keep spinning. However, back to that evening. With the nurse gone and me uncovered for a few hours I went downtown to watch the fireworks. Probably not the smartest thing to do - but hey - look who we're dealing with. Ever have those feelings where you felt like a vocabulary word looking for the right definition to fix itself onto you? So I tried these: jaunt - stroll - tramp - ramble. None of them fit. But I wanted them to. And that's the way it goes.  One way or another I saw those words across horizons and streets and traffic as I imagined them in play. But that was more for the gray matter you understand. Now - I've been out for walks. But not for long times. And am sorry to admit it but I have been back to surgery. But that evening was different. I left the pattern. Different. Forget average. Place - as I saw it -  became inspirational -  and not just another whereabouts to pass through on the way back home. It's always good to get out of the house! People though continue to look at me. Something about the bandages I suppose and the metal halo holding my head in place. And the leg braces - like totally bad limps - make me machine wise but human dull, in that I can't bend to get things going but need to swing everything from the hips for motion. I overheard a doc one time in the recovery room. He said by the time this guy's done he'll have enough new parts inside to be a monster! Perhaps there's something there. Eventually I will have to live up to this. Like some fucked up grown up thing! But the air that evening I tell you was soft warm July like sweetness done up in planetary mechanisms and then laid back down on you like a fine coating. Place. Sure there were weirdos running about waving tiny flags and sparklers like they were masturbating in the land of the free. And what can you do about the lonesome gradualism that has more flags on trash bags sponsoring auto dealerships with dead history heros and a toothy gal with naked shoulders in the home of the brave? I mean there's always a risk going out in public. But this was like reckoning square into the optimism of the american century in localized portions. Harley riders with gnarly hair streaming like contrails above the exhaust pipes of their bikes. Rolling american thunder one gal yelled. Skull bones accurately needled and other assorted personal information tattoos like love and fuck you on large cubist biceps. I wandered across a parking lot where gray hairs sat in circled lawn chairs smoking dope in rainbow shirts against running mouth skateboards and missing cats stapled onto utility poles. I wandered into a backyard. Citizens rallied around beer can oratories like this were the rainbow and not a constitution promise. Kids ran through the  fading daylight with berries shortcakes and cream making a mess in their wake and having a total fun doing it. More flags. Someone with a suggestive barbeque apron and a cartoon hat pored me an umbrella drink and said here motherfucker happy fourth! Honey his wife said I don't know what it is about these kids but they all seem to keep getting younger. Wasn't that the point? For the old melting pot to keep stirred?  Somewhere we belong. Even if we blow the chances - even if everyone was a child from a war  - even if the oracle was not in at the moment but will be with you shortly - somewhere we belong. Fellowship maybe or even some kind of frenzy. I told the backyard hosts thanks for the drink but I needed to move on but would like to be back some day and maybe hang out. Honey she said - and this seemed reasonable- that the umbrella drinks apparently don't stop at one but move forward into mysteries like prime numbers - the last time I saw you I said nothing at all which means the last time I saw you I did not see you at all. I had no idea what she meant but that was fine with me. I was out on the street limping wild. Day lilies shot up in from cracks in pavements. Boat lights on the lake were rolling in a sudden breeze and extending the darkness like fireflies might across a hilly field. Driver's licenses and passports and social numbers - nobody I knew - but all this documentation I was somehow related to by dint of birth - and making us a country tangled in the holiday life for now and just as gone tomorrow as any sunflower or some railroad tree. But isn't that the best part? I made it down to the waterfront tents which was thrilling but was however a big mistake. I walked along the food vender aisle. Wanting nothing but that was just another feeling to have. High on meds because I had to trust something. Wanting everything because that's the way it is as the sky galvanized the evening clouds like a print from the factories of watercolor dreams. I heard crowds call out for hamburgers sizzling. French fries so deep in the fat they left marks on the air once taken out of the basket and tossed onto a little paper boat. Some guy said I gotta have me at one of them corn dogs. Pizza slices below tidings of elysium tomato sauces - middle eastern salads like refugees from the arab spring - tofu milkshakes that were really good if you added the chocolate syrup and a splash of the hot sauce from the nearby taco mania cart. Maybe I was hungry. Or was just lost in the love of digression as the sign of life. It's hard to tell. But I really couldn't eat/walk/think at the same time. Those are like harebrained things enough to do on a good day. And then it was dark and the concert band shut up thankfully after an eternity of cover tunes and boom went the night up in a single high liner to get the crowd teased. Amazing what explosions do for the attention span. Who's paying for this someone asked? Her companion added - like someone trying to be sly but who ends looking stupid for it -  I even don't like fireworks. Boom. Boom. Smoke. Multi-hued light like a birth of a universe and if you watch those science channels this was pretty close. Two young neighborhood scenesters stood next to each other and were texting one another standing basically in the same footprint about what was happening a thousand yards above them. And laughing I guess cosmically. Boom. We love loud. The companion said there goes our freedoms up in smoke... Don't you think that's funny he asked? She didn't say anything, just sat there looking up at the sky like anyone you might forget. Maybe she was still worried over the cost. I mean how do you except to impress a date with a hoary line like freedoms going up in smoke? First of all there are no freedoms I said and so what. And second I said why don't you just buck up and enjoy a night out. But I suspect I said this is some sort of internal life you're sharing with the rest of us out here in the open. And third I said - but he cut me off before I might finish- both of us secluded in shadowy environs -  and he said excuse me. With some expression I imagined was supposed to flash anger like some wounded animal in its own head defending itself but was de facto lost in the long sad backwash like some shut down anus in evolution and was trying to fight it and trying to live up to it but truthfully in a stare down the hormones failed and he was just another guy on the way to fucking up his date and did not know how to get out of a failed chimpanzee stance.  Liberal astonishment was practically glued over his face. And that wasn't a pretty sight to look back at believe me. There were rockets crashing up into the sky as stage lights and crashing into the one that was just fired a moment before like some antidote to loneliness. Someone else was too drunk to find his cup holder and was urinating onto a milkweed plant in a neoclassical male pose like a statue in front of a bank building and sure enough losing ground fell over onto the grass trying to grab nothing for support and his friends all took out their phones and made sure this life was captured and preserved.  The companion said excuse me. Like he was polite to the ends of the earth but he never meant it. Like some dumb shit. Dumb shit. I thought fuck this - your middle aged ponytail that you still wear as hair despite the icky dome sweat on your forehead. The  crow's feet at the ends of your eyes just because you've been around the block more than once and you now think because you've been around that block that now that block owes you something in return. The pea bright green overalls you're wearing like no natural color this side of some near extinct amazon lizard and without a shirt underneath like you don't have flabby man breasts all wedged out of the straps like some totally bad burlesque act. And really I didn't know what else to say after I said that, so, I said excuse me? Boom. More smoke and light. The crowd went ooooohhh... releasing a collective breath into the night that would hold us together for as long as a a rocket show...  after that we're back on our own... and the companion threw a beer into my face. Maybe the umbrella drinks made me too happy. Maybe I was mobbed in excess of passion. I'd like to think I was taken off like a doomed romantic and didn't care what happened next but really I was too old for any of that. I looked around and saw a woman in huge dreadlocks with bunting tied in her hair wearing face paint and balanced on a unicycle. In the smoke and light show that flashed off on/ off on/ she looked like a gunpowder zombie dancing on a single wheel. But now I had beer dripping all over me. But hey -  doesn't that happen anyway - over the long course of many an american holiday? A neighborhood scenester come over and said, dude that was way harsh. And I didn't stop to think if he meant me or the companion. Namely postcards from the grave. And he said that beer sucks. Here he said have one of these. I took the can and drank it in a gulp as though this were a creation myth and I had just ripped off a fig leaf and was now all butt-assed power and left just as embarrassed. Maybe I was a monster. A ghost story who when inflamed kills someone at festivals. An effortless kung fu movie swipe in the dark. But - drifted over the ages - through magic - cave paintings - alchemy - centuries of it building and plugged into the bones throughout - all the fears to stand beyond how we get thrown around and as a result how to be something known and nothing more -  DNA science to explain a leg up on having a beer thrown in your face - even if I were the agent of contagion and hit the prompt button on the companion's nervous breakdown - the assorted head devices like mercy or paranoia or revenge - how to live each day getting fucked over in the world by forces and strangers - I wanted nothing more than an immediate frame of reference. And that was to live to fear nothing. And then to live again to tell about it. Like a Blind Faith lyric - I'm wasted... and can't find my way home...

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