Monday, November 19, 2012

Epistle. To: Bernadette Wild Garden

   Had to continue this because I was distracted by that old one-armed surf caster guy and I said to him maybe I'll run into you some evening because I planned on hanging around for a while and you never know what happens. He thanked me for the coffee and pie and was off before he answered what I considered to be my fundamental question. What did he think? Does the ocean have consciousness?
   Ever hear the one about the slinky that fell in love with the escalator he asked?
   No I said I hadn't.
   Good he said and then left and walked off along the beach.
   If I wasn't such a fan of extreme comfort just lying around across the morning and letting my head fill up with the day I might have gone after him and pressed the issue. What's in it - what's in it to be some lonesome figure who wanders the beach? And so I'm trying to think this out - been here a few days now - talking to no one but an idea I have. An idea who's left me with like a blister on the mind in mid-air trying to figure it out. Armies of gnats start flying around my head. Somebody back up in the dunes in the parking lot guns a big truck engine. Clouds settle above the horizon line and underneath those clouds a fine gold light shines like something beautiful that would kill me if I might simply rise up into them and just let go. The light spreads across a solid green line of water and settles beneath a long timed and reliable star rising out of the sea to give us hope, with complications naturally, even if that hope fucks us all up with small talk about surfing and jobs. Further south there's a slowed down motion with pale greens and charcoal pinks losing eventually to an immense blue sky, burning into something crazy and solid that no matter how long you live you'll never live long enough to grasp what it is. What is it that wipes away the traces? Takes the shadows of the night away and leaves you alone?
  What prospects to enjoy.... what a place to enjoy it if I could let go...
  But that's not my style. If anything I'm a total hanger-on. Remember that place by the river we rented? How everything from out the window looked like an oil painting? Common enough to be on a museum wall and that meant a dazzling landscape saturated with chemicals and mood swings to the eye and filled with throws into your head and it was like let's first be fools arm in arm and then go along together struck from longing till we end. I might have died there. But we didn't. The woods where we walked together along that path... and remember that time when we were splattered by goose shit from above? Do you ever think about those woods? Like maybe you could reach back into them? Just by being there once and nothing else again ever need be involved?
   Maybe I'm headed in the wrong direction here but hey and maybe that - what makes me different on some level from all these waves crashing before me I can't exactly say. Some level, down in the storms that come up and crash after the beautiful sheen of days that went before - you and I failed. But truth be told to power we tried to haul in a fucked up rope that life dangled toward us. We tried to make a knot around a cloud of adolescence and take it away from there. Something secure because time is so fucked up but hey - what our hands were able to hold onto our spirits appeared ready to betray. How it goes and how I hate to say that because I have my hands threaded through that knot and then that cloud threaded through my hands...
   And here with the day rising on my head it is not enough to phone it in and it's not enough to write something down on a phone. Because it can't be captured as such as a word and hey that's too heady and deadpan a word to capture. So I sit here in a tiny space in the dunes ready to leave and have a swim. Tumbling beneath a laugh circled above by gulls pecking at the waves and diving for leftovers.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Epistle. To: Bernadette Wild Garden

   I remember sitting below the beach parking lot watching the sunrise come up like from way far away and eating smart food - the popcorn that's supposed to be good for you - and thinking I'm from far away also - variegated creamy clouds with the fire of gold light of desire underneath them -  and yea you would understand this because you and I have been there before - eating slices of cold pizza leftover from the midnight drive to the ocean - and tanked on coffee urns from when I left up north through a place called Sandwich which really seemed odd or fitting given that I was hungry and all that - when  I spied someone walking along the edge of the waves where they spilled onto the sand. It was a one arm surfcaster. I said to the guy hey how do you do that?
   He looked over at me - pulled the ear buds out - one at a time - put the rod down on the sand -  and said what?
   I said, how do you do that? And maybe I was ready for what he said next. Because it was a stupid question to ask a one arm surfcaster how he does it. I mean he's already got only one arm and a fishing rod. To my surprise he walked over and chowed down a slice of pie that I offered him. He said you get used to it.
   And I said what I mean is what's the technique?
He looked back and said well the possible responses could be: fuck you asshole. Or I did this with two arms long before I only had one. Consequently I think about phrases - like ocean pine - like wharf rat - like butt naked dune - but the amusement wears off.  When you think about it, and the only arrangement I have left is,  to go out and have the beach all to myself without worrying about what other people think.
   What do you catch I asked? And immediately after saying that I again felt stupid. But what the hell, feeling stupid's been a way of life that's suited me for decades and I'm still moving about it.
   I catch fish he answered.
   Well I knew that one was coming. So I said while we spin our wheels here on earth like we might figure out an existence you're out here looking into the ocean and trying to find dinner -
 Yea yea yea he interrupted -
  No no no look I said maybe think about yourself as being on a grid. Were you scratching your chin or were you falling asleep... know what I mean?
  Not really he said. Don't confuse me.
  Far above the clouds was the electric blue sky shinning off the first day's light and turning into a color that seemed best reserved for some ancient sensibility. I gave the surfcaster another slice and mentioned this to him.
  What ancients he asked?
  Whoever it was that came before us I said.
  Well that could mean the people yesterday he said.
  That's not what I meant I said.
  No shattering insights there he said. Do you have any more coffee?
  I did. I mean who doesn't have more coffee? I had a big gulp for the moment from some doughnut heaven store and a thermos to brace the rest of the morning and a backup thermos with the rest of the gear in the truck to combat the end of the world and the shifting sands of time so to speak. And I've always felt that staring into the ocean was like having the lens of these senses turned back toward you. That in particular was what I saw in the first blue sky. I said to the surfcaster this is more than a conceptual project. More than what we do and what we don't say much about. We assume there will be light to see by and then darkness to rest behind. Does the ocean have consciousness? What do you think?
  I think he said that usually I don't talk with people in the morning. Mostly I talk in the evenings. You got the day under your legs and that's better.

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