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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