Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Extreme Running, Extreme Dictionary, Extreme Anchor

This morning I woke to a bird singing instead of to my alarm. The light in my two windows was bright. At least in the world of regular work-week, that is peace.

Earlier my boyfriend’s dad appeared at my office door with a basket of red carnations, yellow and white daisies, set in bright green leaves, and a dictionary: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate. With these ingredients I will compose an elaborate cherry tree.

On the radio Terri Schiavo’s mother spoke at Schiavo’s husband: The two of you have kids. Please let us have our daughter back. These words represent the self-centeredness that snips short multi-faceted understanding in general and in specific. I’m human too but why not make an honest effort to learn why someone might do or say something before judging, and try accepting that while a thing might not initially sit well with you it might nevertheless be a beneficial thing. Possibly Schiavo’s husband doesn’t think of the situation as taking a daughter from her parents; possibly he’s feeling the craggy pit of it, too, of losing his wife; possibly their daughter wouldn’t want to "live" so damaged; possibly she would. Possibly they have all talked and are still at odds. I don’t know enough detail to be sure. This scenario aside, the self-centeredness and narrow-sightedness people consistently deliver frustrates me. The human condition is a shady condition. A cave is also comical.

Last night as I was sifting into sleep I watched the special features for Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush. He incites in me a rare excitement. At my ultimate dinner table he will sit across from me and we will tangle our feet together in the shaded underneath.

In conclusion, somnambulism fogs the streets. Write what carves grooves in your mind and then you can rest. The sleep fellow insists.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

After Dennis Came Warm White Horses

Dennis left the smell of oil behind him in the kitchen, and I began heating water for tea.
S asked if there was enough in the pot for him.
I lied and told him no.
I told him I had lied when I told him no.
T appeared with a big cardboard box.
I noted the box came from Evil Borders.
The box is for you, S and T said.
T handed me a knife with which I sliced open the tape across the top of the box.
Inside was full with crumpled colored newspaper.
I dug and reaped:
  • a gun to blow bubbles out my car's window in spring
  • a plastic empty head out of which grass will grow, gummy worms inside
  • a purple lollipop which sprays purple sugar out its top
  • some kind of orange biscuit biscotti cookie eats
  • a gigantic psychedelicolored bouncy ball
  • the game Taboo
The fellas rocked the toy store and the night with new heat.
T asked if there was enough water in the pot for him.
S lied and told him no.
I told T that S was lying.
We all ate cheesecake in early honor of my birthday and it was good.

Anticipating Jesus Since the Civil War

Saturday T told me there was no more oil and therefore no heat in the house. This explained why the glass of water I’d set next to my bed before I went to sleep was cold when I woke up, and also why I was scared to take the covers off of me. It was cold out there. The person T spoke to on the phone Saturday was not compassionate: The trucks have already gone out. I’ll get back to you later.

Monday night after work, there was oil but still no heat. T made another call. Word was that a Dennis would be at the house after he stopped at two other houses. We didn’t know where these two houses were but I hoped they were down the road and not a long thick-traffic drive away.

I ate Ramen while T and I sat in the kitchen anticipating Dennis. T would sing to him when he arrived: I think I love you. I would hug him, I would dance. This was before six in the evening.

After Ramen I went to my room to warm my numb white toes next to the space heater. We talked up Dennis. We would do a Dennis-dance to bring him more quickly, paint our faces and stomp around shouting. We would treat him like Jesus when he arrived under his glowing halo. T ran around and turned on every light in the house to be sure Dennis would know we were home.

We heard a door shut outside and ran to the kitchen. Alas, it was S come home from work. You’re not Dennis, we said.

By 7:30 the plans to worship Dennis like zealots were shifting. By 8:00 they’d turned maniacally black. We would put black hoods over our heads and stare blankly from the kitchen table when Dennis arrived. S would shout phrases in vehement Chinese. I would trill in overwhelmingly foreign tongue, I would cry and tell him I thought we had something and how could he stand me up like that. T would behave as if "challenged". Dennis would know he’d done us wrong.

About 8:30 my mom called to tell me my brother had been in another motorcycle accident. Again he is not hurt, again it was not his fault. I’d like know the percentage of how many times my brother gets in an accident when he takes off in a vehicle. Cars, trucks, motorcycles. That boy needs a hovercraft.

From outside the phone call I heard, Dennis is coming! I told my mom about Dennis:
When he arrives we’re going to treat him like Jesus, I told her.
You’re going to nail him to a cross? she asked.
I hadn’t thought of it like that.

We didn’t nail Dennis to a cross. Neither did we sing or cry. Red face, scruff-yellow curls reflecting his face's red glow, puffy above the torso and not below—Dennis. I’d guess he drinks a lot of beer, some whiskey, and eats a lot of beef. He looks like a cop. You should really think of getting a new heater, he said. This one’s as old as the Civil War.

When he left the scent of oil clung to the kitchen.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Snippets in Bridge

Keeping low in profile for a short spell. In the meantime, so I don't forget my anchors...

An orange man is following me around in the hospital. Near the cafeteria, in the hallway, outside my office. What is he after? Does he know he is orange? He has a military cut, black hair. Every time I pass him he says, "Hi." I think, Didn't we just do this?

Pungent patchouli outside the elevators today. Vignette: "The Day the Hippie Visited the Hospital".

Did she have an eyebrow incision? I heard the woman next door say. Yes she did, I learn. And so did I right then. Mind happens effectively on matter. I feel a draft on my brain.

Delta bursts. Must research this gem.

Today the turtle won the race.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

And Unburdened

Today is my mom’s best friend’s birthday, the friend who died from stroke unexpectedly this past September. Unreal.

My mom reminded me that it was also her dad’s birthday, my grandpa, who upon the fourth heart attack died when I was nine years old. I missed the first day of fourth grade for his funeral. Twenty years later in my head he is wearing a bright red sports coat and holding a tumbler of drink on the rocks. He was Aries in full ardor out. I am Aries in reverse.

Yahtzee and whiskey, ahoy— I didn’t see my mom’s best friend very often anyway, and I can’t tell if I know she’s dead or if some day something hiding is going to surface and split me open, and then I’ll know. Or maybe because I didn’t see her very often she will continue to be as always: the only person who can call all people Honey as if it’s their first name, real —along with honest uproarious laughter!

My mom hopes the two are "up there celebrating together." Wherever they are, in spirit, atom, memory or otherwise, I hope they’re reaping the goods, drinking and bowling and unburdened.

Monday, March 21, 2005

White Shoes, Orange Shoes

"She’s going to need white shoes to go with her dress..."

I looked to the right of me to see a teenage girl standing in the middle of the ivory tile path, under humiliating fluorescent lights, a white dress spotted with purple flowers draped over her arm. She looked mildly retarded the way her head was bobbling around, confused. This girl probably doesn’t suffer from much mental hindrance other than what her mother engenders by stuffing dresses in her mouth and telling her she likes the taste.

Mother is so wrapped up in her growing doll she doesn’t see she gave birth to a human being, who like her has distinctive taste and will become capable of making her own decisions if given the opportunity try and err or not.

I was in Kohl’s yesterday when I witnessed this. It’s possible I am putting my own veil over the scene, but it looked and sounded familiar. I was about nine years old for The Incident when my mom refused to buy orange tennis shoes for me because she didn’t like them. (Editor’s note: I bought a pair of orange New Balance in the last year. Hm.) Once my mom and I fought in K-Mart because I didn’t want to wear brown tights with my Outfit. I hated brown. I was full of angst. I wanted to wear black. She, however, was concerned about how my wearing black tights with my Outfit would reflect on her, being my mother.

"You always tell me what I want to wear is ugly!"

She paused. "I do?"

I guess I’d never told her. Right then we had an epiphany together. I needed to tell her to back off; she needed to back off.

A time comes when baby becomes a real live person with real live thoughts and should not be third-personed, should not be objectified into a scientific experiment. My mom, pat on the back, has cut it out for the most part, with occasional lapses. Sometimes I catch a look and I know I haven't chosen what she would, but it isn't an issue.

My grandma, however, while I’m in the room, still enlightens people about my likes and dislikes, my dreams and loves. I wonder if she ever picks up on when I’m horny. Sometimes I get passive-aggressive about it but usually I let it slide because she's my grandma. But I still don't need any white shoes.

Entering the marketplace, particularly on the weekends, used to disturb me, all the voices, the complaining, the crying, the blind ambling. It still disturbs me, but I've decided to use the chaosecules of noise to refine my sense of what I don’t want to be, e.g.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Yesterday I went to my new gynecologist’s office for a St. Paddy’s Day pap smear. I had seen this doctor twice before. He took over the practice after my previous doctor, whom I had visited twice, retired. Since I moved to New Jersey I’ve been forcibly gyno-hopping. Now I can lie back and spread my legs for any speculum, a hardened gyno-slut.

Because I’m new with this doctor, I was asked to update my information. I took the clipboard back to my seat to fill out the form, and when I sat down I saw the entire form was in Spanish. I don’t know Spanish, but I thought I’d try to fill it out anyway. I like languages and puzzles.

Even though I know it’s ok that I don’t know Spanish, I still felt like a redneck saying "Why can’t they all speak English?" when I returned to the desk to ask for a form in English. Girl in scrubs searched for an English form and handed me what looked like their master copy, wrinkled, yellowed, and folded at top and bottom.

The doctor looks Asian but his name is Spanish, and I would describe his mild accent as more the former than the latter. The girls in scrubs who came with him from New York are all Latino, and the women behind the desk are Asian, except for one white woman residual from the previous gynecologist. In look and demeanor she sticks out like Frankenstein. The patient population is about 49% white, 4% Latino, and 1% Asian, from what I can tell.

This is one of few times I’ve felt like a minority, and I wish it would happen more often because it requires me to be entirely myself and to not fall back into the safety of sameness that deceptively inspires a much more narrow prowess. Having grown up in a small, predominantly white Catholic Midwestern town I became accustomed to living in what I later likened to big-city winter: white, white and grittily feeding on its incestuous snowbound invariability. Claustrophobic homogeneity.

There was a rotating cast of three black kids in my school, D________ White being the constant. R_____ Walker passed through as the final leg on the 800m relay team, on which I was the third leg. Our team was disqualified at a big invitational because Rosita’s fast genes didn’t have the patience to wait for a hand-off. She crossed the line, fast.

The first time I felt like a minority was in college, when I walked in to the Student Center to study on a Saturday afternoon. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the room was Asian. At least a hundred Asian heads bowed down toward the tables. And then there was white studious me.

The second time I felt like a minority was at a Kristin Hersh show at the University of Wisconsin campus ministry. The audience population was comprised of approx. 95% lesbians, 4% gay boys, and me and my boyfriend. The air around us straight ones was thinner, the color lighter; we were palpably separate. Everyone else was in commune, chattering in unison; we were quietly, palpably an island.

So here I am at the gynecologist’s office, observant of my stark whiteness, when I am called in. Girl in scrubs, who is younger than me, calls me "sweetie" at least four times before I go into The Room. I let her have her day. She weighs me, gets my blood pressure, then hands me the papery sheet to cover myself and tells me to get naked from the waist down.

When she leaves the room I slip off my pants and underwear and sit. The wait is unusually short and the Latino/Asian doctor walks in with his clipboard full of papers, looking at me through his glasses. His skin is smooth and his hair shiny black. His demeanor is frankly kind.

"So did you and your boyfriend take the medication?" he asks me.

The whirr of nature’s smooth sail sinks. "What?" I search my memory, and then, "No."

His black eyes search back at me, while he flips through papers out of habit. We are suspended together without frames.

Yank. "Oh!" he started, "I’m sorry. I was thinking of another patient. I had earlier. I’m sorry." Pause. "You look kind of like her." Pause. "I’m really sorry." Pleading smile.

In most cases, this would be a horror story. However, I believe in his regret and I will go back to him. Unless next time I look like another patient with another set of gynecological problems. Si?


Can anyone tell me, and by anyone I mean a guy, why a guy pursues gynecology as a career? Also, what about proctology? Thanks in advance for your help.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Walking through the hospital hallway I see evidence for the following new conclusion about Americans: life expectancy is projected to decline in the next 50 years due to obesity. The gap spreads.

Too many options make Jack a dichotomous boy, vast on the outside and slim on the inside.

Once upon a time I boldly thought I was not subject to suggestion; however, I just bought a key lime lollipop, as green as green could be on a day when leprechauns disguised as the people I work with roam the hallways. I hadn’t bought a lollipop in months, and never key lime.

I am a sponge, a golden retriever, a celebration of radio. I am open to molecular transmission.

The hallway is busy today with minor nightmares and latent gumption. The pub calls upon
Irish history in the middle of sleeping, and the haunting persists.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fire in the Waterhole

This never happens to me. I wonder if I ever really mean that or if it is always a flimsy bridge I choose to cross so I don’t have to look at myself in the water. That’s just not like me.

To re-cap, I recently moved in with The Fellas. Last Thursday night in the quiet of the house I went to the shelf for a package of Ramen. At the counter I ran some water into a pot and put it on the stove to heat. There were many things on the counter: a lean mean machine, a plate, a toaster, Lilliputians I don’t remember. I returned to the shelf for a can of tuna.

There wasn’t much space on the counter so I gently pushed back the mass and balanced the opened can of tuna near the edge. That is, I didn’t more efficiently move some of the things from the counter. I turned my back to the Lilliputians in a game of thirst-and-seek, and when I turned back to the counter there was a small flame reaching out from under the pot.

How odd, I thought. I looked closer. Alarm.

Something was on fire. Ardeo! Ardet! The cord to the toaster, which was part of the mass I’d pushed gently back, had snaked onto the burner. Fortune was with me, however, and the flame disappeared when I turned off the flame. The curl in the toaster’s cord that had been snatched by flame was crusty and black.

There was nobody to tell. The scent of burning and err stained the kitchen. I ate my noodles.

"Something bad happened," I said when Shin finally appeared. I gave him a tour. "Are you scared to live with me now?" I asked in half-jest, and then in auto-defense, "I swear I’m not a kitchen hazard. These things don’t happen to me--"

--self-doubt shot up from the grotto like a bad light for me to see and stand in. Am I really a kitchen hazard? Will I be a bad mother? Have I been in denial? How terrible.

I have since bought a new toaster, a black toaster, a better toaster, a toaster that came with a toy.

A few nights ago Shin came into my room. I’d been arranging my gods. He pointed to the green whale lamp. Sitting on top of the green whale is a tiny beige lampshade. There is a hole in the lampshade ringed by brown and black singe. When I was in college I had been lying in bed reading. When I slipped into narcosis I wanted the lamp gone, immediately. I threw a t-shirt on top of it. Within minutes, ignis. "I swear these things don’t happen to me," I said.

Two fires in I see it’s time to stand in the water and assess the currents, accept my accidents as fuel to tried and true character. I'm not who I thought I idealized but rather something other on fire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Carpal Truths, Remembrances and Wishful Thinking

My Mak is ailing with hades-fever and bellicose-head, and I hate it that I am not Healer Magicus. Human plights reign and remind.

As he handed me my debit card receipt, the Eastern European gas station attendant asked me to be his friend, three times. Sure, I told him, but not because I like you. Because I like your many metallic teeth.

The Voxel delights eager minds. Thanks to Glomgold for direction.

No longer can I bear the woman next door speaking. A Viszla, I have lodged in her mouth; my door, I have shut. Brian Eno is cranked. Baby is on fire.


Idea for TV: Cookie Talk; I and
another will engage in figurative cookie-speak intended to deeply alter the lives of those in earshot on multiple levels: psychological, interpersonal, emotional, sexual, financial, et cetera.

Example: An unknowing couple shuffle by with their cart and child in a grocery store, as CS1 and CS2 stand fixed in the cookie aisle.
CS1: So are you getting the cookies?
CS2: Why? Don’t you want to stand in the cookie aisle all night?
CS1: I’m bored with the cookie aisle. I want to leave.
CS2: Oh. I’ll get the grocery store brand peanut butter cookies for myself then.

Who needs Flavor Flav and his Scandinavian power bar? This is monumental.


I’ve got to stop saying things I don’t mean out of social skittishness. It’s masochistic, and that’s why I do it.

Monkeys will follow phenomenal dancers onto the floor.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Tension Is in the Leaves

At peace today, though I could have used a little more sleep what’s new. I haven’t had any urge to write today, only the urge to read and learn. Deduction: the urge to write derives from some tension between myself and the literal and metaphoric architecture of the world I live in. Drive to resolve what's jutting.

Yesterday I meant to jog. The sun was shining. The air looked crisp and still. The wind was hiding. I put on mean black running gear and stepped outside, however, and wind blasted fierce in one ear and out my other. It’s true. It got into my lungs too, and caused a cramp in my belly that didn’t calm until I returned home and stretched some yoga-there there into it.

Since my head was pressed with large cold air and I could only jog bent over at the waist and gasping for air, a sorry limp fish, I walked. I hate that. She doesn’t like to settle for less than she aimed for. I tried to fight it but decided to listen to the voices. They are always on, like a science.

Walking pushed the question again to the stage in my head: what should I do with my life? This is the king of the jungle. I think it always is. Many insects dart in circles: I want to write. I also want to impact the world outside me. I don’t want to sit in an office. I want ecstasy in reading and writing and shifting into exoticism until no norm is left, and again until no norm is left, and on, no norm.

Maybe there is no peace in my teacup today after all. Maybe the what-to-do-in-life question is another god, another mystery that has to remain a mystery in order for there to be gumption to persist.

Pieces of songs I’ve been listening to surface jaggedly into my head and twitch. Sound-images mix with fragments of voxel morphometry and narcoleptic lineage streaming in from Austria, magnetic resonance imaging, sleep dissatisfaction in Portugal, tea both green and black.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Extraneous Notes in Citrus Sharp

One of the two toilets in the bathroom is soiled again. Cantaloupe-colored splash with gelatinous chunks has dried down the front of the seat. How does this happen? Further, how does it happen more than once? There has been a cleaning, and then there it was again. I too shit, and sometimes in this very toilet, and never has this even been an almost. Let me remind the blog world that I work in a hospital.

The previously mentioned orange-faced man of mysterious profession who goes back and forth in the hallway is standing outside my office. I believe he is having a conversation with one of the doctors. I have no idea what he is saying. His speech sounds like a door-stop having been pulled and let go, amphetamined, on the brink of stutter yet holding balance. A balance that distinctly unsettles my esophagus.

Despite the above dreadful orangitudes, it has been a good day of editing and general peace in office world. I think many office folk are out today. Since I don’t have a window I can pretend it’s spring and that my Grace isn’t covered in salt. I can also pretend I'm in Rome.

The Big Phone Booth Lebowski: A Fable

A tale from the ghost of grad school past told recently recalled The Incident of the Bloody-faced Running Boy.

Upon wearying struggle, I was near the peak of Mt. Debauch. I was about to move from my apartment that used to be a garage, which was attached to but separate from a house where five failed frat boys lived. My things were in boxes and the boxes were stacked in the living room/kitchen. I had no cable connection for my tv, and my phone had had to be shut off early, which meant that I could neither phone a friend or access the internet. Instead I consumed extravagant amounts of liquor and cheap beer.

Early in the year I had pioneered the motto: Yes. Go ahead and be happy. This was good for a person as sheltered and restrained as I had been all my life. By this time, after several months of motto up the mountain, I’d been actively testing my moral limits. No specifics at this time, to protect the innocent. Near the peak, guilt-laced wandering wonder was settling into my nerves.

I passed an early evening with a few beers and then, without any entertainment but my fritzed self, I walked to the bar down the street. Oddly, none of my friends were there that night, just a few people I knew askew. I drank beers until the bar closed at 2am and then ambled home. No amount of beer, however, could tame the fritz in my nerves. I was hades-frenetic and needed to spill forth. Again, no phone.

I pulled a calling card from my wallet and walked down the street to a phone booth, about half a block from the bar I’d just left, and called my former boyfriend, who was and still is a good friend. The street was quiet but well-lit by streetlights and moon. Dirty black phone to my ear, I stood in the booth, flailing and wailing about my moral bends when I heard a hard and fast pah-pah pah-pah repeating itself. A mild flare of panic rushed through my body. There I was, drunk girl in a phone booth alone on the quiet street at three in the morning. I turned toward the sound getting louder.

From around the corner across the street came a boy running as if from death itself. He crossed the street, running in the direction of my phone booth. Sharply, my flailing and wailing turned: I’m drunk and I have no phone and I feel guilty about ____ and I question my morals and--Oh my god there’s someone running at me oh shit—

That mild panic that had rushed rushed more fully now. My heart and belly merged, my jaw stiffened, my limbs lost posture. He was running right at me. Why? He was close and I could see him vivid under the street light. His face shone oddly. He got closer and I could see his whole face was shiny with wet—the wet was red. It was blood.

By this time my flailing had become a deceptively calm matter-of-fact commentating of the event. Closer, closer he came running quickly, and then woosh: He flashed across the glass of the phone booth, and was gone. Nobody chased after him, or if someone had been, he or she gave up or made a wrong turn and lost the bloody fella.

I went home after that and made an enormous White Russian with the fixings a friend had left a few days earlier. I don’t know what I was thinking. There’s a lot of intoxication in a human-sized White Russian, and I’d made one for a king. Soon I began hallucinating. The walls began to shift. The longer I stared at a thing the more convincingly the thing transformed into something else.

Finally around six in the morning I fell into a stormy sleep and slept until I heard a knocking a few hours later. A candidate to rent out my apartment was there to take a look. She scanned my posters on the wall. We made conversation about Smog and Built to Spill. I had no idea what was going on. Everything had peeled away from itself.

What I learned: a White Russian is an intoxicant much stronger than it tastes, particularly in frenetic combination. Also, there is always something lurking around the corner to remind you that you never can see the whole big picture. Or, when you think you’ve knocked down all the pins, there is another game entirely to begin and you must play it. Go ahead and be happy, whatever that means.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Klinorynchy and the Evolution of the Toxins

Klinorynchy: horizontal mid-face shortening, defined more specifically as rotation of the splanchnocranium under the neurocranium; not to be confused in the dictionary with curling iron, Allen wrench, or clown around.

Toxins, apparently, my body no longer wishes to swim in. I came late to the liquors. I didn’t drink until I was almost 21. Then I left for graduate school where it didn’t take long before I came to feel self-conscious about the frequency with which I stopped by the liquor store. Finally I systematically visited a liquor store here, the one down the road, the one in the grocery store, breaking things up so I wasn’t stopping by the same one every day. I guess the self-consciousness is another psycho-bear to grapple with. Afternoons, after class, after commenting on my students’ writing, after visiting the libraries and record store, I’d make the liquor stop and at home begin. Then I would visit a bar, usually the same one down the street from my apartment, and often I’d enjoy a bedtime beer at home before sleeping.

I hadn’t expected this from me. My mom is a drinker and her drunken flares scared my young self into a self-righteous straight edge for a long while. Anyway, there it was. I familiarized myself with the multi-day hangover. I vomited whiskey from an otherwise empty stomach for the first time. I fell in drunken love severally. I wept chronically at chronic sublimity. One strung night over an Ouija board my eyes wobbled loosely in my noggin. I hallucinated. Generous friends from afar regularly received the rambling night fruits of my drunken head through e-mail.

I drank a lot then. I know a bulk of people whose drinking is darker and fatter, but still I could handle many drinks. Is it age, or is it bodily transformation? Lower tolerance? Or is it that out of oversight I made four-cheese Doritos and chocolate cake my dinner last night? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem to take much of anything anymore. In fact, since I moved to New Jersey a few years ago I’ve learned that marijuana causes me to pass flat out on impact. I had smoked only a few times ever anyway, but I’d never passed out. Now I also steer away from tequila and step lightly around whiskey. That’s after twice vomiting and passing out in the lawn of the house where I now coincidentally live, along with having vomited on the streets of both Philadelphia and New York City out the door of a car. That’s a brief summation.

Last night I went to a new friend’s house where she was having a few people over before her two-month trip to Spain. I had a beer before I went, feeling deserving after a day of bullshit knocks from the Gods of Tiny Tamperings. While there I had two small glasses of wine. On the way back I stopped at Mak’s house to pick up my guitar, which I’d dropped off after my lesson, before I went home. I thought, Heck I feel good, another beer. During grad school days this would have been a light stroll through Tipsy Park, but today my head is a big red pulsing balloon. A few ibuprofens and cups of DeTox tea later my head’s beginning to begin to settle out with the Toxins, those rot-winged creatures of ghetto myth.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

An Essay Hallucinated

Maniacal laughter came as mild epiphany this morning and I had to hide. Sales reps frequently hang outside the office next door to me. I have written of them here before, the non-oompah orange-faces all crisped-out in perfect suits, talking their crisped-out talk flanked with a dank arsenal of clichés, mixing metaphors like no-good poets. I love what you're doing with your hair. Sight of the slick brown-hair in the navy two-piece standing outside the office next to mine, waving his choreographed hand around, called up the whole species of them and set off a hearty cacophony in my head. I had to hide out of prudence. In hiding I am steeped in research of sleep-related hallucinations.

To begin, there are complex nocturnal visual hallucinations, the topic of the paper that’s driven me the deepest into the medical library. Learn more
here, though I don’t know how reliable is the information. Cliff-hanger highlights: "In 1922, the French neurologist Jean Lhermitte described a patient with bizarre visual hallucinations associated with clinical signs suggesting focal midbrain and pontine involvement…. Lhermitte's 1922 case report described a 72-year-old female who experienced bizarre visual hallucinations. These hallucinations involved common animals (e.g., chickens) possessed with a strange appearance, people attired in costume, and children playing. Although the patient knew the hallucinations were not real, she would sometimes attempt to touch them. The images occurred late in the day, particularly at dusk."

Furthermore, "results indicate that rapid and complete visual deprivation is sufficient to induce visual hallucinations in normal subjects."

Moreover, "these qualities of sensation, objectivity, existence, and independence, are among the defining qualities of hallucinations (Aggernaes, 1972)", should you find yourself in such a pickle that requires more knowledge about sleep paralysis and associated hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences.

Finally, a different pickle might require you to define all sorts of hypersomnia, namely idiopathic hypersomnia.

Epilogue: An invigorating conversation with one of the sleep fellows, the one with whom I share Hitler-arms in the hallway, has filled my head with comatose Cajuns and voodoo, with colorful beads, beer, and tennis shoes, the only three things she said she could see to buy on Bourbon Street. Delayed delay down there, she said. Perhaps the natives were all still tired from Mardi Gras celebrations. New Orleans is still on my list. When I go I’ll bring a little learned Jersey with me, a clown’s horn to honk at slow-talkers. I’ll give ultimatums. Or I’ll get drunk and buy tennis shoes, dangling beads from my teeth.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Tale of the Oracular Bread and the Ether-Winds

No prophetic junk mail yet today, but yesterday was a flood. I will append one below, like an insect antler.

Today began as one of those days. I chuckle at it, guffaw: You won’t—you can’t—get me. I have a theremin, and banana nut bread is in my belly.

Lousy molasses traffic. Drivers driving inconveniently in inconvenient lanes. Full parking lot despite the early rising to head it off. Cold rain during the long walk down and across the street to the hospital entrance. I didn’t dress warm enough and now it’s snowing. These are the makings of the beginning of a foul foul day. I have a theremin, and banana nut bread is in my belly.

I also have the good fortune of receiving prophecies in my inbox to guide my life where I have not the savvy. La Makita Soma plays on my cheap CD player. I have a theremin, and banana nut bread is in my belly.

Below, oraculation and ejaculation having come through the wires:

From Bisection K.Valances on 3/5/2005 at 10:10 am; Subject line: How’s tricks? The message:
SigeFrom a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached. Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.
Accidents, try to change them -- it's impossible. The accidental reveals man.

I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not.
I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just.

Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.

Nature is inside art as its content, not outside as its model. Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands. Desire creates the power.
The educator must above all understand how to wait to reckon all effects in the light of the future, not of the present.Dying is the most embarrassing thing that can ever happen to you, because someone's got to take care of all your details.

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. What sort of philosophers are we, who know absolutely nothing about the origin and destiny of cats?

I met a hundred men going to Delhi and everyone is my brother. Act nothing in a furious passion. It's putting to sea in a storm.

Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.

The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

These seeds are enormous. It’s snowing much and early. I have a theremin, and banana nut bread is in my belly. Go there.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The French Toast Spot Has Been Named

Two men dressed in workman blue came to my office door this morning. They were holding nameplates. Immediately I felt a surge of excitement, then worry. My name was spelled wrong even on the $25 check the department gave me for Christmas. I asked the fellow holding the plates if I could see the spelling. There was my name, spelled correctly, both names. It is now perched like a spring bird on my office door. The two men even returned to scrape the glue from the previous nameplate off the door. Now some office furniture, so I can properly house journal issues and the rest of The Good Doctor’s things, would properly tie up this long loose shoe string.

Saturday I visited
Princeton Record Exchange and picked up the album from Rob Schneider’s (Apples in Stereo) new band Ulysses. As a zealot for the epic tale I couldn’t pass up the band almost solely on its name, and especially not with those spring and up vocals, whether or not the lyrics match in mood. I love Rob Schneider’s voice. Rob, please won’t you sing me awake in the morning? By that I mean be my alarm clock, not wake up in bed with me. My loyalty lies elsewhere, and I’m a good puppy who can catch a Frisbee in the park.

Was a good CD day even though I didn’t find all that I sought. I also picked up
Nick Cave’s Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, which I’ve only yet heard part of, and Majesty Crush’s Sans Muscles and Looper’s Geometrid, which I have a burned copy of, but it and Majesty Crush were only $2.

The trip that brought us to Princeton: Tom and I accompanied Shin on a trial drive to his new job. The drive is nice. I might be envious. Cruising along the canal or weaving jerkily down 287? I’d take the canal any day. CD shopping followed the trial drive, and then upon my request, we stopped in
Triumph Brewery, where Tom and I sipped on an Irish Dry Stout and a Scottish Ale each, while trying to entertain Shin with wistful tales and jokes about his allergy to alcohol.

Onward ho. The editorial office is stacked with decided manuscripts today, which means I am busy composing letters, sending e-mails and faxes, and editing scientific language. Rob Schneider and epic winding carry strange the day where decadent French toast, cheesecake, and fudge cake fill the neuroscience department. Furthermore, I have been named.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Ribbon from the Crutch

She continues to awaken and to loose her crutches from her crusty armpits. Progress is a struggle but hot tea is helpful.

Today’s junk mail winner comes from Cassias H. Diesel. It arrived on Thursday, 3/3/2005 at 4:24 pm; subject line: Surprise surprise! The message reads:

Candice predestination ulcersUkudigada I celebrate myself, and sing myself.
Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.

Research enlightens. Ukudigada means "goodbye" in the Alaskan native language of Aleut. I make a guess that this message is addressed to Candice, code for Sara, who has an ulcer or otherwise corrupting condition she’d like to expel. She seeks guidance and Cassius, some sort of literati with Whitmanesque wings, delivers. Clearly his agenda is to spread his philosophy on what the crux of living is. It’s in the wrinkles in real people’s faces, not in the stories of reconstructed events having passed. Seems like either contains just as much fabrication, but Cassius might be on to something. Adieu, he says. I say, Vive la chance, and pull the ribbon on the present.


The day is in a well. When I fumbled to turn the alarm off I must have hit snooze and only thought I turned it off. When I shut off the shower I heard the thing sounding furiously again, for the second time since I've moved into my recent new home. I fumbled with the lock on the front door while my hands were full until I wondered if I would just have to wait until someone else was leaving. When I was waiting to turn left into the hospital parking lot, I noticed the lot was full even though I'd gotten up too early for a sara to get up so I could get a spot. In the second I turned to look, an oncoming truck tried to kindly let me turn in front of him. When I looked forward again the driver was waving his hands about and cursing me. I gave a loud Fuck You at my closed driver's side window as he passed. I thought with red wrinkled eyes, I hate people. Then I thought that it must just be me. There must be something I'm not doing in the grand scheme that's causing the alarm to alarm, the door to lock, the hotness over miniscule things to glare. My mind-gremlins have arrived, and they've caused me to turn right when I know I need to turn left (yesterday).

Since there was no parking spot, today I made one up. Let's see what the gremlins think of that. In the meantime, apologies to those awakened by my tortured occults. Now, she wakes up.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Fantastic Voyage of the Red Right Hand

Today I have been a bald cleaning machine, archiving the life out of documents past, sorting accepted documents past from rejected documents past, marking in handier nooks which issue accepted articles appeared in. And now my mousing hand aches red.

Last night the last time I saw the clock was at 9:14 pm. The next time I saw the clock was at 6:23 am. This is unusual for an expert, though healing, insomniac. Sleeping like that might be healthy, though my first instinct when that happens is that I’m coming down with something. I suppose it’s time to climb the red stirrer to the top and set sights on healthy and less extreme sleep patterns, a quaint Sunday pedal as opposed to a midnight fufanu. Sleeping sound is a cushion that grandma made.

Driving to work this morning I was again naively surprised by the lack of awareness shown by the drivers. I say this fully acknowledging my mind’s proclivity toward visiting past and future scenes while my body operates my car. An ambulance wailed up from behind. About ten cars back people noticed and pulled over. Not until the ambulance reached its back end did the car behind me pull over. Later I watched an SUV bull itself at the car ahead of it, which was going about half the speed of the SUV. There were cars in front and on the left of this car and no exit or shoulder on the right. Where did this SUV think it was going? It slammed on its breaks and rode the ass of the car in front of it until it reached its exit. All of that to get where it was going no faster than if it had just zenned its way to the exit. Shoot the brandy and take a deep breath, pal.

Complaining about traffic and drivers is ho-hum because it’s all the same. I tried to stop myself but I did it anyway. In the end, I’m just a damned human.

Try the mirror backwards, she suggested. Or eat raisins.

New word: pharmacognosy: the study of sources of drugs.

Today’s prize junk work-mail comes from Jose Brown, sent Wed 3/2/2005 at 8:41 pm, subject line re[9]:. The text of the message is as follows:

Am I right? No, not now. Jobs Fantastic!
Powerball transit visa

Again, I feel like I’m eavesdropping, getting only pieces of a conversation spoken in broken English. Powerball transit visa! Ole! Vive la chance! See beyond the horizon, quit your job and play the lottery. It's a fantastic voyage.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Crazy Dreams, Crazy Love

It began at work. I had left my office, probably to pick up something I printed out and when I came back finally the office furniture, or some of it at least, was in my office. There was a small set of oak drawers applicable only to someone from a hundred years ago when there weren’t as many files to keep in order. It was very dusty, a little worn. There was a mauve love seat, a pattern of tiny yellow diamonds smattering it, where my table holding the fax machine, in-process manuscripts, and current journal issues used to be. There was a large dark red table with boxes stacked on top of it, very dusty. Clearly they’d dug this stuff up from the basement so that I would technically have nothing to complain about. For some reason, at work, I kept taking off my clothes and putting them on again, walking in and out of my office, stark naked. Naked, I walked to the office manager’s office to speak with her. As I was approaching I heard her say to someone else, "She really needs to stop being naked in the office…" The rest wasn’t heard. I ate food from Taco Bell for lunch, soft shell tacos. When I left work, I got in my car, partially dressed, pulled out of my parallel spot on the street, made a scattered k-turn to go in the opposite direction. I stepped on the brake, yet my car veered slowly on its own toward the right. Another car drove in the opposite lane in my direction. My car veered toward her. I hit the brakes. I couldn’t stop my car. I got out of the car, my car kept nudging on its own. The girl driving the other car, her face turned angry, then her car began nudging on its own, too. She too stepped out of her car and the cars stopped. We checked the damage. Some of her burgundy paint had bled onto my cream-colored beater. We drove away. I stopped for Mexican take-out and drove away while balancing and trying to eat a large hard-shell taco in its noisy paper wrapping. I swerved in my lane. As I turned right to stop to eat, the lights on a cop car behind me began to flash and just as soon disappeared. I guess the cop changed his mind. I got out of the car. The neighborhood sky was dark and ghetto. And then it was daylight. I saw my friend Parker sitting on a log frame boxing in white rocks around a tree. Landscaping. Parker was eating a taco too. I held out my taco, laughing, and told him it was my second that day. It was his too.

* * *

In other news, today’s work-junk e-mail comes from Jettison G. Bank on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at 4:42 am, subject line You would, would you? The message reads:

Well well well!

It’s a mystery. Something about the flabby flesh under the lower jaw; however, Cayacamen does not match any documents. The subject line and the "well well well!" suggest something sexual is being suggested. Also it is likely that the name of the sender holds symbolism: jettison = to cast overboard, discard; bank = a place of storage, a protective mass, etc.; G = God, perhaps? Perhaps this is a vie for casting out god and plunging full force into bacchic hedonism, wine and sex until there’s nothing left.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Snow Fractals

Psychedelic day in the post-Nor’easter varies the lanes in the road. Look too closely, the road’s edge fractals and there’s no out. I shut my eyes while driving. This is not what they taught me to do.

Another curious piece of mail appeared in my work e-mail inbox. This time
Osvaldo steers clear and Becky Bingham, a clear co-conspirator, sends the message. At 12:25 am on March 1, 2005, with subject line re[11], she writes:

Nelly in 1971 CDC: West Nile UFOs
Well, we’ve got it was Yes No

Just like this. Where was Nelly, rapper from St. Louis, in 1971, five years before my birth and only 100 miles away? I forego womb jokes about it being hot in there. And what does it have to do with the Center for Disease Control? Or does this crypt refer to
Nelly Sachs, poet having emigrated from Berlin to Stockholm, whose work has ties fast and slim to Nobel and the company that publishes the journal I work for?

Further study elucidates a flea in the bear’s fur. Nelly the rapper was not yet born in 1971 (not until 1978), and Nelly Sachs died in 1970. My Nelly knowledge is limited, and I have not the gumption to continue fruitlessly searching for birth facts on Nelly Furtado.

this. A microscopic peer at these West Nile virus photos reveals the same delic psyche behind today’s snowy road lines. Probably this is the work of UFO techs. Eureka! And, as Becky said, well, we’ve got it.

But no. There is ambiguity in the final three words. There is the past tense of being. That is, we’ve got the answer; the answer was both yes and no, or neither. Why was the answer yes, no, both, or neither? What is the answer now? The final three words render the entire message hopelessly answerless. Like god and snow themselves.

More to come.