Thursday, July 28, 2005

infinite first-class shoe on the hill

When I read a book I become it. Samewise, if you are happy, I will be; if you are sad, I will be. I have no blockades. I receive everything uncontrollably. Woe is I, O is I. This is my happening, and Strawberry Alarm Clock blows dandelions in the background.

Today I have positioned The Postal Service to keep temper through my speakers. This is important, as my brain is on rapid-fire these past couple of days, manic and multi-colored. Finally the humidity broke.

I can’t think of postal anything lately without thinking of the Possalthwaite character in Infinite Jest, whom the tennis boys refer to as Postal Weight. I am nearing the tangible end of this infinite trip. This is important. Finally the bikes spoke.

This morning it hit me how variously and deeply my mom and I are psychically entwined. She once bought me a CD I’d been wanting but had never mentioned—during the period when I kept myself rather distant from her and felt schmucky about it, and it’s rare she’s heard of the music I listen to.

The last time I returned to Illinois to visit my family, a couple months ago, I found a box of Band-aids in the hallway closet. Inside the box was a tube of Neosporin. Only weeks earlier had I decided to do that myself. Might as well keep them together. Oh my god, I hollered, You do this too. This was not in practice when I was growing up there.

Recently my mom got an e-mail account. I sent her a short message about facing my fear of driving in Manhattan and about my plans to become a taxi driver now that I am able. She responded with a short tale that involved me driving my Dwarves around and stopping at Dairy Queen to tame them, then picking up a snooty CEO who was late for a meeting. Hark!, she wrote. I use this Hark. There is always light around it and I am superconscious of its ring. She says Hark too? Does everybody say Hark?

I replied to her that it’s clear now why I have difficulty discerning reality from fantasy. If there is even a difference (a topic for another time). Cheers.

A theory from last night’s Infinite Jest suggests that in my previous life she was my Death and so is in this life my mother. That is why we telepathize and sometimes clash. This was the last idea to go into my head before sleeping.

Hours later the volume on the Strawberry Alarm Clock turned itself on like a porn star out of the carnival of a dream about lost and found shoes. And the world roused 'mid the scent of peppermint and incense.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Cherry red on top, a blast of cold air, hair, an A chord asks to be suspended forever, looping. Without warning happy drunk, Ashbery radiant. I think my body chemistry has shifted. The office smells like chlorine in pockets. Cold. Normally I don’t eat the raspberry yogurt because the seeds get stuck in my teeth. Relinquish and let the music play in the order it chooses and not in the order you choose. Circuits are awhack again but at least I know this. Why do we waste so much time? Why do I waste so much time. I didn’t know miniature grapes existed until Sunday, where the sangria was dual and abundant. I called and eventually I drove after ice cream. Frogs recur in tongue and ear but I haven’t seen a frog in years. My eyes deceive me. My fingers move quickly. Uncontrollable spoken snippets escape. Speed metal. They will put you away for this. Evasion is why wires twine and why you detour sibylically. In the tundra. Old woman hangs in a jar like old pearl, no other word for it. Something about popsicles and guns. A rumbling drum. The enriched raisins are smaller than I knew. Closets are easily turned into rooms.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

always the comic tripper

Pad thai had been on my mind for four days. Yesterday on the way home from work I stopped at Thai Kitchen and ordered shrimp pad thai made spicy to go. Exhaustion consumed me. While waiting I crossed the street to the liquor store. Wine. A glass of wine would nicely wind down a body and mind weary with day gone long. Warm, slow sleep.

Carrying four bags from the previous two days’ whereabouts, and the much anticipated pad thai and wine, I entered the house. I could have slept right then. Much had transpired during the day and the night hadn’t contained enough sleep. But I was hungry and dreadfully needed to wash my hair. So I ate the pad thai. And then I cleaned myself. Poppy-sleepy.

My roommates were in the process of dinner when I went to the kitchen for more ice water...

This morning during my 40-minute drive to work NPR informed me at least 20 times that today would be a very hazy, humid 95 degrees which will feel like 105 degrees. In the Fahrenheit. I have no complaints because most of the places I will find myself will be air-conditioned (this modern day and its two-sided pennies, what happened to nature, man, but christ, all sympathy and empathy to loved ones without air conditioning in this purgatory). It’s been making me very thirsty.

...Upon returning to my room to clip my fingernails, which had been cragging for three days, and to recline, I remembered that I had put the clippers in my pants pocket a couple days ago. I like to clip my fingernails while walking outdoors. More than one person has told me this is "fucking weird". It's what I like, and we must do what we can. I checked all pockets and the clippers were gone. So I returned to the kitchen with my car keys, on a mission—at which my roommates requested a container of Ben & Jerry’s half-baked and some Mandelay. Some day a tube of Mandelay will sit upon our kitchen table like a bouquet of cattails.

At the grocery store, droopy-eyed but with new clippers I stood deliriously peering into the freezer, scanning for half-baked. A little old lady—they seem to be trailing me lately—dropped in quietly next to me and spoke—an infectious and girlish smile blushed across her face: "They’re so much cheaper than usual!" Immediately I pictured her in a tiny old house, multi-colored afghan stretched across an old couch, bong in her hands, giggling while Ed Sullivan re-runs play on the tube. I call-and-responsed her delight even though I didn't know how much the ice cream usually cost.

With new fingernails clippers, half-baked for my roommate, and heck one for me for another time, I returned home. No Mandelay, no bouquet. At last I could sip that wine and recline. I took the corkscrew out of its place and pushed its tip into the cork.

It wasn’t going in, so I pushed harder. And harder. Tried another spot. The cork was mangling into pieces. Finally, though, the screw began twisting in and I pulled down the arms of the device to pull the cork out. A success!?—no, the cork had split in half somehow and the bottom half of the cork was stuck in the neck of the bottle. I took to it like a seasoned mechanic. I went to the kitchen for a thin-blade knife. I would work the cork out. Or I wouldn’t. I went ahead anyway. Then I tried the corkscrew again. No give. I tried the knife, gently easing the blade into the bottom half of the cork. In, in. Pop!—

At this point I pictured myself in two scenes:
1. An episode of Three’s Company, quirky kitchen scene. I guess I’d be Jack, opening a bottle of wine for a date sitting in the living room. She’d fly through the swinging door to the kitchen to see why he was taking so long. He’d, embarrassed, grab the bottle and hide it behind his back, while slumping against the counter.

2. A deep dark drama about an alcoholic who’s run out of money and this cheap bottle of wine was all I could afford. There was no choice but to get that cork out. Vigorous and tantrum-y I would shake and prod until the tincture was down my throat by no matter what means. I would destroy my house and family with this disease.

—Like a boulder from high on a cliff the cork dropped fast and heavy into the wine. Purple splashed in every direction: my clean face and hair, the walls in front of and on either side of me, all over my desk, the keyboard, the mouse, the speakers, the printer, the post-its, the lava lamp, the CD, the pile on the floor I hadn’t known what to do with, the pictures of my friends and of me and my brother. Juliette Binoche, she was spattered vast; Bjork made it out with only three tiny purple dots. Irony: just two days earlier I had dumped an entire glass of water on this very desk and had taken everything off it for drying. I put the wine in its place and scooped myself a serving of the half-baked and then read a book while sleeping.

Yesterday’s multitudinous dours climbed a skittish mountain, which I hadn’t noticed until they peaked and blotted out their own magic-marker borders. Beyond stalling cars and pesky maladies and fuck-up staff and the heavy task of trying to please, there is comic relief. Windows are open.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Pebbles weigh like elephants and oscillate wildly

Today I did one of my favorite tasks at work: clean and toss out the files and papers associated with newly published articles. I get to do this when a new issue is printed. It serves my impulse to organize

Aside: my impulse to organize is in part a neurotic impulse to keep things tidy but also an impulse to tidily group like things and then reorganize, i.e. tidily group things that are similar in a way different from the first, devise new order from new chaos. Toss the CDs into a big pile on the floor and then invent an organizing principle. Radiant.

and, on a more practical note, I’ve had the damnedest time obtaining more hanging files from this workplace in order to contain the paperwork for each article, so by the time the new issue comes out I’ve got the paperwork for at least a few articles fragilely perched and paper-clipped on the table next to my desk, homeless.

Clearing out the old to make space for the new—vital for the psyche. It’s ok that there is yet no solution at first, but the longer the homeless hang the stronger is the feeling that there is a long arm dangling heavily in the attic. It needs either mending or severing. The tension is palpable, an exhilarating band holding taut the cycle from chaos to order and on.

In the last year or so I’ve faced three fears, irrational as fears are:
1. Dancing in public. This may be fleeting, but we’ll see. Transcending was a boon.

2. Negotiating a city bus system. Buses have always paralyzed me, not the act of riding one but rather the whole business of getting on one, the paying, and then getting off at the right time—the cord that hangs across the top, which I’d seen people pull and ding and then get off the bus, was the apex of the horror. Just the thought put me paralytic outside the doors that hadn’t even stopped before me yet. I don’t know why. Last summer I went to Portland, Oregon. At first I walked everywhere—as I would prefer were that feasible. But there were places I wanted to go that were too far for feet. Believe me, though, I calculated multitudes of possibilities for foot-travel. It just wasn’t reasonable. So I faced the bus. I faced it alone, red cape flapping back behind me. On my last ride of the week the angels sang and I pulled the yellow cord, dinged, and got off at my stop. By this time I’d become rocking-horse obsessed with the bus system. I wanted to ride every possible route and know every possible transfer and stop to reach any destination.

3. Driving in Manhattan. When it came time to get my driver’s license I was not excited as my friends were. I did not feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car; I was not interested. Driving up and down straight highways, around in little college towns, caused me anxiety. Lead foot, heavy on the breaks, and by nature with vision spatially warped and abstract—these were not conducive for keen driving. Then I moved to Jersey where one must drive and one must drive well lest one be bullied and honked and cause accidents. I sank my canines into my fear of multi-intersecting highways, multi-lanes packed with fast and honking cars--christ, there were too many dimensions for my brain to handle in coincidence with my motor skills. Last night, with passenger-seat guidance I tackled tunnels and rampant taxi drivers, and last-minute city veers without fear. Not impeccable, but up through the soil.

Each of these fears involves movement. I wrote a poem once with a line in it about bulldozing through process so I won’t notice motion. I thought I was being melodramatic, just making shit up for the sake of the poem, but now I think I was rather dumbly honest about a fear of process and active, as contrary to passive, motion in it. I think this is a half-developed thought caught mid-cosine.

Elephants trying to trample a body into the corner get light shed on by reflection and grouping. In the light elephants dance and drive and ding, weighing little. I don’t know what fear goes next under the gavel. It must be physical, a firmly embedded calculus to throw out.

Friday, July 22, 2005

cornered in the staff with red curtains

Inside Target was misting the spittle of David Lynch, no doubt about it. Things turned a slight skew sharp of F during my lunch time yesterday.

Not enough on my list to warrant pushing around a cart—yet no baskets were available—I made a cradle with my arms and began piling. I often do things the hard way. I had just collected some feminine products and a bottle of vitamins when around the corner came someone I recognized.

[My eyes’ corners caught the face. White teeth gleamed from orange-brown skin. Searching, searching… The face found a match in my brain. Hi I shouted. He in a similar skittish shout made Hi. My brain sped into frenia: oh god small-talk social interaction at the store I hate small talk what to say say hi should I stop or go on how well do I know this person does it warrant stopping I say how are you he says how are you I start to say more GYNECOLOGIST my new gynecologist is at Target I was planning on calling the office later I almost said I’m going to call you later no that sounds like we’re dating]

We were both caught in this moment, excited to see someone familiar and then stunned at how familiar.

You’re shopping here too, he said. Stating the obvious was really the best move.

It’s my lunch time, I said.

An additional second of pause choked either side of each line each of us spoke. That man has had his head and hands in between my thighs and that is all he knows of me. His seeing me in Target with a box of tampons and a bottle of vitamins seemed an imbalance in the planets. Naked reverb. I walked away, pile in the cradle, and he with his cart in the other direction.

Crossing the store, arms full, goal: dish drainers. An old old lady came slowly but surely at me. At me. Dressed in pale pink and topped with white white hair, Are you a customer, she insisted, medicated eyes blue-boring through my T-zone.

Yes, I am, I confirmed certainly.

With a slow shake of the head and a deep breath in she said, I’m so sorry.

I laughed. I mean I said, It's ok. Or I did both of these things.

And then I held her hand in mine and asked her to tell me about her girlhood in America, about a time when there was no McDonald's, Target, Starbucks or Wal-Mart, and everybody's luggage was delightfully standard with a unique floral pattern on the inside. We drove to a bar and over whiskey sours wept. All office jobs disappeared like warts, and the two of us spent the rest of the day dueting the world's great musical. White squirrels grouped to form a chorus. People died naturally when the song cued it so. And it was good.

It's really ok. Sometimes my arms bend back and fireflies enter my bedroom at night. Sometimes there is a circus during the day. Sometimes I return to work, pink ribbons flickering in the corners, where music is always in the air and that gum I like is back in style. And paralysis resolves itself in a squeak.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Parade at Pompeii

Last night I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to wake and wake and continue waking atop the devil’s dirt roof until I got close enough the sun would scorch me. Or I would scorch it. Last night I wrote a letter in my head that I forgot in the alarm. Still your tongue now. People are arriving.

Today is a day for loud music and sunshine relentless against any bug who beats otherwise. There are no points to be made except the one about calcium and how it changed everything. There are some things some people will never know and others will. A glass of soy milk in the morning turns tables.

—Maybe. Could you kill a cow, the boy asked me. Or rather I asked him. Camouflaged and gay, he could kill a chicken. Devour cucumbers and tomatoes. Sesame sauce. I could kill a mosquito. People like to tell me their secrets, and I listen like a puppy.

What does Snow White stand for? When was this thing invented? How many ideas can be packed into a single word? My mom thinks I have a way with dwarves. The black sheep thinks I conduct a vast underground drug operation. I hear my name from across the train station and call in the militia. All they do is sing.

Tom Waits, you are my lullaby, daydream, and closet monster, psychedelicized whiskey, you rigor, you haunt. Hips have a way of telling truth both in tropics and tundra. Circulatory system’s re-routing. Your tonsils pulsate like salsa breasts. A humid skyscraper draped in soot and shed skin, you are a languorous seducer, a quarantined porch breathing dusk in and out.

Search activity dispels panic disorder and general anxiety and thus we conclude that... That is why scavenger hunts and eye-gazing are critical, Luke. These games are metallurgic, useful and curiously relentless, both fast and slow. Breathe deep in. Now out.

Put your finger in your mouth,— thrust it into the air. A gust varies the position of phalli at crossroads. And then a volcano blows. Nobody, however, need be plaster cast into an arm’s plea just inside the city walls. What you taste afterward depends on the way you stomp the drum when the top goes out.

Monday, July 18, 2005

grace the tragicomedy

"They have painted a bright blue, a little lighter than Grace and it is delightful. I can't wait to poop." This came to me in an e-mail message from my friend Melissa this morning. (I hope you don’t mind my sharing.) [Editor’s note: Grace is my car’s name. She is a striking bright blue.]

I can’t wait to poop will be my new key phrase. A motto, if you will. Not be overused lest I dull it into nothingness.

Back in the nearly six-year-ago day when I moved to Iowa City, I brought with me the gumption to drive a new motto: Go ahead and be happy, submotto: Just say yes. There was good reason for this.

Some of this bon raison I’ve written about before here. Before I moved to Iowa City, I was stuffed, crammed, needled, strung so tight anything could bounce off me. Much of my time was consumed by translating Greek and Latin, and by other things for other frames, and then exhaustively reviewing what I’d translated during week days and nights because I had no faith that I could reassemble the translation in class. The four walls of a classroom have always rearranged the furniture in my upstairs and then slowed time to the point just before it stops in a long-during four-part poem, so that every syllable thought or spoken broke down into a scatter of pixels, making big-picture coherence grossly impossible. Free time, I eventually began filling my body with intoxicants, but I even organized that around translation and around reading & writing enough to feel adequate in some neurotic kitchen-tile standard I’d set for myself.

When that path forked and shot me out its lubed center into Iowa City, my psyche and every muscle needed a massage. The stuffed animals in my blood needed the duct tape ripped off each of their furry pores. I moved to a new place with new people. No longer did I have framework. Go ahead and be happy, I decided. I said yes to most everything that crossed my new path, boundless. Not a very wisely ancient Greek path; i.e., there was no balance, just compulsion, answer drawn before the question.

I had reversed courses. Where before I denied and refused, now I accepted and accepted and accepted, which often had me bleary in a bar, bleary at a party, bleary at home, bleary in the sidewalks in between. Qualities and behaviors I didn’t know I had in me came out. I didn’t like some of them. I didn’t know this person. This was gold. I was a vessel manipulated and swum through by something other. I let it happen. Like being hit by a truck, I’m grateful for it.

This all, I think, is just one scene in the larger Greek drama achieving Apollonian-Bacchanalian balance and eventual full catharsis. I swear the River Styx flooded me in my sleep one night. A black cat crawled in through the bedroom window. A dream within a dream petrified my nervous system and roused soiled children from nearly too deep a well.

Go ahead and be happy climaxed and crashed and smoked a lot of foul cigarettes in the post-coital plummet. When I moved from Iowa City I knew it was to a recovery spa no matter where it was. Unfortunately, my army has retreated further than I care for. My rambunctious phalanx and I, we’ve got to shake it up, take it to the bridge, rock out with our cocks out, and also cough up the muck for the gander.

Then sit as quiet buddhas orange in living room lamplight. Balance the consume and purge, but weight neither more than the other. Unwind the wound. As yet my quest for arms perpendicular to the ground, one foot in front of the other on a narrow beam, at steady ease, has brought me to migraine and occasional social catatonia, frenetic fire-starting. Kitchens will never be the same.

Oh, right. Perfection is not an option, narcissisma.

It's beautiful like decadence, implying both consumption and purging, the full cycle exhilaratingly, unwindingly--Some old clinging waste, I can’t wait to poop.

And then begin the next act.

Friday, July 15, 2005

charmed we are by frogs and flags

Today is not a day for abstract profundity. Frayed nerves, Friday humidity, call it what you will. So be it. I’ve got concrete evidence of vital volleys, modest aspirations, in our modern day. Last night an adventure took my friend/roommate/wise man and I to the local pharmacy. After examining boxes containing Mandelay (sound it out) and an array of contraceptive vaginal films

Aside: now, really, the word 'film' when it does not apply to moving pictures for entertainment’s sake never indicates anything attractive or desirable; e.g. sugar film on teeth after drinking regular soda, thick film snagging from lips after drinking milk, film of grime on the body after a day in the workplace (any workplace) or in New York City. Generally ‘film’ in such a way refers to something coating itself onto a surface that needs to be washed off…

we continued to the vitamin and herb aisle. There was more in the way of delaying ejaculation, increasing ‘the load’, enhancing female stimulation, enhancing the penis in general. But there was also a product called Grobust. It’s supposed to increase breast size by up to two cup sizes. Call me naive; I didn't know.

In my mind I still squat in that aisle, holding the box, mouth agape, baffled laughter escaping. Grobust!? Could this be real? Could this be any more real than a skit on Saturday Night Live? Apparently so. Apparently this life and the cock-eyed consumerism and plasticity it proliferates is the comedy skit I’ve suspected it was. Bigger boobs with herbs. Now that’s magic. That’s witchery. That’s crazy. I believe--I always have--in the fantastic. Apparently so do the physically insecure/unhappy and the vultures who prey on them when the stuff is called Grobust and not Frog-Tooth-Charmed-Tongue Batter for Women. And so we have Mandelay.

With this in view, how could my nerves be frayed? I’m changing the channel to aisle 4: bargain supplies (i.e. shit nobody for the last year wanted to buy), where I will purchase a battery-powered heating pad once-opened, a broken headband, and a bag of circus peanuts.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

the frog who could see

Someone asks, Exploding frogs again? Nobody answers, but the actor looks just like my brother. Photograph of war-silver skin flashes. I contemplate the nutritional value of barley. The afternoon moves by slowly but not painfully so.

Many threads begin here and I wonder if they ever twine their fingers into fabric, if they are like office days: similar at root but separate and rarely connected, except for the occasionally discernable carry-over task. Or if the threads indeed are tightly finger-twined but the view is so microscopic that the whole weave is impossible to see until death do us part.

I was born without telescope or bird’s-eye, more of an insect with human neuroses and immune system and occasional violet flare-ups that settle as words on a page, dull head head pain, or backwash in beer bottles. Violet shades sky and carpet, eye and jacket, hair registering newly into the ecosystem.

Once upon a time an ant from Florence was captured from the cement between stones in a city road. Men wearing goggles and white dresses injected the ant with various human stem cells. Shortly thereafter a brown-haired puella crashed out of an egg. The men trimmed her limbs to four and taught her how to walk upright. When she could complete a lap around Duomo, conversing successfully with at least three people on the street—a man, a woman, a child, the men shipped her to America. Having bottom-bounced through the middle part of the country, she bobs in New Jersey, where she speaks in awkward English syntax, hallucinates microbic activity in both psyche and skin, and longs for vin with pizza slices to go. The Colosseum. Often she feels like she is in a museum.

A frog hops across the screen from left to right. It is purple. It is sheen. Tongue rolled out, it offers, Ciao. Demands, Vide.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

from the airplane it looks like this

Light shines in. This is my aggressive prediction in currency, in game to defy aches and tingles and bad attitudes in general. Rev up the spunk, you know.

The recipe for sparkling checkered finish: dream of shrimp and tie two makeshift buns at the back of the head.

(self-fulfilling prophecies, perhaps, because )

both of these I have done. Last night I dreamed of many many shrimp. Striped pink and white, they were lined up like soldiers, phalanxed both in birds-eye and zoom-in. They were mortared together into countertops and walls. I observed them, I ate them. Two makeshift buns in the shape of shrimp sit parallel at the back of my head.

Thus, the moon becomes sun

and there is peripeteia, mistaken fortune gutted into good: Jack and Jill jab the right eye of each out with a chopstick, and they epiphany that the moon is the sun and vice versa. Or they simply see that silly putty is amorphous and they need only to play with it. Summer kids with active hands, catharsis in mud-puddle banter. No surface is opaque, no chute too narrow for para-cave sight.

Now go here and read this. Yesterday, it--as a friend of mine would say--tripped my trigger. Toss out the pharmaceuticals and in-office counseling; there is a new and more natural therapy within and all around us.

Monday, July 11, 2005

a moment lying in violin

Black dreams aside, the week begins. Last night’s travels involved disruption and oscillating headache, but nobody was bloodied or pulped. Last night's travels involved truncated calculation, as in literal calculation of two days in proportion to the rest of the week. I knew the answer but the dream still would not let me finish the long division. The fact of the percentage is that it should be reversed at the very least. Whyso is my warm business.

Upon drifting to sleep two nights ago I had this thought: One must be aware of as many possible things (i.e. potential results, answers, events, animals, retorts, laughters, cries, lieus) at all times in order to avoid the worst sneaking in guerrilla-style in order to show you--because you weren't quick enough to foresee it--that it can be real, can rise to animation from the bed of a cornered thought. This is facet to my irrationally magic way of thinking that probably contributes to neuroses and general skittishness. Must think, must think, from every blasted angle, to (possibly) marionette the course of events. This does not mean to dwell on or wallow in the worst, or to cockily assume the best, but rather to be aware of the worst and best and in-between. I also believe in mind over matter both to the positive and the negative. Or, fear makes a feared thing happen. So, when I say one must be aware I mean aware and nothing more. That is, be aware that some jackass could swerve into your lane and cause an accident, yet drive with a sense of peace and cool. Be aware that your headache could be indicative any number of serious afflictions you’d rather not think about, yet proceed with peace and cool.

(Probably I write this, as Henry Miller and others have put it, because I haven’t achieved living it.)

Moment of heightened sensation is the nearly still point at which a situation can be transformed from what it may or may not have been headed to be. A virtuoso on violin sits tightly on a red milk crate, bowing strings purposefully out of tune. A hired devil’s advocate heckles. Humidity turns to mist you can massage. The leather of a harness loosens.

Once upon a time I began reading Infinite Jest. Breadcrumbs scattered and I detoured. I read other books with other wolves. Recently I have returned with better focus and drive, and I might steal lines. This line of thinking is intolerable. Return to whence you came. It’s always that everything always speeds up and slows down both.

This morning I woke up before my alarm did and I wonder if in fact I am still I bed. A well-slept spine makes you taller.

Friday, July 08, 2005

back in (night)time

The sheen is shifting into week’s end. This has been a long short week in short. As day narrows to its last raindrop, I will transform into a lightning bug and decorate some lonely person’s nocturnal backyard. I will nap there and, when I wake up, the first mirror will frighten me. All subsequent mirrors will be old hats: snagged fedora, paisley beret, punctured top hat, white wig.

Two nights ago I woke in the middle of the night, facing the air conditioner in my window. The moment I opened my eyes I saw the yellow glow of a lightning bug enter my air conditioner from the back and slip down. It swooped out, landing on the dark towel propping the air conditioner, and bounced back and forth there. Finally I cut the voyeurism and rolled over.

Last night I had the second of two dreams containing murder in the last two weeks. I have strange dreams, eerie dreams, dreams containing magical whimsical death, but I don’t recall having dreams made of sheer murder before. The first one was horror film material but nothing gruesome. In fact, I cut it short by waking myself up. This second one was brutally bloody.

To protect the innocent I will not go into detail except to say that I watched a loved one utterly bludgeon and pulverize another person, someone neither of us cared for but whom in waking life would not have punished at this nadir of intellect or humanity. This was animal at deepest hematic root.

The escalation, or the finish? I don’t know what tonight's staunch hand will pull in through the walls.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

space-time's old hump

It might be true: Wednesday is the new Monday. Or, I’ve become a real slack-ass and dislike working. Or, I need a behemoth ch-ch-change that doesn’t lock me between four sterile and laxly oxygenated walls for eight and a half hours a day. Somnolence hangs here.

Book, poem, floppy eyelid syndrome, conflict-of-interest statement, ALMA edit and the caffeine challenge, insomniac, bill, supper, pronunciation, vocabulary, general knowledge of history, all of time’s gods, spinach—I’ve been letting a lot of things slide—misplaced waste draining out from rusty misplaced ducts—and it’s manifested as two red though healing zits in the center and a muscular sag in the right side of my face.

Everybody was asleep and now everybody is jacked up on coffee berries and sugar cane. Everybody has a headache.

Give me ultimate pad thai and a set of tiny strong hands to spice and push these nostrils to heave-ho’ing. Or give me Benny Goodman sing sing singin’ while winding through a stone-path town decked out in castles and ecstatically crumbling temples.

Or just leave these things somewhere accessible so I can locate and harness them my own damn self. Half the battle.

Re-location. Nonlocality. Planted in a field of poppies, find parabolas, ellipses, the furniture of language, a house tipping up on its side, lifting up out of the ground. All the roaches spill out.

Those things in the sleepconscious field—the boat, the plane, the floor where you lay your sleeping bag—they are nil importante. They are not germen. That is this week’s lesson.

Locate the darn curtain-puller caught unaware in apocalyptic helix. Then the quantum gravity in your face will perk to zen.