Thursday, May 16, 2019
Untitled for those crushed under the boot of the patriarch but refused to die and became beautiful, and for the dead of the Ghost Ship, an excerpt from a longer meditation
“Reality scared the shit out of her too” - Lydia Lunch
Unloved sidewalks of America. Lonely breezes in the suburbs. Closed up houses, stifled with anger, blood, and lingering rape. These houses don’t love and she is surprised they don’t collapse in ugly mold and nocturnal bleeding. A teenager, an idea new to the American century. Hungry, angry, and cannibalistic, most are afraid to be alone with her. The rapists and junkies choose different alleys. She builds little mountains of her bad energy tries to push them into crowds of people. Most walk out of buildings now tainted with anger. Fear is on everyone’s mind. A body lies in the park for a week. Electricity is free on the street, and the break ins are irregular. One break in the thief cut his arm and left streaks where he made his rounds of the apartment scouring for valuables. He found little. Soon he would be in the park. This city will eat you, it will eat even its own rats before it dies.
Car crashes and asthma begin to stalk the youth. Broken glass in bloody hair. Bikes dragged for blocks. The walls moving, lungs ceasing to function. Asleep at the wheel waking to pine trees fluttering their needles in the wind and everyone dead, walk for miles screaming at cars to stop in the dark.
She couldn’t decide if owning a gun was a good idea. She would probably kill some motherfucker for no reason. Probably should just walk up and grab one off one these cowardly junkies and rapists scattered around.
Fires spread on the highways of California, sometimes smoldering in the distance, sometimes kissing the shoulders, taking a truck or car here and there, and other times like waves it powers over the both sides of the highways melting cars abandoned by fleeing drivers. The fire manages to sneak into the cities, to hide in the walls of houses and warehouses. Then it spreads and can kill in minutes.
You’ve known these places for years. Cramped, cluttered, with no protections. Forgotten, filled with paint and cords. Fire doesn’t care that these places saved your life, fire doesn’t care at all. Fire just appears when allowed. Your emotions or desire to not die painfully aren’t concerns for fire. These places saved your life. They saved you from living in your hometown with curdled aspirations, drinking beer on the back porch as moths electrocute themselves, the heat barely vanished from the day. The only loudness, drugged teens in their cars traveling the night, hoping to break free from this.
“What are you afraid of?” - Bikini Kill
Monday, August 31, 2015
Two men born in the century of the wind that sought life on paper pages. Such a fragile thing was paper in the century of the wind.
One was born in the old world. The old world he was born into had become sickened with war, racial fear, economic disasters, political utopianism, and paranoia. It was in the grips of the of the spirits unveiled by the events of Paris 1919. He grew up in a city that became captured by the cultists of a man born of the bad eggs of the wounded old world. He joined the children's crusade, marching like a tiny soldier thrown in the ranks with the old and the forgotten. The cultist warned that the barbarians would come, and come they did. An army that moved on rape, plunder, and gasoline thundered across the old world, driving tanks over refugee columns, crucifying and hanging people, and planting red flags across the lands squandered and poisoned by the cult. This man dreamed of a boy who refuses to grow up, pounds on a metal drum, and screams to shatter glass. He dreams of his country and the times it endures, as it births the new.
The other man, this hopeful believer in pen and paper as icons against the monolith of greed and insanity at the heart of the century of the wind, was born in the new world. He was born in a land especially filled with promise, culture and riches. It was compared to the old world, which this man felt a little apprehensive about as he knew there were wonders here that could never be replicated in the frozen ways of the old world. The economy began to suffer and his country started to get rigid and fearful. Students claiming they had the spirit of Tupac Amaru retreated and began to buy guns, training themselves as urban guerillas. The state formed an army to fight its own people and the streets shook with the martial columns that moved down them. Torture chambers grew like fungus everywhere darkness lingered. This man began to fear his own country and clutching a couple notebooks he fled. This confirmed his dread of patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacists, and the the envoys, prophets, and yes man of the great machine to the north. This machine controlled the new world by owning its loans, and soon it ruled over the old world when it collapsed in rot. His only weapons was history, writing utensils, and his own imagination. This connected him to the man who crawled out of the collapsed and putrid body of the old world, pushing through its dark and frenzied convulsions like a maggot through forlorn meat.He saw new orders born and died, and he wrote fables to explain them to those in remote future ages. He drew grotesques that only hinted at the madness loose in the century of the wind.
Both these men died in the age of distraction, their messages clearly written for those with the time and patience to read them. We find it harder and harder in this age to find time for such things, we risk losing the histories of the century of the wind. What lessons and horrors could be repeated when the distractions fades, when history returns to the ever present now?.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”
― William S Burroughs
The child was not yet two. He reached for the blueberry bush with his stubby little arms and stubby little fingers. He knew which ones to pick. The ripe ones. The leaves of the bush were still damp from watering. The drips of water caught the sun as its light cascaded over the house. He moved the blueberries he picked to his mouth. One after another
The associated press @ap
Malaysia airlines has lost contact with a passenger plane over the Ukraine.
The man felt pretty confident about the piece he just written. He knew some changes needed to be made. He liked it though. He sent a copy to a writer friend in another city to get her opinion on it. The child sat flipping through the pages of a book. The book told of the vacation plans of a crab and penguin.
Three men entered the bank. They carried assault rifles. They had spare clips taped to their bodies. They left the bank manager tied up and fled with three hostages. They used one of the hostage’s SUVs to flee the scene. The police were behind them. The guns started firing. Police reporting that the gunfire was almost continuous throughout the chase.
BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun.
Shadows beneath the trees were cool pockets away from the glare of the sun. The stroller travelled between these patches. The heat of the day had begun to build in the air. There was still some coolness lingering, in the stray breezes and in those cool pools of the tree shade.
Fuck them they shouldn’t have been flying. This is a war.
The child had developed a routine for humpty dumpty. He stomped around until he heard the line about humpty’s great fall. Then he flung himself to the ground.
This is what the plane looks like if it disappears.
I saw objects falling from the sky, I thought they were bombs. I thought they would explode.
These are breaking news stories so we won’t be able to cover these stories until Friday. Wait, I’m informed we don’t have a show on Friday, which is good because those stories are super depressing…
- Steven Colbert
A hostage had been shot and then flung from the car. She is expected to survive. The police spotted an ambush. Bullet holes were in cars and houses for miles. Another hostage was shot and flung from the car. She is expected to live.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
The child raised his arms in the air and then moved them back down as itsy bitsy spider was sung. The glass walled community room of the library contained the parents and the children. Books were read, bubbles blown and songs were sung.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
You know what's truly weird about any financial crisis? We made it up. Currency, money, finance, they're all social inventions. When the sun comes up in the morning it's shining on the same physical landscape, all the atoms are in place.”
Breaking: Malayasia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine. 298 people on board are all believed dead.
The man received an e-mail from his writing friend. She confirmed what he suspected about the piece. It was solid. He had felt it and it flowed well. He bundled the child in the stroller and they made their way through the neighborhoods. It was time for lunch.
The tank moved down the street. Faces peered out of the doors and windows of houses and watched it pass. Dust was in the air. Men moved in formation after the tank. They observed the street through the sights of their guns. The ground rumbled from nearby bombs.
The smoothie was a blend of frozen berries, bananas, milk, yogurt, kale and peanut butter. The child slurped it through the straw of the sippy cup. The child saw the trees and the houses pass. He knew the words for these objects. He knew the words for the cars that traveled down the streets. He reached his foot out of the stroller and kicked it through a leafy branch that draped over the sidewalk.
They pushed their way through the swaying sunflowers. Here and there they pointed. The brought tarps and covered the bodies they found among the sunflowers. A finger of smoke stained the sky from where the plane had crashed.
Events are following one another at a mad pace
The white smoke was the exhaust of rockets. The black smoke was from the burning buildings.
The woman cleared the wall. She was looking for a cab to hail. The driver was unable to stop as he cleared the turn. After striking the woman he pulled his car to a halt and waited for the police to come. People gathered around the body, after a while the singing of the traditional Thai song deuan pen (full moon) was heard across the Chiang Mai highway. The crying friends of the woman had gotten the gathering passersby to join in for the singing. It was a favorite of the woman, who was already gone.
Two of the robbers were dead and the last hostage. She had left her daughter in their car to get money out for a haircut. It is unknown at this point if the fatal bullet was from the robbers or police. Shells are everywhere. The chase ended when the tires of the suv were blown out. Tarps are placed over the bodies.
The day moves on. Heat is slowly slipping away in the shadows. The man looks at the computer screen. It is the only light in the living room. The child is asleep and so is the man’s wife. The house is still. He is reading some online tributes to John Coltrane who died on this day in 1967. He sees a post on Facebook he doesn’t understand. A cousin of a friend he hasn’t thought of in a couple years has posted a picture on her Facebook wall implying that this friend was dead. The man is confused thinking the cousin is dead, but it’s the cousin posting it. There is a series of confused comments on the photo. Someone said this is not the way to share this news. There might be translation issues as the cousin is Thai, the man’s friend is part Thai and had been living in Thailand for a while. He scrolls down the friend’s Facebook page. Her last post is of her holding an Atlas Moth, the largest moth in the world. It fills the palm of her cupped hand. The text of the post starts “I can die now…”
“But the past is passed; why moralize upon it? Forget it. See, yon bright sun has forgotten it all, and the blue sea, and the blue sky; these have turned over new leaves.
Because they have no memory . . . because they are not human.”
― Herman Melville, Benito Cereno
The dark of the backyard. The sky was a deep blue still slightly pregnant with the day’s light. Trees shook in the distance as the breeze moved through them. The man stood in the silence of his backyard. The Facebook post had disappeared and he could find nothing online. He hoped it had been imagined. He saw the distant lights of plane blinking against the immense bowl of heaven. He watched as it approached its elevation and then went steady towards its destination westward. The trees continued to pulse, and the sky lost all trace of the day. The man went inside. He would not know his friend was dead until the next day. A day that rolled out like all the others. Just like July 17th in the year 2014.
"It was so interesting, when [John Coltrane] created A Love Supreme. He had meditated that week. I almost didn’t see him downstairs. And it was so quiet! There was no sound, no practice! He was up there meditating, and when he came down he said, “I have a whole new music!” He said, “There is a new recording that I will do, I have it all, everything.” And it was so beautiful! He was like Moses coming down from the mountain. And when he recorded it, he knew everything, everything. He said this was the first time that he had all the music in his head at once to record."
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
From the crumbling infrastructure of the news industry comes a transmission to make you doubt. Casts shadows on friendships and things you held dear. How were you wrong all these years? How did you not know?
I could buy groceries today but a plane went down. I saw a tiny plane alone in the sky when I went out in the backyard. Was this the day that the cherry blossoms were drifting down like floral snow? Or was I getting ahead of myself. I read about the plane and imagined that last minute for each person on board. The vastness of the sky letting them go, returning them to earth in the cruelest way possible.Was that plane I saw a ghost? A signal from beyond. But why would I be worthy of this symbol? I was unconnected to this plane except for the pain I felt at this remote witnessing. It should pain me no more than the collapse of Yemen. But,Yemen gave no ghost. Or no ghost I recognized. Maybe all the tragedies of the world give out ghosts for us to see. It is up to us to properly witness. To recognize the ghosts offered us. But the onslaught of distant news in many ways already is a ghost. Like those stars whose light peppers the dome of the night, we are seeing light from something already dead.
Like the second death of Chinau Achebe. An outpouring on the internet for a man most probably hadn’t even read. Not that I have really read him, read many authors influenced by him. Read one of his essays once and didn’t really care for his conclusions. Things fall apart the title of his most famous work is a great title, a good thought as we think of our society as an eternal monolith, an unending reality with no conclusions, no cracks in it. Of course we see some cracks in it. California has less than a year of water left. The entire dream of California could end in abandoned cities. We can’t really picture an end that isn’t disaster or understand any other way of living, for we for are in a total system, one that respects no other reality, or this reality even. Death rumours start in the ecosystem of this echo chamber, sharing without reading, without researching. A minute visit to wikipedia would confirm when the author died. I was suspicious when I saw it appear in my feed. Saddened at his death but with a nagging feeling that I had experienced this before, felt this moment, felt this sadness. Obviously there is too much information to process on any level, we feel this urge to react. We need to be seen as the carrier of this dead famous person’s legacy. it’s the selling of our personal brand, to be seen as someone who works to preserve these brief moments of intelligence in the world. Not the worst thing to be a private unpaid entrepreneur for. Advertising has leaked in and consumed everything.
How many times can you die before you fade away? When does your archived information work through the system and stop appearing. A friend of mine who died almost a year ago still has a profile up. People keep tagging themselves in her photos and she reappears. Or her name appears when I’m tagging someone else in a post. We know her, we know she is gone, we know the date. She isn’t a celebrity that vast amount of people respect but barely know, her death won’t be widely reported again. She isn’t one of the idols or icons unknown and removed from context, ripe for appropriation. I had watched a comedy special where the comedian showed Ghandi being used to sell Apple and Che Guevara to sell Mercedes. Icons removed from any reality and the hope being we get that aura of their power without thinking too deeply. Just click, forward, put a thought down and move on, never looking back. Never turning to a pillar of salt.
All month I’ve taken photos of clouds. Masses of water vapour crafted into magnificent and odd shapes bunched up and pulled taffy like across the sky, caught in the shimmering light. That is why I caught that plane crossing in front of an immense darkened cloud, a cloud too dense with water to be permeated by light. I took the shot and felt it represented the fragility of humanity’s technology and vanity in front of the awesome face of nature.Later that morning, the news of Germanwings tragedy started appearing.150 lives wiped out by the collision between technology, vanity, and nature. As usual my mind jumps to connection, relying on pattern recognition, that age old human trait that pulled us through the dark ages on our way to birthing this vast networked society. I see the plane I photographed, I hear of the plane hitting the mountain. I connect the two. I see a ghost, a warning of the event. Like the legendary black dog that foretells a death in the family.
Then, a week later it appears again in the feed. A sad day in music someone proclaims, Captain Beefheart is dead. I know instantly that Beefheart has been dead for almost five years. He fits into a category like Achebe, of an artist who is respected and admired for his work and vast influence on other musicians but seldom listened to. People want to be seen as an admirer of his work without listening to him or even doing the minimal research to find out if he is alive or not. I stumbled upon his masterpiece “Trout Mask Replica” back in high school, that mystic period where our personalities and idea of the world are being formed through the flawed receptors for stimuli that we are gifted with, battered by the winds of hormones, pressure of peers, and our ignorance as we stumble in that dark searching for purpose and meaning. I hated this record as many did at first (or remained hating), couldn’t find its bizarre rhythms and harsh sound as even music. Slowly and obsessively I learned its language, deciding long ago that it’s a marvelous piece of twentieth century art.
Many find that century’s legacy in danger in this age, The age of distraction. The age of ghosts. The age of multiple deaths and appearances.
In an hour I saw them appear. Multiple new sources reporting that Joni Mitchell was unresponsive in a coma. I forward a link to it myself. Checking her official website showed that this was false. The stories gradually disappeared. By the next morning the last of the crossposts had stopped, been corrected or deleted. These events are like weather clogging our dreams. The ghost continue, the dead walking with the living who are living hazy recollection of what life should be.
The weather had been warm and brightly sunny, a late spring early summer feel. Barbeque was in the air, and lawnmowers running. Sickly clouds of insects hovering over the grass. The weather brought a calm, but also a greedy expectation of movement, to be out and mixing with the world. The weather had a dark undercurrent, were was the rain? The snowpack was already dangerously low in Oregon and with looming water disaster in California these thoughts kept popping up. A week after the plane was the morning of the cherry petals. A wet dashing rain, wind blown with lost little drops. The petals falling down scattered in their ends on the patio. The air was cooler, like actual spring. a possibility of a clean rebirth.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
We fought gladly and to the last drop of blood for America
The history of aerial bombing in the United States of America is a history of racial tension and class struggle, like many of our histories. It is also filled with rumor and myth, another trait of American history.
The first incident occurred just months before the second in the year 1921. Aerial bombing had been invented just years before, in the rush of invention to create new technologies for slaughtering people, in what was then referred to as the Great War or the war to end all wars. Left over armaments from that conflict played a role in both the first two incidents. The first incident is what is called the Tulsa race riot. This incident at the end of May of that year resembled the “race riots” of two summers before, the “red summer” where murderous racial violence exploded across the country. The Chicago riot of “red summer” occurred the same week a dirigible exploded over the city, raining fire and bodies on office buildings below, but this similarity is accidental. But like many of the race riots before, a simple incident between a black male and white woman got out of hand and fueled local racial tensions leading to a larger gathering of armed white men who assaulted the Greenwood district in Tulsa, then the richest black neighborhood in America sometimes called the “Black Wall Street”. Both the besieged and the attackers were well armed, but the blacks were at the disadvantage as their businesses and homes were set on fire, devastating the district. Six biplanes left over from the world war were dispatched to fly over the conflict. White officials claimed these were merely spotter planes there to prevent a wider uprising. Eyewitnesses reported the planes were employed to drop firebombs on the district and to snipe at the besieged.
The catastrophe of the First World War and the extraordinary spiritual malaise that came afterwards were needed to arouse a doubt as to whether all was well with the white man’s mind.
The second incident was mere months later in West Virginia. This almost mythic event called the battle of Blair Mountain has been regarded as one of the largest armed civil conflicts in the United States since the Civil War. The United Mine Workers fought a pitched battle with local lawmen and Baldwin Felts strikebreakers for five days. This episode was one of many incidents in the bloody “Coal wars” of the previous decades. The strikebreakers hired private planes to drop bombs left over from the world war on the strikers, sometimes indiscriminately releasing them on villages. When the army arrived to conclude the hostilities in the favor of the mine owners they also employed bombers as surveillance planes and some said intimidation. The miners captured one of the unexploded bombs the strikebreakers had engaged and later displayed it at a trial.
I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know all cops carry guns with triggers
The third major known incident of aerial bombing in the United States of America took place some six decades later. This third and final event under discussion involves the conflict between the city of Philadelphia and the organization known as MOVE. MOVE, a black liberation organization with back to the land overtones started by John Africa (all members of the group employed the surname Africa) had a previous violent conflict with the city in 1978 where the unsanitary nature of their compound and incidents with police led to a raid. A policeman died in the firefight under unclear circumstances and several of the members of the group were charged with his death. The even more embattled organization (as the founder John Africa insisted they be considered. Many argued convincingly that MOVE was a cult, some called them a terrorist organization) moved to a working class black neighborhood which they came in conflict with, setting up two bunkers on the roof of their house, occasionally gesturing with weapons, and blaring profane political speeches through loudspeakers at all hours of the day. This mixed with compost, feces, gathered wood that filled the compound, alongside concern for the treatment of the numerous children that MOVE had, all lead inevitably to another conflict with the city in 1985. The police moved in (many of who had been involved in the previous confrontation) and surrounded the house and then evacuated the area. They issued a communique to MOVE that had curious language.
Attention MOVE, this is America.
Soon tear gas and two high powered water jets were turned on the compound. At some point heavy gunfire started. There is been much debate which side did most of the firing, though the police at one point ran out of ammo. The police commissioner citing the tactical advantage MOVE had with the two bunkers on the roof decided to employ a drastic measure. He had a police helicopter drop a satchel bomb on the roof of the house. It failed to destroy the bunkers but started a fire. A decision was made to let the fire burn. The water jets were turned off. The fire destroyed the compound; only two people left it and survived an adult and a child, five other children and six other adults died including John Africa. There were rumors that the police fired on anyone trying to leave the fire. One adult was seen by witnesses leaving and then running back in for an unknown reason. The ensuing blaze also destroyed three blocks of the neighborhood.
This for the moment is what we know of aerial bombing in America by Americans.
If this is Peace, it is peace with gothic undertones, as if the ghosts of the past might be appeased for a moment but never exorcised in their entirety
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia
The first sound is that of a car starting. If you have the actual album the cover shows Mike Watt driving a car down the highway looking in the rear view mirror. The title was a joke on Sammy Haggar’s “Can’t drive fifty five”, deciding that it wasn’t much of a rebellion to drive fast so they would drive the exact speed limit, or as better said in the words of Mike Watt, "the big rebellion thing was writing your own fuckin' songs and trying to come up with your own story, your own picture, your own book, whatever. So he can't drive 55, because that was the national speed limit? Okay, we'll drive 55, but we'll make crazy music." ( pg. 10.Fournier, Michael T. Double Nickels on the Dime 33⅓. Continuum, 2007.)
Speeding is ubiquitous in the life of our country. It is an agreed upon and excepted rebellion. One that you are punished for only if truly excessive. Originality is a much less excepted sin.
After the sound of the car starting inside the hollow vessel of your own vehicle the songs follow, over an hour of them, each usually around a minute or two long. Spindly post punk, hardcore, funk, jazz, poetry, Captain Beefheart, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, the noisy and politically fiery post-punk group The Pop Group, and other influences and sounds are chopped up and regurgitated in the stop start dynamics of the trio. Nervous energy of hardcore and post punk channeled into the art rock or classic rock concept of a double album. The band’s name was a three part joke like most things related to them (they loved in jokes), for the brevity of their songs and in irony for the right wing anti-immigrant militia groups and the silent white missiles that lay sleeping across the prairies of the United State, whose baleful existence continuing the standoff of the Cold War, that still continued in the 1984 of the album’s release. Saber rattling with Soviets had been renewed by the rubber faced actor in the president’s office as Central America, Iran and Iraq, and Afghanistan burned. The record is filled with references to the situation in Central America where the Guatemalan army burned village after village in an ongoing genocide (a word that appears in the lyric sheet), death squads patrolled El Salvador leaving bodies with crosses carved in their faces on the roadside every day, and cocaine dealing rebels fought the government of Nicaragua. It seems needless to say American money and arms fueled each of these conflicts.
Untitled song for Latin America
The western hemisphere and all inside
We know who's murdering the innocent
They are children playing with guns
They are children playing with countries
Mining harbors, creating contras
The games they play, the lives they take
They bank their money in this country
They steal from the innocent
A colonial trait that's much too old
The banks, the lives, the profits, the lies
The banks, the profits, the lives & the lies
I would call it genocide
Any other word would be a lie.
I-5 is a strip of highway from the border of Canada to the border of Mexico. It travels through the belly of Washington, Oregon, and California State. It bears the car you are in. It can bring you to all the major population centers of the west coast. You hope the wheels of your car will hold together at a speed far exceeding fifty five. This is an everyday act of faith. The cities, the food, the trucks bearing goods, are connected and sustained by this highway, this artery. You heard once that not one of its bridges would survive an earthquake. The Juan de Fuca plate sits in the deep waters off the coast overdue to provide one. Silently like the hand of a god waiting to stir from its slumber.
You remember when you first heard these songs. You remember those roads. You remember abandoned factories. Cracked highways sweltering in the heat. Suburbs with parking lots fissured with rivers of grass and filled with hungry children waiting, and staring. You remember the basement shows solid with heat and sweaty comradery, blaring punk rock, and cheap beer and wine. An almost vegetable stink of humanity. You remember the record and those times.
D. Boon, Mike Watt, and George Hurley make up the band. Watt and Boon provide most of the material. They have differences in style. Boon loves Creedance Clearwater Revival and he loves slogans for the working man and left wing politics, but he loves Beefheart so his songs twitch and zigzag, but they shout out for us. Watt always has a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses by his side, he spits out poetic obscurities over the twisting and rumbling racket of the band. The poetic and political, The Minutemen value both. They famously say “our band could be your life” They offered an alternative.
“Jam econo” was their aesthetic. Book all your own shows, practice all the time, and stay on people’s floors in the small town and cities of the country. Get in the van and drive. The country is crossed with a spiderweb of highways each of us individually or with our small family units hurtling down them. These spiderwebs leak a pall of invisible stink filling the atmosphere. Every road has claimed a life. We risk everything every time we enter the freeways. The aesthetic of “jam econo” was one passed on for years up until your generation. You throw together a band with little hope of making a dime and you entered the roads. In a van with your equipment, homemade merch and a couple changes of clothes you traveled the highway. You had that spirit, your tour only took you down I-5, and you never left the west coast. You played music that was more discordant and unforgiving then the Minutemen. You remember how fun it was for a couple people to dance to it in a dingy galleries or punk clubs. You met kids who wanted to start their own bands, they wanted to get in vans and roll from town bearing the gift and curse of this tradition. You promised help when they came to your town. You remember when someone told you about I-5 catching fire once and they couldn’t drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. You remember seeing fire on the side of I-5 as you drove north. Would the road soon be impassible? You wondered what we would do without our highways; our train tracks were too rusty to bear that weight. You remember your train pulling into Chicago once in winter and they had set all the switches on fire to keep them from freezing. You remember a house on fire while driving through Detroit. No one was around. There were no fire trucks. You remember a truck on fire alongside the Chicago highway. Memories of fire. Outpourings of light.
D boon died on the road. A van accident. The van they toured in. His girlfriend fell asleep at the wheel. Boon was asleep in the back. He died in the California desert on highway I-10 far from the guiding light of his beloved hometown of San Pedro. The exit sign for San Pedro is visible on the album cover. One presumes the car pictured is about to take that exit.
The roads offered freedom for a while. But what are they now, a trap? They connect everything we know, they are everything we know. They let this great system we built hold together. Do they hold us to it also?
Highways leading to nowhere. Highways leading to somewhere. Highways the Occupation used to speed upon in their automobiles, killing dogs pigs and cattle belonging to the poor people. What is the American fetish about highways?
They want to get somewhere, LaBas offers.
Because something is after them, Black Herman adds.
But what is after them?
They are after themselves. They call it destiny. Progress. We call it Haints. Haints of their victims rising from the soil of Africa, South America, Asia.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
One day everything will be as it should be –Albert Ayler
Justin Beiber baptized in NYC bathtub
Hi is Lester there?
No, I think maybe you have a wrong number, but I will take a message.
This is Louise. I want to return the computer I bought from you.
Wait…I will take a message.
Hi is Lester there?
Is this a recording?
This doesn’t have a writing program, and I’m a poet you know.
Okay, I’m hanging up.
Hi is Lester there?
What it means to say a dolphin committed suicide
The government is investigating why your Netflix is so slow.
She caught herself in the mirror for the first time in days. She just guessed that they were days. She had no measure of time in her apartment. The apartment was bathed in pearl light, the air slowly pulsing with piano music. In the mirror she saw a woman with hair pulled up into a bouffant held together with a jeweled tiara and pins. Was her face caked in white powder or was it the eternal pearl light?
The table contained fruit. Pears and apples in one silver bowl. Grapes in another next to it. She ate the fruit. She never remembered eating anything else. Jugs of wine and scented water. The pearl light on everything.
A man moved towards her down the hall sometimes. She would see him always walking, towards her. She never remembered him arriving. She never remembered him leaving.
The dog sniffed her fingers and licked her hand when she lay back on the bed. She remembered the dog then. But she didn’t remember the dog any other time. It was a poodle with a silver collar.
Through the windows the city was in red light. It was always that color. It was always those birds moving over those spires and domes and always encased in red.
We can’t believe how different the cast of Orange is the New Black look in real life
Bravest guy in the whole world wears mentos suit, drops into tank of diet coke.
I see myself as the big fat spider in the corner of the room. Sometimes, I speak when I’m asleep. You should both listen. Occasionally, when we meet, I might tell you to go to Charing Cross road and kick a blind man standing on the corner. That blind man may tell you something, lead you somewhere.
The pressure increases. A man savagely kicked by a crowd while waiting for the subway. Protests blocking tour groups. Facts we love to share with outsiders about the wonders of this or that landmark, or what they can experience or buy at this location, is overpowered by cries of unfairness. The pressure grows the violence grows. Every food choice becomes political. A bunch of ingrates, nostalgia for other times. Don’t they know there are bomb strapped young men poised everywhere to shatter their precious genitals. Cries of we don’t torture. But why do they bomb? Seal the windows. Put down your sign.
The simplest surrealist act consist of going out in the street revolver in hand and firing at random into the crowd as often as possible
We love the need to protest, we love this right, our presence is merely to assure everyone can safely, and in an organized way and in the proper place have their right to raise their voice a little and declare their dissent. The tanks and helicopters are just to assure the safety of everyone and for the continuation of business. Raise your voice. Provided will be a map of approved locations.
The camera finds her. There are tears falling down her face. She walks with ponderous steps through the yelling, the gas clouds, the sign waving, the batons raising and falling. Her face is covered in tears. She walks with a different movement as if she has no right to be in this location. Removed, but a solid presence, almost superimposed. She is cross edited with the political bleeding out on the sidewalk.
A man seated at the piano plays music. People spread around, signs down. Snacks and drinks were being shared. The selections were sentimental fare. No one critiqued. Strands of tear gas wisped past. Gas masks were nearby. He played Goldberg variations. The sound truck drowned out the changes.
“No”, said the priest, “you don’t need to accept everything as true; you only have to accept it as necessary.” Depressing view,” said K. “The lie made into the rule of the world.”
-Franz Kafka, The Trial
Leaves cast through a century’s ending light. Pine branches littered on the ground like seaweed. Leaves poured through the window, coating the floor in their rotting bodies.
The tide turns and the computers fizzle away. She lay on the couch feeling her blood buzz. The leaves encased the phone. The aquarium was a dark mess. She used her fingers to slide leaves of the pages of the book. She continued to read Joyce.
The surrealists were not good with women. That is why, although I thought they were wonderful, I had to give them up in the end. They were, with a few patronized exceptions, all men and they told me that I was the source of all mystery, beauty, and otherness, because I was a woman- and I knew that was not true. I knew I wanted my fair share of imagination, too. Not an excessive amount, mind; I wasn’t greedy. Just an equal share in the right to vision.
When I realized that surrealist art did not recognize I had my own rights to liberty and love and vision as an autonomous being, not as a projected image, I got bored and wandered away.
I am painting. Painting women. I develop ideal situations for them to lounge in, to exist. I avoid the cheap and tawdry. There is nothing exploitive about my women in my mind except for maybe the fact, that I a man, am painting women. I make them attractive in ways I find ideal, doing tasks that seem to hint at the independence of these women, their need to express themselves in the world. Like me painting the women, they are performing similar tasks, such as smoking in artsy cafés perched over a typewriter, about to apply a brush to canvas, operating a camera capturing the world I imagine for them in a similar way to the way I capture them. The odd thing that occurs is that every time I finish the face, the face that looks back at me from each canvas is that of a face I know. It is my own face.
“They don’t call us anything. They forgot we fucking lived here!”
Artificial vaginas are on the way
The dark side of extreme anal porn
In the name of Family and Fatherland, you urge the sale of souls, the unrestricted grinding of bodies
Different forms of life spread through the city. Alternative rabbit holes to disappear in.
The transient: A series of strung together vehicles, they must have been shopping carts, baby or dog carriers, and bicycles, but draped in the accoutrements of this new life they had taken on distorted and radical forms. How this operation moves throughout the town is unknown it arrives in various locations as if through advanced science or mystical art. Objects are removed and spread to mark out the location of arrival. The wagons are circled as old movie westerns depicted wagon trains. Radio is brought out. A book is removed from some spot. The radio blares, the book is read. Objects are laid out in a cryptic order. A small snack of some nature appears and is enjoyed. The king of this environment resembles an undead replicate of rock star from the era when rock produced stars. He resembles any person who has decided to claim a moment of leisure. Despite some moments of scavenging during the day he must lead a fairly sedate existence.
People move through the park like they are being fast forwarded. Blurs of desperation and sweat. He can almost see the radio grinding into their heads. Pushing babies, in tight exercise clothing, walking dogs never seeing radio penetrating them. Grandma, he remembered grandma. She always let him steal smokes. That was grandma, always busy with food and cleaning, radio always on. He didn’t realize till later what it was doing to him. He saw the gods on the hill, giant towers glinting with red lights. Three of them. More on further hills. Glinting gods carrying messages from worlds beyond. He had notes, he wrote in them every day. He kept seeing grandma around. Smoking cigarettes and dripping with static she burned plants as she passed them. Tapes. He kept his radio plugged with tapes. No one wanted tapes much anymore. He found them left in curious places. He found them cheap at stores. Did anyone manufacture tapes or did they exist preserved from the time before. The time of tapes. Tapes did not bear radio waves. Tapes contained trapped moments of sound, isolated and not able to infect. He had been driven from houses and jobs. He had been hounded everywhere. Over and over she would appear. Grandma, her veins rotted black with radio and her mournful stare. She would peel paper off the wall, she would try to hand him that object clutched in her hand. It looked like a dead rabbit, but it sometimes moved. He must never receive that object. Sunny days, holding a book with his tapes on he felt decent, he didn’t mind anything, a simple snack he bought and no worries, he felt peace.
The vaudevillians: They are seen juggling in outfits that sparkled like foil. High ropes cast between trees in the backyard tiptoed across to the cheers of a dozen or so. Their red bus trundling up the street leaking a pall of dim fumes. Sword swallowing and flame dancing practiced in place of lawn mowing and checkbook balancing. Stilt walking down streets. Oil paintings of clowns, shadowy figures holding torches, visions of dust bowl vaudevillians traveling landscapes of freak shows, work gangs, public hangings, ku klux rallies, mad preachers, and geeks biting the heads of chickens. Suspenders, bowler hats, flowers in lapels, and roll you own cigarettes ornamenting a lifestyle from a vanished era, the travelling circus life. Caravans of joy bringing entertainment for towns ripped by wild storms of over tilled lands, moving from drought to drought, barely clinging to existence in the void, with this one bright evening of juggling, flame swallowing, and stilt walking bringing smiles on starvation nights. Weather reports out of the plains imply parts of this idyllic past may be pushing obtrusively into the future.
I always hope to be able to make a great number of figures without a narrative.
Daniel laid the roses in a circle. Red dripped off the petals and stained the floor. The white figure sat in the middle of the ring, its features blank. Daniel walked back to the others with red hands. Gabriel and Michael continued to drink from the bottle. Empty stomachs rebelled against the whisky but they couldn’t stare at the food for too long. The figure began to stand with shaky movements. Daniel followed a gulp of whisky with a chicken leg. The figure dripped out new eyes and began shaking his hands, almost swimming, almost clawing.
I have a son.
Birds began to worm through Daniel’s cloth. Claws tearing fabric, feathers leaking out of rented cloth. His clothes tore away and he was naked. He ran and threw himself into the circle.
Gabriel and Michael continued drink as they watched this unfold. They stayed in their seats and felt the urine warm their pants.
The murdered forfeit their right to love this city like the rest of us
Four bearing the two in makeshift stretchers. The two in the stretchers would probably be dead soon and were too wounded to be any good. Six others up and moving though mostly wounded. Xochitl took the count as her ears rang. The artillery had blown their positions to the wind and most of her patrol upwards as ash.
The lifter had cracked like an egg and its guts became fire. She didn’t regret the shot. But her men had suffered. She knew blood was flowing out of her ears. She didn’t know if she would ever hear again.
People came out of the woods as they marched. At first they raised their guns expecting an attack, but relaxed as they realized that it was people fleeing the city. Someone had given them all white powder to sprinkle on their faces. Each one already looked dead. Xochitl wanted to ask them why, but was afraid if she opened her mouth, she would not even hear the words she spoke.
Boy finds mummified body hanging in spooky abandoned house
The real threat of Japan’s elderly…
American exchange student pulled free from giant German vagina.
Jane saw them in the field again. Heads covered in bags knotted at the top, making their heads look like bulbs of garlic or onions. They always carried guns. Their clothes were covered in writing. The same writing had been sketched on the crude signs that had been left all over the forest. They told of a war that had already commenced, they told of dangerous times coming. They said the forest was theirs. Jane liked watching those men patrol. They had such determination in their movements. She didn’t like the signs appearing on her fences. She didn’t like the footprints in the yard. She didn’t like the masks or the frantic writing. All the waters of the world will turn to blood. Our guns are our holy tools, our divining rods. The skies bear fire and ash; we bear holy redemption and blessed water.
We can’t believe how different the cast of Game of Thrones looks in real life.
The sexiest people in the world come from…
We’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality