Monday, February 28, 2011


Relationships are difficult, of course.  There is always much to consider.  Time must be taken, attention must be given, care.  The other reflects the other, both for good or ill.  Having yourself reflected in another is no easy task, no simple thing to accept.  One begins to see the weaknesses, the faults.  Then it seems that the other is the source of those faults rather than merely the reflection.  One must always be on guard against blame.  Once blame takes hold then resentments are sure to follow.

People rarely change, they merely adjust.  There is some truth hidden in that, some grim glimmer of it.  It is important to know this in advance, to know what you can accept, as well as the outer reaches of your own abilities in that regard, to know your limitations, to know when you're surpassing them, leading either course.

If only each partner could see one direction as clearly as the other.

I am not talking of myself here, of course, merely offering my wisdom for those of you less fortunate than I.

That last sentence was nearly a palindrome.  Well, it got off to a good start and had an equally good ending, it was towards the middle that it fell apart. "Tulsa slut" is my favorite palindrome, because word games are not supposed to be naughty, limericks aside. And I know no women from Tulsa that would not find the phrase humorous, and neither insulting.  Also because "madam" is one of the most common palindromes and the one most likely to be used to express the form, and that slut is no madam...

Are we drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to a new era?

Ah, Satan sees Natasha. Do geese see God? Dogma: I am God

What forward fun and then back again... always repeating, like groundhog day but without having to wait.  Ok, I hadn't thought to write about palindromes today, but they have gripped this post and made away with it.  They're about as interesting as writing about Sudoku, an engaging game but not one that has produced much literature.

I've been trying to set aside more time to learn Aperture.  I see many photos that have been processed and improved because of it and I want to learn the processes, to move beyond just snapshots. There is much to learn and always so little time.  I just discovered how to flip an image, for the express purpose of this post...

Of course, relationships are difficult...


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sperm Walls

 My nemesis over at Selavy has embarked on a new series loosely called Bonerville.  It will more resemble a pornographic Amityville by the time he's done with it, but it is his new fascination. I merely offered the name, and I applaud his endeavors as well as his particular enthusiasm for the subject matter.  I suppose it could be called Bananaburg just as well, keeping with the theme, but he seems to have fiercely attached himself onto the particular word, boner.  Its possible double meanings seem to suit his tastes.

It is likely that he will later try to elevate the project by assigning it loftier meanings.  There is no doubt that he'll be calling the whole thing San Salami by the time it's over, such is his passion for merging the sacred with the profane.

I trust that he will immerse himself into his Tool Town project with his usual gusto for visually climactic moments, his unique enthusiasm to reach the optical apex of his subject.  Though I am concerned that he not get into the same trouble on this project with under-age models as he has in the past.  He could re-develop a reputation in this regard, if he's not cautious to the point of secrecy.

But I'm sure his Pickle Pictures series will be a great personal success.

At the end of the day, what piddling matter are finances when you are happy?


Saturday, February 26, 2011


I've decided to once again shift the focus of this site away from sports-poop stories towards canine portraiture.

Sherman is a seasoned veteran, having worked very closely with a neighborhood photographer already.

No, I kid again.

I did take this picture today at the dog park though, and I was so excited about it I had to post it.

No wild back-story, no shenanigans, no amassing of dreams nor cloud-hunting fantasy scenarios, just Sherman...


My time keeps on slipping

I awoke from another dream, another place, another time.  Winter is coming to a close soon.  It is getting warmer and raining, though not always in unison.  I awoke much earlier than I had hoped to, still wishing myself backwards into the night, I only desired more sleep and the dreams to allow that time were ever renewable there in the dark mindlit glow, that I held vast sums of it, fortunes in hours, a mint of minutes... that legions of camels transported my time in all directions across the deserts of the world, safely overseeing the transference to pastoral nomads, who then whisk my time away stealthily to yet other places, mountain hideouts, high plain plateaus, where my transitory gems are increased nightly through the returning generosity of the stars... or, alternately, my vast sums are multiplied through shrewd trade, plunder and pillage.  Genghis Time, I am.

The other day I texted my wife that, "The birds are back..!!!"  She responded, "What birds?"

Today we will make a plan and go do some thing, or things.  It is my only day off, though I have had more days off than usual lately.  I have not felt well enough to go into work some days.  I want to learn how to better use my camera, but it takes time and discipline, something that I might not possess in the way my newly warmongering morning moments had envisioned.

I hear her waking up in the other room now, talking to the dog, praising his steadfastness in sleepful guardianship. He is the sentinel of the end of our bed, ever on watch of our dozing kingdom, responsible for overseeing my vast hordes of eras, he rides them across oceans of galaxies each night, returning them safely each morning with a yawn, eternally in service to His Royal Rolex....


Friday, February 25, 2011


I walk home each of the days that I work, by or near, the street on which these posters are hung.  Or is it posted? I wonder about the goings-on inside the storefront where they are, behind the steel black door from which they must emanate.  Artists, I'm sure. Perhaps living a life that I might want to, or perhaps living one that resembles the one I've already lived, the one that I chose to further avoid, whenever possible.

I heard myself tonight in a bar, after work, drinking a beer, offering sagely advice to one of my work friends, telling him to produce more than he consumes, and other gems on how to get by, how to accept the dull slow-motion death that is subsistence, how to negotiate his own way across the river styx.  

I had to leave.  I couldn't bear to hear any more, another word and I might have cut out my tongue.

"Femme fatales emerged from shadows to watch this creature fair,
 boys stood upon their chairs to make their point of view,
 and I smiled sadly for a love I could not obey..." 
    -David Bowie

I want to know what goes on behind that door, that latch, 22.

It might be like overhearing a foreign conversation, fascinating and intriguing at first, but then dull and disappointing in time, once the details emerge, when the result becomes clear, evident.

All of the conversations of strangers end up on Facebook eventually.

One need only like away...

Facebook is not the breakthrough in insincerity that we had hoped it would be, that we had all secretingly longed for.

It's not even a secret steel door with a ramp.

I must know....



Grey day.  Not even the thought of coffee could get me out of bed.  Just Barkley and myself watching tv in repose.  Not even good tv.  My favorite programs have all fallen apart on me.  I won't tell you what they are, it'll age me too much, and old selavy will see it as an "in" to denounce me as being "orthodox", a damning assessment in the edgy world of the internet.  A risk I simply can not take.  I don't even watch new shows on tv, all of the ones I watch are in their 5th season, or more.  The dog and I eagerly await the the return of Mad Men...

Ok, the coffee is taking hold now.  It's making me want a beer.  The body's chemistry is a delicate balance and much care must be taken with it.  Also, I have to work today... Wait, I choose to work today, so a beer is almost out of the question.

A car alarm is going off behind me somewhere, out the window, down on the street, fighting its way through the thick grey to get to my ears.  It stopped, then it started again.

I would describe myself as a Stevie Wonder fan.  I have all of his albums from the 70's, even the Syreeta stuff.  I have several of the 80's albums, though I don't often admit to it, much less listen to them. I actually love "Journey through the Secret Life of Plants", an album that most people dismiss as pompous and self-involved.  It WAS a soundtrack for fuck's sake.  What other artist gets so disregarded for a soundtrack?  Thank God Prince stopped making movies....

I own absolutely no S.W. material after 1985.  "We Are The World" ruined it all for me.  I can even occasionally stomach "I Just Called To Say I Love You" if nobody's watching.... Has there ever been a more arrogant song than "We Are The World"?  Talk about defining others through otherness, wow. Wait, I was going to make fun of the song but then I went back and watched it on youtube.  I'm a hopeless sucker...  I think Bruce Springsteen might have crapped his pants during the filming of that video, twice.

Ebony and I'mverywhite...

Does anybody remember in 1999 when Oscar De La Hoya pooped his pants in the first round during the fight against Felix Trinidad?  This is all speculation, of course, but an early punch thrown by Trinidad in the 1st round stopped De La Hoya and I predicted then that he had pooped his pants.  Nobody else in the world has ever agreed with me, and certainly no boxing fans will listen to my wild theories for very long without offering to knock my nose in, but I believe my boxing-poop stories, each and every one of them.

Anyway, I often play S.W. albums at work in their entirety.  There was a girl there who was attempting to sing along with one of them, expressing her like-minded fondness for S.W., in her own way.  At one point Stevie launched into some solo acrobatics and really flexed his vocal talents. She exclaimed simply, "I'm not even gonna' to try to keep up"...

"You've been out of key and out of time for about an hour, why stop now?"

It is for this, and things like it, that people hate me.  I am certain of it.

I would say that, "I don't know why I don't keep my mouth shut" but it wasn't me that needed to this time.  Why must the suffering of the world go on and on and on and on, perpetually, ad quod damnum.

I am the victim here.

Ok, nothing else to report today.  I will be updating the world with my boxing opinions, especially on those fights already discussed into the ground, ad nauseam. I will be bringing fresh and much needed perspective to the sport in this way.  Am I the only one that thinks Bert Sugar is the white Don King?  Just having to look at pictures of him in the daylight turns me forever off from the sport.  I prefer Teddy Atlas's good-hearted mispronunciation and misuse of phrases any day.  My dream is to watch Bert Sugar give up smoking cigars and lose that awful bookie's hat, then retire from public life altogether.  A meager dream, but it is what gets me out of bed some days.... that, and the coffee, and the car alarms.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

...the lingering amorphous masses above

There is hardly a cloud in the sky today.  A beautiful (but very cold) northern winter day.  The only clouds above aren't even worth mentioning, just little tremors of lingering water vapor.  Just enough to remind one that the sky above is often ruined by those pernicious fuckers.  But not today... today, the blue alone wins.

I miss Frisco.  I have been devising of ways to get him back, arranging scenarios in my mind in which, under dense cloud cover, we would re-abduct him, enter him into the feline witness protection program, assign him a new identity, move him from safe-house to safe-house… Wait! Frisco's a she, so a sex-change makes the most immediate sense to conceal her identity.  I wonder how much such a thing costs. Never mind the cost, it's worth it.

Perhaps some research is needed here though, before we strike.

I wish that Rachel and myself didn't have to work today, or ever again.  I would take her out cloud-hunting.  She is my favorite cloud stalker.  Sometimes we bag as much as a bursting skyful in a single season, though often stopping for coffee and beer breaks helps, as is shown in the picture below when we were hunting the infamous Brooklyn billows:

I took Barkley out bar-hopping for his 3rd birth-doggy-day (21 in human years, legally able to drive drunk now if he chooses)...  The picture below was taken just before we went out.  The "after" pictures are too shameful for a respected journalistic site like this.  I will save them for a more late-night post when my daytime readers will perhaps be asleep.

Barks is an invaluable asset to any serious cloud hunter. Whether we use cloud baiting, calling or flushing he stands eagerly at wait while we take those shapeshifters down. Once the clouds have been clipped he merrily retrieves and bags them, never destroying the delicate cotton pelt or gilded linings.

Not to fear: we use the entire cloud product as either food, shelter, clothing or commerce.

(Barkley: adult male billow-killer)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In search of lost notes

I keep waking up and falling back asleep. I can't tell what is dream and what is half-imagined memory or fear.  Strange things find their way into my waking thoughts, unquestioned and unable to escape. I dreamt about a lost book of photography and when I awoke I looked for it for several minutes before I separated the dream from my morning, the fantasy from my apartment bookshelf.

I found a way of searching my mail app. for the lost notes.  The problem is that I must find a unique word in each of the notes to search for it.  They don't show up listed in any normal folder, but they are somehow searchable.

I found one late last night and it was updated up until the night before.

The problem is that no matter how many of them I find I will always believe there was some lost brilliance, floating out on the aether, unreachable.

Probably not, but such is the fantasy of loss.  The one that got away.

The pictures above and below were taken by me at The Met.  Pictures of pictures. They are either Stieglitz, Steichen or Strand.  I believe it is Stieglitz above and Steichen below, though I'm not sure.  There is, of course, my reflection in the image above, and some hairy-faced pervert that would not go away.  I enjoy the walls of The Met, but the people can be tedious.  It is always a depraved wonder to overhear their conversations.

Yikes, speaking of overheard conversations.  I went to the lobby bar at The Parker Meridien Hotel with my buddy and his wife, who were celebrating her 30th birthday.  While I was waiting for them to arrive I overheard a woman, she was discussing the lobby of the hotel, the ceiling.  This is her gem, word for word:  "It's like Paris.  I've never actually been to Paris, but it's what I imagine it to be like."

This was from one of the saved notes that I recovered.

The word that I used to search was "whiskey."  This was the sentence I was hoping would be found: "It's somewhat difficult to get drunk on beer, very easy with wine, and impossible not to with whiskey."

All true.  I think I might have even used the sentence in a post from a few days ago, referencing the self-governing properties of beer.  I'm too lazy to search any more.  It is an odd thing to use your computer to search for yourself, for your own thoughts.  Knowing that if even a single unique fragment would spring to mind then you could use it against the machine and regain some lost piece, some semi-coherent fragment, of self.

I think my reflection taking the picture of the picture in the image above is all that I can stand to recover for now.

My two written examples just above prove that the notes might not be the lost writings of Joyce, but sometimes all it takes is an idea to get you started on something, sometimes not.

It's just like real writing, I've never actually done any real writing, but it's what I imagine it to be like....


I have not felt good for days, a terrible headache.  I went to The Met to try and get out of the house for a couple of hours yesterday. We wandered from room to room and looked at images and stared down artifacts.

I discovered that a great many notes that I had made in my phone had been deleted.  A long and disconnected stream of ideas for writing, snippets of conversations to myself, randomly overheard statements, phrases, poems,etc.  I had thought that these notes were being backed up in my mail app. on my computer but when I went and looked I found that they are sync'd, so the notes had been deleted from there as well.

How much more useless can technology be?

I plugged in my external backup drive and figured that I'd search through the mail folder on there and recover the documents from that archive.

Nope.  Failed, all of it.

So what started out as an attempt to recover a few lost files from my phone has revealed systemic failure from the ground up.  It is heartbreaking, of course.  Not because of the lost files, but because now it means I will need to do many things to even get to a point that I am comfortable with believing my data is safe.  I will need to spend money, and time.

For weeks there were double copies of all of my notes being generated.  I never bothered figuring out why. I won't bore you with the details, but it was something that I couldn't bring myself to troubleshoot.  I was able to delete the extra notes without a problem and I figured that I would just figure it out eventually, but not now.  Now the phone seems to be randomly deleting the originals, some of which are not backed up anywhere, though they should be, somewhere.

I logged onto gmail and searched my trash folder. Every other imaginable worthless and forgotten communique was there, no notes.

There are so many systems in place that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening, but there it is.

Unstoppable, it seems, progress.

My headache marches on and on, unreachable by the disaster of technology, but somehow preserved by it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Last night, after our second trip to Brooklyn and back, when we returned home, after walking the dog, we found a cat stranded in the hallway of our apartment building. As we were walking upstairs only a few minutes earlier we had heard the celebratory sounds of a party, the youthful bursts of laughter, barely distinguishable from the sounds of breaking glass. Then there were the sounds of a great argument, some unbridgeable misunderstanding, or sudden unexpected knowledge, perhaps an infidelity, the slamming of doors, yelling, the sounds of breaking glass.  Something had shattered the mood of the party.

The very friendly cat remained in the hallway, looking for an entrance to return home.

We knocked, there was a sound behind the door, we knocked again, more sounds of movement.

We said, "Your cat's out here, you've got to let him back in."


This went on for minutes.  Nothing.

We took the cat into our apartment.  Barkley, our dog, responded immediately and in kind.  The cat, however, had claws.  Barkley was simply too curious. They must be kept apart.  We tried everything.  There are no doors in our apartment other than the front one.

I went down to the superintendent's apartment and knocked. It was after midnight. He came to the door, shirtless.  I asked if he had keys to the apartment on the first floor, in the back.  He said, no. I questioned his opinion on proper procedural protocol. He was as useless as the day he was born.

I returned to the budding zoo upstairs.  It had become clear that the cat would be with us for the night.  My wife and I created a hodgepodge stronghold against canine/feline interaction between the bedroom and the living room.  It was also becoming clear that I would be sleeping on the floor of the living room.  Frisco, as I had already named him, even though she was a female, was not about to allow us to lock ourselves up in the bedroom while she was on the outs.  I prepared my fate with pillow and comforter, a crepe thin yoga mat would be the only thing between myself and the carpet, then the wood floor.

I took a klonopin and awaited its many anti-epileptic comforts.


The cat purred and rubbed its head against my head and gave me cat mustache with its tail, ever returning, ever purring.  I could feel the sleep window passing by, forever.

The sun came up after 20 or 30 hours of waiting.  I went back downstairs and knocked on the door, no movement this time.  I left a second note:

We have your cat, if you ever want to see it alive again you will do exactly as you're told with no deviance from our instructions.

No, it was our phone number, and instructions to call.

Nothing yet.

Tomorrow we will have her spayed and declawed, get her booster shots, perhaps have her hair dyed to conceal her identity, get her an identifier tattoo on her inner ear, and a new collar.

Frisco sure seems to like it here.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brooklyn Heights

We went and looked at apartments today, with the thought of buying.  We looked at empty rooms and imagined our things there, our lives there, or there.  We opened cabinets and looked out windows, remarked on views and directions, distances.  We shook hands with strangers and expressed interest in everything that was said.

The last apartment we looked at was still inhabited.  Their lives were not very far off from our lives, it seemed.  They had a young diaper-wearing boy who slept in the bedroom with them.  There were bookshelves covering one wall, several cameras and lenses on the shelf, Nikon's, a large monitor and a powerful computer.  They thanked us for considering their apartment.  They seemed nice and not unlike us.

They were seeking more space.  I imagined them having sex quietly in the bed with the child sleeping.  Under the covers. Him likely entering her from behind, as she lies on her side, so that it would raise no suspicion if suddenly discovered, found out, etc.  Her emphasis on his near stillness as she arches towards him in what might be misunderstood as a sleeping position, by a child.  Or do they sneak out onto the couch quietly, a yoga mat, standing in the bathroom?  How does a couple go about accomplishing the act when there is suddenly an alien life form in the room, curious about all things at once, at all times aware, except perhaps when sleeping.

I wondered about other things also.

We walked around neighborhoods and discussed the various charms we happened upon.  We looked at electronic maps built into our phones and stretched and compressed distances to our liking, to our elastic understanding of this new world.

We rode the subway home and approximated our new lives.  I again imagined the act of secret sex.  I envisioned tactics of concealment, explanations.

I conceived many things at once, unexplainable things.

I wondered about other things also.

Diary of a Madman

So, we went to see "Diary of a Madman" last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theater. It's based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol. It is a funny and disturbing near-monologue in which the main character, performed by Geoffrey Rush, expresses his descent into madness and dissolution.  Lots of laughs at first, not so many in the second half.

The quest for identity, for voice, can be a difficult and lonely one.  I missed the very end of the performance. I mistimed a bathroom break, then made the mistake of taking the word of the usher on how much time was left in the performance.  The last few minutes becoming increasingly uncomfortable to witness.  They were lost for me.  As I was waiting to enter the theater I said, "I had thought that this was Diary of  Madame, I expected a very different performance..." Always the quipster.

I would go see it again. I doubt I'll have the chance. Apparently the tickets are nearing selling out and we were very lucky to have gotten the seats that we did, just a few rows from the stage.

I doubt that I will watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" with any renewed interest, but I will be more aware of Geoffrey Rush.   If nothing else Pirates succeeds on the level that it hopes to. What more can be asked of a film really?  I always find it funny that my friends here in New York feel obligated to denounce films like "Charlie's Angels"... as if they expected to get in the theater and "Doctor Zhivago" would emerge on the screen before them instead.

What can be done?

The character reminded me of old mange-knuckles over at the DMV but I've run out of time to draw any coherent comparisons.  It is time for my wife and I to go buy a home in Brooklyn, she tells me.  It did occur to me that ever since I wrote the DMV piece I've been struggling with what has become an unwieldy blog, a forum for either my complaints about age, or me positioning myself against subjects that I clearly know little about.  My buddy at selavy warned me against this, said it makes me sound like a politician.  He couldn't be more right.  So, for now, I will stop with all this senseless campaigning, and get down to balancing the budget.

Until then, your faithful despondent,
-April 43rd

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Package Inspection

I woke up late, so my screed about a shop-owner's right to inspect all packages will have to wait, for now.  I need to gather more information and experience.  I'm going to offer to let them inspect my package first, sensibly.  Test the reverse limitations of their proclamation, etc.

Where has this blog taken itself?  It has lost its way. It drifts against the topic, wandering from the facile to the disingenuous, then to the un-authoritative. Though the opinions themselves would never concede any such lack of authority, they are merely delusional auto-suggestions.

I've lost sight of the pursuit of naked beauty.  I have become caustic. At what price, Oh Lord...?... at what price...

Whiskey makes me apocalyptic. Though I haven't been drinking any. I feel as if I have been drinking gallons of the really cheap stuff.

I have never possessed much consistency in thought. I have rather been plagued with an unwieldy and repetitive abundance of it.  It can be self-convincing, something to always be on guard against. I never tire of hearing my inner voice persuade itself of yet another preposterous private theorem, or what it believes to be so.  A sort of cognitive consonance that would frighten those more astute and self-aware than I...

I leave you with an image of yesterday, when all my troubles seemed to sway:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pastor Al

(painting by: a neighbor)

Jesus, I must be unhappy.  The internet used to make me laugh.  I made the mistake of coming home after what I've been conditioned to feel is a reasonable day at work and read through the last week of my own posts.  I used to be funny, I had thought.  I didn't even get a giggle out of myself, scarcely a smirk. It was like reading through many acrimonious pages of divorce testimony.  

Awful stuff.  Horrible. Bitter to the mind.

I used to write a column for a website out of Amsterdam. It was a music website that was quite popular and I was commissioned to do 'stringently editorial' pieces, sort of.  It is difficult to explain now.  It helped me ruin my career in the music industry, but I had a lot of fun doing it.  It was irreverent.  When I try to be irreverent now I just sound like an aging producer of fringe pornography whining about The Constitution, a humorless Larry Flynt, if that's even possible.

I am just now beginning to glimpse the ever-fleeting beauty of youth, luckily, as my vision fades, taking my memory with it.  

Youth is a tremendous thing to consider, a sometimes horrendous thing to have endured, a marvel to repossess in the life of another...  

It is a hell of a thing to wish for again, to seek. 

Lover, barely understood there, and less often revered, 
into youth we fell forever upwards and then away. 

Oh gods, were it only helium....

But, to repossess time... to foreclose,
to put a lien against that established past.

If only the gust of promise were as enforceable as an unpaid debt.  
Interest is not interest, as I've come to understand it, to know.
So-so many meanings....

The girl that I was dating at that time, we had some cultural differences, she often had a yeast infection, but there were other problems too.

She was the first to hit the 1000 repetition mark of slurring loudly: "Everybody's a DJ..."

Look it up, you'll see. 

I also hit 1000 with the response: "...or an aging model," but the internet has been cruel and patchy in recording my successes.  Now I sound like a gay Larry Flynt.  Is that even possible? 

Hustler, indeed.

So, I'm bald I got that off of my chest, or glad, for typos.

I'll try to lighten up again, and remember that there are artists like the one featured above, willing to take colorful chances, unafraid to be unacceptable, desirous of deficiency, piddling to be pathetic. Those are the real hero'es.... terrorism has no power to forever destroy the trivial.

When I wake up in the morning I'd like to recount in prose a story about going to a local deli and seeing a handwritten sign that stated: "We Reserve The Right To Inspect All Bags!"

My only hope: I haven't slept my mood away...

... and there are still a few bags around, willing to get rightful inspections.

The road to hell...

There is a passage in the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" that has stuck with me.  The book didn't appeal to me much as literature, but it is a thoughtful work that has some interesting ideas, though many borrowed ideas found there are just re-introduced from history as part of the story he is telling.

I found the passage, so I will just re-type it here:

"He noted that although you normally associate Quality with objects, feelings of Quality sometimes occur without any object at all.  This is what led him at first to think that maybe Quality is all subjective. But subjective pleasure wasn't what he meant by Quality either.  Quality decreases subjectivity. Quality takes you out of yourself, makes you aware of the world around you. Quality is opposed to subjectivity.

I don't know how much thought passed before he arrived at this, but eventually he saw that Quality couldn't be independently related with either the subject or the object but could be found only in the relationship of the two with each other.  It is the point at which subject and object meet.

That sounded warm.

Quality is not a thing. It is an event.


It is the event at which the subject becomes aware of the object.

And because without objects there can be no subject - because the objects create the subject's awareness of himself - Quality is the event at which awareness of both subjects and objects is made possible.


Now he knew it was coming.

This means Quality is not just the result of a collision between subject and object.  The very existence of subject and object themselves is deduced from the Quality event. The Quality event is the cause of the subjects and objects, which are then mistakenly presumed to be the cause of Quality!

Now he had the whole damned evil dilemma by the throat.  The dilemma all the time had this unseen vile presumption in it, for which there was no logical justification, that Quality was the effect of subjects and objects.  It was not! He brought out his knife.

"The sum of quality," he wrote, "does not revolve around the subjects and objects of our existence.  It does not just passively illuminate them.  It is not subordinate to them in any way.  It has created them. They are subordinate to it!"

- Robert M. Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

There is so much of genuine quality to see and experience in New York, but there is also the other.  I try to avoid all of the wide east/west streets here, the ones with both eastbound and westbound lanes.  They are denser in foot traffic than the rest and attract an agitated slovenliness of the soul, they are hostile spaces.  

So much of my worldview has to do with the assessment of quality.  I am accused of being a snob on a regular basis, sometimes rightfully so.  I prefer quality to carelessness, mostly.  I prefer beauty in art to shocking social commentary, though you might not know that by reading these posts.  I prefer things that strive for an otherness to things that merely remind me of things as they are.  I prefer unexpected confessions of inner weirdness to anything that U2 has ever done.  I do not want to be reminded how to be moral in art, I would rather hear unpredictable personal disclosure, whether it is accompanied by remorse, ambiguity, or the desire to repeat. 

I can make my own judgements, though I do thank Bono for his efforts at reminding us all to be human. Remember when Bono wasn't Sting, and when Sting wasn't Sting?

Canal St., Houston St., 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, etc., etc.  Those are the streets I meant. All of these places fatigue the eye and the mind, the spirit.  

I avoid them whenever possible, and avoid the people whose thoughts resemble those streets.  There is a cheapness to the human spirit that destroys me.  I don't mean the reluctance to spend, but rather the willingness to substitute.

A friend wrote me an email that said, "expectations are as satisfying as a line of coke."  I told her that I would steal that line from her, but after all of this moral and social opining, I just don't have the strength...

"Road to hell paved in unbought stuffed dogs. Not my fault." - Ernest Hemingway


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bob On the A Train, pt. 2, year 1

It has been just over a year since my friend from the neighborhood passed away, Bob.  Time does an odd thing when it is forced to.

Mortality reminds us of mortality, then life.

When I reflect that a year has passed since his passing I am reminded firstly of him, but then of the oddness of time, its awkward trick of the mind.  It seems that it has been longer than a year, but somehow only a few short weeks since I have seen him.  Numbers align against me.  As I gain age my relationship to death changes.  It is more easily accepted in others now, almost expected.  I come to terms with the passing of acquaintances more quickly, though repetition has offered an invaluable subsidy in that regard.

More has happened to me now, and others likewise.  History accumulates, etc.

I have no memory of death until perhaps the age of 7 or 8 years old.  I had to call my brother to verify.  It was a friend of my father's who had died.  I saw the casket-bound body with young frightened eyes.  I was stridently requested by my mother to pray in front of it, for it, to show it reverence.  My brother was crying, which scared me, so I was crying also.  Years later I decided only to pray when crying. That is when prayers breach heaven's ears most effectively, through tears.

One's sense of time's passing from one Superbowl to the next is very different from a single year since the death of a friend, unmarked by ritual or acknowledgement, by most. The Superbowl happens every time you need it to, at a sensible distance from the previous one. Death offers no similar courtesies.  Death is rude... it is also patient, it is often unkind, it always perseveres, death never fails.... death never fails... and now these three remain: death, doom, destruction... 

That's biblical.

Robert Scarano, a hawk with a bad shoulder.
Bob, a hawk with one great shoulder.
R. Scarano, standing on the shoulders of giant gnats.
Bobby, a lover of constrictors, reptiles and birds alike.

Bob usually assumed that you were as curious about life as he was, and would talk about all things with an almost equal passion. An awkward zeal that favored airborne conspiracy, the always tandem helicopters above, the ever-present belief in and resistance to Black-Ops....

I have also been a periodic enthusiast for the lot of all things.  It often leaves me exhausted towards the mundane interactions that are so necessary for the semblance of a normal life.  It's not that I'm incapable of having civil interactions, it's only that most of them vaguely disgust me, fill me with dread, as if my lungs filled with lead.  Pedestrian morality sickens my sensibilities, though I often long for it.  Ahh, only to be able to conduct life as if it were a well-run suburb of moderated landscapes, a day-job of interests, a 401k of joys....

It is a strange thing to see something of yourself in someone older, the fully realized errors, as well as the other thing, the undernourished youthfulness, still growing.  It's not naivete', but a perpetually struggling exuberance for all there is, or most all there is, or most all there ever was, or anything at all, but now.

I am talking about myself, rather that Bob.  Do you see what a year will do...  He would hate this.

As I was writing this, drinking a beer, I accidentally spilled some beer on my pants, paying too much attention to what I was thinking, and too little to what I was doing.

One of my brother's friends, at his wedding, described the experience of talking to me thusly: It's like being on a bender.

It is for this reason alone that I shouldn't do drugs, though there are also other reasons.

Clouds are a dangerous metaphor to teach a child, especially one with an interest in science.  I've had teachers that encouraged us to see things in the sky, to name them, describe them to others, then let them pass.  It is a game of imagination, you see.  All of that water vapor ends right back up in the ocean, never to return in our lifetime.  I imagined that.

The message here is that humans are capable of immense untutored beauty, though they produce very little of it.  Bob did a little of both.

The possibilities seemed both daily and endless.


"Water Liars"

Here is a story I like. I hope you like it too.
This was reprinted here without any permission from the publisher. I encourage them to sue me for any and all damages they might have incurred from my reckless and wanton use of their property, and to go after the many advertising dollars made here on this humble site. It was published in a collection called, "Airships" by Vintage Contemporaries, that is where I found it anyway.
No, I kid again.... I want no trouble. Just ask me to take it down, and I also will tell, and be crucified by, the truth.

"Water Liars" 
By Barry Hannah
When I am run down and flocked around by the world, I go down to Farte Cove off the Yazoo River and take my beer to the end of the pier where the old liars are still snapping and wheezing at one another. The line-up is always different, because they’re always dying out or succumbing to constipation, etc., whereupon they go back to the cabins and wait for a good day when they can come out and lie again, leaning on the rail with coats full of bran cookies. The son of the man the cove was named for is often out there. He pronounces his name Fartay, with a great French stress on the last syllable. Otherwise you might laugh at his history or ignore it in favor of the name as it’s spelled on the sign.
I’m glad it’s not my name.
This poor dignified man has had to explain his nobility to the semiliterate of half of America before he could even begin a decent conversation with them. On the other hand, Farte, Jr., is a great liar himself. He tells about seeing ghost people around the lake and tells big loose ones about the size of the fish those ghosts took out of Farte Cove in years past.
Last year I turned thirty-three years old and, raised a Baptist, I had a sense of being Jesus and coming to something decided in my life—because we all know Jesus was crucified at thirty-three. It had all seemed especially important, what you do in this year, and holy with meaning.
On the morning after my birthday party, during which I and my wife almost drowned in vodka cocktails, we both woke up to the making of a truth session about the lovers we’d had before we met each other. I had a mildly exciting and usual history, and she had about the same, which surprised me. For ten years she’d sworn I was the first. I could not believe her history was exactly equal with mine. It hurt me to think that in the era when there were supposed to be virgins she had allowed anyone but me, and so on.
I was dazed and exhilarated by this information for several weeks. Finally, it drove me crazy, and I came out to Farte Cove to rest, under the pretense of a fishing week with my chum Wyatt.
I’m still figuring out why I couldn’t handle it.
My sense of the past is vivid and slow. I hear every sign and see every shadow. The movement of every limb in every passionate event occupies my mind. I have a prurience on the grand scale. It makes no sense that I should be angry about happenings before she and I ever saw each other. Yet I feel an impotent homicidal urge in the matter of her lovers. She has excused my episodes as the course of things, though she has a vivid memory too. But there is a blurred nostalgia women have that men don’t.
You could not believe how handsome and delicate my wife is naked.
I was driven wild by the bodies that had trespassed her twelve and thirteen years ago.
My vacation at Farte Cove wasn’t like that easy little bit you get as a rich New Yorker. My finances weren’t in great shape; to be true, they were about in ruin, and I left the house knowing my wife would have to answer the phone to hold off, for instance, the phone company itself. Everybody wanted money and I didn’t have any.
I was going to take the next week in the house while she went away, watch our three kids and all the rest. When you both teach part-time in the high schools, the income can be slow in summer.
No poor-mouthing here. I don’t want anybody’s pity. I just want to explain. I’ve got good hopes of a job over at Alabama next year. Then I’ll get myself among higher-paid liars, that’s all.
Sidney Farte was out there prevaricating away at the end of the pier when Wyatt and I got there Friday evening. The old faces I recognized; a few new harkening idlers I didn’t.
“Now, Doctor Mooney, he not only saw the ghost of Lily, he says he had intercourse with her. Said it was involuntary. Before he knew what he was doing, he was on her making cadence and all their clothes blown away off in the trees around the shore. She turned into a wax candle right under him.”
“Intercourse,” said an old-timer, breathing heavy. He sat up on the rail. It was a word of high danger to his old mind. He said it with a long disgust, glad, I guess, he was not involved.
“MacIntire, a Presbyterian preacher, I seen him come out here with his son-and-law, anchor near the bridge, and pull up fifty or more white perch big as small pumpkins. You know what they was using for bait?”
“What?” asked another geezer.
Nuthin. Caught on the bare hook. It was Gawd made them fish bite,” said Sidney Farte, going at it good.
“Naw. There be a season they bite a bare hook. Gawd didn’t have to’ve done that,” said another old guy, with a fringe of red hair and a racy Florida shirt.
“Nother night,” said Sidney Farte, “I saw the ghost of Yazoo hisself with my pa, who’s dead. A Indian king with four deer around him.”
The old boys seemed to be used to this one. Nobody said anything. They ignored Sidney.
“Tell you what,” said a well-built small old boy. “That was somethin when we come down here and had to chase that whole high-school party off the end of this pier, them drunken children. They was smokin dope and two-thirds a them nekid swimmin in the water. Good hunnerd of em. From your so-called good high school. What you think’s happnin at the bad ones?”
I dropped my beer and grew suddenly sick. Wyatt asked me what was wrong. I could see my wife in 1960 in the group of high-schoolers she must have had. My jealousy went out into the stars of the night above me. I could not bear the roving carelessness of teen-agers, their judgeless tangling of wanting and bodies. But I was the worst back then. In the mad days back then, I dragged the panties off girls I hated and talked badly about them once the sun came up.
“Worst time in my life,” said a new, younger man, maybe sixty but with the face of a man who had surrendered, “me and Woody was fishing. Had a lantern. It was about eleven. We was catching a few fish but rowed on into that little cove over there near town. We heard all these sounds, like they was ghosts. We was scared. We thought it might be the Yazoo hisself. We known of some fellows the Yazoo had killed to death just from fright. It was the over the sounds of what was normal human sighin and amoanin. It was big unhuman sounds. We just stood still in the boat. Ain’t nuthin else us to do. For thirty minutes.”
“An what was it?” said the old geezer, letting himself off the rail.
“We had a big flashlight. There came up this rustlin in the brush and I beamed it over there. The two of em making the sounds get up with half they clothes on. It was my own daughter Charlotte and an older guy I didn’t even know with a mustache. My own daughter, and them sounds over the water scarin us like ghosts.”
“My Gawd, that’s awful,” said the old geezer by the rail. “Is that the truth? I wouldn’t’ve told that. That’s terrible.”
Sidney Farte was really upset.
“This ain’t the place!” he said. “Tell your kind of story somewhere else.”
The old man who’d told his story was calm and fixed to his place. He’d told the truth. The crowd on the pier was outraged and discomfited. He wasn’t one of them. But he stood his place. He had a distressed pride. You could see he had never recovered from the thing he’d told about.
I told Wyatt to bring the old man back to the cabin. He was out here away from his wife the same as me and Wyatt. Just an older guy with a big hurting bosom. He wore a suit and the only way you’d know he was on vacation was he’d removed his tie. He didn’t know where the bait house was. He didn’t know what to do on vacation at all. But he got drunk with us and I can tell you he and I went out the next morning with our poles, Wyatt driving the motorboat, fishing for white perch in the cove near the town. And we were kindred.
We were both crucified by the truth.
Airships © 1978 by Barry Hannah


I've decided to dedicate the remaining days of this blog to purely erotic writings and images.  What the world needs is more of the male sexual vision.  I tire so quickly and easily of the female governed world of sexiness.  It's time that we corrected this disturbing trend of enforced vagina vision.  We must tear down all of the yonic-dominated images, close all of the nation's tunnels along the interstate highway system, all public gardens, bring beavers to extinction.... Death to the silk purse!!!!

Ok, I just woke up and the image above was on my desktop, the image below is from a Soho shop window, circa Christmas 2010...  I haven't had my coffee yet, etc.  For those of my friends who read this blog only to keep up with my life, Rachel and I had a very sweet Valentine's Day yesterday, don't let my ramblings mislead you.

But since we're discussing feminism, I heard a joke the other day... No, I merely jest, there's nothing funny about feminism. 

Again, a harmless joke.  

I have always felt that women got a raw deal, in some ways, in the last few decades.  The struggle for independence can be a slippery slope in capitalism.  The rise of feminine equality and its attending concepts coincided imperfectly with a drop in value of the dollar, so that now most couples' income is actually less powerful than a single-earner was in post-war America. The feminist movement was quickly converted into labor-value rather than actual equality as they might have envisioned it.  So, it is even more difficult now for a single mother than it was before. All individuals enjoy a lower standard of living, though there has been a flattening of income differences between men and women, which is accordingly encouraging.  

If only the value of the dollar would have remained where it was, then.

I read in the February issue of Harper's that the median income of women who are single, in their twenties, and live in a city is $2000 higher than that of men.  Harper's also stated that the chance of an unmarried American, under 30 to agree that "marriage is obsolete" is 1 in 2.  Chances that he or she wants to get married 19 out of 20.

What does all of this tell us?  Vaginas have ruined advertising. Watch Mad Men, it will show you all that you need to know about the devastating and insidious effects of the vaginal power interchange. The emerging dominance of the receiver and the fading glory of the transmitter.  In the risible world of the internet anybody can transmit, the shift of power is truly and uniquely in what you choose to receive. But the internet is still an imbecilic and untested place.... though, it is where I met my doppelgänger....

... my ghostly counterpart ...

Jesus Christo, this post has come free from itself.  This is what happens when I don't pick a subject before I start writing, when I just sit down to espouse my soon to be drunken scrawlings.

The U.S. Border Patrol can legally perform warrantless searches on anybody within 100 miles of land and maritime borders.  The percentage of Americans that live within that area is 2/3rds.  Though In New York they no longer need a warrant to search anybody, but they do request that you have black skin. 

Also, from Harper's monthly.  Not the last sentence, just the facts....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seminudity, the return

So, only one friend actually requested more nudity, half-jokingly. But my lone reader has spoken.  I must abide.  I have nothing else to say about nudity. What would I have added to the great historical conversation anyway?  The long lineage of lingerie.... I merely wanted to cast my vote as "for" rather than "against."  In these topsy-turvy times I think it a duty to make one's points clear.  I am, and always have been, pro-nudity, both partial and full.  In fact, there have been times when I felt it should be mandatory.  In any girl shower scenes, for example, that calls for full nudity.  Pillow fights, partial.

I'm glad I've finally made myself clear on these distinctions.

Nothing really to say here today.  I picked my guitar up and played a few chords for the first time in quite a while.  My fingers began to hurt almost immediately .  I have lost my playing callouses.  It sounded nice though, the sound of the chords drifting through the apartment on this Valentine's Day morning.  I was going to sing a song for my wife, but her phone rang.  The "L" train is out of commission today, apparently.  Plans must be changed, people will arrive late, or not at all.  My fingers were saved for the time being.

My friend over at selavy made a good point yesterday.  He was telling a model that he was working with to not watch pornography because it will get you thinking about things and then you will want to do those things.  I think there's some truth in that, as well as its alternate.  If you watch movies and read books about people who strive to have dynamic lives then you also will want to live a dynamic life and you will begin to structure your life in such a way that it will begin to happen for you.

A few months ago, or perhaps a few weeks, he posted an excerpt from a book review that stated that nothing of any consequence could happen in this book because of the language that was used.  That for anything of consequence to occur in a work then the language must reflect that.  I will see if I can find the post, hold on..... no, I couldn't find it.  Anyway, it said that the language used by Flaubert in "Madame Bovary" is what gives the consequence itself dimension and importance.

I believe this to be true.  It is one of the reasons I don't play video games.  What little consequence there is to them, if any at all, is lost on me.  I work in a place where I listen to people discuss gaming from sometimes to all-of-the-time, it amazes me, the talk not the games. Could anything be less consequential, or of a manufactured nature?  Certain drug experiences maybe. They argue that at least they're participating with the game, which is preferable to just watching tv.  Even idly watching a sitcom involves receiving some small does of literature though.

If sports are where excellence meets insignificance then video games are where ordinariness meets the abyss.

Here is an image of a woman's shrouded vulva, with the reflection of a man talking on the phone in the back.

This work of art forever separates me from the gamers....

And another semi-nude woman tenderly staring down at the passer-by, notice the gentle look of sadness, the delicacy, the distance....

Isn't life both sad and beautiful, just like Avatar?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Luxury Retail Space Available

Since I returned from the ski trip I have had no free time. None. I have run from one place to another without purpose or effect, forever rounding the Monopoly board, only ever landing on Baltic Ave.  It's as if the cursed dice that I am bound to use have extra digits that only ever equal the sums of 43, 40 or 37, without further variation.  Eternally hovering around the Baltic region of the game.

Last night I had a discussion with one of my managers whose conversation I often enjoy. I was leaving work at the time, sensibly.  My side of the conversation quickly devolved into the futility of my position and the comical and unlikely chance of promotion, that I am in a place that has no career path, that ascendance is discretionary and awarded without explanation....  That there is no relationship between effort and reward.  He disagreed, so I made my point more forcefully, with exaggerated emphasis. I was about to leave and was running out of time, you see.  This quite confirmed my position.  I had won the argument by forever proving my point. Such is the potency of my rhetoric, combined with the power of my unique brand of neurotic persuasion.

My personality is not one that will likely ever be rewarded in certain situations... like, at work.

Will I ever learn?  Or is it just that I have a self-destruct mechanism, a personality doomsday device, that ensures that any time I'm given a reasonably fair opportunity to excel then I am far more likely to become the court jester, forever poking fun at anybody that would ever advance, or worse: try to advance.

Years ago I liked to play the game Monopoly.  It is an incredibly easy game to win and relies on one basic principle at first, then on another principle to employ if you fall on hard times. The only chance anybody ever has of beating me is playing the exact same strategy, and then it just boils down to the luck of the dice, or lack thereof.  It is mostly a bitter, unpleasant experience predicated on the fantasy of wealth, affluence and the misuse of power.

It is a game of waiting, principally.  Like a gluttonous landlord, you wait for others to unluckily land on your holdings so that you can unfairly charge them.  It is a form of price-fixing that appeals to the type person who once during college might have dreamed of moving to New York and becoming Donald Trump.  People who like to utter the phrase, "You're fired".... Those who enjoy being playfully possessive, and are animated in their ways of expressing the "I got you, you fucker" sentiment.

I am immediately suspicious of anybody that ever suggests playing this game and I quietly offer thanks to the stars if those people are childless, and poor.

No, I'm just kidding... it's lots of fun to screw your friends over with a semblance of law and property. It is a game enjoyed best while drinking cognac and smoking large penis-shaped cigars.  Wear a silk top-hat to complete your image of yourself.  Put your cigars out in fresh baby flesh. I find that helps with the odor.


I've always wanted to bring a Monopoly game board to my bank and sit down and honestly ask the manager questions about strategy and how to incorporate that into my estate planning...

Jesus, I'm sick. Though not yet Lazarus.

I have had a recent request to return to my "semi-nude" series.

After today I will take that under very serious consideration.

Addendum: My wife wanted my fair readers to know that she is vehemently opposed to the use of the "baby flesh" joke.  

Duly noted.