Saturday, October 31, 2015

Luck favors the propertied

I'm not even sure I know what Halloween is. I know it's my favorite holiday (Is it even a holiday?). It's the most honest day of the year. It's part of why people got to Burning Man. I'm sure of it. When the boy asked me to explain Burning Man to him he excitedly pleaded with me to let him go, and perhaps I will take him one year, but the idea of me getting dressed up in costumes was an enduring and exciting one for him.

I'll do that again tonight. He has enjoyed having all the scarves and beads out around the apartment. Tonight, I will put on some stockings and super-hero short-shorts with my Himalayan jacket and silk blouse. I found my white wig from a few year's back, so that'll keep me warm. Not sure how late I'll be out with a three year old, but you never know. It is best to be prepared.

Being back at home is somehow centering this time. I suppose that I have begun to settle in here. The management for the apartment complex will probably trick me into signing another year's lease. Moving here was probably a mistake for reasons I've already gone into, but moving away is an enormous undertaking, and one that will negatively impact the boy. Or, that is my assumption, anyway. I see why people buy homes. It must feel nice to always know where your problems are.

Mostly, I look at the accumulation of nonsense around me and do not wish to move it all again. Each time that I am tasked with moving then parts of me disappear. 

The boy just asked me how it can possibly be Halloween when it's light outside. I told him that it'll be darker tonight when we go trick-or-treating. 

The boy said, Daddy, the sun has made a mistake today.

It sure has, it wouldn't be the first time, either.

The Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

The houses are haunted 
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.

- Wallace Stevens


Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy

Finally, home again. I arrived in Sonoma late last night, awoke early to work all day then went to dinner with what once was my family, what would have been, were it not for the succession of disasters. We sat and talked mostly of things that concerned the boy, meetings with his teachers on Monday. It was both strange and quite natural. I could imagine few other ways for it to be, though once I could never imagine it being as it is now. We have so little interest in each other's lives beyond the perfunctoriness of parenting.

This is not to say that we carry out our parenting with the minimum of effort, but rather we seek little counsel with one another concerning its perpetual unfolding. We relay humorous stories and anecdotes meant to suggest behavioral developments, and then some genuine concerns here and there.

They sang me a version of the Happy Birthday song that was unrecognizable in melody, tempo, key, and orchestrated vocal timing, though it was nonetheless charming, touching. My son helped me blow out the lone candle that lit the Tahitian vanilla bean gelato. He then helped me to eat it all up with a spoon, claiming that he loves ice cream even more than I. A fatuous claim if ever there was one.

On the drive home with the boy I wondered aloud about things.

Love is improbable, if not impossible, almost always deeply problematic. It is its own paradox, expecting time to function in a way that it can not, will not, for very long. It asks of each moment to lie, to show mercy, and to look the other way, all at once.

And yet magically sometimes it does.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

… the body sways

how crazed, this heart, other

the mind, deserving of pity, 
so much 

wantful, the body

how does it all

in this city, or any
yet another stay


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The remnants of Patricia

Jesus, I fucked up

I did not anticipate residual hurricane rain on my day wandering around NYC. Now, I sit in Starbucks looking at my options, none of which seem very appealing, most of which involve me doing things I don't want to do with expensive camera gear and a work computer strapped mainly unprotected to my back. After having left NYC I never thought that I would relish having a car, but I wish I had one now, and I'm not quite sure why, nor what I would do with it. I just don't want to feel like a beaten water rat wandering the gutters of this city.

When I first moved to NYC I was told by a small handful of people that it takes living here about seven years before you become a "real" New Yorker. I reminded one of my friends of that claim this morning and he had no memory of it, though we both agreed that it sounded about right. Few San Franciscans make such claims and the term "San Franner" does not have the same connotative ring to it, nor does "Franciscan" though I wish desperately that it did, if only for the common Catholic perversions. The old vanguard there in SF is a curmudgeonly lot. The world is changing around them with a greater and more definitive swiftness, and few take those changes as improvements. New York has a way of saying, "Fuck your idea of New York..." as the starting point of negotiations.

My NY is gone and perhaps only I care. The friends with whom I normally stay have moved elsewhere, as have several others, and I now sit in this coffee factory using their free wi-fi, plotting my avoidance of the inevitable downpour. I stepped out of my comfort zone in one way, so part of me embraced it in another.

To wit, I had breakfast the The Coffee Shop in Union Square this morning. The man that does the hiring of the waitresses there has a distinct "type" which seems to exist just beyond the erotic border, though noticing it somehow seems equal to it, or perhaps that is the very intention of it. One gets the impression he gives explicit instruction on how his waitresses are meant to present themselves.

It's a good thing that CS cancelled his trip here, because he would be watching me drink his whiskey in his hotel room right now otherwise, a thing that he has done in the past with intermittent success. 

Well, I suppose I could shit myself and wait for them to kick me out of here. That option is still and always available to me. It seems a popular one and they have braced themselves for it.

I am semi-exhausted and trying desperately to keep a lunch date with Wonder Woman. Balthazar, Soho.

I want a taxi that anticipates my needs, ignoring the needs of all others. I want a city that bows to my whims, though not too much. I want to be wowed by it. I want to have some awe for it. I suppose that wealth confers those things to some degree, education or knowledge in others, aesthetic sensibilities in yet others.

Where does one accrue such things, in such a place, trapped soon in the rain.


Chased by imaginings

To have sleep issues at home is one set of struggles, to have them elsewhere is just the same. Why does it somehow feel so much worse. I am sitting up, wide awake at my friend's house, reading articles about seaweed that has been found that tastes like fried bacon, or so goes the claim. I will go into the city today and make a waking adventure of it. Having only slept a couple of hours I have no idea what sort it will be. We shall see, I suppose. I am meeting a woman for lunch. I have been practicing conversations in my mind. Normally, that puts me right to sleep... I don't understand it.

I have dinner plans later on, and then will pray to the wooden idols and river icons for solid sleep sometime tomorrow night. Thursday is an all-day work day, then the long flight home, then work again, then the Halloween weekend with the boy. What a mess. I am tempted to call everything off and find a welcome couch somewhere and a dark shirt to cover my eyes. Domestic cats really do have it made. 

Well, there is still an hour before my alarm will go off to alert me to the remainder of the day. 

I should toss around a bit in semi-lucid anticipation of its arrival.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At least my heart's in the wrong place

The World Series starts tonight, of course. I will meet a friend after work at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central, the back bar where he has friends that tend bar. From there we will take the train to New Rochelle where we will settle in to the living room to watch The Mets take game one, in Kansas City. Steaks were mentioned, perhaps whiskey. 

I like the Royals but I want to be able to rub it in the faces of all those dismissive Giants haters from last year that they're not as good as many have claimed, nor is their bench as deep as was previously claimed. A Mets victory would accomplish that modest task. Also, it's NY… What hapless rube would ever get behind Missouri in a time such as this…?

Neither team has won The Series since the mid 80's. That makes for great sports arguments for men my age and above.

That is my sport's update. I'm still a sucker for post-season baseball. For me, it's like The World Cup without all of the fun online racism.

Tonight, Facebook will be like playing a text-based video game. A giant first-person-shooter POV.

I'm not a gamer. I probably shouldn't throw their terms around. I run the risk of further confusing my readers. 

If the Mets don't win then I'll return to San Francisco on Thursday night.

I give my word.

Monday, October 26, 2015

"Nihilism is best done by professionals"

Ugh. Why do I keep doing work vacations in NYC? I've been here almost a week and have few experiences to show for the time spent. I suppose things could be worse. I could be sitting in my apartment in Sonoma, working. 

Last night's birthday dinner was festive and fun. There was only one person missing. We had great Greek meat and sauce offerings with white and red wine and when the bill came nobody winced. I highly recommend the place, Kiki's.

Afterwards, we went to a local, familiar bar that had some insane drink special, shots of liquor with PBRs for $3. I had two and was complete.

All in all, it was uneventful. Groups of two waiting in line for the bathrooms. 

I went back to my friend's house and wrote an email that I had hoped would somehow make things better, though I do not know what could be improved now. Most of all there is someone that I did not wish to feel unloved by me. It took me a few pages to say something like that. I think that's what I said.

Now, I sit and wait to pack my bags up once again and head off to Brooklyn for another dinner in another apartment. Then, upstate tomorrow for another dinner and the first game of the World Series.

Wednesday, that will be my last real day to do as I please. I have taken the day off from work, had hoped to spend it with the missing dinner attendee. It does not look as if that will happen now. We've verified with one another that preventative plans were made in the interim. 

That's how it happens, what was once available time becomes time in which plans were made. The conversations that each might have hoped for drift up and away into the great never unhappened.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The OK-47

00101111. An ugly number if ever there was one. XLVII. It'll be six years before I hit another prime, if I'm lucky. I have always been in fear of dying on a natural prime. It seems a jinxed thing to do, having only one and your own age as divisors… and 47 is also the very unlucky 13th supersingular prime. So, there is that.

It is the number of degrees which separate the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

I have completed my Mesopotamian Mars journey through the stars now. The planet has returned to its same position among the stars as it was when I was born, and has re-assumed the same relationship to the Sun and the Earth, for those who have any interest in such things, or apply special meaning to them once they do develop such an interest. Scorpio Iscariot, etc.

The above passages highlight the dangers of the internet, and wikipedia in particular.

I awoke late to the peace that is Woodstock. I will go on a hike this morning with the kids and the dog and my friends. It has been pleasant to awake here at the house with them. There is much to be said for it and I don't do enough of it. We will have a slow day, then a drive back into the chaos of NYC, a birthday dinner at a Greek place. I am looking forward to it, though a part of me always does not. For all of the partying that I have done in life I still become uneasy among groups of people, even friends.  It is the sense of a storm passing through.  I do not crave calm, but neither do I do well in the winds. 

I took a few pictures of the kids yesterday:

Ah, nostalgia… the unsilent nuisance.

For more sentimental remembrance, here I was on my lucky 35th birthday in Brooklyn:

The camera blinked, we were at midtown:

(Historical photos courtesy of the CS NYC foundation)

Things change.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Early Onset Forgetfulness


Arrived in Tribeca uneventfully. It never feels as if there is enough time to spend with each person. I left the Upper East Side yesterday before being able to properly say goodbye to my friend. I had hoped to sit and have a beer and chat with him before darting to the southern heart of the city, and now off to Woodstock where we are meant to relax. 

We return tomorrow for my birthday dinner where my friends will sit together and eat Greek cuisine and hopefully not tell comically shameful stories of my past. There are so many from the present that I prefer not to encourage too much indulging in the fertile layers of past ignominy.

I lapsed into a brief explanation of who was at Burning Man this year to the friend that I was there camping with, reminding myself and him how quickly and without incident the mind becomes something laughable, something aged without improvement, more like a bottle of wine left open to the air than one that was well cared for. Aging is like drinking vinegar, then being told that it is something else and not being sure if you're being lied to or not. 

What happened to the man who had once been young….

I awoke late, having slept in the kid's bed in a back room where light does not dictate the body's patterns nearly as much, already missing somebody to care about. 

Missing is not quite caring for, just as love is not loving. Part of what the heart wants most is the warm embrace of a familiar voice on the other end, the sound of being loved. 

Without that, well, the World Series does start on Tuesday night. 


Friday, October 23, 2015

Celebration, etc.

Well, only one night in the Upper East Side. Tonight, I head to Tribeca, Woodstock tomorrow. There is a birthday dinner on Sunday night back here in the city. 

I am trying to work today but am distracted, bothered, having to force myself to ignore my own inner voice. Things change. I feel as if I've had the wind knocked out of me, again. This time by choice. The reason that I came to NYC has collapsed at the center. Hurtful words were exchanged, by what seemed like necessity, some critical impulse that haunts certain people. When it can not prevent happiness it makes sure to arrive quickly and do whatever damage can be done. 

The few apologies there were between us have now evaporated. Whatever it was we had hoped to prove, well, I suppose we did.

Part of me just wishes to go home. The feeling of being remote is unsettling. 

No. Nothing lasts, things change, so why whine about it.

Cato texted and asked me about the location of a birthday party, my 40th, we had here in the East Village. It is hard to believe that it was seven years ago now. Rachel and I were not talking, or that phase had just begun. It was over between us, or so I had thought. I remember telling her that I did not want her there. You know, the type thing you go out of your way to tell a person you loved. We were married six months later.

Things change.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

"People tell me it's a sin…"

Nothing lasts. 

The New York that I was familiar with is already gone forever, though its replacement does include some marginal improvements. I won't have time to enjoy many of those additions, this being a work vacation. I was able to go the The Met yesterday and had lunch in the back cafe, which was nice. I broke my glasses on the rooftop when I leaned in to give the woman I was with a kiss. I heard the "click" sound which turned out to be more of a snap.

Pure grace, none of which escaped my date. She is beautiful and tender and I have many feelings for her, some of which do not appear to have a chance of lasting much longer. The shape of our relationship is changing underneath us. We each seem to understand different causes for it. It saddens me deeply, and for now, beyond any words that I might offer. 

We sat briefly on the steps and listened to an opera singer where there are famously favorable acoustics. It was delightful, and the singer had tremendous range and control. A New York moment if ever there was one. Though I detest such provincial descriptions, there are some experiences that qualify as uniquely NYC.

The Oak Bar is closed and only opens now for special events, a thing for which we did not qualify. The Boat House was charming, though I should really stop visiting the same places over and over each time I return to visit. I am missing the point a bit, and am always in danger of over-romanticizing, which invariably leads to disappointment.

I shifted secret locations from Bushwick to the Upper East Side today. I sit now at the house of a couple who are good friends to the underground cause. True comrades. Their dog, a familiar basset hound, is offering me all the love that I currently need. A genuine charmer. They once had two, but sadly one of them passed away, so I am giving double attention to the survivor, Penny.

Tonight, we will watch football. Seahawks and 49ers. I like both teams but must cheer for the 49ers publicly. In truth, I only ever hope for a good game and only care about which team wins towards the end of the season or in the final game, the Super One. 

I'm not much of a fan of American football, though I am forced to hold those thoughts privately. People already have reason enough to mistrust me. After all, I write almost daily and publicly, which is a way of practicing how to openly lie about the truth.

I wish there were words or some action that would change things. If only wishing were the magical incantation that it feels that it is and must always be. 

If only. If only. If only.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being John Cusack

Very little time to write today. I stayed up much later than normal last night watching Being John Malkovich with a friend. I gravitate towards films that deal with the subject of persona, and the sources from where it is derived. It had been a while since I had seen the film and I excitedly picked up on, and then insisted on commenting upon, several new lines. I'm certain I was being tedious. 

It's part of my persona.

New York City awaits. We will go to breakfast at The Coffee Shop in Union Square, then we're off to the museums uptown and perhaps a walk through Central Park. There is a cafe on the backside of The Met where the western wall that faces the park is angled glass from floor to ceiling, letting in generous portions of the day, usually for good rather than for overcast ill. 

It allows a view of the park where an ancient Egyptian obelisk, colloquially known as Cleopatra's Needle, stands. If my memory holds it is three thousand years old or more. A stone phallus from the past to help you enjoy your tuna salad.

We will take some lunch there, sipping white wine and suffering my opinions on art. 

I wish to stay in bed longer, to enjoy the best part of having a day off: lying still and relishing the feeling that nothing at all that must be done. Hearing only the voice inside one's own mind that tussle with the unfamiliar sense of freedom to do only as one wishes.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The re-molding of a snob

("Self's self" by Sean Cusick)

I arrived in NYC in the early morning, emerging from a powerful chemically induced sleep, then jellied myself into a taxi when the subway would have been a much better choice. $50 only to go a few blocks in bumper to bumper traffic. The White Castle has not changed much since I left. It is depressing in a way that only it quite knows how to be. 

I went back to sleep as soon as I arrived at my safe house in Bushwick, stayed there as long as I could with the purring help of a sleep cat.

My friend with whom I am visiting suggested a coffee shop a few blocks away and then a donut shop directly across the street from the other. I stopped by both. I could not decide on a donut so I bought two, telling myself that I'd take a bite of each and only eat the one I liked more. That is not how things worked out, though. 

I chose one donut on my own and took the recommendation of the counter help on the other; french bread with chocolate and nuts on top  being my choice and a peanut butter with jelly filled center being theirs. 3500 calories later I was shaking from the landslide of sugars rushing my bloodstream. I nearly ate the bag that they came in, in the hopes of finding some sugar residue.

It's nice to be back in the most important time zone again. The sounds of this city are like no other. It's as if the trucks are made from a different type of metal, an alloy peculiar to the five boroughs. The brake pads are tuned to this locale and must be changed if the vehicle is ever expected to be used elsewhere. The painted traffic lines are not rules but rather vague recommendations, nothing more. Here, people are gruff with the simplest of ambitions - getting into a line of traffic from a side street, making it down the stairs to catch the subway that is just arriving at the station, ordering a slice of pizza before they've reached the counter. 

Elsewhere, for some unknown reason, people just seem nasty, pushy, entitled. Here it is a currency exchanged in advance of all else. 

Anyone that wishes to ever live in a city should be forced to first study how to do so in New York for a few seasons. All residents in other cities somehow get it slightly wrong, though they each might possess some quaint charm in their regional error. New York attitude is not what outsiders perceive it as, at all. It is a simple litmus test that each conducts on each. If you can get past the accusation that is a deli worker wanting to know what type sandwich you'd like then the climate of the conversation immediately changes. However, if you stumble with that initial confrontation then you have not yet learned how to live, and should probably do so in another city, one that has lower standards and can be found west of here.

New York is a literate city, also. Everywhere you go you see people reading books. California never quite embraced the concept and people will think nothing at all of interrupting you while you are quietly reading, neither recognizing nor understanding the sanctity that is being asserted by both the posture and process.

It is the many little things, and a few of the big ones. There are no larger assholes than in NYC. That is important to remember, as well. You can not count on everyone to always get it right.

Tomorrow we will go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you think your city is something special to tout about then you have never looked up and around in that building, or you have not understood what it is that you are seeing. 

I have watched that building swallow tourists by the tens of thousands, expelling them out into Central Park afterwards as flightless prattling pigeons, still clucking and cooing and looking for food. 


Monday, October 19, 2015

Now I Lay Me

Another night with no sleep. 

Was it Keats that said restlessness breeds many woes. Or, was it conscience that does it? I'm too tired to remember. I have a red-eye flight tonight, SF to NYC, which will leave me in pieces if I don't get some sleep before or during that. It is travel anxiety that becomes sleep anxiety. I've never handled it very well. Well, it has become worse over time.

Now, I sit at work, a husk of self.

I am tempted to go to a friend's house and try to get some sleep. I will be a nervous wreck if I can not sleep on the plane. I already feel quite brittle, unable to communicate. I am startled at any sudden sound. It is no good.

I wish that I had something clever to say about the condition, but nothing has arrived. It dulls the mind but heightens the sensibilities to an unnerving degree.

It seems so easy, to just stop thinking and let the body slip into its hold, to drift inward without recognizing the point of departure. It makes no sense that the mind would race as it does, fleeing the one thing that could perhaps calm it the most.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

What is it?

Sunday in Sonoma, my last for a short while. I will leave either later today or early tomorrow morning for SF, then NYC. I am trying to economize on the amount of luggage I will bring but it is difficult. I always wish to bring more camera gear with me than I actually need or ever use. I will not have nearly as much free time in the city as I might have hoped for. It will be a working vacation, but there will be the evenings and the weekend. It may get cold at night, and I a wanderer. There is always that to consider this time of the year, remoteness that is the result of drifting.

Highs in the 70s, lows in the 40s. I suppose I'll need a jacket. Packing. It is not much to think about, but I resist it anyway. I will likely end up bringing a few long sleeve shirts and a hat, no jacket. I will suffer, though not much. It will allow me to bring the one backpack that I wish to bring and nothing more. Why is my mundane inner-monologue making its way into this post?

My energy has been going into other things - writing emails, reading them. 

Today I will take the boy to the fire station. Once a year the firemen host a pancake breakfast. It is fun for the boy, to see all of the fire trucks and wish to one day be a fireman himself. He told me that he wants to be a "Hunter" for Halloween. I have no idea where he got the idea, though I tried not to discourage him too much. He told me that he wanted me to take him hunting. I explained that I'm not a hunter, that I very much like to go camping but that I do not fish or hunt, I just enjoy being out in nature, sleeping near a river.

I question whether he yet makes the full connection between animals and their capacity to serve as food. He loves both steaks and cows. I do not wish to soon usher in the collision of those ideas, but arrive it will, perhaps it already has though he has not developed the moral hindrances that would deprive him of pleasure.

I have a lot on my mind lately, too much perhaps. One needs less thought to write well, not more. I am reading a book about the relationship between writers and drinking. It is an alarming eye-opener, filled with terrible facts that I have heard before, though there are also interesting biographical passages that make me wish to read some of the writers that I have not read yet. John Cheever, and more of John Berryman.

I have the complete collection of Cheever's short stories, 800+ pages worth, though I have only ever flipped through it. Apparently, he was much better than I had assumed. Lately, more and more journalists publicly agree on this. I must have missed the boat on Cheever, and never quite had enough time for Berryman, though I'll see what I can do to correct all of that while I still have a couple decades or so left.

Cato sent me the song below this morning. I hadn't heard it in a while, but like it much. It somehow seems to fill the silences well enough.

Walk across the courtyard towards the library
I can hear the insects buzz and the leaves 'neath my feet
Ramble up the stairwell into the hall of books
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used

Duck into the men's room, combing through my hair
When God gave us mirrors he had no idea
Looking for a lesson in the periodicals
There I spy you listening to the AM radio

Karen of the Carpenters, singing in the rain
Another lovely victim of the mirror's evil way
It's not like you're not trying, with a pencil in your hair
To defy the beauty the good Lord put in there

Simple little bookworm, buried underneath
Is the sexiest librarian
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me

So I watch you through the bookcase, imagining a scene
You and I had dinner, spending time, then you sleep
And what then would I say to you, lying there in bed
These words with a kiss I would plant in your head

What is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite
Makes us do the opposite of what's right for us
'Cause everything'd be great and everything'd be good
If everybody gave like everybody could

Sweetest little bookworm, hidden underneath
Is the sexiest librarian
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me

Simple little beauty, heaven in your breath
Simplest of pleasures, the world at its best


Saturday, October 17, 2015

… a system of lamps and lenses

Too much, too soon; always there is so much to do and so little time. Left with the feeling of being incomplete, there being so much to do or buy and so few resources in time and money. Those are but two examples, of the tangible and intangible sort. 

My meaning lies elsewhere, of course. In the feeling of being incomplete, of not recognizing what is required in advance of the need. Self-examination only goes so far. It tires the subject and does not always produce the expected or desired results.

Few things speak as loudly as failure. Truths are not created by repetition, nor magnified by volume. 

They can, however, disappear in silence.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wise men say only fools ignite amyl nitrate

I believe that I earned my first migraine headache ever today; throbbing pain, sensitivity to light, flashes, blind spots, all of the tell-tale symptoms. Nothing helped, not even masturbation which is a suggested cure, believe it or not. Sex helps about a third of those that suffer from them.

Stress, I guess. I have had a lot on my mind, too much. I finally requested a transfer out of my current role at work. I have been with it for almost six months and it didn't feel like a good fit, so I am hoping to transition to another area of the product where I can lead and be happy once again. It is a sailing from one complicated sea to another.

There have been other concerns also, less matters of the occupational mind, more of the heart and spleen.

As a self-administered effort at a cure, over the course of the day I tried Xanax, Vicodin, Temazepam, Valtrex and a few other randoms of various shapes and colors that were bouncing around in my shaving kit, possibly a Cialis, a few stool softeners, even 650 mg of aspirin, all paced out evenly every hour or so; opioids, benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, some standard pain killers. 

I would have given myself a Herradura Reposado enima if a Spanish language website would have suggested it. Or, even maybe Patron, though that seems excessively Catholic, and a bit too priesty. I got halfway through inserting a catheter in the name of the lord before I became distracted.

Nothing worked, though I do feel quite relaxed now. I would make a whiskey double with ice but I am caring for the boy and do not wish to be irresponsible. To some, that list that I just went through might already seem well over the line of responsibility, but they do not know and could not ever understand what my central and peripheral nervous system has willingly put itself through over the years to achieve this level of resistance. 

So, when the coordinating organ of all nervous activity turns against me it is a mutiny that few others would understand, requiring an orchestra of late 20th century advancements in chemistry to put it down and quell the insurgence, returning the ship to its rightful captain beefheart and the magic band of gypsies.

Not yet though, the pirates are still raping the optic nerves all the way from the retina back to the retinal ganglions and on to the chiasma. 

I would drown a kitten for some Propofol right now, just to ensure rest.

If there is anybody out in this cruel, cold, and chaotic world that has 100mg of Propofol or Thorazine, and would want me to drown a kitten in trade, then please reach out directly to me. 

I'll be here waiting, squinting in the darkness of anticipation.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Blackbird's Whistling

mirror at the bottom of the well
please, just pickle the feckless,
for us, but also 
do a favor once
... after this:

ripples, ever ribbing,
never tell, or else

we paid one quarter each,
or nothing at all,
and sometimes 
something less

The Cubs nearly swept the Cardinals 3-1 in the National League Division Series, which is only just the latest victory against mid-western heathens and their ever-limping adherents. 

Rachel's grandpa passed away without much seeing of a thing like this, living mostly in the Waukegan region his time, then passing away at 88 or 89, just after visiting his great-grandson, our blue-eyed boy. He was nearly 90, birthday on July 4th. A charmed life, to be sure. Lived on a generous pension for many decades after duty. Traveled the globe and still passed with the thoughts of a just passed lover at a home he never returned to living. 

I liked the guy much. He had his charms, a joy to have around.

My own South Boston dad died last Super Bowl Sunday. You can imagine what a blast it was to have me at that guacamole party. The Patriots won, so maybe offerings of old people up to the gods actually do work, like limping goats heading towards a burned Elvis. 

Science has disproved so little in its infancy. Why not Presley bovines. It is merely a problem of confirmed affirmation, belief-bias. The Catholics have been working towards and amongst it for years. If Jesus can be a lamb then Mick Jagger will soon assume his Goat's Head Solar System.

My son is a Catholic Cubbies fan, though he doesn't quite know either yet. He was born with it, inculcated, just as he was with his grandparents and parents, region, then locale. 


He has a hat with the famous red "C" centered and stitched on by Chinese starvers. All of his friends are Giants' acolytes, though he has outgrown them now by leaps and brands. The kid's a genuine bruiser. Even his adult teachers complain. I would back him in a street fighting bet against almost all of them. Though he does have one teacher that is fat and angry and disappointed. I would not give odds against her. No betting thinker would.

I want one of those Cubbies hats to express my solidarity with the boy. 

Like Lech Walesa, the dirty Gdansk Pole. 

So many think that I am also a filthy Pole, though for reasons quite unrelated to national heritage. I'm only Irish. Apparently, I am stiffish and prickly, with herpes and whatnot, and topped with an exceedingly large skull. It is the result of having been young and idealistic, and then there was some genetic variance, and a touch of bad lucklessness. I don't even remember whom.

Old people stop caring about sports, I've noticed. They might do it here and there for the sake of their grandkids, or maybe nephews on Thanksgiving, but their ailing hearts are not in it. 

They know a truth that goes by the phrase, "Oh yeah?"

Who can blame them. I am as much a fan of aging as I am of the Cardinals, particularly the ecclesiastical. I grant and allow that they have good and bad years, but I only really believe in post-season.

October makes more saints than all of the months.

The old wish to wander freely, to care for their gardens, to fart with impunity, feed the cats. To be left alone with meaning. It is futile, the best among us know this, eschew the silly insistence of all others. Faith draws flies with the uneasiest pencil.

Manner and style die and disappear for a bit, along with the willing forgetfulness of those soon gone. Trapped by the arrogant demands of demand. A life of evil or a life of grace or generosity and gratitude end equally in the fashion of the dust that once only seemed stress.

So scream and refrain, now and then, just to be unsure.

Why not love? Why not try, then maybe blame the timing and the cure on others. 

Blame it aboard, about, against, then above this or that again -  preposition yourself against the preposition that bothers others, or around which so many others bother.

Why should one answer the silence of another human heart. 

Let's hope, for once; finally don't speak about it.

Haven't we all heard enough. 

It's all just stuff to be stuffed.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling 
Or just after.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Abandoned Love

My heart is tellin' me, I love ya' still 

I can see the turning of the key
I've been deceived by the clown inside of me
I thought that he was righteous, but he's vain
Oh, something's telling me, I wear the ball and chain

My patron saint is a-fighting with a ghost
He's always off somewhere when I need him most
The Spanish moon is rising on the hill
But my heart is a-tellin' me, I love ya' still

I come back to the town from the flaming moon
I see you in the street, I begin to swoon
I love to see you dress before the mirror
Won't you let me in your room one time before I finally disappear?

Everybody's wearing a disguise
To hide what they've got left behind their eyes
But me, I can't recover what I am
Wherever the children go, I'll follow them

I march in the parade of liberty
But as long as I love you I'm not free
How long must I suffer such abuse...
Won't you let me see you smile before I turn you loose?

I've given up the game, I've got to leave
The pot of gold is only make-believe
The treasure can't be found by men who search
Whose gods are dead and whose queens are in the church

We sat in an empty theater and we kissed
I asked you, please, to cross me off your list
My head tells me, it's time to make a change
But my heart is telling me, I love ya' but you're strange

So, one more time at midnight, near the wall
Take off your heavy makeup and your shawl
Won't you descend from the thrown from where you sit?

Let me feel your love one more time, before I abandon it.



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toys repose, dolls in rest

"They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered." - Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

I've made the mistake of reading the early, youthful poetry of two poets lately - Rainer Maria Rilke and Pablo Neruda. The latter of which is a collection of love poems, the former a series of meditations on God and prayer, naively subtitled "Love Poems to God." 

They're both abysmal. Perhaps it is a bad time for poetry, or times. Though, imagine this: a fifty-three year old man writing pubescent love poems. Hideous, we'll all admit.

I would so escape from the underwater chains of it all, says Harry Hideousini,

Dr. Hummus Who was there to recite the parfait.

A few years lack I was reading John Berryman, a friend pointed that poetry had disappeared from literature, at least from conversations concerning, that the world no longer had any use. It is non-essential. I had always thought its inessential nature was its special, programmatic magic. It's absurdly useless, as love without warmth, without empth. 

But no, it's all useless, just. Just you. It does more for the writer than reader.

It's the nature of hope. Its nature, hope too.

Never trust a poet that dies of natural causes.

Why am I writing about poetry? Clause.

The last poem I hoped to write failed easily enough on its own demerits, with a little help from my senses.

What do I do when my love is away? Does it worry you to be alone….

I'm unsure that it will return to me, again. Soon enough, in an unexpected and predictable wave of pomposity, an arrogance of offering. Some thing will trigger a flourish. An unexpected comma will ignite. The fuse at the bottom of a sentence hangs, begs for a match, or a quarter for a phone call, a sleeping twizzler turned of asbestos.

I just ordered this drink (the review of which was written by one of my favorites). That should just about do it... A burst of mania, I'll think myself poeted once again. You 'l see.

Again, always too soon. I can not write about that which concerns me most; my own damned faults.

I have swept the dust so much towards than this away.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Diminishing Returns

I know that my son loves me much, of course. Yesterday's post was just a relaying of the facts. It's still a tough thing to hear. The boy is suffering the results of separation and divorce, also. The two year anniversary of our separation came and went earlier this month without any grand celebration. I hadn't even thought of it until now.

Life moves on, either by love or inertia.

I spoke with ol' CS yesterday, briefly. He is living in a financial shitstorm. I don't envy him at all, though my days of monetary denial are also numbered. He has cancelled his plans to come to NYC when I will be there. C'est La Vie, as they say.

It is less than two weeks until my NYC trip. That is sure to get my readership back. My numbers double or more whenever I am on the road. People love adventure, even if it is just me eating salmon and cream cheese bagels daily.

I will be visiting NYC in the most nondescript fashion possible, almost undercover. I will be at an undisclosed address, a Brooklyn "safe house." It will be a working vacation so I will not be able to enjoy the city with the liberty that it demands and even announces itself with boldly at the bay.

I've never visited the Statue of Liberty, nor Ellis Island. My lineage was Irish so South Boston is my path back towards the old world.

A lunchtime discussion arose at work recently concerning the statue's history and I was surprised at how willing I was to offer opinion as fact, without distinguishing either. My take on the hairy colossus is that the face in overly man-ish, and it is. It is meant to represent Libertas, the Roman goddess, but I'm confident that it was also used as inspiration for the face of Superman (who is actually Canadian), such is its forceful angularity and strength of feature. I'm sure that there's a twenty foot copper cock dangling underneath that robe somewhere. Antonin Scalia has written extensively and adoringly on the subject.

She is among the ugliest women in New York. I would have instead named her Robertas at birth:

(Robertas L. Groomsmasher)

Well, I should stop there. I'll be tarred and feathered by the end of the month, set aflame in Union Square, encircled by hounds. New Yorkers take their sanctimoniousness very seriously. I should know. I once walked among them as one of their own.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

… dearth of hope

Hints of winter are appearing near the earth's edges where sky meets horizon, creeping inland. There still remains so much that I had wanted to do with this summer, now past. Camping trips that never happened, a few other trips whose plans never quite unfolded. A treasure map left in the pocket of jeans now washed twice, ruined with water and soap. The air mattress that I bought for the new tent already has a slow leak. I awake in a crevice of air with my back touching the ground. I blame Burning Man, or its aftermath cleanup, which has somehow stretched on into multiple months now. 

Dust to dust.

Rhys has started telling me that he does not love me, and that he does not want me to pick him up from school any more. He could not possibly understand what this does, what affect it has. The little boy who only weeks ago would run and jump into my arms out of pure excitement to see me. He is experimenting with new moods, mostly mine.

I just spoke with the boy over FaceTime and he reaffirmed that he does not love me. I must have been living under the false impression that a boy waits until the age of 15 before openly making such claims, screaming it from the front yard while raking a bag of leaves, or weeding a flower bed. I had believed there was a golden window in which a father didn't have to hear these things. I had once believed so many things, perhaps too many.

Well, things could be worse, I suppose. We just ended the conversation and he did playfully affirm his love for me. He opened his mouth, one that was full with a half chewed bagel and strawberry jelly, presented to me as a faux goodbye kiss towards the iPad camera through which we spoke. 

Who can adequately predict the capriciousness of a child's heart, their whimsy - or anyone's, ever. When does the exchange cross over into cruelty. Who can possibly derive hope from such newly formed emotional chaos. Who can blame anybody, or understand. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pope Bacon

I feel as if I have already been attacked by the Daylight Savings Blight. I awake at a normal time. It is still dark, yet I feel jet-lagged, thick and lethargic. Coffee resolves part of this feeling, but at what cost. I have been sleeping in almost as late as the boy lately. It makes no sense. More sleep doesn't result in me feeling any more rested. It's as if I had awoken into retirement but still have to go to work.

I imagine this feeling will pass in another few decades.

I sit here with the boy watching some morning cartoons. Shrek 2, I think. It is obnoxious in its relentless cuteness and pop music montages. There is so much to do around the apartment. I have put it all off to the point that it has grown monstrous in magnitude. It's mostly just some laundry and dishes, maybe pulling the camping gear out of the car, but I have lazed against it as a conscientious relaxer.

There is a rasher of uncooked bacon in the fridge. I pulled a glass cooking pan out of the oven a few days ago at 400 degrees. I took the two pieces of chicken out of it and did with one of them as you might expect and put the other in a tupperware container with some cooked beans. I put the cooking dish in the sink and ran water over it. Within a few seconds it exploded in an array of nearly equally sized pieces. The shards remain where they occurred. I haven't yet decided how I am going to go about getting them out of the sink, though I have a few ideas. 

This morning appears to be the deadline for my disaster recovery proposals. 

Okay, that bacon's not going to cook itself. Though, it would be no small miracle if it did. The divine gift of cholesterol convenience.

You know, this guy:



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unknown Assailants

Why do average things happen to average people? 

I took the day off from work today to deal with the normal administrative requirements of a regular American person: a single white male. 
The phrase "white male" sounds like the horrendous vision of the "white whale" in Melville's monsterpiece. 
Call me, it's shits maelstrom.

It has nearly killed me, this day off. I went to the DMV in Napa, twice before noon. The first time at the counter I arrived with a government issued photo-id that was not nearly good enough, they required a birth certificate, which presumably can not be stolen or misrepresented by their watchful eyes. 

The very helpful DMV associate, Carl, explained that it was "because all of that 9-11 nonsense."

"You think this'll help?"

"Well, I don't know if it does or if it doesn't, but it's what we gotta' do."

"Muslims don't have birth certificates. Everybody knows that, I hope. It's the only way to keep the flag safe, raised state stamps on fine state paper. The founding fathers invented the printing press, so it'd take a wheelbarrow full of wisdom to question that, right Carl?"

"Well, if you don't have a birth certificate or a passport then I can't help you much."

"I have both of those items, you see, Carl, but not right here with me. Don't flense me. I only have a driver's license issued by the superior state of New York."

"I can't accept that."

"Neither can I, but have you let them know?"


"New York."

"Oh no, we don't accept their licenses and they might not accept ours."

"You givin' it up for 'Bigs'?"


"Ok, cool, you Tupac. I got it."

"You mean 2Pac?"

"Sure. We cool?"