Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The physicality of fumbling up

Few things remain simple, or only hauntingly so. I've had to learn to keep quiet about almost everything, which doesn't always make for good writing, not for a confessionalist. 

I'm going to start telling people that I'm heavily into Civil War reenactments, that I'm on the side of the Confessionalists. I go every year. Make up some plausible name for a city in Virginia. If anybody challenges me then explain that they're confusing it with a city in Tennessee. Do this of course with confidence. 

We were in bloody battle with the Secretists. Family against family, brother against brother.

For no known reason, the other day, I started telling Rhys about the biblical story of Cain and Able. God's question to Cain in the garden, to which he responded, Am I my brother's keeper? A shitty attitude to have with God but good question. 

I tried to explain to Rhys why I believe the answer to the question is Yes, that we are culpable for the well-being of one another, and it is best to acknowledge that to one another. Immediately I started following it up with qualifications, of course. 

Does any of this become easier, or does it ever become any easier? Any of it?


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Are all ghosts clairvoyant?

(Musée Mécanique, SF)

Last night Rachel and I went out to dinner, a date, if we are still allowed to acknowledge such things it that in this post-binary world. There was a newly renovated restaurant space that had opened up - Layla - that we wanted to try. It was lovely, better than Olive Garden... As we were leaving I pointed out to Rachel the bowl of apples in the entrance hallway, a reference to the late rock promoter, Bill Graham. When we got in the car I played her the song, Layla, because my singing of it did not evoke a memory for her. The only version I had on my phone was the acoustic one, which was shameful but unsurprising. Or, so I thought. After playing that one for her, and picking up Rhys from the sitter, I tried to play the regular album version, the classic, from YouTube. Somehow that was even worse. 

Freedom Rock, etc.

Ah well, it was not even my past but the past before that, so what do I have to be ashamed of? My generation produced We Built This City on Rock and Roll. If you ever need any additional reason to hate Bernie Taupin then look not further than that late career hit for Starship. Yes, Starship was what they changed their name too, when the concept of a Jefferson Airplane perhaps seemed too attached to a past that they were clearly breaking free of. 

Can I end a sentence with the word of, twice?

My official position is that Eric Clapton has always been a useless douche bag. This was a required stance for anybody that listened to alternative or new wave in the 80s. He was from the oafish and loathsome past. Exceptional guitar playing could not possibly save him. It was his stance towards being a rock star that was unacceptable. Then, he wrote that song about his son dying. Tears, Heaven, Etc. Quite possibly the worst song ever written. Unforgivable. 

Well, my report of our date seems unnecessary now. We had fun; it was sweet. We talked of the future and what possible trips we could take with the boy. There have been a few possibilities that we have discussed now - Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Tokyo, NYC and Washington D.C. Maybe there were other places mentioned. Those three are high on our list, each for different reasons. 

We talked about Jackson Hole and Yellowstone as a mixed snowboarding and camping trip, one in which we could maybe bring one of Rhys' friends with us. He would love that. He wants very badly to get a camper and do a road trip with mom and I. He mentions it often. Tokyo is a no-brainer. We all love the culture and food for slightly different reasons, I suspect. The foreignness has much appeal. Then, a late entry was two trips that we have been talking about that we realized we could just roll into one. When I mentioned last night that we could stay at the Mercer or Soho Grand in NYC I could see that I was saying the right things to mom, who was two flutes of champagne deep at this point. I spoke of all the fun things we could do - visiting friends and sightseeing, a Yankees game, the Statue of Liberty, The Met and MOMA, our favorite restaurants. Then we could take a train to D.C. and have two days there. The Smithsonian, the National Gallery, the Mall, the White House, the nation being greatly made again.

What wholesome family fun - just crimes, misdemeanors, and vacations. 



Thursday, May 23, 2019

Helps me, Jesuys

I started to post something vile again. Cato and I had a joke yesterday that made me chuckle. But then I couldn't find the right picture to match the joke, so everything went the way of the Dodo.

I find myself having the strangest of conversations with my friends lately. The mechanics of being an age. This age. The talk is more private and more pragmatic than what I am used to. There is talk of the treatment of common ailments. Nobody wishes to be interested in these talks. 

I took a few minutes away from a mildly stressful day to write here. I avoided the vile but became trapped by the mundane. 

You saw it happening and you did nothing.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Akira Ichiban Q6

I'm not sure if I've ever seen two dogs have consensual sex. Having lived in Florida for the irresponsible length of time that I did it seems nearly impossible to have not seen such a thing, though I have no specific memory of it. All I see now when I close my mind and think of the Sunspot State are dogs fucking in the dirt. Mostly in the backyard. Everybody has a backyard there, and every backyard a dog. It never seemed to me as if it was the female dog's choice. 

I see this all the time at the dog park now. Dogs just rape each other. They try to get some playtime in before and after, but every now and then you witness some sort of sudden assault. The owners are mortified, of course. I try to stop the dogs when I can, as if my dog is partially to blame. She was wearing a brightly colored collar.

If you've never tried to stop one dog from fucking another dog you'll know this is not exactly a one person operation. It requires practice and training, and life affords so few opportunities, and few partners to do that dance. I try to match everybody else's enthusiasm for separating them, but sometimes I suspect that people can sense my heart's not really in it. I suppose I could just grab the male by the collar and toss him away somewhere, but that somehow seems worse than the sex crime itself. 

Since I have a female it is usually some male that is being indiscreet about their amorous feelings towards my lucky lady. So, it is up to a variety of Sonoma hippy-chicks of all ages to stop the assault, mostly. I'd be lying to say that this doesn't make me giggle a little bit inside. Not because of the act itself or their reaction, but you can see how much they project human morality onto their animals and expect it to come to life there, fully formed and evidenced in modesty of behavior, discretion. I always take some time out afterwards to tell the offending dog about my best friend, Jesus Christ. This will have about as much influence on their desire to rape as will the frantic stream of invectives and direction emanating from their owners - No! and Stop! and Insert Dog's Name! here.

The one that really gets me is Bad Dog! 

I suspect that in a dog's mind screamed phrases like No! and Stop! only mean Hurry, hurry... to them. It only seems to increase the urgency of the act. 

The women always apologize afterwards. I am tempted to ask them if they let their dog masturbate enough? Other times I am enticed by my inner demons to say that I can't tell if my dog's in heat or not. I sniffed all around her butt the other day but I couldn't be sure. 

She has been spayed, I'll explain, but I don't know if they cut off the flow of all of her woman parts.  

She seems flirty.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Fighting death and kissing nipples

I promise not to write about dub or reggae today, though it is almost all that I wish to write about. It is sad and beautiful and yet somehow triumphant and strong and filled with faith so foreign. 

I am standing up at an adjustable desk that holds my new computer. It is difficult for me to stand for any period of time. Something has changed in my lower back. It no longer has the will to negotiate. I need a desk and a chair, but I keep telling myself that standing is better for me, less sedentary, but the truth is that my body needs the sediment. Whatever sediment used to protect my aching vertebrae has long since abandoned me. One of the results of living is pain. So be it. Let it be. Let be be finale of seem. Keep on keepin' on, and don't ever stop truckin'... whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother... we are probably family, though there's less fish in the sea than there used to be. 

Great minds, quite noticeably, do not think alike. Though that is no reason to presume that you are great when everybody else insists that you're a twat. 

I speak God's truth, you see. 

I just read that this is the wettest year ever. Or, I think that's what I read. It was a headline only, probably about the east coast, but I'm certain the author lives in Sonoma, on my street. 

It is dispiriting, this endless rain. Shifts in weather patterns vex me and they should vex you too. It is an omen, I say, a portent of what will come. 

If you're not wet then you're not paying attention.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

From the well of exaggeration

It's been raining for a year.


"A day without music is a day lost forever"

Have I really not written since Tuesday? It doesn't feel like it. I worked all week and I worked all day today. It happens sometimes. It's never fun, but at least it has been rainy all day, which lessens the sting. I may take some time off this week. 

I don't have anything to say, really, I just finished with a long, intractable problem that neither myself nor any of the people working on it could solve, so I wanted to look out elsewhere into the world, where solutions were not required. 

It is just a day gone but it would have been my day and now it is not and never will be. 

I did have a few newly acquired albums playing in the background today, so there is that. If you want to hear what reggae would sound like without the obligatory guitar strums on the upbeat then listen to the link below. It is my favorite album of today. 

The pup has been at a kennel all day. We'll go to get her soon and she will make me feel better. She loves me and I her. We let each other know by rubbing our faces together where I can smell all of her soft puppy fur. She will lick and nibble at my ear lobes. It is sweet and makes me giggle. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2019


In my battle with the world I should have backed the winner. Today beat me senseless, lifeless. All day I ran like a three legged lizard, scrambling to escape a bored scorpion that just wants to talk.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Basic Age

I've had an unusually difficult day at work. Don't want to write about it, but it's how I spent my day, without any cycling to force the arrow through to the other side, to be broken off and pulled through.

Listening now to one of the most beautiful pieces of quiet music. Hoping. Haven't listened to it in years. Could not find the right recording online quickly. So I've posted one that I have never heard. Fuck it. The recording is almost as important as the music, so I hope the one below works well.

I read an essay about Susan Sontag's essay writing tonight. That is how I should spend every afternoon or evening: reading quietly, music in the room. There is some recent scandalous news of her out now in the panopticon. Just saw it.

It has been between the sixth and seventh year of my son's life that I hardly have time for myself. It becomes the thing that I do. It's not terrible. It is everywhere, all for now and for soon.

Standing up and typing at the keyboard of my new computer, some years underneath me. Can't imagine having to stand to do anything any more, having now already exceeded this basic age.


Sunday, May 12, 2019


Having been loved by my mom is one of the few feelings that has stayed with me from childhood, that and my crushing uncertainty about being loved. 

I asked myself this morning when I woke up, What makes a mother's love special? Of course there may be some inescapable biological aspects to those feelings, but I've known enough orphans and adoptees who feel the same to know that biology alone does not explain all of it. Having felt loved, from an early age, is something that stays with you. Or, it can. People need to feel nurtured, at times, and safe. I never got the feeling that one day I might have to fight my mom for a pork chop. I remember building forts in the living room with my brother and her. 

Feeling loved seems to be a mixture of the love that another person shows for you and what you repeat to yourself about it. Once your mother is gone you have fewer things to repeat to yourself. It is best to stick to the stories concerning the glory of love, avoid the other stuff. 

To watch the boy express his love for mom is really something - sweet and pure and true. It is enough to make me happy. 


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Dr. Satan's Echo Chamber

Oh yeah, I forgot to post, or started to but never finished, ran out of things to say, or have said them before. Like CS, I also have no stories to tell. What do I do that would produce a story? I spend my days repeating daily things, not discovering.

The boy's behavior improved. Did I write about that here, or has it just been tumbling around inside me for a month? Could be both. He was being naughty, disrespectful, and mom and dad had to drop the sledgehammer on him. To give you an idea of how tough we are: we took away all screen-time.... Not sure if you know it or not, but that is about the worst thing you can do to a kid now. No more terror, no more tyranny, no more discipline too. Just reasonable conversations, one after another after the other following the one before that.

I have nothing to say today - no stories from beyond the womb. 

Lee Perry is Jesus. I mean, Jesus. I won't bore you with writing about music, but when he was brilliant he was like nothing else that had ever happened. I am listening to the Black Ark mixes of this album. They are among the deepest, coolest, most bad-ass and beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. I couldn't find the same mixes that I'm listening to online, and that link is to the already known and famous album. It's criminal that the dubby mixes aren't available on YouTube.

You guys should come to my house and hear it.

Tell you what.... I'll make you a real sweetheart deal. If you think that dub isn't right for you then I'll let you walk out that door right now without signing on for this once-in-a-lifetime generous timeshare offer, but if you're wrong then you might have to live the rest of your life regretting the decision that prevented you from ever getting involved in South Florida's Gardens of Inspiration single and double use units.

I'll concede that it is a bit strange that at 50 all I want to do is ingest THC and listen to old dub albums, mostly from '75-'81, the golden years. But what the fuck, I've reached that stage in life early where you realize time is truly limited and you may as well do the things that let you avoid doing things you just don't want to do.

What happens to people?


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Unwritten jokes

Well, I was going to make a joke about Rachel, Ann Coulter, and Celine Dion getting it on but my sole reader stole my thunder in yesterday's comment section. I was going to try to add Phil Collins to the second portion of the joke, because of me. Something about us all checking for Ann Coulter's Adam's apple. I bet she has a nice big, protruding laryngeal prominence. 

I don't have a pic of me that suggests Phil Collins handy, but you get the idea. The joke works, even in its current crude and unformed state. 

Rhys is in his room right now. Punishment. I had to go to school to pick him up. He has been misbehaving. Shockingly, this brings me no private internal joy, as I might have long ago guessed that it would. I'm not very good at punishing him. That may be part of the problem. I'm not sure. I'm so used to being around people who regard every one of my emotions as being over the top that I have a difficult time gauging much of anything. There is always a low level hysteria waiting to respond to anything that begins to suggest randomness. 

I used to be afraid of misbehaving. I don't mean physically afraid, just afraid of what my parents would say to me, of being ashamed, disappointing. Rhys doesn't like me being displeased with him, but perhaps not adequately. He doesn't seem afraid of anything, specifically of the consequences we decide for him. He has too much confidence that he can avoid most the brunt of any punishment we throw at him. This is in part because he's an only child. He knows that any justice we dispense towards him is almost equally punitive for us. 

Yes, this life is and always has been an unwritten joke. 


Monday, May 6, 2019

From the Hand of Favor

Going through old pics is a mixture of fun and then something else. Time passes, that's a fact that photography insists upon. It is nice to get those little glimpses into what was, though. It was the trip that I was on from today's picture that caused me to really get into photography - France, circa 2008. What little cinematography I learned in school was long ago lost to excess. I don't remember what a t-stop is, etc.

I like the Terry Richards look of the picture above. Now, I know that he is not to be commended, because his sexual impulses are destroying people, but he did make his mark with a certain style of photography, one that I happen to like for candid shooting. I've done some nudes in this style, but they did not come out well, unless Terry Richards also shot crime scenes. I suppose some would argue that every picture he took is a form of evidence of same.

I don't really know that much about him, or the accusations against him, but I do remember the visual style and it is one that is fun to imitate.

Eventually women will get tired of accusation destroying the sexuality and sensuality of their shopping experiences. They will silently overwhelm those who have claimed them as their own. Advertisers are rightfully afraid, now. Well, the ones that aren't trying to capitalize on the times by standing with it. But you can't successfully suggest sex without implying a power disparity, because that is what creates the dynamic, though that is the world that is now demanded of us. What was is male privilege at its most loathsome, say some.

Can you believe women have to suffer the insults of fashion photography? It perpetuates objectification. Look at it.

The first major publication to reintroduce aspects of the lurid in their campaigns will be touted as bold and provocative. Or rather, the first one will be roundly denounced, then another one will pull it off. It will fly. That is how time passes; greater minds need lesser ones.

The online personality that I most resemble lately is Ann Coulter. I don't use her nouns. I try to occupy myself with different subjects than her, but we have the same basic outlook and use a lot of the same verbs: people are full of shit and should be mocked, claims of victimhood far outpace victimization, everybody's a fucking pussy, and individual personal freedom is more important than we have been telling ourselves.

But who wants to sound like an old crank, especially one that is indistinguishable from the harpy of the GOP? Who among you wishes that, for little old me?

That Rachel resembles her does not escape me. This has a preventative influence on some of my various sarcasms. I am trying to learn how not to be honest about every single thought that happens upon me.  That is where people begin to confuse the distinction between types and the thing itself. I know I have before.

So, anyway, Terry Richardson. I looked him up for the last month's worth of news and it seems the accusations have subsided, though so have the jobs. The once chic temptations, garish hints of unashamed sexuality and even that of - gasp - the brash suggestion of porn, have fallen from the hand of favor. Apparently there were some who felt that the expectation should not be that the rock-star fashion photographer should pursue the craziest pussy he possibly could, and would not then be rewarded for his satyrical behavior through satiation.

I have listened to their complaints, in a general sense, and have found them to be sensible when heard in great and suffering detail. It is the in the abstract where it all comes together and makes perfect sense.

Still, something about everything always  feels so wrong.


Sunday, May 5, 2019


Upon recovering my iPhoto libraries and scanning through old pics I have found a handful that are among the most precious and beautiful things that I have. Making babies is something special. It is a form of public intimacy - the evidence of a known secret that is as yet unrevealed. 

The images are a series of her as she was becoming more and more pregnant. The one above was in NYC, the one below about three days before the boy was born, in Sonoma. They are incredible things, for me, both sensual and complex. I took them quickly and without much concern for technique, which haunts me now, though even some of the ones that are blurry have a special charm, a paired innocence with the subject. The blur seems to remove any lingering erotic intentions or purely documentary purpose. The ones that are in perfect focus seem somehow too explicit, too well lit, too literal. I would show more here but most of them are nudes and Raquel might not sign off on them as being too unflattering. Though of course she could not possibly be any more wrong. You can't tell a pregnant woman that, or much afterwards either. I have learned that you should make a woman feel beautiful, but carrying a baby can impede most any efforts.

I would do it all over again, twice or thrice. The images roam around as magic inside of me. They are mysterious and powerful, incantations that come back to tempt. 

That's my morning truth: I like getting her pregnant.


Saturday, May 4, 2019


(Yes, older pics... still)

My plan is to go for a nice long bike ride this morning, a couple hours.  We'll see. I'm here now, lying on the bed listening to ever more obscure dub from the 70s. It's the only music I listen to any more. Most of it flies under the annoyance radar of casual listeners, so I can play it around the house all day without irritating the other tenants. It has aural complexity and invites attention without demanding it. So, perfect for a dad in his 50s.

If you're just not sure if dub is right for you then consult your doctor and try the link in this post. It's not an album that I would say best represents the genre, but it's the album I would play for people who think that all dub, and reggae, sound the same. Pass the Dutchie, etc. You'll find plenty of familiar elements in the album, but you'll find other things also without needing to be a very careful listener. It leans towards jazz without leaning too far away from calypso, etc.

I'm happy to be listening to any form of music enthusiastically again. I went through a few years in which I thought that I had lost most of interest in music. I think I had just grown tired of a few of the genres that had dominated my view for so long. Dance music now bores me, for the most part. There are a few people that play stuff I really enjoy, but most of it has receded back into a place where it all just sounds the same - dull, repetitive, uninventive, electronics. Luckily, few aspiring djs ever send me their mixes, hoping to get my opinion on them, any more. The only people that I do go out of my way to listen to consistently play the type stuff that I might like.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of good electronic music out there, but it requires a curator and unfortunately those come packaged in the form of the dj, many of whom are wholly insufferable.

Okay, before I lure myself off into a a tangent or screed, I'll wrap it up and leave you to your own thoughts and pleasant confusion for the next 30 minutes.



Friday, May 3, 2019

Unsent Postcards

I was able to recover an old photo library upon setting up my new computer and organizing myself a bit. I am interested in computing again. 

I found a bunch of old pics and have been posting them on Instagram. It is silly and shameless of me but I don't mind.

Here, I'll post one here that I didn't post there. It was one of my favorites; one of Rhys' first portraits.

Being pregnant was fun; creating life is good. Much better than good. I should have been doing it since puberty. 

rachel, rachel, rachel. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

... his books

If a poet has a dream, it is not of becoming famous, but of being believed. - Jean Cocteau

The boy has been causing all types of mayhem, experimenting with disrespect. It is difficult to watch, the clumsy birth of what may become a touch of healthy sarcasm and irreverence. The willingness towards naughtiness is a more compelling posture. I get that; I believe that. Of what use are manners if they show no sign of ever having been challenged? It is a thing that seems impossible to teach, for me, never having found the consistent balance to strike.  

Mom's eyes sometimes let me know how detailed are my conversations with the boy about what I believe to be nuance in behavior and understanding. During the most boring times of the news cycle I read that kids are much smarter than the credit we tend to give or deny them. Over the course of a lifetime everything gets to be true for a moment. 

I picked him up from school today. His punishment: sitting on the couch reading while I pretend to work. His young voice sounding out the halting words of each sentence. Had I known this would be the result of him causing trouble I might have been more encouraging. It is sweet in that way that you can not hold, only maybe keep as part of some amalgam of the memories of the time. I have written it down here. 

And Now.