The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: May, 2008

City of St. Francis

The valleys of California, and their mountain waters, wind their way from the heights and empty through the Golden Gate into the Pacific Ocean — while driving over the long red bridge spanning that gap, moments flitted in and out — just a bridge, not a bridge, just a bridge, not a bridge — like the moments in life that come, shine for a moment, and then fade away into the out of focus background.

Went down to Big Sur, and saw the Sister Ocean, the Otherworld across a Continent, peaceful, pacific century, hope of future, hope of dawn, went into bookstores, citylights, others, the Haight, made the sacred pilgrimage to Jerry’s old house, 710, walked with my lover up and down hills, rode into wine country, where the soil is so rich it bears fruit three times a year —

Journeys, odysseys, and I have been, been to the other side, Californian exceptionalism, seems like the only place to live, really, why not, the world needs your code, young Skywalker, all of it, the Apple Computer in a San Fran garage — (maybe a different one, I don’t know) — the only place for any of us all of us, future home, golden gate, transamerica, parrot city, telegraph hill, land of ruddy poetry and long views, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Your patron saint, Francis Birdtalker, does he walk your streets, talking to the parrots and the sealions and the squirrels and the egrets, rummaging through trash for a half-eaten loaf of sougdough bread, left by some tourist kid from way out East, some bankrobbing Billy, who sailed through Magellan’s Passage to come to this Other City, waiting to catch a lift on a steamship to Vladivostok or Edo Bay or further still –

Spanish sailors came three centuries ago, give, take, and set up your mission, in the same year that on the other coast, America was rumbling to life —

By 1969 the gig was up, King and Kennedy, Kerouac and Cassidy were dead, Nixon was President, Hunter S. Thompson knew what was up (people congregating to Hashbury to score dope instead of ending the war), and Tom Wolfe in his white suit was writing books about it —

It’s been downhill ever since, the last great clarion call, and Haight Street is a pedestrian mall, everyone feels the slimy tentacles of greenbacked monsters probing at our orifices like Japanese tentacle-porn (that’s a commodity too) everything reaching growing sliding in, sliding out but look what’s it got me, an up-down trip to the other-side fifty years later —

child of the matrix, it is no wonder the world is fallen, we live in a democracy and there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes — freedom and equality and license, and we all forget the face of our father, Arthuru the Eld, I am well read, 1001 nights, 100 pages a day, these things cannot be got back, the light of the sun on my face, the photographs of my girlfriend Nina, sitting at her desk, typing typing typing away, words words words.

St. Francis, I commit myself to you.


secret identity

pulling stuff off the internets as I begin my jobsearch:

guess I can put it on here, nevertellanyone my real name, this is my supermanpage, hidden, locked away —

Hobbies and Interests: sleeping and dreaming, walking and talking, surprising myself, mind-altering amounts of television, chemicals, hanging with the cool kids in the contemporary art exhibits at major national museums, handicapping horse races, pondering possible alternate realities (where Clinton is a Dictator), the quest for the fountain of youth, the quest for the holy grail, the quest for a better mouse-trap, mouse-traps in general, the mad ones who burn like Roman Candles, Indie Rock Chicks, Hippie Chicks, Beautiful Women, Smart Women, good jokes, good stories, good books, something I haven’t seen before, forgetfulness

Favorite Books: Salinger, Kerouac, Joyce, Pynchon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Calvino, John Barth, Hemingway, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S., Ginsberg, Brautigan, Bukowski

Favorite Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Fight Club, Life of Brian, Bananas, Clockwork Orange, High Fidelity, Swingers, Zoolander, the Graduate, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Chinatown, Lost in Translation

About me: the writer who does not write, guitar player, book reader, here he stands (he cannot do otherwise) a wanderer with a way, journeyman without a destination, storyteller, sage, webcrawler, websurfer, mediaeater – nicest guy at the party, no really,  I am – if I would I could – wanna write stories but I don’t even know any jokes, other than that one – no, I can’t even remember. I’ve lived just long enough that when I conjure up old memories they’re already tinged and played in this strange orange color that must the color of nostalgia, which is actually a word no one understands but means the strangeness of memory, that I once was there, but now am not, and that the me in the memory is the same me that remembers (perhaps – the jury is out, waiting in the wings, on that one); Dilemma – write now and live later? Live now and write later? Live now, write now, and die later? Everybody wants to live forever; I just wanna burn out fast and bright; Ryan Adams said that. Hack. My uncle once said “Don’t ever forget who you are or how you got here.” That’s not true. He never said anything like that.

Who I want to meet: Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Jerry Garcia, Bill Clinton, Sofia Coppola, Scarlett Johanssen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Helen of Troy, Odysseus, Moses, David, Jesus, Caesar, Pollock, Warhol, E.T., dinosaurs, the Universal Being at the Center of All Things, Mr. Hooper, He-Man, Optimus Prime, beautiful women, smart women, beautiful and smart women, jet-setters, a-listers, high-rollers, train-spotters, train-hoppers, gang-bangers, folk-singers, pill-poppers & needle-pushers (maybe not, maybe not) pot-smokers, gun-runners, moon-shiners, dolls and molls AND pole-vaulters, joy-riders, dope pushers, spin doctors, astronauts, dolphins, my great-great grandfather, my great-great grandchild, myself in a dark alley, the anima to my animus, crazy happy sad animals with thumbs, God on a down-town bus, the Flying Famous Mockingbird, the Ghost of Christmas Past.

(( and look at that — when it was written, our hero and Messiah, BHO, was not yet even born — hurrah, hurrah, for the unexpected surprises of the unknown tomorrows.))

Postulate One

A valid argument cannot lead to a false conclusion.

Now my turn

Three dead poems, great and wondrous, their apprehension beyond my reach, but ne’ertheless, they are dead poems, their bones long since picked clean, wormfood — from the days before Clean White B.N.W. Cremation, Inc. — let nothing touch my body (sterilize it, cellophanewrapped food, but still — hospitals smell like –)

I, Ai, Eyely, trying to learn poetic form and meter, in this age of Broken Form, Revanchism, Unending Historical Nightmares, Cannot Wake; But be ironical about it, it is not so tragical, life is magical, trip the light fantastic, Holly, Go Holly Go Lightly, dance back and forth, shake that thing, that beautiful bulb that moves me so —

Smutpeddlers, Broken America, postracial, miscegenation, love, and free love, and love that isn’t free, and sex without love, hot wriggling on rayon sheets, fetishization of our culture of commodity, true information age, everything wrapped in invisible leylines of data, information, tying us all together in tighter and closer meshes.

Neo-Luddites fear for privacy, but blind the Panopticon with mirrors and light and you can hide here too, in the Great Zoo Menagerie, depends on how Eso Teric, Intramural, Youza care to be’a.

Thieves Cant, Griot, Creole, big bad Project Finance goes to trace out Fairytales in Deserts, then nine months tear it down, digitize it, ship it by truck or satellite to two thousand ten thousand fifty thousand darkrooms, where popcornedpreterite can watch the brennschluss and inevitable descent —

Listen to the breakbeat — most sampled, most played, what’s it called, the Amen Break, omphalos of dance music, and stare at our alienpipescar, our matrixpiece, we are all starchildren, uniqueus, ubiquitous, wonderboys and wondergirls, popping and laughing and joying and sicking and dying, others taking our place in the Great Circle Game — at the end of time, when all breaks down, the Young will Eat Their Parents — The World is getting crowded, People are meaner, but we kill less and less —

After the Great War Sequel (Return of the Son of the Great War, Part II, Godzilla vs. Megatron the Rematch) Governators steal the people’s guns in dead of night (like a thief I come) to preserve the monopoly of violence. But opensource beats closed universe, and the AK47 spreads like deathflowers, like the pop’pea fields, redblood, before the Emerald City — if I only had a brain, our Scarecrow President thinks, four miles from me in Barney’s White Castle — why are the burgers so small?

— Apocalyptic meme, darkdream, running strong these days, appearing in many different manifestations — Fall of Towers in Towered Manhattan, Prez’Go’Bushki dreams of tall bearded arabs, pulling down his pants and making him a woman, Prezgobushki wakes in night, Lady Laura sucking on his ding dong, he pushes her away, slaps the bitch, goes and grabs a secretdrink, and declares war on all the desertdwellers

Let God sort them out, he says dismissing reports of collateral damages — madness madness tapping at the window — I must go, says Madness, but try to clean up before Ma and Pa get home. Okay Madness, says I the Child, Thing One and Thing Two did this but I’ll clean it up. I’LL CLEAN IT UP. Dingdong. Dingdong. Dingdong.

Almost over now.

Two of Fergus, by W. Butl’r Yeats

Who will go with Fergus now
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.

And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea,
And all disheveled wandering stars.

Fergus. This whole day have I followed in the rocks,
And you have changed and flowed from shape to shape,
First as a raven on whose ancient wings
Scarcely a feather lingered, then you seemed
A weasel moving on from stone to stone,
And now at last you wear a human shape,
A thin grey man half lost in gathering night.

Druid. What would you, king of the proud Red Branch kings?

Fergus. This would I say, most wise of living souls:
Young subtle Conchubar sat close by me
When I gave judgment, and his words were wise,
And what to me was burden without end,
To him seemed easy, so I laid the crown
Upon his head to cast away my sorrow.

Druid. What would you, king of the proud Red Branch kings?

Fergus. A king and proud! and that is my despair.
I feast amid my people on the hill,
And pace the woods, and drive my chariot-wheels
In the white border of the murmuring sea;
And still I feel the crown upon my head

Druid. What would you, Fergus?

Fergus. Be no more a king
But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours.

Druid. Look on my thin grey hair and hollow cheeks
And on these hands that may not lift the sword,
This body trembling like a wind-blown reed.
No woman’s loved me, no man sought my help.

Fergus. A king is but a foolish labourer
Who wastes his blood to be another’s dream.

Druid. Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams;
Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.

Fergus. I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change
; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir-tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in the small slate-coloured thing!


Nina’s Replies (Artie Rimbaud)

HE – Your breast on my breast, | LUI – Ta poitrine sur ma poitrine,
Eh? Let’s go, | Hein ? nous irions,
With our nostrils full of air, | Ayant de l’air plein la narine,
Into the cool light | Aux frais rayons

Of the good blue morning that bathes you | Du bon matin bleu, qui vous baigne
In the wine of day?… | Du vin de jour ?…
When the whole shivering wood bleeds, | Quand tout le bois frissonnant saigne
mute with love | Muet d’amour

From every branch, green drops, | De chaque branche, gouttes vertes,
Pale buds, | Des bourgeons clairs,
You can feel in things unclosing | On sent dans les choses ouvertes
The quivering flesh: | Frémir des chairs :

You would plunge in the Lucerne | Tu plongerais dans la luzerne
Your bright white dress, | Ton blanc peignoir,
Roses in the air so blue which discerns | Rosant à l’air ce bleu qui cerne
Your great black eyes, | Ton grand oeil noir,

The lover of the field, | Amoureuse de la campagne,
Bubbling everywhere, | Semant partout,
Like the foam of champagne, | Comme une mousse de champagne,
Your crazy laughter: | Ton rire fou :

Laughing at me, suddenly, drunkenly – | Riant à moi, brutal d’ivresse,
I would catch you | Qui te prendrais
Like this – lovely tresses, | Comme cela, – la belle tresse,
Ah! – I would drink | Oh ! – qui boirais

Your taste of raspberry and strawberry, | Ton goût de framboise et de fraise,
Oh flesh of flower! | O chair de fleur !
Laughing at the fresh wind kissing you | Riant au vent vif qui te baise
Like a thief, | Comme un voleur,

And the wild rose, teasing you | Au rose, églantier qui t’embête
Pleasantly: | Aimablement :
Laughing more than anything, oh madcap, | Riant surtout, ô folle tête,
At your lover. | À ton amant !….

Your breast on my breast, | Ta poitrine sur ma poitrine,
Mingling our voices, | Mêlant nos voix,
Slowly, we’d reach the ravine, (water-roaring) | Lents, nous gagnerions la ravine,
Then the forest!… | Puis les grands bois !…

Then, like a little shade, | Puis, comme une petite morte,
Your heart fainting, | Le coeur pâmé,
You’d tell me to carry you, | Tu me dirais que je te porte,
Your eyes half closed… | L’oeil mi-fermé…

I’d carry you, you trembling | Je te porterais, palpitante,
Along the path: | Dans le sentier :
The bird would peek out quickly: | L’oiseau filerait son andante
From the hazelnut tree… | Au Noisetier…

I’d speak into your mouth; | Je te parlerais dans ta bouche..
And go on, pressing | J’irais, pressant
Your body like a little girl’s I was putting to bed, | Ton corps, comme une enfant qu’on couche,
Drunk with the blood | Ivre du sang

That runs blue under your white skin | Qui coule, bleu, sous ta peau blanche
With its tints of rose: | Aux tons rosés.
And speaking to you in that frank tongue… | Et te parlant la langue franche – …..
There!… – that you understand… | Tiens !… – que tu sais…

Our forest smells of sap, | Nos grands bois sentiraient la sève,
And the sun | Et le soleil
Would sprinkle gold-dust over | Sablerait d’or fin leur grand rêve
The green and golden dream. | Vert et vermeil

At night?… We’d head back | Le soir ?… Nous reprendrons la route
On the white road that wanders, | Blanche qui court
Like a grazing flock, | Flânant, comme un troupeau qui broute,
All around | Tout à l’entour

Oh the pleasant orchards with blue grass, | Les bons vergers à l’herbe bleue,
And twisted apple trees! | Aux pommiers tors !
How you can smell a whole league | Comme on les sent toute une lieue
Off their strong perfume! | Leurs parfums forts !

We’d get back to the village | Nous regagnerons le village
When the sky was half dark; | Au ciel mi-noir ;
And there’d be a smell of milking | Et ça sentira le laitage
In the evening air; | Dans l’air du soir ;

It would smell of the cowshed, full | Ca sentira l’étable, pleine
Of warm manure, | De fumiers chauds,
Filled with the slow rhythm of breathing, | Pleine d’un lent rythme d’haleine,
And with great backs | Et de grands dos

Gleaming under some light or other; | Blanchissant sous quelque lumière ;
And, right down at the far end, | Et, tout là-bas,
There’d be a cow dunging proudly | Une vache fientera, fière,
At every step… | À chaque pas…

The grandmother’s eyeglasses | Les lunettes de la grand-mère
And her long nose | Et son nez long
Deep in her prayerbook; the jug of beer | Dans son missel ; le pot de bière
Circled with pewter | Cerclé de plomb,

Foaming among the big-bowled pipes | Moussant entre les larges pipes
Gallantly smoking: | Qui, crânement,
And the frightful blubber lips | Fument : les effroyables lippes
Which, still puffing, | Qui, tout fumant,

Snatch ham from forks: | Happent le jambon aux fourchettes
So much, and more: | Tant, tant et plus :
The fire lighting up the bunks | Le feu qui claire les couchettes
And the cupboards. | Et les bahuts.

The shining fat bottom | Les fesses luisantes et grasses
Of the fat baby | D’un gros enfant
On his hands and knees, who nuzzles into the cups, | Qui fourre, à genoux, dans les tasses,
His white snout | Son museau blanc

Tickled by a gently | Frôlé par un mufle qui gronde
Growling muzzle, | D’un ton gentil,
That licks all over the round face | Et pourlèche la face ronde
Of the little darling… | Du cher petit…..

What sights we shall see, dearest, | Que de choses verrons-nous, chère,
In those hovels, | Dans ces taudis,
When the bright fire lights up | Quand la flamme illumine, claire,
The grey window panes!… | Les carreaux gris !…

And then, small and nestling | Puis, petite et toute nichée,
In the lilacs | Dans les lilas
Dark and cool: the hidden window | Noirs et frais : la vitre cachée,
Smiling in there… | Qui rit là-bas….

You’ll come, you’ll come, I love you! | Tu viendras, tu viendras, je t’aime !
It will be lovely. | Ce sera beau.
You will come, won’t you? and even… | Tu viendras, n’est-ce pas, et même…

ELLE: – But what about work? | Elle – Et mon bureau ?

oed fragments

The passing of the sweatbrowed dayfever;
The fall of the eastrising daystar;
and the call of the strongbeaked hawfinch.

100 must read books, for the Y’zers in the audience

Tangerine Submarine

Life of a Porcelain Doll;

Sitting here, in my room, staring at the fiber-optic rabbit hole, finding art, collecting future memories, here I sit, not with the one I love, not with my babybaby; My love is true, it is true and it is strong, and yet I’m mortal, doomed to die, to die, to die, as is she —

Homer, with his English whispered to him from the dark of the orchestra pit by Mssr. Fitzgerald, said it like this, when Odysseus, ever-cunning, ever-crafty, trapped for seven long years on the Isle of Ogygia, home of Calypso the Hider, must plea one last time for her, immortal, beautiful, and terrible to release him home to Ithaca —

To this the strategist Odysseus answered:

“My lady goddess, here is no cause for anger.
My quiet Penelope–how well I know–
would seem a shade before your majesty,
death and old age being unknown to you,
while she must die. Yet, it is true, each day
I long for home, long for the sight of home.
If any god ahas marked me out again
for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it.
What hardship have I not long since endured
at sea, in battle! Let the trial come.”

And that’s how it is; that’s how I love her; words escape me, and times of leaving are near, but a beautiful and golden future unfolds before me — I cannot see it, it scares and confuses me, and somewhere on that road, we both shall vanish from the Earth, but the Golden God of Changes lights the way and I know that over there that yonder hill, she waits for me with a sparkling smile and hoping eyes and I go to her, I go to her, I go to her.

Preacher in the Marketsquare

Out there In the Marketsquare, Red face flustered:
God’s Word, Anger, Secret signs, Tales of Zion,
Lonely, Dirty, Stone’s target; Shunned and Hated,
Still the Preacher stands. 

Where is your hilltop fastness, Israel’s sons?
Ruined abject meager hearts, stained with corpse ash,
Poor and exiled in a land you know not,
Huddled in shadows.

Can you repair the broken shattered vessels?
Can one lone man praying restore God’s garden?
Black figures on a white field will not alight
the path of unceasing.