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

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: January, 2010

Alcohol, aka Booze

A story, then. A New Years Eve several years ago, with an old friend from high school. I guess I hadn’t hung out with him in awhile — and it was New Year’s, we were in Atlantic City, we had pain an exorbitant amount of money for a limousine to pick us up and drive us back to his – my friend’s, not the limo driver’s –  house in the Philadelphia suburbs.

So maybe I was encouraging him. I was  drinking — I don’t know — four drinks, maybe five. The free champagne they gave out at midnight. Somewhere halfway through this evening — after midnight, but before the concert was over — my friend begins to lose the plot. Not exactly sure what is going on. He’s not exactly sure. Me, I assume he’s blacked out — which seems strange — four or five drinks?

By the time we left, he was no help whatsoever. I had to give directions to the limo driver to drive us through these dark black suburban roads back to his house. He could barely walk. Had to walk him in. I left him in his downstairs bathroom. Let him sleep it off.

Next morning, we learn that after I left him, my friend had decided to take a walk around his back yard. He did make it back in — but left the back door unlocked and tracked mud all over the kitchen.

How old were we? Twenty four? Twenty five? The next day his mother asked me if I had any idea what happened. I had an idea — but no knowledge.

So that was that. Alcoholism? Maybe. Maybe for sure. What’s my responsibility in all this? I don’t know.

That was years ago.

Sad and lonely on Sunday after. Three fours blink from clocks. Sad song on my Youtube player. Glowing screen. Incandescent lightbulbs. Guitar out the window. New formalism. Rhyme and Meter. Work to do. The expectations of a future break-up. Fear of getting hurt again. Love, and beauty — lies and expectations — truth, vulnerability — a case of mistaken identity. Danger. Life. Days pass. Past 10,000. Bleed into one. Dead Shakespeare, possessing actors, mouthing lines, saying “All the World’s A Stage,” saying “this one,” and “this one,” and “this one,” and saying “no more marriage.” Honest words. What to say. Girls who like me. Girls I like. Circle games. La Ronde. Psychoanalysis. Try to be happy. Heart’s Ease. The feeling I get when I’m in Philadelphia. The Map of the Territory. Crazy endless hipsters. Cheap clothing, maybe. And bright and colorful. The Kids Triumphant. Die at Elsewhere. A bathtub somewhere. Old loves, old crushes, ten years gone. A watercolor of my face, overlooking wine-dark seas. The British Museum. New York City. Bright lights. Williamsburg. Bushwick. Trapeze Artists. Fly through the Air with the Greatest of Ease. Tone Poem. Barnett Neumann. What not to paint. Stations of the Cross. Jasper John’s American Flag. Jackson Pollock. Museum of Modern Art. Damien Hirst. The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of One Living. Dead Shark. George Clooney. Pandora’s Box. Silicon cell phone towers. Radio waves, bouncing back and forth. Digital communication. Packets. Translated. The Weird Sisters. The Spinners. Clotho, Lochesis, and Atropos. Ultramodern Superpunk. Thomas the Tank Engine. Bob the Builder. Yes We Can. Walking with Dinosaurs. Birdstrikes. Global warming. A sense of where you are. The Great Exploding Chaos. The Big Bang is still happening. The Inevitable Unavoidable Heat Death of the Universe. Where do we go from here. The Champ punches back. Down for the count. The Greatest in the World. Blue eyes and blond hair. Brown hair and green eyes. Black hair and brown eyes. One woman, many faces. One man, many faces. Adonai Achad. God, in Old English, means False God, Strange God, Other God. The word for God in English was Os, and Jehovah Nobodaddy, as a pagan foreign deity, was ineligible. One God. Unity of purpose. Parasitic life on the surface of the planet. Sunning themselves. Rock gardens. The inner contemplation. The comprehensive sound. The uncarved block. The philosophy of the east, of the mind. The letting go. The gravity-like force of dying. The snuffing out. The spent candle. The flame that was and now is not. We do not say that the flame persists in some other dimension. It was and now it wasn’t. Why not so with us? An afterlife for candles. All dogs go to heaven. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Man with a skull for a face. Death. Drugs. Disintegration. Falling to pieces. Quicksilver in reverse. Splatterpaint. Head exploding. Here, gone. Faster than that.

Not yet. Sunday afternoon. Typing. Reading. Watching. Chocolate in my mouth, if I want it. Freezing cold winter. Heat in my apartment. The world will end, but not yet. Strength and will can rise to the challenge. The future must be defended. Fight.

Orpheus at the Two-String Mule Swinghall

He has greasy black hair. He is playing a mournful song on an old dented guitar in the dim light main room of the Two-String Mule Swinghall two miles out of Fresno. Outside, its that magic long-shadows hour between noon and dusk, closer to dusk.  Inside, he sings. His voice is clear, edged — Eurydice is in the back, leaning against the backwall, a tumbler in her hands, ice and whiskey, her girlfriends around her, attending — — Her eyes are for the singer only — eyes absorbing the light bouncing back off the strange edges of the old guitar, ears breathing in the strangely structured air that carries the singer-player’s song. And he see her, shielded by her drink and friends — and while his ears keep record of the product of his fingers, his eyes are for her alone — dark hair and dark eyes, with long shadows.

Between them the space is filled with his song but also with future happening, memories not yet written, songs not yet played, out of time, past it, and somewhere at the end, a final song, saddest song of all, a human voice unaccompanied singing alone — the song that exists here exists alongside that other not-yet-sung, not-yet-pain, eyes not yet wide, long dark journeys into evenings not yet taken —

It hangs between them, a column of fire, a pillar of smoke, a cloud, a wind, a presence, an absence, there, with them, along-side the singer’s voice and guitar’s echo. Verse, chorus, verse again. Her eyes are for him, and his eyes are for her, reaching towards each other’s inevitably reflecting light.

Theme of Time, Stasis, Change, Young Men growing older

What??? Commodious recirculations. Endless sicknesses of time-sickness. Fresh blooms with dark spots, growing. Standing here, now there. Hair growing longer. Now shorter. Samsonophobia, fear that your strength is in your hair — how many haircuts will I get before I die — growing beards, beards growing grey — sitting on a couch in a room that is not mine any longer — writing from there — writing from here — people I use to know who were my daily present — gone gone gone gone — a woman, a girl, a week, two weeks — looking into a medicine cabinet — heard such things were done — learning some secret — unrelenting rage coming out of nowhere — codes talking in codes — new friends, old friends, all the time in the world, my back against a bodhi tree, weak mushrooms bouncing around my brain — trying to keep my face on straight — darkness coming but not yet — a dying uncle — a 9/11, falling towers, burning or flying — either way — Places I was at — very young — three years old, driving green car my dad had taken home and fixed into class room — rejected by a girl with dark hair — got over that one — I believe that building still exists — could go and see it — wonder who the girl was — could have a husband or a baby by now or just a boyfriend or recently singled or even possibly dead — hard to say — then later — first day of kindergarden, another girl who I knew from camp, older lady is hanging in the trees — I have my he-man shirt on — of course before all this my first great love affair with Mimma-Melissa — wanted her like nothing else — I know what happened to her, she is a mother now, an unmarried mother, then a single mother, now a married mother — she’s a wonderful and her child is wonderful and her husband seems like a great guy — Mimma-Melissa — that happened too — time capsule message in a bottle rocket shot moon shot moon landing somewhere out there Fievel Mouskowitz on the big screen — saw that, great big anti-semitic cats chasing little mice like me — little boy lost — somewhere out there — the great adventure — the playground was a universe and I was master of its own small corner — other time later — other people — great perspective — I was fully awake then — angel on my upper lip — the forgetting touch — nepenthe — oubliette — Labyrynth and David Bowie and a baby up in the air — if you move it this way — junklady and hoggle and Jennifer Connelly brave and fierce and beautiful — my own cousin, Shelly, brave and fierce and beautiful —

I saw my uncle on his deathbed, shortly before he died. He thought I was his son. I corrected him. He said “Hi Josh.” He was in a lot of pain, I could tell.

What is the weirdness of being a body called?

The Beat-up Car Still Running

An older man, with years of life I cannot yet conceive of, never held on to anything, never had anything, ripe for a literary narrative of growth and redemption, but still, old and broken, carrying scars and hidden diseases (ugly bleeding masses / glossed over with latinate words like tumor and metastasized / clutching at lungs with thick black ugly tendrils), coughing, always coughing —

His car — he’s had his car for years now — a Hanukah miracle it’s still running — every time it starts he says a little prayer of thanks — and driving it, it drives while it drives, he worries about it stopping, knowing that when he stops it, it will touch and go whether it will ever start again —

Knowing that every ride might be the last he’ll ever take —

Idea for a Story

Bloody Civil War. President is about to make peace. He is assassinated by his own people, who then use the death as a casus belli and launch a genocide against the minority, and their insurgent army.

It happened 15 years ago.


Religion, Evolution, and Ideology

“To counter the established Church of England doctrine that the aristocratic social order was divinely ordained, radicals supported Lamarckian Evolutionism, a theme proclaimed by street corner agitators as well as some established scientists such as Robert Edmund Grant.” – Wikipedia, Radicalism

So … Church >> Social Order Status Quo; Directed Evolution >> Mutable but Teleological Social Order; Undirected Evolution >> Natural Injustice

While Conservatives are partially right that Progressives wear rosy-eye-glasses about the extent to which circumstances can change, they never seem to acknowledge about how so much of the world they fight to keep was the result of radical and hard-fought battles with other Conservatives, who just as readily defended the status quo out of fear of gross experimentation.