Memorial Day, Port Orchard

Memorial Day

Seasonality is a local issue, isn’t it? Summer comes to Sun Diego in April – up here it may not arrive until mid June or early July. Today it is the waking green of late spring on the Olympic peninsula. In a few months it will be bees and buzzers and clickers and all the insectgasm of a brief shine in the sun. For now we wait. The green is in the trees and flowers are in bloom but the winds bring rainfall, shade and an Alaskan chill.


Our 50 States

This morning a found an old, old friend sitting on the bookshelf in my bedroom. Carrying him to the kitchen, I lean in and give a whiff – same old scent, like old money! The book is filthy, soaked through with a childhood’s worth of flipping, scheming, dreaming of a world so much bigger than my backyard. I know my 50 states by color because of this book – pale green Washington, Oregon, California. The baby blue Great Lake States. The rusts and reds of the south and the browns of the Midwest.

Literary Concept – Work Process

Reading who I do, I’m constantly encountering writing about writing, which ranges from romantic recollections to hard assertions about technique and discipline. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about discipline and what it means to work as a writer rather than writing as a sideline.

I used to think that to be a full time writer meant just that, and that I would never really be a writer until I quit my day job. I have a new idea though – What if the important matter is not to box constantly but to be a boxer? To box constantly is to live in the ring. To be a boxer is to move like a boxer, all the time, in every situation. It is to eat like a boxer and stand like a boxer and sleep like a boxer. And what if it’s the same with writing?

Poetry Scrap

That look that says “Oh I would
have in another life, set of
circumstances which don’t
include him or the one I married
right out of high school so
please don’t look at me like that.”
And that’s a condition she won’t
return to; her little toehead he
wants to nose into the bakery, the bookshoppe,
the wine shop where 8AM men are tasting,
the café and the shuttered sushi bar but
she says “Come on, we have to go
pick up your father’s uniform.”
And so they go.

Language is the ways and means of ideas

My cult is the cult of the return of the light. From eight hours ensconced in memory, the blast of sudden perception is tremendous. Perception – sight, odor, vibration, taste, feel. Heart, lungs, stomach, arms, legs, feet, ears, nose, mouth, penis, testicles. Morning noon and night. Nodes and synapses and clusters and hyperlinks. There’s a morning prayer that names the key facilities, nothing more. That’s my kind of religiosity.

Miller quotes Emerson in Tropic of Cancer – “Life consists of what a man thinks of all day.”. If we buy this – and I’m extremely bullish about it – then my question is, what is the mechanism of thought? My answer is language – language is the ways and means of thought. Without language we can only think in imageforms, remembering becomes nigh near impossible as the images pile onto each other, untagged, unlinked.

Think Flickr but without tags or groups or sets or descriptions or titles.

The conclusion is obvious. If to think is to live and language is the tool for thinking, then the condition of the tool and our skill with it must be a biggie, maybe the biggie.


The stun of late May morningsong sung in the myrrh and honey of full daylight sunshine. Last night I was working out down at Hospitality Point under full sunshine until 7:30. This morning, waking at 6:45 to the blast of full sunshine. It’s summer for sure, season of so-bright light, blueity, less sleep, more being.

Already I’m dreaming about Washington. I have a 6:30 AM flight, less that 24 hours away. I’m hungry for the light up there, for waking at 4:30 in the morning to a stunner of a sunrise, of watching the sunset at 10PM on my mom’s porch over the dregs of a Willamette Pinot Noir, Seattle ferry lightstrings passing down in the Sound, Venus overhead, citronella candles out for the mosquitoes, fat kitty in my lap, mom coming out with a cup of tea, moonglow firing up the cloudbank sitting on top of Mt. Anderson and the whole eastern Olympic range.

Poetry Scrap

Biting your inner cheek is such a
Basic failure
Of the mechanism to
Properly function, it’s
Disheartening at a deep level
Way below failing at nonconsequential actions
Like flirting or a baseball at-bat,
This kind of failure hints at
Fit to live, fit to survive, fit
To devour and process the very sustenance
Needed to maintain this
Thinking, feeling organism –
It’s a shame below ordinary shames
When you haven’t the facilities to even
Work up a bout of shame due to
Lack of nutrition.