Cars

So my ride died. It was inevitable and so of course it came as a total surprise. I was tooling around the hood the other night, cruising with the windows down to enjoy the natural evening breeze blowing through the hot day when all of a sudden first and second weren’t there anymore. And as I lost third a few months ago this left me with fourth or nada. And of course I’m right in the middle of a busy intersection when it happens. Horns everywhere! Wow are people in a hury and wow am I in their way. Have you ever tried to get going in fourth gear? It don’t work so well and you stall immediately, but you do move forward a bit, a bit, a bit each time, burning the holy hell out of your poor clutch in the process.

So I get out of the intersection and into a spot and start fiddling like mad with the gearbox, figuring something will have to work if I just play long enough. There’s nothing for it though – first and second just aren’t there anymore. I figure it’s inching home then and throw it into reverse. Woah! I damn near smash into the car in front of me. What the hell? What the hell is that first is now where reverse was. It’s like finding an old buddy in a new city. Hey! There you are, you devil you. There’s no second since the gearbox has nothing below reverse – it’s an H with reverse as a push down press left sidecar option – but I can get home no sweat in first, taching five thousand, rolling noisy through the hood, one last time for the Folkswagen Vox named Lady Brett Ashley.

Cartoon Sensibilities

One of my favorite cartoon sensibilities is that playful disobedience that will come about in post-modern flics where the government and/or media makes brash proclamations and then we see an individual or group slyly, playfully using an underground channel to hoist the petard and show the finger to the system.

A few places where this is strong :

The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi (the song, but really the whole album)
PKD’s Scanner Darkly
Enclaves of William Gibson’s Universe, especially the Bridge world
Many Anime shows

Poetry Scrap

I like it when you turn the air conditioner off
And a few minutes later a chunk of ice sluffs off
It makes the most pleasant settling sound –
I grab a cup of water and turn off the light,
It is midsummer and tomorrow will be shorter that today
And it is so nice to sleep with a winter chill
In our single bedroom apartment – going off to bed and
How many nights are we going to sleep away?

Sunday

Sunday afternoon, soccer is over for the weekend, the old guiltpatterns of lazy lateday and me with nothing done, as Kerouac would say though nothing more for it but to scribble thoughblasts in secrete scribbled notebooks for fun… As I type this there’s a New Orleans front of air been moving through, intensely humid, threats and wishes of rain but instead the air just sits sticky and only every once in a while is there a nice breeze to remind you of the paradise that waits behind the inferno –

Everything is still in the neighborhood. Jen and I must have driven everyone away with our yelling for the Netherlands to pick it up – futile in the end though as Portugal won 1-nil on a fine goal and now goes on to face England next Friday. Now though it’s all quiet, 3 o’clock moving towards 3:30, me with a beer in my hand, halfheartedly hoping for Jesse to call and invite us to dinner, half a mind to just sit here blasting thoughts all afternoon, and the third half of my mind set on doing some editing because guilty –

Guilty! Ah fuck these Nordic-Anglo needs to GET THINGS DONE (that should have been italicized but I’m too lazy to hit control-I as I’m at an odd-angle with the laptop on the chair way deep and so would have to switch fingers to control-I and so did it all caps) – aren’t I suopped to be cultivating a meditarranean set of sensibilities down here in Med Diego? Sandy Riveira, Southwest end of Civilization, where all that American haste meets the great Mexican deserts and drunken Sunday wastes – the Fellahaen Earth as Kerouac repeatedy calls it in my favorite of his books Lonsesome Traveller, see it’s just him and world and travel, no charecters, no plot just prosody –

Blow man blow. Undisciplined. Yellow butterfly in the Hillcrest afternoon which includes Birds of Paradise for tropical influence but also roses coming from Europa, oh this is a magic place of wonderful food, great successes, fantastic drink and coffee, big moneymaking dreams and also a big immigrant town, big surftown, big stonertown, big music scene art scene lit scene even, big bottompit for the washouts of LA – “Oh I hate it up there.” Is what we all say, we’re an enormous metro area of LA Haters, 3 million strong from TJ clear to San Marcos and all that exurban seriousness up there –

Water beads up on my glass of cold beer. Hemmingway eating in Spain. Hemingway Mediteraneanizing himself in Spain, Paris, in Italy. El Ernesto and how’s the roast suckling pig tonight Ernie? Old Ernie the drunk, every day boys, up by six, drunk by noon. Old Ernesto so strict with his discipline – can you tell me that he never wrote like this, never just reared back and blew his horn just to see the thoughtblows that popped out, never honked away like TJ cabdriving wailing across the city yelling to the Gringos in the backseat “11? Too young. 12? Too young. 13? Too young. 14 (Catorce)? Just right! You find yourselves a 14 year old gurl to-night!”

From my third floor balcony I can see the world, see how some cultures get things done and some don’t – it’s deep seeded, it’s in the custom, in the language which is the custom and is the thought. So many differences which are so easy to gloss over when your face isn’t shoved in them – just watch the Univision feed of the World Cup, you’ll get it. Passion! Passion in the lingua, in the spoken word, in the names of the players and in the jubilation or lamentation for the plays. Those words – how did I choose them? How do I choose these words, what makes jubilation come out right there or lamentation right following it setting up this nice play off of the two quadrisyllabic (word? Oughta be damnit) words – jubilation, lamentation, aggrevation, costellation – boom, bam, wordrock in the 3:30 Sunday afterchurch afternoon – Church being the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market Denomination.

Eat big, drink big, live big. Even in London they’re way more laid back than us – witness those two weeks I lived there, worked there – We’d wake and bathe, walk to work, get there around 9:30, work for a few hours then head to lunch. To lunch! Always a pint with a lardladen lunch. Then back to it for a few more hours before the exodus at 5 – the cubefarms emptying into the streets with the masses sucked into the gravity sink pubs which spilled inevitably into the streets, all in shirts and ties, suits, the girls so sharp in business attire, delicious English girls who are the prettiest in the world when they’re smart and the ugliest in the world when they’re dummies, least that’s my take anyway.

German fans shouting “England go home and take your ugly women with you!”

Two German girls barebreasted and painting each other’s breasts with flags of Germany and Sweden – strong chests, German chests, beautiful teats made for rough suckling, ah to be in a Munich beerhall right now –

But here, a hemisphere away. 10,00 miles. Purple Jacarandas blowing on the last Sunday of June. The sidewalks turned into messy purple beds by the Jac blooms. 102 years since Ulysees. James Joyce dining every night with his family at Michaud’s and can you imagine going to the same place every night? I think of my new favorite place the Linkery and salivate. I think of our kitchen and salivate – last night’s dinner, homemade southern-style Mac and Cheese alongside pan-seared Alaskan salmon topped with a peach-whisky sauce, washed down with a nice Diamond Hills Bordeaux-style Cab. 2 horus of prep and worth every minute especially since there are leftovers, and wow.

Work in Progress, Summer 2006

A bit of work process here – this is a Datum Day, a clearinghouse for set aside projects and clogs in the pipes, a rundown and breakdown of what I’m working on and have worked on and should be working on.

Major work on Surrealiste has stalled for the cup. Here I go again with my Anglo-Nordic sense of getting things done. The ever-present task list. I was to have a first draft done by memorial day, I’m still farting around with part 3 of 4, adding pieces that probably won’t even make the cut.

My Hoh Poem is partway done and ought to be worked.

Saturday Afternoon in California ought to be worked.

I Want to Retire in the Sunset ought to be worked.

I’ve written maybe 30 poemlettes in the last year, at least two or three of them are decent poems and ought to be edited or at least mined for good lines.

Early Onset is done and ought to be on the site.

Trickster cum Diego is a fine little piece of poetry idea that needs work to make it a real poem.

My Dad is Home is 90%, readable at a reading which I’m going to do now that I’ve given up on CLF.

Matisse Celebrates the Dawn is a fine little piece that probably would get worse from editing so I should just call it done now.

Moving Away is a 5,000 word take in a single draft that probably could get much better but I’m not sure if I’ll ever have time for it so I’ll probably just mine it for Surrealiste. And it’s hard to believe that this was December and here it is almost July already.

The New Orleans Story is unwritten and probably won’t be since I need another project like I need a kick in the balls.

I like Jack but it’s a bit silly and I’m not a SciFi writer.

Ditto my little Pony Express take from a few months ago. Fun to write but I’m not a SciFi guy.

I walk down my hallway with its fluorescent essence for another glass of beer and am reminded of the Holland part of Digital Candy. I really miss that project – it had loftiness, airiness, and it seemed unencumbered with any of the irrational constraints that I put on my writing these days, even for Surrealiste. That it was an entirely unobtainable goal to take on something like that without 15 or 20 years of writing under my belt can’t shake the idea from my skull that this might have been it, and that if I’d stuck with it I’d have produced something on a Pynchonian level.

Yeah right! Another gulp of beer down the hatch. Slothrop and his bananas. That’s where’d I’d be if I had my choice. Growning bananas on the roof of a Parisian banlieu hovel, making weekly runs into the city, eeking out an existence in the shadow of smokestacks, writing feverishly about the salad days in San Diego when life was sweet and prose popped out of my eyes, ears, noes, mouth, ass and the only challenge was to grab a big enough bucket to catch it all. I’d write two words a day and even those would be agonized over.

Fast Mind Slow City was a fine prose poem and I was sucker to drop it.

Barcelona was written a year ago after spending the afternoon inside of Dyer’s Yoga for Those Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do it and then not touched since. It’s really not a bad story, it needs some serious editing but it could be made into something very special.

Unaffectionate is a poem written out of spite but actually it’s quite appropriate in several places. It ends too abruptly as currently constructed but is otherwise not bad at all.

The North Pole is done and should be tacked up on the website wall with the others.

At the Rummage sales is done – not publishable I don’t think because of quality, but it’s done, played out, fin.

Allen-Dustman is a super idea but it’s been 2 years now and I’m going to write it when?

Overdue Eulogy for Elly is done or done down to a few lines or even word choices. After My Dad is Home and maybe Unaffectionate this is my #3 candidate to read aloud at a reading, I think one step ahead of Early Onset which must be #4. Ensenada Fishmarket being #5?

Syrup Diego has a lot of potential – I like the Sisyphus reference – but it’s a Single A hitter, a long way from the bigs.

I like Alltime but I’m not sure it has what it takes to be a full-fledged poem, it may be minable though.

I wrote several poems in Flagstaff 2 years ago, one of which – the tub piece – is decent but needs quite a bit of work.

Flight Path has sensibility to it and I like it, but it’s probably nothing more than a filler piece in a book of San Diego poetry.

I always liked The Flight of the Parakeet but I no longer think it’s going anywhere. This bird is dead.

Still (which was to be finished last year for Heidi) is still on my radar and would make a fine anniversary gift, wouldn’t it?

HMB was a great cathartic piece to write but I doubt if it will ever belong anywhere. Needs a bit of editing.

Dad in Chinatown is a right-minded story that has nowhere else to go and would be dead if I didn’t love thinking about my dad during his salad days in the City.

I loved the idea for Puffball and it was fun writing it last summer, but this is really a Novella not a story, and I don’t have time to write a novella.

I loved the idea for Union Square with the search for one person in a crowd and Gavin Newsome being shot but it came out shit and is unfixable.

Treatise (Why San Francisco Works) is another good idea, mediocre execution piece that could be fixed up for a collection but would never star.

Umbria is from last summer despite what my Save-Time on the file says – I really like this and would probably read it as 7th or 8th choice right now though it would have to be to the right crowd, and this belongs for sure in a collection of California stuff.

Finally, A Lifetime of Study is a darling that I’ve poked at so many times but I still adore it and in fact reference it in thought, conversation and writings. Still, there is way too much here to condense and with me not even sure if it’s a prose poem or a poem, is it doable?

That an hour’s work – it’s 4:30 now, a bit cooler, day fading, the present slipping indelibly into the past as it ever has.

Poetry Scrap

This little poemlette popped out after a workout; I was full of feelings of getting older and really settling down to life’s work of working out which is easy and aimless when you’re younger but once that teenage spryness is gone it becomes work. And then as I thought about that sensibility merged with our culture’s desire to banish the world of parasites and anything viewed as harmful and while the desert may seem like the last place to try to do this, for some reason I can see myself there, tilting at windmills as ever humanity loves to do –


I dug my burrow in a California desert
Popped a silo overhead to seal out the sun
And went to work with hard iron
And a can of ground tissue powder
That I mixed with fresh berries and milk

At work I was mechanical
Lifting exactly from the book form
I kept my body free of fungus
My bug nuker fooled generaticons into zap
And my Braun AC filtered the dumb fines

In the evening I laid spread eagle
Naked in my aquamarine pool
Alone with the few invitees –
Skin, water, a rusted earth,
the indigo sky, one star high

Poetry Scrap

Said Find a nook and nuzzle
Your muzzle into a hovel,
Sharpframe home in the fogdawn of
San Diego, corner of the continent,
Hear to listen to summer morning birdsong,
Cool jacaranda beds in alleys and
Sidewalks; sun burning through over
North Park out where the wave of
Money is washing ashore
Eastbound developer fortunes,
Commercial investments make sense
now that we’ve returned to urbanity.