Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
It's difficult to express my moral and spiritual disdain for the entire American political system, from the sunsabitches in power to the civilian stooges that allow themselves to be bought and sold like beef. My gripes with the whole affair lie in a way not being addressed by any media outlet, liberal or otherwise. When trying to express my thoughts and fears, I usually end up sputtering and trying my damnedest not to sound like either a closeted believer in any sort of partisan rhetoric or just an apolitical apathist (though this latter may be closer to the truth).
Point is, politics are neither sexy nor poetic. Not to me, anyhow. Perhaps I'm just ignorant, or maybe just an idealist, but the fears and doubts I have for my country are not going to be abated by political change so readily, as it's hard to put faith into absolutely anything having to do with the bullshit they're strobing across your eyeballs. None of it feels right. In choosing not to vote, though, I fear that I am revoking my right to bitch about it, or at least to critically comment on any part of its nature. So at the very least, I wish I could at least just emote some of this feeling I have deep in my heart and my guts, this sick feeling about politics and elections and people and America moving forward into the 21st century. Emote, with no labels applied, purely from the context of a human being, born confused and concerned into a nightmare that just keeps plodding on and on, a sleepwalking nightmare that seems so easy to wake up from, yet everyone just stumbles forward. I think the real rotten spots are in our hearts or souls or consciences or whatever vague term you use for the moral abstract.
I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess I'm just trying to give you some context for this poem. My political views are kept to myself, but everything hurts me and concerns me as much as it does everyone else in this great country. Everyone's worked about Tea Parties and mosques and elections and a dude stomping on a woman's head in Kentucky, and I guess I am too. Cuz even if I have no faith in the Thing, a lot of people do, and I'm afraid that Thing is gonna let a lot of those people down.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
And now just two nights later, I'm exhausted and still coasting on that delirium, poised with pen in hand on the tenth floor of a hotel at the gate to Chinatown, anxiously and thoughtlessly scribbling and ignoring the pleas of body and mind for that short death of slumber, hoping that writing and writing with San Francisco on my mind and in my stomach and skin will render some fat worthy of candles at 3 am Pacific on the East Bay where the fog finds every crack in your soul and settles there to fester like fungus spun from gold. No luck, I suppose, on this my last night in the most wonderful city in America, a city that expects so much. I'm shriveling under the pressure of a fine performance, walking where my father and my uncles and my heroes have all trod, and not a single song erupts from the black ink, no patterns are recognized on the wide-ruled lines, no paintings congeal between the margins. I'll succumb to that sleep that I lost in Tennessee, and I'll leave the worrisome foundation of nostalgia for a distant day, when I think back to the Bay and how this city forever and ever gently and sweetly damaged my life.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Chork pops. We smokum weedum? Erk and Jerk.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I don't know who I am. There's something in the refreshing pale green of Spring that I'm dying to see, to see the moss on limestone wet with Spring rain and to watch all of the little hopes push the mud aside and climb towards their absolution in the sun. Remind me, remind me again who I am.
I'll walk all the way home to you, when I know you, and I have a feeling that I won't even know to where I'm walking until I'm dead and gone, buried beneath the cedar tree behind your little yellow house. I've been rotten and I've been down, and I'd sell myself short for a last breath on white sand with the saltwater leaching up my socks, seagulls overhead and staring at the horizon that melts and melts into ocean and sky, knowing full well that I'll be exploding like a fusion reactor into that blue sunset as soon as I get the strength to close my eyes and accept what I already know to be true.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I've only seen you alone spinning like an avatar out of the liquid metal of these factory
James Cameron - did I only say avatar and liquid metal because I was thinking about James fucking Cameron for Gawd know's what reason, just losing my shit and worrying about Jim fucking Cameron, the titan of blockbusting atom bombs and Aliens/Terminator 2 which leads to Alien Resurrection and also T3: Rise of the Machines. Negligible sequels, and I'm so anxious that someone may be reading over my shoulders this crazy shit, though I know it's stupid and that in the morning all I'll have is that same crushing feeling squirting in the back of my brain that there was a common link and that there is a common link, and the
sex sex and sex and sex
I'm going to brew some coffee and then drink it and maybe continue to sit in the dark and listen to M83 and only worry a little in my big Jewbrain that maybe I've lost it this time, but I'd rather revel in the lunatic glory and drink coffee.
That's the joke. Should I enjoy it and let go, or worry myself that all the pleasures therein are only distracting me from the immediacy and obviousness of whateveritisimlookingfor in androids and silver threads running through all those fucking Philip K Dick skyscraper factories, silver against silver Indiana, and the silver masonic tools are too heavy to drag all the way across state lines.
No, coffee now maybe and maybe later now and later coffee this computer's time clock is completely wrong and says it's 2:34 am and I'm out of my mind.
Transcending shit nightly.
I worry too much, and the keys on this keyboard tend to stick.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
In that moon-dome I think Dr. Obama sits in a great golden clockwork throne, pulling steam-punk levers and twisting dials and looking at me through a crystal telescope. And I'm walking Arlington streets in the rain, head down and soaking wet, and that mean little Persian sold me soggy chicken wings and a seven-year-old pack of non-filtered Pall Malls that I did not specifically ask for, but that I did not specifically not ask for. But I smoke them on cold wet Arlington streets where the rain moves in strange waves across fancy cobblestone like a bourgeois joke to my tired Vans sneakers and my damp thrift store jeans, faded to a cheap gray but now saturated and black like this weird DC skyline that is screaming at us through fourth-floor sliding glass doors.
Henry tells me that the proper way to smoke these filterless Pall Malls is by burning the end with the little stamp, thereby destroying the evidence of our allegiance before the Nazis find us out. And I'm afraid I just stepped in dog shit.
They fed us bucketloads of shitty beer tonight, and I berated the football fans through dirty prosaic choruses and hid in a tiny hut or silo of corrugated metal, glowering and chain-smoking and wishing I was wherever you are. My brain stumbles with its eyes to the sidewalk cracks, around gray corners down gray alleys that dead-end in gray brick walls that I've built long ago in a past life, gray like nervous systems, shivering pink on the edges, with my spit the mortar and my bones the sand. My heart is pumping saliva these days, nothing more. When did I become such a misanthrope?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Weird pages of dreams last night, very realistic and detailed, but with bent morals and obtuse endings. After dream-days of mundane commonplace, in conclusion I dreamed we had weed on our person, maybe, and were carrying a cursed purple pocketknife right into some sort of cop-trap for hapless musicians, and my father warning us that our fates were sealed; either we had our jaws broken between cell bars, or the little purple pocketknife gets drawn tight across the gristle of our throat. No ideas, it's late in the afternoon now and the dream makes less and less sense as my eyes forget the sensation of looking inward and backward, behind. It's all irrelevant, my gristle's intact. I'll march out the door into the real dream, the one that really gets to slice you up, the one that we spend all these long hours trying to sleepwalk away. Cold life, through perennial sunglasses and a thin parka coat, tastes like microwaved old coffee and cigarette butts. Good cold life. It's the Winter of Sludge?
Friday, February 5, 2010
October seems so long ago. I may never get home again.
I drank whiskey and vodka until I was frantically delirious in Columbus. I threw up in our host's sink and spilled a can-a-coke down his stairwell. I cleaned it up with my sweatshirt and towel, and now both are moldering in my stuffsack. I woke up drunk and missing my socks the next afternoon.
And ohmygod Henry is snoring so loud. I'd go find another room, but I'm a stranger in a strange house and have no idea where to begin to look. I was over-caffeinated earlier with Golden Monkey tea, sweaty and nail-chewing, and then switched to red wine and then to some weird Japanese melon drink with a glass marble rattling inside the bottle neck. Henry has a big bottle of expensive KC-exclusive beer next to him on the end table, and I think I'll finish it for him. It'll just spoil and stale otherwise, and besides there's no was I'm sleeping in a room with a snoring bear like this whilst sober.
Goddamn, it was confusion yesterday. I woke up so drunk and sick, and slept all the way to New Plymouth, where I regained consciousness on stomach-churning mountain roads and spilled into a gravel parking lot and met some llamas and stray cats and a dog named Elwood. I wandered incredulous, stomach empty and head pounding, but still finding the wherewithall to fall in love again with Southeastern Ohio. Did that really just happen? I blinked under the wet sun and dozed on a bench. And we played guitars for Ian and the bird and the dog sang along while the cafe's owner played harmonica. We ate venison with onions and gravy. Nelsonville? Was I there only this morning? Was I there only last night, getting in trouble for smoking cigarettes on a railroad bridge?
West Virgina today, still wild still wonderful, the mountain passes squeezed our sinuses and stole our breath and Townes Van Zandt and Otis Redding offered pillows and solace for sad tired eyes. Pop the fucker into neutral and fly down the grades like a maniac, 80 85 90 mph. Let's stop, boys, and check out every tunnel and factory town and red-coal Machu Pichu we come to, let's grow our beards and disappear into the Appalachian crevices and take eight wives (each) and stomp on eggs and eat rattlesnakes and raise the South again.
So now I'm drinking Henry's beer, a wheat wine that he's proudly lugged all the way from Kansas City and that he immediately and drunkenly spilled onto this hardwood floor as soon as he popped the fat cork. I'm laying on an ornate rug crawling with flowers and blooming scorpions in sick domestic psychedelica. I left Tristessa in the car, but Lermontov is in my satchel. But Lermontov is in my satchel, and he scares me. Pechorin threatens to invade my dreams and mold me in his image, though it may be too late, the selfish Russian motherfucking contemptuously honest romantic motherfucker. Someone's feet smell like shit, though it may just be my feather pillow after being dropped on the ground in six states in less than two weeks, and it rides piggyback on my stuffsack still full of clothes and towels moldering with old Coca-Cola and sweat rife with toxins.
This beer is perhaps the best I've ever had, and it's a shame Henry doesn't get to enjoy it, the wine-drunk snoring on the leather couch the color of tripe under framed picture of European landmarks and bright inset lightbulbs.
I want to write a song about Ohio, and a song about girls smiling from their boyfriends' arms, and about how I've become such a misanthrope and a recluse, a fiddleback.
Books in the Blue Whale bookstore, C'ville, VA: Piaf by Simone Berteaut, Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock Since 1967.
The beer is to be drank from "the proper glass", says so right on the bottle, but there's no reason at this point at 2:26 am (Eastern Time) to be proper or hide my flirtatiousness, so I press my lips to its mouth and kiss it right through its slender neck, all exploding in sex and tropical brown skin and wheat and fruit.
Lermontov, through Pechorin, is honesty. True romantic honesty, the kind that only ends with grief or a bullet through the chest, as it did with Lermontov himself. Find the beauty in the selfish futility, make every action a move towards the tenderest embrace or most staggeringly fatal kiss, knowing it all to be an arrogant and delusional farce.
"To be to somebody the cause of sufferings and joys, without having any positive right to it- is this not the sweetest possible nourishment for our pride?"
and, on the same page, in the same passage:
"Evil begets evil: the first ache gives us an idea of the pleasure of tormenting another. The idea of evil cannot enter a person's head without his wanting to apply it to reality: ideas are organic creations."
You crooked bastard. Is selfishness evil, and are either natural? If we can only but ask that we be allowed to act naturally, and we are naturally selfish, is this evil? There is no evil in nature, mind, but plenty selfishness. But a hungry wolf is not selfish to be evil, unless such a natural instinct as killing and eating to further one's self and species can be so condemned**. Red of tooth and claw, indeed. I've got blood under my fingernails, and I pick your hair from between my teeth.
"The passions are nothing else but ideas in their first phase of development; they are an attribute of the youth of the heart; and he is a fool who thinks we will be agitated by them all his life*. Many a calm river begins a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea. But that calm is often the sign of great, though concealed, strength; the plentitude and depth of feelings and thoughts does not tolerate frantic surgings; the soul, while experiencing pain or pleasure, gives itself a strict account of everything and becomes convinced that so it must be; it knows that without storms, a constantly torrid sun will wither it; it becomes penetrated with its own life, it fondles and punishes itself, as if it were a beloved child. Only in this supreme state of self-knowledge can a man evaluate divine justice."
Before transcribing this paragraph, I had some idea where it was going, and how I felt about it. By the end, now nearing 3 am, I am drunk and have forgotten and am lost. But *this is very strong sentiment, stubbornly self-assured for a man who wrote this at the age of 26, and died at 27, the result of a duel, surely not a strong case for controlling one's passions.
A girl in Dayton gave me a clove cigarette that immediately fell apart in the rain, and warned me of the solar storms of 2012. She said I have the proper bone structure to mature into old age as a folk singer.
**though the animals are blessedly uninhibited by consciousness of Self and Others, which of course is our greatest boon and burden, and thus this analogy is stoned and prosaically moot.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I wish I had a stenographer for my thoughts, a sexy little stereotype who could crawl into my brains and set up her tiny green typewriter. And let's say I get the transcript like ticker tape out of my dick when I come. What?
"Wandering around outside at night real high and wearing earmuffs is confusing and too scary". Dizzying. Komodo dragons. Fucking out of sight.
books what caught my eye at Books a Million tonight: Ginsberg poems with accompanying illustrations by some artist who does New Yorker covers, 50th anniversary of Howl (a reproduction of the original manuscript), some little book: The History of Girly Magazines (1900-1969) yes, collected works of Gibran: a nice edition with a gold tongue marker and good paper kinda like my Emerson book.
I've been living on deer meat, without complaint. Bloody gamey lean juicy. I think, if prepared properly, my own flesh would probably taste like deer meat.
The sky was big as ever tonight, betraying its graceful awful curve around our little marble. The moon was frozen under blue ice, like mushroom cloud snowdrifts across the electric sky. The snow glowed radioactive, a crust of spent ozone under my boots.
I begin my voyage home tomorrow, gods willing, at least away from Kirbyville. I won't survive another extended stay in Springfield, so best to just stop through. Let my momentum carry me to the bootheel, at least. Or Memphis. I don't really want to leave. I never want to leave. Or maybe I always want to leave, but forget.
Forgive me if I whisper you awake. I really don't want to feel alone tonight, even laying beside you and your soft skin and your hair that smells like flowers and shampoo and cigarette smoke and exactly how it should smell and exactly how I want it to smell. I won't tell you about the sobs caught at their moment of exhalation, strangled, a mercy killing, and I won't tell you that sometimes I need to drop to my knees when I realize that I can't freeze a moment, that we are all changing and aging and moving on and on and on forward; and that the weight, the fucking weight of I-don't-know-what squeezes so heavy on my chest and my back, no matter how I sleep next to you. No, I won't tell you any of that. Just forgive me if I whisper you awake.
I don't want watch my nephew grow up. I want him to be three years old forever.
(Nights lying in a muggy sweat, and the humid summer wind blowing through window screens. The shitty old boxfan humming on the floor never seemed to do much of anything.)
Oh, it was so hot and humid at night. The old window screens were chewed by weird locusts, and we had to replace most of 'em with new metal screens that they wouldn't feel compelled to eat.
(Those hot summer days, working in the garden. Dirt baked so hot it burned bare feet. Slicing tender hands on sharp limestone. Retreating to the shade tree for a drink.)
The words must've been there for years. It's an obsession. Can it be an obsession? Your own childhood, the reluctance to admit that it's gone, the reluctance to completely open my chest cavity for the free exchange of pollen and blood and time and sunlight? Nobody knows me.
(Now I'm falling asleep in a room of my own in some dried out, filthy, storm-broken town. And I pretend I've got it all figured out but
and I can't even finish that. I feel shredded. Stuff me under the kindling and use me as tinder. I'm dry as a bone.
I don't recognize my own handiwork. handwriting. words. prose. passions. Who was in bed with me? Where am I? What storm? What room of my own? Who was fucking with me who was I fucking with?
What did this mean: "Why do we equate growing up with being old/And we equate growing old with being dead."
->Becoming childlike and regaining a sense of wonder and joy.
Ghost hints? How many years ago did I write this? Was it only tonight? Could I be offering myself some solace? Was it only me fucking with me? all along? I need to open a dialogue with myself, or I'll never get this shit sorted. There has to be a thread, the silver thread. I'm missing something. I'm always missing something. I miss you and you and you. I don't even know you yet and I miss you so bad.
Single-digit temperatures tonight, threatening to drop below zero. I fear I'll never get back to Tennessee and her promised warmth, but only mildly so. Mild fear, mild promises.
Went down with my two younger brothers to the camp today, to see what havoc the snowstorm wrecked, and to idly burn some old dry cedar and a large hardwood log that was in a state just prior to rot, and that came apart in great gray slabs, like toboggans or coffin lids. It burned as if that were its intended purpose, from spore to sapling to sylvan titan to splintered gray log. We carefully excised a portion of the lumber that had a knot-growth resembling an oversized human ear.
And we built a roaring fire in the midst of the silent snow, and we ate smoked oysters out of an oily tin, and when we threw the tin in the fire it smoked and smelled pleasantly funky, like burnt fish eyes. My two brothers tromped off towards the lake as I cut more firewood with that shitty dull folding handsaw (have to get my Pa a new one of these, if only for my own selfish use when I return) and silently stoked the fire and smoked cigarettes. My brothers returned from their expedition with dubious claims of frostbite, lugging a ten-pound chunk of ice that looked like a giant molar. We lounged by the fire until dark, heads resting on shoulders, little cowboy boots gingerly resting on their silent brother's bundled chest, all in a state somewhere between snoozing and heavy-lidded reflection, a state such as only a snow-choked Ozarks holler and a smoldering cedar campfire can provide. Simplify, simplify. My brothers took turns hooting at an owl across the holler, and he felt obliged to reply.
Tonight in the shower, as I rinsed my hair, the smoke from the fire was suddenly fresh in my senses. It streamed down my shoulders, and I felt nearly compelled to stop then, lest I wash all the residue off my scalp. But there will be more campfires, and someday there will be The Campfire, one whose smell I would feign to never shampoo away.
What the fuck does that even mean? Do I mean it? Is it allegory for allegory sake, empty imagery with some vague nostalgic and prosaic importance attached? Maybe. Or maybe it's just my guts, reminding me that I'm not an android. Do Andrews dream of electric sheep?
Also in the shower: I watched a tiny cricket, a straggler of the season, march clumsily and pathetically into the falling water. He tried feebly to clamber up to safety, but the slick tub walls offered no footing and no quarter. Finally, after watching his legs become splayed in bad angles, wrong angles, flattened by the rain, I scooped him up and tossed him behind the water heater.
I left the room to bring back a dictionary, but returned with a thick guide to Missouri flora. Tonight I shall sleep with a dictionary and a thesaurus on either side of my head. Is there a surer catalyst to madness, strapping your skull and all its screaming dreams between these two sizzling battery terminals? I want to exist in the arclite.
Just finished O. S. Card's Seventh Son, just began The Shining, and I'm eagerly halfway through it in just two days. Locked by inclement weather in the hills as I am, bound to the quiet, warm house by snowdrifts and plummeting mercury, I consider my finally reading this book to be as well-timed as I could've hoped. Interesting: I hardly ever read contemporary fiction, least of all fantasy or horror, but these last two books I've read I've truly enjoyed, and both deal with a young boy and his "knack", both boys born with a caul. I didn't even know of this term and the associated folklore a week ago. There are no coincedences, eh? I think it prudently safe, though, to chalk up the mundane to nothing more.
I suppose I should go to bed soon. I'll read more of The Shining until it scares the hell out of me again and I have to turn on some lights and avoid looking out of windows or into the bath tub. I need to see Kubrick's movie.
". . . on getting away from social conventions and coming closer to nature, we cannot help becoming children: all the things that have been acquired are shed by the soul, and it becomes again as it was once, and as it is surely to be again someday." - Lermontov, from A Hero of Our Time
Just now, in his sleep, Tony said something about "shitting on kids".
Monday, January 18, 2010
"'. . . when for the first time I held her in my lap and kissed her black curls, I- fool that I was- imagined she was an angel sent me by compassionate fate... [sic] I was wrong again. The love of a wild girl was little better than that of a lady of rank; the ignorance and the naivete of one pall on you as much as the coquetry of the other. I still like her, I suppose; I am grateful to her for several rather sweet moments; I am ready to die for her- only I find her company dull. Whether I am a fool or a villain, I don't know; but of one thing I'm sure, that I also deserve pity, even more perhaps than she. My soul has been impaired by the fashionable world, I have a restless fancy, and insatiable heart; whatever I get is not enough; I become used as easily to sorrow as to delight, and my life becomes more empty day by day; there is only one remedy left for me: to travel. As soon as I can, I shall set out. . . perchance I may die somewhere, on the way! At least, I am sure that this last consolation will not soon be exhausted with the help of storms and bad roads.'" - Lermontov (as Pechorin)
Goddammit oh goddammit. Oh desperate and passionate and prideful wanderlust. Shit jeezus, Pechorin. Don't wait up for me indeed. I've been feeling these words under my skin since I was 18, and behind my eyes and creeping up my spine, a begrudging shared residence with that other Thing, the real bastard, with spider legs and suicide blood.
I was born sorry.
*Pushkin ("Eugene Onegin")
I'll carry you over the greenbriars
And make a crown of 'em for my head
And I'll find the soft green cedar boughs
Come time to make your bed
I've been working on Camp Guthrie, clearing brush and tending a little fire. I like to think, as I work in reverent silence, that someday, after the Collapse, when money means nothing and we start anew, learning more about ourselves and each other and the world and Gawd and how it all fits together than we ever even imagined we could know... I'd like to think sometime after that, there'll be a real settlement in this same blessed little spot. Not likely. It sits just this side of a low-lying levee on Army Corps land, a cool Northern slope hugging the purgatorial little swale where the steep glade and woody bluffs slope sharply and finally into the coarse and oft-flooded bottomlands. It's lowland, and it'll be flooded again come Spring, especially now that they've fucked up the White River Valley watershed with the dams and their infantile lakes. But maybe that says something about me, my dedication to this doomed little camp. I take such joy in building bridges, but I feel incomplete until I can sit on the shore and watch them burn.
The moon's always waning, the snow makes it seem so much brighter than it actually is, and my heart is such a wheel. But fuck all that noise. I'm building an altar at Camp Guthrie, and I mounted upon it that armadillo carcass, his shell and his skull and his tail, and they're held in place with barbed wire and twine. Soon I'll bring down more string, and some nails and a little jar of black paint.
And Spring's coming soon, baby. We got plenty of firewood to burn; I've been cutting it by hand with a busted little folding saw. Camp Guthrie's gonna be underwater come June, so let's just stand in front of that little altar and get married. Some old ghost will officiate, and the cedar will bear witness, and we'll honeymoon in the bottomlands and just law down under the creek rocks and cedar boughs and wait for that dirty old lake to come a-hissin' across our fire pit. If I don't wash away with you, I'll probably wash away alone. Either way, I'm washing away, and I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer, if just to watch it burn.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Tobacco's been important in my life, but I have no idea what this means. Memories of that thick black tar that you could nearly carve off of your palms at the end of the day. Those hot fucking miserable days. Why do I miss it all so bad? I was trying to decipher these visions and memories and feelings when I came home this last month, but I feel no closer to any answers. I'm looking at it all wrong, maybe. My perspective is skewed, maybe. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm losing my mind, maybe. I don't want to go back to Tennessee, but for some reason I can't stay here. Why can't I? I need to talk to my mother. It's too late, and I'm tired. The snow never sleeps.
When I bought my acoustic guitar in Florida: it wasn't until well after it first caught my eye that I noticed the "color" label on the little display tag. Style? Dreadnought. Color? Tobacco. Hah!
To think there was a time when I didn't even know what 2:30 am looked like, or that it even existed. Now I live for it. I'd never sleep if- No, that's stupid. Nights are awful, long and lonely. I lose my grip, and only after I've buried my head in my pillow and pry my eyes open, letting in some semblance of day, hours later, do I feel the marks on any ruler to be properly spaced, balanced, balanced, demarcated. An illusion, maybe. Best not to consider these iniquities of personal behavior, impurities in mental health, inconsistencies of rational thought... not at this time of night anyway. I always feel so desperate in the late night, so weighted. And yet I watch the clock spin every time. 2:30 am. 3 am. With friends like these... We're all here together, blinking back the exhaustion, choking on confusing tears, and we are all so alone together.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Boy did it snow. Spent the latter part of this evening breaking up tobacco into an old cigar box, using my cramping thumbs and fingertips to crumble the bitter brown leaf into rollable shake. Also opened a plug of cured tobacco, sealed up in brown paper for almost a year now, maybe longer, that Shea and I prepared with honey and Jim Beam. Mixed both tobaccos together in the cigar box, added an apple core for moistness. Listened to Blood on the Tracks.
Working on a blues song: original idea came from the folkloric habit of carrying buckeyes for luck, and then some apocalyptic hallucination, heat stroke, regarding droughts and ragweed. Now it's turning into some sort of lustful Faust story...
Mad drought, everything is dry and dusty. Skeletons and whistles, hard luck for most of us rural laborers. A burnt July and a burnt August. No grass to cut, the crops get boiled in their own juice, there are no clouds to even ephemerally offer us some shady solace from the sun's cruelty. The man keeps picking up buckeyes, and praying for rain, but still only the ragweed grows. So he goes mad, maybe. Just a little. Those mad-dog days of summer. . . . but that's another story. He goes a little mad and maybe starts eating dust and ragweed, and he wears his buckeyes around his neck, strung like little human skulls. And he sells his soul, maybe. Or just gives up some of it. Wallows in the dust like a mite-covered hen. Chews on ragweed until he shits blood and his skin crawls away. But he gets his wish, and it storms wherever he goes. Can't get away from drizzle and little crackling lightning storms, or from big fat raindrops that fall from giant demon thunderheads with all the rolling basso profondo accompaniment of that devil choir of electric discharge. It rains and rains, and no matter where he wanders, it follows and rains. So in the end he just resigns, accepts his new role as some reluctant and resentful rainman, and thinks about some sexy little thing in some dry little town, and sets off for her. Not without warning, but not hesitant to stop for the lack of candle in her window. You'd better be alone, he says. Cuz I don't wanna be. And I'm bringin' this here rain storm with me. Reckon I'd rather drown wish-fulfilled than burn up and blow away.
This sounds stupid on paper. I'll trust my guts, and my guts want to write a blues song about buckeyes, droughts, ragweed, rainstorms, pacts with the Devil, and sex. Stupid.
I worry that I'm not able to honestly be what I need to be right now, as far as companionship is concerned. No matter my best intentions. Sometimes the timing's so so wrong, and though none are to blame, there will still be guilt and remorse
There's plenty that I don't know.
and resentment and Consequences. For now, I shall sit by, idly content and gracious and guiltfree and live a life inconsequential. No life is without cause/effect for too long, and to expect this would make me a fool. But for now. You know? For. Now. Only I know what this emphasis means, and I have already forgotten. Only I accept the true burden of consequence. But there is a Time and a Place for Everything.
For now, I will not pretend that I am not happy. That's as honest as I can be.
"Come in," she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm"
Laying in the snow with my twelve-year-old brother; "It's so quiet out here," he says. "People in the city don't get it, do they?" Pause. "I feel kinda bad for them." Pause. Double-pause. "'Course, it's their own fault that they live in the city." "Yup".
A long walk in the twilight snow, hand-in-hand. Three brothers, sweetly oblivious, reverent in the silent fall of snow. Smoking cigarettes in the dark, dry barn, huddled in the manger like the Magi, curling tobacco smoke our incense. Snow angels, wet and cold down your neck and your aching back. It's all a peaceful lunar landscape, with the house backlit in iridescent blues and whites.