Friday, January 28, 2011

speaking in technicolor

(seattle, jan. 2011)

in toussaint's the bathroom, a young man decides it best to take up residence inside his own bathtub : he is afflicted by no malady & perplexed by no muse : it simply makes sense : his partner, Edmondsson, remains appropriately aloof & unflinching : she brings him food when he is hungry : she speaks to him from her perch on the bidet next to the bathtub : they even laugh together : far from an act of cowardice or push for notice, a bathtub seems like a perfectly reasonable response to any psychic turn : the problem is usurped from the porcelain bowels only when an other insists that a situation is problematic or odd : in this case there are 4, all willing to simply take things at face value : 2 bodies, 2 minds :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

though not fearful of the rain, this area provokes a general mistrust in me of whether or not nature here has the ability to regulate itself : i fear both the possibility of the rain not ending & the rain ending : if the sun peeks at me for more than a day i decide the desert is uninhabitable & begin digging : if the rain refuses to cease for several days i dream of water draining through the clouds for a green eternity & i worry of my house sliding down to the bottom of the hill : & what will be there to catch me : & how well will i adapt to living on the eventual flood : i'll have to build another sort of garden : i'll plant the onions in the interstices filled with the dust accumulating just behind my ears :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

yesterday i passed a pretty mother walking her son in a red stroller : he pointed to a patch of clear sky just beyond my head and asked what is light made of, mommy? : shadows, i replied :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

i was once in love with a woman who would often assert the presence of phantom funeral homes : there must be a funeral home nearby, she would say...i can smell it. let's take another street : i reassured her that there were no funeral homes within miles of where we were, but that i noticed a retirement home a few blocks back : perhaps that is what you smell : a proximity to death : no, she said, i smell the pre-funeral : if there is no home nearby, then there once was one here : or there will be someday soon :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

for several weeks i wake & return to sleep with errant & lost thoughts of the same person : there was a point in life when i might have labeled this love : today, that being impossible, i've tagged it night swimming : this evening it will operate under the moniker necessity : &, finally, when i sleep the thought will always be known as forever : to hide this from others i must fashion a new language of inquiry : it is a maze titled plainsong :

i think of this person in english, often : i think of this person in french, occasionally : i think of this person in image & i think of this person in the sound i wish to scrape from the interior walls of her skin :

(seattle, jan. 2011 : benoroya hall)

this is what the inside of a ship looks like : notice the sound it makes as the hull is slightly bent by wind & waves :

(atlantic ocean, 1835)

if given a choice, i may choose image over object : last week i had an imaginary meeting with my acquaintance b., who i've never spent any significant time with : & never been alone with : the hood of my coat was pulled tight producing a type of corona around just my eyes & nose : alone like a tunnel, i thought : but b. was there and she took my hand & held onto it without speaking : we sat like that for a few hours : when i woke, my right hand was clutching my left & my sheets were making the noise of grass sleeping :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

i sometimes forget that a tree grows out as well as up :

(seattle, jan. 2011)

it doesn't make a difference whether i weep from joy or sorrow : either way i am still weeping : & never is one weep unique from another :

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

if not, winter

(seattle, 2011)

this evening i followed a pair of very tiny footprints : those of a newborn baby walking barefoot in the snow : it was, invariably, walking home :

(seattle, 2011)

the emotional machine travels in circles : circles within each other & circles crashing into each other & even lone, rogue circles : there are some circles so large that they don't complete themselves : despite what i have to this point believed , a life as a thing is decidedly non-linear : nor, really, does it exist temporally : these are not the circles of Emerson, somehow divine & washed in light : these are seafaring circles : & thus, there is a weather, too : the sidewalk was cloudy where this evening, on the way home from a birthday party, i was asked to think of something i had never previously considered : for the rest of the night, i stuck to myself :

(florence, 1990's)

this evening i was plucked from a barrel filled with boys & led down a red street at night : in the cornerstone of a church there is a finger set in concrete : it points up : ten years later i would walk into a church in brittany only to take off my jacket & warm my wet hands above someone else's lit prayer candles :

(british columbia, 1997)

this evening i sat at a distance thinking that it is impossible to know just what you are : a moment i now consider best forgotten : on the hill opposite a brown wolverine lay in white snow picking at its teeth with one of its four paws : the water there is still trapped in ice :

(san francisco, 1999)

this is the day i thought of a friend who died 6 months prior : that evening i walked straight into the surf without thinking : an hour later i returned to the beach wet & smiling with shame :

(right now)

my mother used to opine that if you want something done right then you ought to do it yourself : she may have been right : i'm ready to make my own family now :

(north carolina, 1990's)

this evening i slept suspended a few hundred feet from the ground : sometime after dinner i began to see flashing lights around everything in my field of vision : i was convinced that i must be very close to enlightenment : later, it was explained that the flashing lights were the effect of the sun reflecting off the dust settled on my corneas : i wasn't disappointed :

(right now)

i have difficulty understanding what geography settles if it, itself, isn't quite yet settled :

(nevada, 1998)

this evening my tent was shredded in wind so i slept outside once the storm settled : in the middle if the night i woke thinking it morning : behind the eastern rocks the sky was glowing : hours later i realized that it was just las vegas somewhere in the distance : probably laughing :

Friday, January 7, 2011

the inaccuracy of distance

(seattle, 2011)

green glows edenic here : it is on the ground : circumscribing the horizon : reflecting from the water & sometimes in the clouds : green, coupled with the all-day darkness of winter, begs 2 more than one : though not frightened of the night, alone is best left to the light : i prefer to take my walks as one & when i can see what's ahead of me : since arriving i have walked roughly 5.5 miles a day : in 2 months i've probably walked a total of 330 miles : 330 miles is almost 3 quarters of the distance from here to my old home in montana : if this persists, i may require another set of shoes :

(seattle, 2011)

here the ocean washes out all scent of distance : in ohio, hot in the summertime, you can smell the rain pouring from ten miles away : long before a cloud touches your immediate sky : i imagine this bird had only an end in sight : it pulled itself fast & black & wild through the night air : there was probably no possible way it could see the wire that sliced off its left wing : this must have been the best way :

(boise : dec. 2010 : courtesy of c.)

travel belies any true notion of distance : one can not move to or from a person or place & expect to change the mean geography of a body's attraction : i've been a country away & aroused by the memory of scent so much stronger than touch : success is broken-backed & now the maggots have set in : it will take more than a lifetime to do the impossible work of pleasing the self : so, since we now deal in multiple epochs, why not just work on that, the self? : the only altruistic endeavor :

(chelsea hotel : nyc : march, 2010)

for 8 consecutive months i talked to the same person every day several times daily from a few thousand miles away : i would also write to this person, sometimes just after talking : a few times each month we would talk face to face : if in montana, i would often answer the phone at 5am while racing the headlight of a train running parallel to me along the highway : these conversations were a contact akin to touch : when separated by a distance i had the feeling of someone waking right next to me even though i was very much alone : in december of 2009 the temperature dropped several degrees below zero farenheit for over a week : my cabin rested on 2 train trusses so that the wind could move all around me : one morning i woke to find a frozen glass of water next to my bed : i don't remember a time before that when i have ever felt warmer :

(montana : nov. 2009)

recently, the same thing happened for almost a month & a half : there were various forms of contact with a person multiple times a day : while the perceived responsibility of contact from one side of town to the other shaped a new light inside me, it nearly broke the other : in years prior i have had the increasing desire to see a thing destroyed irreversibly, as though it were more tangible than a thing being : there is a necessity of scaffold : & there is no such thing as need : nothing feels much better than feeding someone, & being fed :

(montana : oct. 2009)

the feeling of being believed is, today, more important than the feeling of being loved : to be believed that one is capable of love :

(home : aug. 2009)

i've always taken walking for granted, which is unfortunate considering that just the act of standing straight up on 2 feet is somewhat of an anomaly in a world where the majority of mammals are quadrupeds : it is the upright posture that the french anthropologist Claude Levis-Strauss argues is the definitive evolutionary truss that makes a human being distinct from all other creatures : standing upright enabled us to evolve into one of the most advanced thinking machines on the planet : the foundation of humanity then, situates itself on the several inches of the soles of our feet : i often mistake soles for souls : & this mistake makes sense : in of the surface of things Wallace Stevens writes, in my room, the world is beyond my understanding,/ but when i walk i see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud. : from my doorstep in seattle it is roughly 503.3 miles to the doorstep of my old cabin : if i were to walk from seattle to montana along major & minor roads, it would take me somewhere around 6 days and 22 hours : to achieve this time i must walk both day & night, without stopping for a moment : i must do this alone :

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


my new schedule seems to be 11-3 : @ 3 i woke after a dream of teaching : it was, after the dream, the first time i had thought about teaching for at least a year : i stood with impeccable posture, & traveled to the classroom in a boat : & the classroom wasn’t quite a classroom, but something more akin to the space in Raphael’s The School of Athens : it seems that for once, i didn’t have much to say, but when i did speak, it was without hubris and with abandon : my students were older than normal & they looked at me like they were students : both those rapt & feckless until i made my exit in a series of several consecutive grand jete (accent aigu and perhaps an “s”?) :

the rest of the morning was spent in bed performing more than 20 tours en l’air : i began with Fitzcarraldo & his single-mindedness : & then i thought about dancing & where, exactly, my interest is situated : after spending periods of time caught in certain tunnels of thought, patterns sometimes push their notice : the last time this particular cloud took me i began reading every book i could find on antarctic exploration : i’ve since moved the only way i could through time & have spent the last few weeks with Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s Two Years Before the Mast & even Bernard Moitessier’s The Long Way : there are videos of Moitessier on the internet : gaunt, tanned, and musing to himself : never giving a reason why it was necessary to never complete the Golden Globe race, though he would have surely won, & instead, turning his boat south, less than 1,000 miles from home, towards the Cape of Good Hope for another 46,000 miles around the globe : alone : he had a family that he loved, of course :

but closer to dance: there is Leonard Bernstein conducting Mahler’s 9th Ending : Glenn Gould performing anything by Bach : you can hear his dissonant counterpoint even in the recordings : he breathes out alien notes : & the point i am trying to make here has to do with commitment : even a dancer who hasn’t danced for years is scarred in both mind & body : maybe in the mind more than anywhere else because, as a dancer, much of the operation & maintenance of the body is a matter of fact & necessity : the mind works with a different machinery : its paths are not always linear : i can not think of another act which requires one to give so much of themselves, so as to risk everything : mind & body : no different & perhaps more dangerous than Moitessier’s obsession with the work of negotiating wind & water alone: & so what keeps us from thinking that Nureyev or Nijinsky is any less mad than a man like Fitzcarraldo : though perhaps an error in judgment mentioning poor Nijinsky here : but he can also be used as an example and proof for the case of total commitment : i think that there was one day, one particular day, when words did the same thing for me : Roald Amundsen spent 3 years on ice in a different sort of performance : i’d like to have more than a little taste of all of this : it is as necessary to me right now as a taste of all the boys on Bowery was to Nureyev :

at the right hour i can hear both the cargo ships & the trains : if i’m lucky their sounds will shake the slats beneath my mattress : this morning i took a walk to get a closer look : more vessels were moored than usual : before the cars arrive on the street i am able to hear the water from all the way up on the hill : it sounds like stepping into a burn in Montana : maybe a year or two after the fire : all the trees are dead-standing & black : a bed of green and yellow mosses covers the ground :

Sunday, January 2, 2011

the only living thing

i woke up this morning & bought this flower for my friend : i brought it back to the house before i was able to give it to my friend & as it sat on the window sill, it made itself very beautiful : more beautiful than when i bought it : i've done nothing but look at it for a good hour now : i'm peeking at it this very moment, just to make sure it is o.k., has a nice spot of sun, & is alive : it will be very happy with my friend, too : i know that : otherwise i probably wouldn't give it away : it just feels good to have something alive here : my house moves different with the flower here : everything is shaped around it : this is the first time in a month that i've been able to think of one thing, outside of myself, for an extended period of time : i woke up with a strange note in my pants pocket : it is a note i wrote to myself : i'm going to throw it away without ever thinking of it again : & i'll never write another note to myself for as long as i live : from now on, i wish only to write notes to others : Sartre was wrong, & probably spent too much time with himself : im not at all certain what loneliness is, but thinking of others feels like wind





Saturday, January 1, 2011

audience of none

for c.l.y.

for me

for my sister a.k.b.