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Month the First

3.28.23 Everybody wants the Motorcycle ride.


Yesterday was a typical afternoon. The barista gave me the willies with that shock of red just above her(?) forehead. How often do I long to see what goes on behind those eyes? Why is it that every deliverer of the simple drugs, the beans and liquors, gets me started in a way that burns beneath my skin and is the true name of the fire in my heavens? Aficionados of the finer things, of long legs and fat lips, burgeoning lips that would welcome us home if only we had the courage to knock on the door.


A simple ‘what’s your name?’, you know? I don’t know, you probably don’t care much about what goes on in the head of some townie wino dog. What you do matters, you know. I’m just living this dead end life in this dead end place waiting for someone like you to save me from myself.


Everyone wants the fucking motorcycle ride, but everyone forgets that somebody still had to drive the bike. For those of you who don’t know, C.S. Lewis famously took a motorcycle ride with his brother where he came to believe absolutely that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and the Redeemer of man. What I mean by everyone wants it is that we want to feel absolute, to be sure of what we’re doing with our lives. But I’m willing to bet his brother was driving.


You see, I have had a number of these religious raptures in my life, and I wouldn’t trust myself to operate a motorcycle while they were happening. Not that I know how to operate a motorcycle. One of my many shortcomings. You see this flash of passion, of lust for the barista is not a symptom but the disease itself. The longing for everything all at once, the madness of Kerouac that Bob Dylan espoused in the Scorcesce flick. That’s quite a pedigree, considering that the thought hasn’t even entered the second page.


I was just weeping. Not an hour ago, to the very song that now puts a smile on my face. Who is driving the motorcycle even if my hands are on the arms. Bars. I don’t know what to call them. I don’t know what to call a lot of what passes through my being, but I guess if I wanted to I could call it pain. I could just as easily call it joy. And that is the beauty of Zen, ladies and gentlemen, in that the grasshopper has all the power it needs to live a happy and productive life. If you’re sitting true Zazen then you are already there, the master says. And I no master, just a parrot on a stool, a repeater of platitudes. And my mind goes to video game repeaters, guns that could shoot endlessly within the matrix of ones and zeros that to this day means so much and so little to me. Diversion, with its root of fun, leads me to the shortcomings of fun. Good yes, but not enough.


What could be enough for someone like me, who with all the resources in the world has only some scattered pages to show for their thirty-one years. But is that all? What about the rippling outward of ever-purer love that passes, unevenly, between myself and every person with whom I interact. Is not this the tesseract, the next big thing in geometry? Wouldn’t Euclid be proud that we improved upon his perfection. Except the world is ending right? With everything going on right now.


But when is now, really? Is now the news you see on the television set or the cat that sits on the arm of the couch watching you watch the screen? Is now the instagram model whose beauty you could never hope to eclipse or the lover who looks at you more fondly now than on the day he met you even if you are a good sight heavier?


The absence grows heavier. Denser, blacker. I do not know for sure, about anything. Wasn’t that a beautiful shade of Grey before the porn novels? But now it is more a yellow-green sort of madness that has me struggling with my personal power. But you don’t want to hear about that, do you?


No, you want to hear that I’ve got it all figured out, so I can tell you how to do it. This grasshopper is greener than that, more spring than fall. The harvest is a long way off, think you’re up for the summer? For the hot days and breezy evanescent nights, the lovers you could have taken were the world a little freer place? This place you dream of often, this heaven that seems just slightly out of reach.


But look down at your hand. What does it tell you about the way you’ve been living? What can you glean by the pattern of skin and vein and hair? What wisdom lies in the way the paint dried on your apartment wall, in the angle of the houseplant reaching for sunlight? What of the past of this place lives on in its present, and what of that will carry over into the future.


Everytime I go on a motorcycle ride I am struck with the enormity of people’s resistance to the real experience of God, and I mean that metaphorically, to mean that when I undergo rapture I am quarantined as mad and restricted so I don’t do any more damage than is absolutely necessary. But it is the mad ones, who burn for all things happening eternally, to whom the sages, the seers and the gods of all times, have looked. Doesn’t that tell us something, both about ourselves and about the mad?


About ourselves I think it shows our ancient respect for fire, having watched it torch forests and villages and even cities over the aeons. But what about the mad, the keepers of the flames? Enrico Fermi built an unshielded nuclear fission reactor beneath the bleachers of the University of Chicago football stadium, and nothing bad happened. By the same turn a dairy cow is credited for the most destructive fire that city has ever seen. And I think most people think keeping dairy cows is safer than building nuclear reactors.


When the light burns so bright I feel like a nuclear reactor, and those baristas, those cocktail waitresses, that absolute daddy of a manager in a suit, they’re all centrifuges enriching fuel for me. A step removed from feeding the fire, but feeding it nonetheless.


What is the point of these vacuum packed metaphors? Can somebody tell me why I must obey? Why this impulse is compulsion? Where are we heading ladies and gentlemen, and who is going to lead us there?


It is not me. That I am sure of. Taking on all the world’s burdens is none of my concern. Maybe this is my motorcycle ride. Maybe this is the thing that leads to the other thing. This utter unconcern with the happenings of the world. Maybe Jesus has already saved it, but to quote Frank O’Hara on Silver Bullets, “I hate all that crap.”


That is all for now, I think. A dozen hundreds is good enough for me. Take with this change a tip for your time: It is you that makes the grass green.


3.31.23 Morning


Today, today, another morning, another crying out for the aching to stop! It feels like I’ve been throttled, as I threatened to do another in my frustration the other day. What a strange karmic blowback is this record that speaks acutely to a secret past that I am finally ready to bury. What does it mean to somebody like me, just little old me (though neither, truly, old nor little) over here watching the shadows grow longer?


It is coming, again, the sun! Another season of brightness lost in service to the bourgeoisie, and occasionally, members of the ruling class. We don’t like to think about that as we sit here, Maria and me, because we don’t think much in the morning. Mornings are for no activities. Mornings are for sloth. Afternoon is for lust and evening is for greed and gluttony. That leaves envy, wrath, and pride, which can all be had any time of day should the humors arise.


Dreary day, drizzling rain melting what is probably not the last of the snow. Bottles and glasses on the table, biscuits, peanut butter. And in other places bad things are happening, all the time bad things happening you have to realize that hell is a very real possibility all the time. It can’t be escaped any more than you can escape death.


The sages say they shy from spending too much time in the heavenly realms lest they lose their practice of compassion, but that sounds like typical South Asian abstentionism to me. You should cherish heaven when it is here and know that all things too pass away, and that you are every bit as likely to have hell tomorrow, at least circumstantially. You see, the last few times I was in hell I was wearing the biggest smile, happy to be there as to be anywhere else. And in the ninth circle, where we are loath to move it is so cold, I raced around, running off the walls and writing treatises that I showed to the devil himself and he couldn’t help but fear me.


So what left but to soldier on with this idle countenance on my face, keep my hands and even my eyes to myself. It’s easier than it looks, really, this dip in the Blasé. There will be no tidy endings in the art. There will be no tidy endings in the art. There will be no tidy endings in the art. Say it with me Julien, say it with Maria.


That is all there is to say today. Maybe tomorrow will be different. Maybe it will but I doubt it.


3.32.23 The Record


Today still, but later. I am lost in a psychotic whir. An intensity of feeling I have not known in nigh on three years. What a strange feeling to be seen by one you have never met. “If it isn’t love than what the fuck is it? I guess, just let me pretend.” That is all I have been doing. And it could be equally Phoebe Bridgers as that barista with the shock of red on the other line. It is imaginary, which certainly doesn’t make it unreal. We just have a faculty that you cannot imagine, quite literally and to the point. If you can’t see beyond the thin veil that keeps us bound to dates and figures, we will never come into the metaphysical kingdom, which is a collective state of mind at its most basic level.


And there are others out there who feel the same, The Record is proof of that. I do not know anything about the lives of these young ladies other than what I have gleaned from their music–in particular Phoebe has hit home with some of my more psychotic tendencies–but speculations aside, what we have here is a very focused alternative album that uses its three heads to disorient the listener as to which voice is speaking at any given time. Even when Phoebe is spilling her heart on ‘Revolution 0’, how are we to know it isn’t a ballad out of Julien or Lucy’s songbook? Who are we to attribute authorship, when the ladies seem comfortable being each other, anywhich way?


I insist to you that I know nothing and yet the first verse of ‘Revolution 0’ and the second verse of ‘Emily I’m Sorry’ seem lifted directly from the facts of my life. Could it be that randomly these names, addresses to distant islands in the void, these incidences (broken nose), could be so common that the vendetta it seems to unleash is only an echo of our mutual americana? But Emily and Montreal, what are the chances that that old wife of mine would rear its dirty head on a pop record by a woman who would have been about 14 when that went down? A woman linked to me by a transference onto an Old Poet that took root during the depths of spiritual turmoil, a visitation with the very evil. That is what I meant when I said that the devil trembled to read my verses. That is what I hope to achieve poetically, though I am not called, as some, to that vocation specifically. I believe that living well is the soul of poetry and that verse and poesy, of endless cleverness in rhyming and meter is sure to atrophy that soul. We must seize the holy light of day, must propagate our vineyards endlessly across the slopes. The Record. No shame, no Shade.


I want to stare deep into the abyss, live long and prosper. I want to know what the next millennium brings. What forms we will take when the spectres of poverty and disease are erased from the earth!


4.7.23 The Point


Well that was a roller coaster ride, that first tide of Aries season, though not as severe as the dawning of the feast of St. Valentine just a pair of calendar months ago. There have been a few beautiful sunsets, a wicked thunderstorm, but the most interesting weather has gone on between my ears.


Isn’t it always that way? Isn’t it always the beautiful struggle, the attempt to ford the stream that eventually draws every last one of us down its channel unto death. ‘What is the point?’ is a question I saw asked the other day. What does this world mean to you that you think it owes us the human concept of telos? Of an end, a meaning, a resolution. No, this goes on and on and on almost ceaselessly to distract you from the fact that the telos is death. That that is the point. Nothing that lives is eternal, and so we must know the eternal to be death themself. It is quite simple, in theory.


And yet kindness and benevolence mean so much, have so much weight as to almost offset the mortician, but not quite, if you see what I’m saying. There is this beautiful man in my past and I will keep his name a secret but it was just his birthday and he was born with the same name as me if that tips any of you off. Problematic, as all humans. There is beauty in that problematism, there is God. E. God is suffering.


Eventually though they say you get to a point where you aren’t really the one who is suffering and I kind of know what they mean by that and I also disagree fundamentally with that sentiment because you have to own your body and own your words and your intentions which means that you have to let go of the sentiment that they are yours so they can be what they most purely are and not itemized units of your personality or your being. You have to be yourself so much that you forget about yourself, I guess.


Weird, this diary has gotten out of hand in only the fourth entry. Only the first month of the Astrological year, which has about as much bearing on my life as the Gregorian Calendar (that is to say: a lot). Where am I headed, why am I mirroring the avoidant tendencies of my second-oldest friend? Why can’t I be free to dance my dance without reservation?


Because Richard the reservations are a part of the manifestation of the Self. Turn towards the part of you that is most magnanimous, the most generous and giving Richard. What is the thing that he should do? Tune in next time to see me dress in drag and do the hula.


4.7.23 It’s Good Friday, In’it?


Next time is now, not even tomorrow. There is a fire truck parked down the street with a cop in it. I don’t know what that means. Not the words, I know what I said, I just don’t know what the reality that there is a cop in a fire truck just chillin’ in like eight parking spots means. That’s reasonable right? Aum tat sat.


There is a little blue pill on the table next to me, and no, it’s not anything fun but only a leftover Aleeve from an aborted accidental overdose, and I can’t even remember if Neo took the red or the blue pill and now I’m thinking of those Depakote that came in Blue and Red with a stamp that said 𝛿hv on it and to me at the time that meant that it would condense the radiant light that my soul was emitting into a frequency more tolerable to the people around me as when I really get going things can be blinding and I can be very destructive and…and…and…all these details of my person…do you really care? I know that I don’t, I only relay them because I think it is important that if you and I are going to have any meaningful dialogue (if I am going to spew an effective monologue at you) you have to know a little bit about me. Have to know they say I have a brain disease.


I don’t know about all that governor, but maybe. Or am I an evolved human? Careful now, don’t run with that thinking. The evolved human knows himself to have always existed, even in archaic times. The spiritual principles, being eternal, apply to all men, in all times, and by men I only mean human. Homo.


Who you callin’ a homo? ¿Como? Sapiens be damned and I haven’t read the sequel and so only speculate on what the real next chapter in the grand design will look like. Design? You think this drama is scripted? What a laugh, and not enough laughs, not enough. I am never enough. For what part of me, what externality do I assume to justify this lack. This perception of a lack. What does it mean to be enough? Does it mean to be perfect?


I suggest that you revise your conception of perfection, if you have one. Because perfect does not exist in human terms, each of us is endlessly flawed and the Buddha laughs with us. By which I mean that these seeming flaws serve a purpose in the enormous tapestry that is the whole of life on Earth. Which brings us back to the design, truly, which is my sign to hang my hat on the corner of that chair right over there and remember that home should be with you always and that once you taste it you can never really lose it.


Peace be with you, may all your Fridays be Good, and may all your Ikons be at least partially clothed.


4.12.23 The Writer eclipses the panorama


There is a building between me and the bay but I can feel its breezes, can almost smell above the trash cans beneath me its ever so faint, ever so neutral scent. I taste coffee and pineapple and the sun is shining. There is nothing of the dissonance that came up the other day, nothing of the shakes but a rumbling of gas that won’t clear, the tightness in the abdomen that comes with rich food, a sort of poisoning of excess that strikes particularly, I’ve noticed, with porcini mushrooms.


But that is yesteryear ladies and gentlemen, which is a term of address I mean to be all inclusive, as I won’t be caught splitting hairs in what is surely but an echo chamber of the thinking mind. Of course there is also seeing mind and listening mind and feeling mind, in several senses. I do not know where I’m going but I’m going anyway. Who said that? Who Who. Mr. Owl, how many licks to the bottom of the tootsie pop?


I thought I had something to say but on this, the nicest day of the year so far I have only complaints and aches and sore muscles from getting off my ass for once in my goddamn life and pounding pavement like my daddy did before me. Isn’t that a trip, to be here and be staring out at an infinite expanse of blue only knowing it isn’t really infinite because all things have limits especially living things and in many traditions both the sky and the sea are alive. I can feel myself becoming somebody I’m no longer scared to be, and that scares me.


My greatest fear is finding fulfillment, complete fulfillment, and I don’t know why that is.


I don’t know much about why anything is, but the simple answer is, it is because it is, and that’s that. But I don’t like the simple answer, there are so many shades of nuance, so many different variegations of truth that show up even when the trees are barren. Barren muse forgive me, I can’t go on, can’t possibly endure another moment of this perfection. With any luck I’ll be forgotten by Christmastime next year, but that’s a fool’s hope. And I the perfect fool, ready for anything and yet always unsurprisingly unprepared.


Give it a minute, listen hard to your heartbeat. It’ll make sense eventually.


4.13.23 The Sun is shining and somewhere someone is miserable


I wonder what I would have accomplished had I not tried so hard to be happy. To be cool. To be anything, for trying is the enemy of the doer and the doer is not you grasshopper. Doesn’t all this passive aggression add up to something like purgatorial pandering? Forget me if you can that is my only hope is that the world will not forget because it doesn’t matter how I’m remembered anyway.


The pigeons are roosting all around, the prayer flags flap, untattered by the gentle breezes that carry their prayers only as far as the brick wall that keeps the sun off my screen. My therapist thinks humanity is evolving, that this next zoomie generation is going to be the start of the thing that saves us all. And yet there is talk of war. War with China, which might mean a draft, which might mean the death of the youth in the way that Vietnam was, and with drug laws having the benefit of Reaganism there would be no counterculture like the one that produced Hillary Rodham Clinton.


But that might be fake news. I’m not much good at checking facts, just have impressions of the sweep of history the way Cézanne saw all those trees and fields. Or Bosch, with his terrible visions of futures past. Imprinted on my thumb is a record of fire, but I don’t really even know what I mean by that. By any of it. Isn’t that a strange place to end up?


Only this is not the end, there is much to come. This book of the stars has only begun to spin, and like Leo’s totem in Inception, it’s a top that never stops.


Only everything eventually comes to rest, so says thermodynamics (again I have only impressions), I think. And the smell of tobacco and the stillness of the air, the memory of what I used to be. What a relief that is over and I have only the present iteration to contend with. I don’t know how long I’m going to live but I hope it is a while yet. I just have done so little so far, achieved nothing on the stage of the world. All this prana, all this yoga, all these austerities and the power has not been applied. The seraphim said you had to use it, as he told me not to worry so much about which way is up.


Archangels be damned, he who dwells in fire is no joke, and I don’t mean the devil exactly. But a meddler, a trickster for sure, he who in my book is on his way out. Only my book isn’t the only one, there are many iterations of the godhead descended in human form; many humans, that is to say. Don’t forget your divine origin, the conscious mind is the root of all things, good or evil. Even when the road gets dark somebody remembers your rhythms, even if you can’t see past the veil. Rend it with a puff of smoke and a cup of coffee, I say, but again, I’m just one speaker, and not even properly speaking, at that.


TTFN.


4.17.23 Out of milk


It has all gone stale, this rotten life pestilent to the core. I do not know what a relief it is to say that out loud. Where do we run to? Who will keep the lights on? It is all so close to the wire and looking as if there’s no way out, only we all know there is only one way out, and that the wire is just the kickback of having lived too long without our means. Something’s gotta give, and I can’t afford for it to be me.


Don’t even, she says, this fire sign with whom I share my quarters, my partner and truly the light of my life. What a strange thing to ply the waters with strangers and to do so with no regrets, which is to say with the grace of absolution. Where do we go to when everything is alright and it still hurts? Why does it have to hurt? Why must I feel so guilty and with tomorrow the joyeux anniversaire of my first love and my first enemy, those being different entities at large in the west (I think, anyways), and I carrying on in the chaotic mess of my being. Maybe one of these days I’ll stop using and get straight with myself. But that is a symptom, not the disease. Hungry Ghost season needs to end or I’ll never get any peace. And this little experiment only a primer, only the layer that goes down before the paint. And I no painter, but only a wordsmith at these keys. These sticky keys that are still better than mechanical typewriter hammers.


It is on days like these that depression is real and pressing, that suicide lingers like the unspoken pachyderm that though juvenile still fills most of this apartment. It is a sight stickier than the keys. The shame and embarrassment that in the west we must bear. It should be noted that this west is a distinct one from the one I mentioned earlier.


I’m sorry if this is not worth it. It has to be worth it or I give up, only I am too stubborn to give up, to imagine myself free from this vocation that I anointed to myself in ethereal hellfire. What a strange and twisted journey this has been so far, and thanks to the wonder of the blank page I no longer feel despondent and useless. At least I can make a sentence, and another one. One true sentence can win you a Nobel, can’t it? And this is just a primer, in the sense of charges rather than paint. The primer to Edward Abbey’s dream to undam the Colorado, or Guy Fawkes’ attempt to bring down parliament. It is bombs in Gaza and in Baghdad, bullets in Taipei and Beirut.


But those are a world away, and I don’t really want to continue doing what I’m doing. At least professionally. I need a change, a break; I need to leap into the vast unknown without concern with whether this abyss has a bottom. Forgive me my indiscretions those I may have offended in my mania. There is a world apart where sometimes I dwell, and as this world gives way from the Ram to the Bull, this chimera yearns for something more, afraid to ask or demand it, this vacant desire is the thing that keeps me from leaping, ultimately.


I forget myself for the rest of the day, a grasshopper dripping from the rain. On a blade of grass trembling in the wind tumbling down the hill. Awaiting nothing in particular, the world goes on about me, and I have everything I need to be happy, if only I can forgive myself my moods.


4.18.23 Inevitability day (or, a prayer I don’t die)


There are so many things that happen in a life that it is impossible to forget some of them, at least. But what is memory? Is it a physical structure in our minds as it exists in local computer storage, or some transcendent function of consciousness analogous to cloud computing? Modern logic suggests the former, but what if nothing is as it seems? What if we aren’t so bound to locality as the old ways suspect?


In fact science herself is making things of that nature known, with the advancement of entanglement we may even solve the energy crisis. But communications is the future, so say the money men who suffered my “amphetamine blasphemies” as if the things I had written weren’t able to be remembered into being. Communicate with me, over vast distances, as we do now. You could be anywhere and I am here with an aperitif as the snow rages about my windows.


It is strange to feel like crying on such a beautiful day, or maybe it is a beautiful day because I feel like crying. Does beauty start with me or is it an eternal truth? Or is that Beauty? While beauty is in the eye of the beholder? So many questions always there is something to be said for being inquisitive and as the bard says there is “no system, no guarantee” and yet there are hundreds if not thousands of systems often even with guarantees but I guess that those guarantees are illusory and the fact of no true guarantee may be as inevitable as death or taxes, of course I suppose those are guaranteed. Keep track of that, if you can, Champagne Papi, referencing the class of dragon, not the rapper. Is that too abstruse?


Because I think it is beautiful, as I think the purple grow light is beautiful, and the way modern plumbing whisks away the shit and piss leaving only a pool of cool clean water. Cool clean water our ancestors would have killed for. But Sky Daddy™ says you can’t kill, not even to water your garden, so we are left with a moral impasse, a Mexican Standoff™ of the soul that leaves us gasping with thirst on the shores of a great and saline sea. Bold to trademark phrases that predate my birth? Maybe, but fortune favors the bold, which probably originated in Latin and meant something different. Isn’t that the way with modernity, that nothing is new?


Only it doesn’t have to be really new to be new, does it? No man steps in the same River™ twice. And I not one for stepping in rivers, except maybe to swim. I’ll stick to the lakes and waterfalls that I’m used to, thank you very much. That’s all I think, maybe for good. But I doubt it, truth be told I can’t shed the mirror. I’m sorry for the things I said. But maybe not sorry enough.

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